Monday, November 30, 2009

The Sacrament

Pres. McKay – Talking about the sacrament in Gospel Ideals – "We must come to a “true sole acknowledgement of its Deep Spiritual Significance."

Christ took the twelve apostles into a special guest house and celebrated with them, for the last time the Feast of the Passover. Then, with the twelve still there, he instituted the sacrament.

Matt. 26:36-40
Christ took only the three members of the First Presidency, Peter James and John, with him to Gethsemane and asked them to stay and watch for him. He had something very special that he wanted to share with those three leaders of His Church only. He wanted them to witness one of the most important events in the history of the earth, something he had just explained to the twelve just minutes earlier. He was replacing the law of sacrifice with the sacrament. Christ wanted them see the reason for the change and the fulfillment of the old law of sacrifice. He wanted them to witness the atonement. But they fell asleep. When He found them sleeping he asked them, “Could you not watch with me one hour? How would that make you feel if you were one of them?

Apply that question to yourself. Could you not watch (stay awake) with me one hour? (15 minutes while the sacrament is administered so the atonement can take effect in your life?) This is a one on one “spiritual experience”.

We can see and hear Christ every Sunday. Our sins are remitted every Sunday, cleansed by the sacrament, if we have repented and come prepared. We come to know the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and how much they love us and care for us.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving was great. We went to Tiff and Mike's. Tiff had a yummy meal prepared for us. There were only eight of us there. Tiff, Mike, Carter, Mikes parents, McKay, DeAnne and I. We had a great meal, fabulous deserts, a chance to talk, watched a little football and played catch with Carter, with his football. He is getting pretty good!

Then some of them played Guitar Hero. I also had the chance to walk outside and listen to how quiet it is out there in Eagle Mountain. It is amazing. I love the sound of silence. I am thankful for being able to appreciate the way it energizes me. It let's me reflect and ponder the things that are important. I am so thankful for our family and for the chance to see how you all parent your children. You all have a special talent and understanding for how to teach your children. I am impressed will the way you all do it! Don't ever stop parenting.

Tiff also sent us home with leftovers, which we enjoyed all weekend. Thank you Tiff, Mike and Carter for a great Thanksgiving!

We stopped on our way home and visited Mom. She was quite confused and it was not a great visit, but it was time well spent.

We love you all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Five Things (Tagged)

Emity tagged me and I'm not sure how to get the form, or even if there is one, but I will do what I can do.

Five Things I don't leave the House without

Eye glasses
Driver’s license
My black binder and my Mom’s Checkbook
Morning Prayer

Five Cartoons I watched when I was Younger

Woody Woodpecker. (He had lots of red hair.)
Chip & Dale (the Cute little chipmunks, just to clarify.)
The Huckleberry Hound carton show with Yogi Bear.
Mr. MaGoo (He was a blind as a bat, but everything worked out for him.)
The Road Runner (He always out foxed the fox)

Five Things That Terrify Me

The thought of something happening to DeAnne.
The thought of loosing my scriptures.
Male in-laws on my side of the family.

Five Things I hate/dislike that everyone else seems to like.

Brownies (I know. . ., but give me cheesecake or give me death)
Pasta without any meat
Cottage cheese in Jell-o
Gummy Bears or worms
Orchestra Music

Five Things I want to do before I Die

I would like to have seen Alaska.
Take DeAnne to upstate New York and Kirtland on a church history tour.
Be watching conference when the prophet announces the building of the Temple in Jackson County.
See Elder Bednar and Elder Holland called to Jerusalem to help the Jews build their Temple in Jerusalem, testify of Christ, and act as the two powerful prophets that John saw.
See McKay get married! (In the Temple of course.)

Five People I tag

The Cat
Christ (Wouldn’t that be interesting?)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mom Update Oct 28th

I visited Mom tonight and she is drastically better. She is much better than yesterday. She is alert, won't stop talking and asking questions and she is eating again. So the roller-coaster ride continues!

We are not sure what that means for her longevity, but she is back for now.

Update on Mom's Latest Adventure

Hi family, I just need to bring those interested in Mom’s health, up to date. Last Friday night, Mom tried to get out of her wheel chair and took a spill. The concrete floor was not at all flexible or forgiving. Mom fell on her arm, head and face. She broke her right wrist; this is the opposite one she broke back in May.

She put a large, deep cut on top her nose bruised her cheek bone, got two black eyes and put a bump on her forehead about 4 inches wide, 4 inches long, and about 3 inches in height. We put cool packs on her forehead and got most of the swelling down. They glued and taped the cut on her nose. She has a splint for her wrist.

She looks like she ran face first into one of the Mammoth Elk we saw in Yellowstone.

She has a lot of color on her face; almost like a rainbow, her face has white, yellow, green, red, purple, blue and black. Be prepared for that if you go see her.

Yesterday, at about noon, she became totally unresponsive to everyone and everything. The doctor came in checked her out again and said she either has blood on her brain or had a stroke. I saw her at about 3 o’clock yesterday and she did start responding to people by about 4 P.M. But she would say just a few words and then fade back to sleep. All of her children and spouses visited her yesterday except Barry.

Mom has lost 14 pounds and doesn’t want anything to eat. She will only accept small sips of water. In her papers it is her desire not to use any feeding tubes.

Any way the doctor said her body was now in shut-down mode and in his professional opinion, she would be gone in 48 hours, unless something drastically changes in her condition.

I just want those who read this blog (Family) to be aware of her condition and make your plans accordingly. If you want to stop by and see her, keep your visit quite and short.

Pray for the angles to come quickly for her, that she may be released from the pains of her battered body and from the confines of her troubled mind.

Life is not about quantity, but quality.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yellowstone with the Shipley's

Bear World with the Shipley’s
We met the Shipley's at Bear World and had a great time there. The feeding truck was half price that day so we splurged and we all got to go on the truck to feed the bears. I have included a couple picture we took from the truck. We also went to the petting zoo.

Shelby feeding the deer the shirt off her back - - - Sarah deciding how much to feed the goat

The Bear Cubs playing together The three bears + one from the feeding truck

Wolves from the feeding truck
The quote of the day came from Sarah when we were all done at Bear World. She said, "This is the best day of my life!" I agree Sarah. We sure had a good time with the Shipley's.

Now some pictures we took with the Shipley’s in Yellowstone Park

Bald Eagle in the very top of the tree Elk near Madison Junction

Emerald Hot Pool It looks like gold leaf to me.

Geysers Fire Hole Falls

Give me home where the Buffalo roam. Muskrat, fish and ducks at Big Springs

Shelby and Sarah and Elk at Mammoth Elk at Mammoth

Lions or Cougars? The Moose we saw before they got there.
The girls were so good to us and to each other. It was a great vacation. A great way to spend time with our children and grandchilden and share some of nature together.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2nd try at Yellowstone Pictures

Big Springs

We are having a great time at our Condo in Island Park. These are some of the pictures we took on
The gang at Big Springs

Jared and the kids at Big Springs.

Hang in there Bradley!

