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!
When Suzanne and I went to Charolette, North Carolina for the ACN International Convention, we had no idea that we would be invited to speak in front of the 25,000+ people at the convention! The video above briefly explains our story.
We are living during a time when jobs are hard to find, our 401 K’s are down, the stock market and currency is down, retirement funds are unsure, families are drawn away from home because of work while the cost of living keeps going up sky high!
In Suzanne’s and my efforts to provide for our eight sons and 22 grandkids, and with me having M.S. which keeps me from doing very much physical work, we prayerfully had been searching and seeking for answers to our challenges and for others with a way to help “Strengthen The Family – Financially!“
As I said in the video, “If you want to know if prayer works, pray! If you want to know if ACN works, do ACN!”
We are doing it and IT WORKS! Yes, it takes work but, anything worth having usually does. So far, my brothers and sister and I have worked hard for 53 years in the entertainment business and it wasn’t easy but with hard work and determination, we were blessed with major success. The same can happen with ACN! By following the system and learning and doing as they say, Suzanne and I with out TEAM are having it!
I remember when we were young and wanted to sing and perform. Our father who had been an army sergeant and who lived a hard and tough childhood said, “You can do it!” And we did!
After having traveled around the world and making friends everywhere, I say to you who may be looking for a job, an opportunity to climb to the top of the organization without worrying about getting fired, or who are waiting for others to get out of the way of promotions and in receiving top dollars, and for those who want to spend more time at home being a good Father and Mother, making extra income instead of trading your time for money at a “regular job” that takes so much of your time away from home, I ALSO SAY . . . “YOU CAN DO IT!”
There are two ways that you can become involved:
1. As a Customer, . . . and
2. As an Independent Business Owner.
- As a customer, I extend an invitation to let us see if we can save you some money on services that you actually are already using. It costs you nothing to save money. These are services like phones, cell phones, internet, TV, security systems, computer support, etc. and in places, natural gas and electricity! Just CLICK HERE and fill out the survey form and then at the end, CLICK to submit it to me. We will review it and get back to you if we can save you some money.
- As an independent business owner, go to http://osmond.net or to someone else’s website that is doing it and click on the “GET STARTED” link and fill out the form! Under the image at the right CLICK on where it says, “Start Your Business Now”. The cost to join is minimal when you consider what it costs to start a new business! Follow the instructions and you will become a part of The Osmond Network Team! Remember, if it is “ON” (Osmond Network) . . . YOU GET PAID!
Once you are an IBO (Independent Business Owner), you must get trained and get your first 3 preferred services to start earning money. I will be watching my back office to welcome you to our TEAM! No matter where in the world you are, we will get in touch with you and let you know were to go to get trained and answer any of your questions. If you wish, you can write to me at email@example.com !
ACN wants you to become successful and has great incentive bonuses that they pay out for those who move quickly up the success ladder. They have the tools to train you as well as to improve you as a person and to raise your standards in life. They also allow you to grow as fast as you wish in the business and to get as many customers as you can.
We love this company because they have a high reputation, make good people better, are debt free, have been around for 20+ years and are highly endorsed, and they give families the opportunity to work from home and to spend more time together as a family while they fulfill their “WHY” and personal ambitions. ACN is currently in 23 countries and growing! The opportunity is wide open with 99% of the market place still available. If ACN is for you, you can fulfill your dreams quickly and reach the financial level you wish where you are in control of your time and your dreams!
MONEY is NOT the motive but, MONEY allows you the freedom to fulfill your dreams and personal ambitions, missions, and to choose how and where you spend your time!
We offer a FREE NEWSLETTER to help “Strengthen The Family” in several ways: Physically, Mentally, Socially, Spiritually, and Financially.
Here is a sample of one of our Newsletters from Last Month:
Subject: GET NOI-Z (Noisy) NEWSLETTER Date: Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:15
‘LET’S TURN THE WORLD AROUND’
Life is T.U.F.F. but, So Are YOU!
By: Alan Osmond
Life is T.U.F.F.! But remember, when the going gets tough, the T.U.F.F. get going! You must be motivated and see the steps that need to be taken in order to accomplish your goals in life. You must believe in whatever you choose to do and to always remind yourself that “You can do it!” You must be strong with a positive mental attitude. If you think you can’t, you won’t! If you have the desire to achieve, you will! Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Whenever I face challenges, I remember this slogan that I created as the way to accomplish it and overcome it. See if it works for you! This is the way:
T = Target – What is it you are trying to accomplish? If there is one thing that you wished to do, to accomplish or become in life, what would it be? Write it down and make that your TARGET!
