Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting Back into The Groove

So Janae and I have decided to make some changes in our lives that would help us to be more healthy, happy, and fit.

Most of you know I love cycling, so I have naturally done spin classes at the gym before. But it's been a long time since I've really done them. However, my amazing girlfriend agreed to do them with me 3 times a week, and then to lift 2 times a week. It's all very exciting.

We woke up this morning for the 5:45 a.m. class at 24Hour Fitness. It was a lot of fun. The teacher was not that hard, I have had much harder classes. She just kind of did the same thing over and over again, and didn't really switch it up much. But I still feel like I got a good introduction workout. It will break me in for the next class on Wednesday. We plan on going to lift tomorrow morning. I'm excited to start lifting again, I'm the weakest I've ever been in my life right now, and I can't wait to gain a lot of my muscle back. I'm going to be a svelte sexy man by summers end.

I guess since my sisters and my girlfriend do the 3 best things of the day, I am going to start doing it. So, here it goes.

1. My girlfriend Janae - She is so amazing... I love her with all my heart, and I am so grateful to have her! She makes me a better man, and is so patient with my weaknesses and shortcomings. I feel very lucky to have her!

2. A Healthy body - Yeah, I'm out of shape, overweight, weak, and dumpy at the moment, but even at my fattest, I feel so grateful that I have a working, healthy body that I can enjoy life with. I'm grateful for my talents and abilities physically.

3. Family - Ashlee and her husband Jake and their kids were up here from Vegas this weekend, it was really fun having them! I always love it when we can get our family together for playing wiffle ball or basketball, or whatever. My family is awesome, and I really love being with them. I'm a lucky guy!

4th - Yeah, I'm doing 4 today. I'm grateful for a mom who cuts hair. My hair is knappy right now, and really needs to be cut. I'm so glad I don't have to pay to get my hair cut. My mom has cut my hair forever, and It saves me a fortune. Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Response to an Anti-Mormon

I thought I'd post another response I had for some douche' bag anti Mormon on some Mormon forums. Let me know what you think.


Brian wrote:
"Your right, I’m pretty much just bored. I don’t want to mess anyones faith up like that.

I just came to the realization that the Book of Mormon isn’t true, and Joseph Smith was actually not a prophet. If he’s not a true prophet than he’s a false prophet. If he is a false prophet that is dangerous. Maybe satan inspired Joseph Smith to do what he did so that a large group(mormon church) would alienate themselves from the BIBLE. The Bible is second to NO book in history, especially joseph smiths 16 century copy of the new testament called the Book of Mormon.

How many times has the Book of Mormon been changed since it’s its first publishing? If this is such a prestine translation of so called "gold plates" why has it been changed?

I’m ready to hear an answer. Actually I’m ready to hear another justification. Justification 324

Whos fault was it this time?"

This whole post completely negates anything even remotely intelligent that you’ve said throughout this whole topic. Don’t worry though, there wasn’t much intelligence in the first place, so don’t worry.

If Joseph Smith was a false prophet, why does he have so many good "fruits”? If you would like to use the Bible, which by the way we do not place "2nd to the Book of Mormon" lets go and read where it talks about fruits:

Matt. 7: 17-19
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Let’s compare this to the Book of Mormon, which is as you claim "from Satan":

"For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil." That’s in Moroni.

Very similar in the points they’re trying to convey wouldn’t you agree? If Joseph Smith were making this stuff up, don’t you think he would have written the book of Mormon in such a way that it wouldn’t be telling those who read it to question its author, and its pages? He wouldn’t be willing to indict himself within his own false masterpiece!

In Moroni 10:8-9 it is a promise that if you read and pray about what you’ve read, you can receive an answer from the Holy Ghost that it is true. This seems to be yet another thing unlikely to be written by a man who was knowingly writing a book of fiction.

If JS was indeed lead by Satan, that means our prophets and apostles today are being led by Satan. If that’s the case, why on earth would Satan tell us to abstain from use of Tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, premarital sex, foul language, pornography, bad thoughts, or anything that would distance you from the Son Jesus Christ? Does that really sound like Satan to you? I don’t care WHAT faith you are, that is NOT Satan! Your own bible says so! No corrupt tree can produce good fruit!! Neither can a bad fountain produce good water, and vice versa. Do you see my point? If not, read the Bible which you so wholeheartedly believe in.

