Thursday, July 24, 2014

Children Are An Heritage of the Lord

"HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. 'Children are an heritage of the Lord' (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."


If you were to visit my house tomorrow, or any day really, you would likely see a bunch of little kids running around, playing, screaming, jumping, rolling around on the ground, yelling, throwing things, and occasionally crying.

There would be at least four but often probably more (today I came home for lunch and there were six! Cami had "picked up" two more for a few hours).

People are shot to death at least a half dozen times daily, someone is a "bad guy", at any given moment we may have the Hulk, Captain America, Batman, the Ninja Turtles, Superman, or Flash (he's the newest addition to the team of super heroes) gracing us with their presence fighting evil and leaving a wake of devastating destruction in their path.

If you stayed through bedtime you would see a marked difference in our home. The serenity that has been hiding all day begins to venture forth from its hiding places and about an hour after bedtime it has completely overtaken the home. It is wonderful.

Were you to stay the night you would find that the serenity gives way once again to chaos as the sun rises over the eastern hills. If you weren't in the midst of it all you might think it poetic. But you are in the midst of it and, believe me, it isn't poetic.

Amidst the clamor and raucous Cami and I often jokingly ask "Whose kids are these? Where did they all come from?" When they are particularly rambunctious she lovingly reminds me that "they are your children." In extreme moments she washes her hands of them and gracefully walks away to leave me to impose some semblance of order.

But no matter what happens and regardless of the clamor and confusion one thing remains constant: I never forget that it is my responsibility to love my wife with all my heart and to care for her and our children. And Cami never forgets that it is her responsibility to love me with all her heart and to care for me and our children.

The family is the fundamental unit of society and the foundation of the family is the marriage. If the marriage is weak the family is weak. When a marriage is strong so too the family is strong.

There are three reasons I choose to love my wife with all my heart and care for her. They are:

  1. It is my responsibility to love and care for my children. The best way I can do that is by making sure that our family is strong.
  2. It is my responsibility to love and care for my wife. The best way I can do that is by making sure that our marriage is strong and healthy.
  3. I want to!
I do have a solemn responsibility to love and care for my wife and children. I am working toward fulfilling that responsibility by strengthening my marriage when I take my wife on a date, tell her that I love her, do chores around the house that she would otherwise have done, stare lovingly at her while sitting at the dinner table, telling my friends and family how fabulous she is, praying for her, making her laugh, holding her when she cries, teasing her when she needs to smile, teaching our sons to respect her and all women, holding her hand, kissing her cheek, and through many, many other small and simple gestures.

I affirm and accept my solemn responsibility to love and care for my wife and children. I am working toward fulfilling that responsibility by reading to my sons, teaching them how to throw a ball, letting them help me fix things and work in the yard, giving them hugs, listening to their stories, teaching them how to pray, sharing my dessert with them, and generally just showing them how to be men and good people.

We all have a solemn responsibility to love and care for our husband or wife and together to care for our children. How are you fulfilling this responsibility?




Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
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Monday, July 21, 2014

A Divine Appointment


"WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan."

I was in church yesterday and there was a discussion about some of the symbols that God places here on the earth to remind us of Him and His Son. One brother in the class shared something that his mom, who has been a nurse for nearly two decades, had shared with him.

Before his first child was born his mother had suggested to him to pay close attention to the baby as it was being born. She told him that if he watched closely enough he would be able to identify the exact moment that the child's spirit entered her body. The moment, she said, is marked by the baby suddenly becoming animated, flailing its limbs, crying, and searching for comfort. To her this moment serves as a symbol of God's love and how entering into a covenant with Him brings a new spiritual life into our existence.

As he concluded sharing this with the group there was a brief silence and then another volunteered some of the symbols that they see around them that remind them of God and His love.

My personal opinion, based on reflection and personal observation of my wife during each of our four pregnancies, is that the spirit enters the body much earlier, perhaps as early as the first trimester. The fluttering and kicking, the response of the baby to sounds and voices, the personality that is demonstrated well before birth all cause me to conclude that life begins shortly after conception.

