Tokens of a Tired Man

There was a man of youth and such who wore the dress of teens,
Of T-shirts, runners, baseball caps, and endless pairs of jeans.
His skin was smooth; his hands were fresh, just dirty from some play.
Energetic, so he was, and full of zest each day.
His hair was wild, and quite untamed; his face was still a babe’s;
His eyes – they sparkled with sprite and vim, and a smile upon his face.
His chin was bare, yet held out firm, his shoulders held up high
His feet with strength and longevity, his arms reached for the sky.
One Hallowe’en, he travelled far, separated from his home.
Few days went by, his parents gone, and now he was alone.
There he stood, his hair slicked back, and a tie around his neck.
His runners now were polished shoes, and his suit without a speck.
His shirt and pants were pressed and creased, not a wrinkle anywhere.
His socks were bought just yesterday. His books were free from tear.
He was the same – his clothing changed. New adventures laid ahead.
His energy seemed that much more. His nervousness was dead.

The day before Remembrance Day, a couple years gone by,
Found this man returning home, in an aeroplane did he fly.
His hands now rough and dark with tan, his knuckles scarred and raw,
His hair was bleached from the blaring sun; And bristles were on his jaw.
His face was sharp and weathered well, his eyes were closed in sleep
His shoulders drooped with weariness, his mouth did not peep.
His shoes were dull and scuffed with age, the soles were worn right through.
His pants were thin in the knees, and held a stitch or two.
His books laid down next to his side were worn and taped and marked
His vim was gone, but was replaced with strength found in his heart.

The tokens of this man were strange to outsiders looking in,
It seemed to them he was unkempt and far from being thin.
But there were some who, wise enough, ‘pon looking on this man
Would often see similarities of One from a different land.
Hands all scarred and worn with work, tired and sapped of strength
Reminded them of wounded palms and arms stretched at length.
Hands which blessed; hands which worked; and hands which knocked on doors;
Hands which shook; hands which clasped along with prayers he bore.

Tired feet and worn out shoes bore resemblance just the same
To sandalled feet on beaten paths of whom he bore His name.
Feet which walked; feet which stood in courage as he spake;
Feet which gave to knees which bowed as his voice did quake.
Tears that fell from his eyes and trickled down his cheek,
Reminded them of drops of blood shed by Him not weak.
Foolish men see what they’re not and hope they don’t become.
Wise men see what they’re not, but hope they do become.

Birth Control

In the Church Handbook of Instructions, it states that elective sterilisation surgery is strongly discouraged. Given the Church’s stand on families and the importance of having children, I can understand the reasoning behind this statement.

Also in the Church Handbook of Instructions, it is stated that the number of children a couple decides to have is between the couple and the Lord.

I find this to be somewhat odd. Why would the Church say it is up to the couple to decide how many children to have, yet say that it is not just up to the couple how to limit that number?

Church Insecurity

I have been placing orders on ldscatlog.com since August of 2004. I had no problems placing orders for the 2005 curriculum or any of the other numerous items I need to order. I never had any problems right up until the end of 2004.

Enter 2005.

Every single time, without fail, that I have tried placing an order on ldscatalog.com since 01 January 2005, I have always received an error right before it the page comes up where it asks me to type in my name. When I contact the customer service email address and they finally email me back after a month and a half, they tell me it is because of my browser. I am using Firefox.

Of course, this doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t make any sense since I have been using the same browser to place the orders that I did with every single order I placed in 2004. Never once did I receive an error in 2004, yet never once did I not receive an error in 2005.

I had to place another order this morning, and sure enough, I receive the exact same generic, uninformative error at the exact same spot. Therefore, I fired up the standards-incompliant, most insecure, oldest-modern browser I have and tried in there. (That?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Internet Explorer 6 for those not following.) What do you know. The order went through.

So, what?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s the deal? Why would the Church build a shopping cart that records my ward?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s username and password so it only works in the one browser that is the most insecure of any of the latest releases out there? Why would the Church build a shopping cart for a browser that is nearly four years old? Why are they jeopardising the security of my computer? Why are the jeopardising the security of our ward?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s ordering information?

Home Primary

A few years ago, on a mailing list to which I had subscribed, somehow the topic of homeschooling and come up. One woman subscriber, obviously against homeschooling, made the comment that her brother and sister-in-law homeschooled. She lamented this fact into detail. Then she made a comment that took me surprise:

What are they going to next? Home primarying?

The reason this comment took me by surprise was because she completely lost fact of the purpose of Primary.

You see, the point is we should be ?¢‚Ǩ?ìhome primarying?¢‚Ǩ¬ù. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children principles of the gospel. It is not the responsibility of the Primary. The purpose of the Primary is to reaffirm the things the parents have already taught.

Sadly, too many parents in the Church loose sight of this. Too many absolve themselves of most?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùif not all?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùteaching responsibility and leave it with Primary teachers. Too many toss their children into the optional Nursery class as if it were a babysitting service, regardless of whether the child is ready or not.

I suppose, however, that if we continue brainwashing our children early with such song lines as ?¢‚Ǩ?ìBook of Mormon stories that my teacher tells to me?¢‚Ǩ¬ù and such songs as ?¢‚Ǩ?ìTeacher, Do You Love Me?¢‚Ǩ¬ù, can we expect the next generation to view Primary any differently?

Cholesterol

I had my cholesterol checked on Tuesday. The Chinook Health Region was offering free testing on the University of Lethbridge campus. I have wanted my cholesterol checked for a long time and i thought this was a great opportunity.

I never did find out what my cholesterol was. Anything below 3.2 mmol/L simply displayed as “Lo”, and mine displayed as “Lo”.

This was a great relief. I like butter, sour cream, meat and a bunch of other fatty. tasty things. I sit behind a desk all day. I have about 20-30 pounds of undeveloped muscle in front of me. Certainly, I thought it would be dangerously high.

Now I can sit back and take comfort in the fact that I won’t have a heart attack before I die of cancer.

Cause of Blessings

The most beautiful woman in the world made a statement on M* that brings up an important point.

…another comment that bothers me is when people say ” The Lord knows we wanted a child, or we wanted many children and has blessed us because of this desire”. Well if desire was all it took I would have at least 5 by now. I have always desired to have many children.

Which raises the question, what does God use as a basis for blessings?

Already, Mary has shown us that it cannot be our desire for that blessing. Many people who desire a certain blessing yet never receive it. Alternatively, many people who do desire the same blessing still receive it.

What about obedience? Does a person?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s obedience to the commandments affect the likelihood of receiving a blessing? Back to the fertility example: there are many obedient people who never get pregnant, and many disobedient ones who do. Therefore, that cannot be it.

What about prayer? Same thing. Many people pray for it and never get it. Many people never pray for it and still get it.

Certainly, God does not just arbitrarily pick blessings to send to us. Or does he?