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This grandmother's blog celebrates the generational interaction of families.  It discusses the problems involved in keeping in touch, being an influence for good in troubled times, the economy of giving, being a good in-law, etc.  Suggestions are encouraged.  We all can learn from the successes of others.

Missionary Spirit

I’m glad I found this blogspot.  My wife and I have just recently returned from a two-year mission in Mexico City Mexico. We loved our mission and now while we are recuperating, foot surgery for her, neck surgery for me, I think that this is an excellent place for me to keep up my missionary efforts. I enjoy reading the articles and blogs by others that are posted here. I also enjoy participating by chiming in when I have a pertinent thought.
I hope that by participating in this activity I will be able to make some new eternal friends, and that my testimony might strengthen any who happen to read here.

I recently joined this group and really need someone's real world advice.  My son has ptsd with severe panic attacks.  He numbs himself with alcohol.  He is in great emotional pain but will not listen to his father and I.  He lost his wife and child (sometimes I think the ptsd was from her, not Iraq) a year and a half ago and has not recovered from losing his little boy. 

He was born into the Mormon church, but I left it 25 years ago, so he has never had the benefit of knowing what a church family is.  He is killing himself, and I am slowly dying inside.  I feel like I can't live or even move when he is in this state.  He is in denial and then he feels sorry and tries all over again.

  I am a loving (my family says too much) mother who has never ever been able to turn my back on him.  He has tourettes syndrome and has had a very difficult life socially.  At what point, if any, do I turn my back and tell him he is not my son anymore?  I mean this is killing me watching him kill himself.  I think I want to say it because I feel like I'm drowning and I can't do this.  I need advice with love.  I finally told him today not to contact me anymore and that he was a selfish liar.  I feel horrible for saying it, I am his only friend.  He won't go to AA, he has been in treatment two times this year. 

It is God who he needs, but he won't humble himself.  He says he loves God, and God loves him, but it is personal.  He has never been able to sit through a church service comfortably because of his muscle movements and noises which are called tics.  How do I get through to him 
The Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication this past Sunday was, for me, the culmination of a wonderful spiritual experience.  Somehow, even sitting in our stake center, I felt as though I was in the temple--the same peace was present.  It brought back memories of attending numerous dedications of this kind over the years.  Each one is amazing. 

I was particularly struck in this temple with the interesting and meaningful symbolism (which I talk about in my article "Oquirrh Mountain Temple - Circles of Eternity").  I was also impressed by the reverence that I sense for this particular temple.  This temple district includes a lot of humble, hard-working saints.  They are obviously grateful and excited to have a new temple in their area. 

I think it would be interesting to compare the temple attendance of the new Draper and Oquirrh Mountain temples.  Both have similar size districts and both are a short drive from anywhere in the temple district.  I propose a friendly competition--who can attend the temple most!  I don't know how we would ever find out those statistics, but it would be fun to see which group is more temple faithful. 

I'm Searching

Born and raised nominally Mormon, became very active in early adulthood. I left the church 25 years ago because of doctrinal issues but have never been able to find the love and community anywhere else. I would appreciate connecting with people who have depth in their understanding of what Mormons believe and why, and also have a love for those of us who are still searching.

How does a person come back to Mormonism and disgard all the research and contractions learned over so many years?  Yet, if the truth be told, I have never found peace outside of the church.  But I feel as though I would have to stick my head in the sand on several issues in order to come back.  My heart is confused and divided.  I would like to start with the Godhead.  If there is anyone out there willing to tackle some tough issues, not just surface, let me know.

Thanks
Heidi

I live with four other guys in a small apartment, and for some reason it cannot stay clean. You see there is this attitude in our house that goes something like this, "Well, it's not mine so I'm not going to clean it up." You may have heard of it before. It doesn't take long for things to start growing in the sink with this way of thinking.
 
