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Showing posts from May, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 40

The obvious topic of this chapter is resurrection and paradise, but that's not what got me thinking today. It was the pattern that Alma followed to receive his answer regarding a subject he did not know much about. In vs. 3 he states that he inquired diligently of God that he might know.

I find it interesting to note that God did not tell him everything. He told Alma just enough. And, Alma was ok with that. He said repeatedly that he didn't know everything, but he did know the most important thing: that God knows everything, and everything will happen the way it should.

There is a lot to this gospel plan- so much that we could never comprehend it in its fullness here on earth. But, the mysteries of God are open to those who SEEK it. That's an exciting notion: we can learn His mysteries, His ways, line up on line, precept upon precept, as we diligently inquire of Him. I'm sure it's an understood fact that our answers also come in proportion to our faith and how we …

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 39

The two key words to this chapter, for me, are Perspective and Priorities.

Corianton lost the eternal perspective and consequently had misplaced priorities. I don't think he was a terrible person- it's easier than we think. I think everyone is two weeks away from inactivity. That means it only takes a couple weeks or so of not hearing the word, feeling the spirit, renewing the covenants and associating with others in the gospel before we begin to forget why we went to church. It gets easier to miss church or other responsibilities because the demands of the world appear to take precedence.

One good thing that has come from my daily scripture blog is that is it a constant reminder to put first things first. It takes time and effort- daily. I'll admit, sometimes I am just so tire, and I struggle to find focus, but this has compelled me to not only read, but to read with intent to find meaning and apply that to my life. It has made a big difference in my life, my testimony an…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 38

It is never too late to gain a testimony and live righteously, but how blessed are they who learn in their youth. How much more work they can do, more good they can do as they grow in the gospel. Alma was pleased that Shiblon was faithful, but he still wanted to emphasize a few things:

Obedience brings blessings of prosperity
They that endure will be blessed
Bear afflictions with patience and long-suffering
Trust God
Testimony comes from the Spirit
Salvation only can come through Christ
Teach others
Be diligent and temperate
Be humble
Be bold
Bridle passions
Work hard (don't be idle or lazy)
Be filled with love
Pray sincerely
Be sober (serious)

If my children never learn much from me, I'd want them to learn those things.  Sadly, I've fail at least one.  :(  It is a pretty good To-Be and To-Do list, one that I think all could benefit from following.  I guess the only way to really reach "the one" is to practice it myself.

I know it's hard for me…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 37

As I read I "command you that ye keep a record of this people," and "keep all these things sacred," I thought about all the blog posts and notes I am making for my grandson in this Book of Mormon.  This testimony will be passed from generation to generation.  How exciting is that?

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass...and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."

I love this. I often feel very small and simple, wondering if I can do any good. It is nice to know that God can still use me to accomplish great things- not in spite of me, but maybe because of me.

"He doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round."  God is in charge!

Verses 33-37 are among my favorites. They lay out what to teach and what to do.

Teach: Repentance, faith, humility, meekness, withstand temptation, and do good works.

Do: Learn w…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 36

Alma takes it to the next level in the next verse when he says "I would that ye should do I have done." Not just listen to me, but follow me. I find this hard to do. There are some things I don’t think my kids should follow. Luckily, we have a Savior who is perfect and can say that without fail.

I love how he teaches in vs. 3 and vs. 27 that a righteous life is not free from troubles and trials. The difference is the fact that the righteous are supported by the Lord during their trials, while the wicked go it alone. Alma teaches his people through example. He tells them the principle: (3) Whosever puts their trust in God shall be supported in their trials. Then, he backs it up with personal testimony: (27) And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind. The he ends with hope and faith in that principle (27) and I do put my trust in him, and he will deliver me.

I love the lessons taught in vs. 12-14… when we stop making excuses for our behavior, progress be…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 35

The Zoramites were upset because the word destroyed their craft. It's in the wind of politics and the world these days? I could go more into it, but I don't want to get too political and chase the Spirit away, lol. But, I have seen it time after time: people denying the word of God because it messes with their personal agenda. Some people get upset that His will doesn't follow their will.

I was impressed with what the people of Ammon did.... "they did receive the poor... did nourish the... did give them lands for their inheritance... and did administer unto them..."

I guess that is the only way to combat the prevailing attitude of then and of today.


Other than that, I didn't really get much from this chapter... accept the warm fuzzy feeling of getting into the scriptures and accomplishing a goal.

What did you get out of this chapter?

