Gamecocks and more…

So thank you to Gonzaga and Oregon my bracket is a mess.  Two teams I actually really don’t like in any season but this year the level of despisement has grown.  I have two hopes left to capture my family crown.  North Carolina and the Gamecocks of South Carolina.  I need them both to win today.  Then I need them both to win next week then I need the Gamecocks to lose to The Tarheels.  If this happens I win.  Just putting it out there to the Universe.  I want this.  

So as to a few other thoughts.  Republicans are playing politics again and showing us once more how much of a cluster D.C. really is.  You control both the House and the Senate and you cannot repeal Obamacare.  

Next up I have suddenly become very interested in San Diego.  I love going there but possible events and retreats in that area look promising.  Especially in La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.  

Next the whole “Satan speedily drags them down to Hell” verses in scripture.  I have been seeing a lot of friends commenting in social media on the state of those they love that are in serious spiritual peril.  I see a trend in three areas.  1. Apathy.  2. Addiction. 3. Gender Crisis.  Apathy is so destructive on many levels but those with a knowledge of truth that fall into a Spiritial Apathy are setting themselves up for failure.  They are inviting the adversary into their lives.  Addiction especially the drug epidemic is catastrophic to individuals and families.  The growing problem seems to be in a generation incapable of coping with even the most basic challenges of life especially reality.  It is only fueled by the apathy and spiritual void that this generation has rejected in true principles found in religion.  The results are like a delayed suicide by the individual that eventually, in many cases,  claims its prize after much suffering.  Finally the gender crisis.  How absolutely victorious is the adversary in convincing a child of God that he or she isn’t who they really are.  Can you imagine the loss of identity?  Those that buy into this dogma reject the Plan of Happiness.  If it was simply a choice it would be one thing but those so fully committed to this lie want validation.  They are like those in Sodom that not only want to live in sin but demand others partake as well.  Freely rejecting one’s divinity of gender and so casually manipulating the reality of truth is a hard road to return from.  The corruption twists the mind and soul in a way that it numbs their ability to recognize and feel the spirit. Certainly these three modern plagues are effective in that they are pleasing to the natural man.  Satan has used these tools before but never had the ability to ensnare men and women as effectively as he can today.  We live in interesting times and most of us are less than perfect.  Even in falling short we have hope.  The Church was created for the sinner.  Be anything but apathetic.  If we are engaged in the Gospel of Christ we have Hope.  

Next I have a big event this week Wednesday through Friday.  Finally Spring is almost upon us.  It’s fighting to bring Summer.  I plan on making this the best Summer ever.  ❤

Mormonism

I have had some very deep conversations with many friends both online and offline in the past several months.  I’ll start with Christianity in general.  I think as a people we don’t even know the God we worship.  If we did we would be more kind and giving.  We would certainly focus our time and energy differently.  I think we would solve hunger, poverty, and bullying.  Can you imagine a society that actually emphasized the well being of neighbors and strangers to be as important as their own?  As I have studied the life of Christ it seems to me his teachings were perhaps more about putting others first.  Why do we miss that?  

As to Mormonism.  Has their ever lived a more enlightened people in the history of the world?  We have temples within reach of nearly everyone and more being built every month.  The church is making an impact for people’s well being all around the globe.  Not just their spiritual well being but their other needs as well.  What the church is doing to improve health and living conditions is staggering.  We truly are a beacon to the world.  Why then are so many members suffering shame, guilt, anger and pain?  Why are so many leaving the church or falling inactive?  Why are so many kids committing suicide?  Satan is a masterful strategist.  We are not perfect, we all fall short, we all sin.  If it were not for the Atonement we all would be lost.  Satan wants us to believe we will never be good enough, we can’t be forgiven, why try, your not welcome here.  He often uses other people, especially the self righteous to do his dirty work.  Does this sound and feel familiar?  

I guess what I’m trying to say is you are loved.  You have value.  We need to find it in ourselves to be better.  Pursue the things that make us better.  Find empathy in our hearts.  Serve others.  Put off the natural man by being kind, patient, gentle, compassionate.  Give.  Give.  Give.  Have faith and hope and teach those things to your children.  As you grow repent of the things you are ready to repent of.  If your not ready don’t repent.  In our culture we have the fullness of truth but lack the wisdom to use it.  We miss the mark just like a monkey trying to use a compass.  God already provided a Savior for us and we will repent.  Our problem is our hearts.  Change the hearts of men and the world changes.  With neither faith nor hope there is no Charity.  Where charity fails we have Christianity and Mormonism that is hollow and dead.  They cannot save us simply by membership and a recommend.  Change the world by worrying less about yourself and more about everyone else.  I know I am far from perfect, but I know kindness.  I believe God values some things more than others and pretending your sins for some reason are less damning than someone elses  is simply well crafted stupidity.  Sin may damn us but Charity will elevate us and bring more change to our lives than anything we can do.  It will free you from shame and when you are ready it will free you from sin.  The most temple worthy person in the world that lacks Charity will find his ladder falls short.  Worthy is so subjective because it’s a minimal checklist of rules yet misses the character so often.  Change your world by changing your heart.  If your unhappy a big reason may be others have screwed with your expectations of yourself.  The great and spacious building is an illusion of happiness and it is filled with those professing Christ but whose hearts are far from him. 

In conclusion Christ had more hope for the sinner and the cast out than he ever did for the hypocrite.  Don’t give up, you are loved.  If you feel screwed up you will find empowerment and light simply by being kind. 

True Religion 

Is Love.  Charity or the Pure Love of Christ endureth forever.  We are taught the first principles of the gospel are faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance of our sins.  Faith and Repentance lead us to hope and forgiveness.  Of us we are required to forgive all men including ourselves.  To have love in our hearts we have to shed ourselves of shame, guilt, hatred, and bitterness.  Forgiveness isn’t easy.  It takes effort and a willingness and prayer and commitment.  We learn to forgive by excercising faith and repentance.  I believe kindness and empathy would heal many wounds and broken hearts in the world.  Wars would cease, pride would be checked, and miracles would of be wrought.  The journey doesn’t end at repentance it only begins anew with hope.  Seek the best gift.  The gift that is eternal and saves us.  Love.  

Christmas 2014

It has been a fun couple of days getting ready for Christmas Day. I love the true meaning of Christmas. We give gifts as a token of gratitude for the greatest of all gifts ever given. Our Saviour. I am reminded every season of the beauty of the Atonement. I reflect upon the scriptures. We are taught that men are that they might have joy. We are also taught that God’s work and glory is to bring men to eternal life. For me, I believe that one way we make the Atonement work for us is to seek the Joy our Saviour wants for us. We do this by eliminating all things that get in the way. There is so much noise in the world today. In the vision of the tree of life I think of this as the mist of darkness that clouds our way and confuses our perception. This mist leads us into strange paths and to be swallowed by the river. Our busyness in life is a perfect example of our unbelief and askew priorities. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that he made it possible for us to find Joy in mortality. Like many of you I am learning and trying. I am choosing to simplify my life. To be less busy. To spend more time with my family. To pray more. To find quiet moments. To focus on my blessings and not my needs and wants. To be more kind and aware of others. To smile more. To be content. To live with purpose. To have Joy. May God bless you. Merry Christmas!