Tag Archive: mormon


Gotta Love Kids

You know that feeling, when you get into bed at night and all of a sudden you revert back to a child and think for a split second..”Is something under my bed?” Maybe you don’t, but many times I have found myself thinking that.

I have been scared many times in my life by real life “creepers” so I tend to have an overactive imagination with some things.

We have some “interesting” neighbors that have moved in that have made us more vigilant when it comes to making sure things are locked up when we leave, etc. I  hate feeling like this in my own home. It didn’t used to be like this.

Well we are very active in our church and attend meetings every Sunday. When you live in the type of neighborhood I live in, most people know when you are gone on Sundays and at what times and for how long. This is information  that you really don’t want people knowing if they want to break into your house.

So each week in the back of my mind I think, “They know we are gone, I hope they don’t try anything”.

Two weeks ago, we came home from church and I had just come out of the bathroom. I was singing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, or at least trying to because I couldn’t past “Chippewa on down” because I couldn’t remember the words. So I was in my own little world trying to figure out what the next words were. I came around the end of my bed and turned to go out the door when something grabbed my ankle from underneath the bed.

I really shouldn’t have to explain my reaction. It was like having a near death experience. I screamed for at least 2 minutes before I heard my daughter laughing. She is lucky she started laughing or the adrenaline might have jumped and  I might  have started kicking her in the face.

I seriously had to sit down after this. Have you ever been scared so bad that your heart hurt? My heart was pounding so hard it hurt. I sat there breathing hard and holding my breath. Like Fred Sanford does when the “Big One” is coming:

Anyway, I decided that the next time I sing The Wreck of the Edmund Fiztgerald it will be Tim Hawkins version:

Today I reflect upon the trials that my husband and I have gone through in the last 4 years. At times when there seemed no hope, Heavenly Father always reminded us of His presence and love for us.

Today I read a post on Facebook from a friend and neighbor of mine. I realized that even how large my problems have seemed, they pale in comparison to some.

With this said, I am including two links. I urge you to click on these links. Read them and try to help. Despite the problems this world faces, I refuse to believe that brotherly love and kindness do no exist.  There are good people out there who are wanting to do what God wants and truly follow Him in every sense of the word.

Please read and help if you can.

 

http://www.heartsforbinghams.org/

 

http://jasonandstacybingham.blogspot.com/

Facing Your Fears

This past week, I was privileged to travel with a group of about 30 youth and a few adults to Jackson Hole Wyoming for a youth conference.

In my mind I tell myself that I am an adventurous soul, but then some situations I get in I truly ask myself, “What were you thinking?”

Our first day we embarked on a river raft trip down the Snake River. I was all stoke for this until we actually got to the river. All of a sudden, I remembered the time I almost drown as a kid and I started getting really nervous. Not to mention that the entire boat contained young girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Then there were four women and on guide. In my mind I kept thinking, “Shouldn’t we have at least one more guide so if I fall in someone can help me back in, while the other guides the boat?” No, no more guides just Alex.

As we started off down the calmer part of the river, Alex was good as relieving our fears and told us he hadn’t lost anyone yet. This particular sentence wasn’t very comforting because I had a doctor tell me he had never had any problems with a certain surgery and guess what…I was his first problem and nearly died. So I kept thinking to myself, I will be the first of Alex’s “losses”.

I realized that as we conquered each wave, how I relaxed more and actually started enjoying it even though the water was only 48 degrees and I had lost all feeling in my right foot.

I came on this trip with three of my children, one daughter and two sons. I knew two of my children were the adventurous type, but my one son really surprised me. You could get a bracelet for jumping into the river at a certain point. He actually jumped into the water. My daughter was the first on our boat, which was not surprising, to jump in and my other son… He had to do it three times. I am not sure I would have been that adventurous at their age.

At one point my “safe” son was actually “riding the bull” at the front of the boat through the waves. This really surprised me. After we got on the bus, my younger “crazier” son informed me that he had ridden the bull through the lunch counter. This almost gave me a heart attack. I guess he figured it was better to do it and then ask for permission later. This kid will be the death of me.

By the time we ended the trip I was really wanting more river to conquer as was most of the girls. The whole trip was designed to get us out of our comfort zone and try new things. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and would in fact do this again. It was very fun.

That night we drove in to Jackson to play night games at the high school. I actually found this to be more out of my comfort zone than almost anything else we did just because of what happened there.

I am an extremely jumpy and paranoid person. Because of experiences growing up, I am extremely cautious when put in some situations. A couple of weeks before coming on this trip, we had a retired police officer come and speak to the girls about being safe and how to avoid bad situations. It was very informative and added to my paranoid nature.

While we were playing night games, I started to get really thirsty. I noticed a building by the football field where we were playing. I decided that I would walk over and see if there was a drinking fountain. Now it was dark and the only light came from a couple of street lights and some flashlights the kids had.

