Monday, October 29, 2007

FHE with ME!

This weeks Family Home Evening was really fun. I am pleased with the fact that talking about the scriptures or the Gospel is a fairly typical thing. She gets alot of fun things from her siminary classes and we'll go over it just like any of her school work or anything else deemed worthy of discussion. I'm glad she's comfortable enough with herself and in the Gospel that talking about some aspect of it is a regular daily thing, like talking about the weather, or sports or what happened at school today.

Today she brought home a puzzle. That's pretty much all I'm going to say about the puzzle because it's taken me 2 hours to do the thing. I *JUST* finished it. I don't feel so badly. She finished about 20 minutes before I did but she's been working on it off and on all day.

Anyway... here's the puzzle, enjoy. Let me know how you do on it :)

Bible Stories
There are 30 books of the bible in this paragraph. Can you find them? This is a most remarkable puzzle.
It was found by a gentleman in an air plane seat pocket on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much, he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing on his john boat. Another friend studied while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, who was intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That’s a fact. Some people, however will find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not easily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or a scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new record. The local paper, The Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, “The books are right there in plain view hidden from sight.” Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude would help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus; there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found. God Bless

Sunday, October 28, 2007

God Is Trying to Tell me Something......

Now, I know why people stop going to church. It's because they feel guilty and that God is picking on them and they don't want the pressure.

Today was stake conference. I'd been not feeling particularly interested in Stake conference. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to go. I've been so disappointed in myself this week in somethings and absolutely thrilled in other things. I was just very mentally and emotionally tired.

When I went to bed I just planned on sleeping in and lounging for the day. I had been in the habit of considering stake conference a "free" Sunday. You know, where you don't really break the sabbath but you road trip or go to the mountains/canyons and just sort chill, or stay home and be lazy. I kept waking up...5:30, 7:43, 9:09. Church started at 10:am. I laid in bed til about 20 after and decided I should get up and go. I have come to recognize that when I don't want to be there the most, is when I need to stay home the least. I had this experience a few years back and the same eerie feeling was upon me again.

We arrived at the stake center 15 minutes early and the chapel was already filled so we sat back in the chairs. I waved and smiled at the different ward members and recognized some of the stake members as well.

The service began. The first talk was an OK talk and usually I would assume it would set the mood for the whole service. It didn't. Although it was a good talk it was hard for me to focus. I feared the whole meeting would be painfully boring. I was wrong. I spent a lot of time the last week in prayer and even fasted 3 of the 7 days last week.

I really wanted to be totally done away with some things that had been plaguing me for some time, and it had gotten to the point where I couldn't stand myself about it. I remember in a Sunday School class quite a while ago one of my favorite people, Brother Richard Craycroft.

We were talking about procrastinating on repenting and reactivating ourselves and blah blah blah. He said something to the fact that..

" Us stubborn people sometimes we have to allow ourselves to get to the lowest point. We have to be so disgusted with who we are that we just cannot live with ourselves one more minute in our present condition." I knew that point very well and had reached that point on a couple of issues.

I gone over my goals for the last 6 months and rated myself pretty harshly on my progress. I turned again to the April General Conference issue of the Ensign, the church magazine and turned to the talked that was ingrained in my mind and studied it once, again.
In my fasting and praying I had asked Heavenly Father to put before me those things he wanted me to learn most and to help me find a way to really learn those things I were struggling with and to teach me in a way that I could finally get it through my thick scull. It's funny to me that I would ask for Heavenly Father's help and then stay away from the most likely place(s) (stake conference) where I may receive that help.

I sat disappointed after the first talk and then a young return missionary got up and spoke. He talked about By knowing who we are and who we can become gives Satan less power over us.

"if Satan can convince us to forget who we are and what we can become then he has scored a victory."

" Look for and serve to the divine potential in everyone. Treat them not how they are, but who they can become."

I had used those exact words so many times myself while working with the youth and with their parents. My step mother had asked me at one time how come I'm the only one who could get along with my stepbrothers. I told her

"i treat them how they can become, now who they are. You have to look for that child of God within everyone and communicate to it"

WOW! I had forgotten these things. My own words. My own teachings smacking me back in the face. I had not done this lately at least not in my own life.

He also said "Our relationships and lives would be better if we look for the divine potential in ourselves and others. We ought to focus more on recognizing and finding help others to achieve their potential. "

In doing so we would not do anything to disrespect ourselves and others.

It was a great talk from the young return missionary. I was sad I had forgotten the implement the very things that I had counseled so many others to do. All the firesides I'd given and counseling sessions I'd had with many of the youth and their parents and been lost to me. (often times we are our own patients)

My forgetting had cost me. It had cost me dearly and was still costing me. I'm sick of it costing me.

