Category Archives: Family

His Heart is My Heart: A Love Story

Though I’ve been sealed to him for over 38 years, I came to understand, in a heartbeat, that his heart is my heart – literally – the moment the doctor informed us that Bob was in cardiac arrest and would need to be transferred immediately to another hospital. He was in pain. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. It felt like we were in the Twilight Zone. This can’t be happening. He’s too young (61) and in excellent physical condition. He’s that guy who’s never taken a break from physical activity since his high school basketball days. Among his greatest joys in life is still being able to take on some of the local high school basketball team players at the gym and occasionally beating them at 21. Which is exactly what he had just done, when he arrived home a little after 11 pm that fateful night.

I followed the ambulance the entire way to Temecula Valley Hospital where the cardiac team was waiting to take him immediately into the Cath Lab. The moment I understood the gravity of what was happening, prior to him being transferred, I left the ER so that I could get cell phone reception. In shock, I called my oldest daughter Jennette who lives nearby to tell her what was happening, but mostly to asked her to send her husband to administer a priesthood blessing. I barely made it through that conversation. My faith was in the knowledge of God’s Plan and I knew that Bob’s life was in His Hands – above all others. Continue reading

The War of Words

There is a unique war raging all around us. It’s unlike any war we can remember and it is so cleverly disguised that most do not even recognize that it’s happening. This isn’t a war that is designed by men; with big artillery, armor, trenches, and an army that is fed by C-Rations. Instead, it’s a war designed by women; with words as it’s weapons and under the leadership of anyone with a microphone or a blog who is willing to feed us the emotion we are so hungry for.

If this war took you by surprise, you are not alone. Most families who are busy raising and providing for their children and serving those around them did not see it coming either. As we have tried to wrap our heads around what is causing so much anger and frustration, we have been quite startled to see that the attacks were starting to come our way, very personal attacks against our womanhood, our family and our religion. It feels like we have been dragged into a war we did not want and we are not quite sure how to fight it. Continue reading

Teach the Children About the Christ in Christmas

baby-jesusGrowing up, one of my favorite Christmas stories was commonly titled, “Teach the Children.”  * In the story, the narrator comes across Santa Claus in their house. Santa requests that the narrator teaches their children the true meaning of Christmas. In this story Santa teaches that the popular symbols of Christmas like candy canes, Christmas trees, and stars all center around Jesus Christ, his love, and his sacrifice. I believe that these spiritual meanings for our Christmas symbols are vital for our children to know and pass along. We must teach our children about Jesus Christ and how he is not only the center of Christmas, but the center of our lives.

The Star – Stars are commonly placed on top of Christmas trees. Heavenly Father placed a bright star in the sky when Jesus was born. It was so bright that when the sun set, there was no darkness. In the New Testament (Matthew 2), the star led the wise men to Jesus; and in the Book of Mormon it was a sign to the world that Jesus Christ, our Savior, had been born (Helaman 14:1-2,5 and 3 Nephi 1:21). In the story, the star represents God’s promise being fulfilled that he would send us a Savior. We can also teach our children that because the star was recorded in both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, we know that Jesus Christ truly was born. Continue reading

Finding myself on the Sabbath

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Sundays are hard for moms. I’m not sure what is more difficult, keeping up with all of our children and our Sabbath Day responsibilities or feeling guilty that we’re not finding the Lord’s day more of a delight. We know that mothers of all ages struggle to create a picture-perfect Sabbath Day, perhaps that is why President Henry B. Eyring gave the talk, “Gratitude on the Sabbath Day” (General Conference, October 2016). Maybe President Eyring knows that we have a lot of work to do, but the key to making the Sabbath a delight isn’t by creating our own perfection, but by being grateful for the Savior’s perfection.

The key to making the Sabbath a delight isn’t by creating our own perfection, but by being grateful for the Savior’s perfection.

Let me give you an example: Years ago, while walking the halls of the church house with an over-active one-year-old, my neighbor stopped and talked with me. She shared with me memories of her husband serving as bishop while her kids were young and how she wondered why she should even come to church when she spent most of her time in the hallways with wiggly children. She didn’t give me any great advice or even words of encouragement. She just gave me understanding and acceptance of my situation that she knew would be over all too soon as my children grow. My neighbor didn’t give me the solution for perfection, but her desire to be a part of my life and share my concerns is definitely something I was grateful for that day. Continue reading

Carefully Designing a Home

When I was a young Beehyw-writing-597283-printive, I spent hour after hour designing my own house plan on graph paper. I would not only sketch out room designs, bay windows, and how close the refrigerator would be to the oven, but my young, imaginative mind would live in that home. I could imagine how many children I had, how many music students I could teach, what room my family would meet in for Family Home Evening and how I was going to get the six bathrooms in my house plan cleaned on a regular basis. I imagined so thoroughly that I even had a variety of contingency plans just in case things changed.

