Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Defense of Enos

I want to take a moment to come to the defense of someone who has been wrongly accused too many times to count.

As a youth, I remember having many lessons where the Book of Mormon prophet, Enos, was discussed. In these lessons, I was taught that he had a drastic change—one from a vile sinner to a changed man. Enos was often cast in the same light as Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah pre-conversion. However, when I later read the account in the Book of Mormon for myself, I could find no explicit mention of a sinful life—I couldn't even find an implicit one! All I could find was a young man (one privileged to hear the voice of the Lord because of his faith) who sought full repentance and direction after receiving an important calling: to take the plates and obey the commandments (see Jacob 7:27, the verse right before the book of Enos).

Even Joseph Smith sought repentance after his profound experiences (JS-H 1:28).

Instead of speculating that his mention of repentance was an indication of extreme unworthiness, I got the impression that he was a righteous, faithful, priesthood-holder who wanted to learn how he was to fulfill the calling and commission he received.

What have been your experiences with Enos in church lessons? I'm hoping that my bad experiences are fairly isolated, considering the praise and prominence that Enos both deserves and receives from general authorities and others (including the seminary program: there is even a song about his experience (mp3, sheet music, other songs)).

I'm grateful for my experiences with Enos and his words. From what I read in the scriptures, Enos should be cleared of charges of extreme unworthiness. In fact, doing this makes the model he outlines that much more applicable to me and my efforts to be like Christ.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lawn Mowing Lessons

I heard once that freshly cut grass is on of the most preferred smells. Despite this, it seems that most people (at least in my neighborhood) have someone else mow their lawn while they're away; I wonder the effect of not having this most-preferred-smell experienced first-hand on a regular basis.

I mowed our grossly overgrown lawn this evening. It had been so long since the last mow that the lawn was starting to look more like a botanical garden (see actual picture from our backyard below).

There is something quietly reassuring about mowing the lawn. In fact, I think it's something that people should do fairly regularly because it provides something that may be otherwise hard to find in today's world. The telltale path left by the mower provides the satisfying experience of knowing where you've been, where you're going, and what you have left to do.

Life lessons from your very own yard!

If you want additional information on knowing where we're from, where we're going, and what we have yet to do, let me know. I'm grateful that I know where to find answers to these questions, and I'm grateful that anyone can know, too! (Start here:

And you don't even have to mow my lawn to find out for yourself!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gentle Persusion

After every conference I lament that my memory isn't as good as I wish it were. Why do I always have trouble remembering the things that I want to remember, but can readily recall all manner of minutia and trivia?

I love the everyday gospel applications that I hear in conference. Similar to wanting to remember, I want to elevate myself to who I want to be. Unfortunately, gentle persuasion through stories and gospel truths never seems enough for me to change my life as much as I wish I could. Instead, I'm left to work, sweat, and strive for a long time until I can approach my goals, and then another conference comes and goes and I start all over again!

I wonder if hypnosis would work. . .

There are some things for which subtle suggestion can readily work. For example, carefully look at the following image and you'll see what I mean.

Isn't it strange that simply reading those words causes a large enough mental shift to change the very state of being?

If only I could read the words: "Be Christlike" and have the sort of change mentioned in Mosiah, where the people "had no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (5:2).

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), conversion is a process. I'm reminded of the poem I've heard President Monson quote enough that it's stuck (link):

Stick to your task 'til it sticks to you;
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
Honor, power, place and praise
Will always come to the one who stays.

Stick to your task 'til it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it, too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life’s victories after a while.

Now it's time to get back to sticking to my tasks, working towards life's victories.

By the way, are you still breathing and blinking manually? (I bet you are now if you weren't!)

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Pictures

I took my youngest son grocery shopping today, and he was the most popular little boy in the store! It seemed that everyone we passed either smiled, said "hello," or tried to tickle him; he must be in that super-cute phase.

If you want verification of his (and his siblings') cuteness, take a look at our new pictures from our March escapades (click here).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Closing Remarks

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Closing Remarks, by President Thomas S. Monson

I love general conference! I'm amazed at the additional insight that comes from reviewing and applying the messages that were shared. After reminding that the conference messages would be in the Ensign, President Monson said:

As we read and study them, we will be additionally taught and inspired. May we incorporate into our daily lives the truths found therein.

I'm a student who studies water. I came upon an image recently that I thought was spectacular (to me), and it just came to mind.

I feel that I would be like this poor fish if I didn't have the regular, consistent nourishment of the "water of life" (see Rev. 22:17) that gushes from prophets, apostles, and the words of God. I've loved this series of applying the general conference talks, and am thirsty for another dousing of water this weekend!