Our Time: Different from Eve’s?

As I edit and prepare to publish my book, Remembering Eve, I find myself thinking of Eve’s life. It could not have been easy to live alone on this earth. I often wondered how she gave birth the first time, alone with Adam. Writing the book answered that question for me.

Other issues they faced are similar to those we face in 2014. Too many children choose to follow the lies of the destroyer, turning their backs on the light and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Eve sorrowed, missing each child and grandchild, hoping for their return.

Men forgot the majesty their women brought with them and found ways to demean and diminish them. In their pain, many women turned from men and their gods. Women created female god-idols, seeking relief from grief and sorrow forced upon them by their men. Men and women found pleasure in one another without marriage, and often in spite of marriage, whether or not the woman welcomed it.

These brought Eve sorrow. Other things grieved her. She would not have liked that her children were enslaved, their right of choice stolen. Choice is a gift from the beginning, and all find themselves meeting the consequences of those choices, positive and negative. The enslaved are left with few choices. Sometimes their only choice is how they respond to their enslavement.

Eve would not have been happy when some of her family lost themselves in wine and strong drinks. Even then, addictions caused adults to forget the needs of their children in search of more addictive substance. Our addictions may be different, but some of the addicted still leave children in the cold—unfed, unclothed, and unwanted.

The poor have always been with us, certainly even among the children of Eve. I believe she was hurt that pride would cause her children to turn their faces from them, ignoring their needs, and allowing adult and child to suffer. In many ways we ignore our poor. Every school system is faced with homeless students. Some do better than others in helping to meet their needs.

How many beggars are on the streets of your city? I am confronted by beggars at almost every corner of my city. I help when I can, and wish I could help more. I see homeless sleeping under trees, under freeway overpasses, even along sidewalks—any place they can avoid police. These families and individuals should find more help from a country as wealthy as the United States. Food, homes, and other necessities of life should be more available, from individuals, groups, and governments.

As Eve’s children turned away from the teachings of their parents and the commandments of God, they lost truth and light, and its attendant joy. Many citizens of 2014 are similarly lost, searching through the darkness of sin and disobedience. Eve would tell you repent and come unto Christ. It hasn’t changed much in all these years.

Freedom, Rights, and Responsibilities

Parades, fireworks, barbeques, and fun are common activities on the Fourth of July. It’s a great summer holiday. Time to forget work, time to play. But, did you remember the real reason for the celebration?

Men and women determined to free themselves from the political control of a king who lived across the Atlantic. Distance and time prevented a real understanding of the problems, needs, and dreams of the citizens in this new land. The king’s army carried out his heavy handed orders, and our ancestors rebelled.

God gave His children freedom as part of the plan to obtain salvation. Each of us has the right and the responsibility to freely choose our actions. Freedom is God-given, and when it is prevented, we yearn for it. Political entities can take away many opportunities and rights, but no one can deprive us of our ability to choose our responses or our thoughts.

Freedom was freely given, with responsibilities tied to the rights. We are responsible to choose good leaders, to support those who fight to maintain that freedom, and to do our best to live freely. Freedom for our country, and many others, came at a price of blood paid by our best and brightest sons.

There always seems to be someone who thinks they know more, or better, and fight for control and the destruction of our hard-fought rights and freedoms.
With the right to choose comes the necessity of accepting consequences. Some of those are wonderful: a new job, more money or time, and greater happiness, while other consequences are difficult to accept: loss of freedom, choice, happiness. The results flow naturally and logically from our actions—hold a sparkler too long and you will be burned.

The fight for continued freedom must constantly be fought. It can never be left to others, or ignored, for when we do some “other” will cheerfully move us out of the path of freedom and into the pen of slavery. We cannot sleep through the battle for freedom. We cannot allow our freedoms to be slowly stripped away until none are left. If we do, it will not be easy to regain them.

Rather than reach the point of no return, when it will require a battle of arms and death, let us resolve to be aware of our freedoms and rights slipping through our hands. Let us stand for freedom. Let us be study the constitution and intelligently support freedom. Let us make our voices heard strongly by calling and writing our legislators and other leaders, demanding that our freedoms be strengthened.

