Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I came across this video from Mormon Messages and thought it was fitting to share for Thanksgiving.

I know that I have so much to be thankful for. Sometimes, with all else that we have going on, we forget to count our blessings (at least, I do). But, I am grateful. I'm thankful for a loving Father in Heaven. I'm thankful for the experiences in my life that have helped me grow close to Him and to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ and for His marvelous atonement. I'm thankful for the power of prayer. I'm thankful for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the peace it brings to my life. I'm thankful for a wonderful wife, who is the answer to so many past prayers. I'm thankful for an amazing son, who is the joy of our life. I'm thankful for loving parents, parents-in-law, siblings, siblings-in-law, and other family, who do so much for me and who make me happy. I'm thankful for grandparents and others, who have gone before, worked hard, and sacrificed so that I can have what I have. I'm thankful for good friends. I'm thankful for a job that pays the bills. I'm thankful for a good education. I'm thankful for this beautiful world in which we live and for all God's creations. I'm thankful that my list could go on and on....

What are you thankful for?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Pioneer Day

Today, July 24, is a holiday in Utah, and is a date of celebrated remembrance for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world. July 24 is "Pioneer Day" and commemorates the date that the Mormon Pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley (July 24, 1847). In Utah, it is celebrated much the same way as Independence Day - fireworks, parades, etc. In the rest of the world, it goes unnoticed and unobserved except for the occasional celebration held by local LDS congregations.

The Mormon exodus from, what was then, the United States to what is now Utah (and areas of surrounding states) plays an important role in the Mormon psyche and in our history. In the early days of the Church, persecution forced the early Saints to move from New York to Ohio to Missouri, and finally in Illinois. While in Illinois, the Church's first president and prophet, Joseph Smith, was martyred in June 1844. In the next few years, the Saints began their exodus west. The hardship of the trek solidified the faith of those who participated and created a legacy of faith that has been passed down to Saints of today. I have ancestors who were among those early pioneers, some who walked across the plains and pulled all of their possessions in handcarts. I'm so grateful for them, for their examples of faith and devotion, and for the faith that they passed to their children and grandchildren and which I will pass on to mine.

I am also mindful today of the modern-day pioneers I have met - those who sacrifice so much to join the Church today, who are the first members of the Church in their families. I met so many of these pioneers on my mission to Romania and I have met many here in Alabama. I'm so grateful for their faith and example.

This video put out by the Church is fitting and touching. May we all be grateful for the pioneers who have gone before and who continue to pave the way and devote their lives to advancing the Kingdom of God.

Happy Pioneer Day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day

Since I posted for Mother's Day, I felt it only fitting that I should also do a Father's Day post. I came across this video on the Mormon Messages YouTube channel. It consists of an excerpt from an address by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I listened to it, I was grateful for a father who set a good example of what a "true man" should be. As I embark on my path as a new father, I hope that I can develop those qualities that I admire in him and others, so that I can be a "true man" in the lives of my wife and children. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

More Americans Now Pro-Life

I know that I just posted, but I found this article by Gallup which states that, according to the Gallup poll, a majority of Americans now consider themselves pro-life (51%) than pro-abortion ("pro-choice"/42%) for the first time since Gallup began polling on this issue in 1995. Also, roughly the same amount (23%) think abortion should be illegal in all cases as think it should be legal in all cases (22%). I find this interesting considering that, on the whole, Americans seem to be growing more "liberal" on social issues. I wonder what has caused the shift in the "right" direction on the abortion issue.

Marriage as a Mormon Value

A friend of my forwarded me this article from the Washington Times. I found it very interesting, especially since I had attended one of the singles wards mentioned. It is interesting to read an "outsider's" view of the marriage oriented culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also thought this was a good precursor for a series of posts I plan on getting up soon related to the current marriage debate going on in the United States.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I have always been grateful for the mothers in my life: my mother, my grandmothers, my mother-in-law, my aunts, my friends' mothers with whom I am close, etc. I have always related to the following quote from Abraham Lincoln: "Everything I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." Recently, however, my love and respect for mothers and motherhood have increased as I have watched my own beautiful wife become a mother, the mother of my child. It has been an amazing and touching experience for me. So, thanks honey, thanks mom, thanks mom-in-law, thanks grandmas, thanks to every mother out there who does so much to shape the future of our society for the better.

I came across the following video put out by my Church for Mother's Day. I hope it reminds those who watch it of how grateful they should be for their angel mothers.


Monday, April 20, 2009

I Love You Today

Fourteen years ago this last weekend the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by domestic terrorists. 186 people died and over 800 were injured. I was in high school at the time. As my friends and I were talking about the bombing one day, the comment was made that you never know what is going to happen, so you should never miss an opportunity to tell your loved ones that you love them. As a consequence, for some time thereafter it was not uncommon to hear one of us say "I love you today" to another. I was again reminded this weekend how important it is to say "I love you today" to the important people in our lives.

My wife has blogged about our weekend experiences on our blog , but I wanted to jot down my own thoughts and feelings. My wife has a cousin whose facebook status recently asked those who read it to pray for a friend of his whose three month old had recently died in his mother's arms. This was particularly sad for us because our son is almost three months old and we can't imagine the pain that would come from losing him. Then, on Friday night a young man from our church and his girlfriend (someone's babies) were tragically killed in a car accident. We had just seen them shortly before at a church activity. It is such a sad story. It hit me even harder than it may otherwise have done because I now have a son. I can't imagine losing him and the sorrow that the separation would bring. I know that, because of the Atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we will all live again and that we will be reunited with our kindred and beloved dead. However, I also know that the separation from those beloved friends and family members - especially when it is sudden and tragic - can be extremely sorrowful and difficult to bear. Nevertheless, hope and comfort can be found in and through Jesus Christ who is "mighty to save."

I know this post might not fit in with the type one might expect from the stated intentions for the blog, but I wanted to encourage everyone to take the opportunity to say "I love you today" to the important people in their lives. I know that I am going to make a concerted effort to do so more often. Likewise, please pray for those who lose loved ones; that they may be comforted during their separation and that they may find peace.

Finally, to all my friends and family who read this, please know that I love you today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Adding my Voice to the Fray

I have been pondering starting this blog for some time. My wife and I have a blog, where we post updates on our family (particularly our wonderful newborn and first born), but I wanted to start a blog for different kinds of posts. As the title of the blog suggests, I am young (relatively, at least -- I still consider myself young). I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as Mormons). And I am a conservative. I love my faith and issues of faith in general. I also love following politics and current events. Often, I find myself wanting to express an opinion regarding what is going on in politics and the world at large and, sometimes, issues of faith and my religion in particular. As can be expected, any such opinion is framed by my status as a "young Mormon conservative." Hence, the title. I doubt many people will care much what I have to say. That's not why I'm doing this. If you do care to read and comment on this blog, please be respectful. I welcome comments and questions and a healthy, respectful debate. However, any profanity or ad hominem arguments or comments will be disregarded and removed. Let the "fun" begin.