Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turkey Triumph

When we realized my mom would soon be leaving this earthly existence, I set about recording her life history on tape. (Many of you already know this..) I asked her every question I could think of and thought I had some valuable memories and information recorded.

It wasn’t until that following November (She passed away in July) and Thanksgiving was about a week away that I realized, with all the interviews and questions asked, I had forgotten to ask her for all of her cooking secrets for making the best tasting turkey and stuffing anyone could dream of.

That year, I had been crazy enough to offer to take on the task of cooking the turkey for our entire family. I thought it was important to carry on the Thanksgiving traditions that were always so dear to my mom. Though this was our first year without her, I thought we needed to be together as a family. It didn’t hit me I had no clue how to cook like mom did and I was sure that that’s exactly what the family was longing for—just like I was.

I learned a few lessons that year. For one, no matter if you have recipes written down follow it to a tee, nothing is as great as mom’s home cooking. (I had located mom’s stuffing recipe—I was so careful, still, mine didn’t taste the same) I set about asking anyone and everyone what their secrets were for the perfect moist turkey. Not knowing which would work best, I tried them all. I’m proud to announce the meat fell from the bones. Sorry, I had to brag—I have never cooked a turkey quite as good as I did that first year, even though every year since then I have attempted to follow the very same tricks. Go figure???

So with this blog, I want to make it’s purpose two fold. I am cooking again this year and would love to hear everyone’s secrets for the perfect turkey. I need another turkey triumph. So please! Send me your no-fail secrets and fast. I’m in trouble again!

The other purpose is this:

This is my last post before Thanksgiving so I feel I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t count a few of the blessings I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season. I’d love for you to share with us what you’re grateful for as well.

I had a wonderful opportunity of hearing a dear friend speak of gratitude through adversity. The talk she gave was tremendous and gave me much to ponder about.

She suggested writing a gratitude journal in which you list five things you are grateful for each day. These things cannot be repeated. It’s amazing how it opens your eyes to the bounteous blessings we have been given. (I believe she mentioned they did this on Oprah?)

At this time of year I am reminded that each of the struggles and trials I have in my own life gives me the opportunity to grow closer to my Savior, for which I am very grateful. I am grateful for a Savior who helps me to weather through the storms in my life and though the winds may come and toss me about, I know it is only for a season. (Also something my friend spoke of in her talk) I know these things are for my own good. They will give me experience and increase my faith.

I am truly blessed in my life to have a wonderful husband and family who put up with my quirky ways—I am grateful for their support in all I do, and I have such good friends who stand by me and help me—bless all their hearts for tolerating me.

I am grateful for my testimony, the atonement, and the peace that the gospel brings into my life; for the hope and direction I have because of it.

I am grateful for opportunities that have come my way; for the people who have helped make that possible, and the ones that have made my journey so enjoyable.

I am grateful to live in this country and for the freedoms I enjoy. I feel a great debt of gratitude to all those who have served our country to enable me the freedoms that I fear I may at times take for granted.

But before I end, I do want to say I am so thankful for my friends of the V-Formation. I consider their friendship an incredible blessing in my life. I love and admire each and every one of them. I am also thankful for the chance to gather my thoughts here (as haphazard as they may seem at times.) :)

I could go on and on, but I want to open it up to you. Here’s your chance to mention things you’re grateful for this year— and don’t forget, I need those turkey cooking secrets!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Plum Crazy

Lately I have taken notice that several people who contribute to this blog do a lot of canning. I am really impressed by the list of items they have preserved this season. Secretly, I am jealous as I am not much of a canning person. Though I LOVE seeing things I have bottled, My joy is short-lived. Once I open a jar of anything I have canned, I end up dumping all my hard work down the drain. My jam turns out looking like syrup with green fuzzy stuff growing on the inside of the jar, applesauce looks like rotten pie filling, my pie filling looks like a glob of toxic sludge (my husband’s definition- I’m not insulted, I thought he was being rather kind) certainly not fit for a pie, and my pickles are soggy and bitter.

Freezer jam. I can actually make freezer jam, but really that’s nothing to brag about since a first grader can make freezer jam.