When I got to the building and noticed it was restrooms, I decided I was use the facilities while there. As I approached a door to see which bathroom I was at, a voice came out of the dark asking me what we were doing. I nearly died. I couldn’t see anyone and could only tell in what direction the voice was coming from. I knew the voice was not attached to anyone I knew so I was extremely startled. I explained that we were playing capture the flag and the person asked a couple of more questions. At this point I had a few red flags going up in my head. I decided to leave the conversation and continue on to my destination…the lady’s room. When I got to the back side of the building, I started getting more and more nervous. I realized that I had just put myself in an extremely volatile situation. I was behind a building, in the dark and a stranger knew I was there and I was pretty sure that a few or anyone even knew the stranger was there.

I decided to go into the bathroom anyway because at this point I really had to go and couldn’t wait. When I entered the bathroom, the light automatically came on, which kind of scared me because I was already on edge. I got in the stall and did my duty and as I was getting ready to go out of the stall, the lights went off. I nearly had a heart attack. I kid you not, I thought I was about to get involved in a smack down and no one would a hear a thing that happened. I stood there with hand on handle listening and waiting to see if I could hear anything.

After a couple of minutes had passed, I knew I couldn’t stay in the stall all night and that I had to come out. I slowly opened the door and tried to look in the dark for any movement. Because the stall door next to me was opened, it blocked any dim view I had of the exit. I stood there for what seemed an eternity before I finally shoved the stall door next to me hoping that if someone was on the other side of it, I would knock them out on impact.

After the door stopped swinging, I listened for noise and didn’t hear anything, so I decided to head for the exit. I took about four steps when the light came on. I stood there with a deer in the headlight look thinking I was going to see the perp in front of me who had shut off the light, but there was no one. After my heart slowed to 300 bm I realized it was possible that the lights were automatic in some way. This did not remove the fear I was feeling. I stood with hand on the exit door handle for about five minutes trying to figure out what I should do. Do I slowly open the door and look side to side or do I just bust out like the flippin’ john was on fire. I came to the conclusion that if someone was out there, they would be surprised by my bolting out of there and thus giving me an upper hand.

It was probably about 5 minutes before I had the guts to bust out. I swung that door open and flew out of there like there was no tomorrow, not looking what was behind me.

I later found out that this guy ending up being obnoxious and thus ending the kids’ night of fun. Which confirmed my suspicions of the guy to begin with. I shook for quite a while afterwards.

The next day of our adventures took us to a ropes course at in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. Here we would be facing our fears on a rock wall and zip line. I was really stoked for this and thought it would be fun. When we arrived, I soon noticed how secluded it was and how some of the trails were hard to see.  Now we had been seeing bear warning signs along the road, so in the back of my mind there was a small thought of perhaps running into one. As we were walking along this trail to a hidden pavilion, all of a sudden I see a giant brown head. I nearly dropped dead right there until I realized it was a brown lab. I told myself what a stupid idiot I was to get so scared and the chances of seeing a bear would be slim to none.

Well that fear was intensified when the advisors of the course told us that a black bear had just come through there earlier that morning. Geez! Are you kidding me? Now to add to the anxiety of the zip line, I was freaked out over seeing a bear. My mother’s cousin was mauled by a bear in Alaska and the story was published in a book. I had been reading this book earlier this year and decided that I would never come within 100 yards of an Alder bush. This whole book was about grizzly bears coming out of Alder bushes.

When we finally got to the rock wall, I was nervous but I had done a rock wall a couple of times before so it wasn’t too bad. It was when I got to the top and realized that the only way down was the zip line. I don’t know how I had ever talked myself into this, but me and heights have never been bff’s and it wasn’t about to start this day either.

I stood there in almost a frozen fear of how high I was and how it was intended for me to get down. I shook as the advisor hooked me up to the zip line, thinking how stupid I was to agree to this. We were at least 30 feet in the air and one had to walk out on this plank that was no wider than 2 feet and perhaps 2 1/2 long. It looked like 4 inches square from where I was standing. I climbed out on the plank holding on to the telephone pole behind me like a stinkin’ cat. I stood there with everyone cheering me on and trying to get up the nerve to go. I just could not get myself to jump. I kept telling myself to do it and just get it over with, but I couldn’t. Then I looked below and there stood my two sons, yelling at me “You can do it Mom!”. I knew at this point, I had to jump. They had to see that their mother was not a wuss.

I truly believe I passed out on the jump because it was a blur and then I am pretty sure I woke up the entire community of Driggs from my scream. I screamed, and screamed and screamed. Was it fun? In a sick sort of way. Would I do it again? Not entirely sure. As we were leaving the course to go to the cars, it was getting dark and I realized I was on a trail that was surrounded by what looked like Alder bushes. I nearly plowed over those in front of me trying to get to the cars. If there was anything that scared me more than that dang zip line, it would be something coming out of those bushes and getting me. So did I face my fears? I felt like I was the entire trip. Do I think I handled them well? Perhaps some of them, others not so much so.

