August 27, 2012

Annie Miller, Arizona, “Baby Chicks”

Annie Miller

My son Braden was attending kindergarten at Coppercreek Elementary School in Glendale, Arizona. His teacher, Mrs. Hoelzen, gave each child an assignment. Their classroom was raising baby chickens for one month, and each child was able to take them home for one night. Braden had to feed them, make sure they were clean, and make sure they were loved. We had many visitors come to see the baby chicks! It was a great lesson in responsibility and the delicacy of life. When the classroom was done with their lesson, the chicks were returned to a farm to grow up big and strong.

—Annie


August 20, 2012

Alicia Cerva, Utah, “A Child’s Prayer”

Alicia Cerva

The reason I took this photo was for a blog I created called “Ensign Challenge 2011.” At the beginning of the year 2011, our Relief Society presidency issued a challenge to all of the sisters in our ward to read the Ensign magazine cover to cover each month for the entire year. I was excited to accept this challenge and decided to blog about my experience. I love photography and thought this would be a fun way to share some of my images that could be tied to some of the articles I read throughout the year.

In the January 2011 issue of the Ensign, I read an article called, “The Restoring Power of Prayer,” by Marcos A. Walker. There was also a quote from Elder Richard G. Scott that says, “Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer.” I asked my daughter to kneel down and “pretend to pray” so I could take a photo for my blog entry that day.

Here is something else I wrote as part of that entry: “Last week, we had a good experience of an 'urgent plea for help' being answered for our family. Ian had lost his iPod at school. It was a gift given to him recently by his grandparents. He was devastated, and so were the other kids. Megan even offered to give hers to him. I felt sick knowing that he had lost it. I knew the only thing we could do was pray. So we knelt down as a family and fervently asked Heavenly Father to help Ian find his iPod. Ian came up to me later that night, still in tears. I told him that all we could do was have faith in our prayers and be grateful we at least had that. He went to bed with a heavy heart. The next morning I checked my e-mail before waking the kids and found a message from the school principal that the iPod had been found. I knew that our prayers had been answered.

I have had countless prayers answered and have a testimony that our Heavenly Father hears every prayer we offer.

I am so grateful that I was challenged to read the Ensign cover to cover each month. I realized how much I was missing out on by not reading every article. It truly is a spiritual feast to read the Church magazines each month and to know that there are members all over the world with strong testimonies of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.

—Alicia



August 13, 2012

Darren Mathews, New York, “Sunset Fishing”

Darren Mathews

A good friend's wife recently passed away after a long, bed-ridden illness. My wife and a few other sisters in the ward had tenderly cared for her during her final few months. Afterwards, her husband, Cal, who hadn't been able to get out and leave his wife without care during this time, invited our family to his lakeside cabin on Sodus Bay in New York.

After a day of sailing and motor boating on the lake, my son Jared was very tired and really just wanted to relax and do some fishing. Being the gracious grandfatherly type, Cal gave Jared a fishing pole and a few instructions on how to catch the big ones and perched him at the end of the dock. With the sun lowering on the horizon, I saw a precious moment I just had to capture. It's a treasure for our family, one of many tender moments the Lord gives to all.

—Darren