Sunday, April 30, 2017


During the early years of my mortality, when my father was trying to establish himself in some kind of a stable career situation, we made several moves mostly in the northern Utah, southern Idaho regions of the United States of America. Although it was during my preschool/beginning school days, which was a very long time in the past at the time of this writing, some of my clearest and most vivid memories come when I think of those few years our family was residing in Roy, Utah.

Although I have changed my conclusions 180° about it, there are some nightmarish memories which, at the time, left me with the feeling that my father had extreme tendencies of cruelty.

We lived on a small acreage which I thought was vast. Our home was a small wood framed and wood sided house which was painted white with no contrasting trim color. My father planted a vast garden of many of my favorite foods. We had peas, potatoes, cucumbers, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe and I suspect several other food plants which I have probably chosen to wipe from my memory.

I would say my father also raised some chickens for eggs and Sunday dinners, but in reality it was mainly my mother who raised the chickens along with a little help from two of my older sisters and me.

Anyway, back to why I have the memory of thinking my father had extreme tendencies of cruelty.

We had two animals with habits which were dangerous and in some cases destructive.

One was of a beautiful dog with long red hair. Today we would probably say he was an Irish setter, but since all the dogs we had while I was growing up were mongrels of unknown parentage, we will just say it had long red hair. The dangerous habit this lovely creature had was chasing cars which drove along Roy Road. Luckily, the traffic was very light on Roy Road, in the mid 1940’s, and so it was rare when two cars might be passing on the narrow lane when the dog went bounding out into the street.

In order to change the dog’s dangerous and destructive habit, my father tethered the dog in the front yard with a semi-choke collar around his neck. For several days I sat at the large front window, shielded by the lace curtains and watched as every time a car passed the red haired dog would leap to his feet and dart to the end of the rope and then suddenly his hind legs would fly past his head and then he would dazedly limp back closer to the house. During that training period, I seldom left my window perch without having to wipe the moisture which had accumulated at the base of my eye lids. I was absolutely forbidden by my father, who was cursed with these extreme tendencies of cruelty, to remove the collar or the rope which tethered the dog with the long red hair.

The other animal was a horse which my father used to plow the area for his great garden and my sister Lou Ann used to race the other horses in the area. The horse was named Chubb. I have no idea why that was the horse’s name. Since my father came from a family of 11 siblings and my mother from a family of 13 siblings, I have often wondered if that was the only name they could come up with which was not shared by a family member. Anyway, Chubb had a spectacular roan colored coat and to me seemed to be the most powerful and beautiful animal which was ever created. The problem was that this stallion had an overpowering wanderlust for the neighborhood mares. After the umpteenth time my father had to get up in the middle of the night to retrieve Chubb from a neighbor’s corral, he lined our small farm with an electric wire which Chubb quickly discovered delivered a very shocking jolt when touched. The problem which added to my feelings of my father having extreme tendencies of cruelty, was that for several days after being harshly jolted, Chubb not only shied away for the electric wire surrounding our property, but also all other objects which seemed to have a barrier around them. I really thought his end would come soon, since his feed box and water troughs looked as if they were surrounded by barriers.

To my shame, I clearly remember telling my father, during both of these events, what a terrible person he was to inflict such hurt upon these animals. I was tremendously surprised at how few days it took before our dog lazily confined himself to the limits of our yard and Chubb ventured outside of his fences only when being led by my sister or my father. Things quickly returned to normal on our little farm in Roy, Utah.

The incident was pretty much forgotten until one day our family was taking a day trip to the big city of Ogden, Utah. Besides the scene of the beautiful mountains, another scene vividly comes to view as I remember that particular drive. There was a beautiful horse lying dead by the side of the highway. My sister Geraldene cried and sobbed what a horrible thing it was that that horse had been let out of its protective pasture. My father very quietly said, ‘That horse might have jumped a fence.’ Although, Chubb eventually allowed his wanderlust to overcome his fear of being shocked and he ended up with the same fate as that horse on the highway between Roy and Ogden, he definitely had a longer productive life because of the electric wire my father put around our small farm.

