Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dear Family,

Here’s an idea that may be of use for all of us study the scriptures! Actually, we need to do this if we want to get anywhere or obtain anything. Without it we are stuck in the mud with nothing. And we need to do it now. Because the Lord is waiting on us

– He has these things He wants to give us and help us with

– He has lots of good things for us but He’s been waiting for us to do this one thing

– Here’s just a sampling of what He has in store:

– answers to our prayers

– solutions to our problems

– power to overcome every obstacle in our life

– comfort in our distress

– elimination of stress in our daily life

– peace in our homes

– wisdom in our work

– calmness in our minds

– more love in our relationships

– really happy hearts

– and the Spirit with us everywhere

This is just a small list of what’s waiting for us. So, open up those scriptures and study, in whatever way you like, but do it diligently and thoroughly and daily.

Here’s some ideas of how to succeed:

– write down what you’re learning

– organize your gospel testimony

– keep a gospel journal

– write little talks or lessons as you go

– use a study guide from Sunday School or an institute class

– pick a time each day

– listen to the scriptures online or on tape/CD

– make a blog of it

So, go to it and get your blessings TODAY!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Brian and Chantal's Talks: Tithing & Fast Offerings and the Spiritual Blessings From Paying Tithing

This is just my talk (chantal's) I will post Brian's Later. I pretty much wrote out EVERYTHING so its long, hopefully not too boring :). Enjoy!
“Payment of tithing has very little to do with money. Tithing has to do with faith.” (A. Theodore Tuttle, in Conference Report, Apr. 1970, p. 86; or Improvement Era, June 1970, p. 80.)

I have learned that; The money I have been given is not mine it is the Lords, Malachi 3: 8 ¶ aWill a man brob God? … Wherein have we robbed thee? In ctithes and offerings

It takes faith to pay tithing. The Lord has given us responsibility for our blessings, or money, and asks for 10% back. As a trial of our faith.

D.C. 132: 5 says: For all who will have a ablessing at my hands shall abide the blaw which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.
That says that for every Law here is a blessing appointed to it.

And in Malachi 3:10-12 it we find the blessing of paying tithing,
10:Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may be bmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

This scripture is full of the blessing of paying tithing, but no money is mentioned.

