I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I joined back in 1964 after a long struggle with faith. I had loved the Savior ever since I could remember, but the church of my youth deserted me as it moved into the intellect movement of the 60's. Without spiritual guidance, I fell away. The Lord distinguished between the words of my mouth and the longing of my heart. He knew that I wanted to believe and so he sent a young woman who told me the story of the Restored Gospel. She bore her testimony of Jesus Christ and promised me that I could know for myself and have my own testimony.

Now forty-six years later I can only thank her from the bottom of my heart for introducing me to the church. Indeed I do have my own testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, called to restore Christ's church to the earth. We have a prophet today who leads and guides us. I am so grateful for Latter-day scriptures that bear testimony of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God. It stands as another witness of the Savior and it's truths have touched my life in very personal ways.

I hope that my poetry reflects the growth of my testimony and my love for Jesus Christ.

Talking Through the Veil

Once when my oldest daughter was about four years old, we had a family home evening where different rooms in the house were different places in the plan of salvation.  As we moved from room to room we talked about Heavenly Father's plan to bring us here to earth and the purpose of our time here.  Then at the end we went to the room representing the celestial kingdom.  We walked into the room ready to discuss what it will be like when we at last return home.  This little girl burst into tears.  "Whatever is the matter?" we asked.  "I thought Heavenly Father would be here."  
Well, of course, He wasn't.  I testify that the wonderful news is that when we pray, He IS here.  He is listening and answering and letting us know of His love and concern for us..  Those who have had such prayer experiences know. 

Surrounded by Peace

I do love mornings.  It is a quiet and reverent time when you can be alone.  It is my time for reading the scriptures, for prayer and for meditation.  There will be no phone calls nor texts nor emails to distract me.  I can be alone for just a little while and there find myself surrounded by peace. 

In the study guide for President Spencer W. Kimball, it tells about a time when he was recuperating from an illness and was staying with some friends.  One morning, they found the bed empty and assumed he had gone for a walk.  When he had not returned by 10:00 a.m., they began to worry and a search began.  "He was finally discovered several miles away under a pine tree.  His Bible lay next to him, opend to the last chapter of St. John.  His eyes were closed, and when the search party came up to him he remained as still as when they first caught sight of him.

"Their frightened voices aroused him, however, and when he lifted his head they could see traces of tears on his cheeks.  To their questions, he answered, 'Five years ago today I was called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I just wanted to spend the day with Him whose witness I am.'"

I have been inspired by this story to change my paradigm of prayer and scripture study.  I like to think that mornings are when I just spend a little time with the Lord.


I have a morning routine that I like to stick to.  The early morning hours are a time when my mind is clear and I often do my best thinking.  I like to head to my favorite chair and grab my scriptures and my journal and have time for self-reflection.  I like to read a bit and then journal what it means to me. 

 And then when my reading and writing are done, I meditate.  I have a mind that never stops.  I liken it at times to a hamster running on a wheel.  I think sometimes it has a life of its own.  I am reading scriptures for example and find my mind off in another space thinking about some other topic altogether.  And so I spend time trying to empty it of all thoughts, trying to prove to myself that I actually do have some control.  

I believe that when our minds are so full of ourselves, there is no room for God.  So if I can empty my mind, He can come and be with me and speak to me.  I don't know that I have had an remarkable experiences or revelations that changed my life.  But when I get to that "empty space", there is a peace that is so remarkable that I have to say to myself, "It's time to go back to real life now."  And I come back renewed.  I call it my time with the Lord.  And if I can start each day with Him, what else would I need?

Prayer Gifts

It has been my experience that try hard as I do to become charitable or loving, to show faith, have hope, forgive others and all the other Christlike attributes that I wish I had, I always come up against a wall where my efforts cannot achieve the result I wish.  It may be someone I just don’t like.  It may be that someone hurt me and I am not ready to forgive.  It may be a crisis that challenges my faith.  At times like this I find myself in prayer, pleading “with all the energy of heart” that the Lord will bless me with the needed quality.  These times are precious to me for I have always found Him there, ready to help me, ready to bestow whatever gift I need.  And so I call them Prayer Gifts.

Turning to God

There is a universal longing for God.  It reaches across all nations, all peoples.  I have always admired all people of faith.  I wonder if it is universal also that in times of plenty we get pretty self-sure but when times are hard we reach for the Lord.  I am trying to overcome that tendency as by learning to be more grateful and to acknowledge that all I have is a gift from God.  He and I have much to talk about as we try to decide how use my time, my energy and His resources.  Actually even my time and my energy are gifts from Him.  So much to be thankful for.  So many reasons to rejoice daily.

