Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Ben is three and Ashley is eleven, with the other four in between. Kurt is made bishop in Albuquerque and I had only two goals: always go to church and never be late. There were times when I wondered why I had made such a promise to God but He blessed me and I achieved those goals the whole time Kurt remained as bishop. There were days then and days before that when dragging (and I mean dragging) the children to church didn't seem productive for them or for me. I tried to plan well the night before, but that didn't necessarily help during the meeting itself. It is probably an honest statement to say that I don't remember much of what was said during those years, those years of ponderless sacrament meetings. But as we have the chance to watch the Joneses and the Mangums wrestle their way through church meetings I am immediately struck with a most wonderful thought and am reminded of Elder Bednar's promise this past conference to parents: Youth of all ages, even infants, can and do respond to the distinctive spirit of the Book of Mormon. Children may not understand all of the words and stories, but they certainly can feel the “familiar spirit” described by Isaiah (For those who shall be destroyed shall speak unto them out of the ground, and their speech shall be low out of the dust, and their voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit; for the Lord God will give unto him power, that he may whisper concerning them, even as it were out of the ground; and their speech shall whisper out of the dust). And in Alma is says: their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word.
So, my goals perhaps were not lofty but they were important, to me and to six children. Needless to say, I know that if infants can respond to the distinctive spirit of God's word then no child is too young to be illuminated, just by being there in the same room where the word is preached. For I believe, and the scriptures back me up, that hearing truth physically changes you. That is why growing up in the church it is often hard to pinpoint when you received your testimony because each time you go to church it changes you, the minute you were born, the minute your parents drag you to church to hear that familiar spirit. So drag on you parents! Drag on.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
My sister Lynn gave me the address to my father's home in Washington, DC. Here they lived for ten years while increasing their family from four to to seven! My sister Mary was friends with a Jewish neighbor boy, Ronnie Nessen.
When he came to play he would yell "Get the hell out here, Mary!"
He would later serve as press secretary to President Ford. And, to add to this wonderful bit of trivia, Nessen was the first political figure to host Saturday Night Live. His episode is also known for having Gerald Ford open the show with "Live From New York, It's Saturday Night!"
Friday, June 11, 2010
The church sent 16,000 blocks of marble (I know, I thought it was granite we were sitting on) to Washington, DC to build this chapel.
My father was the bishop here in the 1940's while working at the United States Department of Agriculture with Ezra Taft Benson. Unfortunately, the church sold the building and it is now in the possession of the Unification Church.
It actually had an Angel Moroni on top when it was first built. Here is a photograph before it was placed on top of the steeple. It is now in the Church Museum of Art in Salt Lake City.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
How would you like your kitchen displayed in the Smithsonian? Well, no matter what your answer, it's not going to happen. But this woman, Julia, she is something. I love getting this intimate look into her life no matter how contrived it might be! Bon appetit!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
My sister Lynn is writing my father's biography. I realize now he had another life without me, a life I knew nothing about. It is a life that shaped and formed his work ethic, his faith in God and an unwavering testimony of the restoration of this gospel. In 1936 he moved his family out to Washington, DC, a family of only four but by the time they left three more children were added.
He was the private secretary to the congressman from Arizona, John R. Murdock. He also earned his PhD at George Washington University, bishop of his ward and found out his wife had breast cancer with three months to live. She was pregnant with Joe at the time. This is a long story, a sad and a happy story. It is a story that changed the lives of many people, including mine. It makes me so sad sometimes to realize I would not have been here without the death of Virginia. I would not be here without the sorrow of my father and his five children. In many ways, it shaped their lives, the death of their mother. I know it shaped mine.
These are pictures of the United States Department of Agriculture building. My father resigned from his position with Rep. John Murdock to take another government position in the United States Department of Agriculture as chief of the training, personnel division. He was over 25,000 people. Lynn said it is the same building that he worked in so many years ago. I am sad I didn't ask him more questions about how he felt. How he managed. How his faith was strengthened. I am sad I didn't thank him for his sacrifice but grateful for his choice to continue to acknowledge God, always.