Wednesday, June 19, 2019


We probably – never fully appreciate – the stewardship of the Holy Spirit – in His role as a comforter – until we have the need – and – feel His balm heal our wounds!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


There has only been one cure discovered – for sleep deprivation!!

Monday, June 17, 2019


There fleeting moments – when witnessing the marvelous capabilities of the young – when – a sense of fear envelopes me!!

Sunday, June 16, 2019


The morning I sat down to write this Thought for a Sabbath was only a couple of weeks before I would complete my 80th Year of mortality and I was also making the transition from the Book of Mosiah to the Book of Alma in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ . I had just written the following which I planned to include as a face book entry on the day of the celebration of my birth and the completion of my 80th decade of mortality.


And the carefree decade of your infancy, toddler and youth evaporates


And the troubled decade of your teens vanishes


And the hopeful decade of your twenty’s disappears


And the training decade of your thirty’s dissipates


And the productive decade of the forty’s is gone


And the fruitful decade of your fifty’s withdraws


And the secure decade of your sixty’s retires


And the resourceful decade of your seventy’s fades


And the ebbing decade of your eighty’s expires

I wonder what will happen as I ebb through the decade of my eighty’s. I was about to open the Book of Alma in the hope of getting some inspiration on what to write a Thought about as part of the wonderful adventure I have been taking over the last year and a half as I have been making my way through The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I happened to see the third book of ‘Reflections for a Sabbath Day’ that contains some of the radio talks I had written when we lived in Reno, Nevada, during the decade of my forty’s. This reminded me that I had one more talk that I had not rewritten in my Thoughts for a Sabbath day. When I opened that talk I was impressed that it would be very appropriate to rewrite as part of today’s Thought, as it was along the same line of thinking which was going through my mind when I wrote the words to Blink.

Although my memory of the lyrics is blurred the message of the song ' Mañana is Good Enough For Me’ is both vivid in my memory and my everyday reality.

The malady of procrastination has been compared to stepping into quicksand. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get out of your predicament. Procrastination has other characteristics with quicksand, such as; we would be better off if it were completely avoided, it is usually part of the unpleasantries of life, we always know it exists, but continue to fall into it’s trap anyway.

Many times our ability to overcome the debilitating effects of procrastination happens because we don’t understand the cause.

Any one or a combination of any of the following causes could attribute to a person putting off tasks, even some of which one might normally complete with eagerness and joy.

Physical well-being, tiredness, fatigue and mal-nutrition contribute greatly to a person’s ‘put-off until tomorrow’ syndrome, while fitness, healthiness and being well rested help with our ‘get it done now’ abilities.

Emotional well-being, which is determined by many factors such as; we may be over programing our lives, we may have developed a self-defeating attitude, we may be overwhelmed with the envisioned commitment, or we may have developed habits of laziness.

Spiritual well-being
, when we lack a firm conviction that there is meaning to life and an eternal purpose for existence it becomes much easier to rationalize inaction in many areas of our lives.

Although I have listed these contributing causes separately, they seldom work independently, but often attack our ability to complete tasks as a heavy inter-twined mangled weight. Therefore, if we are going to show progress in our overcoming the debilitating malady of procrastination we must improve our well-being physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Since overcoming procrastination is an task which effects us during our entire lives, I have come to the conclusion that putting off until tomorrow is not good for any of us. Sterling W. Sill once said: ‘In a dreadful reality, everyday is judgement, and is part of eternity, therefore, each day must bear its full load of responsibility. One of the greatest truths of the world is that the future is now.’(Instructor, June 1961)

Whatever it is…

Take it from someone who knows.

Do it now!


And the carefree decade of your infancy, toddler and youth evaporates


And the troubled decade of your teens vanishes


And the hopeful decade of your twenty’s disappears


And the training decade of your thirty’s dissipates


And the productive decade of the forty’s is gone


And the fruitful decade of your fifty’s withdraws


And the secure decade of your sixty’s retires


And the resourceful decade of your seventy’s withdraws


And the ebbing decade of your eighty’s expires



Saturday, June 15, 2019


It may be because old men – view the world with dimming eyes – but – every generation seem to be more talented – stronger – and – intelligent!!

Friday, June 14, 2019


If the logic – of each generation improving on parenting techniques – is true – why aren’t the children of today’s generation – perfect??

Thursday, June 13, 2019


If the logic – of each generation improving on parenting techniques – is true – we need to all pity those poor children – of centuries gone by!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


I often marvel – at how each generation of parents – is absolutely sure – their parenting techniques – are far superior – to all previous generations!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


I often wonder what my grandparents would think – about the parenting techniques – being used by their – great-great grandchildren!!

Monday, June 10, 2019


One of the joys – which comes with having an extended life – is being able to see multiple generations develop – and – grow!!

Sunday, June 9, 2019


Besides the written word found in the scriptures and the words of the living Apostles and Prophets of the Lord Jesus the Christ, there have been very few moments of my life when I have not surrounded myself with the written words of those whom I am grateful to have enjoyed as my mortal mentors.

One of those mentors, Hugh Nibley, I was first introduced to shortly after returning from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Northern half of Mexico during the last part of the 1950’s and the first part of the 1960’s. The year after my return from that mission, the Church had chosen Nibley’s book, ‘An Approach to the Book of Mormon’, as the text for Melchizedek Priesthood quorum members and since I had been called to be one of the instructors for that year it meant I faithfully read the lessons during the entire year. Like so many who had read or heard him speak previously, I continually found myself mentally exclaiming, ‘I have never heard that before’! His response when confronted with this exclamation was always, ‘If you had heard it before, you would have no need to be reading or hearing my words.’

Even today I have an extensive file of his writings which someday our children will have to decide whether to discard or retain, because I will not be able to discard them myself. As I was reading the final two chapters of the book of Mosiah in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, one of his essays came flooding back into my mind. It was titled ‘There is no Free Lunch’. The one point of Mosiah’s final words which prompted this memory was his belief that there is no economic system under which mortals are restrained which was ordained of God. I hope I don’t lose too many readers at this point, but along with Socialism, Communism, Fascism and many other isms, he included Capitalism. His main point was than none of them are the financial system which the Lord has ordained for the care of His children during mortality which was called by Joseph Smith, The United Order.

What caused me to take this avenue in my ponderings as I prepared to write this Thought for this week, was that since all four sons of King Mosiah II had rejected his offer to follow him as the king of the Nephites, and fearing lest they might change their minds and cause unrest in the nation later on, he instituted a new system of government where the voice of the people would elect their Chief Judge.

Mosiah 29

6 Now I declare unto you that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong has declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom.

10 And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.

11 Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.

12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.

13 Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.

16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.

21 And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.

25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.

26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.

41 And it came to pass that they did appoint judges to rule over them, or to judge them according to the law; and this they did throughout all the land.

42 And it came to pass that Alma was appointed to be the first chief judge, he being also the high priest, his father having conferred the office upon him, and having given him the charge concerning all the affairs of the church.

43 And now it came to pass that Alma did walk in the ways of the Lord, and he did keep his commandments, and he did judge righteous judgments; and there was continual peace through the land.

46 And it came to pass that Mosiah died also, in the thirty and third year of his reign, being sixty and three years old; making in the whole, five hundred and nine years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem.

47 And thus ended the reign of the kings over the people of Nephi; and thus ended the days of Alma, who was the founder of their church.

