Thursday, July 26, 2012


I have not kept up on my monthly Ensign reading due to self given challenge of studying a conference talk every day. I am having a WONDERFUL time studying the talks... however, I am missing not reading the monthly Ensign cover to cover. So one morning after all my study was done this week, I was impressed to read "Never Give Up" from the July Ensign. SOO GOOD! Click here to read!

I was deeply touched by the wife's testimony of not giving up - 35 years of persistent/active faith! And then to read the husband's story of how to become a non-fence sitter and as he says:
"There was another thing that was keeping me from joining the Church, something more serious: the sinful life I was leading. King Benjamin teaches us that “the natural man is an enemy to God … unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” (Mosiah 3:19). I did not yield—I was sitting on the fence. The Savior said, “He that is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30). I realize now that because of the way I was living my life, I was against Him. I needed to change.
"I was living around the gospel but never actually living it, but as time went on, I started to feel the Spirit. I stopped partying and drinking. When I made that change, the Spirit started to manifest itself more frequently. I still wasn’t where I needed to be—my language wasn’t very good and I had some other bad habits to work on—but I was changing." --Al Fry
 The whole article- right down to Richard G. Scott's quote- moved me! Thank you Al and Eva Fry!

I work with wonderful people! ... this beautiful lunch was brought to me by Lynda Angelastro. I came in, and she had just picked a few zucchinis from her garden and brought them into me. She knows how much I love to eat them and don't/can't have a garden of my own where I live. What a sweetheart! Thank you Lynda and Mike!!

So if you would like a KILLER treat... mist those bad boys with some olive oil, shake garlic salt and some pepper over the top, and pop them in the oven @ 375 for a hour or so. If you like them crunchy, cook less time. I like mine cooked/soft all the way through. I keep them about 1/2 inch thick. Talk about HEAVEN IN YOUR MOUTH! Thank you again Lynda and Mike! Love you! And so does my stomach! :)

As a sweet note... one choice friend was sealed to her husband yesterday in the Timp temple. I know it is something she has dreamed about... so when they walked into the sealing room, I was overwhelmed with deep gratitude and emotion. I remembered the nights I prayed for this friend and in the past fasted for her.  I am sure she had her own prayers and fasts and I would guess the family members too.  ... To be there on such a day/moment...I have numbered the experience among the very choice moments of heaven that I have been allowed to witness. When I came through the line to hug her, I just wept and hug, and wept again. I love this daughter of God more than words can say. She Never gave up! She gave her dream patience.

How merciful and wonderful God's plan is!
I am grateful for reminders. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"What Is This Thing That Men Call Death"

Several times in the last few days these words have come to my mind... so beautifully written by President Gordon B. Hinckley:
What Is This Thing That Men Call Death

What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
Tis not the end but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

O God, touch Thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change,
With recompense for victory won.
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.
--Gordon B. Hinckley
This month there has been a lot of passings. Grandma Lillie, cousin Cory, friend Brian, and today was Uncle Updike... there are many heavy hearts. My prayers are upward. How deeply grateful I am to know that there is life after death. Truly, I believe in President Hinckley's "There is no death, but only change".  When a man die, shall he live again? YES! Oh blessed Jesus!!

What happens when we die?

Click Here!!! 
I am grateful for eternal life.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


So why another volume in "Lessons Not Lost"? Just that... like President Monson said, the following lessons were not lost on me.

The High Council Brother for today was Brother Gebert. He asked that everyone go home and study Elder Maxwell's talk from the April 2001 General Conference entitled: "Plow in Hope". (WORTHY of your time to read! CLICK HERE) I have very few paragraphs that aren't all marked up. The truths shared on the atonement and the choice of what we decide to be--simple yet deeply profound.

Here are a few jewels on Jesus Christ and His Atonement:
Since the “infinite atonement” required infinite suffering, the risk of recoil was there! (2 Ne. 9:7; Alma 34:12).

All humanity hung on the hinge of Christ’s character! Mercifully, He did not shrink but “finished [His] preparations unto the children of men” (D&C 19:19).

In the agonizing atoning process, Jesus let His will be “swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Mosiah 15:7). As sovereigns, choosing to yield to the Highest Sovereign is our highest act of choice. It is the only surrender which is also a victory! The putting off of the natural man makes possible the putting on of the whole armor of God, which would not fully fit before! (see Eph. 6:11, 13).

Uniquely, atoning Jesus also “descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things” (D&C 88:6; see also D&C 122:8). How deep that descent into despair and abysmal agony must have been! He did it to rescue us and in order to comprehend human suffering. Therefore, let us not resent those tutoring experiences which can develop our own empathy further (see Alma 7:11–12). A slothful heart will not do, and neither will a resentful heart. So being admitted fully to “the fellowship of his sufferings” requires the full dues of discipleship (Philip. 3:10; see also 1 Cor. 1:9).

