Sunday, December 8, 2013

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Are Mormons Christian?

Are Mormon's Christian?

It's December and we are wrapping up the year of 2013!  It has been an exciting year for many reasons.  Heavenly Father continues to bless those who turn to Him and ask for His guidance and help in this life.  I am grateful for the influence of the Holy Ghost and the blessings from God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I know that Christ lives and is a light of truth in a darkened world.  He teaches us the following:
  • John 14:6

    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  The world has a lot of events going on that are concerning to many.  The separation of good and evil are distinct but often confused and masked subtly to appear different than they actually are.
  • Isaiah 5:20

    20 ¶Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
  • Helaman 14:3131 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been a vehicle/resource for my family and I to learn where we came from before this life, why we are here on earth, and where we are going after this life.  It brings a lot of peace and hope having a deeper understanding of Christ's restored gospel in a world of confusion.  I am grateful for the knowledge I have obtained and encourage all to c4yourself and learn how Heavenly Father can bless your life.
Happy December and stay warm through the Holidays!

~C.J. Poulsen 
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Monday, November 25, 2013

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Burke's Mission Call

Missionary work continues to roll forward throughout the wold. I remember the day I opened my mission call over ten years ago.  Many of the same type of feelings overcame me as I read where the Lord had called me to serve. (California Sacramento Hmong Mission)  It was a bittersweet moment having my family gathered around and sharing in the excitement and anticipation of opening the letter and at the same time knowing I was leaving everyone for two years to serve the Lord!
Missionary work is a blessing, not only for the individual giving of his/her time, but for each person that can be reached with the gospel message of faith and hope.

Enjoy this great clip and please share the good news.

 Now behold, a amarvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

 Therefore, O ye that embark in the aservice of God, see that ye bserve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand cblameless before God at the last day.

 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are acalled to the work;

 For behold the afield is white already to bharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in cstore that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

 And afaith, bhope, ccharity and dlove, with an eeye single to the fglory of God, gqualify him for the work.

 Remember faith, avirtue, knowledge, btemperance, cpatience, dbrotherly ekindness, fgodliness, charity, ghumility, hdiligence.

 aAsk, and ye shall receive; bknock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

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A Few of my Favorite Highlights from General Conference last weekend

General Conference weekend of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is my favorite weekend of the year.  It happens twice each year, once in April and once in October.  God's living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, the Quorum of The Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities of the Church speak to the world via television broadcast, internet, and radio transmissions.  All who will listen are invited to tune in and listen to their messages.  You don't have to be a member of the Church to listen or adhere to the inspired messages.  I am grateful that God still speaks to a prophet in our day just as He did in the times of Adam, Noah, and Moses.  If we listen and obey the divine counsel given our lives will be blessed and enriched.

I would like to share a few of my favorite sermons given and highlight a few key takeaways from each.

Growing up my father always taught me to honor and respect girls and women.  He encouraged me to be a gentleman and always be polite when a woman enters the room.  I have had great examples of women in my life and appreciate my mother, sisters, grandmothers, and now wife, mother-in-law, and sister-in-laws who lead good lives of virtue and honor.  I love them for standing strong and being rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ amidst a world of confusion.  It has been a huge blessing in my life.

The following address was given at General Conference by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of The Quorum of Twelve Apostles:

The Moral Force of Women

"A pernicious philosophy that undermines women’s moral influence is the devaluation of marriage and of motherhood and homemaking as a career. Some view homemaking with outright contempt, arguing it demeans women and that the relentless demands of raising children are a form of exploitation. They ridicule what they call “the mommy track” as a career. This is not fair or right. We do not diminish the value of what women or men achieve in any worthy endeavor or career—we all benefit from those achievements—but we still recognize there is not a higher good than motherhood and fatherhood in marriage. There is no superior career, and no amount of money, authority, or public acclaim can exceed the ultimate rewards of family. Whatever else a woman may accomplish, her moral influence is no more optimally employed than here."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one of my favorite to listen to.  He teaches clearly and instructs the will of the Lord concerning us very well.  Listen to the following snippet of his sermon.

No Other Gods

"Our twelfth article of faith states our belief in being subject to civil authority and in “obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral. Commitment to our highest priority—to love and serve God—requires that we look to His law for our standard of behavior. For example, we remain under divine command not to commit adultery or fornication even when those acts are no longer crimes under the laws of the states or countries where we reside. Similarly, laws legalizing so-called “same-gender marriage” do not change God’s law of marriage or His commandments and our standards concerning it. We remain under covenant to love God and keep His commandments and to refrain from serving other gods and priorities—even those becoming popular in our particular time and place."


You Can Do It Now!

