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I have updated the About Me section. Had the proper time and motivation to get it right.
I grew up in what could be considered the fence between upper middle class and lower upper class. I had years of piano lessons with the world’s best teacher, I went to private school, my mom did my school clothes shopping at Bullock’s and Broadway (now Macy’s). This isn’t to brag, but to paint a picture. My dad owned his own business which was thriving, my grandfather was a very successful lawyer in Palm Springs who ran in an election for a judgeship and helped get Reagan elected into California. I was surrounded with people of similar or greater affluence than I myself had both at church and at school.
Now that I’m an adult, I am exposed to people who have net worth from the low to high millions of dollars. I am starting to see an ugly trend. First, let’s start off with what I would expect from these people:
- A clean house
- Well-behaved, cultured children
- Children who know how to treat people nicely, even those being paid to help them (maids, babysitters/nannies, etc.)
- Appreciation for expensive things
- An affinity for high quality and high aesthetic
- Tolerant, non-racist, non-sexist
- Smart people who think through things with logic and reason (because they can afford a great education)
What I have actually found:
- A filthy house even when they bring in a maid/housekeeper
- Maniac children who can’t focus on anything for more than 12 seconds
- Children who scream at the help like they’re a lower life-form
- Buying lots of THINGS for their price without any regard for keeping them in working order
- Blindness to quality and aesthetic, only buying things for the high price tag
- Intolerant, incredibly racist and sexist
- People who learned a lot from books at expensive schools but can’t really relate to the real world. This particular flaw results in:
- Panic if they’re forced to mingle with the little people at regular stores like Costco
- Hypochondria as they’re just sure they (or their children) suffer from some disease that’s expensive to treat
- Believing absolute lies just because another rich person said so (this is how Madoff made off with rich people’s millions)
Now, out of these 7 bad attributes, just about everyone I know worth over $1M has 4 or 5 of them. That’s right, people — they’re trailer-trash in a mansion.
As someone who has grown up in the Church, and as someone who regularly attends my Sunday meetings, the penultimate goal you hear from every pair of married lips is living in the Celestial Kingdom.
Quick review: After we die, and the resurrection of the just occurs, there are three degrees of glory: the Telestial kingdom, which world looks a lot like this one, the Terrestrial kingdom, which is like the Garden of Eden in its beauty, and the Celestial kingdom, which is something just too amazing for any of us to comprehend. To get to the Celestial world, you can’t just be good, you have to be perfect in Christ. Lesson over. If you wish to learn more, pick up a copy of the Book of Mormon and when you’re finished with it, read the Doctrine and Covenants.
Many couples, however, are missing the point. You don’t just get married and sealed and then wait for the Celestial Kingdom to pluck them out of life. It’s not about sitting with a pint of ice cream, abusing the body God gave you (your bodily temple) and waiting for this life to pass by so you can enjoy glory in the next.
You have to be good. You have to repent of anything you do wrong, even to the person whom you’ve wronged. You have to read your scriptures daily (and read them in a thoughtful, prayerful manner so your loving God can give you little bits of revelation as you go). You have to attend your meetings and renew your baptismal covenants. You have to obey the Word of Wisdom (essentially, stay away from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee and caffeinated teas. There are guides on how to eat, but the Church leadership is a great place to get guidance on that – you definitely don’t have to be Vegan, but you do have to have moderation in all things, even ice cream). Above all: you can’t hold hate and anger in your heart for your spouse.
Think about it: your spouse is your avenue to the Celestial kingdom, the greatest degree of glory. You are committing to live with them for eternity – not to tolerate the things you hate about them for eternity. If you don’t love everything about them, or work with them to strip away the things you hate, the little things you despise will turn out to be really important things you despise that you’re too upset to change (or they’re too obstinate to).
We learned on Sunday at Church that our spirits have the same appetites and desires that they had when they lived on earth. This is important, people! If you have a coffee problem, a fattening food problem, a booze problem, a picking-your-nose-in-public problem, it doesn’t go away when you die just because you got sealed to your spouse and are now dead! You are alive in the Spirit, with all of the same inclinations as before. You think that because you die, you can abuse your postmortal body with abandon? I think this is a popular yet severe corruption of our scriptures. We have a perfect form, sure. It isn’t going to be hurting in all the strange places that age and abuse brings you. But don’t you think your spirit will be a reflection of what you are inside? Yes, it will be a perfect reflection.
