Remembering our strength and our safety: Fifteen years after

Bob wrote a great piece today. We would all do well to look back and remember.

Doctor Bob's Weblog

We will never forget

It has been fifteen years since the heartrending, gut-wrenching events of September 11, 2001. Every time I come across a photo or a video from that terrible week, I feel the same pains that I felt back then. Those events left a deep impact on me. I am not aware of any personal connection to any of the individuals who lost their lives in those unspeakable acts of terror: my personal connection was actually to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. But that’s another story.

Since that awful day, we have seen many pictures, many memes, and many quotes. Two in particular are very problematic to me. The first is “We will never forget;” the second is “United we stand.” Allow me to explain why these are bothersome.

It has only been fifteen years, and it appears that we have forgotten. Immediately following the attacks, Americans turned to…

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Take the Lead in Preparing

In the event of a disaster, it is good to know what to do in advance: Plan, Train, Delegate, Prepare, Keep Up to Date.

People Who Lead People

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Disasters, either natural or man-made, pose a year-round threat to most of us. A good leader will prepare for the unexpected in order to be ready to guide his team through a disaster.

Potential disasters will vary from one region to another. In my area, the greatest threat is posed by earthquakes or human-caused disasters. Wildfires and flash flooding are also potential threats. Hurricanes and ice storms are highly unlikely for us. While we can’t adequately prepare for every possible disaster, we can take basic steps to ensure that we are ready.

There a several steps a good leader can take to help his team be prepared.

  1. Plan

A leader must have a general emergency plan in place. In 30 years, I have experienced two significant earthquakes while at work. This taught me what I need to do if it happens again. Risk assessment is important. I have surveyed each office I have…

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The Hardest Thing About Being A Mormon

This is definitely worth reading and sharing. Just do it!

Chelsea Dyreng

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As a Mormon, I abstain from a lot of things. Coffee, tea, drugs, alcohol, porn, R-rated movies, tank tops, premarital and extra marital sex, the list goes on. Add to that list all of the things that I try to do to be a good Latter-Day Saint like going to church every week, paying tithing, fasting and following the prophet and you have quite a fortress of commandments.

But the hardest thing (for me) about being a Mormon has nothing to do with all of those things. In some ways, those “rules” are easy because they clear out the unnecessary stuff from my life that would weigh me down. They might make other people happy, but they would make my life miserable.

You might be surprised (or you might not) that the hardest thing for me is to keep my mouth shut. What I mean is, the hardest thing about being a Mormon is holding myself back…

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Saint John Chapter Five Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Five: Please open the following link to read chapter Five: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/5?lang=eng

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At the Pool of Bethesda, Nathan Greene

Jesus healed a man at the Waters of Bethseda on the Sabbath day. Can you image the anguish that the man must have felt in his desire to be healed.

Jesus asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?”

His answer, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me” (See vs. 1-7).

Here was a man who desired to be whole, so much that he continually tried putting his misplaced faith into practice, only to find that he fell short, that he couldn’t make it on his own.

Indeed, we all might feel just like that man. In our own illnesses, shortcomings, sins, and failures, we might feel as if there is no one to help us, no man to lift us, no man to make us whole.

But Jesus tells us differently.

Jesus said to this man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

And immediately the man was able to do so, even at Jesus’s word. He was made whole and he carried his bed away (See vs. 8-9).

Of course, the Jewish leaders were again angry; pride has a way of producing anger in us. They were angry that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and they were angry that the man who was healed was carrying his bed through the streets. But this time (not having seen Jesus perform the miracle), instead of confronting Jesus, they confronted the man who was made whole:

It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.”

He answered them, “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.”

Of course, the leaders wanted him to identify Jesus, but he couldn’t at that time.(See vs. 10-13).


Later Jesus saw this man in the temple, and he spoke these words to him, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (vs. 14).

What does that tell us about turning from God to sin? He who forgives sins and has the power to make us whole, cannot keep us whole if we continue in sin. To be whole, our very natures need to changed. We cannot claim God’s mercy just because we repented at one time. We need to be seeking to do His will all of the time.

The man left the temple and found those who had questioned him. “He told them that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.” In response to this knowledge, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him. John’s record says that it is because he healed on the Sabbath day. I believe that there is more involved.

If someone had the power to heal and do good works, would we as mortals think that we should confine that power to our own mindset and time-frame? Who knows? Maybe we would be like the Jews, too caught up in the legal customs of the day. Would we not recognize the true Lawgiver? I think that pride and envy have always had a way of limiting our vision.

Jesus answers the Jews concerning His good Sabbath day works, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (vs. 17). This enrages them further.

