The Church of Latter-Day Saints
It seems a frequent occurrence, the coming of typhoons and cyclones that seem to hit the Eastern board of India every year, often hitting Odisha the hardest, together with Andhra Pradesh as well as Bengal.
This October, cyclone Phailin landed at Gopalpur in Odisha with a core speed of 200 Kilometres per hour, reducing to matchsticks the flimsy dwellings in the low-lying areas, flooding vast majority of farmland and dwellings. Fallen trees and power lines added to the problems in travelling. Thanfully early warming of the oncoming SuperCyclone enabled the local municipal authorities put into action evacuation plans, together with assistance from the Army and Navy, which were on standby, and so only a tiny number of people lost their lives this time, compared to the 10,000 last time.
Nearly a million people had been evacuated, with a timely and well-ordinated effort by the authorities. Social media must have helped, emphasising the dangers of flooding and the ferocity of the winds, and, most important, how much time they had to get out of harm's way. Villagers became convinced of the seriousness and left for the safety of higher areas and strong public dwellings, travelling at the last minute by buses laid on by the local councils. Thankfully, so many people saved their lives by not ignoring the messages.
About 100,000 people were similarly affected in Andhra Pradesh also.
Odisha Chief Minister has requested the government in Delhi to provide approximately a billion pounds over and above the 572 million pounds which would be available in the state disaster response fund, such has been the devastation left by Cyclone Phailin.
The government and local authorities are stretched trying to provide food, shelter and rehabilitation for the million plus people affected in the last fortnight.
As if that was not bad enough, another cyclone has hit the same region today, killing 29 and leaving another 85,000 marooned. The government and the local communities have a huge task of rebuilding and rehabilitating nearly 1.3 million people in Eastern states, some of the poorest and least developed in India. It would be a great blessing for the people if this encourages the construction of alternative housing in such areas.
In the meantime, again I pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and Bengal.
Respectfully Invoking our Saviour's prayer I intone :"Winds, be thee still".
May God's love and care be with the people there.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek priest at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Ilford)
Good news heard today, 9th November 2013.
Indian Prime Minister has announced allocation of funds of 1,000 Crores each for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. (approx. 1 Billion Pounds each).
Recently I've had a lot of visitors to my blog and website from Putian as well as Beijing.
I note the Indian Premier Dr Manmohan Singh has been to visit Beijing soon after his trip to Moscow, and
things are looking good for co-operation on peacefully observing each other's shared borders as well as increase in friendly relations and trade.
My personal hope is to become nominated by the Congress Party of India (UPA) as the Prime Ministerial candidate for May 2014. Should my wish be fulfilled with approval of Rahul and Mrs Sonia Gandhi, I would be thrilled and would go to India straight away to start campaigning in earnest.
I have a vision for India as a good neighbour to China, Russia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the whole region, as well as to unlock the huge potential that there obviously is for growth of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, dams, power generation, further irrigation, as well as housing, hospitals, schools, universities, and so on, which would utilise the resources and cater to the public, as well as use the skills and expertise internationally in building up this great nation. I have lived in London the last 41 years, and see the n-th degree developments of this nation (United Kingdom) as something India could well try to aim for. I imagine that with India's resources both of the peoples' savings and growing expectations of improvements in living standards, it would fit hand-in-glove.
It is regrettable that there have been skirmishes on the international border with Pakistan, especially just after Dr Manmohan Singh-ji had constructive talks with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in New York recently. Mr Nawaz Sharif has a great reputation as a man of his people and a positive personality, who would only wish the best for his people and continuation of peaceful co-existence with India. The Indian PM has offered bilateral talks on this issue to find a resolution, and I sincerely hope common-sense and peace prevails once again.
I hope my readers will be able to make an accurate picture of what I would like to do, and I would welcome your comments on this matter.
In the meantime, I wish you a peaceful and happy evening.
Thanks for visiting my website and reading my blog. I hope you found something interesting.
Life is fun, with demands on time in so many directions.
Thursday I went to the Community Centre in Cricklewood. Every Full Moon, they do prayers to Satnarayan Swami and Mata Laxmi. It is a tradition we Sindhis have followed for generations, to pray to God and Goddess to give us peace in the household, and prosperity in our business affairs.
Later I visited the Southbank Centre, attracted there by the exhibition of her Picasso like painting by
Sangeeta Roshni Babani (she is an inspired painter from Mumbai, and she's Sindhi too, so I thought I'll
pay there a visit).
Sangeeta hadn't obtained her visa, and therefore could not be there. Other artists from India exhibited
their creations alongside a few of Sangeeta's paintings.
Particularly I liked a table whose top opens in segments like a fan, and this is adorned by mirrors.
This is by Yamin Mohiuddin from Hyderabad. I can see such a piece adorning some young one's bedroom or even a hairdressing salon. It would look good in a media company's foyer.
If you like genuine teak furniture, like a chair crafted like black petals, or a palm made of teak, and don't mind paying about £800 for such items, Firdos Furnishers of Nagpur have several pieces on display.