I don't exactly know when it was, but I know I finally started the long process of becoming aware of the difference between cruelty and life preserving lessons.

Not only in the classroom, but also in very personal ways, the dramatic lesson I learned in this way from my very kind and loving father, is that although there are events which we pass through in our lives which may at the time seem unfair, restrictive or overwhelming, the probability is that they will eventually be revered as lessons of love which allowed our lives to be filled with greater freedom, safety and preparedness.

All of us have probably been blessed with the 100% clarity hind sight gives us or the absolute wisdom we have as Monday morning quarterbacks. Likewise, few of us were capable before the actuation of events of foreseeing or foreshadowing what was about to happen or the lessons we were about to learn.

Hopefully, we will be quick learners and come to realize that many of those ‘hard’ lessons were administered by a loving Father whose main concern is the Eternal preservation of His children.


Friday, April 28, 2017


We can be certain that doors – will always remain closed to us – if we fail to knock!!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Putting a limit on one’s ability to press forward – is a sure way to limit their enduring – and – stopping their progress!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


If the goal of mortality – is to attempt to gain a greater degree of one-ness with God – then confusion as to the source of our words – whether they come from the storage of our grey matter – or – inspiration from the Holy Spirit – either way it is a good thing!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


There isn't anything worn – and probably a good deal that is right – when it becomes difficult to know – whether the ideas you are expressing – are your own – or – you are repeating promptings you have received from the Holy Spirit!!

Monday, April 24, 2017


It is important – but also sometimes frightening – to be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit – rather than relying on your own talents and intellect – but being a conduit for the Holy Spirit – will always be more rewarding and life changing – for both the speaker and the listener!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

EXAMINATION OF A TESTIMONY Thoughts stimulated by – The Inexhaustible Gospel – by Neal A. Maxwell

I think it was probably sometime early in my days as an Aaronic Priesthood bearer when I first started thinking about whether I had a testimony or whether my testimony was very strong.

The first time I recall wondering about my testimony was when we were on some kind of a special Stake youth outing which concluded with a testimony meeting. One of the first boys to go to the pulpit to bear his testimony was a bit older than I and, therefore, was one of those models I was supposed to be using as a guide for my life. Anyway, as he was concluding his testimony he challenged all the young men from our ward to come to the pulpit to share their testimonies. I wasn't the only young boy from our ward that didn't respond to his challenge. I have no idea why some of the others failed to respond, but I remember well that I had some very uncomfortable feelings about bearing a testimony as a result of being challenged to do so. Like many of the things we never become comfortable with in our lives, being challenged to bear a testimony is one that still lingers with me.

During my life as an active member of the Church I have had ample opportunity to teach and speak and bear testimony to others. Therefore, I have seldom taken the opportunity to bear my testimony during the special Sacrament Meeting which is set aside monthly for the bearing of testimonies. I always felt the members of my ward or stake heard my declaration of my beliefs enough and that these meetings gave others the opportunity to bear their testimonies.

Shortly after returning with Kathleen from Colombia where we had served for three years presiding over the Bogota Colombia North Mission, (during which time there had been very few days when we hadn't born our testimonies of the truthfulness of the restored gospel) ironically, at the end of one of the first classes I taught after resuming my career in the Church Education System, a bright young girl approached me and asked why I didn't bear my testimony more during the lessons. Evidently, the brother whom I had replaced often bore his testimony on points of the gospel during the lesson, emphasizing his words with ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’. My self-examination on that occasion ended up with me in exactly the same place I had been before her inquiry. This was, that I felt the entirety of my lesson preparation and presentation was me bearing my testimony.

One of the last major times I had to examine my testimony took place after I retired from full time teaching, but was still teaching an adult religion class once a week. One of the experienced (a euphemism for old) brothers in the class was working on a project building a model of the plates which Joseph Smith had removed from the Hill Cumorah. He had bought an engraving machine and was able to engrave on plates. He offered to engrave my testimony on a plate and I accepted. This now has a place among the most treasured of the articles of remembrance I have from my 50 plus years of teaching.

