Monday, May 09, 2016


To obey is better than sacrifice... (1 Samuel 15:22)
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  (Luke 6:46)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10) 
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10)
When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:21)
We may rationalize our disobedience, but we cannot escape the consequences.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

In Memoriam: Amie Cobabe Cobb

My mom's oldest grandchild, Amie Cobabe Cobb, passed away this morning.

Amie experienced greater joys - and sorrows - than most of us.  She had a fulfilling life, in spite of great challenges.  She was greatly loved and will be missed by many.

Bill and Valerie Cobabe family in Fallbrook, about 1978

Amie (front left) with her parents, Bill and Valerie Cobabe and their family, about 1985 at Provo park.

Gordon and Amie Cobb

Amie and her kids, Courtnie and Ian, at home in Prescott Valley

Amie and Gordon with Ian and Courtnie

Amie and Gordon with Ian and Courtnie

Amie with Ian and Courtnie

Amie is finally laid to rest

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 2016 General Conference: Elder Neil L. Andersen, "Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me"

Elder Anderson counselled, while a child’s earthly situation may not be ideal, a child’s spiritual DNA is perfect because one’s true identity is as a son or daughter of God.

President Thomas S. Monson has said: “Help God’s children understand what is genuine and important in this life. Help them develop the strength to choose paths that will keep them safely on the way to eternal life.”  Let’s open our arms and our hearts a little wider. These youth need our time and our testimonies.

April 2016 General Conference: Elder Ronald A. Rasband, "Standing with the Leaders of the Church"

As we press forward, choosing to follow the counsel and the warnings of our leaders, we choose to follow the Lord while the world is going in another direction. We choose to hold fast to the iron rod, to be Latter-day Saints, to be on the Lord’s errand, and to be filled “with exceedingly great joy.”

The growing question of today is clear: are you standing with the leaders of the Church in a darkening world so that you might spread the Light of Christ?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 2016 General Conference: Elder Dale G. Renlund, "That I Might Draw Men Unto Me"

Elder Renlund taught that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the ultimate Givers.

Because of their proximity to the givers, recipients who receive help according to this pattern are grateful and less likely to feel entitled.

The concept—“the greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement”—also has profound spiritual applications. Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are the ultimate Givers. The more we distance ourselves from Them, the more entitled we feel. We begin to think that we deserve grace and are owed blessings. We are more prone to look around, identify inequities, and feel aggrieved—even offended—by the unfairness we perceive. While the unfairness can range from trivial to gut-wrenching, when we are distant from God, even small inequities loom large. We feel that God has an obligation to fix things—and fix them right now!

The closer we are to Jesus Christ in the thoughts and intents of our hearts, the more we appreciate His innocent suffering, the more grateful we are for grace and forgiveness, and the more we want to repent and become like Him. Our absolute distance from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is important, but the direction we are heading is even more crucial. God is more pleased with repentant sinners who are trying to draw closer to Him than with self-righteous, faultfinding individuals who, like the Pharisees and scribes of old, do not realize how badly they need to repent

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Wasatch Wildflowers Series 13

Taraxacum officionale, Dandelion. Family Asteraceae. The ubiquitous flower commonly found in lawns. The blossoms are sometimes used to make wine.  Dandelion greens are said to be edible, but I disagree.

Thermopsis montana, False Lupine. Family Fabaceae. Pretty yellow flowers.  Commonly found in Utah mountain meadows.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Wasatch Wildflowers Series 12

Veratrum californicum, False Hellebore. Family Melanthiaceae.  Common in marshy riparian zones.   Rhizomes are extremely toxic. Veratrum contains highly toxic steroidal alkaloids that activate sodium ion channels and cause rapid cardiac failure and death if ingested.

Don't eat these.

Equisetum arvense, Horsetail, Scouring Rush. The only living genus from Family Equisetaceae, others are present in fossilized specimens. Ours are found in wet marshy areas. Early settlers in the Rocky Mountain region reputedly used the silica-laden stems to scour their pots and pans. Extracts have historically used for medicinal purposes, but I'd never eat this stuff.

The big leaves in the foreground are Thimbleberry.

April 2016 General Conference: Elder Steven E. Snow, "Be Thou Humble"

Elder Snow gave counsel regarding personal humility.

The Savior taught His followers that they must humble themselves as a little child in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  As we raise our own children, we need to help them remain humble as they mature into adulthood. We do not do this by breaking their spirit through unkindness or by being too harsh in our discipline. While nurturing their self-confidence and self-esteem, we need to teach them the qualities of selflessness, kindness, obedience, lack of pride, civility, and unpretentiousness. We need them to learn to take joy in the successes of siblings and friends. President Howard W. Hunter taught that “our genuine concern should be for the success of others.”7 If not, our children can become obsessed with self-promotion and outdoing others, jealousy, and resentment for the triumphs of peers. I’m grateful for a mother who, when seeing I was becoming too full of myself as a boy, would say, “Son, a little bit of humility right now would go a long way.”

But humility is not something reserved to be taught only to children. We must all strive to become more humble. Humility is essential to gain the blessings of the gospel. Humility enables us to have broken hearts when we sin or make mistakes and makes it possible for us to repent. Humility enables us to be better parents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends.

April 2016 General Conference: Elder Kevin R. Duncan, "The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness"

Elder Duncan counsels, forgiveness is a glorious, healing principle. We do not need to be a victim twice. We can forgive.

Just as we are all victims to the misdeeds of others at one time or another, we are also sometimes the offender. We all fall short and have need of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We must remember that forgiveness of our own sins and offenses is conditioned upon our forgiving others. The Savior said:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14–15).

Forgiveness is the very reason God sent His Son, so let us rejoice in His offering to heal us all. The Savior’s Atonement is not just for those who need to repent; it is also for those who need to forgive. If you are having trouble forgiving another person or even yourself, ask God to help you. Forgiveness is a glorious, healing principle. We do not need to be a victim twice. We can forgive.

Wasatch Wildflowers Series 11

Sphaeralcea coccinea, Scarlet Globemallow. Family Malvaceae. These showy little orange flowers grace dry foothill and desert areas, just to make it more interesting.  A close relative of the Hollyhocks in our flower gardens!

Urtica dioca, Stinging Nettle. Family Urticaceae. Poisonous hairs on stems and leaves are a skin irritant. These plants are traditional source of food and medicine. Soaking in water or cooking denatures the stinging chemicals. I've still got plenty of better things to eat.