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Episode 59 – Consider the Possibility

Consider the possibility that our society is already destroyed. Consider that what we are experiencing is the symptom of an unaccountable oligarchy and corrupted culture. Consider that those who desire control over you already have it.

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Correction: Karl G. Maeser is the one at BYU responsible for the chalk line quote, not John A. Widtsoe.

Put me back in the Matrix!

Cipher: “And I want to be rich… someone important … like and actor.”

Referenced in this Podcast:

One Comment

  1. wrm
    wrm February 9, 2022

    A friend of the podcast provided this reference source for the Eyring talk:
    (using youtube’s transcript option)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2y9nNw0F70

    This Brigham Young University, idaho devotional address by President Henry Dj. Irene was delivered January 11th, 2022.

    Thank you, Sister hiring and Spencer. Your message of hope and faith shines in your eyes. And I know that it comes from your heart. You have touched us today. As Sister Irene has said, this is a time of challenge, yet it is also a time of potential achievement. More so than in times past. For nearly two years, we have been battling a global pandemic. The loss of life has been staggering. But we have not abandoned optimism. Even as the pandemic morphs becoming stealthy or the medical forces arrayed against it are getting stronger and smarter. You may have been similarly blessed in challenging circumstances that turned out better than expected, not only during the pandemic, but also in other times as well. One of my earliest challenges came when my father, president Henry B. Eyring, was called to leave Stanford University and move to Ricks College, the relatively small school that is now a large university, BYU-Idaho. As a boy of just seven, I found it hard to leave the swimming pool and orchards and hide out on my grandparents Hill. I had no idea where my family and I were going yet. My heart and mind were at peace. Somehow I knew that we had been called to an important place. But I was sketchy about the details. During show-and-tell in my second grade classroom, I proudly stood and said, My family is moving to Rexburg, Iowa.

    In those days, I was small for my age and I tended to keep to myself preferring the company of my mother and father. During recess at Lincoln Elementary School. The older boys like to pull off the bright green knitted stocking cap that mom bought for me when we moved to Rexburg. That was easy to do because the cap had a large screen palm palm that might as well have had the words, pull me, sewed on it. The older boys only got more mischievous when I tried to take the cap back. You may have had similar experiences of standing up for your honor or for that of others.

    Recently, many of us have given deep thought to issues of honor. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university students and employees have been encouraged but not required to be vaccinated. Yet the vast majority have voluntarily gotten two or more shots. Their personal choices have collectively allowed us to gather face-to-face again. I’m grateful for our collective precautions, including additional injections as advised by medical professionals. In my case, which is medically complicated, I have followed medical council to get a third full vaccination rather than just a booster shot. I expect to receive a fourth shot tailored for the AMA cron variant variant. I’m deeply grateful for the recent medical advances and the council given to me. I am also grateful for the following charged from the members of the First Presidency who have said, quote, to limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. Close quote.

    I feel similar. Gratitude for the opportunity to sacrifice and strategize for the common good. Not only for the students and employees at BYU-Idaho, but also for townspeople and extended family members to whom we are inevitably connected via face-to-face gatherings. Rexburg has been blessed by faithful citizens who have worked hand in glove with community leaders for more than 130 years. Along with masking in classrooms, it may become necessary to also don masks in university hallways and other enclosed spaces. We must be ready to respond when conditions change. For better or worse. As in the past. We will seek guidance from our friends at Eastern Idaho Public Health, who have advised us so generously and effectively. How blessed we are to have leaders who are trustworthy stewards. Public Welfare.

    In addition to government officials and medical professionals, we look to the leaders of the church at this time, as always, in August of 2021, the members of the First presidency made this public statement. Quote, we find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19 and its variance and unrelenting pandemic. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses. We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population. The members of the First Presidency have also said, quote, We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Once again, you and I can’t overestimate the importance of increased sensitivity to the preferences of others. Agency is fundamental to the plan of salvation put forward by Heavenly Father and personally paid for by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Working together and with Heaven’s guidance, we can find ways to thread the needle of public safety and private preferences. In this process, we must resist the impulse to contend whether in public or private settings, it is natural and to a degree important to engage in political discussion. Each of us is biased and under-informed in ways that can be easy to overlook. That’s certainly my case. As disciples of our Savior, however, we are expected to respect everyone, even people whose honor we may question. He set the example saying, quote, I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine, close quote. May we be blessed in building bridges of goodwill between ourselves and those who don’t agree with us.