Really, it’s just best if I don’t even bother to attempt to can food. So, I have learned my lesson. I have pretty much given up the idea of filling our pantry with home grown/canned items and instead, I try to hit the case lot sales for our food storage. No sense putting my families life at risk.

Putting aside my feelings of “canning inadequacy” I did decide to try one more thing that I had never attempted before. I went down to my dad’s to visit for a couple of days. He had two buckets of plums from his tree that he didn’t want to go to waste. He had been drying apple slices all week long so I came up with the brilliant idea that we could use his food dehydrator and make some fruit leather with the plums. How hard could it be?

I looked up a simple recipe on the computer and we proceeded to cut up the fruit. We decided to blend the fruit rather than “mash” it like the directions said. My dad was excited to use this high tech blender he had bought from my cousin who works for the manufacture of this supposedly wonderful device. The blender looked rather complicated to me, but my dad was so proud to try out his new gadget. So I shrugged it off and dumped the fruit in. I should have followed my instinct and gone for the blender made in the 50’s at the back of the cupboard-- “Good Ol’ Reliable,” she had never let us down yet.

I put the weird looking lid on the space age high tech machine and turned it on for all of two seconds. BOOM! The lid went flying off and purple mush flew all over the kitchen until my dad ran over to turn off the machine. I stood there in shock. Finally I looked at my dad. He had plum puree running down his face and in his hair. I couldn’t see his eyes through his glasses because they were completely coated with the globby mess. We had purple goop dripping off the ceiling and running down the walls. Clumps of plums and goo was slopping off my head and down my shirt. It was everywhere.

My dad took off his glasses and said, “What did you do?” I was speechless. I had no idea what I had done. After 45 mins. We got the kitchen cleaned up and we were ready to try it again. “I’ll do it this time,” he said., grabbing the lid from my hand. He put the lid on that crazy blender, tapped it a few times for good measure, and turned on the machine. BOOM! The lid sailed off and puree was everywhere AGAIN! I looked at my dad and said, “What did you do?” After a few choice words, “Ol’ Reliable” was looking better and better to him. We set about cleaning the kitchen for a second time. Then he called my cousin to find out what the lid’s problem was. It never occurred to us that it had anything to do with the operator of the machine. Third time, after being given specific instructions, it happened again. So once more we cleaned up the purple mess. By this time you’d think we would have given up, but oh no, we’re a stubborn lot. This lid would not get the best of us. It didn‘t take us quite as long to clean up the kitchen this time. We had gotten it down to a system. The kitchen was cleaned and we finally figured out how to work the blasted lid on the fourth try. There was enough puree to make a batch of leather. We did it! We were so excited!

Several hours later, we checked our leather. It was done. Once it was cool, we sat down to strip the leather away from the waxed paper and planned to roll into plastic wrap. There was such a sense of accomplishment to know we had finally achieved our goal after such an eventful morning!

We started to pull the leather away from the waxed paper, but what did we find? To our dismay, we learned that the leather had cooked into the wax paper and wouldn’t peel away from it so in the end, we had to throw it all away.

The good news is, my dad’s kitchen is really clean.

With the rest of the plums we made a small batch of freezer jam.

This is why I don’t can.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Review ~SHUDDER~ By Jennie Hansen

I am constantly impressed with Jennie Hansen and with every novel that she writes. Her newest release, Shudder is no different.

Though somewhat different from all her other novels, Shudder still tugs at your heartstrings while the mystery and the suspense of the plot keeps you glued to the book to the very end.

Shudder is a story of a lifelong friendship between two girls, Darcy and Clare. The two have been best friends from preschool on through the years until college graduation. They have shared years of hardships, trials, struggled through the deaths of loved ones and even shared celebrations and triumphs.

Now the two friends find themselves in Boise, Idaho where Clare has not only found herself her dream job but the man of her dreams; or so she thinks. Darcy is busy pursuing a teaching certificate. She thinks very little of Clare’s overbearing, rude, boyfriend. For the first time in their lives, the girls find themselves on very different paths, with Blaine, Clare’s boyfriend becoming an object of contention. Eventually his domineering ways forces a separation between the lifelong girls. Blaine not only intrudes on the friendship, but their living space and Darcy finds herself without her friend or a home.

