True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

  Also, check out my personal entry at

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Early this morning, as I pondered and prayed about many things while studying the word of God, the words of the Pre-Columbian American Prophet Alma seemed to leap into my heart and mind from the pages of the Book of Mormon.
Alma the Elder, although previously called as one of God's Priests, became, by his own admission, a wicked man, who nonetheless changed his ways and repented of his sins.
Upon Alma's repentance, God reminded him that, "as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me" (The Book of Mormon, Mosiah Chapter 26, verse 30).
His son, Alma the Younger, albeit knowing better and to the haggard heartache of his father, then also "became a very" (Mosiah Chapter 27, verse 8).
Nevertheless, he too repented and received much inspiration and many blessings.
An angel of the Lord even told him that his father "...has prayed with much faith concerning thee..." and further assured him that this was done in accordance with God's Plan of Happiness, "that the prayers of his (God's) servants might be answered according to their faith." (Mosiah Chapter 27, verse 14)
Even so, none of this came easily to either of the Almas, and Alma the Younger went on to confess the his "soul was racked with eternal torment" prior to his repentance and forgiveness. (Mosiah Chapter 27, verse 29).
Just as a Latter-day Prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, previously pleaded with all of us, there are miracles all around us every day and more miracles waiting to be bestowed upon us, but first our "faith must precede the miracle", as we must humble ourselves in sincere prayer, not to demand blessings from God, but to ask Him what He would have us know and do with our lives.
Thus has it also been for me, notwithstanding all of my myriad own imperfections and weaknesses.
Therein follows the miracles.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Patriarchal Promises

As the children of Abraham and Jacob also prized the blessings of the Patriarchs, so also do members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) value and seek after their own personal Patriarchal blessings.
Administered only after baptism and a further personal worthiness interview, Latter-day Saints today are privileged to have one of God's specially ordained Patriarchs pronounce a blessing upon their heads, which includes both promises and counsel for the rest of their lives.
These supernal blessings are administered, following much fasting and prayer, and then preserved in a written copy for the member's reference and use throughout the rest of his or her life.
Although this is an extremely personal and sacred topic for me, while serving at the Washington, D.C. Temple this morning, I felt strongly moved to share just a few excerpts with you from my own Patriarchal Blessing as follows:
"...Hold sacred the covenants you enter into for the eye of the Lord is upon you and your Guardian Angel has charge concerning you. He has watched over you thus far, removed many barriers from your way, stumbling blocks from your path, and has preserved your life for a purpose. For this purpose you are chosen to labor in the interest of improvement among your associates. For this purpose, a decree has gone forth and you will (rest of sentence redacted by me, since there is much yet to come)."
" will gain prestige and you will develop the ability of leadership that will be noted among your people...."
"...I bless you that your mind may be keen and alert, retentive of the things you study..."
"...I bless you that you may have health and strength, vigor of body and mind, that your faculties may be preserved to serve you faithfully so that you can live an active and useful life to the end of your days...for the Lord is pleased with your integrity and if you follow in His ways you will never lack for those things essential to your well-being..."
"...Learn patience that you may be able to withstand adversities..."
"...This blessing I seal upon you in accordance with your worthiness, by the authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood in me vested, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."
There's obviously more, much more, but it just is too intensely personal to divulge more, especially in this forum.
It was at age 21 that I received this blessing, when I was an incredibly shy and backward college student, freshly converted to the LDS faith.
Since then, much has happened to and for me in my life (more than my words can express), and the resultant blessings have been so bountiful that I scare can take it all in.
For more about how such a Providential approbation and guidepost can be manifested personally to you, as well as the answers about the purpose of life, call 1-800-438-7557.

Friday, August 19, 2005

"The Mouse that Roared"

