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.

I LOVE the idea of a ‘Return to Virtue’ but let’s REALLY make that return and get the part that teaches ‘manly excellence’ out there too.

Random thought #2 – Change is a coming…

In my current calling, I get to sit in on most meetings that we have in the ward.  My Sunday starts at about 7 AM and doesn’t usually end until 4 or 5 PM.  A great deal of these meetings is occupied with planning of ward activities and events.  It has got me thinking a lot about WHY we do these things?  What is the point of all these activities? Are they effective? Should we even keep doing them?

Case in point….

The Athletics programs of the Church seem to be products of a bygone era.  Today kids have a ton of opportunities for athletic participation if they want it.  There are sports teams for nearly everything.  Because of this, participation in Church athletic programs is way down and even non-existent in our area.  What do we do?  Right now the solution seems to be to attempt to induce guilt in the kids and try to force them to participate.  But what if we took a different approach entirely?  What if we stripped it to the core and said “what is the real purpose of this and how can we make it more effective?”  The one successful activity we’ve had recently was a stake, co-ed volleyball tournament.  It only lasted two weekends and anybody who showed up was divided up onto a team and they played.  You could make your own team or simply come join one that didn’t have enough.  It was great.  Why not do this with other sports? 3 on 3 basketball…teach kids to play lacrosse and then have a few games…teach the rules for rugby…have a 5K…rock climbing…etc…that way they learn something new, and get some exercise, and involve kids who might not otherwise come.  Purposes achieved!

I think this model ought to be applied to all of the things that we are currently doing.  For each of them we should be able to define ‘WHY?’ we are doing it and what we hope to achieve by doing it.  If you can’t answer those questions well, then seriously consider abandoning the idea. 

Random thought #3 – Lecture on Faith.

I’ve been trying to finish the New Testament.  I set the goal earlier in the year and I’m really close.  This morning I read Hebrews 11 and I have to say “WOW” this is one of the best lectures on Faith and Works that I’ve ever read.  It was amazing.  Paul basically dissects the stories of the Old Testament illustrating how all of it taught Faith in Jesus Christ…it’s amazing.  I can’t wait to read it again.

Hebrews 11:32-34 “And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Sampson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets;
    Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
    Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens,”

What a great image of faith in action!

 Random thought #4 – Exchanging ideas

I recently watched a clip from a training conference from last spring.  You know…the ones where different auxiliary leaders take some time to teach about their programs during the week leading up to General Conference.  Usually these are really good and informative sessions.  In this particular session they were leveraging modern technology to allow people to submit questions and then they would reply to them.  It became very apparent that many of the men submitting questions were searching for ideas of what they can do with the New Duty to God program.  Anyone affiliated with the YM programs knows that this new program is pretty tough to implement very well.  Most people simply don’t bother.  But these men really seemed to want some ideas of what they can do.  It was shocked that of all the men there that could answer some questions, there was no real help being offered.  Their answers were even more ambiguous than the program itself.  It was pretty discouraging to sit there and watch answer after answer just confuse the issue even more.  Some of these guys went on for so long that one question and answer session was limited to only one question…WOW.

As a result, I want to make this site one of idea exchange more than ever.  I’d really like to make it a place where men can come and learn more about being Righteous Warriors, but I also want it to be a place where practical ideas can be shared and we can build one another up.  SO here is my request of you. A) Post comments on topics posted here. Sign up to be a member by going to the bottom of the page and adding your email.  C) Spread the word!  Find fellow warriors and invite them to come be part of the community.

I’m not doing this to profit.  I sincerely want to do some good with what we share here.  I want to build up my brothers and share this wonderful gospel with the world through our example and amazing diligence in serving our God.  This is the heart of being a true Warrior…doing what you can to make the world a better place.

Thanks in advance for all you do.