Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Humble and Hopeful

I'm always reflecting on the counsel of my patriarchal blessing. 

Perhaps at least once a day if not more.  


I was told when I received it to read it, pray about understanding it - and I do - and it changes so so often in terms of the depth and inspiration I receive from it.  Lately it seems I've missed some inspiration from it that I've not entirely understood.

It seems I've fallen on my face so much in life that sometimes I feel like I've fallen more times than most I know have climbed or tried to - not putting myself above any of my fellow man - just saying....I've fallen a *lot*.

Mostly in the professional world it seems.

And more often than not as opposition seems quite unlimited in this world, I feel like I've got a target on my back - actually I know I do - and it comes seemingly most-often from the embodied hosts of satan's minions in this world who, wittingly, or unwittingly, love to bump and slash and dig pits for those around them - either in the name of corporate policy, or "just doing our job" (irony).  But for as often as I've tumbled, I'm become accustomed to waiting for the next rug to be jerked out from under me and yet another spectacular free fall.

I've faced the future, fearful and doubtful as to the winds of fate, just waiting to slip, or my fingers lose their grip one last time...wondering what exactly the Lord has in store for me...

As my confidence has flagged over the years and miles, I've discovered I'd been aiding  the opposition more and more with my growing cynicism, pessimism, fears and doubts all in an effort to feel like I had some control over life and was correctly anticipating how the world really operates - the point where they've paralyzed and consumed me and left me maxed out and my capabilities diminishing so it seemed....

 Now as I've reflected on my patriarchal blessing, I've realized such an attitude is not what the Lord has asked me to have and now I wonder whether I've created my own situations (perhaps to some extent) or if there really is a plan and I've been missing out on it.

Either way, I've not had faith in the Lord or his plans and I've really short-changed myself of a lot of things that require my own effort and spiritual exertions.

one of these jumps....I swear....
So what to be?

I think humble.

Humble is a combination of not prideful, but also confident, and yet willing to submit to whatever happens good or ill, and optimistic that things are going to be okay.

Makes me wonder what exactly kind of being I think God is if this is how I've thought for so so long.

At any rate...how to be?  Humble and hopeful.

For now that's the direction I think I need to take myself as it's much better than hopeless and helpless and faithless....I pray I do this and it becomes second nature.....

As for the rest.....set it down and focus on what's happening next....

Just a late night thought.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Feminist Convert to Mormonism

I appreciate the struggles of the feminists over the years.

Having read some of the writings of the early feminist movements I understand the thinkings of it early on, though I'm not much of a feminist supporter and I actually oppose much of what the movement stands for nowadays and is doing.

I think that "humanism" - an advocacy for the advancement of the human race working together rather than focusing on one or the other gender would be better for humankind than feminism or male-chauvenism.

The genders simply don't operate without each other - they can't.  They don't.  They never have.  You won't ever advance one gender by pushing the other down or asserting it's equal - you'll only advance it by showing how they work together so they can get ahead of where they are TOGETHER.

BUT if a feminist in this blog entry can be considered to be one who is aware of the differences of men and women, and is focused on helping women maximize their potential and divinity in this life....then here is a wonderful reflection by a feminist, and a Ph.D., who converted to the LDS church.  She noted that there is a difference between the doctrine and the culture in the church, but that the LDS are the only ones who truly see women as equals with men with an equally divine destiny.

I hadn't thought of the symbolism of the woman's bodies as they relate to the priesthood and their function - but even the ordinance - and yes it is an ordinance - of lactation to feed the life she created is similar in some ways to the administrations of the priesthood.

 At any rate....as one interested in truth, and sometimes truth is revealed by perspective changes, this is an amazing article that helps me understand truth about who we are. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Right but Still Wrong

Recently, on March 9th, I attended the temple and had my father and step-mother's sealing done.

While in the temple, having taken care of the matters of eternity that are so critical, having heard them from beyond the veil agree to the work that was done there...and even the Sealer paused the session to ask about my father and the ordinances out of all those that were done...all the nonsense of the world drifted away and I knew the rest of the worldly things just weren't that important.

As I had to come back to the mortal world from where heaven and earth meet....all the nonsense of the facebook world just seemed so shallow....and politics....well....they couldn't have any power at all except it was given to them from above.

And several days later a family feud over a facebook fight that became political started with several family members actually ganging up another family member (they need to make amends and say sorry - it was that bad) while we're 400 miles from family, rarely see anybody and then the one form of keeping up together  gets used to rip people over what?  Politics?

I'm not the person to be throwing stones on this.

This was my moment of my own self reflection to realize: I've done this in one form or another.

My reasons for my opinionatedness and fire come from the military where I saw liberalism unchecked that killed people - I have very little good to say about it.  My past feelings have been that I'd go to war to fight against it and am all for opening fire on it except....God has called me elsewhere.

