Sunday, May 29, 2016

the treasure box

we all have some kind of treasure box, scrapbook or something that we keep our precious memories in.

you can go back and open the box and remember those things again. it's like reopening a gift.

a journal is like a memory box. you fill it with inspiration, trials, lessons learned, and sacred moments. those things can be opened again to remind you of precious and sacred times in your life.

magnifying glass

 - the magnifying glass-
when you focus the sunlight through a magnifying glass, you can set things on fire . . .not that i would know personally.

when you focus your actions on the will of the Lord, focus on His light so to say, you can set your own testimony on fire and also the testimony of others.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

cataracts and the Spirit

my dear aunt recently had surgery to remove cataracts from her eyes.   i commented that i was so glad she would again be able to see the beauty of life.   she responded in the best way possible.

"I am appreciating the brightness that I once had and didn't realize that I was losing. The cataract grows so slowly and takes your sight so slowly that I didn't realize what I was losing. I'm sure there's a metaphor for sin in this experience. And I am having to adjust to the bright light. Many times I have to shut my eye because it hurts. I guess that is like trying to be in a spiritual place when you are not worthy."

what a great comparison!   (you can see what an awesome aunt i have)

this thought process started me thinking a bit more about stories of missionaries sharing something and the person is frightened or uncomfortable with the spirit.    it's like her eye that was no longer used to the bright light.   my aunt has been covering her eyes sometimes because the light hurts it.    it takes time to reacquaint yourself with the spirit you grew up with as a premortal spirit.  it hurts to have that strong light suddenly glaring on you instead of a slow and gradual increase.  

i had always wondered how the Spirit could be frightening to someone.   now i understand.   it doesn't take long either.   think about coming out of a movie theater into the daylight.   you cover your eyes and blink to let your eyes get used to it.   my aunt's eyes  have been shadowed for a long time, so her eyes have been taking days or weeks to get used to normal light.  

it is the same spiritually.   the longer we have been away, or the darker our lives have been, the harder it is to come back into the light.    it can hurt, be scary, or just not feel good at first.    

as my aunt keeps allowing her eyes opportunities to slowly get used to the light, allowing them time to adjust and rest when needed, the same holds true for our spiritual light.   it takes time.   it doesn't have to happen all at once.   it may be uncomfortable at times.   we may need to just rest where we are for a while.

In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true.   

Monday, May 2, 2016

5 short object lessons on freedom to choose and adam and eve's choice.

5 short object lessons on freedom to choose and adam and eve's choice.   
our relief society pres gave the lesson this week and had some great object lessons.   thought i would share.

sit someone at a table with a can of peaches and an apple.   they may sit and eat peaches as long as they want, it will never run out.   they must stay there though and can't share it with anyone else.   they can choose to eat the apple but then they must leave the table and never return.  but, if they choose the apple, it will benefit billions of other people.  
i missed the scripture for that but obviously the choice that adam and eve made.   a friend of mine explained that any woman who wanted a baby but was not able to have children would understand why eve made the decision to eat.   a mother's instinct and drive to have children would be enough for her, even in her naive and childlike state, to take steps to be a mother.

tell someone they will receive a large reward if they only choose the right / make good decisions all day long.   can they do that?   there are no rules, just choose the right.  
if there are no rules, how can you choose the right?   there are no rules so not defined right, therefore it is impossible to choose the right.   2 nephi 2 : 11-13

show someone an empty table and tell them they may choose any one thing from the table to keep.  there is no choice.
2 nephi 2:16

lay a few of the same exact thing on the table and and offer them any one of them they want.   when they choose, pull out a different option and ask why they didn't take that one.   (she used plain granola bars and then pulled out a chocolate bar)
you can't choose something you don't know.   relates to the first one about choosing the tree of knowledge.  
2 nephi 2:16 (i think. i am translating and numbers still mess me up sometimes)   helaman 14:30-31

place two things on a table.   tell them to choose one.   as they go to choose, take it yourself or swipe it off the table.   this worked the first time but she got it the second time.    they ended up with the other thing flying off the table too.    it was pretty funny.
2 nephi 2:27   again, you can't choose if someone takes your choice from you, satan's plan.  

she also made the point that if there was no choice, there would be no need for a savior.   without choice, there is no sin so no salvation would be needed.  
if there was no savior, the choice wouldn't matter because no matter our choice, we cannot achieve salvation on our own.   

