Tuesday, December 27, 2011

{ :) }

A member of our ward in his talk told us about how they were having a family home evening about the ten commandments. They talked about honoring your father and mother. Then he asked: "Is there a commandment about your siblings?" Their young son answered: "Thou shalt not kill."


Thursday, December 22, 2011

{"Becometh As a Child" by Neal A. Maxwell}

"All about us we see the bitter and abundant harvest from permissiveness. A perceptive person has acknowledged: "The struggle to live ethically without God has left us not with the just and moral order we imagined but with disorder and confusion". (Peter Marin, Harper's Magazine, Sept. 1995)

"The more what is politically correct seeks to replace what God has declared correct, the more ineffective approaches to human problems there will be, all reminding us of C.S.Lewis's metaphor about those who run around with fire extinguishers in times of flood. For instance, there are increasing numbers of victims of violence and crime, yet special attention is paid to the rights of criminals. Accompanying an ever increasing addiction to pornography are loud alarms against censorship. Rising illegitimacy destroys families and threatens the funding capacities of governments; nevertheless, chastity and fidelity are mocked."

"I have no hesitancy... in stating that unless checked, permissiveness, by the end of its journey, will cause humanity to stare in mute disbelief at its awful consequences."

"Ironically, as some people become harder, they use softer words to describe dark deeds... Needless abortion, for instance, is a "reproductive health procedure," which is an even more "spongy expression" than "termination of pregnancy"."

"Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millenium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to cousel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain... they leave the Church,  but they cannot leave the Church alone. Like the throng on the ramparts of the "great and spacious building," they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders.
Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building - like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts. In any case, given the perils of popularity, Brigham Young advised that this "people must be kept where the finger of scorn can be pointed at them"."

..."the arrogance of critics must be met by the meekness and articulateness of believers."

..."the exhilarations of discipleship exceed its burdens. Hence, when journeying through our Sinai, we are nourished in the Bountiful-like oases of the Restoration."

"It has been a privilege to seal several adopted children to Nan and Dan Barker, now of Arizona. Some time ago Nate, then just over three, said: "Mommy, there is another little girl who is supposed to come to our family. She has dark hair and dark eyes and lives a long way from here."
The wise mother asked, "How do you know this?"
"Jesus told me, upstairs."
The mother noted, "We don't have an upstairs," but quickly sensed the significance of what had been communicated. After much travail and many prayers, the Barker family were in a sealing room in the Salt Lake Temple in the fall of 1995 - where a little girl with dark hair and dark eyes, from Kazakhstan, was sealed to them for time and eternity."

..."as we cross our Sinai, including in those moments when we must "be still, and know that I am God". Such submissive stillness is necessary, because the process of consecration is not one of explanation. Only "after the trial of our faith" does the full witness come..."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
May 1996 Ensign

Friday, December 9, 2011


(image found via google image search)

I wrote a poem! Seriously? Me? One day it just came. I'm sure it needs more work but I thought I'd share it here.


My eyes are tired
From lack of sleep.
Some nights are long,
Worries run deep.

My hands are tired,
They've done so much.
Lives have been blessed
By a motherly touch.

My mind is tired,
So much to do.
I reach and reach
These little ones to teach.

A baby, a toddler,
Now in school...
The years go by fast.
Oh how to make them last?

Life can be hard,
There are many tears.
But the Spirit conquers
All my fears.

In God I'll trust
When life gets rough.
I'll do my best.
It is enough.

My God I'll praise,
His plan is great.
My mother's role
I'll celebrate.

My heart is full.
My joy is deep.
These precious memories
I'll always keep.

{take especial care of your family}

"Note several terrible trends which, if uncorrected, will produce an even worse coalition of consequences.

*In ten years, one-half of all children born in America will be illegitimate.

*More and more children have no functioning fathers. Already 70% of our juvenile criminals come from fatherless homes.

*Less than half of all children born today will live continuously with their own mother and father throughout childhood."

*One-fourth of all adolescents... contract a sexually transmitted disease before they graduate from high school."

"Healthy, traditional families are becoming an endangered species!"

"As parenting declines, the need for policing increases. There will always be a shortage of police if there is a shortage of effective parents! Likewise, there will not be enough prisons if there are not enough good homes."

"Latter-day Saints therefore have no choice but to stand up and to speak up whenever the institution of the family is concerned, even if we are misunderstood, resented, or brushed aside."

"However, as Latter-day Saints, we need to do better in our families - much better! There should be less wringing of hands and more loving arms around our families."

