Lifecycle of a Wall

Deconstruction of the Berlin Wall, 1989

We spent a few hours at the Philadelphia Temple yesterday, where a friend and I participated in proxy sealings. Brother Young, a sealer, spoke of his mission in Germany, where his daughter had also served decades later.

The Wall

It so happened that Brother Young had served in Berlin in 1961, as the Berlin Wall was built. His daughter had served in Berlin in 1989, as the Berlin Wall was torn down. Brother Young spoke of a picture they had, of the two of them standing together with other Germans on a fallen segment of the wall.

Yet the presence of the wall, hated as it was by so many, caused one of the miracles of the gospel in Europe.

As I recall being recounted by then-apostle Monson during a DC-area conference, the German Saints were gathered in Berlin on the eve of the planned ban on travel between the Communist-controlled portion of Germany and the Allied-controlled portion of Germany. Those Saints who lived in the Communist-controlled portion of the city and country knew that they would experience severe religious oppression.

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Oscar Shorts: Reflections

Poster Art for Pixar’s Bao

It has become tradition on Valentine’s Day for our family to go watch the Oscar-nominated shorts.

Most years we only get around to watching the animated shorts. This year we splurged and watched both the animated and live action shorts.


If you love feeling good, watch this year’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts. If you love to dwell on the terror, horror, and dread of the worst the world contains, watch this year’s Oscar-nominated live action shorts.

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Pollyanna Freedom

Recently on social media, a friend of mine who is a Trump Republican, called my libertarian views and solutions “Pollyanna.” I responded that freedom isn’t Pollyanna. One of the problems I see is that freedom is scary. It is full of risks. Our natural inclination is to control risk, so we build safety nets and walls, start wars elsewhere, and imprison anyone who does not conform to our version of morality.

However, history shows that our misguided, though sincere, efforts often lead to worse problems. We create winners and losers, pockets of power (monopolies), and divide people rather than unite them.

Government’s only role is to protect our inalienable rights:: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Nothing else. Why is that Pollyanna thinking? Because it isn’t complex? Because it doesn’t demand layers of bureaucracy?

It is all about fear. People fear risk. Yet without risk (freedom), people and nations cannot grow and enrich themselves. The same free market that made America, now has made a 1/2 billion people middle class in China.

With control, there is always a desire for greater control, an endless craving. Because controlling economies and people creates new negative events that then must be dealt with. Only freedom can bring the best results consistently