Friday, December 22, 2023


Spectacular Color, Perfect Weather, Gold Sunlight
 A few photos from this mornings earlysunrise hike with friends observing the Winter Solstice as we usher in the return of increased light from the darkest of nights.

In the last blogpost, I shared some quotes about Men of God. I am blessed to be friends with many. I share a few thoughts about Women of God. I am so blessed to be married to one.

"Empowered by wisdom, a woman becomes a fierce protector of the innocent, using her strength to battle the evils of this world and her compassion to heal the scars left in its wake."

"A woman's strength is not a weapon against men but a shield for the innocent. With wisdom as her sword and compassion as her armor, she stands resolute against the brutality that seeks to harm the vulnerable."

"A truly empowered woman builds bridges instead of burning them, understanding that manipulation and revenge are shadows that diminish the light of genuine strength."

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

MEN OF GOD - Virtuous and Righteous

Photo taken by my friend on a hikewith him this fall on top of Sunset Peak
of the sunrise over looking Lake Katherine.

But thou, O man of God....
follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, 
love, patience, meekness.
I Timothy 6:11

Below are a few beautiful quotes on how to be Men of God should treat women. Not only Men of God be righteous but virtuous as well.

"True strength is not in how much force you can exert, but in how much love you can show. Abusing women is a betrayal of both strength and the divine."

"Real men of God lift others up with their words and actions, they do not use their power to oppress or harm. Abuse is a corruption of the sacred trust placed in spiritual leaders."

"A man who claims to walk in the light of God should never cast a shadow of abuse on those around him, especially the women who deserve love and respect."

"To harm and demean those who are vulnerable is not the path of righteousness. Men of God should be champions of compassion, not perpetrators of cruelty."

"Abuse is a contradiction to the teachings of love and kindness. Those who claim to be messengers of God must first embody the message of empathy and understanding."

"Real men of God protect the vulnerable, they don't prey on them."

"The true measure of a man is not in his calling, but in how he treats those he calls his family and friends."

"Real men of God confront their demons, they don't inflict them on others."

"A man who abuses a woman tarnishes not only her spirit but also the very essence of his claim to godliness. True spirituality is a beacon of light, not a weapon of harm."

"In the eyes of the divine, there is no justification for the abuse of women. Those who claim godliness while perpetrating harm are hypocrites, not men of God."



Last Sunday I  gave a talk in church. Below is the following parable that I shared..

“Once upon a time, there was a small turkey village. Every Sunday morning , all the turkeys would walk together to church. One Sunday, after the turkeys settled into their pews, the preacher delivered a sermon about a lost truth that the turkeys had forgotten. This restored truth was that turkeys can fly. The preacher showed the turkeys how this was to be done. He taught them to spread their wings and then soar like eagles. While they were singing the closing hymn, an extraordinary sight unfolded – all the turkeys rose from their seats, extended their wings, and gracefully soared above the pews. After an amazing flight accompanied by beautiful singing, the turkeys concluded with a closing prayer. After the prayer, the turkeys stood up and walked back home.

Unfortunately, there are too many turkeys still walking around that know how to fly. We need to step it up and fly like the eagles.


Friday, November 10, 2023


 This blogpost is dedicated to my brother and his wife. 

Man and woman together, as the image of God, are potentially infinite through their descendants. In a very real sense, through their posterity, Adam and Eve are still here. Although all will die, all will also endure throughout ages of mortality, like God, by multiplying to replenish the earth. Adam and Eve became in the image of God. This is at the core of redemption, the core of the work of God. This is what it means for God to complete His work and to have the continuation of the seeds.

Therefore the marriage covenant is needed for all those who would likewise seek to obtain from me the right to continue their seed into eternity, for only through marriage can Thrones and Kingdoms be established. 

Continuation of Seed from the Glossary of Gospel Terms.


Photos taken at sunset last night on Antelope Island on November 9, 2023.

Thursday, November 9, 2023


The below "vision" is part of a talk given in a recent Sacrament Meeting in Holladay, Utah that my family attended. The speaker is a good friend of mine and gave me permission to post it. His name appears at the end of the excerpt from his talk. 

The hill and the tree

I’d like us to have a vision together. 

Please picture this in your mind as vividly as you can while I describe it. Imagine a tall and barren hill rising out of a desolate plain. Maybe it was once green and alive, but it has been wasted. Scorched by the sun, blasted by the wind, every living thing now avoids it. Walking to the top of the hill, you can see the lifeless sun-baked land stretching in every direction. Standing at the top you find the stump of a tree, already ancient when it was cut down many years ago. On the flat top of the weathered stump you see thousands of tightly packed rings.

