Friday, March 31, 2017


Allowing all – the privilege to worship – or not to worship – according to the dictates of their own conscience – are words which must – be deeply felt in one’s heart – and – diligently put into action – as well as uttered!!

Thursday, March 30, 2017


If during an act of service – our right hand is unaware of what our left hand is doing – we may in those moments – find ourselves being counted among – Heavenly Father’s unrevealed Angeles!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


If during an act of service – our right hand is unaware of what our left hand is doing – we may in those moments – find ourselves being counted among – Heavenly Father’s unrevealed Angeles!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I suspect we will all be amazed – when the frequency of the attendance of angels in our lives – is at last revealed!!

Monday, March 27, 2017


It is impossible to enter into – an act of service – if I cannot find a neighbor in need!!

Sunday, March 26, 2017


I have never considered myself anything more than ‘a researcher during times of need’. I always admired those who were able to immerse themselves into a subject until they had exhausted every available word or revelation that had been written about it. But, alas, other than writing my thesis for my Master’s degree and my dissertation for my Doctorate, I don't believe I ever scratched the surface of any subject beyond the immediate need to be prepared to teach the next class I would be teaching.

During this past year, I have watched Kathleen read and sometimes reread the talks of the early leaders of the restored church found in the Journal of Discourses. Beginning with the first talk in volume one and continuing onward with the goal of reading every talk in all 26 volumes, I have often had the thought go through my mind – ‘I could never do that’. I was always consistent in being a ‘researcher during time of need’, with my use of the Journals just as I had with all resources during my life. When I wanted to know what the Early Brethren had said on a given subject I went to the index and then explored the talks which had addressed that subject.

With that exhausting explanation and confession of one of my many shortcomings, I will introduce my approach to this week’s Thought.

Time has erased the exact stimuli which caused me to dig into what the Early Brethren had said about the principle of Harmony or Unity, but I do remember that it was with some frequency that they used these words in connection with their teachings about maximizing the benefits of Heavenly Father’s Plan.

We all understand, since confusion cannot be part of His plan, there can be only one plan which makes provision for the independent variety of paths each of His children will take as they, with the exception of His Only Begotten Son in the Flesh, wander here and there during the stages of their existence.

Since I am almost positive these words will be read by those of us who are in the second stage of our existence, affectionately called mortality, I will confine my Thoughts to how His Universal and Eternal Plan applies to us in our present condition and what I understand the principle of Harmony has to do with our progress during this stage of being proven.

Although, as I previously stated, there is but one plan the prophets throughout the ages have used various descriptive words when talking about His Plan. The prophets through the ages have talked about points of His Plan in various ways. It has been referred to as the Plan of Happiness, The Plan of Salvation and The Plan of Exaltation.

For our purposes this Sabbath Day we will be using these sub titles for His Plan as I will now define them.

Plan of Happiness – The principles and doctrines which when lived will maximize our chances of happiness during mortality.

Plan of Salvation – The principles and doctrines which will help me qualify for the full benefits of the Atonement of Jesus the Christ.

Plan of Exaltation
– The principles and doctrines which will help me come to know God and increase my desire to become like Him.


If we believe that we are a duel being, one part a spirit body is an off spring of Deity and the other a physical body born of mortal parents;

If we believe that our spirit body progressed and passed its first stage of existence, at least to a sufficient degree to have earned passage into its second stage;

Since we know that misery, conflict and dissension are antithetic to happiness, and since the spirit portion of our body has already proven itself to some degree by accepting and covenanting to live Heavenly Father’s Plan;

There needs be a Plan to guide the mortal part of our being into Harmony with the state of our pre mortal spirit body.

Since, if it were left to each individual to determine ‘the best’ path for our mortal journey we would end up with billions of paths, there needs be an Eternal Universal path.

Hence, the Path of Happiness is, by bringing my mortal body into Harmony with the principles and doctrines of the Gospel which the Spirit body knows to be true and has chosen to live, I will thereby be eliminating the conflicts and dissensions which cause the two parts of my soul misery and I will have achieved happiness.


If we were an island and we all lived alone in our little glass house, the Plan of Happiness as it relates to Harmony, would be the end of ends of His Plan. However, since none of that is true there must be more to Heavenly Father’s Plan than the principles and doctrines which bring my mortal body into Harmony with my spirit body.

There has to be a reason why the Savior taught that besides loving God, if we wanted to live all the commandments, we likewise had to love our neighbors and by so doing we would thereby be living all the commandments. I think it was the Savior’s desire to cement that concept into all of our hearts by giving us His last commandment ‘to love one another’.

It should already be obvious where I am going, but bear with me in all patience. Just like bringing Harmony to my whole being is essential to Happiness, coming into Harmony with my neighbor by eliminating discontent, dissension and division becomes the beginning of the pathway to qualify for all the benefits of the Atonement.

