Friday, December 11, 2009

Tellin my parents

I'm tellin my parents tommorrow. I think it'll go fine, but if anyone feels like praying that it will, i'd appreciate it.


Dedicated to My Roommate (whom I actually get along well with)

Tis the night be for the final
Poetry is coming due
And I sit here writing, rhyming—chatting with my roommate too.
“Poetry?” he says, “You’re gay man. Do you do ballet as well?”
Smack! My fist conveys my answer as I ring his dull thick bell.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Its true!

Yep, the Temple Ordinances, the Joseph Smith Story, The Book of Mormon, heck the entire gospel is true. Great weekend starting with my first temple session in a couple months, ending with watching the Emma Smith movie. This plan of salvation really is that pearl of great price. God lives, loves us, and is there for us. That is all, have a good night.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dark Voices

“I hate you--you worthless scum. You ought to die. I don’t even know why you’re here. You never accomplish anything. All you do is sit there, sniveling, whimpering. What are you a dog? Well why don’t you say anything. Piece of crap!”

The acerbic voice yanked me from my dreams. What was going on. I tried to gather myself. I turned to the right looking for my alarm clock. Couldn’t find it. Turned left, oh there it is. That’s right. I wasn’t in the Missionary Training Center anymore. I was in Marietta Ohio, my first night in the mission field. I glanced over at Elder Goodwin, my companion. He was still asleep. I wasn’t surprised. He hardly seemed to be the type that’d say such things. Maybe I’d just dreamt, it. No, that can’t be. I’d been dreaming of my dog Spartacus, a fearless Pomeranian, jut before I’d woken up. Man I missed Spartacus. He’d always come and wake me up in the morning by pulling the socks off my feet, then barking in my ear until I got out of bed and took him to relieve himself.

Speaking of which I could use some relief. I got out of bed, stubbing my toe on Elder Goodwin’s barbell. “Bananas,” I cursed under my breath. Glad to see I’d broken my habit of using harsher words and continued to the business room. I didn’t hear the voice anymore that night, and quickly fell back to sleep.

The next morning over a bowl of Luck Charms, I spoke with Elder Goodwin. “Dude, I heard this crazy voice last night.”

“Elder, Don’t you mean Elder.”

“Well I don’t think it was an elder, you were asleep.”

“No, I mean we aren’t dudes out here. We’re elders.”

“Whatever. So tell me did the good Elder Goodwin happen to hear any voices whilst the elder slept on the elder’s bed? Sir Elder.

He snorted his Fruit Loops. “You’re such a dork.”

“Oh, so we can be dorks, but not dudes. I don’t get it.”

I told him about it. He hadn’t heard it and passed it off as a nervous greenie. We went through the day, spent most of it tracting. But we did have a dinner appointment with Bill, the member that lived in the house above our basement apartment. Bill was a bachelor, fresh out of college. I was excited when I saw the pizza; Elder Goodwin didn’t see quite so excited.

“So what do you do Bill?” I asked. Elder Goodwin kicked me under the table.

“Oh I’m looking for a job right now. The economy is pretty tight right now. Its been hard to find anything. Hope I do soon or I’ll have to move back into my parents. Like anyone wants to do that.”

We moved on to other topics. Elder Goodwin made me provide the thought. I shared Ether 12:27 and we left.

Training with Elder Goodwin went very well. He was a good elder with a strange sense of humor. He never really talked about home, in fact whenever I would bring up my home, he’d just get quiet.

About four weeks later I was awoken with a thud. I groped for my clock. It was 1 am. I was sure the thud came from upstairs, Bill’s Apartment.

“You’re pathetic!” Piece of Crap. You don’t do anything right.” The venom poured down the air vent into our bedroom. “Be a man. Do something with your life.”

Then there was a second voice, answering the first. It was weak, pleading, almost at the breaking point. “Leave me alone. I’m a good person. Shut Up!”

