A Mass of Confusion

How could such a fundamental, universally understood truth, which stood unquestioned for eons of time, be dismissed and replaced with confusing lies, that have in a short time become not only accepted as doctrine by so many, but also forced upon the rest of us? How did an ideology that runs counter to truth and contradicts itself gain such momentum? Why are so many otherwise intelligent and reasonable people not only accepting the lies, but defending them and vilifying those who dare speak the truth?

When I started blogging in 2015, one of the first things I wrote was titled “On Being a Woman”. It was a reaction to something in the news then. I confess that it violated a principle I adopted later to not call out specific people in my posts, but to focus more on principles. I was also very passionate in that piece and have tried to be more calm – less ranty – since. But I still stand by everything I said there. The truth is still the truth. Women are women – women can only be women – men are not and can not be women.

Biological Truth

This is Truth. It is a biological reality that men are men and women are women. Men have an X and a Y Chromosome which results in physical characteristics and male sexual organs, among other things. Women have two X Chromosomes which results in different physical characteristics and female sexual organs. These differences are imbedded in every cell in every body. They exist independent and regardless of any surgical removals or enhancements or hormonal treatments. The extremely rare biological anomalies are exceptions that really do prove the rule. Humans are sexually binary. These physical differences make it possible for us to reproduce and therefore perpetuate humankind on this planet. That is the biological explanation.

Spiritual Truth

The spiritual explanation is that we have a God who is all knowing, all wise, all powerful, and all loving. In His love for us and his desire for our progression and happiness, He created physical bodies for us to learn and experience this physical world He created for that purpose.

God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27

In 1995 the living Apostles of Jesus Christ issued a Proclamation to the World which states:

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

This affirmed that gender is an eternal element of our identity. In plain words, we existed as spirits before we came here to gain a physical body and our spirits were already either male or female. Our spirits entered into physical bodies corresponding to our identity – God created them male and female. When we leave this world we will still be either male or female as we were in the beginning.

Of course, among men, and also among women, there is great physical variety – sizes, shapes, colors, etc. There is also great variety in personality, abilities, aptitudes, interests, etc. But there are those core characteristics that differentiate two very distinct sexes.

Ideology Rather than Individuals

Before the accusations that my words are hurtful, and lectures about “isn’t it more important to be accepting”, I would like to separate out individual human beings from the ideology. Yes, I care about people – very much. Yet, it is the very people that some would accuse me and others of offending, oppressing, or victimizing, who are actually being used and harmed by the ideology, and will be tossed aside when their usefulness to the cause has run it’s course.

Progression Downward

I wrote another blog post in December 2018, but never posted it. By this time, the transgender movement had advanced from a few prominent people bringing attention to it, to becoming more accepted and widespread and influential. I wondered then whether this focus and promotion of transgenderism would be the downfall of the whole liberal movement.

This was my question then: Are liberals really oblivious to the contradictions, conflicts and actual undermining of liberal causes by this focus on the T in the ever growing acronym LGBTQIAXYZ+? How could a movement at odds with itself – essentially with components cancelling out each other – continue?

But continue it did and somehow the T has become supreme. Transgenderism presents the optimum as far as oppression points (especially when combined with racial minority). It has become more in our faces. It is forcing changes to our whole social environment and is affecting the liberty of Americans.

A wise man posed a very good question:

The idea that anyone, even children, can snap their fingers and become the opposite sex is, objectively, crazier than fretting over nuclear war, and much crazier than anticipating the impending arrival of aliens. And yet, for most of the past decade or so, transgenderism somehow only grew more influential, and corrupted more institutions, the more unhinged it became. How could that be? 

Matt Walsh  The Trans Ideology Cult Is Collapsing Under The Weight Of Its Own Absurdity, Daily Wire 8/16/23

Destroying Feminism

First, I might point out that this whole LGBTQ+ package is part of a larger liberal package, which supposedly includes feminism.

