Saturday, April 30, 2005

Baptism and Confirmation

I suppose somebody reading my blog at this point might be wondering how Cy's baptism went. Well, once family came over to get ready to see the baptism, my Grandpa and uncle were able to give me a blessing, and I felt quite a bit better after that. I was able to baptize Cy, and I was surprised to find that the baptism was organized by people in my Singles Ward. Even though I live with my Mom's family, they go to the local home ward and I go to the singles ward. Brother Neve, the First Counselor in my ward's bishopric saw me at the baptism and asked if I had something to do with it. I said, "Yeah, kind of. This is my brother getting baptized, and I'm the one baptizing him." He was pleasantly surprised. All the music and the talks were done by my ward members. It was pretty cool.

It was kind of weird for me to baptize Cy, because he seems so young. Even though he's a great kid, it's really easy for me to focus on all the things he doesn't understand, and wonder if he's really ready to be baptized. He understands what a baptism is, and what it means, but I really don't think he fully understands the gravity of it. Hopefully, with the Holy Spirit as a part of his life, he'll be led to love the gospel and grow into the responsibilities that he has taken on, instead of looking back and feeling like he got into something he never really wanted. A lot of people around here get baptized when they turn 8, so I guess it's really not that bad. I just have a different perspective, having waited until I was 17 years old.

On Sunday I confirmed Cy at our Sacrament meeting. Some people in the ward let their kid cry during the blessing, and Mom couldn't hear any of it. She was pretty upset about that. I hope she won't let it get to her too much. It'd be really sad to let something like that turn into a bad memory.

But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story
The Voice of Truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the Voice of Truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
On top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

Cy's Baptism


Well, our senior project is over with. I think I passed, even though we got, like, second-to-last on demo day. Yesterday I got a whole bunch of stuff done, including getting my second hepatitis shot (in preparation for my mission), and I figured it'd be great to take Liz to watch a movie at my dad's house to celebrate. Unfortunately, it looks like I got the same flu that my brother Casey had a few days ago. He threw up about seven times in one night when he had it. Getting the hepatitis shot probably gave my immune system a bit of a shock, too. So I went from feeling great to feeling uneasy to feeling sick at my stomach to feeling sick in general to throwing up, over the course of a few hours. Unfortunately, this happened after I'd already taken Liz to Dad's house. So we went ahead and watched the movie (A Series of Unfortunate Events), even though we couldn't cuddle, and I had to crouch under three blankets to stay warm and I had to run off to the bathroom now and then to puke. Then I didn't feel strong enough to drive Liz home, much less myself, so I stayed at Dad's house and my dad took Liz home.

I somehow managed not to throw up once I got in bed last night. In fact, I slept until 2 PM. I still feel sick, but at least now my stomach feels okay. Now I'm supposed to baptize my little brother, Cy, in a couple of hours, and I don't know if I'm up to the task. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Senior Project due tomorrow

Still trying to put together all the documentation that we need. Hope everything works out tomorrow. Wish me luck!

On a happier note, the folks at work took me out to a lovely "farewell" dinner today. According to GE Company Policy, Interns turn into pumpkins a year after they are hired, so I have to leave after next week. With luck, maybe I'll get hired on as a temp until I leave for my mission. Who knows? God will provide, I'm sure. He always has.

You look frenzied, you look frazzled
Peaked as any alp
Flushed and rushed and razzle-dazzled
Dry your lips, damp your scalp
Now I can see you're in a rut in
And I'm not one to butt in
But in fact I must say
If you'd take it easy, trust awhile
Don't look blue, don't look back
You'll pull through in just awhile
'Cause you're on the right track

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Yet another reason

What you feed a newborn baby during the first week of life could be critical in deciding whether that baby grows up to be obese. How many reasons do mothers need to breastfeed? When will society realize that certain things are better done the old fashioned way?

In other news, Coca-Cola only earned $1 billion this quarter, instead of the $1.13 billion they earned during the same time period last year.
"We still have much work ahead of us, but I am very confident that we are doing the right things, making good progress and that our continued emphasis on execution will bring about long-term benefit," [Chairman and Chief Executive Neville Isdell] said in a statement accompanying the results.

