Go forth and read!
H/t to compos mentis in this comment on Friday, July 25, 2008 in the discussion thread of “More Norway” on Thursday, July 24, 2008, by Listick at the Innocent Bystanders.
Some comments on repentance and forgiveness:
Repentance is a kind and merciful law. It is far-reaching and all-inclusive. It has many elements and includes a sorrow for sin, a confession of sin, an abandonment of sin, a restitution of sin, and then the living of the commandments of the Lord, and this includes the forgiveness of others, even the forgiving of those who sin against us.
President Spencer W. Kimball. Faith Precedes the Miracle. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1993, p. 189.
Why does the Lord ask you to love your enemies and to return good for evil? That you might have the benefit of it. It does not injure the one who hate so much when you hate a person, especially if he is far removed and does not come in contact with you, but the hate and the bitterness canker your unforgiving heart.
Ibid., p. 191
Let us not partake of the negative spirit so rife in our times. There is so much of the sweet and the decent and the beautiful to build upon. We are partakers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel means “good news.” The message of the Lord is one of hope and salvation. The voice of the Lord is a voice of glad tidings. The work of the Lord is a work of glorious accomplishment.
In a dark and troubled hour the Lord said to those he loved, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) These great words of confidence are a beacon to each of us. In him we may indeed have trust, for he and his promises will never fail.
President Gordon B. Hinckley. Faith: the Essence of True Religion. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1989, p. 79.
Good advice I need to take and implement:
I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort. I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise are those who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change their course.
What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears.
President Gordon B. Hinckley. Faith: the Essence of True Religion. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1989, p. 74.
Prompted by “Receiving Help the Lord Is Ready to Give”, LDS Daily Gem for Wednesday, July 9, 2008.
Although Mrs. Patton has long since left mortality, I have felt a strong impression to share with you the manner in which our Heavenly Father blessed and provided for her, a widow, in her need. With all the strength of my soul I testify that our Heavenly Father loves each one of us. He hears the prayers of humble hearts; He hears our cries for help, as He heard Mrs. Patton. His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, speaks to each of us today: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.”16
Will we listen for that knock? Will we hear that voice? Will we open that door to the Lord, that we may receive the help He is so ready to provide? I pray that we will, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Talk given during October 2007 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was then the First Counselor in the First Presidency under President Gordon B. Hinckley. He is now President of the Church.
From “Some Basic Facts about the Church”, LDS Daily Gem for Thursday, July 10, 2008.
• First, “Mormon” is a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members are often referred to as “Mormons,” “Latter-day Saints,” or “LDS.” The term “Saint” means “member.”
• Second, the Church was restored in 1830 in upstate New York with Joseph Smith as its first prophet and president. Today it is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with President [Thomas S. Monson] as the present prophet.
• Third, there are now over 13 million members in 176 countries and territories. About 6 million of these are in the United States, making us the fourth largest Christian denomination in America. As one of the fastest growing Christian faiths in the world, we complete a new chapel every working day. Members pay a tithe, which is 10 percent of their income, making this and other programs possible.
• Fourth, local congregations are led by volunteer, unpaid members. Both men and women serve in assigned leadership positions.
• And fifth, Mormons are well represented in politics and government. (In the United States, for example, there are 16 members in Congress, from both political parties.) Members also serve in high and trusted positions throughout the world in business, medicine, law, education, media, sports, and entertainment.
The name of the President of the Church was changed in point two to reflect current reality. This talk was given in the October 2007 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when President Gordon B. Hinckley was still alive and the President of the Church then.
From the LDS “Gems on Church History” for Friday, July 11, 2008 (old service):
We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object….The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 160-61.
If anyone’s interested, click here to sign up to receive various LDS “gems” by e-mail from the Church.
I suppose this shows just how big of a dork I am.
While doing the reading for the previous (and first) session of my summer class, “Negotiation and Conflict Management”, an issue that was brought up was fear. People dislike conflict (and thus dealing with it, namely negotiation) because of fear.
What popped up in my mind is what is called the “litany against fear“, from Frank Herbert’s Dune (“The spice must flow!”), which goes like this (courtesy of Wikipedia):
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
While fear, and other negative emotions, are legitimate when it comes to conflict and negotiation, we shouldn’t let it control us. Nor should we deny it exists. We should acknowledge it, and then let it pass over us, so that we can see it behind us and so we can move forward.
Else, all that will remain will be the fear, it having obliterated us.
On Saturday, I was walking from a store to where I parked my car. On the way was a games store. I stopped in, as is my wont, and ask, “You got any Wiis?”
