Wednesday, December 21, 2011


"It's the most wonderful time of the year."  Christmas is almost here!  It feels like just yesterday I was celebrating Christmas in the tiny town of Lolo, MT.  I can't believe a whole year has come and gone since then.  The Christmas season is such an awesome time.  The cool, crisp, air, with everyone wishing for a white Christmas (which is almost inevitable for Montana and Wyoming).  Lights are lit, music is playing, and gifts are given and recieved.  However, in the midst of all of the activity and excitement, there is a much deeper meaning.  The gifts are great, but we must not let that be the primary purpose of our Christmas. 

The true reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of Christ.  On the night of Christ's birth, the sign of the star was given.  Three wise men followed that star until they found Jesus, their Lord and Savior.  They gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts.  Upon their return home, they were told to take a different route.  Matthew 2:12 reads, "And being warned of God in dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."

Once the wise men found the Christ, they went a different way back.  They could not go back down the same path that they came from, but with this new knowledge, they walked a new path.  During this Christmas season, grasp the true meaning of Christmas.  Find the Christ is Christmas and experience the blessings that come from it.  Once you do, you can do as the wise men of old did, and not return to your old ways, but walk a new path.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reason to Rejoice

Life is good.  There are a lot of really happy times that I can remember.  Times where I laughed, times where I smiled, times where I rejoiced.  Some of them include when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup (we won't talk about them this year), when my high school rock and roll band played a stellar show, and more importantly, when I opened my mission call to the Montana Billings Mission.  Just thinking of those times fills my soul with joy. 

I had an experience recently that kind of threw me for a loop though.  The experience led me to believe that there are so many more times that we can and should rejoice.  In 1 Peter 4:12-13, Peter is explaining how suffering should cause us to rejoice.  He says, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings..."  That scripture hit me like a brick wall.  Never have I ever thought of that we could rejoice in suffering.  Logically, it doesn't make sense.  Spiritually is a whole different story. 

Times of trial should be considered blessings.  Trials refine us and define us.  Often times when hardship is happening, a blessing is the last thing we want to call it, but we can rejoice in Christ.  We can rejoice that we are suffering with him, and through that suffering, we grow that much closer to him.  We start to understand what he went through, while he fully understands what we do go through.  He loves us and will never leave us comfortless.  We must not sulk in sorrow during our suffering, but rather celebrate because of our sanctification, and realize the reason to rejoice!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Half of my Heart

As you can guess from some of my past blogs, I am a huge music fan.  I always have a song playing in my head and continue to add more songs to my "mental playlist."  The song Half of my Heart, by John Mayer featuring Taylor Swift, has been a recent addition.  The song is about a man who can't seem to put his whole heart into anything.  The lyrics go:

Half of my heart's got a real good imagination
Half of my heart's got you
Half of my heart's got a right mind to tell you that
Half of my heart won't do

The heart is an interesting topic.  It's important to always keep our hearts in the right place, and to put our whole heart into things that we do.  When Christ was asked what the greatest commandment was, he responded with, "...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," (Matt. 22:37, emphasis added).  All of our heart is required.  If we go through life putting only half of our heart on the altar, we won't make it.

John Mayer put it well: "Half of [our] heart won't do."  In this life, there are dozens of decoys and distractions that drag us down the half hearted highway.  We must not let them get in the way of the strait and narrow path set by the Savior.  His way is the only way.  May we all more fully give our hearts to the Lord.  When we do, we will find ourselves on the whole hearted path to heaven.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finding Happiness

I can remember my parents watching the news, and during commercials I'd switch it to Spongebob Squarepants.  When I was a kid, well I guess I haven't grown up yet, I never liked watching the news or anything of that nature.  To me, it was kind of boring.  But as I got older, it's grabbed my attention a couple of times.  I've realized there's more to life than just a talking, yellow, sponge that lives in a pineapple.

There is so much stuff going on around us today.  The world is changing so much everyday.  We see natural disasters, tragedies, and wars happening left and right.  Captain Moroni, a Book of Mormon War General, was constantly fending off his enemies and trying to keep peace in the land.  It was a time of much war and bloodshed and many of the people were mourning over their losses.  In the midst of all of this, it is written, "But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni..." (Alma 50:23). 

