Monday, July 29, 2013

Mr. and Mrs.

I have to hop in the shower, but I really quickly wanted to show you the wedding card I made for one of my former Sunday School students from San Diego:

I mod-podged these letters onto the white cardstock - the cuts were so intricate - especially the letter M's - that I knew I couldn't adequately glue them:
I had these buttons on hand - I need to buy some more.  It was a stretch for me to even find these ones:
I'm so, so in love with my Silhouette. :)  I'll make more of these later and put them onto my un-looked-at Etsy soon, I promise.  Right now I'm finishing up some congratulations cards.  And working on two major crafting projects with my friend Kathleen and my mom.  I'm a busy gal.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

...that getting the 24-hour flu at the same time your sewer line backs up is just. plain. fun.

I started feeling seriously nasty last night, about the same time that our laundry drain started spewing up all kinds of fun.  This meant that we couldn't flush the toilet or take showers last night.  We were able to wash our hands briefly or brush our teeth briefly, because it would drain a teeny little bit, but any large... transactions....needed to be....

taken outside.

Yeah.  I had to poop in my backyard.  And then clean it up.

Like you do with a dog.

The baggie turned inside-out...the whole nine yards.

Just when I think I have reached the limit of embarrassing situations that one person can achieve, more are added.

Try not to get too jealous of me.

And may I just say that this reinforces my absolute hatred of camping?  Going to the bathroom with grass touching all kinds of things down there while I precariously balance like a crab against a piece of wood (in this case, the railroad ties that surround my garden) is not okay with me.  Being unable to use running water is not okay with me.  Remaining unshowered is not okay with me.  Being unable to do dishes or laundry is not okay with me.

I think the best I can do as far as "camping" is staying in a cabin in the woods.  A cabin with running water, toilets, and laundry facilities.

Call me high-maintenance.  (Even though I'm seriously not.  Just when it comes to camping.  It's too much for my self-diagnosed OCD and Sensory Perception Disorder.  As I sit here typing, I feel like I have gunk under my nails, even though I just washed them, and it's driving me crazy.  Must. cut. nails. immediately.)

Oh, I had to barf in my backyard, too.  At like one in the morning.  Good times.

Ben went to Home Crap-o (inside joke between him and me) this morning and rented a rooter for our main line.  Eventually, the smell and the sound (See?  Sensory Perception Disorder) got to be too much for me, and Dylan and I stole over to my parents' house to shower.  It felt so luxurious.  They have soft water over there, dude.  They're living in the lap of luxury.

Parenthetically, Ben's mom and stepdad came down to visit a couple of weeks ago, and Greg was all, "Hey, do you have any kleenex?" I laughed and laughed.  "Oh, Greg," I said, "Kleenex is wayyyyy too expensive for us.  It's a luxury we can't afford."  And that's sad.  (Greg very kindly bought us two boxes, and I feel like freakin' Paris Hilton over here.  Kleenex.  In my house.  Available for usage.  Soft, good, uncrumbly, strong kleenex.  Made for the nose.  Amazing.)

The rooter worked this time, and Ben even remembered to set up a Hazmat-type barrier around it so that he didn't splash poop water all over our laundry room and our bedroom door this time. (For the poop water story, read here.)

We seriously, seriously need a new main line.  Ours is still the original one from 1945.  The massive trees in our backyard have roots which have punctured it.  Whenever Ben rooters our main line (approximately every three months or so, when it invariably backs up), he pulls out a little ecosystem - roots, soil, even some earthworms.  It costs about $5000 to replace your main line via a plumber, hence our current situation.  Ain't nobody around this house got $5000 to spare.

But Ben's friend says that his friend can help us do it, and Ben says he can borrow a back hoe thingey from his work to do it, and it will only cost us about $600 instead.  I overheard Ben talking to his dad on the phone about it this afternoon.

It's funny - I didn't know that Ben and his friend had even discussed this until I overheard him telling his dad.  It's like whenever he talks to his mom - I learn all kinds of interesting things about his job and his life that I wouldn't learn otherwise.  Isn't that weird?  Because Ben and I chit-chat all the time; whenever we're together, we're gabbing.  Bizarre.  I always thought I was a good communicator.  Maybe not?

Thanks to Heavenly Father, who seriously looks out for us, the rooter job did the trick (for now) so that we didn't have to pay more for a plumber to come over, and now we're happily doing dishes and laundry again.  And I'm feeling so much better tonight that I had taco salad and Belizean fry jacks along with everyone else.  All is right with the world.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fetuccini, linguini, martini, bikini...

Hahaha!  Ohhhhh, I wanted to write this so long ago.  Like, in March.  Sad.  Sad, sad, sad.

I'm in this weird place right now where my priorities are all confused.  I have ten billion things to do for ten billion people, and I'm kind of freaking out.  I was just thinking about that today.  I'm like the girl that dude is singing about on that song, "Everything to Everyone."  I'm trying to be everything to everyone, and I'm not doing a very good job at any of it.  So sorry for the lack of posting lately.  I'm trying to figure my life out.

Have you ever seen that commercial for the Slap Chop?  That's where I got my title from.  You'll have to go watch it on You Tube.  But watch the remix - it's funnier.  And the fetuccini, linguini part is at the very end.  

Anywho, I have a funny story for ya.

