Sunday, May 01, 2016

Here's Another Story

One of the genres that I teach 4th graders to write is the narrative. It is just a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Doesn't seem that hard, huh? But, it actually is a little challenging. One big problem for my students is that they have trouble with making those very landmarks: the beginning, the middle, the end. They tend to ramble, and backtrack, and get off topic. Or they'll try to tell every single thing that happened all day, or for their entire trip to Disneyland. This tends to turn the story into a list. It loses the "narrative" aspect. Here's a story I wrote one time when we were all writing a story.

The Car Ride

It wasn't that we didn't know how to be gone from home. My younger sister and I stayed overnight with our aunt lots of times. We had driven the one hundred mile trip from our farm to her house in the city, many times each summer, actually. That summer, we were around 8 and 9 years old, probably. We enjoyed staying with her, and playing with our cousins, who were very near our ages.

We knew that we'd have to drive along the scary edge of the Palisades Lake. The water was was so beautiful, but the road was narrow, and winding, and, if you looked out the window just right, it would seem like only a few inches of a driving mistake would drop our car off the cliff into the deep reservoir.

It wasn't even the long stretch of road on Antelope Flat that was so boring. When you live in a narrow valley, with mountain ranges entirely surrounding you, that wide open prairie was a little forbidding. In the winter, the wind blew snow across the highway, obscuring the lines. And in the summer, the heat shimmered off the asphalt, and it seemed like you were lost in the desert.

No, our big problem today was the driver. We were traveling with our uncle, and we hardly knew him. He was the big brother to our mother and our aunt. But, we'd not spent nearly as much time in his company, as we had with our aunt. So we sat there, in his front seat, feeling very shy, as he drove that familiar highway from the city back to the farms.

Plus, that was another problem--the front seat. We couldn't see up over the dashboard. So, as we cruised along in his big old Buick, we started to feel the effects of the swooping, and dipping of his very nice shock absorbers. It was not a good effect.

About an hour into the drive, my sister leaned over and whispered that she didn't feel good. I told her to just take deep breaths. I'd already been concentrating really hard to stifle the queasiness I'd been experiencing, too. Actually, we were getting rather close to the section of the highway that my big sisters had named "Barf Bend." It seemed that, about half-way through many trips to our aunt's house, someone would feel carsick. My dad or mom would quickly pull off the pavement, and we'd all jump out, shoving the heaving child ahead of us, to avoid being splattered.

I looked again at my sister. She leaned over to say something else, but instead, hurled her breakfast into my lap! Which, naturally, caused all of my careful concentration to vanish, and up came my cereal, too. My poor uncle slammed on his brakes as he pulled the car off onto the shoulder, spitting gravel from under the tires. He leaped out of the driver's door, as I shoved open the passenger's door and we girls stumbled into the weeds along the highway.

"Oh," he said, in a very distressed, but attempting to be kind voice, "I wish you girls would have said something sooner!" Yes, we did, too. He did his best to clean up the mess. We heaved a little more into the weeds. We cried a little, and then just felt really embarrassed. We know he meant well, but his youngest child was 14 or 15 by then, so I know that he was quite uncomfortable trying to figure out what to do with us little girls.

We drank some water, and then climbed back in the car. We knew we didn't have to worry about a repeat. There wasn't anything left to barf out anymore. We were quite stressed about vomiting in his nice car. Somehow, we all made it back to our home. I can't remember what he and my mom said to each other. I'll just never forget how embarrassing it was to throw up in front of a virtual stranger.

Idaho State Highway 26

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Athletic Inability

Tonight, we had a "Getting to Know You" activity for Relief Society. Our stake recently realigned the ward boundaries, eliminating one ward entirely, and changing around a number of families to different wards. So, mine didn't lose any people, but we gained a group of families from a couple of different wards. Very confusing to all, especially since we now meet in a different building, too. Weird...

Well, they helped us make acquaintance with one another by asking a series of questions, and we had to move to a certain section in response. Then, with our new seatmates, we discussed what our answers to the questions were. Example: if you're a dog person more than a cat person, move. Then discuss with  your new neighbors your pets' names.

