03 February 2016

Barriers are not always a bad thing

I used a talk by Elder Von G. Keetch from the October conference as part of the Sunday School lesson last week. We were talking about how God is Our Heavenly Father and how we can get to know Him better by studying the scriptures. I had each student think about the qualities they appreciate in their own father, and what qualities they would like to have themselves as a parent. Then we talked about how God is a loving Father who cares more about us than anything else. We watched the talk as a way to see how what God does is an expression of His love and concern for us.

My favorite quote from the talk is this:
[T]he barriers established by the Lord create for us a safe harbor from the evil and destructive influences that would other wise drag us down to the depths of despair. The Lord's commandments are given out of love and caring.

02 February 2016


After over thirty years of service my scriptures are being retired. They have been valiant warriors.

I purchased a quad, and am now in the process of transferring all my markings from the old to the new. I know that some, even general authorities, advocate not transferring and just marking as you read the new. I'm not of that school of thought. I transfer and refine my markings each time. The above triple was purchased in 1985 when I was called to be a Gospel Doctrine teacher and I gave up my beloved triple that I had used as a missionary.

I enjoy the process of marking a new set of scriptures as it gives me a chance to see again forgotten treasures, change markings to meet my evolving system, and wonder why the heck I ever marked that one! One change I'm making is that I'm no longer drawing a box around a passage and coloring it in completely. I'm simply underlining the passage.

I love the scriptures, they truly are a lamp unto my feet. Psalm 119:105

25 January 2016

Not after the manner of men

It's an obscure little verse, not ever mentioned in Gospel Doctrine or Seminary lessons. Which is rather sad as I think it is one of the more important verses in the whole book. You've read it every time you go through the Book of Mormon, but it hardly registers. I'd like to share my experience of realizing its importance.

Almost twenty years ago my parents visited us for the birth of our fourth child. We had chosen to homeschool and were just beginning our third year. My parents were rather appalled at what they thought was a discrepancy between where our oldest was and where they believed she should be. She was a delightful, imaginative child, but at age seven was still not reading. They pleaded with us to put her in public school so she wouldn’t fall behind. We stood firm in our desire to do what we felt the Lord had called us to do.

The situation was stressful to say the least. I prayed to find a better answer to give them as to why we chose to homeschool. Many months after they left, while I was reading in first Nephi, a verse came, in the words of Joseph Smith, with more power to my heart than any other.

Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men, but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.      
                                                (1 Nephi 18:2)

Here was our answer. We were educating our children not after the manner of men, but after the manner the Lord had shown us. We know that not everyone will be called to homeschool their children, but we were.

Since that time I’ve pondered in what other ways we are building lives, not after the manner of men, but after the manner the Lord shows us.

We build our financial lives differently through paying tithes and offerings. We take care of our physical bodies according to the Word of Wisdom. We choose our entertainment according to the Thirteenth Article of Faith. We date, court and marry according to the blueprints in For the Strength of Youth and The Family, a Proclamation to the World. In so many areas, in fact, all areas of our lives, we can live according to the manner which the Lord has shown us. We need not be ashamed or embarrassed by our differences to the world. The Lord is faithful, and when he commands he prepares a way for us to keep those commandments.

As for our oldest daughter? Shortly afterward she did learn to read and has kept on reading, and writing. She has amassed a library of over 1,100 books, learned a second language, traveled overseas and is a delight to all who meet her. She is an aspiring writer and has several books in the works.

Before my mother died she confided to me that she was wrong to worry and that we had done a great job with our children. I can’t claim credit, we just did what the Lord instructed and He prepared the way.

03 January 2016

Happy New Year!

We had lovely holidays with our whole family here; first time in six years! I love our adult children! They are such fun to have around. I lasted until New Year's Eve before getting sick, so I'm grateful for that. It's a nasty virus, which I'm fighting with garlic, Vitamin C, hot lemon and honey, and lots of water and rest.

I'm not making any resolutions this year. I'm setting one physical goal (discussed on my other blog), and one spiritual goal, which is to study the prophet lessons in depth each month and put into practice what is taught. That should keep me occupied and out of trouble.

Hope you had lovely holidays and are well and happy in the new year.