When I learned on Christmas morning 2012 of the passing of Jack Rushton just before midnight on Christmas Eve, I felt both joy and sorrow- joy for Jack and sorrow for his family. Since Jack’s love, example, and inspirational teachings have repeatedly blessed my life and helped me to become a better person during the decades I have known him, I wondered what I might do to help ease his family’s sorrow and show my love for this great man and his family. Having already read many of his blog postings that have inspired me over the years to strive, with God’s help, to become a better version of myself, I thought that providing a synopsis or summary of each of Jack's blog entries or “observations” might make their valuable content more easily accessible to both family and blog guests alike. This is my belated Christmas gift to Jack Rushton and the Rushton family. I love you, Jack. Thank you for all you have done for me and countless others.
With much love and gratitude,
One of Jack's many friends
Summaries of Jack Rushton’s "observations" on his “IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE” blog (click on underlined hyperlinks to be taken directly to associated blog entries)
Thursday, March 28, 2002
Do The Best You Can With What You Have
If we measure our success in life by how we compete and compare to others we will be using a false standard. Only as we maximize that which we have been given, that which is uniquely ours, to the highest degree possible, will we ever know the peace of mind and self-satisfaction that is the essence of true success.
Monday, January 15, 2006
What Lack I Yet?
At the commencement of a new year, Jack ponders the application for himself and the reader of the New Testament account of the rich man who asked the Savior what yet he lacked and the Book of Mormon account of King Lamoni's father being willing to give away all of his sins to know God.Focusing on a single area of improvement can yield better results than a overloading ourselves with attempting to bite off more than we can chew.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Jack discusses some of the accomplishments that world-renown scientist Stephen Hawking has achieved despite the limitations imposed by Lou Gehrig's Disease. Jack is able to relate to Stephen Hawking's attitude of not dwelling on his few limitations but rather focusing on the many things he is able to do and the many aspects of life he does enjoy. Jack teaches that if our minds are sound and our spirits healthy that even though our bodies may not work as we would like them to, life can still be very good.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Good Luck? Bad Luck? Who Knows?
At any given moment of our lives it is extremely difficult to accurately judge whether the things that are happening to us are "good luck" or "bad luck". Usually only the passage of time will reveal how good or how bad some event or nonevent in our lives has actually been. One of the things we need most in life, and often must struggle to obtain, is an eternal vision accompanied by complete trust and faith in the ultimate goodness of God and his love for, and desire to bless each one of us.
Friday, April 7, 2006
"I Had No Idea That Life Was As Short As It Is"
After attending funerals for family friends JoLene Varner and Dave Jones, Jack ponders on the thoughts of sacred and secular authors who caution that none of us knows when our fragile lives may end and we are called upon to account for our use of the time and talents given to us
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Fear vs Faith
Jack shares several examples from the scriptures and his own life where succumbing to fear instead of exercising faith has resulted in regret, sorrow, and forfeited blessings.
Sunday, May 5, 2006 Observation
Our Appearance and Homes Should be a Reflection of the Light We Have in our Lives
http://observationsbyjack.blogspot.com/2006/03/sunday-may-5-2006-observation-our.htmlhttp://observationsbyjack.blogspot.com/2006/03/sunday-may-5-2006-observation-our.htmlCleanliness and orderliness and being in control of one's life are an important part of what life is all about. These things communicate better than words what our true character really is.
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Joseph William Johnson
Jack relates the story of meeting African pioneer and patriarch Joseph William Johnson
Sunday, June 11, 2006 Observation:
Building Self-esteem and Self-confidence in Youth
Jack praises teachers and those who volunteer to help youth develop self-esteem and self-confidence.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 Observation
Being Content With The Things Which The Lord Has Alloted Unto Us
How fortunate is the man or woman who is content with that which is "allotted" unto them.
If we truly seek the welfare of Zion, it matters little where we labor or how popular and well-known we may be.
Friday, July 14, 2006 Observation:
Jack educates the reader about the history of the Plimsoll maximum loading mark on the hulls of ships, as and then points out how this same principle of not running faster than we have strength applies to individuals. He shares the methods employed by various persons, including major league baseball players, general authorities, and even Jack himself, to unstring their bows and relax an appropriate amount after much work.
Friday, August 18, 2006 Observation:
Jack compares and contrasts the experience of pampered children of rich families attending summer day camps designed to entertain them and provide them with one fun activity after another with the real purpose of life being to provide us experiences, which at times are difficult, but never the less ultimately for our good if endured well.
