Sunday, December 31, 2017


As this year draws to a close I begin a new adventure which should carry me well into my 81st year. As I am about to venture forth on this task I have longed to do for a very long time, I feel a need to explain how coming to this moment has taken such a long time and although my bundle of experiences has been very extensive I still wonder if the preparation period has been sufficient to see me successfully through the next 100 weeks of writing.

In recent days I have been taking an inventory about the preparatory path I have been troding during the majority of my life.

During the first years of my life and well into my teen years my foundational experiences mainly consisted of that of a learner. I was always a very calm and obedient student in the public arenas of education, but in the Primary and Sunday School classes at church, I was probably rightfully branded as a disruptive child. I always credited much of my acting out to the repetitious material and the uncreative presentations of the lessons. Not many of my early teachers went beyond reading the lessons in class.

I will have to ask Bishop Matthews, when I see him again after the resurrection why he called me to teach the 13 and 14 year olds in Sunday school when I had just finished my junior year of High School and was barely 17 years old. It might have been requested by the teacher who was teaching my age group in Sunday school. Then again, it might have been because this particular group of 13 and 14 year old teenagers had much the same attentiveness in Sunday School I had demonstrated most of my young life and the Bishop thought I might be able to tame those who shared like characteristics with me. As I look back it might have been a heaven sent directive to allow me to have a glimpse of the purpose for which I had been sent to earth.

I had a short break as I enjoyed the hospitality of the US Army before heading to Northern Mexico to spend two plus years teaching the gospel, learning to love others and take some baby steps in becoming more inclusive in my relationships. If my pre Army experience with an enthusiastic group of 13 and 14 year olds hadn't illuminated in my brain the direction my life’s work as a teacher would take, this time among my beloved brothers and sisters of Mexico turned the light brightly on.

Not too long after returning home and while I was courting Kathleen, I started teaching Early Morning Seminary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I ended up teaching for a total of four years, which was just long enough to go through the entire four year curriculum. Besides marrying my eternal companion during these years and starting our family together, I was working full time in construction and trying to complete some college courses. The complete story can be found in my autobiography, but the short version is that after I had taught four years of early morning seminary we found ourselves in Provo, Utah, where the offices of the Church Education System were located at the time. In two short days my feet became firmly planted on the path of teaching the gospel as a career, something that I didn't even know existed until a year earlier.

For the next 41 years with only a short interruption of three years while Kathleen and I presided over the Colombia Bogota North Mission for our church, I was in the classroom from180 – 240 days a year teaching 5 – 7 hours a day, along with being involved in my church assignments which usually included teaching.

As if I hadn't been blessed enough, I was able to teach an adult class for the Stakes of southern Orange County for another five years when my body had to have bionic parts put in it to keep me functional. During these last five years of wonderful experiences interacting with students in formal classroom settings, two very important events happened which would cause me to embark on paths I never would have imagined. First, the ‘always seeking to serve’ Pam Larsen gifted me a computer they were no longer using in their home and my very dear friend Paul Maddox out of the goodness of his heart offered to tutor me in the fundamentals of computers. Second, since I was no longer under the direction of The Church Education System, I was free to develop and teach whatever I desired. I started developing and writing my own lessons and found I was enjoying the extensive preparation I was doing during these final years as much as I was the two hours myself and the students spent together in the classroom each week.

Having received these two wonderful gifts, and not wanting to be found an ungrateful receiver, since leaving the classroom I have been involve for the last eight years with a cyber space classroom which now finds its way into the computers of brothers and sisters in many lands and of many ages. Besides assisting me in my desire to become ever more inclusive in my relationships, this post formal classroom writing experience has resulted in my self-publishing this work plus four other volumes of Thoughts for 100 Sabbath Days, two volumes of Life's Lessons Learned and my autobiography.

