By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Place of Discovery

In life sometimes we can be refugees or outcasts due to persistent struggle. It is a strange way to look at things being that so many people are refugees seeking amnesty from one country or another. Individually as we seek amnesty from the trials of life, some of us seek amnesty in a drug or an alcoholic beverage finding it to be a trap worse than the thing originally causing a need for sanctuary!

Sweet as it can be, life Will have challenges, challenges potentially able to chase away the choicest chances of renewal and reward down paths that prove difficult to course correct. Notions arising that lead us to seek escape from life because of with what we are challenged overwhelms us to the point where we cannot be the hero of our own life story, warrants a reflective moment or more to reevaluate the purpose of life.

Why are we here? Where are we going? What is my true origin? Levels of discovery in these questions take us on emotional journeys and religious quests to find the centering answers that allow us the psychological steadfastness to endure and prevail. Short or long, easy or hard the journey to discovery is often where we find ourselves as we proceed to the eventual destination.

Journeying despite the factors of fraught littering the path has revealed personally who I am and who I want to be as I walk along the way outcast at times from life. What is that, pray, tell? I am a child of God. He has sent me here to Earth. He has given me a home with parents and siblings. Now I am a parent with children kind and dear to me.

I started a journey to Utah that led me down a path to see the destination God revealed to me as the stepping stones to a greater recognition of living--who I needed to be at that point. The stones are firm, but the water from which they provide me a dry crossing is cold because often do I fall in and have to start the trek across the waters anew. Feeling failure, a good instructor, God shows me, being outcast is sometimes the means of finding out with a vengeance that I am one of His chosen if I will have Him.

I, Refugee - The Hero of My Life StoryI want you to know reader, that I was at the lowest point of discouragement I could be and still call myself a Christian when we started this Utah journey. This is the first installment of being trapped in Utah.

Tales from Umtata: Golden Investigator

Missionary Experiences Are What You Make Them

As missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we take the opportunity to study the gospel daily so that we may use that knowledge to lead people to Christ. Being a missionary does not exempt us from our human frailty, however. My weakness is in full bloom this morning.  

Wake up Elder Johnson,” Shouts Elder Thompson gleefully. “It’s time for comp’ study.” 

Glaring momentarily at him, I roll around n bed a bit before rising. Elder Thompson wakes me up in the middle of such a beautiful dream, resentment. I had a new companion in my dream. 

It was no secret that Elder Thompson and I have friction in our companionship, except to Elder Thompson. I hide it from him out of resentment. Younger than I am and chippier every day, I envy.

“What are we going to study today, Elder,” I said attempting to hide the irritation in my voice. Not that it matters. This guy is so oblivious to my issues with him. Or is he?

Elder Thompson furrows his brow and suggests, “The first discussion. If we study it today, we will teach it.” 

Resentment and all, I believe him. Tossing the word out there so often is annoying, but I resent him because he is such a good person even though I want him to be evil so that I could feel justified in being upset with him. I cannot stay upset long. He is too cheerful! I am not a morning person. He is not a good leader either. I have a detailed list of all his flaws. All of them!

After Breakfast and personal study, we go over the plan for today. We were told that planning in the morning is highly effective. We want, if nothing else, to be productive. So, we plan to do some street contacting for the morning and service at the Hospital counting pills. We scheduled a few appointments with the hope that they will not fall through. We have no backup plan because the concept eludes Elder Thompson. 

I am his “Greenie,” and I resent it! Did I say I resent it? I really resent it!

After coordinating some last-minute plans with the other two Elders in the boarding, Elder Danisa, and Elder Streadbeck, we shove off to start our day. About noon, we return to the boarding to lunch for two hours—planning not to return for dinner. 

Elder Thompson and I are off to work. All of our appointments seem to be canceling as we get to their homes! On top of that, we walk in the sweltering sun uphill both ways! How is that even possible! Only in Umtata (Mthatha now)!

