WBMW

LDS Online Media Library

New to the Church line-up of great online resources is the NEW LDS Media Library!


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is making available so many excellent online resources, for members, that it's becoming difficult to keep up!  However, I'm determined to make sure that readers of my blog are kept up-to-date with what's available, online, to help you share the gospel with your family and friends.


I don't post everything, but I try to share with you as much as I'm able.  These LDS resources are also excellent teaching resources for you to use in both your families and Church callings.

Members are encouraged to download and use these high-quality video, audio and images to more effectively share the gospel.   You can reach the site by going directly to LDS.org:  click on Menu -Study - scroll down to Media Library -- or go directly to medialibrary.lds.org.

This initial launch of  the LDS Media Library includes 700 videos for online streaming and downloading.  They will be adding audio and images in the near future.

Head on over to the new media library and familiarize yourself with the site.  Be sure to read the guidelines to learn more about downloading videos, etc...  It's really quite simple.

See! In under two minutes I was able to embed the code for this amazing video (below), right here on my blog!  I would have loved to have had this video downloaded to my computer and then showed it to my Primary class on Sunday.  Our lesson was about The Good Samaritan!




To learn more visit LDS Media Talk.




tDMg
Kathryn

Mitt Romney - the Mormon

As many of you may have heard Mitt Romney is expected to announce, this week, that he will run for President of the United States.   Personally, I have no allegiance to Mitt Romney as a political candidate, at this time.  However, I am interested to learn more about his Mormonism, and how his religion has shaped the man.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am intrigued when someone of my faith enters the public square at such a level -- as this brings much attention to what Mormons believe.  When Mitt Romney ran for President in 2008, I will confess, that I did not get behind his campaign.  This time however, I am willing to take a closer look at both the man and the politician.





Terrie Lynn Bittner, over at LDS Blogs, has this to say about Mitt Romney's Mormonism and how his religious background could potentially affect his politics:


"Much has been made of his religious background and many wonder what impact his religion might have on his term of office if he’s elected. In this article, we’ll look at his religious background and how his experiences as a Mormon (the nickname for people who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) might affect his political leadership. We’ll also examine whether or not his presidency would give power to the Mormons, as some have speculated. Since this is a religion blog, not a political one, this article is meant only to inform readers about the religious background of Mitt Romney."


You can read the entire article HERE. 


Because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, of course I am intrigued.  Contrary to public rumor, I don't believe the majority of members of the LDS faith are going to vote for Romney, or any other candidate, on the basis of religion, alone.  But I do believe that how he lives his religion, coupled with his political views, will have a powerful influence on how many members feel about his candidacy -- and ultimately choose whether or not to get behind the Mitt Romney for President campaign.

As many of you are probably aware, Jon Huntsman is being scrutinized for his recent remarks about his Mormonism.  For many members of the LDS Church, what he has said about it hasn't gone over too well.   Or perhaps it's more of what he hasn't said about his faith that has some a bit concerned?  Either way, both Romney and Huntsman are Mormons - and that alone causes me to want to learn more about both of them.  Does this mean that I hold them to a higher standard than other candidates?  Perhaps.  Fair?  Not sure.

When it comes right down to it, I will vote for the man or woman whom I believe will best serve our country, at this time -- with honor.  I want to know that my President is a God fearing person, and will rely on prayer and inspiration to lead this country.  If my 2012 candidate happens to be a Mormon -- cool.



tDMg
Kathryn

Liberal and Literal Mormons

The Challenge of Staying Sexually Pure

The greatest challenge that our LDS youth have, right now, is to keep themselves sexually pure.   Teenagers tend to live in the moment, not thinking about what they want in life and how their immediate choices will ultimately affect what they want most, in their future.  If we could somehow help them to better understand the consequences of sexual sin, perhaps fewer of them would succumb to the temptation. 


Even the best of LDS teens can find themselves at the bottom of that very slippery slope if they don't set limits for themselves for how they are going to interact with the opposite sex -- even the ones who clearly know what they want.   The other problem with most teens, is that they feel as though they know everything and that they are in complete control.   This may be the most frightening part of parenting our youth. Every LDS parent of a teenager is familiar with the old "eye roll" when they attempt to caution their teen about sexual purity. 

Whether they want to hear it or not, parents and youth leaders have a sacred responsibility to teach these skills.   As many tools as we can hang on their "belts" before they head out the door, the better.   Of course we constantly teach our LDS youth about chastity and staying morally clean, but we're probably not as good about teaching them the WHY part, other than telling them don't!

Mormon Messages Youth has created a very clever and entertaining video to better teach LDS youth the importance of sexual purity and establishing personal boundaries to remain so.

"Latter-day Saint teens are counseled to stay sexually pure, but what exactly are the limits? Using teachings of modern prophets, this presentation shows why that's the wrong question to ask, as well as how we can find happiness and peace through staying chaste."
Chastity: What Are the Limits?



Please consider sharing this video with your own LDS Youth, other parents and youth leaders.




tDMg
Kathryn

For the Strength of Youth: Sexual Purity

Create For a Cause


Members have another online opportunity to serve, by sharing their gifts and talents to help build the kingdom.  An exciting NEW service website by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has just been launched.  At create.lds.org members who love to CREATE in the areas of photography, making videos, or creating other types of media can help by sharing their diverse talents in these fields.

