Friday, October 31, 2008

Healthy Eating: The Word of Wisdom

Several years ago, I brought one of my children into the doctor for a check-up. The doctor remarked that compared to the weight chart, she was thin. He then asked me what we ate regularly. I responded that we ate fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, dairy, and some meat. He asked me how often we ate fast food. I told him we didn’t ever go to McDonald’s and very rarely ate in restaurants. I also told him we didn’t eat many fried foods, but preferred to bake or broil our meats. He stared at me and asked, “Are you serious? That’s really how you eat?” He just shook his head, looking amazed. I did take the opportunity to give him a quick explanation of the Word of Wisdom.

Sometimes we’re so focused on what the Word of Wisdom prohibits, we forget what it promotes. Good health isn’t only obtained by avoiding alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and caffeine, it comes from feeding our bodies healthy food.

“And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God has ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving” (D&C 89:10-11).

We are also taught that the “flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly. And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine” (D&C 89:12-13). I have heard some people teach in the Church that we should be vegetarians. While everyone has the right to choose what he or she will eat, the Word of Wisdom does not prohibit meat and as long as we eat it sparingly, it is acceptable.

What does it mean to eat meat sparingly? Back in the early days of the Church, the Saints consumed quite a bit of meat, so sparingly may have had a different meaning. Today, if we will pray to understand the Word of Wisdom as well as how to use meat sparingly, the Spirit will guide us to consume that which is good for us.

“All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground” (D&C 89:16). We should be partaking of grains, especially wheat, and fruits and vegetables. Since I grew up in California, fruits and vegetables were plentiful year round. I can remember avocados the size of grapefruits, kumquats, and citrus fruits that grew in our backyard. My grandfather grew tomatoes in a small planter behind the garage and whenever we needed a tomato, we picked one. We also had a mandarin orange tree that bore fruit in December. After I got married, my family would visit my grandparents for Christmas and one of the highlights was eating as many mandarin oranges as we could.

To realize good health, we need to not only avoid substances that are harmful, we need to partake of that which will strengthen and nourish our bodies. The more we adhere to the Word of Wisdom, the healthier our bodies can be. It is certainly not a guarantee that we will never experience health problems, but we can avoid unnecessary health concerns if we keep the Word of Wisdom.

Next, I’ll discuss the promises contained in the Word of Wisdom. Stay tuned . . .

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I Can't Vote for Obama

In five days we'll determine who will lead our country for the next 4 years. When we cast our vote, we are part of the process that makes America so great--the opportunity to choose who will govern us. We still have the ability to make choices. We still have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms. As I've pondered who I believe will be the best leader for our country, I have to conclude that it is John McCain. He has the most experience in being a commander-in- chief, he's had the most experience working in Washington, and he's had the most life experience. He's patriotic and knows what it means to serve others.

I simply cannot vote for Barack Obama because:

1. He supports abortion. Again and again he's shown by his voting record that he supports and condones ending human life in its early stages. Even when he was presented proof that a hospital in his own state was allowing babies to die after the mother was induced, he refused to take any action to stop the practice.

2. He supports gay marriage. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. I do not support changing the definition for any group, even if they are very vocal and threatening. Family is the most basic fundamental unit of our society. We should encourage marriage, rather than discourage it. We should not tear it down or demean it to appease a tiny minority of people who have chosen an alternative lifestyle. I sincerely hope that voters in CA and AZ will be able to, once and for all, define marriage as between one man and one woman.

3. He advocates socialism. He continues to preach "spreading the wealth." Why? Why do people who've worked hard have to pay a larger percentage of taxes to take care of people who may not work at all? This ideology can be compared to a student that studies, works hard, attends class, and turns in homework having to give half of his A grades to a student who doesn't show up for class, doesn't turn in assignments, fails the tests, and doesn't care about school. The first student would receive half of the second student's F grades so that they could both be equal. Both of them would then be C students. Is this fair? Yet, this is what Obama proposes--those that work share with those that don't. And who decides who gets what? Will Obama live by the same rules he wants to apply to the rest of us? What will happen to the drive and industry that's made this country great? I do not want socialism.

4. He, along with the radical women's organization NOW, wants to register men and women for the draft so that in the event we need one, both men and women will have to fight on the front lines. I am so tired of groups like NOW trying to tell me that I'm not equal with men. Men and women are absolutely equal, but they are not the same. Big difference. I do not want to see women being forced to fight in a war. I don't want to see men forced to fight, either. What makes our current military so strong is the fact that those serving have chosen to do so and have not been forced to enlist. Does anyone remember the Vietnam fiasco with men dodging the draft and those that did honor their country, but did not support or believe in the war? Under Obama's plan, the very people out demonstrating against the war in Iraq will be forced to fight in the next war, and believe me the Iraq war will not be the last.

5. He simply does not have the experience he needs to lead our great country. He has not had enough experience with the military (he would be the commander-in-chief and in charge of the military), he has not even lead a state or balanced a budget.

6. He favors gun control. He opposes the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms. Will criminals suddenly decide to obey the law and give up their guns? I don't think so. It will be the law-abiding citizens that lose their rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

There are other reasons, but these are my top reasons why I can't vote for Barack Obama.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Guest Blogger: Truth About Banking Crisis

I received this email from a private list I'm on with people in my area. I asked the author if I could post it on my blog because she actually had experience working in the bank industry. She agreed.