Well, okay, maybe not both ways—but it feels like it. After rescheduling all of the appointments, Elder Thompson suggests that we tract Singqangana Crescent. (When saying this word, Singquangana, the "q" makes a popping sound. Xhosa is an exciting and beautiful language!) I agree fully expecting to find some good people to teach. finally. Resentment is at an all-time low due to the heat and tiresome walking.

The Heat Beats Down. 

We two, heads high, armed for battle, marched up to the first house to begin our adventure. Every door we go to no parents are home or they cannot speak English! A few said "No," which is uncommon in Xhosa Culture when it comes to having messengers of God. I remember that day like it was this morning, though it was 20 years in the past.

Discouraged, we shoved on with little faith in finding anyone. We tracted for 5 hours and it was getting dark. 
Elder Thompson wanted to turn back and do something more effective but we resolved to tough it out until the end of that long uphill street. After a few more rejections or no contacts, I gave up and wanted to go home. I was sick of no success. Elder Thompson felt the same way, but he looked at me, and then looked up the street. We had five more houses, and we wanted to get them. 

“Let’s just do a few more,” he said. “We might have some success.” 

“Well, if we are going to have success, we are teaching at the next house.” 

“We will teach at this next house,” promised Elder Thompson with determination wanting to get a good investigator for us to teach. 
(A person interested in our message was an investigator. Missionaries call the friends where I live currently.) We had prayed for such an experience. We hoofed it to the door and knocked but no answer. As we, crestfallen, moved to leave, the door crept open revealing the face of a lovely middle-aged Xhosa woman. She regarded us intently waiting for us to explain our presence at her door at such an hour in the night, about 7 pm.  

Spiritual High

“We are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints,” began Elder Thompson. “We have a message about a plan that God has for us to be happy and we want to share it with you and your family. Would you be interested?” 

“O yes, I would like for you to share it with us, but I have nowhere for you to sit. In our house live others who I let out to (rent), and my family and I only use this one room.” 

“We don’t mind,” I said. “We are here to share with you not for comfort, but out of love.” 

“Is your husband home,” asked Elder Thompson. 

“No, I am divorced,” she responded. Red flags went off in our minds. We knew better than to enter a woman’s home without a male escort with us. It would look shady to the neighbors and our Mission President. Something burned inside of us to teach, though. 

“Can we teach you outside before the night becomes too dark,” says Elder Thompson. 

English was not her first tongue, though she spoke it beautifully. Elder Thompson and I had grown into the habit of speaking very simply and directly among our Xhosa-speaking family. So, if the dialogue seems contrived, it is.

“Yes," she responded agreeing to meet with us, "On my stoop. I will get you some chairs and I will sit on the stoop.” She went inside. We looked at each other, knowing our goal to teach families. We questioned each other with our eyes. 

We walked around the house to the open area where the stoop was, “Do you think we should teach her," I asked. 


“I do too, I hope it goes well.” 

We sat well in the open where neighbors and passersby could see and commenced the introduction of ourselves and the discussion, the first discussion. Immediately the Spirit attended us. Her name is Nomakwasi Magwensthu and she listened to us. I felt as if my heart would burst with joy as I spoke and listened—bearing testimony of my companion’s words and those of my own. 

She believed all. I asked, "If we gave you a copy of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, will you read it?” 

“Yes, but I cannot have it now.” I was crushed by her response. Did she not feel the spirit, I questioned internally? “I will take it later because I have no money to pay for it now. How much does it cost? I will send my son after it.” Immediately my soul delighted again.

“Nothing,” answered Elder Thompson gleefully, “It is a free gift to you from us.” 

With that, she took the book, hugged it, and caressed it. We continued with the discussion and scheduled another appointment to follow up. With that discussion, we knew a baptism would come. Our walk downhill to our boarding seemed almost effortless as we floated on the feelings we experienced just moments before at Sister Magwentshu’s. My respect and love for Elder Thompson increased and my acrimonious thoughts of him ceased too.

Street Contacting On Umtata's (Mthatha) Town Square. Missionary Stories.

One of the hottest days that I could remember is in February,  the middle of summer in South Africa! Being a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of the dreams of my life I fulfilled as I went about with Elders Thompson, Streadbeck, and Danisa doing community service at the medicine dispensary counting pills and putting them in bottles.

