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Showing posts from April, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 21

It's interesting how the Amalekite was defensive, basically asking Aaron, "Who do you think you are judging me? How do you know my intentions? You don't know me."


That sounds a bit like people today who are called to repentance... and get all defensive.

Aaron's response had nothing to do with their intentions. He went right to the gospel and what they believed. Then, he turned to the scriptures to teach them.

It's the best way.

Verse 15 kinda cracks me up. "...and thus they were delivered for the first time out of prison..." Poor guys! I wonder if they would have done the same thing if they knew how many times they would be cast into prison. I've heard people ask themselves that: If I knew this would be so hard I wouldn't have signed up for it.

I'm guilty of that.  I guess that is why we don't get to know the future.  We really do have to wade through the crap.

Well, we did sign up for this- and guess what- we kinda had an idea our …

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 20

I've missed a couple days of scripture reading and blogging.  My problem is - if I don't do it first thing in the day I don't get around to it.  My days are filled.  My kids are coming and going. 

My exercise habit suffers from the same bitter reality.  Sadly, everything can't be done "first" everyday.  Something has to come in second.

So, today I repent.  Today I read Alma 20.

The first six verses are a beautiful example of faith. The Lord told Ammon where to go, and he followed the direction. Lamoni is one of my favorite people. He was totally excited to share the gospel with his dad, but when he heard Ammon had to save his brothers, he set his personal agenda aside to help his friend. After he decided to go with Ammon (and not because he thought Ammon needed his help- see vs 4, but he wanted to to do his part) he found out that Ammon receieved his direction directly from the Lord.


Lamoni did not doubt or second guess. He simply got his his horses ready a…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 19

The main purpose of this chapter is told in the last verse, "and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe in his name."


This is The Good News”!

One of Satan's greatest tools is to make people believe that they do not deserve to be forgiven. Shame and guilt are his greatest weapons (you could probably add fear to that, too). Perhaps one of the reasons this chapter is in here is to show that if a man like Lamoni could be converted and forgiven, any can be, by the power of the Atonement.

Vs. 5 is one of my favorite verses. If proves that God has a bit of a sense of humor. “he doth not stink.” LOL. I am the first to admit if someone smells. I’ve been known to ask someone to take a shower.

I also love in vs. 6 where it talks about the light of everlasting life. I could go on and on about light and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ- there are many correlations: they travel by light, they appear by great light, light fills people souls, it cleans…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 18

I love this story!

In this story Ammon is a type of Christ.  He is faithful (vs. 2).  He preserves the flocks (vs. 2).  He has great power to contend against enemies (vs. 2).  He is an expert (vs. 3).  He has great strength (vs. 3).  He works hard (vs. 8-10).  He kept commandments (vs. 10).  He was filled with the Spirit (vs. 16).  "I will do" was his motto (vs. 17).  He knows all things through the Spirit (vs. 18).

I thought it was interesting in vs. 10 how Lamoni defined a faithful servant as one who "doth remember all my commandments to execute them." Exactness is hard to come by.  Sometimes we look at keeping the commandments more like a buffet and pick and choose which commandments we want to keep.  To follow all of the commandments- not just the ones that we like or are convenient, but all of them is the way to go.


It would be nice if the Savior can say the same thing about us that Lamoni said about Ammon, "surely there has not been any servant among all…

Book of Mormon Study - Amla 17

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah had parted 14 years earlier. Alma had spent much of his time preaching to the Nephites (Alma 1-16). The sons of Mosiah had spent 14 years preaching to the Lamanites in the land of Nephi (Alma 17-26). Their reunion must have been an emotional one. It would have been for me. Years earlier they had made a life changing decision to serve the Lord by taking the Gospel to the Nephites (including some apostate groups) and Lamanites. They had been truly converted after their experience with the angel (Mosiah 27). Although they had suffered many afflictions, they returned as seasoned men of faith and understanding.


