Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wilhelm Richard Wagner

            Wilhelm Richard Wagner, known as Richard Wagner,  was born on May 22, 1813, “to an ethnic German family in Leipzig … in the Jewish quarter.” His parents were Carl Friedrich Wagner and Johanna Rosine Paetz. The father was a clerk in the police department, and his mother was “the daughter of a baker.”

            Wagner was the ninth child of his parents, and his father died of typhus when Wagner was six months old. After his father’s death, his mother moved her family to Dresden to the residence of Ludwig Geyer, an actor and playwright as well as Carl’s friend. There is no record that Johanna married Geyer, but Wagner was known as “Wilhelm Richard Geyer” until he was fourteen years old and apparently considered Geyer as his biological father.

            Wagner shared his stepfather’s love for the theater and joined him in his performances. At age seven (1820) Wagner received instructions in piano from his Latin teacher at Pastor Wetzel’s school at Possendorf. He struggled with the keyboard scales and “preferred playing theatre overtures by ear.” He went to boarding school after the death of his stepfather in 1821 with expenses paid by a stepuncle.

            At age nine Wagner saw Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Der Freischutz and gained the desire to be a playwright. His first play was Leubald, a tragedy that was “influenced by Shakespeare and Goethe.” With a desire to set his creation to music, he convinced his family to provide music lessons.

            The family returned to Leipzig by 1827, and Wagner received his “first lessons in harmony.” He heard Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in January 1828 and his 9th Symphony in March 1828.

Beethoven became a major inspiration, and Wagner wrote a piano transcription of the 9th Symphony. He was also greatly impressed by a performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Wagner’s early piano sonatas and his first attempts at orchestral overtures date from this period.

In 1829 he saw a performance by dramatic soprano Wilhelmine Schroder-Devrient, and she became his ideal of the fusion of drama and music in opera….

In 1831, Wagner enrolled at the Leipzig University…. He took composition lessons with the Thomaskantor Theodor Weinlig. Weinlig was so impressed with Wagner’s musical ability that he refused any payment for his lessons. He arranged for his pupil’s Piano Sonata in B-flat major … to be published as Wagner’s Op. 1. A year later, Wagner composed his Symphony in C major, a Beethovenesque work performed in Praque in 1832 and at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1833. He then began to work on an opera, Die Hochzeit  (The Wedding), which he never completed.

            Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist (contentious rhetoric that supports a specific position of aggressive claims and undermines the opposing position), and conductor who is primarily known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto (text) and the music for each of his stage works.”


            Wagner was married twice. His first spouse was Cosima Wagner (m. 1870-1883), and his second wife was Minna Planer (m. 1836-1866). There are apparently no children. He was plagued with debt for most of his life and was even exiled from Germany for six years for his political ideas. He died on February 13, 1883, in Cannaregio, Venice, Italy.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Constitution Day

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns Constitution Day. On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was signed and sent to the States for ratification. Today we celebrate the 230th anniversary of the signing of this great document.

            Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, is a strong believer in the importance of maintaining the Constitution. In a letter sent to supporters of his college, he gives the following explanation of the importance of the Constitution as well as a picture of how the Constitution is being discarded.

Why is the Constitution so important? Because it designed a government that had sufficient powers to secure our God-given, natural rights; a government that was otherwise limited in its power; and a government that would be accountable to the people, who would remain sovereign. Under the Constitution, America quickly became the freest, most prosperous nation in human history.

Over the past century, our government has tended to operate less and less in accordance with the principles of our Constitution, and more and more in accordance with opposing principles – principles that favored less limited, even despotic rule by unelected bureaucrats in regulatory agencies.

            Hillsdale College teaches its students and encourages many other people to learn as much as possible about the U.S. Constitution and how the government is supposed to work. I have learned many important facts by taking its online classes.

            Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke at the Freedom Festival in Provo, Utah, in 1989. His remarks titled “The Divinely Inspired Constitution” were published in the February 1992 Ensign. Although his main points are about how God inspired the writers of the Constitution, he also explains why the U.S. Constitution is important to our nation as well as to the entire world.

The United States Constitution was the first written constitution in the world. It has served Americans well, enhancing freedom and prosperity during the changed conditions of more than two hundred years. Frequently copied, it has become the United States’ most important export. After two centuries, every nation in the world except six have adopted written constitutions, and the U.S. Constitution was a model for all of them. No wonder modern revelation says that God established the U.S. Constitution and that it “should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77).