Once lost, it will be difficult to make choices that bring happiness. Our choices will be made for us. There are those who are cheerfully working to make choices for us, to enslave us, slowly and carefully so we barely notice. Sometimes events are manipulated to encourage us to beg for our freedoms to be stolen.

Only effort on the part of every citizen will ensure our children and grandchildren will live in a gloriously free country, free to light fireworks, watch parades, and enjoy the freedoms we did only a few years ago.

The Present is the Place to Live

“The past of each of us is now inflexible. We need to concentrate on what has been called “the holy present,” for now is sacred; we never really live in the future. The holy gift of life always takes the form of now. Besides, God asks us now to give up only those things which, if clung to, will destroy us!”
-Neal A. Maxwell

It is only in the present that choices are made, wrongs repented of or forgiven, hugs are given, lives are lived. Life does not happen it the past. Though it may be forgotten, it is gone, and there is little to be done about it, except learn from mistakes or successes, and beg forgiveness if possible.

The future is similarly untouchable. We can plan for it, hope and dream of it, but not live there. No one lives in past or the future and truly lives.

The present is where life is lived. Here we make choices and deal with the consequences, whether they be good or bad. In the present we stay up too late, or rise from our beds early. We eat too much, or diet too intensely. We love those we are with, or ignore them, and forever wish we had spent more time loving and laughing.

Each moment of our lives is sacred; no second is garbage. Time spent playing silly games alone, or viewing horrible movies is a waste of our precious life. It would be better to choose sharing life with others, new friends or old, family, children, and grandchildren.

It is true that some of that time must be spent working. God placed us on earth to work, to learn, and to learn to love. Yes, work is often unpleasant; it often requires more of our life than we would like to give. It is needful, but it is more needful to remember that it is only a part of our life.

Some believe that sports are important and spend excessive hours following, watching, and thinking about a sport, or many. In moderation, and with loved ones, they are fine, but in excess, they do not build our lives. Other pursuits rob us of valued life.

It has been said that no one lies on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at work, or at a ball game. No one clings to a diploma or trophy. Everyone seeks for the hand of someone who loves them. The greatest sorrow is time not spent loving family.

Do all you possibly can to mend fences, travel distances to be with parents or grandchildren and children, give up time for your hobbies, read to a little one. Make the memories your family will have of you be positive and full of love. Teach them that of all the gifts of God, family is the greatest.

I have seen families torn apart by grudges and silliness. Those days are lost, never to be returned. But, the cause of the grudge can be forgiven, and great rents mended. Children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews need to know their families, need to know they are part of something important. And your family is important.

You may live to be 30, or 100, or somewhere in the middle. What are you doing to make that last breath a time of shared love? It cannot happen in a moment. Love takes time to develop. The love of a new child is instantaneous, but families require decades to grow. Will you have someone to love you, someone to hold your time at the moment you leave this earth to meet your God?

Rain, or the Lack Thereof

Rain! Some of us get it. Some of us don’t. In the west we seem to be among the “don’t” crowd. We had to drive 300 miles to find rain.

We in southern Nevada seem to have missed out on all the moisture over the last year. We had 0.08” this year, no snow, just 0.01” at a time, on eight different days. Doesn’t seem fair to me. Other states have so much rain and snow they have no idea what to do with it.

I know, I live in a desert, and deserts don’t get much rain. But we are having a major drought, and have been for several years. It took driving into another state to see rain again.

There are many kinds of drought. As far as I can tell, drought happens when an area receives too much or too little rain. Crops will not grow in either situation.

We crossed through Utah, Nevada, and Northern California yesterday, seeing green fields next to dry growth. Even in the Lassen National Forest, the trees were mostly green, but some had dry growth near the bottom and the undergrowth was dry. One little spark could set forest or field ablaze, and much of the green beauty would be lost.

Our part of the country is struggling to have enough to water the crops in the fields. Some areas have had their “share” of water for crops in the fields cut in half. For many years now, home owners have been paid to remove grass to save water.

