I have a love-hate relationship with my cellphone. Sometimes I loath the thing.

Saturday night, sitting outside in the cool dark, reading the latest John C. Wright Cobweb and Moth book in the gentle glow of the screen, I felt reconciled to it. I was eating a ripe apple from my dad’s orchard. In the dark, I could pay full attention to the flavor. My children were asleep. My wife was writing a letter. My happiness was high.

A few days before, blog friend Wm. Jas. wrote on the remarkable contrast between the good and the ugly in this world, all mingled together. Many times arising from each other.

Around the same time, my wife and I had been discussing how our lives seemed to be doing better than ever, while the world seemed to be doing worse.

I remembered these things Saturday night, while I was being happy.

Then Sunday morning I listened to General Conference. Elder Nelson started his talk saying that “tragedies and travesties around us increase” and we shouldn’t be surprised–these were, after all, the last days. Then he spent the rest of his time talking about joy.

President Monson talked about happiness. Sis Reeves talked about how exhilarating repentance is. Bro. Davies said that worship is an experience of heaven, and brings joys.

Sometimes I feel like the knacker man in James Herriott, grinning and whistling, eating my ham sandwich, seated on a pile of remains.

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