Monday, September 30, 2013

A Change of Callings

The phone rang yesterday, about an hour before church was to start. I answered it. It was the executive secretary of the ward, asking if I could meet with the bishop briefly, fifteen minutes before church. I said, "yes" and hung up the phone.

Immediately the thoughts came pouring through my mind. Is it a new calling? Are they going to release me from one (or all) of the three I already have? The Young Women presidency changed last week... does it have something to do with that? I am really enjoying my calling as a Relief Society teacher right now, and I didn't really want to be released from that yet, especially since I've only been doing it for a few months. I could deduce that it wasn't' something really big, because they only asked to see me, and not Steven too. But whatever it was, I knew I would do whatever I was called to do.

We arrived at the church fifteen minutes or so before it was to start. The bishop was still in a meeting, so I put down my books in the chapel and talked to a friend for a minute or two, then wandered back towards the bishop's office to see if they were out yet. Eventually, they did, and I was ushered into the clerk's office with one of the bishop's counselors.

"Am I getting something, loosing something, or both?" I asked him.

"Both," was his reply.

He released me from being assistant Webelos leader, a calling I've shared with Steven for the last year, almost. I've enjoyed working with Josh and the other boys his age, and I wonder what I'll be doing Wednesday evenings while everyone else in the family is at scouts and/or Young Womens.

I was called to be the ward chorister. I'm not the ward music chairperson, a calling I had several years ago, which involved not only leading the music in sacrament meeting, but also coordinating musical numbers and organists, and organizing the ward choir.  The counselor was unsure as to who would be selecting the hymns. As far as I know, I'm just leading the music in sacrament meeting, which is something I've done several times in the last few months as the sister who had the calling was out of town, or arrived late, or had her grand niece with her and therefore couldn't do it herself. It will be easier than planning den meetings, and won't interfere in the slightest with my other two callings (teaching and playing piano in Relief Society).

I'm grateful for opportunities to be of service. I'm grateful that when I was asked on Friday if I could play the piano for a baptism on Saturday, that I could say, "yes", even before I knew what the hymns would be. It is nice to feel needed, and to feel that I am capable of doing something that will be useful and appreciated.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Who Are the Mormons?

I came across this cool infographic about Mormons. I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2013 Raingutter Regatta

Last night was our pack's raingutter regatta. When we arrived, there was a bit of a panic because they couldn't find the rain gutters that they've always used in the past, and what is a raingutter regatta without any rain gutters? Anyway, they found something that would work instead (the light covers to the outdoor pavilion we were meeting in) and the meeting began.

By tradition in this pack, the boys make the boats at the pack meeting out of simple materials - a Styrofoam base with a wooden dowel mast and a cardstock sail. They were simple, but they worked. The boys lined up at one end of the gutters, blew their boats to the end, then ran around to get back in line to race again. Steven served as assistant cubmaster, telling them when to start. ("Ready, Set, Blow!") Each of the boys made a boat and raced it, while Hannah staked out the dessert table, and helped take pictures. I watched and took a few pictures myself.  Here are some of the pictures we took:
The boys get their sails and put their boats together. They decorated their sails with markers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some Thoughts From Institute

I'm really enjoying my institute class! Each week I learn new things that I hadn't thought about in quite the same way before.

