Richard Alger

Personal Online Journal

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

The Rarest of the Good Traits in Human Beings

"Courage is the rarest of the good traits in human beings. And it is the one upon which all the others are dependent. Because without courage, kindness and integrity and all these other wonderful things, don't amount to much. Because the world demands courage on every plane in life."
- Dennis Prager

Friday, December 02, 2022

What is my True Identity?

I was thinking about an identity that I have been focusing on. I then asked myself "What identities are healthier for me to focus on?" 

My mind went to a recent post of Russell M. Nelson. 

Labels can be fun and indicate your support for any number of positive things. But if any label replaces your most important identifiers, the results can be spiritually suffocating. I believe that if the Lord were speaking to you directly, the first thing He would make sure you understand is your true identity. My dear friends, you are literally spirit children of God.

No identifier should displace, replace, or take priority over these three enduring designations:

- Child of God

- Child of the covenant

- Disciple of Jesus Christ

Any identifier that is not compatible with those three basic designations will ultimately let you down. Make no mistake about it: Your potential is divine. With your diligent seeking, God will give you glimpses of who you may become.


From this post on Facebook

Friday, November 11, 2022

Prophets Can See Around Corners

 A BYU-Hawaii Devotional given By Sheri Dew, November 02, 2022

She tells 

- how all missionaries got smart phones before the Covid-19 pandemic.

- how President Nelson was instructed to share his #GiveThanks video

- a moving story of how she gave her often quoted talk in Oct 2001, “Are We Not all Mothers?”

- even though prophets are fallible, they are one of the most trusted sources for moral truth today. 

It is a powerful witness to me of who I can trust most. She tells of the most recent counsel of President Nelson. 

"To increase our capacity to receive revelation, spend more time in the temple, and become a major force in gathering Israel. To understand who we are as children of God, children of the covenant, and disciples of Christ, and to never allow other identifiers to replace those three primary designations. And to let God prevail in our lives."

This is what Dallin H Oaks spoke about 12 years ago, "Two Lines of Communication", Oct 2010. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

What Does it Mean to Recover?

President Nelson said, 'Rich meaning is found in study of the word atonement in the Semitic languages of Old Testament times. In Hebrew, the basic word for atonement is kaphar, a verb that means “to cover” or “to forgive.”'

In the book of Moses, it says "Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them."

Jesus clothed or covered Adam and Eve. I see this as a symbol of him offering his atonement to them. 

If Atonement means to cover. What does it mean to re-cover? Perhaps it is to apply the blood of the atonement of Jesus Christ to cover us with his strength or his grace. To enable us to be born again as a new creature. One whose confidence has waxed strong in his presence. 

3 Nephi 22:4 "Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more."

"Ye Must Be Born Again", David A. Bednar, Apr 2007,

D&C 121:45 "let virtue [or strength] garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God"

Friday, August 19, 2022

Peggy Rowe "Don't follow your passion but bring it with you"

Mike Rowe paraphrases the best advice his mom ever gave him: 

Don't follow your passion but always bring it with you. Find a way to love whatever it is you wind up doing. That to me has informed everything. Just because you love something doesn't that you can't stink at it. Just because you don't love something, doesn't mean you might be good at it. It took me a while to figure that out. Growing up with people like my mom and dad, where you were encouraged to constantly experiment, that advice makes sense. But it can't compare to actually watching them live it. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

What is the difference between free will and moral agency?

 I came across this article this morning "What is the difference between free will and moral agency?" Following is my answer. 

The following are from my faith tradition. In a more general sense, the difference between "free will" and "moral agency" might be illuminated by the difference between a natural right and a natural responsibility. 

"Elder Bednar: Mormon Moral Agency - You Are Not Free To Do What You Want" is a video by David A. Bednar. He talks to church members about what moral agency is. It may be helpful to recognize that in our church we make covenants with God and with the church and with others. A covenant is a sacred promise. 

"Moral Agency" By Elder D. Todd Christofferson uses the term "free will" and "moral agency". 

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

All Truth is Ours

Here is an interesting article from Bart J. Kowallis. He is a Latter-day Saint who teaches geology at BYU. "Bart does research in Geologic Mapping, Mineralogy of Titanite, and Geology of Mexico." (

From the article ("Things of the Earth", Latter-day Saint Scholars Testify, FAIR):

Brigham Young said that Mormonism “embraces every true science and all true philosophy. . . . True science, true art, and true knowledge comprehend all that are in heaven or on the Earth, or in all the eternities. . . . All truth is ours.” (Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:280–81.)


The first time I was confronted by someone with a different perspective was during my mission to Quebec. One missionary, Elder Clayton, was known missionwide because he and his companions always worked more hours and wasted less time than anyone else. He had no apparent fear of people and would stop and talk to anyone at any time even in the most unlikely settings. I always felt a little uncomfortable around Elder Clayton, as did many other missionaries. We referred to him as “Enoch”; we were certain he already had his application in for translation.

One day while I was working with Elder Clayton on an exchange, we tracted out some potential investigators in an apartment building. At one point in our conversation, one of them asked us what our church taught about evolution. I responded that we believed it to be a false theory. Elder Clayton, in his calm and pleasant manner, interjected that he believed I was wrong. His understanding was that the LDS Church took no official stand on evolution. I was completely astounded and distraught, and I felt the blood rushing to my head as I checked my anger, for this was heresy to me. We left, and on the way back to our apartment I let him know that the Church could not tolerate such doctrine. I pointed out the obvious implications that evolution had for fundamental tenets of the gospel like the Fall and Atonement, the Creation story, and our relationship to God. He said he understood what I was saying, but he stuck by his belief that the Church had not taken an official position. Although I felt vindicated that day, his comments had a profound effect on me: they opened a crack in my mind with thoughts that had not been there before; they helped me to be more open and willing to listen the next time a similar discussion occurred. I am indebted to Elder Clayton for the day we shared together.


Wednesday, February 02, 2022

The Christian Network of CBRE

I have found something in my company CBRE that surprised me. There is a Christian network. I am guessing that this is similar to other ethnic and cultural groups in the company. 

I have attended 3 meetings so far that use the Alpha Film series.

We watch an episode each week then break into small groups in Zoom to discuss it. I have found it very enriching. I have found that I am connecting on a emotional and spiritual level with people across the country and world. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Wrestling With Comparisons

"Wrestling with Comparisons", J.B. Haws, Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, BYU Devotional, May 7, 2019 


"Please, my beloved brothers and sisters, we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick.

Let me be direct and clear. The answers to the questions “Am I good enough?” and “Will I make it?” are “Yes! You are going to be good enough” and “Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel.” The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game."

("Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?", Elder J. Devn Cornish, Oct 2016 GC)

Dad brought this up during his Come Follow Me study