Wednesday, August 26, 2009

YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS


Monday night was a special treat! Dad cooked up steaks and we had the privilege of having Uncle Paul come over and then were treated by Iron Man, Dooges, and Brynner Bean! Grandpa gave the lesson on Nephi getting the brass plates. When the kiddos would answer a question right they were able to go up to the piano and hit one of the keys. (The piano just got tuned on Saturday so every note is happiness to the ears instead of the painful noise it made before it was tuned!) Grandpa's lesson was all on doing the things the Lord commands.

When little Brynnlee got a question right--it was her turn to go up and play the piano. She can be very out going and talks up a storm, but when in the spotlight, her shy mode kicks in. She didn't want to go play a note on the piano by herself, she wanted her dad to help her. I wondered what Brytt would do. Without giving her a hard time he got out of his chair and took her hand as they walked over to the piano. When they got to the piano he told her all she had to do was reach up and play a note. Brynnlee became very shy and told him she didn't want to. She wanted him to do it. Brytt gently told her that she needed to play it herself, he even offered to hold her wrist to guide her hand to the note, but Brynnlee would not do it. As she got more and more shy, almost to tears--Brytt walked her back over to the couch. And he said, "Brynnlee, you can do hard things when you're not shy".

Our story with Nephi was him doing something that was completely beyond his own power--getting plates from a man who did not want to give them up. As Alma teaches us, in the strength of the Lord we can do all things. We can do hard things!

President Monson in speaking to the sisters of the church said:
"...do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."
There will always be hard roads ahead of us. Tough decisions, long work days, crisis that may arise, kids needs that keep needing, sleepless nights, situations less then ideal, disappointments, frustrations, and days when the sun just doesn't seem to shine... but we can, like Miss Brynnlee, do hard things when we have the Lord with us. The Lord, like Brytt, will not play the note for us, but I am confident he will hold our hand and even help sturdy us as we play whatever notes are placed before us.

I can do hard things
I will pray for help,
for He will hear
and to my aid,
He will be there!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BACK TO THE WATER HOLE

Today is the day!

My uncle Paul knows how much I love photography and nature--so for quite some time he has been forwarding me one of his co-work's brother's photography emails. It has been such a treat to look at all the amazing shots of Kent Keller, the photographer. It has been even more fun to know that he is shooting these pictures close to home! Last week he just sent in shots of some of Utah's mountain goats!

Well back in July, my uncle Paul forwarded me one of Kent's latest adventures with some wild horses. This email was a little different in that Kent wrote about his experience. I read his email a handful of times, for so deep was the application. I contacted Kent to make sure it was okay if I shared his email and pictures here on my blog. He graciously said yes. So with his permission, I share his email.

>>> Kent Keller 7/12/2009 7:29 AM >>>
Spent a hot and dusty July 7th with wild horses. I got shots of a normally very shy, beautiful palomino stud, a horse splashing water on a nasty bite wound, a swimming colt in over his head and rescued a little buckskin filly that got caught on the wrong side of a fence from her mom and band. By the time I found her she was so stressed she was trembling uncontrollably and kept falling down. When I got her back with her mom the band ran a mile to the water hole. It took the filly 30 minutes to reach the water. She fell down and laid still for almost three hours. She seemed fine after that.









When I read in his email that he caught a picture of a horse splashing water on the nasty bite--did you notice how big the wound was?! (You can click on the picture for a bigger view. I would love for my pictures to upload bigger on the blog, but I am kind of blog illiterate, so if anyone knows how to make these pictures upload big on the blog, I would love to know!) Did you see how big the wound was?!

I immediately thought to how the Savior is living water. If you come to Him you can be healed! The horse's instinct was to splash water on the wound. Or perhaps he just thought it might feel better. BOTH are true for the Savior! I forgot to ask Kent if the 3rd photograph down is the same horse. If it is, from that angle, you can't see the wound on the horse.

So many times, many of us have wounds that are sometimes hidden from others views, some wounds are deep, some are old but are still festering, some wounds seem insignificant compared to others--but all wounds whether the wound of not forgiving, holding a grudge, pride, envy, jealousy, the wound of hate, lack of faith, bitterness, resentment, blame, abuse, criticism--all these wounds, insignificant or not, if not cleansed with LIVING WATER, our Savior, they can become festering sores. Sores that take away our peace, destroy our hope, and most times influence/set a bad example/attitude for those around us.

