D&C 35:17 ". . . and in weakness have I blessed him."

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Names for Christ in the Book of Mormon

I recorded the names for the Savior I discovered while reading the Book of Mormon. Some are repetitive and I'm sure I missed a few. Here are the 58 I found:


The Stone, Sure Foundation, Creator, Jesus Christ, Lord of Hosts, Redeemer, Savior, the Son, the Son of God, Holy One of Israel, Lord God Almighty, Messiah, Great Mediator, Holy Messiah, First Fruits unto God, Mighty One of Jacob, the God of Nature, Lamb of God, Son of the Eternal God, Savior of the World, Son of the Most High God, the Lord, the Lord God Omnipotent, God and Father of all things, Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Beloved, My Beloved Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, Lord of the Vineyard, Supreme Being, True and Living God, Christ, Jehovah, Immanuel, Very Eternal Father of Heaven and Earth, the Beginning and the End, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, True Vine, High Priest of Good Things to ComeMaster, Great Spirit, Lord of the Harvest, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, Our Great and Eternal Head, their Rock, their Salvation, the Good Shephard, the Keeper at the Gate, Him who is Mighty to Save, the Word, a More Excellent Hope.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Day 7 gratitude challenge

 Gratitude challenge issued by President Nelson

#givethanks

They say it takes a village to raise a child. If so, I wonder how many villages are needed to raise an autistic child. 

There are teachers, aides, respite workers, family, friends, neighbors and total strangers.

I am so grateful for all the people who reach out in love and kindness to help us keep our David happy and safe. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We love you.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Day 6 gratitude challenge

 Gratitude challenge issued by president Nelson

#givethanks

I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is my connection to heaven which allows me to receive inspiration, comfort, teaching, warning and answers to prayer. 

With the companionship of the Spirit I never have to be alone and I'm able to feel God's love for me. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Day 5 gratitude challenge

Gratitude challenge issued by President Nelson

#givethanks

I am thankful for my parents. They are the salt of the earthEverything I am, I owe to them, for their teachings, faith, example and sacrifice.


 We've only been together 4 times in the past 22 years. But there is no number of miles or oceans that can separate me from the sustaining power of their faith and love.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Day 4 gratitude challenge

 Gratitude challenge issued by President Nelson

#givethanks

I'm grateful for the sacred privilege of being the mother of 4 beautiful blue-eyed babies.

For David, who is pure in heart and remains unspotted by the world.

For Emma, who is compassionate, creative, determined and energetic.


For Skye, who is generous, organized, independent and insightful.


For Levi, who is tender-hearted and filled with the wonder of learning and creating.


They fulfill the measure of my creation.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Day 3 gratitude challenge

 Gratitude challenge issued by President Nelson

#givethanks

I am thankful for this guy. My forever companion.


We've been a team for almost 20 years. Together we've travelled some hard roads, and together we've become stronger, wiser and more loving. 
What I value most about Rob is his nurturing personality. He loves to take care of plants, animals and people-and our house is filled with all three. 
I couldn't ask for a better father for my children. Family is always his first priority.




Saturday, November 21, 2020

Day 2 gratitude challenge

 Gratitude challenge issued by President Nelson

#givethanks

I am thankful for sunshine. Clear blue skies and sunny rays make me happy. I love the warm, tingly feeling of the sun on my skin as the heavens embrace my being. 

What a cold, dark place our world would be without the bright, warm light of sunshine.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Day 1 gratitude challenge

Gratitude challenge issued by President Nelson 

#givethanks

 I am grateful for the miracle of my son's healing. When I faced the darkest hour of my life, God answered my prayers. Against all medical odds my baby's life was spared. Today he is a strong, energetic 16-year-old; and a constant reminder of God's ability to answer pray and command healing.

My God is a God of miracles.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

 "What once seemed such a curse has become a blessing. All the agony that threatened to destroy my life now seems like the fertile ground for greater trust, stronger hope and deeper love.

    In our own woundedness we become a source of life to others."

