Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mommy Moments

Sunday, for over an hour, #3 turned all of her communication into song. (she is nothing if not a determined little soul, and if you know her, you can picture this, I'm sure). My favorite part of the experience, though, was when she sang about how much she loved everyone in the family, and included herself on the list. Then she sang about how everyone was her best friend, including herself. What more could a mom ask for, really?


#2 was having a hard time with fasting. I thought I would try giving something to look forward to when she broke her fast, so I made bread Saturday night. I killed the yeast, even though I hoped up until the end that it would eventually work. It was too late (even by the standards of my crazy schedule) to make more.

I had to laugh, because she had just learned about making bread at Activity Days, so I could explain what I did wrong, and she understood. (Good teaching moment, right? Riiiiiight.)

All I could think about was this phrase from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk: "the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.” Seriously.

I did make honey butter for them to put on store-bought bread, though. Riiiiiight. Ah, well, there is always next month.


#1 was part of an awesome night celebrating our state. They sang a song that brought tears to my eyes. Utah gets a bad rap sometimes, but we really have an awesome heritage, and it was great to see these kids celebrating that. I also got to see him do the Virginia Reel. So cute. I was fascinated by the research the kids had done on different people from Utah history. Makes me want to get a book about the topic. (Any suggestions? *cough* Ardis? *cough*)


This last thing isn't a mommy moment per se, but I thought I would include it because it was so funny. I went to the story today for a quick run -- milk, juice, fruit, and a few ingredients for things I wanted to make in the next while. French bread was hot and fresh, so I decided tonite we would have stuffed manicotti.

When the checker gave me my total, it was for a ridiculous amount, given what I had in my cart. When I said it was impossible that the total could be that high, the checker said, "Let me look and tell you what ended up costing you so much." I think she thought I was overreacting. She then called the manager over to point out that the box of manicotti rang up at $200 instead of $2.00.

Whew. Glad I caught that one. hehe

Sunday, March 22, 2009

How I Love the Temple!

As we walked out of our church meetings, the satellite connection that would provide the Draper temple dedication services was already live. Music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was playing, along with beautiful photos from the inside and outside of temples.

And even that filled my heart with the Spirit.

I was thrilled that two of my three children were old enough to attend the dedication. My "baby" and I had our own special temple day; we went to a local temple, and she got to take pictures with a disposable camera that was all hers. We came home when the weather started to turn, and watched "The Mountain of the Lord" (one of my favorite Church videos) while eating popcorn and sipping hot chocolate.

For scripture study a couple of nights ago, we simply read and discussed these two quotes.

The temple is the house of the Lord. The basis for every temple ordinance and covenant—the heart of the plan of salvation—is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Every activity, every lesson, all we do in the Church, point to the Lord and His holy house. Our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each holy temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families. (Russell M. Nelson, “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings,” Ensign, May 2001, 32)

Temples are the very center of the spiritual strength of the Church. We should expect that the adversary will try to interfere with us as a church and with us individually as we seek to participate in this sacred and inspired work. Temple work brings so much resistance because it is the source of so much spiritual power to the Latter-day Saints and to the entire Church. ...Pres. George Q. Cannon [said]: “Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed for his holy Priesthood, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of the Eternal Gods, and those who reside in their presence” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,” Ensign, Feb 1995, 32).

I am so grateful we have another temple to invoke those blessings and increase God's power on the earth.

Another thing that has really affected me this week is something my husband recently heard.

Our forebears had little money, and what did the Lord ask of them? To sacrifice their money (think of what it took to build those early temples).

We often find ourselves strapped for time, and what does the Lord ask of us? To sacrifice our time to go to the temple often.

He asks what is hard to give. I am determined to give more of my time to this marvelous work.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Women on the Internet : Should the Church create a site for women?

This post was really interesting. I wanted to bring it to your attention if you hadn't seen it.

What do you think? Should the Church venture into creating a site focused on helping meet the needs of women online?

Just seeing the numbers for the traffic that go to other sites, and knowing how much women like to connect in this way, I'm thinking it may not be a bad idea to consider...especially given how much our teachings help support women in their roles and responsibilities.

That said, there are many sites that already exist toward this end. But there aren't any of which I am aware that bring the kind of traffic shown on that table.

My vote is that this would be worth looking into. What's your vote?

