Saying Goodbye for Two Years

John Baadsgaard entering the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah.
John and his father.
Saying goodbye for two years is so hard to do.

Ross and Janene Baadsgaard Family Reunion 2015

My Big Beautiful Family


John Baadsgaard is going to Denmark on a Mission

My son John is leaving to serve a mission in Denmark in a few days. His farewell talk in sacrament meeting is on Sunday July 19th at 10:45 at the Maple Mountain Stake Center in Spanish Fork.

He is serving in Denmark and will enter the Language Training Center in Provo on July 22nd.

Baadsgaard is a Danish name. Many of John's ancestors are from Denmark.


Birthday Poem for Eden

By Grandma Baadsgaard
I love you Eden
A very happy birthday to a very adorable one-year-old

We could not stay
God loved us enough
To send us into the world
For there
Was no other way

 just so
We wouldn’t forget,
God sent you -
our garden,
 portion of heaven,


Colonial Heritage Festival

This is a picture of my daughter Arianne Baadsgaard Cope with three of her five children Samuel, Sophia and Logan.
My daughter Arianne was a volunteer presenter at the Colonial Heritage Festival this past weekend.
She is a master artisan at many of the lost arts including, spinning, weaving, soap making, food preservation, hand sewing, the use of herbs, and wood carving and decoration. She believes that so many of us are disconnected from the things we eat and use everyday. For example she makes a connection from sheep to shawl and from garden to pantry in a way that is soul satisfying. As her mother - it delights me to see her connection to God's good earth, the skillful use of her hands, her preservation of lost arts and skills and her desire to freely share what she knows. I love seeing my grandmothers come alive through her.

The Colonial Festival is sponsored by the Heritage Foundation (a public charity dedicated to the preservation of the values, culture, skills, and history of America's Founding.) They believe many of the problems that face America today can be largely alleviated if individuals and communities return to the values of the the great patriots of America's founding.

These principles include:
the commitment to individual liberty
providing justice for all
a strong work ethic that leads to self-reliance,
the individual desire to acquire an education that supports liberty
the willingness to make personal sacrifice for the good of the community
a belief in Divine Providence
a sense that we all have responsibility to live lives of virtue to quality for God's intervention on behalf of our nation.

These values were commonplace in the lives and thoughts of seventeenth and eighteenth century North Americans but are harder to observe in the fabric of today's American culture.

Because of people like my daughter Arianne, and the other volunteers at the park this past weekend, my grandchildren were able to attend reenactments of the Tea Tax Debate, George Washington's commission and the writing of the Declaration of independence.

Thank you Colonial Heritage Festival and all the volunteers like my daughter Arianne for giving me a way to celebrate the 4th of July in a way that was interesting, educational, meaningful and fun.



Payson Utah Temple Cultural Celebration

        The Payson Utah Temple Cultural Celebration-June 6, 2015. 

My children John and Alisa participated in the Payson Utah Temple Cultural Celebration held on Saturday evening June 6, 2015. This grand celebration proved to be a miraculous and faith promoting event for all who participated - both on the field and in the audience. The journey to performance day had been arduous and required individual dedication and hard work. On the eve of the performance and after practicing under the hot sun for hours, the youth in temple district were anxious to perform. 

Suddenly a typhoon style rainstorm hit the area along with hail, thunder, lightning and 35 mile-per-hour winds. Thousands of participants and spectators moved from the stands and huddled under the stadium for shelter listening to clasps of thunder and a loud warning over the PA system - “Program is temporarily suspended. Take shelter under the stadium or return to your vehicle.” Others hunkered down with umbrellas not wanting to give up their good seats until the intensity of the wind, rain and lightning finally created a mass exit from the stands.

As the minutes ticked by, thousands of rain soaked participants and their disappointed audience wondered if the show would ever go on. Some kept checking the time and the skies while others silently prayed. Young men and women were seen leading large groups of people in prayer as lightening flashed and instant waterfalls cascaded down the bleachers.

The cultural celebration starting time, came and went. Then an hour after the scheduled time to begin the program, the storm unexpectedly stopped. As the dark storm clouds abruptly parted, it felt like a miracle as rain soaked participants and audience members gratefully glanced up at the sky. With a nod from the PA system 13,000 youth, along with their families and local community members eagerly re-filled the LaVell Edwards Stadium. As preparations began for the opening number, all present felt an increased appreciation for this rare and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was show time.
Eager, radiant youth cheered as Church leaders appeared in the stadium riding in covered carts and again as President Eyring walked to the podium. Other leaders (including many who escorted their wives) included Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Quentin L. Cook, and Elder Neil L. Andersen, all of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy; Bishop Gerald Causse of the Presiding Bishopric; Sister Carol F. McConkie of the Young Women general presidency; Sister Cheryl A. Esplin of the Primary general presidency; and Larry Duffin, temple committee chair.

