Reaching divine potential in D.C.

Ray's Hell Burger with friends

We’ve got:

  • THE WHITE HOUSE!! Yessir! In all it’s East Wing, 6 room self-guided tour glory! Who am I kidding, on just one wall there was enough money in paintings that I could retire! I really enjoyed it! Thanks Adrienne for hooking us all up!
  • Air and Space Museum! Made it back, and basked in the glory that is my dream job! I have never wanted to switch majors back to Mechanical Engineering more than as I checked out the Space and Beyond exhibit! (I really wanted (want) to be an astronaut my freshman year.)
  • National Archives! I got to see the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Magna Charta! Talk about history lesson in diplomacy! LOVED it!
  • As for food I made my way over to the very famous Georgetown Cupcakes! The epitome of the cupcake craze hitting the U.S. right now. Pretty darn good! I aint complainin’ ’bout the company neither!
  • Ray’s Hell Burger (get it?) is a burger joint in VA that has been visited by Pres. Obama and is just that good. I had the New Jack Zing burger, covered in cajun spices with peppers toppled onto it. It was the size of my face. This place is really low-key (gotta know the right people, see), it doesn’t have a website or store sign! So it’s another must-have for any legit DC citizen. Speaking of! I’m a local now. I’m just sayin’. I was walking home and a guy totally walked up to me and asked where the Virginia Hotel was. I felt so cool! . . . Of course I had no idea what to tell him, but at least I came off as someone who knew the area!

So it’s been another great week! Oh yeah, and my internship is going great! I had a shout out at our staff meeting, and was applauded as well, so that’s good! I can’t really go into the details about why, otherwise I’d have to let someone whose job it was to kill to kill you through bureaucratic lack of efficiency and motivation, and then filing a report about how good a job it was to be reviewed by a committee. Don’t worry, I’m going to rework that joke and use it again in a couple weeks. Worst part about my job? Working a block away from the White House I can hear every motorcade as it drives by, but I can’t rush to the window to yell out to them! I feel like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington . . . Or was that Mr. Deeds when he yells at the fire truck driving by? Either way I’m Jimmy Stewart.

Spiritual fodder! There has been a lot this week! I have grown A LOT. And I’m OH so humble about it! Institute gave me the something I’ll share today. We had a great class this past Tuesday where Elder and Sister Ellsworth taught us on God the Almighty. Elder Ellsworth went through the story of the Brother of Jared from the Book of Ether and there was something about our relationship with God I have never noticed before. We see the Brother of Jared asking the Lord for help throughout the various trials he and his family were experiencing. At first, all the Brother of Jared would do is complain about what was going on and somewhat demand the Lord to fix it. Ether 1:38-39 the Brother of Jared, under Jared’s guidance, cries unto the Lord to drive them out of the land and to ask where to go and what to do, which the Lord grants with compassion. Next, the Lord commanded them to travel into the wilderness (Ether 2:5). Then, the Brother of Jared neglects to call on the Lord, and after four years he remembers and gets chastised by the Lord (Ether 2:14). He grows here, and in this new respect for the Lord the Brother of Jared follows the Lord’s commands, builds barges to travel to the promised land, and upon doing so questions the Lord on how to light the barges while they travel. The Lord responds in Ether 2:23, ” . . . What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?” The Lord also explains they can’t have windows in the barges, and they can’t have fire since they are made of wood. Doesn’t leave many options, right? After thinking on it the Brother of Jared finds an answer, namely, Ether 3:4, ” . . . touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness,” and the Lord does so.

There is a progression for the Brother of Jared here. The relationship he had with the Lord was simplistic and utilitarian at the beginning. He took it for granted and simply grocery-shopped for his self-interested needs. But, upon being chastened by the Lord for treating Him thus, the Brother of Jared found a new respect for the level of friendship the Lord expected of him. The Brother of Jared then understood and sought to treat the Lord with the respect He deserved. Upon doing so, and reaching a level of somewhat mutual respect, gratitude, and humility, the Lord knew He could then take the Brother of Jared to a higher level of understanding.

At the end of the encounter, the Brother of Jared was challenged to find a solution beyond his comprehension. At least that’s what he was used to thinking. See, the Brother of Jared saw himself as a man of the earth, simple and with weakness. But the Lord saw him as divine, and something to eventually become like God. So after being faced with a problem where no earthly solution was available (no windows and no fire) the Brother of Jared started to think like God, and found a solution according to God’s manner of thinking and acting. Once he did that the Lord was able to answer his request, touch the stones, and bring light unto their voyage. And with it the Lord had taken the Brother of Jared another step towards reaching his divine potential.

My beloved brothers and sisters, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man,” and so can you. You are a royal generation. The heavenly grandstands are cheering you on. We are fast coming to the close of this game. The opposition is real and is scoring. But we have scored, we are scoring, and we will score in the future. The Lord is our coach and manager. His team will win, and we can be a valiant part of it if we so desire. Rise up, O youth of Zion! You hardly realize the great divine potential that lies within you. May you all follow your leader, Jesus Christ, and increase mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially, I pray for all of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Elder Ezra Taft Benson

“In His Steps,” 1979 BYU Devotional

I add my testimony that as we become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ, we will reach our divine potential! We will triumph over the evil of the adversary and reach a new level of understanding with our Older Brother and Heavenly Father. I have a testimony of this, and I have a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as it came from Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith unto the world! I know my Redeemer lives, loves, and wants us all to know He does. I act so that you may find that knowledge as well! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Leave a comment


  1. Jessica

     /  January 18, 2010

    Also…go eat here:

  2. obviously, best burger of my life.

    obviously, made all the better by your presence.

  3. Keli

     /  January 29, 2010

    I’m so glad you are loving it out there! It was fun to see you! We sure love you and miss you!!

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