LDS Talk on the Constitution

I had the pleasure of talking in our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, last Sunday. I have had a few people request a copy of my talk and decided to post it here to make it easier.

Hope you enjoy...

I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to address you today on our topic…

The Salt of the Earth, The Light of the World.

In preparation, I read several conference talks pertaining to this topic, and found it very interesting the different ways we can apply it to our lives. One reference was that we shouldn’t let our light go out or “flavor” die. We, as church members, should not just sit back and blend in. Salt does not blend in. In fact, it says if "salt has lost its flavor, it is good for nothing", and that we need to be a light to the World. We need to be an example and stand for our values and what is important.

Veteran’s day seems to be a very appropriate day to speak of being a light unto the world and standing up for and defending what is right. I love Veteran’s day. I am very appreciative and thankful to all those men and women who have served and continue to serve us in the military.

In John 15:12 -13 it says…

14 “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

And this is what has, and is being been done to preserve our country, our freedom and our lives.

I have had many things go through my mind this week and what my Heavenly Father wanted me to share with you. One thing that came to me over and over is something that President Frank Rodarte Senior said to me when I was called to serve in the Stake Young Women’s Presidency several years ago. He told me that we needed people who were willing to speak plainly and boldly to the youth. I feel the need to speak plainly with you today.

When reading the Book of Mormon, have you wondered why people didn’t listen to the warnings or teachings of their prophets. I remember as a youth trying to figure out how people could consider themselves followers and yet turn away from those people who were called to lead them. It was so obvious and clear and yet, I look at our time now and see some of the same patterns that we recognize in the scriptures. One example would be when the First Presidency came out with “The Family Proclamation”. Not only did portions of it receive criticism from people outside the church, but many members didn’t agree or fully support it either.

Most of us have heard of the towers that were built on the edges of cities for protection. The purpose was for men to stand guard in the towers, and watch for possible dangers that were coming. They could then give a warning to the people and make preparations for their defense. Our prophets have been likened many times to the watchmen. They are inspired and given early warning of things that we need to prepare for.  

And each prophet that has served us, was called with special talents and abilities specific for that time and to give us heed so we can be ready.

President Monson – teaches os of kindness and caring in a world where there is a total disregard for others and men's hearts have waxed cold.

President Hinckley – took the church into the public eye and educated people on who we are as LDS/Mormons.

And I had the blessing of being taught by my parents and Grandfather the teachings of another great prophet, Ezra Taft Benson. He was a man who not only served in the United States Cabinet as US Secretary of Agriculture, but was a valiant defender of the constitution and spoke of its importance often. He said…

“I don’t know how you feel, my brethren and sister, but I’d rather be dead than to lose my liberty. I have no fear we’ll ever lose it because of invasion from the outside. But I do have a fear that it may slip away from us because of our own indifference, our own negligence, as citizens of this land. And so I plead with you this morning that you take an active interest in matters pertaining to the future of this country.” BYU Devotional, December 1, 1952

I have heard many members say that we must pray for our country, and I agree. But I also believe that we have become a passive people.

We are to busy to get involved. Running kids to sports, working long hours, family functions, church responsibilities and on top of that we don’t want to say anything to criticize or offend others. There have been many times in the scriptures and the history of our country that people were called to speak up, even though they knew it would be an unpopular thing to do. Enoch who felt he was slow of speech. Jonah who attempted to run away from the Lord’s errand. Joseph Smith who eventually gave his life in building up the church, not to mention our founding fathers and many others who fought for our freedoms. How do we repay them? By passively sitting back and “hoping” for the best. We have a responsibility to stand up, speak up and share what we believe and know. We do not have to be contentious. There is enough of that in the world. We do not need to condemn and criticize others, but we should not remain quiet.

We have been told that our constitution is a divinely inspired document. And yet we allow it to be distorted and transformed. Ezra Taft Benson tells in a conference address “Our Divine Constitution” how we can “befriend” the constitution in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty and ensure the protection and guidance of our Father in Heaven. He said…

“First and foremost, we must be righteous…

Two great American Christian civilizations – the Jaredites and the Nephites were swept off this land because they did not “serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” October 1987 General Conference

Are we being righteous? Are we teaching our children how to be a righteous people? Many times we fear calling right, right and wrong, wrong, because we don’t to hurt feelings or seem critical. Our kids need to know there are consequences in the choices that we make… go or bad. In “The Family Proclamation to the World” we are told…

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."

