Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cruel irony

As mentioned in my other blog, Staci and I visited the Mountain Meadows Massacre memorial in July and I had some thoughts I wanted to share, although I'm not quite sure where this train of thoughts will lead.

The basic history is this. After the saints moved to Utah the US government was getting reports that the "mormons" were building an army and were planning on going to war with the US, and were harassing and attacking settlers moving out west. So the government sent Johnston (I don't remember his rank) with a sizable army to quell the uprising. This started the Mormon War. There was much fear among the saints; they all knew that whenever they started building a temple persecution would come and lead to them having to leave. This had already happened three times coupled with violence, murder, theft, and other atrocities.

At this time there was a group of settlers coming from Arkansas heading for California. Among that group were some who had participated in the extermination from Missouri and boasted about it and talked about how they were going to do the same thing to the saints in Utah.

Some of the community leaders in Cedar City decided that preemptive action must be taken to protect the people in Southern Utah. A plan was devised where and carried out where the settlers were attacked by the local indians then offered protection by the utahns. A condition of them receiving protection was they had to turn over their firearms. While the utahs were accompanying the settlers to Cedar City they turned on them and started killing everyone old enough to be aware of what was going on. They killed men, women, and children.

That is so tragic, and the cruel irony part is that is almost exactly what happened to the Saints in Missouri. The very thing these men wanted to prevent they ended up doing themselves to other people. In Far West, Missouri after the mobs were ransacking the outlying towns everyone fled to Far West. The government of Missouri represented by the State militia guaranteed the protection of the Saints if they turned over all their firearms. After they gave up the only way of protecting themselves and trusted the government, the militia/mob was turned loose on the city and ransacked the city.

This makes me wonder how many other times this has happened throughout history. I have a habit of reading articles on KSL.com and also reading the comments. Without fail, when there are articles about anything about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the comments end up being a mormon bashing and anti-mormon bashing session. Now I am not going to get into all the different things that come up, just one. So many times someone will write, "well if you don't like living in a state with so many members of the Church than why don't you leave?" Now since when is it Christian to kick people out because they don't agree with you. It is really sad that all too often non members living in a LDS majority area feel in a sense persecuted for not being LDS. I understand that there are different reasons why that is, one being no one wants to date them because they want to get married in the temple. But we are smart people and can come up with solutions to these problems that don't have to always be "baptize them". Of course I love the Gospel and I believe it is led by Jesus Christ and that all can benefit from it, but I also have a feeling that right now is not the right time for every single person in the world to join the Church and just because someone isn't interested in the Gospel right now doesn't mean they aren't trying to follow Jesus Christ.

I guess a good summary is we shouldn't be extreme and fanatical. Hugh Nibley wrote an article titled "Zeal without Knowledge" in which postulated on the need to ever be learning, not merely acting. I believe this is why missionaries study so many hours a day, they have plenty of zeal (desire to do good things) but they are young so they need to increase their knowledge so they know what are the best things to do (and of course the more they study the Gospel they more they have the Spirit and the better they can teach so as to give people the best chance to accept the Gospel).

In conclusion, follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet, he knows the way.

And if I got any of the details wrong about the MMM I apologize and invite you to correct me as a comment. (oh and I warned you I didn't know where this was going)

Oh and what's with this Health Care Reform going on and the federal deficit forecasts, argh.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Last night I was watching the Orlando/Cleveland playoff game and getting pretty emotional about it (I wanted Cleveland to win but they lost), it was getting late and Staci and I were planning on watching a tv show we had recorded before going to bed, also we still needed to read and pray. I had the realization when there were about one and a half minutes left in overtime that I was letting some game happening a thousand miles away control my life and get in the way of things I wanted to do with my wife. So I made the decision to turn off the game before it was over and go spend time with Staci instead. Mind you, this was a big deal for me, the game was still close and came down to the last shot; in the past I would have insisted on watching until the end but I chose not to. Also I resolved to not let some game control what I do with my time. I will not be opposed to watching games and enjoying it but I will most likely spend a lot less time doing so.

Also for anyone not aware, I have a new blog that I'm sharing with Staci where we are posting the goings on in our life. My old blog will be just for posts like this one where I share random thoughts, and the occassional political greivance will be expressed. The new blog is jamonandstaci.blogspot.com


Thursday, April 9, 2009


Did you hear that the taxes on all tobacco products went up a lot last week? The federal tax on a package of cigarettes went from around .50 to about $1.10. This was done for a couple reasons, to fund health care for children, and to get more people to quit smoking. My question is how do you feel about this?