Though the girls reconcile, the distance between them is never greater. Blaine sees to it. Time spent together and calls between them are very limited. Eventually they are all but cut off from each other. The next time they see each other is at Clare’s wedding- which is nothing like what the girls had always envisioned it would be. Darcy is confused, hurt, and disappointed in Clare’s choices.

It doesn’t take long for Darcy to figure out that Clare is trapped in an abusive marriage to Blaine. But entirely cut off from any connection to Clare, Darcy’s hands are tied. Still, she makes any attempt possible to reassure her friend that if she ever needs her, she will always be there for her. Weeks go by with no word from her best friend.

In the meantime, Darcy has found a living arrangement with a woman by the name of Karlene who is in need of a live-in helper. The assistance she needs fits perfectly with Darcy’s teaching schedule and the two women become friends. Karlene confides that the accident that has rendered her a temporary invalid was no accident, she believes someone tried to kill her.

This is where the plot gets so many twists and turns that every time you think one situation is nearly resolved, the author surprises you with another. You have no idea if Clare will survive, and you wonder if Darcy will live to keep her promise to her best friend to be there for her if she were ever to need her.

Shudder is an excellent story as we all can expect from Jennie. It’s a novel that evokes many different emotions all in the same reading; anger, sadness, fear, and so many more. The mystery keeps you guessing to the point you have no idea who the guilty one is. The story of abuse is eerily, sadly, real.

I don’t usually read the acknowledgments before beginning to read a book but for some reason I did this time. It’s beautifully written message had an impact on me which set the tone for the book.

Though Jennie wrote a wonderful story the message is clear, abuse is not to be tolerated. It destroys lives and has a lasting effect. Her dedication and her last paragraph in the book brought a tear to my eye.

I highly recommend this book to be read not only because its another Jennie Hansen winner but because Jennie, in her classic way, brings us to remembrance (or maybe youth who might read this to an awareness) that women deserve to have trusting, lasting, relationships. There is a deeper message to the story and one that shouldn’t be forgotten or taken for granted.

Well done, Jennie!!

The Aaronic Priesthood Choir

There he stood, dressed in a black suit, white shirt, and dark conservative tie. He had just walked into my bedroom, (I was laid up in bed from a recent surgery) and said, “Well, I guess I am ready to go now. Do I look okay?” My heart melted. Did he look okay? I got this huge lump in my throat that stopped me from answering and tears filled my eyes. “Are you going to cry?” he asked with a huge cheesy smile. There’s something about a mother’s tears that makes my son happy. I think he knows that every time he makes me cry, it’s usually in my most proudest moments. So he did the most manly thing he could think of. He walked over to the bedside and gave me a knuckle punch, then he hugged me, gave me a kiss good bye and promised to behave. He turned to walk out the door and said, “Oh yeah, I’ll also try to sing really loud--and try to not watch for the T.V. cameras. The director said if we watch for ourselves or start to laugh, it looks really bad. I‘m just gonna go and try not to forget the words and hope that if they show me, it‘s at a part where I’m singing good.“ That’s my boy.

This night my son was attending the General Priesthood session of Conference. It was only the second he has ever had the opportunity to attend, being that he just turned twelve last March. What made this night even more special was that for twice a week for the last month and a half he has been going to choir practices learning the verses of four hymns that he would get to sing at the Conference center for the Priesthood session.

Having a difficult time, but refusing to give up, Bryan was unclear which verses would be sung for each hymn. In the beginning, he didn‘t know any of the words to the songs, how to read several of them, or even what the words meant. The task to learn everything in time seemed overwhelming for him. So he and I sat together day after day working on memorization and comprehension. We sang together, talked about the songs, sentence by sentence, to gain a more clear understanding of what he was singing to clue him in to what he would sing next and why. Slowly I heard my son learn to sing the hymns with understanding and conviction as he comprehended what he was singing.

