Thursday, August 31, 2017


There will be some opposition – which can only be overcome – through the exercise of faith!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Because of the existence of some eternal equation – opposition and our personal progress – always seem to seem to be kept in balance!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


We don't need to be grateful – that opposition exists – but we do need to recognize – its essential part in the principle of agency!!

Monday, August 28, 2017


Because of the blindness we seem to have for our neighbor’s needs – we often miss choice opportunities – to feel the Savior’s love!!

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Although I was deeply involved in post graduate studies, or maybe it was because I was deeply involved in post graduate studies, I had a year which would have to be referred to as my Louis L’Amour period. It was unlike my Michener or Uris periods which were spread out over decades as I awaited their next contributions, but very much like my Fleming, Steinbeck, James and Lund periods whose novels I read after they had either passed away or completed the historical series I buried myself into.

Since L’Amour passed away before I started reading his works I was able, if I so desired, to read everything he had ever written. This period of escapism only lasted a little over a year and I only read 91 of his novels, which is but a pittance of his contributions to the literary world, but I learned a great deal about the Old West.

For example, I learned that Western Heroes seldom end up with fair maiden, you are not a true Western Hero unless you have had at least one lengthy fisti-cuff battle with the town villain or his henchman and when the Western Hero rode away from a town at the end of each novel he always left it living in peace with all villainous problems solved.

So that I don't appear to be a complete dolt who wasted a year reading meaningless stuff, L’Amour gave me many moments of morality thinking. For example, in one of his novels entitled The Quick and the Dead, he paints extended character sketches of the two main characters in the book. One of the men was educated in the East and well suited to coping with and solving problems which existed in a well-regulated society. The other was tutored in the ‘by the boot strap’ informal education of the West.

Besides the fair maiden and fisti-cuff stuff one of the major concepts that I pondered as I was reading this book is that education may only be valuable when it is suited to the environment in which it will be applied.

As I pondered this principle which was very applicable to that time when Kathleen and I were well into starting our family, while at the same time she was helping me get myself all degreed up, I came to the following preliminary, but what I now deem, important realities.

It would be wise to pursue educational studies which would be most useful in the environment in which we planned to be.

It would be good to assess the probable environment where we would abide and then pursue areas of study which would be most beneficial to one living in that environment.

It would be wise if this preparatory assessment included some thought about what kind of environment met your needs, would your field of study be beneficial there and what kind of people with whom you would be associating if you pursued your field of study and lived in your desired environment.

Since these preliminary decisions would affect the rest of your lives, it would be good to make sure your examination of these variables was exhaustive to at least give you a chance for a life of happiness and success.

I hope you don't feel like you have been yanked from a horse having been lassoed by a Western Hero as I make this abrupt change of direction in this Thought.

In the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord teaches us that there is a relationship between the concepts and thoughts we choose to put into our minds and by which we govern our lives and the eternal environment where those ideas and actions might prove to be most suitable.

He who cannot abide the law of a Celestial Kingdom cannot abide a Celestial Glory.

He who cannot abide the law of the Terrestrial Kingdom cannot abide a Terrestrial Glory.

He who cannot abide the law of the Telestial Kingdom cannot abide a Telestial Glory.

Just the names mortal and eternal should provide us with sufficient understanding that we will be spending the vast majority of our eternal existence in an environment other than that which makes up this brief moment of mortality.

If my pondering has led me down a correct line of understanding, then much like our exhaustive evaluation of our preparatory education and the environment in which it would be best suited then our examination of the environment in which we desire to spend the rest of our eternal existence dwelling should be even more exhaustive.

Just a few of the questions which I have found which needed extensive pondering:

Do I really believe that my present state of existence is part of the preparatory path for my eternal environment?

Are the scriptures not only a formula for happiness during mortality, but an important primer for inculcating into my life attributes needed for an eternally joyful environment?

Is being taught by living prophets, who receive inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father, part of the important curriculum which leads to understanding the environment I wish to inhabit after mortality?

Am I striving to gain the understanding of and absorb into my being the laws which will lead me to the Kingdom in which I am desirous of dwelling?

