Thursday, May 31, 2012

My rising first grader!!

It's official. Collin's report card has arrived!

There are two math grades b/c Collin started 1st grade math in December so he has grades for both K and 1st grade. Blue is K and Green is 1st.

The kitchen floor!! :)

Here was the white tile floor before. It was cracked up and looked bad.

So, we ripped it up and found hardwood floor underneath. Unfortunately, it was in very poor condition so we decided to put laminate over it.


What did the kids do as we worked on the floor? Oh, they watched TV. Yes, I did it. I sat them in front of the TV. Collin set up their drinks and pretzels on the box next to them. hehe

Part of the floor done!

The rest of the floor done... now the molding.

MOLDING!! :) And the fridge is back int he kitchen. ;)

Here's a look at it from the dining room. Doesn't it look great? Now for the counter tops! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Joseph typifies Christ

I was excited about this one so I took a picture of it. :)

Waterpark!! :)

For the end of the school year Collin's school had a party at a water park in Charleston!! Woot Woot!!! Here are some pics. ;)

There was a water playground, a pool, a lazy river, and two huge water slides. Ryanne was too small for the large water slides and Collin could only go down them if we used a double tube and I went down with him. Darn! I guess I was forced to go down. LOL! Actually, I was excited and we went down again. My mom also wanted a turn so she went down with him as well. It was awesome! Luckily, there were smaller slides at the playground area that Ryanne and Collin could both go down on their own (they're pictured above). We also loved the lazy river. There was one part on the river where it forked into two sections -- one had a fake waterfall, sprayers, and rapids. The other was just boring so we always took the fun fork. :) We went around that one 3 times. Collin was pretty good at lying back and enjoying it... Ryanne kept moving on our double tube but it was still fun -- even with a squirmy partner. Oh! And.... did I mention that this was all FREE for us... the school paid for it. The park even supplied life jackets for all the kids. Ryanne wore one the whole time. She's a little nervous around water. It was so much fun and my first time at a waterpark!! YAY!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Collin is a green belt!!

Yay!! Here, I'll just show you the videos so you can feel like you were there yourself. I will tell you though, that the first one shows the first time that Collin ever did the form on his own at testing. Normally they have an instructor doing the form with the Tiny Tigers. But... Collin rocked it! He even stayed ahead of Master J. Check it out. :)
Here was the sparring portion of his testing.
And finally, his advancement from a level two camouflage belt to a level one green belt. When they gave it to him he said "That's so cool!" And then Master J was trying to get him to say it for him again. LOL! That's what the weird quiet part is in the middle when they are talking him.

Real Hero Posters -- they have my hero!!

Everyone loves the Real Hero Posters, right? Each of my kids have one. My son has Captain Moroni.
 My daughter has the Daughters in the Wilderness one (they truly were amazing!). :)
But, my hero hasn't been there. At least, I never noticed her. But, I found her!! She's there!! The poster has no reviews so I don't know if that means it's a new one or if it just means they've never had it in the store when I go but here it is!!

It's Rebekah at the Well. Don't you just want to hang it up in your living room so you can look at her everyday as a reminder? I do! Maybe when we move we'll hang them all up in the family room. Perhaps we can eventually get them all. Wouldn't that be awesome to have all these scripture heroes hanging around the family room? Yeap! Pretty much! I just wanted to share b/c I was sooo excited!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

a celebration of joy or despair and depression...

I was walking through the halls of church today and a gentleman smiled at me and said, "Happy day of depression and despair."
I grinned at him and replied, "What?"
"Oh, that's what most people think of motherhood. Seems silly to celebrate it."
A giggle erupted from my mouth. I thought it was the most absurd thing I had ever heard. Despair and depression? I told him, "No, I love being a mom." He didn't have a response to that and we both went off in our own directions. It just made me so sad that some people think this day is to commemorate the despair they feel from being a mom.
This conversation made me really think about these women who think that being a mom is depressing. Do their kids notice this? If a parent doesn't want to be a mom then will it show to the children, causing them to be more disrespectful and "naughty" to get the attention of their mother? Will this then cause the child's mother to feel more despair for her child causing a never ending cycle? Of course it will!
Taking care of children takes some work. Everyday I have to get into the mood because, being human, I often just want to sleep.
  1. Have some "me" time. -- Take a few minutes to stop and breath. I do my scripture study, family prayer then turn up the music and do our morning chores.
  2. Cuddle, talk and listen. -- I grab one of the kids and snuggle on the couch for a few minutes. I also take this time to talk to the child and find out what he or she wants to do. What would be fun for that child to do? I generally repeat this with both of the kids.
  3. Take action. -- Then, I make one of their desires come true --- a family walk, a hike through the local woods, go for a ride, have a bowl of ice cream, run outside and play tag... etc Just whatever they want that is do-able at that time.
I think that taking the time to take care of me and then taking the time to listen and talk to my children and then show through my actions that I was listening strengthens our relationship which helps us to have find that daily joy.
 It just really saddens me that some moms think of my life as depressing and full of despair because it is truly anything but that! My children are my joy and my life. They make me laugh daily and make my heart swell with more love than I ever thought I could feel. This is not a day of despair but a day of joy. I am so happy to be a mom!

