Sunday, October 26, 2014


I can't recall exactly, but I suspect my father wasn't much more than a decade older than my current age when he said to me, ‘You know you live all your life and then the time comes when you would just as soon do something else.” As we witnessed my mother in her last two years of mortality it was very evident she was very anxious to be doing something else.

I suspect that as time slips rapidly by I am coming to understand more clearly why he was able to be so casual about that eminent time in all our lives when the mortal slips into the immortal state. There are however, still days when I think I have just begun to be able to grasp a glimmer of what he was expressing as the light was slipping from his eyes. I know that now that much more of my mortal existence lies in the past than in the future, three things seem to be happening all at the same time.

The joys and sorrows of the past daily become more of a vague reality.

The moments of today slip by more rapidly and quickly join the forgotten moments of yesterday.

That which is yet to come becomes more important as each day takes its place in the pages of my personal history.

This phenomenon seems to have been going on for as long as Heavenly Father’s children have been passing their probationary state on this orb and probably on orbs now made eternal which preceded our sphere’s organization.

The Book of Mormon prophets in one way or another spoke to their progeny about these ‘last days of mortality’ just as my father had confided in me. I recently reviewed a few of their parting words and at this time of my life find them refreshing and encouraging.

Jacob to his family – The time passed away as it were unto us a dream… (Jacob 7:26)
As father Alma, the High Priest of the Nephites’ life, was slipping away he spoke to his people – We looked forward with an eye of faith and a view of this body raised in immortality… Prepare quickly for the hour is at hand… (Alma 5:15, 5:29)

None of us should be surprised when we are fortunate to enjoy the blessings of living in a time when the age of our mortal span is extended by the miracles of our times, to find that as time slips silently by, that that part of our lives which lies in the past becomes but a dream as life’s moments fade quickly and our greater reality lies in what enlightened vision shows lies ahead.

Our reality becomes more and more filled with the certainty of life after life and we see more clearly the actuality of immortality. A teaching of a personal resurrection, which was long ago planted as a tender seed of hope, has now been nourished by the development of faith and has sprung into a tree upon which the fruit of the certainty of eternal life is ripening.

I am grateful that I have lived sufficiently beyond my three score and ten and have arrived at the point, in my mortal progression just as did my father and Jacob and Alma, when the grave becomes less a dreaded concern and the reality of the angel’s words to the women at the empty tomb begin to press upon the senses as ultimate truth. Why seek ye the living among the dead. He is not here, but is risen… (Luke 24:6) Without laboring the many testimonies which have been given, we will add just one more from the latter days. This is the testimony last of all, that he lives! For we saw Him… (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22, 23)

Likewise, I am grateful I have come to realize that one cannot have a testimony of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ settle upon them without sooner or later coming to recognize that because he broke the bands of death, all shall be made alive in Him and the day will come when this mortal will surely put on immortality.

It is a great blessing and should fill each soul which comes to know with comfort, that this mortal span was always meant to be temporary and transitory. One of the great assurances which we all may receive through the teachings of the Savior, is that just as embryo grows into babe, child passes into puberty and the proverbial strings of a mother’s apron begin to loosen, we must also in the process of the passages of life, become less attached to this world and gain the liberating understanding which allows us to willingly put off mortality and look forward to the endless state of immortality.

May we always keep in the forefront of our thoughts that it is by and through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus the Christ that eternal existence is made a reality.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Moses at the burning bush was admonished to remove his shoes because the ground upon which he stood was Holy.

The Tabernacle and Temple in the days of Moses had a set apart room which was called the Holy Place.

Israel was designated to become a Holy Nation that they might worship the Lord on the Holy Mount.

Paul wrote to the Romans and told them that the Temple of God is holy and then added which Temple ye are.

Joseph Smith was told the disciples of the Lord are to stand in Holy Places and are not to be moved.

Joseph was also told that little children are Holy.

From the Bible Dictionary of the King James edition, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we find the following words which are used to define Holy:

Things or places that are set apart for a sacred purpose.

