Category Archives: Hope

Opioids – Where is the Voice of Reason?


Opioids – the name throws fear into the hearts of many!  Why?  Because most do not have much experience with it; therefore they do not understand it.  And, as with most things that we do not really know but hear a few tales about, they immediately jump to fear and apprehension, condemning that which they ought not.

For a people who go to great lengths to admonish against stereotyping, judging, prejudice, and bigotry, it is shocking to see how normal they feel stereotyping and judging people with chronic pain.  From their own bigoted and prejudiced, “holier than thou” stance they have turned on all those who struggle with debilitating medical conditions, condemning them as drug addicts who simply need to be detoxified in order for their lives to improve.

One such woman, manager at a pain clinic who ought to have known better, said, “Our goal is to get people off of opioids, and improve the quality of their lives.”  When asked, “What if it doesn’t improve the quality of their lives?”, she quickly responded, “Then, we failed.”  No remorse for those people, no concern for their well-being, nothing to offer them except, “Our goal is to get people off of opioids, and improve the quality of their lives.”

While that might be an admirable goal for some, there are those who will never be able to live pain-free, and for whom opioids are what improves the quality of their lives.  Indeed, opioids are enabling them to be alive; to continue to function; to keep from becoming totally disabled and bed-ridden, barely able to move, and weeping from the pain; even keeping their bodies from shutting down and requiring exorbitantamounts of time, effort, money, equipment, and resources (i.e. dialysis, care givers, etc.) to stay alive.

Of course, if we allow society to continue down this path that the media is laying out, without standing up to them, people will be coerced into living lives filled with pain, and forced to make unpleasant, downright dangerous choices to find relief.  They may well turn to such “therapeutic” choices as drinking, illicit drugs, dangerous levels of over-the-counter drugs, or even suicide to escape the incredible, never-ending, unfathomable pain.

And that puts us right back where we started, only worse, because now it is no longer by accident.

Where is the voice of reason?

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A New Way to Think About Service


Sunday I went to the Gospel Essentials class during Sunday School at church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  The lesson was about service, and giving service to others as Jesus Christ did.

The local missionaries were teaching the lesson, and they started by telling the story of a church member who lived in Alaska.  This brother (man) lived quite some distance from the church, so would leave Saturday night to be able to get there in time for church Sunday morning.  Talk about dedication!  And I have heard of others who did whatever it takes to be able to attend church services.

One day a General Authority from the Church came to visit this ward (congregation).  He heard about this brother and asked to see him before he left.  When they met, the General Authority said to this brother that he lived too far away to give service to the ward, i.e. he couldn’t do his Home Teaching.

This got me to thinking.  Whereas I was impressed at the lengths this brother went to to go to church, now I thought about the service we give in the church and that living far away would definitely cut down on how much you would be able to provide.  And I wondered if this brother considered moving closer to town so he could be of greater service.

From there I went on to thinking about my own circumstances and the amount of service I give.  I find I have my own limitations such as family needs, working full-time, etc., that do not allow me to serve as much as I would like to do.  And I have always chalked it up to doing what I can with what I have.

But perhaps there are some things I can do differently, or think about in a different way, to be able to serve more as Jesus did.  An interesting thought.

The missionaries didn’t know the end of the story, whether the brother changed anything or what, but it is a beginning to my story as I consider what more I can do to be of greater service to Heavenly Father and His children.  🙂

When You Do Good, You Feel Good!


“When you do good, you feel good, and that is the Holy Ghost speaking to you. The Holy Ghost is a wonderful companion. He is always there to help you” President Ezra Taft Benson spoke about what the gift of the Holy Ghost will do for us.  “The Holy Ghost helps you choose the right. The Holy Ghost will protect you from evil. He whispers to you in a still, small voice to do right.”  (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 103; or Ensign, May 1989, 82).

I know these words to be true for I have seen the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life many, many times.  And when I have done good, made the right choices, I have felt good.

I have seen it in other people’s lives as well.  It doesn’t mean you have no problems, no issues in life.  But it does mean you can feel good, happy, even calm inside – even while experiencing the problems and issues of life.

Try it and see for yourself.  🙂

Did You Experience The Inspiration?


Did you take a moment to check out the wonderful General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the weekend?  If so, you heard something great and inspiring!

Included were songs by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, talks by a living Prophet of God, Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, and other inspired leaders of the Church.

You would have felt, as did I, stirring messages of hope, happiness, and peace in spite of the turmoil that is present in the world today.  The gospel light of Christ shines through it all, and is there for us to grasp and follow.

Where there is the light of Christ, there can be no darkness!

If you missed it, or would like to experience more of it, you can go to lds.org and see and hear the inspiring messages whenever you want.