Something draws your eye down to the roots: you see a tiny sprout beginning to shoot out, growing upward, unfolding its first deep green leaves in the sun. The stem continues climbing, knee high, waist high, now overhead. It doesn’t pause as it begins to set branches, which stretch out in broad tracery, budding, blossoming, and finally bursting with leaves. As the branches rise overhead it casts a pleasant dappled shade, cooler and more comfortable than in the full sun.

You feel the ground tremble under your feet and look down. You see that as the shoot has grown into a new tree, its roots have bored deeply down into the ground; and where they cracked the stone under the hill you see water rise and overflow, pouring out from under the thick roots. You touch the water. It is cool, and crystal clear, alive in the play of sunlight. You bring a cupped hand to your mouth and drink. It is sweet, and your thirst is gone. As you watch, the water continues to bubble up, flowing away from the tree in four streams to the north, east, south, and west. At first each stream disappears quickly into the empty soil, but as more water flows the stream extends further and further down the hill.

Now looking at the edge of the stream, you see tiny delicate blades of grass spring up. A carpet of green spreads across the hill as the water fills the soil, and amidst the growing grass you see bursts of color as penstemon, paintbrush, poppy, monkshood, goldenrod, and yarrow explode with an array of other wildflowers. As the water pools here and there on its winding course you hear the first croak of frogs, the splash of jumping fish, and the songs of birds.

When the water reaches the plain below you see that it carries with it this explosion of life, the grass and flowers dancing in the breeze. Here and there in the new grasslands the seeds of ancient trees awaken and take root, bringing stands of forest out of the prairie. Between the trunks you catch a glimpse of a doe with her fawn jumping lightly on mossy soil. All around you is a symphony of life.

You turn back to the tree in wonder at its power of resurrection and see that while the blossoms fall in snowy spirals there are radiant fruits growing. Each one seems to catch the white sunlight and glows as the branches grow heavy and bow. You reach up as a branch seems to reach down to you; you pick the fruit and eat, and you are filled, and you are alive.

Holiness, wholeness, and healing

That is a vision of healing, and of things becoming whole again. And there is an interesting secret buried in those words. The words “heal” and “whole” come from the same ancient root heilig. That same root gives us our word “holy.” That which is healed and made whole is also made holy. To make something holy is to set it in its proper order, devoted to its highest purpose, to make it most enduringly and intensely real and alive.

…[This vision] is many things, but one of those things is a vision of what you are called to become through the grace of Christ. If you receive God’s baptism of fire you will then have a well of living water flowing out from your belly, making your life holy, a living sacrifice, a sacred garden in a world of stone. What could you possibly spend your life doing that is more meaningful than that?

10.15.2023 The Sacrifice of all Things: Making a Sacred Life | Bob Sonntag

Monday, October 16, 2023


Here are a few photos of the Solar Eclipse that I took on Saturday in Central Utah that occurred on October 14, 2023. It was spectular to witness the totality. 

There is an old adage that says:

Red sky at night, sailor's delight,
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

We know this old saying has been around for some time. It might have some truth to it. In Matthew 16: 2-3, Jesus replied to the Pharisees and Sadducees that wanted to "test" him by asking Jesus to show them a sign from heaven.  He said "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast. You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."

How many of us are interpreting the signs of the times that are appearing in the heavens.

When we were driving south early in the morning to observe the eclipse, the sky was flaming red. I couldn't help but think that it was foreshadowing or portent of the "Ring of Fire" we would witness a few hours later. Here a photo of the sky with the Payson Temple at the base of the mountains at the bottom of the photo. 

Here is the location we witness the eclipse. Meadows Hot Springs just south of Filmore that used to be the capital of Utah.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Last week just before General Conference, the Church released more updated photos of the Salt Lake Temple. Below is one of those photos which highlights one of the newly built spires that are the crown jewels of the Temple. I am sure is it not finalized and hopefully they adhere at least a granite rock to this metal riveted façade. In my opinion this looks like a cheap imitation of the original Temple spires. It looks like something I would see at an Ivory Home construction site or even worse, a new ornamentation I would see being built on a casino in Vegas. 

I don't think this is even close to what the pioneers built or even an attempt to preserve the integrity of the beautiful granite temple that took the Saints 40 years to build.



