Thursday, January 28, 2010

February 2010 Newsletter....Moms and Flights

In visiting with a friend recently the statement was made that one of our acquaintances had called her sister a "Helicopter Mom". She said that her sister was always hovering over her children. In further thought about the subject I felt that we as Mom's are conductors of flight all of our lives in all of our duties with our children. Yes, when they are young we must be helicpoter Mom's. It is of necessity that we hover over them to some extent to care for them, to teach them, and to look after their safety. We must be there to pilot them.

The second stage comes as they grow into their teenage years. We need to back off a little and change our methods and carrier to be more like the "Commercial Mom". We need to let them board the commercial flight and spend the time they need with us to get where they are going, and to bring them home safely. They board with their friends and are many times more influenced by them than they are by us. We can keep them in our radar, but we don't need to keep them in our visual path at all times and hover over them. We become commercial pilots. They become more independent.

The third stage comes when they are completely on their own. When they complete their education and/or marry and are their sole caretakers. It is important that we let them do their own flying. We can graduate to become a "Jet Mom". We can do fly bys and occasional stop overs, but we must let them live their own lives. Most of the time I fear we spend in the hanger waiting for an apportunity to fly.

This was a hard concept for me to learn. We had our family over a lengthy time period. Our oldest was 17 when we had our last baby. So we had someone to hover over for many years. Even now it is hard to get out of that mode. I know we should be in the jet stage, but every now and then I just want to hold my children and grandchildren close and hover for a few hours.

Heavenly Father has made a strange plan. Of course, it is perfect when we analyze it. We are continually going through different phases of our lives and we must continue to learn and grow and prepare to meet the next challenge of this life as we work towards returning to live with him. We must allow our children the same privilege.

When I was a young mother and was so busy with the daily chores of keeping up with my children and keeping the meals on the table, the washing done, the house clean, and the many tasks of supporting my husband in the work and doing some of my own in the church and community. I looked forward to the day when we could retire from all the busyness of work and family responsibilities. What was I thinking? Now I realize even more that those years were so precious. The precious times now are when we can get our family together for a few joyous hours. Even then we are always missing one or two because of other committments. It is almost impossible to have everyone in the same place at the same time even for a few wonderful moments together.

Most of you who receive this newsletter are young parents. You have the energy to be wonderful helicopter parents for your children. I hope and pray that as you hover you teach them the wonderful principles of the gospel so they can go on to live their lives in the same manner that you have...being productive, responsible and happy citizens as you prepare to return to our Heavenly Father. I wish you every blessing as you turn them over to lead their own lives and as you graduate to being "Commercial Mom 's" and then to "Jet Mom's".

While you are a "Helicopter Mom" be sure if possible to take them to visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Let them feel the spirit that is there. If you live in the Eastern US take them to the church historical sites. Wherever you live there is a temple now that is within visiting distance. Visit the temple grounds, feel the spirit that is there wherever these wonderful edifices are and talk of the importance of the temples. Let your children feel the peace and know that the temples are a perfect airport and technical base where they can come for flight instructions and reminders to keep their own charts and maps up to date. It is so important for our success with our flights and then when the final flight comes we can jet right home to our Heavenly Father. I pray for every blessing for you mothers of small children. Love them, love them, teach them, love them some more, and yes, hover for now. Love, Maurine Winters

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

REJOICE! January newsletter...2010

Kristina Law and I were talking recently and realized we have had the web site now for well over 3 years and have sent out newsletters since October 2006. We're grateful for the way they have been received and for the opportunity to do something positive to keep us thinking about the blessings of the gospel. We hope we can continue to be helpful to each of you who visit the site and the blog or receive our letters.

REJOICE!! There is something magical about the word. Saying it just makes you feel a bit of happiness inside. In a recent fast and testimony meeting I heard a man talk about the word and how even when things are going badly and the world is in great turmoil, we can stop to ponder the Lord's plan for us and we can rejoice.

There is a song in the hymn book, "Rejoice the Lord is king, your Lord and King adore. Mortals give thanks and sing and triumph evermore. Lift up your heart. Lift up your voice. Rejoice, again I say Rejoice". It's a wonderful song and very uplifting to sing and think about the words.

2010 is going to be my year to use the motto "REJOICE" I'm going to try to focus on rejoicing over the many great blessings I have and not let the negative things drag me down to despair over any of them. In pondering over the word, my thoughts turned to the many words that begin with "re" that can help me in the desire to rejoice. They are:

Renew - every Sunday the covenants I made with the Savior at baptism, etc, by partaking of the sacrament.

Reserve - time to study the scriptures and learn more of gospel principles.

Rededicate - my life to being a follower of Christ. In every situation, what would He do?

Repent - of any wrongdoing that would hinder my progress in being the person I want to be.

Return - the love and caring the Savior has shown me by showing it to those around me.

Revere - the prophets and apostles whose writings and guidance we can receive.

Reveal - the gospel doctrine to my friends and neighbors...share the gospel.

Reverence - my brothers and sisters around the world knowing that we are all children of Heavenly Father who loves each of us.

Revive - enthusiasm for doing good wherever and whenever I can.

Reward - those around me with a smile and a word of encouragement...they can be my friends.

Reaffirm - my testimony through study and prayer.

Resist - temptation to be angry or hateful or even be negative in any situation.

Represent - the Church of Jesus Christ in all I do.

Respect - the ideas of those I associate with even when they are in stark difference to mine.

Reserve - time to dream and meditate.

Remember - Oh remember, how blessed I have been throughout my life by living in this dispensation of time and with the family I have.

Responsible - to be kind and considerate to all.

Regroup - whenever I make a mistake, correct it if possible and work to not make it again.

Restore - peace in the hearts of those who are hurting by showing love and being helpful.

Reclaim - the opportunities I have had to do good and make the most of them in the future.

By focusing this year on the "re" words and the ideas they invoke in my mind I hope to be able to REJOICE this year and make 2010 be a wonderful year. May it be helpful to you too in little ways to make your year the best!! With love, Maurine Winters

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December ...2009....Families

As we leave the Thanksgiving holiday for another year and prepare and think of the Christmas season ahead it is quite natural to think of our many blessings....all the things we are grateful for. Both holidays are a time when we get together as family and enjoy each others company as we celebrate the reason for the season. For me, Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the harvest of another year and to celebrate the beginning of this present great nation from the time of the pilgrims coming to America. We gather together to enjoy lifes bounties and pay tribute to our ancestors who labored before us to make our lives better. Christmas time we come together to celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ. There are not greater blessings in this life than to have a family to congregate with and enjoy these two very significant holidays. The love felt in family relationships is certainly one of lifes greatest blessings. Below are a few quotes that my daughter, Mindi, found and put in a book with pictures for Bob and I on our 50th wedding anniversary. They are special thoughts relating to family:

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven." George Bernard Shaw

"Call if a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." Jane Howard

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family." Thomas Jefferson

"Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights and our comfort when we occasionally falter. " Brad Henry

"What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for be with each other in silent unspeakable memories." George Eliot

"You don't choose your family...They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." Desmond Tutu

"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony." Eva Burrows

"A father's goodness is higher than the mountain, a mother's goodness deeper than the sea." Japanese Proverb

"No road is long with good company." Turkish Proverb

"Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end." Author unknown

"Families are like fudge...mostly sweet with a few nuts." Author unknown

I remember reading a story one time...I don't remember the title or the author, but I'm sure many of you have read it. It told of a family whose father and mother lived on a farm in the midwest. The children were grown adults and all living away from the family farm. This Christmas each one had already alerted the parents that because of work or other committments they wouldn't be able to come home for Christmas. Then as the day drew near each one felt badly that the parents would be home alone when it had always been such a great family get together. So each one unbeknown to the rest at the spur of the moment made arrangements to hurry home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be with their parents. As Christmas Eve by one the children showed up at the family farm. What joy was experienced and described as the family gathered to the surprise of the parents and each one that came.

Families are a work in progress. Each one has the responsibility to make the family ties stronger show forth the love and concern over each other that help to draw the family together. This time of year is the perfect time to make our schedules include time for the family. To plan occasion for each one to come and be together and enjoy each others company. Usually it is the natural thing as is illustrated in the first story above...other times it takes an effort to draw the family together and make sure everyone is invited and feels the love of the other family members. I pray we will each have a joyous Christmas holiday with our families. With love, Maurine Winters



The Relief Society message for the month of October in the Ensign was about nurturing the rising generation. As I read it, I felt a great responsibility to help in the effort of raising a righteous posterity and in helping in the community to do the same for the children that surround us. I remember what a profound influence some of my teachers and relatives had on me as I grew up. I'll always be grateful for the nurturing of those adults in my life when I was young. How necessary and how important it is that as adults we do all we can to help the love them and teach them right from wrong and be an example to them.

Lloyd D. Newell in one of his spoken word addresses said these words: "Almost instinctively we know that the children entrusted to us require even greater care...and are of far greater worth...than whatever else we may acquire. Taking the time to show love, to be kind, to listen thoughtfully may not always be easy or convenient, but, when we encircle our children with the best of ourselves, they will blessed."

Susan Revit, Bayville, NY wrote on this subject:
"I always wanted a white shag rug, I thought it would look nice.
Then I had my first child...that made me think twice.
I always wanted some Lenox pieces to put on the table and admire..
and then we had our first child and I opted for a clothes dryer.
I always wanted glass top tabletops and crystal like a bell..
and then I had our first child and thought plastic would do just as well.
I wanted so many things and always wished for them, but
when I saw my first child, I wanted children so much more."

Erma Bombeck wrote an article years ago telling the women who were housewives to stand up and be counted...that being a housewife and a mother is one of the most important jobs in the world. She wrote she is not a materialistic person. She never had a favorite dress, a lucky dinner ring, a classic car or anything she valued as a collector. If someone breaks into her house and finds money...let him have it. But don't touch her photo albums of her babies or as they grew. She says further that any intruder taking the pictures of her family will not make it to the door. I'd say she took the responsibility of being a mother to heart and loved it and wanted to perserve the memories.

As we search to be successful in our lives and as we ponder the things we can do to help influence the lives of those younger than we, we would do well to consider the great responsibility of being an example of righteous living and giving.

Words to live by:
More often than we ever expect, other lives our lives affect.
If it is to is up to me!
The rules for success won't work, unless you do.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will do.
You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.
Service is love in work clothes.

FARMS - The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies had an article in their magazine a few years ago that I clipped out and kept. It said,"The premortal house of Israel was arranged into saving relationships. No one in our lives is there by accident. The family is central to the Creators plan for the eternal destiny of His children. All activities in life as in the church are designed by our Heavenly Father so we can have a saving influence on each other. Indeed, it sems that God has assigned a valiant spirit to break the chain of destructiveness in some families, likewise a rebellious spirit sometimes to a choice family that he might be saved." In view of what that paragraph says, we all need to labor diligently and take on the responsibility of working toward saving ourselves and then loving and extending our help to those in our realm of influence.

Responsibility: The definition is a duty, a charge or an obligation. We have the choice of what we feel responsible for, but certainly we have an obligation to all those around us to be the best we can be. After the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past month I feel more the responsibility we have as members of His church to show forth more love and caring. It seemed every talk was based on showing a Christlike love for those around us. It is my hope that we can follow that counsel. With love, Maurine Winters

October 2009....Evidence

It has been said that when one enters a room, even if they just walk through, that they take something to that room and they leave something there...a thought or a feeling. Something tangible is left in that room. Think of it...when someone walks through a room if there is anyone there, they will see them and have a recollection of them being there. They may even have some thoughts as I have hade at times..."Oh, it's good to see them." or "I need to talk to them before I leave today." "How good to see them well again and here." The person walking through will have a recollection of being there and who and what they saw and their feelings of the occasion. How amazing that such a simple act can leave such profound evidence of the occasion.

Yes, when you go into a room or when you leave it there is almost always evidence that you were there. Criminal courts count on that and search for that critical forensic evidence that will convict perpertrators of their crime.

A teacher once said, "You must be so careful what you do and say around children because you never know which moment will be the moment they will choose to remember and how it will affect them." There is much evidence that a good teacher has so much influence on those they spend that critical time with as children learn and grow. How we hope that every teacher is aware of the great responsibility to influence children for good. They must leave no question about their integrity and virtue. When they walk in the room there should be confidence that all is well. The same certainly applies for parents. What an awesome responsibility to know that those moments you spend with your children are so vital.

When we go to pray, read the scriptures or go to church meetings aren't we supplying evidence to Heavenly Father that we want to do what is right, that we intend to follow Him and Jesus Christ our Savior? On the other hand if we ignore these important things in our lives aren't we telling Heavenly Father that He and His desires don't really matter to us? We know that when we do something for our fellowmen that we are in reality serving our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. In light of the way evidence frees or convicts us...we need to work at having it speak good for us. What evidence will speak out for us at the end of our lives? Will we leave enough evidence of the good we did that it will speak well for us? That evidence will determine our eternal life.

Thje evidence keeps mounting that proves Joseph Smith to indeed be a prophet of God. Elder Russell M. Nelson in a recent talk said that in the church today we have people who are translating the Book of Mormon into other languages. Generally speaking they can translate a page a day from a known language to another known language. When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from an unknown language to a known language he did it in less that 90 days all 531 pages. During that time he had to move from New York to Pennsylvania because of the persecution . None of the intended interruptions to his work caused him to detour from the task. When you think of his resolve and his statement about not being able to deny his testimony, it becomes more apparent that he was chosen to restore the gospel to the earth in this dispensation. He knew he had seen the vision of the Father and the Son and he knew that God knew it and he dared not deny it. Joseph Smith was between 22 and 24 years of age. He only had three years of formal education. He included in the writings the history of two distinct and separate nations as he described the religious, economic, social and political cultures and institutions of those two nations. He wove into the history the religion of Jesus Christ and the pattern of Christian living. The first edition has stood with no changes in the text except for spelling of words. He announced to the world that this narrative was not fiction, but true, sacred history. Millions of great people, intellectual scholars, have subscribed discipleship to this record and its church..."The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Many other conditions are set forth in honoring Joseph Smith for being loyal and true to his beliefs, for bringing forth the restoration of the pure and simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. During the same time of the translation he was writing information that would fill the Doctrine and Covenants of the inspiration and revelations he was receiving from Heavenly Father. Finally, after suffering persecution and revilement for nearly two decades after he finished the book he gave his life for his testimony that it was a true record from God, our Eternal Father. Just as the prophets of old he was unwavering in his calling as a prophet and fulfilled it in a glorious way. We worship Jesus Christ, as we honor our prophets for leading the way and providing us with great evidence to "follow Him".

As we look forward to hearing our prophet and apostles speak this weekend at general conference we pray that we will be in tune with them and have a desire to increase the evidence of our discipleship in the coming days. With love, Maurine Winters

Friday, September 11, 2009

September News...Balance

Recently I read a book my daughter brought over named "Oxygen". It was so fascinating in the first chapter as the author, Carol Cassella, who is an anesthesiologist, talks about her work. She discusses the work..."the precision and focus, it's balance of technical skill and clinical judgment, finessing the interplay of heart and lungs while the brain sleeps." The great technology that allows a surgeon to operate and correct a problem in our bodies without us having to feel the horrific pain is unbelieveable. The word balance struck a cord with me and as I read further it seemed to be a powerful word in not only describing her work, but also of the many balances in the human body and then all around us on this earth. As we realize the many blessings we enjoy in this earthly experience we realize more and more how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do indeed live, love and care for us.

An example of health maintenance is involved with balance in our lives with emphasis on the physical, social, intellectual, emotional and the spiritual in order to live a completely healthy life. When one is emphasized over another or one is lacking or left out there is an unhealthy imbalance. Our growth and development as a well rounded individual is thwarted. Also, we are aware of the food groups that we need to balance in our eating habits so we can stay healthy and strong. It is so important that we have certain foods and plenty of water daily.

There is an appropriate balance of light and darkness so we can get the proper amount of sleep and activity as we work and play during the day and retire for our rest at night...that is except for the young who seem to have the two mixed up. The amount of rest and activity is a balance we need to maintain for our physical health. There are also many thoughts about how we need to balance work and play. A vacation from our work or usual activity is so important. The Lord has set the pattern for balance in our lives by giving us six days to labor and do our work, then the seventh for rest and time to worship and draw closer to Him. What a great blessing that is in helping us maintain the balance we need for a happy life.

People all over the earth balance the weather by what they wear. Closer to the poles heavy clothing with extra padding from head to toe make it possible to live there in colder climates. Near the equator there is little need for much clothing and because Heavenly Father has provided His own balance for us there are extreme amounts of foliage to help keep the earth at a livable temperature. Our bodies also adjust to the conditions where we live. Someone who has grown up in either climate have adjusted to that climate and find it difficult to move to the extreme opposite.

Last Sunday I listened to a tape of John Lund, a popular LDS speaker who talked about communication. He was talking to young marrieds and said that we come from unique and diverse family backgrounds and when we marry it is often difficult to find our verbal common ground. He said some families don't verbalize as much as others and in fact some just drop hints and it is difficult to determine just what it is they are really saying or wanting. He was quite humorous in his approach...but he told how men are usually happy with not much communication whereas women like to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Therefore, women have more women friends who they communicate with far more often than men have men friends who they visit with on any subject. I thought about how that communication balances our social life. How I love my women friends and how I enjoy visiting with them and exchanging information about our lives, our children, etc. This past month I took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia with my daughter Mindi. We had such a good time together and while visiting friends there, I was able to visit a wonderful friend, Dr. Lane Price, who has given me the opportunity to communicate so many thoughts and ideas. What a restful and delightful visit we had from our usual pattern of life. Yes, having good friends brings great balance to my life.

What about marriage? Isn't it just about the best balancing act there is. When you put a man and a women together it is so interesting how many things that are "men things" or "women things". I remember reading one time how man and woman don't need to be incompatible...especially if he has income and she is pattable. There was more to that little essay about how he wants the windows open and she wants them closed, he pushes the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube and she squeezes it from the top. Several little truisms were included in that article...I'm sure you have your own set of differences...but most of them are just little things that really don't mean much in the balance of a wonderful marriage. Since there should be a man and a woman in a marriage and knowing Heavenly Father's teachings on this subject...I think there is such wisdom in having man and one woman. A child gets a balance of ideas and habits that affect his life for good. Men are usually stronger physically and can more readily take on the role of being the protector. Women are usually more emotional and have a softer side and can provide more understanding for the youth in the home.

You may have heard the saying.."It's not what you gather, but what you scatter in this life" . I'm sure that one important balance is to gather good and then scatter it wherever and whenever we can. There are no doubt many other examples of the balance needed in order to make our world go around smoothly. The ones we can do something about and have control over are the ones mentioned above. I pray that we can all keep a healthy balance in our lives so we will be happy, productive, and ready to meet the Savior when this life is over for us.
With love, Maurine Winters

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August Newsletter....2009

Every now and then I get feeling pretty proud of what I've accomplished with some little thing or another then something else happens to bring me back to earth quickly and remind me that for everything that has happened in my life for the good I have had a lot of help, but I can only blame myself for those things where I've fallen short and not done so great. I find that when I'm proud of others for their accomplishments or when my heart is filled with humility and gratitude for the things I have been able to do with the help of Heavenly Father and those family members and friends around me, I feel the greatest satisfaction.

I've learned that being prideful often leads to being judgmental...a trait that we certainly don't want to fall into the trap of. At times we feel that we are doing pretty good, we are doing our daily activities with success, we feel that we are a contributing member of society and doing some good. If we are reading the scriptures, praying, attending our church meetings, etc., we have a feeling of well being and that all is going well. When we start feeling that we are just a notch above another, we need to think again. I remember my Dad saying, "There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it doesn't behoove any of us to criticize the rest of us." We need to be so careful not to let pride creep into our minds and become judgmental.

Several years ago we had invited a friend to have the missionary lessons. At that time there were stake missionaries and holding that calling two older men came over to our home to teach this friend about the gospel. One of the men was so humble and sweet that his demeanor touched both my husband and I and the friend. This man was teaching a certain principle of the gospel and I thought was doing a fine job, but he stopped and said something like this, "Im sorry I want my companion to explain this , he does so much better than I, it's so important that you understand and I do mainly because of his teachings to me." At the end of the lesson this man bore the most beautiful testimony of the gospel and how important it was in his life that I will never forget the feelings we had at that meeting. The spirit was strong because of a humble servant of the Lord.

On our recent trip to the Holy Land we had a good man, one of the leaders of the group, who was so knowledgable and taught us so much and who had just such a humble nature. I don't know how one cultivates that ability, it must be one of those personality traits that are a part of the makeup a person is born with. At any rate, we learned so much from this man and I continue to learn as I visit his web site. He has a collection of much of the work he has done as a researcher for the church on his web site. It includes much of the ancient records and writings that were sifted through when the Bible was first written. When the decision was made what to include in it, there were many writings left out. I can see why as I read them, many of them are wordy and difficult to read, however some are amazing. I was thrilled to read two of the ancient books about Mary's passing. They tell of the time Mary, mother of Jesus, passed away, and of the miracles surrounding that time. You can read the "passing of Mary" in the web site:
It is found by clicking on the extra biblical teachings, then under the apocrypha section, scroll down to the acts section, then to the "passing of Mary" book. I didn't start out planning to put this information in the newsletter, but thinking of the humble nature of the man who shared this information with us, it has followed to pass it along.

There are numerous scriptures telling us about humility and pride. One covers both: Matthew
23:12, "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that is humble himself shall be exalted." There is a beautiful song in our hymn book that deals with the subject. "Be thou humble in they weakness and the Lord thy God shall lead thee, shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers. Be thou humble in thy pleading and the Lord, thy God shall bless thee, shall bless thee with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares."

As we associate with those around us, it is interesting the personality traits of individuals. When we are in the company of someone who is humble and sweet in nature, they bring a peace and a comfort which radiates the atmosphere while you are with them. While you are ready to end the conversation with a prideful person and escape, you are attracted to stay and hesitant to end the conversation when in the company of the humble. Can we cultivate an attitude of humility and avoid the trappings of being prideful? Let's try to invite those traits into our personality this month as we focus on being more humble and less prideful. With love, Maurine Winters

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


My sister, Janett Morrell, recently went to an estate sale for a woman who had passed away leaving everything to her brother and his wife. As she visited with them and saw the huge amount of things available for the buyers, she understood their dilemna with what to do with all of the material possessions this woman had left for them to go through and decide what to do with. They had a shed, a garage and numerous rooms in the house all filled to the maximum. How were they to dispose of it? Most of us have way too much stuff in our homes and the attached buildings and to leave them for another family member to deal with when they have all of this stuff in their own home is overwhelming.

Several years ago our oldest son was living next door to an elderly gentleman. When he passed away there were two nephews who came to dispose of the property. They brought a moving van and gathered the things of worth to them and packed them up to take back to California. The house was still full of stuff. Because of time limitations they asked our son to take the rest of the things to the city dump. They would pay him to clean it out, so they could put the house up for sale. He was a young married man and could use some of the things they were purposing he take to the dump. He told them he would do it for nothing if he could keep the things he could use. The deal was made and much of the furniture that was left was a great blessing to our son and family. However, I know that the things of most worth when he passed away were the feelings of love they had developed for him. They have talked of that friendship and their esteem for him many times since.

Above experiences and others I've had cause to remember, remind me that all we can take with us is what we have learned and what we have done, or in other words what we have in our mind and heart and how we have treated those around us. I've decided that if someone admires something I have...I will give it to them. If my children or grandchildren need something I will offer them mine...if they will take's theirs. I have too much stuff and yes, some of it will be hard for me to give up because it has such sentimental value to children or someone else will have to dispose of those things. Most of you readers are younger than I and there are things you would like to have as I did at your age. I can assure you those things you acquire over the years will not bring happiness. They may bring a certain satisfaction for a short time, but never joy and happiness. The things of sentimental value to me are the things others have given me. They represent the feelings of love we have for each other and are more precious than any of the things I have acquired through the efforts of myself or my good husband. The love we share and our family is of so much more value.

Recently I read the account of one of the survivors of the Hudson River Plane Crash. She said that as she stood on the wing of that airplane waiting to be rescued many things passed through her mind. She recognized that life is not about many of the things we do, the errands we run, etc. ...she said that now she would hug those she loved until they let go. She would definitely view life differently. Shouldn't we all take a moment to think of those things in our life that are priceless and place less importance on the stuff we are accumulating or the stuff we are doing each day and more on the things of greater worth. I won't deny that it is wonderful to live at this time in the history of the world when we have so many conveniences to enjoy. I would be hard- pressed to give up hot and cold running water in the house, a furnace for heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, a refrigerator, a clothes washer and dryer, a microwave, a recliner, a nice car, a computer and the list goes on. I know however, we should be mindful especially now when the second coming of the Savior of the world is imminent and as we prepare for His coming to think more of the things of eternal worth and dwell on accumulating them rather than the things of this world.

Yes, we all need to simplify!! Perhaps one of the best ways we can do that is to put our efforts in this life into collecting:
(1) words of kindness, of encouragement, of love and support.
(2) feelings of acceptance, of understanding and of forgiveness.
(3) smiles, hugs, listening skills and time to share...all of which can be dispursed to those around us as we associate with our families and friends and even those we scarcely know. I dare say our lives would be full and purposeful and bring us much joy and happiness in return. With these thoughts I send my love to you, Maurine Winters

Monday, June 1, 2009


PURPOSE is an interesting word that suggest action. I can visualize someone walking
quickly down the street, their stride punctuated with an urgency as he hurries to his destination. I can visualize someone with a book in one hand and a pen in the other with furrowed brow as he studies some project out in his mind. I can visualize someone with a tool in his hand and an object he is working on...with sweaty brow as he works to accomplish a task. I can visualize athletes working hard in practice so they can perform well when the contest is at hand. I can visualize a mother or father tenderly guiding their children, teaching them correct principles so they can face lifes challenges. When there is a goal in mind and we focus on that goal we are driven to accomplish its purpose.

The meaning of the word purpose is to plan, aim, intend, design, resolve, or determine. It is an action word calling on mental and/or physical energy to complete a task. A young man in our ward, Emmett Clayton, gave a talk on purpose a few weeks ago and during the talk I thought what a great idea for a newsletter. He told how powerful the word is and how it guides us in our lives as we have focus on the purpose of our lives and never give up.

Regardless of our purpose there are tools we need in order to accomplish the goals. In another Sacrament meeting talk a few years ago I heard and quickly wrote down the formula a man gave for three tools we need to navigate this life with purpose. He said we need: (1) a shield to protect us from evil influences, (2) a sword to fight for the right, (3) and a shovel so we can pitch in and work for the good of the Kingdom of God. He elaborated on each tool and concluded with the fact that we can enjoy the use of each of these tools if we are actively engaged in the Church of Jesus Christ. By adhering to the principles of the gospel we can put on the whole armor of God. We can add to that a sword so we can be armed and useful in the army of those who are standing for truth and righteousness. Then, of course, there's always a shovel available when there is work to be done to further the kingdom.

Computers are awesome in helping us with our purposes. Recently I signed up for Facebook on the computer network for that program at the urging of my daughters. I was and am amazed at the way we can contact and be contacted with everyone who we ever knew who has signed up for the same program. It has been of great interest to connect with sisters who served on Temple Square with us who we have not had contact with for several years. I was shocked one day when I saw that a man who came to Temple Square was asking to be my friend on the internet program. Years ago two of our dear sisters took Andrey Sidorin on a tour and he asked to learn more about the church. They called in the Salt Lake missionaried and they taught him the lessons, he was baptized and we attended that wonderful meeting. He went back to his home in Tajikistan and we didn't hear any more about him. The story of that event in in the book "Angels on Temple Square" on page 132-34. I was thrilled to converse with him over the internet. What a great tool the computer is for companies and for individuals. Of course, Satan has made it available for his dark side programs and we have to use our shield and sword to protect us against those programs. We even need our shovel at times to throw out things that may hinder us in our purpose in this life.

My brother has a grandson, Porter Ellett, who is a wonderful example of working to accomplish his purposes. When he was four years old he had an accident that caused his right arm to be useless. It didn't grow properly and later in life he had it amputated. Not having the use of his right arm didn't slow him down. He wanted to do all the things other kids did, so he worked hard all of his life to be able to do those things. He loved sports and worked hard to participate in them. As a result he played in high school and was a star athlete in basketball and baseball. He talked to a group of students in our area and told them he figures there are three places in reaching our goals. First you experience failure, you don't want to accept that so you move to the second step. You work, work, and work so you can move to the third step. There you experience success...but success is fleeting, so often you have to go back to step two and work more. There are some things he has conquered. He has learned some difficult things like how to tie his shoes and tie a tie. He is now serving a mission in Los Angeles, California and Im sure his ideas of living with purpose is touching many lives. He is a great young man.

I believe that every part and program of the Church of Jesus Christ is to aid us in living the gospel in our lives. We all need to take part in the great plan of salvation which will aid us in our quest of returning to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ forever, which is the grand purpose for and of this life.
With love to each of you....Maurine Winters