Friday, June 27, 2008

Journal Entry

Finished up the conference with Arbinger Institute today. Excellent, uplifting, inspiring and thought-provoking. I feel a tremendous urge to be a better person.

We also attended the Ward Campout this evening. It was fun, but we came home early so we can prepare to host a party tomorrow because family is coming in from China! Haven't seen them in a year. Yippee!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Arbinger Institute

Attended the first day of a two day conference by the Arbinger Institue today. I love their work and I am excited for tomorrow. I will post more of the conference at a future date.

We're on our way to...

We're on our way to the doctor, so Patricia can have an ultrasound to find out what she'll be having in November. We're pretty excited, and we'll post you up later. listen

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Try this on the web, see if you can beat me!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Late night games

Hyrum, Lizzie, and I took a long Sunday afternoon nap, so we were not tired when it was the normal bedtime. We're staying up late to play games. We played Scooby Doo Hide and Shriek, Scooby Doo Memory, and Hyrum is still thinking of a third game to play. He is dusting the living room right now(we got this new vacuum with a duster inserted on the side and he loves the duster with its extendable (sp?) handle); he said that dusting helps him think. Lizzie and I are patiently waiting for his decision. It's 11:15. We see if we get to sleep by midnight!

Revelation and the Holy Spirit

I've spent some time the past couple of days thinking and blogging about reason and revelation. The conversations have given me an opportunity to both think about what I believe and to bear testimony. It has been enjoyable and helped me to focus on things of the gospel, which is better (for me) than politics or sports.

I ran discovered this article on the LDS Philosopher blog by Noel Reynolds. He was my Stake President when I attended the Y. I liked these two paragraphs, and how they relate to what I've been thinking about.

Another way of putting the problem of reason and revelation is to ask if revelation must give the same results as philosophical or scientific method to be valid. Because of the narrowness of these two as conceived by contemporary practitioners, the answer must be no. In the interest of time, allow me to point out only one of many reasons. Contemporary philosophy and science have accepted certain ground rules--such as the principle of naturalism--which restrict in advance the range of possible explanations that can be given for our observations. Specifically, no explanations are acceptable which refer to the reality of gods or other supernatural beings.

It may well be that such a principle has been necessary for secular science to make any headway when its practitioners represent so many different beliefs about the existence of gods. But it is also clearly true that to the extent that the supernatural world does exist and does interact causally with the world of our ordinary experience, science has arbitrarily erected a barrier against its own free explorations of that essential feature of reality--and has condemned itself permanently to a partial understanding of the truth.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Young Men's Theme

Each Sunday in Priesthood Quorum, and again on Tuesday during Mutual night, the Young Men of the Aaronic Priesthood and their leaders stand as a group and recite the Young Men’s theme. :

We are sons of your Heavenly Father and disciples of Jesus Christ. We act in Faith, hope charity and love with an eye single to the Glory of God. As a bearer of the Aaronic Priesthood, I will:

BECOME converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live its teachings.

SERVE faithfully in priesthood callings and fulfill the responsibilities of priesthood offices.

GIVE meaningful service.

PREPARE and live worthily to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances.

PREPARE to serve an honorable full-time mission.

OBTAIN as much education as possible.

PREPARE to become a worthy husband and father.

GIVE proper respect to women, girls, and children.

Now, the young men will notice some differences in what I just read from what we have been reciting. In researching for this talk, I discovered that what we’ve been reciting for the past 6 years is a bit different than how the official church document reads. Therefore, we will be learning the accurate wording, and re-memorizing our Young Men’s theme to properly align ourselves with the written doctrine. Look on the bright side young men, this means that you get another opportunity for another Cold Stone run once you successfully recite the theme from memory. It’s okay if you don’t all memorize it immediately, I am happy to make more than one trip to Cold Stone.

Brothers and Sisters, what we have been reciting varies ever so slightly from the official church document, but I feel it’s important that we make the necessary changes to re-learn the theme correctly. Furthermore, as we fumble through the wording over the next number of months, this will afford us an opportunity to focus on the content of the Young Men’s theme; and I am excited about this focus—the young men and us leaders will surely draw closer to our Heavenly Father as we strive to imprint these words not only upon our minds, but upon our hearts.
On pages 3-4 from True to the Faith, we read:

The Aaronic Priesthood is "an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood" (D&C 107:14). It is often called the preparatory priesthood. As a priesthood holder serves in the Aaronic Priesthood, he prepares to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, to receive the blessings of the temple, to serve a full-time mission, to be a loving husband and father, and to continue in lifelong service to the Lord.
Let’s look at the Young men’s theme again with this in mind: that the Aaronic priesthood is preparing him for lifelong service to the Lord.

First and foremost the preamble to the theme reminds the young men of who they are: We are sons of Heavenly Father and Disciples of Jesus Christ.

