ANDREW AND HIS DINOSAUR
Happy birthday Andrew. I love you so.
Andrew had a plastic dinosaur named Spike. He liked to play with Spike when he took his bath each night.
One day while he was splashing in the tub his mother said, “If you leave your dinosaur in the bathwater, you never know what will happen.”
Andrew looked at the small plastic dinosaur in his hand. He was curious. He crawled out the bathtub and threw his dinosaur back in the water. When he woke up the next day and went into the bathroom, he saw that his small plastic dinosaur was now big enough to fill the bathtub.
“Now where are we going to put that?” his mother said when he looked into the bathroom.
“I wanted to see what would happen,” Andrew answered.
That day at school, Andrew told his friend Kyle about the giant dinosaur in his bathtub.
“Hey, does that mean you don’t have to take a bath anymore?” his friend asked.
“I hope so,” Andrew said.
“Hey I have a swimming pool at my house. Why don’t we put your dinosaur in there and see what happens,” Andrew’s friend said.
That evening Andrew, his mother, father and all his sisters hoisted the plastic dinosaur from the bathtub and walked it over to Kyle’s house.
They gave a big heave-ho and threw in in the pool. Ker plunk.
“I’ll come back after school and see what happens,” Andrew said to his friend.
When Andrew went to Kyle’s house after school, the back yard had become a jungle filled with prehistoric animals. His dinosaur had grown too big for the swimming pool and was walking around in the jungle looking for Andrew.
“I’m right here,” Andrew said walking toward Spike. “I like you better alive.”
Spike roared but Andrew wasn’t scared because he knew they were friends. He walked right up to Spike and patted him on the nose.
“I always knew you were such an awesome creature,” Andrew said. “Now you can walk and eat and roar and everything. Just remember not to eat people. They don’t like that.”
Spike nodded and nuzzled his head next to Andrew.
Pretty soon everyone knew about Andrew and his dinosaur Spike. The T.V. people came to the jungle and interviewed Andrew.
“We hear you are the only one in the whole world who can tame dinosaurs,” the reporter said. “How do you do that young man?”
Every day after school, Andrew went to Kyle’s house and played with Spike. Soon the whole world knew about the amazing boy Andrew and his best friend Spike.
One day when Andrew went to Kyle’s house to play with Spike, the jungle had disappeared and Spike had shrunk back down to a small plastic dinosaur that could fit in the palm of his hand. Andrew was sad . . . but he had an idea. He walked home and placed Spike on top of his chest of drawers. He has always wanted to travel to the moon. He glanced around his room and spied a space station he built from inter-connecting plastic building blocks. Now Andrew knew what he wanted to play with in the bathtub that night.
“Don’t forget to take your space station out of the tub when you’re done,” his father said while Andrew was taking a bath. “You never know what might happen.”
Happy Birthday Sam. You’re turning twelve today. This is an important birthday because you will receive the Aaronic priesthood. The priesthood is the power of God, which is given to man to act in His name. Always remember that your authority comes through your ordination but your power comes through personal obedience and worthiness. The priesthood is a gift from God that blesses all His children. Your Heavenly Father now trusts you enough to give you the responsibility to help others. Up until now your parents, extended family and church leaders have been taking care of you and helping you grow and learn. Now it is your turn. For example, you will be able to pass the sacrament for the first time. Isn’t it wonderful that God allows you to be part of this most sacred event?
What a great blessing it is to hold the priesthood. I hope you take the time to go to a quiet private place and pray to your Heavenly Father and ask him how you can magnify your priesthood. Praying and asking questions has been a great way for God to send messages to us. In fact, did you know that when the Prophet Joseph Smith was translating The Book of Mormon that he found a part that mentioned baptism? On May 15, 1829, he and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to ask God about baptism. As they prayed, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light. This messenger was John the Baptist, the prophet who baptized Jesus Christ. John the Baptist, now a resurrected being, laid his hands on Joseph and Oliver and conferred upon each of them the Aaronic Priesthood, which had been taken from the earth during the Apostasy. With this authority, Joseph and Oliver were able to baptize one another. John the Baptist was chosen by Heavenly Father to prepare the way for the Savior and to baptize him. John did this through the authority of the Priesthood of Aaron.
After baptism, a sacred experience and opportunity comes to the members of the Church each week as we partake of the sacrament. This is how we renew our covenants with our Father in Heaven and take upon us the name of his Son and promise to keep his commandments. Those holding the Aaronic Priesthood have the sacred privilege and honor of preparing, blessing, and passing these holy emblems of Jesus Christ’s body and blood. God wants us to repent, come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and partake of the sacrament. When we renew our baptismal covenants in this way, the Lord renews the cleansing effect of our baptism. In this way we are made clean and can have His Spirit to be with us. That is why it is so important to take the sacrament each week.
As you know, the offices of the Aaronic Priesthood are bishop, priest, teacher, and deacon. With the authorization of the presiding priesthood leader, deacons pass the sacrament. They also help the bishop watch over Church members by giving service and assist with temporal matters such as gathering fast offerings for the poor. Teachers perform all the duties of deacons and also receive other opportunities to serve. They prepare the sacramental bread and water and serve as home teachers. Priests may perform all the duties of deacons and teachers. With the authorization of the presiding priesthood leader, they may also bless the sacrament, baptize, and ordain others to the offices of priest, teacher, and deacon.
I have noticed that you have a big heart Sam and that you love deeply. You are a true and loyal friend. Remember that the best friend you will ever have is Jesus Christ. You have amazing talents and abilities and I know that you will use them wisely. As you serve in your priesthood responsibilities I hope you remember that serving your own family is also important. The most important exercise of the priesthood takes place in the family. Your parents and brothers and sister really need you to love them and serve them as only you can.
You stand at the beginning a life-time of service. As you serve in the Aaronic Priesthood, it will prepare you to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, receive the blessings of the temple, serve a full-time mission, be a loving husband and father, and continue in lifelong service to the Lord. I love you so much Sam. I have so enjoyed watching you grow up and become such a wonderful young man. I will love you forever and be your biggest fan.
TESSA’S BEST FRIENDS
Happy Birthday to a wonderful five-year-old I love with all my heart.
“I’m lonely and bored,” said Tessa to her mom and dad. “I wish I had a friend to play with.”
“Look no longer,” said her mom. “I’ll be your friend.”
“You’re not my friend,” Tessa answered. “You’re just my mom.”
“I’ll play with you,” said her dad.
“You’re not my friend. You’re just my dad,” Tessa answered.
So Tessa’s dad found a top hat and cane and her mom found a tutu and they both tap danced while they sang this song arm in arm ….
A friend is someone who will stay with you a while
A friend is someone who will play with you and smile
A friend is someone who sees your best side first
A friend is someone who makes your smile burst
A friend is someone who shares a bite with you
A friend is someone who lets you wear their shoes
A friend is someone who shares their treats and snacks
A friend is someone who calls you just to chat
A friend is someone who always has a hug and kiss
A friend is someone who when they’re gone – you miss
A friend is someone who walks right at your side
A friend is someone who takes your mistakes in stride
A friend is someone who never leaves your heart
A friend is someone you love even when you’re apart.
Then Tessa and her Mom and Dad joined hands and danced in a circle until they all fell down. Next, Tessa picked up her dad’s top hat and slid into her mom’s tutu then tap danced while she sang this song . . .
Friends make you happy when you’re bored or sad
That is why my best friends are my mom and dad.