Snapshots of Life

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm drowning in papers! Only two more weeks 'till break time. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I miss these kids!

Friday, November 03, 2006


What if I lived until 2083? I met with a patient today who is 103-years-old! Can you believe that? He was born in 1903! You would never know by seeing this guy on the street. He is healthy, happy, and very sharp. As I sat and talked with this gentleman I was more and more amazed by his story. He is an African-American and has seen some extraordinary changes throughout his lifetime. This man has 38 children. That is right, THIRTY-EIGHT! He has outlived SEVEN wives (each at different times, no polygamy here). Each marriage ended when the wife passed away, except for one that ended in divorce. Two of his spouses died in his arms. He is still very active in the church and the community. All his neighbors and fellow church members know him by name. In fact, he has a list of all the members of the congregation and their birthdays and he gives them a personal telephone call to wish them well on that day - even the little kids. He reads and studies, gives speeches, and will soon star on a local news story. I was most amazed by this guy's happy optimism. There is not a root of bitterness, grumpiness, or anger in him - despite living through a century of societal and personal turmoil. I asked him his secret and he replied, "Love yourself to love others". For a fairly unremarkable day, I'm grateful to have met quite a remarkable man.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Time and all eternity

There is just something about the sealing ceremony that is incredible. I love to be a witness to this sacred ordinance. The language is so profound, particularly when contrasted to the typical wedding ceremony outside of the temple. The promises are so amazing that I'm not sure I even comprehend all that they really mean. I think more than any ordinance or ceremony in the Church this inspires and motivates me the most! I've not yet had the privilege of kneeling at that altar and hearing those words directed toward me, but I will, and who knows it might be soon! I caught the garter at my younger brother's wedding yesterday!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where two or more are gathered in my name...

Do you all remember my substance abuse class? Well, I have been sober, 100% clean from soda pop, for about 3 weeks now! It actually has been kind of hard, especially when I am craving something sweet to drink and it's right there in the fridge tempting me. Tonight though, I had the opportunity to learn something about real addiction. Another requirement in the course is to attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings over the course of the semester, one an LDS version that is modified to be Christ centered and the other a traditional community meeting.

We met in a small room in a local church building. Two former addicts turned missionaries sat at the head of the circle and led the group. 5 ordinary individuals came into the room and sat down in a tight circle. One by one they bore their soles. A silver haired grandma fighting a drug addiction for over 30 years can't remember her kids growing up. She's ready to quit and find joy in her grandkids. A mother of 6 with an alcoholic husband in denial wonders what to do. A court ordered prescription drug abuser doesn't want to go to jail. A quiet young guy with a hat over his eyes doesn't want to lose his wife and 3 little girls who have simply had too much. Each told their story. "My name is....and I'm an alcoholic..." We laugh about that line sometimes but I'll tell you something, I was touched by the humility and courage of that admission. I dare say that a lot of us think we are above that kind of struggle...but we're not. I wondered if I was that willing to recognize my weakness before God and man, and admit that I am powerless without Him who can remove it. My self-righteousness gave me a stomach ache. These people may be alcoholics and addicts but they are first and foremost children of a kind God, and tonight He reached out and touched them...and me too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Did you say LEGALIZE DRUGS???

Who would have thunk? A professor and classroom full of students at one of the most conservative universities in the United States, and maybe the whole world, a school rated dead last in the annual list of party schools, advocating a major change in drug policy in America. The change - to decriminalize and legalize illicit drugs in this country! The one hour news story was compelling, the argument so logical. The discussion was baffling, the students so convincing. The feeling oh so wrong!

Monday, September 18, 2006

What am I doing?

Do you ever just wonder what in the world you are doing? So far my internship at the Veteran's Affairs Hospital has gone really well. I am currently working in a program called Home Based Primary Care. It is a comprehensive program to help veterans who are unable to make it in to the hospital to receive services. That means that we as social workers go out to the home and do psychosocial assessments and other clinical interventions. It has been fun to talk with these old-timers and hear some of their stories. I like working with the elderly. It has been especially interesting to see some of the relationships between husband and wife. One old grandma was holding her husband's hand and would pat his face as he talked. They indicated that their relationship was their greatest strength. I've been so impressed by the devotion of some of these elderly ladies caring for their husbands. There is just something cool about a mature love that has been tested and proved through the ups and downs of life. It seems so much less superficial than young love can be. Another couple argued and degraded one another. It seems that pattern has been going on for 61 years! What a tragedy that they have seemingly never discovered the experience the other couple has.

