Monday, December 17, 2012

The Spirit of a Warrior

My son is a runner, actually he is a very talented runner.

The other night he came to me with a very serious question, I could tell that he’d been thinking about it for some time.  He said; “Dad, why is it that here I am, tall, lean and running hard, exercising, eating right and really trying, and yet I’m struggling to achieve my goal times…I’m only going so fast…but yet,  I know that somewhere in Ethiopia or Kenya, there is a kid, the same age as me, same build, etc. but with less advantages…and he can probably run faster than me?  What is the difference?”

WOW…what a thought provoking question.  It was one that I really had to think about.  You see on the surface it doesn’t make any sense.  In the USA we have more money, state of the art science, excellent coaches and training facilities…but yet we still can’t seem to churn out world class distance runners very effectively…why is that?

To understand, you have to turn what makes sense on its head.

Here is what I told him:

Monday, November 19, 2012


OK…so I’ve been mulling this around for some time…Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk from General Conference (Brethren We Have Work To D) was a very powerful one to me.  It echoes many sentiments that I’ve written about here on my blog.  It was thrilling to me to hear his words and feel a small sense of validation.  I can’t tell you how many times as I’ve tried to talk about these very issues, and people have said “If this is so important, why aren’t the brethren talking about it?”…WELL…

One thing in particular that I can’t seem to get out of my head, was this quote:

“Today, however, with women moving ahead in an advanced economy, provider husbands and fathers are now optional, and the character qualities men had needed to play their role—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete and even a little embarrassing.”

Those four attributes that he lists piqued my curiosity: Fortitude, Stoicism, Courage, Fidelity.  What do these words mean? Why do they matter? How do they define men? And ultimately, how do we put them into practice?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Does Being Healthy Mean?

This is a "FUN" post.  I was reading the News the other day and stumbled on an article by James Fell titled "What It Means To Be Healthy - Hint: It Doesn't Mean Looking Like A Fitness-Mag Model".  In the article Mr. Fell outlines some points of what it means to him to be Healthy, here is his list:

-It means finding my own personal “good enough.” I don’t pay attention to what the media says about the way I should look, get jealous of fitness models with rippling abs or bemoan the fact that I never won an Olympic medal. The only person I’m competing with is myself.

-It means harmonious instead of obsessive passion. I run because I love doing it, not because I have some number-crunching minimum of calories to burn.

-It’s about having a life that I enjoy. My diet doesn’t feel deprived, and I don’t feel like my time is eaten up by exercise. When I want pizza and (root) beer, I have pizza and (root) beer. When I don’t want to lift weights, I don’t lift weights. Conversely, when I’m in the mood to exercise, I relish going hard.

-It’s about finding out what I’m physically capable of.

-It’s about having kids who say things like, “Daddy, you’re really strong.”

-It’s about having a loving wife who thinks I look hot.

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference October 2012

OK..this is a quick post, and I'll have more thoughts on this in latter posts, but I've got to say that I LOVED all of what I heard and felt during Conference. 

Some messages that especially resonated with me were the Priesthood Session talk by D. Todd Christofferson, the Sunday AM talk by Jeffery R. Holland and the first talk of the conference by Quentin L. Cook.  All amazing talks! I can't wait to listen to them some more and read the words.  I always learn more as I revisit them.

Elder Christofferson's talk seems to fit right in with the overarching message of this blog.  Rise and be Men that the Lord can trust!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

Today I’d like to address a few random thoughts that I’ve had rolling around for some time, but haven’t been able to make a full, coherent post out of…

Random thought #1 - The hijacking of the word VIRTUE by the YW program of the Church.  I mean no disrespect by this, but I wonder if anyone has actually looked up the definition of the word? We hear a lot these days about the “Return to Virtue”…but what does that really mean?

vir•tue - [vur-choo]: from L. virtutem (nom. virtus) "moral strength, manliness, valor, excellence, worth," from vir "man"
1. moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
2. conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
3. chastity; virginity:
4. a particular moral excellence.
5. a good or admirable quality or property:
6. effective force; power or potency:
7. virtues, an order of angels.
8. manly excellence; valor.

Virtue is a very manly word…quite possibly one of the MOST MANLY words around.  Why? Well, the root VIR is Latin for MAN…and the word is literally the definition of a manly man.  To be a man of virtue is to have the highest regard of manliness. It defines a man as noble, respected, righteous, honorable, courageous in battle and trustworthy.  In ancient Rome, and man who was described as “VIRTUS” was akin to royalty.  Only the bravest and most noble in a man bestowed this title upon him.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Putting on the Armor of God

Among my favorite topics to discuss with my fellow warriors are the scriptures teaching us the all important principle of putting on the ‘Armor of God(Ephesians 6:11-18 and D&C 27:15-18).  This is no small topic and one that can fill volumes with gospel discussions.  There are some key elements for Latter Day Warriors that I’d like to point out, then I’d encourage you to prayerfully study these passages to find the personal meanings for yourself.