President Dieter F. Utchdorf is always so encouraging to keep the faith and moving forward despite challenges and trials that we face in this life.  I love his optimism and great analogies.

 "No matter how many times you have slipped or fallen, rise up! Your destiny is a glorious one! Stand tall and walk in the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do it now!"

I am happy you took time to visit today and see a few highlights of what General Conference is all about.  I would like to add my testimony and witness that I know these men are called of God.  If we heed to their counsels we will be blessed.  I know that their messages are inspired and relevant for the times we are living in.  I invite and encourage you to hear more sermons from living apostles by CONTINUING HERE...

Have a blessed October and peaceful Sabbath.

~ C.J Poulsen 

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

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For Peace at Home

Today I had the privilege of being the Elder's Quorum instructor at church.  I love to introduce the topic and begin the discussion with other Elders in our ward (congregation).   We discussed a talk given by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For Peace at Home

Richard G. Scott
"One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds."
Some excerpts from his talk that I enjoyed discussing are the following:
[Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish. Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and reenergize to prepare for future pressures.
The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece.


As you center your home on the Savior, it will naturally become a refuge not only to your own family but also to friends who live in more difficult circumstances. They will be drawn to the serenity they feel there. Welcome such friends into your home. They will blossom in that Christ-centered environment. Become friends with your children’s friends. Be a worthy example to them.

We need not worry if we can’t simultaneously do all of the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He has spoken of a time and a season for all things. In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one consistent step at a time.]...

 I am so grateful for my understanding and testimony that I've received through the witness of the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ lives and is our perfect example to follow.  He had perfect obedience unto our Heavenly Father while upon the earth and set the path before us to follow in His footsteps.  I know that we can feel of His love and spirit if we have a desire to learn of Him and pray for guidance.  I am thankful for living prophets and apostles who share doctrines of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and share their special witness of Him.  

Last night I attended the BYU vs UTAH football game at BYU's Lavell Edward Stadium in Provo, Utah.  Before entering the stadium Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife walked by us.  Sharply dressed in a suit and tie he stood out amongst a sea of blue and red t-shirts.  This reaffirmed my testimony of the power and influence of righteousness these men have in our world and society.  I know they are called as special witnesses of Christ in these last days to build up the Kingdom of God and share His restored gospel.

~ C.J. Poulsen

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

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The World Needs Pioneers Today

The World Needs Pioneers Today

For many, the pioneer trek of 1847 didn’t begin at Nauvoo, Kirtland, Far West, or New York but rather in distant England, Scotland, Scandinavia, or Germany. Tiny children could not fully comprehend the dynamic faith that motivated their parents to leave behind family, friends, comfort, and security.
A little one might ask, “Mommy, why are we leaving home? Where are we going?”
“Come along, precious one; we’re going to Zion, the city of our God.”
Between the safety of home and the promise of Zion stood the angry and treacherous waters of the mighty Atlantic. Who can recount the fear that gripped the human heart during those perilous crossings? Prompted by the silent whisperings of the Spirit, sustained by a simple yet abiding faith, those pioneer Saints trusted in God and set sail on their journey.
They finally reached Nauvoo only to set out again to face hardships on the trail. Tombstones of sage and rock marked graves the entire route from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City. Such was the price some pioneers paid. Their bodies are buried in peace, but their names live on evermore.
Tired oxen lumbered, wagon wheels squeaked, brave men toiled, war drums sounded, and coyotes howled. But the faith-inspired and storm-driven pioneers pressed on. Often they sang:
Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day. …
All is well! All is well!1

~President Thomas S. Monson

I am very grateful for the faith of my ancestors who accepted the restored gospel and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the late 1800's.  They left Denmark in the 1860's to come to America and pressed forward with faith to arrive in the West. They traveled across the states to land in Utah and then to settle in Idaho.  Their courage and faith help me to continue pressing forward each day in my own life. 

I gain great spiritual strength from my relationship with my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  My testimony has been strengthened by reading and seeing what the early pioneers went through to reach their desired destination.

Now in our day, we each have the opportunity and privilege to be pioneers in our own right.  As we live in a world full of great turmoil and conflict we can stand out and be a light for righteousness and goodness.  Following the Savior, Jesus Christ's example of being obedient to the commandments which God has given us will bless us in our journey here on earth.

One of my favorite videos speaks about the war on earth today that continues from heaven (between good and evil)...we each have agency and a choice to be on the Lord's side of the line in this battle.  Who's on the Lord's side who?  I hope and pray I can be strengthened in my own life, to be anchored and more deeply rooted in my own testimony and conviction of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ so I can withstand the power of the adversary.  May you also find strength and safety in following the Saviors call to Come Follow Him!


Happy Pioneer Days!

