Sunday, February 28, 2010

At a More Accelerated Pace

A few years ago, when I was doing home school with Zac, we made two timelines of the history of the world. One covers 100 years per page, and goes from 6000 BC to 2100 AD (You can see that one in a pile in the photo.) I'll call that one the Longterm History Timeline.

We tried to write every historical milestone we could find on our Longterm History Timeline. (Wars, inventions, migrations, etc.) There have also been many many horrific disasters and calamities throughout history, which you could see if you flipped through those papers. I have read many books about disasters and catastrophes, and have been careful to include them in the list. I think my list is pretty complete, as far as historians know these things (I admit there are many events lost to history, but I did the best I could).

The other one covers 10 years per page, and goes from 1770 AD to 2020 AD (thats the one you can see spread out.) I'll call that one the Modern History Timeline. I made that one so I could see how the world changed after the gospel was restored upon the earth. I especially wanted to see the discoveries, inventions, governments, transportation and communications, wars and calamities that were happening leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

I got interested in keeping track of the disasters after I read a statement by Joseph Fielding. Smith, who had been keeping a list of the disasters and wars that happened during his lifetime, and found that they were increasing at an amazing rate.

Yesterday I wrote down yet another disaster, the 8.8 Earthquake in Chile on Feb. 27, 2010. The listing just before that one was the 7.0 Earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, which killed about 300,000. (Numbers seem big sometimes and smaller at other times: I remember thinking the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami killing 250,000 was huge. Now the Haiti earthquake has killed 300,000.)

My Modern History Timeline is amazing, the deaths it lists pretty much equal all the ones from the many severe calamities and wars that are contained in my entire Longterm History Timeline up until 1770. And the Modern one only covers 240 years.

It strengthens my testimony of the truth of what Elder M. Russel Ballard said at BYU-Idaho on Jan. 30, 2010, as told in the Church News.

Excerpting entire passages of scripture from Matthew 24, 2 Nephi 28 and Mormon 8, Elder Ballard firmly established that ancient prophecies regarding the last days preceding the Savior's second coming aren't just being fulfilled but are coming to pass at an accelerated rate.

"I'm telling you what the Savior said would be the signs of the acceleration towards that day when He shall come," he said. "We could stay here for a couple of hours talking about all of the prophecies of what will occur in the last days. We're in the last days---you can quote me on that. And it is moving more rapidly."

Conditions that Elder Ballard specifically cited as fulfillment of prophecy and signs of the times include "pornography and how real affection and how true and real love are being disturbed by Satan and his minions." (see Matthew 24:12); "an acceleration of the gospel going to all nations" (see Matthew 24:14); and how "Mother Nature is letting its power be seen throughout the world at a more accelerated pace" (see Mormon 8:30-31).

(as quoted in the Church News, Week Ending Feb. 13, 2010, p. 3)

Be righteous and be prepared. Enough said.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Independent of Any Other Person

Two of my favorite quotes by apostles, concerning the reality of the living Christ, and their personal knowledge of Him:

And now, pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person.

I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Ensign May 1985

The following was given as an LDSSA fireside address in the University of Utah Special Events Center on Sunday, Dec. 9, 1979.

...I say to you, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest historical event in the world to date.

In this dispensation, commencing with the Prophet Joseph Smith, the witnesses are legion.

As one of those called as special witnesses, I add my testimony to those of fellow Apostles: He lives! He lives with resurrected body. There is no truth or fact of which I am more assured, or know better by personal experience, than the truth of the literal resurrection of our Lord.

From talk "Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ"
by President Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve
The New Era, Dec. 1980, p. 48

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Cows Led Them Home

My grandmother Norma Shupe Clarkson tells this story of a miracle that happened when my mother was young. This story happened between 1937-1939:

"In the early spring of 1937 we moved back to Taos Junction, New Mexico...Our new home was a 4-room house surrounded with pinon and cedar trees and also plenty of sagebrush in our frontier country. Our house was about a half-mile from the little town of Taos Junction, which had two small stores, a post office, the railroad station, and a Conoco service station.

Each school day our four children, June, Christine, Dale and Dean walked one-fourth of a mile to the highway and rode the school bus 12 miles each way to school at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico.... (there were also two younger children at home).

We had two milk cows and each had a bell around her neck. We also had 37 head of range cows and calves that pastured around anywhere they could find something to eat, but never went away too far.

The four children got off the school bus at the Post Office. Two of them would go for the cows, and two came home, taking turns. It had been snowing all day and the snow was about two feet deep. (Their dad) had been working in Phoenix all winter.

I had worried all day about my children and this cold evening it was Christine and Dale's turn to bring in the cows. June and Dean were to get in wood, feed the chickens and do other chores.

