Every family has problems and challenges. But successful families try to work together toward solutions instead of resorting to criticism and contention. They pray for each other, discuss, and give encouragement. Ezra Taft Benson

Saturday, August 11, 2018

This week I was happy to make a mental connection between marriage – the kind between a man and a woman - and the fullness of the priesthood. I want to share several things from what I read. I think these are so encouraging!
President Joseph Fielding Smith gives priesthood holders this magnificent charge: "Now may the blessings of heaven rest upon those who hold the holy priesthood, and upon all our Father's children. Brethren, you possess the power and authority of Almighty God, and you hold in your hands the power to save and exalt yourselves and your loved ones." He does not specify which priesthood or whether it is a father, husband, or son- only "Brethren". I hope I can teach my young and grown men how important they are to us women and treat them accordingly.
President Smith clarifies for each of us what makes us (even women) qualify or worthy for a fullness of blessings. "There is nothing in all this world as important to each of us as putting first in our lives the things of God's kingdom, as keeping the commandments, as magnifying our callings in the priesthood, as going to the house of the Lord and being offered the fullness of the blessings of our Father's kingdom." I have always thought that everybody would want those celestial blessings. However,  a visiting General Authority explained that you can tell everybody doesn’t want it or they would go to the temple, they would do their ministering, they would pay their tithing, they would do what is required.
 I recall Elder Maxwell talking about our desires. He says we will get what we desire and so it is important that we “educate our desires.” If I want my children to be sealed to me –more than I want anything else, then of course I will stay worthy for the temple and of course I will teach them about the temple. However, if I want them to be a good musician, athlete, or business owner than that will take precedent over other things every day. Sunday games, honesty, whatever I do will reflect on what I really want. It really is in our own hands, our own agency. Our willingness to obey and sacrifice shows the Lord what we really want. Do I really want the fullness of the Lord’s blessings? What am I going to do about it.
 Marriage is a covenant that can bring a fullness of joy. How much do I want a happy marriage? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This week I read and listened to a lot about what was said both in court and in meetings about the definition of marriage and what should be legal and what the future looks like for children and the rest of us. 
I would highly recommend all read the address given by Elder, Doctor, President Russell M. Nelson https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/russell-m-nelson_disciples-jesus-christ-defenders-of-marriage/
It was refreshing to hear the doctrine on the subject, not just "his stand" on things taught by Elder (President Nelson). He taught the doctrine by stating, "It was He who ordained marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Marriage was not created by human judges or legislators. It was not created by think tanks or by popular vote or by oft-quoted bloggers or by pundits. It was not created by lobbyists. Marriage was created by God!"
Elder Nelson then bravely declares that "social and political pressures to change marriage laws are resulting in practices contrary to God’s will regarding the eternal nature and purposes of marriage. Man simply cannot make moral what God has declared to be immoral. Sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin in the eyes of God." This is a bold and beautiful statement. I am always so grateful to hear the Brethren state doctrine and make things clear so the whole world knows and we know where we stand. It also reminds us how strongly God feels about things regardless of how the world tries to make them sound right and just.
You can tell by this that there eternal implications to this battle. "Brothers and sisters, undergirded by incontrovertible truth, proclaim your love for God! Proclaim your love for all human beings “with malice toward none, with charity for all.”20 They as children of God are our brothers and sisters. We value their rights and feelings. But we cannot condone efforts to change divine doctrine. It is not for man to change."
In my mind that settles it. God's commandments are not outdated nor is God interested in man's opinion on eternal matters that He has a complete understanding, and we do not.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

I love talking about marriage maybe because I am so happy in mine. I realize it is painful for some people but I feel it is vital for the upcoming generations and those struggling now to have a real understanding of the doctrine of marriage. The first thing I would say in teaching the doctrine of marriage is that “...All human beings...[are] beloved spirit son[s] or daughter[s] of heavenly parents...” The truth that we have heavenly parents is such an important link to understanding the divine structure of families here on earth. If we believe that we are offspring of actual parents then that means marriage can be eternal and has eternal importance.

We are taught that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan...” It starts with marriage. I find it interesting that marriage and family life in general can be very trying for almost all of us. Some find the secret to a happy marriage and that can cut out a multitude of anxieties in life. Such is true of family life as well. All can be tried by family life but family life is also what helps us become the men and women we are destined to become.

As I learn about marriage and the significant role it plays in our lives I will share some of the truths I learn on here.

Unfortunately in our day, we learn about marriage at the same time we learn about divorce. I’ve often wondered if this is to warn us of the dangers of being careless about marriage and particularly our covenants we make at marriage. Divorce can be so districtive to multiple generations. My parents helped me to see that covenants made and broken have serious consequences, so whom we marry is of utmost importance. Pres Hinkley said “This will be the most important decision of your life, the individual whom you marry. There is no substitute for marrying in the Temple. It is the only place under the heavens where marriage can be solemnized for eternity. Don’t cheat yourself. Don’t cheat your companion. Don’t shortchange your lives. Marry the right person in the right place at the right time.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Come Ye Children of the Lord - Hannah style

Two-year old Hannah is singing to the dog, Toby.  Toby is a two-year old border collie we adopted from an animal shelter.  Amazingly, according to the shelter paperwork, he and Hannah share the same day, month and birth year.  He is very gentle and patient to allow her to sit on him like that.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

General Conference in the Conference Center

When the children were small, I promised them I would take them to the conference center to attend their first priesthood session in person.  The girls quickly asked for the same treat.  Since Wesley recently turned 12, and Emma the year before, we went to Utah for General Conference this year.  We had fun meeting up with the Flake cousins and spending time with them.

Skiing at Brighton in Utah

Friday, December 28, 2012

Family Photos from Nauvoo Pageant 2012

Though we decided to not apply for the pageant in 2013 (The baby is due in a month or so and we will all need the rest!), we thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Yellow cast this year.  There is nothing quite like serving in the pageant cast.  It is wonderful for our family.