Sunday, March 29, 2015


It seems that few days go by when we aren’t introduced to a new ‘Comic Book Super Hero’. Come to think of it – ‘Comic Book Super Hero’ might be one of the 21st century’s greatest oxymoronic statements.

When I was of what was in those days considered to be the age of comic book collecting and comic books only cost 10 cents, there were only a handful of Super Heroes. They overcame strange evil creatures in dark and shadowy cities, while the majority of the books on the racks at the corner drug store were brightly colored and comedic.

I am grateful that I had my formative years when life was simplistic and the world and its inhabitants were generally viewed in positive ways. I remember one of the most frequent reprimands I received during those long ago days was ‘if you don't have something positive to say, it is better to say nothing at all.’

It may have been during graduate school that I became indoctrinated about the ‘value’ of doubt and skepticism. This philosophy, insisted that you could not really do a scholarly examination of any subject unless you entered the investigation questioning the validity of those who had studied in that discipline previously.

There must have been some of the era of when comic books were really comedic left in me, which caused me to think that greater progress could be made by building upon another’s foundation rather than spending my limited mortal existence tearing down all they had done and starting afresh.

Because of my skepticism about the philosophy of scholarly skepticism, I have spent most of my adult life seeing the glass half full, the silver lining in most every cloud, flowers standing brightly among the weeds and, most importantly, more good in people than bad.

This is a rather lengthy and wordy way of introducing you to one of the prominent themes which occurs in the Guessoirs I am writing about my life. (I find that at this time of my life, Guessoirs is a much more accurate description of what I am writing than Memoirs)

Anyway, in my Guessoirs over and over again I find that I am writing about the Real Super Heroes who have been influential in my life. I have been extremely grateful that in all cases these heroes have brightened my life with lively and vibrant colors and have not dragged me into dark and dreary surroundings.

Although I have used their proper names in my Guessoirs I will refer to them in this Thought by category, since most, if not all of them, prefer to work without letting the left hand know what the right hand has done.


With the ever extending expectancy of life, the time we spend in our parents’ home becomes a smaller percentage of the life span of each new generation. Although, if the cost of a college education continues to rise and the percentage of couples getting married continues to decrease that trend could easily be reversed.

Nevertheless, the information implanted on our personal hard drives, while our parents sustain and tutor us, seems to be the most easily accessed during the entire span of our lives.

Gratefully, in my case this set of heroes implanted positive and everlasting principles which have provided a base which was firm and easy to build upon and which has enriched and filled my life with joy.


Although, I sometimes feel like an endangered species, and encounter fewer of my kind with each passing year, I have had the blessing of having but one spouse whose constant companionship now spans 5 ½ decades.

Trying to count the influence she has had on my temporal and eternal existence would be in the same category of tasks as trying to count the stars in the heavens or the grains of sand on the shores of this marvelous planet. But, to think that she has not been the sculptor of the rough clay and smoothed the edges of the figure, and continues to polish and finish that which I am and that which I am to be, would be unthinkable and a considerable miscalculation.

The world does not contain enough treasures to repay her for who she is and what she has done. Yet, for all her Super Hero efforts all she seems to need is that I love her.


We were fortunate to have six, but no matter the number of bobbles we have on our charm bracelets, it would be well for all of us to count them among the most super of our Super Heroes.
Long ago, she who has been my constant Super Hero taught me, ‘that it is the parent who is learning their eternal role, not the child.’

Therefore, when we are counting our children as Super Heroes we are likewise recognizing our Heavenly Father in that role also. After all, He has entrusted us with his greatest treasure, His Eternal Children.
There will be no greater theater for learning the role of Eternal Parenting than in the home which has been blessed with a quiver full of offspring.

Patience, love, faith, discipline, dedication, service and sincerity would be just the beginning of the lengthy list of attributes which are introduced and amplified because we are blessed with the stewardship of caring for our Heavenly Parents’ children.

We should all be grateful to our Super Hero children who yield themselves as object lessons as we learn the precepts of that one talent which will travel with us into the eternities.


I suppose that in my Guessoirs this category fills more pages than any other group. It would have been easy to label this group as ‘all others who have touched my life’. And, I would have committed a tremendous omission if I did not at least recognize their influential existence.

The sad thing about them being included in my Guessoirs and not by name in this writing is that few, probably only my immediate family will ever know them individually as Super Heroes in my life. But, as I previously mentioned anonymity is their universal preference. Since my progeny know few of them personally they will have an interesting anonymity to them as well.

My first recollection of a significant Super Hero in this category started when I was in the second grade and the list continues to be added upon as I speed rapidly through my 8th decade of mortality.

They have taught, corrected, mentored, comforted and served. This quick mention seems such a small token for the mountainous heap they have added to my pile. But, there is little doubt that what they have been and are to me could fill volumes and will be part of me forever.

