Sunday, February 14, 2021

Puppies and Jesus

I've been to a wide variety of fellowships over the 6 years.  In Arizona, I attended one family fellowship whose house was filled with reptiles and lizards.  Their teenage sons had a gift with scaley slimy creatures, always returning from the Sonoran Desert with new and unique creatures. We would spend hours in discussion with our noses deep in scriptures.  At one Arizona fellowship, there was a man who had a Jeep Wrangler.  He taught me about using his Jeep to go into the wilderness to connect with God.   He inspired me to purchase my own lifted, 35-inch tires, Jeep Wrangler.  When the time came for me to leave Arizona I took Jeeping for Jesus to Utah.  In Utah, I met my brother in Christ. and we have had many, many adventures in sand dunes of St. George, to the red rocks of Moab, and deep in the mountains of the Wasatch Front.  Each of those outings has been a form of worship and communion, forging our souls together in brotherly fellowship and knitting our hearts in Christ.  I have participated in much outdoor hiking "church", where Sundays would consist of hiking up a mountain lost in the discussion of Christ.  I've been blessed to caravan with believers in long road trips to conferences and I cherish the deep conversation that would take place in those cars.  

In Orem, I was part of a fellowship where I was the youngest by a couple of generations.  A "Baby Boomer" fellowship- the wisdom they had to share was priceless. I realized how precious of fellowship that was and I wished I had listened more while with them. 

In Provo, I attended a fellowship where I was taught kundalini yoga.  I still incorporate many of those techniques in my prayer life today.  In that same fellowship, I was taught extensively for the first time in my life about Egypt and how they sought to imitate the ancient religion of the fathers. It was mind-boggling deep and has greatly enhanced my understanding of scriptures.  I loved the potlucks they held.  They had such a variety of perspectives as well as good food. I wish I had done more to better serve them instead of always being served.    

I was blessed to attend another fellowship in American fork.  There I was taught about Enoch, as well as the nature of man and God, and deeper ways to engage the heavenly realms in prayer.  I was the only single attendee in that fellowship was made fun of for not being a "dyad".  Perhaps if I have had spent my Friday nights dating and partying instead of wrestling ideas and scriptures with them that would not be so, but the fire in the souls of the men and women in that fellowship was invigorating.  I've never seen so many people gathered in a room who were so passionate about the gospel, yet so different in personalities.    Our discussions would get loud and intense and go on till 2 in the morning, but they inspiring and deeply edifying.  I wished I cared more for the personal relationships formed that fellowship better.  

In Logan I lived with my best friend, my fellowship with him has not diminished during my time of wandering through Utah.  

There was a fellowship I attended in Morgan that came to be known to me as the "backyard church".  Wrestling and Jiujitsu was a major hobby in those "fruitful" families of dozens of boys.  Sunday afternoons after sacrament would often turn into the Sabbath Day smackdown in the grass, which i would be a glad contestant of!   I love those families.  I just wish I could have been a better role model to those younger boys- I made some stupid decisions in life that do not reflect the character and honor a Christian man ought to possess.  I hope that one day I can be a good dad as the fathers in that fellowship I admire so much are.      

COVID in 2020 made fellowship much less frequent.  It was a dark and lonely year, full of trials, and I have missed their community tremendously.  Because I work in the hospital with Corna patients, I allowed fear to prevent me from reaching out to my friends and fellowship families for help when I needed it the most.  I lost my way and allowed shame to keep me in the dark, even from my own family.  I disappeared and avoided my people in that dreary season. I even turned away from my brothers in Christ. My connection with God and my relationship with Jesus was also beginning to dwindle and fray as the flaxen cords of the adversary thickened around me. I was in the darkest loneliest time of my life.

I thank God that He is forgiving, willing to instruct, and willing to guide.  He will guide us through and out of whatever hell we have put ourselves in if we just come to Him.  He eagerly waits for us to come to Him.   However, just because God is forgiving does not mean He takes aways away personal responsibility.  We are still accountable for the damage and stupid choices we make in this life.  We must bear our burdens with honor.  He will guide us in reconciling those mistakes and setting in order our life.  It is a humbling tender mercy to see the Lord's hand in guiding you out of those messy circumstances, however, it is much easier to follow God the first time than the second time.  There is wisdom in growing from the trials He desires to put us through than to have to learn through sad experiences from wallowing in darkness because of our disobedience.      

