Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nehpi 26

This is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. I would love to sit at the feet of the Savior and listen as He teaches me the Plan of Salvation from the beginning to the end.  The Plan of Salvation is my favorite subject!  It is my favorite lesson to teach in seminary.  I takes me 3 days to lay it all out at the very least.  It is such an amazing Plan, a perfect Plan- from the organization of our intelligences to the final judgement and our celestial glory. It never ceases to amaze me how eternally comprehensive it is (and we only know/understand such a small portion of it!) and that it was created because Heavenly Father loves us.

The Plan, of course, could not have been successful unless Jesus volunteered to be the Savior. In doing so, He willingly set Himself apart from the others, stepping from His place as a God to have a human experience.  As the "Director" of the Plan, he step on stage to take on the most difficult role in the script, that of Savior of all mankind.  It wasn't even a "normal" human existence. He could have said nothing, and opted to have a life like ours, but He didn't. He sacrificed the opportunity to live like us. Not that our lives are so amazing- BUT, there are so many things He did not experience because He was the Savior. I have a feeling that He probably didn't feel cheated. He had ultimate eternal perspective.

We are to be like Him.

As disciples of Jesus Christ we are asked, in a way, to give up "normal" lives for a higher purpose. We give up sin, complaining, time, money, selfish desires- all to fulfill His purposes: to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life, and help those around us. In that respect, we are called 'Saviors on Mount Zion.' We do missionary work, temple work, family work, callings, home teaching, visiting teaching.

I also love this chapter because of the miracles: the children speaking, healing people, and his ascension. Oh, to have been there!

I may not have been able to sit at His feet on that day, but I have the opportunity to sit at the feet of those He has chosen to lead us in these latter-days.  I loved the talks of Women's Broadcast of Conference today. 

Messages that stood out to me:
-Even if I am an old, worn out $20 bill I am still worth $20.
-Covenants write the Savior on my heart.
-Am I checking on my heart? Am I teachable and humble?
-Come and He will give rest.
-Work to be prepared physically and spiritually to be able to serve other at the time of need.
-Observe and quickly act.
-No one is alone.
-He sorrows with me.  He doesn't just say it will be alright, He feels what we feel.
-He knows, understands and will carry me through hard days.
-Search scriptures... He will speak to us.
-Cherish one another.
-Teach each other.

I love sitting at the feet of the Lord's servants.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 25

Short but sweet.

I love this chapter.

Things I learn from these words:

Do what I can to avoid burning and DO all that I can to arise.  The key it to follow the "Son of Righteousness".  I love that name for the Savior.  It says it all and it teaches what we need to do.

I also love the last verse... "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers..."

This little verse has a lot to say...  we get somewhere in family units... parents must make their children and future generations a high priority in their lives... our families help to motivate us to do good... children must seek to obey and honor their parents and grandparents...  we must seek to bring all family member to Christ, past (work for the dead), current, and future (establishing gospel traditions in the home).

I have had a chance to talk with teenagers about the last days. I am often able to share with them some of the things they could expect, and some of the things that are expected from them.  It often brings them great peace, and even a sense of excitement about the Last Days. Especially the need for temple work, and the great things they can do for those who cannot do for themselves.

What did you learn?

More policitcal rants

I orginally wrote this paragraph in my previous post.  However, my husband pointed out that it  didn't really fit there.  Thus I rant in a new post.

I'd like to know why so many believe the government should be the ultimate provider of everything we need.  

Personally, I believe that we need a smaller government.  Help for others still needs to happen, but it needs to happen because we truly care for others not because it is mandated. 

Yes, everyone deserves to eat.  However, please explain to me why my taxpaying, community volunteering family eats peanut butter and jelly and the person in line in front of me at the grocery store, who I know personally and who I know for a fact doesn’t make an effort to get a job buys steak, lobster, and fresh veggies courtesy of those who do pay (oh… that would be those evil rich people - those rich people). 

Yes, everyone deserve to have health care.  Could you please explain to me why I pay for insurance and I can’t get an appointment at Kaiser Permanente and if I could, I couldn’t afford my co-pay and the person on Welfare can get all the health care and dental they need… free… oh and my health insurance is more expensive each year.  Can you explain why I haven’t been to the dentist in years because I can’t afford it, even with insurance? 

Still… I believe that people need care so I give away my time, 1st aid supplies, oils etc on a weekly basis in order for people to feel better.  I give a snack to nearly every person I can when I see them on the corner. I feed multiple people a week who are not in my family.  Even better, I work to teach others to care for themselves and to contribute to the world.  I believe that is really caring for the poor.

So.... can anyone tell me what's so great about big government?  I ddin't think so.

Dear Mr. Harry Reid

Dear Mr. Reid,

Today, I must confess that I am not in a good mood. I blame the political environment.

Let me explain.

Today, as I drove my kids to the High School radio station after radio station was talking about Harry Reid and his opinions of Mitt Romney.

I don’t normally get into politics, but today I’d like to remind you, Mr. Reid, that we are all the “face of Mormonism” – you are, Romney is, I am. Everything we do and say somehow reflects what we believe and what we practice.

Matt.5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick, and it giveth light until all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good work and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”

You, Mr. Reid reportedly believes that Mitt Romney is not the face of Mormonism. What exactly does that mean? I can see from many examples how Romney’s exercise of his religion. I can’t say I know much about you, Mr. Reid, or what it is that would qualifies you to speak on what is and what is not a valid practice of our supposedly common faith.

I am not claiming whom I support in the political arena. Frankly, I have lost faith in our process. Democracy is quickly dying. You, Mr. Reid is the perfect example.

For those who see Mormonism itself as a barrier to support, it would be good to remember that we are electing a Commander in Chief, not a Theologian in Chief. We do not have to agree with every element of the new President’s faith. Even in the evangelical protestant religious community there are differences between groups like the Baptists and Pentecostals… differences between Protestants and Catholics. Religious differences are a fact of life and a very few people will be able to vote for the candidate who sits under the ministry of the same church. So, what are we to do?

My point is that we all need to carefully consider what we want in a President. I would think we should start with a man (or woman, someday perhaps) of character. If the person holding the highest office in the land does not have personal character, nothing he promises or attempts to do can be relied upon. Experience and wisdom are two other characteristics essential in the leader of the free world. The current administration has shown that without them, everything just falls apart. The presidency is not a place for on the job training.

Getting back to your comment about Romney not being a good representative of his faith – how do his actions reflect on Mormons in general? As a Mormon I hope to have a reputation for a squeaky clean morality. In spite of attempts to destroy the man and his credibility, I feel that Romney’s life stands as an example for all to emulate. He is well known to be a faithful husband and loving father to his family. That is seems to be a cut above many currently in Washington. Numerous people have come forward with stories of how Romney and his family have personally helped people, both individually and as a representative of his church. I want to be known for the same thing.

Romney’s traditional family life, may, to the Democrats, be a disqualifying factor. However, for most productive Americans, these are desirable qualities.

He is a successful business man, something else that makes him suspect to the current political arena. In an honest evaluation, there is nothing here that would seem to make him a questionable representative of his church… unless one were working with an alternate value system – a value system that permits you to spread false stories about a political enemies tax returns, and continuously lie to the public about legislation along with the president’s actions and motives, while refusing to permit the Senate to perform its basic duties, like pass a budget.

Those who want to see negative, will always find something whine about. While we may not all be in complete agreement with every one of Romney’s policies, it is hard to argue that his is not a good, moral man. Yet this is exactly what you, Harry Reid is doing when you say Romney is not the face of Mormonism. Frankly, if he were, it would be a good face. Should you, Harry Reid, be the face, the church would be worthy of all the negative images people have in the back of their minds. Fortunately for the LDS church, you are is not no more the face of the church than Romney, yet Romney gives a strong main stream image to the world. He would also make a good image to the rest of the world for our country.

So again, Mr. Reid. may I remind you that we are all the face of Mormonism. Bitter accusations are not doing you, the country, or your faith any good.

As for my own action… I have been reminded that my own actions and my words must reflect my testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the World. I must work to help those in need. I most work to preserve freedom and choice and justice. I must work to make a stronger family and to build the families of other. Most of all, I need to work hard to put God first and to let His light shine through me to testify of His goodness and glory.

Please Mr. Reid… consider joining me.

A Fellow Mormon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 24

One of my favorite Primary songs is I wonder When He Comes Again. 

I can't help but wonder about what it must have been like to sit at the feet of the Savior while He taught scripture.

I wonder if they were excited to receive more scripture. I know I would be!

I know they didn't fully understand what He was telling them, because He spends time in chapter 26 explaining it. So, I guess I don't feel so bad not fully understanding all that He tries to teach me.

But, there is one thing that I do understand and have a testimony of: the principle of tithing. We can give our agency and time to the Lord, but tithing is the only tangible thing He requires of us. Isn't that interesting?  Tithing is the first bill we should ever pay.

Plus, anything I can do that will open the windows of heaven so blessings will be poured upon me, bring it on! I will do it. 

What did you learn?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book of Morman Study - 3 Nephi 23

Verse 1: "Ye ought to search these things... a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah."

It's a commandment!  Not to browse but to look non-stop for what is in the scriptures.  Not only does he tell us to search in verse 1, but He commands us to search what the prophets have taught in verse 5.

This must be of the most importance! 

Why do we struggle to read our scriptures daily when it is clearly a commandment?  Why do we struggle to dive deep into scriptural knowledge when it is clear that the Savior values the scriptures and the words of the prophets?  Why?

"... for great are the words..." I wonder if the Savior could say that about my words. Not that I'm a prophetess,but just about my speech and the things I speak of. Am I speaking of things that are good and righteous? And I sharing the gospel and using my words to uplift others?

Verses 4-5: Again- it's so neat for me to see myself in the scriptures! I am one of those Gentiles that has received His words :)  Sweet!
Verse 6: They got busted! The didn't record all they were supposed. I keep a daily journal for this very same reason. It helps me to "keep" my days and remember all that I have been given and that I've done.

In addition, President Eyring gave a great talk once about the importance of writing down spiritual impression while studying.  It made a huge impact on my study.  I learned for myself that writing out the impression I receive, I not only show my gratitude for the lessons I learn from the spirit, I gain greater and greater understanding.

Besides, it's a commandment to write things down.

Even President Kimball counseled that we should all keep journals.

I'm not good at it.  But I'm a work in progress.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Clean Eating Report

So... I've now been attempting to begin the process of "clean eating" for the past week and a half.  It is a processes.  I hate wasted food, so it is taking me a couple weeks to use up all the less-than-healthy food in my house.  I have succeeded in only buying the healthy stuff since I decided to try something new.  The rest of the family is co-operating... for the most part.  Here are most successful food adventures of for the past week and a half:

I came home from my experience with the Chinese medicine doctor and made this Corn Salad.  I used 1 c. yellow corn, 1 c. white corn, 2 tomatoes from my garden chopped small, 1 cucumber from my garden chopped small, 1 small zucchini from my garden chopped small, 1/2 of a red onion chopped small, 1 bunch of cilantro chopped small, 1/2 t. of Taco seasoning, 1/2 garlic powder, 2 T lime juice, 2 T. red wine vinegar, and black pepper to taste, and topped it with sliced avocado.  I then served it with corn chips.  I had them in the cupboard.   Next time I make this I will get chips from a health food store.

Saturday, September 15, I made homemade pizzas.  I used GF pizza rounds I found in the freezer section of the grocery store.  I put 2 T of tomato paste on the round and topped it with spinach from my garden, fresh tomatoes from my garden, green peppers from my garden onions, zucchini from my garden, and raw feta cheese.  You can't get much cleaner that that!  All that fresh garden stuff.  I had turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni and olives for the rest of the family.  It was a big hit!  A "most repeat" experiment.

Sunday, September 16 I made Greek Chicken and green beans and acorn squash from my garden.  For the chicken I combine 2 T lemon juice, 1 t. oregano, 1/2 t. garlic salt, 2 t olive oil and poured it over the chicken.  I let it marinade for 4 hours.  Then I browned the sides before I made pockets of chicken, tomato slices, Kalamata olives and raw feta cheese.  I baked it at 350 for about 50 minutes.  I steamed the green beans and the squash.  They were real yummy with just a sprinkle of black pepper.  John said I should repeat this one too. 

Monday, September 17 I made Carne Asada.  I combine flank steak, 1/3 c. white vinegar, 4 T GF soy sauce, 4 cloves garlic, 2 T. lime juice, 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 t. salt, black pepper, and white pepper, 1 t. each of chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika, 1 c. chopped onion and 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro.  I marinated it for 4 hours.  I then grilled it in the oven.  I made more of the corn salad that was a winner.  I sliced the beef thin and served it over a bed of salad greens, 1 c,. of the corn salad and a few corn chips.  Winner!  John wants this one again too.  And bonus... this beef didn't seem to hurt my tummy.

Tuesday, September 18 I made grilled Salmon with a summer squash and carrot stir fry.  I put dill, thyme, salt and pepper on the Salmon.  I chopped zucchini and summer squash from the garden.  I added carrot matchsticks and sauteed it in olive oil.  I loved it.  Kids won't eat fish.  They don't know what they are missing.
Wednesday, September 19 we made Turkey Burgers.  I have to admit I cheat here.  I found a spiced turkey burger in the freezer section of the store.  it saves me a ton of time.  I had a GF hamburger bun.  Sure glad Udi makes those.  We had tomatoes and lettuce from the garden too.  I so made the family a pasta salad to go with the meal.  I needed to use it out of the cupboard.  :)
About the "cleanest" eating I did on Thursday, September 20 was the squash from the garden.  Remember, I'm still trying get the food out of the cupboard that might not be so "clean".  I can't waste it!  Children are starving in other parts of the world.  LOL.  I use Rosemary on this squash.  It was tasty!
Friday, September 21 I tried a seeded YELLOW watermelon my friend brought.  She got it at an organic co-op market in Corvallis.  It was great!  My kids thought it was weird.  I liked it.  She also brought Kiwi Berries.  Yummy!  I might have to find this store and find time to go!  Sadly, I didn't take a picture.  That night we went to Thai food.  It might not be the "cleanest" eating, but it was yummy.  I had a garden roll and Green Curry.  I love to make this dish.  The restaurant we tried was not my favorite.  They use egg plant (yuck!) in their Curry.  I prefer the Thai restaurant in Independence.  Now I do recommend that.  I was good and only ate 1/2 of the serving and took the rest home.  Someone else ate it for lunch the next day.  I'm not sure who... it was hot.  The kind of HOT that only I will eat. hehehe.
Saturday, September 22 I made Broccoli Beef... only with out much broccoli, so I eventually called it Clean-out-the fridge Beef.  I had beef bits from the steak dish earlier in the week.  I had some Napa cabbage, carrot match sticks, mushrooms and green peppers.  I was brave and even made my own sauce with potato starch, GF soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.  Because I was making it up as I went, I didn't write anything down.  Too bad.  It was the best stir fry I've made.

