Friday, August 31, 2012

Memorizing the Proclamation

The Family: A Proclamation to the World is an inspired document, and is scripture.  It was written by holy prophets for our day and time.  As the title is a proclamation about families for the whole world. This is a powerful and timeless.

About 5 years after it was given, my parents called all of their children and challenged us to memorize the Proclamation. They had just finished memorizing it themselves after being challenged by their Stake President in Stake Conference.  To the inspiration of hundreds, a thirteen-year old girl stood and quoted it in front of their whole stake.

There is something to memorizing ....  when we memorize--we internalize.

So I accepted my parents challenge and set off to memorize this inspired, but huge document.  I already knew it was true and powerful, but I didn't know it, like I came to know it through this memorizing journey.

And it was a journey...of the proclamation becoming apart of me. 
One paragraph at a time....I would would work on....
I carried a copy around where ever I was in the house.  If I was washing dishes, it sat in my window sill and I would memorize away while I washed and cleaned the kitchen. 
When I was vacuuming, I was chanting the verses out loud trying to instill them into my brain.
While I was running errands around town, I was going through the Proclamation...
While I was rocking babies to sleep, I had it in my hand reading and memorizing important phrases and and family principles...instilling them into me.
Within a few days, maybe it was a week, I had memorized The Family: a Proclamation to the World. 
It was now internalized! 

To read and print off The Family: A Proclamation to the World  {Click Here}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

POWER in the Word

I want to add my witness that scriptures have power to change lives.

"Prophets and apostles have assured us that as we face the trials of mortality, we can find strength, comfort, and peace in the gospel of Jesus Christ. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “I testify as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ … that the gospel is true, and that it offers the answers to all personal and collective challenges the children of God have on this earth today.”1
Our individual circumstances may vary, but we can each turn to a divine source of power—the scriptures. ” (2 Nephi 31:20)."  (Ensign August 2012, Finding Power in the Scriptures)


Many years ago, 18 to be exact, I was a young mother with 4 children under 4.  Two were toddlers, and two were newborn twins.  There is really only one word to describe my life back then...overwhelming! After all of my help left, (aka, my mom) getting through each day...was a hard challenge. When I wasn't feeding or changing a newborn baby, I was taking care of my oldest two daughters who were 3 and 2. 

Can you imagine how busy and crazy that was!  I look back now, with fond memories, yet wonder how I did it? The answer is, I didn't do it alone.  None of us do and the scriptures had everything to do with how I successfully managed motherhood then and now.

 Without  a regular pattern of prayer and scripture study  in my life, I wouldn't have the power, strength, and guidance to magnify the most important calling in my life:  Motherhood.

 I learned very quickly, that reading my scriptures and saying personal prayers wasn't something I could opt out of as a mother.  I needed  the power that comes from daily prayer and scripture study.  
The very day I opened up my scriptures, the Lord immediately blessed me .  {See Mosiah 2: 24}
How have the scriptures changed your life?

Other posts on the power of scriptures:
Must Read Talks on the power of scriptures:
The Power of Scripture- Elder Richard G. Scott, November 2011 Ensign
Finding Power in the Scriptures- August 2012 Ensign, pg 54

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Home-School Moms and Public-School Moms: We Are All Mothers

Today has been a very surreal kind of day!  The kids all went back to school.  I am happy about that and sad.  Before you get all excited, let me explain!

A couple of days ago I wrote a short, "tongue-in-cheek" kind of post about the kids going back to school and me, being oh, so ready for the business of summer to end.  I love change and I love a good schedule.

Completely unexpected, I received a comment from a home-school mom who was less than thrilled with my perspective.  She let me have it, and boy did she!  

I don't want to be misunderstood let me explain.

I feel there is some kind of "Us against Them" theme going on out there in the home-school vs. public-school mom world. Let me just say:  It doesn't have to be that way AT ALL.  This is not a competition.  We are all mothers, aspiring Mothers Who Know, I might add.  We are on the same team!