“You, a good person? You don’t have a job, you don’t have a girl friend; you’re going to live with mommy and daddy. What value do you have? No one cares about you. No one likes you. You’re a worm, a sick little worm writhing on the sidewalk after a storm. You have no shelter. You are worse than nothing. You suck the goodness out of things.”

“Shut up, people like me. I have friends, I make people happy.”

“Oh really. You must be talking about the old people at the bingo hall. You really thing they care? You really think they would notice if you were gone. Can’t old Bob Wodskow just go back to calling the numbers, or is that why you have the degree? Four years in school so you can give old ladies with crooked teeth a candy bar for blackout. They can’t even eat it. “

I barely heard the next voice. “I hate you. I hate you so much.” There was a thundering cacophony. It sounded like miniature horses pounding in the ground. It only lasted a few seconds. Then things were quiet.

I looked over at Elder Goodwin. He was sitting up in his bed. “We need to go up there.”

The door was locked, but Elder Goodwin quickly jimmied it with his debit card. The lights were out as we crept into Bill’s apartment. My heart was pumping. Elder Goodwin was massaging his knuckles. We worked our way through the house. Entry way, study, kitchen. Then we saw Bill. Curled up in a ball at the bottom of the stairs. His muscles were convulsing. I didn’t see any blood but his arm had an extra bend in it between the elbow and wrist. We ran over to him. “Bill are you ok?” All he did was whimper. I touched his shoulder, and he jumped. Each breath shook his entire body.

“Who did this too you,” Elder Goodwin asked?

Bill just looked at us. He wanted to say something, but couldn’t get it out. Finally after stuttering he said, “Its kind of bad isn’t it”

“Yeah, we heard you yelling with the guy who was it? Is he still here?”

“Sounded like he knew you? What was he doing here?”

Bill looked away. “ It was me. I’ve been feeling really down lately, not being able to get a job and all. My brother told me I must not be motivated enough. That I just needed to try harder. I started to believe him. So I’d try to get motivated by pointing out all the bad thing I’d done that day. All the time I wasted. All the mistakes I made talking to potential employers. At first it seemed to help. I used my time better. But then I started finding more and more things that I was screwing up. I thought I just needed more motivation, so I stated yelling. When I started hitting myself I knew it was wrong, but I just couldn’t stop. The dark voice in my head took on a life of its own. Seeking out weaknesses from years ago. Even turning the good things I did into insults. I wanted to stop it, but it is just so strong. Its insidious. It pops up just at the times I need confidence. I don’t know how many opportunities I’ve thrown away because of this voice. But I can’t stop it. Whenever I’m alone, it is there.”

We gave Bill a blessing and got him a ride to the hospital. After Bill got back he’d come down to our apartment for scripture study. We didn’t hear any more voices in the night and Bill slowly got better. By the time I left Mariettta six months later he had a job, sure it was at Wal Mart, but he seemed happy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things Made Whole

The field was littered with brown clumps of dirt left from a recent aeration. The sprinklers had been on last night, and it was 6:00 AM on a Fall Saturday in Rexburg, Idaho. The temperature was barely above freezing.

And I wanted to give up. I'd forgotten how hard football could be. Sitting there in tryouts for the BYU-Idaho football, league carrying another lineman on my back, doing whatever torture the coaches dreamed up I thought I was a foolish man chasing windmills. I'd walked away from a unglamorous sub .250 football carrier at the end of high school. Personally happy with my effort, but frustrated that I never had the experience of truly being part of a team. (if you haven't I suggest you read about it below before continuing.) But in the Summer of 2000 Gordon B. Hinckley gave me another chance. He announced that Ricks College would become BYU-Idaho, and they were getting rid of intercollegiate sports and instituting intra-collegiate sports. In other words the teams could compete within the university. I was on my LDS mission at the time, but it was then that I knew, I would play football again.

I had given up on football when I walked off the field after my 1 and 8 senior season in high school. A lineman doesn't really have many opportunities to perform his craft. Blocking without pads, and a backfield to protect isn't even close to the same. If you don't have an offer to play collegiality you don't have any future. But President Hinckley's announcement had given me hope.

