Sunday, August 24, 2014

August is always so busy. . . .

In August I:
LDS Family Services Advisory Board Meeting;  I serve on the board and really enjoy the interaction with the other members of the board.. Much discussion this quarter on the new policy of Family Services to no longer serve as an Adoption Agency.. We are turning that procedure over to the local agencies in each state.  We will be more involved with the counseling of un-wed birth mothers and those couples wishing to adopt. 
  • I am still meeting with the various wards in our stake and presenting the full program of LDS Family Services.. There are so many wonderful services available that most people don't know exist.
  • Our monthly family party to celebrate the birthdays of Morgan, Steve, Alli, Susannah and Me.. I really love our family get togethers.. Lots of love, laughter, stories and special time together.. I love that my kids all live close and the cousins are all such good friends..

                   Grant & I the day of his farewell. . .
  • My grandson Grant reported to his mission in Ft. Collins, Colorado and is loving it.. He is currently serving in Longmont.. he and his companion are living in the lake house of the wards Bishop.  Very plush..
  • The very special wedding of my grandson Dylan and his beautiful bride Madison.  They were married in the Gilbert, Arizona Temple on August 16th.  Then there was a luncheon for families at the PV Stake Center.. That evening the reception was held at the Princess Resort in Scottsdale.. What an amazing day.. I was able to get a picture of my entire family (except Elder Grant Harper, our missionary).. But I don't think I will get everyone in a picture in the near future..
Mr. & Mrs. Dylan Paolacci
leaving the temple.. this is a picture of true happiness

My Family
50 years ago this August, I married my best friend.  I know that Kent was there with us the entire day as we celebrated this special union.  I am so proud of my children and their families and all they have accomplished.. My family is growing by the addition of new grandchildren ( the grown up kind).  This was the second wedding in 5 months of a grandchild and I will have another one in September.. with another one on the horizon soon I am sure.. I love looking at this picture . . . it makes me so happy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Scottsdale North Stake LDS Family Services Agent Representative

This is the presentation I have been presenting in the wards in our stake:
I am serving as the Agency Representative for the Phoenix office of LDS Family Services for our Stake,  I am here today to share with you all of the wonderful services that are available through LDS Family Services. 

It is my prayer that the spirit is with me as I speak with you - and with you, as you listen,  so that we will both be edified and learn.

 In April 2010, President Uchdorf talked to us about the wonder of fairy tales. There are two famous lines in most fairy tales.  "Once upon a time and they lived happily ever after"..  Sandwiched between those two lines is great adversity.  Cinderella, after the death of her father, had to endure much hardship from her wicked step mother and evil step sisters.  Belle in the "Beauty and the Beast", became a captive to an ugly frightful-looking beast in order to save her home, family and father. . . . . .
None of us are immune to challenges in our lives, and if we don't know what's available, or where we can get help, then we may not like the consequences of our choices.  Some of us may need one of the programs offered by LDS-FS before we can reach our own. . . "Happily Ever After"

A couple saved for a long time so they could come to America from Liverpool, England.  The appointed day arrived for the ship to depart and they realized they had enough to pay for the passage to America, but there was little left.  How would they live for the two weeks at sea?  They decided to buy a case of saltine crackers; they could at least eat those on their journey.  Each day they would smell the delicious meals being prepared, but would go to their stateroom and eat their crackers.  The last night before coming into New York harbor, they talked and decided that even though they had very little money left, they would buy one meal.  When they went to the purser to find out  the cost, he informed them that all their meals were included in the price of their tickets. Can you imagine how they felt? 

 By not finding out all the information before they boarded, they made some unwise choices. And the consequence was a miserable two weeks at sea!

 Each of us have to go through our own dark valley of temptations, trials, sorrows or consequences of poor choices.

So let's take a look at what help is available:

* First: LDS Family Services is under the direction of the First Presidency of the church, and they want each of us to know that - HELP IS AVAILABLE!

This treatment is for men, ages 18 and older, who struggle with sexual and pornography addictions.  It is a workshop facilitated by professional counselors trained in these specific addictions.

The First Presidency is working on guidelines for youth Pornography Workshops.  When this program is available the information will be released to the Stakes.

These workshops are set up for women who have suffered from co-dependency, abuse, trauma or have issues with spouses or children who are struggling with addictions.

