Taking on a New Role

Last night my life changed. Forever.

My wife and I welcomed our first child, a son, into the world last night. It was an experience that is beyond the reach of words. Until he was born, all I could feel was anxiety, excitement, and anticipation. Today I feel happy, love, and of course, exhaustion.

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Today my mindset is different, however. This little boy is my son. My son. I always knew that, but now the fact has hit me, and started to sink in.

I am no longer just a husband. I have a new role, and new responsibilities.

As a father, it is up to me to make sure this little guy knows the important things in life. Obviously that means the essentials – sports, good music, and all other things man-related. But, my responsibilities go much deeper.

He needs to come to know and understand who he is.

This new addition to our family is not just my son. He is a son of God. The God of heaven and earth has given my wife and I the responsibility of raising one of His own. That’s a big deal. As he grows up, he needs to learn about his identity and potential. Not just potential in life, but in the life to come as well. This little miracle deserves everything I have to offer him as a father.

How I look forward to watching him grow, and teaching him all I can. Ultimately, he will make his own choices, but that’s the beautiful part of life. We are free.

There is no feeling like this, not that I have ever felt in my life. Being a father is a special experience, and I couldn’t trade it for anything.

Which Way Do You Face?

Conference has come and gone, and it’s time to review notes and read through the text and soak it all in.

Each of us have talks that speak to us. Elder Robbins’ “Which Way Do You Face?” really stood out to me. There are so many way to relate this to our lives.

Direction is everything. We use compasses and innumerable technological resources to make sure we are traveling in the right direction.

No matter which direction we are traveling, we can always be focused on the direction we face.

I strive to live my life in a way that always faces toward my Savior and my Heavenly Father. My goals in life are focused on returning to them. When decision time comes, I’m not just considering my options. I consider my family, and the effect the decision’s consequences have on my relationship with not only them, but with my Savior.

The great scriptural heroes always knew which way they faced. One of my favorite examples is during the prophet King Benjamin’s address to his people. Everyone came to hear him, and they came as families.

“And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple…” – Mosiah 2:6 (Book of Mormon)

The temple is the House of the Lord. It symbolizes the Savior and is a representation of His love for us. As these people faced the temple, they faced Christ.

Which way do you face?

We can travel in any of the cardinal directions we need to, but just because we are traveling one way, doesn’t mean we can’t face another. The world has different goals and faces another way. The ways of the world are not in harmony with the standards of God. When we make mistakes and lose sight of our goal, we can always do an about-face and re-focus.

Living with a focus on God, and facing Him, brings peace and joy in to my life and the life of my family. Following God’s standards keeps the world’s influence away, and provides a greater perspective for our daily lives.

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Night and Day

My wife and I attended a hockey game Friday night. It was my wife’s first time. After the first period, I went up to the concession stands to grab a pretzel and a soda. No, this isn’t a rant about the ridiculously high prices. These are thoughts I had today as I compared my surroundings as I waited in line at that concession stand to the events of Saturday.

Standing behind me in line were some young men who were constantly swearing. They were pridefully hyping about being drunk, smoking drugs, and just plain being obnoxious.

As I stood in front of them, it was hard not to listen to them. I felt completely out of place, like I was in the wrong crowd. I felt different.

Saturday morning I was in the temple of God with my wife’s family. There were eight of us in total.

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What. A. Difference.

The temple is such a special place. When I go to the temple, I leave the world at the door. Nothing else matters but me and my relationship with my family, and my relationship with my God and my Savior.

The difference between these two atmospheres was literally like night and day. The world’s standards have fallen, and continue to fall. But God’s standards never change.

I’m glad that my wife wasn’t exposed to the things I was at that concession stand. However, I’m so grateful to have shared the memories we had in the temple today with her family.

How I Met the Mormons

This week the Church launched a brand new full-length feature film called Meet the Mormons. The movie literally takes you across the world, and into the lives of six members of the Church with fascinating stories.

I sMeet-The-Mormons-Poster-600x776aw the movie this weekend. It is nothing short of inspiring. These people will bring tears to your eyes. Well worth the trip regardless of what faith you belong to. The whole purpose behind the movie is for everyone to understand that members of the Church (Mormons) are regular people. We have a lot in common. We are normal.

As a convert to the Church, I was introduced to the faith in high school. Two of my best friends invited me to attend with them one Sunday. It was a totally noticeable difference in spirit and atmosphere from any other worship service I had previously attended. The spark of interest from that first service I eventually ignited into a huge flame that eventually led to my membership in the Church.

I am a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe in God. He is my Father. I believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, my life is whole. I pattern my life after Him. I try to live as He did.

Every penny of revenue from this film is donated to the Red Cross. Give it a chance. Go and see something that will inspire you. I couldn’t recommend this movie enough. It makes you feel good.

To read my entire story about how I eventually joined the Church, click here.

The Good of Technology

I recently made a trip to my “Disneyland away from Disneyland,” the Apple store. Those of my close friends and family know I am an Apple guru. I have always had a deep passion and interest in Apple products. When I walk into an Apple store I am literally filled with all kinds of  excitement and anxiety.

This post is not intended to praise Apple or its products. While I was in the store tonight, I found, or saw rather, a story.

Those who have been in the Apple store know that the company offers free hour-long workshops. Customers can sign up for a time, come in to the store, and ask questions and learn more about Apple’s products, and how to get the best use out of them for their individual needs.

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Tonight I saw an older couple sitting at a table with the Apple employee, learning the very basics of their Macbook, paying every bit of attention with pen and paper in hand, taking notes as they learned.

It was amazing to me. Technology is a major part of an individual’s life, not only for this generation, but this day and age. So many people, especially the older generation, push technology away. But this couple was embracing it. They were so engaged in their lesson, so eager to learn and understand. I couldn’t help but feel excited for them as they learned even just the basics of a machine that will soon become a well-known friend to them, rather than what probably seems to be a stranger-like relationship at present.

Technology is a good thing. Embrace it with eagerness as it continues to become more a part of your life. Technology can be and is used each day for good and bad. Choose to use technology for good. Share goodness online and offline.

Use the good in the world for the good of the world.