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!