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    Choice & Continuums

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    A couple of years ago I wrote a post about something that I dubbed the “Agency Continuum” where the choices that you make are part of a connected cycle.

    I’d like to take the model I presented in that post, particularly the figure eight shape, and point out a few things in light of the word “continuum.” First off, let’s define the word itself:

    Continuum: a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct. (Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary)

    Often the choices that lay before us are not perceptibly different and it isn’t until the Read Full Post

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    Columbus?

    Statue of Christopher Columbus, at the corner of Elmwood Ave and Reservoir Ave, Providence, RI. This statue is on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Today at the beginning of Sunday School I was handed a little white slip of paper with some scripture verses to read. Here’s what I read in class:

    And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.

    And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. (1 Nephi 13:12-13)

    It was reinforced in the class that the “man among the Gentiles” is Christopher Columbus. I suppose that in reading verse 12 you would think that the Spirit coming down and working upon someone would mean that they were righteous and sent by God to do good. In this country we celebrate Columbus Day and it seems as though many Latter-day Saints hold him with a kind of reverence, see him as a visionary, and perhaps even a prophet of sorts.

    A Scourge

    God does not always work upon people to bring blessings and happiness, sometimes he sends them as a scourge:

    And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation… (2 Nephi 5:25)

    Wait a minute, am I suggesting that Columbus was sent as a scourge, how is that possible? Well I started out Read Full Post

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    Surviving the Void

    It’s happened to me several times, in fact, the first 17 years of my life were lived without any real sense of the presence of God; at least that was my perception at the time.

    Time went on, and God did manifest himself to me many times and in many ways. Some of these experiences were subtle and sublime, while others sound like something you’d read about in the scriptures. But then something unexpected happens…

    void

    Life was at times like a sailboat on a vast ocean, the wind filled my sails and pushed me forward with purpose and vision. Then, for no apparent reason, the wind ceases and there is a perfect calm. Often it isn’t this sudden, the winds fade slowly, almost imperceptibly, until the profound stillness dominates the scene.

    I’ve noticed that God appears to leave me alone at certain points in my life. Alone to the degree that there seems to be nothing I can do to bridge the gap and I find myself in a void. Prayers feel unheard and questions begin to enter the mind. What happened, where did he go? Did I offend him in some way, is there something I’m doing wrong? I tend to look inward during these times and take an inventory of my life.

    While such a practice can be healthy, it can also turn to doubt, fear, confusion, disaffection, anger, and apostasy. I think that it is common for many to reach this state of windless waters and abandon ship thinking all is lost.

    Like I said, I didn’t always know there was a God, but I do now. Yet I’ve felt a little hurt at times where I’ve been in these situations where I’ve felt like I needed answers and the heavens were quiet. I know that the heavens must hear me, but I don’t know why there is no perceptible reply.

    The Why

    What I’ve wanted to know is “why,” why this abandonment? I’ve been in this most recent void for a while now, surviving on rations of remembrance and continuing my pursuit of faith through exploration and just living life.

    It is through that continued exploration that I think I found my answer. A thought hit me while pondering Read Full Post

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    Coming to Salt Lake City this Feb!

    This is kind of a first for oneClimbs.com, I’ve never posted a particular location where I will be appearing at before. However, since I’m pretty much already doing that on facebook, I might as well extend an invitation to anyone who happens to be in the area to stop by the JRNL.com booth at Rootstech and say hi!

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    I’ve mentioned JRNL before here on my blog recently, it’s one of the projects I work on professionally. I’m very passionate about journaling so it is an absolute pleasure to work on something like this with a great team of people. We’re going to be releasing some really cool new features sometime in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

    We just released a short promo video that introduces the product, check it out:

    Here’s a screenshot of my personal journal. The calendar on the right shows each day with a blue line under it for every day that contains a journal entry, so yeah, I journal a lot.

    Screenshot 2016-01-20 15.09.21

    Here’s another exclusive screenshot that hints at Read Full Post

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    Mosiah 1:4 – Teaching our posterity the language of scripture

    For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time. (Mosiah 1:4)

    I was listening to this chapter yesterday and then read it again today. I don’t know that I have anything profound to say about it but I wanted to point a few things out that I think are of interest.