Whether you have chosen to home-school, use the public schools, go to a private school, or any other type of school...that is YOUR choice. I trust you.  I think we as mothers, only want to do what is best for the children that God has given us.  Each child has  a different plan.  You are their mother, and you will do what is best for your family situation.  If you follow what you feel is right, it will be the right choice.

I personally have chosen NOT to home-school.  That is not to say, that, that choice won't change in the future.  It could!  But, as for right now, we are a public school family.

With that being said, lets clear up some stereo-types about public school moms:

  • We love our children and love being around them.  We have not chosen public schools because we want "to get rid of" our children or don't enjoy their company.
  • Summer is not "an excuse" for us to be done with all  order and structure in our lives.  Our children still have to do work, and still have plenty of responsibilities.  We actually have two kinds of schedules: the summer schedule, and the school-year schedule. Motherhood still happens.
  • When the school year comes around, we are excited for the change in routine.  Our children are excited to see their friends, meet their new teachers, and start a new school year with all the excitement and hope of it being their best year yet. 
  • If we cry at seeing our children leave for school that first day, those are mixed tears.  They are tears of happiness and sadness at seeing our children growing up so fast.
  • Our children love going to public school with all that is has to offer.
  • We do not feel we are better or worse at mothering than home-schooling moms. There are as many different kinds of mothers out there as kinds of jelly-beans in a jar.
  • We are also Mothers Who Know, choosing what is best for our family. 
  Let's work together to get  rid of stereo-types on either side and just wrap our arms around one another to support each other in the hardest yet most rewarding calling we have. 

We are all mothers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Sacred Grove

The pure in heart have a distinctive way of looking at life.  Their attitudes and desires cause them to view their experiences in terms of eternity.  This eternal perspective affects their choices and priorities.  As they draw farther from worldliness they feel closer to our Father in Heaven and more able to be guided by His Spirit.   We call this state of mind, this quality of life, spirituality.  (Dallin H. Oaks, Pure in Heart, 111)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Jeffrey R. Holland: Lessons From Liberty Jail

Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail by Liz Lemon Swindle

"One of the most trying times in the history of the Church, both in terms of its impact on the Church generally and in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith personally, occurred during the winter of 1838–39. The Prophet, who bore the brunt of the persecution in that period, had been imprisoned in the ironically named Liberty Jail. Until his martyrdom five and a half years later, there was no more burdensome time in Joseph’s life than this cruel, illegal, and unjustified incarceration."
"In the Prophet Joseph’s letters, he spoke of the jail being a “hell, surrounded with demons … where we are compelled to hear nothing but blasphemous oaths, and witness a scene of blasphemy, and drunkenness and hypocrisy, and debaucheries of every description.”2 “We have … not blankets sufficient to keep us warm; and when we have a fire, we are obliged to have almost a constant smoke,” he said.3 “Our souls have been bowed down”4 and “my nerve trembles from long confinement,” Joseph wrote.5 “Pen, or tongue, or angels,” could not adequately describe “the malice of hell” that he suffered there.6 All of this occurred during what, by some accounts, was considered the coldest winter on record in the state of Missouri."

Ironically, Elder Holland  refers to the Liberty Jail as a temple

"Most of us, most of the time, speak of the facility at Liberty as a “jail” or a “prison”—and certainly it was that. But Elder Brigham H. Roberts (1857–1933) of the First Council of the Seventy, in recording the history of the Church, spoke of the facility as a temple, or, more accurately, a “prison-temple.”
"The speech and behavior of the guards and criminals who came there were anything but temple-like. In fact, the restricting brutality and injustice of this experience at Liberty would make it seem the very antithesis of the liberating, merciful spirit of our temples and the ordinances performed in them."

How then could something so horrible as the Liberty Jail experience be compared to a temple? 