Another part of being righteous is living the gospel all during the week. Do we attend church on Sunday and then live our lives a little differently the rest of the week. Do we read our scriptures, say our prayers and obey the commandments, not just when convenient, but also when the choices are hard. And when we do make a mistake, are we quick to repent?

Ezra Taft Benson then goes on to say…

Second he said, we must learn the principles of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers.

Have we read the Federalist papers? Are we reading the constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its principles? Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? Do we know what the prophets have said about the Constitution and the threats to it?” Our Divine Constitution, General Conference 1987

To me, this says we must become educated. Heavenly Father gave you a wonderful mind and the ability to find things out for yourself. Don’t take my word for it. To many times we blindly accept what we are told without doing the research and taking it to our Heavenly Father for confirmation. If it is important, and I do believe this is, isn’t it worth your time and effort to know that? I use to make a joke with my kids that I would give them $5 if they ever got kicked out of class for standing up for what they believed in. It wasn’t a serious challenge, but I wanted them to know that they didn’t just have to accept what people told them. That it was okay to ask questions and find their own answers. They also knew that I would be the first person sitting in their class with them if I ever found out they were disrespectful to their teachers or school leaders. But it opened the door for some really interesting conversation in our house. We are not at the mercy of the world’s views. We have information at the touch of our fingers and the ability to ask people we trust when we don’t understand issues. So there really is no excuse for being uninformed. And once you understand the constitution and how it applies to us, then you need to figure out how does it align with current legislation and people running for office, and then get involved! Vote!

"We engage in the election, the same as any other principle; you are to vote for good men, and if you do not do this, it is a sin: to vote for wicked men would be a sin. Choose the good and refuse the evil. Men of false principles have preyed upon us like wolves upon helpless lambs." Elder John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, April 1944.

We need to recognize that Satan is real. That anywhere there is great opportunity for power, there is great opportunity for corruption. It is up to us to remain vigilant.

Ezra Taft Benson said in October 1988 General Conference

“I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world.” 
Remember the parable of the 10 virgins? It is not a story about the people of the world, it is a story about Christ’s church in the last days. The parable tells us that half of the church members will not be ready. We, the members of the church in the last days are the ones who have been invited to the wedding. We are the ones who are to be a light to the world.

Which half are you in?
Have you filled your lamp with oil?
Are you ready to be a light to the world?
What is happening today is all part of the continuing war that started in heaven, and which is now in its final phases.

Are you a valiant Soldier in the Army of Christ?

If not – then you are not living your religion as you should. And you are not valiant in following the Word of the Lord and the many prophets who have given us warning.

Your lamp is out, your oil is gone, and you are fast asleep.

The signs of the destruction of our society and our government are all around us.
• Our children are drug addicts
• Murder is an everyday occurrence
• The moral integrity of our homes and families are being attacked from all quarters
• Marriage is no longer a sacred institution
• Lies, deceit, and corruption are a way of life
• Even Christ’s message is being challenged
• Satan is winning the battle, and the Army of Christ is asleep

Sound familiar?

It can be hard at times not to get frustrated or fearful of what the future holds. But I love this by Harold B. Lee…

“Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardships, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers.

We urge members of the church and all Americans now to reflect more intently on the meaning and importance of the constitution, and of adherence to its principles. I have faith in the future of this promised land of America.” Ye Are the Lighto of the world pgs 350-351

I love my country. I am so grateful for the freedoms that we have and that it was because of those freedoms, we have the gospel on the earth today. The Lord will succeed. I love what my daughter said when we were talking about the things that have been going in our country. She said “do you want to look back and know that you took and stand and fought for what you knew was right? Or how do you think you would feel to know that you just sat back on te sidelines and let others do the work."

