Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Turn the Radio Off and Turn This On...

Okay so the radio has a slew of Christmas music playing right now, mostly all of the commercialized stuff, Santa, and some old songs you hear every year and don't get me wrong I like a good dose of Christmas music but this, this is good! Enjoy!



Obviously don't forget the classic Christ-centered Hymns but I love instrumental bits of goodness.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Teaching Charity?



What a beautiful video and what an example Heber J. Grant is to us all. What do you do to teach your children to be more charitable amidst all of the wants, the constant "need" for more or better, and the feelings of greed that sometimes can accompany this season, among other times of the year?

Really, I'd love to hear how you mold the young minds and hearts in your home to think less of what is under the tree and more about others. Please share.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And the Winner Is...

I used random.com and #5 was the winner so...

That makes Mrs. Mordecai over at http://be-it-ever-so-humble.blogspot.com/ the winner of the Happy Little Artist Temple Print giveaway.  Congratulations!

Here is what she had to say in her entry:
"I like the one with the power lines and the blue background! Although I have to admit I wouldn't mind having a matching set to all hang up somewhere."

I'll be getting in contact with you!  As for everyone else, the prints are really quite reasonably priced so still consider heading over to buy yourself or a loved one a little gift, the headbands are adorable as well. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For Strength of Youth Pamphlet Revised

Additions and revisions have taken place in the For Strength of Youth Pamphlet.  You can read the additonal text and changes online now HERE.  I am excited to read through and study the new pamphlet.  I think it is wonderful for youth and adults alike. 

Here is what the Church News has to say about it:

Today, youth.lds.org launched a newly updated version of For the Strength of Youth that addresses issues and challenges youth face today that were not specifically addressed in the previous version of the booklet.

“The standards have not changed, but times have changed,” said Young Women general president Elaine S. Dalton, explaining the update. “For the Strength of Youth has been revised to address the issues youth face today—to teach them the doctrine behind the standards and the promised blessings of obedience.”

For the Strength of Youth was last updated in 2001. The revised pamphlet will contain the addition of current prophetic counsel in areas such as the wise use of technology, virtuous thoughts, dating, the importance of gender roles, and preparation for the future.
Other changes of note include:
  • Additional emphasis on following the guidance of the Spirit, keeping covenants, and being worthy to attend the temple
  • A new standard entitled “Work and Self-Reliance” offering counsel on smart money management, frugality, industry, and becoming a contributor.
  • The addition of emotional health to the section previously titled “Physical Health”—now called “Physical and Emotional Health”—encouraging youth to seek healthy solutions to problems.
  • Increased clarity and emphasis on doctrine in each section
  • The inclusion of questions to invite further pondering and discussion
Hard copies of the revised pamphlet in English will be mailed to Church units toward the beginning of 2012. Priesthood leaders will receive a copy for each youth ages 12 to 18 and all priesthood and auxiliary leaders who work with youth.

Young Men general president David L. Beck emphasized the value of this resource for youth, parents, and leaders as they strive to live faithfully.

“It is our hope that these standards will be thoroughly studied in our homes and in Church classes, and that the principles taught in them will go down into the hearts of the youth of the Church,” he said.
Language versions of the revised pamphlet will follow both online and in print as they are completed.

PS - Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below.  It closes on Saturday morning and the chances of winning are looking pretty good right now.  :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Happy Little Artist Temple

This could make for a Merry Christmas surprise.  The Happy Little Artist would like to Giveaway one of THESE beautiful Salt Lake Temple Prints to one of you. The winner gets to choose the size and style that you like best. The print can only be shipped in the US.  Sorry to everyone who lives outside the US. 

Annie Wheeler hand carved linoleum blocks to create these three color lincout prints of the Salt Lake Temple.  Don't you just love this:

To Enter the Giveaway
  1. You just need to head over to the Happy Little Artist Etsy Shop and find the temple print that you like best (while you're there check out the adorable headbands as well ;) then jump back over here to Becoming LDS and leave a comment letting me know which temple and size you would like to win. 
  2. Please also leave the beginning of your email address (ex. becominglds@) so I can verify that you are the winner.
  3. Merry Christmas!
The Giveaway will end on Saturday, December 17th at 10:00 am.  The winner will be chosen randomly and will be posted here on my blog shortly thereafter.  If you are announced as the lucky winner then please contact me at becominglds@gmail.com, using the email address you provided, by Monday the 19th at 5:00 pm.  If the winner has not yet contacted me then another winner will be chosen in their place.  Then I will get you in contact with the Happy Little Artist to claim your beautiful temple print.  :)

Good Luck everyone!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

The First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night was wonderful.  The music was beautiful and the messages were great reminders.  If you and your family didn't get a chance to watch it you can do so HERE.  It would make for a great FHE tonight.  Also, a neat announcement was made and a new page born on lds.org with Bible videos to be added monthly.    They are free to download and are a gift to the world.  You can watch the video that was shown last night below: 



The Christmas Devotional is such a simple way to remember Christ during the Christmas Season.  A tradition that takes little planning, no running to and fro, and no gifts to be purchased.

I also thought I'd share two Christmas Traditions that our little family started this year.  So I guess they are not techniquely traditions yet but I hope to continue them each year and turn them into traditions.

