Sunday, January 31, 2016


It is one of those events which will seldom be erased from memory during our lives. Kathleen and I sat transfixed in front of the television as we were transported with minuscule delay to the streets of Paris, France, where terrorists were maiming and murdering revelers who were beginning their weekend.

The vision of lines of ambulances loading up mutilated and deceased bodies would be vision enough to indelibly sear our minds, but interestingly, for me it was an event on the morning following which made these mind branding moments.

I arose early, at least 4 am is early for me, and prepared to drive to Newport Beach to do my sealing assignment at the beautiful stubby steepled Temple which we have grown to love so very dearly.

It wasn't long after I had settled into the process of doing ordinances for the deceased with some very dear brothers and sisters who have become Temple friends that I realized that name after name which we were acting as proxy for were people who were born in France during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

I don't usually have an emotional struggle when I am performing sealings, but the rapid events of the previous night's horrors and the beauty of what was taking place in that peaceful, sacred sealing room in the Newport Beach Temple added up to cause more than a few moments where composing hesitation was needed.

During the remainder of the morning at the Temple I had time to contemplate and wonder about the meaning of it all.

There was no doubt that the perpetrators of the terrorist acts in Paris, France and those of the Ordinance Workers surrounding the alter in Newport Beach were motivated by belief in what was perceived to be a truth.

There was no doubt that both those who acted in the name of Allah and those who acted in the name of Elohim had done what would be considered acts of good and acts of evil during their lives.

There was no doubt that firm convictions brought both groups to their appointed duties on Friday night as well as Saturday morning.

History bears witness that those professing all different faiths have wrought both good and evil upon their brothers and sisters in the name of their God.

I don't think I came to any ultimate conclusions during my ponderings that Saturday morning, but I was able to make a partial mental list of what I, as a struggling believer in my faith, should be doing.

I would strive never to allow my personal beliefs or feelings to be a springboard to make my brothers and sisters around the world feel less than a son or daughter of God.

I would strive to control the slippery instrument in my mouth so that it did not speak ill of another simply because their political, racial or religious beliefs might be short sighted in a different way than my own shortsightedness.

I would strive to expand my understanding that our Father In Heaven has not revealed all to His children and that as I make an effort to gain a glimpse beyond the veil which presently shrouds my vista, I, along with all of our Heavenly Parents’ children, will make mistakes and come to erroneous conclusions.

I will strive to bridle my passions in such a way that as I witness or become victim to the errors of others it will not keep me from attempting to adhere to the virtues I have made covenants to live.

As with most mind searing events, even when they are amplified by subsequent equally rememberable happenings, the continual advancement of the calendar will also cause these to be stored and only brought to remembrance on certain yearly dates or because of a like event memory stirring moment.


I do hope that whatever soul searching resolve we may have made during this or any traumatic event will become habitual and not be lost in the fogginess of forgetful minds.

I do hope that the virtuous tenets of all religious texts will win all our souls and overpower those verses which might springboard baser tendencies.

I do hope that we will find ways to lighten our brother’s and sister’s loads, to help them see the true light more clearly, and that for us they will never be counted as strangers.

I do hope we will be counted among those who lift, strengthen and edify and not among those who destroy, devastate and decay.

The thought which filled my mind, as I left the Newport Beach Temple that Saturday morning was that what had been done for my French brothers and sisters
in The Lord’s House that morning was indeed THE BETTER PART.

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