Monday, November 19, 2012

Ungrateful Valedictorian

Heather posted the following link:

Valedictorian's Speech (uploaded 5 August 2010)

And she posed this question:Which is more important: school or learning?

I thought that this girl's speech was really improper for the setting, so I posted some remarks.

Also, can't school and learning be synonymous?

My comment: What an ingrate.Two of my children were Valedictorians, and I am certainly glad that they didn't display such arrogancy and self-centeredness. Does public education need reform? Certainly. But her speech was totally out of line and inappropriate for the setting.

Anna: I thought she was wonderful and gave a very well thought out speech that came from her heart! How brave of her to speak her mind and try to make a difference!

Mark: I find it very interesting that this young lady was educated enough to articulate so wittingly and well in a system that she was condemning. Her speech seemed to express a sort of disappointment with a degree of influence from an outside source. Everybody knows that the public school system is an institution designed to educate a wide range of students with varying I.Q.’s., Though not perfect, the public school system has a better track record than home schooling. Yes, there are the occasional exceptions but in general more students by percentage attend Harvard or Princeton after public school than that of home schooling students. Having seven children I have noticed a big change over the years with public school in that they have become more flexible and dynamic in there course study, giving students a wide range of class option as opposed to when I attended. Nothing is perfect, but I think we would have a better chance of finding a teacher in the field of interest at the public school as opposed to home schooling with only two choices, mom or dad. Not to mention the interpersonal skills attained interacting with other classmates and teachers. Just a thought.

Anna: Homeschooling is never limited to two choices. There are no limits to education when homeschooling. The teachers do not have to be living under your roof. They can be acquired by many different avenues. You can go right to a professional in any subject. The education can be tailored to the student, no matter what subject or interest. It's just to difficult to give such an education in a public school setting. Homeschoolers have tons of opportunities to socialize! With their peers and all ages alike in unlimited situations. I had the delight of both styles of education growing up. Just so happens, I was completely bored in high school public education.

My comment: This was a student who attained high academic achievement. I don't care how bright she is, or how well-thought out her speech, or even if she was bored. What a slap in the face to the many teachers over the many years who helped her attain her goal, and I guarantee it was her goal. So essentially she despises herself for "playing the game."

A Valedictorian speech is supposed to be a congratulations to the student body and a bright look to the future. Her speech really missed the mark. Graduation is not the time or the place to voice what you think education's ills are. She sounded like a spoiled brat to me.

Mark, four of my children attended public school, and so did their parents. I have been home schooing our youngest using an on-line public charter school. I think that accountability and structure are vitally important no matter what system is chosen. Also, for our family, the second main advantage to home schooling is to give our child a cutting edge in this ever increasingly competitive world. That definitely means that we excpect her to meet and exceed high standards. Our first reason is so that we have control over our family time and can teach the values that we think are important, and so that she doesn't have hours of homework beyond the school day.

Anna, no matter how many homeschooling families say that their children get plenty of socialization, it is not the same as being in a classroom setting day after day and having the benefit of group discussions and interaction. Teachers are really not there to entertain, but hopefully to teach.

Educational models have really improved. We live in exciting times when there are so many choices. I hope that this girl's poor attitude will not cut her off from any of these choices. If I were on a panel to interview her for scholarships or acceptance into a particular field of study, I would not hestitate to dismiss her readily if she displayed the same cockiness and ingratitude as shown in her speech.

I know that she was trying to embarrass the educators at the school she attended, but she was happy to use them to accomplish her goals. She's young. I'm hoping that gratitude becomes part of her nature and vocabulary in the future. Hard knocks usually offer assistance for that.

Jennifer: Heidi saying "I don't care" says it all...just stop there; you don't have to say anything else, and we got it...thank you for your lack of are the issue I have with most "standardized" people..

My Comment: Jennifer, I care deeply about education. But I will stick by my sentiments that she picked the wrong time and place to express what she did. As for lack of understanding, education would be much better if everyone tried to understand each other more and communicated more appropriately. In the past, there was the network of family, church, and school all working together for a common good. There is distrust at almost every corner now. But posting "my way is better than yours" is never going to help anyone. There are so many avenues to choose from, and as parents we have the right to choose what we think is most appropriate for our children. I'm sorry that you think you know me so well, that you feel to express animosity towards me and call me a part of your labeled group: standardized people.

I certainly do believe in standards. Whether or not you agree with the public school systems standards, I'm hoping you believe in standards, too. They help us set goals and give us direction. There are religious standards; parents set standards for their children; if you are involved in sports, you must follow rules and live up to standards. In the workplace, you must meet standards, or you are out of a job. Standards should be individualized according to a person's ability, certainly. But to take away standards is basically saying, I don't believe in you or your abilities to achieve your goals.

