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April, 2011

  1. I Thank Him

    April 26, 2011 by Ryan

    I heard someone express a testimony by starting each sentence with “I thank Him…” The speaker only did this for a short few sentences, but I liked that style and wanted to try writing something like it myself. It was harder than I thought and I realized that I might never “finish” it. So here is my unfinished first-attempt.

    I thank Him for the confidence I receive in knowing that He is a God of truth, and canst not lie; that He cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said.

    I thank him for knowing that His promises, declared by His servants the prophets, are sure.

    I thank Him, knowing He orchestrates a way through great chaotic interaction of natural forces alongside both the good and evil designs of men; He acts in wisdom, and knowest all things.

    I thank Him that if I do what he has asked (search diligently, pray always, and be believing), all of these forces will be orchestrated for my good.

    I thank Him, that He sent His Son. I thank His Son, that He finished the work that Our Father gave Him to do.

  2. Spinning My Wheels

    April 15, 2011 by Ryan

    Remember cassette tapes?

    They were an invention that was made of two wheels (or spindles). Around one spindle was wrapped a metallic film. It fed through a plastic shell, and came around a track to connect to the other spindle.

    You’d put this clever cassette into a “cassette desk” and press play. The spindle that didn’t have the film wrapped around it would start to turn. This would cause the magnetic film to become taut, and would begin to pull the film. In turn, that would cause the other spindle to turn as the film rolled off of it, worked through the device, and back onto the first spindle. In the meantime, somewhere in the middle, a magic magnetic reader would watch the film as it passed, interpret the magnetic information, and would send music to connected speakers. It was remarkable, really.

    With these tapes, you could choose what order your song played by pressing a button labeled “Fast Forward.” The spindles would go faster. Some players would let you listen to the audio, which now sounded like a talking chipmunk.

    The whole idea of a talking chipmunk is kind of silly, if you think about it. Chipmunks can only talk in Disney cartoons.

    You’d forward to the next song, and listen to that. Or, if I didn’t like that one, I’d forward to the next, listening at high speed.

    If you wanted to hear the same song again, you’d press the “rewind” button. This would reverse the process, putting the one spindle in “neutral” and causing the other spindle to spin.

    Being technologically advanced, I used to own a duel-cassette deck. I’d use it to make my own “mix tapes”. In one deck, I’d put a blank, recordable cassette tape. In the other deck, I’d put a music tape in and fast forward to the beginning of the song that I liked. Then I’d simultaneously press “record” and “play” on the other deck’s controls. I think I had to press “Play” because it drove the motor to move the spindle, and of course “Record” because I wanted it to capture what it could “hear” in the other tape deck.

    Because the songs on the tapes were always in the same order, I developed a “memory” side effect. After I’d hear the tape in sequence several times, my brain would start to associate the order of the songs. If I heard the song in another situation (such as over the radio), when the song ended my brain would expect to hear the next song from the tape, and I would even start to “play” the tune in my mind.

    Soon compact discs appeared in the mainstream. They didn’t wear out with use, and they had scientific laser beams to read digitally recorded information. I got me a new player that could play CDs and record them to tapes (so that I could still listen in my car).

    The feature that won many people over was the “Random” button. It would decide what song to play, and in what order to play it.

    Which worked well unless you were listening to an audio book, where going out of order was not such a good feature.

    CD players grew and soon let you load multiple CDs into one machine. Then the random feature could span multiple albums.

    Those got replaced by MP3s and MP3 players. Now, the digital information on the CDs could be turned into a computer file, and many CDs could be loaded onto one device. Since my car still has a cassette tape deck in it, I’ve purchased an adapter. It is something in shape of the cassette tape. it has a wire that leads to a CD or MP3 player’s headphone port. It still has two spindles, although they don’t do anything expect spin with the tape deck motor. Instead, the audio signal was fed directly into the tape deck’s magnetic reader.

    So even with my new and modern technology, even after all these years I’m still spinning my wheels.

  3. As a Little Child

    April 14, 2011 by Ryan

    The group had recently traveled to Capernaum.  During the walk, some of the men must have been in a heated private discussion. After they had arrived at the house and were resting, Jesus asked them, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?”

    Nobody dared to answer. In retrospect it had been a petty argument to have held. Now, when the Master wanted to hear about their conversation, the men were too ashamed to admit that they had been debating which one of them should hold the highest position of honor in the next life.

    In His usual way, Jesus saw their hesitation. He knew their thoughts, recognized their questions, and even understood their motivations for asking it.

    Said He, “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” It was a complete change from the way the men typically look at leadership. Kings, Pharaohs, and Emperors enjoyed lives of luxury and wealth. They were served and waited upon, not the other way around. Yet Jesus turned this entire concept around when providing an answer to getting to the top in the Kingdom of Heaven. Men desiring this status must be a humble and willing servant to all others. The race to the top is actually a race to the bottom.

    While that one-sentence lesson was still sinking in, Jesus arranged an object lesson. He called a young child nearby, and set him down the group.

    He held the child in His arms, and taught, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    Not children in understanding, but childlike in the possession of guile. Being incapable of malice or offence. Possessing childlike attributes of submissiveness, meekness, humility, and patience. Not self-consumed, but full of love. Willing to submit with faith to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon you (even as a child doth submit to his father). Trusting that all things shall be done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things.

    “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

    Then came one more blessing. Those that are willing to change their hearts and minds and live as described above will not only become the “greatest” in the Kingdom of Heaven, but these individuals are the ones that “receiveth me.” The way to show that you truly accept Jesus Christ is to strive to act in this way – in the same way as He lived.

    And of course, those whosoever receives Jesus also receives His Father.

    See the following references:

    New Testament: Matthew 18:1–5
    New Testament: Mark 9:33–37‎
    New Testament:  Luke 9:46–48‎
    New Testament:  1 Corinthians 14:20
    Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 2:24‎
    Book of Mormon: Mosiah 3:19‎