I firmly believe the things that I have share with you today. I challenge you to go home and study these things out for yourselves. I ask that you pray for the leaders of our country, for the leaders of our church and for the members. That we will stand strong and be a light to the world. That they can look to us as an example of what it means to be free, and that it is possible. Pray that we can be a tool in the Lord’s hands. That we can teach our children the principles of the gospel and those which our country was founded on. And they can know the sacrifices that have been made in their behalf. We are truly blessed to live at this time. As I sat on the back lawn of my grandfather’s house and told him I was concerned of the future, he told me “Lorri, it will be an incredible time. You will see miracles happen”. I know this to be true and say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.


I didn't shower alone

I knew that title would peak your interest. :)

I have been asked several times over the last month when I was going to start posting on my blog. Due to a lot of stressful situations that have taken place, I decided to take a break as apposed to let my sour attitude speak through my blog. But I am happy to say that I am beginning to find some peace. Life will never be the same, and at some point I may, or may not share a few of those things, but until then, I would like to share some fun and crazy things that go on.

And back to the title!

It was a crazy morning. One of those where you aren't able to hit the shower until later... much later. By the time I found the time I was looking forward to just washing the morning frustrations away with the warm hot water. I turned the shower on so it could heat up, the hopped in, closed my eyes, tilted my head back so I could wet my hair. After a few moments of letting the water relax me, I opened my eyes to this on the wall..... right up...... by...... the ceiling...

So do I jump out of the shower, attempt to swat it down while dancing around buck naked. Run around the house in a towel to get the vacuum and suck it up? I honestly was to darn worn out. I have a deathly fear of mice/rats. Spiders are not a favorite, but I thought I could deal with it and finish my shower. So the whole time I am washing my hair all the while keeping my eyes open to make sure he didn't move. Then I got soap in one of my eyes. So squinting, washing my hair and keeping my good eye on the spider became a bit more tricky. Then I attempted to shave my legs while looking up... it was a no go. So I would quickly look down, shave shave shave, look up and make sure he hadn't moved. The whole time I was looking down I kept thinking how freaked out I would be if I felt something fall on the back of my neck. Shave shave shave... hurry and look up. I don't think he move at all the whole time, but I wear glasses normally, so he could have moved a foot and I probably wouldn't have known it. I finally jumped out of the shower, got dressed, brushed my wet hair so I didn't have to deal with some crazy hairdo all day and was ready to go back in and attack the beast only to find... he was no longer there. Oh crap! So somewhere in our bedroom roams a giant, long legged hairy spider, waiting for me to sleep so he can come drink the liquid from my eyeballs. 

Okay, that may be a myth, but did you know that you have eyelash mites that live in the hair folicles of your face. They are so small you never notice them. 

And myth my tush... one night I turned off the light and hopped in bed. Was resting comfortably on my pillow when one of my kids needed something. So I hopped up, turned on the light, took care of the issue and was headed back to bed only to find a GIANT and I do mean GIANT (think 2 1/2 - 3 inches with its legs squashed out) on my pillow  still wiggling every so slightly because my head had smashed it. If I had not gotten up to attend to my kids need, I would have slept on it all night.  Yeesh!

BTW - the spider in the picture is about 2 inches from leg tip to leg tip. I did check out the size with my glasses on.


A tempting life to live

I don't know if it is the fact we are getting older, or if things have just changed so much that we need a change. My husband periodically sneaks away to his parents place in Montana, where the closest neighbor is miles away. Where a herd of elk will come out of the mountains just as dusk is setting and eat 100 feet off the front porch. The sun usually shines and work doesn't consist of mental stress, but of physical work fixing fences, herding cows, building corrals and fun is fishing in the stream behind the house.

We both have felt a draw for a simpler life. There are a few blogs that I have found that I love reading and envy the people who write them.

They use to live in Chicago, but where her husband lost his job, the put everything in storage and moved to Kaui for one year. What an adventure and I admire their guts to throw all fears aside and live a slower life. Love her kids are now entering surfing competitions. They learn the hula at school and she has even taken a "boot camp" class from Gabrielle Reece.

Next is Longest Acres.

