A friend sent me instructions for making Easter Story
Cookies. I tweaked the ingredients, tweaked the instructions, and changed some of the scriptures to ones I thought my younger ones would relate to. (In other words, I don't know whose idea this originally
was, but should no longer be considered plagiarism.:) This is a sweet way to bring some of the real meaning of Easter into your home! For more Easter ideas, click on the "Easter" category on the right.
Mix these cookies the evening before Easter, they sit in the oven overnight, as an Easter morning surprise.
You will need:
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 3 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup pecan pieces
Waxed paper or parchment
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. (This is important, so don’t wait until you’re half-way done with the recipe).
Smell the vinegar
. Put 1 tsp. into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30
or Psalms 69:21
Add egg whites
to the vinegar.
Explain that eggs represent life. Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:9-11
Sprinkle a little salt
into each hand. Taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and bitterness of our sins. Show the wooden spoon, it represents the cross he carried and was nailed to.Read Luke 23:27
With a mixer, beat on high speed until soft peaks form.
Explain that the color white
represents the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 3/4 cup sugar
, a tablespoon at a time, as you continue to whip. Keep mixing until they reach stiff peaks.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. It wasn’t the nails that kept Him on the cross because nothing earthly could have. It was His love for us! Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16
Fold in the nuts
using the wooden spoon. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60
Put the cookie sheet in the oven and close the door and turn the oven OFF! Each person places a piece of masking tape
and seals the oven door. Read Matthew 27:62-66
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20, 22
On Easter morning, watch the 4-minute video “He is Risen
”, then open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!
Explain that on the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Suggested scriptures to read: John chapter 20
(5 minutes), 1 Corinthians 15:22
(two lines), Mosiah 16:6-9
Happy Easter, Everyone! Christ Lives & Loves Us!
What beauties are around us! Below are some of the photos I've taken.
There's always "one that got away"; back when I was in college I looked outside and saw what looked like an upside-down, hanging rainbow. Turns out it was a circumzenithal arc
. Didn't have the camera.
Most of these pictures are from the last two years; the sun pillar photos are the most recent: from this New Year's Eve. We spotted them on our drive home from Grandma's house... What an amazing way to end the year! It felt like God's reassurance that he's aware and still in charge.
(For a music-backed experience, play Desert Symphony
while watching the pictures. Yeah, their videography upstages my pictures. Enjoy them both. )
Tonight I stood in the kitchen with my 10-year-old daughter; I kneaded bread rhythmically on the counter while she prepared pumpkin for the first time, scooping out seeds, cutting carefully into cubes to be steamed. We had music playing in the corner, Handel's masterpiece "Messiah" emanating from a pink Barbie CD player. Nevermind that my daughter was in charge of the pumpkin because she'd poked holes in it with a pencil (a smiley face, but now it wouldn't store through the winter) or that it was 11pm and both of us would have liked to been asleep. Some days the schedule just goes out the window. But as I showed her what to do - and not do!- then watched while she eagerly and carefully cut the pumpkin- I had the feeling I think every mother gets every now and again. The feeling that this is what life is about. Joy in learning. Joy in being with family. Joy in seeing abilities and confidence bloom in someone you love. Joy in working together, in passing skills on to the next generation, and in helping them see the results of honest effort. Joy in beautiful music and gratitude for those who created such uplifting works. Joy in my Savior, his life and example.
Joy to the world! -for all these joys are available to everyone to some degree.
If you'd like to hear the whole Messiah-
which is the best way to hear and understand its message-
here you go.