God did not leave us alone, nor without resources.  He has provided everything that is needed to be able to live a happy and fulfilling life now, and to return to live with Him in the eternities.

Try it and see for yourself.  🙂

My Church Gives Me Hope


I left Church today feeling incredibly happy and hopeful!  It was Ward Conference, so our Stake leaders were there with good messages of inspiration, encouragement, and hope.  It was absolutely wonderful!

In Sacrament meeting, Bishop Cox, the leader of our congregation, spoke about the influence of the Holy Ghost (or the Spirit of God) in our lives.  He talked about how meaningful personal, and family, prayers help us feel closer to Heavenly Father and we are able to feel the influence of the Holy Spirit better.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we learn that prayer is communicating with God.  Bishop Cox explained that prayer is not like ordering groceries over the phone and then hanging up.  It is also not a wish list.  We are seeking to know what His will is for us.  He loves us and knows what is best for us, what will help us grow, and how we can help Him further His work among His children.

Seeking to find out, and then striving to follow, Heavenly Father’s will is something we consistently try to do.  Setting aside our will takes practice and time.  Our natural inclination is to seek to do and fulfill our own desires and purposes.  But allowing our Beloved Father in Heaven to guide our lives is trusting in His infinite power and goodness.  And His plans for our lives are more glorious than we could ever fathom!

Then our President Horsley, our Stake President, pointed out that there is power in surrendering our will to God’s will, and in seeking God’s will.  We discipline ourselves, learning to give everything to Heavenly Father.  We can become close to Him.  He is not just a friend.  He has created worlds without number!  He is God.

And he talked about 2 kinds of faith.  One functions in the life of every soul and is the faith born of experience – i.e. Spring will come, tomorrow is a new day, things will work out OK.  The other is a rare faith – it causes things to happen that otherwise would not be.  Seek to be directed, seek the Spirit of God, find comfort, find the Lord’s spirit.

Do not turn away the “still, small voice” of God.  Learn to recognize it.  It will take the hate, envy, strife, etc. from your heart.

Remain unyielding in following God, worthy of His choicest blessings, and prepared so you can receive all that God has to offer you, not only now – but in the eternities to come.

Talk about hope!  🙂

This is Why I Go To Church


Today at church the leaders of our Ward Council spoke.  It was a wonderful and inspiring meeting (as they usually are).

The thought that stayed with me the most is that God is always there to help us with the answers.  He knows when we are struggling with something.  We may have put a lot of time, effort, thought, even money or counseling into it, but it persists in being an issue.

If we keep trying, and include Heavenly Father, He will guide us to the answer, or might guide the answer to us.

The speaker gave an example of a leader in the church who was sent to speak at a Stake Conference.  When he arrived, the Stake President asked him if he had a few minutes to talk with a brother in the Stake who was really struggling to overcome his smoking addiction, but had not been successful no matter what, or how hard, he had tried.

So the leader spoke with this brother.  The leader was able to witness to this brother that God knows and loves him, that God is aware of the struggles the brother has, and that God will help him and be with him through this process as he continues to try.  He was able to give this man hope.

Father in Heaven knows us.  He loves us and wants us to succeed in returning to Him and in bringing our families and loved ones with us as well.  He loves you individually – no matter who you are, where you are, what you have done, or who your family is.  Ask for His help and you will find a way.  🙂

Thanksgiving Communications


November is a great month.  It seems that almost everyone’s thoughts start turning to what they are grateful for.

Not only do we enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with all the trimmings that go along with it, but people throughout the world have similar celebrations, grateful for the harvest, food to eat, and the other things they enjoy in life.

And many people give thanks for their blessings to their God, the Bestower of all good things.

As I contemplated these thoughts over the last month or so, I thought of the communications we have with God, and also with each other.  It occurred to me that Thanksgiving is a great time to address those various communications.

We use communication to share thoughts, ideas, feelings, etc. with someone.  And we usually adjust the words we pick, the tone we choose, and the emphasis we use given the situation.

Often in life we find that we can become quite casual; over-communicative; perhaps use profanity when angry or trying to show off or stress our point; even throw around the name of Deity as a simple exclamation.

Unfortunately, these last two are happening more and more often, by women as well as by men, and even by our children in school.  This has to change.

How you communicate reflects who you are as a son or daughter of God. Clean and intelligent language is evidence of a bright and wholesome mind. Good language that uplifts, encourages, and compliments others invites the Spirit to be with you. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith, hope, and charity.  As you do this you will have a better quality of life, more happiness, and greater blessings.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good” Ephesians 4:29.

Always use the names of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect. Misusing the names of Deity is a sin. When you pray, address your Father in Heaven in reverent and respectful language. The Savior used such respectful language in the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9–12).

Let’s encourage others to use clean language and receive the blessings that naturally follow.  🙂