An Unheeded Fire Alarm!


A few years ago I was sitting on the stand at my home ward when, in the middle of Sacrament Meeting, the fire alarm went off. As the presiding officer, it was my responsibility to handle the situation. I wasn’t upset, as I have heard the fire alarm go off a number of times during the course of my membership. It was always a “false” alarm. However, I had never heard it go off during a Sacrament Meeting. I sat calmly on the Stand as the Bishop looked my way. I didn’t flinch or move. One of the counselors in the Bishopric hopped up and raced out one of the side doors. Within a couple of minutes the alarm ended, the counselor came back in and nodded that it was a “false” alarm.  Apparently, a rambunctious boy had pulled the handle, setting the alarm off.

The interesting aspect of this event was that the membership looked at us on the stand, and when we didn’t panic or react, they didn’t either. No one got up, no one left; no one went anywhere. I learned a couple of things from this event. One, the membership places great trust in their priesthood leaders. This I had learned long before this incident. The members of the church are respectful and honor the priesthood. The second, and probably most important lesson I learned that day was that the members trusted that I knew where I was leading them. Or in this case, that I wasn’t leading them anywhere. I hate to say it, but I made a big mistake that day. I should have got right up and told everyone to begin to evacuate. Never mind that I “thought” it was a false alarm. An alarm is in place for a reason. It is there to warn us! If the leader doesn’t heed the warning, who will? Suppose that there was a “real” fire in the building and by ignoring it I caused physical harm to come to the members.  Can you imagine how someone would have felt if they had lost a loved one due to my negligence?  They might have been saying, “He didn’t get up. He didn’t  look upset. He let us get trapped. How inspired could he be?” While no harm was done on this occasion, it left me pondering regarding the great responsibility that comes with leadership.

Paul reminded us in Hebrews to heed warnings when he wrote:

“By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,  prepared an ark to the saving of his house…” (Chapter 11, verse 7)

If we should find ourselves in the lead when the alarm sounds, we need to be wise enough to heed the warning as did Noah.  I should have done it that day.  On an individual basis, the Lord often sounds the alarm.  We should be ready to heed it when it is given.


Joy Can Be Found!


I have often wondered, in the spectacular moments of the birth of our children, how my wife could endure such pain, yet yearn to repeat such an experience. The Savior too saw such an experience in childbirth and exclaimed:

“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” (John 16:21)

His lesson was that joy is something that is enjoyed to its fullest, only when it arrives as the result of hard work, long-suffering, and love unfeigned! It is rarely at the forefront of our righteous endeavors, rather, it settles ever so silently into our lives till it blankets our souls and gives peace to our mind. It brings peace, harmony, and unlimited charity to our hearts. We yearn for more of it!

To quote David Brooks:

“Joy is not produced because others praise you. Joy emanates unbidden and unforced. Joy comes as a gift when you least expect it. At those fleeting moments you know why you were put here and what truth you serve. You may not feel giddy at those moments, you may not hear the orchestra’s delirious swell or see flashes of crimson and gold, but you will feel a satisfaction, a silence, a peace-a hush. Those moments are the blessings of a beautiful life.” (“The Road to Character”)

The most joyous moments that I have found in this beautiful life, have been when I have been following and applying the teachings of Jesus Christ. Joy is something! Joy can be found! Joy is faith and belief in something greater than ourselves! Joy is Jesus Christ!

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A Woman Of God Who Is Thrilled To Be Who She Is!

In the year 2000, Sheri L. Dew said these powerful words:

“No woman is a more vibrant instrument in the hands of the Lord than a woman of God who is thrilled to be who she is…Standing tall begins with our own conversion, for when we taste the gospel’s “exceeding joy” we want to share it. The casseroles and quilts we have made to relieve suffering are splendid acts of kindness, but no service–I repeat, no service–compares with that of leading someone to Christ…When we live like disciples of Christ should live, when we aren’t just good but happy to be good, others will be drawn to us because we are “distinct and different–in happy ways,”…I have come to know for myself that this is Their work and Their glory and that we are the most blessed of all women to have such a vital part in it. May we lift our “voices as with the sound of a trump” (D&C 42:6). May we find joy as we stand tall and stand together. And may we “cheerfully do all things that lie in our power” (D&C 123:17), and then stand still to see the arm of God revealed as His work goes forward boldly and nobly…till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (Stand Tall and Stand Together, Sheri L. Dew).

What a wonderful challenge Sheri Dew gave to all of us, both male and female. Sometimes as we traverse in this mortality, our burden can become heavy with grief, disappointment, and sorrow. Let us not discard joy along the way as it will lighten our load and bring solace to our souls.   Being joyful that we are followers of Jesus Christ is paramount in being ‘the light on the hill.'(Matt. 5:14)


silver dollar

Walking On Silver Dollars


“An older boy and his young companion were walking along a road which led through a field. They saw an old coat and a badly worn pair of men’s shoes by the roadside, and in the distance they saw the owner working in the field.
“The younger boy suggested that they hide the shoes, conceal themselves, and watch the perplexity on the owner’s face when he returned.
“The older boy … thought that would not be so good. He said the owner must be a very poor man. So, after talking the matter over, at his suggestion, they concluded to try another experiment. Instead of hiding the shoes, they would put a silver dollar in each one and … see what the owner did when he discovered the money. So they did that.
“Pretty soon the man returned from the field, put on his coat, slipped one foot into a shoe, felt something hard, took it out and found a silver dollar. Wonder and surprise [shone] upon his face. He looked at the dollar again and again, turned around and could see nobody, then proceeded to put on the other shoe; when to his great surprise he found another dollar. His feelings overcame him. … He knelt down and offered aloud a prayer of thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife being sick and helpless and his children without bread. … He fervently thanked the Lord for this bounty from unknown hands and evoked the blessing of heaven upon those who gave him this needed help.
“The boys remained [hidden] until he had gone.” They had been touched by his prayer and felt something warm within their hearts. As they left to walk down the road, one said to the other, “Don’t you have a good feeling?” (Adapted from Bryant S. Hinckley, Not by Bread Alone, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1955, p. 95.) (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Some Lessons I Learned As A Boy,” April GC, 1993)

I guess I can say, that the greatest blessing of doing good for others, no matter what faith you hold, is the wonderful feeling that permeates your soul upon so doing; leaving you enriched, enlightened, and uplifted. What I most love about being a member of my church, is the bounteous opportunities it gives to me to feel good. And I love that! Because with all the bad things that come and go out of my life, I can always count on the blessings that come from service, that I both see and do, to restore my faith in the goodness of the human soul.

Time and time again, I thank the Lord for the example of wonderful men and women I associate with on a daily basis, who strive to live like Christ, and put silver dollars in the shoes of others. Often, throughout my life, they have served me and my family, inspiring and lifting me to greater heights as I walk on their Silver Dollars of service. I will be forever grateful!

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