I too, gained a greater appreciation for songs I have sung for years but didn’t really take the time to listen to their meaning. What’s more, my son and I memorized all the hymns and all their verses so that he could keep up with the rest of the young men in the choir. It was inspiring for me to watch my son work so hard to accomplish so much in such a little time. It was hard work, but how I loved the time we spent together singing.

Bryan boarded a bus that took the Young Men to the Conference Center at 2:00 in the afternoon. The bus brought him back at 9:30 that night. It was quite a long day. While there, they practiced again and again. On the home front, I kept watching the clock wondering how he was doing.

Tradition has it that after the Priesthood session, the men in our family get treated to dinner. On this special night, Bryan got to choose the restaurant. I was anticipating their arrival home.

Finally I heard them come in the door and Bryan bounded up the stairs to my room. There he was with that big cheesy grin I love so much, “Well, I did it,“ he said. Bryan was so excited about his night. He went on and on about how much fun he had Then I noticed a reverence came over him. His eyes were shinning as he spoke of when the leaders of our Church entered the room. “You could feel Heavenly Father’s Spirit there,“ he told me. What an amazing experience he had had. My heart was filled to overflowing.

Brad found the broadcast on the internet. We all watched while my son sat beside me on the bed. The first sounds I heard took my breath away. Here was this incredible choir of young Priesthood men singing “High On The Mountain Top.” What an impressive sight! Within seconds, there was my own son, singing his heart out, keeping up with those around him. What a grand pay off!

We spent several minutes looking for others in our ward and stake, but when the last number came on, the tears poured down my eyes. (Insert here that Bryan rolled his eyes, said, “Dad, she‘s crying again and got another one of those happy smiles on his face) I just wish I weren’t so inadequate with words, but here were these amazing, handsome young men, the men who hold the Priesthood, singing “Rise Up, O Men Of God“. It was so powerful to me. And there amongst them was my son. Wow. I don‘t have the words to explain the love or the reverence that I felt in that moment as I watched and listened to those young men singing that hymn of praise.

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of Kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
In one united throng.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

I grew up in a family where music was an important part of our home. My mother was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle choir for over twenty years. Upon getting cancer one of the first things to go was her singing voice which nearly broke her heart, since she loved to sing to her grandkids so much. I remember clearly after she passed away, Bryan came to me and told me not to be sad. He knew where grandma was. “Where is she, Bryan?” I asked. I was curious to see what insight he would have for me. “She’s singing with the Heavenly angels” he said. I hope he’s right, because she would LOVE that. And for that night, I really sincerely hope that Heavenly Father let her catch a glimpse of her grandson sitting in those choir seats. She would have loved that too.

So that you too can enjoy hearing this really wonderful choir, here is a video of their final song. Who knows, maybe we'll see some of our future Church leader’s in this group. And if not, well, I think they're some really impressive young men!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bridging the Gap

I had a great opportunity this past weekend to observe something that put a big smile on my face.

As many of you know, my youngest son struggles with a lifelong seizure disorder. He’s had three brain surgeries, takes medications, yet his seizures continue to be difficult to control. This of course affects his education. Though he tries to do his best, learning from verbal instruction is something that doesn’t come easy for him. Yet, SHOW him how to do something and he catches on so much better. It’s the language that complicates matters. Many people without seizure disorders may find they are visual learners as well.

My father on the other hand, had a professional career in the education system. He started out as a teacher and within a few short years became a principal until he finally retired many years later. He is book smart and has an incredible knack for being able to reason and explain why things are the way they are. He can make sense of the 50 page instruction manuals that many get boggled down by. (Me? I can’t even pronounce half the words—very frustrating!) However, my father was in the education system back in the days before Game Boy’s, Wii’s, or even before computers were so common. And of course who ever heard of text messaging and tweeting?

I was excited to pack my family up for a weekend trip to visit my dad. While there, on several occasions, I caught my dad with his arm around my son, helping him to read a book, giving him clues how to sound out vowels, to read the words, and praising my son for his efforts.

It also did my heart good for me to watch my son teach his grandpa a thing or two about Wii games, Game Boys, and computers. The two of them sat and played games. I watched and listened as Bryan showed his Grandpa how this remote works and how to play that game. He even showed his Grandpa a thing or two on the computer. I kept hearing my dad say how “Smart that boy is,” and “Why am I so old that I have such a hard time learning these things?”

