During April 2021 I will be posting about some of the many specific personal tender mercies that God has shown me throughout my life. I have much to be grateful for, and I invite you to follow along starting on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Zion

 

And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

The Old Testament prophet, Enoch, the son of Jared and the father of Methuselah, was a righteous leader who led his people in righteousness.  The Lord blessed the people and their city, Zion, the City of Holiness, flourished.  In time, because of the righteousness of this people, they were taken up to heaven to abide forever.

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Today, it is the goal of those who truly follow the Lord, Jesus Christ, to live a life that is worthy to be part of a ZION society, a place where love and charity abound.  We strive to make our homes and families, our neighborhoods and our communities places where we love and serve and help one another, where the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught and lived to the best of our ability.  No, none of us are perfect, but we hope to do our part to make our corner of the world, wherever it might be, a better place to live.

Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion -- THE PURE IN HEART; therefore, let Zion rejoice . . . 


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Youth

 


I'm grateful for my youth, my own time as a youngster, teenager, young adult, what have you.   We weren't wealthy, but I never lacked for what I really needed. They weren't always fun and happy times.  I had my own struggles and angst, dealing with school, grades, friends, self esteem, and finding myself and choosing my goals and dreams and direction for life.  I do have many wonderful memories in spite of the challenges and difficulties, and for the most part I feel that that time of my life was blessed and protected.  I know now that I have experienced a life and youth of privilege, and recognize that fact more and more with each passing year.

I have also been blessed with being able to know and teach and work with many youthful people from generations younger than mine.  For the most part they have been and still are amazing examples to me of their friendliness, enthusiasm for life, and courage to search out and experience new things, different things, challenging things and hard things, to stretch and reach for their goals.  I love watching them as they become adults and leaders and parents, and I love seeing the amazing things they continue to accomplish and the wonderful people they have become.

My own children and their spouses and friends, and my grandchildren are among my favorite people and blessings in the world.  I love and appreciate their help and encouragement, their friendship, and the love and support and help they continue to show to me and to each other and my dear husband.  I admire them and look up to them in so many ways.  I am grateful to the youth and the younger generations in this world and have great hopes for the great things I believe that they will be able to accomplish.

And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.

And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.

O, remember my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth, yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. 


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Xfinity

 

X is one of the hardest letters to use for the A to Z challenge, but what has been on my mind this week is Xfinity, the trade name of Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, used to market Internet, Cable TV, and Telephone services.   I'm not a raving fan of Xfinity, per say, but I am a fan of the Internet, which is where I spend the majority of my waking hours these days, especially since working from home this past year.  Without the Internet, I would not be able to function working from home.  I'm very happy to say that we have only had one or two tiny glitches without service during all of my working hours the past year.

My communications with anyone outside of my Dear Husband and Dear Daughter, who lives here with us, would definitely be very sparse, with only the occasional phone calls or text messages with other family members or friends.  Yes, it has been a very solitary year for most people, but the Internet has kept us connected.  When we were under quarantine, we ordered our groceries online and had them delivered to our doorstep.  We can check our email and our Facebook and blogs on a daily basis.  We can even watch our favorite  movies and TV shows via the internet in the evenings after work.  

Are we addicted to the Internet?  Hopefully not.  I think we would tend to adapt somehow without it, but life would certainly be much different than it is today.  Probably a lot more like it was when we were children!   Do we rely on the Internet?  Very much so.  Yes, the Internet is very much a blessing that like most blessings we have can be used with wisdom and gratitude, or it can be misused and a source of trouble, and sadness of many kinds.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Water

 


Water.  Good old H2O.  What would we do without it?  So precious and important, for drinking, cleaning, cooling, recreating, and sustaining life. Who doesn't enjoy a day at the lake or the beach or a hike along the river?

Please don't take our water for granted, or waste it.  We have rain here in our neck of the woods this week, and we are grateful.  It has been a winter with less snow and rain than we normally receive, and we are anxious for more.   I could do better myself with using water wisely; planting a more water friendly yard, with less grass to water, taking care to not let the water run too long, taking shorter showers, making sure the plumbing and faucets are all in working order.  

Please make sure you have an emergency supply of water stored in your home.  It is suggested that we store at least one gallon of water per person per day, and if possible to have a two week supply on hand in case of emergencies.  I also like to always have a case of bottled water in the trunk of my car in case of emergencies, and try to rotate it out every six months to a year.   I will never forget the painful images of seeing people who had gone without potable water for days during such disasters as the deadly flooding in New Orleans back in 2005.  

There are so many people world wide who also lack clean, safe sources of water, and one of my favorite ways to give is to donate to organizations that help to provide clean wells and other water supplies to areas of the world where people don't have the access.   I'm sure that there are many more, but here are a few:





Monday, April 26, 2021

Vaccinations

 


Do you remember getting vaccinated as a child?  What a blessing it has been to grow up in a world where vaccines were and are a common thing, and available to most everyone, at least in my part of the world.  When we were infants, my dear mother would take us to the monthly well baby clinics sponsored by our county health department where it was made sure that we were always up to date on our immunizations and that we were vaccinated against polio and measles and mumps, and typhoid and tetanus and diphtheria.  There was never a question about it.  Vaccinations were a blessing and we took advantage of those blessings.   Every year during elementary school, and even during high school, I believe, there were the yearly "shot days" at school, where if we brought in the signed parent permission form and the minimal fee payment, we were given our recommended booster shots.  

