Richard Alger

Personal Online Journal

Saturday, January 31, 2015

To Succor

My wife recently told me of a meaning of succor that I hadn't thought of before. It is from the Middle English, sucuren, "to go beneath, run to help". As I think of what this means in the scriptures, I cannot help but think of my wife's natural reaction for when she hears one of our children in pain. She runs to help them. She get's her arms underneath them and comforts them.

I am moved when I think of the Savior doing just this as I think on these passages.
2 Corinthians 6:2 "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" 
Hebrews 2:18 "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." 
D&C 62:1 "Behold, and hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted."
And how he asked us to do the same for each other.
D&C 81:5 "Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees."
These thoughts were inspired by the song our choir plans to sing in Feb, "Come Unto Jesus". I could not help but think of Aragorn as a type of Christ and how he ran to help and knew how to heal.

Jesus will run to help us, "I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them." (D&C 112:13)  He is only waiting for us to ask for help. He is only waiting to heal us, to sooth us. To stand us on our feet and let us put on His strength. To aid him in succoring our neighbors.

Come Unto Jesus Hymn 117

1. Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He'll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.

2. Come unto Jesus; He'll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you've gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.

3. Come unto Jesus; He'll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?

4. Come unto Jesus from ev'ry nation,
From ev'ry land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, "Come to me."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Divine Consensus

"In family councils, we must reach our important decisions 'by divine consensus, not by compromise.'" ("Counsel Together Oft: Family Councils for Couples", Nichole Eck, Ensign Jan 2015)

I like the phrase "divine consensus" because it means you both are taking into consideration what God would want. Certainly among the top things God wants is for there not to be disputations between wife and husband. One of my online friends said, "Compromising principles is very different from compromise in a family, especially where it is a case of choosing between 2 equally good things. A compromise can mean taking turns, or finding a middle ground." I agree. Love is the ingredient that makes whatever word you use work.

I also like this quote,
You have the power to change only one person: yourself. You may be tempted to use a family council to present a list of criticisms of your spouse. Instead, approach these councils with a desire to improve yourself. Ask your spouse if there is anything problematic or worrisome he or she has noticed in your words or behavior. Make goals for personal improvement and ask for your spouse’s support as you strive to change. Support your spouse in any personal goals he or she wishes to make.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

She is Love

I've been beaten down, I've been kicked around,
But she takes it all for me.
And I lost my faith, in my darkest days,
But she makes me want to believe.

They call her love, love, love, love, love.
They call her love, love, love, love, love.
She is love, and she is all I need.

She's all I need.

Well I had my ways, they were all in vain,
But she waited patiently.
It was all the same, all my pride and shame,
And she put me on my feet.

They call her love, love, love, love, love.
They call her love, love, love, love, love.
They call her love, love, love, love, love.
She is love, and she is all I need.

Cause when that world slows down, dear.
And when those stars burn out, here.
Oh she'll be here, yes she'll be here,
They call her love, love, love, love, love.
They call her love, love, love, love, love.
They call her love, love, love, love. love.

She is love, and she is all I need,
She is love, and she is all I need,
She is love, and she is all I need.

I heard this on Pandora this morning. I remembered how much I liked it so I took note to add it to a list I want. I looked up the lyrics to see what they were and maybe what they mean. I initially thought of my wife. All of it applies to what Stephanie has done for me.

Then I thought of how divine it sounded. And I thought of this:
1 John 4:7-97 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
God is Love. The fact that he sings about love as a woman has even more meaning to me. I believe that God is married to a Perfect Woman, Heavenly Mother. That when I speak of God, I speak of them both. They are unified. They are in perfect harmony. They are One.

So when I heard this song, I thought of my wife. Then I thought of my Heavenly Mother. It stirred up feelings of love in me. Because

I've been beaten down, I've been kicked around,
But she takes it all for me.
And I lost my faith, in my darkest days,
But she makes me want to believe.

Well I had my ways, they were all in vain,
But she waited patiently.
It was all the same, all my pride and shame,
And she put me on my feet.

Cause when that world slows down, dear.
And when those stars burn out, here.
Oh she'll be here, yes she'll be here

She is in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. She is as much part of the plan of happiness as they are. She supports the Father in all he does and He to Her.

She is all I need, because She is in He as the Son is in the Father and the Spirit testifies of the Father and the Son.

        - - -

"It is a wonderful pleasure to speak upon the great things that God proposes to bestow upon His sons and daughters" (Lorenzo Snow)

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A More Effective Effort to Save LDS Youth and Young Adults in a Secular Age

J. Max Wilson wrote a long article about how he feels the best way to strengthen the faith and character of people in an Internet age. A secular age where data and information are freely available.

