Monday, November 21, 2011


My son, Tommy, who is sixteen years of age, was assigned to give a talk for "Standards Night" for the youth in our church...

My father grew up in McLean, Virginia, not far from Washington D.C. The year he went away to college at BYU was the same year that my Mom’s family moved to McLean. My dad, as he was away at college, got to know Mom’s brother, Jeff, but had not yet met my mom. Then, in November of his freshman year, my Dad decided to come home from BYU for Thanksgiving. On Mutual night, Dad and Mom saw one another in the foyer of the Chapel but didn’t recognize each other. That night my mom’s Laurel Advisor taught a lesson on Temple Marriage. In part of her lesson, she said, “You never know. The person who you are going to marry may be right in this building tonight.” My mom remembered that when she and my Dad got to know each other a year later. Dad went on his mission. They consistently wrote back and forth, and then were married a year after he came home.

The same could be for us. For all we know the person we will marry could be in this room right now. Whether that’s the case for us or not, one thing is certain, for most of us, our future spouses are somewhere in this world today with the same types of trials that we have. Lately I have been thinking a lot about where my future wife may be and what she might be doing. It is my hope more than anything that she is learning the habits of living righteously, just as I hope all young women here are trying to do, so that you may all participate in the spreading of the Lord’s kingdom.

My mother worked in the Young Women’s Program for many years. Two of her young women were sisters that were slowly becoming disconnected from the church. She said that they started to attend church less and less and their clothing became increasingly immodest. My mom has always felt that spirituality is intricately connected with modesty. From years of experience, she knew the signs, knew that these girls were slipping away, so she essentially “went after them.” For months, the leaders and the young women made loving efforts to reach out, include and encourage them in deeply caring ways. Gradually, the girls started to regain the light in their eyes and how they clothed themselves began to change dramatically to reflect the regained spirituality in their lives.

I am sure many of you have heard the saying “modest is hottest”. We use it in kind of a joking way, but it’s true. I have had many conversations with friends about how girls dress and we all are greatly appreciative of the efforts young women make to dress modestly. My mom has always said, “You get what you dress for.” She is essentially saying that those who dress immodestly will attract those who take you for less than who you are. Dressing modestly will attract those worthy of an eternal relationship. I believe that immodest dress can actually be a disservice to young women because it is harder to find the real you with the distractions caused by wearing something revealing. Another thing is certain: anyone who is modest is much less likely to do anything that isn’t morally clean. It is my hope that the young woman I will one day marry is today making modesty a priority in her life as a sign that she is a devoted daughter of God.

Among all the programs in the church; church itself, seminary, Young Mens Young Womens, scout and girls camps, etc., we have been told that none has a more powerful effect on a person’s testimony than personal scripture study. I believe this is because when you are alone with God, as you read, you can hear his voice just for you. The power of that connection is what changes you and directs your life.

One of our family mottos is: “Be There!” It means that it is important to attend “everything” that the Lord has prepared for us. My mother and father were each raised this way and over time, by being immersed in the programs in the church, their testimonies grew and grew. Another thing I also hear around my home, and some of you may have heard my family members say, is– if you don’t go, you must think that you are smarter than God…. And then my mom’s classic saying, “even if the activity at Young Mens is just painting your toe nails purple – you should go– and you will always be blessed for doing so.” I believe that for all young men and young women it is important to attend all church functions that are available for the youth so our testimonies will remain steadfast and immovable.

Technology has made connecting of lives so easy. With the press of a key we can write or talk to people all over the world. There is one thing easier than this, though, and it is prayer. All one has to do is close your eyes and you can connect with God on high. Prayer is still, and has always been, the easiest way of communication. I know, for myself, that there is no life without regularly making that connection with my Heavenly Father. I hope that all young women realize the importance of prayer and how it will, not only help guide you to an eternal companion, but guide him to you as well.

Throughout my life I have realized that the most attractive thing to me about any girl is her confidence, not the kind of temporary confidence that comes from being cute, talented, or even smart. It is the kind of enduring confidence that comes from understanding our relationship with Heavenly Father. I believe that if one has confidence through the Lord, all temptations and worldly desires can be rid from them, and they will find joy in all they do and know how to better serve the Lord. As I have said before, whenever I go to school, a game, a party, or some other function, my father always says, “Remember who you are.” As I think of him saying this I realize how great he thinks I am and how proud he is of me. When he says this I remember that I am a son of god. When I remember this it makes me wants to be clean in my actions, words and thoughts. He has a better perspective and high hopes for the kind of man that I might one day become. He wants me to remember my responsibility as a disciple of Jesus Christ. If my dad or your dads have that kind of perspective, imagine our Heavenly Father, as he sent us off to our earthly experience saying, “Remember who you are.” We are His children. He has high hopes for us and His hopes go far beyond what even our earthly fathers thoroughly comprehend. Above all other things, I hope that my future wife is being taught who she is and will remember it.

All the hopes I have for my future spouse are the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is by “small and simple things” that great things are accomplished.

