Monday, January 31, 2011

"Honesty" talk

Yesterday I gave a talk on "Honesty" in sacrament meeting.  I told a lot of stories about myself and how I had learned honesty during my life.  At the end, I said I want to go off topic and tell this story from church history, and then I'll get back on topic.
This story from Joseph Millett's journal is one of my very favorite stories.
“One of my children came in, said that Brother Newton Hall’s folks were out of bread. Had none that day. I put … our flour in sack to send up to Brother Hall’s. Just then Brother Hall came in. Says I, ‘Brother Hall, how are you [fixed] for flour.’ ‘Brother Millett, we have none.’ ‘Well, Brother Hall, there is some in that sack. I have divided [it] and was going to send it to you. Your children told mine that you were out.’ Brother Hall began to cry. Said he had tried others. Could not get any. Went to the cedars and prayed to the Lord and the Lord told him to go to Joseph Millett. ‘Well, Brother Hall, you needn’t bring this back if the Lord sent you for it. You don’t owe me for it.’ You can’t tell how good it made me feel to know that the Lord knew that there was such a person as Joseph Millett.” 10  ( Gifts, Thomas S. Monson, APRIL 1993  Gen. Conf.)
Then I told the congregation that I was able to  participate in an answer to prayer a couple of years ago.  I was shopping in Target one day, and looked down and saw a wallet.  As I was turning it in to an employee at the front of the store, I opened it and discovered it belonged to Rachel L., a young mother who was in our  ward at the time.
I called her and left a message.  Later  she called me back.  She said that after they had looked for the wallet and couldn't find it, they had left the store and said a prayer.  Her little boy had prayed that someone honest would find his mommy's wallet.   You don’t know how thankful I was that God allowed me to be the answer to her little boy’s prayer.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tara's Birthday

Happy birthday to our beautiful daughter!

Two stories about Tara:

1)  I didn't send Tara to preschool when she was three, but midway through the school year when she was four, a kid moved away so there was an opening and I enrolled her.

All the other kids had been in Phyllis B.'s preschool for at least 4 months when Tara showed up for her first day of school in January.  Tara immediately started bossing everyone around and showing them where to hang their coat and telling them where to sit on the little carpet squares.

Phyllis said it was hysterical to watch the other children as she mothered them all, they didn't know what to think of this bossy new student.

2)  Tara always loved to take care of babies and toddlers.  When she was still young herself (third or fourth grade) every Sunday after Primary she would go into the nursery and play with the kids.  There was a single mom with four little kids, and every Sunday Tara would help the little kids get their coats on and help their mom get them out to their car.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why Emma Smith stayed behind, according to Bob Smith
Meridian Magazine, Jan. 25, 2011

This is a fascinating letter written by Bob Smith, a direct descendant of Joseph and Emma Smith, and how he joined our church.

"Dear President Albright,
I was the 108th direct descendant of the Prophet Joseph Smith to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons).   I was the 2nd direct descendant of Joseph to be endowed in the new Nauvoo Temple.  I think it is time to share my story with a larger audience.  
I was raised in the Reorganized LDS church, now known as the Community of Christ.  All of my life I had been taught to distrust and fear the Mormon church which is headquartered in Utah. ....." 

One of the biggest gripes the descendants have with the LDS church is that they are offended that Brigham Young left Emma behind to fend for herself.  Bob Smith received a very interesting answer to this.  Read the article!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Starting my new goal of Family History

Wayne and I took the 10 minute tutorial on new Family Search on Wednesday night, and then on Thursday I took the second tutorial, and learned how to combine records.  I discovered my grandma Vinnie Gardner had the wrong parents!

We had an appointment with Andy F. from our ward on Thursday night to come over and help us with new Family Search.  He also couldn't quite figure out how to fix my Grandma's parents.

This is one of my big goals for the year (do Family History and take some names to the temple).  I was the most anxious to do work for my great-great-grandmother Josie Box (who got captured by the Indians) and her family, but when I looked her up, most of her family and her ancestors have already had their temple work done.

So my 2nd goal is to do the work for those Shupes and Shoops that I found on my miraculous Wytheville, VA trip.  That will be the next group of people I look at.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

De-pegging the Currency

Good explanation of the expanding money supply, and what will happen as China de-pegs its currency from the U.S. dollar.

Peter Schiff says:

"China now realizes that inflation is creating... a mood in the country that is not conducive to what they are trying to achieve. They have been afraid of rocking the boat,

And now they realize that the cost of propping up the U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy is greater than the cost of allowing it to collapse, so I think they are going to be moving quicker....

....As the Chinese currency increases in strength, the dollar must decrease, and so Americans experience higher prices, falling purchasing poser, and a lower standard of living, and that is what's coming, unfortunately."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Becoming more like Utah

When we first moved to Cary in Jan. 1988, the closest LDS neighbors were the Cramers (about 2 miles south) and the Cunninghams and Ishiharas (about 2 miles east).  We drove past the Cramers on the way to church, which was 5 1/2 miles away.

Later, the Christensens moved into the other side of Silverton, then the Volpes moved into our side of Silverton, and the Plautz's came.  Later the Ottehennings, Brostroms, Traills, and Souths moved near us.  At least we had some people near enough to carpool to early-morning seminary and to cub scouts and Young Men.

