Tag Archives: LDS

Macro Meetup

Macro Meetup

You can say I held a macro meetup today.  Two other photographers came over and we took macro photographs in the pub room.  I photographed a watch and some other odds and ends I have around the house.

My light table and light box work well for this stuff.  Add my Carl Zeiss macro lens and I’m ready to take on any tiny project.

copyright 2017 db walton

Macro of a Tiara


copyright 2017 db walton

Beadwork Macro

The First Monday Event is something I do on the 1st Monday of each month.  From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. I gather a bunch of photographers and we take pictures.  It’s open to anyone with a camera, and it is usually free (unless there is an additional cost like lunch, paying a model, entrance fee to a museum, etc.)  Visit Palmyra Photographic Workshops for more information – www.palmyra-ny.com

Palmyra – An Impressive Place

Palmyra is an impressive place.  Some people drive through and think we’re just another hole-in-the-wall podunk village on NY State Route 31.  Members of the Church of Jesus Latter-day Saints come here thinking the only thing to see are the church historic sites.

There’s a lot of untapped potential in this town.  A lot of local folks don’t see it.  They see the 2 weeks during pageant as a windfall for some businesses, and after that… nothing.

I moved here hoping to make a difference.  I think I have to a small degree, but I still butt heads with many local folks.  I’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce and I’m now 1st Vice President of the chamber, but it is hard to get people excited about volunteering on the chamber.   We can’t change things for the better unless others get on board with this idea.

What Palmyra Needs

Palmyra Needs a few more anchor businesses.  We’re rapidly becoming a haven for 2nd hand, antique and consignment shops.  That’s okay, but let’s step it up a bit.  Let’s bring in some businesses that will keep people walking Main Street and spending money.

Here’s my wish list for the Village and Town of Palmyra…

  • A mid-scale restaurant like Olive Garden, Chili’s, Longhorn, Denny’s etc., located on the corner of Temple Road and NY SR 21 – next door to the Palmyra Inn.  (The biggest complaint that I hear about the Palmyra Inn is there is no place to eat close by.  And, even though they offer breakfast, some guests want more than they offer… like a hot breakfast.)  It’s close enough to I-90 that with some signage it could draw business a couple of miles north.
  • A fast food restaurant on the east end of the village – Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, etc.
  • A local sit-down sidewalk cafe in the 200 block East Main Street.  Someplace with ample seating inside and free WiFi, and during good weather, outdoor seating.  Mark’s Pizza is good, but let’s add some variety and class it up a bit.
  • I’d like to see Lock 29 move, or class it up a bit.  They could start by not allowing smoking on the sidewalk in front of their building.  The group that hangs out in front having their smokes are a deterrent to many who walk down that street.  I’ve even had my tenants complain about the cigarette smoke coming from the Lock 29 loiterers.  Ideally, I’d like to see them move on to one of the side streets.
  • I’d like to see street performers in the 200 block during the summer.  It’s a beautiful village.  Why doesn’t the Village sell permits based on an audition tape or YouTube video and let them come and perform for tips.

That’s enough for starters.

Against My Religion

Against My Religion

Socialism, whether you call it Democratic Socialism, Communism (a form of Socialism) or whatever you want to call it, is against my religion.  I won’t mince words.  And, if you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and disagree with me, I’ll simply say, take it to the Lord after you study the topic.

Recognizing my personality type is that of protector, I felt driven today to do some further research on the subject.  This was after going to professed socialist Bernie Sanders’ Facebook page.  I noticed 11 friends “like” his page.  Of the 11, several are church members.  Now, given them the benefit of the doubt, I might think they are just following his posts.  However, when you see them posting “Bernie Sanders for President” memes on their site, you know it is more than that.

Also, the Daily Universe, the BYU Newspaper, posted about a survey claiming 30% of BYU students support Bernie Sanders for president.  Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist has caught the admiration of many young people across the nation.  It is surprising, as well as disturbing, that BYU students would get lured in to the trap of socialism.

