Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And the Wind Blows

While I sit and wait behind this glowing screen
my toes are getting colder and colder
tomorrow's Christmas and where am I?
reading quotes to feel bolder and bolder

Behind the cabin walls surrounding
I'm safe and sound and trying to get warmer and warmer
warmer than if I were out there
Amidst the wind growing colder and colder

A thought tugs at my mind
A whisper to my heart
A reminder to my spirit
A place, a home where I should be

Warm walls well kept keep cold winds out
The stab of darkness parried with light
White clothes, white rooms
Heaven's home on earth

Go, go and don't wait
don't postpone or excuse
Think it, plan it, do it
From thought to action manifest

Grateful hands click clack tap
manifest the thoughts of heart and mind
Now existing outside mind and heart
gratitude is reality

"Those do not love who do not show their love"

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank you Doctor

Why should they be happy now if they are going to be sad later? The answer of course is because they are going to be sad later.
Doctor Who

Sometimes blessings are given to us simply for the sake of happiness, because God knows that we'll be sad later.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's only 45 minutes, but...

I used to dread the thought of going to a therapist. Images of the disturbed and what not pass before my mind eye when the word comes to mind.
Today was my second appointment with Shawn. It's only 45 minutes and it goes by quick. But... it has been so good. Someone to talk with, to listen to me and try to understand or sort through my thoughts. He has no attachment to me and I don't have to worry about that. Of course it's easier that he's not a woman, but you know.
Thank you Shawn. Thank you Bishop for encouraging me to go and my family for their support.

Some of the best 45 minutes of my week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

P.S. Today

I got a new job as a weekend custodian for the same building, the JFSB. I've been working early morning custodian for 4 semesters now and although fun and different I'm done with 4-7:30 am shifts Monday through Friday. I'm looking forward to only two shifts on the weekend Saturday and Sunday. And I will get paid more! WOOHOO!
It all came as a recommendation from my managers supervisor. I've struggled with work over the past couple weeks and when the position opened up she suggested to my manager that I apply for the job. Last Friday I called the manager overseeing the weekend crew and asked for an interview. The following Monday she called and told me that I was, "Highly recommended" and that she'd like to offer me the job. So here I am :) Tomorrow is the last day of my early morning custodial career, I'm moving up in the world to the weekend job. I'll work alone from 6 am to 2:30 pm and that's alright. I can work well enough by myself. Won't have to put up with the nonsense that comes with immaturity in some and see them get paid more than I do while doing practically nothing but play.
I am looking forward. So happy that I've been given this opportunity and will enjoy my new work.

the beautiful things

There are many things to love in life, too many to count. But seeing as how they're out there I'll see about trying to count some of them.

The gentle rays of sunshine which peek through clouds to warm my cheeks.
A child's laugh and smile, sparking eyes.
Chocolate, my goodness yes.
A clean home.
My hands and legs, feet and arms. For hugging, holding, creating, dancing, lifting, helping, reassuring, blessing.
A warm shower after a cold day outside.
Having a job where I am serving God's children in some sort of way. (I am a custodian at BYU).
Fall colors in the leaves.
Playing in those leaves.
Crunching those leaves.
An honest-to-goodness laugh.
Being remembered by others.
Good books.
My moments with God.
Meditation, breathing.
First snow.
First kisses.
Kisses on the cheek.
My niece Olive.
My nephew Emmett.
Playing with hair.
Shooting stars.
Frost on my eyebrows and eyelashes.
Meeting strangers and removing the strangeness.
Green lawns neatly cut and fields of flowers.
The small flowers which get caught in between my toes while I walk in fields of flowers wearing my toe shoes.
Hiking in serene mountain valleys.
A happy dog.
Sharing love with others.
Having a best friend.
Making up stories.
Telling stories.
Breathing in deep moments of peace, of joy, and of love.
Clouds and the endless paintings which stretch across the sky every day.
Matching clothes, looking sharp.
Dancing with my eyes closed, soaking in the sea of euphoria as the people around me are enjoying themselves also.
Looking into another person's eyes to see them.
Remembering beautiful moments.
Reliving beautiful moments.
Making beautiful moments.
Playing guitar, ukulele, piano, harp.
Listening to wonderful music that gives space to my thoughts.
The social life of my family.
Gazing at the milky way, especially from a hot tub.
Aurora Borealis.
Beaches and the vast expanse of the ocean(Though lake Superior in the winter has been my favorite)
Finding secret places in nature and life where it seems magic pulsates from the very ground.
Feeling and enjoying the presence of angels.
That warm fire I feel with my best friend.
Old buildings.
Words, thrown together and coming out fantastic.
Journals and the inspiration given to the future.
Hand written letters.
Candle light dinners.
Sky lanterns.
Dancing in light snow flakes, or under stars, or anywhere out of the ordinary, but especially in the rain.
Eyes that show love.
How the gospel keeps fitting together more and more with my life experiences.
Second chances.
Hand made gifts.
A clever mind, a good mind, a thinking mind.
Taking leaps into the unknown.(scary, but still beautiful)
Free falling over a large valley(my valley, my home).
Blossoms of hope within the heart(So bright, so clear and pure).
Bringing out the best in other people.

