Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles passed away today between sessions of General Conference. It was announced on Friday that Elder Hales had been admitted to the hospital and would not be able to attend General Conference due to his health. Elder Hales served in the Quorum of the 12 since his call in April 1994.
It was fun to go crabbing and fishing this weekend, but the real reason for the trip was for Jaxon to get the Priesthood. Mom and Dad flew out from Utah to be here and support Jaxon. It was a great show of support.
Jaxon will now get to pass the Sacrament at Church, and he is very excited. The hardest part about living in Oregon is being apart from family. This weekend was a chance to be together again and try some new things. Through the sealing power we are able to be together as families beyond the grave. It is the reason we live the way we do. Death cannot keep us apart if we live true to our covenants.
I was asked to choose the father/daughter dance song. I chose It Won’t Be Like This For Long by Darius Rucker. It has always reminded me of how fast Raven has grown up. We are excited and relieved that Raven found a great guy in Bryon. And she has great in-laws. It was fun to get to know them.
This trip was also a time to see old friends and spend time with family. It gave us time to reflect and evaluate what we need to change individually and as a family. This week was full of many great memories.
Mason turned 14 a few days ago. Today I ordained him a Teacher in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I remember when my dad ordained me at 14. I’ve put on a lot of miles since then. The older I get the more I just want to spend time with my family. I have a lot of flaws, but I’ve always tried to be a good example to my kids of doing the right thing and helping people, just like my dad did for me. I go to Church every week because I know that is what God wants me to do. He created the hills behind us, the trees, clouds and birds. He created us in His image. We are His children, and He has a plan for each of us.
Paul Rolland Smith passed away at home unexpectedly on March 9, 2017. He is survived by his wife Debbie of almost 45 years, daughter’s Angie Toland (Scott) of Livermore, Stacey Taimani of Martinez, Sarah Smith of Martinez and son Aaron (Rachel) of Pittsburg. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Kiulani Taimani, Austin, Ian and Connor Toland, and Kianna, Alyssa and Nalia Smith. His mother and father in law Tom and Carol Rogers of Rossmoor and his five siblings: Dave, Rod, Ben, Sue Craig and Julie Asregadoo. He is pre-deceased by his parents Marilynn Jacobs Smith and Robert Smith.
Paul was born on September 30, 1949 in Oakland, California to Marilynn Jacobs Smith and Robert Smith as the second of six children, and was raised in Pleasant Hill, California. From the time he was little, he loved to play practical jokes and this would be a theme that would carry through the rest of his life. Whether it was hiding from his wife at night while she turned out lights in the house to scare her, or getting his employees to do promotional videos for non-existent products (unbeknownst to them), no one was safe.
Paul graduated from College Park high school in 1967, and served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Eastern States (NY, NJ and CT) from 1969-1971. He met the love of his life the day he came home, shopping at the mall in Concord for new clothes. He always swore she chased him around and that she was the one who proposed to him, but we all knew better. Paul and Debbie were married in the Oakland LDS Temple on October 21, 1972.
He was a general contractor for 36 years, owning his own business. He also worked at Diablo Valley College from 1999-2014. In retirement, he got his dog Maddie, which he always referred to as the “gold standard” of dogs. Last year he went through the process of having her certified as a therapy & hospice dog and together they did volunteer work through Tony LaRussa’s ARF Foundation in Walnut Creek, which was inspired by his grandson Ian Toland. He was an avid reader who loved history, was interested in genealogy and researching stories of his ancestors. He took pride in and spent a lot of time landscaping his yards and woodworking.
He was fiercely dedicated to his family and lived for his grandchildren. He never missed a game, school talent show, or church event, and was always so proud to see them excel and watch them grow up and develop their own interests which he encouraged and supported. They were his pride and joy and he had a special relationship with each one of them. He even learned how to text so he could communicate with them as they became teenagers.
He will forever be remembered for being loyal to his family, extremely hard working, quietly giving service to anyone who needed it, and could always be counted on to make you laugh as his quick wit and sense of humor was legendary.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located at 555 Boyd Rd. in Pleasant Hill. Private burial at Oakmont Memorial Park, Lafayette, CA.
I drove to Medford on Wednesday for a training meeting. The ABS light came on two weeks ago, and I wasn’t able to determine what was happening. The Explorer made a horrible noise on the way home, but I couldn’t see any broken parts. I limped home, then went to Tire Pros to have it checked. Rick called me later in the day and asked us to come look at the damage. The bearings were completely missing.
Rick said there was no way I should have made it to Medford and back in that condition. He was convinced the wheel should have fallen off and killed me on I-5. Jaxon prayed that morning that I would be safe going to work. I had the thought to kiss DeLana in case I died. For some reason I am here to fight another day.
We went to the open house for the Provo City Center Temple tonight. It was converted from the tabernacle after the fire in December 2010. It is a beautiful building. It style resembles a 100 year old building and the stained glass is gorgeous. We could definitely feel God’s love while we were there.