To Be a Man’s Man in a Man’s Machined World

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Carrying Forward Joe’s Vision

Mormon Scholars Testify–Todd Humphreys

Why do I go to church? Why do I believe? Probably not for any reasons that would convince the skeptic

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. It’s easy to find the illogic and inconsistency in professions of faith. And a Mormon’s testimony, with its references not only to Jesus Christ as our resurrected Savior but also to golden plates and prophets in recent times, offers much that sounds incredible to the modern ear. Nevertheless I do believe, and I’ll offer a few reasons in hopes that they’ll invite interest, or at least understanding.

Todd E. Humphreys

Dr. Humphreys specializes in the application of optimal estimation techniques to problems in satellite navigation, orbital and attitude dynamics, and signal processing. He directs the Radionavigation Laboratory at UT-Austin, where software-defined GPS receivers are developed as a platform for GPS technology innovation and study of the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere. His recent focus has been on defending against intentional GPS spoofing and jamming. In 2008 he co-founded Coherent Navigation, a startup that hardens GPS by, among other things, exploiting telephony signals from the Iridium satellite constellation. Dr. Humphreys joined the faculty of the Cockrell School of Engineering in Fall 2009.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Articles of Faith

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinancesof the Gospel.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer the ordinances thereof.
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets , pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, and that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Isreal and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built on the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul–We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Minding Business: A note on “The Mormon Creed”

On Christmas Day 1844, William Wines Phelps wrote a letter to William Smith in which he described Mormonism as “the great leveling machine of creeds.” Smith would have understood Phelps’s meaning. His late brother, the Prophet Joseph, had always maintained that Mormonism should not only resist the pat confessions of Christian orthodoxy—which, as he said, “set up stakes . . . to . . . the Almighty”—but also resist pat formulations of Mormon belief itself. “The Latter-day Saints have no creed,” Joseph had once said, “but are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time.” Yet in September 1844, three months before Phelps wrote his Christmas letter, William Smith scolded a New York congregation for forgetting “the Mormon Creed,” a creed, he observed, that consisted of a single well-known phrase: “mind your own business.”

Attack of the Zombie Drones

One of the greatest advantages of drones—for gathering intelligence, patrolling borders, doing weather research, or killing terrorists—is that they can be piloted by people who are on the ground and far away. They can do dangerous, difficult, tedious tasks without requiring the risk of human lives. For their critics, there is a flip side to this: Drones risk making it too easy to kill without perceived consequences, or spy, or monitor every instant of everyone’s lives….

But his drone-spoofing has gotten far more attention for the cause, he says. There’s something about things falling out of the sky that gets people’s attention. The FAA has promised to open the U.S. skies to civilian drones by 2015 and has estimated that by 2020, there could be 30,000 of them aloft. That’s a lot of potential flying zombies.

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1 Comment

  1. SS July 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I didn’t realize Mormons specifically recognized “the American continent” as the place for New Jerusalem. How lucky for Mitt Romney! Though, the American continent contains much to the south that I’m guessing Mormons wouldn’t be thrilled with as a New Jerusalem (but this would make an excellent SNL skit…)


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