So, if you have interests in any of these specific areas, the Church wants YOU to help meet its worldwide media needs.  At create.lds.org you can volunteer and share your media talents with the LDS Church and other members.





Larry Richmond at LDS Media Talk has this to say about the new website:

"The media you contribute may be used by Church designers for products and websites. It may also be available for members to download and use for lessons, family home evenings, and non-commercial websites and blogs. 
The Photo and Video sections of the Create site are ready to explore. The other sections (music, audio, design, and scripts) will be completed in the coming months. There are also sections describing opportunities for casting and contests (like the Church video contest that recently ended).  
Other sections of the site describe the Church’s current needs, provide resources, and allow you to submit your contributions. 
Media contributed through the create.lds.org site may be made available for other members to use through the LDS Media Library that will be announced very soon.

Here's one of my favorites from the recent Church video contest. It's called LIFE.


To see more, check out the online video gallery.

It's impressive how the Church is creating so many opportunities for members to share their time and talents, online.  I recently blogged about Helping in the Vineyard here and here -- another great volunteer project that the Church recently launched.

LDS Church News and Events just updated the success Helping in the Vineyard has achieved in a relatively short time, since its launch:

"Helping in the Vineyard, a website launched in January 2011, has reached a milestone of 10,000 registered volunteers. 
Vineyard administrators had hoped to have 10,000 members registered by the end of 2011, but more people than expected have responded—and earlier than expected—to the invitation to help in the Lord’s work. Administrators’ new registration goal for the end of the year is 25,000. 
The Vineyard is a website that helps connect members and friends of the Church to online service opportunities that will help the work of the Church move forward."
To learn more about this very popular project, you can read the entire article HERE.


If you've not familiar with the term "crowdsourcing" this is the idea behind much of what the LDS Church is currently doing, online, by gathering and organizing the many talents of Church members throughout the world -- to assist on various projects.  It's really very cool!

Here's one more important update for those who enjoy "sharing the gospel online", such as I do.  If you you weren't already aware, the LDS Church has a wonderful resource page called Sharing the Gospel Online.  Pretty clever, eh?  They've just updated the page to give members of the Church specific tasks (many of them only taking 5-10 minutes) they can do to share the gospel using the Internet.  Sounds simple enough to me!

These are just a few of the service opportunities that are available for members who have a desire to volunteer their time and talents, online.  I have a little experience with contributing to all three of these online service projects.  And that's really the whole concept.  If each one of us will check out these different projects to see where WE might contribute, in a small way, we can make BIG things happen!

Through crowdsourcing the Church can breakdown a large project into small tasks, and with the help of you and I to accomplish these things, literally bless the lives of members all around the world!  Five minutes here, ten minutes there, multiplied by thousands of members... Well, you get the picture, right?

Do you have a favorite LDS online service project, where you like to hang out?





tDMg
Kathryn


Internet Tasks That Promote the LDS Church

Liberal and Literal Mormons

Apparently there are two types of us Mormons -- literal and liberal.  Who knew?  Well, actually I have for quite a while now -- at least since I've been hanging out on the Internet over these past few years.   I mean, I'm very familiar with the acronym TBM (true blue Mormon or true believing Mormon) referring to what the liberal Mormons consider the either apathetic, unknowing, naive, and/or less intellectual members of the LDS Church, a.k.a. literal Mormons.  I say "us" because I have it on pretty good authority that I am categorized as a TBM.  And I imagine most of the readers of this blog are, too.  After all, I am a strong advocate for traditional marriage, as are the majority of you.


You see, the legalization of gay marriage seems to be one of the divisive issues upon which you can differentiate between a liberal and literal Mormon. And yes, I'm very serious.

There are many other terms to distinguish between these so-called liberal and literal Mormons, such as "Chapel Mormons" and "Internet Mormons".  Internet Mormons tending to be more educated, prideful, rebellious, knowledgeable, oppositional to many Church policies and leaders, etc...   Then we have your generic Chapel Mormons, who sit in Church on Sundays with the "all is well in Zion" approach to their membership, who know the Church is true, confident in their Exaltation -- also known as "clueless" to the Internet/liberal Mormon who knows the "real truth".  Ugh.

I know I'm coming across a bit cynical right now, and I kind of mean to, but not really.  What I mean, is that I'm genuinely saddened to know that there are active LDS members among us who truly feel that because of differences in thought about various doctrines, teachings, church history, etc... of Mormonism, that they must categorize themselves as different from the main fold -- and then turn around and categorize those whom they determine to be the main fold.

I am going to let you in on a little secret...  There was a time when I, too, felt that I didn't fit in with the main flock.  I've moved beyond that trial of my faith, which I will confess was very painful.  My testimony of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the gospel have always been unwavering.  Where I got thrown off guard was in the imperfections of "men".   But that's another blog post for another time.  I am grateful now for my new perspective and the compassion that I feel for others who may feel like misfits -- for one reason or another.

But lets get past the name calling, shall we?  I only bring up my own experience of having felt on the outside, because I kind of know what it feels like -- and let me just say, it's not good.  And because I know how lonely it can be to feel like a misfit amongst people who often describe their relationship with each other as "family", well...  this whole division of what kind of Mormon a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, is pretty disturbing.  I just don't believe that this is what Jesus Christ had in mind for the members of His Church.

Here's the deal...  we ARE all different.   Even though there are many things about our membership in the LDS Church that unify us, and rightfully so, there are going to be things about each one of us that are different from YOU!  Generally, we choose our friends and those we associate with by our commonalities.  It works, and it makes us all very comfortable to be with like-minded individuals.   But even within the Church we should not be surprised to find those that don't quite see or do everything the way that we do.  We should expect this, and even welcome it -- and certainly not be threatened by it.

I found peace when I finally came to the conclusion that a ward, or our church congregation, is pretty much like our individual families.  In the LDS Church, we don't get to pick which ward we will attend, or who the Bishop is, etc...  We have to learn to love everyone regardless of quirks, differences, weaknesses, challenges and so on.  I don't know about your own family, but mine is whack!  Nonetheless, they are mine!

I can honestly say, that through all of the challenges of being married for almost 34 years, having raised my five children and having gone through drama upon drama in doing all of these things -- that I wouldn't trade one of them for anything!  In fact, I couldn't even begin to share with you my love for each and everyone of them -- which has come through learning how to love each one individually and most importantly, unconditionally!  Being a part of a family is the greatest blessing we are given here in this life -- with hopes of a continuation.  Families of all kinds are intended to stretch our capacity to love. That is the great test that each one of us has on this earth -- to ultimately learn to love as He loves us.

Can you think of a better way for us to extend our opportunity to learn how to love as He loves, than through the many differences in people that we find among the body of the saints?  I sure can't!  So lets all try to get along and love a little bit better.  And for heaven's sake -- "literally", can we just lose the labels!

Consider the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, "that a house divided against itself cannot stand".  LDS members who find themselves either feeling on the outside or thinking that another member is on the outside, cannot seriously believe that they could possibly be considered ONE.

And it was Jesus Christ, Himself, that said --  "if ye are not one, ye are not mine".




tDMg
Kathryn

Lost and Found

Every teacher knows that we learn most during our time of preparation -- which is magnified as we then actually teach.  It's a great experience.  Teaching gospel principles brings us to our own remembrance of experiences we've had with that principle, which then further confirms our testimony of that thing.  This always leaves me feeling very blessed for the opportunity to teach.




I'm not sure if there are any greater lessons than those that are intended to exemplify God's love.  That's what I was able to teach in Primary, today.

Before we dug into our scriptures, I shared the story of when my first baby was only a few days old.  We went to a family gathering at my husband's parents.  Being a first-time mother, I was fiercely protective of my baby.   My mother-in-law was holding my little baby while I was visiting with other family members.  After a while, I looked around the room and noted that my baby was not in the room.  I got up and began to look around.  My baby was not anywhere to be found.  I panicked!  I recalled that  my mother-in-law was the last one holding my baby.  I found my husband and demanded, in the voice of a lioness, to know where my baby was -- and where was his Mother!?!  Eventually we found out that "grandma" was out in the neighborhood, bursting with pride, as she went from house to house showing off her adorable new granddaughter! Well, needless to say I was incredibly relieved and so very happy to have my infant back in my arms, where she belonged!

Everyone in class then had their own lost and found stories, of which we all agreed that being reunited with a person or item, that we greatly valued, was truly a joyous occasion!

We then spent time in Luke 15 searching and discussing the three parables that the Savior told in response to the Pharisees and scribes who were critical of Him for hanging out with sinners and publicans; pretty much the bottom of the barrel to these prideful priests.  These three scenarios are intended to represent and teach the depth of love that Heavenly Father has for His Children.

The power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes repentance possible, and ultimately returns us to our Heavenly Father.   I emphasized this power and shared with my class that there is nothing they could ever do that would keep God from loving them -- so great is His love.   He requires us to repent so that the Savior's sacrifice can cleanse us.  We only become "lost" when we choose to turn away from His commandments.  We are "found" when we turn away from sin, and repent.

I was then impressed to recall two other stories of when we "lost" that same baby.   First when she was around 14 or 15 and she actually ran away for about two weeks -- terrifying.   The other when at 16 she made the decision to be less active.   It kind of stunned me to connect these dots.  I only shared, briefly, the story of when she became inactive and then ultimately returned to the Church when she was in college.  They particularly enjoyed the happy ending, wherein she eventually met and married her husband and was sealed in the temple to her beautiful family.

We have one girl in our class, who is not a member.  Her older brother served a mission for the Church and brings her when he is able.  Today we found out that she is moving.  As I bore my testimony of God's love for all of his children and that even though we might become lost at times, He is always waiting for our return.   I then shared with the class that my parents divorced when I was 10.  I hardly ever went to Church.  I was "lost".   When I was in high school the girls from Church would always say hello to me and invite me to Church.  Eventually I made the decision to come to Church.   I had to do some repenting.  I remember feeling the great love that my Heavenly Father had for me and knew in my heart that He was happy with my being "found".   I then challenged each one of them to reach out to others.

