Evan McMullin’s dangerous Syrian policy

Evan McMullin, the Mormon #neverTrump candidate supported by well-known neo-conservatives in Washington, is surging in Utah.  The chances of his winning Utah are quite high.

I am #neverMcMullin, and I wrote this post about why, but I will admit that McMullin taking Utah instead of Trump and Clinton would be mostly a good thing.  I can understand the arguments of my friends who are voting for McMullin at the very least to send a protest vote against the horrible Hillary and the terrible Trump.

Still, I want to point out that McMullin’s signature issue — his policy in Syria — is fatally flawed and dangerous.  McMullin will not be the next president, but Hillary probably will.  When you look at the big picture, McMullin’s Syrian policy is basically HIllary’s Syrian policy.  They are both wrong, and they are risking a war with Russia over a country that is not central to U.S. interests.  I feel compelled to speak out in opposition.

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Forgiveness Matters

trainwreckAmerica is having a bad year.

It seems like each week, and almost every day there is some sort of violence being perpetrated on one group or another by some other group or another who feels slighted or aggrieved. This year’s presidential election has not helped the national mood either. We live in this zero-sum game world now where we’ve taken justice into our own hands, because we must win at all costs, or make the people with whom we disagree pay for what we perceive as their sins against us and humanity. Daily, in the media, we hear pudits screaming that people who do not agree with them, “will pay”. My own social media feed is filled with articles written by foil-hatted fools who predict the end of world if their guy (or gal) does not win, or if justice is not served up right away. The anger and frustration is tangible.

Are you tired of it? Because I am.

We need to be having a discussion as a nation that is not about politics, or groups, or whose side will win and what they will do to the losers.

The real discussion we should be having is about forgiveness. Forgiveness Matters. Here, I’ll hashtag it for you #ForgivnessMatters. Now go and tweet that out, but first think about it and let it soak into you head. FORGIVENESS MATTERS.
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Revelation during the Fort Collins Temple Dedication

Some readers may know that the Fort Collins temple was dedicated over the weekend.  You can read about it here.

ft-collins-temple-cornerstone3-2016

To sum up the details:  President Uchtdorf was in town with Elder Renlund and several other Church officials.  On Saturday there was a massive cultural celebration in Hughes Stadium, where the CSU football team plays.  More than 20,000 people were there.  On Sunday, President Uchtdorf placed mortar around the cornerstone and presided over three dedicatory sessions.

During the dedicatory sessions, many chapels were consecrated as extensions of the temple so all baptized members could watch the dedication.  We gathered in our local chapel with two of our baptized children.

All of the events were surrounded by a peaceful feeling of the sacred.  I kept on thinking back to past temple dedications — especially the Kirtland temple dedication in 1836 — and how temple dedications are accompanied by the Spirit and very often personal revelation.

And the exciting part for our family was that my wife and I had some personal revelations of our own.

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Stop the Contention

fightingI’m one of the Gospel Doctrine teachers in my ward. It’s a calling l love, but am terrified of all at the same time. Teaching the gospel to adults is very hard, especially when I feel like I’m the least experienced in the room. But it’s good to feel inadequate sometimes. It pushes me to rely on the Lord a lot more to do my calling the right way.

This year’s course of study has been The Book of Mormon and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Over the last few weeks as we’ve wound our way thru the chapters in the Book of Alma and Helaman there are stark patterns that emerge that parallel our day. Some people call it “The Pride Cycle”, but basically it’s the story of the human condition since the beginning of time. People are good, they are blessed, then become prideful and wicked. They fall, and become enslaved – either to their own vice and are destroyed , or are literally taken away as slaves to be humbled. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Sometimes the cycle repeats itself several times in the course of a year.

Right before the Savior’s visit to the Nephites in 3 Nephi, this cycle becomes particularly vicious, with the people dividing themselves up into tribes and with the Gadianton Robbers bearing down on everyone they can. At the death of the Savior, the land is broken up, there is great destruction and the Nephite civilization is destroyed, with “the more righteous part” of the people being left to pick up the pieces and start over. Continue reading