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (vs. 18).

Jesus testifies of His Father and of His own divinity. The Holy Ghost also bears witness of the Father and the Son. (Please read verses 19-38. These are important verses concerning the mission of Jesus Christ, who is our Savior, as given to Him by God, who is our Father.)

After Jesus teaches the Jews about His own mission and about His Father, and reminds them about John’s mission in preparing the way for the gospel of Jesus Christ, he says to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (vs. 39).

Here are men who are supposedly well-versed in The Law and in The Prophets; but they’ve missed recognizing the Lawgiver and coming of the Messiah in fulfillment of the prophecies.


In the remaining verses, Jesus lets them know that their own unbelief will work to their condemnation, because they have not only rejected the Lord in person, but they’ve rejected Moses also to whom Jesus delivered His words. We must be careful that we don’t choose to be like these hypocritical Jewish leaders by choosing the things of this world over the things of our God.

“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only” (vs. 44).

Saint John Chapter 3 Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Three: Please open the following link to read chapter three: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/3?lang=eng
Christ with Nicodemus at Night

In this chapter, we learn that it is crucial for us to believe on the name of Jesus Christ, accept Him as our Savior, and be born again through baptism.

A Pharisee and ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus visited Jesus. He recognized that Jesus was from God.

In verses 3-7, Jesus taught Nicodemus that all must be baptized by water and by the Holy Ghost in order to be saved in the kingdom of God:

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

Jesus further teaches us that He Himself is the Savior; that He would be lifted up upon the cross to die for us. Because He had the power to rise again, He can also lift us up out of our sinful state by providing us the privilege of being born again through baptism and faith on His name; and, He will also lift us up from death in the resurrection.

In verses 16-17, perhaps the best-known scriptures to the Christian world, Jesus testified that this was His Father’s Plan, to send His only Begotten Son to save us through faith in His name and obedience to His ordinances and commandments:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

In verses 18-21, we learn that believing on Jesus will save us from condemnation:

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

Jesus and John and their disciples performed baptisms. John knew that his ministry was to point people to Jesus. John supports Jesus and His works, and he declares His divinity. John knows that God gave the greater measure of priesthood and authority to His Only Begotten Son.

“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (vs. 35-36).

It’s Easter: Reflections on My Savior’s Redeeming Grace

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It’s Easter. I cannot adequately express my gratitutde for Jesus Christ. Too often I take His gift for granted. I cannot comprehend it. But I enjoy the benefits of His gift every single day of my life.

I love being a part of this world He created. I am privileged to have eyes to see and take in the beauty. I have legs to walk (and a car to drive) to get me to new sites and wonders. I have air to breathe.

I have a family who loves and sustains me. Both my earthly family and my Father up above. I have a home to share with my husband, and children who have grown into wonderful adults. And I have grandchildren!

I have my testimony that God lives and He loves me, and that He gave His Son to both die and live for me; and His Son willingly did His Father’s bidding and atoned for me, so that I can be made One with them.

I have my belief and hope in Christ, that He will raise me up at the last day; and that He will raise you up, too. My family has been blessed and will forever find blessing in His goodness and His grace. Yes, like with Martha, Jesus was there when my brother died, and as the resurrection and the life, He will raise my brother in the resurrection, just as Lazarus was raised from the dead to complete his own earthly mission. Jesus’s heavenly mission is to give us all the opportunity to choose eternal life and be raised to live with Him and His Father.

He was there when each cherished family member was born, when each had trials or successes, and when each died. He cares for us all intimately. He is not a distracted God. He is involved in the daily affairs in the lives of all His creations. He has too much invested in us all to be otherwise. He who bought us with all the energy of His Perfect Soul, suffering incomprehensibily in both body and spirit, is keyly invested in our success and salvation, supplying His grace so that we might choose exaltation.

My gratitude wells up as a spring of living waters that Jesus provided. My hope in the resurrection is sustenance to me. So many family members whom I can no longer see with my mortal vision, I can still envision with an eye of hope, and they will be there to greet me when I die; and Jesus will raise us all to glory in the resurrection.

My testimony is small, but I cherish it. Find your testimony in the words of the prophets and apostles who have written of Him. Find your testimony in the power of the Holy Ghost who will ever witness of Him. Find your testimony in doing good works of service as He did. And find your testimony in humbly doing the will of the Father and in obeying His commandments, even when your temporary desires might tug at you to do otherwise.

If we all drink from the bitter cup, from time to time, with faith in Him, we will not shrink! He never did shrink or shirk His responsbility to feed His Father’s sheep. And in Him we are fed and find sustaining grace through His sacrifice for us.