The next speaker was a youth speaker. The first things out of her mouth was

"How you speak says much about who you are. You don't need to use language that would hurt someone Else's feelings, insult others, putting them down. We should always use positive language and try to stop negative language, even if it means holding our tongues because it will have a damaging effect on your relationship and could cause you sorrow."

Elder Jeffery R Holland's talk from April General Conference came quickly to mind. I knew that talk backwards and forwards. The quotes, the scriptures... everything. It is ingrained in my head.

And then she quoted the scripture that was also ingrained in my head... the same scripture Elder Holland used in his talk:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

She challenged us to make the effort to be better. Invite the spirit to be with you to guide your words. I silently accepted the challenge. I had been working on it only to realize I still have a long way to go.

The next talk spoke about "who's drowning in life?' Who do you know who is drowning in life and could use as surfboard? I few people came to mind. I sort of felt as if I was in the riptides of life. Fighting to get out of the undertow so you can surface and catch that small breath to sustain life, only to get sucked back under again. He spoke of what we are doing to extend a surfboard to those we know of who are drowning in life.

"When we let go of anger, hurt, from whatever, whoever, whenever, we can have marvelous experiences of forgiveness. If we truly love our Heavenly Father we would love those around us in all we do and say. We should speak and show kindness, be slow to anger and willing to forgive and forget."

he quoted from Elder Bednar's talk about being offended:

" To be offended is a choice we make, it is not a condition."

A member of the stake presidency then spoke. He said something very profound:

"you may be right, I may be wrong, but if it separates us... we're both wrong."

He urged us to pray for forgiveness. And then pray to Heavenly Father to then teach you so you could know them for who they are. *ouch*

Yeah, that phrase stung: "pray for forgiveness and then pray to asked Heavenly Father to teach you so you can learn them for who they really are."


It hurts every time I hear it, read it, or say it.

He turned us to Alma chapter 61 and read to us parts of a letter from King Pahoran to Moroni. Moroni had written a venomous letter to Pahoran accusing him of abandoning him and his armies and finding joy in their afflictions and purposely with holding what was needed. Pahoran has been under the stress of his own people abandoning and rebelling against him. And when Pahoran wrote back to Moroni, he explained what was going on about the rebellion and other issues.

He then read to us the first part of vs 9:

"And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart."

He spoke of the kindness and forgiving capacity Judge Pahoran had for Moroni whom he loved.

Had Pahoran been quick to anger he undoubtably would have made the situation worse.

It was what he did next that caused the tears to flow:

He referenced the April conference and began to read the talk in which Elder Jeffery R. Holland gave. A warmth ran through me as I remembered those days last week I fasted

(I had asked Heavenly Father to put before me those things he wanted me to learn most and to help me find a way to really learn those things I were struggling with and to teach me in a way that I could finally get it through my thick scull.)

I closed my eyes and layed my head back as if praying to the ceiling and recited the words in whisper with the speaker:

"Paul put it candidly, but very hopefully. He said to all of us: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good . . . [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. . . .
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you. . . .
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

I couldn't believe it. Well, actually I could believe it. This stake conference was tailor made for my last week. I get it. I Get It. LORD I GET IT! I wanted to scream. I did feel differently this time. Because this time, my heart felt it. Although my head had heard the talk many times and knew the words, the right words to say and how to apply it, I was simply going through the motions. We can know something and it can have a surface effect. But until you feel it... really feel it in your heart, it will have temporary and surface results.
I know the if you really want something, you have to get hungry for it. You've got to want it, and you have to be intentional about it. Only then are you ready to receive.

Grandma always said... "Make sure you want what you ask for... because you just might get it."

Amen, Grandma.
I know that was her way of saying... "if you ask the Lord for help and intend on really, really accepting that help, then you have be in the correct placed to receive that help and to go through whatever it takes, to shake off that thing which is holding you back from that which you desire. If you are halted in the process and turned away.... then you really desire a different thing. Make sure your desires are true."

I accept the challenge, once again, to
Speak with the Tongue of Angels
Seek out the Child of God in each of us
Remember who I am and what I can become
Look for the Divine Potential in myself and others
Treat others not how they are but with the diving potential of who they can be.
Let go of anger, hurt, passed burdons.
Ask for forgiveness
Always forgive
Be slow to anger
Be quick to resolve
Speak more edifying.

Game on, wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Life Really IS Like a Corn Maze

That link is from my main blog about a really fun time this weekend. I spent Saturday night running through a corn maze and it was awesome.

Some events happened just before the outing and it was quite upsetting to me. I pushed them to the back of my mind for the evening and let the good times roll. Because I knew the next day, Sunday, would be hard to handle when reality hit.