We moved to Morrisville in 2006.  Then we had to drive 9 1/2 miles to the stake center for Sunday church, and I think about 11 miles for weekday activities at the Cary building, for 4 years.

Our Morrisville ward building was completed in February 2010, only 1/2 mile from our house.  Oh Happy Day!  I could walk to church in 12 minutes if I wanted to.  (I haven't yet.)

In the past six months, 2 LDS families have moved in on our street, so close that I can see their houses and know if their cars are in the driveway or not.  This has never been the case since we left Utah.  I feel very blessed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The pure little heart of a child

I babysat Elizabeth (4) and Thomas (2) today.  They were as good as gold because I brought some activities for us to do together.  We painted in some coloring books, and then we stuck stickers all over some posterboards.  Then I fed them string cheese and applesauce for lunch (notice I didn't cook anything.)

Elizabeth was telling me about a trip she had taken to the beach with her mom, and her mom's mom, and her mom's grandmother.  (It is so cute, Elizabeth calls her great-grandmother "Super Granny".  That sounds way cooler than "Great-Grandma".)

After telling me about the trip, Elizabeth looked at me with the hugest smile, and said, "And you REALLY REALLY MISSED ME, didn't you?"

That just melted me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Common sense from a U.S. Representative

Representative Mike Kelly's statement during the Education and Workforce Committee, from June 2011.

I wish I could vote for a guy like this.

5 min.

A Miracle in Sierra Leone through obeying the prophet

A miracle came through obedience

Published: Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011

Here is another article which bolsters my faith in following the prophet of God.  I know that following the prophet will keep me safe.

This article, in the Church News, told about the early days of the church in Sierra Leone in 1988-1990.  In 1990, the members felt a sense of pride that they could meet in rented buildings instead of in homes.

"Five months later, in January 1991, mission president, Miles Cunningham, received a letter from Church President, Ezra Taft Benson, in which he asked the Saints in Bo to abandon their meetinghouses and to gather again in their homes to worship. The young leaders were very discouraged, feeling that the buildings were such an important milestone for the Church in this part of Sierra Leone.

Uniformly, members were disappointed and unhappy about the request. Some members of the infant congregations were offended that the prophet in Utah would give such unwelcome advice. Others were heard to question whether or not the prophet understood their circumstances, and, lacking faith in the Lord's servants, they left the Church. Others felt the stirring of testimony and confirmation of the Spirit, and while they didn't understand why President Benson would ask such a thing, they knew him to be a prophet. They had also come to trust their mission president who they loved. 

President Touray spoke recently of those days with grateful appreciation. He was sad and discouraged, but "recognized that we had been given a formal commandment, and I had to obey. I realized it would be very important for us to obey although I did not know why at the time." The chapel doors were closed.

In March 1991, civil war erupted in Sierra Leone and this little nation became engulfed in a fiery battle that lasted more than a decade. Communities collapsed, infrastructures deteriorated, banks were shuttered, food was in scarce supply and repeated military coups left uncertainty as to who was a friend or foe. Churches were frequently targeted by the rebels with bullets and firebombs, and thousands of people lost their lives while sitting on pews hoping to pray and worship.

But the members of the Lord's Church were safe from this harm for they were home worshiping in obedience to a prophet's counsel.

President Touray spoke of the miracle that had come to the people because of their obedience. "No member of the Church died in Bo during the war — not one. The LDS Church was the only church that continued operating during the war in Bo — the only one. Every other church closed its doors. It was too dangerous for the people to walk to church and too dangerous to sit and worship. None of us (the Latter-day Saints) had any problem during the war. We worshipped through the whole war no matter how grave the situation was. Because we were obedient, our members received this great blessing."
— Peter Evans, former president of the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission, serves as Salt Lake Valley View Stake Young Men President. He directs the communications initiatives of the Church Welfare Services Department.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Its been six days

I gave you a break for 6 days, so I thought it was time to give you some new dire news about the economy:
The American Thinker, Jan. 23, 2011
"The Great Depression II"

You can read the whole article to see why Kirk W. Kelsen thinks we are already in or heading for a second Great Depression.  Here is his final paragraph:

"Perhaps respected investor Harry Shultz's comment in his final newsletter this month states it best: 
"Roughly speaking, the mess we are in is the worst since the 17th century financial collapse.  Comparisons with the 1930's are ludicrous.  We've gone far beyond that."
Far beyond, indeed.  The future does not look bright."

(Five minutes after posting, I added the following)

Sorry to repost this and mess up your Google Readers, but after I posted it I clicked on that link inside that quote (the word "comment") and discovered a whole nother article that was just as dire.  So just for FUN you can read it too!

Jan. 10, 2011, 9:39 a.m. EST

Harry Schultz’s last testament

Commentary: Letter gives final investment allocation recommendation

Here is another link for it:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Warning in advance of 2010 Chilean Earthquake

(Note:  I am having trouble with my blog.  When I try to put paragraphs into a "quote", which makes them into a narrower column, it kills my computer.  So I won't be putting any of these quotations into quotation blocks.  If anyone knows why this is happening, please tell me.  I have a Mac.)

I just read an article from Meridian Magazine, which was published shortly after the Chilean earthquake of January 12, 2010.

The article was written by Sister Lisa Laycock, the wife of the mission president of Chile.