Great Evils

Pondering the great evils of our day, and reading recent General Conference addresses, here is a list I’ve complied:

  • Pornography – we have heard it stressed over and over about the evils of pornography.
  • Attacks on Family – this includes abortion, gay marriage, divorce, cohabitation of unmarried people in sexual relationships, pornography, etc.
  • Attack on Personal Liberties – attacks on freedom of speech, freedom of religion and worship, socialism, communism, over-taxation, etc.

To My LDS Friends

So, to my LDS friends, here are a few quotes from our prophets and apostles on the very subject.  Oh, and before you say, “Well, that’s socialism, this is democratic socialism,” or, “That’s communism, this is socialism,” I think you’re going to read they are all one-in-the same.

First, from Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the Church:

“Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan… Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet.”

Second, the First Presidency, 1941, Consisting of Heber J. Grant, J. Rubin Clark, and David O. McKay:

“We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from that underlying spirit common to Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, namely, the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort, which would rob the people of the liberties which we possess under the Constitution.

Third, from Ezra Taft Benson:

No true Latter-day Saint can be a Communist or a Socialist because Communist principles run counter to the revealed word of God and to the Constitution of this land which was established by men whom the God of Heaven raised up unto that very purpose.”

Wow, that’s some pretty strong language and should cause any Latter-day Saint to perk up their ears.

Forth, from Howard W. Hunter:

“If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have last their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.”

Fifth and Sixth, from the scriptures themselves:

“Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!”  D&C 56:17

“They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”  Issaiah 65:22

Seventh, from President Benson’s message in the 1988 Ensign:

“Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods in socialism, rationalism, etc.”

Finally, there is plenty to be said in Church manuals about socialism versus the Law of Consecration (or United Order).  (see https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-instructors-guide-religion-324-325/the-law-of-consecration-and-stewardship-part-2-lesson-31-sections-83-85-92-104?lang=eng&query=socialism for an example).

Study the Constitution

This quote from Elder Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve, “U.S. citizens should follow the First Presidency’s counsel to study the Constitution.  They should be familiar with its great fundamentals: the separation of powers, the individual guarantees in the Bill of Rights, the structure of federalism, the sovereignty of the people, and the principles of the rule of the law. They should oppose any infringement of these inspired fundamentals,” (Ensign, Feb. 1992) has driven my wife and I to include study of the U.S. Constitution as part of our scripture study.

By so doing, studying the Constitution reinforces core values in the Constitution, and also helps us prepare to recognize when our Constitutional rights have been trampled.  Having been subject to that myself, this is something I feel very strong about.

As one reads the Constitution, they should question things like…

  • Can a president really create a law by executive order?
  • Conversely, can a president overturn a law by the same?
  • Can the Supreme Court make rulings that become new laws?
  • Can someone be tried in a court, while not being accused of a crime, and denied a trial by jury?
  • What does the Constitution say about religion and state?
  • What is the role of the President (Executive Branch)?
  • What is the role of Congress and the Senate (Legislative Branch)?
  • What is the role of the Supreme and lesser courts (Judicial Branch)?
  • Can agencies, like the FCC, USDA, etc., create law?
  • Who authorizes the spending of tax dollars?

… just to name a few.


I think we are, in general, as a people (church members) fairly naive regarding politics.  And, for good reason, we keep political discussions outside the church.  However, this is not about politics, it is about freedom and God-given rights as defined in the Constitution.  Both are discussion that do belong at church and are based on scripture, namely the Book of Mormon, and will impact our personal freedoms (including religion) for years to come.

We need to stand up and be champions of the Gospel as well as the Constitution.  And, where needed, we need to repent and rid ourselves of sin, false doctrines and champion the cause of freedom.  (Read the Book of Alma, and pay particular attention to the phrase, “cause of freedom”.)

Haircut and Show

Haircut and Show

Today was a day for a haircut and show.  The haircut, was as you’d expect.  The show was Elizabethe and I got together with two other couples (our bishop and my home teaching companion and their wives) and I gave them a slideshow about Israel.

It’s been a couple of years since I did a slideshow about Israel and so my “new” presentation has some kinks to work out.  But, we had fun.

How nice it would be to find a couple or a couple of couples who would enjoy me as a tag-along in Israel to take pictures of them and the scenery.  In exchange, I would give them all of the digital files.  (Click here to read more about how this would work.)