I waited anxiously for the jingle of the cowbells until the sun was going down, and I was worried and could stay home no longer. The snow in the pinon and cedar trees was above the kids' knees and out in the timber everything looked alike, so I was afraid they were lost. I bundled up and started out but could hear or see nothing but snow and trees. I walked into town very concerned.

It was getting quite dark as I hurried up the path to the house with a prayer in my heart that Christine and Dale would be there, but if they weren't, what would I do? Entering the door I could see only June and the three little ones so I couldn't hold the tears back any longer. It took only one sob until my two "lost babes in the woods" came out of hiding from behind the couch where they had hid just for fun, not realizing how anxious and worried I was.

Tears turned to laughter, as I took them in my arms. They were very cold and the cowbells were filled with ice and made not a sound. I had prayed for the safety of Christine and Dale and they had prayed to find the cows and to get home safely. Their prayers were heard by Heavenly Father and they were guided to find the cows and the cows knew the way home or they could have been lost and would have frozen that night."

My mother Christine wrote this about her painting:
"You can count all the cows walking in the snow to the barn. Dale and I followed them as it was getting dark and we were in the forest unable to tell directions. The cows get the credit for saving our lives that very cold night. Heavenly Father answered Mother's prayers and ours, to help us find the cows and help us to return home safely. Do you see Dale and my footprints in the snow by the porch? The icicles are hanging off the roof, but June had a nice warm fire built and she lit the kerosene lamp so we could see the light in the windows."

"America the Beautiful: Joy in the Journey with Mother and Me", written by Christine Clarkson Kelly, p. 66.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Civics Lesson

I heard on the radio that the Wake County Republican Party was holding its precincts "neighborhood" conventions on Monday night, so I found out where to go and I went. It was my very first time to attend a political meeting.

I arrived at the elementary school at 6:30 pm, and signed in. I had to look at my voter registration card to find out my District # and my Precinct #. I believe the meeting was of all the precincts in my district.

Then I looked for the table with a sign for that precinct number, and sat with the other 6-7 people there. Some said they had been active in county politics in other states and were just starting here. Some said they were new, like me. One was a candidate for our district in the state house, so he has been involved in politics awhile.

The meeting started with a cub scout bringing in the flag, then we did the Pledge of Allegiance, and someone said a prayer. (Starting with "Dear God" and ending with "Amen", no mention of Jesus so I hope no one was offended.)

Then the District chairman led the meeting. We saw a power point presentation about Wake County, talking about where our strong precincts were and where our weak ones were. Where we needed stronger leadership. Where they would be doing more door-to-door contacting.

Then we saw a video of the Wake County Republican Chairman, congratulating the various Republicans in our county who won elections last November, and talking about the upcoming fall 2010 elections.

After that, the district chairman drew our attention to all the stacks of papers at each table. "Now you are to caucus in your precinct, and decide who will be the precinct chairman, vice chairman, etc."

We all looked at each other, and I pretty much said I was brand new so I wasn't interested in being the chairman. I took the paper and signed up to be a poll observer during the Primary and the fall elections. Someone else finally signed up to be the chairman.

Next we took the papers that were applications to go to the Wake County Republican Convention. The district chairman told us that for each 100 registered voters in a precinct, one person could go as a delegate to the Wake County Convention. So our precinct could have 10 delegates, and since there were only 6-7 of us in attendance, we all got to sign up. It cost $15 to go.

At the end of the meeting, the three candidates in attendance got to give short presentations on why we should support them. There were two men running for our District NC House seat. One man had been in the Morrisville town council for two terms, and his opponent has been in the NC House before. It is interesting to try to make up my mind, who would be better? Do I agree with one's views more than the other? How much do I want to rely on experience? Then a third man stood up, he is running for US Congress. His presentation was good, as well. Then, the meeting was over. I think they only have one of those meetings per year.

It was a very interesting experience. And now I am an official delegate to go to the Wake County Republican Convention in March, and I'm pretty excited about it. I have always wondered how elections work, and how candidates get themselves known, and how people sign up to work on campaigns, and how the grassroots influences the elections. I am certainly learning it first hand.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thirty Years Ago- Cancelling my mission

About 30 years ago, I was falling in love with Wayne, but I was waiting for my mission call. I got more and more worried about it, so on Feb. 24, 1980 I went in to see the stake president in my BYU stake. I said I didn't know what to do, because maybe I should get married instead of going on a mission.

The stake president opened his desk drawer, and Surprise! He had forgotten to mail in my papers.

He said, "This can be our little secret. You just keep acting like you are waiting for your call, and after a few weeks you can come back and tell me to mail them if you want me to."

So I went home, and that evening Wayne said, "The way I see it, we have 3 choices. Either we can keep dating until you leave, and then I won't wait for you. Or we can quit dating right now. Or you can cancel your mission and we can get married."

