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Mon, 13 Jun 2005

It's Unacceptable

Sometime last month I heard a radio ad for a new book that is supposed to help people accept themselves.  This made me think about whether I accept myself.  The more I thought about this and as I've revisited the subject since, the more I am sure that accepting myself is a bad idea.  Firstly, what does it mean to accept something?  Two applicable definitions are: React favorably to; consider right and proper and Tolerate or accommodate oneself to.  In this light accepting myself means considering myself as I currently am to be right and proper or tolerable.  Another way of putting it is that being accepting of who we are is akin to saying This is who I am and who I'll always be.  To me, this seems more like giving up than a way to improve myself; although the book was to be found in the self-help section of the local bookstores.  Is this cultural mantra of accepting oneself really improving us as a culture or is it actually encouraging us to give up?  I can't change who I am; so, I'll just accept myself as I am.

I also feel that this trend of just accepting who we are is causing us to short change ourselves.  I renewed my temple recommend the day before I wrote this entry in my journal last month.  One of the questions asks whether I keep the covenants I have made in the temple – keep the commandments, live morally clean, to live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, be willing to make sacrifices and to dedicate myself to the cause of righteousness.  In short, be a very good person and do whatever it takes to remain a good person.  I answered that I do to the best of my ability.  That's really the same as saying, No but I try.  Most would say that is really all that can be expected, I'm not perfect after all and I can accept that.  Yet aren't we expected to be perfect?  The more I think on it, the more I am sure that we are expected to keep those covenants (or any covenant we make) perfectly and to do so now.

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect
Matthew 5:48

Clearly, we have been commanded to be perfect.  Nephi also very clearly states that no commandment will be given unless there is a way for us to obey that commandment:

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
1 Nephi 3:7

That being the case, I must conclude that there is a way to be perfect while here in this life.  If this is not the case then Nephi was a liar and, by association, so must God be.

This entry authored by Tyran at 06:00

Wed, 15 Jun 2005

A Frustrating Blessing

This has been a terribly frustrating spring.  We've received a good deal of rain this spring nearly 200% of average in some areas (we're still in a slight deficit when the last five years are taken into account).  While that's great for our water situation it's been murder on gardening and other outdoor projects.  The result is that my house is still multi-colored and we just planted the garden last Friday.  Some people were able to get their gardens planted during the brief dry spells.  Most of those have suffered damage from cold temperatures.  Some gardens have even had their seeds washed away by all the rain.  Taking that into consideration, we were very fortunate to have had to wait so long to plant our garden.

While we were out shopping for plants and seeds, Shanna and I talked about putting in a few fruits trees as well.  We decided to plant three fruits trees:  A Montmorency Sour Cherry, a Moorpark Semi-Dwarf Apricot and a Santa Rosa Plum.  I love sour cherries as they make such great pies.  Shanna's not terribly happy about the cherry choice as she wanted a Bing or other sweet cherry.  Sour cherries, if left on the tree long enough, will also be sweet enough to eat fresh.  Personally, I love them sour, sweet or in pies just so long as I can eat them!  Santa Rosa Plums are clingstone (the plum sticks to the stone) so they're a little more work for making jams but they are very sweet.  Just writing about them makes my mouth water in anticipation.  The down side of planting trees is having to deal with that bane of all tree lovers:  Wires.  The back yard is cut on the west by a diagonal wire from the northwest corner to the middle of the house and the north has wires running along the property line.  That definitely makes arranging for afternoon shade somewhat of a challenge but that is a worry for next spring.

Speaking of shade, I used to hate the arrival of spring because it meant summer was hot on its tail.  As I've always said, It's easy to put on enough clothes to keep warm in the cold but even if you go naked, there is only so much you can take off to cool down in the heat.  While that still stands true, I find myself craving the heat and staying outside longer each day.  If I keep this up, I may turn from my pale Morlock self into the milk chocolate visage of my youth.

This entry authored by Tyran at 06:00

Thu, 16 Jun 2005

One of those Days

There are days when I am sure that everything in my life is conspiring against me.  Yesterday was one of those days.  It's not that everything goes wrong, no that was Tuesday.  Days where everything goes wrong actually make me more driven, more determined to accomplish whatever I need to do.  I simply refuse to give in to days like that.  No, it's the days where nothing goes right and everything seems just barely out of focus, just a little bit out of control.  If it were just one or two things, the day would be just fine; however, when every single thing goes wrong it just wears me down bit by bit.  That is a perfect description for yesterday.

This entry authored by Tyran at 07:59

Sun, 19 Jun 2005

Happy Fathers' Day

This morning we went over to my parents' ward because my younger brother had been asked to speak about my Dad.  No one recognized me with my beard until they saw me with other members of the family.  One fellow actually thought I might be Iraqi.  When he told me this, I just had to laugh.  Speaking of looks, we were over at my folks' house for a bar-b-que yesterday and I noticed how much my Dad and I look alike now.  I mentioned this to Shanna and also noted that many of our mannerisms are similar.  It was then that I got a huge shock:  Shanna said that we are exactly alike and that this worries her.  She went on to explain that my Dad, who is physically fit and watches what he eats just under went six bypasses and why?  She says it's because he internalizes his feelings and keeps them tightly stoppered until they explode and then she pointed out that I do much the same.  This makes her worry that she'll have to haul me in for something similar to what Dad went through before I'm forty.  Hopefully I can prove her wrong on this account.

Going back to this morning, Wayne said that there were three things that he can attribute to Dad:  His love of the outdoors, hard work and love of this country.  Personally, I would add treating ladies with respect and physically protecting and defending the honor of the Ormond women at all costs.  He pointed out that Dad laid down the law and we were expected to toe the line or suffer the consequences.  He also pointed out that Dad often says that he didn't do the best job of teaching us spiritually.  As Wayne pointed out, he must have done something right as we all served missions, married in the temple, are very active in the church and have good families.  Thanks for everything Dad!

This entry authored by Tyran at 21:16

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