The construction of the original temple spires, like the rest of the temple, was a remarkable engineering feat considering the time and resources available. The six spires are the spectacular visual culmination of the building as well as a symbol of the heavenly aspirations to reconnect with Heaven. The spires were fine pieces of architectural artwork. 

The construction of the Salt Lake Temple, including its spires, required a great deal of labor, skill, and dedication. It is a testament to the faith and determination of the early pioneers and craftsmen who built it and continues to be a symbol of the LDS Church's heritage and beliefs.

Here is a general overview of how the original temple spires were constructed:
  • Materials: The spires were built out of granite stone. Granite blocks were quarried from Little Cottonwood Canyon  and then transported to the construction site. These blocks were often massive, with some weighing several tons. Skilled stone masons and craftsmen worked on carving and shaping the granite blocks into the desired shapes for the spires. This required precision and attention to detail
  • Hoisting and Placement: Cranes and hoists were used to lift the granite blocks into place. The stones were carefully positioned to create the intricate designs and details of the spires.
  • Decorative Elements: The spires feature decorative elements, including pinnacles, statues, and other ornate designs. These were also carved from granite and placed on the spires to enhance their aesthetic appeal.
  • Finishing Touches: Once the spires were constructed, the final finishing touches were added, including cleaning and polishing the granite and ensuring that all elements were secure.

The six spires of the temple represent the power of the priesthood. The three spires on the east side are a little higher than those on the west: they represent the Melchizedek, or "higher priesthood", and the Aaronic, or "preparatory priesthood" respectively.


The renovation of the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was announced by President Russell M. Nelson on April 19, 2019, during the church's General Conference. President Nelson revealed plans for a significant renovation project that would modernize and "preserve" the historic temple.

The renovation of the Salt Lake Temple  officially began on December 29, 2019, with a groundbreaking ceremony that marked the start of the extensive renovation project. The ceremony was attended by church leaders and officials and marked the beginning of the significant renovation and restoration effort for this historic and iconic temple.

Three months later, Salt Lake City experienced an earthquake on March 18, 2020. The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 5.7, was felt in the Salt Lake City area and resulted in minor damage to the temple and other buildings in the vicinity.  One of the most significant and symbolic results of the earthquake caused the trumpet held by the Angel Moroni statue to detach and fall to the ground. This earthquake was a significant event for the temple, as it marked the first time in the temple's history that the Angel Moroni statue lost a part of its trumpet. 

Photo of the Angel Moroni no longer holding the trumpet after the earthquake.

Here we are now 3 1/2 years later replacing the beautiful original granite temple spires. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023


In 2018, President Russell Nelson told the members of the Church that we needed to "eat vitamin pills and get some rest" due to the all the changes that would be happening to the Church. When people don't take their vitamins and/or get good sleep.. most likely they get sick. I should have followed the prophet's counsel and taken my vitamins and good sleep... because that is exactly what has happened to me after seeing all the changes that have taken place within the Church... I am sick.

This week I went down to the Salt Lake Temple and Conference Center to see the latest developments before General Conference this weekend. I talked to several of the sister missionaries and Conference Guides about the renovations to the Salt Lake Temple. All of them confirmed that the original plans of renovating the Salt Lake Temple have changed. There will be multiple baptismal fonts and sealing rooms that will be underground and separated from the actual SL Temple Foundation. Makes you wonder what might be in store for the future. 

In this week's OFFICIAL CHURCH NEWS RELEASE , the Church states that most of the concrete for the North Side of the Temple  has been poured and that three UNDERGROUND floors will accommodate two baptismal fonts and sealing rooms. The extremely important ordinance of sealings  will now be performed underground and apart from the foundation of the Temple. The only way that I can see the Church justifying this is that maybe the Church feels that all of the ordinance for the dead need to be performed underground with the dead. Here is a screenshot of the news release. 

The first building that is near completed is the restrooms that have been built on top of what was the North Visitors Center. I have no idea why this change was done, but it does really make me sick.  One of my most favorite things to do on Temple Square was to enter into the North Visitors Center and ascend up the large spiraling walkway through the cosmos and come into the presence of the large Christus. That is all gone and all that is there in that place is mens and women's bathrooms.. and most likely gender neutral bathrooms as well. 

 Another thing that makes me sick is the removal of the living water and fountains that were on the Temple Plaza and the streams that flowed down from the East towards the Temple. Here is a photo of what the fountains looked like. It is now been removed and concrete has been poured over it. 

