Thursday, January 29, 2009

Women of God

After my last post with the silly songs about motherhood I thought I would follow up with this amazing quote about womanhood by Margaret D. Nadauld a former General Young Women President of the church.

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity" ("The Joy of Womanhood," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 15).

I first read this quote in a recent Visiting Teaching message but was reminded of it on another blog. What a great list of characteristics for all of us women to be working on.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now know that I have a love for definitions. So I am going to plaster a few here in the context of this quote:

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough or hardened; we need women who are tender or easily moved to compassion and loving. There are enough women who are coarse or harsh; we need women who are kind, considerate, and gentle. There are enough women who are rude or impolite; we need women who are refined or pure. We have enough women of fame and fortune or great wealth; we need more women of faith, confidence, and belief in God. We have enough greed or excessive desire for wealth and possessions; we need more goodness or moral excellence. We have enough vanity or pride of self; we need more virtue or chastity and righteousness. We have enough popularity or worldly approval; we need more purity or innocence and cleanliness.

How do you keep in perspective our divine role as woman? What have you done to avoid falling into the trap of becoming a woman of the world? What can we do to develop and strengthen these attributes of women of God and become more Christ-like?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Songs of Motherhood

So I received links to both of these videos from a few friends of mine and decided to post them here. I think all of us who are mothers can definitely relate and get a good chuckle out of this.

I watched these videos yesterday morning. Shortly after watching them I started my work out in my pajamas, a work out consisting of jogging/dancing with my little boy (it is the only way it gets done). Then mid work-out and still jogging I poured some milk into a sippy cup and trying to speed the process up I held the refrigerator door open with my foot and slid the milk in and handed the cup to my little boy. Then continuing on doing a punch here and a jumping jack there I eventually ended up on the floor doing leg raises all the while flipping over the letters that belonged to a puzzle my little boy was working on. While in the middle of doing all of this the songs popped back into my head and I chuckled - Oh the multi-tasking of a mother...do we really even need to work out? Sometimes I don't think so.

Hope you enjoy these funny and relatable songs by Hillary Weeks:



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Priesthood: Be Ready and Worthy to Act

My husband introduced me to this video last night of a portion of a talk by Elder Holland. It fits perfectly with my previous post but in a different perspective. I focused on the blessings that we all can receive through the power of the priesthood and in this talk Elder Holland focuses on the need for every priesthood holder to "be ready and worthy to act". It is a powerful message.

video

I would love to hear your experiences of when you were blessed by the priesthood or when you were able to use the power of priesthood because you were ready and worthy to act.

You can read one of my experiences in the previous post.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Blessings of the Priesthood

We just subscribed to The Friend in hopes to have a more toddler friendly magazine. I meant for it to be mostly for the enrichment of our son but I have found myself reading almost every morsel of our first magazine. It is wonderful. I love how short and simple the stories, experiences, and articles are. The children of the church are so strong and such good examples.

I really enjoyed President Monson's Message in the February Friend. He shares an experience of being in the military and having the opportunity to use the power of the priesthood. He had just recently become an Elder and had never given a blessing before when a fellow member in the military asked him for a blessing because he was very sick. He received a prompting to go to his bag where he had the missionary handbook in the bottom of his suitcase. It directed him in giving his first blessing. The man whom he gave the blessing to fell asleep quickly and felt much better the following morning. The power of the priesthood is great.


What a great blessing it is to have the power of the priesthood in our homes and/or in our lives. I remember hearing this story before, but this time it brought back a powerful experience to my memory.

My husband and I had just moved into a new ward. We had only been married for about 4 months or so. We were excited to start our family and to be living in a new place. We quickly received callings. I was called as the Assistant Camp Director for the Young Women. I was excited by the calling. A few weeks after moving into the ward and receiving our callings I got pregnant and I became quite sick.

I was put in charge of doing all of the shopping for our week long excursion with the Laurels. It was to be a long shopping trip. I was just in the beginning stages of sickness but I remember it took all of my will power to handle rows and rows of foods and smells while in the midst of excited and squeally teenage girls, all the while trying to keep my stomach where it should be. That afternoon was exhausting.

Things only got worse. I got sicker as time went on and as girl's camp drew nearer. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it and if I did I wasn't sure if I would be any help while we were there. I was not very far along so I wanted to keep the news to myself but because of the circumstances I ended up telling the YW's President and the Camp Director that I was pregnant and sick. Telling them helped a lot and I ended up deciding that I was going to go, sick or not. I felt like I was supposed to.

The morning we were to leave I asked my husband for a blessing. Before I walked out the door to my week long girl's camp and pregnancy adventure I had already lost-my-cookies three times. I just knew it was going to be a long week.

Something extraordinary happened that week. I felt better that week than I had in a long time. I only threw up once the whole week. I had more energy. I had a better appetite. I could keep almost everything down. I felt amazing...well amazing for that point in pregnancy. I still had a few moments here and there. I still stayed in bed a little longer in the mornings. I still munched on things quite often. I didn't join the other's on the hike or playing kickball. But...I was there and was okay. The difference was night and day.