Following an opening prayer, Elder Kent F. Richards welcomed everyone by saying, "Thank you for your faith and for your patience.”

Then President Henry B. Eyring stood and with a broad smile said, We all feel excitement and gratitude that the weather is going to let us go forward. You have spent countless hours mastering the parts you’ll play tonight. You have found talents as you have prepared. You will never forget the satisfaction as you discovered that through effort and determination you can do more than you thought possible. You have stretched higher and farther than you thought you could. One of the reasons you felt that growth is that the Lord has magnified your performance because of your faith in Him. We feel your faith in the Savior. His light will shine through you.
President Eyring told performers their purpose “is to help the Lord fill the earth with light. He is the Light of the World. His light shines through you to all who are with us tonight. Those of us in the audience tonight will feel inspired because of what is in your hearts. We will feel from the music, dance, and the words your faith in the Savior. This will be a memory of light, love and joy. You will be able to carry this wonderful feeling with you and return to it time and again. So let's fill this stadium with love and light. Let the celebration begin!"

Unexpectedly a large impressive flock of white doves flew high in the air above the stadium taking several graceful circling swoops. A video displaying vast sweeping fly-over views of the cities in the Payson Utah Temple district appeared on large video monitors on each end of the football field. Next, in an Olympic style procession, several youth from each stake walked down the center on the football field carrying a hand-made banner.
A series of rousing and or lyrical songs and dance numbers followed along with powerful narration and solo performances. The opening dance number Happy expressed the joy we experience in life. A more lyrical number, Come to My Garden, highlighted the orchards in the temple district with May poles and apple blossom branches. 

The dance, Through Heaven's Eyes, honored the Jerusalem movie set in Goshen with a dance reminiscent of the children of Israel. Next came a patriotic march that filled the football field with youth dressed in red, white and blue standing in straight lines and snapping flags. Following the patriotic march came the Founding Fathers and characters from the Book Mormon.
A brass band along with a number of bagpipes performed a crowd favorite Amazing Grace followed by hundreds of Stripling Warriors raising their voices and their wooden staffs. Youth from Spanish Fork came next, holding baseball bats and dancing to Take Me Out to the Ball Game highlighting that area’s love of softball and baseball. Payson youth performed in cowboy hats and neckerchiefs spotlighting a local culture of rodeos.
The next number included young men holding long strips of fabric over their heads creating the impression of dark clouds for the number Endless Night. These clouds represented the storms of life. As the performers left, a large model of the Payson temple appeared as young women ran onto the field waving yellow ribbons representing the Son (Sun) or the light of Christ. Then all the youth, both on the field and in the stands joyously sang, while using sign language, a rousing and touching rendition of Redeemer of Israel. Dancers dressed in white ran to the center of the field while others danced on each end of the field with large rings representing the eternal nature of temple covenants. When this number was over, all the youth ran to the east stands preparing for the grand finale.
The final number included all 13,000 youth, wearing white shirts and singing, “I will fill the world with love.” Then section by section, the youth removed their white shirts, revealing matching colored t-shirts. Each section formed one color and together they created a multi-colored rainbow wave across the entire length of the stands. Like Noah of old, these youth made a covenant with God and God made a covenant with them. A release of bright yellow balloons marked the end of this inspiring program as all spectators jubilantly rose to their feet and cheering and clapping in a standing ovation.
Just as the music stopped, a quiet hush fell over the crowd. Cast and spectators looked up to the heavens as gentle rain fell, slashing on their faces creating the perfect ending to a spectacular and miraculous celebration.


Cornerstone Box Filled For the Payson Temple

I've had a wonderful opportunity to be the historian for the Payson temple 2010-2015. I was asked to write a history and assemble the items that would go inside a cornerstone box that would be placed directly behind the cornerstone.
Most people know that we place the mortar around a cornerstone in the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a temple right before it is dedicated. Many don't realize that behind the cornerstone is a metal box that is filled with items that celebrate our faith in Jesus Christ and the events leading up to the temple dedication day.
On June 6th at 3:00 I met in the Payson Temple with the temple committee and their spouses to fill the cornerstone box. Elder Kent Richards who leads the temple department for the LDS church joined us for a few minutes and spoke to us. He mentioned that he helped in the location of the SLC temple cornerstone box with medical equipment from the hospital where he worked as a surgeon.

Then I described the items we would be placing in the box. Each person in the room took a turn to place one item in the box.

Some of the items we placed in the cornerstone box were:
Holy Bible
Book of Mormon
Doctrine And Covenants
Pearl Of Great Price
LDS Hymn book
Two books by President Thomas Monson: Teachings of Tomas MonsonTo the Rescue – The Biography of Thomas S. Monson
wheat grown on the temple lot
the newest translation of the Book of Mormon
The Payson Temple History 2010-2015
A binder that included:
pictures of the Savior
photographs of the Payson temple.
Groundbreaking program/tickets/invitations/prayer
open house tickets/invitations/new releases/gifts
cultural celebration tickets
dedication tickets/invitations/prayer 
invitation to the first endowment session
original copy of hymn High on the Mountain Top
line drawing of Payson temple
temple committee credential
copy of The Family – A Proclamation To The World
pictures of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve
copy of Payson LDS Temple booklet
cloth handkerchief and metal medallion with Payson temple logo
copy of The Living Christ
missionary outreach printed materials
list of stakes and wards in the Payson temple district
sample of hand-made temple altar cloth and open house hosting tablecloth
Hard bound copies of city/stake histories in Payson temple district

After we placed the items into the box we brought it outside and slid it inside a cavity on the south east corner of the Payson temple. Then we placed the stone in front of it that read: Erected 2015.
The following Sunday, President Eyring and other General Authorities placed the first mortar to seal the stone. Then they went back inside the temple and finished the first of three dedicatory sessions.


Libby is Baptized

I was blessed to attend my granddaughter's baptism this past weekend.


Payson Utah Temple Cultural Celebration Almost Here

My son John and daughter Alisa have been practicing for the Payson Temple Cultural Celebration. We can't wait.
They will perform this Saturday June 6th at 7:00.


Letter to my Thirteen-Year-Old Granddaughter

Letter to my Thirteen-Year-Old Granddaughter

Dear Emily,
Happy Birthday. You are now officially a teenager. Strap on your seat belt because you are about to take a ride full of ups and downs, twists and turns and lots of breathtaking adventures. You have so many first-time-in-life events to look forward to and important decisions to make during this time of your life. It is exciting to grow up and become a young woman but it can also be hard and confusing at times.
Here are a few things to remember from your grandma that loves you very much.
Don’t believe anyone that tells you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough - or anything enough. You are a daughter of the God; you have infinite potential. But . . . you don’t have to be perfect today. Practice makes progress not perfect. People or media outlets that make you feel like you’ll never be good enough are lying to you. You have always been enough and you always will.
Most people believe that beauty is the way we appear to others. Beauty is the way you appear to God who does not look on the outward appearance - but on your heart. How you treat yourself and other people is what makes you beautiful – not the way you dress, do your hair or apply make-up. God gave you a magnificent body that allows you to see, hear, think and move. Be grateful every single day for the unique body you have.
During our school years we often compare ourselves to the other students around us. In truth, how we compare to others doesn’t matter in the eternal scheme of things. If you seek after learning, you are smart. Everyone has areas of study that come easily and others that are more challenging. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to figure something out. What matters is that you are willing to keep trying and never give up.
Lots of people think you are strong if you never feel fear. The greatest strength is evident when we choose to move forward when we are afraid. Feelings are meant to be felt – all of them. There is no right or wrong feeling. There will be days when you feel scared, incompetent or want to give up. It is normal to feel those emotions. After you feel what you feel, make a careful decision about what you are going to do with those feelings. When you choose to do what you believe in your heart is the right, you can feel peace of mind.
Some people think that famous, rich or powerful people are the most important people in the world. The most important people are actually kind, respectful, curious, and hard working. The ability to work hard and never give up will get you through your hardest days.
Sing, dance, laugh and embrace being your unique self. Life can change in an instant so don’t wait for a better time to enjoy life. Stop worrying about what others think of you. Actually, they are not thinking about you; they are focused on themselves.
Never be afraid to say no to anyone. When you say no to what is not right for you, you actually say yes to what I better for you. There will always be more demands for your time than you can give without depleting your well. You have nothing to give if your well is dry. Spend as much time filling your well as you do drawing from it. Your worth and dignity is constant and never changing. No one can take those away from you.  
No person will ever love you the way God loves you. When you feel the love of God you are not desperate for the love of other people. You cannot control how many people love you but you can control how many people you love.
During your teenage years, you will be tempted to dress and behave in fake ways to attract boys. You do not want the attention of a boy who is attracted to false pretenses and appearances. The boy who loves and respects you for who you are is the kind of man you will eventually want to marry.

I love you Emily. I see your strength and your beauty. I feel your courage and dignity. I know that you have the power to create a meaningful life by the choices you make today. I am your one-woman biggest fan club. I will always care about you and pray for you. You are precious to me.

Grandma Baadsgaard


Speaking in Salt Lake City

These beautiful women provided the music at our gathering. I wish I could take them everywhere I speak.
I had the most wonderful experience speaking at a Stake Relief Society Meeting a few days ago.
I don't know when I've been more fed by the souls of the amazing women in that group.
I felt their love, acceptance and their great value in the eyes of God. Thank you for inviting me.


