Homosexuality??

The conversation was very interesting. I really enjoyed it, but I did have the same question that you did. I have thought about it a little and I can
only offer a few thoughts. I have not really done anything to substantiate this, but these are my thoughts.

It is one thing for the temptations to be present, for the thoughts to enter your mind. You most surely are not accountable for them. I admit, I have temptations that come, sometimes I don’t even realize a thought process, I think it is more of an impulse, and then I realize the emotion, and have to try and talk myself out of it. Obviously, those types of thoughts in relation to it are okay. I have this weakness for ice cream. I will admit, sometimes I have the ice cream out of the freezer and am already scooping it before I think, “No, I am not going to do this.” Sometimes I am more successful than others. I really struggle with the impulses that come sometimes. They come and it is almost like I am already far down the road and it is harder to resist. I can imagine that is what it is like with quitting smoking or something. Something happens and there is almost a reflex. Converting must be an odd thing, for these old habits and impulses must come. They were not curtailed at an early age and therefore the road is paved, where when we grow up with the gospel, some roads are never traveled, in thoughts or action. I admit, there are temptations that
sometimes I think in my mind, “hmmm, what is going on, I am not going to do that, nope, nosir, stop, agh” and I am somewhere I should not be. I have to be very careful not to put myself in certain situations, I find I am weak from exposure during childhood to various things. There is a rational process, and I don’t see that as wrong. I often don’t think of the eternal scenario, but other than God doesn’t want me to do that…. Yet somehow, at times, my pride blatantly wins. I admit, I am on a kick right now that I absolutely refuse to run. I just want to, but is really my only means of cardiovascular exercise. I certainly think about doing it, and what happens to me if I don’t.

Having said all that, I think it is the desire, the thoughts that lead to desire, that will get us into trouble. There was a time, during the teenage years, where I was curious about various things. I thought about them and desired them. Those are the thoughts that make me feel bad today. Those are the thoughts that entered the heart. Oddly, those desires are now the impulses that my mind has to fight now. Once the desires were cultivated, and the seed grew and sprouted, I have spent the rest of my life since trying to uproot it, and never seem to be able to get all of it. It
definitely goes dormant, it seems to be gone, but then it reappears. It is like the blasted cancer, somehow, sadly, it always seems to creep in,
reappear, and devour somewhere else.

It seems I passed by many of the weaknesses of others without batting an eye. Yet, somehow they catch others in vicious snares. Certain things seem to catch our eye, or minds eye, and we ponder and consider those things. Many things I was fortunate to just dismiss, but those I did not, and pursued due to desire, are those things I still fight.

With any weakness, judging only from my personal experience, it was not so much the thoughts that did the damage, but the accepting of certain
thoughts, and then letting them take root, that has done the most harm.

Surely, I do not believe in leading a sheltered life. But rather, having the Spirit in such a way that I am inclined to find unwholesome things as
wanting, and therefore move on.

Funny, I have a scripture story in mind:
Mosiah 7
We are in bondage…are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be born…
Might gather themselves together to the temple, to hear the words which he should speak unto them…
O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold the time is at hand or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made. Therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob…
And behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage…

So they are in bondage, and there is an effectual struggle to be made, always to keep them from bondage. Even under the possibilities or being
slaves to the Nephites, or paying tribute to the Lamanites, it looks terrible. How did they get there?

Mosiah 8
I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers…we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God…

They ended up in that position because they had not followed the Spirit enough, and a desire swept them away.

Who knows, I don’t believe the gay gene exists. If it does, then the blessed day of genetic altering and gene therapy are at hand, we will soon
eradicate it. So that is not the problem. But I fear it is something more deep, something more frightening, a lessening of the Spirit of God abroad in the land, a lesser degree of inspiration in avoiding bad thoughts, the inspiration to avoid incorrect decisions, and a prolonged dwelling,
desiring, even lusting for those things we ought not. The loss of control, the lack of morals, and a more carnal, sensual (!!), and devilish world is
upon us.