My roommate and I this afternoon were complaining about our situation when a powerful thought can to me. The thought was it may not be your mess, but it is your house, and it reflects the kind of person you are. You can imagine that this came as a surprise. I humbled myself and went to work. I did all the dishes, swept the floor, cleaned the counters, and took out the trash (which was a rather painful experience, but I survived). The feeling I got after cleaning was to my surprise a feeling of peace. It feels nice to live in a clean place. 

I'm sure the house will get dirty again, but I live here, and I want the spirit to be here with me. I really believe the spirit is offended by a dirty house. I also had a great opportunity to serve my roommates. Maybe my new attitude will rub off on them. As long as this is my house whatever happens here is my problem.   

Scriptures!!!

Oh how much I love the scriptures! They are so amazing!

I have a hard time deciding which ones are my favorite ones! Today I was reading 2 Nephi 4! For today, this is my favorite chapter! I'll share with you bits and pieces of it that make me LOVE it so much and that have helped me so much! I feel this way!
 
Ok so just a little background here... In this chapter Lehi has just passed away in the wilderness after giving a blessing to all of his children to try and save them and their children. Nephi is talking and he is basically bearing his testimony! I love it. Ok here it is...

verse 15-16: "my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord: and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard."
 
The reason why I love this part is because we can be exactly like Nephi. We can do the same thing by writting in our journal. They are like our own personal scripture that can help our children when we are gone. I personally love to write when something so amazing happens to me that strenghtens my testimony. If anyone read my journal they would know I have a testimony of this church and they would know what happened to me that helped me to gain this testimony. I hope one day someone reads it and is helped by it and it gives them courage to find out for themselves.
 
Anyways going on with Chapter 4 verses 19-20, 23, 28-30, 34-35:
"...I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions...Behold he hath heard my cry by day and he hath given me knowledge... Awake my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. Do not anger again because of mine enemies. do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation... O Lord, I have trusted in the and I will trust in thee forever.  I will not put my trust in the arm of the flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh.  Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.  Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh.  Yea my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will cry unot thee my God, the rock of my righeousness.  Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen."
 
I love these scriptures!  Nephi talks much more about how specifically the Lord has helped him and how he wants to do better.  Those parts are amazing as well, I would suggest to anyone to read that whole chapter.  The only reason I cut them out is because this is how I feel.  I can add my own afflictions in those spaces and I would feel the exact same way.  I just wanted to apply them to me specifically.  The scriptures are great that way everyone can get something from them to help you.  The first time I read this scripture I was way stressed out about money and how I was going to pay for my school books and bills.  I read this scripture and it brought me peace and I knew all I had to do was trust in the Lord and do my best.  Everything is possible with him.  The very next day I got a check in the mail for just enough to cover what I needed!  It was amazing!  I will never doubt him again!
I got called to be our ward's compassionate service leader last week, (in charge of coordinating meals brought in to new moms, etc.) so I got released from my two music callings. I'm very much looking forward to getting to help people on a more personal, Christian level and bring in meals or babysit or whatever. I've been feeling pretty good about reclaiming my schedule and being able to accomplish a lot, with scriptures every morning and finally exercising a few times a week. But sometimes I get a little discouraged at the continual to-do list of a mother and sad that sometimes the time I look forward to the most--when the kids are in bed and I can finally put my feet up and eat bonbons (figuratively, well, most of the time) is so selfish and quite meaningless.

I was wondering about this last night. Why do I work hard all day to finally be able to relax and watch someone else's life in a movie or read about them in a book. What about MY life? Why am I in such a bad mood? I finally realized that I've been tricked by the worst trickster. Why do I limit my own happiness to waiting for when I have everything done on my list, the house looks beautiful, a gorgeous centerfold meal has been cooked and obediently eaten, my children are playing quietly and not bothering me or each other, and I am lounging in the sun, sipping homemade lemonade and gazing out at my flawless, beautifully landscaped backyard? HELLO! That means NEVER! And I already really do lead such a charmed life, why have I trained myself to be like this? Good grief.