Somehow that doesn’t make sense to me. Even Ms. Frizzle, the beloved science teacher, teaches that the water cycle occurs when water evaporates (most often from grass and trees as they transpire moisture), forms tiny droplets around dust particles high in the air, and falls to the earth when those droplets gather enough moisture.

How can there be rain if there are no lawns or trees to expire moisture? Managers are working against science. Using less water to bring more moisture will never work. There has to be moisture evaporating or transpiring from plants to have enough moisture for rain to fall.

What happened to cause so much rain and snow in the rest of the country? I don’t know. Did they have too many plants? I doubt it.

I suspect the real cause of the current droughts, of either kind occur because people are no longer obedient to the commands of God. Look at store parking lots on the Sabbath. That is just one law people blatantly disregard. Most of other commands are also ignored, by much of the population of the United States.

If you believe God, as I do, you may be wondering if the cause for dry or wet droughts is the result of our actions and our disobedience.

Our Children Sex Slaves?

This week the news reported that the FBI arrested many men and women across America and freed children who had been enslaved and used in the sex trade—for pornographic movies and as prostitutes. No. This is not other, foreign countries, this is America.

To what depths have we sunk? Our children sold or stolen to be slaves to porn creeps? Our beautiful children? How can this be? Haven’t we been told it is other countries that sell or take children for sex slaves?

Our children deserve better! We all deserve better. No one deserves to have to endure this.

Unfortunately, it seems we all have a portion of the blame. Pornography is rampant everywhere. Our children are confronted by its filth on computers as soon as they learn to ride the internet looking for information. The porn predators make it easy for anyone to stumble on their grossness.

And what do we do? Click away. We rarely complain to our internet server. I know of no one who complains to the FCC. I have not. Have you? We thought to protect their “rights”, we thought someone else would speak. No one has, until lately, now that it is nearly too late.

Porn sites are a given on the internet. “Men’s” magazines have long spewed their smut, and few complained. Most peeked and were titillated. Prostitution has continued for thousands of years.

This does not make any of this right! It is never right to use and abuse another person, for sex or any other purpose. Men and women use each other as objects, as things, rather than remembering they are people with feelings and rights. Prostitution is just one way we use women and young children. Pornography is another. Both seriously hurt our children.

There are many plagues affecting the population of the earth, but pornography is one of the worst. Revelations told of plagues to affect the earth in these days. Another prophet, Mormon, seeing our day proclaimed:
        “Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations. . .”

I have heard many prostitutes proudly proclaim that they are “part of the oldest profession on earth.” I beg to differ. The oldest profession is farming, Adam and Eve participated in growing crops, farming for a living—a profession. Beyond that, Adam was God’s Priest. Those who try to push sexual perversion are in direct opposition to God’s laws, and are hurting themselves and those they force into participation.

What can we do? Support the FBI in locating more of these perverse people and groups who have enslaved women and children. Call the FCC and complain about the smut in movies, on television, and on our computers. Join together with others who fight against this garbage, and let’s end the nonsense!

Live Honorably and Plan for the Future

We never know which moment will be our last. It could be this one, or any one of the next hundred years. Honor comes from standing tall, living each moment strong, as though it is your last. All the while, we must plan for life to continue.

I remember the days my sweetheart had responsibility for national safety in his job with the United States Navy. He was gone from our family frequently, and at odd hours of the day and night. Life for him was not easy. Though no active battle was fought, he participated in the cold war, protecting us from very real possible attack. For many long hours, he was found at his assigned post. In his 21 years, we could count on one hand the years we had Christmas or New Year’s Day together for the whole day.

I, too, was at my post, maintaining our home and nurturing our children. There were many lonely days and nights, days when the children attempted to be quiet because “daddy’s sleeping.” Special days were spent without daddy. I took the children to the zoo and birthday parties, and church, and many other places, alone. He was working or sleeping to go back to work. I nurtured, I waited, and welcomed the time we were together.

