Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our we Hypocrites?


Last week there was a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, that was detained at the Cincinnati airport for the lack of necessary documentation. He was arrested for being an undocumented immigrant.

This info from the Salt Lake Tribune caused a blinking frenzy and a slight tick in my head. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_12223689

I thought that citizens of America are required to have a Social Security Number, “documentation” as a person native to the country, to receive any benefits and services the country provides for them. Non-citizens, who wanted to be, live or work in the United States need to have documentation as well. Some non-citizens don’t need to have a SSN, but for other purposes, they need other types of documentation. Everyone needs documentation. It’s the law.

My stand on illegal immigration has been the same since when I became aware of the issue. Round them up and send them home, when their documented, let them come, they can apply for jobs and whatever.

Being a member of the Mormon Church I have certain beliefs. One of them in our articles of faith is, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law”. Ether I believe this or I don’t. I do. I won’t hire illegal immigrants in my business and anything else that may jeopardize my freedom.

The purpose of the Church is to bring people to Jesus Christ. It uses its members, called missionaries, threw out the world that believe in Christ to help find those that are looking for Him. Both the Missionary and the one looking for Christ will benefit. That is what life is about in the first place, finding our Savior. But we can’t do the right thing the wrong way.

Reading the article it sounds like the Church is on its heels. There is definitely an awkward relationship between the Church and illegal immigration.

I believe the Church is true and I know that the prophet receives revelation from God. I will do what the prophet asks of me. If I were a leader I would allow illegal aliens to hold leadership positions, participate in all its programs, receive its welfare services, and attend its temples. I think that is what the prophet and the Church want. The behavior of the Church signifies that fact.

The thing is I still think that documentation for all immigrants is the law and should be upheld. There should be enforcement, especially with the current crisis of the swine flu. The citizens of America should be defended from all enemies (swine flu) both foreign and domestic.

As you can see I am on both sides of the issue. Does that make me a hypocrite? hyp⋅o⋅crite  ˈhɪp ə krɪt[hip-uh-krit] Show IPA
–noun
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

When it comes down to it, I will do exactly what the Church counsels me to do.

If you read the history of the church, there are stories after stories of immigrants, newly members of the Church, coming to Zion from faraway lands. I don’t know if they were legal or illegal. Maybe that has a bearing on the churches position. Maybe not.
More information on documentation for both citizens and non-citizens can be found at http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friends


About six months ago, my wife, kids and I were rushing to an appointment. We had enough time to slip into the drive-thru at Arctic Circle. It was there where I saw, running food out to a customer, an old friend.

In an instant, the time machine of memory whisked me back to my junior high years. Three of us were inseparable: M___B___, T___ F___, and Me. We had lunch together, we walked home from school together, we had sleepovers and reveled in life.
T___ F___ would tell us the story of the movie he had recently scene as we walked home from school. He described the film without skipping a single scene. He would illustrate to us the characters, the relationships and the emotion of the film. He could scare us, make us laugh and cause us to cry.

The motion picture I remember most was the “Shining”. After hearing the story from him, I went and watched it. T--- ‘s words scared me more than the movie.

Not long after high school, TF developed a disease and passed away.

M___B___ had all the ideas, from going to the movies, a bike hike up City Creek Canyon and watching girls at the mall. What set him apart from all my other friends was that he had all the Star Wars collectables, from Yoda to the Millennial Falcon.
One night we had a sleepover at his home. His room was in the basement. At the bottom of the stairs a door led into a family room. In the back of that room, to the right, was his room. His room was full of Star Wars stuff so we used the family room for our fun.

The first thing we did was cover all the windows to make it pitch black, we turned off all the lights and started a slow strobe light and played strobe hide and seek, followed by Dungeons and Dragons, and movie on v.h.s. Then, discovering the world by discussing our perspective, common sense and our wisdom, (what perspective, common sense and wisdom 13 year old boys have.) It went well into the morning.

