Agency vs. Control

My son Scott is now in Korea serving his remaining 22 months, after a two-month language training period. Here is my most recent letter to him.

Dear Elder Himmer,

On 24 March, two weeks ago, as I sat in church, I wrote the following notes and if you can open a pdf file, I will provide the charts that I scribbled on the back of my notes.

Samuel the Lamanite (5 BC)

The scene is now set for Samuel the Lamanite who comes into the land of Zarahemla and delivers his message of repentance along with a specific timeline of events. He indicates that Zarahemla would already be destroyed by fire if it were not for the righteous within the city.

Now if you’re among the wicked, at whom do you turn your wrath? A wicked mind accepts no blame, therefore, the righteous are going to get the consequences. To those who repent he gives them an out, but to those not willing to change Samuel says that their days of probation are over. Imagine a prophet of God telling you that your mortal probation is over while you are still alive.

The Nephite Disease (41 BC – 7 BC)

Around 41 BC we read: “And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure[1].”

Seven years later (34 BC) Nephite dissenters join forces with the Lamanites and take the land of Zarahemla. In other words, they overthrow the capital in a military coup[2]. In 30 BC we read the following: “For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.[3]

The Nephite Roller Coaster Ride (559 BC – 53 BC)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

In the Book of Mormon, this prophecy is recorded between 559 and 545 BC. About 20 years earlier the anger of Laman and Lemuel had come to a boil and

The Abrahamic Test

God’s happiness is not associated with His children’s behavior. His happiness is that He provides all of his children with the ability to come back into His presence.

Each of us are tried for our own good that we may know our own selves. By knowing who we are, God may provide us with exaltation.

So why do bad things happen to good people? Research has shown that there are 13 reasons in scripture: only 1 of the reasons is because good people behave badly.

2 Nephi 9:48

To Date With A Purpose

DWAP – Date With A Purpose
For the Single Person

1.    The purpose for dating is to narrow the field to one person that you determine is the best companion for Eternal Life.
a.    Make a list of the qualities you want in a spouse.  There is nothing off limits.  Don’t try to be overly spiritual, too philosophical, or lascivious.  Just be you.  I wanted a pretty wife her took care of herself (exercise and public appearance) so I married a pretty wife that loved exercise.  That was important too me, but so was a love for sports.  My wife knew nothing about sports when I met her.

Seattle To Portland 2008

Seattle To Portland


What a great ride we had this year. I can’t remember a ride that had so many variables, accidents, flat tires, chain derailments, heat, great people, rides, congestion, pain, etc. Our cast of heroes this year had a few additions, but it was our largest team, which also meant the most variables possible. Our team this year was:

From Manhatten, NY Bryant Blanchard

From Sacramento, CA Mark O’Guinn

From Seattle, WA Lisa Petersen

From Gig Harbor, WA Timothy Holmes, Kyle Gomm, Bradford Van Duker, Mark Van Duker, & me

Issaquah Triathalon

Cheri in the transition area

This year we celebrated our 3rd Annual Issaquah Triathalon.

The team members are Brandi Clark (our Polynesian fish)

Jamie Gomm (our long legged Gazelle) &

Cheri (the Lance Armstrong of the team)

The girls wanted a PB this year. (PB stands for Personal Best and not Peanut Butter for those of you outside the vernacular of sports enthusiasts.)

Just before the start Jamie knew she was ready for a great performance. Her time trials were all better than the previous two years.

Cheri trained hard this year and after last year ride knew she could improve. (Last year Cheri had just returned from Israel and was sick on race day.)