Saturday, September 29, 2012

Memorize the Good

Today is a gorgeous day where I live. Sunny, warm, clear crisp air, with an autumn stillness hovering like a protective hand. I love it, and so I'm going to memorize every second of it so that when dark, cold, drizzly winter days come I can close my eyes and remember today.

It really works! Our minds are powerful tools that we don't use well enough. But we can learn to use our memory, imagination, and interpretation of experience to help us Live in Truth.

Have a sunny day!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Good news! At first the doctor thought my foot was broken, but the x-rays showed that it is not. There is a lot of swelling in the joint and tissue damage, but no break! For a couple of days after the fall I ached everyplace-my hip, shoulder, foot toes, arm, and hand. I have several bruises and one scratch, but the amazing thing is watching this body heal.
Without me directing it or even knowing how to make it happen somehow my body is actively healing itself. Already, just four days after the fall, swelling is decreasing, bruises are diminishing, and pain is disappearing. It is such a miracle! Likewise, every day my body breathes, my heart beats, my blood circulates, my cells regenerate and I am doing nothing to make that happen. If God can make all that happen, certainly He can direct the rest of my life also.
all this reminds me that there is Someone in charge who knows what He is doing and that I am being cared for at all times. It is only my own thinking that gets in the way. When I relax, trust in God, and cling to the positive in life things take care of themselves in good ways.
Things eventually work out for good. As Paul explained to the ancient saints, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Traveling in Truth

The farther down the street of Positivity you get the easier it is to travel.
At first Living in Truth is difficult. You are changing old habits and establishing new ones. You are changing old ways of thinking and thinking in new ways. It takes times to change habits and attitudes of thought, but with persistence it can be done.

The wonderful thing is that when we persist in Living in Truth, it begins to habituate so that Living in Truth is habit and the Truth is the way we think. Then Living in Truth becomes easy.

As Sharon Begley explains in her book, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain,  
“The brain can change as a result of the thoughts 
we have thought.”
In other words there are actual physical changes that take place in us when we think differently and when those changes occur we are a different person. We act differently. Our habitual behavior is different. Our natural, first thoughts are different so that we aren't always fighting off what first comes to us and trying to replace it with something better.
When we Live in Truth we are different and so is the world around us!                  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No Big Deal!

I've actually got time today to stop and enjoy the beautiful world around me!
I can't begin to tell you how much the "But Thanks" game helped me through yesterday. By the end of the day I was exhausted and I was in even more physical pain, but my heart was so full of goodness that the pain didn't matter because all day long I kept thinking about how much worse it could have been and how grateful I was that it wasn't worse.

This morning the doctor ordered X-Rays on the right ankle, but I haven't heard yet what the verdict is. I do know that it is swollen and bruised and that it hurts to bend it, "But Thanks" I can still walk on it when it is stabilized in a boot that comes up to my ankle.

Living in Truth really works. I am very happy today. I'm considering it a day off and doing some things I normally would not be able to enjoy. In other words, I'm looking at this as an opportunity! I know that six years ago, before I learned about Living in Truth, I would have been in the Pit of Illusion big time by today and so full of vexation I would be physically ill and unable to enjoy anything at all.

I LOVE Living in Truth!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Playing the "But Thanks" Game

I'm playing the But Thanks game today. My day started like all teaching days. The alarm went off, I rolled out of bed, put on my exercise clothes, and walked downstairs to get a drink of water before my prayers and stretching out. 

The only problem is that instead of walking down the last three or four stairs, I tumbled down them. My shoulder hurts. I can barely walk on my right foot. My hand is swollen, 
But Thanks that I didn't fall from the top stair. 
But Thanks I wasn't knocked unconscious or hit my head. 
But Thanks I didn't shatter the glass display case at the bottom of the stairs. 
But Thanks Mr. J was there to help take care of me and drive me to work. 
But Thanks I made it to school (barely in time). 
But Thanks I made it through my first class of the day. 

And here's hoping that at the end of the day I can say, "But Thanks" that I made it through my three back to back afternoon classes. I'll count on that!

There's always something to be grateful for!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm Grateful For Gratitude!

