Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hot Hot Heat

Because we are mortal, we have passed through the veil of forgetfulness and don't remember what we went through before we were born into this world. But God hasn't just sent us out without help. God has sent down the Holy Ghost to confirm truth to us.
There are lots of people who say "show me a sign" or I'll believe it when I see it. In an answer to a question, Elder Boyd K Packer told this story. If someone were to walk into this room holding a white hot branding iron and told you it was a hot iron, would you believe them more than if they blindfolded you and seared your skin with that same iron? And that is how our testimony of the Savior and truth should be. It should be a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead. John 3:27 "John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven."

What does that mean for us? Lets not be a "doubting Thomas", but be blessed because we believe and have not seen. I know that we can receive spiritual witnesses if we will seek. As God has said repeatedly in holy writ "Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 1:3) Another announcement of "Ask and ye shall receive". So if we want to have a spiritual experience we need to prepare ourselves. Is it likely that God will bless us with a spiritual experience if we have not been preparing ourselves? Not likely. So read the scriptures, say your prayers, and live a Christlike life and you'll be happier and have a better opportunity to have a "spirtually searing" experience.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Man or Mouse!

Learning to surf
Growing up in Southern California is pretty fun. You have tons of things to do. Any sport can be played on any day because the weather is so nice. There are plenty of places to hang out, especially the beach. Now when I was just a wee lad (12) I was taught how to surf by a family friend. He would take me out and spent hours in the "whitewash" pushing me on waves and helping me learn. Matt Wright did that until I became good enough to go out and brave the "real" waves.
So then I had to learn how to catch waves by myself. I always had Matt with me helping me and showing me which waves to try and catch and which ones were not gonna be so good. Matt also taught my dad how to surf. So we would all go out and spend mornings before school (when I was supposed to be in Seminary) out surfing.
And as I had this experience with Matt and my dad, I became better. I learned which days I should go out. I learned how to choose the waves that would be the most enjoyable. I learned how to turn down the waves that would "closeout" and wouldn't be much fun. I learned how to recognize when the best time would be to paddle out, to avoid the waves (as much as possible) and where to set up and wait for the "sets" to roll in. (Click here to see why wave selection is important.) And now that I have had this experience I can go out alone and make decisions for myself. And when I go out with Matt and my dad, there is a phrase that gets said more than once, "Man or Mouse?!" We use that phrase to motivate or taunt or coax each other into paddle out into the surf or take off on a wave. The question is "Are you man enough?" Are you going to make the right decision?

Riding the waves of life
And so we too have been taught by a great teacher. We spent eons with Christ and our Heavenly Father before this mortal existence. They taught us the basics so that we could journey out into "real" life. And when we got to "real" life, we were not left alone. We were born to parents who love us and want to help us succeed in this life. And we spend some time with them to continue to learn. Our parents teach us how to select the best things in life. How to understand which "waves" or choices are going to be "closeouts". But soon enough, our time with them is over and we now can brave the vast ocean of life alone. We've been taught which things in life are going to be the best. Which choices are going to bring the most happiness. Now, after all this training its up to the individual. Its up to me, to you, to your kids. Its their choice. Man or Mouse!?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heart like a lion

What a message. Click here if you want the lyrics.
The takeaway message that I can see in this is get up! Get up and change! Sometimes when we do something we know to be wrong we feel like there is no turning back. That we can't change and repent for knowingly "kicking against the pricks" and disobeying God. But we can! We can change where we're headed and have a change of heart. So i learned something pretty cool in this talk that I read. Because the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and then was translated into other languages, the word that was used for "repentance" was "shub". The Hebrew word "shub" translates to "to turn from". The message of the Old Testament is to "shub", or to turn from sin and back to our loving Father in Heaven- to leave unhappiness, sorrow, regret, and despair behind and turn back to our Father's family. There we can find true happiness, joy and acceptance among his other children.

Then, in the New Testament (which was written in Greek), the writers used the Greek word "metanoeo" to describe "repentance". And "metanoeo" means a change of mind, thought, or thinking so powerful that it changes one's very way of life. This is very interesting to me because I had always had this dreaded feeling about repentance. That it was so painful and it was just going to hurt more. I think I had that perception because of what happened when the Bible was translated into Latin. When they did this, the word "metanoeo" was translated into the Latin word "poenitere". And that word means "to punish, penance, penitent," and finally repentance! So the meaning of the word from turning away from, changed to a "Latin meaning that involved hurting, punishing, whipping, cutting, mutilating, disfiguring, starving, or even torturing!" Its no wonder that it seems so scary for us to repent!
So now that we know what repentance is not, lets get out and do what it is, and what this song is telling us to. Because our lives are not a practice run. We live once on this earth, so we need to act now. Because life is very precious. You never know when something is going to happen, or when you're gonna be leaving. To quote Rebelution "You better get up, You better get out, You better get up and turn your life around, You only live once, You better act now, cause you never know when It's gonna come back around".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What happens when we die?

