Sunday, September 30, 2012

Figuring out the teenage brain

Teenagers! Am I right?

While that would, admittedly, be a great self-sufficient text for a completely accurate post, I cannot leave it at that. So, to resume:

Recently we have been getting more direction from the General Authorities that, in regards to the youth programs of the church, the youth are to be the ones taking charge and running the show. These are not idle suggestions. For example, Elder Quentin L. Cook drew the analogy that normally if a youth were driving a car over a cliff a leader would grab the wheel and prevent the disaster. However, his instruction was to let them go ahead and drive off the cliff. The message being that the youth are to be in leadership roles no matter what. I assume that the secondary lesson is that failure is one of the greatest teachers. More recently Elder Bednar at a combined leadership session said that the youth are to be running the program and if you have adult leaders who are not letting that happen, you release them and find leaders who  will. Very strong messages and somewhat uncomfortable for those of us who grew up under a very different paradigm.

This evening we were to have a fireside at Bishop's home. Normally he would choose a topic and then teach for an hour or so. However, under the new direction he felt that the youth should have more input, so we decided to have a youth-directed Q&A session. The youth could ask any of the leaders anything they wanted to know about them with the intent to get to know the spiritual side of their leaders a little better. We all thought this was a good plan and were pretty excited to see what would happen.

Later during the fireside Bishop spoke for about 15 minutes then turned over the time to the youth to ask us questions. There was utter silence from the youth. To prevent undue discomfort, I asked a question to get the ball rolling. We ended up having a marvelous discussion and I learned a lot from what the other leaders shared. However, there was still no youth input. I know I was fairly disappointed, and I'm sure the other leaders were as well.

Afterwards I spoke to some of the youth and asked them what they thought; they all liked it quite a bit but expressed that they really were trying to think of a question, but just couldn't come up with one. One young man suggested that if they had been given more time to prepare they would have had questions ready, the other youth listening agreed. This was the beginning of understanding for me.

When we got home I tried prompting Caleb to share with Marci what he thought of the fireside and what he learned. His reply was "I don't remember." I was dumbfounded. That was 5 MINUTES AGO!!! How can you NOT remember something that JUST HAPPENED!? I reigned in my frustration and impatience as well as I could and, in an effort to get Caleb to say more than 3 words, poked and prodded his memory to draw out some more detail. It turned out that he DID remember quite a bit and he DID learn a number of things, much more than would be indicated by the initial response. It wasn't easy to draw out, but once we got him started he definitely had more than "I don't remember."

We spoke more later and he shared with me some more about his thinking process and how his memory works and I finally got it: he's a teenager. His brain doesn't work like mine. He hasn't developed the mental skills I have, he just lacks the experience. This was reinforced by what the other youth had said earlier - it all clicked into place for me. It's humbling to realize that I can know something (I studied educational psychology and developmental psychology) and yet not know a darned thing.

I spoke to Caleb and asked him to do me a favor: the next time we ask "What did you learn?" or "What did you remember?" he needs to say "Let me think for a minute." instead of saying "I don't remember." If he says it that way we will understand that he needs to process his memory and that he isn't being petulant or ignorant or both.

I am grateful that I was able to be there with my son at a fireside where I was able to learn about the practical way a teenager's mind works. I'm grateful that I was finally able to understand why communication with Caleb is so frustrating at times. I am grateful that the Lord provided me with a situation where I could be presented with the experiences that would help me gain a little more understanding about my son and the youth that I work with. I believe that understanding will help me be a better parent and leader.

I'm also grateful for a son who has patience enough to deal with a slow-witted father and who has the courage to be able to help me learn more about who he is. Thank you Caleb for teaching me and for being patient with your parents as we learn about you.

Strong Leaders

Last night was the General Relief Society Broadcast. I love going to the broadcast. It is so wonderful to listen to our leaders teach me about the things I need to work on (which are many), what is coming in the future and how to prepare for it. There is a new General RS presidency that was just put in last April conference and I was excited to listen to these women and to see the differences and similarities from the previous RS presidency. There are some differences, but what struck me the most was that it doesn't matter what the differences are, the thing that is the same, and the only thing that matters, is that all of these women are strong role models that I need in my life. They have all been through their share of trials; they have weaknesses that they work hard to overcome and they have had to work through disappointments - but, they have relied on the Lord throughout their lives and they have truly learned what it means to cast their burdens on the Lord. This is the kind of woman I want to become. I want to know that I have learned to give everything over to the Lord. I want to know Him and teach my children how to know Him. I am so blessed to have these wonderful leaders in my life to learn from and listen to and who I know will not steer me in the wrong direction. Sis. Burton, Sis. Reeves and Sis. Stephens; thank you so much for the lives that you have led to allow you to be our leaders today. You inspire me to want to be better and come to know my Savior more deeply. Thank you!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our son: Gavin

Today's post is an easy one. Gavin turned 8 this week and today he was baptized. He's been looking forward to it so much and it was great to see him finally able to meet his goal. He is a wonderful boy and has so many strong qualities. Like any child he will drive us absolutely nutty sometimes, but even as the insanity sets in and begins to drive full throttle up the nearest wall, you can still see that the very thing that is making you crazy has the potential to be his strongest and most positive character traits.

We had so many good friends and family that came out to support him and it really was a great day. Gavin at one point during the day even whispered to Marci, "This has been so fun!" And it was.

Gavin, we are so proud of you for making good choices. We love you and love what you do for our family. We are blessed to have all of our children, but today was Gavin's special day. Love you Buba!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Good people who serve our family

I knew this would happen eventually, I'm just kind of upset it happened today. I have had one of "those" days. I haven't been able to concentrate on anything so I've been generally unfocused and lazy all day. I don't think I could tell you what I had for lunch much less talk about anything really noteworthy.

However, that is the blessing of this little blog. While I was sitting here not thinking of anything at all that I could write about, I figured: I'll just write about that! Brilliant! Of course, as it usually happens when you exercise a little faith and begin to act: as soon as I start to write I then recall a rather obvious blessing that has touched my life: my wife's visiting teachers.

Marci and I went to our gym this evening to partake of the spa/sauna/steam room - we go around once week and just hang out and talk for an hour or so. It's very relaxing and it is usually pretty quiet in the evenings. Hey, I'm a cheap date, what can I say. Anyway, while we were there tonight Marci told me about her lunch this afternoon with her visiting teachers. Her teachers are Shanda Adams and Brittany Call. At the lunch were the women they visit teach: Marci, Mary Davis and Jenna Hadlock. If you know those women, you know how entertaining that lunch must have been, and for those of you that don't know're missing out on something truly special. They are all extraordinary women.

In talking about the time she spent with them today she shared some of the stories they shared how much she enjoyed speaking with and learning more about the wonderful women there with her. Above everything else she spoke of she expressed to me how much she loves and admires both Shanda and Brittany and how much she appreciates having good visiting teachers. She was especially grateful for their example of cheerful service that they both share so easily and readily.

I know both Brittany and Shanda and I have seen how cheerful service is such a large part of who they are. However, even if I knew nothing else about them, I know that they have blessed the life of my sweet wife, and by so doing they have blessed my life and the lives of our children and therefore deserve my most profound gratitude. Thank you Shanda and Brittany for sharing your love and service with Marci....the blessings of your service are more deeply felt and appreciated than you know (and certainly more than these simple words can express).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Demanding teachers

I love singing, especially singing in a really good choir. I have the privilege of signing in two choirs, they are both quite different so it's hard to compare them in quality. In one choir (Cantelana, conducted by Glenn Bennett) there are only about 20 voices, but we have a world-class accompanist and a world-class director. In the other choir (EVMCO, conducted by Brandon Stewart) we have 240 voices and an up-and-coming director, but we get to sing and rehearse with a full orchestra. It is very satisfying to sing with each of them, but for very different reasons.

Last night at EVMCO the director was being very specific about the sound he wanted to hear and being a bit testy with his demands and how the choir was responding. He then spoke to us about how we should be enjoying having him be demanding as a conductor as it produced a better end result. I agree with him, but I also have to note that he has NO IDEA what a demanding conductor is really like. Brandon is definitely demanding, but he has a long way to go yet before he'll have any ability to shock me with how demanding he is, or even come close to it.

I have worked with Glenn Bennett for nearly 20 years in various musical undertakings. I have also worked with a large number of very good choirs, conductors and other music teachers, some of them at the very top of their field. I can honestly say that Glenn is as demanding and exacting in his demands as anyone. I won't say he's more exacting or demanding, but certainly he is the equal of the very best I've worked with. I am extremely grateful for that demanding attitude. Through his efforts to push others to their limits he has been a part of some of the most amazing musical experiences of my life.

The full story is too long for this short post, but suffice it to say that it was his demand for excellence that heard a very raw and untrained talent who he later convinced to spend real effort and time developing a raw talent into something more productive and refined. His attention and efforts were successful to some degree and the result All my joy in singing and my love of not just music, but my ability to perform music I owe to him. To list the ways this has blessed my life would be impossible. But I can say this:

I am grateful for passionate teachers who demand the best of me and have helped me fully develop the talents the Lord has given me and provided me with opportunities to serve others through the talents I've developed. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Building on what others write

My sweet wife has just posted some very well written words about our son Gavin. I will most likely write about him later this week, but for now all I can say is that I agree with everything she said, and I too love Gavin and appreciate him, even if he drives me crazy sometimes.

However, I would like to build on my wife's post in a slightly different direction: isn't she wonderful? Seriously, go read her post if you haven't already - she is amazing. I love her more than I can say. She is a marvelous wife and mother and my best friend. I can honestly say that we have never really had a fight between us. We've disagreed occasionally, but never for long and never to the point where we yelled or stayed mad for more than an hour or so. If you take into consideration who I am and what I am like, that is pretty darned remarkable and a marvelous testament to how patient she is with me.

To list all the ways she blesses my life, my kids lives and the lives of everyone who knows her is just not possible. I watch the hand of the Lord in our lives every day as I watch my wife as she serves everyone around her. There is no greater blessing that I could have asked for in this life than to have Marci as my wife and companion.


Clearly, I don't post every night like my wonderful husband. Not because I don't have something to be grateful for everyday, but because I just have generally forgotten each night. Anyway, tonight I just had to post about my Gavin!! It was his 8th birthday today and it was a great day for him - and just plain busy for me so that it could be great for him. There are many times that I don't say the nicest things about Gavin. He is a hard child. He is stubborn, strong willed and has to do things his own way. In the time that I am dealing with these things, I do not find them a blessing. But, in reality, they are a blessing. He is a great kid. He is strong willed and stubborn and wants things done his own way. I know I just repeated myself, and I meant to because that second time it was meant as a compliment. Gavin teaches me so much each day. I constantly have to try new ways to help him do the things I ask him to do, the things he needs to do (homework, piano, etc) - because I have to do that, I am a better mom and I look at other kids differently. I just want to understand him and there are definite times when I receive help from Heavenly Father. I have had impressions and thoughts come to me that help me understand how Gavin's mind thinks. I am always so grateful for those small and simple insights to help me better understand my son. I think at this time, we need children to grow up strong willed, stubborn and wanting to do things their own way. I think we will need children that will learn to be strong willed enough to follow God no matter what everyone else is doing around them. I believe Gavin to be one of these kids. I just need to make sure that his testimony of God and his purpose on earth are strong and he will use his stubbornness to follow them no matter what! That is my goal with him (and all my children). Some days I think it is not going to work because I am not helping him see what is most important, but then I have a tender mercy from the Lord helping me see in what direction I need to direct Gavin. I am not sure that this post has gone in the right direction of showing gratitude, but these are the thoughts that I have had today about my sweet, loving child that wants to be good, but sometimes gets in his own way! And sometimes I get in his way! He is a blessing in my life everyday and I am grateful to be his mom! I love you Gavin!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Small and simple blog

Today I need to express gratitude to President Eyring. In his General Conference address in October 2007 titled O Remember, Remember President Eyring spoke of how he began a journal wherein he tried to record daily the events that occurred which he felt showed the hand of God blessing their family.

I have to admit that I have thought about that idea ever since. It has been crawling around in my head trying to find an outlet for 5 years. I had thought about how I would go about it, thought about where and how I would write it, even the title of the journal (which really was planned to be a blog all along). I had such good intentions and even cleaned out one of my old blogs that I didn't use any longer in anticipation of starting it.

But I never actually DID anything about it!

Finally, as part of a general campaign of raising the bar for myself, I actually took action. This blog is the result....of 5 years of planning. Not very impressive, I know. I'm quite disappointed in myself for taking so darned long to get around to doing it. However, I am not in the least disappointed by the effect. Sitting down each night to think through the day and try to see the blessings that have come our way or remembering the events that inspired me, I can't help but feel even more gratitude to my Father in Heaven. The quiet moment of reflection back on the day coupled with thinking "how have I been blessed today?" combine together to produce a powerful sense of gratitude and a recognition of how blessed I really am.

Thank you President Eyring for your inspired words and for inspiring in me the need for this marvelous undertaking.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Good friends and Family Home Evening

We've been trying to be much better about having family home evening - it hasn't been easy. We could easily blame busy schedules, tired kids, or any number of logistical problems, but the reality is that I just don't have an easy time of it. Growing up I think I can remember maybe 4 or 5 times that we actually had family home evenings, and on at least one of those occasions it was one of the single most traumatic experiences we ever had as a family. So, FHE makes in general, and "spiritual" family gatherings of any sort make me intensely uncomfortable as those unfortunate memories surface.

However, the experiences we've had with my own family have been good; I just need to get over my bad attitude. Our kids love it - they are short and to the point (they have to be with small kids) and, with only the occasional complaint when our kids are busy being cranky, usually quite fun. Still, though...they could be more consistent.

What we have discovered recently that works well for us is to invite over friends. If we invite someone over to participate in FHE with us then we kind of get forced (if you can call voluntarily inviting someone over being "forced") into actually making sure FHE happens. It's not a bad system and it also allows us to have wonderful friends come over and share a good experience with us.

In keeping with the plan, we invited someone over for FHE tonight, and I am therefore grateful today for good friends who are willing to come over and be smothered by crazy kids and a freaky dog, and generally just be good natured about putting up with our family for a couple of hours.

Don't worry - you'll be on our invite list soon and you'll understand!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A son who serves

Our ward is gearing up for the annual Primary Program. For most wards this is a reasonable undertaking, but not for our ward: we have around 130 kids in our primary. Yep. One HUNDRED and THIRTY. The choir loft in our chapel has maybe 50 chairs total, so so that leaves us roughly 70 seats short. It is a logistical undertaking that is truly staggering considering that it's not just getting 130 people up on a space built for 1/3 that number, but about half of them are under 5 yrs old.  I don't think you could describe it adequately, but organized chaos comes pretty close.

The primary leaders and teachers all are wonderfully patient and skilled at getting the children to cooperate quickly and quietly, and they do it all with a love and patience that is plain to see. There are lots of others who pitch in to haul chairs to the chapel and set them up in the best way possible and the value of their service is not to be underestimated. Somehow the Primary and all those that help manage to pull it off, and very successfully at that, every year and it is truly amazing to see. However, the thing that touched my heart most today was my son Caleb. 

Caleb is technically still in Primary (having just turned 12, so he won't be completely out till January), so he still goes to class in Primary and then comes to Priesthood for the 3rd hour of church. As we started Priesthood I was looking around and didn't see him anywhere. I was a little concerned because usually he is so enthusiastic about coming, but seeing as he is essentially a teenager, I did not attribute the best of motives to him not being there. We managed to get through the entirety of opening exercises (about 10 or 15 minutes usually) and Caleb still hadn't shown up. I decided I was going to go look for him and thought that the first place to check would be the chapel where they were holding practice for the Primary program. Sure enough, there was Caleb. I had expected him to be joking with a  friend or just waiting around or some other type of laziness....I should have known better and should have had more faith in him. He was helping put away all of the chairs and cleaning up from the practice. A couple of men had also stayed behind to help put everything away, and there was Caleb, right in the thick of it. 

I recognized a good thing when I saw it and immediately complimented Caleb for being so good about helping. Then, Sister Elicio (the member of the Primary presidency who is in charge of the program) immediately stopped and turned to me and said, with a huge smile, "Caleb is always so helpful!" - you could tell she meant it and that she was really grateful that he was there to help. 

I could not have been more proud of my son.

So, being properly chagrined for having such low expectations to my son and being proven conclusively wrong, I followed HIS example. I immediately called out to all the brethren that I saw coming out of Priesthood opening exercises to come help with cleaning things up and we all tidied up the remainder quickly. 

Caleb, thank you for being such a good example of service, and thank you for being such a good young man who thinks of others first. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Helping in a small way

This evening I had the privilege of going to the temple to see a dear friend, Nichole Carney, go through the temple for the fist time. It was marvelous to be with her in the temple and to be able to support her as she made that important step in her life.

Later, after we were done with the session and waiting in the foyer for our respective wives/fiances to get dressed, Ryan Dixon (Nichole's fiance) and I had a chance to talk. He told me a couple of things that blessed my life and filled me with gratitude to the Lord. I should take the time to provide more detail, and that detail may come at another time, but for now I'll just share the short version;

Early on when Nichole and Ryan were dating, I was prompted to send a message to Ryan and express to him how blessed he was to be dating Nichole and share my thoughts about what a wonderful young woman she is. Tonight he told me that he was grateful for my message to him as it helped him at a crucial time to help crystallize the thoughts he was having about her and helped him make a stronger commitment to his relationship with Nichole.

This last week, I was prompted on Friday to ask Nichole if she was going to go through the temple prior to her marriage in October. She responded that, yes, she was and that was happening on Saturday. I asked her if she would mind if we came and she replied with an enthusiastic yes. At that moment I was extremely grateful for the prompting to call her; if I hadn't I would not have been able to share that experience with her. Ryan later shared with me that Nichole was grateful that we were going to be there because she had been feeling the need for more love ans support from friends, and I'm extremely happy that we were able to provide the kind of support she needed.

I am grateful for the hand of the Lord guiding my actions and that I was able to listen to those promptings and respond appropriately. Because of some promptings to do very small and simple things my and my family's life has been blessed through sharing wonderful experiences with a dear friend. Those same promptings have also helped bless the lives of others in a small but meaningful way. I love being able to see and feel the love the Lord has for all of His children, and I am grateful that the blessings that flow from that love.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The temple, day 2

I went to the temple with my son and the young men from our ward yesterday. Today I got to go again with the young women of our ward - at 5:00 am. It's a little too early for reasonable people to be awake and productive, but it was certainly a delight to see a bunch of young women who were making the sacrifice to do something they believed in. Remember, we're talking about teenagers; this is not a group that is noted for wanting to get out of bed early.

I'm so grateful to get to work with young people of faith and to be able to see them grow and progress. It is exciting to think about the wonderful people they can become and the bright future they have in front of them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Going to the temple with my son

Today I had the joy of going with my son and the rest of the young men from our ward down to the Mesa Temple to do baptisms for the dead. We had to leave at 4:30 AM (!) in order to be there for our start time of 5:00 - which is clearly far too early for normal human beings. However, I am proud to say that Caleb didn't even complain one time, he was up before me and ready to go. He was very excited and it was very special for me to see that excitement to do something he had been waiting to do for years.

I'm not sure what we've done to raise such a good kid, but he is just that: a good kid. I could not be more proud of him and it brings me all the happiness and joy that a parent can have to see him growing into a young man.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good advice from a good man

Today I find myself feeling grateful for some advice given to me by a good man. At church I serve as the 1st counselor to Bishop Durrant and Scott Graff is the 2nd counselor. In the midst of magnifying our callings and serving the members of the ward we have lots of opportunities to interact with one another. This past Sunday Scott shared something he had been taught, and it is something I hope to remember and always put into practice.

One of the great blessings of being in any kind of leadership position in our church is the opportunity to have many rich experiences that help to strengthen your faith and testimony as you serve others and see and feel the hand of the Lord at work. These are marvelous experiences that are precious to me and I am grateful for them. However, there is a danger. My family isn't always with me to share these experiences. Scott pointed out that while we go through these incomparable experiences we have a tendency to think "Hey, everything is going great!" because that is what we feel on a personal level. Unfortunately, our families don't get to partake on such a personal level with with us as we live these experiences. 

This was a lesson that I was taught a few years back by Elder Bednar. We had the privilege of sitting in a chapel with Elder Bednar for 3 hours while an apostle of the Lord answered our questions. It was one of the most spiritually intense and moving experiences of my life. Towards the end I asked him, "Why do we not have our wives with us? We come as priesthood leadership, but yet our closest companions cannot share this experience with us." His response was that it was our responsibility to share those experiences with our families. I admit to being a little chagrined, and also a little put out. I would have given anything to have my wife there with me, how was I supposed to transfer the experience of being taught by an apostle to my wife? 

I don't have an answer to that, but I do have a much better understanding now of the necessity of what he was teaching us. As fathers and husbands and holders of the priesthood we will always need to continually strive to share the faith building experiences we have with our families. We need to be extra careful that simply because we are feeling close to the Lord that it automatically translates to our family. That is one of the great lessons of what it means to preside in the home.

So, thank you Scott Graff for bringing me closer to an understanding of my responsibilities as a husband and father.

Staying at home

Today I am grateful to be a stay at home mom. Last year, I decided to go work at my children's school. It was a fun experience and I loved being at the school and seeing my kids throughout the day. I worked with some amazing women and learned so much about the education system and what it really takes to be a public school teacher. They are amazing people!! But, this year I decided that it was too much to work and opted to be just a substitute aide. So, I can go in when they need me. Sometimes a couple times a week or sometimes not at all in a week. I have to say that it has been wonderful!! I have loved this school year so far. Last week when I was walking into the temple, I was just so happy to have the time to go to the temple whenever I wanted to. I love being able to run my errands during the day without my kids and knowing that they are at school learning and not home watching TV or playing Wii so I can run around without them. I have loved being able to go to lunch with my mom again every week. I so missed that last year. I love having her close and being able to be with her at least once a week. I love being able to work on my house - making it into the home I want it to be. My challenge is to be able to stop when my kids get home. I tend to be a little too involved in my project to stop! :/ I love that I have a husband that doesn't say anything if I decide to lay on the couch or in bed for half a day just resting! Especially after a night hanging out with my friends and staying up too late!! I really do have a blessed life and feel like for several hours a day I get to do what I want. Some days I really fill my time with great things and other times not so much. But, everyday I have felt blessed that I get to choose what to do. Which leads to the incredible blessing of having a husband who works 2 jobs to provide for our family. That is the thing I am most thankful for. A husband and father who truly provides for me and our children in every way! Thank you!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My grandfather, a faithful man

This past Sunday as I sat listening to speakers deliver their messages in church, I'm not sure why, but I began to think of my grandfather: Frank Miller.

Grandpa Miller was (obviously) my mom's dad. My earliest memories of him are that of a happy older man who loved his grandchildren and could tickle a child like nobody else I've ever known. I can always remember his smiling face as we drove up to his house (a house he built with his own hands) in Mesa for summer of Christmas vacation. He wasn't a man of many words, but  when he spoke, you knew he meant what he said. He was also a very strong man, having been a carpenter and construction worker by trade for many years. Once I was big enough to shake his hand ("like a man" as he would say) he would grasp my hand and slowly squeeze tighter and with increasing pressure as I would fight against him with all my strength. He always won. I would always tap out, usually with a distinct inability to use my hand for several minutes afterwards. I was at least 27 before I could hold my own against him, not win, mind you, but just not have to give up whimpering in pain. He was nearly 80 at that point. I'm not too proud to say that I didn't care how old he was - it was still one of the proudest moments of my life to realize that I could now shake his hand "like a man".

I remember that he was also a man of abiding faith and deep understanding of the Gospel. In my early 20's I enjoyed a time of intellectually exploring the doctrines of our church. I would spend hours reading different books and exploring doctrine. Occasionally I would think that I had come up with some profound new way of thinking about some subject or other. With new questions rummaging around in my brain and wanting to clarify my thoughts I would go and speak to my grandpa about it. I would spend several minutes expounding on my new way of understanding and the deeper questions it brought to my mind. He would listen patiently, then respond, usually with only one or two sentences. Those few words would immediately sweep away all of my "profound" thoughts and questions with a simple and direct answer that not only answered my questions, but made me wonder how I had been so blind to the simplicity of the answer. I had incidents like this about 5 or 6 times before I finally caught what his real message was: there is no need to explore the depths of intellectual esoterica, the ultimate expression of the Gospel is simple and beautiful and that simplicity and beauty can be the study of a lifetime. He taught me by showing me how to replace my "profound" thoughts with a certitude of the simplicity of the gospel - and I knew he was right not only because of the testimony it built but also because it had been taught to me by a man of faith that I trusted.

My fondest and most precious memories of my grandpa however, have always centered around his example to me of a life well and faithfully lived. When Marci and I were first married we would frequently go to the temple and it seemed that nearly every time we went, no matter when it was, we would see my grandpa there. He was a temple worker, but he spent much more than just his normal shift working there. It was such a joy to see him at the temple and to see his smile and know how happy he was to see his grandson and grand-daughter-in-law at the temple with him. Grandpa died after we had been married for about 5 years, and ever since then I cannot go to the temple without thinking of him and his ever-faithful example. For me, my memories of my grandfather and the temple are inexorably linked together. I feel closer to him there because that was the most meaningful and most lasting memory I have of him - a man of God faithfully serving in the temple that he loved so dearly. His respect and love for the temple were obvious as was his love of serving there.

I am grateful today for the example of my grandfather, because he showed me through his example the kind of example I want to set for my children. I could hope for no greater end than to know that my children would think of me whenever they were doing the work of the Lord.

Thank you grandpa for showing me what it is to live a life of not just enduring to the end, but living with faith, love of family and active service to God for a lifetime.