Sunday, September 23, I made Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans and salad... well Hannah helped.  We put 2 T thyme, 1/4 c. natural maple syrup, 1/2 apple cider vinegar, 2 T Dijon mustard on the pork and baked it.  The sweet potatoes were good with just a little pepper.  We steamed the Green beans from the garden.  The salad was plain salad greens, green peppers from the garden, a little cilantro, tomatoes from the garden and then we gave the family a choice of salad dressings.  It was pretty good.

So there is my first attempt at clean eating.  I will report next week how things go. 

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 22

Some of these Isiah chapters are hard to focus on and to understand.  I find that this chapter has a bit of a comforting tone. A couple times the Lord says, "It's gonna hurt, but just for a little bit. It's going to be okay." I know He is referring to the Last Days, the gospel, the gathering of Israel, and such, but I think we can take this in a more personal approach.

Sometimes we have to struggle and we have to feel pain. It's the price of growth.

Darn it!  Many days I'm tired of the struggle.

In those times I find it hard to feel happy about things. Sometimes I even feel abandoned, like God has forsaken me. I find myself asking, "Why did God let this happen?"

There isn't a standard answer for every person and situation- we are all so different in our needs, choices and experiences. When there are times that I feel like I'm struggling, it's nice to be reminded that God is aware of my issues even if He doesn't grant immediate relief. Intellectually I understand that the struggle can be for my benefit, my good. And I know that He is still by my side saying, "It's gonna hurt, but just for a little bit. It's going to be okay."  I also have come to the conclutuion that in some cases me may not get to feel peace until we've moved on... Still.. He says, "I know it's going to hurt, but it will be ok."


Then comes the wait.

I love verse 13: And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

I want this to be true.  Some children make it harder thatn others.

I feel that best thing I can do for my kids is to teach them of the Lord. And that's what I've tried to do. sometimes I get through... other times I don't.  I only have a few years with these people.  Then they go off on their own (two have moved out already).   My job used to be taking care of them. Now my job is to teach them to live without me (for day-to-day living.) That includes cooking, cleaning, working - which they all hate. It also (and has always) included me doing my best to help them to have a relationship with Heavenly Father.

When they move away I won't be there to remind them to pray, or to head up family prayer, scripture study, take them to church, etc. They will need to take responsibility for their relationship with God and the Savior, because that is what is going to help them most through this life.

Fertile, prepared ground and seeds for such eternal relationships with Deity were the greatest gifts my parents gave me. Right behind that (if they can even be separated) was their love.

Beautiful chapter.

What did you learn?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 21

This country, a free land, has been established, allowing the freedom of religion, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which are all signs that His time to return is coming. That is exciting!

Verse 6 specifically applies to us: that if we don't harden our hearts, that we repent and come unto him and be baptized and know the doctrine, we will be adopted into the House of Israel.

It is interesting that throughout this chapter, Jesus is very clear about whose plan it was: His and our Father in Heaven's plan. Jesus plays a part- an intricate and necessary part- of that plan, but it is the Father's wisdom and plan. (vv 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 20, 27, 29)

Also of note: Verse 9, the Savior talks about the Restoration of the gospel., and that the Father will bring about the restoration for the sake of Jesus Christ. (His words were "for my sake")

Now, the restoration was for our sake, wasn't it? I mean, we benefit from it: from the truths taught, the ordinances offered, the revelation given? So, why did He say "for my sake."

I don't have any official talk or scripture to site- just my own opinion. Perhaps it is because He asked because He loves us and wants to give us all one more chance.

The Savior performed His Atonement nearly two thousand years ago. He suffered the pains and paid the price of the sins of EVERY person that ever has, does now, and ever will exist on this earth.

That is a HUGE HUGE HUGE sacrifice and undertaking. My 12-size font CANNOT express, nor can my little brain truly understand the magnitude and meaning of it all.  Mybe someday.

I know, on my own mortal level, that He did that for everyone. BUT- it only counts when the individuals He atoned for acknowledge and accept the Atonement.

Meaning- those that don't believe in Him will never have that atoning price of their sins taken care of. They pay for their sins the rest of their lives- even through eternity if they continue to deny Him. That means the suffering Christ went through in the Garden and on the cross for them was in vain.

Not good.

Here's the key: The more people learn of the Savior, the more people accept and take advantage of the Atonement He has already performed and is actively offering to us.

He wanted everyone to be happy.

That says it all.

The Week at the Boyack's - Week 15

This week has been an unusual week.  We all did school.  We all did work.  We all got involved in our various activities.  Once again, I wasn't very good about taking pictures.  I guess I just think that we are too boring and don't really have a ton to show the world.  Then Kimber sent me these pictures of Chad from the past Friday night football game.

Chad has joined the "super Fans" of CHS football.  He even came up with a costume... my red bandanna... Lillian's Cheer Camp shirt... a scrap of red fabric from my sewing room... Raymond's red socks... and my mascara under his eyes.  At the games he acts like a nut.  He does push ups when the team scores.  He hasn't done many push ups because they haven't been scoring.  He didn't go to this weeks game because it was in Scappouse and his practice went long.  The team lost.

Case has been playing hard and getting ornery.  He is pick about what he eats.  He throws fights when things don't go his way.  He's been hitting people when that happens.  Check out how dirty he is.  This dirt was left over AFTER he washed for lunch.  It's gross.

Chad had another race this week.  This race was at Willamette Mission Park just north of Kaiser.  I went to this race.  I just left play practice early and went to support the kid.  I observed that he is one friendly kid.  He struck up conversations with kids all around him.  He even made sure he hooked up with Kellon
s little brother.

He isn't the fastest guy on the team so he has to start the race a row or two behind the faster people.  I don't see how they all run.  I'd think you'd be stepped on... a little like a stampede.    Still, his start was ok.

His time wasn't as fast as last week.  He still came in 4th on his team and had 2 guys from his team come in behind him.  He handled the disappointment pretty well.  I like this running sport because I get to see my kid participate at every event.  There is no standing around on the side lines.  We got the chance to talk to his coach too.  The coach is very impressed with Chad.  Actually, who isn't.  Losing 71 pounds and taking up running is a pretty amazing feat.  Now, to get him to apply that kind of determination and self control in other areas of his life... like his chores... his family relationships... his school work... and...

Friday my friend Shar came and we painted the bathroom.  It's been 8 years with brown.  I was ready for something a little more bright.  Chad doesn't like it.  He really doesn't like me to change the house.  Remember how he threw a fit because we put in a sidewalk and got rid of the dangerous rock path?  Well... the same rebellion has risen again about my bathroom.

I like it.  Besides, it's my bathroom.  I know he'd like to claim it, but it is just off my bedroom.  He won't use the family bathroom... only the master bath.  It drives me nuts.  I am the only person who cleans it.  I'd like to be the one that dirties it.  LOL.  Maybe the girly color purple will encourage him to use the other bathroom.  It's not like he won't be sharing with the same amount of people.

Shar did most of the work because I taught school and helped a few people.  The kids had a great time "air" painting the rest of the house.  Lilli got to slop on a little paint in the bathroom too.  She does make a good helper when she chooses to help.

Meanwhile, there was a small disaster in the kitchen.  I was standing there doing dishes and suddenly felt my toes become very warm and very wet.  I wondered why there was no water pressure.  The problem?  The hose on the kitchen faucet had ruptured.  John came home from work and tore into it.  It took both of us to get the old faucet off the sink.  He was up until after 1am working on it.  Good thing too.  Dishes can really stack up around here.

Saturday we all worked on projects.  I went to the HS most of the day and worked on the play.  I had wanted to finish the bathroom when I got home at 3 but John had the ladder.  Instead, I planned the week's menu and cleaned up after the people that had stayed home.  Eventually, I made dinner and went shopping.  Although Hannah had rehearsal, she came home to "do homework".  Look closely at the picture and you will see how that homework went.

