Count Our Blessings

Thomas S. Monson shared in conference...

Take an inventory and review your blessings, both large and small... Men are that they might have joy!... We can pray and our prayers will be answered.


President Monson went on to share that we should never ignore a prompting. How have I been doing in that regard? Have I been able to help those in need? Or have I been so self-absorbed that I am missing some of the promptings?... Definitely too self-absorbed!

I think about the blessings within our household. We have great children that are making great decisions. I look at how excited Adam was to hear the changing of the age for missionary service announced yesterday. he did not immediately say that he was modifying his plans and leaving earlier. Instead, he said that he was looking forward to praying and pondering about the important decision... What great humility!

Haily took on an assignment to compete with the techies at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. The assignment was with costuming and she practiced ripping seams and sewing on buttons. She had little previous experience and was relieved at the actual competition that she was to help an actor change costumes in a timed fashion... She was so relieved, but was ready for whatever was to be asked of her. What great confidence!

Aaron was asked late Friday night to help me, on behalf of the Elder’s Quorum, to help with a move Saturday morning at 10 AM. This was also the starting time of conference, of which we have never missed. He helped with what turned out to be a 5 hour move. He did so happily, without murmur, and his efforts were greatly appreciated by Brother Phelps. Aaron showed his willingness to offer true unselfish service!

Shelly’s health and progress is our greatest family blessing. The last 14 days has been a huge trial and setback in both pain and misery with her sarcoidosis and pain. This was capped off with my distracting her Friday after we ate lunch together, resulting in her falling outside the establishment and twisting her ankles. I constantly marvel at her resolve to endure. And she endures with a pleasant spirit, in ways that I would murmur and whine. Her spirit is so strong and I am always onlooking with amazement at her ability to overcome the challenges before her. Shelly’s trials have truly been a great family blessing!

Jessica, Dave, Rolf, Poppy and Tommy live in a distant far off land. Skype shows us moving images, but make our physical loss of their presence very difficult. This is especially true for the little ones that will never get the chance to roll on the floor with us and play, never get to sit on our lap and hear a story, and never get to show off in person their newly learned life skills. The sadness comes as we try to envision when we will see each other in person next and it is probably not until next June... And then settle in the fears as to whether they will even remember the times we spent together. This brings tears to my eyes as well as Shelly when we talk about it... As they left, their reassurance that we would see each other all the time sounded like hollow wishes. Moving far away makes it sooo hard. This is especially hard on Shelly, and I do not know how she has kept up her spirits... This is where counting our blessings that they are healthy in Cape Cod. Counting our blessings that Dave loves Jessica and the kids very much is important. The hope remains that one day they can take their job and educational experience and attain a job somewhere in the 801 area code instead of being 2,100 miles away... But for now I will do my best to focus on the blessings of health and continue to look for ways to serve others.

Let’s make it a great day!!!