On the way home from our adventure the car had to be stopped and I had to step out and the fun began once again. When we made it back to our town I went straight for the bushes and the fun began again. When I got home the fun continued for several more months. I was blessed that week by the power of the priesthood to be filled with the strength, health, and peace I needed to fulfill my calling and to enjoy it.

I know that the priesthood is real. I know that we all can receive the blessings that priesthood has to offer. I know that throughout that week the Power of Priesthood took a great role. I was blessed with strength and health. I was blessed to be able to receive those things for a time by the priesthood.

I am so grateful to have a worthy and loving priesthood holder in my home and to be surrounded by many other great men who hold the priesthood. The blessings of the priesthood can strengthen, uplift, and bless us all. We can receive comfort, guidance, and healing from the priesthood. We are blessed with sacred ordinances because of the priesthood. The priesthood is the power of God on the earth today. It is real. I know that we all have access to the blessings of the priesthood and that through our faith those blessings can strengthen and direct us in our lives.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Caffeine and the Word of Wisdom


I read this article in the Ensign last month and somehow let it slip my memory for a time. The article is titled "The Energy Drink Epidemic" by Dr. Thomas J. Boud. What a powerful message about an ever increasing problem. You see college students buying cans of energy drinks at the store. You see teenagers guzzling a can in the morning before class. You see middle-aged women and men chugging down a Diet Coke or a Dr. Pepper. Caffeine is everywhere.


Caffeine truly is everywhere and is used everyday. Some think it is okay and others have a different view. Dr Boud states, "While we are counseled against taking addictive substances or harmful drugs, the Word of Wisdom does not specifically prohibit caffeine. However, I believe that if we follow the spirit of the Word of Wisdom, we will be very careful about what we consume, particularly any substance that can have a negative impact on our bodies. This is true regarding any drug, substance, or even food that may be damaging to one’s health. This includes caffeine. Think of all the problems that excessive caffeine use causes that could be avoided by following this counsel" (if you read the entire article (link above) he outlines many of the problems that caffeine can bring).

We have been strongly counseled to not drink coffee or tea but the data below reveals an interesting comparison between your average drink of soda (with caffeine), energy drinks, and coffee/tea. They are surprisingly too similar in their amounts of caffeine.


Having just two cans of soda gives you more caffeine than brewed tea and instant coffee. Having even a weak energy drink puts you above brewed coffee. An extreme energy drink sky rockets over the others and can be almost five times the amount of caffeine in brewed coffee. The data is staggering.

Regular Cola
41 mg Caffeine

Tea, Brewed
47 mg Caffeine

Coffee, Instant
57 mg Caffeine

Coffee, Brewed
107.5 mg Caffeine

Weak Energy Drink
120 mg Caffeine

Average Energy Drink
220 mg Caffeine

Extreme Energy Drink
500+ mg Caffeine

Now general authorities have rarely come out and flat out said that we should not drink caffeine so many of us may not have heard them say it but it has been said. In an interview on Larry King Live with President Hinckley their conversation went like this:

Larry King: "No to caffeine?"
Gordon B. Hinckley: "No to caffeine, coffee and tea."

Although we do not hear these things said so straight forward very often if we read between the lines of many other statements and let the spirit guide I think we know what many of our leaders are trying to get across and we know what President Monson is trying to say here, “The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are’ (1 Corinthians 3:17). May we keep our bodies—our temples—fit and clean, free from harmful substances which destroy our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.”

Let us re-think the substances we put into our bodies. Let us re-think how we take care of ourselves. Let us look over the Word of Wisdom and apply it more fully in our lives. Let us remember that when we follow the counsel given we are promised these great blessings:

“All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

“And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them” (D&C 89:18–21).

Dr. Boud's conclusion: "How marvelous these promises are, that we may walk and not faint and run and not be weary and that the destroying angel will pass us by! Great spiritual treasures are available to those who actively seek to keep the Lord’s commandments. Even when faced with overcoming an addictive tendency such as caffeine abuse, we can improve. It may take great effort, but we can do it. The power of the Atonement can give us the strength to overcome these challenges, and the Holy Ghost will be our support and our guide. In addition, our minds and hearts will be invigorated, our bodies will be healthier and stronger, and we will find a wealth of hidden treasures that will provide greater peace in our lives."

***Because the topic of this post is somewhat controversial I have decided to not allow comments on this post. The Word of Wisdom demands us to make many determinations for ourselves , including the use of caffeine which is not specifically stated in the Word of Wisdom. Thanks for reading and thanks for the insights previously sent in.

Friday, January 23, 2009

FHE: Armor of God


Well, this started as an attempt to keep our little toddler occupied at church and ended in a random, thrown together FHE lesson that turned out to be simple but a success.

So I printed off a coloring sheet of a little boy with armor. (I couldn't find the one I originally used but this one at this link is cuter anyway.) We had our little boy color it at church then Monday night rolled around and once again we were not so prepared. It has become a bad habit at our house especially when it is our little man's turn to do the lesson. I just tend to forget that it really is "my" turn again. Anyway, that was a side note.

So my husband says, "Should we start FHE?" Now you have to read this in a hurried manner...this all happened in approximately 5 minutes or so. I look at the clock and then at our FHE chart and my brain starts churning. Lesson...Thinking...Lesson...Hmmm - Got it! I grab the coloring sheet out of the diaper bag. I cut and cut and cut, and cut some more. I run upstairs to look the Armor of God scripture up on the computer - Ephesians...Ephesians chapter 6...11..got it! While searching for the scripture another idea pops into my head and I run into our play room and grab our knight helmet, a shield, and a few other items. And then...(you can read more slowly now) we sit down for FHE and it goes a little something like this:

With a little direction from me and some tape our little boy put together the most fearsome looking, crooked looking, armored man I've ever seen. It was great and we had ourselves a little paper man wearing the Armor of God.

Then we read the wonderfully short (perfect for an almost 2 year old) but powerful scripture - "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." We didn't go into the detials of what each of the pieces of armor meant (although this would be great to do with older children) but stuck to simple things. We made a short list of things that can be our armor like: prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and attending church (all things that our boy somewhat grasps).

Then without much connection to spiritual things our little boy dressed up in the "Armor of God". With a grin on his face and a helmet on his head this week Family Home Evening was a success.

It wasn't the usual battle of wanting to sing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" for the tenth time instead of having a lesson. Or the battle of convincing that FHE is fun when blocks, puzzles, and balls are in the next room. Or the giving of a lesson over the screaming-tantrum-thrower in the corner.

It was simple, it was fun, but the most important part was that it was with our family, home together for the evening. So every week, rain or shine, scream or smile, FHE will go on.

I am sure you all can relate to the successful FHE nights and well, the nights that almost seem to be good-for-nothing. When it comes down to it though we "have [been] promised that our dedication to this program will help protect our families against the evils of our time and will bring us abundant joy now and throughout the eternities."

We had a simple lesson on the Armor of God but all the while we were creating and strengthing a small portion of our literal armor, we were helping to protect our family from the evils of our time. So the next time Family Home Evening rolls around and whining persists or chaos prevails just remember that through the screams, the whines, and the groans you are putting on the Armor of God.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apostle Printables

New updated apostle games and cards (including Elder Andersen) can be found HERE.

Apostle Cards and Apostle Cards 2 by Melanie Day

These cards are great. There is a picture of each member of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles (I am sure that they will be updated when the new apostle is called and I will post them again then) along with a few interesting facts about each of them.

Memory Game by Anonymous

You match their picture with their name and symbol. Each Apostle has a symbol to help remember their name. For example, President Packer has a Back-"Pack" and Elder Oaks has a oak leaf.

Apostles Coloring Page from LDS.org

Apostles Crossword Puzzle by Rachel Woods on lds.about.com

I hope you find some of these fun or helpful!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who's Your Boss?

I read a wonderful post yesterday on Diapers and Divinity called Who's the Boss? and just had to make mention of it here. The story told is of a wonderful teaching moment about us being our own boss. It is a great read - check it out!

After reading it I thought, do we allow other's to become our boss because we want to impress them? Do we allow a situation to become our boss when we respond negatively? In reality we cannot allow anyone to be our boss because we are ultimately in charge of ourselves but do we blame others or situations for our own actions?

Well, when it comes down to it - You are the boss of you and I am the boss of me. What an awesome way to think of and teach accountability. We are in charge of ourselves and can choose whatever we want, bad or good, but we must be accountable for that choice and greet the consequences.

Here is the end of Steph's post from Diaper's and Divinity. It lends a great visual to this concept of "Being your own Boss" and I think it presents a great challenge to teach this concept to our children and well, ourselves:

"So today, after I snuck downstairs to watch the Inauguration while the kids were eating snack, they made some choices. Choices like “I think I’ll try to go get more yogurt than mommy gave us, and maybe I’ll get it out with my hands, and then I think we’ll throw it on each other.” So I came back up the stairs to find Clark and Natalie in the kitchen wearing yogurt on their faces, hands, and most of their clothing. Oh, and the floor. Clark immediately said, “It was Natalie’s idea!” I replied, “Is Natalie your boss?”
“Nope.”
“Who’s your boss, Clark?”
“(Sigh.) I am.”"

Oh, how things could be different if we all truly grasped the concept of accountability and accepted the ownership of our choices and could say ""I am" in charge of me and "I" made that choice and "I" must accept the consequences." Let us all begin to take responsibility for ourselves and, like Clark, acknowledge that we are in charge of ourselves.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fear Not to Do Good



In Sunday School this last Sunday I had a single line from one verse really jump out at me. It said, "Fear not to do good..." (D&C 6:33)


My initial thought and question was "why would anyone fear to do good?" But we do. As I have thought more about this I have realized that we do fear to do good in many ways: We fear losing the approval of our peers. We fear being looked upon as too-good or as a goody-goody. We fear being different. We fear be rejected. In short, we often fear the world's view of our goodness.


Why do we not share the gospel when opportunies arise? We fear to do good. Why do we not walk out of a movie with even one bad scene? We fear to do good. Why do we laugh at an inappropriate joke or a sarcastic remark even when we don't agree with it? We fear to do good. Why do we not stand up for what we believe in? We fear to do good.