"When we were set apart for this calling, Elder Scott of the Council of the Twelve Apostles taught us many important lessons. He spoke from personal experience when he was a mission president in Argentina. One message that he shared with us is this: "At times, during your mission, you will be awakened in the middle of the night or the early morning hours with thoughts of specific things you should do for certain missionaries. Do not ignore these thoughts. They are promptings from the Holy Ghost who will communicate with you in the stillness of the night or the peace of the early morning hours. He will speak to you then because that is when you are still enough to hear."

She goes on to tell about the warning that she and her husband received:

"Nearly two-and-one-half weeks ago, I was awakened at around 4:00 AM by just such a prompting. I did not hear a voice, but the thought was as clear as if it had been in the form of spoken words: "There is going to be an earthquake. Prepare your missionaries." I sat up in bed and immediately remembered Elder Scott's counsel. That morning I told Larry what had happened. He immediately set to work organizing our missionaries to prepare for an earthquake."

"In talking with our office missionaries to arrange for them to put together a list of everything we would need to both Spanish and English...we discovered that the Lord had also let two of our office missionaries know of the possibility of an earthquake (in the form of dreams) and the need to prepare our mission....."

"We set a goal and arranged our schedule so that we could visit every apartment in the mission to check for safety and to review with our missionaries what to do in case of an earth quake. What a wonderful experience we have had as we have met with them and shared scriptures with them about being spiritually and physically prepared. "...if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (D&C 38:30)."

You can read the rest of the article and see how blessed they all were for preparing.

I loved reading of this experience.  I know that the Lord reveals things to people to prepare them for danger.  I have a testimony of this.  I know that many people are receiving dreams and visions in the Church today, to prepare them for the future.

This is in accordance with Pres. Hinckley's talk "Living in the Fullness of Times", Ensign Nov. 2001, and Henry B. Eyring's talk "Raising Expectations", CES Satellite Training Broadcast, August 4, 2004,  and Richard G. Scott's devotional address at BYU, Aug. 21, 2007, in which all three of them talked about the Lord sending visions and dreams, and at least two of them especially quoted Joel 2:27-32 about "your sons and daughters shall prophesy,  and your old men shall dream dreams."

Pres. Eyring ("Raising Expectations") said about Joel 2:27-32. "This is not poetry, nor is it allegory;  it is a description of reality as it will be.  Some of it will happen so gradually that you may not notice it.  Some has already begun across the church..."

I believe him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Carpenter Farm Supply Co.

Yesterday I was driving home from visiting teaching, and, on a whim, went inside this old country store which is only a mile from my house.  It is an oddity in our area, a leftover building from when this was all tobacco farms.  Now this store is surrounded by medium-to-very-expensive houses.

I have seen this store almost daily for the 4 1/2 years we have lived in our current house, I have to pass it almost every time I go anywhere.  But I had never gone inside until today.

It was old and run down and the merchandise was piled all over the place, just like you would picture in an old west movie.

I spoke to the proprietor, Mr. Carpenter.  He said it has been in the family for four generations.  He said the tall part of the building was built in 1916.  I am assuming the short part was built in 1885, since the sign says "Carpenter Farm Supply Co. Since 1885".

There was a big woodburning stove in the middle of the room, with some farmer-type individuals sitting around it.  Again, just what I pictured would be inside an old general store.

I am interested in getting a woodburning stove, so I asked a few questions about that, but I should have asked the men in overalls a few questions, like "why do you hang out here?" and "did you used to hang out here when you were a kid?"

The crossroads where the store is located is named Carpenter, of course, named after the owner's family.  Carpenter-Upchurch Road runs right in front of it (the road goes between the little old communities of Carpenter and Upchurch), and a short distance away is Carpenter Fire Station Road, and farther away is Jenks-Carpenter Road (also named for going between the two little old communities of Jenks and Carpenter).  It is fun knowing the old history of our area.

While I was there I wandered around and made a mental list of their merchandise (nails, a Flexible Flyer sled, cool shovels and workgloves and lots of farming implements like tractor seats and plow parts).
I think you could find anything you might need to live on a farm and grow your own chickens and vegetables.

 I am going to go there the next time I need something, instead of going to Ace Hardware.  I want to give Mr. Carpenter some business, since there is a dwindling farmer population around here.

 I bought some Sorghum molasses, which I haven't eaten since my Grandma used to make it herself. And some mousetraps.  You never know when you might need them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"My mom doesn't like to cook"

I was moving a lot of my children's photo albums and boxes of papers from one bookshelf to another during Christmas break, and found this piece of paper on the floor.  I don't know which kid drew it, but I think it looks like Zac's childhood drawings.

Whichever kid it was, they knew what they were talking about.  (I am doing better right now, because I am trying to learn skills for using my food storage, but down deep I still don't like to cook.)

Last week, Zac was watching "Arrested Development".  The mom on that show doesn't cook. The adult son said this to his mother:

"Mom, the one time you made us a meal, you gave us cereal in an ashtray."

Zac said, "That reminds me of you, Mom."

Thanks, Zac.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Funny President Packer

I just love it when I see the funny side of the apostles.  Here is something cute Pres. Boyd K. Packer said in a BYU devotional Jan. 16, 2007. 

Lehi’s Dream and You 
Boyd K. Packer was Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this 
devotional address was delivered on 16 January 2007.