A most frightening world

D&C 1:33
And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.
2 Ne 26:11
For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul.
D&C 46:7
Do all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits…
D&C 50:1-2
Many false spirits have gone forth in the earth…

As for a child who has already gone down that path? Well, by the time a person realized they are gay, there has been a long process of reasoning,
thinking, to come to that stage. Now I know people who are gay, but not participating. They rationalize that one simply because they have no desire to women, but none to men either. That is just a great deception to me. But those who come out and proclaim they are gay, seem to do it more for the recognition and more for the acceptance than anything. Who knows. I honestly do not know enough about these things. But it is a weakness, it is something that comes up later in life, not from childhood, and is a road that appears very, very difficult to return from. To me it seems easier to raise a child right, than to help someone already on a bad path. Most of it is the struggle of the silent chambers of their own soul. Once they are older, it seems to be between them and the Lord. Now, obviously a Bishop or Judge would play a role, but I have not seen that role played, and am not familiar with it. Any thing I needed to repent that I needed to tell a Bishop, I had ceased doing when I entered activity in the church. I confessed, but did not have the struggle that requires a Bishop. I do, and everyone has their struggles though.

Well, it has been interesting to pursue some of the thoughts. It was more rambling. If you made it this far, I am certainly impressed. I seem to say
that if a child is thoroughly acquainted and walking in the ways of the Spirit, these things will not be an issue. Perhaps that is simple minded, or hopeful, or not realistic, but nevertheless, that seems the hope of Zion.

The sexual powers are the most powerful appetite it seems to me. When it goes, or is allowed, or taken down the wrong path, it is terribly difficult
to set things right. Like trying to resurrect a fully submerged, upside down vessel. It is better to avoid the capsize, then to correct the problem
later. For those who struggle with, and overcome these things, I must take my hat off to them. I don’t have the will power to cut out the mild swear words I like to use in utter frustration (by myself, never around others) yet alone imagine a Goliath like sexual deviance. I sense a frustration and disappointment if I ever were to fall to such devices. But, nothing is too great for the Lord. Every Goliath can fall, just how to find the faith….

 

27 Aug Talk

Since there are those who wish to know about the talk on Sunday, here you go. This is the outline of quotes I had on Saturday night. I completely reordered and changed emphasis of the talk after Sunday morning prayers. I used the scripture, Jacob 4:6-8, for the scripture and about continuing revelation. The power that comes to us through the word. That power is to be used in the mission of the church, including the three part break down of that mission, and then moved into the role that priesthood has in it. So hand in hand, I only gave 1/3 of what is here in the outline, and it was by no means all at the beginning. Due to time constraints, at about the 20 minute mark I was only getting into the priesthood part, and had to end. So, I really only spoke about faith, power, and the mission of the church, with a few hints at the role of the priesthood, but by no means whatsoever doing it justice. In fact, I don’t feel I even tied in the priesthood because of my trying to insert it and end. Throughout the talk I emphasized parts of Jacob 4:6-8 (which was quite powerful because I had it memorized) and finished with it as well.Perfecting the Saints/Priesthood

D&C 19:31-32 “And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but hou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost. Behold, this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter, for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life.”

D&C 6:9 “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.”

D&C 15:6 “And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.”

D&C 19:4 “And surely every man (or woman) must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.”

D&C 29:49 “And, again, I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent?”

President Ezra Taft Benson, “The grand mission of the church is accomplished by proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead”

Often wondered, can one be done with the exclusion of another? These are all parts of the mission to bring souls to Christ. We cannot achieve the whole, without doing all the parts.

James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

D&C 50:28 “But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin. And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done.”

President Brigham Young: Some of you may ask, is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with? Is there one of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that he will excuse them from obeying? Not one, no matter how trifling or small in our own estimation. No matter if we esteem them non-essential, or least or last of all the commandments of the house of God, we under obligation to observe them.

