Friday, July 17, 2009

LDS Missionary From Eagle River, Alaska Profiled In Local Colorado Newspaper; Joseph Petersen Serving Mission In Grand County


Tired of the endless litany of stories about celebrity governors, obsessive-compulsive public watchdogs, rogue cops, and people who think the Soviet Union took over Alaska? Here's a story about a much more anonymous Alaskan who's representing the state with honor and distinction in Grand County, Colorado.

On July 9th, 2009, the Sky-Hi Daily News, which serves Grand County from Granby, published a profile of two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Austin Holden and Joseph Petersen (Holden left, Petersen right in above photo) are going door-to-door sharing the message of the LDS Church in Granby and other parts of Grand County. And Petersen is identified as being from Eagle River, Alaska.

Elder Petersen is 20 months into his mission and has four months remaining before he returns to Eagle River, after which he intends to go to college and get married. He arrived in Grand County three months ago (missionaries are normally moved around every six weeks within a specific mission geographical area). His companion, Elder Holden, arrived in early July. Missionaries are assigned together by twos to watch, strengthen, and encourage each other, and must remain within sight of one another at all times. This protects them against possible awkward situations, such as false accusations of sexual abuse from members of the public (the Ferris Joseph case was a situation in which an individual suddenly claimed to have been molested by an LDS missionary as a youth, but Joseph waited until well into adulthood to file suit against the Church, so his suit was suspect. Nonetheless, he eventually settled with the Church out of court).

The missionary lifestyle is rather ascetic. For example, missionaries are not permitted to watch TV or movies, play video games, or listen to secular music during their mission. They are only allowed limited access to computers. They can call home only twice per year, on Mother's Day and Christmas, although they can write an unlimited number of letters. Here's the typical day's schedule for Elders Petersen and Holden:

-- 6:30 A.M. Wake up, exercise and eat breakfast.
-- 8:00 A.M. Spend an hour individually studying the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the missionary handbook, titled “Preach my Gospel.”
-- 9:00 A.M. Engage in an hour of “companionship study.” Basically they brainstorm each other on how to preach the Gospel more effectively.
-- 10:00 A.M. One hour studying Spanish. Holden's mission is specifically identified to be to the Spanish-speaking community.
-- 11:00 A.M. Leave their residence and begin proselyting. Normally this means getting decked out in the suit and tie, but on occasion, they may dress in work clothes to help people with mowing lawns, painting houses and even moving house. When natural disasters strike within a mission area, mission presidents will divert missionaries from proselyting to assisting in disaster relief.
-- 9:00 P.M. End activities for the day, in bed by 10 P.M.

What the article doesn't mention is that the missionaries are given one day off per week as "P-Day", to wash clothes, shop for essentials, and let off steam at Church social functions.

This is their routine for two years. They are but two out of an average of 53,000 missionaries in the field at any given time. And not only do they not get paid for it, but they actually pay their own way. Before they embarked upon their missions, Elders Petersen and Holden both worked for a year after high school to save money. Parents frequently help out.

And they volunteer to go on missions. An estimated 30 percent of 19-year-old LDS men go on a mission. Men are strongly encouraged to go, but women are accepted as well (they must wait until they're 21). Men who successfully complete missions tend to end up on the fast track for leadership positions within the Church, filling slots as bishops, branch presidents, stake presidents, and mission presidents. As they get older, some go on to become General Authorities.

And how does Petersen feel about his mission? He says he will approach life differently than he did when he left home. “I have more faith,” he said. “And I know now that with that faith, I can overcome anything. Before, I didn't talk to my friends about The Church, but it's such a huge part of me. I'm going to share it with them.”

No kidding he'll have more faith. If you can cold-call successfully for two years, enduring rejection and privation, you can endure anything outside a combat zone. Missionaries are like the special ops troops of the Church. And their "basic training" starts off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah (for American missionaries). But the Church doesn't allow the young to monopolize the mission field; older couples can also volunteer to serve "couples missions". One prominent Alaskan example of this is Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Mark Wood, who recently resigned his post to accept a call to serve a couples mission with his wife.

One of the thornier issues for the Church has been its use of illegal immigrants on missions inside the United States. Church leaders believe in pursuing a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy; they don't think it's fair to deny an LDS man who is spiritually qualified to serve a mission an opportunity to do so because he might be an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, this can backfire; recently, an illegal immigrant missionary was arrested by Federal agents when he checked in for a flight at Cincinnati Airport. Church members are split over this practice; many believe that failure to enforce immigration laws in this case is a violation of the Twelfth Article of Faith, which calls upon members to "obey, honor, and sustain the law. I would prefer that bishops screen missionary candidates in advance and assure their legal residency to avoid such problems. However, I suggest that the mere presence of Barack Obama in the White House poses a far greater test of the Twelfth Article of Faith.