Hello everyone-

I do not usually get into e-mail debates, but I feel very strongly about the media's portrayal of the the "evil Bush administration" in regard to this banking crisis and the false reporting of blame.

I worked for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage at the Regional level during this era of "CRA" that is discussed below. The government at that time (Clinton/democrats) put an intense amount of pressure on the banks/mortgage companies to meet CRA numbers and penalized them for not meeting those standards. I remember the incredible amount of resources that WFHM had to put into being "compliant" with government requirements and regulations to put the "poor" into houses- even though they could not afford them. These CRA loans that the government required the banks to make, set up a perfect scenario for greedy bankers to abuse the system and made it difficult for the banks/bankers who had integrity to do an honest days work. WFHM was constantly up against and lost market share to those banks who practiced unethical lending. These banks did not care about the effects these sub-prime loans would have on the future of their companies, their clients or this country- they just rode the sub-prime wave and made lots of money while it lasted. I personally know that banks/mortgage lenders did sub-prime loans with little to no documentation to people who in no way, shape, or form could have afforded the mortgage they were getting. These practices were predatory in nature and endorsed by the government!

Sometimes you just have to say no because it is the right thing to do.
I very much admired one of the top management people of WFHM at that time because he was able to keep WFHM balanced and put in place many rules above and beyond what the government required to keep the books balanced and in check. He knew how to say no, even though it wasn't popular, and he made sure that the people that worked for him knew how to say no too.

I find it appalling that, according to the NYT, many banks that remained in the black and did not require a "bailout", because they were financially responsible with their depositors monies, were made to sign over a portion of their stocks to the government!!!!!!! Goodbye free market economy and welcome to socialism- and if Obama is elected, it will be the last nail in the coffin for democracy and the free market.

How much longer are we as a democratic nation going to allow this country to sink into the abyss of socialism- a lethargic form of government that doesn't work? Educate yourself and hold the correct people responsible for the mess we are in now. Rarely are the effects of new policies felt in the current presidential term, it takes years to see the repercussions of a former administration's decisions and policies. Case in point, we still suffer from the effects of the socialist polices put in place by the FDR administration and very few people today were even born when he was in power!

The Native American Nations are just now coming out of the welfare state that our government forced them into 100 years ago! It took away their individual dignity and pride of who they were as a people. Is this what you want for your children? What legacy are we leaving them?

By continuing to not only allow more governmental control in our lives, but to actually desire it, we are setting our children up for failure. The State of Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina should have taught us this. Self sufficiency, hard work and a desire to strive for something better is what makes this country great- "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime." Dependency on the government only leads to a lack of respect of oneself and each other- know your history- socialism does not work!

Respectfully submitted by a middle class voter.......

Heidi S Morris

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

McCain Rally in Durango

John McCain made a campaign stop in my area of Colorado on Friday evening. I was surprised to hear he was visiting Durango, especially since the last presidential candidate to visit Durango was John F. Kennedy (before I was even born). It was exciting to hear McCain speak and a great experience for my kids.
I took photos and even a movie of his visit.

He spoke about ending the war and bringing our troops home, strengthening the country by offering tax cuts, including raising the child care tax credit (a great thing at my house since I have 1 million kids--or maybe it just feels that way some days :)) and cutting government spending.

I was disappointed, though, in the Obama supporters that came to protest the rally. Not only did some hold posters with profanity, but they shouted vulgar words at us simply because we chose to attend a rally for the candidate we support. It's always interesting to me that those who demand tolerance seem to be the least tolerant.

I was also disappointed with a young woman who came into the rally with a sign that read, "Just because I have a vagina doesn't mean I have to vote for Palin." (Well, duh). She had that hidden behind a sign of support for McCain and planned to show it to protest. Fortunately, volunteers confiscated her sign. She was with a group of students who bad-mouthed McCain and the Republican party during the rally and complained about how they hated America. I also noticed that many of them didn't cover their hearts or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I say, if they hate America that much, get out. Go somewhere else. It's always amazing to me that the very people who say they hate America are protected in their right to free speech by people who gave their lives to preserve that right. I'd have to say it was very disappointing to see these high school students act so disrespectfully and childish.

All in all, it was a great experience and my family enjoyed it

The Winner is . . . .

I posted a YouTube video in hopes of spreading the word about National Down Syndrome month. (You can see the video on my sidebar or for a larger view you can go to YouTube and enter Extra C). Those who posted a link to this video or passed it to friends or made a comment on YouTube were entered into a contest to receive a copy of my book, Heaven Scent.

I'm happy to announce that Joan Sowards has won a copy. She posted a link to my video on her website. Thank you, Joan, and everyone else for participating and helping me spread the word. Maybe, just maybe, it'll help change some attitudes and make the world a little better place for my son and all of those who have Down syndrome.

Joan, please send me your snail mail address so I can mail you my book.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marriage: Between One Man and One Woman

Some hot issues are on state ballots this year. One of those topics is defining marriage. In both California and Arizona stakes have presented special firesides in an effort to motivate members of the LDS Church to vote for such a critical issue.

