gratitude for righteous guiding principles

By Kevin V. Hunt

Back a few years ago, I was invited to talk along with our son, Rusty, in a church Sacrament meeting.  The occasion was his eminent departure for a Church mission to Brazil.  That talk was an opportunity to reflect upon the things that had become important to me (and to my wife and our family).  And in whole, the talk really was a statement of my gratitude for God and a glorious way of life – righteous principles – that He had inspired us to live.  It was recognition – and again gratitude, of His beautiful concepts that inspired and guided us.  It was a time of reflection and gratitude for our children and posterity and their power and strength.

And it is in the spirit of Gratitude, that I now publish this article in recognition of God’s blessings unto us.  It is often in retrospect, that one can fully appreciate the blessings given to us.  This message is shared – not in the spirit of pride or bragging, but in the acknowledgement of blessings that come as we have strived to live in God’s way and to press forward with a desire to do good things.

RAISING A RIGHTEOUS FAMILY

(From a Father’s Perspective) – By Kevin V. Hunt

Talk given at Rusty’s “Mission Farewell” August 14, 2005

[My wife, Lou was assigned to speak on the same subject “from a mother’s perspective” and covered many of the same subjects.  At the beginning of my talk, I said, “My wife and I did not correlate what to talk about on our talks so you will notice a lot of duplication.  But that is, in reality, a testimony of husband and wife working together for common goals.]

The Hunt family has enjoyed a glorious and wonderful weekend as a family.  We have gathered in a family reunion to celebrate our Rusty going on a mission.  Jenae and Paul and new little Kaitlin have come from Utah.  Kaylea and Pete and their big/little Bryson as well as Jackie and Michael and their brand-new Abby all live nearby but have been here with us.  Siblings and Parents have also joined in various activities.  We have together celebrated the joy of family – of being together and of accomplishments of family members.  And that means that we have basked in the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – for the two go together.

Our weekend together began with a family Temple trip.  We enjoyed baptisms and sealings with six of our children and spouses there.  Saturday morning, we migrated en masse to Gilbert’s Freestone Park for a big family photo.  Our favorite photographer joined us and performed wonderful service on our behalf.  To add to our joy of being together on that beautiful summer morning, K.C., home just three months from his mission, announced his engagement and coming Temple marriage to Miss Celeste Farr – from the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

The family photo was an opportunity for me to measure success and growth of our family.  It had been five years – almost to the day – that we had had a full family photo.  Since that time, we have always had a missionary serving and each of them overlapped with a sibling.  So, it has been that long since we have been fully together.  (We were actually all together in May as KC returned but we had to wait for the arrival of Miss Abby for the family photos.)

Much has happened in the five years since that last family photo.  Two boys followed their older brother and five uncles in achieving their Eagle Scout Award.  Keith has been ordained a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood and his two brothers both became Elders in the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Five children have gone to the Temple for their endowments.  Jackie served a mission to Venezuela.  Jenae Served a mission to England and Wales.  K.C. served a foreign mission to Ft. Worth, Texas.  Rusty is now called to serve in Brazil.  Larissa was baptized.  Four more children graduated from high school.  Two summers ago, we had three daughters get married within 60 days.  It was a wonderful whirlwind of family joy and happiness as we went to marriages in two states, three temples and endured five receptions.  Son-in-Law to be, Paul, nearly died in a major car accident in Provo Canyon.  We rejoiced in the Miracle of his recovery – which even allowed him to dance – in great pain, and with a rod in his femur – at his own wedding reception.  Jenae and Paul got married on the 25th Anniversary of Lou and me.  And that was a real shock – since Lou is still only 29.

Now each of those three new families have added to family posterity with the addition of three new grandchildren.  And we rejoice in them and their wonderful spirits.  And K.C. has now become engaged.  I might note that a marriage so soon was not in his plans.  He had big plans for school and career.  But the Lord literally dropped Celeste into his lap so K.C. recognized that blessing and is now taking early action.  K.C. learned in his youth and as a missionary to listen to the Lord – and then after hearing the message, standing up to salute with a “Yes, Sir” and then taking action.  The home children have developed talents, progressed in school, church, Young Men and Young Women.  We are very proud of each of the children and their accomplishments – for WHO and WHAT they are.

As I have contemplated the above, I have had frequent occasion to reflect with sincere gratitude, on the family and the children that we have been blessed with.  I feel much like Book of Mormon Ammon who said in Alma 26:8-12:  “Blessed be the name of our God:  let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.  And it came to pass that when Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting.  But Ammon said unto him:  I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.  Yea, I know that I am nothing as to my strength I am weak:  therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things, yea, behold many mighty miracles [we have seen] wrought in the land, for which we will praise his name forever.”

Our friend and neighbor Bishop Hale asked me to talk today on the subject of “Raising a Righteous Family from a Father’s Perspective”.  That subject gave me opportunity to pull together some of my own thoughts on the subject as I have contemplated the Lord’s blessings in our behalf – and the accomplishments of our family.  He asked me to speak to the many young couples and families of the ward.  So, with that injunction, I go forward.  And from 27 years of marriage experience, I now share with you the contemplations of what has brought success, joy and happiness to the Hunt family.

I have compiled a list of things that we have done – and that I would recommend to others relative to raising a righteous family.

  1. Commit yourselves and the whole family to the Lord.  Put Him first and live and serve according to all His commands.
  • Build upon a foundations of family traditions.  Have traditions for church attendance and service, Sabbath observance, family work projects together, a lot of recreation and trips together. Watch General Conference together.  Expect family participation by “always doing it” together.
  • Set goals for the family, for expectations, for achievement, for obedience and commitment to the Lord.  Unite together as a couple and a family to achieve all that the Lord has in store through conformance to His plan.
  • Plan for a big family.  Don’t limit the number of children.  Plan for and welcome all that you can possibly get.  We set a goal at marriage – to have twelve – but ended up with nine.  And, as Lou says, “Nine is Fine”.  And remember that the number of children that you can have and nurture and provide for is not tied to economic wealth – though having nine children does have some impact on the budget.  We have enjoyed our many children and it just keeps getting better.
  • Keep the mom home with the children in the early years.  That is probably the greatest decision of our lives.  What wonderful things have come from the commitment and sacrifice by all of us.
  • One of the greatest things that we did – and we didn’t really pre-plan it – was to not have a television in the home.  I can not begin to tell you of the blessings of that one decision made when Jackie was just four and which continues to this day.  Having no television gave us a multitude of time together, time to learn crafts, develop talents, a great amount of “talk time” and has sheltered and protected our children from the evils of the world.
  • Read together.  What great benefits we have derived from the thousands of hours we have read together.
  • Pay a full tithe.  And the question is, “Do you want the Gross blessings – the big blessings – or do you want the Net – just part of the blessings.”  And pay a generous fast offering.  These offerings will help to solidify the family financial success and survival.
  • Do the basics religiously and regularly.  Not big things any of them – but have family prayers, personal and individual scripture study.  Attend church – to ALL of the meetings and activities together.  Eat meals together and talk together.  Work and play together.
  1. Be a part of all activities and programs of which the children are a part.  Celebrate achievement and success.
  1. Parents and siblings unite together in personal example to all of the children of the family.  Work for and achieve pre-set goals for family righteousness, missions, and Temple – and all the intermediate steps and standards needed to meet those big goals.
  1. Talk often of missions and Temple marriage and the expectation and opportunity for each to be ready and prepared for these major life milestones.
  1. Trust in the Lord – and build this attitude of trust in family members through recognition and gratitude through life’s activities, commitments, and decisions.
  1. And I just thought of another one – not in my original typed text: Record the events and blessings and them refer to them often to reflect upon progress made and the Lord’s blessings in your lives.

Well, there you have it.  That’s the “Reader’s Digest” version.  There is more that can be said, but those 13 items will establish a major foundation.  Those are the Hunt family keys to success.  They have certainly worked for us and we have had great joy because of them.  And even though I grew up on Park Place – on the Monopoly board, I don’t believe that the Hunt family has a monopoly on the good things of life – the blessings and opportunities and the end results.  I believe that those same blessings and opportunities are available to all through obedience, planning, and trust in the Lord.  Just DO IT, as President Kimball always stressed, and all things will come together.  As our Hunt family scripture says in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And as I prepare this blog article for publication, I am again reminded of the Lord’s guidance in our lives.  I am so grateful for the principles that were taught to us through the years and which we strived each day to try to live.  And doing so has brought great blessings to me, to my wife, and to our family.  Fifteen plus years more (since the 2005 church talk) have just accentuated the truth of these guiding principles.  And those blessings just keep coming.  For that I express my profound gratitude to my God.

GRATITUDE FOR GENERATIONS OF MOTHERS

GRATITUDE FOR GENERATIONS OF MOTHERS

By Kevin V. Hunt

Today is Mother’s Day, 2021. On this special day, I have reminisced about the generations of mothers who have touched my life. And as I do so, I would like to share a talk given with my daughter, Larissa’s, Mother’s Day Mission Farewell Talk

May 11, 2014

I am happy to be here and to share the Mother’s Day program with my daughter, Larissa.  She has really wondered who else would be talking today, how long they would take, how long she should take, etc.  That is so Larissa! I did not let on to her nor to my wife that I was to speak also today.  My wife just found out and could not believe that I pulled one over on them.  She stuck her tongue out at me.  It was a great moment.

I’m pleased that Larissa has chosen to go on a mission.  She has been influenced by 3 generations of family LM’s – lady missionaries.  Three of her sisters served before her and set the example – as did her mother and both grandmothers and her Aunt Laurie on the Hunt side.  And on the Belcher side, Lou and ALL four of her sisters (and all four brothers – so all the 9 Belcher siblings served).  One sister did not go when she was young – since she got married – but she later served four or five missions.

In addition to the Hunt ladies, Larissa’s three brothers served missions – as did five of the Hunt uncles – and all eight of the Belcher uncles.

Mothers of many generations have taught these missionaries.  Mothers have a very profound influence upon missionary sons and daughters.  In the case of my own mother, she tells of her first recollection of me wanting to go on a mission.  She says I asked her one day if I could take Pogo, my teddy bear, and my blanket with me on my mission.  She wisely said, “If you want to!”  Obviously there had been some missionary discussion prior to that conversation.  Pogo had long since worn out by the time that I went on my mission. but my mother did make me a new quilt to take with me.

