We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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As an adult Ms. Funicello described herself as “the queen of teen,” and millions around her age agreed. Young audiences appreciated her sweet, forthright appeal, and parents saw her as the perfect daughter.
She was the last of the 24 original Mouseketeers chosen for “The Mickey Mouse Club,” the immensely popular children’s television show that began in 1955, when fewer than two-thirds of households had television sets. Walt Disney personally discovered her at a ballet performance.
Before long, she was getting more than 6,000 fan letters a week, and was known by just her first name in a manner that later defined celebrities like Cher, Madonna and Prince.
Sometimes called “America’s girl next door,” she nonetheless managed to be at the center of the action during rock ’n’ roll’s exuberant emergence. She was the youngest member of Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars tour, which included LaVern Baker, the Drifters, Bobby Rydell, the Coasters and Paul Anka. Mr. Anka, her boyfriend, wrote “Puppy Love” for her in her parents’ living room.
As a Mouseketeer, she received a steady stream of wristwatches, school rings and even engagement rings from young men, all of which she returned. She wrote in her 1994 autobiography, “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” that irate mothers often wrote back to say “how hard Johnny or Tommy had worked to save the money for the gift and how dare I return it?”
She said that if she had charm (she undeniably had modesty), it was partly a result of her shyness. Mr. Disney begged her to call him Uncle Walt, but she could manage only “Mr. Disney.” (She could handle “Uncle Makeup” and “Aunt Hairdresser.”)
At the height of her stardom, she said her ambition was to quit show business and have nine children.
With minor exceptions, like her commercials for Skippy peanut butter, Ms. Funicello did become a homemaker after marrying at 22. One reason, she said, was her reluctance to take parts at odds with her squeaky-clean image. She had three children.
Her cheerfulness was legendary. Her response to learning she had multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, was to start a charity to find a cure.
There was no irony, only warm good feeling, in her oft-repeated remark about the world’s pre-eminent rodent: “Mickey is more than a mouse to me. I am honored to call him a friend.”
Annette Joanne Funicello was born on Oct. 22, 1942, in Utica, N.Y., and as the first grandchild on either side of the family was indulged to the point of being, in her own words, a “spoiled brat.” At age 2, she learned the words to every song on the hit parade, her favorite being “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive.”
In 1946, her parents decided to move to Southern California in the hope of doing better economically. They lived in a trailer park until her father, a mechanic, found work. They settled in Studio City and later moved to Encino.
Annette took dancing lessons, learned to play drums and, at 9, was named Miss Willow Lake at a poolside beauty contest. She did some modeling. Mr. Disney, who wanted amateurs and not professional child actors, discovered her when she danced in “Swan Lake” at a local recital.
“The Mickey Mouse Club” was instantly popular, generating orders for 24,000 mouse-eared beanies a day. Annette quickly became the most popular Mouseketeer, and Disney marketed everything from Annette lunchboxes and dolls to mystery novels about her fictionalized adventures.
But she did not receive special treatment. When she lost a pair of felt mouse ears, she was charged $55. It was deducted from her $185 weekly paycheck.
She once decided she wanted to change her last name to something more typically American. She chose Turner. But Mr. Disney, whom she considered a second father, convinced her that her own name would be more memorable once people learned it.
In 1958, as “The Mickey Mouse Club” was ending its run, Mr. Disney summoned Ms. Funicello to his office. She feared she was going to be fired for growing too tall, but instead he offered her a studio contract — the only one given to a Mouseketeer.
Annette Funicello, who was part of the original cast of the 1950′s Disney television program, The Mickey Mouse Club, died Monday. She was 70 and had had multiple sclerosis for decades. Funicello also co-starred in several Disney beach party movies in the 1960′s along with Frankie Avalon.
Fans are laying flowers on Annette Funicello’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star. When she received it 10 years ago, she said she owed her career to her mentor Walt Disney, who she called Uncle Walt, and his famous cartoon rodent.
“I used to always watch the Mickey Mouse Club with Annette Funicello when I was young”, says Alan Osmond of the performing Osmond Family, who also has Multiple Sclerosis for the past 26 years.
