Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolutions or Miracles?

Here's another idea to replace resolutions.  Write down miracles you'd like to have happen, the totally impossible ones.  For this idea and testimony that it works go here. 
Please go there- you won't be disappointed!

More "anti-resolution" articles: 

1. New Year’s Resolutions: Recycling the Trivial? Or Reaching for the Nobler?

2. Why so few Latter-day saints make resolutions
This is the article that started it all!  Here's the logic =

"Because we've been doing it in increments, all year every year. Ours is a religion that urges constant introspection, constant course adjustments, and weekly repentance so we can take the sacrament and be washed clean all over again. Waiting until January 1 st to modify our actions sounds almost ludicrous, if not downright impossible."


I rarely win anything.  Once while at Ricks' college I won a pizza at the dance club that was trying to get people to come so it didn't have to shut down.   We'll recently I won a book.  A friend of mine has a blog called  They had a give away and I won!  I got to pick from 2 books.  I picked this one:

It's won Foreword Magazines book of the year award. I think my nieces Amber and Jessica will like it.   I don't know when  I will get to it, because besides the books I just talked about, I'm also reading the first book for work and the second for fun.  
I'm slow with all of them. Bednar's book comes with a CD to watch.   Going to start that tonight.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The 2012 Books

Remember this post about a reading plan with all the books I inherited from my dad?  We'll I did it.  I read Rough Stone Rolling in 2011. It was a good plan and it worked, so I'm sticking with it in 2012.   Tonight I took out 3 possible Nibley books: Since Cumorah, The Prophetic Book of Mormon, and Mormonism and Early Christianity.

I was going to go with The Prophetic Book of Mormon, the longest of the three, but decided on not just one book but two books that are not even on my original list.  One of them is the last book my father was reading when he died.  He never finished it and the book marker he was using is still there.  The book is written by Jeffrey R. Holland one of the 12 apostles and is called CHRIST and The New Covenant.  I actually bought the book, but let my dad read it first. Now I'll finally be getting to all of it for the first time.  The other book is  Isaiah, Prophecies of the Restoration, by Monte S. Nyman.

I'll start with Holland's book.  I love that it has The Doctrinal Exposition on the Father and The Son in the appendix.  I've read that before, but will read it again.  It also has a list of the names of Christ in the appendix too and a few other gems.

With the two books it's a total of 543 pages and I'll have to read 45.25 pages a month.  What will you be reading this year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Years Resolution Anyone?

I never make new years resolutions.

When others would talk of them I would feel guilty, but not anymore.  I just don't give them the meaning others do and thus they loose any reaction- positive or negative from me.  If people are successful or not - it wasn't because of the resolution- it wasn't.  It was because they wanted it really badly or they didn't want it bad enough. 

 But I have learned about other ways to work on making oneself better.  Check out some of these ideas.

1.  Come up with a word to focus on for the year.  You can read about it here.
Then click on the title of the blog and you can see what word she chose for this year.

2. Look back over your life and make a list of things you did right this year! Read about "setting goals backwardshere!

3. No link for this one, but it comes from Annette Bowen.  She comes up with a scripture or a quote or phase to focus on.  One year I think it was something like "take joy" or "find joy" so every situation she was in she'd look for the joy. 

4.  If you're going to make a resolution, then you should know about this idea of quarterly check ups.  See about that here. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Small Town Idaho