From my observations, the thought occurred to me that my dad has a wealth of knowledge from all his wonderful life experiences (as well as being book smart) that my son can learn from his Grandpa. At the same time, I loved the thought that my son has something that he too can share. That he was able to teach and help his Grandpa with a few things that he was struggling with. I have to admit the scenes before me brought a few tears to my eyes.

It’s a wonderful reminder to me, and one that I am thankful for, that we are all sent here with different talents, different struggles, coming from different walks of life, yet we can all learn and grow and gain so much from each other.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's a boy!

It’s a boy!

I’m so excited to announce I’m going to be a grandma. My grandson is supposed to make his entrance into the world sometime the second week of January.

My son Tyler and his wife Felicia are expecting their first baby and last week we found out the baby is a boy. He already has his name. I’ll save that surprise for the announcement of his birth. I just have to say I couldn’t be more thrilled. All I can think about is how blessed I feel.

It was in the freezing cold of last January that Sian Bessy made her way on a dark stormy night to find my son and his wife at their apartment. (They also lived in her same hometown) That day they had had a miscarriage and I was devastated as a mother that I couldn’t be there to help them, or be near them in case they needed me. I mentioned in an email that they had lost their baby and how terrible I felt. The loss of that baby was so difficult on us and as a mother I just wanted to be near them. Sian knew just what to do. Being such a loving, caring friend, she found their apartment and hugged them for me and told them I loved them. She took warm bread from the oven and homemade jam and spent time with them until she knew they’d be okay. She did all of this for me because I couldn’t be there. Then she called me to reassure me that in time everything would be okay. In turn she touched not only my heart, but my son and daughter in laws as well, in ways she’ll probably never know. That memory still brings tears to my eyes. I have the most kind hearted generous friends a girl could ever be blessed with.

Now, it looks like we’ll be meeting our first grandchild this coming January. What a wonderful blessing he already is to all of us who are so eager to meet the little guy.

Anyway, like I said, tonight I am feeling so incredibly grateful for this little baby. My water level is a little high and the happy tears aren’t drying up.

I’m gonna be a grandma!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Recently I changed jobs. It was a difficult step for me. I did this only because I wanted evenings and weekends with my family, otherwise I would have never left the job I sincerely loved.

After 11 ½ years of working at the Jordan River Temple I have transferred to the Printing Division for the Church. I have to insert here that it’s a way cool place--I work for the food services there. I must say I am really impressed with the ladies I work with. They work incredibly hard. Each day after my shift ends, I practically crawl out to my car from exhaustion, with tears of joy that I have survived yet another shift. My goal is to one day learn to keep up with them while actually carrying my share of the workload.

At my first job I had a lot of seniority and a job I could do in my sleep. I knew the names of the employees, their families, their grandkids, and many of the hundreds of workers that came through the line. Now, I am at the bottom of the food chain, I have no clue what any of the workers last names are that I work with except one—mine—and there are only five of us total.

I have cut more pineapples than I could ever count in my day, but yesterday I started to cut one and sent it flying across the room to land at my boss’s feet. (This exaggeration is not way off) and I am acting like a clod—as though I have never done this kind of thing before. Yeah, I know—it’ll take time to get into a routine and to learn their system, but I think it’s been quite a lesson in humility.

The employees work every bit as hard at the Temple but I finally learned the job there. It’s my hope it won’t take me 11 ½ years to learn it here. Right now I am feeling out of sorts and maybe a little alone in my new adventure. I have said many prayers this week in hopes of being able to learn, adjust, understand…cope with changes that have been hard for me. J

I did find a saying on the Church’s website under the topic of humility. It doesn’t say who wrote it. But, I really liked it. If I haven’t put everyone to sleep thus far with this blog, I’m hoping this saying will be of value to someone like it was to me.

Yes, this week really has been a lesson in humility, but I am grateful for the experience. I realize even more the value of the friendships I have made, I look forward to new acquaintances and hopefully making new friends and having new adventures, and above all, I am so grateful for the opportunity that has come my way to be with my family.

