Monthly Archives: March, 2018

LDS Church Handbook of Instructions

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This is troubling on so many levels.  Church doctrine is often open to interpretation.  Sometimes general authorities contradict one another or even their own selves.

Compare and contrast Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s talk “Our Relationship with the Lord” with his hymn “I Believe in Christ.”

Policies and even doctrines can change, such as whether black men can receive the priesthood, and whether a man needs multiple wives in order to achieve the highest exaltation.

I currently home teach a good brother who has formally joined another church.  He is friendly and appreciates home teaching visits.

I do not advocate same-sex marriage, rather I am neutral.   But is it really worse in God’s eyes than attempted murder or rape?

– Tom Irvine

SCMC Devotional, March 7, 2018

Scripture warnings about fault-finding…

They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.   (Psalms 64:6)

He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.  (Proverbs 11:12)

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.  (Matthew 7:1-5)

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.  (2 Corinthians 2:20)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  (Ephesian 4:29)

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  (James 1:26)

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.   (Jude 1:16)

– Tom Irvine




SCMC Devotional, March 4, 2018


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What do you notice in people?
The Practice:  See the good in others.

Many interactions these days have a kind of bumper-car quality to them. At work, at home, on the telephone, via email: we sort of bounce off of each other while we exchange information, smile or frown, and move on. How often do we actually take the extra few seconds to get a sense of what’s inside other people – especially their good qualities?

In fact, because of what scientists call the brain’s “negativity bias”, we’re most likely to notice the bad qualities in others rather than the good ones: the things that worry or annoy us, or make us critical.

Unfortunately, if you feel surrounded by lots of bad or at best neutral qualities in others, and only a sprinkling of dimly-sensed good ones, then you naturally feel less supported, less safe, and less inclined to be generous or pursue your dreams. Plus, in a circular way, when another person gets the feeling that you don’t really see much that’s good in him or her, that person is less likely to take the time to see much that’s good in you.

Seeing the good in others is thus a simple but very powerful way to feel happier and more confident, and become more loving and more productive in the world.

– Rick Hanson, Ph.D.