Thursday, December 29, 2016

"You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"

We received our mission assignment in the mail on Thursday, December 22nd.  We opened it the next day with our children.
We have been called to the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission  We will begin our service on July 3, 2017 and serve for 23 months.  We will be serving in the country of Belize.

The light green areas are the mission boundaries.
If you ever wondered how mission assignments are made, you can click here to learn how the process is done.  

If you want to follow our mission you can go to our mission blog at: or click here.  

We are excited to prepare for this new adventure and know that we have lots to learn and do before we leave.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Why was it important that Jesus was born?

These children understand why Jesus was born and the events surrounding his birth.  I agree with a comment that was left on about this video:  You can see and feel the boy's testimony of the birth of Christ at 2:57 to 3:02
You can also see the video here.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced several Children's narratives on the life of Jesus Christ.

The subjects are:
  • Baptism
  • Sacrament
  • Who is Jesus
  • The widow's mite
  • The Atonement
  • The birth of Jesus
  • The good Samaritan
  • Jesus heals a mon on the sabbath
  • Jesus organizes the church
  • Fishers of men
You can view them all by clicking here. My favorite ones are BaptismThe Atonement, and The Birth of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Mr. Bean style

One of my favorite things to teach my seminary students at the beginning of each year was how to conduct music.

You can also see the video by clicking here.

Maybe Mr. Bean could use a few lessons on how to conduct music....or maybe not.  

Click here to learn how to correctly lead a song.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love

In the April 2003 General Conference David E. Sorenson gave a very good talk on forgiveness.

Here is a quote from his talk that I liked.

The Savior said, “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.”  D&C 64:9

This is not to say that forgiveness is easy. When someone has hurt us or those we care about, that pain can almost be overwhelming. It can feel as if the pain or the injustice is the most important thing in the world and that we have no choice but to seek vengeance. But Christ, the Prince of Peace, teaches us a better way. It can be very difficult to forgive someone the harm they’ve done us, but when we do, we open ourselves up to a better future. No longer does someone else’s wrongdoing control our course. When we forgive others, it frees us to choose how we will live our own lives. Forgiveness means that problems of the past no longer dictate our destinies, and we can focus on the future with God’s love in our hearts.

You can also listen the quote by clicking here.  

You can read or listen to the full talk by clicking here.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Soon to be Home Sweet Home

You can also see the video by clicking here.  

  Enjoy this video of the model home of Harvest Villas.  We are excited to move into our new home in a few weeks.     

Monday, September 26, 2016

Welcome Bryce!

Earlier this month Bryce asked Kristine to marry him and she said YES!   They are planning a Thanksgiving wedding which means that their marriage will be on the top of our list of things to be thankful for this year.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

One by One

You can also view the video by clicking here.

One by One
Words by David A. Bednar
Music by Paul Cardall
1. One by one, one by one.
Jesus, the Fa-ther’s Beloved Son—
One by one, one by one—
From the beginning said, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill God’s plan,
For He alone could atone as Savior of man.
The Lord blessed and beckoned them, “Come unto me,”
And willingly sacrificed to set us free.
One by one, one by one.
He suffered for us and victory won.
One by one, one by one.
We marvel at all His love has done,
One by one.

2. One by one, one by one.
Multitudes gathered and saw Him come.
One by one, one by one.
Each heard a voice declare, “Behold My Son.”
Jesus Christ came and stood in the midst of them.
They fell to the earth in great rev’rence for Him.
The Lord bid, “Arise, and come forth unto me.”
With hands they did feel and with eyes they did see.
One by one, one by one.
Each knew and bore record, He is our Lord.
One by one, one by one.
They cried “Hosanna” with one accord,
One by one.

3. One by one, one by one.
Christ looked around Him and saw their tears.
One by one, one by one.
In His compassion, He calmed their fears.
Jesus Christ healed each one brought forth unto Him.
Then He blessed each precious child and prayed for them.
The angels descended from heaven above,
Encircling those little ones; each felt His love.
One by one, one by one.
He intercedes for each daughter and son.
One by one, one by one.
Strength from His grace gives us pow’r to become,
One by one.

You can get the sheet music from the July 2016 New Era Magazine by clicking here.

You can also see the above video by clicking here.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hello Elder Magnusson

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15
We enjoy receiving an email from Sam every Monday.  Here are some of his closing remarks from some recent emails.   

