Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Those among us who seem happiest – seem to be those – who have come to understand – the true purpose of our mortal existence!!

Monday, October 30, 2017


The acts of service we do in life – may bring immediate – and – maybe even temporary relief to others – but the important point is – they will become important building blocks – for our eternal home!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


When we are very young it only takes a few testings to discover that by choosing to do something there will be an immediate or delayed consequence.

Touching something hot brings an immediate reaction to our nervous system and sometimes a delayed reaction to our epidural layering.

Spilling milk can make one cry and lessons on not putting the glass too close to the edge of the table and wiping up said milk are sure to follow.

Falling down on grass leaves a stain, but falling on cement causes knees to bleed. The first takes but a few washings to cure, but knees take longer to heal.

One cookie from the jar will be missed by observant mothers and subsequent treats will be consequently restricted.

Somewhere along the line, somehow we begin to believe that with the maturation process we gain immunity against consequences having to follow choices.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that our concentration level while studying on our school homework is just as high whether we are watching television or listening to music.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that junk food will sustain health and starve off malnutrition.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that mind controlling substances relax us and help us cope with life’s stresses much like earlier generations were convinced smoking tobacco was good for the lungs.

We deceive ourselves into thinking there is no consequence to ignoring moral standards and that momentary pleasure will turn into lasting happiness.

We might get away with the lament, ‘I am not hurting anyone but myself’ if this denial between choices and consequences didn't accelerate and elevate itself into decisions which have the potential of effecting most of Humanity. Somehow we are able to convince ourselves that we really are an island and our choices not only have no effect on the consequences of our own lives, but for certain have no effect on others.

While protecting our right to our ‘standard of living’ we have little remorse about how our choices will submerge multiple generations to come in staggering amounts of debt.

While protecting our right to use up and waste the ‘resources of mother earth’ we give little thought to the environment our progeny will inherit.

We spend ourselves into deeper and deeper debt for that which will ‘rust and corrupt’ with little regard for the negative legacy and clean up job we are leaving behind.

We build bigger and bigger mansions while ignoring the homeless lining the streets of our cities and canals, believing that our riches keep us well away from having to pay the piper.

The last time I ‘went a pondering’ through this choice and consequence activity the thought came to me that we are much like the proverbial cat. We waste our nine lives on triviality, always thinking another will follow, when suddenly we are face to face with a real life- altering event only to find we have no lives left.

It is probably worth pondering once and again, how many times and how many ways can we deny the fact that our choices have consequences, spending our nows and futures hoping for miracles which will save us and others from the consequences of our choices?

We need to revisit pondering upon how the choices we make have pre-determined and long lasting and spreading consequences and that today and all our tomorrows mortality will demand we make choices which will inevitably be followed by the assigned consequences.

There is another aspect of choices which is much like the necessity of depositing funds in a bank before writing checks or withdrawals which can alter consequences dramatically.

A deposit of study, learning and experience usually precedes knowledgeable, wise and meaningful contributions to society and help us avoid becoming a drain on the resources of others.

A deposit of a variety of healthy and nutritious foods usually precedes strength and longevity and can help us avoid disease.

A deposit of control and abstinence usually precedes mental alertness and wards off life numbing brain damage.

A deposit of faithfulness and integrity precedes prolonged and happy relationships and can hopefully help us avoid dysfunctional relationships.

A word of warning needs to be added. The finger pointing lesson – you know whenever you point your finger at others there are three others pointing back at you. There is a great temptation and correlating ability which we seem to gain in life to be able to see the ignoring of choices always leading to consequences in those who govern us, friends and family members and the rest of humanity, while at the same time leisurely going about never counting the cost of our own choices.

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings (or cursings) are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing (or cursing) from God, it is by obedience (or disobedience) to that law upon which it is predicated.
(Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21).



Saturday, October 28, 2017


The reason we need to daily – do all we can to strengthen our personal testimonies – is because there will undoubtedly come a day – when someone near and dear – needs to be held up – by leaning on our strength!!

Friday, October 27, 2017


The strength we need – to get us over life’s emergency high hurdles – will come from – routinely jumping over the daily small bumps we encounter in life!!

Thursday, October 26, 2017


We have often witnessed – the complications of life – cause us to ignore the simplest of solutions!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


If it is true that righteous parents – will see their offspring – eventually receive an eternal glory – does it not stand to reason – that since Adam and Eve were righteous – and all mankind are their offspring – that all mankind will eventually inherit Eternal Life??

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


It takes but a brief study of man’s history on earth – to realize the number of Heavenly Father’s children who accept Jesus the Christ as their Savior – during an estate other than mortality – far outnumber – those who become His disciples during mortality!!