First, we put up this little tree next to our bigger tree. It was my husband and I's very first Christmas tree.  Now it is our Service and Kindness tree.  When I catch my children serving or being kind I let them pick out an ornament to add to the tree.  Sometimes I send my 4 year old to preschool with service in mind and he'll come back and tell me something nice he did.  It was been good.  It's also nice to have a tree that is free for them to touch and move ornaments around on. :)



Then Secondly, we tweaked this idea from the Friend.  We have this nativity picture hanging on the wall in our living room and each morning we are adding a star to the wall.  We write something about Jesus on the star and tape it to the wall.  By Christmas we should have one starry night.  My son is already excited about putting the biggest star above the picture on Christmas Eve.

Our 4 year old (soon to be 5) has come up with things like:
Jesus helped people to see.
Jesus was crucified for us.
Jesus was born in a stable.
Jesus helped raise people from the dead.

And our 2 year old has said things like this (with a little help sometimes :):
Jesus hugs me.
Jesus loves me.
Jesus made animals.
Jesus holds me.


It has been a great way to keep us thinking about Christ every day this December.  What are some Christ-Centered traditions that your family has?

Monday, November 14, 2011

FHE Idea: Thanksgiving - Gratitude Tree

Okay, so I am finally back to posting...I think. ;) 

I am sure that many of you have seen or done something similar to this at your homes but just in case I thought I'd share something we started last FHE at our house that would work just as great to start tonight or next Monday as well.

First, we told the story of the Ten Lepers and how only one came back to tell Christ thank you and how it might have made Him feel.  We talked about how we feel when someone thanks us or maybe when they don't.  We talked about specific things we could say thank you for and how we need to always remember to thank Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and others for all of the things we are blessed with in our lives.

And then we created this beautiful Thankful or Gratitude Tree.  I had previously cut out all of the leaves (I'd highly recommend sticking with simple patterns or just cutting out free hand.)  We created the tree on the spot.  I cut out random shapes and sizes of branches and my husband and two little ones created this masterpiece of a tree.  It was fun to create the tree together. 

We each chose three leaves that night and wrote down something we are thankful for on them and shared them with each other.  Since last Monday each morning as part of our Morning Devotional we have added a leaf or two to the tree.

It is fun to hear what my 4 and 2 year old come up with.  We have things on the tree like,
  • When people say I love you.
  • Smiles
  • Temples
  • My little sister.
  • Friends.
  • Family.
  • Baby (doll)
  • The Priesthood
It has been good to stop each morning and think of something we are thankful for as we start the day.  I hope we all can have an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday and one filled with gratitude!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hiatus

So I have been MIA for the last little bit and this my friends is why.  Well, about a month back I had a lagging in posts because well, I was sick, not just a day sick or a few days sick, but weeks and weeks of sick, which turned into months.  Then I started to feel a little better but not great but it felt good to sit at the computer and do something somewhat productive and thus posts began again.  Then I got EVEN better and well, I could ACTUALLY leave the house, with kids in tow and everything..  What an amazing thing!  And I could clean, yes I said could.  I could do laundry.  I could play and laugh with my children.  I could go shopping.  I could do anything I wanted and, well, blogging has taken a back seat to all of that.  I am going to jump back in sometime.  I do have a slew of Book of Mormon posts I promised.  But it may take me a day or two or a week or who knows maybe sooner but for now I am going to enjoy this little one in my tummy and do anything and everything a not sick person can do.  :)  Are you with me?  Hip-Hip-Hooray for health!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recent Relief Society Media Available in Many Languages

I was recently sent this information and thought it amazing how quickly these great sources could be made available to so many.  I hope this helps some.

Archives for the General Relief Society Meeting have been posted in more than 60 languages. To choose your language, simply select it from the drop down menu on the top right hand side of the page, as shown below.

 

Also, PDF files for the book Daughters in my Kingdom are now available in 18 languages:

To learn more about the book visit HERE.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Preparing for the BIG Weekend!

So I have much to share in preparation for the exciting event of General Conference that awaits us.  Read through the whole post for a myriad of ways to prepare yourself and your family to hear the word of God:
  1. Go into General Conference remembering that it has something just for YOU!

    Elder Holland said, “If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal little, prophetic epistle just to you.”

    Enjoy this video and you may also enjoy reading THIS arcticle from the September Ensign about a Sister's experience in finding out that Conference had something just for her.

 2. This week ponder about and write down some questions or concerns that you have and pray to receive answers and direction for those specific things during Conference.  Answers will come.

 3. Create new General Conference traditions or plan to carry out old ones.  This can give something similar and concrete about each Conference for your children (and yourself) to look forward to.  You can find one of our traditions HERE.

 4. Play some games or watch this video sometime this week to get your kids thinking about what is coming.
You can find an Apostle Matching Game and Fun Fact Cards HERE.  There are also a few fun online games from lds.org you can find HERE.


 5. Get some of these printables ready for your children to use throughout Conference:
LDS.org Printables
Sugardoodle.net Printable Packets for all ages.
Sugardoodle.net Other Conference activities and printables.
Deseret Book Printable

And there are so many other creations, ideas, and printables all over the internet.  I hope you find something you like.

6. Think about joining in this fun Video Conference event, check out this video to learn more:

6. I was sent a document with many FAQ about Genereal Conference but don't know how to put the information on my blog.  If you are in need of answers to any of these questions leave a comment with the question you'd like answered and your email address or email me with this information at becominglds@gmail.com
  • How can I access General Conference?
  • When will conference materials be available?
  • What languages are available?
  • Can I put General Conference on my mobile device?
  • Can I download just the music from General Conference?
  • Is General Conference on Twitter or Facebook?
7.  And finally, I know this challenge comes a little late but do you remember our semi-annual no tv weeks well since things have changed in that department quite a bit at our house we aren't holding an official one but if you'd like to try it out and turn your tv off for the week it really does make turning on the tv for Conference such a refreshing and wonderful experience.  I dare you! ;)

Now let's all get prepping!  What does your family do to prepare for Conference?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Miss It or You Might Miss Something

We are just a short time away from the Relief Society broadcast and you won't want to miss it.  If you haven't been able to make it much in the past or just haven't made it a habit try to get there this time around. It really is worth our time.
You wouldn't want to miss another message like this:



Or a message from our Prophet that contains inspiring words like this:

"A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.

