Saturday, December 12, 2009

Teaching and Leading

Our generation has been challenged over and over to take a leadership role in the "return to virtue." No one person can grab modern culture by the horns and reshape it. Not even Hollywood can do that instantly. But a million small choices made by individuals can do what looks impossible. And the fact is, everyone is a leader.

My mom is a veterinarian and shared an interesting insight on leadership. When clients bring pets and kids to the clinic for a check up, the pets and kids often have similar behavior. If the pet is crazy and off the wall, so are the kids. If the kids are quiet and watching and listening, so are the pets. Those pet owners and parents may not realize it, but they are exhibiting leadership. Somehow, the choices they make brings out a certain behavior in their pets and children. Everyone is a leader whether they know it or not.

If people realized the impact their decisions had on the world around them, they could make conscious choices to improve the lives of everyone they interact with. Everyone can be a better spouse, a better friend, better at work, better at community involvement, and better parents.

Teaching our children the gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the most important ways we show leadership. Mosiah and Joseph Smith taught the importance of teaching children. The Family Proclamation is so right in that the worst problems in the world result from the breakdown of the family.

The best way to lead the world is to set an example. President Harold B. Lee stated, " I say to you Latter-day Saint mothers and fathers, if you will rise to the responsibility of teaching your children in the home...the day will soon be dawning when the whole world will come to our doors and will say, 'Show us your way that we may walk in your path.'"

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Power of the Temple

[TONY] One of the mistakes members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make is that because certain things in the temple are sacred and should not be talked about outside the temple, we speak very little about what goes on inside the temple. This does other members a disservice because many are not well prepared to enter the temple, and it does non-member friends a disservice because they don't understand why we hold the temple so sacred.

To understand the temple, you must understand the last two verses in the Old Testament:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:5-6)
The Temple is really all about casting our minds to our parents and our children. As we look to our ancestors, we know what they went through and how that has impacted our own lives. As we look to our children, we know how our own choices will impact their choices and opportunities.

Being aware of these things can allow us to make choices to improve the lives of generations to come. Steven R. Covey describes this as being a transition generation. We choose to stop the destructive patterns of the past while building on the positive things from our family history.

Orson Pratt once said:
In the latter days, there will be a people so pure in mount Zion with a house established on the tops of the mountains that God will manifest himself not only in their temple, but when they retire to their homes. Behold, each home will be lighted up by the glory of God – a pillar of flaming fire by night” (from Truman Madsen: House of Glory, House of Light, House of Love).

The temple is central to how this happens. In the temple, we learn who we are and what our relationship is to God by seeing a reenactment of the creation and fall of Adam. Symbolically speaking, we are all Adam and Eve and we are all on the same journey. The temple teaches us how to return to the presence of God. While there we make promises to God and each other which will allow us to live a charitable, virtuous life.

As we make and keep those temple covenants, the Orson Pratt prophecy becomes true for our families. Our homes become places of safety in an unsafe world. Our families are fortified against the constant onslaught of selfishness and sin. Our children will have confidence that their parents will stay together through thick and thin.

[JERI LIN] Another important aspect of turning the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children is the temple sealing. In the temple, families can be sealed together for time and all eternity. This is why being married in the temple is so important to Tony and me. We're not going to be married "until death do you part." We're going to be married forever.

That's where the inspiration for our blog address came from. EternallyBrown. We're going to be the Brown Family for eternity.

Tony and I love the temple. We want to share the joy found within the temple with each of you. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Also, if you're interested in learning more about the temple, you can visit the website for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or

This video might also help:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Popular Demand

More engagement photos for those of you who wanted to see how handsome my husband-to-be is...

I pretty much love him a lot...