Sep 28, 2008

The Constitution

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  -John Adams, 2nd President of the United States

Sep 25, 2008

Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet

I came across a beautiful talk last night written by President Ezra T. Benson.  Its title is "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet," and it was delivered in February of 1980 at BYU.  I would highly recommend reading the full talk.  It is not very long, and is concise and easy to read.  Here's a teaser to what he spoke about:
  1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
  2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
  3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
  4. The prophet will never lead the church astray.
  5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthy training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
  6. The prophet does not have to say "Thus Saith the Lord," to give us scripture.
  7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
  8. The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning.
  9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
  10. The prophet may advise on civic matters.
  11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
  12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
  13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency - the highest quorum in the church.
  14. The prophet and the presidency - the living prophet and the First Presidency - follow them and be blessed - reject them and suffer.
The explanations that President Benson gives with each of these truths are very well written.  As you read them, particularly keeping in mind the many varied reactions among members in regard to Proposition 8 in California, you'll notice how prophetic these truths are.  We all would do well to study these "fourteen fundamentals . . . for our salvation depends on them."
Click here for the link to the talk.

Sep 4, 2008

Josh Hamilton 35th worst draft pick of all time?

School has started back up, and with school, essays. One of my classes this semester is called "Interdisciplinary Studies - Culture & Sports." One of our first assignments has been to write just a one-page essay on a sports hero, either current or past, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Being the avid baseball fan I am, I chose Josh Hamilton.

Before writing this paper, I had a headlines-deep knowledge about Josh: whatever has made the headlines (i.e., Hamilton sets record with 28 HRs in first round of Derby, Josh Hamilton: The Baseball Star's Rise to Recovery) is what I know. But after doing just a night's worth of research, I quickly realized he truly is a hero.

The title of my post refers to this:

This article, titled "The 100 worst draft picks ever", was written April 26, 2006. Apparently the author of this article didn't see much left in him. This was the year that Josh finally made it back to baseball, playing some games for a minor league Tampa Bay team near the end of the season.

If you don't know Josh's story, Wikipedia him. It's worth the read.

I think the most pleasing thing about his story is his humility. He knows that he could've never made it to where he is now without help from the Master Healer. Concerning his battle with drugs, he says this, "Alone, I couldn't win this battle. With Jesus, I couldn't lose."

We often hear people say "If only I could go back and do this over again." For Josh, that isn't an option. "This may sound crazy, but I wouldn't change a thing about my path to the big leagues...You see, I may not know how I got here from there, but every day I get a better understanding of why."

Let me just include one final story of his, which illustrates how Josh is trying to pay back all the help he was given:
I was driving out of the players' parking lot at Great American Ball Park after a game in May, with Katie and our two girls. There's always a group of fans standing at the curb, hoping to get autographs, and I stop to sign as many as I can.
And on this particular night, a little boy of about 9 or 10, wearing a Reds cap, handed me a pen and something to sign. Nothing unusual there, but as I was writing the boy said, "Josh, you're my savior."
This stopped me. I looked at him and said, "Well, thank you. Do you know who my savior is?"
He thought for a minute. I could see the gears turning. Finally, he smiled and blurted out, "Jesus Christ." He said it like he'd just come up with the answer to a test. "That's exactly right," I said.
Despite the many years of baseball that he has lost, I think it's safe to say he has found something far greater in his life than athletic heroics: a Savior.