I thought it was a worthwhile read. Here is a summary of suggestions he has to be more effective in our efforts.

1. Help them to have real, personal experiences with the divine.
2. Teach them an Ent-like aversion to hastiness in accepting or rejecting the facts and narratives which are presented to them.
3. Preemptively, but judiciously, present them with the facts, including complicated or difficult facts, within a faithful explanatory framework and narrative.
4. Educate our youth with a realistic understanding of science and scholarship.
5. Youth should also learn to be discerning and cautious about information they are given by believers in the church and apologists as well as critics.
6. Provide them with a framework that accounts for the individual fallibility of church leaders while still upholding the authority and legitimacy of the prophets and apostles as trustworthy spokesmen for God.
7. Teach them that questions are good, and that periodic struggle with doubt is normal and expected, but that doubt is something to be resolved and overcome, not cultivated and indulged.
8. Love them unconditionally, recognizing that real love means being willing to stand up for what is right, even if it is not what they want to hear.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The Setting of Family Relationships

or "Exaltation is an Eternal Family Experience"
From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become... 
Now is the time for each of us to work toward our personal conversion, toward becoming what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. As we do so, we should remember that our family relationships—even more than our Church callings—are the setting in which the most important part of that development can occur. The conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. Being a successful Church leader is not enough. Exaltation is an eternal family experience, and it is our mortal family experiences that are best suited to prepare us for it. ("The Challenge to Become", Ensign, Oct 2000, see also

I remembered this talk during a Facebook discussion. I was thinking over my life and the life of our kids. I have felt at times, that I just don't want to do the things I know are good for me. It is easier. It is more comfortable. I then look forward 10, 20 or 50 years and think, "what will my choices bring me?".

My father-in-law calls it thinking from your rocking chair. When you are in your old age and are sitting in your rocking chair, what do you want to feel about your life? Choose well now and in each moment you are thinking about doing something you know you should do. Or to refrain from what will be unhealthy. Be satisfied with what you have chosen when I will be in my rocking chair.

I want my children to be more successful than I have been. Emotionally, Socially, Physically, Mentally, Spiritually. If I am to give my children that gift, we have to decide together to do things that will initially be hard for us. As we persist in doing the good, hard things, we will get better. We will become something better. More good. More like our Father in Heaven.

I am convinced that we are currently creating our own heaven or hell. The choices we all make have consequences. Habits and character and the essence of who we are are being shaped.  I do not think the Lord will ever deny any of his creations the chance to change or improve or break out of destructive patterns. But we may convince ourselves to not want to. Because of our pride (or hubris). Because we don't want to be seen as less than, Or we want others to think we are better than we are.

It is better to surrender that hubris. Surrender trying to be right. Instead choose the right. Dare to do the good things. And keep doing them. Cry unto the Lord to save me from myself. To save me from the consequences of my sin. That I might truly do good. Shun the unhealthy. Life and grow and live life, eternally.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Loving Others and Living with Differences

It is so important not so talk past each other, especially when it is a controversial or sensitive subject. I like what Dallin Oaks said recently about it.

On the subject of public discourse, we should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence. In doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion. We encourage all of us to practice the Savior’s Golden Rule: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). ("Loving Others and Living with Differences", Dallin H. Oaks, Oct 2014)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Infinite Power of Hope

... to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in. 
Never surrender. 
Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. 
Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart. ("The Infinite Power of Hope", Dieter F. Uctdorf, Oct 2008)

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

An Uncomfortably Honest Commencement Speech

Post by AIME.

An uncomfortably honest commencement speech yet surprisingly insightful. Given at the University of Western Australia by Tim Minchin

Nine Life Lessons
1 - You don't have to have a dream. Instead be micro-ambitious
2 - Don't seek happiness. Aim to make someone else happy
3 - You are lucky exist. (I would say blessed). You didn't make the brain or body you have. Anything you accomplish has its origins somewhere outside of you.
4 - Exercise. Take care of your body. It will help you be less depressed.
5 - Be hard on your opinions. They should be constantly and thoroughly examined. Don't have a failure to acknowledge nuance. The arts and science are not at odds with each other.
6 - Be a teacher. Even if you are not a teacher, be a teacher. Spray what you've learned.
7 - Define yourself by what you love, not what you dislike or oppose.
8 - Respect people with less power than you.
9 - Don't rush. Don't panic.
10 - Fill this existence, learn as much as you can about as much as you can. Suck the marrow out of life.