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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Proper Preparation

Dear Readers,

General Conference is just 2 days away.  If you are unclear on what General Conference is, let me explain.

Twice a year The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter Day Saints meets together via radio, internet, satellite broadcast, basically anyway possible so that we can all hear the words of the leaders of our Church.  This includes the President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, apostles who we also sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators, and also other leaders who guide the Church on a world-wide scale.

We believe that those who are called as prophets speak with God (just as prophets did in the Bible) to learn of His direction and will for us on the Earth at this time.  This is why Conference is SOOO exciting.  Don't take my word for it, watch this video and listen to why others love General Conference.

These last 48 hours (or less) are the time for last minute preparation.

1.  I am sorry I didn't get a chance to write this sooner, but earlier in the week I switched from praying for the prophet to also praying for myself to be prepared to hear the words and counsel which would be spoken.

2.  Can you grocery shop on Friday?  Every time that I try to grocery shop in-between sessions it seems that everyone else is trying to do that too!!!!  I don't know why this is the first year that I thought of preparing so that I didn't have to grocery shop on Saturday at all.  This way I don't have to worry about missing any part of the Conference, because I LOVE to hear it live.

Do you know what you're going to eat?  Do you have your meals planned?  Plan something quick and easy for Saturday's dinner so that you can get your husband/ sons out the door and to Priesthood Session on time!!!

Do you have a Conference food tradition?  Lots of families do.  Mine doesn't, but it sounds fun.

2b.  Along with proper nutrition comes proper sleeping habits.  Make a conscious effort to get a good night's rest on Friday and Saturday night.  I treat this the same as "race day".  Nothing is more frustrating then getting halfway through a conference session and realizing that I wasn't in "spiritual shape".  I get so tired and overwhelmed from the Spirit that I am unable to fully enjoy the talks near the end of sessions.  Not to mention that you can't enjoy them at all if you are asleep.  I know that you can read them in the Ensign the next month, but for me it is really important that I make the effort to hear it the first time that it is presented (I understand that others feel opposite of me and prefer to read them in the Ensign, but that's not how I roll).  I love to listen now AND read later.

3.  Notebooks, journals, pencils, pens, conference packets.  Whatever it is that you need to keep you and your family focused, are you ready?  Let's eliminate that last 5 minute rush.

4.  Girl Party Plans.  Check.  Women, do something special during the Priesthood Session.  If you have daughters do a Mommy/ Daughter something.  It's only fair.  The Dads are out with their sons and I hear that many go out for ice cream afterwards.  Better yet, make a dessert to feed your menfolk after the session and then they can fill you in on what was said.

5.  Don't forget to rotate your mattress.  We have a list of chores in our house that correspond to Conference Weekend, because it is the easiest way to remember to do the things that need to be twice a year.  Do you have a chore list or are we the only ones?  I love that it also corresponds to spring/ fall cleaning every year.  This way we can ensure that we provide the most optimal conditions to have the Spirit in our home while listening to Conference and we receive the maximum amount of revelation.

6.  How are you listening to Conference?  Check your internet connection.  Remember if the Church website has trouble with the connection, BYUTV website is also an option and BYU Radio streamed over the internet can be your extra backup plan (Yes, I've needed that many plans before.  I told you that I love to listen LIVE).  I want to say that some Utah radio stations stream it online as well, but I know the Church player has been improved over the years and rarely has problems now.  I also love to go to the Church for at least one session if possible.  Watching in my pajamas is not appropriate, personal preference.

So set your alarms.  Conference is at 10am Mountain Time on Saturday and Sunday Morning.  The afternoon sessions start at 2pm and the Priesthood session (which cannot be watched over the internet, you must go to a Church building) is at 6pm Mountain Time, Saturday Evening.

WATCH HERE and click here for a language other than English

There you have it.  Conference is coming!!!  I will be properly prepared and now you can too.

AND, click here to brush up on your Apostle know-how.

With great anticipation,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

P is for Positive

Dear Friend T,

A Happy Dance.

That is what I did when I hung up the phone after talking to you today.  Don't ask me why, I am not exactly sure.  I hung up the phone and my body just started doing a happy dance while my mind was thinking "What are you doing?!?!"