I can deal with you saying that you don’t believe the LDS church is true. I frankly feel bad for you, but it’s still no skin off my back. However, I will not tolerate you coming in here, and saying that Joseph Smith was lead by Satan to bring forth the Book of Mormon and other works which he brought forth.

The Book of Mormon was translated by a prophet of God. I know it to be true for myself. I can sit here and tell you that all day long, but your mind has been made up otherwise, so I won’t beat a dead horse. However, I don’t care what your background is, what you believe, where you come from, etc etc… You CANNOT say that Joseph Smith was lead by Satan. It’s impossible; it’s doctrinally unsound if you want to go by the Bible’s definition. He brought forth too many worthy fruits to be called a man of Satan. Feel free to believe otherwise as far as the Mormon Church as a whole, but you can’t say that regardless of whether or not you believe what Joseph Smith did was true, that it wasn’t remarkable.

Millions of members throughout the world are living better lives that are more Christian based, focusing on the family, service, charity, love, keeping the commandments, etc… That is of God, no matter what you believe. So please refrain from ever talking about Joseph Smith with such disrespect. I don’t care WHAT you believe. You cannot argue the points I’ve made here. He did many great things, and I personally think you should focus on those, rather than all the unimportant pish posh you’re focusing on.

You act like you are seeking answers; however, all you seek are ways of justifying your choices, and making your life a little easier by trying to say that you are doing no wrong.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Official!

It's official. I got my grade back in my math class. I don't think any of you really can understand what this means for me! I am so freaking relieved!! If I never do another math problem again in my life, I will die happy!!!

So, anyway, I am so stoked! Just wanted to let ya'll know! Yeah, it's only a C, but a C is just as good as anything, seeing as it's the minimum grade I needed to be able to transfer the credit to UVU. So, I'm officially done with mathematics, unless Multimedia has changed it's requirements on me, but I don't think that's the case.

Friday, March 7, 2008

May All Mathmaticians Be Cursed With a Sore Curse!

Alright, so I know I already posted one entry today, but, that one was only for blogging pleasure, it consisted of a topic in which I could poke fun at, this post is mostly for catching you up on the happenings in my life, and the progress I'm making with the new goals I've set.

First of all, let me just tell you something about myself. I believe it would be fair to call myself a fairly creative person. I have lots of talents, skiing, sky skiing, hiking, road biking, scrap booking, sleeping, kissing, eating food, being irresistible to women, you know, lots of talents. I guess it's just my cross to bear.

However, you'll be amazed to know that there is one thing that I am not good at. As I look at that statement, I have to snigger a little to myself. It's somewhat of an understatement. Let me put it this way, your 1st grader is probably better than I am at this particular subject.

I know you must be breathing heavily with anticipation. It's just so hard to believe I have a mental weakness right? Well, I hereby submit I am the worst math student who has ever lived. If I were born in China, they probably would have killed me for being so bad at math, totally disregarding the fact I did indeed have a penis.

That said, let me just tell you. I've been taking a Math 1030 class at this thing called, "Easiest Math Ever". It's for the veritable retards, such as I. Well, don't let the name trick you into thinking that this class was easy. I actually struggled a lot through this class, but I worked my butt off!! I studied literally over 10 - 15 hours a week for this class probably, and I still managed to get D's on 3 of the tests.

Yesterday was different however. Only by a pure miracle from God was I able to get an 82% on my math test yesterday. 82% may not be that great for some of you nerdos who know how to use your alleged brains, but for me, I may as well have gotten an A+ with a gold star and a big slap on the buttocks from coach carter assuring me I had a "good game". I was extremely happy about my score!

Try not to pay attention to the fact that I got a 62% on the final which I took today. That is not important, we're talking about my triumphs, not my failures.

Anyway, just wanted you all to know that I was smart in math for exactly 2 hours and 27 minutes of my life. This means that I will pass the class with a C, which may as well be an A in my book. I was going for a C anyway, so I'm happy.

On a serious note though, I really do feel like God played a huge part in helping me to study effectively for this test. I was literally praying the whole test that I would have a quickened mind, and that I would be able to recall the principles I had spent so much time studying. I was blessed for sure.

