Monday, June 20, 2011

Ezra Taft Benson: Voice of Warning

Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice
Listen to President Benson talk about the great nation of the United States of America and what needs to be done to protect it from internal destruction.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Parley P. Pratt: Escaped Convict?

Aim and I went to watch Stephen run in a 6K today in Tallahassee.  After the race I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that read: "Parley P. Pratt Memorial Freedom Run/Walk." According to the shirt the race is held in Columbia, Missouri. My curiosity was immediately piqued.  I thought "how many Parley P. Pratts can there be in this world?"

I asked the guy if he knew who Parley P. Pratt was. He said, "I think he was an escaped convict who broke out of jail and got away on foot." The thought crossed my mind that his shirt might actually be referring to a different Parley P. Pratt than the one I know. I asked him if he knew when the convict escaped from jail. He said he thought it was sometime during the 1800's.

I thought how strange it is that there are people out there who know nothing about the men and women who played such a major part in restoring the gospel to the earth. People who know nothing about the original members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in our dispensation. People who know nothing about the suffering of the early Saints in Missouri or how and why the Mormons ended up in Utah. Would this guy think any different if he knew that Parley P. Pratt was an Apostle of the Lord? Was John the Revelator just a convict stuck on an island? Was Paul just a convict trapped in Rome?

I told the guy that our family belonged to the same church Parley P. Pratt did.  I told him we are Mormons (sorry President Packer) and that Parley P. Pratt was one of the great writers and Apostles of the early Mormon Church. He didn't seem very interested. I then told him that my son, Stephen, had just won the race. He was more interested in that.  We talked about the race for another thirty minutes or so before parting ways.

I get the feeling after our conversation that the only thing the guy knows about Mormons is that Mormons like to run.  Oh well.  Maybe a seed has been planted.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Emmitt Smith, One of the Eight Witnesses?

After church today I asked Aim and Stephen if they could name the Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon. As a hint, I told them there were three Smiths. It didn't take long for them to pick out Joseph Smith, Sen. and Hyrum Smith, but they got hung up on the third Smith. Then suddenly Stephen's face lit up and he said "Oh yeah, Emmitt Smith." Aim and I busted out laughing. Stephen, realizing his mistake corrected himself.  "That's right. Emmitt Smith was Joseph Smith's wife." Aim decided to correct Stephen on both of his mistakes. She told him "Emmitt Smith was a football player who used to play for Florida State."

I don't know which answer was more disappointing. Stephen thinking Emmitt Smith was one of the Eight Witnesses or Aim thinking Emmitt Smith was ever a Seminole.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Little Church History Trivia

I have been reading the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Joseph Smith. Here is a little trivia for y'all:

First, who called the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in our dispensation to be members of the Quorum of the Twelve? (Note: Obviously it was the Savior, but what mortal or mortals actually received the revelations and issued the callings?). (Hint: the answer can be found on page 186 of Volume 2 of the History).

Second, was there a man named Lewis Robbins who marched as a member of Zion's Camp to help redeem Zion in Jackson County, Missouri? (Hint: the answer can be found on page 185 of Volume 2 of the History).

Third, what was the eternal fate of those members of Zion's Camp who died of the Cholera which disease afflicted the Camp after the Camp continued to murmur and complain after being warned by Joseph Smith? (Hint: the answer can be found in the footnote on page 181 of Volume 2 of the History).

Fourth, was there a man from Springfield, Erie County, Pennsylvania who was an early member of the Church? (Hint: the answer can be found on page 149 of Volume 2 of the History).

Fact: A man named James Campbell swore "The eagles and turkey buzzards shall eat my flesh if I do not fix Joe Smith and his army (Zion's Camp) so that their skins will not hold shucks, before two days are passed." Mr. Campbell then boarded a ferry and undertook to cross the Missouri River when "the angel of God saw fit to sink the boat" in the middle of the river. Mr. Campbell's drowned body floated down the river some four or five miles and lodged on a pile of drift wood. When his body was found eagles, buzzards, ravens, crows and wild animals had eaten the flesh from his bones. How about that. Mr. Campbell was a prophet.

Let me know if anyone actually knew the answers to the above trivia questions without having to look them up. I didn't.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I saw this phrase posted on a local church sign:

"Triumph is when you put some 'umph' into your 'try.'"

It reminded me of the phrase "Put your shoulder to the wheel, push along." I could picture myself putting my shoulder against the wheel of a wagon or handcart and putting some "umph" into pushing it. After thousands of miles of shoulders against the wheel and "umph," the Saints triumphed. What a legacy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

We Spell Christmas with a Check!

The other day Caroline was watching TV and saw Christmas spelled "X-mas." She asked me what "X-mas" meant. I told her it is a lazy man's way of spelling Christmas and that I personally think spelling Christmas with an X is disrespectful to the Savior. I told her "We never spell Christmas with an 'X'." Katherine then chimed in. "Yeah, we spell it with a check."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Go Get'em Missionaries!

The following is an e-mail I received from Mom on her mission in Hawaii:

Aloha Family,

Today was truly one of the best days of our mission. President Petersen wanted us to go to a Zone Conference which included 2 zones. There were only 2 sisters among a room full of Elders. It is hard to believe the Spirit can be so strong in a room full of young adults. The testimonies were tremendous and I really felt they were sincere when they testified of our Savior's atonement. Our President gave us all a book about the atonement a couple months ago and so many had read it and gained a greater appreciation of what the atonement has done for each of us.

