Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Mormon Third Eye -Beyond The Veil

The beloved Mormon Third Eye, Richard Tait, passed away from this mortal existence a few weeks ago after a hard-fought battle with brain cancer.  While he stopped posting here months ago,  writing for this blog was therapeutic  for him as well as his way of sharing his testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his beliefs in the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Please continue to enjoy his evaluations of life's challenges, the importance of family, and of the gospel.

Richard's Wife of His Eternities, Deon

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I See... Why I am in Love with BYU Football

What is love? What is it not? And what does BYU Football have to do with it? It is important here to answer the last question first.

Commonly accepted logic would dictate that my love of BYU Football started my last year as a student there, when eons ago BYU won a national championship. Or could it be year after year of exciting passing and running plays when they were needed most to win a tight game?

But... The Mormon Third Eye knows better. Using the skills of its crack logic staff, it knows the real reason why- because it is the only team that wins even when it loses. Hard to believe? Read on and you'll find it hard not too.

BYU Football is about real life. It is not the so-called “perfect” team that wins every game. It lives life like me- dealing with the challenges and sorrows of loss as an opportunity to prepare for something greater. And just when you think it is the right time to give-up, it comes through with an inspirational victory that makes football worth fighting for.

BYU Football is too aware of it's almost perfect losing season. But it also knows that I will be at their next game this Saturday against Eastern Carolina University; and that like them, I'm enduring a terrible challenge of my own on my way to much greater glory.

BYU Football and me. Together again this Saturday afternoon. GO COUGARS! GO ME!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

I See... Spiritual Resurrection!

I guess we should have reserved this topic to accompany traditional Resurrection celebrations in April, but the Mormon Third Eye couldn't wait.

It's been almost two months since the Mormon Third Eye spoke, but that's OK. It's had too much to see and not enough nerve to write it down... until now. Why? Because it took him too long to learn through the spirit that the hardships he is currently enduring, the hardships that would tempt many to drop their scriptures and lay around mesmerized by ancient half-hour comedy classics trapped on television, was just God's massive way of launching him into a massive spiritual resurrection path.

The MTE learned that every great prophet before him walked similar paths. Adam had to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden before he could become the father of all nations; Nephi was beat up more than once on the way to the land promised to him; the Apostle Paul published much of his great revelation in the New Testament from a Roman jail cell; and Joseph Smith was tarred and feathered both before AND after heavenly visions.

So... I will continue to endure recovery from brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and suffer through long days and nights avoiding work I love; and more than anything else, I will do it surrounded by the selfless love of my wife and the support of casts of hundreds from my family, my church, and my office, all for the blessing of... a Spiritual Resurrection!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I See... Setting World Records

World records, when you can be a part of them, are nothing short of awesome. From the world's largest barbecue (13,713 kilos of beef for 30,000 visitors) to the world's largest pillow fight (6,261 participants during a baseball game in St. Paul Minnesota), pushing to achieve the best is one of the best ways to get ahead. The key question is... which world have you mastered?

The Mormon Third Eye is not trapped by this simple physical world created for us. Our Heavenly Father rules worlds beyond number, yet knows all our own personal worlds personally. For example, as recently as last week, I set a new personal world record for my best score at the only game I play online- 239,335 in Bejeweled!

That personal world record needed no heavenly help, but my next attempt certainly will. Today I will launch efforts set a new personal best in brain surgery- on my own brain. I will attempt, for the first time in the history of my own life, to have a tumor successfully removed from my head. Unlike my personal best in Bejeweled, this amazing feat will require the professional help of trained neurosurgeons, the personal help of the Wife of My Eternities, and the heavenly help of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Stay tuned. I plan on winning.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I See... The Best Father's Day Ever?

The Mormon Third Eye traditionally shares remarkable assessments of events as they occur. However, in the spirit of spiritual innovation, it's time for the MTE faithful to provide their assessment of what makes a memorable Father's Day. Below are actual events that occurred this latest MTE Father's Day weekend. I'm looking for answers to the following question: could this be the best Father's Day ever?

This weekend, I:

took two of my five favorite graduating seminary seniors to Cracker Barrel for lunch before they leave on their missions;

personally watched one of my five favorite graduating seminary seniors open his call to the Ecuador Guayaquil mission;

during priesthood meeting, recited my memorized version of the Proclamation to the World on the Family;

witnessed my Aaronic Priesthood home teaching companion organize and implement home sacrament ordinance services for two ailing elderly ward members (I was just the driver);

enjoyed nursing my wife's recovery from a lingering cold, which included my solo temple shift on Saturday and church services on Sunday;

welcomed my son and daughter's valiant efforts to resurrect their childhood memories of bed time Captain Underpants reading adventures with a gift certificate for a family adventure to the new movie by the same name;

and started making plans to read the greatest book ever written for Grandpas, “How to Babysit a Grandpa,” awarded to me by my Grandma wife.