The windows of heaven are opened, and the blessings are poured out, more then we are able to receive it, this does not necessicarily mean overflowing with money. It may mean we are overwhelmed with joy, peace, love, satisfaction, wish is more important then money.
In the 11th verse it says, I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes,”
the devourer may not just be physical; health, or poverty but also emotional, mental, and spiritual. We will be freed from, stress, sadness, and other things may try devour us, by paying our tithing.
The 11th verse goes on, “He shall not destroy the fruits of your ground,” the fruits we grow, or what we care for plant and wach grow, the seeds of harmony and love we plant in our homes. The seeds of education for a future career,
Again in the 11th verse, “And neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time on the field.” Time is an important word there. If a fruit grows on a plant to soon in the season it may get burned by the sun.
We are blessed that the fruit will not grow until the time is right, or best for us. We will not receive the fruit of our labors until the time is right. Also like the fruit of the vine, things will grow, ripen and get better, sweeter, and more delightful.
The greatest blessings we receive from paying tithing are spiritual. Our faith grows stronger each time we choose to obey the law of tithing. In my life I have felt my faith grow stronger according to my obedience.
There has been lots of encouragement to get involved with the Proposition 8 campaign; to preserve the sanctity of marriage. The prophet asked we get involved, or stake president and the bishop has asked we get involved and donate. My family has donated of our time. These past few weeks that we have been serving I have had more success in my efforts to complete a big sewing project. I have felt the spirit guide me and prompt me more clearly the past few weeks. I know these blessing are as a result of tithing, reading my scriptures daily, praying often and making the Lords work a priority.
This week after I committed to do a few more pages of calling I put it off an neglected, in the end I did not finish. I was feeling so good a few weeks ago, I stopped reading and praying earnestly and regularly this week.
I know when I don’t read my scriptures, pray, and when I put off paying tithing, and other commandments we have been given, I struggle, I don’t have the spirit with me, I can’t work effectively, my trials seem greater. Satins plans to devour me are stronger, and as a result we I am unhappy.
The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.” (History of the Church, 5:134.) And the path that lead to it is rightenouss. I know this is true.
Simply the blessing of obedience is happiness.
Elder William R. Bradford shared the scripture story of the widows mite;
One of the most humbling and powerful stories from the life of the Savior is that of the widow’s mite. Jesus’ words on this occasion leave us with much to ponder as we measure our generosity, and I would add faith, against that of a “certain poor widow.”
While Jesus sat teaching in the outer court of the temple, He noticed a lone, destitute woman as she approached one of the 13 trumpet-shaped receptacles provided for the voluntary deposit of contributions by worshipers. It was Passover time, and the temple court was crowded with people from all walks of life. Just ahead of her had been several rich people who had thrown large amounts of money into the basins. As the woman approached, Jesus discerned the hearts of those in the line and called to His disciples. He pointed to the woman and said, “This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury” (Mark 12:43). But she had only given two mites, the smallest coins then in circulation in Palestine! Jesus then explained the mystery: “For all the rich did cast in of their abundance; but she, notwithstanding her want did cast in all that she had, yea, even all her living” (Joseph Smith Translation, Mark 12:44).
Earlier this year, In the Ensign an article by Elder Sheldon F Child was published called, The Greatest Investment; referring to tithing
He says, “In 1936, at the height of the Great Depression in the United States, when people were struggling to make ends meet, Elder John A. Widtsoe admonished the Saints to pay their tithing because of the spiritual blessings they would receive. He said:
“Obedience to the law of tithing … brings a deep, inward joy … that can be won in no other way. … The principles of truth become clearer. … Prayer becomes easier. … The spiritual sense is sharpened [and] … man becomes more like his Father in Heaven.”5
A mother in West Africa shared her testimony about tithing. She was a trader in a marketplace. Every day she would come home, count out her tithing, and put it in a special place. Then on Sunday she would faithfully take it to her bishop. She shared with us how her business had grown and how her family had been blessed with health and strength and enough food to eat. Then with tears in her eyes she said, “But the greatest blessings of all are that my children love the Lord and we are a forever family.”
This humble mother understood that one of the great blessings of being a full-tithe payer is the privilege of entering the house of the Lord and participating in the sacred ordinances that enable families to be together forever.
She had come to know of the deep, inward joy of paying tithing. He continues
As we faithfully pay our tithes, the Lord will indeed open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. He states, “I want each of you to know, …that if you always pay an honest tithing, the Lord will bless you. It will be the best investment you will ever make. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
I would like to add with my testimony,
Prayer becomes easier. When I am obedient to the Lords commandants of tithing, prayer, scribture study, and when I put the Lord first I am reminded more often during the day to pray. To thank the lord when something goes right for me, and to plead with the lord for the blessings I need.
James E Foust shares a story of a Mother; Sister Yaeko Seki experienced part of this precious promise. She writes:
“My family and I were spending a day at the Japan Alps National Park. … I was pregnant with our fourth child and was feeling rather tired, so I lay down under the trees. … I began thinking about our financial problems. My heart became overwhelmed, and I burst into tears. ‘Lord, we are full-tithe payers. We have sacrificed so much. When will the windows of heaven open unto us and our burdens be lightened?’
“I prayed with all my heart. Then I turned to watch my husband and children playing and laughing together. … Suddenly, the Spirit testified to me that my blessings were abundant and that my family was the greatest blessing Heavenly Father could give me.” 11
Many of us have had the windows of heaven open up for us, We can not look upon tithing as a sacrifice but rather a blessing and even a privilege.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lessons from Nauvoo, the Beautiful

Hey Family,

I wanted to share some thoughts about Nauvoo and the early saints. Mommy and I went to visit Randal and Charmaine in Ames at the end of July. It was a wonderful trip!