I am pretty sure just like there were days when the Western Hero didn't know if he could really solve all the town’s problems and just as my education versus environment examination didn't always bear the fruit anticipated, there will be days during our mortal trials when we wonder if we are capable of abiding the laws necessary to allow us to dwell in the environment of the Kingdom we desire, but the Lord has given us the promise that happiness and success can only be maximized in the Celestial Kingdom.


Saturday, August 26, 2017


We have a tendency to find excuses – why there are those – who are hungry – yet we feed them not – who are naked – yet we clothe them not – who are homeless – yet we shelter them not!!

Friday, August 25, 2017


There is no doubt that perfection is something – at present we can only dream of – and – have but a scant knowledge of – but none the less we should strive with our every thought and action – to practice what degree of perfection-ness we currently understand!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017


There are times when the phase – ‘what would Jesus do’ – is our only protection from acting – with revenge – cruelty – or – hate!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Remembering not only can bring joy to our beings – but can also become a deterrent – which keeps us from repeating saddening mistakes!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


The existence of the veil – between mortality and our previous home – is an essential element which gives validity – to the law of agency!!

Monday, August 21, 2017


I have become convinced – when we are able to see more clearly the passages of our lives – we will be amazed at how often the Holy Spirit was attending us!!

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Like most men, I suffer under the delusion that I share the same DNA with every notable explorer who has ever walked the wildernesses of the world.

This male birthright altering handicap makes stopping and asking for directions, for that gender, an insult and waste of time.

After all, as I have often exclaimed, ‘would Daniel Boone need to ask for directions!’ On other occasions I might have been heard to say ‘you are never lost as long as you can find your way home!’ (Kathleen is always quick to remind me Daniel Boone wandered for years in the wilderness…)

I hope it won’t reduce the view other men have of my self-reliant manliness, but an admission must be made, there was one time I was truly lost.

It happened one year when I had passed the age when many cultures officially recognize a young boy as having entered into manhood. At this advanced age I also belonged to an official group called Explorer Scouts. Just after Thanksgiving I found myself in the mountains of Southern California with this before mentioned richly endowed with DNA Scouts. (The Southern is capitalized because those who reside in this part of the state consider themselves as living in an elite and unique part of the state) We, the Explorer Scouts, had decided to add to our yearly Christmas tree lot fund raiser by harvesting mistletoe.

It only took about an hour to fill the pickup bed full of mistletoe which was probably enough to meet the needs of most of the west coast of the United States of America.

Just as a side note, when we got home and started putting the sprigs of mistletoe into those tiny little bags, we only used one bunch of all those we had harvested. Our leaders told us it was OK since mistletoe is a parasite and needs to be removed from the trees.

Anyway, we had a quick lunch and then three of us older Explorers, who had an abundance of that DNA which allowed Perry to reach the North Pole, decided it would be fun to hike up to the top of the mountain where we could see a lookout tower the forest rangers used in the summer to scan for fires. Dressed in our levies, t-shirts and tennis shoes we boldly began our ascent.

We had vastly misjudged the amount of time it would take us to fight through the mesquite brush and snow and reach the tower. As we reached our goal the sun was setting and we realized there was zero chance we would be able to find our way down the mountain by retracing the way we had come up the mountain.

We found a trail near the tower which seemed to head down the mountain. Not long after we started down this trail we found ourselves in a campsite which we were sure would have been wonderful when it wasn't covered in several feet of snow. We searched, but were unable to find evidence of a trail leading out of the campsite.

Besides being Explorer Scouts we were also Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood. Since we had exhausted our DNA abilities we decided maybe we needed to ask for help and guidance from an All Seeing source.

The result of our prayer gave us the inspiration to head down an indentation in the mountain side, which I am pretty sure would have been quite a creek if the snow were melting.

After stumbling down the ravine for an hour or so we saw a light twinkling well off in the distance which filled our hearts with a much needed dose of encouragement.

Heading toward the light we eventually came upon a paved road which not only was an easier path than the scaring ravine, but very quickly after starting down the road we were gratefully looking into headlights of an oncoming car.

