Friday, March 30, 2012

Proclamation Series: Come to the Mountain of the Lord-the holy temple






"Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally." The Family: A Proclamation to the World

This week on  Family Proclamation on Fridays I want to focus on the  importance of temples. 

 The ordinances we make and keep are sometimes referred to "saving" ordinances.  Why?  Because they will literally save us and enable us and our families to return to the presence of God. They are that important.

As Mothers Who Know, we know the importance of making and keeping covenants.
" Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. These mothers know they are going to sacrament meeting, where covenants are renewed. These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power." -Julie B. Beck, Mothers Who Know October 2007 Ensign
Our Young Women recite this in their theme every Sunday:
"We believe as we come to accept and act upon [these] values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation. 

If you want a powerful read, read Julie B. Beck's talk on the Doctrine of the Family 

She refers to the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement as the Theology of the Family.  The Creation of this earth, was the creation of an earth where a family could live.  The Fall provided a family.  Without the Fall, there would have been no family.  And the Atonement makes it possible for us to live after this life, with our Father in Heaven, as families......The Theology of the Family.  This is what it is all about.

Doctrine & Covenants 2 : temple blessings and covenants. 






1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of aElijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and bdreadful day of the Lord.






2 And ahe shall plant in the hearts of the children the bpromises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
3 If it were not so, the whole aearth would be utterly wasted at his coming.


September 21, 1823. Angel Moroni, the last prophet of the Book of Mormon appeared to Joseph Smith as a resurrected being. He came in light and he had a very important message from the Lord to Joseph Smith and to the world.

The message Moroni had was D&C 2  about preparing the world to receive the blessings of the temple. Three times during the same night and one more time the next morning, the angel Moroni delivered the exact same message to Joseph Smith.


This is the only scripture that is quoted in all four standard works. The promises of the children made to the fathers was that their hearts would turn to their fathers . Who are the fathers? Julie B. Beck said, “The fathers were Adam, Abraham,Isaac, Jacob, Noah—those ancient prophets who understood the doctrine of eternal families. The temple provides the saving ordinances and covenants of eternal life, without which “the whole earth [would be] utterly wasted.”

This message was so important, it was given to Joseph Smith BEFORE he received the plates, BEFORE the Book of Mormon was translated, BEFORE he received the priesthood, and BEFORE the church was organized. 

Moroni was the one to deliver the message AND he is delivering a message to us every day.
I love what Sister Elaine Dalton said in our YW General Conference last week,







"  I have a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Temple. Every day I see the angel Moroni standing atop the temple as a shining symbol of not only his faith but ours. I love Moroni because, in a very degenerate society, he remained pure and true. He is my hero. He stood alone. I feel somehow he stands atop the temple today, beckoning us to have courage, to remember who we are, and to be worthy to enter the holy temple—to “arise and shine forth,”1 to stand above the worldly clamor, and to, as Isaiah prophesied, “Come … to the mountain of the Lord”2—the holy temple.
See other posts on temples {CLICK HERE} 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What is Easter?

Monday for our FHE activity Jamee wanted to decorate the house for Easter.  If you know me, you probably still wouldn't know about the Easter-bunny scrooge side of my personality.   I have very few Easter-bunny-type decorations. I can pass on all of it.

 I have two cute rabbit/bunny home decor things that I pull out before Easter to get in the spirit.  I know I need to have more fun with it, but I have a hard time with it each year.  I just don't see the point of it all. My husband grew up with lots and lots of Easter traditions, I didn't,  so as a family we are kind of split when it comes to celebrating this holiday. 


Last year the stores really over-stocked themselves with Easter junk, so I did end up buying a whole bunch of Easter-clearance. 

As Jamee and I were trying to find something Easter-ish to decorate with, I ran into my stash of Easter clearance that I had saved.  In there was about 5 boxes of egg coloring kits. Among those,  there was a cute Monster egg coloring kit.  My two youngest ones were so excited to dye eggs that we had to do it before school yesterday.  Ashley wanted to take one to show her teacher REALLY bad, which of coarse I  discouraged.  I had to explain to her at least 3 times how eggs can't be out of the fridge all day.

Anyway, so let me tell you of my Easter issues.  I know I am not normal this way, but it is just kind of the way I am.  I really didn't grow up with Easter bunny anything.

