Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jurassic Chastity

    Since the beginning of mankind, God gave people the ability to have children. God also gave a commandment to them to Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth... (Genesis 1:28)
    This opportunity we have been given to bring children into the world is such an awesome privilege but it can't be taken lightly. To quote Uncle Ben "With great power comes great responsibility." Heavenly Father expects us to use that power responsibly and in the proper context: within the bonds of legal marriage between man and woman. When we mess with the power to create life, consequences can be pretty rough. Just ask John Hammond.
    If you don't know who he is, well don't feel too bad. I would actually be surprised if you did. Anyways, he was the guy behind Jurassic Park. The guy who thought it would be cool to mess around and bring some dinosaurs back to life. Remember how that turned out? Well not too well. In the movie a group of scientists decided to try and create their own life. By extracting some dinosaur DNA from ancient mosquitoes they were able to bring the long extinct beasts back. As a roundabout result, several people were killed. I guess you could say, his plans bit back.
    So even if our choices don't lead to dinosaurs eating Samuel L. Jackson, they can have dire consequences of their own. But if we use the powers of procreation as it was meant, at the right time and the right place, the ability to bring new life into the world will bless us beyond our wildest dreams.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Never Trust a Zombie

   So, in the past few years it seems like there has been a big leap in the status of zombies. That's cool with me, a little weird, but still cool. But since I was a young pup, the definition or portrayal of zombies has completely changed. In my boyhood zombies were sluggish, cold, defunct creatures who wondrously were able to rip their selves out from their cold graves to scourge, afflict, ravage and even dine on those who remained living. Also, for various reasons, they were always the same sickly green color and had a very limited vocabulary of "braaaaains."

No matter how pleasant they may be, never trust a zombie
   Nowadays zombies are a little more advanced. instead of a slow, mindless being, scrounging around for some munchies, the zombies today are about as fast as Usain Bolt, as tough as Chuck Norris, as intimidating as John Cena with his hand in his face, and apparently some of them really like turtles... Needless to say, you don't want to hang out with them on any given day.

   These new and improved zombies aren't crawling from their graves trying to find a tasty snack, but instead they are infected with some sort of virus (depending on which movie you're watching) and simply go around sharing the virus and their misery.

   In our lives today we are going up against a spiritual zombie who enjoy nothing more than pulling us down. He is commonly known as Satan. Just like in every zombie movie where there is a group of survivors, we've gotta band together if we have any hope of surviving. An ancient American prophet wrote about this.
And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. (Moroni 6:5) 
That is why going to church is so important. It is our support group that we can rely on to help us through this spiritual zombie apocalypse we are all living in right now.
So we've banded together but now what? Satan's got a pretty large arsenal of weapons at his disposal, but just like Achilles found out, everybody has a weakness. To defeat him, or the real zombies, you have to have the right gear. If you were found in a zombie apocalypse with a super soaker, you'd probably be about as useful as pet rock. But what kind of weapons does God give us to defend ourselves spiritually? We can refer to the Bible for this one.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) 
Without the "word of God" we are about as safe as a turkey at thanksgiving. It is the only weapon we could equip ourselves with that would give us any hope of survival. As well as being the only defense, it is also the only cure if Satan has gotten a bite of you. The word of God can change us, and if we use it, it will change us.
   As well as having the right weapons, the only chance of survival anybody has is to band together, otherwise they would soon be overrun and be zombies themselves. That is the same for us to stay safe spiritually.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Warning Signs

One of the many tsunami markers
    I was in Miles City, Montana when that huge earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. I heard about it and was amazed at the destruction people talked about. I was amazed when I heard about the tsunami markers which were placed around the country. Big rocks which were placed as a marker of how high previous tsunamis had hit. Some of them are around 600 years old. People knew about them, but through time they began to ignore them. They ignored the warnings they had and built closer and closer to the ocean. Then disaster struck.
    Its funny how history repeats itself. When I heard about this it reminded me of the story of Jerusalem in the book of Jeremiah. The people had the commandments which in a sense are a warning sign but throughout a long period of time they weren't really paying attention to them. As well
they had Jeremiah the prophet who repeatedly warned them that they needed to repent and start keeping the commandments again, otherwise they would be destroyed. The people continuously pushed the limits which they had been given and as we read in Jeremiah ch. 39, Jerusalem was eventually destroyed.
    We have many dangerous things in this world that we have been warned about but sometimes we push the limits and justify going beyond the safe zone. That eventually can become the norm for what is "acceptable" in society. But God doesn't work that way. He will still hold us accountable for our actions and eventually we will suffer the consequences. Get to the higher ground, and don't get flooded out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do a Barrel Roll!