I got home about midnight Saturday night. I was cold, wet, tired and achy. The last 4 hours had been so awesome. SO AWESOME and filled with so much laughter and love and just good old healthy fun! The 40 minute drive home gave my mind time to settle down and think of the earlier events. Tears began to roll down my face. I got home and jumped right into bed hoping sleep would come. We were to take a road trip to Idaho and would be leaving in just few hours. It had been a weird night. I Just lay in bed and sleep never came. Hour after hour after hour I just laid there thinking of trying to figure out how to stop thinking.

Some where around 7:am I dozed off. When I stirred, the clock said 7:43. I spent most of the night going over the passed few years in my head: Mistakes I've made, things I shoulda, woulda, coulda done and didn't do. I had let an ocean of things built up over the years and the damn was no longer holding them back. I had to open the gates or drown. I could not live another day with all of this inside of me. These things had been heavy on my mind for a couple of weeks and I couldn't live another day feeling this way.
I wanted to talk things out but that didn't work. As a matter of fact trying to talk went drastically wrong and was getting worse. So I removed myself from the equation.

I needed to purge, So I started writing. I wrote for 3 and half hours straight. When I finished I had before me 22 pages front and back of doubts, mistrust and insecurities. TWENTY TWO PAGES!
Shame on me for holding so much inside and letting it build up to a point where I couldn't control how it was expressed.

For some reason my mind went back to the night before... in the corn maze.

We entered at our own risk. It was muddy, slippery, wet, cold and yucky and as a group we were slipping and sliding all over the place. It was fun and exciting with it's elements of dangers. Some things I didn't like right off but felt I could handle things and it would be alright. Sometimes when we slipped someone in our group would hold their hands out to catch each other. And other times when we felt like we were going down, we would drop our hand and let the other person stumble around on their own. Sometimes it was because we knew they could recover and it would build their confidence. Other times it was for selfish reasons; We let go because we were too concerned about protecting ourselves and looking bad from falling, letting the other person fall and look bad instead.

The mud was really thick and heavy. As we walked it accumulated on our shoes and our steps became slow and heavy slowing down our progress. From time to time our progress would literally stop. The mud would hold our shoes glued to the ground and we could not lift our legs to walk until we cleaned it off. There were times when the accumulation of mud was so heavy that the weight of gravity would cause it to drop off. Other times when we walked you could feel heavy drop of mud on the back of your leg from its accumulation of each footstep. And sometimes the mud would be so strong that you would lift up your foot, but your shoe would stay stuck the ground.

Although there was great fun through out the night, eventually the simple process of walking became a chore. Eventually we grew tired and weary. We found ourselves walking and progressing for what felt like hours only to end up where we were 20 minutes before. Then we'd try a different direction and still end up in the same place we were an additional 20 minutes later. Frustration sets in and you kick into survival mode. Sometimes you're in survival mode for minutes and sometimes you're in survival mode for years. Although we had a map to guide us around the maze, when we did pull it out, we were lost and had no idea where we were. Following the map from the beginning and consulting it often would have kept us on track.

From time to time we would see an employee walking around making sure all things were OK within the maze. When we were having fun and all was well, we disregarded them and barely acknowledge them. But when we were finally cold, tired, hungry and in need of help we were happy to pay them attention and readily asked for their immediate assistance. And they were eager and happy to guide us to our desired destination.

Over the last few years my life has felt like that corn maze.

I willingly make choices that are fun, exciting, with it's elements of danger and I think I can handle it. These situations can be such that it leads me to a shaky, slippery foundation that may often cause me to fall. And while those around me waiver or succumb to the things that I may not typically indulge sometimes we catch each other, and other times we don't while trying to protect ourselves from hurt or embarrassment.

Our journey most always will accumulate mud and muck and other garbage and baggage that will slow us down and if we continued to ignore it and don't clean it up or clear it out, it can halt our progress. If we don't do that which is needed to keep the mud off we can remain stuck.

By not following the maps or guidelines or council we have readily available through prayer, scripture reading, and other daily maintenance type things, we may find ourselves running in circles into the same unresolved issues time after time after time.

When things are fun and happy and going well, we don't pay too much attention to those who are placed here to aide us.

It is only when we finally are so tired, frustrated, angry, hurt and weary and realize that our effort alone are not enough to take us from this place we've ventured into that we humble our selves, and ask the one who can guide us, and sometimes carry us out of our mess to stable, dry ground.

By letting the mud accumulate over the years and not taking the proper steps needed to cleanse it away I have been trudging in unresolved paths. In doing so my mud has effected not only myself but those around me, those close to me. It's been a difficult lesson for me to learn. At the risk of losing some precious treasures, I hope it is truly learned.

