Richard Alger

Personal Online Journal

Friday, February 16, 2018

How I Lead as Bishop After a Faith Crisis | An Interview With Dan Conway

Dan Conway is a bishop in Newcastle, in northeast England, and has also served as an elders quorum president. He served a mission to Scotland, and works as a digital marketing executive. In this episode Dan walks us through his crisis of faith prior to being called as bishop, and how that affected how he leads now.


Thursday, February 08, 2018

Josh Weed Being Mormon and Gay

I was astonished when I read "Turning A Unicorn Into A Bat: The Post In Which We Announce The End Of Our Marriage". I had thought of Josh Weed as an example of how a gay person might navigate being Mormon and Gay. I have few answers.

I liked this story from Deseret News, "The Weeds' story is one of many stories of LGBT Latter-day Saints that continue to be written"

I like this message that Dallin H. Oaks said in 2013

"There is so much we don't understand about this subject, that we'd do well to stay close to what we know from the revealed word of God. What we do know is that the doctrine of the church, that sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married, has not changed and is not changing. But what is changing and what needs to change is to help our own members and families understand how to deal with same gender attraction" (Dallin H.Oaks)

Monday, February 05, 2018

Do we create meaning or is it discovered?

Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin talk about if meaning exists outside of people creating it in their minds starting about 7:45

Religios belief evolved. (About 1:21:00)

Reasons to Believe

I relate to this. There is part of me that worries about how this video or other things might expose my friends and families to things that might cause them to doubt.

We are in the fullness of times. All things are becoming available to those who seek them. The genie is out of the bottle. Instead of trying to put it back in, we need to be willing to see things as they are. To seek for the truth.

I love the phrase he uses, "reasons to believe". There are reasons to believe. There are reasons to not believe. Outside of all these reasons, I choose to believe because I choose to believe.

I want the things I believe to be true. Because it brings me hope. Because I see the good it creates as I and those around me act on them. To live a life living the covenants we make. To live in a state of asking for help to enable me to live up to my covenants.

Jesus Christ is the source. He is the one that created all we see. He is the way, the truth and the life. He called on Joseph to organize his church. To make available the covenants necessary to bind us to him.

Joseph was not without flaw. Neither are the ones who followed him and those who lead us today. We all see through a glass darkly. We must all rely on the power of God to save us and to lead us to all that is good and true.

Let us be courageous. Let us live lives that show the power of God that is in us. When we don't, let's get back up one more time than we fall. Collectively and individually.

My FB post about this.


An analogy from my friend Amanda
When the brother of Jared went to the Lord asking him to help his solve two problems with the barges he built, the Lord solved one of the problems and then told the brother of Jared to figure out a way to solve the other. And so he did. I sincerely believe that the Lord could have offered a more effective solution, but that wasn't the point. He wanted the brother of Jared to think it out and then come back to the Lord; and so must we; including the leadership of the church.  
I absolutely believe that some of the controversies or problems we face as a church could be solved easily and effectively by the Lord, but that's not the point. He wants us to learn and grow, to depend on each other and to try to work many things out for ourselves. If we didn't, it would be like us doing the homework for our children. Sure they'd get all the answers right, but would never learn anything for themselves.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Fault Vs Responsibility

From :
This speech is about taking responsibility for your happiness and your life-situation. When you blame others, you give away your power and you become a victim who is at effect to bad things happening to you.  But when you Take Responsibility, you now have the power to take charge, take control, and create a better life.
"It really doesn’t matter whose fault it is that something is broken. It’s your responsibility to fix it." -Will Smith
"It's not your fault if your partner cheated and ruined your marriage. But it is for damn sure your responsibility to figure out how to take that pain and how to overcome that and build a happy life for yourself." -Will Smith
"Fault and Responsibility do not go together as socks." -Will Smith
"When something is somebody's fault we want them to suffer. We want them punished. We want them to pay. We want it to be their responsibility to fix it. But that's not how it works, especially when it's your heart." -Will Smith
"As long as we're pointing the finger and stuck in whose fault something is, we're jammed and trapped into victim mode. And when you're in victim mode, you're stuck and suffering." -Will Smith
"The road to power is in taking responsibility. Your heart, your life, and your happiness are your responsibility and your responsibility alone." -Will Smith
"Taking Responsibility is not an admission of guilt." -Will Smith
"Taking Responsibility is a recognition of the power that you seize when you STOP blaming people." -Will Smith
"Taking Responsibility is an act of emotional self-defense." -Will Smith
"Taking Responsibility is taking your power back." -Will Smith
I do not own the copyrights to the footage used video. All credit for this speech goes to Will Smith. No copyright infringement is intended. 