I guess I just appreciated being loved and appreciated and thought of, because I don't always feel that.  That is why I have been thinking about positive thinking lately.  Unless you start calling me every five minutes (don't really do that) then there will be times that negative thoughts creep into my mind.  Feelings of doubt and negative self-talk can really change the direction of the day.

Positive thinking, positive words, optimism, seeing the bright side of life, taking joy in the little things, remembering to smile, having hope...these are things that I just somehow forget when I start to despair.  Despair is where I don't want to be.  "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." (Psalms 146:5)  Sometimes I just need a little help and eating a cookie is NOT the answer.

Friend T, here is one of the secrets of my life (and you know I don't just tell anyone my secrets).  :)

I learned this in Young Women's from my leader A.P.  Her Mom would make her and her sister's do this whenever they would get moody:

Tutorial on How to Make Yourself Be Happy
(Yes, you read that right.  This is a foolproof way to force yourself to be happy even if you don't want to or are having a hard time letting go of negative feelings that you do want to get rid of)

1.  Be Grumpy (Don't make yourself grumpy just to test this out!).  Notice how the corners of the mouth are kind of turned down.
2.  Take a pencil and insert it into your mouth.  Make sure it's yours or get permission from the owner first to slobber on their property.  This picture shows the incorrect form.  Read on for more details
3.  Put it back as far as it can go (see the difference from the above picture?).  This will force the corners of your mouth to turn upwards mimicking a smile.  It takes more muscles to smile than to frown so lots of times people revert to having a not very pleasant look on our faces.  It is impossible to not feel happy when you smile.  It shouldn't take longer than a few minutes and you should notice your mood improving as your smile muscles trick your brain into feeling happy.  Really difficult cases might take as long as 15 minutes, but I guarantee that by the end you will feel happy (and not just because you want to remove the pencil).
4.  Show your happy face and smile for the whole world to see!!!  See how you can see it in my eyes?  That's what I'm talking about.  Real happiness, not just a plastered perma-smile that screams FAKE.

I especially like to use this so that I don't take out my bad mood on others.  Sometimes I do this in the car on my way to a piano lesson or a church activity.  Sometimes I just do it around my house when I am having a hard time shaking something off.  It's an easy thing to do.  It can be done while I am doing something else, and my family isn't punished.

Once again, thank you for the surprise, spontaneous happy dance.  It made me laugh (out loud even) at myself.

Your Friend,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mind the Gap

Dear Readers,

This talk has been flowing in and out of my mind.  "Mind the Gap" by Barbara Thompson of the Relief Society General Presidency.  

"Many of us have gaps in our own lives. Sometimes it is the difference between what we know and what we actually do or the gap between our goals and what we actually accomplish. These gaps can be reminders of ways in which we can improve or, if ignored, can be stumbling blocks in our lives."

The past 4-5 months have been exceptionally hard for me.  I know that most of you have been following along my vague posts that never detail the story :)

This talk is a great metaphor for these past 4 months.  I have not been minding the gaps in my life.  The good news is that now I am.  The bad news is that it was a long and rough and maybe in part unnecessarily so, because I did not mind my gaps.

Do you have gaps?  Do you know something in your heart, but in your head you push it away?  Are you making your own life miserable?  Do you share the same gaps as in the article?  Do you know that you are a child of God?  Do you struggle with Relief Society?  Do you have a valiant testimony of Jesus Christ?  Is something else holding up your progress?

That's a lot of questions to think about.  Sorry.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Are You Listening?

Dear Brother,

So are we down to 10 days?  That is so exciting the time flew by!!!

Anyways, here are some parting words of wisdom for you and I also wanted to brag about Husband.  You should try to be like him.  :)

Two stories.

1.  Back in January we had some weather that caused our Church to cancel meetings.  We were going to have Stake Conference which in my case means that people could have traveled over 100 miles as my Stake covers a large region.  The weather conditions were different everywhere, but for the safety of everyone the meetings ended up being rescheduled.  Members were asked to help others, check in and make sure they had everything they needed, and it was also suggested to carry a snow shovel in case you encountered someone who had become stuck in the snow.

That Sunday we set out to visit others.  I asked Husband if he had grabbed his phone and he said, "No."  He hopped out of the car and I thought he went to get it.  Instead he came back with the shovel and was put it in the car explaining, "The Spirit just told me to put it in."  We backed out of the driveway and it was quickly apparent that all the roads in our city were going to clear.  Temperatures were warm and everything was melting.  Husband kind of laughed and said he felt stupid for putting the shovel in the car, but I knew that if the  Spirit had told him to do it then he was supposed to do it.

