• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Did you ever draw a line and dare someone to cross it?
Or warn them not to?
Or were you the one being challenged?
Did you dare? 

Did you ever get picked last for a team? 
Did you ever get to choose your team?  

George Albert Smith often quoted his grandfather, George A. Smith, who said, “There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s territory. ...

Which side of the line am I on?"  
Teachings of President's of the Church, 
George Albert Smith, Lesson 18, 

That is a soul searching question.
How can I know?

President Smith gave several suggestions.
"All safety, all righteousness, all happiness, ... all that enriches our lives and makes us happy and prepares us for eternal joy is on the Lord's side of the line."

He taught at length about the matter.
You can peruse that lesson at your leisure.
If you want to know more ...

And I already talked about sin.
(Sin or 'evil' is to deny ourselves blessings and happiness.
It may also be to try to take 'good' away from others.) 

Moroni 7:10-19 spells it out simply and specifically.
All things good are from God.
That which is evil cometh of the devil.

Moroni, (of whom it is written "if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto a Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men") explained in precise detail what each means and how to judge.  He said,

15 "The way to judge is plain ... as the daylight is from the dark night ...

16 "... the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil;

17 "... whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 "And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

19 "Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ."

I love the Book of Mormon.
It is so simple even children can understand.
Even a young child knows 'good' and 'bad'.

Which side of the line am I on?
Do I 'dare' be on Christ's side of the line?

I get to choose this team! 
I get to pick. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Lucky 13.

I have always loved the number 13.

Thirteen people usually ate meals at our house - Dad, Mom and 11 kids. Our table was really big but our kitchen was not. There was barely room to squeeze through during meals. The two boys that were 'lefties' had to sit on specific corners so that they didn't elbow their brothers and sisters.

A 'baker's dozen' is 13 instead of 12. That is very convenient when you have thirteen people in your family. Long, long ago there were laws that said how much bread and other baked goods needed to weigh. Breaking the law had very harsh penalties. Some people think that baker's always gave 13 instead of 12 to make sure they did not break the law.

My grandfather, Neil Snow Forsyth, was known for his honesty. In his store when he needed to measure things that were sold by weight he had a rule to never take out any of what was put in.  He would measure the flour or sugar to nearly the right amount and then put in a little more. There was always an extra piece of candy put in the bag purchased. Everyone knew they got a good deal at his store because they saw the scale tip in their favor.

I was taught to always give just a little bit more than asked for.
Do more, give more, love more and forgive more.
At least a little bit, and sometimes even a lot more.

I think that is a good family secret. I think it gives me a bit more satisfaction, more happiness, and a little more peace of mind.

I hope you have a birthday that is more fun than any you have ever had. After all - thirteen is a little more.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY soon. Love Grandma and Papa

Monday, September 24, 2012


I know God exists.
He is a loving, merciful being.

Scriptures tell us we are all his children.
I know scriptures are God's words.
I know prophets reveal those words to us - and record them.
I know prophets are good men that talk with God.
The words they write from God are sacred.

I know these things - and others.

I believe Joseph Smith was and is a prophet.

I knew my father's father.
He was known as a very honest man of great integrity.
He told me that he knew his grandmother, Sally Adams.
He said she was known for her honesty and noble integrity.
She knew Joseph Smith and his mother personally.

Great Great Granmother Snow (Sally married William Snow) told Grandpa that the Smith's were honest, good, kind people and that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon. His mother told her about many things that happened then. Grandpa knew that what his grandma told him was true - and told me.

I believe him.

Doctrine and Covenants 46 tells us that there are many spiritual gifts. Verse 13 tells us that "To some is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the son of God." And then verse 14 tells us "To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful."

I know some things.
I believe some things.

I believe Thomas S Monson is a prophet.
He lives now and speaks with God.
I believe apostles and prophets live on earth today.
October 6th and 7th I am invited to hear them.
They will speak to the world.
Everyone is invited to hear what they will say.
I know they will testify Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.
That is what prophets do.
They invite us to come to Him.
They invite us to follow Him.

Come - listen.
You are invited.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Biting insects are plentiful in Canada and can seem quite large.

I swear this one sounded like a helicopter in our hotel room
until  introduced to fate by Papa.

We went to a family reunion in Cardston last month. Mosquitoes don't usually bother me much - especially if you are near by - they seem to think you taste better. On this last trip I met a few that were very persistently pesky. I wondered if I was going to need  a useful tool I found once in the 'Dollar Store' there. It was an immediate must have.

I am sure this could 'skin out' biting flies, too. 

I purchased this little gem a couple of years ago. I would buy you one as a souvenir if I could find them again. 

I watched one mosquito land on my denim jacket and walk around, up and down. I wasn't worried about getting bitten. She was small and my jacket was heavy. She stopped and I saw her working at finding lunch. To my surprise it was not long before I felt her probing and introduced her to the next life. Really? - she could get through heavy denim?