All parts of the mission of the church are constantly before us.

President Brigham Young: I never passed John Wesley’s church in London without stopping to look at it. Was he a good man? Yes, I suppose him to have been, by all accounts, as good as ever walked on this earth, according to this knowledge. Has he obtained a rest? Yes, and greater than ever entered his mind to expect, and so have thousands of others of the various religious denominations. Why could he not build up the kingdom of God on the earth? He had not the Priesthood; that was all the difficulty he labored under. Had the Priesthood been conferred upon him, he would have built up the kingdom of God in his day as it is now being built up. He would have introduced the ordinances, powers, grades, and quorums of the Priesthood. But, not holding the Priesthood, he could not do it (JD 7:5)

What is the Priesthood? Power of God given to man? What does that mean?

D&C 84:33, 35-39 “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.”

When we receive this priesthood, we also receive the father’s kingdom, which means we receive his work. If we do not his work, we receive not his kingdom. The work of God is to bring the power of the atonement into the lives of his children.

President Joseph Smith: God imself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself.

President Gordon B. Hinckley: The cause in which we are engaged is not an ordinary cause. It is the cause of Christ. It is the kingdom of God our Eternal Father. It is the building of Zion on the earth. If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

We need to be humble!

President Ezra Taft Benson: God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.

We need to put first things first!

President Brigham Young: Stop! Wait! When you get up in the morning, before you suffer yourselves to eat one mouthful of food…bow down before the Lord, ask him to forgive your sins, and protect you through the day, to preserve you from temptation and all evil, to guide your steps aright, that you may do something that day that shall be beneficial to the kingdom of God on the earth. Have you time to do this?…this is the counsel I have for the Latter-day Saints today. Stop! Do not be in a hurry…you are in too much of a hurry, you do not go to meeting enough, you do not read the scriptures enough, you do not meditate enough, you are all the time on the wing, and in such a hurry that you do not know what to do first…Let me reduce this to a simple saying, one of the most simple and homely that can be used ‘keep your dish right side up’ so that when the shower of porridge does come you can catch your dish full.”

We need to learn our duty!

President Joseph F. Smith: We expect to see the day, if we live long enough,…when every council of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty, will assume its own responsibility,…to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it. When that day shall come there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of the Priesthood. The Lord designed and comprehended it from the beginning, and He has made every provision in the Church whereby every need may be met and satisfied through the regular organizations of the Priesthood (CR, Apr 1906, 3).

We need to have the Spirit!

(Feb 1847) President Joseph Smith to President Brigham Young: Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you how to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other Spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right.

We need to accept our callings!

President Brigham Young: Do you suppose that after a man has refused to fulfill his calling, he can maintain the Spirit of truth and stand? He cannot? They say they believe Joseph Smith was a prophet raised up to establish the work of the last days, and bring forth the Book of Mormon, and thus they deceived.

We need to recognize our Priesthood leaders and have a testimony of them!

President Brigham Young: I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way? Let every man and woman, know by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates or not (JD 9:150).

The Priesthood holds the power of eternity!

President Joseph Fielding Smith: There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God (DoS, v1, pg 180).

President Brigham Young: No man or woman in the dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith Junior as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are (JD 7:289).

President Brigham Young: Madam, I have this day examined the records of baptisms for the remission of sins in the church of Jesus Chrsit of Latter-day Saints, and not being able to find the name of Elizabeth Green recorded therein, I was saved the necessity of erasing your name therefrom. You may therefore consider your sins have not been remitted you and you may consequently enjoy the benefits therefrom.

President Harold B. Lee: Now…remember, that the most important of the Lord’s work that you will ever do will be the work you will do within the walls of your own home. Home teaching, bishopric’s work, and other Church duties are all important, but the most important work is within the walls of your home (Strengthening the Home movie text, pg 7)

President Hugh B. Brown: The very foundation of the kingdom of God, of righteousness, of progress, of development, of eternal life, and eternal increase in the kingdom of God is laid in the divinely ordained home (CR, 2 Oct 1966, pg 103-4).

