Category Archives: Church Thoughts

Remembering the Hard Stuff

Cardio appointments are always a mixed bag emotionally for me.

On the one hand I spend the whole time being SUPER grateful that Peanut is well and that we have not been to the Cardio in two years.  SUPER grateful for the miracle of her life.

On the other hand I relive, especially in the time between doing the echo and seeing the doc, every fear and pain that I went through when she was born until I stopped being in a constant dread of her dying, which was at about 19 months.

This last Cardio appointment was a little nerve wracking for me, we were there a few months early because Peanut had been complaining about feeling short of breath, which can be a sign that something has gone wonky with her heart.

She is fine.

But that current fear reminded me.  It reminded me to pray and feel grateful.

I feel very blessed to have wonderful doctors, wonderful family, wonderful friends, and a wonderful Father in Heaven who has helped and continues to help me and Peanut.

I think remembering past trials is probably always like that, you remember what the pain was like, you can feel it the same way you can feel someone’s pain when you see them get hurt badly.  Sometimes it’s even more then that.  Sometimes you relive the pain.  Hopefully, you relive the joy too, the relief you felt when the trial ended or when you understood what it was all for.  Hopefully you pray just as hard as you did during the trial after the trial, prayers of gratitude for what you learned, for help received.  I always try to remember to do that, to pray with as much fervor as I did in that PICU.

How do you remember the hard stuff?

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Temple Adventures

A little while ago I had the great opportunity to Volunteer at a Temple Open House.  If you want to know more about Temples and what I’m talking about you can go to http://mormontemples.org/  Not only was I lucky enough to get to do that, I also had some interesting adventures while there.

When you volunteer at the Temple Open House, they have you meet at a Chapel before hand.  At ours they showed this great video with shots of the Temple being constructed and facts about the Temple and they gave us a little bit of information on how we were going to be given our assignments.

Then they divided us into groups and those of us with lots of room in our cars drove others to the Temple.  We drove over and then they took us into the Temple through a back basement door that you would normally never get to use. They took us to another room that again, you would normally never see and showed us a map of where all the stations were.  Then they started taking groups back to man stations.  I was in the last group, which was great because we got the Celestial room!

I started just outside the Celestial room and then after about an hour they rotated me into the Celestial room.

While I was there a cricket, that had somehow found it’s way into the Temple, started hopping around the Celestial room.  One of the permanent open house workers tried to catch it a lull between guest.  But the room started to fill up again before he caught it and a little boy saw he was trying to catch it and thought he would help by stomping the cricket.

We all took a collective breath in and held it as we watched his boot descend towards the cricket and the WHITE carpet.  We all breathed out at the same time when luck was on the side of the cricket and the carpet.  The boy continued to try to stomp the cricket while the whole room whispered at him to stop.  He then started scrambling at it with his fingers and actually caught the thing without smashing it into anything white.  We got him to hand it to the worker and we all calmed down.

It’s amazing how location makes things feel super dramatic where they wouldn’t matter in the least anywhere else.

Next they rotated me to the women’s dressing room.  A woman had to leave her post because she was dizzy.  I had her sit on one of the benches behind me.  Soon she was better and she went back to her spot.  Next one of the security guards came through and asked if anyone had tried to go back into the brides room, the pathway there was blocked by a sign.  I told him no and he checked all the closets and bathrooms to make sure no one was where they were not supposed to be.

He asked if I wanted to see the brides room.  I of course, said yes, but I couldn’t leave my post.  He said he would guard it for me and told me to go.  So I got to go see the brides room, which was beautiful!  I particularly loved the carpet which was pattered with flowers and cut with the pattern.

Next I was rotated to outside the Chapel and then we were done.  I drove my riders back to the Church where we started and then drove home.

It was wonderful and Spiritual, I know I’ve not captured that aspect here, but the whole time there was this special feeling that you only get in Temples.  I can’t describe it other then it’s the Spirit.

Have you ever had the chance to visit a Temple Open house?  Have you ever gotten to work at one?

This was actually my second open house to work at and my fourth to visit.  And I’ve been to six dedications.  One in person and the rest via satellite.  I feel very blessed to have been able to participate so much in the start of new Temples.

Lego Temple

Recently my Husband was asked by his Mom, who happens to be the Stake Relief Society President, to build a Temple out of Lego’s for display at the Women’s conference this last Saturday.  I took pictures as it was being constructed. Normally you could not make a better request of my husband.  But a combination of sickness and work stress made it a bit less fun, but still every bit as rewarding, as it might have been.

First, the girls made a model for their dad to work off of. 🙂

IMG_20140924_220929_591Next my husband made Moroni and the top of the spire.

