these will make my day ...

...heading straight to a grandson’s football game, then go home to watch Romney’s speech of his life and political career - so far - at the Republican National Convention where, tonight, watched by millions, he officially accepts the GOP nomination to challenge the incumbent Obama in November for the next President of the United States. I have been watching the convention and all the speakers were awesome. I am excited for the Romney/Ryan team.

There was a surprise/mystery speaker on tonight’s lineup which has been kept a secret but it has been confirmed that it will be Mr. Eastwood - Clint Eastwood. Wow! They could have easily passed the secret for saying it’s the “man with no name,” ...LOL!  Eastwood is one of my favorite actors/stars. I grew up watching his spaghetti westerns at the Tivoli and The Grand. But one of Eastwood’s memorable phrases in his Dirty Harry movies is: “A man has got to know his limitations,” and I hope he says that about Obama who should, by now, have known and understood his limitations. And that will certainly “make my day.” ...LOL!

Romney, as always, will give a great speech, I’m sure, and his chances are getting better and better by the week. It’s tough to go against an incumbent president, let alone a cool and popular one, but as one well known Republican said: The race is between “Mr. Cool and Mr. Competent.” America does not need a cool popular president at this critical time, but a competent, smart and experienced leader in Romney.

And after the convention speeches, I aaam reeaaady fooorrrr some foot......baaaaallll.  BYU is on ESPN, an opener against Washington State.  So go Romney! Go BYU! ... and Go Thunder! (grandson’s team).


First ladies ...

Michelle Obama - the First Lady

Ann Romney - a first lady
Difference?  First Lady represents a title and temporary honor while first lady represents class and character.


A typical Sunday for me (in Utah)

Eleven o'clock yesterday - Sunday morning - Dearie and I and a couple of our granddaughters eased into our seats at our oldest daughter's chapel several miles from our house.  Our daughter, her husband and kids were doing the Sacrament meeting program, so we were there for support. The program and message were inspiring. The two older boys talked about the "Title of Liberty" from the Book of Mormon (BoM) which is a charge and declaration of one military captain which says: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."  Despite the prevalence of war stories in the Book of Mormon, their spiritual application and parallels represent a more practical admonition and counsel in every day life. In this case the charge was for the men - husbands and fathers - in their priesthood roles of defending and fortifying their families in the war against Satan. And that was well articulated in the program.

Right after the meeting, we drove another several miles to attend a missionary "farewell" for a member of Dearie's extended family leaving to serve in the Phillippines. Because of the time conflict with our own home ward meetings, we stayed for the whole three-hour block (Sacrament, Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society) at the missionary's ward, which happens to be our ward in the late nineties and so we still know some of the members. Yet again it was another inspiring program and the missionary gave a great talk on repentance.

Our Sunday School class (Samoan) was awesome. The teacher was well prepared - at least in recounting and rehashing the details, events and names of people in the lesson, which was on the Book of Mormon. Discussions were minimal while the older folks remained the usual so-called "memorizers."

At one point during the lesson the teacher asked the class to come up with a certain profound doctrine by a noted character in the assigned chapters. Immediately I remembered one in particular that was kind of unique to this part of the Book of Mormon and so muttering under my breath, I said Amulek. It turned out that the teacher had a different one in mind which was the verse before the one of which I was thinking. The teacher then told one of the class members to read the verse he wanted (Helaman 5: 9):

O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.  (Emphasis  mine)
Again, I thought otherwise; I had hoped it was verse 10. While verse 9 (above) is common knowledge and an unambiguous doctrine across the Christian world, verse 10 demystifies and expounds on one of the more controversial and confusing beliefs of most Christian churches about the role of Christ's atoning sacrifice. In other words, no Christian would doubt the gist of verse 9. The redeeming part, however, is controversial among some churches. A part of what I'm referring to is found in Matthew 1:21 - underlined:

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins,"

While the Bible introduces the more common part of the dogma, the Book of Mormon gives the elucidation (verse 10 below), hence making the Book of Mormon a more authoritative text on the issue. Here:
And remember also the words [of] Amulek ...for he said unto [Zeezrom] that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
 Personally, therefore, the fact that some Christians believe differently about the specific nature of Christ's Atonement than its generality in verse 9, verse 10 gives a more "profound" and concise elaboration and complement that "[Christ] should not come to redeem [us] in [our] sins, but to redeem [us] from [our] sins.  Besides the obvious semantics issue, some Christian sects are at odds in the interpretation of the principle.  Repentance, which is viewed/interpreted differently by Chistians, is the underlying principle in the above doctrine.

Albert Barnes, a deceased but renowned commentator on the Bible, and a pastor of the Presbyterian Church, gives this commentary on Matthew 1:21:

From their sins - This was the great business of Jesus in coming and dying. It was not to save people in their sins, but from their sins. Sinners could not be happy in heaven. It would be a place of wretchedness to the guilty. The design of Jesus was, therefore, to save them from sin;
Could Barnes have read the Book of Mormon? ... LOL!

