Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tribute to an amazing man

Last Sunday, the prophet and president of our church, Gordon B. Hinckley passed away at the age of 97. This man had a profound impact on my life and the lives of many, many others. He was the prophet when I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for this reason will always have a special place in my heart. I was priveleged to hear him speak in person on many occasions, and just by being in his presence you could feel the Spirit emanate. I am glad that he has now been reunited with his sweet wife but I will miss him dearly.

Here is what President George W. Bush had to say about him:

“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our friend, Gordon B. Hinckley. While serving for over seven decades in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon demonstrated the heart of a servant and the wisdom of a leader. He was a tireless worker and a talented communicator who was respected in his community and beloved by his congregation. As President of his church, he traveled to more than 60 countries to spread a message of love and optimism to the millions of people around the world who shared his faith.
A Mayflower descendent and the grandson of Mormon pioneers, Gordon was a deeply patriotic man. His leadership and service strengthened the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young University, the Boy Scouts of America, and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. In 2004, I was honored to present him with the Medal of Freedom, our Nation’s highest civil award, in recognition of his lifelong public service.
Laura and I will miss Gordon’s friendship and wisdom. Our thoughts and prayers are with his five children and the rest of the Hinckley family.” -George W. Bush

And here is a really touching tribute from Glenn Beck:

And finally, President Hinckley's testimony:
“I hope that all of you will remember that on this Sabbath day you heard me bear my witness that this is God’s holy work. The vision given the Prophet Joseph in the grove of Palmyra was not an imaginary thing. It was real. It occurred in the broad light of day. Both the Father and the Son spoke to the boy. He saw Them standing in the air above him. He heard Their voices. He gave heed to Their instruction.

“It was the resurrected Lord who was introduced by His Father, the great God of the universe. For the first time in recorded history, both the Father and the Son appeared together to part the curtains and open this, the last and final dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.

“The Book of Mormon is all that it purports to be—a work recorded by prophets who lived anciently and whose words have come forth “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Book of Mormon title page).

“The priesthood has been restored under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John. All the keys and authority pertaining to eternal life are exercised in this Church.
“Joseph Smith was and is a prophet, the great Prophet of this dispensation. This Church, which carries the name of the Redeemer, is true.

“I leave you my testimony, my witness, and my love for each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Granny's Passing

This week has been a difficult one. On Wednesday we found out that my maternal grandmother (Granny) passed away after having a heart attack. Many of you were aware that she had open heart surgery at the beginning of the month and she never quite recovered from that procedure. Even though we knew she was not in the best health, it was still quite a shock to hear the news, we all just thought she would take a while to get back on her feet again. I for one know that I was not ready to see her go, we were very close and I will miss her terribly. Her funeral was held yesterday in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and our family went up on Friday to help with what we could and be with my grandpa (Pop Pop) during this hard time. Through all of the tears we have found moments of laughter and smiles as we reminisce about her life and our memories with her. She was the perfect grandmother to all of her 8 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren, truly the kind of grandma I hope to someday be.
The silver lining to all of this was that it brought our family together, and we were able to see cousins, aunts and uncles that we haven't seen in years. My sister Lisa drove up from Tennesse with her family and we were priveleged to have them stay with us Saturday night on their way back home. My other two sisters also came to our home with their families last night and it was a cousin bonanza. We even played a game that we all learned from Granny's family parties- Characters, and even the little ones joined in. It isn't often that even all of my sisters and I are together, so it was a blessing to be able to have them all here, despite the circumstances. Granny was always the one that planned our family get togethers and I know that she would be happy knowing that her death brought us all together again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My New Baby!

Life has been pretty mundane in the Johnson household since the new year. All of the Christmas decorations have been put away and the hustle and bustle of December is behind us. While it has been nice to get back to our old routine, I always get a little sad this time of year because the Christmas excitement is over. There hasn't even been much to blog about, until yesterday when we bought a new car to accomodate our growing family. We got a 2006 Ford Expedition with lots of bells and whistles, and plenty of room, even enough to fit an out of town guest or two (hint, hint). While I am beyond excited about my new car, somehow I always feel a bit sad to trade in the old one. All the memories, I guess. Thanks Jeremy, for doing all of the research and negotiating, I love my new wheels!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Last night we hosted a get together with our closest friends to ring in the new year. We ate really well- fondue and a plethora of appetizers and played some fun group games. Time went so fast that before we knew it they were counting down and the ball was dropping. We feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such great people that we can consider our friends and one of our resolutions this year is to really cherish the friendships we have been blessed with. Happy New Year!