Tag: Inspirational

A Witness of Kindness

I was so touched to see this bit of humanity, this respect and consideration for the stranger. It is one reason I love living in a city: where we are all so close together, we have more opportunity to exercise and witness kindness.

Uncomfortable Charity

Why does the act of charity, in this case, the transaction initiated by a beggar or panhandler, feel so uncomfortable to me? Mental recriminations if I give, guilt if I don’t. Perhaps it is because I don’t know the protocol, the expectations, and so I’m worried about an inadvertent transgression. But it isn’t that hard to act, to find a way to overcome my anxiety and hesitation to do something small.

“Twenty-Mark Note” Experiences

There is a certain category of life-experiences that I refer to as “Twenty-Mark Note” stories. The name for these experiences comes from a talk by the same name, given by President Packer at BYU-Idaho in 2002 (excerpted below).  I suspect…

The Road to the Temple

 NPR recently did a story about a group of reporters’ visit to the newly constructed Draper Temple. The Draper Temple, by all appearances, is characteristically beautiful. I am as intrigued by the process of building a new temple, as I am…

Jim F: My Conversion

Thanksgiving seems a good time to think about my membership in the Church and my gratitude for the Gospel. In other words, it seems to be a particularly good time for me to reflect on my conversion.

Page Six Jesus

As I was reading the paper yesterday on the train to work, I happened across a short article discussing the use of religious images in today’s popular fashion culture. The article discussed shirts and sweaters from top fashion houses that…

Tenebrae

Yesterday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, here at Notre Dame, I attended a service of prayer and lamentation called “Tenebrae”, remembering the darkness of the night when Christ suffered in Gethsemane and was arrested, and anticipating his death.…

Sinlessness

We often say that Christ was sinless, that he was the only sinless human being. Surprisingly, that isn’t a teaching that we find often in the scriptures. The word “sinless” doesn’t occur in the scriptures. Using the sacrificial type, two…

Losing a Child

On March 5, 1987, my son Neill Earl Smith was born. Three months later, he died of pneumonia. He was a victim of a rare neurological disorder known as Werdnig-Hoffman Syndrome. He would be 17 years old now. My wife…

Good Examples

Recently, through Times & Seasons, I reconnected with a friend from BYU and Law School. Sean Lindsay is now working as an attorney for Qwest in Denver. We first met at BYU, where both of us worked as tutors in…

Doing the Right Thing

Mormons believe in revelation. Within limits. Admittedly, what I am about to say is a gross overgeneralization, but I hope that it will provoke some interesting discussion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a rich tradition of…

A Knock at Midnight

In honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I offer some excerpts from a sermon he delivered August 9, 1964 at Riverside Church in New York City. It is entitled “A Knock at Midnight.” ___ This morning I…

Change

Three days ago, I returned from a faculty development program in Delhi, India. While I attempted to adjust to Central Standard Time immediately upon arrival, I wasn’t successful. On Saturday afternoon, I fell exhausted on my bed and took a…

The Little Drummer Boy

When I was 15, my Grandma Joe cried as she read this story from the newspaper to me and my brothers and sisters. Seeing the story touch her helped it touch me. “I am a poor boy too” has been…

My Link to Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, my father was 16 years old. His life would change forever on that day. Shortly after President Roosevelt told the nation about the “day that shall live in infamy,” my father entered the Navy. He fought…