The list would go on, my eyelids grow heavy. This is a good start.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Decision to be Happy

One morning I was listening to the Mormon Channel. Yes I'm a Mormon and I love being one. This particular broadcast was highlighting early pioneer poets from the Latter day Saints. This one lady had married young and later faced some financial difficulty with her husband and family. He had married to a second wife without her permission and spent most of his time with the new wife while the first (This woman) was taking care of the children. They hit a really rough spot financially and the husband with his second wife was going through it with a lot of pessimism and woe is me-ism. She was optimistically and faithfully moving forward. He asked her how she could be so upbeat and she explained to him that she could either bemoan her woes or move forward in faith. So she decided to move forward in faith and that's what she was doing.
She decided how she would react to her troubles.

How have I been deciding to react? Not very well according to the standards I've set for myself. I would do better. Then what is stopping me? Lack of faith. Lack of prayer. Lack of the word of God in my mind and heart. Lack of the Spirit. In other words the only thing that is stopping me is sin. I am without God. And that is what stops me. Damns me.

What do I do? Pray, take into me the word of God, seek the Spirit, return to God. Repent.
So simple the way! Yet how few actually take the way because it is so easy. Look to God and live. So simple the way.


I went to a therapist for the first time today. It went a lot better than I thought it would. I have another appointment next Monday. I'm hopeful.
It is so difficult to admit that I need help but I am so much more willing to do this than take medication.
I'm thankful for good people. I'm thankful for the Spirit.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I played a $20,000 harp tonight, I was also wearing a chocolate brown vest, blue/white pinstripe shirt, rainbow neck tie and you bet I felt fancy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paint fight dance, epic? YES!

New Testament class weekly forum post

As life tends to be and will be difficult at times I am grateful for Brother Griffin's class and the effort he puts into it.
This Wednesday's class leading up to the Atonement and crucifixion of the Savior was a good class for me. Although I didn't feel extremely moved, I still felt something. Sometimes that little something is all I need.

I've recently gone through a heartbreak and as anyone who has experienced heart break knows that it's often a struggle just to get by in life. So I'm trying to cope. The last time I experienced depression like this was on my mission at a time when you're expected to 'forget yourself and go to work'. So I did, but in doing so I closed my heart to a great deal of emotions, saying to myself that emotions are a choice. I believe that to an extent.
This time coming through heartbreak I didn't want to close my heart off to any of the passions or extreme ups and downs going with this challenge. I wanted to keep it open to the pain and joys in hopes that I will be refined by the fire and come out better and still have an open heart. At the beginning of class on Wednesday Brother Griffin mentioned how despite not always receiving love from us, God keeps His heart open towards us and experiences the pain of not being loved in return. But that's who God is.
So I feel better about my decision, no matter how painful, to keep my heart open through this heartbreak.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

day 14

I'm thankful for second chances.
I'm grateful for concerned friends.
I'm thankful to have things to do with my life instead of sitting around.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

day 13

A girl flirted with me, through text. But genuine. I'm grateful for that today.
I'm also grateful for mindless video games, it has taken away my thoughts for awhile and I don't dwell on my depression. Thank you temporary fix. Curse you temporary fix.... We'll figure this out.
I'm thankful for teachers who are understanding and willing to work with me.
I'm thankful for left over pizza, and roommates who are willing to share dinner. Thank you Ethan.

days 11, 12

I'm thankful that people are out there who care.
Life keeps going when someone cares.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snow? day 10

We got a lot of snow. My manager called this morning and asked if I wanted to go help shovel snow and get more hours. There was a football game tonight in town and the stadium needed shoveling. HECK YES!!!
So from 11-4:30 I was playing in snow. And Samantha was there too :) She wasn't the happiest of campers, but despite her frustration with the snow (don't judge, she'd been working since 2 am this morning) She was pushing forward with grace and vigor. A couple co workers showed up also, Jackson and this girl.
Micah and Rachel came down from Logan to visit people and they took me out to dinner.
I'm thankful for this snow, makes me excited for Christmas.
Today was a good day. Tomorrow's ward Conference and I'm looking forward to that as well.

