Sunday, September 3, 2017


My talk I gave at Church, August 2017 
-dictionary quotes in blue
-all other quotes in yellow
(and I don't know where the white highlights are coming from)

Hello Ward Family

I am very happy and excited that I was asked to speak on the topic of Perspective!

I love words like this, a word that can mean so many different things, it is an individual type of word. An idea that is used every minute of the day and everyone here in this room in unique in their perspective in one way or another.

I want you to think about walking, when you get to a flight of stairs or a log on a trail your brain automatically adjusts your steps to fit so you can make a nice even step over the obstacle or up the stairs, easy, we do it every day, all the time.
Now imagine you are riding a 1300 pound animal, a horse, galloping on a 10-12 foot stride and heading to a jump maybe 3 feet maybe 4 feet high maybe also just as wide. Now usually you can see what is called a distance, which is exactly like when you see how many steps you need to take before you go up the stairs but your riding something much bigger and faster and with a huge stride and a little or a lot of panic happens when you come out of a corner and … you don’t see a distance, nothing! or you see a very tight (uncomfortable) distance or a very long (dangerous) distance. The automatic response is to DO SOMETHING! And usually it’s the wrong thing like slow down or speed up or run away. What coaches teach is to “continue and pray” and this means don’t change anything and blink. That’s it just blink! You rarely see the same distance twice. All of a sudden you see something different, something better, a small adjustment or none at all and its smooth and flawless. So simple and kind of hard to do.
 I love the perspective this gives my life. When its rushing along and its great and its fun and all of a sudden I don’t know what to do? Do we all have times like this? Some bigger and scarier than others, but I can take this same advice- Don’t change anything. Blink = Pray and then you will have a much clearer perspective on what truly needs to change. It’s so great I love it! So simple and yet sometimes so hard.

I am going to talk about Perspective and its definitions- a lot.
The first is Perspective as used in art.
When something is far away it is smaller than something up close.

To the modern mind, it's hard to believe that perspective had to be "discovered", but before the 1400s paintings simply lacked accurate perspective. Instead, important people and objects were simply shown larger than less important ones; and although distant objects were sometimes shown smaller than near ones, this wasn't done in a regular and accurate way. Just as odd, many paintings didn't represent the other meaning of perspective either—that is, a scene might not be shown as if it were being seen from one single place.
-Merriam Webster Dictionary

*Apply to The First Vision (year 1820)
before the first vision religion did not have an accurate perspective.

-Joseph Smith was confused about all the religious competition and confusion
-After reading in the bible he gained a new perspective on Gods relationship with man
-Joseph decided to pray and ask God which church to join
-Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith telling him not to join any of the religions.
Joseph was to help restore the True church to the earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Those without an eternal perspective, or those who lose sight of it, make their own standards to benefit themselves and their own selfish interests. Their mortal perspective becomes their standard and for some their god.
-Jay E Jensen, First quorum of the seventy

We are blessed to have the fullness of the gospel in these latter days.
My message today focuses on the importance of the Holy Ghost in our lives. Our Father in Heaven knew that in mortality we would face challenges, tribulation, and turmoil; He knew we would wrestle with questions, disappointments, temptations, and weaknesses. To give us mortal strength and divine guidance, He provided the Holy Spirit, another name for the Holy Ghost.  - Elder Ronald A. Rasband
When our problems, challenges or trials take up the whole picture, right up close in our face screaming at us; it is so important yet can be so hard to hear the Holy Ghost. We need his inspiration at that moment more than anything but the Holy Ghost is a still small voice, and when all you can see is your own perspective of your trials and how looming they are it can feel like God is not listening, not there and not caring because… The Holy Ghost will never yell as loud as mortality!

