Families Grow

Families Grow

It’s fun watching families grow.  The Wildey Family talked in church today.  When we first moved here, they were just starting to have children, and now all three of the children talked in Sacrament Meeting.  What a wonderful event to witness.

copyright 2018 db walton
From a Workshop Years Ago

Sister Wildey and her children have volunteered to model for my workshops over the years.  I just realized I don’t have a single picture of them with Brother Wildey.  Tthe next time I’ll have to schedule my workshop around his schedule.

I think we don’t see how rapidly our own family grows until we go back and look at pictures.  But, the others around us, it seems like they grow right before your eyes because you only see them once a week or even less.

Beef Stew

The sister missionaries weren’t able to make dinner tonight.  So, Elizabethe and I had lots of beef stew.  The meat turned out perfect.  (Browning it in bacon grease is the key!)

There are few soups that I like.  On the other hand, I do like stews and chowders.  I think it is the thickness and heartiness because they make me feel satisfied after eating.


It is the first day this year that it feels like spring.  The sun is shining.  I hope it continues like this for a few days.  I could use the Vitamin D.

Judging Through Judgement

Judging Through Judgement

Why is it the most judgemental people are those who get upset when they think people are judging them?   Judging through judgement is what I’ll call it.

One of my recent goals for self-improvement is to avoid priestcraft in all its forms.  I didn’t realize how prevalent it is until recently when I decided to research it more.  The encouragement to do this came from my Book of Mormon reading.

Before I go any further, I’m going to flat out say it… in order to avoid pitfalls, one must make judgements as to what is right and what is wrong.  We do this all the time.  An extreme example would be if someone told you drinking arsenic would cure cancer, I would hope your better judgement would tell you to not drink arsenic.

Judging People

When I read Jesus’ admonition to ‘judge not, lest thou be judged’ (see Matt. 7:1-3), I understand that to mean we shouldn’t judge people’s motivation or intent.  There’s no scriptural basis to say we shouldn’t say something is a sin, when the scriptures and the prophets say it is a sin.  There is, however, scriptural basis that says we shouldn’t question a person’s reason for sinning, or condemn because they have sinned.

I got the willies when I read where a guy was touting various forms of inequity and the message of his writing was this:  Don’t give a hoot what others think.  Just keep on sinning.  Anyone who tells you your sinning is judging you.


These judges who accuse active church-goers of judgement place labels on people:  gay, straight, LGBT, black, latino, white, etc.  Wait… after Christ visited the New World, doesn’t the Book of Mormon say there were no ‘-ites’ among them?

Aren’t these labels forms of ‘-ites’?

If you’re not convinced, anciently a gay man would be called a Sodomite.  A latino a Lamanite.  Need I continue?


Re-reading this guys writing made me feel yucky inside.  I don’t know what his motivation is for writing the stuff he writes, but for me, past experience has shown those yucky-inside feelings means something is amiss with what I’m reading.  Or, another way to say it is, the Spirit of the Lord is telling me it is false doctrine and meant to lead people away from the truth.

The Litmus Test

I was introduced to litmus paper at a very young age.  I think I got my first chemistry set when I was around 5 or 6 years old.  Litmus paper tells you the pH of a solution.

When it comes to the gospel teachings, my litmus test is my gut.  When my gut tells me something is wrong, it is usually wrong.    There is also a secondary test I apply.  It is what have the current apostles and prophets said?

I’ll give you an example:  Someone was saying the church just needs to get with the times, and eventually they will when it comes to gay marriage.  When Elder Christofferson was asked about that, his answer was an authoritative, “Never.”

So, to have someone write about the subject in such a way that encourages behaviours contrary to the teachings of the Savior, and then attempt to use the Saviors teachings as justification… well… it fails both tests.


Is it Priestcraft?

If he’s doing it for the praise of men and money, it fits the Book of Mormon definition of priestcraft.

Dinner Yesterday

Dinner Yesterday

Since we had the missionaries for dinner yesterday, we didn’t feed them today.  I was supposed to have a meeting in Batavia, but it got postponed a couple of weeks.  So, we fed the missionaries yesterday, and today after church we just relaxed.

There was a small ice storm last night.  The handrail and snow shovel were the only things with a lot of ice on them.  Some of the tree branches had ice, and as the wind blew you could hear cracking and popping as the ice broke.  It was a sound I had never experienced before.


I had a couple of t-bone steaks in the freezer.  The last time I took one out, it turned out kind of tough.  This time, I got smart and soaked up all the liquid by pressing the steak between some paper towels before plopping it in the skillet.