August 30, 2006 Observation
Jack discusses the health benefits of blackstrap molasses and how this concentrated, nutricious supplement is similar to the Holy Scriptures, which if feasted upon, will eliminate "mental malnutrition" and "spiritual anemia.
Thursday, September 21, 2006 Observation:
Jack draws upon personal experiences to teach the importance of being able to communicate with others and expresses his gratitude that the communication medium of prayer is always available.
Friday, September 29, 2006 Observation:
Jack relates personal stories about the blessing of beautiful sunrises after long, cold nights.
He also shares messages from the scriptures about Christ being the light of the world.
Thursday, October 12, 2006 Observation:
Sword of Damocles
Realizing that I am "living on the edge" and under the dangling "Sword of Damocles" helps me to appreciate and value each good day I am given. It motivates me to make the best of every day of life I am granted.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Observation:
Jack reminisces about, and expresses gratitude for, his parents (who were married on Halloween) for inspiring him to develop multiple interests during his formative years,
which have been a great blessing in his life, especially after he lost his physical mobility.
Monday, December 4, 2006 Observation:
The best is none too good for us.
Jack counsels us to avoid mediocrity and to seek out the best in art, literature, music, movies, and entertainment in keeping with who we are and who we are striving to become like.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I bring you good tidings of great joy
Jack reflects on fond memories of past Christmas Eves. He also teaches that the atonement of Jesus Christ is the way to true joy for all those who are willing to exercise faith in him and come unto Him with full purpose of heart.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Present day disciples of Jesus Christ are the earthly angels who should rise to the occasion and minister to the needs of those who are within the circle of our influence.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Happy New Years
A New Year’s Greeting
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Rejoicing In Christ Through Sacred Music and Scriptures
Jack shares the spiritual experience he had while listening to Bill and Gloria Gaither’s song "Because He Lives" performed by Nathan Brown and John Lu while accompanied by Roylee Brown.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Because He Lives
“Because He Lives” song mentioned in previous post was actually composed by Sally Deford.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Blessing of Christmas Letters
Humorous and thoughtful comments regarding Christmas cards and family newsletters. Jack makes particular mention of correspondence from, and the inspiring lives of, his Uncle Clyde Rushton and his Uncle Howard and his wife Renee.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Photograph of Jack and his granddaughter Sabrina enjoying wheelchair ride through nearby park on Thanksgiving Day 2007.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The Law of The Harvest- We Reap What We Sow
Jack comments about college basketball’s “March Madness” tournament, making particular mention of teams from BYU and UCLA. Jack notes that one reason UCLA’s freshman center Kevin Love is so successful is because, even though he is not as athletic as some other players, he has mastered the fundamentals of the game of basketball. Extrapolating on author Matthew Arnold’s "All art earns freedom through discipline" quote, Jack relates how BYU professor Ralph Laycock helped him advance from 23rd chair to 2nd chair in BYU’s symphony band by focusing on the fundamentals of clarinet playing and long hours of practicing perfectly. Jack then relates this formula for success to Christ’s Law of the Harvest.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
March 14, 2008, Observation
Jack compares and contrasts others' impressive attention to “canonized scripture” early in life to his own late discovery of, and love for, the beauty and power of the LDS Standard Works acquired during his mission to Guatemala. Masterfully teaching from the conversion story of the Lamanite king recorded in Mosiah 22, Jack reminds that each of us needs to repent of all our sins and submit our will to God in order to receive eternal life.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Humorous stories of Rushton family frugality including drinking powdered milk, preparing brown bag sack lunches instead of purchasing food from restaurants, decorating their home with used furniture from LDS Institutes of Religion, buying long lasting Sears Tough Skin jeans, and using discount coupons.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
An Ensign to the Nations
Joel H Johnson’s story of the writing of the LDS hymn "HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP" as told by his wife Margaret Threlkeld Johnson to her grandson Bernard A. Johnson.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
"I Wish it Were Yesterday"
Using a line from the movie “Westside Story” and his own paralysis inducing accident, Jack discusses the tendency of the natural man to dwell on wishing that consequences of difficult events in life could be avoided by returning to what we believe to be better days from the past. He relates several scriptural examples of this futile and counterproductive attitude. He concludes by encouraging all to learn from our own and other’s past, but “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ... and endure to the end”.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
May 10, 2008, Observation:
A heart felt tribute to the smart, sensitive, kind, compassionate, and hard-working women in Jack’s life, especially his wife, Jo Anne.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It was the Best of Times. It was the Worst of Times.
