The Broken Wedding Gift

As my wedding day neared, I went to the nearest shopping mall to find a gift for my fiancée. One of the stores I visited was essentially a novelty shop full of various sorts of statuettes and other collectible items from a number of cultures. I was drawn to the displays that held horse sculptures because horses were—and continue to be—one of my fiancée’s favorite things.

A sculpture of a bay horse’s head caught my eye—possibly a Thoroughbred. The eyes looked dark and depthless. Its black mane swept downward and formed the support connecting the rest of the sculpture with the base. The paint work was expertly done. I thought she would love it, so I bought it.

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The New Investor

Author’s note: This parable can stand on its own or be considered a second part to the Parable of the Gap Analysis, found here.

Tangible fear had fallen on the executives of the company when the business analyst and her manager explained that their strategy to overtake their competition wouldn’t work. To correct course, they had decided to focus on new features in one of their top products; however, losing market share and revenue as they were, their new roadmap would take long enough to be realized that they would be out of business before the company became profitable again. To win the race against time, they would need money—money that just wasn’t there.

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The Distracted Lifeguard

By David Armstrong

The weather at the beach was especially beautiful that day, drawing an exceptionally large crowd of swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers. The lifeguard in his tower glanced periodically at the happy children building sandcastles and splashing in the shore break. He swept his eyes across the rolling surf and admired the style of an accomplished wave rider.

Most of the time, however, he focused his attention on the game on his cell phone. In three hours, he had advanced fifteen levels. Only three levels to go and he would beat the game. He reclined in the shade of the tower, his thumbs moving with lightning speed across the screen.

A commotion on the beach briefly caught his attention. Yells reached his ears, but he kept his eyes on the game as the action on the screen intensified. Calls for help interrupted his concentration for a moment, but he doubled down on his attention to the game, determined to pass the present obstacle and reach the next level.

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Those Things that Please God

Outwardly, people’s adherence to Church teachings may look very similar, but their motives may be at different points across the spectrum. And that can change over the course of life for any one person. We may even go back and forth on a given day, making individual choices based on different motives. It’s important to not judge others’ motives; at the same time, it’s at least as important to understand our own and if we need to change them.

It’s probably the analyst in me that’s looking at this as a spectrum. But as our progress in life is often gradual, and our closeness to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ increases or decreases frequently by small amounts, I think a spectrum is fitting. So I hope you’ll bear with me for a moment.

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The Crowd at the Concert Hall

Dierdre quickened her step as she climbed the stairs from the subway to the sidewalk. The concert hall was only two blocks away. While the show was sold out, every ticket specified a reserved seat, so she wasn’t worried about not getting to see it. But this was the first time these performers had done a show in her city, and hundreds would be converging on this street today for what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them. So Dierdre was trying to avoid the worst of the crowds.

But apparently, many had the same idea. She saw dozens of people hurrying the same direction, and she picked up her pace. In spite of her haste, though, a massive line had already formed in front of the entrance to the show’s venue. Well, “line” was being generous—it was more of a disorganized swarm forming a funnel shape in the courtyard, narrowing toward the doors. Dierdre fell in with everyone else.

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