Sunday, July 27, 2008

Things I Believe. Joseph Smith.

Ask of God by Sandra B. Rast

Joseph Smith was a prophet.

This is another thing that I have found through my own searching to be true.

I distinctly remember the last time this was powerfully reconfirmed in my life. I was reading the account of the first vision with Josh to pass of a requirement for Scouts. He was reading and as he read we started to feel the peace that comes through the Holy Ghost. I felt so powerfully the thought confirmed to me that this young boy had indeed seen God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
I owe such a great debt to this man who did so much to help restore the gospel to the earth. No man, other than Christ, has done more to move forward God's work. After the life altering vision that he had, he became a constant instrument in God's hands. I wish that I had the strength to stand so firm in my belief. He suffered persecutions from almost all sides. He was mocked, reviled, tortured, falsely accused. He was betrayed by those he trusted, watched his loyal beloved brother murdered and eventually gave his life rather than deny what he knew to be true.

I have a difficult time putting my testimony on my own blog.
I am indebted to Joseph Smith for all he did to bring the light back to a world that was wallowing in darkness. I am grateful that he was willing to be an instrument in God's hands no matter the cost. I know he was a prophet of God. So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

Joseph Smith, Jr.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

They sang and they walked. Or so I've heard.

Today is a holiday here in Utah!
It is Pioneer Day!
Days of '47!
Another day the scouts have to put up flags!
A good excuse to have fireworks!I love my pioneer ancestors and I really do consider them all pioneers.
Some were the actual covered wagon, handcart type and others were those that had the courage to change something in their lives to make themselves completely different than every generation before them.
Some changed religions, some changed continents, some changed the way they spelled their surnames to fit in their new country.
We are told that we are to be modern day pioneers.
"You don't have to push a handcart. Leave your family dear.
Or walk a thousand miles or more to be a pioneer.
You do have to have great courage.
Faith to conquer fear.
And work with might for a cause that's right
To be a pioneer."
I know many who have changed their lives dramatically from how things were done in the past. Some have joined the church, some have graduated from college, some have fulfilled missions, some have stopped the cycle of abuse, some have served in the military. Some have done their geneology, some have taken music lessons, some have learned to control their temper.
I am a pioneer in my family!
Nothing quite so noble.
I started a blog!
How are you a pioneer?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Every Thorn has its Rose!

I think I understand why the Creator of the world gave roses thorns!
Perhaps it is as some say, to prove a point or teach a lesson...
Every rose has it's thorn. (also works for song lyrics)
Aren't we glad thorns have roses. (also works on those church marquees)
Nothing is perfect.
Sorrow and Happiness must be linked together.
I think he gave them thorns so that there is just one flower on His world that kids don't want to touch.

On cool summer evenings I like to watch movies every now and then.
I like to sometimes curl up with a soft blanket.
I even have a blanket closet to hold blankets of this type and for this very purpose.
We have a LOT of blankets and you would think that this would be a simple thing.
I go to the closet and almost all 79 blankets are gone.
Gone! I tell you.
Except one.
It is a big, puffy sage green and cream colored blanket.
I made it when I was a teenager.
As far as blankets go this one is high up on the blanket desirability scale.
It has all the important elements.
Soft, warm, clean, big and even holds some fond memories.
I was always amazed that this puffy wonderful quilt is always available when I need it.
Then one night while wrapped in said blanket I was watching "Pride and Prejudice" and the answer stuck me.
No, that wasn't a typo.
There is one pin left somewhere in that quilt and it stuck me.
It has a thorn.
I think I will leave it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I Believe.