Using the famous “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” opening statement from Charles Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” novel, Jack teaches how life is often a compound in one, with what we can perceive to be both very good and very bad occurring together. He shares how the loving kindness of special caregivers at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Hospital made his “worst of times” 6-month rehabilitation also a “best of times” with cherished memories of the kind and thoughtful service rendered to him.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
We Should Nourish Our Spirits By Thinking On These Things
Teaching from the scriptures and from personal experience, Jack reminds us that while our physical bodies are a valuable gift from God that we should care for, our most important stewardship is to nourish our spirits with the things of God.
Giving Up Something Good For Something Better
Progressing to a higher state of living oft times requires us to sacrifice something good for something better.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Living Our Religion Will Help Us Rise Above Mediocrity And Excel In Our Professions
Referring to quotes from Brigham Young and Brent North, Jack teaches that living gospel principles and striving to be our best will help us rise above mediocrity and excel in our chosen professions.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Precious Present
Jack reflects on how his circumstances have helped him realize how important it is to enjoy the moment -- "the precious present" -- and to not live so much in the past or in the future. We need to be grateful for the particular season we are experiencing in our lives and not be in such a hurry to just get through it.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Blood for an Enemy
Jack shares an email from his son John (a military Emergency Medicine Critical Care Doctor) documenting the great efforts made to save the life of an enemy combatant in Afghanistan. Jack notes that this willingness to treat others better than they would treat us is one of the principles that helps make America a great country. He shares and comments on quotes from former LDS Church President Gordon Hinckley and Winston Churchill about the importance of eschewing pessimism and thinking positively despite the many problems facing us, including being engaged in “a battle to the death with a very evil ideology that would rob us of everything we hold dear”.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Great Debaters
Jack reviews and recommends the 2007 movie "The Great Debaters" starring and directed by Denzel Washington. He emphasizes the truthfulness and importance of an often repeated statement from the movie made by Dr. James Farmer Sr. to his son James Farmer, Jr, the head researcher for Wiley college’s debate team: "We have to do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do!"
Friday, December 2, 2009
Jack’s teaches from his own experience with suffering, from dental ordeals to decades of living as a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic, that the natural man tends to be totally self-consumed with his own problems and pain. Great writers and the Gospel of Jesus Christ all teach us that we are all interconnected with one another and we should therefore care about and care for each other in spite of our own problems.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Importance of Knowing Who We Are
January 19, 2010, Observation:
Scriptural doctrine which teaches and reassures that each individual is a child of God helped Jack endure dehumanizing experiences he suffered with his self-esteem and self worth intact.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Are You Listening?
Intently listening to another person, especially those who are most near and dear to us, is a vital part of developing and nurturing relationships.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Jack shares the story of British Admiral Lord Nelson inspiring the captains and sailors of Britain’s underdog fleet to each do their duty in order to defeat the superior combined navies of Spain and France at the Battle of Trafalgar that prevented an invasion of England by Napoleon. God also expects each person who has taken upon themselves the name of Christ to do their duty and endure well until the end.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Several LDS Church presidents share Jack’s love of basketball. Jack relates how one year he literally risked his life to watch the annual NCAA basketball tournament.
Monday, April 5, 2010
“In our professions, as students, in our church callings, as spouses and parents, and citizens of this great nation we must never be so negligent and sloppy in what we do that we could ever be rightfully sued for malpractice.”
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Jack’s life long love of basketball eventually taught him that the discipline, hard work and determination needed to play good defense is equally important as the more recognized and publicly lauded accomplishment of scoring lots of points on offense. The is also true of the critical, but private preparations needed to defend ourselves from the enemy of all righteousness so that we may more ably serve and bless our fellow beings.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Another near death experience generates additional gratitude for miraculous tender mercies when the Lord mercifully intervenes in our lives in answer to prayers. Jack relates yet another story where the tender mercies of the Lord helped them postpone major mechanical problems with their van until they could return home. He bears testimony that “the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen because of their faith to make them mighty even under the power of deliverance.”
