Sunday Best!!

Ephesians 6:11-17
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of thes world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the sheild of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
Speaking about the whole armor, President N. Eldon Tanner said, “Examine your armor. Is there an unguarded or unprotected place? Determine now to add whatever part is missing. … Through the great principle of repentance you can turn your life about and begin now clothing yourself with the armor of God through study, prayer, and a determination to serve God and keep his commandments.”
Alex had his mission talk today.
He leaves in 1 1/2 weeks. He did a great job. He spoke on the “Armor of God”. He has always been interested in armor. He loves to play games, and watch movies that have to do with men wearing armor. Some of his favorite stories in school had to do with Spartans, or gladiators, etc.
The armor of God
is the ultimate armor.
In the scriptures we learn that we are ingaged a battle against evil and that we must protect ourselves, if we are to be victorious.
“Missionaries are the special forces
 in God’s army, sent in to find and arm those who
are ready and want to fight against evil.
They are being shot with fiery darts and they are scared and frustrated. We find them, those who are ready, and
we arm them by teaching them…or just fasten their armor better then it is. Then other members of the church
can help them train for the fight.
And help them build their armor.”  -Alex
He will be a great missionary!
I hope your Sunday was the Best!! Love, Joy

Sunday Best!!

Blessed are the peacemakers.
Matthew 5:9
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
“Do good; seek peace (Ps. 34:14).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ gave us the beautiful beatitude about peace and peacemakers.
I like to think of when the sermon was first taught. In my mind’s eye, I see a peaceful afternoon in early April. The sky is softening toward dusk, with not even a breeze. White, wispy clouds stand almost motionless in the blue sky. Below, on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, soft waves lap against moored fishing boats. Eager listeners sit on the grass or stand amidst the rocks and early spring flowers. All are hushed and thoughtful, and every face is lifted toward the Lord as He tells them what they need to do in order to have peace in their lives. Tenderly Christ speaks: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9).
To follow Christ and bring forth the blessings of heaven, we must actively make peace in the world, in our neighborhood, and, above all, in our homes.

The following prayer by St. Francis of Assisi suggests that we can be instruments in the hands of the Savior for bringing personal peace to others. To be a peacemaker, it helps to understand what brings peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.

No matter what the reason for the lack of peace—sin, not living God’s commandments, selfishness, pride, lack of love, even just being an innocent victim—the way to achieve peace is always the same: Turn to Christ; follow His example; repent of all wrongdoings; study and think about Jesus Christ every day; love Him and thank Him for His teachings and His example and His sacrifice for us.”

-Robert E. Wells

Hope your Sunday was the Best!! Love, Joy

Happy Fathers Day!!

Dad with CoCo
What is a dad?
A dad
is someone who has pictures
in his wallet,
where there used to be
Happy Father’s Day
to all dad’s!!
But especially to the greatest daddy in all the world! Mine. Thank you for your love and great example all my life,
I love you!

Family History Friday (FHF): Another Interesting Trip!

Several years ago, our family decided to visit some of the pioneer history sites in Wyoming. You can read about them here! We wanted to see at least two places. The Willie handcart sight, called Rocky Ridge. And Martin‘s Cove, a sight where many of the pioneers lost their lives. We were already going to Yellowstone on this trip, so we thought
-what the hay?
 In order to get from the Willie handcart site to Martin‘s Cove, you travel many miles through the middle of Wyoming. Nothing but sage brush and a few rolling hills. (Not that sage brush and rolling hills aren’t beautiful in their own way. But we’re talking kids, who have been in the car for hours.) The kids were tired of being in the car and said things like, “This is boring!” and “How soon are we going to be there?” I would tell them, “This is an adventure!” And remind them that we were going 60 miles per hour and the pioneers went about 15 miles per day. “Wow!” they would say. They found things to keep them busy while in the van and when we arrived at the sites, I believe they did have an adventure.
When we were at the Willie site, we borrowed a handcart and took it for down the dirt road. We all took a turn pushing and pulling. Emily fell in a gopher hole in the road, that she couldn’t see because she was pushing behind the cart. Whoops!  Alex’s favorite part about the whole trip was, as we were leaving Martin‘s Cove a dog chased our van for about a half mile and stayed up with us, even though my darlin was going pretty fast. Funny! Great memories, great adventures! And a new appreciation for the pioneers!
Like I always say, take a trip! Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy

Sunday Best!!

John 14:21
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
“I am going to preach a hard doctrine to you now. The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar.
It is a hard doctrine, but it is true.
The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship. There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart, where we really do decide which way to go and what to do. And when we submit to His will, then we’ve really given Him the one final thing He asks of us. It is the only possession we have that we can give, and there is no lessening of our agency as a result. Instead, what we see is a flowering of our talents and more and more surges of joy. Submission to Him is the only form of submission that is completely safe.”
-Neal A Maxwell
I love this!!!
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” 
If we love Him, the way to show it,
 it to do what He has asked us to do. It’s something to think about, and do. Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy

Family History Friday (FHF): Love Spoons!

One of my great, great grandmothers is from Wales. In researching Wales, I found a fun tradition that is celebrated there. The tradition of giving Love Spoons.
They are beautiful!
 A tradition that started in the 1600’s, I think. The man would carve the spoon to give to his intended. The designs are ornate and very symbolic of the love that the man felt for his future wife and his desires for blessings in the marriage. You will find them here! Take a few minutes and look at the beautiful designs and read about the meanings of the carvings.
Do research about the area your ancestors lived, you will find customs and traditions that were common where they lived. That means that they probably did some of them too! Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy

Lessons: A True Friend!

