Showing posts with label God's hand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's hand. Show all posts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Coincidence or By Divine Design - Relief Society

            When I'm teaching primary, I'm sitting down.  When I taught RS, I was standing up.  The sisters have decided to put themselves in a circle, which has its benefits.  I thought I might try walking around and pace myself back and forth as I've seen another instructor do - but my voice doesn't seem to carry as loud as hers nor did I have much of a voice on Sunday and so had to stand behind the microphone.

            NONE of the shoes that I wear on Sunday are very comfortable and so my feet hurt as I neared the end of my lesson and later on that night I was experiencing back pain.  I blame the shoes.  I think Roland would blame my weight.  Probably a combination of the two.

            There are posts on either my own or my brother's blog which provide several reference to everything I discussed in my lesson - well almost everything.  

Dear Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin spoke of an occasion when President Thomas S. Monson said to him: “There is a guiding hand above all things. Often when things happen, it’s not by accident. One day, when we look back at the seeming coincidences of our lives, we will realize that perhaps they weren’t so coincidental after all.”

            After I had passed around the photos of my mom and dad found in this post, I shared an experience that Roland and I had while he was a realtor.  He had made appointments for showing clients houses that were still occupied by their owners.  The clients noticed a newly listed house across the street that hadn't been on Roland's agenda because  he hadn't known about it, but as it was also occupied, he might have to make arrangements for another appointment and return at a later date.  As it turned out, the owners were gone and we were able to go inside.

            The interior of the first house seemed to have dark walls in most of its rooms.  No photos on the wall.  Just a couple on a night stand.  I thought it seemed poorly lit. The house across the street was the same exact floor plan except in reverse.  And with brighter walls.  A great big picture of an LDS temple (though I forget which one; the picture was definitely the largest I have seen - exceeding the entire length on the couch) LOTS of photographs and "families are forever" themes. It was roughly 20,000 more than any other house they looked at.  But it's the one that they wanted.  Was it a coinsidence or divine design?

"But remember, He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things" - Ronald A. Rasband,  Oct 1, 2017

            I'm sure that to most people my dad was as ordinary as they come.  He was a very quiet man which I have mentioned in a post I created  the year that I started my blog. Even though we lived in the same house for over 30 years, talking to dad was often like pulling teeth.  Most of what I had shared with the sisters was second or third hand information from sources other than my dad.  I shared a bit about my dad's upbringing and his not having a testimony of the gospel - or perhaps it was just the church itself that he had strayed from.

            He was quite studios and a very good student.  In 1955 he'd been offered a full scholarship to BYU but had turned it down in order to join the navy - which he loathed.  He had joined the navy chori and had enjoyed that.  The nation was between wars and so he was never involved in active duty.  I don't think he had even left the country, but I could be wrong. Overall he really did not appreciate his time in the service.  Since he didn't talk about it, we can only speculate about what we think it was.  I think he may have found the vulgar language and lack of ethics among many of the sailors to be upsetting.

            I think my dad used Church as an escape from the navy.  One fast and testimony meeting he remembers a girl of about ten years of age (this is one of the few sources I have directly from my dad's own mouth) bore her testimony and said she knew the church was true, and he thought  - "If she can know, I can know."  And he devoted more time into finding God and getting reacquainted with the LDS faith.

          One night he was given permission to go to a Church dance.  There he met my mother.  They were married 14 years later.  They were married in Los Angeles Temple and had their wedding reception in the Church in the photo I had passed around where my father had had his picture taken 12 years before.  I don't know if my dad made the connection.  Probably not. I don't remember having seen the photo until my brother Corey posted it.  Had this all come about by coincidence or by divine design?

"Our lives are like a chessboard, and the Lord moves us from one place to another—if we are responsive to spiritual promptings. Looking back, we can see His hand in our lives" - Ronald A. Rasband,  Oct 1, 2017
              I then asked the sisters:  "How many of you have ever made plans about where your life was headed?  You work so many years of your life to stay on that path toward your goal and all of the sudden there is that fork in the road.  God may nudge you to go one way or perhaps you believe you made that choice on your own.  And one day you look over to where you could have been and compare it to where you are on the road right now and think:  "Hey, wait a minute.  I'm supposed to be over there on that path.  I don't think I like where this path is taking me"

            I asked the sisters if any would like to share an example.  When nobody did, I continued. The next example I shared was about Diane Ellingson. I had breifly mentioned her remarkable triumphant found here.  You can also hear her life story in her own words in a two part video fournd here.

"Sometimes life is hard and seems unfair but you are only defeated when you stop trying." - Diane Ellington Smith

" Most often, our good works are known to only a few. They are, however, recorded in heaven. One day, we will stand as a witness of our whole-souled devotion to works of righteousness." - Ronald A. Rasband,  Oct 1, 2017

            I also shared some examples about how often when we ask for blessings, God will send us the tools we need to acquire that blessing.  I used the example of Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar's "Brave"  here.

            I concluded with a poem Corey had written which could be used to desribe almost every "ordinary" person.  His poem can be found both here and here.

            Other references for my lesson include: 

Ronald A. Rasband
                                        talk found here

                my comments from talk found here


Mom &Dad

                                 great pictures here and here

                      dad's service in navy and awesome tribute by Corey/Cody here



                        trailer for Brave here       

Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm Grateful That My Plans Didn't Work Out

                I had made contact with different family members about my plans of sending Jenna to Utah by herself to visit family and we would pick her up in August.  It had been a thought is all.  It's not that I was trying to get rid of her during the summer.  I just know that she's been homesick for her brothers and cousins and probably a week would not be enough for her.
         She did want to march in the parade at the end of last month and this month - only this month didn't work out for anybody in the group except for Jenna.  We manned the booth instead.  Jenna and I had been assigned for the very first shift, and then she got recruited to stay (see here).  Her actions certainly helped with funds but even better (in my opinion) was that it gave her  a confidence that she has somehow kept hidden for many years.  She enjoyed doing it, and she enjoyed being needed.

          She did taper off that last day however, palling around with a group of kids - which was also good for her.  In addition, we assist at the library every Monday (at least for the summer) with the summer reading program, and she enjoys that.  She enjoys the children - which surprised me.  Other than her cousins (and sometimes even the boys have been exceptions) she has never shown an interest in children - especially really little ones.  But she has often told me how much she misses Devin and Ally - and she didn't even get to spend that much time with them.  I'm happy to hear that she misses them.  I really would have liked to spend more time with them myself.  But it doesn't feel like it was meant to be.

          Uncle Ted will be buried on Tuesday.  I wished I could be with the family again.  But I knew before we left to move out here than it would be highly doubtful for us to go back. I didn't know the return back to Utah would be so hard on me.

          I miss seeing my family.  At the same time I am truly excited to watch Jenna grow and gain new confidences.  I'm glad this summer has been working out to be a positive experience.