Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fighting False Beliefs

In my area we are experiencing a phenomenon that I don’t think is isolated.  It is that young people find facts out about Church history and such that catch them off guard and they feel “betrayed” and start to question their beliefs and then delve into a lot of misinformation or incorrectly portrayed facts about the Church…mostly published by people opposed to the LDS Faith…and these kids slowly and quietly slip away from faith and fall into apostasy.

There are tons of examples…here are a few:
  • Joseph Smith practiced polygamy, even with married women
  • There never was a revelation that Black people could not hold the priesthood
  • Women used to be able to pass the sacrament
  • Joseph Smith used a seer stone to aid in translating a large portion of the Book of Mormon
  • There are many, many others...

Kids hear about this stuff for the first time from sources other than Church and when they bring it up in a Church setting, they are shot down by adults who don’t know how to deal with the questions…and these kids feel lied too.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The "Low-Testosterone" Debate

We are hammered by it on a daily basis!  Testosterone therapy is the new miracle fountain of youth for middle aged men.  Feel fatigued, unhealthy, low sex-drive? Take a pill, use a gel, get a shot…and you will feel young again, heal faster and have more energy! It’s amazing! Right?!?

But should you really do it?  If you are like me, you are cautious about using a substance to fix something that may or may not be broken.  I don’t like to take medication that I really don’t know much about.  Well, never fear!  I did the work for you and am going to report on it here. (I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but felt like it deserved a bit more room.)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Men's Fashion (snicker)

I saw a piece the other day about Men’s Fashion and fall trends.  It kind of made me laugh.  The ‘trends’ that they were showing caused me to say “What kind of man would wear that?”.

To be frank the term “men’s fashion” makes me sort of chuckle.  Not that I don’t think that a guy should care about how he dresses and looks, because I do. I think it is very important.  I also think that if you were to ask a guy what designer suit he is wearing, the correct answer should be “I don’t know”. Because that should not matter to a guy.

All decisions I make regarding the clothes I wear follow these basic five rules:
  1. Dress Right for the occasion
  2. Look your best for that occasion
  3. Your clothes should fit
  4. Clothes should match
  5. Your attire should present the best possible YOU that it can.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

People vs. Programs

Lately I’ve had time to consider the various programs of the church and to, quite honestly, evaluate their worth and value to the members.   The conclusions that I’ve come to have surprised me.

It all started with a meeting that I had regarding the status of our YM. To be brutally honest, our ward has not had a good track record of cranking out worthy, temple bound young men who are ready to serve in the Melchizedek Priesthood, go on missions and marry in the temple.  I’d quote you the statistics, but they are too depressing.

So we held this discussion as to what to do about it.  After discussing all the programs we have available to the YM and what we might be able to do…we didn’t come up with any good ideas.  One comment that was made really struck me to the core though…it was made by our Bishop when he stated “When I’m sitting in the front of the chapel and I look over the congregation, I don’t see happy people. Living the gospel should make us happy, shouldn’t it?”

Of course the reply to that is YES! We should be the happiest people on the earth.  We have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ…we should be ecstatic!

So what’s the deal?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rules for Fitness and Nutrition

I consider many things to be completely bogus when it comes to fitness and health.  I decided to make up a list of them. 


Here is my list of what I consider bogus, harmful and plain old silly health practices and fads: (feel free  to disagree with me…but know that I’ve done some fairly extensive research of FACTS as well as having a lot of experience regarding several of these and find no legitimate reason to believe or follow any of it. This list is by no means complete, there are lots of fitness frauds out there, these are just the most popular that I have a particular level of disdain for.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crushing It...and Paying for It

I always feel like the HULK when I lift hard.
I crushed my workout this morning.

I’ve been sidelined by a knee injury. And I’ve been slowly working my way back to full strength.

How did I hurt my knee?  I’m not 100% sure.  I probably just overdid my summer.  Running, mountain climbing, backpacking, canyoneering, mountain biking, more hiking, more backpacking…somewhere in that mix it started to hurt and swell, and for a long time I couldn’t kneel or go down stairs very easily.  The condition I have is most commonly referred to as “runner’s knee”.  It isn’t painful as much as it is frustrating. 