(Henri Nouwen)





Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Blessed by the Temple, Even When it's Closed


  "Let me emphasize, whether you have access to a temple or not, you 

need a current temple recommend to stay firmly on the covenant path. . .

Being worthy to hold a current temple recommend is both a protection

 from the adversary . . . and a promise that the Spirit will be with you."   

(Elder Rasband; Oct 2020) 



    It was a long, hard day. Some days just are. When I woke up wanting to cry, for no apparent reason, I knew I'd be facing an uphill struggle. Depression and I are well acquainted, although I wouldn't call us friends. It always shows up uninvited and stays too long. Over the years I've learned to recognize this intruder and muster through its stifling presence. 

    It didn't help when I received the news that David, my severely autistic 16-year-old, wouldn't be returning to school the next week, as had been planned. His school reported they were struggling with a staffing shortage and weren't able to provide a return date.

    I had been counting down the weeks and days until he returned. I told myself Dave and I could get through one more week. So much for that, David would now be going into his seventh month of being home all day. 

    I pushed myself to get through the responsibilities of the day. I tried working on mindfulness and a few other strategies designed to help me feel better. But it was no use. I still felt bad. Sometimes, the heavy weight of depression eases as the day progresses. But not that day.

    By early evening I was done trying to make myself feel better and I was done trying to be productive. I found myself slumped into the couch waiting for bedtime. I had reached the conclusion sleep was my best option. Maybe I'd feel better in the morning. 

    "A member of the bishopric is going to call at 7pm to do my temple recommend interview. Do you want to do yours at the same time?" my husband, Rob, asked. 

    "I don't have to do it today, do I?" I asked.

    "You might as well."

    The idea of doing a recommend interview over the phone felt a little awkward. But the real reason for my hesitation was how bad I felt. I wasn't opposed to renewing my recommend, just not then. What if I started to cry when asked how I was doing? Besides, it's not like I needed my recommend right away. The temples were closed due to the pandemic. 

    The bishop's counselor was prompt and called at 7. I was irritated when I heard Rob on the phone telling the counselor how well things were going for us at home. Sure, we were getting by, but it wasn't easy. We were all feeling the strain of the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.

    When it was my turn to speak I made sure to tell the person on the other end that I had had a really long day. After some chit-chat about the challenge of teaching a 5-year-old to use Google Classroom, the first counselor got to the point and asked me the first question. 

    "Yes," I responded. I could barely get the word out when I started to choke up. I had to work really hard to push back the tears and compose myself to answer the next question.  

    It was such an unexpected and intense emotional response, it took me by surprise. I'd been concerned about crying during the interview, but not for this reason. The emotion I felt at that moment didn't come from feeling depressed, it came from the Spirit. The moment I said "yes" and affirmed my faith in Jesus Christ, I felt a rush of goodness, warmth and spiritual joy enter my being.  

    My temple recommend had actually expired 3 months earlier, but because temples were closed and I hadn't needed to use it, I didn't notice its expiration. It wasn't until I felt the rush of the Holy Ghost's presence, that I realized what I'd been missing out on for the past 3 months. I'd been starving myself of much needed spirituality. 

    The beautiful feeling of comfort and joy that I received during my interview, stayed with me for the rest of the evening. The dark, heavy feeling that had overshadowed my day was dispelled and replaced with warmth and goodness.

    I've often gone to the temple seeking relief when I'm struggling with depression and it has always helped improve my mental health. This time I wasn't able to go to the temple to help myself feel better, but I was still blessed with the emotional healing I'd receive from going. It was as if I had attended the temple that day. 

    I gained a new understanding and testimony of the importance of having a temple recommend. Even when we don't have access to a temple, we can still receive temple blessings by maintaining a current recommend. 



Thursday, October 15, 2020

Becoming One Through Shared Weakness

    

 "God is not disgusted with our weaknesses, or our sickness, or our sorrow. He sees in them the seeds of our sanctification, the way in which we can become like His Son. Weaknesses are a key in the pattern as to how the Lord works with us. . .