Well, that was somewhat of a cheesy tangent I hadn't planned on. Today I went on a follow-up visit with one of our patients who recently lost his wife. It is so sad to talk to some of these guys and hear them tell me that they feel worthless and hopeless. I am learning more than ever before how difficult it must be to grow old and lose your health, memory, and loved ones. Anyway, this poor veteran who has served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam was in my judgement extremely close to taking his own life. I tried to ask all the questions I've been trained to ask and do the right things, but I was thinking to myself, "what have I gotten myself into." In this profession you expect that these situations will come, but when they do the frightening responsibility weighs heavy. After consultation with my supervisor I feel better. I think we have done everything we can to protect his safety. Fortunately, later in the day I called him and he "contracted for safety" as we say in the profession. It is a heartbreaker I tell you - and one I hope I don't encounter very often.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

An exercise in empathy

Today was the first day of school. I am taking a class on substance abuse. In an effort to engender empathy in us students for those who have abused substances and are working to overcome their addictions, we have received an assignment to abstain from consuming a substance of our choice for the length of the semester. This substance has to be something that will be challenging for us personally to give up - something that will tempt us to "relapse". In the past students have usually given up things like soda, candy, sweets, ice cream, salt, caffeine, etc. I have been thinking about what I should give up. I really want it to be an insightful experience for me so I want to choose wisely. I am leaning toward soda. I don't drink a ton, but I do drink at least a little everyday because we always have it in the fridge. I definitely have a sweet tooth, especially after meals, and a little "pop" as we Utahns say, always fulfills that craving. If not soda my next choice would be sweets, but I'm afraid that would be too hard through the Holidays. What would you give up?

Monday, August 21, 2006

God bless America, and God bless home!

Silent Thunder is back home and back in blogging. So many thoughts and so little time...more to come! But I must say that I love this country, and I love home! Great as it is to know new people and places, and have incredible experiences - even life-changing experiences - and hard as it is to leave sometimes...nothing beats coming home for me!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Final Papers

The semester is coming to a close! Not without a number of final papers though. I thought I would post a section from my paper that I am just finishing for my "Multicultural Diversity" course. I've thought about this stuff a lot lately, so here it is:

To be honest I am still in the process of formulating my personal beliefs and opinions regarding cultural diversity. That may be a long-term and ongoing process. However, throughout the course of the semester I have been able to clarify some thoughts and solidify some beliefs that I find valuable. For example, I have often been perplexed by the instruction in the social sciences that we must not be “color-blind” nor “color-biased”. The principle here seems to be that we ought to recognize an individual’s race, ethnicity, etc. to provide some general understanding of where an individual comes from and what they’ve experienced; while at the same time abstaining from pre-judgments and biased notions. This tight rope of political correctness can at times feel very shaky, particularly for a white, Anglo-American, Judeo-Christian, male who seems to have the highest potential for unintentional political-wrongness.

As I have studied the scriptures I have understood an almost entirely different message than that espoused by the doctrine of the social sciences, which admittedly has resulted in some personal dissonance. For example, in 2nd Nephi we read, “…and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” Furthermore, in 4th Nephi during the millennial-like era following Christ’s visit to the Americas we learn, “that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people…and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ.” In my mind the obvious truth derived from these scriptural passages is at odds with the philosophies of the world. That is, the scriptures seem to be teaching that we should focus more on what we share as children of God that unites us, rather than on what we do not share that “diversifies” us.

As I have reflected upon these principles during the semester I have come to some tentative conclusions, which are certainly open to debate and debunking. I do believe that it is important to understand and even appreciate another person’s life circumstances, which may include all of the categories we use when talking about “diversity”; gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, language, religion, and so on. We live in an imperfect world that has far too often been, and far too often still is, plagued by hate, oppression, prejudice, and misunderstanding. Under such conditions it is difficult to fully understand the whole person without understanding the effects of these evils on the society from which he or she comes. Furthermore, our experiences in our socioeconomic, political, cultural, historical, and religious environment give meaning to who we are and shape the things we do. Nonetheless, mitigating all of these points are two simple facts, namely: that we are all unique and distinct individuals even within defined groups, and that we all belong to the human family at-large.