It was a good idea to do that.  It turned out perfect this time.  Plus, I have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

World Tensions

As usual, the news media blew the whole bombing of Syria out of proportion.  Now, it isn’t even front page news.  Russia purported has said, ‘… if you do it again…’

As a kid I used to wonder how the news in communist countries could be so deceptive.  I see our news media has become what theirs has been all along — deceptive.

Darn Electronics

Darn Electronics

We have become so dependent on these darn electronics, when they fail, they get us in trouble.  I missed a meeting today because I fat-fingered it in to my calendar.  Oh, I hate when that happens.

These darn electronics are not nearly as reliable as the old pen and paper, yet, we’ve grown conditioned to use them instead.  It is more than fat-fingering.  It’s having them mysteriously disappear from your electronic calendar.  That has happened more than one time.  (I think it has to do with the trend for applications to synchronize with “the cloud”.  Personally, I wish there was a button that says, “I don’t use the cloud.”

The Cloud

The cloud has its place, but not for personal data.  Yeah, it might be convenient to see your calendar on your phone and PC, but when the cloud fails you… what do you get?  A missed appointment!

Like I said, it isn’t the first time.  I caught one last week.  I put it on my calendar over 10 days ago.  After I put it there, I double checked.  It was there.  Then, last week, it was GONE.

I really hate cloud services.


I thought they would reorganize the Elder’s Quorum today.  The released the High Priest Group Leadership, and the reorganization will take place on the 29th.

Best Fast Meeting

We had the best Fast and Testimony Meeting ever.  There were only two people who veered from testimony bearing.  (One, I don’t think will ever get it.)  The rest were really good.



It’s good to be flexible when you work in the temple.  Tonight was no exception.  The first half of the evening I was moved around from place to place.  That’s okay with me.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.

One guest completed the work for his mom and his dad.  I asked about having them sealed and he said they have an appointment to meet up with his brother in Utah and do the sealings there.

How cool is that!

Sad News

We got some sad news tonight that one of our friends was in a very serious car accident and in critical condition.  We added her name to the prayer rolls at the temple.

Disappointing News

I read where someone commented that a member of the First Presidency is “out of touch” with “modern morality” because he is a “bigot”.  It’s disappointing because this person is “out of touch” with “God’s laws of morality” and are showing their insecurity and hatred.

It’s all kind of crazy thinking on their behalf, and here’s why…

God defines morality — not society.  If society did we’d still be dancing around a golden calf, getting drunk and having sex with anything that moves.  But, at a time when that was going on, God gave 10 commandments to his prophet, Moses, and commanded that such practices stop.

The law of chastity is quite clear — Sex is between a legally and lawfully wedded man and woman.  Anything else God has declared as a sin.



Thinking President Nelson was joking, someone didn’t take the home teaching announcement seriously.  The dialog went something like this…

Person A:  Isn’t it great that they are implementing a new program to replace home teaching and visiting teaching?
Person B:  Ha ha ha.  Yeah, like they are doing away with home teaching and visiting teaching.
Person A:  Didn’t you watch General Conference?
Doubter B:  Yes, and don’t you know today is April Fool’s Day?
Person A:  Do you seriously think it is a joke?
Doubter B:  Uh, yeah.  It is April Fool’s Day

First, I don’t think the prophet of the Lord plays April Fool’s jokes.  Second, I don’t think we would have two speakers following the announcement to describe the details.

Of course, if you’re in any doubt, take time and pray about it.


I became deeply engrossed in creating paintings today.  There is so much I want to paint, and so little time.

Here is one of my recent paintings…

copyright 2018 db walton
No Title Yet

I thought about doing some funny things… like putting a cell phone in his left hand.  Or, putting a dead body behind the gate with a gun on the ground and calling it, “Stranger than Pulp Fiction.”  Or, “You’re sleeping on the stone bench tonight.”  (This represents about 10 hours of work.)

Wegman’s Break

I took a break to get groceries at Wegman’s.  After that, I was too pooped to paint.  However, a little while after resting, I began playing with an idea involving a horse and a woman with very long hair.

Modern Revelation

Modern Revelation

Modern revelation is what modern prophets are all about.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is guided by modern day revelation.  This weekend was a perfect example of modern revelation.

On Saturday, two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were filled.  I had guessed right on Elder Gong, and Elder Sorres was no surprise either.  These men have been called as special witnesses to Jesus Christ.

Saturday night a change in procedure was announced.  Effective immediately, the High Priests will meet with the Elders’ Quorum, and there will be one presidency over the Elders’ Quorum that can consist of Elders or High Priests.  Only High Priest serving in the Stake Presidency, Stake High Council or Bishoprics or Patriarchs will attend High Priest Quorum meetings.

