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Beau Sorensen
Lives in Provo, UT
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Beau Sorensen

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Heaven on Earth
Mesa, Arizona
The #LDS Mesa Arizona Temple at sunset. I couldn't have asked for better light!
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Sea of Wildflowers
Wilmington, NC
I loved this image of a vessel of war sailing through these symbols of peace.
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Searsiously
Chicago, IL
It'll always be the Sears Tower to me!
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Spilled Blood
St Petersburg, Russia
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On John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, and Excommunication
It’s taken me the better part of a week to come up with some coherent thoughts on the calls to disciplinary hearings for John Dehlin and Kate Kelly. I’ve read more than is probably good and thought constantly about it. That being said, here are the 2 most important thoughts I have on the matter:
1. Excommunication isn’t a punishment. We need to shift our paradigm. All I have heard since this broke is how Mr. Dehlin and Ms. Kelly are being punished. Mr. Dehlin is being punished for his vocal advocacy of LGBT causes and Mormon Stories podcast and website where he openly admits that he has serious doubts about members of the Quorum of the Twelve, the Book of Mormon, and the LDS Church. Ms. Kelly is being punished for being an outspoken advocate of women, for mobilizing hundreds of men and women alike to push for the ordination of women to priesthood offices.
We are wrong to think of excommunication in this way. It certainly can come across as a punishment. It will lessen the impact of their voices over the long run, though it is amplifying them today. Instead, excommunication is a merciful blessing to Mr. Dehlin and Ms. Kelly. How can taking away these blessings be an act of mercy? It is merciful to these two because they don’t just lose the blessings of the temple and baptism – they also lose the covenant relationship. This allows them to work through whatever issues they have with God, with the Church, or with the Bretheren without covenants hanging over their head. To quote Doctrine & Covenants 82:3, “For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.”
They had the greater light and knowledge at one point in time, but years of doubts and life experience have caused that light to dissipate. That’s not to say it can’t return. What it is to say is that as they continue down the paths they are on right now, it is better for their souls to continue without the covenants they have made, lest they receive greater condemnation.
Excommunication isn’t the end, it’s a new beginning. I am reminded of the story of W.W. Phelps. Quoting liberally from a speech by then-BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland:
In the early years of the Church the Prophet Joseph Smith had no more faithful aide than William Wines Phelps…But then troubles developed…Things became so serious that the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that if Phelps did not repent, he would be “removed out of [his] place” (HC 2:511). He did not repent and was excommunicated on March 10, 1838… in the fall of that violent year W. W. Phelps, along with others, signed a deadly, damaging affidavit against the Prophet and other leaders of the Church. The result was quite simply that Joseph Smith was sentenced to be publicly executed on the town square in Far West, Missouri, Friday morning, November 2, 1838. 
Two very difficult years later, with great anguish and remorse of conscience, Phelps wrote to Joseph Smith in Nauvoo.
Brother Joseph: . . . I am as the prodigal son. . . .
I have seen the folly of my way, and I tremble at the gulf I have passed. . . . [I] ask my old brethren to forgive me, and though they chasten me to death, yet I will die with them, for their God is my God. The least place with them is enough for me, yea, it is bigger and better than all Babylon. . . .
I know my situation, you know it, and God knows it, and I want to be saved if my friends will help me. . . . I have done wrong and I am sorry. . . . I ask forgiveness. . . . I want your fellowship; if you cannot grant that, grant me your peace and friendship, for we are brethren, and our communion used to be sweet.
In an instant the Prophet wrote back… having been delivered from the hands of wicked men by the mercy of our God, we say it is your privilege to be delivered from the powers of the adversary, be brought into the liberty of God’s dear children, and again take your stand among the Saints of the Most High, and by diligence, humility, and love unfeigned, commend yourself to our God, and your God, and to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Believing your confession to be real, and your repentance genuine, I shall be happy once again to give you the right hand of fellowship, and rejoice over the returning prodigal.
“Come on, dear brother, since the war is past,
For friends at first, are friends again at last.”
Yours as ever,
Joseph Smith, Jun. (A Robe, a Ring, and a Fatted Calf; January 31, 1984)
Brother Phelps would not returned without the tough love of excommunication. It allowed him to get space from the situation, to see what he was missing, and to search himself – without covenants hanging over his head. If Mr. Dehlin and Ms. Kelly are indeed excommunicated, I would propose that that’s precisely what they need.
2. Doubts aren’t the problem. I have listened to Mr. Dehlin and Ms. Kelly say that they are being punished for their doubts. That’s not the case. These Bishops and Stake Presidents who have convened their disciplinary councils have certainly had their own crises of faith. Instead, the problem is the way they have expressed those doubts. They have done so publicly, in a way that demands everyone look at them. In this day and age we all “get caught up in popularity contests and experience anxieties…becoming depressed because [we] are being out-Twittered and lacking in thumbs ups.” (Bill Davidow, The Atlantic) 
If they had expressed their doubts and concerns privately, talking with their Bishops and Stake Presidents on a regular basis, working things through with trusted friends and advisors, and praying privately to the Lord for help and guidance (and for His help when the answers they received weren’t what they originally thought they should be), then none of this would have happened. It is when we put ourselves into a position where we can lead others astray, when we cause others to question and lose their testimonies (regardless of how well-intentioned we may be), that our earnest seeking can become something else. 