Fast forward an hour or two.  We drove by a car that had somehow (don't ask me how) driven off the main roads (which were completely clear) and was stuck in deep snow between knee and thigh deep.  Husband pulled over, jumped out, grabbed THE SHOVEL, and went to help.  There's more to the story, but the there's the gist.

Husband listened to the Holy Ghost.  He acted on his prompting and was able to help another.

2.  This morning it was decided that Daughter and I were going to drive Husband to school and then continue on to the Science Museum.  This last minute decision caused everyone to become rushed and we left in a little bit of a hurry.  As we left, the garage door didn't close.  Husband stopped and repressed the button and we waited until it closed.  We continued to drive, and he said, "I think we should go back."  I said that would be okay, but he kept driving, because he was sure all was fine.  We had watched the garage door go down, and he remembered checking that the front door was locked.  A few streets later he says again, "I think we should go back.  I just can't shake this feeling."  So I told him to go back, just before we were about to get on the freeway and it would have been really difficult to go back.

"I feel stupid.  I know we'll go back and the garage door will be down."  In my head I was thinking something along the same lines (because we hadn't seen a mushroom cloud of mass destruction coming from our house or anything like that).  We drove back, and nothing.  House was fine.  Doors were closed.

We started again on our way and Husband hypothesized why the Spirit told him to go back.  I told him that it didn't really matter, but that I was grateful that he had listened to the Spirit.  He started to say things like, "Maybe we missed being in a car accident by being a little later."  I suggested that maybe he avoided being in a certain conversation with his colleagues by also being a little later.

As we drove, we passed a car accident.  It had clearly not happened much earlier.  Would it have been us?  I don't know.  I know that Heavenly Father kept us safe today and for that I am grateful.  At the school, as he was getting out the car, a peer came walking by.  I called out to him, greeted him, and then proceeded to invite him to a Bible Exhibit that is happening this week at Church.  I expressed an interest in his life and invited him over for dinner.

Then I kissed Husband goodbye and went off to the Science Museum.

Then I realized, that maybe we were late for this conversation.  I had been thinking about emailing this guy about the Bible Exhibit, but I hadn't followed through and I might have ended up forgetting about it.  Or maybe the in-person interaction made a difference for him.  He hugged me!  We smiled together.  I showed him that people care about him.  Maybe he needed that.

I don't know and I don't care.  I don't need to know the exact outcome that came from driving an extra mile today.

Husband listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost today as he always does and by small things shall great things come to pass.  I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I am grateful that Heavenly Father loves us so much that he would constantly guide us and offer us protection through the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It has blessed my life so many times and I know that it will bless yours, now as you serve for two years, and forever.  Are you listening?  I hope so.

Call me.

I love you.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reaching is Receiving

Dear Readers,

Here is a quick letter to say "Hi!"  I have not had a lot of time to post lately.  I keep thinking that I need to set aside a big block of time so that I can finish up several started "drafts" that I really want to share.  Unfortunately I have realized that I just can't share it all, and unfortunately that has included some of my conference reviews.  I have been learning so much lately.

One of the biggest things that I have realized is that reaching out to others has made me the recipient of so much more than I originally gave.  It is just amazing to me.  This is the "Year of Reaching Out" if you remember from a few weeks ago when I posted about that.

I can't promise when, but I will bump up working on the blog this week, because I CAN'T BELIEVE IT IS CONFERENCE TIME AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Woo hoo!

Thinking of you and hope all is well in each of your lives,

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Prayer in My Heart

Dear Mother,

We are told to pray in our hearts (see D&C 19:28).  Here is my prayer today:

Oh, Heavenly Father.  I believe in synergy.  It never occurred to me that this also applies to children.  Watching my daughter interact with another girl has just been pure joy today.  Their infectious joy propels them to new discoveries as they help one another.  I love watching how they help one another and so sweet to each other.  Please bless our family with a sibling for Daughter so we can have the joy of watching two little Spirits and all that they can do together.

Then this afternoon my prayer turned to:

Please help that man get home.