Does anybody else find irony in the fact that the Chief Executive of Coca-Cola Company uses phrases like "doing the right things" and "long-term benefit?"

Monday, April 18, 2005

Alma 30

"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign...yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Weightlifting Myths

I find that I'm usually unimpressed with MSN's articles on various topics, but I found this one to be very good. I'm not much of a jock (in case you can't tell that already), but I have done some weightlifting, and I have heard most of these myths. I even believed some of them. If you're planning on weightlifting at any point, I'd suggest you read through it real quick.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Call it torture

I have spent so much time in the lab this week. Luckily, I've been able to get to bed at decent hours all week. I really wanted to spend time with Liz tonight, and maybe go over to my dad's house for a while, but I know that I need to get to bed somewhat early tonight so that I can get up and get stuff done tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow night I can do something fun. Until then, I guess I'll just keep pluggin' away.
Oh no! not for me, not for me
Call it torture, call it university
No! arts and crafts is all I need
I’ll take calligraphy and then I’ll make a fake degree
Do what will make you happy
Do what you feel is right
Only but one thing matters
Learn how to live your life
--Relient K

Light through trees

A Vegetarian Strand

Apparently my vegetarianism is influencing Liz's family a bit. Her brothers like to tease me about it. In fact, they often tell me they don't know if they'll ever be able to forgive me for such a crime against humanity, much like how they can't forgive their brother, Brent, for putting juice on his cereal. But her brother Robby just realized that vegetarianism is in his hair.

"I have a vegetarian strand," he said. "1) I don't really like ham, so it wouldn't be that hard to give up and 2) I care about my body and I don't want to get fat. So when I get old I'm going to turn into a vegetarian. I don't want to, but I'm going to. And I really don't want to."

So he wanted me to know that the reason he teases me about it is because when he becomes a vegetarian he can't tease me anymore, so he has to do it now. That makes sense, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Remember Him

As I was listening to K-Love this morning, I was really touched by a couple of the things that were said. The morning show hosts, Jon and Sherry Rivers, recently did their show in Nashville and got visited by pretty much all the major Contemporary Christian artists. So this morning they were playing back some of the conversations they'd recorded during that time. The first one I heard this morning was their conversation with Michael W. Smith, and Jon related his experience two years ago that led him and his wife to adopt an Asian girl. It was a real testament to how God knows what we need in our lives, and gives us promptings from the Spirit to tell us what to do.

A little later, they had somebody talking about a man who went up to some important musician or some such (can't remember who), and said that the day before he had been on a bridge about to commit suicide when he saw the billboard saying this guy was coming into town. He remembered the impact that the guy had had on him when he was younger, and decided that he at least needed to stick around to hear what he had to say. The "important" guy told him, "You know that's a permanent solution to a temporary problem," and the person telling the story encouraged everybody to remember that whatever we may be going through right now, it will pass and we will move on, so make sure that you can and do move on when that time comes. I've struggled with depression before, and I can testify to the truth of that. What you're going through now will pass, but there are certain choices that will have everlasting consequences. Suicide can never be "undone," and you only get one shot at this life, so please don't end it on a bad note.

At this point, I was really feeling touched by the Spirit, and just a little bit emotional, and then Mark Schultz's "Remember Me" came on, and my eyes started to well up with tears. I could tell that is was the Spirit nudging me, but I couldn't figure out why I was on the verge of crying until the second verse came on:

Remember me
When the color of the sunset fills the sky
Remember me
When you pray and the tears of joy
fall from your eyes

It was then that I realized, these were tears of joy. I remembered listening yesterday to Alma Ch. 26, where Ammon glories in the Lord, just in admiration and gratitude for all that He has done for us.

35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apower, ball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmerciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

I absolutely loved the entire chapter, and encourage you to read the whole thing. We need to rejoice in God and feel the joy that He intends for us to have. I think this morning, God was just saying, "Hey. Remember Me. Your life is going to get really hectic, but don't let it distract you from Me."

*sigh* :-)

Thank you, Lord.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tiffany and little Dominick Mills

Open up the sky

Spring has sprung at the University of Utah.

The right track

Things got a lot better once I took some time to pray. I got a ton of stuff done, I worked out some of the issues that I was having with the Senior Project, and I relaxed my expectations just a bit. I think everything's going to be all right.