I surprised him and said, "I just went to see the stake president today, and my mission call is on hold."

He said he about died of shock. See, we had only been really dating for about a month, and I was going out with other guys for the first two weeks of that, and he had no idea if I even felt the same way about him. So it is pretty miraculous, looking back on the timeline.

(The next installment of this story will be on March 1.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Church Building and More

1) Announcement: Our new Morrisville ward building, only 1/2 mile from my house, is finally done!!!!!!!! We will be meeting in it for the first time Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 from 9 am-12 noon.

This has been quite an ordeal for our ward. The ground breaking was October 2007, and we thought the building was going to be done in the spring of 2008. Our ward was split in October 2009, and since all the buildings were full we have had to meet at the stake center from 4:15-7:15 every Sunday for the last 5 months. I am SO GLAD that meeting schedule is over.

I have been told we will start holding seminary in the new building on March 8.

2) I just signed up to be on the FlyLady email list again, after being off for about 8 years. Her emails really help me to get motivated to clean my house and keep the clutter away. I am about to start painting my master bathroom, and then we are going to get tile installed in all the bathrooms. So things will be a bit crazy around here.

3) Tara's play was over on Saturday, and now she is starting another play, called "Pippin". She said it is about the son of Charlemagne, so I assume they will be wearing medieval costumes.

4) Wayne has decided to host one of the Family Home Evening groups for the Young Adult ward at our house on Saturday evenings. They are going to learn to cook together and then eat what they make. I think it will be a popular FHE group.

5) Less than 4 weeks until our cruise! Still trying to find a better formal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Making Cheese

I read "Totally Ready" on Feb. 18, and her post was all about making cheese. It had the recipe and the instructions for making a cheese press. I was fascinated with the idea, although it seems really time consuming.

Click on her blog on Feb. 18 "Say Cheese...Yummy" and scroll down and look at the cheese press, it would be pretty easy to make. But I guess I would have to have access to a cow to get some milk.

I am hoping that someday I have all these useful contraptions: a cheese press, an alfalfa sprouter, a solar oven, a woodburning stove, etc. The economy is scary, the governments of the whole world are scary, and I'm hoping life as we know it will go on for a long time, but I'm not optimistic about it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My First Love, I Guess

This was recorded in my diary, thirty-eight years ago today. I was 13 years old.

Feb. 21, 1972

A. S. + D. O.

I Love Donny Osmond!

(Thats interesting that 8 years later I went to the Osmond Concert on my first date with Wayne.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

One of the Angry Jurors

Tara was in a play Thursday and again tonight at her high school, "Twelve Angry Jurors". She is Juror #2. (The play was originally titled "Twelve Angry Men.")

I had never seen the movie before, and it turned out to be a pretty good play. I enjoyed watching it. It was WAY BETTER than her last play "Jungal Book".

Friday, February 19, 2010

Believe It or Not Artwork

Wayne and I went to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium Museum in Myrtle Beach while we were there. He was amazed I wanted to go, but I did. (He has taken the kids lots of times during all their trips to Gatlinburg, but since I'm never with them I never had a chance to see it.) So that was our little Valentine's Weekend date. It was just as awe-inspiring as I had hoped. Gory stuff, weird stuff, amazing stuff, all combined into a wacky museum.

Here are the two pieces of artwork that we found impressive:

"Biblical Art"
"Believe it or not, this magnificent picture of Christ is composed entirely of the words of the Gospel of St. John. The man who developed such miniscule writing as an art form is Gweng Hyuk Rhee of Korea. He created this and other similar masterpieces especially for Ripley's in the 1950's."

We were amazed to see that the bottom right hand corner ended exactly with the last verse of St. John. How did he figure out how to get all the words in there, and in a perfect square?

"Abraham Lincoln Continuous Line Drawing"
"Based on a famous photo of Abraham Lincoln by Matthew Brady, this picture was drawn with one continuous line, the artist pencil never having been lifted from the paper."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Awesome EFY counselor

Bryce just told us that he has been hired as a counselor for Especially for Youth, in the midwest this summer.

He will be at EFY sessions in Lawrence Kansas, starting June 28.
Then Normal, Illinois
Bloomington, Indiana
Granville, Ohio
_________, Kentucky
and then 2 weeks in Nauvoo, Illinois, finishing Aug. 14.
Then he will drive home and be home for 2 weeks.

We are really proud of him, he will be an awesome EFY counselor!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rock of our Redeemer

(Newsflash! Tara was accepted into BYU. And thats where she wants to go! So we are very excited for her.)

My very favorite scripture mastery scripture this year in seminary is Helaman 5:12. It is all about making Christ the foundation of our lives.