My friends:
Use good judgement.
Uplift yourself and be considerate, kind and uplifting to others.
Clean up your mud before it accumulates, weighs you down and halts your progression.
Use your maps and other instructions so you don't get frustrated and desperate on the path.
Know where and who your guides are and stay close to them, have faith in them.

most important.... Heavenly Father is your wing man.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Who'd Uh Thunk II

To my great suprize, this has been a really fun evening

It's been a while since I've gone to the Ward Singles Family home evening. I figure it doesn't make much since for me to leave my daughter and have FHE with the singles. So I usually don't go. But Since my daughter had to work today, I went. I went because I knew Brother Vernon and Vance Law would be speaking, along with Brother Robby Bosco and I had some business to take care of with him.

FHE was awesome. I feel Spiritually spoiled. I thought I was getting 3 sports legends. I got 5 It was so great to hear these men, my brothers in the ward, stake and gospel each bear testimony of Jesus Christ.

We started in typical mormon fashion, opening song and prayer.

Cept we had no one to play the piano. So Brother Vance Law jumps up and grabs the childrens Primary book and starts playing the opening hymn. And since we had no chorister, his father Brother Vernon Law jumps up and calls to his son... "is it in 4/4 time?"

"yes, it is!"

calls back Brother Vance Law.

And Brother Vernon Law lead us in the singing of

"I am A Child Of God!'

It only got better from there!

So I reconciled with Brother Robby Bosco. No longer an enemy to the Wolverine. He spoke of how he came to BYU a non member strictly to play football because of their passing game. And converted at the age of 19. Then he gave great heartfilled testimony of Jesus Christ and his love for the Gospel and the church. He talked about how BYU became very special to him and even before he was baptised he felt a spirit that he much wanted to be part of. And how he was influenced by his roomates and those around him by their good examples.

Brother Tom Holmoe was a suprize! I didn't know he would be there. Brother Holmoe another convert to the church. Exressed how his mother's family was really mormon and his father's family was really not. He spoke of how when he went to BYU he was part of the wrong crowd but was soon drawn to the LDS Crowd. Missionaries found him tracking in the dorms. What's up with that? He also let his family and friends keep him from doing what he knew was right. He said it took him 6 years after he graduated BYU to become a member because he was so stubborn. During those 6 years he wondered and had dreams of what would happen if he died... and came face to face with the Father, and the father said to him

"Tom, you knew the truth, what happened?"

He felt any excuse he gave the Lord wouldn't be good enough so he couldnt take it anymore and joined. He mentioned he's never had any regrets and never let any thing or any one be the excuse of him not being true to that decision.

Brother Devin Durrant was my other suprize! I didn't know he would be there either.
Brother Durrant made me cry. He started out with the scripture:

"now is the time to prepare to meet God."
He spoke of a time when he was away at basketball camp and how is roomate was a big 6'7 basketball player. He struggled with telling this NBA roomated that he says his prayers at night. So he decided to just be flat out about it. He didn't want to disappoint the Lord and he wanted to be a good example as well. So he let his roomate know that he kneels by his bed at night and says his prayers. His roomate, a non member was cool with that. He mentioned how a few days into training camp he was on the elevator with his roomate and a bunch of other well known high profile NBA who were speaking vulgarities and profanity. His roomate said... "hey, dont use that language around my friend & roomate here and don't use it around me. I hope you aren't using that kind of language when "THE MAN" comes." Brother Durrant and his roomate stepped out of the elevator and again his roomated stated to the others... " I HOPE you aren't using that language when "The Man comes." The Man, being Jesus Christ. Brother Durrant said, his roomate took the opportunity to stand as a witness of God regardless of where he was, when it was, who he was around and what he was doing. It was a testimony to him to do the same. His roomate recognized that Jesus Christ would come again. And reminded him that sometimes we looked to be the example and are taught by examples around us as well.

Brother Vance Law was up to bat next. It was his home that FHE was held. He gave props to his Mother Vanita and Father Vernon. He spoke of how his father paved the way and set the example, the standard of what should be expected by LDS athletes. He spoke of how some of his first team mates on the pittsburg Pirates team were also his father's team mates. They would check up on him, make sure he was keeping his own standards. They held him accountable to be who he claimed to be. Now as a coach at BYU he feels it's important that each of the young me coaches knows his love for the Gospel and Testimony of Jesus Christ.

"It is important for them to know that my standards don't change from a winning moment to a heated argument with tempers flaring"

That made a great impact on me. How often do we release our standard in the heat of a highly emotional situation? Our standards should be unwaivering in any situation.