Liberalism Wary of Mormonism

I read an article where the liberals were increasingly becoming wearing of a Mormon being a president. As I sat and contemplated this, I decided I would take the liberal belief system and compare it to the Mormon belief system and see perhaps why they are wary of us. I am only going to touch on a few of the differences.

Liberals view on abortion:

A woman has the right to decide what happens with her body.  A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights. The government should provide taxpayer-funded abortions for women who cannot afford them. The decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government must protect this right. Women have the right to affordable, safe and legal abortions, including partial birth abortion.

Mormons view on abortion:

As sons and daughters of God, we cherish life as a gift from Him. His eternal plan provides opportunities for His children to obtain physical bodies, to gain earthly experiences, and to realize their divine destinies as heirs of eternal life. 

With that understanding and reverence for life, we deplore the loss of life associated with warfare. The data are appalling. In World War I, more than 8 million military fatalities occurred. In World War II, more than 22 million servicemen and women died.  Together, these two wars, covering portions of 14 years, cost the lives of at least 30 million soldiers worldwide. That figure does not include the millions of civilian casualties.

These data, however, are dwarfed by the toll of another war that claims more casualties annually than did World War I and World War II combined. Worldwide reports indicate that more than 40 million abortions are performed per year. 

This war called abortion is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice.

This matters greatly to us because the Lord has repeatedly declared this divine imperative: “Thou shalt not kill.”Then He added, “Nor do anything like unto it.”  Even before the fulness of the gospel was restored, enlightened individuals understood the sanctity of human life. John Calvin, a sixteenth-century reformer, wrote, “If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, … it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” 

Man-made rules have now legalized that which has been forbidden by God from the dawn of time! Human reasoning has twisted and transformed absolute truth into sound-bite slogans that promote a practice that is consummately wrong.

Concern for the health of the mother is a vital one. But circumstances in which the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life of the mother are very rare, particularly where modern medical care is available. Another concern applies to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. This tragedy is compounded because an innocent woman’s freedom of choice was denied. In these circumstances, abortion is sometimes considered advisable to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother. Abortions for these reasons are also rare.

Some argue for abortion because of fear that a child may have a congenital malformation. Surely the harmful effects of certain infectious or toxic agents in the first trimester of pregnancy are real, but caution is needed in considering the termination of a pregnancy. Life has great value for all, including those born with disabilities. Furthermore, the outcome may not be as serious as postulated.

Relatively few abortions are performed for the special circumstances to which I have referred.  Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control.

Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.

To understand this concept more clearly, we can learn from the astronaut. Anytime during selection or preparation, he or she is free to withdraw from the program. But once the spacecraft has lifted off, the astronaut is bound to the consequences of the previous choice to make the journey.

So it is with people who choose to embark on a journey that leads to parenthood. They have freedom of choice—to begin or not to begin that course. When conception does occur, that choice has already been made.

Yes, a woman is free to choose what she will do with her body. Whether her choice leads to an astronaut’s mission or to a baby, her choice to begin the journey binds her to the consequences of that choice. She cannot “unchoose.”

When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life—and a lifetime of choices that her child would make.

As Latter-day Saints, we should stand up for choice—the right choice—not simply for choice as a method.

Nearly all legislation pertaining to abortion considers the duration of gestation. The human mind has presumed to determine when “meaningful life” begins. In the course of my studies as a medical doctor, I learned that a new life begins when two special cells unite to become one cell, bringing together 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from the mother. These chromosomes contain thousands of genes. In a marvelous process involving a combination of genetic coding by which all the basic human characteristics of the unborn person are established, a new DNA complex is formed. A continuum of growth results in a new human being. Approximately 22 days after the two cells have united, a little heart begins to beat. At 26 days the circulation of blood begins.To legislate when a developing life is considered “meaningful” is presumptive and quite arbitrary, in my opinion.

Abortion has been legalized by governing entities without regard for God and His commandments. Scriptures state repeatedly that people will prosper only if they obey the commandments of God.  Individuals will prosper only when they walk in faith and obedience to God, who said:

“I, the Lord, … built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.

“And it is my purpose to provide. …

“But it must needs be done in mine own way. …

“For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.” 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently opposed the practice of abortion. More than a century ago, the First Presidency wrote, “We again take this opportunity of warning the Latter-day Saints against those … practices of foeticide and infanticide.” 

Early in his presidency President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said: “We have repeatedly affirmed the position of the Church in unalterably opposing all abortions, except in two rare instances: When conception is the result of forcible rape and when competent medical counsel indicates that a mother’s health would otherwise be seriously jeopardized.”Current policy now includes two other exceptions—incest and if the baby cannot survive beyond birth, as determined by competent medical counsel. Even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. It “should be considered only after the persons responsible have consulted with their bishops and received divine confirmation through prayer.” 

