Sunday, May 3, 2009

We'll be taken care of

I find it comforting and awesome as I realize how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  He cares as much for a lost wubbie as for a life changing decision.  What is important to us, is important to Him.  If we just follow His commandments and do what He asks, I know that we can be happy.  We can know that He knows, and He cares as much as, sometimes even more than, we do about things that we feel are important.  Young and old, little or big, He is there.  We are able to help Him help others by listening to the Spirit.  When we can all take care of each other, no one will have to worry about themselves.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tell, Speak, Live, and Love

We live in a world that is full of deceit.  More and more we hear of people being swindled by liars, and those who once were only to be trusted are questionable.  It once was that a piece of scrap paper with an IOU on it was good as a man's word.  Now, it's not just stated and certified checks, but you have to have check insurance as well to cover the deficiencies from falsified documents.  Business can't trust their employees and install cameras and use surveillance equipment to protect themselves.  Many of those who marry don't trust each other and they sign prenuptial agreements.  It seems that there is no one to be trusted in the world today.

Where can one find an honest man?  It seems that they have become obsolete.  But how much better would the world be if more of us were those honest men and women?  I believe it can be done, and should be done, one step at a time.  

President James E. Faust said, "We all need to know what it means to be honest.  Honesty is more than not lying.  It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving."

In a new show on FOX called Lie To Me, a group of facial detectives are hired to talk to people and try to tell by their expressions whether or not they are telling the truth.  It is fascinating to me because life is so much easier and better for all involved when the truth is made known.

We can't change the whole world, or convince all to tell the truth always.   What we are capable of doing is becoming more and more honest ourselves, every day of our lives.  Learn to tell the truth, no matter what.  Learn to speak only truth, regardless of the consequences.  Learn to live everyday in truth, and best of all learn to love the truth.

When we take this mantle of honesty and desire to become that honest man, I know that living and loving honesty will become easier.  If each of us become honest, than those around us will learn that they can trust us, and some may even desire to become honest themselves.  We can recreate the wonderful parts of yesteryear, when each of us takes that first step on the path of truth and honesty.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


What a wonderful time it is to experience spring and reflect on the blessings we have received from our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is so appropriate that we watch the perennial tulips and daffodils beat their way through the thawing ground to begin life anew.  Though time makes the flowers die, they again grow into new life in the spring.  Just as time and sickness causes our bodies to age and die, through the resurrection of the Savior we all get the chance to be resurrected, to begin life anew.

I'm thankful for this beautiful season, to watch the world come alive and realize that no matter how hard and long the winter is, the day comes when spring is here, and the world will grow.  No matter what may befall us in this life, the time will come we will all be resurrected and begin our own new life.

You can't speak about Christ's resurrection without noting as well his atonement, his sacrifice that paved the way that we can also overcome our sins and shortcomings, and be worthy to live with Him again.

There is much said about his atonement, and I cannot do it any justice here.  It was the choice he made to follow our Heavenly Father's plan, so that we can not only find true happiness in this life, but that we may be able to attain eternal happiness in the life to come.

At this time, as we watch spring springing and feel the ever growing warmth of the sun, let us all remember the gifts of the Son of God, and with His help, try to become a little better every day.  Have a wonderful Easter!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Have you ever tried to explain something that you don't quite understand yourself? I try not to, it makes me feel stupid. Then I think of how many times I try to explain my feelings, which may or may not be tainted by hormones, when I can't exactly tell you why I feel that way in the first place. Yeah, stupid.

I guess that's why psychiatrists and psychotherapists were invented. Too many of us can't figure out why we feel a certain way, or how to change it, so people make their life out of figuring it out for us. If you know a good one, perhaps you can send them my way.

There is one feeling that doesn't need explanation, at least in my life. That is happiness. When I am happy, there is every reason in the world that I see for me to be happy. But do those reasons all go away when I'm having a hard day? No, in fact, in hind sight, none of those things that make your life truly happy are usually changed when you have a bad day. It is almost as if you've gone from looking at the big picture, say, an orange, to looking at the tiny bug that was on it - through a microscope.

I try to teach my children that no matter what happens around them, they choose the way they will react. I do this because they like to bug each other, and, when they do, they get the reaction that they want, so they do it again. Someday the lesson may sink in and they will realize that they don't have to get mad when their sister pokes them, and that will take the fun out of it all, and the poking will stop. But not today.