So I’ve been icing it, working it carefully to get it back to where I can really work it again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Where Are The Men?

I’ve heard a few statistics of late that have left me scratching my head and asking “What’s up with men in the Church?” or better yet “Where are the men?”.

Consider these numbers:

  • Nearly 80% of the population of the Church is either female or under age 18.
  • In the recent missionary surge from roughly 55,000 missionaries to nearly 90,000 missionaries the majority of that additional 40,000 missionaries are women.
  • In any given ward there is nearly a 70/30 ratio of women to men (active).

As I thought about these statistics I asked myself: Why are men not coming to church? Why are men not being active at church and often falling away from the church in such large numbers?  As I considered this, it occurred to me that we have (as a Church) actively and subconsciously driven men away.  Our actions, words and activities methodically chase men away from Church in droves.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Now Have A Reason to Watch TV Again 

So I'll confess right here to being a fan of Bear Grylls.  I've said many times that my perfect vacation would be to spend a few weeks in the wild with Bear.  That, to me,  would be the ultimate vacation and it would be a LOT of fun.

So when I saw that he had a new show coming on I was pretty excited. When I learned that it would be him taking celebrities out into the wild for an expedition I was really pumped.  I couldn't go on vacation with Bear, but I could vicariously see what it might be like.

After watching the premier I can say I was not disappointed.

Now before I get 'haters' telling me that his shows are all contrived and that it's more about drama than actual survival situations.  I know full well that most of his stuff is staged and that in REAL survival situations a lot of what he shows wont work. I get that.  But you have to admit that it's a TON of fun to watch him. He is a genuine, hard-core, survivor and his real story is pretty amazing.  If you haven't read his books, I can highly recommend them, in particular "The Kid Who Climbed Everest" and "Mud, Sweat and Tears".

 Bear is a genuinely good man and his life is guided by values of faith, family and doing good.  One of my favorite quotes in guiding my life comes from Bear:

"Live a wild, generous, full, exciting life - blessing those around you and seeing the good in all."

I'm excited for this new show. I'll be watching all six episodes and hoping that NBC orders more.  Hope you all will enjoy it as well.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

What do YOU think?

I recently had the opportunity to be the driver for the High School Boys Cross Country team as they ran in and competed in the RAGNAR Wasatch Back Relay.  (this is a 196.5 mile relay race that spans 2-3 days)  It was a great experience and one that I have fond memories of. 

There were many experiences there that I could relate and teach with but one that really struck me was the following.

I had 6 boys in my van, ranging in age from 15 to 18.  They were all members of the Church and all of them pretty active.  Throughout the entire trip I never heard anyone swear or put another person down.  There were no dirty jokes or off color statements.  They spoke with respect about the girls they knew and when we did encounter females they showed that respect in their actions.

It was an honor and a joy to associate with them.  I never had to remind them WHO they were or what they represented.

The same cannot be said of the YM of my ward when we go on activities.  Some groups are better than others, but I think that I’ve always had to remind them at least once of who they were and what they stood for. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Why it is that way? Why do some YM feel the need to push boundaries? Why did the XC team behave so well while other Aaronic Priesthood bearers need so many reminders? How can we make it different?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

So I’m watching the news while I ate my lunch and this woman comes on who has written a book called “Other-Hood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness” by Melanie Notkin.  The basic jest of her book is based around the fact that many women today are deciding that marriage and family is not for them and that they can lead ‘happy and fulfilling lives’ without all that…’Other-hood’ instead of Motherhood.

I was floored. 

Aside from odd premise that so many women believe that happiness is to be found in NOT fulfilling the ‘measure of their creation’…there was something even more fascinating about the argument that Melanie presented (something that actually seemed to contradict the initial premise of ‘women being happy all alone’). After some discussion with the news caster it was pointed out that the majority of women would like to find a good man, marry and have a family…BUT…they are very underwhelmed with the choice of men they encounter and ultimately don’t really want to marry them.  Basically she said that the MEN of today are wussies. As she spoke I surprisingly found myself starting to agree with her.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


After my post yesterday, I had someone say to me “but we have to teach our kids about technology, they have to learn this stuff to be successful in the world today.”