Friday, November 9, 2012

SNOW!!! Day 9

Some people don't like it. I am thankful today for the snow. Specifically I am thankful because yesterday I played in the leaves (with my best friend) and seeing as how today they are wet and soft and "unhappy" as Samantha puts it, I'm thankful that it snowed today.

Today I decided it was a good day when I got out of bed. This sounds vaguely familiar.. I've done this on my mission before :) I remember!! YES! And it was a good day. I met some new people, had some conversations, played in the snow and had a good afternoon with Samantha, even though we didn't do our crazy work out. We walked, talked, bought some eggnog. I made a leaf angel(Kind of looked like a butterfly) yesterday and today I made a snow angel. Who can say they've done that? If I had a bucket list(which I should) this is going on there, and quickly being crossed off.

Thank you God for this wonderful day. I am looking forward.

Taking the opportunity

The parable of the talents has been one I remember from time to time in my daily use of what God has given me.
Of those things that God gives me I apply it most to my opportunities. It started when I was a missionary, when you suddenly become aware of every single opportunity you have to talk to someone (Especially when your President and mission leaders are encouraging you to talk to EVERYONE).
For awhile it really got me down because there were days when I felt I missed so many opportunities to share the gospel. Now a days it's more than just sharing the gospel but that still primarily is the opportunity. Instead of sharing the gospel I like to think of it as just helping people.
In order for me to get out of that bad habit of bad thinking I started to count the opportunities I did take and to see the good that came out of those ones. This simple change in my perspective is exemplification of the idea that Brother Griffin was telling us, to move forward with faith and not in fear. What a difficult thing?! But that's the point. Faith is difficult. Fear is easy.
When I changed that perspective it was no longer a worry to lose opportunity but only to put gain on the opportunities I was given. Blessings came and my outlook was more positive.
This morning at work I had an opportunity to sit and fear over some things in my own life. Instead I stopped and began to look and see the opportunities which came to me for blessing other people. Sure enough I found more than one person this morning who I got to be of help in some way. Thank God for his matchless mercy and graciousness. He is abundant in His giving and loves us all. I am happy I took those opportunities to reach out and help. I am happy because I decided this morning when I walked out the door that I would move forward with faith, and that means optimism.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

day 8

I am thankful.... I have my best friend back :) Samantha, you are one of a kind and our spirits are of that same kind.
I'm thankful for temple trips with ward members and people who have a head on their shoulders.
I'm grateful for willing participants in my funny billiards games.
I am especially thankful for my mission notebooks. This morning before work I was praying and reading from the Book of Mormon when I decided to look into my gold notebook from the mission, it had the best things. It was when I turned a page and read a single line that sent me into a bit of crying/laughing. Another one of those moments. One of those things that I can only try to understand why God would have me see it. You try to go one way and then God pushes and pulls you another way. So many times throughout my life it just hasn't made sense but it happens anyways.
I hope I understand what God is trying to tell me. Hopefully I won't over think this one.
Back to gratitude.
I'm thankful for leaf piles. I feel like I'm still finding bits and pieces of leaves. I'm thankful for the warm day.
I'm grateful for surprises. I'm thankful for Jesse, my co worker who likes to put my name into random songs.
I'm thankful for my matching Alaska moose pajamas. I'm thankful this band-aid hasn't decided to fall off yet.
I am thankful that God is there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 6 and 7

I am thankful for meditation, it helps me control my thoughts and get the bad ones out of my head. I am also grateful for warm weather. I'm thankful for my manager, Glenn. He's a good man with a good heart, and he listens well. He's my new friend at work :)
I am thankful for ice cream and cinnabon. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and the little bits of help I get from day to day.
I'm thankful for the ability to sneak up on someone, even if it fails sometimes, well more often than not.
I'm happy to have blueberry tea.
I'm thankful to be me today. Thank you God. Thou art ever with me and always merciful.
الرحمن الرحيم
The most merciful the most gracious.
الحمد لله
Praise be to God

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5

Today I am grateful for the grace of God. His mercy is endless and His goodness infinite. I'm thankful for beauty and love. I am grateful for Jesus Christ. Thankful for toe shoes. Long conversations and bestest of friends. I'm also grateful that apparently I have a nice singing voice for the Arabic language.