I love this
' ... that you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in any situation you are in. Indeed, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced."
"In one way or another, great or small, dramatic or incidental, every one of us is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail—spiritually speaking. We will face things we do not want to face for reasons that may not be our fault. Indeed, we may face difficult circumstances for reasons that were absolutely right and proper, reasons that came because we were trying to keep the commandments of the Lord. We may face persecution, we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones, we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. Yes, before our lives are over we may all be given a little taste of what the prophets faced often in their lives."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trek: A GREAT GREAT Experience

For our ward youth conference this summer we went on Trek.

It was such a great experience that I would do it all over again!

Our main goal was to put our youth in sacred places.

You can see how we prepared from a previous post {Preparing for trek}

Day 1: Set up camp in Missionary Village 66 at Martins Cove:

I would highly suggest staying at Missionary Village over their other campsite for the following reasons:
  • Running water from a water spigot
  • Trees for shade
  • Nice portapotties
  • Missionaries close by
  • Field for Square dancing
  • You can bring campers in as well
  • Approximately 3 miles from Sun Ranch (Martins Cove area)

Before dinner, we  divided up into our trek families  and handed out hanker chiefs which were color-coded to each trek family.  We had fun playing some pioneer games for a while. The youth and adults loved the games!

After dinner we calmed down and focused in on a Bishop's youth fireside. Since our theme this year is Arise and Shine Forth, the Bishopric discussed  how we can Arise and Shine Forth in our day and how the pioneers "arose and shined forth "  in theirs.  Part of this fireside included the youth receiving journals that several of the leaders put together before hand. They had a nice leather cover laced up on the sides,  with our theme stamped on the outside.  This journal had several prompts for them to answer and some blank pages for them to record their thoughts.

Before bed, we divided up into our trek families for a closing family devotional where we all took turns sharing which ancestor or church history person we were representing on the trek with our families. 

Day 2: Independence Rock, Martin's Cove, and Square Dancing

  • The youth LOVED Independence Rock and we wished we had more time there!
  • We had a Morning-side on the rocks by our Young Mens President which we did some climbing to get to. 
  • Afterwards we let the youth climb around a bit which they could have done for a couple hours. Instead we only had about 30 minutes to enjoy that part.

  • Once we arrived at Sun Ranch (Martins Cove area) We grabbed our carts and went to an orientation put on my the missionaries. It was about 15 minutes long and was very touching. I would suggest including that in if you are planning a trek at Martin's Cove.  It was the beginning of the spiritual experiences for us. 
  • We went through the visitors center and then headed on the trail with our handcarts.  The trek from Sun Ranch to the cart pavilion is about 1 1/2 miles.  Not too far, and a good experience. 
  • You are then required to leave your carts behind as you walk into the cove itself. The cove is BLM land and they don't allow handcarts.  This for the most part is a silent walk that was very spiritual. 
  • After the walk through the cove we picked up our carts again and had lunch at the pavilion.  We were all so tired at this point!  The weather had cooperated so well for us, but we were still hot and exhausted.
  • When we had rested a bit, we gathered up our families and carts and continued our journey.  The youth were then able to experience the "River Crossing". This is a sacred site where the the rescuers of the Martin Handcart pioneers, teenagers and young adults ,  carried the pioneers across the river.  As we crossed the river, the water felt very good to us, but was a place where many pioneers who were already frozen could not cross.  Grown men collapsed and gave up.The young men stepped up to the plate and carried the Martin's Handcart pioneers across the icy frozen waters.
    The youth loved re-enacting this scene.
Our next challenge this day was "The Woman's Pull" .  This is a re-enactment of a  time when women were required to push their handcart without the help of the men due to mission calls, or death. The missionary couples there divide up your group boys/ girls.  The Elder missionary talks to the young men about honoring women and  the Sister missionary talks to the young women about honoring the priesthood.  The young men and male leaders walk to the top of the hill and cannot help or talk to the women at all.  They just have to watch.  This is a very emotional time for both sides as it is grueling for the women and emotional for the men to not be able to help.  The hill  that we pushed the handcarts up was steep with deep sand.  Our carts were not empty either, they had a 5 gallon water jug, a regular cooler, and in one case, a young woman as well.

