A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Following Counsel

Per Elder Hales' wise Conference counsel to parents, I speak for both Mom and I as I hereby inform all of you that we love you, and assure you that we have testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ.  In all seriousness, our life would be void and empty without the experiences and memories we have of each of you, as well as the future plans and aspirations we have for each of you.  This becomes progressively moreso as we increasingly understand the Plan of Salvation and our shared position within it.  We know that based on our faithfulness, our mortal relationships have been sealed on earth and will be sealed in heaven.  We know that the eternal lives we will share with our Father in Heaven and all eternal ancestors and posterity will be sublime, and well worth our diligence here on earth.  For each of us, our children, and their children, ad infinitum, will literally be our eternal increase, and our glorified reason for existing.

We know that none of this would be possible but for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We know that our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ love us more intensely than we can understand, and that this love is what motivated them to create this world for us and give us agency to act, so that we could ultimately qualify for exalted kingdoms hereafter.  That love is what motivated the God of this earth, the Savior of our souls to sacrifice his own mortal life, to pay the price of our sins and thereby satisfy justice.  By doing this, He provided us an opportunity to overcome our mortal imperfections and thereby qualify for eternal life.  As He opens the door for our willful repentance, he promises forgiveness of our willful sins.  Through a lifetime of such focused repentance, we can learn to be one with Him and learn to love Him and others with that same degree of intensity He has for us.

p.s.  An interesting aside about repentance:  I was listening to financial guru, Dave Ramsey on the radio the other night.  As you may know, Dave Ramsey, as a devout born-again Christian, often discusses his impressions of the gospel on-air.  That night, he said something that exposed his and general Christianity's concept of repentance and its relative role in foregiveness.  In addressing a caller's question about bankruptcy, Ramsey admitted that earlier in his life he had to file bankruptcy. Years later when he learned to apply more discipline and became financially independent, he felt God directing him to go back and reconcile principle and interest to all the creditors he had left hanging back then.  He said this was a very onerous process, since many of the financial records from that far back had been destroyed, but ultimately he succeeded in repaying all of the old debt.  As a creditor myself, who has had to write off substantial bankruptcy debt, I see his desire to reconcile as a very commendable and honest act.

In our financial system, risk is necessary, and bankruptsy happens.  In that setting, although creditors may be hurt by it, they assume the risk in the beginning, and must accept it as a necessary outlet for financial failure.  As such, our legal system does not require reconciliation.  In his discussion however, Ramsey was treating bankruptsy as though it was at least an act of unfairness to others and therefore, wrong.  We (Mormons) know that reconcilitation is part of repentance, and in such a circumastance, we would feel driven to reconcile as much as possible before turning it over to the Savior to atone for the rest.  It appeared Ramsey had a similar sense about it for himself, because he felt directed by God to reconcile it when he became able.  But then he said something to the caller that set up an obvious paradox for me.  It exposed his true understanding of his "Christian" doctrine.  He said, that even though he (Ramsey) had felt special direction to take that action, neither the caller nor anyone else with that problem need attempt reconciliation to be forgiven, because if we simply accept Christ, the mercy in His Atonement automatically forgives us, regardless of our actions. "Otherwise," he said, "why have mercy?"   This statement was inconsistent with his own actions, but also with what I know.  Immediately, in my mind, his words set up a contrast between grace and works.  We (Mormons)know that both are necessary and must be balanced.  This is a glaring dichotomy between general Christianity and Mormonism.

Anyone can say that they accept Christ, but how do they validate those words? How do they confirm to Him that they really mean it? I believe there is no better way than to repent and absolutely relinquish misdeeds. And, true repentance demands physical reconciliation to whatever degree is possible.  As I considered this, I thought of Alma's discussion (Alma 42) but I also remembered a very interesting passage I had recently read in a Hugh Nibley book which helped me understand how this dichotomy developed.

Diversion between the Bible and recently discovered Apocryphal writings indicate that sometime during the dark ages, priests of the University of Alexandria (Egypt) became fixated on all things mystical.  Not having the moderating affect of revelation, they abandoned any doctrines which were not sufficiently mysitcal or allogorical. They tried to spiritualize everything - to cut out anything that was material, real, tangible, or literal, regardless of common sense.  If a doctrine from old writings was too plain, too literal or too tangible, it was thereby too juvenile, and not worthy of their consideration, and they gradually deleted such doctrines from any future copies of the text.  By this process, they systematically denatured the Bible and robbed it of the things that otherwise made it familiar and interesting. This is essentially the process by which the plain and precious things, which had been present from the beginning, were gradually removed from the Bible.  The physical nature of God was probably one of these.  The priests wanted Him to be etherial and incomprehensible.  The doctrine of balancing works with grace was also likely one of these simple and plain, though essential and precious doctrines that were removed.  Nibley suggested that by this process Christianity became anemic, devoid of animation and life blood.  Today, Christianity diminishes works and repentance by taking personal, physical accountability out of the equation. Members are no longer required to demonstrate their commitment, but only to proclaim it.  Anyway, I believe this is how we got to where we are.  Thank goodness for the restoration and ongoing revelation.


Crystal said...

That was a lovely message to your children. So, so tender. They are lucky to have been raised by you. I was following the dichotomy between grace and mercy: bankruptcy and reconciliation, but then I got all confused.

So, yesterday, a certain baby of mine was really fighting sleep- I know it was because 1) I was home (I have not been for most of the week) and 2) it had been such a fun day for him!

We were watching the afternoon session of conference and he was literally walking around, eyes closed, then he would take off running into something. Matt was getting a little frustrated, but I was listening to the talk about the calves and their mothers and really thinking about that. I never had that example as a child. It has left me with some major issues as an adult, for certain.

Anyway, Asher grabbed my shoes and threw them at me and Matt sighed and was like "wow," I looked at Asher, took the shoes and said "Thank you for my shoeshoes!" and he smiled. He had been looking for approval. He then climbed on me, rubbed his face all over mine and snuggled me. He kept hugging and kissing me.

After his talk was a congregational hymn and I kid you not. I stood up and he was asleep within 2 lines of the second verse. He just needed total attention, one-on-one, and he was asleep. I wonder if that would have been the case hours earlier when he was clearly tired?

It made me really consider the role of a parent. I often consider it with Valerie- I have limited time left to teach her so much.

I used to think about it a lot more when I was home more with Asher, but now... I feel like I barely have any time with him. It was a tender moment. I was resolved (again) to make sure all my children know that they are loved, to take the time to show them that, and to be the best kind of example I can be. I feel like all the talks during conference were geared toward me- as a parent, and getting through difficulties having been better for it. It was a great conference.

David and Debby said...

Crystal, I edited some of that and clarified a few things. It might make more sense now.

Crystal said...

I "got" it that time. It was lovely. I was teaching the Young Women a couple weeks ago and I was talking about how sometimes we repent of things we have done and then we relive it, feel guilt for it, stop progress because of it and willingly hurt for something that we should just hand over with the atonement of Christ. When we insist on bearing the burden of sin, it is as if we say the atonement of Christ is not good enough. Grace and works dictate that we be the best we can, count on the atonement when we fall short and move on better for it.
I appreciate the sentiment as well, and totally understand the interesting contradictory opposition the thought processes and actions presented.

Finally, the Apocrypha is fascinating! I read that in my senior year of college as the last class for my degree in ministry.

David and Debby said...

RE: the Apocrypha - In the book we're reading (Temple and Cosmos), Nibley, who read Hebrew, ancient Egyptian, Arabic, etc., etc., references many apocryphal texts that have been discovered in the past 100 years. It's like they were all buried up for eons and then one day they just started coming forth, almost as though it was by design. The interesting thing is that many of those writings conform with unique doctrines presented in the Book of Mormon and D&C, which may not otherwise appear in today's Bible. The Apocrypha are not canonized scripture, but they do shed light on the fullness of truth.

Leslie said...

Dad, I can't believe you're reading Nibley. You've come a long way. Soon you'll be reading the Apocrypha itself and learning middle eastern languages to read scripture in its original form!

Thanks for your sweet message. There's no doubt in my mind, as your daughter, what you believe. There never really has been. Love you!