Confidence Virtue and Faith

May 13th, 2009 by Dustin

иконографияПравославни иконикухниI recently got an email from an internet marketing guru and the subject was something to the point of What is better, confidence or competence?

The article explained a disagreement he had with a friend. His friend said competence was better to while the author disagreed and gave several reasons why. I tend to agree with the author.

It really invoked a lot of pondering for me. I thought about job interviews in the past where I have been asked to rate myself in various areas. I always find interviews hard because I don’t like to toot my own horn so to speak – especially to strangers, but you pretty much have to do just that if you want any chance of getting a job.

Another instance I might give as an example is when a small business wanted to replace every computer in their office and have them all networked, they approached me and asked if I wanted to do it. At the time I could have really used the money. But ultimately due to my lack of confidence I turned the job down. I believe I was competent, but didn’t have the exact experience to prove it. I just didn’t want to mess up on such a large scale (relatively speaking). Of course experience breeds confidence. I have since built an networked a number of computers and I actually maintain that office network now and I have been asked to replace each of those computers again after 7 years. I recently upgraded their network and fix various computer problems for them. Now I’m totally confident in my abilities.

I guess the point of that story is that even though I lacked the experience, if I would have had confidence in myself that I could figure out any roadblocks I may have encountered, I’m quite positive I could have done the job and I would have gained the experience much sooner.

I’ve noticed a similar pattern in my life. I tend to have a habit of self-sabotage. I’ve started a number of web site projects that I hope will bring a measure of income. I have a bad habit of getting about 70% complete and then I start convincing myself that there is too much competition, or people will not want to pay for the service, or whatever it might be that the site will fail even before I get it off the ground and have the ability to even try to market it. I then move on to the next big idea I have and start the process all over again.

I don’t want to share any goals here because I recently read an article stating that when we share our goals, we are less likely to complete them. The article made sense to me. But all this pondering I feel has helped me achieve greater results recently and I hope the trend continues.

In the process of thinking about this, a scripture came to mind. In D&C 121:45 it says:

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

That scripture leads to me believe that if we let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly we will grow in confidence.

The Lord has also said,

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

So if we want a certain blessing, we just need to find the law associated with that blessing and strive to live that law. So I wonder, if we want the blessing of confidence, can we abide by the law of virtue? If so, we can bind the Lord and he will grant us that blessing.

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

And what is confidence really? Is it any more than faith, or faith in one’s self. I’m starting to get the feeling that it is faith in the Lord that where ever we may have incompetence, he will make up the difference and that leads to the confidence that we truly can do anything that is right and worthy of the effort.

General Conference Packets – Thank You Beehives!

April 4th, 2009 by Dustin

This morning our 6 year old daughter Gracie was whining and complaining because she didn’t want to watch General Conference and my wife, Rachel didn’t want the kids just playing in the toy room and fighting the whole time. Gracie was getting pretty dramatic about it. Just before it started the doorbell rang. It was a beehive girl in the ward. She dropped off 3 packets that had a conference activity book, bingo game, and a pack of M&M’s. It was seriously so cool! There was a little note from the Beehive group saying “we hope you enjoy general conference.” I was not only impressed that they did the project but they were out delivering them in cold, windy, snowy weather. Seriously, it was really cool. Gracie saw them and got really excited. Our 4 year old son, Gehrig was excited too. We didn’t have a problem keeping them in the room after that. Gracie was listening for words fill up her bingo card with her M&M and Gehrig was coloring in his workbook and drawing his favorite apostle, Elder Uchtdorf. Nolan, our 18 month old was devouring his M&Ms. Those young women really saved us! I think even Rachel really enjoyed it. There was a page for each apostle and activities to do while they were speaking. She used Nolan’s packet and followed along and made notes in it. It really was not just for kids I guess!

Motorola EM1000R 20-Mile 2-Way FRS/GMRS Radio, Pair

April 4th, 2009 by Dustin

So I’ve recently been called in my ward as the emergency preparedness specialist. In our neighborhood we a divided up into blocks with block captains. In the event of an emergency, each block captain will have a set of 2 way radios for communication. I’m not a block captain, but thought it might would be a good idea to have some 2 way radios on hand for emergency anyway. Plus, they can come in handy for camping trips (and maybe even shopping trips, hehe)

Knowing nothing about them, other than hearing someone who uses them frequently and owning several of them say "only get Motorola" I went off to Amazon. I decided on the EM1000R model. It was the second highest seller in the category (first highest Motorola) and the only ones with a 5 star review (granted there are only 5 reviews so far).