Mine is the blue head in the back pushing

One of our young women had severe blisters on the back of both heels.  She had to ride in the cart and we had to pull her up the hill.  This made it very real.  This was our last cart and the hardest and slowest to push.  After we struggled on the steepest part for a while, going no where,  the other young women who had already made it up the hill ran down to help us. It was wonderful to see the young women rally together to help one another.

  • When we returned back to camp, we were all emotionally and physically exhausted!  We didn't tell our youth we had a dinner planned, although I think some could smell it! Instead, we gave them all a biscuit and told them that was their dinner that night.  They all ate their biscuit and said it was the best tasting biscuit they had ever eaten. 
  • We had a Pony Express momentas well  and handed out letters from home.  My husband and I were both surprised to get a letter from our missionary daughter! I think most of us had tears as we read our letters from home. 
  • We then ate our real dinner and the youth were very grateful and all said "Thank-You" to our camp cooks. 
After dinner we  mustered up the little courage and strength we had in us to go SQUARE-DANCING!  Woo-HOO!!  We were promenading and do-see-doing all over the place. 
Although we were tired, we had fun!

Day 3: Rocky Ridge and Rock Creek Cemetery

It was hard to top our day 2, but Rocky Ridge and Rock Creek Cemetery is what the youth are still talking about.
  • Rocky Ridge is the ridge that is rocky made famous by the Willie Handcart Company.  They crossed this ridge with already frozen bodies in blizzard conditions. It is also called the trail of blood as the footprints made by those without shoes. 
Rocky Ridge

When we started our hike we were already tired and some wondered if they could do it.  They were tired, had blisters, and physically didn't want to do anymore.  One of our youth sat down on the trail and started sobbing because she didnt' think she could go on.  Through prayers she was able to accomplish it.
Rocky Ridge is 15 miles long which we didn't do.  Instead, we hiked 3 miles up to the top ate our lunches, and 3 hiked three miles down. This was a perfect distance!  It was plenty challenging!

  • Rock Creek Hollow Cemetery was the HIGHLIGHT of our whole trek.  This was the last sacred site we wanted to bring our youth to. It was here that the Willie Handcart pioneers camped while waiting to be rescued.    They woke up in the morning with 13 dead.  Two men dug their grave burying the 13 in a circle.  After they had dug the grave and buried their dead, these two men died also.  Their graves are there in another spot at this campsite.

Scene from the movie 17 Miracles

When we arrived here we all just sat near the burial ground in silence. You could feel a special spirit there.   It was a very spiritual place.  We then let the youth just have some time to ponder, write in their journals, etc.  We were grateful to see the youth really partaking of this experience.  All the youth went off on their own.  Many of them talk about that time as their favorite moment of our whole trek.

We planned to conclude with a closing devotional and testimony meeting.  However, the Lord had other plans for us, and more for us to experience before we were done.  Up to this point, the weather had really worked in our favor.  It was hot, but not too hot, and a nice breeze would blow to cool us down.  It didn't rain except at night and it was mostly sprinkles. 

The place where we gathered for our devotional and testimony meeting was a good 1/4--1/2 mile away from our vehicles.  We had all been hot after hiking Rocky Ridge and no one had a jacket of any kind.

Without much warning the weather changed dramatically!  The temperature dropped 20-30 degrees and it started pouring rain, hail, with a bitter, sharp cross wind.  We canceled our meeting and headed to the vehicles. By this time we  were all 100% drenched and very cold. 

 The walk back to the cars was a long, miserable, freezing, humbling, memorable experience.  It was the first time we could really envision, even on a small scale, what it could have felt like for a second, to have been a handcart pioneer, frozen and having to walk in the weather with no escape from it.
It was a lesson we were supposed to learn before we went home.

