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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Like Rain For The Ocean

If Christ were here on Earth, what would he do? Surely he would lift his hand to feed and clothe the world. How would he do it though? Would he raise his magic wand like a magician and make the world a better place? (Thank you Pope Francis) Maybe he would create a multibillion dollar business to seek out and care for people? Maybe he would go out on his own, and cure the world one person at a time, similar to his mortal life on Earth? Really though, what would he do?

As I pondered these questions the answer came to me, almost as clear as if it were the spoken word. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did start a multibillion dollar business, and he called it The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Maybe it’s not a business as most of think of a business, but it is a business nonetheless.) Then, since he couldn't be here to perform the work one-by-one himself, he called his “employees”, and “business associates” to do it for him, to lift the world one person at a time.

At first glance, it’s a wonder that lifting the world one person at a time would be very effective. There are over 7 billion people after all. It’s a tall order, even for the Lord’s church, and still remains tall after including the billions of churches and civic organizations involved in the work. However, it is the most effective way. Why is that? Because “He recognizes the great worth of each of Heavenly Father’s children.” (Elder Hugo E. Martinez, “Our Personal Ministries”) The Lord wants each person to feel cared for as an individual, not as an impersonal group. He understands the human psyche, and our need for closeness. He knows us, and wants us to know each other.

So, we then have a duty, each of us, to lift others in our little part of the world, whether they be strangers, friends, or enemies. The little acts of service we perform, no matter how small, will contribute to a larger ocean of Christlike acts throughout the world, and as we all work to lift each other up, the world will be lifted as well.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

7 Most Excellent Lessons

One of my favorite fun films hit the silver screen in 1989, and in this film are several life lessons that we learn every Sunday, and are core values in the lives of Latter-Day Saints. That film is "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure."

In case you haven't seen it, Bill & Ted are two high school kids barely skating through school. Their dream is to rock with Eddie Van Halen in their band, "Wyld Stallyns." As their senior year comes to a close they must pass their history report to graduate high school. If they don't graduate, Ted will go off to military school, and Bill and Ted will never see each other again.

They're sitting in front of a Circle-K, trying to study historical dudes for their report when a phone booth falls out of the sky and Rufus (George Carlin) steps out to tell them they must pass their test in order to become the leaders of a Utopian future.

Bill and Ted get in the phone booth (a time machine) and kidnap several historical dudes (and one historical babe) who later present for their most excellent history report, thereby securing our most bodacious future.

So, here are some memorable quotes from the movie, and their accompanying lesson. If you haven't seen the movie, you're gonna have to catch up. ;)

“Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.” –Ted
We are a peculiar people, and strange things are happening all around us, some good, and some bad. Rufus (Moroni) brought us the phone booth (Book of Mormon), but its up to us to do the leg work, and learn from the historical dudes (Prophets).

“Whoa. Those must be the princesses you told yourself about at the Circle-K. We gotta go. It’s a history report, not a babe report.” Bill
Remember why you came to Earth. Stay on task. Don’t give in to the natural man.

“Bogus” –Bill and Ted
Listen to the Holy Ghost, and fine tune “the spirit of discernment” so you know when things just don’t add up.

“That conversation made more sense this time.” –Bill 
Whether its reading the scriptures, or attending the Temple, you’ll understand more each time you do it.

“Trash can… Remember a trash can.” –Ted (Gotta see the movie for this one)
Keep your commitments, especially those you make to yourself.

“Be Excellent to Each Other.” –Bill
Remember to keep the second greatest commandment, to love one another.

“PARTY ON DUDES!” –Abraham Lincoln
Remember to have fun, but keep the commandments when you do!