Saturday, December 29, 2012

Temples Are Not Castles

"If this isn't your castle, then you're not my prince"
Temples are dedicated holy houses of God where we make sacred covenants and ordinances, we are promised blessings,  and prepare to  return to the presence of God.
Castles are just old majestic buildings. 
Let's make sure our children don't mistake the two. 

This quote above has become very cliche', passed around,  and even  written about in books.  I am not sure who started it or where it came from.  I don't mean any offense, because I am sure my own daughters have said it or quoted it as well. I completely understand the thought and idea behind it:  young women are making a clear statement to the young men, that they will not not settle for anything less than a temple marriage. This is wonderful, commendable, and what we as parents dream about for our children.  In a great generality, yes, the goal and focus of our whole lives and the purpose of our life here on earth, is to go to the temple  to be sealed together as families.

But the temple is not a castle.

It is much much more!

Our youth need to understand this, and we need to teach them.

They need to be taught the importance of all the ordinances in the temple and that these are binding eternal covenants that they will work on their our whole lives keeping.

Marriage in one of God's holy temples is not about going to a pretty temple, dressing up as a princess for a day, taking pretty pictures, and living happily ever after.

Temple marriage is not about the ambiance of the temple itself.  It is what goes on inside the temple walls that matter. Inside the temple, sacred covenants and ordinances that bind families and couples together forever are made.

The temple is a sacred holy place. We go to the temple for the first time to receive our temple endowment. This usually happens prior to a mission  or a marriage.
 The endowment is a word which means “gift” or “bestowal.” As part of this ordinance, we are taught about the purpose of life, the mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. We gain a glimpse of what it will be like to live in His presence as we feel the peaceful atmosphere of the temple. [ What happens in temples]

After we have received our own endowment, we can be sealed as couples, or as families for time and all eternity, when the time is right in our lives.

Another temple ordinance is the sealing ordinance, in which husbands and wives are sealed to each other and children are sealed to their parents in eternal families. This means that if we are faithful to our covenants, our family relationships will continue for eternity. People sometimes also refer to this ordinance as “temple marriage” or “eternal marriage.” [ What happens in temples]

We return to the temple often  to do work for the deceased.  In many ways it is comparable to our baptism and the Sacrament we take each Sunday as a reminder of the covenants we made at baptism. Each Sunday when we partake of the Sacrament, we remember our baptismal covenant, and covenant once again to keep them.

 Likewise, frequent visits to the temple after our endowment or marriage, reminds us of the ordinances and covenants we made with the Lord and our spouses. 

Sheri Dew in her book, God Wants a Powerful People, she said, "the Lord doesn't just want people who have gone, to the temple. He wants people who GO to the temple" I love that!

We also go to the temple to  worship the Savior. It is a place of deep reverence, quiet, inspiration, revelation.   It is one of those sacred and holy places and occasions mentioned in a previous post
Those who attend the temple go to a dressing room to change from their street clothes into white clothing. This change of clothing serves as a reminder that visitors are temporarily leaving the world behind and entering a holy place. White clothing symbolizes purity, and the fact that all are dressed alike in the temple creates a sense of unity and equality.[ Inside the temple]

On our temple schedule card for our local temple,  Doctrine and Covenants section 109: 23, 24 is quoted.  Section 109 is the dedicatory prayer given at the Kirtland Temple.  Verses 23 and 24 are good ones to memorize. 

D and C 109:
21 And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in thy house.

[the blessings]

22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
I also love the promises given in the following verses to those who attend the temple:
24 We ask thee, Holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship, and honorably hold a name and standing in this thy house, to all generations and for eternity;
  • That no weapon formed against them shall prosper [think of all the different kinds of "weapons that can form against us in life]
  • That no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people
  • thou wilt fight for thy people as thou didst in the day of battle, that they may be delivered from the hands of all their enemies.
Going to the temple is about our personal worship and personal conversion.  It is part of the process of putting oil in our lamps, so that when the Savior does return, we may be ready.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012


the front view
Each Christmas my dad, who has amazing talents with wood and wood saws, creates something wonderful for all of us kids.

