Monday, December 31, 2018


We can only learn by experience – that one of the phenomena of aging – is that it becomes increasingly difficult to believe – that there are still – 60 minutes in every hour – 24 hours in every day – and – 7 days in every week!!

Sunday, December 30, 2018


One of the first things I notice when I turn to the books of Jarom and Omni is that in five pages of our current edition of the Book of Mormon six different authors cover 290 years of Nephite history. To be fair we don’t know how much of this is due to Mormon’s abridging and the Lord’s editing, but it still seems like the authors gave but little effort in fulfilling their calling to make a record of their days.

In their own words they offer the following excuses; the plates are small, I write only to preserve my genealogy, I write whatsoever words I write which are few, I wrote on the last day I had the plates, there is another record of the people, I am about to lie down in the grave.

If I were a judgmental person I might be prone to ask; why didn’t you prepare more plates, why didn’t you get started sooner, the other record doesn’t cover the spiritual happenings in your life and I agree it is a bit difficult to write once you are dead.

My personal journey of writing a daily account in my journal started when I was motivated by my Stake President, Darrell Foote, who had been inspired to give such instruction by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Spencer W. Kimball. Going right to the original source the words following are some excerpts from an article written by President Kimball in December of 1980.

On a number of occasions I have encouraged the Saints to keep personal journals and family records. I renew that admonition. We may think there is little of interest or importance in what we personally say or do—but it is remarkable how many of our families, as we pass on down the line, are interested in all that we do and all that we say…

Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us—and as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted…

From time immemorial the Lord has counseled us to be a record-keeping people. Abraham had a book of remembrance, and Adam had one. You may think of them as not being as highly educated as we are, but they were well-trained people. Adam spent much effort being the school teacher for his children. He and Eve taught their sons and daughters. He taught them the gospel in their home evenings, and he taught them reading and writing and arithmetic. And they kept their books of remembrance. How else do you think Moses, many hundreds of years later, got the information? These records had been kept, and he referred to them and got the history of the world, which wasn’t in any library other than that. Can you see your responsibility?...

When the Savior visited this continent following his resurrection, he commanded the Nephites and Lamanites to bring their records up to date. He said to them: “Behold, other scriptures I would that ye should write, that ye have not. “And it came to pass that he said unto Nephi: Bring forth the record which ye have kept. “And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said:

“Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so? “And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord,

“And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?

“And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.”
(3 Ne. 23:6–13.) …

You should continue on in this important work of recording the things you do, the things you say, the things you think, to be in accordance with the instructions of the Lord. Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available…

Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life.

What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved? Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.

We hope you will begin as of this date. If you have not already commenced this important duty in your lives, get a good notebook, a good book that will last through time and into eternity for the angels to look upon. Begin today and write in it your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. We hope you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded, and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives.

His journal was 33 black binders on the shelves of his personal study when President Spencer W. Kimball was called to be President of the Church in 1973. Since then, he has counseled members of the Church to keep personal journals.

As my progeny have wandered through my autobiography entitled To The Best of My Memory with a subtitle (Guessoirs by William L. Riley),
I have been amused and impressed by the things they take note of about which I have written.

Skipping a golf ball across a lake and having it land safely on the other side of the water.

Pretending to be a singing cowboy just like Gene Autry when I was young.

Describing traits which they see in themselves.

Having chills run through my body when missionaries gave their home coming reports.

The James Hobbs’, Pop Edelson’s, Paul H. Dunn’s, Hugh Nibley’s, Sherrie Dew’s, Neil A. Maxwell’s and countless others who have mentored
and inspired me.

The deep and everlasting love I have for Kathleen and our progeny.

The weaknesses I have struggled to subdue.

The opportunities the Lord has given me to serve and minister.

The witness I bear concerning the things I have come to know to be true.

My acknowledgement of how little we really know in comparison to Heavenly Father’s Omniscience.
Etc., Etc., Etc.

We live in a day when we will never run out of ways and means to record our goings and comings – we live in a day when discretionary time is more abundant than ever before. When we diligently desire to be aware of the spiritual happenings in our lives they become more apparent; therefore it would be well for us to let it be written, so that the rebuke the Lord gave to the Nephite writers about neglecting to write about the prophet Samuel won’t be part of our greeting upon returning to His presence.

Oh my, look at the date of the publishing of this Thought. Two days from now we will be making a lot of resolutions and setting a lot of goals for the new year. Maybe resolving to and setting a goal to keep a record which will indicate we were here and our lives were important might be a good one with which to start.



Saturday, December 29, 2018


Once an unspoken message is received – there may not be enough words – to alter the meaning of that message!!

Friday, December 28, 2018


There are times when unspoken words – carry stronger messages – than those which are spoken!!

Thursday, December 27, 2018


How often have you wondered – how many resolutions it takes – for a person to become – resolute enough – to be moved to action??

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


We may never know – but it might be wise – to pause – and – wonder for a moment – what progress might be made – if each of us were to add to our efforts – even a little increase!!

Monday, December 24, 2018


When I return to my Father – and – report to Him – those things which made me feel most loved – serving – and – worshiping in His Sons House – will surely be near the top of that list!!

Sunday, December 23, 2018


With thoughts of the Savior’s birth being stimulated by every song we hear, every decoration we see and every greeting we exchange it would be difficult to not include thoughts about the Lord’s work in my Thoughts for a Sabbath Day.

As the vast majority of my days have been spent reading, speaking and thinking about various aspects or doctrines contained in the Lord’s Gospel or His birth, life, mission and Atonement it is difficult to say what the greatest impact Jesus the Christ has been on my progress.

If I were forced to choose what mighty change, which for me has come at a mighty slow rate, has been wrought upon me because the Lord has been such a significant part of my daily doings, it would be my coming to believe in a universal brotherhood and sisterhood, that all mankind are offspring of Universal and Eternal Parents and that the most important characteristic we can develop is unequivocal love for all.

Although my journey has been at times more halting than continual and contained more detours than staying on course, it is possible to outline the most direct course towards unequivocal universal love for others.

As you love thyself

This first step in conversion to unequivocal universal love may be the easiest step for some, but as we witness, it is also the most difficult for many. This step is pronounced in the second part of the Lord’s referenced command, ‘love thyself’.

I must love myself including all my warts, flaws and weaknesses.

I must love myself when others attempt to make me feel unloved.

I must love myself in lonely hours.

I must understand that I am a child of God and deserve love.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor

This second step in conversion to unequivocal universal love is on such a slippery slope that most of us find ourselves doing the one step forward and two steps backward quite often during our trials. The most dangerous thing that can happen in this trial is to believe you have conquered the fears, prejudices and pride which handicap all of us as we attempt to love every neighbor.

Much like being the good Samaritan it doesn’t matter who bears the label of neighbor, I must love.

My neighbor’s choices and actions do not determine my love for them.

It is not enough to love those neighbors who first showed love to me.

Love of neighbor must overcome being despitefully used.

Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, might and mind

The apostle John taught us that if we hate our neighbor and say we love God, we are liars and the truth is not in us. One of the great ironies of life is how often we find ourselves proclaiming we love God, but in very short order an unkind word about one of our Heaven Bound brothers or sisters comes out of our mouths.

I must understand I cannot say I have unequivocal love for God while I harbor any degree of hatred for a neighbor.

I will find my love for God increasing in harmony with the increase expansion of my circle of love for brothers and sisters.