It wasn't until this past year that I realized there was a fairly major influenza pandemic in 1968 that resulted in roughly 100,000 deaths in the US and 1,000,000 deaths world wide.  I remember being ill fairly often during the winter months when I was growing up.  Was I sick with that original strain of the H3N3 influenza virus?  I'm not certain, but I do know that my mother took us into the doctor every year for our yearly flu shot.  As I grew older, and especially after my tonsils were removed during Christmas break when I was 11 years old, I stopped getting sick quite as often.  Was it built up immunity, the flu shots, or having my tonsils removed?  I'll never know for sure, but probably it was a combination of the three.  

When I moved out on my own as a young adult, I was rarely ill with much more than a cold, and never missed a day of class during college due to illness.  I also didn't bother with regular doctor's visits or flu shots either, until my pregnancies came along, but I did make sure that my own children kept up to date on their childhood vaccinations.  Now that my workplace has a medical clinic and offers the convenience of the yearly flu shot, have have been taking advantage of that preventive medicine once again.  I understand that there are times when certain people do have serious reactions to vaccinations, and I am extremely grateful that this has never been the case for those in my family.  I'm also very grateful to have received my second dose of the moderna vaccine for the prevention of the Covid-19., and hope that safe doeses of the vaccine will soon become available for the children of this world, including my dear grandchildren. If annual Covid-19 vaccines do become available, you can be sure that my DH and I, and hopefully all of our family will make these vaccines a part of our annual traditions.  

I hope you and all of your loved ones are well, able to stay safe, and are protected from serious illness through the miracle of vaccinations.



Saturday, April 24, 2021

Understanding

  


Understanding  The ability to learn, judge, make decisions.  Intelligence.  Knowledge or familiarity with a particular thing or situation. Cooperation.  A mutual agreement.  Sympathetic, tolerant, and empathetic towards another person and their situation. Wisdom from experience.

I'm grateful for a lifetime of learning opportunities and experiences with different people, places, cultures, subject matter, talents, skills and abilities.  We each have a lifetime to learn and experience new things, and  to learn to have love and charity for other people.  I'm grateful that there are always new things to learn, experience, and understand.


Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

PS  I'm also grateful for umbrellas, even though I don't actually use them very often.  It doesn't rain as much here in our almost desert climate, and when it does, my umbrella is usually somewhere that I am not . . . . at home, in the car, at the office . . . it just turns out that way.  Or, the umbrella isn't working very well.  I guess I should always have several on hand in different places!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Temples

 

Temples  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints consider temples to be the "house of the Lord" and the most sacred places of worship on the earth.  Everyone is welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at our local churches or meetinghouses, but Temples serve a different purpose.  The primary purpose of temples is for faithful members of the church to participate in sacred ceremonies such as marriages that unite families forever, and proxy baptisms on behalf of family members who have died without having the chance to be baptized during their lifetime.  These ordinances and ceremonies prepare us to return as eternal family units to our Heavenly Father once we pass on to the next life. 


I first attended the temple for my own ordinances just before my 21st birthday and my year and one half missionary service.  My sister and I went together for the first time, and she was married to her husband for eternity in the temple the very next day.   The photo below is of the beautiful celestial room in the Salt Lake City Temple where we first attended.  That was a very special time for our entire family.


Salt Lake Temple

I have been blessed to return to this temple many times since, and have attended many other temples around the country even more often over the years.   Before March of 2020, I tried to attend a temple session at least once a month, sometimes with family or friends, and other times on my own.  It has always been a place where I can feel very close to my Heavenly Father, and also to others in my family who have passed on from this life to the next.  It has been a place to feel peace and comfort when times are hard, and to learn and ponder on sacred and eternal gospel principles, as well as current worldly problems and challenges.  
 
In March of 2020, temples all over the world were temporarily closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  Many have re-opened their doors on a limited basis, by appointment only in order to limit the numbers in attendance so social distancing and other safety measures can be put into place.  I haven't had the opportunity to attend since February 2020, but am hopeful that I can soon return to the temple often, one my very most favorite places on earth to be.

On May 4, of this year, our prophet President Russell M Nelson announced plans to build 20 additional temples in different areas around the world.  The Church of Jesus Christ now has 251 temples announced, under construction, or currently open and operating in various countries and cities.  It is so exciting to see and know that the work of the Lord is expanding throughout the world.  

Jordan River Utah Temple


Washington DC Temple

Barranquilla Colombia Temple



Have you ever visited a Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?  Where are some of your favorite sacred places?

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven . . . 
Psalm 11:4

PS  The tulips are in bloom!  I planted quite a number of red tulips the year after we bought our home over 20 years ago, and love seeing them bloom every spring!