December 26, 2011
Jennifer Anderson, Utah: “A Little Miracle of Hope and Love”
This photo represents hope for me. I took this photo days after my father unexpectedly passed away. I had gone out to get the mail and saw a huge butterfly flying between the lilies in my dad's flower beds. I rushed into the house to grab my camera, expecting the butterfly to be gone by the time I got back outside. To my great surprise, the butterfly was still there and held still long enough for me to get one picture.
I had really been struggling with the passing of my father, especially since I had lost my husband 3 months prior. With two deaths of close loved ones, I was beginning to feel forgotten by the Lord. Seeing that butterfly enjoying the lilies my dad had planted and cared for was a reminder to me of God's love for me. It gave me hope and courage to press forward despite the difficulties taking place in my life.
Every time I see this picture now, I think of the Primary song "I Feel My Savior's Love" and I am reminded that He is there and I am not alone. It's also a reminder that my dad left a legacy for me, one that has the potential to bless more lives than any one person could possibly imagine.
December 19, 2011
Tara Chipman, Utah: “Love Beyond Words”
We were at a family gathering. I don’t remember the exact details of that day. What I do remember, though, was that my four-year-old son felt left out and had gone to sit alone on a bench. Sisters just have a way of knowing and understanding what little brothers need most, even when words are not expressed. His big sister went and sat next to him and put her arm around him. The one thing that impressed me was that I don’t remember if any words were exchanged. Just simply being there by him with her arm around him was enough. They shared something that could not be seen or touched, but only felt—love.
December 12, 2011
David Brubaker, Arizona: “Hukilau Beach—Ohana (Family Watching Son)”
While we were visiting my wife’s family in Laie, my son and I went body boarding at Hukilau Beach, while my sweet wife and daughters, who are in the background, stood watching from shore. Two thoughts came to mind as I look at this picture.
In April 2011, Elder Scott said, “Who can justly measure the righteous influence of a mother’s love? What enduring fruits result from the seeds of truth that a mother carefully plants and lovingly cultivates in the fertile soil of a child’s trusting mind and heart?” Isaiah 48:18 tells us that if we hearken to the commandments, our righteousness will be “as the waves of the sea.” I love the symbolism in this picture of a mother carefully watching her son as he ventures out into the waves. Is there any more powerful influence than a righteous mother, carefully watching and guiding her children to make righteous choices that will impact their lives and others' lives as the waves of the sea?
December 5, 2011
Janessa Cazier, Texas: “Fall Morning Sunrise”
After living in Utah and then in Iowa for several years, our family moved to Texas. There are many wonderful things that we love about living in Texas, but I always feel a little homesick in the fall. I miss the beautiful orange, red, and golden hues that decorate the world during that season. While the fall weather in Texas is lovely, the colors aren't. Texas just turns brown as it slowly fades into winter. In the midst of my longing for fall, I awoke one morning to find the world outside aglow. I went outside to get a better look at the most brilliant fall-colored sunrise I've ever seen. I felt so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who created such a beautiful fall-colored morning for me to enjoy—even in Texas.