Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life's Lesson in Death

I have learned something about death that I didn't know before.  My Mother passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2009.  My sister and I were at her bedside when she passed away.  We had been taking turns spending the night with her.  We knew that it was just a matter of days until she passed away.  My daughter Melanie and I stayed with her on Friday night.  There was a very strong spirit in the room.  I really felt that my Grandmother Fanny and my Father were near waiting for my Mother to pass through the veil.  On Saturday my sister stayed with my Mother.  Then on Sunday morning my sister called to tell me I needed to come.  She felt that it was only a matter of minutes until Mom was to leave this earth life.  I got dressed for church because I knew one thing.  Mom would want me to go to church and give the Relief Society lesson that I was to give that day.  My sister and I watched my Mother take her last breaths.  So here is the lesson I learned.  

Death is a holy and sacred experience.  It is every bit as sacred as when you watch the birth of a baby.  There is something special about watching a spirit pass through the veil and feeling our Heavenly Father's presence.  I knew that God was near.  I knew that my Father, a brother, grandparents, and a long list of relatives that we had been doing genealogy work for were near.  While my sister and I were feeling a lose for the Mother we love, we knew that Mother was joyfully meeting with her family on the other side of the veil.  I will always be grateful for this holy time that I had with my Mother.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Thick of Thin Things

I heard a quote from the Ensign a couple of times at church today.  The quote from President Thomas S. Monson says:
"We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives.  Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we're doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the "thick of thin things."  In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes."

I was intrigued by the quote because I had planned on giving a quote in my Relief Society lesson by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that said:  
"A wise man once distinguished between the noble art of getting things done and a nobler art of leaving things undone.  True wisdom in life consists of the elimination of non-essentials.  What are the non-essential things that clutter your days and steal your time?  What are the habits you may have developed that do not serve a useful purpose?  What are the unfinished or unstarted things that could add vigor, meaning, and joy to your life?" 

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Last year I posted a gratitude for every day in November.  I would be very ungrateful if I did not make at least one post.

I am grateful for:
  • The beauty of nature.  I took my mother for a ride.  We saw a large herd of antelope grazing in a field. The buck began moving his herd through the field and I thought he was nervous about us watching him when I saw another buck trying to find a way through the fence.   Ah ha.  Just protecting his herd from another male. 
  • My Family.  How I enjoy seeing my children and knowing that they are doing those things that will bring them eternal happiness.  
  • My Grandchildren.  How precious each of them are.  My mother lived so far from her grandparents that she only remembers seeing her grandfather once.  She was too scared to even talk to him. She never had the chance to talk to him on a phone.   How sad is that?  I can see or talk my grandchildren every day through the use of telephone, blogs, skype, and Facebook.  How cool is it to be a couple of hundred miles apart and still be able to talk to each other?  
  • My membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I love learning about my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  To know that they love me.  That they answer prayers.  Which reminds me of another gratitude.
  • I am thankful that God answers prayers.  We had one answered this past week.  We started our day with family prayer and prayed that we would be protected and return home to our family safe that evening.  Our school went by bus to a nearby high school to watch the Wizard of Oz.  The bus I was on pulled up the the stop sign that enters the main highway from our small town.  The driver hesitated and then pulled on to the highway in front of a large water truck.  The driver of the truck had to slam on his brakes to keep from hitting us.  He came within a couple of feet of our bus.  While our driver seem unconcerned the rest of the adults on the bus were terrified!  Worst part was that on the way home from the play our bus driver pulled out in front of another large truck when she reached the highway.  I am thankful for answered prayers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Showing Mercy

President Joseph Smith said, "If you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another....  We are full of selfishness; the devil flatters us that we are very righteous, when we are feeding on the faults of other."  

"...Search yourselves--the tongue is an unruly member--hold your tongues about things of no moment--a little tale will set the world on fire."

