Wednesday, November 22, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It will be an eternal loss – if the majority of our lives are spent – being distracted from those things – we were sent to earth – to learn and do!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Revelation and prophecy – are usually appreciated more – after their fulfillment – than at their pronouncement!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We are each responsible – for the things we become addicted to – and – allow to diminish our Agency!!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

WIDENING MY MYOPIC VIEWS

I think I remember and I know I have seen my posterity collectively engage in looking at the world through a straw, turning telescopes and binoculars backwards and rolling up sheets of paper to gaze at their surroundings.

If having a view of the world as if we were looking through a straw were just a child’s game all would be well with the world, but I have come to realize that most of the experiences we have in life, the social groups with which we associate, the mentors we choose to follow, seem to cause us all to view the world through ever narrowing tubes.

The last time I was asked to lead the discussion in a High Priest Group meeting, I was given the assignment of leading the discussion centered on the Atonement of Jesus the Christ. As so often happens in the abbreviated time allotted for lessons in our consolidated meeting schedule I was only able to get through the introduction of the material I had prepared. To be fair I cannot put the blame on the briefness of the time as the reason I only got through the introduction, since I remember countless two hour Institute classes where I got no further than the introduction.

It doesn't seem to matter which mentors we have been exposed to, especially in the area of religious beliefs, we are continually and abundantly exposed to a myopic view of what constitutes salvation and who merits it. We are taught to look through a straw which allows us to see ‘us’ and eliminates ‘them’ from our view.

And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called. And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection. They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death. And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord. And little children also have eternal life. (Book of Mormon – Mosiah 15: 21-25)

It seems the Lord would have us look through a scope with very broad perimeters when it comes to those whom He suffered the effects of His Atoning sacrifice to redeem and bring unto everlasting salvation. He presents a vision so expansive that it includes those who were ignorant of His gospel, little children whose minds were still in the bondage of innocence and those of all generations and times.

For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:3)

The more we hear about inclusiveness and are taught to make it a part of our gospel understanding the more we realize that there never was a ‘one shoe fit all’ standard by which all of Heavenly Father’s children will be judged.

There is also little doubt that they who have been blessed with a greater degree of knowledge and understand will be held to a higher standard.

Therefore, we need to understand that the requirements, rules and roadways we see through our rolled up piece of paper, although it applies to us, does not necessarily apply to all those we see when we take the tunneled blinder from our eye.

The Savior has been very clear in letting us know His Atonement was infinite and inclusive both in its depth and its breadth in covering all of Heavenly Father’s children and the variances and lengths of their mortal paths.

One of the questions which has caused me to ponder at times during my life is why, since the Savior has all knowledge, did he not selectively pay His Atoning Sacrifice only for those sins which had been or would be repented of.

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. (Doctrine and Covenants 18: 10-12)

The only conclusion I have been able to find a degree of satisfaction with is that if He had not suffered for all mankind, one of us lesser beings would come to the conclusion that we were predestined to be damned, because He did not take our sins upon Himself.

For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men. (Doctrine and Covenants 19: 16-19)

The most important conclusion I have come to is that the Savior’s Atonement not only needed to be universal, but also individual in nature. He needed to have a perfect knowledge of every one of Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters. Otherwise, He would be incapable of making the perfect judgements about each of us.

The most assuring words I remember hearing about the absolute fairness of the Savior’s Atonement which uniquely qualified him to universally apply the law of justice were given in conference by President Boyd K. Packer. He stated that none of us know nor understand the vastness of the love of the Lord or the extent of His grace.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, November 18, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The purpose of Godly sorrow – is no the pain which sears our souls – but – the joy which follows – and – drives us to publish peace!!

Friday, November 17, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Having a visitation from an angel – does not necessarily – stimulate permanent movement towards righteousness!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

One of life’s greatest trials may come – when we realize – we must step back – so that others have the opportunity to step forward!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There will be a day – when joy greatly increases in the world – for the majority rather than the minority of Heavenly Father’s children – probably –because we have become better at listening to the counsel – which comes from living Prophets!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is an important practice – to periodically take an inventory of the blessings we have received – because we heed the words of living Prophets!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We should be grateful – we have living Apostles and Prophets – if for no other reason – than they may be the only link we have to inspiration – in our world which is full of distractions!!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

CRINGING

It was in the mid 1970’s at a Northern California Regional YSA/Institute conference in Pacific Grove, California, I first realized I wasn't alone in my concern about testimonial words being borne in situations when peer group pressure and emotions can and often are confused with the feelings generated by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

As the conference was drawing to a close, Elder Boyd K. Packer, who had delivered the keynote address earlier in the week asked if he could say a few words before the scheduled testimonies were to be borne. I suspect his words were deeply meaningful to me because of a preconditioned response I had to such large peer group testimony meetings.

I am sure I have his words written in one of my journals, but for this Thought I will just paraphrase what was seared on my mind that day. ‘I would offer a word of counsel and caution before we begin to share our testimonies with one another. On occasions such as this we are often led by our emotions and are prone to say things of which we might not have received a sure witness. We are often prone to make promises and commitments which we are as yet not prepared to honor or keep. Therefore, I caution you to avoid that temptation and bear witness to those things you know to be true.’

It may have been at a stake Young Women’s girls camp or it might even have been when I was young enough to go camping as a Boy Scout very early in my life, but during my life, as stewardship roles I was called to fulfill put me in visible places where the congregations or classes could easily see my reactions to what was being said at the pulpit, I had to develop a poker face or, if that wasn't sufficient, I at times had to put my head down and cover my face with a hand or two.

I always hoped my cringes weren't noticed, but I was always well aware of what was going on internally in my mind. These facial contortions were usually set off by statements of absoluteness by persons concerning their testimonies.

I have cringed when I have heard:

A young boy scout declare – I know without a shadow of a doubt Joseph Smith is a prophet of God

A sweet young girl at camp proclaim – I know with every fiber of my being that the Book of Mormon is the word of God

A recent return missionary state – These were the two best years of my life and I know I will never stray from activity in the church

A young women before her bouquet has wilted say – I know with all my heart and soul that our marriage is eternal and our love will never end


I don't consider myself to be a negative person, so why would I have face altering reactions when I hear what most people would consider to be sincere declarations of belief?

Then why do I cringe:

We watch and witness half of those scout camp testimony bearing boys become numbered among the less active membership of the church before they turn 18.

We watch and witness a large portion of those sweet young girls bearing solemn testimonies around a camp fire fall from the roles of activity before they graduate from high school.

We watch and witness those young men who declared to have experienced two phenomenal years of life within but a few months having abandoned most of characteristics of those wonder years and giving no thought about bringing others to Christ

We watch and witness hearts shattered and lives broken because solemn marital covenants were forgotten or ignored


Included in my favorite people watching avocation is a segment where I have tried to observe the commonalities of those members of the church who seem from all observable indicators to be enduring to the end.

Observed shared characteristics of the faithful:

A constant desire to more fully understand and live gospel principles

A constant realization of how much understanding and knowledge they lack

A constant guarding against temptations and continual realization of the possibility of the natural man to dominate the spiritual

A constant desire to increase the closeness of their relationships of love and kindness

A constant diligence in lively courtship with their eternal companion

A constant effort to increase the closeness and love they have for and feel from The Savior and Heavenly Father


Observed indicators which subdue cringe reflexes:


The returned missionaries who realize how quickly the missionary spirit can be diluted and, therefore, do all they can to maintain the zeal with which they returned with honor. They maintain at least a semblance of the appearance of one who is representing themselves as a follower of Jesus the Christ. They retain a residue of the Holy Spirit which prompted them to be in a perpetual proselyting mode.

The member of the church who is aware of the culpability of the mortal soul and, therefore, is constantly striving to learn and live as the Lord would have them do. They never deceive themselves into thinking their Crystal Palace of belief is impenetrable. They are always aware of the minuteness of their comprehension and knowledge as it relates to the Omniscience of God.

The young married couple who understand that the beginning of every relationship is built on sandy soil and constantly in danger of being shaken down. They are diligently finding more secure building blocks to stabilize the foundations of their marriage. They never let yesterday’s love levels become the standard of their relationship, but unceasingly strive to find ways of increasing their love for one another. They strive to increase in understanding and practice the concept of oneness.


