Monday, October 5, 2015

I See... Recycling Memories

Recycling waste is critical to saving the physical environment; so why couldn't recycling especially tender and moving memories contribute to saving souls?

Twenty years I was helping my wife raise two talented toddlers. I found pure joy and spiritual satisfaction in wrestling with them in the family room, chasing them around the playground, and reading a few scriptures every night with them after dinner. I was warned by much more senior and experienced parents to cherish these moments because they would be lost forever when the innocence of youth transformed into the hormones and doubts of young adulthood.

Now I'm still helping my wife raise two hopeful and maturing adults in their mid-twenties. I've been spending unexpected but wholly welcomed time with my married son and his wife as they plan their lives together and look forward to finding their place in the workforce and raising a family of their own. I just finished spending an action-packed, ennobling weekend with my young adult daughter as she eagerly embraced prophetic counsel offered at General Conference. My soul seemed to recognize the same pure joy and spiritual satisfaction I embraced two decades ago spending time with these two toddlers. I was recycling memories and strengthening my own soul in the process.

They say that you can't go back; but they didn't say you couldn't recycle. So I've decided to efficiently recycle the memories of my offspring's youth and enjoy embracing their current accomplishments. 

Recycling is the right thing to do.   

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I See... Where in Utah is the Mormon Third Eye?

To celebrate my 425th Sunday blogpost on Conference Sunday next week, The Mormon Third Eye is launching an exciting contest with the most massive prize package ever offered in the history of the Mormon Third Eye: “Where in Utah is the Mormon Third Eye?”

Here is how it works. Sometime during the 29 September- 4 October timeframe, the Mormon Third Eye will be spending six days traveling incognito throughout the great state of Utah: two days on University of Utah campus, 

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two days on BYU campus, and 

two days attending General Conference. 

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 The first person not related to me (sorry, but family members have been declared ineligible) who walks up to me and asks “aren't you the Mormon Third Eye instantly wins this amazing prize package:

1 autographed Book of Mormon;

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all the chocolate you can eat in 10 seconds; and

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complete access to the entire collection of over eight years of MTE blogposts!

Good luck, and may the best human win!  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I See... The Lord's Math

 Old Math. New Math. Algebra. Calculus.  Is 2 + 2 still 4? One respected author describes math as “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” Very few of the masses, however, mention the most influential arithmetic of all- the Lord's Math!
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Basic Math

The Lord's basic math refers to relatively simple but powerful if/then doctrinal statements that can be easily reduced to a straightforward mathematical formula:

  • (keep my commandments) + (endure to the end) = eternal life. (D&C 14:7) 
  • (repent) + (baptized in my name) + (endure to the end) = salvation. (D&C 18:22)
  • not equal in earthly things = not equal in obtaining heavenly things (D&C 78:6)
  • (not hearken unto his voice) + {not believe on his Only Begotten Son) = God cursing the earth with a sore curse. (Moses 5:55-56)

Advanced Math

Advanced math refers to either more specific or veiled versions of the if/then formula for rendering gospel truths.  Many of these advanced formulas rarely add up correctly for those trapped in the carnal, physical world. In advanced math, 1 + 1 = 100:

  • (revile not against your enemy (1)) + (bear it patiently (1)) = reward shall be an hundred-fold (100). (D&C 98:25)
How about:

  • be of good cheer =  (being led along by the Lord) + (the kingdom) + (the blessings of the kingdom) + (the riches of eternity) (D&C 78:18) 
  • all the tithes into the storehouse = pour out blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive (Malachi 3:10)

Or, two of my favorite divine math equations from Isaiah:

  • (deal bread to the hungry) + (bring the poor that are cast out to thy house) + (cover the naked) + (hide not thyself from thine own flesh (support your own family)) = (light breaking forth in the morning) + springing forth speedily) +  (righteousness going before thee) + (the glory of the Lord) + (answers to prayers). (Isaiah 58: 7-9)
  • (turn away thy foot from the sabbath) + (turn away from doing thy pleasure on my holy day) + (call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord) + (honor him not doing thine own ways) + (not finding thine own pleasure) + (not speaking thine own words) = (delight thyself in the Lord) + (ride upon the high places of the earth) + (feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father). (Isaiah 58: 13-14)

The bottom line? I encourage you to look for more of the Lord's Math in the scriptures; you find them in almost every chapter!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I See... When the Spirit Goes to Bed

I routinely remember hearing often during my career as an LDS youth that “the spirit goes to bed at midnight.” Decades later as an adult leader of youth I knew this to be true. A majority of the mischief messed up youth get mixed up in, whether it be bonding too deeply with the opposite sex or just pure destructive vandalism, occurs after the clock strikes twelve. For some mysterious but almost empirical reason, under the cover of early darkness, the spirit stops protecting youth from the natural man, an enemy to God. Nothing good happens after midnight.

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Or so I thought.

Last night, at approximately 1:44 am, long after the spirit should have gone to bed, I witnessed the Mangum miracle on ESPN. Only-three-months-off-his-mission-to-Chile-freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum, representing God's school BYU, with only 45 seconds left on the clock, on fourth and seven at the Boise State 39-yard line launched a laser strike winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Mitchell Juergens. Brother Mangum could not have accomplished this last feat one his own; heaven had to have helped him.

Perhaps the spirit had been caught staying up past its bedtime? Hmmmmm....

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I See... the Other Side of Scripture Power

Editors note: This actually happened. I have witnesses.

The Mormon Third Eye is a documented fine connoisseur of BYU football fandom. The pageantry and prose of it all are woven into this blog's DNA.

I likewise have a similar appreciation for the power of scriptural prophecy to protect our souls from evil. I recognized it's awesome power long before the primary song became popular and scripture mastery became a required seminary skill.
These two wide wonderful worlds of the MTE magically collided on a steamy yesterday afternoon in. Lincoln, Nebraska and Raleigh, North Carolina.
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The BYU Cougars were playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln; I was enjoying the game from my couch in Raleigh. The True Blue BYU in me was not adverse to calling upon any available source of strength to support my beloved Cougars in their seemingly impossible quest to win an Nebraskan home opener, a fantastic feat that had not been accomplished since before the birth of my grown son and his wife. They would need some help. I went to the scriptures.

Just after the game started I leaned over to my wife relaxing on the same couch and carefully explained the severity of the situation. I dramatically pointed to my uncut sheet of seminary scripture mastery cards from my side of the couch and proclaimed that if BYU's situation ever approached the utterly hopeless, I would start punching out the cards and organizing them as a last ditch effort to call upon the powers of heaven on their behalf. Her measured response was to quickly scoot to the other side of the couch; she did not want to get accidentally singed by the sacrilegious thunder that would surely strike me down.
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At the opening of the 4th quarter my Cougars were in trouble. The Cornhuskers were ahead 28-24 after a touchdown scored on the heels of a poorly thrown Taysom Hill pass. The tide had turned in Nebraska's favor; they were wearing down our defense by chewing up time on offense, and we were quickly losing hope. In a desperate plea to restore hope, I instinctively reached for the uncut sheet of scripture mastery cards and started punching them out and organizing.

What happened next will live forever in the history of the Mormon Third Eye (or at least as long as blogs are extant on the Internet, which could be a very long time). As I slowly, systematically ran my fingers along the perforated edges of each card, BYU gently came alive and stopped Nebraska on some third downs. Hope was turning in our direction. By the time I arrived at Malachi 4:5-6, and the hearts of the children were turning to their fathers, it was 4th and 42 with one second left. BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum then proceeded to smite Nebraska with a Hail Mary touchdown pass to senior Mitch Matthews.
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Scripture Power!