Author Archive

Dec 31, 2013
0 min read

Notes From the Climb: Nov – Dec 2013

November

  • Pray that we may hear the Lord’s voice through whatever channel he chooses to send it.
  • Any circumstance becomes distorted once perspective is lost.
  • We tend to not forget the things that change us.
  • Our willingness to receive the servants of God is a reflection of our willingness to receive God.
  • Anyone who receives the Melchizedek priesthood covenants to receive God through all of his servants, including home teachers. It provides us the opportunity to cultivate humility and love.

December

  • “Seen for what it is, [the endowment] is the step-by-step ascent into the Eternal presence” – David O. McKay
  • “If you understood the ordinances of the House of the Lord, you would crawl on your hands and feet for thousands of miles in order to receive them!” – Spencer W. Kimball
  • Teach children that there is a way back from transgression, show them the way back, and then confirm to them that they have gained your favor once again so they can have confidence in your presence and never fear.
  • The harder it may seem to accomplish one of God’s commandments, the more we can expect miracles to bring about his will.
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Dec 22, 2013
2 min read

Notes From the Climb: July – Aug 2013

nftc-remember

July

  • Who will wait on the Lord? Can we endure on remembrance alone?
  • A wrong choice reminds us of our human nature; what follows that choice reveals our divine nature.
  • The obedient and the repentant are equal in the eyes of God.
  • The simplest questions can bring about the greatest revelations.
  • We are here on earth to see what we will cleave unto.
  • Since faith is the first principle of salvation, fear is and will always be the greatest obstacle to salvation at every single level of progression.
  • Where there is fear, there is no salvation.Read Full Post
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Dec 19, 2013
2 min read

Taken Home

taken-home

I usually wake up slowly and roll out of bed at around 7:20am…ish.

My morning routine hasn’t been anything special, but today, I woke up right at 6am and was wide awake. Last night I had the idea to go climb to the top of one of the local foothills to pray and mediate first thing in the morning.

Well, now it was morning and I was very comfortable and my pillow felt just perfect. I settled into it and enjoyed the moment while telling myself that it would feel wonderful to drift off and catch another hour of sleep.

At the same time, however, was the notion that I was in control and could just as easily get up and pursue something more worthy. I put on some thick pants, hoodie, jacket and beanie and walked out of the house into the cold morning – I hate cold. I walked out of the neighborhood and across the street to where there are a series of foothills around Black Mountain.

As I walked I looked around trying to decide where I was going to climb. My eyes fell upon a dark, symmetrical hill that looked like the perfect spot, so I began my ascent. As soon as I reached the top, the pinkish orange hue of the clouds immediately increased to an intense level that was really quite breathtaking. After several minutes the color drained out, so I talked to God for a while, listened for a while and decided to wait for the sun to rise. The sun looked like it might be coming up closer to the South instead of the East. Then, I remembered that on the northern hemisphere in the winter, the sun rises in the South East, the same direction that Moroni on the Las Vegas Temple is pointing.

The sun was rising at this low spot between Black Mountain and another set of tall hills which meant I would get to see the sun sooner that I was expecting to. I looked East past Black Mountain and then slightly North East at the rays of the sun reaching some other mountains off in the distance. Everything the sun touched seemed to be standing at attention. I stood and faced the rising sun and the wind picked up quite fiercely, but I didn’t let it shake me.

The sun rose, partially veiled behind clouds that burned so brightly with white and gold that I had to avert my eyes. The sun had risen, although partially obscured.

I wanted to get home in time to pray with the family before the kids went to school so I began my descent. I made it back and we prayer together before my wife ran the kids to school. I fixed breakfast, went into my office and started my work day.

Just a few minutes ago, I was informed that my grandmother passed away.

We will miss you, Tutu.

“Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.” Alma 40:11

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Dec 18, 2013
2 min read

Notes From the Climb: May – June 2013

nftc-perfect-obedience

The following are selected excerpts from my personal “small plates“. I am an advocate of recording personal revelatory insights and desire to share my experiences to encourage others.