 In the Old Testament, Elijah contended with the priests of Baal. The priests expected the “voice” of Baal to come down as thunder and light their sacrifice with fire. But there was no voice, and there was no fire.11
On a later occasion, Elijah prayed. “And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”12
Do you know that voice?
“The voice of the Holy Spirit is still and small.”   -Elder Rafael E Pino
I testify that when all you can see is your trials up close and looming and if it feels like God does not listen or care I promise with all my heart that he does. It is mortality, it is earth life, it is the world we live in that makes it so so hard to hear the soft, gentle kind, always kind voice of the spirit. There are moments, prayers, even seasons where we wait in patience to feel the Holy Ghost, clear and sure. 
Trials can bless us with perspective, it is so hard but oh, such lessons. Lessons that cannot be learned any other way. We are often taught by the spirit after the trial of our faith. It is with a resounding YES that it is worth it, in hindsight oh in hindsight!
My perspective on Faith changed in WA DC
-the Stake president of the Capital Hill DC ward spoke on Faith
-He talked about how our faith is not something we keep for ourselves or in ourselves. Our faith is all placed in God. We hear place your faith in God often in the church but it wasn’t until this talk on this day that my perspective changed. I cannot hold onto and horde faith to make it grow stronger or to have more of it. The more Faith I have the more faith I place in God. It took such a burden off me, to realize that I have lots of faith if I view it from that perspective.

Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance, (place) and it allows us to appreciate their true value.
Elder Rafael E Pino of the seventy

Today, perspective is used much like standpoint. Just as standpoint once used to mean simply the physical place where you stand but today also means the way you "see" things as a result of who you are and what you do, the same could be said about perspective.       -Merriam Webster Dictionary

What a blessing it is to have the perspective gained from knowing about;
*The plan of salvation
-to know about the pre-existence, that we must be born, be tested in this earthly life, die, and that that is not the end, we continue to learn and grow and become.
*Patriarchal blessings
-patriarchal perspective
-think of the perspective you have gained by reading your own patriarchal blessing
-a paper of possibilities, blessings, and love
-a gift from God

Think of where your stand and what your eternal perspective is as I read this scripture from;

2nd Nephi 9:41
41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

If you ask;
How do I keep myself on the path and continue to have an eternal perspective?   
Or if you ask, How do I get back to the path?   
Or if you ask,   How do I find the path in the first place?    
The answer is;

We choose where we stand!

And these choices keep us very much on the path.

Obeying Gods Laws

These things make me a better person. Is it enough to do something simply because it makes me a better person?
What makes you a better person? Sometimes we do things simply because it makes us better.
But that is not a simply thing. If something makes us better than it is the best thing we can do.
We can see that our perspective is affected by where we stand.

Not having an eternal perspective, or losing it, can lead us to have an earthly perspective as our personal standard and to make decisions that are not in harmony with the will of God. It is extremely important that we do not make decisions of eternal value from the perspective of mortality. For decisions that affect eternity, having a gospel perspective is essential.
-Elder Rafael E Pino of the seventy

Another definition of perspective is;
2.a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Our opinion will be guided by our perspective.

That is logical and a little bit scary, where we stand is more important than meets the eye, it trickles over our lives from perspective to opinion, to which we know quickly turn to words and actions affecting all those around us.

-Murray ward encompassed a condo neighborhood called Three Fountains and it was chalk full of seniors who worked in the temple
-they had the perspective of raising a family
-they carried with them the perspective gained from Temple service
-I loved them so much and they were kind and genuine
-Becky was paralyzed 55 years ago while serving a mission in California,
-has limited use of her hands giving her the ability to use an electric wheel chair and type on a special computer
-I served in the primary presidency with her
-she loved those children, she loved their parents, she was so positive and magnified her calling,
-visiting nursery to give rides
-talking to the children eye to eye
-serving with all of her capacity and beyond, when it was tiring and uncomfortable and her chair would get stuck in the room of little primary chairs
She has a great sense of humor, “ask forgiveness not permission” and her wish to marry Nephi.
-she changed my perspective on serving in the church, Becky found true joy in her service and even though she was not perfect she tried and tried and tried.
I think of her often, she is a very influential person in my life,
-I go visit her when I’m in Utah and feel so blessed to be able to sit on the foot of her bed and talk with her.
-I am so blessed to call her my friend

