Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I Love to See the Temple

This year we completed our goal, decades in the making, to accompany each of our children to the temple as they received their endowment. It's not possible to describe how that feels, but John comes close as he records, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." A few more decades will pass, but we have great hopes to accompany each of our grandchildren as well when that time comes. In the meantime, hopefully this post will help encourage them to keep that goal in sight.

For each of the boys, the Orlando Temple was the setting for this special day.
22 June 2002
4 June 2004
11 August 2007
2 May 2009
28 July 2012

photo credit: Jarvie Digital

For Michelle, it was the gorgeous Provo City Center Temple. No matter which temple you attend, though, you can feel light and truth and peace and comfort. So many wonderful blessings and marvelous promises are available! It's worth whatever sacrifice and effort it takes to get there.

15 September 2017

The temple experience definitely deserves a thumbs up! I love to see the temple, and I'm so grateful there are so many dotting the world now!!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Learning Something New

Today, during the Relief Society lesson on education, I was reminded of a quote that has brought me much comfort over the years. I'm sure this phrase stuck with me when I heard it at the General Women's Meeting in September 1992 because I had spent that day putting the idea into practice. Sister Pearce's talk really was on how to overcome fear, but this phrase helps me remember the importance of learning new things.

Do things that you don't know how to do - yet!

That year we were working on finishing our basement, and that particular day we had tackled the project of framing out a window. It had originally been in a window well, but we had it exposed to create a walk-in basement door, and we wanted it to look nicer. Now I don't remember too much about the project, but I do remember it involved figuring out miter cuts and multiple trips to Home Depot. It took a lot longer than we had anticipated, but at the end of the day, we had learned new skills and were pleased with our efforts. We've had many opportunities since then to put this principle into practice!
I guess I never took a picture of the finished door and window, but I did take pictures of the hole being dug and the retaining wall and steps being poured. It was quite a project, but we did create a walk-out basement!

Here's the actual quote:  "[An] idea that has been helpful to me was reportedly expressed by Vincent van Gogh, a famous painter. He said, 'I am always doing what I can’t do yet in order to learn how to do it.' A large part of conquering daily fear is simply doing things that we don’t know how to do—yet."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Talmage Quote

I don't know how long ago I read Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage, but I remember reading a thought that helped me understand the sacrament better. Then, later when I wanted to share that with someone, I couldn't find it!

As I listened to Elder Christofferson's talk about "The Living Bread" from general conference this weekend, I prayed that he might share that quote so I could have it again. He didn't, but the Spirit did whisper to me where I might look to find it myself, and I did.

"To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ was and is to believe in and accept Him as the literal Son of God and Savior of the world, and to obey His commandments. By these means only may the Spirit of God become an abiding part of man's individual being, even as the substance of the food he eats is assimilated with the tissues of his body." (Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage, page 342)

Before I had searched for this quote in Talmage's description of the last supper, but I found it in his commentary on this "living bread" sermon. I don't really have deep and profound thoughts like others I know, but I'm intrigued by this concept that what we partake of actually becomes part of us, and it helps strengthen my desire to become more holy and righteous, and gives me something to focus on during the sacrament each week.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Stake Relief Society Conference

Our theme for the conference this year was Don't Just Survive, Thrive, which comes from the following quote by Maya Angelou:

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

I like that thought of having some style! As our leaders reminded us, while Maya Angelou gave us the idea, the gospel of Jesus Christ tells us how. Here are some of the ideas that were reiterated nothing is really new!) throughout the morning:

175th Anniversary of the Relief Society

“The difference between success and failure is not dramatic. In fact, the difference between success and failure is so subtle, so mundane, that most people miss it. They may not realize they have a philosophy, but they do, and it goes like this: What I do right now doesn’t really matter. It’s not hard to see how people come to this understanding of life. I don’t blame them. It’s completely understandable. It’s just not the truth. The truth is, what you do matters. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter, and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in. Those little things that will make you successful in life, that will secure your health, your happiness, your fulfillment, your dreams, are simple, subtle, mundane things that nobody will see, nobody will applaud, nobody will even notice. They are those things that, at the time you do them, often feel like they make absolutely no difference. Things that are ridiculously easy to do—but just as easy not to do. Things that don’t seem to bring you any visible results—at first. Things that seem so insignificant, they couldn’t possibly matter. But they do. Things that, when you look at them as single occurrences, don’t seem like they’d have any impact at all—yet when compounded over time they add up to outrageous success.”
     by Jeff Olson - from The Slight Edge

The Law of Occupied Space - This was a cool concept, which you can read about here. Basically the idea is that faith and fear, or light and dark, or optimism and pessimism can't exist at the same time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The War Chapters

Once again I'm reading the war chapters in the Book of Mormon, and so I thought I'd also try reading some articles to help me get more out of them. This seemed to be a good place to record them so I can find them again.

"Men of Peace in a Time of War" by Eugene England (my BYU Freshman English professor)

"From Weak to Strong" by Scott Shepherd

"Lessons for Today" by Elder Paul B. Pieper

"Exceedingly Valiant for Courage" by David A. Bednar (a BYU-I commencement address)

"Righteous Warriors" by John Bytheway (video of a BYU Education Week talk)


This excerpt really has nothing to do with the topic, but I want to remember it, so I'm copying it. Can't you just feel the love and concern Elder Bednar (before he was Elder Bednar) had (and, I'm sure, still has) for his students?

Now, I want to conclude on a personal note. Sister Bednar and I love you. We have so much enjoyed visiting with you on campus and in your apartments, participating with you in home evenings, talking about your challenges and opportunities, answering your questions, and becoming better acquainted. We are going to miss you. And we would love to hear from you; please be sure to let us know about the things that are happening in your lives.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Wayne's fond of saying "technology never works" and right now I tend to agree with him (although "never" is a bit strong). I'm clearing out my church bag and wanted to add a conference quote to my online study notes on lds.org, but it's not letting me. So, here it goes so I can throw away the scrap of paper and still find the quote again someday.

"Our precious relationships with families, friends, the Lord, and His restored Church are among the things that matter most in life. Because these relationships are so important, they should be cherished, protected, and nurtured."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, October 2016 general conference

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Change to Improve

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“Most of us have had some experience with self-improvement efforts. My experience has taught me this about how people and organizations improve: the best place to look is for small changes we could make in things we do often. There is power in steadiness and repetition. And if we can be led by inspiration to choose the right small things to change, consistent obedience will bring great improvement.”
“The Lord Will Multiply the Harvest” [an evening with Elder Henry B. Eyring, Feb. 6, 1998], 3

Here's a devotional address by Brother Wahlquist that gives ideas on how to put this principle into action. It's worth reading and pondering.

And that reminds me of a general conference talk by Elder Larry R. Lawrence, "What Lack I Yet?"

While looking for a picture, I discovered this idea even has an identifiable term - Kaizen. Isn't it great to be able to learn something new?

Image result for kaizen

Image result for change improve quotes

Image result for change improve quotes