IMG_20140908_103206_842Next the base was started. It lived on the freezer in the garage for a while.

IMG_20140921_172651_428Then it lived on my kitchen table.

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And my sideboard

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The spire came on and off several timesIMG_20140925_064348_609At one point he modified-quoted Homer by saying “Somethings wrong, there are Lego’s here, but I don’t want to build them.”

I have one, not so proud moment during the construction on this Temple. It was the point at which I crept into my boy’s room while they were sleeping and stole their white Lego’s.

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We have two Angel Moroni statues, one yellow unmodified Lego’s and one that I painted gold.

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Finally it was done!IMG_20140927_240749_195

This involved multiple trips to two different Lego stores, and one trip to a slightly strange guy’s house, (Husband went, not me) that I met at a Lego store who collects and sells Lego’s.

I’ve been asked how many bricks are in this Lego Temple.  I don’t know, you are welcome to go count them if you like.

Here it is before we moved it to the event.

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Here it is being displayed at the Women’s Conference.

 

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I’m glad Husband got to do it and we got to be a part of it!

Politics and Religion

The world of Politics today crosses over into the world of Religion more often then I think we would like to believe. The very thing that the Puritans came here to avoid, restrictions and control over the practicing their religion, is very much in danger of happening in the United States today.

I see and hear so many people in the Church say things, that I know that if they just realized how the Church stands on the topic they might take a little more time to think. I very often want to say something in the moment, but I don’t dare, as it’s either not a good place or not a good time, or I’m just not close enough to the person to feel like they will listen to me in that context, or really because I’m afraid to offend.

I probably shouldn’t be that way, I should be more brave to stand up for what I believe even, or maybe especially, to people who believe the same thing. So, that’s what I’m going to do here. It’s the chicken way, but it’s a start.

First example.

Pro-Choice. I could go on about this myself, but I’ll let an Apostle make my arguments for me.  Below is a link to the whole talk, which I recommend you read, and then a quote.

Weightier Matters by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Pro-choice slogans have been particularly seductive to Latter-day Saints because we know that moral agency, which can be described as the power of choice, is a fundamental necessity in the gospel plan. All Latter-day Saints are pro-choice according to that theological definition. But being pro-choice on the need for moral agency does not end the matter for us. Choice is a method, not the ultimate goal. We are accountable for our choices, and only righteous choices will move us toward our eternal goals.

In this effort, Latter-day Saints follow the teachings of the prophets. On this subject our prophetic guidance is clear. The Lord commanded, “Thou shalt not … kill, nor do anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). The Church opposes elective abortion for personal or social convenience. Our members are taught that, subject only to some very rare exceptions, they must not submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for an abortion. That direction tells us what we need to do on the weightier matters of the law, the choices that will move us toward eternal life.

In today’s world we are not true to our teachings if we are merely pro-choice. We must stand up for the right choice. Those who persist in refusing to think beyond slogans and sound bites like pro-choice wander from the goals they pretend to espouse and wind up giving their support to results they might not support if those results were presented without disguise.

“Every woman has, within the limits of nature, the right to choose what will or will not happen to her body. Every woman has, at the same time, the responsibility for the way she uses her body. If by her choice she behaves in such a way that a human fetus is conceived, she has not only the right to but also the responsibility for that fetus. If it is an unwanted pregnancy, she is not justified in ending it with the claim that it interferes with her right to choose. She herself chose what would happen to her body by risking pregnancy. She had her choice. If she has no better reason, her conscience should tell her that abortion would be a highly irresponsible choice.

If we say we are anti-abortion in our personal life but pro-choice in public policy, we are saying that we will not use our influence to establish public policies that encourage righteous choices on matters God’s servants have defined as serious sins. I urge Latter-day Saints who have taken that position to ask themselves which other grievous sins should be decriminalized or smiled on by the law due to this theory that persons should not be hampered in their choices. Should we decriminalize or lighten the legal consequences of child abuse? of cruelty to animals? of pollution? of fraud? of fathers who choose to abandon their families for greater freedom or convenience?

And another example.

I have seen several people who are decrying the Supreme Court decision today in favor of Hobby Lobby. People of my faith should be REJOYICING.  This protects OUR FAITH, just as much as it protects Hobby Lobby. The federal government should not compel people to do things contrary to their faith.  And if they could compel Hobby Lobby, what would stop them from compelling the Church?

Nothing.

And yet a third.

I have seen several people rejoice over the striking down of prop 8 in California (I know this is rather old news, but still valid to my point).  When the Church comes out with the statement, which they don’t often do, saying they are sad about it, you should be on board too.

There are more, but I’ll stop there for now.