You see, Mother, a man flagged me down for help this afternoon as I was driving Daughter home.  We had just gone out for a drive to help calm her down after such an exciting morning.  He said he was almost out of gas, but had left his wallet in a neighboring city.  I felt bad for him, because he was clearly very embarrassed and becoming increasingly desperate.  He had offered the gas station the title to his car and they declined.  He was offering me anything in his car in return for some gas.  I agreed to give him the few dollars that he needed, but then it was my turn to become embarrassed.  I had just driven around for 45 minutes and my purse was no where to be seen.  I realized that in leaving the house I carried Daughter out to the car, not my purse.  Haha.  It made me think of the that saying "The blind leading the blind".

Then I said a prayer of thanks that I had not been put in a compromising situation myself where I had needed my purse and did not have it.

I love to pray, especially the non-stop ones that run through our minds and hearts.  Awhile ago in Sacrament Meeting it was said that prayer is the most powerful thing on Earth, but that we under-utilize it.  I hope it's not true, but I am afraid it is.

I love you.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Love the Children Part 2

*****This installment of "Out of the Mouth of Prophets" was written as one document,
 but since it is 5 pages long it will be posted  in two parts.*****

Please Read Part 1 before you continue.  You may find it here.

Many of us are blessed to be parents.  While I love serving in the Primary on Sundays, I do have a child that is with me 24/7.  I have been entrusted with her by Heavenly Father and He expects that I will help her find her way back to Him.  I need to teach her.  I need to take this responsibility seriously.  I love this quote by Rosemary Wixom.  “The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age.  What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today.”

Homeschooling seems to be a hot topic right now.  Everyone seems to be talking about it and everyone seems to have a very definitive stance.  I haven’t really given it too much thought except for awhile back, Husband made the comment to me that we are “homeschooling” our Daughter in the gospel.  I had never really thought of it like that, but we do.  We are constantly teaching her and going over Church materials with her.  I am taking charge of her learning and not going to leave it up to the Primary leaders at Church to be responsible for her eternal salvation.  It doesn’t work like that anyways.  I have already stated that it is my responsibility and that I have a stewardship over her.

Right now, Daughter is especially aware of her body.  Because of this, I am especially aware of the clothes that she wears.  I can tell that I am shaping her attitude and beliefs about the sanctity of her body.  I feel the need to be a little stricter than I might otherwise be so that in 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years, she feels about her body, how I want her to.  I want her to realize that it is a temple and that it is sacred and a gift from God not to be mistreated.  The next quote also illustrates this:

We must take care that the media we invite into our homes does not dull the sensitivity to the Spirit, harm relationships with our family and friends, or reveal personal priorities that are inconsistent with gospel principles. By example we can help our children understand that spending long periods of time using the Internet, social media, and cell phones; playing video games; or watching television keeps us from productive activities and valuable interactions with others.
We also model that which is virtuous and lovely by our dress and appearance. As a covenant people we have the responsibility to care for, protect, and properly clothe our bodies. We must help our children and youth understand that we respect our bodies as temples and as gifts from God. See 1 Corinthians 3:16    (Sis.Cook)

Sis. Cook also refers to the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.  I think this is a great resource to use in homes of all ages.  From nursery aged children to empty nesters, the counsel given will help you be close to the Spirit.  Teaching in the home about these principles will help your children to know what you want them to know like Sis. Wixom said.

Elder Larry R. Lawrence cautions, “Your bright and energetic youth are the future of the Church, and for that reason they are a prime target of the adversary.  There are no perfect parents and no easy answers, but there are principles of truth that we can rely on.”

Okay, time to bolster up.  Positive thinking.  I can be a successful parent.  I do not need to be perfect.  I also like that Sis. Wixom said, “We do not need to be perfect–just honest and sincere.”  I think children are actually relieved that their parents aren’t perfect.  If their parents were perfect then they would feel pressure to be perfect and pressure to be perfect is crippling.  I have a post on this in my drafts.  She continues, “Children want to feel as one with us… When we are holding tight to the iron rod, we are in a position to place our hands over theirs and walk the strait and narrow path together. Our example is magnified in their eyes. They will follow our cadence when they feel secure in our actions.”

Now another controversial word.  Parents, listen to me.  You cannot be your child’s friend.,  You can have their respect, but you aren’t going to get it by being their “friend” instead of being their parent.  If you think that your child is turning out alright and that you are being their friend, e-mail me.  I’ll give you an honest assessment.

