Friday, December 20, 2013

Tolerance does not mean anti-Christian

I need to make a disclaimer at the beginning of this post. I have watched Duck Dynasty once. I found it very humorous, but I'm not a regular viewer. That said, whether I watch the show or not is irrelevant to my post.

Ironically, in the name of "tolerance" society is becoming extremely less tolerant of Christians. If you're paying attention to the news you're probably aware that the Patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan, Phil Robertson, is being suspended from the show by the A&E network. He is being suspended for calling homosexuality a sin.

It is not my intent to cast stones at others than are sinning because I am not without sin. That said, sin is sin. The Bible spells out several behaviors, actions, etc. that are not endorsed by Heaven. I read an article in USA Today that sums up my views very well on the subject. In part it states:
Irrefutable history documents that the Bible and its teachings were the biggest influence on those that founded the freest and most prosperous nation in human history. Yet nowadays if you believe that same Bible is true you will either silence your beliefs, or you will be silenced. Just ask Phil Robertson, one of the stars of Duck Dynasty, among the most successful shows on TV.  
In an interview with GQ, Robertson plainly repeated simple truths that are fundamental to western civilization—the Bible calls all sexual activity outside of holy matrimony sin and immoral, and it’s natural for a man to be attracted to a woman. You know, the birds and the bees.  
For that, the tolerance mob demanded his head on a platter, and the wannabe King Herods that work at A&E, the network that made untold millions off of Robertson's enormous popularity, gladly obliged. When we have now come to the point that pop culture would rather bow at the altar of rabid political correctness than make a profit, then we have reached a point of no return as a people.
It's a great opinion piece. I sent an e-mail to the A&E Network voicing my disagreement with their decision and encouraged them not to cave in to the demands of the vocal minority. If you feel so inclined you can send them an e-mail at

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Temple Marriage and Families

A few posts ago I mentioned how I had moved to Dallas. Things have changed in the last year. I thought I was moving to Boston, but I was only there a month, and now I'm living in College Station, TX. It's awesome. At church I teach the 14+ youth Sunday School class. I love my kids. they are also awesome. This is by far the best calling in the church. Anyway, today in Sunday School we were discussing Temple Marriage and Families and how to tell others what we believe. In no particular order, here are their thoughts:
Temple marriage is talked about a lot in the LDS faith. It is said over and over again how it is so important. The reason this ordinance is so important is because it seals the spouses and their future children together forever. This means even after death you will get to be with your family. This is why so much focus is put on the family. It is the unit that you will be with forever. Other earthly things don't transfer over after death, but the family will, and can be together forever through temple marriage. - Jaylen Hinckley
Temple marriage is a sacred process in which worthy males and females are able to partake of. This consists of a marriage that lasts for an eternity as well as any children who have been born into that marriage. This marriage is only done in this sacred site and has the ability to further one's spiritual growth. This is important to me as I know of the importance of temple marriage, as I will one day pick a worthy spouse I will have the security & knowledge, &happiness to know that I will be sealed to my spouse for time and all eternity, and not just "till death do us part." This sacred and spiritual thing cannot be done without the right authority & power. Therefore knowing the temple does have this authority & power. I know this saving ordinance is true and real. - Brianna Aguilar
To me, temple marriage means you will be with your spouse forever, through all time and eternity. That's something special that can only take place inside the walls of an LDS temple. A temple marriage is something I'm striving for. I want to be with my family forever, not just here on this earth, and I can't wait for the day when I am married to the love of my life not just until death do we part, but for eternity. - Brooke Hanks
Temple marriage seals you, your spouse, and family together forever. It is the important step in your life to receive the highest glory in God's kingdom. Without temple marriage your family cannot be together for all eternity. - Emma Hanks
I think temple marriage is important so that families can be together forever! You don't have to worry about loved ones that have died because by being sealed at the temple you can know for sure that you will see them again one day. Being married isn't about 'until death do you part.' It's about being together forever. Your kids and spouse will live with you for all of eternity! Being married in the Lord's house is a sacred thing and he trusts that you will keep His commandments and live worthily to receive eternal life, which is the greatest gift He can give you! - Jared Garlick
Temple marriage is a sacred ordinance where a man and a woman are sealed, or bound together, for all eternity. It's unlike most marriages that occur as it is forever instead of the marriage covenant which says 'until death do us part.' Family is important because family is an important part of life. Families are also sacred as you can be sealed with your entire family instead of just your spouse. Not only that, families also are there to support you in times of need. Plus families are awesome. - Eugene Ryoo
Dear stranger/non-member: Temple marriage for LDS members is a very sacred ordinance, used for binding a couple together for time and all eternity. Temple marriage is also required in order to obtain the highest portion of the Celestial Kingdom, the highest kingdom in heaven. As long as you and your spouse are following the covenants and staying close to the Lord, you will be sealed to each other and your family forever in the Kingdom of God. Sincerely, Colton Decell

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New blog

I typically try to separate my political views from my religious ones. Therefore I started a new blog for my political leanings. Check it out

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Indexing Record

Family Search indexing set a goal to index/arbitrate 5 million names on July 2nd. Nearly 46K people participated in the historic event. They believed that no one had ever come close to indexing that many names in a 24 hour period. Indexers from around the globe participated. The final tally?

7,258,151 Indexed

3,082,728 Arbitrated

10,340,879 Total

They hit the 5 million mark in 16 hours and then just kept going. What an amazing effort!

