The One Climbs PodcastMay 01, 2023
#29 - Two versions of reality
In 1 Nephi 17, Lehi's party arrives at a beautiful paradise they name "Bountiful" at the end of a very difficult 8 year journey in the wilderness. Laman and Lemuel, upon learning that Nephi is planning on building a ship begin to vent their frustrations about their perceived misfortunes and how their lives could have been better if they had remained in Jerusalem. We take another look at Nephi's response to their perspective and examine how we can't control the reality that we didn't get, but we can endure the reality that is before us.
#28 - Navigating the interfaith world
We live in a world where there are many differences of beliefs, even among others within our own faith traditions. How do we navigate this well and exist with peace with people who don't believe the same way we do? I suppose it is an age-old question but I'd like to share some of my favorite quotes and experiences to add to the topic.
#27 - My God, my God, why have you deserted me?
Thoughts about some of Jesus' last words upon the cross and how they point to Psalm 22 where there is some more wisdom there for us who are going through situations where we too feel forsaken or deserted by God.
#26 - What is the doctrine of Christ and the fulness of the gospel?
I don't know that there is anything else more important and timely that I can talk about than this. This information has been available for a long time and it is so plain and simple that it is only kept from people because of our own strange compulsion to overcomplicate things. Let's break it down and see what amazing gifts that Christ has for us if we'll only seek to receive them.
#25 - How Nephi leverages scriptures heroes to his advantage
Whenever Nephi found himself in difficult situations, he drew upon the knowledge of what God did for others who were in similar situations. We'll explore Nephi's story and the similarities to Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, (maybe Aaron, Hur, and Noah), Solomon, Isaiah, and Samuel. There are likely many others but it is a lesson to us on how we too can likely their stories to ours and find our own strength by expanding our knowledge of God and allowing him to prove himself to us today just as he did for our fathers.
#24 - The attributes of a Heavenly Mother?
The Lectures on Faith introduces us to 6 characteristic and 6 attributes about God. But is there a clue right there in the scriptures that inform us about the attributes of our Heavenly Mother? We're going to dive into it and explore some different ideas. This one is mostly just a thought experiment where I'm thinking out loud but perhaps you might have some additional thoughts or ideas to take things further.
#23 - Comfort is the thief of growth
Some thoughts about how we can tend to thing the scriptures apply to "others" and not us. If we see the scriptures as a mirror, their lessons can be far more profitable to us in our journey.
#22 - Coyote, chickens, and an impenetrable fortress designed in wisdom and love
A sister-in-law of mine shared a story in her church talk last Sunday that got me thinking about trust in God's wisdom and power when it comes to outside threats.
#21 - A favorite scene from the movie Contact about trusting a higher intelligence
Contact is one of my favorite movies and it stars Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey in a story that blurs the lines between faith and science. There's one particular scene that has always stuck with me and I think it conveys an important theological idea in a very approachable way.
#20 - The Rameumptom, echo chambers, and confirmation bias
The story in the Book of Mormon of the Rameumptom hit me a little differently lately as I was thinking of echo chambers and how they can reinforce false narratives. It's easy to get sucked into this at church as well where we want to be "nice" all the time and think challenging others is "contention" by default. It's not. We should challenge each other with love and respect often because it's better for everyone. No idea should be immune from being challenged, otherwise, it is simply propaganda.
#19 - Nephi ponders to weigh the consequences
We go through the slaying of Laban, and how pondering enabled Nephi to make a very tough decision and a mission story about a string of events that led to a bloody encounter.
#18 - Breaking a fast with our Muslim neighbors
Our congregation had a joint fast with a local Muslim community and it was a great experience, I'll tell you about how it all went down.
#17 - Keeping your own version of the Nephite "Small Plates"
Jacob noted that the Nephites kept a specific kind of record that contained only spiritual revelations and teachings. I've done the same thing for 20 years and it has been a major game-changer in helping me hear the voice of the Spirit more clearly and discern that from my own thoughts or feelings.