~C.J. Poulsen 

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

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This video is a great reminder of who the source of all TRUTH is and where we should always turn for guidance on a daily basis.  Prayer is such a simple act of faith but is loaded with power when we humble ourselves and ask God for help.  I encourage you to watch the video above and read the scriptures below.  Remember, you are NOT alone and always have a loving Heavenly Father who is anxious and ready to answer your prayers.

 10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them bearight, which is it, and how shall I know it?
 11 While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the aEpistle of Jamesfirst chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)
Joseph Smith left us a perfect example of turning to God in prayer when we lack wisdom and understanding.  I am grateful that he had the faith to follow the above scripture and pray to have his experience we know as the first vision.  Because of his simple act of faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored back to the earth.

~ C.J. Poulsen
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

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The Power of Words

Words are very powerful and can change one's life for good.  I love to take a positive 'WORD' and break down its meaning and ponder what it really stands for.  I find a lot of strength in words...both the spoken and the written word.  Words have such a strong impact on each of us - (whether it be a negative or a positive word, it does influence us.)

PEACE ~ A state of tranquility; a freedom from disturbance
WISDOM ~ The exercise of sound judgement, discerning between truth and error
PATIENCE ~ The quality of bearing offenses without anger or revenge; trusting the timetable of the Lord
UNDERSTANDING ~ Exact comprehension, intelligence between two or more persons
HOPE ~ To place confidence in, with the belief that it will be obtained
CREATE ~ To organize, to bestow intelligence upon

I wanted to share a couple of my favorite videos regarding WORDS and the power they behold!

I hope you're inspired like I am each time I watch these.  I am issuing a challenge to you and myself to use good, positive, and uplifting words when talking with others, especially our loved ones.  The things we say each day can be uplifting and inspiring or belittling and degrading.

SO...What Choice of Words will you use today?

JOHN 1:1-5
 aIn the bbeginning was the Word, and the cWord was with God, and the dWord was eGod.

 All things were amade by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

 In him was alife; and the life was the blight of men.

 And the alight shineth in bdarkness; and the darkness ccomprehended it not.

Have an awesome week!

~C.J. Poulsen
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Sunday, June 2, 2013

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Jesus Declares the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

In a world full of confusion and temptations, we are living during the fulfillment of this prophecy, (the parable of the wheat and the tares)...A separation is currently happening between Christ's true followers and the wicked who follow the ways of this world.

Modern day prophets have counseled and warned us to live in the world but be not a part of its ways.  This is sound advice if we want to be amongst the wheat and stay safe on the Lord's side.  I am grateful for my knowledge and testimony of Christ's restored church and gospel upon the earth in this last dispensation before He returns.

Matthew 13:36-43

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  • Doctrine and Covenants 86:7

    Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.

~ C. J. Poulsen 
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

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'Life is to be enjoyed, not endured' ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Marathon Moments - This past weekend I reached a goal I set for myself and ran my first full marathon.  26.2 miles is a daunting thought but I made it in the time I set for myself. 
It was the Ogden Zions Bank Marathon with over 2,000 runners and ended up raining the entire race.

I wanted to share a few thoughts regarding my experience.  As we traversed the mountain in the dark at 5am on a school bus, the rain was pouring down.  The bus was full of excited, anxious runners for the race to begin.  I had been invited and trained for the race with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law who had both previously ran a marathon.  My brother-in-law ran the race with us also.  It was my first full marathon and I too was anxious for the race and finish line... :)

Each of us had set different finish goal times and as expected we got lost in a myriad of racers at the starting line once the shot to begin went off. 
I stretched and took off my garbage bag (temporary rain coat) and began the race.  I was drenched and soaking wet within the first minute.  I found a pace and space that felt comfortable and was on my way towards completing my first big race.  My mind was fixed on upbeat tunes on my ipod, of people passing me and myself passing a few.  I knew ahead of time I was only racing myself against the clock and my own mind, not the other runners along the trail.

Throughout the duration of the race several impressions came to my mind, both positive and negative...some saying just stop and walk for awhile, you're not gonna make it in this rain- your hands are cold and numb (and yes they sure were), its way too far; around mile 11, I began cramping up in my right calf muscle and had to stop and stretch it a few times.
But on the positive side, my mind was telling me you'll make this in your time no matter what,  its not a sprint, its a marathon - just enjoy the entire journey, look up at the beauty all around, the lush green forested mountainsides, the lakes and rivers amongst you.  I practiced focusing on positive things when negative would creep in or muscles would hurt or tense up and it really helped me endure.