“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”
John looked on but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.

A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”

John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”

Tonight I’d like to share with you a few thoughts concerning how we view each other. Are we looking through a window which needs cleaning? Are we making judgments when we don’t have all the facts? What do we see when we look at others? What judgments do we make about them?"

So determine to make it a point to participate this Saturday whether you watch/listen to it at home, head to a nearby stake center, or are lucky enough to sit in the Conference Center.  The messages will be inspired.  The Spirit will be present.  We will all learn something about ourselves and this journey we are on.  I am excited.

Here are some details from lds.org:

Relief Society sisters worldwide are invited to view the satellite broadcast of the general Relief Society meeting, which will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. (MDT) and will be broadcast to many areas of the world.

All sisters 18 years of age and older are encouraged to gather together in meetinghouses to view the broadcast.

Video of the broadcast will also be available live in American Sign Language, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish at conference.lds.org. Additional languages will be available as a live audio broadcast at the same site. Archives of the broadcast will be available in those same languages at the same site within 24 hours. Live audio will also be available in English at mormonchannel.org.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Book of Mormon: What's the Story?

This starts a series of several posts about the Book of Mormon.  The content will come from the October 2011 Ensign which is available to look at online today. 

Over the next several days I will be posting about what happens in the Book of Mormon (today), common questions about the book, how you can know if the Book of Mormon is true, how to study it, and lastly the formats it is available in and the devices you can access it on. 

If any of you have any questions about the Book of Mormon along the way don't hesitate to ask.  I am happy to help in any way I can.

So on to today's post:

The Story of the Book of Mormon
Article taken from October 2011 Ensign pgs 16-19

  1. The Book of Mormon begins with a prophet named Lehi. He warned the wicked people in Jerusalem to repent, but the people didn’t listen. The Lord told Lehi to take his family, including his wife, Sariah, and their sons—Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi—into the wilderness. (See 1 Nephi 1–2.)
  2. Lehi sent his sons back to get the scriptures written on brass plates. These plates had the history of their ancestors and other things the Lord had told them to write. Lehi and Nephi took good care of these plates. They also wrote on metal plates what happened to their family. (See 1 Nephi 3–5.)
  3. The Lord gave Lehi a compass called the Liahona to guide his family through the wilderness to the promised land. (See 1 Nephi 16.)
  4. The Lord told Nephi to build a boat to take Lehi’s family to the promised land. Nephi obeyed his father and the Lord, but Laman and Lemuel did not. (See 1 Nephi 17.)
  5. Lehi and his family sailed to the promised land on the boat they built. (See 1 Nephi 18.)
  6. Laman and Lemuel continued to disobey their father and the Lord. Their descendants are known as the Lamanites. Nephi continued to obey his father and the Lord. His descendants are called Nephites. (See 2 Nephi 4–5.)
  7. After Lehi and Nephi died, other people, such as Nephi’s brother Jacob, were in charge of writing important teachings and events on the plates. (See Jacob 1.)
  8. Enos prayed to be forgiven of his sins, and he was forgiven. (See Enos 1.)
  9. King Benjamin built a tower to teach his people the gospel. (See Mosiah 2–6.)
  10. A wicked king named Noah had the prophet Abinadi put to death. But Abinadi’s teachings converted one of Noah’s priests named Alma. (See Mosiah 11–17.)
  11. Alma escaped from King Noah’s court, taught other people about the gospel, and baptized them. (See Mosiah 18.)
  12. Alma’s son Alma the Younger was not obedient. He and his friends, the sons of Mosiah, were wicked. Then an angel told them to repent. Alma and the sons of Mosiah repented and spent the rest of their lives preaching the gospel. (See Mosiah 27–28.)
  13. Mosiah’s son Ammon converted many Lamanites after Ammon defended King Lamoni’s flocks and won his trust. (See Alma 17–19.)
  14. Captain Moroni wrote the title of liberty and fought to defend the liberty of his people. (See Alma 46; 48.)
  15. Helaman led an army of 2,000 righteous young men. (See Alma 53; 56–58.)
  16. A Lamanite prophet named Samuel prophesied that Jesus Christ would soon be born. (See Helaman 13–16.)
  17. Far away in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ was born. He taught His gospel, healed and blessed people, and set up His Church. Then He was crucified and resurrected. (See 3 Nephi 1; 8–10.)
  18. After His Resurrection, He visited the righteous Nephites and Lamanites. He taught them His gospel, healed them, and blessed them, just as He had in the land around Jerusalem. (See 3 Nephi 11–28.)
  19. A 10-year-old boy named Mormon was chosen to write on the plates when he grew older. At age 24 he began combining the most important stories from all the records onto a set of metal plates. (See Mormon 1.)
  20. Before Mormon died, he gave the plates to his son Moroni. Moroni was a general in the army. He was the last Nephite to survive a great battle between the Lamanites and the Nephites. (See Mormon 6; 8.)
  21. Before Moroni died, he buried the plates in a place called Cumorah. About 1,400 years after Moroni buried the plates, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith prayed to know which church was right. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:5–16.)
  22. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith and told him that none of the churches were true and complete. Joseph would help restore the true Church of Jesus Christ. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:17–20.)
  23. Moroni visited Joseph Smith and told him about the buried plates. When Joseph Smith got older, he would get the plates and translate them. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:27–54.)
  24. When Joseph Smith was 21, he went to the Hill Cumorah and got the plates from the place where Moroni had buried them. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:59.)
  25. Through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated the writing on the plates. He published this translation. It is called the Book of Mormon. (See title page and introduction to the Book of Mormon.)
You can read the entire Book of Mormon online HERE.
You can also request a FREE hard copy of the Book of Mormon HERE.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's The Book of Mormon All About?

