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Showing posts from 2009

Journey to the South

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“I don’t like travelling,” said Jason as he rolled up his blankets. “You have to pack so much food and water and all those changes of clothes, especially for a long journey.” He wanted to complain some more but the look on his mother’s face stopped him short. Instead he asked, “How long will we be gone this time?”
    “Jason, come here. Sit on the couch next to me.” After he had done so, his mother continued. “Do you remember when father told us about this journey a few months ago?” Jason nodded his head and his mother continued. “The famine has become worse since that time. We may never be coming back to our home.”
    “What?” exclaimed Jason, “Not coming back? How can this be?” This was the only home he had ever known. He felt safe here and loved living in the palace with his cousins. Yes, he had gone on some travels with father, but only to the next kingdom to trade spices for sheepskins. “Where will our journey take us?”
    Mother paused a long time before responding. She st…

It Came From Behind the Sun

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I’m an avid reader of SpaceWeather.com. While it’s not as popular as Space.com, it focuses on stuff that fascinates me – asteroids, planets, comets, sunspots, auroras, geomagnetic storms and meteors. It is hosted by Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA, who is a long time participant in communicating the science of astronomy to the world.

If you go visit SpaceWeather.com, you’ll notice that Dr. Phillips is happy to post photos and videos of space phenomenon submitted by amateur observers from all over the world. They are always enjoyable and educational. He also has a table of known near earth asteroids that he keeps updated for those who follow this stuff.

Tracking space objects

There are people whose job it is to watch for these Potentially Hazardous Asteroids and notify important people if one gets too close. Of course, the media is usually all over the story when we know one is coming close and write it up in a way that generates interest. They usually throw in some element of fear of total …

When Prophets Need to Know

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I have a deep personal interest in the anticipated social response to the upcoming movie, 2012.  While it looks to be great entertainment from the fertile mind of Roland Emmerich, I am fascinated by the idea of how our society will react to some sort of a major catastrophic cataclysmic event like that depicted in the film.

I don’t go in for conspiracy theories that the government of the United States has a secret plan for the survival of the race.  I am certain that we have plans in place to ensure the continuity of the government in event of nuclear war or some other disaster, but the survival of the citizens of this country is a whole different matter.

A wise investment

As I get older, I take the idea of having a usable stockpile of food and water much more seriously than when I was younger.  We have dipped into our food storage several times over the past few years as the grip of a tight economy has reached into our personal finances.  But I value my food storage for a different re…

Setting and acheiving goals

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In bishopric meeting this morning, our new bishop shared the spiritual thought.  He chose the subject of goals and quoted from page 146 of Preach My Gospel on how to set them.  Here are some excerpts of the goal setting advice offered on that page:

“Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish.  Through goals and plans, our hopes are transformed into action.”  What we reach for in goals reflects what we desire in our hearts.  Our goals reveal our true selves.

Goals, faith and agency

“Goal setting and planning are acts of faith.  Do everything in your power to achieve your goals while respecting the agency of others.”  I believe the best goals are the ones that we can control.  It does little good to set goals dependant on the actions of others.

Think about it.  You can set a goal to have another person do some specific thing that is desirable, but you have no control over what they actually do.  You can ask, invite, persuade and demonstrate why they…

Red Sky

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I’ve seen dust storms in Denver before, but there’s something different about this one.  I can’t put my finger on it.  It seems so…I don’t know…red.  And why is there so much dust in the air anyway?  It’s not all that windy right now.  It looks like the dust is falling from somewhere high up in the sky.  It’s not being picked up off the ground and blown around by the wind.  But that’s impossible.  Dust doesn’t just fall from the sky like that, especially not in the winter.  What could it be…?  Mesmerized, Mitch Johnson continued to watch the red dust fall as he drove towards the Denver International airport.
     “And planes don’t fall from the sky like that either,” he said aloud.
     Mitch’s attention was diverted from his thoughts about the weird weather when he heard what he thought was a car backfiring.  He looked up and saw a plane dropping much too fast for a safe landing.  He was driving to the airport to catch a flight to Washington D.C. to attend a meeting of the American …

