During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 28, 2016


A while back, I believe it was in an Blogging from A to Z challenge in April 2013,  I wrote a blog post about my belief in Angels Angels

I also wrote this short post about Angels back in May 2012.

Recently I have come across several quotes, photos and memes, and a blog post about Angels, and so I again have angels on my mind.

I believe that the first quote I came across was this one from Elder Jeffrey R Holland, which I have used and shared in the past.

Then this week on facebook I came across the painting above, painted by Karrie Guthrie.  I was intrigued by the painting, and didn't remember seeing it before, so looked up Karrie's website.  I was very interested to watch her video telling about what inspired her to do the painting, Ministry of Angels, found here: Kerrie's Art Kreations.

Kerri has several different versions of this piece of art in her Art Gallery at  http://www.kerrisartkreations.com/art-gallery/

And then I read this blog post by one of my favorite bloggers,  at http://www.cranialhiccups.com/2016/02/10397.html  Cranial Hiccups.   She posted another meme from Elder Holland:

(To see, listen to, or read this full discourse by Elder Holland, go to The Ministry of Angels)  Montserrat went on to describe a recent incident where she felt the help of guardian angels, and then quoted another talk that was given by Sister Wendy Nelson, President Russell M Nelson's wife, from April 2015 BYU Women's Conference:

"It was during Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s April 2010 general conference talk that I first learned this truth. He said, “Ask for angels to help you.” He said it with such clarity, and yet in a manner that implied this was something we all knew. But for me it was an entirely new principle. I wanted to call out, “Wait! Wait! What? You mean I could have been asking for angels to help me all this time?” Without intending to sound too dramatic, I can say with all candor that Elder Holland’s six words changed my life. “Ask for angels to help you.” That counsel changed my prayers, changed my understanding of the very real help from heaven that is always available to us as we keep our covenants. I started to ask for assistance from those on the other side of the veil from that moment on. Now I’m not talking about praying for fantasy angels with wings to magically fairy-dust our problems away. I’m not talking about praying to angels. I’m talking about praying to your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for those on the other side to be “dispatched” (Elder Holland’s word) to assist you. Perhaps a loved one or two could be sent to help you with whatever you need. 

Can you imagine the effort it took those angels who pushed from the rear of handcarts as they helped the pioneers over the steep, snowy, windy, freezing, jagged terrain of Rocky Ridge? If angels can manage that, they can certainly help you and me over our present Rocky Ridges. We know the Lord gets His work done with the help of His angels. So could you use a little more help in your life? If so, keep your covenants with more exactness than ever before. And then ask for angels to help you with whatever you need. Or ask for them to be dispatched to help those you love. Does your child need help? Is your husband in trouble? Does your aunt need comfort? Does your best friend need direction? Ask for angels to be assigned to help them. As a covenant-keeping woman, you can do just that! 

I have always believed in Angels.  My grandparents have been a part of this heavenly host for many years, and many other friends and relatives have joined the ranks over the years, including my own dear Angel Mother this past year.   This is indeed a comfort to me, to know that there are so many Angels on the other side of the veil who may be willing to help me, and others that I love as we continue to face our earthly challenges here.  I love that we can ask our Heavenly Father to send them to our aid.   I'm grateful for Angels.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What Am I Willing to Give?

Most of us are continually faced with choices on how to best use two of our most important resources:  our time and our money.  This is something that I think about often.
Being the member of a family with more children than most, (both as a child and as a parent)  I have watched my parents and my siblings, and my DH and my dear children handle these kinds of decisions many times.  I know of others who have struggled with these decisions too.  What resources are we willing to give, and for what reasons are we willing to give them up?

Old/ unneeded clothes and furniture -- refugees or other needy people who have none
A cozy winter morning in bed  -- to help serve breakfast to freezing homeless under  freeway viaduct
Time at work earning money -- time serving in the church or volunteering
Nice dinner out --  fast offering fund to help those in need
Relaxing in Sunday School class --  serving in the Nursery
Season tickets to sporting events  -- time and money for more important needs
Reading a good book  --   fixing dinner for a family in need or your own family
Sleep --  to care for a sick or distressed child or family member
Evening with friends -- spending time with a lonely grandparent or neighbor
Facebook time -- time to study the scriptures or do Indexing for Family Search
New shoes or clothes -- so other family member can have them
Evening of TV once a month or once a week --evening at church meeting or temple session
Semester of school -- in order to pay tithing
Beautiful yard or garden  -- time spent serving in a church calling
Walking or riding the bus --  so someone else can have a car to drive
Trip to Hawaii -- help family member with rent or tuition
Summer vacation or spring break -- volunteer work for the poor
Two years of education/sports/work --  to serve as a missionary or other volunteer work
Two years of retirement -- to serve as a missionary
Lucrative job in the business world --  job teaching and mentoring youth
Trip around the world or other luxurious lifestyle  -- to donate to a worthy cause
Fiancee, family, education and comfortable lifestyle -- care for orphans in Africa
Retirement and nice home in St George --  for apartment in SLC and call as Gneneral Authority
Entire life -- serving poor in India
Home and/or family or even life--  for gospel of Jesus Christ

The definition of sacrifice is giving up something good for something better.