Notice the music above is over two hours long... it's the entire work. Handel wrote this in only 24 days- hundreds of pages of music for choir and instruments. It was written to help the listeners understand more about Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The lyrics are taken directly from the Old and New Testament, and go through His life, from before his birth, clear through his sufferings, Atonement, resurrection, and glory. A good, short video giving some of the background can be found here
, or see a fantastic blog post here
. I love to feel the power of the music and the message. At one point while this music was being composed, a friend came to visit and found Handel sobbing with emotion after writing the Hallelujah chorus. Handel is quoted as saying "I did think I did see all heaven before me and the great God himself." It is customary to stand while that chorus is sung... but did you know the chorus is referring to Christ's Second Coming? The scriptures this chorus comes from are Revelations 19:6, 16
, and 11:15
. It, like the "Christmas" song Joy To the World
(which Handel wrote the music for), are really a celebration of the future day when Christ rules as the righteous King of kings. (You can read more about the background of the custom of standing here
He signed the work "S.D.G
": Soli Deo gloria, or "glory to God alone".
Most people claim the best-known bit, the "Hallelujah Chorus", as their favorite, but the two below are my
A couple weeks ago I received a newsletter from the American Family Association, titled
"Who Should Christians Vote For
?, published October 9, 2012
I read the letter, read the article it referenced, and then sent a response to both the letter author and article author. Below are the original newsletter, the article link, and my response.
Please look deeply at the underlying principles
in this election and the long-term results of what each candidate proposes. Will it help limit government to what the Founders intended
? Is it truly Constitutional?
Is it right, or is it wrong? Is it based on force, or based on choice and natural consequences? As important as is this presidential race, however, your local elections are even more important
: you have much more
relative influence in those. Please really study the candidates and issues, and then vote in a way that will strengthen the moral fiber and accountability of each citizen.
Dear Rhonda,There is some discussion within the Christian community about who to vote for in the upcoming elections. Some are even questioning if they should vote at all. In the race for president, on the one hand you have one man who claims to be a Christian yet supports causes and policies that clearly violate biblical morality like abortion and homosexual "marriage."
On the other hand, we have a gentleman who is a member of church that promotes a different theological doctrine than historical Christianity teaches. What to do?
I have an excellent article here, written by historian Stephen McDowell, president of the Providence Foundation
, that answers this dilemma to my satisfaction. It is not short, as it is well thought out and well documented. But it answers a lot of questions in a biblical manner.
I encourage you to read and then send it out to as many people as you can.Obama, Romney, Other: Who Should Christians Vote for in the 2012 Election?
Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
Dr. Stephen McDowell,
Tim Wildmon, of the American Family Association, sent me a link to your article "Obama, Romney, Other: Who Should Christians Vote for in the 2012 Election?". It was an interesting read for me as an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
, commonly called 'the Mormons'. While I agree with the conclusion and many of the reasons in the article, I would like to set the record straight on my religion.
In the article, you state "Mormonism is a non-Christian religion with fundamental theological beliefs that are contrary to Christian orthodoxy. Mormons do say they believe the Bible and that Jesus is divine and their savior, but this is not in the same sense as Biblical Christianity."
and then later write, "Neither candidate acts like a regenerated believer who meets the qualification of fearing God as the Bible presents.
#1, non-Christian religion
It seems self-evident that a church with a name like the one I belong to would believe in Christ, the Anointed, my Savior. Mr. McDowell quoted Noah Webster later; I'll refer to the same man's words here. First off, let's define Christianity
. The 1828 Webster's Dictionary, published by Noah Webster, defines a Christian as "A real disciple of Christ; one who believes in the truth of the Christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety." I study Christ's life and examples, as well as the teachings of his prophets through all ages, work to obey them, and emphatically proclaim that I am a Christian, as are other members of this church.
#2, contrary to Christian orthodoxy
Now, about it being "contrary to Christian orthodoxy"; hopefully I've established that we are Christians, so what is the definition of 'orthodoxy'? Let's go back to Noah Webster: orthodoxy is "a belief in the genuine doctrines taught in the Scriptures". Our church's Article of Faith #8 states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.". In other words, I recognize the Bible as scripture, as well as the Book of Mormon. I personally believe the genuine doctrines taught in the scriptures and try to govern my life by them.