Only God Knows Me

When my husband and I were on our first mission in California, I would get up early each day and study my scriptures.  I brought with me a book my daughters has recommended.  It is named "He Did Deliver Me from Bondage."  It is a workbook that asks you to examine the Book of Mormon and relate it to the 12 Step Program.  It makes you really take an in depth look at your life.

It was a really beautiful experience for me.  My husband would find me sitting in my chair with tears flowing.  Not sad tears, but tears of deep feeling for I had just spend some very personal time with the Lord looking back at my years and talking about what I had done and learned in my life.  Those were conversations that I would never had had with another human being.  We all have parts of us that are embarrassing or shameful to remember.  We also have successes that if shared with another it might appear we were vain.  Or maybe the whole experience is life a family slide show.  On a few can really enjoy. . .

I remember those times with deep gratitude and joy for I knew the Lord was there with me and that much was resolved in my heart.  There were no hidden places.  I felt cleansed and sanctified.  


There is a longing within me that is universally known among people everywhere and addressed by all religions.  I call it homesickness.  We miss home - our heavenly home from which we came.  We miss our heavenly parents and the love we knew with them.  At times during my life that longing has been acute and always pushes me to want to have divine communion with God.  I have learned that such communion is readily available.  God does hear and answer our prayers.  He lets us know in very real ways that He is there and that He loves us.  Isn’t that amazing!  God knows me and loves me.  God is my loving Heavenly Father.  I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me and I love Him.  These truths have become the essence of who I am and how I live my life.  I am very grateful to have found them.

There is another aspect to homesickness.  Home was wonderful and beautiful.  We lived with God the Almighty in a place where goodness abounded.  That reality is etched in our memory.  I try to recreate it in the little world I have here on earth.  Most of us do.  Just look at how women around the world work so hard to make their homes a place of beauty.  

But the world we live in is also filled with so much that is bad.  War, famine, terrorism, random evil fill our daily news stories.  And in response, you find so many good people who are doing everything they can to help those in need.  That vision of the way things ought to be is very real in our minds.  We seem to instinctively know that life is supposed to be good and we work very hard to make it so.  Some call this the universal consciousness.  I believe along with Latter-days everywhere that it is just our deepest memory, reminding us of that place where we used to be and for which we will always strive.

New Heart

Peace, Be Still

I wrote this in my journal one morning when I completely surprised myself and got quiet inside.  Too often my mind is like a mad house and I can't stop it.  But this day I actually got totally quiet and in that quiet I heard a cricket chirp.  I may seem silly but  I really did hear a cricket chirp.  I was so surprised as I realized that my inner turmoil prevented me from hearing the quiet beauty of life.  As a pondered this, I realized that the Spirit is said to speak with a quiet voice.  More than anything I wanted to hear that quiet voice and so I determined to "practice quiet" daily.  I still do so today.  It has opened a world that I had never known - that you can move beyond a prayer of words to actually spending time with God.  Discovering this has brought such peace to my life.   

Daily Prayer


My whole life I have been trying to understand prayer.  As a child I was taught rote prayers.  They were meaningful yet limiting but I was never taught that you would just "talk" to the Lord.  In my mind He was like the Wizard of Oz - so magnificent that you could not address Him like you would a human being.  And so I developed my own litany as I prayed each night.  I prayed the Lord's Prayer, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and then added the 23rd Psalm, the Beatitudes, and other scriptures I had memorized.  I just wanted to make my communication with deity meaningful.  Then one night when I was teen I knelt and talked to the Lord.  I began by apologizing for talking to Him so casually "but I just need to talk to you." is what I said.  And so I began praying in my own way. 

Over the years I have tried to make this time mean something - this time of talking to Father.  But it was not until I reached a crisis in life that I really prayed.  I don't expect that I am that different from most people.  On a good day my prayers are different that on a bad day.  I am still working at making my prayers better.  I know that I cannot rush my time with the Lord.  And so now I try to think of prayer as the time I get to visit with Him - to actually be with Him.  And I spend a lot more time just listening.  I am just grateful that He always has time for me. 