I have been thinking a lot about foundations lately. When I was younger I lived in Oklahoma, and I think there is a construction technique there to strap houses down in some special way. Whether it is a regular house or a mobile home, that technique makes it harder for a tornado to pull the houses off the foundations.

Recently there were mudslides in La Canada Flintridge, California, which filled many homes with mud and demolished a lot of cars. On Feb. 6, at least one house had been shifted off its foundation because of the power and weight of the mud that had slid against it.

I watched the guy on "Mythbusters" make a big vat of cornstarch goo, which has an amazing amount of surface tension if you slap it, but you can also stick your hand right into it. If the guy ran across it, he could stay up, but if he stood on it, he immediately fell in to his shoulders. That wouldn't make a great foundation.

If you've ever seen a picture of the Manhattan skyline, you would notice that all the tall skyscrapers are in one little section of the island. If that land is so expensive, why don't they build skyscrapers all over it? It is because the one section has great bedrock under it, and the rest of the island is made of (glacial deposits?) sand and soil, with no bedrock. No one is crazy enough to build a skyscraper on a soft foundation like that.

I watched a show, a think it was "How the Earth was Made", and the scientist was showing what liquifaction is. He was on the beach, near the water line, standing on the sand. It was plenty hard enough to walk on. He demonstrated that if he slapped the sand in one spot over and over, for several minutes, it began to be softer and softer, until in that location it was just like pudding. He described how the sand had lost its cohesion because of the water that got in between the grains of sand.

I learned about the Niigata, Japan earthquake of 1964. These apartments were built on landfill, and the earthquake shook them until the ground liquified. They started slowly tipping sideways, and they fell so slowly the people all crawled out the windows on the top side.

How strong is my foundation? Is it centered on Christ or can a mudslide, tornado or earthquake knock me off of it? Can repeated pounding soften it? If I am zooming along with everything going right, does my foundation hold me up? What if I get a flat tire or broken leg, or stuck on some major problem, do I sink? Is my foundation solid enough to build a wonderful towering testimony on it? Or will it just hold up a little shack?

There is another part of Helaman 5:12, that talks about where Satan wants us. He does NOT want us on a firm foundation, he wants to drag us down to "the gulf of misery and endless wo". That always makes me picture Gandalf getting knocked off the tiny little path into the deep chasm by the Balrog. I don't want that to happen to me.

So, picture all those things as you read this scripture:

Helaman 5:12

12 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.

That is one of the greatest promises in the Book of Mormon: "if men build upon that sure foundation, they CANNOT FALL." I love that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Myrtle Beach Fiasco

Zac had prepared and trained for the Myrtle Beach BiLo Half Marathon, and he was one of about 6000 people who had each paid between $60 and $100 to enter the Half Marathon and the Marathon.

The weather reports said there would be snow moving through the Myrtle Beach area on Friday evening. We worried and waited and kept wondering whether to drive the 4 hours down. Finally, we went.

We had to drive through some pretty thick blowing snow for more than an hour of the drive. We got to our hotel, with Adam's and Isaac's families, and then the 10:00 news came on and said that both marathons were cancelled. The race organizers wanted to hold it, but the city of Myrtle Beach said no. We were bummed!

Saturday morning Zac slept in (the race was supposed to start at 7 am). The snow had stopped, the roads were clear, and the sun was out. By the time several of us went various places, we saw runners everywhere. Many of those 6000 people were running the marathon anyway.

The website said that everyone that entered could go to a certain location and pick up their medals. So Wayne went and got the medal for Zac. It is a beautiful medal, but pretty meaningless.

I am very angry at the town of Myrtle Beach. They should have postponed the race until 9 am, not cancelled it. The whole thing makes me want to hit somebody.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rude Awakening

When I was a freshman and sophomore at BYU I dated a guy named Kevin H. He and I really thought we were going to get married, but he left on his mission and I married Wayne a year later.

Anyway, Kevin and I gave lots of mushy presents to each other. We were always doing crafts and giving them to each other, he wrote me songs and poems, we did treasure hunts for each other to find the presents, all kinds of BYU stuff like that. I thought that is what you did in a relationship.

Later, when I was dating Wayne, we had only been dating a very short time when Feb. 14 rolled around. I tried to think of what to give him for Valentine's Day. I've never been much for buying storebought greeting cards, so I glued my picture in the middle of a pink construction paper heart, and glued some candy hearts around it with messages on it. I guess I secretly left it in Wayne's room, I don't remember how I gave it to him.

Later, I was in Wayne's room and I saw the card in the trash. I said something about it, and he said, "Oh, I don't save crap like that."


In honor of that memorable day 30 years ago today, I have recreated that same Valentine Card, using the same photo. (I pulled the photo off the card when he threw the card away.) This is about what it looked like.

