Thursday, September 22, 2022

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE - Fall Equinox 2022

It has been an extremely hot (and long) summer in Utah this year. Today officially ended the summer season. I took my family on an evening hike to watch one of the last summer sunsets. A good way to say goodbye to summer. When I hike with my family, I usually am the last one to summit since I stay behind to take photos. As my last daughter was almost at the top,  I saw my wife reach down to help her up. I snapped the below photo of her doing so.  I believe that the purpose of this life is to help each other ascend. As a friend, parent, spouse, neighbor, we would do well to outstretch our arms to elevate  those we have relationships with. Unfortunately we live in a world were we tear down, criticize, judge, and block other from reaching their full potential. I know I need to be better at doing this. Here are a few photos of our sunset hike together as a family.  

You can see one of my kids with upraised arms on the far right of the photo on top of the mountain. 

Today is the Fall Equinox. I typically wake up early in the morning and head into the mountains and hike up to where I can watch the sunrise on the solstices and equinoxes. Instead, this morning my wife and hiked up together to a beautiful waterfall instead of a mountain peak and watched the sun come up over the falls. We had never hiked to Gloria Falls before. It was absolutely breathtaking. So grateful to observe this day with my wife. 

Gloria Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon on September 22, 2022

Sunrise over Gloria Falls on September 22, 2022

Sidenote: My friend posted the following on social media today. I asked him for permission to repost what he wrote. These are his words, not mine. I thought he did a great job in capturing the importance of the Fall Equinox today. 

    Today is both the fall equinox and the anniversary of Joseph Smith obtaining the ancient record known today as the Book of Mormon. His wife, Emma, was there with him.
    As to the fall equinox, it is designed, in part, to point our minds to both a temporal and spiritual harvest after a hard and diligent labor on earth. This equinox is meant to be noticed by all:
    "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."
    As to Joseph obtaining the record, Joseph was only able to do this after a four year maturing process with heaven. The culmination of this process can be rightly called a "harvest" after his diligent labor. Little did he know, that the plates he obtained coincided with the Jewish Holy Day Rosh Hashanah on September 22nd, 1827. A Holy Day of new beginnings and a new year. That is no coincidence.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022


The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced this week that the upcoming 192nd Semiannual General Conference will include a Saturday evening session for all individuals, families and friends. 

President Nelson has made a lot of changes to the Saturday Evening Sessions. It has been difficult to keep track. The Saturday Evening Sessions had gone from alternating the Priesthood Session with a Women's Session to discontinuing the Saturday Evening Session altogether. A month later that decision was  reversed to have the Saturday Evening Session for everyone including the children. It now appears that there will no longer be any more Priesthood Sessions and that the Saturday Evening Session will alternate between the Women's Session and a General Session for everyone. Maybe the 73 year history of having Priesthood Sessions has now ended.


OCTOBER 1945  


JANUARY 14, 2018


October 2018     Women's Session
April 2019         Priesthood Session
October 2019     Women's Session
April 2020         Priesthood Session
October 2020     Women's Session
April 2021         Priesthood Session

JUNE 7, 2021 
President Nelson DISCONTINUES all the Saturday Evening Priesthood Sessions in April and General Women's Sessions in October.  LINK

JULY 27, 2021
In a complete reversal, President Nelson REINSTATES the Saturday Evening Sessions to now be for everyone. LINK

OCTOBER 2021     Saturday Evening Session is for EVERYONE

APRIL 2022     Saturday Evening Session is only for WOMEN'S SESSION

OCTOBER 2022      Saturday Evening Session is for EVERYONE
October 2022 general conference will have five general sessions for all individuals, families and friends — Saturday morning, afternoon and evening, Oct. 1, as well as Sunday morning and afternoon, Oct. 2.


Monday, September 5, 2022


I came across an interesting article that featured people’s best attempts at replicating famous works of Classic Art. The article was called, 50 Times People Tried to Recreate Famous Artworks and Nailed it 
Below are a few examples:

Although not part of the article, the below image of President Nelson was featured in the cover story in last week's Church News about the rededication of the Washington DC Temple. While maybe not intentional, the iconic pose definitely could have been included in the above article of recreating a famous piece of artwork. President's Nelson stance and outstretched arms are identical to the artwork of the famous Thorvaldsen statue of the Christus now used as the new logo for the Church. 

The photo and the logo were on adjacent pages in the Church News. 
Hard not to see the subliminal message. 

