April 30, 2013

Visiting Teaching Message May 2013

The Words We Speak

Primary General President


How we speak to our children and the words we use can encourage and uplift them and strengthen their faith.

A young father recently learned of the passing of his extraordinary second-grade teacher. In memory of her, he wrote: “Of all the feelings and experiences I remember, the feeling most prevalent in my mind is ‘comfort.’ She may have taught me spelling, grammar, and math, but far more importantly she taught me to love being a child. In her classroom, it was OK to spell a word wrong here and there; ‘We’ll work on it,’ she’d say. It was OK to spill or tear or smudge; ‘We’ll fix it and we’ll clean it up,’ she would respond. It was OK to try, OK to stretch, OK to dream, and OK to enjoy those pleasures that come from the insignificant things that only children find exciting.”

One of the greatest influences a person can have in this world is to influence a child. Children’s beliefs and self-worth are shaped early in their lives. Everyone within the sound of my voice has the power to increase a child’s confidence in himself or herself and to increase a child’s faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the words they speak.

In Helaman chapter 5 we read, “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation.”1

These were the words Helaman taught his sons. And we read on: “And they did remember his words; and … they went forth … to teach the word of God among all the people.”2

Even though Helaman’s sons were persecuted and put in prison, those words they had heard never failed them. They were protected and encircled about with a pillar of fire. Then came a voice, saying to their captors:

“Repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants. …

“… It was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul.”3

We can learn from that voice from heaven. It was not loud, scolding, or demeaning; it was a still voice of perfect mildness, giving firm direction while giving hope.

How we speak to our children and the words we use can encourage and uplift them and strengthen their faith to stay on the path back to Heavenly Father. They come to this earth ready to listen.

An example of a child listening happened in a fabric store. The store was crowded with shoppers when it became obvious to everyone that a mother was panicked because she had lost her young son. At first, she was calling his name. “Connor,” she would say as she briskly walked around the store. As time passed, her voice got louder and more frantic. Soon the store security officers were notified, and everyone in the store was involved in looking for the child. Several minutes passed with no success of finding him. Connor’s mother, understandably, was becoming more frantic by the minute and was rapidly yelling his name over and over again.

One patron, after saying a silent prayer, had the thought that Connor may be frightened as he listened to his mother scream his name. She mentioned this to another woman involved in the search, and they quickly made a plan. Together they began to walk between the tables of fabric, quietly repeating the words “Connor, if you can hear my voice, say, ‘Here I am.’” As they walked slowly toward the back of the store repeating that phrase, sure enough, they heard a timid, soft voice say, “Here I am.” Connor was hiding between the bolts of fabric under a table. It was a voice of perfect mildness that encouraged Connor to respond.

Pray to Know a Child’s Needs

To speak to a child’s heart, we must know a child’s needs. If we pray to know those needs, the very words we say may have the power to reach into their hearts. Our efforts are magnified when we seek the direction of the Holy Ghost. The Lord said:

“Speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, …

“For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.”4

Disconnect and Listen with Love

Unfortunately, the distractions of this world prevent many children from hearing encouraging words that could shape their view of themselves.

Dr. Neal Halfon, a physician who directs the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, refers to “parental benign neglect.” One example involved an 18-month-old and his parents:

“‘Their son seemed happy, active and engaged, clearly enjoying time and pizza with his parents. … At the end of dinner, Mom got up to run an errand, handing over care to Dad.’

“Dad … started reading phone messages while the toddler struggled to get his attention by throwing bits of pizza crust. Then the dad re-engaged, facing his child and playing with him. Soon, though, he substituted watching a video on his phone with the toddler until his wife returned.

“… [Dr.] Halfon observed a dimming of the child’s internal light, a lessening of the connection between parent and child.”5

The answer to our prayer of how to meet our children’s needs may be to more often technologically disconnect. Precious moments of opportunity to interact and converse with our children dissolve when we are occupied with distractions. Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other? Simply turn everything off. When you do this, your home may seem quiet at first; you may even feel at a loss as to what to do or say. Then, as you give full attention to your children, a conversation will begin, and you can enjoy listening to each other.

Write to Persuade Our Children

We can also influence our children through the words we write to them. Nephi writes, “We labor diligently to write, to persuade our children … to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God.”6

President Thomas S. Monson shared the experience of Jay Hess, an airman who was shot down over North Vietnam in the 1960s: “For two years his family had no idea whether he was dead or alive. His captors in Hanoi eventually allowed him to write home but limited his message to less than 25 words.” President Monson asks: “What would you and I say to our families if we were in the same situation—not having seen them for over two years and not knowing if we would ever see them again? Wanting to provide something his family could recognize as having come from him and also wanting to give them valuable counsel, Brother Hess wrote [the following words]: ‘These things are important: temple marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.’”7

What words would you write to your children if you had 25 words or less?