I don't like it, now I am all for people quitting smoking but I don't like the government vilifying a group of people and then raising taxes on them; and if the government really was concerned about our well being why not prohibit alcohol again, it certainly causes more problems than tobacco, how about pornography, a much larger plague on the world than cigarettes. I see this as just one more way the government is squeezing as much money out of the public as possible, and that I am against.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life Accomplishments thus far

Instructions: Take the following list and bold the items you have completed or experienced.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train (I figure an overnight boat counts too)

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
(whiffleball counts right)

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language (it didn't last too long)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been on television

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain (hm, I need to do this soon)

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some thoughts

I want to thank everyone for their thoughts from my previous post; I appreciated the advice and general support I got, all of it helped.

Also I just wanted to write down a couple things I learned. Did you know that there are fewer stars in the galaxy then there are dollars in the national debt? To be fair it should be said the US GDP is a lot larger than the number of stars in the galaxy as well. It is so hard to comprehend how much money is being spent by the government. To give everyone an idea I have posted a couple pictures of various galaxies.
The picture on the right is of two galaxies colliding, the one on the left is the Eagle nebula, one of my favorite pictures taken by the hubble telescope.
I tried to find accurate numbers for stars in a galaxy but because of the size it is impossible to count but the numbers are estimated around 200 billion (for the Milky Way at least, I am assuming other galaxies are of comparable size). In my brief search I could find a specific number for the national debt either but I think the number is around $10 trillion, about 50 times larger than 200 billion. And another number of interest, there are apparently around 6.8 billion people in the world.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why is life so hard?

Why does everything in life have to be so hard? Shouldn't answers to problems come easier? Why does the Lord stay his hand for so long? Why are some things so easy for some people and so hard for others? Can the reward really be worth all the anguish we go through in this life? I hope so.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I am sick and tired of the government. I posted a couple months ago how I was officially supporting President Obama as long as he did a number of things, used his brain essentially. Well he and the majority of the government are acting like fools, or deliberately trying to bring down capitalism and the American way. I just read an article talking about AIG and how the fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, said "I think if there's a single episode ... that has made me more angry, I can't think of one (other) than AIG,""We really had no choice" but to prop up the company because the consequences of failure could be disastrous. " Oh really, this is a company that cannot succeed on its own, why in the world should I be paying them to continue in their failing ways. No choice? You mean that the supposedly best financial minds in America can come up with nothing better to do than prop up a failing company? That is absurd.

And what is wrong with Obama, he is so full of it. He has said over and over how he will veto any pork that comes across his desk, that he will "call out" congressmen and congresswomen who try to pass wasteful spending bills and yet he keeps signing billions and trillions of dollars of pork laden legislation into effect. If all the proposed budgets and "stimulus" bills are approved, and there is no indication that they won't be approved, then by the end of the year our national debt will be roughly 60% of the nations GDP (gross domestic product). That would be like me working for a company that makes 10 million dollars a year and I get into personal debt to the amount of 6 million dollars, even though my personal salary is much much less than that. Another way to look at it is, total tax revenues approximate 1 trillion dollars a year, with how much the goverment will be in debt is comparable to someone making $50,000 a year being in debt $700,000. That is pathetic.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Some more pics

"I love my wife", that's what I'm thinking in this picture.

Isn't this a great candid picture of my wife and me at our luncheon.

We felt very fortunate to have our entire bishopric come down for our wedding, true they did get out of going to a leadership meeting for Stake conference but I like to think they would have come down even if they didn't get out of going to a meeting. They were so helpful also for our open house we had in Provo. We had the open house at our Bishop's house, (the couple on the left) and the other four were there helping out with refreshments. Bishop Buckner even posted a road sign to help people find the place better, they were very helpful and effectively played the role as sudo-parents for the evening.
We had some fun playing around with some of the pics.
This picture essential sums up our relationship, I goof around and she puts up with me. :)

Staci doesn't like kissing pictures, but aren't these great!!!