I remember the beginnings of Women’s Lib in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was bra burning and tossing of dresses for pantsuits. Clothing with gender specific meaning – especially somehow associated with being dominated, sexualized, or objectified – was thrown out. Yet, preferences for that demeaning feminine attire is exactly what men who now want to be women want to wear. But women aren’t supposed to want that if they want to be equal to men. So, we have men wearing dresses while women wear pants. Maybe we just need to switch the stereotypes and clothing departments?

Women fought for the right of girls to participate in sports. It was a badge of equality. I remember as a girl playing softball with boys in the field behind our house. I couldn’t play little league with boys and there were no girl leagues. What an advancement to have sports programs for girls, where they can compete against other girls on equal ground. But now we have full grown men who call themselves women so they compete against and dominate much smaller women. How does this advance the cause of women’s equality if men take over women’s sports?

Then there is that glass ceiling. Will it finally be broken by men who think they are women or by women who think they are men? Throw in enough of either or both and it could skew the numbers. How would we then know if women have arrived? How can a woman even be a proper feminist these days if a man can be one too?

Offensive Cultural Appropriation

Drag shows are becoming more popular recently and are now being presented as “family friendly”. I am still confused about drag queens. We used to call them transvestites. It is kind of a sexual fetish, so are they just deviants? Are they gay? They used to be thought of as gay. Are they transgender? How many have actually transitioned or do they really want to? Is this simply a temporary transformation for entertainment and attention?

Drag shows are essentially the same in nature to performers in Blackface. People are outraged and very offended at even the idea of Blackface these days. Individuals have been cancelled when very old photos have shown up. I, as a woman, am very offended at the idea of a bunch of full-grown men parading around in stereotypical slutty clothing most women don’t wear and thus mocking women and womanhood. I am all for comedy, but political correctness today makes it hard for comedians to mock many really funny truths. But somehow mocking women in this way is celebrated.

Gay vs Transgender

For years we have heard the mantra from gays – “we were born that way”. Same sex attraction was declared to be something that no one had any control over. It is just the way they are. No choice involved. I have heard many accounts of gays and lesbians who related that from early childhood that they knew they were gay and cited a connection with things associated with the other gender as evidence that this was inherent: girls who hated dresses and pretty things and like to play sports and do rough stuff; boys who did like girly stuff and drama and were un-athletic and nurturing. Stereotypes? Yes!

Now those who promote transgenderism, convincing vulnerable young men and women that they are the other gender, use those very same stereotypical preferences as evidence that they are really the opposite gender. Then they influence them to make irreversible changes to their bodies to fit their “real gender.” This involves a choice (though not fully understood by children) to change what already is.

If we are born with specific chromosomes, doesn’t it involve a conscious choice to change one’s gender? So, we are supposedly born with sexual orientation before we are sexual, yet can choose to change our gender based on how we feel? Is it about choice or how we are wired? I am confused – and I think they are too. And I wonder why gays are not upset at this undermining of their “born that way” argument?

How did this happen?

Now transgenderism is appearing to be an epidemic among young people. It has become the flash point for political and cultural debate. It is the issue upon which many lives are being forever altered – both among those transitioning and for those who dare to speak out against it.

How did something so blatantly untrue and counter to other liberal ideas, become the central focus of the whole movement?

I know that truth is consistent with truth. But lies are varied and can and often do conflict and contradict each other. Knowing the source of lies – the father of lies – this makes some sense. He doesn’t care whether his lies are consistent. His intent is to keep us from The Truth, in whatever way he can. If some will believe and support one lie – great for him. If others discount that lie or promote another – that is great too. Somehow, he has managed to create a coalition of lies with the real purpose being to unitedly fight against truth. Silly me to think the lies might actually fight against and undermine each other.

Yet, I wonder what has happened to people’s brains. Do people really believe that now after all these centuries of human life being perpetuated by two distinct sexes, we have now advanced to multiple genders that actually cannot perpetuate human life? Are people so devoted and faithful to the liberal cause that they blindly accept the whole package without question? Is it all about power – social and political? Certainly, there is money to be made in promoting expensive hormone treatments and surgeries. Or is it all evidence of the influence of the adversary in this fallen world?