"everyday is an adventure and i’m loving it. the mission is going well. i’m really liking what i am learning right now. i know that the Gospel is true and that God love us. i’m grateful for the testimony that i have gained here on the mission. it has changed my life.

"i feel like if a person wants to learn about how to be a better person in this world all he has to do is go on a mission. i feel like i’m growing up a lot but at the same time i still feel like i’m the same kid i was before the mission. i’ll let you guys be the judge in 10 months."

We'll see you in 10 months, Elder Magnusson!  

You can find out why Sam went on a mission by clicking here.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ye Elders of Israel

We all find at some point in our lives that we need to leave the entrapments of the world--known as Babylon in the Bible-- behind, and climb to a higher plane. This arrangement of a well known hymn inspires us to do just that.
You can also watch the above video by clicking here.
From the October 2014 General Priesthood Session

Below is an excerpt of an article by Lenet Hadley Read that is found in the January 1981 Ensign magazine.:

"It is apparent that in the scriptures Babylon, a city that really did exist historically, is also a symbol. The warning given through Jeremiah to “flee out of the midst of Babylon” (Jer. 51:6) before destruction was brought upon the wicked of that city sets a pattern for our day. The responsive are warned, “Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon” (D&C 133:14), for “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon” (D&C 64:24). The book of Revelation also prophesies the fall of a great Babylon in the latter days (see Rev. 14:8; Rev. 18:21).

"Why, of all cities, does Babylon deserve the distinction of symbolizing wickedness? No doubt it is because Babylon was anciently associated with acts that aroused God’s displeasure. For the beginning of Babylon was Babel. After the attempted construction of the tower of Babel, the unity of mankind was severed; many tongues arose, and communication among men became as “babble.”

"But was this dispersion of the people the point at which the proliferation of false philosophies also fully began? After all, Babel marks the time when confusion once more came upon the earth after the cleansing of the Flood, and only a select few remained knowledgeable of God’s word from then on. To the Lord, the source of truth, he who comprehends all language, would not these false philosophies, which have multiplied and spread confusion, be the true “babble”?

"If this is true, then to be called out of Babylon, or Babel, is to be called back to the original and pure truth, away from philosophies that lead to faulty judgment and therefore to evil. According to prophecies, Babylon, the multiplication of confusion and false philosophies, will indeed suffer a great fall, and unity of correct knowledge will finally return."

The lyrics to the hymn Ye Elders of Israel:

1.  Ye elders of Israel, come join now with me

And seek out the righteous, where'er they may be--

In desert, on mountain, on land, or on sea--

And bring them to Zion, the pure and the free.


O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell;

We're going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell.

2.  The harvest is great, and the lab'rers are few;

But if we're united, we all things can do.

We'll gather the wheat from the midst of the tares

And bring them from bondage, from sorrows and snares.

3.   We’ll go to the poor, like our Captain of old,

And visit the weary, the hungry, and cold;

We'll cheer up their hearts with the news that he bore

And point them to Zion and life evermore.

Text: Cyrus H. Wheelock, 1813-1894
   Music: Thomas H. Bayly, 1797-1839, adapted

Primary Medley

Scott and I along with Rachel, Lisa, Craig and Lynn were able to attend the Pioneer Day Concert featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

We were able to great seats in the front and center of the Conference Center
The King's Singers were the guest performers.  One of my favorite pieces they sang was a Primary Medley.  It was fun to hear them start with some of my childhood favorites and then end with songs testifying of the Savior.

You can also see the video by clicking here.  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dieter F. Uctdorf

I've recently run across two quotes from Elder Uctdorf that have touched my life.  I would like to share them here.
Quote #1:
The Lord knows you. He knows your heart and is pleased with your sacrifice. He smiles upon you each day. He will uphold you and prepare the way for you. He will send His angels before you. You will feel their presence. And with the help of heaven, your talents will be multiplied.

I promise you that as you lift those around you, the Lord God, the Creator of the universe, will lift you up. If you will only believe and incline your heart to our Beloved Father, He will place within you a peace that surpasses understanding. He will give you joy. May each of you always remember this.
Dieter F. Uctdorf

Quote #2:
Sincerely apologizing to your children, your wife, your family, or your friends is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Is being right more important than fostering an environment of nurturing, healing, and love?

Build bridges; don’t destroy them.

Even when you are not at fault—perhaps especially when you are not at fault—let love conquer pride.

