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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Love from God

     I got to spend time with my newest grandson when he was four days old. He is now a whopping two weeks old. As I held him and looked into his dark blue eyes, I could feel eternity and God's love for us in his quiet stare. I am humbled at the realization that for thousands of years babies have come and this baby has DNA from an ancient time. None of the old ruins, huge trees or rock formations are as old as the DNA formula that continues to bring forth this miraculous miracle of life. I am in awe.
I'm also in love with this little guy, his brother and his cute cousin! I love being a Nona!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Trust in God


There are times in our life when responsibilities seem to be overwhelming. We are frustrated and discouraged because we aren’t “there” yet. We aren’t intelligent, healthy, rich, popular, capable or a nice as we feel we should be. There is not one thing wrong with wanting to be better or become a better person. As Elder Uchtdorf[1] said, “God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will “make weak things become strong.”[2] Satan, on the other hand, uses our weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying.”
We need to be valiant in our testimony of God and willing to become the person He wants us to be.
Gideon felt he was the bottom of the barrel in status as he referred to himself as “the least in my father’s house”[3]. But the angel of the Lord called him a “mighty man of valour.”[4] He told Gideon that he would save Israel from the might of the Midianites. I thought it was interesting that Gideon didn’t say no I can’t do this, he asked for a sign that this was really an angel from God speaking to him. When his offering was consumed by fire he knew the LORD was speaking to him.
Gideon called up an army to fight the Midianites who had come into the valley to fight. Gideon then reduced it to 300 men as the LORD commanded. He followed the LORD’s commands and with lamps in pitchers, horns, and the shout, “The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon” he won the night after surrounding the enemy, then breaking the pitchers and shouting. The men in confusion ran their swords into each other and then fled. Afterward lots of the men of Israel started running after the Midianites.
Gideon always knew the LORD had directed his efforts and refused to be a king of the country when invited to do so. He had a strong understanding of just who really won the day.
We need to see ourselves as God does and how He wants us to change and who He wants us to be. And then of course we need to go do it.
I really doubt I will ever be called upon to fight a huge army but sometimes the jobs I take on seem to be overwhelming and way too much to handle. I need to have the "valour" that Gideon showed and have faith and trust in God to accomplish those goals.



[1] "It Works Wonderfully" by Elder Uchtdor October 2015
[2] Ether 12:27
[3] Judges 6:15
[4] Judges 6:12

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Feast of Trumpets

(picture from: http://yourjerusalem.org/2010/09/let-the-sound-be-heard/ )
It is easy to over look significant meanings in the symbolic teachings and language of the Old  Testament. In Exodus 23:14 Three feasts are to be kept each year.  This verse is short like a title page of a really large in-depth book. Luckily Lenet Hadley Read wrote an article in the Ensign of what she studied about these feasts and their significance to the Latter-day-saints today. Moses instituted the laws and symbolic teachings in his day from the Lord. I’ll bet we don’t have even a small portion of what he actually taught, just the highlights.
In my communications class we learn that language is symbols that we use to express meanings. Words and phrases that mean a lot to me would not mean a lot to another person. Eskimo’s have many words for snow, France has many words for love, and Arabic nations have 6,000 terms for what American’s call a camel. Of course in the United States we have many, many words for types of cars. In my class we learned that what is important to that culture is given more symbols or words to convey meanings.
As latter-day-saints there is much to learn about the symbolic teachings from God. The very fact that we raise a statue of the angel Moroni on all the temples is a very symbolic teaching and one that has it’s roots in the things Moses taught the children of Israel from God. The same God who talked to Moses has talked to Joseph Smith and of course many others.

These three feasts instituted by God were to teach the Israelites about Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry and his latter-day ministries. Tenet Hadely Read is a much more knowledgeable teacher so here is the link to her article: The Golden Plates and the Feast of Trumpets You don’t want to miss it.

Quotes from Read's article: 

"The Hebrew name used today for the Feast of Trumpets is Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. But this was not its original name, though the day does signify a new beginning. One of its original names was the Day of Remembrance. This name arose because the Lord commanded Israel to blow trumpets on this day for remembrance.
According to tradition, it was on this day that the Israelites were remembered and freed from slavery in Egypt, prior to the completed Exodus. 10 Also, it was on this day that the Lord remembered Israel and granted them spiritual renewal after their return from captivity in Babylon. For it was on the first day of the seventh month that Ezra read from the book of the law, and the people rejoiced because he “gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (see Neh. 8:1–12).""
"This article will focus on the Feast of Trumpets. It is important to note that on 22 September 1827, the very day Israel celebrated the Feast of Trumpets, 5 Moroni gave the golden plates to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Since this feast was ripe with meaning for the theme of the regathering of Israel, it is unlikely this timing was accidental. Indeed, young Joseph was asked to meet Moroni for four years in preparation for that significant day in 1827."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