Our family is formally extended through the duty of the Priesthood, not a calling, of home teaching!

President Harold B. Lee: Maybe the home teacher should be charged more clearly to describe his mission to watch over and to strengthen to see that members do their duty…They think themselves as teachers of the Gospel message only. Maybe we ought to be calling them home guardians or sentinels and to report their stewardship to the fathers of the ward. We must do something to change the emphasis from teaching to guardians, ‘watching over the church kind of concept.’ Until we get that into our minds, we are not going to do the kind of home teaching that is going to get results.

Spencer W. Kimball: Is it any wonder that the organization and work of the Church and its priesthood in this day are patterned after the keys it possesses? We are a missionary Church, participating to the fullest possible extent in the gathering of Israel. We are a Church founded upon families; a Church that takes care of its own, stressing the economic, intellectual, and spiritual development of its families and individual members in preparation for salvation in the kingdom of heaven. And we are a Church that is actively engaged in temple and genealogy work for ourselves and for the infinite numbers of our Father’s children who have the promise, but not as yet the opportunity, for the ordinances of salvation. This is a work that makes even more meaningful the great corresponding missionary work being carried out in the spirit world. (Ensign, Jan 1977, 3)

Oh the Greatness of God

Well, we are about at the ending of another week.  Nevertheless, I am still feeling the influence of the last weekend.  How wonderful it is to have prophets upon the earth.  What a wonderous day we live in.  We are blessed so exceedingly!  We have prophets, apostles, and the priesthood.  I guess it is more the other way around, we have the priesthood, which gives us prophets, apostles, and all the church.  Everything is governed under the authority and power of the Father and Son.  What a wonderful and magnificent thing it is to behold.
This weekend I had the privilege of standing in on a blessing.  It was great, what an honour.  Even better, we have the capacity and capability of doing these things.  I stood in on a baby blessing a few weeks ago.  How wonderful.  I sat in General Conference in the presence of the Lord’s called Apostles and Prophets.  Again, I saw our dearly beloved prophet stand up, waddle to the stand, and speak.  My heart swells with joy and gratitude.  We can hear the Lord’s direction for us, for me, for you, for us individually.  How unique and personal that makes the Atonement, the Church, and God.
In reading the scriptures, I find myself ever shaking my head.  Can we be wiser?  Can we learn from the teachings and mistakes?  We are finishing 2 Samuel tomorrow night.  We have read of Saul, and David, and Absalom, and even Samuel.  Each were amazing men, but made some horrible mistakes.  Even Samuel’s own children would not follow the Lord.  We finished Mosiah last night in the Book of Mormon.  There are some individuals who turned to the Lord, the sons of Alma and Mosiah.  Mosiah instructed the people about proper government and how to do things.  I find it amazing that people say what is the proper way of government, even in the church, yet they obviously know not the scriptures.  I hold the Book of Mormon of being of great worth in bringing much light and truth to our generation.  It is the applicator of the Bible.  I would declare that without reading and being familiar with the Old and New Testament, you will not understand the full import and value of the Book of Mormon.  Without the Bible and Book of Mormon, one will not understand the Doctrine and Covenants.  So many tell me that the law of consecration is vague and not clear.  I say to those people read Deuteronomy and the Doctrine and Covenants again.  If they can say that then, they have not understood what they read.  It is so stark and clear!  Without prophets and apostles, we would not have the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants.  Even then, I fear most of the Christian world do not know their own Bible.  If they do, they do not believe it or live its teachings.
Prayer is such an amazing thing.  My experiences are so valued to me.  I would not trade them for anything.  But for people who tell me I do not know these things are true, I say they have not experienced prayer.  They know not heaven or how to communicate with it (or don’t wish to).  Our blessings are amazing.  The counsel comes to us as the dews from heaven.  They descend, and some allow them to run on by, others lap them up and hold tightly to what falls upon our heads.  We don’t have the option, they are coming.  What will we do with them?
Well, I close for now.  I love you, I know the church is true!