At 6:00 am its hard to feel hope. When you're soaked to the core, doing the bidding of some sadist coach, performing the monkey roll in the mud, its easy to just walk away. Each day of tryouts the group got smaller and the vomiting became more frequent.

The BYFL has a no cut policy. Tryouts are there to weed out the weak and uncommitted. If you make it through tryouts you'll be on a team, but that's a big if.

My first year in the league I was placed on the Titans. Our quarterback was a former jr. college QB that was finishing up his schooling in Rexburg. That year was great. A unofficial team goal was to never punt, and we didn't have to. ON the rare occasion we didn't convert on 4th down, our defense could stop them. I remember one game giving the other team the ball on our 20. Our defense held them to 4 and out.

We had a perfect season winning the league championship.

One of things that makes the BYFL different is the focus on becoming better people. All our practices began with a prayer and devotional, and the league had weekly devotionals. It was so different from high school and I loved it.

My second and final year in the league I was drafted onto the Knights. With black and silver uniforms we were the most menacing team in the league. I almost didn't come back for a second year. I'm glad I did. It gave me some of my best memories.

-Our quarterback was a natural leader on the team. When he told you a way to improve, or when he told you you needed to get your job done better, you wanted to do it, and you would.

-I got stats! I thought I was fine with not having any official stats to track what I did in the game. But our coaches let me go out for two passes. The first one was a touch down pass. I was playing left guard and ran a five and out. Dax lofted it up there. But my cursed lineman's body wasn't fast enough, and the ball bounced indifferently off the endzone grass. Later in the playoffs, our coaches called the play again. I went three yards and out, turned, thankfully our quarterback knew how slow I was, caught the ball, and was promptly tackled. But I got three yards receiving, and that was enough for me.

-We were a team. Before games we would all gather close together, while Danny would say in almost a wisper, "who's that talking 'bout beating them knights?"

We'd all respond,"who that, who that say what." He then would call again slightly louder, with us repeating, all while in a tight huddle, and jumping up and down. This would continue until until near tumult levels

I'm sorry if I get a little personal here and apply this to life. Like the NBA says, "its just a game, right? But sometimes is so much more than that." Football was my sport, my brothers had basketball and track, and football, but football was really the only one where I excelled. But in high school I had been given a pathetic team with unconcerned coaches. I wanted football to be my sport, my life, but my team had never even won more than one game in a season, never bonded as a team. I wasn't bitter when I walked away at the end of high school, but I was empty and unfilled.

But God gave me a new chance with football at college. Not only did he let me play again, but he put me on two teams that were the exact opposite of high school. Two league championships, one undefeated season. Teammates and friendships. I have to believe that if God in his mercy gave me a second chance at football, and gave me more than I have ever deserved. He will give us blessings that far out weigh the trials we have experienced in this life. Children who are taken while young will be reunited with their parents, the abused will receive the love and caring so sorely missed. Those who long for families, and whose hearts ache from sometimes decades of being alone will have that intimacy so long denied them. Those and all the other tough times, set backs, and things left unfilled, will be rectified with blessings that far and beyond compensate us for the injustices suffered. If God will do that with a simple thing like football, I know he will do it with all the trials in life, for those who remain faithful to him. It may not be until after we think the opportunity has passed, it may not even be during our current lifetime, but it will come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Charlie Brown Ain't Got Nothin' on Me

Charlie Brown ain't got nothin' on me. In case you don't remember each fall everyone's favorite blockhead would firmly resolve to kick the football held by his arch tormentor Lucy. Every year, she would promise this year she would hold the ball for him to kick, Good Ol' Charlie Brown would protest, but eventually she'd convince him and he'd run with all his might to kick that ball. And for over 40 years, each and every time, Lucy would yank the ball send poor Charlie Brown straight to his back.