U = Understand – To achieve your target, you need to UNDERSTAND all you can about it. Identify what it is and what the various factors that are involved; what needs to be done to affectively put it into your grasp so that you can achieve it? Figure out those steps that you need to take in order to win the challenge and write them down. Study the positive and the negative aspects of that which you are targeting so that you totally understand it and know what to do in order to take it on!
F = Focus – Don’t just go at your target without first establishing a FOCUS point on what you are aiming to achieve. Make a plan and a checklist of the do’s and don’ts and study it each and every day. Besides just thinking of it, keep your eye on it and really be sure to “Rifle In” on your Target! Do not just go at it with a “shotgun” approach. You may only get one shot at it so never lose site or what you must do and keep your FOCUS!
F = Fight – Nothing good comes easy or without effort. If you want something that is worth having, it will usually take a lot of effort and will be hard work to accomplish it. So, you must FIGHT for it!
What is it that you wish to target?
-A health challenge?
-A career or a job?
-A marriage partner?
-A great idea that you have?
Write it down! Seeing believing! You will then be able to visualize the steps that you have to take. Start by following the T.U.F.F. format and fill in the details for each step. Set goals and make in a daily effort. Visualize it. Think about it. Study it. Keep it in your mind! Little by little you will accomplish those steps and with the best shot you’ve got, your Target will be accomplished with a bull’s-eye!
It is very simple but, with patience and effort, it works!
Where in the world did I get this idea of being T.U.F.F.? It came experiences I had in life but especially when I was told that I had Multiple Sclerosis or M.S.. I didn’t know what M.S. was and the first thing I thought it might mean, “Many Sons”! My wife Suzanne and I were blessed to have eight sons.
Yes, raising sons in today’s world is a real challenge but this challenge called “Multiple Sclerosis” was a physical one and the doctors didn’t know what to do to fix it! I was in the prime of my life with a wonderful marriage and a family started plus my entertainment career was at its peak. I didn’t want this! So, instead of looking at it negatively, I asked myself, “What is it that I am to learn?”
I first noticed that when I would walk and trip up on something, I’d look down for something like a nail or what ever it was in the floor but, nothing was there! I also soon realized that when I played my trumpet, I couldn’t move my fingers as fast as before. With time, my right side began to fail and would not respond as it should and it caused me to drag my right food and arm.
With several doctors telling me “they didn’t know what it was but thought it might be M.S.”, and telling me that “nothing they knew could reverse it”, I realized I was facing this challenge alone with my wife and my family. That’s when after many sincere prayers and fasting that I came up with the idea of being T.U.F.F. with a plan to achieve my goal of getting better. I first started a positive approach by establishing an attitude in my mind and my heart by saying, “I may have M.S. but, M.S. does NOT have me!” Other ways of dealing with it came with time.
What took place over the next while was in realizing that besides having a positive outlook on this health challenge, I needed a plan of attack, and I needed to be tough! That is when the idea of T.U.F.F. came into my mind as I analyzed the steps that I needed to take in order to overcome my health weakness. Over time with determination and a positive attitude It seemed to be working! I changed my style of eating to mostly organic and healthy foods. I worked at walking with a focus on picking my leg up and I “talked to those muscles” that wouldn’t respond. I kept an open mind with a prayer in y heart and promised that I would do anything my Lord would ask of me to be able to live happily with my wife Suzanne and my eight sons and family who love me.
I was the oldest of our singing group, The Osmond Brothers, when my brothers Wayne, Merrill, and Jay, and I, and then Donny, were growing up. We were at a very young age to be on stage with a weekly national television show called The Andy Williams Show. Later on, my sister Marie and youngest brother Jimmy also joined the group. Our father said to us boys when we were rehearsing, that there needed to be one person in charge of the group and that I was the leader and the “boss”. I hated being call the boss and to have to be in charge of my brothers. They didn’t like it either but, it taught me many things about being responsible and in making sure that we all accomplished what we were sipposed to do while getting along with each other and making it fun. There had to be order and I was in charge. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was also pretty tough! Besides that, my two oldest brothers, Virl and Tom were hearing impaired or deaf and often I would hear my parents say, “Alan, go get your brothers!”
I remembered when I turned nineteen and I got my orders to report to Fort Ord, California for active infantry training or boot camp, and to be trained as a soldier in the army during the time of the Vietnam War. I knew then that if I was going to succeed and become the best soldier I could, that I had better learn and remember all that I was taught and to do what I was supposed to do as it may someday save my life. It was hard work and it was almost was like they were brain washing us with what was expected of us during the war. It was so different from my civilian life and some of my fellow soldiers couldn’t take it. Staying positive was most important while always remaining tough myself.