The Emperor’s New Clothes – Today’s Version

You might remember from childhood the Hans Christian Anderson tale of the Emperor who was sold some clothing that was so amazing that only the enlightened could see it. In his vanity, he parades around naked until a little boy points out that he has no clothes. In the original tale, the Emperor was obviously deceived by those selling him the clothes and revealed as the fool that he was. The people finally see the truth after this child speaks up.

We are now living this story, with a new twist. And without the insight that comes to most children who hear it, or the happy ending of everyone finally seeing the truth.

The Emperor is Naked!

Yes, the Emperor really has no clothing. He is naked. This is the truth. He is also a he, showing very plainly his man parts. This is the reality.

But this is not what everyone believes. They, like the vain Emperor himself, have been convinced that not only is he not naked, but he is really a she. The enlightened ones see a beautiful woman, clothed in the most amazing ball gown, with glorious hair and makeup, and accessorized with high heels, jewels, and a tiara. She is gorgeous! And they fawn and rave. They call “her” a Queen, of course using the preferred pronouns.

One must wonder, who it is and how they have been able to convince the Emperor that clothing that is in reality not there, not only exists, but is beautiful. And more significantly, that his manly body has somehow been transformed into a female body by these magical clothes. But this is what he has come to believe.

Those in the crowd all want to be not only in the Emperor’s good favor, but also to be seen as on the right side of things. Even though they don’t see any clothing themselves, they insist that they do, so as to not appear to be unenlightened. They get caught up in the praise of the Queen’s amazing attire, even trying to outdo each other to reaffirm that they are on the right side – or maybe to keep trying to convince themselves.

One Little Boy

But there is this one troublesome little boy. He sees the Emperor’s man parts and knows what they are because he knows he is a boy and has them too. He dares to speak the truth.

At first, the crowd tries to educate him. He is obviously not enlightened like they are. He apparently is getting some misinformation from the wrong sources – meaning he is not listening to them. They point out to him all of the invisible details that prove that before them is the most beautifully dressed Queen. He doesn’t see it, because the clothing is not there. And the man parts are.

When he doesn’t get enlightened, they try to shame this boy. He is bad for not affirming the Queen’s beauty. If he doesn’t join them in showering compliments, then he is harming “her” – how horrible of him. How disrespectful, even hateful. As if he, a little boy, has some power over the one with all of the power.

When he persists, they turn to making him the problem. He is crazy if he can’t see what the enlightened see. And it is their duty to shut him up. They can’t allow him to cause anyone else to question what they are seeing – or not seeing. So they must convince him, and everyone in the crowd, that he is delusional, and thus dismiss him. They may convince the crowd that he is crazy, but this little boy knows that he is not. He knows what he sees.

He is persistent. So now they turn to threats. If he doesn’t shut up, he will be removed and punished. They must maintain the illusion to maintain order and power. So they finally remove him, but he leaves behind questions in the minds of some of the crowd. They really also see a naked man. They know the boy was right. But they don’t want what happened to the boy to happen to them, so they go away quietly.

Until maybe one day, after some quiet conversations between members of the crowd where they can admit among themselves that they were wrong and the boy was right, some might gain the courage that this little boy had.


Who is Being Deceived?

I have found myself asking that question when observing the certainty with which people affirm what appear to be polar opposite views of a situation or event. In fact, we seem to be living in a parallel universe where half are seeing things one way and the other half seeing something totally different. Yet, both sides are certain that they are right. Which is reality? If one is viewing reality, then the other must be deceived into seeing something false as real. Or could we all possibly be deceived about some things? It is enough to make one feel crazy.


I saw an anonymous piece about Gaslighting shared on Facebook. I was reluctant to share it, not wanting to start any contentious discussion about details in it. I will share the beginning and the end which present the phenomenon in general terms.