Elk near Madison Junction

Old Faithful

Deanne and the girls at Kepler Cascades

Fire between West Thumb and Fishing Bridge

Bison north of Canyon Village

DeAnne and the girls at Mammoth

Bull Elk at Mammoth

Elk at Mamoth – Jared and Liz’s car in the forground.

Shortly after Jared, Liz, Madeline, Rylie and Bradley left us to return to Salt Lake, McKay and I found a couple of Moose. The Bull Moose was so accommodating. He agreed to put on a show and do some imitations of other animals.

This is Mr. Moose as a Moose.

This is Mr. Moose as an Anteater.

This is the Moose Office with their Cubicles.

This is Mr. Moose sucking up to his boss.

This is Mr. Moose imitating a coyote

This is Mr. Moose as an Elk.

Mr. Moose is imitating a Bison.

This is Mr. Moose imitating a Wolf.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marching the Fruit into the Storage Cellar

Marching the Fruit into the Storage Cellar
There was also a cellar under a portion of our kitchen. For many years the only way to get to it was through a trap door that had to be lifted up every time we needed to get into the cellar. The door to the cellar was on the floor, by the wall on the west side of the kitchen. The trap door was about three feet wide and six feet long. It had a strap so that you could grab it and lift up the door. You always had to be careful when you closed the door so the strap would be on top of the floor and stick out so you could grab the strap the next time you needed to get into the cellar. There was a set of wooden stairs that went down into the cellar where Mom stored the fruits and vegetables she had bottled from our garden. I remember “marching “the fruit and vegetable bottles down the wooden steps with Kyle.

Let me explain what I mean by “Marching” the fruit down to the cellar. After Mom had bottled the fruit or vegetables and they had cooled down so we could handle them. Kyle and I would be asked to take the fruit or veggies, down stairs to the cellar. This was great fun for us! We would get Mom to open the cellar door, then take three or four bottles over to the top stair and set them there. Then we would “March” those three of four bottles down to the second stair, get up, go over to the counter or table and get another three or four bottles and put them on the top stair. Now the fun would begin. We would go down to the fourth step, “March” the bottles that were on the second step, down to her third step, “March” the bottles that were on the first step down to the second step and then go to the counter and get the next three or four bottles and the process would continue. Can you see where this is going? By the time we got all 12 or so steps full, it was time to take the bottles off the bottom step and place them on the shelf in the cellar. This was when the fun really reached its’ climax. Then we would march all of the other bottles down one step at a time until we got to the top step and them go get the next three or four bottles. It was an all afternoon job! But we made it fun by “Marching” the bottles. It taught us patience, and tried the patience of Mother. Sometimes Mom would say, “No marching today. Just get it downstairs!" We hated it when that happened. That spoiled all of our fun! Looking back, I don’t know how she put up with it. Maybe she was glad just to keep us busy so she knew where we were.

It was quite a bit cooler down there in the cellar. I believe it had a dirt floor and even some of the walls were dirt. Later on, I remember Dad boarded up the trap door in the kitchen and built a cement stairway outside on the back of the house that went down to the cellar. It had a regular door with a regular door handle, but no lock.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Cardboard Wall Bedroom

The Cardboard Wall Bedroom

For a couple of winters we slept in a shanty that Dad had built on the back of the house. It had only one wooden screen door with a spring that would bang the door shut. At night we would put a blanket over the screen door to help keep it a little warmer inside. The bedroom was framed with 2X2 lumber, and the walls were made of cardboard. It had a dirt floor with straw covering the dirt. It was big enough that we could all sleep in it. We would sleep on the floor with a blanket under us and lots of blankets on top of us.

I remember when it got really cold in the winter Mom would put so many blankets on top of us that weight became so heavy we could not even roll over. I learned to get my head under the covers so my ears and nose wouldn’t freeze. I would snuggle down under the blankets and then form a small “blanket tunnel” from my mouth to the outside so I could breathe fresh air. Sometimes when we woke up in the morning there would be frost in that tunnel and on top of the blankets.

We would wake up in the mornings to sub-zero temperatures. Dad would almost always be the first to get up. He would go into the house and start a fire in the wood burning stove in the kitchen and then come to get us up. We would get up, jump out of bed, grab a blanket to throw over our shoulders, (it was so cold in there), put on our shoes, run for the screen door of the cardboard bedroom, open it to go outside, run up a step or two, (about 10 feet away) open the door to the house and run into the kitchen. We would sit on a chair next to the stove with a blanket over us until the house heated up enough to get us warm. We generally had a warm dish of oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast in the winter time. The cardboard bedroom stayed up until after the house was remodeled.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quote of the week!

We went down to Price this week to bless the newest grandchild. While there, DeAnne and I were talking to Carter. After running all over the church lawn for several minutes,he came running to our car DeAnne told Carter he was a really fast runner. Carter's reply was, "I like to run fast, but sometimes when I run fast it makes my tongue hurt!" Oh Carter, you are a funny boy and we love ya!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Attic Bedroom and the Trains

The Attic Bedroom and the Trains

There was an attic in our Rexburg house that could only be accessed by a ladder from outside the house. The door into the attic was only about three or four feet tall and two or three feet wide. The attic was usually filled with old relics and junk, but as we grew older it was cleared out enough to put a bed up in the attic so that at least Jay and I could sleep up there. We used it for sleeping only when the weather was cold or rainy and we were not able to sleep out under the stars. At night, we would put on our pajamas to get ready for bed, and then put on our shoes so we could go outside in the dirt and climb up the ladder to get to our bed. In the winter, we would also put on a coat to make the trip outside and up the ladder, because it was often well below zero in Rexburg.

I remember sleeping up in the attic one night with Jay in the fall. Jay woke me up at two or three in the morning. At any rate I know it was in the middle of the night and still dark. He had me come over to the attic door and look out. The railroad line ran on the back of our property about 500 feet or so to the west of our house. That night Jay woke me up to show me the first diesel powered train engine I had ever seen in my life. It was like one of the wonders of the world!
All the trains I had seen up to that time in my life, were those old steam engine type trains that made a lot more noise and filled air with smoke as they passed by our home. Our family was use to the rumbling and whistles of the trains at night, but any visitors at our house would be awakened by the rumbling of the trains. Many of our visitors would tell us the next morning that they were sure the train was going to come right through the middle of our house and kill us all. I thought, “How silly you people are, don’t you know trains have to stay on the tracks?”

Sleeping Out Under the Stars
We would sleep out under the stars for most of the summer. I loved looking up at the sky, filled with so many bright stars. The “Milky Way” was always visible, and it actually did look like milk. If I could just grab hold of the Big Dipper, I would be able to dip out a nice cold drink of fresh milk.

When there was no moon, the Milky Way was so wide it would fill almost a quarter of the sky. I also loved to fall asleep watching for falling or shooting stars. We were told if we saw a falling star, we could make a wish and the wish would come true. I remember wishing I had a hundred dollars to give to Mom and Dad so they wouldn’t have to work any more. Then we could spend all our time in the mountains and not just the weekends.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Rexburg Homestead - Part one

Our House

The first memories of life that I have are of the two-room log cabin we lived in. The outside walls of our house were made of actual logs with stucco inserted where the logs met to cover up the cracks. One room was the kitchen with a big wood burning stove and a sink with no running hot water. Dad had somehow hooked up the sink with a hand pump so that we could get cold water at the sink. The other room was the living room with a few pieces of furniture, which included the hide-a-way bed/couch. The bathroom was an “Outhouse” located about 150 feet in back of our house. We had no hot running water, just cold water that we could pump out into the sink. Mom had a teapot that she put on the stove to heat water for breakfast and other meals. All the cooking was done on the wood-burning stove. The woodpile was in the back yard by an old wooden shed. It was the boy’s job to go out and get wood from the woodpile and keep the wood box in the kitchen full of wood for Mom. I always felt quite comfortable and safe in our home.

