The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Gospel

I've really enjoyed my Doctrine and Covenants class. I have learned so much from my amazing professor, Dr. Brooks (I've mentioned him before; he was the professor I took for my Marriage class last semester). Today we were talking about D&C 21. It is right about the time that the church was organized (April 1830), and this section talks about the prophet and how we should always follow him. In this context, it specifically talks about how Joseph Smith will be the prophet, but we can apply it to our day as well with President Monson. It says that we should follow the prophet because God speaks through him. It is as if God were speaking to us directly.

My teacher made an interesting point with this doctrine. He said that often times, members of the Church are so concerned and waste too much time trying to decide if what the prophet said was a commandment or if it was just counsel. Sometimes, the members make excuses for why they won't follow the prophet's voice because they say he was just "counseling" us, and that it wasn't a "commandment." This is a sign of not understanding the doctrine of the Lord in D&C 21.

If we truly understand what the Lord has said, we will do EVERYTHING the prophet asks us to do because we know what he says comes from God Himself! I remember in my New Testament class last semester, my teacher explained that there are commandments, and then there are rules, or "counsels" that the prophets give us that aren't necessarily commandments that the doctrine of the scriptures mention. I sort of struggled with this. I guess I didn't really understand what my teacher was trying to say. But now, with this further clarity from Brother Brooks, I understand better the fact that it doesn't matter if it's commandment or counsel, we should ALWAYS follow the prophet.

My teacher explained his point by using a hypothetical instance. He said that if Christ Himself came into the classroom and went up to Brother Brooks and asked him to sit down because He wanted to speak to the class Himself, no one would even dare to raise their hand and ask, "Is that a commandment or is that just counsel for Brother Brooks to sit down?" We would just all obey and understand that Christ knows best! Likewise, we should just obey the prophet because God speaks through him. He would never tell us to do something like only have one pair of earrings, or dress modestly, or serve a mission (all counsels from the prophet) unless Christ wanted him to.

I've just been thinking a lot about the prophet and Christ, and I truly know that if we just obey what the prophet says, we are promised the blessings that Doctrine and Covenants 21 promises: the gates of hell will not prevail against us, Christ will disperse the powers of darkness, and the heavens will shake in our behalf.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ruth Lake Trip

So I am trying to surprise Sam by writing this blog myself.  Myself being Greg.  We just went on a fun trip to Ruth lake, just past Mirror Lake in the Uinta's, with Chris and Jocelyn.  We were a little skeptical at first because we were exhausted from a hard second week of school, and our work schedules staying the same all the while.  We drove out at about 5 on Friday evening and got there at about 7.  We started hiking and realized that the darker it got, the harder it was going to be to catch our dinner.  Once we got there we got straight to fishing.  It was getting darker, and Sam and I fished together.  We casted where we would see jumps on the lake.  It was a small lake so there was not a lot of room to explore, but it was still very pretty.  I took some casts but did not have any luck.  Sam took over and finally after seeing a fish jump fifteen feet in front of us, she reeled one in!  It was a pretty good sized Brooke trout, especially for being that high in the mountains.  After catching it, she pretty much handed it off to me and kept casting.  I told her I wanted to catch one, and so I got the rod, and she got to enjoy holding her fish.  Im sure she loved that. I could not get one, but I was very happy that Sam got one.  She could not have been happier either, I think mainly because I didn't get one and she did.
Once it got dark, it was freezing and we had to run around to get wood for a fire.  We started one up and started cooking our food.  We also started putting up our tents, but wait, where was Chris and Jocelyn's?  I don't know but it was not there with them!  They were totally prepared with food, sleepping bags, and fishing stuff, all except for the tent.  Chris went across the lake to see if a loud Scout group had an extra one(we, as you probably do, are thinking at this point it is a lost cause).  Sure enough, he and a few other scouts came over presenting Chris's less than jovial wife at this point with a tent.  He told us later that it seemed to be a trade for one roll of Smarties.  Candy was, according to one of the Scouts, "legal tender" in their troop.  Lucky for Chris he agreed and always carried a spare roll of Smarties for emergencies.  We had hot dogs and cooked our fish in tin foil.  The fish was very tasty, probably because Jocelyn brought spices and I made sure every square millimeter of that fish was covered.  We cooked marshmallows and had a nice discussion about the stars and the universe and all things space (Heavy stuff).  After a lot of stories and joking around, we were ready to go to sleep and stop trying to fighting the cold.  It was quite cold.  Supposedly it got down to about 37 degrees, and we all agreed that it was a pretty fair estimate.
We woke up to Chris stoking a crackling of a fire and the sun causing the greenhouse effect in our tents.  As we were eating breakfast some birds found interest in the crackers I was eating and so i held one out and a "castro" bird came right up, perched on my finger for a second and took the cracker.  We had a good time trying to get the birds to do the same thing to get it on camera.  After eating breakfast and packing up we gave the Boy Scouts their tent back and headed back.  On the way back we tried our luck in a stream, where we saw lots of fish, but caught few.  The trip will be remembered, sadly for Chris, as the "how could you forget that" trip.  