All things denote there is a God

This is a great video on one argument for the possibility that God exists. I do not like that it calls atheists delusional. We should always be respectful of where people are coming from.

all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. (Alma 30:44)

Friday, February 02, 2018

The Biggest Barrier to Our Connection with God

From "The Biggest Barrier to Our Connection with God" by Celeste Davis January 30, 2018
I think the biggest barrier to our connection to God is feeling unworthy of that connection. 
I’d like to propose three ways we can keep our connection to God good and strong even when we make mistakes: (1) believing we are worthy of love and connection, (2) understanding the difference between guilt and shame, and (3) realizing our innate worth.
Guilt = I did something bad, something not in line with my values. 
Shame = I am bad. 
For example, let’s say you haven’t read your scriptures all week. If you think, “Ugh! I’m the worst! I’m never righteous enough,” that is shame. If you think, “Hmm, this business of not reading my scriptures all week—that is not in line with my values. I made a mistake. I better fix it,” that is guilt.

About the prodigal son,


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Because We See Through a Glass Darkly...

What is truth, and how can we know it? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained: “The ‘truths’ we cling to shape the quality of our societies as well as our individual characters. All too often these ‘truths’ are based on incomplete and inaccurate evidence. … The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it” (“What Is Truth?” [Brigham Young University devotional, Jan. 13, 2013],

It is good to accept the fact that we simply don’t know all things. We can’t see everything, but our Heavenly Father can. We have been given the promise that if we will search for the truth, study it out in our minds, and ask with a sincere heart, it will be confirmed to us (see D&C 9:8; Moroni 10:3–5).

Heavenly Father is pleased with us when we seek to discover truths. He loves teaching us line upon line, precept on precept. As we strive to learn and have faith in Him, He will bless us to see things as they really are.
Sometimes untrue claims or information are presented in such a way that they appear quite credible. However, when you are confronted with information that is in conflict with the revealed word of God, remember that the blind men in the parable of the elephant would never be able to accurately describe the full truth.
We simply don’t know all things—we can’t see everything. What may seem contradictory now may be perfectly understandable as we search for and receive more trustworthy information. Because we see through a glass darkly, we have to trust the Lord, who sees all things clearly. 
Yes, our world is full of confusion. But eventually all of our questions will be answered. All of our doubts will be replaced by certainty. And that is because there is one source of truth that is complete, correct, and incorruptible. That source is our infinitely wise and all-knowing Heavenly Father. He knows truth as it was, as it is, and as it yet will be. “He comprehendeth all things, … and he is above all things, … and all things are by him, and of him.” (“What Is Truth?” [Brigham Young University devotional, Jan. 13, 2013],

Friday, January 26, 2018

Why is it necessary for us to suffer on the way to repentance for serious transgressions?

Why is it necessary for us to suffer on the way to repentance for serious transgressions? We often think of the results of repentance as simply cleansing us from sin. But that is an incomplete view of the matter. A person who sins is like a tree that bends easily in the wind. On a windy and rainy day the tree bends so deeply against the ground that the leaves become soiled with mud, like sin. If we only focus on cleaning the leaves, the weakness in the tree that allowed it to bend and soil its leaves may remain. Merely cleaning the leaves does not strengthen the tree. Similarly, a person who is merely sorry to be soiled by sin will sin again in the next high wind. The susceptibility to repetition continues until the tree has been strengthened. 
When a person has gone through the process that results in what the scriptures call a broken heart and a contrite spirit, that person is not only eligible to be cleansed from sin. He is also strengthened, and that strengthening is essential for us to realize the purpose of the cleansing, which is to return to our Heavenly Father. To be admitted to his presence we must be more than clean. We must also be changed from a weak person who once transgressed into a strong person with the spiritual stature that qualifies one to dwell in the presence of God. We must, as the scripture says, become “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19; also see Hafen, The Broken Heart, p. 149). This is what is meant by the scriptural explanation that a person who has repented of his sins will “confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43). Forsaking sins is more than resolving not to repeat them. It involves a fundamental change in the individual. (“Sin and Suffering”, Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign Jul 1992. From a fireside address given at Brigham Young University, 5 August 1990. YouTube 24:52)
The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. Its purpose is change (The Lord’s Way. Dallin H. Oaks. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1991], 223; emphasis in original).
Elder Bruce C. Hafen has written,
The great Mediator asks for our repentance not because we must ‘repay’ him in exchange for his paying our debt to justice, but because repentance initiates a developmental process that, with the Savior’s help, leads us along the path to a saintly character (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 149; emphasis in original; Quoted by Brad Wilcox in "His Grace is Sufficient" BYU Devotional 12 Jul 2011).