Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why Did I Go?

So, why was I in Washington, DC on September 12? Did my one voice make a difference? I carried no sign, did my presence matter? I don't know how many people were there, most news networks said tens of thousands. MSNBC' first report said hundreds of thousands. Optimistic estimates said over one million. These photos were taken at the staging area at Freedom Square. Tons of nice people, a few whacko signs and a couple of nuts. We were in the Ohio section where, evidently EVERYONE was an OSU fan.

The march started early, because the crowd was larger than anticipated, the streets around us had to be closed and people were still arriving. Eventually they closed the area to busses; people were walking in from across the river. It was an amazing day.

We sang, we chanted - mostly O H - I O! LOL Buckeyes!
But why did I go? At the end of the day my feet were ready to explode, I could barely walk and I broke a promise to my daughter and myself to do a little additional sight seeing. Guess I'll have to go back.
But why did I go? Because one person, alone, can do something. A few hundred thousand persons, together, can do more.
I went to stand as witness. This country should return to it's roots and it's citizens should take responsibility for themselves and for each other. But in taking responsibility for my neighbor, I do NOT mean that the government should mandate that I do so. We are a generous loving people and will watch out for each other. And if someone chooses not to do so, there should be no law that says he must.
There were a few other good signs....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Have You Forgotten?

Some days are more difficult to remember than others. Not because the memory has faded, but because it is too clear. The older you get, the more of those days there are. I pray I never see anything like this again.

God bless America.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Amazing Expansion of Missionary Work

Elder Jeffrey R Holland visited 7 African countries in 16 days. Among other things, he dedicated the countries of Cameroon and Rwanda for missionary work. There are already members there. In one stake conference 56 brothers were sustained to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. It is amazing that the work goes on at the rate it is. During one of the meetings a children's choir sang, conducted by a 9 year old boy.

In this picture, Elder Holland is dedicating the country of Cameroon for missionary work.

This is a portion of what he said in the dedicatory prayer on a hilltop in Rwanda:

"We are doing all we can, Father in Heaven, to reach to heaven. We ask Thee with great affection, loyalty and love that Thou would bring heaven down to us. We ask that Thou would receive us here, as we stand tip-toe to enter Thy presence, feel Thy Spirit and build Thy kingdom."

The sweetness of what he said brought me to tears.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Trials and Tribulations

Not mine, just in general. I read this the other day:

"It is wrong to assume that the more righteous one is, or the more diligently one strives to keep his or her covenants with the Lord, the less suffering one will have to endure. The promise is that he or she will be blessed, though the blessing may be the strength to endure suffering. All suffer -- the just and the unjust. But the unjust live as well with the consequences of their own sins. This is the way life is arranged. God does not sit around wondering what test to throw up before you next. Such tests are integral to life -- they go with the territory."
- Robert S Wood (The Complete Christian, p 95)

Two scriptures come to mind. First, Mat 5:45 ....for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Every day the sun rises, the birds sing and the flowers bloom. On the other hand, storms come, disease and disaster strike. And those things happen to everyone, good, bad or indifferent. There is no gurarantee that if we are good little boys and girls that we will be rewarded in this life. Too bad about your luck if that's what you were expecting.

The second scripture is 1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

My mother, when she was feeling particularly put upon, did not believe this scripture. She thought that whatever happened, God would get you through it with little or no effort on your part. If she had to work at it, or if she had to make the move toward God, to lean on him.. that meant he wasn't making her able to bear the burden. But as Elder Wood says, the blessing may be the ability to endure.

My life has been an easy one compared to many, difficult compared to some. But the more I lean on the Lord, the easier the burdens are to bear. They don't go away, at least not most of them, but they are easier to bear. Sometimes so easy that I forget they are there. A final scripture, Mosiah 24:13-15
And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lessons I Thought I Learned

My neighbor died the other night. He was in his jammies, sitting on the edge of the bed, laid down and was gone. There was no sign that he struggled at all. Just the way I want to go some day, decades from now. We called 911 of course, and they tried to resuscitate him. I understand that they did get him breathing, briefly, but he was pronounced dead later.
His wife is coping, but she has some difficult times coming up, not just the loss of the husband that she loves. Bob handled all of the finances for the family, and he did it online. I'm not sure she knows how to turn on the computer; she definitely doesn't know any of his passwords. She has a friend who promised to teach her how to use it, and of course, Ronald darling volunteered me to do it. lol
He took her to the funeral home today to get everything straightened out, she had prepaid for cremation for the two of them last year. She's gotten meals from a couple of friends, including Ronald darling. Her best friend was over today, helping to clean up Bob's bedroom; her son is coming up from North Carolina. I helped move the area rug in while I was there.
So, these are the lessons that I thought I learned when daddy died, and again when mama died.
But I look around and talk to Ronald darling and realize that I ain't learned nothin' yet.
  • Husband and wife should know how to pay the bills.
  • Husband and wife should know where the policies are.
  • Passwords should not be secrets in a marriage.
  • Declutter, sort and pitch.
  • Declutter, sort and pitch.*
  • Clean, sweep and mop.
  • Make sure the laundry is done and put away.
  • Keep the dishes done and put away.

If I don't do these things, someone else will when the time comes. It may be family, which will be bad enough. They know you pretty well. But it might be the Relief Society, and even though they love you, they will find out they didn't know you as well as they thought. They will ask "Why on earth was she keeping this?" and "How did she ever find anything?" and "Why didn't she ask for help?" and (maybe) "Why didn't her visiting teachers tell us she needed help?". And if it is the he who is gone, they will put the questions in present tense, but whisper.

I also need to learn how to make funeral potatoes; they taste great and I won't get any when I'm gone. If you've got a good recipe, let me know.

*This item is listed twice on purpose because it takes twice as long as anything else you have to do.