Monday, October 31, 2011

WORLD POPULATION: 7 BILLION

photo taken of our baby Eden at her first bath at home on October 20, 2011
.
Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were  prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men."

Doctrine and Covenants 138: 55


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A REMAKE and MAKING MEMORIES:

photos taken on our Daddy/Daughter Date on Friday, October 28, 2011

 This past weekend, I went on a daddy/daughter date with oldest daughter, Jessica. We went to a movie (only people in the theatre besides two other people.).It was a remake of a movie that I remember seeing when I was about her age. WOW... interesting to see how in a few years more profanity and provocative things have been put in our entertainment.

I will write more shortly.

Friday, October 28, 2011

EQUAL TIME..QUALITY TIME: Daddy Daughter Date

photos taken on our Daddy/Daughter date on October 21, 2011



equal: Having the same value, degree, being in just proportion
quality: Superiority of kind, Having a high degree of excellence

Both of these word have the root "qual"...meaning "degree of goodness". Lately much emphasis has been placed on the new arrival of our baby daughter, Eden. It is important that my other daughters recieve EQUAL.. and QUALITY time as well from their dad.  Since I have taken some time off of work to be home with our baby, I also took each of my older daughters out on a one-one daddy/daughter date . My daughter Brooke and I spent the day golfing (her idea :)) and then she wanted me to take her shopping. We had a great time. She played all 9 holes, drove the cart the entire time and did really well. I was proud of her. She is alot of fun to be with. I love her. She looks so much like my wife.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TRANQUILITY

photo taken today of Little Cottonwood Creek in Murray Park on October 25, 2011

 Tranquility: the state of being tranquil; calmness; serenity.

I went for a walk today. I have enjoyed this fall season... I am surprised that there are still alot of green leaves on the trees even though it is almost November. The weather has seemed different this year.

Having our newest daughter Eden has been such a blessing. Since she is still sleeping alot, our home has been very peaceful.  You wouldn't normally think having a new born baby would bring calmness and serenity to our life. Well for now, it has... Tranquility is a rare commodity these days. We will enjoy it as long as we can.

Tonight I was called to give a blessing to a friend who was rushed into the ER. He had cut his cornea in his eye. After the blessing all of us in the room felt peace..we felt tranquil that everything will be find. So grateful to feel peace in a world of chaos and uncertainty.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

EDEN REBEKAH CHRISTENSON

photo taken of our new baby on October 22, 2011


"And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord,
and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden,
speaking unto them..."
Moses 5:4

Friday, October 21, 2011

THE PROCESS OF NAMING A CHILD

photo taken in the hospital after our baby was born on October 16, 2010

write more shortly

Thursday, October 20, 2011

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER

I don't have my wife's permission to post photos of her shortly after she delivered, but hopefully she will forgive me. Personally, I think my wife looks amazing... it is true womanhood at it's best.


This is the definition of Mother found the "In the Guide to the Scriptures":
MOTHER: A sacred title referring to a woman who bears children.
Mothers assist in God’s plan by providing mortal bodies for God’s spirit children.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I AM A CHILD OF GOD... AND HE HAS SENT ME HERE

photo taken of our baby right when we brought her home from the hospital on
October 17, 2011

"For the Lord shall comfort Zion...
and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody."
2 Nephi 8:3

We have been struggling to know whether or not to name our new daughter Rebekah or Eden. An interesting thing happened tonight in our family scripture study. We are in 2nd Nephi right now , chapter 7.  We turned the page tonight and the above verse jumped out at us in chapter 8.

Monday, October 17, 2011

HANDS AND FEET

photo of taken of my daughters hands and mine after the imprint of the
newest arrival to our family

Seems like I only have the time to post the photos.. so much to write, so much symbolism in the past couple of days. We are all so overwhelmed with joy. Hope to find some time this week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

photo taken today on 10-16-2011 after the birth of our daughter

Born at 1:59 PM
7 pounds 7 ounces.
name still to be determined.





