Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Path Foward: Repent Every Day


After that wonderful General Conference, in which we've been asked to "Do Better & Be Better," to "Repent every day," and to do the spiritual work necessary to know God lives and that this is His church, it's the perfect time to turn our minds to the Savior and really reflect on what He has done for us and on what role we want His sacrifice to play in our lives.

Will the Atonement of Jesus Christ be an afterthought?  Something that we think of once a week as we take the Sacrament?  Or will we start today to make a goal to repent of something EVERY DAY?

I realized as I was talking about President Nelson's admonishment to repent every day, that if we aren't doing this (which up until now, I really have not) then perhaps this is one major way that we are taking the Sacrament in vain...taking His name in vain.  It will take great humility and personal committment, but I'm willing to try.  And I believe that doing this one thing, at least in my life, will make a big difference.

It's interesting how at peace I feel after this General Conference.  It all seems doable.  I mean, I understand I have my own personal work to do and that it will be work, however, the gentleness and charity that I believe our leaders displayed in their tone and delivery of their talks, just distills so peacefully on my soul.  I think in many ways we were rebuked, but it was done with such love, that I definitely see a clear path forward...and it's now up to me to take it, and to try my best every day...and repent and use the Atonement to help myself improve when I do mess up.

It seems so simple.  It seems so right.

+++

Ok, as you know, we've done a lot of fun Easter Activies in our family over the years...(most of them linked here.)

This year, we're trying out a simple, new one, thanks to long-time blog friend Dana Cockrum, who is the creative mind behind an online shop called Home Centered.


Now, as you know, I very rarely promote anything that's a business, like almost never, however Dana has been around a long time supporting my blog, and I really do love the sign (pictured above) which will lead our family through the events of Christ's life during the week leading up to the Atonement and serve as a constant reminder of WHY we are doing what we do each day!

Here are a few things to know:

1. The Easter Countdown sign comes in black or white background.  As you can see it's a really nice size and very well-made.  Like, I was surprised at how pleased I was with the size, and my husband, who usually doesn't love me getting "decor" really loves the simple design and the icons.  And he actually thanked me for getting this for our family. Ha!

2. It comes with a few scripture readings to do as a family each day which will help you focus on Christ during this special week (and the scriptures are on the back of the sign so you won't lose them!)  In addition to the readings, I anticipate that my children will enjoy moving the small wreath each day.

I'm so excited to use this because a) it's beautiful and b) it's just SO simple, and simple is what I need in my life right now.  

3. So, if you're interested, order yours today, and use the online code "HEISRISEN" when you order to receive 20% off.  

4.  Please, order by Tuesday, April 9 to receive it in time for Easter week!  

You can view all of her stuff at Home Centered and follow her on Facebook by clicking here.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!  I'm going to be taking a look at my General Conference questions and sharing what I learned in an upcoming post...


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Sunday, March 31, 2019

General Conference - Oct 2018 - a Review




With General Conference upon us once again, I decided to sit down and look at my notes from last General Conference's talks and write out the gist of what each Apostle spoke about for my own review purposes.

I'm sharing it hear to help anyone who wants a quick review of the talks going in to the next General Conference this upcoming weekend.  Here are some notes/points to refresh us.  If any part of my notes spark your interest and you want to learn more, click on the link of the talk that I have included next to each name below:


Pres. Nelson:  "The Correct Name of the Church"


-Use the correct name of the church...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


-When we discard the Savior's name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us--even His Atonement.

-If we allow nicknames to be used or adopt or even sponsor those nicknames ourselves, He is offended.

-For much of the world, the Lord's Church is presently disguised as the "Mormon Church."  But we as members of the Lord's Church know who stands at its head; Jesus Christ Himself....We are not Mormon's disciples. We are the Lord's disciples.



Pres. Eyring: "Try, Try, Try"


-Life is not meant to be easy, but a loving God who allowed these tests of mortality has also designed a sure way to pass through them.


-You are entitled, through your worthiness, to receive REVELATION.  Through Faith & Prayer you can qualify to speak in the sacred name of God.  There are many nearby right now who are waiting for our help.  The spirit will tell each of us who they are.


Pres. Oaks: "Truth and the Plan"


-Choose sources carefully (especially when trying to learn about spiritual matters).


