Wednesday, October 10, 2012


There was a story once of an old pearl farmer, who came into possession of the most amazing pearl. It was of great value and would undoubtedly  be something that many people would marvel at.

Knowing this, he contacted a box maker and instructed him to make a box that would be worthy to hold something of such beauty.

The box maker worked day and night and eventually crafted a box that he felt was worthy. The box was made from solid oak and had a rich color to it, and was studded with diamonds along the outside. Inside, it was lined with the most expensive silk, with every detail down to hinges which opened the box being perfectly aligned.

When it came time for the gala to present and show the pearl, the proud pearl farmer placed the pearl into the box, and carefully into the show glass.

As people filled through, the farmer would stand proudly to the side and try to hear a bit of what the onlookers thought of his amazing find.

Unfortunately for him, those who were observing the pearl, seemed to be so much more amazed by the box rather than the pearl itself. They would make comments about how well crafted and designed it was, and how beautifully it stood out from any other boxes, even when the pearl was what it was there to display.

Many times in this world, there are things of great value and importance that surround us. Many of which are "beautiful" and "well crafted" and all-in-all, good things to pay attention to! But how many of us notice the "pearls"? The reasons those "boxes" are there?

In this life, God has blessed us with many great things. But none of it would be possible or even matter if it were not for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only through him, can we find true happiness, and a remission of the guilt and sins which we bear! He is the true "pearl" of eternity

(Credit to Elder Neil L. Anderson who gave a similar address/analogy in a stake president/bishops training in August 2012) 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hard by the yard

Football is a game of inches they say. High school football was something that when I was growing up, it wasn't a sport: It was a religion. 

Parkview Panther Stadium "The Big Orange Jungle"
Down south, with classification going up to 6-A and having tradition as deep rooted as the oak trees, it becomes something more than just football when the Friday night lights start shinning. 

I remember my senior year of high school, my team was playing our annual rivalry game against our most hated rival. It was the start of the 4th quarter, and we needed 2 scores just to tie up the game. We started with the ball on the 5 yard line, 95 yards away from the end zone. I remember the whole crowd having the feeling of "How in the world are we going to make it all that distance?" 

Sometimes we are faced with situations like this. Where we look down the field and all we can see is what seems like an unattainable feat in front of us. But, we need to remember, that things aren't always gonna come at once. 

I remember my friend turning to me before play resumed, and telling me "Hey, let's just see if we can get the first down. Then we'll see from there" 

Sure enough, we got 10 yards and a first down. Then he turned and said the same thing "Let's just make sure we get the next first down"

As the ball moved down the field, all the focus was was just to make sure we got the first down. Before we knew it, it was 1st down at the 5 yard line, only this time, headed towards our own end zone. We got the score, and eventually ended up winning the game

"Life is hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch" - Thomas S. Monson 

Let us always remember this phrase! When faced with a trial or with any situation, let us remember to focus on the small things, and how to start, instead of feeling overwhelmed, like we need to have everything happen all at once. See the light at the end of the tunnel and never stop moving towards it. Take things inch by inch, and before you know it, you will have reached the end zone.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Confused much? Yeah, me too

So, let me pose a question: Does anyone ever get confused?

Now let me answer that question myself: I know I sure do. Too often it seems. One example happened the other day while knocking on doors.

We approached a door as we were tracting the other day and we asked the man who answered if he would have some time to hear our message of the Restoration. He then proceeded to tell us... Well, to be honest, I am not sure what he told us.

He started by saying how he had "worked his way up through the system" and then got "dropped pretty hard". Whatever that means...

The entire 30 minute monologue that was given seemed to consist of my companion and I thinking that we were following some of what he was saying, only to be completely thrown off by absurd phrases such as "that was when I accidentally started 12th century Nazi Germany" and "back in 1981 when I was on death row as a midget and my wife was a chicken." I left that doorstep with my brain aching due to confusion.