Life is precious! No one can cuddle an innocent infant, look into those beautiful eyes, feel the little fingers, and kiss that baby’s cheek without a deepening reverence for life and for our Creator. Life comes from life. It is no accident. It is a gift from God. Innocent life is not sent by Him to be destroyed. It is given by Him and is naturally to be taken by Him alone.  I testify that life is eternal as He is eternal. (Russel M. Nelson)

Liberals view on same sex-marriage:

Marriage is the union of people who love each other.  It should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, to ensure equal rights for all.  Support same-sex marriage.Opposed to the creation of a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  All individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to marry.Prohibiting same-sex citizens from marrying denies them their civil rights.

Mormons view on same sex-marriage:

The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Liberals view on Welfare:

Support welfare, including long-term welfare.Welfare is a safety net which provides for the needs of the poor.  Welfare is necessary to bring fairness to American economic life.  It is a device for protecting the poor.

Mormons view on Welfare:

The objective of the welfare program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to care for the needy while teaching principles that will allow needy persons to become self-reliant and retain their self-respect. The program also provides opportunities to all other members of the Church to serve — fulfilling the commandment Jesus Christ gave to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick.

Employment resource service centers that are provided by the church help provide a place where people can receive job training, learn to enhance their résumé and find job opportunities. There are 259 centers around the world. These programs are in place to help get people off of welfare and become self-reliant to help them retain their self-respect.

Liberals view on Global Warming:

Global warming is caused by an increased production of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).  The U.S. is a major contributor to global warming because it produces 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide. Proposed laws to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. are urgently needed and should be enacted immediately to save the planet. Many reputable scientists support this theory.

Mormons view on Global Warming:

For a brief period, following his postresurrection ministry among his disciples in the land of Jerusalem, Jesus ministered among them here in America. During the thousand years of their history they were repeatedly taught and warned by prophets—including the resurrected Lord himself—that their occupation of the land was conditioned upon their living repentant lives.

For example, Samuel, the Lamanite prophet, thus warned the Nephites some six years prior to Christ’s birth: “Behold, saith the Lord, concerning the people of the Nephites: If they will not repent, and observe to do my will, I will utterly destroy them, … and as surely as the Lord liveth shall these things be, saith the Lord.” (Hel. 15:17.)

He had before said, “Nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. …” (Hel. 13:6.)

All such warnings were in the end ignored. About A.D. 400 the Nephites became so hardened in iniquity that in a fratricidal war they were utterly destroyed.

Other witnesses to the truth of the message “repent or perish” are the consuming of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Against this background we will do well to ponder the Lord’s diagnosis of the predicament of the inhabitants of the earth today.

“They have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant,” he said.

“They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.

“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

“And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world. …” (D&C 1:15–18.)

The commandments referred to are replete with reminders to us of this generation that we must “repent or perish.”

Here are some of those reminders:

“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;

“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.

“And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;

“… He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

“And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; …

“Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” (D&C 1:12–14, 32–33, 37.)

Many of the said commandments foretell in detail the manner in which the unrepentant shall perish. For example, we read in the fifth section of the Doctrine and Covenants “that woe shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth if they will not hearken unto my words;

“For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming.

“Behold, I tell you these things, even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem; and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.” (D&C 5:5, 19–20.)

In the 29th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, we read that before the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come, “there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men;

“And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.

“And it shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent; for the cup of mine indignation is full; for behold, my blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not.

“Wherefore, I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them;

“And their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me; and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets;

“And it shall come to pass that the beasts of the forest and the fowls of the air shall devour them up.” (D&C 29:15–20.)

Although these scriptures, and numerous others to like effect, clearly and forcefully emphasize the message “repent or perish,” they are not unkind, harsh, nor flippant. Neither are they arbitrary. They express the logical and inevitable consequences of the violation of natural law—that law which was “decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated.” (D&C 130:20.)

These warnings have been declared to the world now for more than 140 years. The world is without excuse.

The signs of the times bear ominous testimony that for this generation the hour of reckoning approaches.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15.) If we keep the foregoing scriptures in mind, they will help us understand the “signs” of our times.

As dark as the picture seems, however, there is a bright side to it. He who really listens will find that all the warnings, ancient and modern, have a silver lining that give cause for rejoicing. Both history and the scriptures are as replete with promises and proof that the repentant shall live, as they are with warnings that the unrepentant shall perish.

In the days of Adam, “the Lord God called upon men by the Holy Ghost everywhere and commanded them that they should repent;

“And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved. …” (Moses 5:14–15; italics added.)

A great lesson from the ancient world is evidenced in the contrast between the destiny of Enoch’s Zion and the fate of the wicked at the time of the flood.