When I first started writing during these days of retirement I was desirous to leave a legacy for my children and my children’s children about who I am and what I believe. I soon found a need to continue the commission I received from Elder Perry when he set Kathleen and I apart to preside over the Colombia Bogota Mission, which was to convert the missionaries with whom we were blessed to serve to the gospel of Jesus the Christ. I soon found myself reestablishing connections with students from seminary and institute classes as well. My friendships on Face Book are now extensive and they also have been included as brothers and sisters, even though we may only know one another in the spaces of cyber.

Now why have I recanted this entire preparatory path I have been walking and what is this marvelous adventure I want to embark upon?

I want to write at least 100 Thoughts based entirely on the teachings found in the Book of Mormon.

Why would I choose to center such a large portion of my remaining life on this volume of scripture when it is obvious my past mortal life is much more extensive than my anticipated future days?

1. During the times when I have been privileged to teach the Old Testament I often found myself with more questions than answers. As the saying goes, if you want to have three views on a given scripture ask two Jewish Scholars. I at times found it difficult to find the characteristics of God as described in that work to be in harmony with my belief in a loving Heavenly Father who, along with His son Jesus the Christ, dedicated their existence to bringing their children to immortal and eternal lives. I have even studied rabbinical writings hoping that I might gain greater light by having a better understanding of the point of view of the original writers of those holy books. Although the Pearl of Great Price adds some very precious nuggets to our understanding of the Old Testament teachings. I would never be able to fill a volume of 100 Thoughts for a Sabbath Day from that small treasure trove.

2. I have had the opportunity to teach the New Testament in many ways and have grown to love the Savior and have felt His love because of His Atoning sacrifice, but I always felt a sense of something missing. What I finally settled on as being the missing link was that I didn't find much counsel for the happenings of my daily life in the 20th and 21st centuries. I have been blessed to read writings from almost all Christian faiths and I am grateful that my understanding of the principle of grace was greatly expanded which, of course, also expanded my love for Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ.

3. The Doctrine and Covenants is foundational and absolutely important to the substantiating of one’s belief in the restoration of the gospel and the authority and offices of the church, but more and more it has become a volume which is used to teach the historical foundations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since I have never taken the time to collect nor digest the personal stories to make these lessons come to life, I have had to defer the teaching of the Doctrine and Covenants to those who have paid that particular price.

4. Therefore, I will spend the next two years of my waning life writing about the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the foundation of my eternal beliefs and through it my lack of testimony in some principles has been slowly eroded until there remains but a very small hill where once a mountain stood.

The Book of Mormon was translated and brought to light by Joseph Smith as a warning and guide to those who would live during the preparatory days preceding the second coming of the Lord Jesus the Christ.

The Book of Mormon is a complete self-help book on how we can incorporate the Plan of Happiness into our daily lives.

The Book of Mormon is the more sure witness that Jesus is the Christ.

I believe with all my heart that as Joseph Smith taught, a person can get closer to Jesus Christ by reading the Book of Mormon than by any other work.

Therefore, I rejoice as I set out on this wonderful adventure for at least the next two years.



Saturday, December 30, 2017


Our ministering – will never count for more – than when we are serving the one!!

Friday, December 29, 2017


Until we learn to share – our experiences – spirit to spirit – we never really – come to know one another!!

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Some of the most powerful touches – we will feel in our lives – will probably come from sources – other than hands and fingers!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


A license to drive – or – even to fly – will never get us as far – as our license – to enter the House of the Lord!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


In the marvelous mathematics of the eternities – everything counts!!