Our "Easter" tradition was dying eggs, which we would do Easter morning. We would even dye the shelled boiled egg, making a very colorful tray of deviled eggs. I love this tradition that was kind of unique to our family. 

As a kid, our Easter celebration was vastly different  than that of my elementary school friends, most of them not overly religious. For them, it was another Christmas. Literally.  Their Easter was like my Christmas. They always got several outfits, toys, trinkets, and lots and lots of candy.

The talk at school was always, 'so...what did you get for Easter?' -which was a conversation that made me feel very awkward. I was a nervous child, and so I had great anxiety wondering HOW I was going to answer that question to my friends.  The thought of saying,  "ummm....we don't celebrate Easter at my house"  OR " ...........I didn't get anything" was  a scarey thought for a 6th grader who wanted to fit in!

At that age, I was beginning to connect the dots that Easter and Christ's resurrection went together, but what did all the commercialized celebration have to do with it?

I aked myself many times,  "so what IS Easter" Is it what my friends at school think it is, is it dying eggs, or is it something else? I really didn't have a concrete answer in my heart of what this holiday really was all about. 

I can  still remember walking into our church on Easter morning.  I was maybe 11.  There in the foyer  was a very large picture of the resurrected Savior.
I paused at it, and had a moment of reflecting-pondering,
as much as an 11 year-old can.  I remember distinctly feeling,
 "This is Easter"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spinning Plates and the Atonement

Sometimes I feel like a magic plate spinner
 Each one of the labeled plates above could also have its own set of spinning plates.
Many days I feel like I am running from plate to plate trying to keep them all spinning, spinning, spinning so that they don't fall. 

Do you ever feel like that?
 Elder Bednar  wrote this amazing talk that I needed today.  I opened up my new Ensign and there it was: The Atonement, and the Journey of Mortality

This talk is basically the same message as In the Strength of the Lord which is on my Must Reads list.

I even wrote a blog post about it {CLICK HERE}

What I am touched by this time as I read it, is how we need the Atonement so much in EVERYTHING! 

"The enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity."-Elder Bednar


The enabling power of grace is a must have in my life. 

I need it.

I need Him.

  I am so grateful for the Atonement. 

I know He lives. 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Proclamation Series: The Theme of my Home

What does the decor of your home say about you? What do you want people to know about you when they walk in your home?  What is your style?  Your colors? Your theme?

THEME??? Ya, what's your theme?! 


Several years ago I had that same question.  We moved into our brand new home that we had just finished building and I was tired of all of my old home decor.  I wanted a new up-dated look.  The problem was that I didn't know what that up-dated look or style was.

So..I asked a lady in my neighborhood who has a REALLY nice put-together home for some advice. She said:
  • Pick some colors that you like and try to incorporate those into each room [me:  check..I love maroon, sage green, ivory, browns, etc]
  • Pick your style [me: that is my problem I don't know what my "style" is.  I just know what my style is  NOT...all of my old decorations]
  • What is the "THEME" of your home?  [me: theme???  We are supposed to have a theme?  How about "we live here"...I didn't really say that to her] Like, for example the theme of my home is "Tuscan Italian"  [me: Tuscan...WHO?] 
Needless to say I left that conversation not any better off than it started except I felt like I didn't have something that Everyone else had: A THEME




So I am here to tell you, four years later, I have figured out the theme of my home!  It is:
THE FAMILY PROCLAMATION
















Thursday, March 22, 2012

General Conference Food Traditions

General Conference at our house is a 2nd holiday next to Christmas. {see previous post} 

Our food traditions are a big part of what makes it a special family weekend.
 I prepare food that is easy, self-service oriented, and tastey-good! 
 
Here are our Food Loves  during conference time:





 
Cinnamon Rolls
Download recipe {here}



Eggs and Ham Overnight
(Breakfast Casserole)
Download recipe {here}



Chicken Parmesan Salad Sandwiches
Download recipe {here}







*quick story:  The Eggs and Ham overnight we actually call "Mostly Eggs Mostly Potatoes"  My sister-in-law Wendy served these after her son's baptism years ago when my two oldest, Amber & Kelsey were very young.  Amber hates eggs and Kelsey hates potatoes.  At the brunch, they both came up to me secretly and said, "Mom do I like this?"  To Amber, who hates eggs I said, "yes, it is mostly potatoes." To Kelsey who hates potatoes I said, "yes, it is mostly eggs."  They were both completely content and relieved with those answers and ate it happily. 

ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

General Conference Traditions


I grew up in Missouri, Minnesota, and Arkansas and General Conference was a little different experience back then and out there than it is now. 

Let me take you back!  I remember ONE time while living in Northern Minnesota, that my parents drove out to Utah to attend General Conference.  They farmed all of us kids out to ward members and I got to stay with the Browns.  They were rich, lived in this super fancy cool modernized log cabin and they had a satellite dish.  So... we got to watch the Sunday morning session of General Conference.  I can still see the baby blue color of all the choir dresses.

That was a treat.  Usually we would go to the church just on Sunday morning and LISTEN to conference over a radio system while we sat in hard metal chairs in our Sunday clothes.  That was in the days of President Kimball.  I really don't have any conference memories from that era and we definitely didn't have any conference traditions, besides of coarse going to the church to listen to conference.

Back then, that was a pretty neat thing to be able to go to our local meeting house and be able to HEAR to words of our prophet.  Wow!  Have times changed!

Now I live in Utah and am blessed to be able to watch conference at home.  I don't know if it is a Utah thing or just the way things have evolved...but we have all sorts of General Conference traditions and rituals now.  These are things we kind of SAVE  up to do only during conference weekend.

First of all,  we Love General Conference at our house.  Even our youngest ones really look forward to it.  And we have a food traditions and other rituals we always do. We have to.  It is pretty much set in stone with our kids.

To help our youngest ones enjoy conference we pull out bingo cards and candy. I know some of you might be against this much entertainment or bribery for conference.  We fully support it.  With the bingo cards it keeps them listening for key words.  Although they basically don't get it, they are beginning to get it as they listen.  It works for us.  We also print off General Conference Activity packets for them as well.  It is basically a LDS based Conference color book.  Here are a few for  you to download. 

Sunbeam and Nursery age Conference Packet
Junior Primary Conference Packets/w Bingo Cards
 Senior Primary Conference Packets/w Bingo Cards
All links from {this site}

Sugardoodle.org Conference Ideas {Here}
JennyPhillips.com Sr. Primary Conference Ideas {Here}
Deseret Book Conference Packet w/Bingo Cards {Here}
LDS. org Conference Activities w/ Bingo cards {Here}


I also used the conference packets for Stake Conference last week for our youngest ones. That worked great! I wondered why I had never thought of that before! 

My older kids have journals which we encourage them to write in for conference. One, it keeps their hands busy and they listen more, and  two, they actually write in their journals.  For YW General Conference I told my girls to all grab their journal before we left.  I was amazed that all of them took 5-10 pages of notes!  Even my cute little 12 year old who has been a Beehive for one month.

ENJOY!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Standing as Witnesses

 

What does it look like to stand as witnesses?





It looks like this ...  a group of  young women  pausing to offer a prayer before running in a High School Cross-country race, not  worrying what it may look like, or what others might think.  Instead, they turn to the Lord to recieve the strength and faith to run their best race,  knowing in whom they trust, that He will be with them in this race just as He is  in their individual lives.

 and  this...


Our High School Homecoming dance fell on the same weekend as General Conference.

What- to- do?


Should the young men just "skip" the priesthood session of conference for the homecoming date???

Not with this group of youth!

They just simplified their date.

The Young Women insisted that their dates attend the priesthood session of conference first. They arranged for them to go to the stake center closest to our house. All the girls in the group got ready at one house so after priesthood session, the young men could pick up everyone at the same place and save time.

While the young men were being instructed my prophets and apostles, the young women were getting all beautiful for the dance.

and it looks like this...

Melinda Smith Photography

After last General Conference when Elder Bednar gave {this talk} about the youth doing family history, this 17 year old decided to try it out.  She not only tried it out, but has fallen in love with it. 

Since October conference, (6 months ago), she has researched, and found hundreds and hundreds of her ancestor's family names. She has prepared all of the names to recieve their temple ordinance.  She has had the joy of going to the temple and participating in baptisms for the dead.  She has also coordinated and arranged for the other temple ordinances  to be done by family members as well as members of her ward. 

She loves to work in the Family History library and says she feels strengthened by her ancestors.  She knows they are with her encouraging her to keep going.


This, is what it means and looks like

to stand as witnesses!