“Elder Robert D. Hales has observed, “Sometimes we are afraid of our children—afraid to counsel with them for fear of offending them.” (Elder Lawrence see reference #3)
“Parents, grandparents, and leaders, your message must be clear. Clarity can only result from having both hands on the rod and from living by the truths found in the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets.” (Sis. Cook)
“It’s so important for husbands and wives to be united when making parenting decisions. If either parent doesn’t feel good about something, then permission should not be granted. If either feels uncomfortable about a movie, a television show, a video game, a party, a dress, a swimsuit, or an Internet activity, have the courage to support each other and say no.” (Elder Lawrence)
Okay, the smack down is finished.  I know someone who thought she just had to yield to her husband and so because he felt one way on an issue and she felt another way, her children were not raised how she wanted them.  If you are lucky enough to have a spouse, support them!!!

More great advice from Elder Lawrence that I just had to include:

Courageous parenting does not always involve saying no. Parents also need courage to say yes to the counsel of modern-day prophets. Our Church leaders have counseled us to establish righteous patterns in our homes. Consider five fundamental practices that have the power to fortify our youth: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.
It takes courage to gather children from whatever they’re doing and kneel together as a family. It takes courage to turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through the pages of the scriptures every day. It takes courage to turn down other invitations on Monday night so that you can reserve that evening for your family. It takes courage and willpower to avoid overscheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.
Courage.  Do I have it?  My daughter is young and I know that I will need plenty of it to get through the next several years.  Do you have courage?  Can you be the parent that God wants you to be?  Of course you can!!!

One of the most courageous things that you can do is to counsel with them in private interviews.  Elder Lawrence gives the reason, “By listening closely, we can discover the desires of their hearts, help them set righteous goals, and also share with them the spiritual impressions that we have received about them.  Counseling requires courage.”

I LOVED it when my Dad would have a personal interview with me growing up.  Usually they were on Sundays.  Being in a large family, it was really nice to have one-on-one time.

I think this is a great place to end.  Love your children.  Teach your children.  Love ALL children.  Help them to know of God’s Plan and love for all.  Don’t make it hard on yourself.  Choose to be an example and make righteous choices.

I do not endure children.  I love them.

If you wish to watch any of these conference addresses by Sis. Wixom, Elder Lawrence, or Sister Cook, click here.  Just find the talks, and watch, download, whatever you want.

How do you show your love for children, either your own or others?  Share some ideas with me at lettersfromlindsay at gmail dot com.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Love the Children Part 1

*****This installment of "Out of the Mouth of Prophets" was written as one document,
 but since it is 5 pages long it will be posted  in two parts.*****

Dear Readers,

I love serving in the Primary.  This is the organization for children ages 18 months to 11 years.  I have served in many different Primaries and have had different responsibilities.  Some are leaders, some are teachers, and some are music people.  Over the years, I’ve done it all.

A few weeks ago I was released.  It has been very interesting to me how people have reacted to me.  One woman said “I thought you’d be happy to have a break, to get away from the kids.”

Um, NO.  You love those you serve and I loved each and every precious child that was in my current Primary.  This comment and other comments have provided me with the opportunity to think about my love of children.  They are wonderful spirits, not little people to be endured or whatever it is that other people are thinking.

This past conference there were three talks that I am going to highlight now.  The first was by Mary N Cook (Young Women General Presidency), “Be an example of the Believers”.  The second talk is the Primary General President, Rosemary M Wixom’s, “Stay on the Path” and lastly, “Courageous Parenting” by Larry R. Lawrence of the second quorum of the Seventy.  These are found in the Sunday Morning, Saturday Morning, and Sunday Afternoon sessions respectively.

Little children want to be loved.  Even “big” children such as teenagers or my parents (they say they feel like they’re 18 still!) want to be loved.  You don’t just love children because you have to.  Some people were surprised that I still cared about them even though I didn’t have to.