From Ryanne...

Love it!!! My daughter is so cute. Here is my Mother's Day song she sang me in the shower. ;)

An aha moment....

Previously, I talked about the different scripture study styles. Well, I wanted to share something I learned by slowing down and paying attention. Genesis 3:15 And I will put aenmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; bit shall cbruise thy head, and thou shalt dbruise his heel.

If you follow the footnote of "it" we learn that the word in Hebrew actually means "he". In our case, we are going to read it "He". Now, let's read it again with the little, one word change. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall bruise they head and thou shalt bruise his heel.

When I showed this to my husband, he was like, "DUH!" but I had never realized that. I didn't completely understand that one and now it makes SO much more sense. The enmity between Satan and mankind is Christ. HELLO! See.... I'm trying NOT to ski through the scriptures and at least snorkel... hopefully with some scuba diving in there somewhere too. :)

Scripture Study Styles

I recently went to a stake Relief Society conference and one of the speaker talked about scripture study. She said there are three kinds.... none are wrong, they are just different.
First, we have the water skier.
The person skiing skims over the water quickly but still gets a little wet. So, in scriptural terms, this person reads it quickly and learns a little -- just what's on the surface.

Second, we have the snorkeler.

This one gets in the water and is very wet. This person also seems glimpses of the fish and treasures under the water. So, scripturally, this person goes a little slower as he/she reads the scriptures. This person also catches glimpses of some of the deeper doctrines available in the scriptures to learn.

Finally, we have the scuba diver.
This one goes all the way under the water and finds the bigger treasures, the fish who don't stay on the surface but stay hidden so one must go a bit deeper to observe them and learn from them. I should also include a story Sister Lowry told as she was teaching this. She said she was practicing in the pool, lying on the bottom and stared up at the sun. She said it was nice and relaxing. Then, they went to the ocean and as she got deeper in the ocean, it got darker and she began to panic. She quickly turned around and started to swim for the surface quickly. But, the instructor grabbed her by the hand and slowly and gently lead her back to the bottom. He kept her calm and showed her all the beautiful coral, fish and other treasures that could only be seen at the bottom.
She didn't clarify why she told this story but as I listened, this is what I learned from it. The scuba diving is when we let the spirit lead our scripture study. There are things in the scriptures we won't learn on our own so we have to let the Spirit take us by the hand and show us all the things we need to learn, the treasures in the scriptures. I just loved this...

So, all three styles are good, they are just different and you will learn different things. The example she used was the most read scripture of the Book of Mormon... 1 Nephi 1:1. "I, Nephi, having been aborn of bgoodly cparents, therefore I was dtaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many eafflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a frecord of my proceedings in my days."
Most people read this scripture really fast b/c they already know it and practically have it memorized. I mean, they read it all the time. But, if we slow down and look at it then we learn lots. For example, he had good parents who taught him in the gospel. Maybe they had FHE every week and family prayer every night. He listened well to those teachings too and knew that God loved him. He also kept a journal. See, slow down and learn more. Of course, if we ski across our scriptures, we are still learning something but we slow down then we learn so much more.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I can wait!

The other day I went in for an interview and the interviewer noticed my husband and two kids tagging along behind me. When I went in and sat down he said, "So, tell me about your crew."
My immediate response was, "Energetic! I cannot wait until they are teenagers and I have more energy than them."

Why did I say that? Well, I was actually trying to make a joke but when it came out it just wasn't very funny. The interviewer gave me a strange look and then proceeded with the interview. Later, I was thinking about the question and my answer. I wish I could reverse time and answer completely differently but since I don't own a TARDIS I'm afraid that I must stay in the present and answer differently next time someone asks me a similar question. Just for my own benefit, let me tell you why I can wait.

