women's conference March 2017

women's conference March 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pencil In God's Hand

Mother Teresa is credited with saying that she was a pencil in God’s hand. That He did the writing and the thinking, and she had only to allow herself to be used. That got me to thinking about the different kinds of pencils and their advantages and disadvantages, and then on to which kind of pencil I was.
Pencil’s haven’t changed much since their invention. Not really. I mean, a standard pencil is about the same as it has always been. Of course, there are better quality pencils and poorer quality pencils; some lead erases better than others, some sharpen easier. But, there are no fancy moving parts or gadgets on it to make it work better or differently. It has lead. It has an eraser. You pick it up and it writes. It’s a pencil, right?
Then there are the mechanical pencils. These are varied and mostly they work just fine as long as they continue to have lead placed in them. The lead breaks easily. They can be quite expensive, depending on how fancy you get. Sometimes the lead needs to be prodded a bit to get it out, clicking and clicking away on the button to get enough of it out to write with. The erasers are often changeable, or get lost. So, while they’re still pencils, and they work like a pencil, they’re a bit fussier.
There are art pencils, colored pencils, and square carpenter pencils. Some pencils with sparkles on them or that change color with the heat of your hand. I once saw a pencil that was three feet long and bigger around than my thumb with an eraser the size of a jumbo marshmallow. They come in all colors, sizes, and shapes, but they’re all still pencils created for the sole purpose of being picked up and making marks on paper.
Going back to Mother Teresa and the question fo which kind of pencil I am. I’d like to believe that in the Lord’s hand I’m perpetually sharp with an unchewed eraser. That I am constantly and consistently ready and eager to let Him use me in whatever way He needs. It’d be nice if I I came in a cool color, too. But in all honesty, I feel like He usually has to click my button a few times in order for my lead to show up at all, and then sometimes, my lead just breaks and He’s either got to tap on me a few more times or move on to another, more prepared pencil.
I heard a story once of a woman who was washing dishes when she felt the Lord tap her on the shoulder (so to speak) and tell her to visit a woman down the road. She responded to that tap so quickly that when the other woman answered the knock on her door, the first woman still had soap suds on her hands.
I imagine that woman was the kind of pencil that Mother Teresa was — The kind that every faithful woman wants to be, but that leads me to ask you the same question: what kind of pencil are you?
by Mandi

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Lately I've been frustrated with myself. I keep doing the same things over and over and I know I shouldn't. I talk too much, for instance. Talking can be a good thing, but not when I say things I shouldn't or when I interrupt or cut people off. I could list several other bad habits but I think everyone does things that they wish they didn't. We all have undesirable characteristics and actions that have become a part of who we are. 

This brings me to a lesson I've learned from Larry. We have this bird that we've affectionately named, Larry, that comes back every year to our house and runs into the same window repeatedly. Year after year, the same bird on the same window. Of course it could be a different bird, as all Robins pretty much look identical but we figure it must be the same bird because no other bird would be so dumb as to keep running into the same window. Every day. It used to be that Larry would come about the same time every afternoon. It was almost like clockwork. But now, he comes many times during the day and this year, he's started going to another window and doing the same head-bonking routine as he does on his "normal" window.  We have recorded Larry running into the window multiple times because it's such an anomaly and he's even been in a few snap stories. He just keeps coming. We figure this is the 4th year in a row that he's come and smashed himself against our window as part of his daily routine. My family considers Larry "mentally handicapped" because why on earth would you keep doing the same thing over and over again?  It must be painful, or at the very least, frustrating, but he continues down his self-abusive path. Over and over again. 

Then it hit me.  I'm just like Larry! I keep doing the same things over and over again but I'm expecting different results. I know I talk too much. I always feel like I have so much to "tell" everyone. So I just continue to smash against the window, doing the same thing, feeling frustrated and having hurt feelings because I don't feel like I'm communicating as effectively as I want to with my husband, children or anyone really. 

So, I've decided that I don't want to be Larry. I think it's easy to get into the same patterns and repeat behaviors and actions that aren't really helpful or productive. That's my goal. To stop beating myself up and learn from my mistakes. The greatest thing I think I can do is study the life of the Savior and try to be just like Him. He was the master at everything, including communication and every other self mastery skill. Why not learn from the best and try to pattern my habits and life after Him? 

Everyone in our family hopes that Larry will realize that he's not getting anywhere in life by running into the window every day. We all hope he will get over whatever fascination he has with the window and that he'll set himself free from the drudgery of repetitive, abusive habits. I hope I can do that too. No one wants to be a Larry. 
Cathy Bennett

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saying NO is Okay

"Saying NO is Okay"

There are times that parents say NO!  When I was young my dad wanted us to go up to Phoenix to visit somebody, I don't remember who, I just remember that I did not want to go.  I was plenty old enough to stay home and that is what I wanted.  I kept bugging my dad, pleading with him to "leave me home".  He said NO.  We all piled in our orange pumpkin van and traveled up to Phoenix.  On the way home, I was still pouting and complaining about being there.  We were at a stop light, I remember clear as day. Dad stopped and turned around and began talking with me, probably putting me in my spot.  The light turned green and Dad was still turned around talking with me; cars behind him honked their horns.  He turned around to drive and at that very moment a car ran the red light.  If Dad had not been talking with me, we would have been T-boned.  As we got home that evening, Dad told me, "I don't know why I didn't feel good about you staying home today, but the experience we had on the way home could have been a very serious one if I would have let you stay home."  