I still care about their favorite Pokemon of the moment, what books they are reading, the hair clip in their hair, that they didn’t get sung to on their birthday, that the girl on the playground was mean, the latest Lego creation, or whatever it is that they tell me and want to be interested in.  That holds true whether I have a title or not.  I do not have stewardship to make decisions concerning the way their Sunday classes are organized anymore, but I do have a stewardship to help raise up the rising generation.  These are tomorrow’s leaders!!!  These are tomorrow’s leaders in the Church and in our communities.  If I want them to be tomorrow’s examples to others, then I need to teach them how to do that, TODAY.  We all need to help.

Sis. Cook agrees, she says, “You may not be raising a prophet as Lucy [Mack Smith] was, but you are certainly raising tomorrow’s leaders.”  Sis. Wixom says:
"For children all over the world, we say: “Take my hand. Hold on tight. We will stay on the path together back to our Heavenly Father.”
Parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, Primary leaders—each of us can reach out to hold on to the children. We can stop, kneel down, and look into their eyes and feel of their innate desire to follow the Savior. Take hold of their hands. Walk with them. It is our chance to anchor them on the path of faith."
Yes, Yes, Yes.  This is how I feel.  Little children you can trust me.  I want to help you.  I know that all you really care about is having adults being interested in you.  I know that you love the Savior and don’t want the distractions of the world.  You only accept the world’s ways when you see that is what other adults are interested in.

She continues:

"No child needs to walk the path alone so long as we speak freely to our children of the plan of salvation. Understanding the plan will help them hold to the truths that they are children of God and He has a plan for them, that they lived with Him in the premortal existence that they shouted for joy to come to this earth, and that through the Savior’s help, we all can return to our Heavenly Father’s presence. If they understand the plan and who they are, they will not fear."

This is why I love being a Primary leader.  I have the privilege of helping children understand the Plan of Salvation.  I love the Plan.  Some children are taught these things at home.  I love to hear these children articulate gospel topics at such a young age.  Other children are not taught these truths at home and I get to fill in the gaps in their learning so that they can know the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Children make me happy.  They simplify life.  I love it when they ask me things like, “Did you have fun today?”  I replied, “You mean like, at my house?” and she said “Yeah.”  Okay, I don’t know what she thinks I do during the day, but I got the biggest kick out of being asked if I had fun.

*****To Be Continued.  Be sure to watch for Part 2.  It's already been written.  I will schedule it to post for Thursday to give everyone a chance to catch up.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pray for the Prophet

Out of the Mouth of Prophets - Part 7

Dear Readers,

So, you probably have thought that I had given up or forgotten about my conference reviews.  Not true.  I have just not shared them with you.  Sorry.  It's been a lot to juggle and I also got hung up on a review that took WAY too long.  I will post part one tomorrow.

Now that the next General Conference is just 3 (that's three!!!) weeks away, I want to ask are you praying for the prophet?  I am and all of the people that are going to speak in conference.  If I am going to hang on their every word then I want it to be the most inspired words possible.  "Trust in God, Then Go and Do" by President Henry B. Eyring is the only talk that I have not reviewed yet under the topic, "prophets."
"God sends messages and authorized messengers to His children. I am to build trust in God and His servants enough that we will go out and obey His counsel. He wants that because He loves us and wants our happiness. And He knows how a lack of trust in Him brings sadness."
Trust has been something that I have been thinking about a lot in my own life.  There are lots of people to trust in this life to varying degrees.  I love how President Eyring talks about trusting in God in this talk.  If we trust in Heavenly Father then we will accept His servants and heed their counsel.  This will bring us happiness.  If we do not trust these men that are called of God and follow what they say, then that lack of trust brings sadness.  President Eyring talks about many examples in the scriptures, but I'd like to share a kind of lengthy personal story that he shared.

