Sunday, July 25, 2010


I've found over the last few months that I deal with emotional/mental pain in an interesting way. Rather than screaming from some unknown mountain peak or crying endless rivers of sorrow I turn inward. Often times, I write, whether on this blog or in my journal. Then I pray. Prayer links me to God, gives me strength to support what I may be feeling. I never ask for the pain or the situation causing me pain to go away. Rather, I ask the Lord to help me to bear the burden.
He's come to my aide so many times. I have no doubt that in any other time of trial or tribulation He will strengthen me. As diligently as I seek him, he will come to my side in some manner. Be it that the pain subsides or the situation changes, He succors me. I know that He does support those who seek him out.


I recommend you read the post on my other blog titled "Sacred Sunday #1" ( The final strain of this moving song is "When I reach my journey's end / How I hope that He will call me friend". Deep down this is one of my deepest desires. The want to be a friend of God isn't just a nice idea nor is it an interesting philosophy; it is the foundation for faithful living. When all is said and done, it is the only thing that will matter because being a friend of God entails a great deal, but can be expressed in simple terms.
John the Beloved recorded this one-liner spoken by the Lord in chapter 15, verse 14. "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command ye." To be the Lord's friend means but one thing, to obey his commandments. Obedience is the strongest, loudest, most sincere and profound of expression of our love toward God the Father and His Son Jesus. Hence we must learn and keep the commandments. We must find within ourselves the God-given strength to carry out His will in every and all circumstances. We must live the gospel, knowing that through our faith, repentance, baptism in water and by the Spirit, endurance, and primarily through the grace of God and the Atonement of Christ we will be cleansed and forgiven of our sins and be permitted into the Lord's rest. We must love the Lord above all else. We must love our neighbors as ourselves.
The prophet of the Book of Mormon, Nephi, explained, "for it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do." I may attain to a finite perfection in the sense that eventually I may master myself completely and live every commandment applicable in the latter-days, but that still will not wipe my sins clean. I can only confess, feel sorrow for and abandon my sins. I cannot remove the stain from my spiritual garments (Revelation 7:14). Many scriptures, including the one immediately preceding this statement, explain how sin is forgiven and perfection attained. Personally, I like this one found in Moroni chapter 10, verse 32:
"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God."
I want to be a friend of God. The road ahead is long and difficult, but not impassable. A radio station was recommended to me last week by a friend. While listening one day a phrase was sung that applies to these thoughts. "Impossible is just an excuse for someone not to try."
It is through the grace, mercy and blood of Christ that we are saved, after all that we can do. All that we can do is abandon our sins to Him and love and serve Him and our fellow neighbors.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Friday and Saturday were great days. A great weekend has begun, from the very start. My singles ward went camping at a place eleven miles outside of Kamas, UT. I love the ward camp out. I and another brother spent some time raising tents for sisters. I hiked up the hillside a little ways. Being surrounded by trees I deduced that the ridge would also be covered by trees and abandoned my climb to the top. Dinner was great. The variety show that followed was better still. The testimony meeting was inspiring. I didn't want it to end so quickly, but end the outing did. Better things are yet to come.
I mingled with many people. One young lady has really impressed me. She served a mission, has graduated college, and, as near as I can tell, lives a solidly Christian life. In short, she's virtuous. I've met many people, but none quite so strong. I wanted to ask her out, but held my tongue. I hesitated. Trepidation slipped in and I didn't ask her. Why did I let fear hold me captive?
Like I said, she's impressive. If a romantic relationship were to develop, I feel like there would be a lot to live up to. My rough edges seem sharper, harder somehow. Maybe fear set in because she seems so much better than I.
All of us face fear. It seems to have become second nature since the fall of Adam. After disobeying the Lord's command, Adam and Eve felt afraid. Since then fear has ruled men's hearts. Mankind has waged war because of fear. Some refuse callings from the Lord. Others lash out in fear.
God doesn't want us to fear. The "fear of the Lord" the Bible describes isn't the trembling fear we're accustomed to. It's love, respect and reverence. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore be not ashamed of the testimony of Christ..." (2 Timothy 1:7-8).
I used to seek out more supporting statements, but this one scripture suffices the need. Do not fear. Live boldly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More thoughts today...

You'll have to see my other blog, the one about music, and read the very first post. My first selection was a song by Skillet about living today. There's an urgency in the song. A strong encouragement to live TODAY. I love the reminder that tomorrow could be too late. Yet there lies deep in my memory the lessons learned from Robert Frost and his poem After Apple Picking. I myself wanted to come and "pick apples" in life. I'll do the best I can, but I know that in the end I won't reach every one of the golden apples on the tree. Nor will I get them all into my barrel. Some will fall by the wayside. Some will find their utility, not by being eaten, but in being crushed and ground into cider. It's the nature of the work. It happens. The apples in the barrel will be washed and eaten. The ones I let fall will be made into cider. They'll be useful. The ones in the tree, well they'll be left for someone else to grab. Some of them just might be too far out on a limb or too high up in the tree for me, but that won't stop another from obtaining them.
After all these thoughts, I think I'll put one more song onto my music blog today. If you'd like to read the poem, it can be found here:


I'll give quite a condensed report of the last couple of weeks. They've been interesting, to say the least. Last weekend was the Independence Day celebration. For me nothing beats the hometown activities so I ventured to Salina for a few days. While there I built a bond and fell in love with a beautiful young lady. Don't worry, she's family; she's my 10 month-old niece. My sister being bedridden for yet another week I believe wanted me to take her daughter out of the house. The poor girl ends up staying in the same room and her mommy and doesn't get to play much. I took this sweetheart to the Salina parade. We walked there. Or rather, Josh (one of my brothers) and I took turns pushing her stroller down the street. She and I shared a chair. The next morning she and I shared a spot in the chapel for sacrament meeting. I played with this pure child as often as I could during my trip. I fell in love with her.
The last week had a few exciting occurrences. Thursday my grandparents commemorated their fiftieth anniversary. We surprised them by meeting at a restaurant together for dinner. The diner was a really nice Japanese place. The cook did all his work on a grill in front of us. He even threw shrimp into our mouths. Last night a few friends and I got together for a BBQ and, afterwards, to swim. I had almost forgotten how much I love being surrounded completely by water. I love being able to move in all three dimensions without much trouble. The evening was topped off with a shindig nearby. We ate classic party snacks, jokes, threw around a Frisbee and started a movie. I left before the movie however. The party was enjoyable and new people abounded.