Happiness researchers have identified eight reasons that cultivating an “Attitude of Gratitude” makes people happier. Many of these eight reasons are intuitive and are things we’ve all thought about. But some aren’t. For example, happiness researcher Sonya Lyubomirsky says that expressing gratitude bolsters self-worth and self-esteem. Why? Because when you concentrate on how much people have done for you, how many good things have happened in your life, or how many things you have accomplished you feel more loved and confident.
Lyubomirsky also explains that the research clearly shows that living with an “Attitude of Gratitude” encourages moral behavior. This happens because grateful people are aware of what even a small gesture of kindness means to them and they in turn are eager to reciprocate. They go about their days naturally doing small and large acts of kindness for others and in other ways doing all kinds of good.

Another result of a gratitude attitude is that it builds social bonds because it tends to strengthen existing relationships and nurtures new ones. Several studies have shown that people who feel gratitude toward others, even if they don’t express it, experience higher quality relationships with those people.

We all know the wonderful feeling that comes when we express gratitude, but there are many other benefits to living with an Attitude of Gratitude.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting to Pain Free

I've been going to physical therapy for some problems in my back and have been amazed at what I am learning. The therapist contorts my body in very painful ways to get the bones into the position they should be, but the muscles have been pulling in wrong directions for so long that while I'm working hard to keep my bones in the right places the muscles pull in the way they have for months--in wrong directions. What a battle I'm having with my muscles.

But this isn't so different than when we decide we are going to Live in Truth. We use the Truth Tools and learn all we can and practice, but the old habits of thinking pull us in wrong directions.

Part of what I'm learning is that any progress in life is going to require work and patience and diligence. But the work is worth it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just Talk

After Alma recounts the events of his conversion to his son Helaman, he goes on to give him advice on how to conduct his life. As part of this advice he says, "Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord: yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever" (Alma 37:36).

I love that verse and feel like it sums up everything there is to know about conducting our lives. If we love the Lord constantly, and direct all of our thoughts to Him, we can't go wrong. In other words, if we just talk to Him all day long we will be in good shape.

Simple? Yes, but powerful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Administering Grace

The apostle Paul in writing to the Ephesians said, 
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, 
but that which is good to the use of edifying, 
that it may minister grace unto the hearers" 
(Eph. 4:29). 

We usually read that and think, "Oh, I should only speak good words to others."

But who hears every single word you utter?

You do! You are the major hearer of everything you say. 

This means that by watching what we say and making sure it is edifying, we minister grace to ourselves as well as others. So I am going to think more about the words that proceed out of my mouth plus, I'm going to think more about the words that swim around in my head. 

Because I need all the grace (enabling power) I can get!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Words of Faith

Tomorrow I am teaching a seminar in Davis County about my research on "Faith Works By Words." I'm excited because the more I study this subject the more amazed I am at the significance of the words we think and speak. Words matter! Words make all the difference in our lives. But their significance often escapes us because using words to exercise faith isn't just a matter of bearing testimony or expressing religious thoughts. It is the daily, hourly, minute by minute use of words that is our faith.

For example: I have a friend who is about ten years older than I am who has never married. Many in her circumstances think thoughts (words) such as "Why has God denied me this blessing?" or "This isn't fair that I don't get a spouse when it is a commandment!" But instead my friend told me she wakes up every morning and exclaims, "Wow, I'm one day closer to the time when I'll find my eternal companion!"

Do you see how the first statements are a denial of faith and the second is a declaration of faith? Faith works by words and so we need to examine the words we use at all times and make sure they are words of faith.

Here are just a few of the scriptures that explain the importance of words.

From the Savior: "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37)

From King Benjamin: "But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.” (Mosiah 4:30)

From the Apostle Paul: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)

Monday, September 17, 2012

On the Light Side

As I walked out to the mail box this morning I was thinking how nice it would be to receive something besides an advertisement, bill, or wedding invitation in the mail. A note from a friend. Some surprising news. Anything! But alas all that was there were bills and advertisements.

As I walked back into the house I considered some alternatives. (Remember when you Live in Truth you can fix it or live with it and since I didn't want to live with it I was contemplating how to fix it.) One thing I thought of was to write myself nice letters and mail them. Or I could write a friend and ask her to write back. I can order things off the Internet and have them mailed to me.

I think my budget and my friends like the write myself option, but now I have to think of a way to get the letter to myself to be a surprise.