Although Brother Nibley was speaking specifically about economic systems, I have strongly felt that what he said about there not being a financial system currently employed by man which was ordained of God, Nibley, by inference, included all systems of governments among those which will fall short of a Theocracy in looking after the welfare of the people. In the words of Mosiah, if righteous men govern, the populaces will enjoy peace, prosperity, happiness, and security and that nation will progress. But if the wicked reign…!

As witnessed in the Book of Alma, which we will be entering starting with next week’s Thought, the voice of the people do not always elect good people let alone righteous people to govern their lives. Sadly, either as a motivation to govern or as a result of having too much authority after having the powers of governing placed upon them, leaders often govern in a way which will facilitate their own prosperity and honor at the detriment and suffering of the governed.

As I enter my 9th decade of mortality my father, Frederick William Riley, takes more and more space in my memory as one of the marvelous mentors of my life. As I was about to write something which ended this Thought with something about ‘going to eat worms’, his counsel to ‘worry and concern myself about those things I am able to control’ suddenly filled my mind.

I can try to be a good and righteous husband

I can try to be a good and righteous father

I can try to be a good and righteous neighbor

I can try to be a good and righteous community member

I can try to be a good and righteous citizen

I can try to surround myself with those who are attempting to be good and righteous

I can try to elect those who are attempting to govern as good and righteous leaders

There was a period of my life when I spent a great deal of thought desiring to be upon the earth when the economies of the world would become a United Order and the Governments of the world would yield to the Theocracy headed by Jesus the Christ. I have come to realize that my life, will surely end before this comes to pass. Therefore, I will follow the counsel of another mentor, Joshua, and strive to attempt to choose to follow the Lord.



Saturday, June 8, 2019


If we nurture them well – there are many of life’s goodness’s – such as happiness – and – love – which never cease to grow!!

Friday, June 7, 2019


Externally generated excitement – most often – has a very temporary existence!!

Thursday, June 6, 2019


True excitement – always seem to be generated from within – not from external stimuli!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


One of life’s strange phenomena – is that as our faculties begin – to diminish – our appreciation for the things we experience – increases!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


We should enjoy every experience to its fullest – before our faculties begin to diminish – because as they do – colors lose their brilliance – taste loses it sharpness – smell loses its clearness – and – we become less sensitive to things we touch!!

Monday, June 3, 2019


Whenever anything in life – is labeled mini – or – small – we should always expect – to be disappointed – or – pleasantly surprised – or – about to receive an added burden – when it involves us personally!!

Sunday, June 2, 2019


I don’t know when it was, but I know it was fairly early in my mortal existence I discovered that most peoples differences are as distinct as their fingerprints. I observed it not only in seeing the variety of likes and dislikes, but how their emotions were triggered by different things in different ways.
Naturally, the observance of the differences which existed between each of my friends led me to a periodic realization of the many ways in which I likewise differed from others.

The list of my peculiar nature is extensive, but includes such areas as being much more sensitive to the pain I imagined others were experiencing from a wound, a complete dislike of obnoxiously loud music and a definite preference for soft and soothing sounds, crying while watching movies whether they had a sad or happy ending. The difference which seemed to demonstrate the biggest gulf between what I was attracted to and which none of my friends could see any worth in was the election process with an added attraction to watching political conventions on our small black and white television.

As I have aged I have retained most of these personal uniqueness’s, and have come to realize additional ones. But sadly, I have lost my attraction to the election process and most especially my attentiveness to watching political conventions.

When as a young boy I first sat transfixed in front of our 12 inch television set, the party’s candidates had not been predetermined and the possibility of a surprise candidate added an aura of anticipation. The possible candidates gave wonderful speeches full of hope and ideas for progressing the ideals of Americanism.

The shift was subtle and took a few major elections, but the ‘experts’ gradually persuaded everyone running for office that negative campaigning about an opponent’s political positions was more effective than constructively communicating the candidate’s plans for instituting programs designed for the progress and benefit of the populous. Also by this time most of the mystery of who the political party’s candidate would be had long since been revealed.

We should have seen it coming, but for some reason we all seem a bit shocked that the ‘experts’ were able to convince candidates to take what seemed to be a short step from using campaign speeches based on speaking negatively about another persons political policies to what has become common in the 21st century. Going from mud slinging to character assassination, making critical and demeaning remarks about an opponent’s character, heritage, familys appearance, dress, manner of speech and any other distinctive feature which can be pointed out as negative, but had absolutely nothing to do with governance of a nation, state, county or city.

I am sure that this transformation of the political arena (a word which becomes more appropriate with each election) from one of civility to one of crudeness is the main reason I became a charter member of The Non Political Party Party (N3P). What else was I to do when the ‘expert’ had taken my youthful pleasure and pulverized it and transformed it into something putrid.

If you are wondering why my Sabbath Day Thought has turned into such a rant, I refer you to Chapter 27 of the book of Mosiah in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In this chapter King Mosiah, who during his reign helped to institute a mini period of Zion among the Nephites, expresses some thoughts about how we should interact with one another regardless of circumstances or desires.

And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men; That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace; that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support. (Mosiah 27: 3, 4)

And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. (Mosiah 27: 25, 26)

And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth. (Mosiah 27:37)

Ironically, Mosiah expresses his personal feelings about the equality of all, the elimination of pride and haughtiness, esteeming each other as neighbors, changing the ways of the world for the conditions which create a state of happiness, becoming new creatures and publishers of peace, at the same time his sons and the son of Alma are numbered among the unbelievers who desire to destroy the state of happiness his people are enjoying.

I should mention that one of the differences I noticed between myself and some of my friends was the dislike I had for sarcastic, demeaning, rude and uncouth remarks which they deemed to be a normal part of social exchange. It is small wonder that the non-civil political scene falls upon me as something repugnant and contrary to one who is a proponent of the non-critical, non-personal attack platforms of the (N3P) and more importantly of one who desires to be redeemed of God.

Tears of sadness because of the rebellion of the sons of Mosiah and the son of Alma turn to tears of joy as we read what Mosiah records in the last part of chapter 27 of his book regarding the mighty change which came upon them because of the intervention of an angel of the Lord.

24 For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.

28 Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.

29 My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.

30 I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all.

32 And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward to teach the people, and those who were with Alma at the time the angel appeared unto them, traveling round about through all the land, publishing to all the people the things which they had heard and seen, and preaching the word of God in much tribulation, being greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers, being smitten by many of them.

35 And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.

36 And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.

None of us should desire that we nor anyone else should have to endure the traumatic events which brought the son of Alma and the sons of Mosiah unto this marvelous change which drove their destructive desires from their beings and replaced them with souls which burned with the desire to become publishers of the development of peace, love, mercy and grace between all, and will be the key to equality among the children of God.

A most wonderful lesson which can be learned from this chapter is that we do not have to be destructive in our conversations, but can and should be constructive, civil and encouraging.



Saturday, June 1, 2019


It is interesting – how we have a tendency – to measure self-happiness – and – the happiness of others – with different sets of scales!!

Friday, May 31, 2019


Agency is a gift – we always appreciate having for ourselves – but often – not so much – when others are using theirs!!

Thursday, May 30, 2019


No matter what trials – come upon us – we will always have the option – of how we respond to them!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Having myopic tunnel vision – will never help us appreciate – the grand spectrum – of Heavenly Father’s Plan!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


True faith – can make all our maybes – become realities!!

Monday, May 27, 2019


The ultimate proof of our faith – will undoubtedly be manifest – in which works – and – actions – we choose to be involved!!

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Since this is a continuation from last week’s Thought I will include the introductory paragraph before continuing my wandering Thoughts.

