The Girl Of Our Dreams


One of the most touching and romantic statements I ever heard was spoken by Gordon B. Hinckley at a conference in October of 2004. In his remarks, referring to his then recently deceased wife he said:

“As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams… She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.” (“The Women In Our Lives”, Oct GC., 2004)

What a wonderful tribute to his wife. I’ve never forgotten the double reference to the fact that his wife was the girl of his dreams as a young man and once again after they were separated by death. His remarks got me to wondering, back then, and now, just how often husbands need to remind their wives that they are “the girl of their dreams?” I don’t know for sure, but the older I get, the clearer the answer has become; ‘Everyday!’ It is important that husbands take the time to express to their wives their love and devotion. For some husbands, that doesn’t come naturally! To express such love is portrayed by some to be a sign of weakness, but it isn’t! On the contrary, a real man recognizes that it is only with the support and love of his wife, that he is able to reach his full God-given potential. In my opinion, wrapping your love in Christian living solidifies and fortifies a marriage relationship.

The greatest and darkest moments of my life, have been shared while in the arms of my wife. While in them, I have gained strength, received comfort, been encouraged, and found the love of God! With her I have been a partner in creating life and forming the sacred unit called the family. Through her my dreams of becoming a husband and a father have been realized!

All of us husbands should remember that our wives need to be reminded on a daily basis that they are “the girl of our dreams.” By so doing we will remind them of why they entrusted to us their hearts, souls and lives! And who knows, with time, we might even become for them, “the boy of their dreams.”


Do All Dogs (Really) Go To Heaven?


Their names were Bullet, Ringo, Spy, Steffi, Gretzsky, Diego, and Apollo. I know their names because I have considered them members of my family. Today my wife and I have two Doodles, Sophie and Tucker. As a boy, the family dog provided comfort and companionship no matter the circumstance. Their love seemed to be unconditional. No matter how bad my life was going, they were always a friend. As an adult, at times they have been a nuisance to me, but they have provided for my children the same companionship as they did for me as a boy. Now, in my older years that have almost become our children. Almost!

Frozen in time is a picture of me on my first day of kindergarten. I am standing with my hair slicked back and belt cinched tight around my stiff new blue jeans. I have a big smile on my face.  Standing right next to me with his head held majestically high is Bullet, the family dog. He was a stray, part German Shepard, part wolf. At least, that was the pedigree we gave him. I loved him. Perhaps that is why I let my kids have a dog against my better judgment. Bullet has since left this world as have the others, and I am left to wonder about their fate in the eternities.

While there is no concrete answer to the questions of the fate of animals, we do know that God created them and that John the Revelator wrote “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen.” (Revelation 5:13-14)

While animal life is not offspring of God, and should never take precedence over human life, it is clear that they are creations of Heavenly Father and fall under the plan of happiness. This logically includes the blessing of resurrection provided by the Savior of the world, even Jesus Christ.

Do all dogs really go to heaven? I can’t imagine eternity without the company of Bullet and the other faithful companions I have cherished and loved in this life. It just wouldn’t be heaven without them.

“Headed” The Right Way!


Soccer is the number one sport in the world, yet it lags far behind as a spectator sport here in the United States. Compared to the high scoring games of basketball, baseball, and football I can see why. But I have a greater appreciation of the sport than most after having played it in high school 40 years ago.  In fact my senior year I was the captain of the team. It is a fun game to play and there is at least one play in soccer that would make my list of top ten most beautiful plays in sports to watch. Part of that beauty, to me comes from the fact that I actually accomplished it while in high school.

My position back then was called “left-halfback”. My job was to cover most of the field, so I  typically was not on the attack to score against the other team.  But occasionally I did get a shot at making a goal. That chance arrived during that third game when we played a high-powered team that was located just outside Washington D.C.  The score at the half was zero to zero.  Then, early in the second half a shot on goal went off their goalie’s hand and out-of-bounds. We were given a “corner kick.”  A corner kick is when the ball is placed at the corner of the field and the wing player kicks the ball across the front of the opponent’s goal so that his teammates have a chance to kick it in. On rare occasion, a teammate may be lucky enough to “head” it in. And this play, “the header” is a thing of beauty to watch.

