Personal Online Journal

Friday, May 17, 2013

A wonderfully intimate audio interview of Dallin H. Oaks and Kristen Oaks by Sheri Dew

Some great quotes from The Mormon Channel, Elder And Sister Oaks - Episode 9 

About His Mother 

Elder Oaks: I was truly blessed with an extraordinary mother. I believe she was one of the great, noble women of this dispensation. She had great faith and she was a very skilled parent. She had marvelous judgement in teaching principles but cutting slack for her children (including a difficult oldest son, which I was). So that we could work our own way into our life's values. She also had great, natural executive ability. She was simply a marvelous woman. (4:55)
The one thing that I remember best about my mother was that she did not lay down a lot of rules. She taught principles and then she told me what I wanted to do. Sometimes I went off to do what I'd been told I want to do without having a clear idea of why I wanted to do that. But she taught by incentives. (8:29)
Sheri Dew: I wonder what you learned about womanhood and motherhood from your mother.

Elder Oaks: I think the principal thing I learned is that a woman can do anything that a man can do. Nobody should assume that a woman is less qualified or less able or less intelligent than a man. Women have different things that they do by nature and there are some biological differences. But it was very easy for me in the legal profession, for instance, to take very seriously a woman law professor I had at the University of Chicago and women fellow students. So I grew up with assumptions that women were every bit as capable as men at a time when that assumption was not generally entertained. I owe that to my mother.  (13:27)

Circumstances that can Make You or Break You

Sheri Dew: You remained unmarried much longer than "normal". There are many people who are in circumstances that they wouldn't consider to be ideal. Not even circumstances that you want. And when you wait longer than normal to marry, or when you wait for children longer than you wish to wait. Or when things don't transpire in your marriage as you hope. Whatever the circumstances would be that are not what you would have chosen. Those kinds of circumstances can either make you or break you.

I wonder if you would think about those listening in our audience who are presently in a situation that isn't of their choosing. They they were married or they wish their marriage were stronger.   Or they with they had children and haven't yet been able to have them. Or they wish something were different. And actually, that's usually a lot of people. What would you tell them from what you learned during the longer than normal period of time that you remained unmarried.

Kristen Oaks: You know the waiting is really sanctifying. My friend always laughs. She said, "Before you were married, you wanted a husband. Now you're married, you want a patio. You just keep wanting." That's just part of it. It's a real truth though.

I'd tell anybody that Heavenly Father really handcrafts the situations that we are in. He loved me enough that He gave me opportunities. And any time I connected myself with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I was blessed. From going on a mission, I had an education. I had a wonderful job. And I learned to be independent. Heavenly Father has to be your best friend because Sheri, when you're by your self you can't turn to anyone else. And it makes you a very different kind of woman...or a man probably. It was a great blessing to me and I didn't realize it. I didn't appreciate it at the time. (15:33)

On Avoiding Divorce

"The best way to avoid divorce from an unfaithful, abusive, or unsupportive spouse is to avoid marriage to such a person. If you wish to marry well, inquire well. Associations through “hanging out” or exchanging information on the Internet are not a sufficient basis for marriage. There should be dating, followed by careful and thoughtful and thorough courtship. There should be ample opportunities to experience the prospective spouse’s behavior in a variety of circumstances." (Divorce, Dallin H. Oaks, Apr 2007) (Conversation 20:27)

On Dating and Courtship

Elder Oaks: Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time for you to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It’s marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it. If you don’t know what a date is, perhaps this definition will help. I heard it from my 18-year-old granddaughter. A “date” must pass the test of three p’s: (1) planned ahead, (2) paid for, and (3) paired off. 

Young women, resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple, inexpensive, and frequent. Don’t make it easy for young men to hang out in a setting where you women provide the food. Don’t subsidize freeloaders. An occasional group activity is OK, but when you see men who make hanging out their primary interaction with the opposite sex, I think you should lock the pantry and bolt the front door. 
If you do this, you should also hang up a sign, “Will open for individual dates,” or something like that. And, young women, please make it easier for these shy males to ask for a simple, inexpensive date. Part of making it easier is to avoid implying that a date is something very serious. If we are to persuade young men to ask for dates more frequently, we must establish a mutual expectation that to go on a date is not to imply a continuing commitment. (Dating versus Hanging Out, Ensign Jun 2006) (Conversation 24:04)

On Religious Freedom 

Sister Dew asked Elder Oaks if he thinks we can turn the tide. He said that he is not sure if we can turn the tide. But that we can place a stone in the stream that will crate enough calm for us to do our work. (About 45:00)