    "When Jesus came to the Nephites at the temple in  Bountiful, why did He have them touch his wounds? . . . I think He calls us all to touch the woundedness in Him and in ourselves so that we can be one with Him. Real initimacy comes through shared weaknesses, not strengths . . .

    "It's significant to me that the Savior asked us to always remember Him in the context of an ordinance where we are to recall Him at His most human moment when He asked for another way through suffering, when He asked why He had been forsaken, when He thirsted and was in anguish of body and spirit. During the sacrament we are led to contemplate His being broken up like the bread and poured out like the water. . .

    "I think there was something about touching Jesus' woundedness that built a Zion culture in ways touching His strengths would not have done."

(Smith, T., C.  "An Anatomy of Troubles," AMCAP. October 3, 2008)





Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Canvas in the Sky

Canyon Rim, Salt Lake City


 Don't forget, 
beautiful sunsets, 
need cloudy skies.

(Paulo Coelho)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

STANDING FIRM AGAINST THE STORM

     Last week we had a wind storm, with winds that reportedly measured at 91 to 112 mph. Many people woke up to no power, broken branches and uprooted trees. About 1000 trees were toppled in Salt Lake City. 

    I marveled at the sight of majestic pine trees lying on their sides with upended roots--a sight I'd not seen before. 




(Sugarhouse park)

    I couldn't  help but wonder why some trees remained standing, while others didn't. An analogy started to form in my mind as I contemplated a verse of scripture. Helaman 5:12, ". . . 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 whereon if men build they cannot fail."

    I later read that some of the trees came down because they were weakened by fungi or broken roots. Others came down because of the soil they were planted in, or the lack of surrounding trees to help anchor their roots. 

    I wondered, 

    What is it that keeps me standing in the midst of storms? 

    How strong is my root system?

    How am I staying anchored to Christ?

    The first answer I can think of is having church at home. Bringing the ordinance of the sacrament into my home has been a special privilege with a sanctifying influence. As we've gathered together to worship in our living room, I've felt a stregthening power that has bolstered my family.

    We've grown closer together and my house now feels a little more sacred. My love for my husband has increased as I've watched him, dressed up in a white shirt and tie, administer this ordinance to our little family. I hope my children will remember this special time, when we gathered together and found spiritual safety in the shelter of our home. 

    Family prayers and scripture study have also brought us peace and strength. It has taken some diligence to stay on track with our Book of Mormon reading. But I know it is always worth the effort. When we come together at night to read the scriptures, I feel a good, warm assurance I'm arming my children with the strength they need to stand firm against the storms of life.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Interacting With Those Who Have Disabilities

 "A child with disabilities often spends hours being taught how to interact with others. 

But why don't we spend time teaching those without disabilities how to interact with them?"

Calleen Peterson

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Moment That Forever Changed Me

They say life is made of moments. Small pieces of time that quickly slip away. There are the big, important moments that take your breath away, or break your heart in two. With lots of small, insignificant moments in-between.

All it takes is one small segment of time to forever change who you are. I had such a moment 16 years ago. A moment that redefined me and brought new purpose to my being. 

On August 19, 2004 I brought David's spirit into the world. And every moment since has brought me an opportunity to love more, give more, hope more, pray more . . . 

BE MORE.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A HANDSOME 16 YEAR OLD


Friday, August 21, 2020

Robert W. Stoll, Ph.D, LMFT

Rob had to make a slide that represented himself for work. I love how he captured himself as a father and Marriage and Family Therapist.




Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Graduation COVID-style


GRADUATION COVID-STYLE



My 6th grader is off to Junior High!
(if the schools ever re-open)




The mask says it all!

PIONEER DAY

      



PIONEER DAY

JULY 24, 2020

"They laid the foundation. Ours is the duty to build on it."
Pres. Hinckley



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Lead Me, Guide Me


LEAD ME,  GUIDE ME




 


WALK BESIDE ME, HELP ME FIND THE WAY



    (5 years later)


We're still in it
 
Still leading and guiding
 
Still trudging uphill
 
 Arm-in-arm.