Thoughts from My Personal Journal




THOUGHT: October 2, 2019

We need to all build and store our own mental collection of knowledge and remembrances so that when we die, people will feel like a library burned to the ground.


THOUGHT: October 4, 2019

You shouldn’t live in the past. If you are always looking back, you can’t see what’s coming.


THOUGHT: October 5, 2019

Sometimes we have to do things we don’t like to do in order to be able to do the things we like to do.


THOUGHT: October 6, 2019

One bad decision leads to another bad decision; but fortunately, one good decision leads to another good decision.


THOUGHT: October 7, 2019

Boys do what they want to do. Men do what they have to do.


THOUGHT: October 8, 2019

Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will spend many days just sitting in a boat drinking beer.


THOUGHT: October 11, 2019

I might be slow, but I am still lapping the people who are laying on their couches.


THOUGHT: October 20, 2019

Never forget your dreams.


THOUGHT: October 21, 2019

You cannot un-experience something that you have experienced.


THOUGHT: October 26, 2019

We should never get tired of doing the right thing.


THOUGHT: November 3, 2019

There is a right way to be happy. Any other way is not true happiness.


THOUGHT: November 7, 2019

We need to learn and experience the difference between happiness and pleasure.


THOUGHT: November 7, 2019

Health is better than wealth.


THOUGHT: November 8, 2019

I have noticed that everyone is a little weird except me. I must be the only normal person there is.


THOUGHT: November 9, 2019

Resisting temptation is the universal test for all of us.


THOUGHT: November 12, 2019

I am so very glad that on my 73rd birthday I am still physically able to do manual labor. I find great joy in it. I pray that I will be able to put in a good day of physical labor right up to the time of my death.


THOUGHT: November 13, 2019

Life is like a tennis match. The one who fails is the one who has the most unforced errors—self-inflicted mistakes.


THOUGHT: November 15, 2019

Time is such a marvelous medicine.


THOUGHT: November 18, 2019

Money is a wonderful servant but an awful master.


THOUGHT: November 22, 2019

We need to make our decisions in such a way that time is on our side.


THOUGHT: November 23, 2019

There are things that happen to us that cause us to be overcome by emotion. We need not be ashamed or embarrassed by those occasions.


THOUGHT: December 2, 2019

Hard work is much more dependable than good luck.


THOUGHT: December 3, 2019

You can’t be happy without hard work because you can’t think well of yourself as a lazy person.


THOUGHT: December 10, 2019

Our mistakes waste our precious time.


THOUGHT: December 13, 2019

An unnatural forced effect, whether political or economic or religious, cannot be sustained over the long run. Compulsion cannot stand the test of time. Free agency will stand the test of time.


THOUGHT: December 14, 2019

It is a special spiritual talent to be able to see the goodness in others.


THOUGHT: January 1, 2020

Every moment is sacred limited mortal time.


THOUGHT: January 5, 2020

I cannot think of anything more valuable than peace of mind.


THOUGHT: January 8, 2020

The harder we work for something, the greater the sense of accomplishment we have for achieving it.


THOUGHT: January 10, 2020

Dogs are better than humans because they know all the bad things about you and they never say anything negative.


THOUGHT: January 13, 2020

I have found throughout my life that physical work really helps and aids the flow of personal revelation.


THOUGHT: January 14, 2020

It seems that in order for a Waffle House waitress to be successful at generating tips, she must feel comfortable using intimate terms of endearment like sweetheart, love, baby, honey, darling, etc., plus feel comfortable placing her hand on your shoulder for a little pat. It mattereth not if your wife is seated next to you.


THOUGHT: January 17, 2020

The word prejudice comes from the root word “pre-judge.” We prejudge one another because we lack the true facts or we are holding to inaccurate “facts,” generally fed to us by others who have positions of authority (parents, religious leaders, political officials, etc.), mostly well intentioned, but blinded by their personal interests. Satan has been making great use of those mostly well-intentioned people for thousands of years, and he is an expert at it.


THOUGHT: January 20, 2020

Kindness is an absolutely essential quality to becoming a wonderful human being.


THOUGHT: January 22, 2020

A strong desire to be of service to others, timely acted upon with consistency, is a prominent characteristic of the Savior’s followers.


THOUGHT: January 25, 2020

There can sometimes be a very fine line between courage and stupidity.


THOUGHT: February 14, 2020

It seems I have a one-word motto: “Work.”