According to official LDS statistics, at the end of 2008, there were 30,169 Latter-day Saints in Alaska, spread out among 81 different congregations (wards and branches). Information on LDS membership at other locations can be accessed HERE. If interested in attending a service, first find out what to expect at an LDS service HERE, then click HERE then enter your address to find the chapel nearest you. I also recommend a visit to the "Bloggernacle", a collection of LDS blogs discussing a wide variety of topics.

15 comments:

  1. Sorry, Anonymous, had to zap ya. You want to debate Mormonism or Christianity, no problem. But referring to LDS missionaries as "queers" doesn't cut it, mate.

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  2. hit a sore spot with ya on the queers remark did i? tuff shit. my opinion stands no matter what you choose to leave up.they looked gay in their silly jesus suits.

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  3. Here is why I am not a follower of any of the 3 jew religions.

    as written by eli savage in the mid 1930's or 40's? anyway it is to good not to share with those who need an awakening.

    Of course, you do resent us. It is no good telling me you don't. So let us not waste any time on denials and alibis. You know you do, and I know it, and we understand each other. To be sure, some of your best friends are Jews, and all that. I have heard that before once or twice, I think. And I know, too, that you do not include me personally - "me" being any particular individual Jew - when you fling out at us in your wholesale fashion, because I am, well, so different, don't you know, almost as good as one of yourselves. That little exemption does not, somehow, move me to gratitude; but never mind that now. It is the aggressive, climbing, pushing, materialistic sort you dislike - those, in a word, who remind you so much of your own up-and-coming brethren. We understand each other perfectly. I don't hold it against you.

    Bless my soul, I do not blame anybody for disliking anybody. The thing that intrigues me about this anti-Jewish business, as you play at it, is your total lack of grit. You are so indirect and roundabout with it, you make such fantastic and transparent excuses, you seem to be suffering from self-consciousness so horribly, that if the performance were not grotesque it would be irritating.

    It is not as if you were amateurs: you have been at it for over fifteen centuries. Yet watching you and hearing your childish pretexts one might get the impression that you did not know yourselves what it is all about. You resent us, but you cannot clearly say why. You think up a new excuse - a "reason" is what you call it - every other day. You have been piling up justifications for yourselves these many hundreds of years and each new invention is more laughable than the last and each new excuse contradicts and annihilates the last.

    Not so many years ago I used to hear that we were money-grubbers and commercial materialists; now the complaint is being whispered around that no art and no profession is safe against Jewish invasion.pt1

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  4. pt 2.We are, if you are to believed, at once clannish and exclusive and inassimilable because we won't intermarry with you, and we are also climbers and pushers and a menace to your racial integrity.

    Our standard of living is so low that we create your slums and sweated industries, and so high that we crowd you out of your best residential sections.

    We shirk our patriotic duty in wartime because we are pacifists by nature and tradition, and we are the arch-plotters of universal wars and the chief beneficiaries of those wars (see the late "Dearborn Independent," passim, and "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion").

    We are at once the founders and leading adherents of capitalism and the chief perpetrators of the rebellion against capitalism.

    Surely, history has nothing like us for versatility!

    And, oh! I almost forgot the reason of reasons. We are the stiffnecked people who never accepted Christianity, and we are the criminal people who crucified its founder.

    But I tell you, you are selfdeceivers. You lack either the selfknowledge or the mettle to face the facts squarely and own up to the truth. You resent the Jew not because, as some of you seem to think, he crucified Jesus but because he gave him birth. Your real quarrel with us is not that we have rejected Christianity but that we have imposed it upon you!

    Your loose, contradictory charges against us are not a patch on the blackness of our proved historic offense. You accuse us of stirring up revolution in Moscow. Suppose we admit the charge. What of it? Compared with what Paul the Jew of Tarsus accomplished in Rome, the Russian upheaval is a mere street brawl.

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  5. pt3.You make much noise and fury about the undue Jewish influence in your theaters and movie palaces. Very good; granted your complaint is well-founded. But what is that compared to our staggering influence in your churches, your schools, your laws and the very thoughts you think every day?

    A clumsy Russian forges a set of papers and publishes them in a book called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which shows that we plotted to bring on the late World War. You believe that book. All right. For the sake of argument we will underwrite every word of it. It is genuine and authentic. But what is that beside the unquestionable historical conspiracy which we have carried out, which we have never denied because you never had the courage to charge us with it, and of which the full record is extant for anybody to read?