Through it all, we had plans for the future—retire, get new jobs, learn to live a civilian life, watch our children grow, and grow old together. Of course, there were other goals, other dreams, other plans. Some, we managed to achieve. Some we decided were not worth pursuing, and new goals and dreams were set.

Life is never easy. Some moments seem to be wonderful and smooth, but those moments don’t last. On days and years when life is less than wonderful, one is tempted to bury the head in the pillow and stay in bed. But life continues, and we must claw out of bed and depression into the bright light of day and responsibilities.

Some give up, stop planning, stop dreaming, stop trying. The next years, even decades of their lives are sad, undirected. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. Often, we are responsible for much more than that. We have families, religion, neighbors, and work. These responsibilities call to us.

I like the quote by CS Lewis: “Be found at one’s post, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last 100 years.” Regardless of our station in life, we have responsibilities, a “post to man.” Giving up is not a choice. We live our best, never knowing if Father in Heaven will call us home. We attempt to live honorably, with hope and trust.

We are created with the desire to live; we do all we can to hang onto this dear life. We may fear the change brought by our moving to the next life, or may look forward to it. Either way, we find ourselves doing all we can to continue breathing. I have seen older folks struggle to breathe, to maintain life even when that life had little “quality,” supported by intense mechanical means.

As I have been considering the life of Eve and Adam I have wondered that they could maintain a zest for life over their hundreds of years. Events that would drag a lesser person to the depths of sorrow and depression were overcome; loss became stepping stones to greater life. These noble parents did more than just survive; they lived life joyfully, embracing new situations, welcoming opportunities to learn. Eve stood at her post, her home, whether working beside Adam to subdue the earth, or wait for him as he traveled to preach the Gospel of the Savior to their children. Together they lived life with verve, to the fullest, planning to live many years, making goals, loving family.

Can we do any less? Stand firm at the post we have been assigned. Live life fully as though it may be our last. And through it all, plan to live a long and happy life. Sounds easy? Maybe, but it is possible. It can be done. Live honorably. Love your neighbor and yourself. Plan for the future. Move forward always doing your very best. In this, we can hope for a better life in the next world with our Father.

What a Day This Is!

What a day today is! Father’s Day and the anniversary of my marriage to my sweetheart. Two great days in one!

I have a father who is especially wonderful. He makes it a point to see the beauties of the world wherever he is. He sees beauty on an icy glacier and in the midst of a dry desert and everywhere in between. He has taught his children to see the beauty around us.

I will always remember the spring day my parents took my sweetheart and me to the desert outside their home. We got out of the car and walked, looking at the ground. There we saw tiny, beautiful desert flowers lying next to the earth. Cactus had showy flowers. Other plants were blooming in response to the spring rains, attracting bees to pollinate and ensure their survival.

On another day, we went through Zion’s National Park, enjoying the beautiful plants and the occasional animal. We traveled through the tunnel, and found autumn leaves and natural markings in the sandstone mountains, like a great chessboard. Together we wished to be young enough again to hike to the other side of the ridge.

Dad’s exclamations of the beauties of Hawaii were typical of him. He noticed the small flowers, the great waterfalls, the continual waves beating on the shore. He appreciated the rainbows and sunsets. Almost everywhere we lived was enlightened by dad’s delight in God’s creations.

Even today, at age 86, dad and mom will spurn the freeways to drive the “back roads” hoping to see antelope or rabbits, beautiful flowers or other interesting beauties of nature. He is happy to notice cloud formations or rock formations, flowers or animals. He has always pointed them out to the rest of us and we have joined him, seeking for the beauty wherever we are.

One of the joys of the day is a remembrance of the day my young sweetheart and I were joined in marriage. He had traveled from Guam to Northern Utah, then we traveled together to Utah’s Dixie to be married in a sacred temple of our God. We stood on the white steps of that magnificent building, blinking into the sunlight, barely able to see the gardens and green around us. Was it the sun or our love for each other? Probably both!

My sweet husband has been much like my father, looking for beauty in the world around us. We marveled at unparalleled sunsets of Guam: deepest purples, darkest reds and oranges were stunning to our eyes. The Pacific Islands are incredible, even old dead fence posts would return to life, amazing us.