I can wait because I don't want to miss all of my love notes from my son.
I can wait because I want to witness all the mud baths and messes my daughter gets into.
I can wait because I don't want to miss witnessing the love they have for their daddy when he leaves on a business trip.
I can wait because I love that my son loves going on dates with his mom and I know one day that may not be the case.
I can wait because I love watching my kids dancing freely in public and not caring what others think of their dancing skills, or lack of.

I can wait because I love watching my kids pretending to be super heroes - The Dino Prince and Super Ladybug!
I can wait because I love watching all their whacky moments.
I can wait because I love my children so much and every stage of their life is important. The most important moment for us is the one right now.

What are the reasons that you can wait?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tadpoles anyone?

So, a wonderful woman at church invited us to go and see her pond. She also said it would be fine if we took some tadpoles for Collin's tadpole habitat that he earned as a reward. They were soooo excited!!

Can you guess which one was hot and cranky and ready to go? LOL! The jar in Collin's hands is holding 7 little tadpoles in it. I didn't mean to get so many but there were lots of little tadpoles. I stuck the jar in and ba-boom! Seven little tadpoles were swimming around in it. :) The pond was awesome! We saw toads from eggs all the way up to full grow and the tadpoles in all stages in between. The tiny frogs were so cute, too!!

Here's a glimpse of the habitat from the side after we were home and transferred the tadpoles from the jar to the habitat.

Here they are the next day (today). I don't know if you can tell in this picture but the tadpole second from the left is the one who sprouted two little legs. Can you see them? Aren't they cute? I swear they weren't there yesterday!

They eat boiled lettuce right now. It's fun watching them eat and they really don't eat very much at all. I think I prepared too much for them. I boiled it and store it in the freezer. I gave them a little this morning and they've been eating it all day. When they get a little bigger I'll have to start giving them grub worms.... ew!! At least for now it's just boiled lettuce. =o)

Random fun -- dress up and drive in! :)

We went to the drive - in movie theater with my mom. She's hiding behind Ryanne b/c she doesn't like to have her picture taken. hehe! We brought dinner and played Monopoly Junior while we waited for the movie to start. The kids were in their pajamas b/c we normally don't leave until after midnight. The first show was The Lorax and the second one was The Hunger Games. :) YAY!! The kids slept for The Hunger Games. It was the second time Paul and I had seen it but my mom hadn't yet and I wanted to see it again.

Really, dress up boxes are the greatest!!! I think Collin definitely won for originality. He's a Ninja-ballerina-Uncle Sam combination thingy. LOL!!! Ryanne was wearing her sailor girl costume. It was cute too but Collin's was just wacky!

Earth Day....

I know that Earth Day was in April and we celebrated it in April but.... I haven't posted it until today. This year, Earth Day actually landed on a Sunday but Collin's teacher had an Earth Day party on the following Wednesday so that's when we celebrated it. :)

We read a book called "10 Things I Can Do to Help My World" by Melanie Walsh.
This lead to several conversations of things we can do at home to help the environment. We also went out and picked up trash in our neighborhood. And... what's a celebration without food, right?
Dirt cake, with gummy worms of course! :)

An earth cheesecake. Okay, I tried. Do you have any idea how hard it is to control where the cheesecake mix lands? Not easy at all!! haha! So, it doesn't quite look like earth but pretend that it does. ;)

What did you do for Earth Day?

Shiphrah and Puah

Shiphrah means "Beauty", "Splendid"

Puah means "Brilliant", "Shining One"

Scriptures to read:
Exodus 1:15-21

Time Line:
1750-1550 b.c. Hyksos rule Egypt
                          Death of Joseph
(Let me take a moment to explain a few things before continuing with this time line. There are a couple of theories as to which dynasty this is. There is The Early Date Theory which I will show first. According to The Early Date Theory this will be the start of the 18th Dynasty. This corresponds with chronology suggested in 1 Kings 6:1 and Judges 11:26.)
1490-1438 b.c. Thutmosis III
                          Phiphrah and Puah save babies
                          Moses is born
1440-1412 b.c. Amenhotep II
1400 b.c.           The Exodus
1400-1350 b.c. Israel's Conquest
(The other theory is The Late Date Theory. According to this one the new dynasty is actually the 19th Dynasty. This one is based on archeological evidence. Also, Exodus 1:11 states that a treasured city called Rameses was built. Ramesis II is known as the builder of this city and Pithom. This chronology also corresponds with Galatians 3:17.)
1317-1304 b.c. Sethos I
                         Shiphra and Puah save babies
                         Moses is born
1304-1237 b.c. Ramesis II
1280 b.c.          The Exodus
1237-1227 b.c. Merneptah
1240-1200 b.c. Israel's Conquest