During their “missionary reunion” Alma and the sons of Mosiah must have been fascinated by the growth and maturity they observed in each other. First, in Alma 17:2 we find Alma rejoicing exceedingly just to see his old friends. Secondly, he was pleased to see that they were still “brethren in the Lord” and active in the church. Third, to add t…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 16

I guess it's true.  What goes around comes around. The people of Ammonihah- the ones that burned the believers- were decimated by the Lamanites. Every single one of them. It reminds me of the scripture that says that the adversary leads people way after him, but does not watch out for them.

I am also struck by the thought that faith in prophets and revelation show by Zoram in verses 5-7. He was the chief captain over all the armies, and because he knew Alma was a prophet of God, he went to him for direction from the Lord, then followed it.

How many times do I rely on my own understanding without counseling with the Lord?

How often do I think I know what's best?

Far too often... sadly.

The Lord gave us minds to use. He doesn't expect us to never make our own decisions. But, the greatest decision we could ever make is to turn our will to His will. As we do that and live His will, in time, our will becomes His as we become more like Him.  At least I hope so.

I love in the …

Book of Mormon Study - conference Talk

Today I read Elder J. Devn Cornish  talk entitled The Privilege of Prayer.

I've always thought I'm lousy at prayer.  This talk really confirms this feeling.

I loved a couple of the principles of prayer that Elder Cornish shared:

God "knows each of us individually, and He loves us, everyone.

God will bless us with something as simple as a piece of chicken.

God "wants to bless you."

God will not "infringe upon our agency."

We must approach Him in an attitude of worship, recognizing His greatness and giving Him praise and thanks.

We must "freely acknowledge our dependence on the Lord and express our desire to do His will,"even when it's not the same as our desires.

We must ask for the thing we both want and need.  More importantly, we must be "honest".  Willing to commit and do my part.

We must approach the Lord in the spirit of repentance.  That repentance must be specific, profound, and lasting.

We must also forgive.  "We mu…

Reconciliation

“Et tu, Brutus?” was uttered by Caesar as he took in the depths of his betrayal by his own nephew. The assassins attacked Julius Caesar so savagely, that they themselves were injured in the melee.


The scene in The Sound of Music comes to mind where the family is hiding in the cemetery and all the gestapo leave except for Ralph. The family starts to leave and you think he is not going to rat on them and then he does.

Lady Macbeth happily jumps on the bandwagon to kill the king and take the throne. She has no qualms about the betrayal because it will lead to power.

In King Lear Goneril and Regan’s betrayal of Lear raises them to power in Britain, where Edmund, who has betrayed both Edgar and Gloucester, joins them. However, the play suggests that betrayers inevitably turn on one another, showing how Goneril and Regan fall out when they both become attracted to Edmund, and how their jealousies of one another ultimately lead to mutual destruction. Additionally, it is important to rememb…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 15

Alma must have identified with Zeezrom. They both had a history of fighting against the church, had amazing conversion stories and both did what they could to spread the gospel and repair the damage they caused... something I really don't ever want to identify with.


I was impressed with Amulek. He gave up his worldly riches for the word of God. Could I do that? I sure hope so.

What did you think/learn today?

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 14

In Alma 14 the story takes over the principles.

It's hard to imagine the level of evilness and cruelty of these once faithful people! It's hard to imagine being forced to witness this horrific scene.  It's hard to imagine Alma and Amulek, standing there, forced to watch it. Amulek wanted to use the power of God to try to save them, but Alma was told it wasn't to be.

Most of us tend to think of faith as an action word- because most times it is. But, in this case, they exercised enormous faith in their inaction. The Spirit of the Lord told them to stand by and let them die. It doesn't make sense...initially.

The Lord had His reasons, as he always does, one of which He shared with Alma: so they may witness against the men at judgment day. Can there be a crime if there is no victim?