Trek was a GREAT GREAT experience.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jennifer Lund: Family Proclamation Lessons

An excellent resource for teaching the Proclamation to your family, such as in Family Home Evening ...or to use in your church calllings.  I am thinking this would be GREAT for Young Womens!

Here is the link: 28 Family Proclamation Lessons

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In Answer to a Comment: Modesty and Pornography

From my last post Avoiding Degrading Media Influences: YW Lesson on Pornography I received a comment that I really wanted to respond to.  For some reason the comment was loaded all jumbeled-up so I could not comment easily.  So I thought this would be the best way to discuss this. Here is the comment:

"I really disagree with the idea of teaching young women that they "become pornography to young men if they dress immodestly".

Firstly, that is not the reason to dress modestly. We are taught to be modest for more than just covering our bodies: "Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:20; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19)."

While I understand the notion that men are "more visual", I reject the idea that they are unable to control themselves and will subsequently look upon a young woman who is dressed immodestly as if she was pornography. Do we not have agency? Are we not able to use that agency to look away, walk away, think of something else, etc?

It worries me that young women are being taught to be the safeguards of men's virtue, because as a by-product, what are the young men being taught? That if a woman is immodest, his reactions are inevitable, that it is her fault that he feels this way, and I fear it is the beginning of a slippery slope towards the attitude of "she asked for it, by wearing something like that". This completely absolves the man of his actions and lays blame on the woman for being female and attractive, regardless of what she is wearing.

Young men deserve more than that. They are surrounded by pornographic images, yes. We should encourage ALL of the youth to be modest, in every sense of the word. But when we encourage the girls to take on this responsibility entirely, we rob the young men of their power and ability to follow the promptings of the Spirit themselves, and make their own choices.

I think Elder Oak's talk about Pornography is a bit more clear than the sentence from the lesson: "And young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you."

Some of the men. Not all. Some men DO have problems. I completely agree with that. Statistically, nearly all men will have seen pornography by age 13 or something like that. (I don't know for sure) It is important for young women to be aware of this - that the men they will date and possibly marry could very possibly have a pornography addiction.

This problem is multi-faceted, and I worry that is being painted with too broad a brush."

-My Response-

First of all....I LOVE comments and appreciate knowing what everyone is thinking!  Thank-you for your comment!! 

Pornography is a really sensitive subject!  I think we all feel very strongly about it: which is a very good thing!

I realize I wasn't very clear in what I wrote : : Make sure the Young Women understand they become pornography to young men if they dress immodestly. Because that does sound like an absolute instead of a generalization.

Elder Oaks statement which you quoted : "And young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you."  Is a true principle. 

Our young women need to know and be taught that they have a powerful effect on the young men they associate with.  How they dress, act, and talk matters and sends a message. Some young women are completely clueless in understanding the buttons that a young man has.  They wear low cut, overly tight, and too short of clothes and don't understand what this does to them.  Some are innocent in this , some are not.  Those that are not, still don't fully get it.  I think if they did, they would be better.  It is my job as a mom and young womens leader to teach it.  I feel it needs to be taught in a way that they don't misunderstand truth.

It reminds me of an interview I had once with my Stake President prior to going on my mission.   He was the Vice President of the University of Arkansas at the time and interviewed, visited, and saw  many young women. Some, of coarse, were not dressed modestly at all  (no bra, for example)  As he would come across these young women, whether in walking across campus or in his office...he was going to for sure notice it!   But they do not have to look twice. In my mind I am thinking, "and he is a Stake President"  I realized then for the first time in my 20 year old mind:  Immodesty actually affects all males-even the super righteous, good ones. They may not all admit it, or tell us about it...but they do notice.

 Then he told me when he is in his office in an interview with a young woman...the door is always open.  IF for any reason that door should close, his secretary was to come into his office and hand him "something"-even a blank piece of paper- then leave the door open when she leaves. It was his rule to avoid even the appearance of evil.  That stuck with me and taught me how important it is for us females to dress modestly and cover up and to avoid even the appearance of evil. 