Of course the real world metaphor is that any warrior going to battle would never do so without his armor. A good warrior knows the value of defensive/offensive armor. Failure to properly fit, maintain, and utilize armor would result in severe injury or loss of life.  Putting on armor is not just a one-time action.  It requires constant training, conditioning, practice and skill.  I can’t just hand you a sword, helmet, breastplate, shield, etc… and say “Go to battle!”  You must first practice with this armor, and practice a lot! (Alma 46:21 think about how the Nephites come RUNNING with their armor ON...what that means in terms of preparation...)  You have to keep your armor in good condition and be comfortable with its use. In a similar fashion, you can’t wait until a crisis strikes before you start to practice with your armor.  It must be a habit well before you actually need it. It is often said that the best warriors are the best trained warriors.  SEAL’s, RECON Marines, Green Berets…you name them, they all train constantly so that when the call to action comes they are truly ready. (I’ve read where SEAL’s train with real bullets because of the slight difference in weight, recoil and smell than blanks.  They go through more ammo in training than other units combined.  All to practice so that when they have to use it for real, they know what they are doing.)

One lesson to be taken from this scripture is that we should be preparing as warriors in a very spiritual sense on a daily basis, just like real world warriors do.  We can’t expect to win battles with our adversary without this knowledge and the daily practice of it.  As we strive to become warriors, a key element in this progression is to put on our armor and use it. How do we do this? Simply put, it’s living those basic gospel principles on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.  Daily personal and family prayer, regular scripture study, going to our Church services, being a Latter-Day Saint in all that we do, but this isn’t all…these things have to be done in earnest.  We can’t put in a half-hearted effort here, just like Navy SEALS in training, it’s all or nothing. It isn’t enough to just pray etc…but we must Search, Ponder and Pray.  We must ask questions and seek honest and sincere answers.  We must exercise our priesthood in a manful way and we must “walk uprightly before God” (Alma 1:1). In our daily actions.  In short…we need to be sheepdogs, actively looking for weakness and fortifying it with diligence, faith and conviction, putting down evil and wickedness wherever we go. Like true warriors, we must always be “ON” and ready for action.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Today I’d like to address a topic that has been rolling around in my head for years.  This is not intended to belittle any gender or principle taught at Church…simply an observation that we might be slightly off in some of our beliefs (not doctrine…just the traditional way in which it is presented).

What I’d like to talk about is the feminization of the gospel and the subsequent effect on men.

To help illustrate my thoughts, let me tell you a story.

A few months back we took all our YM (12-18) up in the canyon to have a Duty to God activity.  As I’ve stated before in my posts, I’m conducting an experiment where every six months, we have an activity and issue a challenge to work on the Duty to God, with a reward to follow in the next six months.   This was such an activity.  As part of that activity I told a story about the race to the south pole from a post that I read here (art of manliness) We had some fun with it and to be honest, by the appearance of the boys, I thought it went in one ear and out the other.  They were fidgety, they were not looking at me…I figured it was gone.

Well, last Sunday, the guy who was supposed to teach the Deacon’s Quorum couldn’t be there so the Deacon’s Quorum President (who happens to be my son) asked if I could come and visit the quorum, tell that ‘South Pole’ story again and teach about the Duty to God program.  The Deacon’s Quorum has recently had an influx of about 6 boys and they have no idea what the Duty to God program is, or how to do it, so I thought he had a good idea.

Since half of the quorum had heard the story, I picked on them to help me tell it (also to see what they retained).  I was truly shocked at the details they could recall, and the lessons learned that night six months ago.  They rattled off to me details of the story that I had forgotten.  It was amazing.  The lesson was a rousing success because the boys taught each other…I did very little.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Working It Out!

Exercise is a tricky thing.  Getting started is even more tricky.  What should you do? What exercises are the best? Who has the best program? Should I spend $100 on P90X, Insanity, etc...?  Is running bad for my knees? What equipment should I buy? What about muscle confusion?

Where do you begin?

The worst part is that there are so many differing opinions out there that it can be very confusing to know what to do at all.

