Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Our greatest strength against falling into temptation – may well be – a constant remembrance – that we are offspring of Deity!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


One of the greatest truths – we may ever come to know – is that we are not only sons and daughters of earthly parents – but we likewise are eternal offspring of Heavenly Parents!!

Monday, May 29, 2017


It is perhaps more important to learn – to hear the whisperings of the Holy Spirit – than it is to fill our minds with the words of wise mortals!!

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Small thin lines are easily stepped over or ignored. Most of us have at one time or another justified sticking a toe or two over those lines, with the self-assurance that we will easily be able to quickly retreat to the safe side of the line, only to wake one day and realize the line is hardly visible on the horizon behind us.

One of those lines comes under the heading of vanity. Although it may include the kind of vanity upon which the cosmetic and fashion world have amassed fortunes, the more inclusive definition from the dictionary says vanity is that which is worthless, futile or a state of being falsely proud of oneself. We can easily see how the common use of covering physical flaws with camouflaging cosmetics or shape changing clothing can be referenced as a form of vanity. If used in the correct way, there would be few of us who have not done the two step dance over vanity’s thin line.

When we read of the scriptural condemnation of vanity, we should understand that the reference may have included painted Jezebels and Cleopatra’s, but the proclamation that vanity was one of the most destructive sins of mankind encompassed a much larger congregation.

Old Testament prophets identified vanity as the cause of the judgements of God coming upon the people. Modern revelation reaffirms that they of old did not have exclusive rights to the consequences of vanity.

New Testament apostles identified vanity as that which caused people to turn from God. Modern revelation brings meaning to the ancient words by saying vain people become gods unto themselves.

Modern day prophets have proclaimed and pinpointed vanity as that which brings us all to be governed by frailty and foolishness.

There have probably been times for each of us when it could have been said, even if but for brief line crossing, toe tapping moments:

Do you really think the world revolves around your head?

Do you really believe if you were not, neither would the world be?

Why are you acting as if everyone were subservient to you?

Do you really think that cap is a crown?

Do you really think your position on every matter is the right one?

Do you ever wonder if the day will ever come when you realize you do not have a corner on correct ideas and answers!

Of course, during this last phase of my mortal life, I now stay well away from the thin line which separates my normal modest self from any form of vanity. However, there was a time when I kept a list in my pocket to remind me that the vanity line I was just going to briefly cross with my littlest toe, was approaching the far away horizon in my rear view mirror.

WATCH OUT – When you are getting upset that others are talking so much about themselves that you can't interject the words which would help them understand how wonderful you are!

WATCH OUT – When you become convinced that your trivial squirts of facts are fountains overflowing with wisdom!

WATCH OUT – When you think the inch of territory you have gained makes you a ruler!

WATCH OUT – When you think the rut you are in indicates you are in the groove!

In just a short time of rummaging in garbage heaps, salvage yards and even in museums and libraries, we will soon come to the realization that these are all repositories of yesterday’s latest and greatest which are now looked upon as outdated and antiquated.

Book shelves in the dingy basements of libraries are overflowing with seldom-read best sellers of ages gone by.

Salvage yards expand their fences in order to accommodate the accumulation of the dreary remains of Detroit’s dream designs.

Mountainous monetary gain is being accumulated as new ways of disposing of Mt. Everest sized heaps of yesterday’s indispensables are engineered.


I have no idea what reminders would be best for each of us as we twinkle a toe over that thin line of vanity, but it might help if we are feeling especially pleased with ourselves to blow some dust off of some half read books or go to a junk yard and scrape some rust off of a Pontiac or just drive by a garbage dump and take a big sniff. And then maybe, just maybe, we will remember for a moment the mite that we really are, and quickly pull our toe back from that thin line of vanity.



Saturday, May 27, 2017


It is interesting – that to many – the events of life are all opportunities – while – to others they are all burdens!!