In no way do I believe that young men or men are sexual creatures that cannot be stopped or controlled and that we have to do all the work to keep them and us safe. Like you said, they have their free-agency, and have the Spirit to guide them and the power of the priesthood.   

The young men that I know and are friends with my daughters are GREAT young men who honor their priesthood and who have told our daughters several times, "thank-you for dressing modestly. We never have to worry when we are around you!"  They appreciate a young woman who is dressed modestly.  It enhances their attractiveness and they feel good around them.  On the other side..having a house-ful of teenage girls, I know that young women are especially attracted to righteous young men. They go all googely over a young man,  in a white shirt and tie and looking sharp as a righteous priesthood holder. It goes both ways.

When they dress modestly they are doing a great thing and don't even realize it!  The young men appreciate it and they all feel safe! Young Women have a very powerful effect on the young men!  More than they even know.

That is what I am trying to teach my daughters and the young women I have stewardship over right now in my ward calling. 

I didn't mention anything about the young men, because the post was just a rough outline of a young womens lesson, and it was to the young women specifically.

In answer to "what are the young men taught?"  I  think the young men are taught just what you mentioned: to look away, to not look twice, to honor their priesthood covenants, and to honor women.  I know they do get a lot of talks about pornography because it is a HUGE problem everywhere.   

Thank-you once again for your comment!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Avoiding Degrading Media Influences: YW Lesson on Pornography

In talking about pornography, I am reminded of Lot and his wife who were living in a city consumed by sexual sins.  I feel like we are living in a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah where we are surrounded by pornography.  We have become accustomed to it as it is our "norm".  But we must fight it and protect our families and loved ones so they are not consumed by it.

We need to teach our Young Women about pornography and how to fight it.
I chose to use the picture of Esther to symbolize the need for all of us to stand up against pornography.  Now is our time and we were all "called to the kingdom as such a time as this" to fight against this "avalanche of evil" we find ourselves in.

This is the time to be Mothers Who Know and Young Women Who Know.


 Young Womens Manual 1: Lesson # 33 : Avoiding Degrading Media Influences. 

This lesson was taught as a Joint Young Women lesson.  I used a few quotes and suggestions from the lesson manual and Elder Dallin H. talk {Pornography}  The following are excerpts from this talk.  It is a must read !

Object Lesson: Piece of rotten fruit with quote from Elder Oaks:

       Pornographic stories and pictures are erotic or worse than filthy or polluted food. The body has defenses to rid itself of unwholesome food. With a few fatal exceptions, bad food will only make you sick but do no permanent harm. In contrast, a person who feasts upon filthy stories or pornographic or erotic pictures and literature records them in this marvelous retrieval system we call a brain. The brain won’t vomit back filth. Once recorded, it will always remain subject to recall, flashing its perverted images across your mind and drawing you away from the wholesome things in life.”1

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Scriptures on pornography

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
“Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matt. 23:25–26; see also Alma 60:23).

Scripture Examples

Joseph resisting Potipher's Wife: Genesis 39
David and Bathsheba:  Though a spiritual giant in Israel, he allowed himself to look upon something he should not have viewed (see 2 Sam. 11). Tempted by what he saw, he violated two of the Ten Commandments, beginning with “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14). In this way a prophet-king fell from his exaltation (see D&C 132:39).
Lot and his wife- Not looking back: Genesis 19

Dangers of pornography-to name only a few:

The immediate spiritual consequences of such hypocrisy are devastating. Those who seek out and use pornography forfeit the power of their priesthood. The Lord declares: “When we undertake to cover our sins, … behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” (D&C 121:37).
1.       Patrons of pornography  lose the companionship of the Spirit. Pornography produces fantasies that destroy spirituality. “To be carnally minded is death”—spiritual death (Rom. 8:6; see also 2 Ne. 9:39).
-Make sure the Young Women understand they  become pornography to young men if they dress immodestly.

- Romance novels can be  pornography as well with it's pornographically explicit plots.