We might feel badly for Charlie Brown, or we might consider him a fool. Why on Earth would he keep trying to kick the ball? Or we might admire his steadfastness.

Charlie Brown's football experience reminds me of mine. My football team was bad. Our practices and games were exercises in futility. During my 6 years playing with this team, never did we have more than one win in a season. On the rare occasions where we were ahead near the end of the game we would self destruct. Now if this was a Disney movie we would have at least come together as a team, but we had no unity, we fought amongst ourselves more that the other team, however one teammate did tell me how hot my mother was. Our coaches on more than one occasion would come to practice under the influence of Captain Morgan and the glory days. Uncle Rico was Joe Namath compared to these clowns. (note these were my little league coaches, in high school the coaches were better but we were a lost cause.)

Now why did I stay with it; I'm not sure at first, but over time I came to love football. But for me winning was almost a lost cause. That happens to a kid after records of 1-9 year after year. I must have been a glutton for punishment; coming back year after year, losing so much; being a alone with teammates I couldn't identify with.

I can to realize pretty early in life that it sucks sometimes. But you can't control the outside influences, all you can control is yourself. Are you doing what you're supposed to be doing? I was the center. I had two jobs; first hike the ball, pretty easily, secondly keep the nose guard or linebacker from getting to the quarterback. Any you know what I found great satisfaction from knocking the defense on their cans. The joy of seeing a blitzing line backer, pretending you're going to hit him high, then at the last minute hitting the shins and sending them sprawling to the ground. Or the sweetness of holding a guy 5 inches taller and 50 lbs heavier than you off from getting the quarterback on a pass rush for an entire game.

Now it was hard work to become a lineman. I remember late nights with my dad and older brother doing board drills, outlawed for use in actual practice because of the danger of injury, these drills were key to learning how to get lower. I remember when my older bro got me put up on varsity as a sophomore and it was hard going against people two years older than me, but that year is when I gained the skill that would carry me to my senior year.

By the time I got to my senior year, only three kids my age had stuck with it, everyone else had quit, dropped out of school, or was incarcerated. The year below us has some great talent and I wondered if this year we'd finally win a little, maybe even break .500. The first game of the year we lost to our cross town rival in a somewhat close game. That stunk but coming up next we played the team ranked #2 in the state. And we beat them. Man we were high on the hog, especially we seniors who had never really had success. We started to dream of possible winning our conference, and getting a berth in the state tournament. But we lost the next game, and the next and the next and the next. We lost every other game that year. My final chance to have success. But you know what, as much as it hurt to lose all those games, for my team to experience the same futility as Charlie Brown did with Lucy, after each loss I was able to look back, know I was knocking my guy on his can; I was keeping my quarterback safe; and I could block any defender in the conference. In fact I was named to one of the all district teams, a pretty good accomplishment for a guy that plays a position no one pays attention to on a 1 and 9 team.

I believe that sports teach you lessons you need for life, and I learned some with football. While most people learn how hard work brings wins, and the importance of working with teammates for a common goal, I learned that when adversity comes that you can't control, you just focus on doing your job the best you can and let everything else work itself out. And you know what, that is one of the key things I've need to know in life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is how i feel, i punched every exclamation point separately. I don't think my keyboard's number one works anymore.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breaking Storm

Wow, I just felt the Spirit in a most unique way.

I’ve been struggling with, among other things, depression. April, July, August, September. Those are the months I’ve had major bouts of suicidal depression. I’ve seen a counselor, actually just stopped last week, cause he really wasn’t getting me. I felt like he never listened or grasped what I was trying to communicate. Nice guy, but we didn’t click well.

The one thing he did talk a lot about was getting on an anti-depressant. I’ve felt like I should, but I’ve always been confused. Partly that I would be in some drug induced happy fog, where nothing mattered, and partly because I think I have greatness in me. And I was worried that taking drugs would take away the edge off my talents. It would make me less effective in my writing. I should also mention that my bishop has really been encouraging me to take them as well.