Alma and Amulek knew the power of God could save them from an earthly painful death, but this power was to be stayed until later in the chapter, in verse 26, when they were given permiss…

Salad Days 372, 373, 374 and 375

Saturday, April 14, I was boring... just plain salad greens.  Then I got busy.  I should have blogged my next couple of days as soon as I made the meals.  They turned out yummy!
Sunday, April 15, I made a spinach salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and Italian dressing to go with Mexican rice and chicken cooked in green sauce.  It was a hit!
For lunch, Monday, April 16, H helped me make Zesty Chicken Soup.  It was a great way to get veggies in the day.  We placed about a pound of chicken (a quart of my home canned chicken), and 4 cups of water in a Dutch Oven.  We then added 1 onion all chopped up, 2 celery ribs, chopped, 3 tsp of minced garlic, 1 can of Mexican diced tomatoes, a jar of our home canned tomatoes, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 cup of salsa, 3 medium zucchini's all chopped thinly, 2 medium carrots, chopped, 1 cup frozen white corn, 1 can green chilies, 3 tsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp basil.  We let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  I entered all the ingredients into a …

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 13

Sometimes I wonder what would it have been like to hear Alma as he spoke these words. He felt it so passionately, to the point in verse 27 when he said it caused him anxiety even unto pain. I have felt that way when I think of my children. I want the best for them. I want them to happy, to make good choices, to receive blessings and have faith. I want it so bad it hurts.


But, Alma felt this for people he didn't know. Perhaps it’s a bit like when a Bishop says he loves each member if his congregation, or when President Monson says he loves and appreciates and prays for each member of the church (all 16 million of us.) Is it possible to feel that way for people we don't know, and perhaps never met?

Yes.

Well, I haven't felt love for others I don’t know to the extent of Alma, but I have on a smaller level. It happens when I am sharing my testimony of the gospel and the Savior. It happens because I know how I feel, and I want that for the people that I'm testifying to. I w…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 12

Wow- this chapter covers judgment, works, probationary time, the Plan of Redemption, Agency, Commandments, Repentance, The Fall. AMAZING CHAPTER!!!!!!!!


Alma's purpose here is was two-fold: to establish the words of Amulek and to explain the scriptures further. Amulek got Zeezrom's attention, now Alma could go in a preach further.

The first part of this chapter reminds me that our thoughts can be made known to another by the Spirit. This discernment is a gift of the Spirit. Though Heavenly Father knows our thoughts, He respects our privacy and does not frequently reveal them to others. However, He does allow those who live in tune with the Spirit to be prompted in various ways to help others.

In verse 5 Alma tells Zeezrom something that is real- and very frightening. He says that t he devil "hath exercised his power in thee." It is a scary reality. I think we get so caught up in our own lives, saying that we can do what we want, because it's our life. But, what …

Book of Mormon Study - conference talk

Yesterday and today I read a conference talk. 

The first talk I read was Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit by Matthew O. Richardson.  This was one of my favorite talks in October, and not because I teach seminary.  I loved this talk because it was answer to how I could better reach the big C.

I need inspiration on how to be a "real" mom... and a "real" teacher.

I am searching for a way to teach him without restricting learning.

The "real" teacher is the Holy Ghost... even in and maybe especially in the home.  Parents "should not teach in front of the spirit or behind the Spirit but by the Spirit so the Spirit can teach the truth unrestrained.

Reading this talk reminded me of the impressions I had in October when I first listened to it.  I needed change my way of teaching C and better emulate the way the Spirit would teach C.

I needed to remember that I am teaching a person not lessons or concepts. 

The Holy Ghost teaches the truth of all thin…

Salad Days 370 and 371

If you read my previous post you will remember I've been crazy busy for the past two days.  Although I was up by 5am both mornings, I was gone from 6am to 9pm both days.  there was no time for pretty much.... anything.  Thankfully, I saw an idea on Pintrest that I had to try...

CANNED SALAD


The person who thought to do this was a genius!  When you put the dressing on the bottom, followed by hard, crisp veggies, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, you keep the lettuce crisp and not soggy.  You've got the perfect salad to go.  When I pulled it out of my bag all the people were amazed.  They fought for the best view to watch me shake it up and eat it.  It made me laugh.