I'm still not completely sure why these experiences with my oldest daughter came so suddenly, both while preparing this lesson and then teaching it.  My class is much too young to have really gone into any kind of detail to share these stories.   I guess for me, it was a little reminder of how much the atonement has blessed my children.  I am grateful, personally, for the atonement.  However, the atonement would have so much less meaning without the hope of my family and loved ones being with me throughout eternity.

I will forever be grateful to those who have extended their love to my children, who have at times, become lost.  I still have one out there, but my faith is strong that one day, he too, will be found.

We are all lost, so to speak, and are in need of constant petitioning to our Father in Heaven for His grace and mercy.  How grateful we are for His Beloved Son, our elder brother, who atoned for our sins so that we might repent and return to God -- exactly where we belong!

"If we truly understood the Atonement and the eternal value of each soul, we would seek out the wayward boy and girl and every other wayward child of God. We would help them to know of the love Christ has for them. We would do all that we can to help prepare them to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel."  Russell M. Nelson



tDMg
Kathryn

Day of Judgment - End of World

By now you should know that May 21, 2011, is the end of the world -- well, at least the beginning of it.  Tomorrow is, according to some, the great day of judgement of which the Bible refers.  Well, at least some think so.  And they're absolutely positive about this, insomuch that many have even made preparations just in case they are fortunate enough to be ONE of the chosen.   The unlucky, or the wicked left behind, will supposedly endure five months of destruction and punishment until the final day, October 21, 2011 -- which will ultimately be the end of the world.

Now, why in the heck am I, a Mormon, blogging about what I do not subscribe to -- nor do I believe is how this event will actually take place?  Well, that's a good question.





Fact, Mormonism does teach that the earth and life, as we know it now,  will come to an end.  However, we don't believe that this is going to definitely happen tomorrow -- or that we will ever know the exact day that the end of the world will happen.

The Savior Himself taught, as recorded in Matthew 24:36

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

And also in Matthew 25:36

"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

So, I'm not saying it's not going to happen sometime, I'm just saying nobody knows -- not even Jesus Christ.  Well, if you believe what the Bible actually teaches -- and I do.  In fact, the only person who knows the actual day of His Second Coming (which is what Mormons believe to be the world wide event to signify the end of the world as we know it now) is the Father.


Nor am I here to make fun of those who actually believe that these things are literally going to begin happening on May 21, 2011.   I am a bit concerned though, because I personally do not believe that God  is going to be lifting up, indiscriminately, His chosen people, tomorrow -- or anytime in such a manner.


No, the teachings of Mormonism as I understand, give us great reason to believe that it is we that  qualify ourselves to be considered "chosen".  We believe that as we individually come unto Christ, according to God's commandments, that we therefore qualify to be considered "chosen".


Like so many of us who first heard the reports that "the world is going to end on May 21, 2011", we of course chuckled because we knew it was nothing but a good joke.  Or perhaps we just passed it off as another quack-christian making silly predictions -- again?  Well, a lot of people still believe this.  But as I began to realize that not only do many people world-wide take this very seriously and truly believe there is substantial evidence to support this end of world theory -- at the same time the scoffing and mocking of the unbelieving is equally disturbing.


My observations of this contrast between the believing versus the non believing have caused me to recognize an ancient pattern, literally happening in our day - of which the faithful need to take note.  I've been careful not to make jokes about what's currently happening with such predictions, and not because I don't think there is some humor in it all - I do.  But something inside of me has a problem with, even if it's not really happening right now, mocking God -- or in some way feeling that I would be.  Particularly when I see and hear all around me those who have little to no reverence for Christianity and God, not only joking around but using this as an opportunity to literally mock His people, in general.


We are living in a world that portrays good people of faith, as religious zealots.  Such people, whose opinions, should have no place in the public arena of politics, etc... with their faith based beliefs.  A people who believe in an erroneous being who tells them how to live and what to do.  A people who refuse to think for themselves and are willing to be led by charismatic leaders, supposedly inspired.   A people who would believe the world is coming to an end tomorrow, because a religious leader told them so.  Basically, idiots.


Well that doesn't sound so good, does it?  But these unkind descriptions and assumptions of good people of faith, are fact.  And unfortunately, they are becoming more and more widely accepted by those in mainstream society.  


It's going to require a great deal of faith for Christians to continue to stand up for what we believe to be right, in a world that if possible, would like to disregard us all together.  That may sound extreme, but I don't believe that it is.  The world in general has already disregarded God, Himself.  Too many choose to ignore even His existence -- which then allows them to disregard morals and absolute right and wrong.


I think we need to be careful that we are not found on the wrong side of God, even in joking or humorous ways.  Better yet, these kinds of situations give us opportunity to not only proclaim our beliefs, but to actually teach others what we do believe.  


From a Mormon perspective, we know what's happening right now with these uninspired predictions and incorrect prophecies.   And yet, we need to understand that although funny to mainstream society, there are some very good people, worldwide, that are being affected in ways we can't calculate.  


