Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TWO-FOR-TUESDAY: Another Mormon Video

I know I just posted an "I'm a Mormon" video, but this one really struck me.

Lindsey Stirling is the subject of one of the latest installments of the popular YouTube video series. The irony? She's already a YouTube sensation, having performed with The Piano Guys, Alex Boye and others with her unique brand of modern violin music — performed while dancing.

In this video, Lindsey doesn't just talk about her work, though. She also opens up about her earlier struggles with eating disorders — a fact that is often left unchronicled, and seems unfathomable for as beautiful of a girl as her — while urging the viewer to remember their true worth as children of God.

Watch the video. You will be impressed.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Those who know me know that I'm a sportswriter. I love sports; the thrill of the crowd, the passion of the fans, the gall produced by every player on the field for his time. It's where heroes are born, legends are made, and real men (and women) step up.

Sport is more than a game. It is a passage to another life. Much like movies, sports can take us away from our troubles and worries for a brief respite, allowing us to feel the collective energy of a team or fanbase linked for one common good. Plain and simple, sports are the epitome of unity in this world.

And even Mormons play them — beyond the recreational church-basketball leagues.

Will Hopoate is an accomplished rugby player, turning pro with Manly in New Zealand's top-flight professional rugby league when he was 18. But as his 19th birthday neared, he faced a decision. Hopoate, after all, is a Mormon. And like most Mormon men at 19, Hopoate wanted to served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The ramifications could be brutal. He would leave his home for two years, not being allowed to play rugby the whole time, ending his contract with his team and the financial security (rumored to be around $1.5 million a year) that came with it.

But Hopoate also knew what he knew. He wanted to preach the gospel and share the message of Jesus Christ's love with the world. So he took the plunge — and is now serving as Elder Hopoate in Australia.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

GOSPEL CLASSIC: Beware of Pride

I wish to share a few quick words on Pride.

Better yet, I'll let Pres. Benson, through Pres. Hinckley, do it:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

CES DEVO: 'What is Truth?'

Via LDS Church News
Truth plays a significant role in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Member of the church bear testimony at least once a month of its truth. We are told to listen to true prophets, and turn away from false ones. And in all matters, we seek after truth.
In the first CES Devotional of the year, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf admonished young single adults to determine what is truth in Provo, Utah on Jan. 13, 2013.
"So often, the truth we tell ourselves are merely fragments of the truth -- and sometimes, they are not really the truth at all," Pres. Uchtdorf said.
Via LDS Church News
"Never before in the history of the world has it been more important to discern truth from error," he added.
Uchtdorf admonished those young adults at a packed Marriott Center on BYU campus -- as well as thousands more via satellite and Internet streams around the world -- to seek after truth, in any shape, place or locale it may reside.
"We seek for truth where ever we can find it," he said of Latter-day Saints, who rely on an Article of Faith to seek after anything 'virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy.'
We need to come to our own knowledge of the truth, and not rely on blind obedience or the faith of others as we gain a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ -- the ultimate truth. The Lord God will never leave you alone in your quest for truth, and will even guide you through the darkness of this world, if you will let him.
But you can do much. And He knows it.
"The Lord has great confidence in you," Uchtdorf said. "He trusts you."
A complete recap of the Devotional can be found here and here.
For a full video, see here. Also, join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CESdevotional.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

MULTIMEDIA MONDAY: The Best is Yet to Come

There was a saying made popular in the church around this time last year, paraphrasing a devotional address delivered by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. It was simple, so much that it contained only three magnificent words:

Remember Lot's Wife.

You may remember the Biblical story of Lot and his family, or at least the Mormon Message aired during the New Year celebrations of 2012. Lot was Abraham's uncle, and he and his family received strict orders to flee their home in Sodom & Gomorrah ahead of the sinful city's destruction. Leave immediately, they were told. Gather only what they could carry. And perhaps most important of all, don't look back.

Lot obeyed, and he apparently taught his children well enough to listen when a Prophet of God spoke. But his wife didn't. Sure, she packed up her belongings with the rest. She trudged along, not wanting to leave her husband and children. Perhaps she even genuinely looked forward to a vacation I the wilderness with some extended relatives.

But then it happened: she looked back. Or, as Elder Holland said, "she looked back longingly." Her heart wasn't on obeying the counsel of God. It was in her home, left behind with many of their worlds possessions. An so, due to her act of disobedience and begrudging attitude, the Lord turned her into a pillar of salt.

How often do we look back, even while we begin our journey toward seeming obedience? How often do we say to God, "Sure, I'll give this a try, but I'm pretty sure I know better"? The danger, as Elder Holland repeatedly warns, is not in looking back in our lives, but in doing so with longing.

This applies to the good and the bad. If we've committed transgression in previous days, let them be. There is no need to drudge up mud or skeletons in your own or someone else's closet. The Lord has a short memory, if we repent. Why should we focus on the past, when he doesn't? Let it be.

Likewise, the good that you've done in the past? Remember it. Love it. Cherish it. But press forward, looking for more opportunities to "go about doing good." The journey is long, and we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We must be constantly moving forward -- otherwise, we risk falling backward.

As 2013 embarks on another year, let us move forward, resolving to be a little more cheerful, a little more kind, a little better than we were before. And if we are having trouble leaving the past where it should be, focus on three little words:

Remember Lot's Wife.