Thursday, May 26, 2011

Get up or Give up

Michael Jordan played basketball for Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. Ironically, Jordan was cut from the varsity team as a sophomore. I bet the players of the varsity team might have judged Jordan just a bit. Thoughts of “why” probably interred into Michael's mind. He had to make a decision, to give up and let the event get the best of him or to get up and move on. Jordan once said, "Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I'd close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it, and that usually got me going again."

I often wonder if he had some kind of an idea that he was going to be such a fantastic player. Six-time NBA champion, 10-time All-NBA first team,  nine-time All-Defensive first team, 14-time All-Star; All-Star MVP, one of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and last but not Olympic gold medalist.

We cannot let ourselves become discouraged if we fail a time or two. The best athletes in the world all seem to have some common traits:

1) They practice long and hard. Tiger Woods, an American all star golfer, come to Arizona to play in a tournament. After a full day of golfing he would head on over to the practice green and there he would begin a practice session. It's no wonder he's ranked #1 in the world.

2) They never give up. Would Michael Jordan have become a 14-time All-Star by quitting when he was in high school...obviously not!  

Each and every person has a chance to become "great". We all have our own talents and they are to be used! Our potential is to become like our Father in Heaven. A big task.  Perfection is our goal. To follow Jesus Christ takes lots of practice. Sometimes we fail to progress. Like Michael, we fail to make the team, but through perseverance we can regain our spot. When we fall down we must get up and keep trying. If we continue on this course we will become "great".

It is my witness that we can become amazing. When we read our scriptures, go to church, and live as Christ teaches us, we are as the greatest people in the world.    

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Recently I was able to attend a 3on3 basketball tournament. It was extremely fun to watch and the crowds made me feel like I was in a big city. It was fun to watch the skill of the different players. Even though the first day of the event was cold and raining the players gave it their all.

It was funny to watch the skilled players bounce the ball and come up on a puddle, in which the ball would instantly stop, then they would have to quickly turn around and try to catch the ball before the other players got it.

 There were some spectacular players there and some that have only played the game a couple of times. Basketball for me is something I really enjoy. The goal is to get the ball in the basket. So simple, yet as we add people to oppose you, and distances that will be worth more points (ie. the 3 point line). Life is kind of like this. We have one goal, to return back to our Father in Heaven. This is made difficult by people there to oppose us (such as Satan). Every once in a while we get close to our goal and we just seem to lose our focus and have to turn back to try again, like when the basketball hit the water. And every once in a great while we seem to be so far from our goal, and we hit the big 3 pointer, by bringing our life back on track. This is a game that we can win! We know the actions we must take to win. It won't be easy, but its very attainable.

                                               Remember that practice makes perfect.     

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Big Brother

When I was just a small boy, I had a favorite big brother. He would put his arms around me and we would go scrambling down some cool dirt path, At times like this i felt ten feet tall. He didn't mind me tagging about one bit, and there was nothing I liked better. I was so proud of him. When I was with him, I felt like I was beaming stronger than the sun. he was good at everything. I never could seem to match the mountains he would make out of sand---Mine would always seem to crumble and sag but his would stand as firm as the Rocky Mountains.
Dad always tried not to show how proud he was of him (he being the oldest and all) but his smile seemed to beam a little brighter too, when my big brother came around. I felt my world had collapsed when he went on his mission. Dad and Mom had to both fight back the tears. He called on Dad regularly and let us know how much he loved us. He even told us how great his mission was so Mom would not worry.
The persecution was really bad there, as the Church was just getting started but he never seemed to let himself get down even though the people would not believe his messages. We would share in his joys when he would get some new converts, but i don't mind saying--I was scared that the non-believers would do something to him. it even got to the point where men were plotting to take his life but dad never seemed to be worried for some reason.
Then, one day, we received a word that his mission had ended but not as most men's do, I was struck sick by the terrifying news--- they finally got hold of my big brother that I played with, who never seemed capable of doing anything wrong-- my big brother who loved everyone he knew and who, most everyone loved.The beat him and mocked him. he suffered all they did to him without striking back. Why would anyone want to hurt my big brother? I could not understand. A mob took him to a hill just outside of town and spitting on him, they nailed him to a wooden cross. My soul moaned as I heard that he begged Father to forgive them. Racked with unbearable pain, he gave up his life for what he believed. My big brother, my king, my idol was dead. I cried through what seemed to be the darkest days of my life.
Where was my big brother with whom i had shaped mountains of sand? Why did he, of all my brothers, have to die like this? i felt Dad's strong arm upon my shoulder---he did it for you and your brothers and sisters. Time passed and i was called on my mission. Sometimes I've forgotten what happened so long ago but every Sunday a small piece of bread and a small cup of water reminds me of my big brother and what he did for me, and assures me that he still lives.