Saturday, July 22, 2017

Waxing Nostalgic

I guess I've been waxing nostalgic as of late.  I've been thinking about how times have changed -- and not for the best.  Seems that our civilization has become increasingly uncivilized.  Here are a few things I've been pondering.

Whatever happened to the days when women actually wore heels and nylons to church?  It seems like more and more women are dressing as if they are going to the beach rather than to church.  Flip-flops at church?  I'm sure my grandma is rolling over in her grave.  I would be too if I were dead.  25 years ago when I was on my mission it was a mission rule to wear nylons.  And I served in Florida.  Yes, it was hot!  But I never minded dressing up every day because I was representing my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Lately, I don't think I've seen anyone younger than me wearing nylons and heels to church. But I sure see a lot of flip-flops and bare legs.

Along the same lines, whatever happened to people actually having to dress up to go to work?  I just read about a woman who wants to wear dresses to work but doesn't feel like she'll fit in because everyone comes dressed in shorts and T-shirts.  There really is something about the way you dress and your attitude.  When you're dressed up, you look more dignified and tend to act accordingly.

Whatever happened to the days when women would wear their Sunday best with matching shoes and purse to go grocery shopping?  Or to go out anywhere in public.  They would make sure their hair was in place and that they looked presentable. People used to take pride in their appearance.  And would actually try to look nice when they went out in public.  Nowadays, a lot of people don't care what they look like.  You're lucky if they cover up and wear shoes.

Whatever happened to the days when people would actually get up in the morning and get dressed and do their hair and makeup even if they weren't going anywhere?  Nowadays it seems like more and more people stay in their pajamas or sweats all day.  I never could do that.  I always felt weird if I didn't get up and get ready for the day.

Whatever happened to the days when people would greet the cashier and exchange pleasantries?  Most people nowadays don't have the common courtesy to end a phone call or look up from their stupid cheating machine to even give eye contact to the cashier, let alone exchanged pleasantries.

Along the same lines again, whatever happened to the days when people actually interacted in person?  Believe or not, back in the day people would actually greet each other passing on sidewalks or in hallways. Yes, even strangers.  People actually looked around and noticed their surroundings.  Nowadays, everybody hangs their heads looking down at their stupid cheating machines.  They are oblivious to the real people around them and their surroundings.  Nowadays it's common to have two people in the same room communicating through text messages instead of conversing in person.

Whatever happened to the days when you could receive a wedding invitation without gifts being mentioned?  Now you open up a wedding invitation and 12 "gift registry cards" fall out.  Since when did thoughtfully choosing a gift for the newlyweds go out of vogue?  Since when did weddings become a way to extort money and gifts from your guests and loved ones?  Requesting gifts and money, setting up go fund me accounts for honeymoons.  It's abhorrent.

Whatever happened to simple weddings where the main focus was on the bride and groom?  Where people would bring a simple thoughtful gift.  And a small piece of cake and maybe a nut cup or after dinner mints would be served.  Now it's all about the dress, the venue, the food, the flowers, etc. Full course meals are served in elaborate settings.  And guests are expected to bring expensive gifts or money chosen by the couple to cover the costs of hosting them. It's out of hand.

Whatever happened to hosting parties just for the pleasure of someone's company?  Without expecting gifts or money in return.

Whatever happened to people sending handwritten thank you notes?  Some people still do, but it seems like more and more people don't write thank you notes.  And if they do decide to give thanks to someone it's likely to be digitally through e-mail or social media.

Whatever happened to people making promises and actually keeping them?

Whatever happened to chivalry?  Chivalry seems to be dying as society becomes more "politically correct".  It's a shame that men are being taught by society to treat women as "equals".  I guess we can thank the liberal feminists for this injustice.  I hate to break it to them but men and women are different.  And society has rules -- or at least we did -- as to how women and men should behave.  I always thanked men who would hold doors open for me when I entered a store or somewhere in public.  Now, they have to worry about getting yelled at by some feminist instead of being thanked like they should.

Whatever happened to basic manners?  You don't hear please and thank you as often as you should.  Even in restaurants you don't see people using table manners as often as you should.  People are rude to their servers.  Road rage is rampant.  People don't show respect to others like they should.  Especially to their elders. Everyone seems to be too self absorbed to be courteous and civil.

