Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ahhhhh....Can't Help It!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I HAVE to post this! I promise I won't post politics too often. In fact, I have plans to start a new political site.


Now, combine this video with the results from John Zogby's post election poll (found this on HotAir.com):

The poll surveyed over 500 self-professed Obama voters and has an MOE of 4.4%, with 55% having a college degree and over 90% having a high-school diploma.  It asked 12 multiple-choice questions; only 2.4% got at least 11 correct. Only .5% got all them correct.

  • 57.4 could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
  • 81.8 could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
  • 82.6 could NOT correctly say that Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
  • 88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
  • 56.1 % could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).And yet…..
  • Only 13.7% failed to identify Palin as the person their party spent $150,000 in clothes
  • Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
  • And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It Starts With the Heart - Part III

Read Part I by clicking HERE.

Read Part II by clicking HERE.

I will focus on one gift that comes with finding and following the voice of the Lord - and I will do it by recounting something I recently read about the LDS handcart pioneers.

The Bunker Company was the third company to leave Iowa City, and because most of the members did not keep a record, not much is known about their experience. However, 21 year-old Priscilla Evans does give us a little glimpse. At one point, she describes the condition of those with whom she shared a tent each night:

"There were in our tent a man with one leg (my husband), two blind, Thomas Giles being one of them, one man with one arm, and a widow with five children."

This is the account from ONE tent (there were about 10-11 tents in the company with about 20 people in each tent) - and this is not to mention the overall sickness and weakness that seemed so prevalent with the immigrants.

And, here you have Edward Bunker, their leader, staring at the challenge and responsibility of taking these Saints 1300 miles on foot while pulling handcarts.

Now, I want you to picture me - but, picture me with your spiritual eyes. You will see a soul that is not much different than the physical condition of those Saints in the Bunker Company - battered, bruised, scarred. In fact, when we look at each other with our spiritual eyes, this will be the case. This is the natural consequence of our involvement in the fight against evil and sin. Remember, ALL of Helaman's 2000 were wounded, yet none were fatally wounded.

So, here's my question:

Will you be my Edward Bunker? Will you help carry my battered soul to Zion? I have covenanted to do that for you.

That is the gift that I wish to emphasize - CHARITY. The ability to look at others with our spiritual eyes, assess how we can help them, then do as we have covenanted to do.

Parley Pratt was able to do this for Thomas Giles, one of the blind men in Priscilla's tent. He was traveling with his wife, two sons, and a baby daughter. His daughter died early on. And, near Fort Bridger, he finally collapsed with illness. The party waited two days in hope that he would recover, but they had to move on. With 2 men left behind to bury Thomas when he died, Parly Pratt came upon the men on his way out east. Parly knew Giles from his time in Wales. He gave him a priesthood blessing:

"that he should instantly be healed and made well, that he should rejoin his company and arrive safely in the Salt Lake Valley; that he should there rear a family, and that because of his faithfulness he would be permitted to live as long as he wanted."

All the promises were fulfilled.

In closing, I would like to share a poem that certainly applies to the church as a whole. But, it also applies to each of our souls:

Line upon line
The stone was cut.
Angelic voices from on high
Confirm the truth, "The Lord is nigh!"

Precept upon precept
Without hands.
The gathering words are assured,
As Zion's beauty and people endured.

Here a little, there a little
Until the stone rolled forth.
Sending the wicked asunder
Leaving all to witness the marvelous work and wonder.

In our lives, if we faithfully follow the divine process of earning light to our souls, the coming of the Lord will occur - it will occur in our hearts and in our daily lives. Then, WE will be a marvelous work and wonder of the Lord.

I love the Holy Ghost and all He does for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It Starts With the Heart - Part II

In case you missed Part I, click here to read it.

So, how does this process work - the ability to feel and follow the voice of the Lord?

We now know it starts with the heart. Then, our spirits our affected, as well as our minds. But, what happens after that?

Well, we then begin to depend on His voice more often, so we pray more earnestly to know His will. We pray for that which He would have us pray:

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire" (3 Ne. 19:24).

You'll notice, after we pray for what is meant for us, we are "filled with desire." Being filled with righteous desire is a definite indication of our own spiritual maturity and progression. However, just being filled with righteous desire does not make us good servants. In fact, without the next step, our righteous desire will quickly disappear.

In order to progress, we must seek to live by every word:

"And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life. For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God" (D&C 84:43-44).

As we live according to our righteous desire, we are filled with more light - we learn more truth:

"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (D&C 84:45).

As we gain more light to our souls, we become more uncomfortable with the dark things of the world - AND, the dark things of the world become more uncomfortable with us:

"The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one" (D&C 93:36-37).

Then, line upon line, truth upon truth, light upon light - we GROW. We grow closer to Him until the time arrives when we are with Him and we are ONE with Him:

"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (D&C 50:24).

So, how does this process work in your life in particular? Only one real way to find out - Dig in and experience it.