Letter to my Granddaughter for her Baptism Day

Dear Libby,

I’m so excited that you are turning eight years old this year because that means that you are old enough to choose to be baptized. I’m so happy you have made that choice.
I remember when I was baptized. I was baptized on my eight-year-old birthday on a Saturday night in a little white church across the street from my house in Union, Utah. My congregation had all the children being baptized sit on small wooden chairs and talked to us for a while. I don’t remember what they said, but I do remember what I felt.
I felt excited and a little scared before I was baptized. When I was baptized, the water was warm and I felt clean. After I was baptized and put my dry clothes back on, I walked out of the church into the cold January winter air. I remember looking up and seeing lacy white flakes of snow falling all around me. Even though it was cold outside, I felt warm inside. I knew God loved me and was pleased I wanted to come home to heaven someday.
I also knew that Jesus was my best friend and that if I tried to live like Him that I would be happy. When I was your age, they waited until Sunday to confirm me at church and give me the gift of the Holy Ghost. I felt protected when the men with the priesthood made a circle around me and put their hands on my head as my father confirmed me.
What I didn't know was that the man I was going to marry someday was being baptized on the very same day, January 6th (my birthday) in a little town called Spanish Fork, Utah. He was a little scared and excited too. Because we both wanted to be like Jesus, we found each other many years later. We recognized that we had the same dreams and plans for life.
           When he got back from him mission to Samoa, we were married in the SLC temple and made special promises to God. We were sealed for time and eternity. Pretty soon your dad was born. Then he grew up and married your mommy in the temple and then pretty soon, you were born.
Being baptized was the beginning of everything wonderful in my life. Being baptized is such a special time because we are able to participate in our first saving ordinance and make our Heavenly Father our first official promise. You are a daughter of God, Libby, and your Heavenly parents love you very much. They want you to be happy so they have made a plan of happiness for you to follow so you can return to them someday. 
Up until now, you have been a child who is learning, growing and maturing. You have made some mistakes; everybody makes mistakes. That is how we learn and grow. Now that you are eight, God thinks you are wise enough to know the difference between right and wrong choices. Heavenly Father knows that some of the choices we make will not be wise. Because He loves us, He wants us to know how to change so we will not be trapped by our mistakes and bad choices. So He invites us to make a promise to Him and then He makes a promise right back to us. When we make a special promise to God and He makes one right back to us, it is called a covenant. Heavenly Father never breaks a promise.
The promise you make to God is that you will remember Jesus, follow Him and keep His commandments. Heavenly Father promises you that He will forgive you if you make a mistake or do something that you know is wrong if you feel sorry and repent. He also promises you eternal life. He also gives you the gift of the Holy Ghost to help, guide, protect, warn and comfort you.

When you choose to be baptized you tell Heavenly Father that:

*You want to be a follower of Jesus Christ

*You will serve your fellowmen

*You will stand as a witness of God all the time

*You will obey the commandments of God

          God promises you that:

  *You are accepted as a member of Christ’s church

   *You can be forgiven of your sin if you repent

   *You can have the gift of the Holy Ghost

   *You can live in the kingdom of God

          Everybody makes mistakes after they are baptized so Heavenly Father gave us the sacrament every week on Sunday. That is when we remember the covenant we made when we were baptized. We think about our week and decide how to be better during the coming week. We think about our Savior Jesus Christ and how He atoned for all our sins, pains, disappointment and grief. We also think about Christ’s resurrection and that we can be resurrected too someday.
I hope you will write about how you feel in your journal when you are baptized. Never forget that you are a child of God and that you can inherit the eternal life God has planned for you. And never forget that your grandma loves you with all her heart.
Love,  Grandma Baadsgaard.   


Grandmother's Poem for her Granddaughter

Love Poem to my Granddaughter
Grandma Baadsgaard

Happy Birthday Rachel. I love you so.

You begin here
Breathe in, breathe out

New dwelling place
Euphoric surprise
From darkness, into light

I end here
With me in you

Mortal relic

Where you are
There I am

I will go on
In you

Too soon parting

Matchless mystery


All will be well
With me and Thee

Breathe In, breathe out
Awake, asleep



Birthday Poem for a Two-Year-Old

Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy 2nd birthday my sweet little grandson.

With a head full of curls and two hazel eyes

He swings and jumps and explores and slides.

There are messes to make

And toys to shake,

Swings to glide,

Sunlight to ride,

Blankets to hug.

And brothers to bug.

He is quick on his feet

Dancing to the beat.

He likes candy and cake

And mud-pies to bake.

He likes to explore

So give him some more.

This boy is the best

I have to confess

He makes me smile

For more than a mile.