And I have to say, after I got over the shock that Wayne was not like Kevin, I have really appreciated his down-to-earth style. It has suited me perfectly.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

M & M Names

Patti and I were walking Tuesday morning, as we always do, and we started talking about my upcoming cruise. I said that I had recently watched a show about Rogue Waves, which wasn't a very smart thing to do (kind of like watching a slasher movie just before your family leaves and you have to sleep in your house for a week alone.)

Patti: "Remember 'The Poseiden Adventure'? That movie was about a rogue wave."

Me: "Yeah, that movie was big when we were in middle school/junior high age."

Patti: "I just loved that theme song...(proceeds to sing 'There's Got to Be a Morning After.....')"

Me: "Who sang that? Was it Marilyn Mc...."

Patti: "NO! Not Marilyn McCoo!" (She was the lead singer of the 5th Dimension. and sang Up,Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon, One Less Bell to Answer, Age of Aquarius, Never My Love.)

Me: "Well, I know it started with an M, I think both names start with an M."

After thinking a minute, Me: "Maureen McGraw."

Patti: "No, No, NO! Maureen McCormick!"

Me, laughing: "No, she was Marcia on the Brady Bunch"

Patti: "No, she sang the Poseiden song"

Me: "No she didn't."

Both of us give up and start talking about something else.

About five minutes later, Me: "Maureen McGovern!"

Patti: "What are you talking about?"

Me: "Maureen McGovern! That's the woman that sang the Poseiden song. I knew it would come to me if I kept thinking about M names."

Thats a talent of mine. If I knew something once, I can usually remember it if I think about it long enough. And my brain will remember the letter it starts with, and I keep mulling that letter in my mind, and eventually the right answer will pop out.

If "Jeopardy" gave each contestant a half hour to answer each question, I could probably win a bundle.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Going to Myrtle Beach

(We learned yesterday that our stake conference broadcast, which was supposed to be this Sunday, is postponed until sometime in March. It was going to be a 60-stake broadcast, and they postponed it because most of the 60 stakes are crippled under record-breaking snow. Not us, though. We only had rain during the past two big east-coast blizzards.)

This afternoon we are going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is a four hour drive. No, this isn't some romantic Valentine getaway, we are going because Zac is going to run in the Myrtle Beach half-marathon with his friend Garrett.

We got a 3-bedroom suite in an ocean-front resort hotel (it was cheaper than you might expect because its about 32 degrees outside and most people don't want to be at the beach this week).

So Adam and Tiffany, and Isaac and Rachel and two little kiddles are coming with us.

Oh, I forgot to write that Elizabeth and Thomas were over here on Wednesday. Thomas (20 months old) calls himself "Mommas". I guess they can never start calling him "Tommy" or he might call himself "Mommy".

And he calls Elizabeth "Buzzbuss". I love it.

I have to add one more thing. I sure am glad I am not the mother of little children anymore. It is great to be a grandmother and send them home. Those two children are perfectly normal, and fight over all the toys. It reminds me of a t-shirt I saw on a little toddler once. This is what it said:

Toddler Rules of Property:

If I like it, its mine.
If its in my hand, its mine.
If I had it a little while ago, its mine.
If it looks just like mine, its mine.
If I think its mine, its mine.

A truer thing was never said.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Proving There is no God= Impossible

When I was teaching about Korihor (in the Book of Mormon, Alma 30) I found this great talk by Elder Gerald N. Lund. He explained the impossibility of proving that there is no God:

"When questioned, Korihor categorically denies that he believes there is a God. Alma then asks, "What evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only." (Alma 30:40)

"It is an inspired insight on Alma's part. Korihor is not consistent in his own thinking. If we truly can know only those things for which we have empirical evidence, then we cannot teach there is no God unless we have evidence for that belief. And Korihor has no evidence.

"Korihor will consider only evidence that can be gathered through the senses. In such a system, it is much easier to prove there IS a God than to prove there IS NOT a God. To prove there is a God, all it takes is for one person to see, hear, or otherwise have an experience with God, and thereafter the existence of God cannot be disproved.

"But here is what it would take to prove there is no God. Since God is not confined to this earth, we would have to search throughout the universe for him. We assume God is able to move about, so it would not be enough to start at point A in the universe and search through to point Z. What if after we leave point A, God moves there and stays there for the rest of the search?

"In other words, for Korihor to say that there is no God, based on the very criteria he himself has established, he would have to perceive every cubic meter of the universe simultaneously. This creates a paradox: In order for Korihor to prove there is no God, he would have to be a god himself!

"Therefore, in declaring there is no God, he is acting on 'faith', the very thing for which he so sharply derides the religious leaders!"