All of you young women are futures wives and mothers and will participate in the spreading of the Lord’s kingdom. Remember who you are. You are daughters of a Heavenly Father who wants you to have everything that he has—just as your earthly fathers do. This is my prayer for you—and for myself as well, because I know that I have the same responsibility that you do to prepare myself. My prayer for you is that you will love and serve everyone, and that you will be pure—letting virtue garnish your thoughts,

Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth. And thy kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom and without compulsory means, it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

I bear my testimony that God lives and loves us, and that through Christ’s atonement we can and will create eternal families with confidence through the Lord. And I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011



When I was a young girl my Grandma Bessie told me a story about a dear neighbor friend who passed away. After several years her husband remarried. Grandma Bessie and her friends noticed, as they became acquainted with their new neighbor, that all the treasures, heirloom linens and valuables that their friend had stowed away for years, because they were too valuable to use or keep out, were all being used on a daily basis and displayed everywhere in the home. As they watched the new wife enjoy all the things they knew their friend never allowed herself to enjoy, while she was alive, they determined that this was not going to happen to them! So out came everything. They started using all their fine china and linens and once hidden keepsakes were now placed where they could see them. It no longer mattered that they might break or get worn out. All around them, now, were beautiful things that gladdened their hearts and filled their minds with sweet memories.

You can probably imagine, as the mother of ten children, that I have seen amazing amounts of broken, crashed and destroyed - and because of the lesson learned at a grandmother’s knee, I have probably provided opportunity for more things to break than a seemingly wiser approach would have allowed.

I was reminded of my long-held determination to be true to my Grandma the other day. I have a smiling sunshine plate that was painted by my seven-year old daughter, Annie, twelve years ago. It makes me happy everyday. I noticed a few days ago that it had been broken and then carefully glued back together. It was not perfect anymore – but the sunshine of my Annie was still smiling back at me – and the beautiful thing about this is - I haven’t missed a day of Annie’s sun shining into my heart for twelve years.

Thursday, November 10, 2011




When I was sixteen, I crashed our brand new car into our family station wagon. I went to tell this to my father, who was lounging around a pool with the family. He calmed my tears and told me to not worry…“It is just a car,” ---- and then he didn’t even get up to go and look at the damage. He wanted to make extra sure that I knew I was more valuable to him than a car.


One night I walked into the house after midnight, after crashing our brand-new car out on the freeway. I had fallen asleep, hit the guardrail and totaled our car.

I had hitch-hiked home in the snow with our new 3-week old daughter. When I walked in and told my husband what had happened, he said, “I am just glad you walked through that door.”


I was describing the car crash I had been in, that caused our car to be totaled. A woman, who overheard me, came up to me and said, “Don let me hear you talk about your car. Last summer, I fell asleep at the wheel, rolled our RV, and killed my 14- year old son. Don’t let me ever hear you talk about your car!”

In the midst of difficult situations it is important that we keep in mind what is most important.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sometimes it takes an Angel


My son Jack, when he was 7 years old, was playing on our neighborhood playground equipment with several friends. They, all of a sudden, discovered a beehive and everyone scattered - except for Jack, who in the panic of the moment, slipped and fell into the vice grip of a wedge that his head had slipped into. His legs were flailing around, in an attempt to find an escape, but he could not move his head. He was strangling. My friend, who was supposed to already be at the church with me for a youth activity, was still at the park with her grandchildren. She had told them twice that it was time to leave, but they begged to "just stay a little longer." That "stay a little longer" is why my son, Jack, is alive today. She dashed to him and was unable to find a way to help him - but then figured out a way to use the strength of her legs to manage him, since there was nothing her arms could do to help. Miraculously she was able to release his neck from the grip of the wedge. Jack did not come home and tell me about this. My friend, Kara, did not tell me either. A few days later, when I was at her house, she told me that for three nights she had been unable to sleep, staring at the ceiling, contemplating what would have happened if she had not been there. She said she could not tell me because she did not have the strength, yet, to be able to speak of it.

I think on this - and wonder - perhaps this situation needed an angel friend, and not a mother. Perhaps only she could have heard the voices of "stay a little longer" and heavenly instructions about how to save a strangling child, reminding me of Esther - "Yet who knows whether you have come ... for such a time as this." Esther saved her people. Kara saved "my people."

Since writing poetry has been my friend in expressing the depth of my feelings, throughout my life, I wrote:


She happened to be at the playground one day

Dreamily watching the children at play

Merrily they danced through the grass and the sand

From climbing to swinging, they gleefully ran

Then….. all of a sudden, a bee was in sight

And all the young ones ran away with their might

But one small, blond boy was not part of their flee

There was one left behind…he could not get free

She desperately ran to the struggling boy

His neck wedged tight in the jungle-gym toy

Giving her all…with her strength, did create…

An inspired rescue, quite changing his fate

Gently she worked with the young, distressed one

Her friend’s small son that would run in the sun

She brought him to safety…sent on his way

Knowing he’d see, now, many anew day…

And in the night…her eyes would not close

As she pondered the miracle, that just arose

She could have been most anywhere

But Kara… of light… was… “right there”

Stirrings within… sent her to the grove

And now we see Jack through neighbor paths rove…

And her friend, not knowing how to express

Her heartfelt thanks of deep, deep depth

…Picks up a pen, a silly old pen…

And tries to describe what she feels in her heart

How to thank Kara for playing the part…

In God’s saving plan on that warm, sunny day

To give back to Karen her Jack to still play

“No tongue can express, nor can it be written”

The joy of escape from a possible smitten

From mother friend… to mother friend

I beg you to know… that to the end

I will bless your name forevermore

For giving me back…… my Jack….my last-born…

This last summer, years later, when we were together, she rehearsed the event to me, showing what she had done to save my son.
Afterwards, we held each other and wept.

Kara Davis