OK, so I have been having some devil flattering going on in my life.  I have had a hard time holding my tongue.  I have had that self-righteous feeling and I don't like it.  I have had to really examine myself to see what my problem is.  I finally figured it out.  I am jealous.  My 'friend' knows how to maximize her resources and I either don't know how or I want to make myself a martyr by doing everything myself.  I need to get over it and learn from her instead of criticize her for being able to delegate authority.    

Get over it Mary!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stake Conference

We had a great stake conference.  One of the things talked about was testimony.  We must each develop our own testimony.  We can not live on borrowed light.  I know I have heard that many times but then something else was said that I have either not heard or just not remembered.  Our light must be original not reflective.  The glory of the celestial is that of the sun.  The sun gives off original light.  The glory of the terrestrial is that of the moon.  The moon's light is reflective.  

So where do I want my testimony to be?  Do I want original or reflective?  I was outside the other night when the moon was full.  I remember thinking it was enjoyable to see the beauty of the night sky and be able to walk around by the light of the moon.  Then I stepped on a small stick and almost tripped myself.  Hum.  I'll go for original light.  There are just too many things out there that will trip you up if you don't have enough light.

One of the other talks that I liked talked about the foundation of the Salt Lake temple.  They used sandstone to build the foundation then covered it up when Johnston's army came in.  When they uncovered the foundation they found it was cracked.  They redid the foundation with granite and not mortar.  The stones were fitted closely enough that they did not need mortar.  Next, they talked about how the church has been established on the foundation apostles and prophets.  The third foundation we need to establish is our personal life on the firm foundation of faith.  I like how the three foundations related to each other.  

One of my favorite scriptures talks about foundations.  Helaman 5:12
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation:  that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

So, faith, foundations, testimony.  How do we build them?  

1.  prayer
2.  scripture study
3.  family home evening
4.  listen to the prophets

When are the prophets going to talk about something else?  When we get these right!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Lord is willing to help those in need!

My mother went to church today.  It was fast and testimony meeting.  She is 93 and beginning to suffer from dementia.  Mom wanted to bear her testimony.  I was a bit worried about it because she has a tendency to  say things that may or may not be true.  She starts telling one story and before the sentence has ended she is telling a different story.  Sometimes it is hard to tell that the sentence is two different stories.  The stories all seem to be from her past and seem to be about things that have worried her at one time or another.  Some of the stories are a bit embarrassing.  Many times she hooks the names of people we know to the stories.  Once in a while she gets on a kick where she repeats the same story over and over.  I was a bit worried that she would tell an embarrassing story and hook the name of one of our ward members to the story which might hurt their feelings.

  Mom got up and bore her testimony.  As long as she was bearing pure testimony she was able to do so clearly and with conviction.  As soon as she would start saying something that was not testimony the Lord took care of her and made her forget what she was saying.  She could not finish her thought.  I know without a doubt that the Lord loves my 93 year old mother that is suffering mentally right now.  

I have a testimony that the Lord lives, Jesus is the Christ, the Son of a living and loving Father in Heaven.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is upon the earth today.  We have a living prophet leading the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The gospel is true.  

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Have you ever made such a mistake that you have really hurt the feelings of someone you love?  Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't seem to be enough.  My heart aches because of what I have done.  I am sorry.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Ancient Covenant Restored

Robert L Millet wrote an article for the Ensign back in March of 1998. He was telling about the coming of Elijah the prophet to Joseph Smith Jr. on April 3, 1836. Here is a quote of what he had to say.

"The Prophet Joseph Smith's account continues: 'After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken by the mouth of Malachi--testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come--to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse' (D&C 110: 13-15). Precisely on that day in 1836 when Elijah's appearance took place, Jews throughout the world were engaged in the celebration of the Passover. Since the time of Malachi, four centuries before Christ's mortal birth, Jews worldwide have awaited Elijah's coming at Passover with anxious anticipation. Elijah came, but not to Jewish homes; he came rather to a temple of the Saints and to his legal administrator on earth, a descendant of Joseph and Ephraim. There Elijah bestowed keys of inestimable worth."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

None Were With Him

As I watch the morning break I cannot help but think about my Savior. What great love He has for us. This is a beautiful Easter message. I am doing something wrong and cannot get the video. You will have to copy and paste the URL.