(Gerald N. Lund, "Countering Korihor's Philosophy," Ensign, July 1992, p. 21.) Quoted in the Institute Manual for Book of Mormon.

Korihor's logic is seriously messed up.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Korihor's Arguments

I recently taught Alma 30 in seminary. I was impressed with the similarities of Korihor and the agnostics, atheists, and other non-believers today.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

"The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ...The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time."
("The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God", Ensign, Jan. 1988, p. 3)

Here are some of the points Korihor made. Doesn't he sound just like the people in the world today?

"Do what you want to do, it is no crime."

"You can only know truth by what you can learn through your senses." In other words, things you learn spiritually aren't true.

"Commandments inhibit you, and bind you down. Obedience to church teachings causes oppression."

"Religious belief comes from foolish traditions and frenzied minds."

"A man prospers according to his own efforts." In other words, survival of the fittest. Gives no credit to God.

"There is no life after death".

I have to say here, that I believe the opposite of every one of these things that Korihor said.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Favorite Quilters

Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston are my favorite quilters. I already owned their book, "Collaborative Quilts", and I just bought their new book, "Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again".

Most people reading this blog will probably hate these quilts, but I ADORE THEM!!! I just love bright colors, and black and white for accents, and I wish I could sew fast enough to make as many quilts as they have made.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Walnut Picture Frames

Yesterday I showed a picture of the family history "folk art montage" painting that my mother painted. She gave digital copies to all her relatives. The six that she gave her own children were framed in walnut wood, from walnut trees which had been cut around 1964.

Here is her story:

There were many large walnut trees on the 1,500 acre ranch (in Oklahoma, near Caney, Kansas). Before we sold the ranch in 1964 we had several of the trees cut into lumber and I had it stored in Mesa, Arizona. I took 8 semesters of woodworking there and I made a large chopping block, 2 small tables, 2 bookcases, 3 wall units, a front door with a stained glass window, and more.

After painting this 10" x 72" montage, I wanted it framed with this beautiful walnut lumber that has been drying for about 40 years. I have taken 2 semesters of specialized woodworking at a Community College here in Salt Lake City and made 8 walnut picture frames for my children and me.

I am truly thankful for my healthy body at age 75, that I am able to drag the 30 pound pieces of wood around. It must go to many different machines like the planer, jointer, saw, sander, shaper, router and miter to finally end up with a beautiful walnut picture frame.

It took me over 100 hours to complete the picture frames and I am very pleased that my six children and their families will have a visual picture of their wonderful heritage.

"America the Beautiful: Joy in the Journey with Mother and Me" book by Christine Clarkson Kelly, p. 65.

This is a photo of my mother holding baby Cindy about 1955, about 9 years before the walnut trees were cut. But I wanted to include it because it shows the ranch behind her.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chris's Painting in Family History Library

My mother is a good painter, and she painted this family history folk-art montage, portraying every place in church history, American history, and our family history. It was originally 6 feet long.

She had it digitally copied onto canvas, and made copies for all her children, her brothers and sisters, and all her nieces and nephews (about 100 copies). I have one of the 6' copies hanging in my home.

The Church also put a 13 feet long copy in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. (She just had it copied digitally twice its size).

She printed a book to go with it and gave it to each of her relatives, along with the painting. Each page has a small picture at the top, to show which building she is telling about, and then she has written the story of each place. It is extremely touching to read the stories of my ancestors and look at the building where that event occurred.

(The story I posted yesterday was from that book. She included on the painting a picture of her dad pulling a load of coal. You can see him at the right of the painting, above the A-frame house, and below the herd of cows.)

This painting really means a lot to me.

(This photo was taken in early 2007, I think. I am a lot skinnier than that now.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Joe Bringing Home the Coal

My mother's youngest brother, Steven, was born when my mother was 20. Steven, as the youngest, was still living with his parents when they bought a large ranch in Colorado in the 1960's. This is a story that Steven wrote about his dad, my grandad Joe Clarkson.

Dad's Story, by Steven Clarkson

We burned coal for heat in the small frame house we called home on the ranch. The stove was like a fireplace set in the end of the living room, opposite the kitchen. The coal--that black, shiny magical rock that takes flame and burns so warmly--was kept in a little lean-to shed outside near the chimney, waiting to be shoveled into a small metal bucket and brought inside to be fed into the stove as needed.

It was unusually cold and the snow was remarkably deep that winter. Dad announced, "We are running out of coal!", as he kicked the snow from his boots and set the coal shuttle on the hearth. Since the county plowed the road only as far as the cattle guard, Dad had, some weeks earlier, between storms, driven the old, yellow, pop-eyed Dodge pickup and left it at the cattle guard. So the plan was laid. Dad would get up at the crack of dawn, and since it was the only vehicle that could negotiate the snow, crank up the D-4 caterpillar with an old pickup-bed trailer behind, and head for the cattle guard.

