8/10/2017 Hidden Oaks Golf Course

What should have been a straighforward par 5 was turning into trouble. From 175 yards, my ball hooked right into a pond. my approach from there hit in front of the flag, but took a hard bounce and finished 18 feet past.

Sawyer was having his own troubles, and Miller was gunning for a par. I turned to him, ”Miller, if I make this putt, I get to name your first kid.”

”no way!!! It’s not that hard of a putt!” “ok, then what do I get?” ”You can decide the middle name.” Thinking to myself, what a bargain! I lined it putt, hit it exactly how I wanted to, and was overly dismayed to not see it break at all, but go dead straight, and three inches to the left of the cup. Next time mill-dog.

In the Company of Prophets, by Heidi Swinson

A quick and easy read, this book tells the story of D. Arthur Haycock who worked for seven church presidents, being their personal secretary most of that time. I enjoyed his personal stories, and the way he brought the men sometimes only seen at General Conference, to us, in an everyday manner.

To include only one quote, Camilla Eyring Kimball wrote to her husband, the prophet, Spencer ”On this your eighty-fifth birthday, my beloved husband, my heart is full of gratitude for the sixty-two years we’ve been privileged to share. They’ve been filled with joy and sadness. Sharing has made the joy more fulfilling and the sadness easier to bear. You have been patient with my foibles and richly fulfilled my needs. Your love and understanding has helped me over the rough spots. Our travels around the world have brought joyful and rewarding memories. In addition to my great love for you, I deeply respect and honor your undaunted courage in meeting successfully the many challenges which have filled your life. your complete and unwavering dedication to your callings and service to others has been a lifetime of inspiration to me.”

2.4/5

Lectures on Faith

3.5/5

The Lectures on Faith is a short work, broken up into seven different lectures, each of which looks at faith from a different logical perspective. While the exact authorship is debated, the general consensus holds that no one person was responsible for the work, but rather a committee, in which Sidney Rigdon appears to have written the majority.

Given to the School of Prophets in Kirtland, they were included as part of the Doctorine and Covenenants, i.e. the standard works, for 86 years before being removed on the basis that ”they were never presented to nor accepted by the church as being other than theological lectures or lessons.”

To state the obvious, reading these lectures, my faith was increased as well as my understanding of what it is. The lectures start by showing that everything we do is based around the principle of faith. Did you apply for a job? Only because you have faith you will gain employment. Would you knock on a door not believing someone will answer it? “Are not all your exertions of every kind, dependent on your faith? Or, may we not ask, what have you, or what do you possess, which you have not obtained by reason of your faith?” Reflecting on my life, I could see how this really is true, and have since determined to act with more faith in my life. To take a step into the darkness, striving ever higher for the seemingly unreachable goals. For with faith, all is possible.

In the third lecture, we learn about faith unto salvation. ┬áThere are three things we must have faith on in order to reach exaltation. “First, the idea that he [God] actually exists. Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes. Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which [one] is pursuing is according to his [God’s] will.” As the gospel according to John succinctly records, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” If our potential is to become like our Heavenly Father, we must obviously learn who He is, and model our actions and behaviors after His. And, as that can be a stretch in our early spiritual growth, we can look to His Son who he sent, and His authorized servants to follow.

Lecture sixth was my favorite. ”Let us here observe that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things.” We are held slaves to that which we cannot leave………. ”It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life. ”

”But those who have not made this sacrifice to God do not know that the course which they pursue is well pleasing in his sight; for whatever may be their belief or their opinion, it is a matter of doubt and uncertainty in their mind; and where doubt and uncertainty are, there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time; so that persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshaken confidence; and where unshaken confidence is not, there faith is weak; and where faith is weak, the persons will not be able to contend against all opposition, tribulations, and afflictions which they will have to encounter in order to be heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them.” ”mic drop.”

This one is very simple to understand- we must be completely willing to sacrifice everything in order to inherit the kingdom of God. If we do not have the faith to do that, we do not have faith sufficient to live with our Heavenly Father.

So, have faith.

I recommend, without reservations this book, for the profit of all. While not scripture, surely reading with the companionship of the Spirit will augment our faith, our understanding of faith and our will to remain ever faithful.

An ode to my 10.5 Adidas

I bought these shoes in 9th grade. I remember that transaction distinctly; $55 at Dick’s Sporting Good’s at the Huntington West Virginia Mall. Since then, I’ve walked over 1000 miles wearing them or the equivalent of Seattle to San Diego; from the top of the west coast to the bottom, and I did most of that walking carrying a 20-30 pound golf bag. I’ve spent countless hours wearing these. Lately, I’ve had reglued part of the sole on. I’ve shined them countless times. They’ve conspired with my socks to give me a tan line that should never be shown in public. They were on my feet for my first birdie, my first eagle, and many near hole-in-ones. Basically, they’ve been with me through thick and thin.

So, you can now ask, what is important about his old, probably smelly shoes, shoes that I seem to be overly sentimental about? Absolutely nothing. But it does lead to a question.

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Why am I willing to forgo playing a sport I dearly love, and have high aspirations for? More importantly, why am I leaving my family whom I love infinitely more than golf? or putting my college education on hold, and leaving great friends to go to a place I’ve never been before, speaking a language I don’t even know yet, to dedicate myself completely to people I’ve never met before?

It all comes down to my testimony in Jesus Christ. I am leaving to share his Gospel, and the joy that comes from it. I’ve felt his love so strongly in my life, and am so happy. I want to share that goodness with others. To me, its worth spending a million years. But two’s a start. I know that the Bible is the word of God, along with the Book of Mormon. I’ve prayed about both, and the Holy Ghost has let me know that they are true. Our lives will be blessed as we implement their teachings into our lives. I know that there is a Prophet on the Earth today, who can help us know what to do, and how to prepare for the times ahead. I am so glad that there are temples on the Earth today, and through the ordinances therein, I know that families can be together through time and all eternity.

I am so glad to have this opportunity to go on a mission.