Have I learned that lesson? Perhaps when it comes to people who bug me, but what about taking every situation and looking at it in a positive way. Stepping away from the microscope and seeing all the goodness that remains, in spite of the badness that is overwhelming. Once I can do that, see things in that way, I know that my problems with explaining myself will be over. I can choose to be happy reguardless of what is going on around me.

Maybe someday, but not today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Observing our point of view

Have you ever seen a picture of something taken obnoxiously close?  Without knowing it's an extreme close up, people come up with some crazy ideas of what it just may be a picture of.  Sometimes our own sight can be just as myopic or narrow.  This came into focus quite clearly as I began to look at writing my book.  As I shared my ideas with some friends, they came to this  understanding which was not at all what was intended in my story.  Their questions and observations as well as their own experience opened up a window that I had never seen before.

I had been a myopic writer, observing things from the view that was presently portrayed on my page.  That is how most of us live our lives, for we cannot even begin to imagine all that the general populace is thinking, feeling, and experiencing, because we have plenty of our own stimulus to sort through.  But for a writer who desires to express his or her world as it exists in their mind, it is terrible.

You need to think about possible thoughts and reasons of every character.  What happened to this man before he grumpily stomped out the door?  Is it relevant to the main story?  How does this action affect each character in the room differently?  With all these questions, you pull yourself out of your main character and begin to understand the greater scope and entirety of all that is happing in that very instant to everyone in your book.

What if we could apply this greater thinking to real life as well?    Sometimes when we are reading a book things happen that merely foreshadow future events or give you a piece to a greater puzzle.  I find when I am reading such, I don't jump to instant conclusions of what the person was doing and why, but pull away, instead conjecturing different possibilities.

What if we looked at a real-life incident in a similar way?  After all, none of us knows the "whole" story, even if we were there to witness it.  Instead of reacting to people's actions, getting offended or appalled, we could observe the action and similarly pull away, choosing how we respond on our own terms, not based on someone's actions of the moment.

I find this especially true of those we are closest to, whom we love very much.  In the end, if we keep in mind the bigger picture that we cannot see, that which is inside of them, we can learn not to simply react to something, but take it as a foreshadowing of events to come.  We can stay open and approachable, and someday, we will see the why's a little more clear and hopefully find we acted in a way that helped, not hindered the situation.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fear...and Faith

It's uncanny how a seemingly small and insignificant act as replying to a silly "forward to 10 people" email can turn into a truly introspective event. It was when I was replying to one such as this that the question came up: "What do you most fear?". I've answered this question a number of times, but never very convincingly. What is it that I most fear? I ask myself. I think about what others say, that they fear losing their family. No, I don't fear that, because I know that I do my best to live in such a way that in the end, we will be together forever. And they, too, are making their choices that will lead them either to me or away from me. It wouldn't be very pleasant to be with family who don't want to be with you, so I think it will work out for everyone's happiness in the end.

Others fear not living up to their potential. I used that answer too, but as I thought more clearly about it, I am doing everything I want to do that's in my power to live up to the very best potential that I can already. If I'm not doing all I can, then I certainly can use the energy closing that gap, instead of fearing my lack. If I am doing all I can, I need not fear, for I can do no more than I am doing. If I still fall short, I have nothing to fear, for I simply have set my potential higher than it can be, for potential is by definition what you are capable of being or becoming, and is not something you are incapable of achieving.

Another item people fear is the lack of being loved. I, too, once held this fear. But now I think to myself, do I love myself? If I don't, what do I need to change that will make me love myself? Personally, I'm okay with myself, I know I do the best I can mostly. And when I don't do the best I can, I've chosen not to, and therefore, it serves me right. But it's me. I've accepted that I'm not perfect and for the time being aren't going to be. I accept me for me and try to make myself better a little at a time. So, back to fear of being loved. If I can love and accept myself, imperfect as I am, than others should be able to as well. If they don't love me for who I am, then 'bahala sila'. Whatever. They are entitled to their opinion and if they don't want to love me, I shouldn't sweat it, I should go find someone who does - for there always will be.