I am sure that you will never find my Super Heroes on a shelf in a comic book store or in anyone’s collection of comic books, but, I have them chronicled in the archives of my soul and their influences are indelibly imprinted on my character.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Monday, December 01, 2014: The probability of experiencing a long and happy marriage – increases dramatically as your center of interest and concern – shifts from your own needs to those of your mate!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014: If there is no one giving you grief and opposition – how would you ever be able to develop the attributes of tolerance, patience and forgiveness!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014: If we leave the development of peace to governments – we will never live long enough to see it come to pass – peace can only be developed – as one acts with tolerance, compassion and patience toward others!!

Thursday, December 04, 2014: No matter what others say about you – it will not change in any degree who you are – unless you allow it to do so!!

Friday, December 05, 2014: What I am – is a product of my own thoughts – my reaction to my surroundings – and most importantly how faithful I am to the counsel I receive from the whispering of the Holy Spirit!!

Monday, December 08, 2014: The most important Temple cleaning – is the beautification of my own Temple!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014: Be grateful for those friends – who are willing to risk friendship – to help you see more clearly your imperfections!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014: Your body is a good indicator of your past life – your mind is a good indicator of your future life!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014: In the end – all those things which divide us and take away our kinship – are all very superficial and unnecessary – and will never lead us to peace and happiness!!

Friday, December 12, 2014: There is a multiplicity of our DNA which we all have in common – and a minute part which makes us different!!

Monday, December 15, 2014: It is impossible to satisfy – fanaticism!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014: Moderation – is the key to – satisfaction!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014: People who see the glass half empty – seem to see what the have – also evaporating!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014: People who see the glass half full – drink – and yet – they still view what remains as a plentiful supply!!

Friday, December 19, 2014: Competition can lead to casualties – while cooperation mostly leads to constructiveness!!

Monday, December 22, 2014: If people only learn for the necessities of this life – they may leave it unprepared for the next!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014: It would be wise to add teachings which enlighten the spirit – to the reading, writing and arithmetic of our life’s curriculum!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014: When our hearts are filled with – peace and love – our problems seem much lighter!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014: No matter what anyone says – I believe bacon cooking in the morning smells better than cereal!!

Friday, December 26, 2014: Fruit and toast will never replace – Belgium waffles as a hearty breakfast!!

Monday, December 29, 2014: Hard to decide whether – steak, eggs and hash brown potatoes – or – burritos stuffed with a variety of ingredients – make up the universal meal – which can be eaten at any time of the day!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014: Learning – as a cradle to grave endeavor – helps bring fulfillment to life!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014: After all my days of life – I have yet to find any lasting value – which is gained from foul mouthed utterances and vulgarity!!

Thursday, January 01, 2015: Love – is felt for – and from the giver – not for the gift!!

Friday, January 02, 2015: In a marriage – interdependence is a dream – independence is often a nightmare!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


My mother had a lot of sayings, some of which I didn't really appreciate as I was being taught about life under her tutelage. I remember one of them had to do with not doing things which you might have to pick out with your nose later on. (Kind of along the lines of not driving one’s post holes too deeply.)

Now, that I am, of course, wizened with age, I understand that with her counsel she was trying to help me understand that the choices I was making would have consequences which would affect my life well into the future. She was usually referring to the choices I was making which she felt were not all that good.

As I look back on those long gone days of youth, I realize that many of my retorts to her ditties also had interesting counter statements during later periods of life.

As a teen I might have been heard to say: it’s my life and I can do with it as I wish.

Years later I probably countered with: if I were to have that decision again, I would definitely make it much differently.

As a teen I probably said: what’s good for you might not be good for me.

Sadly, as an adult, although I should have, I’m not sure I ever told her: I would have been much better off if I had listened and applied what you were trying to teach me.

I am sure it has to be part of the Eternal Plan, that each of us usually has to pay the price to understand some laws for ourselves:

That, yes indeed, we have been put on earth to act for ourselves, but we also must come to understand that each decision carries with it a resulting consequence.

That the price for the consequences of some decisions can be quickly paid, but the price for the consequences of some decisions may linger for years and even multiply in their indebtedness.

That sadly, the consequences of some decisions spill sloppily onto the plate of those we love and spread their ugly tentacles over generations which may as yet not be born.

That happily, the consequences of some decisions build, strengthen and magnify ourselves and thereby spread goodness and peace to those who surround us.

That gratefully, the Savior of mankind has paid the price so that all can escape the consequences of poorly made decisions.

Long ago Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, was taught by his parents the principles of the Law of Sacrifice.
But, in a misuse of his agency, he rejected their teachings and offered an offering of his own design which was unacceptable to the Lord.

Typically, as we mortals are prone to do, when the consequences came upon him, having his offering rejected, he became angry, resentful and depressed.

