Sunday, June 30, 2013

Come, Follow Me Talk

Gave a talk today.  For our Sacrament Meeting program they organized a state of the union-like theme for the Come, Follow Me Curriculum.  There was a speaker for YW, YM, and Sunday School.  It was amazing how we all had the exact same topic and approached it in completely different ways.  Everybody kind of balanced each other out.

First of all.  I HATE introductions.  Can't do them.  I think I've used the same introduction for every ward I've spoken in, and since this was my second talk in this ward, I was having major writer's block throughout the week.


So, I didn't have one.  I jumped right in.  It made me laugh in my mind because it reminded me of the Snark and Testimony gifs.  

When a speaker doesn't feel the need to tell you every emotion they went through when the bishop called them to speak and just gets right into their talk:
These are hilarious!  But we'll save that for another time.

I love change.  This is coming from major experience.  I'm pretty sure we've moved seven times in the last five years.  Change is refreshing, it's exciting, and it helps you grow.  You can learn from the past and take out all the good and add your own twist and traditions to turn it into something better.

So, why is everything changing?  Why now?

If anyone had a chance to watch the broadcast on Sunday for the Work of Salvation, L. TOM PERRY talked all about how the church is adapting to this generation.

Click HERE to watch the video

I've heard that when you raise your children, sometimes, because of their personalities, your parenting approach might need to be different depending on the child.  I know with my parents, I think my brothers were a little easier to raise than me.  My mom said she tried giving us all piano lessons when we were little, and the boys did a pretty good job of practicing when they were supposed to, but I was kind of dramatic.  The lessons usually ended with me sprawling across the piano bench on my back and not moving as if I were dead.  So, mom definitely needed to take a different approach with me most of the time  (Sorry mom)


If you look at that from an eternal perspective, I wonder if maybe Heavenly Father's different generations of children need to learn and experience the gospel in different ways.

Here's something to show how the times are definitely changing.  Just so you can see a difference in the generations, I wanted to quote a couple paragraphs from the For The Strength of Youth Pamphlet from 1965.


First of all... what exactly are pedal pushers, knee-knockers, and bermudas?

Pants for young women are not desirable attire for shopping, at school, in the library, in cafeterias, or restaurants.  Any apparel that suggests a house robe should not be worn in public but only in one’s home or apartment.
For the young men… When driving around in cars, working in the yard or elsewhere, they should wear appropriate trousers and shirts.  Shorts may be worn during actual participation in active sports.
“Grubbies” are inappropriate in public for everyone.  A “real lady” does not go out in public, to the market, or to shops with her hair in curlers.
Acceptable Dancing
The following should be observed:
      1. GOOD POSTURE - If one concentrates on good posture, most fad dances can be danced in a manner which will meet LDS standards.
      2. DANCE POSITIONS- When dancing, young people should avoid crouching, slumping over, or trying to do a backbend
      3. Body Movements- Members of the Church should be good dancers and not contortionists.  Emphasis should be placed more on styling and clever footwork

So, to me it definitely makes sense that as the times change, Heavenly Father may have a different way of raising different generations.

Not only have these new lessons affected the youth, but it has helped my testimony to grow.  Teachers are being pushed to grow spiritually.  The most important part of your service will be your own daily spiritual preparation.  Dedicate yourself to living the gospel with greater purpose than ever before.  Learning outlines are not meant to prescribe what you will say and do as you teach.  They are designed to help you learn the doctrine for yourself and prepare to engage the youth in powerful learning experiences.

This curriculum is helping teachers learn to teach like the Savior--


In every setting, He set the example.  He taught others to pray by praying with them.  He taught them to love and serve by the way He loved and served them.  He taught them how to teach His gospel by the way He taught it.

Overall, the path to conversion is a personal one.

I kinda learned the hard way when I first started college that you can't exactly walk into a class, sit down, listen to the instructor, and then get up and leave and expect to get an A+ on your next exam.  It takes a lot of time, energy, and commitment outside the classroom reading and studying if we want to truly learn.  And these youth programs work the same way.