Anyway, those are a few of the things I've been thinking about lately.  It brings to mind this scripture:
11 O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization—
12 (And only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people) -- Moroni 9:11-12
I feel the same way about our civilization as Mormon did when addressing his son, Moroni, 1600+ years ago. Only a few decades ago people were much more civil to each other.  I have seen the decline of our civilization in my short lifetime.

The decline of civilization -- the loss of our basic etiquette and manners; the lack of respect for societal rules and for others; the casualization of dress; the basic increase in self entitlement -- sadly, appears to be in a downward spiral.

Unfortunately, I don't think it will get better anytime soon.  I guess I will have to continue waxing nostalgic and remember the good old days.

That's my two cents.

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Coronation

Today was my coronation day.  I was pretty excited about it.  It ended up being quite the ordeal. This being my first coronation and all,  I didn't realized they would have to take the crown off and on so many times until it fit right.  There was a little pain involved but I just dealt with it because I didn't want to get numbed up again.

I now have my permanent gold crown.  You may now refer to me as Your Majesty.  :-)


That's my two cents.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Quote of the Day

 I was reading over the Relief Society lesson for today.  I came across this quote I really liked.
"None of us may rightly say that his life is his own. Our lives are gifts of God. We come into the world not of our own volition. We leave not according to our wish. Our days are numbered not by ourselves, but according to the will of God. 
"So many of us use our lives as if they were entirely our own. Ours is the choice to waste them if we wish. But that becomes a betrayal of a great and sacred trust. As the Master made so abundantly clear, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35.)" -- Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, 2016, Chapter 14

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Daily Message

""You can change anything you want to change and you can do it very fast. It is another Satanic falsehood to believe that it takes years and years and eons of eternity to repent. It takes exactly as long to repent as it takes you to say “I’ll change”—and mean it. Of course there will be problems to work out and restitutions to make. You may well spend—indeed, you had better spend—the rest of your life proving your repentance by its permanence. But change, growth, renewal, and repentance can come for you as instantaneously as it did for Alma and the Sons of Mosiah. Do not misunderstand. Repentance is not easy or painless or convenient. It can be a bitter cup from hell. But only Satan would have you think that a necessary and required acknowledgement of sin is more distasteful than permanent residence in it. Only he would say, “You can’t change. You won’t change. It’s too long and too hard to change. Give up. Give in. Don’t repent. You are just the way you are.” That, my friends, is a lie born of desperation. Don’t fall for it.""
—Jeffrey R. Holland, "How to Change", Liahona, February 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's Your Baby, You Rock It!

"It's your baby, you rock it.  It's your heartache, you bought it.  You made that bed you're sleeping in, and I'm tired of hearing about it friend.  It's your baby, you rock it!"

That is a quote from one of my favorite Elvis songs.  I'm sick and tired of people making bad choices and causing all kinds of havoc within our family and then calling up to whine and complain about the consequences.  Then when his parents patiently give him advice, he calls the advice stupid.  Well, Mister smarty-pants, if your parents advice is so stupid, then why do you call them to ask them for advice?

You all know who I'm addressing.  And since I know he can't stay off my blog, even though he hates my opinions, I'll direct this specifically to him.

Why do you call your parents and unload your problems on them?  Problems you yourself caused by your continual bad choices!  Your parents don't need the extra burden.  They have enough problems of their own.  Your parents didn't call up their mommy and daddy every time they had problems with you.  So why do you continually burdened them with your parental inadequacies? Especially when the problems you are facing are direct consequences to your bad choices.  Which many of the problems could have been avoided had you made better choices in life.

Obviously when you make a series of bad choices again and again and again, there will be some bad consequences.  When you choose to leave your family for a selfish floozeric lifestyle, your children will be scarred.  They aren't stupid.  They know you are choosing a floozy over them.  And when it happens again and again and again, there will be deep deep scars.  So why are you surprised when your son turns to drugs and contemplates suicide?  You caused it.  Your bad choices -- your abandonment of your wife and kids -- are the cause of the lack of self-worth in your children.