Remember Kent Keller?! The AMAZING photographer that I often live vicariously through? He is the one who shot the pictures of the palomino stud (click here). Well he sent an email last week that was pretty profound. With permission I share his email and pictures:
    "With all the early fires this year I have been worried about eaglets getting burned up on their nests.  A fire came 200 yards from a nest with two eaglets in May.  And then came the "Dump Fire" at the north end of Lake Mtn.  When the fire was out I checked a nest where I had banded one eagle on June 1st above Eagle Mtn. City center. 
       "The nest had burned up.  I hiked up there to document the loss of the eaglet and was shocked to find him burned but still alive on the ground below where the nest had been.  His flight feathers and tail feathers were gone.  He had burns on his feet and around his beak.  The adult eagles were still feeding him on the ground but I'm sure in a month or so they would lose interest in him because he would not be able to fly.
     "On the 4th of July I caught him and took him to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah at the mouth of Ogden Canyon.  DaLyn Erickson is taking expert care of him.  She named him Phoenix for the mythical firebird.  Hopefully within a years time he will grow his feathers back."


 How that baby survived the fire ??? And that the parents were still feeding it while it was hanging out at the bottom of the tree... Some "storms" in life are brought on by ourselves or others or just "life". We are not promised we will come out on top, or even have the feathers we feel are necessary for us to fulfill the measure of our creation... but as Elder Maxwell pointed out, hope is to be had, if we will choose to have it. Jesus Christ's grace is sufficient combined with doing all that we can do. Flight feathers or not. To sore, or left to waddle, God will always help us continue the path back to Him. We are not alone.

     (Do the bums and don't explode!)
One sweet friend left on her mission, Sister Madsen. I met her back when I was going to the Deaf Ward in Provo. She and I were in the same stake, and as a young woman's leader I watched closely the other girls in the stake who where/would be influencing my own girls. I saw this vivacious girl who was full of life and laughter. As fate would have it, a singles ward was formed and when she graduated highschool, she moved on into Relief Society and I had the privilege of seeing this daughter of God blossom even more. Her mother was in the Stake Young Woman's Presidency and I was able to train with her influence. Her choice father was put into the Bishopric at the singles ward. Getting to work with him provided some choice moments with his profound love and influence. (I am inspired and motivated by love and kindness).

So going to Ms. Kenzie's mission farewell talk was a more than a treat because I was able to be in the same building, once again, with so many that I deeply care for, love and admire.

The spirit in the meeting was beautiful. I was particularity touched by a sister (I believe she was serving in primary) who shared a personal story about her grandmother.

This sister, I don't know her name so I will just call her Pam, loved going over to her grandmother's house. Often in the mornings Pam's grandmother would be found busily working around the house while singing.

One particular morning, Pam heard her grandmother singing in the kitchen. She walked in the kitchen and sat at the table. Pam waited patiently for her grandmother to notice that she was there. When her grandmother finally turned around she let out a gasp while saying, "The sandwiches!". Apparently she had sat right down on a tray of open faced sandwiches. Pam said she knew her grandmother must have noticed the horror in her face. Her grandmother marched right over to Pam, picked her up and walced her around the kitchen. Her grandmother cheerfully said something along the lines of, "Today, we will be serving bum sandwiches.". Giggles and the laughs were shared.

This story STUNNED me. I KNOW my reaction would have not been the same. I am sure I would have tried to put on a brave face and not looked crushed let alone frustrated---what a story of PURE CHARITY!  I left that meeting determined to be a "Bum Sandwich" type person in life.

... sadly that desire will have to come with practice.

No more than a month later, I was in my kitchen making my breakfast shake. Jen and the kids were sitting at the table eating pizza. (Who doesn't love pizza at any time of the day?!)  I poured my water and opened up my shake packet and did just what I do every time I turn on the blender (three times a day)... I start to pour the packet and then flip the switch.  Well bless my parents, my place has a Vita Mix Blender. Let's just say POWER! Apparently I left the switch in the #2 position, so when I flipped it on, there was an EXPLOSION (literally) of protien chocolate powder wartery wonder mess EVERY WHERE. On me, all over my counter and floor, the coubors... I haven't looked at the ceiling yet, but my guess is it hit there too!

I am sad to say this aunt was not a "bum sandwich" aunt. :( I did not yell (it is not really in my nature at this stage of life to be a yeller, hopefully never) but I was silently grumpy, which in some cases may be worse then being a yeller. My kind nieces and nephews, I am sure seeing the mood I set, suficated their laughter and kept solum "Sorry Bryndi" faces.