Us in front of the lake
Us fishing before it got dark

Hiking back out

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We Sold The Car! And Other Things We've Been Up To...

Well, it's official. As of last night, we sold our 2000 Saab 9-3. You know, the car that has caused us problems since our fiasco in Vegas? Yes, that car. We have been trying to sell it for about 3 weeks now, and it finally sold! It was kind of a funny situation... We had a couple of people who were really interested in it, and then a couple of nights ago, a lady who lives in Logan texted Greg and told him she wanted to come down and buy our car the next day. I thought it was a little weird because she hadn't even tested the car out yet, but she and her husband came down last night and bought our car. We are seriously SO excited. The nice thing is, we sold it without the A/C working, which we thought was not going to happen for a reasonable price. But it did!

So it's out with the old...

...and in with the new.

We bought our new car, a 1999 Mazda Protege, about 2 weeks ago. Coincidentally, it worked out that while we were celebrating our first anniversary of being married (we stayed at a hotel in Sandy, Utah), we got to check out this car. We really liked it, so we ended up buying it for a reasonable price. Greg is a little sad to not have the Saab anymore (it had a turbo in it and just had a lot more power than our new car), but it was time for a change. This car has a lot less miles on it than our Saab, so we are hoping it works out.

We had a really nice anniversary in Sandy. We stayed at a hotel call the Residence Inn for 2 nights, went out to eat at a pizza place, rented a couple of movies, and went swimming. It was just nice to get away from the stresses of life for a couple of nights before school started.

Just wanted to post this picture of how awesome our hotel room was. We didn't even pay very much for it, but it came with a kitchen and everything. We were spoiled.

Last week, Chris and Jocelyn were moving into their new apartment on the border of Provo and Orem. It's so nice to have them back from Florida. We've been hanging out with them and it's been great. As they were moving in, they needed us to watch their cat, Oliver, for a couple of days. We agreed to babysit little Ollie.

He just couldn't get enough of my shoes. He kept rubbing his body all over the rubber of my tennis shoes. One of the nights he was here, there was a crazy thunderstorm, something I've never really been in before. Every ten seconds or so, lightning would strike, with thunder immediately following. It felt and sounded like it was right over our house. In fact, the lightning even hit one of the transformers at Chris and Jocelyn's apartment complex. It was insane, but kind of awesome at the same time. Ollie was FREAKING out. I tried to calm him down and wanted him to know it was all ok, and as I put my hand out toward him, he swatted me with his little claws (left some tiny little marks), and just stood in the corner. The poor little guy was just scared out of his wits. I guess that's what I get for trying to pet a freaked out animal.

The other night, we got together with a couple from our ward, Rebecca and A.J. Echols. I have gotten to know Rebecca through the ward a little bit, but it was so nice to have them both come over and chat and get to know each other even better. I think we really hit it off. Rebecca had this really fun idea to get two boxes of ice cream, take the cardboard off, and carve something into the ice cream. The ice cream started melting and it was kind of hard to shape what you wanted into it, but it was a ton of fun. Greg and I carved a bowl with ice cream in it (made out of real ice cream mind you) and A.J. and Rebecca carved a cat. It was really cute.

We really had a good time with them and can't wait to do more fun things with them (and their baby who is due in October- how exciting!)

For Labor Day, Greg and I went up to Park City to spend time with the family. We spent the night Sunday night and then got up in the morning and went on a hike to Stewart Falls (it's kind of near Sundance and Aspen Grove). It was beautiful, and the leaves are changing, so it was very colorful. The waterfall itself was very cool, but the water was freezing! Here are some pictures of our adventure.

This is how Park City is starting to look. As Fall progresses, it gets more vivid.

My cutie up at the waterfall

More cuties up at the waterfall

There were a ton of people there. It was just crazy.

Lance brought Sammy up to the higher waterfall. 

Overall, life has been going great here in the life of the Livingston's. We are just moving along with school and finances, even though both have been struggles for us lately. We are relying on the Lord because He is the one who will help us get through our difficult times. We are very blessed in our lives, and we are looking forward to more adventures.