Another of my favorite verses says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).


Let us be filled with a Spirit of Courage. Let us stand up for what we believe and what we know to be right. Let us not only "fear not to do good" but as Elder Bednar has urged, let us strive to do good, be good, and become better.


“Fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. … Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:34, 36).


Have you had an experience when you were filled with the courage to do good?

Subject to Presidents: Barack Obama


The Twelth Article of Faith states, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

Today was the inauguration of President Barack Obama and according to an article in the LDS newsroom a few of our church leaders attended the event:

SALT LAKE CITY 16 January 2009 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be represented at inaugural events for President-elect Barack Obama by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The two leaders, who have been asked to represent the Church by Church President Thomas S. Monson, are scheduled to attend the swearing-in ceremony on January 20 and the National Prayer Service at Washington’s National Cathedral on January 21.

“It is always an honor for the Church to be represented at the inauguration of a new president,” said President Monson. “We send our best wishes to President-elect Obama and pray for the blessings of a loving Father in Heaven to be upon him and his administration.”

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Brand New Year

This is taken from LDS.org - A new youth-oriented Web site, www.ABrandNewYear.lds.org, was launched January 1, with music, video, testimonies, and other features from the Brand New Year youth celebration DVD. Youth, parents, and leaders are invited to enjoy the resources on this Web site.

Check it out!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Temple Open House Reminder

Just a reminder for those of you who live in Utah or those of you willing to travel for a temple open house - the Draper Temple Open House has officially begun. It goes from Thursday, 15 January 2009, through Saturday, 14 March 2009.

To read more and/or to make reservations click HERE.

A Few More Pet-Peeves

To read a sister post to the post below on trust you can visit this link and read my post titled "Humorous or Hurtful?" about sarcasm, teasing, and levity.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Are you Trustworthy?

Trust: a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone b: one in which confidence is placed

So today I am sharing one of my pet peeves – that is the lack of trustworthiness that many parents and spouses have. I don’t profess to be perfect at this but when I see it or experience it, it really bothers me.

I am sure we have all experienced sharing something we expected to be kept confidential and have found that our information has been past on. In some instances the effects of this are minimal but in others the consequences are far-reaching and the trust of others is diminished.

I think that we often feel that unless someone has specifically asked us to keep something in confidence it is okay to share with others. But if we use our common sense when someone shares an experience, feeling, struggle, or weakness with us we will know when to keep it to ourselves.

Often it seems even when we have been asked to keep something confidential we seem to think it okay to go to one, just one, other person and share the news but of course we are always sure to tell them to not pass the information onto another. Then we’re fine right?!?

I don’t think so. I have experienced sharing a concern that I had with someone and I meant for that thought to stay with that one person but instead I was approached with my own words from another source. I felt insecure and somewhat embarrassed. It bothered me and I now feel like I have to keep my guard up in many instances.

I think we so often find it okay to share embarrassing or private experiences of our children with others. You know the stories that as soon as they’re brought up your child says, “Mooommm.” If you aren’t exactly sure how to read that it is that Mom you hear when your child is really saying, “Mom, please don’t bring that up.”

Do we treat our children how we would like to be treated? Can our children trust us? Can they trust that we won’t share something that was embarrassing for them? Can they trust us with a problem or concern? Can they trust that we will keep things to ourselves?

This is not only common with the trust of our children but what about our spouses. I have heard all too often negative remarks about something a husband did or said. Shouldn’t that be kept in confidence? The rest of the world does not need to hear the faults of your spouse, not even your Mom or Dad. I know that I would not like it if my husband told others every mistake I make or every embarrassing moment I have. I expect that he will keep that between us and I don’t think that I should have to ask him to do so. (By the way, he does a great job at this J.)

Sometimes I hear things that are not necessarily negative about a child or a spouse but seem like they should have been kept private. Shouldn’t our children and spouses feel secure that what happens in our homes won’t be the gossip of a girl’s night out or a topic of discussion in the break room at work?

Some things are meant to be kept private and sometimes they are meant to be kept more sacred. Some things should be kept confidential for the confidence, respect, and trust of our loved ones.

I think there is something that brings us joy when sharing the inside scoop about someone with another, but we should strive to find peace and joy in knowing that someone trusts us and our opinion and advice enough to share something with us. We should find joy in being able to witness that funny or embarrassing moment but not in sharing it with others. We should build a relationship with our spouses that allow us to work through things together instead of to rant the situation out to some uninvolved source.

I know that as we strive to build stronger relationships of trust we will come closer together as families. Our children will be more apt to share personal experiences, feelings, and concerns. We will have greater love, respect, and trust in our marriages. We will feel more confidence and openness in our homes. We will feel more tightly knit and unified as families.

I hope we all can strive to strengthen the trust of our loved ones.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

True Service Brings Love


This last Sunday I was asked to share an experience that related to the topic "Leaders in the Lord's Kingdom Love those they Serve". I quickly was reminded of this simple yet profound experience I had while in college. So I shared it on Sunday and thought I would share it here.

I was doing my student teaching in a preschool setting. At the beginning I was to help out here and there but mostly observe the teachers and how the class was run. There was one particular boy named Simon in the class that was the little "trouble-maker", every class seems to have at least one. :) He caused some frustration to all of us teachers, understandably I thought. But as I continued to watch I began to notice that the only attention this little boy got was negative. When hearing others speak to him it would always begin with a don't, stop, no, etc. It almost seemed to me that a few of the teachers quite certainly dis-liked and almost despised having this little boy in the class.

The Spirit pricked my heart and guided to me to know what to do. I was guided in knowing what to say to this little boy and how to react in certain situations. I made a commitment with myself that I would make a very big effort to focus on the good things that Simon did, even if it was as simple as standing in line for 30 seconds or following a direction given.

It did not take long for this little boy to change and to change a lot. He began sitting in circle time. He began picking up after himself. He stopped hitting the other children. He became my little buddy. He started wanting to be around me all of the time and sought for my approval and praise. He did not become perfect -he still tested me and the other teachers but he improved drastically.

Although he changed, the more profound change may have been in myself. I like the other teachers started out quite frustrated and irritated with Simon. He made it difficult to teach. But as I saw the good in him and spent my time focusing on it by giving praise, compliments, and little acts of service I began to love this little boy. I grew so far from frustrated that I cared very deeply for him.

Soon after all of this took place I found out that Simon would be moving. It was a sudden move and I remember feeling a little distraught about the whole idea. I hadn't come into my student teaching expecting to create such an incredibly strong bond with anyone and suddenly my best little man was going to be gone. I remember I cried every day for about a week.

I know that has we serve others and as we see the potential in others we can grow to love them and we can grow to see them more as our Heavenly Father sees them. I also know that as we lead through love, service, and expectations others will have a greater desire and determination to be better.

Our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ are perfect examples of this. They love us and serve us and have great expectations of us. When we can see that and feel that love we truly can and should have a greater desire to be better and do more.

I hope that we all will strive to look for the good in others - in our spouses, in our children, in our neighbors, in our fellow church members, in strangers - and strive to serve them and buoy them up. I know that has we do so they will have a greater desire to follow our examples and become better and we will have a heightened ability to love more fully. I also know that as we serve and gain a greater capacity to love we will feel the love of our Savior and draw closer to Him.

Do any of you have experiences where service brought greater love?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Calling Helps

All of these links will lead you to pages on Sugardoodle.net. There are so many wonderful ideas, printables, lesson helps, activity ideas, etc. to help us all out in our callings. You may find that there is something there for you that you have been meaning to do but why recreate the wheel when someone has already done it for you. While your there take a look around at all of the other great things Sugardoodle has to offer. I hope this will help some of you.

Young Men
Young Women
Youth Activity Ideas

Primary

Relief Society
Enrichment Ideas

Monday, January 12, 2009

Room for the Savior

Last night my husband and I watched bits and pieces of the CES Fireside given by President Monson. Of the parts that I actually got to listen to a line that he said stuck out to me. I don't think I have it written in his exact words but it was something along these lines,

To find the Savior we must make room for Him in our lives.



I pondered this last night as I began to read my scriptures and was reminded of a few verses. As you read these verses keep in mind that place and room can be used synonymously to mean "an area or space intended for something" and in this case that intention is not fulfilled:

Mosiah 2:36-37 - "...if ye should transgress...ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths...I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples. "

When we trangress and withdraw ourselves from the Spirit there is no place or no room for the Spirit within us. When we listeth to obey the evil spirit the Lord cannot find any place or room because we are unholy. Do we make room within ourselves for the Spirit of the Lord to dwell?

When we fill ourselves full of the Spirit of God there is no room for Satan. The verse below is speaking of what is to come during the Millenium but if we were to truly leave no room for Satan he would be bound by the way we live our lives. He would have no place in our hearts.

Doctrine & Covenants 45:55 "And Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men.

We not only need to find room within our hearts and within ourselves, we need to find room for the Savior in our daily lives. We need to find room for Him in our hectic schedules. We need to find room for Him each and every day.



I found a wonderful talk by President Monson, titled "The Search for Jesus" that has many wonderful, thought provoking, insights on this topic:

"Before we can successfully undertake a personal search for Jesus, we must first prepare time for him in our lives and room for him in our hearts. In these busy days there are many who have time for golf, time for shopping, time for work, time for play—but no time for Christ.

Lovely homes dot the land and provide rooms for eating, rooms for sleeping, playrooms, sewing rooms, television rooms, but no room for Christ.

Do we get a pang of conscience as we recall his own words: “The foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt. 8:20.) Or do we flush with embarrassment when we remember, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7.) No room. No room. No room. Ever has it been."

Let us make more room for the Savior in our lives. Let us make room for Him in our hearts and in our homes. Let us make a place in our hearts with the intention to fill it with the Spirit of God. Let us find more time to remember the Savior, to ponder His teachings, to read the scriptures, to pray, to serve, to do the things of God. Let us truly find the Savior as we make room for Him in our lives and make a place for Him in our hearts.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Olive Tree Allegory: Jacob 5


I have never really understand The Olive Tree Allegory in Jacob 5. It has always been hard to follow and understand. I was just looking for something else and came across this chart in a seminary manual online. I just had to post it because I think this will be super helpful to me and I am sure I am not the only one who gets lost in Jacob 5...or maybe I am. Here is the link if you are interested:

The Olive Tree Allegory

Saturday, January 10, 2009

President Henry B. Eyring

Quite some time ago I posted about President Monson and mentioned that I planned to post on each member of the Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. So I am finally back with President Eyring.


President Henry B. Eyring was named as First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since February 3, 2008. Previously, he had served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to President Gordon B. Hinckley since October 6, 2007. He was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 April, 1995, having previously served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy since 3 October, 1992. (To read the remainder of his biography click on the link above.)



President Henry B. Eyring
By Elder Robert D. Hales
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The opening story of this article so perfectly depicts President Eyring's willingness and dedication in serving the Lord.


A few years after Henry Bennion Eyring became president of Ricks College (now Brigham Young University–Idaho), he was offered a high-paying, prestige-filled job in southern California.

“It sounds like a great opportunity,” President Spencer W. Kimball told him as Henry described the offer and its benefits. “If we ever needed you, we would know where you were.”

Henry had expected President Kimball, his uncle, to ask him to stay on at Ricks. Instead, it became obvious that Henry and his wife, Kathleen, were to pray and fast about their decision, which they did. Within a week, the Spirit whispered to Henry that he would have the privilege of staying at Ricks College “a little longer.”

He called Jeffrey R. Holland, then Commissioner of the Church Educational System, and told him that he had turned down the job offer. That evening Henry received a phone call from President Kimball.

“I understand you’ve decided to stay,” said President Kimball.

“Yes,” replied Henry.

“Do you think you’ve made a sacrifice?” asked President Kimball.

“No,” said Henry.

“That’s right!” President Kimball assured him. With that, President Kimball ended the conversation.

For those who know Henry B. Eyring, his willingness to follow spiritual promptings—even if doing so means giving up what the world considers important—comes as no surprise. He has learned for himself that faith and humility, coupled with obedience, qualify God’s children for blessings richer than worldly wealth.

Recent General Conference Addresses and Ensign Articles by President Eyring

October 2008

O Ye that Embark

Our Hearts Knit as One

April 2008

The True and Living Church

Faith and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood

Walk in the Light

January 2009 First Presidency Message

Let Us Raise Our Voice of Warning

Here is a video and text of one of my favorite talks of President Eyring - O Remember, Remember:








You may also enjoy reading this article: President Henry B. Eyring: A Legacy of Learning and Testimony

I hope that this will help us all to get to know the prophets and apostles a little better.

Friday, January 9, 2009

BRitD

I am also a contributor on Modern Molly Mormon and just made a post there. I am known as Mysti or Mystery Molly there, if you would like to read some of my posts there.

Here is the beginning of the post found on MMM:

My husband and I have been trying to get our house in order. This means cleaning out closets, going through boxes, and taking a whole slew of things to the D.I. It has been quite the undertaking and is still a work in progress. But as I have gone through some boxes of things I haven’t seen in a very long time I came across a t-shirt, in fact I came across way to many t-shirts. Most of them I put in a box to carry downstairs and sort them later. One of the t-shirts ended up in my drawer. It was a shirt given to me as part of an extended family reunion. I have many of these kinds of shirts all with a different acronyms on them. I was unable to attend this specific reunion but still was given a shirt.

The back of the shirt reads like this:


The other night I chose it as the shirt I was going to wear to bed and I quickly remembered what those letters represent – Be Righteous in the Dark. At first glance I felt like I knew what our reunion was about even without being in attendance but then my brain started stewing over this seemingly simple phrase. What did it really mean or what could it mean?

To read what I discovered you can read the remainder of the post HERE.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

General Conference Highlights: October 2008

video


This video along with many others can be found on the video page on lds.org.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Let Us Raise Our Voice of Warning


My heart has been filled lately. It has been filled with a greater desire to be missionary minded. My hope is that my missionary mindedness will not just be missionary thoughts but will be transfered into missionary actions.

I have had some great opportunities lately that have come in very simple ways. As simple as fullfilling my role as a visiting teacher or knocking on a strangers door to deliver a birthday card.

About a week ago I read the First Presidency message given by President Eyring in the January Ensign and felt a fire lit underneath me to get up and work. As I read it, it hit me in an extremely powerful way and I felt the great urgency and the great obligation that I have to follow through.



I now want to share some of the powerful words from this vital message.

If You Know You Should Warn
"Here is the charge given to each of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor” (D&C 88:81)."

There is Danger in Not Warning
"The Lord would not use the word warn if there was no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: “Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing?”

Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you met in this life will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, is to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. They will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you. It’s easy to say, “The time isn’t right.” But there is danger in procrastination."