Friday, May 26, 2017


In the end – it is probably the reciprocal interaction – between the love for the Lord we extend – and His love extended to us – which overwhelms us with warmth!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


We can ponder at length – but will probably never discover – whether loving the Lord – or – feeling His love for us – causes the greatest warmth!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


The inconsistencies of the moments – we are warmed by feeling the love of the Lord – don't come as a result of His love not having been extended – but probably because we have slipped – in our ability to feel His consistently sent love!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


There are few things – which will warm our souls more – than the feeling which comes to us – when we feel the love of the Lord!!

Monday, May 22, 2017


One of the greatest insights – we may ever gain – will come when we are struck with the realization – our thoughts and words – were of no more value – than those of our neighbors!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017


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

During the time when I was having such a marvelous time sharing with some of the adults of South Orange County, California the wonderful talks by Elder Maxwell, periodically I would be struck with inspiration which led to an additional lesson on a talk. These lessons I called transitional, but I felt then and now feel that they were much more than that.

Therefore, this week’s Thought for a Sabbath Day will be based on one of those transitional lessons which were developed from feelings I had while leading those adults through several lessons based on a talk of Elder Maxwell’s which he had entitled All Hell Shall Be Moved.


I know I am not alone when I recognize that oft times I have fallen short of fulfilling my responsibilities as a Kingdom builder for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The problem isn't that I have been unable to realize my short comings, but I think it is my not really understanding why I so frequently felt that I was falling short of my capabilities.

A dear friend and colleague of mine Jack Rushton who is now laboring on the other side of the veil, spent many years of his mortal span as a quadriplegic after an accident which happened while he was enjoying a day at the ocean with his family. With the help of family and friends and most especially his beloved wife, he dedicated many hours of that later span of his life, fulfilling his responsibilities in the kingdom as an ordained Patriarch, Sunday School teacher and entertaining speaker.

Jack’s explanation for why he was able to continue faithfully fulfilling his building the Kingdom duties was that the Lord had given him a vision which blessed him with the knowledge of who he really was.

There have been times during my various stewardships in the Church and as a father, when I have had eternal glimpses of who family members or those who fell under the umbrella of my stewardships really were. As I tried to express to them – if they really understood who they really were – I knew I was falling fall short of moving them forward to that understanding. The bonus for me, having received these brief incites of both family and friends, has been that in spite of what detours they might take away from the path during their lives, I know who they are and know the day will come when they too will know.

I have often wondered why we so often fall short of gaining those kinds of insights which would help us know who we really are. The problem seems to be that we often fall short of being able to distinguish between:

(1) The image of ourselves we have when we try to interpret the feedback from others of the impressions we think they have of us.

(2) The image we have of ourselves as we ponder and evaluate our thoughts, joys, sorrows, desires, reactions and struggles.

(3) The perception we think Heavenly Father and Jesus the Christ have of us, when we think of all the decisions we have made contrary to their desires.



We need to be ever on the alert that we are not creating faulty impressions about ourselves, based on superficial impressions others have of us as they see us through a dense fog. It would be a damaging mistake which could lead to halting performance in the Kingdom, if we were ever to allow the superficial interpretations of others to influence our belief in who we really are. We would really do damage to our future progress if we allowed these images to persuade us as to what our eternal possibilities or outcome might be.

At any given preliminary stage of our existence, we in and of ourselves will never have a complete knowledge of who we are. We are at times are blinded by too much light and at other times we stumble in darkness. We would drastically error and could even be led to fall short of our capabilities in the Kingdom, if we were to judge our eternal worth based on today’s product. Once again, we could do great harm to the level of our desire and performance, if we were to ever think that that which we are today is what we will ever be.

We all should have long ago come to the understanding that God’s knowledge and understanding are not our understanding. Therefore, whatever guesses we might make as to what Heavenly Father or Jesus the Christ might think of us we will always fall short of the mark.

We are left with two possibilities, we can either be blessed with an inspired understanding about who we are, such as that given to Jack Rushton, or falling short of that gift. We can begin by believing what the prophets have been inspired to tell us about who we are and what are our performance possibilities.