And now for that saying…

To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Website Contest


Danyelle Ferguson.

Several weeks ago I had my first website contest. By going to my guest book and reviewing your favorite LDS book, fiction or non-fiction alike, names of all entries were put together and today, one name was drawn at random. The winner will receive a signed copy of my newest release, Shadow of the Crown.

I want to be sure to thank all those who entered the contest and took the time to check out my website. It was fun for me to see the wide variety of books that were reviewed. Several of which I have heard of and read myself. Others I am interested in learning more and there are those I would even like to read.

Again, thank you for making my contest a success. I appreciate it! Congratulations, Danyelle. It is my hope that you will enjoy my book, Shadow of the Crown.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Love To See The Temple

This Friday, January 30, 2009, my husband and I are taking our youngest son to see the Draper Temple open house.

Brad and I have been to a couple of Temple open houses before but Bryan has never been to one and so I look forward with anticipation for him to be able to go inside and see just how beautiful the Temples really are. I pray with all my heart that he will feel of the sacredness of such a holy place and that he will remember this experience, and that it will be one which he cherishes.

Bryan loves the Primary songs, one of which is, “I love to see the Temple”
I can’t help but smile as I think of the many times he and Brad have either dropped me off or picked me up from work that I have listened to Bryan quietly singing that very song from the back seat of the car. I think of that today as I am reminded of an experience last year.

Bryan was in the hospital for a twelve-day period undergoing some tests. On the day he was to be released, a nurse asked him if he planned to go to college to become a doctor. She had a knowing grin on her face; obviously she thought she knew what his answer would be.
Instead, his answer came as a surprise, “No, I’m going to college so I can learn to be a Temple worker, like my mom.”
“A what?” The nurse asked in confusion.
“It’s where I work,” I smiled as I tried to explain. Bryan and I walked away but as we did, I couldn’t help the tears that immediately formed in my eyes. Perhaps they were there because he was proud of what I do, but even more so, I loved that he thought so highly of the Temple that that is what he wanted to do when he grew up. I hope that all my son’s dreams come true... that maybe one day he will enjoy the blessings of being a Temple worker, in whatever capacity that may be.

The Temple represents many things. It is a House of order, glory, prayer, fasting, thanksgiving, learning, faith, refuge, and so on. With each of these descriptions, a multitude of blessings can be ours.

Seeing how the Temple was a house of thanksgiving for one particular young man touched me as I worked in the cafeteria one day really touched me. He couldn’t have been more than twenty-three years of age or so when he walked up to me and handed me two hundred dollars and said, “This is to pay for their dinner,” He pointed to the long line of people that had formed to get their dinner when he started to turn and walk away. “Wait, I don’t know who you mean,” I said. (Often times a family member will walk up and hand me money to avoid confrontation of who will pay for the others dinner in their group) I had no idea where this young man’s family began or ended. He stepped closer and said, “I came into some money today and wanted to show my gratitude. I’m sorry, but it’s all the cash I had on me. I just wanted to pay for as many people’s dinner as that money could buy.” He turned and stepped to the back of the line. He was all-alone. He had come to the Temple to show his gratitude for the blessings he had received that day. With thankful heart, he bought 38 people dinner with that money. Elderly people, single people, couples, and workers benefited from this young man’s expression of gratitude. It made such an impression on me. The outpouring of love and appreciation was inspiring. Tear filled eyes were in awe that a young man would be so generous. When told that their cup of soup and roll had been paid for, an elderly couple said, “Who would do that for us?” They were so shocked and humbled, they just stood there speechless, unsure whether to accept the meal or not. A sister who came alone said, “No, there must be some mistake. No one would pay for me. I came by myself.” She started crying. A couple kept asking, “Really? Really? Just because? Please tell us who would do such a kind thing. We have to say thank you.” They were so impressed. The reactions of the people were incredible. That young man touched so many hearts with his gift of gratitude.

The Temple is indeed a House of Glory. All you have to do is step inside and know it is a place where our Heavenly Father’s Spirit can dwell. I think it’s crucial for us to remember that you cannot enter there with a worldly attitude and expect to have a Spiritual experience.