Monday, December 25, 2017


The bells tolling in the distance
Slowly change slumber to awakening
And there is joy

We rise and see the first rays of sunlight
Bouncing off the windows across the valley
And there is joy

The family gathers to break
The night’s renewing fast
And there is joy

Musical sounds of happy tunes
And sacred music fills the air
And there is joy

The light brightened decorations
Sparkle on the still fragrant tree
And there is joy

Gifts are exchanged in celebration
Of the Heaven sent Son’s birth
And there is joy

Each excited revelation of items hoped for
Is accompanied by laughter and glee
And there is joy

Remnants of wondrous wrappings
Are quickly bundled and gone
And there is joy

Holy books are distributed
And opened to well-marked pages
And there is joy

Thoughts are shared of
Shepherds tending flocks
And there is joy

Mother’s tender words remind all
Of the most special of all babies born
And there is joy

A young child speaks of
A long ago brilliant star
And there is joy

Grandpa reminds all of wise men
Bringing news of a king of kings
And there is joy

Miracles are recounted reminding all
He made the lame to walk and the blind to see
And there is joy

Each shares what marvelous uttered messages
Are tucked deep in their gladdened heart
And there is joy

Dad reads about the pinnacle act of His Atonement
Giving understanding to the purpose of life and death
And there is joy

Fragrances fill the air reminding all
Of Christmas meals past
And there is joy

We gather around the leaf extended dining table
And reminisce and enjoy the meal lovingly prepared
And there is joy

Once empty stomachs are quickly filled
With traditional season specialties
And there is joy

Familiar family traditions and napping
Fill the day’s Remaining hours
And there is joy

The sun sets behind the hill
Not long ago lit by morning’s rays
And there is joy

The accompanying dim of sunset
Is brightened one more time by shining abodes
And there is joy

Once again distant bells are heard
Rolling and tolling upon grateful ears
And there is joy



Sunday, December 24, 2017


Everywhere we look we can see evidence of changes which have swept our villages, towns and cities:

We see – Homeless people after having been ignored for months now being greeted and treated kindly by citizens suddenly aware of their destitute saddened lives!

We see – The homes of a Kilowatt counting populace burst out in brilliant displays of light and sound as if energy had suddenly become free and endlessly abundant!

We see – Thermostats programed for maximum production temperature turned up a few degrees giving a warm and cozy feeling to those gathered to exchange greetings!

We see – Management who usually distance themselves from employees comingling, breaking down rigid artificial barriers of vertical organizations!

We see – Bosom buddies from high school and college breaking their yearlong vigil of silence wishing happiness on social media and even some old school cards of sentiment and cheer!

We see – The walls of church’s straining to the annual rush of parishioner’s crowding into seldom used pews and halls being filled with sounds of merriment!

We see – Teachers and students breaking the enmity barriers and joining together in acts of good will towards one another!

What has happened to cause this change in the hearts and actions of all we view?

Is it possible – That the accumulation of articles in newspapers, radio, television and computers that started to fill pages and screens mid-September have finally worn down the resistance of even the most rigid and hard hearted?

Is it possible – That the anticipation of one final paid holiday benevolently given by union struck employers now overwhelms employees with feelings of gratitude?

Is it possible – That the cold and darkness of winter’s days causes us to fill our lives more abundantly with artificial light, warmth and color?

I suspect any explanation is possible, but I personally wish to believe the change has come upon us and our surroundings because we individually and collectively are being led, directed and guided consciously or subconsciously, toward some level of contemplation of the meaning of the earthly advent of the Lord Jesus the Christ.

Was this – Babe born in Bethlehem really the offspring of Deity?

Was this – Really God the Creator who had condescended to come to dwell with men?

Was this – The Teacher of all truth – the source of all light and love?

Was this – The Son of God, come to earth to declare the one way for joy to be found among men?

Was this – The Prince of Peace come to place the feet of those who would publish peace firmly upon the mountain?

Was this – The Healer who came to bind men’s wounds and cure women’s ills and mend the broken hearts of all?

Was this – The Miracle Maker by and through whom all things became possible?

Was this – The Savior and Redeemer who came with the enabling power to cleanse men’s souls and break the bonds of death?

I earnestly and daily pray

With each ending day – The many testimonies which have been borne will begin to sink more and more deeply into more and more hearts!

With each ending day – The thoughts which cause us to annually re-evaluate the meaning of life will expand to fill our every day!

With each ending day – Our souls are being penetrated more powerfully towards having that mighty change wrought upon them!