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

i have a gift for you today, some assembly required

paper -
the first piece is a piece of white paper. i know, it's an expensive and impressive gift.

what can you do with it?????????

you can fold it and cut it and crumple it up but that isn't what it was invented for. that isn't its purpose. paper is for writing on. it is for recording information.

this paper actually represents something you already have, or rather what you are. this piece of paper represents your spirit. it is clean and white and waiting for information to be written on it. it is waiting for experience.

pencil -
what can you do with the pencil alone????????

you can throw it and poke your neighbor with it, make some kind of craft with it, but that isn't its purpose either.

a pencil is for writing or drawing. it is for recording information.

the pencil represents your body. the body is sturdy and makes a mark on anything it touches. the body moves through mortality having experiences and recording this experience on your spirit. that is why we are here.

just as a pencil and paper are meant to be together, so are a spirit and body. neither can fulfill their true purpose without the other.

2 Nephi 2:23
And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

“In the glorious dawn of Easter morning, when the thoughts of the Christian world are turned to the resurrection of Jesus for a few fleeting moments, let us express appreciation to our Heavenly Father for the great plan of salvation that has been provided for us.”

this is the plan of salvation. our spirits came to earth to receive bodies. in life we experience joy and sorrow. we learn new talents and commit sin. our spirit papers are waiting for experience.

i'm going to give you a moment to write down at least one of each of these that are important in your life right now.

at least one joy, one sorrow or worry, one talent you are using or developing, and one sin you are struggling with. these are yours, we are not sharing them so it should be things that are personal and meaningful to you.

keep these things in mind today and apply the lesson to those things.

pres hunter loved the holy land. he was often there. as he shares his thoughts when visiting special places there, we will travel with him and hopefully gain a deeper understanding and testimony on our journey.

my next gift to you.
blood / sacrament

I have stood in the garden of Gethsemane on many occasions. I’ve contemplated in my mind the suffering, the agony of the Savior—that agony that was experienced when our Heavenly Father permitted him, in a way our minds cannot even comprehend, to take upon himself the pain and sins of all mankind. My soul was filled with sorrow as I’ve thought of his great sacrifice for mankind.

Matt 26:27 - 28
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mosiah 3:7 And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.


the next piece of your gift-----------cross / nails------

I’ve stood beneath Golgotha, the place of the skull, and contemplated the humiliation of the crucifixion which led to our Savior’s mortal death, but which brought to pass his and all mankind’s immortality. And again my soul has been subdued.

John 10:17-18
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
John 19:28 and 30
28 ¶After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

i did a lot of studying trying to find one or two scriptures to represent the crucifixion. 2 stuck out to me.

over and over, it says, "that the scripture might be fulfilled". these things were not done to Him outside of His control. He allowed it. not only did he allow it, He made sure every mortal and spiritual obligation was fulfilled. He made sure His death prepared the way for us, down to the tiniest detail. He was filling list of the demands of justice, that we might have mercy.

Think of it! When his body was taken from the cross and hastily placed in a borrowed tomb, he, the sinless Son of God, had already taken upon him not only the sins and temptations of every human soul who will repent, but all of our sickness and grief and pain of every kind. He suffered these afflictions as we suffer them, according to the flesh. He suffered them all. He did this to perfect his mercy and his ability to lift us above every earthly trial.




And I’ve stood in front of the garden tomb and imagined that glorious day of resurrection when the Savior emerged from the tomb alive, resurrected, immortal. In that contemplation my heart has swelled with joy.

Without the Resurrection, the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a litany of wise sayings and seemingly unexplainable miracles—but sayings and miracles with no ultimate triumph. No, the ultimate triumph is in the ultimate miracle: for the first time in the history of mankind, one who was dead raised himself into living immortality. He was the Son of God, the Son of our immortal Father in Heaven, and his triumph over physical and spiritual death is the good news every Christian tongue should speak.

although the tomb is empty, all of the things Christ did are contained in it.

just as Christ left behind His mortality when He emerged immortal from the tomb, we leave all of our sorrows, sins and pains of this world behind as we partake of the sacrament and His atonement.

