Monday, October 18, 2010

The Journey of Laugh

I like to laugh. In fact, I would say that I need to laugh. You might ask "You need to laugh? Really? Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration, Brett?" No. No it is not an "exaggeration," it is the truth.

This past weekend, I had a few of my besties with testies come out to visit me and I realized just how much I have missed laughing all the time. Of late I have been so focused on school and being successful in my studies that I have forgotten to laugh. This has made me a much too serious and unfun (or nunfun) and as a result I haven't been fully enjoying my life. I need laughter and a little immaturity to get me through my days, to help me remember that all these "important things" that "stress me out" aren't really all that important. Laughter makes me happy and it makes life bearable. I exhort you all to enter on your personal journey of laugh. Laugh more, enjoy your life more, and remember that you can be happy more...

In order to help us all in our journey of laugh, I want to share a few things that made me laugh this past weekend, courtesy of mostly Jo, but also mostly Nate, Eric, and Rhodes.

So here's to laughing more.

Start this one at 1:50.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I love technology, but not as much as you, you see, but I still love technology. Always and forever.

So this commercial for Windows phone 7 fits well with what I believe to be one of our society's many problems. That is, we miss some of the most important things in life because we are preoccupied or distracted by technology. Don't get me wrong technology is a great thing and it should have a place in our lives, to not use it to some degree would make us ungrateful, disadvantaged, and just plain dumb. On the other hand, to rely only upon technology and allow it to consume our lives makes us equally ungrateful, disadvantaged, and dumb.

Personally, I don't know what I would do without technology, I mean, I wouldn't be able to write this amazing blog without it. I know that there have been times in which I have let technology dictate too much of my life, but I have also realized that technology cannot replace real life. It cannot duplicate the feelings associated with a conversation in person. It cannot fully capture or replicate the beauty of nature. It cannot replace the companionship of a friend or loved one. It cannot replace real life.

I believe that technology should play a role in our lives, it allows us to do so much more than our predecessors, but I think we need to be careful and recognize that it does not and cannot replace other aspects of our lives. Technology can be a blessing and a curse and we get to decide which role it plays in our lives.

With that said, this video is pretty friggin' funny cause it's true.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Calm down. No one is hating on anyone.

So this blog is a bit on the serious/religious side, but I've noticed a bit of an uproar over Elder Pakcer's talk from General Conference last weekend and I want to talk about it a bit. I thought I must have missed something that was really offensive to gays and lesbians when I listened to it last week, so I read it over. Twice. And this is what I gathered from it.

First and foremost, people need to remember that these aren't the words of the Church or of Elder Packer. They are the words of God (at least that is what we believe). With that said, Elder Packer is pretty strait forward in saying that "any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong." And that "Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so!" Essentially stating that that marriage between husband and wife is ordained of God because it furthers the Plan of God and that God will help us overcome anything in order to further His purpose. Which purpose is to bring about "the Immortality and the Eternal Life of man." He then states "that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot" and that "regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God. If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish."

I can see how someone who is gay could find this somewhat offensive, but he in no way said anything that the Church and God do not love people who are gay. Because they most certainly do! He is merely stating that it is a sin (since it is contrary to God's Plan) and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ they can overcome this temptation in their life. He doesn't say that some people can't be predisposed or have natural tendencies, but he does say that people cannot use a weakness as an excuse not to obey God. If you think that means the Church is taking a stance towards hating gays and lesbians, then the church must also hate those who drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, look at porn, watch rated-R movies, lie, drink mountain dew, have premarital sex, have rude thoughts, and cuss just to name a few. Essentially, if the Church doesn't like gay people then it doesn't like anyone who isn't perfect. And that is just not true. Really, all Elder Packer is saying is that we all have agency, the ability to choose, and if we follow God and Christ then we can overcome any temptation, sin, or disposition. We can do what our Heavenly Father wants of us only if we want to do it. He ends by saying that we believe what we believe and that we will not falter in those beliefs, no matter what. Basically, the truth of God is the truth God whether or not the world wants to hear it.

I don't want this to sound disrespectful or condescending in any way, because I know that I have disagreed with and been frustrated by things in the past that have been said at General Conference. I didn't like the things that were said because they were things I didn't want to hear. I soon realized that the purpose of listening to the Prophets of God speak wasn't to hear what I agreed with or what I wanted to hear but rather what I needed to hear, what I needed to hear in order to follow God's plan so that I could find happiness in this life and return to Him some day. I believe that these words of Elder Packer have created a stir not because they are "hateful" or from a "bigot" as some have said, but rather because the truth is hard for us to hear when it means we are wrong. It might be hard to hear things that go against our own thoughts and opinions, but it allows us to know God's will and therefore submit to His will by allowing us to choose His Path through the use of our agency. This is true love, to tell us the truth so we can return to God, even if it hurts our feelings.

In the end God loves us all, no matter who we are or what we do, and he wants all of us to be happy and return to Him. Therefore, he will always show us how to achieve that goal, even if it means telling us things that we don't want to hear. I know that God has called a Prophet and 12 Apostles to help lead and guide us towards our savior Jesus Christ. And I know that if we will trust in them, thereby trusting in God, and follow the Spirit, then we will be happy in this life and in the life to come.

So please calm down everyone. There is no hating going on here. Rather, the path towards God has just been illuminated a little better.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's just another miracle...nbd

I haven't blogged in like, forever, but this past weekend was amazing so I feel the need to share it with all of you.

1- I finally got over my 10 day sinus infection.
2- I finished my one and only midterm.
3- General Conference was fantastic. I really don't remember a conference in which I learned as much and felt the spirit as much as I did during this past one. Just a few highlights for me was seeing Bro. Kearon speak in the Priesthood session, listening to President Uchtodrf expound on pride, President Monson's thoughts on choices and gratitude, and Elder Packer's talk on agency and forgiveness. It was truly inspiring and I wish that I was able to feel that way every week after church.
4- The Atlanta Braves made the Playoffs! Now for those of you who aren't baseball fans you won't quite understand just how amazing this is, but if you know anything about me then you know that I have only a few obsessions in my life and that the Atlanta Braves are one of them. The only thing that makes it any better is the fact that they are playing the San Fransisco Giants in the first round, and I just so happen to live in the area...this could be one of the greatest blessings of my entire life
5- I'm in law school....oh wait, this was a list of good things...never mind.
6- I finished the first season of Modern Family. That show is a real gem, thank you Natalie for introducing me to its beautiful comedy.
7- I got to play badmitton (how in the h do you spell that?) with my nephews and I smoked 'em. Suckers didn't know what hit 'em.
8- I love you all Marta.
Bobby Cox deserves to win one more World Series title. He is one of the greatest managers of all time and it would be a true Christmas Miracle if in his last year he was able to win another World Series...I'm praying  for you Bobby!