INTERCESSORY PRAYER

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane looking up to His Father


The power of prayer. Thank you to everyone who has been praying on our behalf.  Lots to write.

Friday, October 14, 2011

VIA DOLOROSA

photo taken of another Angela Johnson's statues at Thanksgiving Point

I will write more shortly..... still patiently waiting for my wife to go into labor.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THIS IS MY BELOVED SON.....HEAR HIM

photo of the Angela Johnson's statue of the First Vision taken on October 10, 2011

The Father telling his son Joseph Smith to do just one thing...
HEAR HIM (Jesus Christ).

"It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.
When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages,
whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.
One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other
This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him."
Joseph Smith History 1:17


Other times in scripture when we hear the few words spoken by the Father. He is always introducing and/or pointing to Jesus Christ and tellling us to hear, listen, and follow Him.

"This is my beloved Son: Hear Him."
Luke 9:35

"Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,
in whom I have glorified my name—Hear ye Him."
3 Nephi 11: 7

"And lo, he heard a voice from heaven, saying,
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him."
JST Matthew 3:46



"If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus."

SUBMISSION TO THE FATHER

photo taken of Angela Johnson's, sculpture entitled "Oh, My Father"
located in the gardens at Thanksgiving Point.

"And when he had sent the multitudes away,
he went up into a mountain apart to pray:
and when the evening was come, he was there alone."
Matthew 14: 23

 Yesterday, My wife and I were able to go to a private showing of 15 statues all depicting the life of Christ down at Thanksgiving Point Gardens. The unveiling to the public will be this Saturday. The exhibit is called The Light of the World Garden.

Until I can post a picture of our newborn baby, (which we are still patiently waiting for her arrival)  I will be posting some of my photos that I took of the sculptures. It was truly a beautiful experience to see and also hear the insights about each of the sculptures from the artist.

For those who want to attend the unveiling it is this Saturday, October 15th, 2011 at 1:00 at the Thanksgiving Gardens.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TRIAL, TRAIL, TRAVEL, TRAVAIL, TRAVEIL.

photo taken on October 8, 2011 of my wife's and my hands forming a heart
on top of our hope to be soon to be delivered baby.



"And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."
Revelations 12:2
There is nothing more sacred, more God-like, then being part of the creation process and witnessing a Son or Daughter of God enter into mortality. The woman’s body is truly a “temple” and the portal between heaven and earth. I have been studying the word “trial” lately and the importance of going through trials. There are a lot of words that are similar. I like this sequence of five words:

trial, trail, travel, travail, traveil.


We all go through personal trials.. it is like our personal trail to walk on. Walking on this trail, we travel. Usually it is a difficult journey. Women go on this journey when in labor, and we call this “being in travail”. Each of us, as we seek the Lord must go through what I call traveil.


TRA: means to “go across”, “over”, or “through”

VAIL: come from root word (valere) means to be strong , to be of worth, power, strength, to be of use or service, to be of value or worth

TRAVEIL… (to go across, or over or through the veil)

Interesting side note: In the New Testament, child-bearing has been always expressed by the word “travail”, but in the early editions, the word “travel”, (meaning to make a difficult journey), and “travail”, (meaning to suffer (childbirth) were both spelled the same.

When you travel or “in travail”.. you are moving from point A to point B.. never to return as the same person again. The birth process is very similar to the rebirth process that we all need to go through. All of us evidentially need to be spiritually reborn again. We read about this process over and over again the Book of Mormon.

 Going through the process of travail/traveil requires submission., natural childbirth being the ultimate submission. To claim victory, one must go through the process of casting and placing everything on the altar. Surrendering all. There is a cleansing effect in this submission.. and to not fight the pain, or the process that is might cause.