A holy person was one who held a sacred office.

The Israelites were a holy people because they stood in a special relationship to Jehovah.

The word holy came to refer to moral character.

In the writings of the prophets it is clearly laid down that the value of worship in the eyes of God depends on the personal character of the worshiper.

My personal pondering on the meaning of Holy has brought me to believe:

It is our noble quest to seek out and find Holy Places.

It is our noble duty to stand on Holy ground
It is our noble calling to help create Holy nations.

Noble quest to seek out and find Holy Places

I really had no idea and my preparation for what was about to happen to me had to have been scant and inadequate, but I will long remember the first time I was struck with the feeling that I was standing in a Holy Place. I was fifteen years and a couple of months old, when I took my first Temple trip with the youth from the Garden Grove Stake. Those who knew me would never have suspected that I could enjoy spiritual feelings and; therefore, out of embarrassment I was never able to share the feelings I had experienced when I entered the waters of baptism in the Mesa, Arizona Temple to be baptized in behalf of someone who hadn't had the opportunity while in mortality. I knew then and I still know today that on that day I stood in a Holy Place.

Another remembrance came many years later when Kathleen and I were blessed to take a tour of the Holy Lands with some of our Church Education colleagues. I was sitting on a large rock in a grove of trees just south of where the Jordon River leaves the Sea of Galilee and begins its journey to the Dead Sea. My timid-ness about sharing spiritual insights and feelings had long since become a thing of my lost youth, and I did and have since shared with many the overwhelming feeling I had sitting in that peaceful setting of being in a very Holy Place.

Many times our seeking is too forced and bears little fruit. Sometimes we lack the understanding of how we should be seeking, but we must understand that it is our Heavenly Father who is in charge of such sacred events, and in those moments when we may even be least expecting them, He will shower us with His Holy Spirit and we will know our search of a Holy Place has borne fruit.

Noble duty to stand on Holy ground

When walking had become difficult and staying alert was a task, my father would make his way to the St. George, Utah Temple four days a week to stand in proxy for someone in that Holy Place. He taught me that he had chosen that in those days of faltering he could do one thing very well and that was to stand in Holy Places.

When I was a very green missionary serving in Ciudad Valles, Mexico, my companion and I would, the first Sunday of each month take a bus ride to a small mountain village named Tancanuitz. There was a family who had returned there after working in Detroit, Michigan for some years and we would go and hold services with them. They held services without us on the other Sundays of the month. I was struck when we arrived at their humble home to find that there was a room which they had dedicated for and was only used for these Sunday meetings. I didn't have to be very observant to realize that this room which was never used by the family during the week for their daily activities, was by far the best room in their home. It was a Holy Place where on Sundays or any day of the week they could go and stand on Holy Ground.

I don't believe it is necessary to go to a Temple built by pioneer fathers or even to have a designated room where we can go to stand on Holy Ground, but I believe it is within the reach of each of us to make the ground upon which we stand Holy. I am grateful for the reminder which Kathleen often brings to me, as she prays, how grateful we are to be able to enjoy the peace which exists in our home and makes it a place of Holy Ground.

Noble calling to help create Holy nations

I will always be grateful for the privileges and opportunities which I have enjoyed in life which have made it a rather easy task to be daily involved in the processes which publish peace and remind us of the importance of living lives based on moral character. Besides the 55 years I was involved in teaching the gospel of the Lord on a daily basis, I was able to serve full time missions as a youth in Mexico and then with Kathleen in Colombia when we weren't all that young. I have also received callings in the church which have demanded my constant sharing of the word. I don't know if any have been affected by all these opportunities I have enjoyed, but I continue to have the hope that if I labor all the days of my life and bring save it be one soul… I will have joy.

With all the pluses my privileges have brought to my life, I hasten to remind myself and all others that the most important work we do in striving to create Holy Nations is within the walls of our homes. Nothing I do will be of more importance than creating a place of holiness for Kathleen, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I don't know what the count would be now, but when my grandfather Law was in his 90s back in the 1960s, he estimated his direct descendants to number more than 500. If he were to take a count now he would indeed be viewing a nation. He created a Nation and now whether we choose to stand in Holy Places and make the ground upon which we stand Holy and continue the increase of that Nation is not only part of our birthright, but also our purpose.