It seems that the children of earthly parents have difficulty in accepting the consequences of their choices even when the consequences come as a result of the erroneous choices they have made.

The Lord’s words to Cain reveal the law of agency and consequences and as is the case in many of life’s lessons, we have a tendency to reject the formula because of its simplicity.

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?
(‘Accepted’ from the Hebrew word Sehayth – to be elated, to exalt one’s character or rank, to raise oneself up)

As He spoke to Cain, was the Lord not saying to all of us, you need to understand that the way to self-fulfillment is through the proper use of agency, making choices which will result in happy consequences and result in growth for ourselves and for all with whom we come into contact.

If thou doest well
. (Well, from the Hebrew word Yaw tab – to be sound and right)

It is all so clear, it is all so simple, mother had it right all along. Learn what is right – do it – and you will find fulfillment.

Because he rejected the right, Cain suffered through mortality, lost his inheritance and his birthright and poured down consequences upon his children for generations to come.

How many generations will be affected because of the poor use we make of our agency?

How often do we have to pay the sad consequences of wrong decisions, before we gain understanding of this Eternal Law?

What is the legacy I am passing on to those generations yet to come to mortality because of my decisions.

Why am I wroth? Because I have rejected the truth!

Why is my countenance fallen? Because I am suffering the consequences of my wrong decisions!

If I do well, I will be accepted!

Sunday, March 8, 2015


While I was teaching at the Institute of Religion in Reno, Nevada, I participated in a local radio show produced by Carl Chamberlain called Sabbath Reflections. I later self-published some of these talks in a three set series called Reflections for a Sabbath Day.

During this year and perhaps into the next I will from time to time be including some of these talks which were given as the spoken word on the radio show as part of my Thoughts for a Sabbath Day!! These talks will be easily identified because they were all based on questions found in the scriptures. Hopefully, those who remember these past spoken and written words will enjoy stepping back into the past with me. (Astute readers of my weekly Thoughts for a Sabbath Day are already aware I started this process on December 28, 2014).

Since I have enjoyed another few decades of life since these were originally written, and, hopefully, my understanding has increased with age beyond that from bygone days, some will become aware that I have updated and modified some of the talks as they originally appeared.

And away we go!!

As I look back on a life that now exceeds 75 years, I think the days of innocence might have been in many ways among the very best. There is no other time when our progress as humans advances more rapidly than when we are in the beginning stages of our mortal existence.

Those were days which were filled with adventure and an abundance of learning and discovery. The grass is green. The sky is blue. Water is wet. Always eat bread with meat. Choo-choo trains come from Santa. The gospel is true. Babies are delivered by storks. Prayers are answered. When Easter falls on your birthday the bounty from parents and the bunny is not magnified.

It would be difficult for any of us to pinpoint the date when it begins to slip away, but little by little with the rising and setting of the sun, the traits of innocence which facilitated and perpetuated the gaining of unchallenged knowledge and the progression of abilities were replaced with mature thinking processes and casual acknowledgement of the miraculous functions of the mortal body.

Trust was replaced by doubt.

Acceptance was replaced by skepticism.

Innocence was replaced by self-proclaimed intelligence.

Self-proclaimed intelligence eventually revealed the extent of ignorance.

Adam’s passage from innocence is portrayed as a rather abrupt occurrence. One day he was content with having had no covering and the next he was exhausting the abundance of nature in order to fulfill his need to be covered.

Heavenly Father’s reaction was interesting. He didn’t ask, ‘How did you discover your nakedness?’, but he inquired ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked?’

As mature skepticism has been replaced by brief flashes of wisdom in my life, I have discovered that it is extremely important to always know, ‘who’ it is that is telling me things and what is ‘their’ set of prejudices, especially when I am being given new information which might tear away at the truths learned in my days of innocence.

My older siblings’ motives may not have been pure as they helped me to understand that choo-choo trains really came from the toy store.

After all, they may have been more than a little jealous of my extra joy on Christmas morning, which was now gone from them forever, because their innocence had been replaced with knowledge.

It is always profitable to remember that the being who revealed to Adam his nakedness, was the same being who falsely proclaimed himself the god of this world; the same being who through his misuse of agency would be forever limited in his acquisition of truth; the same being who put it into the heart of Cain that the true order of life was to murder or destroy others in order to get gain.

It may just be true that all perpetrated facts may not spring from pure wells.

The evaluation of the Los Angeles Dodgers as a baseball team given by a devout San Francisco Giants fan just possibly may be prejudiced.

The evaluation of the merits of protein in beef made by a rancher just possibly may be biased.

The value of prayer in a person’s life as viewed by an agnostic just possibly may be skewed.

There is no doubt that knowing who information is coming from may be a real key to knowing the relative value of the information.

