Thursday, November 27, 2014

Many Things to Be Thankful for But Here is Just One

Last Sunday our Sunday School lesson was entitled:  "The Shepherds of Israel."  It compared the difference between a sheepherder and a shepherd.  The one  drives the flock and cares more for him/herself than those 'sheep' in his/her care, versus the one who leads the flock with kindness, concern and gentle persuasion.  One who cares more about 'the one' than him/her self.

There was a question in the manual, one the teacher did not ask, but one which I read and pondered on for a good long time.  It was:

How have you been blessed by true shepherds who have done these things? 
My mind went back to the year 1970/1971, when I was 18 and 19 years of age.  I was young, I was thin and I was prone to wear very short skirts.  I mean very short skirts!  Even though I had not been raised in the L.D.S. church I had been baptized.  At this point in life I was somewhat of a lost lamb.  But I was blessed with a most wonderful shepherd who entered my life for only a year.  His name was Larry Cook, Bishop Larry Cook.  He was married to Rosemarie and they had 3 small children, Rosemary, Andrea and Christopher.  The first thing this fine Bishop did was extend  a calling to me. Sunday School Teacher (this was in the day and age when Sunday School was Sunday morning and Sacrament meeting was late Sunday night)!   I was to teach the 3 and 4 year olds, or was it 4 and 5 year olds?  Whatever age it was his two daughters were in my class.  He actually trusted me with his most prized possessions!  I know this calling displeased some members, especially one lady who was quite vocal about it... even to myself!  With my personality she just made me chuckle and I made certain to wear the shortest skirt on Sunday just for her!  Okay, so I was somewhat naughty!

Bishop Cook never discussed my attire with me.  In the spring of 1971 I applied for entrance to B.Y.U,. (at my mothers insistence).  I was not a full tithe payer at the time, I did not dress modestly.   I had my interview with Bishop Cook and I was not terribly concerned about it.  You see I had back up plans....I was planning on attending Adams State College in Colorado.  I had my acceptance, I had a grant, I was set to go.  I was just appeasing my mother.  Imagine my surprise when I was accepted to B.Y.U.!  Better yet, imagine the surprise of some Rangely Ward members!!!  I have often felt Bishop Cook was an instrumental player in that acceptance.

I am deeply indebted to this man and his family.  He will always be near and dear to my heart.  I sent him a thank you note years ago.  About two years after I sent the note I received a phone call from this wonderful man.  We had a most delightful conversation.  Laughing over the short skirts I then wore and the fact that he never made it an issue with me!  Now Larry Cook was a true shepherd.  I feel he was instrumental in the path my life took.  Which has been a most wonderful path to take.

On this day of Thanksgiving I am grateful for oh so many things, but I am especially grateful for the kindness, compassion and loving acceptance of one mortal man who followed in the footsteps of the True Shepherd.  I am very grateful for Bishop Larry Cook.  May the Lord pour out His choicest blessings on this wonderful man and his family!  Happy Thanksgiving Bishop Cook!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

1 Wrong + 1 Wrong = Right????

My father had a substance abuse problem.  This addiction was costly in many ways, one being financial.  My mother was advised to take the money he spent on alcohol and spend it on herself.  One wrong plus one wrong did not equal right.  My mom recognized that and did not follow the counsel given.  Smart woman!

Another man in this counseling session (his wife was there for some  "wise" advice) had a substance abuse problem.  His addiction was costly in many ways, he was impotent.  She was sexually unsatisfied.  She was advised to go find other men to fulfill her needs.  One wrong plus one wrong did not equal right.  At the session she recognized that and said that was not an option, she loved her husband.  I do not know how her story ended.

We must be careful when choosing sources to advise us.  The ways of the world will cause more damage to ourselves and our relationships.  Really the only one I trust with advice and counseling is Jesus Christ.  Where do I find this advice?  In my scripture study, prayer and listening to the still small voice.  Which I wish I did all three more valiantly! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bats in the Belfry and Aliens in the Backyard

Picture this.  A nice relaxing Sunday evening.  I am soaking my feet.  Scott and I are getting ready to watch a movie (by now I do not even remember the name of the movie!)  But our evening was destined to prove more entertaining than a movie.  It all began with the ringing of the doorbell.

There stood our dear, sweet backyard neighbor.  Elva is a most wonderful and delightful backyard neighbor to have.  If you do not have an Elva than I feel sorry for you.  Elva is single, has 2 adult daughters who no longer live at home.  She was quite in a panic as she has been hearing stange sounds outside her bedroom, thinking a bird has a nest close by.  Then she discovered 'the poopie' and decided it was more likely a large rat.