I know when I was getting started, I tried to just find a simple outline of an exercise program that I could do without investing a lot of money.  Finding time to do it is the other problem.  It does take a lot of time and dedication to exercise and be fit.  I won’t lie. It’s tough, especially when you are juggling work, family, church calling and all of the other demands on life.  I struggle all the time with the guilt that as I’m exercising, I’m not spending time with my kids.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Warrior Poem

Every once in a while, I stumble on something that is just too cool to not share.  I recently discovered this amazing poem from the Shawnee leader Tecumseh (1768-1813) that is a beautiful description of a warrior ethos.  Enjoy:

    “So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

    Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

    When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

    When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Duty to God Booklet/Journal

I few months back I promised to show you how to make your Duty to God booklet into a journal.  It took me some time mostly because I've been away a lot and I needed to take some photographs.  I’ve finally put this together, and I hope it’s helpful...

Items you will need.

Here are some of the items you'll need to modify your booklet.  I didn't put the pencil or the straightedge in this photo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Misery & the Plan of Happiness

I have noted lately a very strange aspect of LDS culture.  It’s simply that we seem to enjoy misery.  I’m not sure why this is, because we teach that accepting and living the gospel plan brings peace, joy and ultimate happiness.  So I ask, why this obsession with misery and suffering? It is that we feel that in order to be ‘righteous’ we must suffer?

Let me illustrate my point:

Go to any meeting, testimony meeting, talk, what have you and you are likely to hear stories of sadness, heartache, devastation, frustration, sadness and despair.  Everyone does it…we don’t give it a second thought. After all, it is inspiring to tell of people who overcome heartache and tragedy and embrace the gospel, or who have suffered for the sake of the gospel. I’m just saying that in our LDS culture we just seem to really obsess about it…to the point of being off-putting. Where is the fun in telling the story of a person who easily accepted the gospel, that their family was happy to see them embrace the good news and all went smooth and wonderful?  That’s no fun! (Sarcasm)

I just wonder if this focus is a little misplaced.  After all, we are told that we exist so that we can have JOY (2 Nephi 2:25)…yet somehow we don’t seem to be a ‘joy-full’ people.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why get Married?

I read an interesting article online about Men in the LDS Church being fearful of marriage.  This is a common theme these days and many Church leaders lament that young men are so reluctant to experience the “Joy” of marriage and the accompanying happiness of creating an eternal family. I’d agree that a large (and growing) percentage of our men are missing out on the most rewarding experience life has to offer…that of fulfilling the design of your creation as a man, to Protect, Preside and Provide.

Many Church leaders offer suggestions about how to overcome this predicament and offer ‘encouragement’ to Young Men to just get on board, find a girl and get married… if they would simply have faith then all will be well…so they say.  This approach clearly isn’t working.

I have my own ideas as to why the current trend is toward NOT getting married.  Again, I don’t think I’m going to be popular for saying it though.  But since when has that stopped me before?  Recent experience has taught me that even men who are married and have kids are struggling to find meaning in it all. They want that joy and happiness that has been promised, but it’s easy to get bogged down in the drudgery of family life.  Joy doesn’t just happen…it takes work and effort. Like most good things in life…you have to go get it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Brotherhood & Adversity

There is a book called “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose that is about the Easy Company of the 101st Airborne in the 1940’s. A big part of the book deals with the training process that they went though toward the end of World War II in preparation for D-Day invasion.  Those men got worked over in some astonishingly difficult ways but that hard work served to solidify them as a unit.  One quote from the book on that difficulty that I really loved went something like this: “the bonds of brotherhood are forged in adversity.”

It is about this topic that I’d like to share today.  Creating BROTHERHOOD through adversity.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Manners & Warriors

I’ve recently had interesting experiences with manners and the Church.  More specifically BAD Manners at Church activities. 

I’ll tell you a little about it without going into details, but I want to say up front that a true Righteous Warrior would not stoop to the level of poor manners. Poor manners are an expression of selfishness and show lack of self control. So in this experience, there is a lesson in how to behave and act like a true priesthood man.

In my years of service I’ve noticed a couple of things regarding deteriorating manners that have bugged me:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Backpacking: the Warrior Way to Camp

I just completed a lifelong dream to backpack in the southern Utah desert, surviving only on my wits, what I could carry and the water I could find.  Ever since I was a small boy, I'd dreamed of doing this.  The scout troop I was in as a boy was loaded with fishermen and if you couldn't fish, they weren't doing it.  Since fishing is scarce in the desert of southern Utah, it never happened.

So I was able to accompany my son and his troop on their outing last week, and I have a lot of Warrior stories to tell about that trip, but that isn't the focus of this post.  What I'd like to address for the warriors and budding warriors out there is the fine, manly, warrior art of BACKPACKING!
Standing in the ruins of an ancient culture.