The Holy Ghost binds us to the Lord. By divine assignment, He inspires, testifies, teaches, and prompts us to walk in the light of the Lord. We have the sacred responsibility to learn to recognize His influence in our lives and respond.
Remember the Lord’s promise: “I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy.”4 I love that assurance. Joy that fills our souls brings with it an eternal perspective in contrast to day-to-day living. That joy comes as peace amidst hardship or heartache. It provides comfort and courage, unfolds the truths of the gospel, and expands our love for the Lord and all God’s children. Although the need for such blessings is so great, in many ways the world has forgotten and forsaken them.
Let the Holy Spirit Guide -Elder Ronald A Rasband

What is Gods Perspective?
Holy Ghost


Picture Of Sorrow

   Looking back over time a growing number of years ago. The time that seemed to stretch as the weeks flew by, like am still tied to that spot but time forces the road between to stretch and I get pulled back to that place in quiet moments to reflect, think and to grow. I call it my Picture of Sorrow.
   It is when my Mother came back from the Dr's office and she is walking down the driveway, alone and crying, she looks small which means I look big and that is a strange place to be in relation to ones Mother but a necessary relation as time passes. We sit on a low rock wall beside the driveway and she tells me she has cancer and I say that I'm so sorry and it is the right thing to say, as I am sorry and not in a trite way or a selfish way but in a sorry way. My sister comes over and I tell her and she takes a seat on the other side of our Mother and we sit and hug our Mother while she cries each lost in our thoughts.
   I look down the driveway expecting the view to have changed for inside me all has changed but the view is the same in a comforting and frustrating way, for you want the world to respond to your sorrow and you want nothing to change even though everything has. The gravel driveway still lies in it's place just as I sit in place and look the same but will never be. As sorrowful as this picture remains it is a hopeful place to revisit as with knowledge comes power and healing.
   I will never return as the former daughter to visit home but I continue to return as the same friend.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Parable of the Beautiful Princess and the Colorful Glass Plate of Food.

  I don't understand why, and it is a very foreboding thought, that as life goes on the trials get harder: logically meaning that if I survive this one the next one will be worse. In the middle of said trial I can't imagine a worse one. I suppose I will have to work on my imagination skills because they just do get worse and worse, sometimes unimaginably worse.
  This is the end of my sad song.

  This is the start of my parable:
  There was once a Beautiful Princess, who loved to eat good food, she held a beautiful colorful glass platter and on it was her choices of food. She loved to carry this platter of food around and admire it, enjoyed eating off of it and just very simply loved this platter of food. The food on her plate was the very very best food she knew of. She could add to it with hard work and it never became empty.
  One day out of the blue, for no reason the Beautiful Princess could understand, WHAM onto her plate fell a giant lump of mashed potatoes, not the light fluffy buttery kind - these potatoes were very undesirable to the Princess, cold, grey, lumpy, no salt, no butter, not whipped whatsoever - these potatoes had been half cooked and mashed with a baby spoon. WHAM onto the edge of the beautiful plate they fell with a force.
  Now the Beautiful Princess is a Princess and elegant and happy and was not expecting this force of undesired mashed potatoes so she was carrying her colorful glass platter around balanced on one hand, very beautifully indeed. Well the mashed potatoes knocked the platter and oh she was going to catch it and save it really....but then WHAM another giant scoop and then as the plate was falling to add insult to injury yet another scoop glued itself to the edge of that beautiful platter and down it fell.
  This colorful glass platter was very important to the Beautiful Princess and she looked and could not believe that it was falling, and like all important things in life that fall and crash time slows and we see it fall so slowly. The Beautiful Princess watched helplessly as her treasured colorful wonderful platter slowly fell flipping and tumbling through the air, throwing all her beautiful and hard-worked-for food scattering down, down, down. She was helpless, she couldn't catch it no matter how much she wanted to. She prayed and prayed that someone else would catch it, she couldn't believe that God was not catching it, she couldn't believe it was it fell and fell and fell.
  She felt as though only she could see that it was falling, she prayed and felt peace but misery loves company and she was expecting something more along the lines of, "OH MY! BIGGEST WORSE TRIAL EVER! SORRY, MIS-CATEGORIZED, WE WILL DEAL WITH THIS IMMEDIATELY! NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS, THAT IS WAY TOO BIG! HERE IS A COUPON FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY WORRY FREE DAY! SO SORRY, WONT HAPPEN AGAIN."