If I am to move forward in my quest to have the same degree of unequivocal universal love which allowed the Savior to complete his Atoning sacrifice for all then I must continually include more neighbors in my circle of loved ones.

If the barometer measuring those whom I love is lowering rather than rising, I will likewise find myself finding corresponding changes in the level of my love for God.
I have often thought the Savior could easily have said all the laws and prophets hang on this one commandment.

Because if I love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind and soul it will be as a result of me having developed an unequivocal universal love for all my neighbors.

Likewise, if I have developed an unequivocal universal love for my neighbor I will have come to love God with all my heart, mind and Soul.

It seems my love for God and my love for my neighbor are connected with an unbreakable law.

I finish this Thought with some excepts from the book of Enos, which I believe is an extended allegory teaching us about the importance of traversing the pathway leading us to have unequivocal universal love, which in turn will bring us to a complete love for God. In Enos’ testimony it is easy for us to see how tightly are knitted the principles of love for my neighbor and love for God.

I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said: Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them. And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments. I have given unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I curse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their transgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.

And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites. And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith. And now behold, this was the desire which I desired of him—that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and by any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation.

As in all our tests in mortality we will probably find ourselves ebbing and flowing in our attempt to come to having the attribute of unequivocal universal love become a permanent part of our being, but the Lord is constant in His counsel that we not be faint in our efforts.

We must forever remember that our Heavenly Father is unwavering in His Eternal Love and Jesus the Christ without exception demonstrated His Universal Love through His Atoning sacrifice. Never forget it is we who are in the process of staggering towards having unequivocal universal love.

This is another one of those principles whose perfection will be found wanting during mortality, which gives us one more reason to be grateful that eternity is a very long time.




Saturday, December 22, 2018


When I return to my Father – and – report to Him – those things which humbled me the most – serving – and – worshiping in His Sons House – will surely be near the top of that list!!

Friday, December 21, 2018


When I return to my Father – and – report to Him – those things which brought me joy during mortality – serving – and – worshiping in His Sons House – will surely be near the top of that list!!

Thursday, December 20, 2018


True happiness – forever has been – and – forever will be – dependent upon our living – according to the laws of happiness!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


We should all be grateful – that our trials are not over – until our Father – says they are over!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


The true disciple of the Savior – will ultimately come to the realization – that how we treat one another – is the absolute witness – that we are following Him!!

Monday, December 17, 2018


Just because our neighbors – have chosen different philosophies – to govern their lives – does not justify us – to allow hatred to grow in our hearts!!

Sunday, December 16, 2018


The last thing Jacob wrote before he waxed old and went down to his grave was the story of a man named Sherem who he describes in the seventh chapter of his book verses 2-4.

And it came to pass that he (Sherem) began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ. And he preached many things which were flattering unto the people; and this he did that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ. And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch that he did lead away many hearts; and he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me. And he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil.

Sherem in verses 16-20 makes the following surprising declaration.

And it came to pass that he (Sherem) said unto the people: Gather together on the morrow, for I shall die; wherefore, I desire to speak unto the people before I shall die.

And it came to pass that on the morrow the multitude were gathered together; and he spake plainly unto them and denied the things which he had taught them, and confessed the Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of angels. And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the devil. And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment.

And he said: I fear lest I have committed the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God; for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they truly testify of him. And because I have thus lied unto God I greatly fear lest my case shall be awful; but I confess unto God.

And it came to pass that when he had said these words he could say no more, and he gave up the ghost.

We don’t have any exact dates in this part of the Book of Mormon, but we do know that Sherem probably would not have been more than three generations removed from the days when his faithful grandparents left their homes and followed Nephi into the wilderness to escape the persecutions of those who followed Laman. We know that those ancestors believed in the revelations of the prophets and the scriptures contained on the Brass Plates of Laban.

So my query is what happened?

This is not the first story nor the first time I have been stimulated to ponder at length about the processes we all go though as we are involved in the struggles of becoming. Hopefully, without causing too much confusion I will be able to share some of the conclusions to which I have come, at this point of my eternal journey.

Our personal spiritual sensitivity levels are not equally shared:

The Lord declared to Abraham that the children of Heavenly Father did not develop nor leave His presence with equal amounts of
spiritual growth.

Each of us receives an unequal amount of spiritual stimulation during our formative years.

Each of us accepts, rejects or rationalizes spiritual gifts to different degrees.

Many lose their sensitivity to the light of Christ, which is often referred to as our conscience because of constant rejection of counsel.

Many rationalize the whispering of the Holy Spirit to be nothing more than their subconscious minds reminding them of things they have previously heard or thoughts their own brilliance came up with.

There are those who listen to the light of Christ which is a universal gift given to all of Heavenly Father’s children, leading them to become sensitive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. There are those who are led to pass through the proofs which allow them to be blessed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit. There are even a blessed few who have communion with the Lord as one man speaks to another.

Our mentors and tutorial experiences are widely varied – as well as our acceptances, reactions or rejections:

Some are born of goodly parents, while others are not so blessed - Some reject the counsel of goodly parents, while others overcome abusive parenting.

Some are provided with abundant educational opportunities, while others are never introduced to the most fundamental tools of learning – Some squander their abundant educational opportunities, while others overcome negative learning opportunities.

My circumstances during mortality are not the final determiner of my eternal state:

The Lord has made it clear that those who die without law will be judged on a much different scale than those who have been given much.

One of the most merciful teachings found in the Book of Mormon is that the Atonement of the Savior will cover all who go through mortality in a state of ignorance or innocence.

The requirements of judgement for those who have been given much is higher:

Living in an age when there are living prophets and apostles and you having received the verifying witness of the Holy Spirit to sustain them as such is an example of having been given much.

Living during a period when scientific and technological advances bring the accumulated knowledge of the ages into your home is an example of having been given much.

Living in a culture where the requirements to sustain the essentials of life are easily met, leaving you time to re-create and ponder is an example of having been given much.


With my present understanding I like to think of agency as that gift which allows me to process internally all that has impacted me externally.

Hopefully, I will have sufficient wisdom to use all of the aids Heavenly Father has provided which will allow me to make guided decisions and to maximize my time in mortality.

As we compare the experiences of Jacob who had a visitation of the Lord in his youth with Sherem, who in spite of knowingly being deceived became a proselyter for the author of all lies and combine it with the inclusive mercy of the Lord, there is little doubt why we are in need of pondering.

Although it will probably be many millennia after we past the portals of death, we all should be left with little doubt that the choices we make will ultimately decide what our eternal state will be.

I pray your pondering today will include some time in thinking about what you are becoming.

I have often wondered how did I become me – while my neighbors became he and she?

Am I what I am because of what I was – or is what I was before the because?

Why are there things which make some flee – while with the same view others take a knee?

Why do some words cause me to believe – and at the same time cause my brother to leave?

There is no doubt as I wander and wade – I am what I am because of the choices I have made!



Saturday, December 15, 2018


Sooner – or – later – we will all discover – that what we have to say about a subject – may not be the most important point!!

Friday, December 14, 2018


Of all the aids – which help us understand the scriptures – as the meaning of words rapidly change with the passing of years – Heavenly Father gives everyone a gift – on the day of their birth called the Light of Christ – which can whisper the understanding of His scriptural words – to every individual in every generation – if they diligently desire to hear!!

