This morning I had plans to watch/listen to a BYU Devotional rebroadcast, but had 15 minutes during which it was likely I’d forget to turn it on before the show started. I searched my music library for something 15 minutes long (by way of a timer), but that landed me in a list of book chapters (because I have a lot of audiobooks in iTunes). I decided to listen to a story I’ve enjoyed since I was a child: The Fisherman and His Wife from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. (Don’t know if you’re acquainted with Librivox.org—all readers are volunteers.)

When I was young we had this story in a picture book. I’ve searched in vain on the Internet for images from that specific version (black woodcut prints with colors in the background) because I wanted to share its cover, but can’t find it. I’ve had to make do with an image that reminds me of the pose the fisherman took when asking the fish for gifts.

artwork by Delia Mihai

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This week I’ve been putting significant effort into exercise and scripture study. Instead of motivating myself by promising myself a million dollars (my usual form of self-bribery—I mean, nothing really works, so why not be extreme?), I decided to try the opposite end of the pendulum swing.

Why not exercise and read simply because I said I would? (See this talk, “A Sin-Resistant Generation,” by Sister Joy D. Jones. “‘But if not.’ Consider the meaning of these three words and how they relate to keeping covenants. These three young men [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego] were not basing their obedience upon being delivered. Even if they were not delivered, they would keep their promise to the Lord because they said they would. Keeping our covenants is always independent of our situation.”)

Well, it’s working. It’s Thursday and I’ve exercised and read every day so far. It’s interesting to me that I have an even harder time getting myself to sit down with the book than I do getting myself dressed and sweaty.

Even though this blog post appears to be about scriptural things, it contains a very, very useful message (at least, I think it’s useful), even for the less-spiritually inclined. Read More →

en- — prefix . . . forming verbs with the general sense “to cause (a person or thing) to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem

Joy — noun — the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying

I have had a joyful week. And it’s only Wednesday night (technically Thursday morning, but I’m still up . . . as usual. I’m too happy to go to bed).

Nothing gives me greater pleasure—or joy—than helping other people. The joy piles on when I get to use my creativity and talents and, more especially, when the help and creativity required gobs of difficult but exceptionally satisfying work. Read More →

I don’t know how long it’s been since I wrote a “Spiritual Matters” post—I mean, yesterday’s post aside. Today I woke up feeling quite, quite good for a Monday and I attribute it more to writing yesterday than to the content of the post. Wait, let me say that betterer. I mean, I feel good because I wrote about spiritual matters yesterday, not just because of the specific content (about dealing with pain).

I was pretty tired last night, but I learned another cool thing while I reread what I wrote. I tried to tack it onto the post, but I couldn’t find the scripture I was looking for.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Today I listened to Elder Maxwell’s April 1997 General Conference talk (referenced in yesterday’s post), “From Whom All Blessings Flow.” It’s 6 minutes, 45 seconds long, and well worth listening to. (Elder Maxwell was ill with cancer at the time; he died 21 July 2004.) He quoted my scripture for me, right at the end of his talk.

  • “Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.” (Jacob 4:13)

I often read or hear the expression, “Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth” (not sure if Spirit and Truth are capitalized), and I wonder what it means. Worship the Lord, I get; Spirit, I get; Truth, too. But why put it all together?

Last night I stumbled upon a possibility. Today I wish to add to it. Read More →