And, if there are any LDS Wards out there who would enjoy a fireside about Israel, I’d be happy to accommodate that too (once I get all the kinks ironed out.)

Let’s see… while I’m still on the subject… what little tidbits are exciting for LDS Members…

  • Israel is a symbol of the church
  • Jerusalem is a symbol for the temple
  • Before the children of Israel could pass in to the Promise Land, they passed through the River Jordan (see the first item in this list.)
  • Ceasarea Philippi was a place of idol worship and false god worship
  • Just to mention a few…

We had a good time.  They got a kick out of my pictures of food, but most laughs came from this photo…

copyright 2016 db walton

Marketplace Brass Goods

So, who wants to take me to Israel for me to be their personal photographer?

Speaking Tomorrow

I’m speaking tomorrow at Tri-County Networkers.  I’ve decided to talk to them about how to dress for a headshot and/or portrait.


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.

October 3rd 2015 Conference

October 3rd 2015 Conference

I love General Conference.  While many believe God is a myth, I know God lives and it is this time of year when those, lead by the Holy Ghost, speak to us.  October 3rd 2015 Conference starts today.

A couple of things that stood out in the morning session were Sister Marriott’s talk.  She said, “All things will workout for your good doesn’t mean all things are good.”

In contrast, Elder Quinton Cook said, “There is an increasing tendency to call evil good, and good evil.”

The rest of the day was equally as good.  After the first two sessions, we loaded the car, and headed to the stake center for the Priesthood Chili Cook-off.

This was the first time since moving here that we ran out of food.  A few years ago, we had so much chili left over that I took the leftovers home, Elizabethe canned them, and the following year I took them back and we had last year’s chili.  This year, we didn’t have enough.

Priesthood session has a theme of increasing faith.  The talks centered around examining our faith and taking action to increase our faith.  The result was one of the most edifying priesthood sessions I can remember.

I’m so very thankful that we have technology to bring General Conference to us.  It wasn’t that long ago if you wanted to see conference that you would have to travel to Salt Lake City.  Now, you can sit in the comfort of your home and watch it on TV, computer or smart phone.


Triple Treat

Triple Treat

What is a triple treat?  It is getting to hold Joseph Smith’s, Jr., Samuel Smith’s and Hyrum Smith’s personal copies of the Book of Mormon ALL at ONCE!

I’ll come back to that…

My day started off with a senior portrait session in Lehi.  A family friend asked if I would have time, so I made time.  We got up at the crack of dawn and the client/friend picked me up and we went to their family’s ranch and I did their daughter’s senior pictures.

After that it was off to Kneader’s for breakfast.  They make the best French toast and we need a Kneader’s in PALMYRA, NEW YORK.  Yes, Kneader’s, come build a restaurant here!

copyright 2015 db walton

French Toast at Kneader’s

We then went Provo to find this store where we were told a guy has Joseph Smith’s personal copy of the Book of Mormon.  So, we find the place and ask and are told the guy who owns  it isn’t in and he is the ONLY one who can show people.

Just as we’re leaving, who walks in?  The guy who owns it.  He proceeds to show us not one, but THREE very historic copies of the Book of Mormon.

copyright 2015 db walton

Samuel’s, Hyrum’s and Joseph’s Personal Copies of the Book of Mormon

The first one was the 1st Edition that Samuel Smith took with him as the first missionary of the church.  The second one is the one Hyrum read from the night before he and Joseph were killed, and the third was Joseph Smith’s personal copy while in Nauvoo.

What a treat that was.

We then went to a park with Natalie, Bradley, Brianna and Amber.  I took pictures of the grandchildren and my two pregnant daughters.

copyright 2015 db walton

Prego Times Two

We also stopped at Natalie’s and Ben’s, saw their house and garden.   They live in a big house with Ben’s parents and Ben’s grandmother.  Ben is going to school and Natalie works at a dental office (in addition to being in the Army Reserves.)

At the end of the day we went to Iggy’s for dinner.  I thought I’d order something small — an order of nachos from the appetizer list.  It was HUGE.  I only ate 1/4 of it and took the rest home for breakfast tomorrow.