What I like about them is that they have a charger stand and can use rechargeable NIMH batteries, or 3 AAA Alkaline batteries. So I can keep them charged all the time and store some AAA batteries for emergencies. I’m ordering today. If I don’t post an update free free to drop me a line once I get them if you want to know more as I learn more.

Studying the Doctrine & Covenants

August 1st, 2008 by Dustin

I finished the Book of Mormon yesterday. I used to keep track of how many times I have read it. I have a set of scriptures that has dates of each time I completed it on the last page. I haven’t kept up with that though. I would say it might be approaching the teens.

Before reading the Book for Mormon, I read the Bible. Now I am moving on to the Doctrine & Covenants. Embarrassingly, I have never really studied the Doctrine & Covenants by myself.

One of the most exciting parts about it is that each section heading gives the background and where the revelation was given. So in reading section 1 this morning, I looked up Hiram Ohio on rent a car bulgariaGoogle Earth. I found a photo of the John Johnson farm and learned a bit more about it on Hiram’s Wiki page. I love having all this information so readily available. I love the power of the internet. In reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, It’s pretty much been all online at scriptures.lds.org. I like to increase my font size really big – not that I have bad eyes (yet), but it just makes it easier to read.

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Dave Ramsey Live Event Was a HUGE Success

May 20th, 2008 by Dustin

компютриDave cutting a credit cardIf you missed it, I’m sorry. It was awesome! Well, it was for me and my wife.

We actually got Platinum passes so we got to go early and have a nice steak lunch and meet Dave before the show. We also got a bag full of books (two of the autographed) and we got to go back stage during breaks for refreshments.

There was a downside though. I had a stake priesthood leadership meeting at 4:00 pm so I had to leave early.

From what I heard from those at the financial peace place (Dave’s employees) it was a huge success:

Not only did we sell out, over 500 families signed up for FPU!!  That is amazing….AND broke a company record!!

We heard about the live event on Monday; everyone was saying it was one of our most exciting ever.

Dave Ramsey – TMMO Live Discount

April 3rd, 2008 by Dustin

See Dave Live

For those who haven’t heard, Dave Ramsey is coming to Salt Lake City!

On May 17, 2008 Dave will be doing his Total Money Makeover live event. I’ve already purchased VIP tickets for my wife and I. We started on his plan about two years ago. I wrote down all our debts and figured we owed nearly $42,000 – not including our house. It was much worse than that just a few months earlier. I was looking for anything. That’s when a friend told me about the Financial Peace University course he attended. He let me borrow his CDs and I was hooked. It is doctrine the church has been teaching all along, but with more enthusiasm and hope! I learned how to budget the right way, how to communicate with my Spouse about money, investing 101, and most importantly the “baby steps”. We are now about 2 months away from paying off all our debts except for our home mortgage.

If you want to attend this event, I can help you save $10 per ticket. Just go to www.DaveRamsey.com and click “See Dave Live”. Click Salt Lake City, UT, then select the Total Money Makeover Live Event. Use the promotion code “taylorsville” when you check out to save $10 per ticket!

Do it now. This is Dave’s first time in Salt Lake City and I think this event may sell out soon.

If you want to hear Dave’s radio show, tune to AM 570 KNRS weeknights from 7pm – 10pm. Or you can download his radio show as a podcast (find him on iTunes).

I Enjoy Home Teaching

November 29th, 2007 by Dustin

I had two home teaching appointments tonight. I realized something when I got home. I really enjoy home teaching. It was a surprise to me actually. I guess I always figured it was just something I do to fulfill my duty. As I was pulling in to my garage I got a great feeling just knowing that I enjoy visiting with my families. They are my friends. The visits went well. Whether we are just talking about life or the Gospel, I enjoy visiting.

Prophesies of Mormons

November 16th, 2007 by Dustin

I recently was looking at comments in a forum of sorts and the question was asked:

“The coming of Jesus was prophesied. Were there any prophecies about Josephs Smith or any of the other Mormon people?”

So off the top of my head I thought of a few that I could write about.

First, one of my favorites is found in Isaiah 29:11-12:

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

Then we read the story from Joseph Smith’s history:

63 Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:

64 “I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.

65 “He then said to me, ‘Let me see that certificate.’ I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, ‘I cannot read a sealed book.’ I left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation.”

The above references verse 11 of Isaiah 29. To understand verse 12 we should know that Joseph Smith was a farm boy who possessed little formal education. He felt inadequate when God asked him to translate the Book of Mormon. When asked to do so “he saith, I am not learned.”