An English idea that seemed to catch everyone's eye was Gerrad the Second. This is a folding dog that looks like an inspired work of origami, with 188 sections to unfold and paste together very very carefully with Uhu glue. The small ones sell for £20, and are limited editions of 500. Fair enough. They have decorative prints of dollar notes, piping, mascots, newspaper cuttings and so on, like industry or sector or indeed national mascots.The large ones, including one made of black wool decorated with harlequin squares, well, those will become collector's items, starting in an auction in 2014 at £1,000. Absolutely grand. Made by Liam from Liverpool.
Today I missed going to the Millionaire Mentors Bootcamp at the Hilton, London Bridge. There is a free general entrace, generously hosted by Raymond Aaron, the bestselling author. Problem is, it starts at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday. Just a bit too early to travel up there for me; otherwise it seems an event worth attending. Finishes at 6pm both days. Bootcamp to give you quick fire ideas how to boot up your ideas and send them skyrocketing.
I am sure someone can suggest ideas to make my website and blog into a money minting machine. Well, hold my hand and show me the way.
Brothers and Sisters, I have been asked to give a brief talk on the subject of Obedience.
This is a subject which is very relevant, for late in life, I have found that it gives joy to parents to find their offspring are obedient. By this I imply that children listen to parents' guidance, and do what would find approval in the parents' hearts and minds. And so it must be with our Heavenly Father. And what can be more joyful than to know that we do according to God's wishes, which are known to each one of us according to the dictates of our nature and our conscience. Just as when we are mature and realize that it makes our parents happy if we do that which they would approve, that we are dutiful and obedient children, similarly, I realise that our God in Heaven looks upon with pleasure when we do what he would have us do.
There are rich rewards as fruits of obedience, in the form of good health, good life, good guidance, good nature. To see what our elders have found true, I read President Lorenzo Snow saying that "ever feeling grateful for our earthly being, and more especially for the Spirit of God we have received through obedience to the Gospel." That is really a message of good faith, that we receive the Spirit of God in our hearts when we are obedient. That is such a precious gift.
For such approval and such guidance, the method of following the Gospel is quite straightforward. When I was 13, the love of Christ found a place in my heart, and somehow automatically I have most of my life followed the gospel, without consciously thinking about it.
When Jesus was on Earth, a lawyer asked Him "Master, what is the great commandment in the law?"
Our Saviour said unto him : "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind."
That impressed me greatly at age 13, and it has been a great comfort and delight to me, in good times as well as when I have faced difficulties in life.
And the second commandment, "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is a great promoter of understanding of our fellow human beings. If I am fair to myself, I cannot be mean towards my neighbour if he says a few nasty things about me, after all, unless I don't love myself and would not excuse any shortcomings on my part. Before I developed this realization, I always took on faith what our Saviour said : "Love thine enemy". I realized that this is a great formula to save our hearts from burningwith hatred towards anyone who has wronged us. We don't call Christ our Saviour for nothing.
Those who follow these two great commandments are probably likely to love themselves so much and have such a pleasant life, they are likely to follow the rest of the ten commandments even if they were not aware of them. That I do believe.
When one is absorbed in living a joyful life in the assurance of receiving the Spirit of God in one's heart here on earth, and today, not some date in the future, then one simply cannot do ill or fall prey to temptations. I simply would not wish to have God disapprove of any of my actions, I have such love and respect for our Heavenly Father.
I share my testimony and ask for God's blessings for continued guidance in the name of Jesus, our teacher and Saviour.
(written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest, LDS Ilford)
This marks the 200th Anniversary of the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Lancashire, where the oldest stake is at Chorley. The Temple there in Chorley is the venue where the British Pageant is being staged.
It is a potted history of the spread of the Book of Mormon, which is another account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Bridge in Liverpool is the theatrical backdrop to this musical extravaganza, with nearly 200 actors, enacting various episodes from personalities connected with the spread and growth of this Church, known as the true church. "For any man who lacks wisdom, let him ask of God" and God thus inspired the wondrous 14 year old farmer's son called Joseph Smith junior to go to an open field in Wayne County, New York, in 1820, where he kneeled down to ask God for wisdom and was blessed with the visitation by two beams of light which bore the personages of God and His Son.
Thus the period known as the Apostasy (meaning the absence of God's Light from Earth after the death of the original twelve apostles of Christ) ended and the Light was restored to Earth, through the 14 year old who subsequently was entrusted with the Golden Plates which he translated and published and distributed, known as The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.
Subsequently Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred at Carthage Jail, and their Mother, the blessed Lucy Smith, held steadfast in the face of massive opposition and held the integrity of this inspired book, The Book of Mormon. Is this book true, did it save a continent from the venom of intolerance and bring peace and understanding to what was then the Wild West? I understand so.
The steadfast holding of these words of wisdom for which that enlightened family paid so great a price was not without its blessing. Rightly so is Joseph Smith today known as our blessed Prophet, and the spreading of this Church with temples being built in more and more cities around the world testify to the growing love people have for his wisdom and Light.
Do we wait for the second coming of Christ? Or did he come in the night, restoring the Gospel of Christ and so graciously leaving this bright burning Light who some call the Church of Mormon?
(Melchizedek Priest at the