In the July Ensign Elder Ballard wrote an article entitled "Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet". I was thrilled to read this article because it basically justified my joy in having this blog. Some of my family and friends have made comments like "I don't understand why you would want to let strangers have access to your personal life." and "I had better not be able to find myself on Google in connection to your blog!". Now I can say that Elder Ballard recommended I do this.
  • Now, may I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some may say I am a member of this particular church because my parents were and therefore I am a member only by default. That may have been true when I was a child. But I am not a child now. I am a member because I choose to be because I have asked my questions and have found the answers for myself. I truly believe and hope that even if I hadn't been introduced to the church when I was young that I would still have recognized the truth of this gospel when it came knocking on my door. prayer time with Mom
I do not claim to understand all the doctrines. I do not claim to be perfect in living all the teachings that I know to be true (although I am pretty darn close to perfection on commandment #6! It's those thoughts that get me every time)
I never could be mistaken for a scriptorian or an angel. All I can tell you is what I have learned, what I know and what I believe to be true.
This is not a complete list but I will add to these every now and again to continue my justification/addiction cycle!I know that there is a God. I know that He loves me, in fact I most often refer to Him as my Heavenly Father. I know that He loves each and every person who has lived or will ever live. He loves us so much that He created a beautiful plan to make sure each and everyone could return to be with Him. I believe that as my Heavenly Parent that He knows me better than anyone else could. I know that He feels sorrow when I hurt and happiness when I am joyful. As it would be with any Perfect Parent, He wants me to succeed and to find joy in my journey and He will do all He can to help me if I will but ask.

Over 2,000 years a baby was born in Bethlehem. He grew in "wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man". I know that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, caused the lame to walk and raised the dead. He is the only perfect person to ever walk on the earth. Yet because of His love for you and I and His desire to do the will of our Father in Heaven He allowed His life to be taken. He suffered through the pains in Gethsemane that caused Him to sweat drops of blood. This atonement is incomprehensible at times for me. I know that I cannot begin to understand the power that made the atonement possible or the mechanics of how it works. But, I do know that because of this I am not only able to be forgiven for sins which I commit but also I know that He understands my sufferings, my sorrows, and my pains. I know that three days after He gave His life for us that He was resurrected. This Baby born under such humble circumstances became the King of Kings, the Savior of us all!

He is Not Here

I don't know what lies in my future. There are many things that terrify me! I suppose that there will be many triumphs and some disappointments. I suppose that there will be many moments of rejoicing and my measure of sorrows. I really don't know much of what is to come. The only thing that I do know is that regardless of the what the future holds, there stands my Savior, the Son of God. He is my Rock, my strength and my comfort! I testify unequivocally and without hesitation that I know He lives and I love Him.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Loves of July!

Two wonderful people were born in this month many years ago. Let me tell you about them!

I love my baby brother Mitch! The reasons I love him are varied and lengthy but here are some! I love Mitch because he loves to laugh. He loves to make others laugh. He is fun to be with almost all the time. I love to listen to his amazing accents! I love Mitch because he is a good guy. He is someone who I can always rely. He commits to something 100% and he will see it through. He is wicked smart and has a phenomenal memory and I really love his passion for history. He will be successful in anything he gives his all to! I love his soft side. I love how he puts up with all his older siblings giving him vast amounts of advice, all of it is, of course, amazingly wise! He also puts up with more than his share of mocking and does so with grace! Mitch loves kids and they love him! Everyone wants to wrestle, throw a ball, jump on the tramp, race and anything else with Uncle Mitch! He will be a great dad! He is also charming and good looking and he would never let you forget it! He is a joy to have in my family!

I love my sister-in-law Debbie! Debbie is also a joy to be around! She loves to laugh and to make others laugh. It must be a July thing because she also gets more than her share of mocking from people who I won't mention by name but they (and you by now) know who they are! She loves kids and they love her! When she lived here the boys loved to have her babysit but only at her house because she had all the fun toys! She is down to earth and direct and very perceptive as well. She has a memory that amazes me. If I have any questions about family dates or events she is the go to gal. We miss having her here but she is the only brave Rollins sibling who lives out of state. Family is so important to her but I commend her for putting marriage and supporting her husband first! She is a loyal sister, aunt, daughter and friend. If you are lucky enough to call her any of the above she will be your best advocate for life! Debbie was the first no wait second Rollins that I knew after Dave and she was such a great person I knew that I would love the whole family! (which I do) I am so blessed to know Debbie and I do love her lots!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Twisted Roots

I have been to a few reunions this year and since visiting the family tree I have been sitting on my branch (I'm off there on the left somewhere) looking around at the other twisted branches (and you know who you are) in my family tree and wondering about roots. I have especially enjoyed thinking about the family quirks that make people extremely interesting.

