Saturday, October 07, 2017


Darling film. This is a sweet story of a little girl desperate to help her blind brother. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneer Family

THEY rise to mastery of wind and snow;
They go like soldiers grimly into strife
To colonize the plain. They plough and sow,
And fertilize the sod with their own life,
As did the Indian and the buffalo.

Hamlin Garland
#loveboxes #pioneers #LDS #faithineveryfootstep

Friday, July 21, 2017

Picasso Calla Lily

I hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or misfortune in the world. ~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Glimpse...

Sometimes I get to see pictures of the wedding. Congratulations beautiful bride. I hope you will always be happy!


The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes

During the Great Depression, my grandfather was a young farm boy in the west. He recounted a story to me on several occasions about when a portion of Roosevelt's New Deal was forced upon the farmers in his area. There were friends who were not getting enough food, families who had gone without meat for over a year when agents of the federal government came into the valley rounded up the yearling calves, slaughtered and burned them with the idea that scarcity would prop up markets. The waste, the loss of liberty,  and the idea of being commanded what to do with your private property bothered my grandfather his entire life.

In Doctrine and Covenmants 134:2 it reads:
We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
The famous economist, Dr. Thomas Sowell wisely quipped, "It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it."

I believe that. I believe that we can do more good with less government and more freedom. I think those who believe they can manipulate markets and send every little problem to central planning need to study a bit more history. The loss of liberty is a disaster, always.

This is the second time I've read this book. It was worth reading again and I think it's time I ought to purchase my own copy and stop borrowing one from the library. Schlaes also touches on the the history of education in this country and where it went wrong and the men and ideologies that affected that change. The history of John Dewey requires more time than I have but THIS is helpful to understand his influence.

The following quote seems to have been the inspiration for the title of the book. It's the forgotten man that pays. He pays for the the failed programs that cost dreams and freedom and for vast failures for which no one is held accountable.  The real history of FDR's administration isn't taught in the public schools and it is important information to know. This is a book I will purchase and keep.

"As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X…. What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of…. He works, he votes, generally he prays—but he always pays…. —WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, YALE UNIVERSITY, 1883" 

— Amity ShlaesThe Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Noah Webster, Man of Many Words by Catherine Reef

Noah Webster became a devout Christian after his marriage and a few children came along. Despite the sad fact that this book makes only cursory references to this aspect of his life and its role in his mission, I loved this book. It seems written for the 10 and above crowd, but any fan of Noah Webster may enjoy it. It would make a wonderful gift for a young scholar. The book is nearly two hundred pages, but double-spaced and easy to follow. It's full of interesting show and tell items; maps, portraits, and other curiosities from Webster's life and times. The life of the man is heroic. He was as determined in his efforts as Columbus was. His calling was, I believe, as important and the book captures some of that.

What few biographers seem to understand is the current importance of Webster's 1828 dictionary, which is still in print and widely used by Christian families. While certain parts of our language change with new discovery, Webster's definitions of marriage, education, and many others contain truths that have been lost in our current culture. The language of the 1828, heavily influenced by the King James Bible, is foundational as we work to preserve both Christian morality and liberty in this country. It is said that he who define the terms, controls the debate. Webster looked to the bible to define those things that matter most and to God to define the debate. I am grateful that Webster's 1828 has a prominent place in my home. It is an integral part of our study of the scriptures and the history of the founding of the United States.

Webster's dictionary was his gift to the United States, the country he loved, and its people.

I present it to my fellow citizens, not with frigid indifference, but with my ardent wishes for their improvement and their happiness and for the continued increase of the wealth, the learning, the moral and religious elevation of character, and the glory of my country. ~Noah Webster


MAR'RIAGEnoun [Latin mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.
Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled. Hebrews 13:4
1. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage
The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. Matthew 22:2.
2. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Revelation 19:7.


