Friday, February 28, 2014


Another long Friday has come to an end. 

I’m tired, my feet hurt, my back is killing me from standing and teaching all day and I wish I could take a nap.  Monday’s lesson is ready but I haven’t even started on what to teach after that.  Guess I will have to read and ponder some more so the things I need to share can be percolating in my mind.

It’s a never-ending cycle.

I know what you’re thinking!!  “Sounds like a ‘tough’ gig you got going there buckaroo. Quit your whining and remember what it was like to really work!”  Maybe you are right but I still hurt.

Such is the life of a Seminary teacher.

From one lesson to the next – a constant process of learning, preparing, sharing, and then starting again.

And I love it!!!

What’s not to love?  The students are the best the school has to offer.  What I teach means more to me than any other subject I have studied in my life.  The more I prepare, the happier I become as I put into practice what I teach (that’s the cool thing about the doctrines of Christ).  And I get to see wonderful young people put off the challenges our world throws at them as they try to grow up to be good people (which they already are but don’t really know it yet).  I am extremely blessed to work where I do.

My only wish would be that everyone could love going to work as much as I do.

OK, I also wish they would put some fish in the canal out back so I could catch a few on my lunch hour. :-)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


A prophet once said:
Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble… (Alma 32:16)

One characteristic that has escaped this soul in the decades that have passed by is humility.  Many folks might feel the same.  What can be done?  Is it a lost cause, or can there be relief from the accouterments that come with a lack of humbleation (yeah, I know there is no such word – spell check is screaming red lines at me right now)?

The scriptures offer a solution – unpleasant though it may be – to the curse of pride.  For those who are afraid the change might be too hard, this is the time to stop reading

Those still with me – thanks and remember, I warned you.

Let’s start with the psalmist who shares this counsel:

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in his thoughts. (Psalms 10:4) 

Sounds like a simple answer to overcome pride.  Seek after God and keep Him in your thoughts.  Some ways to accomplish might include:

1.   Pray regularly (morning and night).
2.  Look for God and Christ in the scriptures every day.
3.  Attend worship services and make it a point to listen to talks and sermons.
4.  Invite the Holy Ghost to teach you in all of the above.

Yeah, yeah,  we know this stuff.  So what else do you have to offer??

OK, here’s another selection that comes from Proverbs and shares this tidbit of advice:

These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.  (Proverbs 6:16-19)

I don’t believe anyone reading this blog is guilty of shedding innocent blood (and if you are, I don’t want to know – just go to the Police and take care of the problem)

All the others!!!   Well, certainly they have cropped up a time or two in life.  And sometimes they were fun or satisfying (in a devilish sort of way) but in the end each proves to have a scarring effect on the soul. 

Probably best to leave those alone also.

Now, one last verse to tie all this together (I hope).  Again, I will return to the prophet that began this missive. 
And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved.  (Alma 32:13)

Hey, look at that.  In one simple verse the key to humility is given for all to see.  Pride is destroyed when repentance becomes a desired, daily, and non-optional part of life.  Then humility can latch onto the soul and preserve the sacred individual nature that desires eternal salvation. 

Who knew there was so much good advice in the scriptures? 

Oh!!  Wait!!  All of us should know.   

Alright, I will quit preaching and leave you alone.

For now!!  

But I will be back.  (Evil grin)

And, now for the last word.

Pride is the universal sinRepentance is the great destroyer of pride as it helps focus life on Christ and His Atonement.  The question is whether pride leaves by choice or by compelling circumstances.

And isn't that the cool thing about agency – we get to choose.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


TOLERANCE willingness to accept, feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.

It’s a medium sized word with huge implications.

Interpretations vary from person to person.

Or from experience to experience.

It’s always easier to expect tolerance for your own personal belief/habit/feeling than it is to be tolerant of someone else.

Tolerance is different than acceptance (in my mind).  I can tolerate some of the things that go on in the world around me but I refuse to accept them as appropriate or right.

There ARE things that cannot and should not be tolerated.

God and Christ have a pretty good list of what is tolerable in Their view.

I think they have had lots of experience in these things and are pretty smart. I will try to stick to what They accept as worthy of tolerance.

So please don’t be mad at me if I love you but can’t tolerate some of the behavior you claim is your right to practice with impunity.  Unfortunately, your actions DO have bearing on what happens in the world where we all live and I cannot allow myself or any 
that I love to sit idly by.

I WILL do all I can to protect the 

I WILL attempt to spread the
amongst all those I know 
(and if you can’t accept that, it’s OK.  I will still love you).

I WILL stand for the rights and 
freedoms enumerated in the 

I WILL love all men, but I cannot tolerate (accept) anything that will affect the eternal salvation of those I love or those who are trying to follow Christ.

I WILL call out sin for what it is.

I am a recovering and often relapsing sinner so I think I have some experience in recognizing what it is.

I want to follow the Savior with enough fervor to be worthy of His great sacrifice for me and all mankind.

I hope you will too.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Almost every school year I am asked by students why I have so many lighthouses in my classroom.

Looking around I can count 8 different objects that are lighthouse themed.  Several are ceramic reproductions, two are pictures, one is a clock and one of my favorites is a wooden version with a working light in the top.  Most are gifts from family (who know my penchant for these edifices) so they have great value beyond their physical presence.

I think the attraction began when I was young but it really took flight as I grew older and began to understand what a lighthouse represented.

Mariners all over the globe rely on the rays cast out by these majestic towers to guide them back to the ones they love.  Without the help provided, many a crew would be lost and torn to pieces on the rocky shores of this world.

Yet, it is more than that. 

Almost without exception, lighthouses are built in places where few would choose to live.  The sea around is rough and merciless – often impeding access by those who need to maintain the delicate systems.  Still, the keeper serves and cleans and repairs his equipment so it can shine brightly to those in need.

The job of the lighthouse keeper is thankless and lonely.  Many fail to realize he is there until they need him.  But if slack in his duties, the absence is quickly apparent.

And the light shines on and on, all through the darkness of night, guiding the weary traveler to his home and the love of his family.

It is easy to apply the principles of the lighthouse and its keeper to our own lives.  An obvious connection is that we have the Great Lighthouse who is constantly on guard to lead us back to our sacred heavenly home.  He is so much to us and we can know that He is ever vigilant in cleaning, repairing and guiding us through the storms of mortality.

For me, it is even more than that. 

I want to be a lighthouse!!!

My desire is to do more than exist as one of God’s children.  There is light that can be shared with others that will protect them from the rocks and currents that can destroy lives.  So I take the little light I have and hold it up as high as possible. 

Maybe someone will see it – someone who is struggling.
And maybe I can do what He does in some small way.

I think this hymn catches the message quite well.
(click on the link below to listen.)

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore.
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning;
Send the gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In darkness may be lost.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Scripture study is part of my job.  In order to teach, I have to be familiar with the source.

Personal study is just as important.  To know in my heart, there has to be personal sacrifice trying to find answers.

But, doggone it, sometime it just isn't easy.  The time required has to be taken from something else AND focus must be given if anything of worth is to happen.

Sometimes I feel like the dogs in “UP” who are easily distracted by the cry of ‘squirrel’ (or anything else).

Maybe I have found a partial solution to my weakness.  It came as I was watching this video.  The message was about service but I translated it to scripture study and it works out just fine.  It really helps me avoid discouragement when I don’t see any “nuggets” as I read.  

Now I can look for little “flecks” and gather them all together until they form a great wealth of knowledge.

Thanks to Elder Ballard and the old prospector who said, “The patient accumulation of these small flecks has made me a wealthy man.

I think it can happen to me.