I believe on all of these occasions, whatever was said or whatever I felt was an honest expression of my beliefs and in some cases my knowledge, of principles and doctrines of the gospel of Jesus the Christ.

I suspect, all of you will be able to relate to my words when I say that what I felt was my testimony as a young man, what I felt was my testimony as I have served in various capacities and callings, what I felt was my testimony after Kathleen and I served in Colombia and what I felt was my testimony which is now engraven on metal plates has gone through many phases and had a wide band of variety and has many degrees of depth and growth.

In fact, my testimony has not only tossed to and fro over the length of my life, but I find if I really examine what I am feeling and what I am believing in, it seems to be in a state of change with each passing moment and with each situation in which I find myself in life.

There are times when I am overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or enjoying an expanded vista from high on a mountain top, or even like this morning as I was out driving and the hills near our home made me feel like I was in Ireland or back in Colombia, where velvety green is the year round dress of the hills; it is during these times my heart fills with wonder and awe at the magnificence of this sphere we call our home. Even when I was young and my friends and I would lie on the lawn at night and gaze into the heavens that feeling of awe overwhelmed me and I had to turn my head so my friends wouldn't see my eyes leaking. The glorious pictures from the Hubble telescope have increased my vision, almost to the explosion level, about the wonders of the Creations of God. This WONDER part of my testimony has undoubtedly been the most constant constellation in the vastness which makes up my belief system.

There is another part of my testimony which I refer to as my GENERAL beliefs. It is just always there, but seems to ebb as the tides sometimes come crashing upon me and other times it seems as smooth as a giant mirror as far as the eye can see. This is the testimony which I express with the words ‘I know’. I know the church is true. I know the gospel is true. It isn't an overwhelming emotion like I feel with my WONDER moments, but it never seems to fail. It keeps me praying. It keeps me reading the Scriptures. It keeps me going to church and to the Temple. It makes me say I know there has to be a power greater than men to have all this govern such an extensive and positive part of my daily life.

I have known for a very long time that I feel the sustaining witness of the Holy Spirit most abundantly when I bear witness of specific beliefs. Obviously, I call this variety of my testimony SPECIFIC. I think the best way to explain what I refer to as my specific testimony is to give you a few examples. I have had Moroni’s promise in the 10th chapter of the book in the Book of Mormon which bears his name, fulfilled by the Holy Spirit planting deeply in my heart the truth of words in that book of scripture. I have had such a powerful witness by the Holy Spirit that Joseph Smith saw and spoke to God the Father and His son Jesus the Christ in the grove near his home in Palmyra, New York, that I would have to deny my own existence before I could deny the actuality of that event. I will include just one more example. I have had individual confirmations from the Holy Spirit that David O. Mackay, Spencer W. Kimball, Neal A. Maxwell, Jeffery R. Holland, and Bruce R. McConkie along with many other men and women have spoken with the tongues of angels as they bore witness of the truths of the gospel and the reality of Jesus the Christ being actively engaged in the work of the kingdom.

There is a part of my testimony which probably shares DNA with all the other parts of my belief system which I call my OBEDIENCE testimony. Once again, although I feel this is a distinct area of my belief system, it cannot be separated from the rest of the constellation of my being. It is that force which causes me to continue to accept assignments and callings in the church and attempt to magnify them. It is that force which moves me to follow the living prophets. It is that force which gives me a desire to congregate with the saints and receive the synergistic stimulus of group worship. It is that force which compels me to find ways to share my understanding, knowledge and beliefs with others. It is that force which makes living according to the word of wisdom, paying of tithes and offerings and makes being a lay minister a joy and not a burden. It is that force which moves me to wear out my life serving in the House of the Lord. I know that that which pushes and sustains me in obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel is real and mandated from heavenly sources.