As I was reading in the 26th chapter of Mosiah seeking for inspiration for writing a Thought, I became clearly aware that my mind was rapidly jumping from one thought to another. I was also struck with the idea that it might be fun for me and hopefully interesting for those who read my Thoughts to go on that kind of random mind journey. Hopefully, you will not come to the conclusion that this journey was worthless and felt like we were wandering into unknown places.

23 For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand.
I am grateful that my faith in the Atonement of Jesus the Christ has sustained me during my life and that it continues to grow as I increase in age.

24 For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.

25 And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me.

26 And then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, that I am their Redeemer; but they would not be redeemed.

I am grateful for the visions which have enlightened my mind as I was privileged to minister to those on the eternal side of the veil. I am grateful that that light has strengthen my belief that the inviting of Heavenly Father’s children to come unto Jesus the Christ will continue eternally.

I must never allow my belief in the eternalness of the work of the Lord to cause my efforts to be diminished while I sojourn in this mortal frame.

27 And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them; and they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

28 Therefore I say unto you, that he that will not hear my voice, the same shall ye not receive into my church, for him I will not receive at the last day.

29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.

I have to admit that these verses cause me to wonder about my belief in the eternal efforts of the Father and the Son to bring to pass our eternal life and immortality that of all of our brothers and sisters. At one time my little bit of understanding made me put this quandary on the shelf of things I would be asking when I passed through the veil, but more recently I have come to believe that many times the word is presented with urgency so that we procrastinating mortals will perhaps be less prone to put off the day of our repentance.

30 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.
The Lord gives a great hint, that His Father’s work would have no end for any or for all of us.

31 And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.

32 Now I say unto you, Go; and whosoever will not repent of his sins the same shall not be numbered among my people; and this shall be observed from this time forward.

33 And it came to pass when Alma had heard these words he wrote them down that he might have them, and that he might judge the people of that church according to the commandments of God.

34 And it came to pass that Alma went and judged those that had been taken in iniquity, according to the word of the Lord.

35 And whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them, them he did number among the people of the church;

36 And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out.

37 And it came to pass that Alma did regulate all the affairs of the church; and they began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly in the affairs of the church, walking circumspectly before God, receiving many, and baptizing many.

I believe there are some instructions which are given for specific occasions. It seems to me that since a judgement which could lead to excommunication from the Church was included in these instructions, there is a strong possibility we should be very careful about using them as a universal guide.

38 And now all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the church, walking in all diligence, teaching the word of God in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those who did not belong to the church of God.

39 And they did admonish their brethren; and they were also admonished, every one by the word of God, according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.

I am made well aware when I read the words all diligence, all things, all suffering and all persecution I am left to examine my weakness and personal littleness in my ministering unto my family and friends.

I am struck with the magnitude of the word admonish, which sounds in my mind like a soft toned bell which calls us to come unto Christ.



Saturday, May 25, 2019


There is no such thing – as having faith – in anything – contrary to the truth – or – the will of God!!

Friday, May 24, 2019


We become more powerful – in the fulfillment of our stewardships – when we realize our strength – does not originate from within ourselves – but – from Him who commissioned us!!

Thursday, May 23, 2019


We need to make sure – we direct our faith – and – hope towards true and worthy goals!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


The only way to test – whether blessings attend obedience – is to be obedient!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Annoyances only exist – is we allow ourselves – to be annoyed!!

Monday, May 20, 2019


: If everyone understood – the blessings which are reserved – for the worthy – and – faithful – there would be more of us increasing our diligence – in striving to be worthy – and – faithful!!

Sunday, May 19, 2019


As I was reading in the 26th chapter of Mosiah seeking for inspiration for writing a Thought, I became clearly aware that my mind was rapidly jumping from one thought to another. I was also struck with the idea that it might be fun for me and hopefully interesting for those who read my Thoughts to go on that kind of random mind journey. Hopefully, you will not come to the conclusion that this journey was worthless and felt like we were wandering into unknown places.

1 Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.

2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.

During the latter part of my life I have observed that there are very few of us today who have been blessed with faith who, without searching very far among family and friends, will soon find many who have a great deal of difficulty understanding and believing the words which we might have founded our lives upon.

It really doesn’t matter the reason why our loved ones have arrived at their condition of unbelief of those truths of which we have received witness from the Holy Spirit, it will still cause our hearts to suffer and our souls to be saddened.

We are also uplifted with the knowledge that love is strong and the Atonement of Jesus the Christ, His Mercy and Grace is eternal and the day will come when the scales fall from all our eyes and we shall see clearly and all shall know for themselves that Jesus is the Christ.

We are left with our belief that all who dwell on earth are children of Heavenly Parents and we have but one duty, which is to treat all with loving kindness.

5 And now in the reign of Mosiah they were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.

6 For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.

As we watch the daily increase of those who have doubts or completely deny the eternal beliefs we hold so dear, at times we are moved to bow our heads and weep and there are even times we sink into wondering if hope is lost. I have found much balm in the following account of Alma who was the head of the Church at the time when so many of the new generation of his day had stumbled into unbelief.

13 And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled; and he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God.

Have I sufficiently pleaded for the help of my Heavenly Father that I might be led and directed to know the words I should speak and how I should administer my love to them.

14 And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying:

15 Blessed art thou, Alma, and blessed are they who were baptized in the waters of Mormon. Thou art blessed because of thy exceeding faith in the words alone of my servant Abinadi.

16 And blessed are they because of their exceeding faith in the words alone which thou hast spoken unto them.

17 And blessed art thou because thou hast established a church among this people; and they shall be established, and they shall be my people.

Have I sufficiently recognized and counted the blessings which have been poured down upon me? Have I specifically recognized the blessing of having received a witness from the Holy Spirit concerning the truthfulness of the words of the scriptures and the living prophets?

18 Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.

Although I may not see the fruits of my labor during this life as the prophet Alma did, my faith is sufficient to fill my being with the hope that during the eternities I will see my friends and family, who presently are unable to see clearly, have their doubts wiped from their minds and they will know.

19 And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor, thou art blessed.

20 Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep.

If I understand the responsibility of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus the Christ correctly it is that I have been called to invite all to come unto Him, but the accountability for their choices remains with them. However, I would be remiss if I used this understanding as an excuse to withhold my testimony or my witness.

21 And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive.

22 For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive.

During my life I have made it a priority to come to know the vast gulfs which have, do and will exist among Heavenly Father’s children concerning their unequal opportunities to be invited to come unto the Savior. Also, since I have had the blessing and privilege of pronouncing the blessing of sealing upon generations of Heavenly Father’s children; it has left me with a strong testimony of the unitedness of the work which exists not only on the mortal side of the veil, but also on the eternal side of that veil.

Therefore, my heart swells with the truth in Paul’s testimony stating that if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:19

I know I must endure in my ministering with love unfeigned and hope unceasing in my meager efforts to persuade my friends and loved ones to come unto Jesus the Christ.

(To be continued)



Saturday, May 18, 2019


Art cannot be fully appreciated without seeing – music cannot be fully appreciated without hearing – softness cannot be fully appreciated without touching – sweetness cannot be fully appreciated without tasting – pleasant odors cannot be fully appreciated without smelling – life cannot be fully appreciated without living!!

Friday, May 17, 2019


Time spent with strangers – will strengthen our commonalities – and – diminish our differences!!

