Sunday, December 8, 2013


As Tevia who felt like a Fiddler on the Roof said, “on the other hand”…

Do I sometimes feel guilt swell in my bosom:

As I wonder if I have a right to peace while witnessing others in such constant turmoil?

As I contemplate my joyful life while viewing the suffering of others?

As my heart fills with love while others taste the bitterness of hate?

On the other hand:

If peace were taken from my life would it alleviate the turmoil in another life?

If the joy found in my life were to stop would the suffering of another be terminated?

If love were taken from my heart would bitterness be removed from the heart of another?

Like all of our struggles, as we pass through the trials of this one-time-only mortal experience, the solutions probably will not come because kings suddenly walk in the righteous ways of King David. The world will not become a Camelot because we bury our heads in the sand. Hearts will not become pure because Eternal Truths have been taught by Eternal Beings.

Edward Everett Hale wrote, “I am only one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let that which I cannot do interfere with that which I can do.”

One of the Savior’s parting admonitions to his Apostles was that they feed his lambs.

Isaiah spoke of becoming publishers of peace on Mount Zion. (The ancient name for Jerusalem)

Lehi proclaimed that the purpose of mankind’s existence was to have joy.

John the beloved spoke of the power of a love which could cast out fear and torment and make one bold unto perfection.

I may not be able to feed the ninety and nine, but I can nourish the one I find who is hungered.

I may not be able to stand and shout from Mount Zion, but I can publish peace each day in all I say and do.

I may not bring joy to the world, but I can bring joy to those I meet and greet each day.

I may not be able to manifest love to all of Heavenly Father’s children, but I can love my neighbor.

Feed, publish, and love are all words of action, words of giving which only take on meaning when shared, spoken, and spread and are not to be held within or to oneself.

Are the golden thread and the silver lining often overlooked because of the abundance of the bolt of drab fabric wherein it lies, or the horizon spread cloudiness which conceals it from our view as we wearily are bombarded by the notices of our days?

Maybe we need to begin to out publish, out feed and out love the constant blare of the dismal-ness coming from the media.

Maybe we need to begin to cease being closeted Christians and boldly love, publish and feed an ever more accessible audience.

Maybe we need to better understand that it is not only a privilege to enjoy the peaceful fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but also a sacred obligation to joyfully feed, love and publish the good news to others.

Maybe it is time for those who find the truth in Christ’s teachings to stop basking in the comfort which the gospel brings and venture forth from their serenity to find a lamb to feed, a mole hill to speak from, bring joy by lightening another’s burden or finding a child who wants to be loved.

Today might be the day, when every other wind of doctrine is being blown about, that those who have in some way been touched by the Master’s hand reach out to those who are walking in darkness at noon day, who seek the truth but know not where to find it. Feeding, publishing and loving according to their capacities, doing something because they can.

Tonight might be the night when I leave the trumpeting of doom to those who have become so practiced in that strain. Although their numbers are legion and their forces abound; I can resolve to take my little candle from beneath its basket and with its warm glow of love, I will begin to feed a lamb by publishing peace to my neighbor.



  1. Hola, muchas gracias hermano por sus palabras, su análisis ha sido increíble y quiero decirle que el hecho de que este escribiendo estos pensamientos y los comparta hace posible que el testimonio del Salvador y Su obra se fortalezca en mi.


    Ana Collazos


    William Javier Laiton Rojas

  3. Muchas gracias por sus pensamientos,en este mes de la dulce navidad te deseamos una FELIZ NAVIDAD.Abrazos y saludos para la Hermana Kathleen.

    Armando y Chela Gomez

  4. Bill,
    This, for me, is too near perfect
    complete for me to add to. But here goes:
    "Sometimes ... on the other hand":
    Humans are a species with perhaps the greatest potential for empathy. Those who are able to see the suffering of others without some degree of personal angst are able to do so because they have through one means or another (usually because they were "carefully taught" as So. Pacific so aptly sang, or because they are sick, lacking complete human development. - It seems to me.
    "On the other hand," in this country, America, some of the most hopeful and spiritually uplifting music ever created has come out of that caldron of greatest human suffering, human bondage. So internal joy and almost unbearable pain and suffering have been (once again) demonstrably intertwined rather than isolated.
    "If peace were taken from my life?"
    You resolve this seeming conundrum below. The way to peace is not to use one's candle to light one's own space, and that of one's own. The way to peace is to use that candle to light the way for others; in so doing to light more candles until eventually the darkness becomes as day. (nah! Hasn't happened. Not likely to.:-( )
    "comfort that the gospel brings"
    How painful it is, so we are told, for a reporter to have to sit on a big story, a great piece of news, to squelch it and let it go unreported? So it is with the good news of the gospel, that God loves, that He loves me, that he loves you, that through loving others we may grow in His love. What peace, what joy can there be in hiding away that kind of gift? Yet millions of us would bask in the joy of His love with family, and clan, keeping it for only those who deserve it lest it's sharing somehow dilute it. (Jesus, why are you hanging out with these physically and morally dirty people? Aren't you diminishing your GOSPEL?
    For me, just maybe, " Although their numbers are legion and their forces abound; I can resolve to take my little candle from beneath its basket and with its warm glow of love, I will begin to feed a lamb by publishing peace to my neighbor.