I guess the spaces between my toes aren't really where yours fit perfectly.... but that's alright.


Thank you for the beautiful life we lived. Perhaps it was just too fantastic for the world at this point.
We're traveling the love lane, down the road we'll meet again.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Twas nice to meet you

The Atonement

With what ever understanding and knowledge of the Atonement you may have, remember that this same power applies to everyone around you.
Let people change and give them the opportunity to be different and become the best you ever thought of them or can possibly think of them.


Nov 3
This day I am grateful for friends who make it so I don't have be alone and wallow in misery. I'm also thankful for sunshine and movies that rip my heart to shreds.
Nov 4
So far I am grateful for prayer and the scriptures that help me resist temptation. I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ and the possibility this gives me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A month of gratitude

Nov 1 Today I am grateful for conversations with friends, and randomly bumping into someone in particular. Thank you for this day

Nov 2 
Today I am thankful for people who listen just because. I'm also grateful for Japanese curry, tastes good.
I am thankful for God, because He understands perfectly the hurt I feel that no one entirely sees. Also because He understands why it's there and hasn't left. I'm thankful for you, God.

Moments of laughter

There are times in the day when I remember you. The funny little things, the miserable things, the deep and wonderful things. And there comes a rush of emotion that never quite sorts itself out. All I feel like doing is laughing and crying at the same time. Thankfully positive emotions overpower the negative and I laugh more than cry. When that moment passes I try not to feel empty but fulfilled. To see the beautiful life I've experienced because of this love in my heart. Oh that I could once again grasp that love in the moment we shared it.

My Girl

Awkward duckling,
Your skills are definitely grace
and laughing.
"Landing gear, FACE"
will always make me laugh.

Treasured like the penny I found,
worth more than all I have.
Close your "eye", and listen to the sound
as I whisper sweet nothing.

Ether 6, Book of Mormon

Verse 5,6 and 8 tell us about the means by which God used to push the barges of the Brother of Jared and their people toward the promised land.
We read that a wind kicked up and began to blow around on the water until it drove them forward. Later that same wind is described as being fierce and caused terrible tempests. I'm sure their ride in the barges wasn't a cake walk as they were driven by the fierce wind. However in verse 8 we see this.

And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.

Without the fierce wind that tossed them here and there on the water they would never have gotten to the promised land.
Sometimes in my life I feel as though I'm being tossed here and there and it's uncomfortable. I don't really like it. But seeing this reminds me that there are unseen forces that God is using to push and pull me towards a promised land set up for me, one that He has promised to me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Answer someone's prayer

I will tell the world now that I've been very depressed and have struggled much over the past month. All to do with my decision to break things with Samantha. Each day is a battle against depression and simply focusing on breathing and taking each step.
Today was an especially poignant day. The hole in my heart seemed deeper and gaping ever wider. I went to the temple for help and seemed somewhat calm afterwards but the pain came back with great intensity. I knelt and prayed a couple times on the way home, ran into an old co worker. That was a blessing and did just a little bit to ease my pain. I got onto campus and did some things and just as I was coming out of the library I noticed a young woman who was obviously unhappy and crying. I kept walking but thought twice and decided to turn around and walk back to ask how she was. We talked and talked and eventually both of us felt a little better. The pain never fully goes away but this great blessing from the Lord was an answer to my prayer and hers.
I remember as a missionary going through a lot of depression for various reasons. The things that helped me most was when I had the opportunity to help other people, me specifically helping them. So I thank God for an answer to my prayer, and also that I was able to be an answer to another prayer.

Matthew 10:39
He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reconciling emotional dependency

There was a point in my mission when I realized that with some of the problems and struggles I faced all God had to do was show love for me and things got better. Here are some thoughts on that.

