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

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Cruise to Cozumel Mexico

Anna's sister Esther flew in to watch the children for us for the week so we could take a cruise to celebrate our 11th anniversary.

We sailed on the Carnival Fantasy ship.

Anna Marie near a breach front store in Cozumel Mexico.

It was very fun to rent a scooter and ride around the island.

We happened to find the church in Cozumel.

Wesley and Anna Marie

This is a photo we had taken during our recent cruise.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Family Fun on the Trampoline

We celebrated Wesley's birthday at Grandma and Grandpa's house. The highlight is always jumping on the trampoline with his siblings and cousins. Thankfully the weather was warm enough to permit us to be outside without bundling up.
The whole gang!

Emma and Autumn


Spencer and Wesley

Maryann and Mommy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anti-Christ is antifamily

I came across a powerful talk given by Julie Beck August 4, 2009 at a Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast. I share just a few small portions below from the nine page talk. Let me know your thoughts.

...There are media messages everywhere that are antifamily, and our young people are very connected with media—Internet, television, the things they receive on their phones, all electronic devices are delivering antifamily messages to them every day. Increasingly, our youth are seeing no reason to form a family or get married in spite of all the teaching you give them. They are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.

...They don’t even know what they’re being taught in the messages. It’s just seeping in, almost through their pores. Because Satan can’t have it, he’s luring away many women, and also men, and they’re losing confidence in their ability to form eternal families.

Korihor was an anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is antifamily. Any doctrine or principle our youth hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ. It’s that clear. They need to know that if it’s antifamily, it’s anti-Christ. An anti-Christ is antifamily.

The Easy Life

I came accross the following quote by Boyd K. Packer I wanted to share.

"We are indoctrinated that somehow we should always be instantly emotionally comfortable. When that is not so, some become anxious - and all too frequently seek relief from counseling, from analysis, and even from medication.

It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.

Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out.

There is great purpose in our struggle in life."

The complete text is well worth reading. “That All May Be Edified” [1982]

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Re-roofing Our House

It was a long week, and a lot of work, but small leaks contributed to the need for us to replace the roof. He are glad Joseph and Melina are here for the summer and were able to assist along with the several others from the ward who stopped by to help.

Favorite Quotes

The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them. – Harold Geneen

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. – President Gordan B. Hinckly
Our families are not yet ours. Heavenly Father has given them to us to see how we will treat them. – President Gordan B. Hinckly
"Dads, there truly is a dad-shaped hole in the souls of your children that they desperately need you to fill. Filling this hole will cost you dearly in humility, time, and all-out effort. But, the price you and your children will pay if you don't do it will be devastatingly high." Mike Potter, "There Are Holes in Their Souls...In the Shape of Their Dads!" Parenting Teenagers, April 28, 2003.
“I’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.” - Bartrand Hubbard
“To obey means to follow and to accept direction. Our prophet today has given us a direction to ‘lengthen our stride,’ to extend ourselves, to stretch forward and to seek goals which require extra effort to achieve. If we are obedient to this direction, we will find ourselves achieving things we never thought were possible. I was impressed by the remarks of Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Council of the Seventy, when he asked a young man if he was preparing to go on a mission. The young man replied, ‘I don’t want to go on a mission.’ Elder Tuttle’s response was, ‘What does that matter? The Lord wants you to go.’ This is a perfect example of how the law of obedience should be exercised” Keith Brian Rutledge, in Conference Report, Melbourne Australia Area Conference 1976, p. 18.
Wherever you live, whatever your occupation or focus in life, you will be drawn into the battle for the souls of men and women. Be valiant in that struggle. It is waged on the basis of character. Satan and his troops have defined their character by resolute opposition to the will of our Father and consistent violation of His commandments. You solidify your character by consistent correct choices.

Neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience. That is why Satan is so intently focused on tempting you to make decisions that will undermine your character. Satan is an accomplished master at making devastating choices appear attractive, even reasonable. So be careful. The decisions you make will profoundly affect life now and for eternity. Make them wisely. Richard G. Scott, “Living Right,” Ensign, Jan 2007, 10–15
"The powers of heaven are available to everyone through righteousness," said Young Women Gen. Pres. Janette Hales Beckham at the October 1995 general conference. "Mormon teaches that 'every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ.' (Moro. 7:16; italics added.)

"Revelation concerning power was given to Joseph Smith when political power had turned against him and he was a prisoner in Liberty Jail. His first plea to the Lord was for help to avenge his enemies. His prayer: 'Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies.' (D&C 121:5.) Our Father in Heaven responded with a greater blessing: 'My son, peace be unto thy soul.' (v. 7.) Then He made a promise if Joseph would endure and be faithful: 'God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.' " (v. 8.)

Pres. Beckham said it was in that prison setting that God taught Joseph Smith about priesthood power. " 'No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.' (D&C 121:41.) Priesthood power is used to minister, to preach, to teach, to baptize, to ordain, to heal, to seal, to restore, to bless, to prophesy, to testify, to do good,” she said. Powers of heaven available to all; LDS Church News, Sept. 6 1997

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Children's Museum

Vernal Rodeo

This was a rest stop outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The weather was warm, around 70 degrees, so we decided to spend a little time before heading to the much cooler Vernal and Provo.