In Fear and Faith

This a prob the biggest and most debated topic of any religion. And I hope to be able to help you see this clearly. When our spirits are separated from our bodies (physical death) where do our spirits go? Because we are made up of body and spirit right? So our bodies are laid to rest in the ground. Our spirits return to the "Spirit World" where we are to wait until our resurrection and judgment.
The Spirit World is made up of two sections, "Paradise" and "Prison". Paradise is a place where those who have been and done the things that they were supposed to while in this moral existance. Here they rest from, as the scriptures say, "from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow". Those in the other part of the Spirit World have a chance to repent. In prison is where those who have once rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or have not had the opportunity to hear it get that chance. Peter talks about this in his epistle. He says "Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."(1 Peter 4:5-6
The one who unlocked the door to let us in
These places are only a pit stop for us though. We wait here until we are Resurrected and Judged. Until all that God has for us is accomplished.
We have a loving Heavenly Father, and His plan is perfect. He knows our hearts and our intents. John 3:16, He wants us to live with Him forever in His kingdom. And we all have that opportunity if we will but yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and do what is required of us.
Here is a quote from a song from the band In Fear and Faith, "In this life there's only wrong and right,
So don't forget you have a choice!"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Poem

Here we go,

 When I leave this earth, I want it to be known
About the man who raised me, & got me all grown
Who taught me how to be a man, to work hard and be good
The man who set an example, and did the things that I should
Who never gave up trying, through life's sore trials
A man who followed Christ, in what seemed like desolate miles
Miles of pain, of loss and death
He was by his daughter's side when she took her last breath
A man whose life, is illuminated by hope
His heart tied to my Mom's, with Love's unfrayable rope
Sealed for eternity, to not so perfect kids
I hope to be one day, the kind of man he is
And raise kids of my own, in truth and soberness
My Father is a great man, this is my witness

-Brock Butler-

Alright, I just wanted to post this because I love my Dad. I know that he loves me too. I've come to realize in just the past year and a half or so that I am slowly becoming my Dad. And I hope that this process continues. Just like I said before, I hope to become the kind of man he is. Love ya Dad

Friday, June 3, 2011

Scarlet Letters

Well its been a while, and I just had an idea, so i think I'll try running with it. But I have been talking about tattoos with my companion (both of us have older brothers with them). Anyways, I was just thinking that they are a lasting reminder of the choice they made at one point in their life. And no matter where they go in life, they will have that to show. My brother has a full sleeve plus some, and getting them removed would be way very painful and way too expensive. So he wears them around always. And others can look at them and (as much as they shouldn't) judge him. He wears his own "Scarlet Letter".
Everyone will make a mistake or two in their lives. And in my case, a couple three billion, but not all of my mistakes are going to be broadcast to the world. Have you ever thought about how there is a constant stream of people, one right after another, who are being caught for things that they've done years ago. I mean just look at the news. First its Jim Tressel getting busted for being dishonest. And furthering his dishonesty with more dishonesty, and now hes trying his hardest to get out of the spotlight by "resigning". Before anything gets any worse. Before anymore damage can be done to his dishonest reputation. So he can try his best to hide from his sins, but my brother can't. But I would rather be in my brothers situation where he doesn't try and hide from his sins like a 6 year old that has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. No, my brother has faced up to his mistakes and has repented, sought forgiveness and made a determination to not repeat those mistakes. On the other hand, we have another public figure who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar the Governator Arnold. He committed adultery and had a child with another woman. But while he was in office when all this happened, did he try and take responsibility? No, he threw dirt on top of it and hoped it would just go away. And now that he has not been honest with those who trusted him with a government position, his wife, or himself, the rest of his life will be negatively affected. The stench of his mistake will last the rest of his life. And the same goes for Jim Tressel. Although Jim may have gotten away and off much easier than he would've, he will still have to face up to those at another time.

So I guess what I'm getting around to is that we all have made mistakes. Mistakes that create feelings of guilt and shame. But the good news is that we can have those burdens lightened (Matt 11:28-30) if we will turn to the Savior. And just because we don't have to wear around a giant sign that says we screwed up, doesn't mean that we don't need to repent. And when we repent, there are steps that we take. It isn't just a "oh I'm sorry" and then just keep going out to do it again. We follow the steps that are wonderfully laid out in this blog by Elder Davis.

"For aGod so bloved the cworld, that he dgave his eonly begotten fSon, that whosoever gbelieveth in him should not perish, but have heverlasting ilife." John 3:16

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I think that as we remember and realize what God has done for us in our lives, we become more humble. And because we're more humble, we are better prepared to receive the blessings that He wishes to give us.When we recognize how God has worked in our lives, it will allow us to see the way He is willing to bless us. Then we can ask for the things that He is willing to give us. And thus our will can and will mesh with His, and we will become "one" with God (John 17
I think that is a real challenge for us in this life, to develop those God-like qualities and discover in ourselves the things that God has blessed us with. I think if we will take the time to do as Elder Eyring says and recognize God's hand in our lives we will be able to see where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do. And we will develop the qualities that He would have us. God has a very deliberate and specific hand in our lives. He will lead us to truth as we seek. And that is what I invite everyone who reads this to test. See if He is not here. He is here.