Life is good. I just ended a family vacation to Cedar City, home of the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, where we caught four productions, with a little side trip to Las Vegas, where we saw Mystere, again. The highlight of the trip for me was driving home on northbound I-15, where I googled with one hand for the nearest Jamba Juice on my Blackberry 7230, as follows:
It returned the only Jamba Juice in Nevada, located in Mesquite. The power-sized Orange Dream Machine quenched my thirst, after 5 consecutive days without a Jamba juice.
Thanks to my Blackberry, I stayed current with email without my family noticing or complaining, but I didn’t answer a single business phone call on this trip.
I used my laptop, but only to work on a book I am working on about Inventions and Revelation. I happen to be a “believing” entrepreneur. How can I not be a believer when prayer and meditation work for me? Every major success I have had in business (from Infobases to Ancestry.com to MyFamily.com and beyond) has come from an original idea that felt like a bolt from the blue, or a light-bulb turning on, after days or weeks of prayer and contemplation. How can I not believe that these ideas are not gifts from an Omniscient Creator?
For years I have been studying the lives of inventors and innovators. Many of them have had similar experiences, where after great effort the light bulb finally turns on and they can see clearly. Is that all because of their own talents and gifts? Or is there an external source at work, a Loving God who is blessing them for their concentrated effort and faith?
Brigham Young, who has been called the greatest colonizer of the American West and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 19th century, said this:
“Every good and perfect gift cometh from God. Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it. It has been given with a view to prepare the way for the ultimate triumph of truth, and the redemption of the earth…”
It is interesting that a man whom millions consider a modern day prophet of God, acknowledges God’s hand in other fields besides religion.
Rulon S. Wells, another Mormon leader, said this in 1929:
“Revelation is truth made known whether that truth be religious or secular. Every invention or discovery, in fact all our understanding comes from God, for ‘there is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.’ (Job 32:8) It does not detract from the glory due to the inventor to say that God uses him as an instrument in his hands in bringing truth to light. God sends us his prophets to teach us in the way of life; he also sends us scientists, inventors and discoverers. They too are servants of God and have a part in the great work of educating mankind.”
I hope to publish a book that conveys my wonder and gratitude for living at this point in the history of the world, where there is an abundance of spiritual truth as well as the most amazing scientific advances the world has ever seen.
We can use God-given inventions for good or evil. We can use modern science and technology to lift individuals and nations out of poverty, enlighten whole nations, and bring health, peace, and prosperity to all the world. Or, we can choose to use these advances to satisfy our appetites, and gain power, wealth, and dominion over others. I believe that God will judge us for what we do with all of His gifts.
So that’s the book I’m working on.
My belief in God and in using entrepreneurship to change the world is one of the reasons that Google is my favorite company, with their “Don’t Be Evil” mantra, and one of the reasons that Tim Sander’s book, “Love is the Killer App” had such a powerful effect on me.
I once met a wonderful lady who originally owned the patent for electronic greeting cards. We both shared the view that God had inspired our ideas and we said someday we should collaborate on a book for entrepreneurs. (This is a different book than the one I’m currently discussing).
It wouldn’t be like Paul Pilzer’s book, “God Wants You to Be Rich” (I met Paul Pilzer about 13 years ago–he told me I would be really rich someday if I ever made that my objective!); it would be more like “God Wants You to Change the World.”
Or maybe we should call it “Prayer is the Killer App” and discuss how God can help you if your heart is right and you are seeking to do His will in your business ventures.
Alexander Graham Bell defined an inventor as “a man who looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world.”
Why wouldn’t God bless and prosper the efforts of men and women who work hard and seek to “benefit the world?” He may not want everyone to be rich, because “the love of money is the root of all evil”; but certainly we can do more with His help than we can without it.