The Temple is a House of refuge. It doesn’t matter how frazzled my day is outside of the Temple, when I walk inside, a calmness comes over me and I know all will be well. I love the people I work with, the people I serve, and the environment in which I am so blessed to be a part of.

The Temple is also a house of protection. I am reminded of a quote by President Vaughn J Featherstone: “I promise you that all who faithfully attend to Temple work will be blessed beyond measure. Your families will draw closer to the Lord, unseen angels will watch over your loved ones, when Satanic forces tempt them. The veil will be thin and great Spiritual experiences will distill upon this people.”

My work at the Temple has been a tremendous blessing in my family’s life and mine. As I come in contact with the people who enter the Temple to do their Temple work, in whatever capacity it may be, whether they are patrons, workers, volunteers or employees, I find my life is more richly blessed. I am incredibly grateful for the eternal blessings the Temple provides us as we make a commitment to be obedient I am thankful I have a constant reminder in my life that in this world we have a greater purpose and that eternal happiness can be ours.
I am so grateful for the House of our Father where I can find peace, solace, inspiration, and learning. The Temple truly enriches my life.

I am so looking forward to Bryan attending his first Temple open house. It’s my hope that this is only the first of many, many, more to come.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Errand Of Angels

My Sister’s Hands

My sister’s hands are fair and white. My sister’s hands are dark.
My sister’s hands are touched with age, or by the years unmarked.
And often when I pray for strength to live as He commands,
The Father sends me sustenance, through my sister’s hands.
My sister’s hands are lined and worn with burdens of their own.
And yet, I know should I mourn, I need not weep alone.
For often as I seek His grace to lighten life’s demands
The Father sends me solace borne in my sister’s hands.
My sister’s hands, compassion’s tools, that teach my own their art,
Witnesses of charity within the human heart,
Bearers of the Savior’s love and mercy unto man
I have felt the “Master’s Touch” through my sister’s hands.
(Author unknown)

Being the youngest of four girls, I have always had sisters around me. I didn’t always appreciate that fact. All my friends had cute brothers that bullied and protected them. I ended up with sisters to contend with. Whether it was fighting over chores, borrowing clothes without asking, (That was a HUGE no-no) or phone privileges, we found more ways to get on each other’s nerves, and get each other in trouble, that you would wonder if there was even any love between us. Oh, but there was. We actually had some great times and looking back now, we all talk and laugh over the silly antics we were always up to. The things we put our parents through…
Years later, I sit here and think of each sister, with the fondest of memories. I don’t think there has been a time I have appreciated them or felt more blessed to have them in my life as I do now.
Maybe it comes with age and therefore, experience, but I finally see just how blessed I am to have my sister’s around me.
I must say we are all different from each other as night and day but I don’t have a single doubt in my mind that if I ever needed one of them, they would be there for me. Sometimes they are even there for me, without my asking.
They have helped me through some of the toughest times of my life. How can I ever express my love and gratitude to them for being there, all the many times I desperately needed them?
I want to include all my other sisters, my sisters inside and outside of the Gospel. I am overwhelmed by the generous hearts of my good sisters who lift me up when I am down, who extend themselves to help me face the unknown when I am afraid, those who have had the patience to help me learn a new skill- maybe not because I have the talent, but because I have the desire. There have been those who care enough about my feelings and my family’s well being that they will sacrifice their time and talents to comfort us when we are heartbroken or weary, when we are discouraged they make us happy.
I love the song, “As sisters in Zion” The second verse says:

“The errand of angels is given to women
And this is a gift that as sister’s we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name”

I can’t help but be thankful for all the angels in my life. I somehow manage to
Keep them constantly on their errands, but I have to say my life is rich because of them.
Though I try to let them know of my appreciation, I know I will never have the words to express my heartfelt love and gratitude so it is my hope and prayer that my Father in Heaven will bless them for their efforts.
It is also my himble prayer that as I have had so many wonderful examples to foloow that I will show my gratitude by being the kind of sister so many have been to me.