After much wandering and many life experiences, this couple ended up renting a small barn apartment and the large dairy barn for the animals they have collected. It also included 250 acres of "mountain top sweetness" as she calls it. They raise cows, chickens, dogs, goats, pigs, grow a garden and cook lovely farm food.

As you scroll through the pictures, it makes me realize that I could really love this type of life. A lot of work, sure, but every day you see the benefit of what you do. No more racing to and fro attempting to please the masses.

Finally, Fig and Fauna

This couple own 3.5 acres in Florida. They sold their suburban home and moved out here to share their land with chickens, cows, dairy goats, rabbits, bees and dogs. She also does a lot of fresh farm cooking, such as making her own cheese and creating recipes from their own grown foods. 

I keep telling Mark we need a 5 year plan to slowly step away from all our "responsibilities" and find a more relaxing life. The reality is, that no matter how much you do, people want more. Stress is an everyday reality, and the more I have read while working on Courtney's diet, I have become a believer in producing as much of your own food as you can. That way you REALLY now what is in it. 

Will it happen? Who knows. But it definitely is a wonderful thing to think about as I fall asleep at night. 


Coty and Emma are married

On a brighter note... my son Coty got married back in March. There were some ups and downs involved. Think stomach flu running rampant the week prior to the wedding. We knew it was making its way through the family, so when I woke up Monday morning with my 10 year old throwing up, I thought... oh crude... we are dead. I tried to keep her confined to my bedroom. We shipped Coty over to my mom's house until the wedding. I ran around with disinfectant spraying everything and everyone. We had a few others get it, but had it all under control by the wedding. Whew!

Funny thing is that Coty ended up getting it right after the wedding (they had 3 days before they left on their honeymoon) and I guess Emma got a touch of it on their honeymoon. The one good thing is that it hits hard and quick and then is gone. So while it wasn't something we were happy about, it could have been a lot worse.

We love, love, love, Emma and her family. They were so organized in putting the reception together and so much fun to work with. Emma's mother is a powerhouse who has more energy in her little pinky than I have in my whole body. We have loved getting to know them and are glad that Coty made such a wonderful choice.

Here are some pictures of their wedding.

They are off now to BYU Idaho. Coty is hoping to be accepted into the Physical Therapy program at ISU in a few years and Emma is going for a Nursing degree. That is in between playing basketball. They are doing great, and even though we miss them a lot, are very proud of them.

Sulked long enough... SCD is working

I have felt bad that I left my last post a sulky post, but a lot has happened since then. I guess every once in a while it is okay to have a tantrum and then pick yourself up by your bootstraps and carry on.

Courtney is doing MUCH better. We have been on the SCD diet now for about 3 months. She has gained 10+ lbs. Her colonoscopy and endoscopy showed a complete healing of the upper intestines, but we still have work with the lower part. But she has more energy. She said she use to get dizzy just walking up the stairs. We have added rice flour to her diet, but have decided to take a step back and do the 5 day intro diet again as she is still having tummy problems in the morning. Then we will go back to the basic again and work up from there. I know we are both so excited to do that... not so much. But at least we see progress and that is enough to keep you motivated.

It has been hard trying to fix foods specifically for her and then feed the rest of the family. I spend quite a bit of time cooking or shopping for foods. When you are eating a lot of fruits and veggies, you end up shopping 2-3 times a week because they don't have a long shelf life and you are going through them so fast. Plus my food budget has gone up. The only flour she can have is Almond flour which is $11 for 1 lb. Yikes! But you do what you do.

I find it interesting that doctors say there is no connection to what you eat and Crohn's disease (as well as many other digestive diseases) but it is amazing when you see the results of the changes you make in your eating. If anyone is interested in our resources, here is the book we are using to help educate ourselves and has been very helpful.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle website has been really helpful to and offers lots of information.

And here was an article that I found very promising about dong the SCD diet and recovering from tummy troubles.

Thanks for all of those who have expressed concern or offered help. :) We are hanging in there.


