More October

I forgot to blog the photos from our afternoon at the park with Savvy and her family. We got some good photos with the fall leaves. You can tell they are much more fashion forward than we are. hipsters vs the gray team. It is nice being closer to family, although arguably living under the same roof for a month is a little too close. Rand & Savvy have been busy trying to close on a home along with doing well in school. Laura & Danny have been busy updating the home they recently purchased; they are both in school too and Danny still works full-time along with it all. Mr Smith has been helping them as well as trying to sort through the UT network. It's always about who you know; he has so much to offer. And I am still trying to figure out what else I can do than just patiently wait. Especially since I suck at being patient. I actually have an interview for a small part-time thing, which is exciting.

The gang also met up at the pumpkin patch for some pictures of the kiddos. If you haven't heard by now, Lexi has become a little bully. She is a tough girl who doesn't care who touches or knocks her down, so one-on-one with other kids, she tends to dominate thinking they should enjoy the same tough-love style that she possesses. Not everyone enjoys being hugged to death, literally, or kissed 5 times in a row. She tends to play with everyone like she does her dad, and let's just say Maren doesn't enjoy being the horse or giving piggy-back rides, understandably. Besides the neck hugs, which are less than ideal, she started biting the last couple of weeks. My shoulder, cheek, toes & hands… and also Maren's hands & toes. And sometimes she'll grab at your cheeks which can be painful too. So what do you do? Telling her no and moving her away seems to make no connection. I still don't believe toddlers are malicious, but they do lack control and test for reactions. So come on expert moms, you tell me how you got through it or why you think your child didn't have a biting phase. Maren enjoys keeping to herself whereas Lexi plays well by herself, but with other kids around, she just likes to be… close.

Although it may not always seem that way, they do have their moments of enjoyable play-time. Most of the time it is outdoors or singing songs, especially ring-around-the-rosy. Sharing toys inside and the pacifier/cup swap just get tiring. 

What Man Is A Preacher? What Makes A Sermon?

The First Presidency and the 12 Apostles, among other church leaders, speak from the pulpit twice a year at a General Conference of the Church. You can listen to the latest one here

{For the first time in mrsmithandi history, Mr Smith has written the majority of this post}

P r o p h e t s  &  A p o s t l e s

Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." 

We believe our Heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is not possible to have Faith in a Being that is ever-changing. Since the days of Adam and Eve - and continued until today - God has followed the same pattern of revealing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to righteous men/special witnesses (prophets), and given them the authority to act in his name. This authority is priesthood authority and it comes directly from God to the prophets and from the prophets to the people.  Ordination to the priesthood never took place through someone reading the scriptures, receiving a vision, through attending the right schools, or through someone just deciding they wanted to be a minister. God is a God of order. He has told us that we will need apostles and prophets until we "all come in the unity of the faith." The world and its thousands of "Christian" churches that teach different things about the Savior are obviously not currently in a "unity of faith." Living prophets and apostles are still essential to the world "that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine"

Matthew 16:13-19 When Jesus came into the coasts of Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (revelation comes from GOD) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (upon the rock of revelation, not upon a man) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Hebrews 5:4 We believe when it comes to a man holding the priesthood authority of God "No man taketh this honor upon himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron." Aaron received the priesthood from Moses (the prophet) who received his authority from Jethro, his father-in-law the High Priest of Midian, who received his authority from the patriarchal fathers back to the prophet Adam. Peter in the New Testament later received this priesthood authority and these priesthood keys directly from the hands of the Savior whose work and gospel this is. 

The Keys of the priesthood are given to the prophet on the earth and are required to authorize the performance of ordinances (Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Temple Marriages, priesthood ordinations, etc). Without the priesthood keys AND the priesthood authority, man/women could not receive the necessary ordinances to be saved. As the Savior told Nicodemus, "except a man be born of water (baptism by an authorized priesthood holder) and of the spirit (receiving the gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands from an authorized priesthood holder), he cannot enter the kingdom of God"

God calls prophets and gives them authority to preach repentance and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people. The pattern continues as those who have the gospel fall away from the true teachings (apostatize) and God eventually calls a prophet to command them to repent and teach them the truth about Jesus Christ. Large portions of the scriptures contain records of people (Israelites and others) who have apostatized leading to God sending prophets to command them to repent. It is more difficult to keep the commandments than to live life however you want to live.

What prophet of the Old and New Testament had a formal education from a Divinity School? Although some were of royal lineage, none were given their authority because of their education. Joseph Smith had less than 3 years of formal schooling (close to a 4th grade education), yet today we have the Book of Mormon - 531 pages of inspired history of a people whose record has been assembled and translated for our day "to the convincing of Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ". When it comes to the 15 current latter-day prophets and apostles, if you researched their formal education backgrounds you will discover they come from a variety of backgrounds and in the eyes of the world have been successful in their temporal careers prior to becoming Apostles and Prophets. But none of these men were chosen as Apostles because of their worldly education or the initials after their names. That is not how the Lord has worked in the past, and that is not how he works today. Also, none of these men woke up and decided they would be Apostles/Prophets. The Lord chooses his witnesses not the other way around as the world and all the Divinity Schools want you to believe. I know these are men of God and receive knowledge and wisdom that no amount of wordily study could offer. Truth and knowledge (REVELATION) comes from God. Man cannot come to know God without God revealing himself unto him. No amount of personal study can reveal God, only HE can reveal himself. Those who are set apart and called to be His inspired mouthpieces, like Moses or Joseph Smith, need no worldy education when they are humble servants willing to listen and obey Heavenly Father. God works miracles among righteous men, then and today. 

Ephesians 4:11-13 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive"

Yes, many truths still exist across religions, but after Jesus Christ was crucified and his Apostles - and the Keys and priesthood authority - were taken from the earth, the complete truth no longer existed in one body and none held the authority to officiate in the essential ordinances of the gospel until the Restoration of the gospel occurred through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Priesthood Power is essential to uniting truth. When men have only parts of the truth, questions either go unanswered, or worse, are filled in incorrectly leaving people confused and divided. Sometimes these are "stumbling blocks" to later accepting the truth as hearts are hardened and people don't feel the need to seek for additional light and knowledge because they believe God is done speaking, the scriptures are enough, or revelation and miracles no longer take place. You can see that in divisions even among the Protestant sects, can you not? His gospel cannot be corrupted by man before that man would be removed. But when there are no keys or Priesthood power, men are making educated assumptions or voting on what is "truth" or  starting their own church based on a general Christian belief. Should we be concerned that congregations are being misled especially when congregation funds pay the minister to hear what they want to hear? They are teaching the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, and as the Savior said are the "blind leaders of the blind"

The Savior taught that "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:13-14)

You don't need a PHD to tell you truth, you can know it for yourself.  Every LDS church building teaches the same lessons (out of the mouth of prophets of old and latter-day) each month, so where ever you attend, you will hear the words God wants you to hear, if you are humble and prepared to thirst upon His Word. Everyone is given the opportunity to grow in the gospel. What greater way to learn than to study and teach His gospel through the Holy Ghost.


His Answer is You

<She always has a clip that keeps her hair back that she takes out right before the pictures>

The trees are a perfect backdrop. We went out during the afternoon to see some color up the canyon.
It's weird being back on these roads. In a lot of ways I feel like I went back in time 5 years, but now I'm married with a child. So I'm that old lady thinking she is still young and wild. I walked on campus wondering if I could still fit in there, but just thinking about being back in school gives me anxiety. I can definitely admit that my time has passed. Lots of memories around this town, and I guess it's time to make new ones with my family. At least for a little bit. Only a little bit, right Mr Smith?

I had a semi-emotional day when Mr Smith and I were at odds about my snappy attitude & I was at odds with my situation, when I later realized I left my battery & charger in the BYU library the night before just as I was rushing across town to take some pumpkin pictures just to find out I was without a memory card. There are moments when we lose a little bit of emotional control, as hard as we try to keep it contained, we just want an understanding shoulder. Just for a few moments. There are very few souls who I trust with my own. I love those souls who don't take sides in my marriage, who can be empathetic and add humor, who don't try to solve my problems or sugar coat things, who don't become depressed for you or make it a bigger deal (except for the sake of humor), who know how to just be there in the moments when you need someone to hear you and feel you at the same time. I know I need to be okay with Christ as my go-to person, but I always wonder if maybe His answer is You.

Life is so beautiful; you have to love it.

I recovered the battery & charger on the third try. I was elated for that miracle.
Mr Smith also got a hiking carrier for $25 today; so that's another win for the books.


It's Hard

It's hard. I'm never one to sugar coat anything. 

Alas, most everyone knows this about me and some wish I would just a little, but I can't. I don't deceive. I blogged about "fake" people many-a-times in my single days. I've never had the energy to hide what I'm feeling. And sometimes that's a personality con, but at least people know they can count on an honest and straight-forward answer from me and you can tell it's refreshing to some. Sometimes I'm silent, and that's me trying to be nice. Along with being a little frank, I don't judge people with absolute stamps like Mr Smith does. I have my opinion, but I know it's just that. I don't expect people to hop in my boat and I'm never offended when they don't. I'm just me - willing to admit when I don't know things and willing to call you out when you've gone overboard. And I expect to be friends with you, whoever you are. Obviously the goal is to be a good influence and ultimately bring us closer to Christ, who makes us better, but for the most part we are two people trying to figure out our worlds, which hopefully are different. Otherwise, we would just be unchallenged and therefore dead of growth. I like to grow in my relationships. Sometimes I like to be validated in my decisions, but who wants someone that agrees with everything you say and do? Very obnoxious. But that's just how I see it.

I know the goal is to become one. I'm not positive how that is supposed to happen. Maybe it has to do with using our differences to teach each other and lift each other. But how do you do that with people who always think their way is the best way? Maybe we just shouldn't ask their opinions. And they shouldn't share them unless we ask. But that's impossible with close friends & family, especially with your spouse (at least it should be). So maybe we should just say "I think this is a good idea" and people like my brother and husband will give you 50 reasons why you should question your opinion. Either way, I do appreciate it. Even if I'm initially upset because being challenged and growing isn't easy and we as humans HATE when we feel we're the only ones who don't know something. But the first mistake we make is thinking we know everything. (we grow when we validate truths we know, and we grow when we learn something new)

So that's basically how I sit with God, the Father of my spirit. I feel like I know what I want. And I feel like it's reasonable to have it. But what should I be learning during this limbo period? Or probably more correctly said, what am I not learning? Where is my hope? Where is my faith? Do I feel entitled? Me, miss independent, what am I entitled to? My theme of this year repeated in my mind and heart is that our mansions are in heaven. Pres Monson briefly mentioned that statement at conference. My Creator knows what I need to experience in order to become my better self. I want to accept that relationship; I want to trust I'm in the right place. I thought it was pretty frank when my husband lost his job. I've been on the other side trying to accept, battling this urge to argue. But in so many ways, I need to let it go and thrive where God places me. I guess I just fear we placed ourselves here and God had nothing to do with it. But that's foolish, isn't it? Maybe if we were unholy and foolish people I might assume that. But we aren't. Deep down I know we aren't. It's comforting to hear it's going to be okay, but immediately I just want to be like BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW?!

So it's hard. Doable. Liveable. Workoutable. But it's hard because it's confusing and I don't have the answers. It's hard because I have to give up some control. It's hard because we don't see the end from the beginning. It's hard because it isn't what I want in the way I want it. It's hard because we need to have a positive and healthy attitude even with all of the above. And that's the honest truth.


We Have Arrived

I'm becoming much the slacker these days even though I've never had so much free time in my entire life.  Funny how that works? Good news is, I've decided to waste your time today to give a little "we are still alive if breathing counts" post.

So ta-da, we made it to Provo! Almost like a magic trick except for the fact that ~42 hours in a car with a toddler involved no magic. That's a lie. We made it  a l i v e. Magic. Lexi was pretty good. Maybe one combined full hour of the ~42 involved tears of duress.  My car made it. I somehow drove for about 8 hours in a day before I could no longer feel my bottom or toes. For someone who HATES driving these days, I thought it was a blessed miracle. I didn't even have to eat all the snacks. I think stopping in  Dallas for a couple days helped us recoup. We got to see/meet these lovely ladies...

Mr Smith made it through Atlanta traffic with the truck & trailer, and bless his heart, we said goodbye to the south. He cursed the bumpy MS roads, but again, we're alive and moving on. Except to the dashed hopes of the in-laws, we are still here a week+ later.

I've only had a couple meltdowns since the millions of goodbyes (jk I don't know a lot of people but enough). One may have been the last Sunday in Hickory. I mean it's like when you fall down and people ask if you're okay, just that question alone makes you cry. There is so much emotion behind the "it'll all be fine, it's for the best, we're moving on." So because I can't really answer you, because heck I'm not sure what I feel anymore, I just cry a tear here and there. Scratch that, cried. It's in the past.

Because in reality, I did tell Mr Smith I would be okay with moving anywhere. I forgot to finish the paragraph with my list of conditions, but he ran with what he wanted to hear. Jk. He knows me better than I know myself and he knew I felt okay with UT. I'm just A LOT slower at transitioning worlds than he is. He's all black is the new white. And I'm smearing myself in gray. He said if it was him, he wouldn't have told anyone he was leaving; he would have just left. I'm not that kind of person. Sometimes I have to tell it to several people to see how it sounds. If they asked too many questions I didn't have answers to, I would cry. [Men and their lack of attachment] What's the point of living if we don't create attachments! At least to a certain degree. But that's that. 

All the boxes fill half of Mr Smith's parent's garage. We took over a basement bedroom. Lexi takes over another when Uncle Lance is traveling. My wonderful mother-in-law is looking after 7 people in her home, and 3 that might as well live here too. I bet she didn't think she would have more people in her home at retirement age, but alas, here we are. It's not too hectic, but we're still keeping the faith that "vacation" and the suitcase days are dwindling. I mean we might as well live up the care free life until it ends, right? We could stress every moment of our lives if we wanted to.

I'll post about UT soon enough. for me. 


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