..."there is an emerging but unjustified tendency to treat children as if they have the capacity for unrestricted adult experience."

..."we stress again and again the available remedies of family prayers, family home evenings, and family scripture study. Moreover, personal revelation regarding parenting can provide customized guidance and reassurance!"

"Applying basic remedies will take some time and will not fix everything immediately. What could be more basic, however, than "love at home", when annually in America there are four million reports of domestic violence, rivaling the number of births in America! Violence in America now kills "the equivalent of a classroomful" of children "every two days."

"In the healthy family, first and best, we can learn to listen, forgive, praise, and to rejoice in the achievements of others. There also we can learn to tame our egos, work, repent, and love. In families with spiritual perspective, yesterday need not hold tomorrow hostage. If we sometimes act the fool, loving families know this is not oru last act; the curtain is not rung down."

"Parents and grandparents, please scrutinize your schedules and priorities in order to ensure that life's prime relationships get more prime time! Even consecrated and devoted Brigham Young was once told by the Lord, "Take especial care of your family" (D&C 126:3) Sometimes, it is the most conscientious who need this message the most!"

"As the number of dysfunctional families increases, their failures will spill into already burdened schools and streets. It is not a pretty scene even now."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
May 1994 Ensign

{brightness of hope}

"For some years, brothers and sisters, there has been an increasing and profound sense of existential despair in the world... Holocausts, famine, pestilence, and tides of refugees have taken a terrible toll on human hope, with much of that toll coming from man-made, avoidable disasters... despair comes of iniquity!"

"A coalition of consequences is emerging. As prophesied, the love of many waxes cold (see Matthew 24:12). Even those affectionally secure themselves can sense the chill in the air."

"Shame is often replaced by the arrogance of those morally adrift, including strutting celebrities whose outer boldness camouflages their inner emptiness. ...so much hollow laughter..."

"Just as doubt, despair, and desensitization go together, so do faith, hope, and charity. The latter, however, must be carefully and constantly nurtured, whereas despair, like dandelions, needs so little encouragement to sprout and spread. Despair comes so naturally to the natural man!"

"Significally, those who look forward to a next and better world are usually "anxiously engaged" in improving this one..."

..."brightness of hope" produces illuminated individuals. Their luminosity is seen, and things are also seen by it! Such hope permits us to "press forward" even when dark clouds oppress. Sometimes in the deepest darkness there is no external light - only an inner light to guide and to reassure."

"Hope helps us to walk by faith, not by sight. This can actually be safer."

"Genuine hope is urgently needed in order to be more loving even as the love of many waxes cold; more merciful, even when misunderstood or misrepresented; more holy, even as the world ripens in iniquity; more courteous and patient in a coarsening and curt world; and more full of heartfelt hope, even when other men's hearts fail them."

"Tower of Pisa is a persistent rebuke to architectural pessimism, so parental hope - by refusing to topple merely because of the gravity of the current family situation - is a repudiation of despair. Giving parents never give up hope!"

"Though otherwise "lively", hope stands quietly with us at funerals. Our tears are just as wet, but not because of despair. Rather, they are tears of appreciation evoked by poignant separation. They will change, erelong, to tears of glorious anticipation. Yet the emptiness is so real and so restless it initiates a retroactive inventory of what is now so painfully missing, doing so, however, while forecasting fulness and resplendent reunion!"

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
November 1994 Ensign

{deny yourselves of all ungodliness}

..."consider the subsequent and sobering tragedy of children having children, of unwed mothers, of children without parents, of hundreds of thousands of fatherless children, and of rampant spousal infidelity... Yet carnalists are unwilling to deny themselves, even though all of society suffers from an awful avalanche of consequences!"

"In Proverbs, we read, "For the commandment is a lamp". Once darkened, a society loses its capacity to distinguish between right and wrong... A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything!"

"Gross sins arise ominously and steadily out of the swamp of self-indulgence and self-pity."

"Sadly, too, a few envy the wicked."

"Ironically, in all their eagerness to experience certain things, hedonists, become desensitized."

..."some worry only about holes in the ozone layer, while the fabric of many families who lack the lamp resembles Swiss cheese."

"Many things will not get better until we have better families, but this will require much more self-denial, not less."

..."end up with more protected pornography than protected children."

..."urging self-restraint on hedonists is like discouraging Dracula from hanging around the blood bank!"

"All things considered, brothers and sisters, to whom did David deal the greater blow, Goliath or Uriah? Or himself?"