  Then it crashed, on the floor, the plate did not break but the food was everywhere and it was not beautiful and cherished anymore it was smashed and dirty and ugly and everywhere and not nice to look at or desirable to eat. Not only that but when it fell to the floor and the Princess was sitting there wondering what to do the dogs started showing up. Not fluffy little cute dogs that you would feed a green pea to and pat and they wiggle happily. No, these dogs are black and they don't follow any Princess orders, she can fight but they will not relent.  These dogs are shadows and can not be fenced off or tied back.  One is named Depression another is Anger there are specially trained shadow dogs that sniff out the Faith and Testimony food items from your plate and will eat just those with greed. There are many very real shadow dogs in the shadows different ones come depending on the type of food that has fallen from the plate.
  What is the Beautiful Princess to do? Is it going to be a tragic ending? I do love tragic endings. The Princess sits there with the shadow dogs milling around, sniffing and sorting and looking through the food that the Princess once treasured, still does treasure, but just does not know how to save it, where to start, and how to start it is just such a daunting task. As she looks on shadow dog Depression walks by, "Why bother, it's unusable now anyway, you are not worthy to carry such a beautiful colored platter, look at you just sitting there on the floor, how could you have dropped it? It was a mistake that you were ever holding it in the first place." Closely followed by Depression, Anger follows on his tail, "It would have been better if the whole platter had shattered then you wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up this whole mess, you could get another better platter and you could protect it from ever having cold lumpy mashed potatoes fall on it in the first place." The shadow dogs start to do un-shadow like things like actually eat the food on the floor. Suffice to say the Beautiful princess who does not feel very beautiful anymore is distraught. That is when she notices that the shadow dogs are picking off her faith and testimony, very sneakily too, with their tails between their legs these little dogs are picking around looking for the most treasured morsels.
  This is just too much for the Princess she has yelled and chased and cried and she had prayed when the platter was falling, but when it fell she had just stared and looked rather unbelieving that something so beautiful could fall so quickly. The Beautiful Princess prayed and as she prayed she realized that her Savior had always been right beside her and he had stood there with her and held her hand as her beautiful colorful platter had crashed to the floor and he had not caught it, not because he could not but because it needed to fall so that she could see how much she treasured each and every morsel that fell from the platter.

  The Savior has the ultimate story of triumph! He suffered and felt all the pain and sadness the whole wide world over, all the generations of trials of all humankind heaped on him. He had his moment of helplessly watching his beautiful platter fall when he said, "Father let this cup pass from me, however not my will but thine." He suffered and suffered and suffered alone till he bled from every pore. Then he was cruelly crucified, buried and triumphed over death.
  The Savior knew how the Beautiful Princess felt and knew how she would feel when her platter crashed to the ground and he never left.
  As the Beautiful Princess prayed she saw that the Savior was there and he was helping her pick up the food scattered all about, he did not just scoop up the food and dump it back on the platter and he also did not lightning strike the shadow dogs but where he was they could not go. So slowly and carefully and calmly the Savior helped the Beautiful Princess pick up each piece of food and place it with care back on the platter. The Savior picked up those ugly lumpy mashed potatoes that had caused so much harm and he stuck them right there in the middle of the plate and then they arranged all the lovely food around it. Now the plate was balanced, maybe not as pretty as before as it now had a big lump of ugly mashed potatoes in the middle but the Princess simply had to carry the mashed potatoes and if she had to carry them they would be better there in the middle rather than tipping the plate at the edge.
  The Savior helped the Beautiful Princess stand and as she did so the dogs ran away, the colorful platter was beautiful again, the food was more beautiful and wonderful than before.
 The Princess does not know how long she will have to have the gray mashed potatoes on her plate and she doesn't know when the next scoop will hit the platter but when it does she will fall and she will stand again.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fortunately Fast Fabulous and Fearless

