Friday, August 31, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 nephi 4

There are times I don't want to face a trial.  I cry.  I beg.  I plea for the Lord to take it away.  It always stays.

When I read about the Nephites, they had the same experience- kind of. They saw a trial (Lamanites) before them. They fell to their knees and asked God if he would spare them and deliver them.

But the Lamanites didn't go away. They came in full force.

The Nephites fought valiantly and defensively. Then they fought offensively until they had, with great cost, defeated their enemies. And when they were done, once again they fell to their knees, but this time in acknowledgment and gratitude for the deliverance they had requested in their initial prayers.

Now, they asked to be delivered, but they still had to fight. So, why were they so grateful? Because God gave them the strength to fight (10) and he gave them inspiration on how to fight. They fought and they were delivered and they were humble and grateful.

I guess I need more gratitude for my trials that never go away.

What did you learn?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 3

The first thing that comes to my mind is how the enemy really does admire the faith of the faithful. It is power.

Sadly, the enemy will try to use that faith against you.

“He whose ruling passion is the love of praise is a slave to everyone who has a tongue for flattery.” -George Eliot

Joseph F. Smith said: “There are at least three dangers that threaten the Church within, and the authorities need to awaken to the fact that people should be warned unceasingly against them. As I see these, they are flattery of prominent men in the world, false educational ideas, and sexual impurity.”

We must beware of flattery.

Lachoneus was a righteous man. He knew this. What a blessing good leaders are to a group of people. Lachoneus and Gidgiddoni were both men of God, who sought inspiration from the Lord to lead their people. In turn, they were blessed.

On the other hand, Giddianhi was a wicked man driven by power and greed. This would ultimately lead to the demise of his people. Hmmm… sound familiar?

I've been thinking a lot about good leaders as of late during our upcoming elections here in the US. What kind of leader would be best for our country, for the people. I hope it would be one who had faith and sought God's will for us.

I also think of leaders on a smaller scale. I am a leader in my own little way. They way I lead affect my children, my husband, those around me. It's a lot of responsibility- and one that I take seriously.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 2

It's amazing how quickly they could forget the signs they just witnessed. The more they forgot, the less they were impressed by the signs, eventually talking themselves out of any faith they had in Christ. It seems almost unfathomable to us. That would never happen to us, but it could... it is.  I've heard it said we are all only two weeks away from inactivity.

This chapter really is a blue print for falling away.

It is easier to stray than to stay. But there is no eternal joy in straying.  If you ask me... it only brings sadness in the long run... even if you believed you were happy for awhile.

I've seen many people in my life that have left the church. Some have stayed away, hardening their hearts to the doctrine and forgotten, and eventually deny, the spiritual experiences they once had. I've also seen others come back to the church after periods of inactivity. They are really able to see the difference of a life in the darkness, and one in the light of the gospel.

As for me, I'll take their word for it. I don't ever want to forget the signs God has given me in my life. I hope my faith will never dim.  I know myself too well to say it would never dim.  I am a wimp.  :)

What did you think/learn today?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Week at the Boyacks - Week 11

This week was one BUSY week.  Things that happened everyday: John went to work; McKay went to work; Chad went to cross-country practice; Hannah went to run spot light at Pentacle Theater for HMS Pinafore; drive Chad to Jamba Juice; and Chad finally decided to drive and insisted on driving 11 hours this week. 
Things that didn't happened everyday.  Monday I canned tuna.  We bought about 30 pounds on the way home from camping.  McKay really wanted to take some tuna with her to New Mexico.  So canning we did.  Ben came to help.  He likes to do the dishes.  LOL

Tuesday McKay took Hannah, Kimber and Chad to the peach orchard to pick peaches.  Once again, McKay really wanted to take peaches with her to New Mexico, so we canned.

We almost missed our window.  It is a good year for peaches.  Our favorite varieties are already finished.  Still, we were able to get a couple of good looking peaches.  We did get a few green ones, but not as many as the year before.

Wednesday we canned 82 jars of peaches.  Not bad if I do say so myself.

