Category Archives: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Pose Ideas for Husband and Wife Pictures

Well January was kinda crazy. I was trying to get my life back together after the holidays. We went on vacation in October and November. Then Christmas came along and my birthday. I also spent all January trying to recover from being sick and my data disaster. Now it’s already mid February…  Crazy! Good news! My computer is cleaned. The laundry is finally caught up and my apartment looks decent. I feel like I can actually sit down and write a nice blog post cause my kids are taking naps. So here we go!

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My old roommate Catherine came into town and she wanted an updated family picture.

Catherine and Dalton said they didn’t want another picture in front of fall colors nor did they want her pictures to look like engagement pictures.  So this is what we came up with:

Theme: Urban

Location: 341 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah – Alleyway Between Maxwell’s and Array Salon

Time: We did dusk/twilight but it didn’t really matter too much because this area is in between tall buildings that block the sun.

I wanted to point out how good they were at posing!!! They came up with a lot of creative husband and wife / couple poses.

So, I want to write a little more about Catherine. She was one of the seven girls I ended up rooming with during my first year of college. She is amazing! She has so many talents especially in writing and journalism. My favorite thing about Catherine is that she makes everyone feel genuinely loved.

Every guy loved Catherine and wanted to date her. She ended up waiting for Dalton while he was on his 2 year LDS mission. They got married in the Bountiful Utah Temple in December of 2011.

Catherine and Dalton have been married for a little over two years and it’s obvious that they are really happy.

So what’s their secret? Why are they so happy? How are they making their marriage work?

I asked her specifically about how has their decision of being married in a LDS temple has helped their marriage.

This is what Catherine said:

“Because we were married in the temple, we are able to connect every choice we make in our lives to our overall purpose and ultimate destiny. Our journey together is real. When we face trials and uncertainties in life, we can always find joy in knowing there is a purpose and a plan for us. The temple made us an eternal team, and we are always reminded of that when we go back to the temple. This encourages us to focus all of our attention on being the best supporter we can of our teammate’s goals and dreams.”

Who are you?

Every person on this planet is a child of God.[1]  Each is a precious, son or daughter of a Heavenly Father. What does this mean?  Why do we care?  Well the succint answer is that this simple fact makes all the different in our day to day actions.

Who is God, our Heavenly Father? That is one of the most important questions to answer in this life (and can only truly be answered by praying to Him).  But I will give a short synopsis of who I know He is, and why that makes a significant difference in my life.

Heavenly Father is a loving, perfect, just, merciful Father.  Much as a goodly Father listens to his small children, talks to them, helps them understand their world, and guides them, our Heavenly Father does to us in our world.As a small child is in his Father’s care, so are we. Our Heavenly Father “wants to communicate with us, and we can communicate with Him through sincere prayer.”

Because each of us is the child of a perfect, omniscient, loving  Heavenly Father, each of us has divine potential to become like Him.  We may, through faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, repent, and be baptised, and be changed into a better person everyday, en route to eventually attaining perfection. This is our Fathers goal, so see each us reach perfection. And I know it is possible!

One of the best ways for us to learn how to be perfect is in our families.  Heavenly Father made it so that children are naturally born only into families with a mother and father, so that we could prepare to become a perfect Parent as He is and return to live with Him one day. Even though sometimes our earthly father or mother is missing from our lives, He is still our Heavenly Father and is constantly there providing for us, listening to our cries, and helping us.

But as is all good stories, their is an evil character as well as the good.  Satan, the great master of lies, is concurrently trying to bring us down to destruction, and cause us to fail in reaching perfection.  He knows that if he can trick us, he can destroy our happiness, and thus is constantly seeking to tear down, destroy, confuse, and hinder all that is good.  His primary focus is to destroy families, and cause disbelief in Jesus Christ, because that is the center of our happiness and salvation. [2]

Thus comes to one of the greatest and most important gifts given to every single person… the power to choose.  Because God knows we cannot become like Him without choosing to do so, He has made us  free to choose good or evil.  To choose if we will seek for God, or follow Satan.  There are no other alternatives, although it may appear so.  Eventually all have to make the choice whether they will believe in God, or not, and thus follow Satan.  But the freedom to choose is ours, and remains ours as long as we do good. [3]_MG_8987

There will be temptations and persuasions from both sides, as we can see throughout life.  The powers of good and evil are in constant struggle. But we can choose to follow the Good,  to believe in our Heavenly Father, to follow His commandments and eventually one day return to our Father in Heaven.  He has given us a guiding roadmap, through the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the living Prophets today.  He has not abandoned us and loves us more deeply than we can imagine.

Even if we follow the good there will be problems and trials.  Our loving Father gave us the freedom to choose, and with that freedom we will make mistakes. Just as a good father lets his child have the freedom to ride a bike, he also must allow us the possibility of falling over and scraping our knee, otherwise we would not be able to learn.  Sometimes we have problems just because we live in a mortal world where sickness, disease, disasters and other things happen.  But the truth is if we follow Heavenly Father’s plan, and believe in Jesus Christ we can return and live with God one day, in spite of all the problems and trials of this mortal test.  And I’m sure it will be a sweet family reunion for all, if we have chosen to believe in and follow our perfect, loving Father in Heaven.

-Dallin

1. We are Children of God https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1998/10/we-are-children-of-god?lang=eng.

2. The Family Proclamation http://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation

3. Book of Mormon; 2 Nephi 2:27 “Wherefore, men are afree according to the bflesh; and callthings are dgiven them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to echoose fliberty and eternal glife, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself.”

Belated Happy Birthday to Me! – Advice Needed

THANK YOU x 1,000,000!!! For all the nice Birthday comments, wishes, messages, notes, calls, emails, cards and text. I read every single one of them and wish I had time to write everyone of you back personally!
We celebrated by going to Tucanos. It seemed like everyone at Tucanos was having a birthday. That’s probably because they give out a free meal on your birthday! We’ve never done it before because I never remember to sign up but I was so happy when I got my free meal card in the mail. Micah got in free so we really only had to pay for Dallin’s meal. It was awesome and super yummy Brazilian Churrasco.
After Tucanos, we played games with neighbors. We played the Celestial Marriage Pursuit game. It was a funny Mormon version of the Newlywed game.
We also took Micah and Quentin to an indoor fun park this weekend. Micah enjoyed going on all the rides and insisted on riding the merry-go-round by himself! Dallin and I are way too big for the playground but the rules said that kids under the age of 3 needed to have parental supervision the whole time. So we took turns going into the jungle gym with him. Dallin had fun but my knees just hurt.
Funny side story — I was crawling in one of the longer tunnels and I was really struggling. My face probably looked really scary because a little kid coming from the other direction said to me “Can you not make that face?” [Blahahaha!] At the time I didn’t think it was so funny cause I really felt like I was stuck in the tunnel so I said to him “Sorry I cannot” with the same facial expression and crawled as fast as I could out of that tunnel.
Anyways… I need your help! I got a new set of the 2013 edition of the scriptures for my Birthday. My old set was falling apart. I read these books pretty much everyday for the last 6 years! I’ve taken my scriptures around the world with me. I treasure the scriptures and I honestly just can’t go a day without reading them. I sometimes read scriptures on my phone or iPad but I LOVE reading scriptures while holding a physical book. I don’t think I can ever give that up books even in the digital age.
My question is: How do you mark up your scriptures? I’m trying to figure out how to mark my new ones up.
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Rexburg Idaho Temple at Sunrise

This is a picture of the Rexburg Idaho Temple at sunrise taken on Thanksgiving morning 2013. One unique thing about this temple is that there is a big wheat filled in front of it. There is also a bunch of wheat in the temple garden and wheat carvings in the architecture. Wheat is a symbolizes the righteous people being gathered together in the Parable of the Tares in the New Testament

I haven’t felt like blogging the last couple of days because I lost about 300 gb of data while I was backing up my pictures. I accidentally unplug my 1TB hard drive during a massive data transfer. When I plugged it back in the computer went ahead and tried to fix the corrupted files but instead half of my pictures/videos disappeared. I was emotionally distraught for a few hours before I could stop moping about it but actually do something about it (I need to get over my picture addiction… haha!). Over the last week I’ve been able to recover around 15,000 files after consulting with my family and friends. I also read lots of online forums. A lot of the files I found were corrupted but I’m grateful for the ones I did find. This experience has been a blessing in disguise. First, because I did have a back-up of most of the pictures so I didn’t loose too many… just about 4 months worth of pictures. Second, I got to use the skills I learned studying computer science in school about data storage and data deletion. Third, I learned NEVER to use ctrl-x for video or picture transfer. Fourth, it made me more humble and also grateful that only half the files disappeared and not all the files. Fifth, I am never letting that happen again!! I’m so grateful I found so many files but it is going to take days to organize the files and check for duplicates. It would have been much easier if this never happened but of course, life doesn’t always work that way. God does want us to learn from our mistakes.

I was able to recover pictures I took back in November when our family took a trip up to BYU-I in Rexbug, Idaho for Thanksgiving. I prayed hard that I would find these temple pictures because I knew I only had one copy of them. I felt confident that I would find this folder but all the methods of data recover I tried didn’t work or the files I did find were corrupted. I guess my faith was tested.

Finally, last night I found these files while searching through  ~121,000 possible deleted files using Recuva.

What a big blessing! I know Heavenly Father answered my prayer. He really didn’t have to but I know God is very merciful and full of grace if we are willing to pray to Him and have faith.

What blessings have you seen in your life lately?

Marriage: 1 man, 1 women

I woke up with my email, news feeds, Facebook, and WordPress swarmed with  the news about “A federal judge Friday struck down Utah’s voter-approved constitutional amendment — which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” [Deseret News]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has already put up an official statement on Court Ruling Regarding Same-Sex Marriage in Utah. It is short and simple.

The Church has been consistent in its support of traditional marriage while teaching that all people should be treated with respect. This ruling by a district court will work its way through the judicial process. We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the right thing by providing clear direction in the state constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman and we are hopeful that this view will be validated by a higher court.

Emmanuel Knowles’ Blog is what motivated me to re-blog. I’ve already blog about this issue before here.

This fight will continue but we must not give up hope, our beliefs or faith. Satan wants us to get discourage and give up; but the prophets have already declared that “voters in Utah did the right thing”. We can’t give up now. We may not win in the higher courts but I know that Jesus Christ is the ultimate judge. We will all have to stand before Jesus Christ one day and testify to Him that we’ve done the best we can to to defend His laws.

There is hope. If you’re struggling with same-gender attraction or any other temptations. God can help you. God loves you. God can bring you happiness and peace in your life. Pray to God, I know He will listen to you and He give you answers to your prayers.

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Here is an official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about this issue:

Love One Another: A Discussion on Same-Sex Attraction

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Dallin and I have been married for 3.5 years. It’s been a lot of hard work but marriage and raising a family has been the most fulfilling thing we’ve done as a couple. In a short 3.5 years, we have gone through tough times and good times. Marriage has brought us lots of joy and happiness and we want to protect the gift of marriage for future generations. We believe that marriage between 1 man and 1 women is ordained of God.  [Family Proclamation to the World]

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FHE #1 – Creating Paper Mache Worlds

FHE stands for “Family Home Evening“. To tell you the truth, our family has not been very good at preparing for family home evening. When Monday night comes around we usually ask each other, at the last minute, “What’s the lesson for FHE?” We decided that our lack of planning wasn’t working for us. We decided to set aside a time on Saturday to plan out our family home evening. We did it for the first time last week and our FHE rocked! We had time to think and plan the lesson. Then we had time to go buy supplies for our activity and also had time to plan out a treat to eat at the end.

Our church believes in modern-day prophets whole receive inspiration from God and give counsel to the church. The prophet Joseph F. Smith announced in a letter on April 27, 1915 that the church members should hold a weekly family home evening (FHE) in their homes. FHE is family time that is set aside for  “prayer … hymns … family topics … and specific instruction on the principles of the gospel.” In 1970, the prophet announce that FHE night is preferred to be on Monday nights throughout the church and asked that church/leadership meetings should not be held on Monday nights.

I believe that the LDS church sets aside time for families on Monday because we all get so busy with work, school, sports, and other activities that it’s hard to fit in family time at home. In the end, our families is the most important entity we have here on earth and I enjoy spending time with my family on Monday nights.

FHE #1

Song: My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228–29)

Lesson: Genesis 1:1 & Lesson 7 in Nursery Manual – Jesus Christ Created the World for Me

Activity: Make paper mache worlds. I found this blog about making paper mache planets.

Ireland Miracle #3

Sorry I realize that I never finished my Ireland miracles. I’ll just schedule these stories in once in a while. Better late than never right?

For the first month in Ireland, we solely relied on public transportation which was mainly double decker busses and the Dart which is a fast train. Dallin studied at the University College Dublin and we lived in Dun Laoghaire. It was about 45 minutes by bus but only a 15 minute drive. The bus system was fantastic and there really wasn’t much to complain about except for the fact that Dallin took 1.5 to 2 hours or more commuting everyday depending on traffic.

We felt like the Spirit was telling us we should buy a car. We researched it out and miraculously found an old Nissan Almera (aka Nissan Centra in the USA) for 1000 euros. We registered it and bought insurance from Liberty Mutual Insurance which was the cheapest insurance we found. Buying a car was easier than we thought it would be and it eventually ended up saving us money even though the gas tax in Ireland is like 50%.

Driving in Dublin, Ireland is super fun… well kinda. So you drive on the left hand side of the road and the roads are very narrow. Parking is pretty much just parallel parking. You have to get really good at parallel parking. You can use your native driver license for one year before you need to get an Irish license.

We took this old cheap car to every shore of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We drove this car from Dublin to Giants Cosway in Northern Ireland. Then to Cork, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle and the Ring of Kerry. Fortunately the only problem we had with the car was the windshield wipers and a mechanic in Cork fixed it for 10 euro.

On one of our last adventures in Ireland, we were driving to the Blarney Castle in Cork. A local guy rear ended our car and made a dent in the back bumper. The insurance company said that the car was totaled. They let us keep the dented car and gave us 1000 Euro. So in essence we got this car for free. This is what the bumper looked like and if you look around on the streets of Ireland…everyone has the same dent in their car because the roads are so narrow!

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We thought purchasing this car was a tender mercy of the Lord. We drove this car everywhere. We drove it to church and drove the Dublin area missionaries to their visits. Dallin used this car to go home teaching and we used this car to drive to the hospital when we had the baby. We ended up giving the car away to a friend and then he was able to use the car for a few weeks while his car was broken. After that he ended up selling it for 200 euro. We thought we got our money’s worth out of that car. What a blessing!

Writing about Ireland again brings tears to my eyes because I miss Ireland so much!