So.  When I was about to get married, I knew we were going on our honeymoon to Cancun.  And I knew I'd be in a swimsuit non-stop, right?  And I just did not want to shave my bikini line and have razor burn the whole time I was there. 

So I decided to wax my bikini line.  By myself.

And....I put it off until THE MORNING OF MY WEDDING DAY.  I don't know.  I guess I was just really busy???  And delusional about the time involved in waxing?

My friend, Meliss, was one of my bridesmaids, and she was staying at my parents' house with me for a couple of days during the wedding extravaganza.  Just a little bit of back story there.

So I get up early on the morning of my wedding day, and I go into the bathroom, and I start trying to wax my bikini line by myself.

Oh mama.

Here's the soundtrack for that hour or so:





At one point, Meliss came to the bathroom door and knocked.  "Kar, are you okay???  What are you doing???"

I spent so much time waxing myself that I had to do my makeup on the way to the temple.  Yep.  I did my own makeup on my wedding day.  In the car.  On the way there. 

Bad timing, Kar.  Bad timing.

Fast forward 12 years.  We were getting ready for this trip to Belize in April, and I knew, again, that I would be in a swimming suit non-stop.  And again, I didn't want to shave my bikini line and have razor burn the whole time.

So this time, I actually went to a salon place and got my bikini line waxed. 

Sooooo much better of an experience.  These ladies know what they're doing.

And I was a little worried that I would be really embarrassed, but I gave myself a pep talk.  "Kar, if you can go to the gynie for your yearly, you can get your bikini line waxed.  Just pretend you are at the gynie.  The salon lady is like a doctor."

I told my mom of my plans, and she was...really uncomfortable about that.  "Kar, won't you be embarrassed?  Do you really think this is necessary??"

But I was undaunted.  I was on a mission.  A mission of hairlessness.  Razor burn-less hairlessness.  So I went.

And it really wasn't bad at all.  The gal would cover up the parts that she wasn't waxing, and it was great.  I told her about my mom's trepidation, and she said that it must be a generational thing.  She says that she hardly ever gets women in that are my parents' age; that women my age are more into....landscaping...than the older generation.  Hahaha!

I didn't regret it at all.  No razor burn, and I was clean and clear for two whole weeks!!!  Totally worth it.

TMI?  As The Raven would say, "Sorry/not sorry."

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Lesson - How can I make the sacrament more meaningful to me? - What I did.

Let's just dive right in - I have an appointment with my 86-year-old neighbor to go get some day lily starts from him in a few minutes.  For reals.  It's serious business.

Um, okay, I'm back.  I got sidetracked by my ca-razy kids and couldn't type anything.

Story of my life.

*  Before class, make sure to gather enough Hymn books from somewhere in the church so that each student has one.  You'll need them for this lesson.

1.  Attention Activity

I found this in an old Family Home Evening manual - it's called Splintered Messages.  I put the kids into pairs.  Then I had them work together to decipher the splintered messages.  The words are in order; it's just that the spacing is wrong.  I told them to write the correct sentence under each splintered message.  Here is the splintered message worksheet:

When they were all done, I had each pair share one of the sentences they deciphered. 

1.  All of us sin, and this ordinance gives us a chance to renew our baptismal covenant.
2.  If we keep the promises we make, God promises us His spirit.
3.  We should be thinking of Jesus and his wonderful atonement.
4.  During this time, we can evaluate our lives and promise to do better.

Once we had read the real messages aloud, I told them that these splintered messages give us a clue as to what our lesson is about today.  I had them guess what the theme of our lesson was, and eventually they guessed that it was about the sacrament. :)  At first, they were like, "Covenants."  Because that's the theme for this month.  And I was like, "Okay, a specific covenant."  And then they were like, "Baptism?"  And I was like, "How late were you guys all up last night??"  Haha!  They were tired.  But it was a cute attention-getter.

2.  Index Cards

I gave each student an index card at this point.  I told them to write down what they thought of while the sacrament was being passed today - to the best of their remembrance.  I told them that we wouldn't be sharing these answers.  They looked confused (and tired), so I said, "Well, for example, if you had asked me this last week, I would have told you that I thought that so-and-so's new haircut was cute, that the sacrament bread was really yummy to me, that my kids were being naughty, etc."  Yes, sad, but true. 

I really do try to think about Christ while the sacrament is being passed.  It's just that I think I have a little bit of ADD.  Definitely not ADHD.  I kind of wish I had that one - then I'd have energy.  But my mind wanders.  A LOT.

After the students wrote their answers on their cards, I told them that we were making a new card at the end of class to keep in our scriptures, a card that will help those of us who have a hard time focusing during sacrament meeting.

3.  Preparing for the Sacrament

I gave each student the following worksheet:

Scriptures – Preparing for the Sacrament

Pick one of the following scriptures to read:

  1. 1 Cor. 11:23-29
  2. 3 Ne. 9:20
  3. D&C 20:37
  4. D&C 59:8-12

In the space below, write, according to the scripture you read, the things the Lord asks us to do to prepare for the sacrament. 

When they were finished, I said, "Okay, who chose the scripture in 1 Corinthians?"  If anyone raised their hands, I would then ask them what that scripture says about preparing for the sacrament.  I wanted to have us look up and mark each scripture, but I was running out of time and really wanted to make time to make our new index cards at the end of class.   So I just had them summarize for me.  Then I asked the same about the scripture in 3 Ne, etc.