I am now in a much better place with bright plans.  I currently live in Ogden, Utah and I fellowship with several amazing families.  They have been tremendously kind to me,. The families in this fellowship love their dogs, so each Sunday we bring our puppies and dogs to sacrament! Enjoy some cute puppy photos! 


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Socialist Media

Get off socialist media platforms. Cut out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, most of its content is mind-numbing nonsense that will degrade your intellect. With the amount of time young people spend on social media, I fear the degree of darkness that will fog the minds of the masses in years to come. It will look like a scene from Huxley's "Brave New World" or Orwell's "1984".
Read good books, get lost in novels, learn a hobby or skill. Spend quality face to face time with your loved ones without the need to photograph and share every moment. Explore the world without having to validate your every adventure to the world. You can be taught many things from countless of teachers on the web, but the most important lessons in life can only be learned through the medium of personal relationships. Connect with authentic people, not with strangers who care little about your wellbeing. You don’t need hundreds of friends online; you just need a few friends who love you and who want the best for you. Your ability to give something your attention is sacred energy allotted to you by God, don't waste it by casting it before swine. It is far more important to be a profound and positive influence in the lives of your family and close friends than to be a “social media” influencer to thousands.
Continue to engage in political discussions but do so in a place where you are not censored or repressed. Big Tech companies make money off your usages of their platforms. Don’t support their wickedness just because it is convenient.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Grateful To Be In Healthcare

When he (the Lord) shall appear, the saints will be like him; and if they are not holy, as he is holy, and perfect, as he is perfect, they cannot be like him; for no being can enjoy his glory without possessing his perfections and holiness, no more than they could reign in his kingdom without his power.”

(Lectures on Faith 7:10)

When He appears, you need to be like Him. Lay down the burden of guilt, lay down the burden of sin, stop focusing on that stuff, and become like Him. You become like Him by doing His works. And you do His works by serving other; by ministering to the needs of others. When you do that, it is a natural by-product of that process, ordained by laws established before the foundation of the world that light and truth will grow within you. You will have compassion when you minister to the needs of others with compassion. Your heart will open too and receive within it light and truth, when your conduct reflects the same conduct as a merciful, holy and just God, whom you claim to worship. Worship Him by imitating Him. Worship Him by doing His works. Worship Him by making a living sacrifice. Set aside the junk that occupies you and go do something that is holy for someone else.  However mundane and trivial it may seem to you, when you relieve the suffering of other people something changes in you. You become different. You become better. You become more like our Lord, because when you give whatever it is you give away, you get more in return. But make sure that what you give goes to relieve the suffering of others.

(40 Years in Mormonism talk 3, Repentance



I left engineering school in 2018 and have been working in healthcare ever since.  Working in an industry where I am constantly helping to relieve the suffering of others has made me a much different person.  Grateful to be a healthcare worker during these times- to be burdened and privileged to be part of a work that has broken and grown my heart.   

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Beloved Bridegroom, Spiritual Dynamite


I just finished this book my friend Parker gave me.  It is an easy yet beautiful read and full of many gems! Written by an LDS scholar.  I would highly suggest this to anyone who wants to learn more about the Messiah through ancient Jewish marriage and family customs. ]By better understanding the cultural context of marriage in Judaism my adoration for Christ the Bridegroom has deepened.  


For many years I have been seeking to better understand the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ's roles as the first and second Comforters.  I found this insight from the book very enlightening.  

The Holy Spirit is the person through whom there comes to us the strength and grace of God to enable us to cope with life.  Certainly, part of this work is to comfort, but only part.  To call the Holy Spirit the Comforter, and to stop there, is to have a limited and rather sentimental view of the Spirit, whereas in the Greek the word is full of power and of the promise of the God-given ability to face and to master any situation in life. 

How then did this word Comforter get into the English translation of the Bible?  It came in with Wycliffe about 1386, and it has stayed ever since.  But in the days of Wycliffe it was a perfect translation.  The word “comfort” is derived from the Latin word “fortis”, which means “brave”, and orginally the word meant someone who puts courage into you.  Let us take two other examples of it in Wycliffe.  Wycliffe translates Ephesians 6:10 as “be ye comforted in the Lord.”  And he translates 1 Timothy 1:12, “I do thanksgiving to him who comforted me.”  In both cases the word in the Greek is “endunamoun”, whose root is “dunams”, power, from which the word dynamite comes.  In Wycliffe’s day to comfort a person was to fill that person with a power like spiritual dynamite.  The Holy Spirit does not simply come and wipe our tears away; he gives us a dynamic power to cope with life.