Having said that I have come to realize that the social science view and the scriptural view are not necessarily diametrically opposed, but I do think that our emphasis in the world is in the wrong place. In my view what the scriptures and the social sciences are trying to mutually underline is the truth that the value of every individual is the same, no matter their skin color, language, or faith! However, as long as we keep focusing on whether we are this “ite” or that “ite” we will always remain separate “ites”. So long as we continue stressing what is diverse, we will always be segregated. Not until we focus on what we have in common as children of God will we be united as one human race. In my opinion the answer to ending the evils surrounding discrimination, hate, and prejudice is not shouting “diversity”, it is shouting “unity”. United under the banner of our alikeness we can then marvel at the wonderful tapestry made up of our uniqueness.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Yo voy a Guatemala

Sometimes life has a way of throwing serious curveballs. Last Friday my internship, which had been in the works for about 6 months, fell through. Turns out they wouldn't be able to pay me. With only 3 weeks to find a placement and very few options available to me I called the coordinator at the school of social work to give her the bad news. She quickly confirmed that the prospects did not look good at all. As we said our goodbyes with little resolution to my dilemma, she asked if I spoke Spanish. You all know the answer and the call ended.

The question intrigued me. I was at work at the time and I just couldn't get it off my mind. In our next phone conversation I asked the coordinator if there was a placement where Spanish was required. I explained that I spoke Italian, that the languages were quite similar, that I had taken a Spanish class, and that I felt that I could pick it up rather easily. She explained that there is a local family here in Provo that opened an orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala several years ago who generally recruits interns from BYU for summer placements. Recently they decided to purchase land near Lake Atitlan (one possible location of the Waters of Mormon) in the highlands of Guatemala for an additional orphanage location. The whole process went much more quickly than they had anticipated and they were ready for an intern as soon as possible. They had just called BYU to ask if there were any interested students.

Thus, misfortune met opportunity and the official decision was made today. I had very little time to make this decision, but with significant contemplation, fasting, and prayer I feel comfortable to move forward despite my concerns. I am both excited and uneasy all at the same time! I will truly miss the summer in Utah, I was looking forward to good times with family (my brother comes home the 26th of April from his mission), 5K runs, Zion Nat'l Park, and a host of other summer activities I love. There seem to be more obstacles and concerns than there are reassurances - chief among them the fact that I don't speak fluent Spanish or really feel totally competent in what I am doing in social work - but I decided to not be governed by my fears. Whether or not this once-in-a-lifetime chance is an orchestration from Heaven or merely coincidence I will not attempt to guess, but I look forward to a wonderful opportunity to serve the children of Lehi! Pray for me!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

An unbroken chain

Good friend of Silent Thunder
ordained a Priest on March 26, 2006 by

Silent Thunder
ordained an Elder on September 26, 1999 by

Silent Thunder's father
ordained an Elder on August 5, 1972 by

Silent Thunder's grandfather
ordained a High Priest on April 20, 1966 by

Nicholas J. Teerlink
ordained a High Priest on August 27, 1939 by

Charles A. Callis
ordained an Apostle on October 12, 1933 by

Heber J. Grant
ordained an Apostle on October 16, 1882 by

George Q. Cannon
ordained an Apostle on August 26, 1860 by

Brigham Young
ordained an Apostle on February 14, 1835 by

The three witnesses to the Book of Mormon - Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer, who were appointed to call
and set apart the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles according to revelation - on February 14, 1835 under the hands of

Joseph Smith Jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams of the First Presidency.
Joseph Smith was ordained an Apostle in June of 1829 by

Peter, James, and John who were ordained Apostles in the meridian of time by

The Lord Jesus Christ.

Now that is pretty sweet, if you think about it!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Model to Follow - Bruce R. McConkie

For those who have the time and patience to read yet another long entry. Don't feel bad if you don't, I had fun writing it.

