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Back in the day, late 60’s and the early 70’s just across the border in Rosarito Beach, Baja California the big “X” XERB was one of the flamethrower am radio stations of its day. The big “X” was the brainchild of Robert Weston Smith. Bob Smith? So who is Bob Smith? If you don’t recognize the name you just might remember the voice.
It’s the “Wolfman.” He was one of the most successful disk jockeys of his day. You might remember him in the movie “American Graffiti” done by George Lucas in 1973. The Wolfman made a considerable amount of money on the big “X” and most of it came from the late night programs that came to be known as the prayer shawl preachers or PSP’s as I call them.
At one point Wolfman Jack was said to be making over $50,000.00 a month from the revenue generated by these programs. A considerable amount of cash back then which did NOT go unnoticed by the Mexican authorities. Kind of like when Han Solo said to Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movie, “ancient weapons and hokey religions are no match for a good blaster at your side kid.” The blaster of the PSP’s made the bucks. I’m not sure how the radio station changed hands but the Wolfman got pushed out and things changed.
Running at 250,000 watts XERB could be heard from border to border. American stations could only broadcast at 50,000 watts of power due to FCC regulations so the big “X” was quite an adventure for am radio.
If we go back further in time the most powerful commercial radio station in the ever in the USA was WLW in the (700KHz AM) in Cincinnati Ohio, which during certain times in the 1930’s broadcast 500,000 watts of radiated power. At night, it covered half the globe. Neighbors within the vicinity of the transmitter heard the audio in their pots, pans and mattresses, literally. I’m providing a link in the show notes for those who may be interested in the history of WLW. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wlw
Today we have the new and improved border blasters and you’re listening to one of them now. The internet podcast. Just about anyone with a computer and microphone can produce and air podcasts. For that matter you can effectively have your own TV station. It’s called YouTube. All without the need for mass quantities of money.
Bob Dylan sang the lyrics of our day thinking he was just talking about the days in which he lived. That was in 1964. Over fifty years ago. Truly the times are a changing and I would suspect that in another fifty years our todays might seem as foolish to those who look upon us from their enlightened era with mild if not outright amusement.
Some things don’t change and for good reason. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is one of those things that doesn’t change. The way we show our discipleship does and should change to adapt to the environment and culture in which we live. What may be welcomed in Mormon Central aka Salt Lake City Utah may not be well received in another part of the world but our intent should always be the same. To represent our Lord and Savior and his loving and kindness by using our hands as His hands and the tone of our voice as He would talk to those in need of His care.
In October of 2006 brother James A. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered this view of discipleship.
Our responsibility is clear for those who have received the testimony of Jesus Christ. To become His disciples.
In doing so I try hard not to denigrate another’s testimony or their faith tradition. In the opening of this podcast I referred to the “prayer shawl preachers” in a manner that some may see or in this case hear as unacceptable . Truth is often in the ear of the beholder because our intent is interpreted by the distance from our heads to our hearts and that takes time. Oh, I know what you think I meant but I’m not sure what you heard is what was in my heart. Yes yes, I know. Ain’t it the truth? Does this happen to you? Happens to me.
When such events take place I try really hard to apologize and not defend what I said or did. It is not about being right but building a bridge of understanding. Brother Ned, you need to build a bridge to get over yourself! Sorry if my style offends you. I meant no disrespect. I’m sorry. Well, you’re still a jerk! I sorry you feel that way. It’s just my amateur attempt at humor. Amateur? You got that right! Now Brother Ned,…
So you got a spiritual wound did you? Here, let me have a look under that bandaged dressing. Oh, you’ll be fine just take some Life-N-All and call me in the morning. By the way, Life-N-All is available online at Brother Ned’s Discount Warehouse of Worship right here in Boise Idaho, say hallelujah! Life-N-All is the only supplement that contains the three essential elements to get you up to speed and keep your there. Vitamins R, P and M.
Do what you can do not what someone else can do. They may need just what you have. Your hands may what they see and feel. It may be your voice that offers what they need to hear. Perhaps your smile is the one they can understand better than anyone else’s. Make sense?
I would like to offer two extreme views of how we can experience the gospel as a disciple of Jesus. The first one I call the “Mormon-Gnostics” or as Cassandra Hedelius would say Mormon Gnosticism. She gave a presentation at the August 7, 2015 annual conference of the FairMormon group about this subject which you can read with the link I’m providing in the show notes…
They go too far. There is little if any need of a Church structure. The only relationship that counts is the one with the Lord.
