Edwards Family

Edwards Family

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Outstanding talk by Wendy Watson Nelson about Covenants, Angels, Temples, Family History

"Covenant Women," Opening Address at BYU Women's Conference 2015. 

Being a speaker at this year's conference, I got to sit on the second row on the Marriott Center floor during Sister Nelson's inspired address. I can still remember the electric feeling there. I absolutely love hearing her speak!

I keep waiting until the full talk is available online before I blog about this, but I can't wait any longer. It's too good! 

  • Here is a summary in the Church News. 
  • Here is a summary in The Digital Universe, a BYU online newspaper. 
  • The full talk will be broadcast on BYUTV on Sunday, June 14 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Maybe after it's shown on BYUTV, then they will post it online, I hope with the transcript so I can read, mark, study, and share it! 
  • And below is a 4 minute summary video. 

Here is a four minute summary video. 

Here are my favorite highlights. These are not quotes - just from my handwritten notes. 

When the Lord knows we're serious about learning more, He will teach us more. 

When Sister Nelson heard Elder Holland say in 2010, "Ask for angels to help you," those six words changed her life and her prayers. Ask for angels to be dispatched to those you love. If you need help from heaven, then keep your covenants with more exactness, and then ask for angels to help you. 

Several things she learned since she started immersing herself in family history: 
  1. They are not dead. They are very much alive, and not all that excited about being called dead. 
  2. They are eager, actually desperate, to make covenants with God. 
  3. We are the only Church on the planet with power and authority to do this. 
  4. Family history is really fun. Brings more joy, meaning to your life. 
She invited us to repeat (in our minds, not aloud) the words of the various covenants we make. Learn and memorize them. Even during times when we can't get to the temple, the temple can go through us. 

Imagine the Savior to be the one blessing the bread and offering it, looking directly into our eyes, asking, "Are you willing?"  

She spoke of giving a group of frazzled young mothers a 21 day challenge to make a sacrifice to the Lord by increasing time in family history and temple work every day. Although it sounds counter intuitive and even cruel, it worked. These young mothers felt happier, relief, a weight taken off, decreased stress, more patience, more time for what matters most, one even stopped taking her anxiety medication. 

When covenant women keep their covenants, they have greater access to the power of God that flows into them. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cool Scripture Study Goal Calculator Figures How Many Pages a Day to Finish the Book

Click here for this nifty little tool! 

This is a cool scripture study goal calculator!  The calculator told me I would need to read about 13 pages a day to read the whole Old Testament in 90 days this summer. I'm going to share it with my seminary students and see if any of them want to read the Book of Mormon this summer. That would be 6 pages a day for 90 days for those ready to take on the challenge. I'm still wavering between reading the Old Testament this summer to prepare for next year's seminary, or the Book of Mormon, which is what my spirit is craving. I'll pray about it. 

This is just a picture, so click on the link to use the calculator. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I'll be speaking at a homeschool conference on May 29-30

The UHEA homeschool convention and curriculum fair is Fri-Sat, May 29-30 in Provo, Utah! 

Whether you homeschool, you're considering it, or want tools to help you be a better parent, you will find lots of great classes for adults and teens.

I'll be speaking on these topics: 

1)  Eight Systems for an Organized Home

Homeschool moms are busy! Do you sometimes feel buried in laundry, dishes, and clutter, finding it hard to make time for what matters most?  Creating some simple systems can help give you more time and make things run more smoothly. We'll cover setting up a system for laundry, housework and chores, meals and shopping, planning, stuff, papers, homeschool, routines and time. 

2) Helping Your Family be Media Wise 

Media is one of the devil's most powerful tools, but also one of God's. Parents, have you taught your family God's media standard? Does your family have a media plan? Do your kids know what to do if they run into "the big bad wolf" of media? Do you know what the "little bad wolves" are that easily grow into the "big bad wolf"? Here are quotes, research, and tools to help you protect your family against "little and big bad wolves" of dangerous media. And how to use media filled with light and goodness. Media is all around us and is a more powerful teacher than we may think. Home school families can have unique challenges with youth spending endless hours online for classes and homework. This class can help empower our families to make wise choices. 

Click here to register and here for a class schedule. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Powerful - Tad Callister Compares Christ's Original Church Blueprint with the LDS Church

Elder Tad Callister lays out the most powerful, logical, sensible comparison of Christ's original church and the LDS faith I have ever heard. Studying this talk has strengthened my testimony, both through clear logic of the correlations and the Spirit I feel as I read it. The talk is called:

"What Is the Blueprint of Christ's Church?" (CES Devotional, January 12, 2014)

Click here to watch or read the whole talk. See below for a printable handout of his points. 