As I sit and ponder all these things that I may fear, I realize that I have no fear. Why don't I? Because I have achieved that which is spoken about in the scriptures. If you have faith, you need not fear. I have found that when I do have faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, and in his gospel, I do the best I can. I am promised that if I do this, and keep trying to be better, when all is said and done that everything will work out for my good. I have seen it happen many times in my life. Half of this achievement comes simply from believing, and things do work out. Some take a lot longer than I would wish and maybe they don't work out quite how I would do it if I was in charge, but I find myself happier. Perhaps happier than I could have made myself if I was in charge?

Heavenly Father knows what's going on. If He has time to pay attention to little details of an insignificant life like mine, He's got even the big stuff covered. All He asks? Do your best, and work on doing better. That's all I can do, and it's enough for Him. In return, we know He's taking care of everything. It'll all work out in the end.

And as a result - we live without fear of anything, because of faith.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Take on History

When I grew up, I hated history.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't do too bad in it, but that didn't make me like it any less.  It was a constant race for memorization of dates and facts and it was more work than it was worth for me.  The one thing I didn't miss about being an official student was the required class in history.  My husband scared me how much he loved history, and I figured it was one of the things about him that I would take with the good.

Now, all that has changed.  It all began with learning a differently presented history.  For the first time in my life I learned history the way it happened - chronologically.  No more stamping around important dates and events and swimming to memorize an unbound number for it.  To my utter horror, I was actually getting a feel for it and even enjoying it.  Putting all the extra information around a basic timeline in my head actually made it interesting, no, that's not right, actually riveting for me.  That same "bad thing" about my husband became a blessing, as I could pump him for all the missing information that I couldn't gather about facts and figures.  It is still amazing to me how much he knows and remembers.

Next, as if by divine design, I became interested in furthering my family genealogy.   We have several lines that don't go very far back, and I was determined to discover one thing, anything.  So, in my search for an ancestor's parents I began looking at places, vital records, the works.  But remember, smarter and more experienced people than I had already done what they could, and I found nothing new.  I had to think outside of the box.  How could I find them?  Then new questions arose.  Why did they travel from Scotland to Ceylon at the turn of the 18-19th century?  What brought him there?  As suddenly as I had gained a love of history, did I discover what I could do next.  

I searched the history of the world around that area around that time.  I searched everywhere, thirsting for it, constantly inputting different search values in the search engine just to discover anything that would lead me to my GG Grandfathers parents.

I have learned much about the time period my ancestors lived in.  Even though I haven't discovered what they did, or even who some of them were yet, I have walked in their shoes, and felt feelings that could have been theirs.  I know someday as I read and learn about the world where they were, I will discover a little more and one day unite him with his parents.

All of this and more, through a recently acquired love of history.   Through history, we see that these gloomy days that we are in have been before and will come to an end.  Through history, I know not to make some mistakes that my forefathers might have to live happier lives.  Through history, I realize not to take for granted the wonderful country we live in, that we have to fight to keep it that way or all is lost.  Through history, I discover who I really am.  My past paints me, and it's what I do with my history and my present that will shape the future.


If anyone happen to stumble onto this (even if it be many, many years in the future, I am still young) and has any further information about a Captain James Thomas Anderson,(where he was and what he did, his parents or relatives, before the year 1803) originally from Scotland born c. 1779-1781 and married to a Toussaint in Ceylon in 1803, please comment.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chapter 1 Part 1: Alon

            All was still.  In fact, everything around them indicated it was the perfect day.  The old oak that was sheltering them was just beginning to turn, its leaves only showing a hint of the deep crimson shade that they would become in the ensuing weeks.  Now and then a jittery squirrel would come bounding up its branches with a clutch full of acorns.  The flowers and grasses barely flitted, so gentle and infrequent was the breeze that caressed them.  The sun was approaching the end of  its journey for the day and and very slowly stretched and waned as if it, too, felt the calm, peacefulness of the day. 

            “Did you even hear anything I said, Alon?” Gilia asked in obvious disdain.  Alon was caught completely off guard, for, in truth, he hadn't heard much of what she said.  Still, he dare not reply, because if he tried to lie to her, she was almost sure to know and was bound to become even more cross.    If he was to tell her the truth, however, it was just as nearly as bad, for he would have to face her rolling eyes and the lecture that had become so common in their conversations lately.  He still remembered when they first met many years ago.    They were barely children, but there was something even then, that brought them together as friends.