THOUGHT: February 15, 2020

Next to good health, I think my greatest temporal asset is my love for hard physical work. It is a spiritual gift from God, which may seem contradictory to some who strictly distinguish between the temporal and the spiritual.


THOUGHT: February 21, 2020

Changing our behavior for the better, a little here and a little there, will result over time in changing our very nature to where we no more have a disposition to do bad.


THOUGHT: February 24, 2020

The best version of myself is the one that is guided by the Holy Ghost.


THOUGHT: February 25, 2020

Face life with a heart full of thanksgiving.


THOUGHT: February 26, 2020

How can a man really have hope if he is not doing anything on his part to bring about the thing for which he hopes?


THOUGHT: March 8, 2020

I have an analogy to daylight savings time. I spring forward then I fall back. It’s just like my trying to get in or out of bed.


THOUGHT: March 11, 2020

Not all choices are between good and evil. In fact, most of our choices do not present such a stark contrast. We must constantly choose between good, better, and best. A peanut butter sandwich is good. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk is best.


THOUGHT: March 17, 2020

Uncertainty is a major cause of fear.


THOUGHT: March 21, 2020

Knowing the right thing to do and doing the right thing are two entirely different things. But at least your chances of doing the right thing are increased by a knowledge of the right thing to do.


THOUGHT: March 22, 2020

It takes the same amount of effort to sing a wrong note as it does to sing the right note. We might as well use our efforts to sing the right notes.


THOUGHT: March 24, 2020

I tilled our deer-proof garden the other day. Now young vegetable seedlings from last year’s plowed under vegetable plants are springing up in the rich dirt. I will put the like kinds in rows. Nature is a much better farmer than I am.


THOUGHT: March 26, 2020

I like old songs and old movies. The songs have a melody with words I can understand and the movies have a plot where the good guy wins in the end. Here is my assessment of a great deal of modern pop music: It is a bombardment of disassociated noises undergirded by a dominant primitive beat.


THOUGHT: March 28, 2020

Death is a natural, unavoidable part of life. It is the doorway to the next great adventure. It is the key to the continuation of life.


THOUGHT: March 31, 2020

My sweet mama died four days ago. I found a newspaper clipping that she had kept. It said: “[D]o not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by use of a machine. *** If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.”


THOUGHT: April 3, 2020

I don’t think I have ever known of a construction project that did not take longer than expected and cost more money than expected.


THOUGHT: April 8, 2020

My wife Robin and I are amazed at the growing size, new green vitality, and grandeur of the sugarberry/hackberry tree in our front yard that was near death when we first started our work at Pinto. We freed it from the weeds, parasitical vines, uncontrolled growth, and thick underbrush that were stealing the nutrients from its roots and choking the life out of it. That’s the way that pervasive environmental evil sucks our spiritual energy from us. We can only free ourselves by prayer, scripture study, and strict obedience to the commandments of God.


THOUGHT: April 9, 2020

I have a testimony that fasting correctly does not sap our strength. To the contrary, it adds to our strength, both physically and spiritually. That is my personal experience.


THOUGHT: April 10, 2020

You cannot question the judgment of your spouse without condemning yourself.


THOUGHT: April 14, 2020

I work, therefore I am.


THOUGHT: April 17, 2020

A Christ-like attribute is a desire not to offend anyone.


THOUGHT: April 20, 2020

Make decisions in such a way as to keep time on your side. In other words, keep the long run in mind.


THOUGHT: April 21,2020

Quality will always cut its way to the top.


THOUGHT: April 26, 2020

Hope is a fundamental virtue. Hope is a Christian virtue that is essential to the Cause of Christ. Hope can pervade every aspect of your life. When you genuinely possess hope, you will never ever, while still breathing, give up, abandon, or surrender a righteous endeavor.


THOUGHT: May 1, 2020

We are more limited by our vision than we are by our capacity. Our roadblocks are mental, not physical.


THOUGHT: May 6, 2020

I am considering filing a class action against mirrors, bathroom scales, and Father Time.


THOUGHT: May 9, 2020

There is no mortal man on earth who can tell me exactly what I need to do today. But the Holy Ghost can.


THOUGHT: May 15, 2020

I learned today in a telephone call that a friend, a young married man with small children, had unexpectedly died while exercising on a treadmill. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his “A Psalm of Life” has a line that reads in part: “Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.”


THOUGHT: May 17, 2020

While reviewing Volume 15 of my journal this morning, I came across this entry on September 11, 1981: “I stopped by Western Auto and bought some tricycle wheels to fix Jessica’s tricycle for Jenny (her younger sister). I believe in passing things down and cannot afford to believe otherwise.”