And then after sitting the temple, my father is finally sealed to one of his wives from this life who he loved dearly, I'm putting my family together for the first time in eternity and then down here it's being ripped apart over....politics?

I've....been correct on political principle but it's not worth costing family.

And lobbing firebombs over politics?....well....I can think of nothing Satan would love more.

I'm not taking a political flag to heaven with me, but my family I hope - NEED - to take with me.

There isn't anything more important.

We take care of the eternal things then the political things take care of themselves. 

Otherwise we can jump on the bandwagon politically and win the battle yet lose the war that we came down here for.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Wrestle With Mormonism

This (link) is very very well worth the read. 

This really sums up what our religion is and how the outward tenets really are the shallowest part of what we do or don't.

Monday, March 20, 2017

And After The Fire...

I've wanted to change the world for good - be a force for good and righteousness!
quiet and fragile yet can brighten the world....

But unfortunately, I'm learning....this is a lot harder than I ever thought.   I'll turn to a bit of my inspiration in this world on this briefly:

One of my fellow military bloggers, the mighty Neptunus Lex (RIP), had a way with words that was very poetic, and powerful.  Lex had a writing style that inspired me, as well as he achieved much I'd dreamed of but never achieved - like being a naval officer and a fighter pilot.  But one of the things about his writing was that he was very pointed and yet seemed soft spoken.  I suppose when you've got a loaded F/A-18 strapped to you, maybe you don't have to speak very loudly to make your presence felt in the world.

But as I mused over his writing, and now his passing five years ago in a training accident at TOPGUN ("one word, all caps") his voice kinda directed me a bit in the Lord's ways of how to change the world.

Lex's writing style and insight was such that he never needed to write in capslock (unless it was "TOPGUN") and didn't use profanity to make his points and he had a massive following in the blogger world who listened to his ideas.  Perhaps in part because of the novelty of listening to a man who achieved what so many of us only get to read about and dream of.

But it reminded me of the scripture about how the Lord speaks - very much quieter than this world and all it's noise: 11:...And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19). 

I guess the point of my thinking is...well...this world has been set in motion a long time ago and loud words and chest thumping and yelling with capslock and a megaphone....might not be what change it.....

The pen may truly be mightier than the sword but I'm not sure it even has to write very large or very loud to be heard.....perhaps I should get ahold of the still small voice.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Neither Do I Condemn Thee: Mercy Begets Mercy

As I'm pushing myself to read my scriptures more it's amazing the things that jump out at me.

I'm trying to read a chapter from each of the Standard Works daily (so four chapters - but seeings how short the Doctrine and Covenants is...not sure how long that would last unless I re-read them).

Anyways, my favorite chapter in the scriptures is John Chapter 8 which is loaded loaded loaded with doctrine and insight into our Savior.  It's the chapter where the woman is caught in adultery is brought before him in the temple and he says that he doesn't condemn her and tells her to go and sin no more.

Mercy...came about because of mercy
As I read the beginning of Matthew about Mary's pregnancy outside of marriage, under the law of Moses she could have faced a very grim fate. 

And yet....Joseph wasn't willing to have her killed by stoning or accuse her of adultery publicly but was simply wanting to separate himself from her privately and let her be.

I hadn't thought that he was like the savior in this instance in John 8 when he didn't condemn the woman.  Mary hadn't committed adultery but Joseph had no reason to believe any other explanation and yet....he wasn't wanting to set her up for what was going to be an ugly fate under the law.

(Like father, like son).

I suppose if we think about it, had Joseph had that fate carried out immediately we wouldn't have had a savior because his mother would have been killed.  So in some sense, Christ owes his life to his mortal father's mercy, and the woman taken in adultery also owed her salvation as well to Joseph's mercy.  Heck....even Joseph's own forgiveness and salvation came because of his own temperance.

Amazing how some things seem to pay themselves forward eternally. 

Also amazing to me though is how often heavenly father has to operate outside the rules...and assure people like Joseph that what's happening really is of him.  Seems to happen quite a bit in the scriptures. 

Just musing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Authority to Speak

There's a phenomenon in America regarding the "authority" to speak on a lot of topics.

Unless you're a certain race, religion or sexual orientation - in the mainstream media most of the time you aren't considered to have any credibility or authority on a lot of issues in our world.

As I've watched this phenomenon unfold and spread - basically silencing a lot of voices for right in our world - I've noticed that some who are of the "approved" sexual orientation, race or religion who speak up in favor of gospel principles....have been finding themselves shouted down, threatened, mobbed.

It occurred to me that in time however, the only ones who are going to have the authority to speak - let alone credibility - on gospel principles are going to be those who are washed clean and are under the covenant in the gospel.

The Lord isn't going to have those who are unclean be his mouthpieces for  him or doing his work or pretending to anymore.   The days of those who draw near to him with their lips but their hearts are far from him, and those who preach for doctrines the commandments of men having a form of godliness but who deny the powers thereof....are over....

Just a thought.