Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Mission Comp Laurel

My mission companion Laurel Christensen is SOMEBODY. Were all somebody's, but she's SOMEBODY capitalized. She works under Sheri L. Dew, she knows Ardeth Kapp, She puts on "Time out for Women", She has 3 talk CD's for young women, goes to girls camps to speak and inspire, and this is her second book. You can get it here:

Following the Prophet

1. Will require Sacrifice
2. Will require me to change
3. May be unpopular
4. May mean not knowing "why"
5. Will require my service
6. Will require the little things as well as the dramatic ones
7. Will require me to stand as a witness at all times and in all places

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Manner of Man was Joseph Smith?

What manner of man was Joseph Smith? It is almost beyond belief to reflect on his accomplishments, to try to wrap our minds around all that he brought to pass between 1820 and 1844. Leon R. Hartshorn, dramatized the Prophet’s accomplishments through a fictitious story.

It was a warm day—the date, June 29, 1844. A boat is approaching a horseshoe bend in the Mississippi River. Situated prominently on that bend is a city. A traveler seeks to identify the city from his map, but the map which was printed a few years previously shows no such city. Upon inquiry the interested traveler is told that the city is Nauvoo and that the boat would make a brief stop there.

As the boat docks, the traveler becomes curious as to why long lines of people are waiting to enter a large home on the river front. He, being in no hurry to reach his destination, informs the captain that he is going to remain in this Nauvoo for a few hours, or perhaps overnight.

As the visitor approaches the end of the line, it becomes apparent that these are grief-stricken people. All of the ladies and many of the men are weeping. He approaches one of the mourners and inquires, "Excuse me, what are these lines for; what are you waiting to see?"

The mourner looks at him in amazement, "You mean you don’t know?"

"I’m a stranger here. I just arrived on the boat," he answers, pointing in the direction of the pier.

"Oh, I see," replies the mourner. "These people and myself are waiting to view the bodies of Lieutenant General Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith who were killed two days ago."

"Lieutenant General Smith?" the visitor says questioningly.

"Yes, he was the lieutenant-general of a legion of five thousand men, most of them uniformed and equipped."

"How many others were killed with them?" asks the stranger.

"None," replies the mourner. "This is perhaps one of the reasons Joseph died. He believed that it was his life that was wanted and that if he died, the lust for blood would be satisfied and others would not be killed. He wanted his brother Hyrum to live, by Hyrum insisted that he be by the side of his brother. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated."

The traveler asks, "How did the trouble that led to their deaths begin?"

"The most immediate cause was the destruction of the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor," replies the mourner. "The Expositor was owned by the enemies of Joseph Smith, and they published a libelous paper. An order to close the paper was issued by the city council and the mayor, Joseph Smith."

"Joseph Smith was the mayor of this city?"

"Yes, he was," comes the reply.

"This is a very new city, isn’t it?" says the stranger. "Why, it isn’t even on my map."

"Yes, Yes, it is new. Why, just six years ago this was nothing but a swamp."

The traveler says, "It is a beautiful city. I noticed as I came up the river that most of the farms and corrals were outside of town."

"Yes, this is the way Joseph planned the city."

"Joseph planned this city?" repeats the stranger.

"Yes, so that the people, who are mostly farmers, could have the advantages of city life by all living together—so that we might associate together and learn from each other."

The traveler comments on the wide, straight streets and the well-built houses. He also tells the mourner that he has seen a large white building apparently under construction. The building is on the most prominent rise of land in the city. The mourner informer informs the visitor that the building is the temple and that Joseph Smith had designed it to be the dominant landmark in the city.

"Joseph Smith designed the temple!" the stranger exclaims.

"Yes, Joseph designed it," comes the reply.

The traveler then remembers, "You were telling me what led to the death of this Joseph Smith."

"Oh, yes, the Expositor incident. But the trouble began a long time ago, long before that incident, even before Joseph translated the ancient record."

"He was a translator of ancient languages?" repeats the visitor. "How many languages did he know?"

"I am not certain," replies the mourner, "but he knew Hebrew, German, and Egyptian."

"What happened to this translation of the ancient record?" questions the traveler.

"It has been published and is called the Book of Mormon."

The traveler continues to question, "Has he published any other books?"

"Oh, yes, as president of the Church---"

"President of the Church---?"

"Yes, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Almost everyone here in Nauvoo is a member of the Church."

"As I was saying," continues the mourner, "as president of the Church he published the Doctrine and Covenants."

"What kind of book is that?" asks the amazed visitor.

It is a book of revelations which were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith by the Lord.

"The Prophet Joseph Smith!"

