Monday, October 27, 2008

Benson Said it All.

ON April 13th, 1953, the to-be prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
Ezra Taft Benson, appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
He was the Secretary of Agriculture at the time.

The quote underneath his picture, in case you can't see it very well, says,

"No real American wants to be subsidized".

President Benson was known as someone well-versed in America's Constitution. He never minced words - how many prophets do? Later, when he was an apostle of our church, he said the following in 1978:

I would respectfully urge you to live by the fundamental principles of work, thrift, and self-reliance and to teach your children by your example.

It was never intended in God’s divine plan that man should live off the labor of someone else. Live within your own earnings. Put a portion of those earnings regularly into savings. Avoid unnecessary debt.

I would further counsel you to pay your honest tithes and contribute generously to the support of the poor and needy through the fast offerings. Then store at least a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and fuel. Then you will find these blessings will accrue:

You will not be confronted with the danger of losing all you have because of inflation or depression.

You will have security that no government can provide, savings and supplies for emergencies.

You can ask God’s blessings and his protecting care on you and your family.

You are contributing to the solution of our country’s ills, rather than contributing to its problems.

…These are the foundation principles upon which all civilized government and our present civilization is built. To disregard them will lead to inevitable personal character loss and ruin. To disregard them as a nation will inevitably lead that nation to destruction.

…I wonder if we in America are rearing a generation that seemingly does not understand the fundamentals of God’s commandments or the principles upon which our country was founded. These principles are the secret to America’s greatness! The central issue before the people today is the same issue that inflamed the hearts of our Founding Father patriots in 1776 to strike out for independence. That issue is whether the individual exists for the state or whether the state exists for the individual.

Ezra Taft Benson, “America at the Crossroads,” New Era, Jul 1978, 3

Another great one to read is Our Divine Constitution, which is a talk given at October Conference in 1987.

Things to ponder before we vote next Tuesday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More or Les?

Leslie was recently in a performance of "Rock and Roll Through the Decades" with her chorus. They sang, danced, narrated, and entertained. She did a FAB job. She also received an award for "Educational Leadership". Way to go, Les!

Notice the three girls in pink. They did a WONDERFUL rendition of "STOP in the Name of Love", by the Supremes. I thought I was filming it on my camera....but alas, it did not record the song!! So, here is a photo at least of the three of them, but in a different song....


Yea, this is the decade of the 2000's with rapping and doing the Cha Cha Slide. Word.

IN her Han Solo Halloween costume in the costume parade/horse show.

Father/Daughter bonding at the Cougar Legends Museum.

Mother/Daughter bonding in a pottery place - a lovely plate for the kitchen.

Aida's Best Friend

[The following are a few posts about some of my nieces....]

My youngest niece, Bailee, is in BYU's Young Ambassadors. I haven't told her that Richard and I have affectionately referred to that group as The Young Embezzlers for years. Bwa hahaha. Ok, now she will know. She is very talented, and was also cast in the musical, "Aida" at the Hale Theater in Orem. While in Utah last week, we were fortunate to see her perform. She was awesome!!! The show was very creatively directed. If you are familiar with High School Musical (love it or hate it), or if you know who Christian is from last season's Project Runway, you will really enjoy the twists and turns. Thanks for making time for us, Bay!!


A few weeks ago, Richard and I watched the Food Network.... I know, it must have been a slow night. BUT, they showed a diner in Gilbert, Arizona called Joe's Farm Grill.. We decided we wanted to go there when we visited! My niece, sweet Genevie, took us there. DEEE-lish! If you haven't gone there, you must. sure to use the restroom while there to see a little surprise decorating.

Karma Day

My niece, Evani, is a STYLIST in a Phoenix shop called Karma. Richard and I purposely delayed vanity and let our hair grow out so that Sweet Ev could work her magic on us when we visited this week. Here are some photos of our fun day, which include her sister and our chauffeur, Genevie.



Gorgeous Sisters

Lookin' good in Animal print...grrrrr.

Richie's Angels

Thanks, girls, for a FAB day and for making your old auntie and uncle look SAUCY.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Inspired Men and Women of God

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we get to hear from our leadership twice a year. I love General Conference and probably more than ever before, I greatly anticipated the words of our church leaders last week. I know that many of you did as well. My heart was lifted and a little hope was put back into my spirit. I decided to choose some of my favorite parts to send to my missionary son and to give to my teenage daughter. I will also post them here,and challenge you to post what touched your heart on your blog (I would love to know!), and to make sure you children know how you felt about it as well. Warning - this post is long....

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy

Life is hard, but life is simple. Get on the path and never, ever give up. You never give up. You just keep on going. You don’t quit, and you will make it.

There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way is foolishness.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Much of the work to be done in establishing Zion consists in our individual efforts to become "the pure in heart". "Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,” said the Lord, “otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself". The law of the celestial kingdom is, of course, the gospel law and covenants, which include our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity.

The Savior was critical of some of the early Saints for their "lustful . . . desires" These were people who lived in a non-television, non-film, non-Internet, non-iPod world. In a world now awash in sexualized images and music, are we free from lustful desires and their attendant evils? Far from pushing the limits of modest dress or indulging in the vicarious immorality of pornography, we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women. Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell's phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon (see Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], 47).

