The following is a master list of references that I have collected over the years that I will continue to expand to as necessary. Several years ago I wrote a blog post on the Word of Wisdom that was the result of several months of research and many of these quotes were discovered then. There was an event in my life, well, a series of events but one in particular that prompted me to seek a greater understanding of animal life as it pertains to the Word of Wisdom and in the context of the gospel.
I’m posting these references here with as much context that I feel is appropriate for my own personal use and if anyone else out there finds value in these teachings. If you find any additional quotes that you think might be worth adding to this list, post them in the comments section.Read Full Post
After returning from my full-time missionary service, I started work with my father building decks down on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
I remember standing there one morning and thinking about how life was now entering a new phase and I wondered how I would adapt to it. I pondered for a moment how I could enjoy a spiritual flow throughout the day like I did living a missionary lifestyle but while doing this crude work with wood, nails, and sawdust.
I thought of Jesus who was a carpenter’s son just like I am. I thought about how he probably helped his father much like I did, and I marveled at how silent the scriptures were concerning these years. Couldn’t we have seen an example of how to live a normal life but after a manner of holiness?
I wondered if there was a reason why that was missing from the narrative of scripture. I wondered if maybe we were meant to fill in those gaps with the diversity of our own lives and experiences.
Then, I had a ridiculous idea.Read Full Post
I wrote most of this back in 2014 but haven’t published it until now. In fact there was a lot more history before and after this but I feel like this one experience was a big turning point for me. Few people know about this experience, and even fewer know the details which I’m going to attempt to convey. This event happened about 15 years ago while I was a full-time missionary.
After I share this story, I want to wrap up by exploring what doctrine, principles, and applications relate to this subject.
Winter of 2000
My companion and I were trying to reach out to a less active young man on a small Idaho farm. We got on the conversation of animals and he mentioned that they would be cooking some goat soon for Christmas dinner. My companion, who was Fijian, mentioned that he was an expert at killing pigs and could kill the goat in seconds. The young man and I were impressed with the claim and decided to put my companion to the test.
The day came and we met out at the farm, I was anxious to witness this spectacle of my companion slaying a goat with the skill and finesse that he claimed. I came from Texas where hunting is a big deal and I wanted to see how they did things island-style. We walked out to the goat pen and a large goat was selected. I volunteered to take the rope and lasso the goat, and nailed him perfectly right around the horns. My companion had a habit of calling me “Texas Ranger” and my apparent skill with the lasso caused him to excitedly exclaim, “You ARE the Texas Ranger!”
We pulled the goat out of the pen as it struggled against us. I yanked him around like the dumb animal he was while his fellow-goats cowered away.
We pulled the goat down to the ground and my companion straddled it while I held its head to the ground. A medium-sized knife was handed to my companion. I watched as he took a deep breath, while aiming the instrument and Read Full Post
In an article called A Model of Mormon Spiritual Experience by Kevin Christensen, he mentions this paradigm where “…you begin interpret external events as God speaking to you, and you answer through your own actions.” (p.11)
This added a bit of enlightenment to the same way that I currently have come to view my daily relationship with God. A few pages later Kevin mentions this quote which gives a little bit better understanding of what he’s getting at.
“One understands oneself to be addressed [by God] through events … A person replies through the speech of his life; he answers with his actions. Events in daily life can be interpreted as a dialogue with God.” – Ian Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms, 55. (p.18)
In the newer Karate Kid movie, Jackie Chan dramatically states to his young student, “Kung Fu lives in everything we do, … It lives in how we put on the jacket, how we take off the jacket. It lives in how we treat people! Everything… is Kung Fu.”
In the same manner, the process of being born again and fully converted to God causes us to see and respond to things differently. It is the difference between trying really hard to force yourself to act a certain way and the grace of enabling and understanding brought about by a true relationship with God that allows you to see clearly and empowers you to act in faith.
The rest of the article is absolutely worth the read, it has some amazing thoughts that I’ll probably comment about on another post: