Saturday, April 17, 2010


I was trying to think of a clever title, but I'm not feeling so clever tonite.

I think it's time. I've been known to change my mind on something like this before, but I think I need to do something pretty significant, to draw a line in my sand for myself and see how it feels. I need to simplify my life, and I think the way to do that is to back off from participating in the 'nacle. (Whatever the 'nacle actually is these days...I'm thinking MA 'nacle, big blogs kind of 'nacle.)

Done blogging? Yeah, right, no, not. But I'm going to start fresh, at a new blog. I think I need a change. I think a lot of people need a change from having me out there commenting, too. :)

Being involved in the bloggernacle has changed my life in very real ways. I have found cherished, lifetime friends. (Just thinking about that alone takes my breath much poorer I would be without some of the friends I have made through blogging. Whoa.) I have spent hours mulling and musing about what matters to me most. (I think it's helped keep me from going insane while dealing with health struggles.) I've come to appreciate the gospel and my testimony all the more. I've learned from others, and about others.

I'd like to think I've grown a little through it all and become a little better. I know, too, that I've also made some mistakes along the way. But that's part of this messy, messy life. Thank heaven for the Atonement. I feel the reality of the Atonement perhaps more strongly in my life than I ever have. That's a good thing, because I feel like I realize how much I need it -- need the Savior -- more than I ever have.

Yes. The more I live, the older I get, the more I experience, the more I realize how very, very much I need Christ.

To those who have respectfully engaged and listened, thank you. To those I have offended, it may not sound like much, but I'm sorry. To those who know me well, you know how to find me. :)

Thanks for the ride.


p.s. Archives will probably stay up. We'll see. Email above will still stay active.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

I heart Sister Beck II -- Great talk about the power of womanhood

Sister Beck is a woman of power, a fabulous, fearless leader. I love her. I feel her calling to us as women to also be women of power and fearless leaders as well, by increasing our faith, strengthening home and family, and being of service in providing relief. I hear her reminding us of the power in personal revelation as well, inviting us to live our lives so as to be connected to heaven every day, every hour. I also feel it's essential for us to trust in the worth of women in God's plan, to know who we are. It's clear Sister Beck doesn't doubt one bit our worth before God. We need to not doubt. (That quote from Eliza R. Snow was awesome.)

Again, we are reminded of similar themes taught a couple of years ago when she gave her "Mothers Who Know" talk and when Elder Oaks talked of "Good, Better, Best" -- the need to prioritize, to actively resist distraction and the dilution of our roles as nurturers.

I am moved by the reminder of the power of personal revelation in our lives. Pres. Packer talked this morning of men living beneath their privileges in the priesthood. I can't help but feel that we as women often live beneath our privileges by not doing what it takes to really have the power of personal revelation in our lives. I know I do, anyway.

I loved what she said about how the power of revelation can be a constant source in our lives that makes it "possible to feel bathed in help even in turbulent times."

Speaking of Pres. Packer, it was awesome to listen to Sister Beck talk right after Pres. Packer's talk on the power of the priesthood. There is also power in womanhood!

There is power in the sisterhood of Relief Society. Being a faithful member of of Relief Society we can "be trusted and relied upon to make a significant contribution to the Church." I think it's important to realize, again thinking of Pres. Packer's talk, that our contribution is different from that of men. We don't hold priesthood office. But our power and influence is REAL.

There is power in Relief Society. I loved how she talked about the "combined spiritual power of all the sisters." The thought that I had is that as we each seek to tap into the power Sister Beck has talked about in being in tune with God and living up to the mission of Relief Society, we contribute to that combined power. Sister Beck taught that through Relief Society, "sisters can receive answers to their questions." As we catch and live the spirit of the Relief Society, we can be instruments to "lift...women up and out of a troubled world and into a way of living that prepares them for the blessings of eternal life." Relief Society can help us be "strong and immovable."

I think we are being reminded in this Conference about the "way of living" -- centered on Christ, Christ-centered living, and faithful family life -- that can point us toward our eternal goals.

In addition to the things listed above, Sister Beck reminded us that nurturing is also a source of power. I have felt that in my life. Listening to Sister Beck talk renews my desire to turn my heart to my children and to others to try to develop more of that gift of nurturing that God is telling us repeatedly through His leaders matters so much.

