Friday, February 28, 2014

Families Strengthen Primary

*Previously written 12/16/2013

Several weeks ago Pres. Frehner spoke at our Stake Primary Leadership meeting. He made the following comment: "Record those things that are said and done in Primary." At the time, I thought that was unusual counsel, but since then I have witnessed  over and over again, "things said and done in Primary" that should be recorded and passed on. Here are some observations that took place yesterday in Primary that I thought others should know.

1. Our Primary started off with a very sad little Kellen McClure. He obviously was upset and big tears trickled down his cheeks. His teacher lovingly attended to him and he was fine....for the moment. The teachers were then dismissed to go into the combined lesson for the 3rd block. As they left, I looked over to see a very anxious, little boy with tears starting to well up. Seeing his brother in the back of the room, I asked Kellen if he would like to go stand by Cayson. With that suggestion, he ran to his Cayson's side and was met with a smile. All this little boy needed and wanted was the comfort of a brother.

2. Sister Robinson gathered the Jr. and Sr. Primary together to take a picture (which was quit a feat in itself).  After given the direction to head back to their classes the children descended from the stand. Holding hands and leading the way were Trevor Hopkins and his little sister Lauren. Such a sweet, tender picture.

3. To prepare the nursery children who will be Sunbeams in Jan., Sister Robinson brings them into sharing time for a few minutes to sing with the rest of the primary children. Little three year-old Cru Palmer sat reverently in his seat. I looked down just in time to see Cru notice his big sister Abby sitting directly across from him in the other row. Without noise and fanfare, Cru reverently scooted his chair across the aisle next to Abby. Upon achieving success and finally sitting next to his sister, his face lit up with a huge smile. Pure joy!  
I just happened to witness this sweet little display, but noticed later that Autumn Whiting had made her way over to her big brother Jesse. I must note that Joe Bolton demanded to know why his brother Daniel wasn't with the rest of the nursery children. Apparently Daniel had fallen asleep! Joe was not happy!

The purpose of primary is to strengthen families, but it is apparent that families strengthen Primary! Oh how I love to watch and learn each week.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Own Sacred Grove

In front of the main entrance of the Las Vegas temple is a little grove of Olive trees.  In the last few months I have become very aware of those trees.  It is interesting to note however, that I rarely notice the Olive trees upon entering the temple.

Once I have been  edified and enlightened by my temple experience and I am exiting the same doors that I had previously entered, my little grove of Olive trees are brought into full view of my eyes and my heart.

Several months ago  as I first pondered this little grove, my thoughts were of the symbolism that accompanies the Olive Tree and the Savior.   I have studied and pondered that symbolism and have read the following amazing article by Elder Truman Madsen to further my understanding.

On another visit, I focused on the beautiful canopy of leaves that offer safety and relief from the elements. That day I contemplated  the safety and relief that the Savior offers to me personally.

Earlier this week, I was grateful for a groundskeeper who had taken great care to prune away the wayward limbs and branches  leaving behind  nine sleek, gnarled and impressive trunks.  I noticed for the first time that the nine trees were grouped into clusters of threes.  As I studied each one of these three clusters that were made up of three Olive trees, I thought of the enabling,  healing, and redemptive power that is offered through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I thought of how I personally have been blessed by those three powers as I have sought to use the atonement in my life.

This little grove of Olive trees invites me to return to the temple often.  It teaches and beckons for me to more fully experience the love that the Savior offers me through his atoning sacrifice.   I look forward to "experiencing" my little grove of trees with each visit to the temple.