    So whenever I think of my Nintendo 64 there are a few games that will always stick out to me. One of them being Star Fox 64. That game was awesome. My brother got it for Christmas one year and we spent a good amount of time playing it. It didn't take long that day to have the phrase "Do a barrel roll" embedded in my memory forever.
    Whenever Fox is in trouble Peppy is right there to help him out, but with the same advice every time. No matter what it is always "do a barrel roll!" At first it bugged me but then I figured out how to actually do a barrel roll and guess what. IT WORKS! Sometimes whenever somebody repeats something over and over it is for one of two reasons.
1. They want to annoy you.
2. It is something important.
I really don't think that Peppy is trying to just annoy Fox here. As his mentor and friend, Peppy cares about him and wants to see him through it safely. So he gives him the best advice he can, do a barrel roll.
    Can you think of times whenever someone has repeated stuff to you over and over? Because I sure can. Every six months we have the chance to listen to a prophet and apostles at General Conference. For two weekends every year we can listen to inspired men give us advice for the challenges all of us are facing. Every six months it seems that the basis of their messages are the same. Why is that? Because it is important! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Mega Mel Burger

Question. What do you call one and a half pounds of ground beef, a pound of bacon, a quarter pound of cheese, and lots of lettuce and tomatoes on a bun?

Introducing the Mega Mel Burger
Does this make you hungry?
    Located just 1.5 miles from my home is a little restaraunt called Mel's Country Cafe. Home of the Mega Mel Burger and a favorite place for Mormon missionaries to get some grub. The Mega Mel Burger is one of those things that if you can eat it then you get your name on the wall a t-shirt and the whole thing for free. The rules are pretty simple. The official rules from their website are

  1. If you leave anything on your plate, you will be disqualified
  2. If anyone takes anything off your plate, you will be disqualified
  3. you must be able to walk and talk after eating the Mega Mel Burger
  4. If you get sick at any time, you will be disqualified
  5. You have 2 hours to eat the Mega Mel Burger
  6. We will stop you from eating if at any time we feel you are going to get sick
  7. The most important thing is to remember that the Mega Mel Burger is a fun event at Mel's Country Cafe, so please have fun with it.
    Notice how many of them are to protect you. These rules are just like the commandments that we have been given from God. They aren't to restrict or hinder us, but they are for our good. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: "God has designed our happiness. … He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who Let the Cows Out?

    I'm sure when I say "Who let the dogs out" there is a good chance you think of that song from the Baha Men back in the early 2000's. Weird Al soon did a parody called "Who let the cows out." That's about the time my parents bought our property and the cows that came along with it. One of the new things we got to experience was the horror when somebody left the gate open to the pasture. I don't know how many times we had to rescue the cows who were playing chicken with cars on our road. We soon realized the need to double check that the gate was closed because the cows were quick to discover any mistake.
    After a few years of trying to get a garden going we decided that we needed to build a fence to keep out the deer and cows from eating all the plants. It took a few months and lots of work. About 50 post-holes and posts were set. Several hundred feet of fencing was strung. A few set backs happened, like when digging one of the corner post holes we hit the main water line to our house. But we finally had it done. About half an acre was completely surrounded with a 12 foot fence. Nothing could get to our garden... Well that's what we thought.
    One day that spring I went out and found 4 of our cows munching on the fresh grass and plants inside the the garden. By the time I got them chased out it was too late. Our garden that we had spent many hours working on was destroyed simply because somebody had forgotten to close the gate.
    Many people are the same way. We go to church, we read our scriptures, we say our prayers, and we serve others. We put in so much time and effort trying to build our fences but then leave many gates wide open. Bad music, video games, TV shows, movies, books, and countless other things can let Satan into our lives and hinder our spiritual growth. Are you leaving any open? You better double check.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

God is no Fair-Weather Fan

    Alright. So as missionaries we don't watch T.V. or anything of that sort which means we pretty much say goodbye to sports for these two years on our missions. But people still talk about them. When I tell them where I'm from and what school I go to some people are all too quick to bag on my teams, especially since some of them have not had the best seasons recently. Some people would give up and say they are fans of other teams that are actually winning. We like to call them bandwagon fans. Every team has them. I remember back in 2005 when the Astros made a run for the world series. Last year everybody was always talking about BYU's Jimmer Fredette and the awesome
season they were enjoying in Provo. Games were hard to get tickets to. But for some teams, the tickets were about as valuable as toilet paper. Good thing God doesn't work like that. No matter what, God loves all of us. If we mess up, we can always count on him being there for us. It's pretty cool.
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