The young father I spoke about earlier, who wrote about his memories of his second-grade teacher, is now raising a beautiful baby daughter. He feels the heavenly trust that has been placed in him. As she grows up, what will be her future? What will he say that will sink deep into her heart? What words will encourage her, lift her, and help her to stay on the path? Will it make a difference if he takes time to whisper, “You are a child of God”? Will she remember someday that her father often said the words, “I love everything about you”?

Isn’t that what our Heavenly Father was saying to His Son and to all of us when He said, “This is my beloved Son” and then added, “in whom I am well pleased”?8

May the words we speak and write to our children reflect the love our Heavenly Father has for His Son, Jesus Christ, and for us. And then may we pause to listen, for a child is most capable of speaking great and marvelous things in return. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

“To Be As a Child”





Understanding we’re all children

mature, worldly, and innocent

for to be as a child is innocence

and comfort comes from this;


To be found in childhood bliss

working on all in due diligence

thinking in abstracts immanent

as we’re all Father’s children!



Copyright © 2013 – cji


Hometeaching May 2013

Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.


Recent experiences have caused me to reflect on the doctrine of peace and especially the role of Jesus Christ in helping each of us obtain lasting personal peace.

Two events in the past few months have touched me deeply. First, I spoke at the funeral for Emilie Parker, a precious six-year-old who lost her life along with 25 others, including 19 young children, in a tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I mourned with her family and recognized that many had been deprived of peace. I found strength and faith in her parents, Robert and Alissa Parker.

Second, I met with thousands of faithful members of the Church in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.1 This French-speaking, West-African country has endured economic hardship, a military coup, and two recent civil wars concluding in 2011. Yet I felt a special peace in their presence.

Events often occur that rob us of peace and heighten our sense of vulnerability.

Who can forget the evil attacks of September 11, 2001, on various U.S. locations? Such events remind us how quickly our feelings of peace and safety can be destroyed.

Our oldest son and his wife, who were expecting their first child, lived three blocks from the World Trade Center in New York City when the first plane crashed into the North Tower. They went to the roof of their apartment building and were horrified as they watched what they thought was some kind of terrible accident. Then they witnessed the second plane crash into the South Tower. They immediately realized that this was no accident and believed lower Manhattan was under attack. When the South Tower collapsed, their apartment building was engulfed in the dust cloud that rained down over lower Manhattan.

Confused about what they had witnessed and concerned about further attacks, they made their way to a safer area and then to the Manhattan stake Church building at Lincoln Center. When they arrived, they found that dozens of other members in lower Manhattan had made the same decision to gather at the stake center. They called to let us know where they were. I was relieved that they were safe but not surprised at their location. Modern revelation teaches that the stakes of Zion are a defense and “a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.”2

They could not return to their apartment for over a week and were devastated by the loss of innocent lives, but they suffered no permanent damage.

In contemplating these events, I have been impressed with the doctrinal difference between universal or world peace and personal peace.3

At the birth of the Savior, a multitude of the heavenly host praised God and proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”4

However, it has been poignantly noted that even in this eternally significant period following the birth of the Son of God, Herod the king carried out the slaughter of innocent infants in Bethlehem.5

Agency is essential to the plan of happiness. It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth, and experience necessary for our eternal progression. This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality, even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others. The very War in Heaven was waged over our moral agency and is essential to understanding the Savior’s earthly ministry.

As recited in the 10th chapter of Matthew, the Savior instructed the Twelve and acknowledged that His mission would not achieve universal peace in this mortal life. The Apostles were told to leave peace upon the worthy houses they visited but warned that they would be “in the midst of wolves … [and] hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”6 A significant pronouncement is made in verse 34: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth.”7 It is clear that universal peace did not exist on the earth during Christ’s mortal ministry, and it does not now.

In the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants, a number of very important principles are taught. With respect to those who do not repent, His Spirit (the Spirit of Christ), which is given to every person who comes into the world,8 “shall not always strive with man.”9 Also, “peace shall be taken from the earth.”10 Prophets have declared that peace has indeed been taken from the earth.11 Lucifer has not yet been bound and exercises power in this dominion.12

The heavenly aspiration of good people everywhere has and always will be for peace in the world. We must never give up on achieving this goal. But, President Joseph F. Smith taught, “There never can come to the world that spirit of peace and love … until mankind will receive God’s truth and God’s message … , and acknowledge his power and authority which is divine.”13

We earnestly hope and pray for universal peace, but it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness. This peace is a promised gift of the Savior’s mission and atoning sacrifice.