Our God is a God that we can trust, completely.  He has given those who follow His Son, in the manner He prescribes, the Gift of the Holy Ghost -- whereby we can know the truth of all things, as we seriously study the scriptures and pray for understanding.  Yes, we are living in the LAST DAYS, and yet we don't know exactly when He will come again.  But we do know that whether it is in our life-time or not, that each one of us will meet Him, be it here or on the other side of the veil.  Each day is a day of preparation for that great meeting.  The only preparation that will make us ready, is that which is daily in the way we live our lives.   This is the peace that the world cannot and will not know.  It is His peace and it is a great comfort and gift to all true followers of Jesus Christ.


Harold B. Lee said this:


"All that we teach in this church ought to be couched in the scriptures.  It ought to be found in the scriptures.  We ought to choose our texts from the scriptures.  If we want to measure truth, we should measure it by the four standard works, regardless of who writes it.  If it is not in the standard works, we may assume that it is speculation, man's own personal opinion; and if it contradicts what is in the scriptures, it is not true.  This is the standard by which we measure all truth."
I'd love to hear your thoughts....


tDMg
Kathryn


Mormon Beliefs - Second Coming of Jesus Christ


Dallin H. Oaks - Preparation for the Second Coming


Preparation for the Restorations and the Second Coming: "My Hand Shall Be Over Thee".


Prophetic references to the last days from an LDS perspective

Women of Hope CD Review and Giveaway

I love music and just recently I had the opportunity to listen to a wonderful new CD from Shadow Mountain Records, entitled Women of Hope

The music was written by LDS women for LDS women and it truly touched me to the very center of my soul!  I just love it when that happens, don't you?

Each song has a message of inspiration that will resonate with faithful LDS women -- or any Christian woman for that matter.  As I listened to each song on the Women of Hope CD I found myself filled with gratitude and inspired to draw closer to my Father in Heaven.   I'm excited to share it with my readers.


Each song on Women of Hope is inspirational -- with a unique message that every woman will relate to in very personal ways.   I was particularly touched by the song "My Favorite Dream" written and sung by Cherie Call.  The lyrics resonated in my heart, as I recalled a very personal decision that I made many years ago...  I happened to be listening to this song on the morning of Mother's Day, as I was getting ready for Church. I was standing in front of the mirror, curling my hair, when suddenly I found that I had tears streaming down my face.  I was deeply moved as I reflected on my life and the blessing of motherhood.

Another interesting thing about the Women of Hope CD, is that a former college roommate of one of my daughters, April Meservyis also featured on the album.  I heard her first sing when the girls were up at college and knew then that she had a beautiful gift to share.  I couldn't resist asking April to share some of her personal feelings about being a part of this wonderful Women of Hope project, for LDS Women.


"Something I am becoming increasingly convinced of is that the Lord knows us perfectly and individually.  When I was asked to record the song "I Find Mercy" for this Women of Hope project I felt the Savior's love and awareness of my particular situation very strongly. 
We recorded it at a time when I deeply needed the reassurance that if I gave with my heart and gave my best--however imperfect that may be---then that would be enough to the Lord.  I needed to be reminded that I am simply asked to give with an open heart and open hands. ;)  Even if I can't do everything -- or even do everything well, my gift is still acceptable to the Lord. 
God is merciful.  That is WHY He is a God of hope.  I pray that the women listening to this album, who may struggle to feel "enough", will feel the joy, the reflection, the yearning that these songs reflect -- that they feel a deep inner hope.  We have every reason to hope because we are His daughters!  The Savior's Atonement allows us to feel and know that His hope is meant for us each very personally and individually."


Thank you, April.  I can honestly say that I felt the things that you hope women feel, when they hear this beautiful music.

Here's what Deseret Book has to say about Women of Hope:

"From the producer of the timeless classic, Women of Destiny, comes another breathtaking collection of songs by women for women. This stunning new CD brings together the best talents in the LDS music community in celebration of the power of women to bring hope to a weary world.

Featuring songs by Hilary Weeks, Katherine Nelson, Mercy River, and more.  Women of Hope will quickly become a powerful motivator for women to raise their spirituality, to stand against the negative power of the adversary, and to find hope in the sanctifying spirit of service. It’s music every woman will cherish as she strives to become a “woman of hope.”"

The album was produced by Tyler Castleton with Kurt Bestor.  The album features 12 tracks with original songs.

You can find Women of Hope at Amazon and Deseret Book.

Women of Hope - Giving Voice to Your Heart!



Now here's what I'm really excited about... I'm doing my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY, and I get to give one lucky reader a copy of WOMEN OF HOPE!

Enter to WIN:  (PLEASE FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. EVERY ENTRY MUST BE RECORDED RIGHT **HERE** IN THE COMMENT SECTION:)

Leave a meaningful comment on any post on this blog, just let me know which one in comment section - 1 entry
Follow this blog via Google, email or Networked Blogs - 2 entries (new followers only)
Share link to this post on Facebook - 1 entry per day
Tweet this post via @LDSNana - 1 entry per day
Follow @LDSNana on Twitter  3 entries
Add link A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman to your blog roll - 5 entries  (must leave link to blog homepage in comment section)
LIKE A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman's NEW FACEBOOK PAGE and leave a friendly there - 5 entries!
Blog about this giveaway, including one link to this post - 5 entries (include link to post in comment section)

Please leave a comment for each entry.