This morning we discussed Lehi sending his sons back to Jerusalem to get Ishmael's family (1 Nephi 7:1-5). Someone asked, "Why did they have to make a second trip back to Jerusalem? Why couldn't they have gotten Ishmael and his family at the same time as they were there getting the brass plates from Laban?" We discussed this for a few minutes, and a few possibilities occurred to us:
  1. To test their faith and obedience. (Of course it was pointed out that Laman and Lemuel didn't complain about going back to get wives.) 
  2. Getting the brass plates was a dangerous assignment. A couple times they fled for their lives, and they probably had to be ready to leave the city quickly. It would have been more difficult to leave the city quickly with an entire family in tow. 
  3. They had to gain favor in Ishmael's eyes to convince him to join them. This might have been more difficult if they were concentrating on getting the plates from Laban at the same time. 
  4. By the time Ishmael and his family joined them, they were fairly established in the wilderness. They had lived out there for a time and had proven that they could survive. 
Most of our time this week was spent discussing Lehi's dream, along with its symbolism (1 Nephi 8). I got to read a quote (I don't know who said it) that said: 
Lehi's dream offers many lessons central to the plan of salvation. For example, the dream can be viewed as a TYPE depicting the journey all people must make in order to "come unto Christ." Lehi was invited by a man "dressed in a white robe" to follow him. As he followed he found himself in a "dark and dreary waste." After traveling in darkness for "many hours" Lehi prayed to the Lord for MERCY, after which he was shown a beautiful tree with white fruit. After partaking of the fruit of the tree Lehi experienced great JOY and then desired to share his joy with his family (1 Nephi 8:5-12). Similarly, Christ invites all people to come follow him. As one follows Christ and learns of him and his plan, one becomes increasingly aware of his or her own mortal and fallen condition. Understanding the need to be saved from this darkness, the necessary cry is for mercy, for every person sins and needs redemption from the Fall. After the cry for mercy the Lord manifests the source of his mercy: a tree tree which is "a representation of the love of God" (1 Nephi 11:25). The greatest manifestation of this love is Jesus Christ and his atonement (John 3:16; 1 Nephi 19:9). After partaking of the Atonement, as represented by partaking of the fruit of the tree, one experiences great joy and feels a desire to share that joy with others.
I love this quote because it applies Lehi's dream to the entire human family, to the great plan of salvation, to the basic gospel. 

Another item of interest that our teacher brought up that was new to me was a similarity between the four groups of people in Lehi's dream, and the parable of the sower (or soils):
  1. The Lost. These are the people who didn't bother seeking the iron rod or the tree but sought out the great and spacious building, and many were drowned and lost. (1 Nephi 8:31-32). These are the seeds that fell by the way side and were devoured by fowls. (Matthew 13:4, 19)
  2. The Ashamed. These are the people who pressed forward, holding to the iron rod and tasted the fruit of the tree, but then felt ashamed and fell away. (1 Nephi 8:24, 28) These are similar to the seeds that fell in stony places, sprung up, but when the sun scorched them, they withered away. (Matthew 13:5,6,20,21)
  3. The Wanderers. These are those who were seeking the path, but when the mist of darkness arose, they wandered off and were lost. (1 Nephi 8:21-23) These are the seeds that fell among thorns and were choked. (Matthew 13:7, 22)
  4. The Endurers. These are the people who clung to the iron rod, who fell down (in humility and/or prayer) who partook of the fruit, and paid no heed to those who would mock them. (1 Nephi 8:30) These are the seeds that fell into good ground and brought forth fruit. (Matthew 13:8)
One last thing I'd like to share (so I'll have it somewhere to remember) is a quote by Elder Neal A Maxwell, "So it is that the laughter of the world is merely loneliness pathetically trying to reassure itself." Like those who had enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life but then wandered off because they heeded the mocking of those in the great and spacious building, we can be lost if we pay attention to the mocking of those around us who don't have the same understanding of the gospel as we do. Stand up for what you know to be true and right. Don't let others pull you down. Don't lose your salvation because of embarrassment or pride. And don't mock others' righteousness either. There is no "Molly Mormon" or "Peter Priesthood" who might not have something we can learn from.

A Milestone

I was reminded this morning that there was a milestone this last weekend that I need to make note of. Hannah gave her very first talk in Sacrament Meeting this last Sunday. Her topic was the third article of faith and she did an awesome job!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Country Fair

On Saturday, our ward had a country fair activity. There were games and displays, a pie eating contest and a silly fashion show, food to eat, and even a raffle. It was fun.