Thursday, May 16, 2019


We were all taught – during a previous period of our existence – directly through the word of our Heavenly Father – and – His Son – if we quietly ponder – and – listen – during this mortal part of our eternal lives – we can also have the joy – of hearing Their voices!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


One of the ways – to gain a witness – of the power of the spirit children of our Heavenly Father – who have been reserved to come forth – during the days of the Fullness of Times – is to listen to a few primary children – bear their testimonies of the truths of the Gospel!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


We often fail to receive – the healing balm of the Holy Spirit – because we too soon – lose heart – and – faith – in our worthiness – and – ability – to receive that tender loving touch!!

Monday, May 13, 2019


Knowing the required steps to achieve a goal – will only lead to the desired results – if we sincerely – and – diligently take those steps!!

Sunday, May 12, 2019


It had to have had something to do with the popularity of the word tribal in reference to all the ardent and rampant divisions in the world during the last part of the second decade of the 21st century. As I was reading chapter 25 in the book of Mosiah I was overwhelmed by the inability of humans to recognize the universal oneness of their tribal affiliation.

In this particular chapter a group known as Mulekites, who from that chapter forward would be numbered among the Nephites, even though they were the majority. As I read about this event my mind started to review how we who read the Book of Mormon, after it was translated by Joseph Smith, often refer to the peoples of the book as if they constantly consisted of Lamanites and Nephites, once the sons of Sariah and Lehi split apart.

Just a quick trip down memory lane reminds us of some of the tribal exchanges in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

That the People of Zeniff after returning to the land of their original inheritance, intermingled with the Lamanites for three generations.

The Nephite priest’s of Noah took the daughters of the Lamanites as wives and became Lamanites.

Amulon and Amalakiah, who were born Nephites and had failed in their attempt to become Kings, took their respective Nephite followers and settled among the Lamanites.

The converts of the Sons of Mosiah II, Ammon, Omni, Aaron and Himni, were the means of helping a large contingent of Lamanites come unto Christ, who changed their lineage to Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s and joined the Nephite nation.

When Nephi and Lehi, the sons of Helaman II, were more successful in bringing Lamanites into the gospel fold than their countrymen the Nephites.

The people who were left after the destruction at the time of the crucifixion of the Savior were all called Nephites, but were a blended tribe of descendants of Lehi and Mulekites, which over the span of six centuries had borne many tribal names.

During my life, as genealogy has become the most popular hobby in many lands and the science of DNA has allowed us to identify our ancestors both through writing and spittle, we are finding we are all both mongrels and one.

The documented record of our ancestors identify that Kathleen and I and our posterity have direct lines where individuals were born in the following countries, which I list in no historical order, but just as they spring to mind. (United States, Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Africa, South America and Switzerland)

I am certain that if or when our line is completed, going backward and forward in our search, we will discover members of our tribe in every nation, tongue and people.

Just as in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ we are able to discover a common ancestor of all the peoples of the book, with the exception of those written of in the book of Ether, was father Jacob/Israel the son of Abraham whose posterity is said to be numerous as the sands of the seas, which we know today is spread worldwide.

One of the wonders of thought I have pondered is how science and religion have in common the quest to prove the oneness of the origin of humans. It is also interesting how the Restored Gospel in part ignores this puzzle by going one step further back and identifies the universal common tribe to be the one we all belonged to before being born into mortality.

There are two songs which have become the foundation of my belief in the one universal tribe of all.

I Am a Child of God (Naomi Ward Randall)

I am a child of God, and he has sent me here, has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear.

I am a child of God, and so my needs are great; help me to understand his words, before it grows too late.

I am a child of God, rich blessings are in store; if I but learn to do his will, I’ll live with him once more.

I am a child of God, his promises are sure; Celestial glory shall be mine, if I can but endure.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way, teach me all that I must do, to live with him someday.

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Bob Russell / Bobby Scott)

The road is long - With many a winding turn - That leads us to who knows where - Who knows where - But I'm strong - Strong enough to carry him - He ain't heavy - he's my brother

So on we go - His welfare is of my concern - No burden is he to bear - We'll get there - For I know - He would not encumber me - He ain't heavy - he's my brother

If I'm laden at all - I'm laden with sadness - That everyone's heart - Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It's a long, long road - From which there is no return - While we're on the way to there - Why not share

And the load - Doesn't weigh me down at all - He ain't heavy he's my brother

He's my brother - He ain't heavy - he's my brother - he ain't heavy

Of the many truths which are found in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ, there is one that should sound a loud warning to we who are constantly bombarded with voices uttering divisive epitaphs, the end result of tribalism is always destruction.

Our hearts are cheered to read the promises of our Universal Heavenly Father, concerning a promised day of oneness which shall exist among his children, when they will be of one heart and one mind and the petty silliness of the preachers of tribalism will no longer cause mistrust, bigotry and hatred.



Saturday, May 11, 2019


Another major hurdle – in attempting to reach a goal – is not having a clear understanding – of the steps required!!

Friday, May 10, 2019


One of the major hurdles we face – in the process of progression – is not having a clear vision – of the goal we are attempting to achieve!!

Thursday, May 9, 2019


An increase in one’s activity – does not always – cause a corresponding – increase in productivity!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


It is interesting – how as life expectancy has increased – the contributions most people make during their lives – does not seem to have increased correspondingly!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


No matter how much of our all – we give in the service of the Lord – it will always remain a pittance – when compared to the service He has rendered to us!!

Monday, May 6, 2019


Many times the physical processes of aging – cause us to make the transition from one stage of life into another – however – there are other times when we linger in a stage – and – continue to be effective – in spite of physical handicaps!!

Sunday, May 5, 2019


During our breakfast time together on the morning I was scheduled to write this Thought, our morning conversation was dominated by two subjects.

Kathleen had encouraged me to read an article by a BYU associate professor on the problem of maintaining one’s individuality while attempting to put on the perfections of Heavenly Father and Jesus the Christ. Which of course we both really enjoyed since it was in tune with many of our own feelings and beliefs. We were able to share some additional understandings we had on that subject.

The second came from the lead story in the Deseret News supplement which comes with the Church News. This edition being the first of the new year, started what the editors said would be their main theme of 2019. This issue was on honesty and integrity and the growth in peoples’ increased tolerance in accepting lies and untruths in the leaders they elect along with being more accepting of the general lack of integrity in society.

Amazingly, or maybe the way everyday should happen, when I started reading the chapters in the book of Mosiah I only got as far as the 23rd chapter before I was reading Alma’s admonition on what kind of person people should seek to lead them.


I have taken the liberty of adjusting Alma’s words which were spoken in a day when male leadership was dominant and present his advise in a genderless manner.

Should be a just person.

Should be a person of God.

Should walk in the ways of God.

Should keep the commandments of God.

Should teach people to love their neighbors.

Should teach people to have no contentions among them.

Should nourish people with things pertaining to righteousness.


Wicked leaders will oppress nations.

Beware of leaders who esteem themselves above others.

Remember the suffering brought about by the iniquity of evil leaders.

Evil leaders often cause the people to be caught in the snare of iniquity.

People caught in the snare of iniquity will be as bound with that entrapping band.

During the later decades of my life I became a self proclaimed charter member of the Non Political Party Party (N3P). Every so often
someone would ask me what were the beliefs of the N3P and I would say off handedly something about common sense and integrity, but if
I were ever to be nailed down and had to declare in all honesty I would have to say that the major platforms of the N3P are found in section 134 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.

We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul.

We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men owe respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony
would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.

