Friday, April 30, 2010

It's been a long time...

So time has passed since I have last updated my blog. I am not too good at this since it is a little out of the way with not being on my handheld iPhone. I use Twitter and Facebook frequently and going to the blog spot doesn't seem too appealing.

Lately we have had a lot happen in our little family. For a year now I have been attending Stevens-Henager College in Murray in pursuit of a Bachelor degree in Respiratory Therapy. It has been a great experience thus far. I will be completely done with it in January 2011. That sounds like a long time away, but it is only 8-9 months away. I have clinical rotations that I will be doing for 3-4 of those months. So in reality I am almost done. I just have to get more hands on training and get more comfortable with that. I am planning on getting the degree and then working in the hospital for a part time job and then working at the dealership full-time. Business seems to be picking up slowly and we are getting some great product. So I feel like I should also have my foot in the door of the dealership. If you were to ask me a year ago if I was going to stay at the dealership much passed graduation, I would have told you heck no! It was not the first thing on my mind. The first thing on my mind was to finish school and then leave the state. Why leave the state you ask... I'll discuss that later. I know my in-laws didn't like the idea and my parents hated the idea as well. They all wanted me to get a degree so I have something to back our family up in case something terrible happens with the economy again.
I will be honest, I am getting burned out of having school every month and not having too many breaks in between. The only break I get in the whole year is Christmas. It is only two weeks. I cannot complain too much after I graduate because it will be so much quicker than going to a conventional college. But, I will complain as of right now since I still have 8-9 months to go. I feel like I am getting most of the material, but I also feel like I am missing a whole lot of material as well. I hope it all comes to me before graduation because I have an exit exam I have to take and pass to get my degree.

Last month I spent my clinical rotation at Promise hospital near the U of U. It is the old Holy Cross hospital. I was on floor 2 and 3 and thought it was a great facility. I enjoyed my time there. There is a manager there by the name of Max who also has a nickname of Mad Max. He fits his nickname very well since he is literally the one who knows, or thinks he knows, every thing about Respiratory Therapy. He started the Stevens-Henager Program several years ago. He is a plethora of knowledge and I tried to get what I could out of him. I had to spend 3 different days with him out of the 8 total we had there. The other students only spent 1 or 2 times with him. This next month I will be spending my Wednesdays and Fridays at South Davis Hospital up in Davis County. It will be interesting. I hope I pick up what I need to be a good RT. We will see how it goes.

As for why I wanted to more out of state once I am graduated... The reason for my thinking on this issue is because of many reasons. I hope to not offend anyone with what I type about this, because no offense is intended. First, without a doubt in my mind I do believe it would help Amanda and I only grow closer together and strengthen our already strong relationship. That is not the offensive reason. I am honestly just tired of the typical Utah Mormon. I know this is hard to pin-point and in reality I could classify myself in this category. I just see too many individuals who take what we have as members of the church, for granted and it is hard for me to keep pushing it off. For instance, when a member of the church tells me I am going to hell or not going to look like a returned missionary if I have facial hair, I feel this is a little out of whack for me. This has happened on my than one accord. The most recent was an elderly man who came into the dealership and purchased a vehicle from me prior to my facial hair. He told me that only people who rebel against God are the ones who have facial hair. He said that I should always look like I was clean. I told him that facial hair was not something most people thought was dirty and I for one didn't either. My wife has loved me having it as well. After I told him my wife liked me having it, he replied with a disgusted look on his face that we men should do what is right no matter what our wives thought. I told him I am fine with doing what is right and my wife always chose the right, so how could this make her first wrong choice? Haha. Obviously I was trying to get out of an awkward conversation. It is members like these that judge others for what they are doing and not judge themselves on a personal level. I put my pants on the same way everyone else does, everyday. Another reason is the members outside of Utah, for the most part, recognize the blessing of having the church in their life. They are more appreciative of it (at least the active members are). In Utah, you must go to church or suffer the wrath of the members for thinking you are a horrible person for not attending. My manager for instance is not a member of the church, but some members down the street from him told their child they could not play with his child because they were not members of the church. What a horrible thing to have happen. That could have been a teaching/missionary opportunity that was destroyed. Obviously this is a people problem and not a church problem. The church isn't less true because of its members. In a way I guess I am judging the members in Utah, because I think the way that I do. I try not to, so I am sorry if I do.