(I was going through my blog and found this draft and decided to publish it after all.)
20 March 2011 Sunday Session of Stake Conference
Today Presidents Poulsen, Avarell, and Ewell released.
New Stake Presidency: Presidents Garvin, Kinser, and Andrews
President Poulsen
Expressions of love and appreciation for us as his brothers and sisters. Testimony of the restored church of Jesus Christ. It is true, brothers and sisters. If we follow the brethren and the Spirit, we will find peace and joy. Expressions of love and appreciation for his counselors and others he has worked with and for the Bishops. How I love my Savior. I know that He lives. I know that He is my Redeemer.
Be more loving to each other and to our children. If we truly love one another and care for each other, the blessings will flow.
Every morning, on bended knee, petitioning our Father to help us and our families. Morning Devotionals. We will know what we are to do, what we will say, who we are to serve.
Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and I love him with all my heart. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.
Expressions of love and appreciation for his mother.
Sister Poulsen
Gratitude for members of the stake, for the stake presidency and wives. She wants us all to know that they love us. She has seen the hand of the Lord in all of our lives in the past nine years. She is grateful for the opportunity and that she was able to support her husband.
President Avarell
As we read the scriptures and find something new, the Holy Ghost testifies that it is true. That’s how He knows that Heavenly Father lives, that Jesus lives and atoned for us, that we have a prophet.
President Ewell
Keep your white shirts. It’s not about your white or your blue shirt. You represent Jesus Christ. You are preparing yourselves now for the very thing that you see today—to become like the two men that are here visiting us. They are men of God. The Spirit of God has worked upon them. Your new stake presidency is called of God. I endorse them to you. Stay on the path. How our family has been blessed by service in the church! How the Spirit of God has moved over our family to provide what is needed for their growth! Grateful to his wife for understanding and knowing that the gospel is true. Loves parents and ancestors who died for this church. “I know that God lives, and I do know that He is directing this work.” If miracles have ceased, it is because of lack of faith. But we have seen miracles in our stake. “Those miracles are to confirm to us His reality, so that we can continue on.” We have a prophet on the earth; there is a prophet today visiting us. Joseph was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is true.
Sister Garvin
We have some tall shoes to fill. Grateful for past presidency. She felt prompted to get ready for the evening meeting right away. Elder Christofferson were so kind and genuine; it was like they had always known them. “Maybe we shouldn’t be driving for the next couple of days…I promise that we will get a grip.” Testimony of God’s love for us. Jesus Christ Is our Savior; He loves us, and I love Him. The scriptures are true; the Book of Mormon is true. President Monson reads and prays daily. Testimony of prophet. Thankful for her wonderful parents. Grateful for family and children and for Kirk’s children. “I love them; they are my own.” I hope that you will accept Kirk and me and that we will do everything that we are supposed to do, and more.
President Garvin
Gratitude to Sister Poulsen. We need look no further than to the members of this stake to see examples of righteousness. Grateful to the outgoing presidency. I don’t know how I can fill their shoes. I know that there are 15 to 20 members of the stake that can serve better than I. (No, there are probably more like 25 to 30). He was called by a prophet of God. He has learned some things before he came here, but he knew the gospel truths before that. Gratitude for his wife. “I would not be here without her.” Gratitude for the sealing ordinances of the temple. The Book of Mormon is the word of God; it is a shield against the power of the destroyer. Joseph Smith was indeed as the prophet of God, holding all of the keys of all those who proceeded him. “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.” Until your testimony is strong enough, look to the brethren and trust in their testimony. Jesus lives, and with His stripes we are healed.
Sister Godwin
The change of leadership in the stake is a testimony to observe and see the workings of the Spirit. President Monson is a true prophet of God. It is a testimony to see how smoothly things go in a change of leadership. The first presidency and quorum of the twelve are inspired of God. No success in life can compensate for failure in the home. We have seen the deterioration of the family. Follow the counsel given by the prophets. They see far into the future and into the past. We are extremely blessed to be the recipients of their seership. Scriptures are true.
President Godwin
What a privilege to receive counsel from a prophet. He testified that the outgoing presidency has loved and served us. He’s looking forward to working with new presidency. White shirts and ties are the uniform of the Priesthood. The gate is narrow and the path straight. The Gate is Him. He is the Redeemer of the world and our personal Savior. It is a gift from the Spirit that he knows that Jesus is the Savior. The boy Joseph knelt in the Sacred Grove in humble prayer seeking—the Father and the Son appears to him. The restored gospel is here; we are led by a prophet today. As we follow the prophets, we are shielded and protected. The Book of Mormon is here for us not only as a second witness of Jesus Christ, but to give us direction.
Sister Morgan
What a blessing to be President and Matron of the Redlands Temple. Her heart broke over the devastation in Japan. She lived in Japan with her parents when she was 18 and 19. People sold their land to be able to go to Hawaii to be sealed as a family. It broke her heart to see so many lose their homes and the land. Thank you for going to the temple regularly. I know it is the House of the Lord; I feel His presence. I’ve never seen Him; I’ve never seen anything from the other side, but I know they’re there. Please go to the temple.
President Morgan
He still expects President Poulsen to come and give him a hug when he goes to the temple. Every day is a good day in the temple. The ordinances performed in the temple are ordinances of exaltation. (The ordinances prior to that are ordinances of salvation.) His parents were married and sealed in the Logan Temple; he was born in the covenant. He had the faith that it was true when he was a young missionary. As he testified, he found that he knew. Ordinances are valid as long as we keep our covenants.
Elder Packer
A welcome to investigators. He loves seeing the missionaries sitting with investigators. Much has been spoken of the Holy Ghost. Through the power of the Holy Ghost the stake presidency was changed in the last 36 hours, and the loyalty of the members has changed like a snap of the fingers. Where else do you see that? Through the power of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things.
1. I can see, hear, and know, and watch the mysteries of the gospel unfold through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Why wasn’t the young man bitter? His burden was lifted by the power of the Holy Ghost and the testimony that he already had.
There is a member of the Godhead.
Paul said, “The fruits of the Spirit are…” You don’t have to have the waves of intelligence constantly. Can you feel the fruits of the Spirit in your life? I knew when I had the Holy Ghost with me because of Paul. Equate the fruits of the Spirit with having the Holy Ghost with you. “I know that I have the Holy Ghost when I treat my wife (people) the way that I am supposed to.” (The man that he was speaking to was abusing his wife.)
Elder Christofferson
Expressing thanks to all who have participated in the preparations of the conference. “Please speak slowly; you are being translate…It didn’t work. I guess I didn’t speak slowly enough.” Words in Spanish. “If you don’t know Spanish, take it on faith that that made sense. That’s what I do.”
Expression of gratitude for other speakers. The Lord draws near and grants an extra blessing of His presence to those released and those sustained. Deepest thanks to outgoing presidency and their wives and families. The Lord has magnified you and given you added gifts and capacity to serve.
The Lord is the source for those who are called. He knows that the Lord has manifested His will for the new presidency. Pray for these men frequently in your homes. The Lord has added blessings to bestow on us and the stake as we pray for them. Petition the Lord for their sake and for our own.
He gets to see President Monson up close. He doesn’t give us a long list of to dos. He does a few things. Pay close attention. Take note and respond.
1. We need more missionaries; well prepared and faithful; YM and YW and couples! You can serve as church missionaries from your home. Couples do so much good, even if they don’t speak the language. “The worse they spoke, the more the people loved them.” Moroni at the top of the Tokyo Temple turned 90 degrees.
2. More attention to marriages and family. Some divorces are urgent and necessary and open doors for a better future. Difficult cases for the prophet to cancel sealings. Teach again and again and again the importance of what happens at home and between couples: honorable, faithful, fidelity. Guard against those things that will separate an eternal union. Brethren, lead out in spiritual things at home. You and your wives work together, but husbands lead out. You take the lead. Let that be your legacy.
(13 year old whose father was shot on Sunday called his family together for morning prayer and scripture reading, because of his father’s example.)
D&C 18:34-36 “You can testify that you have heard my voice and know my words.” Scriptures help us learn the language of the Spirit and recognize the voice of the Lord. Even when we can’t be with our children, they can have the voice of the Lord.
3. Look after one another; minister to one another; rescue both temporally and spiritually. Even with President Monson’s heavy responsibilities, he finds time to minister personally. Apostle of Compassion. He acts in faith. He does what he can now—smile, handshake, blessing, prayer. He is a wonderful model for us to follow. Do what we can now and have faith that the Lord will provide.
D&C 123:13 Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power. And then we can stand still with the utmost confidence that we will see the hand of the Lord. (Florence, though homebound, saved the life of someone who was near suicide through visiting teaching by mail.)
We can all have access to the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the witness of the Holy Spirit. Jesus asked the Apostles to wait until they received the Holy Ghost. He is essential to help us remember what we know, what we’ve been taught; essential to help us understand; essential to give expression with a divine witness of the truth of what we receive or speak. More powerful than seeing or feeling or touching. It is possible to doubt your senses. The witness of the Spirit cannot be doubted or forgotten. More powerful than any other form of testimony. Available to everyone who will seek it.
Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten. The Father and the Son came to boy Joseph when he asked for guidance. They commissioned him as the prophet of the restoration. Joseph was faithful despite all of the challenges and sacrifices, even to death, in maintaining the cause of the Father and Son. He bore witness of the Savior that is incomparable. “Joseph, this is My Beloved Son.” We can all receive this same witness through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will be with the new presidency in all they do. It will make your testimony powerful and convincing. As you follow that Spirit, in your home there will be food, enough for you, and a little extra so that you can share. You will know that the Lord knows you and is looking after you. You will feel His love more than ever before. You will have a sense of His approval as well as His love.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Integrity--to me this means much more than honesty. Integrity means to be true.            

Let me give you an example in a building. For a building to have integrity it needs a firm foundation. I believe that it is the same for a person.