Does Father's Day get any better than this? I think not!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

I See... How to Rejoice

Have you ever wondered how to rejoice? How to be happy? I do fairly often. The Mormon Third Eye research team found a handbook for rejoicing embedded in the Book of Mormon- Mosiah Chapters 2-5- King Benjamin's general conference address. The team found six principles that, if adhered to faithfully, will bring you joy.

A painting by Gary L. Kapp depicting King Benjamin standing on a tower within a temple complex, speaking to the Nephites gathered around.

1. A thankful heart for all that God has given us can bring us joy and help us feel the love of God.

At the opening of Mosiah Chapter 2, In preparations for this general conference, they are told to “give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men.”

2. Serving others in the name of God brings us joy.

Mosiah 2:17, 20-21:
"17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."

3. Keeping the commandments keeps us blessed and happy.

Mosiah 2:41: “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.”

4. A knowledge of the birth, ministry, atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can bring us joy.

In Mosiah 3:3-11 we are introduced to the fourth principle of rejoicing, which actually came from an angel: “And he said unto me: Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy. For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.” The angel then teaches King Benjamin about the birth, ministry, atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

5. True repentance, forgiveness, and humility can bring us joy.

In Mosiah 4, we learn that as a result of King Benjamin's preaching, his people had “fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.” They had “viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.” It was after this broken-hearted confession of guilt and request for forgiveness that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come.” 

In verse 11 he revisits the benefits of true repentance and forgiveness: “And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.”

6. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel can bring us joy.

After finishing his address, King Benjamin asked for feedback: he wanted to know if “they believed 
the words which he had spoken unto them.“ In Mosiah 5:4 we find their answer. “And it is the faith which we have had in the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.”

Don't worry. Be happy.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I See... Other People's Prayers

Prophets, apostles, and even the Savior himself occupy a large amount of our chronological real estate teaching us about our own personal prayers. How and why do we pray? And what do we pray for?

How: Matthew 6:6-8: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”

Why: D&C 19:38: “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth and corruptibleness to the extent thereof.”

What: Alma 34 20-25: “Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.”

How often, however, do we think and ponder about other people's prayers? This is important, because more often than not, we are either 1) mentioned in their prayers, or 2) the answer to their prayers.

Parents: do you pray for your children to grow up physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy?
Bishops, youth leaders, seminary instructors, brothers and sisters, medical professionals and counselors: you are an answer to prayers.

Are you struggling? Odds are that you are in someone else's prayers.

Here's a tiny quiet example from the Mormon Third Eye executive collection of inspiration stories:

Suzy Beewhyyou was walking into Staples one pleasant sunny afternoon when she noticed an elderly African-American lady (she had to be someone's grandmother- we're going to call her Mabel- I don't know her real name) standing precariously in front of the store, leaning on a cane and sporting a confused look. Suzy paused for a moment then asked if she needed some help. “I need to pay my bill at Dress Barn,” she responded in a slow, tired tone. Further discussion revealed that her niece had dropped off car-less Mabel at the wrong location; Dress Barn was actually still several long parking lots away. Suzy, who was in no particular hurry to accomplish her morning errands, offered to help. “Let me pick up what I need first, then I'll give you a ride there!”

Suzy came out of Staples a few minutes later, kindly escorted the old lady to the car, and made the short drive over to Dress Barn. Suzy deposited Mabel in front of Dress Barn, then made sure that Mabel knew where to go to be picked up by her niece. Just before Suzy drove away, Mabel thanked her with “God just sends people to you!”

A prayer answered. Is someone praying for you? Are you ready to answer prayers?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

I See... Christmas Every Day

((Warning: This post was compiled while watching the classic 1996 made-for-TV-movie “Christmas Every Day.”))

If you're human, you've probably lazily pondered at least once in a stray moment during the holidays what life would be like if we could experience Christmas every day. Oh the music! The food! Presents for everyone! The opportunities we are afforded to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and vainly, in our puny mortal ways, desperately attempt to honor and appreciate Him through gifts and songs and service! Everything we think, say, and do during the season brings us closer to Him and fills our souls with joy. We yearn to learn more about Him and understand His great love for us. How much more wonderful would our lives be if we could live each day as if it were Christmas day?

The Mormon Third Eye staff, as a result of recently completed several minutes of in-depth research, has concluded that it is indeed possible to enjoy Christmas every day! The formula is simple and possible to accomplish under the right conditions:

First: Offer a personal, earnest, meaningful prayer to your Heavenly Father. Elder Bednar calls them “gut-wrenching.” Seek to emotionally and spiritually connect with Him with a heart brimming with gratitude for the greatest gift of all, the atonement of Jesus Christ, which allows us to repent our sins, endure our sorrows, and return to Him. Feel His love for you.

Second: Sing a hymn. Full-time missionaries and early morning seminary teachers get to do this almost every morning.

Third: Serve someone in some way. Once again, full-time missionaries and early morning seminary teachers have an advantage here also.

The Mormon Third Eye is launching a massive year-long research project looking for participants to test the formula. If you want to be involved in this landmark research study, contact the MTE via Facebook to sign up. If selected, you should be willing to execute the formula and report how close that day resembles Christmas day.