I Learned to Pray

As a young girl I was taught to recite memorized prayers.  There were dinner prayers such as "God is great, God is good.  Now we thank Him for this food. Amen".  At night I knew "Now I lay me down to sleep. . ."  And of course, I knew the Lord's Prayer.  But there came a time when I wanted more.  I would kneel down at night and recite the prayers I knew and then kept adding more and more because I was just not satisfied.  I would memorize scriptures such as the 23rd Psalm and the Beautitudes and recite them.

Finally one night I just got frustrated and then brave and said something like this "I am so sorry, Father, but I just need to talk to you.  I hope you won't be mad at me."  and then I prayed.

It was shortly afterwards that I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The missionaries taught me the proper way to pray.  I was grateful to know at last that I could speak to my Father in Heaven.

Over the years my prayers followed the pattern I was taught.  I addressed the Father, expressed gratitude always before asking for anything, and ended in Jesus' name.  I was content.

But then sorrow came into my life - a long period of difficulty and self-doubt.  During all of this I never concerned myself with form.  I needed the Lord's help desperately to help me find the way back to happiness.  I cried.  I pleaded.  I expressed anger and fears and doubts.  Those prayers were very real and I learned during that time that He listens and loves us.  The form really didn't matter.  My heart mattered and it was reaching out to the one who knew it best.

In memory of that time I wrote "I Learned to Pray".

Not Alone

As I have learned to really commune with the Lord and discovered that He loved me and would always be there with me, I was free to dig even deeper into my  own self.  I wanted to be free of all the negative feelings that I had harbored there and I had a lifetime of them.  I don't think it is easy to do this work, this self examination of the heart and soul.  But when I knew He would be there with me and that He would indeed take these burdens from me, I began the task.  

I have journals that chronicle that journey. My testimony of the Atonement and of the power of Christ to change our hearts grew out of that experience.  Again I can only say that these spiritual moments when you know the Lord is with you and helping you are the most beautiful, sacred experiences you can have.  I am so grateful to Him for His love and caring of me.

Finding Myself

Many of us get lost along life's journey.  Just think back in your own life how you may have tried on roles as easily as you tried on clothes.  As teens we try to please our peers. Speaking for women, we get lost as we sacrifice so many of our own needs for those of our children. We put ourselves "on hold" and then can't remember who we even were. Sometimes we compromise who we are for our spouses as we try to figure out how to meet the needs of both. But there is a person inside of us that is an eternal being who came here to earth already having a sense of self. We arrive with gifts and talents and feelings and personality all our own. We don't want to lose that person. It is us!! Our authentic self!

I was lost for a long time.  And the interesting thing was that when I finally found myself again and aligned my outer world to that inner self, it was like a homecoming.  I felt like me again.  I knew it was me and it felt so good.

My poems aren't all great poetry but they are my expression of where I was in my journey of life.  I like this one because it was such an important time for me and reading the poem brings back all the feelings of joy and self discovery that I felt at the time.

Mother Prayers

There are few times in our lives when we are more overwhelmed with raw feelings than in our mothering.  That first glimpse of a newborn brings an emotional wave; different in each of us yet very much the same.  We are amazed with the miracle of life.  Then every step along the way we experience a plethora of new feelings as we respond to the growing child and all the experiences that come along the way.  And in all of that we pray - we pray for wisdom, for strength, for patience, for understanding, for unconditional love, for guidance.  A mother's life is full of prayers.

Talking to the Stars

I like to believe that I am a rational person.  I try to be and act intelligently.  Yet within me there is a part that is just like a little child with simple faith and belief.  I feel most whole when I allow that part to have expression.  This poem describes that part of me.

Jesus, Lord at Thy Birth

The celebration of Christmas in our community was almost universal when I was a child.  Even school would have bulletin boards with the Nativity Scene.  The overwhelming majority celebrated Christmas.

  Over the years America has become very diverse.  We have so many different religions represented today that any particular group's celebrations cannot be recognized as universal to a community.  However, Christmas still is a national celebration.  School will be out.  Businesses may close.  Government offices will be closed.  The decorations and lights of Christmas are everywhere around us.  But that is the secular part of Christmas.  We all can enjoy that part and I am glad that we do.  It brightens the dark days of December. 

Nevertheless I feel a sadness as I look around or  listen to the music.  The community at large focuses on the secular part because it is the part we can all share and enjoy.  The real meaning of Christmas - the acknowledgement that this is the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World - that is no longer the public celebration.  I am not angry about it.  It can no longer be that way in our diverse communities.  Yet I know too many "Christians" for whom the holiday is also secular and that is what makes me sad.