The True Source: Jesus Christ



{Source}

Today during Stake Conference, President White, our 2nd counselor in our Stake Presidency,was sharing 2 Nephi 25:26 in his talk:

 "And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins."
 My mind kind of stopped on the reference  of "source" and how Jesus Christ is our source for a remission of our sins and everything else.


 Then in my mind's eye I saw a photo from one of my blog posts with the word "SOURCE" underneath to identify where that picture originated from and who it's true author was. See the example above.

Out of my own curiosity I looked up the synonyms for "source" to help me understand more about how Jesus Christ is our true source .  I was amazed at how much meaning and depth it brought to the scripture by just understanding all the different meanings of that word.  I didn't know it meant so many things.

These were some that I found: author, authorship, begetter,expert, fount, father, informant, parent, specialist, starting point, wellspring...

Each one of those words applies to Christ and who He is and can be in our lives, if we look to Him.

I am a very visual learner, so I put together some pictures to help illustrate how the Savior is our true source. [Make sure you click on source.]


For a remission of our sins
Source


In our faith growing and being sustained
source

In Prayer
source

In being directed and guided,
He is our light
source


 In our joy
source

In our marriages
source


In our Families
source

In the food we eat and depend on daily
source

In the beauty of His creations
source



In our daily spiritual feasting of the scriptures
source



In the saving ordinances and covenants
 available in Holy Temples that will allow us
 to return to live with Him again someday

source

Friday, March 16, 2012

Proclamation Pillows

This idea came from Shannon @ theredheadedhostess.com

Our focus in Young Women's this year is
The Family Proclamation. 

We are working on memorizing it and trying to implement it all year into our Sunday lessons as well as our weekday activities.

We did this as a Laurel activity and it was a big hit.  The girls all loved this!  It had been on our calendar for a long time and there was much anticipation leading up to it. 

This activity as a Young Womens' activity was a little more on the pricey side, but  "worth it". Due to the high importance of The Proclamation and looking for creative and different ways to teach it, this became a  "Must Do" in my eyes .  We just had to get a little creative with how to fund it...

We asked the girls to bring their own material and pillow.  One pillow only takes about 1/2 yard of fabric, so that is very affordable.  The form pillows were priced around $8-$10 at our Walmart.If I was just making this for myself, I might spend the money for that.  But, that was more than I personally wanted to spend on materials for a young women project, if I didn't have to.  I also have  twin daughters in Laurels, so I was looking at this from a leader perspective as well as a mom  perspective.

 Guess what?  I didn't have to buy the form pillows!  This is what we did:

We bought the cheapest of the cheap bed pillows. I found some for $2.50. We then cut the pillows in half.  That makes each half $1.25!  Very affordable and you can't tell difference once it is in the pillow.

Some girls brought old couch pillows and just used that for their pillow.


After the girls have written their Proclamation phrases...sew 3 edges together with right side together.  Clip the corners as shown in the picture
Make sure after you flip it with the right sides out, that you poke your corners out really good.

Pin the top edge, then hand sew it. 


Proclamation Pillows done! 

Proclamation Series: The Divine Plan of Happiness


"In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally "

Two years ago my aunt died. She was in her mid 70s, had cancer, and went rather quickly. I loved her dearly! She is one of my mother's sisters and was a second mother to me in life. She was one of the soft places I had to land. She always loved me with the sweetest purest love. When she died, I was heart-broken. Out of the clear blue sky, announced, I would burst into heart-broken tears over her death. Just yesterday I heard Whitney Houston's song "I Will Always Love You" and the tears came right back.

But I do feel peace, knowing she is on the other side. She still lives. I have felt her presence with me from time to time. It is comforting to know that someone who knows me and loves me is on the other side, not too far away, watching over me.

