Denzel Washington - Fall Forward

Along with the life-juggling concept of “Letting the Balls Fall,” there is an excellent portion of Denzel Washington’s commencement speech on continuing through failure. Fall forward; there are things in life that you will suck at. But don’t settle for fallback plans–fall forward.

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Lost in the Digital World

A well-done lament about this digital world and how we lose track of life for it; I am glad this music video made such a contribution to the social conversation. There are some good comments on the YouTube thread that this isn’t about technology being evil – it’s about our experience as a side-effect of what technology does to us. What ways have you found to minimize the dissipation of technology in your life, and to make sure technology is adding, not detracting?

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Children, Kings, and Priests: Kings Saul and Benjamin

My personal studies have found me studying King Saul, and then King Benjamin’s address. Powerful contrast: a boy gone king who wanted to be a priest, and a king urging his people to be more like children, for only in humility, compassion, and obedience is true Priesthood and discipleship. 1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.

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God's Mission: Better Than New

God makes us better than we were before, not just a repair.

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Alma: is faith judged differently than knowledge?

Alma 32 is one of the great epistemic chapters of Scripture, elaborating with powerful metaphor and theoretical breadth the doctrines of Faith in connection with Knowledge. Yet, studying it recently I found myself somewhat puzzled by what Alma is trying to express in verse 20. With a little context: Alma 32:19 And now, how much more cursed is he that knoweth the will of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into transgression?

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Ammon and Alma: Love Beyond Empathy

In simplest terms, “love” means oneness, particularly oneness in the sharing of emotions and concerns. Empathy is a default product of love, an inherent faculty of our divine (loving) natures; to this better nature the Lord and his prophets constantly speak, for instance: Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Mosiah 18:9 [disciples of Jesus Christ] are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort

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Education and Faith, Scholarship and Discipleship

Education and faith have a complex relationship; the scriptures include warnings about the dangers of education that displaces faith, and Jesus received great opposition from the most educated of the Jews. We also see God purposely choosing from the weak, unlearned things of the earth for some of his great servants, as with Joseph Smith. On the other hand, we have latter-day commandments to seek learning, and knowledge that to be learned is good (as long as priorities are kept).

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Gethsemane: Jesus Loves Me (Song by Melanie Hoffman)

As Easter approaches I was reminded of this song which I heard while serving as a children’s Sunday school teacher in a small town. The children had requested to sing it for the adults. It still brings shivers, and recalls the tears that came to the eyes of the Primary leaders when the children sang. Here are two versions: one sung by the excellent Jenny Phillips, and the other beautifully performed by 9-year old Hannah Ford.

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Metaphysics of Love

Philosophers are taking up the subject of the metaphysics of love. They do what philosophers do best: ask questions. In particular, what is love? What if it’s biological? What if it’s social? While the term “philosophy” might be an immediate turn-off to some, I see profound implications for this study. For Christians, love is a central tenet of the faith and questions of its meaning and origin are pertinent. I don’t easily sway to the “science is completely wrong” side of the tracks, and so I look at these investigations as something that can help to refine our understanding of what love is, especially if we pair it with an understanding of our divine premortal natures and the notion, however you interpret it, that “God is Love”.

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Juggling for Life: Balance and Letting the Balls Fall

I’ve recently taken up juggling. Perhaps the greatest reason I enjoy it is voiced in the afterword of Gelb’s book “More Balls than Hands“: Even if you never toss a ball into the air, the juggling metaphor can serve as an inspiring reminder of the secret of life. If other is a one word that expresses that secret? Yes. The word is balance. … Balance is the secret of life, and dynamism—an ever-changing process of adjustment, compensation, and coordination—is the secret of balance.

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