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22 of 52  Trip Around The Sun – Mormons in Escondido


Sunday, September 28, 2002


Have traveled about 251,000,000 miles.


Thoughts during the week:


Revenge has no value. Something President Kimball taught us was that there were only two things important in the world – repentance and forgiveness.


Our only goal in dealing with the world should be to bring about repentance. “Getting even” with anyone is fruitless, but if we can help anyone to change for the better, that’s progress.


“He tried to kill my dad,” is a reminder to us that personal “feelings” taking the place of real thought – leads to killing thousands of innocent people in an attempt to have revenge against one man, who most likely will be eating steak and lobster the day after the innocents are killed. Sadam couldn’t care less; he kills innocents himself. Why would he care if we killed some more?


In defensive warfare for 31 ½ years (as a scientist – not a soldier), I came to believe that we fight wars in the wrong way – and have the wrong rules. The rules do not allow assassination (which is finding the guilty and killing them), and the rules do allow killing thousands of innocent un-named people. This is backwards. The last time we were in Iraq, we should have been openly about getting Sadam, killing only those required in order to get to him. We ought to make international law against the existence of any dictator. In this hemisphere, among 27 countries, there is only one dictator left, and I believe when he (Castro) dies, there will be zero left. If this were true in the other hemisphere, the world would be far advanced from its current position of unrest.


Any repentance we want to effect for others ought to be first by way of our own example. We may advise against adultery if we don’t commit it ourselves. We may advise against the possession of weapons of mass destruction if we do not possess them ourselves. We have no dictator. George Washington was asked to be our King, but said he would never want to be the very thing we were escaping. We may advise against dictators honestly. We know what we’re talking about, and we believe in it ourselves.


We are the only country ever to use atomic weapons – and it was then to kill countless innocent people to terrorize the enemy into surrender. Wrong method. For the time, it may have been our only option to end the war. (God set the example by killing the mostly innocent firstborn of Pharaoh, but I think that scripture to be entirely inaccurate, written by those who fought and escaped their slavery. Can’t say I blame them – but God does not kill babies to terrorize a dictator, only humans do things like that, and then they get to write about it and spin it any way they want. We read it thousands of years later and think they told the truth. Gullible.)


The visit:


David and wife Becky and little boy Ryland and baby Rhys are visiting us this week, so I visited at their chosen church – the Mormons. It was a very nice place to visit.


At the beginning of Sunday School, someone decided I was not merely a visitor, and asked me to lead us in singing a hymn. I heard a little good-fun snickering, but must admit, it was a pleasure.


Greetings were plentiful – hugs and all. Home is home. None of you worry about me – ok? This really is a sabbatical, and I’m learning more than you can know. My negative feelings about “error in the Church,” have not increased, but I understand them better against a backdrop of error in all the others. I have certainly become a more committed believer in repentance – both personal and organizational. The latter is very difficult in older established organizations. In Joseph Smith’s time, there was a great deal of it going on. The established valuable traditions become something worthy of protection, and as their numbers increase, conserving them becomes more and more evident and “important.”


The “three whole hours of happy people of all ages” is still unique in the religious universe. Nobody else could do it – not on a bet.


You are a people I love – individually and organizationally.



22 of 52  Trip Around The Sun – Mormons in Escondido


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