Sunday, June 29, 2008

Alma's Skill as an Editor

Hugh Nibley: “The Book of Mormon goes to great lengths to describe just what a wicked society looks like and how it operates, with enough examples to type it beyond question; and with clinical precision it describes the hysteria that leads to its end. It also tells us how to recognize a righteous society, usually presenting the two types to us in close proximity. With these two images firmly in mind we are told why this presentation is being given, for whose benefit, and why it is so singularly important. The authors do not ask us to make comparisons and see ourselves in the picture, because that would be futile: the wicked-er the people are, the more they balk at facing their real image and the more skillful they become in evading, altering, faking, and justifying. So the book does not tell us to make the comparison—it does it for us, frankly and brutally.”

I shared this quote earlier and found my notes from my Gospel Doctrine class. I wanted to post them before I lost them again. Mormon tells us over and over that he is passing on only a hundredth part of what records he had available to condense. Giving the difficulty in transcribing the records, we need to ask why he included the stories he did. We need to ask what we can learn from those stories. He chose them for us.

So in looking through our reading assignments so far I found these comparisons (in close proximity).
King Benjamin's rule compared to King Noah's.

Alma's reaction to Abinadi's message compared to the other judges of King Noah.

Ammon's missionary experiences compared to his brothers' (they ended up in prison).

Abinadi's devotion to teach the gospel compared to the priests of King Noah.

Abinadi's knowledge of the scriptures compared to the priests of King Noah.

The behavior of the people following Alma and the trials they encountered compared to the people who followed Limhi.

The Church of God compared to the Order of Nehor.

Alma's missionary successes in Zarahemla, Gideon and Melek compared to his experiences in Ammonihah.

What do you find?

Do you ever feel "stuck"?

I noticed something when we were studying 1st Nephi in Gospel Doctrine. I found my notes during the move and felt I should share them here.

In chapter 2 Lehi takes his family into the wilderness. They travel about 200 miles away from Jerusalem. They make camp and build an alter.

Chapter 3 the sons return for the plates.

Chapter 4 their sons come back withthe plates and Zoram.

Chapter 7 the boys return the Jerusalem (without murmuring and complaining) for women.

Chapter 8-15 contains visions. prophecy, explanation of dreams and instruction.

Chapter 16 the sons marry.

So - from chapter 2 through 16 the family campsite doesn't move. They receive no further direction in their journey. WHY?

Because they hadn't completed ALL the commandments that they had been given. In chapter 16, verse 8 they record (after the sons had married) that Lehi had fulfilled ALL the commandments of the Lord which had been given unto him

BAM! They are on the road again! The next morning they receive the Liahona and it's time to move! Do you ever feel spiritually stuck? Maybe there is something the Lord still wants you to do or to learn. We each have our own "deserts" that we camp out in from time to time - on our way to OUR promises. They aren't meant to be a permanent dwelling. How fast we travel depends on how well we listen and obey.

Let's ALL stay on the road!

The couch is GONE

I'm sure all my family will be happy to see THIS photo. My wonderful find from the St. Helens' St. Vincent DePaul Thrift store is now history.
My life in boxes. Why do we in the U.S. identify so strongly with our belongings? I think of those in other countries who live so simply, so unemcumbered. Poorer in material things, but richer in spiritual and family appreciation. When I see how much I couldn't bear to discard, it makes me wonder...
My mom cried when her sofa set from upstairs was removed. She said "It's not easy when you see your life going out the door." I assured her that her life wasn't going out he door. Her life was here, with us. But it was the memories that were attached to the sofa and made her sad. Grandpa and she bought that set when they first moved here. She sees the sofa and remembers sitting on it with him, watching the ocean from their "Sky Room."

I first thing I thought of when I saw the storage area full was the thought I started this section with. "My life in boxes." They are just things. Things are things. When these things are gone, I will have other things. I have the memories whether or not I have the things that prompt the memories. What is truly sad is when the Memories get lost - like with my mom. The things have more importance because she can't remember so much. She knows they were important, but she can't remember why. That is TRULY sad.

Thank YOU!

Wow! That's amazing! "Ask and ye shall receive" Thank you. I'm HAPPY! Now we have Chrissy and Samara joining in! We just have to work on Heather and Matt!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Make a wish...

My wish is - if you are reading these entries, leave a note. It's more fun if I get feedback. I appreciate Ericka's little notes. It's easier to write when you think someone is reading it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Like father, Like Daughter

I now have proof that Tom really IS Emily's dad! He went to the doctor this week for his back pain and found out he has psoriasis. (nothing they can do for the back - but they found something they COULD treat) How weird is that?! He and Chrissy have the same temper. Emily and Tom now share psoriasis! There has to be some kind of osmosis going on...The longer we are together - the more alike we get!!

Week's half over!

I'm tired but today was a good day. It was the first day in two weeks that we DIDN'T work on moving! I felt like I had a vacation! Of course, we will go back up river tomorrow and work on it again.

