This is the place where I talk about my thoughts, feelings, and impressions about life. Too often as human beings we forget who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. My goal is to help others take a step back and see life through someone else's eyes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Together Forever"

I know I know......you are all shocked that I am actually writing something on my blog. It's been a while, but recent events have turned my thoughts to the concept of love.  Now we see love portrayed all around us. The  newest songs and biggest movies all have something to do with this concept. But I'm not talking about one night stands, cheesy pick up lines, or even the love that ends with the marital vow "til death do us part". I know love to be something greater.

While I was in Hawaii a couple weeks ago, I saw an example of the type of love that I mean. As I was walking through the National Pacific Cemetery, or better known as the Punchbowl, I found these three headstones.

Now I want you to take a look at these headstones. On the bottom headstone, are engraved the names of a set of twins named Robert Louis Jr, and Traci-Lynn. These twins both died in 1963 and were buried together. The twins died within 10 months of each other. At the top is engraved a cross.

The headstone on the right is etched with another pair of names. This time they are the names Ramona and Romel Kaleookalani. Both twins died on June 18, 1972. Again at the top of the headstone, there is a cross.

I want you now to focus on the last headstone. There the name of Robert L. Galeira Sr is engraved. The man was born in January of 1938 and died Sep. 29 2008. 

I wish I could put into words the feeling that came over me as my mind finally grasped the difference between the first two stones, and the last one. There at the top of the Robert's headstone was the depiction of a man sounding his horn and etched into the stone at the bottom was placed the words "Together Forever". 

I know with all my heart that the love that Robert came to know and understand between the time that his two sets of twins passed away, over 30 years ago, is the love that our God intended us to have. It is the love that the passing of a loved one cannot take away, but is instead perpetuated beyond the grave.  This love is not defined, restricted, nor does it abide by the phrase "til death do us part". It is more simply put and understood in two simple words, and they are the words "Together Forever".  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Reason Why

Have you ever felt strongly about something that you know has changed your life??  Whether it be the a speech, a speaker, a book, a soap opera, an acne cream, or whatever that something may be, you want to share it with everyone that will lend you an open ear. Thousands of people share their stories over the media to uplift and help others live better lives and have courage to stand for what is right. That is exactly how I feel about the message that we share as missionaries. This message has changed and sculpted my life in such a way that I know this can and will help anyone who applies it in their life. Henry David Thorough once said," Grief can take care of itself, but to have a fullness of joy there must be somebody to divide it with."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Oh then, is this not real?"

For the last couple of days I have been thinking about our Free Agency. Free Agency is the the gift our Heavenly Father gave to us to choose for ourselves. We can choose to wake up and take a shower, or sleep in! Which ever your little heart desires. Although we do not always choose what things may happen to us, for instance disease, winning the lottery, death, exe, he can choose how we are going to react to what we have been given. We can choose to look at the bright side of things, or choose the opposite and complain about the cards that life has dealt us.

This gift is something that a lot of times we don't fully understand. Let me put it in this perspective. God is all powerful and knowledgeble. He can do anything he wants. But he has chosen to limit his own limitless power to give us the decision to choose for ourselves. Our Father in Heaven will never force us to follow him, or even believe in him. We are left to choose for ourselves.

I once heard someone say that they just couldn't believe. That it just wasn't part of them to just believe something like an existence of a God. Well belief doesn't just start with believing. It starts with the choice to believe. We must CHOOSE faith. And when we decide to choose faith, we must be willing to act on that choice.

In the Bible, Jesus Christ is approached by a man who has a child possessed with a devil. When the father asked for Jesus to heal his son Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."

This man who approached did not fully believe that Jesus could heal his son. But he had CHOSEN to have hope that he could. The phrase,"help thou mine unbelief" is a truly powerful statment.  Even if we can just desire to believe we can cry out in prayer; Lord, help thou mine unbelief!

One of the men in my life who has truly taught me this principle is a man named Chad. I have only talked with Chad a few times in my life. The first time, I remember walking away from talking with him being very frustrated. Chad just could not get over the doubt in his mind that God was there. He would pray, but did so half-heartedly, as if to hint to God and all those around him that he just wasn't sure if he could ever believe in the being he was actually praying to. The second time I went by Chad was changed. There was light in his eyes that wasn't there before. When he prayed, he prayed with a great hope that the prayer that he was offering was actually being received. He went from faithless, to faithful. What was the difference???? One Choice.

I know and testify that Our Heavenly Father loves each one of us. He longs for us to reach out to him. But sometimes our own knowledge or thoughts keep us from him. God explains that " My thoughts are not your thoughts". We cannot, nor will we ever be able to understand everything God does. But one of the choices that we must make is the choice on when the signs God has given us of his love is enough.

I readily admit that I do not understand everything the lord has done and will do in my life. I do not fully understand his thoughts and reasons for doing things, and I am okay with that. As I have come to grow my own testimony of my Father's love for me, it is not because I can remember back to when he created the worlds. It is not because I have seen an angel, or because there are physical evidence of this or that. It is not because I have seen him in person. It is because of certain spiritual experiences that I have had in my life. It is because of a feeling of peace and joy that came over me as I prayed to know what my Father in Heaven's will for me was. That's good enough for me....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Special Type of Soldier

A Special Type of Soldier-Hugh B. Brown

            At the request of the First Presidency, I had gone to England as coordinator for the LDS servicemen.  One Saturday afternoon in 1944, I sent a telegram from London to the base chaplain near Liverpool letting him know that I would be in camp the next morning to conduct Mormon church services at 10:00 a.m.
            When I arrived at the camp, there were 75 Mormon boys, all in uniform and quite a number in battle dress.  The chaplain to whom I had sent the wire proved to be a Baptist minister from the southern U. S.  He, too, was waiting for my arrival.  As these young men ran out to greet me not because it was I, but because of what I represented, and as they literally threw their arms around me, knowing I was representing their parents as well as the Church, the minister said, Please tell me how you do it.           Do what?           Why, he said, I did not get your wire until late this morning.  I made a hurried search.  I found there were 76 Mormon boys in this camp.  I got word to them.  75 of them are here.  The other is in the hospital.  I have more than 600 Baptist in this camp, and if I gave them 6 months notice, I could not get a response like that.
          And then he repeated, How do you do it?
          I said, Sir, if you will come inside, perhaps you will see.
            We went in to the little chapel.  The boys sat down.  I asked, How many here have been on missions?  I think a full 50% raised their hands.
            I said, Will you and you and you and I pointed to six of them please come and administer the sacrament?  And will you and you and you and I pointed to six others please come and sit here and be prepared to speak.
            Then I said, who can lead the music? A number of hands were raised. Will you come and lead the music?  And who can play this portable organ?  There were several more hands, and one was selected.  Then I said, What would you like to sing, fellows?  With one voice they replied, Come, Come Ye Saints!

            We had no hymnbook.  The boy sounded the chord:  they all arose.  I have heard Come, Come Ye Saints sung in many lands and by many choirs and congregations.  Without reflecting adversely on what we usually hear I think I have only heard Come, Come Ye Saints sung that once when every heart seemed to be bursting.  They sounded every verse without books.
          When they came to the last verse, they didnt mute it; they didnt sing it like a dirge but throwing back their shoulders, they sang out until I was fearful the walls would burst.  And should we die before our journeys through, happy day, all is well; I looked at my minister friend and found him weeping. 
          Then one of the boys who had been asked to administer the sacrament knelt at the table, bowed his head, and said, Oh, God, the Eternal Father.  He paused for what seemed to be a full minute, and then he proceeded with the rest of the blessing on the bread.  At the close of that meeting, I sought that boy out.  I put my arm around his shoulders, and said, Son, whats the matter?  Why was it so difficult for you to ask the blessing on the bread?
          He paused for a minute and said, rather apologetically, Well, Brother Brown, it hasnt been two hours since I was over the continent on a bombing mission.  As we started to return, I discovered that my tail assembly was partly shot away, that one of my engines was out, that three of my crew were wounded, and that it appeared absolutely impossible that we could reach the shore of England.
          Brother Brown, up there I remembered Primary and Sunday School and MIA, and home and church, and up there when it seemed all hope was lost, I said, Oh, God the eternal Father, please support this plane until we reach a landing field.  He did just that, and when we landed, I learned of this meeting and I had to run all the way to get here.  I didnt have time to change my battle dress, and when I knelt there and again addressed the Lord, I was reminded that I hadnt stopped to say thanks.
          Brother Brown, I had to pause a little while to tell God how grateful I was.
          Well, we went on with the meeting.  We sang.  Prayers were offered, and these young men, with only a moments notice, each stood and spoke, preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to their comrades, bore their testimonies, and again I say with due respect to the various ones with whom I have associated and laboredthey were among the finest sermons I have ever heard.
          Then the time was up and I said, Fellow, its time for chow.  We must dismiss now, or you will miss your dinner.  With almost one voice they cried, We can eat grub any time. Lets have a testimony meeting!
          So we stayed another hour and a half while every man bore witness to the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Each one in turn, and in his own way, said, I know that God lives.  I know that the gospel is restored.  I know that Joseph was a prophet of God.  Again I looked at my friend, and he was weeping unashamedly.
          At the close of that meeting, this minister said, I have been a minister for more than 21 years, and this has been the greatest spiritual experience of my life.

Whether on or off the field of battle, these men knew who was their greatest support. May we each have the enthusiasm that these great men had to hear the word of Christ.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter's Real Identity

Back in the day when Harry Potter was the cool thing to read, and not just to watch, I read just about all the books I could get my hands on. As I look back now, each new Harry Potter book had a reoccuring theme. Harry goes to school, gets in trouble, finds out more about himself, and has to overcome great evil.

Our lives are not much different. We come to this earth, get in trouble, we find out more about ourselves, and we can overcome great evils. Like Harry Potter, we each have our own evils to overcome. This life is all about learning how to overcome that opposition. Will we shrink when the battle turns our way? Or will we turn and face live's challenges? Everyday we make one of those 2 decisions.

Sometimes we want and look for a middle ground. We look for a way that we can have one foot on the one side, and our other foot on the other. Well I'm sorry to say that there is none. The natural of this earthly conflict is such that there can be no neutrals, just as Harry had to choose for himself which side to take. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

My first semester in College, I was invited to go with a couple of buddies of mine and go to the local dance. We were at my buddies dorm, when right before we could leave, one of the other guys we were with pulled out a Vodka bottle. He took a long swig and then offered some to me. I motioned that I would pass. He then looked at me weird and said,"Well I definitely can't dance sober, and I'll never meet anyone special if I can't dance!". I told him that I was sorry that he felt that way, and that if he truly needed alcohol to make him feel good about himself, then he had no game to start out with. We went to the Dance, and soon after entering I left. I knew as soon as I walked in there that I should have never went. As I rode home alone that night I knew I hadn't made any new friends, nor did I look cool to all those we went to the dance with me, but I knew that I had fought the good fight.
Choosing to stand up for the right things will never win us popularity, nor worldly recognition. But I know that when we decide to serve god with all our hearts, we can find true happiness. We also find our true identity, just like Harry Potter did. I know that we are children of God! There is no greater knowledge that a man can obtain. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hi, I'm Alex Boye and I'm a Mormon

Alex Boye is the man! Here is Alex explaining how he became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Questions of My Soul: "Lord I'm Grateful"

The Questions of My Soul: "Lord I'm Grateful": "My family is the greatest gift that God has given me. They are my best friends. In the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we belie..."