There were many good times. Times that push us together and some tried to rip us apart.

We brought personality to the table, we did the give and take, and we left with more. We were improved, magnified and most of all we did what was right and because of that we had more freedom.

We understood each other. We knew our ambitions were different and as time moved forward we didn’t get in each other’s way. By doing so we spent less and less time exploring life as one, then finally not at all.

Our bonds will not be cut, it could not be cut, even with the long serrated blade of time, it cannot severe our adoration for each other.

When I saw M___ B___ in the drive thru, I got out of the car, ran to him, (knowing the span of thirty years had changed my face) I said, “M___B___, C___L___”, his surprise was joyful then we embraced.

We could only share brief histories.

I left thrilled to know we were still secure in or friendship.

We may not see each other again for a long time, but I know our friendship will not end with our lives. We will take our friendship with us to the afterlife.

I feel all my friends are like this.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Multitasking



Human beings cannot multitask. Our brains can’t do it. After we think of one thing, we move on to the next. Only after one thought can we move on to another.
We can shift from one task and move to another in a rapid succession, but we cannot do two. If we do it rapidly enough, we think we are doing two but we are not. It’s like playing tennis with two or three balls. We can’t be in two or three places at once.
A person may be able to think of a hundred things that can be done at the same time, for instance; writing an e-mail and listening to music, driving and talking or texting on the phone. In some cases we are using different cognitive functions, but we still switch between tasks, taking are minds off one thing to do another. That’s why studies show that driving and talking on the phone is the same as being sleepy at the wheel or even intoxicated. In this case we can’t swap our thoughts fast enough, so are reactions are slower, taking more time.
We switch between tasks, not doing two errands at once. Try playing two video games, or doing two mathematical problems at the same time; thinking movements, strategy or anything, exactly at the instant you think of the other. We can’t do it, we replace one undertaking with another.
Another thing, when we switch tasks, we lose time. For instance, it takes me about 15minutes to shovel my driveway, and about 15 minutes to sweep my garage, so if I were to shovel the driveway then sweep the garage it would take me 30 minutes, right? If I were to jump between the two every 5 minutes it would actually take longer to do both chores. I would have to stop one to do the other. The halting is where we would lose time.
Now while taking that into consideration, doing tasks that would take considerable less time would still cost us time. It maybe just a few seconds, but it adds up. Losing time and not being productive.
Now that I’ve made the argument, I was wrenching my brain, thinking of something I could do exactly at the same time as the other. An example I came up with was, I put down the toilet seat lid at the same time I shut off the light. I did have to think of one task first before the other, but I did perform the action simultaneously. The behavior was so easy, unskilled that I put them together as one action. So in response to the “humans cannot multitask” statement, the only way to do more than one task at a time, is to put two lesser, insignificant tasks together, task that don’t have a lot of skill, something we don’t have to think about. Then maybe we can say we are multitasking.
So let me say it this way. Prioritize the task, do it, then move to the next project. We’ll notice that our stress levels will be considerably depleted.
What is you argument?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dear Mom and Dad


Dear Mom and Dad

I write this to give you, special respect. I celebrate your lives, your commitment and how you have raised me to reach my potential. I pay tribute to and honor you as my parents.

Thank you for bringing me into this world, that I may have all the experiences of life. The adventures I have had were some of the happiest momenta to some of the saddest. My happiness is founded on all kinds of life stories.

Thank you for our home. It not only provided a roof over my head but a shelter, a protection and a defense from the assaults of the world. In our home, I had the clothing and the nourishment for both body and spirit. I never went without. I was happy.

Thank you for sharing the gospel with me. The teachings of the Savior have sunk deep into my soul. I’ve come to know the joys, the grace and the salvation of the gospel. The gospel is teaching me how to develop a countenance that shows the image of Savior, the image that I can see in both of you.

Thank you for your examples. You have shown me the proper way to instruct, to discipline and most of all, you have demonstrated unconditional Love. I’ve felt your love always, even to this very day.

