Friday, October 30, 2015

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

This semester I am taking a class based on The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  Having 2 hours of dedicated time each week to discuss doctrine and principles focused on family has been a great blessing.  During this semester, my wife and I have celebrated our 4 year anniversary and our son's first birthday, in addition to purchasing a new home.  As a result, my thoughts have been on my family and my role as a father and husband.  As I work to finish school, begin a new career, raise my son, and fulfill all other responsibilities, I have often felt overwhelmed and inadequate.  What a blessing it has been to be reminded of the proclamation on a weekly basis, as it outlines my patriarchal duties and instills confidence that my inadequacies can be made whole by the Lord.  I am grateful for living prophets who testify of our loving Heavenly Father and for their guidance in this dispensation.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Why Marriage, Why Family

This week in class we discussed "Why Marriage, Why Family" and the essential nature of the family in Heavenly Father's plan. I have appreciated the opportunity to step back and contemplate my personal answer to the question "Why Marriage, Why Family?" I know most people in this world likely get married because of the benefits it brings them in this life. Those benefits are definitely unmistakable. However, I take comfort and added weight in the eternal benefits of the blessings of my marriage. I know that with my wife I will be able to fulfill the role my Heavenly Father has in store for me. The plan of salvation teaches us that we can become like our Heavenly Father. Only as a sealed couple can we fully qualify for the blessings of highest level of the celestial kingdom and truly become like our Father in Heaven. I am grateful for a wife who is willing to work with me on eternal goals.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The blessing of children

The crazy thing about starting a family is, when you are trying to have your first kid, there is this crazy unknown - can we have kids? What is this going to do to our marriage? But then, once all the questions are answered, you realize children are one of God's greatest blessings in this life. The fact that He trusts us with these little spirits is overwhelming. My son brings so much happiness to my wife and I. His joys are our joys. His triumphs are our triumphs. Not to mention he's just fun; having an extra adorable, goofy, fun-loving member of the family around really makes the days sunnier, you know?

With all the fun, however, there are also many lessons to be learned. My son has tried me more than anything else in my life has. The sleepless nights. The screaming. The kicking and fighting every time I change his diaper or put him into his car seat. His ridiculous behavior is such an eye opener to me. I am sure Heavenly Father looks at me so often and thinks the same thing - how ridiculous I am being when in reality He is just trying to take care of me and keep me safe. So many lessons to learn. So many joys to be had. Oh what a blessing children are.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Birthday time

Birthdays -- literal days on which the people we love most are born -- are special in the Clark household. And when I say special, I don't mean the kind of special where you have a themed party that you planned for months, including theme-appropriate party favors, foods and activities. The special I am talking about is the one-on-one, making-family-memories kind of special.

For our son's first birthday we took a family camping trip up in the Uintahs. We made a fire. Swung in the hammock. Had the most amazing camp food you can imagine. Cuddled for a giant sleepover in the back of our truck. Woke up with the sun. Then rounded the entire outing off with a nice, scenic drive home (on an intoxicatingly beautiful fall day nonetheless) and a small, little, mom-dad-baby birthday celebration. It was the perfect way to remember and celebrate the first year we spent as a family of three.

Below you can see us singing our son happy birthday. He didn't seem to get the idea of the cupcake at first, but he gets the hang of it toward the end. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Family photos

I love the mountains. Last weekend, one of my wife's friend was kind enough to take our family photos up American Fork canyon.  It is great to finally have some professional photos of our little family, and it has forced me to realize how quickly time goes. My son is almost a year old, and soon he will be graduating high school and moving out of the house. I'm grateful for the small moments in life, especially those shared with my wife and son.  I look forward to spending lots of time in the mountains as we try to raise our son into the man Heavenly Father wants him to be. I appreciate the mountains for the symbolism of being close to our Heavenly Father.  I hope my son has an equal love for the mountains, as well as his Father in Heaven.

Photos of my family can be found at my wife's blog. Take a look around, you will also find our recent family adventures, cooking tips, product suggestions, and cleaning tips.