For those that might be interested, my wife Candace recently started a blog too. It can be found at CandaceStucki.com. She writes updates on our nearly formed baby and just beams her overall goodness.
Speaking of the baby, it would be impossible to describe how excited I’m getting. We have about seven more weeks and it seems like forever. I’ve always thought that the bond between a father and a son is second only to the relationship of a husband and a wife. That male bond has always held a very, very special place in my heart.
Forty years ago, Boyd K. Packer informed:
A boy is not born to know that his father loves him. He must be told and shown and shown and told a thousand times or more. A father must be wise and patient, but most of all he must be consistent, and his expectations must be reasonable.
I can’t wait!
I think it is important to determine your favorites. Find things that you really enjoy. Partially because I think it will help you know yourself better. But also because it helps you build relationships with others. It’s always fun to know what others enjoy and it gives friends and family a reason to think about you.
For instance, anytime James Taylor is on the radio or the Rebels win a big game or Apple Computer comes out with a new product, I can guarantee that I’ll get a call from someone to talk about it. That’s fun. Likewise, I have certain people pop in my head any time I see Willie Nelson or peanut butter or Hot Fries or Oompas or chocolate covered cherries or big trucks or Dirt Cake. It’s fun to have random things bring up good memories of someone you care about. It gives you a reason to reach out to them.
However, the danger of favorites is that you might be too picky and afraid to try new things. Be careful with that because you might just like the next thing more and it will become your new favorite. You might just like balut more than Oreos. (I didn’t.)
I guess I’m just surprised how often people haven’t determined their favorites.
Each Sunday, I go thru old General Conference talks and BYU Devotional Speeches and print off copies of the talks I’d like to read. Then, I let those talks direct my personal study each morning during the week.
When I find a talk that I really enjoy, I also like to get an audio copy of it so I can hear the emotion in the voice. This morning was one of those talks.
In 1955, Spencer W. Kimball (who was then a member of the Quorom of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk titled “Tragedy or Destiny?” It was directed toward those who wonder why “God would allow bad things to happen to good people.” In it, he offers comfort to those who may be suffering and also gentle rebukes to those who may be bitter over sickness or untimely death. He speaks of the “big picture.” From the talk:
If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
He goes on to talk about how if a person had all power and authority to have their prayers answered without respect to the will of the Lord, than imagine all that would have failed. Would you not have saved Abinadi from the flames or Joseph Smith from the bullet? In doing so, you would have robbed them of the martyr’s reward. Or the ultimate example is whether you could have stayed your hand when Christ was suffering in the garden and on the cross. By “saving” him there, it would have meant certain death for all mankind.
It boils down to one thing. The greatest gift from God is our free agency. This allows us to choose between good or evil. Unfortunately, this means that the poor choices of some can hurt and affect the righteous hearts of others. But I know that even in those times of suffering or pain, God is very aware of you and very much in control.
It’s amazing to me that this talk was given in 1955 but is still so applicable to many of the thoughts and events of today. You can get this talk as a free download here.
I don’t usually post videos here, but this one was really interesting to me. It is a virtual rollercoaster made to ride the graph showing pricing of houses(adjusted for inflation.)
Be sure to watch the blue line at the bottom for the corresponding years.
Getting to the end of the ride makes it a bit scary to get a house right now.
Candace and I really enjoyed watching the first few episodes of Planet Earth on The Discovery Channel last week. They are billing it as “an 11 part mini-series event” and it is incredible.
The fourth and fifth parts are airing tonight. If you have a large HD television, you’ll be amazed at the video. You’ll certainly be reminded at how beautiful the earth can be.