EDUCA'TIONnoun [Latin educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Establishing True Doctrine

How does one establish what is true doctrine in the LDS church? I think this is an important point to ponder. Many members of the church in different fields have opinions about certain aspects of doctrine, but how do we know what is truth? Here are a few quotes on the topic that may be helpful.

“[We] should [bear] in mind that some of the General Authorities have had assigned to them a special calling; they possess a special gift; they are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, which gives them a special spiritual endowment in connection with their teaching of the people. They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people, subject to the over-all power and authority of the President of the Church. Others of the General Authorities are not given this special spiritual endowment and authority covering their teaching; they have a resulting limitation, and the resulting limitation upon their power and authority in teaching applies to every other officer and member of the Church, for none of them is spiritually endowed as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Furthermore, as just indicated, the President of the Church has a further and special spiritual endowment in this respect, for he is the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator for the whole Church.”

J. Reuben Clark Jr., “When Are Church Leaders’ Words Entitled to Claim of Scripture?” Church News July 31, 1954, 9-10

Attempting to understand a doctrine or principle by relying unduly upon a single scripture or prophetic statement in isolation from all else that has been revealed on the subject generally is misguided. True doctrines and principles are emphasized repeatedly in the standard works by the prophets and apostles and through the illuminating and confirming power of the Holy Ghost.  David A. Bednar, Act in Doctrine (2012) p. xvii

Elder Bednar's statement is consistent with scripture where we learn that truth is established by two or three witnesses. Each book of scripture has at least one statement that teaches this principle.

Old Testament: Dueteronomy 19:15
New Testament 2 Corinthians 13:1
Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 11:3
Doctrine and Covenants 6:28

An individual my fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends, but the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be. Joseph Fielding Smith, Ensign July 1972

The Book of Mormon declares the doctrines of the gospel. In his April 2017 conference address, President Thomas S. Monson said:

My dear associates in the work of Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. as we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven's help in our lives." Thomas S. Monson, The Power of the Book of Mormon, April 2017

If we really do our homework and approach the Book of Mormon doctrinally, we can expose the errors and find the truths to combat many of the current false theories and philosophies of men. I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter." - Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, December 1988

Understanding true doctrine changes behavior.

True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior... The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel. Boyd K. Packer, Little Children, October 1986

If we want to really know, we must do.

John 7:17
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

One could write a book on this topic, but I think the above quotes give solid direction and are helpful when trying to discern truth from error and in the effort to teach true doctrine.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

I've been reading this book about the wisdom of French parenting and there are definitely some ideas to adopt. French parents seem to actually believe in the role of parent, rather than the American iteration of playmate or servant. They When they are with their children, they seem to be passing a long values important to their culture without smothering any sense of independence. I admire their firmness. I think the fact that in general they don't over-praise children is a good thing.

However, a great portion of the book is dedicated to singing the praises of government funded early childcare which is essentially to have the state raise children from about two months. I don't want to get too far into my views on this from a family perspective because it would be interminable. But, I will say this, "Who is going to care about your child more than you?"

Bills pushing more and more state funded early childhood education come up every session in Utah. Those who are interested might read this book praising the French state and read it carefully. One thing you won't find... any discussion of cost. In any discussion of what services government should or should not provide one most important truth should be remembered and that is: Government can give nothing it hasn't first confiscated from someone else first. Whether or not they can afford it, whether or not it's convenient, whether or not it's truly beneficial to families, whether or not it subverts goals that would better serve society is never considered or studied. 

Just like 
Obamacare made healthcare available to everyone at an incredible cost both in resources and liberty, everyone was given access to healthcare by the state.... except they weren't and healthcare is less accessible than ever. The same is true in France. If you read the book carefully then you know these public benefits are available to only a small portion of the public... "some pigs are more equal than others." Yet, France teeters on the brink of insolvency.