On Pornography 

Pornography also inflicts mortal wounds on our most precious personal relationships. In his talk to men of the priesthood last October, President Hinckley quoted the letter of a woman who asked him to warn Church members that pornography “has the effect of damaging hearts and souls to their very depths, strangling the life out of relationships” (Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2004, 60).
At a recent stake conference a woman handed me a similar letter. Her husband had also served in important Church callings for many years while addicted to pornography. She told of great difficulty in getting priesthood leaders to take this problem of pornography seriously: “I got all kinds of responses—like I was overreacting or it was my fault. The bishop we have now has been great. And now after 15 years my husband is trying to deal with his addiction, but now it is 15 years harder to quit for him and the loss has been incalculable.” 
Pornography impairs one’s ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior. As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others. (Pornography, Dallin H. Oaks, Apr 2005) (Conversation 49:22)

Elder Oaks: I believe we need to be quite explicit in teaching young people (older people too for that matter) the effect of pornography, which is to drive away the Spirit of the Lord. In this mortal journey, viewing pornography is just equivalent to smashing your compass when you're trying to find your way through the dense woods or across the uncharted sea. The Holy Ghost withdraws; we are without its companionship; and that's a very serious matter; and a matter not understood by those who don't have the Holy Ghost or understand its influence. So Latter-day saint parents must teach clearly the effect of pornography and then love your children and talk to them.

There is too little parent-child talking in today's world. Too much texting by the young people.  And too much busyness by the parents.  That one on one time is precious and that's the time when you can sense that everything is not right. And that is the time when you can informally teach. And those informal teachings are a lot more powerful than pulpit or classroom teachings. (53:19)


Monday, May 13, 2013


"the most significant talks changed the listeners' way of thinking about an important subject."

Dallin H. Oaks, "Timing", Jan 29, 2002, BYU Devotional

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Truth, Responsibility and Love

Commencement address by Ryan T. Anderson 

"You will hear some claim a right to do whatever they want, provided it doesn’t harm others, by which they mean others who can complain about it. (Notice where this leaves the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the unborn.) You will hear others claim a right to fulfill their desires without consequence, without judgment, but with subsidies. (Just think of the Life of Julia.)"

"Children, too, bear responsibility, especially as parents grow old. Too many of us think it’s the government’s job to care for our aging parents and grandparents. But when scripture speaks of honoring your mother and your father, it doesn’t only mean behaving yourself when you’re a kid. It also means caring for your parents as they age: whenever possible, inviting them into your homes, rather than sending them to a nursing home. Viewing them as your responsibility, not just Social Security’s. The Psalmist implores, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails.” Regent graduates: care for your parents." 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Notes from "5 Scriptures that Will Motivate You to Action" By John Bytheway

Here are some notes from "5 Scriptures that Will Motivate You to Action" By John Bytheway

Awake and Arise

“And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.” Moroni 10:31

Ponder the path of your feet

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established” Proverbs 4:26

Improve my time while in this life

“And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.” Alma 34:33

This is My Work

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39

God does not spend his time in idleness. 

"You were not created for a life of idleness. You cannot eat from sunrise to sunset or drink or play or make love. Work is not your enemy but your friend. If all manners of labor were forbidden to thee you would fall to your knees and beg an early death." (Og Mandino, ("The Greatest Success in the World", page 11)

Go and Do

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7

Saturday, May 04, 2013

So when the Bible tells you to marry...

Mitt Romney: "Launch Out Into The Deep" - Southern Virginia University

At 5:44 "So when [the bible] tells you to marry, listen"

You can live an abundant life.

At 10:43 "children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward...Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them [Psalm 127:3-5]"

"Serving God takes us into the deepest waters of life"

"Hard work, ennobling work.  ...

On this topic of your career, I have some news that you may find disappointing: I don't think God cares whether you get rich. I don't think He hopes that your business will make a huge profit. I know a lot of religious people who think God will intervene to make their investments grow, or get them a promotion. Or make their business a success. 
But life on this earth is about learning to live and work in a place where God does not make everything work out for good people. We learn through our study, our effort, our choices and, yes, by our failures as well as by our successes. Your worldly success will partly be a function of your choices and capabilities, but it will also be subject to the vagaries of life and to chance.  
Fortunately, our relationship with God depends on none of that. It's entirely in our control. For He is always at the door and knocks for us. Our worldly success can't be guaranteed. But our ability to achieve spiritual success, is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God.  
The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all; reserving the ultimate hope to the only one who can grant it. 
Now in addition to your marriage and children and your occupation and serving God and becoming closer to Him, you have some other unique opportunities to jump into the deep waters of life. 
You only live one life, don't spend it in safe, shallow water. Launch out into the deep. If you meet a person you love, get married, have a quiver-full of children if you can. Give more to your occupation than is expected. Serve God by serving his children. Seize any opportunity that might come along that will expand your mind and challenge your abilities.  
Living life to the fullest, venturing into the deep waters of life, promises an abundance of experience and joy. Forty years on, you'll smile with satisfaction, anxious for the next chapter in your life story. God bless each of you, and God bless this country. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I Stand at the Door and Knock

I Stand at the Door and Knock - October 1963 This is Thomas S. Monson's very first talk as an Apostle, on October 10, 1963.