Here are my favorite take-aways.

I love this. Elder Callister gave an analogy of his house blueprint which he and his wife created that was unique to their home, complete with change orders authorized by them, the home owners. If you tried to match that blueprint to any house on the planet, you would find similarities, but only one house would match it exactly - their house. 

Likewise, Christ created a home for his children - His Church. The blueprint for Christ's Church is in the New Testament, complete with change orders of revelation authorized by God, the Church owner, like when God told Peter it was now time to preach to the Gentiles and not just the Jews. If you try to match that blueprint to any church on the planet, you would find similarities, but only one church would match it - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Elder Callister uses five "pages of blueprints" to compare Christ's original church with churches of today. 

1. Organization of Christ's Church
    • Christ's original Church was founded on apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 2:20, Acts 1:22-25, Ephesians 4:13-14)
    • The Savior chose other men called Seventy to help preach the gospel. (Luke 10)
    • There were other offices in Christ's Church like bishops (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1:7), elders (Acts 12:23, Titus 1:5), deacons (Philippians 1:1), evangelists (Ephesians 4:11) meaning patriarchs, pastors (Ephesians 4:11) meaning such men as bishops and stake presidents who preside over flocks of Christ's sheep. (See also Articles of Faith 1:6) 
    • Christ's Apostles and other officers were chosen from the rank and file - a lay ministry (fishermen, tax collectors, tent makers), not from the highest graduates of theological schools. 
    • Christ's Apostles and other officers didn't apply for church leadership - they were called by Christ. (John 15:16)
    • Christ gave these men priesthood power to act in His name and do His work. (Matt 10:1, Luke 9:1, Mark 13:34) 
    • The name of Christ's Church would logically be His name, since we pray in His name, are saved in His name, take His name upon us, and He is the chief cornerstone of the Church. Paul clarified this. (1 Corinthians 1:12-13, 3 Nephi 27:8)

2. Teachings of Christ's Church
    • Christ has a body of flesh and bones, and is not just a spirit. (Luke 24:39-43)
    • God the Father and Jesus Christ are one in purpose and will but are two separate Beings. (Luke 22:42, Mark 15:34, Acts 7:55-56) 
    • People without a fair chance to accept the gospel in this life are not damned; they get a chance to accept it in the next life. (1 Peter 4:6) 
    • There are three heavens, not just one. (1 Corinthians 15:41, 2 Corinthians 12:2)
    • God's plan is for marriage to continue for eternity, not to end at death. (Matthew 18:18, 1 Corinthians 11:11, 1 Peter 3:7) 

3. Ordinances in Christ's Church      
    • Christ blessed infants and little children, and did not baptized them. (Mark 10:16, Matthew 19:15)
    • Baptism is essential for salvation (John 3:5, Acts 2:38) 
    • Baptism was done by immersion, not sprinkling or pouring water. (Matt 3:16, John 3:23, Romans 6:3-5)    
    • Baptism for the dead was an ordinance in Christ's original Church. (1 Corinthians 15:29, Acts 10:34, 1 Timothy 2:4, John 3:5)'
    • The gift of the Holy Ghost is given after someone is baptized by laying hands on them. (Acts 8:17, Acts 19:5-6)

4. Fruits of Christ's Church  - "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20)    
    • Healthy people. Our bodies are to be treated as temples for the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19) and the early church members had certain health laws about things like drinking wine (Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 3). Latter-day Saints are among the healthiest people on the planet.    
    • Miracles and gifts of the Spirit. (Hebrews 2:4) 
    • Angels. An angel announced Christ's birth to Mary and the shepherds; angels visited Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration; an angel freed Peter and John from prison; an angel warned Paul of a coming shipwreck; an angel visited John the Revelator. 
    • Visions. Stephen's vision of the Father and the Son, John the Revelator's vision of the last days before the Second Coming.  
    • Christ created a missionary church. The apostles were commanded to "teach to all nations." (Matthew 28:19)  Today our church has over 80,000 missionaries fulfilling this command. 
    • A moral church. Christ's early church members were told to dress modestly and keep the law of chastity. 
    • A family-centered church. (Ephesians 5:23-25, Ephesians 6:1, 1 Timothy 3:4-5)
5. Divine revelation in Christ's Church   
    • Without divine revelation, or communication from God any church is a man-driven organization governed by reason and not God's will. (Amos 3:7, 2 Corinthians 12:1, Acts 1:2)  
    • Revelation is how God makes "change orders" in His Church from time to time. Some New Testament examples of this: 
      • When God told Peter it was time to preach the gospel to the Gentiles and not just the Jews.
      • When Christ told the Jews to stop doing sacrifices by the shedding of blood.
      • When Christ changed from the law of Moses to His higher law. (See Matthew 5)

