Saturday, December 31, 2016



One of the scriptures I reread and review often in my mind is the first part of the 10th verse of the 46th Psalm. Be still and know that I am God.

As I have pondered on the relationship between quiet contemplation and coming to know God it seems obvious that the hustle, bustle and rowdiness which dominate our lives and most celebrations have a definite tendency to push our minds toward thinking about or knowing everything but God.

There are few who, while sitting in a jam-packed screeching stadium on a Sunday afternoon, ever have contemplative thoughts about Deity pass through their minds. Perhaps sometimes a blasphemic phrase might be uttered, but I don’t think that is what the Psalmist had in mind. It seems that while dancers are being deafened by decibels unknown to man, they will seldom take pause to ponder upon the reality of Eternal Beings. Sadly, this antithetical celebrating seems most evident as we approach and then commemorate the birth of the Son of God.

I wonder as we crowd into the confusion surrounding Black Friday Weekend how often will we pause to think of Joseph and Mary trying to find room in an inn of crowded Bethlehem? Will we be so occupied in getting that last stuffed talking thing before they are all taken that we are kept from pondering upon them finding refuge in a grotto stable? How often do we pause and try to grasp the irony which surrounds us, as we forget to keep His Day Holy, elbowing our way around the mall on the third day of that weekend rather than occupying a pew in a nearby chapel, in order to buy that last electronic devise which will be another instrument which will occupy our minds and distract us from contemplating Divinity?

I wonder as we scamper, strain and struggle to staple strings of lights to the highest peaks or while trimming the tree or arranging the Christmas village are we reminded of that wondrous star which pointed the way to the Prince of Peace? Do worries about burned out bulbs or broken ornaments or missing pieces so distract us that we are unable to concentrate on the testimony born by that heavenly body on that silent, holy night? Do I reflect upon how I have rejected His guidance in the past and deliberate on diligent dedication to that task in the future?

I wonder as we rush about trying to make the house spotless to assure a comfortable and pleasant stay for the fast approaching arrival of family and friends if we consider the conditions of that most Holy Family as Mary labored to bring Immanuel into mortality? As we see one more cabinet to dust or one more closet to straighten do we allow our minds to momentarily meditate on the mission of that newborn Babe?

I wonder as we fill our days with shopping, wrapping, more shopping, finding room to hide and store purchases, more shopping, more wrapping and tending to every stressful detail are we ever suspended in awe as were those angelically entertained humble shepherds in that quiet field so long ago? As I look at my contrasting abundance and multiple instruments of entertainment do I ever deliberate the truth that these blessings exist because He exists? Do I suspend my scurrying long enough to evaluate the extremeness of my blessings? Am I so blinded by the blissfulness which often attends the buying of the glittering and gleaming that I am distracted from pausing to give grateful tribute to Him from who all light flows?

I wonder as we try to enter the living room overflowing with gifts on Christmas morn do our minds contemplate the coming of the Wise Men to that humble family bearing their gifts fit for the King of Kings?
As we rip the paper from package after package do we pause even momentarily to remember Him who brought the greatest of gifts to all mankind? Do I, even for a few seconds appraise and marvel the opening of salvation brought by my Savior?

I wonder as we turn our kitchens into arenas of culinary excellence do we consider the meager repast Mary and Joseph partook of as the Child lay in a manger and the cattle lowed? As we partake of the abundant feast, piling our plate once and again, do we ponder on the poverty which surrounded the Promised Redeemer as He came into the world, to save the world? Does my appreciation for who He is and what He did increase in harmony with the swelling of my feast fed frame?

It seems evident that those same deafening distractions which hamper our contemplation of Jesus the Christ during the celebrating of His birth are also found throughout the year. If we do not conscientiously seek those silent times and places in our lives, we can easily forget Him and how much we should love and appreciate His life, mission and saving sacrifice.

I pray that during this harried season and throughout the year we will seek moments when we will be silent and search out the Savior; be calm and contemplate upon the grandeur of the Lord; Be still and know that He is God!

Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Isaiah 57:19, James 3:18, Isaiah 14:7, Isaiah 32:18, 1 Peter 3:4



Friday, December 30, 2016



Some responses are ‘way too easy to predict:

No matter how good someone looks – a flaw will be found
Whatever anyone does no matter how sincere the intention – someone will find some fault

No matter how perfect the temperature is – there will be those who say it is either too hot or too cold

No matter how beautiful the melody – someone will say that Christmas music started too early or they are already tired of it and it isn’t even December.

It is this last predictable phenomenon which I want to write about today. I admit that I am writing this before having destroyed my resolution to be temperate at the Thanksgiving table, but I have already heard or read several comments about someone being in such and such store and they were ALREADY playing Christmas music, giving this pronouncement the same inflection they would if aliens had invaded the planet and were demanding we give them the earth’s entire parsnip (or something we might actually miss if it were taken away) production or we would all be destroyed.

I find it interesting when we consider all the noises which fill our lives during the vast majority of the days of any given year, such as: the woofers from the pickup sitting next to us at a red light – the bickering blaring from political partisans – raucous roars from fanatics – and countless other squealings which uninvited unceasingly bombard our personal space.

Many who somehow find themselves in a somewhat silenced minority, welcome the peaceful and pleasant sounds which deliver the traditional carols and hymns to our environment and aren’t really very excited about the invasion of modern attempts to add to the music of the season in a way which often gives no respite from the hearing-destroying decibels which surround us throughout the rest of the year.

I long ago cast my lot with those who find the traditional carols and hymns of Christmas to be a welcome relief and therefore do their best to extend the soothing season as long as possible.

I gratefully welcome these limited days when to some degree:

The rattling of swords and rumblings of tanks – are softened by the soundings of joy by saints and angels, removing curses, making blessings flow

Music being rapped, screamed and bellowed – is being replaced by choirs of angels singing in exaltation, stimulating thoughts of adoration

Sarcastic, debunking, yelling talk show hosts – are momentarily quieted by joyous strains prolonged, reminding all to bend their knees with the shepherds of long ago

Spinning words of political proponents – are stilled by silent nights bringing love’s pure light

Crude slogans spewed by sports participants and supporters – silenced by the lowing of cattle joined by stars looking down from Heaven quietly proclaiming He is forever near and forever loves us

Constant clamor of congested highways – is calmed by glorious songs of old played on harps of gold, floating Heavenly music

Blaring televisions – are hushed as morning light praises the King and brings peace to men on earth

Bustlings of big box stores – are made mute by angelic hosts proclaiming a chance for second birth

Cramed calendars and agendas – are replaced by sharing the delight of wise men of old, spreading holy peace in all the earth

Screeching sirens – are made soundless by the beginning of the joyful song, never to cease, all glory to God on high

Sky invading crafts’ sonic sounds – are softened by angels singing strains sublime of redeeming love far away on Judea’s plains

Therefore, let the first Noel continue both day and night so that all may hear bells peal loud and clear, a chime sublime of peace on earth good will to men.



Thursday, December 29, 2016



What was it about that last package under the tree that always seemed to dim the youthful glow of Christmas? The wrapping was every bit as bright as any of those which had eagerly been opened to reveal mysterious hidden treasures. This last gift was always approached with hesitation and soberness as if it somehow contained some mystical vapors, which if released would subdue the joys and warmth that had filled the house since the week before Thanksgiving.

Memory has been clouded by years, but somewhere back there in the days which separate childhood from adulthood something transpired to bridge the annual gulf between this year’s last package and next year’s first wrapping; a potion which magically evaporated those terrible vapors which clouded joy and warmth and allowed me the blessing of an almost continual basking throughout the year.

Like I say, I can't remember when IT first came, but IT has forever since spanned the abyss between the transitory, busy, glittering, boisterous, yearning, youthful concept of Christmas and with a magical special flicker in a moment changed my soul. From that moment until now I have been allowed to more or less remain in a state where I can celebrate the passing of one warm moment of continual joy into the next which follows quickly, as if there was no gap in the feeling.

