Friday, April 18, 2014

A Good Friday Baptism

Dear Magdalene,

You were born on Good Friday.  Around 8-9 am.  Was it 9:01?  9:03?  I don't remember for sure.  I'm positive it's written somewhere.

It is only fitting that you were baptized this day.  I didn't want a big crowd, and you did.  We invited the ward, but in my opinion, the best of the best showed up.  It was family, your Primary teacher, the bishop and his family, and two other friends, one with spouse and one with grandkids.  Perfectly fitting.  I just wish I had known they were the only ones who would have shown up.  I would have invited everyone to wear pants, come with their scriptures, and done away with printing a "professional" program.

Your Aunt spoke on baptism, and shared the analogy of the penny, one being brand new, and the other being worn with years of use.  Baptism washes clean the tarnish we accumulate.

WaWa spoke on the Holy Ghost, and brought balloons.  You can feel his influence subtly, yet clear if you are paying attention.

We ate brownies, cupcakes, veggies, and jelly beans.  But none of that matters, because what matters is that you have made a statement to God that you are willing to follow him.  I don't know if you know or understand the gravity of it, and with time you may feel its importance.  I do believe you are mature and in-tune enough with God that you realize this was a wonderful day.  You told me you were "excited", and that you laughed as you got in the water.  I don't think it was just fun for you; I think in your heart you are well prepared, and felt the joy of the occasion.  We were all celebrating!

Grandma and angels were there.  Many of them.

I love you to the moon and back.  And even though there were only a few other humans there, they all love you to the moon and back as well.  What a wonderful, beautiful, love filled evening.

Love you immensely,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blood Moons

From Adam Benner, owner of Eye of the Lens Photography:

You can find his Facebook page here: Eye of the Lens Photography.  

Those are some phenomenal skills.  Talk about natural beauty in the heavens.

(I babysat him once when he was a kid.  ;)


Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sell all that Thou Hast

Dear Josten,

I've been thinking A LOT lately about a few verses of scripture.  They have been hot on my mind, and I frequently hear these verses recited of late:  

“Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:22-25)

These words have left a strong impression on me, and I have been trying to "lighten the load" of "stuff" I have in my home.  The other day, as I was de-cluttering, pondering these verses yet again, something dawned on me, and I want to share it with you so I don't forget.

I often wondered why Jesus didn't just tell this rich man to just donate his stuff to the Goodwill, Jubilee, or Deseret Industries?  Why does he tell him to "sell" all that he had?  Should I be selling what I have, and giving the money to the poor?  Attempting to sell what I have would not be worth the time to sell.  It's not worth anything, and if it is, my time is more valuable than to try to sell it.

This is where bells went off in my head.  As far as material possessions, while I have enough for my needs, when it comes to selling anything in the area in which I live, I am poor!  Aha!!!  hahaha!!!  After months and months of pondering these verses, I realized it.  I am poor, at least in terms of financial wealth.  There are only a few items that would garner more than a few dollars at a yard sale, and that is my bed and my electric piano.  Everything else would be chump change!  For this scenario, the instruction is clear.

If I had money, I would give.  King Benjamin reports:
And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.  (Mosiah 4:24)
I would love to give anything I had to the poor, if I knew what was needed.  I am quite positive that there is great room for improvement here, and am by no means perfect.  For the time being, I donate what I feel I should to our local thrift store.  We don't have many visibly homeless in our town, but I would gladly give as needed.  After so much time pondering these verses, I am grateful to have had an "aha" moment.  And I look forward to the day in which I can have more to give!



Dear Daniel,

There is a law, irrevocably decreed...

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. - Jesus (Luke 6:31)
Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.  - Jesus (D&C 6:33)
Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been – if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the power and captivation of the devil.  Now behold, this is the voice of the angel, crying unto the people.  -Alma (Alma 9:28-9)
We reap what we sow.  As we treat others, we shall so be treated.  This has been called a "Universal Truth", and I believe it.  Take care to treat others, regardless of who they are, with love, respect, and kindness.

Love you!