We believe that rulers, states, and governments have a right, and are bound to enact laws for the protection of all citizens in the free exercise of their religious belief; but we do not believe that they have a right in justice to deprive citizens of this privilege, or proscribe them in their opinions, so long as a regard and reverence are shown to the laws and such religious opinions do not justify sedition nor conspiracy.

We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of that government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment.

We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world...

In the simplest of terms I have always hoped the N3P would somehow be seen by others as a Party for those who stand for integrity, truth, love, peace and follow the principles found in the 13th Article of Faith; We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

I am well aware that many will consider the beliefs about leaders which the members of N3P have to be pie in the sky wishes and that we need to pull our heads out of the sand and see the world as it really is, but I find that peace attends me and resides in our home when I view the world as it would be if we had leaders such as Alma showing us the way to find and live the Plan of Happiness.

Although we may not see much evidence of it in those who lead the governments of the world today, we ought not despair because the Lord has given us hope in these words found in the Pearl of Great Price.

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)



Saturday, May 4, 2019


It makes me wonder – which kind of inspiration I should be more attentive too – to stir me into action – those which are petitioned through pondering – or – those which are heaven sent??

Friday, May 3, 2019


It is interesting – that some inspirations – come after much pondering – while others – come upon us instantaneously!!

Thursday, May 2, 2019


A nation which fails to remember – and – retain the principles upon which it was founded – is on a certain path – of one day being displaced!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Although it would be impossible – for Heavenly Father – to be surprised – I still wonder – if He occasionally – shakes His head in disbelief – when he sees how we use our Agency!!.

Monday, April 29, 2019


With so many people – wondering about their true identity – it would be helpful – is revelation from divine sources – were sought for – and – received – more frequently!!

Sunday, April 28, 2019


During the decade of the 1980’s I wrote and presented ‘the spoken word’ for a weekly local radio broadcast produced by Carl Chamberlain in Washoe County, Nevada, which was called Sabbath Day Reflections. The great majority of these short talks which were originally self published and distributed to family members have been used as springboards for many Thoughts for a Sabbath Day. As I was preparing to write this week’s Thought based on Mosiah 19, 20 for some reason I happened to thumb through one of those book called ‘Reflections for a Sabbath Day’ and discovered I had never used the following talk as a springboard for Thoughts for the Sabbath Day. Miraculously this reflection fit into the theme I had been moved to write about from those chapters of Mosiah.

On the 14th of March 1966 the ‘Denver Post’, which had been publishing a series of letters from soldiers who had written to their loved ones in anticipation of being war casualties, published the following letter from which I have extracted some excerpts.

“I’m writing this letter as my last one. You’ve probably already received word that I’m dead and that the government wishes to express its deep regret. Believe me, I didn’t want to die, but I knew it was part of my job.

I want my country to live for billions and billions of years to come. I want my death to stand as a light to all people oppressed, and guide them to the same freedom we know. If we can stand and fight for freedom, then I think we have done the job God sent down for us.

It’s up to every American to fight for the freedom we hold dear. If we don’t, the smells of fresh air could become dark and damp as in a prison cell.

Don’t mourn me, Mother, for I’m happy I died fighting my country’s enemies, and I will lie forever in people’s minds. I’ve done what I always dreamed of. Don’t mourn me, for I died a soldier of the United States of America.”

Donald T. Strickland

There is no doubt that it is totally fitting that we should set apart days in this great land which can be spent remembering those who have given their all so that we might enjoy the quality of life which we have.

We thank those who have lived through those evil wars and written and taught about the importance of freedom.

We thank those who have been righteous leaders who have tried to maintain peace in our day.

I know that on the day I wrote those words as well as the day I recorded them to be broadcast I sincerely felt and believed the position I had on war at the time. Now after having passed through another four decades of life, having often pondered on the subject of war, I realize I have probably made more major shifts in my feelings and beliefs about this atrocious practice than any other part of the mortal experience.

I suspect if someone were to spend much time sitting and chatting with me they would go away having the opinion that I could be labeled as a pacifist or a dove when it comes to the subject of war. In many respects they would be absolutely correct, but within myself I find my ponderings to be way too varied to be quickly dismissed with one or two labels.

The last time I was involved in any actual physical conflict, although when Kathleen watched me play basketball she had a different opinion, was in the 6th grade when the red headed boy gave me a black eye. From that day forward I have told everyone that I was a lover not a fighter.

I was trained in hand to hand combat in the spirit of the bayonet, shot at person shaped targets, felt the sting of tear gas on my lungs, but was never really sure if I would be capable of taking the life of another of Heavenly Father’s children in battle. Luckily, my advanced training was as a clerk typist and I was assigned to an engineer group.

I had determined from the very beginning of this wonderful journey I have been on for the last 16 months that I was not going to spend a lot of time writing about the many conflicts and wars which are written about and which eventually cause the total destruction of the nation of those who authored the words in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In the aforementioned chapters from the book of Mosiah we find the first philosophical statements on the subject of wars.

And it came to pass that the people of Limhi began to drive the Lamanites before them; yet they were not half so numerous as the Lamanites. But they fought for their lives, and for their wives, and for their children; therefore they exerted themselves and like dragons did they fight. (Mosiah 20:11)

I have realized for some time that this and other similar verses in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ are generally the most frequently referred to by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a justification for nations being involved in warfare. It is therefore more than a little ironic that just a few verses later in the same chapter (verse 22) that we find the following philosophy being taught and adhered to.

And now let us pacify the king, and we fulfil the oath which we have made unto him; for it is better that we should be in bondage than that we should lose our lives; therefore, let us put a stop to the shedding of so much blood.

I pray that the differences of the philosophies about war found in these two verses will serve as the beginning of understanding why my personal beliefs about the subject have never been on one steady course.

I invite you to briefly walk with me through the Standard Works as I quickly review the dominant views about war in those works. I hasten to plead for understanding that because of the brevity of these Thoughts, I will in no way do a comprehensive coverage of those positions.


During the period covered by the various authors of the books found in the Old Testament the prevailing belief held by people was that that nation which served the most powerful God would always be victorious in battle. The children of Israel added a caveat to that philosophy believing that their God would cause them to be victorious only as long as they faithfully adhered to the Law of Moses.

The flood was employed by Heavenly Father as a means of ending the unending pattern of war and blood shed.

It is only a small step from these beliefs to believing that war is not just accepted by God, but as in the story of the Israelite occupation of the land of Canaan it is admonished by God.

It would be easy to dismiss these beliefs by saying it was a different time with different circumstances if we were not taught that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.


One of the beautiful titles the Savior, Jesus the Christ bears is Prince of Peace, which since his sojourn in His mortal body was in a land conquered by an unrighteous foreign nation and ruled by wicked puppet kings, makes for one of the strangest ironies of the history of this world.

The good news was filled with love thy neighbor, pray for thy neighbors when they despitefully use you, mourn with thy neighbor etc.

The contrast between his message and the circumstances of His daily walk could not have been greater.

The crowning event of this contrast is manifest in the placing of a crown of thorns on the head of the Prince of Peace.


The philosophies on war in this volume are so varied that I will only mention a few so that you might further understand my uneasy shifting views about the subject.

We have the aforementioned, war is justified in order to save our own lives and that of our families.

Likewise, Mosiah brought to our attention that bondage is preferable to engaging in war.

The Anti Nephi Lehi’s chose to bow down to the sword and die rather than to break a covenant.

Generals sought the advise of Prophets on how best to win battles.

People were put to death or imprisoned if they refused to go to battle.

The Savior’s ministry on this continent was accompanied by the destruction of all who could not live according to the laws of His Plan of Happiness.