On the mountains and valleys of a little Alaskan island we were drawn to tiny orchids, dainty and beautiful. In the harbor sat a tall mountain that constantly steamed, a live volcano venting often enough to prevent a dramatic event.

Together this good man and I have enjoyed the beauties of the earth, the mountains, the oceans, the rivers and valleys of the world. We have watched otters playing in the surf and eagles snatching salmon from the lines of fishermen. We have seen mountain goats and antelope, beaver and elk, even Rock Apes in Gibraltar.

This is truly a beautiful world. I am grateful to be able to enjoy it, loving the beauties as taught by my father and shared by my husband.

The World Is Crazy Lately

There are lots of angry people in the country! There are shootings in schools, theaters, homes, everywhere. Why?

Our community is in mourning. Three good men died last Sunday, murdered by a couple who thought they had every right to show their disgust for government. They murdered two police officers who were doing nothing worse than enjoying a lunch break. They stole their weapons and ammunition, crossed the street and invaded a WalMart. WalMart is certainly a bastion of the Government! These two “freedom fighters” entered the store with guns out, ready to cause havoc among the horrible government workers who were mildly searching for a bargain.

One man, who stood in legally carried a concealed weapon, accosted the man, not realizing that the he was alive. He was murdered by the woman who was behind him. He just wanted to move the guns out of the store, and he lost his life.

Today, one of the officers was buried. The other will be buried Saturday. Services have not been set for the civilian who attempted to protect those shopping in the store.

All these men did their best to protect our community. All three are honored as heroes. But their families are without them, as fathers, sons, and brothers. Each family would rather have their man, not have him thought of as a hero.

Other communities mourn, for similar reasons. Angry people continue to cause fear and hurt.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones? Probably not much, when two police officers are murdered at lunch. Be careful, be watchful. Protect your little ones. Most of all, remember to give your loved ones a hug and tell them you love them each time you leave them. Sadly, there is a chance this could be the last time you will see them.

Fathers Day

Father’s Day is Sunday. It’s a day to remember and honor our fathers, husbands, and sweethearts.

My husband and father of my children is wonderful to me and to our children. We celebrate our marriage each year at this time. It is a special time for us. He spent years working to support us and protect our country in the U. S. Navy. Those days were not easy, but they were important and necessary. Now, he is a great grandfather, who is great at loving and spoiling the kids and grandkids. We honor him.

My own father is one I honor and love, as well. He is the epitome of dads and fathers, always there when we need him, no matter what. Even at 86, he will build us something, give us the produce from his garden, or offer to help move. He recently went to visit my niece and helped put in a window for her. That’s the kind of man my dad is. No wonder we love him so!

There is another father I would like to honor today. He is the father of us all, for he is the first father on earth, Adam. Without him, none of us would be here. And, who of us remember to honor him?

As I have been writing my book, from Eve’s perspective, I have gained a deeper respect for Adam. He was there from the first, supporting Eve in the birth of their children, and guiding them as they grew—something all women would want of a husband and father of her children. Beyond that, Adam taught them the laws and precepts of their God, our God. He wanted his children to return with him to the presence and abode of our Father in Heaven, the ultimate Father of us all.

In his efforts to teach, Adam saw many of his children fall away from the path of truth. Many preferred the way of the destroyer, for it is always easier, promising untold delights–untold, unearned, and often not received. It must have been extremely difficult to see his children choose a different path, and live with the consequences of those choices. The son we hear about most is Cain, who wanted more, more cattle, more glory, more power. (Does that remind you of anyone?) Ultimately, Cain had to run away, fearful for his life. The grief, the sorrow he brought upon his father’s head.

Each of us, individually, needs to remember our actions are our own, but the consequences of these actions are felt by our fathers and mothers. We do not live on an island, we are part of the whole, and fathers, parents, feel deeply the actions of our children, both sorrowful and joyful.

This year choose more than gifts that will fade or a card that will be set aside. Choose a better gift. Give of yourself, your time. Choose to find a way to make choices that will bring him joy.

Happy Father’s Day.

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