Well tonight I got home and my roommates were watching House. It’s a show about this amazing doctor, who can figure out what is wrong with almost anyone. He is a genius, and also a cranky old man, who has no friends. In the show, the main character, House, had checked himself into a mental facility but was refusing to take meds for whatever problem he had. The Doc wanted him too. Finally they had a conversation where it was revealed that House didn’t want to take the meds because he thought they would weaken his talent. In this case his analytical skills. House brought up Van Gogh who painted amazing pictures, such as Starry Night. House asked, If Van Gogh had been on anti depressants would he have been able to paint such masterpieces? I guess Van Gogh did some of his best work in an insane asylum. The doctor responded, “Yes, Van Gogh still would have painted beautiful nightscapes, but he would still have his ears.” (Van Gogh is famous for having cut off one of his ears in a fit of depression.)

Well there is was in12 foot clarity on the screen, my concern being addressed directly. Later I prayed and told God I was going to go find a doctor and get some medicine. The Spirit was strong, and unique. If warmed my chest. The cloud that has been over my mind was temporarily lifted. I felt warm, like the sun was shining on me. It may have been a taste of what life will be like with this depression managed.

Well, there is my story. I wanted to write it down. I guess I just need to go do it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Elder Hafen's Evergreen Talk

So I decided to go to the Elder Hafen's speech cause it was free and i had no plans. Glad I did, it was uplifting, and really helped with a good perspective on the trials. Kinda wish I'd planned for the whole conference. Next year I probably will. I linked to the full text of his remarks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting this out

Maybe if I start putting some of my frustrations on here, they won't stay with me so much.

So I've a bunch of brothers, we all get along really well. In fact, my youngest two bros and I have been doing lotsa man stuff, and it really feels good. Has helped me in the whole "not feeling like a man department".

Anyways Bro number 4 out of 5, and I talk about relationships. He is on a personal mission to get me married. Not the favorite thing to talk about, but oh well. He has a girlfriend, and they've been having a little fight lately. I've been trying to see why so I can help out.

He didn't want to tell me.

Finally a couple days ago, he told me. She's mad at him, cause he said he hates gays and she is more compassionate toward them. Of course he doesn't know about me, and I don't self identify as gay, but the venom he attached to his words was tangible. I tried to help him get a better perspective the best i could without revealing anything about me. But it really hurt. I don't make friends all that easily and my youngest two bros are probably my best friends.

Luckily it things take a long time to sink in, so it wasn't for a few days that it hit me. It came to the surface during one of my depressive bouts, and it sucked; it stung; it tore me up inside.

I'm sure we'll still be friends, but this really hurt.

Just wanted to get this all out. I think I feel better just by having written it down.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Really Depressing Post

(this is fiction)

