A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Did you walk away from the Mormon faith?

Last week someone sent an email to our Provident Living Today website. “I would like to ask you a personal question. You were talking about seeking God in A Little Peace in Paradise. It seemed like you found what you were looking for. Did you walk away from the Mormon faith? I am a Christian, and it sounds like you did. Can you let me know either way?”

I don't mind answering. I prefer it when people ask straightforward questions. No, I haven't walked away from the Mormon faith. I still strongly believe in Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ. I also believe in the Bible. The center of my faith is Jesus Christ. I don't agree with some of the beliefs that are being perpetuated in the Mormon Church today, but I haven't given up on the Mormons.

No, I haven't found what I'm looking for; I'm still on a quest to see God. I currently attend church with Christian people who aren't Mormons. My new friends have welcomed me into their congregations.

The leaders of the Mormon Church don't like some of my questions and comments. I’m not angry with them because I can see that they're human just like the rest of us. I realize that I challenge some of the Mormon traditions, and that might be a little scary for many of them. I understand their fear because I felt the same way when I recognized that some of my Mormon traditions were false. To be reconciled with new understanding, many of my paradigms and beliefs had to be rearranged or abandoned.

I am reporting what I see, feel, and experience. I notice inconsistencies between the teachings in the scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) and what is being taught and practiced in the Mormon Church today. Some people don't like it when I talk about these discrepancies. It seems to make them feel uncomfortable. It’s okay if they don’t agree with me. I don’t have all the answers. I am discovering new information and have a lot of questions. I think we should talk about our beliefs and ideas without fear of being threatened and rejected. But it is what it is:)

Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father face to face and encouraged us to seek the Lord’s face. This is what I'm looking for. I want to see and talk with the Lord face to face before I die.

Many Christians believe that accepting Christ is enough. They love Jesus, and I enjoy worshiping the Lord with them. It is my belief that there is still much more available. I know people who have seen the Lord. I am told that the Heavenly Gift is offered to all who desire it.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23

“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;” D&C 93:1

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Genesis 32:30

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. D&C 88:68

And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai” Exodus 19:10-11. . . “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Exodus 19:18-20

“And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood. And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things. . . And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.” Ether 12:38,39,41

A Little Peace in Paradise is a record of our journey as we seek the face of God. Feel free to ask questions anytime.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friends, Food, Vibrations, and Tie-Dye Shirts

We had some wonderful friends come to our home last week. We all enjoyed a couple days full of fun, learning, and love. To top it off, they brought delicious food and planned special activities for the family.

During school, they taught us about light and vibrations. "And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understanding; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space— The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." D&C 88:11-13

After the learning about the physics of light and vibrations, we had a super activity making tie-dye shirts. The children thoroughly enjoyed the activity and acquired a brand new, homemade, personally designed, tie-dye shirt.

Let's Do Tie Dye!

  1. Smooth a section of the shirt over your plastic cup. You can secure it with a rubber band if you want.
  2. Dot a Sharpie to form a circle in the center of the area formed by the cup. You are aiming for a dotted ring about 1" in diameter. You can use more than one color.
  3. Drip rubbing alcohol on the blank center of the circle. I used the extremely low-tech method of dipping a pencil in the alcohol and dotting it on the shirt. After a few drops, you will see the alcohol spread outward from the center of the ring, taking the Sharpie ink with it.
  4. Continue adding drops of alcohol until you are satisfied with the size of the pattern.
  5. Allow a couple of minutes for the alcohol to evaporate before moving on to a clean section of the shirt.
  6. It doesn't have to be a circle. You can make stars, triangles, squares, lines... be creative!
  7. After your shirt is completely dry (alcohol is flammable, so don't use heat on a damp shirt), set the colors by tumbling the shirt in a hot clothes dryer for ~15 minutes.
  8. You can wear and wash your new shirt like other clothes now.

How It Works

The ink in a Sharpie pen dissolves in alcohol but not in water. As the shirt absorbs the alcohol, the alcohol picks up the ink. You can get new colors when different colors of ink mix together. The wet ink will diffuse, or move from areas of higher concentration to lower concentration. When the alcohol evaporates, the ink dries. Sharpie pen ink doesn't dissolve in water, so the shirt can be washed.