Jaunty Iconoclasm

Sometimes I find myself in such a hard position.  Should I say something or should I not.  To do so always can be turned against me as being judgmental.  While not saying something may cause me to fall into the situation of caring not for my brother.  Which would I care to be known as more?
Judgment.  What an interesting idea?  What a fascinating attribute.  Whatever does it mean?  I remember the distinct idea from the D&C that it is from this attribute that the capability to bless is given.  Without it, you cannot bless.  While I cannot now find this reference, and my memory does not serve me to find it, I will have to move on without.  There is such a cry in the world today that we should not judge.  That that is an attribute left only to God.  What a horrible thought.  If I were never to judge, what would I ever get done?  Nothing.  What if I were never to see that a friend is hungry, in need of help, and not decide to do something.  In fact, I would not even recognize them as hungry.  Now condemnation, that is something I believe we are expressly forbidden to do.  Of us it is required to forgive all men.  We are to ever go on searching to serve.  Is that not the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood?
Oath and Covenant.  What a serious covenant.  The Priesthood is more than just the authority to act in the name of God.  That is simply not enough.  Just to have the priesthood is not enough.  If we think that is all we are to do, we are seriously mistaken.  We will find ourselves coming very short at the last day.  It is the oath and covenant to bring the atonement into efficacy into the lives of all those within our sphere of calling.  Somehow we let para-scripture have more importance than the truth.  In order to bring the atonement into the lives of others, we must judge them.  We have to search out ways in which we may bless the lives of others.  We must be diligent in our efforts to act and do as God would have us to do.  That means reaching out the destitute and poor, the widow and the weak, and lifting up the hands that hang low.
Until we have proven worthy.  Most Saints understand that it is an endurance to the end.  A trek where we must work and fight and pray and hope and continue on in all faithfulness.  Only then if we are found worthy shall we be called up and sealed in the celestial kingdom of our God.  Until then, we are to have absolute faith and work diligently.  Believing is not enough.  That will not save you.  You must have faith.  But working is not enough.  That will not save you.  You must have faith, and that faith must drive you to work.  Without the faith, you will work in the the wrong direction and find you have worked for the wrong master.  If not working for God and his Son, and his Kingdom, you are working for the opposing.  Sorry, even if it is your own kingdom, it is not the right kingdom and you will not find yourself saved at the last days.  Those who say believing is enough wrest the scriptures.  We must be acting on that faith, and becoming like God.  While that will not save us, it will help to sanctify.  The faith will justify, but the works are used to sanctify.  Harold B. Lee made the comment, “to sanctify means to keep the commandments.”  Onward ever onward, learning to keep more of the commandments.
Until then, nothing is granted.  Even the temple ordinances are pronounced according to our faith.  I have friends who say that their sealing secures that they will be each others forever.  Sorry mate, but that simply is not true.  While yes, that ordinance entered into and observed will grant you the only way to remain together forever, it of itself is not enough.  That is like saying that just because I have been given the keys to the car, I am the car.  No, you must exercise those keys, work them, use them, become familiar with and drive the car.  How are we to become God’s if we are not to practice and arrive at the destination?
How in the world can the sealing of two individuals promise they are to find themselves sealed up in the celestial kingdom.  It is directly contrary to scripture.  They must prove themselves worthy of each other.  How do we come upon such preposterous ideas?  It is clear.  We allow ourselves to believe certain things which literally damn us.  They keep us from working and trying to obtain the higher ground.  We must work ever upward.  Ever gaining more light and knowledge.  Just as those of ancient.  Joseph Smith made it clear that he was not content with the run of the mill daily things.  He commented that he was always digging up new things for his hearers.  How can we claim we know enough when even Joseph went on to learn Greek and Hebrew.  I have not mastered those and know of nobody else who has.  Somehow the every day idea is that we have done enough.  I remember being warned of a mission president that when we ever say we have done enough, or all is well, then we are damned.  Our progression has stopped.  Repentance has ceased.  We must march onward.  As Oliver Cowdery said in his general charge to the twelve, we have not reached our goal until God himself puts his hands on our head and promises us the blessings.
Why do we allow ourselves these ideas to enter?  These jaunty iconoclastic ideas from the dark side.   It is simple.  We are not following the Spirit and allow our pride in the way.  We tell ourselves we have reached our goal, when we have not.  We will find ourselves other than where we thought we were.  Funny.  When we don’t know where we are, we are sure we are saved.  Yet, until we know, we are not.  It is the weakness of the hearts of men.  Please, look up, rise up, and come up.  That is the only way.  Never are we finished in this life.  Just as Christ himself, never spoke of himself as having a sure place, as perfect, until after he was resurrected.  We are the same.  Until we have done our all, and walked the road, then after we have died will we know our station and the exact place we will be awarded.  I believe we may know and have our station secured while in this life, but those who do never speak of it.
Let us be careful of the wrong and damning ideas floating in the world about us.  Look to God and live.  Look to the world and die.  Come out of her is the call.  Shall we heed more faithfully than we are now?