I always wanted cancer. Yearned for it actually. Cancer seems so logical. So predictable. The process for dealing with cancer is straight forward. You go to the doctor; he tells you you’ve got cancer, tells you the odds for survival, then he recommends a treatment. You do the treatment, and you live or you die, win or lose. So orderly, it just makes sense. That is how I like my trials, Cause-effect.
Its not just the cancer patients that know how deal with cancer. The friends and associates usually know what to do. Friends and family feel grief. The close family members will spend weeks, months, or years at your side. You’ll be in the hospital, and Mother will come, brightening up the room with her cheery attitude. Of course she’ll also cry. You’ll see the pain in her eyes and feel the acid in her tears. She’ll weep over all your lost possibilities. Because as a mother, everything she’s done has been for you. Father, will probably be withdrawn at first, after all emotions are never easy for men, but he will come. You’ll make small talk, about the football season, or some new project, maybe even the latest episode of “Lost” or “24.” Brothers will come, bringing the bond forged over years of stupidity together. Sister will come, and probably behave a lot like mother. Women are masters at feeling others pain. Friends will come. They’ll do something to show their support, shave their heads, when you lose their hair, wear buttons on their backpack, hold fund raising dances--something. The community will rally around your family. This horrible tragedy will spur them to action, because when a tragedy strikes, we like to do something—to fix it--and with cancer, we know what to do.
Being messed up in the head is an entirely different matter. How do you deal with it? How do you even know if you have a problem? Sure when you start yelling, calling yourself,”Stupid” or “idiot” you know something is wrong, but you can stop that, right. It’s your brain and you can tell it what to do. But you can’t. You can’t focus on anything; you start hurting yourself. Your mind swirls with poisonous thoughts, seeping into your soul with deadly potency.
You slowly lose your joy. Parents tell you to “buck up.” Friends will valiantly try to take you to your old haunts. When their efforts to cheer you up bear no fruit, they’re frustrated. They slowly creep out of the friendship. Even those who stay by you, don’t know you.
Fear comes to your parents face. They don’t understand this monster. You go to different shrinks, each one with a different diagnosis. You try to accept it, but when you’re alone, the voices howl.
There is no easy way to deal with being messed up in the head. No predetermined way to deal with this tragedy. Because it is so foreign, people will withdraw. It will try to destroy you. You won’t know if you’ve beaten it until the end. How do you know if you won?
If something else kills you.
And that’s why I feel at peace, laying on this butcher paper. The Doctor just said those liberating words, “You have pancreatic cancer, less then a month to live.”
I close my eyes, put my head down, and smile.

(Writers Note: This is a short story I wrote for my writing class. I realize its very insensitive to cancer patients. I'm not claiming that cancer is not as bad as mental issues, but I was trying to feelings of a young man with mental issues he can't figure out. While I wasn't mentioning SGA, I did draw from my experiences for some of the feelings.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Matis Fireside--Sept

Just got back from the Sept. Matis fireside. And man was it good. It was great to see the Matises especially Sister Matis. to see her up and about was great, and as always the transmission of love during the hug was "most excellent." The way the Matises feel about all of us, gives me great strength.

The speaker was Brother Coombs. He works on the Perpetual Education Fund. He spoke about how the program works, and the good it is doing in 3rd world countries. Nice to see; my favorite part of the presentation was seeing President Hinckley give his speech on the PEF during the video he showed. It was good to see Brother Hinckley again.

A couple other notes from teh fireside. I thought it was interesting how some people who had ancestors come across the plains during the Perpetual Emigration Fund days, were still coming into SLC and paying for the loan their ancestors took out. Also the qualities they were looking for in the people they give the education loans to: worthy, ambitious, desire to improve, and needy.

Key to Zion, one heart, one mind, no poor among them. The PEF is helping the third world saints climb out of poverty. Its breaking the cycle of poverty.

The PEF never touches the corpus, or the amount that has been donated. All it touches is the interest, and the repaid loan money. Even with the economic downturn the PEF is able to make all the loans it sees need to, which BTW is about 40,000 in 2009.

Met some good people at the fireside. It was nice to see old friends again. I felt uplifted afterward, and I guess that's the goal.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I'm usually a pretty good actor. I've never been in plays or anything, but when I'm having a bad day I can turn on the cheery, positive outlook rather quickly. I'll go from midnight to noon day, on the outside atleast.

Well today my acting sucks. I just can't get up the positive energy. Everyone at work knows I'm having a crappy day. They're trying to help, and they are. The one thing about working at BYU, there is no shortage of good people willing to help you out.

And thats good, cause things have been really bad the last few days. I don't even know why. A week ago I was pumped, things were going good. Now the storm has come. I've been wondering if the fight is really worth it.

I went to Idaho this weekend. The old homestead. I love going home, cause I can leave all this crap behind. But this time it followed me. I couldn't shake it. Saw an old friend from high school that I hadn't seen in years, but that didn't exactly help.

It sucks, the wall is breaking down, and I'm not sure I care.

But its good to know the people I work with do. That might be enough for now.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good bye mohos i'm taking an extended hiatus from all this stuff. I'll still check my email and text for those who have that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Everybody needs a Buddy
Excellent advice for all our relationships.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Insert Your Own Caption!