What a joyful time together, learning and playing by day, and conversing and sharing by night. We stayed up almost all night talking, and it was well worth it. We are thankful for dear friends. We hope they always feel welcome in our home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How Oft Have I Gathered You

A newborn has three major needs: nourishment, protection, and love. As we get older, we think we’ve grown up and matured when we can stand on our own and be independent. God asks us to humble ourselves and become like little children again Matt 18:4. He wants us to lean on him, come to him, and receive of his strength and sustenance. Just as a baby finds nourishment, protection, and love in the arms of her mother, our needs are fulfilled in the arms of our Maker.

Need for Nourishment

“How oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.” 3 Nephi 10:4

Our three-year-old daughter, Marianne, loves animals. Each morning she looks forward to going outside to feed the chickens. She grabs the old, white bucket we use to collect food scraps and shouts, “Let’s go and feed the chickens.” She opens the door and runs outside calling for them to come and eat their breakfast.

Believe it or not, chickens are quite smart about food and know what to look for. They will follow almost anyone carrying the white bucket, and they will come to a few who merely call for them. But when my familiar voice is heard, “Here chicky, chicky; here chicky,” they all come running full speed. The chickens really do know my voice and trust in it for food. When I call, they leave whatever else is holding their attention and come to me. It’s fun to watch.

There’s physical food and food for the soul. I’m in need of daily nourishment that lifts, sustains, and fills my being with light. One of the fruits manifested in the church of Christ is that the people are "nourished by the good word of God" Moroni 6:4.

As our family visits different churches, I’m learning to distinguish between my false traditions and the nourishing word of God. I have a different vantage point because I’m not bound by the traditions of these different religions. There are times when I feel God confirming and teaching the truth. Some congregations are full of a lot of Spirit, and I like to meet with them often. Some churches have very little spirit.

When the truth is being taught, I feel nourished. When the philosophies and traditions of men are promoted, my heart just feels empty and hollow. “And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.” D&C 93:39

Most church people seem to think they are the ones following Christ. They seem sincere in their devotion and offer up great sacrifices. It’s been enlightening for me to see others act out their false beliefs. It helps me to see my own false traditions. Throughout my life I’ve held on to many practices just because that’s the way it’s always been. However, the light of the Spirit at church hasn’t always nourished me at church.

Christ’s church nourishes. If that’s not happening, it’s a good chance the religious observances are only tradition. “And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness" D&C 50:21-25.

Need for Protection and Love

Last summer we had a mother hen that loved to sit on her eggs. We would often see her contently sitting on her nest personally caring for her unhatched chicks. We decided to stop gathering and taking her eggs each day and allowed her to do her motherly job. She faithfully cared for the eggs, kept them warm, and time passed.

Three weeks later she had six fluffy little chicks following her everywhere. She watched, protected, and cared for them daily. At night, she found a safe place, spread her wings, invited the chicks to come, and gathered them under her protective wings. They knew her call and came to her. They were vulnerable, defenseless, and constantly exposed to varying degrees of danger, but found warmth, safety, love, and comfort under the wings of their mother.

One day a cat happened by and tried to get the chicks. When the cat saw the defenseless chicks, he had full confidence in obtaining a delicious lunch. The cat was in for a surprise because he had under estimated the hen. He discovered that you just don’t mess around with the chicks of a mother hen. I believe she would have literally given her life to save her chicks from danger John 15:13-14.

It was neat to watch the chicks respond to their mother. When she called them, they came running. They weren’t aware of the danger, but the mother hen was. They were contently pecking the ground until they heard their mother’s clucking. Under the safety of her wings, they watched and learned. She was willing to fight their battle against the cat. They allowed her to stand between them and danger. God desires to do the same for us, yet in our independence, we often refuse to be gathered. “O, ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!” D&C 43:24

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It’s Time to Start Planting the Garden

With a little bit of warmth and sunshine, it feels like springtime. Most everyone enjoyed working in the garden and playing in the fresh cool dirt. We tilled the ground and planted several hundred onions, some peas, and a little spinach. Many hands make the work go faster and easier.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Grieving Process and False Beliefs

Over the last few years, I’ve had some of my major paradigms rearranged and turned upside-down. It’s been challenging. My false beliefs have been with me all my life, and I see myself going through the 7 Stages of Grief as I abandon them.