People in the ward were invited to bring things to display, so we had handmade rugs, crocheted blankets, homemade costumes, wooden pens, pies and other baked goods, bug displays, as well as a lap top showing photos. I brought some of my homemade jewelry, and Hannah brought some unicorns she had crafted out of duct tape. Those who wanted to could donate something for the raffle. There was also a display of family history stuff and another for emergency preparedness.
Hannah's duct tape unicorns
The games included donuts hanging from strings, rubber band guns, and a ring toss. There was also face painting and a photo booth. Peter spent the evening looking like a pirate, and Hannah had a rainbow painted over one eyebrow. Steven and Josh both participated in the pie eating contest, Josh managing to get his face completely covered in cream pie. I was in the fashion show, wearing a checkered shirt (a shirt with checkers attached to it) and box pleat pants (pants with origami boxes attached.)  One sister wore a 24 carat (carrot) necklace that was pretty cool. Others wore a (hula) hoop skirt, van shoes (cardboard boxes that looked like VW vans), loafers (loaves of bread), a 'sports' jacket and a muumuu (cow costume).

They had cotton candy, funnel cakes and popcorn, as well as the hot dogs, salad and chips they served for dinner.

Each person who came received five raffle tickets they could use to bid on any of the items entered for the raffle. My visiting teacher won one of my necklaces. Peter won some homemade baked goods.

It was enjoyable evening for our entire family. I hope our ward decides to do this again.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Young Women In Excellence

Last night was Hannah's Young Women in Excellence celebration, where the young women got to show off the goals and projects that they have been working on for Personal Progress during the year. Hannah had decided she wanted to perform a viola-piano duet that I arranged over the summer. (see the next-to-last bullet here). We were almost to the church before she realized that she had forgotten her viola at home! So, I dropped her off, along with the Steven and the boys, who had scouts, and I rushed home for the viola. I returned just in time for us to perform. The performance went well.

After all the performances and presentations (we were next to last, so not long after I got there), we watched a slide show of pictures taken during the various activities and camp outs the girls have participated in through the year, and then some awards were handed out. Hannah received a certificate for graduating from Beehives (i.e. turning 14). She also received a large photo of the Denver temple and a beautiful framed photo that was taken at Estes Park on a Young Women camp out a month or two ago, with her standing at the top of a mountain.

After the formal part of the meeting, we were dismissed to eat dessert and look at posters each girl had made, which depicted the many goals and projects she had done during the year. We have some very talented girls in our young women's organization, and Hannah is one of them. I am often told how wonderful she is by people who have had the opportunity to work with her. She is helpful and cheerful and gets along well with others. She's also very creative, and she is a good cook, artist and violist. I am glad that she is my daughter.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tender Mercies, Murmuring, Faith and Puzzles.

