Friday, May 29, 2009

Missionary Moment

I taught the Plan of Happiness today. That wouldn't be a big deal if I was on splits with missionaries, or if Seminary wasn't over for the year, or if it was FHE with the grandkids. But it wasn't any of those things.
I'm sitting at lunch with my supervisor and another staff member. And it's a small staff, only 10 people in the department. The supervisor turned the conversation to "what's it like in heaven?" Who gets there, what's it like, and can you punch somebody that you don't think deserves to be there? The other employee thought that those feelings of wanting to punch somebody's lights out would probably go away by then.
I asked her what she thought it would be like and she said maybe just like here, or maybe just floaty stuff. Boring? I asked. Maybe, she said. My supervisor asked, So why do you think we're here?
And there was the opportunity! They had invited me to join them for lunch and my supervisor has asked me religious questions before. He knows I'm LDS and comes to me for Biblical clarification. So, I went through the Reader's Digest version; we only had 15 minutes left.
We existed as spirit children of the Father before this life. We were part of the two-thirds who were NOT cast out of Heaven with Satan and the other third of the hosts of Heaven. We chose to follow God's plan and come here to learn and to grow to obtain physical bodies and develop relationships. That we would have time to learn more even after we left this life. That we were to become like God.
The thing that seemed to blow them away was the idea that this life wasn't random, that we are here because we want to be here, we had an active part in the decision. And yet, it seemed logical to them.
What a blast!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Physical Fitness

As I've gotten older (inevitable) and heavier (not inevitable), it has occurred to me that I could reverse one portion of the equation and possibly not feel the other. So I have reviewed a variety of phyiscal fitness programs, mostly by sitting on my ample posterior and watching infomercials.

But this morning I saw one that is The first 50 seconds of the video are kind of silly, sort of a warm up exercise, but then you see some strength and flexibility. Trust me, you will want to be in such good shape!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

God Bless America

One of the greatest blessings in my life is to have been born a citizen of the United States of America. While many nations enjoy similar freedoms and similar opportunities; the creation of this nation was inspired by God, our Heavenly Father.

We are blessed to live in this free country and have a responsiblity to keep it free.

President Harold B. Lee, speaking of liberty, said, ‘Man possesses human dignity because he is made in the image and likeness of God; it is this image that makes man different, that makes man a son of God. Without this image, man has no free will and frequently neither liberty nor the capacity for liberty.’ He further said, ‘In this struggle for freedom, at home and abroad, our greatest weapon, both a sword and a shield will be our love of and faith in God.’

I love parades and fireworks and the patriotic music of this country. I stand for the national anthem and sing it through tears. I sing "God Bless America" with similar feelings.

From Kate Smith's biography: Today's younger generations may not be familiar with the origin and history of the song Irving Berlin considered his most important composition. It was written during the First World War, for an army camp show where Berlin was stationed: Camp Yaphank on Long Island. The show's producers rejected it as too jingoistic, so Berlin placed it in a trunk of rejected manuscripts. There it lay for twenty years, until Ted Collins, manager of popular singer Kate Smith, approached Irving Berlin for a new patriotic song for Kate to introduce to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I. Berlin had recently returned from a trip to England, during which he was saddened to see signs of another war in the making. He was more thankful than ever to come back to his peaceful adopted homeland (his family had come to America from Russia when Irving was a small boy), so he was motivated to answer Collins' request, on Kate's behalf.

After several days of futile attempts to write a new patriotic song, Berlin remembered the one he had written in 1918. He asked his secretary to retrieve it from the trunk, and he made a few changes to the lyrics. Now Kate Smith was the No. I popular songstress in America in 1938, and her weekly Kate Smith Hour was heard by many millions of radio listeners that Thursday, November 10. The shy composer was invited to attend the show, but he declined, opting to listen with a few friends in his office at his music publishing company in New York. Kate sang it as her closing number, after which Berlin's phone began to ring, as people began to ask, 'Where can we get that song that Kate Smith just sang.?" Berlin was so touched by those calls that he decided to attend the rebroadcast three hours later for the west coast audience. At the conclusion of the broadcast, Kate called Irving to the stage and gave him a bearhug that swept him off his feet!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

City Life 2009

I've lived in this area for ages. All of my adult life and half of my teen years. I really like the size of the city, not too big, not too small. It has philharmonic and pops, opera and ballet. And for the past three years it has brought the City Life sculptures downtown. This is the final year - too bad, they are great!

There are fifteen life size statues placed around the downtown area and a 25 foot statue of King Lear on Courthouse Plaza. These pictures were taken as the statues were being readied for placement. The display is here until August 14. Parking on the street is free evenings and weekends. There are maps of where they are next to King Lear on the Plaza. Ya gotta see this!