2012 - Everyone is capitalizing on the date

In a highly unusual move for me, I'm going to endorse a movie based on a trailer. It has already been panned by the critics as over the top, but I like what I'm seeing in the trailer and look forward to seeing it. I don't go in for the 2012 timeframe, but there are a lot of interesting scenes in the movie that correspond to what I believe about events that will come to pass in the very last days. Enjoy!

The Attitude of Mocking

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I met my friend Kurt in 1965, when I was eight years old, while digging a hole in the backyard of my neighbor, Tommy Strutz.  Tommy’s dad didn’t like us digging holes in his yard so he made us fill it in.  What is it with boys and digging holes in the dirt?  I was forever building tree houses or digging holes which we called forts.

Kurt was cool.  He said his dad would let us dig holes at his house so I and other neighborhood boys started hanging out with him.  Kurt was a little older than me and so I looked up to him just like an older brother. He was a major influence in my life for the next ten years, or until at least 1974 when I went away to college.

The influence of friends

My dad didn’t like Kurt at all.  Looking back now I can’t say that I blame him but I didn’t understand it at the time.  Kurt had long hair and he looked sideways at you because he had one bad eye.  He seemed to have a general disrespect for authority figures in society.  That showed openly in the way he inter…

God even loves computer geeks like me

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While sitting in the hospital room with my wife on Sunday morning as she was recovering from surgery, I asked her a deep and personal question.  She wanted me to help her with her latest blog entry as she dictated it so I recorded it on my laptop computer.  When she finished it, I asked her how she knew that the Lord loved her.

She didn’t answer me right away but thought about it until this morning after we returned from a follow-up doctor’s visit.  She then shared some things that were unmistakable evidence to her of God’s love for her.  It was a sacred and emotional moment that helped me to know I am not alone in seeing God’s hand in our lives.

Looking beyond the battle

Carol is going through a difficult time right now and it took a lot for her to share those touching personal evidences.  Dealing with her cancer is taking a lot of her energy and sometimes causes her to see only the immediate battle instead of the big picture.  I asked her to take a minute to look beyond the battle a…

Divine Manifestations Must Have a Purpose

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One of the delightful parts of a staketemple night is the opportunity to be taught by a member of the temple presidency.  On one particular occasion many years ago, the Temple President felt inspired to relate a few stories that patrons had shared with him about spiritual manifestations that they had received while serving in the LA temple.  It was an uplifting and edifying session.

I was very impressed with what the Temple President spoke about that evening.  He related some very sacred experiences of visits from the other side of the veil from deceased family members for whom the work was being done.  He gave specific examples of what people saw, heard or felt that was evidence to them of the validity of this work and that it is accepted by their relatives.

A conversation with my Stake President

While preparing to leave the temple that evening, I conversed with my Stake President about the things the Temple President had taught us in our chapel session.  I had served with this Stake…

Shades of Grey and Relative Truth

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In 1978, civil war broke out in Nicaragua, just after I left the country. My Mission President went from Costa Rica to Managua to help the missionaries get out of the country.  As he was literally leaving the chapel where he had told the missionaries to gather, the Sandinistas came running in from the other door and stopped them.

Demanding to know what side of the conflict they were on, President Muren responded with the phrase, "tonos de gris," which means shades of grey.  He did not stop but kept going right out the door and was able to get that group of Elders out of the country.  Gratefully, all the missionaries eventually made it safely out.

Social or Cultural Mormons

Can a person be a member of the LDS faith and not believe some of the doctrine or accept the official story of the history?  Absolutely!  We call them social or cultural Mormons and there are countless numbers of them within the church.  Many of these kinds of members come from multi-generation pioneer LDS…