I had never been away from my family like this before and for the first time I was on my own. You know it reality hits you hard when you don’t have that support system around you of loving parents and family members who stand by your side. Everything I did while I was in the military I tried to do well and to be the very best at it as I knew I was on my own.
The first day I was there in the army barracks, I heard more foul language and stories that I wish I had never heard. I realized that I needed to fit in with the other guys but to always be who I was. That night, I had a moment to prove it. The lights in the barracks were turned off, I laid in my bunk bed in a room filled with strangers that I had never known before. It was then that I realized that I hadn’t said my prayers of thanks to my Heavenly Father as I always do. I always knelt down beside my bed at night and offered my prayers. I hesitated thinking that these guys would all make fun of me and I didn’t want to stand out but to “fit in”. Just then, it was almost like a voice within me that said, “Do you fear man. . . or do you fear God?” I knew what I had to do and so I jumped out of my bunk and knelt down on the floor and said my prayers. It was probably the shortest prayer I have ever said but I said it! Before I could get back into my bunk bed I heard someone say, “Hey Osmond, say one for me!”
The next morning I was approached by several of those “tough talking” guys that asked me what I believed and what happens to someone if they died. With us facing this war, it was definitely on everyone’s mind and in their hearts. It was then that I had the opportunity to teach them some gospel principles of faith in Jesus Christ and His ‘Plan of Life’ with life for all after death. It brought several of us much closer together.
That period of time was really challenging for me
but I was successful and ended up receiving three basic training award trophies as a soldier. After completing my active infantry training, I received the highest grade on the overall testing, the highest scoring on the rifle marksmanship shooting skills test, and I was voted by all of the military training staff as The Outstanding Trainee. I had no idea they gave trophies for doing what I did, but I got them. The best thing that happened though was when the loudest and foulest mouth guy who became our platoon sergeant came to me before we got our orders to go to Viet Nam. He said, “Osmond, can I talk to you? … Alone?” I said, “Yes”, and we went int the empty barracks. He said to me, “You really believe that there is someone up there don’t you? (Meaning that therer is a God.) I said, “Yes”. He said, “Oh I wish I knew somebody loved me. When I was five years old, my Dad made me go out and steal money and stuff just so I could stay at home.” (I listened and just let him talk.) He said, “Would you teach me to pray?” I said, “Sure”, and explained a simple way to approach prayer. I then told him I would say one first to show him how, and then he could say one. I did and then it was his turn. He said a simple yet touching prayer and became somewhat emotional. We stood up and he gave me a bear hug and said, “Now, I can go to “Nam”! These were some of the experiences that I related to when I came up with a way to achieve my new challenges and goals and in being T.U.F.F.!
I come from a family heritage of school teachers and educators on my Mother’s side of the family (Olive May Davis), and a strong, driving, hard working and a ‘never give up’ style from my Father, George V. Osmond, and his side of the family whose life had always been one of hard work but with a “you can do it” attitude. In fact, when I was doing my physical test in the army to see if we could run a mile in full battle gear in under 6:00 minutes. I was running as hard as I could and I felt like I was going to die. I kept pushing hard andcame in second place just behind a fast running athlete soldier. You see, it was then that I had remembered my Father’s slogan “You Can Do It!” . . … and I did!
My Mother, Olive Osmond, who was also a theologian and knew the scriptures very well, taught us about God’s plan of life. She taught us much about gospel truths and about the beliefs of various other religions. In knowing and understanding this, and as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormons) I studied and developed a burning testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. My mother also instilled into me her positive attitude and desire to gain as much truth and knowledge as I could by reading from the best books. She love to read and taught us the scripture that supported her thinking like this scripture says, “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, itwillrisewith us intheresurrection. And if a person gains more knowledgeand intelligence in this life through his diligenceand obedience than another, he will have so much the advantageinthe world to come.” D&C 130: 18-19
She explained to us that knowledgeis more about the information of many things but that intelligence is the knowledge of those spiritual things that are eternal and that are good yesterday, today and forever. This understanding became a guide for me to follow in deciding which books I chose to read and which movies and entertainment I would go and see and for those choices that I targeted to understand and know.
So, when you think of something that you want to accomplish and “Target” to achieve, I hope you will ask yourself if it is a worthy goal and worth your time. Is it something that will be long lasting and become significant enough in that it makes you a better person and which fulfills your life long dreams and ambitions as well as sets the course for your eternal existence?
One thing we all have is the “Power To Choose” ; to make decisions and choices of our own free will and choice. Those choices that we make in life, we will be held responsible and held accountable. This is why good principles are important in one’s life. When lived, they will influence you in the kinds of choices and decisions you will make in your life.
Your good choices will probably take a definite amount of time and effort on your part and will require some extensive work as well. But that is okay! This is why we are here in this life; to learn and to grow. We are told that the Glory of God is intelligence and if we attain more truth and knowledge in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. So it’s an investment in you and your future!