Ben and Kimber came to help too.  This time Ben was caged... poor guy.  We had to keep him safe.  We had a lot of fire happening on that back deck.  Seriously.  We were hot!  Kimber came out and asked why it smelled like burning hair.  I looked around and nonchalantly said, "Because we caught the dog on fire."  True story.  Charles, who loves me far too much, had been standing near us and caught his backside on fire on the crab pot burner.  The poor guy was still smoldering!  Thankfully, Kimber put the fire out.  I looked for clippers to give him a haircut... but I couldn't find any.

Canning is a family activity.  Everyone had a job.  But the truth is, I don't know how many big canning days are in my future.  Kimber never got into canning.  I know she could do it.  but it's not her thing.  This is McKay's last canning season with me.  I really don't see her living near enough to can with me again.  Let's say, the day was bitter sweet.

At least the memories are good ones... and even giving away jars to McKay and jars to Joanna and even a couple of jars to my mom, there are plenty of jars in the garage to help the memories come back. 

AND with Chad on his diet, and John at work all day, those peaches will last us a good long time!

Ben eventually helped clean the kitchen with his mom.  Our operation is a smooth one.  We had 160 pounds of peaches in jars and the kitchen cleaned in 4 hours.  BAM!

We were tired!

Meanwhile, Chad played a little video games and showed Ben the ropes.

Case and I got some green beans and zucchini, and cucumbers from the garden.  We have a great garden this year!  We are so blessed!

Case is a big helper.  He loves to find treasures in the garden.  That day he took home some beans and strawberries to share with his mom.  He loves that.  I sure like my little rent-a-boy!

Chad is looking great.  Here he is in his cross-country team uniform.  He actually consented to a picture!  Can you believe it?Sometimes he can be a stinker!  I'm still trying to get him to let me get senior pictures of him.  Sadly, I might have to count this one.  The booger.  He also ran another race in Salem.  He did better this time.  And most important... he made the varsity team.  Not bad for a kid thqat couldn't run a year ago.

John took Friday off and took Lilli on a little adventure... an overnight backpack trip.  The pack was bigger than she is!

They stopped and got some sunglasses and a hat.  With Lilli, it's all about style.  Here are a couple of Lilli gems from the trip.  "I need to look adventurous and cool."

Before John headed into the store... "Dad. Change your shoes before someone sees you."

On the drive... "I'm so excited"... a few miles up the road... "I'm losing my excitement."... on the bumpy road... "Real fast."... in the parking lot... "Ok. I got some excitement back.

It took them 3 hours to hike the mile and a half... 2 potty stops... more potty stops... John carried her pack twice but then she wanted it back moments later... Sunglasses on and sunglasses off... hat on, hat off - he had to stow them for her. 
After a little while the complaining started again, "I'm not having fun at all. Backpacking is not fun.  Just running around and climbing boulders will be fun... and fishing... And playing with the other kids."  There was a lot of glaring. Sometimes John carried everything . They stopped every 17 seconds for a break.  Lilli was constantly talking. She insisted on taking the pack back even though John was going to keep it. At least, the chipmunks were entertaining. Stopping at every settable surface was entertaining. 

Eventually, stops got shorter.. walking got faster.  "I am quite the adventurer! I take only important stops... well, now."   LOL!!!

John would point things out.  "I can't see.  I'm a little short if you haven't noticed.  Dad, your legs are longer. Take shorter steps and fewer of them."  As they climbed Lilli would yell out, "Careful! Use your hands to check for loose boulders.  I'm just trying to help my dad stay safe while climbing boulders."  That night... "I'm going to list everything that hurts."
They did a little of everything.  They drove.  They shopped. They hiked.  They fished.  They caught no fish.  They expolred.  They pooped in the woods (Lilli was telling me about it on the way home from church and I've got her convinced that bears have to dig holes in the woods to poop too!) They climbed bolder piles.   They slept on the ground.  They had fun. 

They climbed to the edge of a waterfall until John got weak in the knees and begged Lilli to come away from the edge.

Actually, my favorite story from their little adventure was about Saturday morning.  John was stretching.  You know.  A person can get a little stiff with a night sleeping on the cold, hard ground.  "Dad.  That's nasty."  "Why?"   "I'm not calling you an old guy, I'm just saying that because you're an old guy."  LOL.  sometimes she cracks me up!