Monday, October 23, 2017


We must ultimately come to understand – the Love of Christ – represented by the tree of life and the fruit in Lehi’s dream – represents the means – to accomplishing the end - of Salvation and Eternal Life!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

By the time we reach the point where we think we are ready for the graduate courses on Level Three of Heavenly Father’s Eternal Life curriculum we will have worn out many robes as we continually put them on and take them off. We may have even screamed out in our minds for aid in breaking the vicious cycle we seemed to be treading upon. In all probability we have not entered into the post graduate curriculum of Level Three because we have a mistaken idea or in fact no idea what that curriculum is all about.

Like so many of the really important advancements we make in life, the curriculum of Level Three – Receiving the Attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace seems to come to us as a gift once the Master has seen our willingness to submit to all the conditions we have learned as we struggled in the classrooms of Level one and Level two.

A few of His revealed words might help us better understand what Level Three is all about:

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.

For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.
(Book of Mormon – 2nd Nephi 25: 23-27)

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. (Book of Mormon – Moroni 10: 32, 33)

And we heard the voice, saying: Write the vision, for lo, this is the end of the vision of the sufferings of the ungodly.

And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
(Doctrine and Covenants 76: 49-53)

It would probably be appropriate to add another word of caution. There are many of us who might fall into the telestial mind trap of thinking that because we have been true and faithful in our learning and practicing the principles taught in the classrooms of Level One and Two we are owed a reward for our faithfulness. If we succumb to this heresy pontificated by the philosophies of men, we have indeed failed to understand the meaning of the word gift and have not even begun to understand the principle of Grace.

Elder Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of the Lord in a recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints told of a study he had done in the scriptures of our Lord and Savior by searching all the references to Jesus Christ found in the Topical Guide and prayerfully studying them. A wonderful activity for sanctifying and making the Sabbath a delight might be to do a similar searching of the principles of Grace and Gifts.

May the blessings of Heaven shower us with the desire to be diligent in our efforts to Shed ourselves of our Telestialness and Clothe ourselves in Terrestrialness and be ready to graciously and gratefully Receive gift of the attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace.

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7)



Saturday, October 21, 2017


Change is only difficult – for those whose lives – are affected by it!!

Friday, October 20, 2017


It is an impossible task – for one person – to determine – what is delightful – for another!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Not everyone will be given the opportunity – to know – whether it is a greater test – to live – or – to die for a principle!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


No matter what our level of understanding might be – there will be times – when we must play the role of student – so that others can have the experience – of learning the role of teacher!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Feeling the love of God surge through our souls – may strengthen our faith – to a greater degree – than the expression of our love for Him – in a thousand prayers!!

Monday, October 16, 2017


Feeling the love of God in our lives – may have a greater effect on our progress – than becoming a graduate from a school of divinity!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

The counsel I gave last Sunday would be good to consider for this week also. A quick review of parts one and two of this series of Thoughts will be a great help in understanding this week’s Thought.

The problem with going through the exercises we learn while in the classrooms of the Level one curriculum or ‘Shedding my Telestialness’ has several faults. If I am constantly in a state of trying to shed the natural mortal telestial tendencies, then I will find myself like the dog who is continually returning to its vomit.

Therefore, we learn that it is not a good idea to complete all the courses in Level One of Heavenly Father’s Eternal Curriculum before embarking on Level Two. It has been postulated the more the principles of Level One we can permanently make part of our souls, the easier it will be to Clothe Ourselves in Terrestrialness.

There are even those who advocate that progression towards eventual graduation can come about more smoothly and rapidly by concentrating on the practices learned in Level two classrooms. Those who are of these particular leanings seem convinced of the concept that if a person concentrates on Clothing themselves with Terrestrialness that one mindedness will automatically result in the Shedding of one’s Telestialness.

Perhaps a sample of some of the subjects offered in the Level two curriculum will help us understand why some would counsel us to become aware of the principles taught in the classroom of Level one, but put our major efforts into learning and practicing the principles learned in Level two of the Lord’s curriculum.

