Wednesday, April 27, 2016

7 Truths to Teach Your Children about the Temple



Earlier this month, my wife and I took our oldest child to the temple for the first time. She had just turned 12 years old. It was a sacred and joyous occasion, one we had looked forward to for many years with great anticipation. Our experience at the temple with our daughter exceeded even our highest expectations and was a highlight of our 12 years of parenting. There are few things I hope for more as a father than that my children will cherish the temple and always remain worthy to enter and learn within its sacred walls.

I have reflected this month on the truths our children need to understand about the temple. I believe they need to understand these truths at a younger and younger age, well before they reach the age of 12 and can enter the temple for the first time to perform baptisms on behalf of their own ancestors. As parents, we must take the time to teach our children plain and simple truths about the temple that will help them look to the temple as a beacon that will guide them safely back to our Father in Heaven’s presence. Here are 7 truths we can all teach our children about the temple today:



1.     Temples Are a Declaration that the Resurrection Is Real and Life Is Eternal

Last week, as my wife and I sat with our daughter in the baptistry of the Washington DC Temple, a member of the temple presidency came down to visit with us. He asked a simple but profound question that left an impression on us and prepared us for the experiences we would have that morning. “Why does the Church care so much about building temples?” he asked. After pausing for a few moments, he offered an answer: “The Church is focused on building temples because the resurrection is real and because life is eternal.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

3 Experiences That Prove to Me Compassion Always Wins



It’s not hard to be kind and generous to those whom we see deserving of our compassionate acts – taking a meal to a new mother or someone who’s ill, providing financial assistance to a family who is struggling out of no fault of their own, or offering periodic childcare for our close friends. But how much harder is it to have compassionate responses to people during their worst moments? Perhaps it’s someone with an illness or disease brought on by poor lifestyle choices, the disadvantaged family that chooses to have more children, or the child who burns her hand after you told her not to touch the stove. For some reason, we sometimes feel that a person does not deserve our help or empathy because their suffering comes from their mistakes or poor choices.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The parable of the ineffective Weed & Feed: What a dead patch taught me about faith and hope




We all have trials, and most of the time I think we do a pretty good job of dealing with them. But for the last few months, I have to admit I’ve let mine get the best of me. While I’m usually a pretty optimistic person, I allowed a series of ill-timed setbacks in my work to strip away that optimism and replace it with a sense of hopelessness and doubt toward God that is uncommon to my psyche. After weeks of praying and asking for some form of guidance, I had an experience that helped change my perspective.

What surprised me was that the experience had nothing to do with my work. Instead, the Lord took the opportunity to teach me while I was free from distractions, working in my yard.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Because of Your Tickets — A Story From General Conference


"Tell me about yourself."

That's the question posed to me over the weekend while I stood on the corner outside the LDS Conference Center hoping to get tickets to the General Priesthood session Saturday evening. 

Caught off guard by the question and while trying to come up with a worthy answer, I said something like, "Uh... I live here and want to go to conference." Really eloquent, right? 
Despite my less-than-impressive response, he gave me and my friend tickets for two great seats and we quickly hurried into the Conference Center. 

The session was great and it was neat to sit so close to the brethren and feel the spirit radiating from them.

However, after the session, I was still bothered by my response to the man's simple question. If I could meet that man again, here's what I would hope to say to him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

4 Things I Wish Parents Understood about Protecting Their Children from Pornography



As societies across the globe become more and more accepting of immorality, it can sometimes feel like protecting our families from the onslaught of pornography is an insurmountable task. What can we do to stem the tide? As a parent, I worry about the risk that my own children will be exposed to pornography in spite of my efforts to protect them. As a bishop, I pray earnestly for the Youth in my ward (and around the world) to recognize the seriousness of the threat pornography presents to all of us individually and to our society collectively. I applaud Youth everywhere who resist the pull of pornography and find the strength to say “No!” when pornography knocks at their door, or worse yet, when it barges into their lives totally uninvited.