This experience has come to my memory recently because I  had to tell one of my children "NO".  I don't know why I feel so strongly about not letting him participate in an activity that seems okay, but after recalling this memory I've decided that I may never know the "why" of saying NO.  If my feeling is NO, I should realize the Spirit is guiding me and stick to my answer of NO.  Saying NO is hard for me.  I hate seeing my child moping around the house, feeling like he's picked on, under appreciated, never getting to do what he wants, etc. I remember being a child and hating the word NO.  

Looking back, I am very grateful for a dad who listened to the spirit and said NO.  My family could have been in a very serious accident, while I stayed home.  I am grateful for the Holy Ghost who guides, warns and protects and sometimes even says NO.
Shannon Morley

Monday, October 2, 2017

May we always pray in faith, nothing wavering

Last year our daughter, Tracy brought her young daughter, Jane for a visit from their home in Washington to Utah. We loved playing with that little one year old and were sad to see them go. Tracy was traveling home alone and felt sick when it was time to leave. She managed all their belongings and baby stuff by herself which was no small feat. She called me on their layover practically in tears saying that Jane had literally screamed for most of the first flight and that she had a long layover and really needed her to somehow go to sleep in that crowded, noisy airport. They still had hours ahead of them before they would arrive home.
I dropped to my knees right there and called down the power of heaven in their behalf. I couldn’t do anything else for them. Less than 10 minutes later I received a text that said that Jane was asleep and to keep praying that she would stay that way because prayers work. That knowledge is a marvelous blessing! Jane slept nearly the entire way home. Her mom was never so happy to have completed her journey. I am so grateful for the intervention of a loving Heavenly Father that hears and answers mothers’ prayers, at any time and in any place.

May we always pray in faith, nothing wavering.

Debbie Morley

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Balance In Our Life

Balance in our life; we are told to keep our lives balanced, but sometimes life feels overwhelming. You realize you cannot make more time, or have a clone of you made. Then you have to start juggling and feel like you need to let things go, but what to let go? When you are at the point when you do not know how to possibly take care of all who need you and you know you have to ask for help, that is when you humbly realize that you are not superwoman.
I have had an emotional ride this past month. As a Mother, you are only as happy as your saddest child. The first of July my oldest daughter called in tears after having a baby only 2 months earlier. She was struggling with rotating joint pain. She could not even walk some days and other days she would have so much pain in her hands and wrists that she could not hold her baby. With her husband working long hours and because she lives out of state, we made arrangements for her to come to Utah so I could help her with her baby and her two other children.
While she was at my home, we experienced a 100 year storm and our home was hit very severely. My Daughter was in the basement by a blind-covered window. When the window exploded, a shard of glass cut her ankle, wide and deep. The Police Chief and ambulance crew carried her up to safety just after the third window burst and before the river of muddy water engulfed our basement. So, the first emotion was worry for a daughter who was already experiencing health issues. Then it was complicated by her not being able to walk at all. I stressed about where to have her and her family stay while she recovered because all my bedrooms had been destroyed.
Second emotion was awe, amazement, and appreciation, as family, ward and community came together to suck up the water, muck out and scrap mud, fix landscaping, cut and take out sheetrock, insulation, carpet, and swollen doors, go through garages full of ruined furniture, and personal belongings and provided meals.
Third emotion was feeling overwhelmed. As the week progressed, demands for nurturing my daughter, her baby and her kids became harder as they stayed in her sister’s small home. Humbly we had to ask for help again from the extended family to watch grandkids, so we could deal with the mess of my home and with the needs of my daughter.
Did I mention that during this crazy time we were trying to also get my teenage Son ready to serve a mission? He finally came to me the Thursday before his farewell and asked if I could free up some time to go with him to get a suit before he had to speak that coming Sunday.
Another emotion came in the form of guilt as I spent the day shopping with him while my grandkids were taken to a Sister-in-law’s home to be babysat. Guilt was also an emotion as I let my RS Counselors take over my duties and care for the Sisters of our ward. However, I was so relieved and thankful that I could delegate needs to them.
The emotion of humility has been my constant companion as I have realized that I am not Superwoman and I need help sometimes too. And gratitude, another companion, as we see the tender mercies; my daughter will recover, we are all safe and our home being flooded is an inconvenience, but not a trial. It could have been so much worse and we see the hand of the Lord in our life protecting us.
My Son leaves in 3 days for a mission. He just came in and said he saw Aunt Sandi at Salem Days and because she was like his second Mom, he was emotional. So, as I sit here writing this post, my last emotion is mixed; I am so proud of my Son and for his decision to serve a mission, but my heart is being ripped out by allowing and encouraging him to leave for 2 years.

My daughter, finally able to walk and take care of her family, has gone back to her home, school is going to start soon and my Son will leave on a mission next week. Maybe in my quiet home I will be able to find balance in my life. But how I will remember the friendships, service, love and support that was given to us in a time of need! My emotions will be thankful, grateful and blessed for my time of being out of balance and having to rely on others.
Gina Griffiths

Friday, July 21, 2017

Morley Family Reunion 2017

This Year's theme was Self Reliance.  That is why our reunion shirts have an "S".
We are now numbering 160 in our family, from my parents, Ray and Sandy clear down to their newest great granddaughter.  I must say it is so fun to spend time with all these wonderful, caring people.  I know I'm bias, but I think these pictures are filled with some good looking people. :) I can say that without sounding totally conceded because unfortunately, this year we weren't able to make it.  The reunion started out at second oldest, Mike's house and moved to a camp ground own by the LDS church.  It lasted two and half days.

 This is just to throw in a little representation for my family.  They were doing a young men's survival  backpacking trip during this time and my husband was one of the leaders. I figured it went with the whole "self reliance" theme. :)

Pencil In God's Hand

Mother Teresa is credited with saying that she was a pencil in God’s hand. That He did the writing and the thinking, and she had only to al...