Satan proclaims he will use the enmity given him by God to wage war, blood and terror upon this world.


The doctrine of thrice forgiving an enemy before going to war is introduced.

It is better to abandon all one possesses rather than go to war.

Preemptive warfare is condemned.

Satan is denounced as the author of all contention not just war.

I hope I have been able to help you understand why it has been difficult for me to come to an absolute position to justify or condemn war. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that as much as is possible I will with Chief Joseph, ‘make no more war forever’, but will spend my days now and hopefully forever being an enlistee in the army of the Prince of Peace.



Saturday, April 27, 2019


If it were not for – the gift of repentance – progress would have been – impossible for all of us!!

Friday, April 26, 2019


It will be interesting to discover – how far we might have traveled – if we hadn’t spent so much time – walking over the same part of the path – in the process of repentance!!

Thursday, April 25, 2019


One of the greatest challenges of a teacher – is to be able to stimulate students – who are currently – at different levels of progression!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


The value of words – given as counsel – and – advice – are completely dependent – on whether the listener – feels they correspond – with where they are on their life’s journey!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


The value of words – given as counsel – and – advice – are completely dependent – on the understanding of the listener – and – their desire to apply them in their lives!!

Monday, April 22, 2019


For an instructor – to assume – that all students will glean the same message – from a lesson – would be a sign of their – extreme naivety!!

Sunday, April 21, 2019


Other than the annual bout with hay fever, spring has always been my favorite season of the year. As I have contemplated the reasons I enjoy this time of year so much, along with others the word ‘promise’ seems to dominate my thoughts.

Having followed professional baseball throughout my life (actually only after the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958) I have become accustomed to the news flowing from spring training camps being full of promise.

The dead arms from the end of last season have been renewed and show promise.

The newly traded for players and the upcoming phenoms show promise.

The new manager’s words are full of promise.

Cruising through the streets of the suburbs or a casual drive in the countryside one is greeted with views of promise on every side.

Trees bud with promise of fruit to come.

Seeds sprout with promise of multiple yields.

Animals bring forth their young and remind us of the promises which come with another new generation.

Somewhere between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April a day is set aside to remind us of the greatest of all promises.

A promise which will not be dashed by the reality of a big league curve ball.

A promise which will not be destroyed by a late frost.

A promise which has far reaching and eternal implications.

We celebrate this promise on a day called Easter or Pascha (Greek, Latin) which has reference to the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. However, the real promise of the day comes because of the Atonement of Jesus the Christ .

Because of the Atonement of Jesus the Christ the price for forsaken sins has been paid.

Because of the Atonement of Jesus the Christ we are promised reconciliation with our Eternal Parents.

Because of the Atonement of Jesus the Christ the promise of living eternally is given to all of Heavenly Father’s children.

As with most religious symbols which continue to be followed on days of celebration, those which accompany the festivities surrounding Easter, have likewise long ago vanished or been changed so that they have no connection to their original meaning.

The egg has been boiled and dyed and made completely devoid in any way of reminding us that just as a chick emerges from its barren shell, it is a reminder of the promise of the Savior coming forth from a rocky tomb.

The white of the Easter Lily is said to symbolize purity, honesty and immortality and was believed to have originally sprouted from Eve’s tears as she and Adam left the Garden and becomes a reminder of the promises of the gospel of the Lord.

In some cultures the emergence of the butterfly from its cocoon in the spring is a reminder of the Savior’s body being laid in the tomb and coming forth gloriously resurrected and assures us of the promise given to each of us of life after death.

There are an abundance of other symbols such as lambs, palms and ashes which have likewise lost much of their spiritual significance as celebration has become more of our holiday observances than reverential remembrance. Therefore, just as a reality check for each of us on this climatic Holiest of Days I offer the following which might be worthy of pondering.

The Savior has taught us of the importance of living in obedience to His laws and commandments and the promises of our receiving consequential joy, peace and comfort.

The miracles performed by the Savior should hold with them the promise that adversity and affliction are but for a moment.

The promise of unconditional forgiveness, through the love and mercy of the Savior, to they who repent, should awaken eternalness in each of our souls as we read about and view in our minds the scenes of the Garden of Gethsemane and the cross of Golgotha.

As we conjure up a vision of the empty tomb, we are reminded of the promise of life yet to come, because the Savior made being born into eternal life a reality

It is my prayer that the newness of spring and remembering that first Easter will fill our thoughts with visions which will help us to always remember the greatest of all promises made to each of us by our loving Heavenly Father and fulfilled by His Beloved Son.

We will all come forth from the grave!



Saturday, April 20, 2019


One of the most constant truths of life – is that priorities – will always be changing!!

Friday, April 19, 2019


We will all find ourselves enjoying – a much happier life – if we count our blessings – instead of our trials!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019


We are constantly reminded – that no matter how true – the trumpet sounds – there will always be those – who wander off – and – get lost!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


It seems – no matter how often – the Apostles – and – Prophets teach – that bearing a testimony – is not the same as giving a talk – there will be those who continue to give talks – during testimony meetings!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


If you could bring a smile – to the face of a new person – every day for a year – at the end of the year – I wonder if anyone would notice – the added brightness!!

Monday, April 15, 2019


If you could bring a smile – to the face of a new person – every day for a year – the world would be 365 smiles brighter!!

Sunday, April 14, 2019


Although age dims memory as well as hearing and sight, if I concentrate for a moment or two I can pierce the cloudiness of my mind sufficient enough to recall the conditions and circumstances which were part of my baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints shortly after my 8th birthday.

The baptismal font in our Ward Meeting House was in the basement which was dimly lit, but had adequate light so that you could make out the unpainted cement walls and the bleakness of the font itself. There were a few chairs set up in front of the font where family and appropriate church leaders were seated. We had a prayer and sang a song and then my father, Frederick William Riley, led me down into the font, voiced the ordinance and baptized me by immersion. Even as a young boy it was interesting to me to think of the difference between the basement font where the ordinance of entrance into the Lord’s Kingdom was performed and the cultural hall where games were played and movies were viewed; the former being so stark (I would probably use the word humble today) and the latter which was well lit, with brightly colored walls, shiny floors and scarlet curtains.

If you are wondering why I had this bit of nostalgia flooding my mind this morning as the anniversary of my baptism approaches. When I opened The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ and turned to the 18th chapter of the book of Mosiah to receive stimulation for this week’s Thought, I read once again the words of Alma, the only Priest of King Noah which we have record of who was converted by the words of Abinadi during his trial. The thought hit me that it would be a good thing, if each time I thought of my own entering into the waters to have the words of the covenant pronounced upon me personally, I should review the covenants and commitments Alma taught the people who entered such covenants at the waters of Mormon were taking upon themselves.

Desirous to enter into the fold of God and be called His people.

Willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they might be light.

Willing to mourn with those who mourn.

Comfort those that stand in need of comfort.

To stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places.

Be baptized as a witness that ye have entered into a covenant with Him.

That ye will serve Him and keep His commandments.

As I was compiling this list from Alma’s teachings I was directed to include the admonitions of the Savior given on the Mount and again at the Temple Bountiful.

Blessed are they who shall believe on the words of the twelve.

Blessed are they who come down into the depths of humility and are baptized.

Blessed are they who shall be visited with fire and the Holy Ghost.

Blessed are they who shall receive a remission of their sins.

Blessed are they who are poor in spirit who come unto Him.

Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Blessed are the merciful.

Blessed are the pure in heart.

Blessed are the peace makers.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for His name’s sake.

