Sunday, August 17, 2014

I am at home

I am here with my wife and children today enjoying the opportunity of being a husband and father. While I am on the road so long,it becomes nice to get away from work. That's why I am keeping it short and I'm going to say this, I have such a patient children and wife that I can't help but love the whole lot if them. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Basking in the Son.

Today I want to talk about the last son of Krypton. No I am not going to talk about the allegory messiah aspect of him but that there is something that each of us members of the church have and that is the Holy Ghost; ultimate cosmic power, itty bitty living space. I’ll explain.  

While at church I was privilege to hear a lesson in sacrament about the lessons of abiding by the rules of sports. When we engage in a sport we agree to honor the boundaries and rules of that sport. For Olympiads abiding by the rules is strictly important and a tenth of a second could mean winning and losing. What the Lord did for us here on Earth was he gave us a plan and with it came the rules of the game with eternal consequence and reward. Our boundless spirits with boundless understanding and potential would be given boundaries. The game was hide and seek and all we needed to do while here on Earth was find our Father in Heaven. Now with no memory of who he was he would make it fair by giving us the Holy Ghost and for many that companion would be a constant companion; a gift.

In the mean time we would have bodies not unlike our spiritual bodies with arm, legs, eyes and what not but it would have boundaries; limits. Being spirits we knew nothing of boundaries because we had been limitless so this was new but we were up for the challenge. Ok find Father and we will have a partner in the search; great.

Our bodies while here on Earth have been an asset for some of us and a hindrance to others. Without knowledge of the Spirit that can be a real crippling blow but with the spirit you realize how powerful you are both spiritually and physically. I have come to a realization that the give that was given to me as a young eight year old was the best thing I could have had; it like the yellow sun to the son of Krypton.

The power of the Holy Ghost unlocks to your spirit truths that you would have not had if you had not taken the time to learn it though the prism of the Holy Ghost. What I mean is every day that you spend with the Holy Ghost in your life you become more and more enlightened and you begin to see the world differently; you are able to do and say things in such a way that it changes you and those that you intended to change. 

Each day you expose yourself to prayer and the scriptures you gain a new color to your rainbow.Although Satan would have us think that we will be like Icarus and fall because we attempt to gain power from the Son (see what I did there), it is completely different we become more powerful and gain the chance to win the challenge of seeing Father, well, that just comes easier and easier. It just takes time to bask in the power and influence of the Son.

Image found here.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Don't be Seduced by the Coolness

I am so not perfect. I might be creative and spiritual but I am not perfect. I was in the foyer (because I was late to church) and I had forgotten to turn off my phone ringer and the darn thing began chiming telling me that I had a tweet (or something like that) and I realized that this could have been embarrassing if I had been in the chapel. Then it hit me, I was looking at my phone while I was ‘listening’ to people bear their souls in testimony and was not feeling the Spirit! Again… embarrassing… I wanted to justify my behavior initially because I was a visitor but the Spirit came to me and told me that although I was not telling my testimony, I should pay attention; that perhaps for a second I could feel the Spirit and learn something. I had become seduced by the coolness.

I am not sure who has or who has not heard of the phrase. It comes from a television show called Phineas and Ferb. In ‘Put that putter away’ Candace warns her friend Stacy to not be seduced by the coolness. It’s interesting how something in a funny and witty cartoon could stick to me so much that I encouraged my family to make that one of our house rules (rule 6) because it could be applied to so many things and is so simple to remember.

All day I thought about the lesson learned and how I could make it stronger for me. It was during priesthood that I think I heard the answer. In life there is so many distractions and our lesion was on plotting your course in life. It was not enough to avoid sin but to create barriers (emotionally spiritually and physically) to avoid sin and to  keep an eye single to the ‘Glory of God’ as it were and through little goals and coursing your mindset you could avoid the ‘Coolness’. How easy it has been for Satan who is also a goal minded person to pull us under because what we thought, saw, sang, etc was ‘cool’ or ‘harmless’. A navy oriented person would tell you that it only takes one degree to be off course and that could be the case with being seduced. Sailors daily and (perhaps by the minute) not only chart their course (set goals) but monitor their course to insure safety and success.

When things rattle the course they do not give up but assess the situation and reestablish their bearings so that they can get back on course. We must be just as vigilant in our lives to do the same and learn from the sailor. Our lives will have rocky water and sometimes we will need to repent and correct our course but if we are prepared for the road ahead our need for correction is minimal and our course then can stay true. 

