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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Having a Thankful Heart

Giving Thanks is More than just a Holiday:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homemade Fall Artwork

 My daughter in law, Sharon had this great idea to create some artwork for the walls in their home.

She purchased some blank canvases. 
 Armed with different colors of spray paint, sprayed them in a tie-dye fashion. 
 Of course, Jason being our artist, had to add more color. 
 After they dried, she added leaves to the painted canvases. Then she painted over the leaves and canvas with black spray paint. When she pulled up the leaves, the tie-dye color showed where the leaves were.
They turned out pretty cool and brought a touch of fall into her house. 

Love the finished pictures and the creative idea they had. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honoring Veteran's Day

This past month I've been watching all of the series of Army Wives on Netflix. 

It's strange how watching that show has brought me more respect for those who serve. When I don't have someone I actually know serving in the military, I don't think I ever really understood how hard it must be for the families as their soldiers fight for our freedom far away from them.

I've always understood the courage and sacrifice these brave women and men have and give. But really seeing it through the eyes of a TV show has brought a better understanding to me.

I'm thankful for their service. I am thankful that they protect those in need of freedom.

I have always been thankful to live in a free country, to enjoy the freedoms I have. I can't imagine living in a world where war is the normal and a woman has no freedom. 

Today, I honor all the Veterans who have served and who are currently serving this great nation. I pray for your safety and for those you protect and serve. 

It would be wonderful if one day our world is free from war, violence and evil. But, I suspect that day will never come, so I am grateful for those who protect us.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

General Conference Study: Elder Dube


Elder Dube talk was kind of a hard talk for me to listen to.

If you have been a reader of my blog, you probably know that I love to serve to the best of my ability in every calling I have been called to in my lifetime. I've served in the Young Women's presidency, been Primary President 2 times and have been in Primary presidencies several times. I've been a Cub Scout leader (Wolf, Bear and Webelos), I've been a Primary teacher, Primary chorister (my favorite calling), a Relief Society teacher which I've struggled with, and of course a Visiting Teacher. I've always love to serve.

Well...... until this year. I've REALLY, really struggled with being called to the nursery. I know that I tend to be a bit prideful and it has been hard for me to be put in the nursery.

One thing I never realized while serving in a Primary Presidency is how isolating serving in the nursery is. You are stuck in a room for 2 hours with no adult contact other then the other sister I've served with. There is no growing in the gospel. It has been a really hard calling for me and I've struggled.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've done a terrific job and I have served to the best of my ability. In fact the children love me and I love them. It's just hard to be isolated from everyone else.
I am single, live alone as my children are grown, I work alone and I'm alone (which is fine because I am kind of a loner anyway - but it's nice to interact with people on Sunday). With my calling in nursery, I've been alone at church for the past year. It's been a really hard year. On top of that, I've been "doctor sick" several times this past year and I NEVER get sick - but I have been and I am pretty sure it's from serving in the nursery. When I'm sick it effects my livelihood because I don't get sick days - I don't get paid if I don't work because I am self employed.

I also have had the feeling that the new Primary President that put me in the nursery (new to the ward and has no idea who I am) has intended to keep me in there for longer then a year because the nursery is being ran correctly and she has no worries there. However, I can't do it anymore. I've been sick for the past 3 weeks and I'm just tired of being there. I'm struggling. I've asked to be released which gives me such guilt because of feelings of failure in doing my duty and giving my service.

I'm just tired of serving right now. I just don't have much to give without strengthening myself spiritually or something. I need a break.

Then Elder Dube comes out with this talk and I feel double guilt. He said, "In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done or where we have been but much more where we are willing to go."
Being a member of this church does require a lot from their members. When we were baptized we made a covenant with the Lord "to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that we may be in. It's a lifelong commitment. 

The Lord, through his servants, call us to serve in various callings, which we accept with total commitment. When a release has been extended and a call in a different assignment has been issued, we joyfully accept it, knowing, as our forebearers knew, that "in the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how". 
We should be "anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of our own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness"

Elder Dube said, "We too can look ahead and believe. We can embrace the invitation of our Lord, who with stretched - open hands invites us;

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11: 28-30)

I know that we have to do more and President Monson has extended the invitation for us all to participate in the work of salvation. We are being asked to help with full-time missionaries as the work goes forward.

For me, right now it's hard not to look back at all I've done - but have a willingness to look forward and do more. It's a struggle that I am having right now - but am prayerful that I will overcome this and move forward with a happy and willing heart.