*Contest ends 11:59 pm PST June 2, 2011.   I'll post the WINNER right here on June 4th!


Contest has ended!

tDMg
Kathryn


Winner of WOMEN OF HOPE CD is SHIELA!
Congratulations!

If you Saw the Book of Mormon Musical You Should Really Read the Book

Here is a wonderful new video just released by Mormon Messages -- Book of Mormon: An Introduction.   It is narrated by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - also referred to by some as the Mormon Church.

As many of you are probably aware, there is currently a fairly controversial musical play on Broadway, called The Book of Mormon Musical.



This play is receiving many accolades by the entertainment industry, and therefore has brought much attention to not only the LDS Church, but also the Book of Mormon.

Prior to the opening of the play, The Book of Mormon Musical, the LDS Church released this official statement on the LDS Newsroom:


"In response to news media requests, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statement regarding the Broadway musical entitled TheBook of Mormon:
The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

I actually posted about this HERE and HERE.

I'm not interested in ever seeing this play.  I know enough about it to know it would be offensive to me. My only interest here is to make sure that those who may have seen  The Book of Mormon Musical  or heard about it and want to know what the actual Book of Mormon is really all about, can get accurate information.

I hope others will join me by sharing this video on Twitter, Facebook, etc...   In this way, those you know who may be interested in learning more about the Book of Mormon, won't ever come back to you and ask you WHY you didn't tell them about it yourself?   There's way to much misinformation out there about what we believe as Mormons.  With good use of Social Media, we can take opportunities to make sure at least the people we come in contact with, online, have available to them that which is credible.


tDMg
Kathryn




Here's another really great read:


On Faith Blog: "Why I Won't Be Seeing The Book of Mormon Musical"

Come Listen to a Prophetess Speak

I was finally able to sit down and watch, via BYUtv -- On Demand, Sister Julie B. Becks, inspired talk that she gave at Women's Conference. From some of the notes others were kind enough to share and the LDS News coverage of Sister Beck's address, I knew that her teachings were important to the women of the Church. I was not disappointed, and neither will you be.

I've actually included the video of her talk right on this blog, in hopes that more women who did not have the opportunity to attend BYU Women's Conference will take a few minutes out of your busy schedules to listen to the words of a prophetess.  I don't use that word lightly either.  It is my testimony that Sister Beck's words came from the Lord, so that His daughters could more fully understand who we are and what our "Priesthood" responsibilities are in these last days.



I was touched by Sister Beck's teachings about the purpose of  Relief Society, its  history, motherhood, opposition, faith, charity, priesthood and temple covenants.  Never before that I can recall, has a General Relief Society President been so forthcoming with the role of women in the Church -- and our inseparable connection to priesthood power.  I can only believe that this has to do with timing.  And I personally believe, that now is the time for every sister in the LDS Church to come to a greater understanding and knowledge of the things that Sister Beck was inspired to teach us.

I learned so much listening to Sister Beck speak, as guided by the Spirit.  Her counsel, coupled with my own personal understandings and feelings about many of the things she addressed, give me much to ponder and pray about in the coming days.

I was particularly touched by how she presented the the purpose of Relief Society.  It has given me a much clearer view of what I personally should be doing, and WHY -- which for this Well-Behaved Mormon Woman, is very very necessary.

I did take notes while I was listening, but mostly if I were to share them, they would be my personal impression of what she said -- and not exactly what she said.   So,  I'll continue to wait upon the actual transcripts before I start attempting to quote or discuss her exact lessons.  And for now, you can watch for yourself and allow the Spirit to teach you!

tDMg
Kathryn

UPDATE: The transcript of Julie Beck's entire talk at Women's Conference is finally available HERE!

NOTE: Embedding for this video on blogs, etc... has been temporarily disabled.  I'm hoping that BYUtv will have this problem fixed soon.

Experience LDS Women's Conference at Home

I love Women's Conference and for quite a few years when my children were young I would make the effort to travel from California to Provo so that I could attend.  Thankfully, I have a husband that has always been supportive of my frequent girl trips.  Going to Women's Conference was always an uplifting experience.  I have the sweetest memories of the faithful LDS women that I had the privilege of going with over the years, and how we were each strengthened as we returned home inspired, with a renewed desire to better understand our faith, and live it with full purpose of heart.


If you've ever had the opportunity of going to Women's Conference, you will be familiar with what it feels like to gather in one place, with 15,000+  Mormon women - who share a testimony of the gospel and are devoted members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It's an experience never to be forgotten!

I don't know about you, but I truly appreciate the strength I gain by interacting with other women with strong testimonies, who also enjoy studying the gospel and discussing it in depth.  I think this is one of the reasons that I enjoy following up with what has been taught each year at Women's Conference.   As we await this year's transcripts I have appreciated blog reports from LDS women who did attend.  As well, I loved hearing the reports via Church News, etc...