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 34

This is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. So much good stuff- teaching styles, testimony, expectations, etc. And of course, testimony of my Savior!

Three things popped out at me this morning, though. The first one is Amulek's first words to them. He basically said, Come on, guys, you knew this- but we will tell you again. It sounds like what I say to my children! How many times do I have to tell you...? God is so very patient with us as we learn and relearn His plan.

In this chapter Alma sits down, and his companion, Amulek, takes over. Amulek refers to Alma’s words about developing a testimony of Christ. Amulek reminds the Zoramites (and us!) that to gain a testimony we must have faith and patience (Alma 34:3) . He also reminds us that we must DO something… “prepare your minds”. We must prepare to learn from the spirit, including lessons ahead of time and praying for understanding. I think writing things down that the Spirit teaches me also helps me learn. In vs.…

Book of Mormon Study - Conference talks

Today my good home teachers came to visit my family.  We chatted about how simple the procedure of sustaining the church leadership is and how it is a sign of our commitment to the gospel and to following the prophets.  When we sustain the prophets and apostles we need to commit to following their counsel.  As I thought more about this little chat I recommitted to studying our current scriptures.  I recommitted to studying the current Conference issue and to apply the the thoughts, inspiration and teachings found there.

I know it makes a difference.  I was able to study the last Conference issue with success and I feel closer than ever to being a real saint... one that can follow the counsel of the Prophet who taught us that we should "live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father."

Today I read President Thomas S Monson's opening address entitled As We Gather Once Again.  What a perfect reminder of what Conference is for!!!  "... to strength …

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 33

For some reason, this verse struck a chord with me as I read Alma 33:

11 And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son.

I was reminded of a great talk on the Atonement today in Sacrament Meeting.  A young man that I am close to and is the best friend of my wayward son was also giving his farewell talk before he leaves on his mission tomorrow.  His testimony was powerful - an answer to prayer because my son heard it.  Now the prayer is that it will move him - that it will be a seed to be planted and grown.  My relationship with my Savior is most prevalent on my mind and in my heart today.

It is interesting to me the Lord gets upset with these people because they don't understand what the Savior did for them, and their relationship with Him. Th…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 32

Faith, humility, mercy, angels communicating, and afflictions. Full chapter. I love this chapter! I love how, once again, a tree is used as a symbol of a gospel principle.

In each situation the tree represents the same thing… Tree of Life = Jesus Christ/ His gospel; Olive Tree = light and there about 20 symbolic connections between the olive tree and Jesus Christ; Tree of Faith = Jesus Christ…

Alma compares “the word” not faith to a seed. “The word” refers to the gospel, centering in Jesus Christ. Alma is not just describing what faith is or how it is developed. He is describing that faith in the gospel can DO… thus Alma 32-34 should be studied together.

I wish I understood faith more. Perhaps my issues with faith come from wanting that “perfect knowledge” and lacking sufficient “hope” – that trust in things not seen which are still true.

I think there is great power in faith, when truly understood. I know I have faith, and I have a testimony of faith- but there is so much more I don…

Salad Day 403

Tuesday, May 15, I tried a new salad that is a definite "do that recipe again!"  I found a recipe called Tomato and Sugar Snap Salad.  I used about 8 oz. of sugar snap peas and steamed them a little... not too much because I wanted to have a little more crunch.  I let them cool as I cut up 2 Roma tomatoes, 1/2 cup of thinly sliced red onions, 1/4 cup balsamic salad dressing, 2 Tbs. of chopped fresh basil, and 1/2 cup of feta cheese.  It was so yummy!  I can't wait to try it again with the peas from my garden.  I even enjoyed the left-overs today for lunch.

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 31

How interesting Alma's reaction to the Zoramites. He was so saddened by them, showing even more sorrow for them then the Lamanites he had served. The Lamanite's did not know God, and therefore made poor- and violent - choices. But, the grief that Alma felt was due to the fact that the Zoramites took something which was sacred and perverted it.

The damage of pride goes deep. But, how often do we see people around us, placing themselves above others for all manner of reasons? So sad.

I do love how it speaks in the beginning that the power of the word is stronger than the sword.

Alma 31:5 "it had a more powerful effect...than a sword, or anything else"

The central theme of the Zoramite account is the answer to the question about the reality of the coming of Jesus Christ. Therefore, these chapters of Alma 31-34 are vital to the divine design of the BoM as another testament of Jesus Christ. (BoM Reference Companion,)

The Zoramite prayer is a SELF centered prayer… Heart …

One Foot in Front of the Other...