This year all of us who are married, received these cute giraffes with the quote:
"You are never too old for necking"
the back view
Thanks Dad.  I love it!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Seeking Jesus

For many years before Christ’s birth man anxiously awaited the  prophecies that He would come. Then came that night of nights when the angel of the Lord came upon shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock, and the pronouncement, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

The shepherd were personally invited to search for Jesus. Did they wait or procrastinate their search for Jesus? The record affirms that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem. … And they came with haste” (Luke 2:15–16).

Wise men also seeking Jesus journeyed from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. …

“And when … they saw the young child with Mary his mother, [they] fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:2, 10–11).

Moroni said,

“And … I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written” (Ether 12:38, 41).

The message from the Savior has always been the same “Come Follow me”

President Monson has said,

How do we follow Jesus if first, we don’t find him?
 And how shall we find him if first we don’t seek him?
Where and how should we begin this search for Jesus?"

"The formula for finding Jesus has always been and ever will be the same—the earnest and sincere prayer of a humble and pure heart. The prophet Jeremiah counseled, “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13)."

"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."
"Many a lovely home provides rooms for eating, rooms for sleeping, rooms for family gatherings and activities, but no room for Christ."
Is our conscience pricked as we recall his own words: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). Or does it cause us embarrassment to 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."

"As we undertake our personal search for Jesus, aided and guided by the principle of prayer, it is fundamental that we have a clear concept of him whom we seek. The shepherds of old sought Jesus the child. But we seek Jesus the Christ, our older brother, our mediator with the Father, our Redeemer, the Author of our salvation; he who was in the beginning with the Father; he who took upon himself the sins of the world and so willingly died that we might forever live. This is the Jesus whom we seek."

 Excerpts from an article The Search for Jesus, [President Monson, Liahona June 1991]

Friday, December 21, 2012

Being Happy

Do you ever find yourself feeling down or depressed during the happiest time of the year?

How Can We Feel the Happiness and Joy all year long?

  • Write down blessings

Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Seventy recommends that "If right now, or at any time in your life, you are feeling down, discouraged, depressed, for whatever reason...take a sheet of blank paper and write on it at random those things for which you are most grateful. Write whatever comes to your mind. 
Then after writing your list, on another sheet of paper put those blessings in order and priority.Doing this will remind you of how blessed you are  and give you a reason to smile.
  • Live in thanksgiving daily

Elder Joseph Wirthlin said, "If we only look around us, there are a thousand reasons for us not to be happy, and we sometimes blame our unhappiness on the things we lack in life.  It doesn't take any talent at all to find them.  The problem is, the more we focus on the things we don't have, the unhappier and more resentful we become.
You cannot predict a persons happiness by money, fame, or power.  Those who live in thanksgiving daily are usually among the world's happiest people.  And they make others happy as well."
  • Trust in God

Sister Colleen K. Menlove said, "The Story of our search for happiness is written in such a way that if we continue to trust in God and follow His commandments through the challenging times, even those times will bring us closer to the happiness we are seeking. 
 The Savior said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Happiness is...

  • Knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Knowing and feeling the pure love of Christ
  • Knowing that forgiveness for our sins and mistakes is possible and that through the Atonement of the Savior, hope and joy are possible
  • Living in thanksgiving daily for our blessings 
And if nothing else remember this...

There is a string connected from your heart to your mouth, when you smile your heart automatically  turns up and feels happier.  Try it!

Holiday Sugar Cookies

image source
Besides making Crunchy Yummy Toffee all month, we have also made Sugar Cookies all month for different occasions.

This recipe is my sister-in-laws, and really the best sugar cookies I have ever had.  They are soft and literally melt in your mouth they are so good.
Hope you like them!

Holiday Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 1/2 cups flour

Bake at 350 for 7 minutes
Crumb together the butter and sugar, then add the remaining ingredients. 
Mix well until the dough is no longer overly sticky

The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator. 
You can just put it in the fridge in the same bowl,
or you could put it in some plastic wrap

After the dough had chilled, roll and  cut into shapes

  bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.
  Do not over bake

Here is what you will need...
This is a real vague recipe. 
I don't measure, I have made this so much,
but this is what it is approximately;

1 cup shortening
1/2 bag (or so) powdered sugar
1 tsp butter flavoring (optional, but really good)
1 tsp vanilla
food coloring if desired

I have found the secret to perfect frosting is the whipping of it.
 I let it whip in the mixer for a few minutes.  It gets nice and fluffy.