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Jack rejoices in the publishing of his book entitled "It's Good to Be Alive!" that contains a selection of his best observations of the past 8 years.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
A Bad Day
The story of a veterinarian caring for a severely injured dog and Jack’s own experiences with the consequences of his paralyzing accident set the stage for the sharing of former LDS First Presidency member Hugh B. Brown’s talk, “God is the Gardener”.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It is important that we seek to develop well rounded, balanced lives, and to also endeavor as parents to provide our children with every possible opportunity to “increase in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Is There Anything Else I Can Do for You Today?
Jack teaches the importance of giving service in the Church and in our families with an attitude of seeking to know “is there anything else I can do for you today?".
Saturday, August 14, 2010
As scientists continue to debate the many ‘how’ questions regarding the creation of our universe and the earth on which we dwell, it is reassuring to know that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and latter-day revelations contain the answers to the more important questions regarding ‘why’ God, through his Son, created worlds without number.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
What Will You Take with You?
Jack relates how his experiences have taught him that there is nothing more important than preparing ourselves in mortality for eternity than by filling our minds with the content of the scriptures and also to "to seek learning by study and faith out of the best books."
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Jack explains how he learned to play the piano, which ability was a blessing to him throughout his life.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Praise -- Potential Poison
In true Jack Rushton humility, he teaches that any praise or notoriety he receives is actually due to his imperfect efforts to point others towards the Light of the World as a beacon for others to follow, even Jesus Christ the Savior of the World.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Billy Shaw Incident
“The Savior's message of agreeing with our adversaries quickly and then turning the other cheek is absolutely true but not always easy to do. It takes great self-restraint not to verbally or physically fight with others; of course nothing good ever comes from it. Love and kindness toward other people will usually help us to avoid confrontations and enable us to live in peace and harmony. If all else fails however, go for the nose!”
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
If Its Not One Thing It's Your Mother
“I am convinced that mothers have the greatest influence for good or evil on their children than any other factor in this world. I shudder to think what I might have been like without the teachings and influence of a wonderful mother.”
Saturday, September 4, 2010
A Plumber With Integrity
“The quality of integrity is much more important than great intelligence or other talents or abilities. It will compensate for a multitude of other weaknesses. To just DO IT and to be men and women of our word is to be a blessing not only to ourselves and our families but to all who know us.”
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Sacrifice of a Hang Glider
Stories of sacrifices by Church members to help raise money for the building of the Irvine Lake Street stake center.
Monday, September 13, 2010
“Enduring well and trusting in a loving and kind Heavenly Father, will not position us to necessarily receive great worldly wealth, but as we are tried in the refiner's fire we will eventually become what the Lord sent us here to become.”
Saturday, September 18, 2010
An inspirational tribute to the Elect Lady of Jack’s life, Jo Anne.
Friday, October 15, 2010
What Happened to Your Face? Page
“What I do believe is that after many years of living what we truly are becomes etched on our countenances… I have seen the face of Christ in your faces, in your deeds, and in your exemplary lives."
Thursday, November 4, 2010
“Many of our lives are spent on detours which I believe are orchestrated by a loving and kind Heavenly Father.”
Friday, November 19, 2010
Jack ruminates about the many ways hands have blessed both his life and the lives of others.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
All People Make Me Happy
Jack reviews and recommends the book AMAZING GRACE: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas.
One of the few things we can take with us from mortality into eternity are the cherished relationships we’ve cultivated with others, which is what also makes the temporary separation from departed loved ones so difficult.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Hope – Adrenaline for the Soul
“I believe there are at least two different levels of hope that are operative in our lives. There is the hope that no matter what the problem is that there is a way out and that things can get better. And then there is a higher level of hope which the Scriptures call "A perfect brightness of hope." This perfect brightness of hope is faith and hope in the atonement of Christ and in the great plan of happiness. Fortunate is the man or woman who has both levels of faith/hope alive and well in their lives.”
Friday, February 11, 2011
If We Don't Try We Don't Do
“I believe there are times in all of our lives when we are tempted to give up or give in because things that confront us are just too difficult to deal with. Of course if we quit trying we quit doing and the "why are we here" question becomes very relevant in our lives. On those occasions when I have been tempted to give up and feel that all is lost and quit trying and doing I remember my Grandmother Halley Wilkin Young. Her example gives me courage to keep trying and doing.”