It is true that the Savior by summing up the qualifications for receiving all of the benefits of His Atoning act, said that we must love one another. I have come to believe that He easily could have said, it is essential that you come into Harmony with one another by striving to help one another walk upon ‘My Path’.

Hence, the essence of the Plan of Salvation is that just as we seek happiness by bringing our spirit body into Harmony with our mortal body, in order to receive all the benefits of the Atonement of the Son of God, we also must be about the ultimate act of love by helping our neighbor come unto Christ and thereby bring all of us into Harmony one with another.


The prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith, taught in The Lectures on Faith, that it is essential to come to know the attributes, characteristics and perfections of God, that it is essential to believe He has all these attributes, characteristics and perfections in their ultimate and total state, and that in order to become one with God, we need to be striving to put upon ourselves those attributes, characteristics and perfections.

In his Sermon on the Mount the Savior admonished us to be about the business of becoming perfect like our Father who is in Heaven,

As long as there is a significant difference between the degree to which we understand and live a characteristic, attribute or perfection of God and His Eternal Exalted state, to that degree, we will be out of Harmony with Him.

Since our Father cannot diminish His Exaltedness in order be in Harmony with us, any movement toward being in Harmony with Him must come from us.

Hence, even though our pace may be slow, cumbersome, halting, misguided or repetitive, every minuscule movement toward understanding and putting on a characteristic, attribute or perfection which He is possesses, puts us just a tiny bit closer to being in Harmony with this part of Heavenly Father’s Plan.


If we truly love ourselves – we will do all in our power to bring our mortal being into Harmony with our spirit being!

If we truly love our neighbors – we will strive to bring them into Harmony with the teachings of the Savior, so that they can be beneficiaries of that which the Plan of Salvation provides through the Atonement of the Son of God.

If we truly love God – we will learn of His characteristics, attributes and perfections and strive to take them upon ourselves so that we can in some degree approach being in Harmony with Him.



Friday, March 24, 2017


I will feel an increase of love for my neighbor – when I allow the lover of the Lord – to flow into my soul!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017


he world will become a happier and more peaceful place – as I put my efforts into being happy and peaceful – rather than sad and full of contention!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


The world’s progress toward tolerance and inclusion increases – when we put our efforts into lifting up – rather than putting down!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


The measure of our success in life – may well result from – who we have chosen to follow – more than who we are assigned to lead!!

Monday, March 20, 2017


It is always the strength of our anchor – which keeps us from drifting into dangerous storms!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017


I could easily have searched almost any decade and found an article like the one written by Stephen Ford in the Mesa Tribune, dated 6 February 1975, ‘The mascara-ringed and shoulder-length hair now believed to be worth approximately $17 million and only 27 years old, he is a pop deity. But despite what at first appears to be a pampered life … and all the money needed to support any life style, the rock star’s life emerges as a pathetic and pointless existence. He is a very lonely and confused person. He agreed to do almost anything to ‘make it’ and now that he has done that,, he’s frantically running around trying to get out of the image he’s locked himself into.”

If this were an isolated case it would be sad enough, but we know that throughout history earth’s inhabitants have repeatedly placed their feet on a path they thought would lead them to the pot of gold and everlasting happiness, only to arrive in the place of their dreams and then realize a tragic finish at the end of their often self-shortened trail.

I am grateful to have had instilled into my psyche the importance of knowing well the path you are going to trod before taking the first step. I am not sure I really appreciated those oft repeated hints which indicated the importance of knowing where the steps I was about to take would surely lead me.

Make sure the grass is really greener before you climb over the fence!

Make sure the ladder is leaning against the right wall before you start to climb!

Make sure there is a safe place to land before you jump!

Make sure you understand what constitutes gain before laboring in a field!

Make sure you understand what constitutes happiness before going to the circus!

The Lord’s warning about ‘ever seeking and never finding’ applies to so many paths we may choose to walk upon during our lives.

We jump from the path of faith in God onto a path of imagined security in the arm of flesh.

We wander from the doorway of the Temple and stumble among greater and greater towers of confusion.

We ignore the simple directions of the Plan of Happiness and collect complicated maps leading to misery.

We find it difficult to walk with those who are trying to walk toward the Light and find solace with those who try to hide from the light in dingy domains.

We forget for whose glory we toil and shamefully seek the accolades and honors from the deceivers of the world’s.

When will we ever learn – when will we ever learn?

There is no better way – there is no other way.

There was, is and ever will be only one way, wherein the children of God can find the joy they so desperately seek and desire.

He has marked the path and He has shown the way.

His commandments have been given to bring salvation to the children of men.

His doctrines have given to prepare the children of men for Eternal Life.

When will we ever learn – when will we ever learn?