In the days of Enoch “there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;

“And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.

“The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. …

“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; …

“… And lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. …” (Moses 7:15–18, 21.)

The same contrast may be seen between the glorious society enjoyed by the righteous Nephites during the two centuries following the ministry of the resurrected Lord among them and their ultimate destruction.

Of them it is written:

“In the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, … and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

“And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

“… and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Ne. 1:2, 15–16.)

We come now to the promises the Lord has made to us of this last dispensation:

As long ago as 550 B.C., Nephi, seeing in vision our day, was moved by the spirit of prophecy to say:

“The Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

“And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

“For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.” (2 Ne. 30:8–10; italics added.)

When the Saints were being driven from Jackson County, Missouri, the Lord gave the prophet Joseph Smith a comforting revelation in which He said:

“I have sworn … that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.

“Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.

“And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.

“Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

“Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.

“They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion.” (D&C 101:10–12, 16–18.)

In conclusion, I quote again from the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants:

“Verily I say unto you, O inhabitants of the earth: I the Lord am willing to make these things known unto all flesh;

“For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.

So I guess in my view as a Mormon, and most other Mormons that if you don’t repent and get rid of your lack of conscience  when you sin. Or if you repeatedly throw God, your very own Creator, to the wind and not take responsibility for your actions, then Global Warming is God’s way of saying, “I have asked and asked you to repent and be humble but since you repeatedly stiffen your necks and refuse to hear then I will compel you to be humble”. There are always consequences to our actions. Whether in this life or the next. No one gets a free ride.

So in closing if liberals are wary of Mormons it is because our belief system goes against the very core of theirs and unfortunately we have more evidence to back up the validity of our existence and why we are here, than they ever will and this puts fear in their hearts.

Home remodeling is not for wusses.  During my growing up years, there is only a couple of houses that I recall not being involved in a remodeling job of some sort.  My mother had this innate ability to take something ugly and make it beautiful.  I remember one particular house that I went with them to look at.  I remember walking into this four walled container of fecal matter and telling my parents that I would not move into that house if they decided to buy it. It seriously looked like someone had urinated on the walls or something in the front room.  The toilet was so disgusting.  The house smelled horrible.

My parents bought the house because they got a great deal on it.  I moved in kicking and screaming.   The house did have to be cleaned up before we moved in which helped a little bit.  When my mother was done with it, it was beautiful home.

I will be the first to tell you that I hate remodeling.  Mostly because I hate things being in chaos and it would eventually lead to not having a bathroom in the middle of winter. Utah winters in the past were not kind. You would sometimes have to plow a walkway to the car through 3-4 feet of snow. This year it has been 3-4 inches.

When my grandmother passed away, the doctors did not want my grandfather living alone.  He was pretty feeble.  So my mother and father sold our home and we moved into my grandfather’s house.  It was a two bedroom, 1 bathroom home.  There were 5 of us.  My parents made do until we could remodel the home to have 3 more bedrooms and a bathroom. See, I told you all remodeling leads to being without plumbing at one point and time.

This remodel job started in the summer and went into the winter.  My grandfather had a greenhouse that he had made that was in his backyard about 200 feet away from the house.  When it came time to install the new toilet, shower and sink, the water had to be shut off to the bathroom.  My father built us a porta-potty of sorts in the greenhouse for privacy.  Unfortunately it was in the winter and we had a lot of snow.  I remember a few mornings making the trip out to the greenhouse dreading the frostbite I was getting braced to receive.  This makes you pretty tough.

I am about to “out” my mother on this and may she forgive me.  I did not understand her situation then like I do now that I have had four children.  The birth of children seriously damages anything related to the bladder and the lack of control thereof.  Did not understand this at that time.  I am a lot more sympathetic of her situation now.

One particular morning when our bathroom was still located in the great outdoors, she woke up and had to go out to the “greenhouse”.  She realized as she got up that she had to go pretty bad and wasn’t sure if she was going to make it.  She had a pretty steep flight of stairs to go down and realized when she got to the bottom that there was no way she was going to make it without having an “accident”.  So she made an executive decision to just step off to the side of the steps and go. She hit a patch of ice which caused her to go down along with her pants.  Even now, 25 years later, I still laugh at the picture this paints in my mind. I envision Bambi when he first stepped on ice.

Now thank goodness Google wasn’t around to do a drive by “shooting”.  I would hate to find her on a Google map search somewhere.  I could not stop laughing that entire day.  I had graduated from high school and was at home so I was stuck there painting all day.  When it would get quiet…you know the 7 minute lull….I would envision my poor mother in her predicament and start laughing.  She would just look at me and give me that “I know what you are thinking about look” and then proceed to tell me that she wishes she would  have never told me what happened.  Well today I almost had the same experience she did, only I kept my pants on and ice was not involved.