If you do this, whatever adversity you are facing will pass, and because of the love of God in your hearts, contention will fade. These principles of saving relationships apply to all of us, regardless of whether we are married, divorced, widowed, or single. We all can be saviors of strong families.
Dieter F. Uctdorf

The above video is Elder Uctdorf's full Priesthood Meeting address where quote #2 was taken from.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Bit of MagPad History

39 years ago today Scott asked me to marry him at this very spot just above the Provo Temple.   

At the time Scott had recently started a new job working at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah, across the street from the Provo Temple.  He asked me to pick him up from work that night.  We drove to the grassy hill above the temple, sat on the grass, and enjoyed the view of the temple and the Utah Valley.  He then said, "I want to marry you, Kathleen"  No cameramen hiding in bushes, no music playing in the background.  Just a simple statement.  I laughed, and then agreed.  Then the sprinklers went on and we went home and ate cake that Scott made earlier in the day to celebrate the happy occasion.  

It's 39 years later. We think we might be looking just a bit different now, but you be the judge. 

At my Grandma Buchanan's house to watch General Conference. October 1977

Happy Birthday, Scott.  November 1976

Halloween, 1977

In the Oakland Airport where Scott had a layover with the BYU Rugby team on the way to Hawaii. Spring 1977

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Wedding Bells

Mags on the Move

We have lived in our home in Duarte for the past 33 years.  We'll be moving to South Jordan, Utah soon.   Our new home is being built and it won't be ready to move into until August or September.   How do you get 33 years of living moved to South Jordan?  And where do you store it while your house is being built? Read on to learn how.

First of all, you move your piano to Utah and store it at your mother-in-law's house.  
I used this company to move my piano.  

Then you sell or give away most of your furniture.  Next, pack your suitcase with a couple of weeks worth of clothes.  Then you pack everything else into boxes...
 ...or wrap them with stretch wrap (coolest new discovery)

Then you put all those boxes and wrapped things into 4 moving pods with the help of your friends and the missionaries.  

Then when Door to Door comes with their forklift, watch with a tender heart as he puts the pods on their moving truck.

You can watch the forklift working on the video below
You can also see the video by clicking here

The pods will be moved and stored in Salt Lake City until we are ready to move into our new home. 

I think Scott and I should be poster children for Door to Door j/k
You can learn more about Door by clicking here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Like a Broken Vessel

We all deal with the issue of mental health at one time or another and it is comforting to hear what our church leaders have to say on the topic.
You can also see the video by clicking here.  

The talk that inspired this video is found here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Out of the Mouths of Babes -- Baptism

Watch as children explain everything you need to know about baptism.

You can also view the video by clicking here.

Monday, June 13, 2016

To stage or not to stage

When we talked to our realtor about putting our house on the market, she suggested that we stage our house.  She said it would be more inviting for potential buyers as they walked through our home.
We hemmed and hawed over the idea, talked to the stagers, talked to our friends who had their house successfully staged, and talked to our realtor again and again.   She kept telling us about the success of her clients who had their house staged.  We finally said yes and hoped for the best.

This is the same room that is shown above after it was staged.  

Living room


Dinning room



Guess what.  The staging was very successful.  We had multiple offers well above the asking price.   

Thanks Daniel and Jacen.  You are amazing, talented, and  a joy to work with. 
So, to answer the question:  To stage or not to stage? 
The answer is a resounding, YES!  Do it. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Going, going, GONE!

With Scott retiring at the end of this month and in preparation of serving a mission, Scott and I decided to put our house on the market.  We have lots of memories as we raised our family in our home for the past 33 years.  We may move away from Duarte, but our hearts will always be here with our dear friends, neighbors, and co-workers we have met over the years.

This is what our house looked like when we bought it in 1983

Our 1990 house addition...

...for our growing family

This is our home 33 years later as it appeared on Podley's brochure.    

 Our home sold in one day!

Thanks, Rana. You are the best!  

Monday, May 30, 2016


After teaching seminary for 5 years, the Monrovia/Duarte Seminary classes honored me with a surprise farewell party, complete with a beautiful video, tributes, thoughtful gifts, and a book with my  student's testimonies.

You can also view the video by clicking here.

As the students unburied and opened our Old Testament time capsule...
...the contents were replaced with a note.
Into the cultural hall for a PARTY!

