Saturday, December 05, 2015

Councils in the Church = Service

Today was busy. It started before dawn. My husband came downstairs dressed when it was still black outside on a Saturday. He talked about how much we had to get done today. Things to do included helping a young, single mother winterize her swimming pool, helping our 15 year-old son work on a science project when his partner couldn't make it over to work with him, getting my son and husband out the door to go replace a phone in a town an hour away, getting Christmas decorations out and start decorate the outside of the house, decorate my son's trumpet for a silly competition since he couldn't get back home in time (which he won), giving my husband a haircut, caring for the family in general, picking up a new cat, making sure I'm ready for my daughter's 14th birthday tomorrow, and after all of that, I needed to be spiritually ready for Stake Conference adult meeting tonight. I'm sure there were more things, but you get the idea. It was a very busy day.

So, tonight we had the adult session of Stake Conference. My husband was asked to conduct the music for the session. I wasn't able to sit next to him, but as I listened to the speakers, I felt the spirit, I felt uplifted, I felt happy that I was there, and I heard a lot of good testimonies of helping others make it to heaven. One of the counselors in our Stake presidency spoke with tears in his eyes about how grateful he was to a faithful home teacher who spent 15 years fellowshipping his father back into church activity and temple worthiness. We heard from our visiting authority (I can't remember his name) that the topic of the conference was that there is power in using the ward council to bless the lives of the people. My husband and I read Alma chapter 6 tonight. Alma had just finished what could be compared to a Stake Conference himself, and now that the conference was over, he had this to say:

     Alma 6:1 "And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church."

Look what he did. He created an organization of both Priests and Elders to both preside and watch over the members. He had a great love and concern for the members of the church and he wanted them protected. Then when we get to verse 6 he says:

     Alma 6:6 "Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God."

We see from this verse that it wasn't just the leadership who was responsible for the care and nurturing of those around them. The assignment to care for people was given to everyone in the congregation. That seemed to fit with exactly what we were being taught at our meeting tonight. I'm not on a ward council nor am I a Relief Society president, but I can care for members. I can help people in my neighborhood. I can lift. I can build. I can reach. I can serve.

A few months ago, our family watched a video that illustrates this topic perfectly. It is called "Lift". I'm sure that the sister in this video was the topic of many ward council discussions. Through that council, they were able to devise a plan to help her. The service provided by the many men involved blessed their lives and the sister they served. The church is run with councils, starting at the First Presidency. Working together in leadership combined with the spirit, the Lord allows his great work to be accomplished. Here is a link to the video:

I am grateful for this gospel and for the many blessings I receive because of it. The Lord has organized His church for the benefit of all and He has asked us to help everyone around us. It is perfectly set up in the organization of the church. This great work can be carried out by all of us if we have a willing attitude. It is my desire that this attitude to serve others becomes a permanent part of my character forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Someone Turned 9!

Well Jared is officially nine. It doesn't seem possible, yet it is true. I thought he was just baptized yesterday, not a whole year ago. He had to do a treasure hunt to find this present. Riley was his helper. He's been begging and borrowing Nicole and Riley's Ripsticks, and now he's got his own. He was thrilled. His is a smaller and smoother rolling board. It could be that the other boards around here have been used and abused and thus don't roll as well.

He obviously already knew how to use it. I have no idea how they do that, but I like to watch them. I also like that they get outside and get some exercise. It's not something I usually allow in my house....especially since "the hole in the wall accident". What a bunch of crazies I have!

Don't ask me why I got that look from either of them. The girls are just looking at each other like..."Boys!!" Jared you are loud, crazy, smart, a daredevil, and good boy and we're glad to have you in our family.


Our kids were playing with their friends and they brought in a fat, green caterpillar. They wanted to keep it and see if it would turn into a butterfly. We got a jar ready and let them keep it. Things like this don't usually go well for me. The insect usually dies and then we have to go through a long explanation about why and what and all that. When it looked like it was making a cocoon the next morning, we were encouraged. When it was mostly black and looked really sad by the evening, I told them not to expect much. We decided not to throw it out yet, but to see what would happen over the next week or so.

One morning Sarah was getting ready for school and yelled. She scared me and I didn't know what she was talking about, but she said "It came out!!" Sure enough, this beautiful butterfly had emerged from its cocoon. We were all very happy it had survived and I'm glad I didn't have to explain why it died.

We let it go outside so it could be free and live a good life.

Here's what was left of the cocoon after it came out.

Snow Day!!

I know it's a bit late to be posting this, but I just uploaded these pictures and I was reminded about our huge snowstorm we had on March 28th! Winter is over by then, but we got the most snow I've ever seen here in OK. It melted the next day and we were enjoying 60 degree weather, but just look at the amount on the ground. Considering I've only seen it snow about four times in the four winters I've lived here, this was amazing.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Our Awesome Spring Break Adventure!!

We had so much fun on our trip. It felt like we had been gone for a month instead of almost 13 days. We went to Disney World, Ft. Lauderdale, and on a short cruise to the Bahamas. I'm posting a slideshow for your viewing pleasure. We definitely have to do something like this again!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: 2009 Spring Break
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Pinewood Derby

Jared participated in his first derby this year. He didn't come in first, but he didn't come in last either. He was somewhere right in the middle and that's just great for us. We're not engineers around here, but Jared had fun and that what matters. The leaders did a great job setting everything up and running it smoothly. I was very impressed.

Thank you great leaders!!

Everyone who raced had a lot of fun!

Court of Honor

Riley had a Court of Honor and was awarded his 2nd Class Rank and a few merit badges. He's doing well in Scouts, but we all need to get on the ball and finish up some badges he has in the works and get a few more things done on his 1st Class. He conducted this meeting to pass off a requirement for his Communication badge. He did a great job!

Here he is with his leader, Bro. Bingham and Jesse in the background.
I usually have a jacket with a collar when my kids get to "pin" me with something. I really am proud of him for putting for the effort he does for his scouting activities.