Thursday, December 13, 2018


One of the greatest blessings – of having living Apostles – and – Prophets – is that they are able to speak the words of the Lord – with current meanings – and applications – to the generation – and – audience they are called to serve!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


One of the marvelous blessings of living in the 21st century – with its availability of technology – is that – so many aids to greater understanding of the words of the scriptures – are just a few finger touches away!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


For those who really desire to gain original meanings of scriptural words – having access to a book like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance – which gives the modern meaning of ancient Hebrew – and – Greek words – becomes an essential companion!!

Monday, December 10, 2018


Because of the rapid changes – that happen to the meaning of words – a good companion to our study of The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ – would be a dictionary of the meaning of words – in the 19th century!!

Sunday, December 9, 2018


After reading the words of the prophet Zenos to his people, Jacob makes some personal comments which are recorded in the sixth chapter of his book in the Book of Mormon. As I was preparing to write this week’s Thought the words in the eleventh verse of that chapter impacted me forcefully.

O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.

In the Savior’s sermon which he pronounced on the mount near the Sea of Galilee and repeated to the decedents of Lehi gathered at the Temple in the land of Bountiful after His resurrection, He declared the goal of those who choose to enter at the strait gate and journey upon the narrow way.

Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (3 Nephi 12:47)

I have often pondered upon the condition of perfection in which Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ find themselves. I am currently satisfied with the conclusion that it is because ‘they are’ the Attributes, Characteristics and Perfections of Godliness they
have the Omniscient qualities of Deity, not because they ‘act as if’ or are ‘striving to obtain’ or are ‘struggling to maintain’ them.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are kind-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are patient-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are mercy-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are loving-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are forgiving-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are truthful-ness.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are unchanging-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ ‘are inclusive-ness’.

Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus the Christ …

With the limited amount of understanding which I have gleaned during my mortal span it seems to me that the divisions of the Kingdoms of Heaven revealed to the Prophet Joseph and which are recorded in the 76th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, can also be indicators of the segments of the way which we must travel in order to eventually be obedient to the admonition the Savior gave us to become perfect.

I am choosing to leave the entering in at the strait gate part of the journey until another writing, but it is important to briefly acknowledge unless we have at least the beginnings of desire and a minute willingness to commit to the rigors of the trail we will make very little progress.

Another very important understanding we must have if we anticipate making any headway, is that we must be willing to admit to the need to rely on guides and mentors. Many of those mentors will come in the form of brothers and sisters who may have moved a bit ahead of us on the path, but the most reliable source will always come through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

The progressive segments along the narrow way we will call telestial, terrestrial and celestial using the names of the various kingdoms revealed to the Prophet Joseph.

Telestial steps along the narrow way

Since the Telestial being as identified by the revelation is one whose life is governed by the need for the flesh to be pleasured, pampered, pleased and proclaimed, our task along this segment of our journey will be mainly involved with changing our nature to such a degree that these binding influences are no longer part of who we are.

I probably won’t be making any insightful revelations by indicating that most of us revisit this portion of our passage periodically. In fact I have come to realize that there are periods of our lives that if we are doing no more than making fewer revisits to this segment and linger for less time we will probably be the recipients of some reassuring comfort from the Holy Spirit.

If the thought has not already come to you, let me be clear that it should be understood that at any time during our lives we will probably find ourselves in more than one segment of our journey at any given moment.

Terrestrial steps along the narrow way

The Lord revealed to Joseph that this Kingdom would be comprised of the good and honorable of the world. Therefore, in this segment of the journey we will be struggling not against our carnal natures, but with the challenge of ‘acting as if’ or ‘striving to obtain’ or ‘struggling to maintain’ a portion of the attributes and characteristics of Deity.

Just like our revisiting of steps in the telestial segment of our journey, I believe we will all be in a state of continually renewing our efforts to become more inclusive, universally loving, forgiving more quickly, broadening our understanding of others’ trials and every other neophyte-ish part of perfection we are striving to put upon ourselves at our current level of understanding.

Celestial steps along the narrow way

At the time of this writing and with the understanding I currently have, I feel that The Savior alone maximized His earthly journey to where He ‘was’ ready to be resurrected into Perfection.

My belief in the previous statement is founded on two self-deprecating ideas. First, I don’t believe I have sufficient knowledge or understanding of any of the Attributes, Characteristics and Perfections of Godliness to ‘become’ them during my mortal life. Second, I believe I will yet need a great deal of refining during the next phase of my existence to gain that knowledge and understanding and even more eons of time before they become who ‘I am’.

O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.

I pray we will all put forth our efforts, while relying upon the gifts of God, to press forward wherever we might find ourselves along the narrow way. I likewise pray that we will continue in our personal efforts, until our Father has finished his glorifying work upon us.



Saturday, December 8, 2018


Because of the rapid changes – that happens to the meaning of words – a good companion to our study of the Bible – would be a dictionary of the meaning of words – in the 17th century!!

Friday, December 7, 2018


Most scriptural words – which deal with the attributes of Godliness – teach about what our relationship should be with God – but – we often interpret them to mean – what our relationship should be with other earthlings!!

Thursday, December 6, 2018


Because of the phenomena – of words evolving – and – losing meaning from generation to generation – and – from group to group during generations – it should come as no surprise – that scriptures are interpreted differently – both from generation to generation – as well as – during a generation!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


If we are all blessed – to live out our three score and ten years – we will all witness – many words change – and – lose their original meaning!!


It could well be – that when the scriptures admonish us – to open our mouths – as a direction to invite people to come unto Christ – it well may be – that it is also instruction – about how important enunciation is to communication!!

Monday, December 3, 2018


Of all the lessons of elocution – we should all learn – the most important probably is – the key to communication – and – therefore understanding – is opening your mouth when you speak!!

Sunday, December 2, 2018


Lost scriptures – There are many sacred writings mentioned in the scriptures that we do not have today, among which are these books and writers: the Covenant (Ex. 24:7), the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14), Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18), the Acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:41), Samuel the Seer (1 Chr. 29:29), Nathan the Prophet (2 Chr. 9:29), Shemaiah the Prophet (2 Chr. 12:15), Iddo the Prophet (2 Chr. 13:22), Jehu (2 Chr. 20:34), the Sayings of the Seers (2 Chr. 33:19), Enoch (Jude 1:14), and the Words of Zenock, Neum, and Zenos (1 Ne. 19:10), Zenos (Jacob 5:1), Zenock and Ezias (Hel. 8:20), and a Book of Remembrance (Moses 6:5); and Epistles to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5:9), to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:3), from Laodicea (Col. 4:16), and from Jude (Jude 1:3). (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - Bible Dictionary)

I am pretty sure we would all faint from exhaustion before we were able to complete an all-inclusive study of the ancient records which have been found during the last two hundred years. The fact that many of the afore mentioned writings have yet to be found would indicate to the skeptic that they never existed. To the believer it is an indication that there are still many writings yet to be discovered or revealed.

The Book of Mormon adds an interesting twist to the dilemma by supplying the us with quotes from some of these ancient authors. Nephi, Jacob and Helaman indicate that they had access to the writings of prophets named Zenock, Neum, Zenos and Ezias. It is probably a pretty accurate supposition that the writings of these prophets were included on the Brass Plates of Laban and this was the source of their references.

