Wednesday, 23 April 2014


     When I was about 17 years old I decided I wanted to learn how to dive off a diving board.  I had no more experience than the ability to swim as well as having gone through the typical lightweight cannon ball escapades.  I told my parents, and they signed me up for some diving lessons.  I was embarrassingly caught on the first day, in a class of six with five 13-14 year old girls.   But I decided I would endure and continue on.  My desire to learn how to dive drove me forward.
     First the teacher walked us through the basics, and then we did some diving off the ground by the side of the pool, then slowly we moved up, to diving without jumping from the lowest diving board.  Then eventually we were ready to attempt a full on jumping swan dive.  I was very excited for this, a few of my friends had self taught themselves how to do it and now I would be able to show off the next time we went swimming!
     When my turn came, a few of the girls had gone before me, and 2-3 had been successful in pulling off the maneuver.  I got up there and did the carefully measured out steps and footwork the teacher had taught me.  But as I cam to the edge of the board, I chickened out, and I buckled my knees instead of jumping off the edge.  After teetering for a moment on the edge of the board, I awkwardly slipped off the board and dropped the 3 or 4 feet down into the water.  As I came out of the water I heard the subsiding laughs of the girls in my class.  My pride wounded, I waited for my next attempt.
     When my turn came I went for it again, but this time I jumped off the board with a bit too much enthusiasm.  As I turned to go headfirst into the water, again I was not 100% committed to the maneuver, I didn't fully trust the proven technique to stay committed to the dive and tried to pull out.  The result was devastating as I slammed belly down on the water which subsequently knocked the breath right out of me. After coming to terms with the pain, I slowly got out of the pool again.  
    Commitment is a huge part of our faith.  What we get out of the gospel comes from how committed we are to it.  Now I'm not saying necessarily that if you are a little less to the gospel, that the result will be as painful as a belly flop.  But the difference to holding back on just a few things in the gospel makes a huge difference.  Also in order to commit ourselves we must know what we are committed to.  Just like me learning to dive, where I had to understand the theory and the technique of it all, we also need to learn all we can from the scriptures, revelation, and church leaders in order to know how we can be firmly committed to the church.
    For myself the blessings I have seen most readily when being as committed as I can have been that I feel the spirit so much stronger and more readily, I understand the gospel much better, and I see God's promised blessings fulfilled all the more periodically.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

General Conference is Here!!!

     So taking a side step for a week I wanted to talk about general conference.
This week on Saturday and Sunday the 5 and 6 of April at 10 am and at 2 pm MDT, a living prophet will speak.  That is either true or it is not, but either way it is a bold and very interesting claim.  For myself, I know it's true because I have heard the prophet speak and I have felt the spirit bear witness to me that he is a true prophet.  My invitation is to watch conference!  It is always so uplifting and I always learn so much.   here is a link you can watch it live: or watch it after the live showing by following links to general conference through
   When I was about 8 years old I had a problem.  I had no idea as to whether I liked carrots or not.  I decided though that because they were a vegetable I didn't want to try them.  I had eaten them about 2 years before and I thought I could remember what they tasted like.  I could think of nothing so disgusting as eating a carrot.
     After going through life this way for a long time, every time I was offered a carrot I would deny it, all based on 1 experience that was only a shady memory.  Eventually I tried a carrot again and today I know that they are actually ok tasting, especially if they are prepared well.  I learned this through personal experience.  If you have negative experiences with faith in the past I would invite you to give it another try.  While painful those experiences may be, you really have very little to risk by dipping your toe in and trying to have a small spiritual experience.  General conference is a great way to do this.  From the comfort of your own home you can learn and grow and feel the spirit.  If this happens then take a further step of faith and see if the trend continues, try attending a local sacrament meeting.  I can promise that is a step you will never regret. It wont necessarily be easy, but it will be the first small step in the right direction.  

The LDS Conference Center