September 2021


Elijah held the sealing keys and conferred them to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. Since then, the work of sealing on earth “to bind in heaven” has been expanding.

It is a lot of work.

Temples are sites of worship, as well. The First Presidency issued the following statement in 2019:

Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who…

Note: This piece first appeared in My Public Affairs on Blogger in December 2014.

As we stacked hundreds of duffel bags and ruck sacks on the driveway just off Doughboy Loop, I remembered pretty vividly a group of Soldiers doing the same thing seven months earlier.

At that time, we were getting ready to head to Afghanistan, from where they were coming back. I wasn’t jealous, more excited to get into the fight. Now we’re on the other side.

We had been in transit, which for the Army means, “mostly waiting,” for more than a week. Our exit from the…

Note: This piece first appeared in My Public Affairs on Blogger in August 2014.

Some are fond of calling it a “boondoggle.” Others call it “meddling.” Those are the charitable descriptors.

A sizable faction refers to our Afghanistan intervention as an “invasion,” and “occupation,” and the worst kind of neo-colonialism.

Do they not know that the Afghans want us here? And overwhelmingly so?

Spc. Michael Moore, a crew chief with Forward Support Medical Platoon 3 (FSMP3), Charlie Company, 325th Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division greets an Australian soldier during a medevac training mission at Multinational Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, Oct. 1, 2012. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nevada Smith

The United States led the 2001 invasion in order to topple the Taliban regime, which it did quickly and decisively. …

Note: This piece first appeared in My Public Affairs on Blogger in June 2014. Just more than seven years later it is back in the Taliban’s hands.

There is a very curious building here at KAF. On official maps of the installation, it is labeled “TLS.”

Taliban’s Last Stand, is what it refers to. And it fits. The night we arrived, it was the first building through which we passed. Not the most comforting welcome, since it’s as decrepit as any building could be without getting condemned.

It is of brick and stucco construction, with arched ceilings. There is still…

August 2020

News travels fast.

Sharing news comes as naturally to us as smiling.

In a recent psychology study, researchers showed that people shared news stories and updates when their emotions were heightened. Sometimes these emotions were negative (fear and anger), but just as often they were positive.

We are designed, it seems, to share with others when we experience anything that stirs our emotions.

Lehi, in his dream of the Tree of Life, reflected this natural human response.

And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that…

July 2021

Scripture teaches us that God makes covenants with his children.

Accept His covenant and commit to following Him. A covenant is:

a sacred agreement or mutual promise between God and a person or a group of people. In making a covenant, God promises a blessing for obedience to particular commandments. He sets the terms of His covenants, and He reveals these terms to His prophets. If we choose to obey the terms of the covenant, we receive promised blessings. (Gospel Principles, ch. 15)

Why does the Lord offer covenants to His children?

One reason is that covenant-making is an effective…

June 2021

Among the truths more fully revealed in this last dispensation, Zion is among the most powerful.

“Zion” can mean a lot of things, but above all, it is a gathering place.

Throughout history, God’s chosen people have been asked to go somewhere. Moses and the Hebrews went to the promised land. Lehi and his family traveled to the New World. Brigham Young and the Latter-day Saints journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley. As much as anything else, Zion is a destination in a specific place.

The tenth Article of Faith read in part,

“We believe… that Zion (the New Jerusalem)…

May 2021

Is there anything more motherly than this month’s theme?

Mothers tend to their flocks.

And they teach us how to tend heavenly.

Sister Sis. Bonnie Cordon, Young Women General President, teaches that tending requires three things.

Numbering. Which mother among us does not know who her children are and where they are? Let us do the same for our brothers and sisters outside our immediate families.

Watching over. A good mother pays attention to the threats. She guards over her children and helps them find the right way. …

May 2020

Our mothers have done heavenly work. In his sermon “Behold Thy Mother,” Elder Holland reminds us that description of Jesus’s purpose often invokes the role of mothers:

Bear, borne, carry, deliver all describe what the Savior does and has done for us. They also describe how our mothers bring us into and raise us up in this world.

The role of mother complements perfectly our monthly theme for sacrament meeting.

Uniting families for eternity includes three main points, according to the General Handbook lists three main points:

Making covenants as we receive our own temple ordinances.

Discovering our deceased ancestors…


Your art is improving a bunch! It says a lot more about you than you might realize.

We framed a dragon that you had colored a few years back. Now you have an entire collection of dragons that are Gabriel originals.

Your art is also becoming a commodity in the home. One of your drawings resulted in ina bout of envy for Naomi. So you made her one of her own. What a guy.

Rich Stowell, PhD

Professional Thinker and Doer

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