And the God of our fathers, who were led out of Egypt, out of bondage, and also were preserved in the wilderness by him, yea, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel. (1 Nephi 19:10)

Behold, my brethren, do ye not remember to have read the words of the prophet Zenos, which he spake unto the house of Israel, saying: (Jacob 5:1)

And behold, also Zenock, and also Ezias, and also Isaiah, and Jeremiah, (Jeremiah being that same prophet who testified of the destruction of Jerusalem) and now we know that Jerusalem was destroyed according to the words of Jeremiah. O then why not the Son of God come, according to his prophecy? (Helaman 8:20)

The most complete text we have for any of these writers is found in Jacob chapter 5 where Jacob shares with us Zenos’ allegory of the Olive Tree. The parable centers around the House of Israel, undoubtedly because Zenos was a prophet of that clan. According to his allegory, as the House of Israel gets scattered and involved with the rest of the children of God, his writings widen to also include the interactions which they had as they were mixed together with non-House of Israel clans. Besides the allegorical outline of the history of the House of Israel, from the words of Zenos we come to understand that the Lord has been constant and universal in His work with all the peoples of the world and I believe with His children individually.

Zenos leaves us with the understanding that any failure which might take place in the fulfilling the purposes of our mortality will not happen because the Lord has been negligent, but because we have not been diligent or faithful in our duties.

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?

But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?
(Jacob 5:41, 47)

For we who live in the last dispensation presented in the allegory of the Olive Tree, there is a very happy ending prophesied by Zenos.

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few. And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.

And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things. And there began to be the natural fruit again in the vineyard; and the natural branches began to grow and thrive exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off and to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof equal, according to the strength thereof.

And thus they labored, with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, even until the bad had been cast away out of the vineyard, and the Lord had preserved unto himself that the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.

And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.
(Jacob 5: 70-75)

One of the marvelous truths which is fortified by the teachings of the restoration is that Heavenly Father is laboring to glorify all of His children, not just a handful who are fortunate enough to be born within a certain clan or church, a teaching which is amplified to Alma by the Lord.

For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.
(Alma 29:8)

What a marvelously freeing and uplifting Plan by which we are governed. Heavenly Father is not only working to save and glorify all of His children, but in His ultimate wisdom he feeds them only that which they are able to consume and digest and which will provide them with the maximum opportunity to progress.

It would be well for each of us to remember as we labor in the vineyard for the last time that in our work with mortal brothers and sisters, they are probably not operating under the same set of instructions as we might be, nor were they who have lived in any nation, at any time of the earth’s history.

The next time you review Zenos’ allegory of the Olive Tree, my prayer is that you will remember the universal yet individual work of our Heavenly Father.



Saturday, December 1, 2018


The more one’s hearing fails – the more they may long for the days – when elocution – was a mandatory subject in school!!

Friday, November 30, 2018


The truth will always remain independent – no matter what the percentages are – of people who believe – or – of people who doubt!!

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Just because the majority is convinced – that a lie is the truth – it will never change a lie – into the truth!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


If all those who participate in mongering – were to suddenly disappear – the world population would undoubtedly – decrease dramatically!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


There is little doubt – the world is probably a better place – because we all keep – a majority of our thoughts – and – actions – unsaid – or – undone!!

Monday, November 26, 2018


We cannot be totally sure – that having everyone – always revealing their real selves – would make for a better world!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018


If you haven’t read the Thought for November 18, 2018 I would suggest you take time before reading this Thought so that it will not seem like I have jumped into this Thought without a proper introduction.

Now that you have read or perhaps reviewed last week’s Thought I will proceed with the precious few words of Jacob which, like so many of the Lord’s spokespersons, leaves us wanting more.

I feel an especial need to reinforce the counsel to seek to have our thirst further quenched from the Living Waters after drinking from the revelatory words of Jacob.

But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord…

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts… For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things. For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.
(Jacob 2: 23-32)

Two thoughts immediately came into my mind as I was reading these verses. First, when the Lord withdraws a practice from the Father’s children, he likewise withdraws the principles and doctrines which attend that practice. Therefore, none of us should be troubled when we fall short in understanding or ignorantly condemn the practice of sacrifices in the Old Testament. Likewise, we need to accept our lack of understanding and at times misinformed comments about the practice of plural wives since the Lord has withdrawn the practice and with it the understanding of the principles and doctrines by which it was governed.

Second, as to that grosser crime, which Jacob compares as being worse than the evils attending pride, it seems that the condemnation of the wickedness and abomination of men who would in any way diminish the purity and fairness of a daughter of God is in the eyes of their Heavenly Father a far worse offence.

I am struck with the Everlasting love Heavenly Father has for His Eternal Mate and the elevated sacredness involved with the act of procreation which He has bestowed upon His mortal children.

I am struck with the importance He places on His relationship with Heavenly Mother and the faithful guardianship He expects of His sons and daughters in safeguarding the eternal attribute of creation with which he has entrusted them.

But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever. (Jacob 3: 1, 2)

Jacob seems to leave little room for variance for one who seeks to come unto the Father through His son Jesus the Christ. However, I am overcome with the feeling as I read his words, that this mighty change, as Benjamin later refers to it, is as we have been taught during the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, a process and not an event. During my own latter days, I have also been overwhelmed with the proposition that there will be many steps left in this journey when the short mortal part of it ends.

I am almost immediately left to sustain Jacobs admonition as the goal we must continually have before us and that we must always be active in our desire of obtaining it and that we must never allow anything to discourage us in continuing to pursue obtaining it.

O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death. (Jacob 3:11)

There never can be enough hearkening, arousing, shaking, awakening and loosening about the efforts of the fallen one. We constantly remain in need of daily reminders of his continual desire to strip us of our Agency and keep us from seeking to be part of the fulfillment of Heavenly Father’s work and glory.

Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?

Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works… Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.

But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.

And now I, Jacob, am led on by the Spirit unto prophesying; for I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation. But behold, according to the scriptures, this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build.
(Jacob 4:6-16)

I find great instruction in these words of Jacob, which enlighten me as to why I may fail all too often in having the Fountains of the Living Waters flow unceasingly unto my mind.

I too often fail to recognize how wanting I am in understanding and knowledge.

I too often fail to recognize the vastness of the gulf between things as I perceive them to be and as they really are.

I fail miserably in my desire to know all things, when the fulfillment of that desire was never intended to be part of our earthly passage, but we were sent to wander through clouds and sunshine to increase in our ability to walk by faith.

I preach Zen Mormonism or the necessity of limiting my thoughts and works to the now, but because I often look beyond the mark, the thinking upon tomorrow’s unknown keeps me from completing today’s assignments.

Even after the blessing of having had interactions with and instructions from the Holy Spirit, I am grateful for the words of Jacob which have allowed me to be reminded of the availability of counsel from on high.

Maybe for this reason he LEFT US WANTING MORE!!



Saturday, November 24, 2018


It will be interesting – which we will discover to be more frightening – the masks we wear in public – or – what is hiding behind those masks!!

Friday, November 23, 2018


If we are going to judge our neighbor – we should be sure we gather all the available facts about the situation – and – most importantly – receive the counsel of the Holy Spirit – before we finalize our judgements!!

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Judgements made – before facts are known – will more often than not – fall far short of being accurate!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I have always had difficulty – shortening my introductions to lessons – or – talks – I don’t know whether that problem – or – having difficulty ending a lesson – or – talk – is the bigger problem!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


If we are not careful – we can become so obsessed – with our own agendas – that we critically impair – the schedules of others!! ----- There are speakers – who find the words amen – or – thank you – or – any appropriate ending to a talk – the most difficult to utter!!