Heavenly Father asks us to hold to the Rod of God (the word) and hang on because there will be times when the Coolness will be so enticing that you will be tempted to be near the Rod without holding it tightly. Those are the most dangerous times because when the storm comes you are not prepared and easily swept away by every enticing thing that would keep you from your Father. I would exhort you all to check your course again and check your compass; are you on a Celestial path? If not, ask yourself why and then why not. You have the potential to be on the path and whatever it takes from climbing out of the filth that you have heaped upon yourself or merely dusting yourself off you can be on that path again. God wants you to succeed. Don’t be seduced by the coolness.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Luke I am Your Father

Today I was racking my brain with what the Lord wanted me to write about. For hours I thought about how rough my week was and how I had prayed and prayed to have a solution to the problems that I had had this week thinking that the blog post would be about perseverance or something like that. I was sure that it would be about me me me…. I was wrong.

At church I was given the opportunity to have such great speakers especially one missionary that spoke with such power and vigor that the spirit couldn't be denied. I thought, ‘well this was great and now we are done. There will be no need to have the other two lessons as this missionary has summed it all.’ Again I was told by the Spirit, ‘you are not writing about this’. Really? Wow! Then what?

I had a prompting on Saturday of the spirit of one of my ancestors to go and start finding my father’s family. I went to the genealogy class today and though that the work had already been done and there was nothing for me. I was intrigued and loved the class and thought I’d take a moment to see the website and I was certain that I would see the whole family. Man I was wrong. There is a feature that shows all of your family in a circle and half of it would be mom and the other would be dad; my dad’s half of the pie was GONE! I knew that there was some members of the family that had done the work and I could even recall from memory my dad’s genealogy up to the fifth generation but on this website it didn't exist.

As I listened to the class, I head how you could put photos and stories of your family in the site and I realized that my family story had only half been told. The stories of the roofer that had raised a family in PA or the German soldier from WW1 that had left his home country to raise his children in the States only to be a soldier of WW2 was not told. These and several more had never been told and their songs never sung except in my home.

Such anticipation and excitement changed my view of how I was going to tell my story and show that there was more than a story of a simple coal roofer’s grandson who took time to recreate his history for all to see. I know that I have had a great story. The shock and surprise that I can create in story and fable is, in fact, what genealogy is all about. My son asks me about the stories of our family and what he has accomplished. He wants to know of the metals and honors that men have given to our fathers and mothers; he wants the stories of their courage and tenacity; he wants their greatness to rub off on him. I’m no soldier; I am a son and great-grandson of one. I’m no roofer but I am a grandson of one. My mother’s family already knew the importance of the stories of the family and created a book (about 300 pages) of the family that she came from and I need to see if I can do the same with what my father’s family has done.

What does that mean for you? Do you remember what Uncle Owen told Luke? He told his nephew that his father was a miner on a space frigate; turns out that the secrets were always there if he let the Force guide him. Are we letting the Spirit guide us and show us the secrets and great discoveries that await us or are we hoping that the spirits of our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts, no matter how far away they are from us be lost or forgotten because of our negligence.  I thought myself the matter closed but no longer. I aim to do some work so that they will not be lost. Please do  the same.

Image is from here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Push Along

Lord, give me the ability to fit the task and forgive me for asking the task to fit my ability.

I am certain that this is a simple prayer that could be given by every saint if they knew what we were going to be asked to do. Reflecting on that phrase or proverb I have come to realize today that I have been asking for a career that fit my ability and not the other way around. Not because I am prideful (though I am sure that I am) or that I was not suited for other jobs. I just had slipped into a shallow pool of thinking fearing that I could not swim or that the sharks of my mind would kill me in the water. I realize that for a moment I have become as Peter and have begun to sink into the water because I relied too much on the strong arm of others and my faith was not sufficient.

All too often we saints have been brought to a new learning and understanding of the gospel and the way that we approach the new knowledge can be much like a primitive man approaches fire; either it’s with faith and courage or fear and anger. The examples that we go through in our lives reflect that in our willingness to go forward with faith or run like hell away from it. David faced his Goliath upfront and direct because he had faith and not with a sword or battle tactics swimming in his head. Our jobs or responsibilities should be faced with the same faith of David. Instead of saying why, say why not? Moses led with a speech impediment; I can work in communications (or whatever my job is in the moment) with my lack because the Lord will lead the way and direct me (and my career) in the way that I should go.

