My CMS The View from a New City

February 4, 2024

Eternal Life

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 1:44 pm

Thoughts on reading the chapter “But What Kind of Work” from Hugh Nibley’s Approaching Zion. Eternal life is riches. (D&C 6) Everlasting dominion flows without compulsory means. (D&C 121) Seek wisdom (page 280 et seq). Maybe it is not necessary for me to work for money at my stage of life, regardless of the balance in my bank account.

December 17, 2023

It’s a Wonderful World

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 9:01 am
I would like to repeat for anyone unfortunate enough to be reading this blog, a quotation I learned in my youth: “As you travel on through life, buddy, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole.” In a world where so many of the standard input sources–TV, radio, internet, politics, etc.–are filled with agenda driven content that spreads anger, fear and skepticism, it is important to proceed with faith, hope and charity. viewed from this perspective, it is a wonderful time to be alive. “The field is white, all ready to harvest.”

October 8, 2023

Original Grace

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 9:41 am

I just finished reading a wonderful book entitled, Original Grace by Adam S. Miller, an LDS philosopher. I recommend it to everyone. One insight from the book is the idea that the moment of creation is now. I think this is implicit in the fact that any visit to the temple rehearses the creation, without regard to scientific chronology.

In the book, Miller uses the example of a teenager who is in the process of creation and recreation at every moment. I think this is evident in society’s current confusion about gender and the debate about when or how it is to be determined. But this is hardly the main idea of the book, only one of many pearls of wisdom that can be found there.

One more pearl is Miller’s extended exegesis of King Benjamin’s sermon. Viewed in the light of Miller’s analysis, King Benjamin’s doctrine seems to have been given straight from heaven. Suddenly, Benjamin’s claim to having been taught by an angel on the eve of the sermon seems undeniable.

July 29, 2023


Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 5:19 pm

When I was young, I suffered under the illusion that temporal success and societal advancement were always connected with merit. It was a constant theme in much of the literature, philosophy and self-help books that I was raised on. This illusion began to suffer cracks in the foundation when I attended a college graduation ceremony some years ago and realized that the principal qualification of some receiving honorary degrees was their ability and willingness to donate large sums of money to the college holding the ceremony.

Over my years of practicing law, I became slowly aware that many who were promoted to prominent positions or celebrated as the lights of the profession were were chosen from a range of persons who varied widely in their intellectual, psychological and moral merit.

The final nail in this illusion’s coffin was pounded home when the American electorate, in their wisdom, selected Donald J. Trump as president of the United States, although the reverence I had been taught to hold for U.S. presidents had already suffered from the administration of Richard Nixon. However, Donald J. Trump’s total lack of qualification to hold any position of influence or power has sealed the deal on this issue.

June 11, 2023

Radio Intelligence

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 8:26 pm

When I was young, I lived in Richfield, Utah for a time. At that time, Richfield only had one radio station that specialized in livestock markets and crop markets. I heard that a distant station could be heard on a specific frequency. Thinking the secrets of the universe could be heard on this new and exotic station, I dialed up the frequency. Sure enough, a station from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma came up. It played cowboy music.

Later I had friends who were ham radio operators and could communicate to other ham radio operators anywhere in the world. I thought surely this world-wide reach would reveal the secrets of the universe, coded in the morse code. But after a lengthy investigation, I found that the only subject discussed by the ham radio operators was their radios.

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about artificial intelligence taking over the world. When this happens, AI surely must contain the secrets of the universe. I suspect, however, that when AI collects all the available human knowledge it will turn out to be a huge collection of cowboy music and cat videos.

As Kurt Goedel demonstrated, no computational system can resolve all issues without help from a meta-system outside the system. I would contend that without revelation from God, the secrets of the universe will not be known.

March 17, 2023


Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 8:28 am

I have come to understand that people don’t know what justice is. I am a lawyer, but when I use the word “people”, I am not talking about non-lawyers, I am talking about everyone. The whole legal industry is built upon doing justice without an accepted, accurate definition of what justice is. People think that justice equals equality. Political parties and revolutionary movements are founded on the principle that justice requires equality. I believe that history has proven that even financial equality cannot be achieved, to say nothing of real equality, and that the pursuit of equality through force or fiat has caused rampant injustice.

Recent events have demonstrated that the idea that the rich and famous are superior in every way is a myth. The Bible calls this “the deceitfulness of riches.” It is not justice to make everyone rich and famous, nor is it justice to make everyone equally poor. It is probably impossible to do so. There will always be rich and poor.

A better definition for justice is to be found in the 104th section of the Doctrine and Covenants:

13 For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.

14 I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.

15 And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.

16 But it must needs be done in mine own away; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

As these verses demonstrate, real justice requires freedom and stewardship, not state imposed equality.

February 13, 2023

Approaching the Harbor

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 8:32 am

Anticipating an upcoming cruise, I am remembering an analogy from an unremembered source comparing a sea journey to life: early in the trip you are concerned with how many dinners you will enjoy with the captain, or what the view is from your cabin, but as the trip draws to a close, these concerns disappear. And so it is.

January 5, 2023

Can’t Sleep

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 12:57 am

12:21 a.m. January 5, 2023: Woke up and can’t fall back to sleep. Thinking about the cornucopia of experiences of my life from childhood in Montana to dragging McArthur Blvd in Oakland California to milking cows to studying English Lit. to facing death in Vietnam to marriage and six children to burying my oldest child to winning and losing jury trials and supreme court cases to winning a multimillion-dollar arbitration against IHC to serving as bishop and stake presidency counselor to implementing computer programs in C, C++, Java, ADF, JavaScript, Xml, Json etc… Thinking of how the four trunks Joe Banks got from the man for whom “luggage is the central preoccupation of my life,” and how those trunks symbolize the four canopic jars under the sacrificial altar of Abraham in facsimile no. 1 from the Pearl of Great Price. Thinking about talking to Ambassadors and Counsel’s General and presenting to the Religion Writer’s Assoc. and sitting on the dais at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan New York. Thinking of how life is so much more magical and rewarding than anything in the Wizard of Oz and how fears of failure and starvation were so misplaced in a world created for us in which there is “enough and to spare.” Euphoria!

December 11, 2022

Catch and Release

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 8:28 am

Some time ago, I watched a movie called Catch and Release. I believe the title is a metaphor for the modern dating culture where no relationship lasts very long. In the movie, the female character, Jennifer Garner, complained to the male lead about the absurdity of catch and release fishing. She said, “if you inflict the pain of catching the fish, you should at least put it to some use.” The fisherman justified the practice by saying that the fish brain is so small, they don’t remember the experience at all.

Can that be the justification for modern adult dating? The other person is so damaged that the pain won’t matter. This has to be the very definition of objectification.

November 30, 2022

Self Defense

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 11:26 pm

To all of my children and grandchildren whom I have discouraged from becoming lawyers, I submit the following quote in my defense. This is President Russell M. Nelsen quoting Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer and the president who presided over the civil war:

As we dread any disease that undermines the health of the body, so should we deplore contention, which is a corroding canker of the spirit. I appreciate the counsel of Abraham Lincoln, who said:

“Quarrel not at all. No man resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention. … Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him.” (Letter to J. M. Cutts, 26 Oct. 1863, in Concise Lincoln Dictionary of Thoughts and Statements, comp. and arr. Ralph B. Winn, New York: New York Philosophical Library, 1959, p. 107.)

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