Thoughts to acts to habits to character through eternity

.article-entry blockquote { white-space: pre-wrap; } Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character—and our character will determine our eternal destiny. Ezra Taft Benson Used, among other places, in a 1989 First Presidency Message, President Benson here emphasizes the role that our thoughts play in determining our eternal destiny. There are branches of cognitive science today that would object to this, holding that thoughts are mostly an illusion.

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Juggling for Life: Simplification by Juggling

This is a response to the discussion initiated by Tim Stakland at timstakland.com. My dad made a point of frequently reminding me during my time as a Mormon missionary that life as a missionary is simpler and more focused than any other time. This isn’t to say it’s easy; but without bills, emails, classes, or many externally-made scheduling items, you are free to pursue your duties with a singleness of mind.

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Blind Obedience

As a teenager I experienced the period of rebelliousness that many teenagers go through, and it sank deep into my mind. Most troubling to me was the question of liberty; the gospel of Jesus Christ places high priority on the principles of freedom and liberty, and agency itself is perhaps the most sacred thing God has given us. And yet, at the same time, everywhere present are laws and the divine commandments to obey.

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Ditching Cell Service

As an organized and busy school student I made good use of my cell-phone. Since my phone was not under contract I was on T-Mobile’s $50 monthly “unlimited everything” plan. My phone wasn’t built for T-Mobile data and so I used very little of my Edge-speeds; however, I used well over a thousand minutes per month in talk and comfortably over 2000 texts per month. By no means am I using teenage-girl levels, but I felt good about maximizing my service for the price I was paying.

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Weird Mormons

This article was shared with us at the end of an excellent class tonight when we had been discussing Abraham and Isaac. The tone and balance of this essay is very good, but I particularly enjoyed his annunciation of the principle of faith vs. religion. How many people allow their religion to displace God? Please take the time to give this short essay a thoughtful read. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/are-mormons-any-weirder-t_b_1116390.html

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Callister: Our Divine identity

A few weeks ago Elder Callister spoke at BYU Education Week and gave an address that should certainly go in the yearbook of notable speeches. His topic was the destiny and identity of each of us. Starting with the question raised in a recent General Authority training, he quoted Elder Nelson’s response to the question of how to help youth avoid pornography: “Teach them their identity and their purpose.” As Elder Callister pointed out, this answer is not only a response to that particular problem but an answer to most of our challenges in life.

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From Diablo to real life to Tetris

My position on gaming has changed since my early days. In the beginning, I came to love computer games as something like a sport. I was in it for the skill and competition, whether we were making coordinated infiltrations in Team Fortress, micromanaging an attack on the enemy’s economy in Starcraft, or having a showdown in Unreal Tournament. In those days, the less luck involved, and the more room for speed, wits, and improvement, the better.

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Do You Smile?

Murder. Betrayal. Corruption. Conspiracy. Affairs. Scandal. Tragedy. If you guess this is the front page of the daily news, good job. You are also right-on if you guessed the latest Hollywood hits. I would even give a passing grade for answering “The New York Times Best Seller List.” In response to this rising subject-trend in news and media the audience tends to be separated into two groups. Some readers seem to bear the label “optimist” on smiling lips and shake their head at a corrupt media.

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Creation and Destruction

I watched them tearing a building down, A gang of men in a busy town; With a heave-ho and a lusty yell They swung a beam, and the building fell. I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled, And the men you’d hire if you had to build?” He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed, Just common labor is all I need; I can easily wreck in a day or two What builders have taken a year to do.

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Man plus Machine: Better Scientists, Better Chess Players

An excellent article about creating automated lab assistants to allow human scientists to do the real innovating without wasting time on data-collection. The model is Advanced (Man + Machine on a team) chess. The essence of the article: If technology allows us to free scientists from the day to day grind by letting robots do the bulk work of data collection, then a scientific culture can be built that’s more attuned to the big picture of analyzing data, formulating new hypotheses, and connecting disparate ideas.

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