Elder Callister said, "If one were to match the blueprint of Christ's original Church against every church in the world today, he would find that point for point, organization for organization, teaching for teaching, ordinance for ordinance, fruit for fruit, and revelation for revelation, it will only match one -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."               

Four of my favorite quotes from the talk

"...Some questions are simply more important than others in discovering the truth. If you come to know that Joseph Smith restored the biblical teachings and ordinances discussed tonight, if you come to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the same fruits as Christ’s original Church, or if you come to know that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin, then you know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. And if Joseph Smith is a prophet, then this is the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth. At that point, all other questions pale in comparison. It is like the Supreme Court ruling on an issue. All decisions of lower courts to the contrary become immaterial. Likewise, all questions of the critics, however probing or puzzling or entertaining they may be, become immaterial in the equation of truth. Why? Because you have already answered the key questions—the critical questions, the transcending questions—that are the foundational pillars for knowing the truth.

"Suffice it to say, I can live with some human imperfections, even among prophets of God—that is to be expected in mortal beings. I can live with some alleged scientific findings contrary to the Book of Mormon; time will correct those. And I can live with some seeming historical anomalies; they are minor in the total landscape of truth. But I cannot live without the doctrinal truths and ordinances restored by Joseph Smith, I cannot live without the priesthood of God to bless my family, and I cannot live without knowing my wife and children are sealed to me for eternity. 

"That is the choice we face—a few unanswered questions on one hand versus a host of doctrinal certainties and the power of God on the other. And for me, and I hope for you, the choice is an easy one and a rational one.

"I bear witness that [this] Church ... bears Christ’s name because it does have His approved organization, His teachings, His ordinances, His powers, His fruits, and His constant revelation, all of which are referred to in His divine blueprint. May we have the spiritual eyes to see the corollary between that blueprint and Christ’s restored Church today, for it is one of God’s compelling witnesses to us"  (Elder Tad R. Callister, "What Is the Blueprint of Christ's Church?" CES Devotional for Young Adults, January 12, 2014, emphasis added).

FHE idea for older kids or teens 

You could brainstorm a list together of similarities of Christ's original Church, and then give each family member a copy of the talk, assigning each family member a "blueprint page" or two to read. This would work individually or in pairs. Have each person look up and mark several scriptures. Then everyone share what they learned, adding more to the brainstorm list. It really builds your testimony to see how long the list of comparisons is! Update: We did this for FHE last night, but we forgot to close with our testimonies of what we just discussed. That's the most important part because the Spirit bears witness of what you learned. Learn from our mistake, and end your lesson by testifying to your family that you know is true!  

Click here for a printable summary that's the right size to glue into your scriptures, perhaps at the front of your New Testament.

Want to know more?  

  • You can buy Elder Callister's new book The Blueprint of Christ's Church. 
  • Click here or here for a true story that lays out the correlations between Christ's original Church and the LDS faith today, in an audio fireside or a novel based on the true story.  

Happy 16th Birthday to our Grace!

Happy sweet sixteenth birthday to our Grace! She is a ball of sunshine, makes us laugh, loves to sing and act and dance, and LOVES friends! We love you Grace! 

Here's our conversation about my plans for her birthday. Mom: "Grace, I have some Kohls cash and I thought we could go shopping on your birthday." Grace: "Well, I already have plans to shop with so and so, but if you want, you could come too..." By the time seminary was done on her birthday, she had four friends who wanted to do stuff with her that day.  I finally did a little shopping with her after all her friend stuff about 9 pm. Needless to say, she is a very social girl. She loves to serve, cheer, and bless people around her. 
Grace ready for her first day on the job as a part time nanny. She also had her first date today!  A big day for this barely sixteen year old! 