#16 - Finding peace
When asked about peace at church, it reminded me of the principles I think about from my favorite story about peace.
#15 - The struggle with symbolism
Symbolism can be a difficult subject for many people. I plan on saying much more about this in future episodes but in this episode, I address some core issues that I think are at play and some solutions that I think are helpful.
#14 - Sharing Faith
Had lunch today with a leader in a local Islamic community to talk about how we can help and support one another. I really enjoy interfaith efforts and love how great it is to build relationships with other faith traditions in ways that are mutually beneficial. I can never come away from these experiences without feeling that such interactions bring a smile to God's face.
#13 - The language of my father
Ok, I've made it all the way to 1 Nephi 1:2 and I had some thoughts to share about Lehi's language according to Nephi and some perspective on some key values that scripture offers to us.
#12 - Parallels between eating and repentance
The more you see parallels between the physical world and God's principles, the more that the wisdom of God's plan becomes apparent. Mortality is a condition where we can learn to see spiritual teachings in a unique and vivid way if we learn to have eyes to see.
Today, we'll look into how we can discern some things about the principle of repentance from considering how we interact with food. From fasting, to the sacrament, to what we eat on a daily basis, these are all lessons in higher spiritual truths.
#11 - Trusting in the arm of flesh
We are cursed if we trust in the arm of flesh but what does that mean? Some precepts come from men and others come through men by the Holy Ghost but how do we know the difference? Also, what exactly is a precept? We're going to explore some of these ideas and dig deeper to see what we can find.
#10 - Discovering the Word of Wisdom with special guest Jane Birch
Jane was moved to make some big changes in her diet, which led to some discoveries about the Word of Wisdom and a personal quest to share what she has learned with others. In this episode, we talk about diet and nutrition, what the Word of Wisdom is and isn't, and how we can reconcile some of the conflicts that arise as we each seek to apply principles according to our own unique circumstances.
No matter what your own personal beliefs or applications of the Word of Wisdom may be, this episode is an interesting exploration of gospel principles and how new things can be revealed to us in interesting and sometimes surprising ways.
For more information on Jane's work, visit: discoveringthewordofwisdom.com
#9 - My Word of Wisdom Story: Part 2
This one is a little on the long side, but I dig into some of the sources and provide a lot more detail along with how some of the decisions I made affected my life and what I'm still trying to figure out concerning the Word of Wisdom and what it me
#8 - My Word of Wisdom Story: Part 1
I grew up in South Texas where I had some experiences that taught me to think about life differently. Then, on my mission, a few other experiences had me deeply questioning some of my perspectives. After gaining weight and suffering a horrible injury I simply had to know some answers to my questions. This is a two-part episode so be sure to check out part 2.
#7b - Piero Ferrucci's story about climbing the mountain
Please see the previous podcast #7a which provides some context for this episode. See also, this post: https://oneclimbs.com/2010/09/27/the-wise-man-on-the-mountain/
“Imagine that it is a summer morning. You are in a valley. Gradually become aware of your environment: the air is clean and the sky intensely blue, there are flowers and grass all around you. The morning breeze gently caresses your cheeks. Feel the contact of your feet with the ground. Be aware of what clothing you are wearing. Take some time to become clearly conscious of all these perceptions.
You feel a sense of readiness and expectancy. As you look around, you see a mountain. It towers close to you, and looking at its summit gives you a sense of extraordinary elevation. Then you decide to climb the mountain. You begin by entering a forest. You can smell the pleasant aroma of the pine trees and sense the cool, dark atmosphere. As you leave the forest, you enter a steep path. Walking uphill, you can feel the muscular effort demanded of your legs and the energy that pleasantly animates your whole body.
The path is now ending, and all you can see is rock. As you keep climbing, the ascent becomes more arduous; you now have to use your hands. You feel a sense of elevation; the air is getting fresher and more rarefied; the surroundings are silent.