What can you do to fix it?  I'm glad you asked.  Start with turning your life around.  Come back to the truth you once knew.  Give your kids back the hope that you stripped from them.  Teach them there is a God who loves them. It's not too late to start doing the right thing.  Everybody should know that they are a child of God.  When you strip God from people's lives, you also strip hope from their lives.  Without hope, what is there to live for? Even people who have no one in their life who they feel loves them, they can still turn to God, who loves all of his children unconditionally.  You can always turn to your Heavenly Father. Even in the deepest abyss, He is always there for you.  That is a great comforter for many people. Yet, you have even taken that from your children.  Teaching them that there is no God.  That's beyond appalling.

Think about it, you, as their father, have walked out on them.  They know you have chosen a floozy over them and their mother.  The fact that you have chosen floozy over your children is continually reinforced by forcing them to spend every other weekend at floozy's house.  Where you have chosen to flaunt your adultery by living in sin -- as you like to put it -- at your floozy's house.  Not to mention all the other vices they are exposed to in that environment.

Then you continually lie to them, convincing them that there is no God and turning them away from their religion.  Thus taking away all hope from them. Not to mention teaching them false doctrines of the world.

When they are with you on the weekends, you are rarely physically present.  Choosing to live your "rock 'n roll" lifestyle of playing gigs on the weekend.  So you can receive the praise of men to try to inflate your nonexistent self-esteem.  People who live contrary to God's commandments lose their self worth.  That's why apostates are narcissistic.  It's a defense mechanism.  But that's another blog post.

A child's basic need is love and security.  Even more important than food, clothing, and shelter.  When a child is constantly reminded that they are not their parent's top priority, it leaves deep emotional scars.  And when the one person they can always turn to in times of trial, God, is taken from them, where can they turn?

Of course the primary source of love and security for a child is their parents.  Including their heavenly parents.  I had been taught since I was very young that I am a child of God.  Because of that I have always had extraordinary self worth and have always had someone to turn to in times of trial. You have taken your children's earthly father and their Heavenly Father away from them.  Then you wonder why they have nothing to live for and why they would want to take their own life?

You can try to make yourself feel better by rationalizing that they still have their earthly father in their lives.  But it's simply not true.  When you chose to leave your family, you abandoned your children and visiting with them every other weekend is not fulfilling your responsibilities as a father.  I hope you're fleeting happiness with your floozy was worth it to you.  Floozationships rarely last.  But the destruction they cause does.

Obviously it's a lot easier to not believe in God when you're willfully rebelling against Him.  That's certainly your prerogative, God gave you your agency.  But, teaching your children there is no God and turning them against their religion is extremely detrimental to their well-being.  Why would anyone do that to their own children, whom they are supposed to love?  Why would you want to destroy your own children?  When you do that, problems are inevitable.  Then you start facing some of those problems as a consequence of your own actions, and decide to burden others with it.

You have the audacity to call up mommy and daddy to complain about your troubled children and ask for their advice. They both tell you the first step is to get God back in your life.  Your response is to tell them they're stupid and that you disagree.

If you don't like their "stupid" advice, then why do you continually call them every time you have a problem?  Honestly, they don't want to hear all of your problems. None of us do!  "You're crying on my shoulder like a baby, I'm sorry about your troubles... but I've used up all of my sympathy.  It's your baby, you rock it."  You made this mess, clean it up yourself.  Pick yourself up off the floor and get your life back in order.  Why burden your parents -- who are already overburdened -- with the messes you keep creating? If you think you're doing them a favor by "keeping them informed" you're sorely mistaken. "You made that bed you're sleeping in, and I'm tired of hearing about it friend."

For someone who claims to want his family to stay out of his business, you sure do keep dragging your family unwillingly into your business.

I'll close with the advice I started out with:

"It's your baby, you rock it.  It's your heartache, you bought it.  You made that bed you're sleeping in, and I'm tired of hearing about it friend.  It's your baby, you rock it!"

That's my two cents.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Star-Spangled Banner

Today as our closing hymn we sang, "The Star-Spangled Banner".  I have never heard more than the first verse sung anywhere except church. There are actually four versus penned by Francis Scott Key.  Three of those verses are included in our hymnal.  The following is the last verse and is my favorite.
The Star-Spangled Banner 
3. Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 
--Text: Francis Scott Key 1779-1843
This wonderful nation in which we are privileged to reside is a heaven rescued land.  It was long ago consecrated for freedom, especially religious freedom.  We should often praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.  Our nation's motto is "In God We Trust" -- It is He who orchestrated the nation's founding and has preserved us a nation.