THOUGHT: May 19, 2020

Fear and hope tend to dilute one another. When one is strengthened, the other is weakened.


THOUGHT: May 20, 2020

I do some of my best thinking while in a Jacuzzi. Too bad I don’t own one.


THOUGHT: May 23, 2020

In many instances, being totally honest and truthful results in your being falsely accused and mischaracterized as a “racist.”


THOUGHT: May 24, 2020
Planting a tree demonstrates a belief in many tomorrows.


THOUGHT: May 25, 2020

Some people will think I am not doing right by working on Memorial Day. My thought on the subject is this: The people we are remembering were not enjoying a day of leisure when they made their sacrifices for our country.


THOUGHT: May 28, 2020

A Christ-like character trait is an ability to make everyone feel valued and respected, and that ability must be founded on genuine feelings.


THOUGHT: June 3, 2020

Plants and animals are essential to our happiness.


THOUGHT: June 6, 2020

The consent of a young woman’s parents is required if she is to be given an aspirin or any other type of medicine at school. The consent of a young woman’s parents is required if she is allowed to go on a field trip. On the other hand, she can get an abortion without her parent’s consent.


THOUGHT: June 8, 2020

Just before we had our family sacrament meeting yesterday, there was discussion about all of the bad things happening in the world—riots, political unrest, wars, refugee camps, pandemics, unemployment, racism, violent demonstrations, etc. Audrey Pinkston Allen, my granddaughter, gave a short passionate speech about not dwelling on the negative. I had already had the same thoughts just before she spoke. I added my thoughts to hers:

“Keep in mind that the Lord remains in full and complete control. All of these things are happening on his timetable. We just need to stay focused on the fact that we are ultimately on the winning team. In the meantime, ‘stand fast in the liberty wherewith ye have been made free.’” We then proceeded with our sacrament meeting.


THOUGHT: June 14, 2020

It is amazing to me how all of the solid evidence in the world will not persuade a person who is illogically committed to the wrong position.


THOUGHT: June 18, 2020

I want to say this with as much kindness as I can muster. The singing of our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, at a public event should not be about the singer. The singer’s self-centered ego should be left at home, even if he or she is a superstar—no vocal gymnastics or physical gyrations. The event is not his or her pop concert. Please just sing the words like Frances Scott Key wrote them, straight, pure, and simple, without styling or increasing the number of syllables. The song is neither an opera, a country-fide boogie, or a Negro spiritual. It should be solely about solemnly honoring our country and those who sacrificed everything to bring it into existence.


THOUGHT: June 19, 2020

There are few character flaws that will match the seriousness of pervasive ingratitude.


THOUGHT: June 22,2020

Has the most unpardonable sin in our society become speaking the plain truth?


THOUGHT: June 29, 2020

Owning a gun does not make you a killer.


THOUGHT: June 30, 2020

As an old white man, I am part of a diminishing minority. But I don’t think that entitles me to anything. I am not a victim.


THOUGHT: July 3, 2020

Don’t listen to criticism from people you would never seek out for advice.


THOUGHT: July 18, 2020

The more people receive for which they did not work, the more ungrateful they become.


THOUGHT: July 21, 2020

There is life after death for both the dead and the living left on earth, and there is love after love.


THOUGHT: July 26, 2020

I think most perfection, if we achieve any in an area of our life, comes in incremental baby steps. That fact eventually makes persistence in and dedication to improvement a premium characteristic to possess.


THOUGHT: August 6, 2020

I am trying to help Wilbur with the electrical work on our house, but I am handicapped by my lack of knowledge. I only know two things about electricity: (1) It will kill you; and (2) if you don’t pay your electrical bill, they will cut it off.


THOUGHT: August 7, 2020

I never knew that at my advanced age I would find such enormous joy in my existence. For all practical purposes, I am pain free in every respect.


THOUGHT: August 27, 2020

Engaging in constructive physical labor gives a man a sense of self-esteem that he can acquire in no other way.


THOUGHT: September 1, 2020

The most accessible, responsive, and effective repository of help, aid, and assistance is your own pair of hands.


THOUGHT: September 3, 2020

A laborer works with his hands. A craftsman works with his hands and his head. An artist works with his hands, his head, and his heart.


