April 17, 2006
Our Easter Celebration yesterday was excellent. The young men showed extra reverence while breaking, blessing, and passing the sacrament. Our Bishop gave a powerful talk/sermon on the themes of justice and mercy in the Gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, reminding us that through the Atonement, the repentant find mercy and the unrepentant find justice, for mercy cannot rob justice. Later in the day, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with family and friends.
Because our day was full of worship and the company of family, I couldn’t be bothered to post an Easter message, although that shouldn’t be taken to mean that I, or other Latter-day Saints, do not put due emphasis on Easter in their devotion. I believe that Latter-day Saints have a unique view on this–shared only by the primitive Christian Church. One day late, therefore, I offer some of my thoughts from the Archives (Easter 2005) about LDS beliefs in the literal (and not symbolic or figurative) resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on that first Easter:
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April 13, 2006
A Turkish man was sentenced to nine years in prison today in Germany for murdering his sister because her "western" way of life dishonored the Islamic ways of the family. Specifically, the victim Hatun Sürücü, who was born and raised in Germany but who was forced to marry a cousin in Turkey in 1998, refused to return to Turkey after the birth of her son in Germany in 1999. She moved out of her parents’ apartment in Berlin and got an education as an electrical technician. So her younger brother, who was 18 years old at the time of the crime on February 7, 2005, shot her several times in the head in the middle of the street to defend his family’s Islamic honor. He premeditated the crime for months. So he was sentenced by a German court to nine years in prison.
And yet the Germans view America as barbaric because such a murderer would likely face the death penalty if a crime of that nature were committed in this country.
A Member of the European Parliament belonging to the Green party aptly criticized the judgment by pointing out that it only encourages such Islamic "honor killings" to be performed by the youngest members of the family because they will face such light punishment:
„Wenn man weiß, daß solche Mordurteile im Familienrat gefällt werden und der Jüngste ausgesucht wird, weil man bei ihm das geringste Strafmaß erwartet, dann sendet dieses Urteil das falsche Signal in die Gesellschaft.“
There is so much wrong with this that it is difficult to know where to start. To begin with, can justice possibly be served with such a sentence in this case? Also, does Islam condone such honor killings or not? If it does, what is society to do about it? (And this is to say nothing of the forced marriage to her cousin.)
April 5, 2006
How wonderful it was to gather and hear the words of a living prophet and the Apostles of Jesus Christ at the recent General Conference. As Latter-day Saints, we do not have all the answers to the mysteries of godliness and of the eternities and the workings of our Heavenly Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. But we believe that Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, and not figuratively. We believe in his real power and priesthood, and we know something of his mission and how it relates to our Heavenly Father’s purposes. What we know comes more from scripture and less from logical deduction or abstract philosophizing. This is something we can be grateful for.
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