The last division of my belief system and probably the most difficult to share and express is what I refer to as my PERSONAL testimony. It consists of the following very personal feelings which have been cemented in my being by the Holy Spirit. I have a love for my Heavenly Parents and for my Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ which is as real as the completeness of my love for Kathleen, my offspring and my parents. There are times when I am so filled with the love I feel from my Heavenly Father that I have a sense of being suspended between mortality and immortality. His love lifts me and makes me joyful as I proclaim that I am a child of God. There have been too many occasions when, during the process of repentance, I have felt consumed with the grace, mercy and love of my Redeemer as sorrow for wrong choices was evaporated by His Atoning gift. I wish I could say it was ever constant, but I am more than grateful for every moment I have been enveloped with a heightened desire by the Holy Spirit to move closer to becoming like my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ.

I am grateful for the path my Heavenly Father prepared and planned for my mortal existence. I am not sure what part of my belief system it falls under, but I do believe as part of His work and glory to bring to pass His children’s immortality and eternal life, He has a plan for each of us which will enable us to maximize our progression wherever we are placed or whatever path we find ourselves traversing.

I so testify in the name of Jesus the Christ – Amen



Friday, April 21, 2017


Sometimes we are influenced by the Holy Spirit – when we are preparing a talk or a lesson – there are also times when powerful promptings – come to us during our presentations!!

Thursday, April 20, 2017


If our desire is to increase our spiritual strength – we must increase the number of reps of those exercises – designed for strengthening the spiritual part of our beings!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Spiritual strength is acquired much like physical strength – if we want any port of us to be strengthened – we must increase the number of reps – which affect the part of our being we are trying to strengthen!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


If it is true that the forgiver always receives the greater benefit – which comes from the application of the principles of the law of forgiveness – would this not be another manifestation – of the greatness of Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ!!

Monday, April 17, 2017


The rewards which come from the true application of the principle of forgiveness – will always be greater for those who forgive – than for those who are forgiven!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Although it has now been decades since my sister Geraldene gave me a collection of six pictures which Richard Hook and his wife, Frances, painted, while I sit at the computer it only takes a slight lifting of my head left and I am once again able to see and appreciate this thoughtful gift given so many years ago.

Geraldene had mounted them on plaques in a process I think was called deco-paging, which had its 15 minutes of fame along with stuffed geese and resin grapes among the members of the largest women’s organization in the world. Except for the three years Kathleen and I spent in Colombia presiding over the Bogota North Mission, they have always adorned a prominent position on the walls of the various offices I have occupied during my career and now in my retirement years.

Although all six plaques depict Jesus the Christ, the Savior of mankind, they each fill me with different emotions and sensitivities. His universal-ness is magnified as one inspects the paintings more closely and notices that the faces of the Savior are different in each picture. I have always thought this was an excellent way of depicting that indeed He is every man and every woman and there is no one left unrepresented in His life and mission.

On this Easter Sunday, I would like to take a few minutes to describe these paintings and the feelings I have derived through the years while sitting and pondering at various desks in a variety of chairs. Over the years they have been mounted on walls in a variety of designs and combinations. Currently, Kathleen has arranged them all on one row above the window in our home office.

The first picture, starting on my left, is a frontal bust of the Savior with tousled hair and a pleasant beard. Looking at this picture I get the sense that He is full of excitement for life and all of its infinite possibilities. I see joy in His eyes as I envision Him looking forward positively toward the experiences of mortality. I feel energy emanating from His countenance, which floods me with an assurance that all things are possible for those who walk upon His paths of righteousness.

Moving to the right, in the second picture, we see the Savior gently conversing with four young children, who I would guess to be three or four years old. He is cradling one of the children around the neck and under the chin with His mighty and great hands. It is not difficult even with a short glance to be struck with the tenderness and compassion which was a hallmark of His mission then, is now and will be forever. I am left without doubt that He is indeed the Savior of even the least of us. I am enlightened with the understanding that we are called to minister in all of our stewardships with that same tenderness and compassion.

In the third picture, Jesus the Christ is grasping His forehead in an attitude of prayer. Much of His face is eclipsed by His hands, but there never has been a doubt in my mind that this was meant to be a depiction of the Savior. One quickly understands the prophesy pronounced, that every knee would bow and every tongue would confess, even included the Son of God. A simple picture with such a profound reminder that if He must submit Himself to prayer, then certainly all of Heavenly Father’s children, likewise, need to be ever faithful in seeking guidance and giving gratitude through prayer!!

