Monthly Archives: April 2013

Strengthening The Family


Working in Primary during Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society time, I miss out on the special 5th Sunday meetings with all the adults.

I don’t mind too much because much of what’s discussed there – which I find out by asking those who attended – covers topics that I am already quite familiar with.  And because it helps the children in Primary to have more stability in their lives when they see the same people in Primary each week.

Our latest 5th Sunday meeting was about the Church’s 2013 Leadership training program.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is all about helping people progress and to learn more that will help them help others.  Our bishop deemed this program important enough that he wanted the adults in Primary, and anyone who missed it last time, to be able to see it also.

So arrangements were made for substitutes for everyone from the teachers, to the leaders, to the music leaders.  And today we were privileged to see this special presentation!  🙂

This program is important enough to the leadership of the Church that they put it on their website, http://www.lds.org, where anyone who would like to can go, drink in its inspiration, contemplate its meaning, and design appropriate ways to use this knowledge at home with our families and at church with our callings (responsibilities).

So, what is this program?  It is all about strengthening families!

Why? Because the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.  The family is the most fundamental institution of society.

The family is the primary support structure in God’s plan to help us resist evil, overcome weakness, and work out our salvation. For this reason we should do all we can to strengthen the family in these days of confusion and opposition.

As Satan and his emissaries work to tear down the family, many people are losing sight of the joys and blessings a strong and loving family can offer. In this gathering gloom, the teachings and ordinances of the restored gospel shine as a unique beacon of hope.

How? Begin with prayer.  Heavenly Father is ever present and ready to help and guide us in all our acts in life.  We need but to ask.  He knows the answers.  He wants us to succeed.  He doesn’t hide from us.  He has given us many good and wonderful resources to live successful lives and complete our missions in life!

What more exciting news could there be?  And as we try, even in our sometimes feeble and unsure ways, to help and bless our families, our loving God will be there to bless and magnify our efforts.  We do not always realize the difference we make in someone else’s life.  How an encouraging word can change give hope to a waning soul.  That an act of kindness can brighten someone’s day.  Even a smile can show the other person that they are noticed and worth one small moment of your time.

May you watch and pray for ways to strengthen your family and loved ones.  Please share what things bring them the most stability, guidance, closeness, and love!

 

Eventful Days


English: Statue representing Peter, James, and...

English: Statue representing Peter, James, and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These last couple days have been quite eventful.

Yesterday morning hubby was feeling the effects of being out 2 hours the day before.  So we had a slow morning getting ready for the day. I was fasting for a child who has seizures a couple times a day – despite all of the medical attempts at getting them to stop.  He’s getting ready for the final step.  Since I found out about him my heart has gone out to him and his loved ones.  I’ve been praying for them, and for his medical team.  So I added fasting to my prayers to invoke greater blessings from our loving Father in Heaven.

And, as I said, things were going a bit slowly.  We got done what we needed to, and it made me about 1/2 hour late for church.  I debated skipping sacrament meeting altogether, staying home a little longer, and just going for Primary.  But I decided to go ahead and go and either slip in late for the meeting, or play some songs on the piano in the Primary room until the kids came.

After I parked and started walking to the building, I suddenly remembered that I had been asked, 2 weeks ago, to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting!  Oh my.  Well, I knew then where I was going.  I slipped into an empty seat on the back row so as not to cause any commotion going to our usual spot up on the 2nd row.  As the member of the bishopric who was conducting was announcing the closing song and prayer, I was watching him intently.  He was looking around, unsure about saying who was giving the closing prayer.  I guess he didn’t see me come in.  I found myself raising my hand, but he still didn’t notice.  Then I started waving my hand trying to catch his attention.  Luckily, being on the back row I don’t think too many people noticed what I was doing (this is not normal “church” behavior – well, except maybe for the toddlers).  He finally saw me and announced that I’d given him a fright as I was not sitting in my usual spot, and that I was giving the closing prayer.