            God inspired the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution in order to preserve the agency that He had given to all mankind. The Constitution of the United States is a pattern used by many countries. The closer the pattern is followed, the greater the freedom of the people of the world. This writing and ratification of this Constitution constitutes one of the greater of miracles of God in blessing His children.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

One Heart, One Mind

            The visiting teaching message for September is one that could be used by all Americans. It is about having unity. The foundation for this message comes from the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:18, which says: 
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

            In this scripture the Lord discusses two different thoughts. He first explains that unity is feeling and thinking as one. This does not mean that we become “one” physically. It means that we become one in purpose.

            Here is an example of being one in heart and mind that many people will understand. I had to see weeds in my lawn and gardens. I regularly poison dandelions, and I pull weeds whenever I see them. My neighbors on three sides obviously do not feel the same way about weeds as I do because their yards are full of weeds. Seeds from their yards regularly take root in my yard. If we were all of “one heart and one mind,” we would all have fewer weeds in our yards with a lot less work.

            The Lord also discusses the blessings that come from unity. He says that the people “dwelt in righteousness” and “there was no poor among them.” The United States has been fighting the “war on poverty” since the days of Lyndon B. Johnson and has more people on government assistance now than in Johnson’s day. Why?

            Is the poverty in the United States caused by unrighteousness? Are there people in the nation who are purposefully keeping others from prospering? Could the unrighteousness be in the very people who are being “helped”? Maybe and maybe not! We will just say that unity brings the blessings of heaven.

            Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says that unity begins with the Atonement of Jesus Christ: “At the heart of the English word atonement is the word one. If all mankind understood this, there would never be anyone with whom we would not be concerned, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or social or economic standing. We would strive to emulate the Savior and would never be unkind, indifferent, disrespectful, or insensitive to others.”

            Elder Ballard says that the world would be a completely different place if every person in the United States was striving to become like Jesus Christ. In trying to be like the Savior, we would be kinder, more compassionate, and more caring of others. Is this what we saw in Texas as the Texans forgot about race, economics, age, and gender and simply worked to save lives?

            President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, says that it is the Holy Ghost that brings unity: “Where people have [the] Spirit with them, [they] may expect harmony. … The Spirit of God never generates contention (see 3 Nephi 11:29). … It leads to personal peace and a feeling of union with others.”

            President Eyring says that there is unity in groups that seek for the companionship of the Spirit. He says that the Spirit brings harmony and peace. Can you even imagine the work that could take place in the U.S. Congress if the Holy Ghost were present to bring unity and peace to all members? There would be no bickering, faultfinding, or posturing under the influence of the Spirit. Members of Congress would be unified in doing the work of the people!

            The Holy Ghost can also help with challenges in families. Instead of fighting each other, family members would work together for the good of the family if they have the influence of the Holy Ghost. Carole M. Stephens, who served as First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, says:

 I’ve never had to live through divorce, the pain and insecurity that comes from abandonment, or the responsibility associated with being a single mother. I haven’t experienced the death of a child, infertility, or same-gender attraction. I haven’t had to endure abuse, chronic illness, or addiction. These have not been my stretching opportunities.

… But through my personal tests and trials … I have become well acquainted with the One who does understand. … And in addition, I have experienced all of the mortal tests that I just mentioned through the lens of a daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.

Our opportunity as covenant-keeping daughters of God is not just to learn from our own challenges; it is to unite in empathy and compassion as we support other members of the family of God in their struggles.


            According to Elder Ballard and President Eyring, we can have peace, harmony, and unity in any group by having the Holy Ghost present. President Eyring even says that we can “expect” this unity when the Spirit is present. Sister Stephens says that our “personal tests and trials” help us draw nearer to the Savior and that “our own challenges” help us to have empathy and compassion as we support others. So in order to be of “one heart and one mind” and enjoy the blessings of unity, we must seek to become like the Savior and invite the Holy Ghost into our lives and homes by the words we speak and the deeds we perform. True unity comes from God.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Let Children Be Children

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when adults recognize the limitations on children. Some people consider children to be miniature adults. This is incorrect as well as an unfair way to treat children. Children should have the opportunity to be children while they are children.

            When I was a young mother with children in elementary school, the teachers not only sent homework home with the children. They also sent art projects. In one school year I – did you catch that – I made a wire bicycle, a Paper Mache muskrat, plus other art projects that were too advanced for the children to do. I dutifully did all that I could do to help my children, but I did not complain to the school. Apparently, some parents did because I received a survey asking about how often my children were bringing art projects home. I was very frank in my reply, and I noticed that there were no more art projects brought home to make.

            I remembered these projects when I read an article today about homework. The article was written by a long time, maybe retired teacher. She admits that she was “old school” and assigned up to two hours of homework for her fifth and sixth grade classes. She thought that her students needed to do homework in order to stay up with students in other classes, states, and countries.