“The term [gaslighting] originates in the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play Gas Light, and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944. In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes. The play’s title alludes to how the abusive husband slowly dims the gas lights in their home, while pretending nothing has changed, in an effort to make his wife doubt her own perceptions. The wife repeatedly asks her husband to confirm her perceptions about the dimming lights, but in defiance of reality, he keeps insisting that the lights are the same and instead it is she who is going insane.”

Having spent a period of my life studying addiction and working with families experiencing it, this is very familiar. There is a common joke said among them which goes like this: “How can you tell if an alcoholic or addict is lying?” “You can see their lips move.” Yet, family members have a common tendency to repeatedly believe what their addicted family member tells them when it contradicts what they observe with their own senses. I understand the feeling of craziness and doubting one’s own perceptions. We want to believe and trust, so we even convince ourselves that we must be imagining things, or our perceptions are off. We feel we are going crazy. And in the process power shifts from us to the deceiver.

Gaslighting on a Societal Level

On a societal level we want to be able to trust organizations to give us accurate information about events in our world. In taking sides, we tend to trust only certain sources and see others as the source of misinformation and lies when they differ. Have we lost trust in our own perception and judgment? Do we need, as Bari Weiss pointed out, the “enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else” of the truth to interpret the world for us? Feeling secure in a bubble with your trusted sources, you can dismiss alternate views as obviously the wrong ones without even seriously considering them.

We also have the added influence of peer pressure. It is like we are living the old fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes. When everyone around us, especially those who are supposed to know, are raving, we want to go along. Speaking out about the reality that we see results in our being treated like the crazy ones, or worse vilified, censored or cancelled. It is easier, and safer, to not even think about it – just silently and without question accept the narrative, reflexively parroting approved sound bites. It seems better to believe than to feel crazy. And of course, that is the point.

Think For Yourself – Trust Your Gut

I learned from alcoholics that the best course is to look at behavior/actions/fruits rather than listen to flattering words. With much that has happened recently, I try to trust myself, my first gut reactions, and what I see. When some sensational bombshell is tweeted, I try to sit back for at least a few days to see what develops. Usually, with looking at a variety of sources, facts gradually come out that paint a more complex and sometimes a very different picture. Things are too often taken out of context and it takes some effort to listen to more and varied voices to understand the context. Like dealing realistically with addicts, this involves using one’s own senses, observations and perception, rather than just accepting what you are told as fact.

Too many things this year have left me feeling that something is not right. The picture being painted does not fit with the reality that I personally see and experience. Reactions seem extreme and out of proportion. Things presented as spontaneous feel rather orchestrated and unnatural. I ask myself questions. Does this make sense? How does this fit with what I already know about history, government, natural laws and human nature? Where is this coming from? Who wants me to believe this and why? Who stands to benefit from people believing this? What about the money? It is always good to follow the money. I come to a conclusion of what is true and real based on my own observations and reasoning, rather than simply what I am told.

I will conclude with the conclusion from this anonymous post:

“Gaslighting has become one of the most pervasive and destructive tactics in American politics. It is the exact opposite of what our political system was meant to be. It deals in lies and psychological coercion, and not the truth and intellectual discourse. If you ever ask yourself if you’re crazy, you are not. Crazy people aren’t sane enough to ask themselves if they’re crazy. So, trust yourself, believe what’s in your heart. Trust your eyes over what you are told. Never listen to the people who tell you that you are crazy, because you are not, you’re being gaslighted.

Maybe the crazy ones are the ones so readily believing the lies?

Bubbles & Bias – On Being Informed

I wonder if liberals (Democrats and those leaning left) truly do not see media bias. It is understandable that when the media reflects your personal world view, bias would not be obvious to you. You would tend to see news as exactly that – news presented in a straightforward, factual manner. It is just the way it is.