It took many years for the Salt Lake Temple to be built. When the first foundation was laid, President Brigham Young realized that there were flaws in the foundation. Can you see how tragic it would have been to continue to build at this point? The foundation had to be dug up and completely reset. Can you see where I am going with this? We need a sure foundation. "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Helaman 5:12) There are many people who approach integrity in the modern sense of the word, because they are true to a set of standards, but if those standards are incorrect, if that foundation is not firm, everything contingent upon it may soon fall. So integrity is something more than being the same person in private and public matters; it must include being true to a true set of standards.

During WWII, my Grandfather John Jamison was commissioned by the British Air Force to oversee the building of runways on an American Air Force base that was located in England. He was from Northern Ireland. He arrived at the site when a crew was ready to pour the cement for a runway. They did not know who he was, but he overheard them say, "Let's hurry and get this poured before that damned Irishman gets here." Upon gathering that the materials were not up to standard, my grandfather did not introduce himself, but allowed them to pour the cement. After which he told them that he was that damned Irishman and asked them to take it all out. It is my experience that it is always more expensive to be dishonest, even though it usually does not seem so in today's world. We cannot afford the cost to our own progression and spiritual safety to be dishonest.

Think of the excitement that came about when steel was introduced into building structures. Iron wasn't nearly as effective. Why is that? Iron is very brittle. It couldn't support many stories or withstand too much weight without breaking. Steel had the right amount of give. I guess in this sense that having integrity would approach or almost be equivalent to having charity. We cannot become too boastful as our abilities increase, or the level of our building becomes substantial. We need to learn to be flexible without bending on the important things that help keep us structurally sound.

This brings to mind the musical Fiddler on the Roof. I love Tevia. He is a good man. In the sense of building upon the traditions and faith of his people, one could certainly say that Tevia had integrity. Even when his workhorse becomes lame, Tevia delivers the milk to the town before the Sabbath introductory evening meal.  In his compassion to his daughters, we see his flexibility as he allows the two oldest daughters to choose their own mates to marry. The concept of love versus a matchmaker is new, but Tevia's steel allows him to bend. But because of the covenant nature of the Jewish people and the importance of marrying in the covenant, Tevia could not see the possibility of condoning Havilah's marriage to an outsider. He said that "If I bend that far, I will break." Whether we agree with his decision or not, this is a good example of staying true to those things that are going to help keep us structurally sound. I could bring up modern-day examples, but those would divert me from my topic.

Now let's look at integrity from the side of a linguist. The word integrity has the same root as the word integer. That root would imply whole or complete. When the Lord asked us to become perfect, He was in essence asking us to become whole or complete. This is something we cannot do on our own. Jesus is the only One who can make us whole or complete. When I think of integrity in this sense, it reminds me of the words in one of our hymns, "Constant He is and kind, love without end." (Hymn, 129) In this sense, while integrity is a goal, it is not a destination that is fixed yet for any of us, because we are still in a period of testing. I am not Constant yet, though I truly am striving to be a person of integrity.

By this I do not mean to say that integrity does not exist. Of course it does. But we have to be vigilant to keep our integrity with us. Also, I do not mean to imply that Latter-day Saints have access to integrity more than anyone else. Since we all our children of the Highest, we all have access to the gifts of the Spirit, to the power of the Holy Ghost, and to the ability to develop integrity. But integrity is only built as we consistently live principles that are in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ. And so many non-Christians do that. For us as Latter-day Saints, it also means that we must make and keep our covenants. For all of God's children, it means that we have to be true to the light and knowledge that we possess. As we do so, we will be led to more light and knowledge. This way, we will become more fully finished, more complete, and have more integrity.

Now let's look at integrity from a mathematician's perspective. An integer is not merely a counting number or a whole number. On a number line, integers go in both positive and negative directions. So they include -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, and so forth in both directions. We know that God is infinite, complete, whole, and our true source of integrity. Integrity in this sense certainly implies wholeness and completeness. We are not left fragmented by either fractions or factions, and we are not decimated by decimals. In the sense of a mathematician, integrity would also imply congruity. Things will fit together and make perfect sense. There is not room from inconsistency from any angle. (This will also totally work with the analogy of the building.) So we need to take our compass, our protractor, and our right angles, and make certain that our lives are congruent with the Lord.

Joseph F. Smith is a prime example of integrity. His father Hyrum was killed at Carthage Jail when Joseph was only five. Then his mother Mary Fielding Smith died when he was only thirteen. But he was true to the faith of his fathers. He served a mission in Hawaii when he was still a boy.

After nearly four years in Hawaii, Joseph F. returned home. One morning when he and several other missionaries were returning to Salt Lake City, a group of rough Mormon-haters rode up on horses, firing their guns and cursing.
The leader jumped off his horse and shouted, “We will kill anyone who is a Mormon!” The other missionaries had fled into the woods, but Joseph F. bravely stood his ground. The man shoved a gun in Joseph F.’s face and asked, “Are you a Mormon?”
Joseph F. stood tall and said, “Yes siree; dyed in the wool; true blue, through and through!”
The man was surprised at his reply. He put the gun away, shook Joseph’s hand, and said, “Well, you are the pleasantest man I ever met! I’m glad to see a fellow stand up for his convictions.” He jumped back on his horse and rode off with his companions.

Then we have the example of Joseph F. Smith's Uncle Joseph Smith. He saw the Father and the Son. And because he gave a true account of the First Vision, he was persecuted by those who should have been his friends. Life was never easy for him. But he said that he had in all actuality "seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it." He pressed forward and was true to the faith, and he obeyed the Lord's commandments with exactness.  

Since we are on a roll, let's talk about one more Joseph. This Joseph was sold into bondage by his brothers because they were jealous of him. But because he was so talented and so good, he naturally was blessed and rose to the top. (Have you noticed that many are still jealous of people like Joseph?) Potiphar's wife thought he was pretty sexy and wanted him for herself, but he would not sin against the God of Israel and chose to be in jail rather than to lose his integrity before the Lord. He was blessed for his righteousness; in fact, all of Egypt was, his whole family was, and all of his descendents have been, including many Latter-day Saints.

Integrity must certainly mean that we stand up for our convictions. The Apostle Paul stood up for his convictions both before and after his conversion to the Resurrected Jesus Christ. He was honorable in his convictions, but it is always best to be on the Lord's side. Remember the scripture about the only true and sure foundation? That is Jesus Christ. That brings me back to Charity, which is the Pure Love of Christ. We are told that charity will never fail. So in order for our integrity to be valid and true and never fail, we must be built upon that sure foundation. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be whole and complete and overcome the world and not fail.

We must also love our brothers and sisters as ourselves. Our integrity all but vanishes when we do not. If we do not treat our fellowmen as we would like to be treated ourselves, we don't have integrity. That's a double standard. Integrity is a tall order to fill. But it should be our goal, not just for the far distant future, but for every day of our lives.

In closing I would like to share some of Moroni's last words to us, found in Moroni 7:15-16. These words are a good yardstick for us in making our daily decisions and keeping us on the true path:

For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may  know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

In today's world, there will be many voices to lead us here, there, and everywhere. We need to keep our hearts, minds, and spirits tuned to the Lord so that we can be guided through the Holy Ghost. We need to carry our level with us, meaning our own testimony and our own oil, if we are going to make certain that our lives are properly balanced and in harmony with the Lord. Integrity means vigilance. We must be aware of anything that can erode our structure, and me must seek to strengthen and restrengthen ourselves and our families on a daily basis.