The Church has been working on a special Edition of the Ensign (a Church magazine) since 2009 that will focus solely on The Book of Mormon.

LDS Church News had this to say about the special edition:
You can find the full article at this link.

"The special-edition Ensign and Liahona will be available for purchase Oct. 1 at Church distribution centers. A digital version will be available online at LDS.org on Sept. 20. Subscribers will receive their monthly issues as usual."

"Members are encouraged to use the special issue in two ways," said Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy and executive director of the Curriculum Department. "First, members and missionaries should review it for their personal edification and to strengthen their testimonies. Second, they should share the magazine with others, including less-active Church members and nonmembers."

Here is a list of just some of the things you will find in this special issue:
  • First Presidency message by President Thomas S. Monson.
  • Visiting teaching message by Sister Julie B. Beck, general Relief Society president.
  • A new full-color Book of Mormon timeline.
  • Full-page artwork.
  • Sheet music for a new Book of Mormon-themed song called "Two Thousand Stripling Warriors," with music by Janice Kapp Perry and lyrics by Bonnie Hart Murray.
  • Tips on using mobile devices for scripture study.
  • President Ezra Taft Benson's classic address — "The Book of Mormon: Keystone of Our Religion."
  • A new Book of Mormon-themed Mormon ad.
  • Tips on how to study the Book of Mormon
  • A side-by-side comparison of doctrinal passages from the Bible and Book of Mormon
  • Commonly asked questions about the Book of Mormon and corresponding answers.
I you want to learn more about the Book of Mormon head over to LDS.org on September 20th.  As we all receive access to this special edition I plan to have several posts to correspond with it.  I am excited.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Relief Society Book Available to All

painting
The book, Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society is now available to download as a PDF file.

LDS.org has this to say about the book:

"The teachings, stories, and examples in this history book will guide you in establishing priorities and practices in your life that will help increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help those in need.
The history of Relief Society teaches the divine identity and infinite worth of daughters of God. It is a Spirit-filled story of strong, faithful, purposeful women who have served with little public recognition.          

As you study this history you will see that our Heavenly Father knows His daughters, that He loves them, that He trusts them with sacred responsibilities, and that He guides them as they fulfill those responsibilities.

You are encouraged to share the book with others. Church members of all ages may use the book as a reference in lessons, talks, council meetings, and at home."

They have also created a site to help readers of the book and leaders in Relief Society know how to best use this great resource.  I'm excited to read and learn.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11: Our Prophet's Thoughts

9/11 destruction allowed us to spiritually rebuild 
(From the Washington Post)


 The calamity of September 11th, 2001 has cast a long shadow. Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world. This week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with Tom Brokaw, will pay its own homage to the unforgettable events of September 11, 2001.

There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.

Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.

Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.

But we are less faithful than He is. By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.

If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.

The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly “need Him every hour,” not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.

It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm.

Thomas S. Monson is president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



More On Faith and 9/11: (from other prominent world religious leaders)

Katharine Jefferts Schori: Live the memorial
Karen Armstrong: Unite through compassion

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Videos Created from Friend Magazine Articles


So I was recently sent this short video from Sun Swing Media to review and share with all of you. They are a new company that is creating short videos based off of stories found in the Friend magazine.  The video I watched is called, “The Decision.”  It costs $1 to download and the money goes toward making the next short video called, “ The Do-Gooders.” 

The video is about pornography and is geared toward young children.  It is sad that it has come to the point when talking about pornography can’t be put off until older years but pornography is there and it is there early. 

At first I wondered how young people would respond to the quite simple animations but I knew that the simple yet profound story-line would be perfect for young audiences.  So I tested it on my 4 year old and I think his review is much more significant than mine.  Although I must say that an article I read said it was geared more toward 6-12 year olds.

I started the video for my little boy and he immediately seemed engaged.  Afterward, he instantly asked if he could watch it again.  I played it one more time and then we talked.  I asked him what the video was about and he answered “pornography”.  We talked about what happened and he definitely recognized the good choice that the boys made in the film and how proud all of their parents were of them.  After our short discussion he asked, “Could I watch it again sometime if I want to?”  I said yes and told him that we could maybe watch it for FHE sometime and he said, “We should’ve watched that video last night for FHE.”

So if you can’t tell, my 4 year old seemed to enjoy it quite a bit and he seemed to comprehend the important principles taught in the video. I would recommend the video to anyone with young children.

Here is a small portion of the video:



You can download “The Decision” for $1 HERE.
You can learn more about Sun Swing Media HERE.
You can read the original story in the Friend HERE.
Sun Swing Media even has an FHE lesson plan you can use HERE.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Your Insight Can Help...Pretty Please

So one of the most frequented pages on my blog is the page about becoming a member of the Church. Recently this caused me to search the terms "becoming a mormon", "becoming lds", and "becoming mormon" on Google and the results have me feeling like I'd like some input.  My blog came up as the first result in each of those cases which has me feeling a greater sense of responsibility and urgency in making that page the best it can be.  So please, please go check it out HERE and come back and leave a comment on this post of what suggestions you might have.   This isn't for me, it is for everyone who comes searching. 

