Friday, July 27, 2012

Yes, Stand For Something - by Tiffani Adamson

My daughter, Tiffani had an incident not long ago in a library in Spokane Washington. She decided to "Stand For Something." She did a great deal of research and has started to fight against the power of evil that surrounds us all. We find it everywhere and even in the Library where we take our children. You should check out yours. If you care about your freedoms please take a moment and read her blog; you will be glad you did. The video at the end is wonderful.
Here is the link:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our 24th of July Celebration - Honoring Our Pioneer Heritage~

Sena Christensen Peterson
Here is a short history of my great grandmother, Sena. Sena Christensen was born Nov. 13, 1846, in Aaby, Aalborg, Denmark. She was the daughter of Neils Christian and Mette Christendatter Christensen.
When the missionaries from the LDS Church came to see them and told them of the gospel and the wonderful Zion in the mountains of America, they decided to go to the land of plenty. In 1861 her father, mother, and their six children left their native land. Sena was next to the youngest and was just 13 years old.
They sailed from Liverpool, England, Thursday, May 16, 1861. They were passengers on the ship "Monarch of the Sea." There were 955 Saints of various nationalities on board.....
While she was aboard the ship, she met her future husband, Eskild Christian Peterson. The company arrived in New Your City, June 19, 1861.
They joined a handcart company, and began their journey to Salt Lake City, Utah. During the long trip across the country, they endured many hardships common to pioneers. Fuel was scarce and they were compelled to gather anything that would burn, to cook their food. Sena, though only a girl, walked a large part of the way across the plains, helping to carry her younger sister. She also gave up her turn to ride when a woman, who was ill, needed to ride. Sena and her family settled in Spring City, she went to work in Mt. Pleasant which was six miles away. When she got homesick, she would walk the six miles to Spring City to see her mother. On one of these trips home a band of Indians overtook her and tried to take her away on one of their horses but by some good fortune, she managed to escape, frightened nearly to death. She worked a whole year for cloth for a calico dress. When she tried to make the dress, she lacked enough material for one sleeve.
She married Eskild Christian Peterson May 16, 1864, in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. She was 16 years old Her husband and nine other men......moved to Sanpete County. They tried several times to move their families to Richfield, but the Indians kept forcing them back to Sanpete. Finally in 1871 they were able to return to Richfield, but their lives were not easy because grasshoppers destroyed the crops.
They planted sugarcane and made molasses. This sugarcane saved their lives many times as Sena and her children hid in it whenever her husband was away and they saw the Indians coming. Her Husband was a minute man and was called out at all hours of the night to fight the Indians. Whenever the drum would beat they would run for the sugarcane to hide for their protection.
One night when her husband was called away, they heard an awful noise outside. They thought it was Indians, and her daughter tried to hide a candle light so the Indians could not see it. She accidentally caught an old curtain on fire. While Sena was trying to put the fire out, on of her sleeves caught fire. She quickly stuck her arm in the only bucket of water in the house and extinguished the fire. They had to stay up all night because they had on locks on the doors.
Sena and Eskild had nine children. She died Feb. 24, 1922, in Richfield, Utah.
The Family of Sena and Eskild Peterson
My grandfather's is the last one on the left top.
This is Sena and Eskild's first home in Richfield, Utah
This home has been preserved by the Daugher's of the Utah Pioneers~

Just a few thought today on the pioneers. I find it amazing that my own ancestors pulled handcarts and walked over a 1,000 miles to Zion. We often times look at our ancestry and marvel at all they went through and asked ourselves how did they do it? How did they walk 1,000 miles pulling a handcart so that they might worship their God in peace. They gave their all to the cause of Zion. Many lost their parents, spouses and children due to the harsh circumstances they were in. Once here they had to build homes, farms, business from scratch. We acknowledge that their trials were physical and severe but not the same as ours.
As I reflect upon the differences; perhaps ours are not that different. They loved their families and cried and grieved over the ones they lost. In our generation we can save our children through modern medicine. However, I have seen an increase in many children that have diseases that were unknown then. We watched our granddaughter suffer much through a bone marrow transplant for a rare disease. Even with modern medicine we see much suffering.
 There was persecution then and now. We are in a fight for our freedom and our constitution.  Gangs, mafia,Terrorists, and deranged individuals plague our nation. Terrorists attacks and wars continue on as part of our struggles. Fear of job loss, homes and other financial reversals are prevalent. The social ills of pornography, and violence surround us us. Our children are living in an ever present evil world that wasn't there in the pioneer era. Our pioneers were salwart, brave and true to their beliefs. We must in turn be salwart, brave and true to our beliefs.
We are modern day pioneers of today's era.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reunion 2012 Is Here~

This is our crazy bunch in 2010
This week we are having our Roger Lee and LeAnn Williams family reunion. We hold this reunion every two years. If all of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren come we will have a total of 8 families with a total of 48. It is so amazing to have this large of a posterity. When we were married 45 years ago; we planned in the beginning to have at least 4 children and we ended up with 6.  We would have never fathomed that we would have 31 grandchildren with 2 great grandchildren, one on the way and 3 step-great grandchildren. We are way to young for all of this.  Reflecting back on our family through the years; we have had the roller coaster ride of our lives. Of course, with all of life experiences we have had the ups and downs of a challenging and thrilling journey.
 As we look at our children now we are so grateful for each of them. Their companions are our children in every way.  They have brought into our lives great joy. However, I do find that raising Adult children can be a big challenge; perhaps bigger than raising teenagers. Those that are our age will recognize what I mean. We are pleased that they have kept our faith and are now teaching their children to love our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ with all their hearts and to trust in Them.
We have a family motto - "No Empty Chairs" which means that we do not want even one of these precious children to be missing from our table in the Kingdom to come.
We hold family reunions to bond our family together forever.
This year we are very excited to have two nights to spend with just our grandchildren. On Thursday night we will have total of 9  boys that are 8 and up. On Friday night we will have a total of 12 girls that are 8 and up. This is for special cousin bonding and grandparent time.
OK, do you think We are insane; of course we are, but we will have a blast. 
Here are some thoughts on planning a large reunion. First take in consideration that each family will all have their own opinion of where they want go. This is always an interesting topic. In the long run it would probably be best to throw all of the ideas in a hat and draw out where you will be going for the next reunion. 
Remember that all of them have different ideas on food. Some of them are almost vegetarians and the others may want the meat and potato kind of menu.You won't be able to satisfy every ones demands for a different food fair; but you can  make compromises. We have found out that deciding on the main dish and then making assignments for salad and desserts work best. Just an old fashioned Pot luck works well too.
We have had some of our reunions in large homes or cabins. We have also had some children stay with us and the rest have hotel rooms. You have to take into consideration the fact that your adult children will all have different budgets. Some can afford to pay the costs without difficulty and others it is harder. We have talked about but not implemented the idea of having a reunion fund that you start contributing to monthly until the next reunion time.
It's important as Grandparents that you don't do all the planning. It is much nicer if you assign a couple of families to be in charge of planning the reunion each time.
We always try to have a fun and spiritual devotional during the week. Here the families can participate in various ways. They can do a skit, a talent, a reading or whatever they can come up with. This is on a volunteer basis only. We do have family singing time so we can get them all involved in doing something.
If the weather is nice we do a day of outdoor games, softball, kick ball and water games.
This year we will be going to East Canyon Lake. Here we will enjoy swimming and other activities. This area has a rich history of the Pioneer trek into Utah. We will be sharing some of our religious heritage with our family while there.
OK, dogs are not part of our human family. We do not look at them as extra grandchildren. No you can't bring them, there is no room in our home or back yard for 8 dogs. Along with most hotels, parks and lakes have pet rules; usually no pets allowed. This is a  sensitive subject because we do all love our pets. It's more a too many dog problem.
Always, have on hand a First Aid kit. With so many children there is bound to be a little accident.
Finally, in order to enjoy this adventure you must come with loving kind hearts, forgiving memories and total respect for each other. Mighty prayers, fasting and going to the temple might be important to accomplish this one. Remember Children are children even when they turn 30 and above. They are in different positions in the family which will always remain that way. Sibling revelry does not end with adulthood. Then you add the combination of the grandchildren and keeping the peace is very important. Prayers are always needed.
I usually pray that guardian angels will surround our families and that Satan will be bound from interfering with this very sacred opportunity to all be together for a few days as a forever family.

Reunion 2010

Our thrilling adventure will be disclosed  in an upcoming post;if we make it through it all~

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Beatitudes - Come Unto Christ ~

Here are few thoughts on the Beatitudes given by our Savior, Jesus Christ known as The "Sermon On the Mount". (New Testament; Matthew 5).This sermon was also given during the Savior's visit to the people of the Book of Mormon after his Resurrection. There are some variations as found in (The Book of Mormon; 3 Nephi 12) In both of these sermons the Savior teaches the doctrine of happiness.
According to the dictionary the word blessed means enjoying, happiness or bliss; favored with blessings, happy, highly favored. Other words to describe blessed are spiritual happiness or heavenly felicity. This Sermon is a gift from Christ to all of us. This is the pattern for us as his disciples to come unto Him.
President Harold B. Lee said the following: "In His Sermon on the Mount the Master has given us somewhat of a revelation of His own character, which was perfect, or what might be said to be 'an autobiography, every syllable of which He had written down in deed,' and in so doing has given us a blueprint for our own lives." (Decisions For A Successful Life by Harold B. Lee).
This is a list of Christlike attributes that we should seek after. This beautiful Sermon should be studied and implemented into our lives; one step at a time towards our own perfection.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Missionary Service In Nigeria~

 I have been typing into the computer the missionary experiences of my husband's parents; LaMar and Nyal Williams. The history comes from an oral history taken by the Church History Department in 1981. My father-in- law; LaMar Williams was set apart as the Presiding Elder in Nigeria during the early 1960's by Pres. David O. McKay. In 1980-1981; he was able to serve with his wife Nyal as missionaries in Nigeria and Ghana. There have been many stories of Missionary Work in Nigeria; but this story is one of the first.

As I have been typing this history; I have felt the spirit so strongly and shed tears over the stories he told about the Nigerian people that he met with. So today, I thought I would share a story of his first trip to Nigeria.

 Our first meeting was held on Sunday morning. I gave the Godhead lesson, the apostasy, restoration lesson, and the Book of Mormon lesson from ten o’clock till twelve o’clock in a little chapel that was just packed with people. Several Congregations had come together under the direction of Reverend Udo-Ete.
After I gave the lessons and explained the gospel to them, I told them that I had been sent by President McKay to see if the people were sincerely interested in joining the Church, if they wanted the Church. I told them that I felt that I should explain to them our teachings and beliefs, to see if they could accept them. And I stressed the fact that we wanted to know if they were sincere in applying for membership in the Church.

I told Reverend Udo-Ete it was time to close the meeting, as it was twelve, and our meetings are two hours long. I asked him to have a song and to have someone pray because they had turned the meeting over to me. When I got there I was the presiding authority, so to speak. I heard some native conversation for a moment, and then he turned to me and said, “We don’t want to close the meeting. We have people here who want to bear their testimony.” There was a row of little children on either side of me, one and two years of age, sitting there for two hours, and it was hot—it was 40 degrees north of the Equator and they were perspiring, but not making a whimper, some of them were asleep. He said, “We want to continue with the meeting.” And I thought, “If they’re willing, I am.” So we listened for the next three hours to testimonies, till three o’clock, one person after another standing up bearing testimony of the Church and of the gospel. ( Be aware that he had been corresponding with these people for some time. He had also sent pamphlets and other reading material to them over a few years time. They had ask the Church for missionaries to come and teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)

I’ll never forget one elderly man who stood up in the center of the congregation with slightly gray hair, wearing a white shirt and a rose-colored piece of wrap-around cloth, instead of trousers, bare footed, a large man. He said, “I am sixty-five years of age, and I am sick. I’ve walked sixteen miles to be here this morning. I want you to know that I’m sincere, or I wouldn’t have done this. I haven’t seen President McKay and I haven’t seen God, but I have seen you and I’m going to hold you personally accountable to go back to President McKay and tell him that we are sincere.”

When the meeting was over, I was taking some photographs out in front of the little chapel of some of those who had attended. I’d heard that some of them had walked quite a distance. I saw seven little mothers, each with a baby in their arms, the oldest ten months, and a group of little children about eight years of age and younger, down to about two years of age, around these mothers. I asked Reverend Udo-Ete about the little group and asked him if I could take their picture. And I did. I asked him where they lived, and then he told me this; “They got up at four o’clock this morning and walked here to this meeting.” It was now four o’clock in the afternoon and they must walk back. He said, “They won’t get home until ten o’clock tonight.” I noticed they had a little basket with two loaves of bread in it, and that’s all the group had to eat for that entire day. I discovered that by the time they got home, they had walked fifty-two miles to be to that meeting.

I saw a little mother with a little twelve-year old girl. Well, she might not have been twelve, an undernourished little girl, and a little baby less than a year and a half old. I doubt if the baby could walk. I asked about this little girl, because she was rolling up a scarf and placing it on her head. She then picked up a wooden bench that was about five feet long and put it on her head. I asked Reverend Udo-Ete, “What is she taking one of the church benches for? Where is she going to take it?” He said, “Well, that isn’t a church bench. That’s their bench, and they’re going to take it home with them, because they were afraid there wouldn’t be a seat for them, so they packed this bench to the chapel.” And I said, “Can I get their picture?” so I took a picture of this little mother with a baby and the little girl with the bench on her head. I said, “How far do they live from here?” He said, “Thirteen miles.” Now that little girl had packed that bench twenty-six miles on her head while her mother carried the baby. They had no other way to travel to this meeting.

As I discovered these things about these people, what had happened to these people and the sacrifices they were willing to make, I decided that they were sincere, or they wouldn’t do this. As I went with various groups during that six weeks period of time, I came back with recordings and pictures of hundreds of people who were sincere about the church to report to President McKay.
LaMar wasn't able to stay long enough on his visits to Nigeria in the early 19 60's to have the church officially recognized in that country. Since the late 1970's the church has been growing rapidly there. In this area of Africa there are now two temples one in Nigeria and another one in Ghana.
Please take a moment to watch the following video; you will be glad you did. It may take a moment to come on.
You can read more about the Saints in Africa today here: Unto All The World: Emerging With Faith In Africa.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Mormon Battalian and The Constitution of the United States~

I have been reading the 4th book in a series entitled "Light andTruth -The Mormon Battalion" by Darrl Harris. I had been sharing some thoughts from this book with my husband.
A short time later my husband was at work in his home office. He glanced over at a book on the shelf that we had obtained from my mother after my father passed away. This book is entitled; "Life of BrighamYoung or Utah and Her Founders" by Edward W. Tullidge; published in 1877. As he was looking through this book he found a chapter on the Mormon Battalion. The chapter in the book he found was poinant. Tear flowed as he read and later I read the story of the formation of the Mormon Battalion.
The Mormon pioneers had been chased out of Ohio and Missouri due to perscution from their neighbors and anti-mormons. Finally they felt at peace as they settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. They hope to be free from religious presucution. Nauvoo grew rapidly up to 15,000 people.These were families who loved this country and understood the Constitution of the United States which at this time should have afforded them religious freedom.
Again violence came upon the saints. Their beloved Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered in the Cathrage, Illinois jail on July 27th 1844. After their deaths, the saints of Nauvoo worked hard to complete their temple in Nauvoo. The mobs continued to rage against them. They were again forced to leave in February 1846 and cross the frozen Mississippi river into Iowa.They asked the United States government to assist them against this mob vilolence and were refused.They had to leave their unsold property and homes along with their beautiful Nauvoo Temple. They quickly prepared for the westward trek to wherever their Prophet Brigham Young would lead them. Camps were set up in various locations in Iowa and Nebraska. In Winter Quarters, Nebraska it was decided that they were to build dugouts or small cabins and plant crops to prepare for other groups that would follow over the next several months.

 In July of 1846 the United States government ask the leaders of the church for 500 men; and a few woman to form a Battalion in the fight against Mexico. They were to go on foot to California and help secure that area from Mexico intrusion. They were asked to serve in this army for one year. These men would be leaving their wives and families in dire conditions. However the Mormon Battlian would be paid money that would help support and obtain the supplies for their later travel to the Rocky Mountains. It is amazing to me that they were willing to obey this order after how the Government of the United States and the states of Ohio, Missouri and Illinois had treated them. They would be leaving their families with very little food, adequate housing and supplies for completing their trek west.
The following is their story of the day the decision was made. President Brigham Young made the follow statement: "I want to say to every man, the Constitution of the United States, was formed by our fathers, was dictated, was revealed, was put into their hearts by the Almighty, who sits enthroned in the midst of heavens; although unknown to them, it was dictated by the revelations of Jesus Christ, and I tell you , in the name of Jesus Christ, it is as good as ever I could ask for. I say unto you magnify the laws. there is no law in the United States or in the Constitution, but I am ready to make honorable." (The Life Of Brigham Young; or, Utah and Her Founders, pg 56).

These wonderful pioneers on the night before the men were to leave; they held a ball.
Here is the story of that event as told by Thomas L. Kane to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania: "The afternoon before their march was devoted to a farewell ball; and a more merry dancing rout I have never seen, though the company went with out refreshments, and their ball was the most primitive. It was the custom whenever the larger camps rested for a few days together, to make great arbors, or boweries, as they called them, of poles, and brush, and wattling, as places of shelter for their meetings of devotion or conference. In one of these , where the ground had been trodden firm and hard by the worshipers, was gathered now the mirth and beauty of the Mormon Israel.

If anything told that the Mormons had been bred to other lives, it was the appearance of the women as they assembled here. Before their flight they had sold their watches and trinkets as the most available recourse for raising ready money; and hence like their partners, who wore waistcoats cut with useless watch pockets, they although their ears were pierced and bore the marks of rejected pendants, were without earrings, chains or brooches. Except such ornaments, however, they lacked nothing most becomeing the attire of decorous maidens. The neatly -darned white stockings, and clean white petticoat, the clear-starched collars and chemisette, the something faded, only because too-well washed lawn or gingham gown, that fitted modishly to the waist of its pretty wearer --these, if any of them spoke of poverty, spoke of a poverty that had know better days."
With the rest attended the elders of the Church within call, including nearly all the chiefs of the High Council, with their wives and children. They, the bravest and most trouble-worn, seemed the most anxious of any to throw off the burden of heavy thoughts. Their leading off the dance in a double cotillon was the signal which bade the festivity to commence. To the canto of debonnair violins, the cheer of horns, the jingle of sleigh bells, and the jovial snoring of the tambourine, they did dance! None of your minuets or to her mortuary possessions of gentles in etiquette, tight shoes and pinching gloves, but the spirited and scientific displays of our venerated and merry grandparents, who were not above following the fiddle to the lively fox-chase, french fours, jigs, Virginia reels and the like forgotten figures executed with the spirit of people too happy to be slow, or bashful, or constrained. Light hearts, the figures and light feet a had it their own way from an early hour till after the sun had dipped behind the sharp sky-line of the Omaha hills. Silence as then called, and a well cultivated mezzoo-soprano voice, belonging to a young lady with fair face and dark eyes, gave with quartette accompaniment, a little song, the notes were a version of the test touching to all earthly wanderers;"
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept; We wept when we remembered Zion:"
"There was danger of some expression of feeling when the song was over, for it had begun to draw tears, but, breaking the quiet with his hard voice, an elder asked the blessing of heaven on all who, with purity of heart and brotherhood of spirit, had mingled in the society, and then all dispersed, hastening to cover from the falling dews."

Elder Lance B. Wickman in a message entitled: From Iowa to Immortality: A Tribute to the Mormon Battalion stated the following: "As out of place as these men may have appeared upon their arrival at San Diego, as exhausted and subdued as they may have seemed in taking those last few agonizing steps in a trek of 2,000 miles, theirs is a story of courage and sacrifice that has few equals."
(Ensign, July 2007)

These faithful and hardy pioneers believed and followed their prophet leader, Brigham Young. They were asked to sacrifice much to obtain that freedom from perscution that they desired. They believed in the Consitiution of the United States and it's devine formation.
Today, we are in dire circumstances and our constitution is in danger. May we all like Elder Little in that day and time stated: "We are true-hearted Americans, true to our native ccountry, true to its laws, true to its glorious institutions; and we have a desire to go under the outstreched wings of the American Eagle." (Life Of Brigham Young Or Utah And Her Founders, pg 50.
May we all be true-hearted Americans and fight for our Constitution which is now hanging by a thread.


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