-Spiritual truth is obtained by study and by faith.


-As members of Christ's church, the Plan of Happiness requires us to: honor agency, be missionaries, support marriage between a man and a woman, oppose abortion, oppose changing genders, etc, to bear children with joy, to contend for the best conditions for children.


-Opposition is PART OF THE PLAN.  The work goes forward despite constant opposition.


Pres. Ballard: "The Vision of the Redemption of the Dead"


-We can be comforted as we study what happens after death.


Holland: "The Ministry of Reconciliation"


-Re: MINISTERING - Don't wait for many more instructions.  Just jump in and swim.  Head to those in need.  If we seek the Holy Ghost to guide us, we cannot fail.


Uchtdorf: "Believe, Love, Do"


-We overcome "Weltzchmerz" (discontent with life and the world) when we "believe, love, do".


-Ministering takes on so many forms, including: missionary work, temple work, living the poor/needy, inviting others back to full participation in church, extending grace to our fellow imperfect saints.


Bednar: "Gather Together in One All Things In Christ"


-The gospel is not a "checklist" but a way of drawing closer to the Lord, Jesus Christ...This is the purpose of everything in the Gospel.


Cook: "
Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father, and the Lord, Jesus Christ"

-The new curriculum can create a deep and lasting conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and help parents make their homes a place of joy & happiness and a center of gospel learning.


Christofferson: "Firm and Steadfast in the Faith of Christ"


-The Gospel must become the defining FOCUS of our LIVES & Character

- OUR GOAL: a conversion so complete that it cannot be undone
-We do not need to wonder about what is true - personal revelation through the Holy Ghost is available to each of us. 
-No one can ever take away a witness borne to your heart and mind.

Andersen: "Wounded"


-Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

-The healer of our souls, in His time, and in His way, will heal all your wounds.

Rasband: "Be Not Troubled"


-FEAR IS NOT NEW/How to dispell fear:

1. Follow/Stand with the Prophet
2. Love Christ/His Gospel
3. Seek the constant influence of the Holy Ghost
4. Stand in Holy places (temple, church, home)
5. Be engaged in His work/Set aside worldly influences
6. Trust in the Lord/Love what He loves (temple ordinances, etc.)
7. Seek revelation
8. Trust His promises

Stevenson: "Shepherding Souls"


-Who is a shepherd?

-Every man, woman & child.  No calling is required.
-From the moment we immerge from the waters of baptism, we are commissioned to this work.

Renlund: "Choose You This Day"


-Our Heavenly Father's goal is not to have His children DO what is right; it is to have His children CHOOSE TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT & ultimately become like Him.


-Obedience is not blind.


Definitions:

1. sin: choosing to get off the path
2. punishment: consequences of our choice which result in decreased blessings and decreased joy
3. repentance: choosing to get back on the path via Christ's Atonement
4. forgiveness: once we get back on the path, it is like we never were off (paid for by Christ)

-This process is HOW we ENDURE to the END.


Gong: "Our Campfire of Faith"


-Remembering the dawn/campfire of our faith *(or what kindled our faith in the first place) can bring joy, encourage us to minister to others in new, creative ways, help us to seek to love the Lord and others, help us establish patterns of righteous living, and remind us to seek perfection through Christ, not worldly perfection.


Soares: "One in Christ"


-When we are ONE, we are as strong as the Amazon river. 

-We can and should do much better in welcoming new friends into the Church.


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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

For the Strength of My Youth


You might remember that last year we spent a number of weeks in family home evening studying the different topics addressed in For the Strength of Youth (which is a guide for standards that youth and all of us should follow to remain spiritually strong & happy!)

One of the things that came out of our discussions is the idea that my children need to let their friends know what their standards are, and that they need to start gathering friends around them NOW who want to live good standards as well, because in the coming years a lot of kids will start to decide how they want to live.  So now is a good time to start building friendships with those who want to support them in righteous living and vice versa.

We realized that as parents we need to actively help them form those friendships and practice keeping the standards in our home with their friends before they have to do it on their own out in the world. (We also need to do this because we just recently moved here and they need opportunities to keep solidifying friendships outside of school!)

To that end we started having "game nights" where they invite their friends over to socialize in our home.  As parents we give them something fun to do and something to eat and then give them space from us and the responsibility to be good hosts and hostesses and uphold our family's standards.