And I mean REALLY REALLY SMALL. The population of Dietrich, pronounced deet-rick is 200 (in 2006 it was 166) and nearly doubles when school is in. Dietrich is where I work. It's a 42 mile drive for me one way. I work in the school there which has one building for pre-school to 12th grade. Last years graduating class was a total of 9 students! Things are different there to say the least. For about a month I was working in the HS and could often hear kids say "Dad, can I go to the bathroom?" I also heard 'Grandpa'. All the middle and HS teachers (the same) are LDS and male- all 7 of them. Now I'm in the Elementary school (5th grade) and out of 20 kids, only 6 are not LDS. The school has 2 buses. One that lives overnight at the drivers house and sits in front of the school all day because the driver is also a para-educator. On activity days the bus drops the LDS kids off at the church building because it's right on the way. Here's some other facts about Dietrich:
  • Some kids wear cowboy boots, shirts, and buckles
  • Girls come with curlers in their hair the night before a performance
  • The week before thanksgiving the WHOLE town is invited for a Thanksgiving lunch at the school. Old people and young families will show up for food.
  • Almost everyone is related. In the 5th grade class, you've got cousins, and 1st cousins once removed.
  • If kids forget their text book, paper, etc, they can go leave campus and go get it - AT HOME, especially if they live across the street. (Some of the teachers do- live across the street that is)
  • Some high school kids belong to FFA or Future Farmers of America.
  • Around town you can see lots of dogs wondering around with no collars or tags. It's OK if they come to school, because they belong to someone there, and all the kids know it's name.
  • I had a 16 year old ask me if I'd ever been to a movie theater before.
  • There is one small store called 'the Merc', in the same building as the local bar is.
  • If kids want to go on field trips they need to raise money for it through fund raisers like bake sales.
  • Often speeches in class are about cows, or shooting a stray dog, or going hunting.
  • The mascot is a "blue devil", some little blue guy they tried not to make so evil.
  • There is a special ed program, but no gifted and talented program and both is needed.
  • There is one principal for the whole school who also happens to be the superintendent. (He's LDS too)
  • You can see a few whole pig roasters around town like this one that the HS students made.

All in all it's a nice place to work. The people are very friendly and don't mind you mixing PSR worker with the school staff. There is not a cast system like there is in bigger Hansen Idaho, a population in 2007 of 959 where my first job was. The nearest largest town to all of them is Twin Falls Idaho, population of 44,125 estimated in 1010, where I live.
The population of Bellevue WA is 122,363.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas at my house

I went to a SA dinner and came home the winner of this tree! I was so happy.
It was this that got me in the mood to decorate. I'm so thankful!

For some reason I'm attracted to these manly men Santas.
I have to contain myself from getting a new one each year!
Here's a group of singing animals and a little black dog.
I had 3 black dogs growing up, so they remind me of them.
I have a collection of Christmas stuffed animals.
Coco got his mouth on a few this year and made them his chew/throw toy,
but I still have a lot.
There are 4 stocking and only 1 person. 2 are dog paw stockings
and the others are just so cute I couldn't not hang them up!
My friend Terry gave me this BEAUTIFUL amazing gift- this stained glass angel. It was such a shocker to turn around from the computer and see this in front of the tree.
I've left it just where she put it!
My beautiful tree all lit up! I love it!
My home is beautiful. There are a few pictures missing-
another woodland Santa setting, the 3 small lighted green tress and the white colored tree out front, and a lamp and TV decorations. I think this year is the prettiest yet. I wish my house was this pretty all year long.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Picture A Christmas!

The 3 wise men

Walking to Egypt or maybe from Egypt

Elizabeth and Mary
Zacharias in the temple

Joseph and Jesus

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Not Just Luke 2

The Christmas Story

Many people are familiar with the Nativity story as told in Luke 1–2.

But there are many other places in the scriptures that talk about the

miraculous birth of the Savior Jesus Christ.

Consider including these verses in your personal scripture study this month:

Old Testament

New Testament

Book of Mormon

Doctrine and Covenants

Pearl of Great Price

Isaiah 7:14; 9:6–7

Matthew 1–2

1 Nephi 10:4–6; 11:13–21

D&C 76:41

Moses 5:57

Micah 5:2

John 1:1–14

Alma 7:9–13

D&C 93:1–4

Helaman 14:1–9

3 Nephi 1

Friday, December 9, 2011

The 5 Gospels Tradition

Many families will read from Luke ch 2 on Christmas Eve night as part of there traditions of celebration. I grew up with this tradition and sometimes we'd read from Matthew chapters 1-2 as well as Luke. I remember one Christmas Eve well, it was just my mom, dad and me. We read about Zacharias and Elizabeth and about Simeon and the widow at the temple too. It was a wonderful night filled with the spirit.

Another tradition came to me from a friend over 10 years ago. The tradition is this: Instead of reading of the Saviors birth one night a year, read about his whole life by reading all 4 gospels the 3 months before the sacred holiday.

Christs birth is prophesied in The Book of Mormon. It's in Helaman chapter 14. You can read it here. Even in America they knew about the star and 5 years from the date specified in that prophecy they saw the star.

Then in the next book called 3rd Nephi Christ comes to the people in America after his resurrection in the old world. Some call this the 5th gospel. This book tells about his visit after his mortal life on earth. He comes to his other lost sheep, also his covenant people, in the Americas after his resurrection in the old world.