Children, because they "are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3), are conceived in a divinely appointed way, a way that allows us to be co-creators with God himself. Life is sacred and should be treated as such.

While I do not know at what exact moment our spirits enter our bodies I believe and testify of the sanctity of life in all its forms.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your spouse that you love them it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blennophobia!

Cami has a phobia of boogers. There is even a name for this: blennophobia.

I, however, have no such fear of boogers. I don't particularly like or want others peoples boogers but if I see someone mining for green gold (picking their nose) I don't freak out. Cami does.


She gets particularly upset with me and boys when we will purposefully pick our noses in front of her just to bother her.

DISCLAIMER: I do not pick my nose in public (generally). While nose picking is perfectly natural and everyone does it, I don't care how much they deny it we all pick our noses, I don't think it is polite to do so in front of others...except for Cami.

The older boys learned long ago that if they want to get a great reaction out of Cami all they had to do was threaten to wipe a booger on her and she'll run away yelling at them as she goes. Sometimes they'll chase her around the entire house.

Torturing Cami is like a favorite family past time now. She vehemently denies enjoying it but I don't believe her. I think deep down she loves it and just won't admit it to us.

So we've been married for eight years now. I try to think of creative ways to bother or annoy her to remind her how much I love her (I have a saying, it is: I tease you because I love you). The way I figure is that me thinking of ways to tease her shows her that I am thinking about her and that should, therefore, remind her how much I love her because I spend so much time thinking about her.

After eight years I have come up with lots of fun and creative ways to bother my sweetheart. But yesterday I may have discovered the best one yet. I just can't believe it took me so long.

Here's what happened. We went to our church building to pull have a picnic and pull some of the weeds that were growing in the landscaping as our family home evening.

Due to the hot weather and being in the sun we were covered in sweat when we arrived home. The kids took baths, we said prayers and read scriptures, put them in bed, and Cami and I ran for the shower.

I got out first, dried off, and got dressed. I came back to the bathroom to hang out and talk to her while she finished her shower (we do that a lot, we just can't seem to spend enough time together). While we were talking something started irritating the inside of my nostril. I investigated and found and removed the culprit.

As I reached for a tissue out of the corner of my eye her towel caught my view (it's bright pink so it's hard to miss) and immediately an idea jumped into my head. Yep. And I did it too.

Now lest you think me a horrible person and unfit husband I assure you I place it strategically. This was merely for psychological effect. It was located behind a fold at the edge so as to never come into contact with her directly. If I didn't do it this way I knew I would never be forgiven.

About an hour after she hopped out of the shower and was done dressing and brushing her hair I shared with her the news. Her reaction: priceless.

She didn't talk to me for at least twenty minutes. Just sat glaring at me. It has been some time since she's been that angry with me.

After I finally got myself under control (I broke into gut wrenching bouts of laughter about every time I looked at her) I explained that the booger never touched her body. Didn't make a difference.

I tried reasoning with her. I tried getting her to laugh at the situation. I tried ignoring that she was mad at me to see if she would thaw. All of my usual tricks. To no avail.

At long last she simply stated: "That is so disgusting. I can't believe you did that. You know how much I hate boogers. Promise me you'll never do that again."

I hemmed and hawed for a couple of minutes and finally gave in. I pinky swore that I would never do that again. Because I am a man of my word I am done putting boogers on her towels forever. The sacred pinky sware, as we all learned in elementary school, cannot be broken.

The moral of the story is forgiveness...and having a great sense of humor...is a fundamental part of every marriage. If you won't or can't forgive then something is wrong (the same is true for laughing). 

My challenge to you today: go and tease your spouse. Let's see how long it takes them to forgive you. :)



p.s. I know that Cami and I will laugh about this "incident" someday. It may be a few years but we will.

Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Loving the Library



We went to the library on Tuesday. It was fun for me because normally I am at work when Cami takes the kids.


It was especially fun this time because we went with Cami's sister's family. They took us to an awesome public library that's way bigger than ours back home. Perhaps the coolest thing about it is the donut shop.

