Monday, February 29, 2016

Seeking Mentoring from the Master Week 4- Symbols

This week we had a FHE lesson from the talk 'For Peace at home" by Elder Scott. I have the quote on my wall from his talk "One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds." from the Idea Door

This week for Seeking mentoring from the Master we discussed Symbolism and the way Heavenly Father uses symbols to teach us. I especially love symbols because they can have so many layers of teaching that we can learn something new every time. Father can use them to teach us something new and powerful as we search and seek.  One of my favorite discussions of symbolism is by S. Michael Wilcox.  I found this awesome resource of free podcasts by him and loved listening to them. 

This is my favorite part of this article as it applies to Symbolism and how we can learn many different layers from one symbol.

Apply Principles from Baptism and the Sacrament
Before we even go to the temple, we are introduced to symbolic ordinances. Through them we are shown how to respond to symbolic language. The sacrament and baptism are such ordinances.
Baptism is an excellent ordinance to study to give us a better idea of how the Lord teaches in the temple. What does baptism symbolize? Some may say baptism is symbolic of a cleansing. Others may teach that baptism symbolized a birth. Others might add that baptism is a symbolic burial.
Is baptism a bath, a birth, or a burial? It is all of them. Because such symbols convey multiple meanings, they will, if we continue to ponder them, constantly edify and instruct us throughout our lives.
In the sacrament, the bread reminds us of the body of the Savior, and the water of His blood. When we partake, we think of His loving sacrifice in our behalf and of our covenants that make His sacrifice efficacious in our lives. The bread and water can also remind us that Jesus was “the bread of life” and that He is the source of “living water.” Our focus, therefore, is centered on the meaning of the symbol and not on the symbol itself. When we understand the meanings of temple symbols, their outward forms become beautiful, just as the sacrament is beautiful and edifying to them.

There are so many symbols of Christ and there are many things that can point us to the atonement and the Savior. His many names can all symbolize His roll in our lives and in the great plan of happiness. I have been reading 2 Nephi 11 and loved the end of this verse 5 yea my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.

I had not heard the plan called this before and thought of how joyful it is to be delivered from that awful monster death and hell. We are so grateful for the infinite and eternal sacrifice that would allow us to be saved. 

We have been working on memorizing Mosiah 4:14-15 especailly. Love one another and serve one another.  

We have all been asking the questions "What do I need to stop doing to be closer to the Savior?" and "What do I need to start doing to be closer to the Savior?"  These two questions are so powerful but simple. It has made a huge difference. 

I was able to make a label with "Did you think to pray?" and this quote:

“As important as it is to leave home every day with a full charge on your cell phone, it is far more important to be fully charged spiritually. Every time you plug in your phone, use it as a reminder to ask yourself if you have plugged in to the most important source of spiritual power—prayer." —Randall L. Ridd, "The Choice Generation

I attached them to every Charger cord in the house to help us all remember to pray more often. 

For Easter this year we are going to memorize the Living Christ and I am excited to use this resource

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Seeking Mentoring from the Master Week 3

For our family mentoring this week we are talking about Obtaining the Mind of Christ found in 1 Corinthians 2:16. We discussed two ideas to go with this Mastering your mind and Minding your master. Controlling your thoughts is one of the most important skills for success in all areas of your life 

One way to do this is with the three E's and the three R's 

R's stand for Remember, Review and Renew

These two questions will give us the guidance we need to fully consecrate ourselves to the Lord

  1. What am I now doing that I should stop?
  2. What am I not doing that I should start?

Let's talk about each one. 

Elevate- This applies to our speech, our thoughts and our actions. What we allow to be around us in media or posters on our wall all help to elevate or degrade us. Each time we choose things that Elevate we are choosing more light and truth. 

Something interesting Wendy Watson Nelson said at Roots Tech goes with both Elevate and Eliminate for me was about a Patriarch.  She asked him what he did to prepare to give a blessing and expected him to talk about going to the temple, studying about the Tribes of Israel, or something like that. Instead he said "I get out the vacuum".  I have been thinking about how cleanliness is next to Godliness and the more our home or environment is clean and orderly the more we are ready for revelation and inspiration.