In the Book of Mormon the prophet King Benjamin taught us that we will always be indebted to the Lord.  No matter how often we give gratitude and try to pay him back for what we have received,  he continues to bless us:

"And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you.  And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?"

Mosiah 2:24

Not too long ago in a church meeting we were discussing the New Testament story of the rich young man who came to the Savior asking what he needed to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good?  there is none good but one, that is, God; but if you wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
"He saith unto him, Which?  Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder.  thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal.  Thou salt not bear false witness.  Honour thy father and thy mother:  and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 
"The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up:  what lack I yet?
"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
"but when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful:  for he had great possessions.

Matthew 19: 16-22

This rich young man was not yet willing to do what the Lord ultimately asked of him.

Am I willing to do what the Lord asks of me?  What am I willing to give?   We are not all asked to give up all of our worldly possessions for the Lord, but do we really know what the Lord wants from us?  How can we know?

We ask.  

(see  What Lack I Yet?, by Elder Larry R Lawrence)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Saying Goodbye . . . For Now

(This is not my Dad's old screen door, but it is similar to it.  This image is from EBay)

Some people might say that I form an un-natural attachment to things.   My dear Dad had new doors put in his house this past week.  They are good, solid doors that were custom built to fit in the house that he built himself over sixty years ago, and they will do a much better job of keeping out the cold and the drafts.   But it made me sad to walk in the back door on Saturday morning, and not hear the old familiar sound of the screen door slamming itself shut.  It was attached to a spring that kept the door from being left ajar as the kids were constantly coming and going all summer long doing chores or playing outside, and saved my dear mother much of the battle against the flies that are inevitable on a dairy farm.

I light-heartedly expressed my sadness at seeing the screen door go to my brother and my sister, and they offered to send the old screen door home with me, which I politely declined.  My own family is constantly battling to get me to let go of so many of the old "things" that I have become attached to, and I usually shed a tear or two every time we say goodbye to an old car or an old sofa.  Sigh.

Tonight I said another goodbye, at least for now.

The Jordan River Temple will be closing next week for extensive renovations, and is not scheduled to re-open until the latter part of 2017.   This temple has been "my" temple for many years.   Our family donated to the fund-raising efforts for the Jordan River Temple construction back in the 1970's.  I attended the open-house shortly before I attended the Salt Lake Temple to receive my own temple blessings back in 1981.  This has been the temple that our family has regularly attended since  we moved back to the area in 1994.  It is a very short drive away from our home.  My children have all been able to perform baptisms here as youth. My four oldest children have also been blessed to attend here as adults.    I was blessed to be able to attend on an almost weekly basis for a few years before I began working full time.  It is the House of the Lord, and it almost feels like my second home.  I know that there are many other temples nearby that I can visit, and I will, but I know that I will miss my trips to this temple.

I always enjoy my visits to the temple.   Sometimes I go with specific questions or problems on my mind that I am concerned about.  Sometimes I receive inspiration about things in my life that I had not even thought about.   I always feel at home, comforted, and loved.

I often see friends and acquaintances when I attend the Jordan River Temple, and I was happy that was the case tonight,  I also felt a very strong spirit of love and peace, and I could feel the presence of many others from beyond the veil.   I very strongly felt the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I admit that I also shed a tear or two.  It has been an incredibly special evening, and even though I am sad that I will not return to this temple for quite a while, I do feel very incredibly blessed to have enjoyed my evening there tonight.

Learn more about LDS Temples at  https://www.lds.org/topics/temples?lang=eng

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Kind Words

I have been the recipient of kind words this week, and I am grateful.  It has been a long, stressful week at work for a variety of reasons, so on Wednesday night I was happy to spend the evening with wonderful friends and neighbors at our church's Relief Society Women's organization.   The program was a series of thoughts from different neighbor ladies on what love means to them, but the biggest kindness was after the program when a dear older sister blessed me with a hug and a compliment.  This was not the ordinary "you look nice tonight"  type of comment, though I do appreciate those comments too.   This was a very heart-felt comment about a characteristic that I have often heard used to describe my dear parents, whom are perhaps my greatest examples and mentors, and something I continually strive to develop and emulate in my own life.   These kind words have brought me peace as I have continued throughout the stressful week. 

I was also complimented at work, during this same stressful week, not just once, but several times by different co-workers and even those at higher levels.  These compliments were not quite as soul touching and peace bringing, but still mean a lot to me during this stressful time.

Yes, the kind words we give can be blessings to others.   How am I doing at sharing kind words of gratitude and sincere encouragement and love to others?

Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words

 Let us oft speak kind words to each othe
At home or where'er we may be;
Like the warblings of birds on the heather,
The tones will be welcome and free.
They'll gladden the heart that's repining,
Give courage and hope from above,
And where the dark clouds hide the shining,
Let in the bright sunlight of love.

Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live
And sunshine forever impart.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.

Like the sunbeams of morn on the mountains,
The soul they awake to good cheer;
Like the murmur of cool, pleasant fountains,
They fall in sweet cadences near.
Let's oft, then, in kindly toned voices,
Our mutual friendship renew,
Till heart meets with heart and rejoices
In friendship that ever is true.

Oh, the kind words we give shall in memory live
And sunshine forever impart.
Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.

Text: Joseph L. Townsend, 1849-1942
Music: Ebenezer Beesley, 1840-1906