Grace is involved in lots of things this year!  Even though she is homeschooling, most of her school subjects involve groups.  
  • Biology 
  • World History 
  • Choir and Showcase Choir
  • Theater - she had big roles in Midsummer Night's Dream and Jane Eyre, and participated in student-lead roadshows
  • Speech and Debate 
  • Dance 
  • Tuesday Temple Trips 
  • Seminary (I'm the teacher)
  • Ethics 
  • Principles of Liberty 
  • Personal Leadership with online, live, interactive classes 
  • American Literature with online, live, interactive classes 
  • ACT prep course 
  • Drivers Ed 
  • She earned her Personal Progress medallion with our church
  • She loves volunteering for her friend Tammy's conferences and retreats
  • And her least favorite subject...math

Grace went to lunch with Rachel for her birthday.

And got her nails done with Priscilla. This is a picture from another day. 

Our seminary class sang Happy Birthday to Grace! 
On the way to perform. 

Grace LOVES to perform! She had a lead in Midsummer Night's Dream recently.

Tuesday after-seminary temple trips. 

Grace had fun helping friends ask and answer to prom. 

She loves helping our friend Tammy with big events. This was me speaking at a preparedness expo and Grace doing behind the scenes work. 

Fun friends after we watched their Shakespeare play. 

Grace played young Jane Eyre in a play that was adapted and directed by 18 year old Tova (second from the left). I think that's amazing! 

A dance recital.

Grace is an AMAZING cook. Her zuppa Toscano is dreamy. 

After a recent choir concert.

This is a Showcase choir concert where the teens got to choose their own songs, direct and practice on their own. I loved this cover of  Think of You. 
Click here to watch this song. 

Two pretty girls.

A new baby niece!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Gems from Today's Seminary Lesson about Handcart Pioneers, with a Quote Handout

Today I dressed up in my pioneer trek outfit, all wrinkled from being stored in my trek bucket. 

Seminary was about the handcart pioneers. I LOVE pioneer treks! I've been on seven of them. I love the amazing spirit as I study these hero pioneers whom I LOVE SO MUCH. I gain so much from their courage, strength, sacrifice, faith, charity, and obedience to God at great cost. I love knowing that because Heavenly Father helped them, He will help me in my hour of need. I am so grateful for them! I hope I can be like them in my moments of challenge. I felt some of their spirits near before, during, and after our lesson today. 

We watched this movie. Click here to watch. (16 minutes) 

And we read these quotes. Click here for a printable handout the right size to glue into scriptures. We glued ours into D&C 136.  

President Brigham Young - Rescuing those in need is our religion:

“Many of our brethren and sisters are on the plains with hand-carts, and probably many are now 700 miles [about 1,100 kilometers] from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. … That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess, it is to save the people. … This is the salvation I am now seeking for, to save our brethren that would be apt to perish, or suffer extremely, if we do not send them assistance. I shall call upon the Bishops this day, I shall not wait until to-morrow, nor until [the] next day, for 60 good mule teams and 12 or 15 wagons … [as well as] 12 tons of flour and 40 good teamsters, besides those that drive the teams. … I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains” (“Remarks,” Deseret News, Oct. 15, 1856, 252). 

President Gordon B. Hinckley - We need to rescue today:  

“I am grateful that today none of our people are stranded on the Wyoming highlands. But I know that all about us there are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute. Their condition is obvious. We have done much. We can do more to help those who live on the edge of survival. “We can reach out to strengthen those who wallow in the mire of pornography, gross immorality, and drugs. Many have become so addicted that they have lost power to control their own destinies. They are miserable and broken. They can be salvaged and saved. …It is not with those on the high plains of Wyoming that we need be concerned today. It is with many immediately around us, in our families, in our wards and stakes, in our neighborhoods and communities” (“Our Mission of Saving,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 59).

Francis and Betsy Webster - felt angels helping push the cart: 

In 1856, Francis and Betsy Webster had enough money to travel to Utah in a wagon, but they donated their money to a fund created to help the Saints emigrate to Utah (the Perpetual Emigrating Fund). Their donation allowed an additional nine individuals to travel by handcart. Francis and Betsy, who were expecting a baby, traveled to Salt Lake City with the Martin handcart company and suffered along with the rest of the company. Years later, as Brother Webster sat in a Sunday School class, he listened to some Church members criticize Church leaders for the handcart tragedy. 

Unable to constrain himself, he arose and testified of the blessings of being in the Martin handcart company: “I ask you to stop this criticism for you are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historical facts mean nothing here for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the handcart company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it. … We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation. But did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? … I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there. Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor one moment of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come to Zion in the Martin Handcart Company” (in William R. Palmer, “Pioneers of Southern Utah,” The Instructor, vol. 79, no. 5 [May 1944], 217–18). 