I guess you can tell I'm in a funny mood! Hope you're laughing along with me. Have a wonderful Truth day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sabbath Scripture

Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, 
because they will not understand thy mercies 
which thou hast bestowed upon them 
because of thy Son.
Alma 33:16

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Saturday is a special day! Especially today. The sun is bright. The mountains are ablaze with red and orange splotches that during the night have taken over a bit more of the green. The crisp air holds just a tinge of fresh rain smell even though there is no sign of rain. Everywhere you look kids are in soccer clothes and parents wear a smile of contentment because school is now in session for the season.

I love autumn! Today is a wonderful day to Live in Truth. Enjoy every minute of it.

Friday, September 14, 2012


You all know that you can change shoes in a matter of seconds. If the shoes don't tie or buckle you can change them faster than you can say, "One shoe off, other shoe on!" What we don't stop to remind ourselves about often enough is that we can change our mind even faster than we can change our shoes.

This means that when we encounter a situation that is vexing us we have a choice: Change the situation or learn to like it. Too often we go through life feeling trapped without realizing we have options. You don't like the task ahead of you? You have options:
(1) Don't do it.
(2) Hire someone else to do it.
(3) Trade a task with someone else.
(4) Find a way to enjoy it.

Now, don't dismiss that last option too fast. It is surprising how many ways there are to turn an unpleasant task into a pleasant task. Once again there are options:
(1) Make doing it into a game.
(2) Change the negative chatter you are thinking into positive chatter.
(3) Find something good about the job and concentrate on that.
(4) Get someone to help you. Good company makes a lot of things easier.
(5) If possible listen to a good talk or story while you work. It makes the time go faster.

When Living in Truth you always have options!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Growing Words

Today I am teaching the great speech Alma gives to the Zoramites in Antionum, when he compares the word of God to a seed. I cannot read Alma 32:28 without a feeling of childish delight causing a happy chuckle. In that verse Alma explains that if a word is a good word you will know it because when it is planted in your heart it will begin to swell within you, it will enlarge your soul, it will enlighten your understanding, and it will be delicious to you. In other words, you will feel the goodness of the words and those good words will in turn grow into faith.

But look closely at the first letter of those descriptive words. It will Swell, Enlarge, Enlighten, and be Delicious.The acronym spells SEED. That play on words is repeated in verses 34 and 35 with the words, Sprouted, Enlightened, Expand, and Discernible.

It makes me think that God loves language and words as much as I do!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Feeling Gratitude

A researcher who has spent his career studying gratitude, Robert Emmons, defines gratitude as "a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life." This definition helps us understand that gratitude is a lot more than saying, "Thank you!" True gratitude is an emotion that underlies everything we do. It is what Paul meant when he told the Ephesians to give "thanks always for all things." Yes, we are to say "Thank you!" but even more we are to feel "Thank you!"

Recent research has shed new light on what the scriptures have told us all along--that people who are grateful are happier, more hopeful, and have more positive emotions. But one finding that surprised me
is that people who are grateful have more energy.

One study asked a control group to daily record five hassles or major events that had occurred to them that day. The other group was asked to record five things for which they were grateful for that day. After only ten days compared to the control group the gratitude group showed more optimism, more satisfaction with their lives, fewer health problems such as headache, coughing or nausea, and they exercised more.

Thinking about what we are grateful for is powerful, but even more benefit comes if we live as grateful people--feel the wonder, feel the appreciation, feel the joy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Seeing Through Truth

If you've read Good News! for very long you know I love how C. S. Lewis explains Christianity. One of my favorite quotes of his is: "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

This applies to Christianity and it also applies to Living in Truth. When I am Living in Truth and am safely out of the Pit of Illusion I see Truth--the verity of life--very clearly, but I also see everything else through Truth.

 It is amazing what viewing life through Truth does for my peace and confidence and joy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Now

Take the Happy Road. Live in Truth!
The Tibetan Buddhist saint Milarepa once said, "All worldly pursuits have but one unavoidable and inevitable end, which is sorrow." When I first heard that I strongly disagreed with it, but then I read some commentary on what the good saint meant and changed my mind.

While it is true that there is a sense of happiness and joy when we achieve any of our worldly goals such as obtaining a college degree, or being offered a dream job, or finding a new friend, or finally being able to buy that long awaited get-away cabin, what Milarepa meant was that any of those joys are fleeting. After the exhilaration of graduation is over, or the first few weeks on the job reveal that it is going to be harder than you thought, or you have your first disagreement with the new friend, or you discover that the cabin roof leaks and needs major repairs the happiness and joy are gone. It seems that each thing in life that we desire and seek after to make us happy comes with its own set of problems.