(I commit myself to doing so with these words taken from a fellow sister in Australia, "I will not and choose not to deter myself from doing the Lord's work.")

Friday, November 9, 2012

Romney Won


I am tired of reading everyone’s reasons for why Governor Mitt Romney lost. Romney did not lose, the United States did. The number one reason why Romney will not be our president is that he ran a clean campaign, and too many citizens do not want a clean, honest, moral man to lead our country. He kept his integrity and honor about him. Too many Americans were looking for a president who fed them fair promises and lies, because they are happy to be living in their lies. Too many Americans want a president who promises to take care of their every need. To think that a people can shift their personal responsibilities to one man is a blatant falsehood and a bizarre impossibility.

President Barack Obama will continue as President of the United States. This is not because he was the better or more qualified candidate. Romney was offering us a way to accountability and freedom: emotional maturity, financial security, and ethical freedom. Yet the American people, and that is not to say all of us, prefer bondage to freedom. So they sold themselves along with those of us who do value freedom, for a fairy tale. We have all witnessed that these socialist agendas, that have been going on for scores of years, not just the last presidential term, are failing in the United Sates just as they have everywhere else. History has proven the destructiveness of socialism, but now a good majority of our citizens are embracing it. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, Mitt Romney did not lose the election; it’s just very difficult to beat Santa Claus.

I am so annoyed that citizens of the United States choose to be divided at every possible turn. Instead of citizens looking to the best good of the country as a whole, they look to support those of their race, their ethnic group, or their small self-interest group. It is also amazing to me that many citizens will vote for evil over good. In their determination to separate church and state, they have adopted policies and programs that are detrimental to both. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) It's sad when people choose evil over righteousness in the name of culture and sophistication. It only goes to show that we have not learned from history.

Governor Romney has an impeccable track record as a moral man and as a successful leader. We know his history and that it is common with all American citizens. Yet the president’s past is shady and secretive and unknown. Why would some of our citizens choose a man who may in all actuality be a usurper over a man of talent and integrity? It is because people are essentially lazy and want someone else to carry their burdens and abide the heat of the day for them. No president will ever be able to do that. While Mitt Romney offered to help us climb out of the pit we’re in, too many citizens are eager to sell their freedoms and security for momentary comforts, not realizing that soon there will be no way to hold onto even the most basic comforts and security. President Obama has not offered to help get us through the crisis by encouraging everybody to work; he has dug us deeper into the crisis. While the government, and all of us, should be tightening our belts, Barack Obama continues to pour money into pet programs at the expense of national security. He is selling our Country to China.

Everyone can see that these things are true, but many are choosing to close their eyes. Many still think that one leader can offer them freedom, but it is just not so. Not unless we are talking about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The One who said, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8: 32-32) Jesus is the One with the power to heal us and to make us free individually and as a nation. We are taught that, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Governor Romney knows that, and what he was offering was a way for us to all return to principles of righteousness and the old American work ethic. But he couldn’t do it for us; we would all have to be engaged in a powerful effort through hard work. For those who say they don’ t share my religious views, that’s fine. But it is impossible to ignore that work on the part of all citizens is necessary to improve our current situation. Over half of American citizens voted against work for all.

We are encouraged to seek righteous men and women to represent us in government. Mitt Romney fits the bill. He had a vision of where we should be headed and an approach to stem the tide and turn us back in the right direction. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) And we are perishing. Our country is in dire straits both morally and financially, and we cannot fix it financially, without fixing our morality. “He that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 19:18) There are just sound principles that must be followed no matter what faith you are, or even if you are faithless. But it is difficult to speak of faith to the faithless.

Our Founding Fathers paid a great debt to give us this Country. It was born in blood, sweet, tears, and great turmoil. But freedom is never free. We have to live for it and fight for it, and often we have to die for it. Just like no Christian can claim to be “born again” once and then be saved permanently, our country could not just have the one birth and remain in a perpetual state of freedom. The land had to be redeemed in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  We must live according to the Spirit of Truth and Righteousness, and keep fighting for truth and righteousness if we want to be free, if we want to be saved. Our Country is again in a most perilous condition, and we need to stand ready to redeem her.

In the words of Mitt Romney, "The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion...I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness." Our founding fathers indeed established this country on biblical principles of righteousness. John Adams said that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

I believe that Governor Romney is a much better leader than President Obama. Too many people are not looking for a leader, but for a flatterer. The president has appealed to those who claim entitlement to everything regardless of ambition, moral goodness, and hard work. He has also scoffed at those who have been successful in their labors; also, saying that they should carry the load of the non-workers, instead of helping them rise above their current condition. A leader would help everyone rise above the current trends of unemployment, to personal financial security and to true feelings of self-worth. President Obama does not want the American people to feel successful and independent. If they were to become strong, he would lose his power.

In my view, Mitt Romney remains a winner because he did not abandon his moral integrity and because he ran a clean campaign. He is a charming and gracious man, but he refused to use his charm to deceive the people in any way. He could have lied to the people about his stand on different issues, or he could have attacked the character and validity of our current president. He did not. He presented himself as a servant to the people to serve his country out of love. This seems to be a foreign concept to most. But I am impressed with the man, his moral integrity, and his strength and valor. He demonstrated that he would act with immediacy when necessity arose. He put the people who were victims of the storm Sandy above his campaign for president. If people see that as a flaw, they know nothing of leadership.

I personally take heart that there are still people like Mitt Romney in the world. He did more for my morale as a United States citizen in just a few short weeks than the president accomplished in four years. He helped to restore my ambition in reaching a few. He’s made a difference, and so can all of us. More Christians and Jews and people of faith are coming together in our nation. That is another success story of his candidacy. We need to continue to build the unity in our homes, in our churches, and in our communities. We need to continue to build unity among religious denominations. As we move into the future, we will need to be unified and help restore the greatness of this country as “We, the people” lead shoulder-to-shoulder. Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he is one of us and cares about the future of America. Mitt Romney did not lose, and America doesn't need to lose either. We just have to work a lot harder. Are you choosing to be a winner?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Race for a Righteous Country is Ongoing

I need to re post what I posted  early on election day, because I still feel the same way:

I am happy that the Christians and Jews of our nation are coming together more. That's the best thing out of this election. Last go round, there were many that would not vote for a Mormon because of lack of understanding. This time, there is much more unity among denominations. We are going to need that in the future. Mitt Romney had already been a unifier. I hope he'll get the chance to continue.

Continued after the end of Election Day:

I think that Mitt Romney did a great job of stirring up our feelings of patriotism. Let's hang on to those. We need them. I also think that those with religious ethics and morals need to band together. We can make this country great by we the people leading from the front!

Let's take education back to real history and real moral teaching. No more liberals educating our children. We need to get involved. Let's stop supporting Hollywood's base, immoral, mindless entertainment, and look for something better. Or let's build something better. Let's read with our families, play board games, and go on outings. If gas prices are too high, let's walk with them! Let's teach them that there are absolute truths. That people should have standards. Let's teach them how to work. Let's pray with them, teach and learn with them, and play with them.

I have never been impressed with the adage that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a family! I would no sooner trust our village with my children than throw an infant in a swimming pool. And it also takes people with moral conviction and stability. In past generations, the family, the church, and the schools may have worked together more. But I have found through years of experience that most teachers do not want parental involvement in the classroom. And most educators treat parents like they are not capable teachers of their own children. My husband has always been given respect, because he has a doctor title in front of his name. But I certainly have not been. And there are many teachers that are more concerned with breaking children than with building them up. I have seen my own children treated extremely unfairly with absolutely no due process that should be shown citizens of this country, not to mention involvement or permission from parents.