A viewpoint more inline with my own is this commentary written by an actual French parent entitled 4 Myths and One Truth About French Childcare

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A Child Is Only A Moment by Earl Brown


Spring will return to the meadow when the long winter's chill fades away
Tomorrow, the blossoms will open their eyes to the skies, of a brand new day
No matter how dark be the nightfall, each day the sun is reborn
To shine on the beauties and wonders that stir with new life every glorious morn
Most of the treasures we cherish can delight us again and again
A rose in a book and the murmuring brook, as it wanders across the glen
The words of a poet that lie on the page can recapture the soul of the past
A song in the heart can be sung and re-echoed, as long as our voices may last
But a child is only a moment, only a snowflake of sweet remember when
Yes, a child is only a moment, a wonderful moment that never comes again
Yes, a child is only a moment, hold on to that moment, for it never comes again.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Francis Hodgson Burnett

As a child,  I read The Secret Garden, A Little Princess,  and The Lost Prince more than once. For some reason, the title of this book had not appealed to me. Too bad. We just finished reading it and it is a lovely story, quite possibly my favorite.

But only be good, dear, only be brave, only be kind and true always, and then you will never hurt any one, so long as you live, and you may help many, and the big world may be better because my little child was born. ♥️

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Utah Pancakes

Utah Pancakes

1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons salted butter 
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour 
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

Mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients 
Makes pancakes for 4

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Justin Morgan Had A Horse by Marguerite Henry

Every time I read a book by Marguerite Henry it becomes a new favorite. I've never yet opened one I didn't love. Her stories are sweet, beautifully written, and carefully researched. You will learn something. They are engaging enough for adults and children alike. They carefully introduce vocabulary. They teach virtue.

I was a horse-crazy little girl. I wish I had been able to read more of these wonderful stories.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

A Hobbit a Wardrobe and a Great War by Joseph Loconte

Tolkien and Lewis lived through a time when, "all the horrors of all the ages were brought together." The Great War decimated a generation, robbing it of its finest young men, its leaders, its priests, its fathers, while leaving those who returned broken in body and mind.

How could God allow such suffering? How could there be a God at all? Generational cynicism fueled the appetite for Darwinism, Atheism, Communism, Feminism and all the other "isms" of doubt, the idols of the modern age.

Over pots of tea, the Inklings grappled with these questions and wove them into their epic fairy stories steeped in the truth about the way to redemption and salvation.

"There is no shortcut to the land of peace, no primrose path to the mansions of the blessed. First come tears and suffering in Mordor, heartless violence at Stable Hill, and horror and death at Golgotha." To preserve essential liberty, war is sometimes necessary.

Lewis and Tolkien believed that every life falls under the shadow and that adventure finds those who are quietly minding their own business. The adventure will test us beyond our limits and test our friendships. In the struggle, we become something more corrupt or more pure than we began. How does the heart respond to the roar of The Great Lion, the Son of the Emporer-beyond-the-sea?

"Is everything sad going to come untrue?' asks Sam[wise Gamgee]. Here we find, beyond all imagination, the deepest source of hope for the human story. For when the King is revealed, 'there will be no more night.' The Shadow will finally and forever be lifted from the earth. The Great War will be won.

This King, who brings strength and healing in His hands, will make everything sad come untrue."

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Brain's Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D.

Both of  Dr. Doidge's books are absolutely fascinating. They discuss how the science of Neuroplasticity is helping people with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, chronic pain, depression, autism, stroke patients, and more.

While his books only hint at this issue, as a teacher I am concerned about how our children are wiring their brains. This current generation is the first to be truly immersed in technology and I see some concerning trends in the classroom.

That said, I hope that the therapies discussed in this book will become more widely available for more people and that the results discussed here will be replicated millions of times over.