I will ever be grateful for His sustaining influence and power in my life, that He leads and guides me, and walks beside me. I love Him, because He first loved me, and His love is everlasting.

Happy Easter! May we praise the name of Jesus Christ forevermore.

Saint Luke 24 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Luke: Luke Chapter Twenty-four: Read here:

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/luke/24?lang=eng

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Road to Emmaus, by Greg Olsen

Resurrection Sunday: Luke 24:1-9:

(At the close of Chapter 23, we read that the women followed to see where Jesus was laid on Friday, before the old Sabbath began. They prepared spices and ointments for Jesus’s burial, and then rested on the Sabbath day, returning to care for His body early Sunday Morning.)

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher, and two angels standing by it in shining garments.

And they entered into the sepulcher, and not finding the body of the Lord Jesus, they were much perplexed thereabout; And were affrighted, and bowed down their faces to the earth. But behold the angels said unto them,

Why seek ye the living among the dead (JST in italics)?

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying,

“The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

The Apostles Don’t Believe the Women’s Report: Luke 24:10-11:

It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Do we have believing hearts? Do we listen to the testimony of others with a hope to believe in good news? Do we do as Peter did, and try to find out for ourselves? Or do we dismiss those things as unreal that we cannot yet comprehend?

Peter Ran to Find Out for Himself: Luke 24:12:

Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

The Senior Apostle ran to see and wondered. I’m certain that he hoped it was true, even if he did not yet understand.

On the Road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-24:

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

And he said unto them,

“What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”

And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him,

“Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?”

And he said unto them,

“What things?”

And they said unto him,

“Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

“But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

“Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

“And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.”

Here the two disciples recount the events of the day to Jesus. Peter was not the only one that ran to the tomb. John’s testimony points out that the disciple that Jesus loved (John didn’t like to name himself) also ran with Peter and got to the tomb first; but, he allowed Peter to enter first.

Do we ever allow our grief to block our vision? When there are things that we do not understand, do we just mull over those events without seeking wisdom from Him who knows all things. There is always great comfort and sustaining power in seeking the Lord’s grace during our times of loss and sorrow.

Jesus Chastised and Taught These Two Disciples: Luke 24:25-27:

Then he said unto them,

“O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?”

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

How well do we know our scriptures? How well do we know the history of the prophets and their testimonies of Jesus Christ? Do we abandon those things that we believe when events do not quickly coincide with our limited vision? Do we trust in those impressions of our heart and our spiritual reservoirs when things don’t go according to our plans and when our grief is deep?

Jesus Dines with These Two Disciples: Luke 24:28-32:

And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying,

“Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”

And he went in to tarry with them.

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

And they said one to another,

Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

The Holy Ghost often testifies to us of truth through a warmth or “burning” within our hearts. Their eyes had been opened so that they did see Jesus for who He was and they knew it was He; but, the real testimony came through the Spirit testifying to their spirits.

The Two Disciples Returned (to Jerusalem) to Report: Luke 24:33-35:

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying,

The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”

And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Can we not also come to know Him in the breaking of bread? The sacrament is an important, even a crucial, event in so many ways; and it cannot be a one-time event, or we would starve.

The sacrament gives us the opportunity to put right those wrongs which we do, relying on the Lord to help us remove or carry our burdens. The sacrament helps us to adore and love the Lord who has suffered all things for us and given us life. The sacrament gives us the opportunity to covenant to always remember the Lord, so we need to partake often so that we do not forget. And with our promise to Him, He promises us that we will always have His Spirit to be with us.

Yes, communion with the Lord is important as we dine at His sacrament table. Here we can come to know Him.

These two disciples were properly prepared before partaking of bread with Jesus. They talked about Him and remembered Him. Our thoughts should also be with Jesus when we partake of the emblems of his body and blood.

Jesus Appeared to His Apostles: Luke 24:36-43:

(Jesus appeared, not as a mortal man, but as the Resurrected Lord, with body of flesh and bone!)

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them,

“Peace be unto you.”

But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And he said unto them,

“Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them,

“Have ye here any meat?”

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

And he took it, and did eat before them.

He was again both a physical and spiritual Being. He ate with them.

Jesus Taught Them and Opened Their Understanding; They are His Witnesses: Luke 24:44-49:

And he said unto them,

“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

And said unto them,

Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

We are endowed with power from on high in the Holy Temples. Our missionaries, our elders and our sisters, must receive their temple endowment before they enter into the mission field as the Lord’s servants. This was also true for His witnesses at the time of His resurrection.

Jesus Blessed Them and Returned to Heaven: Luke 24:50-53:

And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.