The horse splashed water upon a nasty bite. The Savior is the living water. He is the healer of all wounds. Back to the thought of the pools of Bethesda when the water moved, the first person in it was made whole of whatever infirmity they had. The Savior's water is always moving.

Am I willing to let Him take a look at my wounds?

When you first clean out a wound, it can be quite painful. Sheri Dew says, the Savior heals without a scar. Will I let Him heal me? Do I immerse myself and my wounds in/with His love and His mercy and His wisdom? He can heal-- will I allow Him to heal me?

I loved the picture of the swimming colt who was way in over his head. Sometimes the choices I make put me way in over my head. Oh how many times has the Savior come to rescue me?! How many times have my visiting teachers come and shared a message with me that I needed. A coworker, a boss, a father or a mother, how many times has the Lord sent them to aid me in my swimming mess?!

Kent's last story left me filled with the spirit. His story about the Filly on the other side of the fence. I asked Kent how he had gotten the Filly back to her mom and band. He said he cut a whole in the fence and coaxed her towards her mom.

This Filly found herself separated from the ones she loved the most. And because she had been separated so long/distressed for so long when Kent found her she was trembling uncontrollably. Our choices can separate us from God and can cause us great distress. So much distress that our agency can be taken away and we are left to tremble uncontrollably in our consequences.

I wonder if she was even more freaked out when Kent, a human (and she a wild little filly) tried to get close enough to help her.

Do I freak out when someone I love is trying to help me get back on the right side of the fence?

God gives us "Kents" all along our fences to help us back to the path. These Kents are our priesthood leaders, the church, faithful-sincere-mighty prayer, scriptures, our living prophet, home teachers/visiting teaching, temple covenants, paying a faithful tithe--all of these are tools to help us get back to our "Heavenly" band. All of these are to help us have/enjoy true happiness.

Many times when we fall on the side of the fence we should not be on, it is sometimes hard to do the things/take the actions to come back. But it is so worth it.

I was intrigued by the fact that when this filly was back with her mother - it still took her 30 mins to travel a mile to the water whole. And when she got there she collapsed for several hours. Sometimes our journey back to the Savior, our living water, may take a little longer...and that's okay! Our weaknesses and our areas for improvement don't fix over night. But He can start to soften our heart immediately! We need to be patient with our one step at a time. We need the Savior and the atonement to become whole. We need the water hole!

So if you know of someone who is stuck on the other side of the fence don't give up on them!

I want to be a Kent! I want to be the one helping cut the hole and coasting someone back on the path remembering that they might be slow at first.

I was touched by the filly's determination to get to the water hole. And when she got there, so long had her journey of hardships that it just took her a little longer recovery to jump back into the full swing of the band.

So it is for me! When I have been walking a road that is not in harmony with the spirit, it may take me a little longer to get back into the full swing of the gospel. But thank goodness Heavenly Father will send me Kents along my way! Thank goodness for good friends, loving parents/family, an amazing boss, and a great bishop who are like Kent cutting a whole in the fence. I am still the one that must chose whether I am going to walk through the opening.

All of this from Kent's photography eye! And today was finally the day I was able to share it with you!

I know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's true church on the earth. I know the Savior lives and loves us. He and our Heavenly Father will never give up on us. An though we may be trembling on the other side of the fence, they will make a way for us to escape and/or conquer whatever is not in harmony with the gospel in our lives. It is ours to endure to the end... In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GRATITUDE

There have been a lot of sweet kindnesses from the Lord these past few weeks. And even in the mist of all my many weaknesses, He still choose to love and bless me.

COMPANIONSHIP INVENTORY

I wasn't planning on writing about this because it was way too personal to me, but I felt I should.

Did you ever have companionship inventory on the mission? To be quite honest, I didn't even really know what it was until the mission was over. What I gathered is that we were suppose to have a chat with our companion weekly... suggesting areas that we're great in and areas we could work on. When I think of this phrase it has a very negative impact on my brain. Ha, well a few weeks ago I found myself with a friend on evening. After discussing some pressing matters our conversation turned into an 1 1/2 "Let's fix Bryndi" night. I don't believe in coincidences so while all the areas I need to improve on were being pointed out, I tried to keep my mind clear and open to what was being said. My friend was not trying to attack or hurt me. So that made me want to make sure I grabbed all truth out of what was being said. In a way I am so thankful the curfew hit and I needed to leave. It had been a long inventory night.