    As members of the BYU community, BYU-Idaho community, not only in Rexburg, but also in homes faraway. We have made promises to act in honor. One of the visible evidences of those promises is our set of dress and grooming standards. I am grateful for your adherence to these standards. They have been approved by the Church Board of Education for BYU-Idaho students and employees. All of us sometimes need to swallow our pride. I felt that way for years ago this month when I talked about dress and grooming in devotional. Hairstyles should be clean and neat. Avoiding extreme styles. Just what is that supposed to mean? To quote Currly one of the Three Stooges, Mack. (Currly – I resemble that remark). Who was that guy. Over the years though, I have seen the blessing of honoring dress and grooming covenants, which can come with attendant spiritual and temporal blessings. In fact, almost all blessings are predicated on doing the right things when the costs seem too high or even unfair.

    Think for instance, of the pain of our first early ancestors, Adam and Eve. They were challenged by the Lord to give sacrifices at a time when their very survival was at stake. But they were rewarded with harvests enough to keep them and their posterity alive. Noah was told to build an ark, not for the sake of travel, but to preserve, preserve the lives of his family. When a divine decree warned of spiritual cleansing of the earth by flood. Similar tests of honor or were given to Moses in the wilderness and to David when King Saul sought to take his live. Joseph Smith willingly risked death many times before his martyrdom and Carthage, ultimately sacrificing his life along with his older brother Hyrum. Their sacrifice for the kingdom of God on earth is a tribute to honor. Certainly the greatest sacrifice for honor was our Savior’s bravery in confronting the Jewish scribes and Pharisees. He surely knew that his charges against them, whom he justifiably called hypocrites would lead to their seeking his death. But his honor and the mission given by his father in heaven required him to stand firm, knowing the consequences. In many ways, we now face tests of honor.

    The modern day equivalent of Old Testament burnt offerings and other sacrifices. Covid it appears, is testing our resolve to follow the guidance of governmental and church authorities. But rather than seeing an unfair and perhaps even needless intrusion on our freedom, we can embrace the trials, tests and potential victory to be had. We can make this at time of strengthening ourselves and those for whom we are concerned, tough time bring out humility, and increase the bonds between us. We turn to heaven and find new spiritual sources of strength. Leadership lessons come closer to the surface of our lives. We become more teachable by the Spirit and trustworthy mortals, especially the leaders of the church.

    Through these experiences, we are humbled. All but our Savior, our prodigal sons and daughters, repentance and forgiveness lead to closer ties among loved ones and new acquaintances. Turning to this savior eases our burdens of sin, which are exchanged for joy, gratitude and love follow. We want to serve our fellow mortals even if it requires inconvenience, sacrifice, and persecution. Full-time missionaries and other bears of the good word of God experience that the result can be lasting change and with it a sense of honor in all of our thoughts and interactions with others. But the process is lifelong. I saw that in the life of elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who passed away a little more than four years ago. Elder Hales received his call as a General Authority in 1975. But he had served in church wide office for five years before. While working as a full-time corporate executive, he was always juggling. Elder Hales knew firsthand nearly every leadership position in the church. In the late 1970s, he and his wife Mary, presided over the England London mission. He also served as first counselor in the Sunday school General Presidency.

    Decades earlier, Young Bob Hails lived with his parents in the greater New York area. The Church there was small. Occasionally the members in New York gathered with their counterparts in Princeton, New Jersey. At those gatherings. Bob meta, tall, teen-aged boy named Hal Eyring. Princeton had even fewer young church members than did the congregation in New York. Sacrament meeting was held in the living room of the Eyrngs small house. In addition to how the only other youths who are older brother Ted and younger brother Harden. Bob’s family roots were in the West and he went west to college at the University of Utah.

    Starting pitcher with potential to be a major league baseball player. But over use of his arm lead to permanent injury. That however proved providential as it turned Bob’s attention to military service. He enlisted in the Air Force ROTC and became a jet fighter pilot. His unit’s motto was return with honor. Though the work of flying fighter jets was glamorous, it was also dangerous. Bob risked severe injury when on take off his plane malfunctioned and caught on fire. His health was spared thanks to quick thinking and well rehearsed practice. Bringing the plane to a hard stop. He jumped from the cockpit to the ground. His ankles likely would have been shattered had it not been for attending to his seemingly small precaution. Bob’s flight instructors had taught him and his fellow flyers the importance of tightly lacing up there nearly knee high boots.

    As a result of honoring the seemingly small procedure, he was able to continue his service rather than landing in the hospital and being transferred to a job on the ground. Yeah. There was no rest even for a downed pilot while Bob was still sitting on the ground, strapped to his parachute and his plane burning nearby. His commanding officer pulled up in a jeep. Upon learning that Bob wasn’t seriously hurt. The commander said Hales, you fly again tomorrow. And off he sped. But less than a minute later, Bob saw the Jeep turn back. Without smiling, his commander said Hales, you owe the Air Force a million dollars. He didn’t pay up.