Christmas Gift to God

Everyone who celebrates the real Christmas in our culture usually has added Santa to the celebration.  For good or for bad he has become a part of the season.  And there is good and bad in that addition.  The bad part for me is that Santa makes Christmas "all about me" as the child worries about what Santa will bring him.  Perhaps I blame Santa too much.  Perhaps the addition of gift giving even without Santa would do that.  The average child is not ready to focus on giving. He is too self-centered.  So Christmas begins with "me" in the way we celebrate.  Talk all you want about the real meaning of Christmas - the child will go to sleep Christmas eve excited because Santa is coming.

Yet fairy tales end and children grow up.  The focus gradually changes.  One of the joys of being a parent is that you become Santa and you are totally focused on delighting your children. 

Yet there is still another whole level of Christmas celebration that occurs to those who focus their celebration on the Savior himself.  It happens over time as year after year you celebration this "holy day".  The story become etched on your heart. "And in came to pass in those days. . ." becomes more important than "Twas the night before Christmas. . ."

Then life itself brings a unique set of challenges to each of us that cause us to reach out to this Christ Child.  Those personal experiences change our hearts and the holiday comes and we find ourselves celebrating the birth of the One who has given us so much!  Our hearts are filled with loved for Him.  What a celebration Christmas then becomes.

Light Came Into the World

I don't know about you but I am bothered by the darkness of the winter months.  So the holiday lights of December really make a difference to me.  I look forward to Christmas and how the nights are SO beautiful.

I've had dark seasons of my life also.  It was the Savior who brought light to me in those times.  And so it is very appropriate that the holiday lights remind us of His coming into the world.  

The Sacrament

As LDS people we have both the Bible and the Book of Mormon to teach us about the Savior's Atonement and His great love for us.  As we go through life and experience the challenges that life puts in front of us, we know we can turn to Jesus Christ and find the help we need.   Because of this we each end up with many personal spiritual experiences that frame our lives and strengthen our testimonies of the Living Christ.  Then each Sunday as we partake of the sacrament, we remember the Savior - remembering not just the Bible stories about Him, but remembering the many ways He has touched us personally.  Those memories are what triggered this poem about the sacrament.


It was at a time when my best friend's son died that I had this experience of feeling such intense pain for someone else.  As I watched my friend and her husband, I felt so helpless.  There was nothing I could say or do that could ease that kind of pain.  It just hurt so much to watch them suffer.  And then I began to think about the Savior and how He feels our pains.  I have come to love the scripture in   Alma 7: 11-12 where it says: "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.  And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."  At a time when I had my own personal struggle, someone asked me, "Don't you know anyone who has gone through this and can give you some support?"  I instantly knew that it was the Savior who would understand my pain and would support me.  I turned my heart to Him.  I am grateful to know that He was there and that He understood what I was going through.  That has been the greatest source of strength in my life.


My Life is a Miracle

Difficult times come to all of us.  There is no way to escape that fact.  What I have learned from those times is that God is real.  He knows us intimately and loves us beyond comprehension.  He wants to comfort us and to help us through whatever life may bring.  He wants us to find joy in life's journey.  I know this because He has been the friend who was with me every step of the way and in the ways that only those who have found Him know, He has held me in His arms and made His love known to me.  My life is a miracle and a testimony of the power and Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

The Gift

It's April 24, 2011 - Easter Sunday.  Lynn gave me a wonderful Easter gift today - his written testimony of the Savior.  And so I would just like to say here on this blog that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ.  He is the Only Begotten Son of the Father.  He is creator of our world and all that is in it.  He is the Light and the Life of the World.  He Lives!  And because He lives, He is available for each of us when we find ourselves burdened with sin or with the trials of life.  Through His atonement he has overcome all - sin, grief, death.  Because of Him there lies before us a glorious future if we will but place our faith in Him.  Every day I thank God for giving us the matchless gift of His Son.

Self Honesty

As we grow older we want there to be integrity in our lives.  We all make mistakes along the way and wish we could go back and relive certain places.  But we can't and even if we could go back we would still be that same person we were then.  I fear we'd still make the same mistakes.  What we really wish is that the person we are today could go back and relive our life.  But that person is the accumulation of  the experiences we had along the way and yes, of the mistakes we made and learned from.

But if we have faith in Heavenly Father's plan for us and truly believe that our life on earth was to be instructional for our good, then we must accept that the mistakes were to be teaching moments.  They were meant to help us in our progression.  And God is cheering us on.  He does not condemn.  He only wants us to learn and to keep moving forward.