Subject – The Robe of Harmony

Principle one – Bringing one’s physical body into harmony with their spiritual body

Principle two – Widening my circle of harmonious relationships

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Harmony

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of harmony

Subject – The Robe of Cooperation

Principle one – The science of listening without formulating counter arguments

Principle two – The art of adding to another’s words and ideas

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Cooperation

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of cooperation

Subject – The Robe of a Publisher of Peace

Principle one – Understanding the author and philosophies of the perpetrators of war

Principle two – Understanding the Author and doctrines of the Publisher of Peace

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Publishing Peace

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of Peace

Subject – The Robe of Inclusiveness

Principle one – Understanding the shared mortal and Eternal parentage of all mankind

Principle two – Believing the principle of the mortal and Eternal parentage of all mankind

Principle three – Prayerfully studying the Word to help me put on the Robe of Inclusiveness

Principle four – Become an active proselyte of the principles of Inclusiveness

You have undoubtedly picked up on there being a practicum in each subject where we are to learn what the Lord has said about clothing oneself with a terrestrial attribute and then going forth to teach and help others understand these attributes. It seems our mortal-ness has a propensity to regress to former levels if we do not make them our own and we likewise have learned the best way to give a principle permanent place in our makeup is to become a person who publicly proselytes the principles they believe.

As we pause our ponderings on Heavenly Father’s Level two curriculum, a word of caution might be appropriate. If we do not enter the graduate classrooms of Level three – Receiving the attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace, there is a strong possibility we will find ourselves among the ranks of those who seem to be doomed to being perpetual students going through the repetitive motions of alternately retaking and practicing the principles learned in the classrooms of Level one – Shedding my Telestialness and those learned and practiced in the classrooms of Level two – Clothing myself with Terrestrialness.

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7)

(To be continued)



Saturday, October 14, 2017


Whether we accept – or – reject the word of God – does not alter the eternal validity of His words!!

Friday, October 13, 2017


If all of us were totally self-sufficient and independent – none of us would be able to gain the growth – which comes from doing charitable acts!!

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Anyone who declares – they have never had to struggle with correlating the concepts of – covenants – compulsory – agency – probably have fallen short of understanding Heavenly Father’s Plan!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


The word – voluntary – should remove all guilt – from service experiences!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Most of our fears – which overwhelm us – when we are given a new task – go away at the same rate – proportionate to the time we dedicate to the task!!

Monday, October 9, 2017


When the wise student learns – that the semesters work – outlined on the first day of class – is not due the next day – they will eliminate a lot of stress – from their lives!!

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

If your ability to retain information is at the same level as that which I currently find myself suffering, a quick review of last week’s Thought would be very helpful before embarking on this week’s.

Heavenly Father’s possible Eternal Curriculum designed to enable His children to maximize their time during mortality might have started with:

Level one Shedding my Telestialness.

Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.

Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
(Book of Mormon – Alma 5: 28, 29)

The prophet/king Benjamin gave us a hint of the makeup of the curriculum of this level one learning process in his last great sermon to the Nephites just prior to his death. By beginning with pride and envy he certainly starts very strongly advocating things of our telestial nature which need to be shed. You could add to making your Sabbath a delight by going to that talk and reading the additional negative parts of our natures we need to strip from ourselves.

As I have pondered all that I must shed of my telestialness, I have come up with the following possible curriculum outline. Remember, you can enroll in any subject at any time and reregister if you think you need a refresher course.

Subject – Shedding Pride

Principle one – Retaining a remembrance your own frailties

Principle two – Remembering everything you accomplish and create is temporary

Principle three – Understanding you are the created, not the Creator

Principle four – Realizing Heavenly Father loves all His children equally

Subject - Shedding Envy

Principle one – Rejecting negative thoughts about my self

Principle two – Stop wanting to be my neighbor

Principle three – Cease wanting to have what my neighbor has

Principle four – Stop being controlled by my desire to have all my temporal dreams fulfilled

Subject – Shedding Exclusiveness

Principle one – Shortening your list of reasons others should not be in your circle

Principle two – Eliminating fears of others because of their differences

Principle three – Destroying your list of those who are eternally lost

Principle four – Overcoming ancestral prejudices

Subject – Shedding Anger

Principle one – Learning to count to ten

Principle two – Remembering it is not all about you

Principle three – Before reacting, count the cost

Principle four – Overcoming the need to always be right

Even though there are many other items which are included in the Shedding of Telestialness curriculum I will just mention them by name and let your own pondering come up with the principles which need to be covered. There is thoughtlessness – demandingness – callousness – competiveness – hard heartedness – greediness – along with a long list which even a casual perusal of the scriptures will provide. This supplies us with more than one life time of negative characteristics of which we need to shed ourselves.

One course for which I have not supplied the subjects to be covered, but which I feel would be beneficial for all of us to take at least once in our lives is the one on restraint. A brief summary of this course says that we will learn to refrain from actions which are harmful to the eternal progression of ourselves and others.

There is a promise given at the end of the Shedding my Telestialness curriculum outline. It indicates that as I shed these telestial characteristics, I become increasingly eligible for the Plan of Happiness to be part of my daily walk.