Some of the things on my list of Elevate was to have my home second only to the temple in sacredness. This meant that I had some work to organize and get rid of things that no longer served our family or brought us joy and to start adding things that would be symbolic or in other ways bring us joy and light. I created a new thing for our wall that has done both and wanted to share it. It is a wall hanging basket that says Joy on it. I loved it immediately when I saw it and brought it home. But couldn't decide what it was for or how to use it. This year my one word is Joy and so everything I have found that says Joy on it I have brought home to remind me of this one word I am seeking this year. 

1 Nephi 11
So this week in Young Women's we did a fun craft that was inspired by a member of the Stake Young Women's presidency. We created Tree of Life replica's to go in each girls room. It was a fun activity and I knew what I needed to do with my Joy basket. It reminds me that the Fruit of the tree (the Love of God) is the most joyous to the soul and that it is what every human heart is seeking.

I have also been starting on one side of the house and ending at the other trying to vacuum throughout the whole house. This of course requires me to pick up and put away along the way. And required several days of one hour at a time stretches to get to where I could go from one side of the house to the other in one hour. But progress is being made. It has been interesting to me to find that the creation, at the beginning of this process, of a sacred space has inspired changes throughout the house. Creating a physical place in my home to talk to the Lord has allowed Him to help me make the whole house a place He can be welcomed.

Educate and Remember have gone together to some degree. We have been working on our memorization book. The video I shared had a 3x5 card box that was a good idea but we use a 3 ring binder instead. I used the same idea to have daily, even and odd, and days of the week and days of the month. But have done it on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper instead of cards so we can all read it together. It is working well and makes me super happy to have things to memorize as we have down time or waiting time. My youngest has done amazing and I am loving the ability to pull up scripture when I am discouraged or need a way to "elevate" my thoughts. I am also listening to "As a Man Thinketh" on audible and thinking about how that applies to elevate and eliminate. Things I think that need to go and how to add light and truth to my thoughts on a consistent basis.

Still working on Review and Renew. Would love your input on what you think it means. Have been asking the question "What am I holding back?" as a spiritual question for the Lord to help me answer the two questions at the top. What do I need to start doing and what do I need to stop doing?  Will work on these with Review and Renew.

Last but not least I found an amazing scripture this week. It was in a book I have of Simon Dewey's art work on the Savior. It had a picture of the woman who had the issue of blood reaching out to touch the Savior and being healed and said "We know from the scriptures that later, after word was spread abroad concerning this miracle, that as many as touched the  Savior's robe were healed." I thought ?What?? When did that happen. I don't know about that??  So I went to the scripture that he also gave on the page Matthew 14:35-36 and was so blessed by this scripture. It helped me see that the Savior can heal now those who reach out to Him in faith!! This was a comfort to me as I have been praying for many years now for the healing my family and I need. This video is of Matthew 14:35-36 in ASL and was a great joy to me!!

Here is a video about Prayer-- Did you think to Pray? By the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Seeking Mentoring from the Master Week 2

You will be pleased to know I have done mentoring with my family two weeks in a row and we had family home evening 2 weeks in a row. E. taught our lesson yesterday and created a power point to teach us about being a Peacemaker.  It was awesome!! 

I have asked Adam to teach the FHE lesson next week on the talk from Elder Scott called "For Peace at Home". 

This weeks mentoring started with this talk from Elder Oaks. We will be working on it this week together so we can discuss it next week.Developing The Relationship:Oaks BYU Revelation Speech 

We discussed personal revelation and how it is individual and has to be developed and like a muscle used and grown. I challenged each of us to keep a Revelation record. It is my experience that the Lord gives me answers to my questions and revelation a piece at a time. As I record and "gather" the pieces together I can see more clearly the answer he is trying to give me. I challenged them to write a question and seek the Lord's answers gathering them as they go. Recognizing that the Lord can speak to us through the scriptures, other people, meetings, and promptings or ideas in our head. 

This week we had two scriptures that we are memorizing in our memory work. One is Alma 37:17 and the other is Docterine and Covenants 82;10. These were not sought out by me or even recognized as an answer to a continuous prayer until one day we were reviewing in the car and A. said " What about the promise scripture?" I recognized that he was right both were about Father fulfilling his promises and I was comforted by the tender mercy that it was no coincidence that we started with these scriptures but they were an answer to my fasting and prayers that the Lord was working on it and I could continue to trust in Him.