As I described my experience to a co-worker, he mentioned that he wouldn't know where to start on a backpacking trip...this led me to think "Hmmm...if I had to compile a list of ten essential things you'd need for a successful backpacking expedition, what would it be?"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Duty to God Social Experiment

My ward, like many others, is having very limited success with the current Duty to God program.  It just doesn’t seem to be catching on. We hand out very few certificates…with most boys ignoring the program completely.  Our stake does an annual “Stake Duty to God” activity once a year (just had it in April) and as a ward we bring it up occasionally, which usually consists of asking the young men in priesthood meeting if they have any experiences to ‘SHARE’ with the group.  This is always met with awkward silence, and we move on. Most boys don’t even know where their booklets are, and parents don’t know what is going on.  It simply does not seem to be working.  It’s a shame really because there are valuable experiences to be gained by following the lessons in this booklet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing?

There has been a lot of talk around my circle of friends about a strange little notion calling itself ‘The Unwritten Order of Things'.  I’d like to give my (WARRIORS) perspective on this topic.

To be up front and honest, there is a talk given by Elder Boyd K. Packer titled “the Unwritten Order of Things”. It was given at a BYU devotional in October of 1996. In this talk he discussed how there are things, norms if you will, that are, or should be, just common knowledge in the Church that are not in manuals or scripture (i.e. not doctrine), but ‘suggestions’ from an apostle as to how things ought to operate.  The clearest example he gives of this in his talk is that one who presides at a meeting should sit on the stand, and that the Bishopric should always sit with the Bishop in the middle with the first councilor on the right and the second councilor on the left.  He discusses a few other things and suggests that if we wish to be in line with this ‘Unwritten Order’ that we watch and learn from the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 and mimic their actions, dress, attitudes and behaviors.

That’s all great and I agree…mostly.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Daughters, Dating and FEAR

My bother reminded me that High School Prom season is upon us. Any of us who have daughters share his concern that she date a decent young man, and like any father of teen girls, he feels that his best method for deterring any errant behavior on the part of the young suitor is through the use of fear & intimidation.  Admit it…we all do it.

“Come on in boy sit on down
And tell me about yourself
So you like my daughter do you now?
Yeah we think she's something else
She's her daddy's girl
Her momma's world
She deserves respect
That’s what she'll get
Ain’t it son?
Hey y'all run along and have some fun
I'll see you when you get back
Bet I’ll be up all night
Still cleanin' this gun”
-    Rodney Atkins

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eating Right

I was visiting with some buddies recently about our new year’s resolutions to be healthier, and not to brag or anything but I achieved a couple of fitness goals recently.  A) I set a new record for mileage on I’ve only been recording my efforts on there for about four months, but in the month of March I racked up more miles than I ever have previously!  It was only 55 miles, but it was a new personal record and I’m pretty excited about it.  I’ve already determined that I’m going to beat that in April.  My second goal B) was to get my weight below 220 lbs.  Well, I weighed in the other morning at 219!  I was pretty happy.  I’ve shed nearly 10 pounds this month.

How did I do it? A lot of what I’m going to share with you came from so I can’t take credit for the idea.  Also see my post on FITNESS for some good ideas and links.

“Spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices.  Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep and good eating habits increase your capacity to receive and understand revelation.” Elder Richard G. Scott. General Conference April 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Call of Duty: Spiritual Warfare

Ahhh…wasn’t General Conference great? I always look forward to the re-charge I get as a I sit and ‘feast’ on the words of prophets (as well as on snacks and goodies that are a conference tradition in my home).  I am always spiritually refreshed following conference weekend.

I had a thought that I wanted to run by you all as I review some of my conference notes and mussings. One in particular that I keep coming back to is President Monsen’s “Call of Duty” talk.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Sheep, Wolves, Sheepdogs and the Good Sheppard…

Lt. Col. (Ret) Dave Grossman author of “On Killing” and “On Combat” (about the psychological effects of violence on society) has a very interesting article posted on his website about the concept of society being broken down into three categories: Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

Monday, March 26, 2012

Conducting Personal Interviews With Your Kids!

OK…this one is for all fathers out there.  We have all been instructed that one way that we preside in our homes is to conduct personal worthiness interviews with our children.  This is a very sensitive thing and requires that we be living close to the spirit. Really, if our kids are having problems, they should be confident in coming to us before they EVER go to the bishop. Sadly, this does not happen in most cases.  Why? Well, these interviews are difficult to do and uncomfortable for us.