It was JUST a protien shake. It was just a mess in a kitchen that with a wet rag can be cleaned/was cleaned up in mins. I missed the boat with being a bum sandwich aunt and allowing everyone to have a good hearty laugh. Even Jen tried to lighten the mood by questioning why I didn't have a lid on my blender in the first place. I regret that moment of silent frustration, but thankfully have learned a valuable lesson. And I have vowed to BECOME a bum sandwich person! Want to join me? This thought was reiterated by a mission friend's, (Melissa Singleton) brilliantly titled, post "Laughter is LITERALLY medicine. Choose to take it." It is a GREAT post about what happened on a highschool date (click here). I say "Amen" to her post and title of the post!

Bum sandwich, laughter medicine wanna-be adict in the making!

My brilliant Relief Society President put together a visiting teaching workshop. Three wards participated in it yesterday. It was great! And I appaud all the hard work/behind the scenes that went into making such a conference possible.

Sister Cox, a member of the Stake Relief Society Presidency shared a very touching opening talk on ministering. She feels inadiquite/why would she be ask to speak--but those who see and know her, see and know God works through her. The last year and several months of knowing Sister Cox, has truly been a blessing. She always shares the things I need to hear... or rather, God is always having her be the mouth piece to my heart. Her talk yesterday was no exception to the rule.

Sister Cox shared a story about her sister-in-law whom she loves/loved dearly. The sister-in-law was battling cancer and could not make her weekly trips to the temple. So Sister Cox, determined that she would go to the temple in honor/for her sister-in-law and to show faith to Heavenly Father, committed going every week to the temple for a year. A year turned into six years. In her own words, this is what happend to Sister Cox as she went to the temple weekly:
"I decided to make a goal to attend the temple weekly for a year.  After all, I felt that this was little to sacrifice for my dear friend and sister and what she would be going through.

"This was not going to be an easy task for me as we owned our own business so I was working full time and was a mother of two teenagers.   And, within a few months of my decision to attend the temple weekly, I was called to be the Relief Society President in my home ward. Where would I ever find the time to keep this commitment?  But I committed.

"Being in the temple weekly helped my spirit mature and made me more receptive to the Holy Ghost. I learned about the Savior more intimately.  I was able to be taught by him and through his example, emulated and become more like him.  My nature was changing. I was becoming a better person and displaying more Godlike qualities.  I tended to shower kindness where there once was none; I was more willing to forgive; I was more patient with others and pardon others’ faults, imperfections and weaknesses; I felt more inclined to help others and reach out to those in need.  I tried to speak more with the tongue of angels—thinking more about what I said and how I said it.  My feelings and attitudes in my daily living improved even in the smallest of tasks.  I found myself doing things I wouldn’t normally do.  The following experience expressed how I was changing:

"I used to hurry and dash into the grocery store to pick up items for supper.  I was a frantic shopper, eager to get in and get out.  I grumbled at the carts that were left parked in the middle of the stalls.  Other people were in my way in the store—the person stocking the shelves, the people ahead of me in the checkout line, the checker.  I was so frazzled by the time I reached my car to leave.  

"But after attending the temple regularly, I was a Christian disguised as a shopper.  I saw other people on my way to get my grocery items, I would excuse myself and smile when I reached past the person stocking the shelves, I would comment on the weather to the person standing in front of me at the checkout stand, and thank the checker who whisked my groceries into my bag for me.  I reached my car having had three very pleasant encounters and feeling good.  I even took the extra time to put my cart in the cart holder so no one would be inconvenienced by having it in their way. 
"If we see every place, every job, every responsibility as an opportunity to be with another precious child of God who needs our ministry, the ministry we can bring as a Christian and as a disciple of Christ, then even a very busy schedule doesn't feel like juggling any more. "
What a beauitful promise!  

"If we see every place, every job, every responsibility as an opportunity to be with another precious child of God who needs our ministry, the ministry we can bring as a Christian and as a disciple of Christ, then even a very busy schedule doesn't feel like juggling any more."--Kathy Cox

I was deeply touched by Sister Cox's story. Am I a Christian disquised as a: co-worker, a sister, an in-law, a daughter, a gas-pump customer, a freeway driver. That application is beauitful! Thank you Sister Cox!

There is this guy in my ward named Ian. Great kid. Came home from his mission not too long ago. When he speaks he does so with humility and complete reliance on the Spirit. The things of the gospel of Jesus Christ touch him and it is apparent that when touched by the spirit he becomes/almost fights back deep and tender emotions. I LOVE getting to hear him speak.