It's the end of the week so I'm running low on salad fixin's.  The last two salads had: Honey Mustard dressing, shredded carrots, green peppers, feta cheese, olives and lettuce.

It's the best way to travel in style!

Book of Mormon Study - Conference talk

sorry I've been missing in action.  It's been a crazy couple of days.  I get up at 5am and teach seminary at 6. Wednesday and Thursday I needed to be at the HS by 7:30.  I ran in from Seminary, changed, threw together a lunch and headed off to work.  I'm so grateful "work" isn't a full time, every day kind of thing.  Wednesday I was at the HS working the OWC band and choir contests, followed by play rehearsal and setting up for Thursday's auditorium rental.  I didn't get home until 9 pm at which time my children needed help with homework and other responsibilities.  I crashed and fell into bed around 11... no time to blog.  Thursday I drug myself out of bed at 5 and was teaching my class at 6.  I ran home to change and was at the HS by 7:30 for an elementary school production at the HS.  I also spent time helping with Senior Projects, more play practice, the second show for the elementary school, and the removal of the sound shell.  Once again, I didn…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 11

I’ve wonder why they spent so many verses on the money system. Perhaps it is to point out that six onties of silver was a generous amount. I wouldn't have known that without the explanation in the first few verses.


Even though it was a very large amount, Amulek still resisted, saying that a righteous person wouldn't give into a bribe. Maybe that's what they talk about when they say in the last days that men's hearts will fail them. They will give in to the temptations of worldly goods and pleasures.

We are sometimes faced with the temptation to trade our testimony for personal gain or selfish interests. True happiness comes from living righteously.

To live righteously is to work for our wages. To live honestly is to pay a fair wage that do work for us. Perhaps, to live righteously is to work to learn not to get gain. To live righteously is to never trade our testimony for power, popularity, money, or worldly pleasures. To live righteously is to teach what the Holy Ghos…

Salad Days - Starting Over Day 369

OK... for the next 365 days (minus 4 days since I've already done them) I will eat a salad, or a soup and salad, and post it here on my blog.  My goal is to be more prompt with my posts.  My goal is to post recipes for the salads and the soups I try.  my goal is to get my family to follow suit and get on the "veggie-band-wagon".  My goal is to go an other 365 days straight with a salad or a soup as a meal, or at least the major part of the meal.


Today for lunch I made this creation.  It was very yummy.  I'm not sure what to call it.  What do you think?

Saute 1/2 cup sliced yellow and red sweet bell peppers, 1/4 cup sliced onions, 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms.

Place sauteed mixture on a bed of 3/4 cup fresh spinach.

Add 9 black olives.

Drizzle 2 Tbs. of Raspberry Vinaigrette and top with 1/8 cup of feta cheese.

All together it came to 211 calories, and it was very satisfying.

DONE! Salad Days 360-365 plus 3 days to spare

The time has passed.  I made it.  365 days with at least one salad per day.  Sunday, April 1, McKay made a Chinese Chicken Salad.  I was pretty good.  Sadly, I think I am the only one who really ate it.  I ate it for breakfast and lunch, Monday, April 2 too.  I do need to teach her how to chop cabbage more finely, however.  The chunks of cabbage are a little hard to eat then shreds of Chinese cabbage.

Tuesday, April 3 was John's birthday.  We had a nice dinner, including a nice green salad.  I even tried a new dressing... it was tasty enough.


Wednesday, April 4, I enjoyed a Chef Salad.  It is nice to have an old stand by.
Thursday, April 5, I made a Greek type salad with tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, yellow and orange bell peppers, cucumbers, feta cheese and about 1/4 cup of the sloppy joe meat we made the kids for lunch.  That was pretty good.  Not as good as a real Greek salad.
Friday, April 6, was the BIG day.  I had made it... but I missed it.  I am in the habit of salad now and co…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 10

Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “Youth may even have gifts, including the gift of the Holy Ghost, and yet be like counterparts of old who ‘knew it not’ (3 Nephi 9:20). Concerning the gospel message, they may be like busy and preoccupied Amulek” (Sermons Not Spoken [1985], 2). “Amulek . . . is a classic case of an essentially good man being out of touch with the great spiritual realities; he resisted the things of the Spirit because, though he was basically good, he was preoccupied with the cares of the world” (Meek and Lowly [1987], 12).