I am particularly interested in listening and reading Sister Julie B. Beck's Friday morning address to the sisters.  As reported on Church News and Events, Sister Beck made a few comments that have had me pondering lately, and I really need to hear her talk in full context to hopefully better understand her message.

In regards to the forthcoming Relief Society history, soon to be released:

“As we have prepared this history for you, there have been many opportunities to learn,” Sister Beck said. “There are some things that have come out in that preparation that have delineated some themes for learning. It’s not so important to have a linear history in the Church, but it is important to know our spiritual heritage and history, what themes emerge in that spiritual heritage, and what the Lord wants us to accomplish. … History helps us learn who we are and our importance to the Lord.”

About what she and others had learned in preparing the history:

“Our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love, value, and rely on their daughters,” she said. “God’s daughters have equal importance in His sight with His sons.”

This is one of the things she said about the Relief Society:

“Relief Society isn’t just a feel-good, get-together, let’s-enjoy-each-other, do-anything-anytime-anyplace-for-any-reason” organization, she said. “This is part of the Lord’s work.” 

About the inspired organization of the Relief Society:

One hundred years ago when the Relief Society general presidency selected ‘Charity Never Faileth’ as the Relief Society motto, they knew what they were doing,” Sister Beck said. “This motto was distilled by women who had been taught by Joseph Smith and understood the purpose of Relief Society. Joseph taught them about becoming holy and using this organization to learn how to become like the Savior.”

On the relationship between the Relief Society and Priesthood Sister Beck made these interesting comments, that when pondered alongside Boyd K. Packer's General Conference address, The Power of the Priesthood -- well, it causes one to consider deeply exactly what she is trying to teach us:


“I’ve learned through studying the history of Relief Society that we have and live with inseparable connection to the priesthood,” Sister Beck said. No one need confuse the idea of those who hold the priesthood with the gifts, blessings, and privileges associated with the priesthood, she explained.
“The priesthood is God’s power,” she said. “It is His power to create, to bless, to lead, to serve as He does.” The priesthood duty of every righteous man is to qualify to hold the priesthood so he can bless his family, while the priesthood duty of sisters is to create life, nurture God’s children, and prepare them to make covenants with the Lord.  
“Don’t confuse the power of the priesthood with the keys and offices of the priesthood,” Sister Beck said. “The power is limitless and is shared with those who make and keep covenants. Too much is said and misunderstood about what brothers have and sister’s don’t. This is Satan’s way of confusing men and women so that neither understands what they really have.” 
Our responsibility, Sister Beck said, is to make sure that our homes are blessed with priesthood power, as the Primary song says, “every hour” (Children’s Songbook, 190). “It isn’t just when Dad is there. It isn’t just when Mom is there. It isn’t just when a priesthood ordination or blessing is being performed. It’s every hour as covenants are made and kept.”


Well, I'm not sure how these words of a living prophetess resonate with you, but my heart wants to sing in anticipation of what is in store for the women of the Church!


Sister Beck concluded by telling sisters that she hoped that as the Relief Society history becomes available to them, the strength of these things will settle upon their hearts and that other things the Lord has to teach them will emerge in their study.  “Rather than prepare for a product (the forthcoming book), prepare yourselves,” she said. 
“Prepare to receive the Lord’s message for you. Go to the temple. Pray. Live to become what the Lord would have us all become.” 
“I am grateful for Relief Society not only for its beginnings but for what it is today,” Sister Beck said. “I’m just beginning to have a glimpse of what the Lord has in mind for His daughters. The vision that comes to me sometimes is so glorious and staggering and humbling and thrilling that it is difficult to contemplate. It’s part of the vision of Daniel and the stone rolling forward to bless the whole earth (see Daniel 2:34–35). The Lord expects and requires His daughters to be involved. 


This year, as I wasn't able to attend Women's Conference on April 28-29, 2011 - I've needed to find a way to experience it from home.  I'm excited to read and watch the proceedings via modern technology.  I figured that the majority of women who read my blog are most likely in the same position as I am, so I thought I would post some of the resources and information to make this easier for you.


Thanks to MormonWoman.org for sharing a partial broadcast schedule of Women's Conference beginning May 16-18, on BYUtv.org 


May 16, 2011 (8:00 to 11:00 a.m. MDT)
“By Small and Simple Things”
Virginia H. Pearce
“Ideals Are Stars to Steer By: They Are Not a Stick to Beat Ourselves With”
Barbara Thompson
President Cecil O. Samuelson
“The Best Measure of True Greatness Is How Christlike We Are”
Kathy K. Clayton
Elaine S. Dalton
Friday Morning (April 29) Opening Session
Julie B. Beck
May 17, 2011 (8:00 to 11:00 a.m. MDT)
“We Are Going to Do Something Extraordinary”
Elaine L. Jack, Bonnie D. Parkin,
Mary Ellen Smoot, Barbara Winder,
Sharon Eubank (moderator)
“The Legacy of Relief Society”
Susan W. Tanner
John S. Tanner
“Visiting Teaching: Making a Difference by Small and Simple Means”
Bridgette Blackwelder Server
Mary Ellen Edmunds
May 18, 2011 (8:00 to 11:00 a.m. MDT)
Friday Afternoon (April 29) Closing Session
Elder David A. Bednar
“The Plan of Salvation: One of Heaven’s Best Gifts to Mankind”
Rosemary M. Wixom
Jean A. Stevens
Cheryl A. Esplin
“I Did Frankly Forgive Them”
Lolly S. Osguthorpe
Russell T. Osguthorpe

Watch LDS Women's Conference On Demand at BYUtv!