When we are loved and can see the evidence of that love we will be more confident and aware to the great things around us. When we see a lack of evidence that we are loved our confidence drops and we become introverted.
The important part of this love thing is whether or not we see the love that is around us. Those closest to us can love us and do it openly through their words, actions and so forth. But if we choose not to see it then that love has no effect on us.
Shakespeare said, "They do not love who do not show their love". Love is the great solution to life and it is not love unless expressed outside the realm of thought.
Now, God loves all and does it best. The great abundance in the universe that so many people draw invisible inspiration and strength from is this love. To finally recognize the great love which He has for us is inspiring and ennobling. It lifts us from our mistakes and fallen ways. So much in life becomes easy when this love is simply observed.
But this wasn't enough. God commanded us to love Him, and then love one another. Why? Because it isn't enough to simply be loved, we must love in return. Only then is the circle complete and life fulfilled.The film "Moulin Rouge" had questionable morals but they used one quote full of truth. They quoted Eden Ahbez saying, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return". And then we find another poignant idea in this quote by Edith Hamilton, "When love meets no return the result is suffering and the greater the love the greater the suffering". So why would I love if there's a possibility of suffering? The opposite of this is true. When love meets return the result is joy and the greater the love the greater the joy.
And so instead of being placed here on earth all by our lonesome we have people all around us. For those of us who enjoy our space and alone time this is a definite and ever present problem. Yet they will always be there. What a blessing? Endless opportunities to love, even just a little bit. In our world of increasing social isolation we must not fail to make emotional connections with the people around us, no matter how small. Otherwise we will slowly suffocate and die from lack of emotional connections.

Go out and heal your heart and the hearts of the world. Don't give into this idea of being emotionally independent, you will slowly starve yourself. And when you love remember that God has commanded us to love only TWO beings with everything that we are. That is God, and your spouse. These two are the only beings with whom you should put all your heart, they should keep it safe.

wedding song, the one I would have picked

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sharing thoughts from the scriptures, the Parable of the Good Samaritan

I'm currently taking a New Testament class at BYU this semester and I want to share some of the things I've learned in that class with more people.

Today we were learning more about the parables that Jesus Christ used in His teaching. Specifically the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10 and a few parables preceding and including the parable of the Prodigal Son.

The Good Samaritan.
We start in verse 25 of chapter 10 to provide a background for the purpose of this parable.
"And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
In response the Lord directs this man to the Law, or as we would think, the scriptures. The lawyer gives the satisfactory answer of "Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
Not completely done with the Savior this same lawyer asked, "And who is my neighbour?"

It is to this question that our Savior directs the parable of the Good Samaritan.

As was explained in my class, the city of Jerusalem was situated on a hilltop, or mountain top. Anywhere from there would be a downhill walk. So we begin with a man who walked down from Jerusalem to Jericho. We can see the symbolic comparison to our own individual lives in that all of us came down from our Heavenly Father's presence to earth.

Continuing, this man fell among thieves which stripped him and beat him half to death. Our teacher enjoys commenting on the Greek words used by the authors of the New Testament as they often yield deeper meanings. In this particular story the word stripped is translated from "Ekduo". The antonym of this word in Greek is "Enduo" and has the meaning to clothe. This word has use in sacred ideas and items as well, often used in the scriptures with respect to the death and resurrection of the body.
As we left the presence of God we, like Adam and Eve, fell from glory and so are left naked figuratively, as they were physically(and spiritually) when they left the Garden of Eden.

We are then told that two different men, both Jews, came upon this man "...by chance..." (verse 31-32). These words mean that they weren't expecting nor seeking out this fellow Jew. Within the culture of the religious leaders in Jesus' time it was widely understood that blood was unclean, and so were dead people. This man was dying and likely covered in blood. For these religious men it was instilled in them a fear to touch this man and be deemed unclean and unable to perform their priestly duties until proper cleansing had been accomplished. Fear because of cultural ideas. And so they passed by, ignoring the plight of this fellow Jew.

Then comes the Samaritan, a half Jew. Considered to be enemies to all of Jewry one might ask why this Samaritan was anywhere near Jerusalem or Jericho, yet here he was.
A distinction is made with the absence of an inclusion on this "...by chance..." category that the other two men were grouped in. With purpose this man "...journeyed, [and] came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him" (verse 33).

In using the Samaritan as a model for Himself Jesus Christ may have been referring to more than the widespread application of this commandment to love thy neighbor. By his birth Jesus is half of Mary, a Jew, and half of God. With that in mind we see the Samaritan binding up the wounds and caring for this man who had been left half dead and stripped of all that he is.

 Be as the Good Samaritan and seek out those who have fallen among thieves, bind up their wounds and assure their recovery.