When we were safely in the car we were informed that there was an army of locals out combing the mountain roads looking for us. If being DNA infused males and Explorer Scouts and being lost weren't destructive enough to our egos, now we had to face whatever consequences might befall us for disturbing so many people’s lives.

In just a short while we were reunited with our leaders and headed to our home in Garden Grove, California. What a joyous reunion awaited us when we returned to be with loved ones and friends who had been informed of our being lost and then found and would soon be safely back home.

I have been told that allegories much like jokes, if they are well told, should have no need for added explanations, but since this allegory is also historical, I have used it at times during my life to remind myself of the path I have taken in life.

There has been an abundant amount of my life when I have felt that I had been born with sufficient gifts and intelligence to make correct decisions.
Sadly, there have copious decisions I have made which were not well thought out ahead of time.

There are also choices I have made that I was ill prepared to venture forth into.

Many times in my life I have compounded the wrong decisions I have made by adding other wrong decisions.

Sadly, desperation has been the motivation, too often later than it should have been, to drive me to seek help from He who desires to be my Guide.

Gratefully, I have been gifted with enough twinkles of light which have led me to the pathway unto The Tree of Light.

At this point in my life I am grateful for the many trials of my faith which have come as a result of my independent nature, but I am more grateful for the army of angels who have sought for me and rescued me in my hours of need.

It has been marvelous to a recipient of the goodness which resides in the hearts of our universal brotherhood which allows others to accept and forgive our wrong decisions.

The last lesson to be learned from my allegory is yet to happen, that being the glorious day when I will be reunited with loved one and friends.

I suspect the details of each of our lives are much different than the historical allegory of my Explorer Scout mistletoe trip, but I also suspect the explanations I have furnished for this allegory are a fairly common thread in all of our lives.


Saturday, August 19, 2017


One of the most important lessons – we need to learn in life – is to be able to separate our own desires – from the directions we receive from the Holy Spirit!!

Friday, August 18, 2017


I would have felt – that I would have missed out on a great many blessings – if I had gone through life – without having the whisperings of the Holy Spirit – having provided me with moments of inspiration flooding into my mind – or - having awakened me from a sound sleep to respond in action to directions received!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


One of the great benefits of attending the Temple – is the overwhelming understanding – of the universal kinship of mankind – is testified of forcefully!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Coming to realize who we truly are – children of Heavenly Parents – will benefit our progress in ways we cannot even imagine – when we are without that understanding!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


No matter to what degree – we have felt the Savior’s love – we must remember – it is far short of what He has given!!

Monday, August 14, 2017


The veil which separates us from our former existence – often becomes very thin – when we act as proxies while performing sealing ordinances in the Temples of the Lord – and for me it – becomes very transparent – when the ordinance is being performed – for a child who died before receiving an earthly name – is being sealed to their parents who know their name!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Another shocking disappointment!

Well, maybe that is more than a little bit of an exaggeration, but it did make me swallow a couple of extra times, when on a recent visit our son Troy made the announcement that he had joined the minimalist movement.

The reason this was such a disturbance to my equilibrium was that Kathleen and I long ago forged this brilliant plan that during our last few years of mortality we would make sure our visiting children and grandchildren took some of our accumulated stuff with them when they came to visit. Kathleen had cemented our commitment to this plan by saying that when we passed away we would have nothing but a cardboard box sitting in the living room left of our stuff.

Here was our son Troy, eliminating 1/6 of our distribution plan. A decision that would make any aging parent swallow hard several times.

I am not saying we are charter members of the anti-minimalist movement, but when our wonderful friend, Peter Cook, comes to visit, he tells us he loves being in our home because it feels like a museum. We are grateful that he and our son Sean are always willing to relieve us of stuff whenever they come on their semi-annual visits. Maybe if we can convince them to visit more often they can fill in the void created by Troy.

During our recent three year termite inspection, the inspector even made a comment about how our home was a reflection of our life’s history. We seem to have been very obedient to a saying Boyd K. Packer was fond of repeating. Use it up – wear it out – make it do – or do without! In recent years we have been trying to add additional lines to this saying which might go; if you don't need it – give it away – if no one wants it – add it to the charity pile – if it is worn out - throw it away!