            The author says that she was not entirely wrong in her ideas. However, homework should only be given to middle and high school students – “and not a lot of hours of assignments” – and not to elementary school students, particularly kindergarteners and preschoolers.

            In a doctoral program in education policy, the author learned about some “research that suggests that homework is not good for young kids. Not only does it fail to improve the academic performance of elementary students, but it might actually be damaging to kids’ attitudes toward school, and to their physical health.” There, apparently, is no evidence that “homework improves academic performance of elementary students.”

            The author became a parent while doing graduate work and came to understand that “children’s minds and bodies need other kinds of experiences when they get home, not more academics.”

It’s not just that homework itself has no academic benefits for little kids, and may even be harmful, it’s also that homework is replacing other fun, developmentally appropriate, and valuable activities – activities that help them grow into healthy, happy adults.

            The author then gives a list of 31 things that children could do between the time that they get out of school and bed time. Her list includes jumping rope, talking with parents, sleeping, reading or listening to a book, working on a puzzle, playing on a playground, digging in the dirt, helping with dinner, gardening, practicing a musical instrument, drawing a picture, doing a science experiment, playing dress up, cleaning their room, playing with siblings, writing for the fun of it, zoning out, learning a sewing skill, taking pictures, and riding a bike.


            As you probably noticed, all of the above activities are things that children enjoy doing. We can help our children prepare for adulthood by allowing them to be children while they are children. By doing so, we can strengthen our homes, communities, and nations. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Freedom from Religious Discrimination

            The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that Americans have the right to exercise their religion without discrimination. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” This principle should apply to state and local governments also, but governments on several levels are infringing on those rights according to the following recent stories in the news.

            We have the case of Steve and Bridget Tennes, owners of Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Michigan. A city in Michigan banned this family of farmers from “selling their goods at a local farmers market due to their religious beliefs about marriage.” They put a post on Facebook that they would not host same-sex weddings on their farm.

            The Tenneses filed a federal lawsuit against East Lansing in May after they were banned from selling produce at the city’s farmers market. They recently went back to the court to ask for a preliminary injunction or temporary order that would allow them to sell their produce until the case is decided. These farmers have missed most of the growing season because they were discriminated against due to their religious beliefs. The Tennes family does not even live in East Lansing because their farm is in Charlotte. They simply want to sell their apples and cider!

            A second case is that of Colorado baker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cake Shop. He was punished by his state for his religious objection to making a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. When Phillips tried to explain that he could not use his “artistry” to promote same-sex marriage, he was “publicly berated and punished by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. He was actually called a Nazi by one supposedly “neutral” commissioner.

            Phillips is not the first baker to be sued for refusing to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, but he is the first one to have his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court agreed in June to hear the case this fall and will hopefully rule in accordance with the First Amendment.

            The third case is Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman who was ordered by the Washington State Supreme Court to promote same-sex `weddings’ with her floral artistry in violation of her faith. The judges in the state court said that a court could “order her to forfeit her business, savings, retirement funds and home” as her “punishment for refusing.” She is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to join the Phillips case.

            All three cases are about the freedom to exercise religion without governments discriminating against them. The Tennes family is willing to sell their apples and cider to anyone regardless of sexual behavior, but they do not want to take part in any same-sex marriages by hosting them at their farm. The baker and florist do not want to participate in same-sex marriages by using their artistic talents to celebrate something that that goes against their religious belief.

            Agency, or the freedom to choose, pre-dates this mortal life, and man does not have the right to destroy this great God-given gift. Lucifer sought to destroy our agency in heaven, and we were part of the heavenly hosts that fought to preserve our agency. We are still fighting that war. Early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faced discrimination for their religious beliefs. Some of my ancestors were among the people who were persecuted and driven out of their homes several times.

            Members of the Church believe strongly in agency and freedom of religion. One of the articles of faith states that “We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (Articles of Faith, 1:11). 

            The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination [as for a Mormon]; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other  denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 345). 

            The Prophet today, even Thomas S. Monson, and his associates in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, continue to fight against religious discrimination and persecution. It is not just the Mormons who are being discriminated against today. It is any Christian who tries to live the teachings of Jesus Christ.        

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Leftist or Liberal?

            I have never claimed to be an expert on politics or anything political, and I know that I have made mistakes in the past and will most likely do so in the future. I am, however, always willing to learn and to admit my mistakes. I admit that I made a mistake when I grouped leftists and liberals together. Today I would like to set the record straight, and I will do so with the help of an article posted at The Daily Signal by Dennis Prager.
            