Going to the other extreme are those whom I call the Corporate Mormons. They have turned the gospel into a company. By what they say and do they wind up worshipping the structure instead of He who created them. They go too far. If you find yourself going too far in one of these directions start asking yourself questions. Both directions can lead to dangerous forms of discipleship.
In a Zoom conversation with Scott Gordon a few of us on the FairMormon volunteer blog list had a conversation about the direction our podcasts and written blog articles should be going. A decision was made to focus our efforts toward your standard and average member who sit in the pews week after week. So my podcasts are designed to fit that mold. Mold? Did I say mold? Who’s mold? Standard and average? So the enlightened or the ultra-ignorant need not read or listen? Ultra-ignorant their talking about you Brother Ned. I’m going to take care of this right now. Where’s the forget me stick? An effective piece of equipment to be sure. You decide what’s best for you. In my view there are no “molds” we are relegated to fit into. Make up your own mind and choose for yourself. You are a child of the ever living God. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you what or who you are.
It is rather easy to see those who are becoming more Gnostic in their form of worship. They start distancing themselves for Church activity because “they” have received the true light of the gospel. It might be more difficult for those who are going toward the corporate world view to see that they are becoming administrators of the bureaucracy instead of a minister of the gospel. Numbers, percentages and ratios may have value for a general overview of how a Ward or congregation is moving but if that becomes our defining attention perhaps our discipleship is moving in the wrong direction.
You may have seen the movie Mars Attacks or not. It was done is 1996 and is probably the best spoof of the fifty’s and sixty’s science fiction “B” movies ever made. If you done seen it you know what I mean if you haven’t you might want to give it try. Extra campy and lots of great performances by well-known actors.
Peirce Brosnan who was great in the 007 movies plays a scientist in this flick who portrays great wisdom and superior knowledge to whom all most bow with awe and reverence.
In one part of the movie some engineer type comes up with a translation device of the Martian language. All the Martians say in the movie is, ak, ak ak, ak, so we never know what they are really saying until we can hear the translation. In the clip I’m going to let you hear tell me if it makes sense to you.
Peirce Brosnan is sitting at a table with a pipe in his hand and looking upward as if he has just heard some great new cosmic wisdom. Also in the room is an Army general. Both hear the same thing and the general has a different reaction to the translation than that of the great super genius professor. Being as I’m your basic simple person and not a super genius my reaction to the translation is pretty close to the generals response.
If you are part of a group, congregation, study club or other religious / spiritual path and what you are hearing doesn’t line up with the “four points on the eternal line of wisdom” you might want consider moving away from such an affiliation.
Some of the Mormon-Gnostics may fall into this classification. For dark is the suede that mows like a harvest is just a bunch of baloney sauce. Don’t go in that direction.
The four points of truth? This is part of the brother Ned value system and not to be considered official doctrine but probably should be. First point. Our heads. Second point. Our hearts. Third point. Our gut. Point number four. The Holy Scriptures.
You ever get that “gut” feeling you know something is just wrong or right? What does our out gut have to do with feelings? The Savior told us that His bowels were full of compassion.
Mosiah 15:9, “Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.”
What does mercy have to do with our bowels? A figurative representation I would think even though back in the day they thought feelings generated in our bowels. The Savior knew better of course but He was relating in terms they could understand without going into the science of how feelings are created. Ever heard the saying, “go with your gut?” So, if you’re gut, heart and head line up with God’s revealed word I would say your discipleship is moving in the right direction.
In listening to all these colorful illustrations you may recall something the Lord has pressed upon your “four lines of truth.” You may remember something you did or said back in your day. Could have been in ’69 or ’89 or even in ’09 that you considered the best days of your life. A mission perhaps? You just laid in down and forgot to pick it up again. So, how about we pick it back up and keep moving forward in our discipleship to the glory of Him who is our Lord and Savior.
President Faust offers us a good guideline…
How about if we go about doing good? We may not need the loud voice that the border blasters used but then again we may need it to get someone’s attencion then the quit voice of love could move in to replace the giant noise of the world’s value system.
In closing what I’m about to offer as a question that just might be the most important part of this podcast.
If you’re listening say Amen…
What if the disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority?
As always the views expressed in this podcast are those of the presenter and may not represent, reflect or even remotely resemble those of anyone who is lives in the real world about anything at any time but they should and are soon be canonized by the Church. Or not… J