Thank you, Francis Scott Key, for a beautifully written National Anthem.  Let us always remember to thank our Heavenly Father for this blessed land and country we call home. May the Star-Spangled Banner always wave in triumph o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Happy Independence Day!  (A couple days early.)

That's my two cents.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Gold Crown

I've always known I was royalty.  After all, I am a daughter of God.  But now I'm officially getting my gold crown!  I've always wanted a real gold crown.  Although the one I'm getting is not what I had in mind.

After a trip to my dentist I was informed that I had a fractured molar and needed a crown. So a couple of days ago I went to have the work done.

The dentist gave me two options on the type of crown I wanted.  Gold or ceramic.  Of course, I opted for gold.  (Who, in their right mind, wouldn't?)  Not only is it prettier -- ting, but it's also stronger and thinner (less tooth removal).

When life hands you lemons (fractured tooth), you make lemonade (gold crown), right?

I'm wearing a temporary crown now but in a couple of weeks I will be fitted with my well-deserved permanent gold crown!

I will wear it with pride. Ting!  :-)

That's my two cents.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Daily Message

"I have good news for you. The armies of God are larger than the armies of Lucifer. You may look around and think to yourself, “The world is becoming more and more wicked. Satan must be winning the war.” Don’t be fooled. The truth is, we outnumber the enemy. Remember, two-thirds of God’s children chose the Father’s plan. Brothers and sisters, make sure you are fighting on the Lord’s side. Make sure you are carrying the sword of the Spirit."
—Larry R. Lawrence, "War Goes On", Liahona, April 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Daily Message

"Jesus suffered deeply because He loves us deeply! He wants us to repent and be converted so that He can fully heal us. When sore trials come upon us, it’s time to deepen our faith in God, to work hard, and to serve others. Then He will heal our broken hearts."
—Russell M. Nelson, "Jesus Christ—the Master Healer"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lovingly Warned

As I was listening to The Book of Mormon a few days ago, Helaman chapter 13 stuck out in my mind. Because I've been thinking about it for a few days, I decide that I should post it.  I thought about posting the whole chapter but it's kind of long.  So I'll post a few excerpts and add my commentary.

Since I'm not posting the whole chapter I will give you a little background.  This is Samuel the Lamanite speaking.  At this point in time, about 6 B.C., the (usually righteous) Nephites (church members) had turned wicked and the (usually wicked) Lamanites were the ones keeping the commandments of God. One of the Lamanites, Samuel, began preaching to the people who promptly threw him out of their city.  He was about to leave and go back to his own city and the Lord told him to stay and preach repentance unto the wicked Nephites.  He obeyed the Lord but they wouldn't let him in their city so he got on the wall surrounding the city and began preaching from the wall.

Here is part of what he said:
Helaman 13:5-8 
5 And he said unto them: Behold, I, Samuel, a Lamanite, do speak the words of the Lord which he doth put into my heart; and behold he hath put it into my heart to say unto this people that the sword of justice hangeth over this people...
6 Yea, heavy destruction awaiteth this people, and it surely cometh unto this people, and nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, who surely shall come into the world, and shall suffer many things and shall be slain for his people.
7 And behold, an angel of the Lord hath declared it unto me, and he did bring glad tidings to my soul. And behold, I was sent unto you to declare it unto you also, that ye might have glad tidings; but behold ye would not receive me.
8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord: Because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of the Nephites, except they repent I will take away my word from them, and I will withdraw my Spirit from them, and I will suffer them no longer, and I will turn the hearts of their brethren against them.
The parallels to today are unbelievably similar.  It's obvious that The Book of Mormon was written for us, in the last days. Here's Samuel, trying to lovingly warn people and call them to repentance, for their own good.  And he gets kicked out of the city. Kind of reminiscent of modern-day prophets and apostles and missionaries.  He was going to go home but the Lord told him to go back.  Well they would not let him back so he gets on the wall to warn them, at the Lord's request. And all Samuel gets for trying to help the people and lovingly warn them is persecution and arrows thrown at him.

