After much preparation, the young self-proclaimed Emperor of The Han Dynastory is now serving a full-time mission to the UK with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He will return in 2014.


Welcome to the Han Dynastory!

As I am now serving a full-time mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have left this blog under the stewardship of a family member, who may post updates on how I'm doing as he/she sees fit.

Enjoy your stay!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Thing At A Time

I broke down during my Chinese consultation session today. Not the first time I've been overwhelmed by the stress I've allowed to burden myself, but probably the first time I cracked in school.

The worst thing about what stress does to me is it convolutes my thoughts, tints my judgement, and eventually renders me incapable of doing anything productive. The effects intensify when I'm rushed, and that has been happening a bit too often recently. There will always be one deadline after another, and each time I fail to meet one, the pressure to meet the next builds up, causing me to fail it, perpetuating the problem. I spent hours last night simply stressing out because I had failed to meet two deadlines, both of which were delayed on my account, while a third had been added. I was literally stunned by the situation and I couldn't concentrate on anything I attempted to do. My temper is wearing thin and it's probably due to my own disappointment in myself.

Laoshi expressed her concern during the consultation today. She has been noticing warning signs in my work recently. My command of the language has become shakier and more inconsistent with each exercise, and seeing this, she immediately knew that I must be overworked and mentally exhausted. She urged me to learn how to let go of my burdens and just deal with the tasks at hand. To me, it's like those moments just at the start of exam papers where you've come to terms with the fact that there's no way you can do any extra studying and all that is left is to do the paper. Forget what you're hoping to achieve for now, for your hopes may very well become your burden. That was the golden advice she shared, which I deeply appreciate along with her support and encouragement. Thanks, Laoshi.

"Forget yourself and go to work," said President Hinckley's father. True, but don't forget your sanity.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How (Our) Religion Draws The Line For Us

This is a response to Trent's recent post at his blog (which happens to truly be what it claims to be). The post is entitled "Right." and was posted on the 10th of October 2009.

I quote his second paragraph:
As idealism and images of a perfectly-run world of law and order get washed away with time and experience, beliefs in realism form a core of my principles; my eyes now see a world of grey. Religion tries to define what's black and what's white. Ironically, it makes things all the more grey. In attempting to draw a line, the line actually creates a new split and an additional school of thought; generating more confusion, conflict and endless debate.
In general, Abrahamic religions (ie Judaism, Christianity and Islam) draw the line by use of commandments which tend to be absolute, hence defining explicitly what is sin and what is not. We all know times have changed while nothing about the scriptures besides our own interpretations of it have changed. Modern issues do not have the line clearly drawn by our scriptures the way the Mosaic Law did in the past. In our Church, our Latter-Day prophets are able to give modern revelation from God regarding modern issues. For our Church, the conditions for abortion to be acceptable have been laid out. However, there are still many issues that the Church does not have an official stand on.

For example, in the debate on human embryonic stem cell research, the scriptures provide no guidance at all, and if the issue is on the sanctity of life, the scriptures are unable to help by stating at which point of time is an embryo considered a human being (or when does it possess a spirit). If a scientist considering stem cell research on human embryos turns to the scriptures, there is no direct commandment or law regarding the matter, other than the Old Testament's 6th Commandment forbidding murder, which brings in the earlier problem of when an embryo is considered a human being. Here is where the "additional school of thought" is formed, and instead of just arguing whether stem cell research using human embryos is right or wrong, a new argument ensues regarding the defintion of and criteria for murder. Thus we see that one debate leads to another and nothing gets done. Will the poor scientist be left without any way of knowing what is right and what is wrong, left to wander on his own in the confusing "grey region"?

My answer is no and I would like to share a Sunday School lesson I had a long time ago in KL to explain why:

I do not remember the topic of the lesson but we found ourselves in a discussion on personal revelation. Personal revelation is what each of us receives by inspiration of the Holy Ghost and concerns our own matters, be it decisions, callings etc. This is often achieved through prayer, scripture study, ponderance and fasting. The Commandments are a form of revelation that applies to all believers, and gives the general people a sense of what is right and wrong. Of course, everybody is different, and that is where personal revelation comes in. Each of us have to make unique decisions in life. There will be times when our situation just does not fall into the "general" category. Here, the "general" revelation will not easily define exactly what the right or wrong choices are for us. However, with personal revelation, those who are attuned to the Spirit will be given either a "burning in the bosom" (green light) or "a stupor of thought" (red light) after making a decision. This way, no matter what the issue at hand is, one who receives personal revelation will know which choices are good and which choices are not so good.

Coming back to the example of the scientist. If he were a member of our Church, his best option would be to prayerfully read the scriptures (more to invite the spirit than find explicit instructions) and perhaps fast to receive Divine guidance. Perhaps the Lord's answer to him would be affirmative, perhaps not. Either way, it is his choice, and what is right or wrong to him will be clear.

Naturally, our perception of what is absolutely right or absolutely wrong will easily differ from the person next to us. This is where the problem of the grey area comes in. If what we see as absolutely wrong is not wrong at all according to someone else, then it can't really be absolutely wrong, can it? But when we look at it this way, the only problem about the grey area is that some laws don't apply to everyone. But does it matter? Not when we have personal revelation. We did not come to Earth to decide for others what is right or wrong for them. We came to Earth to make our own choices and to progress spiritually. Unless we are Divinely called to lead others (by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority), then the only grey area that exists is what we are yet ask God about and receive personal revelation.

That is the beauty of the true Gospel. The Holy Ghost will guides us when we remain spiritually worthy and thus our "Religion," so to speak, draws the line clearly for us.

Thanks Trent for always sparking interesting discussions at your blog.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Bother About Anything

You wouldn't feel the weight of your own reputation.

My perfectionist traits are acting up again, as they usually do with the looming exams. Mom just gave me a massage earlier to help loosen up the tension that keeps building up in my back and shoulders. I really ought to stop stressing myself out so badly. That's seriously a problem about setting high expectations of myself. At least I'm paid to do well in school heh heh heh.

I'm in no mood to elaborate on the convoluted logic that keeps messing up my head regarding this issue. I think I'm more in a mood for a millenium of slumber. Getting a good rest these days is like drinking with two straws, of which one is not in the drink. Go try it =)