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.

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Thoughts Shared with a Suffering Friend

It's been a horrific day for me.
Not because of any great calamity, personal challenge, or even heartache; but just because sometimes the work here within the bowels of the prison just saps my soul and dampens my heart.
And so it was for me today, so much so that, after working on sordid inmate criminal histories since 5:30 AM this morning, I finally just couldn't look at one more basefile, and leaned back in my office chair to take a short break of sorts.
Thoughts of you came immediately to my mind, perhaps because I had been so involved with the sad histories of the inmates on my case load and my mind sort of segued to you and your despair about your own spiritual and other challenges.
Shaking off those thoughts as not particularly helpful, I then fished through my office desk drawer to find something else to distract me from my fatigue and burnout.
I found an April, 2005 issue of the "New Era" ( a magazine for youth published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in the drawer, which I thought might be just the ticket to help me refocus and rebuild from my lethargy.
The first article by President Boyd K. Packer, however, brought my thoughts directly back to you as each line seemed to speak to me about the angst and despair you previously and so plaintively had expressed to me.
He pointed out that "there are times you cannot mend that which you have broken" and "Perhaps the damage was so severe that you cannot fix it no matter how desperately you want are trapped.", and "It is easy to understand how hopeless and helpless you then feel and why you might want to give up...".
I've been there, unfortunately many times more than once in my own life; more so than you have, I suspect.
Anyway, Brother Packer then went on to promise that, "Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the Atonement of Christ.".
He went on to reassure us that, "I repeat...there is no habit, no addiction, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the Atonement of Christ.".
He then told the story of the immigrant lady who skimped and deprived herself for passage to America with her fellow Latter-day Saints, until she finally had enough for steerage class accomodations, but had very little money left over for anything else, including meals. When others went up above deck for their meals, she stayed below deck, trying to survive as best she could with little or no nourishment (unbeknownst to her fellow travelers). Finally, on the last day of the voyage and almost dead from starvation, she finally came up above deck to ask for just a morsel of food, only to find that the price of meals was included in her ticket all along.
I think all of us sell the Savior short, not understanding that forgiveness already is included in the price of the ticket He has purchased for us, just like that lady and her meals.
President Packer says that "discouragement is part of the test", but we should never give up. He promises all of us that "That brilliant morning will come.".
In "Gospel Doctrine" by President Joseph F. Smith, he also reminds us that "Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead....And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that ever have been or ever will be born upon this earth until the end of time...".
And so it is, with all my own multitude of flaws, I continue to find strength, comfort, and joy from the Atonement of Christ, knowing that His mercy is infinite, more so than I ever can hope to comprehend in the here and now.
(For a complete copy of the "New Era" article, visit At that website, then go to "Gospel Library" and from there to "Church Publications".)

Friday, April 15, 2005

For Love of "Mary"

John 20:9-16 is a Bible scripture with an especial place in my heart, even though I never could find the words to describe those supernal emotions...until now.
This morning, while reading "The Work & the Glory (Pillar of Light)" by Gerald N. Lund, a historical novel about "one man's remarkable vision" and "one family's desperate struggle", the author described those same tender feelings through two of his characters in the book, who experienced similar feelings upon reading that very same Bible passage:
"At that moment tears welled up and spilled over, tracing glistening tears down his mother's cheeks. She stopped, then took a breath, fighting for control. Nathan felt his own eyes suddenly burning.
'Jesus saith unto her,....Mary'
And there it was. A single word, and in one blinding, glorious instant; grief was turned to joy, shock and horror to exaltation. For the first time, Nathan had the tiniest glimmer of how Jesus must have spoken Mary's name-the tone of his voice, the depths of his love, the expression on his face.
His mother had stopped and now wept openly, too moved to continue. He slid over and took the book gently from her.
'Let me go on, Mother.'
She nodded, brushing at her cheeks, smiling at him through the tears.
'I'm sorry. I just love that part so much.'
....He swallowed and continued on.
And suddenly they were no longer words on the paper for him either....."
And so it continues to go throughout this page turner..
For a free copy of the King James Bible, call (toll-free) 1-888-537-1212 (at any hour or day).
To purchase a copy of "The Work & the Glory", log on to

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Jane D. Brady's personal essay, "Falling Leaves" (Brigham Young University Studies,Volume 43, Number 4, 2004, pages 137-139), perhaps best captured an eternal truth when she revealed that, "A miracle isn't the averting of danger or pain, it is the brilliant shaft of light that penetrates through the darkness of's picking up a perfectly symmetrical maple leaf and realizing it never would have turned red if it wasn't about to die.".