In writing the above paragraph, I apologize to you good teachers who care about your students. Unfortunately, you are no longer allowed to teach from your rich reservoir of experiences, no from your personal ethics. You have to bow to the administrators and unions above you. You also have to spend so much time trying to teach to the test, that any lasting learning is shaky at best. I would like to thank the teachers who have had a positive influence in my children's lives. God bless you. I hope you will band with the believers in righteous principles and patriots of this country to give our children something better.

I am not seeking division in writing this; I am seeking commitment. What can we do? We need to ask that and then ask that again. We need to find answers, and try them. We need to keep trying. This country has to improve. Since half the adults of the country choose wickedness, we need to help our children learn to choose righteousness. If you read this and it offends you, so be it. It's how I feel, and like Paul states, and I think that I have the Spirit of the Lord. Study your scriptures; study real history. We can learn from those of the past. We must learn from those of the past. Whether you read the Torah, the Bible, modern day scriptures like the Book of Mormon, or other writings of Holy Writ, they should be teaching you what the God and Father of us all expects from his children. Don't abandon those values.

It is sad to me to think that there are so many things that point to iniquity, and there are so many people that embrace it.  It's sad to me when people who should be fellow Christians are happy to have legalized abortion, legalized gay marriage, and legalized drugs. These are not the outcome of progress. They are the outcome of a retrograde society. It's sad to me when people think that some should have to work hard for their living and then be taxed heavily to support those who are unwilling to work. America needs to get back to work. One of the first and great commandments: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." (Genesis 3:19)

Fellow Judeo-Christians in California and across the Country, and all good people of faith and integrity: If you are not happy with the elections' outcome, decide what you will do about it. California is giving the country 55 electoral votes! If you are tired of the United States drinking the Kool-Aid, are you going to stop buying it? What can we do? We need to stop supporting Hollywood, the media, and the liberal agendas of public education.

We need to remember to work together and to have patience. Cain asked so long ago, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9) Yes, indeed we are. It is often said that the honest pay twice. But just think about that. That means that the Lord will multiply his blessings to us. "He that is righteous is favored of God." (1 Nephi 17:35) So, to all of you young liberals who do not currently worry about righteousness, we are voting and praying for your future, even if you are not. (But to you evil, old liberals who are leading our youth astray, be warned, you will bear the cost and the heat of the judgment day.)

I am sorely disappointed by the outcome of this election, but I am not surprised, nor am I in despair. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid." (Bible: Psalm 27:1)

I am thankful to Governor Mitt Romney and his wife Ann. I am thankful to Paul Ryan and his wife Janna. God bless you good people. Thank you for running your campaign on righteous principles and sticking to them. Please have the courage to do so in the future. We all look to you as the great leaders of this country, even though you are not in office. We love you. Thank you for your service. You did more for our Country's morale in the past few weeks than the president did in the past four years. Thank you, Brother Romney, for your grace, your love, your dedication, and commitment to your fellow Americans. We so wanted to see you lead this country. Please stay involved. Those of us who have made covenants to Israel's God need to keep them. Thanks for doing so.

More than anything else we need to remember that Jesus Christ is our only hope.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We need to put God first, center, and forever. We need to spend more time in pray to our Heavenly Father in Jesus's name; we need to spend more time learning His word; we need to spend more time seeking His will and serving His children. We need to put aside our personal agendas and seek to be on the Lord's side at all times, in all things, and in all places we may be.

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8)

Those who are righteous need to become God's leaven.

"The future is as bright as your faith." (President Thomas S. Monson, a Latter-day Prophet)

The next four years are going to be fantastic if  the covenant part of "We, the People" lead from the front! We can only do that by following the God and Father of us all.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Notes on a Documentary: "Agenda: Grinding Down America"

The material in this blog does not come from me. I watched a documentary that was completely fabulous, and I wanted to share it with you. Please watch it for yourself:

Agenda: Grinding Down America    Agenda: Grinding America Down

We need to become a country of faith and prayer once again, and then we need to bravely stand on our feet and push forward those principles of freedom which have made America great. We need to reestablish our direction and regain our freedoms so that we can fulfill our grand destiny and so that we can help prepare the world for the Lord's Second Coming. We need to be informed about the enemies that we have from within and, most especially, be aware of complacency. It is up to us to vote for leaders who will protect both our rights and our values. We need to rebuild the American Dream that was a gift from God and our fore-fathers and pass this great heritage on to our children and our grand-children, and so forth. We need to make the inner vessel clean, so that we can withstand the problems that face us from all directions. Please pray for our country, and remember that we really cannot pray for the Lords' blessings upon the United States of America if we continue to change her face so that it is beyond recognition to God and to everyone else. I am glad to have had a chance to watch this documentary. Please watch it for yourselves. (HSS)

The following are notes and screenshots for the documentary (and I do NOT claim them as my own presentation):    Agenda: Grinding America Down

It used to be that the Republican Party was just slightly right of center and the Democratic Party was slightly left of center. But with all the radical media, Hollywood, and the multitude of Marxist professors in the universities, both parties have shifted far to the left, and we have embraced the ideas of a socialist society. 

Reverend Jim Wallis is the spiritual advisor to President Obama.

William Ayers is a long-time friend and neighbor of President Obama.

It came out in 2009, that the book Dreams from My Father was written by Ayers.

The Frankfurt School was set up to brainwash children. John Dewey helped them establish a school here. They wanted to reach society with their agenda through school and through the media. Since the thirties, there have been those who have wanted to corrupt western culture so much that it would stink.

A main attack was on the fathers as the patriarchs of the home, with the intent to destroy the family, and have the government step in as a nanny state.

The Frankfurt School had the goal to implement a social Marxism to destroy religion, create chaos, and,ultimately, to move from cultural Marxism to traditional Marxism which is socialism.

Antonio Gramsci wanted to take down our Judeo-Christian society. This has been a main leftist goal ever since. He wanted to undermine the morals and the character of this country. He encouraged this through the media, the schools, the poetry, the novels, everything of value to our culture. The goal was to change the thinking of the rising generations. He wanted to take away the churches’ abilities to pass on culture and have government set the framework for everything.

Saul Alinski was a mentor of Barack Obama. He wanted the “haves” and “have nots” fighting with each other. His purpose was to produce agitators.

The tactics used in our country by the leftists to pit poor against wealthy, black against white, and the young against the old, are the same tactics that Hitler used in Germany. Most people do not want chaos so they will give over to authoritarianism. 

In Alisnki’s book—the dedication.

He has had an incredible amount of influence on President Obama and on American society.

The Cloward Piven Strategy—overload the system to destroy capitalism. Get everyone on welfare.

Overload system. Increase burden on middle class. Take society into socialism.

The Communist Party U.S.A.

William Z. Foster. He wanted to bring about a U.S.S.A.

Betty Friedan—the science of victimology. The Feminine Mystique. She was not just a suppressed housewife. 

She was a radical supporter of the communist party and a strong supporter of Stalin.

She was just doing her part to dismantle our families.

The Homosexual Movement.       

(Pictured: Dr. Noebel)

“The war is still against the family.”

Healthy and strong nuclear families are the greatest threat to the left carrying out their agenda. 