The Keys to Missionary Work
"I can still remember my mother speaking softly to me one Saturday afternoon when, as a little boy, I asked her for permission to do something I thought was perfectly reasonable and which she knew was dangerous. I still am amazed at the power she was granted, I believe from the Lord, to turn me around with so few words. As I remember them, they were: “Oh, I suppose you could do that. But the choice is yours.” The only warning was in the emphasis she put on the words could and choice. Yet that was enough for me.

Her power to warn with so few words sprang from three things I knew about her. First, I knew she loved me. Second, I knew she had faced similar situations and had been blessed by making the right choice. And third, she had conveyed to me her sure testimony that the choice I had to make was so important that the Lord would tell me what to do if I asked Him. Love, example, and testimony: those were keys that day, and they have been whenever I have been blessed to hear and then heed the warning of a servant of the Lord.

I testify that only accepting and living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings the peace the Lord promised in this life and the hope of eternal life in the world to come. I testify that we have been given the privilege and the obligation to offer the truth and the choices which lead to those blessings to our Heavenly Father’s children, who are our brothers and our sisters. Jesus is the Christ, He lives, and this is His work."

These are only a few selections of this powerful talk and I urge you to read it in it's entirety.

We can and we must show a greater love to our neighbors, our colleagues, and our families and friends. We can and we must be good examples. We can and we must share our testimonies of the truth. We know what other's do not know. We have been warned. We have the truth. We have testimonies.

I urge us all today to find the courage within ourselves to share what we know with someone who has not yet been warned or who has forgotten the warning they had once received. I challege us all to pray for opportunites to share the gospel, to have the courage to bear our testimonies, and to stop procrastinating the sharing of this urgent message.

Let us go knock on our neighbor's door, mention the gospel to a co-worker, or share our testimonies with our loved ones. As I felt when I read this article I hope we can all feel and act on the urgency and the obligation of this charge.

Let Us Raise Our Voice of Warning!
I'd love to hear your wonderful missionary experiences or thoughts on different ways we can reach out and share the gospel.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Prayer Printables

Image Credit

Prayer Puppets from Sugardoodle.net
Prayer Chart from lds.about.com
Praying to Heavenly Father Puzzles by Julie Wardle from LDS.org
Prayer Puzzle from Sugardoodle.net

For additonal prayer ideas and printables you can visit this page.


Monday, January 5, 2009

A Janitor Closet Prayer



It was the end of my senior year in high school and my best friend and I were heading to our school for one last yearbook signing frenzy. She picked me up and we went on our way. The trip to our high school was only a few miles away from my house but we only made it a handful of blocks before we were hit.

I remember it all happened so fast yet in some weird way it was in slow motion. We were driving on a one lane road where the speed limit was 25 when all of a sudden a car turned left and was heading directly toward us. It was as if we weren't even there. My friend swerved in hopes of avoiding the collision but without luck. He hit us and then we hit the curb, bumped over it, and one-be-one hit and dislodged many wooden posts of a fence bordering someone's yard. We finally came to a hault, the car was totaled, but both of us, with the exception of a bruise here and some achiness there, were perfectly fine.

My Mom arrived at the scene shortly after and ended up still taking both of us to our school. We had decided previously that we wanted to go have our seminary teachers sign our year books so that was our first stop.

When we entered the building with a relief to actually be there and to be there okay my friend made a wonderful suggestion - she made the suggestion of saying a prayer. We weren't sure of where to go for privacy but ended up kneeling on the floor in the janitor's closet.

I don't remember if we said a verbal prayer together or if we each said our own seperate prayers but I do remember the great gratitude I felt and the assurance I had that we had both been watched over.

I know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. I know that He watches over us. I know that He has a plan for each and everyone of us. I also know that He listens to our prayers whether we are in need of help to find an answer to a question or if we kneel simply to thank Him for how much we have been blessed.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Send Me Your Testimony

I have received a good amount of conversion stories but have only 2 testimonies posted so far. I am writing again in hopes that some of you will feel the urge to send your testimony my way. My hope is that as we read and share our testimonies with one another we can strengthen or gain our own testimonies and become stronger.

If you would like to share your testimony you can send your submission to becominglds@yahoo.com.

Please put the word "Testimony" along with the topic(s) that you are specifically testifying of (testimony topics are listed below) in your subject line (e.g. Testimony-Priesthood) and specify what name you would like to have associated with your testimony. This can be your real name, a nick-name, or even anonymous. If you would like I am also willing to add a link back to your personal blog or website if it coincides with LDS standards.

Thanks for your stories, experiences, and testimonies.

Testimony Topics
Foundation
Jesus Christ - The Atonement
Heavenly Father
Holy Ghost
Joseph Smith - The Resoration
Church
Living Prophets
Book of Mormon
Missionary Work
Temple - Families can be Together Forever
Prayer
Scripture Study
FHE
Service
Education
Fasting
Priesthood
Tithing
Motherhood
Strength that comes from Trials
Power of good Examples
Revelation
Obedience
I am a Child of God
Family History
Repentance
Resurrection
Feel free to send your conversion story, testimony, or anything else you think others could benefit from. Thanks!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

About Becoming LDS and About Me

Why "Becoming LDS" Came to Be:

This blog came about simply from Elder Ballards encouragement, ""The emergence of New Media is facilitating a world-wide conversation on almost every subject including religion, and nearly everyone can participate. ...

"Conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. ...

"May I ask that you join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration. Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true..."

After I heard these words I decided that I wasn't going to "stand on the sidelines" and that I would be one who started a "blog in minutes". Well, it took minutes to start but hours to keep running but has been a great blessing to me. I have learned so much and I hope that others can gain from it as well.

Purpose and Hope of this Blog:

My hope is that this blog can help you in your endeavors to learn more about the LDS church, to learn how to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and therefore Become LDS, and/or I hope that this blog will simply be a tool in our strivings to become literal Latter-day Saints in our daily lives.

I really like the word ‘becoming’, it means to grow to be something. In the case of this blog, Becoming LDS, it is to grow to be a Latter-day Saint or a person of exceptional obedience, purity, and holiness. To truly become a Latter-day Saint requires daily efforts and continual work. It is something that cannot be reached in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. The process of Becoming LDS or Becoming a Latter-day Saint is the process of changing, growing, and becoming better each and every day of our lives.

The tabs at the top of my blog as well as the sidebar can guide you through my blog (archives or search) as well as send you to many other great resources and sites. I have tried to create a fairly comprehensive list of links and hope that it is helpful. I hope this blog will help answer any questions you might have or direct you to what you are looking for. Thanks for visiting.

Now for a Little About Me:

For the most part I try to stay somewhat obscure. I just like my privacy and the safety of being anonymous.

Although there are things about me that I am not willing to divulge- here are a few snid-bits about me that you might just get a kick out of:

I love a lot of songs in the background of commercials – they just do something for me – and I can often be found air playing a violin or the piano or leading the music. This is quite funny because I am in no way, shape, or form musically inclined.

I love the goopiness of the insides of pumpkins or squishing apricots that have fallen of the tree between my bare toes. I just like that feeling. However, I hate the feeling of cotton balls. Ooooo, they make me cringe and wrinkle up my hands and squirm. Just the thought gets me.

I absolutely love the smell of fall leaves. I was out in the backyard during the Fall with my son and I took a good whiff of the leaves and said, “oh, I wish I could just bottle that up.” Someone happened to be walking past our fence at that very moment and in a little opening looked back at me with a “you’re weird” look on their face. It was a funny moment but I really would like to bottle it up or at least find a candle or something.

I love salsa and I love tomatoes in sandwiches, but I really don’t like tomatoes on salads or plain (this has changed.  I am still not a huge fan of them plain but a good fresh tomato just picked on a salad, mmm-mmm!).
Now for the Typical Must-Knows:

I am a stay-at-home mommy to my wonderful 4 year old little boy, 2 year old girl, and I am expecting our third. He keeps me running and learning and always on my toes. I love being a Mom.

I’ve been married to my wonderful Honey for just a handful or so years now. He is the greatest. He is a teacher and loves it.

Along with spending time with my family I love to read (jr. books), write (poetry), blog (too much), and play sports (longing for more opportunities to do so).

I have been a member of the Church all of my life. I was born into a family with wonderful parents who taught me well. That’s not to say that I have always lived the gospel perfectly. I’ve had my share of ups and downs but I have learned a lot along the way. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I love to share that with others.

Contact

The best ways to contact me are to:
  • Leave a comment on my blog. I will receive comments on all posts whether they are old or new.
  • Email me at becominglds@gmail.com

Organize Yourselves



So my husband and I are on a cleaning and organizing kick. We've set a goal to have our home all organized and in order by tomorrow night. It'll be quite the task, hopefully we will reach our goal. We worked like crazy yesterday and our bedroom looks like a whole new room. It is amazing how much more relaxed you can feel in a room that is free of clutter and chaos.

It is so easy to become lazy and just add another item to a pile here and another item to a pile there. But soon, as we all know, the piles get quite big and the task to clean up becomes daunting when it could've taken only a few minutes to put a few dishes in the dishwasher, to hang up that coat, to match those last few pairs of socks, or to simply put the toothpaste back where it belongs.

As I was typing that last paragraph I started to recognize a parallel to how we live the gospel. It is easy to become lazy in the gospel. It is easy to add reading your scriptures to your pile of to-do-laters and it is easy to add a little mistake here and a little sin there. But it is not so easy to meet the daunting task of cleaning up that pile of mistakes or getting back on track at doing the everyday gospel essentials.

We not only need to make our homes an orderly, organized, and clean place to dwell but we need to make ourselves, our thoughts, and our actions clean and orderly.

I love this scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"

I once had a seminary teacher who had us substitute the words woman or man in the place of house in this scripture. So first we can literally relate this to how we keep our house and the things we strive to do there. But then when we substitute these words this verse takes on a whole new meaning and it reads like this:

"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a woman, even a woman of prayer, a woman of fasting, a woman of faith, a woman of learning, a woman of glory, a woman of order, a woman of God;"

I challenge us all to organize and prepare ourselves and our homes and I challenge us all to become better women and men of God.