Occasionally we do something just to check it off the list. Most of the time, however, our intent is to do what is right (even when we can’t yet do it for the right reason).


alpine tabernacle

Alpine Stake Tabernacle via uvu.edu

We held stake conference in our newly renovated Alpine tabernacle today. As we walked into the building and found our seats, we couldn’t help but notice the changes: window trimming, time period carpet, gold trim throughout, new paint, organ pipes, and soft seats that replaced the formally hard wooden benches—and those were just a few of the updates I noticed.


I don’t live far from the tabernacle, so I have seen the scaffolding and tremendous efforts over the last year that went into restoring this choice structure. Built from 1909 to 1914, the Alpine Stake Tabernacle has been an important part of the American Fork community for decades. All those that attended our meeting today may not appreciate the tremendous restorative efforts, but I am grateful that I know.


Today was Veteran’s Day and we recognized veterans in this service. Just as many may not have noticed that restorative efforts, I thought that many of us do not recognize or fully appreciate the sacrifice of these good men and women who keep our nation free and help us continue to enjoy the plethora of blessings this country provides, such as religious freedom.


Likewise, if we are not careful, we can easily take for granted the blessings and freedom made possible by the Hope of Israel. Many a life has been renovated by applying the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not alone in our fight for right. We join together to celebrate and honor those who gave the full measure of devotion toward this end. We will forever be indebted to them.


Yet it occurs to me that try as I might, I am unable to be fully aware of the price that was paid in my behalf and for those who are important to me. All that I hold dear, I owe to the One who made this eternal plan possible, and though I cannot yet fathom His gift, He still willingly offers it to me. This is true for every man, woman, and child on earth as well.



I have always appreciated the law of Moses. This refers to the Ten Commandments in part and, from what I understand, a number of other commandments or laws that were spelled out for the Israelites. Though there may be some discrepancy, historians agree that the Israelites were in captivity in Egypt for around 430 years and upon their release, they needed guidance and help. I get that.


When Christ came along, He fulfilled the law of Moses and brought a higher law that required more personal application and interpretation. For example, instead of do not kill, the higher law says do not hate. The tenants of the law of Moses require that we do not commit adultery; the higher law commands us even further to refrain from lust.


So what law are we living under now? And why?


If you said the law of Moses, you could be right. Perhaps you said “None,” thinking that nowadays, people are doing whatever they want. Or perhaps, like me, you believe that we live the higher law. All of those answers could be right, depending on your choices.


Answering the question of why will provide additional light on our discussion. If you think these laws are provided to restrict and limit man from reaching his potential, I would say that you may be suffering from the same malady as those who failed to realize and appreciate the tremendous restorative efforts of the tabernacle. If that metaphor does not make sense, I have another that might.


Have you ever been traveling along at a high velocity, but soon it seems like you are just inching down the highway? We get used to the speed we are going, and before long, it doesn’t seem so rapid at all.


This scenario happens in other ways as well. Today’s computers are so fast that if we have to wait more than a few seconds, we lose focus. The wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips through the internet and mobile devices is commonplace. It wasn’t always that way. Today we ask Siri or Google for answers to nearly anything. Blessings are so abundant that we lose sight of the multitude of miracles in our time. Children drive luxurious cars to and from school, sit in classrooms abundant with resources laced with technology, and complete college courses while attending remedial classes.


Bear with me as I reminisce. I realize that my memories might sound archaic, but that is exactly my point. I was having a conversation with my teenage daughter recently. During our interchange, I happened to mention that when I was a boy, we did not have a microwave in our home. To her, that concept was unbelievable. “You didn’t have a microwave when you were growing up?” she asked in disbelief.



Now, you might be saying that you don’t use or like microwaves. That’s fine. The fact that we even have that option is beyond what we could even imagine 40 years ago. For many foods, microwave cooking saves time preparing meals. Many of your favorite foods cook in up to 75% less time than conventional gas or electric ranges.


Let’s use a couple examples to illustrate. One can cook a potato in a microwave in 5 minutes. This process used to take 45-50 minutes. We can warm a bowl of soup in a microwave in just 60 seconds, though the actual warming of the soup on a conventional burner takes somewhere around 5-10 minutes. Plus, it entails emptying the soup into a pan, heating the burner, dishing the soup, then washing and drying the pan—all which probably totals around 20 minutes. Baking an apple is predicted to take 40 minutes in an oven, but only 1 minute in the microwave.


Some of my predictions may be off, but you get my point.


I am not saying that everything cooked in the microwave is better, but if you want it done quicker, the microwave is the sure way to go. It has literally changed our lives.


I made a little table relative to our discussion:


Task Pre-Microwave Microwave
Cook a potato 45-50 min 5 min
Warm some soup 20 min 1 min
Baked Apple 40 min 3-4 min



As I stated before, I am not recommending a microwave. There are lots of cooking alternatives, but the microwave provides a good comparison.


However, if something as small as microwaves has changed our lives by saving us time and making life more convenient, then how much more significant would be applying really important principles of the gospel in our lives? Could these things impact us and our experiences even more? Absolutely!


Activity With the gospel Without
Ministering the Lord’s way Guidance Winging it
Temple and family history work Eternal value Genealogy
Scriptures Meaningful/Influential Record
Commandments Life changing Nuisance
Tenure Abundance Never enough
Technology Celebrate the good Questionable content


On November 1 at 2:18 PM, President Russell M. Nelson posted the following on his Facebook page:


I have just returned from visiting with members of the Church and friends of other faiths in South America. I was pleased to be accompanied by Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The people there are so loving, so anxious to serve the Lord and to serve each other. It’s a reverent, sacred feeling among them. It’s very energizing to see these beautiful people and children who love the Lord.


This is a global ministry. We are prophets for the whole world, to all of God’s children—not just the members of the Church. So, on this tour, we talked to people in five different countries. If there are 200 or more countries in this world, five is such a small drop in the bucket! We’ll get around, but we’ll still miss more than we’ll touch. But we’ll try. We won’t give up just because it’s a big job. We’re just at the exponential phase of growth. And it will continue. The Lord has said, “I will hasten my work in its time.” And He makes good on His promises.


My dear friends, we are witnesses to the process of restoration. If you think the Church is fully restored, you’re just seeing the beginning. There’s much more to come. Wait until next year, and then the next year. Eat your vitamins, get your rest. It’s going to be exciting!


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To read more of Walter’s articles, click here.

Is it possible that we, too, are failing to recognize the bounty of blessings from the gospel’s restoration? It has been so prolific in our lives, but even still, could we be overlooking the prevalent evidence in our day? Perhaps.


But soon that kind of attitude will not continue.


31 Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye. (Mosiah 27:31)


Long before that time when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, I want to recognize and appreciate the renovation taking place in my life and yours.


Someday, everything we do will be for the right reason.


That is the goal.




About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.

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