May

  • Fear lulls us into a false comfort. Real and rewarding comfort comes after we have been in a condition where we actually need to be comforted.
  • If people are not occasionally offended by you, then you are withholding truth that may end up damning you instead of them.
  • Trust in the ability of the Spirit to speak through your inadequate words.
  • Forgiveness is more than just releasing someone from blame, it is then deeply loving them and having compassion on them. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness.
  • The amount of personal liberty we enjoy is directly equivalent to the laws we know and the obedience we demonstrate toward them.Read Full Post
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Dec 9, 2013
3 min read

A Simple but Powerful Pattern for Study That Leads to Change

study-that-leads-to-change

Here’s the simple pattern for study that leads to change:

  1. Determine content & context
  2. Discover doctrines & principles
  3. Ponder to reveal personal applications
  4. Record what you receive
  5. Change your behavior

Yep, that’s it! You probably want a little background and explanation though, huh? I mentioned this process in an article back in August but didn’t elaborate on it.

The original pattern was given to me by my good friend and former institute instructor, Mike King, who I often refer to in other articles as “Brother King”. After studying and pondering this process, Read Full Post

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Dec 5, 2013
1 min read

“The Lady Of The Temple” Conference via the Academy of Temple Studies

lady-of-the-temple

This conference which took place on October 23, 2013, in Logan, Utah was filmed and posted here at the Academy of Temple Studies and at TempleStudy.com.

First off, let me just say that I was really blown away by this conference; the insights presented were so rich, edifying and paradigm-shifting. Posting this today is a bit symbolic to me personally because today I celebrate two birthdays; the day I was born of my mother in the flesh and the day I was baptized by water and the Spirit by ordinances administer by my father.

As important as fathers and priesthood authority are, it is equally important to understand mothers and motherhood and how each plays an essential role in our salvation.

Just so you know, I don’t post anything on oneClimbs.com unless I feel that it is of particular value. I recommend viewing all of these videos and not skipping a single one because they build upon each other.

If you are a woman, then stop what you are doing and watch this conference!

I was the only boy in my family and was blessed with three little sisters, and as a father, I have been blessed with three little daughters, so the role and divine purpose of women is something close to my heart. I think that the information presented in this conference will be part of a greater understanding of women in the plan of salvation.

The beauty and inspired nature of LDS doctrine concerning men and women in God’s plan is seen afresh and in a new light, or perhaps, a more correct light. The truth is right there in front of us, we just don’t really understand what it is we are seeing, or worse, Read Full Post

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Dec 3, 2013
8 min read

The Struggles of Approaching Symbolic Learning

interpretation

I’d like to give an internet high-five to the Church for this great page they put up for the youth called “Symbolism and Temple Preparation“.

We do a great job of teaching “that the teaching in the temples is done in symbolic fashion” (Boyd K. Packer), but I think we do a sub-par job of teaching how to learn from teaching that is done in a symbolic fashion.

Consider President David O. McKay’s words about his first temple experience:

“Do you remember when you first went through the House of the Lord? I do. And I went out disappointed. Just a young man, out of college, anticipating great things when I went to the Temple. I was disappointed and grieved, and I have met hundreds of young men and young women since who had that experience. I have now found out why. Read Full Post

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Nov 18, 2013
8 min read

With Sudden Violence

break-heart

The scriptures often talk about having a broken heart, but what does that mean? Does God want us to be sad? I believe that many of the problems we experience in understanding the ancient concepts contained in the scriptures is because we understand things in a modern way.

Words and their meanings change over time. Today, having a broken heart might mean something like the following:

A broken heart (or heartbreak) is a common metaphor used to describe the intense emotional pain or suffering one feels after losing a loved one, whether through death, divorce, breakup, physical separation, betrayal, or romantic rejection. (via Wikipedia, emphasis added)

Broken

In the profane world, a broken heart is an emotional response to unpleasant events surrounding other people. In the sacred world, a broken heart is a catalyst to wonderful things. Read Full Post

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Oct 31, 2013
1 min read

Notes From the Climb: Sept – Oct 2013

September

  • 1 Nephi 2:16 – First, the Lord softens our hearts.
  • “That our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands, and crowns of glory upon our heads, and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings.” – D&C 109:76
  • Philosophy – 1. …an explanation of the reasons of things; an investigation of the causes of all phenomena both of mind and matter.
  • Mingle – 1. To mix; to blend; to unite in one body… 2. To mix or blend without order or promiscuously.