It all started when I asked the Lord if I could talk with him face to face Exodus 33:11, Abraham 3:11, Genesis 32:30, Ether 12:39. I had read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever 1 Nephi 10:18 and is no respecter of persons Acts 10:34. If the prophets could see and talk with God, then it looks like the invitation is also open to an insignificant person like me.

Shock and Denial

After I put in the request, my life began to unravel. One of my challenges was to be shown some things I wasn’t expecting to see. I was shocked and troubled. My first reaction was, “Am I hearing what I think I’m hearing? If this is true, I need another witness." God gave me another witness. The witness he provided was pretty convincing.

What I was hearing and feeling challenged some of my major fundamental beliefs, and so I asked for additional witnesses. I needed to be sure that the information was really coming from Him. I did not want to be deceived.

Pain and Guilt

I said, “Now what do I do?”

He responded, “If you ask me a question, I will always tell you the truth. Hearing and understanding the truth may even be painful at times.”

Not only was there pain because of the change that needed to take place in me, but I felt guilty about the past and how I had treated the things of God.

I had given the Lord credit for things he did not promote Moroni 7:14. I was blind and had believed a lie. How could I be so foolish? I’ve spent so much time laboring for that which does not satisfy Isaiah 55:1-2.


Who is promoting these false beliefs? Some of them know better and do it anyway. How dare they pretend and lead me astray. I had put my trust in the arm of flesh 2 Nephi 28:31, and now I felt betrayed.

Preoccupation with the Crisis

I prayed and thought about these new ideas. I talked to others and asked God a lot of questions. I studied the subject from many different angles. I rehearsed the dilemma over and over in my mind. It occupied many of my thoughts and much of my attention.

Reflection and Loneliness

Because of my new beliefs, I was rejected and told I was no longer welcome to participate among my own people. I was informed that I had nothing to offer and to keep my mouth shut. Very few even wanted to discuss what I had been thinking about.

I wondered why? Isn’t it okay to ask questions? There’s nothing to fear because truth stands on its own two feet. Being open to a different way of thinking can unlock the door to new knowledge. As we search with pure intent, we’ll either realize our error or discover a new treasure.

When I changed some of my beliefs, why did it change the way people felt about me? If we really do “claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” Articles of Faith 1:11, then where’s my mistake? Have I sinned against God? If so, show me my sin, and I’ll repent.

Resolution and Readjustment

As I looked down and saw the sand shifting beneath my feet, Christ gently invited me to move over and stand on His Rock. He knows my heart and hasn’t rejected me. Jesus tenderly said, “Trust in Me.”

I was shown other things I could do with my energy and enthusiasm. He diverted my mind away from the distress and told me to focus on the light. Wisely he counseled, “Don’t fight back. Just move forward. Leave the battles to me.” Romans 12:17-21

Acceptance and Hope

My life doesn’t look the same. I expect to have many more eye-opening, challenging experiences. I don’t know the terrain up ahead, but trust in my benevolent guide Psalms 56:11. He’s given his life for me, and I am graven upon the palms of his hands Isaiah 49:15-16. He won’t leave me comfortless John 14:18.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Opening and Closing the Heavens Monkey Style

  1. Start with a cage containing five monkeys.
  2. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.
  3. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.
  4. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.
  5. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt to climb the stairs with the same result - all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
  6. Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.
  7. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
  8. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
  9. Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.
  10. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
  11. After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.
  12. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?
  13. Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here.
  14. And that's how unbelief begins. . .

When I read about the policy established in the monkey society, I recognized a similar behavior experienced by us. The banana could represent connecting with heaven, being redeemed, seeing God face to face, and receiving further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil.