Thanks in advance for your help!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Simplifying Christmas: Early Planning

Okay, so it has been a little while but this has been occupying my thoughts for the past while.  I love the holiday season. Thanksgiving leading into Christmas.  Cheerful music.  Giving.  Serving. Family.  It is a unique and wonderful time of year.  But sometimes it slips away from me and thus my family.  The hustle and bustle of shopping and shopping and more shopping amidst mad house stores and crowds and blah!  Not what I call fun or cheery or wonderful.  And then you have the heaps of presents under the tree and a moment or two to stop and think about what it is really all about and then back to the gifts. Worldliness.  More.  Wants. Greed.  Stress.  Lack of family time.  Ahhh!

Not this year.  I want change.  I want simple.  I want time with family. Time to serve.  Time to give. Time to ponder.

I have had some thoughts on how this might take place but no firm determinations.  Shopping done by Thanksgiving.  And even then much less shopping.  Less gifts but simple, fun, perfect ones. My thoughts are churning. 

How do you keep Christmas simple?  How do you focus on Jesus Christ and the special day of his birth rather than the gifts under the tree?  How do you keep your family away from the gimmees and more happy to serve and give?

Friday, August 5, 2011

No "World" Allowed...Do Not Enter

My husband and I have had worldliness on our minds.  And recently had a portion of this talk by Elder Ballard thrown into our laps.  Awesome! It stirred things up in both of us but I would love, love some additional thoughts from all of you.  It is a little long but well worth the read.  Please read on and then stick around to share.  I'd love it.

Now the words from Elder Ballard:

"In the Church, we often state the couplet: “Be in the world but not of the world.”...we often wish we could lock out the world in some way and isolate our families from it all (this is kind of how we have been feeling).

...Perhaps we should state the couplet previously mentioned as two separate admonitions. First, “Be in the world.” Be involved; be informed. Try to be understanding and tolerant and to appreciate diversity. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement. Second, “Be not of the world.” Do not follow wrong paths or bend to accommodate or accept what is not right.

...In spite of all of the wickedness in the world, and in spite of all the opposition to good that we find on every hand, we should not try to take ourselves or our children out of the world. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,” or yeast. (Matt. 13:33.) We are to lift the world and help all to rise above the wickedness that surrounds us. The Savior prayed to the Father:

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” (John 17:15.) 

Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it. We each need to help solve the problem rather than avoid or ignore it.  (This seems like a hard balance, how do we do this?  How do we stay away from worldliness, yet stay positively involved in the world?)

I like this simple little poem:
 
All the water in the world
No matter how it tried
Could never sink the smallest ship
Unless it got inside.
All the evil of the world
And every kind of sin
Could never damn a human soul
Unless we let it in.

We can live in the world, brothers and sisters, without letting the world into us. We have the gospel message that can carry men and women buoyantly through the “mist of darkness” (1 Ne. 8:23) to the source of all light. We can raise children who have been taught to discern and to make personal righteous decisions.
The Lord does not need a society that hides and isolates itself from the world. Rather, he needs stalwart individuals and families who live exemplary lives in the world and demonstrate that joy and fulfillment come not of the world but through the spirit and the doctrine of Jesus Christ."

So what do you do to help keep the world out and still let the world in? Make sense. Please Share.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Sorry for the lack of posting.  Behind the scenes there have been some opportunities to share the Gospel  and I have been occupied by that.  It is neat to see the Spirit work in other's lives. I have been amazed by an individual who has taken so much initiative in learning about the Church.  This person has read many books including all of the standard works, Church History, and Articles of Faith.  What an example to us all. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Finally Did It!

Yep, that's right I created my profile on Mormon.org.  I am not quite done, I don't think. I think I will head back and answer a few more questions and add a few more stories, but it is there.  And yes, this means my identity will be revealed, well at least a picture.  Oooo, aaaaah!  I know, I know, not that big of a deal but I have been pretty private thus far.  This is a little weird for me.  So enjoy!  Now join me and create a profile of your own, you never know who it might help. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Focus Desires...Simplify Life...Become Better

Yep...so that is what has been on my mind lately.  Cutting things out.  Adding things in.   Intentionally noticing where improvements are needed. 

I've started to realize that although I do many good things some of them aren't necessarily the best or take time away where it is more importantly needed.  I've been letting some things start to slip from my routine or at least not be so high on my list.  It has been good.  I am looking forward to a continued journey of simplifying.

This all started from this talk - Desire by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  I actually sat down and started writing down what my desires are and then I realized that what I was really writing down was what my desires SHOULD be.  Some of them match the actions that I take and some I realized I am not truly following through with.  I realized that some of the ways I was using time showed that different desires were somehow eeking up on my priority list.  Not good.

So of course while I was thinking on what I desired most and what I desire to BECOME I thought back to another one of my favorite Conference gems:  What Manner of Men and Women Ought You to Be? by  Elder Lynn G. Robbins

My brain and my heart and my spirit have been churning with all of these ideas of simplifying, righteous desires, and becoming who I can become.  It has turned into a mush of goodness and still has me making changes and pondering and trying to grasp what needs to be done and what needs not to be done, and where things need to slip and where things need to expand or be emphasized.  I sense a great push to simplify life and yet a great push to expand spirtual things and be more intentional and present at each stage of rearing my children.