Brother Vernon Law was clean up batter for the night. He spoke of how Bing Crosby got him into Major league baseball! And how he made a decision that he simply made a decision to hold up his standards. It meant not getting the high profile public speaking and good paying jobs, however he did great missionary work in giving talks and speaches to different church groups and small profile engagements. It didn't matter to him. "What I wanted most was to be a good example of what the church was about." He said Philidelphia was a big Catholic City and about 4 times a year they'd let all the catholic sisters into the game for free. When asked if that rattled him he said.. "no, all those catholic sisters dressed in black with their white habits on just looked like a bunch of missionaries to this mormon boy." People would ask him about his religion and he explained being a Deacon at the age of twelve, a teacher at the age of 14 and preist at the age of 18 and an elder at the age of 18. he said.. "they didn't know about being teachers, preist and elders, but they knew what a deacon was, so they nick named me Deacon!"

The theme for the evening, at least in my eyes was summed up by something the young women focus on each week.... "we will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places...!" No matter who we are and what our lives look like.

(Devin Durrant, Tom Holmoe, Robby Bosco, Vernon Law, Vance Law)

Each of these brother's bore strong testimony of the importance of being people of integrity, and living up to the standards we claim to believe. For these men it was as easy as just making the decision to do just that. Even in times when it may have not been easy, they were great examples to all around them... and they still are. Their lives and where their lives took them, was not easy to stay true to the standards we claim to live, but they are living testimonies that we can be true to our baptismal and temple covenants, no matter the circumstance or place.

I was in awe of the spiritual strength in the room as each man teared up while bearing such strong witness. Legends in their own way. All my brothers in the gospel. And all of them within 1/2 of mile of where I lay my head to rest. There is great peace in knowing I'm in good company in my ward and stake community

Tom Holmoe, Vance Law, Me, Vernon Law, Robbie Bosco

Sister Law and her son Vance. She was my Visiting teacher my first 2.5 years in this ward. I miss her monthly visits. We share the same birthday and I call her "twin!"

I ended my last blog with the question : I wonder, do you think he'll [Robby Bosco] autograph my Michigan Wolverine sweatshirt?

Yup! He would :)

(as well as a BYU T-shirt for my daughter who sent off her first college application today to BYU)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Who'd Uh Thunk?

If someone would have told me, a little black girl from Battle Creek Michigan, that I would be hanging out with some well known LDS people as an Adult, I woulda called them a liar.

Growing up the only famous LDS people I knew were the Osmonds. And I wasn't really into them like the other kids in my Primary or Young women's class. I was into the Jackson 5. They all talked about growing up and moving to some place called Provo. I always thought I would grow up and move to Detroit or Chicago or even New York,some place close to home like that. It wasn't until my Junior Year in High School in 1984 that I really started paying attention to Mormon's other than the ones in my local ward. Shoot I thought the coolest mormons were the Missionaries we used to hang out with. They talked funny, had the weirdest slang but man did they love coming to our house for dinner on Thursday nights and desserts on Sunday nights.
One crazy night back in 1984 I was watching a football game with my family. My older brother and I were waiting to go to the late night movies. We called them "Cheap flix" back then cuz it was only a buck to get in and the movies would start anywhere from 10pm- Midnight.

My team, Michigan, was playing BYU. I didn't realize then it was THE GAME to be watching that year. I liked football, even played some football but didn't realize it was The National Championship game. Besides I was more interested in the movie we were going to see in a few minutes. I watched and figured I didn't really care who would win. It's a win-win situation for me, I'd either win as a Mormon or win as a Michigander. I guess I felt itt would be much sweeter win as a Michigander. What I saw of the came was complete craziness. I remember the BYU Quarter back getting injured, yet making play after play after play. His name, Robby Bosco. Well my thoughts were... "poor guy! Take him out, it's a losing battle." I never saw the whole game because we left for the movie. Got home really late and found out the next morning that the Mormon's won the national championship. BUMMER! But then a part of me secretly was excited to really be a mormon. My heart felt betrayed. Was my Loyalty to the Maize and Blue so weak? Naw.... I still love watching Michigan Wolverines play football. But the Bosco is an enemy to Michigan.

Cut to 23 years later.... Which would be approximately TODAY!

I'm the only one from my primary/ young women's class that lives in Provo. Well the only one that I know of. I've been blessed to be in the company and shake the hands of several of our church leaders. I don't mean sitting in General Conference where there's 150,000. in the same room 100 yards away either. Being called by name by an Apostle is an really cool experience that one, such as myself, has really taken for granted.
I was sitting in Sacrament today and it was fast and testimony meeting. It was a happy day. My ward is Phenominal. The bishop once told me when I was going through a hard time " Come to church and just let the ward family love you, that is the purpose of a ward." I wish every ward would grasp that concept because I am SO in love with my ward that it stopped me from moving last spring.