I was asked by my friend, Tiffany Mills, to participate in her son's blessing yesterday. It was a wonderful experience.

Wish I could say more, but there's no time.

But! What I've left behind looks trifling
What's ahead looks black
Am I doomed to spend my life a-lingering on...
Easy baby...
You're on the right track!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A little stressed

I'm starting to feel really overwhelmed with everything tonight. I'm behind on the documentation for my Senior Project class (and I'm expected to have a weekly report for that class by noon tomorrow). We just planned out the next project in my Team Software Engineering class. I can never seem to get time during the work day to call the people I need to in order to finish my mission papers. I found out that my medical insurance may run out before I can get my second Hepatitis shot. And it's really starting to hit me just how close I am to the end of the semester and the end of my time with GE, and how much stuff I have to do before then. On top of that, my Internet access is acting up a bit. Normally I'd be out swing dancing, but the folks in charge of Swing Kids had some sort of medical emergency and swing club was cancelled. So I don't have that outlet for my stress. Liz also had to stay at school and get some group work done, so I don't even get to see her tonight. It's getting pretty tough.

I have 23 incomplete tasks on my to-do list, 9 of which are high priority. I have 62 emails flagged for followup that I haven't had time to take a second look at. I'm starting to get very stressed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Kings and things

I was impressed by this scripture from the Book of Mormon, where King Mosiah is explaining to his people why they should start electing judges instead of having a king to rule over them:
26 Now it is not common that the avoice of the people desireth anything bcontrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the cpeople to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

27 And aif the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
Part of the difficulty that we are having at this point in time (speaking in the present) is that the judges in the United States don't echo the voice of the people. The people say it is wrong to condone homosexual activity, for instance, especially to the point of allowing people to marry other members of the same sex. But the judges seem intent on vetoing the voice of the people, and overturning the laws that are created by elected officials. The result will be to create the perception that homosexual activity is an acceptable activity; the perception will become the reality as more people start to accept it. And the time will eventually come when the voice of the people does choose iniquity. Scary.

In case you're interested, I've also been posting my thoughts on a catholic forum thread regarding the LDS views on abortion, murder, forgiveness, etc. You can find it here:

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Adventures in Mormondom
Run, Most Damned Omnivore!
Romeo Vaunts Modern Mind

Try to find some of your own here.

Monday, April 04, 2005

More thoughts

I was intrigued by this article on why people who don't understand why an institution like marriage exists are the last people that should be allowed to reform it:

And I found humor in this quote:
"On the basis of these facts, Pinellas County Judge George Greer found that it was Terri's wish to be starved to death. She required no life support; all she needed was food and water. If being (a) on a liquid diet, and (b) unresponsive to one's estranged husband are now considered grounds for a woman's execution, wait until this news hits Beverly Hills!" -- Ann Coulter

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Gathering the faithful

The LDS Church is holding its 175th Annual General Conference this weekend. Basically, it's a thing where, instead of attending church this Sunday, members are asked to "attend" a meeting where selected members of church leadership give talks on issues of importance, and report on the state of the church. I put "attend" in quotes because there are obviously more members of the church than can fit into any one meeting place (12,275,822), and so most of us watch or listen to it on TV, radio, or the Internet. Fortunately for me, Liz's family had tickets to attend one of the actual sessions at the general conference center and some of them were unable to attend, so Liz invited me to come. We took the Trax downtown, and walked a block or two to the General Conference Center.

As we were walking, I noticed some interesting people had gathered to take advantage of the throngs of Latter-Day Saints. First, there were street performers and beggars asking passersby for money; I guess the logic is that they're faithful, and therefore generous, and so it's a great way to get the most money possible. They're probably right.

The other people I noticed, though, were more troublesome. These are the anti-mormons, most of whom--having armed themselves with all sorts of misinformation and misunderstanding--believe that it is their civic duty to cry repentance unto us wicked Mormons. In a sense, it's amusing to see what they're saying. For instance, there's the camp that thinks we don't believe in the Bible or in Jesus. So they're out there shouting, "Jesus is the risen Lord. Ye are sinners, and except that ye repent ye shall find everlasting torment," and I'm nodding my head and saying, "Amen; well said." We believe that, too.

