Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a talk (click here for entire talk) in December 2007... I am going to obey. He says, "There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches. While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time."
He then asks the Members of the Church to join the conversation..
So... Here I am joining the conversation. Lately I've been thinking about some stuff.. And the last line that I quoted (the red words) have really been on my mind.
In the past few years I have heard the comment, "Utah Mormons." It has ALWAYS bugged me.
When I was in high school I had a good friend that moved to Utah and he became more inactive and started doing a lot of things against what the church teaches. Due to the fact he moved we grew apart. I wasn't that into email and such neither was he.. I then moved to Utah myself. A few weeks before I moved back to Washington he happened to walk into the Denny's I was at. He had to wait for his to-go order so he sat down and we talked. We decided we needed to keep in touch more often and began emailing each other. In one of the emails he wrote (along the lines of) "if I hadn't moved to Utah I would be active." This really started a fire in me that has continued to burn.
In these last few months I've had more experience with this comment and cannot be silent anymore.
What comes to your mind when you hear, "Utah Mormons." I know a lot of the people whom read my sites are mormons. And yes, there is an inside stereotype of "Utah Mormons." It's fun to joke about to most people and so on. But have you ever stopped to think about what the term "Utah Mormons" means to none members. Have you ever thought about the confusion we as members are sending with people whom we don't think are listening. Lets stop it! Why? When people associate our church many associate it with Utah. If we, as members, are saying bad things about "Utah Mormons," we are teaching others that our church that our church is bad.
I have known to many people that have used the excuse of living in Utah and being around "Utah Mormons" to leave the church. Let's stop it. Let's kill that phrase. Let's come together as a Church and show that we are united. Put aside the jokes, the negative comments, and anything that will give a negative feeling about the church.
I just am tired of hearing it as an excuse to be inactive or leave the church. I know, people are going to be inactive or leave either way. But why assist them in leaving? The other night at a Girl's Night Out, I was talking with some women in my ward who love going out and doing their visiting teaching. I however suck at doing mine. The women their gave me all the excuses I needed to get out of visiting teaching.. "you have two little kids" "your husband works weird hours".. etc. etc. etc. Honestly I almost felt justified in not doing my visiting teaching. I could have gotten away with never doing my V.T. again. :-) But I was fast to respond with the truth.. "I just am not perfect at it. I have no excuses I'm just not perfected in that aspect of my life now."
I bring up this story because if we put aside the excuses we might actually find ourselves helping others to realize why they are really leaving the church. Things like "well i started smoking and drinking and I'm not ready to give those things up." or "i've never actually tried to find out for myself what really is true.." The reasons that are the truth. And once we know the complete truth we will be able to assist members and non-members better in helping them learn more about the gospel.
Soo.. After I have written this.. Hopefully it is understandable.. If you're still reading this.. I urge you, I plead with you, I beg you, whatever it takes... Please stop using the term "Utah Mormon" and other terms that will help make excuses and limit the truth. Honestly I feel EXTREMELY passionate about this. Let's drop the missinforming and unite and strengthen the church and strengthen the missionary effort.
Okay.. Thanks for letting me vent. Truly, it's been something on my mind a lot lately and I was about to burst!
Monday, September 22, 2008
But I honestly think it's the COOLEST thing in the world! And the girls love it too! They have been surprisingly obedient when we tell them they can't play with it, which is so nice. I even but the dvds in alphabetical order! It makes it so much easier to find dvds, before they all were in a huge box.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I am so grateful for my kids. I love that they are getting older and getting to be such amazing little people. Today I was having a rough morning. And I guess Emily could sense that.. We had a LATE shower this morning. And I went upstairs to get my clothes Emily decided to turn on the Church music. She knows how happy I am when there is music on. I am just amazed at how compassionate and aware of feelings she is. Yes, she does have temper tantrums and stuff like that. But she really is becoming such an amazing girl. I think this is one of her talents. Even when she was younger she was very compassionate. Just a few weeks after Hannah was born, one day I was having an EXTREMELY hard day. I finally just sat in the hall and cried. And Emily walked up to me, gave me her binky and a hug. She has just always been in-tune to emotions.
And Hannah is following in her footsteps. Whenever she can sense that I'm not happy, she comes up to me and kisses me. I've had fun making it a game. I'll frown or say I'm sad, then she runs up and gives me a kiss to make me happy! He he eh! I can do this for like 10 straight times, but then she has enough.
Even in hard times, I feel so blessed that I have my two little girls. They really are mine and Bryan's bites of Heaven.
And no. I'm not sad all the time. That's not what this post is about, it's about my amazing little girls.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I've been trying to have more fun cooking. When I was raised we always had some sort of beef, potatoes, and green beans for dinner (or at least 90% of the time). Bryan doesn't like potatoes that much, and he hates green beans. So I've been trying to make different things for dinner. Tonight I made baked true cod with sour cream and dill. I have cooked fish only one other time that I can remember (not a huge seafood fan). I think I did a pretty darn good job! It was inspired by a recent trip to Anthony's. I was eatting my food and decided I could make it. Though I need a little more practice, I believe It came out almost perfect! I steamed some green beans and made some garlic mashed potatoes to go with it.. Man, it was good!