In California, voters had already cast the majority of their votes to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Yet, judges overturned the voice of the people and allowed homosexual couples to marry. I don’t quite understand why or how judges would have the right to overturn the voice of the people. What is the purpose of voting if a small group of judges can overturn it on their own whim?

A well-publicized story about a school class taking a field trip to witness a homosexual marriage has spurred the debate. States are now struggling to define marriage. Honestly, it’s a definition I never thought we actually needed, but in light of this recent field trip, it’s obvious that our society has denigrated to the point that the very fabric of our society is unraveling. I’d like to point out that if a school field trip included witnessing a Catholic marriage, we’d have the ACLU jumping up and down and screaming that the school had violated church and state and trampled on the rights of students who didn’t want to witness such an event. Interestingly enough, the ACLU has not come to the defense of the students who were offended by a homosexual marriage.

It’s interesting to note also, that when the subject of polygamy is introduced, there’s quite a vehement reaction. In my own experience, many people mock the LDS Church because of its polygamous practice that ended over 100 years ago. People today still talk about polygamy in the early days of the Church and point fingers at the leaders claiming they instituted polygamy for the sole purpose of exploitation and sexual gratification. Today, polygamists can be arrested. After all, it’s legal to have sexual relations with as many partners as possible and to create children, it’s just not legal to marry those partners. While I do not support the practice of polygamy, and those that practice polygamy are not members of the LDS Church, I find it curious that our society is quick to condemn a man if he wants to marry and care for more than one wife, but not if he wants to marry another man. Isn’t there some sort of lop-sided reasoning to that?

Marriage is ordained of God. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Once we change the definition to include a small, very vocal minority, how can we then deny it to any other minority? How can we keep polygamy illegal and allow same-sex marriage? How can we deny marriage between siblings or cousins? We cannot change the definition of marriage and expect that we won’t have to make allowances for other groups.

It’s apparent that Satan’s assault on the family continues to rage. We must fight back. We must define marriage as between one man and one woman. God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth and that commandment has never been revoked. A same-sex couple cannot keep this commandment. The whole idea of same-sex couples completely opposes God’s plan and defies nature.

I do not hate people who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle, but I do not support that lifestyle. I do not think same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Our society is only as strong as our families. Each time a family breaks down, it weakens our society. We cannot allow the definition of marriage to change because we must work to strengthen our families and our society. It’s imperative that we vote to retain the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Tobacco is Nasty

Another major component of the Word of Wisdom is the prohibition of tobacco. While we often think of cigarettes, tobacco in any form can cause addiction and disease.

I was appalled when I was in the hospital giving birth to one of my children and people in the room across the hall were smoking. My daughter’s brand new lungs inhaled cigarette smoke and I was quite unhappy about it. I even spoke to the city council afterwards in an effort to pass a city ordinance that banned smoking in the hospital. Fortunately, states have now passed laws prohibiting smoking in public places, including hospitals, schools, and restaurants. While people have the right to smoke, I choose not to and I don’t want to breathe in second-hand smoke because someone near me wants to smoke. I think that denies me the right to breathe smoke-free air.

When I was a young girl, before I joined the Church, my paternal grandmother smoked. She’d take us out to lunch and we’d sit at the table inhaling all of her smoke. I detested going to lunch with her because I couldn’t stand the smoke. It burned my eyes, made my nose run, and made me cough. Long before I knew about the Word of Wisdom, I’d formed my opinion of smoking. I thought it was nasty.

I can remember advertisements, before they were banned, for cigarettes. The women always looked so elegant and beautiful. They had long fingers with manicured nails that seemed to balance a cigarette just right, while their pouty lips were painted with the perfect shade of lipstick. I never recall seeing ads of haggard-looking women with wrinkled mouths and yellowed teeth. Those ads were so deceptive and, I’m sure, seduced many young people into smoking cigarettes.

Chewing tobacco wasn’t popular when I was a teenager. Maybe it was the era or maybe it was where I lived. I remember a young man who transferred into our high school. He was spitting this disgusting brown junk on the ground while he spoke to my friend and me. I was repulsed and had no idea what he was doing. When I finally learned he was chewing tobacco and then spitting out his browned saliva, I was even more disgusted. I can’t imagine why chewing tobacco holds any kind of appeal for anyone.

Besides the obvious health issues, another factor with tobacco is its addictive property. Anything addictive is harmful to our spirit because we no longer have free agency to make choices. Once our physical body has become dependent on any substance, we have lost the very power that we were granted at birth, the ability to choose.

While tobacco is big business, it’s also harmful and destructive. It’s far better to never give way to the addiction, but even those who become dependent on tobacco can once again enjoy freedom from addiction. Once smokers stop smoking, their health outlook increases dramatically. Even more importantly, the freedom to choose is restored.

I will continue to examine the Word of Wisdom. Stay tuned . . .

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Interesting Article

This is an interesting article by a well-known LDS author and Democrat. He's also a journalist. I think he makes some valid points that we might want to consider before we cast our votes in a few weeks. I found it here. It first appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC.

See what you think . . .

