Sparkle Background


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Visiting Teaching appointment for this morning was cancelled due to family being sick at our sister's house. So after reading Elder Oaks' talk "Good Better Best" I decided to utilize that time for the purpose I had set it aside, strengthening my own testimony by sharing it with others. So I'm posting the message I have been pondering.

The VT message for February is on the topic "The Family Is Central to the Creator's Plan." I love Elder Hales' comment "When families are functioning as designed by God, the relationships found therein are the most valued of mortality." Isn't that awesome? When we are doing what we're supposed to in our families, our family members become our best friends. As Adam and I have been married, I have noticed that our need for individual outside friends has diminished as we become each other's best friends. Not to say we don't need or want other friends, but it's different than when we were single.

In Sis. Mary N. Cook's General Conference address
"Strengthen Home and Family", she repeats a 4 point program that President Hinckley gave the young women that "will not only 'assure your happiness' but will bless your family as well. He counseled each of us to '(1) pray, (2) study, (3) pay your tithing, and (4) attend your meetings." Sis. Cook counsels us to ask 'Who in my family could benefit from my personal prayers?' As we study the scriptures, we'll learn from Christ's example how to love, serve and forgive family members.

After so much of our Snday meetings centered on Elder Oaks's talk and also our Relief Society lesson, I have been pondering Good, Better, and Best. Or as Bro. Kraude put it during his sacrament meeting talk, Essential, Important, Urgent and Appropriate (which I absolutely love). I've been pondering this for me and our family. So I pulled out the talk again for Family Home Evening (Adam groaned - "again?"). But we talked with Kaylyn about how we spend our time. Is Caillou good? Yes. Is Sesame Street good? Yes. Is Super Why good? Yes. (and so on). Is it good to spend ALL our time watching these "good" shows? No. There are other things that are essential. We talked about Elder Oaks's saying that we should preserve time for family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening. We asked Kaylyn if we were doing each one (we are actually - Hooray!). Then I suggested that as a family, we're doing Good. But can we be Better? Can we be doing Best? So specifically for FHE, I challenged our family to not only have a lesson (Better), but to be preparing more than 30 minutes ahead of time, which sadly has become our habit.

So back to the VT Message focus on the Family. The question is asked What can I do because I know that [my] family is essential to the Plan of Salvation? Pres. Eyring suggests that you ask this in prayer and promises that you will receive impressions and "if you act on them, I promise you the help of the powers of heaven."

I'll share one more thought - Easter is coming up. The Ensign had some wonderful ideas on how to make
Easter more Christ centered. What ideas have you tried or will be trying this year to make Easter more Christ centered?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Divine Nature

I was recently called as the Ward YW Camp Director. This is not a calling I ever desired. But as I have started learning about the calling, I got to read the YW Theme again. And I cried. It's been just over 10 years since I had a calling in the Young Women program. At that time I had a testimony, but it's amazing how something can make you realize how much your testimony has grown. My testimony is so strong of the first sentence in the theme that it can make me cry if I think about it at all.

Here's the Theme for a reminder to all of us...

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love him. We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places" as we strive to live the Young Women Values, which are -
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works and

We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Straight and narrow path, or balance beam?

During my scripture study this morning, the phrase straight and narrow path caught me. It was one of those Ah-ha! moments. First, thoughts of Lehi's dream came to mind with the mist of darkness. Then I had the image of a balance beam. Kaylyn takes gymnastics each week and I watch her on the balance beam. Now her balance beam is not very far off the floor, but she can still fall. Her teacher has instructed her to look at a specific spot on the wall, not at her feet. This helps her keep her balance on this straight, but narrow beam she's walking on. Now what if that beam was crooked, changing directions on her? How often would she fall off?

Isn't it wonderful that the path to Heavenly Father doesn't change directions on us? Even when the mist of darkness overcomes us, we don't have to worry about upcoming turns in the path knocking us off course. And just like the balance beam, we need to keep our eye on our goal and we will be successful.

Personal Scripture Study

Our Stake President challenged us at the November Stake Conference to read the Book of Mormon by the May Stake Conference. I'm trying to do this, but I feel a lot of the time I'm just reading, instead of truly studying. So how do you make your scripture time study time?

Family Scripture Study

How do you do family scripture study?

I saw someone comment this on a message board at the end of last year. We loved the suggestion and started it shortly thereafter (when we finised the D&C stories book). So here's what we are doing. We are studying the scripture mastery verses for the Book of Mormon. Each night for a week, we read the same verse(s) and discuss what it means. The first night, Adam reads the verse. The other nights, as we read it, Kaylyn repeats the phrases after us. We discuss what different terms mean and ask her questions about what the verse is trying to teach us. She's paying more attention during scripture study. There's less contention.

Check out for information about scripture mastery and seminary.

So share how you make family scripture study work for your family.