20 October 2010


My daddy didn't like that I took AP psychology in high school. He doesn't like psychology at all. When I asked him about it, he would say that they psychology is the philosophies of men.

(Disclaimer: I actually really like psychology, I think the discipline has helped to emphasize some eternal truths, but I also believe that some psychology is not of God)

Lately, I've been thinking about the philosophies of men. They spring up everywhere. 2 Nephi 9:28-29 says,

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

How often have people become so caught up in science, technology, literature, or anything and ultimately forsaken God for their own wisdom?

Think about all of the ways that people understand the world. Just within romantic period literature we have differing ideas on what it takes to create poetry. Is it Wordsworth or Shelley who really knows what it means to be a poet? In the face of this troubling question, I posed my own: does it matter?

Theirs are examples of the philosophies of men. 1 Colossians 2:8 says:

Beward lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Everyone has their own theories which they use to interpret the world, and these theories aren't usually based on eternal truths. However, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ operate on eternal truths. D&C 97:1 praises individuals who "are truly humble and are seeking diligently to learn wisdom and to find truth."

Where can we find truth? We are blessed to have servants of God who speak it to us plainly. Elder Bednar taught us to ask two questions of ourselves:

1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?

2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?

When Elder M. Russell Ballard said,

This is your world, the world of the future, with inventions undreamed of that will come in your lifetime as they have in mine. How will you use these marvelous inventions? More to the point, how will you use them to further the work of the Lord?
I realized that, Oh man, my kids are going to make fun of me for using a laptop! I make fun of my parents for using typewriters! What new dangers and questions will come with all the new technology of the future?

And then I said to my self, Self, it's okay. You have access to truth. You have the Holy Ghost to discern truth. Even though the world will go where it may, God and His will continue on the strait and narrow path.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matthew 24:35

Mike asked me today how I'm going to forward God's mission while in India, and I don't know. But I can assure you that I'll have an action plan by the time I leave!


  1. As I read your ORCA letter wherein it mentioned preserving culture, I thought instantly of the possibilities of online family history preservation. I have a nagging desire to understand how to use these amazing technologies to research and preserve my Scottish immigrant ancestors in Canada. Their lives are worth documenting and sharing, especially with family. I believe gaining knowledge in this life is a valuable pursuit. I also believe that cherishing our heritage worthy of our time and pursuit. What you can do for the Tibetans is evolving. I have enjoyed watching your thought processes and am amazed at what you have learned about your purposes and mission. As your mother I don't know what compels you to work with the Tibetans in Exile, I will enjoy discovering it right along with you.