No matter how high we are able to pile our accumulated stuff and no matter how many of our brothers and sisters we are able to enlist into serving us, we cannot, we will not, gain happiness until we absolutely and finally decide to go and do the things the Lord has commanded. (1Nephi 3:7) For behold he is mightier than all the earth. (l Nephi 4:1) Therefore, inasmuch as we keep His commandments, we shall prosper in the land. (1 Nephi 4:14

Indeed, we really are left to choose liberty and eternal life by adhering to the teachings of a loving God … or to choose captivity and death from him who seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. (2 Nephi 2:27)

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until one hundred and ten years had passed away, and there were no contentions in all the land. (4 Nephi 1: 15-18)

When will we ever learn – when will we ever learn?


Friday, March 17, 2017


I will never discover my neighbor’s needs – while concentrating on my own wants!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Replacing the emptiness of a neighbor’s arms – with your enfolding embrace – is an extraordinary gift!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Replacing the darkness which shrouds a neighbor’s diary – with words of enlightening hope – is an extraordinary gift!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Replacing the loneliness in a neighbor’s life – with conversation and understanding – is an extraordinary gift!!

Monday, March 13, 2017


Replacing the hunger in a neighbor’s stomach – with a warm and nourishing meal – is an extraordinary gift!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Thoughts stimulated by – The Inexhaustible Gospel – by Neal A. Maxwell

I have previously written about how humorous I found our son Cevin’s statement to be when he came home from his first day of kindergarten and replied with the word ‘EVERYTHING’ to my query about what he had learned that morning.

I have also previously mentioned about how deeply Paul Maddox planted in my heart and mind the concept of ‘the pittance we know in comparison to God’ as we shared many meaningful learning experiences together.

I even think I have previously mentioned how I feel we often misinterpret the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith found in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, when speaking about ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the earth’ to mean we have a completeness of God’s knowledge, while ignoring the Article of Faith which states that ‘we believe God will yet reveal many great and important things’.

Neal Ash Maxwell, one of the Lord’s apostles of the latter-days wrote a book entitled The Inexhaustible Gospel (A collection of 21 fireside talks given by Elder Maxwell) which became a treatise meant to convince one and all about the gulf which exists between mere mortal knowledge and the Universal Omniscience of Deity.

Therefore, it should not mystify any of us when we read the words of the prophet Brigham Young, where he stated ‘that it would not surprise him that in the life to come, it might take him millions upon millions of years, as we count them, to begin to grasp the knowledge which God has.’

After I officially retired from my career as a full time employee of the Church Education System in 2006 I was blessed to receive a calling from President Zundel of the Mission Viejo, California Stake to teach, or better said, continue to teach a religion class for adults one morning a week. This additional blessing of continuing in the classroom went on for five years until my body started to fall apart and I had to submit myself to the knives of medical science.

As I was going through some of my files I came across the extensive collection of lessons I had prepared while teaching from Elder Maxwell’s book, and I was overcome with a desire to share some of the major concepts we shared as classmates during that experience.

I probably should tell you that the Thought I wrote two weeks ago was stimulated by a quote in the introduction to that post career class on Elder Maxwell’s book and that for the foreseeable future I will be basing my Thoughts every other Sunday from that series of lessons.

I feel a need to further explain that I will not be writing this series of Thoughts by copying my outlines which I prepared from Elder Maxwell’s talks, but I will be using a formula which Elder Scott taught us when Kathleen and I were attending a Mission President’s Conference in Quito, Ecuador. Elder Scoot counseled us not to take copious notes of the words he would be speaking, but to write those things the Spirit whispered during his presentations.

Therefore, what I hope to do, is to write Spirit directed Thoughts, as if I were a student being taught the words from Elder Maxwell’s speeches.

Perhaps a bit of Rabbinical Wisdom would be appropriate to get us started:

It is not up to you to complete the task. It is up to you not to desist in trying!

Some fundamental concepts which I hope we will come to have in common if we are to gain a more complete impact of the importance of the Inexhaustible-ness of Infinite knowledge and our current limited acquiring thereof:

We will come to realize the terms truth, knowledge, intelligence, education and wisdom as they are used in context as defined by the restored gospel are not the same as secular definitions.

We must understand that part of the hope which leads unto Eternal Life must be based on the principle that as mortals we can continue our learning in the arena of the Eternal Inexhaustible Gospel.

We must gain a witness that most of what we learn in mortality is really remembering what we learned from our Heavenly Parents in our First Estate.

We will be mystified by the rejection of so many of Heavenly Father’s children during mortality of the truth, knowledge, intelligence, education and wisdom, after they had shouted amen to those same teaching’s in their First Estate.

