Kids and Christmas…

Have you seen the Mormon Messages the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produces? Our family enjoys watching them. They’re thought-provoking. They’re inspirational. We met one of the producers of Mormon Messages in July when we had new family pictures taken as well as a video produced. His name is Tucker. He approached us a few months back and asked if our kids and some other kids we knew would be willing to be filmed for an upcoming video with kids about Christmas. Neal, Riley, and a few other kids we know were interviewed in our home. A few weeks ago the LDS Church released the video on its Mormon Messages YouTube channel in time for Christmas. The video, Kids and Christmas, features Riley and three of the friends – but no Neal. He was left on the cutting room floor. We didn’t say anything to him about it for a week or so. We didn’t know how he would react to not being in the video. He was actually OK with it. Neal’s a good sport. He understands. Maybe they’ll use him in another Mormon Message down the road.

Check out the video (Click on this link to be directed to the video. For some reason WordPress isn’t placing it in my post). Riley shows up around the 2:14 mark. I love his honest and sincere response to what he would say to Jesus if he was there when He was born. I love my little guy – and his bigger brother. They are sincere in their love for Jesus Christ. Enjoy the video and have a Merry Christmas.

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Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas. There’s so much to be thankful for during this time of year. First, I’m thankful for my family and friends. I love my family very much. I hope they know it. Mostly, I’m thankful for Amber, Neal and Riley. I’m indebted to Amber for everything she does for our family. I’m also thankful for a good job, a warm home, plus so much more. Finally, I’m thankful for my Savior and His sacrifice for each of us. At this time of year we celebrate His birth. May we also celebrate His life, resurrection, and the Atonement. May each of us remember Him and celebrate His life throughout the year, and not only at Christmas.

Promptings

This has been a great weekend. I had the opportunity to attend a stake priesthood leadership meeting on Saturday for 109 stakes in the Salt Lake Valley at the Conference Center near Temple Square. To be honest, I didn’t want to go. Not because I didn’t want to take in the words of a living prophet and other church leaders, but because I missed my boy’s soccer games last week for work, and will miss them again next week because of work. I didn’t want to do that three weeks in a row. I struggled with what decision would be the correct one all day on Friday. I need to do all in my power to be there for my sons and Amber and I think I do a good job at that. But, I also need to fulfill my responsibilities as a member of our stake’s high council. I felt a prompting that I needed to be at the Conference Center. It ended up working out in the end. I missed Neal’s game, but I made it back for Riley’s.

To me, the meeting was special in many ways. I needed to be there. I needed to be able to see the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, walk in the room and feel of his spirit. He said something that was really poignant to me. In talking about a verse of scripture (1 Peter 2:9) He said: “Brethren, be loyal to the royal within you.” I appreciate the constant reminders from the leaders in our church about how we as priesthood holders need to step it up and be the best we can be. We need to be on top of our game every day.

The messages shared in the meeting on Saturday, then in the general session today was just what I needed to hear. I feel so blessed to be able to hear from church leaders twice within one month. What a blessing. I also feel very blessed to have four temples in the Salt Lake Valley. We need to be better about attending. I think we take for granted all that we have, so close to home. It’s time to step it up. I have three great examples that help remind me daily that I need to step it up. Thanks Amber, Neal and Riley.

On another note: we sustained a new member of our stake high council today. A friend of ours in the neighborhood, Donny, was put in. I am so excited for him. I’ve always looked up to him and his example. He is a great guy (with an even better wife!). I know what he’s going through right now. He’s probably feeling very inadequate and nervous. A multitude of thoughts and emotions are flooding his mind. I felt the same feelings 13 months ago when I was called to be on the high council and I still feel from time to time today. I’ve learned a lot over the last year and I wouldn’t trade this experience. I feel like my testimony has grown. I’m looking forward to working with Donny in this capacity. Good luck!

Here’s a sweet message from President Monson. Enjoy.

Choose this day

The latest video on Mormon Messages was something I needed to see. President Eyring’s testimony brought back a lot of memories of someone special in my life who challenged many of us to “choose this day… whom ye will serve…” This verse of scripture from Joshua 24:15 was my Grandpa Packer’s thing. Everytime he spoke in church, he shared his testimony about this scripture. I found the message motivational. I hope you do too.

Temple open house

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This past Wednesday we went with my family to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house in South Jordan. Like all of the temples in the Church, this one is unique and beautiful. One thing that I really liked was the openness of the design. There’s a lot of large windows that allow a lot of natural light in. The woodwork throughout the building was very thought out as well. South Jordan is the only city in the whole world to have more than one temple. That’s a pretty cool fact.

A few weeks back, the statue of the angel, Moroni was struck by lightening. It was interesting to see the darkened results.

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It felt good to be there. The temple is the house of the Lord. I feel His love every time I enter it’s doors. I’m thankful to have the blessing of the temple in my life. It blesses the lives of my family. I love Amber and my boys very much. We’re trying hard everyday to live our lives so that after this life we can be an eternal family. The open house runs through August 1. If you live locally, or will be visiting Salt Lake during that time, be sure to drop by. It’s beautiful.

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day started early since our ward meets at 9 a.m. Amber made sausage and egg muffins for breakfast, and the boys gave me a fun Book of Mormon hero’s animated book that we can use for lessons in Family Home Evening.

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Church was fun. I was able to spend Sacrament meeting with Amber and the boys. I had to leave during Sunday School though. It was the third Sunday – High Council speaking assignments. I know, not on Father’s Day! I had to speak at 11 a.m. in one of the other wards in our stake. Typically, we have stake conference on Father’s Day. This year, we’re having a multi-stake conference in October.

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After church I took a nap for a little bit. The relay sure took all of the energy I had out of me! We then went to visit my mom and dad, then had dinner with Amber’s parents and Geoff and Jill. It was a fun day. Thanks, Amber, Neal, and Riley for all you did to make it such a special day for me! I love the three of you more than you know.

Finished

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Our family finished reading the Book of Mormon again on Sunday night. The boys were pretty excited. It took us a while, but we did it. We missed a lot of nights, and didn’t have complete attention from each of us at one time or another, but we got through it again. Neal asked if we could read the Pearl of Great Price next. I’m happy to see the excitement he has for reading the scriptures.