    P.S. Again, Nah! Not likely.

  5. This is a treasure! I do love your THOUGHTS, but these words touched my heart in a special way. I pray I too may feed, love, and publish as I joy in ra.the celebration of our Savior's birth. Thank you for your message. Merry Christmas from Barbara

    Babsie (Barbara Townsend)


  6. Amen. In between reading page 1 and 2 I was imersed in a predominately non member, but beleiving in being a good neighbor, society out on Oahu. I wondered about what I could do, or say, to bring them to the next level. Billie was with me as were our two innactive children and their mates, both non members; the bulk were from many ethnic roots and beleifs, marital status and occupations, but none church goers. They have formed a tight knit neighborhood in a small town on the poorer west side of the island, they take care, and watchout for each other, without assignment.

    I was amazed at how well this neighborhood functions; however there are the usual flaws and vexations. There is a functioning stake there; and the missionaries stop by periodically to encouage our daughter to become active; to no avail.

    I beleive they are typical of the majority of earths inhabitants; they just want to live in peace and be able to persue the good things, they are content.

    You and I know that as good as they think it is; it can be infinitly better. While there I pecked out several pieces tailored to ignite interest in at least considering some aspect of the Restoration, but, as usual it fell on deaf ears.

    So what are we, who have been blessed beyond measure, do? You have nailed it perfectly in your last two Thoughts.

    I think, along with our candles, we need to know and have interest in their life's experiences; some point of discussion, like a hobby or profession.

    You are a person person who dabbles in things; I am a thing person who dabbles in persons. The Gospel doctine is mostly about people; but there is much in the white about things; and the more you know about them the better the connection with people you will be. There is absolutely no difference between true science and true religion.

    Sometime we need to have lunch together.


    I look forward to your Thoughts

    Paul Hansen

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Almost felt as though I were in your wonderful class again. This IS the message I have been praying and formulating in my mind and heart for several weeks as this Christmas season is upon us. And now, you have, once again, articulated it so beautifully. I hope that as I share it in our Gospel Doctrine Class for the Christmas Day lesson it will touch others as it has me. Will probably mean a lot more followers on your blog....yea!!

    Miss you!!

    Nancy Harline

  8. Could you send me the first part, I missed that? I enjoy these emails.

    You're the best.

    Bryan Conner

  9. Thank you so much. I printed this one off. I love you abuelo y abuela. Have a wonderful week!

    Love always,

    Sister Brooke Riley

  10. Dear Brother Riley,

    Thank you for being the giver of peace and inspiration to so many. Indeed, your messages gain in importance with each passing week.

    Feliz Navidad! I love the way the phrase swirls on the tongue.

    I just returned last week from a month's stay in India and Nepal. After viewing what seemed like all of the 33,000 gods and goddesses of the Hindus, I am surely glad for the simplicity of Christ's message. Trip was incredible. We danced in a wedding procession and celebrated with winner of elections in Nepal (a great victory because the Mao had been in power for ten years.) We went to the Pushkar Festival where 20,000 camels entertained us humans for a week with dancing, costume contests, rides, games, dental displays; and lots of noise -- rather a blend of moaning, braying, and he-hawing. Also flew in an ultra glide in Himalayas, gaining a bit of a taste of what an eagle must feel like among snow capped peaks. Enjoyed the warmth of embracing toddlers in one of Mother Theresa's orphanages in Agra; experienced the solemnity of a public cremation in Kathmandu; and listened quite intently to our guide in Chitwan National Park of Nepal as he instructed us on what to do if/when we came across during our jungle walk a tiger, a sloth bear, or a black rhino. Our group only saw fresh paw prints and lots of dung. Other group encountered a rhino, forgot their morning drill, and ended up with great photos.

    People at every turn were courteous and loving. They live on hope. Many live in poverty and filth, yet radiate a sense of kindness and gentleness. I distributed quite a number of Pass Along cards but realize it's a huge jump right now for them to Christianity, but the Lord's timeline will surely come to pass.

    How blessed we are to have the gospel. And, I am especially blessed to have you and your messages continually enrich my life. May the holidays be good to you and yours and may 2014 bring you health and joy.

    Con amor,

    Bonnie Lynn