Personal Online Journal

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Greatest Threat to my Family is Me

I relate to this
I can be a jerk. I occasionally lose my temper. Sometimes I overreact to minor misdeeds. I have a school teacher’s expectation of being listened to. I sometimes see that look in my kids’ eyes when I’m on a bit of a tear, avoiding eye contact and hoping it will blow over fast, and I am embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I can envision that look snowballing into the emotional distance and alienation that characterize the relationships that many of my teenage students have with their fathers.
During the lesson, all of this crystalized for me in a way that was really useful for me as a man attempting to be a Christlike father. In that moment I resolved to do better and to set aside some time to reflect on what I can do to create a consistently positive emotional and spiritual climate in my home.
And this is very powerful
in my personal struggle with sin and my tiny steps in coming closer to God, I would appreciate more introspection and self-examination. The gospel has the power to save us from the influence of the world, but it also has the power to save us from our sins if we are willing to see them.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lifting Burdens: The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Come unto Jesus. He can make us whole. In addition, he enables the good to be better and the better to be the best. He is the All in All. He is the King of Kings. In Him is all light and goodness and strength and happiness.

Here are the quotes in this video:
When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or burdened with grief, He can heal us. While we do not fully understand how the Atonement of Christ was made, we can experience “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” (Phillip 4:7) (“The Touch of the Master’s Hand”, Boyd K. Packer, April 2001)
Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our natures can be changed. Then our power to carry burdens can be increased more than enough (O Ye That Embark, Henry B. Eyring, Oct 2008)

We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and women for the eternities.(The Great Commandment, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Oct 2007)

Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to “abide” in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him ("Abide in Me", Jeffrey R. Holland, Apr 2004)
He is Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, “full of grace, and mercy, and truth. … It is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.” (Alma 5:48) (Gaining a Testimony of God the Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost, Robert D. Hales, Apr 2008)
I witness the reality and divinity of a living Savior who invites us to come unto Him and be transformed... we can be spiritually prepared and cleansed from sin, immersed in and saturated with His gospel, and purified and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise—even born again. (Ye Must Be Born Again, David A. Bednar, Apr 2007)
We invite everyone on this beautiful planet to taste of His doctrine and see if it is not sweet and good and precious. We ask those of sincere heart to learn of this doctrine and ask their Father in Heaven if it is not true. And by doing so, all can discover, embrace, and walk in the true faith of their Father, which faith will make them whole. (See Matt 9:22) (Faith of Our Father, Dieter F. Uctdorf, Apr 2008)
“Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’” (Job 19:25) May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge, I humbly pray (I Know That My Redeemer Lives!, Thomas S. Monson, Apr 2007)

2013 Edition of the LDS Scriptures

There is a new edition of the LDS scriptures coming out in 2013.  Here are some details about it.

Here are the instructions to download them digitally for mobile apps.

Here is a side by side comparison of the 1981 and the 2013 D&C.

What Is Truth?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke at the Jan 2013 CES Fireside, "What is Truth" (YouTube) Some quotes from the talk.
The Apostle Paul said that in this world the light is dim and we see only part of the truth as though we are looking “through a glass, darkly.” And yet it seems to be part of our nature as human beings to make assumptions about people, politics, and piety based on our incomplete and often misleading experience.
 I am reminded of a story about a couple who had been married for 60 years. They had rarely argued during that time, and their days together passed in happiness and contentment. They shared everything and had no secrets between them—except one. The wife had a box that she kept at the top of a sideboard, and she told her husband when they were married that he should never look inside.

As the decades passed, the moment came that her husband took the box down and asked if he could finally know what it contained. The wife consented, and he opened it to discover two doilies and $25,000. When he asked his wife what this meant, she responded, “When we were married, my mother told me that whenever I was angry with you or whenever you said or did something I didn’t like, I should knit a small doily and then talk things through with you.”

The husband was moved to tears by this sweet story. He marveled that during 60 years of marriage he had only disturbed his wife enough for her to knit two doilies. Feeling extremely good about himself, he took his wife’s hand and said, “That explains the doilies, but what about the $25,000?”

His wife smiled sweetly and said, “That’s the money I got from selling all the doilies I’ve knitted over the years.”
The first question is “What is truth?” [or "How can anyone possibly know the truth?"]

The second, “Is it really possible to know the truth?”

And third, “How should we react to things that contradict truths which we have learned previously?”

The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it.
The adversary has many cunning strategies for keeping mortals from the truth. He offers the belief that truth is relative; appealing to our sense of tolerance and fairness, he keeps the real truth hidden by claiming that one person’s “truth” is as valid as any other.

Some he entices to believe that there is an absolute truth out there somewhere but that it is impossible for anyone to know it.

For those who already embrace the truth, his primary strategy is to spread the seeds of doubt. For example, he has caused many members of the Church to stumble when they discover information about the Church that seems to contradict what they had learned previously.

If you experience such a moment, remember that in this age of information there are many who create doubt about anything and everything, at any time and every place.

Small Everyday Deeds

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found… I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay— small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”
— Gandalf, The Hobbit.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lamb of God

Lamb of God is a wonderful musical presentation about the Savior written by Rob Gardner. He is trying to get funding for a concert film about it.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Which Way Ought I To Go?

Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis was the visiting General Authority for our recent stake conference.  He shared a story in his talk in the Saturday night session from Alice in Wonderland.
Alice: Oh, no, no. I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn't matter, as long as...
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn't matter which way you go. (Disney 1951, book)
He then proceeded to teach us how Good our Father is.  That is the phrase he kept saying as he described the three degrees of glory God has prepared for his children.

In the telestial, it is more about what you don't do rather than what you do do.  He described the kind of people who would inherit it.  Then he read how "the glory of the telestial which surpasses all understanding" (D&C 76:89).  He told us how he was a mechanical engineer.  That he had studied quite a few things; that he had some understanding.  He said that if Father asked him to choose the kind of place to inherit after this life, that he come probably come up with a pretty good place.  What God has prepared in the telestial kingdom surpasses all understanding, what a Good Father we have.

He then proceeded to describe the terrestrial and celestial kingdoms and how they excel the lowest kingdom of glory.  He repeated again and again how good our Father is.

He ended by reminding us of Alice.  He said where we go, what we become is part of the most important question of our existence, "What kingdom do I want to inherit?"  Once we decide what kingdom, all other moral questions are easy to answer.  Do I want a Celestial, Terrestrial or Telestial kind of existence?

So I am fulfilling my assignment now.  

I Choose the Celestial Kingdom!

I want my children, my friends, my neighbors and anyone else who may be interested.  I plan to rely on the merits of Jesus Christ.  To work and live and become what He wants me to be.  To serve and love and live life to the fullest.  To suck the marrow out of life.  To pass on that fire to all you will hear. 

The message of the good news is wonderful.  It is so wonderful that the lowest of the kingdoms of glory surpasses all the understanding of humankind.