"When we learn, we alter which genes in our neurons are “expressed,” or turned on. Our genes have two functions. The first, the “template function,” allows our genes to replicate, making copies of themselves that are passed from generation to generation. The template function is beyond our control. The second is the “transcription function.” Each cell in our body contains all our genes, but not all those genes are turned on, or expressed. When a gene is turned on, it makes a new protein that alters the structure and function of the cell. This is called the transcription function because when the gene is turned on, information about how to make these proteins is “transcribed” or read from the individual gene. This transcription function is influenced by what we do and think. Most people assume that our genes shape us—our behavior and our brain anatomy. Kandel’s work shows that when we learn our minds also, affect which genes in our neurons are transcribed. Thus we can shape our genes, which in turn shape our brain’s microscopic anatomy.” 

~Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontier of Brain Science

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Forgotten Founding Father by Joshua Kendall

"Every civil government is based upon some religion or philosophy of life. Education in a nation will propagate the religion of that nation. In America, the foundational religion was Christianity. And it was sown in the hearts of Americans through the home and private and public schools for centuries. Our liberty, growth, and prosperity was the result of a Biblical philosophy of life. Our continued freedom and success is dependent on our educating the youth of America in the principles of Christianity."
~ Noah Webster

This book was a bit of a disappointment. While I am glad I read it and it was filled with interesting information about Webster's life, it missed some critical points explaining why the 1828 is such a treasure. 

The 1828 is unique in that it is not a dictionary of common usage. Webster's effort was to elevate the American language based on the usage and meaning in the bible. He was familiar enough with the King James to have made his own revision. 

The 1828 is an invaluable resource for students of the King James, The Book of Mormon, students of the Founding Fathers many of whom took classes from Webster, as well as those who study Emily Dickinson and her contemporaries.

Look up the words education and marriage in a modern dictionary and compare the definitions with the 1828, you will see why anyone who takes an interest in character education prefers Webster's 1828. Webster's dictionary defines over 1,000 words from the King James bible that are not in common usage today. The dictionary is a priceless American and Christian treasure to this day.

The entire preface of the dictionary, which is brief, is well worth reading. Here are a few of its beautiful lines:

It satisfies my mind that I have done all that my health, my talents and my pecuniary means would enable me to accomplish. I present it to my fellow citizens, not with frigid indifference, but with my ardent wishes for their improvement and their happiness; and for the continued increase of the wealth, the learning, the moral and religious elevation of character, and the glory of my country.
To that great and benevolent Being, who, during the preparation of this work, has sustained a feeble constitution, amidst obstacles and toils, disappointments, infirmities and depression; who has twice borne me and my manuscripts in safety across the Atlantic, and given me strength and resolution to bring the work to a close, I would present the tribute of my most grateful acknowledgments. And if the talent which he entrusted to my care, has not been put to the most profitable use in his service, I hope it has not been "kept laid up in a napkin," and that any misapplication of it may be graciously forgiven.
~New Haven, 1828 N. Webster

Fusion Wedding

#handpaintedloveboxes #brideandgroom #weddingcaketoppers #pegdolls
I remember hearing this as a child. I love this story.

In “The Vision of Sir Launfal,” an interesting story is told of a young knight who rode out into the world in search of the Holy Grail (the cup which the Master supposedly drank from at the Last Supper). He had dedicated his life to the quest. He was young, handsome, and strong, clothed in bright and shining armor, mounted on a gallant white charger. As he crossed the drawbridge riding out into the world, a beggar (who was a leper) put up his hand to him, begging alms. The young knight reached into his pouch, took out a gold coin and flung it to the beggar as he rode on, but he really did not give the beggar very much because no one would accept even a gold coin from a leper.
The young man searched for the cup; of course he didn’t find it, although he spent his life in the quest. He did, however, learn a lot, and at the close of his life he was returning to his castle, no longer young. He is now shrunken with age. His armor is no longer bright; his mount is no longer a charger but just a tired old gray horse. As he was about to cross the drawbridge into the castle, once again a beggar put up his hand begging for alms. This time Sir Launfal stopped, got down from his horse, reached into his knapsack and took out the only thing he had—a crust of bread. He then dipped his cup into the stream and gave the crust of bread and one cup of cold water to the beggar.
The wooden cup from which the beggar drank turned into the Holy Grail for which he had searched, and the beggar turned into a Christ and said a very interesting thing. He said:
“Not what we give, but what we share.
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.”
(“The Vision of Sir Launfal,” James R. Lowell.)