Meanwhile, Chad watched football... ALL DAY LONG.  It is amazing how he can get up on time to watch the good games and we struggle to get him up for school.  Let's just say he doesn't burn many calories on a Saturday.

John worked some more on the front porch.  This has been many weeks in the making.  He wrapped all the poles with wood.  He caulked all the cracks.  Be chased out all the bees.  He took out the bird's nest. and he started to paint.

Lillian helped him too.  They didn't finish.  The porch is still covered in plastic.  My swing is still in the yard.  but most of the porch and trim are now white.  There is still touch up to do so all the plastic will stay until next weekend.  Visitors will still need to navigate through a maze of tools and trash to get to the door.  But it looks nice.  I can't wait until it's done.  I wonder what this next week will be bring.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 20

In this chapter Jesus provides the bread and wine, and administers the Sacrament to the Nephites again. They had received it for the first time just the day before (Chapter 18). That tells me the Sacrament must be important.

The first time they received the Sacrament, they were told they would be blessed for doing so. This time, after partaking of the Sacrament, He spoke more specifically (and allegorically) about the blessings of partaking of the Sacrament (8). They not only partook it in remembrance of Him, but He said "he that eateth this bread eateth my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul;"

It solidifies the correlation between the Sacrament and the Atonement. When we partake of the Sacrament, we are not only remembering Him but inviting Him into our souls - - by taking the Sacrament we make Him a part of us.

He also stated that when we shall do this our souls shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled. He wasn't referring to hunger for the bread He brought, but the nourishing word and affect the Sacrament has on our souls.


Then He spoke about the prophecies regrading Himself.

I wonder how many of the Nephites were sitting there thinking, "What is He saying?"  I'd say it's safe to say that most people are thinking that.

It was interesting to note that He gave them the deeper doctrine AFTER they had been sufficiently prepared by the hearing the teachings and participating in the ordinances of Baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and partaking of the Sacrament.

That's how Heavenly Father and the Savior work. They teach line up line, precept upon precept.

That's how we learn. That's how we grow.

Again. Beautiful.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 19

I love that the people HAD to share!

Verse 3: they "did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude."

They made sure they were going to see the Savior and they invited everyone to join them!  These people understood the spirit of missionary work!

When we know we must share!

I have to examine my own efforts.  Do I labor exceedingly to be close to the Savior?  Do I labor exceedingly to invite others to know him?

They worked and sacrificed because they knew where the Savior would be and they wanted to be near to Him. I know that He wants me to be near to Him in a spiritual sense. I know where He is, and how to get to Him, but how hard do I try to be there?  How hard do I try to invite others to join me?

Food for thought.

I am also impressed that one of their greatest desires was to have the gift of the Spirit.

I love the Holy Ghost. I love what He does, and who He does it for. We learn a lot about the Holy Ghost in this chapter. I especially love verse 28, where they were purified by the Holy Ghost. Beautiful event!

I thought it was interesting how the Savior had the disciples pray, He would go off to pray, then come back to see if they were still doing what He had asked. Every time He returned He found that they still were, and every time He saw that, He blessed them more. They were transfigured (28), purified by the Holy Ghost (28), He smiled upon them (30), and then He prayed a prayer that was so great that it could not be repeated.

And it was all because of their faith (28).

I do love in verse 30 where He smiles upon them. I'd like to think that I live my life in such a way that He smiles upon me, too.

What dod you learn?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 18

Isn't it interesting how, when Jesus was teaching the people, He would turn and teach the twelve disciples a little more. It's the first recorded Priesthood training session in the Book of Mormon!


There is a lot of great stuff in this chapter: The institution of the Sacrament (which they didn't have becasue they were practicing the Law of Moses), teachings on prayer, the Holy Ghost, and more!

But, verse 32 stuck out to me today. Jesus is telling them to never turn away someone who wants to come to church and worship because "for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them."

We cannot judge those who want to come- regardless of past mistakes/choices. Salvation is for all, and we never know if that particular time is the time they are ready.

I also love how we learn that:

The Savior heals

and we teach.

We are partners with Christ, Saviors on Mount Zion, in helping any and all come to Him.    I think the strongest lesson I've learned from this chapter is that we need to pray ALWAYS!  If we stop we are vulnerable.   What did you learn?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 17

I love this chapter!!!!  I wish I was there!

The first principle we learn in this chapter is that knowledge and understanding come from God. They sat at the feet of the Savior Himself and still did not fully understand.

Hearing is only the first step to understanding. The other two are to ponder, then to pray and ask God what to help them understand it all.

There is also another step before hearing that the Savior asked them to do the next day: Prepare their minds.

So, the steps to understanding things of a spiritual nature are:

1. Prepare your mind.
2. Prick your ears
3. Ponder what you have heard (read)
4. Pray for further understanding and confirmation of its truthfulness.

We know that there is a fifth step to this as well:

5. Practice what you have learned.

Knowledge means nothing if it doesn't motivate is to be better.

Another powerful P word in this chapter is used by the Savior Himself: Perceive.

To perceive is to see with understanding.

When we follow the steps to understanding stated above, we will be able to perceive life, people, and ourselves, differently- in a more pure light. We will be able to see things with the aid of God's vision. and oh, much more beautiful everything looks when we do that!

He perceived their faith and was moved by compassion to heal them.

He prayed for them. The prayer of the Savior here must of have been beautiful. I cannot even begin to imagine.

Then he prayed for the little ones, and angels ministered unto them.

Another Walter Rane painting.

All of these miraculous things happened AFTER Jesus perceived their faith.

Faith precedes miracles.

Miracles don't build faith, they confirm faith.

What did you think/learn today?

Monday, September 17, 2012


This morning, while saying my morning prayers, I had an epiphany. 

I was thanking the Lord for a new direction and for a acupuncture experience that seemed positive.    I expressed gratitude for the way I was treated in the office and prayed extra hard that this may be the answer I was looking for to achieve better health. 

I noticed the pressure points where the needles had been inserted began to itch as I prayed.

I had a flood of images overwhelm my mind.  The needles had been placed in my feet, hands and wrists.  I gained an understanding that just as my spirit needed the Savior, with his marks in his feet, hands, and wrists, to overcome the "illness" that plague the spirit, my body needed the help of an outside source.  I could see that Malia (the person with the needles) symbolised the Savior for me in this adventure.  I needed help.  I am not going to conquer this weight issue on my own.  I need help beyond the obvious.

I am not clearly expressing what I felt and what I learned, which is sad, because I learned a ton in this mornings prayer.  I can say that I feel confident that I am on a good path.  It is good to seek outside help to heal from what keeps me from success.  I can say, that no matter the weight loss or out come, I am doing all that I can to succeed and that the Lord is mindful of my efforts, desires and concerns.

It's nice to know that God is listening, even if I don't fully understand His answers, nor able to communicate those answers to others.

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 16

The word that caught my attention in this chapter was "If" To me, it's such an empowering word. It means that our eternal salvation is up to us. The Savior has already atoned for our sins. We have all that we need here on earth to obtain salvation later. BUT, it ALL rides on OUR choices.....the big IF.

IF we obey, IF we humble ourselves....if, if, if.

IF we choose His path.


Small word, but power.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Week at The Boyack's - Week 14

This week I did a lousy job taking pictures.  I didn't really get any.  We didn't do too many extra things to make the week exciting.  Hannah went to school, play practice and her final week of HMS Pinafore at Pentacle Theater.  For the last 4 weeks I've been bugging her to take pictures of her running the spot and of her friends at the theater.  What did I get?  A big, fat nothing!  The bum.  So you will all have to imagine Hannah did the spot and that she made new friends and she got real tired.  Saturday was the last night.  Now she may be able to get her homework done before 10 each night.