We see the example of Christ in Gethsemane.. The Atonement was made possible because Christ DID NOT FIGHT IT or RESIST IT. He was a perfect clean vessel. He did not want anything that would block or take away the pain. When on the cross, we read that the soldiers offered him vinegar.. I learned recently that it possibly could have been his mother Mary who brought this “vinegar” (or special wine mixture) that when partaken of, it would help with the pain. (THIS VINEGAR MIXTURE IS WHAT THE WOMAN WOULD DRINK WHILE IN CHILD LABOR TO EASE THE PAIN. HIS MOTHER WANTED TO EASE HIS PAIN SO HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO SUFFER.) Christ refused THE DRINK BECAUSE HE KNEW HE NEEDED TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS AND FEEL IT ALL.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BEAUTIFUL CREATION

photo taken yesterday of my wife on October 8, 2011

41 weeks pregnant at age 41


"For the time is at hand; the day or the hour no man knoweth; but it surely shall come."
Doctrine and Covenants 39:21

WE ARE PATIENTLY/ANXIOUSLY WAITING....

The original set arrival date was October 7th.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

DAY OF ATONEMENT: Yom Kippur

photo of wild flowers taken up Big Cottonwood Canyon
Summer 2011

(I will finish writing more.. but at least this is a start.)
I have not had very much time lately to write what I want and need to on the past couple of posts. Yesterday was my wife's due date. We have had some special experiences in the past couple of days awaiting for my wife to go into labor. We realize that it must be hard to say farewell and say goodbye on the otherside to come down to mortality. We are patiently awaiting and want the baby to come when she is ready.

Today is an important date for many religious people. It is Yom Kippur and it is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. It is traditionally observed with a 25 hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.

I choose this photo to represent this day. The colors of Red and White are symbolic of the Atonement, Repentance and receiving Forgiveness. Also interesting that the traditional sacrament would be the color of the wine, and the unleavened bread.

.................................


Sidenote: We went to a sealing today at the Salt Lake Temple of a good friend. The above painting is in the waiting room. I particularly like the colors used:  red of Mary and white of Christ.
Symbols:
Red= Myrrh, Blood, Female
White= Frankincense, Light, Male

Thursday, October 6, 2011

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE TREE

photo taken of a solitiary tree on the west side of Utah Lake
taken on October 2, 2011

And I, the Lord God, planted the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden (of Eden),
and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
  And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden;
Moses 3:9

"Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life"
Alma 5: 34
I will write  more shortly

IF ANY MAN HEAR MY VOICE...

photo taken on top my 3rd hike summit looking over at
Lone Peak on September 24, 2011

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;
and knowest not that thou art wretched,
and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;
and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,

and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;
and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith

Revelations 3: 17-22

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKE!

October 5, 2011
Today is my daughter's 11th Birthday.
Happy Birthday Brooke!

The word Birthday appears three times in scripture. I particular liked this one in Genesis 40: 20:

"And it came to pass the day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday,
 that he made a feast unto all his servants:
and he lifted up the head of the chief butler
and of the chief baker among his servants."

Sounds like it was quite a party.. complete with birthday cake, since the chief baker is mentioned. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

THE JOURNEY TO THE SUMMIT

photos taken in sequence of my third hike on the Fall Equinox
September 24, 2001

.."And in the morning, rising up a great while before day,
he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
Mark 1: 35

I have selected 15 photos from the 3rd hike I climbed on the weekend of Fall Equinox..  I set my alarm clock to wake up 3:04 AM. Exactly 12 hours from when the Fall Equinox began.  (Sidenote:The 3 hour period from 3:00 to 6:00 AM is called the Fourth Watch in the scriptures) There is much symbolism and significance to this time period.)

All of these photos are important to me. It has  been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. One will look at these photos and see only a couple of words, but for me.. there are thousands.  I was going to post the photos individually, but opted to put together a montage... It is best for me to remember in one glance some of highlights of my hike.  They are in sequence... beginning the hike in complete darkness with only the stars to light my path.. and the light that I carried with me.

There is much significance to photo number 8. The Center photo of the sun rising. The Sun rays forming an X, a chiasm. Tender Mercies
.............................................................................................