Conversion does not happen in a meeting, class, or activity alone.  Ultimately, youth are converted by diligently living the gospel each day-- praying, studying the scriptures, keeping the commandments, fulfilling priesthood and other duties, attending the temple, serving their families and others, and sharing the gospel.  As they do these things, their desires, attitudes and actions being to align with Heavenly Father's will.

"FOR NEARLY SIX THOUSAND YEARS, GOD HAS HELD YOU IN RESERVE TO MAKE YOUR APPEARANCE IN THE FINAL DAYS BEFORE THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD.
"WHILE THIS GENERATION WILL BE COMPARABLE IN WICKEDNESS TO THE DAYS OF NOAH, WHEN THE LORD CLEANED THE EARTH BY FLOOD, THERE IS A MAJOR DIFFERENCE THIS TIME: [IT IS THAT] GOD HAS SAVED FOR THE FINAL INNING SOME OF HIS STRONGEST... CHILDREN, WHO WILL HELP BEAR OFF THE KINGDOM TRIUMPHANTLY.
"MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT -- YOU ARE A MARKED GENERATION."
-EZRA TAFT BENSON

The youth are awesome!  They are the final warriors pushing through these last days.  PLANTS VS ZOMBIES-- they are the lawnmowers.


I remember as a teen when adults would say, "I was a teenager once too and I know what you're going through..." And yeah, that's true, but at the same time, it's really not.  I don't think we truly understand the spiritual battle that our youth have to face every single day.  Satan is trying harder now than ever before and they are constantly being surrounded by temptation.  The YW and YM are so strong and such an example to me.  They teach me more than I could possibly teach them.  I love my calling!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why Are Ordinances Important In My Life?

Get this week's lesson here and here.

This week I'm combining two lessons.  Elder Dennise B. Neuenschwander of the seventy once said at a BYU Fireside, "Ordinances and Covenants can hardly be understood apart from each other."

PART ONE: ORDINANCES

This week we'll get the room with the whiteboard!!!  As you can tell, my life is pretty eventful when whiteboards are the most exciting part of my week.  I'm trying to decide how I want to set it up...


I think I'll post the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Articles of Faith,
have the girls list some saving ordinances in the middle and review them, 
and put up a picture of the story of the Waters of Mormon,
and a picture of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.  BAM.  SOLID.

When we talk about baptism, I want to read the story about the Waters of Mormon...
(Mosiah 18:1-17)

This is one of my favorite baptism stories!  We have a family Book of Mormon that we read from at home and in the footnotes it shows a picture of what this place might have looked like.  It makes me want to take a trip to Guatemala!

This story's great for reviewing TEMPLE ORDINANCES

The winter of 1845–46 was a difficult one for the Saints in Nauvoo. Many of them were forced to leave their homes and businesses. Yet the work of completing the temple and doing temple ordinances continued with the work of building wagons and gathering provisions.
The Saints were so eager to receive the temple ordinances that they thronged the temple night and day. On 3 February 1846, assuring the assembled Saints that the temple had served its purpose and that they would build temples in the West, President Brigham Young suggested that they pack their wagons and leave Nauvoo.
He walked to the door, put on his coat and hat, and left the temple. When he was some distance away, he turned and looked back. Not a soul had followed him.
Like the Savior, who took pity on the throngs that pleaded with him to stay, President Young turned around and walked back. He found the temple “filled to overflowing,” and, he recalled, “We continued at work diligently in the House of the Lord.” That day, 295 Saints received temple ordinances. (History of the Church, 7:579.)




PART TWO: COVENANTS
Think of a time when someone made a promise to you but never kept it.
One time, my friend sent me an email with some fantastic news!!!  Take this online survey and we will send you a FREE SNUGGIE!!!  I was ecstatic.  I was so excited to tell Mitchell when he came home from work.  He just laughed at me and said it was a scam.  "BUT THEY PROMISED I'D GET A FREE SNUGGIE, MITCHELL!"  It never came.  I was shattered.  All I ended up getting was a lot more junk mail.  Stupid scammers.  So, Mitch gave me one for Christmas.
The people around us can't always keep their promises, but it's a comfort knowing the Lord will ALWAYS keep his promises.  By eternal law he CANNOT break them.