My college life began at Weber College, then a very small junior college. World War II had just ended. Most of the men in our class were recently returned from military service. We were, by and large, more mature than college students of your day. We had been through the war and carried with us many memories. Some of them we held on to; others we were glad to have fade away. We were more serious and did not enter into fun and games as much as you do. We wanted to get on with our lives and knew that education was the key. 

We took the insignias and labels and sometimes even the buttons off our uniforms, mixed them with odds and ends of civilian clothes, and wore them to school. That was all we had to wear. 
At military training camps, we had been marched from place to place in formation. Often we would sing marching songs. At college, I attended the Institute of Religion classes. We had our own marching songs. I remember one of them: 
A root-tee-toot, a root-tee-toot. 
Oh, we are boys of the institute. 
We don’t smoke, and we don’t chew. 
And we don’t go with girls that do. 
Some folks say we don’t have fun. 
We don’t! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vacuum packing some M&Ms

A few days ago, I finally received the Foodsaver jar sealer that I had ordered, and in less than 2 hours I had vacuum sealed about 65 glass canning jars full of M&M's, coconut, pecans, walnuts, and chocolate chips.  It was SO EASY!  My sources say that these items will keep at least 3 years after being vacuum sealed.  I am very excited to have all these items in my food storage.

Today I did my first "home consultation" with a ward member on the subject of food storage.  I stayed for one hour and gave her all sorts of computer documents and also saw her food storage and answered a lot of questions.  I have offered to do these for anyone in my ward that wants one, I hope I am able to help a lot of people this way.

Zac has finals this week at high school.

Last night I went to the Durham Orange Quilt Guild to their silent auction.  I bid on lots of quilting and sewing stuff, and came home with so much that it took me 2 trips from the car to the house.  And it cost me a total of $8.50.  That was a GOOD DEAL.

One interesting thing that I paid 25 cents for, was a bunch of sewing patterns for baby and children's clothing.  (I got rid of mine years ago.)  And a huge assortment of knitting needles, also for 25 cents.  I am thinking I should learn to knit.

And I just bid on my first item on ebay and won it.  I bought some long bobbins for my Singer treadle sewing machine.  Now if I can just buy some needles I can learn how to use it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Debbie Kent's website

I want to remind you that I have another blog,

If you haven't been reading it, it has an almost daily post about food storage, disaster preparedness, and all the food preparation skills that I have been learning over the past six months (waxing cheese, pressure cooking meats, vacuum packing M&Ms, storing water, etc.)

I read lots of websites and blogs about food storage because my church calling is Relief Society Preparedness Specialist.  Today I found one of the best websites I have ever found:

It is Debbie Kent's website,

I have directed you to the library page, it is a list of approximately 150 documents and power point presentations which you can download onto your own computer.

 I am personally printing off a lot of these for my future reference, I suggest you print off some of them also (in case someday you don't have electricity or the use of your computer.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Porter Stansberry Research: The End of America

Listen to this for an hour and see what you think.  He gives a lot of sources for why he believes the dollar is going to collapse.

I have heard it from a lot of other websites already, and I see the evidence all around that what they are  saying is true.   I, too,  think the dollar is in trouble.  May heaven help us all to get all our preparations in order in whatever time we have left.  I hope it is a few years away.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Our Peril When We Ignore the Prophets- Monte J. Brough

Our Peril When We Ignore the Prophets 

Elder Monte J. Brough, of the Quorum of the Seventy 
Given at the LDS Business College, November 14, 2001 

This talk was given less than a month after 9/11.  He compares the current situation with the Book of Helaman.

"What we're facing, brothers and sisters, is not a new situation. I don't know how you've felt as you read the Book of Mormon, but for me the language and literature of Alma has always been my favorite. But I decided after September 11 that I wanted to go back into Helaman. So I've made a study over the last 60 days of the Book of Helaman and can here assert that the events we have before us in 2001 are not new. This has happened before. You don't need to write down these scriptures, just remember the book of Helaman. Go home and study it. Particularly start out at about Chapter 11 and read through the rest of the book and see if, in fact, we don't have a very close tie to what's happening in this world in the year 2001." 
Go to the link and see all the similarities he sees.

Later in the talk, he discusses how America is like the Nephites, casting out the prophets.

"Let's talk about that scenario. We live in days of prophets. We wouldn't cast them out, would we? We wouldn't have ignored them. Let me just mention a couple of things that we might use as an indicator of how we might apply this to ourselves. Three years ago, President Hinckley talked about debt. He talked about the debt that families go into with plastic money, and some of you in this room are spending more than you should. What has the prophet said about it? Stop it. Don't get into debt. Don't spend more than you have. Save a little because you may need some savings. Our neighbor in Kaysville lost his job yesterday. He's an engineer with an MBA. Even with all that education he lost his job. He had no savings at all. They're not prepared at all the weather the storm of their father and husband being out of work. We found through our studies that three years after President Hinckley's talk, people have more debt. There is a higher level of consumer debt in Utah than there was three years ago. What has the prophet said about food storage over the years? He mentioned it briefly in this last conference. Our studies show us that less than 10 percent of active Latter-day Saints along the Wasatch Front have enough to last for 90 days. We don't stone the prophet. We don't kick him out. We just ignore him. 