Footnotes:
Photo 1: Start of hike in Darkness: only stars visible, no moon, Orion was very prominent in sky
Photo 2: Light increased as I climbed higher, increase of light once the moon appeared over the horizon.
Photo 3: Reached what I thought was the peak and could see the signs (red color) in the sky that the time was close...Unfortunately I could see there was one more peak Ineeded to climb to reach the summit. Left everything behind in order to hike it  in time before the sun rose.(except for my camera)
Photo 4: Almost the top of the higher peak and surprised to see what appears like a train .. which was used to mine silver. The train and tracks only could go so far. Journey then becomes individual.
Photo 5: The depths of a deep cave near the peak.. darkness, fallen, and  unable to see the bottom. Symbolic of the descent, Garden of Gethsemane
Photo 6: Five Metal Nails. Symbolism of the crucifixion and the five wounds.
Photo 7: The Cross.
Photo 8: Passing the Cross, reached the top and experience the sun rising in overwhelming glory.
Photo 9: The Peak.. full sunlight rising from the east
Photo 10: Looking back at the view of the peak from where I left all my belonging.  (3 white peaks)
Photo 11: Sacred ground.
Photo 12: Dead Tree, no growth, no life.. symbolic of the adversary and Serpent-like. No more power.
Photo 13: The change of the aspen leaves to a gold color.
Photo 14: The sparrow. A symbolic bird in the scriptures.
Photo 15: Lone Golden-leaf Aspen Tree rising above the other unchanged green-leaf trees

Monday, October 3, 2011

GROUP LESSONS vs PRIVATE TUTORING

photo taken of 13 petal sunflower on Hike #2 on September 23, 2011
"Even before they were born, they, with many others,
 received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth
in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men."
Doctrine and Covenants 138: 56

Yesterday concluded the 181th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We were taught collectively as a body of members of the Church by our leaders who have the the responsibility and authority to lead us in these latter days. I consider the semi-annual  conferences to be a world wide "group lesson" to each of us. I am grateful for the inspiration and counsel given.

Two words have been on my mind lately. Inspiration vs Revelation.
Is there a difference? If so, what is it?

Inspiration: a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul. 
Revelation: Something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of something not previously known or realized. A manifestation of divine will or truth.

What we receive collectively in the conference talks is what I would call INSPIRED counsel. However, in these latter days,  we have been counseled and the scriptures teach us that each of us can (and need to) receive personal REVELATION or "private tutoring"

  Just like in learning any new sport, musical instrument or academic subject.. one learns more and quicker through private tutoring than from group lessons. The same principle applies to spiritual learning, especially when the tutor is the Master Teacher.  

We need to be like one of the 5 wise virgins who have recieved the truth, and been not decieved because they have taken the Holy Spirit to be our guide. When we are sincere, doubting nothing and with faith, we can be personally tutored by the Lord and recieve answers to our questions. We can have a relationship/friendship with Him. In this process we will be able to recognize His voice, and He will recognize ours. By establishing this relationship with Him, we will not hear the words at the last days, "And I never knew you, depart from me" (even if we have done wonderful works in His name.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

photo taken of a white butterfly hiding in plain sight on top of the mountain
on my 2nd hike on September 23, 2011
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee,
O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Luke 10:21

Quite often times things are hidden in plain sight. We either do not have eyes to see or we don't look close enough. In the above photo is a white butterfly. At first glance, it might be difficult to see. However, it is directly in the middle of the photo. Once I saw this butterfly on the top of this mountain, it  flutter around me. It seemed to be full of joy that I noticed it.
I was able to take this additional picture of this butterfly seen below when it landed on these golden wild flowers. The change from caterpillar to the emergence of butterfly is the greatest change in the animal world.The Butterfly is a universal symbol of change, resurrection, and transformation.

I did a little researched about what specifically a white butterfly symbolizes. White butterflies symbolize a soul of a child. They are believed to be signs of good luck or angels watching over you. 


Saturday, October 1, 2011

GENERAL CONFERENCE WEEKEND

photo taken on September 23, 2001 of both church office buildings

It is General Conference Weekend. Fall 2011
October 1-2 , 2011
Interesting story in the yesterday's  Deseret News:

HEADLINE: "It will be business as usual for General Conference"