If one starts on Oct 27 with Matthew continuing with Mark, Luke, John and then 3 Nephi reading 2 chapters a day you will
finish on Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2 Stories, 1 Message

Many Christian do not believe that in the next life if we run into each other we will know each other or that those on the other side are worried about us at all. Some think that we will be sitting on fluffy clouds praising God. I'm not sure where they get those ideas. They are not in the bible at all. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know different.
Lazarus and the rich man on earth

There is one story in the New Testament about just what I'm talking about. It can be found in Luke 16 In this chapter the Savior is telling us a story. Some will say- it's just a story. Yes- but a story about the afterlife by he one who would really know about that. Had we not listen up?

This is the story: 2 men die. One was rich and unrighteous and had no name. The other was a poor beggar named Lazarus who went to Abraham's bosom. The rich man when to hell, and SAW ABRAHAM AFAR OFF and Lazarus. He asks Abraham for Mercy, by having Lazarus bring him just a little water. Abraham explains that he had received good things on earth (They have their reward) and poor Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted. Then Abraham explains the gulf that the Savior had not yet breached, so there is no passing in between. Once hearing this he begs Abraham for Lazarus to be sent to his 5 brothers as he thinks they will believe someone that comes from the grave. If they will not hear Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.
The rich man tormented in Hell and Lazarus in Abraham's bosom.

Lessons about the after life.
1. We recognized each other.
2. We will feel pleasure and pain.
3. We will think about our family.
4. We will each be ourselves.

During the Christmas season another story is told by Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol has the same message, only this time the rich man IS visited and BELIEVES and CHANGES, and the poor is helped too. Scrooge is shown the chains of Hell, the pains of the afterlife if life is lived poorly, and the happiness, yet heartache of those living now. Ebeneezer Scrooge is visited not by family, but by a business partner, or more aptly described as a partner in crime. We have all seen a movie or two done by Hollywood, or Disney, or the Muppets, or seen the play on stage or read the book. Which ever is your favorite the message is the same.
It matters how you live your life.
We will know each other in the next.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

healing a wounded soul.

I love the last 5 or so chapters of 2 Nephi. Many times when I've read those chapters I've fallen in love with Nephi and have felt that in the pre-mortal life I followed him around and listened to his words. The chapters are wonderful and full of doctrine.

I've tried to read my scriptures every day since I was 16 (I'm 39), but recently life has been so hectic that I actually thought of giving it up and only reading on Sundays. There are so many members who don't make the scriptures a life long pursuit and I've wondered how they can do that. The scriptures are such a boon to me. I don't know what I'd do with out them. I've had as prophets have said 'a love affair' with them'.

Last night I started to read Jacob ch 2. I read 1 verse and I felt the need, the impression I guess to pray. A scripture came to my mind- the scriptures will tell you all things what ye should do. I didn't think I'd find any mind blowing answers in this chapter, but maybe as I kept reading ideas and help would come. I know people have counseled to pray before you read so you have help to understand, but I've never found that to work for me. In fact it does the exact opposite.. I get more, much more by just reading and studying what comes to me. But I prayed. I prayed for the things I need, am fasting for.

Jacob ch 2 is about pride, plural wives and hearing the pleasing word or God vs. a call to repentance. Many things caught my attention. The pleasing word of God which healeth the wounded soul. I automatically thought of my experiences with my present bishop and my previous one. I went to have my soul healed. One time it happened and one time I heard nothing of the sort. With my life experiences the last 2 years that is what I needed, not a call to repentance. I got the pleasing word of God from Bishop Mix. He didn't read me any verses, but I heard the voice of the Lord through him. Again I'm thankful for that knowledge of what the word of God via the scriptures and a bishop can do for a person.

Then I came to the verses about seeking first the Kingdom of God verses riches. I love what it says about being in the phase of seeking for riches what you're suppose to seek them for- OTHERS, not yourself. I put a box around vs. 17, but studied the many foot notes of vs 18.

17 Think of your abrethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your bsubstance, that cthey may be rich like unto you.

18 But abefore ye seek for briches, seek ye for the ckingdom of God.

I'm in a terrible financial mess. I can't pay all my bills and need to make about 600 more a month. The non-profit credit counselor told me I should consider bankruptcy. Never in my life would I ever NEED to do that if I had not married. Never in my life would I ever consider that. I'm looking for a roommate to help a little.

Funny how the messages in that chapter were the things I'm dealing with. The scriptures have the answers.