The first house my husband and I lived in had to be completely remodeled for it to be livable. I decided after the 10 years of that that I would never remodel again. I will paint, but I won’t tear the entire house apart. So for the last couple of months, I have been giving my walls a fresh coat of paint after 7 years.  Today I decided that my children’s bathroom needed a new look.  I have unfortunately been smacked with the short stump and am at a huge disadvantage at reaching ceilings, let a lone vaulted ceilings.  I have not to this day spent money on a step-ladder.  That is probably why I have nearly died a few times.

Today I had the can of paint on the bathroom sink and I was standing on the side of the tub trying to paint around the ceiling.  I had a chair in between me and the sink so I could just step around to make things easier.  I stepped on the chair with one foot to reach the paint can and for some reason the chair slid, thus causing me to do the splits.  I am sure even when I was a baby that I could not do the splits. I am not genetically built for them.  My sister tried forcing me once which, quite frankly, I was lucky I could still have children afterwards.  Anyway, as the chair slid I felt the muscles pulling in places that no woman wants muscles pulling.  My daughter and husband was on the other side of the house discussing bikes and handlebar tape.  I yelled for help, groaned for help, prayed for help.  No one came. I managed to grab on to something and get myself pulled back together. I had a flashback to when I was 24 months pregnant with my youngest son (not really, but it felt like 24 months), I went to kick a ball and missed.  Couldn’t walk for weeks from a pulled groin.

I do not think that I will be walking the same after today. There is something about pulling the groin muscle that just messing everything up.  I nearly crawled into the kitchen to where the beloved family with hearing problems were.  No comments like, “sorry, we didn’t hear you” or “are you OK”.  All I got was laughter.  It haunted my ears as I am sure it did my mothers years ago.  Why did I even tell them.  Everything you do as a teen comes back to haunt you as a parent.  At least I was within the privacy of four walls and my pants were stretchy.

Can I Embarrass Myself Enough?

I grew up in a family that enjoyed having a good time.  My brothers were constantly pranking us five girls.  Of course we would always pay back. One particular week stands out more than others when one of my brothers was off work and made our lives miserable.  In the process we all started pranking each other something terrible.  My father even got in the action.  Which was out of the norm.  Usually Mom was the one who would go toilet papering with us kids and other “various activities”, all good and legal fun (at least it was legal back then). Toilet papering was our favorite thing to do. If you got toilet papered, you were the coolest people on the block. I remember my friend and I saving up tons of paper towel and toilet paper to get a boy’s house that I had “liked”.  I remember one buying spree prompted the store checker to ask us what we were up to….we just smiled.  Admitted nothing.

This  particular week off for my brother was a nightmare for the rest of us.  We would find the neck and arm holes of our pajamas sewn shut when we put them on.  We found the legs of our nylons sewn together.  My mom found her clothes missing (that was my dad), my brother found a brazier in his gym bag while he was in the boys locker…(this was a  good one).  My sister found a fake snake in her bed and we found fake spiders (that looked very real) hanging from our ceilings.  We were renting this home and the basement was unfinished.  My father had been in the military and somewhere my parents had picked up military cots for us to sleep on.  We came home from school to find all of these nailed to the beams on the ceiling. We came home and found our beds outside..this was in the winter.  We got my brother back by hanging all of his clothes off the roof of the house, including his tidy whiteys.  We put vinegar in his cologne….(I think this made my extremely patient brother upset) At this point, things were getting out of hand. We knew my father had had enough when we built a snowman in the front yard and instead of using a broom, we used a toilet plunger.  This did not sit well with him.

One prank that went bad was my sister had put shoes above a door that led downstairs hoping that she would nail someone in the head when they opened the door.  Well she did alright….the telephone repairman.  Nailed him good she did, then she blamed it on the younger, less-defensive siblings.

Anyway..this  is kind of the way my family is.  One of my sisters imparticular will call and give any child of mine that answers the phone…including my husband….a good teasing about one thing or another before asking for me.  I pretty much do the same to her children or my other sister’s children. There have been times when she or I or another sister will pass on the street and pull the old “finger up the nose” gag to be funny.  These types of things are just normal for us.

The other day, my sister called asking me to help my nephew do his taxes.  She gave me his cell phone number and I gave him a call.  I was half way through giving him crap about how I work cheap, etc…when the voice on the other end told me I had the wrong number.  Well…that was embarrassing.  If we weren’t always trying to pull one over on each other, then things like this wouldn’t happen.  Take today for instance:

I went to help my sister do something for my father.  She left before I did, but I came upon her at an intersection.  As I came closer, I decided I was really going to get her good.  She was directly behind a truck that was waiting to make a left hand turn.  There was no one in front of me and I was going straight.  I went really slow and stopped right by her.  I stuck my finger up my nose as far as I could get it and put the stupidest look I could conjure up on my face.  I sat there right next to her knowing full well she would see the color of my car and turn and look.  Sure enough, when I turned to see the look on her face half expecting her finger to be up her nose too…I came face to face with an irate looking woman who did not resemble my sister at all.

