Sunday, October 31, 2010


The other day I read an article about how it's important for moms (and anyone, really) to have something they are passionate about that will help them stay well-rounded and help them be better moms. I was trying to figure out if there was anything unique to me that I was truly passionate about as I was driving that day. When I saw a sign for a candidate I truly believe in and my heart started to soar, I figured I'd found it.

I have always believed it was important to vote. Usually when election time rolls around, I try and pull out that voter's information guide that comes in the mail and decide who I will vote for that morning over breakfast. This time I have been involved since April. I mentioned several months ago that I had been given the opportunity to be a county and state delegate and will forever be thankful for what I have learned and experienced in the process. For the rest of this post I am going to insert some pictures I took during my political experience this year. A few things I have learned or strengthened my understanding of are:

- It matters to our Heavenly Father that we are involved in politics.

As Benjamin Franklin was leaving the building where, after four months of hard work, the Constitution had been completed and signed, a lady asked him what kind of government did the convention create. A very old, very tired, and very wise Benjamin Franklin replied;
“A Republic, ma’am if you can keep it.”

I believe that God raised up men like Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington and others with the minds and hearts ready to produce a document like the Constitution. I believe the principles of the Constitution are so central to our lives that like the air we breathe we sometimes forget to be thankful for them. I believe that God expects us to use our agency to uphold the rights defined for us in the Constitution.

- Politics allows you to take a stand on issues that really matter to you. Issues you are passionate about. It's really satisfying that way.

- Some aspects of politics are REALLY ugly. People can be very mean and say very hurtful things. Sometimes candidates choose to focus on destroying the reputation of their opponent rather than maintaining ground on the people and positions and values they have been sent to represent. People write really nasty things about individuals or collective groups or parties in the newspaper and especially on the internet. The language can get as bad as a junior high hallway. While God expects us to get involved in politics, I believe He expects us to do so in a civil manner by treating others with dignity. In doing so we can be true to ourselves.

- Some aspects of politics are really wonderful. I have had the opportunity to expand my mind, meet people I strongly agree and strongly disagree with and been influenced for the better by both.

- Being informed can become discouraging when you begin to recognize all the daunting problems that are facing our country, but I believe Heavenly Father is 100% aware of what is going on. Quotes like this fill my heart with hope and confidence in my country:

"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail."

President Harold B. Lee, Ye Are the Light of the World, 350

So if I've piqued your interest enough and you're wondering how can you become involved, I've made a little list of the things that made this past election season so meaningful to me:

Read the Constitution. It's like scripture. I will seriously send you a copy if you want me to.

Read The 5,000 Year Leap. It helps you understand the moral foundation of our country which allowed us to go from plowing fields the same way we had for thousands of years to sending man to the moon in less than two centuries.

Be prayerful. I pray for the ability to recognize truth when I hear it and to not be deceived.

Follow political organizations you believe in online locally and nationally that interest you and ring true to your heart. Subscribe to their emails. When they have events, go and listen. That includes going to hear candidates speak. On the senate level, they often try to make it to each of the counties a couple of times during their campaign.

Read the editorial section in the newspaper and determine how you feel about the issues discussed there.

Listen to talk radio. Change the station when you're disgusted and keep listening when you're inspired. My heart starts beating faster when something I really believe in is being defended or discussed. (Gracie likes to dance and knows there is a stereo in the car. I don't get to listen to talk radio as much as I would like anymore. :)

When election day comes, vote with confidence for the people and issues you believe in. Live with the peace of knowing that you are doing your duty to be informed and involved. Your example may be making a powerful difference.

2 National Monuments and a Butterfly

After being kindly encouraged by Lisa Bergstrom to be anything but ourselves at the party she and her husband were putting on (like we have been every year their party has been held... we really just don't get in to dressing up!), I asked Chelsea if I could borrow her Statue of Liberty outfit. It was in the shower that morning that I had an idea for Danilo. It would be perfect, and I'd have to work out some details, but I knew the hardest part would be convincing Danilo it was a really good idea. I never convinced him, but he flattered me by dressing up anyway.

Gracie's costume had been decided weeks before... sweetest butterfly I've ever seen!