He would then hope the Dodge would start, switch the trailer and continue on his way through DeBeque (Colorado) and down the Colorado River to Palisades where there was a small coalmine. (During the summer, we passed the mine each Sunday on our way to church in Grand Junction.) Dad would then purchase as much coal as the old trailer could haul and beat it back up the river, through town, up Roan and Dry Fork Creeks to the cattle guard where he would hitch the coal laden trailer to the crawler and turn the tractor for home. With any luck it was possible, he thought, to be home before dark.

All went pretty much as planned except for the time estimation, Mother (Norma) was a worrier and as the afternoon sun went behind the Horse Mountain west of the house, casting its long shadow across the valley, she began to stew. She would walk to the big picture window and look down the valley toward the cattle guard, then cup her hand to her ear and try to hear the hum of the diesel engine. It always amazed us that the silence of the mountains enabled the sound of an approaching vehicle to be heard long before its dust could be seen. Of course, with this much snow on the ground, there was no sense in looking for any cloud of dust!

Afternoon dimmed to evening and the scene outside the window went from white to gray and then to pitch black. Mother's trips to the window were growing more frequent and tension was building. It was black dark now, not a star in the sky, and still no sign of Dad.

Mom got a lamp from the bedroom and set it on the kitchen table as close to the window as she could place it.

"What's that? Can you hear it? Steve, come see if you can hear something."

Cocking my head just a little I could barely hear the diesel engine off in the blacknesss. It was useless to look out the window because we had already discussed the fact that there were no lights whatsoever on the cat, but look we did---long and hard.

Finally, Mom pulled herself from the window and lit everything that would light on the little propane cook stove in the kitchen. The drone of the motor seemed to go on forever, but the fact that it grew steadily stronger gave us encouragement. Our excitement built as we could finally tell that he had crossed the creek and was climbing the hill, past the corrals and the trout ponds to the house.

He shut down the cat and Mom and I helped him down and into the house. He was so completely cold and stiff he could hardly walk. He grabbed a chair as he went by the table, sat down in front of the kitchen stove and stuck as much of his body as he could into the open oven door. He sat there for the longest time unable to say a word.

At last he spoke. "That light in the window is the only thing that kept me going. I was so cold and sleepy, if I could not have looked up and seen the light, I would have pulled over, gone to sleep, and frozen to death."

Quoted in "America the Beautiful: Joy in the Journey with Mother and Me" by Christine Clarkson Kelly, p. 99.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thirty Years Ago- Dating Wayne (part 2)

Here is more of the story of how I got engaged to Wayne. Remember in my last post about dating Wayne (posted Jan. 26, 2010) , Dave J. and Wayne were both coming over to see me. Here are the diary entries from February 1980.

Feb. 1- Our family home evening group went to Greg's 8-bedroom cabin in the mountains. We snowshoed in. I sat with Dave most of the evening.
Feb. 2- Snowshoed with Wayne. (He thought I was an outdoorswoman. Ha!)
Rode back to Provo with Wayne.

Feb. 3- Date with Dave.
Feb. 4- Wayne came over.
Feb. 6- Date with Charlie.
Feb. 7- Wayne came over.
Feb. 9- Date with Paul.
Feb. 10- Wayne fixed lunch for me at his house. Dave came over in evening.
Feb. 11- Wayne came over.
Feb. 13- Wayne came over.
Feb. 14- Wayne came over.
Feb. 16- Skiing with Paul. To dance with Wayne.
Feb. 17- Wayne came over.
Feb. 18- Skiing and to a movie with Wayne.
Feb. 21- Wayne came over.
Feb. 22- Wayne came over.
Feb. 23- Skiing with Wayne, out with Wayne in evening.

I'll tell more on Feb. 24!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Comfort in Afflictions

President Lorenzo Snow spoke of the blessings that come through tribulation:

I suppose I am talking to some who have had worry and trouble and heart burnings and persecution, and have at times been caused to think that they never expected to endure quite so much. But for everything you have suffered, for everything that has occurred to you which you thought an evil at that time, you will receive fourfold, and that suffering will have had a tendency to make you better and stronger and to feel that you have been blessed.

When you look back over your experiences you will then see that you have advanced far ahead and have gone up several rounds of the ladder toward exaltation and glory...

Take it individually or take it collectively, we have suffered and we shall have to suffer again; and why? Because the Lord requires it at our hands for our sanctification."

(The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 117-118). As quoted in the Institute manual, Book of Mormon Student Manual 121-122, copyright 2009, p. 221

More Bad News for Food

(After writing this post, I found out one more piece of bad news. Because of the poor harvests last year, many garden seeds are hard to get this year. Read about it on yesterday's post on Totally Ready.) "Seed Shortages".

