Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This life is a test

Tonight for Relief Society we had a class on education opportunities.  The sister from our ward who taught works and teaches at Utah Valley University as a career counselor.  She had a panel of three women who are currently in school answer questions about their experiences.  Each of these three women have eight children, some married, some teenagers still at home.  Each of them are over the age of 50.  They all said how vital it is for them to read the scriptures each day, attend the temple, and ask for the help of the Holy Ghost to be successful in their studies, especially on test day.
The sister teaching said, "And that's great life advice, too!"  I've been thinking about how right she is.  How can I ask for more specific help from the Godhead to do the things I need to do?
One thing that has become an incredible experience in our family is having a circle of prayer.  It has been needed two weeks in a row.  We each take a turn praying for the same thing, with our own words.  It was so powerful!  And I love the unity that we had from those experiences.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fruit Trees!

We are turning our backyard into an orchard, apparently.  We already have an apple tree, two peach trees, and an almond tree.  Plus there are grape vines and blackberry bushes.  All but the almond tree were put in by the previous owners.  Yesterday I purchased two pear trees, two apricot, and a cherry, along with four blueberry bushes.  The garden will be going in next week.  I'll never have to make a meal come harvest time - the children can harvest their own!
Even more importantly, we'll be learning about preserving.  I've never canned in my life.  But I have dehydrated, and I think that might be healthier.  Either way, I look forward to enjoying the bounties of our own backyard throughout the winter months.
I love the book Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter.  The example of family unity, work ethic, and self-reliance is incredible.  I learn more everytime I read it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finding One on One Time

Last week I was thinking it was about time to teach the children how to wash dishes by hand.  Last night, our dishwasher blew up!  What a blessing!
Today, my 8 year old daughter and I spent 30 minutes washing dishes together.  I taught her the tips and tricks I knew.  She asked where I had learned them, and I answered, "From my mother."  The significance of that caused me to pause and think for awhile.
I loved, loved, loved, sharing that 30 minutes with my daughter.  We had a great discussion.  I look forward to more with her, and with my other children.  I am not in a hurry to buy a new dishwasher.

I have also been amazed at how the passages I read in the scriptures each day are so timely and helpful in my life.  I'm nearing the end of the New Testament, a book I thought I didn't know too well.  But there are many familiar verses and great food for thought.  I'll share some soon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A stone cut without hands

Yesterday's Sunday School lesson was on the vision recorded in Daniel about the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, rolling and filling the earth.  Here are some statistics shared:

                        1830            1880              1930               1980             1995               2000                 2010
 Members            6        133,628         670,017     4.6 million    9.3 million    11 million +    14 million +
 BofM Lang.       1                 10                  16                   44                 88                 100        107 (2008)
 Stakes                 0                 23                104              1,218            2,150              2,581                2,890
 Missions            0                 10                  30                 188               307                 334                   340
 Temples              0                   1                   7                   19                  47                 102          134 (157)

I thought of that as I was reading this in an article entitled Becoming A Zion Society by R. Quinn Gardner:
This vision of the glory and brilliance of the fully developed Zion is truly inspiring, even overwhelming.  Wisely, however, the Lord refracts the light of this vision, permitting us to see it line upon line.  In His wisdom, He helps us go about establishing Zion step by step.  Because Zion matures in phases, we may not always recognize its growth but a survey of recent developments in the Church assures us that the process is proceeding at an ever quickening pace.
This was written in 1979.  I wonder what Brother Gardner would say today about the quick pace of the Church.  I wonder what he would say about the maturation of Zion.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I've been doing...

We had a family challenge for the month of September to read the Book of Mormon before General Conference.  It was a wonderful experience for all of us!  The Spirit in our home was incredible.  And the children listened to Conference more than ever before.

I've adopted a scripture from Psalms 51:10 as my personal motto.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
And I wrote a song:

They Knew His Name

Friday, August 27, 2010

Teaching our Children from the Scriptures

The August Ensign is a treasure for parents who teach their children the gospel.  I especially enjoyed the article by Sister Lant, Teaching Our Children from the Scriptures.

There are a number of good ways to teach children from the scriptures. I’ve found this pattern to be particularly effective after reading a scripture:

1. Clearly identify the doctrine.

2. Help the children understand the doctrine.

3. Help them apply the doctrine to their lives.

4. Encourage them to pray for a witness of the Spirit that what they are learning is true.
That last point has become an area of focus for me, and my family.

I also appreciated the sidebar suggestions from mothers who are teaching their children. 

From my personal experience, I know my children love the scriptures.  The more time we spend in them, the more they love them!  We have been reading Psalms lately, the praising ones.  And what a joy it is!