Admittedly, a problem arises here because our doctrine differs from other Christian sects. However, each sect's interpretation of doctrine differs from each other; who is to say which one is correct? I believe only the Spirit of God can whisper that to us. We ought to build each other up and look for the good, not tear each other down. The important parts, I believe, are that we recognize our complete dependence on our Savior's grace through his Atonement and our great responsibility to love and serve him and his children.
#3 Jesus is divine and their savior but ... not in the same sense,
As to our recognizing Jesus as divine and our Savior, the critical points I believe are in harmony not only with the Bible but with most sects' interpretation of them. Jesus is
divine. He is God, or rather the Son of God. He is our Savior
- he saves us from both spiritual death through our baptism and enabling us to repent and become more Christlike, and from physical death through his Resurrection and the promise of our own. How is that not a Biblical interpretation?
#4, "Neither candidate acts like a regenerated believer who meets the qualification of fearing God as the Bible presents.
While I disagree with some of Mitt Romney's opinions, and feel that our religion supports my viewpoint, I disagree that he acts like an unregenerated man. How do you recognize a reborn man? By his fruits, the degree to which the Spirit of the Lord has affected his life and his actions. You see this in devotion to serving others, which shows his devotion to serving God. Some of the chapters in the Book of Mormon record the words of a very righteous king in the Precolumbian Americas, King Benjamin. After recounting his years of service to his people, he tells them he worked hard to not only not
be a burden to them, but to also avoid burdening them with heavy taxes. He tells them this wasn't to boast, but to point out that he can face God with a clear conscience. Then he says
, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom
; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service
of your fellow
beings ye are only in the service of your God." This man, King Benjamin, is one of our scriptural heroes and a prime example of living a Christlike life, and I think Mitt Romney will try to emulate not only some of Benjamin's finest points, but of the example of our Savior. He has already demonstrated his willingness to help and serve others
While I agree that Mitt Romney is likely not going to help us return completely to a non-socialist government, I can tell you that he is a Christian
, he does fear God
and lets that influence his life and choices, and that he has been 'born again
'. He is definitely the better choice between Obama, whose god seems to be the government, and Romney, who recognizes more that the way to true greatness is freedom and serving God and each other
I bear you my testimony that Christ is our Savior, that he cares deeply about this nation, and that the way to return to greatness is to return to individually having God's law written in our hearts and displayed through our actions. I invite you to read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
, and to read through both it and our church's website
to find what we really believe.
September 17th is Constitution Day; the United States' Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787
How big a deal was this? Well, Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recently pointed out, "After two centuries, every nation in the world except six have adopted written constitutions, and the U.S. Constitution was a model for all of them
. No wonder modern revelation says that God established the U.S. Constitution
and that it ‘should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles
’ (D&C 101:77
)” (“The Divinely Inspired Constitution,” Ensign, Feb. 1992, 68)
The same magazine, this month, asks, "Do Latter-day Saints believe the U.S. Constitution is a divinely inspired document? The Lord Himself answered that question when He declared, “I established the Constitution … by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80).
Since the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith
, who called the U.S. Constitution “a heavenly banner
” (in History of the Church, 3:304), latter-day prophets have said the Constitution is divinely inspired, declaring that America by divine design was prepared as the place for the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ
. The freedoms and protections enumerated in the Constitution—including freedom of speech, assembly, and religion—made the Restoration possible.
The Church respects the rule of law and constitutional government in every nation and expects Latter-day Saints to adhere to the law
, to use their influence to promote and preserve their God-given rights
, and “to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound
” (Joseph Smith
, in History of the Church, 5:286)."
Modern scripture also affirms "that law
of the land which is constitutional
, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional
law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil." (D&C 98:5-7
Another modern prophet, David O. McKay
, declared "Next to being one in worshiping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this church should be more united than in upholding the Constitution of the United States!
(1956, The Instructor
Considering the importance of this founding document, both for political and religious reasons, shouldn't we study, understand, and teach this to our children and others?
There is a booklet produced by the LDS church, with "Family Home Evening" lessons about the Constitution, see this post
for more on that. It's out of print, but the post has a link to a pdf. It's a great place to start. For links to ideas, games, videos, and more, see below. There are lots; pick what will best help you and your family!