Anyway... Im sitting in Sacrament and I'm excited. You see I was recently called to teach the 18 year olds in Sunday School. Yeah, the senior Boys and girls. Tough crowd? Not really. It's a pretty fun class. I promised them 2 weeks ago we could play testimony bingo! They had no concept so I explained it to them and they got a kick out of it. Well i handed out the bingo sheets the end of Sunday school and we headed to Sacrament meeting. Giddy was I! I had some extra bingo cards so I passed them out to some of my Young Women I used to teach in my last calling and even a few of the parents joined in. It was a real natural high I could hardly keep from giggling. We began to sing the opening song and I looked around at my fellow bingo players with anticipation. Everyone of us like a 3 year old wiggling and anxious to get on with things.
The go through the typical: opening song, opening prayer, announcements, baby blessing and on with the meeting. During announcements I'm marking my "free space" on my bingo card and I hear a word that stops me in my tracks... "BOSCO." Ok so I've known for some time that "Brother Bosco" was in my stake. I ditched out on a high priest annual steak dinner with "Bosco." I just had other things to do or something.

Anyway... it appears that the older singles are having family home evening with "Bosco." Hmmmm. Also in that FHE will be Vernon and Vince Law, both Major League Baseball players. Well, Brother Law, I know and know of! His wife was my visiting teacher until a few months ago. I LOVE SISTER LAW! AND we share the same birthday. This woman is special to me and invited Alieshia to come by anytime and consider her another Grandma.
Back to Bosco! I figures it's time for me to make my peace with "the Bosco.' He doesn't know it, but we've got some unfinished business to attend to at sunset tomorrow. My thoughts went back to those years of being a youth and all the smack talking my Young Women sister's did on getting in the UTAH LDS LOOP of things. I could have cared less back then about the UTAH LDS LOOP. But I guess in a way, I sort of find myself in it. Maybe my big toe, now and again. I sat in Sacrament meeting... just about forgetting my bingo game. I remember at one time my father mentioned how neat he thought it was that any of his kids were rubbing shoulders with General Authorities and other important LDS people. Who woulda thunk a black, LDS ,ball playing factory worker who couldn't even bless or baptis his own children would have those same children hold positions that allowed them to be in the good company of many influential and well known members of the church?
I never would have believed it! Shoot I always thought I would be too scared.... "they're men of God, they know my secrets and sins and can see all the wrong stuff I do and all my shortcomings." I used to think that all the time. In some cases I still do. But those I've met with and sat in meetings with and had lunch or dinner with have always been nothing but great men who laugh and joke and bring joy to the atmosphere I've even been around in their company.

My mind cuts back to Relief Society this morning... walking in together with Sister Law. Not the wife of "the preacher or Deacon Law" as others know him, just Sister Law to me, dear sweet lady who captured my heart from day 1. Then my mind races to thoughts of Brother Macy. He plays Joseph Smith Sr in "Praise to the Man" and "The Restoration." He was also the main Character in " The Testiments" He played Helam, the father. Actually he's in ALOT of church films especially some of the older one's. I love Brother Macy. I just can't sit next to him in sunday school anymore, or Sacrament. We laugh and joke too much. It can be disruptive to those around us. Just this summer we're discussing the movie "Transformers" in the hall before sunday school. He does a PERFECT Optimus Prime impersonation. He and I am crackin up.... while a couple of the older sister in the ward give us crusties for being so loud and light minded in our Father's house. Sad thing is... when I see him in these movies..... I see the man I sit with in church and bust out laughing and some inappropriate times. He's a great actor. My mother flipped the freak out when she found out "the man in testiments" is in my ward. Maybe I'll suprize her for Christmas and give her an Autographed copy of "The Testiments."

And speaking of testiments.... back to Testimony Bingo. Well I didn't win. One of the Beehive girls I gave a card to won. I was sad until the couple sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder after closing prayer and said... "I totally tapped my husband on the shoulder during the meeting and said... Honey, they're playing testimony bingo!" I smiled and told her.. "well I have extra cards for next fast Sunday." She admitted.. "we have some cards actually but would love to play next time!" My heart lifted. Upon exiting I ran into the Relief Society President. She and the rest of her crew came and visited me last week. Fun meeting with them in my home. They're so funny and uplifting to be around. We talked about the bingo game then. I told her I didn't win and she said..
"how could you NOT win, you had all the classic phrases?"
"well they sort of danced around the phrases and didn't say them completely" I said with a pout.
She said... "hey, what do you get if you win?" I said... "a chocolate bar." "Oh! I'm so in next fast Sunday."
Again, I laughed. And started my way out of the building. Then I saw the flyer for FHE tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I will have a little chat with Brother Robby Bosco about that National Championship thing back in 84. I wonder, do you think he'll autograph my Michigan Wolverine sweatshirt?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A- HA!

