Sportsmanship in Primary

Primary is such a great place!

Today the Junior Primary (ages 3-8) was playing a game during Sharing Time.  One of the 7-year old girls was called up for her turn and her friend was so excited for her that she jumped up and gave her a big hug!  :)

The kids were having a great time talking about honesty and how to be honest in different situations.

Then one of the girls a year or two younger than the two mentioned above was called up to take a turn.  She picked a picture of an ear of corn off the wall, the situation was read, and the kids answered the question.  Then she got to try tossing 2 beanbags into the hole in the middle of a box.  She did great and everyone was thrilled!

As she went back to her class, one of the youngsters from the youngest class jumped up and gave her a huge hug!!

Yep, go to Primary to learn what good sportsmanship is! :)

Bariatric + 6 Months

The changes in him are absolutely astounding.

90-pound weight loss over the last year, and while he doesn’t have “a spring in his step” as another bariatric patient I heard about was described, I am finding myself trying to keep up with him.

His mind is more clear, despite being on the same medications he was on previous to the surgery (except of course for the ibuprofen).  In fact, he was just part of a special Think Tank focus group that discussed the topic of Immigration, to share ideas and recommendations with one of the sub-committees of the United States Congress.  Wow!  :)

Too bad the arthritis is still very much there.  However the weight-loss is enabling him to be on his feet more and to do more.  And his recovery is faster – though every so often it catches up to him and he has a sleepy day in bed.  Guess his sleep has as hard a time keeping up with him as I do.  :)

And he is still tethered to the oxygen tube, but he finds new and original ways to deal with that, and with getting things done from his electric wheelchair that would otherwise involve too much walking.

He is now so much more than I had expected he would ever be again.


Miss a week and everything changes!

Boy, you miss a week in Primary and everything changes!

I walked into Primary today and saw several new people there.  Then I noticed that there were several people missing.  And as we prepared to begin, these new people were the ones coming up to lead the meeting.

Wow, did the Primary presidency change last week?  Yes, the entire Presidency changed last week!

Am I worried?

Am I concerned?

That is one of the beauties of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the organization of His church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Everything is so well-organized, and there are manuals and instructions that guide you to the letter, that it doesn’t matter if someone new is given the job, the calling.

So someone new can step right in and get right to work.  There is no break in the program, no hesitation about what needs to be done.  It keeps running smoothly along.

And not only here, but anywhere in the world.  Everywhere it’s the same way.  So no, I’m not worried, I’m not concerned.  They will pick up where the others left off, and all is well in Zion!  :)

Wedding Reception and Baby Blessing

It’s been a busy weekend and it’s nice to sit and relax for a moment.  This weekend has been all about family.

With a beautiful wedding reception for one, and the sacred blessing of a new child for another, we came together to celebrate and enjoy being together.

Family is a wonderful thing, a blessing from our wise and all-knowing Father in Heaven.

A family is there to help us through the rough times in life.  A family is there to celebrate the good times with us.  A family is there to love and strengthen each other, to be best friends, confidants, to help heal heartaches, and to get us through difficulties.

When you think about it, the family is a truly unique and inspiring phenomena.  It is like a garden, where we learn to give tender, loving care to nurture grass, flowers, bushes, and trees and watch them grow and develop.  A garden is impacted by many things: sun, rain, soil, heat, cold, attention, neglect.

A family is the same way, impacted by many things: love, time, attention, neglect, money, warmth, insecurity, greed, selflessness.

In a family we have the opportunity to gain many skills, character traits, and attributes that we otherwise might not ever learn.  A family can help bring out the very best in us!


Reading My Father’s Scriptures

I picked up my father’s scriptures and gently thumbed through the pages.  He is gone and I saw them sitting on the shelf.

There was his name in faded, gold, capital letters on both books.  One, the Bible, King James version (my favorite too).  The other, the triple combination of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.  Together these are the scriptures I have learned since my youth, studied as I grew, and loved all my life.

There are some bookmarks in them.  A card with the Old Testament chronology on it, several small pink slips of paper with scriptures and page numbers written on them in green or red ink – 3 Nephi 18:19-20 443, D&C 1:30 pg 3, D&C 88:14, 15, 16 166, and Moses 3:17 [no page number] – and a white slip, Moroni 10:32 531.

I notice a couple small paper clips on select pages, one holds a slip of paper with the generations from Adam to “Methusela oldest man” written in pencil for a lesson he taught sometime in his life.

