True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sister Birdzell's Temple Experience

From: Deanna Birdzell
Sent: May 27, 2007 9:48 AM

My name is Sister Deanna Birdzell.

I am serving a mission here in the Washington DC Temple.

I am from Bountiful, Utah.

I am a widow of 8 1/2 long, long years.

I arrived here in Maryland on January 31 of this year.

I will tell you of my little story....

When my husband passed away, he was the only member of the Church with the Birdzell name (that I knew about).

He came to me (after he died) and said "Deanna, I am okay. I had to come to this side to teach the Birdzell family of the gospel so that you could get their Temple work done."

From that day on, I have searched and searched and the Lord has directed me to three wonderful people, who are not members of our church but they have sent me thousands and thousands of names.

I have put all of these names into my PAF file and today have more than 76,000 names in that file.

Now, I have to say that many of the names are on my side also, and I being from pioneer ancestry, much of my side of the temple work has been done, but none of Mike's was done.

So I began---------to make a long story short, have been able to have several thousand of ordinance work completed.

When I came here, I brought quite a lot of names with me, and having no Priesthood with me, I passed out some of my brother cards to those I with whom have become acquainted. .

About two months ago, I received in the mail a note from a Larry D. Kump.

He, not knowing that I was here in this area, sent this note to my Bountiful address and it was forwarded back here to me.

In this letter Brother Kump wanted to let me know that he had been impressed that the brother he had done the work for had indeed accepted the gospel and was so thrilled to have had his work done at the Temple.

In this note from Larry, he put inside his "personal calling card" and so I e-mailed him and told him how thankful I was to have him do one of my names.

So we began corresponding a little bit.

On his web site ( there is a picture of him.

He told me that he goes to the Temple every Saturday morning and does a session at 8:00 AM.

So I knew that he attended the Temple each Saturday, but on the past two months I have been a sealing secretary on the Saturday morning shift so I probably wouldn't get the opportunity to be a follower or a patron on that 8:00 AM Endowment session.

Yesterday, I was going to the sixth floor to be secretary in the sealing office and this gentleman got on the elevator with me.

I looked at him and thought to myself, "Could this be Larry Kump?".

So I asked him what was his name.

He replied "Brother Kump".

He then looked at me and looked at my name tag and he said "Sister Birdzell?".

Yes, it was me.

And he was going to do sealings today, not a session.

Now, how ironic is that?

So we were able to talk and to get acquainted, and it was a thrill for me to get to know him.

He told me that I reminded him of Anna the Prophetess (who saw the Christ child at the Temple).

What a compliment!

How kind he was.

I am certainly not a prophetess, but I certainly appreciate his compliment.

Another "strange thing" is that the day a brother gave Larry the card for Temple work to be done for one of my husband's family (Birdzell), Larry said that he is sure that the name tag on the ordinance brother's name said 'Brother Birdzell", and he didn't know that there aren't any Birdzell brethren working at the Temple.

I know that many wonderful miracles take place in His Holy House and this is certainly one experience I shall never forget.

I hope that this is what Larry wanted for me to relate to you..

I send you my best wishes.

Deanna Birdzell

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want to Know?

Borrowed from a friend's blog:

What do Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or "LDS Church") really believe?

Some of you still may continue to be confused and concerned about questions raised about the LDS faith in the recent PBS 4-hour long presentation,"The Mormons."

If you're one of those folks, and would like to learn more facts about the LDS faith, then read on:

The following DVDs from the LDS church (between 3.5 and 4 hours total combined running time) give what I think are the basics of LDS belief in God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Links go to the Distribution Center web site where you can purchase copies.

*Listed in the order in which I would present them:

1. The Restoration. **This video recording recounts how Joseph Smith's search for truth led to the First Vision and the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It portrays the religious atmosphere in the early 1800s and the conditions that led to Joseph Smith's determination to enter the Sacred Grove. It is ideal for members and missionaries to share with family, neighbors, friends, and investigators. 20 min. Price: $2/each. Case of 50: $1.18/each.

2. Our Heavenly Father's Plan. This video recording gives a brief introduction to the principles in the plan of salvation through words, pictures, and music. 29 min. Price: $4.50/each. Case of 50: $1.50/each.

3. Special Witnesses of Christ. This video recording features members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve declaring their personal witness of Jesus Christ. Filmed in such locations as Jerusalem, the Sacred Grove, and Nauvoo. This recording was filmed prior to the calling of Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar. 65 min. Price: $4.50/each. Case of 50: $1.50/each.

4. Together Forever. This video recording contains thoughts, pictures, and music centered on the eternal nature of the family. It is ideal for members to use in helping nonmembers feel the Spirit and prepare to receive the missionary discussions. 25 min. Price: $4.50/each. Case of 50: $1.18/each.

5. An Introduction to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This DVD gives an overview of the beliefs, purpose, and mission of the Church. Chapter/section headings are: Missionary Work, Core Beliefs, Humanitarian Service, History, Temples and Meetinghouses, Role of the Family, Church Organization, A Code of Health, Church Education, Arts and Culture, Family History, Church Headquarters. Price: $4.50/each. Case of 50: $1.50/each.