A couple of my girlfriends and I were discussing men the other day. The poor guys in their lives were totally being ripped and shredded apart. It brought me to a few memories in the dark dusty cobwebbed halls of my mind that I hadn't ventured down in a while.

Somewhere along the way woman has forgotten we are to stand next to men, even when they aren't perfect just as we want them to do when we are perfect. This doesn't mean hang around if you feel you're being abused, or neglected but it does mean become still and recognize progress. We all have short comings we can support each other through and to be a support when both parties are interested in and working towards shared progressive goals. And I don't even mean that in a spousal relationship. It pertains to any relationship really.

" I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey. I believe that whenever a human being, of even the highest intelligence and culture, delivers, an opinion upon a matter apart from his particular and especial line of interest, training and experience, it will always be an opinion so foolish and so valueless a sort that it can be depended upon to suggest to our Heavenly Father that the human being is another disappointment and that he is no considerable improvement upon the monkey."
- Mark Twain's Autobiography; Mark Twain in Eruption

I guess this opinion is going to be a foolish opinion mentioned about. I'm ok with that. Just send me bananas.

Men feel free to chime in.

God Made woman to be connected to man. God created woman as a help mate, a partner for man. Women have an intense desire to fit into a man's life. Woman don't like to admit it. We can't explain it, We want him to be more like us. HE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE US. He's not supposed to think like us. This sometimes angers and frustrates woman.
A good man will stay when a woman gets mad and goes off.
The average man will back up and close down. A Good man, he wont back up. He won't back down. It hurts woman to hear it and see it when this happens. Man only has 2 choices: To respond, or not to respond. When a man does speak it feels assaulting and insulting and is usually not what woman wants to hear. A good man is not controlled by woman's emotional episodes or sexuality. HE WILL GIVE YOU A HARD TIME ABOUT THE RIGHT THING and be quick to recognize and take care of the wrong thing. A good man's pride will not impair him to be humble and DO the right things. And all this he will do in love and respect, not anger and unrighteous dominion.
Man is not simple, he's simplistic. A real man rises to challenges, is a weight bearer. He gets stronger with stress and weight put on him. God made him to be a weight bearer. He may struggle, he may fall but a real man will rise up and become stronger today because of the weight he carried yesterday. A man must be able to be many things to many people. So Woman, let the man be the Man. Do not try to turn him into a woman. Any man you can convert to the language of your girlfriends is not your man, he then becomes another girlfriend.

And this is what I remembered about man this year.

Monday, October 8, 2007

October General Conference

I love General Conference.

So far this year my favorite meetings have been the Saturday Sessions. I have to thank my parents for being instilling in us the importance of General Conference and all the Sessions. I can remember them making us get up and get dressed as if we were going to church. They would even invite the missionaries over and get some of the hard chairs from the church for us to sit on. It seemed a little extreme to me at the time... and still does but I've come to appreciate the reasoning behind their methods, and I love and appreciate them.

For my non-lds friends and family, general conference is where our church leaders gather twice a year and preach to us for 2 days. Much like some of the churches you see on tv where they hold a conference in different cities all over the country. What I like about our General Conferences is that they're free. Anyone can go. Doesn't cost anything to get in except a free ticket and tickets can be obtained by a local bishop, stake president or in some circumstances a call to the church office buildings. It's aired on TV so that members all over the world can be part of and hear it.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ should freely be available to all. I stress "Free!" Noboy paid Jesus to preach the word, it was done out of love for the father and for his brothers and sisters.

The April General Conference put a fire in me and got me in gear to take care of some things I'd been procrastinating on. It was a difficult time, last spring but I am so grateful for messages given in that conference which gave me the strength to take the needed steps to begin to "get right with God."

Elder Uchdorfs talk on "Point of no Return" and Elder Holland's talk on "Speaking with the Tonuge of Angels" are the 2 talks that landed most in my heart in April. I wanted to focus on those 2 things most and have been the last 6 months

Each conference I pick 2 or 3 things to really put effort and work on and those talks are what I based my last 6 months efforts on. Today I am comfortable with the efforts of the last 6 months. It's a process and am sure I can incorporate them into daily life and into my being.
A couple of talks fell straight into my heart this time as well. The one I want to focus on most I felt was given directly to me. When I heard it, it was as if I was the only person in the room, just myself and Elder Condie. It was his talk that still leaves the greatest impression in my heart.

He spoke of the Blessings we are promised by the Lord. He gave us the scripture mastery quote:
I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say ;but when ye do not what I say, you have no promise. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10).

He then went through several different commandments and laws and the promised blessings for keeping those commandments. He stressed needing to have Faith in Christ and how we express that faith is evident when we believe and follow his teaching and claim the blessings & promises. When we obtain any blessing from heaven it is in direct obedience to the laws and principles that govern it:

"Keeping the sabbath Holy and become unspotted from the world.

forgiveness when we confess and forsake our sins.

