Dad is just in the other room.

NOTE: My father-in-law, Paul J. Puffer passed away on November 5th. He was a great man with a very strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I had the incredible honor of speaking at his funeral. With the permission of my mother-in-law, I have posted the text of this talk here.

As a brief intro, my name is Troy Parker.  Paul Puffer is my father-in-law. As Dad would tell the story (and I’ll call him Dad from here on out) he paid me to marry his third daughter, Jill. Of course, he only said that to make me feel like I measured up. Read more of this post

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The Parable of the Squashed Bugs on the Windshield

Picture by Kamille Christensen, 10 after hearing talk based on this post. Click to enlarge.

A few weeks ago I was driving home from Young Women’s camp thinking about the great spiritual experiences they were having. I have the opportunity to work with a lot of youth and see them enjoy spiritual experiences. For some, these experiences provide the most intense feelings of the Spirit they have ever encountered. Like most adult teachers, I wished that these experiences and feeling could be remembered. If our youth could just hang on to the feelings, the thoughts, the excitement and the faith, they would be spiritually firm (Jacob 3:2) and could withstand whatever came their way.  But they would soon descend the mountain and return to the world where they would be distracted and forget what they had felt and seen. Read more of this post

“Where Art Thou” – Inspired Questions

The Garden of Gethsemane

NOTE: The following is a talk given in a Ward Conference several years ago.

After partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve hid. They heard Heavenly Father coming to check on them and they were ashamed, so they hid. In Genesis 3:9 God asks a question, “… God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”

It’s a funny question considering who is asking it. Isn’t God all-knowing? Wouldn’t He know exactly where Adam and Eve where hiding before they even decided to hide? So if He knew, why ask the question?

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Lessons Learned – Part 2

"Family Council" Debriefing after activity.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 2 of a two part post. Click for Part 1

4. Give them a seat at the table. An opportunity to lead.

One of the most impactive ingredients for our youth conferences was allowing, even empowering our youth to help plan and carry them out. They had real input into what would be taught and discussed. I have multiple examples of going into planning meetings thinking I knew exactly what I wanted done for a specific event only to leave the same meeting having changed or at least adjusted the event because of the input of the youth. They know what they need, we just need to listen.

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Lessons Learned from “Our Quest” for the Family – Part 1

The Tribes of "Our Quest"

In June of 2010, I was privilege to be involved in our Stake’s youth conference. We do “stake” youth conferences every two years to give our wards an opportunity to do their own; to build their own identity and unity. Two years prior, we had embarked in our first pioneer Trek. Many youth throughout the church have gone on these pioneer reenactments and I still have yet to hear major negative comments about any of them.  They are always spiritual feasts where our youth not only learn about pioneers, sacrifice, testimony and the love of God but they get to experience it. They are spiritual highlights for both youth and adults.

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None Were with Him

I was looking for a quote from Elder Holland and came across this “Mormon Message” again. I loved this talk, and loved this video. You’ve all probably seen it, but it is worth watching again.

Covenants – A Protection to the Family

Portland Oregon Temple

Brothers and sisters, unless you have been living in a cave, you are well aware of current events that not only reflect, but magnify the consistent attack upon the family.  These national, and unfortunately, local events underscore the prophecies that speak of “wars and the perplexities of the cnations…And [that] all things shall be in acommotion; and surely, men’s bhearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people”[1] Clearly we are in the “last days”.

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