Although I can't clearly remember the when, the where or the what of the crossing of this wondrous bridge which brought me to this place where joy burns warmly in the ever presence of my mind, I can easily identify it as the brightest and greatest gift I have ever unwrapped.

The true joy of yearlong Christmas warmth became a prized possession that moment when I first opened the gift of all gifts and felt the warming love of my Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ and in that magical moment I was moved to a determination to set my feet upon the path which would enable me in some small way to return that love.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016



The Riley’s wish to send their wishes that the blessings of our Heavenly Father will come abundantly to each of you during this wonderful season and throughout the new year.

During this very special Holy Season, we wish to bear witness to this truth: it is Christmas which brings the Spirit of Christ to mankind; likewise it is Christ who can magnify the spirit of Christmas in our lives not only during this special time of year but all the year through.

Without Christ, the exchanging of gifts turns our thoughts from charitable love to concerns of indebtedness.

Without Christ, the bright lights and colorful decorations turn from being guiding beacons and uplifting revivers to glaring and gaudy glitter.

Without Christ, gatherings of family and friends turn from memory building reunions to better forgotten ruinous riotous rallies.

Without Christ, Christmas turns from a day of celestial contemplation to a day of trivial telestial thoughts.

Just as Christ turns our every participation during this special season into something positive, we believe it can be so the whole year through if we allow His love to penetrate our hearts each day as it does during this Holy Season.

Therefore, we take this moment to wish you all a joyous and wondrous Christmas; but more than this we wish for you the eternal joy which can be yours through having come unto the Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016



While the warmth of the hearth is a haven to some, others gleefully frolic in the frozen white.

Christmas trees are found in sufficient variety to satisfy everyone’s vision of ‘just right’.

Those with gourmet palates and those with simpler taste are filled with feast and sufficient faire.

Joy in the fulfilled eyes quickens the heart of the thoughtful provider.

An oak’s lost seeds bring life to the creatures housed in its limbs.

Grandfather shares the memories of Christmas past.

Dreams of Christmas day, soon to come, fill the thoughts of grandchildren.

All desire to be home, but for many distance and added generations makes it impossible.

Those who are alone are often comforted and warmed by a source seldom understood.

Rich colors abound in never ending combinations and brighten the lives of artisans and artists.

Gaily wrapped packages so lovingly done, bring gladness and squeals as they are hastily rent.

Concert halls are filled with souls being cheered by familiar and newly discovered strains.

Chapels are crowed with beaming parents as the musical sounds of children fill their hearts.

How wondrous and great are the scenes of this special season. There are enough and more to fill the needs and desire of every life.

Hopefully we will never forget – He who has provided this variety, goodness and abundance of life:

For … He was born to bring purpose to life
He lived to be an exemplar of the way
He died that all might live

We truly love and appreciate you our Lord, our Savior, and our King.


Monday, December 26, 2016



I heard the bells on Christmas day that old familiar carol play, but in despair I bowed my head: There is no peace on earth. Hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then to my knees I went in prayer and plead with the Lord as I knelt there. Before scarcely a word I’d said a voice rang within my head. O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, oh come ye to Bethlehem.

Little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above the deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting light. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For lo: the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old, when with the ever circling years shall come the time foretold, when the new heaven and earth shall know the Prince of Peace their King.

The whole world sends back the song which now the herald angels sing. Glory, glory, to the new born King: Then, all is calm all is bright on this silent, holy night.

There, round yon Virgin Mother and Child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace.

Shepherds will wake at your sight, glories will stream from heaven afar, for Christ the Savior is born.

Son of God, love’s pure light beams from thy Holy face, the heaven born Prince of Peace, Son of Righteousness, light and life to all He brings.

Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King.

How silently the wondrous gift is given.

But in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.

With my prayer now done, Jesus the Christ my soul had won. In my mind the voice did cease to ring.

And then I heard the bells once more on Christmas sing, but now they pealed more loud and deep.

God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.

A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, peace on earth, good will to men.


Sunday, December 25, 2016



As we pause to add our prayers and well wishes to each of you during this very special Holiday Season, It is our desire to add our witness to these often unspoken truths.

There is no Christmas without the Son of God who was born of Mary.

It is Christ who magnifies the season.

We will be uplifted by the season only to the degree Christ is part of our celebration.

Without Christ, Christmas turns from a day of celestial contemplation into a day of telestial triviality.

Without Christ, gift giving can be changed from charitable exchanges of love to concerns of commercialization and indebtedness.

Without Christ, bright decorations turn from being beacons of light into gaudy glitter.

Without Christ, gatherings turn from reverent remembrances to riotous reunions.

Without Christ, eternal hope turns quickly into endless days of dismal darkness.

Without Christ, sustaining faith turns a journey into an unsupported abyss.

Without Christ, Christmas and all other days turn from Celestial contemplation's to thoughts about Telestial trivialities.

With Christ and his ever bright beacon; Faith, Hope and Charity become the foundation upon which families can become eternal and we are able to continually expand those we claim as brothers and sisters.

Therefore, for a brief moment as we celebrate the Day of Days, we wish you all a joyous and wondrous Christmas, but more that this we wish you the eternal joy which can be yours through having come under the Spirit which is Christ’s alone to give.

Count us among those who desire to be one with all.


Saturday, December 24, 2016


Over the years I have written several Thoughts about Christmas which I have chosen to share with you during the Twelve Days of Christmas. I hope they will bring you and yours a small drop of joy during this very special time of year.

Before we commence, it is important that we all come to a common understanding that the words The Twelve Days of Christmas indeed are the title of the carol we are all familiar with. The words the twelve days of Christmas also refer to an actual 12 day period which begins on the 25th of December and ends on the 6th of January or the traditional day of Epiphany when the manifestation of Christ’s glory is
celebrated by many Christians.


I suspect very few of us ever catch there being any connection between the birth of the Christ Child and the words we hear when people are singing about Turtle Doves, Swans-a-Swimming or Maids-a-Milking. None the less, if we join in, we all know to slow down when singing the words of Golden Rings and shift into a slightly lower register when we come to the words about a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

No one knows for sure if the traditions about this song are true or not, but historians place the origin of the song in the 1700’s in England.

One of the theories is that the song was a game used by British children, which could also have been the origin of such games as Spin-the-Bottle or Truth-or-Dare. In the old game of Memory-and Forfeit, player # 1 would sing a verse. Then player # 2 would have to remember and sing the verse by player #1 and add an additional verse. Then player #3 would have to remember the verses sung by players # 1 and # 2 and add an additional verse. This would then continue until player # 7 or whatever was unable to remember or add a verse. Upon the failure of whatever # player whose turn it was that person would have to pay a forfeit.

I know, you are thinking, what this has to do with Spin-the-Bottle let alone Christmas. Well the forfeit was to be given in the form of a kiss to the other children or a piece of candy, so that seems to be the connection to Truth-or-Dare.

The most often used idea of how The Twelve Days of Christmas ties in with the birth of the Christ Child comes from the abandonment of Catholicism in England during 16th through the 19th centuries. It has been hypothesized that during this period The Twelve Days of Christmas became a catechism song for Catholic children to remember the tenets of their faith, since they could not openly practice their religion.

Since there doesn't seem anything uniquely Catholic about the tenets assigned to each verse, we can easily see, that even if the preceding story is correct, why all Christian faiths would have no problem adapting the song to their Christmas rituals.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree - Jesus Christ

Two Turtle Doves - The Old and New Testaments

Three French Hens - The three virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity

Four Calling/Collie Birds - Four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Five Golden Rings - First five books of the Old Testament

Six Geese-a-Laying - Six days of creation before God's rest on the seventh day

Seven Swans-a-Swimming - Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

Eight Maids-a-Milking - Eight Beatitudes

Nine Ladies Dancing - Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ten Lords-a-Leaping - Ten Commandments

Eleven Pipers Piping - Eleven faithful disciples

Twelve Drummers Drumming - Twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed

I hope our journey together over the next few days will let you feel how important you are to Kathleen and me.