The teammate of mine who was doing the corner-kick for us was a left footer. I positioned myself on the far side of the goalpost. What happened next is still fresh in my mind. The lefty kicked a beautiful ball that just sailed over the crowd in front of the goal. The goalie leaped to knock the ball away but it just cleared his outstretched fist, and there I was; all alone on the far side of the goal! Boom! I followed that ball all the way to my forehead where I headed it straight into the net for a goal. It really was a thing of beauty! No, you don’t see too many head goals in soccer. It’s the only one I ever saw in all of high school.

Soccer is just a game but in the game of life it is also important to be “precise” in the direction in which we point our heads. A few years ago Dallin Oaks gave some thoughts regarding this subject when he spoke at a devotional at BYU. He said:

“The direction in which we are headed is critically important, especially at the beginning of our journey. I have a friend who concluded his career as a pilot flying long routes across the Pacific for a major airline. He told me that an error of only two degrees in the course set on the 4,500-mile, direct-line flight from Chicago to Hilo, Hawaii, would cause the plane to miss that island by more than 145 miles to the south. If it were not a clear day, the pilot could not even see the island, and there would be nothing but ocean until you got to Australia. But of course you wouldn’t get to Australia, because you wouldn’t have that much fuel. Small errors in direction can cause large tragedies in destination.

All of us—and especially young people—need to be very careful about the paths we choose and the directions in which we set our lives. What seem to be only small deviations in direction or small detours from the straight and narrow path can result in huge differences in position down the road of life. Potentially destructive deviations often seem so small that some find it easy to justify “just this once.” When that temptation arises—as it will—I urge you to ask yourself, “Where will it lead?” (“Where Will It Lead?, New Era, Aug 2007).

All of us need to remember that “out of small things proceeded that which is great.” (D&C 64:33).

Great things can be gained by small deviations but great harm can also result from small deviations. It is by “small means” that great things can come to pass, not only in the sense of the gospel, but in our own individual lives. We need to remember to be precise in following the commandments lest we miss the chance of “heading” in the right direction and miss the goal.


When Our Rendezvous With God…Is Only An Intersection Away!


This past week my wife was in a car accident when another driver ran a red light and broadsided her at an intersection. As I drove to the scene, I started imagining the tragic possibilities. Lives can be changed in fractions of seconds, and fortunately for my wife, a half of a second in time made the difference in the outcome. Thankfully, she was just shook up, not injured. But the course of both her and my life would have been vastly different had she been a little further out in the intersection.

A few years ago, a tragic auto accident took a young mother’s life.  The accident occurred at a local intersection that I pass through daily. Taken in the prime of life, I assume this young woman had grand plans for her future. I am sure she had no idea of the impending doom that awaited her that afternoon as she approached that intersection. The agony of loved ones’ loss is something I feel through the prism of empathy,  as I, too, lost a brother-in-law to such a tragedy. I am sure their hope in a blessed reunion, as does mine, lies in the belief in the valid nature of the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Every day when I go through that intersection, I can’t help but think of this young mother and that she lost her life at that very location. Its sight drives me to reflect on the fragile nature of mortality and events that alter our lives in the blink of an eye. I am reminded of the teachings of Jesus Christ found in the twelfth chapter of Luke.  Therein he taught:

“The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

May we be rich toward God and remember the essential things of life.  It is so easy to get caught up in the things of this world.  If we are not careful, temporal things can consume a disproportionate amount of our God-given time.  But life, by plan, is very fragile and temporary. So let us not forget that plans for bigger barns and lavish living can quickly be erased when our rendezvous with God is only an intersection away.

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