The city, Umtata (now Mthatha), was always alive with pedestrian activity in the center of town near the government buildings. We four headed there to do some street contacting to tell any interested passerby that we had a life-changing message to share.

Any and everybody who is anybody passed through that town center in front of the courthouse on business—at least once a week. So of course, it was the best place to open our mouths to the public.

As usual, we four prayed and separated to do our work. We always made sure we remained within earshot of each other, but on this particular day, earshot rules proved challenging to keep. Missionaries follow rules that protect them from things, kidnappings, and scandals in the local area that would cause the locals not to listen or trust them and the Church. The rules also help to keep the Church out of the news in the wrong ways due to the misbehavior of its representatives.

Street contacting was not one of the things I enjoyed doing because of the rejection that usually followed and how public and embarrassing those rejections could become. Being a new missionary at the time, I really did not want to be out there. Cold-calling with faces is what I called it--my face to another person's face who might spit in mine!

Remembering that I was there to share the truths that I had come to know because I loved God, I pressed forward. "Excuse me, sir," I said to a smartly dressed man walking in the courtyard in front of the Courthouse. "I am a missionary from the Church of--"

"I no English," was his brisk reply as he moved on dismissively.

"Excuse me, Sir," I said to the next man near me. "I have a message from the Lord!"

"You are so young to teach me emfana (young man)," the other man laughingly retorted before moving passed me with an incredulous smirk on his face. I hate rejection. 

Rejection was not so bad in Umtata (Mthatha). It came so infrequently because of the pleasant nature of the Xhosa people that I learned to look past it. Those who did accept my invitation were not precisely the ones I targeted. Black Americans did not frequent Umtata. I was a novelty. That little bit of celebrity would get attention as the people strained at my message only to get a chance to speak to a Black American.

I recorded their names and weeded them out by inviting them to Church. If they pitched up at Church, we would teach them the message we promised would bring them joy in life. The ones whom we targeted, capable men, I hesitated to pitch on occasion. We were discriminant of whom we tried to actively teach. Such discrimination was not due to any belief that boys, women, or girls would not add value to the Church. We proceeded that way so that we could find men with wives and children who could, as a family unit, explore the Gospel together. That was our goal, families. We targeted men because women tend to be more willing to seek out the missionaries on their own. The best way to get to whole families was through the husband, we determined. 

In this mode of discrimination, I found myself when I jolted at a sight. There I stood in a suit in the sweltering hot sun of South Africa when my estranged girlfriend walked up! At least that is who she reminded me of the moment I saw her. I spoke to her.

"Hello," She said. "What are you doing out here?"

"I'm sharing a message about Jesus Christ,” I returned overcoming my amazement. I saw two gentlemen pass by who looked as if they would speak to me, but saw I was engaged with this young woman of marital age and moved on. Frustration began to well up inside of me because this woman made it hard for me to think clearly.

"That is good,' she continued."I too am going about speaking of God and His word."

Deciding to make the best of this I said, "So what church do you belong to?"

"Jehovah’s Witness, I go to the Kingdom Hall"

Yes! I shouted within myself. If I tell her I'm a "Mormon," (though we prefer to be called members of the Church we belong to) she will run away in fear. "Really, I have an older brother in that church? I am a Mormon." She did not move.

“I attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons.” Still, she did not move.

“What church is that?” she returned interrogatively. 

She had a smile on her face and she kept the sweat from her eyes with a white kerchief. I thought profoundly of my estranged love and how much I missed her; but also on my mind were the dozens of potential priesthood holders passing me by as I explained things to this woman, who looked like the woman I loved!

Also, Jehovah's Witnesses tended to not appreciate "Mormon" Missionaries in the United States. Apparently, that was not the case in the good old Republic of South Africa, RSA!

For some reason, my companion had not rescued me from this lengthy conversation with the girlfriend look-alike. The rule is if the conversation went too long, the other missionary would come and join the conversation or save the other from mobs, which Elder Thompson had to do several times for me. But he was engaged with someone too!