Friday, December 23, 2016


When placed in the role of teacher – we should understand – learning ceases – when students ears grow heavy – from the weight of the words – which they have had to bear!!


Thursday, December 22, 2016


We will increase – our chances of increasing our understanding – when we seek and feast upon the words of mentors – whose wisdom exceeds our own!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016


When you are in a state of confusion – asking someone who is at your same level of understanding – will seldom – bring added enlightenment!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016


There is a very sound reason – why youth should be careful – about choosing their peers to be their mentors!!


Monday, December 19, 2016


Success in achieving a goal – is more often the result – of following a well-founded recipe – rather than trying a completely new way!!


Sunday, December 18, 2016


Before continuing with the last three continuos referred to in last week’s Thought, I would encourage you to review your responses to the quizzes from that previous Thought. It might likewise be a good thing, since the 1st of the New Year is raging upon us, to see if some of your responses could possibly be worthy of being placed on your list of resolutions which I am sure you are starting to assemble.

RESPECT ----------------------------------------------------------------DISDAIN

REVERENCE --------------------------------------------------------- PROFANE

CIVILITY -------------------------------------------------------------- AUDACITY

CHILVALRY ---------------------------------------------------------- EQUALITY


KINDNESS --------------------------------------------------- INDIFFERENCE

CHILVALRY --------------------------------------------------------- EQUALITY

I know, I know, this seems like a continuum where both ends could be construed as being positive, but as I have witnessed the demands being made for equality in all phases of our lives, I have witnessed an equal shift taking place in the loss of chivalry during the campaigning for those cultural movements.

There is little doubt that when chivalry had its 15 minutes of fame, bigotry, castes and ranks divided communities and nations internally and from one another.

There is just as small amount of doubt, that as individuals and nations have demanded equality among races, birthrights and social positions, the means to achieving those ends have in most cases ignored the notion of chivalry.

Perhaps taking a little quiz on this continuum will help clarify what I am trying to say.

Where would opening the car door for your female boss fall on this continuum?

Where would your actions toward people of fame, fortune or rank versus those less fortunate fall on this continuum?

Where would feeding the hungry regardless of their nation of residency or birth fall on this continuum?

Where would learning of languages, rather than demanding others learn yours, so that you might be able to better communicate with more of the inhabitants of the planet fall on this continuum?

Where would burning, rioting and causing social unrest in the efforts of furthering a righteous cause fall on this continuum?

Where would obnoxious behavior in order to make or correct a political point fall on this continuum?


I often observed my father leave the room during the indelicate moments when a babe was crying and needed the sustaining fluid which only its mother could provide. He likewise would never be heard discussing any personal or private matter in public settings.

I am sure my grandchildren, even though out of respect they complied, thought me to be extremely old fashioned, when I explained to them that we did not use commonly accepted four letter words as emphasis to our comments in our home.

I think it was somewhere around 1960 and I was enrolled in a beginning speech class at what was then called Santa Ana Junior College. There was one young lady who used some four letter words during her speech who was severely criticized for using such language which would be better kept confined to the docks or construction zones. I am sure my professor would die of humiliation if he were to hear the expletives used in today’s classrooms to emphasize points in almost all speeches.

All of these scenarios are laughed at in today’s liberalized society. Maybe the following quiz will indicate how far we have moved along this continuum.

Where would the gyrations and movements of today’s dances fall on this continuum?

Where would the acceptance of four letter words in casual conversation fall on this continuum?

Where would the inability to use words in their previously acceptable context fall on this continuum?

Where would the over exposure of skin and the casualness with which personal and private matters fall on this continuum?

Where would the lyrics of today’s music fall on this continuum?

Where would the liberalization of movie ratings fall on this continuum?

KINDNESS ------------------------------ INDIFFERENCE

My mother told me many times as I was growing up, ‘if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I quickly understood the saying nice things part of her message, but in retrospect I am pretty sure the indifference, whether inferred or meant in the last part of her scolding has taken on a very different meaning as I have moved through the decades after first hearing these words.

The reason I chose indifference for the opposite end of this continuum rather than unkindness, is since bullying has become an object of crusading mothers on every school ground in the United States and well represented nightly in The News, I felt the underrepresented characteristic of indifference needed some publicity.

Since there are some who take my charter membership in the Non Political Party Party as a stand of indifference, I need to assure all who might have had such a thought that just the opposite is true. I find that my membership in the N3P (Thank you Garnett Oyler Jorgensen for the ‘logo’ for our Non Political Party Party) allows me to express my views on politics and governments and still maintain an attitude of kindness and at the same time avoid becoming indifferent.

Your suffering is about over. Just one more quick quiz before you can go out to recess or go about making your Sabbath Day a Delight. (For Garnett Oyler Jorgensen that might be S2D)

Where would refraining from giving someone a compliment because you don't think you know them well enough fall on this continuum?

Where would withholding your pittance of charity because you are afraid of stepping on someone’s independence fall on this continuum?

Where would writing your grandmother a letter rather than texting or emailing fall on this continuum?

Where would parking in a handicap zone you are not qualified to use, since you only have a couple of items to pick up, fall on this continuum?

Where would refraining from loudly speaking on your cell phone in public places fall on this continuum?

Where would picking up the newspapers when your neighbor forgot to have delivery suspended, and safeguarding them until their return fall on this continuum?

I know there will be a great tendency for me to be judged as an old fuddy duddy because of what I have written these last two weeks. I want to hasten to assure one and all that I do not believe everything that is old to be on the good end of a continuum and everything that is new to be on the bad end of that same continuum.

In truth, my greatest desire is that there would be an absolute revolution, which would catapult our world onto a level of respect, reverence, civility, equality, elegance and kindness which has never even been tried, let alone achieved.

In truth, I also believe that the prophesied Second Coming of our Lord and Savior is not being held up awaiting a magical threshold of evil to be reached, but is only being delayed because we have yet to come to understand and act according to the level of the characteristics of respect, reverence, civility, equality, elegance and kindness required for Him to have a people to dwell among.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


It is foolish to think – that my kind actions or words – won’t help another to feel happy!!


Friday, December 16, 2016


It is foolish to think – that if another is hurt by my unkind actions or words – it is their own fault for being so weak!!


Thursday, December 15, 2016


It is foolish to think – that our unkind words and actions – will never cause another to feel hurt!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016


The evidence – of the strength of our testimonies – is more powerfully expressed by our actions – than by our words!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Even though the ‘firsts’ we stumble through during our lives – can make us feel weak and cause our hearts to beat fast – this should never be used as a reason – to cause us to hesitate to try again!!


Monday, December 12, 2016


One of the great surprises – which may come to us on judgement day – may be the realization – that all the tests and trials of our probationary period – were weighted in our favor!!


Sunday, December 11, 2016


I hope I didn't overuse the technique of continuums to teach a principle during the 50 years I was teaching for the Church Education System. However, during the latter part of my career it seemed like I was relying on this technique more frequently.

I remember a time, during these last years of teaching, when I had prepared a wonderful continuum to emphasize a point in a lesson and my mind wandered and I started thinking about Heavenly Father and whether He ever used continuums. I wondered if He had them for the relative goodness or badness of His children. I wondered if He did them for individuals or just humanity in general. I wondered if he had a book where he kept the continuums for the various eras.

As you probably already know, I didn't have any of those wonderings satisfied, but it was a nice moment of pondering. Hopefully, I have had other moments of pondering which have been much more productive.

There are a few continuums which have been running through my mind lately. Sadly, all of them in my opinion are not trending toward goodness.



CIVILITY ------------------------------------------------AUDACITY

CHIVALRY ----------------------------------------------EQUALITY

ELEGANCE ------------------------------------------VULGARITY

KINDNESS --------------------------------------INDIFFERENCE

I don't intend to do a history lesson on all of these continuum's, but this one cries out for a foundation on which a point will be made.