There is no doubt that we have spent most of our lives looking at our well-stocked lockers, laundries and larders wondering what of our abundance we would be better off doing without, only to shrug our shoulders, close the doors, knowing that someday we would probably have a need for all of that stuff.

Even with the recent millennials minimalist movement (MMM), I suspect the great majority of our homes resemble storage units for unused stuff because to someone it is still precious memorabilia; or someday someone will get around to using it; or it was someone’s scout or school project. There must be many anti-MMM people who have an unusual amount of stuff, because storage units are springing up around us like mushrooms in a boggy field.

A whole generation of architects has been needed to design more and more storage units on less and less land. We have created an industry which builds storage units we can put around our yards, so when our shelves sag because they are overladen with stuff we have someplace to stack them.

Our storage closets become so Fibber Magee-ish (You will have to ask someone who lived in the days when radio was the main form of entertainment in homes) (If you don't know what a radio is ask your grandparents) that we have to stack our stuff in our garages and build storage rooms or use the kids rooms when they move out.

We park our cars in the driveway or along the street because we have filled the garages with stifling amounts of stagnating stuff. Then when the car body consists of more rust than metal we have it towed to a junk yard to finish dissolving alongside our neighbors’ rusting cars.

This storing of stuff doesn't seem to be restricted to homes because governments build ever bigger buildings which bulge with excess stuff and set apart larger and larger plots of land to store stuff which won't fit in those buildings. Even gazillion bit computers in the clouds don't seem to be sufficient to store all the brilliant and not so brilliant ideas which were at one time important to one of the bazillion interest groups which have collectively invaded our world.

I don't believe anyone would have a very good argument if they were trying to defend the proposition that relationships are fortified because of the mountains of stuff we bury ourselves under.

Are our families stronger because we have enough televisions so that everyone can watch their own favorite programs at the same time?

Are the bonds of friendship strengthened because we are capable of being digitally connected 24/7?

Are we more united as universal brothers and sisters because more of us are able to surround ourselves with more stuff?

Are we more learned because everyone has access to the internet?

Obviously this short list is only a scant representation of the stuff which we feel we can't exist without, but I see little evidence that the continuous accumulation of stuff in our landfills is evidence of our advancement in those parts of our lives which are most important.

Although I don't see myself joining Troy in the MMM I do find myself pondering more often the question, what can we do without? While most of my life the answer seems to have been ‘nothing,’ I have as of late been supplementing that query with another question ‘what of all this stuff do we really need to maintain life?’ The list becomes shorter with each passing day.

These days the question which really causes me to wonder is, ‘how much longer indulging ourselves in this current climate of constant consumerism will we have space sufficient to allow us to make choices about accumulating stuff?’


Saturday, August 12, 2017


Nature, Homes, Chapels and Temples – can be places we can feel closer to God – but in the end it will not be the place we are in – but what we are allowing to take place in our hearts – which make them sacred!!

Friday, August 11, 2017


Just as young men fill their hearts with happiness as they – dream of saving forests or living on Mars – old men administer saving ordinances – and act as angels of mercy – and the same joy fills their hearts!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017


It is often – the least known acts of love we administer – which are the most sincerely given – and of greatest efficacy!!


Wednesday, August 9, 2017


One of the ironies we all live with – is that accolades for our efforts – are often given more freely – from those who are outside – of our most intimate circles!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


It is probably a good thing – that the effectiveness – of a mentor’s words – most often take place long after those words were spoken!!

Monday, August 7, 2017


The stewardship responsibilities given to parents – should never be neglected – because of the recalcitrance, rebellion or rejection of their offspring!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Although Joseph Smith never enumerated them in his Lectures on Faith, he taught that it was essential to believe that God had all Characteristics and Attributes of Perfection, that we should strive to learn these attributes and make them part of our own character.

We don’t often look at the list in this way, but I believe when we are reading about charity in the seventh chapter of Moroni in the Book of Mormon, we are reading a pretty good starter list of the Characteristics, Attributes and Perfections of Godliness.