I am still going strong on my "no games" commitment. It has been a challenge to constantly stay self aware all the time. It has been a positive challenge, which I have really liked most of the time. But there are always those times where you recognize your weaknesses, and just wish they would all go away NOW instead of later with time and effort. But things are still going really well for me. I feel like every aspect of my life has improved. Heck, I went into work for 1 hour and 4o minutes today, and ended up closing 10 calls. That is daily GOAL for all our techs for an 8 hour work day. What can I say, "All your base are belong to us." That's what! So, things are going really well.

I have a lot to say, but this is quite long, and it's like 2:34 in the morning right now, so I think I'm going to call it a night. Don't forget to enjoy my other blog I wrote earlier about parking lots! You'll love it, I promise!

Give Thanks That You Can Walk

Today as I rolled along in the UVSC parking lot looking for a spot to park, I realized something. People will do virtually anything to get a parking spot that is 4 spaces closer than 3 empty parking spots a little further down the row. I find it interesting... No, let me rephrase, I find it pathetic that our society is so lazy that they are willing to cut someone off while giving them the bird at the same time, dent someone's door, and almost kill an innocent pedestrian to pull into a space that is literally only a few hundred feet closer than a much more accessible space farther from their destination.

Furthermore, the time it takes these people to drive around frantically looking for someone to leave is far longer than if they'd just drive to the back of the parking lot to choose from a wide array of spaces. All shapes and sizes included. My favorite though is when you get the "Stalker" space predator. The ones that lie in wait for you to come outside into the parking lot so they can slowly creep behind you as you walk to your car, all the while they're trying to figure out where your car is by watching your movements, and studying walking patterns, so they can plan their next move. I've always wanted to act really nervous while they're following me, looking over my shoulder with a frantic look, walking somewhat erratically, and then, break into a full sprint, dropping my back pack, kicking off my shoes, tearing off my shirt and pants and running for dear life... "Why would you take off all your clothes?" you may be wondering, why NOT is the real question!

The best prank for a stalker driver is when you walk really slowly, making sure to kind walk back and forth across the parking lot so they have no earthly idea where you’re planning on going. Then they have to follow you all the way to your car, only to have you open your door, to get something like a stick of gum, this leaves them frustrated and fuming usually. I always get a good chuckle out of it though. Sure, I could tell them I'm not leaving, but then what fun would that be for me?

Here's my take. I have always been one to say, "Give thanks that you can walk." I almost prefer getting a space that is farther away. Not only is my car less likely to get t-boned by the kamikaze parking space driver, but frankly, I need the exercise. I think we should all be a little more grateful that we have legs to walk. Especially give thanks when your legs are as muscular and chiseled as mine!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Life Changes -- [Personal Confessions]

I am listening to the secret [again]. And I gotta tell you, regardless of whether or not the "Law of Attraction" is a bunch of crap; I think it's a pretty darn good way to live your life.

I’ve got to admit I went through a really negative phase recently. I was doing horrible in school, horrible at work, not good in my own social life, etc... It's mostly because after a while of living the secret, I sort of gave up on it. I turned my back on the law of attraction, and sort of went the other direction. I'm not really sure why, but I just did.

My whole life has been kind of a roller coaster lately. I'm not gonna lie. I've gone through a lot of crap for the past while, and it all just kind of caught up with me recently. I lost all hope in my abilities, talents, future, attitude, etc... My negative attitude affected every aspect of my life, and it caused a lot of pain in my life. I started reverting to my old habits of negativity, my old irresponsible ways of procrastination and neglect of the things I knew I should be doing, and the total neglect of the spiritual needs in my life as well. On top of that, I began reverting to addictive behaviors, namely playing video games. Games were my way of forgetting the pain, and placing my focus on something that had NOTHING to do with my "screwed up" life. I had allowed myself to become lazy, irresponsible, and most destructive, virtually spiritually dead.

I began neglecting my scripture study, and even my prayers. My relationship with God began to falter, and I felt horrible about it. I was always telling myself I needed to straighten my life out again, but I never found the motivation to do so.