            I always thought that the words “leftist” and “liberal” were just two different names for the same group of people. Prager says that I was wrong. He also says that it is “vital” for people to know “the difference between a leftist and a liberal” in order to understand “the crisis facing America and the West today.”

            The first truth that Prager wants us to understand is that leftists and liberals “have almost nothing in common.” He says that the reason that we think of them as being the same is because the “left as appropriated the word `liberal’ so effectively that almost everyone … thinks they are synonymous.” So, neither you nor I need feel alone if we thought that they were the same.

            Prager then gives several examples as to why leftists and liberals are different. The first area is race. He says that “the color of one’s skin is insignificant” to liberals and that liberals “are passionately committed to racial integration.” To leftists, the very idea that “race is insignificant is itself racist.” So, I suppose that one way we can separate the leftists from the liberals is to determine who is throwing around the race card.

            Prager’s second example is capitalism. “Liberals have always been pro-capitalism.” They see capitalism as “the only economic means of lifting great numbers out of poverty.” They differ from conservatives in the size of the role played by government in “lifting people out of poverty.” As for leftists, Prager says that “Opposition to capitalism and advocacy of socialism” are their “values.”

            Prager’s third example is nationalism. He says that liberals have a deep belief in the “nation-state, whether their nation was the United States, Great Britain, or France.” He says that liberals have “always wanted to protect American sovereignty and borders.” Leftists oppose “nationalism because leftism is rooted in class solidarity, not national solidarity.”

            Prager’s fourth example is their view of America. He says that Liberals venerated America. Watch American films from the 1930s through the 1950s and you will be watching overtly patriotic, America-celebrating films – virtually all produced, directed, and acted in by liberals. Liberals well understand that America is imperfect but is `the last best hope of earth’” (Lincoln). Prager’s comments on leftists deserve to be quoted in their entirety.

To the left, America is essentially a racist, sexist, violent, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic country. The left around the world loathe America, and it is hard to imagine why the American left would differ in this one way from fellow lefts around the world.

Leftists often take offense at having their love of America doubted. But those left-wing descriptions of America are not the only reason to assume that the left has more contempt than love for America.

The left’s view of America was encapsulated in then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s statement in 2008. “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America, he said.

Now, if you were to meet a man who said that he wanted to fundamentally transform his wife, or a woman who said that about her husband, would you assume that either loved their spouse? Of course not.

            Prager’s fifth example is free speech. “The difference between the left and liberals regarding free speech is as dramatic as the difference regarding race. No one was more committed than American liberals to the famous statement, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Leftists on the other hand are leading the fight to suppress the free speech of anyone who opposes them, such as universities and Google. The left “claims to only oppose hate speech. But protecting the right of person A to say what person B deems objectionable is the entire point of free speech.”

            Prager’s sixth example is western civilization. “Liberals have a deep love of Western civilization. They taught it at virtually every university and celebrated its unique moral, ethical, philosophical, artistic, musical, and literary achievements.” Prager says that Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) is the “most revered liberal in American history” and claims that FDR “frequently cited the need to protect not just Western civilization but Christian civilization.” Leftists climbed all over Donald Trump when he spoke about “protecting Western civilization” in his speech in Warsaw, Poland. They say that this term is “a euphemism for white supremacy.”

            Prager’s last example is Judaism and Christianity. “Liberals knew and appreciated the Judeo-Christian roots of American civilization” and often went to “church or synagogue” or appreciate that “most of their fellow Americans did.” Leftists have “always had” contempt “for religion (except for Islam today).

            Prager ends his article with this warning: “If the left is not defeated, American and Western civilization will not survive.” He says that good liberals must join the fight against the left in order to defeat it.


            I think that this is an outstanding tutorial on the differences between liberals and leftists. I certainly will not confuse them again. My concern now is knowing what percentage of these people that I lumped together are true liberals and what percentage are the leftists. Have the leftists nearly destroyed the liberals or persuaded them to move to the dark side, or are liberals holding the line against the leftists? Prager says that the “good liberals” must join the fight, or the war will be lost. Knowing the difference between liberals and leftists should improve our battle skills.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

My Father

            The latest question for my life story is “What was your Dad like when you were a child?” I thought that I would share my answer on my blog in order for other family members to get to know him better.

            I believe that you must understand the early years of my father’s life in order to understand what he was like as an adult. He was the fourth child of his parents and had one older brother and two older sisters. He was about 14-15 months old when his father left for a mission in England. His father was gone for two years, and his mother spent that time earning money to send to him as well as taking care of her four young children. I am sure that she was more than ready to have her husband come home.

