Friday, April 30, 2010

Faith and Doubt

"Faith and doubt both are needed – not as antagonists, but by working side by side to take us around the unknown curve."
~Lillian Smith (American writer, 1897-1966)
I just finished reading Robert Millet's April 27th BYU-H devotional address in which he discusses what he's learned from his own and other's experiences with doubt, despair, faith, fortitude and decision. I recommend it, particularly his references to John, chapter 6, and the words of Mother Teresa, David Steinmetz, Orson Pratt and Neal Andersen.
You can read it here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lessons from a Sojourn Spent Camping on a Sunny Island

1. It is happier to choose to do than to feel that one must do.

2. Watch the beauty.

3. Less stuff to take care of = more time to observe the beauty.

4. Fewer obligations (self-imposed or other-imposed) = more time to listen and to help.

5. Sunscreen and bugspray are helpful.

6. Find time for sunshine and exercise every possible day.

7. Make sure your perspective on life includes the natural world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Modern Idolatry

"We don't build golden calves anymore, but we do carve out a pan of brownies and say, 'Oh pan of brownies, you calm my nerves.' Or, 'Oh pan of brownies, you ease my pain. Oh brownies, you help me forget my troubles.'" ~ Gwen Shamblin, Rising Above the Magnetic Pull of the Refrigerator

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Purpose of the Task is to Strengthen the Relationship

I have been reading and re-reading Boyd Packer’s conference address. Some have found it troubling, but I think that is simply because they were expecting certain issues to be addressed and they were not and they feel keenly that disappointment.
But if you read it as it is intended, a call to a higher vision of service and care to the men of the church, there are some good principles worth noting
1. The story of Gideon; a call for each of us to avoid complacency and to be alert and ready to listen and serve in our respective callings and responsibilities. It is far too easy to just go with the program and neither be prepared for nor hear God's vision of the work you are called to do.
2. A distinction between authority, which comes with ordination, and power, which comes through abiding in Christ and acting as he would. There are way too many with authority but without power.
3. A clarification of what all the organizations in the church are supposed to be doing TOGETHER, strengthening and nurturing and helping families and individuals live together in love, NOT running programs or just getting things done. We have so very, very far to go in helping ward leaders catch this vision and getting them to work well together.
4. A clear message that the ordinances are not the purpose of priesthood work. Eternal life with all its celestial relationships in the presence of God is the purpose. Getting the ordinances done is secondary to enabling loving relationships and familial service.