Thursday, December 2, 2010

#6 The Grandin Press

After the Hill Cumorah, we went back to the town of Palmyra. We saw the corner with the four different churches on each corner. That corner is just a block and a half from the Grandin Press where the Book of Mormon was printed.

On March 26, 1998, the anniversary of the first printing of the Book of Mormon in 1830, the restored part of the building was dedicated. The building is now a Historic Site. We saw the building, the printing presses and observed the printing sequence in the room where the printing of the Book of Mormon actually took place. We saw the room where the contract to print the Book of Mormon was signed by Egbert B. Grandin, Joseph Smith Jr., Joseph Smith, Sr. and Martin Harris.

We were also able to walk through the bindery and into the store where the Book of Mormon was first sold. They had us fold a page so that we could see how much work it was to get the Book of Mormon ready for binding. Of course there is much more, but it was really interesting to me.

We then went to a book store next door and purchased a copy of the original Book of Mormon, a copy of the original Book of Commandments and several other items. Then we went across the street and had a quick dinner.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

#5 The Hill Cumorah

Next we drove down the road a few miles to the Hill Cumorah. We stopped first at the visitor center and then drove up the Hill Cumorah, where they have the pageant. They have a monument there on top of the hill explaining that the Angle Moroni hid the plates somewhere in that hill and then delivered them to Joseph Smith four year after he first showed them to Joseph.

With four years to prepare for the event, I doubt the date on which Joseph Smith received the plates was a coincident. Joseph received the gold plates from Moroni on 22 September 1827, one of the high holy days of the ancient Israelite Calendar. Keep in mind that the Jews start their days at sundown. That day, 22 September 1827 was Rosh ha-Shanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, a day when God remembered His covenants the Israelites to “bring them back from exile.” I think that is why Moroni is depicted on top of the temples with his trumpet.

There is a pillar of stone on top of the Hill Cumorah with the Angle Moroni standing on top, (With his trumpet). There was a special feeling there as well. I connected with Moroni for a few short minutes while there.

Moroni has long been one of my hero’s for all that he did to take care of the plates. Moroni finish his father’s (Mormon) book, wrote his own book and then abridged the record of Ether and the brother of Jared. Moroni also tells us he wrote an interpretation of all that the Brother of Jared saw in his vision of the earth “from the beginning to the end thereof”. Moroni actually wrote about twice as many gold plates as his father Mormon had written. We have most of what Mormon wrote in the Book of Mormon, but most of what Moroni wrote is in the sealed portion of the plates that Joseph was told not to touch or translate.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

#4 The Palmyra Temple

The Palmyra Temple sits on a high ridge at the east end of the original 100 acres of the Joseph Smith, Sr. farm in Manchester Township, New York. The temple was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley on the 21st of April, 1999. Ground was broken that May and the temple was dedicated by President Hinckley on the 6th of April, 2000, the 170th anniversary of the organization of the church. It became the 77th temple in operation around the world and has approximately 10,700 square feet of floor space.

The new Palmyra Temple can be seen from the sacred grove. It is on a hillside just east of the sacred grove. We spent two or three hours in the Sacred Grove and then walked back through the Smith farm and Smith homes. We then drove over to the Palmyra Temple. DeAnne stayed in the van this time so she could rest her knee.

got out and took pictures of the temple and walked around it. Notice the glass on the windows and doors. You can see the glass was made with images of the trees that in the Sacred Grove.
It was a peaceful feeling to stand in the temple courtyard and look out to the west and see the sacred grove.

The Church has a new stake center just a few blocks north of the Temple.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#3 The Sacred Grove

The guides from the visitor center pointed out the trail to the Sacred Grove and then left us so we could walk the trail at our own pace. As we walked down the trail toward the Sacred Grove, the fall leaves were so beautiful. They were falling on the ground all the way down the path which followed the log fence. The fence separated the barn and farm from the apple orchard. The fall colors were so brilliant in the sacred grove itself. DeAnne and I felt a quite peaceful feeling all around us as we walked through the grove together. We took a loop trail and soaked in the peaceful spiritual feeling by walking slowly and stopping to sit at some the benches to rest and to ponder.