    If you really are serious when you talk of Jewish plots, may I not direct your attention to one worth talking about? What use is it wasting words on the alleged control of your public opinion by Jewish financiers, newspaper owners, and movie magnates, when you might as well justly accuse us of the proved control of your whole civilization by the Jewish Gospels?

    You have not begun to appreciate the real depth of our guilt. We are intruders. We are disturbers. We are subverters. We have taken your natural world, your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc with them. We have been at the bottom not merely of the latest great war but of nearly all your wars, not only of the Russian but of every other major revolution in your history. We have brought discord and confusion and frustration into your personal and public life. We are still doing it. No one can tell how long we shall go on doing it.

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  6. pt4.Look back a little and see what has happened. Nineteen hundred years ago you were an innocent, carefree, pagan race. You worshipped countless gods and goddesses, the spirits of the air, of the running streams and of the woodland. You took unblushing pride in the glory of your naked bodies. You carved images of your gods and of the tantalizing human figure. You delighted in the combats of the field, the arena - and the battle-ground. War and slavery were fixed institutions in your systems. Disporting yourselves on the hillsides and in the valleys of the great outdoors, you took to speculating on the wonder and mystery of life and laid the foundations of natural science and philosophy. Yours was a noble, sensual culture, unirked by the prickings of a social conscience or by any sentimental questionings about human equality. Who knows what great and glorious destiny might have been yours if we had left you alone.

    But we did not leave you alone. We took you in hand and pulled down the beautiful and generous structure you had reared, and changed the whole course of your history. We conquered you as no empire of yours ever subjugated Africa or Asia. And we did it all without armies, without bullets, without blood or turmoil, without force of any kind. We did it solely by the irresistible might of our spirit, with ideas, with propaganda.

    We made you the willing and unconscious bearers of our mission to the whole world, to the barbarous races of the earth, to the countless unborn generations. Without fully understanding what we were doing to you, you became the agents at large of our racial tradition, carrying our gospel to the unexplored ends of the earth.

    Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems. Our legends and our folk tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible. What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

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  7. pt5.Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you.

    How did we do it? Almost by accident. Two thousand years ago nearly, in far~off Palestine, our religion had fallen into decay and materialism. Money~changers were in possession of the temple. Degenerate, selfish priests mulcted our people and grew fat. Then a young patriot-idealist arose and went about the land calling for a revival of faith. He had no thought of setting up a new church. Like all the prophets before him, his only aim was to purify and revitalize the old creed. He attacked the priests and drove the money-changers from the temple. This brought him into conflict with the established order and its supporting pillars. The Roman authorities, who were in occupation of the country, fearing his revolutionary agitation as a political effort to oust them arrested him, tried him and condemned him to death by crucifixion, a common form of execution at that time.

    The followers of Jesus of Nazareth, mainly slaves and poor workmen, in their bereavement and disappointment, turned away from the world and formed themselves into a brotherhood of pacifist non-resisters sharing the memory of their crucified leader and living together communistically. They were merely a new sect in Judea, without power or consequence, neither the first nor the last.

    Only after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans did the new creed come into prominence. Then a patriotic Jew named Paul or Saul conceived the idea of humbling the Roman power by destroying the morale of its soldiery with the doctrines of love and non-resistance preached by the little sect of Jewish Christians. He became the Apostle to the Gentiles, he who hitherto had been one of the most active persecutors of the band. And so well did Paul do his work that within four centuries the great empire which had subjugated Palestine along with half of the world, was a heap of ruins. And the law which went forth from Zion became the official religion of Rome.

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  8. pt.6.This was the beginning of our dominance in your world. But it was only a beginning. From this time forth your history is little more than a struggle for mastery between your own old pagan spirit and our Jewish spirit. Half your wars, fought over the interpretation of one thing or another in our teachings. You no sooner broke free from your primitive religious simplicity and attempted the practice of the pagan Roman learning than Luther armed with our gospels arose to down you and reenthrone our heritage. Take the three principal revolutions in modern times - the French, the American and the Russian. What are they but the triumph of the Jewish idea of social, political and economic justice?

    And the end is still a long way off. We still dominate you. At this very moment your churches are torn asunder by a civil war between Fundamentalists and Modernists, that is to say between those who cling to our teachings and traditions literally and those who are striving by slow steps to dispossess us. In Dayton, Tennessee, a Bible-bred community forbids the teaching of your science because it conflicts with our ancient Jewish account of the origins of life; and Mr. Bryan, the leader of the anti-Jewish Ku Klux Klan in the Democratic National Convention makes the supreme fight of his life in our behalf, without noticing the contradiction. Again and again the Puritan heritage of Judea breaks out in waves of stage censorship, Sunday blue laws and national prohibition acts. And while these things are happening you twaddle about Jewish influence in the movies!