With each ending day – We will be moved toward an increasing crowd of relationships filled with acts of love!

That with each ending day – Christmas’ season is expanding to be enjoyed always and forever!

I hope as your morrow breaks – joy fills your heart to overflowing and each life you touch is left brighter because you are there.



Saturday, December 23, 2017


It is almost frightening to think – how modern technology – can cause the smallest sentence which drops from your lips – to create a storm around the world!!

Friday, December 22, 2017


It isn't necessarily the biggest box of chocolates – that demonstrates our love – many times a sweet nothing – from the heart – will do the job!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017


There is only one way – to find out if you might be – that angel – sent by Heavenly Father – to help someone – in their time of need!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Load and harsh notes – may keep us from coming in touch – with spiritual growth impulses!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Sweet and pure musical notes – stir parts of our souls – which are important to be moved!!

Monday, December 18, 2017


We may not have gained the full essence of the work – of bringing our brothers and sisters to the Savior – until we understand – this effort is all inclusive of Heavenly Father’s children – regardless of which side of the veil on which they presently dwell!!

Sunday, December 17, 2017


I doubt the Preacher was the first to ponder seasons and I know for certain that I will not be the last to wonder why we are so adamant about categorizing and insisting on beginnings and endings for every aspect of our mortal span. Even if you have not read his words in Ecclesiastes they have been covered by many vocalists and musicians, with innumerable renditions of Turn, Turn, Turn written by Pete Seeger back in the days when I was still in High School. He brought vitality and a new perspective to the very old words of the Preacher.

Regardless of how familiar you are with the Preacher’s beautiful poetic message or where you became acquainted with them or if this is your first enlightening introduction, I hope you will become a fan as I use it as the foundation for this week’s Thought.

Ecclesiastes or, the Preacher – Chapter 3

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Spring comes abruptly upon us and we have feelings of renewal as dormant seeds stirred by soft falling rain bring beauty to every vista.

Summer sends forth heated rays hastening harvest day, but we often find ourselves wishing for relief and respite and look forward to autumn’s refreshing
breezes and cooler nights.

Autumn paints summer’s greens with an extensive splattering from the Master Painter’s pallet and we find reasons to explore in the colorful canyons and enjoy the bounties of our labors.

Winter becomes wearisome with its shortened daylight hours and seemingly endless cold and dreary nights and we welcome every moment of short periods of Indian Summers.

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

There are few absolutes in a temporal world, but death being the result of being born is one of which that we all can bear witness.

The very plant which gives us life dies in sacrifice as it nurtures our beings and yet we only recognize its gift when hunger racks our souls.

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Sadly there are many who spend much more time wallowing in their contrary and repugnant seasons and too little time in the positive and joyful ones.

There is little doubt when the Savior was admonishing us from the mount. He pronounced that the pathway of His disciples should be continually involved with embracing the sufferings of others and blessing them with comfort and support.

One of our most controversial dividing into seasons in these Latter Times seems to deal with when the proper time for beginning to see signs of an approaching holiday might be. There is little doubt that merchants have a ‘the sooner the better’ attitude, while the rest of us seem to vary depending on which of the seasonal holidays is our favorite.

For some, the celebration surrounding the changing of the calendar is reason to extend the night as if there were to be no tomorrow, while for others they look further and further east and across the great Atlantic to give reason to ring in the New Year earlier and earlier.

For some, the celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day gives enhancement to the love they share with others, while for others it is a dire reminder of the misery of their loneliness.

For some, Halloween is just one more day of a yearlong celebration of zombies and vampires, while others turn off their porch lights and hunker down in their basements so as not to be bothered with such hedonistic ritual reminders.

For some, Thanksgiving brings a heartfelt reminder of the bounteousness of their lives and the love of family and friends, while others stand in lonely lines awaiting the one hot meal they will probably enjoy this season.

Finally we come to the most hotly debated of holiday seasons. Christmas!

