After Mother’s Day


This video is for all mothers as we realize our potential in our role.


Mother’s Day for many mothers was filled with gifts and services from a doting husband and their children. Breakfast in bed, flowers, candy, spa treatments, jewelry, indulgences of all sorts top the list. Visits, phone calls and cards also rank high.

Yet, other mothers didn’t receive any of that. The day brought nothing special. No gifts, no special treatments, no visits, no calls. It’s easy for these mothers to assume they aren’t worthy of being honored whether their chilren and fathers of their children are in their lives.

It’s true some mothers don’t deserve a lot of thanks. They have abandoned their children in one or more ways. Their children have had to get what mothering they could from other sources. They are lucky when their fathers are willing and capable, and when they accept it from other mothers, sisters and friends.

Nevertheless, honoring our mothers and motherhood has more to do with what we’re like than what our mothers are or were like. Every day we make good choices, righteous choices, and loving choices, we are honoring our mothers (and fathers).

I’d like to honor my mother. She wasn’t perfect but was great. She wasn’t always there for me but was there in the most important ways and on the most important days. She didn’t understand all my challenges, but then, I didn’t tell her everything. She couldn’t fix all of my life’s problems. Still, she connected me to the source that could. My mother was a woman of faith in God. Thank you, Mom.

In case you’re wondering, I had a great Mother’s Day. I always do.

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Civil unions not the end goal

Seeing Daily Camera pictures of same-gender couples kissing on the mouth at the Boulder County civil union parties last night made me feel uncomfortable. I felt the same way when I saw parents kissing their grown children on the mouth or a neighbor mother kissing on the mouth the grown neighbor’s son. That’s how I am.

Still, same-gender couples joining in civil unions have something to celebrate. As far as I can tell, they have everything married couples have but the word “marriage” describing their relationships. They have survivorship, can pay taxes jointly, can adopt and can be at their partners’ hospital bedsides.

That’s not enough, though, for vocal same-gender couples. The battle never was about civil unions as the end goal for them. They say they will never stop fighting until same-gender relationships can be recognized as marriages. Their plan is that first some churches and government will recognize them. Then, the activists will go after the rest of the churches. If they resist, the next step very possibly could be to charge those churches with discrimination and hate crimes.

The issue really isn’t “about love and commitment, about basic dignity and about being able to protect your families,” as Democrat U.S. Senator Mark Udall from Colorado said on his official blog on April 30. If so, he’d be in the front of the line supporting polygamist families and their numerous children. Let’s see if he steps up to that plate.

Those with same-gender attraction should have full and meaningful lives, and allowing their marriages may give them some semblance of that. However, this movement aims to trample on religious freedom of those who see marriage differently.

I fear the day may come in my lifetime that I won’t be able to say without legal repercussions what my beliefs are about marriage. I believe marriage should be defined as the union between one man and one woman.

(Updated 5/31/13)

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Censorship or rules of decorum

A University of Colorado art student learned art moves people. It’s the same information a young cleaning business executive knew and used to his advantage years ago. The difference is the student didn’t like her results.

Don Aslett, a cleaning expert, author and CEO of his own business, was tired of undue wait times in hotel lobbies and at other service counters, so he devised a plan. He made his attaché case look like something he cleaned, a toilet. Not only was his case a business visual, it helped get him faster service. When waits got long, he would simply sit on his attaché case. Hotel clerks and the like responded by getting Aslett on his way quickly.

When Aslett spoke at a women’s conference of the Boulder Colorado Stake in the early 1980s where he told this story, no one cried “censorship.” Aslett, obviously, was working the rules of public decorum to his advantage. Clarissa Peppers, a CU art student, did the same to gain notoriety.

Peppers knew her works had shock value. She focused on the vagina, a part of the female body she said certain people may see as having a singular use. When CU’s Department of Art & History moved the display to the VAC’s basement and later allowed it back to the lobby with a floor-to-ceiling curtain and warning signs to finish its normal run, she cried censorship.

Not so. Peppers was still able to make the works and still able to display them. What she didn’t want, apparently, was for people to have a choice of whether to view her works. She set them up early in the morning on Dec. 3 in the lobby of the Visual Arts Complex. Everyone entering there would have seen her works unless their noses were in their books.

Thanks to those who complained when they were offended. Also, thanks to Kirk Ambrose, chair of CU’s Department of Art & History. He needs to know his actions were not only correct but welcomed. As a guide, CU should draft and adopt a policy giving people the respect to choose what images go into their brains when rules of decorum will be violated. It’s the right thing to do.

Posted in Rules of decorum, Societal decency, University of Colorado | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What makes you beautiful


Where do clean-cut guys preparing to serve God on missions go to find virtuous and modest girls to date and, afterward, to marry? Guys from one church congregation answer that question indirectly with the help of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” At church, of course.

Young Men ages 12 to 18 years old from the Hurricane 15th Ward (congregation) tell the Young Women of the same ages that they are beautiful. I’m sure the girls already know this at some level, but it surely boosts that assurance when they see the efforts of their male peers telling them and the world on YouTube that they are cool and beautiful.

Way to go, guys! I absolutely loved this video and find Valentine’s Day the perfect day to share it. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Posted in Inspirations, My Faith, Valentine's Day | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Words matter

Whether posted anonymously or spoken in person, words matter. They can change how a person feels inside. A case in point is words from one of my readers, sockeymom. Though she says she “mostly” disagrees with me, she posted words of concern and encouragement after my last post, “How to obtain miracles.”

I feel remembered and valued. Thank you, sockeymom. You are a good example of how to treat others online. I am confident you are thoughtful and kind in person as well. At the same time, feel free to disagree with me and to argue points where we differ.

I always strive to be respectful to my readers. I appreciate strong and lively debates with firm and differing viewpoints. Everyone can learn something with an open mind. Nevertheless, no debate is worth our becoming ugly or harsh. Nothing is worth lowering ourselves to the level of throwing verbal garbage or worse at one another.

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How to obtain miracles

Wendy Watson Nelson at BYU Women's Conference in 2007. Photo from byutv.org

Wendy Watson Nelson at BYU Women’s Conference in 2007. Photo from byutv.org

The simple story on how to obtain miracles stood out as Sister Wendy Watson Nelson spoke in a fireside (evening meeting) last night at the Boulder Colorado Stake Center, 701 W. South Boulder Road, Louisville.

The former marriage and family therapy professor, author, and wife of Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told of a conversation between a mission president and a missionary. The missionary was excelling in the work, and the mission president wanted to know why.

The president asked the Elder, “What are you doing to be so successful?” The Elder responded, “Obedience brings blessings.” The mission president said, “Yes, yes, everyone knows that.” Then, the Elder added, “Exact obedience brings miracles.”

Exact obedience is key. If you need a miracle in your life like I do, ask yourself the questions that I am asking myself. How can I comply with God’s commandments with exactness? How can I become a more holy woman (or man) and follow Jesus’ example with exactness?

The task seems overwhelming. Yet, I am certain I will find the answers to these questions and other related to them in the scriptures – Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price – and in listening to God’s prophets and other Church leaders.

As I pondered miracles today, I ran across the New Era article online on lds.org, Do You Need a Miracle? It was written by Elder Larry W. Gibbons, Area Authority Seventy North America Southwest Area in the February 2003 issue. Gibbons underscored with details the truth the missionary knew.

Gibbons referred to the teachings of Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915-1985), a member of The Quorum of Twelve Apostles when he died. McConkie “taught that faith requires assurance that God will hear our prayers and answer them. No person can have this assurance when he knows he is not living in the way the Lord wants him to live. This is another key element in bringing about miracles. Faith requires repentance. Miracles require faith. So miracles require repentance. Therefore, faith and repentance (which result in righteous living) are the means by which miracles come into our lives,” Gibbons said.

I know my resolve will ebb and tide as will my successes. I have clear ideas of where to head, however, and I hope and pray to have more successes in exact obedience than not. I wish the same for you if this is what you are seeking.

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Same old, same old from Obama tonight?

At the presidential debate tonight in Denver, Mitt Romney is a strong challenger to President Barack Obama. Romney’s post on facebook at about 8:30 a.m. today garnered hundreds of “likes” in just a few minutes. What he says rings true to lots of people.

Romney said, “Under President Obama, 196,688 new people are on food stamps in Colorado. We shouldn’t measure compassion by how many people are on welfare or receiving food stamps. We should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off and get a good paying job.”

If Obama uses the same old, same old, recycled rhetoric tonight, Americans should see it for what it is — a broken record.

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