I really haven't had my heart in this fitness thing.

I think the last couple of years have been disappointing. I thought that discovering my allergy to wheat, soy and milk would change my weight. It didn't. I stayed the same. As a result I basically got to the point that I don't care...

It's a lie. I do care. I do want better health. I'd love to find clothes in a store that actually fit me. I'd love to find work out clothes that fit me. I tried yesterday and was not successful.

So I'm in a quandary.

At any rate, I got up today determined to do better today than I did yesterday. So far it is working even if I did eat a box of Reeses Pieces. What could I do? It was a gift. I did walk a mile and a half. I did eat healthy meals thus far. I did go to bed at a decent hour. I'd say that is more pluses then minuses.

Here is to the next foot in front of the other.

Angry Birds

I helped out with the high school's spring play - Honk! the Musical.  At the end of the show I wanted to do something for the cast and crew that didn't brake the bank.  My daughter and I wandered around the store looking for inspiration.  We finally settled on a flock of birds.  The show was about ducks and geese and other assorted birds.  We took Tootsie Pops and covered them with various colors of tissue paper.  We aren't fancy, so we taped them together and taped small pieces of yellow tissue paper on their faces for beaks.  I drew little eyes on the "birds and pulled out the paper at the bottom to make "wings".  We then arranged them in a floral vase and added extra feathers as a garnish.  They turned out so cute!  I was surprised.  We called them our little "angry birds."  Only one bird had angry eyes, but we labelled it "angry birds" because we were both a little frustrated with behavior around us.   There is nothing like doing som…

The Most Talented Hannah Boyack

Hannah is growing into one incredible performer.  She is only 14 and sings like a pro.  She always amazes me.  In April, she was asked to sing for the Mr. and Ms. Central pageant.  The pageant earned money for a kid in the school who needed extra help because an operation had left him paralysed.  I believe the song she chose was perfect.  His family is doing all they can to help him be in dependant and to truly "fly" on his own.  Her song at the end of the show, while judges finished their tallies was perfect.  Maybe someday she will be famous.  Meanwhile, she is a star in my heart.

Hannah singing Fly, Fly Away

She also was given the opportunity to sing with the Salem Chamber Orchestra cello section.  They came to Monmouth to perform for the elementary schools.  They requested that a students sing a section of Summertime from Porgy and Bess, as part of their program.  Jeff Witt selected Hannah.  The group0 expected a high school student,.  They were shocked to learn she was …

Someone is getting BIG!

Benjermin is getting so big!  Kimber and Ray blessed him this month.  My parents came over from Bend.  Ray's grandparents came from Utah.  My mom helped me make his blessing outfit.  John got him a Missionary tag.  He was so cute!  He was nice through the blessing.  No crying.  Kimber is doing a great job as a new parent.  I have to say, being a grandparents is the best!  One of the best parts of being a grandparent is that you can spoil the kids... you actually have the means.  When my kids were little I was too poor to spoil them.  I'm having a great time finding little things to will bring a smile to a face... like a great stroller I found at a second hand store and the airplane jumpy thing.  :)

Honk the Musical - Family adventure...

This spring we all tried something a little new... well new for Chad.  Chad decided to try-out for the school musical - Honk.  He was cast as the role of the bull frog.  He also played a bird in the beginning scenes of the show.  Hannah was cast as Henriette the hen.  She had a couple singing lines and I have to say she was my favorite bird.  Lillian was cast as one of the Ugly Ducklings 7 siblings.   She did a great job.  Even without a mic I could hear her strong voice during the songs she was assigned to sing. Chad brought the house down with his hilarious portrayal of the Bull frog.  He was ask to make the frog seem a bit spacey and very "hippy".  He must have been successful.  When the local paper came, the reporter asked the director, "Just how stoned is that frog supposed to be?"  LOL.  Thankfully, I can report he was NOT stoned.
The main characteristic of the frog is that he thinks he is funny.... but he is not.  Chad used his grandpa as his inspiration.  L…

Salad Days 391-402

Hard to believe I've had 402 days in a row with some kind of salad.  I think it's great... but I'm disappointed that all these salads haven't reflected on the scale.

Thursday, May 3 I had a yummy chef type salad.  John made it for me.  I got home late due to Honk rehearsals and I was too tired to make food.  What a nice boy.
Friday, May 4, I went wild and added sprouts.
Saturday, May 5 was a busy day with tech for Honk and family in town for the baby blessing of Ben.  I only had time for a basic salad greens salad.
Sunday, May 6, I had a roast pepper salad.   It's one of my favorite salads.  After church and a meeting for my summer job, I headed to the Jessops for dinner.  They served burgers and I made a salad of all the fixings on the table.
Monday, May 7, I made a salad with salad greens, dried cranberries, pecans, red onions and raspberry vinaigrette.  It turned out good.
Tuesday, May 8 I ate a green salad with tomatoes, onions and everything "free" ranch.

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 30

I did read on Saturday and Sunday.... I just read Old Testiment stuff for my seminary lessons this week.  There really hasn't been a minute to spare this weekend.  Honk closed Saturday.  This week I'm off and running with a Band Concert and a Dance Recital in the HS space.  Still have one crazy week ahead of me.

Alma 30 was an interesting chapter for me because I realised why I felt so strongly why I needed to let C make his own choices regarding religion... no matter how hard it was for me.
"Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve."

We must all choose for ourselves.  Hard to watch loved ones choose something that isn't the gospel.

"...if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him."

It is hard to not want to levy punishments for not going to church.  I am realising more and more that there is more power in an invitaion and allowing a choice to happen.  Rules still need to exist, but "men should be judged according to their crimes."…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 29

I read yesterday, but I was too tired to blog.

I have often wished I had the voice of an angel... in more ways than one.

I have the words "My Joy Prayer" written next to this chapter. I love it! It is such a sweet and intimate look into Alma's soul. His joy comes from being an instrument in God's hands. Mine does too.

It's good to see the human side of him. Even he struggles to be happy with what has been allotted him- as good as it was. I know I've struggled with that, too at times. I wish I could do more- be more, help more, serve more, etc. Sometimes I have to pull myself back and remind myself of all that I do have that already brings me joy.

God is merciful. He grants unto us only that which we desire. Ultimately, it is really us who choose who we will be and where we will go. We can blame it on everyone and everything, but in the end, we really get what we want. Interesting way to look at things.

What did you think/learn today?

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 28

We are now in the War Chapters.

It's amazing, when they do the recap of the past 15 years, just how much carnage and sorrow there was. Even in the sorrow, the Nephites knew that peace and understanding would only come from the Lord. They fasted and prayed in the face of adversity and pain.

We also learn in this chapter what causes the inequality of men. It's not intelligence, race, station or any other earthly factor: It is sin. That is the only thing that differentiates us in God's eyes. That's one of the reasons I love to go to the temple- we are all equal, and share a sense of unity and oneness in purpose and potential.

Sometimes I get frustrated, when it feels like I am doing all I can and sometimes it seems that I'm just not making a difference. I have to tell myself that maybe, just maybe, things would be or could be worse if I weren't trying my hardest. Sometimes we don't see the difference we make-but God always does.

What did you think/learn today?

Shadowing the Savior in Seminary

It is a long week.

Saturday I had the last tech rehearsal for Honk and family came in town for baby Ben’s blessing. After rehearsal, my mom helped me make a baby blessing outfit. Sunday we blessed my first grandson and through a brunch to celebrate.

I don’t usually work on a Sunday, but an important meeting for a new job I’m doing over the summer was moved to Sunday afternoon. I spent a couple hours in meetings. Then I stopped by the Jessop’s for dinner in celebration of Jon going through the temple for the first time since he leaves on his mission in a couple weeks.

Monday was spent getting Honk ready and doing all those little finishing touches. I’ve been have trouble with the sound system and I spent some time on the phone with the sound engineers to work it all out. Then I buzzed over to Salem for orientation for CET. CET is shaping up to be a wild ride. What did I get myself into? LOL. With a quick stop back at the HS on the way home to solve one last problem before Tuesday’s m…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 27

Alma 27 is a chapter about joy... real joy.  However, I can't say I've ever been so happy that I've fainted, have you? (vs 17).

Must be nice :)... having that much JOY.

Serious note: Faith and Forgivness- that's what this chapter means to me. The king had the faith in Ammon and in the Lord to do whatever the Lord told Ammon. We can show the same faith as we follow our prophet today.

I also think of the willingness of the Nephites to take in these Lamantites into their land. Remember, these are the same bunch that was hunting them down and warring with them less than a generation ago, and the Nephites had the capability to love, forgive and accept.