It's hard for me to understand that even amidst all of the wars and contentions that "there never was a happier time among the people."  How can that be?  What was making that time the happiest time?  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer.  No matter what's going on around, we can find happiness in our lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we truly live the principles of the Gospel, that happiness will only increase.  May we all makes these days the happiest in our lives.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just One More

"Just one more!"  I can hear those three words being said to me during a wrestling practice.  It was my freshman year of high school during the after school wrestling workouts.  Every time that I was struggling, those three words were repeated many times.  There is one instance that I particularly remember. 

This instance while I was doing pull ups.  After doing as many pull ups that I could (that number is isn't important), I lifted with all my might, and went no where.  "Just One More," said one of the people with me.  I exerted all of my strength, but still couldn't pull myself up.  The person with me held up my legs and told me to do a couple more pull ups.  I pulled as hard as I could, and because he was supporting some of the weight, I got a couple more in.  After that, I was totally exhausted.

Sometimes in life we feel that we are pushed beyond what we can handle.  Sometimes we are.  But it's during those times when the Savior is holding us up.  That's when we feel we can't do it ourselves, so the Savior comes to our assistance and gives us a boost.  Zeniff, in the Book of Mormon, knew he needed to rely on the Lord for strength.  In his time of need he said, "Yea, in the strength of the Lord we did go forth..."  (Mosiah 9:17).  When we can't do it on our own, we shouldn't give up.  We just need to look for the Lord's hand in our life.  Once we do, we'll be surprised how often he really is there. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Greed Makes You Poorer

What's better than a great tasting Chinese Buffet?  I'll have to think pretty hard to come up with something.  I was privileged to go to a great tasting Chinese Buffet the other day.  The food was great, but of course, the finale is the fortune cookie.  More specifically, the fortune that it contains.  One fortune per customer is the usual rule of thumb, but one of the people that was with me decide to press his luck with two fortunes:  The first one had a good fortune.  The next one said, "Ignore previous cookie." 

This rather humorous experience teaches us a lot about being greedy.  When we are greedy, we shoot ourselves in the foot.  Greed is a part of all of us.  Our job is to overcome that.  We want to be able to keep our fortune that we receive. 

Paul, in a letter to the Corinthians, gives them advice as to what to be greedy for.  He writes, "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."  (1 Cor. 12:31).  We should be greedy for the best things.  Instead of always wanting money, or other temporal matters like that, we should always want to serve others, read our scriptures, and pray to our Father in Heaven.  We should strive to be greedy for the best gifts, and once we have them, we will have no more desire to do evil. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Use it or Lose it

I've always been a big music person.  Ever since I can remember, I've been playing music.  Playing the guitar is my most recently acquired musical talent.  After I left on my mission, I didn't have as easy access to guitar as I did back home.  But when I was in my first area, I had a couple opportunities to play guitar again.  I was real excited, then once I started picking and strumming, I realized that I had lost a lot of what I knew.  Many songs that I used to play had vanished from my memory.  I was devastated!

Our knowledge and testimony will dwindle if we stop nourishing it as well.  We need to continually improve our talents and skills.  Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet said, "...Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us...but if ye neglect [it], and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root..." (Alma 32: 37-38).  We must nourish the skills and talents that we have so that when we need to be an instrument in the Lords hand, we will be fine tuned and ready to play. 

We need to continue to exercise those things in our life.  If we slack off on them, then our knowledge and ability will diminish.  And when that day comes, you will feel as I did when I picked up the guitar after a couple of months...devastated!  So do the little things every day, practice what you preach, apply what you learn, and you will never lose it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I learned something about eggs the other day.  Float them.  When eggs start to go bad, they develop some kind of gas inside of them.  So if you put them in water and they float, then you know that they're bad; but if they sink, then they are good.

I compared the egg to us, and the water to our baptism.  When we are baptized, we make a covenant, or promise, with God that we will walk in a new light.  We promise to keep His commandments, take upon the name of Christ, and always remember Him.  When we are baptized, we are put under the water as a symbol of the death of our old life, and a birth of a new life.

We have to make sure every ounce of our soul is committed.  We can't go forward if one leg wants to go one way, and the other wants to go the opposite.  We have to make sure we're 100% committed.  The eggs that float are still in the water, but they won't go all the way under.  They aren't fully committed.  There is something that is holding them back.  The eggs that go all the way under the water are the ones that have their heart and soul into it.  They are all the way committed and will do whatever they need to in order to reach their goal.

