"Oh remember, remember . . . I urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God's kindness."

President Henry B. Eyring

Friday, November 28, 2008

So Thankful!

What a funny Thanksgiving we had this year. So different! I told Ron that this is one we will remember because: tragedy plus time = humor! We didn't have a real tragedy so the day became something to laugh about as it unfolded.

Kids, as you know your Dad is a good sport! All I can say is it's a good thing that Kristi made him such a lovely turkey dinner when he was with her and Julie last month. He kept saying, "It's okay, I had a great turkey meal a few weeks ago!" Thanks, Kristi! And, thanks Jules for the "turkey a-la-king" you made your Dad before he left!

Now, about Thanksgiving: All of our children had dinner at the in-laws this year, so that left Ron and I. I have fed the five-thousand for 36 years (which I love and look forward to many times more) but I decided it was time for a year off, so we planned to go out to dinner and a movie. The movie we wanted to see wasn't there. (We didn't check, we just assumed!) So we saw "The Boy In Stipped Pajamas" which was really well done, but a little sobering and sad for Thanksgiving Day. Okay! So, it was then on to dinner. Except we didn't even think that almost EVERY restaurant in town was closed --- even the fast food! After driving around forever we found one open with a line longer than you could believe. So instead we found a Smith's open, and we figured we'd get something from the deli. Could you believe it was closed? I was grateful though that the workers were home and didn't have to work.

Well, we bought a store brand pizza, brought it home, and baked it (it was the WORST pizza I have eaten in a long time!) I think the taste was even worse than the heartburn it gave me afterward! Then, it was off to a viewing. That's right, a friend of ours died and the family had the viewing on Thanksgiving!

Sometimes you just have to laugh! The evening ended early because we had the temple this morning. We get up at 3:45 a.m. so we try to get a really early night! Before bed we had pumpkin pie (I made some the day before) so the day wasn't a complete loss! Ron really enjoyed his, but after the pizza pie my stomach was rolling a bit. It was a good thing we'd had it earlier for lunch. It was great then.

And I'm still thankful! I'm so thankful that I have my sweetheart to share such a day with! A man who never complains about the food I serve, and can laugh when things don't go as planned! All in all it was a great day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remote Control

1955: Roylance in the kitchen, "Fraaank . . . will you please turn down that television!"

"Ronald, go turn down the t.v. . . . no, no not the channel! Who threw the pass? Channel son . . . turn the channel back to 5! That's it boy, now turn it up just a little that's it . . . no, no not that way!"

Now you know why your Dad is so phobic about technology. In 1955 he was the technology!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hoorah For Zion!

It was a wonderful Sabbath day. The one day a month that I teach are usually like this but today was especially so. I love teaching because it gives me the opportunity to bear my testimony and feel the spirit. It reminds me of how much I love Heavenly Father and reminds me of the hope of the gospel through Christ! It reminds me of how much I love my family and how much happiness I desire for them all!

All of the opposition the church has been experiencing over Proposition 8 has made me nervous and sad. Ron and I listen each Sunday night to the special on channel 14, on the Joseph Smith papers. It is a research project undertaken by scholars at BYU to read and publish all of the papers written by and about Joseph Smith. They are learning new things and it is wonderful to follow each week. Tonight's segment was about the legal premises for which Joseph Smith and the other leaders were imprisoned in liberty jail in Missouri. Attorneys went over every bit of recorded evidence and procedure and it was awful at how trumped up and really illegal everything was. It scared me that this kind of misinformation and bigotry could happen again today. Then, they always air last weeks segment (which we missed) and it was on the twelve apostles missions to England. One of the Pratt brothers was the most educated and was sent to a university city in England (I forget where, I forget so many things lately that it scares me, but all my friends do too, so that is somewhat comforting.) Anyway as he was presenting his message the scholars were polite and interested in a new idea, but not to the extent of becoming converted. He wrote that he wished he was experiencing more opposition like the other brethren were who were baptizing hundreds, so it could stir more interest. Well, his wish was granted and because of the opposition several hundred were baptised.

That gave me comfort and made me remember the temple in Denver. After all of the publicity and opposition more than 100 thousand attended the open house because of curiosity and so many baptisms resulted! It got me thinking about all this negative publicity the church has been receiving and then I thought of all the good Americans out there who know Mormons as neighbors and co-workers and friends. Most people are decent and good. They will see the reality of the vicious attacks as opposed to the good people they know and it will spark their curiosity. You know, I really believe that it will be these kinds of things that will cause the honest in heart to seek for the Lord! Life is good! The gospel is true! The Lord is in charge! Good will prevail! I feel like shouting as Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball did as they rose off their sick beds to wave goodbye to their families and shouted "Hoorah for Zion! Hoorah for Zion!"

I think that is really what Ron, Aubrie and Julie were doing at the Rocky statue in Philadelphia weren't you guys?

Hoorah for Zion!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Law of Life

My nephew wrote a wonderful tribute to a scout leader who influenced his and many other lives for good. He included this poem which his leader shared with the boys at one of their campouts. I hope Jeff doesn't mind if I pass this on because I have always loved that poem and it has often given me strength.

Jeff said, "Near the camp there was a large open field which we called Bristlecone flat because at the upper end of the field there was a very large Bristlecone pine tree. Bristlecone pine trees are very interesting and beautiful trees. They are the oldest known living organism (thousands of years old in some cases). The interesting thing about these trees is that they typically grow in very rocky regions near windswept ridges, at the timberline. In this very harsh environment they grow very slowly, but are very resistant to bugs and other things that kill trees. I'm not sure how old the tee at bristlecone flat is, but half of it is dead and has been burned. It looks like its been through hell, but it is really a majestic tree. I've always remembered a poem that Mike shared at one such fireside:"

The Law of Life

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
That stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king,
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
Who never had to win his share
Of sun sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man,
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease.
The stronger wind, the tougher trees,
The farther sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength,
By sun and cold, by rain and snows,
In tree or man, good timber grows.

-Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Reflection

My thoughts on this historic election. I think it's wonderful that a Black American has been elected. I think it's wonderful that old prejudices are melting away. I remember when we heard the news that all worthy males could hold the priesthood! What a happy wonderful day that was. I ran across an old diary I had kept. (I've not been the most consistent journal keeper.) After hearing a speaker, the summer just after high school while I lived in California in 1968, I came home and wrote that I felt the blacks would receive the priesthood soon. Ten years later they did, and it was a wonderful day!

Now I'm happy that prejudices are melting, but I am also sad. I'm sad that this historic first is shadowed by President Elect Obama's frightening ideology and association with radical people. I'm worried about the direction in which he wants to take our country. I also feel sad for all the black people, and young people celebrating today who do not understand the true providential history of this nation. I'm sad that his promises of "saving everyone" sounds so like the adversaries plan in pre-existence. I pray that President Elect Obama is really just a sincere young man who does love this country, and is not just a young man hiding his radical motives simply to get elected and then impose them on innocent and trusting people. I will pray for him, and for our nation, and for the wonderful people with whom we all share this great land of promise!

May God Continue To Bless America!