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!!