Not every post needs to be happy - dealing with Crohn's

Guess I am going to be selflish and take this post to vent in hopes that it will turn my attitude around. I have always felt that blogs should be a positive experience where you help make someone's day just a little brighter. If you feel the same... please skip the rest of the this post :)

In a previous post I shared how my daughter was diagnoised with Crohn's and was being treated with remicade. Well after a few months, she developed antibodies and it stopped working. So on to Humira. Both of these medications supress the immune system, which they believe is the culprit for attacking the intestines and causing Crohn's. It appears after several months that the Humira may have worn out its usefulness also. I cannot describe the feeling you get watching your daughter waste away no matter how much food she eats. I hear on a daily basis, "mom, I am so hungry" as she eats another meal. I think most mothers feel successful if they provide a clean warm house, clean clothes, love and can put their kids to bed knowing their tummies were full with a good meal. Isn't there a reason someone came up with the term "comfort food". But no matter what you do or feed her, she keeps losing weight.

So I have studied, researched, read and the more I find out, the more confusing it gets. What "might" work for one person, doesn't help another. Diets, medications, supplements, accupuncture. We have been "trying" the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for almost a week now and so far haven't found a lot of relief. Anything! I will take ANY indication we are on the right track. No wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no fiber, no potatoes, no rice, no gluten. It leaves protein (which some people still have problems with), eggs (which some people still have problems with), fruit (which some people still have problems with), some veggies (which some people still have problems with). As you can see, it is kind of tough to sort it all out. What to eat, how to fix it, how do you feed the rest of your family while following this diet for one? I find my attitude about food becoming negative. Reading the ingredient labels of things I would normally bring home has me calling white bread "death in a bag". Running to any number or stores looking for bacon without nitrates or sugar. Spending hours in a health food store only to find that a lot of the stuff isn't actually that healthy.

I told my daughter about another diet that has found some success... the enteral diet which is a liquid diet for 4-8 weeks. Then you slowly add foods back in. I could see the frustration in her eyes and her voice when she said she wasn't sure she could do that.

I feel angry and frustrated. Some claim that people get Crohn's from eating unhealthy processed foods. I have always felt that my family ate better than most. I fixed most meals from scratch, we eat very little processed foods (except for an occasional pizza). Others say it is caused by a bacteria in the meat we eat, but we raise our own beef. I keep asking myself, where did we go wrong for this to happen. And what I wouldn't do for things to just go back to normal. I want people to stop asking me to do things for them, because my daughter is starving to death and nothing you need done is more important than helping her.

Thank you for letting me vent. Not sure I feel better, but I know that I am not alone. There are many others who are dealing with this also and I know that my Heavenly Father is there watching and comforting. I just pray that we will be guided to an answer on how best to help our daughter.


Wedding Plans!

It is true! We have a son that is engaged. And might I add that he picked a winner. When you get to the point in your life that you know it is only a matter of time before one of your kids finds a spouse, you start to worry. Will they pick someone who will be good and supportive? Will they mesh with our family? Will all of us in-laws get a long? Will they improve the gene pool of our family? haha. Just kidding on the last one... kind of ;)

My answer to all of these is yes, yes, yes and YES! 

It was about the time he went back to school that he realized how much he really cared about this girl he had been dating. By they time Thanksgiving was rolling around he knew that would be the perfect time to propose. But she was curious and knew something was up, so surprise was our friend. Coty driving back from college with some friends and told Emma (yes that is her name) that he would be in late that evening. She later claimed he lied and she can't believe that he "lied" to her. It was all necessary though to pull this off. Emma helps coach the Bonney Lake High School girls basketball team. So she went there thinking Coty would be in about 8pm. Thanks to some help from her parents, we snuck into the high school, with the whole entourage, and as soon as practice was coming to an end, Coty walked into the gym, dropped down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She was really surprised. SUCCESS!!!

Notice that she never dropped the basketball.... not at all. She is a basketball player at heart! A perfect match for my basketball loving son. We love Emma for so many reasons, she is smart, kind, a hard worker and most of all, my son loves her.

March 9th is the wedding. We are in full throws of planning. Thankfully Emma and her mother are very organized and keeping us all lined out. It has been a great joy meeting their family and knowing that Coty will be cared for as much there as we love him here.

Congrats Coty and Emma! We love you both!