We hear this scripture often; "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  We don't often go to the next verse though and that verse is important.  "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

He loves us and sent His Son Jesus Christ so that our sins and errors would not condemn us.  When we repent those experiences become the lessons that change our character and help us ultimately become more like Him.

I personally believe it is good every once in a while to really examine our lives and make sure we are not hiding pieces that we given to us to instruct us.  Hidden places of shame and guilt can cloud our inner being. I was guided into such an examination of my inner life by the book He Did Deliver Me from Bondage.  It was a beautiful experience of communing with God as I looked at my life and talked to Him about the mistakes I had made along the way and the grudges I held and the anger over times I could not reconcile.  Heavenly Father is so loving.  He always welcomes us when we come to Him.  I have felt His love in very real ways as I have opened my heart to Him.

It is a wonderful feeling to know there are no secrets between Him and me.  But it is just as important to have no secrets from yourself.  I wrote this poem one day after such a prayer session when I felt my heart had been completely open.


My Redeemer

I wonder if most women resonate with the story of the Savior and the woman at the well.  I do.  It was such a personal encounter and reflected so many truths about Him.  He cared for this woman even though she was a Samaritan and looked down upon by the Jews of the time.  He knew her life and the things she had done yet He took time to visit with her and to counsel her.  He invited her into His fold as He offered her the living water.  She accepted Him as the Christ. 

It is in these very personal encounters that I have also discovered the Savior.  Before that I used to think of Him as THE Redeemer.  But having experienced His love and help in my own life, I now know that He is indeed MY Redeemer.

From John Chapter 4:

Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 

Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never athirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

My Testimony

I must admit that I always wondered at those whose testimonies of the Gospel were so sure that they never had any questions.  I wondered how they could be so sure when I had so many questions, so many doubts.  I have learned a lot about myself over the years.  My head and my heart have been dueling for too long a time.  I now have the courage to follow my heart.  My questions are all in a box waiting until I can ask the Master.  Maybe by then they won't seem so important.

In the meantime, I do know what things strengthen me.  Those are all in this poem.  I try to live by them everyday.  I testify that they do make a difference in our lives if we do them for the right reasons.  When I read and study and pray and serve with the intent to grow closer to the Lord, I find myself feeling his presence in my life.  When I live the Gospel as best as I can, I feel His love.  When I stop trying to tell Him how things should be and instead listen to His guidance, my life goes better.  

Not everyone struggles as I have.  But I want any who do to know, that I no longer struggle.  I am humble enough now to just follow the Savior.  And He has let me know in very real ways that He loves me.

His Love

I know women who seems to be so self-confident.  Life does not seem to phase them at all.  They radiate an inner sense of well-being.  They just seem to be happy being themselves.

I have spent most of my life trying to reach that place.  I was insecure as a child. My teen years were a challenge to see where I fit in.  I used the standards of the world to define myself and look for a sense of worth.  I was happiest as a young married woman with a family of my own.  I loved my family more than anything in the world.

I didn't realize how much of what I thought of myself was tied to what my husband thought of me until he left. I was an emotional wreck who blamed myself for his leaving.  Obviously I wasn't good enough.  I wore an imaginary sign that said "worthless".

Thank goodness I came to know better.  I really am okay.  I like being who I am and I enjoy being with myself.  The journey from worthless to infinite worth was a spiritual journey that took several years.  I had to finally internalize all the teachings of the church and let them sink into my heart.  And as I opened myself in prayer to the Father, I was blessed to feel His Love.  I think that even if we were loved and adored by the whole world we would not understand what it really means to be loved until we know that He loves us.  I am eternally grateful that He reached out and touched me with that understanding.  I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loves me, and I love Him.

Remember Who You Are

William Wordsworth wrote:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come -
From God, who is our home.

As members of the LDS church, we know that our life began long before the earth was even created.  We are begotten sons and daughters of God and we lived with Him in the eternities before we came to earth.  He is our beginning and our end.  Our fondest desire is to return to Him with all of those we love.  

But sometimes we forget who we are.  In the very deepest part of our being we struggle to believe in ourselves, to know our own infinite worth and divine nature.  Life has a way of doing that to us.  I am always saying that one of the most important things we have to do while we are here is to rediscover who we are. Sometimes in order to do that we just need to let go of everything we think we know and let our spiritual self take the lead.  In our heart of hearts we know.  We just need to remember.