It wasn’t but 5 or 6 years after I got M.S. that a ‘rag magazine’ notified me saying that they were going to expose me and the fact that I had MS with a headline inferring that I was going to die! It was almost embarrassed in letting anyone know that I had multiple sclerosis yet alone having a bad magazine tell the world that I was dying! It wasn’t true! I didn’t know what to do so, I contacted Annette Funicello and we had a wonderful visit. We talked about the business and how Walt Disney was responsible in launching Annette’s and me and my brothers careers into show business. I then explained to Annette that I had recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and we shared our stories with each other. I told Annette about the magazine article that was scheduled to come out and she said, “Alan, the best thing to do is to just come open with it and announce it to the world.” Well, that’s exactly what I did!
The next morning I was scheduled to appear on Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and with People Magazine. I shared my story and what I had and gave thanks to Annette for encouraging me to open up and talk about it. Actually, I felt much better by getting it out in the open and in dealing with it! Being the third son of eight boys and one girl, my father who had been an army sergeant and in teaching us to be tough would say, “You can do it!” when we had a challenge. My mother would spiritually strengthen us children when challenged with her, “This too shall pass”, encouragements. So from that day I announced it until today I say, ”I may have M.S., but, M.S. does NOT have me!”
I stayed in touch with Annette over the next years and we noted others like Anne Romney, Teri Garr and others who got M.S. as we tried to figure out how to help others who faced the same ‘TEST‘ in life. Annette’s husband Glenn Holt and I talked many times together and especially when Annette couldn’t talk well because the M.S. affected her voice. Glenn always put Annette first and would meet her every need. They had horses and rode them trying every thing they could to stop this disabling disease. They even started The Annette Funicello Research Fund to help others with M.S. and encouraged all to join in by donating.
When I heard that Annette had passed away, I wrote to Glen Holt and sent my condolences and sympathies letting him know that he will Annette would one day be together again:
“Glenn my friend, Suzanne and I and our families send our condolences and love along with our prayers this day.
Bless you Glen. You were the best husband Annette could have had and you gave her everyting she needed and you were most loving and caring in her every need! I am a better person for having known you both and we had many great laughs and conversations together.
I know that Annette is in a better place, where my parents are also, and you will be with Annette some day again.
Please know of of love and everlasting friendship, Alan & Suzanne Osmond”
Glenn was with Annette and so he had his son Philip Holt text me this message:
“Philip Holt here (Glen’s son). Dad has received your email and wants no time to pass by without replying to you. Of course I have heard many of the stories and of the great friendship you all have shared with Dad and Annette through the years. I have just sat down with dad and he has asked me to share the following with you:
Thank you and your entire family so much for your prayers, thoughts and sincere words at this time of our deep loss! I can tell you without any hesitation what so ever that the shared times we have had with you and your family have mutually been a blessing for both Annette and me! Please give thanks to everyone in your family for always being such an incredible example to both of us through the years! Annie had such an incredible and genuine respect for your entire family! This includes you mother too. She was a TRUE fan of your mother! She respected her so much!! It meant so much to Annie that the relationship we shared with all of you had nothing to do with show business and was always truly about the love and respect we all have for our families and each other.
Additionally, Dad mentioned to me that you sometimes post items on your website about “Annie and our friendship”. He is incredibly proud of your shared friendship and therefore wants you to feel free to continue with these posts as you wish.
Respectfully and with Sincere Thanks, Philip Holt on behalf of my Dad Glen Holt and of course Annette Funicello Holt”
I share our comments with Philip and Glen’s blessings because we all will face these moments in life. May we always remember that family and friends are forever; and so are we! As God’s children, because of Jesus Christ’s atonement, we all will return to Him once again.
As I paused and looked at Annette’s name, it dawned on me that her name ends with ‘ETTE’. This has been one of our family’s slogans which means, “Endure To The End”. Endure means to remain firm in a commitment and to be true to the commandments of God despite temptation, opposition, and adversity. We have always tried to live this and so did Annette as the article above reminds us of ‘her modesty’! We would always express “ETTE” or “Endure To The End” when hard challenges came when we were growing up in show business and even made rings with ETTE to remind us because as scripture says: ”
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” 2 Nephi 31:20
To my freind Annette, Glen Holt and all family members, may I say, “Endure To The End”. Death is a part of God’s eternal Plan of Life. God is not the author of confusion. There are also opposites in all things. As we are born; we must also die. When the physical body dies, the spirit continues to live. In the spirit world, the spirits of the righteous “are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow” (Alma 40:12). This is where Annette is.
I also want to encourage all family and friends of Annette to remember to continue supporting The Annette Funicello Research Fund. (See address below.) This is how we all can express thanks to Annette and remember her by helping many others with M.S. as Annette said,
”I have great faith there is a reason God wanted me to have MS,” … “I think the reason is for me to help others and help raise funds.” Annette
Annette, your ‘TEST‘ is now a ‘TEST imony” to all!