But when we Live in Truth we aren't seeking after things in order to make us happy. We seek after things in order to learn and grow, but we find happiness in every moment of the journey. It is so wonderful to realize that we don't have to wait for happiness to come to us. We are happy now!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Today and last Saturday I attended funeral memorials for very beautiful, wonderful people who have left great legacies for their families and friends. I am grateful for these kinds of people and for the many people like this who have touched my life for good. I don't think any of us realize how much of an influence we have on each other. One of these people was my aunt who had a very great influence on my life. I loved her and I know she loved me. I learned so much from watching her faith up close.

The other woman I wasn't real close to, but seeing her occasionally, hearing about her from others, and watching her from afar taught me so much about love and faith. This has made me think about so many other people who have gone on but who have greatly influenced my life--both those close to me and those in the periphery of my life. There are so many and I am so grateful for them.

This has also made me think about the many people who are still alive who encourage and lift and help me to be a better person. Again, some of them would be surprised to learn what they have done for me because I don't interact with them that much. Others are close to me but are unaware of how much I learn from them. I need to tell them. But in the meantime, I think all of us need to realize that we do have an influence on those around us, even if we don't know it. We can't do life alone and God has sent all of us amazing people to help us through.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Umpiring Life

I heard a baseball story once that sums up three ways of looking at life. It goes like this: Three umpires are sharing a drink together when one of them brings up an occupational question: How do you call the balls and the strikes?

With a confident smirk the first umpire replies, "Pitchers throw balls and strikes, and I call them exactly as they throw them!"

The second umpire, grimaces and says, "No way. Pitchers throw ball and strikes, but I call them as I see them."

The third umpire shakes his head as he reproves the other two, "You are both dead wrong. While it is true that pitchers throw balls and strikes, they aren't a ball or a strike until I call them."

When we Live in Truth we recognize it isn't what is thrown at us that matters in life. We can be pitched a ball, but whether we call it a strike or a ball is entirely up to us. We are the umpires of our own lives and we make the calls!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I love coming across short statements or visual reminders that capture the gist of what it means to Live in Truth. I found one the other day that quickly rose to the top of my favorites list. It says, 

The Lord said, "Go and do, not sit and stew."

Putting these kinds of reminders in places where we see them often reinforces and strengthens our ability to Live in Truth.

What are your favorite sayings or visuals that encourage you to Live in Truth? 

Leave a comment and share them with all of us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Benefits

Yesterday I wrote about letting go of the "tags" we define ourselves by (father, daughter, contented, ugly, over-weight, smart, etc) and instead thinking of ourselves in terms of our core--the child of God that we are.

There is a beautiful thing that happens as we do this. We begin to see others not by their "tags" but by who they really are. Instead of looking at a stranger and immediately thinking "pretty" or "homely" or "well-dressed" or "successful," we look at others as we look at ourselves and think "child of God." We, in turn, treat them very differently.

I love a quote from C. S. Lewis's The Weight of Glory about this. Lewis said,

"It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses,
to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to
 may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now,
you would be strongly tempted to worship."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Who are you?

We all find ourselves answering that question at various times in our lives, 
but as you read it just now how did you answer? 

Some people answer, I am a mom or a dad, I am a teacher, I am a doctor, I am a businessman or woman, I am a graphic designer,  I am a nurse, I am a mechanic, I am a bookworm, I am a secretary, I am a writer, I am an artist, etc. In these instances we respond by explaining our occupation, talent or relationship to others. But is that really who we are or is it something we do--a role we play?

In other cases  we think of ourselves in terms of "I am" by thinking such things as I am an alcoholic, I am gay, I am psychotic, I am unlovable, I am depressed, I am overweight, I am divorced, I am pretty, I am smart, I am talented, I am rich, I am lovable etc. In these instances we explain ourselves according to our circumstances. But is that really who we are or is it something that has happened to us?

When Living in Truth we let go of these circumstantial ideas of who we are and realize that what we really are is a child of God. We just are. This means that despite the things we do or the things that happen to us whether genetic or experiential, the core that is us is god-like. God identified Himself in the Old Testament as "I Am." And perhaps it would help us all to stop thinking of ourselves as some thing and start thinking of ourselves as a be-ing that through various roles and circumstances is developing into much more than a word, words, or even a phrase can communicate.