Mother’s Day in 2008 was on May 11th – as it is this year.  On that day, I recorded some thoughts in my daily journal:

MAY 11TH – SUNDAY

Today was Mother’s Day – the day set aside to recognize mothers for their sacrifices and contributions in our lives.  The Bishop cancelled the leadership meetings of the day so that we could be home with our wives and mothers.  This was a welcome blessing.

As I pondered mothers, today, I thought of five generations of mothers who have affected my life.  I first thought of my great grandmother, Else Marie Pedersen Larsen – who represents all the pioneer mothers who sacrificed their worldly goods so that we might today enjoy the great blessings of the Gospel.  Her father died just before they joined the church in Denmark.  The mother wanted to go to Zion but could not afford to take all seven children.  She took the three youngest – two boys and my great grandmother and headed to America – with plans to send for the other four children later.  However, the mother died in St. Louis – leaving the three children on their own.  Great grandmother Else made it to Zion, married and ultimately had 10 children.

I then thought of my own grandmother, Augusta Wilcox Hunt who gave her entire life in service to others.  I thought of how she raised her thirteen children and how she served them and everyone else.  I thought of her funeral when most of my 82 cousins and coincidentally also 82 of her great grandchildren (and I counted them this morning from records of that time) all stood together and sang, “Because I have been Given Much” as a symbol of her life of service.  That was one of the great moments of my life.

I next thought of my own mother.  I thought of her teaching to me.  I thought of how she taught me to work, to trust in the Lord, to serve others.  I reflected upon her testimony, her dedication to the Lord and to all worthy causes.  I thought of her support of me in Scouting as a youth. Whatever I was interested in, she was also interested in it.  She served faithfully on the Scout committee and helped ensure that her five sons had a good program.  I thought of her today as the continuing example of righteousness and good things.

My wife, Lou was next on my list.  I thought with gratitude of her and was glad that she has been given to me – and that she is the mother of our nine children.  I reflected upon her great sacrifices for me and each of the children.  I thought of her faith through trials and her core of strength and commitment.

And then, finally, I reflected upon each of my six daughters – the mothers of my current and future grandchildren.  I thought of their lives and their preparations to be mothers.  I wondered if Lou and I have given them the training and preparation that they need and will need for their great lives and work.  I reflected on those who are presently mothers and the good things that they are doing with their own children.  I hoped that each one would take the time to teach their children the Gospel truths that the children so greatly need in today’s world.  I hoped that each daughter might remain true and faithful and joyful in their world and the possibilities that each has and will have as a mother in Zion in these final days of the world.

So, I was grateful for many generations of wonderful mothers who have affected my life and the lives of my ancestors, my children, and future generations.  I have been blessed to have had association and influence from these great women in my life.  I am thankful for each and their contributions to my life.

So, today I am talking of the influence of generations of mothers.  My family is blessed to have four generations of mothers present today.  I’m going to invite them to be my visual aids for my talk – and they can kill me later.  As I tell their names, I’d like them to stand and then to remain standing.

I’d like my own mother, Alura, to stand.  She’s shrinking with age, but she still stands tall as the grand matriarch of our family.

Mom is:

Mother to 7

Grandmother to 24 (12 boys and 12 girls)

Great Grandmother to 36

And with a second marriage she doubles the children and grandchild generations and I think she’s lost track of the great grands on that side.

Her Hunt posterity now numbers 85 (with the in-laws).  Of that 85, 33 have served missions, 22 are Eagle Scouts, and 19 girls earned their Young Women Recognition Award, and an equal number are now mothers.

In the second generation, I have here two sisters – Laurie (mother of two) and Ruthanne (mother of three).

Also in the second generation is my wife, Lou – or “Momma Lou” as we all know her.  Lou is:

Mother of 9

Soon to be grandmother to 27 with the upcoming births of three more grands.  This will make a total posterity of 45! 

Of this 45, three sons and four sons-in-law are Eagle Scouts.

8 daughters and daughters in law have received the Young Women Recognition and these eight are now all mothers.

Larissa makes our seventh missionary – and four sons in law have also served.

All nine of her children are now endowed at the Temple.

In the 3rd Generation, I introduce three of our daughters:  Jackie, mother of three and full-time college student at BYU-Idaho; Fabriza – our Brazilian daughter-in-law – and Marinda – who will give birth to her first child and our 27th grandchild in August.  She is nurturing the baby in many ways – even now.

And then we come to the 4th generation.  In this generation we have the future mothers.  These include Larissa, Abby, and Sienna.

I wish that all our family mothers could have been here to stand as mothers with us but that was not possible.  But look at the power in these generations of mothers!  Thank you, mothers, you may be seated.

Now let’s talk about each of these generations of mothers.  Great grandmothers are just that.  They are experienced and great grandmothers.  Mothers in this generation can:

          Share their testimonies with their posterity.

          Write for their posterity.

          Send birthday cards and letters – the young kids love them.

          Attend concerts, sports events, weddings, baptisms, and blessings.

          Attend the Temple as an example to her posterity.

          Encourage and help the grandmothers train young mothers.

          Contribute to missionary funds for their posterity.

A scripture that can characterize this generation is Moses 5:11. This scripture talks of Adam and Mother Eve.  Some of you ladies think you have it “bad” with four or five children.  Think of Eve – she may have been the mother of 150 or more!  Anyway, she was able to look back on her situation and could then rejoice in her posterity.

Grandmothers can:

          Bake and decorate cookies with the grandchildren.

          Make clay dough for the grandchildren.

          Make dresses for granddaughters for Christmas and special occasions.

          Go on missions as an example to the grandchildren.

          Attend events involving the grandchildren.

          Establish mission savings accounts for the grandchildren (instead of giving other gifts)

          Serve faithfully in the church and in the family.

          Establish family traditions that are unique to her.  [Momma Lou, for instance makes home made doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and has rock out dance parties with the grandchildren.  They want to do these things with her every time that she goes to their place – and whenever they come to our place.]

          Call and encourage her daughters as one who has been through it.  I know that my wife calls and connects with her daughters almost every day.  She is a great source of encouragement to them in their times of challenge.  I know when my wife was a young mother, she thought her situation was bad.  It was so bad, in fact, that she ripped the pages of those days from her journal and burned them.  Now it is too bad that she can’t share those entries with her daughters – who are now going through those same struggles.  Young mothers, know that it does get better with time!

A scripture for the grandmother generation is found in Alma 56.  We are all familiar with the account of the young Ammonite warriors and their mothers who taught them to trust in the Lord.  They were definitely “mothers who knew” as Larissa just quoted Sister Beck, former General President of the Relief Society.

But there were at least two other generations of mothers who were not mentioned in the original account.  One of those generations was the grandmothers of the young Ammonite warriors – the mothers of the mothers of the soldiers.  This generation of mothers were the first generation converts to the church.  They made covenants and were true and faithful.  Twenty-nine years had passed since their conversions and their daughters would have been the initial Young Women of their day.  They taught their daughters to love the Lord.  The Ammonite youth were ages 14 to 20 when they served.  That would put their mothers around ages 30 to 45 and the grandmothers ages 45 to 65.  So, most of that generation of mothers would have been alive during the war and would have offered much support and many prayers in support of their daughters and their warrior sons.  They would have assisted their daughters in the training of the 3rd generation.

And the third generation of mothers in The Book of Mormon story are those who were the sisters of the Ammonite warriors.  Say for an example that each of the soldiers had a sister who was at home.  This would mean at least 2,000 sisters – and perhaps many more.  These daughters received the same training as their brothers.  They were the future mothers who were then preparing for their roles of wives to the 2,000 young men soldiers who would come home from the war – and their future children.

Mothers, you are the generation who are now up to your eyeballs in diapers, you are the barbers, the Cub Scout den leaders and so much more.  In your role as mothers, you can teach your young children to trust in the Lord.  I still remember when I was a child and how my mother made a large poster with what became our favorite scripture:  Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

Ammonite mothers taught that same trust in the Lord to their children.

Mothers, you are the women who are just trying to make it “through another day”.  You offer your support to your husbands and his family as did Ruth to her widowed mother-in-law as she said to Naomi, “whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16)

You mothers are the true nurturers that Larissa quoted from Sister Beck (LDS General Conference, October 2007).  Always have family home evening and read the scriptures with your children.  Pray with them often.  You are the trainers of this greatest generation of missionaries, and it is your task to train them so you and they can participate in the great “hastening of the work” which is now in progress with missionary work.

Future mothers … You can use your time to learn from the generations of mothers before you.  Read The Book of Mormon, gain a testimony.  Be a missionary now and later.   A scripture for your generation comes from the story of Esther.  She became the queen in a foreign country and with people not her own.  Under the tutelage of her Uncle Mordecai, she became the queen and saved her people from destruction.  Mordecai told her, “thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this …” (Esther 4:14)  And like Esther, you have indeed been reserved to come forth at this great time to help prepare God’s children for the 2nd coming of Christ.  You are a part of “the chosen generation a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” (2 Peter 2:9) and you have a very special service to perform as a mother in these final days.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talked of mother.  He said (“Because She is a Mother”, Ensign, May 1997): “I wish to pay tribute to the modern counterparts of those pioneer mothers who watched after, prayed for, and far too often buried their babies on the long trail. … I … praise those motherly hands that have rocked the infant’s cradle and, through righteousness taught to their children there, are at the very center of the Lord’s purposes for us in mortality.”

“In speaking of mothers generally, I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers.   The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work.  The young years are often those when either husband or wife – or both – may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s breadwinning capacities.  Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent.   The apartment is usually decorated in one or two smart designs – Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard.  The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank.  But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue.  Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life.  It is not surprising when the shadows under their eyes vaguely resemble the state of Rhode Island.

“Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones.  …  Mothers, we acknowledge and esteem your faith in every footstep.  Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever. … Through the thick and the tin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, know deep down inside [you] are doing God’s work [and] … that in [your] motherhood [you] are in an eternal partnership with Him.”