Thank you for serving in your callings with stoutheartedness, with faithfulness and great courage. You have inspired me. I can see that I can accomplish things that will bring me to greater heights.

Thank you for helping me see the right from wrong. You have taught me to choice the right and now I can feel true blessedness from choosing the right.

Thank you for the unforgettable cakes and calibration on my birthdays. Dad gave the pitch, some singing out of tune, and some not quite the right words, but what I heard was an angelic choir saying “we are gland that you were born”. Singing happy birthday showed me how you have always felt about me. I will forever more know that I am important.
All these things I will share with my children. I will teach them the principles that you have taught me. They will bring a legacy that generations will live, because of you.

I want to be like you. I will hold up the standards that you have held up, I will live that lessons that you have lived, and I will represent our God like you have represented our God.
I cheer and rejoice with delight because my life is so much more manageable and meaningful. You have inspired, encouraged and loved me. Thank you. I love you.

Forever
Christian

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Passing down heirlooms


I would love to pass something down too my children.
Other have passed down necklaces, broaches, dresses, furniture, bibles, stories, genealogy, swords, guns, and countless numbers of heirlooms.
I haven’t given much thought to how I want to present it, maybe with a small ceremony. I just don’t want to say with a passive “hey this was you grandfathers, take care of it” then walk away, or just slip it in the drawer and hope they know what it is and what to do with it.
I saw a man give another man an ornate dagger. It wasn’t just another dagger, the first man new everything about it, where it was made, who made it, the technique how it was made, the balance, the materials, everything. He knew the names of the ancestors that passed it down to him. He holds the knife with great esteem. In the small ceremony between him and the other, whom he gave it to, he choked on his words and past it with great respect. I was moved.
So the question, what would you pass down?
There are things that will be passed down weather I want to pass them on or not. I’ve noticed that I’ve picked up some of my dad and mom’s traits, personality and physical traits. Some of them I don’t like so much, not to be offensive. I hope I will pass down not a dagger, jewelry, clothing, furniture or even books, though they may get all of that. I will pass down the truth. The truth that I was given by a loving, divine Father, and all the things that comes with it: the change of heart, the gifts of love, the knowledge of his grace. The very thing that is molding me into what I am and what I could be. Jesus Christ!
Oh by the way, the man that gave the other the dagger, the other was not his son. He was someone the first man deeply loved.
Remember who you are what you stand for and what you are passing down.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We Have Two Dogs


We have two dogs. Each totally different in It personality.
Porter, our first dog has a large chest, defined muscles and a long snout. He was named after a long ago protector of a prophet, Porter Rockwell. His white body gives him an angelic appearance. His black head reminds me of his quiet deception. I turn my head and he takes advantage, snatching any thing that tastes good.  
His breed declares he tarries about for foxes. I have seen him only chase chickens and turkeys. I'm gland his breed doesn't define that part of my dog. Having a dog that would be considered a chicken terrier or a turkey terrier is a little unsettling.
He barks only if he hears the doorbell twice. Then never. When his ears are rubbed, his back is stroked, he will sit next to you with one paw ready to encourage you to continue. When I talk to Porter, I ask him where his girlfriend is, meaning our other dog; he cocks his head and stares at me with eyes that say, “I’ve been neutered”. He uses that same look every time I speak to him. He must sense in me some unconscious guilt.

Snickers, our second dog, makes a glass of Coke nervous. She jitters, fidgets, jumps, shivers, and trembles. She wages her tale, which was not cropped after birth and is now as long as she is, so fast it creates a slight breeze. It also keeps her considerable thin. She looks like a Snickers bar in a dog outfit. Actually she's a min pin.
I saw her once, with great confidence, chase a German Shepard down the street. She wanted to prove that a dog with small little legs, with nothing more then a yap, could chase her Goliath out of her territory. The German Shepard, slightly turned and gave one bark, Snickers flipped backward and yelped all the way home. In her defeat she's a little bigger in my eyes.
She congers spells by staring so intently at me, her ears tipped ever so slightly, charms me into giving her lots of treats and loves. It works every time.