If we choose to participate in this process, we are blessed with so many different gifts. In Part III, I will focus on just one -

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It Starts With the Heart - Part I

I KNOW God lives. I KNOW it. I KNOW Joseph Smith was called by my Savior to form again an organization - a group of people willing to be obedient to eternal, everlasting laws and truths; a covenant society here on Earth, whose purpose is to combat evil and return home safely to our Heavenly Father. I know these truths by the pure power of the Holy Ghost.

Gaining this knowledge was a process.

It starts with our hearts - That's what our Savior taught the Nephites just before his personal visit. And, remember, he is speaking to those who were spared because they were the more righteous part of the people:

"O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart"
 (3 Ne. 10:6).

Notice, even the more righteous part of the people were required to have:
  1. A repentant heart
  2. A "fully purposed" heart
So, let's pause and evaluate our own hearts. How do our hearts measure up? Ask ourselves, "Is my heart all-in? Am I dedicated to serving my Savior with ALL my heart?"

Once our hearts are repentant and filled with His purpose, what happens to us?

The Lord tells us in Ezekial:

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them" (Ezek. 36:26-27).

So, once we commit to allowing our hearts to change, and once we commit IN our hearts to serve with full purpose of heart, the Lord blesses us with two specific changes:

A New Heart -

This new heart, we are taught, is a soft heart. And, ironically, our NEW hearts will always be BROKEN hearts. Elder Bruce Porter taught, "When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are" (Ensign, Nov. 2007, p. 31).

A New Spirit -

Now that our hearts are soft and broken, we are prepared and able to FEEL the Savior's guidance. When we have His spirit with us, we are able to feel HIS thoughts and we are able to FEEL His testimony. And, that is what motivates us to walk in HIS statutes and keep HIS judgements. We have a feeling of dependence on Him.

When we feel dependent on someone, communication with that individual is vital. The Nephites understood this. In chapter 19, their hearts, at this point, were changed and their spirits were new. They had felt the Savior's presence. They truly felt dependent upon his guidance. They knew they had to be able to constantly communicate with Him. So, what did this group of Nephites pray for? What did they most desire?

"And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given them" (3 Ne. 19:9).

They wanted to FEEL the voice of God. They did not want to talk to God. They wanted to speak with God.

THAT is the essence of the Holy Ghost - He allows us the ability to speak with our Father in Heaven with Christ as our mediator. Notice that all 3 members of the Godhead are deeply involved in the communication process, indicating just how important this communication is to our salvation.

In fact, the ONLY way we achieve our potential is by feeling, and then following, the voice of Him whom we seek to be with and seek to be like. It is the only way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Ben's Blog

Dear Ben's Blog:

I miss your funny family stories and pictures. I miss the mini attacks we had going in the comments section. I thought you were a man of your word. You said no more youtubes and political postings. May your wittiness come back! I think the readers miss it.


A Bored Reader

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"See, now it's locked in place"..."Actually I didn't have it locked."

Sorry, had to do it - Courtesy of Jennifer Williams. The lady laughing at him is classic.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"We uhhh, may need emergency surgery in the studio.."

I had to post this...I wonder how many they sold after this?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wyoming Trip

So, here's the story, albeit short, of our weekend trip to the newly finished Wyoming cabin:

We were in the car for a total of 2 minutes and 37 seconds when Jared and Rowan simultaneously said, “I need to go to the bathroom. I really, really need to go.” “Yeah, me too, me too.” And you thought this stuff only happens in movies!

But, it was a good thing we went back, because we forgot Rowan’s shoes! Nice going mom and dad.

Once we finally hit the road, it was “road trips as usual” –
  • Way too much candy
  • A lot of hoping for a long nap from Reese
  • Kids begging for lame gas station toys
  • Several games of “I Spy” in which Rowan, when it is his turn to spy, reveals his answer after one person makes a guess –
  • Rowan: “I spy wiff my wittle eye somfin bwue.”
  • Wendy: “Is it the duffel bag?”
  • Rowan: “No, it’s the MAP!”

We made our way through Park City (pretty drive) and Evanston (not so pretty), then onto Star Valley (pretty again). Here is the view as you pull up to the driveway to the newly built cabin (the cabin is that white spot tucked behind the trees):

The air was fresh, crisp, and smelled like pine…until Reese did a number in her diaper. No worries about mountain lions and bears for at least 1 hour.

Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse…Friday night, Wendy was hit with some sort of stomach virus. So, she was out of commission for the day.

Leaving our fallen hero, the kids and I took a 4 wheeler ride through the property and up to the mountains behind the house.

We went to the park for lunch. Everyone had fun, except for little Michael. There's a lot going on in the video, but watch the right right steering wheel:

Later that night, I felt a little like Michael. You see, Wendy kindly passed her virus in my direction. So, Saturday, I was the one up all night participating in activities (that I will not mention) related to a vicious stomach virus. Jared also got the virus, but he was much tougher than mom and dad. We’re just glad it was only a 24 hour virus. 

All that being said, we all had fun and can’t wait to get back.