Monthly Archives: April 2011

A wonderful video. I know that this video is true and the good, happy feelings that you felt as you watched was the Holy Ghost. Those types of feelings are the feelings of the Spirit (Holy Ghost). It is by those same feelings that we come to know spiritual truth through sincere and heartfelt prayer to our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ. I know that we have a plan and purpose in this life and there is so much more in store for us. I say these things and add my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


“Humility is royalty without a crown,
Greatness in plain clothes,
Erudition without decoration,
Wealth without display
Power without scepter or force,
Position demanding no preferential rights,
Greatness sitting in the congregation,
Prayer in closets and not in corners of the street,
Fasting in secret without publication,
Stalwartness without a label,
Supplication upon its knees,
Divinity riding an ass.”

by Spencer W. Kimball

On this Easter morning the theme which I have been reflecting on is humility. Christ is our perfect example in every way. He is humility. As I was pondering over humility I reflected on how much I need to grow. I am far from who I can and ought to be in regards to a patient loving person but I am working on it each day. I am reminded on how this transformation is only made possible by the Savior and his Atonement. By that same token I can return and live with my family together forever with my Heavenly Father. I am eternally grateful for my family. My Eldest Brother, my earthly family, and my eternal family who all have a place in my heart and mind. I hope that this Easter will be one you will treasure for many years to come. In the name of our beloved Savior even Jesus Christ, amen.

Here is a video just having some very very brief highlights from the last General Conference. I hope that you will be able to feel the Spirit as you watch and hear the words of these men. These men are Prophets and Apostles in these latter days. They are the guiding light to help us steer our ships safely back home to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful and blessed to be in a time where I can see and hear the words of Apostles and Prophets at my convenience. I would invite you all to read, watch, or listen to the words of these wonderful people. They are men of God and you can know that by listening to them not only with your ears but with your heart, mind, and spirit. I know that what they say is true and I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

A super tall redwood tree and I at Montgomery Woods in Ukiah, California.

“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.” –Alma chapter 32, verse 28.

I love this scripture so much. It’s pure, simple and true. I have thought a lot about the conversion process and just expounding on comparing the word of God like unto a seed.  I know that when a person truly has that desire to plant and nurture this seed of the Gospel that they will find and be able to see the marvelous fruit that can only be experienced if we plant and nurture that seed. There is no grocery store where we can buy this fruit prepackaged and ready to eat. This has to be homegrown and patiently cultivated. I know that there are all types of “gardeners” out there. Some people just water the soil by praying, others just turn the soil over occasionally with some scripture reading, but I know that the most satisfied and accomplished gardeners are the ones who go about their gardening experiment using all wholesome ways of nurturing the seed have the best results and find the most joy and peace. I would invite you to learn more and cultivate and tend your plants with care. These things I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love this video. They are so cool. It takes a lot of humility to be able to be best friends and be competing star quarterbacks for rival schools. It just goes to show that we are all brothers and sisters of a loving Heavenly Father. The only differences that we truly have between us as fellow men and women is the one that happens when we allow ourselves to gratify our pride and impose those differences on ourselves and others. I love their example. We can love each other as the Savior did, and not compare or judge others to tear them down or build ourselves up. I know that as we strive to follow Christ and exemplify those values that we will be come as He is. These things I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

“…we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman. We are here to live according to His law and establish the kingdom of God. We are here to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage all of Heavenly Father’s children.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Pride and the Priesthood

This was one of my favorite talks given in General Conference last week. It was really cool to hear and to receive answers to my personal prayers from this talk. So much of life is much more than just doing something, but how we do it. We can become something more when we do things with purpose and diligence. I know that this is true and I have seen it in my life. As I have gone about doing this with steadfastness the situation in which we are in can change us into a better people.

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?

By Lynn G. Robbins

Of the Seventy

“To be, or not to be” is actually a very good question. 1 The Savior posed the question in a far more profound way, making it a vital doctrinal question for each of us: “What manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27; emphasis added). The first-person present tense of the verb be is I Am. He invites us to take upon us His name and His nature.

To become as He is, we must also do the things He did: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21; emphasis added).

To be and to do are inseparable. As interdependent doctrines they reinforce and promote each other. Faith inspires one to pray, for example, and prayer in turn strengthens one’s faith.

The Savior often denounced those who did without being—calling them hypocrites: “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7:6). To do without to be is hypocrisy, or feigning to be what one is not—a pretender.

Conversely, to be without to do is void, as in “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17; emphasis added). Be without do really isn’t being—it is self-deception, believing oneself to be good merely because one’s intentions are good.

Do without be—hypocrisy—portrays a false image to others, while be without do portrays a false image to oneself.

The Savior chastised the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe”—something they did—“of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith” (Matthew 23:23). Or in other words, they failed to be what they should have been.

While He recognized the importance of do, the Savior identified be as a “weightier matter.” The greater importance of being is illustrated in the following examples:

  • •Entering the waters of baptism is something we do. The be that must precede it is faith in Jesus Christ and a mighty change of heart.
  • •Partaking of the sacrament is something we do. Being worthy to partake of the sacrament is a weightier and much more important matter.
  • •Ordination to the priesthood is an act, or do. The weightier matter, however, is power in the priesthood, which is based “upon the principles of righteousness” (D&C 121:36), or be.

Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am.

Or as a parent, when can I check a child off my list as done? We are never done being good parents. And to be good parents, one of the most important things we can teach our children is how to be more like the Savior.