Bath Nights

Saturday night was bath night. In the summer we would go swimming in the irrigation canal. The canal water was clear water that came from the Teton River. That served as out bath in the summertime. In the winter, we all had to have a bath once a week, whether we needed it or not…. Mom had a big metal, five-gallon milk bucket that she would fill with the cold water from the pump at the sink. She would then place it on the wood-burning stove and heat it up until it got close to boiling. Then she would dump it into the tub with a bucket or two of cold water so we could have our baths. We had a round, galvanized tub, about 3 feet in diameter and maybe 18 inches tall at most. Leesa was always first and then the three of us boys, one at a time, would take our turn in the same bath water. By the time the last boy took his bath, the water was pretty dirty and soapy, but at least it was still wet.

Latter on, I remember we got a big long galvanized tub. It must have been five or six feet long, about 18 inches wide and 2 feet deep. That was “Dads” tub and we were never allowed to use it because it took more time to heat the water and fill it up. We all had to be in bed before Dad took his bath. I never thought about it as a kid, but when did Mom take her bath? I’m sure it was “after” Dad….They would attach a garden hose to the bottom of the tub, and put the other end of the hose outside to drain the tub.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tiff is back and cancer free!

We were so thrilled with the news that Tiffanie is cancer free and everything is still functional. We couldn't have asked for any better news. Those prayers of her family, nieces and nephews, and having Shanna put her name in the temple produced the miracle we were hoping for. We visited Tiff last night and she is doing well. Quite sore, after all the surgery and moving things back to where they are supposed to be, but she is up moving a little bit. Take it easy for a while Tiff! We are ecstatic about the outcome and your good news.

Love ya,

Mom and Dad

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More History, First Memories

I was born in a Mid-wife’s Home with several other newly born babies, but I was the only boy and the nurses all thought I was the cutest. I know… weird right? Mom said I was covered with baby hair that looked like “fur”, all over my body.

First Memories

My Father tells the story of how I would stand up big and tall in his hand, before I learned to walk. This is actually not my memory, but a story my Dad tells to this day. (22 July 2008).

I remember bouncing in a “Baby Swing” at Grandma and Grandpa Muir’s. They had a small swing seat made of cloth with four long straps attached at the corners of the seat. All four straps would attach to one main spring, which in turn was attached to a hook that was screwed into the top of the doorway between their kitchen and living room. I remember loving to jump in that thing because it bounced me quite high. I would bounce and bounce until I wore myself out and fell asleep. Which I have now, in my old age and my greater wisdom determined, was the purpose of the swing for my parents and grandparents.

I also remember we had a rocker in the house that looked like a couple of white ducks. One duck on either side, nailed together with a seat in between, so you could sit in it and rock. The seat was wide enough that two young children could get in at the same time. Up front, it had a wooden handle to hold on to and another wooden bar that you put your feet on to help get it rocking. The handle went from one of the duck heads to the duck head on the other side. I think Mom said one of her brothers made it, either Elmo or Merlin. I loved getting in it and rocking as hard and fast I could. It was almost impossible to tip over, either frontward or backwards. But if it did it would just stop on the duck beaks in front, or on the ducks tail feathers in the back. It is still in Mom’s basement.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Just an Observation

I think it is interesting that if someone trains dogs to fight, that trainer must be very secretive about what he is doing. If the law finds out, that person is subject to heavy fines and can be put into prison for several years.

On the other hand, if someone trains humans to fight, that trainer can advertise the fight on the radio, television and anywhere else he wants, and even sale tickets to the fights. He can make a fortune and continue training people to fight, without fearing the law.

Are we no better than dogs?

I’m just saying…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Isaiah 28:21 -- Strange?

Isaiah 28:21
For the Lord (in the last days) shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he (the Lord) shall be wroth (angry) as in the valley of Gibeon, that he (the Lord) may do his work, his strange work; (Temple work) and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (The restoration of the gospel)

Isn’t Mormonism strange? Aren’t the restoration and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon strange? Isn’t it strange that God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ would show themselves to a 14 year old boy by the name of Joseph Smith, in the spring of 1820? He didn’t even belong to a church!

Isn’t it strange that that same boy would latter claim to have been visited by an Angel named Moroni, in Joseph’s own bedroom at the age of 17? The Angel Moroni told Joseph that in Moroni’s life, he was a prophet to a group of people who lived on the American Continent and that his people worshiped and saw Christ after Christ’s resurrection. Moroni told Joseph he had a record of some of God’s people, and that it covered more than 2,000 thousand years. Isn’t that strange?

Isn’t it strange that Moroni waited 4 years, until Joseph was 21, before he gave that record to Joseph? Isn’t it strange that Moroni’s record was written on gold plates, in a language that no one knew? Why would the angel Moroni give that record to Joseph, who had no formal education and tell him to translate it?

Isn’t it strange the way Joseph tells us how he translated this record, with a breastplate and something called the Urim and Thummim? That he read, translated and dictated it to someone who was required to stand on the other side of a curtain who wrote it all down as Joseph dictated it seems strange. Isn’t it strange that the Book of Mormon has sold more copies in this world than any other book except the Bible? Who would believe all that? I do!

Talk about strange acts, isn’t it strange that Joseph Smith says he saw John the Baptist on May 15th, 1829, and that John gave him keys and restored the Aaronic Priesthood to the world? Shortly thereafter, Joseph claims that Peter, James and John the Beloved, restored the Melchizedek Priesthood and gave him move keys, so Joseph could confer the priesthood on others. How strange is that?

Joseph also said the Lord commanded him to build a temple, which he and his believers did build in Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph says on April 3rd, 1836, while he and his friend, Oliver Cowdery, were in that temple they were visited by Jesus Christ, Moses, Elias, and Elijah, giving them more keys and the “Fullness of the Priesthood”. Isn’t that strange? Do you believe all that? I do.

Isn’t the one-piece garment strange, not to mention the long legged and long armed ones? Isn’t Temple work strange? People go into the temple to worship God and do ordinances for themselves and for their kindred dead. Isn’t that strange?

The world wonders what Mormons do in the temple. People going into the temple have their suitcases and you might think they are going to be staying overnight, but before long you see them come out of the temple with the same suitcase. Isn’t that strange? Some surmise that the suitcase is used to carry out their endowment! Isn’t Mormonism strange? Who believes all that? I do! And I testify to the world that it is all true!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day and Family

I talked to Jared and Liz on Thursday night, and of course, we talked about Mom. I told Jared how I struggle seeing Mom in such a sad and depressed state. I need to figure out the lesson I am suppose to learn from this experience with Mom right now. Jared is wise beyond his years. He said he thought the lesson might not have to do so much with what Mom need to learn, but with what we have to learn by to seeing Mom this way. There is some eternal principle we need to learn that will help us when become gods.