We tried to picture what had happened there in the grove when God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to answer Joseph's first vocal prayer. What an experience for Joseph and for us!

We were asked not to remove anything from the grove because it was such ground. DeAnne's knee was really sore, but she was a real trooper and we were grateful for the experience we had in the Sacred Grove together. I was glad we had an excuse to stop and let her rest so we could spend more time in the grove. It is truly sacred ground!

Also, we must remember, that somewhere on the Smith farm, "In a grove of trees where the Smith's often went in secret prayer", is where the Angle Moroni showed the gold plate's to the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon and let them handle the plates.

Aren't the trees beautiful? We will never forget our time in the Sacred Gove or the feelings we had there.

Monday, November 15, 2010

#2 The Smith Frame Home

Next we went to the Smith Frame Home, which is just down the road a bit and across the street. This is the home that Alvin started building for his parents. Alvin became ill and while on his death bed asked the family to finish building the home for his parents. This the family did. Joseph really loved Alvin. Alvin was a special person. Joseph was told to take Alvin with him to receive the gold plates. But because of the death of Alvin, Joseph was told to take his wife Emma to receive the gold plates.

While living in this home, Joseph had the gold plates and was busy translating them. Joseph hid them for a while under the brick stones in the hearth. There was a small room upstairs where the two young sisters shared the same bed. One night the plates were hidden from a mob by placing the plates in bed, in between the girls. The Smith family lived in the home for only three of fours years. Because of financial difficulties, they had to move back into the old log home.

Right across the street from the Smith frame home there is a nice barn where they put their animals and farm equipment. Joseph hid the plates up in the rafters of the barn one night and the mob couldn’t find them.

The main street to Palmyra used to be the street where the Smiths farm is. The log home was on one side of the busy street and the new Frame home was on the other side of the street. We learned from Newell, that when the Church purchased the Smith Farm Homes and the Sacred Grove, they asked the City of Palmyra if they would move the road to the east so that the old existing road could be used as a walking path by the visitors that would come to see the farm and the Sacred Grove.

An agreement was finally made with the city that they would move the road if the Church would give them their Stake Center. The City wanted it so they could use it as a City Hall. The Church agreed and we have pictures of the old Stake Center – New Palmyra City Hall. It is just to the northeast of the Smith farm. If you look a map of the Palmyra area you can see how the new bends out away from the Smith farm for short ways and then back again to bypass the Smith Farms.

Friday, November 12, 2010

#1 Our Trip to Palmyra, New York

I have decided to start typing up the experiences that DeAnne and I had on our trip to Palmyra and Kirtland. These posts could take a while to get everyting written. I will divide them into smaller pieces and post them as I get them ready. We had such a great trip we just have to share what we felt, what we saw and what we learned. Most of our children have already been there before us. We would like to sit down with them and compare notes and their feelings of their trips. Anyway I am starting with this post.

October 15, 2010 – Friday – DeAnne and I got up early and drove to Jared’s house. He was good enough to take us to the Salt Lake airport, drop us off and take our car back to his house while we were gone.

We met DeAnne’s cousin Kimball Harward and his wife, Maxine at the airport. We flew on a Sky West commuter plane from SLC to Denver. From there we flew on a United 767 to Chicago and then got on a United Flight to Rochester, New York. That was the biggest airplane I have ever been on and it was packed. In Rochester we met Newell Harward, his wife Gloria, Thomas Axtel and his wife Joni. They took us to our hotel in Rochester where we stayed for two nights.

October 16, 2010 – Saturday – We went to breakfast in Palmyra. When we went to get back into the van, DeAnne re-extended her knee. Not a good way to start our trip! We went to the visitor center on the Smith Family Farm.

Hyrum purchased the ground just north of his father’s farm. The Smith’s log home was actually built on Hyrum’s land. Although Hyrum’s land bordered his father’s land, it was in a different county and the county doesn’t require two set of steps to the upper level (for exits) for public buildings like they do in the other homes in county where Joseph Smith Sr.’s farm was. So we were able to go to the second floor of the Smith’s log home but not the upper floor of the Smiths Frame home which is in the other county.