It will probably be sometime in late September when you first read someone’s status on Face Book decrying the fact that on their recent shopping adventure their ears were assaulted with Christmas music and their eyes were attacked with Christmas specials, when everyone absolutely knows that The Christmas season begins on Black Friday.

While it has been obvious for several decades that the main event of the Christmas season was no longer going to a Mass in commemoration of the birth of Christ, it is a more recent development that that star heralded event has nothing to do with the mercantile driven season.

That pondering which has most occupied my mind as I anticipated writing this Thought which would be published a week before Christmas Eve is difficult to capsulize, but can be partially expressed with the following quandary. ‘How can there be such a thing as a beginning or an end of a season for He who is everlasting? ‘

Did those who profess His name not promise to remember Him in all things at all times?

Did those who profess His name not give Him the gift of their agency?

Did those who profess His name stop desiring to have His countenance shine upon them?

Did those who were spiritually born of Him spiritually die?

Did those whose hearts were made pure through Him all become corrupt?

Hugh Nibley wrote a piece entitled The Christmas Quest, from which I offer the following short passage.

So the Latter-day Saints have always been the greatest advocates of the Christmas spirit; nay, they have shocked and alarmed the world by insisting on recognizing as a real power what the world prefers to regard as a pretty sentiment. Where the seasonal and formal aspect of Christmas is everything – it becomes a hollow mockery. If men really want what they say they do, we have it, but faced with accepting the real Savior who has really spoken with men they draw back, nervous and ill at ease. In the end, lights, tinsel, and sentimentality are safer, but a sense of possibilities still rankles, so to that we shall continue to appeal. For by celebrating Christmas the world serves notice that it is still looking for the gospel.

While Brother Nibley gives reason for deep or even shallow remembrances on Christmas day, I feel it important to admonish us even further:

By having no end to our remembrance of He who is Eternal

By having no beginning dates to our devotion to He who is Everlasting

By understanding that His season is without end

I still haven't decided whether it is best to think of the Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ as a Being of All Seasons or a Being Without Seasons or a Being Whose Seasons Never End. Maybe it is best just to always gratefully remember Him and our Father who sent Him.



Saturday, December 16, 2017


Special events in our lives – need to be recorded – so that our posterity can share – in the joys and sorrows of their ancestors!!

Friday, December 15, 2017


It would be a wonderful thing – if we lived in a world – where forgiveness was never necessary – it would indeed be blissful – but since we don't – we can all use forgiving as another exercise of growth!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017


When being forgiven – or – forgiving takes places – it allows everyone involved – to move forward more freely!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


He who has no reason to be forgiven – reigns supreme – as The most forgiving of all!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Those who have the least reason to be forgiven – seem to be the most willing to forgive!!

Monday, December 11, 2017


Evidently – only those who have run out of things to be forgiven for – may be excused from forgiving others!!

Sunday, December 10, 2017


I suspect Heavenly Father knew it wasn't going to turn out well when calendaring was taken out of the hands of the likes of Moses, Shamans and Confucius and usurped by the likes of Gregory, Caesar and governmental agencies.

When religious leaders were doing the calendaring, whether by revelation or by watching the movements of the heavenly bodies, special celebratory days pretty much fit into the definition of holiday provided by Wikipedia. ‘The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg (hālig "holy" + dæg "day"). The word originally referred only to special religious days.’

Once monarchies, tyrants and men in general took over the calendaring, holidays became any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days away from work or school. It is particularly revealing to see the secularized calendar of today filled with days dedicated to the birth of people and nations rather than remembrances of Divine occasions.

Having witnessed the de-holification of Holy Days we should have been forewarned that men would also be about the business of changing The Sabbath and The Day of the Lord into ‘the weekend’. I will have to leave a more thorough writing on that subject for another day.

Well, maybe just one more comment on the way we have moved days intended for worship and remembrance of God into days meant solely for the use of men. I think it is best described by using the words found in most employee/employer contracts these days - ‘personal days.’