2.       The scriptures repeatedly teach that the Spirit of the Lord will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. When we worthily partake of the sacrament, we are promised that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us].” To qualify for that promise we covenant that we will “always remember him” (D&C 20:77). Those who seek out and use pornography for sexual stimulation obviously violate that covenant. They also violate a sacred covenant to refrain from unholy and impure practices.
Most people in trouble end up crying, 'What was I thinking?' Well, whatever they were thinking, they weren't thinking of Christ. Yet, as members of His Church, we pledge every Sunday of our lives to take upon ourselves His name and promise to 'always remember him' (D&C 20:77). So let us work a little harder at remembering Him." Jeffrey R. Holland, "Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul,"
3.       Pornography is addictive. It impairs decision-making capacities and it “hooks” its users, drawing them back obsessively for more and more. A man who had been addicted to pornography and to hard drugs wrote me this comparison: “In my eyes cocaine doesn’t hold a candle to this. I have done both. … Quitting even the hardest drugs was nothing compared to [trying to quit pornography]” (letter of Mar. 20, 2005).
4. It destroys relationships and every line of trust, confidence, and spirituality.  It is like Meths on our souls.
5. It creates a false sense of what is real and what love feels like.  It ruins marital intimacy.

Read-For the Strength of Youth :  Entertainment and the Media

What are your media standards?  Use these questions from the resource manual to have a discussion.
What are some indications that we are spending too much time watching TV, playing video games, texting on cell phones, using social media and the Internet, or using other forms of media?

How can you help your friends understand and respect your personal media standards?

All forms of media are tools. How can we use such tools to bless our lives and the lives of others? How can these tools be harmful or detrimental?

How have you used Church media sites, such as

How can we share the gospel using social media?

This section comes from my friend Jocelyn at We Talk of Christ We Rejoice in Christ
 Here is her post on {Teaching Teens to Avoid Pornography}

Handout with a magnet on the back

Print Virtue handout: {click here}
Jocelyn's Virtue Bookmark {click here}

Use V.I.R.T.U.E. to guard yourself against Porn:

a. V – Visit places where the Holy Ghost is strong (i.e. church, temple, scriptures, YW, mutual,, etc.) View material that invites the spirit and brings true happiness.
b. I – Be Informed about the people you date or spend time with. (Ask the tough questions.) Be Informed about the material you read, movies you watch, music you listen to. Read reviews from trusted online sources.
c. R – Respect yourself and others. Respect the covenants you have made and will make in the temple. Respect your future spouse and children. Respect other women by speaking against pornographic material in all of its forms.
d. T – Be True to your standards of dress and modesty. (What you wear speaks volumes about how you value your self-worth. Do not send mixed messages. Do not lower your standards for special occasions. Do not evoke inappropriate thoughts in the minds of others by dressing immodestly.)
e. U – Use the off button (much more often than you do!)
f. E – Be Modest with your Eyes and Ears. Turn away from sexually explicit material, jokes, commercials, and TV programs that spoon-feed you small amounts of pornographic material until you gain an appetite for it. Instead, do all that you can to “hunger and thirst after righteousness

 Handout collage on a large magnet board in YW! 

Did you know?

The target right now for pornography is young women.

In this month's New Era, there are 2 scenarios of young women who have been addicted to pornography! See {Questions and Answers}

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Young Women Clothing Exchange Activity

Last night was our 3rd Annual Clothing Exchange Night. This was a joint Young Womens activity.   The first one was our idea and the last two we have done per request from the mothers in our ward. 