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

(To be continued)



Saturday, October 7, 2017


It is remarkable – how quickly that which we considered weird – becomes normal with familiarity!!

Friday, October 6, 2017


If all of us demand – to determine our own right – we may discover all too soon – none of us has any rights!!

Thursday, October 5, 2017


If the values which govern our lives – never expand beyond those learned in our youth – we may find our progress – has become greatly limited!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Our hearts can only sing – the songs – which we have allowed to enter our minds!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


We come to know – clouds – cool our wanderings – more often than they dampen our spirits!!

Monday, October 2, 2017


It is more often experience – not age – which gives us wisdom!!

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

When he was known as Saul he had learned from the doctrines of the strictest of the Pharisees. Once he had his miraculous vision of the Savior and baptism by Ananias he went to Arabia where he learned the principles of the gospel before starting his marvelous mission which laid the foundation for Christ’s Church throughout most of the Roman Empire.

Saul/Paul not only had a personal testimony from his own experiences about forever being in the process of learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. He also learned during his mission experiences that mankind spent an inordinate amount of time learning and practicing many things which actually led them away from the truth.

As I examine my own journey along the paths of learning it doesn't take me long to realize that even though I had the privilege of having a lifelong career of teaching the gospel, the scales never the less were over weighted on the side of learning how to sustain life, the principles and practices of a successful life and under weighted on coming to a knowledge of Eternal Truths!!

As Kathleen is fond of reminding me, at the age of almost 80 I believe with all my heart that if we were able to examine the curriculum of the work and glory of God designed to teach us how to become as He is, it would not even vaguely resemble the one most of us experience during our mortal sojourn.

Besides being reared by wonderful parents, I had a formal education which started in the Roy, Utah Elementary School, continued at Lincoln Elementary in Pocatello, Idaho, had years in the school systems of American Falls, Idaho, Long Beach, California and I graduated for Garden Grove Union High School which of course is in Garden Grove, California.

My post high school education included time at Fort Ord, California, where I learned the spirit of the bayonet before advancing to being trained as a clerk typist. I attended the somewhat higher and higher institutions of Santa Ana Junior College (Its official name in 1958 when I attended), California State College at Fullerton (Also its official name when I attended that institution in 1962 -63) and Brigham Young University where Kathleen helped me gain a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees.

These classroom experiences were interrupted for a couple of years as I served a mission in Mexico and learned a lot about the facts of life of which I was previously unaware and I gained a tremendous love for my Mexican brothers and sisters.

I have written this overview, which probably has held the attention of very few of the readers of this thought only to stress the point that in all probability, although all of these educational experiences provided me with a happy and fruitful mortal life, there was very little included in these experiences which prepared or qualified me for Eternal Life.

I had a feeling when I started thinking about this Thought it was going to be one of those which would end up extending over several Sundays. Therefore, I hope after this rather extensive introductory Thought, you will desire to read the rest of the Thoughts in this series.

In order to validate the principle of Agency during mortality we retain very little remembrance of the curriculum of our premortal estate. We have been taught that it included an explanation of Heavenly Father’s Plan, a lot of discussion and bickering over points of disagreement, the ability to use our Agency whether we accepted the Plan, and probably the use of agency in showing our faithfulness and abilities for leadership.

Even though we have never been given a class schedule or an outline of Heavenly Father’s Earthly Learning Plan, I have pondered what that plan might look like if we were privileged to have a copy. I think, and remember I admit to walking on very unstable ground, it would involve three major levels of eternal progression about which we have the possibility of beginning to learn and start to inculcate into our lives during mortality.

The first I have chosen to call Shedding my Telestialness.

The second I have chosen to call Clothing myself with Terrestrialness.

The third I have chosen to call Receiving the attributes of Celestialness or Becoming like Heavenly Father through His Grace.

As a certified people watcher and observer of the habits, goings and comings of humankind, it seems that much like the dropout rates which exist in our formal educational institutions, we find that fewer and fewer of us continue to be involved with classroom education the further up the ladder we are required to climb. Just as a side note, I understand that as far as worldly learning is concerned there is not a direct correlation between the amount of book learning (I guess we still understand the meaning of those words in this technological age) we have had and the distance we will progress along the path of success in life.

However, there seems to be very direct correlation between how much of Heavenly Father’s Eternal Curriculum we assimilate during our lives and what we will have with us in the phase of our existence which follows our passing from mortality.

Whatever principle of intelligence (Knowledge of and adhering to the principles in Heavenly Fathers Eternal Curriculum) we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence (Knowledge of and adhering to the principles in Heavenly Fathers Eternal Curriculum) in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 130: 18, 19)

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(2 Timothy 3:7)

(To be continued)