I have always been fascinated by people. I have always been fascinated by history. When the two are combined my fascination doubles. I have discovered that biographies can be a treasure trove of insight into both people and history. A couple of years ago I read a biography of one of the most well-known and oft-quoted members of the Church in this dispensation - Bruce R. McConkie. Because the biography is written by his son, who is a respected gospel scholar in his own right, the information is all the more intimate and unique. I immediately came to admire a man who has no ties to me whatever and who was gone before I was even 5 years old. I don't know if it's appropriate to have "favorite" leaders, but I admit that I do, and if I were to make a list he would be right up there at the top along with the likes of Neal A. Maxwell, Lorenzo Snow, and Spencer W. Kimball. Here's a look at his life.

Bruce R. McConkie was born in 1915 into a faithful family with a strong pioneer heritage. His father, a lawyer by the name of Oscar, was a man with great spiritual gifts. Once when Bruce was just 5 years old Oscar was very sick with the flu. Oscar knew the faith of children and requested that Bruce kneel down beside his bed and pray. Bruce offered what I imagine was a simple prayer requesting that his father be healed. Immediately he began to recover. Once when giving Bruce's mother Vivian a blessing, Oscar offered a prophecy, "God chose her to bring forth prophets...those who if they are true, will shape the opinions of many, even nations...and in mortality, they will walk and talk with God."

Bruce grew up in Monticello, UT. and Salt Lake where he had an ordinary childhood. Always an excellent student, he excelled at journalism and debate in High School, but wasn't particularly skilled musically or athletically. He graduated from LDS High School at the age of 15 and spent 3 years at the University of Utah before going on a mission to the Eastern States. When he was 17 years old he met his future wife, Amelia Smith, daughter of then Elder Joseph Fielding Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He loved her with his whole soul and felt that she was "foreordained" to be his companion.

Before leaving on his mission to the East he received a father's blessing that warned him of Satan's desire to "overthrow" him because of his foreordination. He was blessed with gifts of healing, revelations, understanding, and teaching along with these words: "Through your faithfulness you will become a chosen vessel, exalted among your brethren in the holy order of the priesthood of our God." He served a successful mission. At one point he prophesied that an elder and sister in the mission would get married. You will not be surprised to hear that they did! Aside from his goals to bring souls to Christ as a missionary he had two personal goals that were clearly accomplished through the course of his life, namely: "to acquire speaking genius" and "to obtain the wisdom of the scriptures and live in harmony with them."

Upon returning from his mission he married Amelia, whose patriarchal blessing promised that she would "raise her voice in testimony in many lands throughout the world." The subject of Celestial Marriage later became his favorite topic to speak on. Not long after their marriage they had their first son, Bruce Jr., who died as an infant. Other children joined their family and they made their home on the outskirts (in those days) of Salt Lake, near Granite High School. Bruce became an attorney like his father, but he worked for the Deseret News as a journalist until his call to full-time church service.

Bruce was called to the 1st Quorum of Seventy at the age of 31 - the youngest man ever called to that position. Although he was young, the call came as no surprise to those who knew him, many had indicated that he would be so called at some point. Some have characterized Bro. McConkie as austere, aloof, and stiff, but according to his family he was a tender, sweet man who worked hard to reach people. He was a calm man with a unique sense of humor, frequently writing fun poems and cards. He was a man without pretention, often wearing worn out socks, old ties, and sporting bad haircuts - but he was bold. He didn't mix words and was very non-autobiographical, choosing instead to address doctrine strictly. The truth of this statement seems to be true of him, "Doctrinal teachers will be quoted a hundred years after their death while the popular speakers who people find so entertaining will be long forgotten."

In 1958 Elder McConkie wrote his most well-known and widely circulated work - Mormon Doctrine. Some in the church criticize this book and float around many rumors as to its evolution and content. The truth is, he was chastised by the brethren for not receiving input or consent and for the tone of some portions of the book. Nevertheless, he received the counsel humbly, and under a mentor, Spencer W. Kimball, slightly revised the tone and removed parts unrelated to Mormon Doctrine in particular. Other rumors surrounding the book are simply untrue.