Heritage

I am an Idaho boy from the farm land.  Interested in politics and law.  I love to learn the diversity of operations of all aspects of life.  While I am not as aggressive in pursuing that information as I probably should be, I have found great joy in what I have learned.  Coming from a home which is broken, but yet somehow set the stage for a great foundation.  While the parents were not role models, yet they were in so many ways.  My mother just let a few weaknesses, especially that of bitterness and negativity take over her life.  It in the end ruined all she had.  I have a connection with the land and find I can connect with nature.  The desert somehow is where the greatest bond comes.  I find it in the mountains and other places, but the desert speaks to me.  It lives and I feel it move.  I have such a wide variety of interests I wonder where to start.  My hobbies are far and wide, but mostly are connected with history; of any type.  Somehow I find that I cannot comprehend the present without the past.  I struggle with where to hand facts without the branch to which they belong.  Somehow I can deal with branches barely, but trees and forests are much more manageable.  I have a family I admire, but yet provide the greatest learning opportunities.  I have learned from many other people who are continually blessing my life.  I hope that I may be as great a blessing to them as they are to me.  I have a blessed love in my life right now.  She is the best thing that ever happened to me.  We are engaged to be married on the 20th of December.  We are waiting until then for my return from Washington DC.  I will be in DC for 4 months.  I love her more than everything.  Nothing else matters to me anymore.  Besides the Gospel, she is the center of my universe.  I adore and worship her to the extent I am allowed by the Gospel and personal capability.  She is my greatest blessing.  She reminds me so much of the relationship I had with my sweet grandmother.  The relationship was amazing with her.  However this one is far beyond anything I could have ever experienced with her.  The relationship with Alcyone is deeper, more beautiful, magnified, and more expansive.  Plus with the added attributes that accompany physical contact.  A kiss from her is far exceeding anything I could have or should have felt with my Grandma.  Alcyone is so beautiful.  I am amazed at her beauty every time I see her.  She doesn’t believe me, but even after she has awakened in the morning, I find her still stunningly beautiful.  Besides all the physical attraction, there is a bond which runs deep and spiritual.  We understand and think alike, even when we don’t speak.  In fact, we don’t even have to be near each other.  I awake in the night and know of her.  Anyhow, life is wonderful.  I love it.  I am blessed beyond anything I could ever ask for.  Right now life consists of CAFTA, working hard for new contacts for the business I work for, and living to see my love.  Oh, I am doing online courses as well as trying to get my insurance license.  I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I anticipate it with joy.  I am thrilled for the ways my life has been directed.  I hope that I have handled the situations as fully as I could have and Father will continue to bless me.  Well, I will sign off.  I love life, I love the world, I love the Lord, and I hope to gain the most of life.