I got home it was 12:30. I scolded 3 batches of blueberries to dry for Kiss as the tears just started to come.

The day had been okay. It was ward temple night which always makes me happy. I had seen Becca in the temple and she saved a place for me to sit by here in the endowment--and that was just a kind spoiling from the Lord. In the celestial room I pleaded with the Lord to forgive my weaknesses and all the many sins that like Nephi says, "so easily beset" me. A friend after the temple, not knowing what I was pleading for, shared his insight and thought that it was cool that we always fall short because of imperfections. And this was part of the plan. That is how the plan was set up. We need/ed the Savior of course and His atonement to make us whole. Of course I knew that, but what a sweet reminder in the moment of longing for little stupit things to not be such huge temptations. Things that shouldn't even tempt me== little sins that really do beset me.

Well with the night I had already had, I started to conclude that all that my friend had said was true. I started to cry bitterly. I was embarrassed to be seen in the sight of the Lord for not doing all the things my friend said I ought to be doing with my life.

Just as luck would have it (I know it was not by chance) I had not had the opportunity to read the scriptures for the day. It was nearing 1:30 AM and my heart was tormented as with my head with all the things I was not. As I opened my scriptures, I had the impression to read D&C 25. --Now, I am a very read it in order and don't jump around type of girl when I am doing intense study for understanding the flow of the scriptures. I was not scheduled to read D&C 25 for another week with my patterned. But the prompting came and I opened. I actually opened my scriptures fully expecting to be rebuked a little bit and to have the Lord confirm all the things my friend had shared with me...so as I opened up I cried even more bitterly at the thought of Heavenly Father confirming my fears.

Oh the kindness of a loving Father in heaven. This scripture read could have not been more personal and was equal and maybe even slightly more powerful in a way, then my own pblessing. In stead of the Lord confirming everything my friend had put on my "bryndi need's to change" list...in the most personal, and only the way a parent could--said through this section of scripture almost everything opposite of what my friend had said. By the second verse my bitter crying (now when I say bitter it was not a hatred cry or a mean one, but a no comfort and ashamed cry) - this bitter cry turned to uncontrollable sobs of gratitude! Gratitude for the Lord's kindness in speaking to me so personally through section 25.

I didn't finish my study until after 3 AM because I was crying extremely hard for thankfulness. Every sentience struck a chord with me... at the end of the read I received amazing revelation with who I am--and more importantly, who God knows me to be and is okay with who I am and what I am doing with my life. Now this said, I don't claim to have it all together. And those that are closest to me know that I am light years away from even coming close to having my life in balance/order. But I do know that God loves me. And He is okay with me being Bryndi-quirks and all. He is okay with what I am doing in my life and where my focuses are.

I only share just a piece of the emotion/experience I had that night for it is so sacred to me that I don't have words to describe what happened.

Ironically one week from the day, I found myself back in a car with this same friend. I had avoided any chance of being alone with this person, but it seemed to be that we were destined to be alone yet again.

The conversation took off, and some of the same comments from the week before were said, but this time--I KNEW what God thought of me, and I was not shaken, or disturbed. In fact, I don't know if I have felt more strong and sure of me. My friend was a little taken back at my confidence and not budging. And although the first 20 mins into the conversation I was praying to get out of it... we chatted until midnight and I think we both were edified with what took place, well I can't speak for my friend, but I can for myself. :D

I have to smile with all of this, because I know my friend did not have mean motives, or intended to be so intense with analyzing my life--this just goes to show that we all have a path to walk on, and it's okay. My friend's path is not my path, nor is my path their path. In terms of the gospel path--well that should be for all of us, but the things the Lord would have me do, my talents, energies, focus, may not be what he is having others focus on, and IT'S OKAY! We are all here for a reason, and we have our own personal missions to fill.


HIS SHEEP KNOW HIS VOICE

This morning as I walked into the temple I was greeted by one of the most Angelic/Christlike person I know! My mom! She and my Dad are the newest Provo temple workers. They started a few weeks ago, but today was my first time seeing them dressed in white with their name tags on.

My mom has longed to be a temple worker. And it was just last year we were all waiting around the hospital bed praying that Dad would have yet another day to live. Oh how kind Heavenly Father is to us! It was wonderful to see her smiling face. The shift coordinator could not have picked a better face/person to greet people at 5:30 AM in the morning than my mom! She can make sunshine rays look dull compared to the light she radiates.