Last but not least, I have been studying more about our church as I usually do and keep coming across some interesting things in history. I keep trying to find pieces that will prove the church is true or the church is false. I have come to a realization that you can find neither. No one can prove it to be true or false because then the faith factor wouldn't exist. I do believe the church is true, but I do not know without a shadow of a doubt that it is, because the Lord wants me to have faith. Without faith, personal choice is taken. If I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the church is true, then I would have no personal choice as to how I should live my life. I would be forced to live and operate under the dictations of this church. The Lord knows that we must have full choice options here in this life to learn the most out of our existence. The more we mess up and fix our problems, the more we learn to be more like Him. This goes for anything we intend to learn or seek to do well in.

I did study an interesting court hearing that Joseph Smith was involved in back in 1826, just a year before he received the Gold Plates from Moroni. It had to do with him being a treasure seeker, meaning he would go around looking for treasures in the ground. It wasn't a great profession back in the day and was heavily looked down upon. The account goes as follows. Joseph was in possession of a seer stone which could see the future, past, present and also anything the individual desired. Another individual was told that Joseph possessed this power and therefore approached Joseph and asked him if he would help him find some gold in the area and that he would pay Joseph a hefty amount of money to do so. Joseph kept refusing to help him because he knew it was not something he should do. As we all know, this happened again later with the 116 pages that were lost, because Joseph could be easily persuaded to do anything if you kept asking him. So he finally agreed to do this and the individual took him to a place that was near the Hale residence (Emma's Family). They began to dig and had a decent mine being excavated. No treasure had been discovered for the whole time they were digging. Emma's father spoke about the incident like he was disgusted with Joseph and the others for wanting to "get rich quick" and when Joseph asked for the hand of Emma in marriage, her father told him no. They later eloped and returned married where her father could not reject Joseph. The individual who had Joseph look for the treasure, became angry because Joseph called everything off, and therefore ended up in a court hearing. Because it was a pre-hearing where they were just trying to get a verdict if it needed to go further, there were not many papers written or records kept. Some records were kept and some were lost because another woman found the record years later and ripped the page(s) out and misplaced them. The fact states that Joseph pleaded guilty to treasure seeking. Even if he was guilty, he is still a man and nothing more. He may have a calling that requires more out of him, but he is still a man. With this being said, he was guilty of using a super-natural power to find treasure for his own monetary gain. This doesn't surprise me at the least because I am reminded of Moses who called on his own power and struck the rock and made water flow from it for his people who complained to him. Moses was then not allowed to go into the promised land because he received his chastisement from God, because he didn't recognize it was God's power and not his own. So in a sense, he boasted about the power God gave him (calling he had) and was not allowed to enter because of it. Joseph was a man just like Moses. I believe that Joseph could not receive the plates for 4 years because mentally he was not fully committed to God. This experience could very well justify that. I also think he had other issues that a young boy/teenager would have when given a huge responsibility and divine intervention to help him along the way. The divine intervention is no different than the miracle of a newborn, or the way a single mother can provide for a family of 4 with 2-3 jobs. This divine intervention he was given was for the welfare of everyone around him. Joseph was also in another court situation in 1830, around the time the church was founded, and the Hearing of 1826 was not referenced, so with my own opinion on the matter is that he made an impression well enough in court that it didn't bring anything to the new hearing in 1830. Hopefully this makes sense as to what I have studied on the matter. Joseph learned quick what he was going up against and I am sure he had plenty of mistakes later in life. Remember, he was a man, just like any other man, he just had a calling that required more of him.

So needless to say, I have fun learning more about the history of the church and also trying to know where my testimony stands with everything. The more I can learn, the more my testimony becomes mine and not borrowed or blind. One of the tragedies of our day are when people follow blindly and never question what is being taught or told. How else can one learn and know for themselves if something is what they hear it is. How does anyone learn anything if they never question what is being told? Do we not become more enlightened and well-versed when we question and study out the answers? I question what I can and learn what I can, because if someone comes to me and has the same question, I hope to send them on their way to studying it out for themselves as well.

In conclusion, my testimony of the things I have spoken of have not taken me away from my belief that the church is true because I know where I stand with God and I know what will get me back to Him. I feel my testimony has only become stronger rather than weaker. I hope to study more as things come my way, because studying is the key to knowledge. If someone wants to KNOW something, then must seek it out, just as the scriptures declare. Comments? Feel free to leave them. I welcome it.