The purpose of this young woman was to convert me to her beliefs. I could tell after a few minutes. She and others of her faith were in the square competing for proselytes,, and I was the enemy. Her whole purpose was to keep me occupied as the others sought out candidates after she discovered I was in direct competition with her beliefs. 

“Elder Johnson," called Elder Thompson finally coming to my aid after the woman left.  "How come you did not end the conversation and move on?" I had moved out of his eyesight during my interview with the South African girlfriend doppelganger.

I shrugged it off, and he never let me too far from his sight again. I think I may have mentioned to him later how much that lady looked like my "waiting for me unofficially" girlfriend. I learned that day that polite conversation is good, unless you are a missionary, and the person you speak to is a replica of the woman whom you left in the States missing severely!

The Book of Russell M. Nelson

Russell M. Nelson President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Chapter One

Revelation given to President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Nelson explains why correcting the Church name is important. If it is Christ's church it must be called in His name. The premortal nature of Christ, His suffering, resurrection, and redemption of man. Saints must help correct the name of the Church among themselves and others. God will bless the Saints for obeying.
  1. My beloved brothers and sisters, on this beautiful Sabbath day we rejoice together in our many blessings from the Lord. We are very grateful for your testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, for the sacrifices you’ve made to stay on or return to His covenant path, and for your consecrated service in His Church.
  2. Today I feel compelled to discuss with you a matter of great importance. Some weeks ago, I released a statement regarding a course correction for the name of the Church.1 I did this because the Lord impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He decreed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.2
  3. As you would expect, responses to this statement and to the revised style guide3 have been mixed. Many members immediately corrected the name of the Church on their blogs and social media pages. Others wondered why, with all that’s going on in the world, it was necessary to emphasize something so “inconsequential.” And some said it couldn’t be done, so why even try? Let me explain why we care so deeply about this issue. But first let me state what this effort is not:
  4. It is not a name change.
  5. It is not rebranding.
  6. It is not cosmetic.
  7. It is not a whim.
  8. And it is not inconsequential.
  9. Instead, it is a correction. It is the command of the Lord. Joseph Smith did not name the Church restored through him; neither did Mormon. It was the Savior Himself who said, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”4
  10. Even earlier, in AD 34, our resurrected Lord gave similar instruction to members of His Church when He visited them in the Americas. At that time He said:
  11. “Ye shall call the church in my name. …
  12. “And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church.”5
  13. Thus, the name of the Church is not negotiable. When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be and even precedes His declaration with, “Thus shall my church be called,” He is serious. And if we allow nicknames to be used or adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He is offended.
  14. What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.
  15. Consider this from His perspective: Premortally, He was Jehovah, God of the Old Testament. Under the direction of His Father, He was the Creator of this and other worlds.6 He chose to submit to the will of His Father and do something for all of God’s children that no one else could do! Condescending to come to earth as the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, He was brutally reviled, mocked, spit upon, and scourged. In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior took upon Himself every pain, every sin, and all of the anguish and suffering ever experienced by you and me and by everyone who has ever lived or will ever live. Under the weight of that excruciating burden, He bled from every pore.7All of this suffering was intensified as He was cruelly crucified on Calvary’s cross.
  16. Through these excruciating experiences and His subsequent Resurrection—His infinite Atonement—He granted immortality to all and ransomed each one of us from the effects of sin on condition of our repentance.
  17. Following the Savior’s Resurrection and the death of His Apostles, the world plunged into centuries of darkness. Then in the year 1820, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith to initiate the Restoration of the Lord’s Church.
  18. After all He had endured—and after all He had done for humankind—I realize with profound regret that we have unwittingly acquiesced in the Lord’s restored Church being called by other names, each of which expunges the sacred name of Jesus Christ!
  19. Every Sunday as we worthily partake of the sacrament, we make anew our sacred promise to our Heavenly Father that we are willing to take upon us the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.8We promise to follow Him, repent, keep His commandments, and always remember Him.
  20. When we omit His name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus of our lives.
  21. Taking the Savior’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others—through our actions and our words—that Jesus is the Christ. Have we been so afraid to offend someone who called us “Mormons” that we have failed to defend the Savior Himself, to stand up for Him even in the name by which His Church is called?