Sunday, April 3, 2011
The Work and the Glory
Even though Jo Anne jokes that she does all the work while Jack gets all the glory, he believes that Jo Anne is both "The Work and the Glory," and "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder!" Jack relates to the Apostle Peter losing focus while walking on the water and then pleading for Christ to save him when he began to sink.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Heap Big Smoke but No Fire
Jack reiterates his appreciation for companies and people who are reliable, both in the present day and as examples from history.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Putting off the Natural Man
“It will probably take a lifetime and more to completely put off the natural man through the atonement of Christ the Lord and become a saint which can only happen as we continually yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit each day of our lives…. through constant repentance and the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost we can ultimately be converted from a natural man to a Christlike state.”
Saturday, May 7, 2011
“…most problems and challenges we face in life are really only broken bows. Like Nephi, we must not sit and murmur and weep and wring our hands in despair and frustration, but work through our challenges and problems with an attitude of faith and hope, discovering that "the only way out is the way through".
Saturday, July 16, 2011
It's Good to Be Alive Again… And Again
Jack shares yet another near death experience. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of hope, it was the season of despair…". "Be patient in afflictions for thou shalt have many, but endure them, for lo I am with thee even unto the end of thy days."
Monday, August 1, 2011
“The true test of our "loving kindness" as well as our "long suffering," it seems to me, is in the relationships we have with our spouses, children, and those with whom we interact in our own little circle of acquaintances on a day to day basis.”
Sunday, September 11, 2011
"Is It I?"
We should all strive to overcome the tendency of the natural man to blame others in order to avoid responsibility for our mistakes and instead "yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit" and sincerely seek to understand and resolve our part of a problem.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Even If Paul, Not I (Even If All, Not I)
“Et si omnes ego non”
Using examples from the scriptures and his own life, Jack teaches the importance of remaining true to correct principles even in the face of peer pressure or persecution.
Monday, October 31, 2011
The Defiant Power of the Human Spirit
The willpower of the human spirit to persevere in the face of adversity is aided by acknowledging the truth that "no matter how bad you think your life is, there is always someone who has it worse than you, and because of that, we should count our many blessings and be content with our lot in life, whatever it may be.”
Monday, November 14, 2011
"I Saw That All I Had Made Was Good."
Jack shares his admiration and appreciation for all those who create, maintain, and repair the physical inventions of this world that so bless our lives.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
He Really Likes Me
Jack uses the lyrics to a song from the musical “Man of La Mancha” to express his appreciation for the devotion and unwavering support from Jack’s beloved eternal helpmeet Jo Anne and everyone’s advocate with the Father, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Friday, January 6, 2012
What Lack I yet?
“All of us…are lacking in something which is keeping us from following the Savior with more devotion, putting Him first in our lives, and being his true disciple. Growth will only come to us as we recognize and honestly admit to ourselves, however hard it may be, what we lack and take the steps to overcome and deal with that weakness.”
Friday, January 6, 2012
I May Never Pass This Way Again
Jack reminds us all that, especially at Christmas time, “truly celebrating the birth of Christ and his subsequent mortal mission, it seems to me, can best be done by committing ourselves to follow His example of compassion, love, and desire to bless even "the least of these our brethren" who surround us on every side.”
Friday, January 6, 2012
Jack shares an essay that his 12 year old granddaughter Annie Rushton wrote describing her grandfather’s miraculous recovery earlier in the year from a hopeless diagnosis of a brain-damaged vegetative state.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Do What You Can with What You Have, Where You Are
Jack again shares his love of the scriptures, of biographies of great Church leaders, as well as inspiring historical figures. “Although my body is mobility impaired, through the magic of reading, my mind knows no limits. Through reading I have become acquainted with some of the greatest people with the best minds that have ever lived, and have vicariously experienced many of the world's most important events in history.”
Monday, February 27, 2012
The Rougher the Course, the Greater the Reward
“Mortality and its many challenges we all have faced, are facing, or will face – it can be a rough course for most of us – is a necessary part of Heavenly Father's customized curriculum for each one of us as a prerequisite to be given the greatest reward possible – the gift of eternal life!”
Monday, March 26, 2012
Don't Blow Your Lead
Just like talented sports teams that blow large scoring leads by becoming complacent about executing the fundamentals of their game, once righteous individual members of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that have been born in the covenant to righteous families can fritter away their blessings by becoming complacent, lazy, soft and cease doing the fundamentals that had brought to them their big lead – getting up early, searching the Scriptures, praying, striving to keep all the Commandments and seeking to serve others.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
How Is Your Vision?