Which theory do you think is right? The Late Date Theory is what The Prince of Egypt basis there's off of apparently because the "bad guy" is Ramesis II. ;)

Question I asked myself while reading these scriptures...
What is a birth stool (Exodus 1:16)? The Hebrew term for stool used here ('obnayim -- which is also used in Jeremiah 18:3 but is translated to "potter's wheel"-- interesting) is plural -- possibly means more than one part. Archeological findings suggest it was two colorfully painted rocks pushed close enough together to support the mother's weight. All I could think was... ouch!!!! I need pillows and padding. =o) Either way, those Hebrew women were stronger than me. Apparently this was easier for birthing because gravity worked for the mother but it was a bit harder for the midwife. It was to create something similar to this:

Their Story:
What did these women do in just a couple of scriptures? They defied Pharaoh and followed the Lord.
Pharaoh saw the Israelites were great than he, so he ordered the midwives to kill all the male babies. However, they had eternity in their sight and chose to fear God more than Pharaoh. When Pharaoh called them to his court to find out why they were not murdering the baby boys they said, "Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them." Basically, they told him the Hebrew women are stronger than the Egyptian women and he believed them. Obviously, he'd never witnessed childbirth and was quite gullible.
Another neat thing about these courageous midwives is that because of their righteousness the "[Lord] made them houses." Houses meaning households or posterity. So they were young women who had not had children yet. What amazing examples for our young women today to have -- other young women who cared more of what God thought than their friends, Egyptians or Pharaoh. Because of this, they were able to save a nation from destruction.

Applied to us today:
Do we fear God more than anyone else? Do we worry about fashion, the size of our house, a new car, or do we concern ourselves with serving others and teaching our children to serve the Lord and to do His will? Today's society has chosen to ignore/forget God but I hope and pray that my children will remember these courageous young women and put God and eternity ahead of everything else. We must choose the Lord and not "Pharaoh". What does Pharaoh represent in your own life?

To get a better understanding of choosing the Lord, I recommend the following talk -- amazing!!

First Presidency Message

The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?