Scott went to the garage to retrieve our ladder, I went upstairs to put on some shoes and socks and Elva headed home with us not far behind.  Scott placed the ladder up against her window and then phoned Matthew Bud to come check it out!  My husband does NOT like cute, furry critters.  His wife has no fear of them.  I ascended the steps with flashlight in hand (even though it was not quite dusk.)  Under her shutter are creatures yes, plenty of them.  They were all hanging upside down and I even saw the cute little nose of one of the little  fellows.  Those illegal (to shoot anyway) immigrants had taken up residency in her shutters!!!  Thank goodness it was after I got down from the ladder that they decided to come out and search for dinner.  Happy early Halloween Elva!  This evening we will go over and try to 'trick' them from getting back in! 

In the meantime the other neighbor came over to see what the commotion was all about.  This neighbor is around 85 and does quite well other than her eyesight.  As we were visiting about the bats she asked me if I had seen the bright light that came from the west the other night.  I had to answer no, my bedroom faces east and I keep my shutters closed at night.  She continued her story. After the bright light out of the west came it was followed by other lights that landed in my backyard and in the other neighbors backyard. Between aliens and bats I now know why my cats have been reluctant to go out at night!  Ghoulies, goblins and ghosties and things that go bump in the night.  Oh Lord deliver us!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Questions and Answers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

"If I'm guilty of apostasy, then everyone who has ever had a question and said that question out loud, is guilty of apostasy," said Kelly.

Untruth.  It was my own personal experience with questioning out loud, "What is the purpose of life?"  that was the first step into bringing myself into the faith I love and know to be true.  

As I have somewhat followed Kate's story (in the state of Utah it is pretty difficult not to know what is going on with her!) I have no clue what question she is posing.  Her web site is titled: "Ordain Women."  A statement, a demand, no question about that!

She wants women ordained to the Priesthood and the church has repeatedly answered that demand.  This being the most recent one to my knowledge.

June 28, 2014
In God's plan for the happiness and eternal progression of His children, the blessings of His priesthood are equally available to men and women. Only men are ordained to serve in priesthood offices. All service in the Church has equal merit in the eyes of God. We express profound gratitude for the millions of Latter-day Saint women and men who willingly and effectively serve God and His children. Because of their faith and service, they have discovered that the Church is a place of spiritual nourishment and growth.

We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding. We feel special concern, however, for members who distance themselves from Church doctrine or practice and, by advocacy, encourage others to follow them.

Simply asking questions has never constituted apostasy. Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.
The Council of
The First Presidency and
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 I sustain these men.  I support them.  I testify of their divine role. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I distinctly remember  some years ago attending a Stake Conference meeting with feelings of frustration and anger.  I told President Clayton in the next life women were going to have the Priesthood and the men would stay home to get the children and food ready!  He laughed and informed me I did not have to wait for the next life.  I just needed to go to the Philippines where some women in the church were performing Priesthood duties.  He proceeded to laughingly tell me the story.  I must say I was not amused.  You see my husband served as Ward Clerk and Stake Clerk for numerous years.  While he attended "spiritual, uplifting meetings" I attended to the needs of four children and myself .  Oh how well I remember experiencing those feelings of frustration, anger and discontent.  But as time went on I came to recognize and realize that I was beginning to see that for me my "calling" was  the far more rewarding and important calling.  My apologies to all Priesthood holders.  Children grow fast and time quickly passes on. My children aged and so did I.  I have since served in numerous Ward and Stake leadership callings.  I have attended those early morning Sunday meetings and I must say they in no way compare to those long ago early morning " meetings" with four small children.  My preference being the early morning meetings with my small children.  You may wonder the point of this post.  The 184th General Conference has come and gone.  With it the usual groups who picket and protest certain standards or doctrine of the Church. One such group is entitled:  Ordain Women.  Mormon women seeking equality and ordination to the priesthood.  I, personally do not agree with these women.  I have dealt with and solved that issue for myself years ago. I am very happy with my role.  I love it! I also love Elder Dallin H. Oaks quote from the Priesthood Session of Conference.  "In the eyes of God, whether in the Church or in the family, women and men are equal, with different responsibilities." — Dallin H Oaks  
I LOVE my responsibilities,  especially now that they have given me some adorable, darling, perfect little dividends!

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Educational" Workshops on the Strip

The Kagan Educational Workshop was to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada this year as opposed to Henderson, Nevada.   Mr. Bassett (Core Curriculum Director for Millard School District) and Mr. Bassett (Delta High Math teacher) both signed up to attend this educational workshop. Educational it was for Max, Ava, Isaac and myself.  Here are some notes from the 'educational workshop' I attended:

Isaac:  "Grandma, look at the games! I want to play those games. Grandma, only daddy's can play those games.  I want to play those games!"

Ava:  "Grandma, did you see that lady dancing on the table?  You could see her butt cheeks!!!"

Max:  "Now I know why Grandma calls this place 'Sin City'.   People don't dress very modestly here do they?"

What I learned of most significance at my educational workshop? 

A game of Pollyanna with grandchildren highly trumps Casino games!

Butt cheeks on my little grand babies are such cuter butt cheeks than those of adult women dancing on tables!

Modest clothing adds much more to the beauty of a woman than the 'bare all' attitude of the world.