Before the race I heard other runners saying how around mile 17 is when it gets super tough because their is first a climb and then a downhill grade through the canyon.  I had this moment hit me around mile 22 when I approached several runners who were stopping to walk.  I too wanted to follow suit but came across a runner whose shirt read SURVIVOR "I beat cancer!" Running for a cure for cancer.  I took note and this inspired me to keep going and to push along the final stretch.  I had slowed down in pace, yes, but continued a steady jog thanks to my brother's shirt.  I was reminded of the power of the mind over matter in this instance...

When I came into the final mile, I realized how many had come to cheer on their loved ones...and it hit me emotionally...then all of a sudden I saw my wife running straight towards me on the course.  This made me get really emotional as she came up and said, "Come on, keep going, you're doing great, you're almost done!" "Do you want me to hold your hand into the finish?"...
  After a long 26 miles, I was so happy and relieved to see her!  I felt loved and supported by those I love most, my wife and kids!  They are my world!  As she jogged with me she told me the kids were straight ahead...and sure enough there they were sitting alongside in their stroller with aunt Candace waving and cheering me on.  I waved and sprinted with what was left across the finish line at 4:30:26.  My original goal was 4:30 from the start!  I had MADE it!  First full marathon completed!  Bucket list goal crossed off...

This video is a great reminder to each of us that we're NEVER alone through the journey of life, to keep our heads up high and to keep moving forward...NO MATTER WHAT!  To ENDURE through the finish line! To have FAITH before the miracles we experience...


With this weekend upon us, we reflect on those who've served our great country here in America, I wanted to share this great video clip titled: Mountains to Climb

Each of us have will face trials and challenges throughout life but we can endure by relying on our FAITH in Jesus Christ to see us through.

As we start into a new week and a new month let us remember WHAT MATTERS MOST:

As always, Sunday is still my favorite day of the week and I have a stronger witness and testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His redeeming power to carry us through life.  I know He Lives and loves each of us.  I know that as we turn to Him, He will turn to us and guide us by the hand.  It is my prayer and testimony that one or each of these videos will touch you in a way its touched me...for the better!

Have a great week!

~ C. J. Poulsen
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

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Learning By Faith

With the new year upon us and everyone setting resolutions and goals to become more and do better in life there is a single ingredient that will help more than anything else...FAITH!  Faith is an interesting topic to discuss and ponder about.  Here is the definition of Faith:


Faith. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1; Alma 32:21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation. Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Rom. 10:14–17). Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one’s faith.
Faith is a principle of action and of power, and by it one can command the elements and/or heal the sick, or influence any number of circumstances when occasion warrants (Jacob 4:4–7). Even more important, by faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually can stand in the presence of God.

In our priesthood lesson at church today I had the privilege of being the instructor and leading the class discussion on Learning by Faith.  We are using the Teachings of Presidents of the Church Lorenzo Snow for our study manual in 2013.

The main points or key takeaways I took from this chapter are the following:

1. Learning comes in various forms but requires faith, exertion, and perseverance.
2. Obtaining knowledge is necessary to gaining permanent happiness.
3. The education of the Lord's Spirit is worthy of our best attention.
4. We benefit from hearing the gospel principles over and over again.
5. When we gather to learn the gospel, both the teacher and the learner need the guidance of the Spirit.

A few of my favorite scriptures we discussed today are the following:

2 NEPHI 28:30
 30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon aprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn bwisdom; for unto him that creceiveth I will give dmore; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

D&C 88:118
 118 And as all have not afaith, seek ye diligently and bteach one another words of cwisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best dbooks words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

D&C 130:18-19

 18 Whatever principle of aintelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the bresurrection.
 19 And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come.

I am grateful for the lessons we learn each week and for the reminder this one gave me to consistently study the gospel of Jesus Christ and the things of the Spirit.  This balance is necessary for us to obtain happiness and learn to do the will of Father in Heaven.  I know that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am so grateful for my membership in it and love the joy it brings to my family and I.

C.J. Poulsen 
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

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CREATE and make 2013 GREAT!


As I am reflecting on each of my accomplishments of 2012 and the life events that took place my heart is full of gratitude.  I am so thankful for the blessings of abundance I am granted from a loving Heavenly Father.  It seems that time goes by swiftly and change is inevitable.  I love the inspiring words found in this short video clip to CREATE.  I believe as we move into a new year and set goals for ourselves it is imperative to remember to CREATE your life path.  You are the author of your destiny so pick up the pen and begin writing your story.

I have many goals for the New Year but my major goals are the following:
1. Attend the temple 2-4 times per month/be a better husband/father.
2. Study from the scriptures (Book of Mormon) daily.
3. Advance to a Senior Level within in my company.
4. Get lean and fit and run my first marathon.
5. Develop myself as a better leader.

Here is an article I wrote at the beginning of the New Year 2011 on GOAL SETTING.


~C.J. Poulsen
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