What am I learning from this stage of Mom’s life? Compassion, charity and love, just as the Savior died for us, He suffered not only for all our sins, but so that He could feel the anguish, sadness, helplessness and discouragement that we will all face in this life. Our Savior grew in experience and compassion by having felt those feelings that we all have while he was living and while he was in the garden. Now I need to share those experiences and feelings that Mom is going through. I hope to learn them now so I won’t need to experience them first hand latter in my life. Thank you Jared and Liz!

(Saturday, June 20th) Tomorrow is Father’s Day. My earthly Father passed away this year on February 24, so I won’t be able to see him for Father’s Day. That makes me sad. I do miss him! Even though I can’t see him, I decided to go to his grave site and talk to him today, because I will be going to Price on Fathers Day to see the love of my life, DeAnne. She has been gone since Wednesday night and I really miss talking to her, seeing her, touching her and holding her.

I took Dad some beautiful flowers from his own yard. His yard is looking very nice this year. I spent about a half hour talking to him and asking him for help. What does he want me to do for Mom? Am I doing the things he wants me to do with his finances? Is he pleased with the things we are doing to take care of Mom? I have often asked my Heavenly Father those same questions. I thought today, “Isn’t it great to be able to talk to both my Heavenly Father and my earthly Father? I know they both hear me.

I felt both of them there at the gravesite and something very special happen to me while I was there. I felt there love, I felt their arms around me and I felt warm inside. What a great feeling! I felt that they were happy with the things I was doing for Mom and the way I was handling Mom and Dad’s finances.

I was reminded that people are more important than money and earthly things, and that the finances were now done and I need to spend less time on finances transfer that time instead to visiting Mom.

Dad told me to go visit Mom and tell her that I had talked to him. So I went from the gravesite directly to visit Mom. She was asleep when I got there. As I entered her room she woke up and we had a good talk. I told her I had been to the gravesite and talked to Dad. Mom and I had a good talk about earthly things and heavenly things. I hope her spirits were lifted by my visit. I enjoyed it.

Lesson to be learned: Talk to your parents and children while you can see them. And while you have them enjoy them and the things they do. Do things together! I have found a new love all my family!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I am starting to write my History!

I am starting to write my History! or Memoirs! Ok, I am now 60 years old, and I am going to try to write my history and few of my memories as best as I can recall them. I know I should have started sooner but I have several good excuses.

1.) There was no way I could write before I went to school.

2). I was way too active and loved being outside exploring and listening to nature.

3.) God, I’m sure, understands. After all, He was like me once. I got these traits from Him as part of my genetics! Besides that, God sent me to this world and gave me to an earthly Mother and Father who taught me to love nature and keep busy.

4.) After I learned to read and write, there was no way I was going to be caught wasting time, writing things down, that I had already done! I could be out making more things happen and enjoying them! My grandson, Carter Bradley Owens, will understand how I feel! (Notice the middle name…the genetic traits has been passed on to him, not only from me but from Tiffanie and Mike, especially Mike. Good luck Tiff and Mike.)

5.) The best excuse I can come up with is that I had to wait until the computer was invented so I could insert things in my history as I remembered them. No way was I going to start over every time I remembered something else, which is what I kept thinking I would have to do if I wrote with a pen or pencil or used a typewriter. I’m sure God let the computer be invented just so busy little boys wouldn’t need to write their history until they became slow old men. God has given me a great job, where I am locked up in an office with time on my hands. Because I am so smart and experienced, I get my job done faster than the younger inexperienced workers. (Please don’t believe that last sentence of my history!)

My employer won’t let me go home, but would rather pay me to stay in the office; just in case a customer needs to be trained on their software and I can’t afford to take the time off. So, I have some time to write my history as time allows and as memories pop into my head. God, being omnipotent, knew all this would happen. He being omnipotent, had the power to make it happen so I could get caught up on this history thing. I love God! He is my Dad! He understands me. And He loves me!

Seriously, it would really suck to be confined to a computer cubical, writing my history in the hereafter, while Christ is organizing His kingdom on earth during the Millennium. I want to be with Him and my family and help him do all that. I want us, as husband and wife and as a family, with vibrant new bodies, to be together discovering all the new places, planets, new scenery, new animals, visitor sites, new technology and new powers in the new Celestial world together. It would, literally be hell to be stuck in an office without windows typing up my history! I would rather do that now as an old man with a worn out body. Thank you Father for providing me a way to get it done now!

Monday, June 1, 2009

So Cool...

We finally have some cool air coming into our Condo. Last Friday, Jared and his friend got a crane and put the new swamp cooler on the roof. Three stories up. Jared and Greg worked for over 6 hours getting it all setup. They had to do a lot of customization to make it fit. We found out there was no water line connection even available for us to connect to. I got to meet the young man on the third floor, (know by Garrett as, “The Rock Star”). I had to climb the stairs three times to ask him to turn the water line on and off so Jared and Greg could install a new water line connection to our new swamp cooler. Three times up to the third floor and this 60 year old man was worn out. Madeline, on the other hand wanted to keep climbing the stairs time and time again. I’m getting old!

Jared and Liz took a video of Jared and Greg tossing the old Swampy off the roof. It was so rusted out it hardly had a leg to stand on. At least two of the legs had been equipped with plastic cup “reinforcements”. Totally amazing!

Anyway, thanks to Jared and Greg we started getting cool air into our condo late on Friday night. I have slept better the last three nights than I have in a long time. I slept for 6 hours straight last night, (Sunday night) which breaks the record I set back in 1889. As an old timer, I remember it well! Thank you Jared!

DeAnne has started wearing her sweaters by day… and her flannel PJ’s and extra blankets by night. (Not really, just joking, but she’s not so convinced of the global warming thing any more!

Now tonight, when I get home, I will get the bill. That won’t feel so good! But we are happy for the cool air.

P.S. Thanks to you who have visited Mom!

P.P.S. We need to have a garage sale to empty out our storage unit sometime in June. Is anybody else interested?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grandma Ward

Just an update for our family.

For those of you who have not heard, Grandma Ward fell down in her kitchen last Saturday morning , May 23rd, and broke her wrist. DeAnne and I spent all day Saturday with here at the hospital. We appreciated Jared coming to her home and getting her swamp cooler up and running for the season, especially since he had his life flash before his eyes with an unexpected scare on the roof and ladder. Thanks Jared! We really, really appreciated you doing that for your Grandmother!

Mom spent all of Saturday in the Pioneer Valley Hospital and then she was moved to the Jordan Valley Hospital Saturday evening. She was thankful for those who visited her while she was there. Madeline, Jared, Liz and Bradley brought her some cheery yellow flowers while she was there. Mom said yellow was her favorite color.

Without the use of her left arm, she is not able to get up or down without assistance, and she cannot control the walker with one hand. We felt the best thing to do would be to send her to a rehab center where they could try to strengthen her arm and legs. We hope she will eat well, do her physical therapy on her arm and legs and get to a point where she can get up and down by herself and be able to walk again.