Quoting again, as did Larissa from Sister Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society General President:

“The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance.  More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know.  … Mothers need not fear.  When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.

“In the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children.  Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that “God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”  President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children – not possessions, not position, not prestige – are our greatest jewels.”

My own mother willingly received all children who came to her.  She often said that with each new child came increased resources and capabilities to take care of them.  Our family was greatly blessed because our parents brought children – seven of us – into the world.  So, young couples, invite as many as you can to your home.

Jackie was our oldest child.  She was in a secure position.  We have a wall of our home that has various family photos – mainly taken when we added another child to the family.  Larissa once looked at that wall and said, “That’s not fair!  How come Jackie is in every picture and I am only in one?” 

Don’t postpone having children as you wait for “your ship to come in”.  If you spend all your time waiting for your ship to come in, you may sit at the beach for a very long time.  You may see some beautiful sunsets, but you will miss much of the joy and happiness of life.  If you wait to have children until you can afford them, you probably won’t have any.

Fabriza, what would have happened if the Hunt family had quit with just four children.  And Mike, what would have happened for you if the Hunt family had quit at six children.  And Larissa, where would you be if we had quit after eight!  We trusted in the Lord and He has forever taken care of us!

Again, quoting from Sister Beck,

“Mothers who know are nurturers.  This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness.  To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow.  Therefore, others who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes.  Another word for nurturing is homemaking.  Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home.  Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.  Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate.”

Sister Beck continues: [And] “Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre-missionary training center.  Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation.  That is influence; that is power.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard recently spoke to women – wives and mothers. (LDS General Conference, April 2008)  This came after he gave a similar talk to men of the Priesthood.  He said, “As you might expect, my 5 daughters, 24 granddaughters and ever-increasing numbers of great-granddaughters have been asking for equal time. …

“And so, my dear young women, with all my heart I urge you not to look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors.  Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow.  Model yourselves after them, not after celebrities whose standards are not the Lord’s standards and whose values may not reflect an eternal perspective.  Look to your mother.  Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness.  Listen to her.  She may not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page.  But, when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge.  As you approach the time for marriage and young motherhood, she will be your greatest source of wisdom.  No other person on earth loves you in the same way or is willing to sacrifice as much to encourage you and help you find happiness – in this life and forever. … Teach your daughters to find joy in nurturing children.  This is where their love and talents can have the greatest eternal significance.”

Let us all be grateful for the generations of mothers who have influenced our lives.  Mothers, of all generations, we thank you!  Keep doing and being mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers.  I am thankful for the generations of mothers in my own life and all that they have given to me.  I have a testimony of their power and influence.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Time ran out – but if I had had time, I would have shared material from my talk given in 2006 at the missionary farewell of Rusty – entitled, “Raising a Righteous Family.”

  1. Commit yourselves and the whole family to the Lord.
  2. Build upon a foundation of family traditions (including Sabbath, missions, general conference, and more)
  3. Set goals for the family (Achievement, obedience, commitment)
  4. Plan for a big family
  5. Keep mom at home with the children.
  6. Don’t have a television.  Do other fun things together.
  7. Read together.
  8. Pay a full tithe and generous fast offerings.
  9. Do the basics religiously and regularly.
  10. Be a part of all activities of each other.
  11. Parents and siblings unite in personal example.
  12. Talk often of missions and Temple marriage.
  13. Trust in the Lord
  14. Record events and blessings

 [And a 2021 update:  Those nine children of ours have all married.  And with the pending birth of three new grandchildren, the new total will be 41 – and the total family group will have grown to 61!  It is kind of mind-boggling, but so wonderful!  We just keep welcoming each new one as they come.]

ANNOUNCING PUBLICATION OF “THE IMMORTAL DEAN HUNT” 65TH BIRTHDAY COMMEMORATIVE EDITION

A couple of months ago, I posted a blog for my brother, Russel “Dean” Hunt in celebration of his 65th birthday on March 14, 2021. In that blog article, located here, https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2021/03/14/remembering-the-immortal-dean-hunt-on-his-65th-birthday/ I announced a forthcoming publication of a book to honor and celebrate his 65th birthday. I am pleased now to announce that the book has been published and is now available for purchase on Lulu.com

The 333 Page hardback book, titled, “The Immortal Dean Hunt” sells for $30 and is now available at this site:

The book is also available as an E-File book (Cost of $12.00) at this site:

https://www.lulu.com/account/projects/8d2y8e

Book Description:

ABOUT DEAN …  Dean was a dynamic youth leader with VISION … He had a vision for himself and what he wanted to accomplish and the ability to lift everyone around him with new vision.  He had a charismatic energy for life.  He shared that enthusiasm with everyone.  He died of cancer the week before his 17th birthday but his faith and spirit live on.  Even fifty years later, he still continues to inspire others.  The 333-page book honors Dean on his 65th Birthday.  A few years ago, a condensed book about Dean was published and was enjoyed by many people who knew Dean. This new version is greatly expanded. It contains many photo pages, his life story, his goals and ambitions, awards and certificates, his literary works, and a narrative about his cancer experience.  The book contains Dean’s own journal IN HIS OWN WORDS, tributes to Dean from many family members and friends – and much more.

I hope that you will obtain and enjoy the book about the Immortal Dean. Dean lives on … May his spirit continue to inspire you …

Kevin V. Hunt (Brother to Dean)

Acting on inspiration – announcing new book “writing the journal of your life”

GREAT NEWS!  NEW BOOK AVAILABLE ON LULU.  “Writing the Journal of Your Life – The How and Why of Journaling” by Kevin V. Hunt.  Available for just two weeks at the pre-publication discounted price of $28.50.  Available at this site: 

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-v-hunt/writing-the-journal-of-your-life/hardcover/product-4dzepg.html?page=1&pageSize=4

For Paperback version:

For e-book Version

The Official Book Description: The How and Why of Journaling …  Kevin took the challenge of a Sunday School teacher almost 50 years ago.  He went home that day and began writing in a small record book. That was May 20, 1973 … And now, he is still writing.  He has written a daily entry for EACH and EVERY DAY since that historical day.  His journals now number over 140 volumes, filling an estimated 40,000 pages!  In these journal pages, he has documented his life, the lives of his wife, his children, and now his forty grandchildren, his hopes and dreams, his comings and goings, and the people and the many activities going on around him.  With a plethora of personal journal entries, Kevin teaches in this book how to create memories of a lifetime, record gratitude for the blessings and good things of life, recognizing divine guidance, writing of and reminiscing the good times – now and forever after.  Most importantly, in the book, Kevin teaches how to develop and maintain the journaling habit and how to write for now and for posterity.  The book shows that your journaling can be your ongoing legacy, a living family treasure.

The back story:

Acting on Inspiration

Sometimes and often in unusual circumstances, I receive flashes of pure inspiration – not of my own self – relative to things that I should do and accomplish.  Often these flashes come in the morning as my mind is fresh and open.  And it is surprising how often these come in the silent moments of my morning shower … when I have nothing on my mind and thus I can hear and feel what comes for me … Often these flashes come with no warning and not even because I have been seeking inspiration on a given subject …  (Kevin Hunt – February 8, 2020)

 October of 2020, I was working on a major journal project.  I had typed journal entries for ten years but had never printed them out.  So, I worked hard to package my weekly entries together into volumes of about 500 pages each – to be printed and bound.

As I worked on this major project, I found some hiccups for records recorded in 2007.  I had experienced a very major trauma with my computer as I was in the process of this project.   And for a while, it seemed that the records for that year had disappeared … literally evaporated from my computer.  Talk about distressing … That was a very big issue.  I was devastated. 

Ultimately, however, and gratefully … I was able to find the files “in the cloud” and was able to restore the files that the system had deleted.  I was ecstatic!  Whew!  I did lose some pages, however, at point where the hiccup occurred.  I did have the printed/bound book and was able to re-type material for about four weeks.

In that process, I came across some great material I had recorded back in 2007.  That was kind of a banner year – with a lot of great wonders and blessings to me/us of The Lord.

I found a journal entry from November of 2007 wherein I recorded my inspiration to write a “how-to book” about how and why to keep a journal.  Reading that entry hit me straight between the eyes.  I realized that I had blown it.  I had not followed through (completely) with the divine inspiration I had received.  I realized that I should get in gear to get this job done.  And that is why this book creation became a higher priority.  And the fact that it is now printed, shows that this time, I did follow the task or dream through to completion. 

My 2020 project took my mind back – through my past journal entries – to bring again to my mind, the special circumstances about this book inspiration.  The  entries from the 2007 journals recorded that I was trying to finalize a variety of book production activities.  I was trying to send several manuscripts simultaneously to the Deseret Book publishing house for their publication consideration.  I was about through with that effort.  Then I had an interesting experience that made me think that I should include one more item with the package for Deseret Book.

NOVEMBER 26TH, 2007 – MONDAY

“I should have written of an incident that happened to me on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd …  It was kind of an interesting experience.  I felt specific direction from the Holy Ghost.  It was interesting because I had not sought the inspiration nor was I looking for it.  And it kind of came in an odd place – where I wouldn’t normally plan to receive inspiration.  It kind of came at me and caught me off guard.  I had to think about it until it really sunk in.

“I noted for last Wednesday how pleased I was to complete my self-imposed goals for my book writing projects by my target date of Thanksgiving Day. I rejoiced in the fact that I had them all ready to send to the publisher.  I felt really good as I contemplated the work that had been accomplished and I was excited to get them off in the mail.

          “Anyway, I still remember the circumstances.  I wasn’t even really thinking about the books – believing that I truly was on a “holiday weekend” and that since I had met my goal thus far, I could just relax.  I was in my bedroom and heading into the walk-in closet.  That’s when it came.

          “It came as a very still small voice – an impression.  I heard in my mind, “Why don’t you write a book about journals.”  I kind of answered back as I thought, “What?”  And then a thought came again to me: “Yes, a book on journals.”  Then I thought, “Okay …  a book on journals.”  Then I kind of had to laugh as I thought of my many journals and my commitment to them.  I said, again kind of to myself, “Well, I guess I am kind of qualified to write about that subject.”  I received a few flashes of hints about the book.  Then I said almost out loud, “Okay, good idea!  A book on journals!  That is doable.”

          “Then I began to ponder the possibilities a bit.  No, I hadn’t even considered or ever thought about writing a book about journal keeping.  (I don’t know why!)  I have thought of a lot of books and their possibilities – but strangely, I hadn’t thought about doing that – although it is a subject of which I am very close to and logically should have contemplated.  Yes, I did know a lot about journals and I could probably come up with a book on the subject – with some prayer and contemplation.

          “I thought, “And I thought I was done with the writing project for now …  I thought I was ready to send the manuscripts in.”  I then determined that yes, I really could wait for a few more days to send them in.  After all, it was my own deadline anyway (though I was kind of thinking “Christmas Miracle” previously).

          “So, it was settled.  I would write an additional book about journal keeping.  Then with the decision made, I got excited.  I began to think of what such a book might entail.  Over the next couple of days, I pondered the subject as I went about my daily and usual routine.  I went to the LDS.org website on the Internet and did some quick research about journals.  I first searched for the talk that I knew that I needed – President’s Kimball’s “The Angels May Quote from It” talk or article from “The New Era”. I then found a lot of other helpful material.  I was off and running.  (And I know the date that I did the computer research – the date at the bottom of the pages specifically says, November 24th – which was Saturday.)

          “Then today, Monday, I got more specific.  I finally had the time to work, specifically on the project.  I followed the pattern which I have discovered to work for me.  After I had been thinking on the subject, I prayed for specific guidance and direction of the Spirit.  Then when I went to get Rusty from work, I arrived there before he got back to the plumbing shop.  That’s when the inspiration came.  I took out one of my 3×5” index cards – which I always carry in my pocket.  I then wrote down the chapter headings or titles for the book.  Back at home, I went to the computer, took the card and with it created the Table of Contents for the book.  The inspiration continued to flow as I was given ideas for material to include in each chapter.

          “I then got the small stack of material that I had printed last Saturday.  I read these over and the material fit perfectly with the chapter headings that I had just created.

          “What a great experience.  I could not believe it.  Actually, I could believe it.  It was not me doing the work. I was just the conduit through whom the material came.  It really was exciting and wonderful.  It truly was a great experience and I rejoiced greatly in the Lord as I pondered the total scenario.  Wow!  Thanks, Heavenly Father!”

          You would think that such an experience would get my attention.  It did … but then life got in the way and I did not fully act in response to the heavenly inspiration.  (More on that later …)

          Receiving this book inspiration on that November Monday in 2007 was amazing and wonderful and I rejoiced in it.  And I look with wonder again as I recall the simple acts of that October day in 2020 – some thirteen years later – when the Lord gently got my attention again and helped me realize that I had not maintained my part of the bargain.  I am glad that He showed me this entry so that I could give the journal “how and why” book renewed attention and focus!  All very interesting!

          Well, that’s how this book came to be.  I hope that you found that experience interesting.  (And know that you can have those same kinds of experiences, too!)  And now that the book is written, I hope that you enjoy it … evidence of some of the benefits of journaling … recording and setting goals and following through, acting upon inspiration, recording blessings, and more …

Now I invite you to order the book. Available for two weeks at a pre-publication author price. Then it will be published to the “world” at a much higher price.

Kevin

remembering the immortal dean hunt ON HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY

THE IMMORTAL DEAN HUNT – CELEBRATING 65 YEARS OF DEAN

Blog written in celebration of his 65th Birthday by Kevin V. Hunt

Sometimes a baby is born quietly and then grows to become a giant among men.  Someone who touches our hearts, is charismatic, has the natural talent to lead everyone forward, makes a major impact on the world, and then is suddenly gone.  Such was the now immortal, Dean Hunt.  He was just that kind of person.  Everyone loved him.  He loved everyone.  He had a vision for his life and all of us were a part of that vision.  He went forward with seemingly endless energy.  His smile under all that curly hair was effervescent.  He radiated happiness for life.  He shared that happiness with all who met him.

This week marks historical milestones relative to my “kid” brother, Russel Dean Hunt. Of course, everyone knew him as Dean. March 7th marks 48 years since dean passed the portals of mortal life back in 1973. He died of melanoma cancer in Mesa, Arizona just a week short of his 17th birthday – way too young! And March 14th marks the 65th anniversary of his birth in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Sixty-five years! How is that possible?

Sixty-five!  Happy Birthday, Dean!

I had thought that it would be great to stage a big gala with Dean’s family and friends to celebrate his 65th birthday but as ever, time got away from me.  So, instead, I now write this blog and will make it available to the world for any and all who might remember Dean.  As I write this blog in tribute to Dean, I am surprised (and sad) that I have not written a blog about him before.  But, I am very pleased to do so now in celebration of the 65th anniversary of his birth.

In the past, I have written extensively about Dean – and have even authored (with his help) a book about him and his life. The book contains his journal kept just before his death.  That book, as a paperback edition – and also a Kindle version, have been available for some time on Amazon.com.  Many people have enjoyed this book … many of his family and friends.  In case you missed it, however, here is what to search for in the Kindle or paperback edition. 

And now with the publication of this blog about Dean, I am pleased to announce a forthcoming new book that will soon be available in a much expanded hard-bound edition through Lulu.com. This book will include more of his history, photos, his obituary, photos of his grave, and tributes from those who submitted tributes of him for this blog article. Watch for coming details and announcements.

A few years ago, I was working for the summer at Camp Geronimo.  On one occasion I was talking with the Camp Director, Doug Coleman.  We had been working together for some time but the subject of Dean had never come up.  Then suddenly the topic of Dean surfaced.  Doug had not know that Dean and I had a connection. At the mention of Dean, Doug suddenly burst into tears.  The reaction surprised me.  He got chocked up and could not talk for a few moments as the Dean memories came flooding back to him.  He and Dean had attended high school together.  I hadn’t known that they had even known each other.  Doug said that Dean was one of the greatest young men he had ever known.  We talked of Dean’s leadership and his ability to pull in everyone around him in support of the big vision.  And Dean definitely had the vision.

Dean and I were and are brothers.  I say that he was my “kid brother”.  He was about 17 months younger than was I. My feelings for Dean surfaced early … mom tell of how at that age, I hid Dean under the bed – so that he would be out of sight – out of mind.

I noted that Dean was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  We had not been there very long.  I had been born in Ft. Collins, Colorado and we moved to Cheyenne where our father sold Rena-Ware – stainless-steel pots and pans.  Dean was born with or very soon thereafter contracted pneumonia.  He was in the hospital for quite a while in his early days.  The doctor said that he would never survive Wyoming winters.  So, on a winter day, and literally in the moving van, Dad, Mom and I picked up Dean at the hospital and moved to Mesa, Arizona.  And that’s how Dean became an Arizona boy.

We lived for a while on a farm operated by Clyde and Lucile Farr, Dad’s Air Force friends. This was northeast of Higley and Baseline Roads.  Later we moved to North Stapley Drive adjacent to the Arnett, Cluff and Chamberlain families.  It was here that our little sister, Lesa, joined our family.  We moved to Utah for a short time and Kyle was born there.  But, again, that cold weather got to dad and we soon returned to Mesa.  Darcy, Laurie and Ray came along over the next few years.  We lived first at the corner of 8th Street and Robson – for a short time before buying not one, but two houses on Park Place.  And that is where Dean spent the rest of his mortal life.  We always joked that we grew up on the Monopoly Board.

As brothers, we had our squabbles and challenges with each other.  He loved to tease and torment me – because he knew that he could.  But we had grand times too.  We grew up in a wonderful family.  Dean and I shared a love of Boy Scouts.  We had the same youth leaders. We went on many outings together.   We did many of the same things together. We worked the same places – with our paper routes and then later at Crismon’s Flowers.   We both went to Edison Elementary, Kino Junior High and finally Westwood High School.  I was in the class of ’72 and he was in the class of ’74.

Dean loved life!  He enjoyed and lived every moment.  And he helped everyone around him to also enjoy and appreciate life.  Dean went as if a “house a-fire” …  He was an honor student, an Eagle Scout, and he was president of everything – in church, school and Scouting. He couldn’t get enough of life and all that it had to offer to him.

Dean contracted melanoma cancer when he was fifteen and was operated on at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas.  It was while there for the surgery that he learned that he had been elected as president of his Westwood Sophomore class.  He returned to lead his fellow Sophies on to great heights – surpassing both of the upper classes above.  He led his friends and classmates to level of energy and class spirit never before achieved by Westwood classes.

Dean died as the Westwood Junior Class President in Mesa, Arizona and touched the hearts of everyone through his caring and dynamic leadership. Dean was known by everyone at his Westwood High School. A great leader, he triumphed even through cancer. Though facing death, Dean taught us to have faith in God’s plan for each of us, to love life, to be a friend, to face life (and death) with guts, to be a man of character, to believe in ourselves, to share and to serve, to “go for it” and to “hang in there”.

In those days, there were two high schools in Mesa.  And even kids at Mesa High seemed to know him.  Dean seemed to know everyone and they knew him.  Everyone was his friend.  And he made friends everywhere with everyone.

On March 4th, three days before Dean died, his Bishop, C. Max Killian, gave a church talk about Dean and his circumstances.  His words were an inspiration. He quoted a previous conversation with Dean and than had counsel for others in the congregation.

“Dean, you are to exercise your faith to the end that you will be worthy and willing to accept the will of your Father in Heaven and that you will have the strength to endure, that your family will support you, that your friends will understand.  This is the extent of your faith, and with the true knowledge that what is God’s will, in your case, will be.”  It is suggested that possibly that we pray that if Dean is to leave us, that he will leave quickly.  But, who is to say, how long life should be? And who is to say how long one should suffer within the true knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and our Father in Heaven.  These things are not known.

On March 5th, Dean knew that his time was drawing close.  Still very much alert, but in constant pain (that was only partially subdued by the powerful pain pills) he was weak and tired all the time.  Throughout that day he was often heard to say, “Two more days … Two more days.”  None of us knew what he meant – but the words would later have deeper meaning.