This is an inspired change and will help in getting things accomplished in the church.

Sunday’s Announcement

Sunday’s announcement was Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching will no longer be called such, but will be called “Ministering”.    I encourage anyone wondering about it to read the talk by Elder Holland.

This too is an inspired change to help usher in the Second Coming.  Other things were announced in association with these two big changed.  They are all exciting.  As a result of both announcements, the next few weeks will see much change.


President Nelson announced 7 new temples.  The big ones are one in Russia and one in Bangalore, India.  India is the one that surprises me.  I didn’t realize we were that close to building a temple in India.

It makes me wonder how close we are to building a temple in some of the Arab Nations.



Focus and Priestcraft

Focus and Priestcraft

It may seem like an odd combination, Focus and priestcraft, but the one got me thinking about the other.  Focus NY is PPSNYS’ annual convention.  Priestcraft, as defined in the Book of Mormon is receiving money for preaching for the sole purpose of getting gain and popularity.

Outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, priestcraft is seen as something entirely different.  The diction basically defines it as what priests do.  Well, by the Book of Mormon definition, priest in other churches engage in priestcraft — not all, but many.  They get paid, and the more popular they are, the more they get paid.

What Got Me Thinking

What got me thinking is this… if a professional photographer spends more time on the road speaking to other photographers, creates most of their images at the workshops they teach at, and are in the business of being popular by making people feel good… I guess that fits the definition.

Here’s how the Book of Mormon defines it, “He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.”

When I pointed this scripture out to my wife, she commented that Oprah Winfrey fits that definition.  I have to agree.  There are many others too.


It wasn’t all the speakers at Focus NY that gave me this impression — just one.  I intentionally didn’t go to one of their programs, but chose the alternative because I remember the last time I heard them speak I had an uneasy feeling.  I couldn’t remember why, I just remembered that I did.

Then, there came a point when there wasn’t a choice, and so I went, and now I remember why… it was more of a sermon than a photographic presentation, and a lot about that person.

I just went to their website to read about their workshops.  It uses words like “nourish”, “spirit”, “meditation”, etc.    The page confirms the impressions I got, and why I get a cold feeling around this person.


I attended Focus NY to learn about my trade, and not for a substitute for religion.  I’m a deeply religious and spiritual person (and the two go hand-in-hand because you cannot have one without the other.)  So, what did I learn?

From Michael Mowbray I learned more things I can do with my MoLights, and I can’t wait to try them out.

From Rick Friedman I learned that I should buy a roll of cinefoil.  I’m not sure why I haven’t yet, but after watching his presentation, I need to buy a roll.

From Marilyn Sholin I learned ideas to market my art.

From all the others rolled together, I picked up a few ideas here and there.  Rick Friedman’s presentation impressed me the most.  He’s a master of manipulating light.



Prove it.  Show your proof.  As a mathemetician, I heard this frequently.  The most astonishing proof of all times was when a professor demonstrated, through a mathematical proof, that something divided by zero is NOT infinity, but undefined.

I thought for a while, and my rationalization was that x/y, as y becomes infinitesimally small,  the result approaches infinity.  I watched carefully as he began to write the proof on the chalkboard.  Soon he had shown in some cases where the result could equal Pi (which today is Pi day), 1 or several other values.  Thus, if it doesn’t ALWAYS equal the same number, then it is “undefined”.

Steven Hawking

Steven Hawking passed away today.  He outlived most people with ALS, and in some ways he was a genius.  While his genius was spent on theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology, he proclaimed to believe there is no God, and when we die, that’s it.  We are no more.  I think he said something to the effect that our brains are nothing more than a computer, and when we die, that computer shuts off.

He now knows different.  I say this because he was an example of ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

His death brought out a lot of comments from believers.  People were commenting saying, “I guess he is finding out that God does exist”, and “Looks like he’ll discover there’s more after this life after all”, etc.

Then, you have the atheist commented, mostly trolling, saying, “Prove there’s a God. Hawking has published papers, where are your papers proving there’s a God.”


Prove any of Hawking’s theories.

The tip should be Hawking was a “theoretical” physicist.  That means, nothing he taught had any physical proof, only rationalizations of what “might be”.


How is that any different than most people who believe in God?

Well, the short answer is… God is real.  Theoretical physics may… or may not be real.  In either case, nobody can prove either one to you — especially if you are unwilling to do what is required to find your evidence.

When it comes to Hawking’s theories, I could care less if they are true or false.  It makes no difference in the scheme of things.  However, when it comes to knowing God, it makes all the difference in the world… and the life hereafter.