RESPECT ------------------------------------------------- DISDAIN

There was a time when the principle of agency was removed from most people’s choice of paying respect to another. Kings, Emperors, Czars, Sheiks, Knights, Samurai, Officers and all others above oneself were mandatorily paid respect by anyone considered inferior. This respect was forcibly demanded in both verbiage and body language.

I would never be one to advocate returning to the day when most of the world’s populace was kowtowing to a few of the gentry, but I think in our modern society we have swung the lever way too far to the disdain side of the continuum.

Just a little quiz about respect in the beginning of the 21st century!

Where would children calling their parents by their first names fall on this continuum?

Where would students slumping and sleeping in their most casual of attire in a classroom fall on this continuum?

Where would not using titles such as Mister or Missus or Brother or Sister fall on this continuum?

Where would your belief that all mankind are the children of a Universal Heavenly Father fall on this continuum?

Where would standing when a woman enters a room fall on this continuum?

Where would removing one’s hat during a national anthem fall on this continuum?

REVERENCE -------------------------------------------------PROFANE

Just outside of Bogota, Colombia, there is a salt mine where they have excavated inside of the mine a Cathedral in the salt near the town of Zipaquira. The Cathedral is cavernous and beautiful. On one of our P-days while Kathleen and I were serving as President of the Bogota North Mission, we accompanied a zone of our missionaries on a field trip to this very famous tourist attraction.

While we were in the sanctuary of the Salt Cathedral, several of the missionaries started acting more like teenagers on a field trip than servants of the Lord on a P-day excursion.

Neither Kathleen nor I said anything at the time, but during the next series of zone conferences there was a continuum on the board with the extremes represented by the two words Reverence and Profane.

This brings us to the point where we should be ready for our second little quiz. This one will be on the subject of Reverence in the beginning of the 21st century.

Where would texting friends during Sacrament Meeting fall on this continuum?

Where would wearing beach appropriate attire to church fall on this continuum?

Where would arriving after the Sacrament has been passed fall on this continuum?

Where would the noisiest place to be on Sunday is in the chapel just after Sacrament Meeting ends fall on this continuum?

Where would having a rock band as an attraction for Sabbath worship fall on this continuum?

Where would thinking about redecorating the living room during prayers fall on this continuum?

CIVILITY ---------------------------------------------------- AUDACITY

Not all that long ago in our civilized history, if a person had the audacity to affront another’s character, settlement would be made in the form of a duel with swords or pistols. As I witness the rapid fire affronting of character which takes place today, it immediately brings into my twisted mind, a question as to whether we could manufacture steel or lead fast enough to satisfy the duels which would be necessary to settle all of the audacious affronts happening every minute of every day.

The age where license seems to be assume in society when a person has the right to vocally utter any demeaning characterization of someone else’s personality or quirks, seems to lower a fraction every time a new calendar is magnetized to the refrigerator.

The miracles of the technical age have made it possible for us to up the frequency of our character assassinations, without the fear of cold steel or hot lead, as we hide behind cell phone and computer screens.

I am sure you have been breathlessly awaiting another pop quiz. This one will be on the subject of Civility in the 21st Century.

Where would the spreading of unsubstantiated gossip about a neighbor fall on this continuum?

Where would calling attention to an error misspoken by a family member fall on this continuum?

Where would the damning dialogue in the political arena fall on this continuum?

Where would putting a person in the service industry in their place fall on this continuum?

Where would overlooking an under charge, but never ignoring an overcharge on a bill fall on this continuum?

Where would excusing your own casualness about traffic laws while cursing the unlawful behavior of your neighbor’s casualness about such things fall on this continuum?

Since we are only half way through the list of continuum's with which I started this Thought, to no one’s surprise at all, I will be finishing this Thought in the week to come.

(To be continued)

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Testimonies – much like buildings of clay – when left unattended – will swiftly crumble and fall!!


Friday, December 9, 2016


It brings great joy to our soul – when others accept the gospel of Jesus the Christ – because we opened our mouths!!


Thursday, December 8, 2016


Even though others may not be ready to accept the gospel of Jesus the Christ – because we opened our mouths – one thing we can be absolutely sure of – they will never have the choice to accept the gospel – if we keep our mouths shut!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016


As we progress – especially as it comes to living the principles of the gospel – we often have a tendency to make – that which is simple – very complicated!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016


It will be interesting – when the scales fall from our eyes – and we once again see clearly – if part of the vision which unfolds – is that we will finally know – all the blessings we did not receive – because of the choices we made or failed to make!!


Monday, December 5, 2016


In the end – it will be a very small and unique group – of perfect individuals with perfect understanding – who will judge our value!!


Sunday, December 4, 2016


I am pretty sure all of us have them, so I won't cowardly shrink from disclosing one of mine. I want to put your minds at ease, since I am only plagued with my peculiar personal pet peeve periodically, it doesn't cause a lot of stress in my comings and goings.

There have been times when I have been afflicted with the utterances which excite my pet peeve in Sacrament Meetings, but more often it happens during Sunday School or Priesthood lessons. I am certain that as I reveal what it is I am bothered with, the most probable response from those who are reading this Thought will be, ‘WHAT????’

Hopefully, now that you have been properly prepared I will disclose my pet peeve. It always comes out in words similar to the following. ‘We need to hold up our light, so that others can be influenced by our good words and works.’


I am so glad you asked.

I will begin by reminding us all of some of the words contained in a revelation received by Joseph Smith on the 27th and 28th of December, 1832 in Kirkland, Ohio.

This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 4 -13)

There is no doubt in my mind that even the most casual perusal of these verses will leave all of us with the understanding that all light exists because of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ His Son. Therefore, whatever small beam might shine from my countenance exists because of whatever degree the Light of Christ has been given me is being manifest.

Lest we might erroneously think that mortalized heavenly spirits were somehow made exceptions of owing their lighted existence to the Savior, Joseph received the following words on the 6th of May, 1833.

I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world… (Doctrine and Covenants 93:2)

Jesus the Christ, while he was dwelling for a short time among the descendants of Lehi on the American continent, pronounced what I believe to be the clearest explanation of the light which we are admonished to hold up.

Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed. (Book of Mormon - 3 Nephi 18:24)

I am pretty sure that because of His overwhelming mercifulness the Savoir will smile and give a knowing nod at our selfness, as we proclaim to one another, that we have some form of independent light which we are capable of holding up. I am surer that He will graciously acknowledge our humbleness as we in this act of holding up light, recognize from whom all light and existence flows and continues.

Before I am deluged with scriptural references about holding up ‘our’ light, be assured that I am well aware of their existence, but I am also aware of continuous revelation of truth which flows from the Fountain of Light and, therefore, I recognize my dependent existence on He from whom all light flows. Without His light Bill would indeed be a very dull boy!

And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness. (Book of Mormon - Alma 38:9)

Just so you are aware of the pitiful person who writes these Thoughts for a Sabbath Day, just as I was finishing venting myself regarding this peculiar personal pet peeve another one came to mind which will probably be the topic for next week’s Thought.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


It is not a wise thing – nor is it a proper use of agency – to let the opinions and words of others – determine one’s self-worth!!!


Friday, December 2, 2016


Unchecked wanting – may be the biggest barrier to finding happiness!!


Thursday, December 1, 2016


It is the sincere seeking for answers to our questions – that brings the greatest harvest of learning!!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


There must be something important about the principle of love – since the last commandment the Lord gave to his disciples – was to love one another!!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016


There must be something important about the principle of love – since all the laws and the words of the prophets – will be obeyed – when we love God and our neighbor!!


Monday, November 28, 2016


Although cradle to grave educational goals – have been espoused and are worthy – even if we accomplish that goal – we should understand – we will still fall short of our eternal potential!!