Yesterday I got to go to an Adult Education Institute class. A sweet sister who loves nearby has offered to give me rides so I can go. I went last year and really enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to this year, even though we have a new teacher. We're studying the Book of Mormon this year. Here are a few things that I came away with from yesterday's class:
  • The Book of Mormon was written for our day, to convince us that the Jesus spoken of in the Bible really is the Christ, the son of God. (See my previous blog about Faith to see why it is so important that we know that God exists.)
  • A major theme of the Book of Mormon is deliverance through God's mercy. 1 Nephi 1:20 says, "...But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Elder Bednar describes the Lord's tender mercies as "the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ." Many stories talk about how God in his mercy delivered his people out of one kind of bondage after another. There is a General Conference talk by Elder L. Tom Perry that discusses this theme of deliverance. At the end of the Book of Mormon, part of the exhortation that Moroni gives to all who would read the book is that we "would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts." (Moroni 10:3) (Incidentally, mercy is one of the attributes and characteristics of God that we need to know in order to have faith in him.)
  • I was given a quote to read about murmuring from the institute manual. It said:
One reason Satan encourages murmuring is to prevent us from following living prophets, inspired leaders, and parents. Elder H. Ross Workman of the Seventy explained that “murmuring consists of three steps, each leading to the next in a descending path to disobedience.” First, when people murmur they begin to question. They question “first in their own minds and then [plant] questions in the minds of others.” Second, those who murmur begin to “rationalize and excuse themselves from doing what they [have] been instructed to do. … Thus, they [make] an excuse for disobedience.” Their excuses lead to the third step: “Slothfulness in following the commandment.”
“The Lord has spoken against this attitude in our day: ‘But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned’ (D&C 58:29).
I don't think that he is saying that it is wrong to question in order to gain a better understanding. We are frequently told to go to the temple or watch General Conference with questions in our minds, because that is how we will receive personal revelation, and greater understanding. I think what he is saying is that we shouldn't be doubtful - disregarding God's wisdom and looking for excuses not to obey what we've been told to do. President Ezra Taft Benson said, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”
Part of faith is knowing that the path we are pursuing is in accordance with God's will. It means obeying the commandments. It means acting in ways that we know will be pleasing to a loving Father in Heaven. Being "anxiously engaged in a good cause" (D&C 58:27). When we are earnestly striving to be obedient in spite of the difficulties and trials, that is when God will endow us with power. That is when the miracles will come.
It is interesting to me that the things I came away with the most strongly were things that I could fit into the framework of what I had been studying previously (faith) even though faith itself was barely mentioned during the class. In my head, it's kind of like doing a puzzle: I had been working on a particular section, and so when I learned other things, or gained other pieces, the ones I had the most use for were the ones that would attach and fit easily with the part I had been working on just days or weeks before. My picture, my understanding, is growing one piece at a time as I fill in holes or gaps, and expand around the edges.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hannah turned 14!

Yesterday was Hannah's birthday. We celebrated last night for FHE. (Incidentally, why do we get so many phone calls on Monday nights? The phone rang eight times between 7 and 8:15pm!) We had homemade pizza for dinner. Hannah made and decorated her birthday cake. Steven ran the boys to the store to buy gifts, since we hadn't had opportunity previously, and then they hurried home to wrap them. 

 Here is the cake that she made and decorated.
 She was thrilled to receive twelve rolls of duct tape. Her mind is already working on figuring out what to do with them all.
 She also received art supplies, shirts and candy from her brothers and a friend. Gifts from her mom and dad will arrive tomorrow due to a delay in ordering and a longer shipping time than expected.
 Happy 14th birthday, Hannah!

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Time to be Grateful

We've received a phone call or two from family who was concerned about us in light of the flooding here in our area. We are fine. As I mentioned a few days ago, the lawn in front of the house gets covered with water occasionally when it is raining hard, but it usually doesn't take long to drain again once the rain eases up. So far, the water hasn't risen any where near high enough to reach our front door, or even to flood the play room, which is a couple steps down from the rest of the house. We haven't chanced to be driving on any of the roads that have been washed out. Steven got stuck in traffic one morning on his way to work when a freeway off ramp was flooded and cars were turning around to get back on the freeway via the off ramp. That's about as exciting as it gets for us, for which I am grateful.

Yesterday, we received a couple phone calls about 1/2 hour before church was to start to let us know that a major intersection on the way to church was flooded. While church wasn't going to be cancelled, we were to use our own judgement whether or not we could make it to church safely. We went, but traveled a different way than usual.  We enjoyed sacrament meeting, although the numbers were a little fewer than normal. After sacrament meeting, we were dismissed to go home. We again took an alternate route home, and enjoyed some extra time at home. I had been asked to teach Josh's class that day, and so I was a little disappointed not to get to teach the lesson I had prepared, but other than that, it was nice to just be able to enjoy the rainy day at home.