            I am also sure that my grandmother received a big, ugly surprise upon the return of her husband.  It seems that he was not happy to be home with her and the children, and there began to be a great deal of discord between the two of them. These marital difficulties lasted for eight or nine years until they divorced when my father was 12 years old. He wanted to stay with his mother, but he was forced to live with his father and new stepmother many hours away from the town where his mother lived.

            Dad’s stepmother was not interested in being his mother, but his father needed Dad’s help on the farm. When other children arrived – two boys and two girls – Dad was treated even more unfairly. This is an example of some of the unfairness: The stepsiblings were allowed to practice their musical instruments in the house, but Dad had to do his practicing in the barn.

            There were other things that happened in his childhood before the divorce that probably had an effect on him as a man because he wrote about them in his life story. One night he went to the school house to see a basketball game. He did not have enough money to buy a ticket, so he went to the back of the school to determine if he could see the game through the window. While Dad was there trying to see the game, a masked man grabbed him from behind, put his hand over Dad’s mouth, and started carrying Dad towards a barn. There was a fence between the school and the barn, and Dad got away while they were crossing the fence.

            When Dad arrived home from school one day when he was about 8-10 years old, his mother sent him out to help his father haul some hay. He was hungry, but his mother insisted that he leave immediately. He went by way of a pine tree and found some pine nuts to eat. He arrived at the field at the right time, but he had trouble completing all the tasks while trying to dig pine nuts out of the cones. His father “got after” him a time or two, and then he reached up with the pitch fork to get Dad’s attention. The tine of the pitch fork hit Dad in the head, and blood started running down his face into his eyes and down his neck. Grandpa’s brother got after him for treating Dad so badly, but they sent Dad back to the house. By the time that Grandma saw him, Dad had dried blood all over his head and face. He says that “they had words” when Grandpa got back to the house.

            As a child I thought that Dad was mean. In fact, I remember a time when I tried to convince Mom to divorce Dad because he was so mean. Looking back on my childhood and knowing what I know now, I realize that he was not mean. Yes, he did spank his children, but he did not beat us. Yes, he did yell at us when we built playhouses on his farming equipment and played games when we should have been working. Yes, he did tell us that we were lazy and that he was disappointed in our failing to do what we were supposed to do.

            Now I would describe Dad as gruff, overworked, and tired. Now I understand that he was doing the best that he knew how to do and learning as he went. We always enjoyed having Mom and/or Dad play with us, whether it was softball, basketball, ice skating, or board games. It did not happen very often, so it was special when it did happen. It seemed to me that Dad always had candy and nuts left in his Christmas stocking long after everyone else had eaten theirs, and he would bring out his stocking full of treats while we played Flinch or some other game over the holidays. He would share with us, but he also made it very clear that the candy and nuts belonged to him and were not ours to eat.

            I found this quote in Dad’s life story – written by my oldest sister who put Dad’s writings together. “From a home torn by strife and violence, [Dad] set a different course – one of humble spirituality and obedience. Through the years he has set the highest of standards in temple and family history work. A giant in righteousness, his many descendants will always know him as one of the great patriarchs.”

            I agree with this statement by my sister. I saw many of Dad’s weaknesses, but I also saw his strengths. I will never forget the example that he set each Sunday for years. Before leaving town and heading home after Sunday School, Dad would always stop to check on his stepmother. She had not treated him well, but Dad did not let her words and actions affect how he would treat her. Each Sunday we would go into her home and have a polite conversation with her. They were never quick stops but lasted at least half an hour. I did not actually think much about it until I was an adult and learned more about Dad’s childhood and the divorce of his parents. I really admire Dad because he was able to forgive all the pain that she brought into his life and to show respect to her as his father’s widow.

            Many years ago while my mother and father were both living, I wrote a poem about each of them and gave them the poems for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Dad was so pleased with his poem that he showed it to other people. I know this because my cousin told me that he showed it to her. This is my poem titled “My Father.” It shows how my feelings about him changed from my childhood to the time when I was parent. I believe it answers your question about my father.

I used to think he was old and mean,
But as I grew up, I became more keen.
Hard work and lectures and spankings too
Were what I needed to be good and true.

He set the example, working hard all day.
He always told us, “Work before play.”
This is a lesson I’m glad I learned.
Now I can teach it in return.

He tilled the soil and planted the seed,
“If we don’t sow, we cannot reap.”
Life on the farm was hard and long,
But twelve little children grew up strong.

Although he was busy, he worked for the Lord.
He held many positions in our ward.
Genealogy and weekly temple work
Are some of the duties he does not shirk.

He sets good examples for our family.
And he always counsels, “Be better than me.”
With a father like mine, it’s easy to see
Just how much my Heavenly Father loves me.