One of the questions was: Are you athletic?  So, I totally didn't even budge. Not only do I no longer have the feet for anything physical, I've never, ever been "athletic." I'm so NOT a sports player. In my teenage years, our church girls had a softball team. I was the catcher. But only because I had the legs for squatting for indefinite periods of time, and I could usually make a throw to at least first base. That cow milking helped me with the squats. But no one could help me with the throwing. Also, during basketball season...I never did learn how to dribble the ball, and walk or run down the court simultaneously.

Well, then, I went to BYU. My sister, four years older than me, was just finishing her student teaching, as a P.E. major there. She convinced me to take the officiating class from the P.E. department so I could be her partner. Back then, church ball for Young Women was a big deal. There was basketball season and then volleyball season. She and I could get hired to work their games and get paid, if I recall, $10 a night. It was a fantastic deal! That was a lot of money for a couple hours work. Beat the heck out of waitressing. So, I took the class.

I was very good on the written tests. However, we had to play games, like basketball, and volleyball, so our classmates could practice their officiating. The two teachers cut me slack as a freshman, and let me enroll in their class, which was actually for P.E. majors, because they knew and liked my sister. But after watching me for a few weeks, I think they were astonished that we were even related. I'm so bad at sports.

She, on the other hand, recently retired after teaching high school P.E. for at least 39 years. She was also once on a professional women's basketball team. She never met a sport she wasn't instantly good at. She went skiing the first time, and just did fine. I fell as I got off the chair lift, couldn't get up, and they had to stop the lift so I didn't get whacked in the head by the next chairs coming along, and they could drag me out of the way.

I got a mercy C in the officiating class, because I showed up every time, and I did really well on the written parts, and I had a commanding voice when I made my calls. My sister and I went on to have a fine season officiating stake ball games. She urged me to just act as confidently as possible, and make my calls without hesitation, and to blow my whistle with authority, then stop the sound sharply with my tongue. We had a lot of fun, and I really know all the rules for volleyball, and basketball. I still can't dribble and walk at the same time. But I'm pretty good at serving the volleyball. My best sports are still bicycling, and swimming. All hail the hot weather soon to heat up my pool.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Visiting the Chickens

We've had a hard group of students this year. Sigh....biggest understatement of the decade. I won't even begin to recount the adventures of the most challenging one. But, another fellow has been catching my affection, despite his on-going need to bump chests against a couple of other students. I'll call him "Manuel"...

So, "Manuel" has finally been identified as needing some extra services. It isn't a language issue, although he speaks a lot of Spanish at home. It really is a reading issue. He just doesn't get it. So, he struggles academically. He is well groomed, usually polite to adults, dressed in decent clothes every day. He does his homework, sort of. My point is that his family takes good care of him. (Unlike another student whose life you wouldn't want to have.) However, "Manuel" also has a heightened sense of machismo, partly because "I'm Mexican, and we hit people if we need to" [he told me that one day, quite seriously] and partly because he has a lot of personal pride and, realizing that he simply doesn't "get" so much of what is going on in the classroom, he resorts to bluster and misbehavior to deflect attention away from his inability.

We're working to get "Manuel" the help he needs, and I always include him in my groups so that I can give him a lot of support. In the course of a week, he can get many assignments done. They are often well below grade level in their content, but he gets the satisfaction of actually doing something.

In the course of our relationship this year, he told me about his chickens. I can't remember how it came up; maybe we were talking about pets. But his dad bought him a black chicken and then, in February, he got another chicken. So, one day, I said, "I'd like to come by and see your chickens some time, okay?"  He said that would be great. We had a little conversation about the chickens my mom had when I was a child, and how I used to have chickens when my children were little, too, for a short time.

Then, on Monday, "Manuel" had a really dreadful day. He was sassy, and rude, and wouldn't follow directions. It was a vivid change from the previous weeks, so I said that he and I would go out in the hall and call mom. Now, earlier in the year, say November, there had been some enormous brawl with several 4th graders, and we'd all met with mother over this. So I knew her, and she is very concerned that her son be respectful, and take advantage of school. She speaks English very well, and was unhappy that he was getting into trouble. Without a doubt, if we had fewer people in our classes this year that leaned toward rebellion, "Manuel" wouldn't have so many opportunities to be in conflicts. But...something about this particular combination of students...they were a handful in third grade, second grade, and all the way back to Kinder. Sigh.

So, I talked to mom; she talked to him. He told her something in Spanish, and didn't come away from the conversation with her in any way mollified or chastened. I got back on the phone and asked her what he'd said. Well, mom was coming over to the school, and she would meet with all the teachers after school, and we'd get this sorted out. Apparently, he'd blamed everything on one of our teacher's aides!! What a crock! I pointed out to mom that we wouldn't be able to talk until after 3:30. She showed up, with her two tiny ones at 3:00! They sat in the office, waiting for us.

It wasn't a very happy meeting. Mainly because second grade sister refuted his contention that this particular aide was extra mean to people. Also, because when asked to recount what, exactly, had happened, and what he'd told mom, "Manuel" just burst into tears....cause he couldn't remember the story...exactly...umm...

So, we soothed everything over. I think he reacts badly to my aide because she is Hispanic, and he doesn't like her telling him what to do. I'm a woman, and I tell him what to do, too, and he's not mad at me all the time...who knows?  But, after today, I'm golden. Why? Well, because I went to his house to visit the chickens.

I told him yesterday, that if it was okay, I'd like to come by on Thursday, and see his birds. He said he guessed it would be okay. So, apparently, it was meant to be. At the end of school, I tried to open my grade book to look up his address. It wasn't working!! Rats! But, I sort of knew the street he lived on, and since it was such a nice day, I thought maybe he'd be outside playing. I drove down toward his street. I turned this way, then that way, and as I turned onto a particular street that I knew would be nearby, lo and behold, who is standing on the sidewalk, baby in the stroller, talking to a neighbor?  "Manuel's" mother!  (Angels had been giving me directions I think...)

So, I pulled over, and parked, and as I got out of my truck, his little sister, the second grader, dashed over and threw her arms around me, shouting, "It's the teacher!!" She wouldn't let go! "Manuel" was looking at me, completely astonished, and I greeted mom, and said, "Well, I really wanted to come over and see his chickens that he's been telling me about." She was so delighted I was there. They were just getting ready to go for a walk she said, but she had him go to the house and bring out polloito, the little one, hatched in February. It had white feathers, and just starting to grow his comb and his wattles. They think it is a he. We laughed at how in the world can you tell if a baby chick is a male or female?? We talked about my mom's chickens, and how my sisters and I helped gather the eggs, and wash them, and sort them in to cartons to sell to ladies in town. We talked about how her husband grew up on a farm in Mexico, and so he wanted to have chickens here. After a few minutes of chatting, and the neighbors staring, I thanked him for letting me see his bird, and mom thanked me for coming by. She said, "We should invite you to our next party." I said that I'd be delighted to come. They went off on their walk, and I went off to the grocery store. I'm pretty sure that we'll have many more calm days at school from now on. I love my job.


 Here is a photo of the inside of my mother's chicken coop. 
All of these photos are probably in about 1973.

 This is my sister Trish, helping a chicken to stand on our nephew Cody's head.
I'm not sure why this is happening. They are in the chicken yard, outside the coop.
Here is little Cody with his stick, herding the chickens in their yard.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring Break Rocks!

While it really does feel nice to take a break from the drama of 4th grade, I am talking about ACTUAL rocks. The kind that Nevada specializes in! It's Mineral World here in the great empty.

I was invited by a co-worker to attend the Nevada Mineral Association's teacher classes this week. On Tuesday we attended classes that were oriented to our grade levels, and on Wednesday we WENT ON A FIELD TRIP!!

The classes I went to included learning all about the impact, economically, on the state of Nevada of the mining industry. As we listened to the variety of jobs, and what some of the earnings were, many of us looked at each other, and decided maybe we were in the wrong career! Maybe we ought to move to Elko and drive an ore truck. It pays a lot more than we get as teachers, and the aggravation level looked much lower.

I also learned about identifying minerals. This was something I taught years ago in Maryland, and we had little boxes of rocks with which we learned about the streak, and the hardness, and the ph composition. This was similar, and we all received two boxes of rocks to take back to our classrooms. One is minerals, and we practiced identifying them. Another box contains rocks...yes they are different. The rocks are composites of different kinds of minerals (some) and other rocks are examples of the three types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. We also have lesson ideas of how to use them in our classrooms. So much fun!