I also think it is entirely possible for someone to remain fully within the Blue Bubble. If all the news and commentary about social issues you hear comes from liberal biased main stream media, how would one even know that there are other perspectives? It would be easy to see any mention of opposing views as being totally right wing nut stuff – tabloid journalism/fake news – and dismiss it without consideration.

There is No Red Bubble

Alternately, I think there really can be no real Red Bubble in America. While there is conservative bias, there is ever-present awareness of another perspective. Every time an American turns on a TV, opens a newspaper, glances at magazines in the rack at the store, or thumb through them in the waiting room of a Doctor’s office, they get left biased information.

So it is rather difficult for someone to stay within a Red bubble. You would have to live a very isolated life, with no internet or TV to even come close to avoiding liberal news. You can’t even watch a movie or a TV sitcom without being bombarded with liberal ideology.

It takes intentional effort to find, read and watch conservative news reporting and commentary. You have to become educated about reliable sources and where to find them. Google searches put liberal stuff at the top. You have to scroll way down to find something conservative. Some conservative information is actually filtered and censored by liberal platforms. You are just not going to see it at all. I have even read stories, then tried to go back for another look and it was nowhere to be found.

The Same Story?

For conservatives, there is constant awareness of the obvious left-leaning bias of main stream media. There have been times when I have read about a current event through a conservative platform, then later read an article or heard a news report about it, and I literally asked myself if this was about the same thing.

After seeing main stream media reports, there is little incentive for a liberal to seek out more conservative commentaries, and ample motivation to dismiss them before hearing them as right wing biased criticism. This happens all the time.


The media realizes that most people today don’t have the patience to read lengthy articles. They like short news reports. They mostly read headlines. So the headlines send the message. And those messages are not generally neutral. Look closely at the value based wording. They are telling us, through the headline, not really what happened, but more what we should think and feel about what happened.

Unbiased news should of course, present all sides of an issue in a neutral way. They should tell us the facts of what happened – the general facts in the headline, and critical details in the story. We can then think about and come to our own conclusions about whether it is good or bad.

Usually one must read an entire article to find somewhere, usually about 2/3 to 3/4 the way through, some critical details. There might be a brief statement about a counter argument or opposing point of view. Or these “hidden” details might actually lead one to question the conclusion of the headline. Such details might even lead someone to a very different conclusion. Media is counting on readers not making it to the point where they might encounter something which really makes them think. And they can feel justified that they presented both sides.

Finding Balance

The more friends you have on social media, conservative or liberal, the more likely you will see articles that they share. Some of these are good sources and some may be radical. Unfortunately, it seems that liberals tend to throw all of conservative sources in the radical right-wing trashbin, because they are not what they hear from main stream media. It can be a good thing to read what others are reading. It might lead you to question whether your opinion is right. Even if it doesn’t change your mind, you at least might understand others better.

I find it sad to see someone “unfriend” those who post something they disagree with. This tends to shrink their pool of ideas and settle them more firmly into the bubble. Why can’t we have different perspectives and opinions and respect each other?

I have been pleasantly surprised by my local newspaper. Not too long ago, I think because of a change in editorial staff, they started including occasional conservative opinion pieces. Nothing like reading a few of those to realize how lacking those voices had been. It was almost like suddenly seeing colors among the gray. Reading a liberal and a conservative piece on the same topic next to each other is very enlightening – I highly recommend it. It gives one the opportunity to hear both sides and actually form an independent opinion. That is, of course, if one reads them with somewhat of an open mind.

I think it would be wonderful to have a civil discussion of all sides of an issue. But first, we must get out of bubbles and realize that there are multiple perspectives.

Why Reading Books Matters

How many books did you read this year?

Disturbing Trend Number 1:

I have been disturbed and saddened to see data about how few people actually read books any more. It almost seems that if text won’t fit onto a small screen or contain 150 characters or less, it is not worth the effort. This has been somewhat of a frustration with blogging. I wonder how many people actually take the two to five minutes to read through an entire blog post.

