Sunday, October 20, 2013


I have often thought that it would be well if some supreme regulatory agency was put in place to make sure all new inventions bore the same precautionary statements as we now find on medicines. I know, I know, they put warnings on toys about lead and swallowing and putting in noses and ears. I also know, that all are now screaming, yep, that is just what we need – another supreme regulatory agency.

However, even with acknowledging that we all have responsibility to monitor our choices and actions, I think it would be nice if some precautionary statements were put on the label of all new devices. No one would want to operate x-ray machines or perform heart surgery without understanding the lengthy list which outlines the risks and the proper precautionary procedures.

Therefore, why would we object to a label which warned us that reliance on keyboards, spell check and printers could result in the loss of penmanship, spelling ability and grammar? What would be wrong with calculators being labeled with the warning that, constant reliance on this machine will results in the loss of the ability to perform simple subtraction, addition, multiplication and division problems with pencil and paper. With more advanced calculators it would have to include the loss of the ability to do algebra, calculus and all those other types of higher math that 1% of the population used to be able to do on the blackboard or whatever they are called these days.

One of the areas of our combined creativeness which I believe needs to have bold words in blazing red written with the warning of PROCEED WITH CAUTION, are all those electronic devises which now fill our pockets, laps, desk tops, walls, book cases and night stands, which have come about as the printed circuits and transistors have become miniaturize and made indistinguishable from specks of dust. We are now able to be in a constant state of being plugged in. We go walking or jogging and we are plugged in for every joyfully/grueling moment. We have lost the knowledge of how to turn the noise devices off in our cars. Noise coming from the 22 speakers in the car is only interrupted when Bluetooth overrules. We go from den to kitchen to bedroom without ever losing a moment of dialogue. DVR makes it so that we never have to miss a hit, touchdown or basket. PROCEED WITH CAUTION – the constant plugging in to electronic devices may result in the loss of one’s ability to be alone with themselves. I am sure there could be additional precautions added, but for this thought I will concentrate on this one.

Isaiah may have been speaking to our day when in the fifth chapter of his writings he
lamented that there would be no place to be alone.

Along with the opposing thumb, I believe one of the great separators of humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to contemplate and try to come to understand a little bit about the meaning of life, to examine and evaluate our own position in respect to the rest of society, to be able to develop alternative solutions to life’s problems. It seems, if we were to lose the ability to be still and alone with our thoughts – a time to ponder – a time to meditate we would be losing one of the privileges and opportunities which contribute to the advancement of our species.

Before beginning his mission the Savior pondered, was tempted and discovered himself while in the desert for 40 days. Before His great Sermon on the Mount He prayed and meditated alone on a mount. Once again He who is example for all and to all, leads and the wise will follow.

This very thoughtful article was published in The Evening and Morning Star in June of 1832:

“What is called a vigorous and active mind seems, after all, to mean only a mind of which the thoughts are all subjected to the authority of its governing powers; and may therefore all be brought to bear, with their whole force, on the business in which it is occupied.

…Attention seems only another name for that state of mind, when all its thoughts are fixed and collected, and bent to a single point, and it is a power of attention much more than any original and native diversity of talents, which constitutes the intellectual difference among men.

Newton was accustomed to declare that ‘if he differed from his fellowmen he owed it to thought, intently and long, on any subject with which he was occupied.’ We must have all observed the truth of these remarks in the course of our various pursuits.

If we examine our minds at those periods when they are most vigorously and successfully exerted, we shall observe that all other objects are excluded from our minds, and that our thoughts are concentrated and engrossed by the task in which we are employed. If, on the contrary, we observe ourselves when our minds are indisposed, reluctant and inefficient, we shall find that our dominion over our thoughts is lost, that attention is dissipated and distracted by a multitude of unrelated images which float through the fancy and that all our powers are weakened and become discordant and divided…”

What a great loss we would have suffered if the creators and inventors who have brought so many enjoyable, helpful and convenient devices had been so plugged in and distracted that they would not have been able nor have taken the time to be alone, to ponder and be open to the enlightening visions of what might be.

We further ponder, what might be the loss to future generations because we didn't take the time to unplug and contemplate what might yet be.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION – the too constant use of this devise might…


  1. Gracias Hermano por tener el tiempo para compartir cosas sabias y buenas par la vida.como dice es facil.creo que ya nacemos con las lucha es dura pero hay que seguir adelante.....


    clarita torres gonzales

  2. ..Muy bueno.aveces se nos olvida meditar.....y es bien importante.......

    gracias de nuevo

    Clarita Torres Gonzales

  3. It might be that we are just timid to reveal our inner thoughts and use these devices to hid in? Keep on thinking.

    Paul Hansen

  4. Gracias por ayudarme a proceder con cautela en el momento en que mas lo necesitaba...

    Un fuerte abrazo

    eulises lotero torres

  5. Dear Bill and Kathy,

    This was a Home Run!

    It seems that a conversation cannot go on without one or the other
    “being plugged in” to a device especially the Cell Phone L.

    The Proceed with Caution warning is just what I will say to my grandkids…when we are talking

    and the thing attached to their hand “beeps”.

    Thank you J.

    With love,

    Karen Perkins

  6. EXACTLY! The adversary doesn't want us to have any quiet time to think and ponder for ourselves.

    Kathryn Eiesenbise

  7. I LOVE IT! I am finding that I feverishly love being able to ponder and pray all of the time. And to have time set aside when I can personally communicate with Heavenly Father. You are both so wonderful, Abuelo y Abuela! I love you both so much! :) Thank you for all of your insight and your testimonies. He lives and loves us so much!

    Love always,

    Sister Riley (Brooke)

  8. Hno Riley: Gracias por esa tan buena reflexion, me ha dado la oportunidad de detenerme a pensar en que camino estan andando mis hijos al permitirles sin horarios usar sus aparatos electronicos, cosas que han ido llegando a sus vidas de a poco pero que logran absorberlos por completo. Gracias por esa advertencia y discurso tan antiguo!


    Carolina de Castiblanco,

    desde Bogota Colombia.

  9. Presidente muchas graciasnpor dedicar tiempo en estos pensamientos, un caluroso y afectivo abrazo de la hermosa Colombia

    catherine detrie