Some of these quirks seem to stretch back into past generations of intense quirkiness. There are some that have been around for so long that the inheritors no longer think of them as quirks but as normal.

In my family we have tardiness, stubbornness, organizational skills, bossiness, my way or the highway thinking, peace keeping skills, quick tempers, quick feet, obsessiveness about being on time, and many others I am sure I have forgotten (or maybe I am mentally blocking them if they are too painful to think about). Let me know if I have forgotten any glaringly obvious ones, Alli. Kelli's Crazy Couch
I love to see the histories of the quirks and see them meet other quirks when a marriage and children occur. Fascinating stuff. For example. My dad came from the "obsessively early" side where my mom came from "tardy" side of quirkland! So it caused quite a bit a stress at times in their marriage I am sure. It is fun to see how my different siblings and I have worked out our own adapted style. Me, I am right on time, a nice perfect balance.
I wonder what I do that seems completely normal to me and yet to someone else it would be a quirk? Hhhmmmm. Are you list makers? I make lists. I make lists of the lists I should make! I have cousins and siblings who have inherited other traits ande some have adopted some of their very own. I know some have developed the quirk of doodling while talking on the phone or others it is the quirk of strapping a gun to themselves 24/7.

Me going to a Relief Society Social. Yeah, my piece totally matches my shoes and handbag.

What are your inherited or invented family quirks?


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

When did family reunions become fun again?

I remember distinctly Mom and Dad dragging me to many a reunion in some random park or church cultural hall. I am very certain that the following things took place at almost every reunion.

kids playedadults sat around and talked and laughed at very silly stories
older cousins (first, second, once removed doesn't really matter) who were so awesomely cool that you were a little nervous but oh so eager to hang with their crowd.

lots of good homemade food

boring programs

everyone remarking on how big I was getting

young cousins jumped right back into being friends... doesn't matter when you saw them last.

teenagers sulking

I remember about a million years ago when my Uncle Clifford and Aunt Helen's family came into to town and we got together with them for a few days and we somehow memorized all the songs in "Annie" and performed them for our parent's. Whenever I hear those songs I think of these cousins fondly.

Then I became a teen and the whole reunion thing become quite tedious and boring I remember those years well. Those teenage years through the selfish-young-twenties (sorry, that is what I call those first years in the twenties when everything is about me. Granted for good reasons but another time on that topic) anyway that must be where reunions get a bad reputation. Too bad we can't skip those years.

So my question is this. When did reunions become good things again? I just got back from the Rencher Reunion at the Homestead. It was full of...

Kids playing

lots of adults sitting around talking and laughing only now I am one of them!

older cousins although I am not afraid of most of them anymore. The younger gun-totin' ones scare me a little! It makes me wonder who is going to attack us up there in the booniest of boondocks, an escaped cow?

lots of good homemade food... foil dinners (what are these mysterious things of which you speak?), pancakes and all the protein extras, taco soup, potato bar with all the fixins plus some new yummy fixins. (I still want that pulled pork recipe, Brenda!)

boring programs (not quite so boring, especially sitting near the most sarcastic of the cousins and their spouses)

everyone remarking on how big I was getting. It wouldn't be a compliment anymore although still true. teens sitting around sulking. Another nice thing about the Homestead. Lots of room, lots of things to do, lots of fun events, lots of people with guns to shoot the teens that are sulking.

young cousins jumped right back into being friends... doesn't matter when you saw them last.

The cousins aren't so young anymore but it is amazing how we can jump right back into being friends. Maybe it is the special place that we call The Homestead, maybe it is that we are older and supposedly wiser, maybe it is that we have some of the same blood running through our veins, maybe it is because we know perfectly what "He is such a Rencher" means.

Whatever your reasons. I am a fan.

disclaimer: Photos do not necessarily reflect what is being mentioned. Jacqui is not the most sarcastic. Brenda may not be actually bored but then again...