We really enjoyed our stay with them. For part of the trip we went to Nauvoo for 3 days.

And that was great. We saw the Nauvoo Pageant and went through the Temple and had fun walking around the old town and just shopping.

The Nauvoo Pageant highlights the saints in Nauvoo and their efforts in building the Temple

In the pageant they talked about the Prophet Joseph being martyred and then the saints being forced to leave their beautiful Nauvoo. It was a great pageant. It brought out something new that I had not fully realized before, and that was that their life there was quite centered on building the temple. They really were enthused about the whole thing. We talked about how in the pageant, King Follett was one of the main characters. He died in Nauvoo towards the end of the temple building and just months before the Prophet was killed. His funeral sermon was one of the Prophet’s finest. He explained so much about the eternal nature of man and the nature of God and His plan of Salvation. It was an inspired sermon, not only for the doctrine, but I’m sure it helped them to more fully understand and appreciate the temple and provide a real motivation and inspiration for the saints to finish the temple. And it also served as a preparation for the saints to give them comfort when their beloved prophet would be killed.

After the prophet and Hyrum were martyred, the persecution become more intense, and again, they were looking at having to leave. But they did not want to leave until their temple was done. So they stepped up the work on it. A little over a year after the Prophet had died, they knew they were going to have to leave real soon, and with the temple almost done they hurried to finish it so that they could perform the ordinances. They finished it just a short time before they were finally forced to leave. It was in the middle of the winter. They put off leaving as long as they could and as the time drew near, they were going to the temple day and night. They knew that the ordinances in the temple would bind them here and in heaven – now and throughout eternity. And they perhaps knew that they would need that assurance for the trials that would lie ahead as they went west.

And so, as we would go shopping, there was a picture of Nauvoo I kept seeing with their beautiful place with the temple, and I have to admit, I kind of did not like it. I felt bad.

They were forced to leave under threats again to their life and loss of their property – forced from their temple they had just built and in the middle of a fierce winter. They never really had a life of living with their beautiful temple and peaceful summer scenes. They were driven out in winter with the mob right on their heels.

Then I would see this picture and others about their exodus and felt that this was a more accurate depiction of their life:

But then I got to thinking, especially after we went through the Temple (and talk about beautiful -- it really is) that, in one sense, they really did complete their beautiful city. They had a wonderful city of houses and their temple on the hill. They had lives of harmony and love and they achieved their Zion in Nauvoo. The pageant would use the phrase, "when you’re here, we’re here" – meaning, when we visit there, we can feel of the sprits of those saints and appreciate them and their faith. And I felt that perhaps those Nauvoo saints would want us to remember them, not just for their hardship and persecutions, but to remember that they did succeed in finishing their beautiful Nauvoo and the temple– not just physically, but what they finished building spiritually. They would want us to see how beautiful they had made it and remember that. And they would have us see how their life there was very beautiful and among themselves they did achieve a peaceful society. And so as we were leaving the city I realized that both were accurate and I really felt good and uplifted about the picture of beautiful Nauvoo.

Then, in our testimony meeting this month, it really sank in deep in my heart, that the things they really built were not temporary. The Temple may have been torn down and most of the building and houses were also destroyed or worn down, but the true city – the kingdom – the spiritual city and the foundation of faith and their houses of faith and love – the spiritual kingdom of God on the earth – those things they built have never been even slightly damaged or worn in any way. It just kept getting better and brighter and more beautiful. They built lives and legacies for each of us and what we are adding to that and what we are building and adding on to that now can truly last forever. And physically now, the church has "restored" their houses and the Temple and so even in the temporal sense, they will have lost nothing. It really is symbolic of our life and what we are trying to doing in our families and wards and stakes and in the church. We are building something of an eternal nature and it will last forever.
The temple ordinances and especially the sealing power of the priesthood not only binds our family relationships, but enables our efforts now to be recorded and sealed for our good – our efforts in building good and loving relationships and our efforts to build righteous homes and peaceful and loving lives with each other will be sealed so that this work we do now is building things that will last forever – and that will just keep getting better. Yes, there will be persecutions and hardships in all our lives, but we are building something beautiful.
If we were to see in a physical sense the building and city what we are really building, it would be the largest, the most beautiful, the most awesome structures in the world. It would be the only structures that would last throughout time. The city and the kingdom of the families and the people would be glorious to look at even though today, the quiet, humble, faithful and obedient seem to be the least noticed, and at times, the most criticized and looked down upon. But in reality, they will shine and radiate as the most glorious people in the next life.
So, thanks to each of you. Thank you for your lives and examples. Each of you have unique and different talents and gifts and strengths. I think back on our cruise and how each of you seemed to be so kind and loving and happy with each other. We’re getting there! (And maybe we just need to do more cruises!)