In the fourth picture, we once again see the Savior surrounded by a large group of children, this time they seem to range in ages between seven to ten years. The Savior has His arm around the shoulder of one young lad and a young miss is leaning upon the shoulder of the seated Lord. I guess it is because this picture shows a group of children slightly older than those depicted in the second picture that I am often struck with the thought that in the sight of God we are all children in various stages of progression. I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I envision Him patiently lifting and sustaining us all; regardless of what decade of our apprenticeship we might currently be passing through. My attention is also drawn to the attentive attitude of all the children in the picture and I am renewed to a degree in my commitment to Him. I come to understand that my commission is to love my brothers and sisters regardless of what degree of progress they are currently in or in which field they have been planted.

The next to last picture is another bust of the Savior, who in this one is looking slightly over His left shoulder. In this picture His hair is combed nicely and His beard evenly trimmed. The Master’s eyes are looking afar, as if being focused on a home far away beyond the range of mortal sight. His eyes fill me with the sense of homesickness I experienced on my first night of my first scout camp, and I think of the home and Parents I left to come to earth and a twinge of scout camp loneliness creeps into my soul. I am reminded that we must take time to dismiss our mortal short sightedness and focus on eternal realities if we are going to return to live with Them again.

The sixth and last picture shows the Savior in a pastoral scene. He is the Good Shephard leading His sheep to green pastures and away from perilous canyons. He has a previously lost lamb cradled around His neck upon His shoulders. His face depicts the glee of finding one that was lost, but now is found. Gratefulness fills the heart of this lowly lamb as I recognize the need for the protective guidance and protection which can only come from the Good Shepherd. I am further struck with overwhelming appreciation because I know that no matter how far I might stray He will always be there to lift my burdens when I feel faint and do all in His power to bring me safely home.

I don't have a picture of any of the traditional pictures of the Trial, Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Savior on my wall, but in a very real way, every day as I glance at those six pictures, I am filled with a vibrant reminder that all He was and all He did would have been for naught if He had not completed the work His Father sent Him to do.

I suppose over the decades, hundreds of hours have been spent pondering while looking at those pictures, which were a gift from my loving sister who has now returned home and no longer feels the pangs of being a stranger in a strange land.

I know they have helped me gain a greater understanding of the meaning of life.

Many days of stress have been eased as I’ve been able to sit and think of them during a few minutes of quite meditation.

I have thought several times, if these earthly attempts at depicting His character and countenance have worked such marvelous wonders in my life, what would be the result of being able to enjoy His presence.

I have come to believe with all my heart, that whatever effort it might take on one’s part to be able to have the privilege of such an audience, the price could never be too great.

I know He has paid the uttermost farthing, and that all He asks is that I cast in my mite.



Friday, April 14, 2017


Although our example – may be the most powerful testimony we can provide – there will be many times – when it is essential we express it verbally!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Opening the gift of assurance – from our Heavenly Father – is an individual responsibility!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Faith is our gift to God – assurance is His gift to us!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


The constancy of the companionship – we enjoy with the Holy Spirit – is generally dependent – upon the sincerity of our personal invitations!!

Monday, April 10, 2017


Because of their inexhaustible mercy and grace – Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ – are able to put equal importance on all prayers – whether they are offered by an individual – or – when the voices of thousands petition in unison!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017


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

There has been a shift of epic proportions from the family of Father Knows Best starring Robert Young and Jane Wyatt even beyond the dysfunctional family of Al and Peggy Bundy in Married With Children to where we have finally arrived at the realistic portrayal of the modern family in the situation comedies of the 21st century.

Even from the glass dome of my ivory tower, the picture seems pretty clear that in an effort to portray a ‘true’ picture of family life, there has been a deliberate move toward portraying the ‘traditional family’ in such a negative way, that any arrangement of communal groupings has to be a better situation than the ‘traditional family’.

Having been the beneficiary of growing up in a ‘traditional family’ and having shared my life with a loving wife and family which tried to sustain the values of the ‘traditional family,’ I would like to spend my efforts in this week’s Thought defending two points.