"...God's second commandment, love thy neighbor, clearly leaves no room for racism."

"So it is that real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed!"

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
May 1995 Ensign

{sins of omission}

"Once the telestial sins are left behind and henceforth avoided, the focus falls ever more on the sins of omission. These omissions signify a lack of qualifying fully for the celestial kingdom. Only greater consecration can correct these omissions, which have consequences just as real as do the sins of commission. Many of us thus have sufficient faith to avoid the major sins of commission, but not enough faith to sacrifice our distracting obsessions or to focus on our omissions."

"Most omissions occur because we fail to get outside ourselves."

"...only by aligning our wills with God's is full happiness to be found. Anything less results in a lesser portion."

"As one's will is increasingly submissive to the will of God, he can receive inspiration and revelation so much needed to help meet the trials of life."

"Do we understand - really comprehend - that Jesus knows and understands when we are stressed and perplexed? ...perfect empathy... knows how to succor us... Since the Most Innocent suffered the most, our own cries of "Why?" cannot match His."

"Each of us might well ask, "In what ways am I shrinking or holding back?" Meek introspection may yield some bold insights! For example, we can tell much by what we have already willingly discarded along the pathway of discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible, even encouraged."

..."trusting that God has made "ample provision" beforehand to achieve all His purposes, including His purposes in our lives."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
November 1995 Ensign

{FHE: thou shalt not take the name of the Lord they God in vain.}

FHE about honoring the names of Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ.

Do you know why your parents gave you your particular name?

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know our names. Examples: Joseph Smith's First Vision and boy Samuel called by the Lord.

What kind of person do you think of when you hear the name Jesus Christ?

We show honor and respect for people by using their names in a kind and loving way.

Mosiah 13:15 What does it mean to take the Lord's name in vain?

How would you feel if someone said your name angrily or without respect?

Do you know what Jesus' name was in pre-existence? What is Heavenly Father's name?

Speak gently of Jesus;
Please soften your voice.
You honor his name with your every right choice.
Our Heavenly Father's name,
Like a prayer
Should only be spoken with great love and care.

Everyone practices writing their name in various fun ways. For little children: print their name with a fun font. Help them color and decorate their name.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

{the golden rule}


The Golden Rule

The New Animal
By Diane Bohn
The Friend, September 1987

A new animal was coming to live in the zoo, and the other animals were excited. One morning a big truck backed up to an empty cage, and out stepped the new animal. The zookeeper hung a sign outside the cage that said “ZELMGID.”
The other animals stared in amazement. The zelmgid did not look like any animal that they had ever seen. He had a long neck and a long tail, and when he opened his mouth, he barked. One by one the other animals turned away from the cage. Because the zelmgid was so different, they were not sure how to treat him.
The zelmgid was very lonely. The animals ignored him, so he had no one to talk to. He was so sad that he didn’t eat. The zookeeper began to worry. People stopped visiting the zoo because the new animal was sad and the other animals hid in the backs of their cages.
One day the elephant heard the zelmgid barking to himself. “The zelmgid does have a good trunk,” he told the giraffe. “It’s not as long as mine, but it’s really quite nice.”
The giraffe stretched her neck to take a closer look. “Look at his strong neck. He can reach as high as I can.”
The lion was looking quietly at the new animal’s mane. “My goodness! He has an excellent mane—almost as thick as mine.”
Just then the zebra trotted by the cage. “His coat has a very nice pattern,” she said.
“And his horns are curved just right,” the ibex said, “just like mine.”
When the monkey came swinging from the trees, he said, “Look at that handsome tail. I wonder if the zelmgid would like to play tag?”
Finally the duck waddled by the cage. “What fine feet you have. You probably can swim faster than I can,” she said to him.
The zelmgid stopped crying and thanked the duck for the compliment. Soon all the animals were talking together. They felt much happier. Even though the zelmgid looked different, the other animals had all found something about the new animal that they liked.

Carefully discuss differences with involvement directions, such as: “All children with brown eyes raise their hands.” “Those with freckles stand.” “Those who can whistle, whistle.” Be sensitive to situations in class in which you can give support to children. Lead to conclusion that we can find something that we like about everybody.

Discuss Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12). Who taught us this? Challenge children to apply Golden Rule during week and report their experiences.

Sing “Little Things” (Sing with Me, B-49) and “Have I Done Any Good?” (Hymns, no. 223).

Found this while preparing my Primary lesson. Great idea for FHE.
Here is the link to the Friend article.