Tag Archives: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Getting Ready to Move

That’s right, we’re getting ready to move. My plan is to include beckwithmansion.com with the house when we sell it (providing the new owners pay for the domain transfer.)

Having this disease has made it necessary for us to downsize and move closer to family. We’ve already put money down on a lot in Utah that is close to several of my daughters and some of Elizabethe’s sisters. We hate to leave Palmyra and this beautiful home, but it is the right thing to do.

Accomplishments Before Getting Sick

To show an attitude of gratitude I want to list some of the things we’ve done since moving to Palmyra…

  • Operated a successful tourist home – in the process, we met some wonderful people. Some of them celebrities, and others just downright nice folks.
  • Owned a commercial property with very little vacancy periods.
  • Served a 5 year mission for Church Publishing Services – during this time (and even now) I’ve had many photos published in church magazines and websites. Just this last General Conference issue had one of my photographs.
  • Ran a successful photography business – photographed lots of people, several weddings and had a great time.
  • Documented NY Route 31 in photos
  • Did a Route 66 end-to-end road trip that took 30 days. (This was just a few months before getting ill.)
  • Three trips to Israel!!!
  • Survived getting hit by a car as a pedestrian.
  • Served the entire time in the Palmyra Temple as an Ordinance Worker.
  • Served 8 years as the Palmyra Ward Organist.
  • Visited by many family members and friends and took them around Western New York.
  • Several day trips to NYC (by bus) where I photographed models and did street photography.
  • Made more friends than I ever imagined.
  • Saw my best friend of 30 years and his wife join the church, go through the temple, and then he passed away.
  • Met hundreds of missionaries.
  • Photographed several general authorities, including several apostles.
  • Met John Bytheway and spent an afternoon talking to him and his family.
  • Worked security every year at Hill Cumorah.
  • Was VP, then president of Finger Lakes Professional Photographers.
  • President of the local Chamber of Commerce – Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce – worked on the re-branding of the Chamber.
  • Hosted a really fun Walton Family Reunion – so, none of my extended family attended. It was just 3 of my daughters and their children, but we had a BLAST.
  • Had pictures published in Waterfalls of New York Calendar (2017).
  • Attended PPSNYS Workshop at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the last 6 years. (Last year I was already sick, but managed to sit through the classes. Decided that would be the last year given it’s too much to handle with MG.)

Nice Baptism

Nice Baptism

Elizabethe and I attended a nice baptism today.  A couple, Cliff and Alice Dodge, were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Many people from our ward attended.

Lance Camp and I talked about our missionary days.  We both served in the Colorado Denver Mission.  I served several years before he did, however, he says there was still talk of a mission president who made his missionaries spit shine their shoes and starch their shirts.  That was President Lambourne (my mission president from the start of my mission until June, 1978.)

The only overlap was Arvada.  We both served in Arvada.

Alien Skin Bug

I discovered a bug in the Alien Skin Exposure 2 software.  If you have an “@” symbol anywhere in the file’s path it won’t recognize the image.  It knows a file is there, however, it won’t open it or render a thumb nail.

They acknowledged the bug and said it will be fixed in the current version.  Once they fix it, I’m going to ask for a free copy.  After all, I found the bug, and as a result, should not be forced to buy a new version.

I keep hearing horror stories about Adobe Creative Cloud problems.  I don’t understand.  Actually, I do understand.  The same things happened at AT&T.  A company gets so big they forget who their customers are and they live off their economy of scale.


Ten Eight Four

Ten Eight Four

Ten eight four is a reference to our dinner guests.  We started off preparing for ten.  Then we had two cancel leaving eight.  We had four cancel, leaving four.  Oh, well.  We had enough to eat.

The sister missionaries who were scheduled we not able to come for dinner.  Jennifer then sent me a message saying they were running too late and would come visit tomorrow.  That left the four of us.

I made a Thai salad.  The dressing turned out perfect!  I asked Elizabethe to write it down.

Big Crowd

We had a big crowd at church today.  There are a lot of tourist in town.  Autumn leaves might be attracting them, but this was more than usual.

While Palmyra is a huge draw for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, most of the tourists visit during Pageant and summer months.  Autumn colors attract many tourist, but most of them are non-members.  I’m not sure what accounts for today’s large attendance.  I hope we continue to get crowds like this!


I came home and took a nap while Elizabethe entertained our granddaughter.  There are many weeks when I can only get a nap in on Sunday.

Early Baptisms

Early Baptisms

We did some early baptisms this morning.  Elizabethe, two of her daughters, and one granddaughter were baptized, while I did the baptizing.  We did 96 of my family names.  That is 24 names each!

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that God will not condemn those who did not have the opportunity to be baptized.  Thus, we go to the temple to do baptisms by proxy for and in behalf of our dead ancestors.  We also believe they, the spirits of our dead ancestors, have the agency to accept or reject the baptism.  This is a major reason we go to the temple and do family history work.

copyright 2016 db walton - early baptisms

On Our Way to the Temple





White Chili

White Chili

My wife isn’t in to spicy food, and when it comes to chili she prefers I make “white chili.”  It is basically navy beans, garbanzo beans, corn, milk, sour cream and cheese with some mild chilis and onions.  Oh, and I shouldn’t forget the chicken.  This is what I made for the Priesthood Chili Cook Off tonight.

