Beauty is in the Eye of God

I’m not sure where media came up with the idea that beauty has something to do with weight, but it’s not true. Actually, I think media has knowingly taken upon itself the role to make sure that the general population is ugly. In reality, they know nothing about beauty at all. The problem is, they’ve convinced us that their “standards” of beauty should be sought at all costs.

As a rather ugly guy, I’ve actually thought a lot about this. The world’s whole approach is to create totally meaningless standards that can only be met by the consumption of products and services that only they can provide. The only way they can keep the demand so disgustingly high is to make sure that 90% of the population is way below the expectation.

All the while, God keeps telling us, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; …for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Of course, the world has to make itself louder than the voice of the Spirit in order to maintain it’s powerful status. But Beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder. It is in the eye of God. God cares nothing about physical attractiveness, but he cares a great deal about the beauty that comes of bearing children, which naturally causes some flabbiness and increase of skin and weight.

Have you ever noticed that a mother carries a brightness in her eyes that is very obvious and beautiful – and unique to mothers? It first shows up when she is pregnant, and those who know the feature can often figure out she is pregnant before the slightest belly begins to show. And it’s beautiful! So why do we not see it? For the same reason that we turn our heads at the sound of a coin drop, while not noticing the dozens of bird songs surrounding us. The world has done its job well, training us that beauty is in features that it has chosen, and we are the unhappy recipients of its lies. There is a reason that satan is called the father of lies, as well as the prince of this world. He directs the world in its quest to keep the population depressed.

But you can be the exception. You can learn to see beyond the world’s ridiculous aspirations, and see beauty, including your own, as God sees it! The moment you ask God for His view on things, He’ll open to you a whole new vision that is so much more beautiful, so much more exciting, and so much more fulfilling than ANYTHING the world has to offer.

Once you see things that way, you may glance back, and see all the myriads clamoring for another lost pound, another lost wrinkle, or another face-lift. There’s a reason those clamorers are depressed. There’s a reason they can never seem to grasp what dangles just before them at every moment, and it’s not because they are too ugly or too fat, or even too sinful. It is simply because they have let satan distract them from something that he can NEVER have – true, eternal beauty.

Under his direction, the world shouts, “You’re too baggy, you’re hideous, you’re too wrinkly!” All the while he is silently scared to death that you will notice the real beauty that is you, because the moment you see that, he has no power over you.

That is the moment when life becomes grand and beautiful. That’s the moment that you realize that you are already living your “happily ever after.” That’s the moment you realize that all of your dreams are already being fulfilled.

Don’t let satan distract you from that. God knows who you really are, and is anxiously waiting for you to ask Him about it so He can explain it to you. You may know it already in theory, and you may have heard it over and over in Sunday school, but you should hear His personal explanation of it to you. I promise it’s worth the asking.

– and don’t let up until He tells you everything.

When the Night Came: The Meaning Behind the Music

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When the Night Came

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Enos

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—

2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

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When the Night Came: The Meaning Behind the Music

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When the Night Came

when-the-night-came1

Enos

1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—

2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?

8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

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His Rain

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His Rain

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His Rain
Vocals and Lyrics by Maria Hathaway
Music by Chas Hathaway

I am standing in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
I seek the warmth of new light
Beneath the endless sky

I am walking in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
Through the clouds I see a new light
A tunnel to the sky

The rain is clean
The rain is pure
I feel it wash away the world
I am new
I am pure
I found His light

I am dancing in the rain
In the sparkling drops of rain
I have found the warmth of His light
Descending from on high

His rain is clean
His rain is pure
I feel it wash away the world
I am new
I am pure
I found His light

I am new
I am pure
(I found his light)
I found His love

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Wide as Eternity: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Wide as Eternity

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Moses 7:23-41

23 And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him;

24 And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.

25 And he saw angels descending out of heaven; and he heard a loud voice saying: Continue reading Wide as Eternity: The Meaning Behind the Music

Heikhal: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Heikhal

heikhal

Heikhal is the Hebrew word for temple.  I have used a mode for this piece that is reflective of Middle Eastern music.

The temple is the most sacred place on earth.  There, the most sacred and divine ordinances are performed.  It is, quite literally, a bridge between heaven and earth.  Is it any wonder then that it is referred to as a place of revelation?  I suppose the veil is thinner there than anywhere else on earth.

Anciently, mountains acted as temples.  Sinai acted as the temple for Moses.  Then, when the Lord felt that the children of Israel were ready for more, He had them build the Tabernacle.

Once they reached the promised land, He had them build the Temple.  We often label it the temple of Solomon, but really it was the Temple of God.

Now temples cover the world.  But each is The House of God.  The power and influence of each building is not diluted by the increasing number of temples – rather, with every new temple, the power of God is increased in the world.  That power and influence increases exponentially with each new temple.

So how can we help that power increase?  Attend the temple.  Attend often, even regularly.  Whatever your circumstance, you can make more time for the temple.  As all of us attend the Temple more often, the need for more temples will increase, and the power of God will increase.

Even on a more personal level, as you attend the temple, you will see the power of God increase in your life.  You will be happier, and your life more fulfilling.  It’s that simple.  I promise.

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Chasing Light: The Meaning Behind the Music

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Chasing Light

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One of my favorite flowers is the sunflower.  It is the tallest of the flowers, and often the biggest.

But the thing that fascinates me most about the sunflower is that however big or tall as it is, it always follows the sun.  It spends all its daylight hours riveted on the sun.  It seeks no glory for its size and hight.  It merely wants to ensure that it is high enough to be able to follow the sun without interruption.