  22. If we as a people and as individuals are to have access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ—to cleanse and heal us, to strengthen and magnify us, and ultimately to exalt us—we must clearly acknowledge Him as the source of that power. We can begin by calling His Church by the name He decreed.
  23. For much of the world, the Lord’s Church is presently disguised as the “Mormon Church.” But we as members of the Lord’s Church know who stands at its head: Jesus Christ Himself. Unfortunately, many who hear the term Mormon may think that we worship Mormon. Not so! We honor and respect that great ancient American prophet.9 But we are not Mormon’s disciples. We are the Lord’s disciples.
  24. In the early days of the restored Church, terms such as Mormon Church and Mormons10 were often used as epithets—as cruel terms, abusive terms—designed to obliterate God’s hand in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days.11
  25. Brothers and sisters, there are many worldly arguments against restoring the correct name of the Church. Because of the digital world in which we live and with search engine optimization that helps all of us find information we need almost instantly—including information about the Lord’s Church—critics say that a correction at this point is unwise. Others feel that because we are known so widely as “Mormons” and as the “Mormon Church,” we should make the best of it.
  26. If this were a discussion about branding a man-made organization, those arguments might prevail. But in this crucial matter, we look to Him whose Church this is and acknowledge that the Lord’s ways are not, and never will be, man’s ways. If we will be patient and if we will do our part well, the Lord will lead us through this important task. After all, we know that the Lord helps those who seek to do His will, just as He helped Nephi accomplish the task of building a ship to cross the sea.12
  27. We will want to be courteous and patient in our efforts to correct these errors. Responsible media will be sympathetic in responding to our request.
  28. In a previous general conference, Elder Benjamín De Hoyos spoke of such an event. He said:
  29. “Some years ago while serving in the office of public affairs of the Church in Mexico, [a companion and I] were invited to participate in a radio talk show. … [One of the program directors] asked [us], ‘Why does the Church have such a long name? …’
  30. “My companion and I smiled at such a magnificent question and then proceeded to explain that the name of the Church was not chosen by man. It was given by the Savior. … The program director immediately and respectfully responded, ‘We will thus repeat it with great pleasure.’”13
  31. That report provides a pattern. One by one, our best efforts as individuals will be required to correct errors that have crept in through the years.14 The rest of the world may or may not follow our lead in calling us by the correct name. But it is disingenuous for us to be frustrated if most of the world calls the Church and its members by the wrong names if we do the same.
  32. Our revised style guide is helpful. It states: “In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ When a shortened [second] reference is needed, the terms ‘the Church’ or the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ are encouraged. The ‘restored Church of Jesus Christ’ is also accurate and encouraged.”15
  33. If someone should ask, “Are you a Mormon?” you could reply, “If you are asking if I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yes, I am!”
  34. If someone asks, “Are you a Latter-day Saint?”16 you might respond, “Yes, I am. I believe in Jesus Christ and am a member of His restored Church.”
  35. My dear brothers and sisters, I promise you that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s Church, He whose Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints,17 the likes of which we have never seen. We will have the knowledge and power of God to help us take the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.
  36. So, what’s in a name? When it comes to the name of the Lord’s Church, the answer is “Everything!” Jesus Christ directed us to call the Church by His name because it is His Church, filled with His power.
  37. I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. He leads His Church today. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Verses Added.

First Step in True Pattern of Prayer - Address God

"Father in Heaven ..."


Seeking Out God,  Calling On Him in Prayer is Firststep to Making Sure Our Prayers Are Heard

When addressing God, call Him! 

It is common courtesy to call the name of the person to whom we speak when we begin a conversation with that person. God is no different in this respect. We give Him the same respect that we afford each other. We should call on Heavenly Father in prayer by His title of Heavenly Father, Father, or God.
Now, there are times when there is the understood address to God. The understood address is when we address our thoughts to the person and just start speaking--usually, because that person is the only one in the room, or because we are with that person in some respect.
God can be addressed in this manner also, as I have often addressed my thoughts to Him and started speaking. However, it is preferable to call on Him.
The sad but true fact that devils can hear spoken prayers and even answer them warrants that we specify to whom we speak so that we cannot be deceived. It is also important to develop a long-term relationship with God so that when we call Him we know and recognize His voice when we hear it.
His voice is a still small voice of a tender parent that we must seek and be familiar with when we pray. God does hear our prayers and answers when we call on Him.