I think very often people in the Church do not realize how far afield they get from their religion in what they believe politically.  I think people very often get into the “espouse ideas contrary to their religion.” without even knowing it. I think that’s because people try to have those things exist in a bubble, one separate from another. That’s impossible, and wrong.

Please please please, before you favor a political idea, see how it stacks up with your Faith. That’s all I’m really asking.

What talks from Apostles or statements from the Church have you see that influenced your political thought?

Prayer

Lunchmeat has been expanding on his prayer repertoire. He no longer just prays to go back to nursery. Today is prayer included this.

“And please bless daddy that when he goes on his business trip he won’t meet any monsters, bad guys, or bears.”

Awesome.

With kids praying for you I am 100% sure you are safe from monsters, bad guys and bears.

I love kids.

Hating on Mother’s day

What’s with all the hating on Mother’s day?

I don’t know about you, but about 75% of the Mothers I know HATE Mothers day, or at least have a mild dislike. Either it makes them feel like they are not a good mother, or they have not had kids they wanted to and it makes them feel like a failure, or their kids didn’t turn out how they hoped, or they had a terrible mother and it reminds them of that, or they have expectations as to what they think their Mother’s day should be like and it never is, or…I could go on, but I think it all boils down to guilt of some kind or another. I don’t know what it is but in America we EXCEL at guilt.

On this Mother’s day I’d like to say to all women everywhere, drop the guilt, at least on this day. Mothers day is meant to honor women for being what they are, Divine Daughters of Heavenly Father with a special mission in life and the eternities. So, if you fit that description (and all women do) be happy in it and for it. I’m not saying your life is or ever was perfect, no one’s is. I am say that in what ever way you feel you fall short, you are worth honoring.

The Lord knows your life and His plan for it, so I hope you will take Mothers day and use it to turn over to the Lord the things that make you cringe at the thought of Mothers day. HE KNOWS those things that tug at your heart when some kids stands up in church and talks about how wonderful their mother is. Use this day to counsel with Him about these things and I’m sure He will bring you healing.

Any maybe, one day, you won’t hate Mother’s day any more. But, even if you do, the Lord will help you get through it.

The White Dress

As you saw in yesterday’s post, Peanuts Grandmother made her a white dress for her baptism. It is BEAUTIFUL. Lace and beads. When we were visiting them this summer they planned the dress together.  When Bubush came for Meatloaf’s birth she fitted it to Peanut. My mother is amazing and talented. I look at the stuff she makes for the kids and try to figure out what it would cost in the real world.

Peanut loves the dress, so she wants to wear it every Sunday.  One Sunday, right after her baptism she was all dressed and ready.  She decided that she would give a gift to her primary teacher.  She got it and then decided to wrap it.  For some reason she decided that the carbon paper she had been playing with the day before would make a GREAT wrapping.  Apparently she had completely forgotten what I had told her about how messy carbon paper is.

She came downstairs just as we were about to walk out the door with a little package in her hand, leaning against the lace at her waistline.

I then expressed my surprise and dismay. There was a black mark across her dress. I told her to put the package down and go wash her hands. She dropped the package and walked into the bathroom.  A few seconds later she walks out with a washcloth she is dabbing at her dress, and black hand prints all over the dress.  I loudly told her “Stop!  Stop touching your dress!”  She put her hands up like someone in a stickup.  I asked her “Why didn’t you wash your hands?”

Her reply “I thought the dress was more important then my hands!”

What do you say to that?

I switched her into a different dress and spent the car ride to church trying to explain to her how that had been a REALLY bad idea until Husband made me stop.

When we got home I cleaned all I could from it.  There were still a few black marks I could not get off by blotting with water.  I called a friend of mine who owns a dry cleaning business.  I asked him what to do and he recommended a cleaner.  I bought it and it got the rest out.  Any shadows that were left washed out when I rinsed the cleaner out of the dress.

The next Sunday Peanut wanted to wear the dress again.  When we left church we walked through the grass.  Apparently it was wet enough that Peanut kicked mud up the back of the dress.

Out came the cleaner again and the dress was white once more.

 

While I was thinking about these events I realized that it’s a good analogy for sin and repentance.

Our souls are white, clean and beautiful.  We mess up some things we can wash out ourselves, some things we can’t, we have to consult and expert.  With the experts help we can get clean again.  And we turn around and sin again.  But the expert is there to help us and we can be perfectly clean again.

That’s life, and repentance is part of it.  An ongoing part of it.  Once won’t be enough, we will have to turn to the Lord for His expert help over and over.  But as long as we do, we can be white and clean again.

Peanut wore the dress to church the next Sunday, it’s still clean.