Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Faith of My Fathers

Last weekend we spent the day at Bear Lake helping to launch Katie and Kevin and his parents' new boat. We enjoyed the company, the boat, and the lake. Bear Lake County, Idaho, is where some of my ancestors settled in the 1860s. I thought of them as we played.

My grandmother's parents were Mormon emigrants who came from Switzerland. They left everything they had for their beliefs. Her father died when she was very young, leaving her mother to raise the family alone. She endured a great many trials, including the death of two of her children, but she found solace by serving in the temple. I admire her faithfulness even during heartbreaking trials.

My grandfather's parents were Danish emigrants who came to the area after crossing the plains as part of the Mormon exodus.  My great-grandmother was 16 years old when she crossed the plains and left us a detailed account of her experience. One of my favorite stories was about a prairie fire that came close to the wagon train. She wrote that they offered a prayer, and then unyoked the oxen and drove them in the opposite direction so they wouldn't stampede, then the leader of the pioneer company stood on a wagon tongue and said, "We are not here to be destroyed." He pointed to a small cloud not much bigger than a man's hand and said, "there is our deliverance." She said, "At that same moment there was a terrific peal of thunder and flash of lightning, and rain poured down. We thanked the Lord for our deliverance, and went on our way rejoicing." 

They knew they were being watched over and protected, and so often I have felt that same loving watchcare.

Recently words from her journal were quoted on "Music and the Spoken Word" where she described the journey: "Every day was about the same, only the farther we got, the more rough and rocky the road seemed to be. Sometimes we would find some old Indian sandals and tied them under our shoes to ease our feet a little. Sometimes we would sing a verse or two of "Come, Come Ye Saints."
I appreciate the reminder that though "rough and rocky the road," strength and comfort will come.

I love the words to the hymn:
"Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
Tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take;
Our God will never us forsake,
And soon we'll have this tale to tell,
All is well! All is well!"

Because of its high elevation the winters are long and cold. During the first winter the settlers nearly starved, and many left. My great-grandfather chose to stay and help build the community. I appreciate his perseverance and the sacrifices he made to raise his family in that  beautiful mountain valley.

Granddaughter Jenna 

David and Jon

David and I 

Katie's family

Granddaughter Sierra
Jon's family

Friday, July 1, 2011

Taking Some R&R

Sometimes when I start to feel stressed, the words to a poem by William Wordsworth come to mind:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

Earlier this week I had the privilege of going with the managing editor to a meeting with the magazine's General Authority advisor, Elder Kikuchi. A very kind and intelligent man, he gave us great direction and counsel for the magazine. Then he said, "I think we hurry too much, and it isn't good for us. Take the time to slow down, appreciate nature more, and meditate." It was a good reminder.

We have had a busy summer so far, with David adjusting to working part-time and fussing with his beloved hot rod.

Helping David with his hot rod
And I have been busy with work, cub scouts (so much fun!), and working on various and sundry projects, including some more knitting, and planting a garden. We also had great visits with my sisters and a niece, and with my nephew. When my sisters were here over Memorial Day weekend we met up and reconnected with one of our cousins, and also went to a "Music and the Spoken Word" broadcast.

At the Tabernacle on Temple Square

We took our annual visit to the red rock country of central and southern Utah the weekend before Memorial Day. We went to the San Rafael Swell and enjoyed spectacular scenery. The weather had been cool and wet all through the spring, but the desert was just right, even with a few rain showers thrown in for good measure. We hiked, relaxed, and thought of those people who had lived in the area centuries before. 
The rain showers refreshed the land and brought the flowers into bloom. 
And so it is with us. We need both sunshine and rain in our lives in order to grow and flourish.
Trips to the desert always puts life into perspective for me.

Calf Canyon

Petroglyphs at Buckhorn Wash

The Wedge overlooking the San Rafael River also known as the Little Grand Canyon

Sunset in the San Rafael Swell

After the rain

Desert flowers after a rain