Sunday, November 27, 2016


As some of my wonderful friends from Reno might be aware, I periodically do a rewrite of one of the radio talks I gave when we lived in Reno, Nevada.

I was searching out one of those talks to do a rewrite for this week’s Thought for a Sabbath Day. When I started reading this radio talk I was struck with the realization that it had been more than 25 years since I first wrote and read these thoughts for the radio show Reflections for a Sabbath Day produced by Carl Chamberlain.

Before I find myself launching into reminiscing about what has taken place during those 25 years, which have disappeared in the twinkling of an eye, let me share my rewrite of that long ago radio talk.

As Kathleen and I went through the ever building excitement of preparing to serve our mission in Colombia as President of the Bogota Colombia mission, we were also trying to put our bodies into some kind of physical shape.

As part of our reconstruction project we could be found most mornings doing our 3.3 mile walk along the beautiful paths in the Coughlin Ranch housing development on the western slopes of Reno. These walks provided us with ample time to share the various experiences we were having during this exciting time of our lives. Frequently the theme of our conversations centered on the reactions we were receiving as we shared with family, friends and neighbors the news about our call to serve in the country of Colombia.

All too frequently, there was a negative tone to those reactions. A sampling would include such comments as fears about drug dealers, terrible living conditions, concern about our children and grandchildren, our home we had been remodeling, what was going to happen to my career as a teacher in the Church Education System along with what seemed like hundreds of other considerations which they wondered if we had taken into account when we accepted the call to live in Colombia for the next three years. (Book of Mormon - Alma 26: 24)

In almost equal numbers we received an outpouring of comments bordering on euphoria. What a wonderful opportunity, what a blessing this will be for all your family, you and Kathleen will be such a great strength to the people of Colombia.

If Kathleen and I hadn't been living witnesses of the variety of reactions to our mission call, we might have thought that the wide diversity of these comments must have been reactions to a wide variety of different experiences.

As I reflect back on our exchanges during those morning walks, I have reaffirmed in my mind the belief that most perceptions we have are unique to the eye which is beholding.

This strange characteristic which causes each of us to have different understandings and beliefs about what we are witnessing or experiencing stimulates my thoughts into wondering why we behold or go through the same events, but our reactions and remembrances are often so radically different.

I am sure that even after 25 years of my personal observation of this phenomenon of diversified reaction to the same stimuli and pondering about it, I suspect I have not come closer to identifying the cause than what I expressed in that long ago radio talk.

I haven't checked, but I am sure it has nothing to do with such physical attributes as size or color. No, it seems that our reaction to the stimulus of light or sound seems to be a result of implanted social interpreters which have been embedded on brain cells by previous reactions to similar stimuli.

We seem to have built up reactionary responses which move along our personal internal continuum labeled on one end ‘self-interest’ and on the other extreme ‘my neighbor’s interest.’

During the temporal period when Heavenly Father’s children have had the privilege of abiding on this planet, the Lord has attempted to teach us the way of life which leads to happiness. As one of the main tenets of this path He definitely advocated that we put every effort of our beings into trying to move toward having our neighbor’s interests of paramount importance, while putting an equal amount of dedication into striving to eliminate self-interest from our lives.

The Savior was also adamant about the tenet that we should eradicate the barriers which might limit our definition of who our neighbor might be. Neighbors were not to be defined by geography. He said to his disciples, ‘Go ye unto all the world.’ Neighbors were not to be determined by pigmentation, genealogy, gender or any other artificial social category. ‘Teach ye every kindred, tongue and people,’ was His admonition.

There is little doubt that one of the real tests of discipleship is how well we are able to break down the man made walls between ourselves and our non-restricted category of neighbors. Then, once having gotten a foundation of the wonderful feeling of universal love for all of Heavenly Father’s children deeply inculcated into our beings, we have been admonished to go forth as far as our resources will allow us and do all we can to help, edify and strengthen our neighbors.

As always, with His perfect example, the Savior broke the bands of death for every person who would be born into and eventually pass from mortality. He paid the Atoning Price for sin for all who would repent. Our ultimate challenge is to see His good works and then try to emulate them in our own lives.

With this moment of reflection the rewriting of this radio talk has brought me, I am also made acutely aware that in life we have many moments which separate our lives before, from our lives after. Our lives before marriage and children were markedly different from our life after. Our lives definitely changed with the signing of our first contract with the Church Education System. Kathleen and I have agreed that our lives BCM were extraordinarily different than our lives ACM. (Before Colombian Mission – After Colombian Mission)
Such changes brought about by dramatic life style shifts can be reflected upon, but the total measurement of their affect upon us might have to be left to those who have a more universal understanding and knowledge.

However, in reflecting upon our call to serve among our wonderful Colombian neighbors, Kathleen and I will eternally be grateful that we were able to lay aside most of the self-interest parts of our lives and concentrate on the interests of our beloved Colombian brothers and sisters for three years. It was indeed a rare and blessed experience. (Book of Mormon - Alma 26: 31)

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Being the cause – of destroying a relationship – may be the greatest barrier – to our personal progress!!


Friday, November 25, 2016


Having a neighbor who is different – will never justify – treating them with indifference!!


Thursday, November 24, 2016


Greater understanding of a principle – will come – as we adhere to the requirements – of that principle!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016


There are some principles – upon which all success is based – we will be more apt to reach our goals – as long as we strive to remain – committed to following those principles!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016


It has been taught – that perfection is not a prerequisite for one to be chosen as a prophet – neither has it ever been – nor will it ever be – for those who try to publish peace!!


Monday, November 21, 2016


The source of that love – which casts out all fear – can protect us from being paralyzed – during our quests for progression!!


Sunday, November 20, 2016


I was going to start this Thought about Thanksgiving with the text of a reading I used to perform back in the day, but the words were in Pidgin English and I knew there wasn’t a chance I would be able to translate it into Spanish. (I may just send it out Thanksgiving Day for the enjoyment of those who speak English)

Anyway, this got me thinking about all the words which, for me, add meaning to Thanksgiving Day and my thankfulness every day of the year.


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Text: Thomas Ken


As I have loved you,
Love one another.
This new commandment:
Love one another.
By this shall men know
Ye are my disciples,
If ye have love
One to another.

Words: Luacine Clark Fox


Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.

Text: Karen Lynn Davidson


From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator's praise arise;
Let the Redeemer's name be sung
Through ev'ry land, by ev'ry tongue.
In ev'ry land begin the song;
To ev'ry land the strains belong.
In cheerful sounds all voices raise
And fill the world with loudest praise.
Your lofty themes, ye mortals, bring;
In songs of praise divinely sing.
The great salvation loud proclaim,
And shout for joy the Savior's name.
Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;
Eternal truth attends thy word.
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
Till suns shall rise and set no more.

Text: Isaac Watts


Ducks in the pond quack a happy song.
Mother hens cackle the whole day long.
Birds in their nests and wind in the treetops
All join in singing a happy song.

Children are singing a happy song,
Singing together the whole day long.
Don't mind the weather; let's sing together,
All join in singing a happy song.

Anon – Czech folk song


Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart, Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
He answers privately, Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

Text: Emma Lou Thayne


Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day.
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need thy presence ev'ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Thru cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!

Text: Henry F. Lyte

May these and all the words of Thanksgiving Day fill our hearts with song this day and always!

Saturday, November 19, 2016


One of the happiest discoveries we may make – is after searching the world for the secret to happiness – we discover it was to be found at home with the family!!


Friday, November 18, 2016


One of the saddest discoveries we may make – while searching the world – for the secret of happiness – is that it was to be found at home with our family!!


Thursday, November 17, 2016


No matter how low – the standards of the world sink – and the bar of morality is placed – we must resist the temptations to step over it!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Just like all attributes of our Father in Heaven – His love, mercy, grace and forgiveness – are absolute and eternal!!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016


The chosen conditions of the world’s population – and the actions of the majority of Heavenly Father’s children on the earth – make it much easier for a true disciple – to be viewed as a peculiar person!!