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Neal A. Maxwell once wrote:

How intellectually amazing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is! The gospel is truly inexhaustible! It is marvelous! It is a wonder!

Yet orthodoxy is required to keep all these truths in essential balance. In orthodoxy lies real safety and real felicity! Flowing from orthodoxy is not only correctness but happiness. Orthodoxy is especially vital in a time of raging relativism and belching sensualism. The world’s morality is constantly being improvised. Some views are politically correct one day, but not another.

One writer recently observed that the relativistic forces at work should warm every atheist’s heart. For if God is a socially conscious political being whose views invariably correspond to our own prejudices on every essential point of doctrine, he demands of us no more than our politics require. [H]ow would our worship of [this kind of being] constitute more than self-congratulation for our own moral standards?
The writer continued: As an atheist, I like this God. It is good to see him every morning while I am shaving. [Eugene D. Genovese, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” The New Republic, 11 May 1992, p. 38]
Neal A. Maxwell, The Inexhaustible Gospel, August 18, 1992.

This is an intriguing book that misses the truth in too many instances. Short example: The difference that made Washington great and Eisenhower mediocre is the moderation Brooks praises. Washington was absolutely committed to principle and to God. Eisenhower was a humanist who had to feel his way on his own.

Brooks doesn't seem to either believe in, or understand the principles behind orthodoxy or sin, therefore he can't understand character.  While the book has some salient points and is worth reading, it is still aggrandizing the failed and morally troubling, progressive public policy that Brooks has espoused his entire life. 

The morality Brooks espouses is godless and ambiguous. What represents sin? What represents good character and who decides? Brooks seems to choose society, whose morality constantly shifts while spiraling downward. Can man be good without God? Yes. But, not without adherence to his law. 
Self-reflection is refreshing, were it combined with true principles, it would be powerful.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Bunny Love Boxes

This was a fun project.  This family has ordered an Easter Box for their little girl every year for the past nine years. Each box tells a story about her life, including a tiny love note from dad inside the lid.
#handpaintedloveboxes #Easter

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Hidden Treasure of Glaston

I can't say enough about this book. The Hidden Treasure of Glaston is an adventure story about two friends in Medieval times searching for the Holy Grail.  The book won the Newbery Honor in 1947. Eleanore Jewett did a marvelous job unfolding the plot, building characters and relationships, and creating a story that's just a lot of fun to read. Delightful!
Great book for 10-12 year old readers that has some good messages, a little bit of history, some interesting vocabulary, a great story, and absolutely no garbage.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017


#IndianBride #southasianbride
#caketoppers #wedding #weddingcake
#weddingdress #handpaintedloveboxes

Peanut Butter Cookies

For years I looked for a great PB cookie recipe. After some fiddling.. this is it. Delish!

1 cup Crunchy Adams Peanut Butter
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. good Mexican vanilla
3 eggs
4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Guittard milk choc. chips
1/4 cup granulated sugar to roll dough

°375 for 9 minutes 

Saturday, April 01, 2017

In Search of Beethoven

In Search of Beethoven is part of a wonderful documentary. It seems to end in the middle of the story as if they ran out of money.
That said,  it's well worth your time. It's a story of triumph over trial and faith in God's plan. The world would be far poorer without Beethoven's beautiful music,  without his Ode to Joy.

Endure courageously, millions!
Endure for the better world!
There above the starry canopy
A great God will reward.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Man Called Ove

I  loved this story. All of us are a little broken,  a little crazy. In the end,  the people in this story look into a ginormous heart and see greatness. And, they all get together and bust power hungry, government thugs. Charity conquers all.