The hardness of the hearts of the wicked Nephites is evident. Verse eight is significant in pointing out that not only does the Lord withdraw His Spirit from those who harden their hearts against Him -- which is not an insignificant thing.  But he also withdraws His word.  To me that means they can no longer receive revelation.  Not only personal revelation, but they themselves withdraw themselves from modern revelation through prophets and apostles and even the Lord's word through scriptures. All of this withdrawal being self-inflicted. It's very sad.

Continuing to quote the Lord, Samuel tells them:
Helaman 13:9-11 
9 And four hundred years shall not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence.
10 Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, to behold your utter destruction; and this shall surely come except ye repent, saith the Lord; and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction.
11 But if ye will repent and return unto the Lord your God I will turn away mine anger, saith the Lord; yea, thus saith the Lord, blessed are they who will repent and turn unto me, but wo unto him that repenteth not.
I think Samuel makes it very clear how the Lord feels about their iniquitous lifestyle choices. The interesting thing about these scriptures is that Samuel is speaking to apostates.  The Nephites are people who were taught the gospel, were members of the Lord's church, made covenants, kept the commandments, then hardened their hearts and turned away from the Lord. Just like modern-day apostates.

The Lord expects more from his covenant people.  That's why Samuel mentions the Lord's "fierce anger".  The Lord's covenant people should know better.  They have been taught.  They have made covenants.  The Lord does not take that lightly.

Yet, He still gives them every chance to repent.  He sends people to warn them -- much like our modern-day prophets and apostles, and missionaries.  Yet they still have their agency.  Unfortunately, many choose not to repent.

Samuel continues:
Helaman 13:29-30 
29 O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?
30 Yea, behold, the anger of the Lord is already kindled against you; behold, he hath cursed the land because of your iniquity.
The Lord is just.  Yes, he is loving and very patient.  A lot more patient than I am.  So, despite all the repeated warnings, those who choose not to repent will face the Lord's wrath and justice.  It will not be a pretty sight.
Helaman 13:32-33 
32 And in the days of your poverty ye shall cry unto the Lord; and in vain shall ye cry, for your desolation is already come upon you, and your destruction is made sure; and then shall ye weep and howl in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts. And then shall ye lament, and say:
33 O that I had repented, and had not killed the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out. Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us.
One day those who turn from the Lord and choose iniquity over righteousness will deeply regret it.  Mark my word.  We are given a lifetime in this probationary state to exercise our agency in choosing good or evil.  Those who choose the iniquitous path, especially after following the Lord's path and making covenants, and choose not to repent while in this probationary state will be doomed.

According to Samuel, the Lamanite, this is what they will have to say:
Helaman 13:36-39

36 O that we had repented in the day that the word of the Lord came unto us; for behold the land is cursed, and all things are become slippery, and we cannot hold them.

37 Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls. Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And this shall be your language in those days.

38 But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.

39 O ye people of the land, that ye would hear my words! And I pray that the anger of the Lord be turned away from you, and that ye would repent and be saved.
Wickedness and happiness are like oil and water.  They don't mix.  You can try to fool yourself into believing that you are happy living an iniquitous lifestyle, but it's impossible.  It is contrary to God's laws.  If you seek for happiness in doing iniquity, you may find temporary worldly happiness.  But it is fleeting.  And it's not true happiness, it's counterfeit happiness.  True happiness can only be found in living God's commandments.

I will borrow from verse 29, " long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides?  Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?"

I echo Samuel the Lamanite's sentiment in verse 39.  Especially for my loved ones who have strayed from the truth.  I pray that they will hear these words and repent and be saved. Before it is everlastingly too late.

That's my two cents

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Friend of Mine

You know the old song that says, "you ain't nothing but a hound dog crying all the time... you ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine"?

Well, that doesn't apply to Abinadi.  Yes, he likes to "cry all the time".  Especially when the phone rings!  He hates it when people call here.  :-)  I actually like it when he howls.  I think it's cute and he does warn us when people come.

But the part about never catching a rabbit is not true.  Yesterday he killed a rabbit and was eating it.  Well, we think he killed it.  He was eating it anyway.  At least he didn't kill it and let it go to waste. He is a responsible hunter.  :-)

Some people like to personify dogs but they are animals who have natural instincts.  Their brains are hardwired to hunt.