On that evening he asked us to call his friends so that he could tell them good-bye.  We called a few of them … but word spread like wildfire.  It was a very tender and emotional evening as he told each one goodbye and offered each one his personal challenge, his guidance and encouragement.

On Wednesday, March 7th, I was at home from college – and my work at the flower shop.  I had come home to eat lunch with Mom and Grandma.  We three were there with Dean.  He was still alert and awake.  He praised his mother and grandmother for being such good nurses.  And with that, Dean said quietly, “It is time for me to go now …” He died quietly and peacefully in his mother’s arms.

Mother felt Dean’s spirit slip peacefully away.  She asked me what time it was.  I looked and told her that it was 1:55 PM.  Mother said that at that moment she felt the presence of her own parents who had died years previously.  They had come to take Dean home.  She felt their presence lingering with her and us throughout the next few challenging days.

It was March 7th of 1973 when Dean passed the mortal gates into immortality.  His funeral, held on March 9th, was one of the largest most folks could remember.  The 10th Ward chapel (University at Mesa Drive) was packed to the gills.  Over a thousand people – mostly his young friends, were there and were greatly touched by his funeral and the messages presented.

I had always been known as Dean Hunt’s brother, but this title only intensified after his death.  Forever through the years, I have met people who knew Dean and it has been interesting to see how they light up and say, “You’re Dean Hunt’s brother!”  I can’t think of a better title!

Following his death, Westwood High School began presenting the Dean Hunt Memorial Leadership Award to outstanding underclassmen.  It is amazing that the award is still given annually even after 47 years. (The 2021 is yet to be presented.)   Few people can be remembered this long after their deaths.  This is a great tribute to the young man that Dean was.

This may sound strange for some, but for many years, I have been deeply involved with family history research.  As I have worked to find our ancestors, I have felt that I was working with in tandem with Dean.  I felt that as I researched and found our people, that he was involved with the same people in heaven – and that he was busy teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ – so that they could be prepared for their temple work as I prepared their names to receive the Temple ordinances. I think that we have made a good team together.

This also may also sound strange, but I have felt Dean with me on occasion through the years.  I have not known that he was with me but on a few occasions, I have heard his voice.  He does not ever have a message for me but he just says my name to let me know that he is there.

In 1991, I was living in Coolidge, Arizona.  I was working as a substitute teacher at the high school.  I had been working in a classroom with Harvey Niu, whom I also knew from church.  On Wednesday January 9th, I recorded in my journal: 

“Today at school I assisted Harvey Niu during the fifth hour. He sent me on an errand to get some things.  As I was in the hall, I distinctly heard my name called.  “KEVIN!”  the voice said.  I returned to the classroom thinking that Harvey had called me back for some reason.  He acted very confused as if saying to himself, “What are you talking about?”

“As I once again departed the classroom I had the feeling that it was my brother Dean’s voice.  (Dean, of course, died seventeen plus years ago … but I know that I’ve heard his voice on three or four other occasions.  I heard it once or twice on my mission, once at BYU, once at the Santa Barbara mall Sears parking lot and today. Each time I hear the voice it is the same. I hear “KEVIN!” rather loudly but no other message.  I look up and around but see nothing or hear nothing else.  It would be nice to talk with him but it is also nice just to know that he is there with me on occasion.  It’s kind of an interesting experience when it happens.  It always takes me aback a bit.”

I believe that Dean is closer to all of us than we can imagine.  And whether or not we can see him, we can know that he is there cheering us on.  It is wonderful and exciting for all of us now to be able to pause at least for a few moments on this special day – Dean’s 65th Day – to also think of him.

Dean was one of those rare people who was liked and loved by everyone.  He was indeed a friend to all.  He was the epitome of the eternal optimist.  He was always happy and so enthusiastic.  His infectious smile made everyone feel good.

Dean had an inner drive that told him that he could accomplish ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that he wanted to do.  His was a life of outstanding effort and unique achievement.  Dean accomplished more in his short seventeen years than most folks do in a much longer lifetime.  It seemed that nothing could stop him.  He knew what he wanted and set out to do it all.

Dean was always the life of every party.  He didn’t particularly try to be, but things just naturally evolved around him.  His enthusiasm was so infectious.  While maintaining his usual high moral standards, he had fun wherever he went.  He could make people laugh but he could also take being laughed at.  (And in the shower he always sang at the top of his voice!)  His boundless energy caused him to literally dance through the house on many occasions.  For years, the scuff marks from his dancing were on the floor of the kitchen and hall.  (Mother has since said that she wishes that they were still there.)

Dean had always known that his was a great destiny.  He knew that he had many things to achieve here in mortality.  He had very high expectations and goals for himself.  His daily actions demonstrated excellence in body and spirit.  In understanding where he came from, why he was here, and where he was going after his mortal life, Dean realized that his was an eternal destiny (italics) that would extend even beyond his mortal experience. Dean had indeed accomplished a great deal in his young life.  But he was never one to brag to others of his accomplishments.  He knew that his talents and abilities were from a source higher than his own. 

Dean was deeply grateful for the knowledge, strengths and abilities with which he had been blessed. Dean’s mission in life was to live, to serve and to help others.  He sought always to be a willing servant.  In all, he was willing to submit himself totally and unconditionally to the Lord – wanting only to serve to the very fullest extent possible – both in this life and in the world to come. Dean will not soon be forgotten … His legacy of leadership and his eternal vision of unlimited capabilities will continue even in his absence.

Yes, the spirit of Dean lives on.  And he would want us to go forward with what he taught us … the lessons of Dean:

As we think of Dean there is much that we can learn yet from his great life.  The lessons of Dean!

Have faith … know that God knows you and will take care of you.  Dean knew that.

Face life (and death) with guts and all the drive you can muster.  Dean did that.  Have determination and fortitude even in the face of challenges that may come your way.  Dean knew that he could achieve ANYTHING he decided to do.

Be a friend.  Dean was certainly a friend.  He was a friend to all and everyone called him their friend.

Love life!  Dean loved every minute of his life.  There was no time to be down or to feel sorry for himself.  Dean lived and enjoyed each special moment as it came and then passed forward.

Share and give of yourself.  Dean wore out his life in service to others.

Smile!  Dean’s smile was so infectious that just seeing his smile boosted one’s whole outlook on life.

Go for it!  Set goals and work hard to achieve them.  Don’t give up!  Dean was certainly a DO IT man.  He knew what he wanted to achieve and just went out and did it.

Hang in there!  Even in the most adverse of circumstances Dean hung in there.

The Lessons of Dean …  They are still there for us to know and believe in.  And Dean, we still believe in you and we still think of you on this, your special day!

Happy 65th birthday, Dean! From all of us!

Dean’s friends were invited to submit memories and tributes of Dean in honor of his 65th birthday.  Here are the responses:

Charlie Standage:  You’re going to get a ton of comments.  I didn’t know him too well, but I remember his funeral. And his best friends became my good friends.  Dean was a great guy, that much I know.

Karlene Jorgensen:  Loved This Guy!

Bret Caruth:  I was with Dean in Student Council my Junior year. Such a great person with a great outlook on life.

Michel Pomeroy Fluhr:  I’ll never forget his funeral.  He was the first young person that I knew that died. I always loved his smile!

Leslie Loquidis Ostrander:  Dean was a force of nature. I was Westwood Class of ’73, and involved with the yearbook and newspaper. I had so many interactions with him. It seemed he knew everyone, and always had a smile for all. I remember his funeral as well, and while Heaven was the only option for him, we certainly missed him on our earthly realm.

Matt Allen Ellsworth:  Dean passed away long before we (the Class of ’74) graduated, but I believe he was the reason for our unity, strength, and success more than anyone else. We came together because of him.

Julia Ryan:  I was Westwood class of ‘73, but knew Dean through activities and mutual friends. He was a friend to all and always wore that perpetual smile. His funeral was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful young man. He left us far too soon but accomplished so much …

Karen Hiatt Cutchen:  Dean was such an amazing guy. He was always kind and friendly and would do anything for anyone. He was such a great example of Christ like love. I remember being at his bedside with some friends just days before he passed away and crying while saying goodbye and Dean was the one comforting us. He had a lot of faith and a great testimony. He knew where he was going and that we would see him again. I always felt blessed to call him my friend.

Jill Fisher Dees:  I graduated in 73 but knew Dean. What I remember is he was always very kind and happy.   Dena Coleman Bailey  knew him a lot better.

Steve Drew:  We were in some of the same classes at Westwood. I admired Dean very much. Every time I drive by the church at University and Mesa Drive I think of Dean and his funeral.

One of his brothers lived next to me south of the pork shop in Queen Creek in the ‘90’s.

When he prayed, he talked with Heavenly Father!

Wade Understiller:  Dean and I share the same day.  I knew him pretty well.  He was one great person and treated everyone as he would had liked to be treated. Always smiling and friendly.

Jeorlyn O’Donnell:  I was also class of 74 and remember him as a very kind, friendly guy which made him stand out to me because most of the LDS kids were very cliquish and dismissive of non Mormons.

Nancy Stearman:  I had a crush on Dean when I was in grade school

Cousin Tamra Goodrich:  I remember how shocked I was when I heard he had a brain rumor, and then it seemed like only a week later he was gone.  I’m thinking he had a great mission for God on the other side.  I just remember him as being a very nice person.  Ad I remember how devastated everyone was that he had to go when he was so young.

From Dean’s brother, Darcy:  I remember very little about my interactions with Dean, but I do remember my last conversation with him; I believe it was the day before he died. He looked at me with earnest and said, “don’t forget me.” In the ensuing years, the memory of his having said that struck me as odd. On the surface it seemed like a self-centered request, but I was very confident Dean was not a self-centered person. Eventually I came to believe that Dean wanted me to remember him so that his good example could continue to have a positive influence in my life.

Note:  Sometimes I think that some of Dean’s siblings might wonder why it is that he gets so much attention – even these many years after his death.  But, I hope that they know that they too, are amazing in their own ways.  Each of the siblings are great and wonderful and I am grateful to each of them – to all of you!  Let’s do as we have always done … go forward together – with Dean as our star – who is there rooting for all of us.  Let’s celebrate each other!  Kevin

MANY Family heritage books available now

Recently Dallin H. Oaks, of the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an article on his Facebook page wherein he invited and urged everyone to share histories and stories of their ancestors with our current family.

He said:

“Tell me a story” is a frequent request from children. While fictional stories and fairytales can be fun to share, consider instead telling your children stories that show faith in Jesus Christ and stories that connect them to their noble ancestors. Years ago, Kristen and I decided to create our own family storybook, filled with accounts from our extended families and ancestry. We love reading from it with our family.”

“We invite you to create your own compilation of examples from your family history of those who acted on their faith in the Savior, in His leaders, and in the principles of His gospel. You might pull stories from talks or family histories, or even just stories you heard growing up. Document them and share them. Doing so can help you and your family turn your hearts to your ancestors.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Facebook Post January 14, 2021.)

Over the past several months, it has been my privilege to create ten different Family Heritage volumes on various family lines. The books, each 500-700 pages, contain biographical and autobiographical material including historical stories, photos, documents, certificates, birth, marriage and death records on many generations of my own ancestors, as well as those of my wife and family. Each one is packed with stories to tell – as encouraged by President Oaks. These books have been published and are available for purchase on the Lulu.com website. I invite you to explore these various books at the following link:

https://www.lulu.com/search?adult_audience_rating=00&page=3&pageSize=10&q=KEVIN+V+HUNT

Once you open the link, scroll down through Kevin’s various book titles (using the arrows at bottom right) until you reach the two Bollwinkel books.  They are near the end of the book list.  Then you can click and open each to add to the cart. 

Note that Lulu often has discount pricing.  This amount changes but is generally 10-20%.  The current discount shows at the top of the Lulu site as you open it. Be sure to add the current Lulu discount code as you check out.

The following books are available:

“Alura, Quite the Lady” – is a biographical book on my mother, Alura Larsen Hunt Nash available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-v-hunt/alura-quite-the-lady/hardcover/product-176kdyrj.html?page=1&pageSize=4

“Russel F. Hunt – His Life and Times” – is a biographical book about my father, Russel Frank Hunt. Available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-v-hunt/russel-f-hunt-his-life-and-times/hardcover/product-1vgqdqk7.html?page=1&pageSize=4

“Our Hunt and Alger Family Heritage” – includes material on the Hunt, Wiggins, Terry, Pulsipher, Alger, Barnhurst and Jensen family lines. available at: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-v-hunt/honoring-our-hunt-and-alger-family-heritage/hardcover/product-1z7wvpq2.html?page=1&pageSize=4

“Honoring our Wilcox and Clark Family Heritage” – includes material on the Wilcox, Miller, Robinson, Wood, Clark, Stevenson, Rice and Geer family lines. Available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-v-hunt/honoring-our-wilcox-and-clark-family-heritage/hardcover/product-1qkw665j.html?page=1&pageSize=4

“Our Larsen and Pritchett Family Heritage” – includes material on the Larsen family beginning with pioneers Louis Rasmus “Lars” Larsen, Hans and Katrine Larsen and their Danish Ancestry. The book also includes the Pritchett, Johnston, Gillespie, Thomas, Rawson, Coffin, Cheney and Beebe families. Available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-hunt/honoring-our-larsen-and-pritchett-family-heritage/hardcover/product-768rdr.html?page=1&pageSize=4

“Our Belcher Family Heritage” is printed in two volumes. Volume #1 includes material on the Belcher, Coats, Perkins, Anderson, family lines Volume #2 includes the Holladay, Matthews, Carter and Haws family lines.

Volume #1 – includes material for the Belcher, Coats, Perkins and Anderson Family Lines. Available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-v-hunt/our-belcher-family-heritage/hardcover/product-kj82r8.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Volume #2 – includes material on the Holladay, Matthews, Carter and Haws family lines. Available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-hunt/our-belcher-family-heritage/hardcover/product-g9v76n.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Our Betteridge Family Heritage” includes material on the Betteridge, Taplin, Paskett, Buckingham, Ness, Quinn, Coulson and Garnett family lines. Available at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/kevin-hunt/our-betteridge-family-heritage/hardcover/product-njqj6k.html?page=1&pageSize=4

The Bollwinkel Family Heritage Books are available in two volumes. See this blog specifically on these two books: https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2021/02/09/bollwinkel-family-heritage-books-now-available/

These books are also available in print or digital copies through the BYU Family History Library extending to FamilySearch and the Church Historical Department, and the Sons of Utah Pioneers Historical Library.

Additionally, my new book, “Writing the Journal of your Life – The How and Why of Journaling” will be available very soon. Watch for the book to be announced on this website.

Some Background information:

For many years it has been my goal and plan to create a composite collection of stories of our ancestors and to make this collection available and accessible to all members of the family.  While a student at BYU some 40 years ago, I wrote of my goal to create such a book.    On that occasion, I wrote in my journal:

          1976 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 15TH

“This has been a glorious Sabbath.  I wish they could all be as pleasant.  I was an hour or so early for Priesthood meeting.  On the southwest corner of campus I found a quiet little path.  Located conveniently was a little bench.  Nearby the water in the ditch gurgled by.  The rain softly sprinkled on the trees overhead.  I listened to the birds sing and looked at the beauties of nature.  In this quiet peaceful setting, I was able to read in the Doctrine and Covenants. …

“Upon arrival home, I spent time reading in the August “Ensign” magazine.  In it is an explanation of the newly accepted scripture in “The Pearl of Great Price”.  I was also strongly motivated by an article on family records.  I had the great desire to create such a history to be used as a reference by all family members.  I wrote:

“Goal:  “Prepare a book of pictures and life stories about our ancestors.  This could include full page photos and biographies, autobiographies, copies of birth and marriage certificates, family group sheets, etc.  This should include faith promoting stories to be used as a reference by all cousins and family members.”  I will make this a long-term goal.  This has truly been a spiritual peaceful day of rest.”

And since that time, this has been on my mind in a major way.  I feel that I can no longer postpone action on this project.  We need to learn of our ancestors and we will be blessed as we do so.

I have spent considerable time through the years collecting family histories and biographies of ancestors.  These came from family sources, the internet – using various programs – and whatever sources where I could find histories and biographical information.  Some of the material in these volumes includes histories written by various people about the ancestors.  And there are some very valuable autobiographies written in the first-person by the pioneers themselves.

There is much of strength and power in these histories.  Through them, we today – many generations down the line – can relive the pioneer days with our ancestors.  We can read of their trials, their daily challenges (often just to survive) and their sacrifices for us.  Through them we can discover who we are – since we are very much a part of each one of them – even if they lived a hundred or two years ago.  We can learn of their commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and their testimonies of the Restored Gospel.   We can learn of families who lived many years before the Restoration – but who lived in such a way that they or their descendants could hear and accept the Restored Gospel of Christ when it came to them.  Many of the families joined the Church in the early days and many experienced the early history of the Church and many even knew the Prophet Joseph Smith and other early church leaders.

Robert C. Folkman, President of the Sons of Utah Pioneers wrote, “Happy is the man who recalls his ancestors with pride, who treasures the store of their greatness, tells the tales of their heroic lives, and with joy to full for speech, realizes that fate has linked him with a race of goodly men.  We are blessed in this modern time to have the resources to learn about the lives of our ancestors, and understand that we are not isolated individuals, alone in our place.  The hopes and values and failures and successes of our ancestors have led us to be who are and often where we are.  They have given us the roots that we need to grow our own families and future generations.  That’s what pioneers do, and for them we can be grateful.”  (Pioneer 2014, Volume 61, Number 1)

We can be drawn to these ancestors and we can draw them unto us – and thus fulfilling the promises of the Prophet Elijah as our hearts are knit together with them.  We can get to know these people so that we will want to be an eternal family with them through the eternities. 

It is, therefore, my hope, that each family member might be drawn to these, our people.  I challenge each of us to find ways to introduce these stories of faith and hope to our children and subsequent generations.  Be creative and find ways to share these stories through a variety of means.  Use them in family home evenings, in monthly family nights, in family communications and other ways.  Again, you will experience great blessings as you learn of these great people and their lives.  I would also welcome your comments about how you are able to make these people live and the impact of their stories upon your lives.

Kevin V. Hunt

BOLLWINKEL FAMILY HERITAGE BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE

You are invited to purchase two new Family Heritage volumes on the Bollwinkel family as compiled by Kevin V. Hunt with Jack and Kay Bollwinkel..   Both books contain biographical material, documents, photographs, family group records and pedigree charts. 

Volume #1 traces the Bollwinkel family back from John Vernon Bollwinkel, father of John Jay “Jack” Bollwinkel and extends to Clawes Bullenwinkel, born in 1505 in Bullenwinckel, Germany.  The book contains historical material on the Bollwinkel, Williams and Parker family lines.  Volume #2 extends the Bollwinkel Hartley line as well as the ancestry of Rose Hannah Seal Lloyd Bollwinkel through her Lloyd, Gilbert, Seal and Hemmings families.


Both books can be ordered through the Lulu.com website.  Note that Lulu often has discount pricing.  This amount changes but is generally 10-20%. 

Here is the link for the books. 
https://www.lulu.com/search?adult_audience_rating=00&page=3&pageSize=10&q=KEVIN+V+HUNT

Once you open the link, scroll down through Kevin’s various book titles (using the arrows at bottom right) until you reach the two Bollwinkel books.  They are near the end of the book list.  Then you can click and open each to add to the cart.  Be sure to add the current Lulu discount code as you check out.

Or if you prefer, here is a direct link specific to the two Bollwinkel books:

https://www.lulu.com/search?adult_audience_rating=00&page=1&pageSize=10&q=Bollwinkel

Christmas, A CELEBRATION, JOY

#Lighttheworld

Christmas, A Celebration of Joy … by Kevin V. Hunt

Merry Christmas to all!

For thirty years, it has been my practice to create a new poem for each Christmas season.  This has given me much satisfaction as I have felt the inspiration of Heaven in the development of these messages.  Most have come through inspiration of the Holy Ghost and that has been a glorious experience each time as this has happened.