The media has figured this out, of course. They are expert at putting the main – and usually biased – message into explosive headlines. Then they hide critical countering facts or information way down in the article. They know that most “readers” scan the headlines, but won’t read through an entire article, especially online. I find most of the “comments” on social media do not indicate that those commenting have really read the article. They are simply reacting to the headline.

So, if very few people are reading short news or human interest articles on social media, how many are reading real books – not necessarily just the physical paper kind, but digital as well?

Disturbing Trend Number 2:

There is a growing trend toward censoring and banning books – even classics written long ago – because they offend new found social sensibilities or don’t conform to shifting standards or political correctness. This is really scary on many levels, some of which I will discuss below.

Disturbing Trend Number 3:

Many think that going to see a movie version is better than reading the book. Movies give us someone’s visual, and often subjective interpretation of a book. It is somewhat disturbing that everyone who watches, passively accepts that particular interpretation, which may actually be very different than the author’s original intent. Much of the original message often gets lost in the interpretation.

We like movies because they incorporate visual and sound along with a story. They are relatively short. We watch, then we leave and go on to some other activity. Some movies have an emotional impact which lingers with us, or might cause us to think for a while. But many movies are very forget-able. They serve their purpose as passive, short term entertainment.

The Case for Books:

There is something special about reading a book. Books take longer and involve more personal effort than watching movies. There is mental effort involved in interpreting symbols -words – on a page into thoughts, ideas and images. We need to understand the literal meaning of words for the writing to make sense, but there are deeper ideas and meanings which often require some more serious mental consideration.

Though it is possible to read some books in one setting – I have done that with a few short ones – most require taking breaks. We read for a while, then set the book down to do other things. But our mind does not always let it go. Often, especially with compelling narratives, I find myself thinking about the book while doing other activities. I mull over why characters did what they did and wonder what will they do next. I put myself in the place of characters and wonder how I might have handled situations differently. I try to figure out mysteries. I replay certain scenes in my mind trying to grasp all the details. My mind lingers in the setting of the book.

Often I look at maps in between reading to get a better idea of where the setting is and the proximity of other places mentioned. Sometimes I google to learn more about things featured in the book.

There is something magical about reading books by skilled authors. I think there are gifts in the use of words that some people have been given. These gifted people combine words in a way that can paint a visual picture in your mind of a place unfamiliar to you, yet it becomes familiar through the description. This allows us to see another place as real, even if it only exists in the imagination of the author.

Books also transport us through history. We all remember dry, boring history books simply stating facts. But a skilled author can place us in that setting, helping us feel what it might have been like to experience those events.

Good authors create or describe characters in a way that allows us to get to know them. We can visualize what they look like and how they move and interact with other. Good characters are like real people. They are complicated, basically good but flawed. Some we do not like, but can see their humanity and possibly what events and circumstances caused them to behave badly. Some characters become like friends or family. We see in them characteristics of those we know – maybe even ourselves. We become invested in their actions.

Good books are about good stories told in a compelling way. They do not simply entertain, they also teach. Through good stories we can learn things about human nature, about ourselves, about what things in life really matter. I think all good stories revolve around a basic conflict between good and evil – what life is really all about.

Why Reading Books Matters

People in our world today are increasingly living within “bubbles”. There is a growing tendency to associate only with people who are like us – who think like us, believe like us, behave like us. This reinforces our world view as THE only, or at least THE CORRECT world view. Then those who have conflicting world views or beliefs become “others”. They are not only looked down on as uninformed, unenlightened or wrong, but become seen as inherently bad, as enemies to “our truth”, or even evil.

To be socially accepted, others must accept certain views and beliefs. If they don’t, then we are free to criticize, ostracize, silence them, persecute and hate them. This is scary stuff. It leads to even scarier stuff. We we might see this coming if we have read books from and about the past which show this process.

Books can be an antidote to “bubble thinking”. When we read a novel or well written history or biography, we have an opportunity to get outside our narrow world view. We see other perspectives. We get a sense of circumstances and influences of other times and places and cultures and can see the behavior of others in that context without judging them by our current standards. We get a peek into someone else’s head, into ways of thinking that may be different than ours. We can then see different viewpoints as just different – not necessarily right or wrong.

We might even have to question and examine our own beliefs. One of the most important questions we can ever ask ourselves is “could I be wrong?”  We may eventually conclude that we are right after all, or at least feel secure in our view. But through this process, we might be able to see others as not totally wrong after all. We might see some truth in things we had not previously considered.

Reading books is a gateway to learning about things formerly foreign to us. Books allow us to experience places we might never be able to visit and return to some familiar ones. We can learn about occupations, hobbies, and activities that we have not personally experienced. We might be inspired to learn more about something because a book has peaked our interest.

I think reading good books makes us better people – more human and more compassionate. Reading can expand not only our imaginations and our intellect, but also our hearts.

A Challenge

So my challenge for 2019 is to read good books. If you have not read one for a while, just start. If you like to read, seek out some new books or re-read old favorites. Just read more. I will suggest some of my favorites in future posts – who knows, maybe even do book reviews. Let’s see where 2019 will take us.



This world is so badly in need of wise men and women. My study of King Solomon for a Sunday School lesson led to much pondering about wisdom – what it is, how to acquire it, and the mystery about the lack of wisdom in our world.

wisdom of Solomon

Solomon’s wisdom – see 1 Kings 4:29-34

Solomon’s wisdom was a gift from God. God’s love is unconditional, but His gifts come with conditions. To have a gift of the spirit, one must be in a position to be sensitive and receptive to the spirit. Solomon’s gift came with several “ifs”, cautioning that he would lose it if he turned from God and from following His laws.

What is Wisdom?

Dictionary definitions of wisdom include learning & knowledge, but wisdom is in the use of knowledge – the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action. Wisdom begins with intellect, learning and knowledge, but builds on that with understanding and insight. It can come through experience as well as study, yet some may have vast experience yet still not get it.

Wisdom requires discernment – the ability to discern truth from error, for real wisdom is based on truth. It also involves the ability to know what things are of most importance and lasting value.

Solomon himself wrote many wise Proverbs (see Proverbs 1-9), but his wisdom was not purely intellectual. True wisdom is reflected in action.

Wisdom differs from being clever or cunning (see 3 Nephi 21:10), because those tend to be deceptive and self-serving. Wisdom is honest and true and benefits all.

Foolish and Vain

Frequently in the scriptures I see the terms “foolish and vain” paired together. (See Romans 1:21Titus 3:92 Nephi 28 ; Alma 39:11; Helaman 12:4Helaman 16:22;  We think of foolishness as the opposite of wisdom. Why is “vain” paired with foolish? What is foolish about vanity or vain things?

We think of vanity as being proud and self-serving. A vain person is conceited with an excessively and possibly unrealistic regard for self. There is something false or deceitful about vanity.

Definitions of vain also include things of no real value or significance, things lacking substance, anything empty, worthless, fruitless. Things that have an appearance of value or desirability, but no real substance. You might think of vain as a pretty puffed up outer shell that is hollow within.

In this sense the two definitions actually merge, as someone who is vain in the sense of being proud actually may have no real depth of character under a boastful exterior. The vain are all show with little substance.

There is vanity in thinking you are wise. Thinking one knows and understands already leads to pride and a resistance to learning, especially from the source of true wisdom. (

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. (2 Nephi 9:28; see also Proverbs 3:5-7)

Wise Judgement

To be vain is foolish – to put undue importance on things of little significance. Scriptures point out the opposite “plain and precious” indicating that things of most value are more plain than flashy. Wisdom can discern between things of lasting value and those of little worth and make judgments and decisions based on those most worthwhile.

Just as it is foolish to choose or pursue vain things, it is also foolish to base judgement on things of no real value. What could be more foolish than spending a lifetime acquiring stuff, having fun and seeking people’s approval? Yet, such superficial and insignificant, though outwardly appearing fashionable or popular trends are what much of the world bases judgement on.