By Orson Scott Card October 5, 2008

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefitting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a essay entitled Do Facts Matter? "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe --and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Lost a Talent

I have very few talents. I don't sing, dance, act, or sew. I'm not very crafty and I don't score high on the compassionate scale. I don't draw, paint, or write music. I don't play an instrument and while I played sports in high school, I wasn't amazing (I was good at basketball because I was tall, not because I could jump). But, I do pride myself on knowing how to change a poopy diaper, wipe boogers off my children (and the wall), and clean my house. Apparently, the cleaning house part isn't a talent after all, or so I was told.

Let me see if you can answer this question. What is more annoying than a vacuum salesman?

Any guesses?

Answer: Nothing.

Let me start at the beginning. A company called a few weeks ago and asked me to take a short consumer survey. I agreed and answered several simple questions. The next week, a representative from the same company called to say that because I'd answered the survey, my name was entered into a drawing and I'd won a $500 gift certificate to an online store (with Christmas around the corner, I thought this sounded like a good thing). The rep then told me that in order to redeem said certificate I had to participate in a presentation about an air purifier and share my opinion about the product. I was assured that it involved no sales whatsoever, and all I needed to do was answer some questions about the product after a short 30 minute presentation.

Since we have allergies, I'd considered buying an air purifier and was interested to see what this company produced so I agreed.

The salesman arrived with two large boxes. I asked him to do the presentation in the library but he insisted on going into the living room. Strike one.

He pulled out the "air purifier" that freakishly resembled a vacuum cleaner. Oh, because it was a vacuum cleaner. Now, I don't know about you, but when a company lies to me about the product they're selling, it's a big "no go" for me. Strike two.

He continued on with his presentation telling me multiple times that my house was filthy and nasty and I obviously didn't know how dirty it was. (So, you see, my cleaning talent flew right out the window). He told us how I was putting my family's health in danger and destroying our carpet (well, he did have to change his tactic to include hardwood because we have no carpet on the middle level). After 2 HOURS (sorry, didn't mean to yell, but really, 2 hours, during bedtime, come on) he gave us the high pressure sales technique designed to guilt us into buying a $3000 vacuum cleaner. Seriously. Strike three.

We finally convinced him that though we have several thousands, possibly even millions of dollars lying (or is it laying) around the house, we would prefer to sink that extra money into the Rolls Royce we're planning to purchase. He was visibly unhappy with our choice to pass on this exceptional deal.

He did give us our certificate and, surprise, when we went to redeem it, we found out that, indeed, we must pay a "shipping and handling fee" for each product. Now maybe I was born at night, but it wasn't last night and when the shipping and handling fees far exceed the value of the item, I become ever so slightly suspicious and greatly annoyed.

This company lied to get a salesman in my house. They misrepresented the product. The product seemed to be decent enough, but $3000? With the cost of living so high at the moment? Come on. Then the whole gift certificate was a total sham.

So beware of phone callers who claim to just want to conduct a short consumer survey. Before you know it, you may be subjected to losing your very last talent!

No Good Comes From Consuming Alcohol

Classmates constantly informed me in high school that my religion was too restrictive and that it prevented me from having fun. Even an adult in a position of trust tried to persuade me that I was missing out on all the “high school fun” by not drinking and partying. Believe me, I had plenty of fun in high school and, even better, I can remember all of it. I didn’t spend time barfing my guts out in the bathroom or passing out cold in a back room. I was conscious for my high school events and not only do I remember them, I enjoyed them. I can’t say the same for my classmates who barely remembered attending school because they were often drunk.

In Doctrine and Covenants 89, we learn the basis of healthy eating. We also learn that the Word of Wisdom is, “Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints” (D&D 89:3). When we obey the Word of Wisdom, we receive blessings. In fact, we’re promised that we, “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures. (D&C 89:19). I know I need all the wisdom I can get and I have a testimony that obeying the Word of Wisdom will bless our lives.

We are counseled to not partake of alcohol, coffee, tea, or tobacco. These substances can be addictive as well as destructive to our bodies. Medical science has proven that alcohol is dangerous to our health because it can cause disease and illness. Those who regularly partake of alcohol damage body organs. Even partaking of alcohol one time can be fatal. College students die every year from alcohol poisoning.

Some become addicted to alcohol and that addiction leads to inappropriate behaviors. Alcoholics often abuse family members verbally and physically. Alcohol can magnify emotions, especially anger, and, more often than not, causes broken marriages and homes. Many lives have been destroyed due to the use of alcohol.

Another serious problem with alcohol use is the inability to make appropriate decisions. Often, young women who consume alcohol also end up breaking the Law of Chastity leading to even more problems. Those who drink and drive are impaired and cause accidents that kill and maim not only the driver, but also innocent people. One such accident happened a few years ago on the highway not far from my home. Two college students had been drinking and collided with a young man who was driving home from work. The young man was killed instantly. The driver survived, but the impact caused his passenger to be ejected from the vehicle and semi-truck ran over him. The driver received minimal punishment. Both families have suffered tremendously simply because someone decided to drink and drive.