Next year for me will be Christmas every day. I'll let you know how it goes. How about you?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

I See... World Peace

There is no better time to talk about world peas than Christmas. “Peas on earth, goodwill towards men!” How can we achieve world peas? The Mormon Third Eye has a plan.

First, it's important to understand what world peas really is/are. The intrepid Mormon Third Eye research staff learned from Wikipedia that peas were first grown in the Middle East in the 5th century BC; that you can make bioplastic out of pea starch; and that the annual 'Peasenhall Pea Festival' in the English village of Peasenhall, Suffolk attracts hundreds of visitors every year, with events such as Pea Shooting, the World Pea Podding Championships and National Pea Eating competition. There are at least 15 different major varieties of peas grown in the world today. China and India are peas leaders; America is a distant third.

Image result for peas

So... armed with this knowledge, how do we achieve world peas?

The first step is to admit that, just like international law, there is no such thing as “world peas.” Peas grown in China, India, and America are Chinese, Indian, and American peas respectively. The only chance for world peas is to have the UN decree that the ground where peas are grown does not belong to any particular country; it belongs to the world- kind of like the South Pole and the International Space Station. If the world can agree on climate change, world peas should be easy.

The second and final step would be to send huge shipments of world peas to war-torn areas of the world such as Iraq, Syria, and Detroit. Peas brings people together.

What a minute... I'm so embarrassed... I think most people are more concerned about another kind of world peace... hmmm....

Friday, December 2, 2016

I See... Lighting the World with my Mother's Love

The church has been challenging the world to “light the world” by following the Savior's example for the next 24 days leading up to Christmas. Today we were asked to honor our parents as the Savior honored his. The Mormon Third Eye will honor his mother, who passed away approximately two years ago last Easter, with excerpts from her eulogy. How will you honor your parents today?

"Her life, however, was so much more than the record. She was a wonderful, caring, hardworking, humble, faithful, fun-loving, diligent, and non-judgmental daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver, and friend to countless family and friends. She opened her heart and home to everyone, and we all have been blessed by her care.   

She led a life full of hard work, endurance, humility, service, and sacrifice for all who crossed her path, but especially for her family, friends, and coworkers.  Expressions of love, dedication, and devotion to her family were not trapped in the crucible of words- we always knew she loved us by her actions; by how she sacrificed for us.

“Mom suffereth long, and is kind; Mom envieth not, Mom vaunteth not herself, is not puffed up; doth behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  beareth all things, beleiveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Mom never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall pass away. And now abideth faith, hope, and Mom; but the greatest of these is Mom.”

Mom was Charity. How did she do it all? We honestly don’t know. She was always laboring with us and for us, often long before we woke in the mornings and long after we went to bed.  How did she toil all night taking care of other people’s babies in the maternity ward, then come home to take care of her own sick husband and her own babies? 

We all have tender and deep memories of her charity and devotion to family, all of which will certainly transform into legends as they are passed down through generations. Just as we now movingly recreate ancestors crossing the plains as handcart pioneers 150 years ago, our great-grandchildren will be sharing unbelievable stories of Mom taking care of six young children alone in a home in Concord for six weeks without a phone to talk to her husband working on the other side of the country, or working as a nurse struggling to pay the bills of six even younger children while her husband survived a heart attack to graduate from college in Logan. She always lost herself in taking care of others.  Even after Dad passed away and all her kids left town for browner pastures, she filled her home with missionaries and her “summer sons-“ a parade of homeless BYU students, usually referred by her children, who needed a place to stay while they earned money to finance their next semester. 

Mom was not a brain surgeon, a rocket scientist, a seasoned orator, an educated scriptorian, nor a master crafter. She was not a superhero that saved the world, but a supermom who, together with an honorable Dad, saved a family of seven children.  Later in life, as she witnessed her children go on missions, marry in temples, become successful doctors, analysts, executives, and most of all, mothers, she described it as “the big payoff.”  And maybe that is true. But she probably did not realize that as she became wrapped up in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of loaded diapers, clogged toilets, pre-teen bicycle accidents and teenage car accidents running into one continuous blur, she was actually fulfilling the scriptural invitation to bring souls unto Christ.

Perhaps Mom’s greatest gift to her children, her most lasting legacy, was her example. Growing up, there was never any question as to what was right and what was wrong. We were raised under a clear morality, which we pass on to our own children. Another great gift was the example of enduring, eternal love she had for Dad. We learned how to love and sacrifice for our spouses as we grew up watching how deeply she cared for and took care of her husband who was sick for much of his adult life. 

We honor the dead in the way that we live.  She made those around her better, regardless of their age and station in life. For Mom, love is an action, not just a feeling or an emotion of deep concern. To truly honor her, to ensure that she did not live and die in vain, God expects us to be better people because we knew her. In this vein, she would want us to resolve today to love deeper, live stronger, care longer and serve others with more heart and soul. This can be our gift to her, and perhaps the only one we can give her now that she can still enjoy where she is now; for I have no doubt that there is a way for her to observe us somehow and know that we are serving and loving others more because she once served and loved us."