Wednesday, June 29, 2011


“Let us courageously move forward in faith, hope, and charity, and we will be blessed with the light we are all seeking upon the path of true discipleship. “ (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign, May 2011)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


In 2006, David A. Bednar gave a talk titled “Seek Learning By Faith.” It is a masterpiece on faith. The following is an excerpt from this classic talk:

“…[The] teachings of Paul and of Alma and from the Lectures on Faith highlight three basic elements of faith: (1) faith as the assurance of things hoped for which are true, (2) faith as the evidence of things not seen, and (3) faith as the principle of action in all intelligent beings. I describe these three components of faith in the Savior as simultaneously facing the future, looking to the past, and initiating action in the present. Faith as the assurance of things hoped for looks to the future. This assurance is founded upon a correct understanding about and trust in God and enables us to ‘press forward’ (2 Nephi 31:20) into uncertain and often challenging situations in the service of the Savior.

“For example, Nephi relied upon precisely this type of future-facing spiritual assurance as he returned to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass—‘not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do. Nevertheless [he] went forth’ (1 Nephi 4:6–7). Faith in Christ is inextricably tied to and results in hope in Christ for our redemption and exaltation. And assurance and hope make it possible for us to walk to the edge of the light and take a few steps into the darkness—expecting and trusting the light to move and illuminate the way….The combination of assurance and hope initiates action in the present.

“Faith as the evidence of things not seen looks to the past and confirms our trust in God and our confidence in the truthfulness of things not seen. We stepped into the darkness with assurance and hope, and we received evidence and confirmation as the light in fact moved and provided the illumination we needed. The witness we obtained after the trial of our faith… is evidence that enlarges and strengthens our assurance.

“Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process. This helix is like a coil, and as it spirals upward it expands and grows wider. These three elements of faith—assurance, action, and evidence—are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward. And the faith that fuels this ongoing process develops and evolves and changes. As we again turn and face forward toward an uncertain future, assurance leads to action and produces evidence, which further increases assurance. Our confidence waxes stronger, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. We find a powerful example of the interaction among assurance, action, and evidence as the children of Israel transported the ark of the covenant under the leadership of Joshua….Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, or ‘stand upon an heap’ (Joshua 3:13), and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted. They walked into the river Jordan with a future-facing assurance of things hoped for. As the Israelites moved forward, the water parted, and as they crossed over on dry land, they looked back and beheld the evidence of things not seen. In this episode, faith as assurance led to action and produced the evidence of things not seen which were true.

“True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to action. Faith as the principle of action is highlighted in many scriptures with which we are all familiar: ‘For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also’ (James 2:26; italics added). ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only’ (James 1:22; italics added).  ‘But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith’ (Alma 32:27; italics added).”  (David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning By Faith,” Address to CES Religious Educators, February 3, 2006)

Monday, June 27, 2011

“The Lord is my shepherd'

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

 "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

" Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Come, Ye Disconsolate

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish;
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts; here tell your anguish.
Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, Light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
“Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot cure.”

Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heav’n can remove.

 (Thomas Moore, “Come Ye Disconsolate,” Hymns, 115)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Called To Serve

My life took an interesting twist on June 8. On that day, I received a call from Elder Steven Snow of the Presidency of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as the second counselor in the Draper Utah Temple presidency. Three men are asked to lead each temple and their wives serve with them. Elder Snow also called Kathy to serve as an assistant to the matron of the temple. These full-time assignments require complete devotion.
It's interesting how in the course of a 15 minute conversation one's life can change. Time commitments become rearranged, perspectives change, and service replaces leisurely activities. Since our mission, life has been pretty simple--retired life can be that way.  Although we have served in the Draper Temple one to two days a week for the last 13 months, we have had very few ongoing commitments.  Now we will be quite busy again, but that is our commitment as disciples of Jesus Christ.  At times like this we try to follow the example of Samuel who was called to be a prophet.  When Samuel heard the Lord calling he said, "Speak; for thy servant heareth" (1 Samuel 3:10).
For those readers who may be unfamiliar with temples in our Church a little background may be of interest to you. The following two videos explain why our Church builds temples throughout the world and why members of the Church go to these temples to serve and worship.


The Church has 134 temples around the world.  Perhaps the most readily recognizable temple is the one in downtown Salt Lake City. As explained in the videos, these sacred edifices are different from our chapels where we hold Sunday worship services.  Members of the Church go to the temples to worship and commune with the Lord, serve, and participate in sacred ordinances. President Gordon B. Hinckley said of these temples:
"These unique and wonderful buildings, and the ordinances performed therein, represent the ultimate in our worship.  These ordinances become the most profound expressions of our theology." (Gordon B. Hinckley, "Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship," Ensign, November 1995)
This is a humbling and a very special opportunity for Kathy and me.  We will be very busy but full of joy in being called to serve. Blog posts may become less frequent as we serve but you will know it's because we will be busy.  
We are grateful to serve wherever the Lord needs us.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Thought for the Day

"He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less." — C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scripture for the Day

 “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Desire,” Ensign, May 2011, 42).