Warnings from He who knows us best:

Remember – the gate is narrow and the pathway is straight

Remember – the Shepherd will always have sheep which stray

Remember – there is a reason a porter is diligently at the gate

Remember – the adversary will always be sewing tares among the wheat

Remember – be ever watchful that you may endure to the end


I don’t remember it happening during the early years of my career as a teacher in the Church Education System, but I do remember during that 12 year period after Kathleen and I returned from our mission in Colombia we received a yearly lecture/counsel on not being confused about emotional responses to stories related during a lesson necessarily meaning that there had been a powerful spirit in the classroom that day. Reminding us that emotions can be dramatically stirred by reading events in the paper and watching movies. I remember it caused me to reevaluate my presentations in the classroom, where I no longer relied on time tested stories from my files to generate tearful responses, but I centered my efforts on teaching the principles and doctrines of the gospel from the scriptures and words of the living Apostles and Prophets, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring changes in emotions, thoughts and actions in the hearts and lives of the students.

It may be because my days of having a seat in a very observable place in church meetings has ended and I am no longer teaching gospel lessons on a daily basis or it may be that I have become desensitized to cringe causing statements, but these days I catch myself nodding my head and internally saying to myself – ‘time will tell’ – ‘we shall see’ – much more often than cringing or hiding my face.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, November 11, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are very clear instructions about the use of electronic devices in the Temple of the Lord – Apostles and Prophets have counseled us about their use in our chapels during meetings – because our chapels are another type of Temple – another place which has been referred to as a Temple is the home – perhaps – we should also counsel together as families about the proper use of these devices in that holy place!!

Friday, November 10, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Distractions which keep us from enjoying the comforting companionship of the Holy Spirit – were once found in places we had to deliberately go out of our routine to frequent – and we had to make a deliberate decision to take that detour – but – now modern technology – has given us the ability to have these distractions constantly with us!!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The prophets have described inspiration – as being a still small voice – maybe by this example we could learn – the most important words we speak – should be delivered slowly – clearly – and – softly!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We have been blessed with articulators – which have important primary functions – but can also be effectually used to help communication take place – when we are lazy in using our lips – tongues – and jaws – in their important secondary use as communicators – our ability to be understood diminishes!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

No one ever benefited – or – grew – from thoughts – which were never expressed!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

: Although the gift of an opposing digit – should be counted as a blessing – wearing it out texting – may result in the loss of more important communication skills!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

SEASONS OF JOY

When the seeds of Spring
Break forth their splendor
And brighten spring days
We behold and call it beautiful

When the sun warms our homes
During Summer’s long days
We lift our faces to it rays
And call it beautiful

When Autumn breezes
Bring cool relief
We partake of bounteous harvest
And call it beautiful

When Winter snows
Blanket the horizon with white
We snuggle in our abodes
And call it beautiful

When our lives have passed
And the blessings of many Seasons
Have brought us happiness and peace
We exclaim and call it beautiful


One of the things which happens when we have the privilege of wearing rose colored glasses most of our lives is that we always have an Ivory Tower as close as our next thought, even though every continent seems to contrive to be continually in contentious conflict.

I wrote the verses which I started this Thought with one Sunday morning while sitting in a Sunday School class and needed to clear my mind of the anti-non-Mormon comments which were being shared. One would think that a gathering of people who call themselves Latter Day Saints would be a refuge where there would be little need for escaping to the Ivory Tower of the mind.

There is little doubt that Elder Maxwell’s hypothesis of every movement of lessening of values that takes place in the world at large, the membership of the church will make a lesser, but corresponding change, has merit.

It is easily understood with the insidious way negative and degrading communication can be spread, why the walls around that section of our makeup where positive and uplifting feelings and expression can be found becomes fortified beyond our ability to put on rose colored glasses, let alone visit our Ivory Towers.

Like any habit, whether good or bad, a good 16 days of concentrated effort can help change our behavior so that good habits can triumph over bad habits. (Something I learned from one of my favorite mentors, Paul H. Dunn, very early in my journey of life)

I will now repeat the verses I started this Thought with and give you permission to use it as often as you would like during the next 16 days or find some other positive thoughts which will help you break down the walls keeping you from your own ivory tower where you will once again enjoy a Pollyanna positive perspective.

When the seeds of Spring
Break forth their splendor
And brighten spring days
We behold and call it beautiful

When the sun warms our homes
During Summer’s long days
We lift our faces to it rays
And call it beautiful

When Autumn breezes
Bring cool relief
We partake of bounteous harvest
And call it beautiful

When Winter snows
Blanket the horizon with white
We snuggle in our abodes
And call it beautiful

When our lives have passed
And the blessings of many Seasons
Have brought us happiness and peace
We exclaim and call it beautiful


May our days be full of splendor, warmth, bounteousness, snuggles, kind thoughts, happiness and peace this day and always is my fervent prayer.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY



Saturday, November 4, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If we have paid the price – to prepare and communicate our thoughts as clearly and understandably – as we are capable of doing – we lessen our responsibility – for the message others receive!!

Friday, November 3, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If we have paid the price – to prepare a talk or presentation – we must understand – it will lose its value – if it is not communicated intelligibly!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

A few words clearly spoken – are of more value – than volumes – mumbled unintelligibly!!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The understanding, making and keeping of covenants – are essential steps – in becoming one – who is striving to put on the attributes of Godliness!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Those among us who seem happiest – seem to be those – who have come to understand – the true purpose of our mortal existence!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The acts of service we do in life – may bring immediate – and – maybe even temporary relief to others – but the important point is – they will become important building blocks – for our eternal home!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES

When we are very young it only takes a few testings to discover that by choosing to do something there will be an immediate or delayed consequence.

Touching something hot brings an immediate reaction to our nervous system and sometimes a delayed reaction to our epidural layering.

Spilling milk can make one cry and lessons on not putting the glass too close to the edge of the table and wiping up said milk are sure to follow.

Falling down on grass leaves a stain, but falling on cement causes knees to bleed. The first takes but a few washings to cure, but knees take longer to heal.

One cookie from the jar will be missed by observant mothers and subsequent treats will be consequently restricted.


Somewhere along the line, somehow we begin to believe that with the maturation process we gain immunity against consequences having to follow choices.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that our concentration level while studying on our school homework is just as high whether we are watching television or listening to music.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that junk food will sustain health and starve off malnutrition.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that mind controlling substances relax us and help us cope with life’s stresses much like earlier generations were convinced smoking tobacco was good for the lungs.

We deceive ourselves into thinking there is no consequence to ignoring moral standards and that momentary pleasure will turn into lasting happiness.


We might get away with the lament, ‘I am not hurting anyone but myself’ if this denial between choices and consequences didn't accelerate and elevate itself into decisions which have the potential of effecting most of Humanity. Somehow we are able to convince ourselves that we really are an island and our choices not only have no effect on the consequences of our own lives, but for certain have no effect on others.

While protecting our right to our ‘standard of living’ we have little remorse about how our choices will submerge multiple generations to come in staggering amounts of debt.

While protecting our right to use up and waste the ‘resources of mother earth’ we give little thought to the environment our progeny will inherit.

We spend ourselves into deeper and deeper debt for that which will ‘rust and corrupt’ with little regard for the negative legacy and clean up job we are leaving behind.

We build bigger and bigger mansions while ignoring the homeless lining the streets of our cities and canals, believing that our riches keep us well away from having to pay the piper.


The last time I ‘went a pondering’ through this choice and consequence activity the thought came to me that we are much like the proverbial cat. We waste our nine lives on triviality, always thinking another will follow, when suddenly we are face to face with a real life- altering event only to find we have no lives left.

It is probably worth pondering once and again, how many times and how many ways can we deny the fact that our choices have consequences, spending our nows and futures hoping for miracles which will save us and others from the consequences of our choices?

We need to revisit pondering upon how the choices we make have pre-determined and long lasting and spreading consequences and that today and all our tomorrows mortality will demand we make choices which will inevitably be followed by the assigned consequences.

There is another aspect of choices which is much like the necessity of depositing funds in a bank before writing checks or withdrawals which can alter consequences dramatically.

A deposit of study, learning and experience usually precedes knowledgeable, wise and meaningful contributions to society and help us avoid becoming a drain on the resources of others.

A deposit of a variety of healthy and nutritious foods usually precedes strength and longevity and can help us avoid disease.

A deposit of control and abstinence usually precedes mental alertness and wards off life numbing brain damage.

A deposit of faithfulness and integrity precedes prolonged and happy relationships and can hopefully help us avoid dysfunctional relationships.


A word of warning needs to be added. The finger pointing lesson – you know whenever you point your finger at others there are three others pointing back at you. There is a great temptation and correlating ability which we seem to gain in life to be able to see the ignoring of choices always leading to consequences in those who govern us, friends and family members and the rest of humanity, while at the same time leisurely going about never counting the cost of our own choices.

