Sunday, January 31, 2010

What We Believe: God is Truly Our Father

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This article is taken from the January Ensign.
The PDF version of the magazine can be found HERE.

To learn more about our basic beliefs, visit

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Option of Adoption From Many Perspectives

Several months back I read this beautiful ariticle in the Ensign and I cried. What a wonderful blessing adoption can be for all sides. I have only selected portions of each moving story from the article but I think they portray the feelings and the love of each individual perfectly. I have also felt that I should add an additional perspective of Adoptive Parents as I know of a wonderful couple (Calvin and Whitney pictured above) who are hoping to add a beautiful child to their family through the miracle of adoption. So read on.

Now here is a glimpse into the option of adoption from many perspectives:

Birth Mother
Giving birth to a beautiful little girl was miraculous. I loved holding her and rocking her. She was so beautiful, and I cried many times her first night on earth. I knew that the next day would bring heartache when it was time to say good-bye.

What made that pain bearable was knowing that placing her for adoption was right. It was the hardest—but most right—thing I have ever done. I signed the papers through sheets of tears and then leaned on family and friends for support.

Birth Father

Andrea and I considered marriage and keeping our baby. We considered not getting married and sharing custody of the baby. And we considered adoption, although it certainly wasn’t our first choice....The more real to us the baby became, the less our decision was about us and the more it was about our daughter. Andrea and I both acknowledged that many adoptive parents could provide our daughter with things that we couldn’t: a stable marriage, a permanent home, and a temple sealing. We wanted these things for our child, and before long, through LDS Family Services, we found a family we thought might be a good fit.


Of course, it was natural for my wife and me as grandparents to want to watch this grandchild grow up. But we knew that neither we as grandparents nor Katie as a single mother could give this child the love, time, and direction that he needed. This was not about us or our feelings. It was about what was best for the baby.

The day our grandson was born was a bittersweet one. What a beautiful baby! It would have been easy to change our minds—after all, children are raised by single mothers and grandparents all of the time. Surely we could do it too. But we knew the Lord’s will, and we knew that it was in this child’s best interest for the adoption to proceed. After spending two days with our daughter and grandson in the hospital, my wife and I watched with tears streaming down our faces as Katie handed her son to the caseworker. She exclaimed, “I can’t believe I just did that!” and ran back to her hospital room to cry. My wife later commented that she had never seen greater love than she did as she watched Katie that day. Adoption, she said, truly is about love.

I knew I lived in heaven before I was born. I knew Heavenly Father gave agency to all. I knew redemption was possible for the people whose choices not only affected them but created a child as well. I knew Heavenly Father had a plan for me, and that His plan mercifully provides second chances for everyone involved in an adoption. I feel gratitude to the woman who carried me and made a decision that may have been unpopular with some. I imagine my birth mother as a pillar of strength, and I pray she has been blessed for her sacrifice and hope for the future for all of us.

Adoptive Parents - A few words from their letter to birth parents.

A bit about Calvin in Whitney’s words:
I fell in love with Cal from the very beginning. When I first met him it was his eyes, his sense of humor, and the way I felt so comfortable around him that first attracted me to him (they are high school sweethearts - seen at left). He is amazing in every sense of the word. Calvin loves the Savior and honors his Priesthood. He has an amazing testimony and lives his life quietly teaching others about the gospel by his example.

A bit about Whitney in Calvin’s words:
She loves to laugh and when she does, it makes everyone in the room want to laugh right along with her. She’s loyal, thoughtful, and full of charity. The second you meet her, you like her.

To us, family is everything. We have a strong testimony of the eternal nature of families. We feel it is vital that our children know that their Heavenly Father loves them, their parents love them, and their birth parents love them. We will teach our children each day of this love.

To learn more about this wonderful couple, hoping to adopt, click HERE.

If you are pregnant and want to learn more about your options, click HERE.

And in closing the wonderful scripture shared in the Proclamation, “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Again, what a blessing adoption is for all who are involved.

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Compliments

I hope that each one of us will be a better husband or wife, kinder to one another, more thoughtful, more restrained in criticism, and more generous with compliments.
(Gordon B. Hinckley, A Time of New Beginnings.)

As grateful partners look for the good in each other and sincerely pay compliments to one another, wives and husbands will strive to become the persons described in those compliments.(Russell M. Nelson, Nurturing Marriage.)

I try to not be a particularly naggy or critical wife but I know that I fail in this area sometimes but I hope not too often. But as I have read over these quotes the thought crossed my mind that even though I may not be overly critical I don't think I am very generous or consistent in giving compliments to my wonderful husband. He really is wonderful.

Although I am not perfect at giving compliments one of my biggest pet peeves are the actions of those I'd like to call "Spouse-Beater-Downers". You know what I am talking about-the people that tend to tell you every negative thing their spouse has done or said or not done or not said. It would make me so sad to hear that my husband was out telling everyone the dumb things I've said or done. I hope to be a "Spouse-Builder-Upper". I hope that whenever I speak of my husband, whether he is present or not, I can share only the kind and wonderful things he does for me and our family.