Antonio Gramsci realized that you couldn’t persuade a Judeo-Christian society to become socialists. The way to take society down was to change the institutions that would be persuasive to take the United States down from within.

Much of their agenda was to try to make us an immoral people. Then it would be easier to lead society where they wanted it to go. “Our enemies could see our morality was our greatest strength.”

A booming economy won’t take care of all problems we face. There are so many current social ills. 

Father of communism. Tries to dethrone God by deifying man, but devaluing certain human beings. He thought man existed for the state.

As families fall apart and the church loses influence, capitalism is destroyed. Society starts to crumble, and government expands to pick up the pieces.

To believe in freedom, you have to believe that every person is special. The founding fathers got their ideas of what is important from the Bible.

They have taken the religion that is part of our culture out of the schools, because Judeo-Christianity threatens their agenda. It is a rebellion against God and God’s laws.

“No example in history of big government that didn’t abuse its power over the people.”

The leftists are at war with God.

Tools to Make America

Media goes beyond biases. They decide what they think should be reported as news. Journalists have been trained to interpret the news, not to report the facts. This is advocacy journalism. This is carried over not just in news media, but in Hollywood, etc. Stalin said, “If I could control Hollywood, I could rule the world.”

Founder of the Soviet Union.

John Dewey believed that education should socialize the child to make him a willing tool of the state. He wanted to dumb-down the children so that he could have the children. Teachers were trained into this, unions, etc. We are losing most of our children to the leftists because of their teaching agenda of anit-America, anti-family, anti-God.

Government schools are not teaching logic or data of history or reasoning skills. If your education is limited, then you believe that government can be the solution to your problems. The children are being trained with a collective mindset and a dependent mindset.

The schools are controlled by the teachers’ unions. The push the feminist agenda, including abortion on demand; the gay rights agenda; whole globalism agenda; and they are extremely anti-parent. (I’ve personally witnessed that many times.) Their efforts are to get them to abandon the values of the parents.

“There is a battle going on in this country for the hearts and minds of our children.”

Social Justice that is taught in our schools is Socialism.

We need to get back to teaching our children that America, despite its faults, is the greatest country on earth. Until we do, we’ll continue on this downward spiral.

The socialists want nothing to do with the Pledge of Allegiance, because it is nationalistic. They’d rather have this recited: 

Gramsci wanted to have citizens that needed the government to take care of them.


Al Gore’s Global Martial Plan could only be implemented through socialism. The green movement’s goal is to destroy capitalism. Environmentalism, or everythingism, is used to promote socialism.

Obama has been mentored by Frank Marshall Davis. Obama is using all the tools that Gramsci wanted to use for social change and is the epitome of the movement.

Obama has been involved with all the wrong people, and they were part of his campaigning. The radical left have effectively put one of their own in the White House. 

The Left are using American tax dollars against us.

If it hadn’t been for Jesus Christ, there would have been no United States of America.
We have no time left to be casual about taking back the United States. This may be our last chance to push back.

The most profound thing that we can do to change America for the better is praying.
Be familiar with how are values are being attacked. Recognize social agendas.
Be familiar with the constitution and values of freedom. Stand up for those values. Speak up and make your views known.

Expand within your family and your church and with those with whom you have contact. Bring them up to speed and a knowledge of what is going on. We can make a difference.
“The organized minority will beat the unorganized majority every time.” (Lenin)
Use Youtube and Facebook and blogging. You can drive a message through society. Graciously and consistently make contact.

Teach our children and grandchildren the difference between truth and error. Teach them about Jesus Christ. Parents take responsibility for children’s education. Home school your children. They out test everybody. “Our minds should be the sharpest minds in the world.” Sacrifice whatever it takes to turn our country back to Him.”

We need to pay the price. “We will pay a price for what is right.” An American value. “Never ever lose sight of the power of one individual American.” (Richardson)

“Hope is not found in rhetoric; hope is found in God…. Our founders were in covenant with that God.”
We need to clean the inner vessel so that we can face all the problems within and without America.

If America goes down, the free world goes down. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

America Should Be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

When I was in 9th grade, our Geography class had a unit on totalitarianism. We had to live by the rules of the class in order to get our grade. These rules extended beyond the classroom to anywhere we might see fellow classmates. This was not a fun game. It became real and it became dangerous. Friends were turning each other in for small infractions. I saw fellow classmates deny their belief in God, in front of the entire class, to their party leaders out of fear. Maybe it's because my parents came from WWII Europe; maybe it's because I've always been too unbending on some things which I consider non-negotiable; anyhow, I asked the #1 person if I could talk to #2, which was the teacher. Mr. Sweet talked to me in the hallway, and I was released from the assignment to do an alternative assignment. I can tell you that from that day on I have valued the freedoms that the America I grew up in had to offer.

I do not want those freedoms traded for any other form of government. This country has become increasingly socialist during my lifetime. I don't like the scared feeling that produces; it's too similar to the feeling I had in 9th grade. I want the America for which our fore-fathers fought  and for which my parents became citizens.

I get increasingly tired of those in government positions and those who are their devoted cronies thinking that people like me are paranoid or out of touch. It is not wrong to question. In fact, it is healthy. It is not wrong to know where your leaders come from and how they arrived at where they are. If we, the people, are going to vote someone into office, it should only happen because we know that they have a shared history and that their track record is good. I, for one, do not want a no where man.

Also, I am tired of those with values, those with talents, and those who have worked hard being trashed. When did it become so undesirable to be good or to do good? Get a grip. It is annoying to me how many people have slighted me and others because we've questioned President Obama's origins and his intentions. He told the American people that he'd be president to all of us. But he didn't keep that promise either. If he had, he would have put our concerns to rest a long time ago. In fact, we would have known his history, because he wouldn't have made himself a closed book, and then it wouldn't have been an issue. But his continued secrecy, and his continued ill-concern, show that it is indeed something we should all be concerned about, and something that we have a right to know about.

As a president and commander-in-chief of this country, President Obama has not shown due benevolence for those who are fighting for our freedoms. The tragedy of Benghazi is heart-wrenching. The lies and cover-ups have been inexcusable. Using a videotape from a solitary deranged person as fuel to infuriate a growing mob in a country that already hates us is purely evil. Minimizing the importance of those who have and are giving their lives for our protection shows lack of leadership, lack of love for this country and its people, and lack of humanity. I don't want to hear that it was only four lives. I want to know that our servicemen and women are valued and that they are not stationed in places without proper reinforcements as a sacrificial token to angry American haters. We do not need to offer penance for being Americans.

In four days from now, we will know who our president will be for the next four years. I believe that Mitt Romney is a man of character, a man of talent, a man of leadership, and he is an American. He loves this land and he loves this people, and he cares about the preservation of the American values that have been entrusted to our former presidents. I also believe that no matter who President Obama is and no matter where he came from, he has no ability whatsoever to preserve the hope of Americans or the American Dream. I do not believe that he has a vision for this country that aligns itself with true Americans. In Mitt Romney, I see a man of vision. I see a man that can help the citizens regain hope, dignity, and pride in America and in beings Americans. I see a man who will work hard and tirelessly to get our nation back on track and to help the people's faith be restored in a system that is going to work. There is no freedom without the citizens of the country being able to work, wanting to work, and being rewarded for work. With the old American work ethic restored, hope will be restored, the recession will be reversed, and we will be able to progress both financially and morally.