In fact, the only pictures I have of Hannah now a days are the pictures I steal off of Facebook from her friends.  LOL.  She is rarely home.  but I think she is liking full time school so far.  At least she looks happy.  I think she likes seeing her friends everyday.  She likes going to lunch with Sai.  I don't think she misses her mom yet... but I know she will someday, even if it is during her college years.  I can tell you that I miss her at home!  She has a calming effect on everyone else.

This week Chad reached the official 6 months mark from the day he started his "new" life plan.  To mark the day, he and Kimber posted this before and after picture on Facebook.  It is pretty amazing when you see the difference.  71 pounds is a ton of weight to drop in 6 months.  In some ways I am jealous.  In other ways I worry about his health and well being.  There is no half way with Chad.  It is always "all or nothing."  Lilli did her school all week and helped her friend Jocelin at her garage sale.  I was busy on the set of Little Mermaid and didn't get to take a picture of her waving a sign to attract customers or of the water fight at the end of the day.  She was completely soaked when I picked her up at the end of the day.

I tried something new too.  I went to Portland to see a Chinese medicine doctor.  I tried acupuncture.  It wasn't bad.  I couldn't feel the needles... until about 15 minutes into the treatment.  Then they felt like they were on FIRE!  Although I didn't have any needles on my face, I developed a rash on my cheeks and forehead.  It is gone now.  It sure was uncomfortable.  All my bodily fluids made that rash very uncomfortable.  And this morning I even noticed a couple small marks where the needles were and this was several days later!  I have to say I think it is helping.  I've been sleeping better and I even seem to be thinking a little more clearly.  I am very hopeful that this new and expensive approach will bring about some much need and WANTED change.

Going hand in hand with a new doctor approach, I am also starting a new eating habit and blogging obsession.  I am adding to the list of things my body doesn't tolerate and I've decided to try something called "clean eating".  I am hoping that it too will bring about more health to this tired old body.  It can't hurt.  Maybe writing about it all will help me stay focused.

Friday was a home football game.  I didn't go.  Chad went and sang the National Anthem with his choir.  He dressed up as a super fan.  The team lost, so Chad didn't have to do too many push ups.  I hear that Chad even got Kimber to do push ups as a super fan.  Jo was nice enough to send me a picture of the singing for my blog.  Kimber and Ben have been coming in the afternoons so that I can help at play rehearsal.  It's fun to come home to them playing here.  Ray is working more, so we don't see him much.  We did get to babysit Ben on Saturday so that Kimber and Ray could go to the temple.  I don't know why I didn't break out a camera then.  Lazy, I guess.

Saturday Chad had another race near Mollala.  John went to watch.  Chad did great!  He bested his personal record by more than 2 minutes!  He was pretty proud of his efforts!  I sure wish he appreciated his dad's efforts to support him.  Maybe it's a teen thing.  I remember my siblings missing the efforts of my dad.  I am sure I am guilty too.  Why did we do that.  Dad's are doing their best.  Kids.  Can't shoot them.  Can't live with them.  It's a miracle they grow up to be adults.

McKay and Myles had an exciting week, what with hospital visits and close encounters with cement walls.  You should read her blog for the dirt in New Mexico.

That is all pretty cool.  The only thing I'd really change about the week is the attitude of the people around me.  Everyone is short tempered.  Chad is the leader in the grouch competition.  Today, as an example, he's yelled at John for trying to help him with his math.  Of course, John didn't really know how to do the problem, but he was trying.  Then Chad was crabby because "someone touched" his stuff.  It was where he left it.  John was crabby because he was yelled at and unappreciated.  Lilli was crabby because she couldn't find the e-mail from McKay and John grumped at her.  I can tell you it is very hard to get seminary studied for and planned with all the crabbing going on around here.  Oh well... Tomorrow begins a new week.  Maybe it will be a better one... and maybe I'll actually take some pictures.

Beginning a "Clean" journey - wish me luck!

So here is the deal… for the past couple of months I just haven’t been myself. I am told that I am borderline everything. My numbers are high enough to “be concerned”, but not high enough to have meds. (which is ok with me because I am not a big fan of meds.) I don’t have the energy I used to. I have this dull headache all the time… not enough of a headache to need a Tylenol, but pressure like someone is squeezing my brain.

The answer to my concerns have always been lose weight. Duh! I’ve been working at it! Hello! I ate salads for over a year and blogged about it. I took all wheat, dairy and soy out of my diet because of allergies. I tried to exercise.

There was NO change! Gah!

I am tired of the same old answers… the medical establishments “party” line.

Someone please explain to me why I wasn’t making progress when I eat between 1200 and 2000 calories a day and exercising!

No one has an answer.

I couldn’t get any real answers at the doctor’s office.

I started to really fast and pray that I could find a solution.

A few things happened that have led me to a new-ish path.

First, my son dropped 71 pounds by being himself, an obsessed, crazed individual. When he decides to focus on something there is no half way. He decided to get healthy. He started measuring and weighing everything he consumed. He cut all processed foods, sugars, and all foods that he can’t personally measure with exactness. He tried to keep his diet balanced by eating the Food Pyramid suggested servings, also with exactness. He started exercising several hours a day (he goes on walks to Salem and back or 50 mile bike rides in the middle of night).

Now, I don’t think it is realistic for me to do what he’s done. I have to cater to his every need, not to mention the needs of the other people in the house. There is now room in my day for a 2 hour walk or run or bike ride. I’m lucky to get 15 minutes on the treadmill without someone demanding something from me. I have extra people some days and a Lilli at home every day, so leaving for exercise is not always an option. I also ache in my joints and my Achilles tendon is constantly swollen (no answers on that one but rest).

However, I might be able to do the food thing a little. Still, measuring and obsessing over every little calorie doesn’t sound fun. Plus, I’m still trying to make food for several other people. Making 5 or 6 meals every meal to meet the needs and wants of every person that lives in my house also does not fit into my day.

Then I saw a friend mention “clean eating” on Facebook. I was interested, but I didn’t do anything…. Yet.

Finally, I made an appointment with a doctor of Chinese medicine. I figure, I tried the traditional American route, I could now try something outside the box.

My first visit went well. (long. 2 hours of questions and answers and tests.) She tested me for lots of things, including revisiting allergies. I could only tolerate 6 allergy tests in my first visit. I “red flagged” all 6. I can now add cane sugar, corn sugar (corn syrup), non-organic eggs (my chickens are ok because we don’t give then steroids and stuff) and man-made vitamin-C to my list. Holy cow! At this rate I won’t be eating. That ought to help in weight loss. LOL.

She uses acupuncture to help the body heal from the effects of the allergens. She said that being overweight is an inflammatory disease. I am inflamed. LOL. Sounds funny. Still… makes sense. At least it’s a direction.

It will be a long process of acupuncture – maybe as long as a year – but I am hopeful it will kick start my body into doing what it needs to to release my weight.

I had my first “needle” experience and it was ok. I actually felt better. I’ve been sleeping better and my head is finally coming out of a fog.

As for food and allergies… it turns out that I am mostly reacting to all the genetic changes science has made to food over the years. I am allergic to science! I knew it! What can a person do that is allergic to the “new” wheat, and the “new” corn, etc. ? Then I remembered reading the post about clean eating.

When I got home I started researching clean eating.