President Spencer W. Kimball
Over the years as my thoughts and heart have turned to the lives of my noble ancestors, I have learned to appreciate them more. Learning about my ancestors has not only turned my heart to them, but has helped me see eternity more clearly. My own life is rooted not just in the present, but in the lives of my ancestors as well.
I remember reading a message that Grandfather Kimball wrote to his children in which he said, “I only care for the things of eternity. When I behold the great things of God and the glory which awaits the righteous, and when I reflect that the road is so straight that but few find it, I feel to pray the Lord to bless my children and save them. I am thankful to God because I live in a day when some will find it and will become Gods.” (See Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Bookcraft, 1945, p. 513.)
If we live in such a way that the eternity concerns us, we will make better decisions. Perhaps this is why President Brigham Young once said that if he could do only one thing to bless the Saints, he believed it would be to give them “eyes with which to see things as they are.” (Journal of Discourses, p. 3:221). It is interesting to note how those last words reflect the words of the scriptures in which truth is described as “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (D&C 93:24). Jacob reminds us also that the Spirit “speaketh the truth … of things as they really are, and things as they really will be …” (Jacob 4:13).
The more clearly we see eternity, the more obvious it becomes that the Lord’s work in which we are engaged is one vast and grand work with striking similarities on each side of the veil of death.
We have great works to perform on this earth, and I suppose the whole program of the Church could be put in one of three categories: missionary work, temple work, and keeping Church members active and faithful. It is hard to over-emphasize the value and importance of any one of these activities. Our great and growing missionary program among mortals is the most extensive it has ever been in this dispensation as we are preaching, teaching, and baptizing tens of thousands of our fellowmen. However, missionary work is not limited to proclaiming the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people now living on the earth. Missionary work is also continuing beyond the veil among the millions and even billions of the children of our Heavenly Father who have died either without hearing the gospel or without accepting it while they lived on the earth. Our great part in this aspect of missionary work is to perform on this earth the ordinances required for those who accept the gospel over there. The spirit world is full of spirits who are anxiously awaiting for us to perform these earthly ordinances for them. I hope to see us dissolve the artificial boundary line we so often place in our minds between missionary work and temple and genealogical work because it is the same great redemptive work!
During the span of ages, there have been periods of time when the Lord has gathered his people together and established the gospel and certain of the ordinances of salvation among them. These we call gospel dispensations, each headed by prophets who held the holy priesthood and the keys authorizing the exercise of that priesthood. We honor them for their noble and inspired works of righteousness. We see that in each dispensation prior to our own, certain aspects of the work of salvation for all the larger family of God have been introduced and a part of the labor completed.
In our own dispensation, which the scriptures have identified as the dispensation of the fulness of times, the Lord has promised that he would “gather together in one all things, both of which are in heaven, and which are on earth.” (D&C 27:13; Eph. 1:10.)
Certainly gathering “together in one all things” is related to the Apostle Peter’s statement regarding the “times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21.) This very important prophecy refers especially to the return of those prophets of old who held the various priesthood keys of the kingdom.
Thus, the keys of the divine patriarchal order which were held by the fathers anciently were restored, saying, in effect, that the time had finally come for Abraham’s great lineage to be restored to the gospel and the priesthood. Through this priesthood “shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Abr. 2:11)—meaning in part that the blessings of the gospel are brought to individuals and also that through the priesthood’s new and everlasting covenant of marriage, all the elect children of God who are gathered together out of the earth may be sealed together in family units into the lineage of Abraham, or in other words, into the organized, eternal family of God.
Is it any wonder that the organization and work of the Church and its priesthood in this day are patterned after the keys it possesses? We are a missionary Church, participating to the fullest possible extent in the gathering of Israel. We are a Church founded upon families; a Church that takes care of its own, stressing the economic, intellectual, and spiritual development of its families and individual members in preparation for salvation in the kingdom of heaven. And we are a Church that is actively engaged in temple and genealogy work for ourselves and for the infinite numbers of our Father’s children who have the promise, but who haven’t yet had the opportunity, for the ordinances of salvation. This is a work that makes even more meaningful the great corresponding missionary work being carried out in the spirit world.
Time and time again, when I have read certain passages in the Bible pertaining to this work, I have been impressed by the forceful questions Paul posed when he asked the Corinthian Saints:
  • Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
  • And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
  • (1 Cor. 15:29–30; italics added.)
Paul’s last question has caused me much reflection in recent months. Why do the peoples of the world stand in jeopardy? Because they cannot be saved without their families and their associates. They will continue to stand in jeopardy until the gospel is taken to them in such a way that they are willing either to receive it or reject it. This responsibility also places us in jeopardy so far as missionary work is concerned if we don’t share the gospel with them.
At the same time, we as members of the Church also stand in jeopardy if we do not do our temple work. Much of our time is taken up with the mundane details of every day living which must be done, of course; but those who are members of His kingdom at this crucial time should endeavor to give much time and effort to this important work.
These things of eternity pertaining to the spirit world and the hereafter were on the mind of the Savior when He was crucified. This is reflected in His statement to the repentant thief, which has puzzled many people:
  • And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
  • But the other answered him rebuking him, saying, Does not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
  • And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man (the Christ) hath done nothing amiss.
  • And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest unto thy kingdom.
  • And Jesus said unto him, Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
What did He mean? He meant exactly what He said. The hours would pass, death would come to them all, they would go into another world and “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”
You will remember also when the woman came to the tomb of the buried Savior, the Savior was not in His tomb. When He met her in the garden, He said, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father (in heaven) but … I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17.) He had still not been to see His Heavenly Father, so He hadn’t gone directly to the heaven we think of. He had gone some other place.
And then Peter explains to us later just where the Savior went and for what purpose.
  • For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
  • By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison …
  • For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
He provided the opportunity whereby they might repent of their sins, change their attitudes and their lives, and live according to God in the spirit. We do not know how many millions of spirits are involved. We know that many have died in wars, pestilence, and in various accidents. We know that the spirit world is filled with the spirits of men who are waiting for you and me to get busy—waiting like the signers of the American Declaration of Independence waited. “Why,” they asked President Wilford Woodruff, “why do you keep us waiting?” That question continues to be asked of us also, by our own people.