I don’t think I have ever covered my identity as fast as I did at that moment.  I sat there thinking to myself…”idiot, idiot, idiot”.  How could I mistake that car for my sister.  I ran through my head where the car was exact make, model and color.  Her big hair looked like my sister’s big hair from the back……yada yada yada..

If I was not constantly trying to pull one over on somebody, stupid things like this would not happen to me.  Next time, I will be more cautious.  I will drive up slowly take a good look to make sure it is who I think it is…then I will shove my finger up my nose.  Problem solved.

Why I Love My Kids

Today was a very stressful day.  In the area we live in, we have been receiving a lot of rain instead of our usual snow.  It made for some very scary roads.  This morning the sun had come out and the roads were wet, but not icy. Or so we thought.

My daughter came home from school yesterday telling her father that her car acted like it was overheating.  So this morning he put some antifreeze in it and took it for a spin to see if the problem was taken care of.   He hit an unseen patch of ice and totaled her car.  He is O.K., but the car was not.  My husband was so broken hearted to have to tell his daughter what he had done to her car.

Kids have this ability to be so resilient when as adults we worry ourselves into the ground.  I happened upon the following entry that my daughter wrote in her blog.  I have to share it with you because it brought a huge smile to my face during an extremely stressful time and put what is really important into perspective.  My family.

Arianna’s Entry:

RIP, Sparky

BENSON, Utah- 1996 Dodge Intrepid “Sparky”, 16, met his demise Jan. 20, 2012 after sliding across an icy road and slamming into one heck of a mailbox post. His bumper was torn to shreds, his lights were shattered, and both of his airbags were ejected. Due to my family’s inability to pay for his medical bills, he was euthanized at Cache Valley Metals the morning of his accident.Sparky left us with a rich legacy of driving into ditches and growling like a hungry grizzly bear. He was a morose individual, always snarling unhappily when his engine came to life, skittering across the road when the snow was falling. Sparky hated winter and winter hated Sparky. He would be glad to realize that he no longer has to deal with snow again.Sparky was adopted my junior year in high school after my parents’ Intrepid exploded on their way to get him, thus, forcing them to bring him home. He was a carefree car at one point of his life, his power steering ripping you across the asphalt, his engine a gentle hum.

The day that he first drove into a ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor was the day when part of Sparky died. He’s never been himself since.

Sparky and I had many adventures together, such as driving to BYU on the freeway for the first time and that time when I ripped off his BYU tramp stamp with a spatula. He got the nickname Sparky after his battery died at Steve’s house and the jumper cables nearly electrocuted poor Steve. His battery failed him two times that night. I thought I would lose him.

How Sparky could have looked in his glory days.

He is survived by me, and I don’t know how I’ll replace him. We’re all as broke as the Sphinx’s nose around here, but we’ll find some way to make do.

The world will be a lot more quiet without Sparky around to growl at it.

Here’s to you, my dear friend. May your axle be straight and your engine a proud roar in car heaven.

So with yesterday being the last day before everyone went back to school, we wracked our brains trying to find something to do as our last “hurrah”.  After a lot of thoughtful contemplation we decided to have a Nerf gun war.  Feeling like I do today, I wish I wouldn’t have suggested it. We got all of the guns and ammo together and found a place for the war.  We sat up the bunkers and made up teams.  After the first round we decided that the teams weren’t working for us so it suddenly became a “free-for-all”. I realized after about 45 minutes why they suggest you wear protective eyewear.  I was hit in the face 4 times.  I nailed my son right between the eyes once and just as he turned around his sister shot him in the forehead.  Ears were impaled, and heads were shot.  Nothing was sacred people, nothing. One thing that has been a problem with me for years is that if I get laughing, I quickly become immobilized.  I lose all strength in the body and can do nothing to protect myself.  This is a huge weakness of mine and it has been used against me many times. Yesterday was no exception. Some of the Nerf ammo has velcro on one end.  I shot my daughter in the butt and the ammo was just hanging there.  She could not deny I hit her, the proof was there waving to the world. I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t pull it together.  In my moment of weakness, my son shot and hit me in the tooth.  That was it.  I fell to the ground unable to move because I was laughing so hard, tears flowing.  It took me a good 10 minutes to get myself back in the game. Not once was I able to be “King of the Ring”.  I never could get everyone out so that I was the last person standing.  I seriously need to brush up on my skills.  I have to admit I pwned on loading.  I could load and shoot faster than you can say “Bob’s Yer Uncle”.  I had to, I was an easy target for everyone, which pretty much sucked. It has been decided that the war must have a second, third and fourth round at least.  I have to admit, despite the pain…it was pretty fun.  Next time…game on.  I am showing up looking like Rambo.  There will be NO survivors. Someday I will have to decide to grow up…but today is not that day.