1.  1 Cor. 11:23-29 - Examine yourself so that you're not partaking unworthily.
2.  3 Ne. 9:20 - Come to sacrament meeting with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
3.  D&C 20:37 - Humble yourself, repent, be willing to take upon you the name of Christ, determine to serve him, and do good works.
4.  D&C 59:8-12 - Broken heart, contrite spirit, confess your sins.

Then I had a student read quote number 1:

Quote #1:

For the sacrament to be a spiritually cleansing experience each week, we need to prepare ourselves before coming to sacrament meeting. We do this by deliberately leaving behind our daily work and recreation and letting go of worldly thoughts and concerns. As we do, we make room in our minds and hearts for the Holy Ghost.

Aaronic Priesthood holders earnestly prepare to perform their sacred sacrament duties. This preparation is made throughout the week by living gospel standards.

  • Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2012 General Conference, “Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service”

4.  Hymns

Kay.  We were quickly running out of time, so we didn't do the following activity.  Instead, I just talked about how the sacrament hymns can teach us a lot about Christ and his atonement, and that it would be a worthwhile thing to do to read the sacrament hymns while the sacrament was being passed. I encouraged them to find their favorite one next week.  But I would have really loved to do the following:

Hymns are a really important part of sacrament meeting.  Have a student read the following quote:

Quote #2:

The music of sacrament meeting is a vital part of our worship. The scriptures teach that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto the Lord (see D&C 25:12). The First Presidency has declared that “some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns” (Hymns, ix).

  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks, October 2008 General Conference, “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament”

Then I was going to hand out the hymnals.  Then I was going to give them the following little worksheet (I actually ended up giving it to them and encouraging them to fill it out during sacrament meeting next week):

Sacrament Hymns

Directions: Pick your favorite sacrament hymn. These are usually hymn numbers 169 – 196. Read the words of the hymn, and then look up the scriptures listed at the bottom of the page of the hymn. Then answer the following two questions.

  1. Why did you choose this hymn? Why is it meaningful to you?

  1. What do you learn from this additional reading of the hymn and from looking up the scriptures at the bottom of the hymn?

    My answer (I actually shared this with them, too):

    My favorite sacrament hymn is  #192 - "He Died!  The Great Redeemer Died."

    1.  I chose this hymn because it's very personal - He groaned beneath your load.  He shed a thousand drops for you.

    2.  I learned from Matt 27:45 that there was darkness on the land from the 6th through the 9th hour of Christ's crucifixion, while he was still alive.  I never knew that.
    I learned from Matt 27:51 that the veil of the temple tore in half right after Christ died.

    Upon further reading of the hymn, I really appreciated the figurative language that talks about the tomb, in vain, forbidding Christ to rise.  I loved that imagery.  And I adored the image of cherubic legions guarding Christ home and all of us shouting welcome to Him.  That was so touching to me.

    5.  New Cards

    I handed each student a new index card and told them we'd write on them in a minute.
    I put them in pairs again and gave each pair one of these handouts - they're all different:

    Five Principles

    Directions: Read this section of Elder Don R. Clarke's talk, “Blessings of the Sacrament,” from October 2012 General Conference, with your partner. Be prepared to share with the class what Elder Clarke suggests to do to make partaking of the sacrament more meaningful.

    I. Have a Feeling of Gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ

    The first principle is to have a feeling of gratitude to Heavenly Father during the sacrament for the Atonement of His Son. The following story is told about passing the sacrament:
    “The sacrament never really meant much to me until the Sunday I was ordained a deacon. That afternoon I passed the sacrament for the first time. Prior to the meeting, one of the deacons warned me, ‘Look out for Brother Schmidt. You may have to wake him up!’ Finally the time came for me to participate in the passing of the sacrament. I handled the first six rows quite well. Children and adults partook of the bread with no noticeable thought or problem. Then I got to row seven, the row where Brother Schmidt always sat. But I was surprised. Instead of being asleep he was wide awake. Unlike many of the others I had served, he took the bread with what seemed to be great thought and reverence.
    “A few minutes later I found myself again approaching row seven with the water. This time my friend was right. Brother Schmidt sat with his head bowed and his big German eyes shut. He was evidently sound asleep. What could I do or say? I looked for a moment at his brow, wrinkled and worn from years of toil and hardship. He had joined the Church as a teenager and had experienced much persecution in his small German town. I had heard the story many times in testimony meeting. I decided finally to gently nudge his shoulder in hopes of waking him. As I reached to do so, his head slowly lifted. There were tears streaming down his cheeks and as I looked into his eyes I saw love and joy. He quietly reached up and took the water. Even though I was only twelve then, I can still remember vividly the feeling I had as I watched this rugged old man partake of the sacrament. I knew without a doubt that he was feeling something about the sacrament that I had never felt. I determined then that I wanted to feel those same feelings.”4
    Brother Schmidt had communicated with heaven, and heaven had communicated with him.

    Five Principles

    Directions: Read this section of Elder Don R. Clarke's talk, “Blessings of the Sacrament,” from October 2012 General Conference, with your partner. Be prepared to share with the class what Elder Clarke suggests to do to make partaking of the sacrament more meaningful.