Thanks to my little presenters for educating me on what is truly important!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Blame Game

Utah made National News last week.  

"Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where up to 40 students were served lunch Tuesday — only to have it discarded. They were told they didn't have enough credit on their accounts."

Obviously, one hopping mad mother contacted the local news with her side of the that spoke of disgust and humiliation and claimed the parent had no clue they owed money.  She looked pretty calm and happy to appear on television.  Something I would not be happy or calm about.  I hate cameras.  Of course, she was younger, thinner and prettier than someone I know.

Some comments from news sources followed by some comments from this news

"Two state senators are paying a visit to an elementary school in Salt Lake City on Thursday,"  

Where have these senators been?  Why haven't they visited schools before to check out the amount of food that goes to waste in the school system (paid for in part by the taxpayer.)  Why haven't they visited the schools with the ridiculous amount of testing that goes on.  All in the very pleasing name of "No Child Left Behind."  Some of these children are left behind way before they enter the school system!  Where are they when a student takes their life?  I suppose they choose this moment to show up why... simply put because it made National News and what a great time for politics to come into play.  Gotta look out for number one if you are earning an income in the world of politics.

"No child in Utah should ever be hungry in a classroom," state Sens. Jim Dabakis and Todd Weiler said in a joint statement . "The most basic component of learning is a full stomach."

These children were not left starving.  They were given a snack of fruit and milk.  Like I said before I hope these two men checked out the garbage as they left the school to see the waste.  I have seen children who obviously would rather go hungry than eat what is placed before them.  Especially if they are use to a diet of junk food and that food is not offered in the cafeteria.

Yes, this school district most likely should have handled the situation in a different manner and yes, I bet they do after this fiasco!  But here are some facts I know both from being a parent and working in a school system (even in a lunch program for some time.)

Fact #1:
At registration parents are given a handbook.  This handbook states the cost of lunches per day, per month, per year depending on which program the family  qualifies for.  We suggest monthly payments be made at the beginning of each month with one being paid at registration.  Scott and I knew it was our responsibility to feed our children and our responsibility to make sure said payment was made on time.  Three of four said children were responsible enough that we could  send the check with them to deliver to the office.  One said child...well let's just say we learned it was easier to mail it to DHS then receive a phone call from Jane.

Fact #2:
Letters are sent home reminding parents of their past due accounts.  Sometimes not just one, not just two but perhaps three.  We also make phone calls if necessary.  And sometimes the letter is actually sent in the mail about money owed.

"Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said school officials told the district that their staffers typically tell students about any balances as they go through the lunch line and send home notifications to parents each week"

That is pretty much a standard policy.  I am pretty certain these parents had had a heads up about owing money on lunch accounts.

Bottom Line:
The sins of the parents were unfortunately answered on the heads of the children.  I see that happen way too often. It was interesting and fascinating to me to watch all the blame be placed on the school, the school district, the lunchroom manager, the lunch program.  Never once did I see it put where it truly belonged.  On the parents.  Parents know if their child qualifies for free, reduced or full pay at the beginning of the school year.  Parents know the exact cost of the lunch program. Parents know when the money is due.  No excuses parents, get it done.


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Final Chapter

My husband keeps reminding me I have never finished Sally's story.  So this morning while he is peacefully sleeping I shall finish the story of Miss Silly Sally and the lessons taught to me by a cat/kitten.

1.  Keep smiling, not matter what life throws at you.  Yes, Sally was always 'smiling' (purring in cat language.)  She was a happy cat when she perhaps had every reason in the world to be an unhappy cat.

2.  Never give up.  Even though she was unable to walk/run correctly that did not confine her to the couch.  No sir, Sally was not a couch potato.  She was up and running, chasing butterflies and birds.  Which was very entertaining to those observing.

3.  Laugh at yourself.  Sally never seemed to mind when we would chuckle at her antics.

4.  Like yourself.  It did not matter to Sally that she was a very plain looking kitten with a major disability.  Even though Gus and Molly did not know quite what to think of her, she was happy in her own skin.

5.  Live laugh to the fullest.  Sally's life was not a very lengthy one, but in that small duration of time she loved and was deeply loved.  Yes, she knew what was important.

Sally, provided us with the opportunity to host a funeral.  At the viewing the grandchildren went through the line (which only consisted of Grandma!)  They had an opportunity to tell Sally good-bye.  Yes, we did an open casket (provided by a wonderful Vet!)  Zoey thought Sally was sleeping.  Isaac was quite worried about Sally.  The rest of us thought she looked peaceful. We all shared our own special memories of Sally.  She was laid to rest (closed casket) under the lilac bush.  The children picked whatever flowers in the yard they liked and placed them on her grave.  Then we had our funeral dinner, which did not consists of funeral potatoes, but rather of a trip to Delta Freeze.

Now for the difficult part...remembering and living the lessons taught to me by a kitten.

Scott, may you rest in peace...I finished the story!!!