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings (or cursings) are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing (or cursing) from God, it is by obedience (or disobedience) to that law upon which it is predicated.
(Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21).

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, October 28, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The reason we need to daily – do all we can to strengthen our personal testimonies – is because there will undoubtedly come a day – when someone near and dear – needs to be held up – by leaning on our strength!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The strength we need – to get us over life’s emergency high hurdles – will come from – routinely jumping over the daily small bumps we encounter in life!!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We have often witnessed – the complications of life – cause us to ignore the simplest of solutions!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If it is true that righteous parents – will see their offspring – eventually receive an eternal glory – does it not stand to reason – that since Adam and Eve were righteous – and all mankind are their offspring – that all mankind will eventually inherit Eternal Life??

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It takes but a brief study of man’s history on earth – to realize the number of Heavenly Father’s children who accept Jesus the Christ as their Savior – during an estate other than mortality – far outnumber – those who become His disciples during mortality!!

Monday, October 23, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We must ultimately come to understand – the Love of Christ – represented by the tree of life and the fruit in Lehi’s dream – represents the means – to accomplishing the end - of Salvation and Eternal Life!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

GRADUATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE 4

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

By the time we reach the point where we think we are ready for the graduate courses on Level Three of Heavenly Father’s Eternal Life curriculum we will have worn out many robes as we continually put them on and take them off. We may have even screamed out in our minds for aid in breaking the vicious cycle we seemed to be treading upon. In all probability we have not entered into the post graduate curriculum of Level Three because we have a mistaken idea or in fact no idea what that curriculum is all about.

Like so many of the really important advancements we make in life, the curriculum of Level Three – Receiving the Attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace seems to come to us as a gift once the Master has seen our willingness to submit to all the conditions we have learned as we struggled in the classrooms of Level one and Level two.

A few of His revealed words might help us better understand what Level Three is all about:

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.

For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.
(Book of Mormon – 2nd Nephi 25: 23-27)

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. (Book of Mormon – Moroni 10: 32, 33)

And we heard the voice, saying: Write the vision, for lo, this is the end of the vision of the sufferings of the ungodly.

And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
(Doctrine and Covenants 76: 49-53)

It would probably be appropriate to add another word of caution. There are many of us who might fall into the telestial mind trap of thinking that because we have been true and faithful in our learning and practicing the principles taught in the classrooms of Level One and Two we are owed a reward for our faithfulness. If we succumb to this heresy pontificated by the philosophies of men, we have indeed failed to understand the meaning of the word gift and have not even begun to understand the principle of Grace.

Elder Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of the Lord in a recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints told of a study he had done in the scriptures of our Lord and Savior by searching all the references to Jesus Christ found in the Topical Guide and prayerfully studying them. A wonderful activity for sanctifying and making the Sabbath a delight might be to do a similar searching of the principles of Grace and Gifts.

May the blessings of Heaven shower us with the desire to be diligent in our efforts to Shed ourselves of our Telestialness and Clothe ourselves in Terrestrialness and be ready to graciously and gratefully Receive gift of the attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace.

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7)

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, October 21, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Change is only difficult – for those whose lives – are affected by it!!

Friday, October 20, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is an impossible task – for one person – to determine – what is delightful – for another!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Not everyone will be given the opportunity – to know – whether it is a greater test – to live – or – to die for a principle!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

No matter what our level of understanding might be – there will be times – when we must play the role of student – so that others can have the experience – of learning the role of teacher!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Feeling the love of God surge through our souls – may strengthen our faith – to a greater degree – than the expression of our love for Him – in a thousand prayers!!

Monday, October 16, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Feeling the love of God in our lives – may have a greater effect on our progress – than becoming a graduate from a school of divinity!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

GRADUATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE 3

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

The counsel I gave last Sunday would be good to consider for this week also. A quick review of parts one and two of this series of Thoughts will be a great help in understanding this week’s Thought.

The problem with going through the exercises we learn while in the classrooms of the Level one curriculum or ‘Shedding my Telestialness’ has several faults. If I am constantly in a state of trying to shed the natural mortal telestial tendencies, then I will find myself like the dog who is continually returning to its vomit.

Therefore, we learn that it is not a good idea to complete all the courses in Level One of Heavenly Father’s Eternal Curriculum before embarking on Level Two. It has been postulated the more the principles of Level One we can permanently make part of our souls, the easier it will be to Clothe Ourselves in Terrestrialness.

There are even those who advocate that progression towards eventual graduation can come about more smoothly and rapidly by concentrating on the practices learned in Level two classrooms. Those who are of these particular leanings seem convinced of the concept that if a person concentrates on Clothing themselves with Terrestrialness that one mindedness will automatically result in the Shedding of one’s Telestialness.

Perhaps a sample of some of the subjects offered in the Level two curriculum will help us understand why some would counsel us to become aware of the principles taught in the classroom of Level one, but put our major efforts into learning and practicing the principles learned in Level two of the Lord’s curriculum.

Subject – The Robe of Harmony

Principle one – Bringing one’s physical body into harmony with their spiritual body

Principle two – Widening my circle of harmonious relationships

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Harmony

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of harmony

Subject – The Robe of Cooperation

Principle one – The science of listening without formulating counter arguments

Principle two – The art of adding to another’s words and ideas

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Cooperation

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of cooperation

Subject – The Robe of a Publisher of Peace

Principle one – Understanding the author and philosophies of the perpetrators of war

Principle two – Understanding the Author and doctrines of the Publisher of Peace

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Publishing Peace

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of Peace

Subject – The Robe of Inclusiveness

Principle one – Understanding the shared mortal and Eternal parentage of all mankind

Principle two – Believing the principle of the mortal and Eternal parentage of all mankind

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Inclusiveness

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of Inclusiveness

You have undoubtedly picked up on there being a practicum in each subject where we are to learn what the Lord has said about clothing oneself with a terrestrial attribute and then going forth to teach and help others understand these attributes. It seems our mortal-ness has a propensity to regress to former levels if we do not make them our own and we likewise have learned the best way to give a principle permanent place in our makeup is to become a person who publicly proselytes the principles they believe.

As we pause our ponderings on Heavenly Father’s Level two curriculum, a word of caution might be appropriate. If we do not enter the graduate classrooms of Level three – Receiving the attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace, there is a strong possibility we will find ourselves among the ranks of those who seem to be doomed to being perpetual students going through the repetitive motions of alternately retaking and practicing the principles learned in the classrooms of Level one – Shedding my Telestialness and those learned and practiced in the classrooms of Level two – Clothing myself with Terrestrialness.

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7)

(To be continued)

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, October 14, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Whether we accept – or – reject the word of God – does not alter the eternal validity of His words!!

Friday, October 13, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If all of us were totally self-sufficient and independent – none of us would be able to gain the growth – which comes from doing charitable acts!!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Anyone who declares – they have never had to struggle with correlating the concepts of – covenants – compulsory – agency – probably have fallen short of understanding Heavenly Father’s Plan!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The word – voluntary – should remove all guilt – from service experiences!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Most of our fears – which overwhelm us – when we are given a new task – go away at the same rate – proportionate to the time we dedicate to the task!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

When the wise student learns – that the semesters work – outlined on the first day of class – is not due the next day – they will eliminate a lot of stress – from their lives!!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

GRADUATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE 2

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

If your ability to retain information is at the same level as that which I currently find myself suffering, a quick review of last week’s Thought would be very helpful before embarking on this week’s.

Heavenly Father’s possible Eternal Curriculum designed to enable His children to maximize their time during mortality might have started with:

Level one Shedding my Telestialness.

Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.

Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
(Book of Mormon – Alma 5: 28, 29)

The prophet/king Benjamin gave us a hint of the makeup of the curriculum of this level one learning process in his last great sermon to the Nephites just prior to his death. By beginning with pride and envy he certainly starts very strongly advocating things of our telestial nature which need to be shed. You could add to making your Sabbath a delight by going to that talk and reading the additional negative parts of our natures we need to strip from ourselves.

As I have pondered all that I must shed of my telestialness, I have come up with the following possible curriculum outline. Remember, you can enroll in any subject at any time and reregister if you think you need a refresher course.

