blind.

24 09 2010

I had lunch with Brandon today – typically a very fun-filled event. Today, however, the festivities were laced with some sobering news.

A friend of ours recently went blind.


Brandon was much better friends with him then I was and so it has struck him closer to home than it did me.
But, when you hear about someone who is 26 and recently lost his eyesight – it will make anyone take a second to think things over.

It has stuck with me all day.
Harrison is having a difficult time with the transition (who wouldn’t?)

I half-jokingly told Brandon Harrison just needed a blessing so his eyesight would be restored.

But there was some hopeful truth behind my comment.
Miracles happen today.
It’s a fact.

You must have heard a story, or perhaps you have even been a part of something miraculous.
It’s not uncommon.

So, why not Harrison?
Why can’t hands be placed on his head and sight be restored?

“A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.” (John 9:11)

That is the beauty and awe-inspiring power of the priesthood.
You can literally give blessings that can bring people back form the dead, right?

Right!
And wrong…

The concept of faith and it’s relationship to the will of God is SO interesting.
If you remember the faith of the brother of Jared was so great that the Lord could not even keep himself hidden from him.

Do you think if someone had that kind of faith today that they could be healed that they would be?

I don’t know.
I’m undecided at the moment.
I’d like to believe it, but maybe my faith isn’t where it needs to be – or maybe my understanding of God’s will is not complete.

I wish I had more faith…

? Have you witnessed or heard of a miraculous event?





comfort zone.

24 07 2010

I have a friend named Clayton.


Most people know him as C-Bass. C-Bass (anyone remember Dumb and Dumber?)

Anyways, he put up a video on his Facebook today talking about fear:

In the context of the church we are told that fear exists when faith is not present.

The question is how do you develop the faith necessary to remove fear?

Preparation.

“…but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30)

In the church it is all about reading your scriptures, saying your prayers, attending your meetings (and staying awake during them). It’s the small “sunday school” answers that ultimately provide the faith that will cast out the fear.

The same is true in other aspects of life.

If anybody could pull off teaching a last minute hip-hop class it’s C-Bass.
The fear was only there because the preparation wasn’t.

The idea of doing something you’re afraid of daily sounds draining… oh man.

But think about the times you grow the most. It’s typically when you are thrown outside your comfort zone.
Fear usually arises any time we leave our comfort zone.

BUT – every time we leave our comfort zone we gain a little more confidence.
If you were to leave your comfort zone daily for a year you would have an unstoppable level of confidence and will have probably done things you never thought you were capable of… (ooohh, this sounds like an idea for another blog!)

I was petrified of serving a mission for a variety of reasons.
When I got back I remember clearly think ing I could do anything.

I still look back and draw strength from that experience.

Each time you leave your comfort zone you grow stronger.

I love C-Bass’s idea of tackling a fear on a regular basis. Overcoming fears and leaving our comfort zone build strength and character.

? When was the last time you left your comfort zone?





manti pageant.

27 06 2010

Yesterday’s was composed of the following:
Whining. Complaining. Bemoaning. Frustration. Anger. Self-pity.

Oh and probably a hint of resentment.

Well, that was my general attitude throughout most of the day.
When I got off work I hurried out and Amy made some comment about how I eager I was to leave. (Duh, I was eager)

I spent last night with Leah.

Have you ever been with someone whose presence somehow is able to diffuse your bad mood?
What amazes me is that she has been doing exactly that since we first became friends.

My bad mood disappeared when I saw her (after she let me take 5 minutes to just vent and get it all out).

We went to the Manti pageant last night down on the grounds of the Manti temple.

I had never been before but heard it was kind of chessy (only partially true).

It tells the story of the restoration of the Gospel and incorporates stories of Joseph Smith, the Nephites/Lamanites and the pioneers.

As we laid on our blanket watching I got that same feeling I had as a missionary when they recounted the First Vision story.
Every single time I got to tell that story as a missionary I felt a confirmation that the story was true.

I haven’t told the story in years.
But as I sat there last night and saw the story I got that same feeling.

Even just thinking about it right now brought a brief reminder of that wonderful feeling.

The story is true.
And because his story is true the church is true.
There is nothing else to worry about.

I have a million and one things I struggle with –
BUT my shortcomings and lack of knowledge can NEVER negate the truthfulness of the Church.

It is true.
I know it.

“For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.” (Moroni 7:15)

? When was the last time you got that confirming feeling of the truthfulness of the Gospel?





nostalgic.

14 06 2010

I went up to Salt Lake yesterday to meet up with my friends, Tyler & Krista Hollingshaus. (Dinner was awesome – thanks guys!)