I have to admit I didn't hear as much of conference this year as I would have liked to have heard.  We were either traveling or preparing to travel. Our two week old granddaughter was put in the hospital for RSV and then had to be flown to Primary Children's Hospital.  

I have been watching the Church's video feed.  I have noticed two talks so far that I just love.  One was by Elder Jeffery R Holland which talks of Christ's lonely journey back to his Father in Heaven.  When I feel alone I can know that I am not alone.  My Father and my Savior are with me.  They have not forsaken me.  They are near.  They know how I feel.  They know my concerns for a beautiful new granddaughter that is struggling to live.  The church has posted a video of Elder Holland's talk on the church's web site.  I tried to post the video but can't seem to get it right.  It is worth watching.

The other talk that I loved was by Elder David A Bednar.  He talked of the importance of temples.  There are great blessings in the temple.  We find the highest ordinances there and through those ordinances we find eternal life in the temple.  There is a protecting power of the ordinances and covenants available in the House of the Lord.  The temple is a refuge from the storm.  

I noticed that several talks told of the importance of the temple.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Draper Utah Temple

We just got home from the dedication of the Draper Utah Temple.  We went to our stake center and watched it by satellite.  One of the many statements that impressed me was that in troubled times we need the temple.  It will be the one thing that will bring peace into our lives.  Regular temple workshop draws us closer to our Father and our Savior.  As we attend the temple we have a greater desire to become like Him.

It took me back to the dedication of the Vernal Temple.  I remember President Hinckley saying that it took 40 years to build the Salt Lake Temple and it took 90 years to build the Vernal Temple.  After the dedication of the Vernal Temple I asked the kids what impressed them the most.  

David: He was impressed that he didn't fall asleep.  
Melanie:  Seeing the prophet and her favorite apostle Elder Oaks.  
Carolyn:  It was so cool that even though we were not in the same room as the prophet you could still feel the spirit so strongly.  
Daniel:  It was all cool.  
Mary:  It took President Joseph F. Smith 3 days to get to Vernal to dedicate the Vernal Tabernacle in 1907.  He traveled by train to Colorado, then by stagecoach and buggy to Vernal.  In President Smith said he would not be surprised if a temple would be built in your midst.  President Hinckley said that was the same as saying a temple would be there.  (Side note: It took President Hinckley 20 minutes to fly to Vernal for the 1997 dedication of the temple.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A New Thought... at least for me

I was reading about the Prophet Joseph Smith's account of the Prophet Elijah restoring the sealing powers to the earth, when I came across an article by Robert L Millet.  Do you know what was happening on April 6, 1836 in other parts of the world while Elijah was in the Kirtland temple with the Prophet of God?  Well this article tells the rest of the story.

"The Prophet Joseph Smith’s account continues: 'After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse' (D&C 110:13–15). Precisely on that day in 1836 when Elijah’s appearance took place, Jews throughout the world were engaged in the celebration of the Passover. Since the time of Malachi, four centuries before Christ’s mortal birth, Jews worldwide have awaited Elijah’s coming at Passover with anxious anticipation. Elijah came, but not to Jewish homes; he came rather to a temple of the Saints and to his legal administrator on earth, a descendant of Joseph and Ephraim. There Elijah bestowed keys of inestimable worth."  (Robert L. Millet, "The Ancient Covenant Restored," Ensign, Mar 1998, 36)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Leading in the Lord's Way

I gave my Relief Society lesson today.  It was Chapter 24 Leading in the Lord's Way.  The lesson spent quite a bit of time on Zion's Camp.  It was so good.  I had not realized it but 9 of the 12 apostles and all of the Seventy had served in Zion's Camp.  It was quite a training ground for the leadership of the church.  

There had also be quite a bit of murmuring and complaining going on during Zion's Camp.  One line from the lesson keeps playing over and over in my head.  "Even a dog could not bark at some men without their murmuring to Joseph."  I wonder what dog bark we murmur about.  Here are a few that I have heard and sorry to say a few that I have said.  Worse yet I have thought many of them.