Monday, November 19, 2018


Although the Holy Spirit – always speaks with clarity – unless our ears are attuned to listen – and – our hearts open – we will remain without understanding!!

Sunday, November 18, 2018


As I was leaving the breakfast table and about to ‘weave my way’ downstairs to spend time writing a Thought, (an expression which becomes more of a reality now that my spinal stenosis has taken control of my legs again) Kathleen, in response to me asking if she had any inspiration, assured me that I needed to remember she is not the source of my inspiration. It was too late!

Stimulated by her previous remark that Jacob, the prophet/writer I would be basing my Thought on for this week always left her feeling cheated that he hadn’t written more. we concluded that that could probably be a statement about all of the prophets who have been instruments in revealing the will of the Father to His children.

By the time I reached the stairwell going downstairs, my mind was thinking about the many movies and books which, when The End flashed, I had been left with the feeling, ‘No --- you can’t end the story at this point.’ Many writers and authors have assured themselves of job security with this cliff hanging ending technique which demanded sequels.

There are times when I wish I could return to those more youthful days when after being left in what seemed like the middle of a story line, I would make up three or four continuations to the plots and then pick the one which was most satisfying to me at the time.

During my High School and early College days, I was involved in a few attempts at being a thespian. I remember one of the lessons most often repeated was ‘always leave them wanting more’.

As I read the words of scriptural writers I have often wondered if they likewise used the ‘always leave them wanting more’ ploy as a means to move us to inquire of the Lord so that their curt revelations might springboard us into drinking from the source of all fountains of knowledge.

Since the Book of Jacob was translated from the Small Plates of Nephi, we cannot blame Mormon for abridging all the meat out of Jacob’s writings. This is what he put on the Small Plates and this is what Joseph Smith translated.

As I skim through some of the major principles and doctrines found in the first four chapters of the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon, I invite us to allow ourselves to be overcome by being left wanting and seek to sip from the waters sent forth from the
Fountain of all Knowledge and Understanding.

And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come. Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness. Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.
(Jacob 1: 6-8)

I am struck with the understanding that those who have accepted the commission to publish peace not only need to strive to persuade others to come unto Christ, but also admonish them to at least be mindful not to rebel against God.

I am constantly aware of the pleasantness of inviting a brother or sister to come unto Christ, but I fear the unpleasantness which attends persuading them to not rebel against God has kept me from fulfilling this part of my calling.

As I read the words of the early prophets of the Latter Days I find them involved in both halves of the equation, but as I read the words of the more recent prophets of the Latter days I am almost overwhelmed with the feeling that the message of the day is the kinder one of persuading all to come unto Christ and partake of His goodness.

And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.

And now, my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you. O that he would show you that he can pierce you, and with one glance of his eye he can smite you to the dust! O that he would rid you from this iniquity and abomination. And, O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!

Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you, what say ye of it? Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever. And now I make an end of speaking unto you concerning this pride.
(Jacob 2: 13-21)

As I apply Nephi’s admonition to liken the scriptures unto ourselves it becomes obvious that we suffer in like manner and even exceed in many ways the conditions which Jacob described as being a problem among the Nephites of his era.

We fail miserably when it comes to thinking some of us of different pigmentation, nationalities, educational achievements and financial accomplishments in no were equal to those of lesser status.

Religion, rather than being a means to unite the children of our Heavenly Parents, has become a propagation tool used to demonstrate how one brother or sister is more precious unto God than another.

Although I may be left feeling as an Island in an ocean filled with prejudices and bigotry I must cleave to the commission to publish the universal kinship of all mankind and that our Heavenly Father is no exceptor of persons.


(to be continued)



Saturday, November 17, 2018


Thoughts spoken to a neighbor – in such soft tones – that even with great concentration – they are not communicated – are words which have fallen on deaf ears!! ----- A good rule of thumb might be – when we have given meaning to our thoughts - it may be time – to cease multiplying our words!!

Friday, November 16, 2018


We are often filled with a greater degree of gratitude – when we are performing acts of service – than when we are being served!! ----- There may be no sweeter sound – which will stimulate our minds – than the whisperings of the Holy Spirit!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018


There are many times during our lives – when the clearest understanding of a subject – will come from the mouth of a child!! ----- When we actively seek – to be of service – we will be pleasantly surprised – how quickly the opportunities multiply!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


We should count it as one of our greatest blessings – that the ultimate – and – eternal judgement of our lives – will be made by Beings who are perfect in the application – of the characteristics of love – mercy – and – grace!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


It is ludicrous – to become bound by a tradition – which impedes progress!! ----- It is sad – and – perhaps even detrimental – when we become so enamored with change – that all our meaningful traditions – are lost!!

Monday, November 12, 2018


I have long believed – our real purpose in mortality – is to bring our physical self – into harmony with our spiritual self!! ----- You can no more – gain peace – by – being hateful – than you can – grow corn – by – planting peas!!

Sunday, November 11, 2018


The summers between the 10th and 11th and the 11th and 12th grades of High School, Morgan Gardner asked me if I would like to work for him and learn the trade of lathing. I spent the early part of that first summer hauling and stacking button board, which were 3 foot by 1 ½ foot button boards of gypsum covered by a thick paper product, which had replaced wooden strips as a plaster base nailed to the interior studs of a house.

By the end of those summers I had become fairly proficient at ‘hanging’ these button boards on the walls of houses. I had also graduated to on occasion hanging ‘lids’ or ceilings which is what most of us would call them. If I leave off being modest, I would have to admit I had become very good and fast at the task.

After graduating from High School and serving my 6 month active duty obligation in the Army, I worked at this trade until going on my LDS mission to Northern Mexico. Before I left, I had even graduated to where I was left in a house to hang the button board on the walls and lids in preparation for them being taped before the plasterers went to work. I had also started to learn how to ‘wrap’ houses with black paper and chicken wire which would then be stuccoed over.

When I returned from my mission I convinced Morgan Gardner that I was now a stronger man and it would be to his benefit to put me back to work. By this time dry wall had pretty well replaced button board and plaster, because it was less expensive, created more consistently straight walls and was a much faster process. Therefore, when I went back to work the only thing lathers were doing was ‘wrapping houses’ as a base for stucco. I worked at the trade long enough to earn my card as a Journeyman wood, wire and metal lather. Once again leaving modesty aside, when I quit working in the lathing trade I seldom was with anyone who did the job faster or better that I did. I had successfully done my apprenticeship and was indeed a journeyman.

As is often the case whenever anyone starts to read my Thoughts, I suspect you have arrived at the point where you are asking yourself, why is he telling me this stuff, I really don’t want to spend my Sabbath thinking about an ‘old school’ trade. Therefore, if you are ready for a transition into the real Thought for today we will proceed into that area.

As I started rereading the Book of Jacob in preparation for writing a Thought for this week, It became apparent there is an exceedingly long apprenticeship Heavenly Father puts his children through before entrusting them with the calling of being a Prophet.

An interesting side note is that during this transition from Nephi to Jacob there was also a split in the keepers of the records. There would for a time be one record, which was kept by the kings Nephi II, Nephi III etc., which becomes the source material for Mormon’s abridgement on the gold plates, the translation of which we start reading from in the Book of Mosiah in our current addition of the Book of Mormon. The other, was contained on what are referred to as the Small Plates of Nephi, which comprise the source for the translation for the Books of Nephi through Omni in our current addition of the Book of Mormon.