Riley and Taz -Dec 1999
It has been 4 days since our sweet Taz passed away. I had an idea that it would be hard when his passing came, but I really didn’t fathom it completely. Taz came to live with us as a puppy back in November of 1999. What a cute little ball of fur. He was mostly black, back then, with white patches here and there. The very first night we had him, I thought for sure he would cry all night. Nope, he hopped right in his bed, and slept till morning. He was potty trained in days and was always ready to greet people who came to visit.
Bear Lake 2008
 When he passed we were visiting friends in St. George. We usually took him with us when we traveled. He loved to ride in the car. He hadn’t been feeling well, and for a second, we thought about leaving him home.
Grandma would come and check on him often,
but he would be by himself.
We took a vote and decided to take him.
After all he is part of our family.
I stayed home from church on Sunday and kept him close, patting him and talking to him. Telling him how much we love him and telling him it will be okay. He was such a sweet dog. He didn’t eat at all on Sunday and drank very little. We had planned to take him to the vet, first thing in the morning. 
I put him in bed, and told him to be a good boy and that I would see him in the morning. The next morning my darlinest got up before me, and went to check on Taz. He was gone. When my darlin’ came in to tell me, we both cried and cried. He said, “I asked Heavenly Father to take him in my prayers last night.” And I said, “Well, I asked Him to help Taz feel better.” We both laughed a little, and my sweetheart said, “Well, He answered both our prayers then. Taz is gone and he is feeling better.”
The lesson is this, when we take a chance and love something or even someone, we know that someday they may/will leave. It won’t hurt when they leave, if we don’t love them so much.  We have loved this little furry friend for almost 11 years. He has been such a blessing in our lives. He has followed me around the house and yard for 11 years. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without him wanting to come in with me.
He was always the first and sometimes the only one to greet me when I came home. His little tail would wag so hard his whole bottom end would wiggle. I knew I was his whole world. Now that we’re back home, I miss him more than ever.
 He was always here. He would sit by me on the couch. He would somehow get a hold of and chew on my quilts, only later would we discover his expensive chew toys. He would bark when people came to visit. Now the doorbell rings and nothing. ouch!
The thing is, I would never trade all the years of love and happiness with our little friend Taz, for not feeling lonesome and sad for him now. He has been such a blessing in our lives and we wouldn’t trade a second of it.

ON PETS – by Daddy

On Pets

My adult daughter called her mother the other day,
crying, to tell her that her family dog, Taz, had passed away. Later that day I was with my wife and she told me of the sad event. Taz had not been feeling well for several days and that night they had put him in his bed and the next morning they found him dead. We, too, had known Taz for some 12 years, since he was a puppy. As we talked about the event and how bad our daughter’s family felt about it, we, too, commenced to shed tears. Our family has always had pets and with only one or two exceptions they all died of old age. They have been, and are, important members of our family. They each have their own individual personalities, whether the pet be a cat or a dog. Dogs are always affectionate and cats are when they feel like it. They say a family owns a dog but a cat owns a family. I well remember my first dog, I brought a stray mongrel home when I was about eleven years old. I started feeding it scraps from our table and he stayed with me. He was about half grown at the time. It was during my fifth year in school and I remember that the war was still going on. Every once in a while a military convoy would be seen going through the streets of our city. I had a fascination with the Army jeep. I spent a great deal of time in class drawing pictures of jeeps and airplanes. Maybe at this point you can guess what I named my first and very own pet. You are right, his name became ‘Jeep’. Jeep slept on
my bed, ate my food (I don’t believe they even sold dogfood in 1945) and he went every where I went. When school was out Jeep would be waiting for me at the school house door. He would run alongside my bike as I rode all over the neighborhood. He provided a certain amount of humor for me and my friends. One time we were riding our bikes along a tree lined avenue in Spokane, Washington with jeep running along side. It so happened that two men were standing on the side walk talking and Jeep ran up on the sidewalk and stopped where the two men were and lifted his leg on one of the men. We talked and laughed about that for years. Wherever I was, there was Jeep, my constant companion. Jeep had one bad habit that I could never break him of, he loved to chase cars and sometimes bite at their tires if they were going slow enough. I mentally rationalized one time thinking that Jeep may have thought that cars coming toward us on the street may possibly be a threat to me. One day a car came along and true to form Jeep took out
after it, only this time, the thing that I was always afraid of
happened. Jeep was run over and killed. I remember running to the street and picking him up in my arms and with tears streaming down my face I carried him home. I was actually mad at him and I cursed him with every swear word that I could bring to mind. All that I could think of was that he did a stupid thing, now he was dead and he wouldn’t be with me any more. My sorrow could not have been more deep if the dead body in my arms had been my little brother. After all,they were both members of my family. I missed Jeep so much, I missed his licking my face, jumping up on me with muddy paws and being there for me 24-7, as they say today. I missed his being curled up in the bend of my knees as we slept through the night. We were pals, he loved me as only a dog can love and I loved him as only a boy could love. I don’t believe I feel much different about every pet that we have had as a family since that time. When our kids have brought home a new pet I have hesitated letting them keep them. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to start a new relationship with a new pet because I knew how much it hurt when they go away. I don’t believe that our children ever
understood my hesitancy, a hesitancy that was rooted in the loss of a little dog named Jeep.