Help! I’m Trapped In this Body!


All of us know that some spirits have been sent here and are trapped in imperfect physical bodies. Both the physically and mentally handicapped are easily recognized and helped accordingly. Most of us have compassion and know that in the eternities they will be made whole. But often we  are ignorant to the fact that ‘everyone’ is trapped in an imperfect physical body!  It’s the nature of this world. Many struggle with all kinds of physical and mental impairments that are not easily recognizable. And if you happen to be born “whole”, so to speak, as you age your body and mind begin to deteriorate and most of us will be robbed of “who we really are.” A visit to any nursing home will serve as a testimony as to the ultimate fate of our mortal bodies.  Why is it important to recognize, adjust, and recognize this fact?

Well, many years ago I spoke in a fireside on mental illness. I have no degrees on this subject, just personal first hand experience. In that fireside I held my hand up and said, “This is the spirit body”. I then placed a dime on the table and picked it up to demonstrate how simple a task it was. I then put on a surgical glove to signify the physical body housing the spirit. Then I picked up the dime. Again it was easy. I then removed the surgical glove and put on a rubber glove typically used for washing dishes. It was more difficult to pick the dime up with that glove on. I then put on a leather glove used for driving, then a leather glove used for yard work. Finally I put on a bulky glove used for winter conditions. With the change of each glove it became increasingly difficult to pick up that dime,  till I could no longer pick the dime up at all. The problem, I said, was that we often expect everyone to perform on the level of the surgical glove when most are wearing other types of gloves.

I hope that all of us will have compassion, not just on the most obvious of those who are handicapped, but may all of us remember that “all” our spirits are trapped, to a certain degree, within an imperfect body.  May we have mercy on those that wear gloves that don’t allow them to pick up the dime! May be keep in mind that if our spirit has been blessed to have been born in a surgical glove, that even that glove, with time, will deteriorate into the bulky winter glove. When that time comes, we will want all the love, patience and caring that others can give to us. Remember the charge of the Savior, “by this shall all men know ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)



Nuts Like Us!

She was in her 98th year of life but her mind was as sharp as when she was in her prime. As she glanced about the old folks home, she once again had to remind Alice to stop tapping on the Parrott’s cage as it upset the bird and sent him squawking. Then she spied Gertrude, who was holding a conversation at the door of the house with her imaginary friend. At that moment another wonderful lady walked by singing to no one in particular. As she surveyed the scene, she sighed, and looking over at her nurse she said, “This place is nuts!”

While this good women’s assessment of her situation may have been accurate for her surroundings, I too on occasion, look around at what is swirling about my life and can’t help but think the same. Perhaps you have felt that way from time to time. The world in which we live seems to have endless challenges that come from all sides of life. Some are so unexpected that we are thrown off balance and our core beliefs and concepts of the purpose of life are challenged. However, I think it behooves us to remember that this earth was created so that we might experience life away from home. Because we have been given agency and placed in a mortal world, subjecting our bodies to death and deterioration, the results can sometimes seem all out of sorts and random…but they are not!

While our loving Father doesn’t control all that happens in this world, He has an eternal plan for our happiness. Part of that plan was to turn over this world to the control of nuts like us. In so doing He is offering to us the opportunity to grow and learn, through trial and error. Perhaps we might not like the results we are getting in our lives, but when the plan was presented to us in the pre-mortal life, the scriptures say we ‘shouted for joy!”

Here on earth, life under the control of the ‘committed’ can be discouraging. But it is only discouraging if we lose sight of the total plan, and ‘that all things testify’ of a God who loves us, and His great plan which will ultimately lead to a life of happiness and joy.

crying baseball

There ‘Is Crying’ In Baseball!


The Little League baseball team had just lost a tough one and the ballpark was emptying.   The fans and the other players of both teams were walking toward the parking lot and their cars.  They were going home. But back on the field, there sat a little boy, alone on the end of his bench, head down with tears rolling down his face. His team had lost and it hurt.  Up in the stands, the local high school baseball coach stood and watched. He made a mental note.

Almost a decade later that little boy was now a young man and playing for the local high school team when he was approached by his coach who recited to him the above story. “I knew then,” said the coach, “That any boy who would cry over losing a game, was the kind of boy I wanted on my team.”