Opening windows in heaven, faithful tithe payers.

finding great treasures of knowledge when we keep the Word of Wisdom.

divine guidance and inspiration for those who feast upon the words of Christ and liken the scriptures unto themselves.

whatever righteous thing ye shall ask in the Lord's name believing ye shall receive.

The Holy Ghost as a constant companion when we let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.

Fasting will loose the bands of wickedness ,undo our heavy burdens and break every yoke.

Those sealed in holy temples and faithfully keep covenants receive God's glory which will be a fullness and continuation of your seeds forever and ever"

But he also stated "sometimes in our earthy impatience we lose sight of the Lord promises and disconnect our obedience for the fulfillment of these promises....

And he referenced
Doctrine & Covenance 58:32:
I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.

How true this is. We often lose faith and become lax in our obedience and then wonder why the blessings don't come. We feel forgotten, ignored and pushed aside in our obedience and efforts to do the right thing.

Elder Condie Stated that faith is enduring, patient and long suffering and how we too must master these things and be believing in the faith of Jesus Christ.

He then recalled the story of the craziest sibling rivalry story I've read in the Scriptures, the story of Leah and Rachel:
Jacob worked 7 years for Laban, Rachels father in exchange for the priveledge to marry Rachel. Rachel was his love, his heart. He said... 7 years felt only like days to him, such was his love for Rachel! And when the wedding day came and he married, he unveiled his new wife only to find out he had been tricked. Laban gave him his eldest daughter, Leah, to marry. Jacob worked another few years to marry Rachel. And when he did marry Rachel, she could not conceive. And because the Lord saw Leah was hated, he opened her womb. Leah concieved child after child while Rachel remained barren, heart broken and desperate.

And we do that sometimes don't we? We become broken down, desperate, carless, unbelieving and lose our faith and allow our testimony to weaken. We believe ourselves to be forgotten and pushed aside.

2 Peter3:9

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I think what stuck me most and broke me down was when he mentioned:

"In this day and age of 1 hour dry cleaning and 1 minute food franchises it may at times seem to some of us that a loving Heavenly Father has misplaced our promises or that he's put them on hold or filed them under the wrong name. Such were the feelings of Rachel.

But with the passage of times we encounter 4 of the most beautiful words in holy writ: And God Remembered Rachel."

When Heaven's promises sometimes seem afar off, I pray that each of us will embrace these exceedingly great and precious promises and never let go. And just as God has remember Rachel God will remember you."

When asked what my greatest fear is, I talk of being necrophobic and arachnophobia and claustrophobic and maybe some various other fears. But truly my greatest fear is to be forgotten. I can deal fears such as tight spaces, spiders and so on. However for me to be forgotten is a great hurt on my heart and soul. I'm not sure why it is. At times I do feel like Rachel, who doesn't?

Nothing hurts me more than being forgotten about. I get a physical ill.
When I think of all the things in the last year where I have been forgotten or forgotten about, it seriously makes me ill.

Yeah, I KNOW it's a crazy thing to be upset about. Especially that upset.

You would think knowing that people do and will forget and it's not intentional would make a difference. Sometimes it does. But it doesn't hurt any less. Just because a car hit you unintentionally doesn't mean it will hurt less.
When these things happen is when I lash out at my worst. I don't take it well at all and I know this is a great weakness for me but I'm willing to put it next on the chopping block.
In true theory when ever we want to get over something the very thing shows up to test how serious we are about it. In true fashioned it happened again soon after Elder Condie's talk was given. I was actually anticipating in, which was my first mistake, because what you focus on grows. I should have been more optamistic. I should exercise more faith in others... another thing that has more to do with me and less to do with those around me.
I cried, my stomach ached and sleep was fragmented all from feeling hurt.

It wont be easy. I know it will continue to happen because we all have so much going on around us in our everyday lives that the human mind is bound to forget, even me ;) But I pray that I can have a softened heart free of grudge and negative retorte and find ways to grow from these experiences. Never underestimate the human mind to forget or change. It's going to happen and it should be ok in most cases. It should not be so traumatic.

Now I think of the Savior Jesus christ and his word and teaching. How often do I forget him?
I have no cause to be so ill when I'm forgotten because I too, forget people, places and things.

Elder Condie had no ideah he was hitting right to my very core with this talk.

This hinderance I am casting out. It certainly doesn't serve me and it definetly isn't right how it makes me feel and treat others.

So when we get to feeling like this and I know we all do, whether we feel as if our friends, family or even our loving Father in Heaven has forgotten us, I hope you can remember this talk and know that we are engraved into the palms of the master our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.... we truly CANNOT be forgotten :)

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!