What does he say about the dress of young people? I don't see anyone here that falls in this category, but he's asked young women not to wear a lot of earrings, to be modest in the one pair they could wear. What about body tattoos? He's asked us not to. I spoke recently to a group of younger students and one raised his hand and said, in effect, "Wasn't that silly for President Hinckley to be worried about such a thing as a tattoo?" We don't cast out the prophets, do we? We just ignore them. I actually found a group of young men who laughed at the idea he would be concerned about young men wearing earrings. Well, we don't cast out the prophet. We just ignore him. 

Now that we've gotten into this mess with our affluence and our comfort and our ease and our strong men over fighting a war and trying to root these people out of the mountains and destroy them if we can, let's go look at the rest of what Samuel said. In the rest of the chapters there's one word that summarizes what has to change among the people back home in order to quit stamping under their feet the Holy One of Israel. If you could judge that one word, what would it be? One word. It's a summary of all the rest of Helaman. The word: ingratitude.

Samuel promises the people that if they will understand and live the law of gratitude they would cease to stamp the Lord under their feet. So how do we live the law of gratitude? One way is observance of the Sabbath day. I used to think the Sabbath day was a day of rest. It's not at all; it's a day of thanksgiving. It's a day of expressing gratitude. It's not a day to lie around and do nothing, and it's not necessarily a day to do studies. It's the kind of thing that we can properly use to express gratitude to our Father in Heaven. "
You'll have to read the rest of the talk to find out all the other ways Elder Brough says we are like the Nephites.  But here is a cute story from Elder Brough about President Hinckley, I can really picture him saying this: 

"I tell you the person that practices the law of gratitude more than anyone I know is Gordon B. Hinckley. He feels that he owes it. He has this great sense of debt to the Church and to the people. Two weeks ago, in our temple meeting he was quite emotional as he expressed his love for the people, for their faith and their goodness. He said, "I'd like to just hug everyone of them. And then I'd like to shake them up." You know what I mean. We all need a little shaking up. "

Friday, January 14, 2011

New LDS website for service opportunities

If you go to this new website, you can sign up to translate lesson materials, proofread church publications, create youtube videos for the church, or do family history indexing.  I am really impressed!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Packer- "Easy times are in the past"

Wednesday, September 22 2010
Meridian Magazine article on Utah Valley Area Conference 

(corrected link)

Rock-Ribbed Faith
"In a recent talk broadcast to the stakes in Utah Valley, President Boyd K. Packer and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland had a special message for us. Elder Holland started by talking of the faith of the pioneers to do whatever they were asked. In a stirring narrative of the pioneers who dug out a pathway through the sheer rock passageway in south central Utah in order to fulfill their mission to colonize a particular area, he gave us an example of what he called "rock-ribbed" faith. "When you're called to go, you go." ....
When President Packer began to speak, he startled me to the soles of my feet by saying, "From now on it's going to be rougher than the pioneers had it." Though he and Elder Holland had not planned it, their talks built on each other, proving to me that they were inspired by the Spirit to give us the same message. "Easy times are in the past," he said. "Humbly confess to the Lord that you will do things His way. The days of the Hole in the Rock were easy times compared to what faces you."
These were very sobering talks, completely unlike a normal Stake Conference. The message that things are only going to get worse is not one you usually hear from the Brethren."

(The above words came straight from Meridian Magazine.  I tried to put them in a quote block but it crashed my computer, so I will just leave them as they are.  But I just wanted you to know that I didn't write them.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What kinds of things will we learn in the New Jerusalem?

A Dream
by Charles D. Evans

The Contributor
Representing the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of the Latter-day Saints
Volume Fifteen

Published By The Contributor Company
Salt Lake City, Utah
Printed By The Deseret News Publishing Company

"A recent addition to the site is a dream from a volume at BYU Special Collections. This dream was included in The Contributor, Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of the Latter-day Saints published in 1894 by The Deseret News Publishing Company."
Charles D. Evans talked about seeing the New Jerusalem in his vision.
Schools and universities were erected, to which all had access; in the latter Urims were placed, for the study of the past, present and future, and for obtaining a knowledge of the heavenly bodies, and of the constructions of worlds and universes. The inherent properties of matter, its arrangements, laws, mutual relations were revealed and taught and made plain as the primer lesson of a child. The conflicting theories of geologists regarding the formation and age of the earth were settled forever. All learning was based on eternal certainty. Angels brought forth the treasures of knowledge which had lain hid in the womb of the dumb and distant past.
The appliances for making learning easy surpass all conjecture. Chemistry was rendered extremely simple, by the power which the Urims conferred on man of looking into and through the elements of every kind; a stone furnished no more obstruction to human vision than the air itself. Not only were the elements and all their changes and transformations plainly understood but the construction, operations, and laws of mind were thus rendered equally plain as those which governed the coarser elements. While looking through the Urim and Thummim I was amazed at a transformation, which even now is to me marvelous beyond description, clearly showing the manner in which particles composing the inorganic kingdom of nature are conducted upward to become a part of organic forms; another astounding revelation was a view clearly shown me of the entire circulation of the blood both in man and animals. After seeing these things and gazing once more upon the beautiful city, the following passage of Scripture sounded in my ears: �Out of Zion the perfection of beauty God shineth."

