Its mom’s birthday and thank you all for remembering and wishing her the best on this happy day. It looks like to me that she is getting younger every year. Yesterday it was this incredible sunny warm and gorgeous “spring” day. The sky was crystal blue and mom and I had lunch at an outdoor café with a spectacular view of the entire mountain range. It allows you to put up with a bitter cold and snowy winter just to take in the majestic mountains capped with fresh snow on a sunny day in the spring. WOW!!! Good company and good views, life couldn’t get any better.
Then we wake up this birthday morning to a complete blizzard. The snow is falling so hard that we can’t see the recreation center. Its mom’s birthday and she actually complained that its snowing. She said it often snows on her birthday. Why complain it’s never snowed on my birthday, so I never even got a snow day and stayed home from school. Come to think about it I never had to go to school on my birthday either.
This has been a tough week, racked with too many unsolved problems and dilemmas, and I’m mentally exhausted from pondering all the “What about this alternative?” You would think it is easy enough to decide to get the car fixed. The Explorer is in the shop and has prompted this decision process.
If we get everything fixed it will cost $900, but we can do the basics for only $700. Why pour $700 dollars into a car valued at $1,500? It won’t increase the car’s value. But Danica needs it to move and we have to be able to drive it across country. Well let’s get a newer truck. What about a car for Don? Tiana? But I don’t want to make an additional car payment for a vehicle that we only use occasionally. And think about the extra car insurance. Ugh!!! But we need a trailer hitch and an open back. Well I can turn in the Lexus and just drive a nice Sports Track. But if my office moves to AmCheck in Stapleton, the gas bill will kill me? What about that office thing. I have to move out of my office by April 1 so where do I go? Scott doesn’t have room unless I pay big bucks. Dennis’ office is in his home and that won’t work. I could office with Kevin, but I don’t know if he will send me leads and tax season is over with soon. And it is a less spectacular office and away from Scott. What about John and where to put him? Can I get a month-to-month lease so I could move sometime in the future? What do I use for my phone number on the business cards or the address? Should I move to where the leads are? Scott wants me to commit to space in May of ’09 and I don’t know where I’ll be in May of ’08. We have all these people coming in April and if I spend money on the car repair is there any left over to fix up the dinning room? Sales are slow right now and that means no money for a while? Arrrgggg…. I had a hard time picking what I wanted to eat for breakfast. It is a simple question of fixing the Explorer, isn’t it?
It was a great Stake Conference and Pres Jenkins was released. He and his counselors did a great job and they will be missed. Drum roll please…..the new Stake President is Ralph Walker – Sean Michael Walker’s uncle, Celeste’s seminary teacher, and Brother Hammond is the 1st counselor. They are good brothers and the stake continues to be in good spiritual hands. Most of the talks were tributes to either the past or future stake leadership, but one really hit me.
Elder Snow talked about William W Phelps who contributed 15 hymns to our current hymnal. Bro Phelps was a dear friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith and was called to be a stake president. Something soured him on the church and Joseph and he went a far as to be the key individual that allowed for an execution order to be placed against the prophet. Joseph narrowly escaped death, but was captured and thrown into Liberty Jail because of WW Phelps. About two years later Bro Phelps repented and meekly asked to be reinstated into the church. He appealed directly to the prophet. Elder Snow then read us the letter Joseph wrote in response to Bro Phelps’s request. Here is his letter –
Dear Brother Phelps: . . . You may in some measure realize what my feelings . . . were when we read your letter . . . .
We have suffered much in consequence of your behavior--the cup of gall, already full enough for mortals to drink, was indeed filled to overflowing when you turned against us . . . .
However, the cup has been drunk, the will of our Father has been done, and we are yet alive, for which we thank the Lord. And having been delivered from the hands of wicked men by the mercy of our God, we say it is your privilege to be delivered from the powers of the adversary, be brought into the liberty of God's dear children, and again take your stand among the Saints of the Most High, and by diligence, humility, and love unfeigned, commend yourself to our God, and your God, and to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Believing your confession to be real, and your repentance genuine, I shall be happy once again to give you the right hand of fellowship, and rejoice over the returning prodigal.
"Come on, dear brother, since the war is past,
For friends at first, are friends again at last."
Yours as ever,
Joseph Smith, Jun. [HC 4:141–42, 162–64]
Four years later WW Phelps spoke at Joseph’s funeral and penned the hymn “Praise to the Man”. He may have understood more than many others the capacity of Joseph had for others because of his experience.
This is the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which allows us the free agency to make mistakes, then repent and he will love us back into full fellowship. The Savior does this with full measure and I’m so thankful for the atoning sacrifice that makes our sincere repentance possible.