I will publicly admit I am an addict. I usually can play video games, and have no addictive effects, I used to be able to have a "take em' or leave em'" type attitude, but ever since I felt like my life was not going the way I wanted it to, I had resorted to video games as my pain reliever. They became really addictive, even to the point where I was neglecting school, work, friends, my girlfriend, church, and my family. It was starting to get out of control.

I knew very well that I had sunken to a level I had never been at before. I was at the lowest point of my life, and I had no one to blame but myself. I have always loved playing video games; I have never been willing to admit that they are harmful. Though I don't think they're harmful, I absolutely believe that they are addictive, and when they become addictive, THEN, they ARE harmful.

The problem wasn't totally the video games though. I had just become lax in all the areas of my life. I didn't like how I felt about my life, about myself, about God, about my testimony, etc... I just didn't like how I felt.

All of these feelings were over-running my life, up until my wonderful girlfriend Janae, (who has stuck with me through all of this, which in-and-of-itself is unbelievable to me) had the courage, and inspiration to take action.

My relationship with Janae had been struggling for a few weeks. My attitude, and motivation was at its low point, and she had had enough. After a big fight, we almost ended up breaking up with each other on a Sunday night. We ended up deciding we would work through this for a little while, to see what happened. At this point, I had the desire to change, but I hadn't really been struck with the humility and motivation to truly make the sacrifices that were required for me to make a true change in my life.

That was until Janae decided to write me a letter about the reasons she was frustrated with our relationship right now. The letter was blunt, to the point, and extremely hard for me to hear. The first time I read it, I immediately became defensive, even angry that she would say some of the things she did. I felt like she was attacking me, and trying to make me feel like less of a person for my weaknesses. Gosh, I look back at the way I reacted, and it makes me want to throw up. It only took me about 3 hours of pondering over the things she said for me to recognize that not only was the letter 100% true, but that the only reason I was being defensive was because I had allowed Satan to take complete control over my reaction. I felt so much darkness in my mind when I read it the first time. I realized how foolish I had been, and how blind I had become. Satan was fighting so hard for me to misunderstand the letter because he knew what it would mean to me after I made the realizations I finally came to. The letter was awesome, but even more than the letter, was the recognition that I had become something I am not.

I realized that my life is NOT going the way I want it to go. I realized that I am not acting the way I believe I should be, and I realized that I'm not being a good son, brother, boyfriend, friend, or even citizen. I recognized that I had been completely unwilling to make any real sacrifice for God in order to change my life.

I am not exaggerating when I say, the very moment I made this realization, my mind was clear. The darkness was gone, and it was filled only with light. The spirit was testifying to me that NOW is the time for me to change. For the first time in my life, I was willing to put all my own selfish desires aside. I no longer cared that I really enjoyed playing video games, I no longer cared that school is hard, I no longer cared, that it would require some work to get back to where I want to be, all of it was of no consequence. I felt for the first time since my mission that I was willing to do ANYTHING to be forgiven for the way I've acted for the past year or so. Without even thinking twice, I cancelled my World of Warcraft account so I couldn't play it anymore, and I decided I was going to box up my Xbox. This might seem like something that isn't really that big of a deal to most of you. In fact, you're probably telling yourself, "So what? That's not really a sacrifice." You will not understand until you have really been addicted to something in your lifetime. Especially seeing as the only time I've ever given up playing video games was during my mission for 2 years. This ONE thing was the sacrifice God has been asking me to make all along. I had justified for years that it's not that big of a deal, I'm not addicted, blah blah blah, etc... I had never been humble enough to accept his will instead of mine. But this change of heart was instant. I had made a promise to God that I would not play another video game until I felt like my life was in order, and I was back on track to living the way I know I need to.

I have been clean since the 26th. ;) I have had my times of temptation. I've had the times where I'm not really doing anything, and I get a really big urge to play video games, but for the most part, it hasn't been hard. I've been trying to fill my time with wholesome and constructive activities. I've tried spending more times with those I love; I've been trying to read good books, and to learn things I didn't know.

I know it's only been like a week. But hey, it's a start. I can honestly say that the spirit has been stronger in my life than it has been since my mission. I have made the necessary sacrifice in order for me to receive the necessary blessings to turn my life around.

