Especially Appealing to LDS Readers How can a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints work in harmony, in a religious sense, with members of other Christian faiths? This book is not an instruction manual for that worthy endeavor, yet it sets an example, showing how one latter-day saint supported the Bible beliefs of his Christian associates. Similarities of belief are emphasized in Searching for Ropens and Finding God, with mutual faith in the supreme mission of Jesus Christ and with mutual conviction in the historic truthfulness of the Flood of Genesis and agreement in the new interpretation of the biological nature of the fiery flying serpents. No compromise is needed in those beliefs. Flood of Noah The Flood of Genesis is mentioned, including this: “Guessman and Woetzel and I have put our faith in Jesus Christ, believing in the prophesies of his divinity in the Old Testament and his life described in the New Testament. We believe in a literal Garden of Eden and that Adam and Eve were indeed real persons and that the Flood of Genesis was what the Bible says it was. Yet the three of us have not shared identical religious beliefs. I ascribe our combined successes to a merciful God of miracles, a God who can take imperfect humans and work with them to accomplish his purposes. In addition, I believe God has given us our live- pterosaur convictions through eyewitnesses from around the world, people of different faiths and belief systems,  each one observing what many paleontologists would assume impossible: modern pterosaurs. Part of the credibility lives within the diversity of the eyewitnesses.” [page 309] Scriptural Fiery Flying Serpent You may know of Mormons who belief in the traditional interpretation of the fiery flying serpent (venomous snake); they quote no Church doctrine in offering that interpretation; neither do I submit the pterosaur-interpreta- tion as LDS doctrine. My associates and I simply offer this as the better explanation for what afflicted the Israelites at the time of Moses. It also makes a better symbolism for the Savior on the cross, as the outstretched wings of a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur correlate with the outstretched arms of Christ, as he was lifted up; a literal snake would have no significant correlation. The main problem lies in too many persons putting too much faith in common Western perspectives that come from extreme naturalism philosophy, and the warnings in the book do correlate with the warnings of LDS Church leaders about worldly perspectives about origins. Biblical Creation in Genesis Searching for Ropens and Finding God is not a tool for promoting all the young-earth beliefs of Biblical Creationists. It does support those points on which they agree with our LDS doctrine. Consider the following, taken from the introduction: “Is this a tool for promoting Biblical Creation and ridiculing evolution? Clear thinking we need, without fear, allowing us to discover both truth and error in whatever camp we find ourselves, entrenched or visiting, at the moment. I suggest we beware of simplistic labels. That said, expect explanations for why my associates and I have rejected extreme naturalism philosophy and Darwin’s unlimited common ancestry philosophy . . . the General Theory of Evolution. “This is not propaganda for any human philosophy, yet I extoll the accom- plishments of those Young Earth Creationists who have been my associates for many years. I suggest we allow ourselves to find literal truth in the Bible, regardless of whatever passages we had assumed were mainly symbolic. . . . avoid ridiculing those labeled ‘creationist.’ The Book of Mormon The index gives these pages under “Book of Mormon:” 58-59 and 325-326. Why does it get so little attention? Searching for Ropens and Finding God is for readers of all faiths, even though it may best be understood by those who know LDS doctrine. No surprise coercion awaits anyone not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Outside the index, only once is “Book of Mormon” mentioned by name: on page 325, where First Nephi 17:41 is quoted (fiery flying serpents). This is to avoid causing distraction in the mind of those readers who harbored a negative bias against that book of scripture when they began reading SFRFG. For those readers with a severe prejudice, they can at least read of important points of doctrine on which they agree with the LDS perspective, before they encounter “Book of Mormon.” Why is SFRFG Important to Latter-day Saints? Consider Helaman 5:50, regarding the conversion of many Lamanites, after the miracle in the prison with the brother-missionaries Lehi and Nephi. Lamanites who did not see the miraculous fire believed the words of the eyewitnesses who did see it: “And it came to pass that they did go forth, and did minister unto the people, declaring throughout all the regions round about all the things which they had heard and seen, insomuch that the more part of the Lamanites were convinced of them, because of the greatness of the evidences which they had received.” Latter-day saints rejoice for those who listen to the spiritual testimonies of those who had received confirmation of the truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just as missionaries may appear, on the surface, to differ from those they teach, eyewitnesses of strange flying creatures are from various countries and cultures, appearing to differ from those who have been raised in Western countries in which universal-extinction ideas are taken for granted for dinosaurs and pterosaurs. We all need to listen to those who differ from us mostly on the surface, and when the differences are deeper—that is when we can try harder to understand what others have experienced. Eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs need us to listen to them, and we need to listen with an open mind.                                copyright 2014 Jonathan David Whitcomb
Searching for Ropens and Finding God
LDS Nonfiction Books                   Living Pterosaur                   Fiery Flying Serpent                     Flying Creature                    LDS Author
The nonfiction Searching for Ropens and Finding God was written for readers of all faiths, yet it has a unique meaning to those of the LDS faith (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Discover the adventure for yourself, with your own copy of this cross-genre book: true-life adventure, spiritual awakening. Sale: $15.75 on Amazon, on Nov 3, 2014 360 pages; paperback size 6” by 9” Published Oct 31, 2014 by the author, Jonathan David Whitcomb, of Murray, UT Fourth edition, nonfiction (after eleven years of research) ISBN-13: 978-1502865526
From the back cover of the book: “A handful of Americans have explored remote jungles in Papua New Guinea, searching for living pterosaurs, called by most Americans “pterodactyls.” Three Christians—one middle-aged LDS-Mormon high priest and two Protestant young- earth creationists—explored Umboi Island, in two separate expeditions in 2004, inter- viewing eyewitnesses of a glowing animal of the night: the elusive nocturnal ropen.”
The author and his wife Gladys, at Ensign Peak, Salt Lake City, Utah
Duane Hodgkinson was a soldier on the island of New Guinea in 1944, after the Japanese had left the area around the city of Finschhafen. With his army buddy, he saw a huge “pterodactyl” take off from a jungle clearing, in clear daylight. More recently, Hodgkinson has been interviewed by Whitcomb and another investigator (Garth Guessman) and they found him to be highly credible in his account. Although hardly anyone believed Duane at first, the existence of the big long-tailed flying creature was confirmed by many other eyewitnesses, over many years. In 1971, on Bougainville Is. (New Guinea), Brian Hennessy, of Australia, observed the same kind of flying creature. He gave his testimony to Whitcomb many years later, and it correlates with others who have seen similar flying creatures.