As I went into the endowment room, I held my breath a little hoping to see my Dad in there. What kid gets to see their folks work in the temple?! I didn't get my wish that time, but I stilled smiled over the thought that he was serving somewhere in the temple.

As the session finished and I walked towards the next part, even 15 feet away I heard my Dad speak! I could not see him, and there were at least a dozen other men speaking all at the same time, but I could hear my dad clearly and knew the exact spot where he stood. To my mind came the scripture John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me". All the other men sounded like muffle to me, but because I know my Dad's voice I could hear him above all the rest!

I was filled with pride and gratitude, as I pondered on the tender mercy that the Lord allowed my Dad to work in the temple with my mom. As I walked into the celestial room I then was able to not only hear my dad's voice, but see him. I tapped him as I walked by. How sacred it was to see my parents serving in the House of the Lord, as workers. We all have come such a long way to get where we are right now. And although we have yet still a long way to go, I am filled with deep gratitude to the Lord for letting my parents--with ready/willing/wanting hearts--serve in His house! It is several, several years of miracles to bring us to this point!

I pray that I will be able to hear and heed the Savior's voice above all the other voices that surround me. And that I can be one of His lambs.

SHE PRAYED FOR ME

I went to the church after work today to meet my visiting teachers. They caught me last night and asked if they could teach me today. Honestly-can there be a much sweeter sight then visiting teachers setting up and wanting to do their visits?! Granted, I my girls always feel a little pressure not to miss me and sometimes I wish they would miss me if it meant that they would just see their other sister, but nonetheless, I am so thankful for their devotion.

Well I said, what could be more sweeter? Well, I found something...!

One sister couldn't make it, so the other sweet sister and I sat on the grass as we chatted. She mentioned to me that when she opened the lesson and saw that it was on scripture study she thought to herself that it didn't apply to me and she became a little discouraged with what she could share to help me. I was about to protest that even though I have a habit of study, I can always learn something more or study harder, but before I could get anything else she said she prayed what to know to share with me. She felt to share with me that even when we are not in school, we can still learn great things and keep learning. She said it so tenderly. My eyes became wet. Just this past week as friends were graduating, and I thought of my degree still years away I became sad. Not trying to doubt the Lord's will/plan for me, but still always feeling guilty that I am not in school like everyone else. I hate that I encourage all the sisters to get an education and follow the prophet's council and I myself, am not in school/don't have a degree. It feels like living a double standard. But I am trusting and I do have Faith in God's time line for me.

And even with these thoughts that creeped into me the last few weeks, thoughts I try to blow out of the water with faith... this sweet sister was promoted to remind me of a testimony that I had already been given through a handful of blessings and promptings...I am learning a ton right now, but not through the course of a degree/school work atmosphere, and this is pleasing to the Lord.

She then followed up on a situation I had shared with her the previous month. I told her that after almost four years a miracle had taken place and I had closure in the most beautiful way on a situation that had caused me quite a bit of anxiety.

I have previously (almost 4 years) prayed for closure on a situation, but found none. I found trust in the Lord and his promptings/timings, but yet my heart had some awesomely huge holes.

I excitedly shared how I had had miraculous closure come. She was extremely happy for me. She expressed how she had prayed to the Lord asking him that things would either work out or just to give me closure and peace in the situation I found myself in. Her comment stuck an emotional pool. I was so taken aback that she had prayed so personally for ME--someone she only has taught for the month before and other then saying hi and loving each other- we don't ever play or sit down and chat. Still a little taken back I said (more as a shock statement, then a question) "You prayed for me!?". her answer was true and classic for who she is she said, "Of course Bryndi, I am your visiting teacher".

The wheels in my head started turning and almost as if the spirit was laying some of the puzzle pieces before my eyes. I had wondered why in the world this situation had resolved in my heart but for the previous 3 1/2 years I could never get it to. And so clear and beautiful was the closure that I longed for that, that I had to question what happened to make the closure finally come. Why this time? Why not sometime in the last 3 1/2 + years?

Now, there are a lot of factors I am sure played into this, most of all the learnings, I have not a clue nor do I understand the last 3 1/2 years of promptings, but one huge factor I am sure for--MY VISITING TEACHER PRAYED FOR ME! ANd not just a please bless my girls prayer, but an actual sincere pleading in MY behalf! Twice! Once for this situation I was in, and then feeling like she was inadequate with the lesson to teach me anything, she asked what I could/needed to hear. !!What kinder act of service then a prayer full of sincere faith in behalf of someone you feel powerless to help!? How would she have known what to pray for in regards to me, had she not taken the time to do her visits?!