The second prophecy that comes to mind is also found in Isaiah. Isaiah 2:2-3 reads:

2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

I don’t know of a better fulfillment of this prophesy than the reference to the Salt Lake Temple. Temples are the Lord’s House, where members are taught of his ways. The name Utah comes from the Ute Indian tribe and means “people of the mountains” or “top of the mountains“. Every year people from all over the world come to see and some come to worship in the Salt Lake Temple. Truly all nations flow unto it. Speaking of Salt Lake City, how many nations came to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics. I wonder how many stopped to see the Temple.

The third prophesy is found in Ezekiel 37:16-20:

16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

18 ¶ And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

20 ¶ And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

To better understand this scripture, think of how scriptures might have been written and read in Old Testament times. Picture scrolls. Scriptures were written on papyrus and rolled up in “sticks.” The Bible is a record of the Jews. Who are the Jews? Members of the tribe of Judah. The learn in the Book of Mormon that they were descendants of Joseph, through the tribe of Manasseh. The prophesy states that the scriptures written by descendants of these two tribes would be combined into “one stick” or one book. Another prophesy fulfilled.

The last one I want to write about is found in the Book of Mormon. It was a prophesy written by Joseph, the son of Jacob or Israel, who was sold into Egypt. The whole of it can be read in 2 Nephi 3, but I want to point out verse 15 which makes it quite obvious of whom he is speaking.

15 And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation.

Joseph Smith Jr. was obviously named after his father. They shared a name with Joseph in Egypt, who saw the great events that would take place in the last days. Yes, many prophets in the old world new that a great and mighty prophet would come forth in the last days to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times. Ancient prophets knew that in the last days people would speak good or evil of Joseph Smith. I can see this everywhere.

Joseph Smith Jr. brought forth many great truths concerning our Lord, Jesus Christ that had been lost through the ages. For that we love him. Yet we do not worship him. We worship Jesus Christ, the Son of the Everlasting Father.

BYU Mens Chorus Closing Hymn in April 2007 Priesthood Session

April 12th, 2007 by Dustin

Brandon mentioned how wonderful the closing hymn was in the recent priesthood session of general conference this year. That made want to listen to it again. (If you don’t remember it, they sang a song to the tune of Be Still My Soul, but the lyrics where words from Nephi’s Psalm.) But since the church doesn’t upload the musical numbers in mp3 and they don’t even upload the priesthood session in mp3, you would think I would settle on waiting for the CDs or DVDs to be available at www.ldscatalog.com. Well, sometime I get determined, and such was the case today that led me to find a way.

The church did upload an mp4 file of the priesthood session for ASL (American Sign Language). I downloaded the enormous file and found that the audio is all there as well – and it is the whole session! Now, I hope I didn’t do anything wrong here, but I did a search for a mp4 to mp3 converter and downloaded the first one that looked interesting. After converting the audio to mp3 format, I imported it to Audacity and extracted the closing hymn so I could listen to it over and over again.

Now, if you don’t want to go to all that trouble to hear this masterpiece. You can just download it here.

* UPDATE *

I did a search for the lyrics and found them, plus some additional information about the song. The song is titled “I Love The Lord”. The arrangement is by Ronald Staheli. The lyrics are a paraphrase of 2 Nephi 4 by John Tanner.

I Love the Lord
I love the Lord, in Him my soul delights.
Upon His word, I ponder day and night.
He’s heard my cry, brought visions to my sleep,
And kept me safe o’er deserts and the deep.
He’s filled my heart with His consuming love,
And borne me high on wings of His great dove.

Yet oft I groan, “O wretched man am I”
My flesh is weak and I’m encompassed by
A world of sin, which holds me in it’s thrall,
If I give in and to temptations fall.
Then strength grows slack, I waste in sorrow’s vale;
My peace destroyed, my enemies prevail.

Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin.
Rejoice, my heart! And let me praise again,
The Lord my God, who is my rock and stay
To keep me strict upon His straight, plain way.
Oh let me shake at the first sight of sin
And thus escape my foes without and in.

Condemnation or Salvation

April 3rd, 2007 by Dustin

Most Christians are well familiar with John 3:16, as you can often see the verse on posters at football games etc.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The verse following it is not quite as popular, but really stood out to me this morning:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

This verse is just further evidence of God’s love. Sometimes we can feel we are not worth being loved. It seems we would rather have a pile of rocks heaped upon us that have to stand before God with all our imperfections. But here we are reminded that God did not send his son to condemn us, but rather to save us! This is good news indeed.

I think we can look at our church leaders in a similar manner. Sometimes when we have made mistakes that need to be confessed to our leaders we may be a bit scared thinking leaders may be so appalled that they will kick us out of the church. I feel Bishops are called to help us and allow us to be healed by the atonement rather than to condemn us.