Quote for the day:
Hugh Nibley: “The Book of Mormon goes to great lengths to describe just what a wicked society looks like and how it operates, with enough examples to type it beyond question; and with clinical precision it describes the hysteria that leads to its end. It also tells us how to recognize a righteous society, usually presenting the two types to us in close proximity. With these two images firmly in mind we are told why this presentation is being given, for whose benefit, and why it is so singularly important. The authors do not ask us to make comparisons and see ourselves in the picture, because that would be futile: the wicked-er the people are, the more they balk at facing their real image and the more skillful they become in evading, altering, faking, and justifying. So the book does not tell us to make the comparison—it does it for us, frankly and brutally.” (The Prophetic Book of Mormon, p. 508))
I will have a list of some I found in a future quote.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gift Idea for MOM!

If anyone were looking for gift ideas for me - Here's a tip GINGER!I haven't seen anything on their website that doesn't sound wonderful. Thought it might be worth mentioning....

Thinking about Moving...

I was trying to figure out why moving is so unsettling. A thought occurred to me that moving is a little like a divorce! You are giving up something that has been a part of your life. Something that helped you make memories. You won't be making memories THERE any more. You had patterns and habits that have to be broken. You have to re-structure your routines, belongings and decorations to fit the NEW place. You sometimes are still exposed to you old house, but you can't go inside any more. You drive by and know that someone else is comfortable there. Their things are where your things used to be.

See? it gets heavy quickly. Very symbolic. It helped me to think about it that way. Makes it more understandable for the emotions I am feeling. Knowing I have separation issues, old baggage; it makes more sense. Also THIS move changes my life more than others have. The situation is different.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Effect of High Gas Prices on the Central Oregon Coast

Prices here are HIGH! Regular is just under $4.50/gal. Diesel is over $5/gal.

There are still lots of traffic - but notice the lack of RV's

Lots more motorcycles on the road.

Best Hot Dogs in Waldport

Tom and I have a tradition of spending "precious moments" together here after every run to the dump. Dave and Wanda Jones are the BEST! Stopping there is a MUST for any visit to Waldport!

View from our desk upstairs

Beautiful weather! Only someone who has spent MONTHS in fog, rain and cold can truly appreciate the wonder of SUNSHINE! We are off for another day of moving boxes and cleaning the Tidewater house. Hope your day is as pretty as ours is starting off...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Alma and Amulek

I so love this story! There are so many aspects to look at. I think of Alma, the Younger, leaving Ammonihah so "weighed down with sorrow" for their unbelief. WHY? He hadn't always been in that frame of mind; he truly HAD been like the people of Ammonihah. He knew what awaited them if they didn't repent and change. He spent three days in a very bad place due to HIS activities and choices. And in the depths of his "tribulation and anguish of soul," WHO comes to him? Someone who knew EXACTLY how far he had come in his spiritual development! The same angel who had appeared to him in his earlier period. Talk about back-up and support! He helps Alma remember how far he truly has come and how much the Lord loves him. And gives him an assignment. Unlike Jonah, he RUNS to fulfill it.

He comes into the city from another entry point and meets his new missionary companion, Amulek. He had been going to visit a family member when an angel (suppose it is Alma's angel?) tells him that Alma is coming and to help him. He listens. He obeys and counts it as a blessing. Alma sets up a local MTC in Amulek's house. I'm touched by his candor and honesty in telling his neighbors his history in the church. There is no doubt his life has been changed and he know the hour, day and date it happened.

I found a quote regarding Alma and Amulek's relationship:
"Sometimes meetings with other people and the intertwinings of our lives in mortality are more than chance - they are heaven-sent blessings.

Elder Parley P. Pratt described the "sympathetic affinity" we feel around such people: "In the presence of such persons, one feels to enjoy the light of their countenances, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy, to the heart and nerves of others who have kindred feelings, or sympathy of spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other in person or character; no matter if they have never spoken to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview - "O what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in his presence! What confidence and sympathy he inspired! His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance, than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters." (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, p.100-102. W. Jeffrey Marsh, Meridian Magazine, Lesson 23.)"

I was overcome with the realization that Claire Douglas is that to me. She is Alma (without the rebellion) to my Amulek. For such a long time I shared Amulek's past: "I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart..."

She was my role model and personalification of a Gespel Doctrine teacher. She helped me develop the faith and courage to follow my own path with the Lord. Isn't that what we all SHOULD do to others? Uplift, inspire, encourage? Bring the "sound of water being poured" by the Savior into their lives? Be the kind of person who makes others see the Savior THROUGH our actions? I hope so.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


And that is all I have to say right now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Furniture moved

Do you see a common theme here? We are moved into my mom's. Two guys from our church came this morning and pretty much did the move all by themselves. Good bless Steve Arnold and Bob Lines! Tom and I are going to shower, take massive amounts of anti-inflammatory drugs and crawl into bed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Master of PhotoShop!!