Fortunately I have a friend who loves to run. 
Unfortunately she is now 7 months pregnant and not running with me anymore. Fortunately she took me running many times last year. 
Unfortunately? I had an unexplainable desire to enter a triathlon. 
Fortunately I decided to swim all winter to prepare. 
Unfortunately I slept in all winter and was not a super swimmer as planned and... awoke in the spring entirely unprepared. 
Fortunately I had a friend who talked me into entering a sprint triathlon with her anyways.
Unfortunately she got the flu the night before the race and couldn't attend.
   ...I did train, I really did, I swam and swam I even took adult swimming lessons in the kiddie pool I spent so many hours swimming I should have been able to swim a marathon, my skin has smelled like chlorine for months, when I wear white clothes they come off whiter than when I put them on -okay maybe I'm getting a little bit carried away but I felt like all I did all spring was fight my way face down through the water.  I am a stronger swimmer now, but I do have a very long way to go. That's okay though because I can train all winter!  I rented a wetsuit because I heard they were buoyant and I was not too concerned about fast transitions and all that, I was planning on completing all parts and finishing triumphant in whatever place that was. I was very surprised at just how buoyant wetsuits are, it's a good thing no one told me that they are the sleek equivalent of a full body life jacket or I may have not even bothered to practice my swimming at all! I would like to say I swam a quick 1/4 mile front crawl but no such luck, there is this thing called smooth controlled breathing while swimming in water the color of rootbeer with other racers kicking and splashing and whapping all around like so many drowning fish. I settled into a nice rhythm of 8-10 strokes of back stroke interspersed by a few seconds of breast stroke so I could make sure I was heading in the right direction. It was a nice way to start this crazy race by peacefully looking up at the clear blue sky and swimming for dear life. 
   I was excited for the bike portion because I didn't even train for it, unless you can call hauling the bike cart around town behind my mountain bike with a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old in it filled up with random bags of beach toys and snacks and enough water to hydrate an elephant. I totally counted it for training as I figure one mile of that is worth at least 10 miles on Nathan's fancy speedy road bike which he kindly let me borrow for the race. Needless to say the bike part was very fun and fast and I really felt like I could have kept going for the olympic distance which I guess means I either overtrained or didn't go fast enough or both. 
   I run quite a bit, mostly early in the morning when I drag myself out of bed so I can hear the birds singing before rush hour traffic sends them into their daily depressed silence so I thought that not many things could make running harder than a cold, barley light, rainy, early morning but no nothing N-o-t-h-i-n-g can compare to trying to run-who am I kidding, nothing can compare to trying to move your legs after swimming then biking it really felt like I had no legs. I was running on stilts, and there was a whole row of us running on stilts though we weren't running we were shuffling-so- so -so- slooowwwlly. 
   I was worried when I started the race that my shorts were going to rub my thighs raw when I ran but I had no need to worry as I could have been running in a mini skirt with my knees duct taped together that is how s l o w  I was shuffling so incredibly slow and I simply couldn't find my legs to run faster. It took me a mile and half to feel like I could run again. 
   A mile and a half is a very long time to contemplate things like, how if I were to walk, it would probably be a faster pace. Or the fact that if there was something dead and rotting on the road I would not bother to go around it or avoid it, as that would take way too much effort. You know you are doing something that feels like it will never ever end when you start comparing it to childbirth. The only things I compare that to is getting laser dentistry done with no freezing and getting my blood drawn (I really hate getting needles). I also compared my run to childbirth and decided that I couldn't decide which was harder so that was probably my lowest point, around the end of mile 1, this was probably because I passed the sign that told me I had only run ONE mile and I had a whole 2.5 miles left to go-which isn't very far but it felt v e r y very very far last Saturday.
I expected the finish to be right when I got back to the park but like most foot races they make you run the spectator loop of shame where they stick you on a nice gravel track in the heat of the sun with all the people watching and waiting and cheering and all you want to do is stop drop and die and you realize you have to run the whole way around before the end. But the finish was in sight and I finished strong which was one of my goals- I also didn't drown, crash the bike or walk on the running loop so all in all it was a very successful race. 