We moved her to Legacy Rehab center yesterday, (Tuesday). It was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life! She is confused and not very happy right now.

We have tried to spend as much time with her as we possibly could. She really likes to have people visit her and keep her company. She will talk to you almost non-stop. Jared and Liz and family visited her on Tuesday night.

We, along with Mom, would appreciate it very much if any of you could find time to visit her as often as you can. She will be there until her arm heals, which we think will be two or three months. At any rate, she will be there until she can walk by herself and get up and down by herself. There is also the possibility that she may not live that long. So please visit her as often as you can. DeAnne and I will be going to Cedar City and Bryce Canyon for our Anniversary. We need to get away for a few days! We will have the cell phone with us.

We will need someone to check on the cat, just once while we are gone. Any volunteers?

Mom has a private room at Legacy Rehab Center, which is located on the north side of 90th south, less than a block west of the Bangerter Highway. It is straight west of the Jordan Valley Hospital.

We are relieved that Garrett is on the mend and that he no longer has the tube in his side.

We love you all and hope you and your families are all doing well!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Last week at class, Brother Christiansen made a brief statement and then hurried on to other topics. His statement really struck me hard and made me think.

It reminded me of the episode of M.A.S.H., when Hawkeye said, “War isn’t Hell. War is War and Hell is Hell. War is worse than Hell because unlike war, all those who are in Hell made a choice to be there.” Most of those who find themselves in war had no choice.

But I digress. What Brother Christensen said was, “When the world speaks of peace they mean a world without war. When the Latter Day Saints speak of peace we mean a time and place where we can be with God.” I have pondered and thought a lot about that statement and wanted to write down my thoughts before I forget them. Where do I find peace and rest?

Peace is a time and place where I am protected from the devil, hsi angels and his worldly influences. There is an hour of peace and rest when I pray. (Reminds me of the song.) I find peace and rest when I go to church, partake of the sacrament and worship God. I find Peace and rest when I go to the Temple, and when I do enjoyable things with my family. When I visit a new born baby, the elderly, and the sick or take care of the poor.

I find peace and rest when I go to the mountains, ocean, lakes, streams, or places where I am not bombarded with the enticements of Satan. Where there are no magazine racks full of partially clothed people. Where there is love toward people instead of hate, envy or greed. Where Hollywood can't force their values upon me. Where sport figures are not promoting products that are bad for my body and spirit, and where corrupt politicians and corporate executives cannot control my thoughts and my time.

When God rested on the seventh day, I think His rest was being with his children and teaching us about "Things as the really are" in the eternities. I think He talked to us about who we really are. He gave us a Fathers's blessing before we came to this earth. He taught us about spiritual and eternal things. What a sacrament meeting that would have been!

I need to take more time to find and go to more places where I can find peace and rest! Places where I can be close to my Heavenly Father and get to know Him better.

That’s the way I see it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is today the Day for a new grandson?

Just a heads up from an excited old grandpa. We got a call from Jared at about 3:30 this morning, March 18th, telling us they are on the way to the hospital to see about having a baby. DeAnne is staying with Madeline. I haven't heard anything new yet and it is about 8:30. I'm sure Jared will call everyone if something new pops out!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gordon B. Hinckley, “To the Boys and to the Men,” Ensign, Nov 1998, 51
I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

I wish to speak to you about temporal matters.

Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.

I repeat, I hope we will never again see such a depression. But I am troubled by the huge consumer installment debt which hangs over the people of the nation, including our own people.

I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you, my beloved brethren, to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts. That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable.

President J. Reuben Clark Jr., in the April 1938 general conference, said from this pulpit: “Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, 103).

President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Pay Thy Debt, and Live,” Ensign, Jun 1987, 3
Now, when personal incomes are generally high, is the time to pay off obligations. I doubt that there will soon be again a more favorable time for Latter-day Saints to get out of debt than now. Let us use the opportunity we have to speed up repayment of mortgages and to set aside provisions for education, possible periods of decreased earning power, and emergencies the future may hold.

“If the people known as Latter-day Saints had listened to the advice given from this stand by my predecessor, under the inspiration of the Lord, calling and urging upon the Latter-day Saints not to run in debt, this great depression would have hurt the Latter-day Saints very, very little. … To my mind, the main reason for the depression in the United States as a whole is the bondage of debt and the spirit of speculation among the people.”

May I add this to Amulek’s counsel: Pray to the Lord over your debts that they may be paid. Pray to him for faith to get out of debt, to live within your means, and to pay as you go. Yes, “Pay thy debt, and live!”

“The debt-habit is the twin brother of poverty.” (Theodore Thornton Munger.)

“Poverty is hard, but debt is horrible.” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon.)

“Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.” (Benjamin Franklin.)

“I want all the people within the sound of my voice to benefit by my experience in buying theatre stock. [For] 32 years of my life, every dollar I made was lost before I made it. It is a great burden, figuratively speaking, to have a dead horse, and to have to carry the horse for 32 years before you can put it under the ground. It is a terrible condition, and all on account of debt. Since that time I have always lived within my means. (Heber J. Grant)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Dad - Part 2

Some of the most pleasant memories I have, as I look back on my life of nearly 60 years, involves my Mom and Dad, my children and the great outdoors. Dad enjoyed the outdoors, respected it, enjoyed its beauty and taught us to do the same. He knew everything about gardening, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, huckleberrying, and cooking in a campfire.

I remember the old two room log cabin that Dad and Grandpa built, and in which we lived in for my first 14 years of life in Rexburg, Idaho. I remember sleeping under the stars all summer long. We had an old wood burning stove to cook on and keep us warm. We had no running water inside. The bathroom was a small wooden shed out back away from the house.

Dad taught me to fish using a willow for a pole with about 8 feet of leader line tied to the end of the willow. When he taught me he didn’t just say, “There is the creek. Go see what you can do.” Everything he taught was in very specific detail. He would start with the hook. He told me not put the worm, minnow or grasshopper that was dead. He taught me to gently swing the line out under hand, so that the bait wouldn’t make a big splash when it hit the water that would scare the fish. He showed be where the fish would be; behind the big rocks, under the creek banks as it made a turn, near the creek banks with willows and trees and at the front or back of the big holes. He told me to put the bait in above these spots and let them float into the fish holes. He said the best time to fish was before the sun came up and just before sunset.

I remember countless fishing trips with Dad, but he always caught more fish than I did and I can remember only one time when my biggest fish was bigger than his biggest fish. He would often make his own roads through the trees to get to the fishing spot.

I remember one morning, Gary Pearson, Kyle, Dad and I caught 96 fish before breakfast.

I went hunting with Dad in Idaho and in Utah. We very seldom came home empty handed. We spent a lot of years hunting above Uncle Golden’s cabin in South and North Willow Canyons, just south of Grantsville. It was a very rough road to get to our "Hunting Spot". His was usually the only truck that made to the top of the mountain, that wasn't four wheel drive. One year every single person that went with us (about 8 of us) got their deer and we even shot one extra and gave it a Japanese hunter that was so grateful.