She took things to the Lord, for me. I was deeply moved by this. I am still floored she cared enough to pray that way for me-me a girl she barely knows. I joked with her that if her prayers have that much pull to help me have closure after so long with out, she had just better start sincerely praying for my priesthood hunk to show up soon! ;) What a sweet daughter of God. I am humbled.

NOTE IN MY CAR

As I came out of the temple today, I found a little package/note in my car. I have no idea how my girlfriend got into the car because I am a freak when it comes to locking my car and house. But there was a sweet little note and a set of bird earrings and a matching necklace. It was so thoughtful.

You may be thinking what is up with Bryndi! It is a testimony of maybe where my head and heart were--the Lord sure did send me a lot of reminders to help combat all of the opposition the past few weeks. For which I am so grateful for!

BROTHER MADSEN
Sunday as we all waited for welfare, I figured something had to be up! Going to these meetings for over a year and all of a sudden the Bishopric just didn't show up without any cancellation?? Not normal. When we went into sacrament meeting, I noticed the different families sitting in the rows. And then how the whole stake presidency was on the stand, and there was NO Brother Madsen. When Bishop got up, he didn't excuse Brother Madsen. Too many things to be odd I thought.

The news was shared, the Lord had called Brother Madsen to be a bishop in our stake. My eyes had a steady leak for the rest of the meeting. I admit I had a 1/2 sec selfish thought of, NO, not my brother madsen!! But in knowing how much he has done for me, how could I be so selfish to keep him and deny so many others the blessings of having him in their lives!?!

It was just over a year ago that I was getting out of a meeting and I saw Brother Madsen in the hallway at church. He was not in my ward. I didn't know him well, but I had worked with his wonderful wife Holly in Young womens and his daughter had been my ward's YCL for 2 years at girls camp. But as I passed this man I thought how cool it would before me to get to work with him. The thought was not a prayer, nor a plead, but a silent wish that I did not see could ever come forth...

A few months later the singles ward was formed and little did I know then, but I would spend every Thursday and Sunday with this great giant of a man.

Never once when I brought over someone to receive a blessing did he ever question me or make me feel stupid for doing so. Whenever I would share about a prompting or insight he was always supporting me with smiles or his little comments that only he could do. In so many ways he made me what to live my life better. In so many ways I am still trying to become the person he already thinks me to be. In so many ways, my life has been blessed by this amazing man of God. You could not ask for a better quiet cheerleader. My whole bishopric is like that. And when I used to say I have the best bishopric in the world... well now there are two of them! Because where ever Brother- sorry- BISHOP Madsen is serving, his ward/bishopric will be greatly blessed to have such a man in their presence.

I composed myself for RS, but as soon as I went into Bishop's office to for an approval, I was flooded with the fact that I would no longer enjoy seeing Brother Madsen sitting in that office. And the tears just started to flow from there on. I took Silvia home and for 15 mins we just listed to motab because I was too overcome to keep a conversation going. Overcome with deep gratitude! Gratitude that this amazing man and his wonderful wife came/were brought into my life and that I WAS blessed to have them for over a year. So many things--if I were married, (and don't get me wrong I want to be some day) but I would not have had this opportunity to have gotten the chance to work with Bishop Larson, Brother Madsen and Brother Stringham. Three men that have influenced my life profusely. And I am very thankful the Lord is still allowing me to keep Bishop Larson and Brother Stringham. And the new Brother Murray seems awesome. Yea to the ward family that now gets to claim Bishop Madsen--their lives will never be the same. Mine isn't...

Here's to one amazing Man of God! Who is full of integrity, honor, and in whom no guile can be found. Here is to an eternal friend. May every person be so blessed to have such a friend...Bishop Madsen.


I couldn't think what else to title this post, other then Gratitude. Oh to a God that doesn't forsake us in our time/need of comfort. Oh to parents who have been allowed and have chosen to serve in the temple! Parents who taught me to love the Savior. Oh to the visiting teacher that prayers, sincerely, for the welfare/well being of her teachee. Oh to the friend who leaves inspired notes. And Oh to a bishopric that believes and loves their ward members. Oh to a Brother Madsen who has taught me more deeply how to love our fellow men.