"I trust His apostles and prophets today and those they call to serve God.
That trust has blessed my life and the lives of my family. Years ago I heard President Ezra Taft Benson speak in a conference like this. He counseled us to do all we could to get out of debt and stay out. He mentioned mortgages on houses. He said that it might not be possible, but it would be best if we could pay off all our mortgage debt.
I turned to my wife after the meeting and asked, “Do you think there is any way we could do that?” At first we couldn’t. And then by evening I thought of a property we had acquired in another state. For years we had tried to sell it without success.
But because we trusted God and a few words from the midst of His servant’s message, we placed a phone call Monday morning to the man in San Francisco who had our property listed to sell. I had called him a few weeks before, and he had said then, “We haven’t had anyone show interest in your property for years.”
But on the Monday after conference, I heard an answer that to this day strengthens my trust in God and His servants.
The man on the phone said, “I am surprised by your call. A man came in today inquiring whether he could buy your property.” In amazement I asked, “How much did he offer to pay?” It was a few dollars more than the amount of our mortgage.
A person might say that was only a coincidence. But our mortgage was paid off. And our family still listens for any word in a prophet’s message that might be sent to tell what we should do to find the security and peace God wants for us."
I love how this man is an apostle of the Lord.  I sustain him (along with millions of others) as a prophet, seer, and revelator and here he is telling ME that HE listens for "any word" to find "security and peace" from God.
"You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent and then you go and do whatever He asks. If you trust God enough to listen for His message in every sermon, song, and prayer in this conference, you will find it. And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you.
I testify that God speaks today through His chosen servants in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thomas S. Monson is God’s prophet."
Is any one else getting excited for General Conference?  Mark April 2-3rd on your calendar.  Pray for the President of our Church, Thomas S. Monson.  Pray for the men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators.  Pray for all who will speak, sing, pray, or take part in the conference in any way.

If you wish to watch this conference address by President Eyring, click here.  Just find this talk (Sunday Morning Session), and watch, download, whatever you want.

Are you looking forward to General Conference yet?  Let me know!  My email is lettersfromlindsay at gmail dot com.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Music

Dear Friend L,

Thank you for the CD.  I really appreciate it.  I was able to imagine all of the elaborate costumes, scenery, and choreography that you must have enjoyed.

Today is the first time that I am able to listen to it by myself.  I enjoy being able to do that so that I can enjoy how exquisite it is.  The singers are all very talented, but I love listening to the orchestration.  I heard a tribute to Offenbach, a French composer, and it made me smile since it was a French story.  Listening alone today I was able to take in all of the trumpet counterpoint and the french horn slides that just tickled my insides along with all of other music snobbery that Husband and Daughter wouldn't know to listen for.  I love good music.  Thank you again for thinking to share that with me.

I also loved K's note, her neat handwriting.  You can tell her that I am touched.  I can remember seeing this movie in the movie theater.  We went on Christmas Eve in 1991.  I remember being very excited probably how K was.

I hope to bump into you in person here soon so that I can hear all about how great it was.

Your Friend,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Music Lovers Unite

Dear Readers,

The post that has received the most comments has been the post about singing to my Daughter.

Music is a large part of my life, always has been.

I started taking piano lessons in elementary school after trying to pick out melodies on our piano.  I took all the way through high school and even some in college.  My first piano teacher  was an amazing person and very well respected in the community.  With her wise fore-sight she handed out my name as a piano teacher when I was in high school. That first phone call was quite shocking to me, because I hadn't known this and I did not consider myself a piano teacher.

I have taught over 40 students over the years and I know I am just beginning.  I love teaching piano lessons.  I know I haven't written anything about it for awhile, but I guess that is because I have been so busy with so many new students!!!

I recently realized that I am NOT a piano teacher.  I choose to be a music educator.  Yeah, doesn't sound like a big difference I know, but here's my thinking.

The Mormon Church or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints loves music.  The scriptures tell that Jesus sang a hymn with his apostles at the Last Supper.  We follow in his example and sing hymns in all our meetings.  The Mormon Tabernacle choir is made up of 300+ voices and provides music for our General Conferences as well as the weekly "Music and the Spoken Word" program.

At the local level, in each congregation many music people are needed.  Someone needs to lead the music while someone accompanies the singing.  Both organists and pianists are needed.  Each congregation is encouraged to have a choir which also needs a director and accompanist.  With all of the different meetings that we have, that adds up to a lot of people, because some situations overlap so two people can't do it all.

My goal as a music educator is that my students will be able to serve in any music calling that they are asked.  It is not just enough to play the piano.  I grew up in a congregation that was very talented and full of music people which helped to spread out the load (who wants to play two funerals in the same week?!?!).  Now I live in a congregation that is full of music-phobes.  Some people are afraid to even touch a hymnbook because of their lack of musicality.  Scary, I know, and sad, because music has blessed my life too many times to count.