Now a little PS – I say we need to work like those of old and go through our own trials the way they did, but... here’s a little something else about our trip to the temple. My going to the temple involved no struggle, no sacrifice, nor any discomfort in any way, but rather, it was quite "comfortable" for me. Randal forgot his shoes, so I let him borrow mine and I wore my slippers! Wearing slippers to the temple, now that was like heaven for me!

I love you all!

Friday, June 20, 2008


A Tribute to the most wonderful Daddy

I know its a little past Fathers day, but I was out of town, so I'm doing my Fathers day post now! I love Daddy for so many reasons... but mostly because he is the best example of Christ-like love and charity. Daddy is selfless and always puts Mommy and his family before himself. He is smart and knows more about the gospel than I ever could. I am constantly learning from him by his lessons, the way he lives his life. Daddy has a special way of making everyone feel so special and loved in their own way. He has always given me confidenece and made me feel like I could do anything I wanted. He is always telling me I am spunky and a peacemaker, and a lot of the times I think I am that way just because I want to live up to what Daddy thinks I already am! He is always giving and never complaining or asking for anything in return. We can all learn and from Daddy's example! He is also so fun. He is constanly being goofy and making everyone around him happy! He is so light-hearted and fun to be around. I know I can always be my goofy self around daddy and he will jump right on the band-wagon with me! He is the glue that holds this family together! I love him... He is the best G-Pa in the world! Our kids are soooo blessed to have such wonderful grandparents. He is the best Daddy we could ever ask for. He is obviously an amazing Husband, and I lean so much from him watching him with Mommy. And he is such a good friend. He is always there to lend an open ear or even to listen to me cry. I love daddy so much and know he loves me too. Happy Fathers Day!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


a Tribute to my beautiful mother!!

I know this is supposed to be for FHE's and posts of that sort, but I think honoring our lovely mother is just as good. I love Mommy for so many reasons... but mostly because she is my very best friend. I love that she has taught us all to be hard workers by her perfect examply of what a hard-workin-woman is! I am greatful for all the small things I've learned from her- like how to caulk, trim bushes, properly dust, do the laundry, etc. I know I could go on all day long with things she has taught us. She has also taught us how to be a loving daughter of God. She is a wonderful, patient mother who is constantly teaching through the way she lives her life. Mommy is funny and the glue (along with Daddy, their a team) that holds the family together. She is a wonderful wife, mother, grandma, friend and woman. We are all so blessed to have her in our life! Thanks mommy for being you!!

Happy Mothers Day!

what do you love about Mommy?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