Institutionalized religion often sprays cold water all over us when we make the attempt to approach God and connect with heaven. Why does anyone want to spray cold water? Shouldn’t we cheer each other on? What’s the reasoning? Here are a few of the false notions I've observed:

  • If someone else succeeds, I fail.
  • Climbing the ladder to heaven is a lot like climbing the corporate ladder. Someone has to go down for me to go up.
  • If no one around me is going the distance then I don’t have to either.
  • I don't even know if connecting with heaven is necessary.
  • Sounds like a lot of sacrifice. I don’t want to put forth that kind of effort.
  • I might loose my friends if I get close to those stairs. We've all agreed that they're bad. Let's keep it that way.
  • We’ve got our correlated regiment. Don’t buck the system!
  • If I even associate or sympathize with a stair-climbing, banana-eating monkey, I’ll probably get in trouble. I might be led astray.
  • Stair climbers are a threat to my power, glory, and dominion. I can no longer control them with my philosophies.
  • Etc.

Those that have become institutionalized will gang attack and seek to control those who are making an effort to know God. False beliefs and traditions become so deep-rooted that most people believe it is their religious duty to mock, criticize, revile, censor, report, and condemn others who seek the God of Heaven D&C 93:39.

The religious institutions should be pointing others to Christ, but instead they preach, “Worship the institution and those in charge, and you’ll be saved. Stay away from those stairs. They aren't necessary. The stairs lead to a high-dive. The fall you'll experience is sure to be great.”

Christ understood this monkey syndrome and condemned the scribes and Pharisees for spraying cold water on people and converting them over to bad behavior.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. . . Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Matt. 23:13, 15

Is the kingdom of heaven shut up today? How many people believe that we can actually talk to God face to face? Who is teaching the doctrine of Christ? 2 Nephi 32:6 If someone came preaching this doctrine, would we spray him with cold water?

What would happen if a determined, stair-climbing, banana-eating monkey replaced one of those other monkeys? What if a prophet who has been in the presence of God came among us today? What would we think if he told us we could climb the stairs and connect with heaven? What if he said we might get sprayed, but go for it anyway? A little cold water won’t hurt. The fruit of the tree is worth it. When you’re at the top of the stairs, those water-spraying monkeys can’t even reach you.

Snow Chairs

We’re having our typical Cache Valley spring weather. One day it’s spring and the next day we have a snow. A storm blew in yesterday and dropped a few inches of snow. Even though there’s snow all over the ground, it’s pretty warm outside.

Crystalynne and Marianne went outside to create things out of snow. The snow makes perfect packing material. Because of the warm weather, the snow is beginning to melt. It’s wet, heavy, and sticks together.

I looked out the window to see what they were building. What a good idea! Snow furniture. They had two chairs and ottomans. It looks like Crystalynne created a lounge chair for Marianne.

Monday, March 19, 2012

On the Road to Eternal Life

We were having our morning prayer, and John was asking and pleading with the Lord, “Open my eyes so I can see. Please show me my sins so I can repent. What do I lack? I know I am sinful and full of unbelief Moroni 7:37. I don’t know what all of my false beliefs are; teach me. I want to see your face and be in your presence” D&C 93:1. I’ve heard John confess his weaknesses many times before the Lord. He has a pure heart and a great desire to come unto the Lord. The thought came to me, “Pray that John will be patient with the process.”

Then an analogy came to mind:

Once in a while, we go to Grandma’s. The children are excited to arrive and don’t like waiting two hours to get there. Along the trip we hear things like, “When are we going to be at Grandma’s house? How many more hours? Are we almost there? What mile marker is Grandma’s exit? How much longer? What time is it?” We answer the questions the best we can, but sometimes the questions keep coming. After a while, the questions become tiresome.

Without added delays, it takes about two hours to get to Grandma’s. There’s nothing wrong with the van, the road is in good condition, progress is being made, and we’re going in the right direction. But it still takes two hours to get to her house. The Lord wants us to ask him lots of questions, but not the same ones over and over and over and over again. Once he’s given an answer, we need to be content with His timetable. He’s leading us just as fast as our spirit will go. Impatience with our progress actually gets in the way and is frustrating.

Patience is not to be confused with complacency or following bad directions. There are many things we can do to postpone the ride. Some fail to arrive because they don’t even decide to make the journey.

When going somewhere we’ve never been, we can get lost if we follow the instructions of one who’s never been there. Looking at a reliable road map can give us an idea about where we’re headed and what can be expected.

Blindness can also cause big problems. Without my glasses, I can’t even see the road signs that have been provided. If we don’t pay attention to the signs, we might head in the wrong direction.