For the past 11 years, I have worked as a teacher in a residential treatment center. I have personally witnessed the struggles of over 1000 teenagers as they try to make sense of their life, and put themselves on a road to happiness. These teenagers are lost. They don’t know who they are, where they’ve come from, and where they are going. With few exceptions, the parents are lost, too. It is truly sad to see. Most of these families have no belief that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father who loves them. It is no wonder they are confused, angry, depressed, hopeless, and fighting.
They young Men’s theme reminds the boys of who they are. The young men of the church are not lost: they. I feel blessed to serve as a young men’s leader just so that I can recite this theme twice a week and remind myself of who I am.

The remainder of the theme is comprised of 9 stanzas. (Re-read them)
Taking them out of order, they can be grouped into three groups: Those that charge the boys to perfect themselves, those that call the boys to service; and those that invite the boys to prepare.

The first stanza invites and reminds the boys to become converted and live the gospel.

OBTAIN as much education as possible.

However, we understand that the education we receive is for the purpose of serving others. The young men have the examples of the general authorities in this regard. Each of those brethren have obtained as much education as possible, be it education through formal institutions such as universities and colleges or education through their career experiences.

Two of the stanzas start with the verb Give
GIVE meaningful service. And GIVE proper respect to women,
girls, and children.
Another Stanza begins with the word Serve
SERVE faithfully in priesthood callings and
fulfill the responsibilities of priesthood offices.

I commend the youth in our ward for their service. The mutual nights where we perform service for others are some of the best attended by the youth. Our youth are learning to work hard and serve others.
A couple of months ago I dropped by a young man’s house so he could help me administer the sacrament to some ward members who couldn’t make it to church. As we finished up about 35 minutes later, we hopped in the van at our last house so I could take him home. This young man turned to me and said: “Thanks for taking me. I didn’t really want to go, but I really glad I did. And I will go again when you need me.” I replied: “I feel that way a lot of times, too. It’s sometimes hard to get out, but it always feels good to help others.”

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
Author: Chinese Proverb

Three stanzas in the Young Men’s theme start with the verb prepare
PREPARE and live worthily to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances.

PREPARE to serve an honorable full-time mission.

PREPARE to become a worthy husband and father.

In large part, the YM theme focuses upon perfecting one’s self, serving others, and preparing to serve others.

Leo Tolstoy wrote:
The meaning of life lies in two major areas: your personal perfection and service to other people. You can serve while you are moving toward perfection, and you can move toward perfection by serving people.

Testimony and end.

Philosophical Love

I recently discovered a blog written by three BYU students combining their study of philosophy with that of the scriptures. It reminded my of one of my favorite classes while I was there: Philosophical Skills and Doctrines of the Gospel, taught by Chauncey Riddle. The following quotation from Riddle captures one of Dr. Riddles perspectives very nicely.

A new insight in one area of ideas sheds light and new perspective on every truth hitherto discovered. Thus, one must constantly readjust his thinking to new and grander perspectives as the panorama of the Father's marvelous love for his children slowly takes shape and detail. This is exciting to experience. Of all the experiences a person can have, I suppose that learning the ways of God is perhaps next to the greatest of all experiences. I believe that the greatest experience is to have the privilege of putting those newly learned truths into action, to do the work of righteousness that correct concepts and true understanding make possible.

Author: Chauncey Riddle, Source:
That was such an awesome class. "If this class is not the focus of your semester, I suggest you don't take it," he told us the first session. A number of students did not return. Thankfully, Patricia did return. She and I spent many hours that semester studying, reading, and writing for Riddles class. Our discussions of the gospel served as rich soil in which our mutual respect and friendship would flourish. Eleven years into our marriage, we still talk about that class rather often. Needless to say, she got the better grade. I did get the girl, though. Thanks Dr. Riddle.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Elder Neal A Maxwell

Such an awesome talk. . .

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

At the insistence of my family and friends, this is my first official blog post. I decided to write on Father's Day, since Aaron is the one who has been wanting me to share this blog. About a year ago, he asked me what he should blog about, and I jokingly said, "Write something about me!" Well, he ended up writing a lot about me, so I am going to return the favor.

"50 Things I Love About My Husband"

1. His smile
2. His finger food feasts
3. His attention to detail
4. His family and the way he was raised
5. His clean-cut appearance (O.K., most of the time)
6. His sensitivity to my needs
7. His sensitivity to my wants
8. He has always wanted me to be a stay-at-home Mom
9. He is a great cook
10. His laugh
11. The times when he cries
12. His passion for his hobbies
13. His passion for causes he believes in
14. He can take any kind of lesson and make it fun and interesting
15. His patience with me
16. That he would give up having a Corvette to have a big family
17. He can think of good ideas in minutes (I am very jealous of this one)
18. His spoiling of his daughters (and me)
19. That he likes to camp and hike
20. That he is finishing school! YEAH!!
21. He is a hard worker
22. I love when he comes home from work and is excited to see the kids and play with them
23. He is O.K. with who I am
24. He is O.K. with how I look (at least one of us is)
25. When we help each other with our various assignments and responsibilities
26. His intelligence
27. He appreciates even the little things I do
28. He courage to "walk out" or "turn it off", if necessary
29. I like to watch him play sports
30. Our dates -- past, present, and future
31. His stability as a provider
32. That I am always right!
33. That we became close friends before we ever dated
34. His loyalty to BYU (go Cougs!)
35. He gives priesthood blessings when needed
36. His dedication to his callings
37. His dedication to the Lord
38. Seeing his face light up when I return from a long trip
39. He likes country music and likes to sing it
40. He needs me
41. He buys me Reese's
42. He married me
43. He lets me go and do whatever, whenever -- no questions, no guilt trips
44. He notices things about the kids that I don't
45. He rarely spoils himself -- he only owns one "toy" that I can think of -- his IPhone
46. He loves food and trying new foods
47. I love to play the guitar and sing with him
48. He keeps up our blog
49. He likes Jane Austen movies
50. I got to marry the man I always admired and loved, but felt was out of reach

I love you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Anna's visit to China.