    Is it any wonder you resent us? We have put a clog upon your progress. We have imposed upon you an alien book and an alien faith which you cannot swallow or digest, which is at cross-purposes with your native spirit, which keeps you everlastingly ill-at-ease, and which you lack the spirit either to reject or to accept in full.

    In full, of course, you never have accepted our Christian teachings. In your hearts you still are pagans. You still love war and graven images and strife. You still take pride in the glory of the nude human figure. Your social conscience, in spite of all democracy and all your social revolutions, is still a pitifully imperfect thing. We have merely divided your soul, confused your impulses, paralyzed your desires. In the midst of battle you are obliged to kneel down to him who commanded you to turn the other cheek, who said "Resist not evil" and "Blessed are the peacemakers." In your lust for gain you are suddenly disturbed by a memory from your Sunday-school days about taking no thought for the morrow. In your industrial struggles, when you would smash a strike without compunction, you are suddenly reminded that the poor are blessed and that men are brothers in the Fatherhood of the Lord. And as you are about to yield to temptation, your Jewish training puts a deterrent hand on your shoulder and dashes the brimming cup from your lips. You Christians have never become Christianized. To that extent we have failed with you. But we have forever spoiled the fun of paganism for you.

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  9. pt.7.So why should you not resent us? If we were in your place we should probably dislike you more cordially than you do us. But we should make no bones about telling you why. We should not resort to subterfuges and transparent pretexts. With millions of painfully respectable Jewish shopkeepers all about us we should not insult your intelligence and our own honesty by talking about communism as Jewish philosophy. And with millions of hard-working impecunious Jewish peddlers and laborers we should not make ourselves ridiculous by talking about international capitalism as a Jewish monopoly. No, we should go straight to the point. We should contemplate this confused ineffectual muddle which we call civilization, this half-Christian half-pagan medley, and - were our places reversed - we should say to you point-blank: "For this mess thanks to you, to your prophets, and to your Bible."

    Do Gentiles deserve to be mocked in this way?
    If more Aryans had GRIT, our race would not be so pathologically terminal, and would never have accepted alien Satan-worship and Judeo-Christian identity. Our Exploiters love to see us cringe, because it justifies their treatment of us as subhumans. Why do we not have as much grit and honesty as Rabbi Ravage? Do our Exploiters censor us because YOU might have more grit too, once you have learned the Truth and to respect the Aryan Soul we were born with?

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  10. Anonymous - the information you present is interesting and useful. The problem is, you fail to distinguish effects.

    Not all Christian denominations receive equal consideration from the Establishment. For example, most of the mainline Protestant denominations basically get a free pass. While some liberals advocated that Anchorage Baptist Temple should have their tax-exempt status revoked as a result of their involvement in the Ordinance 64 campaign, they didn't advocate that the Unitarian Universalists or Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church also have their tax exemptions revoked for their own involvement. Double standard at work.

    Also bear in mind how the LDS Church (and to a lesser degree, the Catholics) were targeted by these same people for supporting Cal Prop 8.

    Religions which are targeted for abuse by the dictatorship of the politically correct are generally working in society's better interests. ABT and the LDS promote traditional cultural values, the type which once prevailed when this country was a better and safer place to live.

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  11. How embarrassing is it for these two men and their families to be written up on a blog by a white supremacist ?

    Scary.....

    How many other such as yourself are there in Alaska, Carl ?

    Just wondering, so I can avoid you and your buddies with the pointy hats.

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  12. To the Annonymous who wrote that it was embarrassing for Anchorage Activist to feature the LDS on his site. You will have to forgive him because he's confused.
    He has a questionable background as far as family history is concerned and doesn't realize the teachings of the LDS does not include hatred of modern day Jews.

    As for how many of his kind are in Alaska...just read his blog, follow his links and you will get a rough idea.

    AlaskanShofar.blogspot.com

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  13. there are enough of us racially aware white folks here in Alaska to take care of the liberal race traitors and general low life's when the time comes. for the betterment of society we will flush the toilet after were done filling it.unlike you pukes who welcome them illegals and non whites and criminals in with open arms.

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  14. there are enough of us racially aware white folks here in Alaska to take care of the liberal race traitors and general low life's when the time comes.

    You mean yourself, Carl and your 12 loser teabagging buddies ?

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  15. Very interesting blog.........

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