Subject – Shedding Pride

Principle one – Retaining a remembrance your own frailties

Principle two – Remembering everything you accomplish and create is temporary

Principle three – Understanding you are the created, not the Creator

Principle four – Realizing Heavenly Father loves all His children equally

Subject - Shedding Envy


Principle one – Rejecting negative thoughts about my self

Principle two – Stop wanting to be my neighbor

Principle three – Cease wanting to have what my neighbor has

Principle four – Stop being controlled by my desire to have all my temporal dreams fulfilled

Subject – Shedding Exclusiveness

Principle one – Shortening your list of reasons others should not be in your circle

Principle two – Eliminating fears of others because of their differences

Principle three – Destroying your list of those who are eternally lost

Principle four – Overcoming ancestral prejudices

Subject – Shedding Anger

Principle one – Learning to count to ten

Principle two – Remembering it is not all about you

Principle three – Before reacting, count the cost

Principle four – Overcoming the need to always be right

Even though there are many other items which are included in the Shedding of Telestialness curriculum I will just mention them by name and let your own pondering come up with the principles which need to be covered. There is thoughtlessness – demandingness – callousness – competiveness – hard heartedness – greediness – along with a long list which even a casual perusal of the scriptures will provide. This supplies us with more than one life time of negative characteristics of which we need to shed ourselves.

One course for which I have not supplied the subjects to be covered, but which I feel would be beneficial for all of us to take at least once in our lives is the one on restraint. A brief summary of this course says that we will learn to refrain from actions which are harmful to the eternal progression of ourselves and others.

There is a promise given at the end of the Shedding my Telestialness curriculum outline. It indicates that as I shed these telestial characteristics, I become increasingly eligible for the Plan of Happiness to be part of my daily walk.

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

(To be continued)

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY




Saturday, October 7, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is remarkable – how quickly that which we considered weird – becomes normal with familiarity!!

Friday, October 6, 2017

LIFE' S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If all of us demand – to determine our own right – we may discover all too soon – none of us has any rights!!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

If the values which govern our lives – never expand beyond those learned in our youth – we may find our progress – has become greatly limited!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Our hearts can only sing – the songs – which we have allowed to enter our minds!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We come to know – clouds – cool our wanderings – more often than they dampen our spirits!!

Monday, October 2, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is more often experience – not age – which gives us wisdom!!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

GRADUATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE 1

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

When he was known as Saul he had learned from the doctrines of the strictest of the Pharisees. Once he had his miraculous vision of the Savior and baptism by Ananias he went to Arabia where he learned the principles of the gospel before starting his marvelous mission which laid the foundation for Christ’s Church throughout most of the Roman Empire.

Saul/Paul not only had a personal testimony from his own experiences about forever being in the process of learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. He also learned during his mission experiences that mankind spent an inordinate amount of time learning and practicing many things which actually led them away from the truth.

As I examine my own journey along the paths of learning it doesn't take me long to realize that even though I had the privilege of having a lifelong career of teaching the gospel, the scales never the less were over weighted on the side of learning how to sustain life, the principles and practices of a successful life and under weighted on coming to a knowledge of Eternal Truths!!

As Kathleen is fond of reminding me, at the age of almost 80 I believe with all my heart that if we were able to examine the curriculum of the work and glory of God designed to teach us how to become as He is, it would not even vaguely resemble the one most of us experience during our mortal sojourn.

Besides being reared by wonderful parents, I had a formal education which started in the Roy, Utah Elementary School, continued at Lincoln Elementary in Pocatello, Idaho, had years in the school systems of American Falls, Idaho, Long Beach, California and I graduated for Garden Grove Union High School which of course is in Garden Grove, California.

My post high school education included time at Fort Ord, California, where I learned the spirit of the bayonet before advancing to being trained as a clerk typist. I attended the somewhat higher and higher institutions of Santa Ana Junior College (Its official name in 1958 when I attended), California State College at Fullerton (Also its official name when I attended that institution in 1962 -63) and Brigham Young University where Kathleen helped me gain a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees.

These classroom experiences were interrupted for a couple of years as I served a mission in Mexico and learned a lot about the facts of life of which I was previously unaware and I gained a tremendous love for my Mexican brothers and sisters.

I have written this overview, which probably has held the attention of very few of the readers of this thought only to stress the point that in all probability, although all of these educational experiences provided me with a happy and fruitful mortal life, there was very little included in these experiences which prepared or qualified me for Eternal Life.

I had a feeling when I started thinking about this Thought it was going to be one of those which would end up extending over several Sundays. Therefore, I hope after this rather extensive introductory Thought, you will desire to read the rest of the Thoughts in this series.

In order to validate the principle of Agency during mortality we retain very little remembrance of the curriculum of our premortal estate. We have been taught that it included an explanation of Heavenly Father’s Plan, a lot of discussion and bickering over points of disagreement, the ability to use our Agency whether we accepted the Plan, and probably the use of agency in showing our faithfulness and abilities for leadership.

Even though we have never been given a class schedule or an outline of Heavenly Father’s Earthly Learning Plan, I have pondered what that plan might look like if we were privileged to have a copy. I think, and remember I admit to walking on very unstable ground, it would involve three major levels of eternal progression about which we have the possibility of beginning to learn and start to inculcate into our lives during mortality.

The first I have chosen to call Shedding my Telestialness.

The second I have chosen to call Clothing myself with Terrestrialness.

The third I have chosen to call Receiving the attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace.


As a certified people watcher and observer of the habits, goings and comings of humankind, it seems that much like the dropout rates which exist in our formal educational institutions, we find that fewer and fewer of us continue to be involved with classroom education the further up the ladder we are required to climb. Just as a side note, I understand that as far as worldly learning is concerned there is not a direct correlation between the amount of book learning (I guess we still understand the meaning of those words in this technological age) we have had and the distance we will progress along the path of success in life.

However, there seems to be very direct correlation between how much of Heavenly Father’s Eternal Curriculum we assimilate during our lives and what we will have with us in the phase of our existence which follows our passing from mortality.

Whatever principle of intelligence (Knowledge of and adhering to the principles in Heavenly Fathers Eternal Curriculum) we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence (Knowledge of and adhering to the principles in Heavenly Fathers Eternal Curriculum) in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 130: 18, 19)

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7)

(To be continued)

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, September 30, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is amazing the viciousness which is spewed – when those who have been victims of persecution – become the persecutors!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It often takes a long time – for the words – ‘I am my own worst enemy’ – to really have meaning in our lives

Thursday, September 28, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We would never deliberately – put the light out of our eyes – yet – Satan has declared – that the ultimate result of following him – is blindness!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We would never deliberately put ourselves into captivity – yet – Satan has declared – that the inevitable result of following him – will result in bondage!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Our neighbors – will never have the choice to accept or reject – or gift – unless it is offered!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

A gift which is kept unwrapped – brings no joy!!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

KNOWLEDGE INCREASES ACCURACY OF JUDGEMENTS

Shortly after returning from my mission in Northern Mexico, still not having completed my 22nd year of mortality, I received the call to teach the quorum lessons for the Elders in the Garden Grove 4th ward.

My attitude about my gospel scholarship seemed to diminish radically from the day of my call until the Sunday I was to teach my first lesson. I am sure that if I were to teach a lesson to a similar group now, they would all seem like very young men, but from the perspective I had then they seemed like a group of old sage men.

One of the things which salvaged my lessons in those days was that we were studying An Approach to the Book of Mormon by Hugh Nibley. Since, then as now, very few read the lessons in preparation for the classes, I found that I had a distinct advantage in spite of my youth, over the members of the quorum as I presented Brother Nibley’s wisdom. (Just as a side note – this made me a lifelong fan of Brother Nibley and I am sure there are few things he has written that I have not read)

Things were going delightfully well, when one Sunday after quorum meeting the Elder’s Quorum President asked me if we could have a lesson on reverence in Sacrament Meetings as the subject for our next week’s lesson before returning to what I had come to rely on as my safety net.

With all the pompous wisdom a childless young groom can have, I stood before the quorum the following week and presented my main point on how to make our Sacrament Meetings more spiritual. If parents with young children would keep their young children in tow (yes I am sure I used that word) the reverence in our meetings would increase many fold. I was sure I had done a wonderful job, since most of the class members sat quietly with their heads bowed during the lesson.

When I was rehearsing what a wonderful experience I had had to my new bride Kathleen and how I had set the world of the ward aright and how we could now expect our Sacrament Meetings to be blissful and quiet, she might as well have been speaking in tongues when she said ‘I wish you hadn't done that.’ I had no idea what she meant. I did get enough from her message to comprehend that she didn't share the same level of enthusiasm about the greatness of my lesson.

