There are three words you never want to hear in the same sentence from a meteorologist with an urgent tone in his voice on the radio talking about your little Texas town. Those are ”active tornadic supercell”. Other bad words to hear shortly following those three are “imminent” and “get immediately in your shelter or the center of your home”. But that is what we heard just a couple of days ago, on Saturday evening, December 26, 2015. When I did, my priorities became crystal clear again.
We had just arrived home from a visit to our daughter’s in the north Houston area. Listening to the radio all the way home we knew of the weather situation. Our area was no longer just under a tornado watch but now a tornado warning. When that happens it means that not only are the conditions ripe for a tornadic event but that one has been spotted. When we got in the house we began our quick preparations. The tornado sirens in our community were blaring. We unloaded some of the things in our pantry under the stairs to make room for ourselves and got our rubber boots and coats, blankets, flashlights and candles, and patio furniture cushions to cover ourselves. We moved the radio to the closest electrical outlet to the pantry. I also grabbed the December Ensign in case we would be in there for a while, and of course, our cell phones. With supplies in place, I settled in while Chad was still scurrying around. That’s when we heard those words. A touchdown was imminent in our area as best as they could tell. Continue reading →
How many times have I read, or heard, or seen portrayed the account of the nativity, including Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child, as recorded in the New Testament? I couldn’t even begin to count the number. And neither probably could you. It’s a tradition at this time of year to tell the story in our home and I’m guessing in yours too. We like to act it out.
Of course, the coveted role is that of Mary. Each of our daughters, and now granddaughters, hope to pull her name out of the bowl. All eyes are on her as she slowly walks into ‘Bethlehem’. Joseph is always so attentive. Everyone wants to help her when the innkeeper turns them away. She so gently and politely shares her newborn with the many shepherds and their flocks, that come to adore him, as directed by the angel, and welcomes so kindly the wiseman that arrive with gifts of great worth. Reverence and honor for that righteous young woman who gave herself to the Lord and her part in His plan, is felt by all there. And rightfully so. Continue reading →
When the Savior was resurrected all of His apostles saw Him except Thomas. Thomas was an apostle who witnessed many of the Lord’s mighty miracles and doctrine rich lessons. Thomas was a faithful follower of Christ. He truly believed in Christ. However, when it came time to believe in something that went against anything Thomas physically, socially, and spiritually knew—the actual resurrection of Christ—he doubted. Christ had taught of His resurrection, but as John 20: 9 says “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” This was a doctrine that was very hard to comprehend. He had seen many mighty miracles, including the raising of the dead, but this concept was deeper and far beyond his scope of understanding. So, when the 10 apostles, who had witnessed the resurrected Lord came to Thomas and testified of its truthfulness– Thomas doubted. Thomas knew these men had been called by the Savior. He had witnessed their divine appointment; after all, he was one of them. But he still doubted. Eight days later the Savior, the ultimate source, appeared to His apostles once again—this time Thomas was present. Continue reading →
James Madison, author of the Constitution of the United States of America declared:
“Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and convection, not by force or violence. The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” (James Madison A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785)
With that same spirit, Joseph Smith taught the importance of religious freedom for all men of all faiths when he said:
“If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a Mormon, I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.” (Joseph Smith, 1843)