On New Year’s Eve, I want you to kiss me.  Kiss me at 11:59 and do not finish that kiss until 12:01.  Therefore I have a perfect ending and definitely a perfect beginning.

We are brothers and sisters.  We are in this together.  We are not competing against each other, but against evil.

-John Bytheway

When you’re tempted to lose patience with someone, think how patient God has been with you all the time.

Today is my 39th birthday.  I’m not telling you this to get attention.  I am telling you this because it marks an even more important occasion.  I was married on June 19, 1992, which just happened to be my half birthday. I was 19 1/2. Today I have been married for exactly as long as I was single. 

It seems so surreal.  The first 19 1/2 years went by so slow.  The last 19 1/2 years have gone by in a flash.  And the fact that I have 4 children, including an 18 year old son, just blows my mind. 

My husband is my best friend.  We were friends first and love grew from that.  It grew quickly (we dated for 3 1/2 weeks before we were engaged), but we were friends before we started to date.  And that friendship has only deepened over the years. 

I’m not saying we haven’t had our differences.  We usually have one pretty big argument every year, and many small ones.  But we stick it out and don’t give up.  When he was out of work and depressed, there were days that I really thought we weren’t going to make it because I couldn’t stand to be around him. 

But because we have been sealed in the temple, we have added incentive to stay together.  We are together for all of eternity.  Not just ‘til death do you part, but for time and for all eternity.  It’s a wonderful thing.  We have each other forever. 

So tomorrow starts a new phase in my life.  I will have been in my husband’s house longer than I was in my parents’ house.  Weird. 

We simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another - or ourselves – so harshly. 

-Patricia Terry Holland

I love, love, love gift cards. 

I love to give them.  They are so nice when you want to get a gift for someone, but you just don’t know what they want.  It’s hard to shop for people!  Gift cards are a way to give them a gift that they want.  Some people look at them as a cop out, but not me.  And you can get gift cards to just about anywhere now! 

I love to get them too.  Cash I just end up spending.  It’s hard to keep it separate.  And when I get gift cards for restaurants and movie theaters, that guarantees me a date night, especially when money is tight and we wouldn’t be able to go out otherwise. 

Do you like gift cards?  Why or why not?

“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Apostle Paul, Philippians 4:11

Have you ever been so tired you could sleep anywhere, in any position?  Well, The Chocoholic was last night!  We didn’t get home until 11:00 and this is how I found him when we pulled into the garage.  Yes, he is dead asleep!


One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives.  We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something.  We have to learn to be content with what we are. 

-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

The Secret Heart

by Claire Helmers (c)1997 all rights reserved


I wonder, if you know how much I need your love.

How much I crave a compliment, how much I want a hug.

I wonder if you share my fear of always falling short

Of thinking I’m the only one with faults and sins and warts.

Do you, like me, put on a face that says your life is swell,

But shake and tremble deep inside that fragile outer shell?

Please don’t be fooled by my facade, I’ve worn it now for years

But often, just below my smile, my throat is full of tears.

Are you convinced that others here are worthier than you?

They know the gospel, pay their tithes, and shine in Sunday School

Their kids don’t fight, their house is clean, they never raise their voice.

You’d gladly trade your life for theirs, if you just had a choice.

Well, please remember, sisters dear, that life’s not all it seems.

The lives that other women live are only in your dreams

They worry, struggle, cry and pray, and never have enough

Of love from women like yourself, of gentle female stuff.

I need your love like you need mine;  I need forgiveness too

For falling short of my ideals, and wishing I was you

So if you like me, tell me so, just tell me to my face

I need to hear that, oh so much: I need your warm embrace.

Do you like my dress, my smile, the lesson I just gave?

Well, tell me every Sunday, please; I’d love it if you rave.

You see, I’m not as smart or strong or good as you may think;

Life gets me down; you’d be surprised how low my moods can sink.

Well, who am I? I’m everyone—I’m every woman here

Who needs a friend, a confidante, a non-judgmental ear,

Who wants to feel important and to know somebody cares,

Who needs to feel she’s up to all the burdens that she bears.

So please don’t be afraid of me; draw near to me instead,

Pour out your heart and soul to me and get inside my head.

Let’s be a whole fraternity of inter linking hearts.

That’s how the Savior planned it, if we each just do our part.

My dad requested that my family write some new verses for the “Book of Mormon Stories” song in the Children’s Songbook.  This is what we came up with.

Alma heard the word of God from Abinidi.
In the waters of Mormon many were baptized.
As a father he prayed for his wayward son.
God heard him as he prayed, and salvation won.

Abish had a testimony, knew the church was true.
Served the queen but couldn't share the truths that she knew.
Ammon taught and people fought, she knew just what to do.
The Spirit spoke, the people woke knowing it was true.

Nephi was a prophet in the Book of Mormon times.
He was hunting animals, his bow of steel broke.
His brothers were mad at him, so he went and prayed.
Our Father helped him find food to eat.

Joseph Smith was a prophet and he saw a vision.
He translated the golden plates with the Urim and Thummim.
A mighty work had come forth, it was the Book of Mormon,
With a promise, if we read, we will know the truth.

After Nephi's family had left Jerusalem,
They went back to get the plates and said it would be done.
Laban tried to stop them but his efforts were in vain.
The plates of brass were saved for posterity.

Moroni was a warrior and a man of God,
war had come to the land, the people were in fear.
In memory of our God, our faith, our wives and children, too.
The Title of Liberty, over the land, flew.

Mahonri Moriancumer was faithful to the Lord,
He had to build eight barges to cross the mighty sea.
He went unto the mount to seek help from God above,
God touched the stones and they glowed brightly.

The Ammonites changed their name to Anti-Nephi-Lehites.
They buried all their weapons to make a covenant.
They would rather die than break their promise.
They never took their swords and killed after that.

Enos was a prophet who lived in Nephite times.
When he was down in both spirit and mind.
He went into the forest and prayed both day and night.
Forgiven, just because, he had faith.