1 Nephi 4:1

I am in School Again!
I am supposed to "further knowledge" of principals found in the Book of Mormon. If you have a good idea, or want to further my knowledge I want to hear it.
Post:
The Japanese word Kamikaze is usually translated as "divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity", and kaze for "wind")*.
I watched a documentary about a man who explored the story of the “divine wind” that blew away the invading Mongol horde off the coast of Japan.  The story goes that this huge Mongol fleet had parked off the shore of Japan and the Samurai warriors had put up a superb defense but knew on the morrow they would die, as they didn’t have any more resources. Evidently there were many pleads to Gods and in the early morning hours a “divine wind” blew the army away.  This man used many means of science to verify the story and found a bay with many anchors buried under sand; they were all turned one way indicating the boats had been pushed (by the wind), snapped off their lines and the boats probably sank. After further research he concluded the boats were not meant for sea travel but had been river boats impounded for naval use and that ‘strong winds’ were typical of that area.
The timing of a natural event in my opinion is the miracle. The ‘strong wind’ didn’t come two days later; it came when it was desperately needed.
Grace – “divine means of help or strength”. Nephi counted on the grace of God when he said, “Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth…”

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamikaze
I think if I were truly a knowledgeable student I would know how to look up that documentary and cite it........anybody know where to look?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Terror at Night - that included a squirrel (presumably), woodpecker, and mouse

Sleeping at Girls Camp is always iffy - you're in the woods, temperatures always change and there are no comfy mattresses. This year I got to the usual Wednesday sleep through-the-night phase and was looking forward to getting a little more rest on Thursday and Friday nights.
Friday night I woke up with my heart pounding, I identified the anxiety as a foreign smell and then rationalized to myself that it was probably from the campfire program though I hadn't remembered sitting in the smoke so determinedly closed my eyes. Then something dropped from the Loft. Quick terror at the knowledge that my friend and I were not alone. Flashing thoughts about the idea of someone else in the cabin without my knowledge sent my heart racing again. Another hollow crack of a drop. Scrambling for my flashlight I shine it all over the ceiling and floor. Patty and I finally decided it was an acorn shell and I keep telling myself over and over it's a squirrel - turning off the flashlight I huddled in my blankets too afraid to move....just waiting. Actually I started praying, thinking about the non-protection I had if "something or one" was really there. Is that a footstep - no. Time crawls by and then another drop, click on the light and wonder if I'm seeing an M&M that dropped. Light off praying. Then I hear a quick tapping (probably trees I'm reassuring myself) and sweep the flashlight around the room again at which time the smoke smell is stronger and I know it is not from the campfire -- this smells like a forest fire. Visions of scrambling to find places for about 130 girls in the cars of the leaders (instead of the usual buses) or wading into Lake Rucker away from the fire are filling my mind. About then I see a tiny light grey mouse jumping up into my bag and a few seconds later running across to the corner of the cabin and disappearing. The smoke is stronger and more important - my heart is fluttering fast - I'm praying that the right people will know how to act and then I'm wondering if I'm the one supposed to do something - anything. I pry myself out from the blankets and out to the porch to see if I can see any smoke or flames (please no I'm praying). I can see the stars, I can see the trees, other cabins in the distance, no flames, no smoke - but I can't see very far and it is definitely a forest fire smell. Alison Curtis from the tent in front of the cabin calls up to ask if I smell smoke too. I tell her I woke up with my heart racing and she says she's been huddled with terror too and then around from the back of the cabin Julie Shafer coming from her tent, said she has been watching the lights flashing around and smelling the smoke and she has been feeling the same adrenaline alertness that we are. Alison is hearing the helicopters and I'm trying to tell her it is a train that comes through every night. We are all speculating and wondering why we're all afraid - and wondering about exactly what.  About then Pam Hosking the camp director comes walking up with Lindsay Nausin checking out the camp and she came to see and listened to our anxiety.  The craft ladies have already smelled the smoke and have gone to alert her.  She said she'd call the Fire Department and see where and what the problem is. She said the smell is getting fainter.  By then Patty Hill is up and awake and she, Alison, and Julie decide to go to the bathroom. About then we notice a woodpecker perched on the side of the window outside the loft.  As the ladies walk off I go in and watch the mouse scurrying out of my bag again and heading for his bolt hole. When I investigate, there is a forgotten bag of trail mix from my first day's lunch that now has holes in it and I dump out the bag and sweep the mix off the side of the porch on the ground. Then clean up the mess. I figured he'd find it again. I realize I can't stay in that cabin by myself and reassure my fantasy mind that "if" someone where up in the loft being alone is bad and maybe letting "him" go away while we're gone would be good - so I slip on my shoes and run after the other ladies.
We're all speculating and trying to be calm. It is amazing all the thoughts that race through your mind in the deepest dark of the night. I and Patty explained about the dropping shells, Julie talked about the lights popping up in the night and smelling the smoke. Maybe it was the light I kept flashing around the cabin, maybe it's the High Adventure or 4th level girls. I ask Julie to come up behind me I as check out the loft - there will be no sleep until I know the loft is clear. The woodpecker is still there and I have to force myself into the door and then up the stairs - Julie is such a sweetheart she was right there behind me. Not a thing except a wrapper from Patty's cough drops, an M&M and some shells. I tell them about the mouse and we all go back to bed. Pam comes a few minutes later with Lindsay and Shannon Griffen to tell us the fire is on the other side of the river and the Fire Department will call if anything pops up in our part of the woods. I think we all fell asleep - till early in the morning I hear some more tapping and in that half wake stage I start dreaming about rattlesnakes and other dangers.   A half hour later some critter bumps into an empty water bottle and it rolls across the floor- I 'dream' about a head rolling and decide that sleep is over rated and get up to read my scriptures but dumping out the bag last night my iPad is dark. So I pack all my stuff that I can quietly do as the Cookies and Brethren aren't up or need any help yet. I can feel the fantasies of the night slip away with the arrival of the sun. It's easy to laugh about the unexpected in the full light of day. Did you know that mice only take the nuts and chocolate? - they leave the raisins.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