My cup is overflowing tonight...drinking from my saucer yet again!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

IF WE ARE PREPARED

video

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

FAMILY REUNION 09

Kiss, Taybabe and Rach all flew in for our Family reunion. Our first adventure was going to Nyk's place to bless Mia. She was blessed several times that she would grasp/hold on to the gospel. What an awesome blessing to have! So important for the coming days ahead. I was just studing about why we give our children a name and a blessing. President John Taylor stated:
"...this command [blessing babies before the church] is attended with beneficial result to babe and to parents, who by bringing their child before the Church manifest their faith in the sight of their brethren and sisters, in Go's word and in his promises, as well as their thankfulness to him for increasing their posterity and for the safe delivery of his handmaiden. The child is also benefited by the united faith and responsive prayers of the assembled Saints."
Pretty awesome to have the chance to show our thankfulness and unite our faith for those in our family! It was really good to be there. Mia, of course was just beautiful.

Grandpa Cloward fishing trips. Most of the days were pretty windy, so we were limited to just troll, but that didn't stop us from having fun and looking at all the beautiful scenery. Thanks grandma and grandpa for the great boat time!


This summer Grandpa and grandma put put in a pavilion, dutch oven pit, and a campfire ring in. We had a lot of volunteer angels come and help with pouring the cement.

We enjoyed roasting little smokies around with the new set up! (Mmmm, I am not sure who's idea was it, Rach's or Dad's but we think we won't ever roast another hot dog, because we roasted little smokies---and there is just no comparison! If you haven't tried it, you should... mmm! And of course Nyk had us end our evening with a starburst on the end of our stick instead of a marshmallow!)


This was our first ever Family Reunion Carnival! The first of hopefully many to come!! The kids had fun trying to earn tickets for completely each task. From sucking water out of a bottle (inspired by Latoya) to the hula hoop toss over your partners body to a hot wheels race on the dance floor, to a color walk for prizes, this will hopefully be an event that is repeated for years to come!


With Kiss's kindness in cutting all of our hair, we were able to take some family pictures. I think family pictures is just another name for contention! :D ha ha! But with 11 grand kids and a grumpy photographer, what can you expect?! (Oh family pictures reminded me that I still have some ugly rats in my cellar that I need to work on.)

Sorry to everyone for being so short fused in my grumpiness. Thanks for being patient! :D


WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CLOWARD/BABBEL BOOK!

Mom and Dad have put well over 1000 hours into creating the first, "What it means to be a Cloward and Babbel" Book.

http://www.heritagemakers.com/projectBrowserStandAlone.cfm?projectID=998217&productId=7
(If you past this link into a browser, you will be able to preview this book.)

We have been anticipating this book for almost 2 years. This was a project that while dad was in the hospital with Cancer he pleaded with Heavenly Father to finish. Finish he did, and with CLEAN BLOOD!

Mom and dad gathered us around the book to share our family Heritage. It was an amazing evening as we were filled with the spirit of the Lord from not only those who have passed on, but this huge work project by mom and dad.

Only one book was published so we could look through it to make any changes before we all printed the copies for each of us to have.

Today, I spent a good chunk of time just going through and comping the text out of the book so I could print it and read it. 34 pages of typed text!!!(This is without all the testimonies of all of us Cloward kids.)!! So I have spent the last 3 hours reading this book, cover to cover. My heart is filled. There is a huge mix of emotion from great example to not so great example. Those faithful and strong with every breath they took, they were centered in/with gospel of Jesus Christ and others that struggled with their obedience to His commandments.

What a labor and sacrifice this two year project has been for my mom and dad. Oh how I value what they put together for our family! Thank you!!!!! In July's ensign the importance of not only doing the work for our dead, but because they are our family, it is our responsibility to get to know them. Know their names, their stories, -- our heritage, good and bad. I have pondered over that. We will be held accountable for "knowing" our family who have passed on.

What a beautiful thing! Mom, Dad--I love the book! Thank you for helping me better know what it REALLY means to be a Cloward. I love the book! It is sacred to me, and will be to my children and their children. Thank you for all your hard work.

And thanks for the great family reunion!!! We truly are not perfect, and anyone close to us knows all of our flaws, but I wouldn't trade our family for anything! I love being a Cloward, and the faith, service, love and music that comes along with the name! I promise to try to become the daughter, you think you already have. I love you both! Thank you for this wonderful gift!