Monday, November 14, 2016


It is interesting that the descriptions – the Lord uses to describe his disciples – that they were to be a peculiar people – has taken on a derogatory connotation!!



Through the act of the Atonement – our Savior took our burdens upon Himself – through repentance, being baptized, obedience and partaking worthily of the Sacrament – we release them from ourselves!!


Sunday, November 13, 2016


The game of what if was a favorite of mine when I was growing up.

What if I had been taller?

What if I had been born with wealthy parents?

What if I was so smart I didn't have to go to school?

Without disclosing any more of my insecurities, I will just confess that I probably spent way too much time daydreaming.

During my more mature years, I didn't really quit playing the game of what if, I just changed the content of the questions. One of my favorite adult versions of the game has to do with daydreaming about how my world would be different if certain historical characters had made different choices.

What if Adam and Eve chose to eat veggies because they didn't like fruit?

What if Moses stayed in the valley because he didn't like to climb mountains?

What if Columbus chose to stay on land because he was always sea sick when on boats?

What if Joseph Smith chose not to believe the promises in the scriptures?

What if Benjamin Franklin chose not to fly kites in the rain?

If I really want to get into dangerous territory I venture into playing the what if game with even more personal questions?

What if my ancestors had lived in Africa rather than Ireland?

What if my grandparents had chosen not to listen to those ‘Mormons?’

What if I had gone to England rather than Mexico on my mission as a young man?

We don't have to play the what if game for very long before we realize that many of the conditions of whatever cultural norms we reside in, are the result of someone having choices placed before them, and then having the courage to act decisively. I have often felt that the only thing worse than making a wrong decision, is being incapable of making any decisions at all.

I have little doubt that we have all been in a situation with someone where, after listening to them vacillate for what seemed like an eternity, we wanted to scream, ‘please make a decision even if it is wrong.’

Every time I am in one of those situations, I am reminded of Dr. Seuss’ character, the ‘Zode,’ who stood at the fork in the road, not knowing whether to go this way or that; who finally decided to start out in both directions at once and accomplished nothing more than splitting his pants.

If what my parents taught me in my youth about decisions has validity and I am very certain it has, I am left with the belief that there is no such thing as not making a decision. This principle gains even greater weight when we come to realize that in the end we will all be an accumulation of acting or being acted upon. When we choose to make a decision we are the captain of our accumulating selves.

When we are in the limbo state of indecision we are yielding ourselves to be acted upon.

From the very beginning our forefathers, including Adam and Eve, were faced with having to make decisions. In the Garden our Father explained to them that their earthly probationary period would not just include, but was for the purpose that they might learn to distinguish between good and evil and choose the one and eschew the other. This fundamental admonition became the basis of learning to use their agency correctly so that they would make decisions which would result in growth rather than destruction, which would give them forward momentum rather than stagnation.

As in so many aspects of our modern society, we have become victims of our supposed sophistication when it comes to making decisions. Thereby, we have redefined the results of indecisiveness, believing that standing at the fork in the road with our pants split in no way will cause us to be acted upon, nor will it result in any ill effects upon our character.

The voice of the people elects officials who are entrusted with the task of making hard decisions which will be for the good of the whole.
These elected officials hire expensive experts to make feasibility studies so that they will have the facts to make a decision for the good of the whole.

These expert facts are then debated in endless councils so that a decision can be made for the good of the whole.

By the time this has been accomplished it is time to elect new officials.

The pot holes remain unfilled.

The water pipes continue to age.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

If any of us complain too loudly about the stagnation brought about by the indecisions of our elected officials, we are soon brought about by the realization that we are but pots calling the kettles black.
We find these same scenarios being enacted in our homes, schools, churches and every other unit of our communities. Since all of us live in glass houses and all of ‘them’ are ‘you’ and ‘me’ we should not and dare not start casting stones.

It takes very little imagination to walk in Joshua’s shoes and understand his frustration when he challenged the Tribes of Israel to stop halting between two decisions.

Sometimes I get so upset about all the stagnation which has resulted because I see so much halting between decisions, that I almost feel like writing someone, somewhere about something. But the day is almost spent – what if I do it tomorrow – or what if I do it the day after.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


There is no sweeter sound to be heard – that the comforting whisperings of the Spirit – confirming in our minds – that we have done well!!


Friday, November 11, 2016



It is a great blessing – when that which we should do – is that which we enjoy doing!!


Thursday, November 10, 2016


Even though the miracle of the Savior’s atoning act – combined with the constancy of our repentance – washes us clean – we must always remember we will ultimately be – the accumulation of our choices and experiences!!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016


We are all a continuum – of what has been – what is – and what will be!!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Everything we did in our premortal life estate – is added upon during our mortal sojourn – all that we do in our post mortal existence – will continue to add to our eternal existence!!


Monday, November 7, 2016


It may be as important – who we learn from – as much as – what we learn!!


Sunday, November 6, 2016


Destroying remarks float around and out of the schoolyards as freely as if the whole purpose of these facilities was to teach and perpetuate the art, or maybe it has become a science, of bringing one another down. Whether this degrading practice is something brought from home or is a byproduct of the schoolyard atmosphere, makes little difference, since the image damaging attacks continue unabated, being spewed loud and from generation to generation, over asphalt and grass.

Sadly, the targets are often those, who by some act of nature, have already had to start their young lives with two strikes against them or with one hand tied behind them. If we could linger near the schoolyard fences before, after or during lunch and recess times, we would quickly realize that these evil practices have no boundaries over which they do not spill. They are just as viciously spit out equally to all races, abilities and social groups.

Whoever the evil words are directed toward, their purpose always has but a single aim, which is to attack and ultimately bring another child of God to a lower state of self-esteem. This ugly practice of trying to lower others with the twisted aspiration that somehow we will personally rise to a higher status, has been perpetuated so long and the general populace has become so skilled at the sarcastic or demeaning cut, it is a wonder that mankind hasn’t, (as some have theorized we all began) returned to the muck from which we came.

We attack physical attributes, as is we all had the choice of rearranging our genetic makeup at will. (Just think of the billions upon billions of dollars which are spent annually, because for some reason we have been made to think that our bodies fall short in one or a number of categories)

You are too fat – You are too skinny – You have four eyes – Your hair looks like a carrot – You are bald – You have a comb-over – Your nose is too big – Your nose is too crooked – Your belly is too big – Your muscles are out of proportion – Your skin is too dark – You look like a ghost – etc. etc. etc.

We attack mental ability, as if we all had total control over the quickness of the electrodes in our brains.

You are an egghead – You are a dunce – You are the teacher’s pet – You are a rascal – You are a nerd – You are a dummy – etc. etc. etc.

I pray I have not unwittingly supplied some with a supply of new demeaning cuts. My purpose in giving these examples was just to bring reality to this Thought. I also pray that your mind is not opening up to the many additional rude and cutting remarks you have heard during your lives.

As we move from the schoolyard into what some have referred to as ‘real life’, many of us, while adding calendar years to our increasingly creaky bodies, hold fast to these childish bullying tendencies. We go to our places of employment or our social groups and spend the day tearing down and destroying each other’s characters and abilities. Spewing forth words which will make our fellow workers, (another euphemism we use in order to make strangers out of our brothers and sisters, who all share the commonality of a singular set of Heavenly Parents) look and feel less than they really are.

They can't figure things out – They are lazy – They are a kiss up – If you could hear what they say behind your back – They are only concerned for themselves – etc. etc. etc.

There seems to be a graduate school for those who really excel in making great things small. For those who have become bored and are no longer content with tearing down mere mortals, (whose flaws are after all, so easily recognized), that they have turned to attacking God striving to make Him nothing, just as they have done with a brother or sister. They heap guile upon guile until they feel they have achieved their ultimate goal of making Him nothing.