I read again about Martha in Luke Chapter 10 this morning. The Lord didn't tell her, as I've always assumed he meant, "sit down and listen to the scriptures being taught and we'll just eat later". With this reading of it, I've been doing okay myself. (I read my scriptures almost first thing every day.) No. He gently pointed out to her that she was being careful (footnote says worried) and troubled about many things. That's it. Read here, "Martha, Martha, thou art being UNHAPPY." Hmmm. That's me right there, and I don't think He likes me that way at all. So I've decided to not get tricked into unhappiness again.

Today has been SO nice. I've practiced just enjoying life with all of my senses, and trying to appreciate single interactions with others. My pretty solitary tulip. The sound of my daughter singing. The warmth and fuzziness of my baby's too-long hair. I've also noticed that it's way easier to be more loving to my children if I'm not worrying about my to-do list or my must-have-someday list. A happy mom is a loving mom. 

Decide to Act

There is power in getting involved. My experiences with stepping out of myself and choosing to act has a made all the difference in the world to me. Don't get me wrong. It is hard, but for me it has made all the difference.

When I was younger (I'm 22 now, so by younger I mean a teenager) I was very reserved and quiet. I will never forget something my father told me one day as I was complaining to him about not having any friends because of my shyness. He turned to me and said "Nate you're selfish". Honestly I was taken back by this. I had expected sympathy. He explained that I had so much to offer the world, and that I was selfish not to share it.

I can't say that it was over night that I put this advice into practice, but I have made an effort throughout my life to act rather than be acted upon, and not be selfish with the talents I have. I know that I am not alone as I make these efforts. The Savior’s mission was to help us overcome our weaknesses. I know that my Heavenly Father has been watching over me. He hasn't taken all the difficulties out of making decisions. In fact I've even been rejected for having acted, but I am confident that as I rely on the Lord and prayerfully make decision I will become the person He wants me to be, and share with the world what I have to offer. 

Draper Temple Openhouse

What a privilege it was to attend the magnificent new Draper Temple open house and dedication.  The structure is beautiful, as you would expect, but I was surprised at the amazing Spirit that I felt there -- even before it was officially dedicated. True, the ground had already been dedicated and set apart, but I was surprised by the peace that I felt and the way it elevated my thoughts.  Every room in the temple draws your eyes upward and I felt myself examining the ceilings more than I have with any other building. Delicate paintings and carvings of the Sego Lilly greeted my examination of the ceilings.  Even the baptistry, where often my eyes are drawn to the 12 sturdy oxen which hold up the font, my eyes and thoughts were carried upward by arrows all around the outside lip of the font which pointed skyward.

When we went through as a family, I told my children to pay attention not only to the building and the beauty around them, but also to notice the feeling that they had.  As we left the temple, my 10-year-old son observed, "Dad, I couldn't have any bad thoughts in the temple -- even though I tried." 

I said, "you tried to have bad thoughts in the temple?"

He responded, "I was just testing." He was obviously experiencing the same types of feelings that I was enjoying.

Later, my wife and I served in the reception area where people would gather after going through the temple open house.  A woman came up to us, visibly moved by the experience of touring the temple.  I asked how she liked the temple.  "Wonderful," she responded. She then told me that she lives in Sacramento, California and is not a member of the church, but is friends with several Mormon families there that she met through school events. "My friends would drive two hours each way almost every Saturday to go to the Mormon Temple in Oakland," she said. "They were so happy when the temple was built in Sacramento so they could go more often."  She paused for a moment and went on, "I could never understand what the attraction was.  But, now, after being in the temple, I understand."

That is the power of the temple.  Not just the new one in Draper, but all temples.  As we enter, there is a profound feeling of peace, yet we leave with renewed power to live as we should. Peace and power, what more could we want in a world filled with uncertainty, doubt, fear, and helplessness.  I love the temple.  

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