Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Temples: the great leveler

Orlando Temple
I attended a funeral today for Ruby Alderson.  She used to live in our ward many years ago.  She was a gentle and kind person, always willing to serve and to help others.  When she lived here she was a member while her husband attended another church.  He would make sure she made it to church and then attend his own church.  After they both retired they moved to a retirement community in Orlando Florida.  While there they continued that arrangement until Ruby had a stroke.  At that point her husband became her caretaker and on Sundays he would take her and stay with her at her church.  In the funeral today it was said he did this because "her religion meant more to her than his did to him".  He knew she wanted to attend church despite her physical infirmity after the stroke.

Preston England temple
After attending church for a while with her he decided he wanted to be baptized and so he was.  Immediately their goal was to go and get sealed in the temple.  A few months into preparing to get sealed in the temple her husband became sick and he called his daughter for help and she came out, took him to the ER and got him help.  They immediately moved back to Virginia to live with their daughter so she could provide the help they both needed at that point.  Within two weeks of the move he died.  So Ruby realized that she would need a proxy for him so they could be sealed in the temple.  While preparing for that Ruby worsened and got so she couldn't travel.  Now Ruby has died and their wish to be sealed for eternity in the temple has not occurred...yet.
Washington DC temple

That is one great thing about the temple.  It is the great leveler.  It equalizes everyone, able to provide necessary ordinances even if they died before they could be done on their own.  Possibly before they had the chance or before they even had the opportunity to make a decision about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Today many argue whether this doctrine or that doctrine is really of Christ.  Some don't even care anymore what Christ taught or has revealed through his prophets deciding that they will do what they want anyway and hope that all will be accepted by the Savior in the end.
San Diego Temple
 The temple gives all mankind a chance to have the saving ordinances done and then they individually will have the opportunity to accept or decline for themselves.  God is fair and gives opportunities to his children when they didn't have them in life.  Situations in this world that seem unfair are made right-in the temple.  That is what temples are for, to level the "playing field" so to speak so that all can have access to Christ's greatest blessings.  Who can deny that the temple is necessary for that purpose, to make things fair and to repair hopes that were dashed or never even conceived.  People through many ages of the world have yearned to understand or to have things be fair.  The temples do that.
Freiberg Germany Temple

So our part is of service.  We can provide service to those that have not had these ordinances done for them by being worthy to act for them in the temples to assure that they have a choice that will guide their future, or to be "imprisoned" as it were, by "the luck of the draw" and fickle fate.  Our energy and service is needed to be the hands of God to bless these people with a choice, a real choice, and not lock them into decisions made or a lack of opportunities based on ignorance or unavailability in their life here on earth.  I vote for choice.
Provo Utah Temple
 Let's do the work that gives all of God's children the opportunity to be blessed according to their desires and not their circumstances.  
Mexico City Temple

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest blog: An unnecessary lie

William H. Macy told an unnecessary lie
Awhile back I saw this headline on aol news:

"Actor Has Not Lied in 20 Years"
This intrigued me, so I clicked on the body of the article to read more:

"Around 20 years ago, actor William H. Macy told an unnecessary lie to someone that could have potentially helped him with a project."
I didn't read any further.  All my attention and thoughts were riveted on the phrase "unnecessary lie".

What does that mean exactly, an "unnecessary lie?"  My next thought was this: if there is such a thing as an "unnecessary lie", then it must follow that there is such a thing as a "necessary lie".  Are there really things that legitimately fall into this category?  What kinds of things?  Things you say to spare someone's feelings when your honest feedback might be hurtful?  ("Your new haircut looks great!")  False or misleading information given to protect your privacy, or a loved one's safety?  (I was tempted to give a fake phone number recently when a retailer asked for my home phone number at the checkout.)  What would be the criteria by which a lie would be judged to be "necessary" or "unnecessary?"  Who would make that judgment? 

Is honesty really always the best policy?

I guess the answer to that question depends on this question: best for who? 