    II. Remember That We Are Renewing Baptismal Covenants

    The second principle is to remember that we are renewing our baptismal covenants as we partake of the sacrament. Some of the promises that we make, as recorded in the scriptures, include:
    “Come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, … to bear one another’s burdens, … to mourn with those that mourn … , and to stand as witnesses of God.”5
    “Come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, … willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end,”6 and to keep His commandments and always remember Him.7
    The sacramental prayers are a reminder of these covenants. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew our commitment to live up to these covenants. I believe it would be appropriate to memorize the sacramental prayers in our minds and in our hearts. This will help us focus on renewing our baptismal covenants. Whether we were 8 or 80 years old when we were baptized, I hope we will never forget that day and the covenants we made.
    Five Principles

    Directions: Read this section of Elder Don R. Clarke's talk, “Blessings of the Sacrament,” from October 2012 General Conference, with your partner. Be prepared to share with the class what Elder Clarke suggests to do to make partaking of the sacrament more meaningful.

    III. During the Sacrament We Can Feel Forgiven of Our Sins

    Thirdly, during the sacrament we can feel forgiven of our sins. If we have spent time before sacrament meeting repenting of our sins, we can leave sacrament meeting feeling clean and pure. President Boyd K. Packer said: “The sacrament renews the process of forgiveness. Every Sunday when the sacrament is served, that is a ceremony to renew the process of forgiveness. … Every Sunday you cleanse yourself so that, in due time, when you die your spirit will be clean.”8 Partaking of the sacrament worthily can help us feel like the people of King Benjamin, who “were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience.9
    Five Principles

    Directions: Read this section of Elder Don R. Clarke's talk, “Blessings of the Sacrament,” from October 2012 General Conference, with your partner. Be prepared to share with the class what Elder Clarke suggests to do to make partaking of the sacrament more meaningful.

    IV. We Can Receive Inspiration for Solutions to Our Problems

    The fourth principle is that we can receive inspiration for solutions to our problems during sacrament meeting. When I was a mission president in Bolivia, my wife, Mary Anne, and I had the blessing of attending a mission presidents’ seminar with President Henry B. Eyring. In that meeting he taught that there are three important ways to prepare to benefit from a meeting. We should come with our problems, humble as children ready to learn, and with the desire to help God’s children.
    As we humbly come to sacrament meeting, we can be blessed to feel impressions for solutions to our daily problems. We must come prepared, be willing to listen, and not be distracted. In the scriptures we read, “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.10 We can know what we should do to solve our problems.

    Five Principles

    Directions: Read this section of Elder Don R. Clarke's talk, “Blessings of the Sacrament,” from October 2012 General Conference, with your partner. Be prepared to share with the class what Elder Clarke suggests to do to make partaking of the sacrament more meaningful.

    V. Partaking of the Sacrament Worthily Will Help Us Be Filled with the Holy Ghost

    The fifth principle, partaking of the sacrament worthily, will help us be filled with the Holy Ghost. Upon instituting the sacrament during His visit to the Nephites, Jesus stated, “He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.”11 They had been promised that if they hungered and thirsted after righteousness, they would be filled with the Holy Ghost. The sacramental prayer also promises that if we live up to our covenants, we will always have His Spirit to be with us.12
    Elder Melvin J. Ballard said: “I am a witness that there is a spirit attending the administration of the sacrament that warms the soul from head to foot; you feel the wounds of the spirit being healed, and the load being lifted. Comfort and happiness come to the soul that is worthy and truly desirous of partaking of this spiritual food.”13

    After each pair read their portion and prepared what they were going to say, I had each of them share what Elder Clarke suggested in their portion.  As they told us, I would write each of the principles up on the board and have the students write the principles on their cards.  By the time we were done, the board (and their cards) should look like this:

    How to Make Partaking of the Sacrament More Meaningful - Elder Don R. Clarke of the Seventy

    1.  Have a feeling of gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
    2.  Remember that we are renewing baptismal covenants.
    3.  During the sacrament, we can feel forgiven of our sins.
    4.  We can receive inspiration for solutions to our problems.
    5.  Partaking of the sacrament worthily will help us be filled with the Holy Ghost.

    I told them to stick their cards in their scriptures in D&C 20, where the sacrament prayers are, and to look at the cards during sacrament meeting next week to help them focus.  

    I told them that I did this during sacrament meeting today, and that it was so much more meaningful to me.  When I was thinking of the atonement, I remembered that part of Christ's atonement is that he can strengthen me to do the things that I need to do to build the kingdom of God.  When I thought of baptismal covenants, I couldn't remember where to find them, so I looked in the index under "baptism" and found them in Mosiah 18, and then I re-read them.  I prayed for forgiveness for things I did wrong this week.  I prayed briefly for inspiration on how to be better about doing Family Home Evening.  

    So much better than what I was thinking about last week!!!  Haha!

    So that is that, friends.  Now I need to do dishes and start on dinner. Yeee-haw!


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Lesson - How can I deepen my understanding of covenants? - What I Did.

'Sup, homey slicies?