And what is so weird, Zac recently bought an ipod Touch, and he and I were speculating that having a Urim and Thummim won't be so very different from that device, it will just be God-made and perfect instead of manmade and imperfect.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Guess who said it, and when

"At this particular moment in history the United States Constitution is definitely threatened and every citizen should know about it. The warning of this hour should resound through the corridors of every American institution…. 
Our Republic and Constitution are being destroyed while the enemies of freedom are being aided. How? In at least ten ways:
1. By diplomatic recognition and aid, trade and negotiations with the Communists. 

2. By disarmament of our military defenses. 

3. By destruction of our security laws and the promotion of atheism by decisions of the Supreme Court. 

4. By loss of sovereignty and solvency to international commitments and membership in world organizations. 

5. By undermining of local law enforcement agencies and Congressional investigation committees. 

6. By usurpations by the Executive and the Judicial branches of our Federal Government. 

7. By lawlessness in the name of civil rights. 

8. By staggering national debt with inflation and the corruption of the currency. 

9. By a multiplicity of executive orders and federal programs which greatly weaken local and state government. 

10. By the sacrificing of American manhood by engaging in wars we apparently have no intention of winning. "

(Ezra Taft Benson. Stand Up For Freedom. Assembly Hall at Temple Square, Feb 11, 1966. Given to The Forum for the American Idea)

Are you surprised?  To me, this could have been said this week, instead of 45 years ago.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Julie Beck's "Nice to Do" list

This is the third category Julie Beck talked about at the BYU Women's Conference, April 2010.
The third category has to do with the nice-to-do things. Those are crafts and hobbies and recreational reading and movies and travel and lunches with friends. A lot of women call this “time out.” These things won’t save us. They add variety to our lives, but they won’t save us. When our priorities are on that list, and our time is devoted to those nice-to-do things, our priorities are out of order, and we lose power.
To walk with the Lord, we have to know what is essential, what is necessary, and what is nice to do. There is a lot to do, but I find that it is amazing how much I get to do on my nice-to-do list. The Lord blesses us with those mercies, but only if the other priorities are in order."
I have a personal testimony that Heavenly Father blesses us to do those things we want to do, if we do his work first.

In 1999, I had my heart set on making a quilt to enter into the Church History and Art Museum International Art Competition.  In July 1999, I was called to be the chairman of the Public Affairs committee for the Raleigh Temple Open House.  I cried about the conflict, I didn't know how I could possibly do both.

But as it turned out, I finished the quilt and also made it through the hundreds of hours involved with the temple open house.  The quilt was juried into the museum and hung there for six months.  I know for a fact that when I said yes to that calling, the Lord gave me the extra hours in the day to be able to make that quilt, because it was a desire of my heart.  It was a tender mercy from him. 

"Book of Mormon Stories", 103" high x 60" wide, copyright 2000.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Julie Beck's "Necessary" List

Yesterday, I posted Sister Beck's "Essential List".  Those are the things that are essential to do individually to be able to receive personal revelation and receive the blessings of eternal life.
The next category she gives is the "necessary" category.  These seem to be things a person has to do more in a group, or with other people.
"On my necessary list, then, went some other things. I started thinking about my home and family and what was necessary to create an environment or climate where the Spirit of the Lord would be. There were some necessary things to take care of. Homemaking took on a new meaning for me. I wanted to make a home where the Spirit of the Lord was present. That meant that even mundane tasks like picking things up and cleaning, became necessary to keep a house of order. I wanted to model my house after the temple. Though that is the ideal, it has never been that perfect. We have to live there after all. A house is peopled with people. People make messes, and we can’t be little soldiers, but it made a difference to me to know that I wanted a house of order. It became a priority to make a place where the Spirit of the Lord could come.
Cooking meals for my family took on added meaning because I needed a place to teach and gather and have the Lord’s Spirit there. It was important to invest my effort in making a home.
At one time I was going through some challenges, and one of my daughters came home from school and put another item on my necessary list. I said, “I don’t feel like I’m contributing what I should or what I could,” and she said, “You could smile. Mother, you could smile.” I thought, “That is a great service.” Smiling took on added meaning for me. Being happy around my family and other people was necessary.
I learned some things from the scriptures—that it is necessary to teach my children to pray and walk uprightly before the Lord. Things like family home evening and time recreating with our family became more necessary and more important. I thought more about my husband and supporting him, and I studied Doctrine and Covenants section 25, in which the Lord tells Emma Smith to be a comfort to her husband with consoling words and a spirit of meekness.5 That took on more importance, and it was more necessary to me to be kind to my husband and to support him in his heavy responsibilities. I also learned from that section in verse 10 to “lay aside the things of [the] world, and seek for the things of a better,” to not ask him to provide things for me we couldn’t afford but value the things that were important for our family—to “seek for the things of a better” and not be tantalized by “the things of the world” that were glamorous. Becoming self-reliant became more important to me.
I have been reviewing Elder Hales’s words in his talk on provident living and self-reliance about debt.6 When we go into debt, we give away some of our precious, priceless agency and place ourselves in self-imposed servitude. As our freedom is diminished by debt, increasing hopelessness depletes us physically, depresses us mentally, burdens us spiritually. Our self-image is affected, as well as our relationships with our spouse and children, with our friends and neighbors, and ultimately with the Lord.
Becoming self-reliant temporally affects our spiritual self-reliance, and we are going to need to be more temporally self-reliant in the days to come in order to have strong spirits and help the Lord.
Loving one another goes on the necessary list and a few other things. You can make your own list of what is necessary, but there are things that are essential and things that are necessary in order for us to fulfill our responsibilities in the house of Israel and to fulfill our mission."
Tomorrow I will post her last list, the "nice-to-do" list.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Geitner says possibility of default

Is he bluffing?  Or are we closer to a collapse than we know?  