Lots of questions today, but the answers will have to come from you.  Happy pondering.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Emma's last dream

After the recent dissemination of information about Joseph's last dream, now we have some information about Emma's last dream.  Joseph and Emma were husband and wife and after Joseph's murder she was left to raise their children and they remained in Nauvoo when most of the saints left t go westward. 

Some doubt that the dream is accurate or even occurred due to the fact that it is only known through two levels of telling.  More information is available about her dream by clicking here.  The video below gives a brief overview of the dream.

To me the intriguing part of the dream is the patience required to have all her children who had died in mortality.  Was the patience for her to wait until the end of her life or was it intended to refer to additional patience after death?  Being a parent that has had a child die, I can understand the desire to have that child again and it is hoped that the opportunity to raise those children will occur in the Millennium. 

Maybe you'll find this video interesting as well.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rugby star choosing mission over millions

As I mentioned in The LDS rugby connection (click here) Will Hopoate is setting aside millions of dollars to serve a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It is always impressive when it clicks in our young men's heads about how important the gospel is.  More important than these millions of dollars in Will Hopoate's case to play rugby. 

Most young men don't have that particular temptation to consider when it is time to serve a mission for the Lord, but there is always something.  Whether it is a girlfriend, a job, a car, schooling or fear or any number of other things, there is always something that will try to keep a young man from serving a mission.  I've talked to a number of men as they made their decision and they have something to keep them rooted to home and away from the great learning and opportunities that a mission brings.  So it is always fun to see the young men make a good choice and follow the voice of the prophet and to serve. 
Here is a video about Will, interestingly as I understand from his father on this video, his father chose not to serve and regretted it.  Good for Will that he decided to serve.  Congratulations to all the young men and women who make that choice to serve a mission for their Savior Jesus Christ. 

Pictures of missionaries serving:
Young women serve as Sister Missionaries. 
Young men serve as Elders, which is an office in the Priesthood, missionaries. 

Older couple also serve as missionaries.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Music #15: Naturally 7--Wall of sound

As I mentioned in a previous post I enjoy acappella music.  It is amazing to me what can be done in music without instruments and limited to just the sounds that a mouth can make.  I have recently found a group I hadn't known before that do a great job and have a unique sound.  Their sound is referred to as "vocal play"(I've heard it called "beat boxing" before as well).  They define the difference between vocal play and acappella like this: acappella is singing without instruments, vocal play is using the voice as instruments.  It is unique and very enjoyable. 
The group is made up of brothers Roger Thomas and Warren Thomas.  Rod Eldridge, Napoleon Cummings, Dwight Stewart, Garfield Buckley and Hops Hutton.  The following is how they are listed with their singing and vocal play abilities: Roger Thomas (musical director, arranger, 1st Baritone, Rap), Warren Thomas (percussion, guitar, clarinet, 3rd tenor), Rod Eldridge (1st tenor, scratching, trumpet), Napoleon (Polo) Cummings (4th Tenor, guitar), Dwight Stewart (2nd baritone, vocals, trumpet), Garfield Buckley (2nd Tenor, Harmonica) and “Hops” Hutton (Bass).

The story they tell is that vocal play got started when as kids the Thomas boys wanted a drum set but their mother wouldn't agree because of the noise it would produce.  So Warren started making drum sounds to fill in where he wished he had the real thing. 
The song I've chosen to highlight is from their latest album called Wall of Sound.  The song here to listen to is the title track.  I think the video is creative and enjoyable as well as the song, enjoy.

Naturally 7: Wall of Sound

Here are the lyrics for the song:

Higher and higher
I'm building seek
Consumed by desire
It's killing me
Like a moth to the fire
I go willingly
With windows of fame but they can't keep it safe so

I built this wall, all around me
I built this wall, to surround me
I build this wall, from the ground see
These sticks and stones can't break these tones no...