“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” (Articles of Faith 1:12).
Military service shows dedication to this principle.
” If one must go to war, they should go in a spirit of truth and righteousness, with a desire to do good. They should go with love in their hearts for all God’s children, including those on the opposing side. Then, if they are required to shed another’s blood, their action will not be counted as a sin.” Source
As we celebrate our freedoms and liberties that we so much enjoy today, lets be sure to give thanks to those who protect us and put their lives on the line; especially those who have given them up so that our nation may continue to be able a sweet land land of liberty.
It you think it’s hot, think about what our military have to go through. Are you willing to take the heat and the bullet? Freedom is never free. Since the beginning of time, the opposite forces of liberty try to take them away from us. It is something worth fighting for.
To all of our troops and those who serve this blessed country of ours, we salute you and pledge our allegiance to this nation for which we stand!
When the Lord’s servants speak or write under the influence of the Holy Ghost, their words become scripture (see D&C 68:4). From the beginning, the Lord has commanded His prophets to keep a record of His revelations and His dealings with His children. He said: “I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written” (2 Nephi 29:11).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts four books as scripture: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These books are called the standard works of the Church. The inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as scripture.
Jesus’s words never change. From one book or the other, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
The Bible is a collection of sacred writings containing God’s revelations to man. These writings cover many centuries, from the time of Adam through the time when the Apostles of Jesus Christ lived. They were written by many prophets who lived at various times in the history of the world.
The Bible is divided into two sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Many prophecies in the Old Testament foretell the coming of a Savior and Redeemer. The New Testament tells of the life of that Savior and Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ. It also tells of the establishing of His Church in that day. “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (Articles of Faith 1:8).
Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord has expanded our understanding of some passages in the Bible. The Lord inspired the Prophet Joseph to restore truths to the Bible text that had been lost or changed since the original words were written. These inspired corrections are called the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. In the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Version of the Bible, selected passages from the Joseph Smith Translation are found on pages 797–813 and in many footnotes.
The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a sacred record of some of the people who lived on the American continents between about 2000 B.C. and A.D. 400. It contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (see D&C 20:9; 42:12;135:3). The Book of Mormon tells of the visit Jesus Christ made to the people in the Americas soon after His Resurrection.
Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English through the gift and power of God. He said that it is “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (introduction to the Book of Mormon).
President Ezra Taft Benson helped us understand how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. He said:
“There are three ways in which the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony.
“The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of His reality with power and clarity. …
“[It] broadens our understandings of the doctrines of salvation. … The Book of Mormon … was written for our day. … In [it] we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. …
“… The Book of Mormon teaches us truth [and] bears testimony of Christ. … But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life,’ and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. … ‘Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 4–7; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 5–7; quoting Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 90; orEnsign, May 1980, 67).
The Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern revelations. In section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord reveals that the book is published to the inhabitants of the earth to prepare them for His coming:
“Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:
“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh” (D&C 1:11–12).
This book contains the revelations regarding the Church of Jesus Christ as it has been restored in these last days. Several sections of the book explain the organization of the Church and define the offices of the priesthood and their functions. Other sections, such as sections 76 and88, contain glorious truths that were lost to the world for hundreds of years. Still others, such as sections 29 and 93, shed light on teachings in the Bible. In addition, some sections, such as section 133, contain prophecies of events to come. God has commanded us to study His revelations in this book: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled” (D&C 1:37).
The Pearl of Great Price
The Pearl of Great Price contains the book of Moses, the book of Abraham, and some inspired writings of Joseph Smith. The book of Moses contains an account of some of the visions and writings of Moses, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. It clarifies doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives added information concerning the Creation of the earth.
The book of Abraham was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith from a papyrus scroll taken from the Egyptian catacombs. This book contains valuable information about the Creation, the gospel, the nature of God, and the priesthood.
The writings of Joseph Smith include part of Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible, selections from his History of the Church, and the Articles of Faith.
Jesus Christ has spoken to other people in other places of the world besides that which is recorded in the Bible!
The Book of Mormon tells of the visit Jesus Christ made to the people in the Americas soon after His Resurrection!
Knowing these truths brings families throughout the world together and unites and strengthens us spiritually. Jesus is coming back soon and we will be judged by His Words. He and His words are the same Yesterday, Today and Forever!