In the movie, “A League of Their Own”, the manager of a women’s professional baseball team,  Jimmy Dugan, states, “There’s no crying in baseball!”, when one of his player breaks down in tears after a scolding.  It’s a classic line from one of my favorite movies. Yet, I have been playing baseball my whole life and I can tell you from experience that there is plenty of crying going on before, during and after the game. If you are a competitor and take the game seriously, the outcome matters to you. That high school baseball coach recognized that fact,  and wanted young men with that kind of intensity on his teams.  Having played for this highly succesful coach myself, it didn’t surprise me that he would remember the little boy crying on the end of the empty bench. That little boy happened to be my brother.

If you haven’t cried in this life, you haven’t lived it to the fullest.  We were sent here to this earth by a loving father to experience both success and failure. Both have the unique ability to build our characters.  Neither winning or losing should, however, define us. What defines us is our desire.

Many years ago I read this account:

“One warm evening during the past summer months…(my wife) and I enjoyed a professional baseball game. During the early part of the competition our attention was diverted from the action by a late arriver. As he walked by, he spotted me and asked, “Who’s losing?” I responded with, “Neither one.” Following my answer, I noticed that he glanced at the right-field scoreboard, saw the game wasn’t tied, and walked on, undoubtedly wondering about me.

Seconds after he made his way to a distant seat, (my wife) said, “He doesn’t know you very well, does he?” “What makes you say that?” I replied. She responded with, “If he did, he would know you don’t believe anyone is losing. Some are ahead and some are behind, but no one is losing. Isn’t that right?” I smiled in approval with a warm feeling inside.

All of us, young and old, will do well to realize that attitude is more important than the score. Desire is more important than the score. Momentum is more important than the score. The direction in which we are moving is more important than position or place. The truth “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 27:3) is as applicable today as any time in history.” (Who’s Losing?”, Marvin J. Ashton, Oct. 1974, GC)

If our desires are to become like our father, there will be days that we are found crying. It is part of the game of life we are in. Yet, let us not be discouraged when tough times fall upon us. Remember that “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalms 126:5-6)



None Of Us Are ‘Ordinary’!


A number of years ago I spent some time with a new friend. He is an ordinary man, and I guess that is what makes him so extraordinary.  You see, during our visit we began to talk of his life.  As he spoke of his mother and his impoverished upbringing I asked him about his father. He revealed that he didn’t know who his father was and that being a child of the 1950’s this had been an obstacle to overcome. His mother had become pregnant out-of-wedlock at 16 and even she didn’t know for sure who had fathered him. I said that it must have been hard as a child being raised under those circumstances, especially due to the times and morals of the day.  He agreed, but with a smile, he told me that, nevertheless, he had tried to make his life a success, and considered it such.  I agreed, as I know of his devotion to wife, family, and God.

Our conversation reminded me of an exchange I once had with a good friend of mine a number of years ago. We had been friends for many years when I happened upon him in a church hallway where we exchanged greetings.  After our greetings, he said to me:

“You know, all these years I have admired and wished that I had your talent for speaking, and being able to do all the things you do in the church.  Recently, though, I have come to realize that you have never had to overcome the trails and challenges that I have been presented with in my life.”

My friend’s statement was not made in anger or bitterness. It was just a fact that he had come to realize that I felt was absolutely true. (At least the part about his challenges being much greater than mine) I replied that I agreed with his assessment and that he might be surprised to know that I had admired him for his faithfulness and his courage in enduring and overcoming the many physical, and mental challenges that had come his way.  Indeed, this man would probably be astonished to know, that his courage had been a source of inspiration to me throughout the years. In fact, he might have found it hard to believe, but I had reflected upon his sacrifices for the gospel, and his faithfulness had brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

I have known many individuals, both men and women, who have overcome much in thier lives. I have great admiration for them. I have always believed in the parable of the talents regarding our station in this life.  If we are faithful, he will say:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:16)

When my new friend and I parted that night, he asked if we could pray together. I said I would be happy to be the voice.  In the middle of my prayer I was overcome with the emotion of our conversation, because my faith in mankind had been uplifted. In this man, as well as in many others,  I have seen the face of courage, and it inspires me to want to be a better husband, father, and person. What a wonderful talent ordinary people have to uplift others to levels beyond themselves! Which proves, that none of us are ‘ordinary’ at all!

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