 

Fast forward many years, and I have a house similar to the one I designed, (albeit a much smaller size), I have taught many music students, my bathrooms are cleaned on a semi-regular basis (just in case you were wondering), I even have five, really great children. Everything in my life has worked out pretty much like I had planned. Continue reading

The Doctrine of the Not Canonized Family Proclamation

Family Proclamation Because “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” is not canonized, some LDS members feel they are free to either reject its teachings or interpret it at will. For example, the family proclamation teaches that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Some who disregard the proclamation as doctrine support and even advocate for same-sex marriage. Some go so far as to believe the doctrine of marriage will change. They feel that although the teachings in the proclamation pertain to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), the world at large should not be held to the same standard.

However, the proclamation teaches eternal, unchanging doctrines canonized in the standard works of the Church and affirmed by the consistent teachings of modern prophets and apostles.

What is Doctrine?

In the first place, the proclamation is strongly supported by the established criteria for “what is doctrine” as explained by the Church. Since the proclamation is firmly rooted in established doctrine, it is not necessary that it be canonized for members to uphold its teachings with confidence. LDS leaders, for over 20 years, have used the family proclamation as the gold standard by which they teach and establish the official position of the Church on the doctrines of marriage, family relationships, and gender identity. Prophets of God speak on His behalf; therefore, members sustain them as they uphold the doctrines declared in the proclamation. As members sustain and defend the proclamation, families are strengthened. The family proclamation meets all authoritative criteria for what constitutes LDS doctrine. Continue reading

Fortifying Families the Lord’s Way

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Families are under attack like never before. But we can learn how to fortify our families, in the Lord’s way with help from the doctrine of the Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  Did you know:

  • “1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” [Link]
  • “Males exposed to domestic violence as children are more likely to engage in domestic violence as adults, and females are more likely to be victims as adults.” [Link]    
  • “Couples who report feeling high levels of financial strain are three and a half times more likely to be involved in domestic violence compared to couples who report feeling low levels of financial strain.”  [Link]  

We are not left to figure life out on our own. Understanding church doctrine will help us to fortify our families in the Lord’s way, starting all the way back with Adam and Eve.

Continue reading

Guest Stand: When Divorce Happens

LDS divorceThe door slammed shut as if it were shouting, “Goodbye old house!”  I locked the door behind him and then stood in the kitchen with my hands shaking and my heart pounding.  “Did I do the right thing?”  I heard a noise behind me and turned to see my 5-year-old son looking at me with wide eyes.  “Are you okay, buddy?  I am so sorry.  That was scary, wasn’t it?”  He nodded as he climbed into my arms.  Within a few minutes I felt a sense of calm and peace wash over me.  This was the right choice for our situation, but it came at great cost to me and my little family.  This was one of the most difficult days of my life – and my children’s.  Our divorce was final several months later.

A few years later I arrived home after driving hundreds of miles across the desert so the kids could stay with their dad for most of the summer.  As I walked through the door I immediately saw a note on the whiteboard in the hallway.  It was in my son’s handwriting and read, “Goodbye old house…and mom.”  It was one of many sweet notes that my kids have secretly left behind over the ensuing eight years since my marriage ended.  These treasures are written in child’s scrawl and say things from “love you” to “miss you” to “be home soon” and have been found tacked to walls, left on tables, or written in steam on the bathroom mirror. Continue reading

Tornados & Priorities

Meet Goliath

Dec 26, 2015There 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

The Smooth Doctrine of Sin

SinI’ve been pondering on the “smooth” doctrine of sin advocated by those who believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) needs to soften their position on how homosexual behavior is viewed i.e. accept it now that gay marriage is considered a legal type of marriage. The underlying argument is that withholding the blessings of the gospel to those in a legal same-sex relationship and their posterity (albeit temporarily) is hurtful and can’t possibly be in accordance with God’s will. After all, some suggest, God is love and to insist upon holding fast to a doctrine that causes people pain can’t be right, and in their minds, certainly not Christlike.

The idea behind this kind of thinking is the hope that someday (when they believe that leaders will “eventually progress and receive more light”), the Church will change the doctrine of what constitutes a marriage to include any two people, regardless of gender. The problem with this argument is that the doctrine of marriage is fixed and immovable. Continue reading