We went into the Smith Family log Cabin, which has been reconstructed on the original foundation.
The upper floor is where Moroni visited Joseph Smith in his bedroom area. There were other Smith children sleeping in the same room, but only Joseph was privileged to see and hear the message of Moroni. For DeAnne and me, it was a special feeling to be the room where the Angle Moroni appeared three times. We could feel the spirit there. It was there that the latter day gospel restoration really began.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blessing Baby Michael

Just a quick post to say how neat it was to have all of the family attend the blessing of Michael. It was great to see everyone together again and enjoying each others company. It was also nice to talk with and get to know Jones family a little better. Family is great!

We hope to see all of you at Tori and Garth's home this weekend for another good time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eating Purple Huckleberries - A Taste to Die for.

The scriptures tell us that Michael, Adam, Eve and all of us lived a pre-mortal existence. The name Michael really caught my attention because Michael is the name Garrett and Hayley have chosen for their new baby, who will soon be born.

Anyway, the scriptures tell us that Adam and Eve were the first people on this earth. When the time was right, God placed them on earth in a Garden of Eden, which He had prepared for them. God made sure it was warm and clean. The beauty of the Garden surpassed anything we can imagine. It was full of friendly animals that didn’t fight with or eat other animals. The garden was supplied with all kinds of flowers, shrubs, fruits, vegetables and trees. The cupboards and freezers were full of food.

My thought was this: If Adam and Eve got to come to this earth and their first home was a Garden of Eden, would Garrett and Hayley’s little Michael also get to come to this earth and have his first home be a Garden of Eden? What about the rest of us? Could we consider ourselves as Adam or as Eve and be blessed as they were, to have a Garden of Eden waiting for us when we first got to this earth? That got my brain gears clicking.

I decided my answer was yes. Garrett and Hayley have prepared a garden or room just for Michael. DeAnne and I did the same thing for our children. Father’s and mother’s everywhere prepare a special place for their newborns to come. A place where they will be very comfortable and have all that they need to be safe and be able to enjoy this world.

Like Adam and Eve, when the time is right, we are placed by our parents into our very own Garden of Eden. It is full of friendly stuffed animals that don’t fight with other animals. Their Garden is also stocked well, with clothes, diapers, formula, and food. The garden may have all kinds of flowers, shrubs, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and all kinds of trees.

Just like Adam and Eve, we discover all the things we are enjoying have been given to us by our parents as gifts. We don’t have to pay for anything. We have ice cream every night with our Father and Mother. Our parents give us some rules. For example, they tell us we can enjoy ice cream for eternity, or as long as we eat it while they are with us and we stay in their garden. We, like Adam and Eve are told, “You can partake of all things in the garden, the house, the cupboard, and the freezer, and the ice cream, but of the fruit of the Huckleberry Bush, you shall not eat! Nevertheless, you may choose for yourself, but if you partake of it, you will turn purple and surely die.”

That gets our attention real fast! What do they mean, we will surely die? That sounds pretty serious. What do huckleberries do to us? What do they taste like anyway? Why did Father put huckleberry bushes in our garden and show us where He planted them if He didn’t want us to eat some of them? How do our parents know that huckleberries have a taste to die for? Have they tasted huckleberries before?

As we grow older we hear kids at school and advertisements on TV saying, “You should try huckleberries! They are delicious to the taste and very desirable. Yes, they are very expensive, but you’re worth it.”

One day we take a stroll down past the huckleberry patch and we catch our brother, Lucifer, picking some of the forbidden fruit. He eats them right in front of us and smacks his lips with pleasure. Caught in the act of disobeying Father and Mother, he offers us some huckleberries. We tell Lucifer we’re not going to eat any, because if we do, we will choke, turn purple and die. Lucifer says, “You’re not going to die!” He sounds pretty sure of himself and he doesn’t look like he is dieing. He tells us, “Look, if you don’t eat some huckleberries with me, when Father and Mother come home they will notice some of huckleberries are missing and I will tell them you ate the huckleberries.”

Now faced with two choices, who do we choose to please? A big brother who is holding the forbidden fruit right in front of our nose, or our Father who is not home at the time? We decide to have our first taste of the forbidden purple fruit. They taste so, so good! It is different than anything we have tasted before. They are almost immediately habit forming. We want more of that purple fruit so we continue picking huckleberries. They would taste great on ice cream. As we eat, we also realize we didn’t die!

Then we hear the voice of our Father. He’s coming home to our Garden of Eden! Lucifer says, “Quick, hide. Father will see your purple tongues and lips. We hide. Father calls out to us two or three times before we decide we better come out and speak to him. He asks, in a loving voice, “Where were you?” We tell him we hid ourselves because we have purple tongues and lips. He looks at our face and asks, “Who told you you have purple tongues and lips? Have you partaken of the forbidden purple fruit, that I told you not to eat? And of course we admit what we have done and tell our Father, “The Devil made me do it.”

Father explains the rules to us again. He looks at our hands and they have turned purple too. He explains that the fruit is good, but because we ate it when he asked us not to, we have broken an eternal law that was irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of the world. We have broken the law of our Forefathers and we will need to leave their presence. What we have done has made us unclean, and he has no choice. He is going to have to boot us out of our Garden of Eden. We can no longer live with him because he cannot look upon purple with the least degree of allowance and we are covered with purple everywhere. Will the purple infection spread to other part of our body and kill us?

We will suffer a spiritual death when we leave the presence of God. Then we realize we won’t be able to have any more ice cream either! Suddenly we realize without ice cream we will surely die! Satan, the kids at school and the TV lied to us!

A loving Father and Mother then give us some good news. All is not lost, but we are going to have to pay a price for our actions in ways we never understood before. But we can still talk to Father and Mother; we just won’t be able to see them and hug them. They will need to place a veil between us and them.

Father will send us messengers that will tell us how to return to His presence. We just need take a bath, (get baptized) and clean up our act, (sacrament). If we talk to Heavenly Father every day, read the books he gives to us every day, (scriptures), and listen to His messengers, (apostles, prophets and the Holy Ghost), we will find our way back into His presence.

We are given more good news. We are told our older Brother, Jesus, loves us so much he has agreed to pay the price of the purple fruit that we ate! How can he do that? We are saddened to hear the price Jesus must pay, but we are so grateful for his willingness to do that for us. He must love us as much as Father and Mother! We must learn more about Jesus and develop the same love for Him that he has shown to us.

Eating the huckleberries has actually given us a knowledge of something that tastes wonderful. Father tells us, if we are willing to search for and listen to his messengers, they will show us how to find and eat huckleberries that they don’t leave us with dirty purple hands, lips and tongues. He will show us secrete hidden patches of huckleberries and give us other sweet experiences that will give us knowledge, feed our souls and purify our hearts.

After we have taken our bath and done our washings, Mother will show us her secrete huckleberry recipes and show us how to make huckleberry pie, and huckleberry cheesecake.

Father promises us he will show us how to bottle huckleberries and seal them up so that we can latter put them on ice cream, and the two together will become an everlasting treat for us and our families. If we keep our hands, lips and tongues clean, our hearts will become pure and clean also. Then we will be worthy to again enter Father’s presence. There are no loopholes or shortcuts. We cannot partake of the new sealed fruit until Father permits us.

Father also lets us know that he has set a security system around the temple of sealed ice cream, the treat of eternal life. He tells us if we go near this fruit, before he recommends us, alarms will go off and angels with flaming swords will stop us from returning to the temple of ice cream. We need to repent, serve others, and be WILLING to keep all of Fathers commandments. Then He will recommend us to the angels and they will let us pass by their flaming swords. After all of that, we can partake of the new and everlasting treat, and return to Father’s presence. We will be able to open the bottle of sealed huckleberries with our Father and Mother, put them on top of their eternal treat of ice cream and enjoy the blessings of the sealed fruit. We will also be shown the secret of partaking of this sealed fruit with our children and grandchildren.