We wonder about our progenitors—grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc. What do they think of you and me? We are their offspring. We have the responsibility to do their temple work, and yet the beautiful temples of the Lord stand day after day, but we do not fill them always. We have a grave responsibility that we cannot avoid, and may stand in jeopardy if we fail to do this important work.
I hope our Saints will understand the glorious reality of it all, that as the work in our temples is done in this world, it helps to prepare us for another and better world.
The temples are reserved for sacred ordinances pertaining to the living and the dead. Worthy members of the Church should go to the temples as often as possible to participate in this important work. One of the ordinances performed in the temple is that of the endowment, which comprises a course of instruction relating to the eternal journey of man and woman from the pre-earthly existence through the earthly experience and on to the exaltation each may attain.
Brigham Young has indicated the following concerning the endowment:
  • Let me give you a definition in brief. Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels … and gain your eternal exaltation …
  • (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 416.)
Because of the sacred nature of the endowment and the other ordinances performed in the temple, those who go to the temple to receive them must be prepared and worthy. People who are converted to the Church often feel enthusiastic about going to the temple immediately after their baptism. But it takes time for them to adjust their thinking to things of an eternal nature, and it takes time for them to adjust their lives so that they are prepared and worthy when they do attend the temple. Thus, we have counseled stake presidents and bishops not to recommend people to go to the temple to receive their endowments until they are sufficiently mature in the gospel. We have established a policy that new converts should prepare themselves for at least one year after baptism before receiving these additional ordinances and blessings.
Some of the ancient temples were desecrated by the actions of outsiders. The Temple of Solomon, for example, was desecrated by those without authority who walked into the temple, robbed it of its precious treasures, and took those treasures to foreign lands for use in idolatrous practices. But the possible actions of outsiders are not the only potential pollutants of holy places.
Holy temples may also be defiled and desecrated by members of the Church who go into the temple and make covenants unworthily, or which they are not prepared or willing to accept and carry forward. When people go to the temple and then make light of its sacred principles, they are defiling it. When unrepentant people accept the holy ordinances without full determination to prove worthy of them, they are helping to violate the sacredness of the holy temple and they are desecrating holy places.
When promises are made and covenants are entered into without serious or pure intent to magnify them, pollutions may occur in the holy temples. It is not only a matter of receiving a recommendation to enter the temples of the Lord, but it is also a matter of one having a pure, sweet, and repentant spirit as well. When we enter the door of the house of the Lord, we might well remember a theme that was mentioned in the Washington Temple:
Enter this door as if the floor within were gold;
And every wall of jewels all of wealth untold;
As if a choir in robes of fire were singing here;
Nor shout nor rush but hush … for God is here.
(From “Words of Life” p. 45.)
Some of us have had occasion to wait for someone or something for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, or even a year. Can you imagine how our progenitors must feel, some of whom have perhaps been waiting for decades and even centuries for the temple work to be done for them? I have tried, in my mind’s eye, to envision our progenitors who are anxiously waiting for those of us who are their descendants and are members of the Church on the earth to do our duty toward them. I have also thought what a dreadful feeling it would be for us to see them in the hereafter and have to acknowledge that we had not been as faithful as we should have been here on earth in performing these ordinances in their behalf.
During the past few months, I have been privileged to attend the rededication of a number of our temples. Perhaps, the Lord permits us to hold such rededication services so that we can sit in the temple and think and reflect and ponder on the things we ought to be doing. As a result of such experiences, I have resolved to continue to give of myself and my energies to this great and important work and encourage others to do likewise.
Recently, I have felt impressed to share some thoughts about the work for the dead because I feel the same urgency for it that I do about missionary work since they are basically one and the same. To my knowledge, there has never been another time in this dispensation when we have had four temples at various stages of planning and construction as we now have, together with the refurbishing and rededication of others. Thus, I said to my Brethren of the General Authorities, “This work is constantly on my mind, for it must be carried forward.”
Having in mind the importance of temple work, wouldn’t it be wonderful if every Latter-day Saint home had in the bedroom of each boy and each girl, or on the mantle of the living room, a fairly good-sized picture of a temple which would help them recall, frequently, the purpose of these beautiful edifices. I believe there would be far more marriages in the temple than there are today, because the children would have as a part of their growing experience the picture of one of our temples constantly before them as a reminder and a goal. I recommend that to the Saints. It is almost costless and certainly would help develop the thinking processes of little minds that are growing, as the temple and its meaning is contemplated and is discussed in the Family Home Evening.
This is the work of the Lord, and He has given it to us. It is our responsibility, our pleasure, and our privilege to carry this work forward. We should so organize ourselves and the work that it will go forward rapidly. In the book of Revelation, John saw that sometime in the future (and it is still in the future to us) those who were faithful and have cleansed their lives, will work night and day in the holy temples. Evidently, there will be then a constant succession of groups going through the temple somewhat like it was in the days of the Nauvoo Temple. My grandfather, Heber C. Kimball, wrote in his journal that during the last days of February 1846, groups were going through the Nauvoo Temple night and day, “way into the night and way into the day,” he said. He indicated that Brother Brigham took a group through, Brother Willard took a group through, and he took a group through, and so on. The faithful Saints then were so anxious that they should receive the numerous blessings and ordinances which are given in the temple that they virtually lived in the temple those last few hours before they crossed the plains. Today, we should begin to act with that same fervor and desire.
We have asked the members of the Church to further the work of turning the hearts of the children to the fathers by getting their sacred family records in order. These records, including especially the “book containing the records of our dead” (D&C 128:24) are a portion of the “offering in righteousness” referred to by Malachi (Mal. 3:3), which we are to present in His holy temple, and without which we shall not abide the day of His coming.
We also have asked that the families of the Church organize themselves to perform more efficiently their sacred missionary, welfare, home education, temple and genealogical responsibilities and to set the pattern for things to come. I recall it was said that the last public words of my grandfather, Heber C. Kimball, were to the effect that the time had come for all men to set their houses in order.
The Prophet Joseph Smith said:
  • Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and so on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad.
My prayer for all of us who are members of the Church in this great dispensation of the fulness of times is that we might indeed go forward in this great work so that we will not stand in jeopardy of our eternal reward.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Amazing Talk by Neil L Anderson!!

