Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random Thoughts

Here are two random thought I had today while in Stake Conference:

Perhaps one of the reasons the physical calamities (e.g. earthquakes in Haiti and now in Chile,) are SO significant in these “Last Days,” is because of the immediacy of knowing when these things happen.

100 years ago it may have taken a few days or a few weeks for a neighboring state or country to receive word of such a calamity. 1000+ years ago a whole entire civilization (e.g. Pompeii) could have been destroyed without anyone ever knowing it even existed!

With information technology in our day, we know – almost IMMEDIATELY - when things are occurring! This makes our day, even these Last Days, a prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes,

I was pondering how incredible it is to know that the Unbroken Line of Divine Revelation began that miraculous spring morning of 1820. The significance of living prophets “in a world where people are confused . . .” assures me that “I CAN get direction all along my way, if I heed the prophets – Follow. What. They. Say."
This made me think that, perhaps, our generation has even a greater obligation to heed the Lord’s commandments from His servants.

I say that because so many parts of the world (though I realize not all), have access to HEAR the words of living prophets. That was not as possible 15 or 25 or even 50 years ago, even though there were ways that those voices of warning could be heard. But today, in 2010, with a click of a button, I can listen and know what they say. Internet. Digital Radio. Satellite TV. It is that easy to HEAR the words of the prophets, for their words will carry the Holy Ghost to our hearts. That was not true a little under 200 years ago. But it is today! And that’s so incredibly significant!

Moroni, concerned that the written words of God would not be transmitted in the same power as the spoken words of God lamented, “Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou has not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them” (Ether 12:23).

1000 or so years earlier, Nephi wrote this: “I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1).

In our day we have 15 (15!) living prophets, seers and revelators – Special Witnesses of Christ - and one living, breathing mouthpiece of God, even President Thomas S. Monson! I will be held accountable if I do not to feel the Holy Ghost teaching me, touching my heart, or feeding my soul! Because a prophet of God is, literally, ONE MOUSE CLICK A WAY!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stake Conference - Saturday Night Adult Session

Just so everyone knows: The Saturday Night Adult session of Stake Conference is one of the BEST kept secrets of the Church!

Tonight I went to Stake Conference with a specific question in my heart - A question for the Lord to help me in a matter that has caused a terribly loud “silent treatment” to occur between me and some people that I love very much.


Well, MORE than people.

Family members.

Family members with whom I really should be close.

Not far away and distant like we are right now.

But I don’t know what to do.

And I don’t know what to say.

Mostly because I am afraid that the inner-most desires of my heart will be taken lightly, or without regard.

It would be very safe to say that my heart is afraid of rejection.

These feelings trouble me as I try to figure out: Why does loving others sometimes hurt so much.

But in my heart, there is a deep, empty gap that I don’t where to begin to bridge it.

So tonight, because I know one of the best kept secrets of the Church, Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy was our visiting authority for Stake Conference!

And within the context of his thoughts to us this evening, he opened the scriptures!

And there - RIGHT THERE- as opened up to Ezekiel 47 and read verses, he answered my silent question.

For I had an impression - a feeling, really - while he was talking, that somehow, with His help - this division that I caused to happen – can be healed.

And it makes me uncomfortable to think of what I need to do.

For what I need to initiate.

But my initiation may start a bridge.

A bridge to mend that gap.


But the Spirit said that this is my responsibility - to quiet the “silent treatment” and to offer love to these people that I really do love very much.

For if the “water[s] that issue from the house of the Lord could heal the Dead Sea” (chapter heading of Ezekiel 47), then the strength from His house – even the temple – can help me heal this dead relationship.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review - "The Hidden Christ: Beneath the Surface of the Old Testament"

I am grateful that my Granny loved the Old Testament. My first memories of hearing the stories of Abraham, Samuel, Samson and David where those days as a little girl when I slept over and she would tell me these stories as we snuggled in her featherbed.

The Old Testament has always been a VERY hard book for me to read. And I make quite a revealing confession when I say that I USED to refer to the Old Testament as “the Dead Scriptures.”

Coupled with a sincere desire to understand our course of study in Sunday School this year AND in reading The Hidden Christ, I have REPENTED of my wicked definition! And it has been my fault, not the writings within the Old Testament, that I have not paid better attention to the divine teachings and parallelisms found within this incredible volume of scripture.

There are so many revealing insights, that I will not EVEN begin to name them. That is primarily for the reader to discover, ponder and apply. But one truth I learned is this: The Old Testament applies very much to me and very much to our day. Who knew? Not me. But I do now!

Here are jeust a few of the things that come instantly to my mind of things I learned from Bro. Ferrell's book:

1. I finally get the whole Northern Kingdom/Southern Kingdom division and how Israel was scattered and why there are TEN lost tribes! I know, I know! I have been in countless number of (specifically) Gospel Doctrine Classes where “The Map” was drawn on the chalk board and things division explained, but my “I-wasn’t-interested-in-History in-high-school” brain (that really wishes that I paid the least bit of attention now), never got it. Until this book!

2. Dispensations. There’s the Dispensation of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Joseph Smith - which is called the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. I thought I understood the whole dispensation thing, but Bro. Ferrell puts it all into perspective and understanding and why the Great Apostasy was so great.

3. Okay. How about this one? I could never wrap myself around the story of David. I mean HE had everything to LOSE by doing what he did (adultery and pre-meditated murder). I could never understand why a man who was so great, could fall so far. I am grateful for Bro. Ferrell’s approach on how David’s spiritual anguish – his spiritual fall because of his great sin – can be seen as a archetype of the Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane. Now I appreciate the stories of David so much more!

4. A chiasm is “an ancient literary structure, developed in its most intricate forms by the Hebrew, in which the elements of a passage repeat themselves in reverse order.” Our WHOLE journey - from the beginnings of the Fall of Adam to today is a chiasm. Here is one incredible chiastic example set forth in the book from Bro. Ferrell, who proposes “that the spiritual history of the earth as . . . history unfolds (and refolds) [is] a chiasm (p. 208).


A We lived with the Father and the Son
   B Satan and his followers were cast out
    C Creation of glorified earth
      D Man received an immortal body
        E There was peace on the earth among all creations
           F The Lord was present on the earth
              G Man fell due to sin and was cast out of the Lord’s presence (spiritual and physical death)
                  H The gospel was given to man, and preached throughout the earth
                     I A chosen people
                      J There was gross wickedness among man
                       K The fullness of the gospel was taken from the earth
                         L Christ loosed the bands of spiritual death
                         L1 Christ loosed the bands of physical death
                       K1 The fullness of the gospel was taken from the earth
                     J1 There was gross wickedness among man
                    I1 A chosen people
                 H1 The gospel was given to man, and preached throughout the earth
              G1 Man who, due to sin, will not be able to endure His presence, are destroyed
            F1 The Lord comes again to earth
         E1 There is peace on the earth among all creation
       D1 Man receives an immortal body
    C1 The earth receives its paradisiacal glory
 B1 Satan and his followers are cast out forever
A1 We live with the Father and the Son

This book is INCREDIBLE! Not that I have read a lot of books on the Old Testament, but this is surely the best book that I have read! It catered to my interest in WHY the Law of Moses is so significant and understand WHY the teachings found therein pertinent and applicable for me – TODAY!

Thank you, Bro. Ferrell, for sharing what you have learned so I can learn as well!

These two books by James L Ferrell are ones I also highly recommend:
The Peacegiver
The Holy Secret

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cast Off!

Cast (n): a stiff dressing or casing used to immobilize body parts.

My brokened-arm son got his cast off TODAY!!

Which, of course, was the easy part . . . because after the cast came off, THE PINS had to come out!

The whole “cast off” thing is a very renewing thing for my son and for me! Now his arm - which has been immobilized for the last three weeks - is now able to experience the flexion it is suppose to receive, being so near the elbow and all.

This means the beginning of bending and straightening.

This means a giving his arm different kind of arm protection than his cast did, but one that will ultimately make his arm stronger.

This means muscles will get a little sore as he begins to restore elbow motion to move with his whole body. (Even the wrist movement is stiff and achy!)

This also means that maybe – MAYBE - my son will now be a little more dependent than he has been for the last 26 days!?

Which got me thinking of the phrase – “cast off.”

Cast off in a spiritual sense.

"What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive His Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be CAST OFF at the last day?” (Alma 22:15)

Q: What shall I do that I may have eternal life?
A: Pray to God and repent of all my sins (Alma 22:16; Enos 1:4-5).

Q: What shall I do that I may be born of God, removing the (desire to do) wickedness from my heart?
A: Replace my “stony heart” with a “heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Q: What shall I do to receive His Spirit so I can feel joy?
A: If one of the fruits of the Spirit is “joy,” then I must avoid (at all costs) “the works of the flesh.” Which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelling (Galatians 5:17-24).  In fact, THIS is the stuff that hinders the very most.  And, if not cast off, could eventually cause spiritual rigormortis.

Q: What shall I do so I will not be CAST OFF in the end?
A: Press forward. Have charity. Feast upon God’s word. Endure to the end. (2 Nephi 31:20).

So beginning today, it's CASTS OFF for me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday - Free to Be Me

I was chocolate batter that wanted to be free
Free to be myself, to make the most of me.
“What do you want in life?” my maker asked of me.
“A yummy, yummy cupcake is what I want to be!”
“You must have restrictions,” that’s what I was told.
“For you cannot be a cupcake unless you have a mold.”
“What? Live within the bounds of a flimsy, cupcake ring?”
“Oh no! I’ll be a cupcake by doing my own thing!”
“That’s just nonsense!” I told a friend of mine.”
“I can live outside the mold and I will do just fine.
“You may need those rules and laws to be what you should be,
“But I’m a better batter! Those rules weren’t meant for me!”
Well, my friends all started rising. So light. So round. So neat.
While I oozed and dripped and fell apart - I couldn’t take the heat!
And now my friends are frosted with pink, sweet happiness.
I could have been a cupcake.
Instead, I’m just a mess.

-Author Unknown (to me, that is).

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Example of the Believers

Today I had lunch with a friend I haven’t seen since Junior High!! That was AGES ago. And do you know what brought us together?  (No, it wasn't Facebook . . .)

It was because of her example to me many years ago.

We both were at a party. It wasn’t a bad party. There were no alcohol or drugs. But in one room – the main room - the movie of choice was “R” rated.

Of course I didn’t watch “R” rated movies, so I stood alone in the kitchen - wanting so bad to be accepted by this group of people – but knowing I couldn't . . . because I wouldn't.

Several friends came in and out to grab a handful of chips or a cans of soda. Each of them asked me why I wasn’t with “the rest of them” watching the movie. I made some lame-o excuses: I was hungry; Something was stuck in my contact – you know, stuff like that.

Then this girl walked into the kitchen. She asked why I was in the kitchen and not watching the movie with everyone else. I came up with a really good excuse when she looked at me and clearly and plainly said, "Oh! Well, I’m in here because I don't watch "R" rated movies!” She said it. Just. Like. That.

So you can only imagine how disappointed I was in myself for being more afraid of man more than of God.

You can only  imagine how ashamed I was that I wasn’t courageous enough just to say the REAL reason I was hanging out - alone (well, almost alone) - in the kitchen.

But at that moment - the moment my friend told me like it was - something changed in my heart. And I promised myself to never, ever let a situation like that happen to me again.

And today - almost THREE decades later - she and I got together to catch up on the years in between then and now.

And I was able to thank her - face to face - for that one night when she was truly an example of the believers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Small and Simple Things

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls” (Alma 37:6-7).

Small (adj.): modest or humble; gentle

Simple (adj.): pure, without guile or deceit; innocent

Great (adj.): existing in a high degree; superior

The definitions for small and simple are clearly words that describe some of the divine characteristics of the Savior.





Without guile.


In applying them to Alma 37:6-7 then, it becomes clear that it is only through Him and by Him that you and I have any chance, any opportunity of obtaining the “high degree,” even the degree of Celestial glory.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Step Mothers

Okay, just for the record, I have nothing against step-mothers. So the following conversation with my five year-old daughter comes because of the bad rap step-mothers get from fairy tales (specifically  that of Cinderella)!

Because of sticky contacts, I took mine out and put on my glasses.

Daughter: Mom, why are you wearing those? I don't like them!

Me: Why not?

Daughter: Because it makes you look like a step-mother.

Me: Umm, what does a step-mother look like?

Daughter: I don't know, but I don't like it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Faith, Repentance, Baptism and the Holy Ghost

Okay, so here are some connections I have recently made in regard to the FIRST PRINCIPLES of the Gospel (Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and Repentance) and the FIRST ORDINANCES of the Gospel (Baptism by Immersion for the Remission of Sins and The Gift of the Holy Ghost).

These connections are made with the references of Moroni 8:25-26 and Alma 7:14-16.

First, here is a cool process chart that says exactly what is found in Moroni. (I even had my 10 year-old son read it to me without reading the scripture first and even he thought it was pretty cool! AND, I even figured out how to the chart in Presentation - all! by! myself!)
Now for the wordy application taken from Alma 7:14-16

Alma teaches the following points in jus three verses. Take note that he touches on the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel (Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost).

In order to be born again, one must REPENT.

REPENTANCE is the key that allows us to enter into His kingdom.

BAPTISM + REPENTANCE = washes us from our sins.

Washing away our sins requires FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. He is the One who takes away our sins, saves us, and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

Then, after going over what we would consider the “Fourth Article of Faith,” Alma begins to teach the importance of – the imperativeness of - repentance by simply saying: Do Not Fear Repentance!

Do not be afraid to repent. No matter what it takes, do not be afraid to repent!

So in my non-math, but gospel-formula mind here’s how I “see” Alma’s counsel:

If Repentance ≠ Fear, then Repentance = Faith. (see Mark 4:40)

Alma also tells us that it’s the EASY sins that are going to get us down. Of course my “easy sins” may not be your “easy sins.” But we have “easy sins,” nonetheless, and they are the ones (the wicked sins) that will BIND US DOWN TO DESTRUCTION.

I find it very interesting that we are never “Bound up” in sin. “Binding up” is what the Savior does to us when we chose to come unto Him and repent. However, we are bound down, dragged down, chained down by Satan.

“Come and go forth” is what Alma encourages. “Show unto your God that [you] are willing to repent.”

This repentance, then, leads to baptism.

Which leads to faith.

Which gives us strength to keep His commandments.

Which leads to the remission of our sins.

Which changes our hearts.

Which allows the Holy Ghost to enter and teach us, remind us, protects us, testify to us.

Which fills us with His love, His perfect love, even charity.

Which qualifies us for eternal life. To dwell with Him forever. And ever.

Which is exactly the diagram found in Moroni 8:25-26!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Rich Young Man

Last night, while studying the Book of Mormon, I read 1 Nephi 3:16. In this part of the chapter, Nephi is trying to convince his brothers to go back to Laban a second time and get the plates

“Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandment of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.”
As I read that, my mind remembered the story of the rich, young man. You remember the young man. He approached the Savior asking Him what he could do to obtain eternal life. Since the young man already knew the commandments, the Savior invited him to sell everything – give it all up to he had, give it to those less fortunate – and only then could he really, truly follow Him. When the young man heard this, “he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.” Not only did this young man walk away from the Savior’s commandment, he walked away from eternal life!

Nephi was also a rich, young man. But unlike the young man in the New Testament, Nephi left everything to follow the commands of the Lord. It is no wonder then, why Nephi is capable to teaching us wholly and fully to “go and do,” “that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great day.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday - Being Mistreated

“Being mistreated is the most important condition of mortality, for eternity itself depends on how we view those who mistreat us.”

James L Ferrell, The Peacegiver, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 2004, p. 33 (italics added).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gospel Formula - What Happens After Death

I am so not good at math, so I can't figure out why I get a total kick out of putting gospel principles into math-type formulas! 

This formula helped in teaching the lesson "What Happens After Death."
Birth = spirit + body
Death = spirit - body
Resurrection = spirit + body*
*(perfect body of flesh and bone)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Once upon a time, there was a newly-wed girl who really thought (for several years after her marriage), that she could somehow still be independent of the man she married.

That if anything happened to her husband she would be able to continue on.

Continue on without marriage having had much effect on her heart or soul or her life.

Well, let me just say that this was SUCH a self-centered, dim-witted, uber-naïve concept to even contemplate or assume. I am SO glad she had time to grow-up. Repent. See the Light!

Because REAL things started to happen to this girl.

Real things like having children.

Having lots of children so very close together.

Things like dark, lonely, sad times.

Things like happy, incredible, joyful times.

Things like church times. When most of the time he was serving others outside of the home.

Things like home times. When most of the time she was serving only those inside of the home.

Things like deep, profound spiritual times.

Things like intimate, marital bonding times.

And many, many years later, when the girl had matured into marriage and had added to that “experience and application,” she began to reflect on the selfish, egotistical, arrogant, and ignorant thoughts she has when she first married.

How thoroughly inter-dependent she had become on this wonderful man she had covenanted her heart for forever.

How important he was in helping her with the children.

Each of them. All of them. For they were a LOT of them!

How incredibly blessed she was to have him during those dark, lonely times.

How extremely grateful she was to have him during those happy, joyful times.

How Church Times strengthened their marriage because he was serving others!

How Home Times strengthened their marriage because she was serving their family!

How those deep, profound spiritual times not only brought them closer to God, but brought them closer to each other.

And how those intimate, marital bonding times cemented all their hope, love, joy and faith into all they ever were or all they would ever become.

Because a good marriage takes more than a several years of trying.

Because a good marriage takes HARD work and a decent amount (okay, a HUGE amount) of patience.

Because a good marriage requires both husband and wife to cleave - as the scriptures say - to one another.

Because a good marriage will some day lead to happily ever (forever and ever) after.

Just it won’t be a fairy tale. It will be for reals.

Happy Valentine’s to the man, my husband, who has made me an intricate, absolute part of him.

Ooh, I love you!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Scripture/Study Journals

I’ve been keeping a scripture/study journal (consistently) for several years. It’s been great for me to read past entries, look at the questions I’ve asked (I’ve made it a point to put a big, fat question mark - or 2?? - in the margins so I can easily find what my mind found baffling, so if I find the answer, I can write in the answer or at least amend what was my skewed perception)!

What started out as one scripture journal has now turned into several. My husband has gotten used to the “get ready for scripture study” nightly ritual because out comes the various notebooks, books, study material and every now and again, the dictionary. He’s all ready into 15 minutes of scripture study by the time I plop down, ready to go!

Scripture Study Notebook. This notebook is a record of my standard scripture study. This includes my personal study, as well as Sunday lesson material. I take this journal to Church on Sundays with me, so I can write down anything that answers my weekly scripture study questions and any other thing that the Spirit teaches me during the tree-hour block. I use this one daily, writing down thoughts, impressions, ideas and QUESTIONS!!!!

Preach My Gospel Notebook. While I LOVE the margins that are provided in the guide, I wanted a place to record the ideas I had about all the scripture references listed. PHEW! It has taken my quite some time to read just 30 pages because I have chosen to read every scripture reference and make a note about it in my notebook.

Random Thoughts/Quotes to Remember Notebook. When I am reading a book and find a phrase or an idea thought-provoking or critical to me, I write them in this notebook. This is also the notebook that contains quips and experiences of my family – the ones that if I don’t write down I will be bound to forget!

Remember Notebook. This notebook I started right after General Conference October 2007.  I received a gentle nudge from the Holy Ghost after listening to President Henry B. Eyring’s talk about remembering and recognizing the hand of God in my life. This personal record surely allows me to see - more frequently - His tender mercies toward me and my family! From finding Valentine Hershey Kisses for .99 cents a bag!!! (it was a STEAL when you hae to buy for six elementary school-aged children!!) to the visit from an inspired Bishop appeared on our doorstep when our family needed it the most!

Inspiration Notebook. I started this right after General Conference October 2009. After listening to Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk about writing down the things the Spirit says to me, I felt another gentle nudge to follow his counsel. This has been the newest of my “notebook collections” and also the one that makes me ponder the very most.

Okay, I know that seems excessive! And I surely DO NOT write in all of them every night, excepting my scripture study one. I do, however, have reason to write in at least each of them once a week! And in so doing, my faith in knowing that God loves me and gives me reasons to learn and grow and think and serve fill me with an ever increasing desire to do what He wants me to do. Which may mean I might need to start a  new notebook entitled: Things To Do. Ha!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Repentance Is Like A Broken Arm

Having a broken arm in the family has taught us so many things about repentance!

We've learned that wishing we could go back and change that moment in time is like recognizing the sin and the beginning of godly sorrow.

We've talked about how painful it was waiting for medical care.  And the x-ray: OUCH!  It's like hoping we can get better without any help, but knowing our sinful ways hurt. And we can't get better unless we see the Master Physician.

We've discussed how painful and s-l-o-w the healing process is.  And four pins in an arm doesn't make that journey less enjoyable knowing they will have to come out in the end!  Repentance is painful and s-l-o-w, but in the end, if you do it right - with the Savior - the sin will come out in the end!

We've even noticed that that one broken arm, now casted but still weak, is the arm that always seems to get knocked and bumped around.  How easy it is to forget - by oneself and others - that during the repentance process, even though things look better: "Healing Is Still In Progress.  Please Be Soft."  There is much more than meets the eye (or the arm).

We've encouraged Endurance.  Enduring the pain  Enduring not being able to do everything yourself.  Enduring dependance on others when you once were able to do it for yourself.  We've even had to add that it's not just in the endurance.  It's in the attitude of enduring that makes all the difference.  Repentance is about enduring or rather, enduring it well.  Our attitude gives us soft hearts, open minds, and a closer relationship to God.

We're trying to help our broken-armed boy remember his pain while he still has it!  Once his arm is healed, the pain will be gone.  Perhaps a few scars will remain but the pain he is currently facing will be but a memory.  Repentance is like that.  While in the process we remember our pain, but when we apply the Atonement, the Savior's infinite and eternal sacrifice - our joy, our healing, the result of our repentance - will bring to us as much joy as was our pain. "Return unto me," He beckons, "and repent of your sins . . . that I may heal you."

For now, we use pain meds.  They're like the Spirit.  It's the Spirit who helps us through those tough times, when we think we can never fully be healed, repent. He give us comfort.  He gives us direction.  He gives us peace.  He helps facilitate our pain.  Our healing.  Only you can never OD on the Spirit.  Once you use Him, you want to use Him over and over again.  And the Spirit leads us to the Ultimate Pain Med - the Savior.

And gratefully, as the Book of Mormon testifies over and over and over again "And it shall come to pass."  For broken arms in bright blue casts and repentant sinners enveloped in the Savior's love (which is all of us), will emerge healed and whole.  For that is the only way it could come to pass because repentance is like a broken arm.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Prince Charming

Not too long ago I was with a bunch of kindergarteners. My, they were having a good time with each other while eaves dropping at the same time!

I know because when I ended my phone conversation with my husband, one precocious six-year old girl asked me - point blank - “Who was that on the phone?!”

Me: Why, that was Prince Charming!

Six-year old (now with eyes as big as diamonds, a mouth wide open with barely a whisper escaping her mouth): Pr-Prince Ch-Charming?

Me: Yup.

My six-year old son (matter of factly): Ha! Prince Charming is my Dad. That’s what my Mom calls him.

My four year-old daughter (piping in her two-cents worth): And do you know why she calls him Prince Charming? Because they are married and they love each other. (My daughter’s eye lashes were fluttering about now).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday

Murmuring IS a heart condition!

Murmur: 1. a mumbled or muttered complaint   2. any abnormal sound heard by auscultation (a listening device to determine the condition of the heart); esp., such a sound in the region of the heart

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Review - "Mormon Scientist-The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring"

Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring by Henry J. Eyring has been a fascinating read for me. 

Reading Mormon Scientist allowed me to be excited about thinking outside-the-box. About thinking beyond what I may think is the only right way. About thinking higher. Thinking clearer. Thinking enough so God, who knows all, can give me the answers.  His answers.

Henry Eyring - renowned chemist and faithful Latter-day Saint.  Scientist to the very fullest sense of the word and a practicing, testimony-bearing believer of the Restoration.

Which helped me with a life-long concern I have had about the Theory of Evolution and the Reality of the Creation.  Must these two ideas exist together or must they remain seperated and apart?

One example from the book that especially helped quell my questioning about the topic was this:  Henry Eyring responded to a "man who wrote him about a scheme for 'dismantling Evolution once and for all.'"  This man who wrote Henry desired for LDS scientists worldwide to convene together to specifically provide evidence contrary to this theory.  Henry Eying replied:
"As a devout Latter-day Saint the important fact for me is that the Lord is directing the affairs in His Universe, not exactly how He does it.  Whether or not some organic evolution was used or is operating seems to me to be beside the point.  He is infinitely wise.  I just work here.  If He told me in detail how He work I'm sure I wouldn't understand much of it.  The effort spent on the crusade ou envision would be better spent trying to understand a little better how God works.  Sorry if we see things a little differently."
And that was IT for me. 

That is what I needed to read.  I just needed to understand with temporal words what my spirit needed to be defined.

For deep, down inside of me, it really doesn't matter how God created the world, because I know He created it . 

It really doesn't matter what methods God used to create this world, because I know He can do all things

My excitment to want to learn has been enhanced by reading this book.  It has also given me a greater, deeper, more profound appreciation to a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to give us so many options, so many ways, so many opportunities to come to know Him.  That He is God.  That He lives.  That He loves us.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Personal Identifiers

I am one of several in my ward who is taking a six-week “Basic Genealogy” class during the Sunday School hour.

I am so new at this.

Today in our class we learned about how to get started with the new Church Software, FamilySearch.

We learned about gathering information about our ancestors.

The more information one can collect and record is very important when it comes to submitting those names to perform temple ordinances.

The information that is needed:

• The given name or surname of ancestor (include maiden name if female)

• The person’s gender

• Enough information to uniquely identify the person such as:

• Important date

• Places

• Names and relationships of other family members
I decided to call that type of information: Personal Identifiers.

So the example discussed in class was to take a name like: John Smith.

Plugging in that name into FamilySearch may bring up thousands and thousands of men with that same name.

But then, when you input John Smith’s name with his death date in 1825, the number of men who fit that name with that date now reduces to the hundreds.

Next, to that information, you add a place. Let’s take Minnesota for example. Now the number of men fitting those unique, Personal Identifiers, and simplifies the pool even more.

The, by adding a spouse’s name, Anna Marie Jackson, you are most likely to get THE person in your family.

Unique, Personal Identifiers.

We all have them.

Our ancestors have them.

Our posterity will have them.

Personal Identifiers are part of who we are, who we were, and who we can become.

And as I contemplated this whole process of finding our ancestors by way of collecting their unique, Personal Identifiers, I realized why the Lord says, “Remember, the worth of a soul is great in the sight of God.”

It’s because He knows us.

He knows us by our own unique, Divine Personal Identifiers.

Which sometimes cannot be seen by others, let alone by us.

But those Divine Personal Identifiers are there.


Ready to be discovered.

Ready to be put into action.

And FamilySearch is one way we can find those Personal Identifiers for our ancestors and perhaps even for ourselves!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Faith and Miracles in Jesus Christ

So the other night, as I was studying Preach My Gospel (p. 116), I wrote down some of the results that can happen as I have faith in Christ. Here are ten things I found:

When I have faith in Christ . . .
1. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God
2. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and Redeemer
3. I follow His teachings
4. I believe my sins can be forgiven through His atonement
5. I am confident that He loves me
6. I trust in the Lord enough to follow His commandments
7. I accomplish what the Lord wants me to accomplish
8. I help bring about good
9. I am able to do miracles according to the Lord’s will
10. My faith will be made manifest through my diligence and work

What jumped out at me was point #9: “I am able to do miracles according to His will.”

MIRACLES! Me! Me doing miracles!?

Most times I go to bed thinking, “What in tarnation did I even accomplish today?” Now, I go and read that I am able to do miracles according to His will. I’m either a little too complacent in my quest to increase my faith OR I am blind to what miracles I am actually doing.

Which brought the story of Namaan to mind. He was the Syrian noble who was cured of leprosy by the prophet Elisha. A miracle happened to Namaan as when he bathed in the Jordan seven times.

But who did the miracle?

The little Hebrew maid because she suggested for Namaan to visit with Elisha?

The prophet Elisha, because he told Namaan to bathe in the dirty water?

Namaan’s servants who told him, “Dude, what’s the big deal about dipping yourself in dirty water if it makes you better? Isn’t that what you wanted?”

I believe each one of them took part in doing a miracle according to the Lord’s will. Each one of them played an important, crucial part! And even though they may not have seen the miracle take place, they were all part of the miracle that happened.

Which means I - even though I may never see the results – I can do miracles according to God’s will. I just need to be the instrument.

I need to be the one willing to suggest.

The one willing to say “Dude!”

The one willing to be obedient and have faith.

The one willing to do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday - God's Mercies

Do I understand the great mercies which God has bestowed upon me because of His Son?

see Alma 33:16

Monday, February 1, 2010

Relief Society Dinners

The only thing harder than coming up with a dinner menu for a family that has been assigned to you by the Compassionate Service Leader, is coming up with a dinner menu for a family of TEN!

How my heart swells with expanding gratitude for kind sisters who brought us three nights of meals that will feed our family of 10 for the rest of the week! 

And these meals are from empty-nesters who are used to cooking for two . . .

Isn't Relief Society wonderful!