This is why we’re supposed to be spending our lives becoming more perfect, and then submitting what’s left to our Savior. Life is not a waiting game, people!
As you’ll know from my previous post, I’m divorced and I have remarried to the love of my soul’s infinite desires. My ex-wife was who she is, and her soul was full of things that someone could love, but I only grew more frustrated. Perhaps I shouldn’t have married after just a few weeks of knowing her. But I think that many of our fellow Church members get into a similar predicament and think that the spouse they are unfortunately unhappy with will magically change when they die into the person they’ve always dreamt of.
No! That’s not what the Church teaches us! It is time to be realistic, and learn to love everything about your spouse, fix it, or make the painful yet responsible decision to get out. It takes strength and bravery to submit yourself to God and ask, “Am I supposed to be in this marriage?” You’ll get your answer, and then you’ll know what to do. But “Do” is the operative word – you have to “do” something about your ills, whatever they are.
Otherwise I think the judgment seat of God will be a very surprising and unhappy place for you. Wailing and gnashing of teeth indeed.
(This is not a post about Star Wars, despite the title. However, The proper order of Star Wars movies on a shelf is 4-5-6-Ewoks-1-2-CloneWarsCartoon-3)
My new bride has dared me to start yet another blog. The problem with past blogs is that I’ve always wanted to post WITH other people. The idea is that we can play off each other and keep the ideas rolling. This wonderful idea never really pans out, however. If you’d like to see the evolution of my past rantings and ravings, check out:
These blogs span 11 years of experimental blogging. Nothing groundbreaking, except for my apparent loyalty to Blogspot that just ended:)
Let’s see how this goes. First, an introduction to myself:
- I am a San Diego native. I like to joke that I’m one of the last 3 (you only understand this if you’re from San Diego too or have been here awhile).
- I’m the son of an Art major and an Engineer. They didn’t work out, but I enjoyed 15 years of being their oldest son before the long-awaited divorce occurred.
- I am a Recruiter. No, not for the military (though I was in the Air Force from 1995-2000). I am a recruiter for senior execs of software companies.
- I have a Bachelor’s in Information Systems (it took me 5 colleges to finish) because when I picked the degree in 1999 everyone was getting rich. By the time I graduated at the end of 2001, the world had fallen apart and I needed something new to do. So I got my JD/MBA.
- I am a Mormon. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints… well, I was. I was Born in the Covenant, as it’s called, then left the Church at 19. I was rebaptized at 21. I was then excommunicated in April of 2011, and I am working my way back in. I love the Gospel, it is absolutely true, and if you want to argue with me about it, go ahead. But first, read the Book of Mormon so you know what the hell you’re talking about.
- I was married for 12 years, had 3 children, asked for a divorce after 7 years, got a divorce 5 years later, and found out I had been right in my thinking at the 7-year mark. However, my twin sons had not yet been conceived, and I believe they are the reason I needed to stick it out as long as I did. However, for many of my years of marriage I had the nagging feeling, the undeniable impression that I was on the wrong path. As in I knew I had taken a wrong turn somewhere and I needed to change paths or I would be destroyed.
- I was remarried on 30 October, 2011, to my perfect match, the former Jessica Botts. She is my True North, my Angel, my Love, and my Baby. No big complaints, no little complaints, but I have big and little things to rejoice over. She takes perfect care of me, keeps every moment of life exciting, and takes marvelous care of my children. I want children with her, but the Lord will provide that at the appropriate time. I look forward to our 60th anniversary in the year 2071, looking over the table at each other’s wrinkles and wondering how life went by so quickly.
- Btw, her blog is jessicadward.wordpress.com.
- I feel incredibly blessed in my life. I seek the Lord’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s comfort in all that I do, and I’m formulating a philosophy that I need not worry about the minutes and seconds of life because as long as I am in the Lord’s embrace I am where I need to be at that given moment. Ultimately it will lead to less frustration at being late, less speeding on the freeway, and a greater sense of focus (I think).
- There is more about me, as everyone’s story is more complex than a series of bullet points, but I will stop here and focus on blog entries.