1.  Making Connections

So I happen to have the Gospel Art Kit in my own little house.  I. Love. That. Thing.  My friend Kathleen gave me hers and I use it almost weekly.  It's so great for Family Home Evenings, my calling, everything.  Love, love, love.  The lesson suggested to have the teacher find pictures of people making, breaking, or keeping covenants.  I couldn't find any about breaking covenants (I probably could have found some on the internet if I had looked harder), but I did find several of the making of covenants.  Before class, I displayed the following pictures from the Gospel Art Kit on the board:

1.  Baptism [109]
2.  Passing the Sacrament [604]
3.  Young Couple Going to the Temple [609]
4.  The Last Supper [225]
5.  Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon [309]
6.  The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Burying Their Swords [311]

At the beginning of class, I pointed to each picture and had the students identify the covenant being made in each picture.  Then I told them we were going to be talking more about covenants today, specifically on how to use our scriptures to deepen our understanding of covenants. 

2.  Covenant Worksheet

I handed out the following worksheets - I wanted them to do these individually:


Directions: Read the following excerpt from True to the Faith. Then answer the questions that follow the excerpt.

A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings, and in some instances we suffer a penalty as a consequence of our disobedience.

All the saving ordinances of the priesthood are accompanied by covenants. For example, you made a covenant when you were baptized, and you renew that covenant each time you partake of the sacrament (see Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 20:37, 77, 79). If you have received the Melchizedek Priesthood, you have entered into the oath and covenant of the priesthood (see D&C 84:33–44). The temple endowment
and the sealing ordinance also include sacred covenants.

Always remember and honor the covenants you make with the Lord. Then you will not need to be
commanded in everything you do (see D&C 58:26–28). You will be inspired by the Holy Ghost, and Christlike conduct will be part of your nature. As the Lord has promised, you will “receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal” (D&C 42:61). Your greatest hope should be to enjoy the sanctification that comes from this divine guidance; your greatest fear should be to forfeit these blessings.

  • True to the Faith, p. 44

  1. What is a covenant?

  1. Why do we make covenants?

  1. What blessings do we receive when we keep them?

    Then I just asked one person to share his answer to number 1, another person to share his answer to number 2, and so on.  Here are what I hoped would be their answers - the answer key, if you will:

    1.  What is a covenant?  An agreement between God and a person or group of people.
    2.  Why do we make covenants?  To receive blessings.
    3.  What blessings to we receive when we keep them?  We won't have to be commanded in everything we do.  We will have the Holy Ghost inspire us.  Christlike conduct will become part of our nature (that's my favorite one).  We'll be sanctified.  (I reminded the kids that "sanctified" means "cleansed."

    3.  Scriptures about Covenants

    This next worksheet I designed to have the students work on in teams.  So you'll see four different worksheets here:

    Scriptures about the Covenant of Baptism

    Directions: With your partner, read Mosiah 18:8-10, D&C 20:37, D&C 18:21-25, D&C 76:51-52, 33:11, 3 Ne. 11:33, and 2 Ne. 31:12. As you read, fill out the following two lists about the covenant of baptism. Be prepared to share your lists with the class. Also, see if you can answer the question at the bottom of this page and share that as well.

    Promises We Make                                          Promises God Makes

    Question: Can you think of a story from the scriptures, OR can you think of something from your own life that shows that God always fulfills his promises?

    Scriptures about the Covenant of the Sacrament

    Directions: With your partner, read D&C 20:77, 79. As you read, fill out the following two lists about the covenant of the sacrament. Be prepared to share your lists with the class. Also, see if you can answer the question at the bottom of this page and share that as well.

    Promises We Make                                           Promises God Makes

    Question: Can you think of a story from the scriptures, OR can you think of something from your own life that shows that God always fulfills his promises?

    Scriptures about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood

    Directions: With your partner, read D&C 84: 33-44. As you read, fill out the following two lists about the oath and covenant of the priesthood. Be prepared to share your lists with the class. Also, see if you can answer the question at the bottom of this page and share that as well.

    Promises We Make                                           Promises God Makes

    Question: Can you think of a story from the scriptures, OR can you think of something from your own life that shows that God always fulfills his promises?

    Scriptures about the Abrahamic Covenant

    Directions: With your partner, read Abraham 2:8-11. Also, read the following small excerpt from Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk from General Conference in October of 2011 to help you to understand the scriptures. As you read, fill out the following two lists about the Abrahamic Covenant. Be prepared to share your lists with the class. Also, see if you can answer the question at the bottom of this page and share that as well.

    The covenant God made with Abraham and later reaffirmed with Isaac and Jacob is of transcendent significance. It contained several promises, including:

      1. Jesus the Christ would be born through Abraham’s lineage.
      2. Abraham’s posterity would be numerous, entitled to an eternal increase, and also entitled to bear the priesthood.
      3. Abraham would become a father of many nations.
      4. Certain lands would be inherited by his posterity.
      5. All nations of the earth would be blessed by his seed.
      6. And that covenant would be everlasting—even through “a thousand generations.”

    ...the Lord appeared in these latter days to renew that Abrahamic covenant...With this renewal, we have received, as did they of old, the holy priesthood and the everlasting gospel. We have the right to receive the fulness of the gospel, enjoy the blessings of the priesthood, and qualify for God’s greatest blessing—that of eternal life.

    Some of us are the literal seed of Abraham; others are gathered into his family by adoption. The Lord makes no distinction. Together we receive these promised blessings—if we seek the Lord and obey His commandments. But if we don’t, we lose the blessings of the covenant.”