Let us return to our thinking about Holy Days being supplanted by holidays.

For my own personal gratification I have decided to suggest the use of the following subtitles for those days designated as holidays in the USA. I apologize to those readers of these Thoughts who reside outside of the USA calendar, but perhaps you could make up a similar group of subtitles to the non-Holy Day holidays on you country’s government issued calendars.

New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Day => Raucous Celebration Period which ends with an unusual increase in highway deaths and severe headaches.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day => A day to remember the life of one who spent his life preaching oneness, which usually ends magnifying our differences.

Presidents Day => A day set apart when the number of historically significant presidents became so numerous that we could no longer give them their own day.

Valentine’s Da
y => A day set apart to bring joy to florists, greeting card companies, chocolate makers and high end restaurant owners.

St. Patrick’s Day => A day to drink green beer, eat corn beef and cabbage and walk down the street staggering and smelly.

Good Friday => A day to drop by the Cathedral before resuming your regular activities.

Flag Day => How would you know this was a day any different than any other day, day.

Armed Forces Day => You’ve got to be kidding me day – do we really have a holiday called Armed Forces Day?

National Maritime Day => Now I absolutely know you have to be kidding me day.

Memorial Day => So that was what all those other holidays this month were leading up to day.

D –Day => In case someone was forgotten last month day.

United States Army Birthday => You have been given ample time to fly the Flag Day – now fly it.

United States Coast Guard Birthday => See previous six comments day.

This veteran’s generated calendar is getting too repetitive. I am going to switch to another calendar to add some variety.

Purim => Remembering a dance that freed a people day.

Easter Sunday => Chocolate rabbits, colored eggs, baskets and something about the Resurrection Day.

Earth Day => Remembering our blue marble by enlarging our personal foot print day.

Arbor Day => A day to plant a tree while celebrating our forest destroying life styles.

Ramadan => What do you mean you want to spend time actually thinking about your faith day?

Mother’s Day => Celebration of all women everywhere day once again causing the hearts of florists, candy makers greeting card vendors and restaurant owners to swell.

Father’s Day => Really there is a day called Father’s Day?

Independence Day => A day to celebrate the continuing argument about who deserves independence.

Labor Day => A day where we ironically celebrate labor by not laboring.

Grandparents Day => The one holiday which almost gives relevance to Father’s Day.

Rosh Hashanah => More days where our stomachs help us remember our faith.

Yom Kippur => The day when we are left to stimulate our faith without the help of hunger.

Columbus Day => A Special Day still found on the USA calendar, but not highly favored in the rest of the Americas.

Halloween => Costume makers are added to those whose hearts are made full along with candy makers day. Do I see a trend here? I don't even dare to add my thoughts on what we are having our children dress up in remembrance of.

Thanksgiving Day => A day where the candy makers yield the ringing of cash registers to the purveyors of turkeys, pies, weird veggies partaken only on this one day a year and watching grown men run around on grass yielding themselves physically worthless for a minimum of a week.

Christmas Day => The mass was removed from most Christian lives years ago and the removal of Christ from this day is quickly following as worn out shoppers, partiers and dysfunctional family gatherings become dominated by personal traditions.

Which brings us back to New Year‘s Eve => Feel free to slide back up to the start and begin again. Also feel free to add any of your personal favorite non-
Holy Day, holidays I might have over looked.

As I end the writing of this satirical piece, let me remove my tongue from where it has been deeply imbedded into my cheek and add a few words of seriousness.

Long ago I read a piece by Hugh Nibley where he indicated that secularism and scholasticism are the arch enemy of religiousness. I believe the Thoughts I have written down with this calendaring exercise indicate how deeply I believe our Holy Days have be affected by the philosophies of men.