May God bless people like Mitt Romney who are willing to serve in such hateful and dangerous times. May Mitt Romney be allowed to lead this country, and may we all work to restore the hope of America to and for ourselves, our children, and the world. God bless America. God help us to be brave.

November, a Time of Thanksgiving

I am thankful to live in a country where we hold the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving. May it ever continue to be so!


Being thankful and, more importantly, expressing gratitude on a consistent basis makes one a gracious person. The Lord said that nothing offends Him more than people who aren't thankful. If we start to express thanks on a consistent basis, we become more aware of all the things there are to be thankful for. This heightens our sensitivities to the beauties around us; it makes us better at seeing other people's points of view; it gives us the ability to focus on those who have been so good to us; it gives us an ability to be thankful for our opportunities to serve and give, whether or not thanks is expressed to us. Being thankful draws us nearer to God and helps us to remember that all of our blessings ultimately come from Him. (HSS) 


I wrote the above comment to a post by Nicole Rees; then, I also used it as my status:

"Can you tell me why it is important to you to give thanks and to have a thankful heart?"

“Wonderful words! Thank you so much for sharing Heidi!”

Thanks the wonderful prompt and giving me the opportunity, Nicole. In the midst of my daily concerns, it was good to be drawn back into what is important and what I should be doing. 

When Elder Hales was a brand-new apostle, he said something like: Gratitude means being thankful for what you have now and where you are now, regardless of what you've had in the past or what you expect in the future. That had a profound effect on me, so I kept the gist of it in my memory.

I wrote this as a comment to my status:

Whenever I think about this subject, my memories return to when Bob Stevenson was in dental school and we became friends with Bretta Weatherholtz and Marvin Weatherholtz. They were great examples of thankful people to both of us. They were constantly saying a heart-felt "thank you" every time a service was rendered to them. That isn't my main point here though. They would always say "thank you" when they were the ones who had given the service. That taught us so much.

“Wow, Heidi, thank you. There have been many times when people have asked why I said thank you when I was giving the service. I thought about that a lot and I think it is because most of the time the service was to watch their children. What an honor to be able to be counted as someone worthy to be left in charge of your children. I know the influence those around my children had on them. I was grateful to have the opportunity to do the same for someone else. Molding children has always been a blessing in my life. I love them so very much. Whether they were mine or not.”

Thanks Bretta. I really loved Heather and Willie like my own, too. That was a special time in my life. It was great for Cathy and John to have instant "cousins" when we lived away from family.

So ends day 1, and begins day 2.


I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation as taught in the scriptures and in the temple. Most importantly and central to that, I am thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus Christ that I can be forgiven of my sins, progress, and live a happy life. It is also because of Him that I will be resurrected after I die and have the privilege of being with those I love again in my Father’s presence.

I am also thankful to have a voice and to have a choice. My Heavenly Father gave us all agency. So I can choose to do what I think is right and correct, or I can even rebel and choose what I know is wrong. It’s up to me. Sometimes, the way others use their agency makes me angry, but I have to remember, agency is a gift from God. With all good gifts, comes responsibility. So while we can make our own decisions, we cannot pick the consequences. I am sure that I was not a quiet participant in the Counsel in Heaven. I am fairly opinionated after all. By I am thankful that God allowed me a voice and a choice, and that He will forgive me when I’m wrong, if I just admit it and return to Him and seek His favor.

Life is so great!

Also, I attended the temple today. The sky above the temple was a deep blue. The rest of the sky, in all directions, was still gray, leftover from this morning's fog. I am thankful for the clear vision we can receive through temple worship.

(If you would like to see more of my photos from Redlands Temple, 11-2-12, please look at my November Remember Album on Facebook, or ask for a link.)


I am thankful for digital cameras. I have a simple point-and-shoot, but it has brought me a lot of pleasure. I am also thankful to my brother-in-law, Matt Lockhart, who issued the challenge to post a photo a day. This challenge has made me more aware of all the beauties around me. I’ve taken my camera on walks, to Primary, and almost everywhere I go. True, most of my photographs are amateurish, but that’s all right with me. I have so many memories captured and recorded, and some of my pictures are brilliant. I probably ought to send Matt that $50 after all. No, that’s not going to happen.

I’m also thankful that my daughter Christine schools at home. She is involved in an on-line charter school. But I have taken it upon me to write essays to some of her prompts, and I have written some essays, blogs, and comments to other things that have interested me. The past couple of months have been once of growth for me, because I am writing again. So I guess I am thankful for talents and interests, and for time to develop them. 


I am thankful for Sunday and for the renewal of my spirit. I am privileged to take the Sacrament and remember my Savior. I am grateful for the friends I see and the testimonies and values we share. I am glad to reaffirm my convictions and rededicate myself to following the Lord’s plan for me.

I am thankful for the Spirit of Giving that begins once Halloween is over and we head into November. (Added 11-6-13: I am thankful for the Spirit of Giving that begins with the giving of candy at Halloween and continues as we head into November and towards Thanksgiving Day, and as I hearts turn to the Savior and His holy birth which is celebrated in December. We contemplate the  gift of grace that our Father has given us, His Son, and everlasting life through Him. This Spirit of Giving helps to cleanse us and prepare us to resolve to be a little better and do a little better in the New Year.)

I am thankful to enjoy baking and being able to share goodies with others. I am thankful to have the opportunity to have a good family meal following a nice afternoon nap. I am thankful for visits in person and visits by phone with many friends and family members.

I am glad to feel strengthened to face this new week. 


I am thankful for freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. I am especially thankful that I can personally use all three of these as means of expression.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (Joseph Smith: Article of Faith 1:11)

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (Joseph Smith: Article of Faith 1:12)

I am thankful that we can vote tomorrow, and I feel that it is of utmost importance for me to vote for the candidates whom I feel will protect my freedoms. (I personally voted three weeks ago.)


Today I am thankful for prayer. I am thankful for the comfort and warmth of the Spirit. I am thankful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I am thankful to be able to stand in holy places and remember. I am thankful for so many wonderful people in this country and in this world who believe in moral integrity and living principles of righteousness. May God bless our leaders to be righteous, and may He bless us all to be honest, hard-working, covenant keeping people.

I attended two temple sessions today. Because I voted three weeks ago, I thought that the best thing that I could do today was to go to the temple and petition the Lord with my desires and with what I feel is best for our country. I was only planning on going to one session. But it was important for me to be there for a second. It was a morning well spent.

While in the celestial room, I read Psalms 40 through 50. Here are a few verses that stood out:
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Psalms 50: 14, 15, 23

This month is one of Thanksgiving, but it is also one of petition. Please be thankful and prayerful.

Jesus Christ is our only hope

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; they will I hear from heave, and will forgivbe their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

A symbol of my faith and commitment to God, family, my fellow men, and truth. 


A Symbol of my faith and commitment to God, family, my fellow men, and truth. 11-6-12


I am thankful that I got a few hours of sleep last night. I am thankful that I could go on a lovely morning walk. Today's walk was not as serene as usual, but the great outdoors always help to put things in perspective. I'm thankful for friends and family who share my beliefs, who are also mourning over our Country's choices and the loss of the candidate whom we felt would lead our country aright. And I am thankful that we are all choosing to put our best foot forward and move as optimistically as possible into the future. We do not have a president who leads from the front, so we must all lead shoulder-to-shoulder. That's as it should be and must be. After all, this Country was built upon moral principles by "We, the People." Let's have faith in the Lord and in one another to help build her up again.