Searching a little further I see scripture passages underlined, often in red, sometimes in green [funny, I use red, and blue :) ], and sections where there is a red X at the beginning of a passage and then a / at the end, i.e. D&C 9:3-14 “Be patient, my son, for it is wisdom in me…you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”

As I see the little markings throughout the scriptures, I can almost picture him studying a lesson that he will be teaching, marking a passage he heard in a class, or underlining a verse that touched his soul as he studied the scriptures on his own or with my mother.  It warms my heart to read these passages and feel the love and power of God come through to me also as I read them once more, this time realizing that they had special meaning to my father.

I find myself pondering not only on these things that were obviously important to my father, but contemplating also other things that were important to him as evidenced by the way things were left when he passed away, particularly in the garage where things were cleaned off (though now a bit dusty) before being put into the section where they belonged, painting, gardening, electrical, hand tools, power tools, the old radio we always stored in the basement, etc.

And I can’t help but wonder if everything was exactly as he wanted it, or if, like me, some things are simply where they were put down “for now”.  What will people think they know about me by the state of my possessions when I pass on?

Think I’ll go through some of them right now…

I Love George Washington!

Yes, I love George Washington!  And today being the birthday of the United States of America it is a fitting time to write about my admiration for our country’s first President.

So many things make George Washington worthy of note.

He is the father of our country.  He spent 45 years in service to our country.  He was our first President.  He could have been made King, but he refused to even consider such a thing, saying that we had just fought for our freedom from tyranny and we would never be subject to sovereignty again.  Not only that, but he stepped down as the General of the Army when the war was won.  Never before in the history of the world had such a thing happened.  Usually the army would take over the country when they fought off the enemy.  He did not allow the army to march on Congress to demand their back-pay and the other benefits owed them for their service to their fledgling country.  It would be wrong to do so.

Though he lost many battles, George Washington was a great general.  He worked with what he was given, molded and transformed it into a continental army and was able to defeat the British.  He never gave up; staying with it for 8 long and grueling years.  They faced incredible and impossible-to-imagine hardships.  Through it all he remained firm and steadfast in defense of his country, inspiring others to band together and do their part in the making of a new nation not only for them but for untold millions to follow.  It pleases me to no end that the United States keeps him as their top general no matter how many other generals may follow.

He was an honorable man.  Always looking to improve himself he developed a personal creed that he followed all the days of his life.  He was a deeply religious man, attending and participating in various churches regularly, asking for clergy involvement throughout the activities of his life, and praying daily for wisdom and help from the deity he knew and loved, particularly during his most trying circumstances.  Some claim he was not religious as he joined no particular group.  I believe he did not find the complete truth he was looking for, but never gave up searching and doing the best he could with what was available.

Another proof of his devotion to God was his great care in using the sacred name of deity.  Thus, he most often, and in fact very often, referred to God as “Providence”.  What a beautiful show of love and utmost respect!

Many of the negative things you hear about George Washington today are absolutely false, “fairy tales” conjured up to discredit him.

I admit that he owned slaves.  Owning slaves was something society did back then.  Looking down on him simply for owning slaves is akin to historians 200 years from now looking down on you simply because society today has succumbed to fear of religion and looks down on those who profess belief in God, rather than remaining enlightened and embracing religious freedom!  And like their looking down on us for our society’s becoming divisive, various groups splintering off and setting themselves apart from the whole simply based on their race, color, gender, nationality, class, religion, age, marital status, physical ability, or political affiliation!

Yes, I love George Washington!  I love the freedoms we enjoy today because of him and so many others like him who paid the price for the blessings we enjoy today.

Good Morning!

As I walked up to church today I passed someone coming out and said, “Good Morning!”

First he reciprocated, “Good morning,” but then, realizing it was past noon added, “Good afternoon.”

Good afternoon, I thought.  Doesn’t quite have the same ring as “Good Morning!”  Why do people have to say the exact, proper greeting?  What about something more generic, like the Germans do, “Guten Tag”?  It means Good Day, so you can say it anytime, morning, noon, evening.

“Good Day.”  No, it just isn’t the same.  It’s rather monochromatic.  “Good Morning!”  has a pleasant lilt to it.  It is friendly and upbeat.  It brightens the mood.  It fairly sings, “Have a wonderful day!”

Who cares what time of day it is.  I just saw you.  It is “morning” to us.

So, “Good Morning!”    :)