women's conference March 2017

women's conference March 2017

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Coincidences or Tender Mercies

I have seen so many amazing tender mercies and miracles in my life. Some people would call them “ coincidences” but I’ve heard that coincidences are just miracles where God prefers to remain anonymous. I sometimes imagine Heavenly Father waiting in anticipation for us to ask for something so that He can bless us with it and make us happy. I know as a parent myself, I love to do things for my children. Especially if it’s something I know they really want. And because God is all-knowing, He probably loves to orchestrate His miracles to bless as many of His children as possible and to do things when people don’t think it can or will happen.

I love it when something happens that I’ve been praying for and it’s like a little secret between Heavenly Father and myself. Only He knew that I was praying for that certain thing and just because He’s so kind and good, He gives it to me to bless me and make me happy.

They are usually just small things that wouldn’t be important to anyone else, usually involving the success of my children and husband. For instance, the other day I was watching my Freshman son, Morley, play in the state baseball finals. He made the varsity team this year but has only ever been a pinch runner. (That means that when someone gets on base, they put Morley in to make it around the bases a lot faster. He is speedy so that makes sense.) Anyway, the baseball player that Morley usually runs for had gotten up to bat two times and both times had gotten out so it was his last time at bats. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to please let him get on base because I wanted to watch Morley run the bases in a state varsity game. I hadn’t seen him run in a varsity game all year. Sure enough, that young man had a great hit up the middle of the field and they called Morley out on the bases to run for him. Morley was able to run all the way around, even having a dramatic slide at 3rd, to score for the team which really helped them a lot. Although the team did end up losing by one point, I was content having watched my sweet son play his part for the team. It was silly maybe, maybe it was just a coincidence, but to me it was a tender mercy and manifestation that God hears and answers my prayers.

Another example of a wonderful tender mercy happened when my daughter, Sadie, didn’t get asked to prom. It’s her senior year so her last chance to go to a high school dance and we all knew of her desire to go. I think everyone in the family was praying that she’d get asked. The night before the dance, when we’d all pretty much given up hope, a young man showed up with roses and asked her to go. The Lord seems to always wait until the last minute so that we all realize what a miracle it is. It truly was such a sweet tender mercy for our beautiful daughter. She was able to buy a pretty dress, get all dolled up and not miss out on that memory, which is all she really wanted. 

We have had so many tender mercies when it comes to our family business. The Lord has guided and directed us in remarkable ways! From prompting us to find a new office and then guiding us to the exact location to introducing us to people that we needed to meet in a very round-about way to my Sweetheart, Mike, being prepared and lead to be in the position he is today. All these tender mercies are truly amazing to both of us! I could go on and on about this subject because there have been so many fantastic “coincidences” but we both know inside, that it’s all the Lord’s doing and we are just being blessed with His goodness. Our desires are to serve in the kingdom of God on earth and the Lord is helping us to be able to do that. He knows our hearts and hears our prayers. 

These amazing tender mercies don’t just happen to me and my family of course, they are all around me! I see them in my family, both immediate and extended, in our ward members, friends and everywhere in the world. I am baffled at the goodness and love that our Heavenly Father is always showering down upon His children. The crazy thing is, the more we recognize and acknowledge His hand in our lives, the more He seems to do for us. Or maybe it’s just that we watch for it and are aware of it more when we are mindful of the blessings. All I know is that I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love. I thank my Father-in-Heaven daily for being an active part of my life. I could do nothing without Him, but with Him, I can do all things. I love to sit back and watch as the tender mercies flow, just because He can. There are NO coincidences, Heavenly Father is in charge and He gives us everything.
Cathy Bennett

Monday, May 7, 2018

Morley Couple Retreat

A beautiful hike we took our first full day. (credit for good hike goes to Cathy:)
 We went to Tucson, AZ for our family's couple retreat.  Most of you might ask, "What's in Tucson, AZ?" SUN!  The sun is there and it wasn't in Utah or Oregon or Washington (where we all live).  It was such an enjoyable, relaxing trip.  We ate, slept in, and went on hikes, all to come back and eat some more.  The only thing that would have made it better was if all the family could have been there! unfortunately, four couples had to miss due to other obligations.  We are lucky enough in our big family that even with four couples missing we still had 9 couples and my darling sister Geri in attendance. 
 The resort we stayed was nice and clean.   One of the restaurants at the resort allowed us to sit on the patio by the pool and they served us out there.  It was so nice and comfortable, with the added bonus we could be as loud as we wanted.  That's a huge bonus if you know my family (some of us are louder than others:) They were good enough to let us use a conference room for our family meeting too.
                     Mom, Dad and Geri Lynn, or Mom and her subjects.
 Second hike was more of a walk, but we saw some cool Indian drawings. Here are the guys looking pretty cool themselves.
 Saturday some couples had to get to the airport while others were able to enjoy the beauty of the Tucson temple. 
While parents were at the temple in AZ, Cope kids were at the temple in their neck of the woods.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Kindness is Never Wasted