"She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sabbath Scripture Chain

Liberty is synonymous with Christ. Without Christ, there is no liberty.
Unfortunately, the world has this backwards. The world believes that faith is restrictive and commandments make people slaves when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free... Galatians 5:1

Long Way North

Creative,  great story, beautiful art. Viewable on Amazon Prime right now.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Baptism & The Gift of the Holy Ghost...

D&C 18:22 And as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

SAVE, verb transitive [Latin salvo. As salve is used inn Latin for salutation or wishing health, as hail is in English, I suspect this word to be from the root of heal or hail, the first letter being changed. Gr. See Salt]

1. To preserve from injury, destruction or evil of any kind; to rescue from danger; as, to save a house from the flames; to save a man from drowning; to save a family from ruin; to save a state from war.

He cried, saying Lord, save me. Matthew 14:30. Genesis 45:7

2. To preserve from final and everlasting destruction; to rescue from eternal death. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15.

3. To deliver; to rescue from the power and pollution of sin.

He shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Romans 6:14-18
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Who is qualified to be baptized?

D&C 20:37
37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of  Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of  the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

What does the act of Baptism represent?

Romans 6:3-5
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in the newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

What covenants are we making when we are baptized?

Mosiah 18:8-10
8 And it came to pass that he said unto them; Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life--
10 Now I say unto you, if this be he desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his spirit more abundantly upon you?

Baptism is precede by faith in Jesus Christ (faith strong enough to act) and by repentance. It must be followed by the Gift of the Holy Ghost to be complete.

2 Nephi 31:13-14
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and not deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism-- yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his work behold, then shall ye receive the Holy ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came of the voice of the Son unto me, saying; After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost and can speak with a new tongues, yea even the tongue of angels, after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

How do we recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost?

1. I will tell you in your mind and heart D&C 8:2-3
2. The Holy Ghost will speak peace D&C 6:23
3. The Lord will give us a spirit of courage 2 Tim 1:7
4. The mysteries of God are unfolded unto them 1 Nephi 10:17-19
5. The Holy Ghost will show us what to do 2 Nephi 32:5
6. The Spirit leadeth to do good D&C 11:12
7. The Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and the Son D&C 46:13
8. The Holy Ghost can teach the truth of ALL things Moroni 10:5, John 14:26

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I could give all to
Time except – except
What I myself have held.
But why declare
The things forbidden that while the
Customs slept
I have crossed to Safety with?
For I am There,
And what I would not part with I have kept...

~Robert Frost

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The Proclamation on the Family makes a powerful statement about mothers...

Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of her children. 

What does it mean to nurture?

Webster 1828

1. That which nourishes; food; diet.
2. That which promotes growth; education; instruction. (Ephesians 6:4)
NUR'TUREverb transitive
1. To feed; to nourish.
2. To educate; to bring or train up.

Sheri Dew taught: The word motherhood defines women's eternal roles; it describes their nature as nurturers. Nurture is a rich word. It means to train, to teach, to educate, to foster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed. Women have been given the great privilege and responsibility to nurture in all these sense of the word...
Sheri Dew, "Are We Not All Mothers?" Ensign, Nov. 2001, 97.

You are the guardians of the hearth. You are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Stand Strong Against the Wiles of the World," 101.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Nephi 22:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. 

Doctrine & Covenants 93:39-40 And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. 
But, I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
Mosiah 4:14-15  And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

Nephi 25:26 We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we teach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

It's not that important to have a mother in the home to change diapers, make meals, and clean bathrooms because a maid, even a government program can do those things. But, mothers are needed to nurture and no amount of tax-funded boondoggles can repair and replace a missing mother. Too often mothers feel they are relegated to drudgery, they are not. In thinking this way, they miss the mark entirely and miss out on the most creative, challenging, and rewarding work there is; the work of preparing a child in every way for their earthly work while leading them on the path toward their heavenly home, pointing out every glorious vista and star along the way. 