Thanks Sis. Cornwall for all of your love and mentoring
throughout my 5 year adventure of teaching seminary.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

So long, farewell - Scott's retirement party

After 37 years in education, Scott will be retiring on June 30, 2016.  The last 15 years of his career he had the privilege of being the principal at Gladstone High School.  This past Friday Scott's secretary, JoAnn Gomez, organized a retirement party for Scott and 8 of his  colleagues.  
Thanks to Anna Kwak for making this beautiful video. 
You can also video the video by clicking here.

Scott asked me to say a few words at his retirement party.  I ended up not saying any of the things that I planned.   Instead I talked about Scott’s poker face that Sam Perdomo (Scott's former assistant principal)  referred to in his remarks before mine.  

When I was handed  the microphone, I explained that we were going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  When Sam talked about Scott’s poker face, I suddenly got a revelation on how we were going to fund our mission. We could make a visit to Las Vegas to play a little poker.  Then we’d have enough money to fund our mission!  I was kidding, of course.  Everyone laughed. 

These are some of the notes I planned on saying about Scott:   

If I could use one word to describe Scott, it would be humble.   He is not one to brag about his accomplishments.   I would like to brag a little about him now.   

He has many lives.  

#1  He is a son of God.  He knows who he is and he has a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He as served many ways in our church.  He was a missionary in Mexico for two years as a 19 year old young man.  He has served as a Sunday School teacher, youth leader,  Cub master, Bishop to our local congregation, and Stake President advising the local leadership in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Temple City, and Rosemead areas.  

#2  He is a family man.  He is a great husband, father, son, and sibling.  

#3  He is an educator.  He has touched countless lives of students, athletes, and co-workers.  

This is what others said about him in a book his daughters put together for his 60th birthday:  

 1.  Craig (brother-in-law):  What do I think about when I think of Scott Magnusson?  I think of someone who is quiet, witty, and always willing to help.  Scott doesn’t dominate the conversation but when he speaks it is usually very witty and insightful.  He is also willing to help whenever he is around.  It is always a pleasure to have him visit with his family.   

2.  A fellow administrator from Temple City School District:  I enjoyed problem solving with you as fellow administrators and was impressed by your dry sense of humor and the fact that your interests and decisions were always based on what was best for the students, faculty and staff under your charge.  You were always positive and upbeat as well.  I also enjoyed serving on several WASC teams together and keeping in touch over the years. 

3.  From a member of our church congregation:  President Magnusson has influenced me in small and big ways.  I remember when we first moved into the ward, he was the Gospel Doctrine Teacher.  Every time I attended his class, I noticed and made a mental note of a few things.  He always taught from the manual.  He always was respectful and eager for his class to participate.  He always turned to the scriptures to answer questions.  He always had a visual aid.  He always shared his testimony.  What great things to remember when it became my turn to teach! 

4.  From Kathleen (wife):  …As I have read through the birthday wishes in this book, it is great to know that others recognize what I have known all along.  And that is you are an amazing person.  You are a man of integrity, a teacher, a leader, humorous in your own way, and you possess a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.  

 Now here we are 38 years after our first birthday celebration together.  It is great to be married to your best friend.  I love the man I married and I’m glad that we can go through this journey called life together.  I look forward to spending the rest of eternity with you.   

Friday, April 29, 2016


On we learn that holy temples are as necessary today as they were in ancient times. From reading the Bible we know that God's people have built temples.  In the Old Testament we read  about Moses' and Solomon's experiences with the temple.  In the New Testament it talks about how  Jesus Christ spent a lot of time in the temple at Jerusalem.

You can watch the video below and learn about temples that are on the earth today.
You can also view the video by clicking here  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Restoration of Jesus Christ's Church Simply Explained

I am a simple minded person and I was happy to find this video that explains what I know.

This is what the LDS Youth YouTube  page has to say about this video:  

"What happened to Christ's church after He and all the apostles died? What characteristics does Christ's true church contain? This simple video explains clearly the "apostasy" and "restoration" of Jesus Christ's church as He instituted it during his mortal ministry."
You can also view the video by clicking here or on Youtube here.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Harris Siblings

I just have to say, that I love my brothers.  We gathered from Washington, California, and Utah to say one last family prayer and goodbye to our mother before she died on April 3rd.  That was her desire and I'm glad that it happened.  She passed away 6 days later.

I will also say that I love my sister-in-laws.  I'm eternally grateful to my brothers for giving me  sisters that I always longed for.