Through the Prophets of God it had been revealed:

We are children of Heavenly Parents

We progressed and passed the requirements of our First Estate (Also call our Pre Mortal Estate)

Whatever assignment we might have in the Kingdom – we should remember we have been called, ordained or set apart and been promised angels would attend us

Our eternal outcome will be perfectly and individually administered by Jesus the Christ

We can receive the gift of a personal understanding of who we are by receiving a patriarchal blessing

We can have the blessing of personal revelation assuring us who we really are

The Holy Ghost as the Comforter will bring peace to our souls as we haltingly attempt to do Father’s will

The Pure Love of Christ can be poured upon us, filling our soul with joy, as we attempt to put upon ourselves His attributes, characteristics and perfections

Although the glass I view eternal truths with continues to wobble between moments of clarity amid hours of opaqueness:

I have come to know that as we peel away the masks of deception molded by believing in the superficial interpretations which others have of us, we will with increasing frequency have a closer image of our own reality. And we will be of greater value in the Kingdom.

I further know that as the scales of misunderstanding we have of who we really are fall from our eyes, peace, happiness and joy will be more constant companions. And we will be of greater value in the Kingdom.

I absolutely know that as our understanding is enlightened by prophetic and personal revelation, we will find ourselves feeling an increase of love towards Heavenly Father and, more importantly, we will feel an increase of love from our Heavenly Father. And we will be of greater value in the Kingdom.





Saturday, May 20, 2017


Why should we think ourselves worthy of a grander steed – than that ridden by the King of Kings – when he entered into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey!!

Friday, May 19, 2017


We enter the castle of disillusionment – when we think we understand – the trial endured by people – of another time or place!!

Thursday, May 18, 2017


We enter into the realm of a house of mirrors – when we think we can walk in the shoes of another – and understand their troubles!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


The words – ‘you will never walk alone’ – are not only wonderful lyrics for a song – but a loving promise from the Eternal Father – to all of His children!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Glorious earthly mansions – will never shine as illustriously – as a humble heavenly abode!!

Monday, May 15, 2017


We need to be careful – that the concern for our physical health and well-being – doesn't diminish our regard for our spiritual well-being!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


For some reason during the time I was writing the Thoughts I shared during the 12 Days of Christmas, I also managed to get about 10 weeks ahead on the writing of my weekly Sabbath Day Thoughts. The reason I am mentioning this is that today is March 8, 2017, but as the date on this Thought notes, I am writing the Thought which will be posted and published on May 14, 2017, which also happens to be the day Mother’s day is celebrated in the United States of America.

Ironically, the day March 8, 2017 when I was doing this writing, was also the International Day of Women and the women in the United States of America were staying home from work in protest against President Trump. I am not sure if these two events are coincidental or somehow deeply symbolic.

I am one of those strange creatures who has never understood the battle of the sexes or the race each seems to be waging for one to gain superiority over the other. I believe if I were to take an inventory of people who have been meaningful mentors in my life the balance between men and women would be pretty equal.

However, I being a man (I believe that is the universal excuse used when a person of the male gender lacks understanding about a trait which usually falls into the female gender’s psyche), I must confess I am more impressed by the mysteriousness which emanates from women, than any such phenomena from men.

For example, there are two rituals dealing with the birth of a new child, which I have found it wise to drift into the background when they are taking place. I have found that this distance barrier makes it possible for me to remain aloof of personal involvement and also gives me a panoramic view from which I can gain a great deal of undetected pleasure. It is almost like having a box seat to a wonderful play.

The first is the naming of the child. We all understand that this is definitely one of those arenas of life where pleasing all the members of the family falls out of the realm of possibility. I must make a bit of a confession here. That would be that I gained most of this wisdom long after Kathleen and I had named our six children pretty much on our own.

The second is a ritual about who the baby resembles once it has arrived. I have watched this identification ritual with wonder, coming to the conclusion, if you use enough of the features of the child, you can satisfy the entire ancestry possibly back to Noah. Eyebrows, nose, hair line, ears, eyes, chin, cheeks, fingers, toes etc. help parents, grandparents and every other member of the clan to feel they have gained a small bit of immortality through the perpetuation of their features.

