Good Things That Come From Utah

Carol and I traveled from California to Brigham City last weekend for her uncle Larry’s funeral. I always enjoy our road trips to Utah because Carol reads to me from James Scott Bell as I drive. I personally think James Scott Bell is one of the best thriller fiction authors I have ever read, or have had read to me, as is the case with every book of his that I have heard so far.

We learned long ago to break our trip up into two days, staying in St George the first night before going on to northern Utah the next day. Each of Carol’s four trucker brothers are retired and now live in Washington county. We would love to retire there ourselves, but I’m still committed to my present 5G telecom employer in Chatsworth as long as they find value in my contributions.

Beautiful Southern Utah

Carol’s brother Scott introduced us to Matt’s Off Road Recovery, a fascinating YouTube channel that appears to be very popular with dozens of episodes hitting millions of views. Not bad for a channel that was introduced just a few years ago in 2019. Matt is based in Hurricane, which is where we hope to retire, although Californians are blamed for the price of housing skyrocketing there over the past few years.

You can’t watch more than a few of Matt’s episodes without being introduced to his friend Paul of Fab Rats and Robby Layton of Ephraim. I got hooked as I followed the story of recovering and restoring Ed’s Suzuki LJ20 and especially the story of recovering the sunken boat at the bottom of Lake Powell after thirty years. If you click on nothing else, be sure to watch the episode of reuniting the boat with the owners.

That Unique Utah Culture

For those who have experienced it, you know that Utah culture is somewhat unique in all the world. It bleeds worldwide through the members of the LDS church who have been transplanted just about everywhere there is an organized LDS ward or branch. In our ward today, the BYU / UofU rivalry was spoken of over the pulpit. As we left the parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice how many license plates had “BYU Alumni” frames around them.

Technically, I suppose I qualify as a BYU Alumni since I attended a year at Rick’s College before my mission back in the 1970’s. I’ve thought about getting one of those license plate frames but I’d be afraid somebody would just accidently cut me off on the freeway as I drive to and from work here in LA. Carol and I have laughed about this many times. Although we are both returned missionaries, we don’t fit the typical story of meeting at BYU.

Some Books Worth Reading

I recently completed reading a few books and wanted to recommend them as worth your time. The first is Whitney Horning’s book from 2018, Wisdom. I’ve read and reviewed her other two books previously, one on Joseph and one on Hyrum, but felt the desire to read this one after completing the other two. The book is well-footnoted. I found it to be an easy read and insightful. Some might think this volume is targeted solely toward women. I disagree.

Whitney does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting knowledge and wisdom, then discusses marriage and family, women and the priesthood, mothers in heaven, and knowing God. The doctrine taught was familiar to me as Whitney often references the works of Denver Snuffer. This book was published about the same time Denver presented Our Divine Parents. Whitney’s book on Wisdom is about 250 pages of how to wisely draw closer to God.

By A Thread

The second book I wanted to mention is By A Thread, from Marco A. Martinez. I have long believed that the Constitution of the United States is a document inspired by God. The Lord so stated through Joseph Smith in Section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants.  Marco quotes extensively from LDS prophets and historical sources to document that America is a land of promise and that Zion will be established here on this, the American continent.

An eye-opening chapter to me was what Marco shared about Abraham Lincoln in chapter three: Centralization of Power. Frankly, it was the opposite of what I was taught in school about the right of states to secede from the union. The civil war was not about freeing slaves, it was about federal power and control. It was about stripping the states of their right to independence and self-government. This chapter alone is well worth reading the book.

Peace Through Forgiveness

A third book I recently completed was made available to the public in March of this year. I had read the majority of Peace Through Forgiveness years ago, as did several other clients of the author, Jan M. Graf. It was published posthumously by his daughter. I have written previously about the work of Graf Stress Management and the power of this technique of discovering hidden stress and releasing it. Frankly, Jan’s work changed my life and brought me great peace.

I promised I would not quote from the book, and have removed all previous quotes I have used on my blog and website. However, I must tell you, if you want some real-world answers about how to deal with multiple personalities or negative entities, you have got to read chapters 17 and 18. Long-time readers know I have written about another individual from southern Utah who courageously published his work on casting out and was excommunicated for Priestcraft.