Once again I think I can learn a lesson or two from my little boy. Here are a few recent statements of encouragement/compliments he has made to me:

Example 1:
"Mom, you're precious."
"What does precious mean."

Example 2:
I couldn't get his button done on his shirt and this is what he said when I finally succeeded:
"You did it Mom! Whoo-hoo! Way to go, I'm proud of you."

Example 3:
While eating lunch-
"Mmm-mmm, tastey, tastey."

I hope that we all can strive to give more words of encouragement, more sincere compliments, and leave the negative, critical, or discouraging words alone. I love the thought that compliments can stretch us to become better as we strive to truly become what the compliment describes. Let us give more sincere compliments to those we love.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Monday: Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

What makes YOU feel beautiful in the eyes of the Lord?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Cheerfulness

Be cheerful in all that you do. Live joyfully. Live happily. Live enthusiastically, knowing that God does not dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in light and love. (Ezra Taft Benson (1899 - 1994), New Era, September 1979, p. 42.)

A few weeks ago I went to Target to buy an item or two and experienced something out of the ordinary. I waited in line for a few minutes to pay and then was greeted by such a cheerful women. I have never had such a pleasant check out experience in a store in my life. She so genuinely asked how I was and then when asked how she was doing she responded so happily so cheerfully that I just had to say something. I complimented her on her cheerfulness and smiled and went on my way. I left Target feeling lighter and happier and ready to face the rest of the day with a smile. She made my day.

I ended up returning to Target last week to return an item and to purchase another and I saw this cheerful women and I honestly was headed toward her line even though there were other lines that were much shorter. I was waved on by a worker that had no one in his line and my course was changed. I truly realized then the great impact that one's attitude and mood can have on someone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie Monday: New Youth Site and No Cussing Club

The Church just came out with a new site for youth. I have only skimmed the surface of the site but it seems wonderful. On the site their are videos and testimonies, among many other things.

This is what had to say about the site:

" is a new Web site for youth ages twelve to eighteen. It features prophetic guidance for youth along with media featuring youth around the world following the example of the Savior in serving and strengthening one another. The site is also the online home of A Brand New Year 2010, where youth bear witness of the power of living the standards in For the Strength of Youth. "

This video (No Cussing Club) is just one example of the many testimonies and experiences shared on this new Youth page. Enjoy!

For some reason the video stopped playing here. Here is the link to watch it on the site - No Cussing Club.

What a great example of standing up for what is right.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Two Year Olds Power Within

I think that I have mentioned before that each night as we begin our little family scripture time we sing the chorus of Scripture Power, which goes like this:

Scripture power keeps me safe from sin.
Scripture power is the power to win.
Scripture power! Ev’ry day I need
The power that I get each time I read.

I really like this song but for some reason I want to sing the second line of the song this way instead,

"Scripture power is the power within."

Scripture power is the power to win but I like the idea that the power that the scriptures bring to keep us safe from sin can be internalized. As we read the scriptures regularly the power that the scriptures contain can be contained within ourselves and then can be used whenever we might need it.

I have been discovering more and more lately how much the scriptures can truly sink into even young children. I truly hope that we can teach the scriptures to our children so that the power of the scriptures may be within them, always there, internalized--for their safety. I hope that I too can begin to more fully internalize the word of God and take hold of the power that can be within myself.

My little boy (just shy of 3 years old) is such a good example to me of keeping the scriptures in the front of his mind always. Enjoy his cute words (this was not all in one day but about a two week span):

Breakfast Time:
The morning after we talked about Christ visiting the Nephites after he was resurrected, he says, "I like resurrected. I like being alive."

Playtime (at the library):
He is playing with blocks next to a boy who is around 8 years old and says to him, "I'm building Jerusalem." The boy gives him a "your weird" kind of look and says, "I'm building a spaceship." I'm thinking...does he really know what Jerusalem is? He then says, "This is Nephi's house, the Nephites live here." He continues to tell each new child that arrives that he is building Jerusalem.

Lunch Time (this one is not scripture related, but super cute):
He says super slowly, "I'm Chris-toff-er-son." I don't think he knew what he was going to say before he said it.
I say in an astonished voice, "You're Christofferson?"
He giggles and says, "just pretend".
Then I say, "I'm Elder Bednar."
And we place an apostle with other family members and he thinks it is the funniest game, producing giggle after giggle. It was a fun lunch.

Dinner Time:
I ask, "Are you going to play any sports when you get older?"
He says, "I'm going to Bethlehem."
I say, "What's in Bethlehem?"
"Stars and shepherds."