The mystery of her words started to be revealed to me with the birth of our first son, Cevin, and how his feelings about sitting in long meetings begin to be manifested in definite out of tow ways. By the time our sixth child, Erin, was a toddler, the full meaning of my wife’s lament had penetrated my thick skull.

I won't pretend to be ignorant of the meaning of her comment about our children’s behavior in church being much better when their father started receiving callings which took him away from sitting with the family during church meetings, but I will say I was grateful that we had long ago put distance between me and the members of that quorum of elders I taught in my younger days.

It was also interesting that the Elder’s Quorum President never asked me to deviate from the lesson in the manual after that lesson.

I am sure if the Prophet Nephi had been a member of the class he would have reminded me that we need to be very careful about digging pits for our neighbors which we will eventually probably fall into.

There is also that counsel about walking in someone’s moccasins before judging their reaction to circumstances.

I am sure the Savior was speaking to the problem when he cautioned us to withhold judgements of our neighbors. The sad capstone he put on that counsel was that with the same judgement we judge we also will be judged. I wonder how many recently returned missionaries have shaken their heads in disbelief (I was about to use a harsher word) at the out of tow Riley clan in Sacrament Meetings when father was with them.

I never liked shirts which didn't need ironing until I went on a mission.

Because of the way it smelled I never ate pizza until I had my first bite.

Until the scales fell from my 13 year old eyes I didn't appreciate the beauty of girls.

Not only do we cause a great deal of sorrow, harm and resentment when we pontificate ‘pseudo-wisdom’ from the pedestal we have built for ourselves, but we may also be denying ourselves many wonderful experiences because we make premature judgements. In the latter case we may deny ourselves the taste of sweetness and delight, while in the former what we thought to be great and marvelous counsel as it left our mouths may linger and turn to bitterness and embarrassment.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY

EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY


Saturday, September 23, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is a sad thing – when we judge people – like we judge some vegetables – we decide because we don’t like the way they look – there is no way we are going to like them!!

Friday, September 22, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!


Just like Dicken’s Scrooge – if we made the effort – to get to know others – we just might discover – we like them!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

LIFE' LESSONS LEARNED!!

It is remarkable – how much happier we are – when we are trying – to make others happier!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Love expressed by words – will always fall short of – love demonstrated by actions!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Doing a daily act of kindness – will put all of us – one step closer to becoming benevolent!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We will never be in harmony – both body and spirit – until both are singing the same note!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

RELATIONSHIPS

Like so many other things in my life I was pretty late getting to the party, but I am extremely grateful that I finally arrived. I am grateful that I have lived with the understanding of the importance of relationships as the top priority in our eternal existence for the last few decades of my life, but somewhat saddened that it took me so long to begin to comprehend and practice what the Savoir was saying when he taught that all the laws and commandments can be condensed into Loving God with all our heart, mind and soul and our neighbor as our selves.

You would probably be well served if I were to leave off writing and just let you ponder on the words of the Lord, but then I would be left wanting, because the process of expressing myself with the written word has become an important part of my personal pondering regimen.

Let me begin corrupting the Savior’s simple formula by multiplying the two categories by three and coming up with 6 areas where our relationships are constantly being tested. Although there is no hierarchy of order other than our relationship with God being paramount, my wandering wondering has led me to present my six categories in the following order.

Relationships with Governments

During the same decades when I have come to consider the commandments and counsel of the Lord on relationships as paramount, as some of you who follow some of my tidbits on Face Book know I have proclaimed to be a charter member of The Non Political Party Party (N3P) which strives to treat all other parties with equal disdain. In this Thought I wish to put my usual Non Political Party Party (N3P) rantings aside and try to list some ways in which I believe the Lord would counsel us to relate with those government institutions we interact with.

We should promote and support governments which strive to establish peace.

We should promote and support governments which strive to establish personal freedoms.

We should promote and support governments which strive to establish the welfare of the populous.

We should promote and support governments which strive to establish and protect the rights of all citizens.

We should seek and place good people to sit in the seats of governance.

We should seek to establish those who govern people who view governing as a service rather than a career.

We should support civil servants who believe in serving rather than those who demand to be served.

We should be leery of trying to solve the problems of governments by instituting more levels of governance.

We should be comforted that bad governments based on the desires for power, wealth and servitude, historically have short shelf lives.

In the end, all people usually are governed by the amount of government they are willing to abide.

Relationships with Church (es)

Since a fundamental belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is that all men should have the right to worship All Mighty God as they wish, any and all relationships we might develop within the confines of church congregations must gain extension in our relationships with all church congregants.

Although many wonderful and dispensational changing revelatory experiences begin with one person communing with God, the great majority of Heavenly Father’s children will experience the profound life changing influences of spirituality though the synergistic strength which comes from worshiping with others.

Our relationship with neighbors should never be constrained or maintained because of chosen religious membership.

When investigating the foundational beliefs of a church other than your own, it would always be wise to read supportive rather than denigrating sources. It would also be wise to speak to members of churches who are actively engaged rather than those who have chosen another path.

We should be genuine about seeking others to join with our chosen way of worshiping God, always seeking to help them find greater joy and not for our own aggrandizement.

I must remember that none of us are at the same level of belief at any given moment, which understanding should become the standard of all my judgements and treatments of others whether they share my church affiliation or not.

We should seek to develop the deep quiet commitment which defines the hallmark of one who is anxiously engaged in living their chosen beliefs.

Relationships with Neighbors

Since the Savior said that love of neighbors, without giving exceptions or exclusions, had a dual rank with love of God, in His formula for living all the laws and commandments, I believe it would be well for us to give more than casual lip service and occasional thought about our relationships with our neighbors.

If we are admonished to keep the commandments with all our thoughts, words and actions, it appears that a now and then good deed is but a beginning in loving our neighbors.

As with most commandments, loving one’s neighbor is more of an attitude than constant action.

I can test the love I have for my neighbor by how few negative words it takes for me to begin to feel and think less of them.

I can test the love I have for my neighbor by counting the frequency I offer words in their defense when others are speaking negatively of them.

Beginning my relationships upon a foundation of trust will more likely result in a loving friend than throwing up walls of suspicion.

If I want to be successful in loving my neighbor, counsel should only be given when requested and constructive criticism should be viewed as an oxymoronic idea.

Inclusiveness will always be an important tenant of relationships with neighbors. The moment we give ourselves permission to exclude someone, we have deviated from the Savior’s formula.

Relationship with Family

All relationship principles which apply to loving our neighbor become important on an increased scale of adherence when applied to the family, since familial relationships usually have longevity and constancy which does not exist with most of our neighbor relationships.

Although the counsel on inclusiveness applies to families, there will always be certain relationships which supersede others. We do remember whom the Father said we should cling unto.

We should strive with all our might to avoid the trends of the world which tend to minimize the importance the family plays in establishing foundations for mortal and eternal lives.

We should all strive to avoid the duel demons of selfishness and entitlement which lead to dysfunctional and eventual destruction of family relationships.

Although families are founded on a hierarchal relationship of parent to child, that order should never be used as a weapon to dishonor agency.

As with all relationships, the familial type should be founded on the understanding that with agency comes the opportunity to make wrong choices, but we must guard against allowing wrong choices to hamper our degree of love for one another.

Relationship with Self

Although I have enlisted several mottos of motivation in life they all seem to come down to one stark realization that life was meant to be made up of positive progressive passages.

Fixating on past errors will never be as effective in promoting progression as identifying, planning and implementing areas of needed improvement.

We should ponder our trials of adversity which we went through because of our own agency or another’s thoughtlessness, identify the lesson which was meant to be learned and then make sure we avoid these hindrances to our progress in the future.

We should never forget that we are continually in the process of becoming and therefore strive to put on the characteristics of the person we would like to be eternally.

We must never fall into the trap of thinking that today’s darkness will prevent tomorrow’s dawn from coming.

We must always remember that everyone does not seek to help you become all you can become; therefore, there are some who should be identified as a wolf hiding beneath sheep’s clothing.

We should cherish the gift of agency which our Father has given us and thereby avoid all forms of addiction which might destroy our ability to properly use this divine gift.

We should be grateful for whatever capacity we have to work, and perform all our labors with thankfulness.

We must go forward with the hope that the more faithful we are the clearer our view of things which matter most will become.

Relationship with God

If I do not remember it myself, I will be reminded often on the path of life, that this is the first and great commandment to love God with all my heart.

I must remember and never forget that humility will always be measured by where I put myself in relationship to God.

Reverence for God should be a continual attitude not just when I find myself on my knees.

I will rarely find my relationship with God being strengthened when I am surrounded by darkness.