Secretary Geithner Sends Debt Limit Letter to Congress

Erika Gudmundson

Today, Secretary Geithner sent the following letter to Congress regarding the debt limit :

January 6, 2011
The Honorable Harry ReidMajority LeaderUnited States SenateWashington, DC  20510
Dear Mr. Leader:
I am writing in response to your request for an estimate by the Treasury Department of when the statutory debt limit will be reached, and for a description of the consequences of default by the United States.
Never in our history has Congress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary. Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States.  Default would effectively impose a significant and long-lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses and could lead to the loss of millions of American jobs.  Even a very short-term or limited default would have catastrophic economic consequences that would last for decades.  Failure to increase the limit would be deeply irresponsible.  For these reasons, I am requesting that Congress act to increase the limit early this year, well before the threat of default becomes imminent..........

 Treasury would prefer not to have to engage again in any of these extraordinary measures.  If we are forced to do so again, these measures could delay the date by which the limit is reached by several weeks. Once these steps have been taken, no remaining legal and prudent measures would be available to create additional headroom under the debt limit, and the United States would begin to default on its obligations........
Timothy F. Geithner

Julie Beck's "Essential" List,4945,9118-1-5187-1,00.html

This is an excellent talk, given by Julie Beck at the BYU Women's Conference, April 29, 2010.

In it, she talked about receiving personal revelation from the Lord.  Then she said that we have to have our priorities in order, to be able to receive personal revelation.

".....there has to be some prioritizing. I was taught years ago that when our priorities are out of order, we lose power. If we need power and influence to carry out our mission, then our priorities have to be straight.
Years ago I began using a system that works for me, and maybe it will work for you. There was a time when I needed to prioritize, and in one of those sacred meetings between me and the Lord, He gave me three categories that I have worked from, and they have been a guide in my life. The categories are the essential things, the necessary things, and the nice-to-do things. I started writing those things down. I asked, “What has to go in the category of essential?” What things must be taken care of, and if I don’t take care of them, the blessings of eternal life won’t be mine nor will they be my family’s.
I wrote at the top of the essential list revelation. I have to be able to know the mind and will of God. Therefore, I have to do the things in my life that put me in a position to hear His voice. Reading the scriptures then became an essential for me because the scriptures contain the mind and will of God, and by reading and studying from them, I can hear His voice and receive His guidance in all aspects of my life. I came up with a simple rule that was easy for me to keep: Every day I will spend some time in the scriptures. The accumulative power and learning of that commitment has changed my life and helped me learn daily the mind and will of God.
Personal prayer took on new meaning when I knew that I needed to know the mind and will of God. I have taken a paper and pencil with me most of the time since then to my prayers. I don’t always receive an answer or instruction, but I am ready. I want to be ready to learn what the Lord would have me do in my day. Who needs my help? How can I increase my faith this day? How can I strengthen my family? What things do I need to correct in order to be worthy to receive His Spirit? He will tell me.
Taking time to ponder and fast with sincerity took on added meaning when I knew that revelation was an essential for me. Making covenants and keeping covenants is on the essential list. Going to sacrament meeting and repenting every week took on added meaning. Going to the temple and fulfilling that responsibility frequently became an essential. Sharing the gospel is something the Lord tells us is an essential, and we are charged as part of the house of Israel to share that message. I need to open my mouth and find ways to share and express my testimony. Service took on added meaning. The Lord said if you want eternal life, give all that you have and follow me.4 So those things went on my essentials list. The list wasn’t very long, but there were essential things that I could see to and make sure that they were taken care of."

Tomorrow I will post part two of her talk, the list of "necessary" priorities.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One more person writing about hyperinflation

From, Jan. 5, 2011

Barron's: US Will See Run on Treasurys, Hyperinflation

By Greg Brown
Investors in U.S. debt around the world are worryingly near a "psychological breaking point" that could force a "run on the bank" against Treasurys.

If that happens, hyperinflation quickly follows and gold will soar much, much higher from its now record-setting levels, argues author and longtime trader Victor Sperandeo in the latest issue of Barron's. Sperandeo has traded for many top investors including George Soros.

Anyone who believes that the United States faces a comparatively mild 1970s-style inflation risk is ignoring history at his own peril, Sperandeo writes in the weekly investment newspaper.

"Unlike normal inflation, which may be attributed to a variety of factors, hyperinflation has a single cause: It occurs when a government cannot borrow money because its debt has risen so much that investors believe they will never be paid back with close to the same purchasing power," he writes.

Historically, he writes, investors lose confidence in government debt when borrowing hits 40 percent of spending over an extended period of years. The telltale sign will be non-annualized inflation of 50 percent or more in a single month.

In 2009, the author notes, the deficit was 44 percent of spending, although not all of it was borrowed. It happened again in 2010. U.S. debt is now more than $13.7 trillion (not counting state and agency debts) and deficits are running $1 trillion a year.
"A nation needs to inspire a lot of confidence to keep that Ponzi scheme alive," Sperandeo writes.