As often as children call parents by name to get their attention, we should call Father in Heaven to focus on His attention.

God is our Father

We refer to Him as Father in Heaven. Jesus in John 20:17 is recorded instructing Mary after revealing Himself to her following His resurrection
"... go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Among other things Christ taught, he revealed implicitly that God the Father is the Father of all of humankind.
He is the father of our spirits. Before everything was created physically, it was spiritually created--including us! God revealed to Moses that before he created anything physically upon the earth, he organized it spiritually (Moses 3:5).
Adam and Eve are the sources of all the physical bodies indirectly that came following them making us all cousins. God is the source of our spirits making us all siblings. There is no ancestor who separates us from God.
We are His direct and immediate family spiritually. We are siblings. As such, we have the same Father in Heaven whom we should address as such.
Think of the children in our lives and how often they call on a parent's name. As a parent, I hear from my six children my name from the time they awake until they are asleep. Sometimes I hear my name in the night!
As often as children call parents by name to get their attention, we should call Father in Heaven to focus on His attention.
It makes sense to call God by name when considering His parental responsibility to us. Knowing God is understanding that He is our Father. Knowing that He is our Father helps us to also know that He will listen and answer when we call Him.

We may also call Him Lord or God.

It is important when speaking to Him that we call His name so that we direct our attention towards Him. As an all-powerful being, God knows all things.

He knows when we are speaking to Him because He knows our hearts and can sense our thoughts. Even with that knowledge, He acts for us when we address Him properly.

As a part of the Plan of Salvation that God has created for us, God allows us to experience life as it comes. During this experience of life, we are expected to call on Him in prayer to communicate with Him.

Seeking out God and calling on Him in prayer is the first step to making sure our prayers are heard.

Recap on the Step of Prayer:

  1. So the first step is to Address God in prayer.
  2. The second step is to Thank God for what he has already given.
  3. The third step is to Ask God for the things that we need and want.
  4. The fourth step is to Close in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Cycle of Success

Greetings Cyber Friends!

The cycle of success is the culmination of all the failures and work it takes to succeed. It may seem odd that failure is a part of success. We learn through experiences, personal and researched, the things needed to achieve our successes in life. Some of us learn earlier and faster than others of us.

What can we learn from this little perspective? We can learn that no one, NO ONE can succeed without a support system. The constitution of a support system may differ depending on the field, needs, and personality of the person but it must exist. From criminal networks to the church hierarchy, a support system reigns supreme for it to operate.

When thinking about others and how we compare to them, we should look at our support system and see how well it works to enhance our natural talents. Sometimes the system that we think supports us, actually cripples our creative drives. It may not be that a person is a failure even though he has a support system, but the wrong one!

Also, we should compare support systems only enough to enhance our own. We should avoid the ills of avarice--to want what others have in an unhealthy way. We should enjoy the habit of justifiable acquisitiveness. Instead of coveting what others have. we long to work at achieving our own version of success.

As cliche as it is, we all have a version of success we can obtain along the cycle of success. We need to make sure we have the right type of support system to achieve it, and be satisfied within our own version of it. If we could all be Bill Gates, then his success cycle would not be exceptional. We can all be like Bill Gates in that we can excel within the limits of our spheres growing within our own cycles of success.

It may be a hard pill to swallow admitting to not being good at something, but once it is swallowed, the pill makes us feel so much better and we can enjoy what we have more. Once we appreciate what we have, then comes the opportunity to expand as our support system grows and our cycle of success involves fewer failures.

What is the secret of success? It is gratitude. It is also preparation, willingness to work and ability to accept failure and limitations. Ultimately, the secret of success is the willingness to fail and learn from it.