I thought about this idea and I’ve come to the conclusion that they are 100% wrong.  Here is why:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Putting On Chains

First off, I have to apologize for neglecting this site.  Life sometimes requires more attention and writing has to take a backseat.  I'm hoping to post at least once a month though.

So here is my thought for this week.

I went to visit my doc the other day for my BSA physical that is required so that I can go on back-country camps with our scout troops.  (according to my doc I’m the healthiest 45-year-old he’s seen in a long time…BOOM!)

That isn’t the story I wanted to tell though…it’s another thing that came out of my doc visit.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

High Five

This story comes to me from a close friend who for the sake of telling the story I’ll call ‘Jack’, and I share this story with his permission. I share it because I think every man needs to hear it.  Especially the guy who ‘high-fived’ Jack…don’t worry…that will make sense in the end.

You see, Jack  (like all of us) has some struggles in life. Most of the time, he’s feeling good and doing great.  Sometimes he gets down on himself and feels the power of the adversary tugging away at his mind and soul.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, I thought so.  Like I said, we all have struggles.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Is a Man-Cave Really All that Manly? (for fun)

I love my garage.  In fact that was a major deciding factor in buying my house.  It is a genuine two-car garage, which means that you can comfortably park two cars in it and there is still room for bikes, mowers, snow blowers, tool benches, refrigerator, weight bench, TV…etc. and you can still walk around the cars. It’s a great garage. It’s a great place to be doing manly things.

I exercise out there in the mornings.  My Saturday’s are spent out there.  I am out there frequently during the week.  It’s a manly place to be…as garages have been for years.  What is more manly than a great garage?
Iron Man's garage is the greatest garage ever. (the Batcave is a close second since it is more of a cave than a garage...)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life is Tough...And That is AWESOME!

The following is in response to a conversation I had with my son about how life is hard, and sometimes it seems like when you are working really hard at accomplishing something and it doesn’t go your way, you feel like giving up.


Dear Son,

I can understand and feel your pain.  I’ve been there many, many, many times myself.  You struggle and work to achieve something of worth and value and for some reason, you fail.  It’s even worse when it seems that everything in your life is failing at the same time and it becomes very easy to say “why try anymore?”.  You want to throw in the towel and give up.

Believe me when I say that I’ve experienced this a lot throughout my life.

But let me tell you this…and if you don’t remember anything else I’ve told you…remember this quote: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

It’s important to remember that because life is tough, life is going to knock you down, life is going to hurt, I can guarantee that life will hurt you a LOT…and that is awesome!

Stretching Before Exercise is A Waste of Time

I read this interesting article on stretching before exercise and if you want to read the whole thing go to the above link…It's pretty long so for those who don't want to read here are some of the highlights that I thought that can be helpful.

His whole article can be summed up with the following sentence: “Stretching as we know it — the kind of typical stretching that the average person does at the gym, or even the kind of stretching that most athletes do — is mostly a waste of time.”

The article examines stretching from the stand point of “Why do people stretch?” and does stretching actually achieve those goals?  So why do people stretch? The top 5 reasons are:

1)    Warming Up
2)    Prevention of injury
3)    Prevention of Muscle Soreness
4)    Flexibility
5)    Performance Enhancement

Monday, March 10, 2014

Teach Me To Be A Man

I have a few blogs that I like to follow.  One of my favorites is from Chad Howse.  He recently posted this article on raising men that I highly recommend:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rise of the Un-MEN

By now I’m sure that nearly everyone has heard the statistics.  The ones that put numbers to the increasing failures of the male gender.  We are being outperformed by women on all fronts; education, profession, religion and being responsible adults.  What gives? 

I even read recently that the oft touted statistic that women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn may not be all that true and that reality is that women soon will be earning as much as 8% more than men!

Boys are failing on an epic scale!

