The story of me 3.4

My very first job was at Western Arkansas Employment Development Agency. That was the office that administered JTPA in our area. JTPA (the Job Training Partnership xAct) was federally subsidized job training. I started there as a JTPA participant in March of 1984, just a couple of weeks before my 17th birthday. 

I learned clerical skills, data entry and word processing skills. A year later when I quit school and had to end my time as a participant, they hired me on as a staff member. I was very blessed to have that job. 

I did not leave WAEDA until 1989 when my son was born premature and could not go to daycare because he had an apnea monitor the first 6 months of his life.

After my daughter was born in June of 1990 and I decided to be a nurse, it was WAEDA and JTPA that paid for my LPN school.

I learned many great things at that first job. I not only learned clerical and computer skills, word processing,  I learned phone skills, motivational skills, interpersonal skills, how to be a supervisor, to praise in public and counsel in private. I even began learnig how to teach others there. I learned so many things that have served me well in every job and my life since that time.

I hope everyone has a Blessed Sunday!!


The story of me 3.2

I remember at about 5 years old wanting to be a nurse when I grew up.

Over the next few years as I mentioned that multiple times, my dad told me that I was smart enougj to be a doctor. He stated that nurses take orders from doctors and I should become a doctor.So, I changed my mind and planned on being a doctor.

That dream lasted until high school. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was sick of school. I went to work in the clerical field.

After I had my 2nd child I realized that I couldn’t pay for child care for 2 kids on a secretaries salary. So, I remembered my original dream of being a nurse. I checked in to local vocational training and financing. I startef LPN school when my youngest child was 6 months old.

I graduated from LPN school at the top of my class in December of 1991. I went to work as an LPN at a local physical rehabilitation hospital in January of 1992. I loved it. 

I worked there until March of 1996 when my fibro symptoms started. I did not renew my LPN license in 1997 due to my fibro.

I was only able to work as a nurse for 5 years, but it was a dream come and I will never regret it.


The story of me 2.13

The story of me 2.13

The qualities that I admire most have changed over the years. When I was younger I thought I wanted my friends to be a duplicate of me. If we didn’t agree, or if they didn’t have the sames values, I thought we couldn’t be friends. I have grown over the years.

Today I value kindness, unconditional love and honesty.

I am a lot less judgemental today and don’t try to cotrol my friends or choose friends who are a copy of me.

Chapter 4: The Pioneer Heritage of Faith and Sacrifice

Chapter 4: The Pioneer Heritage of Faith and Sacrifice

This is the lesson that I am blessed to get to teach in RS this Sunday morning. I thought that I would share it with y’all too. I hope you enjoy it.


The introduction of this lesson talks of Pres. Hinckley’s ancestors and his connection to pioneers.

The final paragraph of the introduction jumped out at me and I wanted to emphasize it:

“When President Hinckley spoke of the early pioneers, his purpose was much bigger than focusing on those who lived in the past. He looked to the future, hoping that the faith and sacrifices of those Saints would “become a compelling motivation for us all, for each of us is a pioneer in his own life, often in his own family.” ”

Section 1

Section 1 is all about faith!!

The questions at the back of the lesson for this section are:

Why was faith essential for the pioneers who wanted to gather in the Salt Lake Valley?

How did they put their faith into action?

How can we put our faith into action to help bring about the “great future” ahead of us?

Paul’s Hebrews 1:11 was quoted (“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”)

And some of the quotes from Pres Hinckley are very notable:

“The power that moved our gospel forebears was the power of faith in God. It was the same power which made possible the exodus from Egypt, the passage through the Red Sea, the long journey through the wilderness, and the establishment of Israel in the Promised Land. …

We need so very, very much a strong burning of that faith in the living God and in his living, resurrected Son, for this was the great, moving faith of our gospel forebears.”

And I absolutely love: “A personal and individual recognition of God their Eternal Father to whom they could look in faith was of the very essence of their strength”

And this last paragraph of section 1 is wonderful: “Behind us is a glorious history. It is bespangled with heroism, tenacity to principle, and unflagging fidelity. It is the product of faith. Before us is a great future. It begins today. We cannot pause. We cannot slow down. We cannot slacken our pace or shorten our stride.”

I know that for me, building a relationship with Heavenly Father has been a long process. I looked for a “spiritual connection” for many, many years but was  unable to find a rewarding connection. In the last 10 ½ years I have been blessed to have developed a beautiful relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It has taken a lot of work, and it still takes work today, But that work is so worth the many, many blessings that I receive! I had to find my own relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus before I could find the faith that President Hinkley is talking about. I know and understand about faith today. It took a lot of faith and courage to come back to church 4 years ago, by myself. But, now look at me, I get the blessing of sharing with you ladies once a month a lesson from the Presidents of the Church! I never could have imagined that 4 years ago.

So, now let’s look back at those questions and discuss them.


Section 2

This section is about how the Mormon pioneers overcame enormous heart break and heart ache trying to find “Zion”

He stated of them:

“They had doubts, yes. But their faith rose above those doubts. Their optimism rose above their fears. They had their dream of Zion, and they were on their way to fulfill it.”

President Hinckley taught that the early pioneers looked to the future, with Zion as their “grand objective,” “great hope,” and “dream”.

Why do you think this was such a powerful motivating force for the early pioneers?

What similar hopes motivate us today?


Section 3

This section is about how “The rescue of the Willie and Martin handcart pioneers speaks of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Once President Young knew about the need for their rescue, he did not delay! He told the people the next morning. He wasn’t going to wait until Monday, it had to be started on that day, Sunday. Among many other things, he told them “I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you.”

President Hinckley said “My brethren and sisters, I would hope, I would pray, that each of us … would resolve to seek those who need help, who are in desperate and difficult circumstances, and lift them in the spirit of love into the embrace of the Church, where strong hands and loving hearts will warm them, comfort them, sustain them, and put them on the way of happy and productive lives.”

What can we do to rescue and lift those who are in need today?


Section 4

“It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. It is good to look upon the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. It is good to reflect upon the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries. Their tremendous example can become a compelling motivation for us all, for each of us is a pioneer in his own life, often in his own family, and many of us pioneer daily in trying to establish a gospel foothold in distant parts of the world.”

“Whether you have pioneer ancestry or came into the Church only yesterday, you are a part of this whole grand picture of which those men and women dreamed. Theirs was a tremendous undertaking. Ours is a great continuing responsibility. They laid the foundation. Ours is the duty to build on it.”

“They marked the path and led the way. Ours is the obligation to enlarge and broaden and strengthen that path until it encompasses the whole earth. … Faith was the guiding principle in those difficult days. Faith is the guiding principle we must follow today”

How does looking to the past help you “gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future”?

In what ways is each of us a pioneer? (I know that I am somewhat of a pioneer, I am the only active LDS member in my household. I am the only Mormon among my friends. I get to help alleviate a lot of the bad publicity that we have.)


Section 5 – We honor the sacrifices and heritage of the pioneers by following their example and building on their foundation:

“Our forebears laid a solid and marvelous foundation. Now ours is the great opportunity to build a superstructure, all fitly framed together with Christ as the chief cornerstone.”

“You are the fruit of all of [the pioneers’] planning and of all of their labors. … What a wonderful people they were. There is nothing like their great effort in all of history. … God bless their memory to our good. When the way seems hard, when we are discouraged thinking all is lost, we can turn to them and see how much worse was their condition. When we wonder about the future, we can look to them and their great example of faith. …”

“With so great an inheritance, we must go forward. We must never let down. We must hold our heads high. We must walk with integrity. We must “do what is right [and] let the consequence follow” “

In what sense are all Church members blessed by the faith and sacrifices of those pioneers?

How can the examples of the early pioneers help us as we face challenges?





This weeks lesson I’m teaching

I get the privilege of teaching Relief Society tomorrow morning. I decided I would share my lesson with you on my blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 2: An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World

From the Life of Gordon B. Hinkley:

After his mission, President Hinkley, instead of going back to college, accepted a job as executive secretary of the newly formed Church Radio, Publicity, and Mission Literature committee. This was his first of many job with the church.

Having developed the ability to express himself clearly in all situations, President Hinkley often received assignments to be interviewed by news reporters. As President of the Church, he continued to welcome such opportunities, doing his part to help bring the church “out of obscurity”


1 – Like the Stone in Daniel’s vision, the church is rolling forth to fill the whole earth:

When the Church was organized in 1830 there were but six members and oly a handful of believers. Today Stakes of Zion flourish in every state of the United States, in every province of Canada, in every state of Mexico, in every nation of Central America and throughout South America.

Congregations are found throughout the British Isles and Europe, where thousands have joined the Church through the years. This work has reached out to the Baltic nations and on down through Bulgaria and Albania and other areas of that part of the world. It reaches across the vast area of Russia. It reaches up into Mongolia and all down through the nations of Asia into the islands of the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and into India and Indonesia. It is flourishing in many of the nations of Africa…


2 – Early church leaders had a prophetic view of the destiny of the Lord’s work:

President HInkley said he “marveled at the foresight of that little group. It was both audacious and bold. It was almost unbelievable. Here they were, almost a thousand miles from the nearest settlement to the east and almost eight hundred miles from the Pacific Coast. They were in an untried climate. The soil was different from that of the black loam of Illinois and Iowa, where they had most recently lived. They had never raised a crop here. They had never experienced a winter. They had not built a structure of any kind. These prophets, dressed in old, travel-worn clothes, standing in boots they had worn for more than a thousand miles from Nauvoo to this valley, spoke of a millennial vision. They spoke out of a prophetic view of the marvelous destiny of this cause. They came down from the peak that day and went to work to bring reality to their dream.


3 – We must never lose sight of the divine destiny of God’s work and the part we play in it:

… While you are performing the part to which you have been called, never lose sight of the whole majestic and wonderful picture of the purpose of this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. Weave beautifully your small thread in the grand tapestry, the pattern for which was laid out for us by the God of heaven. Hold high the standard under which we walk. Be diligent, be true, be virtuous, be faithful, that there may be no flaw in that banner.

Why do we need to see this grand picture?

Why do we sometimes lose sight of it?

In what ways can our small efforts contribute to the growth of God’s kingdom?


4 – We can become as an ensign to the nations from which the people of the earth may gather strength:

This section is simply amazing. I really feel that this is the section that I should focus on today!

President Hinkley said: My brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike.

It is not always easy to live in the world and not be a part of it. We cannot live entirely with our own or unto ourselves, nor would we wish to. We must mingle with others. In so doing, we can be gracious. We can be inoffensive. We can avoid any spirit or attitude of self-righteousness. But we can maintain our standards. …

We need not compromise. We must not compromise. The candle that the Lord has lighted in this dispensation can become as a light unto the whole world, and others seeing our good works can be led to glorify our Father in Heaven and emulate in their own lives the examples they have observed in ours.

Beginning with you and me, there can be an entire people who, by the virtue of our lives in our homes, in our vocations, even in our amusements, can become as a city upon a hill to which men may look and learn, and an ensign to the nations from which the people of the earth may gather strength.

If we are to hold up this Church as an ensign to the nations and a light to the world, we must take on more of the luster of the life of Christ individually and in our own personal circumstances. In standing for the right, we must not be fearful of the consequences. We must never be afraid.

… I urge you with all the capacity that I have to reach out in a duty that stands beyond the requirements of our everyday lives; that is, to stand strong, even to become a leader in speaking up in behalf of those causes which make our civilization shine and which give comfort and peace to our lives. You can be a leader. You must be a leader, as a member of this Church, in those causes for which this Church stands. Do not let fear overcome your efforts

We have nothing to fear. God is at the helm. He will overrule for the good of this work. He will shower down blessings upon those who walk in obedience to His commandments. Such has been His promise. Of His ability to keep that promise none of us can doubt.

Unitedly, working hand in hand, we shall move forward as servants of the living God, doing the work of His Beloved Son, our Master, whom we serve and whose name we seek to glorify.11

We must stand firm. We must hold back the world. If we do so, the Almighty will be our strength and our protector, our guide and our revelator. We shall have the comfort of knowing that we are doing what He would have us do. Others may not agree with us, but I am confident that they will respect us. We will not be left alone. There are many [who are] not of our faith but who feel as we do. They will support us. They will sustain us in our efforts.12

Let us glory in this wonderful season of the work of the Lord. Let us not be proud or arrogant. Let us be humbly grateful. And let us, each one, resolve within himself or herself that we will add to the luster of this magnificent work of the Almighty, that it may shine across the earth as a beacon of strength and goodness for all the world to look upon.


How can we live in the world without being of the world?

How can we “take on more of the luster of the life of Christ”?

Why is it important for us to stand for what is right?


The Story of Me week 7


I didn’t have a lot of friends as a child. We moved around a lot, so I was not able to cultivate many long friendships.

We moved to Arkansas when I was 14, and I have mostly been around Fort Smith and Van Buren since that time. I do still have pretty regular contact with one of the girls that I went to Seminary with back when I was 14. It is nice to be able to say that I have had a friend that long. She is always the friend I tag on Facebook as the the “friend” that I have known longest in real life (other than family of course).

My best friend is my husband. We have been married for over 31 years. We have had our share of problems, and there was a few years that we were separated and I did not want to be married to him anymore. But, after I got clean and worked a few steps, I got rid of all of the anger I had toward him and was able to see the love again. We have had a really great last 10 years of married life. He knows me better than probably anyone. I know him pretty well too. One of the best things about our relationship now versus our relationship before I worked steps is that I feel comfortable telling him anything. Before the discomfort was not with ‘him’, it was my own insecurity and not believing I was worth loving. It is really nice to be able to tell him all my stuff and trust that he still loves me!!

I have a really good friend that I have known for about 10 years now. I trust her with all of my stuff. I can tell her anything and she will not judge me. She helps me find my way to my solutions. We did not start out as friends, this relationship has taken lots of work, but it sure has been worth it. I sure do love my Brandi!! I hope to always be friends with her!

I am friends with my remaining blood sister. We get along and we talk. There is 15 years difference in our ages and when our mom died I stepped into the parental role. I made many mistakes in our relationship over the years. I have done a lot better in the last 10 since I worked steps and have been able to mostly stop trying to be her mom and tell her what to do and how to live her life. I really enjoy just being her sister. We just don’t enjoy the same things too much. Also we are not at the same places in our lives and that is ok.

I was pretty good friends as one time with my sister Debbie. We were only 2 years apart in age. Once we grew up and mostly quit fighting, we did a lot together. Our son’s were born 10 days apart and they grew up together. There were many, many Friday and Saturday nights that we spent hours at her house all of us playing cards or watching TV or just chatting. That all changed not long after Mom died. A lot of things in our life changed within a few years of Mom dying. But I will always treasure those memories and I will also treasure the talks that her and I had in the past 8 years or so!

I am  still practicing being a good friend and I hope to continue making more friends for many years to come.