Life Long Learners

The following is a talk given by my son Andrew in Leander, TX. He and his family just moved into the ward and joined his older brother Charles.

Insights on Mortal Life

Andrew Himmer!
Insights on Mortal Life
Leander TX !!


It’s always a pleasure to attend the same ward as my older brother Charles. Moments to embarrass him don’t present themselves very often. So, when I responded to Br. Bishop that I was delighted to receive the assignment to speak, I really meant it.

Authentic Happiness With Missionary Companions

Those of you who have served missions will readily recall certain companions who were more challenging than others. Some companions were introverted and others never shut up. It was a great learning ground for us as we prepared for the bonds of matrimony. Statistically it appears that many of us still struggle with interpersonal relationships. It’s possible that the source of frustration may be an intrapersonal conflict.


How To Teach A Lesson

There is an old saying within the Church: “Teaching: No Greater Call!” Yet how to effectively teach is a hard lesson to come by. Few members called into teaching position exercise effective skills in conducting a discussion, nor do they ask inviting questions that promote ideas and thoughts. The most effective way to engage in a learning environment is to stretch one’s comfort zone and challenge existing assumptions. However, this often introduces fear and hesitation into the teachers’ and students’ space and therefore restricts their actions.

Power vs. Control Updated

My new book: Listen & Lead: The Micro Skills of a Leader is arriving by mail today. Last night I updated this blog from a year ago because my son Scott’s Mission President is asking questions about Ted and Ting and my book. The Micro Skills of being a leader or a sales professional are identical with being an effective missionary. This is a gospel introduction to the principles taught in my book. 

Here are two chapters from the book to sample. If you want to order it, click here. Tomorrow is the final day for preorders at a discount ($5.00 off).

The Art and Science of Prayer: Part 2

The Purpose

The purpose of prayer is to commune with God and to learn His will for us. It is God’s classroom for teaching us; hence we learn His will, while He teaches. It is a platform to express gratitude, ask questions, seek direction, and confirm inspiration, thoughts, and ideas.

It is not an arena to persuade God into seeing life through our eyes. It is not a platform to teach those who are collectively praying and within earshot to pontificate doctrine in hopes of persuading others to see things our way or to be seen of men. In other words, its not a competition to sound intelligence, articulate, brilliant, or to say a long prayer as a sign of piety.

A Missionary Paradigm: Using Agency in the Process

The concept of conducting member missionary work usually instills feelings of guilt and fear into members of the church. The traditional approaches to missionary work are:

  • Invite your friends over to dinner and conveniently have missionaries show up.
  • Give the missionaries the names and contact information of your friends and let the missionaries contact them sometimes surprising them.
  • Ask people you know if they have heard about the church and if they want to know more.

The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan

As the story was related to me, many years ago, as a missionary, Elder Jack Welch was admiring the stain glass art work in a German Cathedral. This particular glasswork depicted the parable of the Good Samaritan. It was then he connected the meaning of the parable to the Plan of Salvation. Years later and many hours discussing and pondering his discovery, this is my understanding of the Savior’s immortal words. My thanks to Brother Welch’s insights.

The parable is found in Luke 10:25-37

Challenges: Are they from God or Satan?

When teaching the gospel to an investigator, it is common for the teaching missionaries to warn the investigator of impending temptations and trials the closer they come to the truth. “Satan will have you,” we warn.

While on my mission, one of the major stumbling blocks encountered was the story of Nephi dispatching Laban with his own sword. Sometimes the investigator would return the Book of Mormon with a brief, but firm explanation that such a story was inappropriate for scripture, while others would place the book on the porch with a short message.

Ishmael & Isaac

I received a series of questions from an old acquaintance. Here are the responses:

Dear Friend,

It’s good to hear from you again. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Q:        Ishmael was the first son, why doesn’t he have the birthright?

A:         Ishmael was born to Abraham through his handmaiden Hagar, a servant. As such, he had no right to the birthright. Isaac was born to Sarah, Abraham’s first wife and thus inherited the birthright of his father.

Ted & Ting’s Great Adventure

For all the returned missionaries who served in the Tacoma Washington mission:

I’ve just completed writing the book on Ted and Ting. I’ve titled it:

Ted & Ting’s Great Adventures:
An Introduction to the 7 Skills of Powerful Listening

As I prepare the manuscript for publishing, I’m offering you a pdf copy of the pre-released edition. I ask only that you give me feedback. What works and what doesn’t.

I want to capture the experiences of those who have actually read the book and practiced what is taught for the testimonials on the inside flap of the cover.

My Testimony of the Book of Mormon

My testimony of the Book of Mormon

Richard P. Himmer

23 April 2012

Our family just concluded reading the Book of Mormon aloud. We read almost every night before bedtime as part of our nightly routine for the past two years. Some nights it was only one scripture, while other nights we had up to four readers taking turns. Some nights we didn’t get far because of the many questions our sons would ask. When friends would spend the night, we would take extra time to explain the background behind the story or we’d go to the map on the wall and point out specific geographic landmarks for reference.

At what point do we have our sins remitted?

Question: When do we receive the actual remission of sins?

Answer: Sins are remitted when we receive the Holy Ghost, not in the waters of baptism (McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 290.) It is the Holy Spirit of God that erases carnality and we become clean when we receive the fellowship and companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Mode of Baptism

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).

Baptizo is the transliterated word from Greek. The New Greek Lexicon defines baptism as…

  1. To dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge.
  2. To wash, to make clean with water.
  3. To overwhelm.

Missionary Exit Interview #4

Elder Larson is going home so he brought Elder Elkins, Elder Hughes, and Elder Avondet to his exit interview. We had a productive discussion on effective communication skills and applied the skills to tracting, teaching, and developing emotional intimacy with others. Congratulations Elder Larson and thank you for your service!



Power and Authority to Baptize

And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5:4).

How was Aaron called? By his brother Moses, the prophet, who then laid hands on his head and conferred the priesthood upon Aaron. Where did Moses get the authority? From Jethro, his father-in-law, a Semite, who held the Melchizedec priesthood (D&C 84:6-7).

And where do modern-day Christian ministers and leaders derive their priesthood authority? From schools, universities, and institutes. From a calling they feel deeply and sincerely. I do not question the sincerity of another’s belief, but God explained clearly the process of getting the priesthood, it must come from one who already has it.