Abinadi is a good friend of mine.  I guess he would be a good friend of Elvis now too.  :-)

 I don't have many pictures of my good friend Abinadi.  This is probably my favorite.  I cropped it out of the photo Lisa took a couple of years ago.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Use Your Brain

This morning, Lisa and I were discussing the logic of The Word of Wisdom.  More specifically why people would knowingly ingest a drug (caffeine) into their body for no good reason.  Especially knowing the consequences -- i.e. caffeine crash.  Yet, according to a scientist, caffeine is the number one abused drug in the world.  It makes no sense to a logical thinker like me.

Then later this morning I happened to look up the Sunday school lesson for today to read it.  And it happens to be on The Word of Wisdom.  (Lesson 22 in the Doctrine and Covenants gospel doctrine manual) In reading through the lesson I came across a really good quote by one of our past prophets, President Joseph Fielding Smith. The lesson mentioned that not everything that we should or should not partake of is mentioned in The Word of Wisdom revelation.  Here's what President Smith had to say:
“Such revelation is unnecessary. The Word of Wisdom is a basic law. It points the way and gives us ample instruction in regard to both food and drink. … If we sincerely follow what is written with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, … we will know what is good and what is bad for the body” -- President Joseph Fielding Smith  (“Your Question: The Word of Wisdom,” Improvement Era, Feb. 1956, 78–79).
Basically Joseph Fielding Smith is saying, "Use your brain".  As with any commandment, we are given basic laws and it is up to us to use our brains and our agency to follow them properly.  Much like the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy. We are given the basic law, and maybe a few specifics but not everything that we should or shouldn't do on the Sabbath is spelled out to us in detail.  The Lord gives us the law and lets us use our brains and our agency.  Most of the time simple logical will guide you in the right direction.

Now, more than ever science will tell you why certain substances are bad or good for your body.  So, there's really no excuse for not living the Lord's law of health in terms of not knowing why something is bad or good for you. To me, it's just following logic.

If you're using the excuse that caffeine or any other harmful substance is not specifically prohibited in The Word of Wisdom, then you are really just rationalizing.  And we all know that the only person fooled by rationalization is yourself.

Use your brain, use your agency to make good choices.  Don't try to rationalize away bad choices, because you're only fooling yourself.

That's my two cents.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Father's Work

With Father's Day coming up this Sunday, I thought this quote was most appropriate.

An image of a mountain scene combined with a quote by Elder Christofferson: “The most essential of a father’s work is to turn the hearts of his children to their Heavenly Father.”

“Perhaps the most essential of a father’s work is to turn the hearts of his children to their Heavenly Father.” —Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Fathers”, April 2016 General Conference

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Relief Society Lesson: Home -- The Basis of a Righteous Life

 Story by President Hinckley:

"Not long after we were married, we built our first home. We had little money, and I did a lot of the work. The landscaping was entirely my responsibility. The first of many trees that I planted was a thornless honey locust, and I envisioned the day when its shade would assist in cooling the house in the summer. I put it in a place at the corner where the wind from the canyon to the east blew the hardest. I dug a hole, put in the bare root, put soil around it, poured on water, and largely forgot it. It was only a wisp of a tree, perhaps three-quarters of an inch [2 centimeters] in diameter. It was so supple that I could bend it with ease in any direction. I paid little attention to it as the years passed. Then one winter day when the tree was barren of leaves, I chanced to look out the window at it. I noted that it was leaning to the west, misshapen and out of balance. I could scarcely believe it. I went out and braced myself against it as if to push it upright. But the trunk was now nearly a foot in diameter. My strength was as nothing against it. I took from my toolshed a block and tackle, attaching one end to the tree and the other to a well-set post. I pulled the rope. The pulleys moved just a little, and the trunk of the tree trembled slightly. But that was all. It seemed to say to me, “You can’t straighten me. It’s too late. I’ve grown this way because of your neglect, and I will not bend.”

"Finally in desperation I took my saw and cut off the great heavy branch on the west side. I stepped back and surveyed what I had done. I had cut off a major part of the tree, leaving a huge scar about eight inches [20 centimeters] across and only one small branch growing skyward.

"… I recently looked again at the tree. It is large, its shape is better, and it is a great asset to the home. But how serious was the trauma of its youth and how painful the treatment I had used to straighten it. When the tree was first planted, a piece of string would have held it against the forces of the wind. I could have and should have supplied that string with ever so little effort, but I did not. And it bent to the forces that came against it."

My handout: