In most churches, there’s a hired pastor who will give a sermon each week on various topics. In the LDS church, there’s no hired clergy, and they share the “preaching” responsibilities with various people in the congregation. Because of this, I’ve been called upon (with sufficient warning — like a few weeks) to give a talk about a gospel topic. One other unique opportunity happens on the first Sunday of each month. We call it “Testimony Meeting” and after we do our sacrament ordinance, the bishop opens the floor to anyone in the congregation. These meetings are often inspiring and fun to participate in. (They can also be very funny as on occasion kids come up and say the darndest things. For example, a few years ago a girl around 8 years old went up there and proclaimed, “Today my dad and I are praying so we can get along better.” The best part? The dad was in a position of leadership in our ward.)
Recently my daughter Abby, who often acts well beyond her years, decided to take notes during Testimony Meeting. She wrote things like “Brother Smith — importance of families. Sister Jones — tithing” and etc. I was amazed at her desire to 1) take notes and 2) listen close enough to actually summarize the speaker’s topic in a few words! Abby has always been a tender girl who appreciates sacred things, whether in church, nature, movies, and family discussions. I really appreciate that about her.
Yesterday Jen told Abby she could pull out a dessert recipe book we had and choose anything she wanted. Abby picked out a cookie pizza that sounded good on paper. Jen and the girls made it today and it looked good on the pan. But whoa, WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR! The girls loved the finished product but I could barely stomach my helping.
We’ve had a bit of sickness around here lately. Austin came down with a cough and congestion — the doctor called it RSV. That’s a generic term for most respiratory illnesses, some of which lead to serious problems in newborns. Luckily, Austin has been fine and is slowly recovering. Leah picked up a fever and sore throat but we hope she’s recovering. We’ve had plenty of sicko-s around the house this winter, but in reality it’s been pretty tame for us when compared to previous years. We’ve been lucky. The picture below is a frequent sight in our house. Austin awake, Jen doting over him, and all the girls quickly flocking to participate in the fun. They aren’t sick of him yet (I’m not either).