But the real fun was Wednesday when we picked up our box lunches, and our backpack of PPE (personal protective equipment) and boarded a tour bus for our field trips. I chose option #1 because it took me to the mountains near our home. We first went to the gypsum mine that is out in the desert behind the mountain to the east of our house. When we got there, we got out of the bus, dressed in our reflective vests, hard hats, and safety glasses, and walked over to the edge of the parking lot/factory yard.

We were now overlooking a dug out piece of desert, that looks just like all the land around here. But as you look carefully at the "dirt" around you, you realize that it is glittering. We were on the edge of the gypsum mine. It is essentially an open-pit (but not deep like you might have seen at Bingham Copper Mine in Utah.) There is a long, long conveyor belt that is in the middle of it, and that leads to the factory about 200 yards behind where we were standing. As we all lined up near the edge of the pit, the guide from the factory pointed out a section of the desert we were observing, and asked us to watch closely while they prepared the explosion. Then, the "master-blaster" was introduced, and he communicated with someone else, and right in front of us, explosions went off, a two second delay later we heard the noise. We watched as a vast section of ground was puffed into a huge dust ball, and then settled back down into rubble. It was COOL!! (and now many of us want to do that job, just for name...)

After the explosion and dust settled, scooper tractors got started loading the rock debris onto the conveyor belt, where it rolled on into the building where it would get washed and cooked until all that was left was pure gypsum ready to be mixed into batches with the other stuff that they put in the middle of wall board.

We walked for almost a mile as we followed our guide through the sheet rock/wall board factory. They have the longest conveyor belts I've ever seen! It was like being inside one of those old black and white movies I used to see in Jr. High, with the narrator explaining the factory workers' jobs as the camera took us through the manufacturing plant. It was really, really interesting! 

The most hilarious part of our tour was right at the beginning. There are huge rolls of brown paper that are fed into a conveyor that end up being one side of the sheet rock. We were watching a roll as it was gradually going up a slope into the apparatus, as our guide was pointing out the process, when we all noticed that one edge of the paper was torn (about six inches) with a fold-over in a right angle. Then, another section came up the slope that way, too, and as he turned to see what we were looking at, our tour guide suddenly shouted, "OH, S#!$!!" and took off running. He was yelling a guy's name, and then we saw another fellow running up some stairs and rushing to do something to that paper. We teachers all turned to each other and burst out laughing! After our guide returned, he apologized for his rushing off and blurting out, but we assured him that it was one of the best parts of our tour!

After we walked our legs off at the sheet rock factory/gypsum mine, we ate our lunches in the bus as we drove to a near-by geologic formation where lots of people went hill-climbing and rock hunting. I pretty much sat at the bottom of the mountain and looked at rocks there. My feet might have made it up the mountain, but then I'd have just had to stay there. Going back down wouldn't have been possible.

Let me just say that it was two days well-spent, and next Spring Break, I plan to sign up again! The Nevada Mining Association has my vote for best Spring Break outing ever---it totally rocked!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

If You Come Home During Daylight...

...You'll notice how much the kitchen rug needs washed...
...When you pick it up, you'll see that the floor under it should be scrubbed...
...As you're down there, wiping up the last bits of water from the tiles...
...You'll notice that the cupboard doors haven't been cleaned for quite a while...
...Then you'll realize that the oven door is dirty, too...
...As you stand up with the cleaner in your hand...
...You realize that the windows in the patio doors look awful in the late afternoon light...
...And you decide to stay at school grading papers until dark tomorrow. And bring a lot of cookies, too.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Right Place, Right Time

 I went to the library tonight and ended up having a completely unrelated opportunity to help some poor, distraught mom. I'd planned on going to a different branch, but "circumstances" had me end up at my own local branch. (Cue the sappy music for the "It was no coincidence that you were there..." video.)

Whenever we do the research reports in my class about birds, I always go to the library several miles away and check out a big bunch of books. That way, if a student wants to go to our local branch, and check out a book about the bird they've been assigned, then there will probably be one available. I got an email yesterday informing me that I had three days left until I needed to return the books. However, when I logged into the library website, I was informed that my card had expired a few days earlier, and I would have to come in person to the library to revive my privileges. Sigh. What lousy timing. So, I made a plan to go to the store after I finished at school today, and then drop into a branch that was just a few blocks from the market.

However, when I got finished at the market, I totally forgot that I was supposed to go to the library, and drove home. CoolGuy was in the garage messing about, and asked if I'd been to the library yet. DOH! I couldn't believe I'd forgotten! If I hurried, I'd make it to the library before they closed (8:00 P.M.) I drove down to our nearby branch, and walked in. Five minutes later, I was re-upped, renewed and out the door. Great! I was going to head for home, and cook some dinner, and hit the hay. Except, I looked over at the people clustered around a mini-van that I'd noticed when I walked in to the library.

I had seen them earlier, and thought it was a family standing there beside the car, talking or something. But when I looked again, it was the security guard from the library, another gentleman, and a lady dressed in a head scarf, and a modest outfit that covered her arms and legs. She was maybe Egyptian, or Iranian, I'm not sure. Her three children, 11, 9 and 6 were sitting dejectedly on the center ledge of the parking area. The two men were trying to get her car unlocked with a coat hanger. But, they'd been trying unsuccessfully for about 20 minutes.

I asked if they were having any luck, ...no. So, I said, "Well, I have TripleA and they will come at no charge and help." I then found out her one year old baby was fastened inside in the car seat, and while she had been struggling to get her stroller to fold up at the rear of the car, her other children had gotten back out, and come around to see why mom was taking so long. They shut the doors, and it locked. Her keys were on the seat. Double DOH! Mom was looking pretty frazzled by the time I went over to see if I could help.

So, I called AAA, and told them about the child in the car seat, and they put a rush on it. But, still, it looked like it would be 20-30 minutes! Right at the 20 minute point, while the two guys kept trying and trying, the help came! In the meantime, the 6 year old was doing a little dance to not wet her pants, so I saw that the other security guard was still in the door of the now-closed library, and he was very willing to let the three kids in to go potty. By the time they returned, the helper guy showed up, and, within one minute (seriously--the right tools make all the difference!) got her door unlocked.

She lifted the little guy out of his car seat and gave him a hug. By then, I was over with the AAA guy, signing the papers, and she thought I'd gone away. But when I walked over to say "Bye," she clasped my hands, and just hugged me to her, saying, "Thank you, thank you." I replied, "God bless you, and I hope you can get home safely, now." She looked pretty exhausted. Just then, the 6 year old started screaming...big sister had shut her fingers in the car door. I just walked over to my car, and left. Good grief. Poor woman.

At least I'd been inspired to go to that library just then.  (Does God sometimes prompt us to help by getting us to forget one errand, so that it must be accomplished in another place, at just the right time, so we can be of assistance to someone in need?)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Through God's Eyes

I got to give a talk in Sacrament meeting today. I was asked to use Elder Renlund's talk from last October's conference as the basis for my remarks. It was entitled "Through God's Eyes."  It made me think a lot this week about how I see people. I think I'll put my talk here, then another day, I want to post about a conversation I had with a brother after the meeting.

My talk: 
Elder Renlund was called to serve as a member of the 12 Apostles last fall during General Conference. As he began his talk, he spoke of how, when he was much younger, he’d been called as a bishop, and his older (and much wiser brother) phoned him to say, “You need to know that the Lord hasn’t called you for anything you have done. In your case, it is probably in spite of what you have done. The Lord has called you for what He needs to do through you, and that will happen only if you do it His way.”  Elder Renlund went on to say that he recognized the wisdom in this advice, and that he felt it applied even more today, with his call as a member of the 12 Apostles.

          The focus of his talk was to emphasize how important it is for us to train our spirits to see everyone we serve as the son or daughter of our Father in Heaven. REALLY see them that way. He pointed out that his experience with “missionary service was that when a missionary realizes that the call to be a missionary isn’t about themselves, but it is about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father’s children,” then TRUE service begins. 

          God is truly our Father. Anyone here who has been blessed to be a parent can understand how parent eyes are different than other people’s eyes. I’ve been teaching school for 21 years. I’m astonished that it has been that long, but I always say that my 20 years of being a mother before I became a teacher is what trained me to manage large groups of small children. Some days, though, I can find myself getting very impatient with some of my students. They act like kids!! I mean…Seriously? Then, I take a deep breath, remember that they are only nine years old, and I calm down. I also remind them of the procedures and rules we’ve established, I hold them responsible for their actions, and I try to use a calm voice. 

          It totally reminds me of how our Father in Heaven tries to deal with us, His unruly children here on earth. We have the scriptures to remind us of the procedures and rules that are established. We have the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. See how these rules and procedures build on each other, so that for each group of children, and each period of our earthly existence, our Father has taught us the right way to act, and what we should be doing, and what we should not be doing? And, even today, we have the Ensign magazine that publishes the most recent statements from our modern day prophets, so that we might study and remind ourselves of how we should act. It’s just like school---we get unruly, we get reminded of how we should calm down and behave.

          Elder Renlund went on to say that our service in the church isn’t about us, it is about the people we serve, and how vital it is that we maintain a conscious remembrance that they are beloved spirit sons and daughters of heavenly parents, and have a divine nature and destiny.  When we can see others as their loved ones see them, our perspective is altered.

          I occasionally run into my students “out there” in the world, like when I’m grocery shopping. I’m always taken aback by how they are just little children, when I see them with their families around town. I know I shouldn’t be amazed, but sometimes, they and I may have locked horns at school so often, that I inflate them into someone with more power than they ought to have over me. But, encountering a student with their mom in the cereal aisle will always jolt me back to the reality that, in fact, they are a little child. And they are beloved by their parents, and are precious and dear to them. This is good for me. I need to always be kind. I need to teach them writing and reading, but it goes so much better when I am a kind, considerate person. I get entrusted with people’s treasures; it’s important that I remember that.

          We are surrounded every day by treasures---God’s treasures. We knew each other in the premortal world. We need to remember that we are spirit brothers and sisters. I grew up in a very small community that was populated by mostly relatives. Seriously, my mother had dozens and dozens of cousins. My father’s family was large, too, and so about half the people I associated with in my childhood were related to me in some way. I tell you this because it meant that I mostly knew only people who looked a lot like me, and lived a life very similar to mine, and culturally were very much like me. It was easy to learn the doctrine of our premortal relatedness, because my mortal life was about the same.

          When we were married, Br. Frome was in the Navy and we lived in San Diego for about 12 years, and 10 years were in one ward. I had a wonderful time in my neighborhood there, because it was filled with people from all walks of life, and whose ancestors had come from a variety of nations. I learned so much! We shared food, music, and it was obvious to me that they loved their children as much as I loved mine. 

        While we lived there, there were refugee groups from Viet Nam, and then from Laos who settled in our neighborhood, to add to our polyglot world. Church was similar---it was very different looking than the ward where I’d grown up. Rather than the familiar Swedish/Swiss/German/English faces of my childhood, I was surrounded by Filipino, Japanese, Hispanic, African-American, Samoan, and, of course, some Swiss/Swedish/German/English faces and names. And we were all brothers and sisters. We ended up with a branch of Laotian members associated with our ward. These people had been helped by LDS missionaries in the refugee camps in Asia, and when they were resettled in California, they sought out the church in gratitude. We were truly all children of the same loving Father.

        We had to help them in many ways. For instance, because most of them had come from a very rural way of life, we needed to teach them that indoor plumbing was to be used in the city: don't just go around to the alley, and stand there to do your business--go to a bathroom. Use diapers for your babies. However, once when I stopped by to pick up a girl to go to Young Women, I walked in to find everyone at dinner. This meal was served on a large, woven mat on the floor. Everyone sat criss-cross on the edges, and ate from communal bowls that were spread out in the center. They did own a small table, but it was used for the children to do homework, and to hold their television (which was watched in order to learn "good English" I was told.) There was absolutely no need for anyone to teach them that Americans ate dinner seated on chairs around a table. Their mealtime custom was just fine. In fact, their house was immaculately clean. You couldn't have eaten off my floor...The point is: there are many right ways to do many things. But we need to look at people through God's eyes, so that we don't confuse the ways in which we need to "help" people.
        
  In Mosiah 18:8-10 it says: 
 8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; 


 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?


          We have no better way to honor our Father in Heaven than to remember always that we are all brothers and sisters, and we need to see other through His eyes. We must not look at one another to criticize or judge or condemn. But we must look and strive to see the worth of their souls. Reach out to other people. Smile more, speak kindly, serve people with no expectation of an earthly reward.  Love one another.   

         Mormon, in Moroni 7:48, admonished, 
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ.