Here are their comments:
Bro. Brandon B.:
Many of us are blessed with talents that we develop, like music and song... however the complexities involved in our display of these talents often misguides us to undervalue and overlook the simple complexities in Heavenly Father's creations. Take an orange, for instance. A simple fruit, that grows on a tree. Heavenly Father created it. Not only did he make it delicious, but makes it easy for us to understand when it is ripe by color-coding it. Green = too soon, bright orange= just right. Sometimes we must humble ourselves and recognize that our talents are not always ripe. As the orange requires water, good soil, and sunshine - our talents will require practice, care, and consideration in order to develop into something truly special. Few pianists will ripen overnight... but with the Holy Ghost's sunshine they will over time.
The keys to true happiness lie under the shadow of the Spirit's fruit.
A time and place for everything
Not everything that is good goes together. A fresh ripe orange is good in its sphere, nutritious, tasty, pleasing to behold and to eat.
A well-made and tuned piano is good in its sphere, capable of producing beautiful music that is pleasing and uplifting.
But they do not go together. One cannot eat an orange and simultaneously play a piano well. One would not want to eat an orange at their piano because getting orange juice between the keys on the keyboard would damage it.
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all who participated. Hope the winners enjoy their prize. (And this, by the way, is a great time to load up on silver as an awesome investment - an excellent dip for wise buyers who understand not only the risks of inflation we face, but the inherent high demand and limited supply of what is both a precious and industrial metal.)
Update: Here are 3 photos of one of our winners, Josh Maready, followed by a few words from him.
i was born and raised in southeastern NC (Wilmington area). i served a full-time mission in Portland, Oregon from '98-2000. after my mission, i lived most of my life as a gypsy/nomad/vagabond/undercover missionary/freelance writer/professional skateboarder. between touring as a skateboarder and my traveling to satisfy my wanderlust, i never stayed in one place for too long. i've hitchhiked all over the place (once from ocean-to-ocean) and would still be hitchhiking today, had i not hitchhiked through Orlando, Florida and found my wife working as a hostess at a restaurant. Now i'm semi-domesticated, living in Manhattan, NYC. i still write freelance for a few magazines or do odd jobs. i just recently finished a book about being a full-time missionary, and am in the process of fine-tuning it before i go agent-hunting. hmmm -- what else. oh, as far as i know, i have bragging rights as being the only Mormon who has ever skateboarded across the country. i hold a piece of the world record (you can google "skate across america" or "josh maready" to see some of the details. and if, for some crazy reason, you end up reading the article "Headwind Sucks" online, i did NOT throw the mother-of-all cuss words in there. Thrasher mag did that. i was bummed) for doing it in 21 days. that's about it, i guess. i'm just an average guy trying to fight the good fight.Awesome! Thanks, Josh! And may you always be quoted without spurious addition of the mother of all cusswords - something I sincerely wish for myself as well.
Now here's something from our other winner, Brandon B.:
I am a young, married LDS convert of about three years. My wife and I were sealed in the Washington, D.C. Temple and live happily and frugally in Eastern Pennsylvania in a Philadelphia suburb far enough away to still have farmland. I am a volunteer firefighter at our local fire company. My favorite hobbies include some amateur photography, camping, hiking, and shooting my pistols at my local gun club. Being a recent convert, I did not serve a mission - but look forward to doing so later in life with my wife as my companion! I enjoy my current calling as the Ward membership clerk, while my wife has been sent to the land of VIPP's (very important primary persons) with the children.Thanks a million, Brandon! Sure appreciate your support. And don't sell your silver until it hits at least at least $100 an ounce. It will, perhaps within the decade.
As I work full time at a college, I take classes as well and hope to end up in a law enforcement position in the next couple years. I have lived in PA all my life, and hope to stay here. I'm not a particularly exciting person, however I lead a good and enjoyable life! Mormanity is one of few places that I visit on the internet - a tribute to the quality of Jeff's work and dedication towards the church and other causes that he values. The only other places that I visit often enough to mention are timesandseasons.org , kk.org/cooltools, and glocktalk.com. The prize of silver is wonderful, considering that I plan to invest early and retire young! God Bless!