Anna made a quick visit to China. Check out her blog for a report and a picture.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jesus' backyard

I overheard Hyrum talking to Patricia during bedtime prayers.

Hyrum: You know what I imaginate, Mom?

Patricia: What?

Hyrum: I imaginate that Jesus has a big house. And in his backyard he has a whole bunch of phones, like walkie-talkies, so he can listen to all our prayers.

He said some more, but I'll need to talk to Patricia to get the rest. . .

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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  • 13:18 that new iphone looks sleek. . .have to put it on my wish list #
  • 17:17 preparing a presentation on microbloggin. Had no idea of all the options #
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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  • 21:14 went van shopping; settled on a Ford Econoline over the Chevy Express. wanted the corvette at the Chevy dealer, but it didnt' seat 12 #
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Monday, June 9, 2008

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Sunday, June 8, 2008


Hyrum and I were browsing French Open pictures at I mentioned that Federer had got second place. . .

Hyrum said: "Oh, so he got a food tray."

We both looked at each other and laughed.

Kids' blogs

Along with Reed and John, Anna and Hyrum have blogs, too. Check out their links on the right. Because of Scribefire (an awesome add-on in Firefox) I think the kids will blog a lot more frequently. Hyrum sees his blog as a place to watch star wars clips from youtube (since that's the last post I helped him with). . .anyway, they've love any comments.

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fun with Photoshop

Over 200 people attend community meeting to be better people. . .

  • Kearns, Utah June 7, 2008. People from the neighborhood filled the room to capacity and it was a good thing that additional chairs were provided. Neighbors and friends from numerous cultures listened attentively as speakers shared personal experiences and insights about life and happiness. None of the speakers were paid - they were ordinary, "run of the mill" people from the neighborhood. One shared a message of Faith, another (through a translator) shared one of Faith and Service. There was a talk on Charity, one on Love, and one about having a clear focus to be a better person. The atmosphere was one of joy and excitement as neighbors mingled amongst themselves afterwards. Surely, the neighborhood will benefit from this meeting; and other neighborhoods around the nation should do the same.
Isn't this amazing news! Neighbors getting together to help inspire each other to do better. I was there, and it was an awesome meeting. I gleaned a lot from the speakers; but what most impressed me was the bigger picture: we are getting together, voluntarily, to help each other out.

Those of us that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have various labels for such meetings: Sacrament Meeting, Firesides, Mutual. Tonight's meeting happened to be called Stake Conference. We often lose sight of what is really happening in those meetings. We aren't just going to a meeting; we're gathering together to strengthen and help one another and our communities.

Can't wait until tomorrow's session.

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  • 20:57 good luck to all those riding in the Red Riding Hood tomorrow #
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Friday, June 6, 2008

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  • 17:12 learning Photoshop with Zheng. . .it's pretty fun tonight #
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

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  • 15:12 using Randy's Pausch's last lecture as a focal point of our parent weekend the next two days. Theme: Walk the Talk #
  • 21:08 joined PMOG #
  • 21:37 just reorganized my site files in dreamweaver and reloaded site. . .I will be amazed if it works properly when it finished "putting" #
  • 10:13 I want a Flip phone. #
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

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  • 13:19 Some cool quotations at: #
  • 13:20 just finished an Econ activity on supply, demand, and equilibrium price. It was a blast! #
  • 14:50 Interesting: #
  • 15:40 Just listen Men in Black on the way to school. Great song and great movie. #
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Great Quotation for Husbands and Fathers

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

Saint Francis de Sales

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  • 23:20 working on homework! Yeah #
  • 23:57 marie callender's pies only 6.99 right now (in SLC). . .lemon cream cheese is yummy #
  • 00:18 lizzie is not sleeping well. . .waking up every 20 minutes and fussing. . .poor cutie #
  • 00:41 couple new blog posts: #
  • 05:23 gonna need lots of Dr. Pepper today #
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Hyrum and one of his Best Friends

Digging. . .

Sunday Sword Fighting

Hyrum: "Dad, can I go jump on the tramp?"

Dad: "No, it's Sunday.*"

A couple of minutes later. . .

Hyrum: "Okay, let's have a sword fight. That's a good Sunday activity because the Nephite and Lamanites did it all the time."

*That's our family rule. Of course everyone has different rules and that's okay.

Monday, June 2, 2008

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  • 05:29 crazy week ahead. . .here we go! #
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