This tiny, real workable pocket knife is a mere 1 1/2 " long.

We have heard quite a few mosquito jokes. Like:

Q: How do you know if you have a tough mosquito?
A: You slap him and he slaps you back.

And did you see the picture of the mosquito drinking the red bar on one end of the Canadian flag?It is not uncommon to see flags flapping in the wind with only one bar left - the furthest out end is completely gone! LOL.  If you happen to have a picture I would love to post a copy.

This 'swatter' we found while visiting family in Northern Canada one year goes nicely with our pocket knife. We use it to help 'hunt' for mosquito 'fur'.


 If you are going to be eaten alive you might as well laugh as cry.

* When I was a kid growing up in Cardston, Alberta, Canada and someone told tall tales, a whopper of a story, or played a prank it was common to hear, "Just Jokes". 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


In an on-line Religion class, I am taking, students are asked to read an assigned block of scripture, identify 2 doctrines or principles that stand out to them and post a comment about each one on the class discussion board.

The class is kind of fun but a challenge too.

So what is a doctrine?
And what is a principle?
What is the difference?

I did a bit of research - both religious research (it is after all a religion class) and secular research. I read a lot of definitions, information and references. Papa, who is always up for such intriguing questions, really did some digging and gave me some wonderful insights and references.

Here is what we learned:
Doctrine from a religious standpoint is revealed truth - simple, right? From a secular point of view it is any dogma, opinion, principle or tenet presented for belief. Doctrine is 'that which is taught. It is learning and teaching - Hmmm ...

Principles are much less clear cut. They are the basics of the practice of doctrines. In both instances, from both religious and secular points of view, the definitions differ very little. Principles are the fundamental truths, qualities or attributes of any given topic: math, science, language, religion, philosophy, politics etc and etc. A principle is the beginning, origin, essence, source, fountainhead, guide, commencement, or initial state. It is the root or primary element, law or force. It is rudimentary and has natural law as a basis.

Based on this research is every true principle a doctrine?

Can you name any doctrines?
What principles, when practiced, prove those doctrines?

Let me give you a couple of hints.
Hebrews 5:12
Moroni 9:20
Titus 2
1 Timothy 2:5
Doctrine and Covenants 10:67; 68:25;101:77-78
1 Nephi 1: 8-9, 19,
2 Peter 1:5-9

And please share your insights, opinions, doctrines or principles.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Do you ever want more - of whatever?

More friends, optimum health, nicer cars, bigger houses, kinder family? More money, more hair, more education, a pretty nose, greater talents, stronger muscles? More toys, more gadgets, more knowledge, more wisdom, more children, clearer eyesight, more opportunity?

Is it coveting to wish to have something we don't?

Or is it longing to be more than we are?
To become something more?
To be more perfect?

Longing for ideals is not a bad thing.

We want family to be perfect. We want to look our best, have the best, eat the tastiest, know everything, share everything, do everything - enjoy everything.

I want to be perfectly happy - full of joy.
I want to enjoy all good things.
You should have such joy also.

Today I find myself praying for for us both.

As we long for ideals, and feel the pangs of being less, may God comfort and sustain us - more. He is our ultimate role model. He has everything. I know he loves me - and you - we are his children. It is his desire to give us all he has.

He has given us a perfect pattern, his son Jesus Christ.
Jesus lived among us as a human being, yet is the very son of God.
His death ransoms us from all that is not ideal.

I pray that when we long for 'more' we are remembering our celestial, ideal selves and that we may long for Christ's ways and all those things that remind us of him and of our loving Father in Heaven.

I pray we may listen to the quiet whisperings in our heart's that remind us to be kind and patient with others and ourselves.

I pray we may let go of cynicism and its accompanying pride and skepticism, purge sin from our lives and begin to choose more commendable things that exalt and ennoble sincere longings.

I pray we may sense more of the good of life and be more grateful for all we already have.

Sunday, September 16, 2012




I am a 'middle' child - like you.

Garth Forsyth family about 1965. Can you spot me?
I am, of course, in the middle - hint wearing my favorite plaid skirt.

I have 4 older siblings.
And I have 5 younger siblings.
My foster brother is like me - in the middle.
He is just a little bit younger than I am.

My home often sheltered 'older' relatives.
I loved hearing what their lives were like.

Granny Bohne at party for her 100th birthday 

My granny told me about arriving in Canada in the East (from England) and later traveling west. The trip with a horse and buggy took about 3 months. When she was 100 years old she flew on a jet plane back east to Toronto to visit some family. She marveled at the same trip taking approximately 3 hours.

I have many grandchildren.
I am in the middle again.
I am in the middle of my life.
I am between my grandparents and my grandkids.

And Dearest Mother - you are in the middle too.
You are in the middle of eternity.
Living in the existence of now being on earth.

What a fun place to be.
Not at the first.
Not at the last.
Not a beginning or an end.

We are all in the middle.

What are you in the middle of?