6. Finding Faith in Christ. This DVD portrays the power, majesty, and love of Jesus Christ through the eyes of Thomas, who once doubted. It explains how faith in Christ will help individuals resolve personal challenges. 28 min. Price: $4.50/each. Case of 50: $1.36/each.

For the printed word, if someone wants to know what the official beliefs of the LDS church are, I would of course recommend the scriptures, and Gospel Principles, the Sunday school manual.

* Purchasing items from the LDS Salt Lake Distribution Center does not put you on any mailing list, and you will not receive any calls or visits from anyone in the missionary department. They do not check to see if you are a member (unless you try to buy temple clothes or garments). So if you want to "secretly" buy reading material or videos from the Mormon church, and don't want anyone to know, and don't want to be bothered by missionaries, go ahead and order stuff from They ship to PO boxes if you want to ensure privacy that way.

** Descriptions of videos are taken from the web site.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

The "Accuser"

Modern day Apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf's reminds us that Satan is described in the Scriptures as the "accuser" (Bible, Revelation Chapter 12, Verse 10) because "he wants us to feel that we are beyond forgiveness" (see "Place of Safe Return", May 2007 "Ensign" magazine, pages 99-101; also available at under Gospel Library).
As I reflected upon this during my morning Scripture study, Brother Uchtdorf's further reminder that "sin is not a point of no return" for any of us further enhanced my testimony of Jesus Christ and the power of His Atonement for each and every one of us.
As this LDS Apostle points out about repentance, "It is not repentance per se that saves man. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that saves us. It is not by our sincere and honest change of behavior alone that we are saved, but by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." (Book of Mormon, 2Nephi Chapter 25, Verse 23).
This is "the essence of the miracle of forgiveness" that gives hope to the hopeless.
"Satan is a liar...there is always a point of safe return; there is always hope..."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Chance to Help

Larry D. Kump, Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA) Public Safety Non-Custody Employees Chapter President and Correctional Case Management Specialist II at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, has been appointed to serve on the Washington County (Maryland) Task Force for the Homeless.
Mr. Kump is a High Priest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
He also is a graduate of Hagerstown Community College and Frostburg State University, where he majored in Political Science and Social Science and minored in Economics, Philosophy, and Geography.
He went on to become a guest lecturer at Indiana University's Masters Degree classes at their School of Public Administration in Bloomington, Indiana, and has previously been certified as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and a Mediator by the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings.
According to Mr. Kump, he requested this appointment because, "It only was through the Grace of God and my supportive family that I previously was not similarly bereft of a roof over my head".

Saturday, May 05, 2007

"Raisin" Memories

At the adult session of Stake Conference in Hagerstown, Maryland tonight, XXXXXX ... reminded me of the "Raisin" episode with her family, so many years ago.
Her sister had just gotten her driver's license, and she was driving me and the rest of her large family in their humongous station wagon, going to their home at the conclusion of morning Priesthood/Sunday School services.
At the insistence of her Mom, I was riding in the front seat, right next to her (Her Mom was not at all subtle about her desire for me to court her daughter).
Bored, I reached over and stuck a raisin up (her) nose.
I still chuckle at the memory of her frantically trying to continue to drive while also struggling (in vain) to extract the raisin from her nose.
She, of course, was less than pleased with me, but the rest of her family and I thought it was great fun.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thoughts Shared Earlier this Morning with an LDS Friend

The following thoughts came to me just now as I was engrossed in my morning Scripture study:
Last night, as I checked in with my parents on my way home from work, the burden for my Mom with Home Hospice for my Dad continued to worry me, but I also was and am so thankful that my Dad is not in any pain, and also thankful for the blessings of Home Hospice and for the ministrations of my brother and sister to my parents (especially for my brother David, who is the next door neighbor of my parents, and who devotes so much of his time and efforts to watching over them).
That reminded me you and the struggles of your family, more especially the cancer which took your Dad and your Sister, but especially how you put their welfare first and devoted everything you possibly could to help them.
Your efforts for them continue to boggle my mind.
And so it was that as I was reading the Book of Mormon this morning, especially in 2 Nephi (where Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible is quoted so extensively), I again was reminded of you.
And this, in turn, reminded me that the choices and actions of our parents, spouses, children, and even our Church leaders will not be relevant to our own personal accountability and salvation.
I thought of how the choices I have made and continue to live affect me, but I also was reminded of how some of the choices you have made and continue to live also have been such a painful stumbling block for you.
During all of this reflection, 2 Nephi 20:15 in the Book of Mormon and Isaiah 10 in the Bible (regarding the ax boasting of itself against the hewer, etc.) grabbed my attention with particular clarity.
However, repeated over and over again in both books of Scripture and echoed by all of the other previous and modern prophets is, "but his hand is stretched out still".
The free gift of forgiveness for each and every one of us by Christ, through His Atonement on our behalf in the Garden of Gethsemane, reminds me again and again that "...we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do (or don't do)" (2 Nephi 25:23).
I no doubt have told you this before, but it seems good for me to remind you again this morning that, regardless of anything else that you have done or are doing, it is crystal clear to me that Our Father in Heaven in so pleased with you and your focus on and love of your family.
What you do and who you are is a marvelous work and a wonder to me, so much so that there is no doubt in my mind that you have accumulated a treasure trove of Heavenly blessings (and forgiveness), more than you can now imagine.