Anyway, I think they had a great time!  They got back late Saturday afternoon.  Meanwhile, I had my annual Seminary Super Kick-off Activity in the morning.  I didn't get as many students there as I hoped I would get.  The students that came had fun.  I have to admit, I'm a little crazy for a seminary teacher.  McKay came to help.  Hannah was my student.  Even Chad came up for about 30 minutes.  Then McKay took Chad to team pictures and she got home in time to try on the wedding dress.  Grandma Mabee came and it looked great.  Hannah's dress fit perfect too!  Lilli's dress is even done.  Now Grandma only has 2 more dresses to make.  McKay forbade me to post a picture of that event.  Party pooper.

That evening we all went to our last PARRTAY before McKay leaves.  It was the only time we could all get together before she leaves on Saturday.  John will be leaving on Wednesday for his next camping adventure.  Hannah has play practice starting this week.  Oh and she got a new part in the Little Mermaid.  She is now one of the evil eels.  Anyway, my point is that we are running around and this was the last chance.  We went to Los Dos Amigos.  We pulled up and McKay and I had flashbacks to when I did the Heimlich when she was 2 because she was choking on a dinner mint.

We all ordered food... except Chad who has incredible will power.  But he did grab the chips... "I call these. I'm smelling them."  He didn't eat a thing.  He only drank water.  This is why he lost 70 pounds.  His problem is that he will only eat what he can measure and has proof of nutritional information.  This restuarant doesn't have that.

Even Ben joined in the dinner.  We ordered him his own rice and let him go to town.  He made a huge mess.  I like that restaurant.  They were pretty cool about it.  Sadly, we didn't get a picture of John.  He was behind the camera.  After dinner we all packed up and went over to the Earl's house for a farewell party for Jacob.  He leaves on Tuesday for his mission in Brazil.  It was good to say goodbye.  Now there are not many of Chad's friends still around.  I kind of feel sorry for the kid... or is it myself?  With Jon, JennieLinn, Jacob and soon to be Dean all gone, he doesn't have many "hang-out" buddies left.  I can tell he is sad.  I can also tell that he will be driving me crazy at home with no-one to terrorize the town with.
So that was our week.  Are you satisfied McKay?

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 1

Don't you love this chapter?

The "believers" had to face death for their testimony.  There are times I don't know if I could have done that.

Sacrament meeting today was on strengthening faith in a time of uncertainty. I'd say these "believers" faced a life of uncertainty.  We could poor out our souls like Nephi did for strength and deliverance.

Makes me think, "What am I willing to give up for my testimony and my faith?"

How about you?  What did you learn?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Helaman 16

And they began to depend on their strength and upon their own wisdom... Gah! I always fall into that trap!

If I am struggling in a subject, I would be wise and even successful if I hire a tutor. I had to get a tutor to pass my “math” credits in college. Math is not my thing. If I struggle and do not seek higher help, my struggles will not cease. It’s more like continuing to hit my head against the wall.

God is our higher help. He knows the truth and the way. He can give us strength and knowledge, faith and wisdom that is beyond ourselves.

Not only did the people depend on their own wisdom, but their wisdom was WAY off! In verse 22 it says "and they were much disturbed." So true. The scary thing is that I hear the same words being spoken today about the condition of our world as it approaches the Last Days.

The physical calamities, the state of politics, nations and wars: all of which have been prophesied for thousands of years. We know that it's coming, the Second Coming of the Lord. But, there are those who say that it is coincidence, that the earthquakes, wars, tsunamis, famines, etc have nothing to do with scripture or prophecy.

But we know the truth.

It was also interesting to note the difference between the path of believers and those that didn't believe.

The believers in verses 1, 4, 5, 14:

1. They heard
2. They believed
3. They sought someone holding the priesthood
4. They repented
5. They were baptized
6. They were taught
7. They saw signs and wonders
8. They experienced miracles
9. They looked forward to the coming of Christ
10. Angels appeared unto some of them

The unbelievers in verses 2, 15, 22 and 23:

1. They heard
2. They did not believe
3. They were angry
4. They tried to kill Samuel
5. Their hears were hardened
6. They depended on their own wisdom
7. They were much disturbed
8. Satan had a great hold upon their hearts

So, what company do we want to keep? And it all starts with believing.