 "May we all unite in a common objective "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses1:39)

There is happiness in serving in the church, I've always loved it. I'm not perfect and I have my struggles too, but I am determined to overcome the challenges I'm having now and that I will have a willingness to move forward in the work. 

General Conference Study: Sister Stephens


I am aware of the LDS women who feel like they need to have the Priesthood to feel equal to LDS men. I am amazed at the protests they have waged against our leaders. It makes me sad.

I have a strong testimony of the "Plan of Salvation" or the "Plan of Happiness". I believe it and know that there is a purpose to this earthy life. What I don't understand with this protest is the fact that these women must not understand the plan.
Women bring souls into the world by carrying and giving birth to Heavenly Father's children and giving them a body. I feel privileged to have been given this trust and I love my womanhood and the part I have in the "Plan". Even though a man does have a part in creating the child, they don't go through the valley of death to bring them to earth. 

However, there HAS TO BE a role for the men with Heavenly Father's children too. They can't give birth. They need a part of the plan. Their part is to help them return back to Heavenly Father by having the authority to perform the needed ordinance on the path back to Heavenly Father.
I believe we each have part of the plan for Heavenly Father's children.

Why do these women want to have every part of the plan and not share this noble trust with our individual roles in the "Plan"? I feel it's very selfish that women want all the responsibility and are not willing to give the men something to do in part of this plan.  

These are my own beliefs and why I have NO problem with letting men have the role of being Priesthood holders. I have no desire to take this role away from them.
Sister Stephens referred to that section of the Proclamation on the Family that states, "All human beings, male and female, are created in the image of God". Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. To achieve this divine destiny, each son and daughter of God needs priesthood ordinances and covenants. 

We need baptism. We need the gift of the Holy Ghost. We need to receive the temple endowment. We need the sealing ordinance, which leads to eternal life, "the greatest of all the gifts of God. 
There exists today a great need for men and women to cultivate respect for each other as sons and daughters of God and reverence for our Father in Heaven and His priesthood - His power and authority.

HE has a plan for us, and when we exercise our faith and trust in HIS plan, our reverence for HIM and HIS priesthood power and authority will be strengthened.   
 Elder Ballard taught: "Our Father in Heaven is generous with HIS power. ALL MEN AND WOMEN have access to this power for help in our own lives. We all need each other. Sons of God needs daughters of God and daughters of God need sons of God. 
 We have different gifts and different strengths. First Corinthians chapter 12 emphasizes the need for sons and daughters of God, each one of us to fulfill our individual roles and responsibilities according to the Lord's plan, that all may benefit. 
Sons of God, do you know who you are? Do you know what you have? Are you worthy to exercise the priesthood and receive the power and blessings of the priesthood? Do you embrace your roles and responsibilities to strengthen homes as fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers, and uncles? Do you show respect for women, womanhood, and motherhood?

Daughters of God, do we know who we are? Do we know what we have? Are we worthy to receive the power and blessings of the priesthood? Do we receive the gifts given to us with gratitude, grace, and dignity? Do we embrace our roles and responsibilities to strengthen homes as mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts? Do we show respect for men, manhood, and fatherhood?

As covenant sons and daughters, do we have faith in our Heavenly Father and HIS eternal plan for us? Do we believe that we have divine nature and destiny?

General Conference Study - Elder Soares


Elder Soares spoke of the need to mirror ourselves after Jesus Christ. When we look into a mirror do we see Christ like attributes in ourselves? Are we trying to improve ourselves each day? I want to be someone who continues to be better, and kind, loving and good. 
 Regardless of popular misconceptions that being meek means being a wuss. "Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness."

The following are great quotes from Elder Soares talk:
 Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control. 
 President Lorenzo Snow taught, "It is our duty to try to be perfect, .... to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week; do things better today than we did them yesterday.
Another important step to becoming meek is learning how to control our temper. 
We live in a world full of pressure, controlling our temper may become one of the challenges in our live. At these moments and other difficult situations, we must learn to control our temper and convey our feelings with patience and gentle persuasion. 

Another step to attain meekness is to become humble. The humble are teachable, and have the ability to influence others to be the same. God's promise to the humble is that He will lead them by the hand. 

I truly believe that we will avoid detours and sadness in our lives as long as we walk hand in hand with the Lord. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Primary 5 Lesson 41

Primary 5 Manual
Lesson 41
The Saints Settle in Salt Lake Valley

Download Journal Page here:  (I'll put a better copy when I get more ink)

Sunday box
 

Primary 5 Lesson 40

Primary 5 Manual
Lesson 40
The First Pioneer Company Crosses the Plains




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