I do not understand why it’s legal to consume alcohol. Is it big business? Is it our society’s inability to see the damage alcohol causes? Is it one more of Satan’s weapons in his ever-growing arsenal? Medical science has proven the physical and mental damage alcohol causes and we can easily see the other damage caused by consuming alcohol, yet we continue to allow its use. What will it take to make us realize that no good comes from drinking alcohol?

Stay tuned as I examine more of the Word of Wisdom in subsequent posts.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Proper Dating

When my oldest child entered middle school, I was surprised to find that one of the classes on his schedule was Healthy Lifestyles. I called the school to ask about this class and what I heard shocked me. The class included teaching kids to make healthy and wise choices, but also covered the subject of dating and how to practice “safe” dating habits. Excuse me? These kids were eleven years old. The administrator told me that kids are dating at this age and they needed to know how to avoid contracting HIV and other diseases. I responded that my children would not be dating during middle school and she scoffed at me. She said, “As far as you know they might not be dating, but the fact is all these kids date and this class is very important for them to know how to be safe.” I politely told her we were not interested in this class and she needed to substitute another class in its place.

While some kids don’t date in middle school, the sad fact is that many of them do and the school encourages it by not only offering this class, but also by sponsoring dances and other social activities that are not appropriate for this age.

With a house full of teenagers, and more to come, we’ve had many discussions about dating. I have a daughter who will celebrate her 16th birthday in a few weeks so we’ve been discussing rules and expectations quite a bit lately.

We’ve been counseled to not let our children date until they are sixteen. From the pamphlet, For the Strength of Youth, it’s very clear, "Do not date until you are at least 16 years old.” It’s important to explain to youth why this counsel is so important and it needs to be explained long before they turn 16.

“Dating before then can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner” (For the Strength of Youth, p. 24). When I taught a lesson on dating to my Beehives, I asked, “When you begin dating at 12, what do you think you’ll be doing at 16?” Most of them shrugged their shoulders (I love the innocence of Beehives). I said, “More likely than not, you’ll be breaking the Law of Chastity.”

If youth start dating at an early age the whole handholding jitters is soon replaced by the next step, which is followed by the next one. By the time they’re 16, all the jitteries from holding hands, sitting by each other during lunch, or talking on the phone are gone. They’ve passed that stage and want to explore far beyond that innocent handholding phase of a relationship.

Even if the early dating doesn’t lead to sexual transgressions, the time that the youth have spent worrying about the relationship and concentrating on each other is wasted. That time is much better spent meeting many different people, gaining new experiences, having fun, going to dances, attending football games, and focusing on helping themselves grow and reach their own potential. It is not a time to worry about sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, or adult emotions. There will be time enough to worry about adult problems, it shouldn’t have to be when a kid is still a teenager.

As parents, we should encourage our teenagers to wait until 16 to date and then to date in groups until they are 18. A tremendous amount of maturing happens during those two years, and the youth that wait to steady date until then will be better prepared to make good decisions.

Of course, teenagers have their own free agency to make decisions contrary to what they’ve been taught, but the more we can encourage proper dating habits, the more likely it is that our youth will make better decisions about dating.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Down Syndrome Awareness Video and Contest

In celebration of the National Down Syndrome Awareness Month I have created this video, Extra C. Please help me spread the message that every child is a gift, even if the wrapping is a little different.

The music was composed and played by C.S. Bezas, an incredibly talented and creative musician. Please visit her website to hear more of her beautiful music.

As a thank you to all who spread this message and share this video, I will sponsor a contest and give away a copy of my book, Heaven Scent, to the winner.

In order to qualify for the contest you can post this video on your website and/or blog and/or make a comment on this video at YouTube and/or pass this link to people on your email lists. Just leave a comment on this post, or email me, and let me know what you did to help spread this message and I'll enter you into the drawing. The contest will run until midnight October 24th.
On October 25th one of my kids will draw a name from those that qualify and you'll receive a signed copy of my book.

Thank you for helping me to change attitudes about Down syndrome. Enjoy the video.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Beginnings

Like most, my testimony started as a tiny seed.

By the time I was 9 years old, both of my parents had died and my sister and I lived with our maternal grandparents. Both of my grandparents were members of the LDS Church, but neither was active. My grandmother simply fell out of activity, while my grandfather nursed deep-seeded bitterness toward the Church.

One day, I was riding in the car with Grandma and we passed a white brick building with a tall steeple. I asked her about the building and she replied that she was a member of the Church. I asked if we could attend. Almost as soon as we stepped into the building that next Sunday, we were assigned a home teacher.
I started attending Primary, was soon baptized, and spent the next 10 years attending church at that building.

I recently returned to that same building and attended sacrament meeting. It was an incredible experience as I stepped into the building where it all began for me. I walked through the patio where I spent my Primary years, including the room where I attended junior Sunday school and the priests blessed and passed the sacrament to the children.

I saw the baptismal font where I stepped into the waters of baptism and began my new life as a member of the LDS Church.
reminisced as I looked at the room where we held seminary. Admittedly, I spent some of my seminary time passing notes to my friends, but I also learned about the gospel every morning before school.

I walked across the highly-polished wood floor listening to my footsteps echo. I could almost see all of us as teenagers as we practiced for a road show about family pictures and for a dance festival we performed one summer in the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles. I could envision all the ward dinners I’d attended with Grandma, and her dish holder bag in which we brought our own dishes to dinners.