Elder Neal A. Maxwell - we praise the pioneers, they will praise us: 

“If we are faithful the day will come when those deserving pioneers and ancestors, whom we rightly praise for having overcome the adversities in their wilderness trek, will praise today’s faithful for having made their way successfully through a desert of despair and for having passed through a cultural wilderness, while still keeping the faith” (If Thou Endure It Well [1996], 28).


We shared stories of students' pioneer ancestors. 

My daughter Grace shared a story of our Grandma Mary Ann Mellor (I love her!) who was featured in the movie 17 Miracles. In the Martin handcart company, she had been ill and exhausted since before they left England. She sent her family ahead. Her teenage daughter Louisa stayed to pray for and comfort her mother. On the way back from praying, Louisa found a pie in the path!  Every time the mother felt discouraged and wanted to give up after that, she remembered her pie miracle and that gave her the strength to keep going. 

Louisa Mellor finding the miraculous pie. 

I also shared a couple stories of heroic children who died on the plains. 

President James E. Faust about two heroic children: 

[After a treacherous climb over Rocky Ridge in a blizzard], “Thirteen members of the Willie Company who perished from cold, exhaustion, and starvation are buried in a common grave at Rock Creek Hollow. … Two of those buried at Rock Creek Hollow were heroic children of tender years: Bodil [Mortensen, age eleven], from Denmark, and James Kirkwood, age eleven, from Scotland.

“Bodil apparently was assigned to care for some small children as they crossed Rocky Ridge. [After] they arrived at camp, … she was found frozen to death leaning against the wheel of her handcart, clutching sagebrush.

Bodil Mortensen 

“Let me tell you of James Kirkwood. James was from Glasgow, Scotland. On the trip west, James was accompanied by his widowed mother and three brothers, one of whom, Thomas, was nineteen and crippled and had to ride in the handcart. James’s primary responsibility on the trek was to care for his little four-year-old brother, Joseph, while his mother and oldest brother, Robert, pulled the cart. As they climbed Rocky Ridge, it was snowing and there was a bitter cold wind blowing. It took the whole company [twenty] hours to travel fifteen miles. When little Joseph became too weary to walk, James, the older brother, had no choice but to carry him. Left behind the main group, James and Joseph made their way slowly to camp. When the two finally arrived at the fireside, James ‘having so faithfully carried out his task, collapsed and died from exposure and over-exertion’” (“A Priceless Heritage,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 84–85).

James Kirkwood 

Joseph Smith appeared to Brigham Young in a dream at Winter Quarters to repeatedly emphasize the importance of following the Spirit. Count how many times...

“Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and 
  • be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. 
  • Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; 
  • it will teach you what to do and where to go; 
  • it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. 
  • Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. 
  • They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; 
  • it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; 
  • it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; 
  • and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. 
  • Tell the brethren if they will follow the spirit of the Lord they will go right. 
  • Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; 
  • and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. … 
  • Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right” (in Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1846–1847, comp. Elden J. Watson [1971], 529–30, bullet points added).

This last quote reminds me that angels come running when we need help. I hope I was one of the angels who helped our pioneer heroes!  And I have a feeling they come to help me during my challenging moments. 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - heavenly help comes running: 

"In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike—and they will—you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection [see 2 Kgs. 6:16–17]. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham's seed." ("For Times of Trouble," Devotional Address, March 18, 1980)

And remember, Elder Holland told us to "Ask for angels to help you." (Ensign, May 2010)

What life lessons do you learn from the pioneers? 

Click here to see a multi-family trek we did a year ago. 

Click here to see my favorite resources to get ready for a pioneer trek, or just to study about these amazing heroes. 

Click here for preparedness lessons we can learn from pioneers. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Five Star Carrot Cake...It's THAT Good.

This is my favorite cake so Mike made it for my Mother's Day. It is REALLY good. So good that while eating it, Mike said, "Man, I could live on this stuff." Nuff said.  

Five Star Carrot Cake 

1 1/2 cups sugar (or 1 cup honey) 
1 cup oil (or coconut oil, or 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 cup oil) 
3 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 cups flour (or whole wheat flour) 
1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
3 cups shredded carrots, packed 
1 cup chopped pecans, optional 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9x13 inch cake pan. (I use a glass pan.) 
2. Combine first list of ingredients. Beat one minute with electric mixer. 
3. Stir in second list of ingredients. Beat one minute. 
4. Stir in carrots and nuts. 
5. Pour into pan. Bake 35-45 minutes. 