Our Priesthood class was equally if not more instructive.

The lesson was based on "The why of priesthood service," a talk by President Uchtdorf (2nd Counselor in First Presidency). Despite the initial seeming confusion of the class caused by the literal translation of "why" to "aisea", everyone accepted the literal translation with a grain of masima while using their own substitutes and alternatives.

The teacher continued to talk about the importance of helping those under our stewardship, especially families that we teach and visit on a monthly basis. Sound familiar? Yes. And the familiarity certainly seemed to have cast a spell of boredom and - as the expression goes - contempt among members of the class. The "same ol', same ol'" demeanor and mood percolated early. So half way through the lesson, it was just the teacher talking in general terms while class members, mostly older men, had their heads down (either half listening or half asleep - typical high priest class ...).

Personally I dislike lessons that are boring and non-interactive. So I decided to break the silence (at the risk of hushed accusations and innuendo while as a "stranger" and newcomer in the group...lol!) and I said this (in Samoan):
"We as priesthood holders should always seek the help of the Spirit in fulfilling priesthood service. For one thing, some of us when it comes to helping others, we not only go out of our way, but we also do it at the expense or in the neglect of others, our immediate families for example. Conversely, we should not try to use our duty and responsibility to family as excuse in neglecting or dereliction of our gospel and priesthood duties and responsibilities. We need to find a balance."

I then paraphrased Elder Dallin H. Oaks (Quorum of the Twelve) who said we should be careful because our strengths can become our downfall. Specifically, he said:
Could the fulfillment of fundamental Christian obligation be carried to excess? I believe it can. I have seen cases in which persons fulfilled that duty to such an extent that they impoverished their own families by expending resources of property or time that were needed for family members.  "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall" - BYU Fireside Address, 1992
I further suggested in my comment that as a solution, we need to "see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." (Mosiah 4:27)

Funny though that at home after church, I looked up and read Uchtdorf's "The why of priesthood service," talk for the first time and here's what he cautioned the priesthood while fulfilling priesthood service:

... the fact that something is good is not always reason to expend time and resources on it.  Our activities, initiatives, and plans should be inspired by and grounded upon the why of our priesthood service and not by any flashy trend or interest of the moment .... Otherwise, they can distract our efforts, dilute our energy and get us caught up in our own hobbies, spiritual or temporal, that are not at the center of discipleship. Follow the promptings of he Spirit....
Both Elders Oaks and Uchtdorf are in agreement on the matter. 

Please note that stinginess and/or avarice are not promoted in this post.  Instead, it is wisdom, inspiration, judgment and following the Spirit that are recommended.

And that was a typical if not near typical Sunday in my corner of the globe. Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week, a day of learning more about the gospel and for spiritual renewal.


Doggone it!

Decision 2012

From Politico:
“President Obama strayed from his prepared remarks here [in Iowa] to get in a jab at Mitt Romney's famous dog-on-top-of-car moment.

Noting that the Republican candidate has criticized wind energy, saying a windmill can't be put on top of a car to power it, Obama had a zinger.

'I don't know he's actually tried that,' Obama said. 'I know he's had other things on his car.'"

Now, if I, LV, were Romney’s speech writer here’s what I would have him say in rebutting Obama:

“As you heard the president, he seems to love dogs so much that he wouldn’t stop talking about our dog Seamus.  Mr. Obama is definitely making this a dog eat dog race - it’s his style!”  

Now that's a real ZINGER!

UPDATE (Politico):
And [Reince] Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman, on Twitter, wrote: “Obama campaign about small things - accusing Romney of being a felon & murderer. Next thing you know, they'll accuse Romney of eating a dog.”

The end of Priebus's tweet is a reference to Obama writing in "Dreams of My Father" that he ate dog meat, among other things, while a child living in Indonesia.


Utah best state to live

"Utah, host of the Sundance Film Festival and an annual Llama Fest, has something else to add to its list of things residents can look forward to: It’s poised to become the best state in the country to live in.

The state ranked highest across 13 forward-looking categories that show it will be the best place to live in the future ...."  Read more ... 

Study: Utah's the most generous state.

"Utah is the most generous state, and New Hampshire the least -- that is, according to a new data on philanthropy and religion.

The more religious a state’s residents, the more generous they were with their discretionary income, a study released Monday by the Chronicle of Philanthopy reported.

After Utah, the most-generous states were Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina. The least generous, second to New Hampshire, were Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island."   ~ Los Angeles Times

More Summer pics

Been real busy the last two months and so in due time, I will blog on a couple of family anecdotes and other subjects. Meanwhile some more summer pictures/photos ("phlogging"?) taken using cell phone

early morning on bike trail

"Heavenly" - a shot taken on bike trail

grandkids playing with fire in backyard

... and roasting marshmallows


setting up camp

...roughin' it!

some of the grandchildren on a stump

... family tree

... still growing
eden in the willows
a river runs through it - view from the bike trail (at camp)