Do desires determine identity?

Who am I?

who am IYou know, it’s possible that this is the most asked question throughout the history of the world. If not just spoken aloud, then including each time it is pondered in the heart would certainly get the count up there.

(Source: LDS Media Library)

Kind of funny how when we are young we think we are pretty sure of the answer, but then as we grow older we can become, in some ways, less and less confident about our identity.

That’s just part of growing up. Instead of knowing the answers to solve the world’s problems, we realize that the real awareness comes in knowing which questions to ask.

But it takes courage to ask those questions. It takes even more to accept the answers, whatever they may be.

I wonder if this is when we get into trouble. Continue reading Do desires determine identity?

Do I like me?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

facingthesunYour playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   – – Marianne Williamson

A month or so ago Ann and I had the opportunity to spend an evening with some of the 14-18 year olds in our neighborhood and talk about relationships. Our assignment was to focus on the four main relationships in each of our lives: With our God, with our families, with our fellowmen, and with ourselves.

No surprise, but we started with questions and let the group provide the insights and personal experiences that helped us work toward some answers. I guess the logical place to start is to ask “What is a relationship?” Continue reading Do I like me?

Touching what is real

Last week Ann and I drove across the country with our daughter Alex to North Carolina for graduate school.highway

We had loaded the car that we were going to leave with her with the must-haves for this next phase of her life. We had it checked out thoroughly before we left and had quite a bit of work done to make sure it would last her as long as she needed it.

I put on my “I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested” t-shirt with Sheldon on the front, from the show “The Big Bang Theory.” From the open-mouthed stares we got at gas stations throughout Wyoming I realized that I probably hadn’t thought that one through completely. I think we were fortunate that a group of wranglers didn’t pull me aside to see what the heck I was trying to say on my shirt. Of course, my physical resemblance to Sheldon didn’t help much either.

As we pulled into the motel that first night, we thought that the car sounded a little rumbly. We were tired and took the attitude of “if we ignore it, it will disappear” and went to bed.

The next morning, with fresh minds and rested bodies (well, sort of) the rumbling was now a roar as we fired up the car.

Ignoring didn’t do the trick. Dang it. Continue reading Touching what is real

Does the label “nonmember” limit religious freedom?  

It’s no secret. People of other faiths, or not of any particular faith, are wary when moving into a predominantly LDS area. It almost seems there is an underground network of people ready to warn them about being cautious of accepting that first plate of cookies.

You know those Mormons, they are going to try to convert you.chapel

It’s also no secret that, yes, Mormons love their faith so much that they want everyone to feel the same happiness that it has brought them.

But it has created the notion that people of other faiths quickly become “projects”, you know, because they are “non-Mormons.”

I think there is actually some truth to that.

In our zeal we can become zealots, putting forward a full-court press because these people are pretty wonderful and we can clearly see them as happy, fully serving members of our church.

The problem seems to come when these wonderful people can’t see themselves as happy, fully serving members of our church.

What comes next? Continue reading Does the label “nonmember” limit religious freedom?  

Why are our organizations failing?

skyscraper

The Veteran’s Administration.

Immigration.

Welfare.

Social Security.

Education.

Healthcare.

Wallstreet.

Politics.

And that’s just here in the United States. If we look around the world, the list becomes too long to enumerate.

At first glance, one would ask if the organization itself is inherently bad. I suppose arguments could be made both for and against. Perhaps laws need to be passed to help improve the situation.

Oh wait, wouldn’t that require a governmental, law-making system that worked?

And that just proves the point.

Was there a time when these entities did function appropriately? Continue reading Why are our organizations failing?