 Then, frost your cookies.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crunchy Yummy Toffee

image source

We have been on a toffee making roll all month long.  I seriously think we have made it about 4 or 5 times just this month.  It is so good, and I think we are all addicted!  We have had a lot of people ask for the recipe, so we take that as a sign that it is good stuff and so we just keep making it for one reason or another.

Here's the recipe:

English Toffee

Prep: cover a large cookie sheet with tinfoil and butter it

4 sticks of butter -melted on a low heat

1/2 cup water

2 1/2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup white corn syrup

Combine the ingredients and bring to a boil-stirring the WHOLE time. Boil and stir, boil and stir, boil and stir, stir, stir until it turns the color of a brown paper lunch bag or 285 degrees.

Pour the hot toffee into a large cookie sheet that you have covered with tinfoil.  Let the toffee cool for 5 minutes then sprinkle chocolate chips on top.    Once it has melted, spread it around.   Last top it off with some finely chopped nuts.

 Put it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate.

When it is done, break into pieces. 

Sooo good!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What Shall We Give?

How About Mercy?

In the past few weeks I have come to see and feel mercy.
Mercy is one of those words associated with the Savior and His Atonement.
It is about feeling His love in our lives through blessings, prayers answered, forgiveness, repentance. 
Mercy is the greatest, most loving gift someone may give you or you may give to someone else.
It is showing an outpouring of love and/or forgiveness when justice or a punishment was expected.
OR...showing compassion to someone who is hurting.
Mercy may feel undeserving.  How is this possible? or Why me?

When the Savior or someone else shows mercy for us, we may feel we don't deserve it.


What is mercy?

  • Every blessing we receive is an act of mercy.
  • We are recipients of divine mercy when Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.
  • When we receive guidance from the Holy Ghost mercy is being shown to us
  • We receive mercy when we are healed from sickness through priesthood power
  • Mercy is given to us when justice or punishment was deserved or expected.
Although many such blessings come as results of our obedience, we could never receive them through our efforts alone. They are merciful gifts from a loving and compassionate Father.                                                                                                   [True to the Faith]

other thoughts on mercy...

Mercy is like a judge finding you guilty, but then withholding any punishment. Grace is getting something you could never have imagined. An inexplicable gift.

Mercy is not simply the withholding of punishment, but an act of mercy is giving help or compassion on someone afflicted.

When we have mercy, we are the most like Christ we will ever be.  Mercy is His specialty.  When we choose to be merciful, we are like the Savior. 

Speaking to His disciples, the Savior commanded: “Be ye . . . merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). We can follow our Heavenly Father's example of mercy in our relationships with others. We can strive to rid our life of arrogance, pride, and conceit. We can seek ways to be compassionate, respectful, forgiving, gentle, and patient, even when we are aware of others' shortcomings.   [True to the Faith]
Talks on mercy:
Scriptures on mercy:
Luke 10:25-37
Alma 34:14-16


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sacred Places and Occasions


For those who may not be aware, there is a plan by a Mormon feminist group to demonstrate their quest for equality within the Church by asking ALL LDS women to wear pants to Church this Sunday. They no longer want to conform to a "Church culture" of wearing dresses or skirts to Church.  They feel the Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance and our wardrobe for church shouldn't matter so much.

I have read their account from their website, have read many of the comments, and have read several blog posts from others on this subject.

This is a very sensitive subject that ignites a lot of feelings and opinions. This is a group that being very feminist and liberal in their feelings, have chosen to demonstrate during Sacrament Meeting, our most sacred meeting, and on a week just days before we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

I personally don't feel there is a serious issue about a woman wearing pants to Church. From time to time women do, and it has never been a problem. Some women are converts, or investigators, are going or coming from a job, or don't have a skirt.  We are impressed they are with us and will take them in pants, skirts, or a dress. That is their Sunday best.

To them I say: COME, come to Church in your best clothes whatever they may be, and worship our Savior.