I have found the ultimate solution and it was introduced to me from an incredible Stake Primary President.  So here in a nutshell is how it works. (I can personally attest to the success of this plan…we’ve done it for a few years in our home and it is AWESOME!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

All Men Want to be TARZAN

I went to see my doctor the other day for some 'routine maintenance'. I took my book to read while i waited: TARZAN of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I've owned this book since I was in Jr. High and I read it on a regular basis.  I love it!  It's old (Published in 1912) antiquated, full of anthropological inaccuracies and it is pure fun!

I've always loved the character of Tarzan…not the caricature from the movies…but the complicated, intelligent, resourceful, strong , furious, character from the books.

Apparently so does my doctor.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Honoring The Priesthood

How often have you heard one of the following:

-    My wife is way more spiritual than I am…if my family gets to heaven it will be because of her…
-    My wife is the one who calls our family together for prayer and scripture study…
-    Women have way more faith than men, that is why men are given the priesthood, to make up for that…

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From a Real SEAL

On Being A Warrior

The following is a section of an article written by a former Navy SEAL named Mark Divine who runs a fitness program called SEAL Fit (  These are his thoughts on being a warrior:

You don't have to join the Navy and become a SEAL to develop a warrior mind set and operate at a level of awareness and power that is uncommon.

The term "WARRIOR" comes with a lot of baggage. Many assume that one has to be a "combat fighter" to be a warrior. Certainly most elite military and first response "sheepdogs" (there is an upcoming post on ‘sheepdogs’) are true warriors and walk the talk.

Thoughts on Pain

“There are two kinds of PAIN: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret”

I deal with pain every day.

Every morning I wake up with severe pain in my feet.  There are times that the pain is so exquisite that I cannot walk without stretching them out and massaging them for a few minutes first.  I get out of bed and hobble around my bedroom to try and loosen them up.  Getting out of bed is a very painful experience for me.

What do I do about it?

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Need for Priesthood Warriors

Now that I’ve got this blog looking the way I want it and I’ve had a chance to post a couple of thoughts, I figured it was time for me to establish the WHY for this whole endeavor…or what I simply call:


Be warned…this might sting a little (or a lot)…so don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

I have observed a disturbing trend among men lately and simply put, it is that we are incredibly lazy…and not in a good way. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warrior Fitness

"An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.” Gen. George S. Patton. I’d add to this that an active spirit can’t exist in an inactive body either. 

Physical fitness is integral to spiritual growth.  Our spirits cannot ascend to celestial glory without our bodies.  Our bodies are the temple where our spirit dwells.  It is our duty and obligation to care for that temple (indeed I could argue that learning to care for our physical bodies is a key part of our earthly test).  Being physically fit will see spiritual rewards as well as physical because our bodies and spirits function as one.  This becomes readily apparent when you get out and push yourself on a run or bike ride.  As  your body craves rest and ease, your spirit pushes it on.  It is an amazing experience that many don’t believe until they put it to the test.

Take a look at any real world WARRIOR training program and they all begin and end with PT (Physical Training).  An effective warrior must be fit.  He cannot function otherwise.


Why Warriors?

"But, Bro. Peters, aren’t warriors blood-thirsty killers & adrenaline junkies that get a thrill out of hurting people?"

Well...NO…they are not.

Let me tell you a personal story.

In my line of work, I have to occasion to work with members of the United States Military organizations.  Across the board I have been impressed with the level of professionalism, respect and genuine kindness they have shown to me and my co-workers.  They are some of the finest people I’ve ever met.  I sincerely wish that more of us would be like them.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Visit from a General

Last night I had the chance to attend an awesome priesthood meeting and listen to some choice words from Major General Brain Tarbot, Adjunct General of the Utah National Guard & an awesome Priesthood Warrior.  He spoke to us about putting on the Armor of God and told stories about his service and the fine young men that he has worked with over the years.  It was a truly inspirational evening.  Some of the highlights that he shared were:
  • He spoke about real armor on people, vehicles and fortifications then compared that to the spiritual armor that we must dress in daily.
  • He shared his insights on war and what we learn about it from the Book of Mormon. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the October General Conference of 2008, Elder James Hamula stated the following "Now my young friends of the Aaronic Priesthood, you are the valiant and noble sons of our Father! You are the strength of his house, you are his WARRIORS".

That statement really struck a chord with me.  That word WARRIOR stuck in my brain and when the talk was published I noticed a footnote next to this word that led to D&C 101:55 and D&C 105: 16.  They both are almost identical in their wording and say "...the strength of my house, my WARRIORS, my young men, and they that are middle aged..." these WARRIORS are to do the work of the Lord on the other words; it's you and it's me and all the brethren of the priesthood.  We are his WARRIORS.

So what does that mean?