If God is good why is there so much evil in the world – God no longer exists – God is a devise of man to control others – Belief in God is a crutch for the weak – Anyone with an ounce of intelligence understands the concept of God has just been a belief perpetuated so that men can have a name by which to command their destruction of one another – etc. etc. etc.

As I have witnessed the ongoing diatribe coming from the schoolyards, work places, social groups, heaping condemnations on brother, sister, fellow and friend and observed those who have moved through the elementary levels and on to the graduate level of spewing condemnation upon God, some quotes from an article I read years ago (December 3, 1986) in the Christian Century, seem appropriate.

It is an astonishing reflection that at the beginning moment in the history of the Universe, all of the hydrogen would have turned to helium if the force of attraction had been only a few percent stronger. (Bernard Lovell)

In the stars, carbon just manages to form and then just avoids complete conversion into oxygen. If one atomic level had varied half a percent, life would have been impossible. (Fred Hoyle)

The odds against a universe like ours coming out of something like the big bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications. (Stephen Hawking)

But how can there be Intelligence behind the creation? Have we not reduced God to nothing? After all, if man in all his nothingness can explain away God, then God really must be nothing.

It would be a shame if we woke from our mortal death to find out we
had been so caught up in our childish kindergarten game of ‘slam our neighbor’ that we then hear our Eternal Father say ‘in spite of all my reaching out, in spite of my constant grace and mercy, you were so busy with your absurd game of degrading one another and Me, that you never recognized my hand during you three score and ten.

Just one more quote from the previously mentioned article in the Christian Century.

In our 150 pounds of protoplasm, in our three pounds of brain, there may be more operational organization that there is in the Andromeda Galaxy. The number of associations possible among our ten billion neurons, and hence number of thoughts humans can think, may exceed the number of atoms in the universe. (Holmes Ralston III)

I believe the sooner we can become dropouts from the vulgar spewing of insulting epithets which affects society to such a horrendous degree, the sooner we will realize the wondrous and good characteristics in others, the marvelous abilities our fellows have and most importantly, the marvels and comfort which come from drawing closer to our Heavenly Father.

What a staggering thought that man may really be a being of unlimited capabilities derived from the eternal DNA of Exalted Parents, and should therefore, be treated with utmost respect.

Which leads us to an even more important thought. If man has such unlimited capacity, what might be the capabilities of an Exalted Being? Would He not be ultimately worthy of being worshiped with reverent thoughts and words?

It is little wonder that when Moses came to know God that he also came to know there was not anything that was too hard for the Lord. (Old Testament – Genesis 18:14)

Therefore, I believe it is not too difficult for him to cause me to have a change of heart, so that I no longer feel a need to denigrate the character of a brother or sister and even more importantly that my heart can be turned to seek Him rather than diminish Him.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


It will be interesting – when at last we are able to see clearly – the effects of the trials and blessings in our lives – which we will be most grateful for and number as blessings – and – which we will regret and count as our trials!!


Friday, November 4, 2016


It is impossible to be a disciple of someone – when our beliefs and actions are contrary to their teachings!!


Thursday, November 3, 2016


It only takes some people – seconds – to destroy the wonderful spirit – which it has taken hours, days and sometimes a lifetime to generate!!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016


It is only through accessing the Universal Mind of God – that our journey toward acquiring Universal Knowledge begins!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016


If there was a person – who mastered the world’s knowledge – they would have but a spec – of the knowledge available throughout the universe!


Monday, October 31, 2016


There never has been a person – who couldn't add to their store of knowledge – by listening to their neighbor!!


Sunday, October 30, 2016


As I begin this Thought my mind is going through turmoil. In one flashing moment I go from not being one who spends a lot of time being nostalgic and dreaming of the good old days to thinking about yesteryears and the wonders of my youth. I am not totally positive, but I think writing about the vision of the world I grew up in has won the moment.

My father made a beneficial professional move from American Falls, Idaho, to Long Beach, California, I was just starting my 10th year of life so I joined with my mother and sister in this family relocation.

As any who have had a sans agency relocation in their lives will readily attest, even if the move is from a windy wintery gorge along the Snake River to a sunny/beach hamlet on the Pacific Ocean, it is still troubling and traumatic.

In the few lonely weeks before school started, I found the local Bixby Branch Library and became a rabid reader of biographies based on the heroes of our nation. Just a few of the people I remember reading about were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Davey Crockett, Eli Whitney, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Franklin D. Roosevelt along with a whole library shelf of the orange hard bound hero histories.

There have been many moments during my life when the unsophisticated, simplistic words of these heroes I read about as a young boy, have been revealed to have had warts and failings by authors telling the real story.

I am not sure my world is better because the king’s nakedness has been revealed.

While we were in Long Beach, we lived in a quiet neighborhood where all the streets were name after trees. Halloween was a delightful day celebrated with costumes and candy. Most of the costumes we wore were of fairy book characters or sports heroes. Once you arrived at the age of 10 or if you had a brother or sister who was of that age, parents never accompanied you on your race through the neighborhood with you pillowcase dragging behind. (Taking a pillowcase was mostly just an indicator of hopefulness, because the candy we collected would have easily fit in a lunch sack.) Upon returning home there was some bartering with siblings in an effort to expand on the supply of your favorites. I remember my mother and father enjoying some of their favorites from our stash, but I don't ever remember having them examine the loot to make sure it was safe.

I am not involved with what Halloween has evolved into in the technologically enlightened age of the 21st century, but if what I see reported as the celebratory rituals of today are accurate, I don't feel a great loss. Costuming has become a contest in how creative gruesomeness can be portrayed. My zombie must be scarier than yours. My bloody characterization of a slaughtered and mutilated face and body must be more horrifying than yours. Even my fairytale representations have to be more revealing than yours. Neighborhoods are patrolled by police and parents watch every step their children take as they go from store to store in a well-lighted mall. Candy must be collected in a pumpkin designed by Gucci. No child is allowed to eat anything which is not triple safety wrapped and anything homemade or fresh will be thrown in the garbage can before entering the house. The booty which remains will be taken to a hospital to be x rayed and then and only then will I be able to have one piece of candy before going to bed. As the one piece of candy per day limit continues, by Thanksgiving the remaining goo is sent to the same fate the apples and brownies went to on Halloween night.

I am not sure my world is better because Peter Pan has to glance away when Tinkerbell flies into the room.

If my father lived today and still had the same level of character and integrity he had when I was growing up in my parents’ home, I suspect he would think he had been transmitted to another world. Not only was the profane not used in polite society, but it was even indelicate to speak of a women’s condition in mixed company or when children were present. It was a time when your word was a bond and trust was the foundation of all relationships. It was a day when we expected leaders to be examples of morality, people who would seek for the common good for the majority of the populace.

I don't have room in this thought to enumerate all the things which would shock my father if he were thrust back into our world today. (I don't even dare think about the list which my mother’s shocking’s would require.) I will venture to say that among the list would be the equal right women have acquired to be just as vulgar and profane as the proverbial dock worker. Also, the number of words required to safeguard any transaction, even among the best of friends. (I was about to say paper work required, but then I realized most of our words are now stored in cyber space.) Not far from the top of his list would be the state of leadership, where the loss of common sense is almost universal, being elected or retaining positions is more important than integrity, party line is more important than the welfare of the community and truth is what I say today, but not necessarily what I might say tomorrow. I guess if you really want to don the scariest costume this year you would have to be portraying a politician.

I am not sure my world is a better because censorship has become universally uncensored.

I know that the vision of the world I lived in when I was a lad is full of Pollyanna colorings and will easily be labeled, by those living in the sophisticated world of today, as unrealistic tripe. Never the less, I am grateful to still hold George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Davey Crockett, Eli Whitney, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Franklin D. Roosevelt in my memory as heroes in my mind. (This is one of the advantages of long term memory lingering while short term memory shortens.) I am grateful to have had my wonder year Halloween celebrations. I am grateful to have had parents who enlightened my mind with values such as integrity, honesty and proper use of words.