The first time few times we did it, the kids mostly played games.  Another game night we had was so silly and fun and ended with kids doing back flips in my living room!  I really thought, this was so delightful...and a new experience for me, as a parent of tweens.

So, last week, I wanted to have another fun evening for my kids and their friends, but wanted to do something other than a game night...so we decided to have an art night, and it was a huge success.

My kids weren't too excited to paint on canvases because we had just recently done that, so I got the idea from my Art Camp Teacher sister to make "wearable art".  We used the art of Tiff Manuell as our inspiration to make clutches.  Using some canvas material that I already had on hand, the girls painted directly on the canvas material.  When it dried, we sewed them into little clutches or pencil cases.

It's really neat to connect with friends who are so kind and good and to see these girls (and boys) building each other up in friendship and making good choices together.  I could see that these friends had just as much by way of kindness, thoughtfulness, and tenderness to share with my children as I thought we had to share with them.  That is a blessing!

I will be looking for more fun ideas to do on "game night" in the future, so if you have any suggestions, leave me a comment, please!  Thanks!










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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Remember When It Was Warm Outside




Time passes so quickly.  I have been trying to be careful not to let moments to have fun with my children pass me by.  I am also *trying* to get more physically fit so I can keep up with my two little boys who are getting more and more active and capable by the minute.

The other week, we had 65+ degree weather for a few days in January!!  I dropped everything and took the boys outside to explore the woods near our home.  Coy (age 1) looked at me like, "Mom's letting me out of the house!"  He took off walking and didn't stop.

It was really fun because this was Coy and Val's first time exploring outside together in earnest.  Previously, in the Fall, Coy wasn't yet able to walk, so they couldn't really interact.  


They sure made the most of our day together!






...as did Honor!

And the next day we were back to regular winter temperatures!





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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Seek, Feel, Act, Know




Is there a formula that leads to testimony? 

I've been thinking a lot about this as I prepared for my talk on the topic of "receiving in faith." 

I believe there is a basic pathway. 

First we seek for truth, then we feel it is right, then we must act in faith on that principle, and THEN comes the witness of that truth, the evidence or the testimony. 

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they need to know first, but in my experience knowing and understanding fully comes last. 

It comes after seeking, feeling, and acting in faith...acting being the key. Another mistake we can sometimes make when trying to build a testimony is trying to understand things only academically or logically and not giving room for our feelings or spiritual promptings to teach us.   Other ways we trip up is placing caveats or time limits on the step of "act in faith".

What do you guys think? Is my theory correct? Have you experienced this yourself? 

It's definitely been taught to us in scripture and by living prophets, but how diligently do we put this into practice? 

I'm going to try harder to actively do this in my life and to teach my children to do this for themselves! 

I hope you're having a great day! 

And no I didn't get to give my talk because we got snowed it but we talked about it on Sunday for #ComeFollowMe.
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Thursday, January 31, 2019

What you do in the morning could shape your whole year.



I'm still really enjoying singing primary songs with my little ones in the morning. If you're not sure what to do with them for #ComeFollowMe, start with a song and see what doctrine is taught that can be explored together. 

(Today, we sang, "Can a little child like me, thank the Father fittingly"...and we talked about how Joseph received revelation from God on how to protect Jesus as a child and that parents still can do this today.) I also love how the songs we sing have followed us throughout the day. I'll sit down mid-day and try to play it on the piano or an older child will come home singing it as soon as they enter the house. This makes me happy.


Also, do you have a spot to keep important references such as church magazines, the manuals, etc? I was using this organizer (pictured at the top of this post) for our scripture journals before the new year but for now it's housing those little Personal Progress, Faith in God and For the Strength of Youth booklets a nursery manual, song book, True to the Faith etc, that I want to be able to pull out exactly when needed.


One last thing, I keep one dedicated journal where we write down our goals each year, personal and as a family. We chart our progress there too. 

Lately, I've been reading and reviewing our goals with the kids each day and checking in with how they/we are doing. I think it's becoming a useful practice as it lead me to print out worksheets to help Autumn meet her goal of memorizing the Articles of Faith. I keep my planner handy also, so I can quickly jot down important things to do that day to help us with our goals. In this way scripture study really truly shapes our day.


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