“I’m from Price, Utah!” I heard a voice holler out from upstairs at our LDS Bookstore after I posed the sarcastic question, “Who in Washington would ever be from the little town of Price?” I had been in conversation with an employee about my dad and mom growing up in Price and the unlikely recent acquaintance of a former Price native. Now, surprised to hear a response to my hypothetical question, I went to the sound of the responder to find an older gentleman, Brent Olson, proudly wearing a US Army Veteran hat. He explained that he grew up in Price, Utah and graduated from Carbon High School before leaving that area for a career in the Army.

“You may know my father,” I questioned, “Jeddy Morley?”  The man fell quiet, as it was obvious he reverted back over 60 years ago to memories of high school. He remained quiet as he mustered control of his emotions that seemed to attack him like an unforeseen soldier. The quivering chinned-man proceeded to explain that in high school he was unable to play sports because of rheumatic fever, which made him less-than-popular. In fact, he described himself as a “nobody”— overlooked by everyone. But, there was one quiet, popular, well-liked athlete a year older than him that always made eye contact with this “nobody” that offered a smile and a genuine “Hi”. 

Brent said, “I know your dad, and I will never forget him for making me feel like I was somebody.” Then, succumbing to his emotion, he said, “I love that guy!”

I wiped tears from my eyes that were there because I felt sorry for the neglected teenager Brent once-was, but even more, I felt proud to be the daughter of such a kind-hearted teenager-now-father who noticed the lonely and insecure, and made a life-long difference. 

I have thought about my dad as a teenager, knowing he was innately shy, undoubtedly insecure, with a home life that was less-than-ideal, and yet, he looked out for the “one” and made him feel special. 

Kindness received is never forgotten. An act of kindness is never wasted. Its impact spans the decades and reaches into the eternities. 

By Chrisy Cope

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sometimes You Just Need to Laugh

My husband has a stressful job and he came home one night with visible stress weighing him down. I suggested we go on a date. It was a school night so it would have to be a quick date somewhere local. Local, for us is a challenge. We live in a farming town with only a gas station close by. We have to travel 15-30 minutes to go anywhere, luckily for us, a great diner opened up about 7 miles from us in the middle of about nowhere.
I served our kids the dinner I had made and Brett and I headed for the restaurant. It seemed darker than usual with just one side of dining area lit. We walked in and headed to a table. A few tables were occupied and the owners sat at one. They looked at us and asked a question, something with the word “party”. Not knowing exactly what they said because I didn’t actually hear them, but assuming she was asking if we were having a party or coming to join the party, some little funny comment about the two of us out on a school night, I nodded, gave a little laugh, and set down.
It wasn’t long until the waitress came over and gave us waters, which I promptly knocked over spilling all over the table and floor. The waitress was good about it, teasing I shouldn’t have anything stronger to drink and cleaned it up. She came back minutes later and took our order. It was while we were waiting for our food that we noticed the room filling up. We also noticed everyone looking at us. Just after our food came is when we realized that everyone else knew each other. They were talking loudly between tables, getting up to hug one another, and asking what to order.
If you know me, then you probably can imagine I wasn’t shy when a lady asked what I ordered and if it was good. I launched into a description that I thought she would appreciate only to stop talking when I noticed her attention was now looking at another table.
Brett chuckled and said, “I think this is a private party. Everyone is looking at us weird and wondering who we are.” I looked around and sure enough they did seem to be looking with confused faces.
It was just seconds after that a lady came to the table to hand us raffle tickets. Brett then explained we weren’t suppose to be there and we would package our food and leave. The lady was super nice and told us it was a party for her husband who was ranked #2 in the national rodeo and they were headed out the following day. We talked for a bit wishing him luck and telling them how awesome that was. We then found the waitress and asked for boxes and our bill.
After noticing they needed our table sooner rather than later, we stood up and made our way to the cashier where our waitress was. She thought we were there with the party and was in no hurry to bring our boxes and check and laughed when she realized we were actually serious about leaving. When she walked off to grab our boxes, I had a good look around. I inwardly laughed when I noticed a big poster board saying, “Good Luck Cody!” and a three tier cake in the middle of the bar with the same words. As we walked out I handed his wife $5 dollars and said, “Good Luck to Cody!” She laughed and thanked us.
Once we were back in our car we noticed the sign out by the road said CLOSED and laughed all the way home. Apparently they are not open Monday or Tuesday but those days can be rented for private parties, as we learned for ourselves.