So here I am entering "recital season" with much excitement.  Some of my piano students have recently turned a corner and I am blown away each week by their progress.  I love seeing them succeed.  I know that I am giving them tools to help other people.  I cannot even try to think about the number of people that have heard me play the piano in my life.  I have been in many different wards.  I have played for stake meetings.  I have played for baptisms, funerals, weddings, retirement facilities, choir numbers, you name it.  Honestly, when I add up all of the places that I have played, performed and accompanied I am going to go with 2000 (very conservative guessing) people have heard me play the piano.  When I started taking piano back in the early '90s, I never could have foreseen to now.  Now it is my turn to be the wise piano teacher and see all of the potential in each of my students.  I know they will help people worship through music.  Forty students times 2000 people's lives that they can touch is 80,000 (conservative guessing).  That is no small responsibility.

I am excited for some of the recent progress of my students because they have seen the joy that comes from playing for themselves.  They are really starting to "feel" the music and see that it is a way for them to express themselves.  I am thankful that I have been able to bless others, but it means so much more to me that I can use it for myself.  In high school it was my "therapy".  Bad day at school, sit down and play a few songs.  Annoying sibling, sit down and play a few songs.  I always feel better when I get up from the piano bench.

May my parents be blessed for however much they spent on lessons for me.

My heart sings.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Share the Love

Dear Friend D,

Congrats on your sweet little Z.  I know you'll be out of commission for some time, but I quick wanted to share this with you...maybe you like to blog in bed?  I do :)

If you go to this website you can get a button thingy for your blog that will direct people to  They have several designs to choose from so that you can choose one that fits your personality and style.  I noticed that you don't have anything like that yet on your blog, but I am pretty sure that you have several friends who are not members of our Church that read your blog.

While you are there go ahead and make a profile.  These profiles are to show that Mormons are regular people who do regular things.  We choose to live a certain way because of our beliefs and these profiles are a chance to show that to those interested in the Church.

I hope you are getting plenty of sleep.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Church of Coffee?

Dear Brother,

I didn't get a chance to tell you this on the phone this afternoon and since I don't know if you were really going to call tonight, I thought I'd just write.

While we were talking on the phone, I was waiting for Husband to call to go pick him up.  When he calls from the phone in the clerk's office it shows up on the caller id as:

Church of Latte,

which I think is pretty funny.  You and I both know that it's short for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but no one has that many characters on their caller id.  Church of Latte it is, though we most certainly are not all about lattes as we follow the Word of Wisdom.

I am grateful for the Word of Wisdom.  I know it is not restricting, because of how healthy I feel when I follow it.  The things it asks us to avoid have all been proven to be harmful to our bodies, and it really lists more things we can have than things we can't.  People also forget that it's not just about food.  It talks about getting enough sleep as well.

Anyways, I hope this made you laugh.  It makes me chuckle still every time it pops up.  I hope it never gets old.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Upside Down

Dear Friend B,

Yay and uggh all at the same time.

Daughter is well, (cue the "yay!").  She has been for a little over a week now (double "yay!").  Going through the never-ending sickness has turned everything upside down.  I feel mixed up and lost.  This past week has been a big mess to sort through and try to catch up on so many things that get pushed aside when sickness occurs.

So now you could say that we are "right side up" again, but here comes the "uggh".  Think of a snowglobe.  It sits there all fine and comfortable like, until someone turns it upside down.  Chaos ensues the little snow, glitter, whatever is going everywhere and then when the snow globe is put "right side up" again it takes awhile for the little bits to float back down.  Of course, they don't fall back in the same place.  When life turns you upside down, you just never come out the same.

I am not prepared for this.  It was just sickness, not like a huge trial or something.  I don't want my life to be different, but I can tell that it is.  It is not necessarily bad, it is just an adjustment to get used to.  Having new perspective is also a blessing because it brings new appreciation to the little things in my life.

I love this song.  Watch a video of it here.  Or just listen to it here.....Daughter and I do all the time.  Life is O'er Flowing with Beautiful Things.  This song always brings me so much hope.  I love all of the verses.  One little thing that I have noticed to be grateful for is this; the sound of the airplanes flying over my house.  They sound different in the Spring compared to the Winter.  You can think I am crazy, but this is true.  I woke up from a nap a few days ago to the sound of an airplane, and it made me smile when I recognized that it sounded how the airplanes sound with warm and sunny weather compared to the bleak and dismal weather in the Winter.  Yay for the changing of airplane noises.  Yay for Spring.