Just a friendly reminder to do your home teaching this month.


Love the message of this song. "We all need somebody to lean on."

Monday, July 20, 2009

You know what? SGA is alot like life's other challenges. It gives us a choice; get close to God or take the other route.

Random thought driving home from Logan

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thank Heaven for the 100 Hour Board

A few people have asked what's my story. Alot of that will probably come out in a non sequential manner. Here are links to a question i asked the 100 hour board and an answer.

The Question

The Follow-up

The isolation of trying to live this life alone nearly drove me crazy. I think the isolation was worse than the temptation. Since I've found a community of Saints living life like they should while being in the middle of a temptation that's foreign, strange and feels undeserved. It has been a great support to know I'm not alone.

Well thats all for know. I'm not cryptic by nature, just necessity.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I didn't Kill anyone (yet)

At work I have an automatic reminder set for everyday at 4:45. It says "Three things that went well" I put it up after some speaker somewhere said if I did this for 30 days straight I'd have a better outlook on life. (Come to think of it started doing it back at the end of March, and things have gotten better.) Anyways some days work seems so stressful and I feel at my wits end. On those days all I can get out is, "i didn't kill anyone." Optimistic right? Anyways today was one of those days.

Now sometimes typed words don't really convey accurate meaning. I'm not saying the day was really all that bad, its just my sarcastic sense of humor, that finds it funny if the only thing good was I didn't kill anyone.

Anyways in the spirit of the glass being a quarter full here are some things that went well today.

I only visited the vending machines 5 times.

I only made one blog post during working hours.

I skipped out on lunch basketball; turns out the group played with some BYU football players, so at least I didn't injure Dennis Pitta.

My boss may have ignored me, but he didn't yell at me either.

My cubical floor is free of clutter.

I didn't incorrectly order 80 compters, and not realize it for six weeks.(actually maybe i did. I hope not.)

I won't be charged with sexually harassing my co-workers.

I did not injure myself.

I skipped lunch.--See number one.

When I see my work pile for tomorrow I'm excited for the challenge of being the only team member in the office.

And yes. I did not kill anyone today.

Well thats it for now. Its five o'clock after all and I wouldn't want to make the university keep the lights on for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wind Tunnel Musings

Penny Surfing. I don't know if its a game I invented, but I remember riding shot gun going 80 MPH on Highway 93. We'd open the window and see how long we could keep a penny balanced on the tips of our fingers. If you controlled the angle of the hand just right the penny would stay there for minutes. But once you tilted just a little too far, the wind would catch your hand, fling it back and the penny would be lost--hopefully not hitting another car on its way to the Earth.

I know not the most sophisticated game, but its Idaho what do you expect. You can't really play the alphabet game when you don't have any billboards.

But wind is pretty cool. When they design sports cars, airplanes, and other vehicles, they'll put them in a wind tunnel. The purpose is to analyze how the easy it is for the wind to slip by. They'll check the placement of mirrors, windshield wipers, the design of the hood. They want to make a machine that slices though the air as easily as a purpose in a pond or a eagle to his pray. They want it to be aerodynamic.

I've been driving I-15 alot lately. As you approach the Utah/Idaho boarder between Tremonton and Malad, there is a new high capacity power transmission line going in. I'll admit being a little miffed at the scars on the landscape. (Even a staunch conservative enjoys a nice view.) But as I drove I got to see the progress of construction. From nothing at one end of the line to standing steel power pole. Its impressive how solid these polls are. First the create a flat surface, then they dig deep into the ground and poor cement. In the cement they place cris-crossing rebar.that sticks out the top. Then the bring in the steel pole. As they erect the pole, they bolt it to the cement and put the rebar up the middle, keeping it anchored. These poles must be solid, not only so the good people of Idaho will have uninterrupted power, but so they poles don't crash down in a Idaho windstorm, killing people and cooking cattle.