This chapter gives a new meaning to Independence Day. Amulek was oppressed by a hardened heart. This brought him limited perspective and joy.

We have a choice. What will we choose?

“I would not hear;” “I would not know…” Rebellion is a choice. There are days I don’t like it. But I know I have no right to take the gift of agency from someone else. I just have to accept that rebellion is a choice… and find some way to touch hearts.

President Spencer W. Kimball: …

Not a Morning Person

(The following represents a morning at the Boyack house).

The big C is NOT a morning person.

8:15 am (the alarm has been going for at least 15 minutes).

"Good morning!  What would you like for breakfast?"

"urmma mumble mumble mumble."

"What was that?" I say in my most cheerful voice.

The irritation is clear.  The voice raises.  "I said CORNFLAKES."  He stumbles to the shower.

I put the cornflakes, milk, bowl, measuring cup (he's on a diet and is VERY picky about how much he is consuming), cup, OJ, and spoon on the table.  Meanwhile, I make oatmeal for the rest of the family, get the girls moving on their day and ask H to clean off the table to we can start school.

"H!  I told you not to touch my stuff.  Where's my stuff?"

"In your backpack.  I was cleaning the table off."

"Gah!  You don't listen!  I told you not to touch my stuff," he yells.

"How long has the milk been out?"

"I just put it…
"Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods." - C.S. Lewis

This is one of my favorite quotes. This chapter made me think of it. Alma uses the words 'remember' and 'forgotten' six times. The people of Ammonihah were once believers, but over time they had "forgotten" what they once believed.

Sad.

Our circumstances and moods fluctuate, and for some, so does our faith. Times get tough, obedience is difficult, fears take over- we begin to forget our testimonies. Doubt creeps in we falter.

Keeping the faith means that regardless of the change in circumstances and even our moods, we maintain our testimonies of our Savior and His gospel. It's not always easy to do, but we read here the price of those who don't.

What did you think/learn today?

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 8

Amulek is the epitome of the right guy at the right time, doing the right thing. He was a righteous man, he listened to the angel he saw in a vision (how can you not?); he let Alma in, studied with him, was taught by him and eventually, was asked to preach with him.


We know that Amulek was almost, if not as equally, a powerful teacher and speaker as Alma. He must have developed an amazing testimony.

I long for that kind of faith and testimony.

I wonder, in my life, how many blessings and opportunities I've had, just by being the right girl at the right time doing the right thing.  I wonder how many I've missed.
I also love how, when Alma receives a message from the Lord, he not only did what he was asked. He went about it "speedily." That shows a willingness and eagerness to follow Him. What a great example these two men are to me.

Have you seen blessings in your life by being the right person, at the right time, doing the right things?

Easter Morning

For years now, I have done a "Spring" celebration on the Saturday before Easter and consintrated on the death and ressurection of the Savior on the actual day of Easter.

I only have one "smal" child this year.  Last year I colored eggs and got supplies, but none of her siblings would Easter Egg hunt with her.  She had to call friends to come "hunt" with her.  They were all busy.  She eventually got the other kids teenage friends to come and hunt with her.

This year, I assumed it was going to be the same... her siblings wouldn't want to participate.  I tried to find friends to come to party with her.  Everyone had plans.

Thankfully, our good friends the Tapasa's plans changed and stopped by.  My 14 year old was shocked that I assumed she didn't want to do it.  She was excited to hunt for eggs.

 I will never be able to understand the teenage mind.

Lilli got her Easter egg hunt.

However, the best I saved for this morning.