Up front let me state that I’m all in favor of equality and I hope I do not come across as slighting women in any way with what I’m going to say here.  The success that women are having is well earned and deserved, they have worked hard and sacrificed a lot to achieve it (men take note…this is the formula for success).

I also firmly believe that we play very specific gender roles for a reason and that it all part of a divine plan.

More and more it seems that men are opting to forgo the role of the breadwinner to stay home and let mom fulfill the divinely appointed role of protector, provider & presiding for their family.  Is it any wonder that men are reporting increases in reporting depression, anxiety and suicide?  When a man isn’t living up to his divine potential he cannot be satisfied and he cannot feel good about himself. 

On average men now spend more time in the bathroom grooming themselves than women do, spending nearly as much as women on cosmetic and beauty products.

Men today even produce less testosterone (the chemical that makes us men) and each generation declines even further.  Literally making us less and less manly with each passing generation. We are very LITERALLY becoming more feminine.

What really scares me:

Monday, February 17, 2014


Lately I’ve been trying to add some new things to my workout to get a little extra “Umph” in my day and I discovered something that I think deserves sharing…it’s a little exercise known as Sprinting.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big advocate of Running. I’ve been a steady runner now for about 15 years and I love it.  I’ve always enjoyed running 3-6 miles on a regular basis and the health benefits I’ve enjoyed are amazing.  Running has even saved my life (a story that I’ll have to share here someday).

I’m also a big fan of really simple exercises that work multiple sets of muscles simultaneously (which is why I’m a big advocate of free weights over machines, or simply doing body-weight work, and only doing three or four exercises for an entire workout).

As I looked around for some good, simple, efficient exercises I started reading about the benefits of Sprinting, and I decided to add it to my workout routine as a finisher (meaning that I finish my workout with this activity) 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What IS Your Excuse?

I see so many people who are unwilling to do what it takes to improve their lives for the better.  Everyone can come up with an excuse as to why they "can't" do any better...the validity of those excuses on the other hand are questionable.

The truth is that the only limitations are in our minds.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Determined Discipline

We all do it.

Every single one of us is guilty.

We all know what is good for us…spiritually, physically, etc…we know the right things to do, but we just can’t bring ourselves to do them most of the time.

For instance.  I know that if I get out of bed when my alarm goes off and go exercise I’m going to have more energy, feel healthier, be stronger and just have a way better day.  I know that if I do get up on time that I’m 100% more likely to make it to the bus on time to get to work.  I just know that will happen.  Yet EVERY SINGLE DAY when that alarm goes off, I have to make myself get up.  I don’t want to get up.  I grumble and groan about it and often I’ll talk myself out of it and lay back down and sleep some more.  What’s wrong with a little more sleep?  Nothing really, but I know that my day will not go as well if I don’t discipline myself and exercise.

The same can be said for lots of things in our lives.  We know what is good for us and what is not…yet somehow it is always way easier to choose that which is not good for us and doing the thing that IS good for us is always more difficult.

Why is that?

It’s because the Natural Man lacks what I’ll call “Determined Discipline” and in fact he really hates it.  The Natural Man seeks the easy, lazy path of least resistance. The path that appears to have low levels of difficulty and the one that will bring pleasure NOW…not defer it for later.  This short sightedness leads to problems later, but the Natural Man doesn’t care, he wants pleasure NOW.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Life Is Tough...Always Has Been

I heard a news bit the other day that really made me pause and think. The story followed a young man and was talking about how he’s going to have to move back home with his parents upon graduating from college because of how tough things are and how hard it is to get a respectable job.  His exact comment was “I can’t afford to pay rent on what I make at Starbucks”  He then went on to complain about how the older generation just doesn’t understand how much harder life is today and they need to lighten up on the young people.

I had two immediate thoughts: 1) this kid is a huge boob, and 2) he needs to get off his backside and find a better job…or maybe two jobs...or three jobs.  He's young, it won't kill him.

This story then caused me to reflect about what life was like when my wife and I graduated from college and I began to wax nostalgic…I decided to write down what it was like…so here goes…

When I graduated from the University of Utah in 1995/96 life was tough…and I loved it!