Daughter of God

I remember with great emotion the evening that the Young Women's Theme was introduced to the women of the church.  I was a mom in attendance that night, not the young woman for whom the theme was directed. But I was touched through and through by those words.  I contrasted them to the words I had repeated as a young girl in the church I had previously attended "I am by nature sinful and unclean".  Now I would replace those words with new ones "I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me and I love him."  Tears flowed that night as I felt the impact of that statement.

My poem reflects my journey to truly embrace those words and know them for myself.  For far too long I judged myself by the standards of the world around me and by how others treated me.  It was a long road to the point where I had personally felt God's love for me and knew in my heart that I was His precious daughter.  That knowledge has made all the difference in my life.

Beyond the Veil

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe - indeed we testify to all the world that the promises of eternal life are real.  The Savior rose from the grave and in so doing paved the way for all of us to be resurrected and live eternally.  We affirm that His plan assures that we can live together as families.  Our longings for those who have passed on are justified.  We will see them again.  The temple stands as a symbol of those eternal bonds. Everything that takes place there prepares us for eternal life with those we love in the presence of God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ who made it all possible.

Looking Up

We had Lynn's daughter Heidi and her family with us this last week and took them downtown Detroit.  It is always interesting to visit the large cities.  Detroit, like most, has a history of ethnic groups who settled in various sections of the city.  Each had it's church and the community grew up around the church.  The church by design was an unspoken symbol with its spire reaching skyward.  To look upward was to see that spire pointing you toward God.

But time passed and as industries grew and new buildings grew taller and taller.  Here is a typical inner city church dwarfed by its neighbors. You can see these in any of our large cities.

This poem reminds us that today there is a longing for things spiritual.  We are tired of the race of life with its empty promises.  We long to remember who we really are and the purpose of our earthly existence.  For us who are LDS, we have found a place to be spiritually fed; a place where we partake of the living waters.  We find great peace in the temples of the Lord.

Temple Trip

Before we had our own temple here in Detroit, we first went to Washington D.C. (12 hours), then Chicago (5 hours), and lastly Toronto (5 hours).  It's nice to have our own temple now but often I think about those Relief Society temple trips that we used to have to Toronto.  We would drive over on Friday and spend the evening together at a motel and talk into the wee hours of the night.  Then Saturday we'd head to the temple together.  It was such a nice time to talk girl talk and catch up on what was going on with our families. Always we were concerned about our families.

The Sealing Room

For the LDS people the word "sealing" has special meaning.  A sealing is an ordinance that binds a couple or a family together for all of eternity.  The sealing rooms always have mirrors on each wall so that when you stand looking into the mirror you see the reflections that extend forever - reminding you of eternity.  

For the commandment is a lamp and the law is light. Proverbs 6:23

It doesn't seem possible that a person can get so confused that the very sense of right and wrong can be lost.  There was a time in my life when I was just that confused and I was very unhappy.  If I had been an alcoholic you might have said I had hit bottom.  But I was not.  I was just a lost and sad soul. Then one night when I was praying so very hard to know what I needed to do to be happy again I was led to this scripture in an answer to my prayer:  2 Nephi 1:20  "And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence."

My first reaction to this "prayer answer" was "What does this have to do with happiness?"  Then I spent a lot of time pondering the scripture and realized that the Lord had reached out to empower me. There was so much in my life that I could not control.  But this I could control.  I could live a life based on gospel principles completely!  I made myself a promise that I would do so and trust the Lord that it would lead me to happiness.  It did!  I believe it was a combination of empowerment, obedience to true principles, and integrity within myself that returned me to a life filled with joy.  As a result of that experience I wrote this poem.


I was not a journal writer for the majority of my life.  Then about 1990 I began to express my feelings in a journal in an attempt to figure myself out.  That was the beginning.  I'm not the kind who writes the daily activities.  I rather prefer to write about what I believe.  So my journals are very personal.  I like to think they reflect the personal growth I have experienced over the years as I have struggled to take the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make them a meaningful part of my life.  I also believe that a journal is a great place to go when you are upset and just get it all out of your system.  Writing your feelings in a book gives you power over them.  I like to read scriptures and then talk about them in my journal.  Even when I read a really great book I like to write what I am learning from reading it.  I really believe that journal writing is one of the nicest gifts we give ourselve.

