Here is a link to look more up yourself if you feel so inclined.
Here is a link to look more up yourself if you feel so inclined.
Watched a scouting celebration tonight. I was reminded that these annoying, immature, silly, wild boys do someday grow up to become men. I think in our culture it is especially difficult for boys to grow up to become honorable men. So today, every honorable and decent man is a miracle. He started from a boy, and somehow became something much more.
As my difficult son returned home, it created a lot a chaos in the home. He does not get physically destructive, mostly just spiritually and emotionally destructive. We knew things would be difficult for a while, but wanted to believe we could handle it. We could not handle him, and he is currently out of the home, but in a very safe place. There has been a lot of leftover emotion here and everyone tends to get a little too irritated a little too easily. Far too much bickering and petty arguing. Early on in the summer I wanted to do something to prepare for his arrival emotionally. I knew of a book that we had studied from early in our marriage, and I wanted some of the lessons from that book. It turns out that it has been rewritten, and is rather difficult to get a hold of. It is called Strengthening the Family, and is put out by LDS Social Services. It can’t even be ordered online, and everyone who knew about the book didn’t have a copy. We had tried some other programs, but they just weren’t what we needed. Finally last week we were able to get our hands on a copy through an unexpected source.
Yesterday we had our first lesson, and there was such a strong spirit. This was exactly what we needed to re-hear. I’d like to summarize what we talked about.
The chapter we focused on was called “Communicating with Love.” We discussed the effect that our words have on those around us. Even unintentionally it is harmful to use words that lecture, moralize, preach, interrogate, discount, placate, provide empty reassurances, judge, condemn, threaten, blame, criticize, ridicule, or ignore another’s feelings. We recognized some of those phrases that have popped up in our home. We recommitted to stopping those behaviors, and to pattern our communication after the Savior. The lesson points out how the Savior chose to communicate. He was slow to condemn, forgiving, compassionate, considerate of His family, willing to return good for evil, loving of children, appreciative, eager to serve, and willing to sacrifice. We finished the lesson up by practicing using statements that start with “I,” and communicate how another’s actions affect us. We practiced using these types of forgiving statements instead of starting out our sentences with “you” and using blame. Most of the family caught on very quickly. I am so happy we finally found this lesson. I think we need it over and over again!
It has been 24 hours and there has not been a single argument, fight, disagreement, or unkind word spoken here. It is amazing how a parent can know exactly what is needed and where to find it. I only wish we could have found it a little earlier. 🙂
Just last Wednesday I took my son to the St. George temple to do some baptisms for the dead. (See here) It took us over 2 hours to do 5 names each. We had more family names, but due to the volume of people also waiting, we were asked to keep it to 5 each. Others also had stacks of family names they were asked to limit. The poor workers were doing everything they could to keep up with the rush of people. I had thought that going in the middle of the day, middle of the week that it would not be that bad. The workers told us they had been this busy for weeks and expected the rush (about 50 people the entire time) to continue through the spring. The last time we went we went at 7am on a holiday weekend, but it was crowded then as well. Even our youth groups are only invited to come once or twice a year. No one wants to complain that it is too crowded at the temple, but it really is!
As we sat and waited, and waited, we were able to really enjoy the spirit and atmosphere inside the temple. Jeremy leaned over and expressed a desire that instead of just sitting, he wished he had the option of wandering the rooms and halls of the temple to more fully enjoy his experience. We realized that he has never been to a temple open house. We spoke about what an experience that would be for him.
Needless to say, we were super excited when it was announced in conference over the weekend that southern Utah is getting an additional temple!!! It is planned for Cedar City, the other primary population center that we share the St. George temple with. Now Jeremy will get his wish of walking through the temple and enjoying the spirit and the building and attending an open house!
One of the things I have always wondered about, is how do you know if something is chance, luck, or answer to prayer.
Pres. Thomas S. Monson answered this so very clearly in Conference this last Sunday. A few quotes from his talk included “was it chance that our paths crossed . . . I do not for one moment believe so . . .I believe it was an answer to . . . prayer” and “The Lord is in the details of our lives.” “Like many other things in our lives, it seemed to be something that just worked out.” “Luck, I don’t think so.” If you have an extra 20 minutes, the entire talk can be watched below. To listen to just the final story you can start at about 15 minutes in.
Yesterday for church we went to our stake center and watched the broadcast of the Brigham City LDS Temple. Thanks to the miracle of modern broadcasting, thousands of people joined together to give thanks for this newest temple, and join in praising and thanking God as they joined their voices in praise and in song. It was incredibly powerful. The Latter-Day Saints are rightly known as a temple building people, and now have 139 temples scattered across the globe, with more on the way.
One of the speakers reminded us of the early traditions of temple worship, including Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. I felt almost guilty enjoying the wonderful experience as I remembered my trip to Jerusalem and the temple mount there. There are so many faithful people who yearn and pray for the day when they are permitted to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Millions of devout people whose life is made meaningful when they are allowed to touch the wailing wall, and pray for people whose names are on the small slips of paper stuffed into the cracks of the wall. With so many temples so close to so many Latter Day Saints, we truly take our temple privileges for granted. It is not like having extra church meeting houses, or a cathedral here or there, these are Houses of the Lord in every sense that Solomon’s was. Their mere existence qualifies as a major miracle.
I especially enjoyed this dedication having had the opportunity to go through the open house last month. I’ve included some links you can visit to learn more about this amazing place of worship and covenants.
My favorite optimist is Gordon B. Hinkley. He always saw the good in everything. I have several of his quotes hanging in my home. Yesterday I reread a quote from him. It was part of his speech at the funeral of his wife – Marjory Pay. They had been married almost 67 years. I admire his perspective in what must have been a very difficult and sad time for him.
“It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry.
I say that to myself every morning.
It will all work out.
Put your trust in God,
and move forward with faith
and confidence in the future.
The Lord will not forsake us.
He will not forsake us.
If we will put our trust in Him,
if we will pray to Him,
if we will live worthy of His blessings,
He will hear our prayers.”