Five Star Cream Cheese Frosting 

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 
1/4 cup butter, softened 
2 teaspoons water 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
4 cups powdered sugar 

Mix everything except powdered sugar on low speed until smooth. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. If needed, add a little more water or powdered sugar for desired texture.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

FHE Idea about Joseph Smith with videos and quotes

I cried in seminary. 

I was bearing my testimony about Joseph Smith and all he has done to bring back Christ's church to the earth. I told my seminary students that when I get to the other side of the veil I'm going to go looking for Joseph Smith. I can't wait to give him a big, huge hug and thank him, with tears streaming down my spirit cheeks, for all the sacrifices he made for me and my family. I am so excited to see him again! 

FHE Idea about Joseph Smith

Song we used: Praise to the Man. I had the young people read the words on a handout while we sang, and mark anything important to them. 

Video we used:  Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration (13 minutes). My husband LOVES this movie, and used in a deacon lesson recently.  


Another awesome video. It's Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" (5 minutes). 


Quotes about Joseph Smith's Legacy  

I gave these quotes as a handout, inviting my students to read and mark anything important to them and then glueing the handout into their scriptures on D&C 135. Then we discussed our favorites. 

John Taylor (D&C 135:3):  

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!"

President Hinckley: 

“We do not worship the Prophet. We worship God our Eternal Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of His Church and for the blessing of His people” (“Joseph Smith Jr.—Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,” Ensign, Dec. 2005, 4).

President Monson: 

“[The Prophet Joseph Smith] left behind a legacy that enables [millions of] followers today on every continent to proclaim him as a prophet of God. May we, each of us, strive to continue the Prophet Joseph’s vision for this work and to magnify his legacy through our works and testimonies to others, that they may know him as we do and that they may experience the peace and joy of the gospel he restored” (“Brother Joseph,” Church News, Dec. 31, 2005, 4).

President Brigham Young: 

“I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet whom the Lord raised up and ordained, and to whom he gave keys and power to build up the Kingdom of God on earth and sustain it” (DBY, 456). … “I can truly say, that I invariably found him to be all that any people could require a true prophet to be, and that a better man could not be, though he had his weaknesses; and what man has ever lived upon this earth who had none?” (Brigham Young to David P. Smith, 1 June 1853, BYP).

Josiah Quincy: 

In the spring of 1844, Josiah Quincy, former mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, and then president of Harvard University, along with his cousin Charles Francis Adams, son of former United States President John Quincy Adams, visited Nauvoo. They spent a day with the Prophet Joseph Smith. Years later, Josiah Quincy wrote of his experience: “It is by no means improbable that some future text-book, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet” (Figures of the Past: From the Leaves of Old Journals [1888], 376).

Then we took a few minutes to write in our journals about these questions: 

  • How would your life be different if it weren't for the influence of the Prophet Joseph Smith? 
  • How has Joseph Smith influenced your connection with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
  • What will you do to show your gratitude for what Joseph Smith has given you? 

We ended by sharing what we wrote, like an informal testimony meeting. 

I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and the infinite blessings he restored for me and my loved ones!  I feel sad that so many have turned against him from his day through today. But that just fulfills Angel Moroni's prophesy that Joseph's name would be known for good or evil in all nations.(see Joseph Smith History 1:33). That's exactly what has happened. 

I try to always give my kids an invitation to act on what we learn. 

So I invited them to do something to receive or strengthen their testimony of Joseph Smith. I think the best way to do this is to study the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Click here for a very doable way to do just that! 

21 Day Challenge to Gain a Testimony of the Book of Mormon

If you don't know if the Book of Mormon is true, now is the time to find out! Or to strengthen the testimony you already have. 

This week in seminary our class co-president filled in for devotional. He shared this cool 21-day challenge to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, from his ward, originally from our Ogden, Utah mission. He bore a beautiful testimony of having the Holy Ghost bear witness to him of the truth of what he was reading. 

Now we are going to do this for our family scripture study for the next 21 days! And invite family members to pray after each day's reading for a confirmation of its truthfulness. It's totally doable at around 10-20 verses a day.  We started this week, with our normal method of reading three verses per person, summarizing what we read, and finding a principle in those three verses. 

Click here for a free printable bookmark. 

Let's do this! 

Click here  and here for quotes about the power of the Book of Mormon. On the first link I also shared my 30-day Book of Mormon challenge and how it changed me inside.