"The Mouse that Roared", starring Peter Sellers in multiple roles, always has been one of my favorite films, and, upon reflection, MCEA's Public Safety Non-Custody Employees Chapter #67 follows in those footsteps, and truly is a stalwart group of most infinite worth.
After rereading the following letter to Jodie Arnold, my case management comrade in arms at the Maryland Correctional Training Center (MCTC), please consider anew the issues mentioned in the postscript:
Your email earlier to me today about the salary needs of others in your department got me to thinking about the dynamics of their and all of our situations, and so I decided to share a few of these thoughts with you, with the intention that you also will share them with all in your department and also your agency and other state agencies.
I just hope I don't offend anyone (I do that alot), but here goes:
The MCEA fight to upgrade our case managers salaries (by two pay grades, retroactive to July 1st, 2005), as you know, was a long and hard one, beginning in 2001.
Only a few did any of the real lifting, mostly at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) and MCTC, but case managers at all the institutions nevertheless were anxious to learn of and share in the fruits of victory.
The struggle really was discouraging, with lots of naysayers along the way.
Over and over again, I heard nonmembers tell me that they wouldn't join MCEA until they saw a salary increase, as if MCEA is some sort of commodity which they are considering purchasing, and not a team effort by all of us for workplace justice.
Somehow, we've got to do a better job of helping our coworkers realize that MCEA's success is solely dependent on the active participation and support from all of us, and that those who decide not to join the MCEA team are sending a loud and clear signal to the Governor, Agency Directors, and the Legislators that they are as pleased as punch with their status quo.
That's all MCEA is, you know: Me & You working together - and that's also the strength and beauty of MCEA.
In point of fact, when I was Executive Director of the Indiana State Employees Association (ISEA), our copyrighted credo was, "Working Together to Stay Independent!".
Just imagine the even greater success we all would enjoy if only all of us state employees were part of the same MCEA team, and actively working together for the same workplace justice goals.
Just imagine!
I know I'm preaching to the choir with you, because you are a shining example of what just one person can accomplish with just a little bit of persistence and a lot of justification (Your 2005 personal legislative victory - quite a coup!)
Until then, I remain (and as always),
Yours for better governance,
Post Script to Others:

Additional issues pioneered and accomplished by our little MCEA chapter's band of brothers and sisters include, but are not limited to:
*The creation of the optional four day compressed work week within the Division of Correction (Special thanks to Case Manager Roy Gilleo at RCI).
*The resounding defeat and the withdrawal of legislation to take away the protection of correctional employees from arbitrary and capricious transfers to far away institutions (Special thanks to Case Management Supervisor Dave Post at MCTC).
*The development of a special and close bond and working rapport with the Delegates and Senators of the Washington County Legislative Delegation (Special thanks to all of the Hagerstown area correctional employees).
And so it goes.
Our MCEA team is on the march.
So what are you waiting for?
Join with us today!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Only known photograph of Joseph Smith, Jr.?

This photograph is believed to be a copy of an original daguerreotype taken of Joseph Smith Jr. in Nauvoo just before his death in 1844. It has caused a lot of excitement among researchers who study the image of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Evidence suggests, the Prophet's son Joseph Smith III, submitted a photographic copy of his father's daguerreotype to the Library of Congress in 1879. A daguerreotype is a small unique image that can only be duplicated by being re-photographed. Clear reproduction presented a problem because the majority of daguerreotypes in 1844 were only the size of a large postage stamp. The Library of Congress copy is an 8x10 inch print, which would be an obvious enlargement of a small original daguerreotype.

This 1879 duplication was done with film and equipment that by today's standards would seem quite primitive. It has been retouched around the hair, coat, on the cravat-or necktie-and the vest. Joseph's pompadour hairstyle, considered fashionable at the time, has been poorly frisked or masked along the outline. This retouching has caused the loss of softer, finer, transitional hair between the parted sections. Joseph's face seems free of any artistic retouching, but there is an overall grainy quality that causes the image to be less than one might expect from a photograph. This graininess is probably due to the gross enlargement from the original daguerreotype, however there is a startling photographic quality to the eyes.

This photo may be all that is left of the original image, as the daguerreotype has not been found. It was good that Joseph's son saw the need to safeguard his father's photograph with this copy so that over 150 years later we can now see what Joseph Smith really looked like.

It is believed by a few that this photograph is merely a painting. Careful study of the data compiled by experts shows this belief to be incorrect. Much excitement has come from the comparative studies of this image and a death mask made of the Prophet just after his death. Experts in Facial Surgery, Forensic Pathology, Plastic and Facial Reconstruction, Art, Art History, Archival, and Photographic History, have put together information that not only substantiates the photographic nature of this image, but sheds new light on the history of Joseph Smith in a unique and extraordinary way.

To view this photo, go to the "Links" column on the left and click on "Photograph of a daquerreotype of Joseph Smith Jr., 1844".

Charlie Marvil (the son of the actual Captain Marvil) is an exceptionally talented artist, who has rendered a truly amazing and detailed portrait of Joseph Smith, based on his daguerreotype.
For more of this about that, email Charlie at

Update: The most recent issue of "BYU Studies" includes an article which states that it is not true that this likeness is a photograph of a daquerreotype of Joseph Smith Jr., but that it actually is a photograph of an oil painting of the Prophet, which is owned by the Community of Christ Church (formerly named "The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints").

Friday, August 05, 2005

Frank Emerick

Recently, while facilitating a prison inmate group cognitive thinking session at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown and sharing with them the importance of deeply held values and role model mentors, I told them about my personal hero, Frank Emerick.
Frank was a humble man without guile, who previously served in Church with me many years ago in the Cumberland, Maryland area.
And so it goes that Frank and his example continues to make a difference in the lives of others well beyond the time of his mortal probation
And so it can be for all of us.