As we evaluate our lives and try to be better each day, think about how we can be more committed to following our Savior Jesus Christ.  When we do, we will be engulfed in the "living waters" of life.  We will recognize that it is much more satisfying to be a good egg, than a bad egg.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


"The boy was very young.  It was his first experience with kite flying.  His father helped him, and after several attempts, the kite was in the air.  The boy ran and let out more string, and soon the kite was flying high.  The little boy was so excited; the kite was beautiful.  Eventually there was no more string left to allow the kite to go higher.  The boy said to his father, 'Daddy, let's cut the string and let the kite go; I want to see it go higher.'

His father said, 'Son, the kite won't go higher if we cut the string.'

'Yes it will,' responded the little boy.  'The string is holding the kite down; I can feel it.'  The father handed a pocketknife to his son.  The boy cut string.  In a matter of seconds the kite was out of control.  It darted here and there and finally landed in a broken heap.  That was difficult for the boy to understand.  He felt certain the string was holding the kite down."  (Ensign, Nov. 1999)

This story teaches a valuable lesson.  There are many things in life that seem to tie us down.  We feel that we can't soar to our full potential because of them, when really, it is quite the opposite.  They don't hold us down, they anchor us. 
The string can be compared to the commandments we keep.  As long as we are strong in keeping them, then our kite will fly high.  But once we choose to break that string, then we'll be driven with the wind because there is nothing there to anchor us.  We must always remember that the commandments aren't there to keep us down, but they keep us flying.  Once we realize this, we will be able to reach the end of that string, and the fullest of our potential.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Order Up!

When I was growing up, I never understood why I had to do my chores before I went to hang out with my friends.  The math would add up in my head: if I just hang out with my friends for 2 hours, then come home and do chores for 1 hour, it's the same as if I had done chores for 1 hour, then hung out with my friends for 2 hours.  Both are 3 hours.  Why did my parents always make me do my chores first?

I was reading an article the other day about good things we do in life.  The person writing the article said, "When I consider all the things [God] would have me do in this life, doing them at the right time seems as critical as doing them at all."  There are so many things in life that are good to do.  They help us learn, grow, and become better people.  Some of these may be getting an education, getting married, having kids, getting a job, moving out of your parents place, and so forth.  It's not only what we do, but when we do it.  These are all things that help us learn, grow, and advance in this life, but if done in the wrong order, they can be disastrous.

King Benjamin, A Book of Mormon prophet, knew how important order was in all things.  "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order;...And again, it is expedient the he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.  (Mosiah 4:27).  We must take King Benjain's advice and make sure everything we do is done in wisdom and order.  Combining those two elements can greatly improve our lives.  Let us all use both wisdom and order to ensure that we will "win the prize."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Make or Break

I'll start off this post with a riddle:

I am your constant companion.

I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.

Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them - quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed - you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well.

Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person.

You may run me for profit or run me for ruin - it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.

Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

This is so true.  So many things in life are done just by pure habit.  They can be good or bad.  The key is to start young.  Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet said, "O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God."  (Alma 37:35).  The things we learn in our youth will make or break us.

Starting good habits is the path to success, starting bad habits will only lead to failure.  Habit really is our greatest helper or our heaviest burden.  Once we learn to master our habits, we will truly have wisdom.  If keeping the commandments becomes one our of good habits, then we will see the blessings and feel the joy that comes through obedience to our Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Edge

A man needed a driver to give him a ride through a dangerous mountain path.  To ensure his safety, he wanted to find the best of the best of the drivers.  The man asked the same question to four different drivers: How close can you get to the edge and still feel comfortable?  The first driver said, "I can drive one foot away from the edge and be comfortable."  The second driver said, "I can be 6 inches away from the edge and be fine."  The third driver said, "Give me 1 inch, and there's no problem."  The last driver that he asked said, "I don't know, I stay as far away from the edge as I can." 

This man knew exactly who to choose.  No matter how skilled the driver was, getting close to the edge just isn't smart.  He chose the fourth driver.  The further away from the edge, the better.  What does getting close to the edge prove anyways?  The Lord doesn't care how close we can get to the edge, in fact, he wants us to stay as far away from the edge as we can.  Christ, in his Sermon on the Mount, taught, "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."  (Matthew 6:24).

Getting close to the edge is, in a way, serving two masters.  It's saying, with our actions, that we only want to do the bare minimum to stay on the path.  But think about it, the closer we are to the edge, the less room there is for error.  One faulty step could be our downfall, literally.  When we stay away from the edge, we leave room for our mistakes, which are unavoidable.  Then we will be able to correct ourselves and continue going.  May we all strive to stay as far away from the edge and choose this day to serve the Lord.  It's only then can we reach the end of the mountainous path safely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Egg-cellent Story

The other day, an unfortunate thing happened.  I ran out of milk...and eating Marshmallow Maties dry is just not the same.  So, I made some scrambled eggs.  To my surprise, they turned out pretty good.  I was satisfied with the breakfast I had created, and was ready for the day.  So ready, that I didn't wash the dishes I had just used.  I just threw them in the sink.  Once we got back from our hard days work, it came time to do the dishes. 

Because I had waited all that time, what was left of the eggs had hardened to the pan, and was quite difficult to get off.  I wasn't expecting it to be such a chore, but I really had to put some elbow grease in it.  If only I didn't wait until later, then it wouldn't have been such a burden. 

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  There's no need to wait when something needs to get done.  Alma, a Book of Mormon Prophet says, "Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end..."  (Alma 34:33).  We are like the frying pan, and the eggs are things that we need to repent of.  When we make mistakes, we don't want them to be sitting on our souls until we find time to clean them off.  We must make time.  We need to clean them as soon as we can.  The longer we wait, the easier it will be to push it off until later.  We must be repenting every day, and cleaning the eggs off our frying pan.  Only when the pan is nice and shiny can the Savior look at us, and see himself. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get in Shape

I can remember sitting in the Orthodontists office, knowing what was about to happen to me.  Pieces of metal were about to be glued onto my teeth.  Oh how I dreaded that day.  All I had heard about braces were how much they hurt and how you couldn't eat certain foods.  Neither of those two things were making me very excited about getting my braces on.

It's true, the braces did hurt.  Especially the first couple of days that they were on.  Once I surpassed the first week, I could hardly feel that they were there.  My teeth had been pushed and pulled into where they need to be.  Then comes the next appointment and I went through it again.  Little by little, my teeth became super straight and I was left with a dynamite smile.

This is how the Lord works with us.  He puts strain on us, just like the braces do on teeth, and shapes us into what he wants us to become.  Elder Richard G. Scott said, "When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more.  He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion, which polish you for your everlasting benefit."  The Lord can see our full potential and knows what we can become.

Being shaped into what the Lord wants isn't a walk in the park.  We must be put into the refiners fire, so to speak, and be tested.  Elder Scott continues, "To get from where you are to where [The Lord] wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."  We must be pushed and pulled, just like our teeth, to be able get where the Lord wants us.  Yes, it will be hard at times, but once we see how dynamite our smile is, it'll be worth it.  All we have to do is put our trust in the Lord, and he'll mold us into the best person we can be.

Monday, July 11, 2011

She's Gonna Eat Me!

I've never been much of a runner.  My dad always said, "I only run when someone's chasing me."  I've lived by that quite a bit.  There are some exceptions though.  I run when I'm playing sports and when there's only one piece of pie left, to name two instances.  But usually it's just when I'm being chased.  Pumba, in Disney's The Lion King, is a great example of running when getting chased. 

One of the best scenes in Disney's Lion King is the scene where Pumba runs from Nala and screams, "She's gonna eat me!"  Not only does Pumba make a hilarious face (see picture to the left), but I've never seen a warthog run that fast.  He didn't skip a beat.  Once he saw Nala in the grass, he was out of there.  Once there was danger, he scrammed. 

There are times in our life that we need to run like Pumba.  When we see or sense danger, whether spiritual or physical, we should get out of there as quickly as we can.  In Genesis 39: 12, Joseph shows us how to run from spiritual danger, "And [Potiphar's wife] caught [Joseph] by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out."  Once Joseph saw that he was in spiritual danger, he fled the scene. 

When we recognize that we're in spiritual danger, we need to flee the scene.  We can't afford to stick around.  I know I said that I only run when someone is chasing me, but Satan is always chasing me.  He's chasing everyone, and tempting them to stray off the beaten path.  We need to always be running from him towards our Savior, Jesus Christ.  As long as we're headed toward the Savior, we will feel his protecting light and be able to endure to the end.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vroom Vroom

"Ka-chow, Ka-chow!"  Lightning McQueen boastfully celebrates his win at the beginning of the movie Cars.  He's caught up in his victory dance, that is if a car can dance, and doesn't realize what the next hour and a half (human time) will hold.  He sure is in for a reality check though.  There are a ton of great parts in this movie, but there is one scene that I'd like to focus on. 