I should be about to have my moment, 
because I have been great at failure for so long,
 I am bound to succeed!

Kidding aside, as long as we are willing to fail and learn, we have the ability to succeed. It is an eventuality though. Let us not give up because we cannot do it right, right now or just like Bill Gates. Let us learn what works for us and what doesn't. Let us be willing to explore the unexpected and build on the wisdom of others. Let's be glad we have what we have and seek to enhance it one cycle at a time until we build a better support system.

If we all received what we wanted instantly, the struggle to achieve it lacking, the responsibility of it will crush us.

Which Comes First? Thought? or Language?

I was asked to respond to a question, which came first; the chicken or the egg... err, language or thought.

My first reaction to this was, "Wow, somebody wants me to answer a question! Me!"

My second thought was, "Am I being mocked?"

My third thought was, "That seems kinda obvious."

And a bunch of thoughts later, "I will write it!"

Thought Came First

Seriously and somberly I submit that thought comes first if we are speaking strictly from the scientific point of view.

Biologically the brain is developed first as a human develops in the womb because it regulates all the function of the other organs that form afterward.

The bio-electrical impulses that communicate throughout human bodies control unconscious functions before perceptive currents form in the brain.

So, though it may not be popularly thought of as thought, the bio-electric currents that ride the information highway of our bodies are rudimentary thought impulses; therefore thought indeed.

I wonder how many times I could use thought in a sentence?

I thought she thought the thoughts I thought were thought to reflect the thoughts of thoughtful thoughts.

Eight is enough right? Anyway...  So, Rodric's science reasons that thought comes first by a biological construct for number one

Language Not Necessary For Thought

Besides being the first thing to form, the brain also functions without language initially. Think about a baby newly hatched... I mean born.

A newborn communicates when it comes out feelings of probably cold, disorientation, soreness, and hunger--all without saying or thinking any words. He or she probably follows instinctive drives to feed and seek comfort. At least that's what my seven did when they came screaming into the world.,

Ergo, thoughts come first for two.

Spiritual For Three

Depending on your religious preference, you may have special and sacred beliefs. I know I do. I believe we lived before we were born here on earth.

I believe that God is the creator of our spirits and the literal Father of us all. I also believe as spirits we had mouths and brains, you know, spirit brains and mouths.

I also suspect, not believe, that our spirits were always adult and could speak. So from my perspective language, spirit language could have come first.

But, but (as in hold on there now)...

God had to say let there be light first, and thoughts proceed action! So it is unanimous. Thought came first!


The chicken came first too. Somebody had to lay the egg!

And lucky for me, I can use my beliefs to not have to argue about the origins of the chicken!. God took some dirt and made it!

So dirt actually came first then?

My Conclusion!

Thought without language is a common experience with which all humans begin. I Speak therefore I am does not sound as good or make as much sense as I think, therefore I am.

Shooting of Black Men

The fatalities of Black men paraded around the news and within the causes of minority groups to satisfy popular media instead of correcting the problem of how to change the antecedent stimulus only precipitates a problem that will lead to cultural wars and more rioting.

February 26, 2012, marks the tragic end of the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of a neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman.

What a travesty of a great program to protect our neighborhoods--marred by such a situation, reminding us that no system of protection exists without the flaws of humanity twisting their ways into the works. What a tragedy in the loss of life; one to the grave and the other to social derision.
As unfortunate as the death of this Florida teen is and ever will be, opponents of the “Stand Your Ground” policies that permit citizens to use force, deadly force to protect themselves in the event of threats use the Martin family tragedy to advance rhetoric to remove it.

Further, this tragedy is complicated by racially charged groups jockeying for a voice in the matter to claim Zimmerman executed the youth due to racial motives rather than shooting while defending himself. Zimmerman was on trial a year later.

A year later and after blatant tarnishing of Trayvon Martin’s memory extended to the august chambers of the United States legislators as one congressperson, Bobby Rush, donned apparel similar to the youth in protest to racial profiling—though the rules of Congress prohibit such demonstrations has faded into history other stories of violence paint the American collective mind with sorrow and anxiousness.
The fatalities of Black men paraded around the news and within the causes of minority groups to satisfy popular media instead of correcting the problem of how to change the antecedent stimulus only precipitates a problem that will lead to cultural wars and more rioting.