Indeed Elder McConkie had an incredible gift to understand and teach doctrine, and it is no wonder. He studied the scriptures every night with his wife Amelia. It is said that he RARELY watched TV or listened to the radio, instead choosing to pay the price of study. From his college days he enjoyed walking to school and continued to walk to work when he worked at the Church Offices. While walking he would often assign himself a topic and then create a spontaneous discourse and see how well he did. He followed the same pattern as he traveled to various meetings around the world. He spent a great deal of time correcting false doctrines in the church and was often criticized for it. He got so much angry mail from members and non-members alike that he put a box in his office for a collection. His extraodinary gospel knowledge was invaluable later when he, along with Elders Packer and Monson and a committee of other leaders/scholars, worked to publish the current version of the Standard Works; including chapter headings, Joseph Smith translation, and cross references - to which he contributed very heavily. President Packer would later say of him, "If ever there was a man raised up unto a very purpose, if ever a man was prepared against a certain need - it was Bruce R. McConkie."

Elder McConkie was called to the apostleship in October of 1972 following the death of his father-in-law Joseph Fielding Smith. Several members of his family had had premonitions of the coming call, particularly in the previous April conference when he read his beloved poem turned hymn, "I Believe in Christ". Elder McConkie became aware the call would be coming 2 months before it came. While on the stand at a conference in Mexico the authority conducting read the names of the living Apostles for a sustaining vote. At this time there was a vacancy in the Quorum, leaving only 11 names to be read. Elder McConkie however, heard his name called as the 12th apostle. His call was much like that of Heber J. Grant's. Elder McConkie was not President Lee's first choice for the vacancy, but like Pres. Grant his call came from the Lord in large measure due to the faith of his forbears and a council in heaven. In fact, Elder McConkie felt strongly that the prophet Joseph and other progenitors had a great deal to do with the calling of apostles and prophets.

Perhaps like me you have heard it noted that Elder McConkie once said that "blacks would never receive the priesthood." This is usually in an effort to discredit other statements he made. Whether he felt that way at one time or another, I don't know. What is certain is that President Kimball asked Elder McConkie to make a written submission of his position on the issue during the intense period of "studying it out" that preceded the revelation in 1978. Elder McConkie outlined his view in favor of extending the blessings of the priesthood and the temple to all worthy members of the church. He later bore witness to the powerful outpouring of the Spirit experienced in the temple when the revelation was received and said, "I think the Lord waited to give this new direction to his earthly kingdom until his church was big enough and strong enough to absorb those of all races and cultures, without being overwhelmed by the world."

This man had a burning desire to live to see visions, entertain angels, work miracles, receive revelation, and enjoy all gifts of the Spirit - and he did. He taught the Saints to do the same and he gave a simple formula: "keep the law, search the scriptures, ask in faith." Once he prophesied to his son, who had never received better than a C+ in an English class, that he would yet write books. On another occasion a woman touched the hem of his jacket with the faith to be healed of her ailment and it was done. Yet again, while sick with cancer, he blessed a paralyzed mother in the hospital who now walks. During the funeral services for President Joseph Fielding Smith the veil was opened to his view while he was speaking and he saw his father-in-law in the midst of his father Joseph F. Smith and others. At another conference, while singing a hymn, the veil was taken from his eyes and he saw his brother - a gifted musician who had passed away before seeing the promise that he would make great contributions to music in the kingdom - leading a heavenly choir in a conference in the Spirit World. These are just a few examples.

In January of 1984 Elder McConkie was diagnosed with liver cancer. Through a series of medical miracles - the result of much fasting and prayer - the cancer was stayed for over a year. He fought the illness with great courage and continued his ministry - even extending a call to a Stake President once while lying on the floor of the office. In the midst of his pain he taught, "suffering sanctifies...we will all be tried and tested to the full extent of our power to withstand." Despite the efforts of people on both sides of the veil to save him, the cancer began to take its toll. Just before April Conference 1985 his sons gave him a blessing stating that he would "bear every testimony, teach every doctrine, and write every word that he had been foreordained in the councils of heaven to accomplish." The blessing was later sealed by the 1st Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

Elder McConkie fought to endure to conference to give one last address. His family fasted and prayed that he would have the physical and emotional strength to say the things that he desired to speak to the people. Each time that he tried to go over his remarks he broke down and couldn't get through his testimony. His parting words from that conference are powerful and their culmination will forever live as one of the most memorable testimonies ever given in this dispensation.

"I am one of His witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in His hands and in His feet and shall wet His feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that He is God's Almighty Son, that He is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way."

