Sunday, December 25, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I am rather late in posting the message and my thoughts on the message, but better late than never. What a wonderful and thought provoking lesson this months Visiting Teaching message provides us. The first quote that lead my thoughts was this:
"The Lord, His Church, families, and communities need the influence of righteous women. In fact, Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that “every sister in this Church who has made covenants with the Lord has a divine mandate to help save souls, to lead the women of the world, to strengthen the homes of Zion, and to build the kingdom of God.”
Some sisters may wonder if they can accomplish such lofty aims. But as Eliza R. Snow (1804–87), second Relief Society general president, explained, “There is no sister so isolated, and her sphere so narrow but what she can do a great deal towards establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.” Sister Snow also taught that Relief Society was organized “for the accomplishment of every good and noble work.”
As I read this quote from the message, I began to internalize it, and my thoughts began to direct themselves to what I am or have been doing to: "help save souls, to lead the women of the world, to strengthen the homes of Zion, and to build the kingdom of God." I know what I am doing and what I have done as a sister in Zion, but I began to think about some women who don't know what their talents are, and feel they don't know how to contribute.
Many years ago, when my family lived in another state, there was an LDS sister who lived in my ward boundaries, and she was shy, reserved, and had a difficult time even speaking with others. She was had very little self esteem and was very uncomfortable in social situations avoiding people in general. She did her best to get through each day with her own family and staying home a lot, but when she needed to have a conversation with others, she would fidget and look around, and seemed very uncomfortable. There was an occasion that something tragic happened within her very own family, causing her family to become estranged from her neighbors and associates and even some ward members. This devastation took it's tole not only on her, but her own family.
At this time, her family began to counsel with their bishop and in his wisdom he realized that in serving others, and developing their talents, that could really bless this family. The bishop's wife encouraged this woman to take voice lessons and develop the natural abilities for singing that she had. In doing this, she was able to lose some of her shyness and social anxiety, as she was given opportunities to sing in church and even in some community programs.
I noticed a change in her confidence as she was using a talent that the Lord had given to her, of a beautiful voice, to share with others. Somehow, she was able to perform in front of crowds, without anxiety and fear. She sang with confidence and that built her confidence in herself.
This woman joined the ward choir, and stake choirs and even went out into the community and participated in Coral groups. What a blessing her natural talent for singing provided others, as well as helped with her self esteem.
This story is just one simple way of building up the kingdom through serving and sharing personal talents. Speaking of talents, my thoughts are also drawn to the Parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, the talents refers to pieces of money. For us, talents mean abilities that we have and can develop to bless and enrich the lives of others... "thus building the kingdom of God".
This parable goes something like this... A man was traveling into a far country and called his servants in and gave them some talent or money. One he gave 5 talents, another two and then another man, each according to their abilities. The man who received 5 talents, traded and made five other talents, and so did the one who had received two talents. They magnified their talents. But the one who had received only one, when and buried his talent in the ground.
Sometime later, the Man who had given his servants these talents, called his servants to reckon with them and find out what they had done with the money or talents he had given to them. Now, I love what is said next! This is found in verse 21, "His lord said unto hi, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: though hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter though into the joy of the lord".
Pretty much the same thing and response happened between the Lord and the second servant who was given 2 talents or monies but something very different happened and was said when he found out what the third servant had done with his talents. The lord asked him what he had done, and the man said in verse 25 "And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo there thou hast that is thine". This man was chastened and the one talent that he hid, was taken from him and given to the man who had ten.
This parable then goes on a bit more, but basically this to me talks about the talents that the Lord has given to us, we are expected to use them and multiply them and to serve and bless the lives of others. In turn our talents become a blessing to us, our wards & Church, our neighbors and in our families.
What a wonderful church we are blessed to be members of! We all can contribute and make a difference in the lives of others. I know that the Lord blesses us, especially in times of need, when we serve him. I can testify of that, and for me, I always want to have those blessings available for me and my family, and I plan on serving every single day of my life. I am happier when i am in the service of others and I know that service is the key to joy! The Lord does need the influence of righteous women and if we all develop our talents and use them in the service of our lord, how great shall be our joy!
P.S. At LDS.org, there is a whole page dedicated to seriving in the Church. It can be found at this link: http://lds.org/service/serving-in-the-church?lang=eng
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
I contacted the Deseret News and they did not have this article on their online newspaper, so I had my computer genius son, take my clipping from the news paper and clean it up and make it into a clean and readable document.
I also wanted to share with you a MARVELOUS sourse for Christmas Stories, and I don't use this term lightly. Project Gutenburg not only has a whole collection of original classic Christmas stories, but classic books of all kinds, that they have preserved and are free to read and enjoy for everyone. Their website is: http://www.gutenberg.org When you arrive at that website, in the L column, click on "categories" then "bookshelf" then "Children's bookshelf" then go to "Christmas Bookshelf". (it is easier to just go to the link which is http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Christmas_%28Bookshelf%29
Because my blog is all about Tips, handouts and ideas... I have some now to share with you....
Now you realize that by me sharing with you this website, I am giving away some of my secrets! This is where I find some of my most wonderful vintage photos that I use to create some fun things as they are in Public domain. BUT with that said... Scroll down and you will see the most wonderful Classic Childrens Christmas Books! One that you must go to is the illustrated "Night before Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore. The images are vintage and some of the most beautiful artwork that ever was printed, at least in my estimation.
Another of these Christmas books that I have read to my own children during the Christmas season, is now found on Project Gutenburg. It is L. Frank Baums "Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" and it is also translated into an audio version that you can listen to besides read. Another one that I have read is "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" also in book and audio forms.
I hope you will take advantage of these fun tips to not only make your family's days that lead up to Christmas more memorable, spiritual, and fun, but begin a wonderful family tradition of your own that will be carried on in the hearts of your children throughout their lifetime.
Mormons in America: Meet the Jacksons
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General Conference Talks
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
What shall we give?
An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ
This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!
July 6 - Pioneer Cooking
Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!
July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block
Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.
You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/
I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
Posted by Katie Gauger at 10:41 AM 0 comments
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"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho
SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....
Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots. You need to go to the site and explore all the rest of the links and ideas.