General Conference thoughts

Sunday night after General Conference:
Didn’t want the day to end without sharing some thoughts about the Conference. I think a feeling I had during one talk summarized what I felt from the Conference. It was Elder Holland’s talk about "are we Christians?" He talked about how John had written the book of Revelations before he wrote other things and before some others had written their books in the Bible and that they didn’t really have the Bible then, showing that it wasn’t really the Bible that made them Christians and how it isn’t the Book of Mormon as another witness that makes us Christian – but that it is following the loving Christ. I thought a good response to that question when we are asked is "were Peter, James and John and the others back then Christians?" They certainly didn’t have the New Testament book then. But what they had was the living Christ and His teaching direct from Him. When He asked them to "come follow me" they did. That is what makes them and anyone else a true Christian— following the living Christ today in what He asks of us now. And so, what I felt from the Conference was that those who spoke were true followers of Christ who were truly revealing His will and His words. President Uchtdorf in Priesthood meeting just seemed to radiate his love for the Lord and the Lord just seemed to be speaking through him.
Then President Monson seemed so personable and tender hearted, and when he spoke about Heavenly Father comforting us and Jesus lifting us, that seemed so personal to him. I like it when he said we are in a war with sin and that "we can win and we WILL win." And then for him to close asking us to pray for him – so humble and faithful. It just seemed that the Lord was close by. So let’s pray for President Monson and the other leaders and their wives, too. Did you know that the newly called second counselor in the Young Women presidency is Pres. Monson’s daughter? That must make him feel good.
Well, I feel good as a father. Each of you sons and daughters are such good people. Let’s make sure we are doing what we should be doing so that we may also be close to the living Christ today – not just because we read His words or because we pray to Heavenly Father – but because we seek until we find and we live such that, through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, They are an intimate part of our day-to-day life. You know that is my constant prayer.
I love you all. I’ll blog you later! Love, Daddy.

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's Home Evening Cruise Time!!!!

OK everybody, this is my first blog. I am now a blogger.
So let's see if this works....
Here's my home evening blog or post (what's the difference?).
I have a request. Read some of the past Zion Home Evening stuff before our cruise. We will have the next chapter on the cruise, so brush up and get ready!
Here's a quiz -- winner(s?) will get a prize on the cruise:
Who wrote the poem in the purity chapter? (re-read that -- it's really good)
What are the five things needed to make a Team Zion?
and there are a few more sub-parts in some of those things
Fill in the blanks: If _____ , then ______ .
And a hard one:
What did the Prophet Joseph say would be written on the "bells of the horses" in the city Zion?
And the bonus question: What is our next Home Evening about? Hint: Our cruisin vehicle is in the name!

So, speaking about cruising:
You can go online and pre-register. You need your passport number and the booking number. Call me if you need more info.
Let's plan some family prayer times and maybe take turns with a 1 minute devotional or something to go along with it.
And let's plan a get-together (with online chatting for Brian and Chantal) and see if there are any excursions we might want to do together -- our maybe in sub-groups. And we need to plan on getting there -- who is going when and who wants to go together. Mommy and I are flying so some could use our van and you can get stopped in Yuma again!
Anyway, fun things coming up!! I love you all -- talk to you later, Daddy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Great Impromptu FHE

After 4 and a half years of FHE with kids I feel we finally had a really good FHE! We got out the Gospel Art Picture Kit. then let Brian and Katie choose, from pictures we pulled out, what they wanted to learn about. Katie was exited to be able to recognised Nephi from her talk, and the kids both sat very quietly and listened very well as we told them stories from the Book of Mormon . They looked at the pictures while we talked, they did so well I think we were able to tell them 6 stories! The "GAK" is great because the pictures are used so often at church and the kids will quickly recall what they were taught just by looking at the picture, also the story and scripture right there on the back for you!

Monday, February 18, 2008

First posted FHE

So here is our first posted family home evening. I have been working on my lesson and printing out materials for us to use. I just realized that I printed enough copies for Chantal and Brian also and so I said, "Hey, let's blog the lesson that way Chantal and Brian can also get it." Well that is what it is all about, right? So here it is: the object is that we will start the lesson by tring to list as many names as possible for Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and so on. He is refered to in the Scriptures by over 150 names and in the Document, "The Living Christ," by atleast 25. How many can you name? I will then hand out "The Living Christ" document and we will read it together as a family. After we have read it and names all we can I will then hand out the copied that I highlighted. I also highlighted what He did and what He has yet to do. Have fun, I know I am.

The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.
He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though, sinless He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.
We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.
He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).
Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).
Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father
“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).
We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).
We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.
We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.
Lesson given by Mommy

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Up and Running!!

Get ready family, we are up and running. Zion home evenings will begin very soon. I am so excited.