Nephi liked the scriptures a lot and would often apply them to himself. He wanted to use the example in such a way that he could do the Lords will and do it as others had done it. For those that fail to see how the Lord could help us in our jobs and careers, we must remember that God inspired men to create the world that we enjoy. There is no technical data or complex skill that he doesn't already have a full and complete understanding and He likes sharing. Sometimes my prayer would be ‘Lord, help me help my stupid self.’ I need to change that to ‘Lord, teach me to meet and exceed the needs of my task so that I can do it in the future and remember the experience’. Brigham lead saints across a country untamed and established a territory; Joseph read and translated a book when he didn’t know how to read it; 

I am certain that the Lord can help each and every one of us in our own personal struggles. Just have to have faith, pray and apply yourself to the task. ‘Put your shoulder to the wheel, push along’, says the song. We get nowhere if we sit and ask the Lord direction but are not willing to get a compass and our shoes dirty. We must remember also that they that are with us outnumber those that are against us; just do your best and the Lord will help you fill the gaps.

Image is from here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost

All week I have been pondering about the reference of Baptism of Fire and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It came from a reference that a fellow saint made when he put out a question “What is your thoughts on Baptism of Fire?”.  Naturally I have a response but I do not know why that stuck with me all week. Even when we took time discussing baptism at church I could not help it but realize that I didn’t have a clue; in that moment I had become as a little child and was again working on understanding the gospel of Christ.  So at this time I would like to show you what I have learned and how limited my knowledge of the subject is.
A fellow at church made a point while discussing it at priesthood meeting that when a surgeon finishes operating on a person or animal (let’s not leave out veterinarians), when they are finished their instruments are cleaned again for further use. This is not a mere washing of the outside with water but put through intense heat to insure that it is clean and can be used for the next person or beast.  I reflected on that and said within myself that perhaps this too is necessary for our souls. Along with the outside of the soul being washed and renewed through the baptism and sacrament, we go through a refiners fire to be a vessel of the Lords; a Baptism of Fire.

A few months ago it was shown to me that the two sacrament prayers are distinctly different from one another. The speaker told us that one prayer was for those who could wholly keep the higher law while the second was for those of us that when we couldn't keep the higher law would then be blessed by the lesser law. Many of the saints are blessed to have the baptism of water and are clean and declared a member of the Lords church but fail to keep their second estate or baptism through exercising faith and renewing their covenants. Though they are still saints they have their issues and cannot have the spirit of fire with them to teach them new things and bring new things to their understanding. I forget that the Lord is smart and uses fail safe processes to insure that his children have a means to come back to him. I forget that there is two parts to baptism, two parts to sacrament. He (the Lord) repeats for both redundancy and clarity. He has taught through his servants that prophets that we can repent and that as long as we are alive that we can return to him through prayer and fasting. Nothing can stop that.

I am certain that now I am rambling so I will close. I thank God that he is my teacher and that plain and simple truths have been revealed to me and my brethren and sisters; that our teacher is not giving us a pass by making life simple just because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Father really cares about my success here and I am grateful for it and though it is hard at times I am better for it. Have a great week and I will post soon again.

Refer to Loren C. Dunn’s talk for more insight on the subject. 
Comical image is from Mormon Cartoonist

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Guns and God

Last night I was talking to a good friend about our different points of politics which as it turned out was not that different on the subject of firearms. While my view is that men should be able to arm themselves with what they see fit and the government be damned, his view was that of arm yourself for defense only and military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. The common thing was that we both believe in a armed citizenry. Now the Lord at that time after the conversation brought to mind that there was some parallel to the things that the Jews requested in times of the kings and that was more knowledge than they were prepared to understand let alone use. My friend made a strong point that it was important to know how to use a fire arm and what it was capable. He noted that most people are not aware of the power of military grade weapons and that it should not be given to them. At that time I was thinking of the power and knowledge that the Jews received. It overwhelmed them and caused their fall. Would I be overtaken by my lack of preparedness if I were to use something outside of my understanding to defend myself, say an AR15 like the deep doctrine of the kingdom. Would I be easily beguiled by Satan as a thief in the night?

Children are given a limited understanding of the gospel because to overwhelm them is damning. The Lord gives us power according to our understanding of the gospel and what has been given line upon line. We do not quickly give a shot gun to a child who doesn’t know the power of BBs. Those that would quickly assume that TV, radio and the internet will educate our children in the gospel as well as it has done about fire arms are bound to see children hurt spiritually or physically.

Our responsibility is to shelter first, educate second and then show through limited experience the emblems f the gospel like we do firearms.  The gospel is a powerful thing. It changes lives, hearts, enriches lives and brings us all closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that this can be also damning but with a careful course, it is the most enriching experience. Why wouldn’t we expand the gospel to the world? If we do it right and allow the Lord to be our teacher and guide it has no limits. We want to insure though that we take the steps that we were taught much like the steps of using a gun, safety, education and limited use under the direction of a teacher so that we are duly prepared.

May we all find strength in the gospel, may we teach by example and may we bring others closer to Christ.

Image is located here