Christlike to be’s cannot be seen, but they are the motivating force behind what we do, which can be seen. When parents help a child learn to walk, for example, we see parents doing things like steadying and praising their child. These do’s reveal the unseen love in their hearts and the unseen faith and hope in their child’s potential. Day after day their efforts continue—evidence of the unseen be’sof patience and diligence.

Because be begets do and is the motive behind do, teaching be will improve behavior more effectively than focusing on do will improve behavior.

When children misbehave, let’s say when they quarrel with each other, we often misdirect our discipline on what they did, or the quarreling we observed. But the do—their behavior—is only a symptom of the unseen motive in their hearts.We might ask ourselves, “What attributes, if understood by the child, would correct this behavior in the future? Being patient and forgiving when annoyed? Loving and being a peacemaker? Taking personal responsibility for one’s actions and not blaming?”

How do parents teach these attributes to their children? We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them. Discipline comes from the same root word as disciple and implies patience and teaching on our part. It should not be done in anger. We can and should discipline the way that Doctrine and Covenants 121 teaches us: “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge” (verses 41–42). These are all Christlike be’s that should be a part of who we, as parents and disciples of Christ, are.

Through discipline the child learns of consequences. In such moments it is helpful to turn negatives into positives. If the child confesses to a wrong, praise the courage it took to confess. Ask the child what he or she learned from the mistake or misdeed, which gives you, and more important, the Spirit an opportunity to touch and teach the child. When we teach children doctrine by the Spirit, that doctrine has the power to change their very nature—be—over time.

Alma discovered this same principle, that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword” (Alma 31:5; emphasis added). Why? Because the sword focused only on punishing behavior—or do—while preaching the word changed people’s very nature—who they were or could become.

A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?

We have all heard the advice to condemn the sin and not the sinner. Likewise, when our children misbehave, we must be careful not to say things that would cause them to believe that what they did wrong is who they are. “Never let failure progress from an action to an identity,” with its attendant labels like “stupid,” “slow,” “lazy,” or “clumsy.” 2 Our children are God’s children. That is their true identity and potential. His very plan is to help His children overcome mistakes and misdeeds and to progress to become as He is. Disappointing behavior, therefore, should be considered as something temporary, not permanent—an act, not an identity.

We need to be careful, therefore, about using permanent phrases such as “You always …” or “You never …” when disciplining. Take care with phrases such as “You never consider my feelings” or “Why do you always make us wait?” Phrases like these make actions appear as an identity and can adversely influence the child’s self-perception and self-worth.

Identity confusion can also occur when we ask children what they want to be when they grow up, as if what a person does for a living is who he or she is. Neither professions nor possessions should define identity or self-worth. The Savior, for example, was a humble carpenter, but that hardly defined His life.

In helping children discover who they are and helping strengthen their self-worth, we can appropriately compliment their achievement or behavior—the do. But it would be even wiser to focus our primary praise on their character and beliefs—who they are.

In a game of sports, a wise way to compliment our children’s performance—do—would be through the point of view of be—like their energy, perseverance, poise in the face of adversity, etc.—thus complimenting both be and do.

When we ask children to do chores, we can also look for ways to compliment them on being, such as, “It makes me so happy when you do your chores with a willing heart.”

When children receive a report card from school, we can praise them for their good grades, but it may be of greater lasting benefit to praise them for their diligence: “You turned in every assignment. You are one who knows how to tackle and finish difficult things. I am proud of you.”

During family scripture time, look for and discuss examples of attributes discovered in your reading that day. Because Christlike attributes are gifts from God and cannot be developed without His help, 3 in family and personal prayers, pray for those gifts.

At the dinner table, occasionally talk about attributes, especially those you discovered in the scriptures earlier that morning. “In what way were you a good friend today? In what way did you show compassion? How did faith help you face today’s challenges? In what way were you dependable? honest? generous? humble?” There are scores of attributes in the scriptures that need to be taught and learned.

The most important way to teach to be is to be the kind of parents to our children that our Father in Heaven is to us. He is the one perfect parent, and He has shared with us His parenting manual—the scriptures.

My remarks today have been addressed primarily to parents, but the principles apply to everyone. May your efforts to develop Christlike attributes be successful so that His image may be engraven in your countenance and His attributes manifest in your behavior. Then, when your children or others feel of your love and see your behavior, it will remind them of the Savior and draw them to Him is my prayer and testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

If I Can Live

By Helen Hunt Jackson

“If I can live
To make some pale face brighter, and to give
A second luster to some tear-dimmed eye,
Or e’en impart
One throb of comfort to an aching heart,
Or cheer some wayworn soul in passing by;

If I can lend
A strong hand to the fallen, or defend
The right against a single envious strain,
My life, tho’ bare
Perhaps of much that seemeth dear and fair
To us on earth, will not have been in vain.

The purest joy,
Most near to Heaven, far from earth’s alloy,
Is bidding clouds give way to sun and shine,
And ’twill be well
lf on that day of days the angels tell
Of me, “She did her best for one of Thine.” ‘

I love this poem. I am grateful for the ability that I have to serve. The more and more I serve others and go beyond myself, I am blessed and rewarded beyond measure. To know that I made someone’s day that much better, that much brighter makes my darkness go away. I stop thinking about myself when I start thinking about others. Today during General Conference many speakers spoke about Charity and Service. I would invite everyone to go out and serve with all their hearts to those who need help. I will and am trying my best to serve with all my heart, each and everyday. I know that as we do we will be blessed with happiness and joy and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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