I hope I'd be able to do that, but sometimes I don't know. It's not easy to forgive and let go, to accept and move one. Change is hard for some. Dysfunction and grudges become as comfortable as old faded jeans. Anger and resentment, entitlement and pride all taint our ability to change and forgive. It's hard-…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 26

I read Saturday, but I wasn't home long enough to blog.  sunday we blessed baby Ben.  It was a busy day.  I did study my scriptures though... to get ready for Seminary... once again.  no time to blog.

Today I blog.

This is perhaps one of my most favorite verses in all the scriptures:

12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

What a brilliant combination of humility and faith. The older I get the more I realize the less I am- the thing is, I don't feel bad about it. I know how small I am- but I have to know that to know how tall God can make me. I know that He can mold me into anything He sees fit: a powerful teacher… a decent writer… a good mother… a good artist. Whatever righteous desire I have, He can do it, if He chooses. The key is to always…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 25

As I read Alma 25 I was struck with just how much heart ache could have been avoided if the Lamanites and the people of Amulon (former priest of Noah with his diapers in a twist) had just let go, repented, forgiven and moved on. Amulon on his posy successful fooled the Laminted into anger and many dies as a result. What a waste!

They really had nothing to be mad about. In essence, they were mad because Abinadi was right.

The truth is we all suffer with the same temptation. We want things our way. We want God to answer prayers, but with our answers. We don’t really want to relinquish control. We want to be the one in charge of making sure everyone pays their just dues. It is hard to let go and let God. It is hard to stop controlling every aspect of life and let God take the reins. But it must be done… and it takes work… real work.

In a way, I think this is true conversion… letting go and letting Christ carry our burdens, meanwhile, working hard and doing all that we can to be like Him…

Salad Days 376-390

April 18 I made Coleslaw.  It is surprising how quickly you can make a little bowl of coleslaw.  Still.... it's tasty and it does the trick of getting veggies in the day.
April 19 i made an Anti-pasta salad.  It was ok... not my favorite.  I won't even bother telling you how I made it.
April 20 I made a Grilled onion and Mushroom Salad.  I like this one.  I sauteed an onion and a box of sliced fresh mushrooms.  I added that to a bed of salad greens and a sliced tomatoes.  It's a tasty one!
April 21 I had a Subway salad.  I got the club.  I had oil and vinegar as a dressing.  Sure miss Ranch of Bleu Cheese dressing though.
April 22 I had a plain green salad.  Boring.  But hey!  I still got a salad even if I hadn't been to the store yet.
April 23 I had a Taco Salad.  In many ways, I'd rather have a creamy enchilada... but I resist.  I eat a Mexican flavored salad instead.
April 24 I had salad greens topped with Italian dressing and a tablespoon of Feta cheese.
April 25 I h…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 24

These past couple of chapters have got me thinking.

Men captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. To paraphrase President Harold B. Lee, they set fire in others because they are on fire. (See Stand Ye in Holy Places, p. 192.)

Their will is swallowed up in His will. (See John 5:30.)

They do always those things that please the Lord. (See John 8:29.)

Not only would they die for the Lord, but more important they want to LIVE for Him.

Enter their homes, and the pictures on their walls, the books on their shelves, the music in the air, their words and acts reveal them as Christians.

They stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. (See Mosiah 18:9.) (Ensign, Nov. 1985, 6 7).

These changes can continue throughout our lives as we faithfully keep our covenants.

The people in these chapters made this mighty change work for them. I want it to work in my life too.

We can see how powerful the influence is that parents have on their children and grandc…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 23

A couple words stick out to me as I read this chapter: hope and conversion.

There is hope for anyone who wants to come to the Savior with a humble heart and repents. There is hope for our friends and family that are lost, for our enemies, for ourselves.  Good thing too.  We all need it.

Also, the power of conversion is amazing. True conversion is lasting. Though it requires work to keep up, our testimonies are etched into our hearts. We perceive life, our Savior and ourselves differently. Conversion changes us and where we will end up.

What did you think/learn today?

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 22

I didn’t get to post for a couple of days. My computer is having issues. But I did read.

One of the main lessons I learned in Alma 22 is to understand our need for a Savior, we must first know that God lives, that He created all things, and that because of the Fall and our own sins, we are cut off from God’s presence.

Pres. Ezra Taft Benson said, “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 106; or Ensign, May 1987, 85).

Ammon started with the basics of the gospel and taught Lamoni by first asking him about his believe in the great spirit. Then he taught him about the creation and the Fall so he could understan…