My most memorable hunting experience was up above Rexburg with Dad, Gwen’s husband, (I believe his name was Dean), and myself. We were driving down the road in the dry farms above Rexburg when we saw this deer come running over the hill. Dad had his new red, positive traction pickup. He gunned the pickup and we sped up the road, trying to cut it off before it got to the road in front of us. We nearly ran it over as it cross the road just in front of us and it headed down towards the grove of trees on the dry farms. Instead of getting out so we could shoot at it, Dad suddenly turned off the road, over the road bank and onto the snowy, frozen dry farms. He was going to run the deer down. Dad told Dean to get his gun loaded and told me to roll down my window. I was sitting at the door opposite Dad and Dean was in the middle.

Dad would pull up near the deer and head it off so it wouldn’t run into the trees. Dean would raise his gun, point it in my direction and I would lean back and try to plug my ears. Several times we got within ten feet of the deer which was running just outside my window. Just as I thought Dean was about to fire, we would come to a ditch and Dad would slow down as the pickup jumped the ditches with less Finesse and a lot slower than the deer did. Then we would speed up and catch up to the deer again.

I was really worried what would happen when Dean pulled the trigger. Would the recoil of the 30-06 hit the roof of the pickup or catch me under my chin? Would I ever be able to get the ringing out of my ears so I could hear again? Finally, we came to another ditch. Dad had to slow down and the deer cut right in front of us and ran into the trees. By this time we had probably chased the deer for two or three miles. The deer no longer hopped, it was just running with its tongue hanging out and frothing at the mouth. Dad stopped the pickup and said, “Well I guess he earned his freedom. After all the running the meat probably wouldn’t be any good anyway.”

I could go on and on about trips with my Dad. We would go to pick huckleberries, go to Yellowstone Park, Island Park, Grand Teton Park, and to Jackson Hole to see the Elk in the winter time. When we moved to Utah we took Mom and Dad, Bryan and Terrie Gae with us to see the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion’s National Park, which they really enjoyed and talked about all the time.

Dad was probably the strongest man I ever knew and a very fast runner and swimmer. Dad loved teaching the youth, leading the scouts and his ball teams. I could tell you tons of stories where I was with him on scout trips and on the ball teams that he coached. He loved to tell stories about the war on scout trips and the scouts loved to hear them.

I often thought he must have felt like Alma and Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. After they had fought the Lamanites for so many years, their sons went to preach the gospel to the Lamanites. So it was with Dad and I. He had fought the German’s. They had killed many of his friends and had tried to kill him. Then I, his son was called to Germany on my mission to preach the gospel to his enemies. I think it was a mixed blessing for him.

I remember so many things about our mini-farm in Idaho, helping him with the farm chores, the garden and the lawn. In Utah, I framed houses with him, shingled with him, and did finish work with him.

Dad loved people. He loved his wife, his family and grandchildren. I remember when he took us to the temple to be sealed and his first attempt at family home evening.

Dad was a doer, not a by-stander. Instead of just asking if there was anything he could do to help, he would ask people what they needed him to do, or just go do whatever he saw needed to be done without asking. He always kept busy, even if it was telling just stories.

Dad never gave up at anything he did. He had great ingenuity. He had a talent of figuring things out. If he didn’t have the right part, he would devise someway or something that would get things to work.

Was Dad perfect? No, but I’m sure he will never stop trying and that is close enough for me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Till we meet again Dad

It has been one week since my Dad passed away. Things have been so busy with all the funeral preparations that I have not had time to think, let alone blog. I still have so many things to check-up on and things to get done for Mom.

I have read some of the blogs from my kids and I am so impressed with their thoughts and tender memories. You can read them by clicking on the links on this blog. They are much better that anything I write at this time. I just need some quite time to and time to ponder and feel the loss. Thanks to my Kids and everyone else who have sent messages. They mean a lot to me.

I know Dad is in a much better place and has finally been relieved of his pain. I will miss him!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Banks want more money?

Do banks want money or is it something else they want?

What does a bank get when it lends money?
1. Principle and Interest on the money they lend, plus they can lend 10 times the money they actually have.
2. They put chains of bondage on the people who owe them money. They become the master and the borrower becomes their slave.

We saw a movie where the banks want to lend money to a group that will cause a civil war. The group’s leader says his group has no way to repay the bank for the money it needs to arm his soldiers. The banker replies by saying something like this: The money isn’t what we want; it is the control and power that we will gain by the debt that the people and nation will incur when they come to us for money to purchase items to protect themselves. We will take away their freedoms and put them in bondage to us.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! (Not all Whoa’s are created equal!)

Consider this:

If banks are given money by their customers, the Federal Reserve allows them to lend out ten times what they are given. Example: You give a bank $1,000 by putting it in a savings account. The Fed allows the banks to lend $10,000. Where does the other $9,000 come from? It really doesn’t exist. It comes from the power of the Fed to allow the bank to lend out ten times what they actually have. It also comes from the faith of the people who are borrowing, that the money they borrow can actually be use to buy something. The borrower also knows the bank has the right to collect their money, repossess the item you used their money to buy, take you to court in order to get it, brand you as a bad risk, and/or to put you in jail.

So let’s say they are given $1,000 by a rich man. They will want to lend it out immediately. How much do they get back, if the charge 5% yearly interest? Remembering they can lend ten times what the rich man gave them.
10 X 1,000 = $10,000
.05 X 10,000 = $500
Where do they make the most money? Not from the interest!
Their return from the $1,000 dollars given to them by the rich man, if they lend it out to others is $10,500. That is, if everyone they lent the money to, pays them back in one year. They now have $10,500 to lend out. But now, we times that by 10 = $105,000 to lend out. And on it goes.
Are they hurt if one of the ten people fails to pay them back? A little bit. The bank takes the borrower to court, repossesses the item, marks the borrower as a bad credit risk, so that person can’t get any more loans from any bank. And the bank makes “Only” 9.5 % instead of 10.5% on their money. They claim in court they “Lost” $1,000. Did they really loose money? No, they just didn’t make as much as their greedy little minds wanted to or expected to.

If we want in on part of the action and we have some extra money we want to put into the bank to collect interest, what rate of return do they give us? .03% is the going rate today. How does that compare to what the banks are getting? (Banks get) 10.5 divide that by .03 (what they give us) = 350. In other words they get 350 times as much as they are willing to give us, who actually have the money. No wonder they come up with slogans such as, “We haven’t forgot who keeps us in business”!

This sounds like greed to me, or maybe even a conspiracy! And now they turn around and want us to bail them out? The bank had no mercy on the borrower that failed to pay them back. The bank wouldn’t bail the borrower out in any way, shape or form. It would seem anyone that is so stupid that they can’t make a living earning 350 times the rate they are willing to pay, doesn’t even deserve a bucket! If they won’t help themselves bail out of their mess, should we feel sorry for them or should we just start over with a new bank that has smarter people?

Just stop and think what they are asking the tax payers to do. They want $250,000,000,000, (250 Billion Dollars), from you and me. They turn around and lend out ten times that amount, (7 Trillion dollars). I’m sure they are laughing their heads off. Laughing “All the way to their Bank”!