This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Semi-annual General Conference.  On Saturday night, Priesthood members all over the world gather for the Priesthood session.  The two hours before the Palmyra Ward has it’s traditional Chili dinner.  Tonight was no exception to the tradition.

General Conference

General Conference today consists of 3 sessions, 2 hours each, with a 2 hour break between sessions.  That’s a 10 hour span.  Careful planning goes in to Conference Saturdays.  It’s not a day to take on any time consuming project.

People post things said in conference immediately.  Mostly good, and some bad, people post their favorite things said.  President Uchdorf commended about an “unnamed” diet soda.  Almost immediately, someone posted a meme about the comment.

Between sessions I was running back and forth working on the chili for tonight’s priesthood dinner.    Because of the milk products in the chili, I need to be careful not to burn or scorch it.  All worked out well and it was cooked to perfection.


Three Idiots

Three Idiots

I had never heard of the movie the Three Idiots before.  Our friend Nita told us about the movie and that she has it on DVD.  So, we invited Nita for dinner and watched the Three Idiots.

It is a lengthy movie that has some interesting messages about education.  I won’t spoil the plot, but it also is an eye opener to the Indian culture regarding education.  It now makes sense why so many Indians immigrate to the U.S.A. to go to school and work.

It also made me realize how inspired the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Perpetual Education Fund is. The idea is to provide people in under-developed countries funds for education, but they must return to their country to work.  Thus, it betters their country.  That was one of the complaints brought out in the Three Idiots – people from India get an education and leave India.

Food Storage

Two nights in a row now we prepared food storage meals for our guests.  There is something satisfying about making a meal from food storage and having it taste good.

I made a bread pudding that was the hit of the evening.  I plan to make this again… and again… and again.  I’ll put it in the Cooking with Brent section.

No Snow But Cold

No Snow But Cold

Today it is no snow but cold.  That’s right.  The first day this year that it has not snowed.  But, brrrrr… it is cold.

We had a Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting this morning.  There is great concern that many local businesses are not getting involved.  My theory is many are Millennials who are of the opinion that everything can be done on-line.

I wonder how Captain Moroni would have fared had he had to deal with Millennial attitudes.  I’ll leave that to you to decided.  It is also food for thought if we ever have to defend our rights, families and liberties again.  I think there is only one organization in this nation that is equipped to handle a situation like that — the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I also wonder what it would take to get people involved again.  It makes you wonder what the general populus would do if there was a major Internet and power outage that would leave them with absolutely no access to Facebook, SnapChat or even their cell phone and text messages.

My wife once asked what would happen if we were totally cut off from public utilities.  I just shrugged and commented about my Boy Scout days when we would take off in to the High Sierras with meager provisions for a week or two.  It wouldn’t be comfortable, but I could do it if it came to that.

A teenager riding his bike down the street the other day was totally oblivious to his surroundings.  Why?  Because he was holding his cell phone in one hand and texting.  I ran in to him latter and commented that his parents and grandparents would be terribly sad if he were creamed by a car.  In the kindest way I could muster, I suggested he leave his phone in his pocket while riding his bicycle.

There is a poignant video that shows a man sitting on a park bench texting.  A lady’s grocery bag breaks and sends her groceries flying in front of him, and he doesn’t even notice.  There are others that show serious accidents and other tragedies all because someone was paying too much attention to their electronics and not life around them.

That brings me back to the chamber.  I’ve heard these comments from other leaders of volunteer groups that volunteerism is dying in this country.  While the liberal-minded complain about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, soup kitchens often suffer because they don’t get enough volunteers.

Dude!  Attention!  Volunteer in your community!

New Old Friends

New Old Friends

I met some new old friends today.  New, because it is the first time we’ve met.  Old, because it seems like we’ve known each other for a long time.

A friend from childhood texted me, excited that her half-sister was coming to Palmyra.  She wanted me to meet her half-sister and her husband.  It turns out, they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints too.

I met them at 9:30am at the Smith Farm and we had a wonderful time touring the Smith Farm and walking through the Sacred Grove.  From there, we came back to the house, picked up Elizabethe, and got lunch at Nima’s.

copyright 2015 db walton

Mike, Jan and Me

Mike and Jan Glasscock lived in the Rancho Cordova Stake for a while.  As I mentioned people we might know in common, I mentioned my former bishop, Bishop Floyd Andrus.  Mike asked if he was related to Ward Andus.  I laughed and told Mike I remember when Ward was born, and Ward is Bishop Andrus’ son.

Small world.

We had a great time, but not enough time.  It was fun to connect with these folks.  I hope we get to spend time together in the future.

I contacted Kathy to let her know we had a great time and to thank her for encouraging this reunion.  Kathy was excited to know we had a good time.

My lunch with them was cut short as I had an appointment to tutor someone in the use of Adobe Lightroom.  That too went well.  My student left excited to put his newly found knowledge to work.