Yep, that's right. There is a donut shop IN the library. Cami was in heaven.


The boys got to play with their cousins, do puzzles, and read books. They, too, were in heaven.





I simply sat there enjoying being with my family and taking selfies.


As a great television commercial series once said "Family. Isn't it about time?" It sure is.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Multiply & Replenish the Earth

"THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."

Months ago we planned a visit to the great Pacific Northwest of the United States. I grew up in Washington state and my parents and younger sister still live there. My wife's little sister and older brother live near where I grew up so it was a great opportunity to be able to see a lot of our family in one trip.


We purchased the the plane tickets, decided it was a surprise for my mom, somehow kept the secret for almost six months, and then last Tuesday flew from our home in Virginia across this great country to Portland, Oregon.

The last eight days have been fantastic! We spent a few with my parents, two sisters, and my nephew. Then we came down to Portland to spend several days with my wife's siblings and their families.

What a privilege it has been the last eight days to spend time with our families. Cami and I have remarked to each other a few times that we are grateful that both sets of our parents chose to have larger families (Cami's family has seven children and mine has five).

Right now I only have one nephew on my side of  the family but on Cami's we have five nephews and two nieces with three more little ones due to arrive in the coming months. Added to our four boys Cami's parents have nine grandsons, two granddaughters, and again the three on the way. That's a total of fourteen grandchildren!! And the crazy part is that the last three of their children haven't even married yet and all of us older kids are still having children. Cami and I are going to have at least one more.

There is an excellent chance that there could end up being upwards of thirty grandchildren on Cami's side. Wow.

And let me tell you, just being around eight of them the last couple of days has been crazy. The energy and excitement of having all of the cousins together has led to exceptional levels of insanity here. All of the adults are emotionally and physically exhausted. The cousins are exhausted as well but super happy.

The question that the six of us (the adults) have been asking each other is "how did we end up with so many?" The other thing we're asking ourselves is "can we handle any more?"

When Cami and I take the four kids out in public, especially when it is just one of us with all of them, we get lots of looks and some stares. Then there's the occasional question: are they all yours? Sometimes in response we quip that we only one is ours and the rest we took out of shopping carts as we went around the store. Other times we just smile and say "yep." Probably the most common comment we hear is "looks like you've got your hands full." Ya think?

Emphatically I declare that I love my children, all four of them, and am proud to be their father and grateful that they are my sons. In many ways I wish that we had the energy and the money to have a dozen more. My sons fill my life with a joy and goodness that I could not experience in any other way. And they challenge me and help me learn and grow in ways that I didn't know were possible and didn't know I needed to.

I firmly believe that the blessings Cami and I receive from being parents is because we chose to follow the first commandment: multiply and replenish the Earth.

There is no such thing as overpopulation, at least of the Earth itself. God created an earth that is capable of supporting his children and inspires men and women to understand how to make it produce all of the food and resources that are needed to support the children He sends here.

God is a loving Heavenly Father who stacks the odds in His children's favor to help them be successful in mortality and be able to return to live with Him. The biggest and most powerful way He does that is by sending children to families, composed of a father and mother who love each other and have consecrated that love through marriage.

It is only in and through marriage that children should be brought into this world.

I want to be clear, however, that there are those that cannot have children for one reason or another but if they could they would welcome children into their homes. God knows the intentions of our hearts and will reward and bless us accordingly.

In the same vein I acknowledge that the choice to have children, and how many to have, is a deeply personal decision and is and should be between the husband, wife, and God alone. No one else has a right to dictate to a couple how many children to have or when to have them. Cami and I feel that we should have a larger family, about five children. We have friends and family who feel that they should have more and others who feel they should have less. The decision is entirely theirs.

There are others whose advent into this world was not blessed by a whole family unit where either a father or mother was missing. Both they and their parents are offered the opportunity, through Jesus Christ, to be made whole.

Children are an heritage of the Lord. There is nothing more important in our lives than our families, nurturing our marriages, and raising our children.


Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now