After church I went home to collect hubby and go to the ward where our new little granddaughter would be given a name and a blessing.  It does a woman proud to witness such special times as this.  Our son took his new little daughter to the front of the chapel.  He was joined by a few men, family and friends who also hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Our son held his daughter and the others stood in a little circle around her placing their right hands under his and their left hands on the shoulder of the man next to him.  Our son then said a prayer, giving her her name and then pronouncing a blessing upon her.

It was such a beautiful moment!  In the circle were my husband, and another son.  This is part of the joy of the true gospel as found in true church!  This is part of the weaving of families together, tying them closer to each other.  It is wonderful to know that children are born innocent and without sin.  They have no need of baptism.  They are baptized at 8 years of age, when they have reached the age of accountability and know right from wrong.  And best of all, to know what happens to children who die before the age of 8: “And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven” (Doctrine and Covenants 137:10).  What a glorious message that is!  And exactly the type of thing you expect from an all-powerful God who loves all of His children!

It was a beautiful and moving service.

Then on to our house to visit and eat.  Children playing together, and learning to get along.  Adults enjoying each others’ company, catching up on our lives, sharing ideas and food.  Poor hubby swallowing wrong or something, and coughing up a storm!  He finally recovered.

Or so we thought.  He had pain on his inside thigh.  Later after taking his night pills and an extra pain pill, the torturous pain was still there, and he could hardly stand up or sit down.  As it looked like we would be making yet another run to the local ED (emergency department), I started worrying about spending all night there, having to take time off work to recover or to be there with him, wondering why these things always happen at night or on weekends, and getting a bit cranky…

Then I realized he certainly can’t help what happened, and there have been many times that we’ve done this type of thing (and survived it), and that I should be looking at it from his side rather than worrying about myself.  So I calmed down, and we went to the hospital.

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital is a great place.  Things actually moved along at a decent clip, considering we were in an ED.  The doctor who came in remembered hubby from previously!  As he walked in, he asked if we were there for pneumonia again.  We explained why we were there this time.  He ran some test to discover the problem, but it didn’t seem to be a rupture as we’d suspected.  Then he said that hubby’s history is that when he comes to the hospital he is usually admitted.  Therefore, he didn’t want to miss something.  And he ordered additional tests.

Finally he had a pretty good idea what was going on and that some anti-inflammatories and time would help it heal.  He did want to keep hubby there for observation to be sure, and to run a couple more tests.

After getting hubby settled in his room, I left…about 6am.  Heavenly Father was definitely helping me as I drove home.  I went straight to bed and slept a few hours.

It’s a snowy day, so it was a good day to take off work.  I called the family to fill them in, visited with a couple via long-distance, took some time to have a good talk with Heavenly Father, decided it was a good day to bake, so found my wheat grinder and got some of my wheat from my food storage in the basement, ground it into wheat flour, and made a couple loaves of homemade bread!

It has been an eventful couple of days.  And how glad I am to have a kind, loving Father in Heaven Who goes through it all with me – the good and the bad – and rejoices, or mourns, with me.  I am truly blessed to know Him and for inviting Him into my life.  🙂

Kite Festival


Flying Kites at Cesar Chavez Park.

Flying Kites at Cesar Chavez Park. (Photo credit: adhocbot)

 

It started out as a typical Saturday.

 

Sleep in, exercise, a bit of yardwork, breakfast.

 

Then getting to work in the home office to continue the relentless battle against paperwork.  In this ongoing, no-end-in-sight, endless conflict there is unfortunately, often no clear victor.  At times we seem to be gaining.  Next thing you know, it has the upper hand multiplying as though there were no tomorrow!

 

We were determined to get ahead this time…and then the phone rang.

 

An invitation to enjoy the local kite festival.  It’s just down the street.  It’ll be a welcome diversion.  Cars are parked all over the neighborhood a good mile in almost any direction.  Too bad the city did away with half the parking when they improved the park a couple years ago.  😦

 

So we went on foot.  It was a beautiful day, a tiny bit cool, cloudy, and windy.  Perfect kite-flying weather!