(Share your thoughts over at LDS Media Talk's blog!)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thoughts on Gender Roles as Taught in the Proclamation

I just wrote a too-long comment on another blog, and decided I wanted to share my thoughts here as well. (Actually, it was two comments, so that's not so bad, right? hehe)

The conversation was about traditional roles as taught in the Proclamation to the World on the Family. Some argue that teaching the ideals of husband as provider and presider and wife as primary nurturer really aren't necessary, since the Proclamation leaves room for individual adaptation. And we all know that our leaders have talked about how family decisions are ultimately their to make.

Someone asks:

"But if it really is all about individual adaptation and nuance (which I wholeheartedly wish it would be), why bother delineating it?"

And someone else said, "It's all about individual circumstances."

And here are my thoughts in response:

IMO, these two statements to me illustrate perfectly why we have the Proclamation. It *isn’t* all about individual circumstances. Those only come once we know the doctrine and teachings and ideals. If our leaders did was say, “do whatever you want,” we *would* lose sight of the ideal, the pattern.

Elder Holland’s talk last year in the WW leadership broadcast, in my view, is one of the best I have ever heard on this topic.

The gospel (and the Church’s role) is first about doctrine, standards, and principles that don’t change (even if and when exceptions clearly exist). Those ideals need to be clearly articulated for people to truly make their choices. We can’t fully exercise agency without knowledge and understanding of truth.

BTW, I know too many women, too, whose husbands are not fulfilling those basic roles. IMO, every woman deserves to have her husband at least be willing and prepared to do what he can to provide the possibility for her to be home with her children. If individual circumstances vary from that ideal, then that's between a couple and heaven. But if those standards don't continue to be taught, I fear that more women will be forced to work when they don't want to. That's beyond individual adaptation. That's just plain wrong in my view. And it actually removes agency from the woman, and perhaps could mean that incorrect principles are perpetuated for generations to come.

BTW, I'm not men-bashing here. I know there are a lot of good men out there who know what it means to preside and provide, and take caring for their family seriously. But, imo, in the end, a family can't fully function, and a woman can't fully develop and fly, unless the man is willing and prepared to do all he can to fulfill those basic roles.

On another note, as a woman who is more "naturally" suited in many ways to my career that I had before marriage and children, I am also extremely grateful for the teachings of prophets, because it was only in actually taking that leap of faith in choosing SAHMhood that I discovered that that really was something I could do. And something that I have grown to love doing. It's the hardest thing I have ever done. I still have found ways to keep my pre-Mom self alive, and I am a fan of that. But because of the ideals that are taught, I have discovered more about who I am.

I listened to an interview with Kathy Soper yesterday. She said something that I found profound. The thought was something along these lines: When women discover the mother within them (and that *is* a process for most women...it *doesn't* just happen or come naturally for many of us), they discover the divinity within them.

I have found this to be true. And so, again, I say thank heaven for prophets who teach us true and lasting principles. And then who also recognize the importance of agency *after* teaching those principles.

As the saying goes, all things must be done in order....

p.s. IMO, I can't help but think that one reason these teachings are sometimes misunderstood is that sometimes people think they describe what we should all be born with. But if that doesn't apply for any other gospel ideal (minus those few situations where someone may truly have a gift they don't have to work and pray and sweat to obtain), why should these ideals be any different?

Ten years into motherhood, I feel like I am becoming more of a nurturer. This is not about a checklist of tasks, but about what choosing to fulfill this role, with faith even though it didn't come naturally, is doing to my heart and spirit.

These ideals, imo, are about becoming, but we too often want to reduce them to just about doing.

[I should add that that this whole notion of finding divinity within through growing into motherhood doesn't mean there aren't other ways to discover that divinity as well...through creation and compassion, for example.) But I think sometimes women think, "Well, nurturing doesn't come naturally for me, therefore, I must not be destined to do it." And I think this is often something that causes women to miss opportunities to find that divinity within by taking a leap of faith on this issue. Again, ultimately, God can and will guide with individual lives, but let's not dismiss the principle and ideal just because it may not all come naturally or easily to some of us, or because maybe not all lives fit the ideal.

I will always love this scripture: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine...." Having chosen motherhood in faith, I can testify to this principle. Don't assume that because it doesn't come naturally that you can't or shouldn't do it.]

Friday, March 06, 2009

Deseret Management Corp gets new leader

This is totally random, but being the business head that I am, I thought this was interesting.

(I don't think I knew that Mark Willes was related to Pres. Hinckley.)