What did you think/learn today?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Helaman 15

There's a fascinating thing that just dawned on me as I read verses 14 and 15, which, ironically, are the only two verses that are not highlighted.

Here is a great lesson on nature vs. nurture and how it correlates to salvation.

I've always looked at the Lamanites as wicked and ferocious people- as a whole. They were the bad guys. They were the ones that fought against the righteous. They were the ones who weren't blessed. They were ferioucous; they killed people; they did not follow the Lord. They were bad.

I always thought the Nephites were better. But, I have been totally wrong.

First of all, in verse 4 where he says "the Lamanites hath he hated because of their deeds," we know that the Lord doesn't hate anyone. He abhors sin, and cannot look upon it with any degree of allowance.  Vs. 3 proves that when you love someone you must do what you can to correct them... even chasten them.

Some of the Lamanites were really bad people- just evil. But then, so were some of the Nephites.

Some of the Lamanites were really good people- even prophets. So were some of the Nephites.

The difference is that the Nephites, as a whole, had the gospel and struggled with it.

The Lamanites, as a whole, did not have the gospel at all. BUT- when they did receive it, they were better members than the Nephites.

Vs. 5 "the more part of them in the path of their duty... walk circumspectly before God... do observe to keep His commandments..." Vs. 6 "... striving with unwearied dilegence that they may bring the remainder of their brethern to the knowledge of the truth..."  They worked hard and they shared the gospel with everyone.  Vs. 7 They "... believe the holy scriptures... and the prophets..." And they (vs. 7) exercised "faith and repentance" that brought "a change of heart."  They were (vs8) "firm and steadfast."

Amazing!  The Lord used this group of people, who, for the most part were ignorant of His ways, to teach and compel the Nephites to repent.

But, in verses 14 and 15 we learn that, as a whole, if the Lamanites had been given the opportunities as the Nephites to hear, learn and live the gospel, they would had never wavered. They were kept in ignorance, not as a punishment, but so they could be used as a tool.

Now, is that unfair? No. BECAUSE, we also know that in the morning of the First Resurrection that the believers will rise up, as well as those THAT WOULD HAVE BELIEVED if they were given the chance here.

But, here we learn that if they had received the gospel, they would have been more firm than the Nephites. We can see glimpses of that in King Lamoni and his people, the people of Ammom, etc.

They lived in ignorance, but it was the Lords choice- and they will be blessed for it.

And they are now, as their people are coming to the gospel in droves. The church in South America is exploding with sweet, humble and diligent converts. It's beautiful.  I'm excited to see see two of my seminary students will be leaving soon to serve among these strong people.

I've always looked at the Nephites as the blessed ones, but now it see them more like the mediocre kids who needed more attention and work to straighten up. The Lamanites are actually the good kids who would have gotten straight A's if only they could have gone to school.

But, the Lord, in his wisdom and mercy, will give them what they have earned.

What have you learned?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Helaman 14

Whenever it says "that can't be written,(1) I always feel a little twinge of excitement. We've been told that we will receive more scripture when we are ready. I'm hoping it will fill in some of the blanks, add the teachings of prophets like Zenock and Zenos and Samuel the Lamanite, etc. So exciting!

I like the term "condition of repentance." (18) The Savior atoned for everyone. He knew that not all would take advantage of it, but He still did it for all. It is for each of us, but it is not free. There are conditions to repentance: a humble heart, contrite spirit, etc. Some people think that all you have to do is say you believe and you are saved, but that isn't the case. It takes work. Salvation isn't cheap but it is ours if we choose. In verse 30 is says as much. It's our choice.

It is all part of the Great Plan!

Verse 30 also clarifies that it is knowledge that sets us free. The more we know about ourselves, our nature, our potential, the more we we can do with our lives. The more we know about the Savior and His Atonement, the more we can take advantage of it in our lives. We can be free from sin, free from perishing.

Free... nice...

It really is up to us.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Helaman 13

I've been camping and away from a computer.  It is time to get back with reading and blogging about the Book of Mormon.  Today is Helaman 13 and the beginning of the story of Samuel the Lamanite.