"Yes, he was a prophet of God. God the father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and conversed with him. In fact, it wad after Joseph, full of joy and boyish enthusiasm, told his neighbors that he had seen a vision that the persecution first began. Not only was Joseph persecuted, but also all of his followers. Why, many of the people you see about you here were driven from homes in Missouri. None of us were paid for our losses. Joseph tried in vain to obtain redress, but we were refused. That is the principal reason that Joseph became a candidate for the presidency of the United States."

"A candidate for the presidency of the United States!" the bewildered traveler replies.

he mourner continues: "It was four days ago that Joseph bid a reluctant farewell to his family, looked longingly at the temple and then at his farm, and said, ‘This is the loveliest place and best people under the heavens,' as he rode toward the county seat at Carthage to turn himself over to his enemies. He said to those who accompanied him, ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am as calm as a summer’s morning.’ He was promised protection and a fair trial, but two days ago, on June 27th, a band of over one hundred men with blackened faces stormed the Carthage jail. A few moments later they retreated, and Lieutenant General Joseph Smith and his faithful brother Hyrum lay dead."

The traveler and the mourner have now come to the door. They cease talking. The visitor strains to see the bodies. He sees two coffins, and in each, directly over the face of the occupant, is a piece of glass. The visitor looks questioningly at the mourner, who with a gesture indicates that the nearest casket contains the body of Joseph Smith.

As the stranger views the body, his face registers surprise and disbelief. He speaks almost silently, ‘This is Joseph Smith!’ He sees a young man, a handsome man with a prominent nose and a slightly receding forehead. He is stunned; he had expected to see an old man with white hair and a long, flowing beard, and a face drawn and wrinkled with age. He quietly whispers to the mourner, ‘How old was he?’

In a subdued tone comes the reply, "He was thirty-eight years of age."

As the traveler looks almost in disbelief, he thinks, "Lieutenant general, linguist, translator, author, mayor, prophet, president, city planner, architect, presidential candidate—what manner of man was this Joseph Smith?"

The silence is interrupted as a man in the corner of the room asks for the attention of the group and says, ‘My dear brothers and sisters, it is five o’clock. We would like to clear this room so that the loved ones of those deceased can view the bodies alone for the last time.’

As the traveler and the mourner make their way out through the open door, the traveler stops to shake the mourner’s hand and to thank him. When he reaches the gate he turns and begins walking in the direction of the temple.

As he walks, the same question escapes his lips: "What manner of man was this Joseph Smith?"

He continues up the street and is lost from view.

Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970), 62-66, emphasis in original. Taken from Robert Millet's Talk entitled: What Manner of Man? (November 2005)

Friday, August 20, 2010

What age do you see?

On Monday Jason and I went early to the ward corn roast to shuck 4 large boxes of corn. There was a girl there watching me as I was busy at work. I'd never seen this girl before and I teach primary. She asked me how old I was. I thought it a little bizarre and wanted to say something about it not being polite to ask total strangers that, but I went ahead and answered her. 38. She said "you look young. You look like your 13." While I've always looked younger due to having good genes (thanks mom and dad). But 25 years younger! OK, maybe it was the fact that I had a baseball hat on backwards and that I have adult acne. I never had acne as a teenager!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mt. Rainier in August

One Sunday Jason and I took a drive to Mount Rainier National Park.
The official measurement is 14,410 ft. above sea level.
Clearly I did not take this picture. It's from the internet, but you can see how big it really is and how beautiful the surrounding area is. The area of Puyallup is pictured. Pronounced P-U-al-up.
At the top, the visitor center and log cabin that is being refurbished.
Generally, 1.5 - 2 million people visit Mount Rainier each year.
Don't ya love the little pointy edge on the left?
In 2009, 10,616 people attempted to climb Mount Rainier; 6,438 of them actually reached the summit.
This is it! The biggest mountain in Washington! It can be seen from all sorts of directions.
It just stands out so tall!
Mount Rainier National Park encompasses 235,625 acres or 368 square miles. Of that amount, 228,480 acres (97% of the park) has been designated by Congress as Wilderness. The park's National Historic Landmark District includes 2.7% of the park. The park has over 260 miles of maintained trails and 147 miles of roads.
I didn't know there were lake up there, but I shouldn't be surprised as there are many lakes around the towns that unless you live close, you just wouldn't know about then.
Dead limbs among the lives one. So many cool twists and turns. I love trees!
I love taking pictures of the new little trees growing and comparing them to the big one. It was near here that we saw deer. On our drive down the mountain we saw twin baby dears cross the road. They were so darling.
There were many colors and kinds of wild flowers, but I just couldn't take pictures of them all. pink, yellow, blue, purple, white.
Geologists consider this mountain to be an 'episodically active' volcano, meaning one that will erupt again some time in the future even though it may be quiet now. Mount Rainier is the tallest volcano and fifth highest peak in the contiguous United States.
The place is covered in trees!
There were so many hill sides like this of just green grass that it reminded me of "the Sound of Music" when Julia is singing in the mountains!