Gov. Deval Patrick, A continued plague of social warfare?

Race may have been a factor in the slaying of the men by police officers. The societal evidence that a large percentage of criminals in the justice system are minorities, with an overwhelming percentage disproportionately African Americans when compared to the 12 to 15 percent Blacks comprise of the US population supports the misconception that Blacks are inherently criminal. Michael Brown and Ferguson... Nothing has changed.
Historical and cultural norms have not progressed enough to assuage the long-held perceptions that people of color are inherently suspicious from the days of racial purity popularly held by the British influences of early America.

These deeply rooted cultural blots bleed into every aspect of American society and every cultural group—lending to the suspicion of minority groups that Caucasians secretly desire to oppress them.
Racism exists on both fronts. Minorities bastardize historical racism with comparisons to implied affronts, while Caucasians diminish or dismiss true instances of racism based on the rancorous claims of minorities that seem to surface so often.
Though morally unpopular, racism is not against the law. We are free to detest whom we will. When we attempt to uphold racist beliefs with action against any group to harm, then it is illegal. America is scarred with prejudice and change comes slowly, very much so.
“I’m sick of unarmed black men being shot by police. We have a great challenge in this country acknowledging the extraordinary progress we have made on race relations ... And at the same time, acknowledging how much remains to be done.” Boston Herald.


Zimmerman may have acted on a preconceived belief about Black men in certain apparel when he followed the boy around the neighborhood in opposition to the 911 dispatcher’s advice before he reported defending himself; however, translating his crime into a race hate crime is at best suspect. 

Can the same be said about the officers who choked Eric Garner until he passed away? Was his resistance to the police because of cultural norms that led to his death? Did Officer Daniel Pantaleo act on latent racist triggers or was the psychological impact of American culture in play?

Certain elements must be present to justify that accusation. What motivated him internally cannot be proven unless Daniel Pantaleo specifically states that his motivations for using his arrest technique on Garner were because of his African American heritage, or other evidentiary items surface.
In the Zimmerman/Martin situation, no one reported that Zimmerman is multiracial making it a minority-on-minority hate crime proven beyond doubt in a court of law that Trayvon did attack George and not a White against Black hate crime. Though such distinction is judicially moot, social perceptions treat the same matter differently.
In many reports, the items found with the Martin youth are stated with an undercurrent of accusation that lethal force was aggressive. The lack of witnesses to the incident and the psycho-social implication of Zimmerman’s name without reference to his racial identity automatically implant the idea in the collective psyche of America to take a position to fill the gap of information—for or against Zimmerman. A year later, has any of that changed?
This incident did not become the chagrin to the nation further socially. Rational people recognized racial potential evident to the case and avoided it. America has other things to worry about. Trayvon's family is still grieving. Thousands of families grieve because of the tactics of the policing systems in the United States.

The problem the police face is whether to respond with deadly force or not. When a person resists arrest as did many of the fatalities and most arrest ending with brutality, what are the cops to do?

Should they allow themselves to be killed or wounded? Mark Collins was shot and wounded in the line of duty by a Black man, Sheldon Leftenant. Collins was shot in his neck and hip. Rushed by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, he lived.

Are Black men being hunted? Leftenant is gang affiliated.  Are police officers being hunted? Did Sheldon allegedly shoot the officer in fear?
Death is tragic by itself. If Zimmerman’s claim is true, which it is decided that it is by the courts, he should not suffer for protecting himself against an aggressor just because that aggressor happens to be Black, and neither should cops suffer. BUT... they should be investigated pervasively!

The “Stand Your Ground” policy should never be in question, but the motives of those who would employ it to veil criminal acts are still out there!
How does it compare to the killing of unarmed Black men by police officers--something that has not decreased over time and is receiving more news? Did those police officers feel threatened by the men because of what they wore? Were the hands up to surrender a sign of aggression. Either way, another minority is shot and killed.