How like the sunflower we should be – constantly looking to our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Why do we strive to live righteously?  Is it to glorify ourselves, or get the attention of the world?  No, it is to allow our spirits to be able to follow him without interruption.

There is another kind of sunflower.  They are the wild ones – the ones that have little interest in hight, size, or following the sun.  They are small, branch in all directions, and are considered weeds to most people.  They spread like wildfire, but they are not nearly as useful, large, and beautiful as the unblemished sunflower that chases the light.

We are to live in the world – that is not a command, but a fact.  But we are not to be of the world.  That is a command.  That does not mean we ignore those around us, but it does mean that our focus should be on the Savior.  Looking to Him ought to be our prime directive – the thing that we do no matter our situation or station in life.

Sometimes it will not be easy to know what the Savior would have us do in a particular situation.  We must seek His light.  We must reach for it.  If we cannot see Him from where we are, then we must grow spiritually taller and larger until we can see Him.  Then we must follow Him – forever.

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I Live in a Mansion

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talltab1I live in a mansion.  There are so many rooms, and so many doors, that it would take more than a lifetime to explore what is in them all.  From one room, I can explore the sciences, and watch the progression of the stars and planets.  I can chart the known universe and discover things that it has taken mankind centuries to understand.
talltab1 From another, I can learn the religions of the world, make connections with things divine, and come to a deeper understanding of why people are the way they are.
talltab1 From another, I can become my own symphony, and follow the practices of the master composers.  I can perfect the principles they have learned and carry them on to new levels.
talltab1 There is a room in my house where I can practice medicine and learn how the human body works.  In this room, I can also learn how to strengthen the powers within my own body through exercise, activity, proper nutrition and rest.
talltab1 In one of the larger wings of my mansion, I can enter a fantastic world with creatures and people that most people only meet in dreams and movies.  I can converse with them, and in essence, leave the world entirely through time machines and spaceships.
talltab1 I have rooms that bare the perfect resemblance of locations all around the globe.  I have been to Egypt, China, South America, and Africa without having to leave my home.
talltab1 In my favorite room, I have met the Savior and His prophets.  I have come to know God, and converse with Him regularly.  I have met Adam, Enoch, Abraham, and John the Baptist.  I have met the reformers and those who took part in the great restoration of the Gospel.
talltab1 I have visited many of the rooms in my mansion, and plan to visit many more.

talltab1 My house is small, and my means are meager.  But in every room, there are books.

How to Revolutionize the Course of the Universe

talltab1It was a very dull day at at the bookstore as I leaned against the counter, chin in hands, waiting for something to happen.  One of my coworkers stood only a few feet away, bored as I was.
talltab1“So,” I said, trying to break the monotony, “What should I do to revolutionize the course of the world today?”
talltab1He thought a moment.  “Got any bombs?  You could always blow up an important building somewhere.”
talltab1“That’s true.  But I don’t have any bombs.  Besides, that’s a bad thing, and there are plenty of bad things going on all the time.  I need to find something good to do.”
talltab1“That’s true,” he replied.  Then we both fell back into silence.

talltab1I began thinking more about our conversation.  What could one do to revolutionize the course of the world?  What about the universe?  Could one person effect the destiny of the universe?
talltab1There have been many people who have changed the course of life on this planet; Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.  George Washington led a revolutionary war that led to the foundation of what might be considered the most powerful nation in world history.  But did those things change the destiny of the universe?
talltab1It occurred to me that the person who best fit that description would have to be Jesus Christ.  Not only did he save the destiny of every person who would ever live, but He provided a way for us to become like His Father.
talltab1Now there’s a new approach to the question.  If I have potential to become like my Father in Heaven, then certainly I have power to effect the destiny of the universe.
So I guess the next question would have to be, what can I do today to best effect that progress?  Of course, a response as broad as “live the gospel” wasn’t really a sufficient, since I had been striving to do that my whole life.
talltab1Then I realized that I was in the process of beginning one of the major aspects of the perfecting process.  I was about to get married in the temple.  I decided that maybe the best thing I could do to work toward that goal would be to strengthen my relationship with Jenni.  How could I do that?  That question is easy.  I could be kind and loving to her.
talltab1I looked around the store.  Everything was quiet, normal, ordinary.  Customers came in and left.  Employees straightened bookshelves or stood patiently waiting for something to happen.  I had a date with Jenni scheduled for that night.  I decided that tonight I would change the course of the universe – I would show love and kindness towards her.

Tribute: I Love You, Dad!

Lunch Bucket and Grandpa

talltab1If someone had asked me in grade school what my dad did, I would probably have told them that my dad is a fisherman.  I didn’t know what he did for work, but I did know that he was a fisherman in his free time.  It was his favorite pastime, and he was really good at it.  He didn’t much go for worm fishing, and he certainly was never big on plopping the line in the water and sitting back waiting for the line to pull.  Dad was a fly fisher.

talltab1He loved fishing the rivers, outsmarting the fish using strategy and skill rather than passive chance.  With fly fishing on a river, the fisher must cast the line upstream, getting the fly to float unsuspectingly over the best part of the fishing hole.
talltab1Dad also tied his own flies.  This was itself quite a skill, as it took the most precise thread-work.  He had a cool fly-tying kit, as well as materials for making flies, such as threads, feathers, animal fur, or whatever was necessary for the desired effect.  The idea is to emulate as close as possible the look of a real fly.  I remember him making Cadiss flies, Mayflies, and even ants and grasshoppers.

talltab1He still fly-fishes and makes his own flies today.

talltab1I remember one particular fishing trip when I was young where we Continue reading Tribute: I Love You, Dad!