Congress established Mount Rainier National Park on March 2, 1899, reaffirming the nation's intent to set aside certain areas of outstanding scenic and scientific value for the enjoyment of present and future generations. It is America's fifth oldest national park, after Yellowstone (established in 1872), and Yosemite, General Grant (now part of Kings Canyon), and Sequoia (all established in 1890).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Seattle's Volunteer Park

This plant place- it know it has a name but I can't remember- I think is in the movie "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle."
A few weeks ago, Jason and I went to Volunteer Park in Seattle. It's quite big with big rolling hills and lots of trees, a play ground and sprinkler wading pool which are not pictured.
It was closed, so we couldn't go inside. Bummer!
A pretty little memorial.
A very tall round brick building.
At the top.
On the way up, cool windows and lots of stairs.
The view of the Space Needle from Volunteer Park water holding thing.
Not sure what it's purpose is.

Asian fish ponds with lots of carp! There was even a gold one!

Some of the coolest trees ever!

Art in front of the Asian art museum there.

It's a very pretty place, with lots of room to do fun things and even an amphitheater for out door plays.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Strange flowers at the Ballard Locks! Never seen these before!
Two days in a row I went to the Chittenden Locks in Ballard Washington. Once with Sarah, we saw the boats go out to the ocean, The next day with Jason and we saw the boats come in from the ocean to Lake Washington.
The locks are next to this dam. The while tubes with water coming out, make it easier for the migrating salmon to get through.
There are walk ways all around this big place. Water is higher on one side and lower on the other. On the fresh water side boats dock.
This is the visitors center. The whole place is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The green on the sides is where the water is.
If boats are coming out to the ocean, they start out in high fresh water. They are roped to the sides that slowly let water out and take the boats down to the ocean level.

This is how low it can go. The green algae shows it best on the pictures above.

This is one of the gates that opens up. Walk ways are on top so foot passengers can cross. Each walk way has a tall red light that blinks and makes noise to let people know they must get off for the gate to open.
Sometimes your boat needs a boat!
This bridge opens up to let large boats go though. Here a train is on the bridge.
This is a sign to the fish ladder. The salmon have to swim upstream on stairs like this. Sometimes they are really high. With both Jason and Sarah we saw fish jump out of the water.
This is the underground salmon viewing area. We saw some big ones. I think every student in WA state learns about the salmon growing process and migration patterns. There are fish hatcheries around the area and some classrooms can hatch and grow salmon.
These are boats going in to the fresh water. Jason and I were surprised to see 7 or 8 kayak's waiting too.
One kayak had a dog standing on it the whole time. He stood on a special black mat and was calm as can be with the boats so close and with moving! Pretty cool dog!
A Canadian Goose even went through all by itself. It seemed like he/she knew what it was doing and the boats waited for it. Good little bird!
This is the boats going out which I saw with Sarah.
This is on Lake Washington. I like the 3 different boats pictures here: a kayak, a tug boat and one of those boats I don't know the name of.
Some art work at the locks.
The locks are a very cool place to go. The summer time is a great place to see how it really works. You can even catch a tour or have a picnic there.
A picture from the internet of a aerial view.
The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks are a complex of locks that sit at the west end of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal.[2] They are known locally as the Ballard Locks[3][4] after the neighborhood to their north. (Magnolia lies to the south.)

The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes:

The complex includes two locks, a small (30 x 150 ft, 8.5 x 45.7 meter) and a large (80 x 825 ft, 24.4 x 251.5 meter).[7] The complex also includes a (235-foot, 71.6 meter) spillway with six (32 x 12-foot (3.7 m), 9.8 x 3.7 meter) gates to assist in water-level control.[7] A fish ladder is integrated into the locks for migration of anadromous fish, notably salmon.[8][6]

The grounds feature a visitors center,[9] as well as the Carl S. English, Jr., Botanical Gardens.[10]

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,[11] the locks were formally opened on July 4, 1917,[12] although the first ship passed on August 3, 1916.[13] They were named after U.S. Army Major Hiram Martin Chittenden, the Seattle District Engineer for the Corps of Engineers from April 1906 to September 1908.[9] They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[1]