I don't think I really mind men having days off from their daily grinds to rest and recuperate, but I do find it extremely difficult to handle the invasion which has been made on those days which were meant to be used to worship and remember our Eternal Parentage and our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

As we approach the celebration of the babe born of Mary in a humble stable, I pray we might shop a bit less, wrap fewer gifts, party less and think more about the birth, mission, Atonement and Resurrection of our Redeemer. If there really are consequences which come because of the choices we make, it might do us all well to spend some thought about what we collectively will eventually reap because we have chosen to remove Holy Observance from our holidays.



Saturday, December 9, 2017


It is difficult to know – which is worse – those who speak without thinking – or – those who think but never speak!!

Friday, December 8, 2017


I have wondered – if Heavenly Father – ever tires of hearing His children – express sorrow for wrong choices??

Thursday, December 7, 2017


It is difficult to know – which is more effective – formal – or – informal prayer – but in the end – does it really matter??

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


There are times when teachers are attempting to get everyone involved – all they accomplish is to cause – some students to tune out!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


There are times when after several minutes have been wasted – while a teacher has tried to get technology working – I have feelings of gratefulness – that the majority of my teaching days – were during the chalk and blackboard days!!

Monday, December 4, 2017


Just because a youngster can lift a shovel – does not mean he can move a mountain – likewise – just because I can use a piece of technology – does not mean that students will be moved!!

Sunday, December 3, 2017


I heard a remark from someone. If my brain worked like it did 15 year ago I could tell you who it was and when I heard it. Anyway, the remark went something like this. ‘We are spending endless hours making familial connections with ancestors. Our effort also leads us to finding living people with whom we never knew we were connected. Some people have thousands of people who now hang on their family trees.’ Then came the BUT! ‘All of the inhabitants of the earth who ever lived, who are now living or who will ever live have a one-step pedigree chart linking them to Heavenly Parents.’

My personal journey toward embracing the universal kinship of humankind has been a long and twisting path, but I am grateful I am finally coming to be able to accept the eternalness of mankind’s relationship. I still find myself occasionally treating people and thinking about people in ways and thoughts which are anything but eternal or familial.

During the first quarter of my life, I placed everyone with whom I came into contact into groups called family, friends, members of the same church and others. The labels sometimes had to do with a level of shared intimacy, but I often found I had far less contact with people in the family group than those in any of the other groups. There were also times when the ideas and thoughts which dominated my mind shifted from being influenced by the group with which I happened to be spending the most time. Luckily for me, even those I identified as ‘others’ seemed to be, by and large, among those who would be called good and honorable. I say luckily, because during this time of my life I was often easily swayed by whatever group gave off positive vibes of enjoyment when we were together.

The second quarter of my life came abruptly upon me shortly after graduating from High School. With a couple of friends I had joined the Army Reserves and so the morning after leaving the safety and comfort of those with whom I had associated in the first quarter of my life, we were on a train heading to Fort Ord, California, to go through basic training and training in a specialty. Although remnants of my first quarter groupings remained I was abruptly counted as one in a platoon and a company. After just a few short weeks of basic training the two friends with whom I had joined the reserves, Terry Martin and Bob Stewart, both came down with the Fort Ord Flu and were put back into the group behind us in basic training. I spent the next eight weeks being indoctrinated into understanding that those in my platoon were now made up my brotherhood of life. I had just started to feel the importance of this new brotherhood, when I was recruited to be the fast pitch softball pitcher for the company team which was made up of our trainers and the staff for the company. So now I had a ‘brotherhood’ and a ‘team’ added to my expanding circle who were defined in different ways than those I had been with during the first quarter of my life.

Shortly after completing my six months of active duty in my army career, the final two months of which were spent in a small company mail room after having been trained as a clerk typist for two months, I returned home and wasted a semester of schooling while awaiting the opportunity to be called as a missionary for The Church Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was suddenly and completely thrust back into the familiar relationship groupings with which I had been involved prior to my active duty days.