”As Spirit children of God, we all left our Heavenly Parents to come to this world to prove ourselves. A veil covered our momories which was necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without our Heavenly Parents influence. Our earthly parents gave us a body of flesh and bones and we learned the purpose for us to progress in order to have a fulness of joy. We learned that we would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose our way; that we would have trials in our lives like sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow and death. We understood that these would be given to us for our experience and for our good and that these trials would purify us rather than defeat us. They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity. (To be T.U.F.F.)
We also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin. We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that by placing our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be resurrected, exalted, and become more like our Heavenly parents and live forever! That’s when we receive a fulness of joy!
That is God’s Plan of Life.
So… “Let’s Be T.U.F.F.” and ‘GET NOI-Z’ (Noisy) FOR GOOD because it is WORTH IT!
We hope you, your family and friends will enjoy these Newsletters!
Since this video, my brothers and I have really have become much closer and have come to deal with past ventures that our so called, people we trusted, made for us. We don’t have any malice because we know we don’t take any “stuff” with us after we die anyway! What we will take with us though is an eternal love and respect for each other with great experiences and many friends plus a common conviction that Jesus is the Christ. Because of so many of those truths that we believed in and have lived, and still do, the hard work and great memories will bring us all together again one day in the eternal heavens of the celestial kingdom with each other and our families with our Eternal parents once again.
Regarding my M.S., I decided that “Life is T.UF.F.”
I “T”, Targeted this thing called M.S., I “U”, worked hard to learn and understand all I could about it. I “F”, focused on the problem and didn’t shotgun but, rifled in on the issue, and then I “F” had fight. I was NOT going to take this sitting down. I “fought” to walk, to breathe and to eat proper foods. My wife, Suzanne, saved my life with care giving and nutrition and all natural products she gave me. I am still around today and enjoying our twenty (20) grandchildren.
I know that the Lord gave me weakness to make me humble and even stronger in other ways as in says in Ether 12: 27. The Lord tells us that we can learn from our suffering and I did. Well, I am doing better and I can honestly say that I enjoy life now more than ever before; And, I will continue to say that I may have M.S., but M.S. does NOT HAVE ME!
As my family and I continue forward with life we try to remember that we all have choices and the freedom to choose. May we be wise and do as the scriptures says, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and denyyourselvesofallungodliness; and if ye shall denyyourselvesofallungodliness, andlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.” Moro. 10: 32
Jesus is The Way!
“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”D&C 122:7
How many of us have had to “start a new life” after a terrible accident, a crippling disease, a broken marriage or a death of a loved one? We can do it with the family support and the spiritual help from our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ.
When I finally had to leave the stage of performing because of having M.S., I felt that awful feeling of losing what I had worked to achieve for so many years. I was embarassed and felt that I had let my brothers, my family and my fans and friends down. With trust in my Lord and Savior and with faith in the future, I kept living and continuing my ”new life” of being disabled and not being able to do all the things that I had done for the past 50 years with a firm desire to do the best I can. I came up with a slogan that life is T.U.F.F. I knew it was up to me to “T”arget this problem I have, “U”nderstand all that I can about it, “F”ocus on it on a daily basis, and “F”ight with the faith to win to achieve it.
Yes, I may have M.S. but, M.S. does NOT HAVE ME! With my wife, Suzanne, and my loving family by my side, I put my trust in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and with faith and prayer I searched His words in the scriptures and found that peace that helped me carry on. Suzanne said, “this is something that we can deal with”, and we did it, together.
Like Stephanie, I have been able to keep moving forward with my “new life” to guadually improve my physical condition. With time, I learned new things and by searching the words of God I gruadually built my courage to fight this disease and keep improving my physical condition with an everlasting perspective. This scripture really helped me. “TrustintheLordwithallthineheart; and lean not unto thineownunderstanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov. 3: 5-6
I have also learned that the “Why Me” question will take you down! There may be important reasons why the Lord allows us to have these so called ‘weaknesses’ or ‘tests’ in our lives to make us an even stronger and a better person. He knows the bigger picture and what we need in order to progress in the eternal aspect of our lives. The glory of God is intelligence. The purpose of this life was to gain a physical body, to learn and to choose well. This scripture gave me confidence in that. “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Ether 12: 27
I can honestly say that after 24+ years, I am a better person for having had M.S. I have been drawn closer to the Lord and to my wife and children, have been led to things that have helped my health, with time to improve my mind and my heart and gain a deeper love and appreciation for others with better understaning of their pains and suffering that they may be going through as well.
With all of these things I say, “Bring on Tomorrows”!