A few months back, he shared a beautiful insight about the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19.
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 Zacchaeus was seeking to see Jesus. But could not find a way to get to him because of the people and my guess is little of stature doesn't make him a prime canident for pushing his way through. So in seeking to see the Savior, he figured out where the Savior would walk and climbed up a tree on that path. LOVE the logic and thought out plan of this man. Sure does say something about the deterimation/desires of his heart.

Ian pointed out that Zacchaeus, used a tree as his means to get closer/see the Savior. Ian then asked if we were being trees planted on the Savior's path, that others could use as their means of getting closer to the Savior. ?? It was a simple but profound question. One worth pondering. Thank you Ian.

So be it known AGAIN, that The Book of Mormon is my favorite book of all time. It has changed my life, brought me closer to the Savior, helped me understand prayer, and God's plan of happiness on such a personal level. I trully feel I have come closer to Christ becomes of that book. And right along with The Book of Mormon, I LOVE the New and Old Testimant, the Doctrine and Covanents and the Pearl of Great Price...all the standard works!

If you have noticed my "Good Read" list on the right hand side of my blog, you will find that this is the 2nd book listed. I must say... completely life changing/eye opening. So much that at the end of the book, I found myself bawling in the canyon on the way home from a funeral. I pulled over and had some deep conversations with Heavenly Father. Impressions of things I need to work on and need to change. I had impressions to write several letters to people in my past and presentt life.

 This book did for me, what I think the Miracle of Forgiveness does to most people if read sincerely. So pround is this book that I felt like buying a case and just start handing out copies. I HIGHLY recommend this book. It was life changing for me.

Old Disney movie that my folks and I watched the other night. It is baised on a true event that took place in Denmark. 1943--the Nazi's had been occupying the country for several years. It was determined that on a planned night all of the Jews would be taken. In not much time, the Danish people were hiding their jewish friends and the report is that 7,000 were saved and smuggled across the country in fishing boats and other means. One Christian Doctor used his hospital and Jews were taken/kept in the hospital under different names and made up illinesses. When the war ended, many of these refugees went back to their homes in Denmark to find that their houses/posesions/buisiness were all still in tack and watched over.

The movie obviously has to add some "story"... but the points are basied off of a real event. New York Times has an article on the making of the movie (click here). I know that many Jewish lives were lost and 7,000+ compaired to the 6 million seems like nothing. And I agree with the writer from the NYT's article that there were lots of other heroic, selfless people in other countries... but this movie/story captured my heart. When I had finished watching it... I was deeply moved to want to stand for the right, and to let charity govern my action, heart and thoughts, and I want to make sure that I AM my brothers/nieghbors keeper. I highly recommend this touching film.

 I LOVED this quote from Neal A. Maxwell's address... and just wanted to end this post with this statement.
"If, like the Savior, we do not “shrink,” then we must go with the demanding flow of discipleship, including where the tutoring doctrines of the Master take us. Otherwise, we may walk with Jesus up to a point, but then walk no more with Him (see John 6:66). Shrinking includes stopping as well as turning back.

The more we know of Jesus, the more we will love Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will trust Him. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will want to be like Him and to be with Him by becoming the manner of men and women that He wishes us to be (see 3 Ne. 27:27), while living now “after the manner of happiness” (2 Ne. 5:27)." --Neal A. Maxwell

I am grateful for time and experiences so I can know Jesus Christ.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Ready and worthy...whatever the Lord has in store"

  One of my friends was in a motorcycle accident this week. Brain damage and possibly (Docs are 95% sure) he will be paralyzed at least from the waist down. His family has started a blog to keep people updated (click here). I was deeply touched by a comment his mother made. (At least I think it is his mom):
"The care at this hospital has been so good. The support of family and friends can be felt and is appreciated. I know Brian is ready and worthy for whatever the Lord has in store for him." (emphasis added)
Her comment moved me. What great faith. What an attitude to take on, dispite the gloom that must be threatening to devour any faith. What trust in the Lord. What example to me.

Any prayers you would like to send up in Brian's behalf... I know they would be welcomed.

I am grateful for a Higher, UN-diluted by mortal minds, plan.

Friday, July 13, 2012

THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT A MISTAKE, never was, a "thou shalt".

(Photo San Diego LDS Temple: by Marshyl Cloward)
Loved Jason's profound comment on Sunday. He pointed out that God has never given the commandment of "Thou shalt not commit a mistake." He did give us the commandment to forgive.  Forgive when others' mistakes hurt, harm, or scar. When our own mistakes cause wounds/scars. 