If only I could be like my little boy and bring the scriptures into my everyday happenings so effortlessly. Just think...doing the dishes and turning a bowl into Nephi's ship sailing to the promised land or when asked what I am planning to do this weekend I respond "I'm going to Zarahemla." ;) You gotta love the imagination of little ones and their innocent and wonderful examples. I hope that I can follow the example of my little boy and truly apply and live and ponder the word of God each and everyday and thus carry it within myself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Close Call

Something fell out the dishwasher and as a natural reaction I quickly moved out of the way and then this is what I saw:

Yikes! Yeah, the floor could have been my foot, my bare foot. It was a close call, I'd say. I can't believe it actually fell so straight that it stuck right into our hard wood floor. I am sure glad that I had to just simply pluck the knife out of the floor ever so easily rather than the very possible alternative.

This experience got me thinking about the phrase "close call" and I decided to look up the definition. So I discovered in other words I had just experienced a "narrow escape" and another definition added a "narrow escape from danger". Yes this was a narrow escape from a dangerous situation. I was indeed grateful of the outcome.

And now after replaying the scenario in my head I can't help but think of a much more dangerous narrow escape we sometimes experience in life.

Do we sometimes play with fire? Do we sometimes toy with sin?

Or do we break the glass and run or simply swim away?

There truly is no need to experience a close call when it comes to sin. We can have a very wide escape if we never tip-toe close to the line. Let us stay away from Spiritual Close Calls, it is much better than the alternative! Don't you think?!?

Words of Widsdom Wednesday: Answers to Everything

Address to CES Religious Educators • October 14, 1977 • Elder Boyd K. Packer

"There is no question—personal or social or political or occupational—that need go unanswered. [The Scriptures contain] the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Therein we find principles of truth that will resolve every confusion and every problem and every dilemma that will face the human family or any individual in it."

Any thoughts or experiences?

You can read from the Scriptures HERE.

You can request a FREE copy of the Book of Mormon HERE (just scroll to the bottom of the home page).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Movie Monday: Mormon Temples Made Simple

Ever wondered what goes on in an LDS temple? Ever wondered what the difference is between a church building and a temple? Ever wondered what the purpose of temples are? Well, this video is so perfect and simple in explaining what temples are all about. Hope you enjoy!

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays: Faith-Filled Experience

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds,” Ensign, May 1991, 88, 90.

“One’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free...Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!’ …Real faith … is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process.”

Any Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Night Terrors and Knowing God

My 2 year old little boy has the wonderful joy of having night terrors, not nightmares (well at least not yet) but night terrors. On several occasions I have been startled awake by sudden screams of a little boy just about 2 hours after he has fallen asleep. I make my way upstairs to witness a weird and sometimes scary scene. He flails, he screams at the top of his lungs, and his eyes have a very glassy look to them. For our little boy this typically lasts for 15 minutes to a half an hour but occasionally longer and this particular night was definitely longer.

Sometimes all that we can do is just simply wait it out with him and make sure he is safe but this night was dragging on and on with no sign of the madness coming to an end. I tried several times to reach my arms out toward him to pick him up and countless times I was greeted with more screaming and a more horrified look on his face. I tried to assure him by saying, "It's Mommy." My attempts were not successful and I began to cry. I remember in that moment feeling so helpless and thinking how can I help him when he doesn't even know who I am.

He eventually calmed down and went back to sleep and of course didn't remember a thing about it the next morning, but I did. I learned a great lesson that night. I saw a small glimpse of what our Heavenly Father might feel when His own children do not know Him and what it might feel like to have them not accept your help and to not even recognize or acknowledge who you are.

It is hard for our Father in Heaven to help us if we don't know Him. We must go to Him in prayer and talk with Him. We must strive to know Him and to accept His outstretched hand. He is there. Even when we our lives are in a flailing and screaming state, especially when our lives are in that state, we must accept his helping hand and not be afraid to make changes or to have the faith to move forward in difficult situations.

It was sad and scary to me to have my son not know who I was and through the process I realized how much more sad and more scary it is if we don't know who our Heavenly Father is. I hope that we all can strengthen our relationship with our Father in Heaven and recognize that He is always there even in our darkest and most confusing hours. And even when we feel we don't know Him, He always knows us. He knows us and He loves us.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Family Scripture Study Method

Well we finished going through the Gospel Art Book for our family scripture study time a little while back and kind of got out of a good purposeful rhythm. My husband would just select something to read for the night; we didn't have a plan. At least we were still reading but now we are back on track with a plan. We did our Christmas readings and now we are on to using the scripture portion of each lesson in the nursery manual. It has been great . Often there are songs, simple activities, and pictures that require no previous planning time and our little boy seems to be more interested again.

We recently had three days that we were talking about Jesus' love for us all. One of the stories was of Christ visiting the Nephites after he was resurrected and blessing the children. We briefly explained what it means to be resurrected to our little boy (almost 3 years old). The next morning at breakfast he said, "I like resurrected. I like being alive." So cute. I love when there is evidence of scripture study.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Updated Apostle Printables

I have posted these printables (found at before but I was asked for updated versions including Elder Andersen. Enjoy!

Apostle Memory Cards by Kerri Madura (Matching Game)

Apostle Cards by Melanie Day (Include Fun and Informative Facts About the Prophets/Apostles)