Jacob – Starts his record by stating it had been 55 years since his father Lehi left Jerusalem. We know he was born while his family wandered in the wilderness during an 8 year period, therefore, Jacob could easily have been 50 by the time he is entrusted with keeping the sacred records and becoming the prophet serving the Nephite people.

We know from the blessing Jacob received from Lehi when he was about to go the way of all the earth, that his earthly prophetic apprenticeship probably started when Jacob was still in his youth when he had the privilege of seeing the Lord. We also know that he was always near Nephi, offering his voice in sustaining testimony, while Nephi was serving as the Prophet/King to the Nephite nation.

No matter what religion we examine, the extended apprenticeships of prophets seem to be the normal pattern rather than the exception.

Adam – It is somewhat difficult to determine his apprenticeship or even when to start the clock on it. I suspect we would have to count the tutorial time he spent in the Garden as part of that training period. During this part of his existence the time line is not just fuzzy, but completely hidden from our understanding. When Adam and Eve left the garden we know their earthy instruction included mentoring from Angels. We don’t know how much of his 930 years Adam spent on earth he was learning and how much was spent teaching, but if Lehi and Nephi are used as examples, he was involved in both activities until his death.

Moses – We only have to realize that it took 80 years to prepare Moses to stand before Pharaoh as a prophet of the Lord and eventually lead the children of Israel from slavery, in order to comprehend he likewise had an extensive and at times brutal apprenticeship for that monumental assignment. I suspect the first 40 years as an ‘under pharaoh’ in Egypt didn’t hurt his ability to feed and lead the children of Israel in the desert for 40 years. An interesting observation is that the mortal occupational apprenticeships most of us have in life seldom have much in common with the commissions we receive from the Lord.

Ruth – There is little doubt that there has ever been a prophetess or prophet who has more profoundly demonstrated the only way to becoming a proclaimer of the word is by being a follower of the word. Her inspired pronouncement has rung down through the ages; Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried. I suspect if we were able to see clearly the apprenticeship of all who have eventually become a spokesperson for the Lord and were privy to their personal creeds they would all in some way resemble Ruth’s declaration.

Joseph Smith – It may be doubtful that Joseph ever advanced beyond his period of apprenticeship during his short 38 plus years of sojourning upon the earth. There is also little doubt that the refiner’s fire was turned up high while he was going through the process. Maybe what we should learn from his life is that the Lord can use someone as a great instrument even while they are going through their on the job training. Just a few of the assignments he fulfilled while still being instructed include the translation, printing and distribution of The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the reopening of revelatory experiences between heaven and earth, the restoration of the truthfulness to the gospel, establishing and organizing of the Lord’s Kingdom on earth and reinstituting the saving ordinances.

Jesus the Christ – There is no doubt the Savior had completed His apprenticeship long before he was born of Mary. He was the actuator of Heavenly Father’s Plan during the creation of the earth. He was the great Jehovah who taught the nations of the world prior to his earthly mission. His pre-mortal training was so successful that He alone was able to pass this period of probation flawlessly and He alone was worthy and capable of completing the saving and exalting sacrifice of His Atoning act.

Latter Day Prophets
– Those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have to date confirmed 17 men as Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church. Their apprenticeship, most assuredly started long before and in many different vocations, no doubt, beginning before they were ordained into their official apprenticeship by being called as prophets, seers and revelator and sustained as members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Although the length of their official apprenticeship varies it is seldom less that 20 years and often as many as 50 plus years. Joseph Smith at the age of 25 was by far the youngest and Joseph Fielding Smith was the oldest at 93 when they were confirmed as Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church.

Other than the Savior, we have only addressed the mortal apprenticeships of these men, but in the Book of Abraham in The Pearl of Great price we learn that much like the Lord their proofing started long before their mortal birth.

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (Abraham 3: 22, 23)

I am pretty certain if we had the privilege of sitting with any who have been called, as was Moses, to be the voice of the Lord, as they were about to go the way of all the earth, we would hear them say that their apprenticeship had been a marvelous experience to this point in their eternal journey and that their most earnest prayer was to continue to faithfully learn how, progress further and be eternal publishers of peace.

I will be forever grateful that during my time on earth I had the privilege of having those who were chosen and called to be His earthly voice by Heavenly Father as a guiding force in my daily walk. I am grateful for the times when I was blessed for faithfully walking as they counseled and even grateful for the days when I had to pass through the consequences of not following the word of the Lord given to me through them.

I sincerely pray we will be wise enough to learn about apprenticeships and how to successfully complete our own journey by learning from those the Lord has sent because they were noble, great and good while being taught during their premortal estate.



Saturday, November 10, 2018


We have all heard – that it is a sign one may be crazy – when they talk to themselves – however – it could be possible that one of the sanest things we do in life – is have our physical minds – communicate with out spiritual minds!!

Friday, November 9, 2018


There are many among the experienced generation – now living – who much like the children of Israel – who had to wander in the desert with Moses for 40 years – who will have to pass on – before the Church can fully – enter into the Technology Holy Land!!

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Technology will never advance us further – than the operating technician – is capable of demonstrating!! ----- There will probably never be a time in our lives – when we are not both – glad we are no longer what we have been – and – also hopeful about what we wish to become!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


The times – and – seasons for women – are not necessarily – the same as – the times – and – seasons for men!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


If the Kingdom is not built upon the firm foundation – of covenant keeping people – it will soon be divided into many factions!! ----- I think we would all live – more peaceful and contented lives – if we applied – The Prophets formula – of there being a season for all things!!

Monday, November 5, 2018


People who expand their vocabularies – and – eliminate habitual repetitious words such as rad – awesome – or – sick – are usually more interesting companions!! ----- The surest way to keep from being a covenant person – is to cease keeping the covenants you have made!!

Sunday, November 4, 2018


I had just started the second half of my 16th year of life when my friends and I decided to received our Patriarchal Blessings. I think at that time it was ‘the thing to do,’ but there is little doubt that what seemed rather insignificant that evening with Patriarch J. Roland Sandstrom in his home in Santa Ana, California, has turned out to be a keystone of my life.

At the time I was on a math/science path in my studies at Garden Grove Union High School and since I had mentioned this to Brother Sandstrom in the pre-blessing interview he assured me in the blessing, in just a few short words, that if that was my desire I would find success following that path.

He immediately added that I should always remember that Theology was the science which engulfed all sciences and then changed course and informed me that when I was converted to a gospel principle I had the gift of being able to explain these principles to others and that such a call would be mine if I desired it.

It wasn’t long after receiving my Patriarchal Blessing that I was called to my first teaching opportunity in the Church. This was followed by being called on a full time mission to invite the good people of Northern Mexico to come unto Christ. Shortly after returning from Mexico I was given the opportunity to teach early morning Seminary for the Church Education System. This assignment lasted for four years during which time Kathleen accepted my plea to become my wife and our first son Cevin was born. I was then hired to be a full time Seminary teacher and served in Kearns and Tooele, Utah for several years before receiving the assignment to teach Institute in Reno, Nevada. This assignment continued until I was 51 and Kathleen and I now had a posterity of six children and two grandchildren. We were called to preside over the Colombia North Mission, where I was given the commission to convert the missionaries to the gospel by Elder Perry an apostle of the Lord. After three wonderful years in Colombia, we were assigned by the Church Education System to teach Institute in Mission Viejo, California, which I joyfully did until I retired in 2005. President Zundel of the Mission Viejo Stake then called me to teach the adults of Southern Orange County in these words ‘we will ride this horse until it drops.’ I taught for five years before I dropped due to a knee which needed to be replaced and a back which had to be relieved of spinal stenosis by having a triple laminectomy surgery. By this time I was pretty sure the calling revealed to me by Patriarch Sandstrom of being given the gift to explain the gospel had come to a beautiful end. Silly me! When I retired, Paul Maddox had mentored me into a state where I was no longer fearful of computers. This had allowed me to write my own curriculum during those last five years of teaching adults. In spite of not being able to do the classroom thing, I quickly discovered I had not been released from teaching and even though I could no longer stand and deliver in front of students, I found with the help of Rod Santiago, who set me up with a blog page and becoming conversant with Face Book, I soon had a classroom which was much, more vast than anything I could have imagined.