After much of this reading and thinking and pondering was done I went and read this talk - Daughters of God by Elder M. Russell Ballard.  So good.

It is time to focus my desires, simplify my life, and strive to become better in very specific and intentional ways.  Off to work (well, off to bed of now but you know what I mean). 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Combating Pornography: Watch Your Step



"See CombatingPornography.org to find resources to help prevent or overcome pornography addiction.

Also, you can read, watch, or listen to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s April 2010 general conference address, “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul,” which is excerpted in this video." - lds.org

Read a firsthand account of someone helping a spouse overcome a pornography addiction

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Can You Help Me Discipline? A better way. A teaching way. A new way.

This is last night's post "Calling All Discipline Experts" with a new title.  I guess no one feels like an "expert". ;)  But I really would love some responses.  I feel like this was a powerful talk and a powerful realization when reading this specific line.  I am sure we could all benefit from each other's words.  Please Share!

I just re-read Elder Robbin's talk from Conference again. It was one of my favorites. I am excited because we get to discuss it in Relief Society this Sunday.  And it has given me much to think about.

I hadn't noticed this line when I'd read it before and boy did it shoot out to me this time:

"We will never have a greater opportunity to teach and show Christlike attributes to our children than in the way we discipline them."

Yikes!  I need to work on this.  Often I think I do exactly the opposite.  Sometimes I end up being the one in the wrong. I react too quickly, or too loudly, or just simply overreact. Not good. 

I loved some of the ideas that he gave in the talk about disciplining but I'd love to hear more.  What do you do to make sure you keep your cool in a heated moment?  What types of consequences do you use?  I want to cease the opportunity to teach Christlike attributes rather than give them examples of how NOT to act.  Let the ideas roll.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You "Saved" the Day

I've had a lot on my mind.  Change. Newness. New goals.  BECOMING something better.  Creating.  Desires.  Priorities. Time. 

I've determined it is time to Simplify and to Organize. Some things are going to slip away and some new things may take their places. 

I am one who gets overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious pretty easily and yet I tend to add things to my plate by my own choice.  Good things.  But there are better.

We just got back from a vacation and while we were traveling near a larger city my husband took a wrong turn and we ended up downtown with two tired children (it was bedtime) one of them crying.  I was grumpy, impatient, and frustrated (this was not the first time this has happened ;) I was getting after him and saying things like, "why didn't you just go the way we came?"  On and on.  Contention.  Then just as we were about to get back on the freeway in the right direction my son said, very enthusiastically, "It's okay Mom.  It's good.  We saw flags.  You saved the day!"  He felt the contention and in his 4 year old way brought a smile to my face. I didn't even see any flags but to him that drive, that wrong turn saved the day because of a few simple flags! And I was again reminded that I need to find joy in each moment and strive to be positive.  Later I found out that despite my pessimism and criticisim in that moment that little adventure that led us downtown was one of my husbands favorite moments from the trip.  He enjoys exploring new places.  But there I was and I couldn't see it.  I couldn't see that moment with my family with eyes of joy.

Then today I taught the lesson in Relief Society on families and again was reminded that I need to enjoy and take hold of each moment as a Mother not just get through each day but SAVE each moment and cherish it.  Not just go about my agenda but grasp those small moments in time that truly matter.

And then yet again I came across another reminder in this video. It is too perfect for all of the thoughts I have been having. I think the Lord is trying to teach me:



Let us all cherish the moments that matter most. Let us all try to "Save" and enjoy each day and recognize each moment for what it is. Let us all recognize the things that need to slip from our lives so that we might simplify and have our eyes opened to the joy that those little moments bring.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Are Mormons Like: Meet Jarem



To learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it's members visit Mormon.org.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Serve with Me in June

A little bit back I wrote a post about the efforts to serve more with my children.  Here are the plans for this month so feel free to join right in:

1 - We are writing letters to or drawing pictures for those in our ward who are currently serving in the military.  The plan is to have the letters/pictures reach them by the 4th of July.

2 - We are doing a thing I decided to call "Chores for Cans". This means that our kids will be doing work around the house or other tasks (what your children do will be completely up to you).  You gotta love that right!  The idea is this:  Kids do chores (or whatever it is you need or want them to do) and they earn cans of food (really anything non-perishable works) to give to those who are in need.

It is up to each Mom to decide how often they want to give cans, what earns a can, etc.  You may choose to have them earn money and then go to the store to buy the cans with whatever was earned or you may choose to just give them an actual can and let them create a stack as the weeks go by. 
I love the idea that the cans are not just being given by each family but EARNED by each child.  Who knows you may see your kids asking for extra chores just so they can help out.
We are going to deliver the cans to our Bishop who will deliver it to some families in our ward who are in need. 

Please join right in and do this where you live or if you already have some Summer Service Plans we'd love to hear your ideas.

Happy Serving!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Thank You to the Youth for Easing My Fears

So sometimes I look at what is going on in the world and I look at my two young children and I worry. I worry about the people they will choose to become.  I worry about the world seeping in too much.  I worry that I am not doing enough.  I worry about their futures.  I worry about what is happening here and now. I worry.

It IS a rough world with many temptations and many choices to be made and I think I will always be concerned (and in some ways I think I should be).  I want to be as conscious, consistent, and intentional about raising them as I can.  There are so many things to think about and to prepare them for.  The future (and sometimes even the present) truly can be overwhelming to think about and that is why I am so grateful for all of these wonderful videos put out by the Church.  They give me hope in the future and peace to know how strong so many of the youth truly are in this chaotic world.  I am grateful for their examples to children, youth, and adults alike. 

Thank you to the great youth for easing some of my fears.  You are Wonderful!!!











To view more Mormon Messages for Youth visit HERE.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Reading Plans

Do you have any?  I don't have any specifics figured out but reading to and with my children (and maybe some personal reading) is a definite must this Summer.  And yep, school is out, and summer is rolling (well not officially), the time is now. 

Our library has a Summer Reading Program where kids get prizes for reading 3 hours each week.  I am sure that many libraries do something similar.  I plan on signing up like I did last Summer only maybe being a little more consistent about it. ;) We read but we didn't make it to the library as often has we should have.

With that said, THIS has got my head churning.  For me and my kids.  I love it. The Friend is so "smart" I mean really. Yea, we hold a short family scripture study and yea we hold weekly Family Home Evenings but a simple Gospel reading schedule meant just for little ones.  Perfect.  Yea, there will be If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and Fancy Nancy, and The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar...but the Friend, the Scriptures, the Articles of Faith.  Oh, this will be good.

What are your plans? How do you keep your kids brains fired up and pages turning? 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

LDS Scripture Citation Index

If you have ever wanted to learn more about a specific scripture or a specific topic found in the scriptures this is a great resource for you.

Here is what the site says:

"This index links from scriptures to the general conference talks, Journal of Discourses speeches, and writings in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that cite those scriptures.  So, for example, suppose you want to know who has cited 1 Ne. 3:7 in general conference; click on the Book of Mormon link at the left and scroll down to 1 Ne. 3; there you'll find the answer.  Who has quoted Matt. 5:48?  Use the New Testament index to find out.

We have indexed the scriptures cited by speakers in LDS General Conference between 1942 and the present, and those cited by speakers recorded in the Journal of Discourses between 1839 and 1886.  The citations in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith come from the special edition, Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, edited by Richard C. Galbraith and published by Deseret Book in 1993 (ISBN 0875796478)."

Wow, I am excited too look up some of my favorite scriptures and some of those scriptures that I just don't quite get and see what I can find. 

Go check it out for yourself:  http://scriptures.byu.edu/

Happy Scripture Studying!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stressed, Overscheduled, Overwhelmed...You Are Not Alone

Standing in line at a grocery story, beep, beep, beep.  Hand her some cash and again beep, beep, beep.  I have two transactions.  It's 9:30 pm. I turn to the lady behind me and apologize for my double taking of time.  She shrugs her shoulders and says, "I'm in no hurry.  I'll just be heading back to cleaning and doing laundry."

I hurried out to my car and thought as I rode home about what that women had said.  I wasn't going home to clean (although I am sure I had plenty of cleaning to be done) but I had just come from putting two munchkins to sleep and needed to grab a few items and hurry home to get ready for the upcoming day, a Sunday.  And then a thought came to me, "we are all in this together".  We all have our to do lists, we all have our stressors, most of us have similar goals.  We are not in this alone. We are all busy.  We all get overwhelmed.  We all have various roles and obligations but we are truly all in this life together.

Then a night or two later I read from Matthew 14 and 15 and had a great moment of being taught:
Christs' good friend John the Baptist was beheaded and when he heard of it He went to be alone.  A mulitude followed him and even in his time of need he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  Then that very evening that multitude needed to eat and so He fed the 5,000 men and also many women and children.  Straightway he sent his disciples to get in the ship and He went to pray.  Meanwhile a storm came between 3 and 6 in the morning and Jesus walked on the water with Peter and calmed the storm.  When they got off the ship in the land of Gennesaret the people recognized him and brought those who were diseased and He healed them. Then came the scribes and the Pharisees to question him and contend against him. Then he calls the multitude around him to teach them.  He goes on to heal a girl and feed 4,000 more.

I could just keep going and going.  I don't think I had ever realized the time frame of these events. In such a short time He lost a dear friend, He healed many in the multitude, He fed 5,000, He walked on the water and calmed the storm, He healed the diseased, He stood firm against the Pharisees, He taught the multitude, healed a girl, and fed 4,000 more. 

He truly understands.  Not only did He experience everything through the Atonement but He also experienced the stresses and demands of life to the fullest.

I know often we feel like our own lists could keep going and going.  In such a short time, we can get our kids off to school, change 10 diapers, make lunch, run to the store, send a note to a dear friend, plan a lesson, calm tears, make dinner for a neighbor, take kids to soccer practice, read scriptures, plant a garden, and pray for and have heartache over our families.  And the list could go on.

But we have the Savior and we have one another.

President Monson's words fit so perfectly here, "Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out."

I hope that we can all look at the world in this way.  That we can see that our "fellow travelers" are trying their best and let them lean on us when they need to and that we may find that we have those that we can lean on in our times of need.  I also hope that we will recognize that we all need to take a step back and have a moment to ourselves.  Even the Savior sought moments to be alone and to speak with His Father.  Sometimes those moments may be interuppted by something more important but we all need those moments to draw us nearer to the Lord and to bring peace nearer to our hearts. 

Never forget that you are not alone.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Do You Journal?

I have not been doing good at the whole journaling thing.  Not one bit.  Yeah I have a private blog to write down the little funny, cute, and crazy moments we have in our family but I'm not even that good at keeping up with that.  I recently found my journal and well let's just say, ummm well SAD. I last wrote while I was pregnant with my little girl and yep she is 18 months old now.  Really?  I always do this. Write some here and there and then a long, long hiatus.  What to do?