Dogs are awesome. I love them.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Character


I was sitting in the living room of my mother’s home having a discussion with other family members.
Words were said not to accuse me of false behavior but I took it as an accusation and felt antagonized. I don’t think that I would have been bothered by it, but my character was not where it needed to be.
While the words were being spoken, I was eating garlic bread. I inhaled a small bit and it went down the wrong tube. I was coughing, choking and trying to speak to stop the rudeness with cordial words of admonition. I could not speak. The antagonism continued. I needed to speak and stop the incrimination. I became out of control and getting some words out spoke with vulgar harshness.
Our words really do matter.
What else mattered is that my character was not strong enough to restrain negative words in the time of most importance. My character was strained and then broke. I didn’t express myself in the most honorable way. I felt diminished.
In the past, in adverse situations, I have been aware of negative emotions building up in me, but I was still able to think and stay clear headed. Those situations was not under duress. Under duress is when it matter most.
With the world, strong forceful words or behavior is a positive trait. I’ve experienced it while doing business with so many people.
The decisions we make, the way we speak and behave ultimately show are true character.
I’m trying to have the most excellent character, character that invites growth and prosperity in me and others. Not to be superior but to serve others. Serving others is the only way we can make every one’s life choice and prosperous.
I need to be vigilant; to change were it is right and not be manipulated by the world.
I hope you striving for the character that you want.
Be excellent.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Life


I haven’t planted a garden for a long time. If I were to plant a garden, I would plant squash, peas, carrots, beans, beats, and corn; these are just a few of the edible treats that I have planted in the past. They have been more then beneficial to my taste buds.
Wait, I fooled you. I wouldn’t plant these fruits and vegetables, I would plant their seeds. Planting the seeds then cultivate them is what I would do to insure a desirable harvest.
The thing is, there is more than just fruits and vegetable that fit in this system of harvesting. I’m talking about the law in general. Some call it the Law of the Harvest. Others say, “what you sow so must you reap”. I’ve heard others call it the Law of Attraction. It doesn’t sound like it is the same, but I think its closer then what they think.
First of all there are plenty of seeds out there, not just seed from plants but I believe religion, politics, relationships, marriage, raising children and education are just a few of the things we harvest from there seeds that we plant.
No matter what, there is a constant planting and harvesting going on in everyone’s life. Whether they know it or not, or want to do it or not. It is happening.
The seeds we plant should benefit us in the harvest. You can tell if the seed is what you want by seeing the harvest that it produces.
It’s much easier to learn from the harvests of the past, so we can choose wisely the seed we want to plant now.
An example of that would be the recession that we are in now. The government wants to spend trillions of dollars to keep us out of a recession. If they were to learn from the past, the past government tried that same thing and it brought us into a deeper recession that lasted for years. Spend more (the seeds), deeper recession (the harvest). There are countless of examples of harvesting dumb and hurtful things.
Another way to lean what seed to plant is trust someone to tell you. I wouldn't just trust anyone to tell me what seeds to plant so I could have the best future. A perfect person will do; a God or someone I know a God chosen.
The few people that will read this won’t need an example here. It’s clear that God wants the very best for us so he put it in the scriptures and gave as a Prophets to guide us. Not a president of a country.
I can see so many seeds that people plant that I know will end up with a harvest that will devastate their lives and all in all, affect others.
What we have to be careful with is the seeds that have been manipulated to look like good seeds, manipulated by others for profit, for power and personal gain. (There are plenty of ways to manipulated them.) Others seeds we have to be careful with are bad habit seeds. After a few harvests of all these seeds, we will be battered, hurt and wounded by them. Sometimes we replant them and the crap hits the fan again.
It’s just a matter of knowing the right seeds to plant with the help of God.
Remember who you are and what you stand for. Reap well.