Elder Robert D. Hales Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Without guile, true disciples avoid being unduly judgmental of others’ views. Many of us have cultivated strong friendships with those who are not members of our Church—schoolmates, colleagues at work, and friends and neighbors throughout the world. We need them, and they need us. As President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Let us learn respect for others. . . .

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women General President

“In the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.”

President Thomas S. Monson, PROPHET

If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.” We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

If you can understand a people so long-suffering, so tolerant, so forgiving, so Christian after what they had suffered, you will have unlocked the key to what a Latter-day Saint is. Rather than being consumed with revenge, they were anchored to revelation… That same Lucifer who was cast out of our Father’s presence is still at work. He, with the angels who followed him, will trouble the work of the Lord and destroy it if he can.

But we will stay on course. We will anchor ourselves as families and as a church to these principles and ordinances. Whatever tests lie ahead, and they will be many, we must remain faithful and true.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

This is not to suggest that our challenges today are more severe than the challenges faced by those who have gone before us. They are just different. The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life.

This is a great time to live, brothers and sisters, and it is up to us to carry on the rich tradition of devoted commitment that has been the hallmark of previous generations of Latter-day Saints. This is not a time for the spiritually faint of heart. We cannot afford to be superficially righteous.

Elder Quentin L. Cook, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The challenges we face today are in their own way comparable to challenges of the past. The recent economic crisis has caused significant concern throughout the world. Employment and financial problems are not unusual. Many people have physical and mental health challenges. Others deal with marital problems or wayward children. Some have lost loved ones. Addictions and inappropriate or harmful propensities cause heartache. Whatever the source of the trials, they cause significant pain and suffering for individuals and those who love them.

We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our good and are suited for our own personal development. We also know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. It is also true that every cloud we see doesn’t result in rain. Regardless of the challenges, trials, and hardships we endure, the reassuring doctrine of the Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ includes Alma’s teaching that the Savior would take upon Him our infirmities and “succor his people according to their infirmities.”

Monday, October 6, 2008

Almost a Present for Myself

So, I actually took the photos for the Present for Myself (did you do it yet, Lara and Aileen?). I dutifully uploaded them to Shutterfly to be picked up at my nearest Target. However, even though I got the confirmation email that they were processed, when I drove TWENTY minutes to the store late Saturday evening, ALAS - they never got the order. I was not happy. So, I will call them tomorrow and deal with it. I did receive a fascinating email from a customer service lady in some other country who used very interesting English phrases to comfort me, such as,

"For Target orders you are charged for the products only at store pick up. You can go ahead and process a fresh order to the same store or to another store in the locality. If your original order did arrive belatedly, the store will have it on hold for a few days and then dispose it carefully".

Ahh, I love America.

So, here are a few of the things in my current life!!

Here are my Fall decorations......

Missing my missionary....

Missing my 16 year old....

Learning to make a quilt for said 16 year old....(that is a post for another day... I had to tear out most of what I had done....sigh)

Beautiful rose blossoms from the 16 year old's rose October!

One of my new best BIG cutting and measuring mat! I have left it on my dining room table for a while since we don't use that room much. OH my gosh - it makes everything so much easier with sewing and cutting (hmmmm...... had I used it properly, perhaps I wouldn't be re-doing so much on my FIRST quilt!!)

Another new best friend ---this cleanser is wonderful ( I do not have a bar...).

NOT such a best friend, but I am using this every day now!! Woo hoo! Watch out all you marathon runners! Ha.
My latest food storage purchases --- obsessing over the economy, buying more food storage. I love Aldi's.

My kitty getting in the way of my photo of my XM radio. I listen to it a LOT (the radio, not the cat). Or, I did - I have given up talk radio for a while. I was getting too obsessed and disheartened over everything going on...

Ok, but still obsessing over the elections stuff.

NOT depressed over this.... I love my amazing hubby and my beautiful Japanese Maple tree!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Give Yourself A Present!

Yes, today. I have read this blog and this blog today (I read them often - they are on my Google Reader, which is a wonderful thing by the way). Yesterday a great challenge was given and begun by Stacy Julian. Here is the challenge:

• Snap ten or twelve photos of your life right now. Or find recent photos that you've already taken.
• Compile these photos in a little album.
• Keep or carry this album with you, tucked in your purse or desk drawer for one full year.
• Promise to glance through the album every time you stumble upon it or pull it out.
• On October 1st, 2009, create a scrapbook page about your experience.

I am really busy with cleaning and various other work and personal projects today, and actually scheduled myself pretty well. However, when I read this challenge, it touched me. In light of today's current events and family issues which I am completely consumed with, I decided this was a good challenge for me. Who knows what a year will bring? Won't it be interested in one year to see what is different? I haven't scrapbooked much at all lately, but it is time do to a fun project to remind me of my blessings.

I am sure many of you attended the LDS Church's RS Broadcast last Saturday (if not, click here). President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this about creativity:

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before...Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children...

...If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

In light of the world's challenges at this very moment, I believe that creativity will begin to mean even more to us as women and daughters of God. That is why I took the challenge. I snapped some photos and will post some soon. I will have to buy me a little mini album tonight or tomorrow to put them in.

Let me know if you decide to stop everything today (OR tomorrow, or even the NEXT day!) and give yourself a present.