    The plates and the information they contained was critically important in perpetuating the covenants between the people and God. Lehi was taught in the language of the Egyptians, it never says how but that information might have been in the book of Lehi that was unfortunately lost.

    This verse says that the engravings on the brass plates were in the Egyptian language, but I guess that somehow I missed that detail. I had speculated that perhaps Lehi knew Demotic and that was the language they wrote their plates in.

    literary-demotic

    Demotic characters

    The brass plates might have been an unprecedented artifact, something akin to the Antikythera mechanism or the Codex Gigas, crafted by some passionate visionary and retained in a private treasury.  Read Full Post

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    Mother is There

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    Consider that the tree of life and temple ascension are at their deepest levels tied to birth concepts and actually symbolize the placenta (tree or link between mother and child) and the umbilical cord (iron rod and covenants made by dividing and reconnecting things).

    At birth we are cut off from the tree of life and the rod, so Lehi’s vision shows us how we can return. Note that after Nephi was shown the tree, he was shown a woman, Mary.

    Nicodemus’ question may have been more insightful than we realize: “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” The temple patterns illustrate a symbolic return to the womb, innocence, Eden, etc. In fact, the original Nauvoo temple architect Wandle Mace said: “The order of architecture [on the Nauvoo Temple] was unlike anything in existence; it was purely original; being a representation of the Church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
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    The Voices of the Prophets

    Junior Ganymede has become one of my favorite blogs. I thought this post was interesting and timely, particularly the point about the many voices we hear today. It’s true, nothing has changed in human nature, it’s only the voices that continually change (both in rhetoric and in volume). Without a foundation, you never know what to expect from the mocking voices emanating from the great and spacious building.


    Come on, Elder Kimball, I thought. You can’t really expect me to believe there were millions of perverts running around, even in the 70s. You are telling me a stretcher.

    I was reading what President Kimball said at the first session of the April 1971 conference and I just wasn’t buying it.

    But he was right and I was wrong.

    As I read on, I saw that he didn’t just mean pedophiles and folks with outlier sexual quirks. He wasn’t even referring to Les Gibituqs, as would have fit with the blunt way they talked back then. He meant cads, sluts, fornicators, being too sex-minded in general, embracing birth control as an entitlement because sex was seen as a right and a demand . . . . He meant most of us in America 2015. Read Full Post

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    Lynn G. Robbins’ Awesome Simplicity Talk

    Feel like you are too busy, and that life has grown far too complex and is unmanageable? Well Lynn G. Robbins had some great counsel recently during a broadcast to several Southwest states. The text of this talk was obtained from Gently Hew Stone, so thanks for posting that Jamie.

    The talk begins by addressing some things we already know, that we spend too much time with technology. So yeah, we get that, but then the talk delves into a wonderful spectrum of quotes, metaphors, and practical applications. I think anyone should be able to pull at least one thing from this talk that can profoundly change their life right now. So for that, I’m posting it here.

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    Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the SeventyBroadcast – NASW Area, November 8, 2015

    Never in the history of the world have the children of God been faced with so many options that compete for our time, attention, and other resources.

    Options seem endless. As of Aug. 2014 there were over 253 million products for sale on Amazon categorized into 35 departments. There are nearly 5 million items in the clothing department alone.1

    We clearly live in a day and age of more than 31 flavors and 57 varieties. Buzz Light Year wasn’t too far off when he said “To infinity and beyond.”

    Here are some additional statistics to think about, as you ponder the complexities of life. There are over 26 million Read Full Post

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    Fluidity of Scripture

    There’s something interesting in 3 Nephi where Jesus starts quoting Isaiah (for three verses) and then stops because the people aren’t getting it. He then heals them, institutes the sacrament, calls apostles and then says that he’s returning to Isaiah but quotes several verses from Micah first. After all of this he picks up again where he left off on those three verses but he quotes them differently.

    I’ll break this down, let’s start in chapter 16 of 3 Nephi. Read Full Post

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    From a Garden to a City

    The was posted over at Junior Ganymede and I just loved the ideas it inspired in my mind.


    There are building metaphors in the scriptures and there are husbandry metaphors in the scriptures. Christ is the building block, for example, and the true vine.

    I noticed something about those metaphors today. The buildings all seem to work. They are literally heavenly. In my father’s house there are many mansions. The New Jerusalem is the Eternal City. When something is wrong with Read Full Post

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