Monday, May 15, 2017


Well, my long layoff seems to have affected my ability to come up with subjects to share. This is my third fourth attempt to write something meaningful and I’m afraid it won’t be much better than the first two three iterations. But I’m not giving up without a fight.

The last couple of weeks we have been covering Revelations in my class. It’s a pretty exciting book of scripture – if you are ready to learn and listen. But if it is the end of the school year and you have other things on your mind, it can be somewhat confusing (and maybe boring).

For the teacher and the student.

Not that I don’t get why some are less than interested, but when we cover the events of Christ’ Coming and the students totally miss the significance of what John is teaching – well, it is a little frustrating. It’s not like the expectation is for them to see the deeper meaning of all the prophecies but it would be nice if they actually tried to understand some of the simple things.

And I guess they do…to a certain degree. But not where I was hoping they might be when we finished our discussions. Instead, they remember that there will be earthquakes and hailstorms along with droughts and floods while most of the earth is in turmoil.
What they miss is the joyful experiences the righteous will have as they welcome the Savior back to His earthly home. All the powerful messages about redemption and renewal are lost amidst the worry/excitement over the outward disasters on the earth (and the concern for what to do after school is out).

The dragon, woman, and baby. Lot's of symbolism.

Maybe that’s a little like how we look at life on a daily basis.
It’s easy to see the challenges we face as we struggle through our probation. And the mortal nature of life invites us to justify/explain the failures that slow us in our quest for peace. These might be good things, but when they are the total focus we cheat ourselves of a better life.

To dwell on the disasters that will rend the world in the last days is to ignore the powerful spiritual experiences God promises to those who remain faithful. For every Armageddon, there are ten other events that lift and provide joy for the righteous followers of Jesus Christ.

The same is true for our daily walk.

Mishaps occur, but if they are the focus, there will be misery instead of learning. Growth comes when trials are examined, evaluated, and released as experience and not packed in our luggage. The backpack of life will weigh down the soul who chooses to retain all the negative.

To anticipate joy is to release misery. Fear is replaced as peace rises to the top of our focus. And finding and following the True God of this world (not the one who thinks he is) sets us up for the joy that is Eternal Life.

With lots of PRACTICE.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


After nearly a year’s hiatus, I have determined that it is time to renew my association with this little blog. The reasons for my absence are many and varied, but not worth speaking of in detail. Let’s just say I have had some difficulties finding time to spare for writing in general. The hope is that I can get back on a regular schedule and keep things current.

Now, some of you may wonder why I would come back at all!

It’s not like anyone really missed my messages – as witnessed by the meager number of visitors before my ‘break’. And yet, there was always an emptiness in me that yearned to go back and share more of my vision of life. Maybe it’s just so I can organize my thoughts and solidify what I feel about the world and my part in it. For whatever reason, there is an itch that needs to be scratched so here I am, scratching.

I am wont to discuss politics because so much is depressing and unsavory. The results of the last election, while not as disastrous as expected (though who knows what the future will bring), have left a nasty feeling that doesn’t appear to have an ending any time soon. The distastefulness continues to grow with each new ‘crisis’ but no one wants to find real answers to the problems. So much rhetoric and so little substance on all sides of the debate.

The best thing to report is the birth of another new grandson. William Nicolas was born to Josh and Heather last summer (I have stopped putting in dates for security reasons). He’s quite a handsome little fellow, just like his brothers and cousins. There were some difficult days early on (lots of colic) but he is a very happy boy right now. That puts our grand total for grandchildren at seventeen (that's not a number, that's a brag). How wonderful that is for a couple of old folks to enjoy.

Many of the outside activities I used to enjoy have been unavailable for a time. The Jordan River Temple has been closed for more than a year so we have nowhere to work on Wednesday night. We miss those experiences and can hardly wait for the reopening (which seems to be delayed even longer). The lack of time has curtailed any fishing experiences and with all the other events that have occurred (maybe I can get into those later) grandma and grandpa have been on the run most every day.

Last summer I was invited to participate in a teaching experience online through BYU-Idaho. For the last three terms I have ‘taught’ (mostly my job is to guide self-teaching) classes to students all around the world. My furthest student was from South Africa but there have been some from South America, England, Ireland, various parts of the U.S. and even right here in Utah. The process is interesting but the experience is delightful. My ‘students’ are from all social levels and come in a wide range of ages. The things that they accomplish are amazing and, I believe, truly inspired. If you haven’t heard about the program, check out BYU-Idaho Pathways for information.

My regular job is still the same – teaching the gospel of Christ. This year we are (almost done) focused on the New Testament. What a powerful testimony of Christ and His work as we study Him and His apostles. This is probably my 2nd favorite book of scripture (after the Book of Mormon) because it is so easy to find Jesus in the teachings. And the Savior is the whole purpose for what we do as teachers.

Well, I don’t want to wear out my welcome on my return from obscurity. The hope is that further postings will come about on a regular cycle. Who knows what that really means but we shall see. Until then, thanks for reading and take a moment to respond if you have something you think I could use. mw