I wrote this arrangement of “Beautiful Savior” (also commonly called Fairest Lord Jesus or the Crusader’s Hymn) and played it for our virtual Sunday church service.
The three variations invoke three different aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ: The first variation is simple, based closely on a children’s version, reflecting the simplicity of the Savior’s message, and His love for little children. The second variation is full of flourish and technical passages, symbolizing wonder and amazement at the miracles He performed. The third variation is strong and sonorous, suggesting the power and majesty of the resurrected Jesus.
Some of my favorite recent kids’ quotes:
Marcia: Everything pizza? Even the dishwasher?*
Hinckley: Remember when I was really good at swallowing my throw up?**
Corban: I feel nice, but there are bones inside of me.
* Remember when it was “everything, including the kitchen sink”?
** This refers to when he was little and spit up so much, that he got really good at “choking it down.”
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Joseph Smith because he translated The Book of Mormon and he restored the Church of Jesus Christ.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Tommy Rivers Puzey because through his virtual running training he taught me to tolerate and sometimes even enjoy running.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the scientists and others who are working on vaccines and treatments, because they give me hope that we can get out of this pandemic some day.
Marcia the Elder:
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is strong women musicians like Pink, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Phillipa Soo, Linda Ronstadt, and the list goes on and on. I haven’t intentionally left any out, this was just a quick, off the top of my head, start to the list. I am thankful for their ability to share strength and vulnerability and support to others through music.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for are people who can look at the world today, and then regurgitate the information in a way that makes me want to laugh instead of cry. People like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Seth Myers, Tina Fey, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Sarah Cooper, Shane Burcaw, Eric Snider, Dave Chappelle, Amber Ruffin, and again, this list goes on and on. Something something, “look for the helpers” something something “laughter is the best medicine” something something. I may not always be in agreement with everything they say or think, but they can help brighten some darkness.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is civil rights activists, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr, Bernie Sanders, Harriet Tubman, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Freemam, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, Malala Yousafzai, Fred Rogers, and many many more. Basically if a person stood up for the betterment of others without worrying more about the risks to themselves, then they make the list. Again, “look for the helpers,” and “we are all in this together.”
Marcia the Younger:
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the farmer who raises chickens, because I can eat the chicken when it’s dead.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for is the US military, because they keep us safe.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Bruce Harris*, because he was the bishop and kept the church in town when Mommy and Daddy met. And if they hadn’t met, I wouldn’t be here.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Jocko Willink because he was in the military. And because he was in the military, he was helping to protect everybody else. I learned “discipline equals freedom” from him. The moral of the story of “The Little Red Hen” is “discipline equals freedom.”
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the President-Elect because if there was no ruler for the country**, the country would have a lot of problems.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the people that do the main jobs of the country. The doctors, police, and firefighters that protect us***, because they keep the world safer, and they rescue lives when lives are in danger.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Maui because he can break the Lava Monster’s arms.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Eva**** because she’s a robot who can turn her hands into the tops of guns (to help Wall-E).
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Wall-E because he can turn into a box and he is a trash compactor to make cubes and he cleans the Earth. *****
* She has met him, but she was so little when they moved away, she has no memory of him anymore. However, Jacob and I remember him and think of him often.
** Such wise words from such a young person! He meant “for the country going forward.” He remembers that we had an election this month for president, and he was concerned, leading up to the election, about what would happen if “no-one was elected.”
***Controversial or not (it is, but for the issue at hand…), there is a distinction made for those that help. He has heard stories of ones that help and ones that do not. Some of us have had personal experiences with a variety, I know I have. The idea that there are any people out there that may cause harm, makes him feel sick, and so he is thankful for the good ones who strive to help.
**** This was originally Eve because “Mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s…mom, all the way to the first one”
***** Oh, to have the innocent point of view of a four-year-old.
I am thankful for Rachmaninoff’s “Third Piano Concerto.” I am thankful for that piece of music because it is what inspired me to want to get good at playing the piano.
Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful for the song “Amazing Grace.” It has been my most long-term favorite song, because it speaks to my soul. Sometimes I feel “lost,” and sometimes I feel “found.” No matter which I feel, I know that the lasting peace comes through Christ. When they were babies, I sang this almost daily (nightly) to each of the kids to get them to sleep. I have a runner-up category of “angry chick music,” which I actually think of as “strong woman music,” because they speak to me, too; albeit in a different way, and mostly when I am angry/grieving/need motivation to do hard things.
Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful for the song for “The First Article of Faith” because it is the first commandment God ever gave to anyone.*
I am thankful for the song for “The Ninth Article of Faith,” because it is my favorite Article of Faith, I don’t know why**, I just know that it is.
My song of music that I am thankful for is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Because, I don’t know, because it (the star) means Jesus, and Jesus has God’s power. And because Jesus is cool. That’s not all of it.***
* First Article of Faith: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
First of the Ten Commandments: I am the Lord they God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.
She feels like we are commanded to believe in God, and we claim to believe in God, so to her they are on the same level.
** I know why. In an effort to help the Children understand what it is we believe, sometime in 2019, we were teaching them the Articles of Faith. For the ninth, we decided to use a song to help us. We sang it many many times in one week. Then we decided to randomly sing it, and to this day we will break out into the song, and we can’t help but join in when anyone starts it. And we all laugh together, and then move on with whatever we were doing. The Ninth Article of Faith:
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
*** Corban refused to tell us the rest of his reasons, maybe someday he will.
I am thankful to feel peace/calm in our house because it has enough and the right spaces to contain all the complexities in our life, almost.
Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful to feel peace/calm using The Container Store, and similar organizational helpers. Organization brings peace instead of chaos. I feel better with things in order. “A place for everything, and everything in place!”
Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful to feel peace/calm when cuddling with doggy (favorite stuffed animal) and staring at the ceiling, because it just makes me feel calm and peaceful because there are pictures and I like imagining what they are doing.
I am thankful to feel peace/calm in the backyard in the middle of summer because it is nice and calm and you can just play back there without worrying about rain* just falling down on us.
I am thankful to feel peace/calm with my family and friends, and at Gramma’s house**, because I get to play with LEGOs, and there are some toys that I love. They make me feel love, and peace and calm because when I finish building them I can just start playing.
I am thankful to feel peace/calm in a place. The Earth, and playing games. I enjoy playing games, it is fun. It makes me feel like Dad [doesn’t***] wants me out of his office.
* We have plenty of summer rain in the Midwest…hum.
**Even though, they live in the same town, kids probably haven’t been to their house, but one or two times in 2020 due to schedule conflicts at the start of the year, and then the whole pandemic rules and stuff.
*** I am pretty sure he meant to have that word in there, because he definitely does not like the feeling of being sent out of his dad’s office. So, chances are he is thankful for the times he is allowed to be in the office.
I am thankful I was able to go on a mission, I was able to serve a mission in Russia. It was hard because it was a lot of sacrifice. I grew in faith and testimony, I met amazing people, and had life experiences you just can’t get in the United States.
I am thankful I was able to make the decision to leave a job that I loved. I loved the work and the people, but there was something missing. An opportunity came along that was difficult to take; but has proven to be the right decision for me personally, and for our family.
Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful I was able to push my babies out of my body, and it was hard because each one had a bigger head than the previous. If they had never come out, I would be really uncomfortable! I love them, and I learned that I can do really hard things, even while enduring a great amount of pain.
I am thankful I have been able to figure out how to work around our family’s particular set of allergies. It has forced me to be creative and to research different ways to prepare food. It is complicated and at times very hard to figure out, and I am glad that I have been able to be a resource to others who have come to need to make similar adjustments to their menus.
Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful I was able to make my first omelette, and it was hard because it didn’t make sense to me to wait for the toppings to “melt into” the egg, but I’m glad i learned because now whenever I eat an omelette I can have the satisfaction of knowing some came from me.
I am thankful I was able to not go back to the real school at the building, but I’m glad we are where we are because we are one step closer to getting rid of COVID. We are first hand witnesses to 2020.
I am thankful I was able to help Corban do his chores, well, it’s good because I like to do service and when I do what I want, I feel good.
I am thankful I was able to memorize the first paragraph (stanza) of the poem “The Road Not Taken” because it let me earn two blue tickets because it gets me more options, or closer to more options to buying things in the Thurman Store. The first paragraph goes like this:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I am thankful I was able to build LEGO houses, because…I’m glad I did it because I like to play with them, and the reason I like to play with them is because I like to make the LEGO people slide down into the seats.
I am thankful that when I can’t find my water cup, I can find my water cup. If I can’t find it, it is in my bed. I can find it under my pillow or blankets, because it makes me glad to find it, and I can’t stop it (feeling glad), and I eat my own food, all the food.
* Hinckley said the first two first, and then when we explained that we wanted actual things to “touch” he gave the second two.
I am thankful for the temple, where families are sealed together forever, and where I married my best friend.
I am thankful for my home office because that’s where I work to provide for my family, it’s where I study and learn a lot, it’s where I do some of my favorite leisure activities like playing chess and writing music.
Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful for the Grand Canyon because nobody fell in! And because I enjoyed spending a week down in the there hiking among the beauty, while I was in college, and then a couple years ago we got to go as a family* with the Fairlie women!
I am thankful for the hospital where I birthed my children, because there are caring doctors and nurses, and I am so glad that I did not have to clean up the “Lake of Machu Picchu”** in my house.
Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful for libraries because they have lots and lots of books, and I love books!
I am thankful for Compton Park because the bridge is very good for riding your bike over and it has a beautiful “river” there.
I am thankful for our house. I love our house because if we didn’t have our house we wouldn’t live anywhere, but we do have our house so that we have some shelter and a place to live.
I am thankful for the school because I need to learn, and the school is exactly the right place*** to learn.
I want to do what Hinckley said, but a little bit, a little part:
I am thankful for our house, well, because it has dishes.
I am thankful for Earth because it has a lot of houses, and a lot of people, and a lot of houses for that people.
* This was the only time Jacob had been to the Grand Canyon, even though he lived in Mesa, AZ for 14 years.
** The lake was so named by the midwife, because the older two children named the unborn Corban, “King of Machu Picchu” and he made a great lake during labor.
*** “Place” may be more of a concept than an actual location, because this year our kids are attending school online only. Here is the setup they have.
I am thankful for my parents for bringing me into this world, and for doing their best to keep me in it, too.
I am thankful for my husband Jacob, I might drive him crazy at times, but I love him.
I am thankful for Marcia Holland, Hinckley, and Corban for making me a mom, and for making me feel joy in more ways than I ever could have imagined.
I am thankful for my sister Ronda for being a great sister and example to me.
I am thankful for dedicated teachers who make a difference in the lives of children.
I am thankful for good friends who know and love me for me, and don’t try to make me be someone I’m not, you know who you are!
I am thankful for Elder Williams for using the priesthood, without whom I’d be unable to be here typing this.
I am thankful for my mission companions who taught me many things about myself, and how to love others better.
I am thankful for the many people that I have had the pleasure to serve with in the various church callings I’ve had over the years.
I am thankful for all the people who have been able to make me smile and think of good throughout these crazy times.
Thank you all of you world helpers!