Personal Online Journal

Friday, August 16, 2013

Be at the Forefront in terms of Expressing Love

Elder Quentin L. Cook in an emotional interview about a sensitive subject.
Clearly the hardest thing that I had when I was stake president is I was president when AIDS, the medical community first became aware of AIDS. We had a significant number of our men who found that they had AIDS, some of them had not been in the Church, the majority of them, a few had we found that we had seventeen men with AIDS and at that point there was no cure. And all seventeen of them ultimately died of AIDS while I was stake president. I learned some incredible lessons through that process, that as a Mormon community, it’s a loving and compassionate community. I watched Bishops who made incredible sacrifices to take care of some of these young men who were dying. I watched them try very hard to reconnect them with their families and to have their families take care of them, and again at that time there was no cure, and no abeyance of it. I watched them take care of each other. And I watched some of them, one of them comes to mind in particular, a returned missionary, in a single incidence of conduct, took it upon himself to take care of the most difficult situations, those that were the most ill, and he was the last one to die. I think the lesson that I learned from that is that as a Church nobody should be more loving and compassionate. No family who has anybody who has a same-gender issue should exclude them from the family circle. They need to be part of the family circle. Do we teach the Proclamation on the Family, do we teach Heavenly Father’s plan, do we teach the first chapter in the second handbook, yes we do. We have a plan of salvation. And having children come into our lives is part of Heavenly Father’s plan. But let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion, and outreach to those and lets not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender. I’m sorry, I feel very strongly about this as you can tell. I think it’s a very important principle. (Quentin L. Cook, video on

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Learn to be more Wise

"Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been." (Mormon 9:31)

The prophets of God are men. We must reason with our minds and listen to and follow the Holy Influence within us to confirm the truth we hear from them and the scriptures.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Why Do We Argue?

Good arguers are good at losing.

What do good arguers win when they win an argument?

Three models for arguing:
1. Argument as War
  - dominant model of all three, "arguments that have a lot of punch", "killer arguments"
  - has deforming effects
      - war elevates tactics over substance
      - magnifies differences making it US vs. THEM
      - The only foreseeable outcomes are: Glorious Victory and Ignominious Defeat
      - discourages deliberation, negotiation, compromise and collaboration
      - Learning = Losing

2. Argument as Proof

3. Arguments as Performances
  - with juries

Existing roles in arguments
- proponent: makes an argument
- opponent : opposes to the argument
- audience

Become a new kind of arguer
Be both the arguer and the audience.  Where at the end you look at the experience like an audience member might and say, "yeah that was a good argument.  We have gained because of this interchange"

It takes practice to become a good kind of arguer. One that can benefit from losing.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Reservoirs of Faith, Prayer and Scripture Study

Jeffrey Holland about his wife
About Pat, if I had a symbol for her, I'd be torn on these two symbols. It would either be her kneeling in prayer or her cuddled up, curled up, cozied up in a window chair with her scriptures. Maybe if I'm allowed two symbols,  she can read a while and pray a while. That's her, that's the real Pat Holland. That's the real item. I think that's a legacy. She earned it on her own. I guess we all do. At some point you have to go out there and say, "I can't get this any other way than from heaven". She certainly grew up in an environment where she knew prayer, she knew scripture and she knew faith.  That's a great thing to be able to see in any family and I can only hope that that would be the case for families today.
(Mormon Channel Conversations 22 36:15)
Pat Holland, speaking about a particularly difficult period of their lives
It's during these trials of fire that a true marriage is forged. It's a decision I think that you have to make as a couple. When you get in these moments, you have to decide you are going to both dig down deep and do what it takes to keep your marriage together. It was during those years that we said, "Okay, if we want a happy family, we've got to be a happy couple. And if we are going to be a happy couple, we've got to work on it. We need to do something for each other every week, with each other. If our children are going to be happy children, it's got to start with them seeing happy parenting. And then we put the children second and then whatever energy we had left over we gave to the church. We tried to do it all, but first and foremost it's each other and then the children and then the church.
Elder Holland adds
President Harold B. Lee came back at that time while we were there and gave a fireside on that subject and really affected our lives. He said so often we rush off to either deal with the children or serve the church or get our professions. And all of that needs doing. All of that has to take time. But he said, we are foolish to think that we can do any of that unless we take care of our own physical and spiritual strength. And then the very next step is as a couple. Just not go beyond that circle till you've got enough to give.  You can't expect some sort of reservoir to flow out to bless everybody else if that reservoir is bone dry. We really made a commitment to each other then that we'd make sure we were okay in our marriage and in our own spiritual and physical lives and then maybe we'd have enough strength to give. (41:21)
Sheri Dew quotes Pat, "If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I would stage a full blown blitz on its women." A Quiet Heart