Archive for January, 2008

31
Jan

Wednesday (January 2008)

   Posted by: John    in Family

So here we are in Albany.  The drive was not too bad, although the first 200 miles involved snowy and very icy roads.  Fortunately, there was not a lot of traffic.  I also did not up needing the chains.

Went to Cathy’s last evening and had supper.  We spent some time talking over some old times and a lot more time having some laughs.  I think we needed it.  The next few days are going to be very hard. 

The funeral arrangements are pretty much set.   All we can do now is get the things done that need to happen.

Right about now everyone else is still asleep.  I woke up early, but I suppose I went to sleep sooner than they did.  Everyone else was watching TV and I laid down and was pretty much out.

I am feeling a little lost right at the moment.  I think I it is starting to sink in that I am now “orphaned” per se.  My parents are both gone from this Earth.  Fortunately I have my dear wife and kids to be with.  And my sister, of course, even though she lives 500 miles away.

I’m not sure how I will make it through the day, but night will come regardless of how I handle things and then there are things to do tomorrow as well.  I just hope that I can hold it together.  Maybe I need to let go some.  Not sure this is the right time or place.

I’m rambling now, so it’s time to do something else for a while.

27
Jan

Obituary (January 2008)

   Posted by: John    in Family

Steven Hans Christensen died peacefully at his home Jan 25. He was 79.

Steven was born in Collbran, Colorado on Nov 19, 1928 to Hans and Shirley Christensen, the oldest of 4 children.  He served in the Army and Coast Guard for several years before settling in Southern California.  He married Nancy Robken on Jul 13, 1963 and fathered two children.  The family moved to Albany in 1970.  Nancy died in 1992.

Steven married Edna Clark in 2000, and lived in Salt Lake City for 2 years before moving to their current home in Lebanon, Oregon.

Steven worked for Nissen Ford in Albany for many years before retiring in 1993.  Since then, he has been active in many old and some new hobbies including photography, amateur radio, genealogy and woodworking. 

Steven is survived by his daughter Cathy and husband James of Albany; son John and wife Karen of Meridian, Idaho;  sisters Virginia Watson and Sofia McKay, and brother John Roper; wife Edna; and 5 grandchildren.

A couple of months ago, one of the speakers in church spoke about addiction.  She made the point that physical and mental addiction were related to each other, but that mental addiction was the stronger of the two.  While she did not go into much detail about this idea, I have thought about it fairly often since and I think she is more right than she knows.

With physical addiction, one’s body becomes a slave to some thing the body decides it wants or needs.  Drugs are an obvious first thought.  Drugs are tangible, real, and some of them only require one try for the body to develop a thirst or need for it.  People get addicted to all kinds of things, like drugs, exercise, caffeine, sex, alcohol, and so on.  As the need for the addiction rises, the spirit will get dragged down.  We lose focus of the things that are really important.  Our spirit loses the ability to feel the Holy Ghost.  Soon, we are left to ourselves and the addiction controls us and we are unable to get out of the rut, so to speak.  The addiction will affect our minds, often causing us to focus on the addiction.  Can’t wait for the next beer, or hit of speed.  Still, with help and hard work, physical addictions can be overcome and left behind, except for the memories.

While physical addiction snares the body, mental addiction gets the mind.  These kinds of addictions are more subtle, as they do not require consumption of a substance to feed the beast.  There is often not a detriment to the body in the short term.  However, the kinds of things in the mental addiction category are very often more damaging to the spirit, acting quickly, and having a much more devastating effect.  Take, for instance, pornography.  People become addicted to porn.  And, once you are hooked, it is difficult to be satisfied with just dirty pictures.  Soon, the most vile and perverted things will be attractive.

What’s scary about it is that the first encounter with the lightest of porn kills the spirit.  The farther one goes, the harder it is to regain the spirit.  Very soon, it is gone, and getting it back is a long and arduous process.  It can be done, but the images and scenes are there and almost impossible to forget. 

At the same time, this mental addiction to porn causes many people to want to do what they see.  It leads to infidelity, social disease, unwanted pregnancy, broken families and sometimes death.  The mental addiction spurs physical action and reaction.  Many people who are incarcerated for some heinous crimes admit that hardcore porn was the root cause of their criminal activities.  The mental addiction led to physical addiction, the combination of the two causing horrific results.