    Promises We Make                                          Promises God Makes

    Question: Can you think of a story from the scriptures, OR can you think of something from your own life that shows that God always fulfills his promises?

    After I gave the students maybe 8 or so minutes to do these worksheets, it was time to share.  I asked one person to share the promises made by God and by us for each covenant, and then one person to share a story from the scriptures or his own life that shows that God always fulfills his promises.

    We went over the covenant of baptism first.  I had done these worksheets before the kids had done them, so I had my little "answer keys" on hand in case they couldn't figure things out.  Here's what I was hoping they would come up with for baptism:

    Promises we make - 
    1.  To take upon ourselves the name of Christ.
    2.  To bear one another's burdens.
    3.  To mourn with those that mourn.
    4.  To comfort those that stand in need of comfort.
    5.  To stand as witnesses of God.
    6.  To obey the commandments of God and to serve him.

    Promises God makes - 
    1.  To accept each worthy person as a member of the church and kingdom of God upon this earth.
    2.  To forgive each person's sins when he repents.
    3.  To allow each person to inherit the kingdom of God if he is faithful.
    4.  To give each person the right to receive the Holy Ghost.

    At this point, we paused, because I had made a leetle present to give to each student that would help remind them about the six promises we made when we made the covenant of baptism.

    When my oldest son turned 8, my dad gave a talk at his baptism about the covenant of baptism.  And my cute, completely un-artsy dad had made a gift for Dylan:
    He's so cute.  There are six colors of leather string thingeys on the keychain.  My dad wanted Dylan to remember that he had made six promises when he was baptized.  The keychain is attached to Dylan's scripture bag.

    So I decided, at 11 p.m. on Saturday night, that I wanted to do something similar for my kids.  Thank goodness Wal-Mart stays open late.  So I went there, but they didn't have any leather string thingeys.  I considered buying ribbon, and that's what I really should have done, in retrospect.  I used embroidery floss, because it was cheapest.  I chose six different colors, and I wanted them to match this handout that I found online, so I chose yellows and beiges and whites.  Here's the end result:

     Again, in retrospect, something thicker that had more distinct colors would have probably been a better idea.  But the kids really did love it so much.  And they had fun picking through the tassel at the end to see the six different colors.  So whatevs.  We all do our best, eh?

    Then I had the students with the baptismal covenant worksheet share their answer to the question of scriptures or personal experiences that prove that God fulfills his promises.  After they shared their ideas, I shared mine.  I thought of the Abrahamic covenant, where Abraham was promised that his seed would be given a land for their inheritance.  It took a reeeally long time, but the Lord did fulfill that promise to Abraham's seed.  And then I thought of my patriarchal blessing.  In a way, the patriarchal blessing feels like a covenant to me - the Lord promises certain things if we live in a certain way.  So I talked a little bit about that.

    Kay, on to the sacrament covenant promises.  Here's the answer key for that:

    Promises we make:
    1.  Remember Jesus
    2.  Take upon us Jesus' name.
    3.  Keep his commandments.

    Promises God makes:
    The Spirit will always be with us.

    Then I had that pair share their answers to the question of scriptures or personal experiences that show that God fulfills his promises.

    The oath and covenant of the priesthood promises answer key:

    Promises priesthood holders make:
    1.  Magnify callings
    2.  Obtain the two priesthoods

    Promises God makes:
    1.  Sanctified unto the renewing of bodies
    2.  Become sons of Moses and of Aaron
    3.  Become seed of Abraham
    4.  Become the elect of God
    5.  Inherit all that God has.

    Then that pair shares their answers to the question of scriptures or personal experiences that show that God fulfills his promises.

    The Abrahamic Covenant answer key:

    Promises we make:
    1.  We seek the Lord
    2.  We obey His commandments

    Promises God makes:
    1.  Christ would be born through Abraham's lineage.
    2.  Abraham's posterity would be numerous, entitled to an eternal increase, and also entitled to bear the priesthood.
    3.  Abraham would become a father of many nations.
    4.  Certain lands would be inherited by his posterity.
    5.  All nations of the earth would be blessed by his seed.
    6.  And that covenant would be everlasting - even through "a thousand generations."
    7.  Eternal life.

    And then that pair shared their answers to the question of scriptures or personal experiences that show that God fulfills his promises.

    And that was all the time we had!



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

He doesn't read my blog, so we're good.

My hubbers doesn't read my blog.  Sometimes I get all butt-hurt about it.  He always says, "I don't need to read your blog - I live it!"  Which is true.  I need to get over my butt-hurtedness.

So, since he doesn't ever look on here, I'm going to show you the birthday card I made him!  His birthday is Thursday.  Could you just die???:

Of course, I used my Silhouette to cut the pieces of the cake.  I cut out a whole bunch more pieces so I can make about 30 more cards someday - I made one more for a friend, which you'll be able to tell below, but for now, most of those pieces are sitting in a baggie while I work on a wedding card for a former Sunday School student of mine from California.  I'll let you know when I finish more of these.

Since the pieces are so small and intricate, I mod-podged them.