As I look back on my most memorable Christmas’, the ones I remember are the most simplest ones.  The years that we have struggled and some dear “Angel” has come to our rescue.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times that has happened.

One year we started a family tradition of giving each brother a sister a tree ornament.  I remember the time and effort that was put into some of those.  My sister had handmade hers and they were beautiful. I cherished these ornaments.  I thought of each one of my brothers, sisters and in-laws as I would put those on the tree.  It became especially important to me after the death of my mother.  Family became the most important thing to me.

This particular year stands out to me as one of the most memorable.  We used to keep our tree and ornaments in our garage because we didn’t have enough room in the house.  As tradition, we always put up the tree on Thanksgiving or the day after.  I had my husband go out to the garage and bring out my box of beautiful ornaments.  When he came into the house the look on his face caused me alarm.  Our tree and ornaments had been invested with mice.  We live on a farm, so it is normal to have mice all over but for some particular reason this year was worse than previous years.

When I opened the boxes, I realized that nothing was salvageable.  My first response was tears.  All of the hard work that had gone into those ornaments from my family, plus all of the handmade ones my children had made for me came rushing to my memory so fast that it was overwhelming.  I was devastated.  They weren’t just ornaments, they were family memories.  After the tears passed, then came the thought of how are we going to have a tree this year.  My husband had been unemployed, his father had recently passed away and it had been a hard year financially.   We eventually found a small fake tree and decided that it was going to have to do.  We would just find something else for ornaments.

One night as we pulled into our home, I noticed a big box sitting on our back porch.  We all walked cautiously toward it not knowing why it was there and what was in it.  As I slowly opened the box, inside lay ornament after ornament.  No name, no nothing to identify the giver.  Tears filled my eyes as I looked at those ornaments.  No, they were not the handmade memories I had cried over a few days ago, but they were memories of the love I felt for this stranger who had helped make my kids Christmas a special one.

This was not the only time we have felt the love of our Father in Heaven through special people that we have in our lives.  Some we know, some we don’t.  The giving did not stop at that year.  One year we found a beautiful handmade quilt on our front porch.  No name, nothing to identify the giver only the two sets of footprints left in the snow; one big, one small.  I looked at those prints and thought to myself, someone is teaching a child the importance of giving service to another.  I have cherished that blanket ever since.  I know it had to have taken hours to make and I was overwhelmed that someone would spend that much time on a gift for us.  As we knelt in family prayer that night, we thanked our Heavenly Father for another “Angel” that was now part of our Christmas memories.

Another year of hardship, we found money taped to our front door.  A simple message of “Hope you have a merry Christmas” was all that was written on it.  As I look back on these moments, there is nothing I can do to pay these dear souls back.  We still don’t know who some of these acts of service have come from, but it instilled in us a greater desire to serve others.  So each year the “Rees” elves try to do something to make someone else’s Christmas one to remember.  We never tell who, what, where or when; that takes the fun out of it.  Today a complete stranger will hopefully feel the Spirit of Christmas from some “Angels” who are paying it forward and being the hands of a loving Father in Heaven who knows all.  He knows our sufferings and our joy and always places people in our  lives at the right time and the right place to ease that suffering.  This is going to be fun!

Merry Christmas and may you remember the blessings that you have this Christmas season and pay it forward.  This is what true happiness is all about!

Little Unknown Use for Hair Wax

In continuing my quest for some resemblance of sanity this Christmas season, I have not found any solace.  If I keep doing stupid things I am never going to recover.

Yesterday I was asked to say the opening prayer in church.  So I decided to sit on the stand before church started so that I wouldn’t have to walk up during the opening song and draw extra attention to myself.  Well….despite my best efforts to not draw that extra attention to myself, I went to sit down on the folding seat right when it folded back up.  I fell to the floor grabbing the chair in front of me which startled the young man who occupied it.  I then had to apologize for my complete and utter stupidity.  This ranks in the top 10 worst things that can happen to you while wearing a dress.

To add to my frustration, I was so excited to win a pair of snowboard pants for my son on eBay. They were Italian made and I got them for $11.  Whoohoo! I had contacted the seller to see what the inseam length was.  I opened my email this morning only to find out that I had purchased my son a pair of Lederhosen snowpants.  He is 6′ 1″ and the inseam was 24 inches.  Not going to happen.  No amount of stretching will get that kid into those pants.

I then discovered this morning a new use for hair wax.  To give your armpit hairs that piecey, modern look that is the rage all these days, apply hair wax instead of deodorant.  Of course this won’t work if you shave your armpits…(which I do).  So in that case, it turns out to be only a case of mistaken identity that  should never be used.  It only glues your armpit to itself.    Leaving you to wonder……”What the carp did I just do to myself?”

Uuuggghh!  Will this ever end???