1. Heavenly Father, long before Adam and Eve, established the family as the fundamental unit where the essential Eternal attribute of love could be learned and practiced.

2. Satan is well aware, that if he can destroy the family in mortality and diminish its fundamental role, there will be one less force helping to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal Life of Heavenly Father’s Children.

Before going any further, I want it to be understood: this is not a Thought denouncing anyone or any group who have chosen to live in a non-traditional family situation, but merely an explanation of why the ‘traditional family’ is essential to Heavenly Father’s advancement of His Plan and why Lucifer would expend so much effort in trying to destroy the ‘traditional family.’

The statements advocating the value of point number one will be in bold type and can be referred to as Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness, while those revealing the demonic destructive tactics of the Devil will be in regular type and can be referred to as Satan’s Plan of Misery.


Teaches – Heavenly Father is a loving parent – who places an eternal importance on the institution of family

Teaches – the intact family – is no longer a socially needed or useful institution

Teaches – concern for the entirety of the soul of His children and their eternal progression – placing an emphasis on the nature of the whole being

Teaches – us to be consumed with the importance of the physical body – encouraging us to strive toward the Venus or Adonis ideal – while at the same time enticing us to consume trendy, exotic and less nutritious foods

Teaches – the importance of keeping children safe from the storms of life – by providing a protective umbrella – which includes Family Home Evening – Family Prayer – and wholesome activities – and believes parents have the primary stewardship – for the eternal development of their offspring

Teaches – the stewardship for the education and production of good human beings – lies primarily with community and governmental institutions

Teaches – the rolls of father and mother – are eternal stewardship callings – which hold a preeminent status on earth and in the heavens

Teaches – the necessity of creating and re-creating patch up institutions – whose failure ratios far exceeds their successes

Teaches – the family is the unit ordained to guide the newborn – from its state of innocence – encouraging growth toward self-identity and maturity – while maintaining purity

Teaches – purity is a fantasy – not to be accepted by mature self-identified humans –expounding the need for more and more elaborate ways – of avoiding the consequences of impure acts – or inventing methods to mop up messes created by immoral decisions – thus encouraging their continuation

Teaches – self-esteem is the foundational element of healthy communities – projecting positive parental patterns onto posterity – is the most important element in building self-esteem

Teaches – the values of the world change so rapidly – that each new generation – would be foolish to use the example of previous generations

Teaches – the importance of education of parents – constantly upgrading and improving their skills – in order to qualify them to deal with changing conditions

Teaches – a constant demeaning of the effectiveness of parenting – by pointing out the broken and dysfunctional units – while encouraging an ever increasing preponderance of parenting by permissive-ness

Teaches – the main source of parental guidance – should be living Apostles and Prophets – who are able to see afar – with spiritual eyes

Teaches – a way of dealing with life’s calamities – by building institutional fences – around the evils of the entrenched calamity – as failures encroach upon the continuation of the species

Teaches – women will find their highest fulfillment – through the nurturing and educating of their children – leading them on the paths toward Eternal Life

Teaches – women will find fulfillment – having their value and talents recognized by mortal peers and governmental institutions

Teaches – the role of father – is the only eternally important stewardship – given to men during mortality

Teaches – fathers are mostly self-serving, malfunctioning beings – who are insensitive to others needs – especially those of women

Teaches – parents must instill the importance of – accountability – responsibility – cooperation – based on absolute Eternal truths

Teaches – the importance of – independence – competition – legality – based on current fancies and trends

Teaches – parents must instill – righteous indignation – which is based on respect of others, their opinions and beliefs – and never gives license to demean or undermine

Teaches – whatever means which will help me achieve my goal – are in play – any harm to others during the process – is all part of the game

Teaches – parents must instill – forgiveness as an act of love – imperfections in others should be viewed as an invitation for help – help should be given by – never letting the right hand know what the left is about

Teaches – when person arrives at the point where they recognize their own significance – they can judge the imperfections of another as a reason for rejection – likewise – a person who is full of hate – is enlightened to the defects or others – and has a duty to pontificate personally and publicly other’s shortcomings

Teaches – the day will come when the scales are lifted from our eyes – we will then see clearly – things as they really are.