"Don't answer the phone.  It will just be someone telling me they won't be at church today to teach their primary class."
"I don't know why we even go to this house to get fast offerings.  They never pay."
"I'm a teacher, why do I have to do fast offerings?  Why aren't the deacons doing it?"
To a 15 year old teacher who had been preparing to pass the sacrament until a 12 year old deacon came into the room.  "You lucked out this time."
"Do I have to go visiting teaching to that house?"
"Her as a companion? Oh no!"
"Thank goodness the blue and gold is only once a year!"
"I just don't have time to go visiting teaching."
"You want me to take a meal to someone tonight?"

What kind of message do I send when I murmur?  If I can't be faithful over the small things how will I ever be faithful over the big things.  I want to be like the group who "...were always ready and willing to do as our leader desired."  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Perfect Sunday

It has been one of those Sunday's that you hear so many good things that while you would like to remember them all you know you will only remember part.

Reed taught our Sunday School lesson on "The Spirit of Revelation."  We learned how to receive personal revelation.  One of the best ideas was to turn off the TV so that Satan is not jamming our airways with junk.  

Our Relief Society Lesson came from a talk by Clyde J Williams in the Jan 1996 Ensign titled "A Shield Against Evil.  Wow that was good.  Satan has set snares and we need to use the scriptures to avoid those snares.  

Here are the snares Satan has set.
1.  Relying on Worldly Wisdom
2.  Anger and Contention
3.  Seeking Happiness in Sin
4.  Ignorance of Evil
5.  Spiritual Apathy
6.  Rationalization
7.  Vain and Worldly Things

Avoid those snares by:
1.  Realizing that Satan will not support his own.
2.  Shake off Spiritual Lethargy.
3.  Watch and Pray
4.  Hold to the Rod
5.  We are Free to Choose our own course in Life
6.  We can Bind Satan

If you want to read a good article check this one out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Learn Of God

Learn of me, and listen to my words:  walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.  (Doctrine and Covenants 19:23)

My next Relief Society lesson is "Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths."  It seems that everything I read or listen to points me in the direction of gaining knowledge.  I was just setting here trying to think of something to blog about.  I was thinking that my pondering was running a bit short.  Nothing was coming to mind.  I looked over and saw the back of my True To The Faith reference guide and there was the above scripture.  I thought. "Wow there is my lesson in one sentence.    Now that I have my lesson prepared I wonder what I will do the the rest of my 30 minutes?"  

Not really.  It is a good lesson and I can hardly wait to give it.  I really do love that scripture.

I am grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity to teach.  I am grateful that He is mindful of me and shows me so many little things that can help me with His message.  The other day as I was reading a passage by Joseph Smith I could not help but be amazed that this unlearned boy had turned into such a knowledgeable man.  I had to actually look up two words in the paragraph so I could make sense out of the statement.  Joseph Smith's understanding was truly quickened by the Spirit of God.  

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lifelong Learning

I just listened to a talk by Robert D Hales entitled "The Journey of Lifelong Learning."  He gave the talk at BYU Education Week this past August.  Wow that was a good talk.  I liked it enough to download it so I could listen to it anytime.  I could not believe how well it goes with the lesson that I will  be teaching in Relief Society this month.  It seems like as I prepare my lesson I always find a talk that goes right along with it.    

Friday, January 2, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade

I am feeling a little heart broken at the moment.  It seems that over the Christmas break two young people have decided that life is not worth living and have committed suicide.  While I did not know either of these young people my heart is heavy with sorrow as I find myself shedding tears for them and for their families.  I hope that peace can find it's way into the lives of the families left behind.

I can honestly say that I have never suffered from depression to the point that these two have.  I have never even considered suicide.  While I have no idea of how they may have suffered before they came to this point in their lives, I do know one thing...  When life gets you down and you feel like you can no longer cope, CALL someone.  A mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, a friend, a stranger for that matter but whatever you do you need to talk to someone now.