There are other things we can do to lengthen out the trip: extra potty breaks, stopping to play at the park, going to the store, eating at a restaurant, etc. Unnecessary detours can also waste valuable time.

The Holy Ghost is like a GPS (global positioning system - a form of satellite navigation). No matter where we are, we can type in the final address. We might be minutes, hours, or days from our destination. He can see our position and will guide us. There might be long stretches of monotonous scenery, steep inclines, busy cities, winding country roads, sharp turns, and dark nights. He’s always present giving us instructions as needed.

If the radio is too loud or we’re not paying attention, we might not hear him and miss a critical exit or turn. When we miss a turn, the GPS lets us know. The quicker we realize our mistake, the sooner we can get back on track. He calculates the necessary course corrections to get us heading in the right direction again. We might even see scenery and experience roads that were not part of the original travel plans. If, in our arrogance, we turn off the GPS thinking we know where we’re going, we can get really lost.

So, turn on the GPS, type in the address, open your ears and eyes, and get ready for the ride of your life.

As I shared the analogy that was coming to mind, John smiled with tears in his eyes and said, “Ya, that’s it.”

Playing Games

The family enjoyed playing games Sunday night. It’s amusing to hear the children laugh and scream out with excitement as they get into the game. Once in a while there is a squabble but not too many. They are developing better sportsmanship. They’re reminded that it’s only a game. Playing games together is healthy for social development. It’s interesting to note that the way people play games is a reflection on how they live life.

The older children were playing Clue and were debating whether you could go through closed doors when you are moving around the board. Jaylee was arguing that you could because there is a hallway between the Billiard Room and the Library that only leads to closed doors. There is no sense in having that hall if you can’t go through closed doors. Rachel responded that it was wasted space. Jaylee said, “No! There are doors there! And you can go through closed doors!” Rachel said very seriously, “Jaylee, I have been drawing houses for quite some time, and I know what wasted space is.”

On another game, Joshua went around the whole circle and everyone said that they did not have Mrs. White, the Candlestick, or the Dining Room. This was Joshua’s second game, and so Rachel had to point out to him that if nobody had it then it must be the correct accusation. Then Jaylee pointed out that the Dining Room was one of Jared’s cards and since Jared had dropped out earlier and shown everyone his cards, it couldn’t be the Dining Room. So, Joshua made the accusation that the murder was done by Mrs. White with the Candlestick in the Hall. He was correct and Jaylee, wondering how he had discovered the room so soon in the game, asked how he knew it was the Hall. He nonchalantly replied, “I guessed.” The rest of the night, he kept saying, “I can’t believe I won that game!” The other kids felt the same way.

Joseph wanted to play a game he understood. He went and got Bringing Down the House and asked Mom if she would play with him. Jonathan and Marianne joined in. Mom and Jonathan built their houses according to the rules while Joseph and Marianne just built houses. The rules of the game didn’t matter as long as someone was sitting next to them building a house.

It’s fun having Jaylee and Emily home during the evening. They’re gone so much of the time with work and school. Jaylee will be moving closer to the university at the end of April. We’ll miss her and hope she comes home to visit often.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Burning Grass

Springtime brings new life, growth, and enthusiasm. The change in weather is revitalizing and refreshing. It feels good to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh spring air. The children seldom even wear a coat anymore due to the warm weather and sunshine.

Last week, we had mud, mud, mud, and more mud. This week the mud is drying; the snow has almost disappeared, except in the shade; and the new spring growth is beginning to appear. Last year’s dry grass, brown weeds, and dead forage look messy and unsightly. What do we do? We have fun cleaning and beautifying the land with fire!

It’s the time of year when neighbors and farmers burn ditch banks and old weeds. Our children look forward to the spring burning. Fire and children have a natural attraction. It’s exciting to see things go up in flame.

We burn dry hillsides and ditches to allow room for new growth. When the spring showers come, the burned fields transform into a lush and green countryside. The fire also helps clean the sides of the canal and provides a clear path for running water.

We’ve been waiting for the perfect burn conditions: no snow, dry grass, no wind, and very little spring growth. Thursday was the perfect day. We changed into our work clothes, grabbed rakes, and took off to enjoy an afternoon full of excitement and fun.

