You learn something new every day.

Of a more serious nature, but still just as good.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Four down. Two to go.

2 1/2 days until I come home.

Although I have this foreboding feeling that I am going to be going nuts trying to frantically prepare for a harp audition in January. How I do miss my baby.

Why we can't just know everything

"...It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

"And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the work; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

"And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil..."

Alma 12:9-11

Monday, December 11, 2006

Alma 5:26-28, D&C 122:8

"And behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

"Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ...?

"Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God..."

"The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"

Friday, December 08, 2006


Life is so FREAKING HARD sometimes. There's school, and family, and church, and friends, and things like SSA, and all sorts of other things that can be so stressful and worrisome and just...tiring. Somedays, you might feel like the luckiest person alive. Other days, you might just want to die.

So what is happiness, really? Is it different for everyone? Can it be acquired? And how?

Here are some of my findings. I won't do too much explaining because I think this is a topic that is open to personal interpretation.

"When considering the kind of experience that makes life better, most people first think that happiness consists of experiencing pleasure: good food, good sex, and all the comforts that money can buy. We imagine traveling to exotic places or being surrounded by interesting company and expensive gadgets...

"What I discovered was that happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random choice. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but rather on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control their inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy."
~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, University of Chicago

"Friendship is a virtue or something with virtue, and besides, it is most necessary to life, for no one would choose to live without friends, though he were to have all other goods."

Of life challenges, Csikszentmihalyi says:

"None of these experiences may be particularly enjoyable at the time they are taking place, but...we know that we have changed, that our self has grown: in some respect, we have become more complex as a result of it."

"What I call gratification is part and parcel of right action. It cannot be derived from bodily pleasure, nor is it a state that can be chemically induced or attained by shortcuts. It can only be had by an active constant noble purpose."
~Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association

I hate to quote the HEPE text, because in general I think it is garbage, but I will break my rules for the moment because I liked a bit of what was said in this chapter:

"Appreciating the good events in our past plays a critical role in finding lasting satisfaction. This means being grateful for opportunities and challenges, instead of wishing for things we didn't get...

"Most of us experience some level of dishonesty, injustice, or betrayal in our relationships. We may feel used and abused by others, but the inability to forgive those who we believe have wronged us [or who we KNOW have wronged us] will only make it worse...

"Our view of the future also plays an important role in making a good life. If our past experiences have not met our expectations, it is easy to lose hope and become cynical about our future. If we have been betrayed or mistreated, it is a challenge to have trust in our relationships. If we view our problems as unchangeable, it will be impossible to have hope for the future."

The following is often quoted in the Church. Most people don't know that Joseph Smith wrote this in a letter to Sidney Rigdon's daughter in defense of plural marriage. I won't go much further than that in explanation, but when read in context of difficult and misunderstood principle of plural marriage, this teaching seems even more precious; to me, it shows that all commandments, even when we don't understand them, are for our benefit. It makes me want to be as obedient as Joseph was, to just keep the commandments because doing so really will bring happiness...

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received...

"But in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness--and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has--He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances."

"Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works."
~Jacob 4:10

"As I read, the Spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists. My joy was now full, as it were, and I rejoiced sufficiently to more than pay me for all the sorrows, sacrifices, and toils of my life."
~Parley P. Pratt

"Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.

"Now was this not exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker or happiness."
~Alma 27:17-18

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."
~Mosiah 2:41

"And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts."
~Mosiah 18:11