Addiction Recovery Awareness Month

September has been designated as National Addiction Recovery Awareness Month.  In the new video series, “12 Steps To Change”  on the Mormon channel we discovered that 95% of all addictions begin before the age of twenty. That is a sobering thought.

The question naturally arises, “What can we as parents and leaders do to help protect children and youth from being ensnared by the  bondage of  addiction?”  Our children go into the battlefield every day, surrounded by temptation and evil which we cannot prevent them from encountering.


The following video instructs children regarding how to tap into the logical side of their brain when they encounter pornography–to call it what it is, recognize that it is bad, and to seek support from parents and leaders  to prevent them becoming addicted.  We encourage you to make use of this inspired video in your efforts to teach and prepare children and youth that they may remain safely on the Lord’s side of the line of chastity, virtue, and freedom from addiction.

Photos with Governor

Here are the professional photos from last week’s Investiture Ceremony with the Governor.

With family members following the ceremony

Investiture Ceremony

On Friday September 4 Keith participated in the Investiture Ceremony held at Government House Ballroom where Governor Kerry Sanderson presented this year’s recipients of Australian Honours with their awards.  We were inspired as the various recipients were introduced and their contributions acknowledged. The fields of medicine, education, conservation and the arts were represented to name a few, as well as awards for bravery.

Keith was allowed to invite five guests to witness  the Investiture.  Those who attended were:  Karen, his sister Trish, sons Paul and Peter and daughter in law Amanda.  We were not allowed to take photographs of the Governor bestowing the awards but will have access to professional photographs soon.  In the meantime, here are a few photographs from the evening’s events.  Following the ceremony we were joined for dinner by friends Laurie and Diedre Goodridge and Brother in law Kerry O’Neil.

The beautiful fruit of this plant that heretofore we had not seen.

Law of the Harvest

Yesterday morning Keith was  outside working and came to the door calling me to come outside.  He sounded very excited.  While strolling through the garden on the first sunny day after a week of winter storms to his immense surprise he saw a cauliflower plant that had suddenly and magnificently opened to our view its beautifully formed head.  We had not seen any sign of the forming head in the previous weeks and had wondered if it was producing a head at all.  We picked the head and enjoyed its delicious fruits for  our evening meal.

This experience has been a reminder that the same law that governs gardens is at play in our lives on this earth.  The Apostle Paul taught:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

                                                                                                (Galations 6:7-8)

I take great comfort in the eternal Law of the Harvest.  It is a reminder to me that the rewards of our works may come soon or late, but they are sure to come.  And like our experience with the cauliflower, the rewarding moments can catch us by surprise at times when we least expect them. These moments confirm our faith and strengthen our hope in good things to come.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”

(Galations 6:9).

He finished it with some floor shelaque he had in the garage.

What a Difference a Bookshelf Makes

Two weeks ago as we were walking in our neighbourhood,  we came upon a collection of household items stacked on the verge that a family wanted to give away. We noticed a Jarra bookshelf among them and as we walked along discussed the possibility of taking it home to use in our house.  It looked like a size that might be ideal for our kitchen and would coordinate well with another small Jarra bookcase we already had.   Keith was a bit hesitant to take on a refinishing project, however, and we didn’t have a way to get it back to the house, so we gave it a miss.

Later, however, I started to look at our kitchen and living room, and began to see what a difference that little bookshelf could make.  I saw a number of possibilities of arranging and rearranging and how it would make both areas more functional and more attractive–and  so  we brought it home and  Keith went to work to bring it up to a good standard–sanding, planing, adding feet on the base, and applying several coats of lacquer.

Several days into the bookshelf project we were walking by the same house and noticed additional furniture on the verge.  This time we discovered they were giving away a perfectly sound dining room table with two leaves.  All it required was a good rub down with oil.  We brought that home the same day and by evening Keith had it polished and ready to put inside.  We were surprised to discover that although it was a larger table it actually took up less space than our previous table as well as providing more seating.  What a blessing.

One day later Keith had in mind to ask one of our close neighbours if he knew of a good plumber he could recommend to install an outside tap on our house.  Keith has been concerned about using well water to wash the car as it has a high mineral content and can scratch the car. When we asked our neighbour Danny who is a die hard “do-it-yourself” man he convinced Keith that he could do it himself.  He explained the procedure, gave us some parts he had on hand, and Keith came home and  rounded up the rest from our garage.  It was very rewarding for him to successfully install a tap for the first time!

It has been a happy two weeks with Keith working outside to mend and repair things and me inside the house re-organizing and beautifying.  Thanks to our Heavenly Father and two kind neighbours we were able to see some new possibilities for our home and together make it more beautiful and functional.  What a difference a bookshelf makes!


Developing a Beautiful Family Culture

I will always think of L. Tom Perry as a happy family man.  He spoke often of his happy childhood and the appreciation he felt for his mother’s dedication in the rearing of her children.  By example she taught her children to pray, to study the word of God and to live the gospel.  She cooked nutritious meals.  She took her children on outings in the mountains to enjoy wholesome recreation.  She ensured that they kept up with their studies and provided desks in the kitchen for them so she could supervise their homework as she cooked.

Elder Perry was very happily married.  His and his wife enjoyed doing just about everything together.  They gardened together, worked to improve their home together, jogged together, took long walks together and whenever possible she traveled with him to his Church assignments. He and Barbara were a shining example of a devoted couple who lived together in love.

In recent years, Elder Perry’s common sense teachings about the family have enabled me to more fully recognize the  forces in our world that threaten the family and why the development of a beautiful,  gospel-centered family culture is more important than ever before.  In his conference address “Becoming Goodly Parents” from the October 2012 General Conference he identifies these forces.

Our strengthened family cultures will be a protection for our children from “the fiery darts of the adversary” embedded in their peer culture, the entertainment and celebrity cultures, the credit and entitlement cultures, and the Internet and media cultures to which they are constantly exposed. Strong family cultures will help our children live in the world and not become “of the world” .

Can we afford to be complacent about our responsibilities?

Lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread.  As we know, he is attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society—the family.  In clever and carefully camouflaged ways, he is attacking commitment to family life throughout the world and undermining the culture and covenants of faithful Latter-day Saints. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility.


What are the elements of a beautiful family culture?

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Teach Them the Why

With the recent passing of two beloved Apostles, Elder L. Tom Perry and President Boyd K. Packer,  I have reflected on how their ministries have influenced my life  for  good.  As I have done  so, I have felt a desire to testify of some  of the vital doctrines taught by both of these Apostles that have shaped my attitude and  behaviour in the course of a lifetime.  I do so as a tribute to their dedicated service and with the intent that these same doctrines and teachings might be passed down to the generations that follow–that the youth and parents in our day might receive these words of instruction, cherish them, and reap the associated blessings.

In this post I would like to testify of a teaching of President  Packer about the power of true doctrine:

“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.”

What is doctrine?  Why should we teach it?  What is its effect?

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