Many of us are unable to attend Women's Week at BYU. Thankfully, we are still able to read what is said. :) YAY!!!


We Need Not Fear

Speaking about fear and faith in the midst of intense spiritual adversity, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “While the battle rages, we need not fear. The Lord will help you, your family, and others you love who need special help. We know the outcome. The Savior will triumph over all!”
“We recognize the enemy and understand his plan,” Elder Andersen continued. “The pride of the world seeks to destroy faith by casting doubt on the existence of God or, if not His existence, His personal care and concern for His children. … You know all of this. You are on the battlefield, right in the crossfire. The conflict will not diminish but intensify in the years ahead. How will we—how will you—withstand the attack?”
Elder Andersen asked this question of thousands of women in the closing session of Women’s Conference, held at Brigham Young University on April 26 and 27.

Spiritual Attacks

Elder Andersen explained that many are susceptible to spiritual attacks. “The spiritual battle rages because those who have chosen wickedness, darkness, and self-conceit are never happy to go their way alone. They form unholy alliances with what Paul calls the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places, determined to take others with them. While wanting us all, they especially pursue the young, the unsure, the undisciplined, and the weak, hoping to destroy any hope of Christ in the fragile and vulnerable.”
Disciples of Christ, though, are defenders of the faith. “You are absolutely critical to this cause,” Elder Andersen said. “Uniting together from different backgrounds, countries, cultures, and life experiences, you help advance the stone cut without hands as it rolls forth to fill the whole earth” (see Daniel 2).

Armed with Righteousness

How are individuals to stand triumphant in such spiritually perilous times while also advancing the work of righteousness? Through personal conversion, Elder Andersen said: “You are ‘armed with righteousness and … the power of God in great glory.’ When you are armed with righteousness and the power of God in great glory, it is because something is happening inside of you, as well as the outward, public display of your discipleship. Your belief in Christ and your love for Him fills your soul. We sometimes refer to this as conversion.”
Conversion, unlike baptism, is an ongoing process, Elder Andersen said. He quoted President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988), a counselor in the First Presidency who, during his service in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “Membership in the Church and conversion are not necessarily synonymous. Being converted … and having a testimony are not necessarily the same either. A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of truth. A moving testimony vitalizes faith; that is, it induces repentance and obedience to the commandments. Conversion … is the fruit of, or the reward for, repentance and obedience.”
Spiritual strength comes through faith, obedience, and repentance, Elder Andersen said. “As you arm yourself for battle, your protection comes from God, who is our Father. You have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you take His name upon [you].”

Rally Spiritual Strength

Additionally, obedience and repentance help individuals rally spiritual strength. Elder Andersen said: “Think about the journey of your own conversion and discipleship through the years. When you are more sensitive in taking His name upon you, seeking the spiritual gifts from His sacred ordinances, and giving added care to following Him, you feel greater strength as you are armed with righteousness. You see more clearly, sense more deeply your identity as a [child] of God, and realize in greater measure the purposes you have accomplished, are accomplishing, and will yet accomplish.”
Being armed with righteousness through conversion brings happiness, peace, a greater portion of the Holy Ghost, and a bright hope for the future. Elder Andersen said: “I look forward to the future. I hope you do too. To your children and grandchildren, your friends and associates, you can speak about the future with optimism, joy, and anticipation. You are living your mortality in a glorious time of destiny.”