I have many feelings and opinions about this demonstration.  However, I personally don't feel this is about skirts and pants, although that is what they are complaining about and demonstrating up-front.  Wearing a nice pant suit or wearing a nice skirt or dress is a personal choice and wouldn't necessarily be associated with such drama and bitter contentious feelings.  There is something deeper to this.  This is against more than just clothes.

I found this talk by Elder D. Todd Chrisofferson, A Sense of the Sacred given at a 2004 CES fireside. This explains perfectly what I am feeling and what I would say. I am going to refer to his third point specifically:

Sacred Places and Occasions

"Let’s now consider for a moment the matter of sacred places and events. Speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord criticized Israel’s priests for failing to teach respect for the sacred nature of certain activities and places:
“Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:26).

Much of what the Lord was talking about had to do with the temple. There is also reference to the Sabbath. We are used to thinking of our temples and meetinghouses, as dedicated to the Lord, as sacred space. On each temple building are found, as a sober reminder, the words Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord. A sense of the sacred should lead us to act and speak with reverence in and around these buildings. It would lead us to dress a certain way when we are there.

We spoke of immodest dress as dishonoring the body, God’s most sacred creation. I speak now of immodest, casual, or slovenly dress and grooming that in particular times and places mocks the sacredness of what is taking place or of the place itself.

Let me give you an example. A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace.

Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops.

One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward.

It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. Years ago my ward in Tennessee used a high school for church services on Sundays while our chapel, which had been damaged by a tornado, was being repaired. A congregation of another faith used the same high school for their worship services while their new chapel was being constructed.

I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place.

The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best.

It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt.

But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing.

Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most.
You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.

These principles apply as well to activities and events that are themselves sacred or are related to things that deserve reverence—priesthood ordinances, for example: baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, administration of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, blessings of the sick, and so forth. The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that in the ordinances of the priesthood “the power of godliness is manifest” (D&C 84:20).

Alma says that “these ordinances were given . . . that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord” (Alma 13:16).

I appreciate both those who perform these ordinances and those who witness or receive them when they show respect for the priesthood and the sacred nature of what is occurring.

I appreciate priests, teachers, and deacons who wear dress shirts and ties to officiate in the administration of the sacrament.

I appreciate men who put on a shirt and tie, when the circumstances permit, to bless the sick. I appreciate those who attend the ordination of a man to a priesthood office who dress in their Sunday best no matter what day or where the ordination takes place. They are all demonstrating an appreciation and respect for God and for the event. They are demonstrating a sense of the sacred.

Just as it is sacred when a life comes into being, so it is a sacred time when mortal life comes to an end. And I believe the same is true with respect to the most important act that can occur in life—marriage, especially eternal marriage. For this reason it is disconcerting to see how people are becoming careless, even irreverent and disrespectful, in speech, dress, and conduct when they participate in events related to death and marriage.

Some funeral services become occasions for lightmindedness and inappropriate humor. Personal remembrances, quite appropriate in moderation, can occupy an hour or two while the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord and His plan of salvation receive only a passing mention, if any.

Occasionally at weddings and often at wedding receptions, people arrive in very casual clothing. It is as if they cannot be bothered to clean up from their work or recreation of that day. By their dress they are saying that the marriage they have been invited to honor is of little significance.

Recently I read a note from a man who was urging his companions to wear a coat and tie when they appeared together at a public event honoring their organization and what it had accomplished. Their service was civic, not religious in nature, and we would not term it sacred, but he understood the principle that some things deserve respect and that our manner of dress is a part of that expression. He said he was going to dress more formally “not because I’m important, but because this occasion is so important.” His comment states an important truth. It is really not about us. Acting and dressing in a way to honor sacred events and places is about God."
[Elder D. Todd Christofferson, A Sense of the Sacred]

These are the words of a current Apostle who we sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator. I sustain what he says and will follow the counsel of all the priesthood leaders.  I love being a woman and a mother. I respect the priestood and to know we are led by power and divine inspiration.  Most importantly I love the Savior. Coming to church each Sunday in my Sunday best is the least I can do to honor and respect the Savior and His Holy Sacrament. It is the highlight of my week.