I've seen pictures and read news articles about others who have been far more affected by the flooding than we have - basements flooded, cars stranded in rivers, roads washed out, trailer parks entirely underwater. They are in my prayers.

At the same time, I am even more grateful for the blessings that I have been given. Steven is working and earning a decent paycheck, so we can pay our debts and buy the food and clothes and things that we need. The kids are going to good schools - close enough that they can get there and back without us having to own a second car, even if that does mean occasionally walking through rain or snow. We have a home to live in, one without a basement that could get flooded. We have a computer and an internet connection so I can keep in touch with the outside world. Our family has been sealed together in a holy temple, by one who holds the proper authority: what he seals on earth will be sealed in heaven, so our family really can be together forever. The grass around our house is greener than it has been in a long time. We really do have a lot to be grateful for.

(   If this link works, it should show a video someone made of a road flooded about five miles north of our house. It might give you an idea of what's going on in some places.)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring

This week has been the rainiest I've seen in a long time. Sure, we frequently get the late summer evening thunderstorms, but it has been raining most of the day, every day, for the last three days.

Since we only have one car, I get to walk to take the kids to school and to pick them up afterwards. Luckily for us, only on Monday afternoon was it really pouring down on us while we were walking. Other days the rain has stopped for a little while, or it has just been a light sprinkle.

I like rain, when I don't have to be out in it. It is the perfect weather to curl up in a comfy chair with a good book, and since I am still wading through the Wheel of Time series, I have plenty to read. (I'm on book eleven now.)

At night, the sound of rain pounding on the roof is strangely relaxing, and it lulls me to sleep.

The grass looks greener now than it has all summer, and I haven't had to water my garden. I kind of wonder if the plants will drown from all the water they are getting, but so far they seem to be doing okay. I hope that some of this rain is landing in reservoirs so it can be put to good use.
 About 6:30 this morning, the front of the house was flooded.
 The park near our house has a huge grassy bowl that was designed to collect water in case of flooding. There was a lot of water there this morning, but the banks of the gutters were able to contain it all.
By the time I got back from taking the kids to school this morning, the flooding had gone down somewhat. The stepping stones were still under water, and there was still a stream , but it was a lot better than it had been.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Patriot Day

September 11th, 2001.

I was at home in a two bedroom apartment in Rancho Santa Marguerita, California, with an almost two year old daughter and an almost two month old son. Steven was at work. The phone on the desk in the dining room rang, and it was my mother-in-law.

"You have to turn on the TV!" she said in a near panic. She told me that terrorists had flown an airplane into a building in New York, and she was terrified that the United States was going to declare war, and that two of Steven's siblings, who were in the army reserves at the time, were going to be called to active duty.

When I got off the phone, I did turn on the TV, just in time to watch a second airplane crash into the second World Trade Center tower, and for the entire building to collapse. I spent a lot of time that day watching TV, something that I almost never did at the time. (I still don't.) I held my babies close, and tried to explain to my daughter why I was crying.

As a child, I remember hearing that no one who was old enough to understand what was happening when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941 would ever forget where they were or what they were doing when they heard about it. I think the same thing could be said about September 11th, 2001.

Where were you and what were you doing when you heard about the terrorist attacks?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Scripture Doodles

What scripture stories are depicted in the picture below? (Peter and I took turns drawing them and quietly guessing during a church meeting a while ago... it kept him entertained and quiet for a little while.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Church Leadership and Selfless Service

"Is there a leader or teacher who has had a positive influence on you, or who you really admire? What qualities or attributes do/did they exhibit? Be prepared to share!"

This is what I wrote on the chalkboard in the Relief Society Room during the break between Sunday School and Relief Society yesterday. I wanted to make sure that the sisters in the room had plenty of time to think about the question, and what their answer might be before I started my lesson. This weeks lesson was Chapter 18 of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, entitled, "Church Leadership and Selfless Service. "

I took a little different approach to teaching this lesson than I have to the last few lessons I've taught, and for some reason, that made me nervous. Maybe it was because I didn't want to be the only person talking. I was depending on others to share their thoughts and experiences, and f they didn't participate, the lesson I had planned would not be very meaningful. My hands were shaking before I even began, and usually for me, the shaking doesn't start until I'm done. I was grateful that someone else was willing to play the piano for me, because I find it really hard to play with shaking hands.