I sat in the chapel and remembered so many talks and watching the young men bless and pass the sacrament. I remembered singing and feeling the Spirit. I remembered my friends and the good influence they had on me as a youth.
This was where it all started, where I first gained my testimony, and where I continued to feed it. This is where I first felt the love of my Savior. At times, I could almost feel His arms wrap around me while I struggled during my teenage years.

Many years have passed since then. I’ve worked hard to strengthen my testimony. I don’t know everything about the scriptures, Church history, or the gospel. I’m still learning every day to be a better person and to more fully live the gospel. Line upon line, I’m learning to be more like my Savior, Jesus Christ.

But, this I know. My Savior lives and He loves even me, a simple, unimportant woman. I know that He willingly laid down His life for me. I know that He is real and someday, He will return in glory to this earth. I cannot deny what has been witnessed to my soul, that He lives. I will spend my life trying to become like Him so that when my time is over in mortality, I can run to His outstretched arms and He will hold me close and whisper in my ear, “Welcome home.”

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Yes Needs to Mean Yes

“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not; but afterward, he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir, and went not. Whether the twain did the will of his father? . . . “ (Matthew 21:28-31).

We can apply the preceding passage to accepting callings that we are extended within our wards and stakes.

We’ve all been taught to never say "no” to a calling, but there seems to be a caveat missing from that counsel. If we say “yes,” we need to mean “yes.”

What does it mean when we say “yes?” It means that we will do the best that we can to magnify that calling. It means we will teach, attend Mutual, visit teach, or be involved with Scouting. There’s a big difference between a Primary teacher that first opens, and then reads, the lesson during sacrament meeting and the teacher who has read and pondered the lesson, thought about creative ways to present the information to reach all of the students, and prepared visual aids or handouts.

Magnifying something means to make it larger. Magnifying a calling mean enlarging that which we’ve been called to do. If our calling is to teach Sunday school we can simply teach the lesson each Sunday, or we can get to know those we teach, reach out to them, and let them know by our actions that we care about them. Imagine how a teenager would feel if his Sunday school teacher attended one of his basketball games. How would a child feel if her Primary teacher watched her perform in a play? How would a sister feel if her visiting teacher baked her some cookies for her birthday and attached a short note of appreciation for that sister?

It does take extra time and commitment to reach out beyond the ordinary boundaries of a calling, but the rewards cannot be measured. My nephew had quite a negative experience in Primary one year. In fact, he refused to attend. After some coaxing by his parents, he relented and was pleasantly surprised by a new teacher. This new teacher went out of her way to send cards to my nephew, to notice his good behavior, and to often express her love for him. It’s been many years since this experience, but my nephew still remembers the Primary teacher who taught him to love going to Primary again.

Serving with the Scouts seems to be one of the most unpopular callings. No one wants to attend Scout meetings, take the boys for overnight campouts, or spend a week at Scout camp. Yet, these boys are at a crucial age when a man who takes this calling seriously, and is willing to serve with all of his heart, can make a difference in the lives of the boys. A cheerful attitude and willingness to jump in and have fun with the boys can make the difference between an active and less-active young man. A Scoutmaster can influence boys to not only advance in Scouting, but to also honor and use their priesthood.

We’re all busy. We’re all running from one end of the day to the next. Our lives are filled with kids, employment, school activities, piano lessons, soccer, PTA, civic duties, and taking care of our homes. Yet, if we put our faith in the Lord and do our best to not only fulfill, but also magnify our callings, He will provide a way for us to take care of everything else. There’s a reason we’re called to serve in a certain position. We may be the only person who can touch another’s life at that time. Remember, the worth of a soul is great in the sight of the Lord. Heavenly Father loves all of his children and he wants all of us to return to live with him someday. When we earnestly strive to serve in a calling with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength we will see miracles occur in the lives of those we serve, and in our own lives.

When we say “yes,” we need to mean “yes.”

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Future for Tomorrow by Haley Hatch Freeman

I recently read A Future for Tomorrow by Haley Hatch Freeman. Haley is an amazing young woman who endured a horrific battle with anorexia nervosa. This book details her experience. At times, the story is intense and hard to read because of the emotional and physical turmoil Haley experienced during this physically-ravaging and mentally-deteriorating condition.

It’s a peek into the mind of a young woman absolutely obsessed with her weight and her distorted view of perfection. It’s frightening, at times, to read how completely this condition enveloped her. I found myself feeling overwhelmed by her account and was thrilled to read the conclusion of the story.

From the back cover:

A Future for Tomorrow is an extraordinary non-fiction account of the author’s actual battle against anorexia nervosa as well as a spiritual triumph against evil.

You will be brought into the anorexic mind, shown the fierce war against depression and self-depreciative thoughts and actions; and witness the gravity of the destruction this disease can do.

A deeply edifying experience will occur as you journey with the author to the eternal world. There, angels confirm to her gospel truths such as the intensity of Christ’s love, and the sacred and holy nature of our Father’s plan for his children here on earth.