This principle is succinctly captured in the Doctrine and Covenants: “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.”14

President John Taylor taught that peace is not only desirable, but “it is the gift of God.”15

The peace to which I am referring is not just a temporary tranquility. It is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment.16

President Heber J. Grant described the Savior’s peace this way: “His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness.”17 In my meetings with Emilie Parker’s parents, I saw that the Savior’s peace has eased their suffering and is helping to bind up their broken hearts. It is notable that immediately after the shooting, Brother Parker expressed forgiveness to the perpetrator. As President Grant said, the Savior’s peace can “blot out our hates.” Judgment is the Lord’s.

The Ivory Coast Saints, during the period of civil war in their country, found peace by focusing on living the gospel of Jesus Christ, with particular emphasis on family history and temple work for their ancestors.18

We all long for peace. Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies. The Lord’s answer to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail brings solace to the heart:

“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.”19

Remember, “God is not the author of confusion, but [the author] of peace.”20 For those who reject God, there is no peace. We all participated in the councils of heaven that provided for moral agency, knowing that there would be mortal pain and even unspeakable tragedy because of the abuse of agency. We understood that this could leave us angry, bewildered, defenseless, and vulnerable. But we also knew that the Savior’s Atonement would overcome and compensate for all of the unfairness of mortal life and bring us peace. Elder Marion D. Hanks had a framed statement on his wall by Ugo Betti: “To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.”21

What are the sources of peace? Many search for peace in worldly ways, which never have and never will succeed. Peace is not found by attaining great wealth, power, or prominence.22 Peace is not found in the pursuit of pleasure, entertainment, or leisure. None of these can, even when attained in abundance, create any lasting happiness or peace.

Emma Lou Thayne’s beloved hymn asks the appropriate questions: “Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace when other sources cease to make me whole?”23 The answer is the Savior, who is the source and author of peace. He is the “Prince of Peace.”24

How do we stay close to the Savior? Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins, entering the waters of baptism with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace.25 After King Benjamin delivered his stirring message concerning the Atonement of Christ, the multitude fell to the earth. “The Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ.”26 Repentance and living righteously allow for peace of conscience, which is essential for contentment.27 When there has been a major transgression, confession is required to bring peace.28 Perhaps there is nothing to compare with the peace that comes from a sin-wracked soul unloading his or her burdens on the Lord and claiming the blessings of the Atonement. As another favorite Church hymn puts it, “I’ll drop my burden at his feet and bear a song away.”29

My heart rejoices when I realize that in our day tens of thousands of young men, young women, and senior missionaries have accepted the call to be emissaries of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They are taking the restored gospel of peace to the world, one person and one family at a time—a work of righteousness to bring this peace to Heavenly Father’s children.

The Church is a refuge where followers of Christ attain peace. Some young people in the world say they are spiritual but not religious. Feeling spiritual is a good first step. However, it is in the Church that we are fellowshipped, taught, and nourished by the good word of God. More importantly, it is priesthood authority in the Church that provides for sacred ordinances and covenants that bind families together and qualify each of us to return to God the Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom. These ordinances bring peace because they are covenants with the Lord.

Temples are where many of these sacred ordinances occur and are also a source of peaceful refuge from the world. Those who visit temple grounds or participate in temple open houses also feel this peace. One experience preeminent in my mind is the Suva Fiji Temple open house and dedication. There had been political upheaval resulting in rebels burning and looting downtown Suva, occupying the houses of Parliament and holding legislators hostage. The country was under martial law. The Fiji military gave the Church limited permission to assemble people for the open house and a very small group for the dedication. The members as a whole were uninvited due to concerns for their safety. It was the only temple dedication since the original Nauvoo Temple that was held under very difficult circumstances.

One person invited to the open house was a lovely Hindu woman of Indian descent, a member of Parliament who was initially held hostage but was released because she was female.

In the celestial room, free from the turmoil of the world, she dissolved in tears as she expressed feelings of peace that overwhelmed her. She felt the Holy Ghost comforting and bearing witness of the sacred nature of the temple.

The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace. In the intimate setting of the Passover chamber, the Savior promised His Apostles that they would be blessed with the “Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” and then uttered these important words: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”30 Then just before His Intercessory Prayer: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”31

Eliza R. Snow penned this concept beautifully:

Lift up your hearts in praise to God;

Let your rejoicings never cease.

Though tribulations rage abroad,

Christ says, “In me ye shall have peace.”32

I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

“Gathering in the Fields”





Coming together in fullest love

forgiving and repenting wrongs

knowing of the who we are here

of the what we might become;


Knowing Father’s will to be done

able in obedience to find sheer

veils and entrances in our songs

gathering in the fields above!


Copyright © 2013 – cji


"Could This Be Real"

This has been drifting around – so thought to do some research – after seeing the obvious things up front  - c/ork


The title of the photos is “The Year is 1955” – which is misnomer and uncompleted homework or research which is not uncommon in today’s venue of who can get the most attention using rhetorical presentations.


Doubtful of the year in all of the photos – Ike is in his uniform – the cars in the latter photos are from 1957 – Elvis went on Active Duty 1958 (haircuts) – Post Card is 1947 - the minimum for workers newly subject to the Act was set at $1.00 an hour effective September 1961 (however it was late 1956 when $1.00 was first implemented) – The save waste card was on counters in WW2 – Gone With the Wind (1939) – Astronaut Training began in 1959 (although Herbert Khaury spoke of putting men/women in space in 1950-52) – Hank Greenburg earned $80,000 in 1947 (was also first Jewish Player in Major Leagues) (John R. Tunnis (one of my favorite authors) addressed the introduction of a Jewish player in 1943 – “Keystone Kids” Jocko Klein) – The proto-type for the Electric Typewriter invented by Thomas Edison in 1870 – First functional Electric Typewriter – Blickensderfer 1902 failed due to variances in electricity place to place -  next was the Morkrum Printing Telegraph 1910 – in 1925 Remington Electric Typewriters first with wide commercial usage which in 1933 was purchased by IBM – The Underwood Typewriter in the Photo comes around 1939 (Underwood Co. also produced the M1 during WW2) – With the Child Labor Laws in the early 1900’s Mother’s in homes were forced into the market place thus the evolution of the break-up of the traditional family (it was only in the upper middle classes where Mothers (wives) did not work until during and after WW2) – Latchkey Children laws vary by state but the common factor is age 12 years old in most states (The legality of the latchkey children's "alone time" varies with country, state and local area. In the United States, state and local laws typically do not specify any particular age under 18 when a child can be legally left without supervision.) – Volkswagens came to the US in 1949 and by 1955 over 1 Million had been sold in the US – McDonald’s started in 1940 (Franchised in 1955 – Trademark 1961) 1948 started the 15 cent hamburger! Motel rooms for $2.00 per night were the late 1940’s and very early 1950’s – Hospital Stays – in the 1930’s a stay could cost between $4.00 a day to $20.00 a day depending on the Ward/Room or reason for the stay- the cost to day is $18,000.00 (with the idea of insurance paying the bill) – whereas some costs per day can be as low as $3,500.00 a day!


“Could it be Real”





Presented with photos and words

surely the photo cannot tell a lie

computer graphics will not beguile

proclaiming what once was to be

today what we inherently know;


As some in these years to grow

remember what we did really see

the sleek car flare and the style

wanting to ask how come and why

presented in photos and words!


Copyright © 2013 – cji





The year is c1955
Did you hear the post office is
thinking about charging 7 cents
just to mail a letter.


If they raise the minimum wage
to $1.00, nobody will be able to
hire outside help at the store.

When I first started driving, who
would have thought gas would
someday cost 25 cents a gallon. Guess
we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

I'm afraid to send my kids to the

movies any more. Ever since they
let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in
GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.

I read the other day where some

scientist thinks it's possible to put
a man on the moon by the end of the century.
They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas .

Did you see where some baseball
player just signed a contract for
$50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't
surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.

I never thought I'd see the day
all our kitchen appliances would
be electric.
They're even making electric typewriters now.

It's too bad things are so tough
nowadays. I see where a few
married women
are having to work to make ends meet.

It won't be long before young
couples are going to have to hire
someone to watch
their kids so they can both work.

I'm afraid the Volkswagen car
is going to open the door to a
lot of foreign business.

Thank goodness I won't live to

see the day when the Government
takes half our income
in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the
best people to government.


The fast food restaurant is
convenient for a quick meal,
but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

There is no sense going on short
trips anymore for a weekend. It
costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

No one can afford to be sick

anymore. At $15.00 a day in
the hospital, it's too rich for my blood.

If they think I'll pay 30 cents
for a haircut, forget it.

Know any friends
who would get a kick out of these, pass this on!