Grandma Rhea's Recipes

If you visit my grandmother, she will make you a delicious, original, and beautiful treat. This is my piece of Strawberry Pudding over Pecan Shortbread Dessert from my visit with Grandma on Saturday.

My cousin has made my Grandma's recipe book available online. So if you love cream and butter, here you are....

Grandma Rhea's Recipes

I love you Grandma!

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

This is a wonderful book appropriate for any child who is able to read it. I love how it teaches children that even they can be courageous and do great good.

Wikipedia synopsis: Snow Treasure is a children's novel by Marie McSwigan. Set in Nazi-occupied Norway during World War II, it recounts the story of several Norwegian children who use sleds to smuggle their country's gold bullion to a waiting ship bound for the United States. 

Always remember that you come of liberty-loving people who think freedom is a greater heritage than gold.
~Marie McSwigan,  Snow Treasure

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

Anita is a little girl growing up under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Its written like the diary of a pubescent girl and frankly focuses far too much on puberty to the point of annoyance.
The story of communist oppression, tyranny, and revolution in the Dominican Republic needs to be told. This book didn't do it.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This book is a compelling, well-written, fictional story. The overarching theme for me is that when we harm others, we harm ourselves.
However,  I decided that it's one I wouldn't choose to use at school. While the book makes several important points, I think when talking about this topic with young people, I will choose an non-fiction section.
This is a heartbreaking topic and an important topic and I wouldn't want a young person to think, "this is just a story."
Still, to those who are familiar with the real history, this story has something to add to the way we think about these kinds of events.

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Women by Kate Andersen Brower

This book wasn't my favorite.  It's kind of like reading a gossip rag about these women who are put under a microscope. I just felt bad for them. It seems like a lot of them weren't married to very nice men. It's no wonder so many of them supported ERA.  But, like any gossip rag, it's difficult to know how accurate it is.
I'm happy to move on to another book.

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a perfect film. I loved everything about it.  The art is gorgeous.  The music is beautiful.  The story is tender and sweet.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

God's Smuggler by John & Elizabeth Sherrill

This is a book I read right before Christmas 2016, but I keep thinking about it and wanted to at least note a couple of quotes that caught my attention from the book.

“I became aware of the slow wearing-down process the government was exerting on Christians. The effort seemed to be centered on the children. Leave the old folks alone, but wean the young people away from the Church. One of the first churches Nikola and I visited was a Roman Catholic one in a small village not far from Zagreb. I noticed that there was not a single person under twenty in the entire congregation, and I asked Nikola about it. In answer he introduced me to a peasant woman who had a ten-year-old son. “Tell Brother Andrew why Josif is not here,” said Nikola. “Why is my Josif not with me?” she asked. Her voice was bitter. “Because I am a peasant woman with no education. The teacher tells my son there is no God. The government tells my son there is no God. They say to my Josif, ‘Maybe your Mama tells you differently, but we know better, don’t we? You must remember that Mama has no education. We will humor her.’ So? My Josif is not with me. I am being humored.”
― Brother Andrew, God's Smuggler

But God is never defeated. Though he may be opposed, attacked, resisted, still the ultimate outcome can never be in doubt. Every day we see fresh proof that indeed all things, even evil ones-- work together for those who are called in his name. ~Brother Andrew

Friday, January 06, 2017

Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto

Weapons of Mass Instruction is a difficult book to read as an educator, but having been schooled in the public schools there's no question many of his points resonated. However,  I don't agree with every argument because I believe children take the reigns of their agency at varied stages and that it is the responsibility of adults to:

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Gospel instruction teaches us to write the words of God upon our hearts, to feast upon the word of God and to serve that feast to the children in our charge. And, I agree with the founders that character education is imperative. Children do not teach themselves or their peers correct principles in my experience. Also, I have found that the ability to study all knowledge in one changes everything and that combining the fire of truth and the fire of learning build something greater together.

Still, this is a book has great wisdom and many thoughts not just worth considering, but worth acting upon.

I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress genius because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves. ~John Taylor Gatto