Wise judgement is based on sound principles and unchanging truth. It requires an understanding of truth. It is based on standards that have stood through time and have been tested and proven.

The Mystery/Paradox

The Apostle Paul contrasted the wisdom of the world with the wisdom of God.

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (1 Corinthians 2:4-7; see also 1 Corinthians 1:20-31)

The wisdom of the world is really foolish and vain. Those who are wise in their own eyes are really fools. Fools mock. The world mocks faith in God as foolishness, yet the wisdom of the world is based on vain things, and is really foolish.

The path to true wisdom is the plain and precious truths of the gospel and the Spirit which enlightens understanding. The simple and pure faith in Christ, which the world considers silly or foolish, is really the path to true wisdom. This is the great paradox.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a wise judge, put it this way:

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools . . . and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

Where to Find Wisdom

The greatest wisdom comes from the source of all wisdom. James advised “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5)

Gordon B. Hinckley said:

We need not look far in the world to know that “the wisdom of the wise has perished and that the understanding of the prudent has come to naught.” That wisdom for which the would should seek is the wisdom which comes from God. The only understanding that will save the world is divine understanding. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 500)

O be wise; what can I say more?



Some thoughts about honesty in a world of deception, relative truth, and rationalization.

Honesty & Truth

Honesty is an admirable virtue. It is an aspect of good character, an indicator of a good person. There are generally two aspects of honesty – honesty in speech and action. These are reflected in two of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal and Thou shalt not give false witness. But honesty goes beyond these outward manifestations.

To be truly honest, there must be a clear standard of truth with which to be true. There are a plethora of laws dealing with all of the potential instances of dishonesty.

One could insist that it is the intent at the core of honesty or dishonesty that matters. If the intent is to mislead or deceive, that is clearly dishonest, while those who are misinformed may speak untruths without awareness. Deception is the presentation of opinion, belief, or perception as truth.

When we do not act in accordance with real truth – absolute truth – we are deceiving ourselves. We deceive ourselves first because we want to believe we are okay doing what we want to do. We then seek agreement from others to validate our own false perception and actions.

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A Spectrum of Spiritual Disorders

Could we all be suffering from different forms of the same basic disorder – each falling somewhere along a spiritual disorders spectrum?

The Process of Change

I recently read a book about a woman’s personal story of overcoming and changing her life in a positive way. As I read, I was flashing back to another book that I read almost 30 years ago by a man sharing his story of personal change and overcoming.

Though their challenges were different, both of these people went through essentially the same process – a spiritual process of rebirth, a change of heart, a spiritual awakening, and an accompanying change of their lives. At the time I read the earlier book, I was involved with a Twelve Step program and this book was recommended as an example of that process. This man’s issues did not involve substance abuse, but his recovery process was the same as those who did. The Twelve Steps have been successful for people with a variety of addictions, including things like gambling and addictive relationships.

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My Truth, Your Truth, or THE TRUTH

My Truth?

I find myself cringing when I hear the phrase “speak my truth”.

Truth is something that exists – independent of any person. One cannot “own” truth, let alone define their “personal truth”. How can several people have different or conflicting truths and they all be true?

One can share their unique experience – maybe that is what they really mean? One can relate their particular perspective of something, which may be very different than mine. Psychotic people may be dealing with altered reality, but their perception does not change what is true.

Someone cannot create their own truth. And certainly no one should be able to force others to accept, validate or conform to a particular independently defined truth.

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Some thoughts about Worship


Worship is more than going through the motions of ritual or ceremony. To be true worship, there must be humility, faith, conscious focused attention and action with real intent.

I have been pondering about worship since reading an article which presented the idea that yoga is pagan worship, and Christians should avoid it. I practice yoga. It benefits me physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Rather than take offence at a perceived allegation, I instead tried to better understand what true worship involves.

This nature Yoga session with my granddaughter should give you an idea of how mystic and worshipful this practice is to me

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