I had heard of making &q…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 7

Alma established some very important- critical- truths in this chapter.  Check it out:

1.) Joy comes after the trial, or "after wading through much affliction and sorrow."  (vs. 5)  I think child birth is a perfect example of this principle.  I'm glad I don't remember it all too well.  I do remember it was a TRIAL and I was sorely afflicted.  LOL  However, I have felt no greater joy then in my children.  I think teens are also an example of this principle.  Some of my greatest "afflictions" have been experienced as I raise teens.  One has made it out completely and has started her own family; one is nearly gone and starting adult life.  I can say that when we all make it through the teen years there is much joy to experience.  Sure hope the rest of them make it through those pesky teen years and we can all experience a little JOY!

2.) Not only should we trust God, but God trusts us to make the right choices in life. (vs. 6).  I think this is remarkable.  It…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 6

God's house is a house of order. Alma saw that there was a work to be done, first in the church then outside.


He made sure leaders were called by the priesthood. Then those who didn't want to be there were kicked out, and those who wanted in were baptized. The church was purged and planted, and once again healthy. Only AFTER that happened did Alma feel like he could leave and serve his mission.

I also think the pattern for Alma's testimony was interesting as it was spelled out in verse 8. His testimony of Jesus Christ gave him the spirit of prophecy, which gave him the revelation of truth.

Nice!

What did you think/learn today?

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 5

I love this chapter! It is long though. When I teach seminary I take a couple days because I don’t want to miss any of the gems that are found in this chapter.


Perhaps I will write about this in concepts.

First concept: Remember!

Alma first asks a series of questions designed to stir their hearts and minds up to remembrance of all that God has done. Alma the younger is asking them the same questions the angel asked him when he had his experience.

...and they awoke unto God...their souls were illuminated

What beautiful descriptive words.

Second Concept: Faith in God can lead to a mighty change in our hearts. This spiritual rebirth cleanses us from sin and makes us more like Christ.

I love having a list some of the characteristics shown by those who have experienced this mighty change include the following:

• They “have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).

• They are “changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness” (Mosiah …

Let then eat CAKE!

Yesterday was John's birthday.  Now, we don't usually go nuts on the adult birthdays around here.  Just the kids.  But it is a big day and we must do something.  Now let's make things complicated.
John's on a diet.
We can't even make him a cake.
I wracked my brain as to how we could celebrate.
Then is hit me!
Jello!
Hannah has been really into making finger jello ever since Sister Kristy taught her what to do.  And I remembered that somewhere I had experienced layers jello with some kind of white or creamer jello between the layers.
That's it!  I think to myself.  Cake.
So I got Hannah stared on making finger jello in layers.  I looked on the Internet and got some recipe for making the white stuff.  It took most of the day.  So this is what we did.  We gathered our ingredients... ok two of Hannah's favorite jello flavors... something read and something Orange (sorry. I wasn't paying attention.).  We ran to the store for some condensed milk. and we started makin…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 4

Today’s reading of Alma 4 reminds me of this story I’ve shared in seminary before:

Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway the best. On the day of the contest the people came. Some of them had fine chariots; some had fine clothing, fine hairdos, or great food. Some young men cam in their track clothes and ran along the highway. People traveled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot and this got in their way and hindered their travel. At the end of the day, a lone traveler crossed the finish line warily and walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king with great respect and handed him a bag of gold. He expl…

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 3

I often think life be so much easier if the wicked had a red mark on their forehead. When I really stop and think about it, the people of today do a fairly good job of "marking" themselves.

Well, lucky for us we have the Holy Ghost, the gift of discernment and clarity of mind to see the wickedness to avoid  around us.  We are blessed to have living prophets and standards to help us stay on track.

How frightening the Lamanites must have looked to the Nephites. I cannot imagine living with the daily threat of war and death. If I ever saw a Lamanite running after me with his loin cloth, war makeup and ax, I would probably die on the spot of a heart attack.

Our war is a bit different... yet the enemy, oddly, looks similar.

“For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet:

“Servants of God have always counseled his children to dress modestly to show respect for him and for themselves. Because the way you dress sends messages about yourself to others and often influences the way you and othe…