Will I ever play a video game again? Definitely; I don't feel that this is a long term requirement from the Lord. I feel that it is most definitely necessary right now however. Until I can feel like my life is back on track, where I can feel worthy to go to the temple often, read my scriptures daily, etc etc... I will not indulge. Regardless of how good I feel, this will be at least a few months. I’m not just going to do this for a couple weeks. I’m talking months here, so don’t worry, I’m committed. I’m not making an excuse to just revert back to my old behavior.

I have a much better understanding about the importance of "moderation in all things".

I am very excited about the changes I'm making in my life, and I'm very excited about the feelings I'm having about my life. I feel like I'm progressing for the first time in a long time. I am moving forward, and it feels really good.

I love the Lord with all my heart, I'm so grateful for the lessons he teaches us, even when it takes us a long time to be willing to learn them. I'm just really grateful to have the knowledge I have about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm really grateful that I have family and friends, and a girlfriend who support me as much as they do! They have been such a strong support for me, and I am so indebted to them. I got the first father's blessing I've had for a very long time yesterday on fast Sunday. It was a great help, and will continue to be a huge strength to me.

I wanted to just tell you guys about the things that are going on in my life right now. I feel like the more people that know about it, the more people I'm accountable to. This is good. Accountability is really the key to success.

This time is for real. This time I am determined to change, and even though I might slip up every now and again, I truly FEEL the change in my heart this time, and I know it's for real.

So, if you guys want to receive blessings beyond measure in your life. I am bearing testimony to you now, that you should think about the thing you do that wastes a huge amount of your time, that isn’t constructive, and then sacrifice it. Just determine to give it up for a month. If you do this, I guarantee you will see a change in your life you’ve never thought possible. God recognizes sacrifice, and he is willing to pour out blessings for any of this children that give something up for him.

Best of luck! If you choose to do this, I’d sure LOVE to hear your stories and successes with this!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Response to an Anti-Tithing Forum

I was in a Mormon forum on Myspace, and there was a guy who was bashing on the law of tithing, I thought I would just throw my two cents into the conversation, and below is the guys post, and my reply to his post. I thought some of you might enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

----------------------------His Post-----------------------------------

"The Church doesn't donate that much money to charities, humanitarian aide. etc. as you'd like to think.

From 1984 to 2006, the LDS Church donated $750 million to various people in need across the world. Hurray right? So that's $750 million in 22 years (34 million/yr). The Church is spending $2 billion on a downtown SLC building project over four years (500 million/yr).

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is required to donate at least $1.5 billion/yr at minimum (using 2006 data). That means Bill Gates donates at least twice as much money each year than the LDS Church donated in 22 years. Good job LDS Church."

---------------------My Response---------------------------------------------

If you would do your homework, you would know that this project isn't being funded by ANY tithing money WHATSOEVER! The church has MANY more investments, and other means of making money than just tithes.

The fact of the matter is, the church wouldn't be able to function the way it does if it didn't have any money. That's just a fact. If you don't have money, you have nothing to stand on. Not only that, but look at the temples that are being built, the church buildings that are erected, the humanitarian aid that is given, the travel costs of the General Authorities, the costs of over 50 thousand missionaries throughout the world, the cost of those missionaries being stupid, (car accidents, medical bills, etc...) cost of publications, cost of church employees, cost to manage and keep the temple grounds of over 120 temples, media costs, shipping costs, computer costs, etc etc...

I think you get the point.

The world requires money, and the church has that, because it has faithful members of the church.

The other fact of the matter is the fact that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Gordon B. Hinckley, etc etc weren't the ones who gave this commandment, it was God. Go read Malachi 3:8-11.

Not only is God giving the commandment to pay back to him just a little so he can continue progressing his work throughout the world, but he is giving you another opportunity to receive blessings for doing it!! He even promises to " you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." He also promises to "...rebuke the devourer for your sakes..."

If I gave you a $1 bill; would you be willing to give me 10 cents back? That gives you 90 cents to do whatever you like with. It's MY $1 bill, but I am willing to give it to you, for only a dime.

God doesn't ask us to give a lot. He just asks that you give enough to help his work move forward.

And frankly, the question is, can you afford NOT to pay tithing?

Think about it.