Here is a great picture of my roommates and my wife (isn't she HOT in this picture). These are great friends that I've had for a number of years, they are all folk dance originating friendships. I lived with Dave and Scotty (the two on the right) for about three years and they have always been great roommates, I've known Jed (the tall one) for about a year longer, we weren't roommates until this last year. Staci has been really good friends with Jed for a couple years also and she became really good friends with Dave and Scotty while I was still living in SLC. When I moved back to Provo I moved back in with these guys and they were the ones who can be credited for getting me and Staci together. I do need to thank them their great friendship and also for being very chill during my and Staci's transition from friends to dating friends to engaged to married. You guys rock!!!

I didn't realize this at the time but this dance that my mom and I are dancing in this picture is a Viennese Waltz, not only is it a great dance but it is also the very first dance my mom taught me as a youth. I am very lucky Staci let me pick the song to dance to (she was dancing with her Dad at the same time and had every right to choose whatever song she wanted), thanks babe, I love you. Oh by the way, the song we are dancing to is "Can I have this Dance?" from High School Musical 3, great song.

So this is a great picture of the bouquet throwing, it was a great bouquet and we were really hoping one of our nieces would get it, or Staci's roommate, but some random girl who had just walked into the reception who we didn't even know plowed her way through and snagged it, we were a bit bugged but luckily we had some extra flowers that we gave to our nieces.

I really like this picture of us cutting the cake.
"I'm number one" that's what I was saying when this picture was taken. Actually I don't remember why I was doing that. "one reception down, two to go", or maybe I was saying, "which way is the wind blowing?" If anyone has other suggestions I would like to read them in the comments.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ha, I'm married!!!

So it has finally come, the turning point in my life, one could even say the turning point in eternity for me. From now on and forever I will be a married man, SWEET!!!!!

The wedding was fantastic, it really was an emotional roller coaster of a weekend. But more on that later.

This post will be mostly pictures with a few explanations. This first picture was right when we came out of the temple. The next four are pretty self explanatory.

Here is my favorite pic of Staci.
Here are some of our great friends, starting on the left going clockwise, Stephanie Calton, Jed Brown (also our photographer), Dave McMullin, Brian McMullin, Scotty West.And of course our parents, notice the missionary name tags on my parents. They had just arrived that day from Chile, we were very blessed to have them there with us for when we were sealed.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's been a while

Because it has been such a long time since I last posted a blog I am going to have a very random compilation of thoughts, not the masterpiece that I usually post.

First on my mind was something that I saw on TV, Ben Stein was being interviewed about the upcoming Obama presidency and he said "Now that he (Obama) is elected I hope he's the best president we have ever had." He has a very good perspective on how we should view our political leaders. These past four years have been lined with how critical so many people have been of President Bush, so many people have been so quick to point out that he has one of the lowest approval ratings in history (yet they gloss over the fact that Congress has an ever lower approval rating). Because of this animosity towards a Republican president many republicans have mentioned how they are looking forward to opposing Obama to show the same animosity towards him as a sort of payback. I admit that I have had similar thoughts, looking with an almost longing to see the country turn to pot, figuratively of course, and then in four years we would be able to say that it was the biggest mistake to elect Barack Obama. But after further consideration, and hearing what Ben Stein said, I've come to realize that it is foolish, selfish, and prideful to hope for a bad presidency just to see someone fail who doesn't have the same political persuasions as you. So this is my official declaration that I support Barack Obama for the presidency so far as him helping improve the country, strengthening the economy through sound principles, strengthening the family through good social principles but more importantly through his example of how he treats his family, and keeping our country safe from terrorists, oh and of course through all of this I expect him to uphold the constitution and support our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Instead of keeping this in cue for who knows how long I will post it now although I was originally planning on writing a lot more. Actually I want to get a couple things off my chest.

Why is it that Roland Burris is so adamant about becoming instated as the fill-in Senator for Obama's seat as soon as possible. Does he not understand why everyone is so concerned about making him a senator when he was named by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich right after he was accused by the FBI of corruption by trying to sale the senate seat to the highest bidder? True Burris has not been implicated with any involvement in the scandal but why not slow down and allow the Democratic Congressional leadership become more comfortable over the appointment. Is he worried that no one else will see him as a good pick, from all I've seen on him, and admittedly it's not much, he is an adequate choice. Just calm down and let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get more comfortable. And what's with Caroline Kennedy being seen as a great pick to fill Hilary Clinton's seat, all I've heard about her is she has tried to stay out of politics as much as possible, and that makes her a good choice to become senator, why, because her last name is Kennedy? That's ridiculous.