 

As we got closer we could see a myriad of kites in all shapes, sizes, and colors flying in the sky with colorful tales waving in the breeze behind them.  It was a beautiful sight!  Next into our view came the picturesque inflatable bounce houses, then the vendor tents, and finally the crowds of families all there to enjoy the festivities and camaraderie.

 

There were kite-flying contests, booths, a live band, police vehicles, fire fighting equipment, and art projects.  And for a fee you could face paint, have your caricature drawn, walk inside a giant ball, ride the little train, even climb a rock wall.  Not to mention all the various foods for sale.

 

After walking around for over an hour, I was ready for a break.  I found an open space on the grass and let my companions go on without me.  I sat and enjoyed looking at the various types of kites in the sky, and the various children and adults flying them.  A couple times I witnessed someone having difficulty getting a kite airborne and someone stopping to help.  It was great.  The music was toe-tapping and the whole thing was filled with an air of friendliness and fun.

 

What a great, and out-of-the-ordinary, day!  🙂

 

 

LDS General Conference 4/2013


English: The perform in the during General Con...

English: The perform in the during General Conference of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Did you catch any of the LDS General Conference over the weekend?  It was absolutely inspiring!

 

You can watch it, or any part of it, at http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/04?lang=eng.  I hear they’re setting up a site where you can catch any of the past General Conferences: gc.lds.org.

 

Meanwhile, maybe we can discuss some of the talks that were given.

 

The music was also wonderful.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang for 3 of the sessions.  They always do such a heartfelt and touching performance.  Students from BYU sang at the other general session.  They were wonderful as well.

 

At the close of conference, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang, “Come, Come Ye Saints“:

 

“Come, come ye saints, no toil nor labor fear

 

but with joy wend your way.

 

‘tho hard to you this journey may appear,

 

grace shall be as your day.

 

’tis better far for us to strive

 

our useless cares from us to drive.

 

Do this and joy, your hearts will swell,

 

All is well.  All is well.”

 

Words to live by.  🙂

 

 

Receive Comfort, Hope, and Inspiration!


English: The in the Conference Center, during ...

 

English: Thomas S. Monson. Photo by Brian Tibb...

English: Thomas S. Monson. Photo by Brian Tibbets (tibbets.org) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This is a very special weekend!  And you can participate in it.  You can receive comfort, hope, and inspiration!

 

Does that intrigue you?

 

Who wouldn’t like to receive these things?

 

This weekend you have the opportunity to hear from the living prophet and apostles!  Just as Jesus Christ organized His church with prophets and apostles, He has restored His church and given us prophets and apostles to lead us in our day.  The name of His church is  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and He is at its head.

 

He leads this church.  He directs the affairs of this church.  He speaks to us through His prophet, apostles, and other church leaders.  But He also speaks to us directly, in our minds and in our hearts.  This is personal revelation and anyone who desires it may ask for it.  You have probably heard and felt His presence in your life.

 

To be a part of this wonderful, spiritual feast, you can tune in to KBYU on TV, or go to http://www.lds.org and look for General Conference.  Don’t worry, you can’t miss it.  They’ve already got it set up so it’s the main link on the page.

 

Conference is broadcast on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 10:00am-12:00pm MDT and from 2:00pm-4:00pm MDT, and on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at the same times.  These are not repeats of the same conference, but several sessions of the same conference.  Each will have several inspired speakers from among the church leadership, including President Thomas S. Monson, our beloved prophet.

 

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will also be singing during the conferences.  And the Saturday afternoon session usually features a guest choir made up of children, youth, missionaries, or members from the Salt Lake City area.

 

Please, come and feast upon the word of God.  Feel His spirit bring you comfort, hope, and inspiration.  It will be worth any time you choose to give it!

 

Let me know what you think and feel when you participate in this very special event.  🙂