These are the products of my wonderful son-in-law, Matt! He is AMAZING! For my birthday this year, he put me in my favorite TV show - and snuck in there with me! I FEEL "Lost" a lot, but now I have proof!

This was my Mother's Day card this year. Tom & I look forwald to getting our card from him each year. On Father's Day, the first thing Tom did when we got home was go turn on the computer and check his email!

This was what I got this morning! I KNEW I would be seeing it again - sometime, in some form. Just didn't know it would be this soon. I'm so grateful to him. Having him around has made me more playful with pictures. I've ALWAYS hated having my picture taken. As a mom, I made sure I was good with the camera, because if you are TAKING the pictures, you don't have to BE IN the pictures. But seeing he and Chrissy photo-document everything, stage jokes for the camera, play with images - it has been good for me. Thanks, Matt, for adding a little more humor it my life. We all need that!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Traffic Jam - in WALDPORT!

This has been going on for almost a year. Supposedly we are within days of completion. (Of course they said it would be finished before Memorial Day...) They widened the street and put in new sidewalks. They totally re-did the road bed, one side at a time and installed storm drains (yes, storm drains - in Waldport). Now they are doing the final paving and re-doing the power lines for the new stoplight (yes- stop-LIGHT. We only have ONE). No longer will we have the quaint signals hanging from the power line, blowing the the gale force winds in the winter. We have stop light POLES, with the wiring INSIDE them. (You can see both in the picture. The hanging ones are still hooked up until they get the wiring complete. So our one little "controlled" intersection now has 16 - count them, 16 traffic lights! Beat that, Bountiful! It's too much development for me! Franchise fast food, traffic signal poles - where will it STOP! Poor little Wally-World....

Tom received burgers under false pretenses...

This is for Pinky! Ericka promised to fix her famous cola burgers for Tom, IF he would send her a picture of our new closet at Grandma's. So - Pink - These pictures are for YOU!

One side is for hanging long garments and the other half has a shorter hanging area.

The shelves will hold bins I found at Ikea, for our clothes. It will serve like a chest of drawers!

Rambo Mama! Don't mess with a Mama and her storage space!

Sad to Leave

This is what we are moving FROM. This morning is beautiful and I know I won't be seeing this view any more. Not that we are moving to an ugly place. I just am particularly fond of the river and the forest. It is so peaceful and quiet. Tom and I both think it is one of our very favorite places we havc ever lived. I will miss the elk.

"Splashing of water in a basin..."

I'm still thinking about my Sunday School quote. I just love where the images takes me. What could be more of having "His image on our countenances" than having our actions reflect His love for someone else. That they would look at US, but see the Savior. Not raise us up for our actions, but feel HIS love for them, though us. Surely there could not be a greater gift. Maybe it's our hands, but we reflect His love. Isn't that what the Savior was indicating when the Plan of Salvation was presented? Moses 4: "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Moving Weak, Oops...week

We're down to the last four days. Today I resorted things I had put into boxes before Heather and the kids came. Doesn't sound productive, but it was. I was much more inclined to organize than just get things into boxes. I also have a better idea of what I actually want to take with me, what I am ready to let go of, and what I can live without for a while.

We have boxes stacked in different places in the house because they are going To different locations during the move. Right now reminds me of moving to Oregon. Chrissy, Samara and I packed and packed. We stacked the boxes in the living room as we got them filled. By the time we were ready for the moving truck, we had lost about half of our living room - ceiling to floor. It was ALL boxes.

Just learned that this weekend - our moving weekend - is the summer festival weekend for our town. Beachcomber Days. Oh, Hooray....

My Favorite Stripling Warrior-ite

I found this photo and HAD to post it. Wish I had found it when we were talking about the Armor of God in Sunday School. So - a new week is starting. Don't leave the house unarmed! It's a dangerous place out there!

Have Ye Received His Image in Your Countenances?”

Gospel Doctrine class went well today. It was Lesson #22 “Have Ye Received His Image in Your Countenances?” (Alma 5-7). My little branch isn't big on participation. Sometimes I have a hard time even getting them to read scripture selection. So any time they volunteer and share experiences is a TEN!

I did most of my lesson around the coolest quote that I had found this week. It was made by Leslie Weatherhead, a British minister, whose church was gutted by Nazi bombs during World War II. “When I am hot and rebellious, bitter and cynical and sarcastic; when it seems evil can win in the world and the battle is to the strong; when it seems as though pride possesses all high places and greatness belongs to those who can grab the most; when it seems that faith is mocked and humility is trodden in the dust, when pity seems weakness and sympathy folly, when a foul egotism rises up within me bidding me assert myself; serve my own interest and look out for number one; then, O my God, as I listen down the corridor of the years for the voice of the Almighty, may I hear the gentle splashing of water in a basin and see the Son of God washing His disciples’ feet.”
“The world is sick of power that struts. It is hungry and searching for power that serves. Through whom, in your life, have you heard the gentle splashing of water? Who in your life has heard the gentle splashing of water through you?” (

Seems particularly inspired in this election year.