Just take a minute and Google “bank bail out list”. Take note of the last name on the list. Not that the list stops there. The list is so long my finger got cramps scrolling down it!

Bank bailout: Who's getting the money
The Treasury Department is in the midst of doling out $250 billion to financial institutions nationwide as part of the $700 billion bailout plan. Here's a list of the banks that have received checks so far.

Date of Capital Injection
Financial Institution

Wells Fargo & Co.
San Francisco

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
New York

Citigroup Inc.
New York

Bank of America Corp.1

Morgan Stanley
New York

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
New York

Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
New York

State Street Corp.

U.S. Bancorp

Capital One Financial Corp.

Regions Financial Corp.

SunTrust Banks Inc.

BB&T Corp.


Comerica Inc.

Marshall & Ilsley Corp.

Northern Trust Corp.

Zions Bancorporation
Salt Lake City

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Follow-up on my LOST Post

I hope you didn’t take my last post about LOST the wrong way. I love LOST. I just think the writers and producer of LOST want to keep us LOST enough so that we don’t figure out that the plot of LOST is to keep us LOST. Not so LOST that we quit watching LOST, but LOST enough to keep LOST a number one show. We are the ones they want to keep LOST. That is why they called the show LOST.

Have I LOST you? If so, read that again. We are right where the writers of LOST want us. Still LOST, but still watching LOST, because we love LOST. Maybe we just love being LOST? What would be the fun of not being LOST? We wouldn’t have anything to figure out!

Did you ever talk to someone that was reported on the news to be LOST? When we finally find them and they hear the news report for the first time saying, “The LOST” (hunters or whatever) have been found, the ones that were “Lost” will say, “LOST? LOST? We weren’t LOST! We knew where we were the whole time! We just couldn’t get home! We weren’t LOST!”

So it is with LOST. The characters can’t get home, but they know where they are the whole time. We that watch the show and try to figure out where they are, are the only ones that are LOST. Thank heaven, God knows where we are all the time!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Are any of you addicted, like I am, to the TV show called Lost? What is the show all about anyway? I think I have it all figured out! It’s all in the name, Lost.

It started out as a story about 71 people who survived the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 onto a mysterious island somewhere in the South Pacific. At first hey didn’t know where they were. They were LOST. Then we find out none of their friends or loved ones can find them, . . . They are just plain LOST, they disappeared, gone, poof! LOST.

Then the show flashes back and shows us some of the character’s “pre-existant” lives and what they did before the plane crash. Jack was bringing his dad back from Australia because his dad had died. Jack and his dad were working in the same hospital, but didn’t know much about each other. They had, hummmm, LOST their connection to each another. For example Jack didn’t know his dad had had an affair with another woman and Jack had sister, which he never knew about.

What about Jack’s sister? Claire was pregnant, she went to a soothsayer to find out what to do with the baby she was about to give birth to. Who would do that? Why did she do it? To find herself because she was LOST!

Hurly won the lottery and everything he spent it on blew up or died. He ended up in a mental institution playing bored games, (yes I meant to spell it that way), with a ghost. Why? Yeah, he was LOST.

Kate lived in a home where her father abused her and Kate’s mother. In desperation to find herself, she robbed banks, killed people and then to top it all off, she blew up her mother,s house with her no good, abusing father still in it. Why did she do that? Ah ha, because she was LOST! Kate told her mother what she had done and her mother told the police. They locked her up for murder. Amazingly, she escaped and married a policeman. Did she live happily-ever-after? NO! She went from town to town because she was….let’s say it all together…she was LOST.

Sawyer certainly was a LOST soul.

John wandered around the country trying to find himself. Yes, he was LOST until.
John Locke’s dad squeezed a kidney out of him and pushed him out the window.

That brings us to Jin, Sun, Daniel, Walt, (and his dad, I cant remember his name) Sayid, Charlie, Aaron and Desmond. What about them? LOST, LOST, LOST!

The only character that knew where he was is Ben!

Then everything changes.

Ben, out of the goodness of his heart, (if there is such a place in his heart), meets all the survivors and helps them find themselves. Kate, Jack, Sayid, Sun, Aaron, Hurly, Walt and Desmond, all know they are back home in the good old USA. (And so does Ben, bless his bulging eyes!)

Jin, Sawyer, Juliet, John, Claire and newcomers, Daniel, Miles and Charlotte, all know they are still on the Island. (Oops, Charlotte died last week.)

Danielle, Alex, Charlie, Anna Lucia, Eko, Libby and several others are dead, but they know they are and they know where they are! They even appear to the people who are alive from time to time and tell them what they should do. They aren’t LOST!

John Locke is both Dead and Alive. It doesn’t bother him any more. He knows where he is either place. None of them are Lost anymore!

Now I need to wrap this all up. With all the flashbacks, flash forwards, and time shifts, all the characters figure out where they are. They are no longer LOST.

Do they need to change the name of the show to “LOST and FOUND”? Oh no, because WE, who have watched the show for 5 years now, WE, are sill L O S T!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Isaiah Insight #1

I thought I would share an insight we learned from our Isaiah class a couple of weeks ago. This verse is one we are all familiar with. In fact as you read it you can even put it to music!

Isaiah 9:
6 For unto us a child (Jesus Christ) is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (the ruling power of God, the priesthood) shall be upon his shoulder: (The right shoulder, think of the temple) and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, (“Messenger of the Great Counsel”) The mighty God, (The Redeemer) The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew, translates wonderful counselor as, “Messenger of (the) Great Counsel”.

This is significant for us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who believe in a pre-mortal life, where we were taught by Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother and Jesus Christ. We are taught that while we were in the Pre-existence, there was a "Great Counsel" held. We all attended. There, Christ was chosen and foreordained, by the Father, to come to earth and redeem all who would accept Christ and the message that He would bring from the Father. So Isaiah tell us in this verse that Christ is the "Messenger of (the) great Counsel".

Nephi quoted verse 6 word for word. - 2 Nephi 19:6

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Plan of Happiness, not Hopelessness

While we were at the temple with Garrett and Hayley, the officiator made a statement, something to the effect that once a seal is place on a marriage, it will ensure that the children in that marriage will be saved. Latter outside, in front of the temple, my sister and brother-in-law remarked how neat it was that all of our children were able to be in the temple with Garrett and Hayley and wished they could see the same thing happen with all of their children or at least know that they would be saved from the torments of Hell.

I asked them if they have heard what the officiator, Bro. Day, had said about how once the seal had been place on the marriage, it saved the children. They said they had heard that, but didn’t think it would ever happen to them and some of their children. I assured them that it would.

What Brother Day said, reminded me of what Joseph Smith had said, “When a seal is put upon the father and mother, it secures their posterity, so that they cannot be lost, but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father and mother.” (History of Church, vol. 5, page 530.)

So, how does it work? How are children that have chosen not to abide by the standards of the church, and are rebellious to the teachings of their parents and the church, ever going to be saved?

My understanding is this:

The Kolob Years!

We lived with and were taught by our Heavenly Father and Mother.
We saw God Create at least one world. We saw how was it done. It was done by faith and the priesthood.

