Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Temple marriage--a family friendly place

Everyone we could corral after the wedding.
More pictures from Megan and Josh's wedding.  This time we include pictures taken at the temple with family and friends.  Once again all the pictures are taken by MP Photography.  Next week I'll be posting pictures from the reception.  We'll start with the posed pictures and then with the candid pictures outside the temple.
Megan with companions from her mission.
Josh with roommates/companions/friends.
The wedding couple with the groomsmen.
Megan and her sisters laughing of course, one of the things our family does best.
Megan and her bride's maids blowing kisses to me (you'd never catch groomsmen doing this).
The new couple with Josh's family.

Josh and Megan with her family.

I get a little tired of seeing so many pictures of newlyweds kissing and you
will notice that I haven't put many in my posts.  But this once we needed to prove that we can
still kiss as good as newlyweds!
Nate is a good kisser, giving Josh lessons.
Megan and Grandma.
Megan and her Father-in-law.

Josh before the green tennis shoes came on.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Modern Heroes #2: Tanner Mangum

Tanner Mangum will be a senior in his high school in Idaho this coming school year.  This summer he was chosen to attend the "elite 11" quarterback camp.  24 quarterbacks are chosen from around the country who have shown themselves to have some great potential in that position.  The Elite 11 camp has a lot of respect due to the fact that about two thirds of starting NFL quarterbacks have attended their camp in the past.  The quarterbacks chosen for their camp are hounded by the best football schools in the country in hopes that they will come to their school.  Tanner is already committed to BYU.  BYU has not had a lot of quarterbacks attend this camp in the past so this is a big deal for BYU as well.
Not only has Tanner been chosen to attend the Elite 11 camp but was chosen from the 24 quarterbacks as one of the elite 11.  But more than that he was chosen as one of the co-MVPs of the camp.  That is quite a distinction!  Through it all Tanner said that he has recognized that he not only represents himself but also BYU.  I suspect that as a representative of BYU now that in some ways he recognizes that he represents the church which owns BYU.
However that is only a part of what makes Tanner Mangum my choice for a modern day hero.  Without the other part he wouldn't make the cut. 
What tips him over the scale as just a great sports guy football player is that when asked specifically what his intentions were now that he had done so well at the Elite 11 camp he said that his plans haven't changed but he intends to go on a mission right out of high school and following that to play football at BYU.  This is another example of a young man who has his sights squarely on what is most important at this time in his life. Even though he has great ability in football, he sees that at this time in his life, that the mission is more important.  Good for Tanner!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guest Blog: I need socks

This past weekend, young men and women from our church ages 14-18 from ten congregations traveled to Raleigh, NC for what we call Youth Conference.  The focus of this youth conference was service in the LDS temple in Raleigh.  We believe that the Savior's pronouncement in John 3:5 is true for all people ever born or who ever will be born on the earth.  That is, all must be baptized in order to enter into the kingdom of God.  But we also believe that baptism can be performed by proxy for those who have died without the opportunity to receive this saving ordinance.  In preparation for youth conference, the young people in our stake (the larger administrative unit of several congregations together) were encouraged to research their own family history and come to the temple prepared to be baptized for one of their ancestors. 
I was asked to serve in the temple that day with our youth.  I was delighted with this assignment, and pictured a day of hushed reverence and quiet service.  When we arrived at the temple that morning, I was assigned to work in the laundry room, washing the white clothing and towels that were worn and used by each of the 79 young people and the men who performed the ordinances of baptism and confirmation.  It was not exactly the quiet day I had pictured in the Lord's house, but I must say that never have I had such joy in doing laundry.  
Baptisms are performed by immersion in the baptismal font.  I had dressed in white but left my feet bare, knowing that there would inevitably be a bit of water around, and finding I could not relish the thought of working all day in wet socks.  As I reported to the little laundry room off the baptistry, the temple matron noticed my bare feet.  She handed me a pair of socks accompanied by this pronouncement: "You need socks."  I must confess that I somewhat reluctantly put them on my feet, dreading the discomfort I was sure would follow once they got wet.

Sure enough, as the morning progressed and I repeatedly retrieved wet laundry from the dressing rooms, my socks got soaked, leaving my feet feeling rather uncomfortable.  It was with great relief that I peeled those wet socks from my feet as we prepared to leave the temple for lunch.

Upon our return to the temple, I was determined to do what I could to avoid having to wear socks again that afternoon.  I imagined that the temple matron had given me socks to wear because of some notion of what was considered appropriate and complete attire for service in the temple.  But after all (I thought to myself) there's nothing wrong with bare feet in the temple; those who are being baptized and performing baptisms are also barefoot.    So whenever I was near the temple matron, I walked more slowly in order that my bare feet would not be visible, and once or twice I even stooped a little so that the hem of my dress would brush the ground and hide my naked toes!
Because of the water, there were rubber mats leading from the baptismal font to both the men's and women's dressing rooms.  As I walked back and forth gathering laundry and observing the ordinances being performed in the font, I realized that the rubber grips on the mats were somewhat uncomfortable on my bare feet.  It was hardly noticeable at first, only a mild nuisance.  But as the afternoon wore on, the soles of my feet and the soft undersides of my toes were rubbed raw.  The discomfort became more and more pronounced until it finally turned into pain.  

At that point, I sheepishly retrieved the socks I had worn earlier that morning--now freshly laundered--and replaced them on my feet.  

It was a small thing really.  And yet the greater significance of it, and the conspicuous parallels to be drawn between it and other life experiences was for me, profound.

How many times do we look at things the Lord has asked--commanded--us to do with an attitude like mine?  ("Look, there are other people who aren't doing that, and they're doing fine. Why should I have to do that?")  How many times do we think we know the reason behind the Lord's standards and commandments, only to find that our decidedly human capacity to understand leaves us either with only the tip of the iceberg, or simply dead wrong?  I thought the matron wanted me to wear socks in order to be dressed "appropriately".  But in reality, wearing socks was designed to give my feet protection, and to allow me to avoid the discomfort and pain of walking barefoot on the rough surfaces of the drain mats.  

The Lord's standards and commandments are designed to do the same: to protect us and make it possible for us to avoid the discomfort and pain that inevitably follow when we do not choose to walk where the Lord leads us.  If we choose our own path, we may not notice anything amiss at first.  We may in fact travel a long way down that path before we experience discomfort or pain brought on by our unwillingness to accept and live by the guidance and direction given to us by a loving Parent.  

I don't wish to be misunderstood.  I know that trials and challenges--along with discomfort, grief and pain--are meant to be a part of our experience here in mortality.  But I am convinced that enough of those experiences will come our way without us walking toward them as we walk away from our Heavenly Father. 
So even when I'm tempted to think I might know better, I'm determined to keep my socks on.  I need them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Temple--I'm going there some day.

As children in the church they are instructed and even sing about when they will be able to go to the temple.  Megan fulfilled that desire to be married in the temple.  She had always enjoyed attending the temple and has really become a lover of the temple.  She often attends regularly to refresh and increase her learning from the temple.
She was married at the Provo temple last month and we have the pictures to remind us of the fantastic experience.  The pictures in this blog today of ones of just Megan and Josh at the temple and were all taken by MP Photography.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

There is beauty all around

Megan's wedding pictures are in so I will develop a number of posts to show them off.  This post is entitled after a phrase from a hymn.  I chose this title because Megan was very beautiful with her wedding dress and so I will focus on pictures of her in this particular post.  Many people think of a wedding as the bride's big day.  Everything is made to her specifications, she chooses the colors and the details of decorations and so forth.  The groom is supposed to get there dressed appropriately but the bride is often considered the main character in this all important play.  In our religion the bride dominance thing isn't quite as pronounced.  Nevertheless I use that as justification to have mostly pictures of her today. 
In front of the Provo Temple

These were taken at the Springville Art Museum where the reception was held.

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