In this scene, Doc Hudson AKA The Hudson Hornet, is trying to give Lightning McQueen some racing advice.  Doc says, "I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right."  In a very sarcastic tone, McQueen responds with, "Oh, right.  That makes perfect sense.  Turn right to go left."  He throws Doc's advice to the curb without even considering it.  Why?  Because in McQueen's eyes, it doesn't make sense.

Many times we are like Lightning McQueen.  When we seek for advice, specifically through prayer, we may not always get the answer that we're expecting.  We'll often times get an answer that makes no sense to us.  Turn left to go right?  How will that ever work out?  1 Corinthians 1:25 says, "...the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
It all comes down to faith.  Do we have faith enough that if we turn left we will go right?  Will we listen to the answer we receive even if it makes no sense to us?  We must remember that God has created every track that we'll race on in this life.  He knows every bump, divet, and curve.  When we heed to the master's advice, we will find that we're not only happier, but we're winning the race as well.  Remember that God loves us and will never lead us astray.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Superman, Step Aside!

"It's a bird, it's a plane, it's SUPERMAN!"  That line has been a classic throughout the years.  How they got Superman confused with a bird or a plane is still a mystery to me, but hey, they got it right in the end.  There's not much that the Man of Steel can't do.  Just look at him: he can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes, and lift anything imaginable.  That's all pretty sweet, but is that what we think of when we think of our heroes?  In our lives we don't look up to superheroes, we look up to just plain heroes.

So what makes a hero?  A hero is someone who will put others before himself.  A hero is someone who gets home from work and still has the energy to play catch with his kids.  A hero is someone who doesn't let losing a job discourage him, but gets up and keeps on going.  A hero is someone who puts his trust in God and not in himself.  A hero is someone who is there for you even when you don't ask.

I don't know anyone that can fly, shoot lasers from their eyes, or lift anything imaginable.  Or do I?  I know someone that I look up to so much that it's as if he's flying.  I know someone that has the determination in his eyes to do anything for his family.  I know someone who can lift any heartache, sadness, or discouragement with one of his goofy jokes.  Superman step aside!  That someone is my Dad.  He fits every qualification of hero in my book and will always be at the top of my hero list.  To you, I give this trophy.  Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Remember Who You Are

Nothing brings me back to my childhood like a classic Disney movie.  Who am I kidding, I still like to watch those.  My favorite one is probably The Lion King.  There are so many quotable lines in that movie.  Rafiki, "It doesn't matta, it's in the past.  Hehehe."  Zazu, "It's a small world after all."  Simba, "I laugh in the face of danger.  Hahahaha."  Just a few examples there.  There is one quote in particular that I want to focus on though.  Its when Mufasa visits Simba in the form of a cloud and gives him advice as to what he should do.  He says, "Simba, remember who you are."

In order for us to remember who we are, we have to know who we once were.  Romans 8:16 reads, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."  We are literally God's children.  That's who we are, and that's what we must always remember.  God is our Father in Heaven who watches over us every second of every minute of every day.  How cool is that?

There are times in life when we might feel like Simba did.  Times when we won't know where to go or what to do.  That's when we need to take Mufasa's advice and remember who we are.  Remember that God is watching over us.  Remember that he hears and answers every last one of our prayers.  Remember that he sent his only begotten son to die for us.  Remember that we mean EVERYTHING to him.  If we always remember that, then we will have no need to worry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

But They Look So Nice

"Wait, wait, wait.  Those aren't flowers?!?!"  I exclaim with an expression similar to the one to the right.  "Nope," my buddy answers.  "But they look so nice," I respond, still trying to process what I've just discovered.  This short conversation changed my whole perspective on the world.  Everything I knew was turned upside down.  How could those nice, yellow dandelions be weeds?  Talk about looks can be deceiving. 

This is the technique that Satan uses to trap us.  He tricks us by making the wrong decision look so appealing.  The question that comes up is how do we not fall into the deceitful traps all around us?  This isn't something we can learn overnight.  After all, it took me almost 20 years to realize that those little yellow plants were weeds, and not flowers.  Learning the difference comes through understanding what God expects of us and through overcoming the temptations that are put in our paths.