I love the tenacity of Samuel. He was commanded by God to preach to his city- they wouldn't let him in. He didn't give up and turn around. (Jonah ring a bell? funny since I'm canning tuna today.) No, Samuel climbed the wall and preached to the city from there.

When God asks us to do something, there is always a way it can be done. Sometimes we just need to think outside the box- or the city, in Samuel's case.

Again, here it talks about the power of the 'word.'  The power that is in the word is amazing, and here, once again, we see that. In verse 8 the Nephites learn that unless they repent, the word will be taken from then. Along with that, the Spirit will be taken away, and their enemies will be unleashed.  This is an even stronger threat when you think about the "word" as "The Word" or the Savior.  I can't imagine what life would be like without the influence of the Savior.  Risky business.

The Lord had softened the hearts of their enemies. Not because of what they had done, but because of what the Nephites had done right. As the Nephites continue to sin, that blessing of safety from the enemies is in danger.

But, if they repent, they will be blessed.

If that's not incentive enough, I don't know what is. 

This chapter is the ultimate 'Pros and Cons' list. Repent and get this. Sin and get this.

The Pros sound so good. The Cons sound so bad.

I look at my life and I know that there are pros and cons. I can see the blessings in my life when I obey. I really don't want to see what my life would be like if I turned away from God. Major cons.

What did you learn?

The Week at the Boyack's - Week 10

It has been a full week. So full that I wasn’t’ around a computer for most of the week!

Monday was registration. This year Hannah has decided to give full time HS a try. Chad will be taking 4 classes at the HS. That will leave Lillian the only one at home for me to teach. Sigh. Things are changing.

We spent the morning at the HS getting pictures and ID cards. However, the longest chore was waiting in line at the counseling office. If you can believe it, Hannah didn’t have choir on her schedule. We had to make changes. Choir is the one thing she really wants! She now has English 1, Algebra1, Choir, Health 1, Physical Science, Cultural Geography, and a study hall. I wanted her to have time to do home work since she has never been at public school. However, we hear that study hall is not a good idea because it’s a lame environment. We will give it a couple weeks and make changes if we need to.

Pintrest... even at the beach
Chad has 2 choir classes, college Algebra (sweet! He will get college credit for that class) and weights. Sure wish I could convince him to take more. I’d love it if he worked harder on getting his driver’s license. Anyway, they are now ready for classes this fall.

Tuesday I helped out and worked registration. I sat all morning long at the Performing Arts Booster Club. I sat there all morning and did nothing. Emma Thurston sat with me and we watched Youtube on my cell phone. We talked to a couple people, but few people come to registration. I think the school needs to rethink this process. It was a waste of a morning for many volunteers.

Wednesday I taught a couple lessons and listened to Jacob Earl give me the speech on Cutco knives. Yes. I caved. Hey! I’ve liked those knives before but I could never afford them. But I have been saving up so cash and I got a small set. Really. I could use them. I haven’t’ had a sharp knife in the house in years. I spent the rest of the day trying to convince kids to get ready for the weekend camping trip. I was not successful.

It was chilly, but the weather was pretty good for flying kites.
Thursday I got up and couldn’t get anyone interested in helping find things or pack things. No one was interested in telling me what they wanted to eat so I didn’t go shopping. Chad didn’t get up until after noon. Kimber and Ray came around noon and put their stuff in the car. McKay helped some before she went to work. Hannah did most of the helping. However, after a while, I gave up and just waited for everyone else to show interest. They seem to forget that I wasn’t going camping for my pleasure. I was going camping for them. I packed up my stuff and waited.

Poor Ben had to bundle up everywhere he went.
Seriously, I can’t say that they were starting out being a lot of fun. Everyone was so CRABBY!!! Somehow, I drove out of town with Kimber, Ray, Ben, Chad, Lillian and all the dogs around 2pm. We rolled into camp – south Beach just outside of Newport around 4 and started to set up camp. It was cold! It was nearly 100 at home and the coast was in the low 50’s. What a shock. We started noticing right away all the things people forgot… toothbrushes, pillows, jackets… the final straw was enough sleeping bags! Gah! That left me, once again, with the sleeping bag that didn’t zip. I didn’t take my sweatshirt off all weekend!