In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday, Ms. Kelly mentioned that they just wanted an answer. That would be all well and good if that were the case, but at some point we have to accept the answer we’ve been given. The LDS Church has come out time and time and time again to say that women will not be given the priesthood at this time. That’s not to say that it won’t happen in the future – I’m not the Lord, nor do I pretend to know His will. I know those who made a pronouncement that blacks would never receive the priesthood in the 1950s looked like quite the fools in 1978. What I do know is that the answer won’t change in 6 months and it won’t change in a year. If these brothers and sisters truly feel that women should be ordained, the course that I would recommend is to faithfully continue with the church, to express your desires privately to your leaders, and to sustain the leaders of the church. 
#lds   #ordainwomen   #mormonstories  
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I'm happy to discuss the merits of Joseph Smith and Mormonism in a post of yours, Wes, though I think that this particular thread has gotten too far off course. Based on your public posts, it seems like this is a frequent topic that you discuss here. At the end of the day, in my mind it comes down to Matthew 7:20 - "wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them." You may feel that Mormons are oppressed sheeple, blindly following a false God (despite repeated protestations by Mormons to the contrary that we, in fact, worship the same Jesus that every other Christian does). Nevertheless, look at the fruits. Millions of good, hard working individuals who make a real difference in their community. People who, by and large, are kind, generous, charitable individuals. That seems like what we should be promoting more of as a society, no matter which side of the theological divide we are on instead of focusing on how we can tear each other down.
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With the pictures of Apple's WWDC banners revealing that OS X 10.10 will be called Yosemite along with the OS X logo superimposed on El Capitan, perhaps they should use this picture from my trip there this past spring. No need to superimpose, the X is already there!
http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2014/05/osx.jpg
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Golden Hour
Alpine Loop, Utah
Just a short drive from the cities of the Wasatch Front in Utah are these incredible mountains. While they look great from the valley floor, they look magnificent from the backcountry too!
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Winter's Mist
Provo, UT
The first snow of the season on Mount Timpanogos in Utah Valley. This was one of those mornings where suddenly you knew summer was over and it's time for the move to fall.
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Great photo. This morning felt that way to me too. :)
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Furrowed - Glenwood, UT
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My submission for +Scott Jarvie's LDS Temples book (picture by Scott, not by me):
The St. George Temple was the first temple completed after the Saints migrated from Nauvoo. As a result, it got a lot of special attention from Brigham Young. As President George A. Smith said, "you cannot realize how...anxious [Brigham Young] is to get this temple completed. He feels he is getting old and is liable to drop off at any time and he has keys that he wants to give in that temple that can only be given in a temple."
One of the key individuals involved in the building of the St. George Temple was my ancestor Robert Gardner. Robert was called to lead the United Order in St. George and got the sawmill working on Mount Trumbull, over 70 miles away from St. George in order to provide lumber for the temple. Before Brigham Young asked him to get the sawmill working, they spent 6 months with almost no lumber being cut and transported to the temple site for construction. After he was called to supervise the collection of the lumber, the job was done in less than 6 months. 
Robert worked regularly on the temple. To quote from his journal, "my time had been all taken up from the time the Temple commenced to be built until the roof was on. I had helped in getting material together for repairing roads, getting the rock from the quarries, seeing to shelter and other things needed for the men that were called from the outside settlements. Most of the time we had over two hundred men employed. I was among the first to superintend making the road to get the rock to lay the foundation and the last to furnish the lumber to put on the roof and finish the inside work."
As a result of their dedicated service, the St. George Temple was dedicated on January 1, 1877 – eight months before Brigham Young died. 
Every time I go to St. George, I love entering the city from the south via I-15. As you go up over the rise you can see the stark whiteness of the temple contrasted with the brilliant red of the surrounding cliffs. I think of the challenges associated with the construction of the temple – construction crews working in 100+ degree temperatures; men and oxen hauling loads of lumber 70 miles each way; men pulling 5500 pound slabs of volcanic rock down the side of a mountain to create the foundation for the House of the Lord. Then I feel gratitude for their faith in the Lord and in His work. I am grateful to be a descendent of people like Robert Gardner who truly gave all that they had to the building up of Zion.
#ldstemplestory #lds #mormon
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Awesome. I miss that view. 
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For all my #LDS friends out there, +Scott Jarvie's Faith in America project is getting to where we're looking for text content for the print run. Check it out and submit some content!
 
ANNOUNCEMENT: Both books will be better than you expected and we need your help.
http://blog.jarviedigital.com/call-for-lds-temple-stories/ 

MORE THAN PICTURES
Yep both books will have significant side projects that will be included in the books... and we're starting with the LDS Temples book.

LDS TEMPLE STORIES
We used crowd funding to start the project and now we're crowd sourcing stories and other writings to make the book truly one to remember.

SO GO SHARE YOUR STORY
http://blog.jarviedigital.com/call-for-lds-temple-stories/ 
There is more explanation and a form to write your story or other writing

GILBERT
 - Yes that is the Gilbert temple at twilight from a 24ft tripod.

#ldstemples #faithinamerica #ldstemplestoires
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+Beau Sorensen  thanks :0
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Health care exec, Traveler, Photographer, Politically engaged-er.
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I love photography, BYU, and the Yankees.  I usually spend my folding money on traveling.  I make my company more efficient and effective.  I'm also very involved in Utah politics.
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Orem, UT - Tokyo, Japan
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