How do you journal?  Do you use a blog as your journal? Do you type up your thoughts?  Do you do the whole hand written journal thing?  Do you pick a question out of a jar?  And whatever method you use what helps you to be consistent and motivated?  I need to be better.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who Am I?

You are a Child of God!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bringing Me Joy

So after posting that last video for Mother's Day I just had to find out who was playing the song in the background.  I found it and it is an arrangement by Jon Schmidt!  I can't tell you how much I love the whole song.  I have probably listened to it 30-40 times already.  It is seriously bringing me joy! 

Enjoy it HERE!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Mormons Believe: Sexual Purity Blesses Our Lives


(Click on Images to Enlarge)

This article is from the July 2010 Ensign.
To check out PDFs of past Ensigns visit here.
If you'd like to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vist here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Do you want to serve with me....and my kids...and my neighborhood?

Then come right along.  I knew you'd say yes. :)

So I recently started a little service group of moms and their kidlets in our neighborhood.  After Conference I felt like I needed to serve more, serve more in general, but mostly that I needed to serve more along side my children.  So that was my plan and then one night as I was reading my scriptures a thought popped into my little head that said something like, "hey, why not make it a group effort" and then with some teetering back and forth on the idea I finally succumbed and our service group was born.  It has taken over my brain for a while and finally I feel like things are falling into place.  Whew!

Then you see...a new idea came to me and I thought hmmm why not bring the whole blogging world (well the miniscule portion of that world who actually peeks at this blog) along and see what we can do.   So of course this will take a lot of initiative on your part since you don't actually live near me but if you want to follow along and do something similar in your area then please join us.  I will periodically post things that we are doing here and if it is something that would work for you and your family then please serve away and let us know how it goes.

Our current service opportunity is making a tape for an elderly Sister in our ward who is unable to attend church due to health issues.  She spends her Sundays listening to and watching Conference and other Church materials. The children will be leaving short messages and singing her primary songs on a tape.  We will then deliver it to her as a group.   I am already super excited to bring her our creation, I think she will love it.  I am almost giddy about it. 

This one is still on.  So if you know of an elderly person in your area who could use a visit, a card, a treat, or maybe even a tape make an effort over the next few weeks to make their day.  Then come back and share your warm service fuzzies. :)

Isn't service fun?!?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bee Changeful

Over the past few months we have dealt with many various difficult situations and behaviors with our children.  It has been a ride and it is, for the time being, slowing down a bit.  Whew! One day while thinking about what I could do to change the way things were going once again I actually had an idea that "worked"! 

My 4 year old son and I sat down at the computer and printed out a beehive, some bees, and various flowers and then for FHE we colored and colored and then later I cut and cut and when all was said and done we created this:


The idea originally stemmed from President Hinckley's B's but we put our own family twist on it so that it would encourage us to work on the things that our little family needs to work on right now.  Our "Bees" include:  Be Prayerful, Be Patient, Be Polite, Be Kind, Be Brave, Be Happy, Be Obedient and Be Clean. 

At FHE we talked about all of these things we were going to try to become and we set off to become better each and everyday.

Here is how it works:  We try to do things that will help us be more like the Bees we have chosen and make an effort to notice when we are doing them and at the end of the day we head to our chart for "Bee Time".  We even have a Bee Song that we sing each night before our bees start flying around on our chart.  And if you read THIS post from a while back this song will be familiar, it comes from a cheerleading chant from Saved By the Bell.  "B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B. B-B-B-B-B-B-B. It's Bee Time!" Repeated two times.  You gotta love it. 

After our ever so lovely song we notice what others in our little family did during the day to be more like one of the attributes we have selected.  For example, if we saw someone being really patient then the Patient Bee gets to fly to his next flower (each attribute has a certain color of flower and each flower is numbered).  When all of the bees have made it back to the hive we get to do something special as a family, because we are doing this TOGETHER.  We just received our first family reward last night when we went to Chuck E. Cheese (it took us a while to redeem it we are about to reach the end of another round).

As simple as it is, it has helped a ton.  When my son is doing something that doesn't match one of our bees, I will sometimes say, "Are you being like one of our bees?"  Or "what bee should you try to be like right now?"  Or sometimes I will be specific and say, "are you being kind?"  Occasionally I will simply make a buzzing sound at him as a little reminder.  Kind of silly but hey it works (some of the time :).

It has been amazing what an incentive it is to just simply get to move a bee or two each night.  Of course the family "prize" helps as well but it isn't an immediate reward.

So here we are buzzing along and Conference comes shortly after with this perfect gem from Elder Robbins "What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?".  It was perfect.  It helped to pull all of my thoughts together and to expand and teach me so much more.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I love the word "BECOME" so our Bee Chart and this talk about Being were right up my alley.  Here are a few tidbits I pulled out of this great talk:
  • To become as He is, we must also do the things He did: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21; emphasis added).
  • To be and to do are inseparable. As interdependent doctrines they reinforce and promote each other.
  • While He recognized the importance of do, the Savior identified be as a “weightier matter.”
  • Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s.
  • Because be begets do and is the motive behind do, teaching be will improve behavior more effectively than focusing on do will improve behavior.
I hope that we can do more to become better and be more by doing better.

Oh and if you are still wondering what the title is about.  Ever since we have started doing all of this Bee Business my son has asked for help in his prayers by saying, "Help us to be prayerful.  Help us to be kindFUL."  Too Cute.  Let us all BE CHANGEFUL!