Thursday, February 3, 2011
Thought you'd all get a kick out of that. Oh the simple pleasures in life!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Monday, July 26, 2010
This is the talk I gave in church this month! A few have wanted to read it, so I thought I'd post it here. Enjoy!Today I want to share with you a glimpse I experienced on July 17, 2005. If any of you know the significance of that date, then we share something in common. Now to get the full affect of this “glimpse” I want to take you on the journey that led to it.
First off, you must now that I LOVE Disneyland! I was raised to love it. Disneyland to me is soooo much more than an amusement park. It is Family. My brother said,“When we were at the park, we were together. No bickering, no friends or phone calls, work or school obligations to pull us different directions, we were simply, One. One family running around a magical Kingdom for several days, acting as though they were 5 years old without a care in the world.” It is also Fond Memories, Happiness and Laughter, Magic, and truly a place where Dreams come true! Where else can you witness a flying fairy conduct a firework show, a little mouse by the name of Mickey defeat a humungous dragon, become immersed in Fairy Tale adventures, and visit lands of Fantasy, Adventure, Frontier and Tomorrow? Truly, Disneyland is special.
There is a quote in Splash Mountain that reads, “Everybody’s got a laughing place…and where it is for one, mightn’t be for another”. Disneyland is my laughing place. And while I can’t really understand it, I do realize that it’s not everyone’s laughing place. But we all have one. It may be on a quite lake with fishing pole in hand, in red rock canyons, on a sunny white-sand beach, or zooming down the side of a mountain in fresh new snow. Wherever it is, I want you to picture it as I take you on this journey, making the journey your own in a way.
The date is July 16, 2005 and my family and I are attending a family reunion in Brigham City, UT. It’s not long into the reunion that the conversation turns towards Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary the next day and what a shame it was that no one in the family would be there to celebrate in the magic. It just wasn’t right. Soon my Dad was telling my brother’s to take his credit card, get plane tickets and head to Anaheim. The excitement started to grow. But same-day plane tickets turned out to be very expensive, so they decided to make the 12 hour drive. If they left now, they could be to the park by 3 AM. And the excitement grew! Soon my sweet husband was whispering in my ear, “Go with them…I want you to go with them! I’ll take care of everything here, just go and don’t worry!” And so I did. My brothers and I left the reunion early and made our way to Anaheim, driving all night until we reached Disneyland around 3:30 AM.
The line was already wrapped around the whole of California Adventure. It was AMAZING. People had been camped out since the previous day, and the excitement and anticipation was tangible as it was shared by thousands of Disney lovers awaiting the park’s opening. 7 AM soon arrived and the line slowly inched its way into the park. At the gate, Golden Ears where distributed to everyone! Once we hit Main Street we saw cast members lining the entire street waving and yelling to the sea of Golden Eared gusts, “Welcome Home! Welcome Home!” Are you picturing your laughing place right now? Experiencing something truly unique and wonderful there? My brother’s were jumping up and down and there were tears in all of our eyes. Can you imagine what I was feeling at this moment, brothers and sisters? Well, as I looked around me and took it all in, my heart ACHED. And here is the glimpse I was privy to at this moment. In my minds eye, I was no longer at my earthly laughing place…I was instead at my eternal laughing place. And as I looked around me, it was painfully obvious that I was not with EVERYONE that I loved, experiencing this most special “Homecoming”...I was incomplete. The glimpse was brief, and the feeling of sorrow passed, and I went on to have one of the most glorious days in the park I’ve ever had, with 2 of my greatest friends, but this glimpse, and the feelings that came with it had a profound impact, and have stayed with me ever since.
And so you see, this talk is not really about Disneyland, it’s about gaining a small measure of how important our individual missions on this earth life are, and how important it is to succeed in those missions. Our life, our choices and actions, and I believe our individual missions are never just about us. In the “big picture”, it’s all about family…immediate, extended and eternal. In fact, everything that the church does is set up to build, maintain and promote families that will last throughout eternity!
Elder Packer said, “The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children might be happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Every law and principle and power, every belief, every ordinance and ordination, every covenant, every sermon and every sacrament, every counsel and correction, the sealings, the calls, the releases, the service—all these have as their ultimate purpose the perfection of the individual and the family, for the Lord has said, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
So you can see, that in a Church where family is so fundamentally important, success is everything! I feel we all have a part to play to insure that there are no “empty seats” in heaven on our account.
The conference talk I was given to speak on was Julie Beck’s And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit. The section of this talk that really stood out to me and that I’d like to focus on was about Measuring Success. Julie Beck says, “We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need.”
Each of these three things will bring us success when done to the best of our abilities. First, we’re all responsible to get ourselves back home. The family cannot be complete without you. If you’re lost and struggling, fight your way back. The rewards will be worth the effort. Second, strengthen your family and home. No matter what role you play in your family, you can make a difference. One person can set the tone in the home for good or for ill. Be an active leader and participant in the things that will bring your family together. Conduct family prayer and scripture study, spend time with each other, become close, serve one another. Family will be the first faces we seek on the other side. Walt Disney will be a close second for me! And third, seek out and help others who are in need. Try not to forget that we’re all brothers and sisters. Acknowledge when it’s easier to ignore, lift a hand when it’s easier to be lazy. And let us not forget our dead. Attend the temple often to do the work that our ancestors cannot do for themselves. We need them just as much as they need us.
Julie Beck continues, “When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly.”
I truly believe that if we are successful and accomplish our mission on earth, then we will not feel the pain and sorrow of returning home “incomplete”. I can honestly tell you, that experiencing that feeling for but a brief second was profound in its sadness and emptiness. Instead, we will know that we have done all we could, and that will be enough. Our homecoming will be full of joy and peace and happiness, and we will be surrounded by those we love!