Ben and I had the children while the women went to the Andersen Family Legacy Conference. We decided to have a rodeo with the calfs. Wesley actually stayed on for a few seconds. He walked around with dirt in his teeth afterwards, but had a blast getting it there.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Council for Marriages and Families

Ruth Ann, Anna's sister, sent us a letter last week. She enteres the MTC next Wednesday to serve in Chile. The letter included a talk by Elder C. Scott Grow titled, "Building an Eternal Marriage and Family by Following the Counsel of the Living Prophets." It was given as a devotional at BYUI, January 29, 2002. It was so good, I thought I would include a few highlights here, with a link to the full talk at the bottom. As young parents of six children, we are often asked why, either directly by very forward people, or indirectly by looks and actions. I remember back to council given by Elder Gene R. Cook on my mission in Spain, when someone asked him what we should say to those who attempt to use scientific studies to claim drinking wine is actually good for you. His response, testitify. Testifiy it is a commandment from God given through His holy prophets. Though we may not understand as mortals all of the reasons why, we can have faith in His promises as we follow the council we have been given. I again heard this same response given during a financial fireside when someone questioned the wisdom of paying off a mortgage early. A dear sister responded, "Because the prophet has asked us to, we will be blessed for doing it." Below is council given through a servent of the Lord regarding marriage and family life. It may not be easy, but we can have faith the Lord will bless us, and sustain us in our efforts to follow Him.


"Now, understanding the Lord's counsel and the blessings promised when we follow the teachings of the prophets, I want to address five specific teachings regarding MARRIAGE AND FAMILY that have been taught repeatedly by prophets of our day. Like most teachings from prophets, these teachings are not popular with the world.

The FIRST is the counsel that we should not postpone marriage; SECOND, that we should not postpone having children, nor should we limit the number of our children; THIRD, the encouragement that mothers not seek employment outside the home; FOURTH, giving spiritual leadership in your home and family; and FIFTH, staying true and faithful to your covenants. Just a few decades ago, many of these principles were widely accepted by the world at large. However, with the passage of time, now, not just the world but even some Latter-day Saints question the relevance of these teachings.


Have you ever thought about what the world would be like today if Adam and Eve had decided that two children were enough and then all of their descendants decided the same thing? If they had done so, they would have failed to keep God's commandment to REPLENISH the earth and God's great plan of happiness would have been seriously affected."


In October 1996 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke extensively on this subject. He said:

Some years ago President Benson delivered a message to the women of the Church. He encouraged them to leave their employment and give their individual time to their children. I sustain the position which he took.

Nevertheless, I recognize, as he recognized, that there are some women (it has become very many, in fact) who have to work to provide for the needs of their families. To you I say, do the very best you can. I hope that if you are employed full-time you are doing it to ensure that basic needs are met and not simply to indulge a taste for an elaborate home, fancy cars, and other luxuries. The greatest job that any mother will ever do will be in nurturing, teaching, lifting, encouraging, and rearing her children in righteousness and truth. None other can adequately take her place.

It is well-nigh impossible to be a full-time homemaker and a full-time employee. I know how some of you struggle with decisions concerning this matter . . . .

To the mothers of this Church . . . I want to say that as the years pass, you will become increasingly grateful for that which you did in molding the lives of your children in the direction of righteousness and goodness, integrity and faith. That is most likely to happen if you can spend adequate time with them.

As you listen to those teachings by modern prophets, is it possible that a course correction might be needed in your own life or in the attitudes that you have about these subjects. It is so easy, even for Latter-day Saints, to buy into the popular philosophies of the day.

How grateful I am for my mother who was always there when I was growing up. How grateful I am for a wife who chose as her full-time career the role of wife and mother.


Young men, after you are married it is your responsibility to call the family together for family prayer, family home evening, and daily family scripture study. The Lord will hold you accountable for whether or not these things are happening in your home.

In 1999 the First Presidency issued two letters regarding these subjects to the members of the Church throughout the world. In the February letter they state, "We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church." They go on to say, "We counsel parents and children to givehighest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform" (emphasis added).

What does it mean to give your "best efforts" or to give "highest priority?" I am confident that each day you do the things that you wantto do, even though these may not be things that you know you should do. As we talk about those things that really matter in your life, somehow you have got to put the spiritual leadership in your own home at the top of the list. Thus say the prophets of God.

In October 1999 the First Presidency issued a letter entitled "Monday Night Activities." This letter states:

Monday nights are reserved throughout the Church for family home evenings. We encourage members to set aside this time to strengthen family ties and teach the gospel in their homes (emphasis added).

Somehow, a tradition has developed in the Church. In fact, you may have heard members say, "We hold our family home evenings on Sunday, and on Monday nights we have activities." Note that the First Presidency letter says that Monday Night is the time for family home evenings. Also note that Monday night is not for activities, but as they counsel, "to teach the gospel in their homes."

