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March 14, 2016

Faith and Courage One Must Create

There are times in our lives where the refiner’s fire purifies us to the point that we go beyond ourselves and think and write things that seem above us.  Maybe our true divine nature comes out and the spirit flows through us like running water.

I have had this experience happen to me a few times, where there seems for a time that the veil is lifted a little and where God’s Holy Spirit personally teaches a truth.  I would like to share one experience in particular that happened to me.

I want to tell you about my Mother, Mabel Austin Crandall.  At age 18 she was a convert to the LDS church and loved the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all her heart.   Even though her family could not understand why she left the Methodist religion that they had raised her in, she and my father were married in the Methodist church to make them happy and 1 year later were sealed in the Mesa, Arizona LDS temple for not only time but for all eternity. At that time, she gained a strong testimony of eternal families and of temple work.

She was the type of person that ate very healthy, exercised, worked hard, and was on every committee in the community you could think of.  I think she single-handedly made sure 25 scouts in her ward received their Eagle Scout awards. She worked in the scouting program, PTA, and Boys and Girls Club helping young kids succeed in life.  She was my best friend and great example of everything good. Her grandchildren were her life and she made each one feel so special. She taught me so many important life skills that I use daily!

In 1995 my very healthy mother of age 63 was diagnosed with cancer.  Sometimes Heavenly Father throws us a curve that we are not sure we can handle.  This was one of those challenges for sure!  I watched my beautiful mother gracefully have chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumors.   She would dress up and go to her chemo appointments like she wasn’t even sick and I watched while she was getting her chemo treatment.  However, she acted different than all the other patients sitting in their chairs.  She got up from her chair, while the medicine was dripping into her, and knelt down by each sick patient and took their hands in hers and said…”You are going to beat this.”  She was so brave and wanted everyone to have hope and faith that they were going to get better.
She fought a hard fight pretending like nothing was wrong.  But I could tell that she was getting worn down and very tired.  She still kept going so that we wouldn’t worry about her.  She would say “I’m going to beat this”.   As time went on, the Lord had other plans for her.  As I started dealing with the fact that I was going to lose my Mother and best friend here on earth, my heart fully turned to my Father in Heaven and I found myself writing a poem for my Father and one of my daughters who I could see were sinking into grief and despair.  The words just flowed like water and in a poet’s world, it’s probably not great…but for me, I was just writing what was in my heart that the spirit dictated to me.
Faith and Courage One Must Create
by Annette 1998
Let down thy shoulders, and calm thy troubled heart
The Lord is with thee from the very start
Tho earth’s tribulation, none shall escape;
Faith and courage, one must create.
Born with affirmatives, weakness and wo
Learning to deal with daily, as we go.
And as if sometime, somewhere along the way,
We stumble and fall, bearing a heavy load on our tray;
The strength is within us to carry on and be,
The strong, servant in heaven, who pleaded, PICK ME!!!
I will go down and serve those below,
Whose burden is heavy and hope is no more.
But how can I serve when I myself suffer;
When doubt and despair creep in at my door.
Surely life’s curves have been thrown my way;
I thank thee dear Lord for helping me through this day.
I will fight the thoughts of discouragement and fear
Because I know surely that my Savior is near.
He’s been through this too; all of my feelings of not
And I thank him for these experiences that I have not sought.
Remember, he suffered and died that we may ever be,
pure and clean, with him throughout eternity.
Perfecting my spirit is not too late.
Faith and Courage one must create!
In June 1998 as she was fighting for her life, Provo City Mayor showed up and presented her with “Citizen of the Year” for Provo City Chamber of Commerce.  Everyone loved and appreciated Mom in the community for all her hard work.
She put up a good fight and as the family gathered around her in her final moments, She managed to say with much deliberation…”I cannot face my Mother on the other side not having her temple work done.”  She would not let her spirit go until my girls got in the car and went to the temple to do the baptism.  We were all around her bed when the girls left to go to the temple.  That satisfied her to go ahead and walk through the veil.  I went to the temple that very evening to finish up her mother’s work.  In fact, my whole family found ourselves in the temple that night thanking Father in Heaven for her life and just wanting to carry on her legacy by serving others.
I know my Father in Heaven knows me and helped me through this difficult time.  I also have had a very strong impression that my mother was taken early to help convert her sweet Christian family who have all passed away now.  Yes, we are doing their temple work and Mom is bearing her strong testimony to them that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and I know they are accepting the work because of my dear Mother!!!
If you want to know how you can be linked with your loved ones throughout all eternity, please visit or and the missionaries will teach you about our sacred temples and the work for the dead we do there.
Like my mother, I am so grateful for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I’m a Mormon and love my life!!!

April 30, 2015

The Lost Shoe

Filed under: Faith,Heavenly Father,ponder,Prayer — admin @ 3:51 am
I remember when I was a little girl, around 7 or 8 years old, I needed to find my shoes. I had one shoe but couldn’t find the other one. I started to look but then I remembered that I should say a prayer because Heavenly Father would know where my shoe was located.  I had learned from my parents and from Primary that I could go to Heavenly Father about anything, whether big or small.  I KNEW that Heavenly Father would help me to find the missing shoe.  I said a prayer, full of faith, to receive divine help. Within minutes, I had a distinct impression to look outside in the backyard. And sure enough, I found my shoe… it was in the weeds, in case you were wondering.
The ‘lost shoe’ experience strengthened my testimony, and faith that I can turn to my Heavenly Father, and ask for His help and guidance. Through out my life I often reflect upon my ‘lost shoe’ experience to help me remember that I can turn to Heavenly Father for help with anything. I’ve applied this principle again and again in my life. I’ve also learned that if I make an effort to first search and ponder about the situation that my prayers are more sincere in truly wanting to receive answers and I’m better prepared to accept whatever answers come from my Heavenly Father.

February 26, 2015

Finding your way in Goblin Valley

Filed under: Faith,Finding our way,Follow Christ — Ryan Best @ 4:32 pm

Several weeks ago our family took a short trip to Goblin Valley located in the deserts of central Utah. We knew that the Mars-like landscape and the strange formations would be a fun adventure for our four young children.  They love to hike and climb and this was a perfect place to get out some energy!

When we arrived we looked over the strange valley from the parking lot located above. We could easily see the mountain range on the edge of the valley and the sandstone formations looked like tiny mushrooms. The kids all felt they could reach the furthest point without much trouble, so we headed into the valley of the Goblins. We had fun playing make believe and winding our way around all sorts of sandstone creatures, but as we progressed, our perspective began to change. The small mushrooms turned into giant boulders and we couldn’t see our goal as clearly. My husband and I had been to Goblin Valley before, so we tried to direct the kids on the easiest course, but several times they were deterred to some other path that looked more exciting or easier. What they didn’t realize was that often times those paths lead to a steep drop off or an area that was much more difficult to hike.

I began to think about my own life, and how I sometimes place my trust in myself or others rather than a loving God who has an infinitely greater perspective than myself. Do I turn to Him for guidance and help when I am facing some sort of trouble or danger? Do I see His hand guiding and directing my life in the day to day tasks as often as I should?

I know that He is there and loves each of us dearly! He wants to be a part of our lives, and if we take the time to look, we will see His hand. We may not clearly understand why we have been given certain challenges or circumstances in our life, but as we follow the commandments, He will keep us safe from those drop offs. Just like my children running between those amazing formations, the path of life is full of challenges and obstacles.  It may seem difficult and at times we’ll want to go another way, but our Father in Heaven knows us and knows what is best for us, even if we don’t see it clearly from where we are now, and listening to His counsel may save us from a cliff or difficult path ahead.

After my father passed away 5 years ago, my Mom told me that whenever she sees a penny lying on the ground somewhere she picks it up because it reminds her to “Trust in God.” I began to do the same and all of the sudden I was finding pennies all over the place! I doubt that a sudden abundance of lost pennies occurred in the world, but I was seeing them because I was paying attention.

I know that if we actively look for God and trust in Him, we will find that He is there looking out for us, guiding us, and showing us the paths to take that will bring us greater happiness than we could possibly imagine.

By: Erin McLerran

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