We could have felt guilty or humiliated for crashing their party, but instead we laughed. With some things I do, we find ourselves laughing frequently, and it always helps lift spirits. We went out to relieve stress that night and it worked like a charm!
-Mary Ethington

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Father's Whistle

During the Christmas break, we scheduled a trip to Bear Lake with the family. We spent 4 days there playing in snow, swimming in the heated pool and simply enjoying family time. On New Year’s day we rented snowmobiles and a side by side and headed up Ogden Canyon for some trail riding. We arrived and quickly unloaded the machines and everybody took off! Monson was on a snowmobile, Dave on another one and 4 of us were loaded up in the side by side. About an hour into our day, Merrell came and asked if anybody had seen Monson.
We organized what search parties we could with our limited play toys and went looking for Monson. Another hour went by and still no Monson, no machine. Austin and Merrell took off again looking up and down the mountain sides, searching, Chelsea and I were at the car where we started asking others strangers to help, Dave and the rest of the crew went in the side by side looking. Dave came back and looked worried. He said “Let’s get in the car and go down the road and see if we can see him.”

As I went to hope in the car, I looked over at Dave to see him saying a silent prayer. I know many silent prayers had already been offered. Dave and I got in the car and began driving down the canyon, as we were looking, we could see in the distance a young man wearing what looked like a carhartt jacket, and jeans. Dave pulled off the side of the road and got out and “whistled”. The kids know dads whistle. The figure we saw stopped and turned and looked around when he heard the whistle. We were too far away for him to spot us, but we could see him looking around. My heart was comforted, I knew it was Monson. We went back to the parking lot where more strangers offered their help. Dave started hiking towards Monson and I guided the strangers to the two figures walking along the mountainside.

As I have thought about this experience and the significance of hearing “a father’s call”, I have thought how often does our Heavenly Father see us wandering, lost, needing help; does He not “whistle” for us? How familiar is His whistle or call for you? Do we hear Him? He continues to call for us Mathew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. There are so many invitations from the Savior; In Moroni Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him,... again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift,.. He does watch over us, He loves us! It’s up to us to Trust in Him and heed his call! I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who does watch over each and every one of us, He calls for us, warns us, guides us and Loves us!!
-Shannon Morley

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Better-Not Easier

December 2017
As I think back over this last year of 2017 I have varied memories and emotions. I hear myself telling others that I am hoping for an easier 2018. Then I review my experiences…
There have been quite a wide range of events and happenings that have had an impact on me this past year; quite few of them very difficult. In February I received a phone call saying that my expectant daughter was headed to the hospital at 29 weeks and was then put on bedrest in the hospital to try to keep her unborn son. That meant figuring out what to do with their cute little 2 year old Jane while mom “lives at the hospital.” That was challenging at best, but they got through it.
Then we had the continuing health challenges of my dad. It became difficult for him to get around and he kept falling and needed assistance to get up. I tried to help out as much as I could which took a lot of time and energy. He just got so tired of the fight and finally returned home to his Heavenly Father in April. That was a very heart wrenching phone call. After the dust settled we were left with a lot of things to piece together and to help mom cope with her new normal.
Only 2 days after dad’s funeral mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer. That took on a whole new dimension of care giving and helping her with as much as I could.
We have been touched by extended family challenges, rehab treatment centers, crises’ of faith, on-going health issues, financial concerns and an overall worry for the well-being of all those we love so dearly.
Then in November we visited the Cedar City Temple open house with our family. What a joy to be in that beautiful, holy place with the people that mean the most to me. However, on our way home we were in a car accident that sent grandma to the hospital and left me with a lingering concussion that seemed to hang on way too long. Our new car was totaled and I was forced to scale back our holiday festivities.
One would look at these events and truly wish for an easier new year. But then I realized that all those events were what had left me with many qualities that I could have obtained in no other way.
I look back now with greater appreciation for life and good health. I am blessed with a deeper sense of compassion for so many in difficult circumstances. I see my faith strengthened through trials and deeply rooted in our Savior Jesus Christ. I have come to appreciated the blessings of the temple as I never had before. I see people through the eyes of our Savior and am more willing to accept, love and serve God’s children. I see God’s hand in the details of my life every day. I have come to realize how truly blessed I have been in 2017. I see now that easier is not better. It is by passing through hard things that we become polished and refined. As we place our trust and faith in the Lord He will lead us along and help us become all that He knows we can be. All that He needs us to be.

May we all be grateful for the good, hard things we experience in life and may we all become a little better, a little wiser, and be filled with peace throughout this coming year.

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

Coincidences or Tender Mercies

I have seen so many amazing tender mercies and miracles in my life. Some people would call them “ coincidences” but I’ve heard tha...