My young brothers and sisters, I hope that you can have vision to see what the prophets are seeing as they give us this counsel. Satan is targeting our homes and families. The day has passed when we can be casual in holding family home evening, daily family scripture study, or family prayer and still have real hope to hold our children close to the family and close to the Church.



Monday, January 5, 2009

Visit from a Nephite

I came across the following while reading a family history I copied during our trip to Vernal last summer. It was so inspiring I felt I should share it. It is titled Testimony of Lydia Eliza Porter Fisher. It states it is from a personal interview conducted April 9, 1946 in Bountiful, Utah by Dr. Paul Richardson, Norma Richardson, Sullivan Richardson, Betty Richardson and Merida Huntsman concerning the appearance of a Nephite to a member of her family and the miracles associated with his visit. The event she describes occurred in the Fall of 1900, when she was 27 years old.

Lydia Fisher was a first cousin of Sullivan Richardson’s wife, Amy Teressa Leavitt Richardson. Sullivan and Amy are Anna’s great, great grandparents.

For brevity of this posting, I am not including the complete interview, but feel free to let me know if you are interested in seeing the rest and I will make a complete posting.

Question: Can you tell us about your physical condition when you were young?

Lydia: I was born without a voice. Mother said she had a lot of trouble before I was born. I learned to talk, but I could only whisper. When I was young, I cried a lot because I could not speak. Most of the time I whispered to make myself understood. I learned to play the mouth organ and whistle to make noise.


Question: Now would you tell us about when the Nephite came, how he came, etc?

Lydia: Well, as I said, I had gone to Grandma’s and brought her here to my house to live with me (she was about 87 years of age). For about a year she couldn’t hear me when I spoke, and I had to write all my messages to her. Then one day she said, “I’m going to pray for a blessing for you from God, and I’ll never stop praying until my prayers are answered.” So she started. She prayed aloud every morning and night and had a secret prayer at noon.

After she had prayed a month, I asked her if she wasn’t tired of praying for me. She said she wasn’t tired and she would pray until her prayer was answered. She prayed another month. One day I went into her room to tell her how much I loved her, and I told her she was getting weak, because she prayed to the Lord so much. But she prayed another month – making 3 months in all. I went to her and said, “God bless you, Grandma, for you have done a wonderful lot for me:, and she said, “Throw your pencil away. You won’t need it much longer.”

Then I heard a knock at the door, and I went to the door and pulled the curtain aside. I saw a man standing there, with a dark hat, a frock-tailed coat, a light shirt, a dark pair of shoes and dark pants. Something said to me, “He’s a Nephite of the living God. Let him in quick or he will be gone.” I couldn’t say, “Come in”, so I opened the door and took hold of him and pulled him into the house.

He said, “Go get the good old lady that prayed three months for you to get your voice.” I went in and took her by the arm and helped her into the kitchen. When se looked at him, she said, “I have lived nearly 88 years to behold a Nephite of the Living God.”

I asked him who he was. He said he was a Mormon. He told us his mission was to travel the universe and comfort those in trouble and bring souls unto God. He looked unto me and said, “You can go pray.” I whispered, “All right,” and I went in to the other room. I asked God to let me know by what power I had received that beautiful feeling that I had when he came into our home.

When I returned to the room, he placed his left hand on my throat, and when he put his right hand on my head, I wanted to shout, “Hosanna to God.” Then he said, “I am going to pray a prayer that no mortal on this earth has ever heard, and thee will not hear it, but every word of it will be fulfilled.” Then he said, “Our Father who art in Heaven,” and I never heard any more until he said “In the name of they beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Then he blessed us. He blessed our home, and he blessed the surroundings, and he said, “If you never have tobacco, whiskey, tea or coffee, and you never play cards or profane in the name of God, your place shall be a hallowed, sacred place, and everyone that comes and goes on it will know it.” Then he blessed Grandmother and told her that she had been a faithful, wonderful woman, and God loved her.

Grandma told him of her baby being killed while they were coming across the plains, and that had made her faith stronger. Then he said to me, “There is a great work for you to perform. When you are asked to give, don’t refuse – not for anything.” Then he said he was going to bid us goodbye and that he would have to hurry.

When he went away, Grandma and I went to see him leave. There was not a hedge here then. We saw him go as far as our big gate, and we didn’t see him any more. I went out and looked a long ways, and there was not sign of him. Just down the street there was a lady, Sister Olsen, sitting outside her house. I asked her if she had seen a man pass by. She said, “No, not even a bird has passed by here.” Brother John W. Taylor had prophesied that there would be a Nephite coming before the week was gone. This was the Thursday after the Sunday of the prophecy. I did have a work to do, and I never could have done it without having a voice to speak with. I had only gotten my voice for a little while, when I was asked to be a Relief Society teacher. I have been a Relief Society teacher for 46 years, and I have found piles of work to do. I still go to the young girls and help keep them together. I have also had 36 years with the Primary boys and girls in religious class.

Now I am 72 years of age and I am still going. That is the work I have done, besides raising a family. But I could never have done it if Grandma hadn’t prayed unto the Lord. I am the mother of 9 children. I have 30 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.