Luke 15-Parables of how people are lost, and then found

In Luke chapter 15 the Savior is criticized by the Pharisees and scribes for receiving, "...sinners, and eateth with them".
Responding with parables Jesus Christ gives us the parable of the lost sheep, the silver coin, and perhaps the most famous of parables, the Prodigal Son.

This parable is obviously commenting on the "sinners" referred to by the Pharisees and scribes. It is wonderful that not only does Jesus tell us how some are lost, but also how they are found.

Sheep are a favored symbol for the followers of Christ. By nature sheep will wander aimlessly in search of food or water without a shepherd to guide them. Sometimes a sheep will begin to wander and soon find itself lost and away from the flock. It is the shepherd who then goes out and searches for that one lost sheep. The caretaker of the flock is responsible for going out and finding this sheep, and perhaps those are employed under the shepherd.
Here we can see that the Savior is The Shepherd and under Him are servants who act as shepherds over parts of the whole flock. There are many of God's children who have wandered away from the flock of the Gospel without even knowing or recognizing it. Before they can turn around and go back they find themselves lost and without any knowledge of how to get back. We who are shepherds must go to them that have wandered and are lost, they may not find their way back without our help.

The silver coin is unique in that this symbol is inanimate; although some of us may have been tempted to imagine a silver coin jumping out of this woman's pocket, I know I have imagined that before. The loss of this silver coin was out of neglect, however. No coin which we own will ever be lost by it's own wandering. It is when we forget, leave alone, or perhaps drop it on the ground unawares. The woman in this parable, upon learning of the disappearance of a single silver coin, lights a candle and sweeps the house until she finds it. Visualizing this one could see her looking under the table, picking up rugs, going into the corners, searching all her cupboards and exhausting all possible places the coin could be. So it is within the Church of Jesus Christ. There are those who because of neglect and being forgotten, are lost by the wayside. No one can be saved alone. This Church was organized because no individual can be saved without brothers and sisters in the Gospel. When one of our brothers or sisters have fell away from the flock because of neglect on our part, it is our responsibility to "...light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till [we] find..." Again, like the wandering sheep, these will be brought back by the efforts of those within the flock of God.

The final parable in this chapter is much different than the previous two in that the symbol given is not an animal or an inanimate object. Rather the symbol is a greedy and prideful son of a wealthy father. In brashness this son demands of his father the portion that would fall to him in the event of his fathers death; as would be the case when the estate of the father is divided amongst the children. After this willful rebellion against his father he takes that which he's been given and spoils and wastes it all away in a far off country. A famine ensues and this young man who has wasted away his all in "...riotous living..." is now left destitute. He is forced to assume the job of feeding swine in the field; the lowest of any occupation in all of Jewry, to just get by. He is at such a rock bottom that as he feeds the swine he is looking to the food he's given the pigs and desires to eat it himself. Think, if you are Jew and a pig is an unclean animal; despised more than most animals, and you are considering eating what they eat and eating with them, you have to be at rock bottom. It is at this point that we read of the prodigal son, "...he came to himself..." He resolves to return to his father and pray for forgiveness. These who have willfully rebelled against God and left the Church in search of the forbidden come back when they have hit rock bottom and "...come to [themselves]..." We must see in the parable that the father didn't seek out his son. In both previous parables the lost was sought after and recovered. Surely that father was praying and begging God to protect and keep his son that he may one day return to his home. Surely it took a great deal of time before this revelation came to the rebellious son. We know that his father did not stop praying for his wayward son. When the prodigal son began his journey home his father was evidently looking for him on the horizon, "...when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him"(emphasis added). The father exclaimed, "...this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found". For those who have willfully left the fold of God, we must pray and wait for their return. That prayer must be unceasing, constant, and fervent. It must be to a point that because of our anxious concern we are looking on the horizon, expecting and waiting their return. When we see them we must run and greet them with love and celebration.

In all three of these parables the recovery of that which is lost is immediately celebrated. The news was spread to friends and family and many rejoice. Although Jesus repeats the truth that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents, this joy need not be limited to the heavens but should spread to all around us here on earth.

Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Shepherd and Great Redeemer of our Souls. May we never fail in our faith and seek out those who are lost. Let us bring them back.
In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

To God

In reflection of my life I see times where I have seemingly fallen in love with pictures, ideas, movies, places, and people. When I say I 'fell in love' I attempt to describe the surge of longing and adoration I feel so suddenly for the subject before me.
A question always floated around my mind, "Why this? Why do I love this?". The reasonable part of my mind told me not to worry and let it be, love is love. Of course I thought on that from time to time. Because of the inspiration and motivation endowed upon me by these things I loved I felt a desire to connect them, simplify the map towards self-motivation.
It became clear as I thought back to some rather dark points in my life, each less dark than the one prior. Marking the end of these dark times was a time I would say I 'fell in love'. Those with whom I fell in love embodied specific characteristics, or I ascribed to them specific characteristics. Purity, faith, beauty, kindness to name a few. When I began to compare each individual I realized what it was that inspired me so much.
My inspiration is the truth. If it is light it lifts my eyes and strengthens my heart. I am blessed with courage in the presence of light. It is God, the embodiment of light, with whom I fall in love.
No doubt I will continue to love many things in this life, however I will know the source of that which I love.

To that woman I fell in love with, and will fall in love with again and again

"I see my God in you"

Selfishness, or Pride

The great destroyer of everything.

This is a blinding influence. It tells one that one deserves more, better, things that you currently do not have.
What is God's way of breaking us down and stripping us of our pride? He takes away what we have. He can do that in a great number of ways. We can give it all away for some supposed better thing. It can be taken by someone else. Or God in His miraculous ways can cause nature to take what we have away from us. In whatever way He chooses, what we have will be taken away.
Standing in the emptiness, the void of what is then gone, we gape and wonder how we ever missed all that we had. You're telling me that I had all of that? Why? How did I miss it? Why didn't I see it? It was right in front of me?
After a time of grief over what we've lost we see that it is all God. We didn't see what we had because we were prideful. Too busy looking over the fence to see what it is that we didn't have. Ingratitude for what we had and because of that God was offended. Maybe even others were offended, your friends, family, loved ones. But as sure as the sun sets God will do as He will. Pride must be pulled down and brought to its knees. And so we lose from time to time.
It's necessary to feel unhappy and regretful of the time and effort you didn't spend in thanking God for what you had. Especially since it's now gone. And one only hopes that we recognize what God is trying to do. Otherwise we are left to curse God for our misfortunes and we are left to ourselves.

Beware of Pride. Unless you strip yourself of pride you will lose everything.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Defining Love

Within the culture of my life I am surrounded by 'the media'. So many images, ideas, and words being spit into my face every way I turn.
The greatest of all our emotions, our thoughts expressed in poetry or novels, has not escaped the twisting and manipulation of our culture.
When 'LOVE' flashes across my mind there follows images of princess' and knights in shining armor, and as of now actually blank. I attribute the blank to my lack of mental energy. However you know what I mean.
Please, can we go back to that love which God gave us?

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 1 Corinthian 13:4-7 (For those who don't normally read the KJV Bible, just switch the 'eth' endings with 's')

But charity is the pure love of Christ...
Moroni 7:47

What greater love can we have than the love of God? Should not this be the love we have between each other?
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves...
1 Peter 4:8

...wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing.
2nd Nephi 26:30

Nothing. Don't we all fear being 'nothing'? Being nothing to that person we admire, or our employer, our family. Without love what good are we to our family?

The 'media' has taught us their values, the opinion of a few selfish people. We buy into it because it's easier. Yet at the cost of all that we are. Remember, without charity we are nothing.

Back to that question, should not this be the love we have between each other? Further specifying, should not this be the love we have between us and our spouse?
Let me clearly say YES!!!!!!!
No greater love is found than the pure love of Christ (John 15:13).

Then if there is love to be found in a marriage relationship it must be the pure love of Christ, or charity. It must suffer long, be kind, envy not, pride in itself, behave out of line, must not seek selfish desires, not be easily provoked, it must not think evil, and must not celebrate wrong doing. This love must bear ALL things, believe ALL things, hope ALL things, and endure ALL things.

Why? If love does not match up to these qualities(and others not mentioned) then it is not love at all but selfish pride set up to the destruction of that individual and all relationships surrounding them.
Anything but charity is "nothing" because it is worth nothing.

If you want to do this you may have come to the point of realization that it's hard to be ALL of these things and more.

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be , forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.                 Mosiah 3:19

It is by the mercy of God we have repentance, an opportunity to change. Because Jesus Christ has pure love he did that which shows no greater love. The Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, His friends.

Don't worry or let yourself be overwhelmed. Say a prayer, believe that God loves you and start small. Pick one small thing and start working on it. Right now.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


How lucky I am to have had something that made it so hard to say goodbye.