We all started our preparation for our return to Heavenly Father and Mother in the Pre-mortal life. We chose to accept the Father’s “Plan of Happiness” that was presented to us in the Pre-existence. There was a war in heaven. Imagine that! There was actually war in Heaven, and it continues on earth to this day. It was a war of words.

We and our children bore testimony to our friends in the Pre-existence, who were considering following Lucifer and his lies. We tried to save and convince everyone we could, that Heavenly Father’s plan was the only way to progress and become like Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Our children didn’t just accept Heavenly Father’s plan, but they also accepted Christ as their savior and they were valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ!

How do we know that? Well if they hadn’t had done that, they wouldn’t have earned the blessings of their second estate. They wouldn’t be here on earth with a mortal body, if they had followed Lucifer and his lies.

We were taught more details of our Fathers’ plan after Satan had been defeated and kicked out of God’s presence. We know this because Satan did not know the mind of God when he tempted Eve. (Moses 4:6)

We saw God, pre-ordain and bless his children. I’m sure he blessed them that they would return safely back home to Heavenly Father and Mother. (We do the same thing when we send our kids off to college.)

We were all given a second estate. We were told what would happen while we were here on earth and what to expect! We made the choice to come to earth with our eyes open.

While here on earth, while we are away from Heavenly Father and Mother, we need to gain experience and learn knowledge. It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. (D&C 131:6)

“There is a greater key—a key that each one of us earnestly seeks to obtain and that will open the locks to the treasure houses of knowledge we desire to acquire. That key is the key of faith. In this work, no lock will open without it.” (Thomas S. Monson, Pathways to Perfection 1976, page 49-49.

The Mortal Years:

“The veil makes us forget events, but that forgetfulness does not cover-up our attributes, our understanding, our talents, our knowledge or our spiritual gifts or spiritual understanding that have been developed in the pre-mortal life. We didn’t come to this earth to gain a testimony. We already had a testimony in the previous world. That is why we chose God’s plan instead of Lucifer’s.” Jack Marshall, BYU Education week. See also D&C 138:50-53. (Notice, there were “’Other Choice spirits’ who received their first lessons”. These spirits are you and me, our children, grandchildren, and on and on.)

We need to teach the gospel to our children every chance we get, especially when they are young. We need to bear our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel and of Jesus Christ to our children every chance we get, if we want to save them.
“There are several reasons for bearing testimony. One is that when you declare the truth, it will bring an echo, a memory, even if it is an unconscious memory to the investigator, (and your children) that they have heard this truth before—and of course they have. A missionary’s (Parent’s) testimony invokes a great legacy of testimony dating back to the councils in heaven before this world was. There, in an earlier place, these same people heard this same plan outlined and heard there the role that Jesus Christ would play in their salvation.”
“So the fact of the matter is investigators (and our children) are not only hearing our testimony of Christ, but they are hearing echoes of other, earlier testimonies, including their own testimony of Him, for they were on the side of the faithful who kept their first estate and earned the privilege of a second estate. We must always remember that these investigators, every man, woman, and child, were among the valiant who once overcame Satan by the power of their testimony of Christ! So when they hear others bear that witness of Christ’s saving mission, it has a familiar feeling; it brings an echo of truth they themselves already know.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar 2001, from a talk given at the Provo, Utah - Missionary Training Center on 20 June 2000.)

What is the purpose of us coming to the earth?

To gain knowledge and experience opposites.

Suffer the 2nd death for the first time = spiritual death.

Receive a physical Body. The spirit is pure, when it comes into the tabernacle, (body). The tabernacle is subject to sin, but the spirit is not…Satan can only contaminate the bodies. (President Brigham Young, February 17, 1856, JD, Vol. 3:206-207.)

Receive the Holy Ghost. (He will burn the “H” out of you!)

Get all of our earthly ordinances done.

The gate to the Celestial Kingdom is Celestial Marriage. Not necessarily Temple marriage.
D&C 131: 1-3
1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

We also need to look at our children and see them as God sees them.

D&C 76:94-95
94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.

We should understand and teach our children that they were fore-ordained by God and He has great confidence in them and their power and strength. They are choice spirit children of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. As we teach our children, God blesses them and shows them that he has confidence in them.

President Henry B. Eyring, April 5, 2008, Conference Priesthood Session said, “First, the very fact that you have been offered the oath and covenant, (of the priesthood), (and Celestial marriage) is evidence that God has chosen you, knowing your power and capacity. He has known you since you were with Him in the spirit world. With His foreknowledge of your strength, He has allowed you to find the true Church of Jesus Christ and to be offered the priesthood. You can feel confidence because you have evidence of His confidence in you.”

Teach your children that!

The Millennial Years

Live your life so that you are eligible to come forth at the beginning of the Millennium, which is the morning of the first resurrection. You will get a lot more done if you start earlier in the morning!

What is the purpose of the millennium? What is the purpose of the Spirit World?
1. To save our forefathers by doing their temple work.
2. To save God’s Children and ours!
We will spend the millennium helping our kids get back to Father. We sometimes go through hell with our children in this life and if we need to, we will go to hell, (the spirit prison), to find them and bring them out. We will plead, along with Jesus Christ, to the Father for their salvation. We will help them pay the price.
This is not a second chance, but rather continuation of the plan Heavenly Father created to save his children.

Satan will be bound during the millennium and have no way to distract them, but we will be able continue to act as ambassadors for Christ. Unabated by the influence of Satan, there will be very few who will not recognize their mistakes and have desire to repent. Our testimonies will have “a familiar feeling; and bring an echo of truth they themselves already know.”
Alma, while he was bound, remembered the words of his father about one, Jesus Christ, who could save him. So will those who are in spirit prison. Our children will remember Christ because we taught them of Christ while they were on earth. They will remember Christ because God taught them in the pre-existence.

We will help Christ bring our children and grand children to the highest degree of salvation possible.

D&C 138: 57-59
57 I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, (you) when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
58 The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
59 And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.

Some may not receive the hightest degree of the Celestial Kingdom, if they choose not to marry, but they will be servants of the gods.

D&C 132: 16-17
16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

You will have great respect and love for those ministering angels and servants. Some of them will be your children, grand children or other posterity. They will help you in everything you do in your new kingdom. They will still be sealed to you and they will be saved.

If we can’t exalt them, we can still save them to some degree of glory.

D&C 76:
112 And they shall be servants of the Most High;

Monday, January 19, 2009

Congratulations to Garrett and Hayley!

Congratulations to Garrett and Hayley! They are finally married to each other and have created their very own eternal family. What a wonderful day Saturday was. It was great to meet all of Hayley’s family! I was amazed at how many people came to support Garrett and Hayley at the reception. There were tons of teachers that work with Hayley that came, and lots and lots of people that work with Garrett came to support him. They also had many friends and roommates from their college days that came. There were also friends from their wards and some friends of both sets of their parents and extended family that came. It just shows how many people love and respect them. It was great to meet them all.

The best part was in the temple where both Garrett and Hailey had their parents, grand parents, all of their siblings and all of their sibling’s spouses, along with their friends, to share that special moment with them. They were legally and lawfully married as husband and wife for all eternity, and then blessings were sealed upon them that will help them build their family and their relationship to one another throughout all the eternities.

Congrats you two! You are now one!