For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke
A few months ago, we had a family council where we put together a “family constitution” to help with family government. A family is a mini nation in a way and it is important to have clear, established rules that everyone can understand and voluntarily opt into. Everyone had a voice in the creation of this constitution and many of these principles were already well-understood by each member.
Our first draft has four articles that represent the entirety of the constitution as it now stands. Interestingly, all of the articles seem to stem from the first in one way or another.
I. Respect people and their property.
II. Leave no trace.
III. Work before play.
IV. Apologize and forgive.
Clearly, our constitution probably doesn’t cover everything, but it serves for our current needs. We wanted something extremely simple and thus far, we haven’t found anything else that we really feel that we need to add to it.
Almost any situation can be brought back to one of these four articles.
If kids are fighting over toys, all we need to do is establish who the property rightly belongs to. It is then up to the person to choose justice or mercy. Justice means that they Keep ReadingGo to Comments
The title of the post isn’t what you might think. For Father’s Day, I’m sharing an inspirational video that I found really touching. There’s this Thai life insurance company that puts out these emotionally over the top videos and I’m kind of a sucker for them.
Think of the original LDS “Home Front” commercials and multiply it by 1000%. Just look up “Thai commercials” on YouTube and you’ll find a ton more.
I hope this video helps us to remember the sacrifices of our Fathers and remember to appreciate the struggles many of them make to bless our lives. This world is in terrible need of great fathers.
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The other day I was driving with a couple of my kids and my 4-year-old asked me, “How far away is it? What time are we going to be there?”
I haven’t found a good way to answer that question to a small child. She was smart enough to ask two questions in a row that dealt with time and distance, but she had no understanding of the particular units of measure that I could give her as an exact answer to her question.
In other words, I could have said that we were about one hundred and fifty miles away, but she has no concept of how long a mile is let alone one hundred and fifty of them.
I could have said that we would arrive at approximately 8:24pm but then she would have to subtract the current time and the additional hour from the time zone change in order to determine the approximate number of hours and minutes until our arrival.
The point is that the exact, true, and in my mind, simplest answer would have been useless to her. I wanted her to understand all the particulars but realized Keep ReadingGo to Comments
Natural experience and trials all give us opportunities to develop the character of deity within ourselves, to experience a change of mind, and to gain greater insights into our reality.
While each of us may not experience the same things in life, ordinances provide simulated experiences that are designed to point us to a common destination; to prepare us for future realities that the ordinances only symbolize.
We are thus symbolically reborn, recreated, resurrected, washed, anointed, cast out of Eden, instructed by heavenly messengers, and sealed to one another. We are given a chance to experience a small taste of specific, unique experiences that are critical to our progression.
In this light, it makes perfect sense to speak of baptism, for instance, as a “gate by which [we] should enter” (2 Nephi 31:17).Go to Comments
Currently, there is no other text that lifts my mind closer to understanding the character of God and the mechanics of faith.Go to Comments
Any “spiritual experience” I have ever had doesn’t feel theatrical or disconnected from reality. While many such experiences are not part of what can be considered possible in general experience, when they happen they are as real and tangible as anything else.
It seems that the degree we understand something is related to what we can compare it to.
Maybe you are familiar with the example where someone is asked to Keep ReadingGo to Comments
I don’t share a lot of the Church’s videos and media here unless it is something that I find particularly profound or inspiring.
I like that this video shows the reluctance of the individuals, it presents real concerns and objections rather than trying to portray people just happily going about this duty. Let’s face it, we do feel inconvenienced and burdened at times because that is just our nature.
We are ok with “services projects” that only last for a short time, maybe an hour or so on a Saturday morning or during time that we already have set aside for Church service. But this video asks what we would do if something was requested of us with no end in sight.
I don’t think we’d know what to do unless we were in that particular situation. I like the fact that this video simply shows the impact of a difficult situation and the blessings that come from it; that is one of life’s paradoxes.
In a parallel universe this woman could have been left to fend for herself only to drift deeper into isolation and depression while the men would have been going about life as usual. Unfortunately, that reality is often the condition in this reality.
But we get this glimpse of people finding themselves in very difficult situations and yet, something beautiful comes because of it. No doubt this challenge is not the preferable version of reality that would be desired, but somehow it becomes a blessing.
It challenges us to ask ourselves what blessings really are and what recipes happiness truly consists of.Go to Comments
We all are familiar with the acronym that poses the thoughtful question “What Would Jesus Do?”
But in pondering Matthew 25:37-40, another question came to mind, “What if They Were Jesus?”
In certain situations, it is certainly profitable to wonder what actions might be taken by the Savior if he were in your shoes.
But there is a profoundly different feeling when you look at any person and wonder how you might treat them in that moment if they were, in fact, Jesus. After a while, maybe we could learn that people have value regardless of who we try to project onto them.
We might consider that every person was once a small, perfect baby that some joyful mother looked upon with hope and love. Nobody ever looks into the eyes of a smiling baby and sees a homeless man, or some jerk neighbor or the weird quiet guy who sits in the back row at church; but that is who we see.
What if we learned to see differently? What if we learned to see that original light of purity in all souls and could help bring it back to the surface with something as simple as kindness?Go to Comments
Just to be clear here, I’m not talking about the adjective, “He was wearing appropriate attire for the occasion, but the transitive verb where one might say, “Christians appropriated the cross symbol to represent the faith.”
Here are some definitions to consider:
APPRO’PRIATE, verb transitive [Latin ad and proprius, private, peculiar.]
1. To set apart for, or assign to a particular use, in exclusion of all other uses; as, a spot of ground is appropriated for a garden.
2. To take to one’s self in exclusion of others; to claim or use as by an exclusive right.
3. To make peculiar; as, to appropriate names to ideas.
I think one of the most illustrative quotes that can be used to support this idea is from Brigham Young:
“I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.” (DBY, 2)
Too often do we neglect individual appropriation of knowledge, choosing instead to wait for institutional appropriation? In other words, do we rarely venture outside the Keep ReadingGo to Comments
There is not enough of the attitude of the sincere investigator among us. When we come into a new field of research that will challenge our due and honest consideration, we should be warned against coming too quickly to a conclusion, of forming a decision too hastily. We should be scientific — that is, open-minded, approaching new problems without prejudice, deferring a decision until all the facts are in.
Some say that the open-minded leave room for doubt. But I believe we should doubt some of the things we hear. Doubt has a place if it can stir in one an interest to go out and find the truth for one’s self. I should like to awaken in everyone a desire to investigate, to make an independent study of religion, and to know for themselves whether or not the teachings of the Mormon church are true.
There are altogether too many people in the world who are willing to accept as true whatever is printed in a book or delivered from a pulpit. Their faith never goes below the surface soil of authority. I plead with everyone I meet that they may drive their faith down through that soil and get hold of the solid truth, that they may be able to withstand the winds and storm of indecision and of doubt, of opposition and persecution. Then, and only then, will we be able to Keep ReadingGo to Comments