"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."
D&C 82:10

Heavenly Father has many gifts for us and wants us to receive them.  To get these gifts, we need to keep the covenants we make with him. 
Got this idea from Sugardoodle.  Each "gift" contains a piece of paper, a picture, or an item that explains the gift we receive when we keep that covenant.  Have the girls take turns choosing gifts to open.

BAPTISM = CLEAN OF SINS
SACRAMENT = COMFORT OF THE HOLY GHOST



TEMPLE ENDOWMENT = WE CAN ENTER HEAVENLY FATHER'S KINGDOM

OK, I know this one's a stretch, but I didn't know what else to do.  Heavenly Father's kingdom has a princess theme-ish, right?

TEMPLE SEALING = WE CAN BE WITH OUR FAMILIES FOREVER

This is one of the temple picture from the LDS website with a little bit of editing.  I printed it and bought a little frame for the temple sealing gift.


Now they're wrapped and ready for opening.




Last thing I want to do is read the story from Alma chapter 24


I ran to Home Depot and grabbed a couple paint stirring sticks and spray painted them silver.  Then after painting some jumbo popsicle sticks black I glued them together and made little swords.  My father-in-law asked me why they weren't sharpened... Yeah right!!!  If the primary kids/young men get their hands on any of these after class I would probably get fired from my calling.  LoL.  "Yes bishop, I am responsible for arming the deacons with weapons.  Tell Billy's mother I'm sorry again about the stitches."


  My challenge for the girls this week is to think of a sin they're struggling with and like the Anti-Nephi-Lehites who buried their swords and covenanted with the Lord that they would never fight again, have the swords represent their sin they are working on to help them let it go and "bury it."  Not literally!  Well, I guess it's just wood, it wouldn't really hurt the environment, right?  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oh, What Do You Do In The Summertime?

On this especially sunny Sunday, I was crazy craving lemonade.  And I wanted to spend as much time outside as possible, so this is pretty much what happened....


"Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?  Do you march in parades, or drink lemonades, or count all the stars in the sky?  Is that what you do?  So do I!"


I'm gonna say it...  Of the THOUSANDs of places we have lived, the summer weather in The Dalles is my absolute FAVORITE!  No humidity, no 'it's so hot I can't breathe' desert air, just pleasant, happy, smiling sunshine everyday.


We picked FRESH FRESH FRESH raspberries!  Holy smokes!  I couldn't stop eating them.


Stuntman came to visit while we were picking.  He kept head ramming my shoe. 


 "NOT NOW KITTY-FACE!"


Yes.


Easiest compote in the world award...
1 cup of raspberries
1 TBS of sugar
(Or maybe 2 if you're feeling cRaZy)
A couple squeezes of lemon

Warm it on the stove on low for a minute or two and BAM!  Add it to your lemonade.


Best. Day. Ever.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Another Time

I found this on Dash it All and couldn't resist posting some of my favorites.  Some of these made me LOL.  (Ever notice how people use LoL in situations where one wouldn't actually laugh out loud?  ... These are for real)

SNARK AND TESTIMONY

When a speaker doesn't feel the need to tell you every emotion they went through when the bishop called them to speak and just gets right into their talk:






When you walk into a different ward and everyone thinks you're an investigator:







When your visiting teaching companion finally finds out who you are:







Primary Activity Day:







When they send around the sign up sheet for the cannery:







When someone corrects your pronunciation of a biblical name in Sunday School:







When someone knocks on your door when you're chillin' in your G's:







When your bishop calls you to be a sunbeam teacher:






When someone starts in on their third pioneer story in their testimony:






Sitting back in the congregation after you nailed a musical number:
EXPECTATION:


REALITY:






When they announced they were lowering the mission age in conference:






When your bishop finally finds out you can play the piano:






When you see your returning missionary walk out of the terminal:







When your friend comes back down from bearing their testimony:








When someone wont take their crying kid out of sacrament meeting:






When you try and act like you heard the question in Sunday School:






When the deacons wake your from your Sunday nap to collect fast offerings:






When you're trying to get your toddler out of Sacrament Meeting before the full-on screaming starts:







When an old person tries to make me feel bad for bringing my iPad to church:






At the stake dances:
Expectation:


Reality:



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