Elder McConkie passed through the veil on April 19, 1985 surrounded by family in the midst of prayer. Surely the comforting words he spoke years previous to all the Saints are applicable to him, "All faithful Saints, all who have endured to the end, depart this life with an absolute guarantee of eternal life."

May Bruce R. McConkie be a model for us all!

(Most of the information comes from "The Bruce R. McConkie Story" written by his son, Joseph Fielding McConkie).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My many valentines - sort of.

Valentine's Day 2006 is now slowly coming to a close and I have been thinking. I don't have a Valentine at the moment - romantic love seems to be evading me for the time being, but I do have lots a wonderful women in my life who I love. Today I have been thinking a bit about them.

Grandma is now over 80 years old. The thought that her life is in the sunset years is sad. She is a simple woman of quiet modesty. She grew up in the depths of the depression, raised 13 children in relative poverty, and has pressed forward as a widow for over 20 years. I remember well being a nerdy little boy who liked to talk about books. Grandma listened, and told me about her books too. I've never heard her say an unkind or judgmental remark about anyone. I've never heard her complain about her pain. I've laughed with her when she hit the pinata at the family reunion last summer and I've been choked up when she talks about her love for her family. She is quick to laugh with that silent chuckle that brings a smile to everyone's face. The apostle Peter in addressing the women of the church said, "whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." Such a woman is Grandma. Those who know me well know that I have well-defined personal space boundaries. I'm not one to hug and kiss with your average friend on the street, but I kiss Grandma. I love her.

Mom is so strong, even though she doesn't see it. Mom has survived difficult family experiences and has risen above the cycles of anger and hostility shown to her to raise a good and happy family. She loves God and carries a simple faith. Her sensitive heart has taught me to be compassionate. Her generous nature has taught me the value of service. Who else in the world not only goes to her piano students' houses to teach them, but teaches them for FREE?! Mom puts her family first and is like a mother lion when anyone has tried to harm or criticize her children. She has faith in me and lets me know it, even when I struggle to have faith in myself. Like today, when she sent me a Valentine with a message of love and support. I always looked forward to Mom's letters every week during the mission. All mail was good, but there was something about letters from Mom. Her instruction and example has instilled within me a value for faith, diligence, love, music, cleanliness, and sociality to name a few. I wonder who I would be without her influence. I lover her.

Sister is amazing. I grew up thinking she was either a huge brat or the coolest person in the world, depending on the day. I always looked up to her and tried to follow her example. It was her example that prompted me to pray each night before bed. I was (am) more reserved and quiet than her, she was crazy and outgoing. Perhaps sensing this, she always helped me to make friends and feel comfortable. I have watched in amazement really, as she has developed from a ditzy and moody teenager into a wonderful wife and mother. I have seen how those sacred roles have changed her and made her so mature and beautiful. It is a remarkable thing to see how selfless and devoted she is to her husband and three boys. I have learned so much about the meaning and wonder of womanhood from watching her. I lover her.

My friends that are women are incredible. There are too many to identify each one, but they are all beautiful and dignified women, each with unique talents and gifts that I admire. They stand as valiant daughters of God who live passionately and righteously in a difficult world for women to live in. They honor and value the priesthood, they work to achieve their goals, and all the while they understand their divine nature. These friends help me see the bright side of life and induce laughter at every opportunity. Like many women today they struggle with the messages that bombard them and the challenges that confront them, but they demonstrate their faith by the graceful way in wich they consistently follow Truth. The light in their countenances and the joy in their eyes witness of God's love for them. They accept me despite my awkwardness and instill confidence in my own sense of being a man. They inspire me to be a better man, and to be worthy of a righteous woman, such as them. I love them.

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies...Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come...Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31)

So today, I praise each of you. Thank you! Never underestimate the power and influence of a righteous woman.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lost in Lost

The other day my roommate came home with the first season of the TV show "Lost" on DVD. I hadn't really heard too much about this show, but I sat down and watched the first episode with him. Next thing you know it was past midnight and we were finishing up the last episode on the disc. I do believe I am hooked. It's a good show with interesting characters, a fun story line full of twists and turns, clean (at least so far), and darnit they really leave you hanging at the end of every episode. You pretty much have to see the next one, and thus the trap is created. I don't watch too much TV these days, but here is a show that seems worth watching.