To my utter shock and surprise, the answer was, “Yep.”
I was left in shock. How do I respond? Do I spend part of that wonderful government stimulus check on a Wii? Do I get games? Will my purchase(s) be vetoed at home?
I whipped out my card and bought a Wii and an extra set of controllers.
It’s so much fun! We played it Saturday (there was a wedding we went to, so we set it up around 1:30 am, and played for a few hours) and Sunday and now my right arm is so sore. But it’s so much fun! Even Mom and Dad played it!
I recently read something that jolted me:
The average life expectancy of a person with diabetes remains 13 years less than that of a person without diabetes.
Gary Scheiner. Think like a Pancreas. New York: Marlowe & Company, 2004, p. 26.
So far, this seems like a good book. Sobering.
I once bought a book all about complications from diabetes, complete with pictures. Thought it might motivate me to maintain better control.
To this day, I will not even touch the book. I abhor it. The one time I flipped through it, I became immensely depressed. It didn’t motivate me: in fact it de-motivated me.
What usually motivates me are:
1. Eyesight: I love reading and dread losing my eyesight.
2. Comfort: having uncontrolled diabetes is very uncomfortable what with frequent trips to be bathroom, not being able to sleep through the night, constant drinking water and not having the thirst sated.
3. Mission: I have certain things I need to do before dying, and so I need to keep myself healthy and well to survive to do it.
Unfortunately, I often loose sight of the above when the demands of close control overwhelm me. And often it seems like an uphill (if not losing) battle: there’s no way to have perfect control, and some complications will develop even with the best control. The complications may develop later and less intensely, but come they will.
One other thing that has begun to motivate me is President Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Monson has type II diabetes, and he seems so healthy and is so active. So it is possible to live well and contribute much.
On July 4, 1998, I returned to The United States, flying in from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. I always thought it fortuitous that I returned on what is probably one of the most significat days of the American calendar.
I was very happy to return to America. America, despite the fact I had been living abroad for 10 years, was always home to me. Visiting America was like returning home.
This will be the tenth-year anniversary of my return. I feel so very blessed to be here.
An image that will always stick with me is going to the American consulate in Karachi. Despite all the roadblocks and barriers, the building was surrounded with blocks-long snaking lines of people. My Dad and I went to renew my passport. He held up that blue rectangle, and walked through the throngs. Seeing that blue booklet, the guards waved us into the checkpoint. No waiting. They checked our bags and waved us into the consulate proper with a smile.
One small, blue booklet allowed us to bypass a throng of anxious people who had been waiting for hours.
And that little blue booklet meant security to me. Whenever things got bad, our consulate always contacted us and remained in touch with us. I knew that if it came to it, our consulate would whisk us out of the country. Of course, we had nothing to worry about, being brown and thus not suspected for being American, but it meant a lot that I had an eagle watching over me.
The point is that being an American is a privilege and a blessing. We should not take it for granted. There are literally millions who want what we have. Let us be always thankful for this country and for all it stands for.
I thank all the brave men and women who keep us safe, whether we’re in the US or abroad. You are our heroes and angels, even guardian angels.
God bless America!
If you want to lighten your heart, there are two pictures you must see. The first is nice, it’s the second (a zoomed verison of the first) that highlights why it’s such a touching picture.
Found via “Another Iraqi Child Being Tortured By An Imperialist U.S. Soldier” on Wednesday, July 2, 2008, by DMartyr of snapped shot.
It’s a stretch, but (Matthew 13:41-43, emphasis added):
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
From my British daily trivia and random information calendar (and this for Monday, June 30, 2008):
‘Who discovered radium?’ asked Marie curiously.
‘It can’t be the circuit-breaker,’ Tom refused.
‘Use the Newton-Raphson method,’ Tom iterated.
‘Are you an alto or a tenor?’ inquired Tom.
‘Open the soup,’ said Tom cannily.
‘It should have an apple in its mouth,’ said Tom pig-headedly.
‘Yes, we have no bananas,’ said Tom fruitlessly.
‘The ship is mine,’ declared Fletcher Christian bountifully.
‘Eins, zwei, drei, fünf,’ counted Tom fearlessly.
‘I’d like some lemon rind with my coffee,’ said Clare zestfully.
‘I just rested it on the windowsill,’ alleged Tom.
‘I’ve swallowed a fly,’ said Tom with bated breath.
‘I am the world’s best phlebotomist,’ boasted Tom vaingloriously.
‘I’m sleeping with my gamekeeper,’ said the lady chattily.