I must never try to reinvent the plan leading to joy which has been eternally proven.

I must try to avoid being too frequently reminded that consequences result from choices made.

I must never fall into the trap of believing the little which has been asked of me is too much to bear.

I should be wise enough seek for and then yield to the wisdom of the spirit which resides in my physical body which has already proven itself worthy to be added upon.

I must consciously be aware of those moments of true discipleship and the joy which attends them, so that I might have the wisdom to be more constant in my devotion.

I must never let the load of today derail my desire to draw closer to the Lord.

When I feel the joy of momentarily having my love of God reciprocated, I must guard it safely in the storehouse of my soul and be filled with the desire to more frequently have it attend me.

OR

Matthew 22: 36-40

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY
EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, September 16, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The only home security system – which is foolproof – is universal – honesty – integrity – and – morality!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The world would be much more civil – if the citizenship – would practice being more chivalrous!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Our experiences as a world population – would be more pleasant – if we all overcame our prejudices!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There is no doubt – humans would have a more pleasant experience – if we all exercised more humanity!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Having a wrong judgement about someone – can never be a foundation – for correct understanding!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Counsel which was neither sought nor petitioned – is usually ignored – and – unheeded!!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

LEARNING – PRACTICING – IGNORING – FORGETTING

When I was a young man I served my mission in the era before language training centers existed, a time when those who were called to labor in missions where learning a new language was necessary had an extended time of service in the field. Kathleen and also I served together for three years in the wonderful country of Colombia. In fact there was a time when I counted my time as a full time missionary as a tithe or tenth of my life. Although that mathematical phenomenon went by the way side a long time ago, I still have day and night moments when I have two scenes parade though my conscious and unconscious mind.

I first see an army of the Lord, made up of young men and young women marching forth with determination and dedication, anxiously desiring to help people come unto Christ. As this scene closes it is quickly replaced by the vista of thousands of returned missionaries I have been involved with a few months after they have returned from their fields of labor.

As I ponder upon these scenes I am usually left in a state of marveling how it is that in the mission field this young army of the Lord’s steps seem fairly uniform and their variance of commitment is within a small range. Sadly, thinking about those who have been home from their fields of labor a year or less, their paths seem extremely diverse and the spectrum of their commitment is very broad.

I understand agency and the fact that the world would be a very dull place if we were all the same and had the same personalities and views of how life should be lived, but never the less my pondering of missionaries going into the field, learning to live the laws of happiness, devoting their lives to the labor of love, returning with honor and then almost too abruptly many of their lives barely resemble what they were taught about the laws of happiness in their mission fields.

The vastness of variables created because we are gifted with agency causes us to acknowledge the reality that it is almost impossible for two individuals, although they share common experiences, to react and be acted upon by those experiences in the same way. In fact it seems what we become is not just a result of the experiences we have, but how we as individuals react to those experiences.

I have come to believe the degree to which a return missionary continues to live the laws of happiness after their release will correspond to the level of conversion they had to that way of life during their mission experience. The reason so many of life’s lessons don't become a permanent part of our being is there are many times in life we perform ‘as if’ we believe in something, but later on we find that we were just ‘going along’ because that was the roll we were given to play at the time.

As the saying goes, I would be a very rich man if I had a dollar for every time I have heard a returned missionary say in one way or another; ‘these were the happiest, most productive and most spiritual years of my life’. Somehow, many fail to see the correlation between the ways they had conformed to the laws of happiness during their full time mission experience and the happiness, productiveness and spirituality they had experienced. Ironically, the conversion process they had been attempting to help others experience had not taken root in the hearts of many, that the missionary life isn't just the plan of happiness for two years but for all of mortality.

I am not ignorant of the fact that upon returning from the mission our lives become diverted into paths of education, jobs, courtship, marriage and family which make it impossible to do 24/7 what we did as full time missionaries. Also the removal of the ‘mantle of the calling’ makes continuing with the devotion to living the plan of happiness more challenging. However, there are some fundamentals we learn while laboring as fulltime missionaries which should not disappear as rapidly as they seem too with many of us. All too rapidly upon returning from the mission field we find our lives have changed from that to this:

Regular hours of work and sleep are replaced or severely substituted by late nights and unproductive days.

Careful grooming and ‘set-apart’ appearances are replaced or severely substituted by getting back into ‘style’.

Good reading habits and classical sounds are replaced or severely substituted by reality shows and hearing destructive noises.

Meaningful minutes of Scripture study are replaced or severely substituted by now and then glimpses of verses.

Elevated thoughts and words are replaced or severely substituted by common and vulgar images and expressions.

Constant concern with serving and edifying others is replaced or severely substituted by the quest for the all mighty $ and stepping on people’s heads to get an elevated position on the corporate ladder.

Obedience to high moral standards and missionary habits are replaced or severely substituted by overwhelming desires for independence and faddishness.


Although I have focused on the difference between the laws of happiness taught in the mission field and the lives we return to or turn to after our missions, this thought could easily have been centered on things we learn in our homes, things we learn in school or any other institution we go through during our lives and whether the experience sinks into our being or if we spend our time during those phases wishing for the day when we can be free and independent and use our agency for our own plans for living life.

Witnessing the vast variation of ideas which have been proclaimed as the passage ways to happy, productive and spiritual lives, we are left to wonder if the difference in the lives we choose to live is a result of conversion as well as agency.

We have all undergone many learning, practicing, ignoring, forgetting periods during our lives and yet we are well aware that in spite of similarities of the experiences we have undergone, what we eventually become converted, convicted and committed to doing in our lives and what we choose to lay aside, forget and/or ignore is very dissimilar.

It is worth pondering that the Savior said that it is by our fruits we will be known. Interestingly, he didn't say it was by the nurturings, mentorings and callings we had experienced. It would be well for us to take more seriously the great teaching moments we are blessed with and the changes which could have resulted had we continued to live by those principles and maybe even find a way to return to making them part of our lives.

When our lives are reviewed with complete openness, we will see clearly how many important opportunities we were given which we did not allow to permanently affect us.

I have long believed that the mighty change we all seek to be worthy to stand in His presence is wrought upon us line upon line through gifted experiences, but mostly by how much of these blessed experiences we allow to become an eternal part of our being.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY
EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY


Saturday, September 9, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The constancy and continuousness of God’s devotion – to fulfilling His work and His glory – will outlast our weaknesses and failures!!

Friday, September 8, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Continuing in righteous desires – added upon by small steps forward – will ultimately result in noticeable improvement!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The desire to do better – and want to improve – may be the best we can conjure up on some days – and therefore – it will be acceptable to our Heavenly Father!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There is one who would seek to deceive us – into thinking that the gospel – is all bad news – instead of all good news!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The secret to holding onto marvelous spiritual moments – is to continue to participate in those activities and thoughts – which brought about those moments!!

Monday, September 4, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are only a few doctrines – and – principles – which we need to gain an absolute witness of – The Creation – The Fall – The Atonement of Jesus the Christ – the Restoration of the Gospel - a testimony of these truths will lead us to an assurance of all doctrines – and – principles!!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

LOVING GOD

By the time we get around to some of the items on our bucket list we have usually forgotten why we wanted to include some of those items on our list. There are also times when we are fulfilling an item on our bucket list when we wonder why we would ever have put such a thing on our list.

Reading the Great Books of the Western World definitely fits in the forgetting why, but not in the wondering why part of the items on my bucket list. Although I have only finished seven years of the 10 year course outlined by Johns Hopkin, it has been a meaningful journey through the foundational writings of western thought.

One of the more important personal enlightenments which happened to me during my journey through this very extensive bucket list experience came while reading the words of two of the Christian writers who lived during what is often referred to as the Dark Ages. These writers who definitely impacted heavily the later phase of my mortal sojourn were St. Augustine and Justin Martyr.

When I read their testimonies of the relationship they had with God, it caused me to spend many hours of deep soul searching as to why they seemed to have experienced both loving God and feeling God’s love to a much higher degree than had been my experience.

The conclusions which came to me as a result of my hours of pondering on this perceived gulf between the relationships these great Christians had with God and my own ironically came to a climax as I was reading the words of Bishop Felton Sheen a prominent 20th century Christian.

The following are some statements from Bishop Sheen:

‘For if you love God you will never do anything to offend Him.’

‘Law is for the imperfect follower of God.’

‘Love is for the perfect follower of God.’

‘Law is for those who what to know the minimum.’

‘Love is for those who are interested in the maximum.’

‘Laws emphasize the negative approach – thou shalt not.’

‘Love emphasizes the affirmative – love with all your heart.’

‘One who lives by law is constantly measuring limits.’

‘Love is never measured.’

‘Our deeds are proof of our love.’

‘Love is demonstrated by our preferences.’

‘We hold back on loving God completely because of a fear of what we may lose.’

‘When you have the sun you have no need of a candle.’


In the book of John 14: 15, 23, 24, the Apostle John recorded the Savior’s words proclaiming the proper order between Love and laws as they pertain to becoming a successful disciple.

If ye love me, keep my commandments… If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Matthew recorded in the 22nd chapter of his book in versus 37 - 40 this key relationship between Loving God and living the law in the following very oft quoted words.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


As we read and ponder the words of those who seem to have grasped the importance of Loving God as a pathway to living the law we can't help but be moved by the stirring words of Mormon as he pled with us near the end of his life.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of your heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him. (Moroni 7:48)

I am well aware that many of us are most comfortable when like Benjamin Franklin we have a long list of improvements (laws – commandments) we need to make in our lives and then go about the time consuming task of making these changes in our lives, much like checking items off of a bucket list.

Since my pondering has brought me to believe the many testimonies which have been given that the surer way to becoming a disciple of the Savior is by learning to love Him I offer the following as my personal witness of why I feel this is the right path.

I can easily remember the one commandment to love God

When I love God I have wrought upon me the desire to do good continually

Loving God is the very key which leads to the mighty change of heart

There is insufficient time during mortality to conquer the multitudiness commandments

When I love God, loving my neighbor becomes an achievable goal

If my heart is filled with the love for God, correct choices become clear

If I keep my heart filled with the love for God, I make incorrect choices less frequently

As I experience greater love for God I gain a greater feeling of His love for me


My prayer this Sabbath Day is that we will all spend some time pondering about how we can increase our love for God.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY
EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, September 2, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It could be telling – when we stand at the judgement bar – and are asked to report – those things which we counted as treasures during mortality!!

Friday, September 1, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

It will be sad if we feel – as some surely will – at the judgement bar – that all was vanity!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There will be some opposition – which can only be overcome – through the exercise of faith!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Because of the existence of some eternal equation – opposition and our personal progress – always seem to seem to be kept in balance!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We don't need to be grateful – that opposition exists – but we do need to recognize – its essential part in the principle of agency!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Because of the blindness we seem to have for our neighbor’s needs – we often miss choice opportunities – to feel the Savior’s love!!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

EDUCATION AND ENVIRONMENT

Although I was deeply involved in post graduate studies, or maybe it was because I was deeply involved in post graduate studies, I had a year which would have to be referred to as my Louis L’Amour period. It was unlike my Michener or Uris periods which were spread out over decades as I awaited their next contributions, but very much like my Fleming, Steinbeck, James and Lund periods whose novels I read after they had either passed away or completed the historical series I buried myself into.

Since L’Amour passed away before I started reading his works I was able, if I so desired, to read everything he had ever written. This period of escapism only lasted a little over a year and I only read 91 of his novels, which is but a pittance of his contributions to the literary world, but I learned a great deal about the Old West.

For example, I learned that Western Heroes seldom end up with fair maiden, you are not a true Western Hero unless you have had at least one lengthy fisti-cuff battle with the town villain or his henchman and when the Western Hero rode away from a town at the end of each novel he always left it living in peace with all villainous problems solved.

So that I don't appear to be a complete dolt who wasted a year reading meaningless stuff, L’Amour gave me many moments of morality thinking. For example, in one of his novels entitled The Quick and the Dead, he paints extended character sketches of the two main characters in the book. One of the men was educated in the East and well suited to coping with and solving problems which existed in a well-regulated society. The other was tutored in the ‘by the boot strap’ informal education of the West.

Besides the fair maiden and fisti-cuff stuff one of the major concepts that I pondered as I was reading this book is that education may only be valuable when it is suited to the environment in which it will be applied.

As I pondered this principle which was very applicable to that time when Kathleen and I were well into starting our family, while at the same time she was helping me get myself all degreed up, I came to the following preliminary, but what I now deem, important realities.

It would be wise to pursue educational studies which would be most useful in the environment in which we planned to be.

It would be good to assess the probable environment where we would abide and then pursue areas of study which would be most beneficial to one living in that environment.

It would be wise if this preparatory assessment included some thought about what kind of environment met your needs, would your field of study be beneficial there and what kind of people with whom you would be associating if you pursued your field of study and lived in your desired environment.

Since these preliminary decisions would affect the rest of your lives, it would be good to make sure your examination of these variables was exhaustive to at least give you a chance for a life of happiness and success.


I hope you don't feel like you have been yanked from a horse having been lassoed by a Western Hero as I make this abrupt change of direction in this Thought.

In the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord teaches us that there is a relationship between the concepts and thoughts we choose to put into our minds and by which we govern our lives and the eternal environment where those ideas and actions might prove to be most suitable.

He who cannot abide the law of a Celestial Kingdom cannot abide a Celestial Glory.

He who cannot abide the law of the Terrestrial Kingdom cannot abide a Terrestrial Glory.

He who cannot abide the law of the Telestial Kingdom cannot abide a Telestial Glory.


Just the names mortal and eternal should provide us with sufficient understanding that we will be spending the vast majority of our eternal existence in an environment other than that which makes up this brief moment of mortality.

If my pondering has led me down a correct line of understanding, then much like our exhaustive evaluation of our preparatory education and the environment in which it would be best suited then our examination of the environment in which we desire to spend the rest of our eternal existence dwelling should be even more exhaustive.

Just a few of the questions which I have found which needed extensive pondering:

Do I really believe that my present state of existence is part of the preparatory path for my eternal environment?

Are the scriptures not only a formula for happiness during mortality, but an important primer for inculcating into my life attributes needed for an eternally joyful environment?

Is being taught by living prophets, who receive inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father, part of the important curriculum which leads to understanding the environment I wish to inhabit after mortality?

Am I striving to gain the understanding of and absorb into my being the laws which will lead me to the Kingdom in which I am desirous of dwelling?


I am pretty sure just like there were days when the Western Hero didn't know if he could really solve all the town’s problems and just as my education versus environment examination didn't always bear the fruit anticipated, there will be days during our mortal trials when we wonder if we are capable of abiding the laws necessary to allow us to dwell in the environment of the Kingdom we desire, but the Lord has given us the promise that happiness and success can only be maximized in the Celestial Kingdom.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY
EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, August 26, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

We have a tendency to find excuses – why there are those – who are hungry – yet we feed them not – who are naked – yet we clothe them not – who are homeless – yet we shelter them not!!

Friday, August 25, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There is no doubt that perfection is something – at present we can only dream of – and – have but a scant knowledge of – but none the less we should strive with our every thought and action – to practice what degree of perfection-ness we currently understand!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

There are times when the phase – ‘what would Jesus do’ – is our only protection from acting – with revenge – cruelty – or – hate!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Remembering not only can bring joy to our beings – but can also become a deterrent – which keeps us from repeating saddening mistakes!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The existence of the veil – between mortality and our previous home – is an essential element which gives validity – to the law of agency!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I have become convinced – when we are able to see more clearly the passages of our lives – we will be amazed at how often the Holy Spirit was attending us!!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

FROM LOST UNTO THE LIGHT

Like most men, I suffer under the delusion that I share the same DNA with every notable explorer who has ever walked the wildernesses of the world.

This male birthright altering handicap makes stopping and asking for directions, for that gender, an insult and waste of time.

After all, as I have often exclaimed, ‘would Daniel Boone need to ask for directions!’ On other occasions I might have been heard to say ‘you are never lost as long as you can find your way home!’ (Kathleen is always quick to remind me Daniel Boone wandered for years in the wilderness…)

I hope it won’t reduce the view other men have of my self-reliant manliness, but an admission must be made, there was one time I was truly lost.

It happened one year when I had passed the age when many cultures officially recognize a young boy as having entered into manhood. At this advanced age I also belonged to an official group called Explorer Scouts. Just after Thanksgiving I found myself in the mountains of Southern California with this before mentioned richly endowed with DNA Scouts. (The Southern is capitalized because those who reside in this part of the state consider themselves as living in an elite and unique part of the state) We, the Explorer Scouts, had decided to add to our yearly Christmas tree lot fund raiser by harvesting mistletoe.

It only took about an hour to fill the pickup bed full of mistletoe which was probably enough to meet the needs of most of the west coast of the United States of America.