Obedience was the next thing we discussed this week and how Obedience is the first law of heaven. We talked about the Stripling warriors and how they Obeyed every word of command with exactness. 

Next was the spiritual question "What lack I yet?" and a desire to obey whatever the Lord's answer. I love how the question enables us to take one step at a time back to the Lord. I love how merciful and kind the Father is to give us small steps and enables us to master them then gives us more. It is a joy to me to be progressing back to him and I love that He strengthens and helps me every step of the way.

Our family study for the week is Mosiah 4:14-15 and our family motto many years ago was "Love one another and serve one another". This goes really nicely with E's power point and her challenges to us to be kind to each other.

Been thinking about the power that Father offers us for obedience. Listened to the amazing talk by Elder Renlund for doing family history work with temple work and loved the promise of personal power. When we lived in Maryland I had a dear Relief society president who took such good care of me. One day I was telling her about a really discouraging FHE I told her that everyone was running amok and it was a fail. She said to me something I have never forgotten 12 years later. She was a convert to the church and her husband was a non member for many years. She said although family home evening was hard "I determined that I wanted the promised blessings for my family and nothing was going to stand in the way of me getting them."

Here is a video of all the promises we have been given and a list of things that we need to do to receive those promises. So many promises and so many things that will bless us with greater power. Like my friend every mother wants these promised blessings for their children in this world of increasing darkness.

Thinking about the things that we can do on the Sabbath to show Father a sign of our gratitude and worship for Him.  Trying to have mentor meetings and FHE each Sabbath day as well as helping each family member work on Family history or indexing.

We have been listening to books again at night and I have been working on Family History. It is AWESOME!! So fun. Found about 60 names this week!! 

Last I wanted to share what my daughters and I worked on this week. We studied the talk by Elder Nelson last conference called "Plea to my sisters"

E. really touched my heart with her ideas about it and I wanted to share. I will put what Elder Nelson said in Black and what E said about it in red so you can see easily. Please note she is 10.

"President Spencer W. Kimball made a profound prophecy about the impact that covenant-keeping women would have on the future of the Lord’s Church. He prophesied: “Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”5

"My dear sisters, you who are our vital associates during this winding-up scene, the day that President Kimball foresaw is today. You are the women he foresaw!"

E: I love that it says we are the women he was talking about. It's amazing and powerful

"We, your brethren, need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices."
E: I like this part because lots of things today say that men are better than women but this is saying that women are needed.
"We need your strength!"
E: We have more strength then we know.

"Together we will help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord." 

E: I think that is a cool quote

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Seeking Mentoring from the Master week 1

I have been working with a Mentor to help me get on task more with revelation, obedience, and finding time to pray more purposely. She is amazing and has really inspired some good changes in me.

I started yesterday to share with my children 1 on 1 in our mother/child mentor meetings the things she is sharing and it has been powerful stuff!!

The first thing we discussed was the song Glorious from Meet the Mormons. We watched this version and discussed each family members role in creating a home of peace, harmony and unity.

"It's like a symphony just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece in their own melodies
In each one of us, oh, it's glorious"

The challenge is to ask yourself what your role is in your family and what Heavenly father would want your role to be. How can you help improve the harmony, peace and unity in your home?

Next we talked about the amazing talk by President Nelson in conference Plea to my sisters. My daughters and I will be annotating that this week to discuss and apply to ourselves more fully.

Closet converted to desk for Sacred Space

The challenge to create a sacred space in our home to go and talk to the Lord was hard for me, I couldn't think of a great place for awhile but had come to my mind the messy closet right outside my bedroom. I am sorry now I didn't take a before and after because the change is remarkable!! this has been perfect because I have to pass by it multiple times each day so if I haven't taken the time to go and be with the Lord I feel drawn to do so!!

So my challenge to you is to do the same. Create a sacred space in your home for speaking to the Lord. Dedicate it to him in a special prayer that you will be visiting with him there each day and give it to him.  I have been using this streak tracker to track that I am doing it every day. I am up to about 25 days in a row and it is powerful to me!! So amazing the increase in peace and ability to do my work with patience and diligence.