THOUGHT: September 4, 2020

People do not remember deceased persons for very long. I think that is just part of God’s plan. However, a man can build some lasting physical things in his lifetime that will anonymously serve people here on earth long after he is dead. Just think of all the nice buildings you enter without knowing the people who labored to bring them into existence, whether they be the architect who designed it, the supervisors who directed the work, or the laborers who actually constructed it.


THOUGHT: September 5, 2020

For older people like me, motion is a fantastic medicine.


THOUGHT: September 8, 2020

If one removes only one very small fragment of colored glass from a beautiful stained glass mosaic, the damage to the overall community of colors far exceeds the loss of the small physical space formerly occupied by the removed fragment. The loss of one soul, whether a family member, or an academic class member, or a club member is a devastating loss, and your eyes are drawn, at least temporarily, to that one missing spot.


THOUGHT: September 13, 2020

If we will wake up early and get a head start on the day’s work, we will feel much better about ourselves and that which we are able to accomplish.


THOUGHT: September 15, 2020

I think it better to be alone and suffering from loneliness than being surrounded by bad company.


THOUGHT: September 17, 2020

The eyes of my animals speak to my soul, and I feel compelled to properly take care of their needs without any other form of convincing.


THOUGHT: September 20, 2020

I think if I ever quit setting personal goals and desiring to accomplish some important tasks, then it will be time for me to die. I am a long ways from that point at the moment.


THOUGHT: September 21, 2020

Life has sent me on a few detours that I never intended to take, but they have provided me with some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever enjoyed—and without forgetting any of the wonderful things which I viewed on the main highway of life.


THOUGHT: September 26, 2020

I can personally testify, in vivid detail if necessary, that oysters have a short shelf life.


THOUGHT: September 28, 2020

Evidently, my ability to remember the words of popular songs in the 1960’s is stronger than my ability to remember that I am traveling with suitcases. (We left some suitcases on the sidewalk next to the hotel when departing in our vehicle.)


THOUGHT: September 29, 2020

Avoid putting yourself in a position where, at a later time, you will know that you could have done better but deliberately chose not to do so.


THOUGHT: October 8, 2020

If we realize that people on the whole are generally doing the best they can under the circumstances in which they find themselves, then we will be more inclined to act compassionately toward them.


THOUGHT: October 11, 2020

One of the keys to personal happiness is to search for joy in every circumstance.


THOUGHT: October 17, 2020

If we will forget about being “successful” and simply work steadily and productively six days a week, then success will find us.


THOUGHT: October 18, 2020

We all do a lot of waiting. It is important to keep working while you are waiting.


THOUGHT: October 19, 2020

An old dog CAN learn new tricks. But he has to perform them more slowly.


THOUGHT: October 24, 2020

I am less than a month from age 74 and I am still discovering new talents that I have.


THOUGHT: October 26, 2020

If you get too wrapped up in yourself, you will turn yourself into a very small and insignificant package.


THOUGHT: October 28, 2020

If you buy something you really don’t need, you stupidly steal from yourself. You are both the perpetrator and the victim of the same crime.


THOUGHT: October 29, 2020

Next time I feel like pointing a finger, I need to choose instead to hold out my hand.


THOUGHT: November 2, 2020

One of the best things you can do for a friend is provide them with accurate information.


THOUGHT: November 3, 2020

Faults are the easiest thing in the world to find, more especially in others, and most especially in those with whom we disagree. In ourselves, faults are one of the most difficult things to overcome, and one of the most difficult faults for us to overcome is fault-finding.


THOUGHT: November 4, 2020

I want to age actively as well as gracefully.


THOUGHT: November 5, 20200)

I am certainly wrong from time to time, but I am never in doubt prior to finding out for sure that I am wrong.


THOUGHT: November 6, 2020

If I am not happy with myself, I am not going to be able to help other people feel happy.


THOUGHT: November 7, 2020

Life is like a ladder in the sense that every decision we make moves us either up the ladder or down the ladder.


THOUGHT: November 12, 2020

A good test for my character and my personality is ask myself: “Do I bring joy and happiness to those around me?”


THOUGHT: November 13, 2020

As a brother to every other human being, it is my moral duty to help each of my brothers and sisters feel important. But admittedly I find that some people are a whole lot easier to love than others.


THOUGHT: November 19, 2020

There’s been many a good tune played on an old fiddle.


THOUGHT: November 23, 2020

It seems that nothing good happens by accident.


THOUGHT: November 24, 2020

Ingratitude is the shortcut route to pride, and pride precedes the fall. I need to be grateful always and shun a forgetfulness of the heart.


THOUGHT: November 27, 2020

We are born to conscientiously prepare to honorably die.


THOUGHT: December 5, 2020

I am at the age and stage where my relatives, classmates, friends, and acquaintances are going the way of all the earth with great regularity. I learned that my friend Rev. Gerald Wood died this week. When I looked up his obituary, I saw where Jimmy Ragan, a good Catholic friend, and Vera Cobb Ward, a former client, had also died this week. I do not have the inclination to attend their viewings or funerals. My relationships with the deceased are already set, and even if I were so inclined to attend, the COVID pandemic is imposing limitations on fostering my relationship with those family members who remain. Their families are in my prayers.


THOUGHT: December 8, 2020

Joy is a righteous positive emotion that will trump all other emotions.


THOUGHT: December 12, 2020

We all have great powers within us. For instance we have the power to love, to forgive, to assist, to minister, to share, to uplift, to empathize, to encourage, to work, to build, to create, and to set an example in all of these things.


THOUGHT: December 17, 2020

Strongly supporting traditional marriage does not equate hating or not loving those who favor same-sex marriage.


THOUGHT: December 19, 2020

You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not responsibly sharing it unless your opinion is based on facts and not fiction.


THOUGHT: December 21, 2020

You can freely choose your actions, but be aware that the unavoidable consequences of your actions are already built into your choices.


THOUGHT: December 22, 2020

Being a person of integrity does not mean you are perfect, but it does mean you are authentic.


THOUGHT: December 23, 2020

Spend time designing and planning the foundation of your project. Carefully think it through based on all available information. The beginnings are crucial. Premature starts are disastrous. I quote Aristotle: “Well begun is half done.”


THOUGHT: December 24, 2020

We naturally limit our trust to those who have provided good evidence that they are trustworthy. If we want to be trusted, we must provide that evidence continually.


THOUGHT: December 29, 2020

Unless it is an emergency, never rush an important decision.


THOUGHT: January 5, 2021

I hope the last thing I say before I die is not “Oh, sh_ _!”


THOUGHT: January 7, 2021

We all want unity, and the way we all want unity is for the other side to capitulate, surrender, give up, and agree with our unmovable positions. Our personal concept of unity generally ignores compromise.


THOUGHT: January 8, 2021

Don’t ever thoughtlessly throw cold water on someone else’s dream.


THOUGHT: January 11, 2021

Complex problems can often have the simplest of solutions.


THOUGHT: January 16, 2021

If you need someone to tip toe through the tulips in ballet slippers, or walk the top of a narrow political fence line, then I am definitely not your man. I am a say “yea” or say “nay” type of man, plain and simple. There is no doubt about where I stand.


THOUGHT: January 24, 2021

Events and circumstances make a whole lot more sense if we view them with an eternal perspective.


THOUGHT: January 26, 2021

If you love someone, you sacrifice for them without being asked.


THOUGHT: February 10, 2021

No matter how carefully you nurse a grudge, it will not get better. It will only get worse.


THOUGHT: February 11, 2021

Don’t take on velocity until you have properly directed yourself.


THOUGHT: February 17, 2021

Most often, the best thing we can do to help ourselves is to go help someone else.


THOUGHT: February 19, 2021

I am so glad that the privileges and blessings of being loved, forgiven, and treated with mercy are not based on worthiness.


THOUGHT: February 20, 2021

Poverty closes a lot of doors, but most of the doors probably should be closed anyway.


THOUGHT: February 24, 2021

We will never solve a problem if we are not willing to admit that we have the problem.


THOUGHT: March 2, 2021

I much prefer to talk about the commandments that I keep.


THOUGHT: March 4, 2021

Here’s the stubborn thing about money: You only get to spend it once.


THOUGHT: March 5, 2021

Good Latter-day Saints never have to say “goodbye.”


THOUGHT: March 7, 2021

I would like to say to all of the people I have ever misjudged, misunderstood, miscalculated, and especially mistreated: Your eternal destiny is in no way dependent on my mistakes or the manner in which I have misbehaved. Please ignore me.


THOUGHT: March 8, 2021

I don’t want to be one of those persons who quits living and then dies a few years later.


THOUGHT: March 11, 2021

If you don’t own anything, then you are not worried about losing it.


THOUGHT: March 28, 2021

My daddy had lots of practical living advice for me as I was growing up, like: “When you take a bath, always wash your face before you wash your hinny.”


THOUGHT: March 31, 2021

We Americans revolted from the Mother Country when taxes were much less than they are now.

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