All right lets tie it together. Heleman 5:12
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Helamen warns his sons and tells them of the storms that will come. The "mighty shafts in the whirlwind." I think all of use with same gender attraction realize the storms come. Of course its not like we have a monopoly on trial.

Think of the two things that can help us withstand a whirlwind. First the base that we build on. Do we have a rock. Is it the rock of mom, the rock of our favorite therapist, the rock of Perez Hilton? It may even be the rock of our bishop. There is only one rock that promises to keep us safe when the torrents of temptation come. It is the rock of Christ. We must choose our rock. Some will hold us through various storms, but only one through them all.

Second. We know the storm will come. even if the rock is there we don't want to snap off. Its all about aerodynamics. How much wind to we catch. Are we a kite? Or an arrow. As we live the gospel, we become more and more aerodynamic, until the wayward winds wield no power over us. God reshapes us, adjusting the parts that catches air, until we are a polished shaft, and the wind has not grip.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It is Good to be Here

I love the old Mormon temples. These stately structures, built over one hundred years ago in the valleys of Utah, followed by some uniquely impressive monuments in Alberta, Idaho and Arizona have enticed me since I was a lad. Growing up I yearned to explore every room, staircase and closet in old buildings. Each building held its own story. Each was a part of the craftsman that designed and built it. Never was this truer than with the old LDS temples.

The temples were even more powerful to me as a youth than the other old structures I explored with the thoroughness of Holmes, such as the Old Faithful Inn, or my old high school. I couldn’t gain access to the temples. I remember scanning every intricate detail on the exterior of the Salt Lake temple for seeming hours. Quizzing my dad on what the different symbols meant; my obsessive mind trying to extract clues as to what went on inside from the stars, suns, moons, constellations, and the All Seeing Eye.

I knew these buildings were more than just structures by the way they were treated. Everything about the temples was cloaked in reverence. The intonation when the word temple was spoken, the special suitcases taken inside, the recommend one must hold to gain access; these were no normal buildings.

As I grew old enough to gain access to these holy buildings I gained a deeper love for them. And my love expanded to all the temples built by the Latter-Day saints. The warm glow that the temples give off at night I found was a type and shadow to the peaceful assurance that could be gained in their walls. I realized that the carved railings in the spiral stair cases, or the huge murals on the walls, or the intricately constructed ornate rooms, were just man’s best effort to build a house worthy of the intricate plan our loving Father has given his children.

As I have grown, and entered many of these temples, both ornate and subdued, one prime thought comes to mind: “It is good to be here.”

These temples hold everything necessary to have a complete and rich life on this Earth and through the epochs and ages afterwards. As a young boy exploring old buildings, I would try every door when I had a chance to; heck I still do. I love the nooks, crannies and crevices. Sometimes I’ll find a door that has always been locked before. Behind the door could be a service closest or an entire new wing to explore. The knowledge gained in the temple is much the same way. You never know what spiritual door will be opened when you go to the temple. Sometimes it’ll be some morsel that helps you get through a particularly trying time in your life. Sometimes you’ll gain access to a new floor or tower that expands your knowledge immensely. Sometimes you’ll just go sit in you’re favorite corner with a view, relearning the same doctrines that have been so important to you in the past. There are so many different ways the temple helps us on our adventure back to God, but there is one thing I am sure of. They always help.

That’s why the thought “its good to be here” comes to my mind as I sit in the temple, whether by comfort, instruction, revelation, correction, exhortation, strengthening, or a litany of other ways the temple helps me. Every time. And I implore you to let it help you. If you don’t have the paper that lets you in, get one. Go to the temple, ornate or plain, and learn of the masterful plan our God has built for you. The spiritual journey of your life will become more intricate, complete and beautiful as you do.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why So Serious?

Why so serious? I was having a really stressful day. Having dark thoughts and being frustrated with SGA. Guess what saved me? Internet videos. Nothing beats a good laugh.



Friday, June 19, 2009

What Manner of Men?

If I can ever be half the man this man is I'll be happy.