I know that through the blessing of the temple, families can be together eternally. Death does not have to separate families.
I had an interesting visit with a new friend.  She began to tell me of her conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not your typical conversion story:

"She and her husband both moved to the same town from different locations, in their high school years. Neither one of them were members of the church at that time, although they had friends who were LDS.  They dated each other in high school, then  were later married in a Baptist church.  They weren't Baptist, but had a friend who was, so that is where they were married.  Shortly after they were married they had the feelings of wanting to start going to a church of some kind, but they weren't sure where or which one. 
Another friend of theirs (who was LDS ) had an infant son who died suddenly of SIDS.   She wanted so badly to comfort her friend in this devastating loss, but did not know how. She was at a loss of what to say or how to comfort her. This baby's death effected her and her husband deeply.  They were groping to understand the "whys" as much as anyone.  They attended the funeral and were deeply touched by the message of hope and the Spirit that was felt there.   The funeral was the turning point in their conversion.  They received the missionaries who taught them the gospel and they were baptized.  "
That was probably 20 years ago or so, and they think of that infant boy who died of SIDS as their first missionary.  Without his death, they feel they wouldn't have been introduced to the gospel.  They revere him in that his purpose and mission on this earth was partly for them to find the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  This tragedy of loss in this families life, gave the light of the gospel in the other.

That story touched me  deeply. As members of the church we have the faith and assurance that this family who lost their son, will see him again.  They are still a family and their family relationship can "be perpetuated after death"

For more information on how we can live as families and with God again, {click here}

To read The Family: A Proclamation to the World {click here}



Thursday, March 15, 2012

From One Mom to Another


Last night  I was helping one of my daughters with this canning jar.

This comes in handy once a month at our house with cramps and pains.


Sometimes it is the only thing that soothes.

A friend of mine told me about this a few years ago, and we have been using it every since.

It is a life-saver.

Directions:
  • After you fill the jar with water, heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes. 
  • Screw the lid on tightly
  • Wrap a thin towel around the outside so it doesn't burn your skin.
  • Place the jar on your lower belly area
The combination of the heat and the heavy weight soothes in a way that nothing else can.

Packets of Light: YW activity

source

I love it when there is a General Conference talk that makes a great Sunday lesson AND a good weekday Young Women's activity.  Elder Richard G. Scott's talk from October 2011 conference is just that talk.  See {The Power of Scripture}


For our activity we used this super cute idea for value crayons from  Kristen at Inkablinka.com: Value Crayons

We also bought our girls these pocket-size Book of Mormons.  They were $4 a piece.  That was a little pricey for one activity since we have 10 Laurels, but so worth it!  This is something we wanted to sink in deep.

We then made a list to be glued in the inside of their Book of Mormon.  This is a list taken from Elder Scott's talk and converted to be qualities of a best friend-how the scriptures can be their best friend.  {Click here} to download the glue-in list or create your own. 

I then spent some time looking up a couple of scriptures under each of those categories that they could mark in their scriptures.  {Click here} for that list or create your own.  My girls complained that the scriptures were not in chronological order on the page.  So that is my disclaimer!  I was in a hurry when I did it.

I just really really loved this activity.  It had such a great purpose.  I recommend it!

Packets of Light: YW Lesson

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recording and Remembering

On Sunday, I taught a lesson on Personal Records.  
This is a lesson that worked really well with the Laurels as most of them enjoy keeping a journal.

I love this quote from President Spencer W. Kimball:
"Keep a journal, the angels may quote from it"

I am an avid journal writer myself and have kept a personal journal since I was 9 years old. 

It has been really therapeutic to write and without it I would have lost many key experiences and memories that would have been long-time forgotten.

Think about it!  The only reason we have The Book of Mormon is because a record was kept.

Recently I have accumulated more journals and more things to keep a record of:

Daughter Journals

Scripture Journals
a must see{theredheadedhostess.com}

How Have I Notice the Lord's Hand in My Life Today- Journal
That is a really long title and maybe I should call it a Blessing Journal, but I wanted to put that whole title in there because it is so much more than just blessings.  Check out this Mormon Message from President Eyrings talk {O Remember, Remember}

Monday, March 12, 2012

Faith as an Anchor

A must read talk {Faith an Anchor to the Soul} by Brad and Wendee Wilcox
In Ether 12:4 we read: “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for
a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith,
maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast,
always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”

Friday, March 9, 2012

Proclamation Series: Righteous Traditions of Faith

Establishing Righteous Traditions of Faith

How do we instill within our children FAITH?

How do we teach the principles in The Family Proclamation?

How can we BECOME a family of FAITH? 

Becoming a family of faith starts with establishing righteous traditions of FAITH within our family.

Definition of tra·di·tion/trəˈdiSHən/







  1. The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
  2. A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way.

The Family: A proclamation to the World talks about doctrines and principles of strong families -principles that become traditions of faith as we live them.