Ever Learning and Never Able to come to a Knowledge of Truth

I love to read.  I cannot imagine a world without books.  I read fiction and non-fiction alike. I have relished all fourteen books of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.  I marvel at fantasy authors who can use that genre to teach life lessons.  I love how historical fiction can bring history to life right before your very eyes. Biographies line our bookshelves - not because we liked every person we read about but because we learned so much from each one.

But I have a frustration with today's information age - a frustration made very apparent each election year. Information does not equal truth.  We have to work very hard today to study all points of view and try to determine for ourselves what it truth.  Sometimes it doesn't matter - we are just looking for solutions and there is no one way to do something.  But often the news or the candidates or the books are preaching what they believe to be truth and then you change the channel only to hear someone else declare the exact opposite to be true.  I feel like I would need a college degree to find out who is right.  I still am not sure if we are experiencing global warming.  Our coldest winter ever here in Michigan this year seems to dispel that theory and yet in my heart I know we have a global problem that just isn't going away.

It was earlier in my life that I wrote this poem.  It was a confusing time of my life and I was frustrated with the search for truth and the proliferation of information all around me.  My frustration with the search for truth has not deterred my reading.  I do love the world of books.  You can find me on Goodreads writing my reviews and looking for more books to read.

Following the One

I wrote this one pioneer day when I was thinking about the trials that our early saints faced.  My own faith took years to develop.  I wanted to stay in the simple child faith that said that if I do what is right, then all will be well.  I wanted be believe that I could barter with God and make promises that would  bind Him to do what I asked.  

But the Lord doesn't want us to be children forever.  He sends us here to be forged into men and women of great faith and character.  That kind of growth depends on experiences that change us.  And so the Lord could say to Joseph in Liberty Jail "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.  The Son of Man hath descended below them all.  Art thou greater than he?"  I have ceased asking for life to be easy and my wishes granted.  

I only ask now that the Lord will show me what He would like me to do and that He be with me no matter where my life will lead.

My Covenant

The Straight and Narrow Path

There are times in a person's life where there is a need to make a change but your friends don't like the new you.  New converts to the church sometimes experience this.  People with addictions sometimes have to find all new friends in order to put themselves in a safe environment.  For me it was walking away from an intellectual environment that was just not healthy for my faith.  It can be really difficult to do this because you have to have faith and trust that the future you are now choosing will be good.  


Have you ever had a child who followed you around the house asking questions all day long?  Then you know what it feels like.  I wonder at times if I am not like those children with all the questions I pose to Heavenly Father.  I believe He will be more patient than I was with my children.  My simple "Because" was not a very satisfying answer.  I actually imagine that heaven will be like a college campus and we will sign up for class after class where all our questions will be answered.  I would like that very much.  I have so very many questions in the little box on my shelf where I put them so that I do not waste my time worrying about things for which there are no present answers.

Life in the Church

I am not an extrovert who likes to be up in front of people.  And as a child I was even more shy  around those I didn't know.  I was happy just in my own little world of me, my family, and my close friends.  A part of that remains with me still.

But life in the LDS church doesn't allow you to just stay in your comfort zone.  You will be asked to do things that you would never choose on your own.  I distinctly remember my first church assignment after joining the church.  I was asked to give a 2 1/2 minute talk during Sunday School opening exercises in front of the whole congregation.  Talk about being scared.  I was absolutely frightened by the enormity of what was being asked.

I got up in front of all of those people with my paper in my hands and could not even read it.  It was shaking too hard.  I had to set it down on the podium.  My knees were shaking, too.  

I was twenty years old then.  Fifty one years have passed and I am still being asked to do new things.  The fear is gone though.  All of these years have taught me that indeed the Lord does "qualify" us when He asks us to do something.  It becomes exciting to get a new "calling" and see what growth will come because of it.

So precious
So dear
So short
Each day a gift
Each hour and minute count.
Choose carefully
What you love,
What you do
with life.


As LDS people we make covenants.  Our children are baptized at age 8 because they are then old enough understand what it is to make a covenant.  Baptism is just the first of many that we make. Each draws us closer to His love and blesses our life.

Early in my faith I saw a covenant as that two-way promise with the Lord where I promised to do such and such and then He promised something in return.  It was as if my actions and promises could manipulate Him.  I have learned that is not the case at all.  Covenant making is a gift that the Lord has given to us because of what it does for us.  We need to make covenants - not Him.  And so I wrote this poem. . .

Conference: Spiritually Bathed

It is conference weekend again.  We look forward to this each time it comes.  We know that the weekend will be a spiritual feast.  We will be inspired to live better lives.  We will deepen in both appreciation and understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our hearts will be filled with gratitude for the restored Gospel. 


