Tuesday, April 05, 2011

If you saw money on the road, would you pick it up?

One of my young men told me on Saturday how he found a twenty dollar bill on the street. How nice, I told him. Little did he know that I love finding money. I consider myself quite good at spotting money and picking it up in all shapes and varieties.

You know the economics concept of opportunity costs? It goes something like this: the amount of time that you spend bending down to grab a coin on the street may not be worth your time, depending on how much you could otherwise earn. This is technically true with me. I have opportunities to make money making it possibly not worth my while, were I just to spend that time on working. But notwithstanding this knowledge, I'll still bend down and pick up a penny if I see one.

Why? I need to make known to myself and the universe that I am always on the lookout for ways to make money. Plus the times that I find such money is relatively rare so I can make up for the time in non-working times, like sleep. Plus, I'm not as rational as economic theory tends to assumes someone like me to be.

What is the lowest coin you would "stoop" to pick up?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

General Conference 2011 - The best ever?

Twice a year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds what is called general conference for two days. "Conference" includes multiple two-hour sessions of inspirational talks on a variety of gospel-related topics. The addresses are available for all to view either on TV, radio, Internet (lds.org), or satellite transmission at a local church.

For the past few years, I've done a good job of keeping myself busy during these April and October conferences. While still participating, during these times I would sometimes casually listen to the talks and otherwise not let the meaning sink deeply into my heart. This didn't let met extract as much meaning and value to my life! But this year was different. I decided to focus on conference and put aside my other tasks at hand. I focused myself and watched all 10 hours, which made a world of different this made for me.

For one, this conference really helped me think about ways that I can be a better person. There are a lot of ways that I can be better so liked how the speakers inspired without making me feel overwhelmed. I think this is the trademark of when you are being touched by the Holy Ghost. You realize that the gospel is simple and that you can tap into God's power through His grace and it makes you feel wonderful and optimistic. It was also good to regain the perspective of why I am on this earth. It's kind of easy to get weighed down by life, but you find comfort and happiness in knowing that God really is there for you trying to help you. I definitely felt Him these past couple days very strongly and there's no greater feeling. He will always be there for us, we just need to do our part to come to Him.

This has also been my first general conference being married, which also made for an interesting new perspective. Even though I haven't been married as long as Elder Scott, I can see that family life is paramount. There was so much good counsel about the gospel, especially the priesthood, that I want to study, study, study. There is so much to learn and so much to do that my work seems mountainous. But I find comfort in the words of Elder Bednar that we learn and grow line upon line, precept upon precept. I definitely recommend anyone listen to the talks on lds.org when they become available. Also, if anyone out there would like to learn more about the church, email me. I have gmail: (trent.ostler)

As an aside, I don't know why the April conference is termed "Annual" and the October conference is "Semi-Annual." Don't you have to have two semi-annuals each year to make it be semi-annual?