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. "

As we live the principles in the family proclamation, we are creating righteous traditions of faith in our families.  Traditions that will be passed on from one generation to the next, creating a strong link of faith.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Putting on the Whole Armor of God/FHE

We gathered together with some friends to have Family Home Evening.  There were 3 different families with 18 people in all.

Before FHE, we ate some delicious food:Pork Barbecoa Salad.  {the recipe}

For the lesson we talked about putting on the whole armor of God.  This was a great lesson taught by one of the fathers.  It was so applicable to all the different ages we had together last night.  The first graders could really get into the swords and the armor and the  seminary age kids could really bring the application into their lives right now.


Lesson: 

What is going to happen when we put these oranges into the water?

 Are they going to sink or are they going to float?

[the younger kids will probably answer SINK, because an orange looks heavy enough to sink in water]




But, instead....the oranges FLOAT because they have their ARMOR on

What happens when you peel the oranges?

Without their ARMOR on, they sink! We can compare these oranges to us and how important it is to put on our full armor everyday.


Here is on oldie but goodie seminary video from the 80's: 
 "Putting on the Armor of God" and symbolically what can happen if we take off our armor even for a minute.

[Side note: not to take away from the message...but did you notice a couple old traditions that we have since done away with in the church?]

Scripture: Ephesians 6: 11-17

11 Put on the whole aarmour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we awrestle not bagainst cflesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the drulers of the edarkness of this world, against spiritual fwickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins agirt about with btruth, and having on the cbreastplate of drighteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of apeace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of afaith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery bdarts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of asalvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
We identified and discussed
  • What each part of the armor represented spiritually
  • The fiery darts around us
  • What we can each do to put on our armor of God
  • How to be and stay prepared


We especially like the symbolism of the sword representing the Spirit and how the spirit and the sword both can pierce our souls.  One of the Seminary students remembered talking about this in seminary last week and she looked up this scripture:

Alma 31:5

5 And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.
 

Family Proclamation Application:

"the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life."

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them..."
"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." 
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 extra reading.....Putting on the Armor of God, Ensign January 2001--here are a few thoughts from this article:
“Each of us, no matter who we are, no matter where we serve, must arise and make the most of each opportunity that comes. We must follow the counsel given by the Lord and His servants and make our homes houses of prayer and havens of security and safety. We can and must deepen our faith by increasing our obedience and sacrifice” (“Rejoice, Daughters of Zion,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 94).
Sometimes it may seem difficult to rise above the world to that level of righteousness. But as we strive to “take unto [ourselves] the whole armour of God,” we will “be able to withstand in the evil day” (Eph. 6:13).

How to Put on the Armor of God

President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), First Counselor in the First Presidency, observed that “those who are clothed in such armor, which means keeping all the commandments of God, are able to withstand the adversary.”
He continued: “Are we studying the scriptures so that we can increase our knowledge and faith and testimony regarding the gospel? … Are we honest and truthful in our dealings? Do we keep the Sabbath day holy? Do we observe the Word of Wisdom? Do we pay an honest tithing? … Are we virtuous and clean and pure in heart and mind and deed?
“Do we fight against the evils around us … ? Do we have the courage to stand up for our convictions? Can we truly say we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Do we live peaceably with our neighbors and avoid gossip and backbiting and spreading unfounded rumors? Do we truly love our neighbors as ourselves?
“If we can answer yes to these questions, then we will have on the whole armor of God, which will protect us from harm and preserve us from our enemies” (“‘Put on the Whole Armor of God,’” Ensign, May 1979, 44, 46).

Daily Spiritual Renewal

"Lucile Johnson of the Timpanogos Park First Ward, Orem Utah North Stake, now in her 80s, learned early in life to don her spiritual “armor” at the beginning of each day. She remembers “arising early in the morning, before my husband and children were up. I found that kneeling in the stillness of my living room, I could begin pleading with our Father for my needs for that day. This brought me great peace, and I learned that He was my helper and protector. Then I would open my scriptures and partake of their inspiration and guidance. Each morning, before I began whatever I had to do—alone, with little children or teenagers, or with my husband in the military and off to war—I knew I would be equal to it."
“That is why I believe in taking the time in the quiet of the early morning hours to study and pray. You will begin your day with a renewing of your spirit. Then you will be truly ready for whatever might come that day.”