With blue satin sashes...

I don't have to walk past the baby girl dresses without touching. I can pick up the pink ribbons, bows and hair ties. At Easter and Christmas - oh joy! I can buy any beautiful baby dress I see!

I AM GOING TO HAVE A GRANDDAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!

Happiness is spilling over the edge because I'm going to be a Nona again and this time it'll be a girl.  Matthew and Debbie are expecting the grand event in December. What a full year for them! They both graduate from BYU and then they are expecting a baby and they will move to North Carolina so Matthew can go to school again and Debbie will be studying to get her teacher's certificate.

That distance thing......oh well, I wonder what vacations on the East coast will be like?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gratitude For Mortal Angels

Moms get to sit on their hands and worry.... a lot.  After your kid is about 8, there is no more holding, rocking, hugging, or kissing it better. Of course you still feel the same angst and have the same need to do something, but the child is "too big" for that.
That's why God sends angels. I haven't personally seen the halo and wings, but I know a few mortals who are God's messengers, workers, and personnel.
My youngest Rachel is a quiet, shy, hard-working, and observant. As a three year-old she did NOT want to go up in Primary to hold a picture, pick a song, or give a talk. Working, memorizing, giving prompts, walking up to the front with her, all the things a mom can do when girls are young I did. But mostly I prayed she would have the help she needed to overcome her painful shyness.  Many times her confident, beautifully memorized talk would become a squeak and duck when she got up in front of her friends.
Ah, then came Ms. Hasegawa her 3rd grade teacher at school.  Ms. Hasegawa had a policy of having each student get up in front of the class each week and report on a specific assignment.  One week they gave their favorite poem, one week was a news event, one week they said how they lived by the standards of cooperation, inclusion, honesty etc. from the school. Right now I've forgotten what the last week was........ Anyway the children were graded on their performance from 1 to 5. What a difference in Rachel's life in a few months! Prayers were being answered! She could get up in front of her peers and an audience and give a report, talk, or lesson.  She was still a shy, fairly quiet girl, but more socially adept.
Last Sunday. My gratitude for the Lord's blessings and angels is immense.
Rachel gave a clarinet solo with Teemaree Capener accompanying her in church. And did a good job.
Angels (good women)  made it possible.
Jackie Fontaine asked Rachel many months ago to play in church.  Rachel said yes even though she had just quit band to take choir.  She felt she could practice a bit and be ready.  I believe they had one, maybe two practices when Rachel went on an outing and slammed the car door on her thumb. Cracked almost in half. No solo.
Lisa Lambert (Mortal Angel) called Rachel a few weeks ago and asked her to play again.  Lisa went out of her way to make sure Rachel would do a good job, even going so far as to practice with her.  Lisa had chemotherapy which renders one arm and hand almost useless, so she plays a 7 note range with Rachel till Rachel felt confident and gained back her embouchure. Teemaree Capener is another caring loving angel ready and willing to support, help and give of her time to make sure Rachel was a success.  Thank you to God and the Angels.  Many back prayers are being answered.


Lisa hold clarinet with one hand and plays her notes with the other