Personal Online Journal

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Choosing to Believe

But his message also flamed forth because millions of men and women have freely chosen to believe. They assayed the opinions of doubters, and they gave a hearing to the critics. Like Brigham Young, they knew Joseph was human and subject to err, but they sampled his words and agreed they tasted like honey. They weighed the beauty of a God and of human origins and of a human future unlike anything before imagined. They found reason to doubt, and they found reason to believe. They chose to believe. ("Lightning Out of Heaven": Joseph Smith and the Forging of Community, 41:40 Terryl L. Givens)
I found this by listening to videos at

Sunday, April 27, 2014

We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down

From "We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down", Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Apr 2009

The story of the lightbulb, or losing sight of what matters most.

Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its defenses.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Different View on the Scapegoat

"Two Things That Happened Yesterday" by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
A great article that made me look at the idea of the scapegoat in a different way

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Understandable Physics

For one night only, Professor Brian Cox goes unplugged in a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In his own inimitable style, Brian takes an audience of famous faces, scientists and members of the public on a journey through some of the most challenging concepts in physics. 
With the help of Jonathan Ross, Simon Pegg, Sarah Millican and James May, Brian shows how diamonds - the hardest material in nature - are made up of nothingness; how things can be in an infinite number of places at once; why everything we see or touch in the universe exists; and how a diamond in the heart of London is in communication with the largest diamond in the cosmos

Monday, April 07, 2014

How to make stress your friend

A great ted talk How to make stress your friend, by Kelly McGonigal. Some quotes:
This is my body helping me rise to the challenge
When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resiliance.
Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort... Go after what creates meaning in your life. And then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Poison of the Mind

My wife recently finished Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. I am currently reading it. There is a part in the book that has stood out to me. The first third of the book so far has been mostly about weeding out those who really did not want to be a seal.

They want only the men who want it so bad that they would rather die than give up. And then, out of those, there are men that just don't have the talent and ability to get the job done. Just before their hell week started, their commanding officer Captain Joe Maguire said,
Don't let your thoughts run away with you, don't start planning  to bail out because you are worried about the future and how much you can take. Don't look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there's a wonderful career ahead of you. (p 124)
Marcus kept being surprised at his SEAL candidates dropped out. He recognized that they had not taken in the advice of their commanding officer. They had let future pain poison their minds. They did not stay in the here and now. They did not take it one moment at a time.
I later learned that when a man quits and is given another chance and takes it, he never makes it through. All the instructors know that. If the thought of DOR [drop on request] enters a man's head, he is not a navy SEAL. 
I guess that element of doubt forever pollutes his mind. And puffing, sweating, and steaming down there on that beach on the first night of Hell week, I understood it.  
I understood it, because that thought could have never have occurred to me. Not while the sun still rises in the east. All the pain in Coronado could not have inserted that poison in to my mind. I might have passed out, had a heart attack or been shot before a firing squad. But I never would have quit. (p 136)
As I was talking to my wife tonight, she brought up what Brad Wilcox mentioned in one of his books. When we are confirmed a member of the church, we are asked to "receive the Holy Ghost". Sometimes in the same place in the scriptures, we are also told to endure to the end. It may be that in order to receive the Holy Ghost we must endure to what our end is meant to be. To become as God is. To live the kind of live he lives. We must not give up because we have allowed our minds to be poisoned by future pain.

Each day at a time. Do the right thing. Condition myself for when I will be called upon for great sacrifice. Grow my strength over time. Strength gained too fast does not always last. Go in for the long haul.

I think we must "cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." D&C 123:17 The key is to decide what I want and to keep working until I get it. Press on. Find the joy in my service.