You shall be the salt of the earth.

Let your light shine before the people that they may see your good works.

Keep His commandments.

I have observed that if one is not conscientiously and continuously reminding themselves about the reason there are so many requirements and consequential blessings attached to making and keeping the covenants we make when we enter the waters of baptism, we can easily become transfixed on requirements and blessings and be diverted from the more important purposes of the law.


We are born into this world and immediately the needs of our new untested physical body dominate every moment of our lives.

Many of us become so self absorbed with satisfying the desires of the flesh, that all other considerations are neglected or ignored.

Entering into the covenants of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit, if sincerely done and maintained should give us the understanding that we came not into this world to saturate our days with satisfying the demands of the physical body, but the purpose was to teach the physical body how to come into harmony with our eternal spirit body.

The teachings of the Lord and all His prophets concerning baptism and the attending covenants we make with the promised blessings all are indicators of the mighty change we must undergo to help us put off the natural and put upon us the spiritual.

Most of us will make some headway into helping the body be less concerned with the physical (Telestial) and consider putting on the more spiritual (Terrestrial) during our mortal probationary period.

We should all have hope that the mercy of our Lord and Savior and His Father will be sufficient to accept our meager attempts when making these changes and allow us to continue the quest for the completion of the mighty change after our mortal probation has passed.

We should all have faith that without sincere adaptation and adherence to the principles attached to baptism and the covenants we make, it will be extremely difficult to put off the dominance of our physical bodies and put on spirituality.

My prayer is that we will forever be mindful in our supplications to the Lord to include pleadings for his constant influence in our quest to put off the physical and put on the spiritual.



Saturday, April 13, 2019


The sad this is – that we are trying to lose – the same 26 pounds – every year!!

Friday, April 12, 2019


Sadly – I have found that losing a pound of weight – every two weeks for a year – is every bit as difficult a goal – as trying to return to my birthweight!!

Thursday, April 11, 2019


If a person were to lose a pound of weight – every two weeks – they would be shocked – at how few years it would take – before they would be back – to their birth weight!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


If a person were to lose a pound of weight – every two weeks – at the end of one year – they would be 26 pounds lighter!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


Leaders of volunteer organizations – would suffer much less anxiety – and – frustration – is they realized – combining a lot of little steps forward – eventually adds up – to amazing an advancement!!

Monday, April 8, 2019


Leaders of volunteer organizations – would suffer much less anxiety – and – frustration – if they understood – that not all volunteers – have the same level of dedication!!

Sunday, April 7, 2019


I started learning very early in life that choices and action have consequences!

Annoying people who are bigger and stronger can lead to being hurt.

One should never approach an on deck batter when playing baseball without looking.

Jumping from boulder to boulder where bottles have been broken leaves lifelong scars.

Lighting matches in a dry field is not a wise thing to do.

Throwing 22 shells into a potbelly stove is stupid.

Using Easter Basket grass as tobacco in a corncob pipe will scorch your throat.

I could confess to many more lessons learned through hard knocks during my life, but the afore mentioned are easiest to admit to since they all happened when I was still covered by the innocence of little children clause.

There are some of life’s consequences which are not as obvious as being affected by choices and actions, but just seem to be part of the natural process of enjoying a long and full life.

Regular and consistent learning leads to greater retention than cramming.

There is no way to retain all of one’s physical proficiency.

Having wonderful memories of life’s events is not the same as accurate recall.

The loss of mental capacity is far worse that losing the sense of smell or taste.

It is important to always be involved in some project which will probably remain unfinished.

There are more absolutes during life than death and taxes.

There was a time in life when it was very easy for me to proclaim to know the totality of truth, when the reality was that I only knew a portion of the truth I was proclaiming to be true.

The Church is true.

The Book of Mormon is true.

Obedience to gospel standards and living the commandments is equally possible for all.

All are to be judged by the same standard.

All have equal opportunity to progress.

There is only one path leading to the Tree of Life.

Even though what you have just read is another example of my habit of lengthy introductions, it was a fun exercise for me and therefore I would recommend it to you as a beneficial activity. Now hopefully, on to what all of this reminiscing may have been leading.

While reading the words of Abinadi, in the 16th chapter of the book of Mosiah in The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ,

Before continuing it would probably be a good thing to get us all on the same page by reminding ourselves of what the term resurrection means.

The Resurrection consists in the uniting of a spirit body with a body of flesh and bones, never again to be divided. The Resurrection shall come to all, because of Christ’s victory over death. Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected on this earth. (Bible Dictionary – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Edition of King James Bible)

I have no doubt that Abinadi’s understanding of the resurrection far exceeds that which I currently have and that which seemed to be universally lacking during my exchanges with mentors and students over the years. To illustrate the point I offer a short list of questions which have been part of my interactions on the subject of resurrection.

When the graves were opened at the time of the Savior’s resurrection, who came forth and were they resurrected at that time?

What is meant by the resurrection of the just?

Who will resurrect in the first resurrection, the second etc.?

Is there more than one day of judgement before one is resurrected?

Is there an order in which Heavenly Father’s children are resurrected?

Who will determine the degree of glory to which we will be resurrected?

What will the relationships be like which we had during mortality after the resurrection?

Just like so many aspects of life, truth and understanding there was a time when I had a much greater confidence in the absoluteness of my knowledge concerning the doctrines concerning resurrection than I currently enjoy. I don’t know if it is common to all who live beyond the their generation’s life expectancy or not, but for me the extension of life has brought with it a vivid recognition that after all I have learned, I know very little.

I find that my list of things hoped for becomes more extensive with each passing day.

I find that those things I have faith in expands very slowly.

I find that my list of things I have absolute knowledge of shrinks continually.

I find it essential to continue my petitions to the Lord concerning the truths of the gospel.

I find that my coming to the realization of my nothingness brings assurances of my eternalness.

I find that feeling the comfort of the Holy Spirit is more important than knowing.

I am eternally grateful that my life’s path has included the companionship of prophets such as Abinadi, whom I believe knew. Having enjoyed their companionship gives me continual hope that the day will come when I too will see clearly through the veil.



Saturday, April 6, 2019


Leaders of volunteer organizations – would suffer much less anxiety – and – frustration – if they accepted the premise – that not all volunteers – share the same definition – of what constitutes a volunteer!!

Friday, April 5, 2019


Sincere tears – flowing over eyelids – and – down cheeks – most often fall upon our breasts – unexpectedly!!

Thursday, April 4, 2019


It is not only talented actors – who are able to bring tears to flow – when what is happening – is make believe!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019


If we listen to a story – with the anticipation that it will bring tears to our eyes – we will usually be disappointed!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


If there is no meaning behind a symbol – Christmas lights just illuminate – Christmas bells just make pleasant sounds – and – Christmas colors are just a change of view!!

Monday, April 1, 2019


Before forging ahead – with doing something differently – we should exhaustibly evaluate – whether the change – will be an improvement!!

Sunday, March 31, 2019


One of the residual gifts which comes from spending one’s life as a people watcher is that it opens some understanding about common passages we all traverse during our lives. I was reading in the 13th chapter of Mosiah where Abinadi was trying with what turned out to be a singular success to convince the Priest’s of Noah the difference between a religion based on performance and one based on becoming a new creature in Christ.

Now that I have once again demonstrated the looseness of my thought patterns, let me attempt to bring some clarity to the connection between the two sentences in my introductory paragraph.

I have observed that most of us spend a good portion of our lives conforming our actions to the boundaries which have been created by various authorities in our lives.

