(3) Talmage: Agency

September 15th, 2015 No comments

Jesus The Christ – Study Guide

(3) Agency

In the Premortal Existence (PME) “the entire human race existed as spirit being…they were endowed with the powers of agency…” (p. 17). If we treat agency as the power to act righteously with the ability to make choices, it adds to the richness of the construct.PME

Elder Talmage explains that God’s omnipotence relates to agency and also provides an answer to the underlying question of how we are able to exercise agency despite His omniscience. He permits us the ability to make choices without infringing upon our desire to act righteously. However, when we choose sin over His commandments we no longer engage in agency. Instead we stray from the strait and narrow and His Spirit is withheld.

(2) Talmage: Premortal Existence

September 13th, 2015 No comments

Jesus The Christ – Study Guide

(2)      The Premortal Existence

Genesis 1:26-27 is the biblical account of what is left of the premortal life, which according to some LDS scholars was over 2.5 billion years of existence. In this organizational meeting (Abraham 3:22-28), we were all present and witnessed the Savior’s appointment as the Premortal_existenceRedeemer. Jesus explained that some souls would be lost and not make it back. Lucifer argued that he could save them (v. 26). In verses 24-25, Jesus is already the Chosen One. He is speaking in past tense that we (God the Father and Him) we prove us to determine if we keep our covenants made (in the premortal existence).

100-Year Anniversary of Jesus the Christ

September 7th, 2015 No comments

LDS Book Reviews

Jesus The Christ – Study GuideJTC_book


Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment have written a study guide to James E. Talmage’s Jesus The Christ commemorating the 100-year anniversary of its publication. They presented an overview during Education Week (2015). I picked up the book and will share some thoughts from their writings.

Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon

September 9th, 2014 2 comments

I’ve been approached multiple times by family members to listen/watch a 4+ hour discourse on a new theory surrounding the Book of Mormon geography that claims the actual Hill Cumorah is in New York.

The attached article is written in defense of anti-Mormon and anti-Book of Mormon critics. However, found within the text of the article is the basis for, in my opinion, the soundest approach to the Book of Mormon geography.

Although this article is more than 20 years old, it’s worth reading again.

Click here for the article.


Flipping Your Lid

August 3rd, 2014 No comments

This is my most recent letter to my son.

For those of you who are fighting addictions, harmful behavior, codependency, family disorder, or struggling with your testimony, this will provide a foundation for healing.

If you can name it, you can tame it, as the saying goes. The ability to become one has many layers of meaning. Your happiness (well-being) is contingent upon it.onebecomingone

Dear Elder Himmer,

At the heart of the Lord’s great intercessory prayer from the Garden of Gethsemane, he expressed this desire (command) “…that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:11)


Living a Sheltered Life

May 31st, 2014 3 comments

“No man knows had bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not knowScripture_study what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.”

Bad people don’t know wickedness because they live a sheltered life. Sheltered from the resistance of evil. If we resist evil, evil fights back. If we don’t resist evil, evil leaves us alone.

Lying down in a windstorm doesn’t give one an appreciation for the strength of the wind. Only standing up against the wind can one appreciate the power of the wind.


May 29th, 2014 2 comments

Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Albert Einstein

The effort that goes into disproving God is addictive in nature. I often wonder how believing in God can be so harmful to mankind, but accepting organizations and programs that outright harm humanity is acceptable. Is this what the bible refers to when the last days are described as calling good evil and evil good?


Life Long Learners

May 27th, 2014 5 comments

The following is a talk given by my son Andrew in Leander, TX. He and his family just moved into the ward and joined his older brother Charles.

Insights on Mortal Life

Andrew Himmer!
Insights on Mortal Life
Leander TX !!


It’s always a pleasure to attend the same ward as my older brother Charles. Moments to embarrass him don’t present themselves very often. So, when I responded to Br. Bishop that I was delighted to receive the assignment to speak, I really meant it.

The Emotional Intelligence of Joshua & Caleb

April 27th, 2014 No comments

In Numbers 14 we read about the 12 spies of Israel sent into the Promised Land to scope out Israel’s eventual homeland. No mention is made if they hired Realtors or not, although they drafted two reports as a result of the trip. One report by Joshua and Caleb and one report by the other ten.Joshua_Promised_Land

One can infer from the text that each man sent was one of his tribes best. However, no mention is made of the requirements, qualifications, or skills needed to be the best. Were they the smartest (IQ), most charismatic, strongest, loudest, most pious, richest, or was it based on nepotism, they were the oldest of the tribes literal lineage to whichever son of Israel bore the name of the tribe?

Authentic Happiness With Missionary Companions

April 20th, 2014 1 comment

Those of you who have served missions will readily recall certain companions who were more challenging than others. Some companions were introverted and others never shut up. It was a great learning ground for us as we prepared for the bonds of matrimony. Statistically it appears that many of us still struggle with interpersonal relationships. It’s possible that the source of frustration may be an intrapersonal conflict.

Priesthood Authority

April 7th, 2014 1 comment
I really enjoyed conference weekend. My highlight was probably Elder Oakes and how he addressed the Priesthood. Here are a few bullets that I especially enjoyed:
  • Women function in their calling with the authority of the Priesthood
  • Men and women have reciprocal authority
  • Only men will ever be ordained to a Priesthood office
  • Men are not the Priesthood, they function within the Priesthood
  • Only women have the God-given power of creation
  • Marriage is a full partnership – not a limited one
  • Women and men are equal with different responsibilities

The Trial of Christ: Ironies, Contradictions, and Violations

January 5th, 2014 No comments

The Mosaic Law had safeguards placed within it to prevent wicked leaders from usurping their powers and making scapegoats out of the people.Jesus_Pilate

After the Jewish leaders talked themselves into believing that Jesus was guilty of a death sentence, they presented Him to Pilate.

Here is a short list of violations:

  1. No one-day trials resulting in capital punishment.
  2. No self-incrimination or confession without corroborating witnesses who agree with each other.
  3. No hearing before the Sanhedrin in the house of the high priest.
  4. The voting cannot be unanimous for a guilty verdict.

Ironies and Contradictions


December 29th, 2013 1 comment

How To Teach A Lesson

There is an old saying within the Church: “Teaching: No Greater Call!” Yet how to effectively teach is a hard lesson to come by. Few members called into teaching position exercise effective skills in conducting a discussion, nor do they ask inviting questions that promote ideas and thoughts. The most effective way to engage in a learning environment is to stretch one’s comfort zone and challenge existing assumptions. However, this often introduces fear and hesitation into the teachers’ and students’ space and therefore restricts their actions.


November 17th, 2013 No comments

My son Elder Himmer, who is serving in South Korea, sent me a few questions this week. The provided answer is to the question about the difference between the Garden of Gethsemane and Golgotha. This post addresses Gethsemane.Gethsemane

Jesus approached death on three occasions, the Garden of Gethsemane, the scourging, and on Golgotha. In Gethsemane He experienced death symbolically, however, no human can bleed at every pore and live. During the scourge, any human would have died. On the cross he permitted himself to die.

Selective Neglect

October 27th, 2013 2 comments

I attended a Little Philmont training for Scout Leaders yesterday. One of the take aways from the meeting was Pres. Fields concept of “Selective Neglect.” It’s another way of explaining priorities in life. There is too much to accomplish during any given day, therefore, we must filter our activities through a set of priorities. Here are our family’s priorities in life:priorities

  1. God
  2. Spouse
  3. Children
  4. Work
  5. Church