First, we carefully and slowly burned a few “fire stop barriers” around the perimeter to assure fire control. Neighbors may not want their land accidentally and quickly cleansed by fire. Especially by surprise! Once the preparation and safety measures were complete, we were ready to light “the big one” to cleanup the hillside.

The children thoroughly enjoy raking, spreading fire, and being free. They have experienced heat generated from fire and know to keep a careful eye on where the fire is headed. Everything can go up in flames very quickly, and they don’t want to get too close to the heat or get trapped.

Mother Earth delivers natural consequences, and she can’t be manipulated. Fire really is hot, distance is wise, and a breeze can enhance the fire and direct its path. The children also have learned that using a rake does more than maneuver fire. A rake with a metal handle can get extremely hot when exposed to fire. Although there might have been some close calls over the last decade, when all is said and done, the closest we’ve come to a casualty is some singed hair on Dad’s arms and face.

We work together, play together, and have fun together. We also struggle together, argue together, and misunderstand each other sometimes. If you get into the “burning zone” of another, you’ll hear about it. When someone leaves a prized rake unattended, another may grab and claim it. This usually starts a squabble and dispute. Of course, there seems to always be “the favorite rake”, or “the best burning spot”, and everybody wants it. There really is enough and to spare, you know, but sometimes it just seems otherwise.

Well, after a few hours of hot, burning, and thrilling fun, we sat back and admired our work. The garbage, clutter, and mess along with the dead grass and weeds went up in smoke. Fire has a cleansing, purifying, and refining effect. It looks all black right now, but in a short while it will be green with shoots of new growth and life. Fire does wonders for both the land and the soul.

There are many symbolic connections to make when it comes to fire, but that’s another post.

America is on Trial

When so many are clamoring and complaining about the mess our country is in, God is giving us a chance to choose liberty again. It might even be our last chance. He has provided us with a man who has integrity and is grounded in “the laws and constitution of the people, which I [God] have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles” D&C 101:77-80.

The uncommon phenomenon is the media can’t even dig up dirt on Ron Paul. They’ve made a feeble attempt, but it only proves his squeaky clean record. He tells the truth, doesn’t flip flop, and practices what he preaches. What do you do with a guy like Ron Paul?

In an attempt to sway the polls, propaganda is promoted: “He’s not electable.” People who agree with Ron Paul's ideals, are being told to vote for the lesser of two evils instead of following their conscience and voting for Ron Paul. The fear that’s presented is: We’ll get something really bad if we don’t unite our voices and vote for “Someone that’s electable.”

Now really, it’s the American people that decide if he’s “electable” by electing him. How will Ron Paul get elected if people change their vote because they think, “He is not electable”? The propaganda the media presents is absurd, but some people actually believe it.

Is he our modern day George Washington? Do we see Ron Paul as a gift from God? A second chance? Some people are waking up and see the picture, but are there enough to turn the tide? If we reject this chance to be led by a true patriot, we’ll get what we deserve. When we’re invaded and destroyed, we’ll mourn our stupidity, but it will be too late. Zephaniah 1:14-18

Do we want a president that tells the truth? Telling the truth seems to be a rare commodity these days. When we see liars in the presidential debates, why vote for them? Do we expect the candidates to stand behind their word? Do we hold them accountable to walk their talk, or is a lie good enough? Talk is cheap, and we're bankrupt. Are we going to vote our conscience or vote for someone that’s not much different than Clinton, Bush, and Obama? We the People of the United States are on trial. Ron Paul is very electable. It's our choice. Watch these two videos. What kind of president do you want?

Saying the same thing for 30 years! History has Proven Him Right!

Friday, March 16, 2012

High Jumping Event

Children seem to find all sorts of ways to amuse themselves and have fun. The other day, I looked out the window and saw what they were doing. It was entertaining just to watch them.

They used old baling twine they had gathered and braided a 50’-75’ rope. One end was tied to a nearby tree, and they each took turns holding the other end at varying heights. The center of the rope was over the trampoline. A new high jumping event had just been created.

They challenged each other to see who could jump the highest. I think Dad or Jared reached the highest marks just because they were the biggest kids involved. Everyone jumped higher than they thought possible.

Some did tricks. Others started doing somersaults and flips over the rope. The kids had a blast - A great way to spend the spring afternoon.