 Isaiah 54:4  "Surely he has borne our grief's and carried our sorrows".

 Elder Bednar, in April Conference 2005 said, " The tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us".

These workshops that I have talked about are - 8 weeks, 2 hours each.. thru LDS Family Services

President Harold B. Lee said, "Members may need counseling more than clothing and members who go to Family Services should feel NO MORE hesitancy in asking for help of this kind, than they should in requesting any help through the priesthood. 


         * Before they leave on their missions

         * During their missions

         * After an early release - 3 months free counseling

 * After a full term mission.. if the missionary is struggling, they may receive counseling     from Family Services with a recommendation from their Bishop.


ANY LDS woman, facing an unplanned pregnancy is eligible to receive free counseling, to educate and empower the birth parents to make their own choices ( not connected to adoption)  The birth parents "free agency" is most important.. Family Services and the Priesthood leaders want them to have the best skills for their choice." Family Services are no longer "adoption driven",

The birth mother, father and parents of both young people are encouraged to be involved...... Everyone needs to know all the choices and options that are available

LDS Family Services announced on June 17, 2014 that it will no longer operate as a full adoption agency, instead shifting all of its adoption related resources to counseling for birth parents and prospective adoptive parents:
The adoption program of LDS Family Services is changing.  Their goal is to provide more opportunities for LDS families to adopt.  Their goal also is to provide a broader array of services, more services to single parents & unwed-parents, that are in the church primarily". 
For decades, Family Services has been operating one of the worlds largest, private, non-profit adoption agencies.

Family Services will now partner with local community resources, including adoption agencies, that will do licensed regulatory work like home studies.
Changes in adoption trends prompted the change. The largest pressure in domestic adoption has been the reduction in children available for adoption.

Recent statistics also show that 41% of births in the US are to single birth mothers and  just 1 percent of these births result in adoption. That's down from 9 percent in 1973.
LDS Family Services hopes to provide more counseling and information to birth parents who choose to raise their child about the options and help them connect with outside resources.

The counseling provided by LDS  Family Services will be free.
Family Services supports, educates and is an advocate for a positive view of all families undergoing this process.

Adoptions today have openness:
Openness for both sides; birth parents, grandparents and the adoptive families. They are not the closed door, "never know or be involved again policy" of years past. 

One birth parent said, " counseling helped us deal with the many emotions we felt - with no pressure -  and the help we needed to know how to proceed."

This is a very hard decision, no matter which way they decide to go and a heavy burden to carry alone. 

 Family Services  & our Stake Presidencies goal -  is to keep these birth parents active in the gospel.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 These are two courses that have been developed to help couples enrich their marriage relationship & Parents to enhance their parenting skills.

The purpose of the strengthening marriage course is to foster a harmonious and loving relationship between husband and wife. 

The Strengthening Families course is designed to help us understand the principles of effective parenting. 

This  program was developed by a professor at the University of Washington in conjunction with  gospel principles under the guidance of the First Presidency.

Our Stake Presidency is calling a set of leaders for each church building in the stake These couples will be the instructors for these classes. Once they are called and trained by Family Services, the information on class schedules will be made available to every ward.  The First Presidency encourages everyone to participate in these classes.. 


An addiction is any compulsive behavior or something you are so dependent upon that you can no longer see how to withdraw from it;
This can include,
  • tobacco
  • alcohol
  • coffee
  • tea
  • credit cards
  • gambling
  • co-dependency
  • drugs (street or prescription)
  • shopping
  • eating disorders
  • pornography
  • video and internet games
These support groups are for men, women and family or supportive friends.

 All addictions diminish the ability to feel the spirit. . . .
In each of these support groups a confidentiality contract or agreement is made.  That means that whoever attends, agrees not to tell who is in the group or what is said.

 Boyd K. Packer said, "no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense is exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness".

 In Matthew 11:28 the Savior said, "come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Can we imagine anyone who is more heavy laden than one who is under the influence of some compulsive behavior?
There are many support groups in the valley and they meet as early as 6:30 a.m. or as late as 8:00 p.m.  There is no cost for support groups and all are welcome.  They are led my members of the church who have been trained by LDS Family Services.  You can find out locations and times on the internet at

 Isaiah 1:18 tells us "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow,

Brother Stephen Robinson explains this scripture in his book "Believing Christ".  He says, "It doesn't matter what you did. Whatever it was, no matter how horrible or vile is not the issue.  The issue is that Christ can erase it. That's what the atonement is all about.. . . Jesus Christ died for our sins, but also for our mistakes..