Womens Sprint Triathlon. Age group 30-34. 7th out of 20. Overall Womens Sprint 41st out of 158. 
Time Details:    Swim 1/4 mile 0:11:09.2
                      Bike 13.6 miles 0:48:45.2 /16.7MPH
                      Run 5km (approx. 3.1 miles) 0:28:08.1 /9:15M
                      Overall time 1:30:32.9

Oh yes this race was sponsored by a chocolate company so they give out water bottles filled with chocolates and bowls of chocolates and boxes of chocolates. I'm sure they count on the fact that no one is going to want to eat hoards of chocolate after hours of exercise. Fortunately Benjamin was there to bring the chocolate consumption back into balance 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The circumference of me!

   Who am I? Why is this question even one? Can't I be Who am I! Because this will never change, time will pass on and on and Who am I or Who I am changes season of life to season of life.
   This is one of the most prized and glorious parts of life, the unexpectedness of gradual change.
   I originally wanted these writings to be my time but my time is obsolete times four, children erase time and they create time they make time more meaningful and make you wish time would either stop or hurry by.
  My life at this season is my children and as such these writings become who I am and in extension who am I?
   I am a mother, a part of cherished memories given as gifts all around me. Who am I! A Mother! the thought at times restricting but most usually exhilarating.

Double bouncy

  Last week we went to Trampoline Nation. There was a half pipe, a slam dunk area, a dodgeball area a super springy area and another area covered in trampolines just because there was room for it. There was more floor and wall square feet of Trampoline than I have ever thought possible. It was therapeutic in a way like being transported back in childhood when the trampoline felt as big as a city block and you felt like you could just jump up and you were sure that the next time you went up there really was a possibility you would be able to fly...or maybe next time.
   I was very impressed with the super springy trampolines they really were super springy and I could still do all my amazing tricks, I'm sure as a child I met my 10,000 hours of jump time making me an expert at 1-2-3 bum drop and double bouncing, unfortunately there is a one person at a time on the trampoline rule which was unfortunate as it takes away so much of the fun, but also most likely takes away most of the injury as well. I was still expert at bum drops, back drops, belly drops, donkey drops and front flips. 
   Sadly my age is not what it used to be and I could feel my tendons holding my knees together, though I would like to think it's just because that trampoline really was that extra bouncy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh (baby) Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Benjamin loves the Christmas tree farm,
and all the "baby" Christmas trees. 

 He wanted his picture by every single baby tree we walked by, and, as you can tell, we walked past a lot of them. He even wanted his picture by a dead one until I told him it was dead and then he said in a very sad voice, "don't say that about that baby tree." 
 You can't see the saw but it is there and very sharp and heavy and dangerous.
 We got caught in a storm of rain and hail and sleet
 but we stayed warm and cozy, though a bit wet.

 Good Job
 Everyone is happy 
and Benjamin has a portfolio of baby tree photos.