There is no doubt as I am now able to look back on the 6 decades and counting since I received my Patriarchal Blessing, I have become certain about many things contained therein, but absolutely sure that my Father in Heaven had revealed to me through Patriarch Sandstrom more about my mortal journey than I knew as a teenager.

If anyone is still reading this Thought after that lengthy review of my life of teaching the principles of the gospel, I would like to quickly assure you that there is a point to be made.

As I came to the conclusion of the writings of Nephi in the Book of Mormon, I was drawn to do a review of his life and I was struck with the idea that when he was a young lad he probably, just as you and I, had little understanding of where his mortal journey would lead him.

As his writings unfold his life to us we wonder when he realized he was not entirely the author of his journey. I suspect like so many of us it happened gradually as his life unfolded. I am pretty sure he started to wonder when it was he who had to take the lead in obtaining the Brass Plates of Laban. There is no doubt that the intervention of angels at various junctures of his life when his older brothers beat him and even tried to take his life would have given him clues. The pronouncement of his father Lehi that he would rule over his brothers had to be enlightening. Every step he took on his mortal journey seemed to be guided as he completed the assignments he was given by his Heavenly Father as one of the noble and great ones who would come to this earth.

Since during my life I have always had a need to be somewhat in control of my mortal journey, two things have become clear to me, I never really was in control and as Kathleen has reminded me countless times, we have greater joy and progress further when we just follow what the Lord asks us to do.

As we peruse the last three chapters of Second Nephi we witness that he came to understand and continued to fulfill his calling as a prophet of God to the very end.

Chapter 31

3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.

5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Chapter 32

4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.

5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.

9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

Chapter 33

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

Hopefully, as you read Nephi’s last words and do your own perusal of his life and the marvelous doctrines he gave the world and think of the millions whose lives have been made more meaningful because he was sent to fulfill the commission given him by his Heavenly Father, we might also take the time to ponder our own journeys and perhaps refresh our understanding that we too were sent to do the Father’s will and yield to him our lives.



Saturday, November 3, 2018


Although our words will always be inadequate – when expressing the feelings we have for the Divine – they could be expanded beyond the word love – and – include such words as fulfilled – overwhelmed – and – joyful!!

Friday, November 2, 2018


Expressing the feelings we have for our eternal companion – is an abundant area where we can expand our vocabulary extensively – rather than always saying – I love you – we could say – you make me complete – or – whole – or – sublime – or – magnificent – etc.!!

Thursday, November 1, 2018


We might send out clearer signals – when we perform acts of service – if we were to say – it makes me feel warm – and – fuzzy – rather than always saying – I love the way it makes me feel!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


We might send out clearer signals – if we were to say – this – or – that food is tasty and pleasing – rather than always saying – I love spaghetti – or – German chocolate cake – etc.!! ----- We might send out clearer signals – if we were to say – the physical attraction I have for you – is exciting – and – stimulating – rather than always saying – I the love the way you make me feel!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


If we had a greater variety of subjects – in our conversations – we would be more interesting people – and – probably communicate our views more accurately!! ----- One of the words we often overuse – and thereby – often send out – messages which are misunderstood – is love!!

Monday, October 29, 2018


Many times the assurance – of the correctness of our decisions – comes only after we have completed the journey!! ----- Silent prayers of the heart – are often – more sincere – and – powerful – than vocal – or – public prayers!!

Sunday, October 28, 2018


I am often impressed with the marvelous capabilities of our minds, such as those times when mine suddenly brings up remembrances which happened decades ago. As I was reviewing Nephi’s continued teachings to his people, as guided by a revelatory experience which accompanied his reading from the words of Isaiah, with the aid of what seems to be unlimited vision I was once again able to see in great detail the little white house with the beautiful red flamboyant tree which draped over the entire roof.

I was once again sitting in the chapel area of the little house, which served not only as our living quarters, but also was where we held the meetings for the small branch in Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Since in those days of antiquity in the latter part of 1958 there was no such thing as a language training facility in the missionary system of the Church, I arrived in Mexico with the Spanish I had gained while barely passing Spanish I and II at Garden Grove Union High School. I suspect my abilities were above the taco and burrito level, but not by much.

As I would sit with the primary children of the branch, which were mostly from the Martinez family, I would point at the light and they would say luz. I would point at the chairs and they would say silla. I would point at the table and they would say mesa. When I was walking through the streets of the town I would continue to point and Elder Davis my senior companion/trainer would say arbol, barco, caballo.

In this way I learned a lot of the names of objects, but my main beginnings of being able to communicate came from two sources. I listened intently as my companion would speak and give lessons and try to pick up some meaning as those he was teaching spewed out their replies at the speed of light. However, the main source of my learning Spanish resulted from a daily exercise where Elder Davis would read a passage in the Book of Mormon in English and then I would read the same passage in Spanish. I will probably never know for sure whether it was the prayers which we offered as we were involved in this task or the task itself, but whichever it was, as we drew close to finishing the Book of Mormon I was beginning to communicate in Spanish and my testimony of the Book of Mormon had increased dramatically.

The reason I was thrust back into those memorable days when I was about to leave the era of being a teen, is that I have witnessed the words Nephi is teaching his people in chapters 29 and 30 of Second Nephi being dramatically fulfilled during the 60 years which have sped by since those pointing and learning days in that little house with the beautiful red flamboyant tree draping over the roof.

In those so well remembered days, there were just over 1 ½ million members in the Church and in Mexico they had just divided the Mexican Mission into two missions. One serving the southern part of Mexico and one the northern part of Mexico which were presided over by two brothers Joseph and Israel Bentley. As I write this Thought in 2018 the Church has grown to have a membership of over 16 million and in Mexico there are now 34 missions.

Nephi spoke of people rejecting the Book of Mormon because they were already in possession of books of scripture. He spoke of peoples from all nations coming to Christ and becoming covenant people. He told of nations being gathered in preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior and the day when Satan would no longer have power over the hearts of men. But the verses in these chapters which have made the most profound impact on my life are 7 and 8 of Second Nephi chapter 29.

Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

And just like that, my mind takes me back to the many times I had the privilege of teaching classes on the Religions of the World. Almost every time I watch Jeopardy I am reminded of how many details of the world’s religions I no longer remember, but reading these two verses quickly reminds me of the imprinting upon my mind of how many important and fundamental beliefs are shared by the religions of the world. I have come to the firm conviction that regardless of what words our native tongue uses to speak the name of God, we are all speaking of the same being.

