Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Yoo-hoo ... are you still out there? I've been buried for a few weeks, and I'm just poking my head up to see if life still exists in the blogosphere. TravelinOma needs refreshing!

I really miss writing. Tonight I sent a bunch of emails to my new-found real friends (as opposed to you, my long-lost virtual friends) and my fingers got carried away. These unsuspecting new friends got lengthy compositions (enhanced by my thesaurus, no less) as answers to questions like "When does the meeting start?" I realized it's time to get back to the folks who understand me.

I even brought refreshments!

You can choose from Chocolate Peanut Butter-filled, Pineapple Coconut, Lemon Curd or Chocolate with Caramel in the cupcake cabinet, or Madagascan Vanilla, Chocolate Brooklyn Blackout, or Red Velvet in the signature cake cupboard. I would highly recommend skipping the treats altogether and having something healthy, like the Magic Potato.

Sit down by the fireplace and enjoy a sweet potato, dressed in buttery brown sugar and crusted pecans, topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Seriously, you have to eat it to believe it! Don't you wish I was more than a virtual friend? We could hang out together at The Chocolate, a dessert cafe.

For you locals, I'll give directions: it's in a cute little old house at 9118 South Redwood Road, West Jordan, UT. There's another one in Orem, Utah at 212 South State Street. And they have wedding showers and cupcake birthday parties! ($7 a kid) Check it out: www.thechocolatedc.com

The reason I'm telling you this is so you'll be inspired to treat yourself to something. It doesn't need to be chocolate covered—it could be a sentimental book, a spring-time drive with the windows down, or even an hour in the blogosphere. Anything that gives you a chance to relax and feel good about yourself. It's totally refreshing!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Who Am I?

Image from my Mary Engelbreit Calendar

My mind is a total jumble! I'm revamping my schedule and reinventing myself to add in the equivalent of a full-time job (Relief Society President) to my full-time life. But I'm loving it all!

My one frustration is knowing that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) all over the world are doing the same thing I'm doing, just because we believe in doing good to all people. Yet we're being lambasted on every side, misrepresented and lied about on the news, in the Republican primary debates, on the radio, everywhere! I wonder why there is so much hatred and prejudice. What are we doing that bothers others so much?

I was excited to find this article in my email box this morning:

Paul Allen is the owner of the Seattle Seahawks, the ones who played
the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Super Bowl a few years ago. He is also
the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers NBA basketball team and is
co-partner with Bill Gates in Microsoft. He wrote this editorial in
the Santa Clarita, California newspaper:

I have heard and seen enough! I have lived in the West all my life. I
have worked around them. They have worked for me and I for them. When
I was young, I dated their daughters. When I got married they came to
my wedding. Now that I have daughters of my own, some of their boys
have dated my daughters. I would be privileged if one of them were to
be my son-in-law.

I'm talking about the Mormons.

They are some of the most honest, hardworking people I have
known. They are spiritual, probably more than most other so-called
religious people I have encountered. They study the Bible and teach
from it as much as any Christian church ever has. They serve their
religion without pay in every conceivable capacity. Not one of their
leaders, teachers, counselors, Bishops or music directors receive one
dime for the hours of labour they put in.

The Mormons have a non-paid ministry - a fact that is not generally
known. I have heard many times from the pulpits of others how evil and
non-Christian they are and that they will not go to heaven. I decided
recently to attend one of their services near my home to see for

What a surprise!

What I heard and saw was just the opposite from what the religious
ministers of the day were telling me. I found a very simple service
with no fanfare. I found a people with a great sense of humour and a
spiritual side. There was no loud music. Just a simple
service, with the members themselves giving the several short sermons.

They urge their youth to be morally clean and live a good life. They
teach the gospel of Christ, as they understand it. The name of their
church is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Does that
sound like a non-Christian church to you? I asked them many questions
about what they teach and why. I got answers that in most cases were
from the New Testament. Their ideas and doctrines did not seem too far
fetched for my understanding. When I read their "Book of Mormon" I was
also very surprised to find just the opposite from what I had been
told I would find.

Then I went to another church's pastor to ask him some of the same
questions about doctrine. To my surprise, when he found out that I was
in some way investigating the Mormons, he became hostile. He referred
them as a non-Christian cult. I received what sounded to me like
evil propaganda against those people. He stated bluntly that they were
not Christian and that they did not fit into the Christian mold. He
also told me that they don't really believe the Bible. He gave me a
pile of anti-Mormon literature. He began to rant that the Mormons were
not telling me the truth about what they stand for. He didn't want to
hear anything good about them. At first I was surprised and then
again, I wasn't. I began to wonder.

I have never known of a cult that supports the Boy Scouts of America.
According to the Boy Scouts, over a third of all the Boy Scout troops
in the United States are Mormon.

What cult do you know of that has a welfare system second to none in
this country? They have farms, canneries and cattle ranches to help
take care of the unfortunate ones who might be down and out and in
need of a little help.
The Mormon Church has donated millions to
welfare causes around the world without a word of credit. They have
donated thousands to help rebuild Baptist churches that were burned a
few years ago. They have donated tons of medical supplies to countries
ravaged by earthquakes.

You never see them on TV begging for money. What cult do you know that
instills in its members to obey the law, pay their taxes, serve in the
military if asked and be a good Christian by living high moral
standards? Did you know that hundreds of thousands of Mormon youth get
up before high school starts in the morning to attend a religious
training class? They have basketball and softball leagues and
supervised youth dances every month.

They are recruited by the FBI, the State Department and every police
department in the country, because they are Trustworthy. They are
taught not to drink nor take drugs. They are in the Secret
Service -
those who protect the President. They serve in high leadership
positions from both parties in Congress and in the US Senate, and have
been governors of several states other than Utah. They serve with
distinction and honour.

If you have Mormons living near, you will probably find them to be
your best friends and neighbours. They are Christians who try to live
what they preach. They are not perfect and they are the first to admit
this. I have known some of them who could not live their religion,
just like many of us. The rhetoric which is spread around against them
is nothing more than evil propaganda founded in untruths. (Others) had
successfully demonized them to the point that the general public has
no idea what they actually believe and teach. If you really want to
know the truth, go see for yourself. You also will be surprised.

When I first moved here some 25 years ago there were five
Mormon wards
in Santa Clarita, Calif. Now there are 15. They must be doing
something right.

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything.
.... They just make the best of everything."