5 25 15

5 25 15

I guess only a number geek can appreciate 5 25 15.  Yes, the date today is all add multiples of 5 – 5, 15 and 25.  It doesn’t get any better.

It is also Memorial Day – the day we honor fallen soldiers who died in the defense of this country.

I missed the parade because the weather report said it was going to rain and I had to get the lawn cut before it rained.  Well, I did, and then it didn’t rain.  I tell you, weathermen get away with screwing up on a regular basis.  Wouldn’t be nice to tell your boss, “Hey, there’s a 50% chance I’ll get this report to you,” and still keep your job?

Elizabethe wanted me to use the grass catcher, but being in a hurry to get things cut before the rain hit, I decided to just cut the grass.  It saved me 2 hours (about how much longer it takes to use the grass catcher), but I better use it the next time.

My FineArtbyDB.com site has some photos under the LDS section.  They are both from the Smith Farm.  One is of Crooked Creek, and the other is inside the grove.

Valentine Special

Valentine Special

We are running a Valentine Special.  Here it is…

Come stay at the Beckwith Mansion for 2 nights and on the day between the two nights, attend the Palmyra Temple, and get a pizza dinner* delivered to your room after your temple visit.

For the small rooms, this special is $60.  For the larger rooms, it is $80.

The offer expires on 2/20.  It requires advance reservation and payment at the time of booking.

We are located 2 miles from the Palmyra Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We offer off-street parking, on-site laundry, use of the kitchen, and free WiFi.  If you are not a member of the church, but still want to take advantage of this special, you may.  The stipulation is instead of going to the temple, you must tour one of Palmyra’s historic sites – E.B. Grandin Building, Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center, or the Smith Farm.

*Pizza dinner will be delivered by one of our local pizzerias.  You will have the choice of any medium pizza from their menu.  We will include the gratuity and a 2-liter bottle of your choice of soft drinks.

Hurry!  Temple closes for its semi-annual cleaning soon.  You must take advantage of this offer before it closes.

 Not Normal

Several of us after leaving the temple tonight commented how this accumulation of snow is not normal.  These frigid temperatures have been preventing any sort of melt.  As a result, it just keeps piling up.

209 Years Ago

209 Years Ago

Born 209 years ago was a man who changed history.  Joseph Smith, Jun., was born this day in Sharon, Vermont, in 1805.  Whether you like him or not, he changed the history of the world.

I was privileged to visit his birth place back in September.  A large granite obelisk commemorates the birthplace of the prophet.

copyright 2014 db walton

Joseph Smith’s Birthplace

How did he change the world?

I recommend you visit this web site dedicated to him.  (click here)  There you can read more than I can ever write about his life.

Privileged to live down the road from the homes his family lived in prior to their move to Ohio in the 1830s, Palmyra, New York, is where it all started.  It was while living here, early in the spring of 1820, that a young Joseph Smith sought answers to his prayers.

The event that changed so much was when Joseph Smith retired to a grove behind the family’s log home.  His purpose was to ask God which church to join.  What happened parallels the visions and revelations of biblical events.    Joseph, upon kneeling to pray had a heavenly manifestation unequal to anything since the first century.

Here’s a short video that summarizes things…

Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers

It’s that time that we buy stocking stuffers.  Because we’re empty-nesters, we put together stockings for the full-time missionaries serving in the Palmyra Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is a tradition we started a few years ago and one of my favorite traditions since being empty-nesters.

The tradition dates back to Christmas of 1976 when I was serving a mission for the LDS Church.  The saints in Littleton, Colorado, invited all the missionaries in the Denver area to come enjoy a dinner.  At the end, Santa came and gave us all stockings.

The stockings were filled with stuff missionaries use and need.  I remember getting a set of fingernail clippers.  Mine had recently disappeared and so this new set meant a lot to this missionary who was 1000 miles from home.

The next year, 1977, they did the same thing.  This time I was expecting it, but it still meant a lot to me.

So, that is the Walton Family tradition here in Palmyra.  We feed the missionaries breakfast, and then present them with their stockings and watch their faces as they empty the contents.

I won’t write about what we got to place inside the stockings, but I think they will enjoy sifting through the contents.  If it helps them not miss home too much we’ll have done our jobs.