Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Challenge to Remember

I came across this quote the other day, and it reminded me of an experience we had years ago.

And the challenge to remember has always been the hardest for those who are blessed abundantly. Those who are faithful to God are protected and prospered. That comes as the result of serving God and keeping His commandments. But with those blessings comes the temptation to forget their source. It is easy to begin to feel the blessings were granted not by a loving God on whom we depend but by our own powers. 
--Henry B. Eyring, "O Remember, Remember"

I first heard the hymn "Because I Have Been Given Much" during an adult fireside we attended soon after the new* hymnbook had been published. I loved it then, and still do. I'm not sure what topic the speakers addressed, but I imagine it was something along the lines of "pay your tithing" and "live within your means." What I do remember, though, is realizing that night that financial prosperity can be a real trial in our lives. As President Eyring noted, humans have a tendency to forget God when things are going well. Doing so is not good for our eternal welfare. It takes constant attention to recognize God's hand in our lives, to be humble and grateful, and to be willing to share our good fortune with others. I'm glad I was taught that lesson early, and I'm grateful for the blessings that have come into our life as we've tried to remember God - and the source of those many blessings - constantly and always.

Wayne's favorite scripture!
*It's been thirty years since that version of the hymnbook was released, and this month the church announced that a new one is in the works. So for those reading this post in the future, I'm talking about the 1985 version of the LDS hymnbook.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Warm Fuzzies

This person made cold pricklies and warm fuzzies using styrofoam balls, toothpicks, black paint, fuzzy yarn and googly eyes. No directions, but you can probably figure it out.

Someone in our family is teaching a Primary lesson on emotions to their Sunbeam class this week, which reminded me of the "Warm Fuzzies" story. So that I can find these resources again in the future, here they are.

The original story by Claude Steiner written in 1969.

A version set on a tropical island.

A version with a prince and sorceress.

Using the story for a home school activity.

Here's a free printable kids' board game on emotions.

It's important to help our children identify their emotions so they can learn to deal with them in positive and constructive ways. What are some of the things you've done to accomplish this?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fascinating News Article

This morning while doing some family history research on one of Wayne's collateral lines, I came across this little newspaper article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dated 27 August 1946:

Mrs. Charles W. Smith, 5054 Raymond Avenue, was discharged on her $2500 bond today after Assistant Circuit Attorney Paul L. Dobberstein refused to issue a warrant against her. Mrs. Smith, the former Miss Melba Wernle, was arrested Sunday on complaint of Edward Joseph Myers, a former suitor, that she had failed to return $1950* he had entrusted to her before she was married while he was serving with the Navy in the South Pacific. Dobberstein said Myers had informed him he did not wish to prosecute Mrs. Smith, because he had already received part of the money turned over to her and arrangements had been made for restitution of the remainder.

What is so fascinating about it is that Melba and Edward were married a couple of years later. I guess they forgave each other, but I wonder what happened to Charles?

* $1,950 in 1946 equals $26,413.29 in 2018. That's a quite bit of money for ordinary folks. According to the 1940 Census, Melba was a stenographer and Edward worked for the police department.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Encircled About

Today is Mother's Day. In honor of that special day, one of our sons posted the following picture on Instagram, of his wife encircled by their children:

That picture came to mind as I read the following verse in the Book of Mormon this morning:

They saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them. (3 Nephi 17:24)

I thought how neat it would be if there were a way to picture a mom encircling her children, but it's kind of hard for one person to surround five. Maybe that's why we love the "hen gathering her chickens" pictures, and maybe that's why we're given arms. Anyway, I digress. 

I realized that in this picture there could very well be unseen angels ministering to both mother and children, that they are providing that outer circle of love and protection. If I had another person's skills, I could try portraying that thought visually, but I don't - (Aren't you so grateful we each have differing, unique talents?) - so you'll need to imagine it yourself. 

I am grateful for a mother who lavished care and attention on me. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to bear children and watch them grow and develop into incredible adults. I am thankful that our grandchildren have the best mothers in the world who are doing an awesome job as they cherish and teach the next generation. Finally, I am grateful for the help we receive from ministering angels, seen and unseen, as we continue on our path home to our heavenly parents.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Chiasmus

My dad wrote this years ago, and each Easter I like to review it. It's one of my favorite personal traditions, one that doesn't involve food!

If this scanned photo is too difficult to read, go here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Son of Man

Almost a year ago I realized I should make time to go through the "Jesus Christ" scriptures in the Topical Guide, but I finally started this week. One of the first things that I noticed was that the Savior used the term "Son of man" when referring to himself. Have you noticed that?

Others have, and when I tried searching for what that term might mean, I found some possible answers.

These two - here* and here - were the easiest to read and understand. Basically, in the prophecy of Daniel, the Messiah is called the "Son of Man" so when Jesus used that title for himself, it was a way to confirm that he was the Messiah. "Son of man" is also a term that simply means human. Rather than emphasizing his divinity, Jesus used this term to emphasize his mortality.

Our LDS Bible Dictionary gives a similar explanation:

Son of Man 
A title of our Lord, found in the Gospels. . .  In the Old Testament the expression “son of man” is frequently used to denote simply “a man.”

The main ideas that probably underlie the title as applied to our Lord are (1) lowliness, humility, and suffering; (2) honor and dignity, as head and founder of the kingdom of God, and judge of all men; (3) the thought of Him as the representative or ideal Man, chosen by our Lord as expressive of His headship over the whole human family.

Latter-day revelation confirms the special meaning and sacredness of this phrase when used as a name of the Savior.

So, I learned something today, and I hope you did as well!

Note: I also looked up "son" in the collegiate dictionary. Of course, it means "male offspring" but the last definition is "a person associated with a formative agent, such as a nation, school, or group." In that sense, maybe mankind could be considered a formative agent in the Savior's life and mission. What do you think?

*Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of Man?"

Answer: Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” 88 times in the New Testament. A first meaning of the phrase “Son of Man” is as a reference to the prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14. The description “Son of Man” was a Messianic title. Jesus is the One who was given dominion and glory and a kingdom. When Jesus used this phrase, He was assigning the Son of Man prophecy to Himself. The Jews of that era would have been intimately familiar with the phrase and to whom it referred. Jesus was proclaiming Himself as the Messiah.

A second meaning of the phrase “Son of Man” is that Jesus was truly a human being. God called the prophet Ezekiel “son of man” 93 times. God was simply calling Ezekiel a human being. A son of a man is a man. Jesus was fully God, but He was also a human being. . . .  Yes, Jesus was the Son of God—He was in His essence God. Yes, Jesus was also the Son of Man—He was in His essence a human being. In summary, the phrase “Son of Man” indicates that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is truly a human being.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Gift of Time

This morning I read a talk given by President Henry B. Eyring at BYU in 1986 (before he was President Eyring) and I thought I'd record a few quotes from it here. Once again, it's an excellent address that I will want to review later some day.

Child of Promise

"Since I know something of the anxiety the pressure of time creates in your life, I would like to share with you what little I have learned in my life about how to handle that feeling of hurry. It could help you in your life. It’s important to be sure we agree on the nature of the problem. Time passes at a fixed rate and we can’t store it. You can just decide what to do with it or not to do with it."

"Even a moment’s reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely."

"Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President [Brigham] Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital."

"One of the things that makes you a child of promise is that you know God’s promises, and you know their purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. You will invest your time wisely if you value the promises."

"Now, I haven’t solved the problem of your busy schedules. You will still feel you are in a hurry and you will still find yourself not reaching the end of every list. In fact, you may find your list changing and even growing larger. But you can have peace and confidence in your choices."

No, he hasn't solved the problem of the never-ending to-do list, but he has given me hope that I can be successful and productive in doing what the Lord wants me to do. I hope this helps you as well!