See what Michael brought to my attention? I love my family! I hope we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand. (Isaiah 6:10)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memories of Mom

Mom loved a good joke!

I was thinking of Mom last night before I fell to sleep and I had another one of those dreams where things seemed so real. In my dream, I had a near-death experience that I’m sure will change me forever. I went horseback riding one day and everything was going fine until the horse started running and bucking out of control. I tried with all my might to hang on, but was thrown off. Just when I thought things could not possibly get any worse, I realized my foot had become caught in the stirrup. When this happened, I fell head first to the ground. My head continued to bounce over the bumps harder and harder, as the horse would not stop or even slow down. Just as I was giving up hope and felt I would surely die ... a thoughtful K-Mart manager came out and pulled the plug.

Seriously, I have had several thoughts and reflections about my mother since she passed away on the 8th of May 2010. I spoke about some of my memories of her at the funeral. Of course there are several others, but I have had a hard time deciding which ones I want to share with the world.

Mom was a very special person. She was a sweet daughter of God. I have a hard time talking about Mom because it brings back some tender memories and feelings. If I don't keep this a bit on the light side, I won't be able to see through the tears.

Mom was the one that taught me the gospel. She taught me how to pray. She taught me self worth, right and wrong and was always building me and my weak ego. She is the one that worked and saved up her money to take us on the only extended vacation that I can remember. We went by car, up through northern Idaho, Salmon, Coeur d'Alene, the Grand Coulee Dam, Flat Head Lake, Glacier and Waterton Parks, the Canadian border, and the Cardston, Alberta Temple. On the way home we visited with Dad’s sister Ruby and her family. Great memories!

Mom always expected me to go on a mission. She and I painted several homes and four-plexus, together to get enough money for my mission. We worked very hard together and had some great talks and experiences. I knew she loved me and I loved her.

Mom had a great sense of humor. She always loved a good clean joke and I loved to hear her little chuckle and her fabulous smile when she laughed. I think she would have enjoyed this one about the life after death.

Two men died and went to heaven. God greeted them, and said "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but your mansions aren't ready yet. Until they are, I can send you back to Earth as whatever you want to be."
"Great!" said the first guy, "I want to be an eagle soaring above beautiful scenery!"
"No problem," replied God, and POOF! The guy was gone.
"And what do you want to be," God asked the other guy.
"I'd like to be one cool stud!" was the reply.
"Easy," replied God, and the other guy was gone.
After a few months, their mansions were finished, and God sent an angel to fetch them back. "You'll find them easily," he says, "One of them is soaring above the Grand Canyon, and the other one is on a snow tire somewhere in Rexburg!"

I love you Mom and we will all miss you, but we are so blessed to know you on this earth and we know you are still alive, having new experiences every day and happy to be with your family that has gone before you.

Save a place for us!

Friday, April 9, 2010

We are Home Owners Again

Well, I didn't think we would ever own a home again, but yesterday we closed on the loan. Now we are in debt, to a bank, like most of the people in the world. (sigh.) We have enjoyed most of our time here in the condo, and have had some good neighbors and good experiences in our ward.

We want to thank Garrett and Hayley for putting up with us for the past year and a half. It was the place we were suppose to be so we could help my Mom and Dad with their yard and finances. But Mom and Dad have moved on and our neighbors, here in the condo have changed. We are excited to be out from under the smokers, drinkers and party goers in our condo.

We have taken advantage of a great opportunity, with real estate prices being down and the tax credit that is being offered. When we combined that with a 4.75 interest rate, we knew we would never have a better time to buy.

We will packing on April 16th and moving on the 17th. Garth is being good to us by bringing his toy hauler down to us to help us move. He said he is going to park it at our condo on Thursday, April 15th, so we can start hauling things out to it.