Haley is a very spiritual young woman who has had some sacred experiences that she shares in this book. She is a living testimony of the power of love and faith. She’s sharing her story in an effort to prevent other young women from following in her footsteps. She tells a vivid and inspiring account of overcoming physical and spiritual roadblocks to find the true road to happiness.

You can purchase her book at her website, her blog, or /the copies from her website and blog are autographed.

Haley will be appearing on a local TV show on October 21st. Check her blog for more information.

You can also hear a radio interview with Haley at

If you're interested in having Haley speak to your group you can contact her through her website or blog.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Letter to the Editor

In my ongoing attempt to make the world a better place, I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, The Durango Herald, about Colorado's Amendment 48 which defines life at conception. The owner of the newspaper is very pro-abortion and actively supports Planned Parenthood so I'm surprised the paper even printed my letter. A neighbor called to tell me he'd read it and wanted to tell me how glad he was I wrote it. Usually, someone calls to verify I wrote a letter, but that didn't happen this time so I didn't know it had been printed. Maybe my name is recognizable for submitting so many letter to the editor that they didn't feel like they needed to verify it. If they'd give me my own opinion column I wouldn't have to write so many letters to the editor :).

Here's the link if you'd like to read it. I wrote my it in response to a letter to the editor that claimed Amendment 48 discriminates against the poor. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma by Angela Eschler

The extraordinary love story of Joseph and Emma Hale Smith is tenderly portrayed in a unique new Covenant release entitled, Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, by Angela Eschler.

As an editor at Covenant, Angela Eschler has long exercised her writing and editing talents to improve the works of other authors, including my own. In Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, Mrs. Eschler's first authored work, her exceptional writing skills and knowledge of the Prophet and Emma is evident. Punctuated by the emotional artwork of Liz Lemon Swindle, Eschler has carefully selected poignant excerpts from the Smith's private correspondence and wrapped them in beautifully crafted historical content and corroborating scripture.

The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma is divided into five concise chapters, each one correlating to a period in Joseph and Emma's marriage-- Love and Devotion, Sorrow and Separation, Consolation in Companionship, Faith in Adversity, Reunion and Peace. As a historical examination, Love Letters illuminates the great love that succored Joseph and Emma through the too frequent separations, the exquisite sorrows and the sweetness of the joys that defined their lives.

But there is much more here for the reader. From Mrs. Eschler's intimate Dedication, which is drawn from the example of Joseph's ministrations to Emma, to the triumphal promises of eternal reunion expressed in the closing scriptures from the Doctrine and Covenants, this book is a delicately crafted celebration of the power of marriage and love.

Counseled as we are to seek for "patterns" in our lives, Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, provides readers with a unique vantage point from which to observe the Smiths' enduring love. From the secret elopement to Joseph, to which Emma consented saying, "she preferred `to marry him more than anyone [else she] knew,'" through seventeen turbulent years, theirs was a marriage imbued with loyalty, tenderness and faith. Being perhaps the ultimate example of enduring love under fire, Joseph and Emma may therefore provide the ultimate pattern for building a strong marriage.

In Of One Heart: The Love Letters of Joseph and Emma, by combining the power of Angela Eschler's beautiful writing with samples from Liz Lemon Swindle's evocative portraits of the Smiths, Covenant has produced a work that reaches deep into the hearts of readers, personalizing the Prophet and Emma to a rising generation of Saints who may confidently draw upon their example of marital love and loyalty.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Standard for Media Choices

The last part of the 13th Article of Faith reads, “ . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

As we use our free agency to choose what we will view, read, or listen to we would do well to adhere to this standard to help us make appropriate choices. After all, what goes in, must come out. Whatever we fill our minds with, runs out our mouth.


When I was a young teen, the movie Saturday Night Fever came out. I was so excited to watch it because I loved dancing and I thought John Travolta was hot. My grandmother agreed to take me. The Sunday before we planned to see it, I can remember a statement from President Kimball that was read over the pulpit. The letter specifically counseled us to not view R-rated movies. I was sure President Kimball had written that letter specifically to me to prevent me from viewing Saturday Night Fever and I wasn’t very happy.

My grandmother and I went to see the movie anyway. I remember leaving the theater and feeling bad. My conscience was pricked because I’d deliberately disobeyed counsel that was meant to protect me from vulgarity and profane language. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I should always listen to the prophet and I should seek to fill my mind with that which is lovely and praiseworthy.

Since that time I've heard many argue the fact that an R-rating is arbitrary and we should view whatever movies we wish to. While I’m not going to dictate to others what they should and should not watch, I can only say that I’ve learned it’s important to fill my mind with good things, especially in an ever-increasingly evil world where obscenity is commonplace.


My older kids have all been assigned questionable books to read in their English classes. With the abundance of good books to read, it’s always amazing to me that teachers will choose books with the worst kind of language and with inappropriate themes.

I do not advocate book burning, but rather a commitment to following the counsel in the 13h Article of Faith. If we apply this standard to whatever we read, whether it’s books, magazines, newspapers, or content on the internet, we will find our spirits lifted and our minds enhanced.