Charlie barely made it back from his run with Chad.  Chad had to drag him back.  LOL.
Friday came after a long wrestles night. We moseyed around camp and even strolled down to the beach. Lillian tried to fly a kite. Kimber and Ray sat and watched the waves. Lillian got to ride on sand motorbike. Our camp neighbors had one down on the beach and offered to give her a ride. She had fun. Chad took Charlie up the beach for a run. He had to drag him back because Charlie is a lazy dog. Then Chad kept running the other way down the beach. Chad handed me the stupid dog. Charlie decided to chase a little dog that was teasing him and nearly ripped my thumb off! It sprained it pretty good. It hurt to do everything! I don’t know how creatures without thumbs function! Stupid dog.

Lilli and her best friend Charlie.... snoozing on the drive to the coast.
The walk back to camp took me a little longer than I wanted it to. First, I have trouble hiking sand dunes. You take a step and slide 2 down. Second, I was carrying a chair and a kite and trying to manage Charlie all without a thumb.

The visit to the Hatfield Museum.
Thankfully, John, McKay, and Hannah showed up just before dinner. John was a knight in shining honor and fixed all the things I didn’t get to and the things we had forgotten. After dinner, Shar and her girls came to roast marshmallows. Shar had to clean her former rental house in Waldport and her girls had gone to Sea Camp for the day. Shar and I had arranged for Leah to stay with us Friday and Saturday nights. We didn’t tell the girls. We just put Leah’s stuff in the tent. The girls were pretty funny when they realized they Leah got to stay.

We all live in a Yellow Submarine!
Saturday we were lazy in getting up. I stayed at camp while everyone else went to check out the Hatfield Museum. It’s free and it’s cool. I took the kids when they were real little. John had never gone. We had wanted to go to The Aquarium, but it was too crowded. The line wrapped around through the parking lot. We will have to plan a different day for that fun.

John liked the wild life.... I mean watching Ben.
Back at camp, Hannah started to play with the walkie-talkies. She started goofing off with Chad across the table, but then someone else started to answer her. She had a conversation with someone for a good 45 minutes. Eventually, she learned that they were camping in the same camp ground. They asked her name and I’m pretty sure they thought she said “Hannah Montana”. They asked what camp space she was in. Hannah started to freak out because they were coming to meet her. We waited. Pretty soon a pack of 6 year olds on scooters came up the road screaming with excitement that they had found C8! Hannah ran out to the road to meet “Zach.” It was so cute.

In love with Nemo and Dori.
The camp ground was more busy than most camp grounds we have visited. It seemed that most of the camp ground was reserved for family reunions. They people next to us had about 8 families in one stop. They even had the Sheriff come and tell them they couldn’t park their cars on the grass. They were pretty interesting. Here a couple of gems we heard from their very loud camp space…. “You kids must have left these boxes open and the crows ate all the muffins.” “No it was the raccoons.” “Are you back talking me?” Or “ You can’t ride that without shoes stupid. You’ll rip a toe off. Do you want a muffin?” “Does anyone have indigestion, heartburn, stomach problem? How about this. Does anyone want some candy?” All the little kids start yelling. “No this candy isn’t for kids.”

It's fun to touch everything.
We also learned some pearls of wisdom from the playground. (we were camped next to the playground.) We were fixing dinner and I hear Lillian yell, “Cooties are just an excuse for boys NOT to date girls.” LOL. About 30 minutes later I turn around to see her beating the crap out of some little boy. “Lillian!” I yell. “What? I’m teaching him stage combat.” Thanks CET. LOL.

This octopus crawls out when they feed it.
I tried to be relaxed. I really did. Camping is just not my thing. At least I got some time in reading a book. I decided to try a nice political thriller… some Jack Ryan book. I’m having trouble getting into it. Too bad to. It’s a long book.

We came home Sunday and got ready for the long up coming week. We plan on canning most of the week. Sigh. Here it goes!

Best of friends.

Playing Ninja in the dark

Chad looked a little more freaky.

Hannah met a new friend on the walkie-talkie.

Zach is coming to meet me?

Hannah's fan club road scooters just to meet her.

I think they thought she was more famous.

They wanted to come back the next day, but we were all leaving.

Look Mom!  Handles!

Camping Cuddle Buddies.