Ty and I have been friends for about 5 years. We met via breakdancing and have been friends since.

It was great getting to catch up with them.

When I was living in the bboy house in Provo, Ty used to come down and spend the weekends with us before he got married.

It didn’t take long for the conversation to get nostalgic. We talked about the crazy weekends, the parties, the never-ending breakdancing and wild times that house saw.

Usually when I talk with anyone about the past I refer to it as my “glory days.” And then I will go home and be sad the “glory days” are gone.

The “glory days” doesn’t have to be a year ago or two years ago.
I pretty much describe anything in my past as the glory days:
Kindergarten (not a care in the world)
4th grade (just enjoyin’ recess & PE)
9th grade (a freshman with my whole life ahead of me)
12th grade (livin in Singapore and learning to breakdance)
My mission (serving the Lord and not worrying about ‘real life’)
2007 (just breakdancing and partying)
2009 (livin’ in CA with no bills!)
2010 (livin’ @ home with no bills! haha)

I LOVE to look back. I have so much to be grateful for. But I understand that the “glory days” are RIGHT NOW. Happiness doesn’t just come from being nostalgic – it comes from living right now.

In. The. Moment.

Instead of looking back with envy when I drove home last night, I was grateful for the events that shaped me and EVEN more grateful for that moment I was in. Don’t waste time focused on what is in the rear view mirror when you have the open road ahead of you.

I thought about how the things I am experiencing right now will impact the type of person I will be in a week, month and year from now.

I want to spend more time living in the present.

“Do you look forward with an eye of faith…” (Alma 5:15)

? How do you make the most of each day while looking forward with faith?





the last crusade.

30 04 2010

I love pretty much every movie I see, so it’s usually hard for me to narrow it down to a favorite.

BUT– I just watched the last 20 minutes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

Definitely a FAVORITE!

I find it inspirational and in my effort to liken things to the scriptures I looked at the last 20 minutes a little differently this time…

Sean Connery gets shot and Indiana is forced to go acquire the Holy Grail. (the giver of everlasting life)

The bad guy asks Indiana, “it’s time to ask yourself what do you believe?”

I’ve asked myself that question at various times in my own life.

To get the key to eternal life he has to pass through a series of tests…

The penitent man — is humble before God.

“And I will multiply blessings upon him, inasmuch as he will be humble before me.” (D&C 104:23)

The word of God — ok, so in the movie he has to spell out the name of God, but if you think about it we are asked to take the scriptures and live our lives according to His word.

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life…” (John 5:39)

Leap of Faith — the BEST part of the movie! He comes to a ledge with an empty cavernous divide between himself and the other side. I LOVE watching him take that step into “nothing“.

“…Whatsoeverthing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.” (Moroni 7:26)

There have been so many times where I have had no answers and could not see the other side and had two options: step out or go back.

I believe these moments define the type of person we are and will become.

It’s time to step out…

?  When was the last time you stepped out into the dark?





fear.

29 04 2010

I have a lot of on my mind:

Marriage.
Leah’s family.
My family.
Moving back to Utah.
The sales job waiting for me.
Waiting to hear back from SUU about graduate school.
Finances. (or my lack thereof)

I’m just stressed. I don’t have much to write at the moment. My head hurts.

“…fear not; I will help thee.” (Isaiah 41:13)

I just need to stop thinking for a little bit.

? What have you found to be the best way to handle stressful situations?





the testaments.

13 04 2010

Just got back from teaching seminary…

If only this could be my full time job.

We are in 3rd Nephi right now and have been talking for the past couple of weeks about the Savior’s visit to the people in the Americas. I decided that we would take a couple days to watch a video called The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd.

This is one of the best movies the Church has produced. (Although it doesn’t take much to beat some of those old 80’s seminary movies – haha) The Church is taking the production of media more seriously and as a result we are being blessed with high quality films that do a wonderful job of inviting the spirit.

If you haven’t seen this in awhile I recommend you watch it soon… And if you’re on a tight schedule, skip to the last ten minutes.

Every time I listen to this scripture quoted, I get a little misty-eyed…

“Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name — hear ye him.” (3 Nephi 11:7)

Afterwards we talked about the two major groups in the movie:

The Believers and the Unbelievers.

I asked the kids how they could believe in Christ when they have never seen Him.

One of them just looked at me and said, “I just know. And I’ll always know.”

There were others who I got the feeling didn’t quite believe, but wanted to believe.

I told them there would come a time, when the testimony of others would not be good enough. None of us can rely on someone else to keep us afloat. At some point we must develop and nourish our own faith. Once we do, it will not matter if the entire world fell apart, our faith would remain, because it is ours.








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