I grew up with the Bee Gees and nothing motivates me to clean house more than turning on my disco music. I can remember adults, at the time, claiming that all disco music was evil. I admit, some of the lyrics were inappropriate, even trashy, but not all of the music was bad. As a teenager, I certainly wasn’t going to listen to hymns or classical music every day, but learning to apply the standard set forth in the 13th Article of Faith helped me to make better decisions about the music I listened to.

Joseph Smith taught, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” As we choose from all that is available to fill our minds, we should apply the standard set forth in the 13th Article of Faith and teach others to do so as well.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review of Heaven Scent

Alison Palmer reviewed Heaven Scent. If you'd like to read what she wrote here's the link.

If you've read Heaven Scent and would like to post a review on Amazon or Deseret Book, I'd sure appreciate it.

Promotion certainly isn't as fun as writing, but it's all part of the publishing thing.

Today we have a soccer game, General Conference, a wedding, and my daughter will be going to another high school's homecoming dance with a young man from a nearby stake whose older brother was my son's mission companion (did I confuse you?). It should be quite a day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hope and Endurance

To continue with the 13th Article of Faith, “ . . . indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things . . .”

Hope is as crucial a part of the gospel as are faith and charity. “And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works” (Alma 7:24). Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, gives us hope. None of us will escape tragedy. No matter how faithfully we live our lives, we will still experience trials and tribulations. We cannot pick and choose our trials, only how we will react to them. It’s through our faith and hope that we can endure our trials

Imagine losing a loved one and having no hope of reuniting with him or her after this life. I know of two women who lost their husbands. One woman had hope of seeing her husband again. She continued to live her life, finding joy and serving the Lord. The other woman had no hope of ever seeing her husband again. She drifted aimlessly and succumbed to depression. After a few years, she died of a broken heart. Without hope of a life after death, it would be impossible to face losing those we love.
If we choose to endure our trials with faith and hope, we will receive all that the Father has.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2nd Nephi 31:20).

This part of the 13th Article of Faith is especially poignant when we consider the environment in which the early saints lived. Amidst unbelievable persecution, the early saints still believed and still had hope. Joseph Smith, who first penned the Articles of Faith, endured many trials, beginning with the reaction to his sacred experience in the grove when God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him. Joseph Smith was tarred, feathered, beaten, arrested on false charges, and finally murdered. He is a shining example of one who suffered so much, yet clung to hope, and never forsook his faith.

Of course, the ultimate example of suffering and endurance is the Savior. He was the Son of God. He did not have to suffer or endure anything, yet he chose to do so. He deserved respect and reverence, but received ridicule and scorn instead. People spit in his face, mocked his claim of divinity, and finally hung him on a cross. The Savior endured his trials with grace. He loved those that belittled him. He laid down his life for the very people that crucified him.

Having hope allows us to deal with our trials and endure to the end.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

It’s amazing how technology has advanced in the last 25 years. When I was in high school, no one had a cell phone or a personal computer. We all had to use landlines to speak with our friends and we used typewriters for our research papers. Yes, gasp, we had to actually know how to type (or at least know how to use the correction tape properly).

I remember my grandpa’s old typewriter and how the “e” always looked like an “o.” When I received a sleek new manual typewriter as a gift, I was thrilled. I was even happier when I was able to purchase a snazzy electric typewriter with the correction tape already loaded—talk about up-to-the-date technology.

I can still remember the papery thin feel of the onionskin paper and the ding when I needed to return the carriage on my manual machine. I remember the clicking of the keys and the pinging as the metal letters hit against the page. I can still hear the soft clicking as I moved the roller to load the paper. Of course, I also remember the frustration of finding a typo or misspelling and trying desperately to correct it.

When I was finishing my senior year at BYU, my husband tried to convince me to use a computer. I refused. I wasn’t comfortable with a computer and couldn’t see how it was any easier than using a typewriter—silly me. After several months, he finally persuaded me to try a computer and when I saw the ease of the “delete” key, I was sold.

Technology has come a long way. True, it can be used irresponsibly, but it can also provide us with a wealth of information at our fingertips as well as connect us to people all over the world. When I first started writing, I had no groups, no connection to other writers. I had no one to ask questions. I knew nothing about publishing. I didn’t even know how to really find the needed information so I kind of bumbled around in the dark hoping to figure it all out.

Then, the internet hit and, boom, I could access information from my computer in my own home. It didn’t even matter that I lived in the middle of a hay field. I found groups. I was suddenly connected to the world.

Because of the new technology and the internet, authors can do what time, distance, and money prevented them from doing pre-internet. Authors can now take advantage of blogging to create a web presence, create websites, participate in blog book tours, join online groups like our newest ANWA group Cyber Scrybers, ask questions in forums, and promote books by simply attaching a link on all outgoing email. We can promote our work while sitting in our pajamas. How cool is that?

The newest tool to promote our work is now on a site called YouTube. A friend of mine, Marsha Ward, has created her own book trailer for The Man from Shenandoah. This is the future for authors to promote their books online. See what you think.

And to show you a little different approach, here is a YouTube by another friend, LDS author Jewel Adams promoting her fantasy novel, The Journey.

Even if technology seems difficult or foreign, it’s definitely in our best interest to embrace the new ways of communicating with our friends and with those who may want to read our books.

I’ll let you know if I ever fully embrace it and have a YouTube on Heaven Scent.