These customs which surround the coming of a new child along with baby showers and every woman who ever comes near the newborn wanting to hold it in their arms, I try to understand, but I am sure I will never truly appreciate as does another women.

With that introduction, which I am pretty confident will end up being longer than the body of this Thought, I will switch gears and write about the contributions the mentors in my life, who just happen to be female, have given to me during my life. I will mention only two by name; my mother, Nina, who nurtured and mentored me daily for the first 19 years of my life and has left an influence upon me which will extend eternally, and my eternal companion, Kathleen, who as of this writing has been my companion, mentoring and influencing me, for almost six decades.

Benjamin, one of the great prophet/kings of the Book of Mormon, as he was teaching his people about being a child of the Savior Jesus the Christ, asked the question if He (Christ) could be seen in their countenances. (Maybe there is something to this seeing ancestor’s features in the newborn). The Savior added to this theme when he encouraged us to let His light shine through us.

Now let me attempt to tie my mother and wife as primary mentors in my life to the concept of what we should be striving to emulate in our beings to be seen by others.

These are a few of the things I have been taught by precept and example:

Our feet should be seen ever walking on the straight path, pressing forward toward righteousness, shod in holiness, never kicking against the pricks.

Our hands should be lifted to heaven as a sign of gratitude, doing acts of kindness, gently giving comfort, warding off the darts of the adversary.

Our heart should be warm, easily entreated, full of feeling toward the needs of neighbors, never hard.

Our shoulders should be willing to bear the burdens of others, lifting a neighbor, never shirking.

Our head should be bowed in humility, resolute in choosing righteousness, never lifted in pride.

Our eyes should be filled with the light of Christ, single to the glory of God, never looking lustfully.

Our mouth should teach, expound and exhort, bear fervent testimony of truth, never bearing false witness.

When the entire being is properly framed, others should see the image of Christ engraven upon the soul.

When life is over the only success which will really have any eternal bearing, is how closely we have come to emulate the life of the Savior.

I am pretty sure there have been many men who have added to my mentoring in these concepts about having the countenance of Christ engraven upon my own countenance, but like finding the best name for a baby or seeing grandmother’s twinkle in the newborn’s eyes, they will be more accurate and leave a lasting impression upon us and will sink more deeply into our natures because they emanate from the God gifted tender nurturing souls of women.



Friday, May 12, 2017


The Savior assures us – that if we learn to love God and our neighbors – we would thereby have gained the secret – to being able to obey – all laws!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


The gospel becomes simple – when we realize the requirements for obedience to the law of love – is sufficient to bring us to obedience to all the laws!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


We would be wise to make full use of today – since none of us has an assurance of tomorrow!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


There is really only one climatic event – in the history of this world – the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ!!

Monday, May 8, 2017


There will never be a greater manifestation of our love for the Savior – than our daily observance of His commandments!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017


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

I never realized while I was deeply absorbed in my career with the Church Education System, that I was usually so preoccupied with preparing and presenting lessons, doing administrative and supervision duties that I seldom took time to ponder about what I was preparing and presenting.

One of the great blessings of having my life extended into the retirement years is that I have a lot of freedom in what I do with my mind. Although I know I spend a lot of time letting my mind wander in fairly meaningless arenas, there are times when I do what I think the Savior admonished us to do, which He referred to as pondering.

One of the little principles I have been pondering of late involves all of mankind for all eternity. When we contemplate the various stages we all pass through during our eternal existence we quickly realize that even for those who are blessed or cursed (I will leave you to ponder on what you think is the best descriptor) with lengthy lives, mortality makes up but a very minute fraction of our individual eternal existences.

Not only does our earthly journey constitute a minuscule part of our eternal existence, but when we think of the billions of Heavenly Father’s children who have paused for various lengths of time on this earth, it doesn't take long before our pondering leads us to understand that only a few of those billions have had the full opportunity to use their agency concerning accepting or rejecting the fullness of the gospel plan while treading the continents of this beautiful globe.

