Richard Alger

Personal Online Journal

Monday, June 17, 2019

Recovering from the Trap of Pornography

I love that Dallin H. Oaks described levels of involvement in pornography in the Oct 2015 Ensign article, "Recovering from the Trap of Pornography".  They are important distinctions.

1. Inadvertent Exposure
2. Occasional Use
3. Intensive Use
4. Compulsive Use (Addiction)

There is power in labeling ourselves. If you find yourself anywhere in these levels of involvement, ask for help.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Meaning of Repentance

We studied the talk of President Nelson from Apr 2019 given to the Priesthood today in church. "We Can Do Better and Be Better" Russell M. Nelson. This phrase stood out to me "Too many people consider repentance as punishment—something to be avoided except in the most serious circumstances."

I looked up "repentance as punishment" and I found "The Meaning of Repentance" Ensign Aug 1988 by Theodore M. Burton.

It shares the same definition that President Nelson shared
The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix -noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” “spirit,” and “breath.”
Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe.
Elder Burton also includes
Confusion came, however, when the New Testament was translated from Greek into Latin. Here an unfortunate choice was made in translation; the Greek word metaneoeo was translated into the Latin word poenitere. The Latin root poen in that word is the same root found in our English words punish, penance, penitent, and repentance. The beautiful meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words was thus changed in Latin to a meaning that involved hurting, punishing, whipping, cutting, mutilating, disfiguring, starving, or even torturing! It is no small wonder, then, that people have come to fear and dread the word repentance, which they understand to mean repeated or unending punishment. 
The meaning of repentance is not that people be punished, but rather that they change their lives so that God can help them escape eternal punishment and enter into his rest with joy and rejoicing. If we have this understanding, our anxiety and fears will be relieved. Repentance will become a welcome and treasured word in our religious vocabulary.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

The Price of Laziness and Rebellion

"I had known that when my parents told me to wear shoes, they did not mean flip-flops; I was old enough to know that flip-flops did not provide the same protection as a pair of shoes. But that morning in the desert, I disregarded what I knew to be right. I ignored what my parents had repeatedly taught me. I had been both lazy and a little rebellious, and I paid a price for it."
(“Come unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I Shall Heal You”,
Patrick Kearon, GC Oct 2010, emphasis added)

Children Chat Deposit

I listened to an ad on the Mormon Talk Radio. It said that when we chat with our children we make deposits in our bank account of trust with them. They can draw on that when they need to. They will trust us.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Wrestling with Comparisons

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

From the story in John 21 and D&C 7
"Our perfect, loving God makes no horizontal comparisons in this story. In this verse, Jesus only compared John with John's former self, John with old John. He only compares Peter with old Peter, former Peter. He only compares me with old me."

comparisons "can fuel envying and coveting or self-loathing and the paralysis of inaction can really be just that debilitating can keep us from play the vital role that has been allotted to us."

Do not exceed the time allotted to us

Years ago, I remember Ben Stevenson during a teacher development class. He said that we should not "exceed the time allotted to us". That the attention of those in a class will begin to wander. Better to focus in on what you feel inspired to teach or lead in discussion. When the time is up, close the meeting.

Thank, Ben

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Rage in the hearts of the children of men

What am I enraged about? Where does this feeling come from?

"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

What habits do I want?

“Work as though you would live forever, and live as though you would die today. Go another mile!” ― Og Mandino

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” ― Og Mandino

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. ”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World (2001): 2001 Gift Edition

“Only a habit can subdue another habit.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World

“I determine to render more and better service, each day, than I am being paid to render. Those that reach the top are the ones who are not content with doing only what is required of them.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World

“And so long as I can laugh never will I be poor.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In The World

What habits do I want?

Today, I start a new life.
Today, I create a new, positive habit.
The only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits.
Good habits are the key to all success.
Thus, the first law I will obey is: I will form good habits and become their slave.
Today, I take control of my actions and behaviors. With these, I create my life and destiny.
- Greatest Salesman Og Mandino

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Peter, My Brother

Peter, My Brother
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
July 13, 1971 • Devotional BYU

Several years ago a newspaper carried an Easter editorial written by a minister of religion. The editorial lamented the career of the apostle Peter, denouncing, among other things, his indecisiveness, lack of humility, fear of man, and failure to pray. The minister concluded his Easter appeal: “Let us as people, especially those who are Christians and claim to abide by the Word of God, not make the same mistakes and fall as Peter fell.”
This editorial came to the attention of another “Peter,” another resolute chief apostle. President Spencer W. Kimball, then acting president of the Council of the Twelve, saw this journalistic piece and shuddered.
“I had some strange emotions,” he recounted before an audience of young adults. “I was shocked, then I was chilled, then my blood changed its temperature and began to boil. I felt I was attacked viciously, for Peter was my brother, my colleague, my example, my prophet, and God’s anointed. I whispered to myself, ‘That is not true. He is maligning my brother.’”  ("The Lengthening Shadow of Peter", Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign Sep 1975)