Should I be as accepting of facts about the results of smoking if they come from the tobacco industry as I am when they come for the Surgeon General?

Should I be as accepting of thoughts on the value or dangers of pornography, if they come from Smut Publications, as I am when they come from scientific surveys on the causes of sexual abuse?

Should I be as accepting of views about the existence of modern day revelation, if it comes from scholasticism, as I am when it comes from the testimony of a living prophet of Heavenly Father?

Life has taught me that the time of innocence was a tremendously productive period both physically, mentally and emotionally.

The processes which evolve as one matures have taught me that some things learned and accepted innocently need to be reevaluated.

Wisdom, when it blesses me if only for brief periods, tells me that voices of men may proclaim prejudices and biases, but not always truth.

Therefore, although I now know that Santa is a symbol of joyful giving and that babies are probably too heavy for storks. I have come to know with even greater understanding and force that the grass is green, the sky is blue, water is wet and the Gospel of Jesus the Christ is true.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


During my formative years, my mind, eyes and ears were too busy grasping new ideas, seeing new wonders and hearing new sounds to be bothered with such a fault in the human family.

During the semi brain dead years of adolescence and teenage hood I was too wrapped up with my peers to take time to think that the way things were probably was not the way they should be.

As far as I can remember, my first conscious awareness of this fault in the human family was in a small chapel in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. (I always love saying that). Before the meeting I had been really excited because we had some visitors from the land northward and I had had a chance to speak and hear of things I had left behind when I said goodbye to my family some six months earlier.

Then it happened. Ironically it was during the passing of the Sacrament, when the congregation was promising to remember the Lord and keep his commandments. I heard the visiting sister whisper to her husband, “You would think the boys passing the Sacrament would at least wear white shirts.”

The heaviness which descended upon my heart in that moment, as I thought of the wonderful mothers who had stayed up late to wash clothing so their sons could have a clean shirt to wear, was sadly to become an all too familiar feeling as I continued to add years to my mortal voyage.

During my years of teaching religion in the Church Education System I felt the heaviness as cliques, built up by one’s year in school, labels on clothing and other silly reasons among the students, caused division and friction.

During my years of ecclesiastical service my heart often sank from the weight of listening to people with broken hearts reveal their sadness of being shunned for what seemed like an endless litany of thoughtlessness from those congregants who were greeted as brothers and sisters each Sunday morning.

When I was doing a demographic study with the aid of the University of California at Fullerton in preparation for the building of an Institute in Mission Viejo, California, I was dramatically made aware of the shifting of ethnicity in communities in Southern California due to what the experts at the University referred to as White Flight. Once again my heart sank with heaviness.

Most recently, as Kathleen and I have, first through assignment and then through concern and, hopefully, sometimes because of charity or the pure love of Christ, become acquainted with a man who through a series of unfortunate events, both because of personal choices and societal calamities has been cast into the ranks of homelessness.

It has been extremely interesting to me, that the cashiers at the little store in the service station treat him with kindness. That the people in the fast food industry help him when they can. That the Evangelical Church feeds him. That the Catholic Church gives him a place to sleep. But, when he accompanies Kathleen and I to church, people avert their eyes and wrinkle their noses at the tobacco smell which lingers with him. Gratefully, there are a few who greet him and make him feel somewhat welcome.

In the Book of Mormon, in Alma chapters 31-36, Alma laboriously records in great detail about the events which took place when he went among a people who were called Zoramites. This group had developed a form of worship where only the wealthy were allowed to worship upon a high stand called The Rameumptom. They also taught that it was only upon this stand that one could pray to God and that they were to pray using the same words once a week upon the stand.

The stories which are contained in the Book of Mormon were carefully edited by the Lord. Therefore, it seems we should take seriously the lessons being taught when He dedicated six chapters to the problem of bigotry, prejudices, character assassination and cruelty to our fellow sojourners.

As I have pondered upon this fault in the human family I have come to realize that the excuses we make and the reasons for shunning people seem inexhaustible. We shun others because of age, clothing, pigmentation, wealth, education, political parties, sports teams and nationality to name just a few or for no reason at all. And yet, we cling to our righteousness as card carrying Christians, when the very center of the good news the gospel teaches is about how we should treat and care for one another.

The Savior reserved His strongest condemnations for people who were hypocritical, political and religious leaders who sought to be served rather than to serve and those who trod upon those who had already been beaten down.

Did He not admonish?

That we love one another as He has loved us?

That we be merciful to and mourn with our brothers and sisters?

That our love should even be extended not only to our neighbors but also to our enemies?

That we not speak ill of one another but seek to edify and build?

That our doings to our brothers and sisters should be guided by how we would want to be treated?

The scriptures are abundantly clear that the works for which the children of Heavenly Father will either be condemned or rewarded center mainly upon how we treat one another.

The apostle John said it clearly and succinctly; If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20)