I started by explaining to the sisters that I felt like they would learn more from their own experiences and thoughts, than they would from just hearing mine, and that I would like for them to share the experiences they had with good teachers and leaders. I asked them to think about skills and characteristics that they would like to improve in themselves.

I started the sharing by telling about a high school history teacher I had. Mr Vargish would come into class with his long hair and mustache, his jeans and his Birkenstocks, sit on his desk at the front of the class and say, "Let me tell you about the '60s." He would then tell us about the 1860s, the Civil War, and his hero, Abraham Lincoln. The man had a passion for American history, and he was able to convey that passion and enthusiasm to his students. I think that passion and enthusiasm are wonderful qualities for a leader, because they help their students/followers to sense the importance, to catch the vision of what they are trying to do.

I wrote "passion" and "enthusiasm" on the chalkboard, and then asked the sisters for their stories. Instantly three hands shot up. After we had heard their stories, there were more hands and more stories. My list on the chalkboard grew: love, concern for individuals, compassion, patience, endurance, going the extra mile, acceptance, service, sacrifice, encouraging, and the list went on.

At times, when it seemed appropriate, I added bits from Lorenzo Snow's words. After a touching story about how a Primary leader went above and beyond the call of duty to help a troublesome boy with ADD to get the most out of primary, I brought up the story of Jesus asking his disciples to "feed [his] sheep", and Lorenzo Snow's interpretation of what that meant: "But said he—'Feed my sheep.' That is, 'Go forth with your whole heart, be devoted wholly to my cause. These people in the world are my brethren and sisters. My feelings are exercised towards them. Take care of my people. Feed my flock. Go forth and preach the gospel. I will reward you for all your sacrifices. Do not think that you can make too great a sacrifice in accomplishing this work.'”(p.218)

After the stories seemed exhausted and we still had ten minutes or so left, I brought up some things from the lesson that hadn't been covered yet, like the story from the beginning about the man who wanted the glory and recognition for himself.  I shared a quote I found in Teaching: No Greater Call which said, “A skilled teacher doesn’t think, ‘What shall I do in class today?’ but asks, ‘What will my students do in class today?’; not, ‘What will I teach today?’ but rather, ‘How will I help my students discover what they need to know?’ [Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders (1994), 13]. The skilled teacher does not want students who leave the class talking about how magnificent and unusual the teacher is. This teacher wants students who leave talking about how magnificent the gospel is!” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 13–14; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 12).

 I closed with my testimony about our Bishop's humility and leadership. I was on the ward council when he was called as bishop, and I watched him take on that mantle, striving to be guided by the Spirit, to do as the Lord wanted him to do in his calling. I've been impressed by his adherence to the guidance and teachings given in the Church Handbooks that came out about the same time he was called. I have observed the great love and concern that he has for our ward members. I feel that he sets a wonderful example for the members of our ward as a teacher as well as a leader.

The lesson manual focused a lot more on humility than I did in my lesson. In preparing, I didn't feel that humility was as important an issue for the sisters in our ward, so I chose to focus more on the things that make a person a good leader or teacher. I hoped that helping them think about the good leaders and teachers in their own lives would inspire them, or motivate them to develop the good qualities they have seen. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mornings are Hard

Since Hannah started seminary, we've all been getting up earlier so we can have family prayer and read the scriptures before she leaves for school and Steven leaves for work. That means the boys and I wake up around 5:30am. After Hannah and Steven leave, Josh and Peter frequently go back to sleep, and I wake them up again around 7:00 so they can get ready in time for school.