In a nutshell... clean foods are those that are in their natural state. No high fructose corn syrup, no msg, no refined sugars or flours, processed, prepackaged foods. If you want a quick read on the ins and outs, I recommend “The Eat Clean Diet” by Tosca Reno. If you want a more in depth look, yet easy to read, I recommend “This is Why You're Fat” by Jackie Warner (although I probably would title it, “This is why you're Unhealthy, Tired, sickly... etc... but that's not as catchy:)

Jackie goes more into the details of how things affect your hormone levels that affect your energy levels, sleep cycles, weight, health, etc.

I decided to give “clean” eating a try. I will have to visit Market of Choice more often in my shopping. I may need to have to take longer in meal planning. I will have to get my family to co-operate.

... thus this new blog obsession is born. Instead of blogging my salads for one year, I am going to blog my “clean eating recipes each day. Hopefully I will discover new ways of looking at food. Hopefully, we will all enjoy a new variety of foods and we will all feeling much better. Hopefully, our moods will be more stable (which is saying a lot in our passionate, emotional household full of teenagers and pre-teen little balls of hormonal people!).

Here I go on yet one more ride seeking health that has forever eluded me.

Follow me if you want to see how it goes.

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 15

In chapter 11 it says the Nephites "did open their ears" so they could hear the voice of God and what was being said. Now, here in verse 1 He acknowledges that "Behold ye have heard the things which I taught..."

Nice!  That's like saying, "Well done!"  But there is more!

They opened their ears and heard, and understood, what the Savior said.

According to the Savior, the next step is to remember. The final step is to do.

1. Listen.
2. Remember.
3. Do

Duh!  I can't tell you how often I forget the whole process!  This is what enduring is all about!  It is finishing.  It is doing something about our faith and our knowledge.

That's the pattern to success in the gospel, and in life.

I love learning about the house of Israel in the Old Testament. I taught the Old Testament last year in seminary, and it is fascinating for me to learn about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph; to see how the covenant which the Savior talks about here in the Book of Mormon, was made; to read about the rise and fall of the physical house of Israel; how Lehi was of the tribe of Joseph of the house of Israel (one of the few) who lived in the kingdom of Judah (Jerusalem) when he was led out (therefore he and his posterity wrote the Book of Mormon, or the Stick of Joseph), etc.

I also love to learn about the law of Moses, which the Nephites practiced, as well as the Jews, until the time of the Savior's coming.

I love to learn about these things because this is my family, my hertiage- our heritage. When I was baptized, I wasn't just baptized into 'the Church'. I was baptized into the family and covenant of Abraham (the covenant which Jesus speaks of in this chapter.) Their choices waaay back then matter to me, because they are my family, and I am a part of it.

That makes the scriptures real to me.

I live in a time where the Law of Moses was fulfilled. The purpose of the law was to give the people smaller daily tasks, routines and rituals to keep them focused on the Savior until He came. The Nephites must have lived the law of Moses correctly- they recognized the Savior when he came. The Jews, not so much. They were unrighteous and could not understand. They 'missed the mark' so much so that they crucified their own Savior. These were people who lived their version of the Law of Moses to the T- and law that they had twisted and added to over thousands of years. The leaders changed it, the followers accepted the change, and they missed the mark.

When the Savior came, there was no reason for the tasks, routines and rituals, because He was here. He fulfilled that law. Now he asked them to keep his commandments and live a higher law. The Jews didn't see it. These people did.

The Jews didn't hear it. These people did. And I hope I do, too.

What did you learn?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 14

Twenty percent of this chapter was about judging- or not judging. We all do it: assume, jump to conclusions, criticize. We can't help it. We are human. LOL. We look at others who make different choices and attach a level of intelligence and worth to them for those choices.

It is easy to judge other people based on what we see and how we interpret them. But only God knows their intentions and circumstances.

I look at myself a lot, and the things that I do and say. Sometimes I do and say some really stupid stuff. I look back at me ten years ago, even five years ago, and can see how I've changed. I cringe to know that some people out there have judged me- defined my worth and my destiny - by a single act or meeting. They don't know the entire picture- they don't really know me.

Judging strangers is one thing. What about judging those closer to us: our friends and our family? Are we kind and forgiving, or harsh and critical?

The Savior makes it very clear that we will be judged in the same degree that we judge others. Heaven knows that I have good intentions, but I mess up… a lot. I can be clumsy in my efforts to do good- but I try. I'm guessing most of us are that way. I hope that the Lord would be understanding and loving, seeing past my foibles to my righteous desires. But only if that is how I look at/treat/judge those around me.

Back to the bumper sticker President Uchtdorf quoted in his last Conference Talk: Don't judge me because I sin differently than you."

It was a wonderful talk about not judging- about being merciful. I loved it.

Now, in the same chapter the Savior talks about false prophets, and how we should beware of them. That we will know them by their fruits. Is that judging? Not when we are commanded to be watchful for them. They are dangerous. It is a divine judgment call, you could say.

If a man comes to me telling me lies, it is wise to not believe him or follow him. I don't have to condemn him. That's God's job. I don't have to assume he had a terrible childhood, or that he will go to hell someday. I just need to see him, assess the situation and make a judgment call: No thank you.

Anyway- enough about judging.

Let’s move on to the strait is the gait and narrow is the way to eternal life, and few there be that find it.

I used to think that everyone, every person on earth, would eventually hear and accept the gospel and obtain the highest degree of glory. That as an altruistic way of looking at things. And it was incorrect.

Not everyone will choose the Way- even when they have a testimony of it.

Not all will be saved. Not all will be exalted.

That makes me sad.

It' the opposite of the Titanic. We are all going down, and there are more than enough lifeboats, but people are choosing to jump into the water rather, or stay on the ship, rather than do what it takes to get on one.

The Atonement has already been performed for EVERY person that has ever, and will ever live. It is there for them to use in their daily lives at any moment. But, there are many- and according to the Savior Himself- most that will not be willing to enter into that narrow way to take full advantage of it.

I know if I were on a sinking ship I would do all that I could to warn the people and steer them to safety. That's what missionary work is!

What did you think/learn today?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 13

I love this chapter of pure instruction! I’d like to focus on only a couple of the principles I love here.

There is a saying, "Home is where the heart is." Principle: Our eternal home depends on where our heart is. That is one of the messages of this chapter. If your heart is in the accolades of man, in the material things of this world, than your eternal home will be empty, void of increase.

If your heart is dedicated to spiritual matters (which, in reality, are more real than physical matters), if you are committed to the gospel, if your heart is set on heaven, and your eye single to the eternal perspective, than you shall inherit eternal life. AND, you shall also receive the other things that you need (as God sees it) as well.

The Savior makes it clear that there are two ways to see life: worldly or spiritually (eternally.) When it comes down to it, there are only two choices to make.

Which is more real to you?

Which gives you more pleasure: a compliment from a friend or co-worker, or a warm confirmation from the spirit that what you have done is right? Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy a good compliment, but there is something far more satisfying when I know for sure that I’ve done the right thing. The trick is KNOWING when I’ve hit the right choice.

On which do you base your worth: Your assimilation to the fashion, style and figure of the day, or the knowledge you are a Child of God?

Which brings you the greatest happiness: To have a house full of nice furniture and a closet of nice clothes, or a testimony full of faith and an eternal perspective?

A question you might is: why can't I have both? Can't I have nice things and be a good disciple of Christ?

Of course you can.

But, in Matthew 19:16-29 we read about a young rich man who sought the means to eternal life. He was willing to keep the commandments, but when asked to sell all of his possessions and give to the poor, the young man couldn't bring himself do it. He left, full of sorrow. The Savior went on to say that it was nearly impossible for a rich man to enter into heaven.

Not because of his possessions, but because of his love of his possessions and the power they had over him.