In the beginning of our journey these boundaries are made up of familial traditions passed on to children because of the parent tapes playing in their mother’s or father’s heads.

When we leave the confines of our home and are exposed to the physical, emotional and philosophical fences of school yards, we dramatically come to the realization that some of those home environment rules of conduct are not completely shared by those coming from other homes, nor from those who are designated as teachers or administrators. Many times we are left to practice one set of rules at school and another set at home.

Even when we enter the chambers of worship we find a divergence of value our peers and leaders place on various aspects of the religious experience. Far too many of us now find the practice of conditional behavior expanded into three distinct areas.

As we venture into the work-a-day world it becomes apparent that behavioral expectations whether written or unwritten often vary significantly from what we previously believed to be acceptable behavior. I think you understand by now this will mean we are constantly adjusting our actions to be appropriate to whatever arenas in which we find ourselves confined.

There comes a time when it should not surprise us to be involved in so many different situations with innumerable different rules and regulations that because of confusion and constant adaptations we find ourselves committing embarrassing mistakes.

Although it seems like he was only able to convince one Priest of Noah, a man named Alma, of the principle, Abinadi knew and taught that salvation could not come by adhering to a set of laws and statues. He taught them that in spite of all their strictly abiding by statues and performances they could never gain salvation without the Atonement of Jesus the Christ.

I am well aware that without the Atonement of Jesus the Christ all the purposes of existence would be meaningless, but I also believe that just as trying to conform to all of the norms of the societal groups in which we find ourselves ultimately will cause most of us to throw our hands in the air and exclaim, forget about trying to please all people in all places, and turn inwardly to discover a way of behaving which makes us feel peaceful, comfortable and calm. Pure religion, besides being totally dependent on the Grace and Mercy of God, ultimately comes upon one when they experience a mighty change of heart. (Alma 5:11-14)

Abinadi did not diminish the need for the Law of Moses to be a schoolmaster which leads us to the good news the Savior would teach, but he well understood that if we abide by the expectations of the outward ordinances alone the inner vessel could never be made clean. We must go beyond being doer’s of the word and become the word.

The scripture make it abundantly clear the heart is a symbol of the traditional center from which all goodness proceeds. It also becomes apparent that if our heart is not right our actions will count as naught. (Joseph Smith – History 19)

When Paul wrote his second epistle to the Corinthians it seems they had fallen into the trap of believing that if they lived within the fences of the Law of Moses that salvation was assured. In the third chapter of that book we find him saying that the laws written upon stone could not bring salvation, but they must be written upon the fleshy parts of the heart, and that if that we tried to live correctly by the performance of law alone we would find our eyes covered with a veil which would hide understanding.

Most of us sooner or later find we fall far short of happiness by trying to practice perfect performance of the variety of situational societal expectations and only discover true living when we follow the comforting whisperings of the Holy Spirit as he communes with our heart. There should come a time for all of us when the fences put around us in our homes, school yards, cathedrals and work places must yield to the conversion which happens when we experience that mighty change in our hearts.

The more I ponder upon the principles of performance of laws and that of having a mighty change of heart, I become more convinced that performance may never lead to having a pure heart, but having a pure heart will cause us to correctly perform.

A few verses to ponder in connection with this Thought for a Sabbath day.

3 Nephi 12: 8 And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

3 Nephi 13: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 8: 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luke 24: 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Romans 8: 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

1 Peter 3: 3, 4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.



Saturday, March 30, 2019


Doing something different – does not always make it – unique – or – better!!

Friday, March 29, 2019


Traditions – which are based on meaningful events – never grow tiresome – even from frequent repetition!!

Thursday, March 28, 2019



And the carefree decade of your infancy, toddler and youth evaporates
And the troubled decade of your teens vanishes
And the hopeful decade of your twenty’s disappears
And the training decade of your thirty’s dissipates
And the productive decade of the forty’s is gone
And the fruitful decade of your fifty’s withdraws
And the secure decade of your sixty’s retires
And the resourceful decade of your seventy’s withdraws
And the fading decade of your eighty’s expires

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


With all the advancements – we witness in the world – during our lives – we seem to be standing still – and - even at times retrogressing – when it come to increasing – in love for one another – and – living together in peace!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


The world would be a lot more peaceful – if everyone could learn to handle disappointment – in less dramatic ways!!

Monday, March 25, 2019


It seems ludicrous – that of all the reasons – we may have in our lives – which cause divisions among us – but – the wishing of happiness – for days of Religious Holy Days – seems the most ridiculous!!

Sunday, March 24, 2019


During the trials of Abinadi before the wicked King Noah we may find for the first time that Zeniff must have taken some record of the scriptures with him when he departed the Land of Nephi and returned to the land of their original inheritance, because one of the priests of Noah quotes verses which could have only come from the Brass Plates of Laban as he interrogates the prophet.

And it came to pass that one of them said unto him: What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying: (Mosiah 12: 20)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth; Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion; Break forth into joy; sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem; (Mosiah 12: 21-23 and Isaiah 52: 7-10)

The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God? (Mosiah 12 :24 and Isaiah 33: 2)

In his no holds barred sermon Abinadi rebukes the Priests of Noah and gives some solemn counsel to those who would ever be involved in the calling of being a publisher of the Lord’s word.

In order to avoid perverting the way of the Lord we must first have understanding before we attempt to teach.

We must apply our hearts (have desire) to gain understanding.

Only though having the spirit of prophesy will we gain understanding.

Only after gaining wisdom through understanding are we able to teach correctly.

No matter how much preparation we had done, it would be impossible to teach; as a bringer of good tidings, as a publisher of peace or as a publisher of salvation, if we are not truthfully living the principle we are attempting to teach.

I suspect appropriate one word summations of my life could include such words as a son, disciple (of Christ), husband, father and fan (sport), but if the aggregate of non-sleeping hours were used to determine the most appropriate one word descriptor it would be teacher.

My formal teaching experiences started when I became my father’s Home Teaching companion at the age of 12. My first calling as a teacher came at the age of 17 when I was given the assignment to teach the 13, 14 year old youth in Sunday School. After the age of 19 the hours I spent teaching each day seldom dipped below 4 and usually exceeded 10, publishing salvation. After retirement from being a professional publisher of peace my daily hourly dedication to publishing good tidings declined to between 4 and 6 hours a day.

I suspect it would be impossible to have had even the least degree of activity with the Priesthood organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints without having read or been taught the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood as found in Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants verses 33-41. To one degree or another I believe all who have had this experience are affected by having been introduced to those obligatory phrases with the accompanying promised blessings.

And yet, only as I was reading the 12th chapter of Mosiah in preparation for this Thought was I struck with the profoundness of Abinadi’s words, which could easily be used as an oath and covenant of one who would bring good tiding, a publisher of peach and a publisher of salvation.

I add a few scriptures to ponder, which could add to Abinadi’s words:

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Matthew 10: 19, 20)

And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12: 11, 12)

And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men. (2 Nephi 33: 1)

And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day. (Jacob 1:19)

As I conclude this Thought for a Sabbath Day I am profoundly struck with the understanding that of all the talents and attributes a teacher must have in order to be a bringer of good tidings, a publisher of peace and a publisher of salvation, it is that of being in tune with what Abinadi identifies as the Spirit of Prophesy and is called elsewhere in scripture the Holy Ghost.



Saturday, March 23, 2019


The longer we live – the more we will probably understand – the importance of everything being done in its season – and – making sure we enjoy those seasons – to the fullest – during their appropriate times in our lives!!