This tag happens to be a sticker that came with this scrapbooking kit I had bought like seven years ago and am just getting around to using.  There are only three of the tags.  They're blank, and I found a set of stamps that fit perfectly on them:

When I made the one for my friend, I cut out a tag on my silhouette and sponged it:
What are we doing for Ben's birthday, you ask?  He and I are going to World War Z.  Not my top pick for a movie to watch.  But this movie has two of Ben's favorite things in it - Brad Pitt and zombies.  So he's very excited.  And it's his birthday, after all.  As long as it's PG-13 or less, I'm good.  Ben has a very severe man-crush on Brad Pitt.  If Ben was a woman, he would be completely, full-on in love with Brad Pitt.

I wonder if I have a movie star woman-crush on anyone.  I'll have to think about that.  I definitely have man-crushes on movie stars.  Which may not be very healthy.  I try not to dwell on my movie star man-crushes.  Ben's movie star woman crushes are Nicole Kidman and Kate Beckinsale.  I try not to get too jealous.  Besides, I'm probably softer to hug than those girls, right??  Nice and cushioney.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Lesson - How does reverence help me receive revelation? - What I did.

Yeppppp, this was way back in May.  I've been a big-time slacker.  But I have got to get these on here so I can refer to them next year.  So here we go. Um, I'll do my best to remember what I did. :)

This seems so fitting that I'm just typing this up, because at a family reunion last weekend, I had a distant relative that is not of my faith ask what Mormons believe about personal revelation.  She was under the mistaken impression that we believe that angels come and talk to us on a regular basis about our lives.  She must think we're all crazy!  "No, no, no," I said, chuckling.  "In the past, I know that angels have visited prophets.  And perhaps angels have visited regular people.  It hasn't ever happened to me or anyone I know in that way.  We believe that Heavenly Father loves us and is interested in our lives and can help to guide us when we don't know what to do.  So we pray.  And then we listen and we think and we meditate.  It works differently for everyone - receiving revelation.  For me personally, when I have a problem or a choice to make, I make a tentative decision.  Then I pray.  And then I think and I listen with my heart.  I'll usually picture myself going forward with the decision I had come up with on my own.  If it feels weird or not right, or if I can't picture it, it's the wrong decision.  It's the things I can picture happening, and that I feel good or peaceful about, that are the right decision.  That's how Heavenly Father speaks to me."

I don't know.  It was cool having that little missionary moment.  And setting that poor girl straight about the Mormons not being crazy.

Anyways. :)

1.  Making Connections

I did just what the lesson suggested on this part.  I had written on the board (before class), “Reverence is __________.”  Then I had them come up at random, whenever they thought of an answer, and write their definitions of reverence.

Next, I handed out this quote to everyone:

Reverence is profound respect and love. When you have a reverent attitude toward God, you honor Him, express your gratitude to Him, and obey His commandments.

You should be reverent in your behavior as well as your attitude. Reverent behavior includes prayer, scripture study, fasting, and payment of tithes and offerings. It includes wearing modest clothing and using clean, wholesome language. The depth of your reverence is evident in your choice of music and other entertainment, in the way you speak of sacred subjects, and in the way you dress and act when you attend church and the temple. You show your reverence for the Lord when you serve other people and treat them with kindness and respect.”

  • True to the Faith

I had one student read the first paragraph.   Then we paused.  I had them re-scan what we had just read and see if there were any definitions we hadn't gotten up on the board.  If there was something in the first paragraph that hadn't been listed, I added it to our list.

Then we did the same thing for the second paragraph.  One student read it aloud while the others read it silently, then I had them re-scan that second paragraph for any definitions we hadn't written on the board at the beginning of class.

By the end of this activity, the following things should be on the board:
1.  profound respect and love
2.  gratitude to God
3.  obedience to God's commandments
4.  praying, scripture study, fasting, and paying tithing.
5.  wearing modest clothing
6.  using clean, wholesome language
7.  making good media choices
8.  speaking reverently about sacred subjects
9.  the way you dress and act at church and at the temple
10.  serving others and treating them with kindness and respect

2.  Reverence helps me to receive revelation

After the making connections exercises, I gave each of the students these worksheets:

Reverence Helps Me to Receive Revelation

Directions: Read the last part of the Reverence section of True to the Faith, and then read the quote by Elder Pieper, looking for answers to the question “How does reverence help me receive revelation?” Write what you find at the bottom of this worksheet.

As you become more reverent, you will notice a quiet transformation in your life. The Lord will pour out His Spirit more abundantly on you. You will be less troubled and confused. You will be able to receive revelation to help you solve personal and family problems.

Just as reverence brings you closer to God, irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary. Satan will tempt you to follow the world’s trend to more noise, excitement, and contention and to less restraint and quiet dignity. Like a commander mounting a military invasion, he will try to jam the channels of communication between you and the Lord. Beware of such tactics, and strive to be reverent in all you do.

  • True to the Faith

The sacred cannot be selectively surrendered. Those who choose to abandon even one sacred thing will have their minds darkened (see D&C 84:54), and unless they repent, the light they have shall be taken from them (see D&C 1:33). Unanchored by the sacred, they will find themselves morally adrift on a secular sea. In contrast, those who hold sacred things sacred receive promises: “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24).

  • Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy, “To Hold Sacred,” April 2012 General Conference

  1. According to True to the Faith, how does reverence help you to receive revelation?

  1. According to Elder Pieper, what will happen if you hold sacred things sacred?

After I had given them about...8 minutes or so to read the excerpts and answer the questions, I had them share.  Since their answers will have been similar, I just had one student share their answer to #1 and one student share their answer to #2.

3.  Scripture Slips

I organized the students into pairs and gave each pair one of these slips of paper with a scripture reference on it:

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

1 Kings 19:11-12

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

3 Ne. 11: 1-7

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

Psalm 46:10

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

D&C 63:64

With your partner, look up and read the following scripture. Jot down what you learn from this scripture about the relationship between reverence and revelation.

D&C 84: 54-57
I gave them about five minutes or so, and then I had each pair share what they learned.  If they struggled, we would read the scripture together and come up with the answer as a class.  Here is what I was hoping they found in each scripture:

1 Kings 19:11-12 - Revelation most often comes in the form of a still, small voice.  We need to be in quiet places, physically and mentally, to hear it.

3 Ne. 11: 1-7 - The Nephites and Lamanites that had survived the destruction at Christ's death had heard Christ's voice a couple of times.  They were all gathered together and conversing quite loudly about all that had happened when God's voice started talking.  Heavenly Father had to say the same thing three times before they understood it, because it was a still small voice.  They couldn't understand it or hear it because they had been conversing so loudly.  Again, quiet places and a meditative mentality help us to receive revelation.

Psalm 46:10 - I love this scripture.  I feel like Heavenly Father is saying that if we be still - quiet our bodies and our inner voices - we'll be more able to hear the promptings of the Spirit and know Heavenly Father better and be better acquainted with his desires for us.

D&C 63:64 - As we discussed at the beginning of class, part of reverence is treating that which is sacred with respect.  If we do this, the Spirit will continue to be with us and we can receive revelation easier this way.

D&C 84: 54-57 - If we treat the revelation we have received lightly - by not obeying the promptings we receive, or not taking them seriously - our minds become darkened, and we are not as easily able to receive personal revelation.

4.  How to make church meetings more reverent

I had Ben download this talk by President Boyd K. Packer to our laptop.  Before class started, I fast-forwarded to about 8 minutes and 14 seconds into the talk, where he begins with, "When we return for Sunday meetings..."

I handed out these worksheets to the kids to write notes as they watched from that point in the talk to the end of the talk:

Reverence Invites Revelation

Directions: Watch the excerpt from Elder Boyd K. Packer's talk, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” from General Conference, October 1991. As you watch, in the space below, jot down things that Elder Packer says we should do to invite revelation in our church meetings.

Then we discussed the things we had jotted down.  Here are the things I hoped they picked out:
1.  Be more reverent when we enter the chapel.
2.  Take noisy babies and toddlers out.
3.  Appropriate music and instruments
4.  Prelude music
5.  Actually sing the hymns
6.  Use reverential terms in prayer.

And that's the end!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Anniversary/Valentine's Day Cards

I made a card like this for Ben for Valentine's Day.  I kept all the stuff in a canvas bag, hoping that one day, when I had more time, I could use the rest of the paper to make a few extras.  I finally finished them this week.  I have thirteen of 'em.  These would be good for those of you with summer anniversaries, or to save for next February.  If you want one, contact me or head over to my etsy to order them.  I'm putting them on
The white photo clips in the top picture are metal ones I had on hand. (Those aren't brads holding them to the card - I didn't have any off-white brads on hand, and they didn't have any at Michael's.  So I used small zots to attach the clips to the paper, then used pearl stickers where the brads would have gone.) 

I wanted some pink photo clips, so guess who drew some on my silhouette for me?  Ben, my computer genius husband.  So these pink photo clips are just cardstock (attached to the card with some eyelets I had on hand).  Cool, right?

Which one is my favorite????  Probably...the one with he Chevron print background.  I'm a sucker for Chevron print.

Monday, July 8, 2013

We love the babies.

We just came back from quite the raucous reunion on Ben's side of the family in Utah. (All these years, I thought raucous was pronounced "rah-shuss."  Just found out that it's pronounced "rah-cuss."  How sad I didn't know that until now.)  So.  Much.  Fun.  Was.  Had.  By.  All.  This is what my brother-in-law would refer to as Tier Two of the H family - basically, Ben's and his step-brothers' and sister's children.  Plus me.  Because someone had to hold the teeny ones:
And here is the whole group of us - all three Tiers:

If you look closely, you may see Ben and I each taking turns holding an adorable brown-haired baby. Here are some close-ups of the pictures above, plus a bunch of outtakes:
And later that day:

No, we did not have a baby recently, physical evidence on my body to the contrary. (We were just helping Ben's stepdad's step-granddaughter with her baby.  Yes, Ben's family tree is a little complicated.  Whose isn't?)  Check out the belly on me in these photos:

I'm pretty certain I need to burn that shirt and never wear it again.  And then burn about 1000 calories per day in the gym.  Because DAMN I look bad.  No, I did not just have a baby.  Nor am I pregnant, though I look like I am.  Wow.  Sad, sad, sad.

Speaking of sad, here are some more outtake close-ups of my darling son, Micah:

This basically sums up his whole weekend. 

And his whole life, really.

Such drama.

At least he doesn't look like he's pregnant.  I'm the one who should be crying, facing the wall, in all pictures that are taken of me.
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