We really need as much help as we can get. The older we get, the slower we move and the shorter our endurance. So please come and help us move! We really can't do it without loads of help. Every single helper will help tons. (Literally)

DeAnne and I want to thank our family for all of your love, prayers and support. We can't tell you of all the small miracles that have happened along the way to getting this new home. We feel it is where the Lord is guiding us to live for the few years we have left.

James is amazing! If you even think about moving or know anyone who is, James will give you and your friends, all he has and it will be the best experience you have ever had in buying or selling real estate. He has done both for us! We have nothing but praise for James. I'm sure you and your friends will have the same great experience with James as we have had. Thank James!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We are under contract with a new house!

Let me start out with a message to Garrett and Hayley. I have tried to call you guys, but no one answers your cell phone. All your cell phone will do is put me to your voice mail. I have left messages in an attempt to let you know before we announce this to the rest of the kids. We want to give you as much notice as we possibly can about the time frame when we expect to be moving, so you can make other arrangements for what you want to do with your condo at Oak Meadows. Maybe you will read this if you are not getting those phone messages. We hope you are enjoying your time in Chicago! Hopefully this post will not dampen your time there.

We got word last night that we are under contract for a new home. We are excited about it! We expect to have the closing in about 30 days from now. We have some painting to do and we want to replace some carpet before we move into the new house. We can’t do anything to the house until after the closing, so we hope to have all the repairs done to the new house and all the cleaning done at the Condo, and moved out by the end of April.

We will need lots of help to get everything moved, so we hope you won’t all start planning ways of being out of town! That is just a joke; we know you will all help us, just as you have always done in the past. We really appreciate all of you!

We are having an inspection done on the house this coming Friday.

If any of you are in town and want to see the house on Saturday, let us know. I’m not sure where we are holding FHE this Sunday. If FHE is here in town you could see the house on Sunday. If FHE is at Tiff and Mike’s, Saturday may work better.

We love all you all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The wind has been taken from our sails

We didn't get the house we were so wanting. Bummer!! We are getting too old for this kind of drama! But we won't give up. Thanks for all of your support!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We are looking for a new home!

Tension is building as DeAnne and I are turning in an offer on a home in W. J. tonight. We really fell in love with this house.

Can we ask that you join with us and pray that our offer will be the one they accept? We will have their answer by tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th at 2 pm.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What should I Invest In?

It has been a long time since I posted anything. Things have been very busy at work and by the time I get home, I just want to relax for awhile and go to bed. Every new customer we have wants to get their time clocks up and running for the new year.

I have been trying to figure out how to invest the money form Mom’s house to make it last longer. I thought it would be fun to get some feedback from anyone that is reading this blog. You tell me which one you would use. Just for fun let’ say I have $100,000 to invest. So here are my choices.

1. Put it in a bank Savings account and draw 1% interest. This would give us pretty much a guaranteed amount of about 1 grand per year.

2. Put it into a money market account at 2% and get 2 grand a year. No risk.

3, Put it into a CD at 2.5% and get $2,500 per year, but there will be a penalty for early withdrawal, if we need the money.

4. Put it into Bonds. There is risk here and you could loose the principle, but there is also a chance at earning two or three times as much as you can in a CD.

5. Stocks: Tremendous upside and also a risk of loosing some of the principle. You would also need to have help in selecting the stocks. (Newsletters cost from $150 per year to $1,500 per year, and who knows how good they are.) (See next option for return on investment estimates.)

6. Mutual Funds: Let the fund manager select the stocks and move them around for me. Tremendous upside but also a risk of loosing some of the principle. (Then I would just need a newsletter to tell me which sector of mutual funds to invest in. $150 to $450 per year.) I saw a list that shows the last 20 years with of the average stock gain/loss for each month of the year. Using this list as a guide, the average gain per year would be $12,931 per year.

7. I went to a meeting with Chris Krohn, who is the founder of REIC (Real Estate Investment Club). Real Estate is not liquid, but he says he can show you how to have a monthly income from Real Estate, without being a landlord. Has anyone heard about him or his company? I would be interested in anything you have heard, good or bad.

We are paying about $52,000 per year for the Care Center.

So, there are the choices. What would you invest in?