What is indexing? From the Family Search website:
Every person matters. Perhaps it is this feeling that prompts millions to seek out their family history. For most, records of their ancestors provide key links to their past. An army of volunteers from around the world is now helping to save and make these records available. Using our online system, they are able to easily extract data from valuable records and provide free searchable indexes—all from the convenience of their homes.
At the moment, most of my indexing is from the 1940 US Census. They have photocopied images like this:

Indexers take the information from this page and input it into records that can be searched by others on-line. Each sheet contains about 40 records and an average person can go through a page in less than 30 minutes, or if you're my wife, in about 15 minutes or less.

If you're interested in becoming an indexer you can go here and register:

It's a worth while hobby that will have a huge benefit for people trying to trace their ancestors. 

Congratulations on the amazing record fellow indexers!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Matthew 7: 7-11 Random Coincidence?

I had a very interesting experience last evening. But before I get to it, I need to provide you with a little background information. If you scroll a few blog posts down you’ll see that we recently moved to the Dallas, TX area. Whenever you move it gives you the opportunity to ask yourself, “Do I really want to lug, ‘that item’ again to a new place?” It’s a great opportunity to throw stuff away.

As is usually the case with our moves, I went first for work, and Wendy tied up loose ends at home and came later. In this instance the loose end was allowing our son, Colby, to graduate high school before moving. Anyway, we had dining room chairs that were well past their useful lives. They were broken, tattered, stained, etc. Wendy made the executive decision to leave them behind.

This presented unique challenges as we don’t really have any good chairs now. We had a couple of folding metal chairs, a couple of $10 plastic office chairs with wheels, i.e. we could sit, but our dining room was not what anyone would describe as aesthetically pleasing. It was functional, that was good enough to start with.

If you scroll further down my blog you’ll see that I was in Boston a while back on a business trip. I had a great time there. I had the opportunity to attend the ward where I was staying. A kindly man asked if I wanted to join him and his wife for dinner. I think they like their anonymity so I’m not going to post their names, but if you visit Boston and you run into them your lives will be blessed by the experience I can assure you. Anyway, when I got to their house I was informed that they had a tradition that everyone that ate there had to sign the table cloth. The man pulled out his table cloth (you do not eat over this table cloth), and laid it across the table. I looked at him dumbfounded. He chuckled and replied, “Yeah, I know. Just try to find somewhere to sign.” The table cloth was covered in signatures.

I asked them if they knew how many signatures were on the table cloth. He, being a mechanical engineer, was tracking that in an Excel spreadsheet. His wife said, “We’ve gotten a little behind in updating the spreadsheet, but there’s a little over 2,000 names on it.” Seriously, how cool is that?

It was a wonderful evening. They had invited over others as well and we had a great evening together. It inspired me. I went home and bought a table cloth. I do not know if I’ll come near the 2,000 signatures they have, but we’re trying.

Okay, so that’s the back story. I own a table cloth. The intent of the table cloth is to motivate me to go out of my comfort zone and invite people over for dinner. I’m an accountant, so I like my Excel spreadsheets, but I’ll never be accused of being an extrovert. I don’t have enough chairs to be inviting people over for dinner, and we haven’t found money in the budget yet to buy enough for our dining room.

Enter Matthew 7: 7-11:

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

After our family scripture study we have been praying to be able to acquire some chairs so we can invite people over for dinner. My friends in Boston seemed to invite over people that were visiting or brand new to the ward. I thought I would do likewise. It really meant a great deal to me that they invited me, a complete stranger, over for dinner. I was on the road, missing my family, and they filled a need when I needed it most. Maybe I could do the same for someone else.

I think at this point I also need insert Ether 12:6:

6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

We have invited the missionaries over a few times since we’ve moved here, but we hadn’t yet invited anyone else. Last Sunday, I invited a friend from work to go to church with us and I would make them their favorite meal, Mac n Cheese afterward. (Coincidentally, I make a killer mac n cheese with Smoked Gouda, Aged Asiago, and Sharp Cheddar).

My friend from work became the 25th signature on the table cloth; I’m not quite to 2,000 yet.

Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner. Just as a side note, missionaries don’t mind sitting in rickety, broken down chairs. Anyway, I’m driving them home and as I’m doing so, we’re going through road construction and it looks like they’re about to close the road down. I realize that I’ll have to find another way back home. As I was thinking it dawned on me that the way I would’ve chosen wouldn't work also due to the construction, so I traveled home along a different route that I had never gone before. I was fairly certain I could get home that way, but I wasn’t sure until I actually tried it.

As I’m driving through a residential neighborhood, low and behold, I see several dining room chairs on a lawn with a for sale sign on them. It wasn’t a garage sell. It was after 8:00 p.m. and it was just chairs and a couple of pictures.

I raced home and got Wendy. I had no idea what they were selling for, but if they were just sitting on a lawn I was guessing the owners of the chairs were willing to deal. The owners were a younger couple that had to move. They couldn’t fit the dining room table and chairs into their new place and so they were selling a complete set of six dining room chairs and four other very nice chairs. For less than the price of what two of the chairs would’ve cost retail, we acquired all ten.

Coincidence that I was driving a path I never had before? Coincidence that the very items I needed were sitting on a lawn? Not even by a long shot. I think the Lord now expects me to invite people over since he found us some chairs. Who knows, come visit our ward and you might get dinner out of it too.