    Upon Bob’s completing his four-year military commitment, his commanding officer recommended him to Harvard Business School. That is where he reconnected with my father, a fellow student. The rigor of the first year MBA curriculum was known to be very high. A crusty professors started the semester by saying, look at the two people sitting next to you, one of you three won’t be here next semester. Bob was already concerned about his relative lack of emphasis on academics in college. And his time in the Air Force left him feeling rusty as a student. He wasn’t bookish to say the least. Then early in the first semester of the Harvard MBA program, Bob was called as elders quorum president. That responsibility came on top of being the father of two young sons.

    Without Mary’s generalship at home, there would have been an emotional and academic train wreck. After much prayer and discussion, Mary said, I’d rather have an active priesthood holder then a man who holds a master’s degree from Harvard. But we’ll do them both. Bob distinguished himself as a Harvard graduate. He became, thanks to baseball in the Air Force, he became a man with street smarts. At graduation, he had his pick of business opportunities. In the succeeding decades, he held senior leadership positions in four large companies. Throughout that period, Bob served in church leadership positions. In 1975, he was called as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ten years later, he was called as the presiding bishop of the church. He recommended my father as his first counselor. The work of the bishopric was strenuous as it included supervising church operations around the world. Yet bishop and sister Hails were kind to Sister Eyring and me. At a time when we were living in Boston, they visited us. We felt that they were ministering on behalf of our parents.

    Just a few years later, though, Bob Bishop hails suffered the first of multiple heart attacks that would sap his strength. In addition, there were problems with his lungs. As an avid golfer though, he couldn’t resist a friend’s invitation to play a round of golf at St. Andrews, where the game was created in Scotland. It wasn’t until the final hole that he sensed a heart attack coming on. Asking his colleagues to call an ambulance. He took a knee to rest.

    Then he confidently finished the round by making along Putt. As he began what would be 23 years as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Hales, physical challenges came with him. Looking back, M. Russell Ballard, his longtime seat, meet seat mate in the 12 made this observation from that time on health issues came one after the other. As we sat together over these many years, I’ve witnessed the great courage and complete dedication of Robert D. Hales, close quote.

    Fortunately, Mary was a self-taught nurse and diagnostician. She was at his side, rarely leaving her husband. By then I was blessed to serve as the Hales Bishop. On many Sunday afternoons when the meetings and interviews were through in my Bishop’s office, I would stop at the Hales home. More than once he recounted an experience of perceiving the veil between this life and the next. It was a place of pure peace. The opposite of the wrenching pain and the heart attack and the electric shocks used to bring him back to mortality.

    President Henry B. Eyring made this statement at Elder Hales funeral. I have no way no way to know if he was deceased for a brief time that afternoon or if it was a dream. But this I do know he felt in a moment of intense testing that he was supposed to do something difficult and he was loyal to the command he had received. For me. It was another moment, just one of many I have had with him. When whatever the cost and however difficult the command. He was loyal to his family and friends, to the Lord and to the Lord’s prophet.

    Life doesn’t get easier as it goes. That is true as we battle age. But this is also a unique social age for all of us. We are experiencing unusual temp, temporal challenges. In addition to the COVID pandemic with its offshoots, we face public strife and individual rebellion. Yet unfailing honor and fealty to heavenly father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as the promptings of the Holy Ghost, assures us eternal life with them and our family members. In the celestial kingdom.

    Though life tends to get more challenging, especially in the end stages, spiritual refining process accelerates. I was blessed to sit, usually speaking little at the bedside of my heroic friend. Robert D. Hales, Mary a paragon of service and honor usually left me alone with him. In the silence, important thoughts came somewhere shared and others saved away. I cherish a particular statement of this long suffering spiritually Polished friend. In a lengthy period of silence, he observed. It’s quite something for a man of my experiences to learn to tell time by the position of the shadows on the walls.

    May we be blessed to develop the honor that we’ll want to take with us in this life and the life which is to come as mortal beings. It is natural for us to look far ahead with anticipation of great earthly and spiritual rewards. Yet lasting honor, is a matter of daily embracing the guidance of the Holy Ghost and the self-sacrificing example of our Lord. As we do this tough times such as these, we’ll bring out the honor. We all claimed by choosing the plan of our Heavenly Father in the pre mortal existence. Let us do so together in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. For more information about this program, please visit the BYU-Idaho website at byui.edu. Devotionals. English – English AllListenableRelatedFrom BYU-Idaho

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