I have a funny story to go with this challenge. My 7 year old took the challenge very seriously. He went to his room to make the top bunk his new sacred space. He got it all cleaned and made and beautiful. He hung a picture of the Savior up there and his temple picture and his picture he drew of Jesus  that says "I want everyone to be happy." Then he offered his prayer and then got down to play. He was playing for awhile with stuffed animals and suddenly from his room I heard him yell. "I have given this bunk bed to the Lord don't you guys understand."  :)

The next challenge is to have a question you are working on each day and anytime you are going to the temple. A question you need the Lord's help and guidance with. Seek answers from your Mentor to help you and guide you. Then have a Revelation record to record the things the Lord teaches you. I find that revelation comes to me piece by piece. Like a jigsaw puzzle that I am to put together to get the whole picture. Creating a revelation record has been helping me put the pieces together and stay focused on the question long enough to fully see the Lord's divine answer. 

Next we discussed

Filling Our Homes with Light and Truth Cheryl A. Esplin

"Families are the Lords workshop on earth for learning and living the gospel

We talked about how those people who you have to be with all the time are the ones who help you learn Christlike attributes the most. Siblings and Spouses are our greatest gift for this challenge right now. Being with someone daily creates a mirror that shows you where you are lacking in patience and charity. Family shows you more than anyone else what you still need to repent and ask for the Lord's help to overcome. 

Last but not least we are going to be adding an amazing tool for memorizing scriptures to our nightly scripture study. I found it here

Love this idea for implementing memorization in our family.  We will be doing the scripture Alma 37:17 until we all know it and the poem Builders. The poem applies to building a home of harmony, peace and family unity. We will be reciting it daily until we know it by heart. 

Loved this quote to help me work on this every day.
"Placing God’s Word in your heart is not a race; it’s a lifelong habit."

We are also working on "High 5s" this is a way to remember each persons jobs and chores each day. I have attached my 7 year olds because he has such a cute hand. This has been important to help establish better habits and more consistancy. We have one for AM, PM, School and Lunch. It has been helpful to be able to say when your "High 5" is done you can . . .  insert whatever motivates your child.

I listened to this amazing talk by Elder Bednar at BYU-I that really inspired me. I especially loved the last about 10 minutes where he gives a Warning and Promise as well as an apostolic blessing. So powerful and I think although it was given specifically to BYU-I it has so many applications for each of us. 

The Dandelion by Greg Olson

This picture with Christ and the dandelion and the quote "A grateful heart finds as much joy in a dandelion as a rose garden". Helped me see the problem of entitlement in my own life and I want to cultivate childlike gratitude in my heart.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Leave no Trace- newest homemaking idea

Ok so it started several weeks ago when I went into the "clean" kitchen to find someone had made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and there was "evidence" everywhere. Like any good detective I was searching the faces around me to find the culprit assuming there would be peanut butter or jelly or both on said face of said culprit. Sure enough I found them and explained that we were going to adopt the amazing boy scout motto of leave no trace. This was met with blank stares. Hummm . . .

Ok so we tried again and had some of my scouts explain leave no trace. Oh so you clean up after yourself. Yes that is what I was trying to say.

Few days later, clean kitchen no more peanut butter and jelly culprit is back. Hummmm....

So I came up with this idea

What if there is a good guy named "Leave no Tracey" and a bad guy named "Cleany Meany"

I then told my children that these two ladies would be coming soon as our new house keeper that I had hired. My younger daughter knew immediately that it was just mommy dressed up but my older daughter was very worried about strangers seeing her mess. Hummmm.... so strangers can't see it but her family can???

So I had each child create for a contest their own version of these two new cleaning ladies for our family.

Cleany Meany was certainly super scary to my 7 year old who drew her shooting off guns every where??  Or my 12 year old with "Clean or die" as her motto... ..  My 10 year old was most flattering with her just tapping her toe expectantly.

Here are their mottos.(What's a motto with you?)

Cleany Meany
Out of Place again
Time out in my bin

Leave no Tracey
Leave no trace
Everything in it's place

Cleany Meany had her first appearance today. And I got an extra chore out of the "forgetfulness". Hopefully we can all improve by this fun idea.