"Unfortunately, markets know that even the U.S. government will print money to meet expenses when necessary."

Read more: Barron's: US Will See Run on Treasurys, Hyperinflation 

Eyring- "Raise the Bar"

I love this talk that Pres. Henry B. Eyring gave at BYU Idaho on January 25, 2005, which was only a month after the huge tsunami struck.  He speaks about the Lord guiding us to places of safety:

"Fear shall come upon all people. But you and I know that the Lord has prepared places of safety to which He is eager to guide us. I think of that often. A few days ago, I heard two accounts of God leading His children to safety on the coast of Thailand when that monstrous tsunami wave struck.
One was of people who accepted His apparently routine invitation to a Church meeting on a Sunday. The meeting was called by ordinary men who hold the priesthood of God. The meeting place was on higher ground, away from the coast. The people who gathered with the Saints were spared from physical death, while the places on the coast where they would have been were destroyed. As they were spared physical death, they were being strengthened against spiritual temptation and the wave of eternal tragedy it will bring to those who are disobedient.
The other account I heard was related to me by a Latter-day Saint who was led to safety by the Holy Ghost. He checked into a hotel on the ocean front in Thailand the day before the wave struck. He walked out on the beach. He felt uneasy. He went back to his hotel determined to check out. The hotel staff, I think worried that he didn’t like the hotel, pressed him for a reason. They only reluctantly agreed to his leaving. He moved to another hotel, away from the beach. It was on higher ground. Because of that, he not only survived but stayed to serve the survivors.
The Lord is anxious to lead us to the safety of higher ground, away from the path of physical and spiritual danger. His upward path will require us to climb. My mother used to say to me when I complained that things were hard, “If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill.” And as the world becomes darker and more dangerous, we must keep climbing. It will be our choice whether or not to move up or to stay where we are. But the Lord will invite and guide us upward by the direction of the Holy Ghost, which He sends to His leaders and to His people who will receive it...."

He said that when we feel the prompting of the Holy Ghost, we must act promptly, like Nephi the prophet did in Helaman 10.

"Just as pondering the scriptures invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost, so does doing the things we have been told to do and doing them promptly. We are promised that the scriptures and the Holy Ghost will tell us all things that we should do. When we go and do what we have been told and do it the best we can, we qualify for more instructions of what to do. If we do not act, we will not receive further instructions. My hero in this is the prophet Nephi, described in the book of Helaman. He is my example for “Go and do.”
And behold, now it came to pass that when the Lord had spoken these words unto Nephi, he did stop and did not go unto his own house, but did return unto the multitudes who were scattered about upon the face of the land, and began to declare unto them the word of the Lord which had been spoken unto him, concerning their destruction if they did not repent (Helaman 10:12).
His immediate obedience brought him the companionship of the Holy Ghost, just as it will for you and me. Here is the account:
The power of God was with him, and they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them."

Nephi received miraculous protection from the people who wanted to harm him.

And I especially love Pres. Eyring's closing paragraph.  I want to hear the promptings which can protect me in these dangerous latter days.

"I testify to you that the Holy Ghost can speak to your heart and your mind. And you can train yourselves to know that voice in such a way that you might move away from the beach as that man did in Thailand, or might be impressed to go to a sacrament meeting when you are on vacation, as people did in Thailand. They could have easily said, “Well, we are on vacation.” But no, they went to where the Lord wanted them to go.
You will be the ones who will be able to hear the voice of the Spirit, and it will bless you in the times ahead. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Predictions- I wish they weren't coming true

 Yes, my hobby is to read everything on the internet about food production, food prices, food shortages, etc. for my ward calling as Relief Society preparedness specialist.  

The interesting thing, is that last year all my sources were predicting higher gas prices and higher food prices for this year.  And when I look around now, I am seeing higher gas prices and higher food prices.  

I am beginning to feel that it will all come true.  Especially when you add in the floods in Australia, the extreme cold in many parts of the world, the poor harvests in Russia and South America, the citrus crops freezing in Florida last week, etc.

Here is just the latest thing I have found, from the National Inflation Association:

Food inflation will become America's top crisis.

Prices of goods and services do not rise equally when governments create monetary inflation. Inflation gravitates most towards the items that Americans need the most and there is nothing that Americans need more to survive than food and agriculture. As the U.S. government prints money, the first thing Americans will spend it on is food. Americans can cut back on energy use by moving into a smaller home and carpooling to work. They can cut back on entertainment, travel, and other discretionary spending. However, Americans can never stop spending money on food.
The days of cheap food in America are coming to an end. The recent unprecedented rise that we have seen in agricultural commodity prices is showing no signs of letting up. In the past few days, sugar futures reached a new 30-year high, coffee futures reached a new 13-year high, orange juice futures reached a new 3-year high, corn futures reached a new 29-month high, soybean futures reached a new 27-month high, and palm oil futures reached a new 33-month high.
We estimate that it takes as long as six months for rising agricultural commodity prices to be felt by U.S. consumers in their local supermarket. Even if food producers and retailers accept substantially lower profit margins in 2011, we are still guaranteed to see double-digit across the board U.S. food inflation in the first half of the year. That is correct, let us repeat, NIA guarantees that Americans will see double-digit food inflation in the first half of 2011.

Please Please Please use your discretionary spending money right now to get your food storage!  It will be so much more expensive later!