--------------blood and nail in tomb----------

Christ’s resurrection ushers in the blessing of immortality and the possibility of eternal life. His empty tomb proclaims to all the world, “He is not here, but is risen.” (Luke 24:6.) These words contain all the hope, assurance, and belief necessary to sustain us in our challenging and sometimes grief-filled lives.

we will someday also rise from the tomb. we will leave our mortal life behind to be immortal and live with Him forever.

------------spirit and pencil in tomb------------------

----------passalong card----------------

my last gift to you, is an invitation. i invite you to search the scriptures and read about Christ's Atonement. search for the many details and effort Christ went to to pay for us fully.

i encourage you to share this gift with others.

It is the responsibility and joy of all men and women everywhere to “seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have [testified]” (Ether 12:41) and to have the spiritual witness of his divinity. It is the right and blessing of all who humbly seek, to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness of the Father and his resurrected Son.

it is my testimony that no matter how dark the hour, day, weeks may seem, Jesus Christ has taken the path before us. He has carried it all before He has asked us to. He carries the majority of the load if we will but allow Him to.

**************how to****************

if anyone wants to make their own set, i just copied and pasted the sacrament prayers from doc and cov 20 .   77 is the bread and 79 is the water.  i changed the wine to water to make it what it is today.   (less miraculous in this case than it was biblically)      i used craft pins, not a sewing pin for the nail in the prayer for the bread and drop of red paint watered down for the red spot to represent the blood.   

the tomb is a coloring page from the church i edited it so i had a top to put on the envelope flap.   
you can see in the picture that the top of the tomb would be gone with the stone in place, the envelope closed without that extra piece.   i got two on a page by printing them as 5x7 size . . .  .( i think).   i had to play with the size a bit so it would fit my envelopes.   envelopes with a triangle flap work better so you have room for the top of the tomb and the stone to overlap.   

we used wood, bricks and stones to color on.  i made 50 for my lesson so the different under textures let us mix it up a bit.  
if possible, leave time at the end for testimonies, be sure to bare your testimony.  

i hope you enjoy this lesson and can feel the Spirit of the Lord in it.   

Monday, April 13, 2015

you are what you eat

we have all heard that we are what we eat.   members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints have a guideline for their eating practices called the word of wisdom .   this activity is great for eating habits or anything else you might "eat".   anything you take into your body or mind has its effect.   it doesn't just apply to food.   it can be movies, activities, music, etc.

here's the basic run down of it -
use two basic people outlines like this one or make your own.   you can use just heads too.   draw a happy face on one and a sad face on the other.   cut out foods, (or words/examples of whatever you are talking about) that are good for you or bad for you.   glue them on to cover the body.   the body with the good food, has a happy face and the body with the bad food has a sad face.  i even saw one with x's on the eyes, i guess that one ate poison and died.   yikes!

this is really aimed at little kids but if you have an age range you are dealing with, you can have the older kids write words or just help out or even hand it over for them to teach.   teaching is a great way to learn.

Monday, March 16, 2015

that's a nice thing to say!

one of the past fhes we did with the missionaries was to talk about speaking kindly. the challenge was to say something nice to each person in the family everyday for a week. to kick that challenge off, we played a game. it can be any game where there are multiple win/lose situations.
* for instance, go fish. players ask for cards and either get what they asked for or don't - win/lose.

each time someone "wins" a card or whatever, they have to compliment the "loser"
* in go fish, if the person gets the card, they compliment the person who gave them the card. if they don't get the card, the person they asked compliments them.

we played jungle jam but it would work with a lot of games. war, slap jack, rock paper scissors, go fish etc would work. you could tweak it for pictionary in a larger group and draw good things and everyone has to guess who it is about. you could use scattergories, draw names of the people playing and write a compliment or list good qualities about the person using only words that start with the letter rolled, guess who it's about and see who comes up with the best compliments.

**no left handed compliments like, "i really appreciate your help when you do the chores" may sound nice unless there is a background situation where that is a hint hint, do the chores. that isn't nice. compliments are not tools to shame or guilt someone into better behavior.
you get it. it's a nice way to start the week or just pick everyone's mood up any day. it's a nice addition to any game anytime.