Blog Archives

Post Holiday Reflections

January 6, 2012 | 41 comments

I enjoyed the holidays this year, but I am glad they are over. The tree is no longer shedding needles in our living room, and the few lights and garlands we hung have been taken down. We celebrated a simple Christmas here, with very few decorations other than the nativities and the tree.  We exchanged few gifts. We are trying to teach our children to be thoughtful and discriminating in what they choose to give each other rather than buying every single thing they think (rightly) that their siblings would enjoy. I remember a Christmas ten years ago. We... Read more »

O Come, All Ye Faithful

December 25, 2011 | 5 comments

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.” My eyes started welling up as we sang in church this morning. I want to answer the call to come, but I don’t know that I can call myself faithful. So often, I feel my lack of faith, my doubt, my cynicism. And I work all the harder for it. I cling to my covenants, for that is keeping the faith, even when I cannot rationally affirm articles or propositions expressing the faith of my fellow saints. I serve in good faith, with all my might, mind, and strength, even when... Read more »

If Jesus came for dinner…

November 26, 2011 | 39 comments

What would you serve the Savior if he came to your house for dinner? Would you give him beans and rice? Or would you buy a good steak and make a nice meal?” I sat there, thinking about this. My conclusion was that, yes, I actually would serve the Savior beans and rice if he came to my house. Especially if He came unannounced. Read more »


November 18, 2011 | 13 comments

This world is not conducive to contemplation, to meditation. We are encouraged to read the scriptures, fast, pray and meditate. But how do we meditate? There are some simple steps we can take on a regular basis to clear our minds. Some of these meditation techniques are borrowed from other traditions. Read more »

Thrift as a Principle of Stewardship

November 3, 2011 | 38 comments

In my post last month, I wrote about fundamental scripture based doctrine that lead us to value the earth. Now I would like to demonstrate that Mormons care for the earth through their stewardship, primarily in the management of our own homes and families. The first principle of stewardship is thrift. If we as a people live by the principle of thrift, we will as a natural result consume less and be in a position to serve more. Using our resources, financial and otherwise, wisely is the first step in becoming the stewards that God expects us to be.... Read more »

Chicken Little Eating Crickets: When a mindset turns a windfall into a catastrophe

October 26, 2011 | 20 comments

The panic prone little bird concluded the sky was falling, heralding the end of all creation when a nut fell from the tree above him, bonking him on the head. Something had indeed fallen, giving him a slight injury, but it was not the sky. It was actually lunch--vital sustenance handed to him, a grace independent of all merit on Chicken Little’s part. Read more »

The Hundred Dresses

October 21, 2011 | 15 comments

Not being able to apologize may be worse than admitting you are wrong. Read more »

Daily Bread

October 11, 2011 | 44 comments

“Give us this day, our daily bread, And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” This is the prayer in my heart, the words my mind speaks each time I cut a slice of bread. I don’t bake bread every day, but all of the bread my family eats, I have baked. This is cause for gratitude. I am able to make bread, good bread, to feed my family. I am home enough to wait through the rises. I am strong enough to knead the dough. I have a reliable oven in which to bake, sunny warm... Read more »

Mormons Do Care about the Earth

October 3, 2011 | 109 comments

Mormons do care about the earth. We care about preserving, protecting, and maintaining it. We care about the earth because 1) We love God, 2) We care about other people, and 3) We believe in the intrinsic value of the earth. Read more »

Charity Unbidden

September 28, 2011 | 23 comments

Saturday night, several talks of the General Relief Society Broadcast addressed charity. I was left with the general impression that we should want to cultivate feelings of charity towards others, and that as we desire to have charity, we will gain it. I carry a sketch book and pencils with me. An adult only church meeting like the Relief Society broadcast  is the perfect place for me to sit quietly and sketch portraits of the people around me. I like to study faces and postures, to see the effects of life written on the body. I like to look... Read more »

Consumerism vs. Stewardship

September 26, 2011 | 79 comments

The following is a modified excerpt from my presentation at Sunstone this summer. We live, not only in a capitalist, but a consumerist, society. Our society is all about spending, acquiring, cluttering, and replacing, not about maintaining, restoring, renewing, and protecting. It is cheaper to buy new than to repair old.  We live in a disposable country, where everything is trash, if not now, then soon. How did we get here? One of the best explanations I’ve found is in the work of the social theorist Max Weber (1). He examined the correlation between the Protestant religious belief and... Read more »