Teaches – there is no God or Satan – therefore I am both the employee and employer of my life

Teaches – by striving to live according to Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness – we will continually have a sense of being fulfilled

Teaches – us to concentrate on feeling unfulfilled – always needing to quest for more – leading to us to misery – which is the end game of his plan

Hence, we all live in a world unalterably founded upon the principles of the laws of agency. Thereby, our societies and cultures, including our homes are going to come in innumerable variations. Our loving Heavenly Father has given us His Plan of Happiness which is founded upon the institution of a righteous family, and left us with the choice of how much of the consequential happiness we will enjoy because of our faithful obedience to His outlined principles.



Friday, April 7, 2017


Because of their omnipresence – Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ – are able to give equal attention to all prayers – whether they are offered – in chapel, church, cathedral, synagogue, mosque – or – Temple – on mountain’s top, ocean’s vastness, desert’s desolation, forest’s shadows, home’s hearth – or – a stranger stranded in a strange land!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Because of their universal love of all mankind – Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ – listen attentively to all prayers – whether they emanate from Asia, Europe, Africa, North or South America, Australia or any of the isles of the seas!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Because they are divine – Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ – will always hear all prayers – whether they are offered habitually and casually –or – come from the depths of a sincere heart!!

Monday, April 3, 2017


When a tally is made of all our prayers – Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ – will have attentively listened – to a far greater number – than those which were sincerely offered!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017


It was during the summer of 1978 when Kathleen and I sat together in a beautiful air-conditioned bus looking out the window at a very interesting phenomenon.

What we were looking at was a well-defined line where the sands of the Sanai merge with the fertile productive loam distributed along the Nile Valley during millennia of flooding.

As we witnessed the stark contrast between the barren desert and the fruitful valley, I couldn't help but think of Moses as he stood somewhere along this line. I wondered what he thought as he turned his back on the bounties of Egypt’s storehouses and faced the bleakness ahead and led the children of Israel into that blistering desert.

This moment must have been a climatic symbol of the great change which had come upon him when he had turned his back on being a prince of Egypt and accepted the Lord’s call to become His prophet.

I doubt that in his wildest dreams he would have ever envisioned that the innumerable earthly treasures of his princely life would be have to be sacrificed and the Lord would put him on scorching path which would lead him and countless numbers of Heavenly Father’s children to Eternal Treasures.

We, much like Moses, often stand on a line which divides:

Bleakness from Brightness

Gloom from Glitter

Futility from Fertility

Calamity from Calmness

Recklessness from Restfulness

Sadness from Serenity

Sadly, when standing on a line with our limited understanding we are often confused between:

Bleakness and Brightness

Gloominess and Glitter

Futility and Fertility

Calamity and Calmness

Recklessness and Restfulness

Sadness and Serenity

And, thereby, lose the blessings the Lord has in store for us.

The struggle which attends these dramatic choices we are called upon to make in our lives:

Brings a little trauma into the life of every single person as they contemplate sacrificing the spoils of mortality for the promise of receiving joy in their posterity

Brings a little trauma into the life of every graduate as they contemplate an entry level job for the promise of some future comforts

Brings a little trauma into the life of us all as we stand in every store or showroom and struggle between self-indulgence and being a charitable person

Brings a little trauma into the life of each of us as we try to decide how to divide our precious hours between hobbies and recreation, and our family and church stewardships

Brings a little trauma into the life of every one of us as we struggle between minding our own business and being our brother’s keeper

Many times since that day Kathleen and I sat together gazing out the window of our comfortable air-conditioned bus entering the desert just outside of Cairo, Egypt, I have figuratively found myself on that line between desert and paradise; torn between the comforts of the now and the unknown of what might be out in the desolate hot sands.

Not yet as Moses, but to a small degree, I have come to realize that decisions made with the understanding of the natural eye are usually very shortsighted. Only as I attempt to see with the visions available to the spiritual eye do I gain the strength to reject the treasures of the world and begin to be led in my wanderings toward the promised land of Life Eternal.