Although this year's Women's Conference transcripts are not available yet -- HERE is the link to keep your eye on for when they are posted.  Meanwhile you can enjoy past year's transcripts.

Here are few more links with follow-up reports:

Elder Bednar Teaches Women the Spiritual Pattern of Small and Simple Things

*Chocolate on my Cranium* took some great notes from Women's Conference that I just have to share.  I also recommend you follow this blog.

I look forward to the coming months as we learn more about our Relief Society history and have the opportunity to discuss these things...

tDMg
Kathryn

Even YOU Are a Child of God!

Yes, even YOU are a Child of God! The most powerful knowledge that anyone of us can have, in this life, is to KNOW that we are children of God! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches this powerful truth -- that each one of us are literally the spirit children of our Heavenly Father, and that before we came to this earth we lived with Him in Heaven. 



The Plan of Salvation teaches us that this earth was created for us, so that we through our own experience of choosing between good and evil, will learn to choose the good and ultimately become like Him -- in every way! That's a very powerful doctrine!

John 17:3 is one of my favorite verses in all of scripture:

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

As we come to know God, who is our Father in Heaven, and learn of His characteristics and attributes, we begin to better understand our own divine potential. It is through His Son, Jesus Christ, that we have been given the perfect example of how we should live to become more like Him -- and have Eternal Life!

This beautiful Mormon Messages video reminded me that no matter how old we are in this life, we are STILL and always will be -- A Child of God!



I hope you'll take the time to share this video message with your family and friends. It's a great reminder for all of us --  and if you didn't know this, now you do!


tDMg
Kathryn

The Two Sides of Motherhood

My beautiful daughter, Jennette, with the little ones I'm tending
Normally this video, In Tha Muthahood, (below) most likely would not have tickled me in the way that it did today, when a friend on Facebook posted it.  However, I've spent this last week being a full-time Nana, while my daughter and her husband are away -- laying on the beaches of Cancun.  So I've had the blessed opportunity to travel back in time, so to speak, to when my own five children were young.  

Yikes, I had totally forgotten just how much WORK it takes to care for the physical needs of children day in and day out, let alone make sure the spiritual stuff gets done, too!  That's when I started to ponder on the huge challenge that young LDS mothers have, to not only take care of the physical needs of their children, but to add to that, make sure that daily they are developing testimonies of Jesus Christ.

I confess that I was not nearly the kind of mother to my three daughters as they are to my grandchildren.  I stand in awe of each one of them everyday, and feel so blessed to know that my grandchildren are being raised in righteousness.

I've told each one of my daughters that I expect them to be better mothers than I am.  Our motto is "Every Generation Better"!  Well, I'm here to report that they are doing it.  When I arrived a week ago my daughter had typed out the daily routine that I was expected to maintain.  And I mean expected!  Not only did it include every physical need the children would have, down to the brushing of teeth, but she also included their spiritual routine.   I'm here to admit that by the time they get home tomorrow, I will officially be POOPED!

My lovely daughter, Laura, with my two grandgirls
  

But don't get me wrong, I've thoroughly loved being here with my four grandchildren.  I've always enjoyed time alone with them.  Love being with their parents, but it is a sacred privilege for me, their grand-MOTHER, to have the chance to create spiritual moments with my grandchildren.  This is what drives wonderful, faithful LDS mothers, on a daily basis, to strive so diligently to raise their children in righteousness!  

So, when you wonderful young LDS moms are changing those diapers, doing mounds of laundry, driving those carpools day in and day out, getting that homework done, making gourmet dinners nightly, bathing your rugrats --  just know that pushing a little harder to make sure the spiritual things happen in your homes is worth every effort that you put forth!

My AMAZING daughter, Brittney and her adorable children
 I know this because I see it with my own grandchildren.  We've had some pretty hectic moments this week, but as we have taken time, even when I was beat, to read the scriptures, pray and discuss the gospel -- these sweet children simply melt by the spirit.  I have been blessed to hear the testimonies of each of the three older grandchildren this week, through wonderful gospel conversations.  This truly is a special generation of spirits we have before us.



I would like to honor my own three daughters, as well as all young LDS mothers, who diligently strive to raise their children in righteousness each and every day, despite the many challenges that you face to do so.   

A thought that I have pondered on occasion is this....  We have been taught that this generation of children have been saved for the last days, and yet it is my feeling that the parents who must raise this royal generation must be as strong, if not stronger spiritually, to help them fulfill their mission here upon the earth!

Today, I am thoroughly convinced of this truth.  Happy Mother's Day!

tDMg
Kathryn

Now, put your humor on and have a good laugh!

In Tha Muthahood Video



Motherhood - Inspirational LDS Quotes By Mormon Leaders

A Survivor of Mother's Day Depression

A Mother on Becoming a First Time Grandma