I love the reminder that our success and our worth is not measured by "outward credit or praise." I think that ties into us seeking a sense of worth in the Church, too. Again, as important and sacred as the priesthood is, priesthood office and position is not a requirement to have worth, power, and influence in God's work. I think it's essential for us as women to know that in our hearts, through the Spirit, in order to be women of power.

As Sister Snow remarked, we need to " the world judges.....We know the Lord has laid high responsibility on us [as women]." We need to know that! Sister Beck reminded us that, "In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources.... Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly." We can feel and know of our worth and success through the power of the Spirit and through honest self-assessment with God's help and through doing all we can do to be righteous we give our heart to trying to be the women God needs us to be and live so as to have the Spirit with us.

There is power in truth. I am grateful for Sister Beck and how she reminds us often of truths that can free us to be the women God needs us to be. There is power in her teachings.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Amazing Family History Tips

If you are wanting to find ways to find more information about your ancestors, this post by historian Ardis Parshall is a goldmine of information.

Dance, Dry Bones, Dance

(Oooo. I love the title, too.)

She's done other posts on family history as well.

Lesson 1 (First steps)
Lesson 2 (Home sources)
Lesson 3 (Social Security)
Lesson 4 (Census)
Lesson 5 (Resolving Discrepancies)

She has a gift, I tell you, and it's a gift that she shares it.

And if you are interested in reading history, you'll want to sit down for a while at her blog. Amazing stuff, particularly if your interest is in Mormon history. (But it's not the typical LDS history she writes about. She shares stories that are less-known, if known at all.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Glenn Beck and Social Justice, and Thinking Outside the Box in Politics

OK, so I get that people feel strongly about helping the poor. I think rare is the person on either side (and all along the continuum) of the political spectrum who doesn't.

I'm not necessarily a fan of Glenn Beck; he too often uses too much extreme rhetoric for my liking.

But good grief, the responses to his recent comments on social justice (or, better said, how people are framing those comments) are also really extreme in their rhetoric, and to me missing the core point -- and missing an opportunity where we as a nation might actually have some discussions on how we really can and should help the poor.

Even before I read this quote, my thought about all of the hoopla was that many people are hearing what they want to hear in what he said, not actually addressing the core of his concern. Reading this strengthened that opinion for me:

"Social justice is code language. Code language for big government… If your church is preaching social and economic justice you better do some digging and find out exactly what that means. Because if that means big government, (that) you need to support big government programs, (then) you don’t have a church… Now if your church is talking about social justice in a way that you empower yourself to go help the poor, well then that is exactly what Jesus… would like you to do.”
– Glenn Beck, March 12 radio program (hat tip for the quote comes from a comment here)

Does he dismiss social justice outright? No. Does he show ignorance about the notion that helping the poor is important to religions? No. Is he really saying something so outrageous? I don't think so.

Here, I hear him encouraging people to think about what social justice means -- because it means different things to different people and faiths -- and to figure out if it's really a good thing in every context.

What is so crazy about that?

I understand disagreeing with his politics, but so many really emotional reactions to his comments don't seem to me to be hearing what he is saying at all and don't really even address the politics he takes a stand on.

In Anatomy of Peace language (a book that I think should be required reading for everyone), that's called being in the box. And it's pretty much like shutting off your heart AND your brain.

Such a dynamic plagues the political process. But it's such a precious waste of time and energy, and clouds the ability to actually think clearly about things like this that matter.

We've got to get outside the box.

For Mormons, to me, a compelling point when engaging in politics is to note that the First Presidency has reminded us that "“Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of various political parties."

So I say let's seek for good, solid principles across the spectrum, rather than waste precious time slinging mud at the "other" -- especially when that mud-slinging often involves arguing against things that weren't actually the real message of what was said.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day

We are having a pi party with extended family to celebrate. I might even post some pictures. I made a yogurt cheesecake something (an experiment...we'll see how it tastes) for my "fruit" (we'll smother it in berries) and also a cow pie dessert (no bake oatmeal fudge cookies all in a big pile...may never cool but I wanted to have some fun with my dessert).

I might slice some oranges and then cut the slices like pieces of pie.

My sister-in-law is going to make chicken pot pie for dinner.


Do any of you celebrate pi day?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rest in Peace, Merlin Olsen

For those of you old enough to know who Merlin Olsen is, he recently passed away. He has always come across to me as a gentle, quiet, good man.