The Watchman

The Watchman

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission

So imagine the scene:  A family gathered together; father, mother, brothers and sisters.  One member of the family sits in the middle of the group holding a letter.  You can tell by looking at him that he is both excited and nervous.  Slowly and carefully he pulls back the flap, as he thinks of the time he has spent preparing for this moment.  He can hardly believe this day is here.  In the background he can hear his brothers and sisters cheering him on and urging him to hurry.  He can tell that his father and mother are excited for the new adventure he is to embark on, but that they are also anxious.  He will be leaving them.  Has he learned enough to make the right choices?  Will he return to them when this time is over?  How much they love him and how they will miss him.  Will he write?  Will he let them know what is happening to him?  Will he ask for help and advice when he needs it?

These are all thoughts that went through my mind each time I watched one of my boys open their letter or "mission call" assigning them to the area they would serve for 2 years for the LDS church.  These times have always left me with mixed emotions: happiness that they have met this goal, excitement that they are embarking on a life changing experience, but also sadness because I knew how much I would miss each of them.  

When Jon opened his mission call, these feelings were especially strong.  Hunter was home and there with us via Facetime and Wil was still in Japan.  Three boys at three different points on the continuum. As I thought about this, I had the strongest impression that this is in a small way how our Heavenly Father felt as we left His presence to come to earth to gain a body and to be tested. To learn and to grow.  To gain experience we could gain in no other way.

Do we write home or pray when times are good and not just when they are bad?  Are we willing to heed the counsel He has given us through the scriptures and continues to give us through a living prophet and answer to our personal prayer?  Will we diligently strive to return home to Him?  

How joyous have been our reunions when our sons have returned home!!!  Lots of tears! Lots of hugs! Lots of smiles and laughter!  Lots of excitement as experiences are retold!  How much more joyous will be the welcome we receive from our Heavenly family when we return there.

Friday, June 21, 2013

An Amazing Quarter of a Century

A "few" years ago as my 25th birthday approached, my dear sweet husband decided I needed a little perspective on this milestone.  He told me that you knew you were getting old when you could measure your age in years (25), decades (2 1/2) and centuries.  Needless to say, at the time I did not appreciate that perspective.

But today, as I wake to the morning of our 25th wedding anniversary, I like the view I have.  To say I have been married to my best friend, the best man I know, for a quarter of century is the greatest blessing I have in my life.  On his calendar, Rick has marked this day as the anniversary of "The Most Important Day in My Life".  How I love this man and how blessed I have been to be his wife.

I have mentioned before that when he proposed, Rick promised me that life would be an adventure.  This last year has been a rough spot in that adventure as Rick was under investigation and charged by the State Attorney General's office for mishandling public money, with the case being dismissed only two days ago.  It has been hard for me to watch the man that I know to be one of the most honest people I have ever met go through something where his integrity was questioned in such a public fashion.  

A few years ago a friend gave me a desk calendar that has a scripture and thought for each day.  Since it is reusable, it continues to sit on my desk and provide inspiration.  Rick had his preliminary hearing on Wednesday.  That day the scripture on my calendar was Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  This scripture was perfect for the day.  

The courtroom was filled with individuals who know Rick and support him.  Even individuals who do not agree with him philosophically, know him to be an honest individual of the highest integrity.  This meant so much to him.  All the words of encouragement have been so appreciated by all of us.  All the hugs have strengthened us.  All the baked goods have been enjoyed by our children who found this time confusing that this could happen to their dad, their hero.  The passion of Rick's attorney, Cliff Dunn, kept our spirits up with his honesty regarding the issues.  In the end, the judge saw through the smokescreens and distractions the AGs office tried to use to cloud the truth and found that there was no crime committed and so dismissed all the charges.  What a happy day for us!! In fact I am still doing a happy dance.

Today, I know that I am a better person because I am Rick's wife.  He is my biggest supporter.  He has absolute faith in me and my abilities.  Because of his faith, I find myself willing to spread my wings and take chances.  I know he has done the same for our children.  He has always been their biggest fan.  The girls joke that he is the "No" dad, but the boys will tell them that is really my role.  Dad has always been the "You can do it!" dad.

So here we are 25 years together.  I am looking forward to the next 25 years and on through eternity.

I loved this video, but let me warn you, it is a tear-jerker. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bear One Another's Burdens

Mosiah 18:8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

So, something awful happened yesterday.  And yes for a moment it knocked us on our butts and had us questioning ourselves.  In the end though, it has been shown to be a childish act of attempted intimidation.  Today we are pretty sure we know who was behind it and that is all I want to say about it here.  Our family has been on a roller coaster for the last little while.  I haven't blogged about it, because I have young children who are upset by all the upheaval and I want to avoid unnecessary worry by having them talk to us instead of reading something they may or may not understand completely.

Yesterday, I found the messages received in church especially poignant.  The testimonies of faith and hope shared helped strengthen my own.  The message that our loving Heavenly Father has provided us direction on the path that we must follow to return to Him is comforting.  The organization of His church is perfect.  Our commitment at baptism to take upon us the name of Christ, to always remember Him and keep His commandments and to bear one another's burdens is the heart of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

To me, these words are more than a passive statement of belief.  They are a commitment of action.  I was reminded yesterday of why I love this community that we have chosen to make our home.  Our family has also been blessed with wonderful friends outside the immediate community. I have tried to apologize many times to our friends when events in our lives have spilled over and caused discomfort and stress and extra work for them.  Again and again I have received the reassurance both in word and deed that we are surrounded by individuals who are truly amazing and caring; individuals who have taken the question "What would Jesus have me do?" as the guide for their lives.  Our hearts our lightened by all the love we receive.  

Yesterday, each time our doorbell rang with a new visitor, many bearing treats, our girls would ask why all these people were coming to see us and bringing us so many yummy things.  The answer to that question was because they think your dad is awesome.  As one sweet friend advised, to those who tried to ruin what was a beautiful Sabbath, all I need to say is "God bless."

For a beautiful message on Enduring Together, click here.