President Petersen asked me to bare my testimony first. After listening to all the young missionaries, I wished I had gone last. I felt like I wanted to tell them all that what they are doing with their lives right now; their righteous influences will be felt throughout the eternities. I thought of all my children serving missions and realized that the righteous service you gave on your missions also will be felt throughout eternity. It is like a pebble thrown in the water that creates a ripple effect, except that ripple goes on for eternity. Thanks again to you all for choosing to go serve in the Lord's work.

One of the most touching testimonies was an Elder who told of his mothers death 1 week before he left for his mission and 2 weeks after his sister returned from her mission. They were both there when their mother took her last breath. They knelt in prayer at that very moment and prayed for strength to overcome their grief, loss, void they were feeling and be able to move forward. While praying, they felt Mother was also now a missionary on the other side. I think the best thing you could do a week after your mothers death is go on a misison. Bringing our Savior's Gospel to others has to be right up there next to the gift He gave us.

We love you all and thank you again for this great experience. We know Heavenly Father keeps His promises and we were promised that you all would prosper for paying for this mission. We pray that you are also prospering Spiritually.

I told President today that we realized why Elder Scott sent us to the Unemployment Center and we feel Richard is where he is needed and where he is supposed to be at this time. He said, "and you are where you are needed and supposed to be now".

Another reminder to me to strenghten my faith in Heavenly Father and His wisdom and to know His servants are truly inspired.

We love you all and pray every night that you will guide and direct our grandchildren with great love and tenderness like our Savior would have you do. We have never heard a conference that was so aimed at families, parenting and teaching children as this past conference. There is a great need for righteous parenting. We love to hear about grandchildren doing their best and even crossing the finish line first and receiving a monetary reward. We are also cheering for them to cross the finish line to Heavenly Fathers presence. We don't want a single empty chair on the other side. Eternity is a long time to live without a loved one. It is more important now than ever to truly love and support one another. Today, President's last words to us was to forgive. The murderer is better off than the one who can't forgive that murderer. He told us of a personal experience when he was in bondage until he could forgive and forgiveness needs to come quickly.

Love, support and FORGIVE!!! How many times?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Another inspiring e-mail from Rob:

When Mom and Dad picked me up from the airport after my mission, they drove me past the Salt Lake temple on the way home. I thought that it would be neat to see the temple. I had no idea what was in store. The structure of the temple is impressive alone, but as we drove past the part of the temple that has the words "Holiness To The LORD The HOUSE Of The LORD", a strong spiritual feeling came over me that I will never forget. Through the Spirit I was allowed to feel and know some of the sacredness of that temple that had come through many years of dedicated work and sacrifice of the early Utah saints. These feelings came so strong that tears came to my eyes. I didn't know all that much about the history of the Salt Lake temple, but many years later I would learn that the man who cut those words into the stone did so at tremendous personal sacrifice. John Rowe Moyle lived 22 miles from the temple. Every Monday he left home at 2:00 in the morning to be at his post on time. On Friday he would leave work and 5:00 in the evening and walk almost until midnight before arriving home. After losing his leg in an accident, he carved himself an artificial leg and foot. Even though it was extremely painful for him to walk with the home-made leg, he built up the endurance to again walk the 22 mile trip to the temple twice a week again. His hands carved those sacred words on the temple that brought tears to my eyes. John Moyle could have murmured about losing his leg, blamed his Heavenly Father, and never finished the sacred carving. Instead, he left a righteous legacy and his grandson became an apostle and served in the first presidency. I am thankful for the House Of The Lord, for my temple marriage, for my family, for Heavenly Father, and the sacred plan of salvation. I am also thankful for my testimony and for the times that I have been able to share it with sincere brothers and sisters.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Savannah and the "Hot Surface Ignitor"

An inspiring e-mail from Rob:

When we first bought our house, we were still living at the other house. We were bringing stuff over here little by little. One Sunday we came over to the house to find that it was freezing inside. The thermostat control actually showed 40 degrees, but the temperatures were on the way down because the furnace had stopped functioning. We didn't want the pipes to freeze in the new house, so I started trying to figure out what was wrong with the furnace. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the problem, but I only managed to get myself frustrated. I didn't really want to call someone to come out because it was on Sunday and I also the last time I called an HVAC guy, it wasn't a good experience. I came back upstairs and told Jen that I didn't know what else to do. We were just about to leave when Savannah asked if we could just say a prayer to fix it.

Not wanting to ruin her faith in prayer, we all knelt down and said a prayer that we could fix the furnace. Savannah then went back down with me to help me fix the furnace. I took the cover back off the furnace and immediately my flashlight shined on the problem. I distinctly remember my eyes being drawn to a certain part of the furnace that I had not previously looked at. It happened just like that. The prayer was said, we walked down, I took the cover off, and then I shined the light directly at the problem. I didn't even know what the name of the part was yet, but the light shined directly at this small part. When I looked very closely, I could see a very small black line across the ceramic. Right away I was sure that this was the problem, not because I was an expert on HVAC, but because this was an answer to Savannah's faithful prayer. I called Home Depot and described the part to someone, who told me that it was the hot surface ignitor and by the time I tracked one down and installed it, I had no doubt that the furnace would work when the new hot surface ignitor was installed. After replacing the hot surface ignitor, the furnace functioned properly. This taught me a lesson about having child-like faith and the Savior's counsel to "ask and ye shall receive".

Monday, January 4, 2010

First Article of Faith and Once There Was A Snowman

I asked Kappy today if she could recite the First Article of Faith. She said she couldn't. Caroline reminded her that they had just gone over it in Primary yesterday. Kappy's response: "Oh yeah. Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman. Once there was a snowman. Tall. Tall. Tall."