This was yesterday morning:
 This was this morning:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Court of Honor

Last night we went to a Court of Honor for the scouts in our ward. We started with a dinner of tacos and nachos, and then the awards were given out. A slide show of photos from scout camp was projected on a screen. John received five merit badges that he earned at scout camp and at a merit badge college a couple weeks ago.

Two boys in the troop received their Eagle awards. This was special to Steven, because these are boys that he worked with when he was the scoutmaster, and even since he was released, he has continued to encourage them to complete their projects and achieve this goal. He was really happy to see them receive the Eagle award. One of the boys selected Steven as the recipient of a mentor pin. (Click here for some more information about the mentor pin.)

There were cupcakes for dessert.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book of Mormon Examples in Getting Along

What can the Book of Mormon teach us about dealing with other people? This has been my topic of study for the last week or so. Here is some of what I learned:
Nephi had abusive brothers. They beat him with rods (1 Nephi 3:28-29). They were rebellious (1 Ne 7:7). They were disrespectful (1 Ne 18:9) and even threatened to kill Nephi (1 Ne 7:16; 2 Ne 5:2). How did Nephi deal with this? 

What happened? After Nephi left his brothers, he and those who went with them were able to build a civilization and live happy lives. (2 Ne 5:27)
Alma the Elder's son was going around trying to tear down everything that Alma had spent his life building up. (Mosiah 27:10) What did Alma do?
  • He prayed with faith that his son could know the truth. (Mosiah 27:14)
  • He gathered others to join him in fasting and prayer. (Mosiah 27:22-23
  • When his son had an experience only God could cause, Alma rejoiced. (Mosiah 27:20)
What happened? Alma's son had a life changing experience, repented and became an amazing missionary.
King Mosiah's sons didn't want to follow their father's footsteps, didn't want to live the lives Mosiah had intended them to live. Instead, they wanted to leave the country, embracing hardship and danger far from home. (Mosiah 28:1-5) What did Mosiah do about it?
  • He asked God for guidance, then followed the promptings he received. (Mosiah 28:6-8)
  • He did what he could to protect his sons. (Mosiah 29:6-10)
  • He figured out another way to take care of what he had wanted his sons to do. (Mosiah 29:25-29)
  • He supported his sons' decision. (Mosiah 29:37-38)
What happened? King Mosiah's sons left to teach the Lamanites and became awesome missionaries (Alma 17:4), and Mosiah was loved and esteemed by his people for ever after. (Mosiah 29:40)
Alma the Younger's son sinned grievously, not only hurting himself, but also making Alma's efforts to teach the gospel harder. (Alma 39:3) What was his reaction?
What were the results? Alma the Younger's son repented and preached the word himself. (Alma 43:1-2).
The chief judge Pahoran was chastised by a friend and accused of many things - neglect (Alma 60:6), being in a thoughtless stupor (Alma 60:7), slothfulness (Alma 60:14) and even of being a traitor (Alma 60:18). He was even threatened (Alma 60:20), all for things that he'd had no control over. He was innocent! How did he react?
  • He calmly explained the facts of the situation. (Alma 61:3-8)
  • He assured his friend that he wasn't angry, that he hadn't taken offense. (Alma 61:9)
  • He suggested a solution to the difficulty that they were in. (Alma 61:15-18)
What happened? Pahoran's friend was happy with Pahoran again (Alma 62:1). He took his suggestion and they were able to join forces to get out of the difficulty they were in. (Alma 62, esp v.6-8, 11, 14, and 26)

Who else in the Book of Mormon has something to teach us about getting along with others?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


This was me one month ago. My hair was past my arm pits when it was braided. Unbraided, it was almost to my elbows. It was hot, and it that was a lot of weight attached to my head!

This was yesterday. My hair reaches my shoulders now. It feels amazingly light! I should have done this months ago!!! The photo doesn't do it justice. I love my new haircut.