I am thankful for my third grade teacher, Miss Nakahara, who taught us all our country's national anthems.
It is clear that some people prize freedom more than others.

I didn't take any pictures yesterday, because I was in mourning. So this is the picture of the day that I chose for 11-7-12



I am thankful for music. I am especially thankful for Christmas songs. I am thankful for the sweetness of the Spirit of the Lord and for all of His tender mercies. His is the way, the truth, and the light. "Surely He hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows." (Isaiah 53:4)

Read all of Isaiah 53


I am thankful for date night. My good husband takes me out to dinner almost every Friday night. we have precious little time together, but I always enjoy our time. Tonight we ate at Souplantation and then walked through Costco looking for Christmas ideas. I really am blessed to have a husband that loves me most and puts me first.


I am thankful for food. I love to eat. I am thankful for the rain we are getting. And I am thankful that the heater is turned on. Life is comfortable. I am most especially thankful for my family. I have a wonderful husband and the best children (grownups) ever.


I am thankful for my husband and my children. I am thankful for my children's spouses. They are wonderful people. I am thankful for my grandson Jacob and for little Amanda that will join us soon. I love my family.

I am thankful for Primary: for my counselors, for the teachers, for the Bishopric; but, most importantly, for the children. The children of our Ward are all beautiful and wonderful people.

I am thankful for the service of our military. They are the givers and the servers. We are always in debt to them for the great blessings of freedom that we enjoy. God bless them, and Happy Veteran's Day.


I am thankful for being blessed with a heart, with a testimony of the Savior through the power of the Holy Ghost, and with an conscience that prompts me to do what I most assuredly believe is right.


I’m thankful to be a part of the Relief Society. I'm glad that I went to the Relief Society meeting tonight. It's easy to say "blah," and not go, but then you miss out on so much. (But I did plan to go to this one.)


I am thankful for telephones. I can talk to my sisters and my children and friends that are so far away. This is a huge blessing.


I am thankful for the Internet. It seems to be the best way to shuffle through all the stuff and to find some real news, some viable answers, and some like-minded people; plus, a multitude of various people and ideas. With all the outside voices in today's world though, I am thankful to be able to look both inward and upward and still hear and feel an inner voice. I am thankful for living prophets, too!


I am thankful for my daughter Christine M. Stevenson, who is stuck with me most every day. She is a good sport about it. I will really miss her when she moves away.

I am also for good food, good company, and good ice cream. I love spending Friday evenings out with my Bobby.


I am thankful for my ward family. We had our Thanksgiving dinner tonight. It was delicious and I enjoyed visiting with those people who sat at the same table as me. You are all wonderful.


I am thankful for bed, and for the sweet escape sleep can be.

I am thankful for the children of our ward. They are the best. I love them so much. I am glad to hand the baton to Georgia Brown Chamberlain. I know she loves the children as least as much as I do. I'd like to thank my counselors and secretary, Cami Seeger Poulsen, Becky Casdin, Jenae Terrill, and Sherry Mendoza. I love all of you truly. Thanks for your support and hard work. Thanks to all of the teachers and parents as well. These children are our future.


I am thankful to be a stay-at-home mom. Bob has always worked hard to provide for us, and I appreciate that I was able to witness all of my children’s firsts. This was a huge blessing to me. No matter what satisfaction I could have found in the workplace, I would never trade it for the time that I have been able to spend with all of my children.

At different times, when our money situation was extremely tight, I’d ask Bob if he wanted me to get a job. His reply was always the same, “You already have one.” That is not to say that he would discourage from having a job or pursuing a career or interest if I desired to do so.

After Tommy was born, Bob was home for a week or two and took care of our four little children quite extensively. On his first day back to work, I asked him if he had a hard day that evening. He said, “That was the easiest day I’ve had in a long time.” I’m glad that he has always valued and appreciated what I do. I love you, Bob.


I am thankful for Thanksgiving. I hope that no president now or future will take away this great holiday. Thank you, Honest Abe.

I am thankful that Bob Stevenson is stopping at Winco for me to get the groceries we need for Thanksgiving. He is so helpful and has always been willing to do the shopping. Also, he is bringing me home dinner. Yes, I am rather spoiled. It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

I love being able to read aloud with my children. Christine and I have been enjoying Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain is not only a fantastic writer; he is a brilliant story-teller. I am thankful for the talents of others, and for the talents I have myself.


I am thankful for family. We have always felt great support from Bob's parents and from my parents. Today we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at Bob's sister Vicki's home. Thank you Kris and Vicki and everyone who shared your food, your conversation, and your love. I'm looking forward to spending New Year's with my family of origin. 


I am thankful for springtime in autumn. That's Southern California. The way to tell the difference is by the color of the leaves; otherwise, there is little difference. I am so thankful to see the leaves change color. Even if it doesn't happen in September here, it still happens.

I am thankful that my husband can take me to the temple. I'm glad that we got to go there for a Friday evening date. The session was small, but I am glad that Bob wanted a "White Friday."

Afterwords, we had a good burger at Five Guys.


I am thankful that my parents' generation was not afraid of work, and I am thankful that they taught us the value of work. I am thankful for the righteous example of many people who have not worried about repayment, but have served others so unselfishly. I believe in work and service as a road to happiness, peace, and freedom.


I am thankful that my parents' generation was not afraid of work, and I am thankful that they taught us the value of work. I am thankful for the righteous example of many people who have not worried about repayment, but have served others so unselfishly. I believe in work and service as a road to happiness, peace, and freedom.


Happy anniversary to my son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Whitney Stevenson. You two make a wonderful couple. I'm so looking forward to seeing you and Jacob and Amanda. I love all of my children, their spouse, and my grandchildren. I am thankful for them.

I'm thankful for life. It's always good to wake up and realize I still get another go at it.


I am thankful for sappy Christmas movies. I love them. It's even better when it's the Christmas season so I have the excuse to watch them.

Today was my Nana's 101st birthday. I miss you, Nana. Happy Birthday.
I am thankful for my grandparents. I look forward to seeing my grandmothers again and to meeting my grandfathers.


I am thankful for hot tubbies and a hot hubby.


Hurray, I am a grandmother again. Welcome to the world little Amanda. We love you! Good job, Whitney Idalia Stevenson. Congratulations to you and Thomas William Stevenson.

I am thankful for Baby Amanda Lorraine who was born today. She weighs 7 lbs. 8 oz. and is 19.5 inches long. I am thankful for my daughter-in-law Whitney Idalia Stevenson who has given birth to our two grandchildren, Jacob and Amanda, and to Thomas William Stevenson who is a wonderful husband and father.

Look at all that hair. Isn't she so adorable?


November is definitely a time to remember. We should count our blessings, and we should show gratitude to the many people who have made our lives so wonderful. I am thankful to those who started writing down their thankful posts for the month. It made me want to do the same. I hope that in the days ahead we can all influence each other for good and make this world a better, happier, more peaceful place.

I am thankful for my Savior whose birth I am preparing to celebrate once again. I am thankful for my growing family, and I am thankful that we can all belong together forever because of the grace and love and atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father who gave His Son as a gift to the world.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah and happy Holy Days. And “May God bless us every one.”

I am also thankful that I will get to see my son John in a few minutes and for a few minutes today and tomorrow.