Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Most Important Thing I've Learned

by Kerry Blair

I’m glad nobody’s ever asked me to name the most important thing I’ve learned in life. I’m terrible at quizzes. I’ve been shifting through superpowers all week and still can't pick one. I'm leaning toward Shandra Covington’s, however. I’d really like to scarf down everything in sight over the holidays (after drowning it in maple syrup and adding a side of noodles) without getting fat. Fatter.

But some people are brilliant under pressure. Betsy Green is one of them. This is evident from her author bio. She’s the wife of a bishop, mother of eight, grandmother of one adorable little girl, ward YW president, and author of – count them – eight chart-topping novels. Her Miss Eugenia won the “Favorite Character” award at the mystery dinner hands down. (We had to give Betsy both trophies because she’d created and portrayed Miss Eugenia.) Truly, this woman is a phenomenon in the world of LDS publishing -- and the world at large. She is also one of the most genuine, funny, Christlike people I have ever known. I don’t know what to call the superpower Betsy emanates, but it’s the one to have.

Here is one of her recent musings.


by Betsy Brannon Green

I was asked to represent my decade, the fifties, at a recent RS activity, and to describe the most important thing I’ve learned (so far) in my life. Since I have obviously learned many, many things, it was hard to identify the most important. But after some consideration this is what I’ve come up with.

We’ve all heard the phrase “this, too, shall pass.” I believe that within those words we can find a wealth of wisdom. My mother kept a journal for a few years while my father was in medical school and it is a treasure to me. My mother died young and I love to read about the happy, healthy times of her life. Following her example, I’ve kept a journal for many years and I hope that my children will enjoy reading it when I am gone.

It was while I was reading through an old journal that I found my most important lesson. I read about cars that wouldn’t start, bills that seemed impossible to pay, laundry that never got “finished” and children with constant ear infections. But now the cars I was worried about are in junkyards, the bills got paid somehow, the laundry still isn’t done, and the children can all hear. Time passes. The bad times won’t last forever and there are always good times to look forward to ahead. That’s an important thing to know and cling to during hard times. But there’s another, more subtle lesson that is even more important. That lesson is -- the good times pass too.

I read in my journal about my first date with the man who would eventually be my husband. I read about the birth of each baby, their first days of school. The Easter dresses and Halloween costumes I made. The Christmases and birthdays we shared. I read about ballgames and baptisms and graduations and weddings. Like the bad times, these wonderful moments in my life have gone and endure only in memory.

So the most important thing I’ve learned is that we must live each moment to the fullest. Endure the bad times well and remember that they won’t last forever. But don’t take the good times for granted. They won’t last forever either.

For more insightful excerpts from Betsy’s journal -- plus recipes, pictures, book reviews, goodies and much, much more, visit her website. Betsy Brannon


At 11/17/2006 4:21 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you, Betsy. This was very thought-provoking--the kind of insight that I want to remember and pass along to others.

At 11/17/2006 8:57 PM, Blogger Cheri said...

Excellent job, Kerry\Betsy. =)I just had a chance to read through the blog and I agree with Kerry: Betsy is a wonderful lady and a gifted author. And Betsy, I loved your advice. Especially this week. ;)Y'all take care, as we southern ladies tend to say.

At 11/17/2006 9:05 PM, Blogger FHL said...

I think the most important thing I've ever learned is "Nothing ever goes as planned" (see Styx song) =)

At 11/17/2006 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard that's why som many scriptures begin with, "And it came to pass."

Tonight I did a book signing and got to meet FHL. I also got to hear from lovely lady how much she enjoyed the books of Kerry and Betsy. You two are awesome.

At 11/18/2006 11:09 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Oh, anonymous! You were at one of MY typical book signings last night. I can't tell you how many times I've sat a table discussing the collected works of Betsy Brannon Green or Jennie Hansen or someone equally famous and beloved. The gab fests generally end with the customer looking down at the books on my table and then saying in surprise, "Oh! do YOU write books, too?" Then they read a back cover, grimace and set it down with a polite little, "Well, good luck with that! Please tell Betsy -- or Jennie or whoever -- I said hello."

But I don't think I've ever met FHL and that, indeed, would be a joy. Where were you hanging out, pray tell? I'll be sure to go there come January and hope for the best.

At 11/19/2006 4:56 AM, Blogger FHL said...

I met Mr. Savage at the Seagull bookstore in Orem (about 2 miles from my house) Although, you can ask Mr. Wells, he'll tell you how far I'd drive on the whims of an LDS writer... (Fortunately, when HE was doing a book signing, it was at the same store there in Orem.)

If any of you get the chance to see Jeff at a book signing, I highly recommend the experience. He's very engaging and personable (even introduced me to his wife!)

Kerry: it seems like it would be better to go to Arizona in January than come here - unfortunately, I don't have any travel plans for the foreseeable future. Also, and this is somewhat embarrassing, your book cover photo really reminds me of this girl from high school that I had a major crush on. I'll try not to let it affect me, but I may blush on seeing you, if the resemblance is too much. =)

At 11/20/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

You know, fhl, I am truly one of the common people in the world. (You know, the ones Abraham Lincoln was talking about when he said, "God must have loved the common people -- he made so many of us.") I seldom go to a signing or appearance where somebody doesn't tell me I look just like their sister/wife/former girlfriend/cousin and -- increasingly more often, dang it -- mother. You've made my day, though. I'm so very glad I don't remind you of your grandmother.

So Orem, huh? I'll write to the scheduler at Covanant and ask to go there first!


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