It is our noble quest to seek out and find Holy Places.

It is our noble duty to stand on Holy ground.

It is our noble calling to help create Holy nations.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus; saying, who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him and set him in the midst of them. Verily I say unto you, except you become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever then shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18: 2-4)

Since the Savior declared it to be so, it must be so that the humility we see in children is a quality we should strive to emulate. Many have equated this quality with our ability to be teachable. Likewise, there is little doubt that if we are not teachable we will fall far short of living the Lord’s teachings.

During my mortal sojourn, other insights have been brought to my consciousness of how the lives of children can light the way in which we should travel if we are to draw closer to emulating the life of ‘The Child.’ Wouldn't it be interesting if one day we find out that it was indeed Jesus the Christ who we were being admonished to become as? After all, did he not have to humble Himself below all in order to learn all His Father had sent him to learn?

Before I drift too far afield from my original thought, let me return to little children in general and the additional qualities we should be seeing in their examples and how we might go about acquiring them.

I believe it was just after our family had returned from visiting some relatives whom we had not seen for several years. During our visits to their home, their youngest daughter, just having celebrated her second birthday, frequently found herself on my knee. Though the vocabulary we used was elementary our conversations were enjoyable and my being was filled with warmth and tenderness. As we were standing in the doorway saying our goodbyes, I felt her little arms encircle my leg in a tender hug. Her father standing nearby took her in his arms and while touching her face said, “I’m really going to have to watch you; you really warm up to people too quickly.”

We all understand the concern behind this caring fathers comment for the safety of his daughter, but isn't it also a rather sad comment on our society that in order for our children to survive we must teach them to replace their natural propensity to trust with mistrust, their natural friendly tendencies are replaced by cautiousness and neighbors must be treated as strangers. Wouldn't it be wonderful if parent and child’s roles were reversed and adults would learn to trust more, be friendlier and treat strangers like neighbors, as they see their offspring do so naturally?

Another event took place on a golf course in small mountain town. At that time the community was supported by retired people who had come to live there to find peace in their final phase of life. As I annually returned there over the years it was becoming more and more obvious that so many people had come to find peace in that mountain retreat that it was no longer to be found.

Anyway, there I go wandering off in my thoughts again. There was one year early on, before the dooming migration, when I was making this pilgrimage with my companions, that we wondered aloud what made this particular annual excursion so special. The following differences from our daily walks were noted. The people were open to strangers. There was a palatable absence of competiveness. There was an evident feeling that harmonious relationships were more important than the gathering of a greater pile of material goods. It seemed as if all we met in the community had returned to their primeval state of childhood and as we greeted them they made us feel encircled with the same loving tenderness which I had enjoyed with my small two-year-old niece. They had come full circle and had cast off the telestial inhibitions which we so often acquire as a shield against unknown fears.

The last insight of how children or ‘The Child’ can be our teacher came when I was watching the movie E. T. with my own children for the first time. As we watched Elliot and E. T. grow from frightened strangers to having a mutual admiration and gaining a bonding spirit which would show its fulfillment when Elliot tries to help E. T. return home, through my mind came the thought, ‘were it only so with all of us.’ As we watched the people of the world who had not bonded with E. T. react to the discovery of an alien being, we realized that the ‘sad’ norm was one of acting toward one another with suspicion, exploitation and greed. The one sensitive scientist said it best, as he bent near the young earthling who was suffering as his extra-terrestrial friend was passing away, ‘I’m glad you found him first.’ The rest of his thought was unspoken, but understood: ‘rather than the mature adults of society.’

I think we should all be paying attention to the little children and ‘The Child,’ and all who emulate them, so that we can learn those lessons which are of most importance in life.

Then were there brought unto Him little children, that he should put His hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them; but Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 19: 13-14)