When my mission call came, I won't say I was shocked, but when I read that the area of the world in which I was called to serve was to be Northern Mexico it was definitely a surprise. At Garden Grove Union High School students from that part of the world were in a very remote corner of the ‘others’ category. I also have to admit that during my four years of High School not one person of that heritage was ever considered as part of the friends group. Even during the six months I was at Fort Ord, the only persons whose origins were from south of the border who made it into the platoon or team groupings were drill sergeants and the catcher on the softball team.

I never would have been able to anticipate nor appreciate the mighty relationship change which was about to be wrought upon me in the cities of Ciudad Valles, Piedras Negras, Tampico, San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Rosita in Northern Mexico. During the years I was serving in Mexico my extended family of brothers and sisters expanded beyond my wildest imaginations. I learned that deep feelings of love have nothing to do with country of origin, pigmentation, culture or genealogy, but have everything to do with gaining the understanding, knowledge and testimony that my fellow missionaries and those with whom I came into contact as I dwelt in Northern Mexico are indeed brothers and sisters of the same immediate Eternal Parents. Even today, almost six decades after living in Mexico, Kathleen still wonders if I don't have residual love for my Hispanic brothers and sisters which often seems to be manifest to a greater degree than to others of our ever widening familial circle.

The rest of the second quarter of my life, all of the third quarter of my life and a portion of the fourth quarter of my life were spent getting married, becoming a father, preparing for a career, spending 50 years as a teacher in the Church Education System and fulfilling callings in the organizations of the church. There was also a good deal of activity involving teams during many of these years which, in the end, dwindled down to a couple of geezer golfing buddies.

I would be terribly remiss if I did not mention the privilege Kathleen and I had of living and serving in the marvelous country of Colombia. Even though the embracing of others as brothers and sisters whom I had not seen since we dwelt in our First Estate with our Heavenly Parents had already become an automatic response, the time we spent in our mission, deepened and increased this marvelous understanding with its attendant feelings.

I doubt I could even begin to accurately come up with a number, but it could easily be in the 10’s of thousands who were added to the known members making up my brothers and sisters. They would have born different identifying labels such as colleagues, students, sharers of stewardships, titles of positions and flocks, but all were being added to what has become an immense grouping of brothers and sisters one step removed from living under the tutelage of our shared Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

The last decade of my life took an unexpected turn which involved two new adventures I never could have anticipated. The first started when, my brother from the same Eternal Mother, Paul Maddox kindly and patiently helped me overcome my anxieties and got me started on a path which first made the computer an important part of my daily routine and then for some reason got me into writing. Those brothers and sisters who served as my English teachers can pick themselves up off the floor, and I hastily add that if Kathleen did not add her grammatical expertise to my writings, all would be dross. Anyway, during this decade through the writing of my Thoughts for a Sabbath Day and Life’s Lessons Learned, I have made contact with countless numbers of already encircle brothers and sisters along with newly embraced brothers and sisters from all over the world. Thanks to Face Book I am able to know many of them from their pictures, but whether I have that wonderful experience or not, far and wide my heaven known brothers and sisters have become part of the wonderful familial circle of love I feel each day.

Although I am just barely entering the path of eternal kinship myself, if someone were to ask me about the secret to being able to enlarge one’s circle of brothers and sisters during mortality, I would probably say, find someone each day with whom you can serve and make their lives a bit happier because of the experience.

I know Universal and Everlasting love is an attribute known only by Gods, but I am grateful for the pittance of that characteristic which I have been able to gain through the wonderful earthly journey I have been blessed to enjoy.

I bear solemn testimony as deeply as the earthly meagerness of my understanding will permit, that I believe to the extent my present progress will allow me that we (all of humanity) are but one step removed from a common parentage.



Our solemn prayer continues to be that we along with all our brothers and sisters will continue to strive to break down the causes of our dysfunctions and move us a little closer to once again being the Eternal Family we once were.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Watching teachers struggle with modern technology – should be a reminder to all of us that innovations – do not necessarily make presentations more effective!!

Friday, December 1, 2017


One of the most important keys – to keeping long and lasting relationships –is to understand that – neither I – nor my thoughts – are the most important things in the world!!