There are many instances in this life where looks can be deceiving.  For example, big sunglasses.  It's our job to filter those things out.  We have to pull the weeds out of our lives so that we can have a nice patch of flowers.  We have to put forth our effort in order to keep the weeds out and to be able to always recognize the subtleties of Satan.  In doing so, our lives will be blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's Your Mutant Power?

Some of the coolest action scenes in the history of movies have been in the X-Men series.  Well, that's my opinion, but I stand by it.  The thing I like about this series is that everyone has a different power.  They don't choose the mutant powers that they get, but they make the most of what they have.  How cool would life be if we all had our own individual mutant powers?

Maybe we can look at it on a smaller scale.  Matthew 25:15 reads "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability..."  We may not have mutant powers, but we definitely have different talents and abilities.  Just like the X-Men, we can't choose our talents, but we can make the best of them.  Too often we look at other peoples talents and wish we had theirs.  We shouldn't compare our weaknesses to other's strengths.  We don't see Wolverine complaining because he can't shoot lasers from his eyes, or Ice Man whining because he can't run through walls.  They take what their given and make the most of it.

This is what we have to do.  A talent not used is a talent that is wasted.  We are given many talents and abilities.  It's our job to exercise them for good.  We can be like the X-Men and use our powers for the benefit of others.  Always remember that no good act, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life: A Team Sport

One thing I love about hockey is that there are no "one man teams."  One player can never do it on his own.  Each player has a purpose and must work together if they intend to accomplish their goal, which is, to defeat the opposing team.  We all have teammates, just like in hockey, that we need to utilize in this life.  If we want to conquer this life, then we have to work with our teams.

We all have different "teams" in life.  Our families are a team, our schools are a team, our little group of friends are a team, and so on.  No matter where we go, we'll be in some sort of team.  Each team has a purpose and is usually there to make us better.  Our families raise us, school educates us, friends entertain us, and so on.  Often times we forget that we have so many teams rooting for us. 

Too many times in this life we feel alone.  We should never feel that way.  Always remember that there are teams all around to help support you.  "...We must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Always remember that we have the best teammate that we could ask for: Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ has been through it all and is rooting for us always.  He's always by our side.  Never forget that we are all on the same team and must work together if we want to reach our goal.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Now That's a Beard!

Even since I was a kid, I've always loved hockey.  Whether it be playing hockey, watching hockey, or even just talking about hockey.  But my favorite thing about hockey is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Nothing gets me fired up like a good playoff game.  There's been a tradition in the NHL that when the playoffs start, all of the players grow out their beards.

All of the players give it everything they have.  They're not ashamed one bit, no matter how goofy they look with a beard.  And trust me, many of them look goofy.  They're not ashamed to grow their beards because they want all to know that they've made it to the playoffs.  They want it to be crystal clear why they're here, and what they're intent is.  This is how we should be with our beliefs.

Paul writes to the Romans and says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." (Romans 1:16).  He wore his religion on his sleeve, or his "beard" on his "face."  He wanted everyone to know what he stood for, and we should do the same.  The real question is how?  How can we let everyone know?  There's no possible way we can talk to everyone and growing a beard just doesn't cut it.  1 Timothy 4:12 gives us the answer, " thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

As we all strive to be examples of the believers, we will be able to let everyone know where we stand without saying a word to them.  It is said that actions speak louder than words, and they truly do.  Now let's put on our playoff beards and get in the game!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho

"Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's off to work we go." ~The Seven Dwarfs.  A lot is to be said about the Seven Dwarfs in the movie Snow White.  One of the first scenes in the movie has the dwarfs marching in single file and singing the song previously quoted.  Why are they so happy to be off to work?  That has always puzzled me. 

It hasn't been until a couple of years ago that I've really enjoyed helping others.  I used to look at it as more of work.  I was working to benefit someone else.  Though that is true, I still didn't have the right mind set while doing it.  Moroni 7:6 says, "...for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing."

The act of helping others consists of two separate, but equally important, parts.  The service itself is only half of it.  In order to successfully serve others, we must have the right mindset while doing it, which is the other half.  We could do all the service in the world, but without the proper mindset, it would profit us nothing.  We should all strive to have the mindset of those seven dwarfs who were happy as can be to go to work.  If we have that attitude while we serve others, we will be able to see the daily blessings that come from genuine service.