 Women Who Know and Mothers Who Know stand in holy places at all times.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Kirtland: A Sacred Place

I will admit, I had sort of negative or blah attitude toward the old Kirtland. A place I had never been and  wasn't sure it was going to be that exciting. 
What did I know about Kirtland??  Really very little!
I knew the Church had a lot of financial trouble there, a lot of apostasy happened, and the great majestic Kirtland Temple was built by a lot of sacrifice and faith.  But all seemed dead in a way.

That is kind of what I thought....BEFORE...we went there. 

That is not what I feel or think NOW.
I found out...
Kirtland - was one of the most spiritual times and place since the resurrection of Christ and the early days of the ancient Church
 Not only was it a place a hardship for the early saints, but it was a time and place for great spiritual manifestations which included several visitations of the Father and the Son as well as many other heavenly messengers. 

 Many "felt the power and felt the glory" of our Savior's visitations, [knew He was in the room with them], but did not see Him.
 One of the principles that separates the LDS faith from other religions is the belief in a living God.
"We believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost" [Article of Faith 1]
"These three beings make up the Godhead. They preside over this world and all other creations of our Father in Heaven.
The true doctrine of the Godhead was lost in the apostasy that followed the Savior's mortal ministry and the deaths of His Apostles. This doctrine began to be restored when 14-year-old Joseph Smith received his First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17). From the Prophet's account of the First Vision and from his other teachings, we know that the members of the Godhead are three separate beings. The Father and the Son have tangible bodies of flesh and bones, and the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit (see D and C 130:22). [ True to the Faith ]
Zebedee Coltrin related that  while in the school of the Prophets, he saw the Savior, following which he saw God the Father:
"He was surrounded as with a flame of fire, which was so brilliant that I could not  discover anything else but his person. I saw His hands, His legs, His feet, His eyes, nose, mouth, head and body in the shape and form of a perfect man...This appearance was so grand and overwhelming that is seemed I should melt down in His presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones." [Salt Lake School of the Prophets, pg. 54] 
This was really not an isolated event. During the Kirtland era, the heavens were very open much like they were open to the early Apostles after the resurrection of the Savior.  The Kirtland Saints:
  • Saw visions
  • The gift of tongues fell on many
  • Saw the angels of heaven
  • Were blessed with visitations from angelic beings
  • Saw a heavenly messenger who Joseph Smith identified as the Apostle Peter
  • Heard heavenly music coming from the roof of the temple at the dedication
  • Saw angels hovering over the temple at night, others saw them in broad daylight
  • The Savior, Moses, Elias, Elijah accepting the temple
  • And much much more

I am in love with this building. Isnt' she a beauty!!

On our tour we were able to spend 2 wonderful hours in the Kirtland Temple in the early morning hours. Although this temple is owned by another religion, it is still a holy hallowed place, one of the most sacred places on earth.   We really felt that while we were there.
Our whole Church History Tour was....the best, and most amazing, and most spiritual week I have felt. I can't adequately put into words what was felt and experienced. I came away with a strong witness that it is true. All of it.

 [sources: History of Joseph Smith, Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants by Susan Easton Black, Karl Anderson books: Joseph Smith's Kirtland, and The Savior in Kirtland - Personal Accounts of Divine Manifestation] Karl Anderson was our tour guide in Kirtland and spoke to us for 2 days while we were there. He was AMAZING!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Managing Motherhood after Young Women

I am on my third week of being released as Young Women President, and I am just now beginning to feel
that I can do this.

I am finally feeling comfortable with my free-time. I  am relaxing, and enjoying being the kind of mother I didn't have time to be before!
The kids and I are really enjoying having "me" back.   

What have I done?