Friday, August 26, 2022


The Salt Lake Temple Renovation and Restoration Project began almost 3 years ago starting in 2019.  President Nelson originally announced that the project would be complete in early 2024. I think the construction crews have faced a lot of  problems and setbacks. The project is now set to be completed in the year 2025.  Every time I go down to see the latest developments, the current state of the Salt Lake Temple  is always shocking to me. This is just my opinion but I am wondering if more damage is being done to the Temple than what an actual earthquake would have done. The spires have now been removed. All of the exterior ornamental granite details have also been removed. All the pioneer era murals on the interior have been destroyed. The Temple has been gutted not only in the inside but the outside as well. It looks like a hollow shell. I was under the impression that the project was to restore the Temple, not completely dismantle and take it apart. What historical renovation project does that? Will the Temple ever be the same again?

I can't help but remember that one month after President Nelson's announcement of the Salt Lake Temple Project, an earthquake hit downtown Salt Lake. The only damage was to the Angel Moroni Statue on top of the Temple. Moroni lost his grasp on the trumpet during Earthquake and the trumpet fell.  Now look at the Temple years later... All of the spires have now been removed. 


April 19, 2019 

Salt Lake Temple Renovation Plans Unveiled. President Russell M. Nelson announced at a news conference on April 19, 2019, that the Salt Lake Temple will close on December 29, 2019, for approximately four years for a major renovation and restoration project including improvements to the surrounding grounds and facilities. The temple is expected to reopen in 2024

March 18, 2020 
Salt Lake Temple's Moroni Loses Grasp on Trumpet During Earthquake

April 2, 2020 
Exterior Stone and Granite Details removed

July 29,2020 
Contents of the Salt Lake Temple Time Capsule were opened exposing the capsule's severely water-damaged content

March 12, 2021 
The First Presidency has announced significant alterations to the original plans for the interior of the Salt Lake Temple. The live-acting, progressive presentation of the endowment from room to room will be replaced by video presentation in single room. The historic murals of the temple have been carefully photographed and removed but will not return.

June 10, 2021 
The North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square will be demolished.

July 16, 2021 
Iconic Christus Statue Removed from the North Visitors' Center

December 13, 2021 
First Presidency Statement on the Salt Lake Temple Renovation It is anticipated that the temple and its surroundings will be completed in 2025.

May 13, 2022 
Salt Lake Temple Reflecting Pool Removed

I hope I am wrong. But I don't think the Temple will ever be the same. I miss what once was.

Friday, August 19, 2022


If anyone has driven down the 1-15 corridor in Utah, you will see more and more additional Temples being built right off the freeway. We could almost call them "McTemples", since they seem to be built right off the freeway exits next to the McDonalds, and other fast food chains. The distance from Logan to Payson is about 100 miles as the crow flies. There are 21 Temples within that distance. If you spread the Temples evenly along that line, that would put a temple roughly every 4.7 miles. That is alot of Temples. Is that excessive? disproportionate compared to other areas?

We had the Temple President of the Jordan River Temple speak to our Stake a few weeks ago. It was interesting to hear him say that they have been having a hard time staffing the Jordan River Temple and he doesn't know how they are going to staff the Taylorsville Temple that not too far away. Not only is finding enough Temple Workers a problem (even with the Salt Lake Temple closed) but sometimes there is not enough patrons to do the Temple work. A Temple worker in our ward says that she has shown up for her shift only to be sent home because there are not enough patrons coming to the Temple. So my question is why are we building more?

Here are some photos I took of the Provo and Taylorsville Temples that are currently under construction right off the freeway.

That being said, if you were to ask an active LDS member about all the Temples Utah, their likely response would be that the Lord is hastening his work, or that these temples are important to usher in the Millennium. However, the scriptures only indicate that there really is only two prophesied Temples  and I repeat TWO temples, that are actually suppose to be built before the Lord comes. One in New Jerusalem and the other in Old Jerusalem. Yet we continue to announce and build more and more. 

Personally I think we have saturated the Salt Lake area with too many temples and watered down what a Temple should be. 