Armed with Personal Conversion

Elder Andersen’s wife, Kathy, also spoke at the conference. She testified that personal conversion arms individuals “with the power of God and [with knowledge] through all the times and seasons of their lives that their Heavenly Father knows them and loves them and that He hears all of their prayers.” She said, “Our prayer is that [you] will come to know with certainty the truth declared by an Apostle of the Lord this day, that Jesus is the Christ, the Holy Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


"Holy to Anath" (Anath or Anat is a northwest Semetic goddess for violent war.)

She was the wife to Joseph and mother to Manasseh and Ephraim.

Scriptures to read:
Genesis 41:45, 50; 46:20

As I read these chapter I wondered a few things:
Was she an Egyptian?
Was she an Israelite?
Was she a Hyksos?
Did Joseph marry outside of the covenant?
Is she a descendant of Ham and her descendants unworthy of the priesthood?

I decided that I would need to dig around for some answers.

The question I continued asking myself as I read of Joseph and his family was, "Where in the world did Asenath come from and how did it not ruin the priesthood lineage?" I kept thinking she was a descendent of Ham b/c she was Egyptian.
At first, I thought, "perhaps it only follows the father's lineage." That would be too easy though so I kept digging.
Genesis 41:45 says she is the daughter of Potipherah who is a priest of On (oldest city of ancient Egypt, also called Heliopolis, which means "City of the Sun" or "City of the Light".)
She was a pagan and had poor lineage but she's still the mother of Manasseh and Ephraim? This just wasn't adding up so I kept on digging.
In the apocrypha, we learn Asenath actually turned down several suitors because she was in love with Joseph. Joseph, however, refused to marry a pagan so she locked herself in a tower and rejected her idols and accepted Joseph's God (Yahweh). Basically, she converted so she and Joseph married.
Well, that answers the question about the idols but what about her lineage?
On I found something called "Asenath an Egyptian?" It stems from the article "Joseph, Model of Excellence" from 1980.  In order to understand her roots, you must know a bit of Egyptian history. The Hyksos people took over the eastern Nile Delta during the 12th dynasty. They first appeared in Egypt during the 11th dynasty. It was a multi-ethnic group in search of many different things from war to slaves to agriculture.

Asenath an Egyptian?

In his article entitled “Joseph, Model of Excellence” (Sept. 1980, p. 9), the author writes that Joseph’s wife, Asenath, “was not only Egyptian, but a daughter of an Egyptian priest,” thus conveying the idea that her two sons, Ephraim and Manessah, were of “half-Egyptian” blood. If that were so, then both of them would have been of a lineage which at that time “could not have the rights of Priesthood” (Abr. 1:27).
Actually, the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time was not Egyptian by blood, but was of the Hyksos, a nomadic people who swept into Egypt from the Arabian peninsula. The Hyksos were a Semitic people, which made them distant relatives of Joseph and his family. Asenath was a descendant of these Semitic Hyksos, not an Egyptian.
Albert S. Paskett Grantsville, Utah
The language used does permit confusion. Yes, Asenath was of the Semitic Hyksos people who were ruling Egypt in the days of Joseph. However, because they had conquered Egypt and were living there for a number of generations, it is also appropriate to identify them as Egyptians, just as it is possible to identify U.S. citizens of Danish or German or English extraction as Americans. The author was discussing national homeland boundaries, not racial origin or lineage.


Dinah means "judged or vindicated". She was the daughter of Jacob and Leah.

Scriptures to read:
Genesis 30:21; 34; 46:15

We don't have much information on Dinah. We do know that she was taken by a Canaanite prince, Shechem. He raped her and loved her. He tried to earn her trust but, obviously, it didn't work because he held her captive. Hamor, Shechem's father, went to Jacob to discuss the possibility of gaining Dinah as a daughter-in-law. The sons of Jacob agreed, if Shechem and all the men are circumcised. In this time, circumcision went w/ a covenant with God. So, they all converted for Dinah.

Simeon and Levi showed up in the city on the third day and killed every man, stole livestock and money, and captured the women and children. But, they did rescue their sister. Jacob was not happy about all the destruction and these two lost any chance at the birthright they may have had. They all moved again but the boys (Simeon and Levi) felt the consequences to the people of Hamor was justified because they "[delt] with [their] sister as with a harlot."