Then there are the ones who think that we don't really care about humbly serving God, and that we selfishly do what we think is right because we think that if we are good enough, or if we convert enough people, that we'll get our own little corner of the universe to rule over when we die. They're out there shouting, "You cannot become a God. I am here because I love you. You do not love me." and some other stuff that I can't remember now.

There are also the ones who realize that we are genuinely good people with good intentions, but think that we've been led astray by a deviant church. I'm not sure exactly what they think our leaders' motives must be for lying to us. It doesn't make sense. But they insist that the Bible warned against false prophets, and so therefore our prophets are false. And the Bible warned against adding to the word of God, and so therefore any scripture not included in the Bible is therefore false. This is folly, and shows a sad lack of understanding when it comes to the origin of the scriptures. The Bible is a compilation of writings of various people who were often unaware of each other. The author of the Proverbs warning against adding to God's word had no concept of the fact that his writings would be later packed in with a bunch of other scriptural writings. If we receive and record additional revelations from God, that's not men adding to God's word. It's no more blasphemous than putting the Revelations of St. John into the same book that Proverbs is in.

And then there are the ones who think that we are borderline demonic. They're holding up signs that read, "The LDS church of Lucifer's Brother" (whatever that's supposed to mean), and lists of all the sins they think we're guilty of, which are so vile I'd rather not write them here.

So even though I can see some bit of humor in it, it really does sadden me. Most of these people have no idea what they're fighting. They won't listen in on the message of the General Conference, even though it's being broadcast on an AM station. One would think that they'd want to more fully "understand the enemy," as it were, but I guess they're afraid that they might be somehow corrupted if they listen to the admonitions of our prophets and apostles. If anybody listened to even one session, they would realize that there is absolutely no basis to most of their arguments. But they won't. I don't know, it's just sad. It's even worse when you're leaving, because you just spent two hours hearing inspiring stories from inspired teachers, and you can just feel the Holy Spirit burning inside you. The light and peace of Christ has filled you to bursting. And then you walk out and have people angrily shouting down your religion.

I really doubt that these folks have considered how they would feel if they just finished a worship session at their church, and were totally feeling at peace, and when they walked outside a bunch of people start telling them how wicked they are. In past years, groups have come to Utah to stand outside the general conference center and hand out anti-abortion fliers; apparently they don't realize that Utah has both the lowest abortion rate and the highest birth rate of all the states. So plenty of LDS members were pretty shocked to have people thrusting fliers pictures of aborted fetuses in their faces. The demonstrators have also flaunted temple garments around. They have no idea how disgusting that is. Those church members who choose to take on the covenants necessary for temple endowment keep those garments hidden as much as possible. The idea is to keep the garments close to them as a sacred reminder of the covenants they made with God. To wave them around in public like that is beyond disrespectful. It's like standing in the way of a crowd of Muslims during their Hajj, throwing copies of the Koran on the ground and stepping on them. Not to mention the lack of maturity necessary to tease people about their "funny underwear."

But despite their best efforts, the conference was spirit-filled and inspiring. It always feels so good to hear the words of inspired men and women. In closing, let me leave you with the first words I heard out of President Hinckley's mouth that day. I had known the Pope was expected to die soon, but this was the first time I heard about his actual death:
We join those throughout the world who mourn the passing of Pope John Paul II, an extraordinary man of faith, vision, and intellect, whose courageous actions have touched the world in ways that will be felt for generations to come. The pope's voice remained firm in defense of freedom, family and Christianity. On matters of principle and morality he was uncompromising. On his compassion for the world's poor, he has been unwavering.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Raw veggie diet not bad for bones

Apparently eating unprocessed fruits and vegetables doesn't give you osteoporosis after all. Go figure.
Fontana also expected the raw food vegetarians to have low vitamin D levels because they avoid dairy products, which in the US are fortified with the vitamin.
"These people are clever enough to expose themselves to sunlight to increase their concentrations of vitamin D," says Fontana.
Man, oh man. Those clever vegetarians. Exposing themselves to sunlight like that. What will they think of next? If you'd like a little background on the matter, feel free to read my research paper on the matter.