"For, if ye forgive men their trespasses [mistakes] your heavenly Father will also forgive you [your mistakes]; But if ye forgive not men their [mistakes] neither will your Father forgive your [mistakes]." --Jesus Christ

An all loving Heavenly Father, knowing fully well that this earth life was/is given for me to learn and grow, KNEW that I would make many mistakes. Thank goodness for Elder Packer's reminder that "The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions." (emphasis added) 

And my thoughts tonight rested on the truths of this scripture:

"And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"--Jesus Christ

One soul... even if that one, is mine.... symbolically speaking of course this is deep. But even speaking literally... the scripture does not say send someone to Christ, but bring.  I need Jesus. And in working with others, I am essentially working on getting/bringing myself closer to Him!

"Nearer, my God, to thee... E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me...Nearer, my God, to thee..."--Hymn 100

Oh the great joy in God's merciful plan of happiness, for all of us. For me! 

I am grateful for the priesthood.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I am grateful for...

*The Atonement of Jesus Christ
*Knowing that there is life after death
*That families can be together forever
*For temples
*Friends who work for temple recommends
*God's mercy/opening doors for couples to be sealed
*Being in the temple with a friend
*Family members who hug and love
*For a niece that by example taught me about excepting others and loving them
*For promptings followed
*For the pursuit of perfection
*For mercy and patience when I don't achieve perfection
*For understanding
*For kindness
*For a good pillow and perfect sleeping temperatures
*For birds 
*For out of the blue, random comments that save me
*For The Book of Mormon and what reading it does for my life
*For time spent with my parents
*Hugs from my brothers
*Sister-in-laws who love unconditionally and with no reason
*Sisters who help missionaries
*For books on CD
*For Caption Moroni's reminder of what title should be raised on my tower
*For forgiveness
*For prayer
*For fasting
*For people who are okay not being seen as perfect
*For new beginnings
*For rain
*For unity
*For compassion
*For hope
*For inspired desires and grace to achieve them
*Jesus Christ
*For my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
*For braces
*For smiles and smiling
*For covenants
*For men and women who serve and fight for countries, what is right, and their homes/loved ones
*For missionaries
*For my mission
*For companions
*For my eternal companion, wherever he may be
*God's love
*For the relief suffering
*For faith that is granted
*For the powers of heaven 
*Worthy priesthood barers
*The sacrament
*People who serve
*For those who do and have a desire to do their duty
*Friends, my friends
*Answered prayers
*Anyone who shares their talents
*Food storage
*For being prepared to be prepared
*For MY family
*For testimonies
*For obedience
*For journals
*Mo-tab music
*A memorized hymn
*For clothes that fit
*For gas in the car
*For knowing the answers to these questions:
   -Where I came from?
   -Why am I here?
   -Where will I go after I die?
*For peace--HIS peace

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Because He could handle them."

Can He handle me?

From: Wilford Woodruff: Humble Reliance on God  
(The quotes are not all in order.. but were my favorites this morning.)
Although President Woodruff was surprised at his callings in the Church, he knew why the Lord had called him. He observed: “Why did the Lord choose such a weak man as Wilford Woodruff to preside over His Church? Why did He choose Joseph Smith—an illiterate boy, as he was called? Why has He chosen that class of men? Because He could handle them. He has chosen men that will acknowledge the hand of God.”
“I thank the Lord for my life. I thank Him for His blessings and mercies to me. I have reason to rejoice in this, and I am obliged to give God the glory for all I have ever received. If I have ever done any good; if I have been able to preach the Gospel and to pursue a course whereby I have edified my fellow man, at home or abroad, it has been by the power of God."

"I am entirely dependent upon the Lord. I always have been during my life, and in my travels and pilgrimages..." 
"You have never seen a day, you never will see a day, in time or in eternity, when you can get beyond the need of the protection and care of God. You need it all the way through your lives. When our young men, or our old men, or our maidens, feel that they have arrived at a point that they are independent of the Lord, they will find that they are greatly mistaken."
"There have been two powers at work—one to destroy me, the other to save me. And I am here today, a weak instrument in the hands of God. But, as God lives, if He will tell me what my duty is, I am going to do it!"

"… I pray God to give us wisdom, and to help us to be humble, faithful, meek and lowly of heart."
Am I entirely dependent upon the Lord?
If He will tell me what my duties are, will I do them?
Can He handle me?

President Uchtdorf pinned me right by saying, "Every mortal has at least a casual if not intimate relationship with the sin of pride."

So the battle rages to sever such a relationship. God is good.

**Wilford Woodruff, is one of my life heros. One of the best books I have ever read was his, "Leaves From My Journal".