Just as a side note, when we got home and started putting the sprigs of mistletoe into those tiny little bags, we only used one bunch of all those we had harvested. Our leaders told us it was OK since mistletoe is a parasite and needs to be removed from the trees.

Anyway, we had a quick lunch and then three of us older Explorers, who had an abundance of that DNA which allowed Perry to reach the North Pole, decided it would be fun to hike up to the top of the mountain where we could see a lookout tower the forest rangers used in the summer to scan for fires. Dressed in our levies, t-shirts and tennis shoes we boldly began our ascent.

We had vastly misjudged the amount of time it would take us to fight through the mesquite brush and snow and reach the tower. As we reached our goal the sun was setting and we realized there was zero chance we would be able to find our way down the mountain by retracing the way we had come up the mountain.

We found a trail near the tower which seemed to head down the mountain. Not long after we started down this trail we found ourselves in a campsite which we were sure would have been wonderful when it wasn't covered in several feet of snow. We searched, but were unable to find evidence of a trail leading out of the campsite.

Besides being Explorer Scouts we were also Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood. Since we had exhausted our DNA abilities we decided maybe we needed to ask for help and guidance from an All Seeing source.

The result of our prayer gave us the inspiration to head down an indentation in the mountain side, which I am pretty sure would have been quite a creek if the snow were melting.

After stumbling down the ravine for an hour or so we saw a light twinkling well off in the distance which filled our hearts with a much needed dose of encouragement.

Heading toward the light we eventually came upon a paved road which not only was an easier path than the scaring ravine, but very quickly after starting down the road we were gratefully looking into headlights of an oncoming car.

When we were safely in the car we were informed that there was an army of locals out combing the mountain roads looking for us. If being DNA infused males and Explorer Scouts and being lost weren't destructive enough to our egos, now we had to face whatever consequences might befall us for disturbing so many people’s lives.

In just a short while we were reunited with our leaders and headed to our home in Garden Grove, California. What a joyous reunion awaited us when we returned to be with loved ones and friends who had been informed of our being lost and then found and would soon be safely back home.

I have been told that allegories much like jokes, if they are well told, should have no need for added explanations, but since this allegory is also historical, I have used it at times during my life to remind myself of the path I have taken in life.

There has been an abundant amount of my life when I have felt that I had been born with sufficient gifts and intelligence to make correct decisions.
Sadly, there have copious decisions I have made which were not well thought out ahead of time.

There are also choices I have made that I was ill prepared to venture forth into.

Many times in my life I have compounded the wrong decisions I have made by adding other wrong decisions.

Sadly, desperation has been the motivation, too often later than it should have been, to drive me to seek help from He who desires to be my Guide.

Gratefully, I have been gifted with enough twinkles of light which have led me to the pathway unto The Tree of Light.

At this point in my life I am grateful for the many trials of my faith which have come as a result of my independent nature, but I am more grateful for the army of angels who have sought for me and rescued me in my hours of need.

It has been marvelous to a recipient of the goodness which resides in the hearts of our universal brotherhood which allows others to accept and forgive our wrong decisions.

The last lesson to be learned from my allegory is yet to happen, that being the glorious day when I will be reunited with loved one and friends.


I suspect the details of each of our lives are much different than the historical allegory of my Explorer Scout mistletoe trip, but I also suspect the explanations I have furnished for this allegory are a fairly common thread in all of our lives.

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY
EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY

Saturday, August 19, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNDED!!

One of the most important lessons – we need to learn in life – is to be able to separate our own desires – from the directions we receive from the Holy Spirit!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

I would have felt – that I would have missed out on a great many blessings – if I had gone through life – without having the whisperings of the Holy Spirit – having provided me with moments of inspiration flooding into my mind – or - having awakened me from a sound sleep to respond in action to directions received!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

One of the great benefits of attending the Temple – is the overwhelming understanding – of the universal kinship of mankind – is testified of forcefully!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

Coming to realize who we truly are – children of Heavenly Parents – will benefit our progress in ways we cannot even imagine – when we are without that understanding!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

No matter to what degree – we have felt the Savior’s love – we must remember – it is far short of what He has given!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

LIFE'S LESSONS LEARNED!!

The veil which separates us from our former existence – often becomes very thin – when we act as proxies while performing sealing ordinances in the Temples of the Lord – and for me it – becomes very transparent – when the ordinance is being performed – for a child who died before receiving an earthly name – is being sealed to their parents who know their name!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

STUFF

Another shocking disappointment!

Well, maybe that is more than a little bit of an exaggeration, but it did make me swallow a couple of extra times, when on a recent visit our son Troy made the announcement that he had joined the minimalist movement.

The reason this was such a disturbance to my equilibrium was that Kathleen and I long ago forged this brilliant plan that during our last few years of mortality we would make sure our visiting children and grandchildren took some of our accumulated stuff with them when they came to visit. Kathleen had cemented our commitment to this plan by saying that when we passed away we would have nothing but a cardboard box sitting in the living room left of our stuff.

Here was our son Troy, eliminating 1/6 of our distribution plan. A decision that would make any aging parent swallow hard several times.

I am not saying we are charter members of the anti-minimalist movement, but when our wonderful friend, Peter Cook, comes to visit, he tells us he loves being in our home because it feels like a museum. We are grateful that he and our son Sean are always willing to relieve us of stuff whenever they come on their semi-annual visits. Maybe if we can convince them to visit more often they can fill in the void created by Troy.

During our recent three year termite inspection, the inspector even made a comment about how our home was a reflection of our life’s history. We seem to have been very obedient to a saying Boyd K. Packer was fond of repeating. Use it up – wear it out – make it do – or do without! In recent years we have been trying to add additional lines to this saying which might go; if you don't need it – give it away – if no one wants it – add it to the charity pile – if it is worn out - throw it away!

There is no doubt that we have spent most of our lives looking at our well-stocked lockers, laundries and larders wondering what of our abundance we would be better off doing without, only to shrug our shoulders, close the doors, knowing that someday we would probably have a need for all of that stuff.

Even with the recent millennials minimalist movement (MMM), I suspect the great majority of our homes resemble storage units for unused stuff because to someone it is still precious memorabilia; or someday someone will get around to using it; or it was someone’s scout or school project. There must be many anti-MMM people who have an unusual amount of stuff, because storage units are springing up around us like mushrooms in a boggy field.


A whole generation of architects has been needed to design more and more storage units on less and less land. We have created an industry which builds storage units we can put around our yards, so when our shelves sag because they are overladen with stuff we have someplace to stack them.

Our storage closets become so Fibber Magee-ish (You will have to ask someone who lived in the days when radio was the main form of entertainment in homes) (If you don't know what a radio is ask your grandparents) that we have to stack our stuff in our garages and build storage rooms or use the kids rooms when they move out.

We park our cars in the driveway or along the street because we have filled the garages with stifling amounts of stagnating stuff. Then when the car body consists of more rust than metal we have it towed to a junk yard to finish dissolving alongside our neighbors’ rusting cars.

This storing of stuff doesn't seem to be restricted to homes because governments build ever bigger buildings which bulge with excess stuff and set apart larger and larger plots of land to store stuff which won't fit in those buildings. Even gazillion bit computers in the clouds don't seem to be sufficient to store all the brilliant and not so brilliant ideas which were at one time important to one of the bazillion interest groups which have collectively invaded our world.

I don't believe anyone would have a very good argument if they were trying to defend the proposition that relationships are fortified because of the mountains of stuff we bury ourselves under.

Are our families stronger because we have enough televisions so that everyone can watch their own favorite programs at the same time?

Are the bonds of friendship strengthened because we are capable of being digitally connected 24/7?

Are we more united as universal brothers and sisters because more of us are able to surround ourselves with more stuff?

Are we more learned because everyone has access to the internet?


Obviously this short list is only a scant representation of the stuff which we feel we can't exist without, but I see little evidence that the continuous accumulation of stuff in our landfills is evidence of our advancement in those parts of our lives which are most important.

Although I don't see myself joining Troy in the MMM I do find myself pondering more often the question, what can we do without? While most of my life the answer seems to have been ‘nothing,’ I have as of late been supplementing that query with another question ‘what of all this stuff do we really need to maintain life?’ The list becomes shorter with each passing day.

These days the question which really causes me to wonder is, ‘how much longer indulging ourselves in this current climate of constant consumerism will we have space sufficient to allow us to make choices about accumulating stuff?’

THOUGHTS FOR A SABBATH DAY – WILLIAM L. RILEY
EDITED BY – KATHLEEN W. RILEY