Here are a few quotes about what a Temple should be:

“Joseph Smith constructed in a ceremony, in a ritual form, the idea of beginning a walk back in which you encountered sentinels along the way, and you demonstrated by the life you have lived that you are in possession of certain standards of conduct, so that eventually you could arrive at the point where you were able to converse with the Lord through the veil. And then having proven yourself true and faithful in all things, you are permitted to enter into the presence of the Lord… What Joseph Smith did was he lived that journey. He accomplished that walk. He made that pathway back to conversing with the Lord through the veil and then entering into the Lord’s presence. He encountered those that were opposed to the walk; he encountered those that were encouraging of the walk… That was what Joseph Smith lived. That was what he described the Restoration as having included. That was what he attempted to turn into a ritual to be housed in a temple, so that everyone in the ceremony could experience the same kind of angelic ministrants coming and talking to you and giving to you the obligation to live a higher life, and then a higher life still, and then yet another higher standard of conduct, until at last you’re purified sufficiently to come and embrace the Lord through the veil, and upon embracing Him through the veil receive from Him not a name, but a seven-fold blessing that stretches from time into eternity.”  from a Mormon History Fireside Talk on  November 22, 2015
Bountiful, Utah

The whole temple message can be summarized in one brief statement: We are to be prepared in all things to receive further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil. The ceremony of the temple is not the real thing. It is a symbol of the real thing. The real thing is when a person actually obtains an audience with Jesus Christ, returns to His presence, and gains knowledge by which they are saved. The temple is a revelation of the process by which one may pass through the veil to God’s actual presence. The purpose of a temple is to allow the communication of great knowledge and greater knowledge to restore what has been lost since the time of Adam, in order for people to rise up and receive the Holy Order. A temple in Zion is to be a place where He can come to dwell and not merely to manifest Himself to some. Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the last days’ temple clearly identifies it as a house where man will be instructed in God’s path (see Isaiah 1:5). It will be a facility where the God of Jacob will teach His pathway of ascent back to the Throne of God. Mankind will learn the laws governing that pathway. The purpose of the coming last days’ temple in Zion is to allow the communication of great knowledge and greater knowledge, and to restore what has been lost since the time of Adam.

The temple has only one real purpose: To convey God’s promise to exalt those who experience it; provided they abide the conditions for exaltation. the initiate a promise that if they walk in the path shown to them they will arrive at the Throne of God in the afterlife.”

“A real temple [one commissioned, ordered, accepted and visited by God’s presence] becomes “Holy Ground” and the means for making available to faithful people in every state of belief and hope the opportunity to receive, by authorized means, the same covenant, obligation, association, expectation and sealing through an authorized and binding arrangement in sacred space. This is the same thing they can receive from God directly if they enter into His presence while still in the flesh. In effect, the temple becomes an extension of heaven…

Friday, June 24, 2022


This morning before sunrise Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn lined up with the moon and sun for a rare alignment. A thunderstorm rolled in last night but the clouds cleared to allow us to see the planets appear through the clouds one by one. As we were hiking to the top of the top of the Peak it not only rained on us but snow also fell. It was amazing that it cleared up in time for us to see this Heavenly sign (actually a continuous scene of a drama being played out in the sky).

Below are a few photos that I took. It was difficult to get all the planets to show so I had to piece together a couple of photos.


Monday, May 16, 2022


"Nature is full of symbols with meaning. The most obvious, frequent, and repetitive symbol that you can find everywhere is the difference between the light and the darkness. When the sun is up you can see stuff. When the sun is not up and the moon is not up, you can’t see stuff. If you go into a room and there is no outside window, or it is dark at nighttime, and there is no light, you can hurt yourself in the dark. Light and darkness are everywhere testifying to you about the difference between truth and error, comprehension and confusion, what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is error. It is just the biggest symbol of all in Nature."

Photo taken last night of the total lunar eclipse as it was beginning to emerge from totality. 

Yesterday was a significant day. Not only was it the commemoration of the Aaronic Priesthood, but two different talks were given in two different venues by two different men with two different messages to the youth. Below are two different excerpts from the talks regarding gender identities or "labels" meaning male and female, man and  woman, and boy and girl.  From what I understand these "labels" are very important to God. And God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Gen 1:26–27

Talk A:

"Right now, it doesn’t matter where you go or what you look at, every single institution in this world is in the process of losing light, losing grip on true principles and sliding into increasing error, confusion, disorder, disorganization. It doesn’t matter if the institution you are looking at happens to be businesses, or governments, or churches or civil organizations. It doesn’t matter what it is. Right now there are unrelenting voices advocating the cause of confusion. Unrelenting voices advocating for destruction, decay and overthrow. Everywhere. One of the places that should have been safe from this nonsense is our schools. This crusade to overthrow everything has penetrated into the public school system advocating sexual confusion so that you might a boy you might not be a boy, you might be a girl or you might not be a girl. But for heavens sakes, the one thing they want to advocate now is the overthrow of the family. Because the one thing which sexual confusion will result in is the destruction of a happy relationship that produces a stable family inside of which children are produced and raised with an understanding of the difference between godliness and ungodliness, truth and error. Don’t let yourself get sucked into that effort that is deliberately aimed to try to achieve a specific result. The specific result is the destruction of the family. You have been targeted in order to achieve that result. It exists everywhere. You are either a boy or you are a girl. And your ultimate destiny is either a father or a mother. Don't ever lose sight of that. That is what God ordained in the beginning."



Talk B:

"The adversary rejoices in labels because they divide us and restrict the way we think about ourselves and each other. How sad it is when we honor labels more than we honor each other. Labels can lead to judging and animosity. Any abuse or prejudice towards another because of nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, educational degrees, culture, or other significant identifiers is offensive to our Maker."

Friday, April 29, 2022


The older I get, the more my body wants to stay in bed and not get up early in the morning to go hiking. Despite wanting to just sleep in, I try to still get up really early on important dates and head up into the mountains. Here are a few photo I took last week on Easter morning. It snowed alot up the mountains the night before so the fresh powder made the hike slower than I had planned. It is quite an experience to be the only blazing a trail without any tracks in the snow.

Here are a few paraphrased thoughts that I have heard recently:

Instead of demanding for more, 
simply become content 
and grateful for what you have. 

The more gratitude we show to God and the more grateful we become, the more aware we will be of all the extraordinary great blessings we have received from God. 

When we become content, when we become grateful, when we begin to acknowledge the goodness of God to us in our state, in our standing, in our station...when we are content with that and grateful. Then the Lord will bless us and change things completely.

Set aside all of your desires to control Heaven. Set aside all your ambition and to get God to surrender to your will. Willingly accept God's will for you and be grateful for it because we have more to rejoice and be grateful for than most people who have ever lived on this planet.  We don't always need to be seeking for more. Instead, rejoice in what upi have.

Last Sunday, on the live broadcast of  Music and Spoken Word, one of the worlds most talented singers  performed live at the Tabernacle. Her name is Sissel Kyrkjebø and she is from Norway. Here was an excerpt of the spoken word that was given before she performed. 

In our Chaotic world, what we need most from God is peace. But he doesn't want to force it upon us. He speaks to those who sincerely want to hear, who make the effort to hear. And it does take effort to hear. It means striving to mute the noise in our lives, to clear the clutter from our minds and the pride from our hearts. It means seeking sacred moments alone with the Lord. Simply stated, if we slow down and be still, we will know that He is God. 
Below is a heavenly song based on these words from the 46th Psalm; Be Still and Know that I am God. It is an invitation to peace and reassurance that resonates through the ages. 

LYRICS to  SLOW DOWN sung by Sissel

In the midst of my confusion
In the time of desperate need
When I am thinking not too clearly
A gentle voice does intercede

Slow down, slow down, be still
Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord
Slow down and hear His voice
And know that He is God

In the time of tribulation
When I'm feeling so unsure
When things are pressing in about me
Comes a gentle voice so still, so pure

Slow down, slow down, be still, my child
Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord
Slow down and hear His voice
And know that He is God
And know that He is God

Friday, April 15, 2022


A rare conjunction of three major holidays of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam occurs today on April 15, 2022. The Top Three religions of the world are all observing a Holy Day on the same day: Islam is observing Ramadan, The Christians are observing Good Friday and the Jews will be begin their Passover at sundown.

 A photo that I took near our home. 

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household...Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight."

The Symbolism of the Paschal Lamb:
  • On the 10th day of Nisan (The first month of the year in the Jewish calendar) each family was to select a lamb. (symbolic of the same day of Christ Triumphant Entry)
  • The lamb was to be male, at least one year old, and perfect without spot or blemish
  • The lamb was brought into the family home for 4 days. This gave time for the family to bond and have attachment with the lamb, making the sacrifice more poignant.
  • The lamb was killed on the 14th day of Nissan. (which corresponded to the exact time and day of Christ’s death. 
  • Lamb was roasted on an upright pomegranate stick. Another stick inside it’s chest cavity. (symbolic of the cross) It was to be done by sundown and no bones broken. (just as Christ was)
  • They were to take the blood and “strike” it on 2 side posts and upper post, go inside, shut their doors and not come out until morning. This was done by using a Hyssop branch which is a healing herb that treats leprosy (a death and decaying disease). Symbolic of the Israelites when they were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord protected them from the destroying angels.
Just as a sidenote that I learned from a friend:

A lamb is very easy to kill. One account I read concerned a butcher who had been asked to slaughter a family’s Passover lamb. The butcher anticipated a routine experience, as he had slaughtered many animals. He related how after slitting the small creature’s throat, the little lamb turned and licked the blood off of the butcher’s hands. This hardened butcher deeply moved and forever changed. The tender licking of the blood from the man’s hand was a sign of unconditional love and forgiveness.


Friday, April 1, 2022

The Kirtland Temple and the 2024 Solar Eclipse

One week from today marks the 2 year count down until the second Total Solar Eclipse that crosses over America. I am trying to understand the significance of this cosmic event. It is interesting to look at the cities that fall within the narrow width of the Path of Totality. One of the cities that is almost dead center of the 2024 Solar Eclipse is Kirtland, Ohio. I just got back from visiting Kirtland this week. So many significant events happened in that small little city. If you didn't get to see the 2017 solar eclipse, it might be an interesting place to be at on April 8, 2024 to witness the next solar eclipse. 

Where the two path meet is considered part of the "Heartland of America". 

Here are a few photos of the Kirtland Temple.  On Sunday, March 27 was the anniversary of the Temple Dedication and this upcoming Sunday on April 3 marks the anniversary of the Lord appearing to Joseph Smith and Oliver to accept His Temple. Building the Kirtland Temple required the sacrifice of virtually everything of value the Saints had at the time. It is a Holy Place.

While the Temple has been closed for over two years, the Community of Christ Church plans to reopen the Temple in a few month in May.

Here is the account of April 3, 1836.

On the third day of April 1836, Joseph and Oliver were in the temple in Kirtland, Ohio. The veil was taken from their minds and the eyes of their understanding were opened. They saw the Lord in his glory standing above them and the breastwork of the pulpit; and under his feet appeared as it were a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

I am the Alpha and the Omega; I am he who was slain, I am he who lives; I am your advocate with the Father.

Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me, therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice. Let the hearts of your brethren also rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name. For behold, I have accepted this house and my name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house. Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.

Behold and see: The hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings that shall be poured out and the endowment with which my servants will be endowed in this house. Behold, the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessings I shall pour out upon my people. Even so. Amen.

As this vision closed, the Heavens were again opened to their view, and they saw and beheld, and were endowed with knowledge from the beginning of this creation to the ends thereof. And they were shown unspeakable things from the sealed record of Heaven, which man is not capable of making known, but must be revealed by the Powers of Heaven.

They beheld Michael, the archangel, Gabriel, and Raphael, and divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the end of time, showing in turns their dispensations, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the Powers of their Priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; endowing them with knowledge, even here a little and there a little; holding forth hope for the work God was yet to perform, even the revelation of all things which are to come upon the earth until the return of the Lord in glory with His holy angels — to pour out judgment upon the world, and to reward the righteous.

And they were unable to take it in; therefore, they were commanded to pray and ask to comprehend by the power of the spirit, to bring all things to their remembrance, even the Record of Heaven which would abide in them. Amen and Amen.

Sunday, March 20, 2022


Today is the Spring Equinox. I wanted to wake up early and go hiking up in the mountains, but due to the snowy weather, I observed it in my own backyard and took this photo and then went back to bed. I haven't been a huge fan of daylight savings time this year. (or really ever).  The photo from our garden shows  both the winter and spring seasons come together into one image. It is symbolic of  the promise of new life of spring emerging out of the dead cold snow of winter.

I received an email this morning from a friend that said, "Happy Equinox! The Lord's true birthday! and attached a short paper that included this additional information:

In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism under the entry of 'April 6' it states that Christ was probably born in the spring at the time of the spring equinox. There seems to be more evidence to point to that, including evidence from early Christians like Origen. Origen lived around 250 A.D. and he certainly, among others, says that Christ was born on the spring equinox, which would've been a little bit different dating back then than it would be in our time. While others may disagree, one thing is for certain about the Spring Equinox. The Northern Hemisphere has the increase of light after the period of darkness, which symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness. This goes back as far as 6000 to 7000 B.C. where the ancient Egyptians celebrated the "Festival of the Triumph of Horus over Set."
I am looking forward to the beginning of the spring season. 

It was two years ago from today that the first of seven videos in a three part series was released entitled The Heavens Are Open Again. Below is the compilation of all seven videos into one.

Friday, February 11, 2022


Now available in a stand alone edition in both hardback and paperback. 
You can order a copy on Amazon:  Amazon Link  or on Aerio: Aerio link

The book also includes a side-by-side comparison of the King James Version of St. John along side the this new account of John’s record that has now been revealed. Here is an example of one section that I highlighted in yellow that I thought is beautiful. 


Scriptural precedence for the fulness of John’s record to be revealed

Ether 4: 16
"And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed."
D&C 93:6, 18-19
6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed. And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.

18-19 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.
Background History
There is a new edition of the scriptures being prepared which will use the JST of the Bible. That will result in both the Book of Moses and JS-Matthew being removed from the Pearl of Great Price. When I was asked to take a look at the project I had the impression that a new translation of John's Gospel was needed and ought to replace the missing texts. I asked a qualified Greek Scholar to undertake that project and he declined. But the impression remained that it needed to be done.

I made it the subject of prayer and was told to do the work. I spent a few days working with an English-Greek New Testament, the JS Translation of John, and a Greek Lexicon before becoming hopelessly discouraged by the many options and choices. I prayed about it before retiring for the night and essentially quit. I explained that it would take years for me to accomplish this, and that I was not going to be able to solve the riddles of the text. I went to bed assuming I was done with it.

In the middle of that night I was awakened and given the solution to every dilemma I had been facing in the work on the text. So the next day I continued on from where I had abandoned the work and, to my surprise, everything was opened to my mind so clearly and continuously that the entire project was completed in less than three weeks. The light of heaven opened the material in a way I had never thought of nor had previously attained to in considering the Gospel of John. At times it progressed so rapidly that I was unable to finish one part before the next came rolling out. Many new and different things were added, and at least one thing was dropped entirely because it was not part of John's original composition. Because of the rapid way it rolled out, once I finished the text I went back to clean up a lot of what had been left as incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, missing words (particularly conjunctions) and cryptic or inadequate explanations. The intent of the writer, John, was revealed, including why some things were included in the text and the manner he wrote.

When it began it was an attempt at a "translation" but by the time it was completed it was clearly a "revelation" and not merely a translation of a text. Therefore the result does not have my name on it, because I cannot claim any credit for the content. I failed in what I was attempting. What resulted came from heaven. -DS

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Some advice to the youth

On Sunday, I attended a youth fireside with my teenage daughter. The speaker shared some great advice to the youth that I wanted to post. One of the things he shared was an excerpt from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' commencement address at his son’s ninth-grade graduation in 2017.  Judge Roberts gave some advice that ran counter to many typical commencement speeches. Here is an excerpt from the speech that was repeated to the youth on Sunday:


"Now the commencement speakers will typically wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come:
  • I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. 
  • I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. 
  • I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. 
  • I wish you bad luck from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. 
  • And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. 
  • I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, 
  • and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. 
Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes."


Typically, as parents and youth leaders we want the best for our youth. We want them to succeed. I thought this address was so interesting to wish for the kids to be treated unfairly, to be lonely, to have bad luck, to lose, to be ignored, and suffer pain.. all for their growth. Because Chief Justice Roberts is right, all of these things WILL happen in a person's life, but only the wise will learn and grow from the experiences.

Yesterday ended a month-long fast that was organized by some amazing youth. One of the organizers asked me to post this thank you to those who joined them in their invitation at the beginning of the year. While his dad called me personally to see if I would post this, it was the young man's personal email to me that I couldn't turn down. This is for you Lucas.  

Friday, January 28, 2022

Freedom from mandates, masks and mayhem.

A good friend of mine gave me some advice a few years ago. He suggested that I should post something positive in between blogposts that might come across as critical. So here is one such post.

Every year in January, I take a day off of work and spend it up in the mountains either to snowshoe, snowboard or ski. Here are a few photo that I took this year. It is a whole new world up there. Free from mandates, masks and mayhem. 

Another piece of advice that I thought was super helpful that I want to incorporate into my life.

Do something deliberate for God every day, to bless someone else–even if they do not appreciate it or recognize what motivates you.