There are several possibilities which exist when we read Nephi’s words of God having spoken to all nations and to all the children of men. Either God hasn’t really kept track of His doings, Nephi misunderstood the revelation he had received, or Heavenly Father has indeed spoken to all His children and their testimonies are all important for us to help us gain greater understanding of the workings of Heavenly Father with His children.

In chapter 30 of Second Nephi, Nephi teaches of a day when the truths which have been given by God to all nations will have been bent by the philosophies of men and the true restored gospel would be sent forth among his descendants, declared unto the remnants of the Jews (House of Israel) and preached unto the gentiles.

8 And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

Although 60 years of spectacular growth have taken place since I suffered through those cold showers in the little white house in Ciudad Villas, Mexico, when I compare the growth of the Church in its first 180 years to the population of the world it adds up to but a pittance, but as the living Prophet of the Lord, Russell M. Nelson, recently reminded us, since the gathering is taking place on both sides of the veil, we quickly become aware of the billions who are being prepared to accept their ordinances which are being performed in the 159 operating Houses of the Lord.

There goes my long term memory again back to 1958 when there were only two Stake Centers in all of Mexico and now it is a country with 13 Temples and more than a thousand Stake Centers.

I will be looking at the world from a much different vantage point in the year 2078, but I am very sure the stone seen by Daniel which was cut out of a mountain and would roll forth until it filled the whole earth will have multiplied significantly.



Saturday, October 27, 2018


Dedication – and – diligence – in fulfilling our assignments – and – callings – will result in growth – and – advancement!! ----- Those who go through life – imagining themselves as being perfect – will one da discover – the Lord uses – a very different set of measurements!!

Friday, October 26, 2018


If we label tuna – Chicken of the Sea – should we not also call chicken – the Fish of the Land!! ----- accepting assignments – and – callings in the church – does not magically cause growth – and – advancement in one’s life!!

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Receiving the gift of being healed – from a physical affliction – is a wonderful thing – however – having our souls healed – is a far greater gift!! ----- I think it is important to note – the Lord never felt it necessary – to detail those activities – which make the Sabbath Day a delight!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


If every nation requires – the rest of the world – to adopt their culture – and – traditions – and – speak their language – we will become very boring – and – even more dysfunctional!! ----- The amount of joy we feel – during mortality – will always be conditional upon – the distance we put – between ourselves – and – our Heavenly Father!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


We must never forget – the reason we attend church meetings – is to have our beliefs – and – faith strengthened – not to be impressed – by someone’s talent – or – intellect!! ----- Even with the weekly reminder – of the covenants we have made – as we partake of the emblems of the Sacrament – most of us still fall short – of always remembering the Lord!!

Monday, October 22, 2018


Genuine love – never has anything to do – with financial status!! ----- We will never enjoy the fruits of genuine love – if we expect – others to recognize us – as the center of the universe!! ----- There are times it seem like – the main reason we have experiences in life – is so that we will have something to remember – and talk about – during our advanced years!!

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Although I deviated from the formula for covering the Isaiah passages when Nephi was reading from Isaiah chapters 2 – 14 and recording them in his own writing in 2 Nephi 12 – 24, as I write this Thought based on 2 Nephi 27 or Isaiah 29 I will once again use the following guidelines; first, that I might succeed in my efforts to demonstrate what Nephi was trying to have his people understand from the passages of Isaiah he was quoting; second, I will be able to faithfully include Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s chapter preface statements in the English LDS edition of the Bible with some additional brief personal comments which will not distract from his interpretation of Isaiah’s words; third, that I might succeed in my efforts to communicate a very personal meaning I am receiving at the moment; and fourth, that perhaps I might succeed in my efforts to provide a stimulus for whoever might be reading my Thoughts that week to seek their own individual instructions from the words of Isaiah.

Second Nephi 27, 28

Nephi’s explanation to his people about Chapter 29 of Isaiah:

Nephi uses what to us is an unfamiliar use of the word constrained, when he says he has been constrained by the Spirit to prophecy of things which will surely come to pass.

He foretold of a book of great worth to his seed and to the remnants of the House of Israel which would be written and come forth.

He taught that in the day when the book came forth, churches would built up, but not unto the Lord and could be identified because their priests would contend one with another, these priests, because they denied the utterances of the Holy Spirit would be left to teach their own learning. They would deny the power of God to the point of teaching that God had done his work of redemption and would not perform miracles any longer, hence, He was no longer active but had given his power to men.

The teachings of these false churches would include the philosophy of live and enjoy the moment, because any wrong would bear very few consequences from God.

They would work in darkness thinking they could hide their doctrines of foolishness devised by their puffed up hearts.

These churches will be identified by the characteristics of pride, robbing the poor, persecuting the meek and poor in heart and the wearing of costly apparel.

He foresees another group who will be lulled away into carnal security, into thinking whatever they are doing is OK.

He also sees those who hearken to the words of God and build their lives upon the Rock of Salvation and build their lives line upon line learning wisdom from the counsel of the Lord.

It only takes a few sentences of reading Nephi’s teaching to his people about what he had read from the words of Isaiah for us to understand that he was struck with the perilous conditions his posterity would be facing in that future era he had seen in revelation.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s preface statements from Isaiah 29 and 2 Nephi 27:

A people (the Nephites) will speak as a voice from the dust.

The Apostasy, restoration of the gospel, and coming forth of a sealed book (the Book of Mormon) are foretold.

Darkness and apostasy will cover the earth in the last days.

The Book of Mormon will come forth. Three witnesses will testify of the book.

The learned man will say he cannot read the sealed book.

The Lord will do a marvelous work and a wonder.

We quickly become aware that Elder McConkie wanted the saints of the restored church to glean that Isaiah had seen in vision the restoration of the Lord’s Kingdom in the latter days and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as the firm foundation upon which it would be built.

Personal meanings I received as I reviewed these chapters:

It may have been as a result of a conversation Kathleen and I had during breakfast this morning, and perhaps it could be because I see it as such a perilous condition of our present day world, but my thoughts were moved to pondering upon verse 21 and 22 of Second Nephi chapter 28.

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Lucifer, from the very beginning, believed unwaveringly in the use of force which makes the Eternal Principle of Agency null and void. I have long believed that the awful chains Nephi speaks of here come upon us as we ironically use our Agency to heed his whisperings and yield our ability to choose to his binding flatterings.

I am absolutely certain that Satan has no preference what whispered lie we choose to forge the links of the chain which causes us to lose our inability to use our Agency, just as long as we continue to add link to link until we are securely bound.

The words of living Apostles and Prophets have made our task of identifying the devilish whisperings which are blaring around the world easy to recognize.

We have been warned against mind numbing substances which are always presented as ‘just one will never harm you’. Yet the whisperings bind even the very elect!

We have been warned about the mind controlling effects of pornography and coveting a neighbor’s wife. Yet the whisperings bind even the
very elect!

We have been warned about the siren effect of putting our hearts upon riches. Yet the whisperings bind even the very elect!

We have been warned about the controlling of lives which comes from seeking honor and fame. Yet the whisperings bind even the very elect!

We have been warned and forewarned. Yet the whisperings bind even the very elect!

In my own little world of meager understanding, I have attempted to build upon a creed which first proclaims that anything I choose to do which will lessen my ability to keep my use of Agency totally valid should be shunned and, second, warns that anything which causes me to lose humility and become prideful thinking I am the master of myself, makes me vulnerable to the soul binding whisperings of he who has always desired to use force over freedom.

Readers thoughts as they read this Thought and reviewed the words of Isaiah and Nephi: