HAPPY BIRTHDAY! From The fruits of you Labors

We are all thinking of you on this your day.  Given the constraint of you being on the other side of the world, we collectively and individually worked to bring together those thoughts, feelings, images, and expressions of love, faith, and testimony that you have so dilligently and lovingly cultivated in each of us.  As you can see here some of the fruits of your labors and truly the harvest is great. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Faith and Knowledge (Jacob's Musings)

Some of my favorite scriptures deal with relationship between faith and knowledge. In Ether 12:19 it reads, “And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.” It is possible and most likely the will of God that we learn to see with faith. The example of the brother of Jared shows how one’s faith and humility can earn them great insight. The brother of Jared wasn’t asking for a vision of the Lord, nor was he seeking to behold the mysteries of heaven. He approached the Lord humbly desiring to do what was right. In Ether 3:2, he shows his humility and reverence towards God by saying, “O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before Thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee.” He further shows his faith in the atonement and in God’s power by saying, “Thou hast been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity… And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man.”
I recently came across a verse in D&C 52:17 wherein the Lord says, “He that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom according to the revelations and truths which I have given you.” Faith is a despised concept in scientific inquiry. From the scriptures and from my own experience, I have received as much confidence in the doctrines of Christ as I have from anything I have seen, heard, or touched. I know that when we believe Christ and we believe in Christ, especially to believe in his atonement, we will have confidence, peace and even knowledge. Zeezrom was asked not do you believe you can be healed, but “Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation.” (Alma 15:6) Zeezrom said yes, and Alma’s reply can be applied to all of us as we seek to see the hand of God in our lives, “If thou believest in the redemption of Christ, thou canst be healed.” To which I add, “If thou believes in the redemption of Christ” you can gain peace, confidence, wisdom, and knowledge.


Dear Future New Mom,

Happy Birthday!  I just wanted to wish you a very happy day and thank you for your incredible example.   It is awesome (emphasis on the awe) seeing you and your husband sacrifice so much to bring peace and happiness to thousands of people in your mission and here in the U.S.  It is so apparent that you have a strong testimony of Heavenly Father, Christ, and the Restored Gospel.  Your service reminds me of these truths and has strengthened my testimony as well.  I know that the Gospel is Heavenly Father's plan for ultimate joy.   I know that families are eternal and I am absolutely thrilled that for the rest of this life, and a long time after this life, I get to be part of your family.  I hope you have a great birthday!


Romans 8:35-39

From Abram

 I think that it is pretty great that we get to share monumental birthday years, I doubt either of us will ever quite feel or act our ages. I am sitting in our apartment in Canada, thinking of you and hoping that you are relaxing  and enjoying well deserved "P-days" snorkeling in the Gulf of Thailand. 

Wherever you are and however you spend your birthday and every day of your life I want you to know how much I love you.  As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I am all the more impressed with your dedication, love, passion, idealism, and dedication to the gospel.  The people of Cambodia I am sure feel of of the great spirit you bring.   Even though they may not understand everything you share with them they will be touched by something greater than words.  In that sense your missionary work is similar to the way I experienced your teaching throughout the years. The thing that spoke louder than all of the stories, costumes, analogies, and examples was the spirit that accompanied your testimony.  That spirit is what has and will keep me in the right way. That spirit testifies of Christ. testifies, of truth, and bolsters faith, hope, and charity.  

I am eternally indebted to you for being a witness and example of faith and testimony.  You were and are a servant of the Lord who carries His spirit.  Through you and because of you; seeds of faith were planted, nourished, and patiently cared for.  I have a testimony that Christ lives, and that this life is but a small moment of a life that will be eternal because of Christ's atonement.  My greatest hope is that I can live that eternal life with Him and with all of my family.  That hope and perspective is the essence of everything that is important to me.  

So mother, thank you for all that you are.  Take today and rest--take several days--and know that you are loved and appreciated for who you are and all the work and service you render. Happy Birthday! 

From Steven

Happy Birthday Mom,

Well, I may not be one of your biological sons (which apparently is a good thing - see image above), but I am as close as one can get to become one of your son's. I can say with out any reserves that I love you as a Mother. You certainly have treated me like a son. I can't tell you how much that has meant to me. Your love and example has entered our daily family life. I want to tell you that I know the work you are about is truly the work of the Lord. One of my favorite scriptures is Ether 12:27. I love this scripture because, I frequently fall short of our Father's Plan Of Happiness (just ask Rachel). But I know that if I just keep trying, and really work at getting better, I can grow closer to my Father in Heaven. I know that Jesus lived and died for me that I can return to live again with him.

Happy Birthday!

Hip-Hap-Hippy-Happy Birthday MOM!!

So i was hoping to be able to tell you happy birthday in the language spoken in Cambodia, but after searching on the internet for like 15 min trying to find something i gave up and realized that it doesn't really matter what language i say it in as long as you realize that i hope that your birthday is truly filled with happiness! And how couldn't it be! You're serving the Lord and what a joy that brings into your life! I know that as i have read your emails and seen your pictures that you are touching the Cambodian people and i want you to know that your experiences touch me daily. I am so grateful to have the knowledge of the restored gospel that i have and to have such a loving mother that has taught me from a young age truths of right and wrong, and for shaping my heart after hers. I know that this gospel is true. I will never be able to deny that. And i can not begin to express my happiness knowing that you are dedicating your life fully at this time for the Savior. I know that he will continue to guide and protect you and bless you continually!
All my Love and a huge UCKA-MUCKA!!

Lavinia's Musings

Dear Mom,
There is nothing like being a mother that makes you appreciate YOUR mother! As I look back on my nine years of motherhood and having borne five children in almost exactly the same timescale – and at the same comparative age, I REALLY appreciate how great of a mother you are! I more and more often find myself reflecting on my childhood – and specifically the blessing of being your daughter, and being raised in our family. Of all the things you could have given us – a loving, Christ centered home is by for the most important. The fruits of your LIVING your testimony kindled mine, and in turn is kindling that of my children. Besides being a great teacher of the gospel, you are a great liver of it. Your daily personal scriptures study and prayer, and insisting on daily family scripture study and prayer (which are two of the most vital of all family activities), serving faithfully in all your callings and being kind and selfless – truly charitable - were daily examples of your commitment to the Savior.
Of all the things, though, that I have witnessed you do to live the gospel, going on this mission is the most exemplary. I am old enough to understand somewhat how difficult is must have been to leave – with so much unfinished business, children to support and counsel, grandchildren to love, a new house, the dream of being “settled” delayed again and again. Yet, you left all of that behind in the hands of the Lord and went to serve in such a far away, culturally different, isolated place to “go where He [wanted you] to go.” That – and enduring all of the trials that have come your way while there – shows me how much you love the Lord. What a legacy you are leaving! The fruits of your testimony have only begun to surface and I am confident that we will reap the blessings for generations to come!
I know that Jesus is the Christ – that He is the Only Begotten of the Father. I know He provided us the perfect example as well as the way back to live with our Father again. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet and he restored the true church. I know that through divine inspiration he translated the Book of Mormon, and that it is true! My life has been infinitely blessed by its teachings. I know through ordinances made available in Holy Temples, our relationships we cherish in our families can be perpetuated into the eternities – that through our faithfulness, we can all be together forever.


Dearest Mom,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you soo soo much! I want you to know how much you mean to me! Your example of righteousness is literally priceless in my life. I want you to know that I love living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it is true with all my heart. I am so grateful to know there is a Savior who wants to help us, teach us, comfort us and has literally redeemed us from "an endless sate of wo." I know we have Heavenly Parents who are anxiously engaged in our lives. I know you are doing God's work and giving the greatest gift possible to His children- our brothers and sisters.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you again for your love and example. I am so blessed!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy BIrthday Mom

First off, Mom I wish you the Happiest of Birthday's!! We sure are thinking of you on your special day and sending you the biggest hugs and kisses your way.
In thinking about what gift I could give you and to truly let you know how much I love you. It would be to thank you for the foundation of the gospel that you instilled in my life. This precious knowledge is dearer to me then words can describe.
I can remember the long talks that we would have together, and I am sorry to admit I wasn't always the best listener. However, now that I am in your shoes and a Mother myself I understand why you tried to relate the experiences I was having in my life to the gospel. Why you would make me write out scriptures when I fought with my brothers and sisters. Why you supported me in all of my church activities. Why you made sure that we read the scriptures and had prayers together as a family every night. Why you encouraged me to set my standards high, and never settle for anything less then a temple marriage. Mom you did all this and more because you knew where true joy and peace in this life where to be found.
I also need to thank you for the example that you set for me. I can not even count the times that I found you on your knees praying to our Heavenly Father or reading and marking your scriptures. Both you and Dad made it a priority to go to the temple every month, and I have to admit, one of my favorite memories is when we lived in Pennsylvania and we would wait up until you and Dad got home so we could eat our temple cookies. Your life has been one of service dedicated to the Lord and your Family.
Mom, all that I am, and most of what I will be is because if you. Thank you for being my mother for placing me on the path, for holding my hand and showing me the way that leads to eternal life.

I love you more than words can express.
Happy Birthday Mother Dearest.
Your devoted Daughter,

Mckay's Testimony (With help from his Mommy)

I am a child of God. I came from Heaven to be with my family forever. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. I want to do my best so one day I can return to live with them again.

Happy Birthday Grandma, I love you!

Brigham's Testimony

To Grandma:
Jesus Christ blessed the people. Jesus is my friend. I love Jesus. Jesus loves everybody. I love Jesus Christ to Grandma from Bebo.

Aubrey's Testimony

I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe in Heavenly Father, and I really really believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I really really really believe in the Temple of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe in families that stay together forever, and I really really really really really believe in the prophets teachings.

Dear Grandma,
I hope that you feel better. Happy Valentine's AND Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hale Children Sare Their Testimonies

Esther (8 1/2):
I know the church is true. I know Joseph Smith was a profet. And Jesus loves everyone.

Ephraim (almost 7):
I now that Jesus Livs.
I now that Josef Smith was a profit.
in the name of Jesus Christ . Amen

Hyrum (almost 5):
I love Jesus. I love the Latter-Day Saints. I love to hear about Jesus. I love to go to Primary. I love to see Daddy. I love to see the Temple. I love to hear about Jesus in the scriptures. My favorite story of Jesus is... (after choosing a picture from the gospel art kit) when he visited the Nephites and blessed the children.

Joseph (3):
Q: Do you love Jesus? A: Yah!
Q: Is Joseph Smith a prophet? A: Yah!
Q: Does Jesus love you? A: Yah!
Q: What do you do at church? A: Valentines for hears for cupcakes like this... on the jinglebell!