October

  • A grateful person will not pray for burdens to be removed but for strength to bear them.
  • Priesthood works only upon persuasion.
  • The word “priesthood” appears 7 times in the Book of Mormon and 6 of those times in one chapter, Alma 13. In all cases, the phrase “high priesthood” is used.
  • “Soil is broken to make wheat, wheat is broken to make bread, bread is broken to…make us whole.” – Randy D. Funk
  • “The Lord sees weaknesses differently than he sees rebellion” – Richard G. Scott
  • We are given separate and distinct blessings as men and women so that it becomes necessary that we work together as one to become one.
  • There is only comfort at the end of the iron rod, never in the false complacency found in the mocking masses of the great and spacious building.
  • Without adversity, there can be no empathy.
  • The power of language is its ability to transfer knowledge back and forth across the veil, through time and space and all eternity.
  • Christ called us his ‘body’. If a part of our body is sick or injured, we don’t forget it or ignore it, we direct all of our attention to helping it heal and become restored.
  • Rite – a formal act of religion or other solemn duty.
  • Ritual – pertaining to rites, consisting of rites
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Oct 30, 2013
11 min read

…And Say Unto You, ‘Receive the Mind of God’

mind-of-god

The Lectures on Faith is a fantastic addition to the doctrinal knowledge base of the Latter-day Saints. They were part of the Doctrine and Covenants for almost 100 years and were separated from the canon on the grounds that they were not specific revelations to the Church. It’s a complicated story that I’m going to have to address at another time.

What I’m going to be presenting is from the Fifth Lecture that contains teachings about the Godhead that may at first seem foreign to our traditional views as we have come to understand them. When we are seeking to learn eternal truths through the insufficient languages of man, we can often encounter things that puzzle us.

As inconvenient as this is, I believe that it plays an important role in our quest for truth. It causes us to question, to stretch our understanding and ponder deeply upon things. So let’s look into one of these teachings and see what profound truths that we can draw from it.

LINDSAY CYNGOT | Scroll Photography

LINDSAY CYNGOT | Scroll Photography

The mind of the Father and the Son

In Lecture Five we read:

“And he being the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fullness of the glory of the Father – possessing the same mind with the Father; which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son;”

If you read this literally or within a different paradigm it will sound confusing to you. It almost sounds as if the Holy Spirit is nothing more than some kind of shared consciousness. It might seem that way, but I don’t believe that this is the right interpretation. First of all, in translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith would be well aware of what Nephi said when he conversed with the Holy Spirit in a vision:Read Full Post

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Oct 26, 2013
0 min read

Upcoming Isaiah Seminar in St. George with Avaraham Gileadi

isaiah-seminar

The Isaiah Institute presents a ST. GEORGE, UTAH, SEMINAR by Hebrew Scholar and Literary Analyst Avraham Gileadi

“The Tyrant and the Servant in the Prophecies of Isaiah and Other Prophets.”

  • Time: Saturday, 9 November, 2013, 9–12.00 am.; 2–5 pm.
  • Place: Clarion Suites, 1239 S. Main St., St. George, Utah.
  • Price: $50 per person; youth $30; couples $80. Some financial aid is available. Please register at JosephandJudah.com or IsaiahBelievers.com or contact Charlene Stott, Isaiah Institute secretary, 801-785-0943.

Bible prophecies predict that two major figures will appear suddenly on the world stage to usher in the time of Jehovah/Jesus’ coming to reign on the earth. Directly impacting the destinies of all nations and peoples are a tyrannical Antichrist who causes worldwide devastation and God’s servant who delivers an elect remnant of Israel’s tribes in a new exodus to Zion.

As an exemplar of righteousness, the servant prepares a people to meet their God. As an exemplar of wickedness, the tyrant gains the whole world only to lose his own soul. A polarization of peoples worldwide, characterized by extremes of wickedness and righteousness, accompany a three-year period of warning followed by three years of destruction and deliverance in God’s Day of Judgment.

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Oct 23, 2013
5 min read

Keep the Temple Sacred, but Don’t Keep it Secret – by J Washburn

sacred-but-not-secret

The following is a guest-post from J Washburn:

In December of 2012, I toured the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Washington D.C. (thanks to having recently read Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol).

Our guide led us upward through that Masonic tower, telling us cool facts about each room—one of which was a replica of the Masonic hall Washington himself presided in. I tried to get our guide to tell us about the hidden parts, but she had a pretty good excuse not to: “I’m not a Mason, and couldn’t be if I wanted to—it’s for males only. So I’ll tell you as much as I know, but I’m an outsider just like all of you.” And then she’d try to answer my questions, but it was never enough.Read Full Post

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Oct 18, 2013
1 min read

Help Kickstart the LDS Symbol Cards Project!

LDSSCP-pinterest-1

LDS Symbol Cards are a unique way to explore symbols within the context of the Latter-day Saint faith.

>>> VIEW THE KICKSTARTER PROJECT AND WATCH THE VIDEO! >>>

Symbolism is a passion of mine. I absolutely love the subject because I find it incredibly fun, enlightening and advantageous when it comes to increasing my ability to learn. When I first began to research the topic in real depth, I found it difficult to know where to begin.

There are so many thick books, many of them which are phenomenal, but for the average person or child it can be hard to access this information and process it.

For the past few years, I have been working on a way to take all of the information that I have learned and condense it into a simple tool that anyone can use.

I’ve carried around version after version of prototypes, using them in my own personal study along with teaching my children. I feel that I have produced something at this point that is worth sharing with the LDS community.

Inspired by the work of Val Brinkerhoff, Michael S. Schneider, Alonzo Gaskill and more, these cards are an attempt to bring the world of symbolism down to a place where any Latter-day Saint can begin to get more out of the many symbolic teachings that are important to our faith.

>>> KICKSTART THIS PROJECT AND HELP MAKE IT A REALITY! >>>

If this project gets funded, this is on the beginning of a whole series of symbolism cards that I plan on releasing. Technically, the “TEMPLE THEMES: Volume 2” set is already done, but I’d like to get at least these three sets funded before I produce any more.

Depending on how well this project does, I’d like to get these into some LDS bookstores as well. At the very least, I’ll be creating an online store where all these cards and future sets and educational products will be offered including occasional freebies!

2 Comments
Oct 16, 2013
4 min read

Early Analysis of the Potential Symbolism of a New South Jordan Meetinghouse

jordan-chapel-1

Link to the Deseret News article

I was listening to the This Week in Mormons Podcast when I heard this chapel mentioned. As I looked at the photos, some things stuck out to me.

I wish there were some better photos of this chapel. The only ones I could find were small and, unfortunately, dark and look like they were taken with a camera phone.

I’d like to see a better view of the front of this building, especially the very front were there are 3 areas with some kind of “cross” or “T-like” motifs towards the top. The number three is connected to the following doctrines or themes:

  • Divinity
  • Unity
  • Beginning, Middle, End
  • Past, Present, Future
  • Godhead

Symbolically speaking, the numbers 3, 4 and 8 are perhaps the most appropriate to be featured on a chapel considering the purposes of which it exists. 3 signifies divine unity while four expresses mortality and perhaps the Aaronic priesthood in that the square is a sign associate with this authority. Eight is a symbol connected with rebirth and especially Christ and we see a lot of the number eight in LDS chapel construction.

I love the fact that there are Read Full Post

10 Comments
Oct 11, 2013
0 min read

In just a few days…

lds-symbol-cards-kickstarter

This is just a little bit of early notice before the LDS Symbol Cards project goes live in the next few days on Kickstarter! As soon as I finish the promo video, we should be good to go and I’ll post the info here!

Here’s the official description:

LDS Symbol Cards are a unique way to explore symbols within the context of the LDS faith and find meaning in nature, scripture, architecture, ritual and more.

2 Comments
Oct 4, 2013
5 min read

Enemy Territory: The War With Temptation

enemy-territory

Enemy territory can be avoided in many respects, but what happens when the enemy territory expands its influence into your borders? In the Book of Mormon, the wars become interesting if you approach them in the context of the spiritual battles the rage between the human soul and the temptations of the adversary.

Remember, remember what is important

The Title of Liberty emphasized the importance of what was being threatened: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” (Alma 46:12)

Fortifications & Armies

And he also placed armies on the south, in the borders of their possessions, and caused them to erect fortifications that they might secure their armies and their people from the hands of their enemies. (Alma 50:10)

What are fortifications? What are our armies? Church leaders, home teachers, friends, family?

Retreat is not weakness

If the enemy breaches your gates and you are not strong enough to defend yourself, retreat: And it came to pass that the Lamanites did come out with their numerous army against us. And when they had come and were about to fall upon us with the sword, I caused that my men, those who were with me, should retreat into the wilderness.” (Alma 58:18)

Principles from the Joseph in Egypt

Joseph when serving under Potiphar in Egypt was accosted repeatedly by Potiphar’s wife.

Joseph was well-built and handsome, and Potiphar’s wife soon noticed him. She asked him to make love to her, but he refused and said,…”I won’t sin against God by doing such a terrible thing as this.” She kept begging Joseph day after day, but he refused to do what she wanted or even to go near her. One day, Joseph went to Potiphar’s house to do his work, and none of the other servants were there. Potiphar’s wife grabbed hold of his coat and said, “Make love to me!” Joseph ran out of the house, leaving her hanging onto his coat. (Genesis 39:6-12 CEV)

Joseph did well to remember what was important and he fortified himself by building a wall of space between him and the tempter – he didn’t even go near the temptation. Second, Read Full Post

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Oct 4, 2013
5 min read

The Whole Book of Mormon in 15 Verses via gentlyhewstone.com

bom-15-verses

This list was obtained from a blog post over at Gently Hew Stone.

The first impression I got was to scrutinize the list but it appears that these were very wisely chosen. I did something similar back in the mission field where I created a pamphlet that summarized each book in the Book of Mormon.

It’s very interesting through exercises like these to observe how Christ-centered the Book of Mormon is. I really like this version where particular scriptures sum up entire books of the Book of Mormon though so here it is.Read Full Post

14 Comments
Oct 1, 2013
1 min read

Repentance: a process of addition not subtraction

repentance-addition-subtraction

I came across this post the other day that had some interesting perspectives on repentance. How many Saints are focused way too much on the “subtraction” aspect of the repentance process? How many are locked in guilt-laden cycles focused on ceasing behavior instead of receiving the power of grace?

“[Repentance] is a process of addition – not subtraction. It is a process of acquisition, not elimination…You repent by ceasing to try to lessen who you are and allowing [Christ] to increase who you are. In short, you repent by “losing yourself” and “finding yourself”.

From a blog titled: Things of my Soul by post author “Papa D” (some parenthesis removed)

I can testify that the principle of allowing Christ to increase you is true because I have experienced it. You are not saved merely by ceasing your iniquity; sin is sin and once committed, it condemns you without the mercy of Christ. Seeing as how we continue to sin all the days of our lives, we are continually at the mercy of the grace of Christ.

It is only by adding the atonement of Jesus Christ that salvation is found.

Thus all mankind were lost; and behold, they would have been endlessly lost were it not that God redeemed his people from their lost and fallen state. (Mosiah 16:4)

What do you think?

  • What is your perspective on the atonement of Christ?
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Sep 22, 2013
3 min read

Happy September 22nd, the Day of the Sign

fulfilling-covenant

Today was the day, 186 years ago that the Nephite record known as The Book of Mormon passed from immortal to mortal hands. Interestingly enough, that night as these events unfolded to the knowledge of a few, the Jews blew their shofar trumpets celebrating Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of the Trumpets) on the other side of the world.

What significance did this high holy day have to coming forth of the Book of Mormon? Read, Joseph Smith’s Receipt of the Plates and the Israelite Feast of Trumpets, and you’ll never see this event the same way again.

In 34 A.D. Jesus Christ taught a remnant of Jacob living upon the American continent “Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses” (3 Ne. 15:4) but adds that Read Full Post

6 Comments
Sep 22, 2013
3 min read

The Power of Doctrine

doctrines-principles-applications

In his book Increase in Learning, Elder Bednar teaches that principles arise from doctrines. If we take any principle of the gospel such as faith, repentance, obedience, etc and ask the question, “Why is this necessary?” the answer will always be found in doctrine.

Think about how you would answer the question, “Why is faith in Jesus Christ essential?”

Is the way you would answer based in doctrine? How would you answer that question in a way that focuses on the doctrine or doctrines that the principle is based on?

Let’s say, for example, that a few of the following doctrines come to mind when faith in Jesus Christ is pondered:

What scriptures or teachings of modern prophets help us to obtain a more complete understanding of these doctrines?

I had a mission president that once taught Read Full Post

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