Now your climb brings you into a cloud. Everything is whitish, and you can see only the mist which envelops you. You proceed very slowly and carefully, just barely able to see your hands on the rock in front of you. Now the cloud dissolves, and you can see the sky again. Up here, everything is very much brighter. The atmosphere is extraordinarily clean, the colors of rock and sky are vivid, and the sun is shining. You are ready to move on. Climbing is easier now; you seem to weigh less, and you feel attracted to the top and eager to reach it.
As you approach the very top of the mountain, you become filled with an increased sense of height. You pause and look around. You can see other peaks near and far, the valley in the distance, and in it a few villages. You are now on top of the mountain, on a vast plateau. The silence here is complete. The sky is a very deep blue.
Far off, you see someone. It is a person, wise and loving, ready to listen to what you have to say and tell you what you want to know. He…first appears as a small, luminous point in the distance. You have noticed each other. You are walking toward each other, slowly. You feel the presence of this person, giving you joy and strength. You see this wise being’s face and radiant smile and feel an emanation of loving warmth.
You are now facing each other: you look into the eyes of [this person] You can talk about any problem, make any statement or ask any question you wish. Silent and attentive, you listen for the answer…”(by Piero Ferrucci “What We May Be” 145-147)
#7a - The power of listening, objectivity, subjectivity, and finding focus in prayer
An experience that really hit home the power of listening when it comes to people dealing with difficult things. Some ideas about how understanding objective facts and subjective meanings can help with conversations about difficult topics. Finally, an introduction to an Italian philosopher's idea that can help you find focus during prayer.
#6 - Exploring Fowler's Stages of Faith
One of the most useful things I have come across is Fowler's developmental model of faith. While it is just a model, I think it is incredibly helpful to help people navigate their way through transitions in faith. I have found this model helpful personally and in my interactions with others, especially those that are struggling. We're going to examine these 6 stages of faith and explore the value they may have to the Latter-day Saint community.
#5 - Prosperity and disposability
We live in an age of great prosperity, great options, and great ability to simply dispose of whatever causes us the least bit of discomfort. Unfortunately, though we dispose of many things, we also dispose of many people along with those things.
What if the ones you thought of as being the most disposable concealed a great blessing from God to you? Yes, even if they are absolutely wrong, or wicked, or lost, there is a way to not just reclaim them, but help them rise and be the means of blessing you and those around you.
We face many challenges today but the Word of God is never obsolete and continually applicable to whatever we face.
#4 - Mists of darkness as mountains of false treasure
What can we learn by looking at parallels between the vision of the tree of life and the tale of Aladdin? What can it teach us about the true nature of temptation and how easily we can be deceived?
#3 - Contrasting the divine and the diabolical
Exploring Moses' encounter with God and Satan as told in the Book of Moses. We had a great discussion in my Sunday School class today with a couple of my new students and I wanted to share some thoughts that I think are important fortifications for anyone in this day and age.
#2 - Prayer and the union of minds
We're going to take a look at how prayer is a principle that unites minds. It also seems that God may want us to approach him in a manner that is uncomfortable and that we may be unaccustomed to.
#1 - Doctrines and principles, intelligences, and perfection.
In the first "official" episode of the oneClimbs podcast, we start by laying a foundation of understanding around doctrines and principles, then do a dive into the doctrine of intelligences, and end with proper framing of what perfection is in a theological sense.
Introducing: The oneClimbs Podcast
Here we go, it's the introductory episode of The oneClimbs Podcast! You can listen to it right here but it should also be appearing on Apple Podcasts as well. This first episode briefly touches on what the podcast will be about and then some thoughts on why symbolism is important. The sacred clothing of Sikhs, Orthodox Jews, and Latter-day Saints will be looked at, and finally, a lesson learned from cockroaches; yes, I said cockroaches.
If you have any feedback, please included it in the comments below. I'm interested to hear thoughts on the audio quality, the content, and if there is anything I could do to improve.