He may have had a slight eternal perspective. He knew what he wanted- eternal life. But, his heart was not there. His heart was in his possessions.

Maybe because it's scary to give up something you can see for something you can't, something now for something later. I have experience with this! It’s hard to give up something you really like for something even better… when you don’t really understand the better and are blinded by the present pleasure.

I don't know. But, what I do know is that the Savior was very clear. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." (v 33)

This morning as I read this and ponder, I ask myself where my heart is. Am I willing to give up all that I have to follow Him? Am I willing to give up fashion for modesty; nice things to stay out of debt; not watch certain movies or read books that are inappropriate; give up food to fast; give up certain foods to obtain better health; give up rest and relaxation for the benefits of exercise; give up money to tithe; give up time and energy to visit teach and serve in my calling; give up time and energy to attend the temple and church, etc?

If I am, than I am on the right path. If I am not willing to give things up, then I’m on the wrong path. If I choose the right path and announce all these sacrifices to get kudos from those around me then it is for naught. My actions are in the right place, but my heart is not fully there.

Actions and thoughts are so closely intertwined. That is why it is truly difficult for a rich man to enter heaven. To have the ability to have nice things and still maintain the willingness to give it all up if asked, to have the toys of the rich, and yet not care about status or appearance- that is feat in and of itself.

Jesus if very clear: You cannot serve two masters.

You can't look North and South at the same time.

You can't walk East and West at the same time.

You are always looking in one direction, walking in one direction. You may glance here or there, or may step backwards or forwards. But, at any given time, you can only look one way, move in one direction.

I guess the real question is: Which way are you looking right now?

Which direction are you going in?

One thing that stood out to me in this chapter was in verse 30, the last part which says "if ye are not of little faith." Having faith is the key word here. Faith proceeds great miracles. In addition, a “little” faith is better than “no” faith.

Love all the personal references in this chapter too, like "YOUR Father, YOUR Heavenly Father, THY Father, OUR Father." Then in verse 32 - "For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." He really does know us. He will provide everything we need when we need it as we follow him.

Ways I can follow Him better I found in this chapter:

Take care of the poor
Pray from the heart
Ask for what I need and be willing to do what He directs me to do
Forgive other… my life depends on it
Cheerfully fast
Seek heaven
Serve God and serve His children
Trust God will care for me and assist me in my efforts

What did you learn?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 12

This is a great chapter!  Our own Sermon on the Mount in the Americas.

To me, the theme of the entire chapter is humility and charity. The 12 disciples were called as servants to serve the people.
My favorite line- the sum-up verse of the entire chapter, or even the entire Book of Mormon, is found in verse 20. The Savior Himself says: "Therefore, come unto me and be ye saved." He goes on to say, "for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

That says everything.

They were commanded, as are we, to come unto Him. To follow His example. To be like Him. To be obedient to all that He commands. And to do it all in humility and charity.

Peace of cake!

Or not- but that's why before He even went into the requirements for inheriting the kingdom of heaven, he made sure they had a way. He gave the Priesthood to Nephi and the 12 disciples. He taught them the proper way to baptize. And He promised them the cleansing fire of the Holy Ghost for a remission from their sins.

He knew they would make mistakes, occasionally miss the mark. He doesn't expect perfection, just that we strive for it.

When we make mistakes we don't shock Him or Father in Heaven. That's why the Atonement was performed. BUT, it's the condition of our hearts as we repent that is the key. That humility (as a little child) and charity will allow the Holy Ghost to do its work, and give us the second, third, fourth, and thousandth chance we need to qualify us for salvation.

When I read the last verse, where the Savior commands us to be perfect, I don't feel bad. It's a beautiful goal, a fantastic state of perfect righteousness that I want to obtain. It's to be finished!  I'd ike to be finished some days. 
We can have small moments of perfection now--if we define perfect as 'whole.' That is what the Atonement does: makes up for what we cannot do on our own. We give the Savior our hearts and intentions, and He completes us. In Him we are whole and perfect, even here in our imperfections.

It's a beautiful thing. I, in no way, claim to understand it fully, or even mostly. But, I know enough to believe it's true.

What did you do?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 11

A few things that caught my eye in this chapter:

1. It was the people who were at the temple that were blessed to see the Savior first. When we go to the temple we bring ourselves closer to the Savior. For them, it was a very literal and real 'closer.'

2. The spirit is small, yet has the greatest power to reach the soul.  I can think of few things more powerful.

3. V 5- 'and they did open their ears to hear it.' How many times has Heavenly Father spoken to me that I didn't hear... or was it "wouldn't hear? Not because of Him, but because of my inability, or unwillingness, to hear? I need to open my ears to what He has to say to me more.  I need to practice turning my "eyes toward the heavens" and to "look steadfastly" for the answers He is sending me.

4. We only have a handful of recorded times where Heavenly Father Himself speaks directly to His children- and most of those is introducing the Savior. Here is another time where He speaks. He is pleased with His Son, and commands them to hear Him. Now that their ears were opened, they could.

5. What a great act of compassion and unconditional love!  How kind it was for the Savior to allow the people to touch Him so that they could know He was the God of Israel. Most of the time we are required to live by faith, but we are also given opportunities to increase our knowledge. Granted- for most of us it won't be this tangible, but we can receive knowledge by the Spirit and it can be just as real and testimony building.

6. The Saviors first words were testifying of Prophets (remember, these people were spared because they didn't kill or harm the prophets, so there was already a level of respect), the Atonement and Heavenly Father.

7. The first order of business He conducted (after introductions) was bestowing the Priesthood so that Nephi and others He chose could baptize.

8. The first thing He taught was the proper way to baptize. There is great significance in that.The people already had faith, and they had repented. Baptism comes next. But- it must be done with the proper authority and in the correct way. It is THAT important. It it the gate by which all other ordinances are obtained. Once that was established, the Savior could move onto other things.

9. Vs 27 speaks of how the Savior, the Father and the Holy Ghost are one. They are not the same being, but they are one in purpose and action. Much like a choir. There are baritones, tenors, altos, sopranos- each singing different parts to create beautiful music- together they make ONE choir.

10. Ah, verse 29- contention is of the devil! Does that mean all contention? Like when I get frustrated with my kids? I'm afraid so. I need to protect my heart from the influences of the adversary in that regard. I am not tempted to sin in other ways: I don't struggle with robbing banks, murdering, lying, etc. But, I am impatient, and that often leads to being short with my kids. I need to master the art of raising my children with firm consistency, not frustration.

11. I love verse 32: the Godhead supports one another. I think that is very touching.

12. The Savior is very clear about His doctrine (vv 31-39) Repent and be baptized and be humble, like a child. If you don't, you cannot inherit the kingdom of God. That is His whole purpose, the entirety of the Atonement, to provide us the opportunity to be saved. And it hinges upon OUR choice to follow Him.

The Savior loves us- He love me. This chapter, to me, really makes clear His love for us, but also His priorities and His purpose. He wants us to know Him, Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. He wants us to be humble, repent and be baptized. He wants us to inherit all the is prepared for us. He shows us the way.

And it is up to us to follow Him. The ball is on our court. What are we going to do with it?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 3 Nephi 10

This chapter (as with the next 17 chapters) truly do prove that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. It does go hand in hand with the Bible, testifying the reality of the existence of the Savior and the Plan of Salvation.

I can't even imagine what that must have been like to hear the voice of the Savior. The destruction and the loss, the hope and the joy- all in a three day period.  What an experience!

I love how the people in the scriptures loved their own scriptures and read them. They studied their scriptures and referred to them often. Mormon is telling us the search the scriptures so we can know for ourselves that the prophecies recorded in them have come to pass.