I think I have been out of the loop on this one, I think this could have made the news last year but I just heard about it.

There is a man-made drought in the San Joaquin Valley in California, where the fresh water is being pumped into the ocean instead of into the canals where the farmers have depended on it for their farms. The reason: Congress fears that a tiny minnow that was put on the endangered species list will be caught in the pumps.

That first youtube video shows the high unemployment in that county, and talks about the fact that this was one of the biggest food-producing counties in the U.S. Where are we going to get our fruits and vegetables if they shut down whole food-producing areas like that?

Hannity interviews:

Hannity in California:

Congressional hearings
">"> (this has the congressional vote)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It snowed on Friday night, so we basically did nothing on Saturday, church was cancelled on Sunday, school was cancelled on Monday and Tuesday (so no seminary). It rained all day Tuesday, so the snow was melted off the streets. Then Tuesday night, the school board announced that school would be cancelled again on Wednesday. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Why in the world don't they let the kids go back to school?

They say there is a chance of another snowstorm on Friday again. Wow, that is going to seriously mess up my brain. I am not used to having all this free time.

While we were snowed in, we watched "Battle at the Smithsonian" and "G Force". They were both very enjoyable, well worth renting.

Here are some jokes we heard on Jay Leno or that were sent to us on email:

Did you hear that Tiger Woods is getting a new sponsor?

Lay's Potato Chips.

Because you can't have just one.

Scientists have just discovered the lowest form of life.

John Edwards.

Did you hear that Elizabeth Edwards has separated from John Edwards?

I guess Nancy Pelosi isn't the only one losing a house this year.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaching Quilting Again

I got hired by some moms in my ward to give their 8th grade daughters some sewing lessons. The moms wanted the girls to do this as one of their Personal Progress experiences.

First, I taught them to make these little coin purses.

Then, I taught them to make Crooked Log Cabin quilt blocks.

I rarely teach classes in my home. For years I travelled and taught quilting at quilt guilds. For the past four years my business has fallen off because I've been teaching seminary and not advertising myself. But I have two contracts this year: I will be teaching at 2 quilt guilds in Tennessee in April and at 2 quilt guilds in Texas in July.

I just received notification that two of my quilts, "Five-thirty A.M." and "He Loves Me" were accepted into the American Quilters Society national competition in March. It would be great to win a big award and get my name out there again. I haven't even entered a competition since Feb. 2009, so I'm happy that I entered this one.

With the end of 4 years of teaching seminary in sight, I am feeling a little better about picking up my business again. I think I am getting excited to do it again.

Oh, by the way, on Sunday when everybody was over here for dinner, Elizabeth said, "Let's sew!" and wanted me to go up in my sewing room with her. So we went up there, and we sewed the borders on her little quilt, and then we brought it down stairs and she handsewed the first 3 letters of her name on it: E L I. Then she got tired, so we stopped. But she is so enthusiastic about this project and so determined to do it, I bet it will be done in about 3 more sessions.

Monday, February 1, 2010

That's Just the Way We Roll

School is cancelled because of the snow, and Wayne is working from home.

I wanted to tell what really happened on Tara's birthday, Sat. Jan. 30. She had slept over at Shelby's house Friday night, and she knew she would be snowed in. We told her she wouldn't be able to come home until after the streets were safe to drive on, and she said she was fine with not seeing us on her birthday.

We did our own thing on Saturday, figuring her birthday celebration would happen in a few days, and that we wouldn't see her that day. Then at 3:30 pm, she called and said she wanted to come home. The roads were terrible, and we wouldn't let her drive, so Wayne drove slowly over there to get her, and we left the van there.

She arrived home, and suddenly we were faced with the fact that we needed to celebrate her birthday. Yikes! So Wayne walked to the grocery store (we live very close to a shopping center) and bought 4 single serving Chocolate Lava cakes. (We knew we were having her real birthday cake the next day, and didn't want to bake another cake, since Wayne and I are trying to lose weight.)

Tara said she had already eaten too much junk food that day, and had just eaten a large Hershey bar that she had received from a friend for her birthday, and said she didn't want any Lava Cake. Wayne, Zac, and I wanted ours, though.

We wanted to give her the presents, and didn't feel right to open presents without blowing out candles. So the three of us had our cakes, and since Tara had no cake, she held ONE LIGHTED CANDLE while we sang Happy Birthday to her. I had not wrapped the presents, so I grabbed some blankets and wrapped each present in a blanket, so she could unwrap them.

She said that was the most pitiful birthday she had ever seen. She was laughing so hard she couldn't blow out the candle.

Pitiful, yes. Typical birthday at our house, also yes.