As we examine the verity of the mortal experiences of beings, it would be difficult for us to come to any conclusion other than that He, who will judge righteously, will have an individual measuring device for determining the progress of each of His children. Not to belabor the point (pondering often extends the gestation periods of birthing thoughts), but my brother Fred who passed away after only eight days of breathing this atmosphere, will not have his mortal tests measured with the same yard stick as I, who have had the privilege of almost eight decades and continue to count. The abandoned sewer children of Bogota, Colombia, will not be measured upon the same scale as father Abraham.

I won't even begin to suggest my pondering has led me to a total understanding of the eternal existence of beings, but I have been significantly impressed that the preponderance of all beings undergo the vast majority of their agency tests during stages of life other than that which is called mortality.

I am about to make an abrupt shift in my pondering and hopefully I won't cause any of you to suffer whip lash.

Of all of the billions of Heavenly Father’s children who have or who will spend at least some moments dwelling upon this planet, I definitely know myself better than any other being. Therefore, excusing myself ahead of time, I will present some of those things my ponderings have led me to believe apply to me and to my test during my brief span of mortality.

Since I have been blessed or cursed (you be the judge) with having my mortal span extend beyond the three score and ten allotted on average to my generation, I have had the thought pass through my mind many times about those things I need to be doing to maximize the extended examination I have been given during this phase of my existence.

As Elder Neal A. Maxwell has taught, the closer I can come to arriving at correct understanding of the purpose of my life, the greater opportunity I will have of conducting myself in an appropriate way, which should make me a more worthy servant in the Lord’s marvelous work.

Correct Understanding

I have been blessed with an abundance of opportunity: to listen to a mountainous number of mentors, to exhaustibly study the words of men and prophets and to prepare and present the teachings of the inexhaustible gospel, but with all those gifts I know that correct understanding comes to us most powerfully when the windows of heaven are opened for precious moments and truth consumes our whole being.

With such a foundation, which I pray is continually strengthening, I should be able to see more clearly the path upon which I need to be troding.

Appropriate conduct

President Ezra Taft Benson once said ‘the most important thing we can discover in mortality is the purpose for which we were sent.’

On a personal basis I feel this must begin by correctly identifying the talents which I seem to have brought with me from my previous stage of life. As the Lord declared concerning the gifts of the Spirit, they are diversely given to each of us so that all may be edified as we share our gifts.

After making a correct assessment of my gifts and talents, a major part of my test will be to develop them so that the exercise of those talents will benefit a maximum number of my brothers and sisters.

Though this appropriate conduct, I become enveloped in that wonderful cycle of learning, developing, serving and knowing.

Serving in the Lord’s marvelous work

When Kathleen and I were serving in Colombia, there were several early mornings when I found myself awake long before any appropriate hour. On occasion, I would ponder and perhaps have the boldness to pray about, what kind of an instrument I could be in the hands of the Lord, if I had such an experience as Saul on the road to Damascus or Alma the son of Alma had as they began their missions.

On those mornings when the window of heaven would part briefly, I was always left with the understanding that I had been given sufficient to do the work in the part of the Lord’s vineyard to which I had been called.

It has been important for me in my stewardships over myself, with my family and with those whom I have been called to serve in the kingdom to always remember I have been given sufficient to accomplish the task I have been given.

I must confess that my personal journey has not been one of lacking understanding, nor of knowing the appropriate conduct, nor of having opportunities to serve, but I have had to guard against stagnation when I have trod the same path too continuously. I have had to guard against running too fast toward faintly defined goals and I have had to guard against misinterpreting the importance of my role.

The conclusion of all my pondering is that this is Heavenly Father’s work and His glory and He has dedicated the eternities to bringing it to pass and I should and will be grateful to have been included in laboring in a small corner of His vineyard during my brief span of mortality.



Friday, May 5, 2017


It is good to have special days of remembrance – to remind us that there are many things – we should be thankful for every day!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017


For some reason – we are surprised by the fact – that today – is also part of eternal life!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Of all the mentors we have in life – we will be most blessed – if we learn the greatest of them all – is the Holy Spirit!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


We can be certain – we will never find the pearl of great price – if we never seek for it!!

Monday, May 1, 2017


We can be certain we will never receive an answer – if we fail to as the question!!