If the people would turned to their scriptures back then they would have recognized the signs of the times. The same is true for us today. We should be in our scriptures, studying the prophecies of our time, so that we may be prepared.

I know I am so very grateful that I have access to the scriptures in my life. I have been richly blessed.

What did you get out of today's chapter?

The Wonders of Peppermint

For several years now, I have been a huge fan essensial oils and herbs for healing.  I've tried every oil company I could find and finally conceeded that Young Living truly had the highest quality oils.

My favorite oil is PEPPERMINT.  It is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion. Jean Valnet, M.D., studied peppermint's effect on the liver and respiratory systems.

These are some of my favorite ways to uses peppermint iol:

1. Rubbing 4-6 drops in the palm and rubbing over stomach and around the navel to help relieve occasional indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea.  Used this on Friday to help Hannah recover from a yucky tummy.  She threw up on the way to Seminary.  I sent her back in the house to use the peppermint.  With in 2 hours she was able to handle school and had no more issues with feeling gross.

2. Adding a drop of Peppermint oil to herbal tea may help aid digestion and heartburn.  I also had her drink this.  Can't tell you how much it helps!

3. Massaging several drops of Peppermint oil on an area of injury may help to reduce tenderness.  I used peppermint this way yesterday to help Chad's muscle recover from a race.  He was very sore and peppermint and a little massage did the trick.

4. Applying Peppermint oil immediately to an injured area may be soothing.

5. Rubbing several drops of Peppermint oil on the bottoms of the feet may help lower high temperature, spritzing the body with peppermint water.  This past spring I did this when I wasn't feeling good.  I also use the spritz when I feel too hot.

6. Applying a drop of Peppermint oil topically on unbroken skin may help to stop itching.  Lilli was bit by a nasty deer fly, or something like that, on her hike with her dad.  I put peppermint on the bite and it stopped bugging her so she could sleep AND the swelling down.

7. For poison ivy or poison oak, applying Peppermint oil on location may help with irritation and be soothing.  Thankfully, I haven't had to use it for this lately.

8. Inhaling Peppermint oil before and during a workout may help boost your mood and reduce fatigue.  I've tried this.  It did help.  The walk on the treadmill wasn't nearly as dreadful!

9. Massaging several drops of Peppermint oil on the abdomen may help relieve nausea.  This is one of my favorite ways to handle the motion sickness I feel on long drives.

10. Rubbing a drop of Peppermint oil on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses (stay away from the eyes) and on the back of the neck may help in soothing head pressure.  I did this for my friend Jo when she got a bad headache froma bad fall.

11. Applying a drop of Peppermint oil on each side of the fifth cervical vertebra (up three notches from the large vertebra at the base of the neck) may be beneficial in helping to stop hiccups.  It's weird... but it works.

12. Placing two drops of Peppermint oil on the tongue and rubbing another drop under the nose may help improve alertness and concentration.

13. Diffusing Peppermint oil in the room while studying may help to improve concentration and accuracy. Inhaling Peppermint oil, when taking a test, may help in improving recall.  It sure helps with home school!

14. Placing a drop of Peppermint oil on the tongue and inhale into the nose and sinuses may help stuffiness. This definately works!

15. Add Peppermint oil to food as a flavoring and a preservative.  Love it!

16. Mixing one 15 ml. bottle of Peppermint oil into a 5 gallon can of paint may dispel the fumes.  This was a great idea.  It works when I'm painting sets for a long period of time.

17. Adding 4-5 drops of Peppermint oil to 4oz. of water and spray on plants may help get rid of aphids.  It helped my roses this past summer.  I had far fewer bugs!

18. Drinking a drop of Peppermint oil mixed in a glass of cold water may help to cool off on a hot day.  Better than ice cream!

19. Rubbing Peppermint oil on joints may be soothing.  My joints often ache.  This is the only way I can sleep some nights.

20. Inhaling the fragrance of Peppermint oil may help in curbing the appetite and lessen the impulse to overeat.  I do this.  I've got to do everything that helps!

21. Applying a drop of Peppermint oil on a cotton swab and swabbing the tick may help it removal. Wait for it to unhedge its head and remove from your pet.  This worked!  Lilli got a tick a few years ago and we got it to back most of the way out.  Sadly, I killed it pushing it around and we still ended up at the doctor's office to get the last of the head out of her poor little arm.

22. Mixing Peppermint oil in a footbath may help relieve sore feet. Keep water agitated while soaking feet.  Love this.  In' fact, I may get up and do this as soon as I'm done writing this.

23. A drop or two on gum for toothache.  It helped while I was waiting for a filling and after the filling too!

Peppermint is a staple at my house.  I think we go through a bottle a month.  It's a little spendy, but it is well worth it!  If you'd like to try peppermint and make it a part of your family first aid kick I can hook you up with the best!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Week at the Boyack's - Week 13

This week school started in full force.  Tuesday was freshman day.  Hannah went to the high school.  She has chosen to go to school full time this year.  I'm not sure I like it.  I'm going to miss her happy influence at home. 

Meanwhile, at home, Case has been looking for ways to entertain himself.  For whatever reason, he decided that wearing his undies on his head was the best game.  Perhaps he thought he looked more like Spiderman.  LOL

He is one weird child.  I decided he needed to start school too.  I spend about an hour doing "school" work with Case.  This week we started Dragons and Dinosaurs.  Lagi started coming everyday too.  Jo got a full time job (sweet!).  Lagi likes to do "school" too.

Lilli did fairly well getting back into the "school" routine.  Sometimes she has a problem with focus.  however, she was able to get every assignment done this week.  That is what I call success!

Chad started the week like this.  Games.  By Wednesday, we was into his school routine.  He has 2 choir classes at the HS in the morning and then he comes home to work with me for a couple hours.  He set up his own learning plan.  We work on writing, anatomy, Us History through a study of rock and roll, and personal fitness.  Chad has also decided to finish his Eagle.  He got his Camping and Personal Fitness badges signed off.  All he has left is his Person Management and Family Life.

Chad also ran a race in Turner on Thursday.  Kimber, Ray, Ben, Lilli, and John went to watch him.  He did very well... still nothing is good enough.  Chad is always disappointed him his performances.

Hannah and I didn't get to go to the race.  We were at rehearsal for Little Mermaid.  I am helping with set, lights, and a little directing.  This wee I helped with blocking.
Friday night was the first football game of the season.  John, Lilli, and I went at half time because Lilli did a little cheer thing she learned at cheer camp.  We didn't stay for the game.  However, we hear it was exciting that Central won the game over Dallas at the last second. 

Saturday I started the set.  It's a set with a basic platform structure and a bunch of hanging pieces.  I will also be building some fun "large" props.  I'm going to use the reeds we built for Honk and we will build some coral, rocks, a boat, and the like

I was surprised at how many people came to help.  I didn't have all my materials yet!  Still, we got a good start on the platforms and Ursala's Lair.  I wouldn't be surprised if we get it done in the next couple weeks.

After set construction, Hannah and I went to the Pentacle for the volunteer picnic and then to Wal-mart.  Meanwhile, John was at home working on the porch.  He fixed my swing, sanding and refinishing it and started to fix the trim.  His plan is to paint the porch next Saturday.

Chad went to another race.  This race had him running through mud and being chased by bees.  Once again, he did good.  We will have to work at cleaning his spendy shoes though.

Meanwhile, Kimber helped me all week.  She is teaching Lilli dance on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She stayed with the little people while I went to rehearsal in the afternoons.

McKay seems ok.  She is too hot and now sees the wisdom of multiple showers a day.  She started a job too.  She will need to start her own blog to really know what she's been up to.