The past!  How do you prove it?  Doesn't it all seem like a dream at times?  Imagine yourself being whisked out of the present time and place into a new world by some warp in time.  Your memories of your life on earth remain.  You could teach and testify of what your life was all about but there'd be no proof.  But you would know.

Our spiritual experiences with the Lord are like that.  So very real to us yet beyond proof.  But we know. 

When we share our testimony it is that spiritual experience that we are testifying of.  We know and we want our friends and family to know that we know so that they too will seek for such a confirmation.  As it says in Moroni 10:4-5,  And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

In prayer we not only learn the truths we need to live by, we come to know God.


My Family

This poem is not about my immediate family.  It is about the entire human family of man which I claim as my own.  When you stop and think about the fact that we are literally brothers and sisters.  We lived with Heavenly Father as siblings before we came down to earth.  We knew each other.  We are the very ones who together shouted for joy when Father presented the plan for the earth and for our experience here.  Surely, given all that, we could do a better job of getting along as the family of man.

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by the people of the world.  I have always wanted to meet different people and get to know them.  I love the places, the foods, the dress, the languages, everything that makes us different.  I have wanted to learn about the cultures, the music, the customs.   I have just wanted to get to know "my family".

And so, it grieves me that we just can't seem to get along.  Why are there wars?  Why can't we live in peace? Why can't we just love and respect each other?  It makes no sense to me.  I look at the individual pictures of human beings and I just feel love for them all.

The Scriptures

For many, many years I have read the scriptures daily.  I love the stories of Jesus the most but within all of the books of the Bible and the Book of Mormon are certain passages that are special to me.  We all have our favorites.  I am partial to the 23rd Psalm, the Sermon on the Mount, Paul's discourse on charity, Alma's words at the waters of Mormon (and about a hundred others).  However, at a time in my life when I was really searching for some answers, I discovered something.  As I really searched the scriptures and when my heart was open to learn, I began to find my answers right there in those books I had read so many times before.  It was like words just jumped off the page as I read.  Often I had never remembered reading them before.  It was an amazing discovery.   It is one of the nicest gifts the Lord has given to me - to us.  To all of us.  He speaks to us through the words of scripture written long ago and preserved so that we might be so touched.

My Favorite Scripture

Do you have a favorite scripture?  When I was just a little girl I did. I loved the 23rd Psalm because it reminded me that the Lord is always watching over me and I didn't have to be afraid.  But seventy years have come and gone and the list has grown.  I can honestly say I never tire of reading all of our scriptures. How could you tire of reading such passages as these:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul:  He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. . . 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth  forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;  That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.  
This is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Such examples are just a brief glimpse of my love affair with the scriptures.

Men Are That They Might Have Joy

I was recently thinking about a family that we knew in Santa Rosa, California.  They were Laotian and had left their home in the midst of war and walked as a family eleven days and nights through the jungle to reach Thailand where they hoped to find refuge.  When they reached the border they found it closed.  They again had to hide in the jungle and look for an opportunity to sneak across that border.  Once inside Thailand they lived in a refugee camp for six years in the humblest of circumstances.  Eventually the United States accepted them and they were brought to this country.

More recently I was privileged to hear the story of Mariama Kallon, a woman from Sierra Leone.  She was raised in a country ravaged by civil war.  She narrowly escaped torture by murderous rebel forces. She watched other women have arms and legs cut off by the rebels.  After losing her entire family and everything she owned, she eventually was guided to safety.  Her story was heart rending and yet hearing her bear testimony of the beauty of the Restored Gospel and how it had come into her life and brought her joy was even more touching.

The spirit of man is eternal and is able to put life's experiences into a context that allows us to reach beyond the trials and find joy again.  What a remarkable thing it is to witness such joy emanate from those who have experienced such heavy trials.

What Do I Miss?

We can keep ourselves so busy today - doing nothing much that matters.  Or we can be so busy running here and there that we don't even see what is before our eyes.  I have done both of these.  God gives us the gift of little children to help us slow down.  Have you ever taken a walk with a 3 year old?  They take life in and don't want to miss out on anything along the way.  So you stop and count the ants walking across the sidewalk or try to catch a butterfly.  But as they grow older they, too, get caught in the "busyness" of life.  Run to piano lessons, hurry to YW or YM activities, then off to a soccer game.  All good but what do we miss as we run so quickly?  As I have aged I just want to slow down.