Sunday, June 23, 2013

Invitation to learn more..

Family photo following April General Conference
I've written about a wide variety of things on my blog, everything from community to politics, my wallet to Father's Day.  However I've never written directly and invited my readers if they wanted to know more about my belief as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or maybe more importantly how they might know more about getting closer to God and why my faith plays such a significant role in not only my own life but that of my family.  I've been a little envious of my brother's courage, his website www.claytonchristensen.com (which receives a lot more visits than mine), openly talks about his own belief and readers frequently do inquire of him. I worried for years that in my public service realm, that maybe for some reason, it wasn't appropriate  for me to do so in a public way.  However the reality is that this is my blog, and why is it that I wouldn't want to share something which makes me so happy and gives me the opportunity to help others, with those whom I care or even better yet, those whom I haven't even met yet, is beside me!

I do have a public profile on www.mormon.org but I'm sure it gets lost in the many who participate.  I've found in my life of trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, such joy and satisfaction in not only trying to serve others, like the Savior would, but true happiness in enjoying the love and joy of my family.  Having answers to some of life's most difficult questions and knowing that God loves me personally has helped me through some very challenging times.  I don't think it takes anyone very long, who knows me to acknowledge that I'm not perfect, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't afford friends and others from having the same opportunity to know more.

If you have questions you would like to ask, or simply are interested in knowing a little more about the Mormon Church or it's more formal name - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, feel free to drop me a note or catch me on the street some time (or come on over to the house).  While I have a number of ways to contact me out there, feel free to drop me an email at carlton.christensen@facebook.com. Cathy, Jessica, Sarah and myself would love to chat and if you later decide you're not interested, we hope you'll stay our friends and please know, we will not be offended.  We invite you to know more!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Best Father's Day Gift Ever!

Two years ago, I started my blog and 7,000 views later, it still gets a few hits.  Interestingly enough, that first entry was on Father's Day 2011, when I wrote the piece on Father's Day - I probably haven't done a lot right, but my girls are the exception.  Today those exceptional girls and Cathy gave me the best present ever, the first four volumes of scrapbooks about my life.
The meaning of the scrapbooks go back a ways, but for me, represent an important part of what I was hoping to leave for my girls.  In high school and during my LDS mission to Japan in 1985-86, I kept a pretty thorough journal of my day to day activities, but when I returned it became less and less until a year or so into my marriage, entries became more like annual paragraphs.  Activities in my life became more comlex. At age 23, I was called as Elders Quorum President of my LDS Ward, I was married a year a year or so later and at age 25, was called as a counselor in our Ward Bishopric.  Then at age 27, I was called as Bishop of the Rose Park Ninth Ward where I served for just over four years, at which point I was elected to the Salt Lake City Council and shortly released as Bishop a few months later.  Here I am nearly 16 years later, and much has passed in my life, but little of it was documented.

As Cathy and I talked about what gift I wanted, I dreaded the fact that maybe the Salt Lake Tribune (or even the Deseret News) would be the only chronicled history of my life and that if I died or passed away, my girls would know very little about me.  To a lesser extent, my blog entries, have been a public documentation of some experiences but even it doesn't always reflect a lot of life's events, and certainly not some of the stuff that matters most.  It would be difficult to go back and document in any detail the kind of narrative a journal would have provided me, but these volumes do provide a start.  Sarah mentioned to me that she's learned so much more about me, since she started the project and Jessica has actually been going back and transferring my mission journal to a digital format and reminds me of stories that I would have long since forgotten.

Mine hasn't certainly been a perfect life and some things I wish hadn't been documented so well, but there is value in them.  I can certainly do better and look forward to making a better attempt at keeping a written journal.  I remember the day my father died, his autobiography that my brother Clayton assisted him in writing had come back from the printer that day.  Matching almost entirely his life and a valuable asset for his descendants in knowing the history of his life.   I cherish his final testimony and his counsel to us as children on what's important in our own lives.  Lessons I look back to almost daily.

Thanks to Cathy, Jessica and Sarah for not letting me be forgotten.