We will more fully realize the necessary connection between gaining a correct understanding of truths, knowledges, intelligences, educations and wisdoms and our ability to put on the characteristics, attributes and perfections of Godliness.

We will come to comprehend the increase of accountability which is placed upon a person who has the blessing of being added upon in the areas of truth, knowledge, intelligence, education and wisdom during mortality.

We will more fully understand the necessary Infinite-ness which must be part of the mantel of Godhood, lest, as Joseph Fielding Smith said, ‘if it were not for Omniscience of God, the possibility would exist that someone else would discover what was unknown to Him and therefore supplant Him.’

I know that much of the joy and fulfillment that will be showered during the time I spend writing these Thoughts based on that choice extra time I had teaching after retirement will be selfishly mine, but I also hope that to some small degree those who take the time to read them, there will also be a degree of joy and fulfillment which accompanies your reading



Friday, March 10, 2017


Replacing the heaviness in a neighbor’s heart – with happiness – is an extraordinary gift!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017


My neighbor may not realize – the need I have for a warm embrace – unless I make my need known!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


The world would increase in love – if each day – we would all seek out someone – who is in need of a warm embrace!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Heavenly Father’s Plan – will not force any of us to have lives of joy or sadness – His Plan leaves that choice to us!!

Monday, March 6, 2017


It is a wondrous and marvelous thing – to learn to love the Lord – that marvel and wonder – are greatly magnified – when we feel His love for us!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


In October of 1983 Success Magazine reported a study by the Gallup organization which ranked the criteria individuals identified as necessary for one to have feelings of personal success.

Good health topped the list followed closely by an enjoyable job and a happy family. Peace of mind, a good education and good friends also scored high.

Interestingly, gathering little support as a barometer for feeling successful were such concepts as having enough money to buy anything, talent, luck, luxury cars and expensive homes.

I am not sure how the same poll would reflect the ranking of these criteria in the second decade of the 21st century, but it was gratifying at that time of my life to see that at least to the respondents of that particular survey, the citizens of the United States of America were less materialistic than most of us would have supposed.

However, as I read further into the article, a second set of results were revealed which almost debunked the statistics of the first part of the piece which revealed that there was not a tremendous rejection of materialism as a measure of success.

The second question that was surveyed asked the respondents to identify people or groups who they deemed to be successful.
Sadly, this list will sound much more familiar to we who are guests in the world of today’s millennials.

Heading the list were people whose lives were based on talents, amount of things accumulated, or money amassed and visibility due to being at the top of their particular profession.

When I was recently reminded of this duplicity in measuring personal success versus successful others, the thought came to me: What questions would be asked in a survey on success during mortality, if Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus the Christ were conducting the poll?

Please rank yourself to the following questions:

Do I consider the following: (A. Very Important B. Important C. Not Important)

1. That a person must be born again, becoming a new creature in Christ. (A. B. C.)

2. That happiness and joy will be achieved through using my agency to choose the right. (A. B. C.)

3. That Jesus the Christ has defined the straight and narrow path which leads unto Eternal Life. (A. B. C.)

4. That I demonstrate love for God by living His commandments and being of service to my fellowmen. (A. B. C.)

5. That gain is bought by losing my need of things by edifying others. (A. B. C.)

Now, just so we can validate our survey, could we all rank the same questions according to the following criteria?

How often do I align my actions with the following: (A. Seldom B. Occasionally C. Often)

1. A person must be born again, becoming a new creature in Christ. (A. B. C.)

2. Happiness and joy will be achieved through using my agency to choose the right. (A. B. C.)

3. Jesus the Christ has defined the straight and narrow path which leads unto Eternal Life. (A. B. C.)

4. I demonstrate love for God by living His commandments and being of service to my fellowmen. (A. B. C.)

5. Gain is bought by losing my need of things by edifying others. (A. B. C.)

Hopefully, the results of this survey will be unlike the survey in Success Magazine where there was an obvious gulf between what people felt they wanted success to look like and what they viewed in others who they felt had achieved success.

As you tally the results of your responses to this very minimal celestial success survey, it would be wonderful if there was a very positive correlation between those teachings of the Master which we believe to be very important (A.) and the frequency of our activity in inculcating those teachings in our everyday lives (C.).

It would also be wonderful if we were to take this survey again in a month or a year from now, we would find whatever gulf existed would have narrowed a bit, because the narrowing of this gap will have significant meaning not just in this world, but in the Eternal worlds to come.


Friday, March 3, 2017


There is no doubt – that two of the chief virtues – which will prepare us for the eternities – are forgiveness – and – love!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017


There is little wonder – that it will take the eternal effort of an All Mighty Being – to bring about the reality – of oneness – to His dysfunctional children!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


If each of Heavenly Father’s children – possessed the same feeling for their Father – that the Father has for His children – fewer of us would be prone to wander from the path!!