It is interesting that God does not refer to continually doing good as an addiction.  One can say that a person who walks in righteousness is addicted to the spirit.  The difference, I think, is that there is nothing bad that comes from the Holy Ghost.  Following the commandments and not letting ourselves get tangled up in the addictions of the world keep us free.  Not free from rules and commandments, but free from the snares that keep us down, free from the social ills of the world, free from much of the heartache and disease that make life miserable.   It is a concept that escapes the majority of people, who think of freedom only in the literal sense of being able to do what they want.  Anarchy has no place in the kingdom of God, which is, of course, a kingdom of order.  It, therefore, has rules to be followed.  That does not limit us, but provides us with the means to be successful and reach our true potential.

I have made a mishmash of notes of things that piqued my interest.  These notes are sitting on my phone and 2 computers, mocking me right now.  About half of them I remember, and I put enough information on the note to recall most of the circumstance and substance of what I wanted to keep.  The rest, however, are probably lost forever.  Dangit.

Anyway, one of them had to do with a Sunday School lesson we had a few weeks ago, where in the New Testament (somewhere close to the end), we read some verses that had to do with Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses.  Karen asked the question of how these supposed titles were similar, or rather, how a person could fill both.  Brother Miner thought that was a good question and we spent a few minutes on it.

Kings and Queens are rulers, generally over secular duties having to do with the daily and strategic running of a kingdom or country.  Priests and Priestesses would serve over religious duties, such as running the church or congregation, attending to the spiritual needs of the people.

The separation of these duties is obvious, yet many in history have done both.  For example, traditionally, the King or Queen of England is the head of the Anglican church, the Defender of the Faith.  This dates back to the time when England split from the Catholic church and formed the Church of England, or Anglican faith.  The King was responsible for the division, and took it upon himself to be the head of the new church.  Thus, the monarch of England served in both secular and religious leadership.

In the Book of Mormon, there was a time when the people decided to abandon the monarchy and went instead to a panel of judges to rule, among which was a chief judge.  This chief judge was also the High Priest of the church.  Alma served in this capacity for some time.  Thus, he was the ruler of the country, and was also the leader of the church.  He eventually felt that the two positions did not lend themselves to each other, and turned the secular role to another, devoting his time fully to God. 

These kinds of examples give us some understanding as to the differences between being a King and a Priest.

Consider Jesus, who is both a God, head of his kingdom, and High Priest, head of his church.  He fills both roles.  So does His Father.  In a fully righteous place, one can do both.  The problem with the world is that there is no place that is righteous enough to do it.  It has been close, several times, but never quite there, with the possible exception being the city of Enoch.

In the temple, we are anointed to become Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses, telling us that the marriage of these roles is not only possible, but expected.  I am sure that God does not require us to be such here on Earth.  Rather, we need to develop and learn the attributes that would make us successful in those combined duties, becoming masters of ourselves, able to handle the situations that such a leader would encounter.  What we do and learn here will be added upon in the next life.  Failure to learn here will very likely hamper our later abilities.  Therefore, we should do our best here, and be worthy and ready to fulfill our anointments and eternal potential.

2
Jan

Fortune Cookies and Bed

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

It’s no secret that the fortunes in the little cookies are a load of bunk.  To counter this with more absurdity, people often add the words “in bed” to the end of the fortune.  I purchased a bag of these lying little cookies over the weekend and we have been collecting the fortunes and having a good laugh.  Here is a sample of the good luck as promised by these goofy little cookies.

You will be enlightened today…in bed.

You will have good luck in the springtime…in bed.

You  may attend a party where strange customs prevail…in bed.

Your winsome smile will be your sure protection…in bed.

You have a natural grace and great consideration for others…in bed.

You will be rewarded for a good job…in bed.

A happy event will take place shortly in your home…in bed.

Your life will be happy and peaceful…in bed.

You have a secret admirer…in bed.

You will welcome may people with your smile…in bed.

Versatility in one of your outstanding traits…in bed.

You will soon follow your heart’s desire…in bed.

You will receive an unexpected compliment…in bed.

You will excel in something in which another failed…in bed.

Your situation will change for the better…in bed.

You will make someone happy today…in bed.

You will have good luck and overcome many hardships…in bed.