We then had dinner with David, and that was followed by Family Home Evening with David and the sister missionaries.  We watched a conference talk by Elder Holland and discussed it afterwards.


I find it oddly funny that people would get upset that a known drug dealer (Starbucks) doesn’t have any verbiage on their red cups about Christmas.  Albeit they peddle a street-legal drug (caffeine), they also sell it laced with poisons like formaldehyde, toluene, benzofuran, benzaldehyde and other carcinogenic chemicals.  Hey, but all that aside, shouldn’t they put, “Merry Christmas” on the cup?  Yet, I don’t find those same folks upset that Winstons don’t come with Merry Christmas scrolled down the side of the cigarette.    So, if you’re inclined to walk through the shady parts of town, and the local drug pusher comes up and asks if you want to buy some pills, slam him up against the wall and demand he salute you with, “Merry Christmas.”

On the other hand, I find it offensive that any employer would restrict a cordial greeting like, “Merry Christmas”.  We’ve become a society where we don’t want to offend the offenders.    It seems okay to offend those who mean no offence, but heaven forbid we offend a miscreant.  I’d much rather walk in to a business and be greeted with Happy Chanukah, even though I’m not Jewish, than a repressed employee who is unhappy because their employer said they cannot greet someone with a greeting that has a religious significance.

Oh, well.  I’m not a fan of Starbucks, or coffee for that matter.  It’s a nasty, smelly, beverage laced with drugs and chemicals that are designed to keep you coming back for more.  I was thinking I’m ambivalent  whether they package their poison in a red and green cup or whether that cups says, “Merry Christmas”, or not.  I’m not.  I just don’t think poison-laced drugs belong in a “Merry Christmas” cup.


Tender Mercy 50 Years Later

Tender Mercy 50 Years Later

I got to witness a tender mercy 50 years later.    It brought such a warm smile to my face and I was just watching.

I’m at the temple and I hear a man ask one of the temple missionaries, “Did you serve a mission when you were a young man?”

My first thought was, “That’s an interesting question, but a good conversation starter.”

copyright 2015 db walton

Sister and Elder Hinton

The temple missionary answered that he did.  The man then asked, “Where did you serve?”

The temple missionary explained that he had served in the Southern States Mission.  (I believe that mission included Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina back then.)  I think he was about to explain what that mission covered back then when the guest chimed in with, “I thought so.  I was a missionary in your district.”

I was grinning ear-to-ear hearing that.  It reminded me how special my mission was and the people I served with and taught are still shining stars in my memory.

Later in the evening, both were catching up on old times.  It’s a small world, and it gets smaller inside the church, but it is also one of God’s tender mercies — to run into an old friend and find that he (or she) is still active in the gospel.  It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures – Alma 17:2:

Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

It was the highlight of the evening.

In our missionary conference call today, one of the sister CSM Photographers from Mexico City was in Salt Lake City and attending the meeting in person.  I was nice to see her and listen to her talk.

Isn’t it amazing that missionaries serving all over the world can get on their computer once a week for a 2 hour webinar?

Could you imagine back in 1975 telling someone, “In 40 years, you can hold a tablet in your hand – a little smaller than a clipboard – and talk to 40 or 50 people via that tablet just like you talk on the phone today.  Only difference is, you will see their face, hear them, and there will be NO WIRES attached!”

I road the high-tech wave at its crest and I’m STILL amazed.

Another one of those tender mercies.

You Hurt Our Businesses

You Hurt Our Businesses

This is a message to those who stand in front of Palmyra business during Hill Cumorah Pageant and protest:  You Hurt Our Businesses!

Like yelling fire in a crowded theater causes panic, standing in front of someone’s business, or being in the business retail district and protesting — anything — hurts businesses.  As business owners, we respect your right to free speech, but please, take it to the park where you aren’t affecting retail sales.

Next week, Hill Cumorah Pageant starts and local businesses in Palmyra, between Williams/Cuyler Streets and Market Street are sick and tired of agitators using that block to stage their protests against Mormons (Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

One employee at one such business (an employee who has never been here during pageant) said, “Protesting Mormons?  Why?”

I won’t get in to the reasons why, but the protesters, whatever their reasons, are not spreading goodwill.  You have a church event sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that brings 10s of thousands of people to the tiny village of Palmyra.  Along with that, they bring spending money that largely supports many businesses.  When a protester stands in front of a business, in order to avoid conflict, would-be customers move around the protester and avoid the business.

So, here’s my advice to tourist and shoppers in Palmyra…

  • When you come across one of these protesters, politely let them know you respect their right to free speech, but ask them to move out of the business district so we can provide for our families.
  • Do not engage with them on the sidewalk.  That only adds to the problems and it also disrupts pedestrian traffic (which in Palmyra is against the law).
  • If they confront or stop you on the sidewalk and attempt to block you from moving along your way, call 9-1-1 and report them.
  • If you are a business owner, and they are disrupting your business, call 9-1-1.
  • If they contend that they have freedom of speech, remind them the Village Park is public property — the sidewalks are PRIVATE property with an easement for foot traffic.