"If you have an apple, and I have an apple and we exchange apples then we both still have one apple. If you have an idea, and I have an idea and we exchange ideas then we both have two ideas." George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What does intelligence mean?

     I was reflecting recently on what it means to be smart or a genius.  When I was in high school my calculus teacher said to me "You're brilliant, but you waste your potential."  I came to the conclusion that brilliance really doesn't mean anything if you don't use it to do something.

     There are four groupings of a person's ability: stupid, smart, brilliant, and genius, and the differences between them are as follows:

Stupid: has little ability and doesn't work. Result: nothing
Smart: has little ability, but works hard.   Result: great things
Brilliant:         has lots of ability, but doesn't work Result: nothing
Genius: has lots of ability and works hard Result: great things.

     As you can see, in the final analysis it doesn't matter how "intelligent" a person is; the only thing that matters is what you do with what you have.  Even if you have all the ability in the world, if you don't work then you will accomplish nothing and you may as well have been born an idiot, for that is how history will remember you.  If, on the other hand, you have average ability/intelligence, work hard and accomplish great things, then history will look at you and say "Wow that person did great things.  He/she must have been a genius."

     The choice is yours.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


     It’s been eleven years since the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York and it seems like that event is fading into the past.  I’m ok with the attack itself being forgotten; the part that bothers me is that the feeling of unity and patriotism that we felt after that day is being forgotten.  I think it important to have unity as a people and to remember what our flag stands for. 

      In The Book Of Mormon there was a military general named Moroni, often called Captain Moroni.  In an effort to rally his soldiers and to remind them of what they were fighting for he ripped off his coat and wrote on it: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children"  He then raised it on a pole and went throughout his country waving it on high and calling people to fight for all that they held dear.

      Our flag is the same way.  It reminds us of all the things we care about; things that are worth fighting for and even more worth remembering.  It’s a reminder of all the battles that have been fought and all the assistance that Heaven granted us so that this country could exist.  God guided the creation of this country so that his righteous purposes could roll forth.  The more people forget all of that, the less righteous this country becomes, and the fewer blessings we will receive until perhaps one day we are destroyed entirely.  Let us stand together not only as citizens of the United States of America, but as people throughout all humanity, dedicated to a better world.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Be Proud of Who and What You Are Part Three: Masculinity

     Men.  Are we an endangered species?  As I see more and more boys rather than men or men who while mature don't act like "men" I am beginning to think so.  Over-sized boys, and so called men who don't take responsibility are trying to take over the race of men. (When I say men here I mean specifically men and not human kind in general.  I don't endorse male superiority any more than I do female superiority.  Both sexes have many things to offer each other.)

     Now before anyone tries to find me and burn me at the stake, read the rest of this article and give me a chance to explain myself.  First I'll address the issue of boys, men who don't take responsibility and finally I'll go on to say what men ought to be.

     Over-sized boys come in many varieties: gaming addictions, guys who are too in love with their toys, and guys who just don't want to grow up and take responsibility to name a few.  I don't actually have a problem with guys playing games, whether card, board, video, or (gulp) larp (live action role play for those of you unfamiliar with the term.  The most common examples being Dungeons and Dragons or variations of medieval reenactment mixed with fantasy).  I play the first three types myself from time to time.  As long as you don't take it to excess I say game on.  Excess can be either playing too much or games that are pornographic, or excessively vulgar or gory.  If you can set the game aside within say two minutes to do something else (take care of chores, service, go outside, play with your kids, etc.) then you are okay.  (Two minutes should be plenty of time to save your game)  Being too in love with your toys follows the same guidelines of gaming.  I am all for snowmobiling as long as its priority level remains below family, work and other responsibilities.  We all need something to unwind every now and then.  Many of these activities are also great ways to spend time with family and build relationships.  The bottom line is moderation in all things.

     A man ought to be willing to take on responsibility.  He ought to be able to take care of not only himself, but also family when he finds a woman to share his life with and begins a family.  It's okay to ask others for help, but don't ask others to do your job for you.  Also when others ask you to do something or you say that you will, do it.  Without exception.  True it can be scary to start out on your own and have to "grow up" and be mature, but it is well worth the effort.  Don't worry if you are not perfect.  Just give your best effort and you will get better, and in the meantime it will be enough.

     A man has three primary responsibilities in the home: to provide, preside and to protect.  Men are well suited to these duties.  We are able to provide and protect because men are typically better than women at putting aside emotion and doing what needs to be done.  To preside doesn't mean to dictate.  It means to lead.  A leader leads by example and listens to those under his charge.  He takes responsibility for his group's shortcomings and also for their successes.  In presiding, a man's most trusted counselor, and equal partner is his wife.  Saying that men are well suited to these duties doesn't mean that women can't do them as well.  I've said before that men and women need to work together and in some cases do the other's "job".

     We each have natural abilities that we need to use to benefit all around us.  Whatever those gifts are use them.  You won't have all of them but someone else will have the gifts that you lack and it is by working together that we are complete.