Brothers and Sisters, we need to believe that "Christ can do what he says he can do.  And of course we need to do our part. 

First - We need to choose to BEGIN; (sometimes the hardest step).
1st Choose to acknowledge our errors and decide to repent, NOW..

President Monson has pleaded, "We love you, we need you, we miss you. Please come back".

Brother Robinson said, "We all fail, we may fail by differing degrees, but we all fail.  That's why we all need help.  Why we all need our Savior and why needing help and needing a Savior are no disgrace". 
2nd Choose the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it's teachings
3rd Choose to study the scriptures and follow the words of the prophet
4th Choose to forgive, ourselves and others. . . welcome back those returning with open arms and love. 

If you fell and broke your hip or arm you wouldn't try to repair it yourself, and sometimes, to help us come back, it takes professionals.  Let us take advantage of all that's offered at LDS Family Services..

None of us, are immune to challenges in our lives, and if we don't know what's available, or where we can get help, then we may not like the consequences of our choices. 

 Let's not let Satan convince any of us, that we are beyond that help.

 I'll close with a quote from President Thomas S. Monson, "As member shepherds of our Father in Heaven's flock, we should not judge why some have strayed, but rather should try to unceasingly to bring them back again unto the fold, knowing Jesus can heal them, when none other can.  we must offer opening arms and a loving invitation to those in our families who may have strayed from the path of truth". 

 Because of Jesus Christ
Peace can replace guilt
Healthy relations can be restored
Addictions can be overcome

 Love truly is the key. . . . may we all choose to love is my humble prayer. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Callings I have. . . . .

     Starting the year of 2014 with much joy and anticipation of the many wonderful things I am involved in.  My word of the year is "SERVICE". . . I am still working at the Phoenix Children's Museum and work at the Mesa Temple every Friday morning in the baptistery.  I love both of these, and really look forward to being there each week.. Those I serve with are so much fun and really great people. 
     Two weeks ago at church, President Steve Avey of the Scottsdale North Stake asked me before the meeting started if he could talk to me afterward.. I teasingly said "no".. He said "please".. I knew it was for a new calling and I asked him if he realized that I had "3" calling at the present time.. teaching the Sunbeams in Primary, which I loved and serving on the Relief Society enrichment  board and then working at the Temple.. He assured me he knew of these callings and that we would take care of that. I was very nervous during sacrament meeting and tried to think why Pres. Avey would want to talk to me.. it is usually for a new calling.. After the meeting we met in a small room and he asked me to serve as the Stake Un-wed mother counselor for the Scottsdale North Stake.  I asked what this calling entailed and he told me he honestly didn't know, but would call Family Services and set up training for me.. I agreed that I would love to be of service to these young birth mothers and was set apart for this new calling.  He said he would talk to the Bishop and let him know that I needed to be released from my other 2 callings in the ward.  I ran into our stake president, President Cannon after church and told him that I had accepted this new calling.. He was happy and said that when the need to fill this position came up, he immediately knew that he wanted to have me.. What an honor. 

     I talked to several people and shared with them my new assignment and they all asked what I would be doing... I am not sure, but will be trained and let them know. 

     I had my first meeting with Arizona Family Services today. It went really well and I believe I will love this new assignment as working with young birth mothers, helping them to receive the counsel and help that need to make correct decisions in each case.  Hannah my supervisor is very up-beat and enthusiastic and I know I will enjoy working with her.  I was given several manuals and CD's to read and watch to help familiarize myself with the workings of Family Services and all they have to offer.   
      I was also asked to be the new Phoenix Area Volunteer Coordinator. The Phoenix area goes from Prescott to Yuma. I will be in charge of setting up and organizing the monthly meetings and act as a liaison between the volunteers and interns and the agency. I will also be involved in the quarterly Advisory Council meetings and relaying the information learned to my Stake and the Phoenix area volunteers and interns. I will work with the 11 wards in our stake to make sure that they are receiving all the help they need with Family Services. So many services are offered to those in our church and those not LDS also. I am looking forward to learning all the in's and out's of this new calling and being of help in the areas needed