I am not sure the world is better because Happy Days has been replaced by Reality TV.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


There never has been a person – who mastered – even a fraction of the available knowledge!!


Friday, October 28, 2016


One of the signs of maturation – may be when fewer and fewer commercial propaganda messages – stimulate our must-have impulses!!



One of the signs of maturation – is when our night-life enjoyment – changes to sleep-time enjoyment!!


Thursday, October 27, 2016


One of the signs of maturation – is when those we enjoy socializing with – expands to include – those who were born in a multiplicity of decades!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016


One of the signs of maturation – is when the spectrum of our favorite colors – expands throughout the rainbow!!



One of the signs of maturation – is when we willingly – eat green foods – and – even at times enjoy it!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016


It is interesting – how many times we stand the tallest – when we rise after being knocked down!!


Monday, October 24, 2016


There are times – when we grow and advance further – when we go back and start again – on a path with brighter light!!


Sunday, October 23, 2016


A few weeks ago when I was writing some Life's Lessons Learned statements, for some reason I got started on thinking about how different individual and societal existence would be if people ‘almost’ did something for which they are remembered in the history books.

Christopher Columbus left Castilian Palos de la Fonterra on August 3, 1492 and 72 days later followed a flock of large birds to the island the natives called Guanahani, which today is known as San Salvador in the Bahamas.

If he had yielded to the pleadings of his crew to turn back earlier, there would have been no way he could have cheated two of his crew out of the reward for having first sighted land. There would be no disputations today as to whether he is worthy of having a day of celebration in the nations of the Americas.

The estimated number of failures Thomas Edison’s lamp factory had before successfully having light generated and sustained in a vacuum bulb varies from thousands to tens of thousands. He has been quoted as saying that they didn't have 1,000 failures, but 1,000 steps toward success.

Whatever the number, if they had stopped short of success we would be defaming a company by some other name for the amount of our energy bills. The debate whether it is a good or bad thing to have our days lighted 24/7 would defame or praise someone else.

The first person martyred for attempting to translate the Christian Scriptures into a ‘modern’ language is reported to have taken place during the 8th century and the last reported killing of persons attempting to translate the Bible into a language took place in the year 2016.

It is estimated that the Bible is currently translated, wholly or at least a portion of it, into 2,883 languages.

Although the exact number of martyrs, who have made the ultimate sacrifice to translate the word of God into the Babel diffused languages of the world, has only been accurately recorded in heaven, we have to understand what a different world we would live in if only clerics had access to the word.

Our world would surely be lacking if we weren't able to universally ignore Peter’s admonition that no scripture or prophecy was for individual interpretation. My personal world would have been lacking, if, as a youth, I hadn't been able to listen to the ‘old salts’ arguing over passages of the Bible at the ‘Spit and Argue’ gatherings on the shore of Long Beach, California.

In spite of my ‘tongue in cheek’ treatment of these discoverers, inventors and martyrs, I am grateful that none of them fell short in their quests and I know as I sit at my well-lit desk, referencing the scriptures in my native tongue in my California condo my life would have been much less had any of them and their like fallen short.

After that lengthy, introduction I now return to what I wrote on that recent Sunday past.

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one prayer short of a sure testimony?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one step short of a goal?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one act of service short of becoming filled with charity?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one act of kindness short of loving our neighbor?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one verse short of finding comfort in the word?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one act of courage short of gaining victory?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one patient act short of becoming more selfless?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one act of forgiveness short of being forgiven?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one trial short of gaining a more sure witness?

When all is revealed to us about our lives – how many of us will gain a sure witness – how many times – we fell one sacrifice short of enjoying the personal love and comfort of Jesus the Christ?

Now that I have exhausted my limit of ten items in a list, let me add the following quotes and some counsel from the scriptures.

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.” ~ Og Mandino

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” ~ Pablo Picasso

The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
~ New Testament – Mark 4: 14-20

And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
~ Book of Mormon – Mosiah 4: 26, 27

Just as Columbus had no idea whether land would be found in 72 or 82 days, and Edison had no idea what medal would burn without being consumed in a vacuum tube, and the martyrs did not know how many words they would be able to translate before their lives would be taken; none of us know what tomorrow will bring.

Therefore, it is expedient that today I say one more prayer, take one more step, do one more act of service, one more act of kindness, read one more verse, seek once again, overcome one more trial, learn one more concept and make one more sacrifice.

May our daily efforts be sufficient to allow us to be counted among those servants who, in even small ways, multiplied their talents so that when we once again regain his presence, we may be privileged to hear the Master say, ‘well done my good and faithful servant’ is my fervent prayer.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


A few minutes on a well-lighted path – will advance us closer to our appointed destination – than stumbling through our lives in darkness!!


Friday, October 21, 2016


It would be sad – if the relationship we had with our Heavenly Father – and His son Jesus the Christ – during our premortal estate – were to grow more distant and estranged – during mortality!!


Thursday, October 20, 2016


It may turn out – that the person we needed – to know and understand most deeply – during mortality – is ourselves!!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016


If coins only had one side – some people would never – be able to make a decision!!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016


The Tree of Life – representing the pure love of Christ – is not the goal – but the key to obtaining the ultimate goal of Eternal Life!!


Monday, October 17, 2016


In order to keep our egos in check – and to keep us from thinking we are all that much – we are reminded – that after all we do – salvation comes only through and by Jesus the Christ!!


Sunday, October 16, 2016


Sunday, October 16, 2016

In his address at the conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, 7 April 1844, the Prophet Joseph revealed this about the nature of God and man’s relationship to him.

In the first place, I wish to go back to the beginning—to the morn of creation. There is the starting point for us to look to, in order to understand and be fully acquainted with the mind, purposes and decrees of the Great Eloheim, who sits in yonder heavens as he did at the creation of the world. It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time, but if we start wrong we may go wrong,. And it will be a hard matter to get right.

If a man learns nothing more than to eat, drink and sleep, and does not comprehend any of the designs of God, the beast comprehends the same things. It eats, drinks, sleeps, and knows nothing more about God; yet it knows as much as we, unless we are able to comprehend by the inspiration of Almighty God. If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves. I want to go back to the beginning, and so lift your minds into more lofty spheres and a more exalted understanding than what the human mind generally aspires to…

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was able to make himself visible—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.

In order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.

These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they ae simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.

…Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.
(History of the Church, Volume 6 pages 303, 305-206)

As I have written in previous Thoughts, the road to becoming like our Heavenly Father is long and will not be completed by any of us during mortality no matter how long we are privileged to dwell in our mortal shells.

However, we can hasten our journey along the path by choosing to listen to and apply the teachings of wise and inspired Telestial Mentors; by listening intently to the Terrestrial Mentoring of the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and being susceptible to the promptings of our self-spirits; finally and probably most importantly of all, by striving to become worthy to receive instruction from the Celestial Mentoring of Jesus the Christ and our Eternal Father.

Less any of us should become overwhelmed by the eternal task we might be facing, I hasten to remind us of two thoughts. First, Elder Bruce R. McConkie often taught that it was more import to be on the path and pressing forward than to be worrying about our pace, relative position with others or our point of progress. Second, the administrator and actuary of The Plan is the Eternal Father of us all and He has dedicated His eternal life to the progress of His children.

Although I have now written two appropriate conclusions to this series of Thoughts, I will add one more conclusion with the following scriptures.

If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. (Doctrine and Covenants 42:61)

Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.

And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory.
Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.

Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.

And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.
(Doctrine and Covenants 101:32-38)

And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.

Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
(3 Nephi 27:28, 29)

But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion; which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter; Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves; That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. (Doctrine and Covenants 76: 114-118)

May the Lord bless us with the wisdom to earnestly seek for all the help the Father has provided, that with these aids we might all move forward together. I am certain that He inspired the Irishman, John Greenleaf Whittier, to write, thee lift me and I'll lift thee and we'll ascend together. I am likewise sure that The Father is striving to lift us all to dwell with Him forever.