There are many successful ways to organize this, here is how we did it:

  • Get your ward involved: A few months or weeks before the activity announce in Relief Society and Primary as well as Young Womens, that we need clothes for this activity.  Everyone can start going through their closets and saving it for us instead of sending it to Deseret Industries or having a garage sale.
  • Where to do it? The Young Womens room at church is big enough for this activity.
  • Use clothing racks to hang your clothing: This makes it really nice for the young women to find clothes they want instead of it being in a pile on a table or the floor.  We also used the church's long tables to fold up jeans according to sizes, display shoes, jewelry, and other random object people brought.  The wooden racks we used to hang t-shirts, pajama pants, etc.   We had about 4-5 metal clothing racks where we hung nicer shirts, dresses, skirts, and jackets.
  • Large mirrors are nice for the young women to see themselves.
  • Plastic shopping bags for them to put their clothes in.
  • All left over clothing goes to Deseret Industries.

This is an activity that everyone loves!  Young Women from all different backgrounds and tastes in clothing, find something to take home. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Does it Take to Be a Mother?

The little spec of humanity is our 6th daughter. 
I love this picture!  Our daughters, future mothers themselves,
 could hardly stand the joy of having a new sister.
 I love the Family Proclamation and all that it reaffirms, stands for, and the questions it answers! 

The world is saying one thing, and the Proclamation is there to testify what God says.

One of those truths that I love the most from the proclamation is this verse:

"The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."
What was the very first commandment God gave?  To have children!

Because we are now in the 21st Century, is there still a need to have children?  Yep there is!

The commandment to have children has never been rescinded, although you might hear different from those around you.

People put off or don't have children for a miriad of reasons:
  • We don't have enough money
  • Our car is too small
  • Our house is to small
  • I want to get my schooling done
  • etc...
 Having children is a faith based principle. 

We have been blessed with 8 children, and  it hasn't always been easy or all fun.  Having children is a commandment and there is a lot of sacrifice and faith involved everyday. My husband and I have spent a lot of time in prayer along the way in trying to live this commandment.  For us, it was having the faith to have children when we knew our bodies were fully capable of that happening.  For others, their faith might be on a different point.  Some bodies have so many complications or other family circumstances...their faith on this very delicate subject is different than mine.  It is so hard not to compare and judge from our perspective.  But let's not ever do that!  You never know what someone else is going through!

  Having a large family we have also  had our fair share of "comments" from those around us, as you can only imagine! Having eight daughters  is always a conversation piece, and we have learned to enjoy it.
When we were expecting our first daughter the comments were, "already???"  You haven't even been married a year! 

When we were expecting our second daughter the comments were, "how far apart are they??!! are going to have your hands full!" ( I could be a multi-millionaire for every time I have heard that phrase directed at me " have your hands full!"  Which I did and still do and am happy about it. )

When our twins were born, I did have my hands very full..literally! I think back to those days and wonder how I managed two newborns and two toddlers.   After church one Sunday an older lady came up to us and commented..."the Lord commanded us to multiply and replenish, but He didn't mean just YOU!"  In her defense, I am sure we were a circus show during Sacrament Meeting.

Many times others would ask us..."so you are done.... right??!"  Our come-back line was to tell them our youngest at that time was the middle child...we were only half way there!  That always made their eyes pop!

We chose to have eight children because I always wanted a large family.   Truth be told, I wanted to make sure I had all of our children here.  We thought we were "done" several times along the way only to find our we weren't  "all here"  Maybe some of you can relate to that impression and have also experienced tht feeling.   We weren't "trying for a boy"  (I could get rich off of that comment too!)  I was blessed and had no problem getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or being pregnant.  I loved the whole journey and love the place I am at right now.  

My heart goes out to all women who struggle to have children.  My heart aches for you.  I just want to put my arms around you and comfort you and let you know the Lord will make all things right with you. I know that doesn't cover your loss or pain, but I testify that it is true.

My heart also goes out to those mothers who struggle with wayward children. The Lord is aware of you and your children.  He will not forget you.

Being a woman and being a mother is not for wimps.  I look back on my journey so far and wonder from time to time HOW I managed and how I did it?  I am sure many of you have felt the same for your own circumstances.

 The answer is, we don't do it alone.  We can't!  Whether or not we can see or hear the help, it is there. 

What does it take to be a mother?  Willingness and faith.  Motherhood is a faith-based work