The 47th verse states: But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Verse 45 gives us the list: And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

In verse 46 the Lord declares what will be lost if we are not found possessed of the Characteristics and Attributes of Charity when the Final Judgement is pronounced upon us: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—(But charity is the pure love of Christ)

When the descendants of Lehi heard the last sermon of the Prophet/King Benjamin, they received the blessing of no longer having any desire to do evil, but to do good continually wrought upon them by the power of God. It seems only natural that before we can really begin to put upon us the Characteristics and Attributes of Godliness we must first overcome our carnal tendencies of being easily provoked, thinking evil and rejoicing in iniquity. It is so sad that most of us spend most of our lives stagnated while fighting against these challenging parts of our mortal probationary period, when evidently sincere petitions to our Lord and Savior can do more to erase these desires than years of kicking against the pricks depending upon our own strength and ability.

Charity envieth not: I didn't include this in the evil paragraph because I have come to look at the lack of coveting as a transitional Characteristic which frees us from concentrating on the glitz and glamour of the world, so that we can more fully concentrate our efforts on the positive Characteristics of Godliness. The scriptures remind us of having our eyes single to the Glory of God and how difficult it is for a double minded man to do that which is right. Therefore, even though we are not putting on an Attribute of Godliness, we are eliminating a major element which will distract us from our goal.

Charity seeketh not her own and is not puffed up: A very long time ago, which is the reality of much of my mortal learning, I was taught the principle of ‘I am third’. (God is first – everyone else is second – I am third) I suspect most of us would have to admit that we spend a lot of time viewing ourselves as number one! Perhaps if we would learn to investigate our motivation for what we do in life, we might find ourselves being third more often. Why – do I study scriptures? – So I can learn – So I can help others to know – Because God has asked me to. Did I put them in the correct ‘I am third’ order?

Charity suffereth long, endureth all things and beareth all things: Since the days I have suffered are comparatively fewer than the days I have spent free of suffering during my life, I can only speak about being in wonder of those who have had to endure endless suffering, and they abide it. I do realize also as in every case, the Savior’s example of long suffering was greater than the combined suffering of all. It seems we need to put on the Attribute of charitably suffering all emotional and physical pains which come upon us.

Charity is kind: I have come to believe the Characteristic of kindness needs to become proactive rather than reactive. So often we are prone to respond in kind to acts of kindness, but we are really putting upon us the Attribute of kindness when it becomes our nature to do so, not because someone has been kind to us. The Prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon reminded us that air, light and substance are given unconditionally to all.

Charity hopeth all things, believeth all things, and rejoiceth in the truth:
The challenge of our ability to handle the truth seems like it should be the easiest of the Characteristics of Godliness which we are trying to have become part of our natures. However, it seems our natural tendency is to make all truths circumstantial to what is convenient or that which creates the path of least resistance in our coming and goings. We will never find ourselves rejoicing in the truth until we have had it confirmed by the Holy Ghost and then with determination aligned our lives to the principles outlined.

It wouldn't take a very exhaustive searching of the scriptures to realize the need to add such Characteristics as love, patience or trust, meekness, humility, mercy, grace, peacemaker and the pure in heart along with many other Attributes to the list of those Perfections Joseph Smith spoke of in his Lectures on Faith. It may be sufficient to say that, there indeed is work enough to do that we will be able to work and wear out our lives in the doing.



Saturday, August 5, 2017


Because of their sacred nature – most veil penetrating sacred experiences which we are privileged to be given – should be kept I the holy scared ground of our hearts!!

Friday, August 4, 2017


If we choose to take advantage – of one of the blessing of a life of many years – it would be wise to use those years – to grow closer to God!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Although at times we are privileged – to sew sacred seeds in another’s hallowed ground – the nurturing and caring of that seed – should be left in their hands – if the seed is to grow to its full potential!!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


When we share our most Holy experiences – with those we love – we must be aware we are sowing sacred seeds – in their hallowed ground!!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


We should count it as a great blessing – when we have those precious moments – when the distractions of the world are sufficiently dimmed – and we are able to see more clearly – the things which really matter!!