Shout out..
Shout out...
Shout out all you want to

I suppose call me Mr., Please Acknowledge me
Self imposed I'm a prisoner, no apologies
Wrote a note to my listeners, don't you follow me
I'm probably strange but i know i can change cos

I don't wanna be alone anymore
There's a hole in my soul
Yet I'm happy at home no

I built this wall, all around me
I built this wall, to surround me
I build this wall, from the ground see
These sticks and stones can't break these tones no...


I built this wall, all around me
I built this wall, to surround me
I build this wall, from the ground see
These sticks and stones can't break these tones no...

Shout out..
Shout out...
Shout out all you want to

I built this wall
I actually first heard "of" them about five years ago when I was talking to a friend of mine and telling him how much I enjoyed acappella music.  He mentioned that his daughter had been watching an acappella group on T.V. and he couldn't remember their name.  I was purchasing lots of acappella music at the time and ask him to find the name.  he agreed he would ask his daughter.  For the next year every time I ask him he forgot to ask his daughter.  Zoom ahead to last Christmas and I ran across their Christmas album and enjoyed it a lot.  I determined this might have been the group that my friend was trying (although not too hard) to tell me about.  Sure enough when he heard the name he recognized it.  It was a tough road but I finally found them and am enjoying them now. 
Here is how their website describes their success:  "With their rich harmonies, an unbelievable ability to replicate instruments and a stage presence that can be felt in every seat of the house, Naturally 7, the first vocal play group ever, are amazing, charming fans where ever they perform."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Manly Man Training #19: Obey at your own risk!

Often we hear about we are being risky if we choose to do something that isn't quite right. We might hear: disobey at your own risk or enter at your own risk. In reality the opposite is true as well: Obey at your own risk!

What is it we risk exactly when we choose to obey the gospel and do and become what the words of scripture and prophets both living and dead have encouraged us to become?
A young man once said to me that the church wanted everyone to become the same, cookie cutter Mormons so to speak. I could see how he came to that conclusion, because he was so used to seeing Priesthood holders coming to church wearing a white shirt and tie, typically with dark pants. Those who differentiated themselves wore a suit or maybe a bow tie at the most. In reality he was seeing only the outside part of the people. What would he think if he saw how people in other countries dressed to come to church? What about in India, or Samoa or even Thailand where their lack of tie, or their shirts in native fabrics or even wearing a lava lava?
But the real individuality that we have and that the Lord wants us to maintain and use in His work is our inner individuality.  When we get a little experience and are attentive, we see so many times in life that the Lord orchestrates opportunities for each of us to use our talents and individual strengths and even weaknesses and oddities for His work.  Missionaries are called to places where they can find and will be accepted by certain individuals.  People are brought into my own life because I have the ability to say something they need to hear in just the way they will listen, even if it is sometimes a little unorthodox.  The Lord seems to want to strengthen us in the very ways that make us unique.  We are valued by the Lord for the things that make us individuals.

So what are the risks?  Well it boils down to the fact that when you choose to obey the Lord, it is at your own risk because it will change you.  Minimally it will take other options off the table for that time period.  Secondly the experience will teach you things that you didn't previously know or understand.  It will give you experience to consider in the future and as a result of these experiences it will give you feelings and knowledge that will tend to carry you further along the path to God. 
So you risk parts of yourself that are not in conformity with Heavenly Father.  You risk sin or support for sin, or ideas that are not supportive of faith, hope and charity.  You risk rebelliousness and pig headedness, you risk being wrong more often and hurting and harming people around you.  You risk losing non celestial pursuits.  You risk being comfortable around people who are doing wrong.  You risk being able to see sin or doing sin without concern or caring.  You risk losing your ability to see someone hurt without a desire to help. 

But you do not risk your individuality!  You do not risk the things that make you who you are and the ideal recognizable pure D you.  Indeed you find the best you, the most you, that you can be.  You become and really accentuate all that makes you yourself. 
Elder James E. Faust once said, "when obedience becomes our goal, it is no longer an irritation, instead of a stumbling block, it becomes a building block....Obedience leads to true freedom.  The more we obey revealed truth, the more we become liberated." (Ensign May, 1999, p. 47 & 45)

Its a risk--go on, take it!
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