I have been cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning my house.  I have never cleaned dust like I have this past week.  I didn't know dust grew in some of these places. 
I have cooked...A LOT! 
Just Sunday, I woke up and made German Pancakes for my family, 2 different kinds of syrups, cupcakes, homemade frosting, a full-fledged Sunday meal, and three pies.
I am now thinking of tackling my photos and sorting my recipes.
I now have TIME to do these things!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Marriage and The First Great Commandment

With the one you love

I am on a tangent.
 I wrote about marriage in a previous post after hearing some very sad news of a family I never thought would ever break-up.  In my heart, I am hoping the problems they are having are just a "pause" in their lives and they will beable to fix their problems and come back together where they belong.
I am hoping.
This has caused me to look deep at my own marriage and my own choices.
Every tragic family break-up can be traced back to small choices. 
Choices made after giving in or letting go for a small moment. 
They let their thoughts go in a direction they had no place going. 
And they fed them and fed them and fed them, until a choice was made.
 They lost focus of  what is important and stepped  off the road temporarily
of where they needed to be.
How do we stay focused on having a convenant strong marriage,  and making sure divorce or infidelity doesn't happen in our family?  To our marriage, and to our children? 
  Sometimes we have no control of it happening.
For you who are experienceing this right now, or have, my heart goes out to you!  Truly!  
 I can't think of anything more gut-wrenching  or painful to go through.
If our marriages are good, everything is good in the world.  Simple, but  true!
Marriage is ordained of God, and it can be the source of our greatest joy and greatest happiness in life.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a great great talk this past conference.
This is a talk that is so amazing and so powerful, you really need to LISTEN to Elder Holland give it.  The way he says it is so much better than just reading the words on paper.
He makes so many points that are worth reading, studying, is on my must do list this week: "

I loved this part of the talk:
Jesus said to His senior Apostle, “Peter, do you love me more than you love all this?” Peter said, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”

The Savior responds to that reply but continues to look into the eyes of His disciple and says again, “Peter, do you love me?” Undoubtedly confused a bit by the repetition of the question, the great fisherman answers a second time, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.”
The Savior again gives a brief response, but with relentless scrutiny He asks for the third time, “Peter, do- you- love- ME?” By now surely Peter is feeling truly uncomfortable. Perhaps there is in his heart the memory of only a few days earlier when he had been asked another question three times and he had answered equally emphatically—but in the negative. Or perhaps he began to wonder if he misunderstood the Master Teacher’s question. Or perhaps he was searching his heart, seeking honest confirmation of the answer he had given so readily, almost automatically. Whatever his feelings, Peter said for the third time, “Lord, … thou knowest that I love thee.”
To which Jesus responded (and here again I acknowledge my nonscriptural elaboration), perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation 
Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach  my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do.
Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world.  
So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”
Do we love the Lord? 
"Do- you- love- ME"
Are we willing to give up all our weakness, addictions, hobbies that take us from Him,
 and whatever it may be where He is and to follow Him?
 "Do you love me more than you love all this?"
Elder Holland continues:
"God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”

And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments."

My list:  
* Listen to Elder Hollands talk: read it, study it and ponder it.


Marriage IS Ordained of God

Another word for ordained would be commanded
It is a commandment of God to work on our marriages, be good to each other, forgive one another's weaknesses, look for the good in our spouses, to not be selfish ,
and to LOVE one another.
This week, I heard of yet another marriage break up. It has left me feeling hurt inside for this family: the  couple and their children.  This family was on the "least-likely-to-ever-in-a-million years-ever- get-a-divorce-or-even-come-close-to-it" list.  It has left me with so many questions...
HOW did it come to this?
WHAT could have possibly  happened...
that divorce was the solution?
Do we live in such a disposable society that even our marriages [even temple marriages] are replaceable?
We get sick of our hairstyles...we change them.
We get sick of our clothes...we replace them.
We want more current or matching furniture...We go buy new.
We re-paint, re-buy, take back, do many things.
Is that what so many think about their marriages? 
Are our marriages disposable??
I have NO idea whatsoever about the circumstances in any of the  situations. Some I know more than I may want to.  But no matter what, it is HEART BREAKING, and DEVASTATING!
"Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but eternal joys as well. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations” Spencer W. Kimball
The most important choice we make in this life, is WHO we marry. Once we have made that choice, we need to do ALL we can to make it work.

 Choose our love and love our choice....for ever.

And make choices our entire lives that will reflect that desire to be together as a family and couple FOREVER.
Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4:
1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood[meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase. 

·         Is your temple marriage important to you?

·       How committed are you to staying married and being true to your covenants?