In classic Jack Rushton master educator style, he intertwines his wonderful sense of humor throughout his sharing of his own repeated struggles with deteriorating eyesight (that would qualify as a sore trial for even otherwise healthy individuals) that has given him an increased appreciation for his remaining gift of sight, as well as a desire to continue his efforts to avoid spiritual blindness by seeking to see more clearly with spiritual eyes.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Passing of a Great Servant of God
Upon learning of the death of his friend, fellow patriarch, and spiritual giant Joseph William "Billy" Johnson from Ghana, West Africa, Jack remembers Brother Johnson's amazing pioneering efforts to plant and harvest gospel seeds among the people of Africa and his visits to the Rushton home.
Friday, May 4, 2012
"Look with Optimism, Work with Faith"
Another classic Jack Rushton motivational speech. Jack talks about his efforts to match pace with his wife Jo Anne’s seemingly inexhaustible ability to look with optimism while working with faith to overcome and endure the many trials and hardships of their lives. Jack shares both personal and historical examples of severe trials faced and overcome through a positive outlook, determination to never quit, and calling upon God for his assistance while doing all in our power to succeed.
Friday, May 25, 2012
"Tell Me Something Good"
Jack reminds all of us, through the sharing of many examples, to exercise our God given gift of agency to recognize and value the good things in our lives, especially if we are struggling with major challenges in our lives.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
"Dad, the Cookies Didn't Turn Out!"
Jack reminds us that there is great power in words to bless us, to sustain us through trials, and even to change lives. This is especially true of the Word of God found in the scriptures.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
"Here Comes Jack…"
“It would not be a bad idea on occasion for all of us to, with a sincere heart and real intent, ask Heavenly Father, "What lack I yet?" I am sure the answer will be different for each one of us, and even different at different times in our lives”. “Something I have been trying to overcome for years, and thankfully I am making progress the older I get, is to put people before my personal projects, programs, agenda and timetable.”
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The Way out Is the Way through
“Over the years I have learned that it is much easier to teach great truths and principles than to live them. Most of our students did not internalize the fact that "The way out is the way through." It was hard for me to accept the fact that so few were able to do this. Many years later, because of what happened to me one August day at Laguna Beach, I was given the opportunity to implement this philosophy in my own life. I found that it was easier said than done and caused me to have greater empathy…”. We must accept about our situation what we can never change, and then explore and discover every capacity, ability, and talent we have left, and magnify them to the highest degree possible.
“…all those who would come to truly know God and come to understand that the way out is the way through – through God. To come to know God, to have "the wicked spirit rooted out of our breasts" requires coming face to face with ourselves and being willing to "give away all of our sins of commission and omission" to come to know God. There is no other way. Ultimately the way out of the "natural man" condition we all inherit because of the Fall is "through" Christ and his atonement. As Nephi so beautifully taught, "And now behold my beloved brethren, this is the way and there is none other way nor name whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God…"
Jack completed his mortal probation on Christmas Eve 2012. This humble and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ is finally free to soar outside the confines of his unresponsive mortal body to spend Christmas Day with his beloved Lord and Savior. Jack concluded his mortal probation with flying colors and has left an example and a legacy to lead and inspire his family and generations of descendants, and for them to seek to emulate. Although the family and friends he leaves behind will truly mourn the temporary loss of his presence, most assuredly he has enjoyed a joyful reunion with friends and family who have already preceded him in returning home to that God who gave us all life.
It is most fitting that Jack’s last public blog entry ends with scriptures that testify of Christ and the transforming, sustaining, and saving power of his Atonement that provided both Jack and Jo Anne with the faith, hope, and charity needed for them to endure well Jack’s 24+ years of life as a paralyzed quadriplegic. Even more importantly, it has helped them both become even better disciples of Jesus Christ than they already were before.
It is evident to those who read Jack’s “observations” and blog entries that he primarily intended them for the benefit of his beloved family and posterity, but he was kind enough to also allow non-family members to become grateful recipients of his wisdom and masterful teaching skills. Because of Jack having taken the time and great effort to lovingly and painstakingly document his thoughts, experiences, and how he employed the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help him through adversity and sore trials that most of us will never fully comprehend, the sphere of his influence will continue to ripple outward from one person to another, from generation to generation, blessing the lives of countless individuals.
Not surprisingly, the last word of Jack’s last blog entry was “God”, to whom he has now returned with the promised greeting of, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matt 25:21
For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory. D&C 76:5-6