Through these messages, my hope is to inspire others in the Christmas joy and the hope of that joy available through our Lord, Jesus Christ, and His life, His mission, His Atonement, His Death, and his Glorious resurrection.  I try to share the message of Christ – beginning from his glorious birth as Son of God and continuing through his death and resurrection.  For those missions begin literally with the manger and Christ as the Son of God. 

It has always been joyful for me to share these messages with my family and special friends.  It has become my personal Christmas tradition (like an annual Christmas card) and I hope a part of their Christmas tradition as well.

I have written these as poems – not being a bit musical – but always with the hope that someday each poem would become a Christmas hymn.  And that dream took bloom a few years ago as my cousin Linda Hunt Bishop (also under inspiration of the Holy Ghost) began to write music for my lyrics.  She was an answer to my prayers.  And recently we were able to publish these.  The book – called “Christmas Reflections” (is available now on lulu.com with a search by my name).  The book has all of my 30 years of Christmas prose – and also contains many of her songs. These songs are also available as a combined package. I created a Christmas musical cantata – entitled, “Christmas Is …” combining these songs with added narration.   Saying this was not my purpose of this blog … but check them out if you wish.

My true desire is to share again the joy of this Christmas season.  And so it is that I share this 2020 poem with you.  This message comes at the end of a traumatic year with our worldwide distress of the COVID-19 pandemic.  I think that we can all say that this COVID thing has really stressed us all.  I hope that we can all realize that even with the trauma, we have been greatly blessed and the Lord has been with us. Perhaps these words can help us reflect upon the fact that peace and joy can come to us – and that all true joy, peace and happiness literally comes to us through our Lord Jesus Christ and His (and our) Heavenly Father.  Let us rejoice again in Him whose birth we celebrate at this wonderful Christmas season.

Here it is.  I hope you enjoy it:

CHRISTMAS: A CELEBRATION, JOY

Christmas, … a celebration, Joy,

     Because of Christ, hope, love, and peace.

For in Jesus, we may enjoy,

     A happy life, with daily peace.

Though all around us, there is stress,

      In troubled times we can know joy.

With trust in Christ, we can be blessed,

     Each day, our best, we can enjoy.

Christ taught, “My peace, I give to you,”

     With faith and trust peace comes to be.

We know and feel that this is true,

     Our Savior’s there for you and me.

“Let not your hearts be troubled,

     And children, do not be afraid.”

I’ll lead you through your troubles,

     Look for joyful, days ahead.”

(Chorus)

Let’s celebrate and live with joy,

     And know that there is hope through pain.

The Savior’s Love, we can enjoy,

     And feel Him with us every day.

Christ gives us courage for each day,

     With hope to make it through somehow.

With outstretched arms, he lights our way,

     Prepares the path, our here and now.

Through our Lord’s Atonement gift,

     He knows our sorrows feels our pain.

He came to earth our souls to lift,

     That we might live with him again.

Christ felt himself our mortal pain,

     Descended all that we might live.

He knows us, loves, even when,

     We think we don’t have much to give.

He told us things we know will come,

     Of rumors, wars, and pestilence.

These things many truly challenge some,

     Yet in Him, comes peace through world events.

(Chorus)

Let’s celebrate and live with joy,

     And know that there is hope through pain.

The Savior’s Love, we can enjoy,

     And feel Him with us every day.

Christmas gives daily joy and hope,

     That we can celebrate each day.

Because He came, we too, can cope,

     So we rejoice in Him, His way.

In joy we think of God’s own Son,

     And Holy Ghost, His peace to give.

That Holy night, all gathered, one,

     Rejoice that night, that now we live.

Christ’s birth led to his Gethsemane

     He gave His life to give us peace.

That through our trials, we may be,

     Have hope and joy, to never cease.

In Christmas joy, we celebrate,

     Give thanks that through His humble birth.

We too can have a peaceful fate,

     Enjoy each of our days on Earth.

(Chorus):

Let’s celebrate and live with joy,

     And know that there is hope through pain.

The Savior’s Love, we can enjoy,

     And feel Him with us every day.

               — Kevin V. Hunt (Christmas 2020)

Well, that’s the message!  Peace, joy and happiness can come to us this season and always because of God’s love for us as evidenced through his son, our Savior, Jesus the Christ.  And because of them, we can truly have a Merry Christmas!

GRATITUDE BLOGS SYNOPSIS AND QUICK LINKS

#GiveThanks GRATITUDE BLOGS SYNOPSIS AND QUICK LINKS

By Kevin V. Hunt

Well, it has come and gone – the week plus of gratitude blogs on social media.  It has been intense but amazing – for me at least.  It has made me realize just how greatly I have been blessed.  I can see that the Lord has been good to me.  He has given me so much.

In response to President Nelson’s Gratitude challenge, I have written ten blogs (this makes eleven – and three more than I planned at the beginning.)  When I set out on this adventure, I listed seven different subjects to write about.  I wrote those ideas down right after the talk by Pres. Nelson and have worked to carry out each.  I hope that they may have been helpful to someone.  I know that they have helped me greatly as they made me think and ponder and rejoice in the good things of life.

I have written these things in sincere gratitude.  I have not written them to boast or to toot my own horn.  My sincere desire was to acknowledge the Lord and to express gratitude to him – and to use the talents and abilities that the Lord has entrusted to me.

Through the gratitude blogs, I have posted the following … and one can click on the link for each one and this can be a quick reference and link to all of the articles.

               Gratitude Blog #1:  Gratitude for Life and Many Blessings

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/gratitude-for-life-and-many-blessings/

               Gratitude Blog #2:  Gratitude for Sunrises and Sunsets    

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/21/gratitude-for-sunrises-and-sunsets/

               Gratitude Blog #3:  Gratitude for Ancestors

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/22/gratitude-for-my-ancestors/

               Gratitude Blog #4:   Gratitude for Talents and Abilities

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/23/gratitude-for-talents-and-abilities/

               Gratitude Blog #5:   Gratitude for Service Opportunities

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/24/gratitude-for-service-opportunities/

               Gratitude Blog #6:   Gratitude for my Family

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/gratitude-for-my-family/

               Gratitude Blog #7:   Gratitude for the Restored Gospel

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/gratitude-for-the-restored-gospel-of-jesus-christ/

               Gratitude Blog #8:   Gratitude that I am STILL in Scouting

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/gratitude-that-i-am-still-in-scouting/

               Gratitude Blog #9:   Gratitude for People who Have Touched my Life

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/12/02/gratitude-for-people-who-have-touched-my-life/

               Gratitude Blog #10:  Gratitude for My Personal Journal

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/gratitude-for-my-personal-journal/

               Gratitude Blog #11:  Gratitude Synopsis (That is this article!)

https://kevinthescout.wordpress.com/?p=630

GRATITUDE FOR MY PErSONAL JOURNAL

By Kevin V. Hunt (Published December 3, 2020)

#GiveThanks  GRATITUDE BLOG #10  GRATITUDE FOR MY PERSONAL JOURNAL

One of the great blessings of my life is my personal journal.  I will forever be grateful for inspiration on May 20, 1973 to begin writing in a journal.  And I am grateful that I have been blessed with the motivation and fortitude to keep doing it.

On that May day, I was in a young adult Sunday school class -taught by J. Darwin Gunnell.  In that class, he quoted then LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball.  President Kimball had spoken much on the need to keep a personal record.   Darwin Gunnell challenged all of us in the class that day to go home that very day and to start writing.  He said that we should find a notebook of some kind and begin writing.  He challenged us to make a daily record.

I heard those special words that day and took up the challenge.  I went home and found a little “record book” that was blank.  And in the book, I wrote the following words:

               “Sunday, May 20, 1973

“Today was kind of interesting.  In Priesthood meeting, all of the Aaronic priesthood met together and talked about the sacrament.  Last week’s service was discussed.  Someone asked what happened.  Bishop said “When Sis. Hunt is out of town the ward falls apart.  Between Priesthood and Sunday School I frantically tried to make some signs advertising the Scout Chuckwagon Dinner.  In Sunday School, Bro. Gunnell challenged all of us to keep a diary – so here I am.

I spent the afternoon trying to get our order in for Scout camping equipment.  Bro. Leon Jones finally got his Jamboree money over to me.  In sacrament meeting, Bishop Killian talked and called us all to repentance.  He said we should all stop gossiping.  I had it brought rather forcibly to my mind that I was a gossiper.  I spent the evening at the Temple Visitor’s Center for Paul Ellsworth (he was going to baccalaureate).  We had a going away party afterwards for Fred Mortenson who is leaving for the Taiwan Mission.”

So, that was my first journal entry, such as it was.   That was actually a pretty decent entry – for my first one.  The entry talked about people then in my life, the influence of various people, events or activities that I was involved in, and people I was associated with.  It had some information about history – which then was the common practice – but now looking back it documents church meetings as they were and no longer are.   The entry did not contain too much information, but it was the start.  It was the beginning of something really great.  And from that day, I have continued the challenge and have been committed to it.   I wrote the next day and the next … and I kept writing.  And now, 47 years later, I am still writing … and I have made an entry for literally EVERY day since that date.

The early entries of my journal  were pretty generic.  They were short and did not have much information.  It took me a while to really get into the writing and recording mode and gradually the entries became much more detailed and comprehensive.  And now, I generally write more than a full typed page entry for each day.  And now, the journal collection takes up a great many shelves in my history;/museum room.

My first 100 volumes of my journal were hand-written.  Did it take work and effort?  You bet it did!  Sometimes I was so tired at the end of the day that I could hardly write – let alone write a readable entry that made sense.  Did I write mundane stuff?  Yes, I did, and I still do.  In writing every day, there is a lot that is routine or “normal” stuff that happens repeatedly.  But, also, there is much that is of great worth for me now and in the future.

As I completed that Volume #100, My daughter, Kaylea, called Ron Hoon at the local TV station and told him about my journal project.  Ron found it rather interesting that I had written so much and for so long.  He featured me on one of his regular shows.  He and his cameraman came and spent a couple of hours with me.  He said that the segment would likely be about two minutes in length.  But it ended up being eight ad a half minutes as it aired.