Most of the time when we get confused it is not due to a situation where someone seems to have had too much time on their hands to imagine things. Rather, it seems to be the world around us confusing us. But the same principle applies. We often times think we know what is going on, and then a "confusing phrase" or unknown situation will throw us off that trail.

This is what makes me so thankful for modern day prophets. They are able to receive council and revelation for the entire world, giving us a more clear and less confusing way to walk on the path of life.

Every 6 months, we have the opportunity to hear from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and hear the words which God would have him say. This opportunity is coming up on October 6th and 7th, with sessions both days at 10 am and 2 pm. I invite all to attend any LDS church building, or to tune into BYU TV on that day to hear the words of our beloved prophet. I know that as you do, you will receive an increase of the spirit in your life!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I don't know how many other individuals in this life are "people persons", but I know that I enjoy talking and interacting with just about anyone. It's fun, right? Well, to me it is at least. The thing about this life tho, is "there must needs be an opposition in all things." Meaning, that for every good interaction or relationship that you have, you can find a really dumpy one too. So then what do we do when people in our life hurt us or wrong us?

I saw a quote once that I liked: "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die"

Whenever I hear this quote I think of a scene from one of my favorite movies called "The Princess Bride." Hopefully many of you are familiar with it, but in one scene, 2 men are dueling in a battle of the minds. There are two cups, and they both are aware that one is poisoned. They are trying to deceive and convince the other that they are safe to drink out of their own cup. At the end, the the villain drinks out of his cup, thinking he knows he is safe, and ends up dead. (Inconceivable!)

The same idea can be applied to our lives. We are the only ones who are in charge of our own destiny. We choose what we do and how we react to certain situations. We may be the ones who think we are safe, because the world tells us it is ok to hold onto our grudge or our anger. But in the end, we are the ones who end up being hurt, not them.

Our Heavenly Father has asked us to forgive each other. We are to love one another, without conditions or expectations. As we do this, we become Christlike. Our Father wants us to be like His Son, and I know that forgiving others and letting go of our anger is how we can grow closer to both.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Are you ready for...?

So, I had many thoughts/stories that I had been thinking to share with this first post. Most of them stunk, and most of them were a reeeeeeal stretch to be anything worth while. But I think I finally settled on a median that will be at least half decent.

One afternoon, my companion and I were sitting on the side of the street in our car making a couple phone calls before going to an appointment.

We were minding our business when a man in a green Chevy pick-up drove past a couple hundred feet in front of us to his cul-de-sac. Right away, he gave us a look telling us he was NOT happy.

He got out of his truck as we pretended not to be looking to see what he was doing. He pointed at us to his friend on his way in the house as he still seemed less than ecstatic to see us missionaries (go figure)

He made his way out of the house 3-4 mins later with a face as red as a tomato as he made a B-line straight for our car.

He came right up to the passenger side where I was sitting and banged on the window. Trying to casually pretend that we didn't notice him before, my companion lowered the window about half way as we asked him what we could do for him.

The next 2 minutes, we sat in the car as he proceeded to yell at us through our half cracked window. He must have known french really well, because he had a few choice words in there. At points, we were certain that he was about ready to rear back and give me a face-full of fist

He eventually finished his opinion about how he didn't want to see us around his house anymore and made his way home. We decided this was a good time to leave.

As we were leaving, my companion and I discussed how weeks earlier, we had made a plan on what to do if someone were to try to attack either one of us, and thought we had a pretty solid game plan. We then talked about how that plan would not have worked one bit in that situation. We were caught totally unprepared.

It made me think of how many times that happens in our lives. We think we have a plan and know what to do when certain "foes" approach, but then challenges come in ways that are un-foreseen and not planned for.

It makes me glad that I have two tools at my disposal: Prayer and scriptures. With these two helpful tools, I am able to better alter my "route" or "game plan" when life throws you something you aren't prepared for. Put them together and they can be a literal road map for your life. God wants to help us along the way, we just have to be willing to ask for the help.

"Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you, amen"
[Doctrine and Covenants 4:7]