Sunday, July 26, 2009

Discussing Sexuality With Our Children / Lloyd

Boyd K. Packer delivered two classic speeches that clearly defined our God-given power of procreation with its trials and tests, its sorrows and joys, and God's rules of engagement. They are: Why Stay Morally Clean,” New Era, Jul 1972; and "Ye Are the Temple of God," Ensign, Nov 2000.
The principles and doctrines found in these speeches together with the teachings of the Temple Endowment make clear the framework in which we discussed sexuality with our children.
Here is the first speech, "Why Stay Morally Clean," slightly modified and with subheadings added.

There are many young people in our audience today. It is to them, particularly to the teenagers, that I speak. The subject should be of great interest to you: Why stay morally clean. . .
before our mortal birth
In the beginning, prior to your mortal birth, you lived with our Heavenly Father. He is real. He actually lives. There are those living upon the earth who bear witness of his existence. . . . He lives, and I bear testimony of it.
He knew you there. Because he loved you, he was anxious for your happiness and for your eternal growth. He wanted you to be able to choose freely and to grow through the power of correct choice, so that you may become much as he is. To achieve this, it was necessary for us to leave his presence. Something like going away to school. A plan was presented, and each agreed to leave the presence of our Heavenly Father to experience life in mortality.
a mortal body with trials and tests
Two great things were in store for us as we came into this world. One, we would receive a mortal body, created in the image of God. Through it, by proper control, we might achieve eternal life and happiness. Two, we would be tried and tested in such a way that we could grow in strength and in spiritual power.
Now this first purpose is wonderfully important, for this body given us will be resurrected and will serve us through the eternities.
Under the accepted plan, Adam and Eve were sent to the earth as our first parents. They could prepare physical bodies for the first spirits to be introduced into this life.
the power of procreation, family, and happiness in mortality
There was provided in our bodies—and this is sacred—a power of creation, a light, so to speak, that has the power to kindle other lights. This gift was to be used only within the sacred bonds of marriage. Through the exercise of this power of creation, a mortal body may be conceived, a spirit enter into it, and a new soul born into this life.
This power is good. It can create and sustain family life, and it is in family life that we find the fountains of happiness. It is given to virtually every individual who is born into mortality. It is a sacred and significant power, and I repeat, my young friends, that this power is good.
You who are teenagers, like every other son and daughter of Adam and Eve, have this power within you.
The power of creation—or may we say procreation—is not just an incidental part of the plan: it is essential to it. Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan.
Much of the happiness that may come to you in this life will depend on how you use this sacred power of creation. The fact that you young men can become fathers and that you young women can become mothers is of utmost importance to you.
As this power develops within you, it will prompt you in the search for a companion and empower you to love and to hold him.
I repeat, this power to act in the creation of life is sacred. You can some day have a family of your own. Through the exercise of this power you can invite children to live with you—little boys and little girls who will be your very own—created, in a way, in your own image. You can establish a home, a dominion of power and influence and opportunity. This carries with it great responsibility.
why the creative power within us must be strong and constant
This creative power carries with it strong desires and urges. You have felt them already in the changing of your attitudes and your interests. . .
It was necessary that this power of creation have at least two dimensions: one, it must be strong; and two, it must be more or less constant.
This power must be strong, for most men by nature seek adventure. Except for the compelling persuasion of these feelings, men would be reluctant to accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family. This power must be constant, too, for it becomes a binding tie in family life.
You are old enough, I think, to look around you in the animal kingdom. You soon realize that where this power of creation is a fleeting thing, where it expresses itself only in season, there is no family life.
It is through this power that life continues. A world full of trials and fears and disappointments can be changed into a kingdom of hope and joy and happiness. Each time a child is born, the world somehow is renewed in innocence.
procreation is the power of deity
Again I want to tell you young people that this power within you is good. It is a gift from God our Father. In the righteous exercise of it as in nothing else, we may come close to him.
We can have, in a small way, much that our Father in heaven has as he governs us, his children. No greater school or testing place can be imagined.
Is it any wonder, then, that in the Church marriage is so sacred and so important? Can you understand why your marriage, which releases these powers of creation for your use, should be the most carefully planned, the most solemnly considered step in your life? Ought we to consider it unusual that the Lord directed that temples be constructed for the purpose of performing marriage ceremonies?
Satan’s focus is to disrupt,
even destroy mortal and
eternal family life
Now there are other things that I will tell you as a warning. In the beginning there was one among us who rebelled at the plan of our Heavenly Father. He vowed to destroy and to disrupt the plan.
He was prevented from having a mortal body and was cast out—limited forever from establishing a kingdom of his own. He became satanically jealous. He knows that this power of creation is not just an incident to the plan, but a key to it.
He knows that if he can entice you to use this power prematurely, to use it too soon, or to misuse it in any way, you may well lose your opportunities for eternal progression.
He is an actual being from the unseen world. He has great power. He will use it to persuade you to transgress those laws set up to protect the sacred powers of creation.
In former times he was too cunning to confront one with an open invitation to be immoral. But rather, sneakingly and quietly he would tempt young and old alike to think loosely of these sacred powers of creation. To bring down to a vulgar or to a common level that which is sacred and beautiful.
previously Satan was subtle, 
today it is open warfare
His tactics have changed now. He describes it as only an appetite to be satisfied. He teaches that there are no attendant responsibilities to the use of this power. Pleasure, he will tell you, is its sole purpose.
His devilish invitations appear on billboards. They are coined into jokes and written into the lyrics of songs. They are acted out on television and at theaters. They will stare at you now from most magazines. There are magazines—you know the word, pornography—open, wicked persuasions to pervert and misuse this sacred power.
You grow up in a society where before you is the constant invitation to tamper with these sacred powers.
I want to counsel you and I want you to remember these words.
do not let anyone at all touch or handle your body, not anyone!

Do not let anyone at all touch or handle your body, not anyone! Those who tell you otherwise proselyte you to share their guilt. We teach you to maintain your innocence.
Turn away from any who would persuade you to experiment with these life-giving powers.
That such indulgence is widely accepted in society today is not enough!
For both parties to willingly consent to such indulgence is not enough!
To imagine that it is a normal expression of affection is not enough to make it right.
The only righteous use of this sacred power is within the covenant of marriage.
Never misuse these sacred powers.
crowning glory or misery & sorrow
And now, my young friends, I must tell you soberly and seriously that God has declared in unmistakable language that misery and sorrow will follow the violation of the laws of chastity. “… wickedness never was happiness.” (Alma 41:10.)
These laws were set up to guide all of his children in the use of this gift.
He does not have to be spiteful or vengeful in order that punishment will come from the breaking of the moral code. The laws are established of themselves.
Crowning glory awaits you if you live worthily. The loss of the crown may well be punishment enough. Often, very often, we are punished as much by our sins as we are for them.
for transgression: the cleansing power of Christ’s atonement
I am sure that within the sound of my voice there is more than one young person who already has fallen into transgression. Some of you young people, I am sure, almost innocent of any intent, but persuaded by the enticements and the temptations, already have misused this power.
Know then, my young friends, that there is a great cleansing power. And know that you can be clean.
If you are outside the Church, the covenant of baptism itself represents, among other things, a washing and a cleansing.
For those of you inside the Church there is a way, not entirely painless, but certainly possible. You can stand clean and spotless before Him. Guilt will be gone, and you can be at peace. Go to your bishop. He holds the key to this cleansing power.
family life & happiness
without bounds
Then one day you can know the full and righteous expression of these powers and the attendant happiness and joy in righteous family life. In due time, within the bonds of the marriage covenant, you can yield yourselves to those sacred expressions of love which have as their fulfillment the generation of life itself.
Someday you will hold a little boy or a little girl in your arms and know that two of you have acted in partnership with our Heavenly Father in the creation of life. Because the youngster belongs to you, you may then come to love someone more than you love yourself.
This experience can come, insofar as I know, only through having children of your own or perhaps through fostering children born of another and yet drawn close into family covenants. . .
Through this loving one more than you love yourself, you become truly Christian. Then you know, as few others know, what the word Father means when it is spoken of in the scriptures. You may then feel something of the love and concern that he has for us.
It should have great meaning that of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that could be given him, God himself, he who is the highest of all, chose to be addressed simply as Father.
Protect and guard your gift. Your actual happiness is at stake. Eternal family life, now only in your anticipations and dreams, can be achieved because our Heavenly Father has bestowed this choicest gift of all upon you—this power of creation. It is the very key to happiness. Hold this gift as sacred and pure. Use it only as the Lord has directed.
My young friends, there is much happiness and joy to be found in this life. I can testify of that.
I picture you with a companion whom you love and who loves you. I picture you at the marriage altar, entering into covenants that are sacred. I picture you in a home where love has its fulfillment, and I picture you with little children about you and see your love growing with them.
I cannot frame this picture. I would not if I could, for it has no bounds. Your happiness will have no ends if you obey his laws.

I pray God’s blessings upon you, our youth. May our Heavenly Father watch over you and sustain you, that in the expression of this sacred gift you may draw close to him. He lives. He is our Father. Of this I bear witness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mini Vacation / Judy

(Why can't I remember to put in the picture I want last first and vice versa? Also, still not able to write between the pictures.) Anyway, the top one is a little planter I bought while out and about with Marilyn while she was here. Now, I almost never buy stuff, but I just loved this cow and immediately put it on our table outside.

The next picture shows Marilyn and me at the bay. She came Sunday and left this morning and in between we went out every day. On Monday we stayed in town and did the usual stuff. Since Gottschalks's, the big department store, is closing, we spent a lot of time in there actually trying to buy somethings at 80-90% off but couldn't find much. Then Mon. night we went out for fish and chips with Lloyd. Tuesday we went to the south coast, including our favorite "road side stand", then that night we went down to Solvang to see Ben in "Les Mis." We ate at Anderson's Pea Soup, then saw the play. Marilyn had not seen it before and like the rest of us, she was thrilled with that production and its incredible music. Wednesday we went to the north coast, which is where this picture was taken.

I'm sorry to see her go because we always have a blast together and also now I have to get back to my usual life, which mainly consists of housework and cooking. Also, I have to work off the extra pounds that always seem to accumulate when Marilyn comes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July...Lest We Forget / Judy

I recently saw an amazing film called "Taking Chance." It was an HBO film on DVD starring Kevin Bacon as a Lt. Col. who volunteers to be an escort to take a fallen marine home. It's based on the true story that the real escort wrote from notes about his trip taking the remains of the dead marine back to his hometown. The film is quiet and VERY moving as it shows the reactions of all the ordinary people he encounters along the way.

Here is the site to go to for the trailer:

Hope you can see it because even the trailer is wonderful and really gives you a sense of this movie, which seems appropriate today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

An Update / Judy

I would put up more pictures from Aspen Grove, but I can't find them; they're somewhere in the computer (sigh). But I did want to tell about my recent experience.

In January I had the kidney stones on my left side taken care of and it was awful and the whole thing lasted about three months. On Monday I had to do the stone in my right side and so far it hasn't been nearly so bad. Here is an excerpt from an email I sent out the family:

Well, I'm now on the other side of the ordeal and it really wasn't as bad as last time. In the first place, they did NOT put in stent...Yayy! and so far I haven't had the pain after coming home I did last time. Or maybe I know how to manage it better--I've been taking a pill every 4-6 hours all day to head it off before it starts. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am on Monday and the "surgery" was at 7:00 and we were home by 11:00. We would have been home an hour earlier, but I did have a big spasm that vicodin didn't help (and I threw it up), so they gave me some intravenous morphine and then I had to wait for an hour while I was mostly floating and sleeping.

When I was in the operating room, being moved from the gurney to the table, I said, "Wait, stop! I've changed my mind so let's not do this." You should have seen their faces! Everybody froze, and then said, "Really?" I had to laugh and then I said, "No, not really. But I actually don't want to do this." There was a sigh of relief and a couple nervous chuckles and next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. I think people who work there are never told no. They just assume everybody will go along with the program, no questions asked, which is reasonable of course.

I was awake in the recovery room and feeling well for about half an hour and they kept asking me how I felt, so I finally said, "I'm bored." At that point the nurse said maybe I could go back to my room then, where Lloyd waited for me. So here I am, a little out of it, but not too bad off, and hoping it stays like this. It's now Friday and I haven't taken any pain med since yesterday and even then it wasn't very much. As I said, “So far, so good.”

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