Then for many years, I would type the entries for each day.  Ad when I got about 300 printed pages, I would take them to a local print shop for hard binding.  I did this through journal volume 126.  Then the printer quit doing the binding.  I was kind of stuck.  I continued to type the entries of each day and just collected them in weekly packages in directories for each year.  And just recently I discovered Lulu.com which provided a medium where I could publish these journals and other books.  I created books that are right at 500 pages each.  And on the cover of each, I included photos of events that happened in each journal book.  I just got the money to order the nine books that I created in this way.  The books will arrive soon.  I am kind of excited about receiving them.  It will be nice to have a full collection of every journal of the past 47 years.

My mother, now age 88, recently went to live at an assisted care center.  And as she did so, I became heir to her many hand-written journal books.  I knew that she started keeping a journal about the time that I did but I had never seen them all together and I did not know how many she had.  I was surprised and pleased that she too, had over one hundred volumes.  Random as well as selected entries became a major part of a printed history book that I created about her life for her and her posterity.  I am grateful that my mother religiously kept her personal journal.  It will be a blessing for many of her generations.

I also recently created a history book about my father.  He died a couple of years ago a month before his 90th birthday.  I had never known my father to write anything (I think I had about four letters from him in my life-time and those were all three or four liners).  As his book project was nearing completion, I was talking to my brother.  When going through some of dad’s things, he came across a very plain book with no title.  He opened it and learned that it was a journal of his two-year church mission and contained an entry for every day of the mission (except the last week – when he ran out of paper in the book).  Wow!  I could not believe such a find.  What a treasure.  My brother “loaned” me the book.  And over the next couple of months I transcribed or typed the entire book and included this in its entirety in his book.  On each page, I showed a photo of his own writing at the top and then then below it, I showed my typed translation.  I am so grateful that I found this wonderful record.  Pretty amazing!

I have noted that I created many books about my ancestors.  In the books there are photos, histories, and other material.  It has been wonderful to read of the lives of so many of my ancestors..  All great material!  But the very best material was that written by the people themselves.  It is so great to read in their own writing and style of their life and times.  I am grateful for those precious records.

I have written previously about the joys and benefits of journal keeping but this is a subject that can and should be repeated over and over.   As I talk about journals and records, I like to begin with a note about Jesus and his view on record keeping.  The Lord Jesus Christ himself emphasized the great importance of record keeping to the Nephites and Lamanites as he visited them following his death and resurrection in Jerusalem.  He visited the Americas as a resurrected being.  He talked to Nephi, his newly appointed Chief Apostle [here in America] … (and these are the words of President Kimball in his exhortation to the Saints about record keeping):

.  “And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing.”

“I am glad that it was not I who was reprimanded, even though mildly and kindly, for not having fulfilled the obligation to keep my records up to date.

“Early in the American life of the family of Lehi, his son, Nephi, said (about 600 B.C):

“Having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. …  “And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.” (1 Ne. 1:1, 3.)

This great record included not only the movements of his people but events from Nephi’s own personal life.

President Kimball continues:

“Accordingly, we urge our young people to begin today to write and keep records of all the important things in their own lives and also the lives of their antecedents in the event that their parents should fail to record all the important incidents in their own lives. Your own private journal should record the way you face up to challenges that beset you. Do not suppose life changes so much that your experiences will not be interesting to your posterity. Experiences of work, relations with people, and an awareness of the rightness and wrongness of actions will always be relevant.”

“No one is commonplace, and I doubt if you can ever read a biography from which you cannot learn something from the difficulties overcome and the struggles made to succeed. These are the measuring rods for the progress of humanity.

“As we read the stories of great men, we discover that they did not become famous overnight nor were they born professionals or skilled craftsmen. The story of how they became what they are may be helpful to us all.”

President Kimball then gives his counsel to each of us – and I am grateful for that inspiring counsel:

“Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them.

“Your journal should contain your true self rather than a picture of you when you are “made up” for a public performance. There is a temptation to paint one’s virtues in rich color and whitewash the vices, but there is also the opposite pitfall of accentuating the negative. The truth should be told, but we should not emphasize the negative.  The good biographer will not depend on passion but on good sense. He will weed out the irrelevant and seek the strong, novel, and interesting.

“Your journal is your autobiography, so it should be kept carefully. You are unique, and there may be incidents in your experience that are more noble and praiseworthy in their way than those recorded in any other life. There may be a flash of illumination here and a story of faithfulness there; you should truthfully record your real self and not what other people may see in you.

“Your story should be written now while it is fresh and while the true details are available.

“A journal is the literature of superiority. Each individual can become superior in his own humble life.

President Kimball asks,

“What could you do better for your children and your children’s children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over adversity, your recovery after a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?

“Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity.”

And then here was the clincher … the challenge from a prophet (and just as good today as it was back then):

“Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events.

So, my friends, I took the challenge from my former Bishop and from the Prophet.  As already noted, I went home that day and found a little notebook and began writing.  Later I began purchasing nicer journal volumes.  And the truth is that from that day forward – from May 20, 1973, I have literally made a DAILY entry in my journal for EVERY day since that time.  That now equates to over 135 volumes and somewhere around 45,000 plus pages on my life and those I love or whom I have come in contact with.

Now I admit that I have not made the final journal entry for every day of my life. If I get behind, I now write daily notes at the end of the day – on my characteristic 3×5” index cards.  And then when I get time, I type these up into the full entries (and the notes give me the detail to do so).  This system has worked really well for me.  (When I had missionaries out, I typed the full week’s entry package in time to e-mail to them on their P-Day.)

These journals have been a great blessing to me and to our family and I am so very grateful for them.  We are very frequently found researching past volumes and it is amazing and wonderful to read these entries.  There has been much that is mundane that has been recorded but in the process of daily entries, there is much that is fabulous.  The journals show my progress made in life, how the Lord has guided my life and the great blessings given us of the Lord.  And this has been magnificent!

Some suggestions for your journal writing:

  1. Decide TODAY to write and to do it each day
  2. Develop a set time each day to write and do this religiously – this could be at lunch time, study time, just before dinner, at the end of the day, etc. The key is to be VERY CONSISTENT!
  3. Write even when you feel too tired to do so
  4. Carry the journal with you everywhere and write whenever you have a few spare minutes (especially as you’re waiting for something or someone)
  5. Don’t read past entries until six months or a year has passed … then the trauma will be over and you can see it all in perspective and can recognize the growth, progress, and blessings that have come in that time
  6. Keep consistent in the type of books or files that you keep – so that you can keep them together and can research them easily
  7. Develop a plan for archiving the records – and giving copies to key people or organizations (children, BYU, Church History Library or whatever)

And so, looking back over the years, was it worth it?  Would I do it all over again?  Why am I grateful that I have maintained a journal?

Here are at least some of the benefits:

  1. By writing in the journal I document life events that happen, who I do things with, and my feelings about those events
  2. I can daily acknowledge the Lord for His many blessings to me and family
  3. I can see growth and progress over time
  4. I can see that as President Hinckley often said, “Things will work out {and have worked out]
  5. I can research past journal for inclusion in greater projects
  6. I can research and find things that happened to my “peeps” on the day that they were born,, married, suffered challenges, and more
  7. I can feel and know of the Lord’s guidance and direction in my life
  8. Reading of past journal entries can provide great entertainment at gatherings of family and friends
  9. I can research entries about associations with specific people with whom I have developed a special bond
  10. I can “relive” special times and events that have been long forgotten (by me and family)
  11. The journal helps me to be positive about life as I look for the good things that have happened in my life and others
  12. Can be a repository of scrapbook type things – programs, , photos, invitations, certificates, and more if desired
  13. I can record in the journal , poems,  articles and talks and other documents that I create (or that I receive from others)
  14. Records information that others do not take the time or effort to record
  15. If desired, I can also add photographs that tie to the activity or event talked of in the journal
  16. I can use the journals as a reference for creating a more abbreviated personal or family history
  17. I can record my goals, hopes, and dreams – and then watch as they develop
  18. I can make a record of each day so that details of the day are retained – and so that the events do not just pass away into oblivion
  19. Bu recording a journal entry as it happens, it can be recalled when I am old and no longer able to remember those details
  20. I can document events, ordinances, and other things that were not properly recorded by clerks or others – so that the records can be created or updated
  21.  Journals can be a blessing to me, my wife, our children, our grandchildren and generations down the line
  22. What I write is also recorded in heaven (as the scriptures attest) – so I can write my own “Book of Life” (in my words)
  23. Creates bonds of love as people see that you cared enough to write about them – and a special time can be had as you read the journal together
  24. Provides rare proof for the “I Told You So” moments
  25. I can preserve personal and family history
  26. Can record history with major events of the community, the nation, and the world
  27. Documents jobs and positions held with start and finish dates
  28. I can donate the completed journal books and records (digitally, scans, hard copy, readings, videos, etc.) to BYU, The LDS Church Historical Society, FamilySearch and other historical societies for professional record preservation for use by generations to come
  29. The journal becomes a primary or original source of information
  30. I can know that my life has had purpose, that I have accomplished great things
  31. I can rejoice in the Lord and be grateful for each day and for my life as it comes and then too soon passes

I could go on and on, but I think you can get the picture.  And I affirm that I have realized each one of those blessings.  And so, my journaling has been worth every effort and sacrifice made to create the records.  I am so grateful for the inspiration to write, of what to write, the time and the personal commitment and stamina to keep writing.  The journal package (of 47 years) is truly one of my greatest of treasures.

Well, there you have it!  There is your challenge!  I hope you will take up the journaling challenge (at whatever your age) and that you will find great joy and happiness through the years as you and your posterity reap the blessings of such an effort.

I am grateful for my personal journals!

Kevin the Scout Blogger

Full Hands, Full Pockets

A growing family's journey to financial independence through experiments in extreme frugality, homesteading, real estate investing, and side hustling.

KevintheScout

Kevin the Scout Blogger

Full Hands, Full Pockets

A growing family's journey to financial independence through experiments in extreme frugality, homesteading, real estate investing, and side hustling.

KevintheScout

Kevin the Scout Blogger

Missionary in Training

Missionary Training Program for home and family

Vanguard Scouting

Vanguard Scouting International

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