I am truly saddened with all that has been lost and changed forever in and around Temple Square. Things will never be the same and I should have taken my vitamins so I would not be so sick. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

THE DESTINY OF AMERICA - American Citizenship and it's Decline

This has been a big week with significant days that have been important to observe. 
  • The Fall Equinox
  • The 200 year anniversary of the first Angelic Visit to Joseph Smith that led to the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon 
  • The Jewish Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah
  • National Constitutional Day. 
To observe these important days, I went hiking up to Honeycomb Cliffs with two friends. The three of us hiked for over 7 hours. It was the first time that we did not reach the summit before sunrise. However the clouds covered the sun until we reached the top. At our ascent, the sun shined through the clouds.

It was a great hike. Probably one of my most memorable. 
I post this today only so that I have a record of when this hike happened. 


Last Sunday on September 17, 2023 was National Constitutional Day. Our Stake Presidency sent an email all to the members of our stake with the following direction from the Utah Area Presidency in how we should observe that day. Here is an excerpt of the email:
"During our sacrament meetings on Sunday, September 17th, each ward will be having at least a portion of their meetings focused on "God's hand in the origin and destiny of America."

The Utah Area Presidency also provided a list of ideas and suggestions for families and individuals to consider such as having a family home evening and read and discuss the booklet "Why I Love America" which can be found at
While I think it is great that we fly the American Flag, Read and Study the Constitution, and talk about  why we believe that God's hand is in the origin of our country... it doesnt not mean that we currently have His favor and that He is happy with how things are going. I think a Sacrament Talk given by a man like Victor Davis Hansen would be so great for LDS Wards to hear around the country.  See below link to the official trailer of American Citizenship and Its Decline.

Last Sunday was the last day of Rosh Hashanah, This fall Jewish holy day is also called Feast of the Trumpets. Rosh Hashanah ushers in the Ten Days of Repentance which culminate in the major fast of Yom Kippur, or The Day of Atonement. This is the time which we are to repent for both our individual — and on Yom Kippur, our communal — sins committed over the course of the previous year, before God literally closes the books on us and inscribes our fates for the coming year. 

On that Sunday, a book was publicly presented and released. It is now made available to the public. LINK TO AMAZON  It is an important book.  Sobering.. just like entire The Book of Mormon. A warning to us all. 

Happy Fall Equinox.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


The past month has been hard to watch the news. 
Here are some before and after photos of devastating and destruction from the four destroying angels over the four elements (Fire, Water, Earth and Wind)





Wednesday, August 30, 2023


The Church has announced the completion of the RESTORED home of Joseph and Emma Smith in Kirtland, Ohio.  This "restored" home was dedicated last Saturday on August 26, 2023, and is now open for visitor tours in Kirtland, Ohio — immediately north of the Kirtland Temple and historic cemetery.

Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this home where the first prophet of the church lived is more than just a historic building.
I am not sure if I would call in a historic building now.. maybe the land and the location of where the original home was built, but this is far from being a "restored" home. I think it would be best for the Church to call this a "Recreated Home" and not the Restored Home of Joseph Smith.

Here are the definitions and distinctions:

a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition. restitution of something taken away or lost. something that is restored, as by renovating. a reconstruction or reproduction of an ancient building showing it in its original state.

a reenactment or simulation of something,  the process of making it exist or seem to exist again in a different time or place. 


One of the earliest photos that the Church Archives has of the original Joseph Smith Home was taken in 1907. This photo is on display in one of the visitors centers in Kirtland Ohio.

Here is a photo of the home that I took last year in March, 2022. 

Many of the beautiful large trees (maybe even that were existing at the time of Joseph Smith were being cut down to accommodate for the new parking lot that the Church was building. 

Over the past year, the Church demolished this historic home that has stood for their "restoration". The first took down everything except the front part of the 2 story home. 

They need put in a new foundation and removed almost the entire rest of the home. 

The Church then rebuilt what they are calling the "Restored" home of Joseph Smith. To me, it looks like a pre-fabricated home with aluminum sidings. Nothing about this home is "restored"... it would be better to call it .. 
"our best guess in recreating a home that Joseph Smith lived in"

Here are some of the photos from inside. For those of you who have seen the Barbie movie.. it looks like the interior could be "Barbie's Pioneer Dream home" 

I find in interested that they have placed a top hat in almost every room. Super odd, but maybe that is a "hat tip" to the historic records on how Joseph received some of his revelations.