Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Heart of Flesh

A-5, third from left.
One of my son's invited me down to Provo today as he was to speak in church and participate in a musical fireside this evening. The trumpet choir of the evening portion is above.

The remainder of this post will be the transcript that my son prepared to give his talk:


New Year’s is often associated with goal setting and resolutions. In Japan, people will choose a kanji, or Chinese character, as their theme for the year. In my Japanese class last January, my sensei asked us each what character we had chosen, and I responded that I chose “kokoro(心) which translates best to English as the heart. This has become the theme of my scripture study throughout this year.


I’ve always found the heart to be a difficult matter to comprehend, being very analytical and a logic based thinker. I pray that the Spirit will be able to convey my feelings and thoughts to you and whatever inspirations from God that you need in your life right now.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

It's Not a Quest If You Find It


If the only things that happened were that I had a great road trip with two of my boys and a chance to show them Jacks Valley, Nevada while telling them stories of our ancestors and how we found them, then we can't be the least bit disappointed that we found no actual grave site.

We made good time and followed the paved routes closest to the original California Trail, Humboldt Route (I-80) crossing the forty-mile desert (US-95) from the Humboldt Sinks (Lovelock) to the Carson Sinks (Fallon). Then it was US-50 on the Pony Express route right into Carson City and then South, turning up the official route onto Jacks Valley Road

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Alexander Hamilton

Not one generally to cherry-pick the Founders, I can't help it when Hamilton appears to prophesy the rise of a Demagogue like trump.

"Why does he write like he's running out of time?" -Lin Manuel Miranda

OK, that one wasn't it. It's this one, prompted by a tweet of Peter Daou. And as I have to check the source, I have the volume of Hamilton's writings from the Library of America edition from which the quote was taken. Here's a cut and paste:

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Helping Hands - Projeto do Brasil SUD

Maybe I'm not paying enough attention, but I didn't realize that the Mormon or LDS service project for local communities at large, "Helping Hands," originated in Brazil. I was watching this video (in Portuguese) and it said that the internationally used, yellow vest, with hands in blue and green, represent the national colors of Brazil as an acknowledgment of the program's Brazilian origins!


Que coisa!

Then I realized that I had the evidence in pictures of my two youngest children as LDS Missionaries in Japan and Ohio, USA, wearing the yellow, green, and blue!

My son, A-5, shoveling snow in Japan wearing the "Helping Hands" or "Mãos que Ajudam" vest.
My son, A-6 (second from right), recently returned from Ohio, wearing the Brazilian "Helping Hands" colors on a t-shirt with a few others.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dear Red States

Can you please finally admit that there are worse things than a Black Man in the Oval Office?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Updated Trek Guidelines

As a Pioneer Trek Agnostic, I found Keepa's link to an updated booklet of the LDS Church on Handcart Trek Reenactments interesting.

Once again, don't get me wrong! I love a good historical reenactment as much as any interpretive historian. I've explored a lot of pioneer trails, etc., etc. What I don't like is emotional manipulation as a substitute for a truly valuable, spiritual experience.

So, I was pleased to see that the worst abuses of trek are now discouraged. I cut and pasted the items in italics:
Reenacting deaths or violence—including mob violence— is not to be included as part of treks.
I guess that's a bit stronger than "discouraged."

There was a Senior Seminary trip to Echo Canyon I attended years ago. It was a lot of fun to travel there and stand beneath those pinkish sandstone cliffs as they told us about the Utah War and the defenses built up on top where we were to hike. Then, a couple of cowboys rode up on horses and in very threatening manner yelled at the leaders about why we were there again when they had been told to stay away, etc.

One of the fathers that had driven our group ran for his car to get his gun. You see, we had come from the Wyoming side of the trail. Well, a little south of the main overland trail, but right on the later trail of the out-and-back companies, the stagecoach, and the eventual railroad. Rock Springs is a wild and woolly place even today.

Echo Canyon, Utah, on the Mormon Pioneer, Pony Express, and California/Hasting Cutoff Trails
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