Videos and musicActivitiesTeaching materials/lessonsTalks/articles
Scriptures (links from a search on http://www.lds.org/scriptures/
- Inspired Constitution, by Joseph L. Wirthlin, LDS General Conference Oct. 1939
- The Constitution, J. Reuben Clark, Conference April 1957.
- Ezra Taft Benson quotes on freedom, Constitution
- The Divinely Inspired Constitution, Dallin H. Oaks
- God's Hand in the Founding of America, L. Tom Perry
- The Constitution- a Glorious Standard, Ezra Taft Benson
- Restoring Morality and Religious Freedom, Quentin L. Cook, Sept. 2012 Ensign
- constitutional law should be befriended, D&C 98:5–6
- the Lord caused Constitution to be established, D&C 101:77, 80
- prayer that Constitution be maintained, D&C 109:54
- Governments are instituted of God for the benefit of mankind, D&C 134:1–5
- Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, Matt. 22:21 (D&C 63:26).
- Be subject to the higher powers, Rom. 13:1
- Pray for kings and all in authority, 1 Tim. 2:1–2
- Be subject to principalities and powers and obey magistrates, Titus 3:1
- Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, 1 Pet. 2:13–14
- Jesus Christ shall be the ultimate governor of the earth, Rev. 11:15
I grew up with the vague idea that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were kind of the same thing. Or at least I thought they were written at the same time. Now that I know more, I want my children to know and understand better the background and history of each. This way they can better appreciate what our Founders set up, why they did it, and at what cost.
This year I ran across the following quote, which sparked an even greater desire to learn and teach:
“If American freedom is lost, if America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers–normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free
– Americans who have been lulled away into a false security...
If America is to withstand these influences and trends, there must be a renewal of the spirit of our forefathers, an appreciation of the American way of life, a strengthening of muscle and sinew and the character of the nation. America needs guts as well as guns. National character is the core of national defense.” –Ezra Taft Benson
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee... seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." James Madison Aug 4, 1822
The lesson is below this photo.
Of course, your family may only need some of these pieces, or something different, or a shorter version, or longer. Pray to know what they need. God cares about what we learn and teach!
lesson on The Declaration of Independence
Sing a song
: God Bless America, or My Country, 'Tis of Thee
Have an opening prayer
Introduce the topic
: Hand everyone something little like pennies (or pieces of cereal, or jelly beans). Give them several, based on how much they helped today, or if they did all of their chores (so they feel ownership). Tell them they are like the 13 Colonies, and you’ll be England. Take some of the pennies back and give all of them to one person. How do they feel?
Explain that when a government takes money from you without you getting to have a say in where it's used, it's called "taxation without representation". The colonists knew it wasn't right, England's own Constitution even guaranteed them a say in how tax money was spent. (With older children, you can explain more about the Stamp Act
of 1765, or the Boston Tea Party
in 1773.)Have someone read D&C 134:1-2
, the LDS Statement of Belief on government:
We believe that governments
were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable
for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.
We believe that no government can exist in peace
, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free
exercise of conscience
, the right and control of property, and the protection
What was wrong with how the colonies were treated?
The colonies had been fighting with England for a couple years already. At first they were fighting for their right to be treated fairly, but by the summer of 1776 they decided that the only good solution was to become their own nation.
July 4th, when they finalized the Declaration of Independence, became the birthday for The United States of America. It was the beginning of our nation but the bigger deal was how our leaders claimed that right- not from men, but from rights given to all mankind by God.
“The Declaration has three parts—the famous Preamble, a list of charges against King George III, and a conclusion. The Preamble summarizes the fundamental principles of American self-government. The list of charges against the king presents examples of the violation of those principles. The stirring conclusion calls for duty, action, and sacrifice.” ( -The Heritage Foundation
- great article!!)
_________________Read The Declaration of Independence
! (see a photo of the original here
Words you might need to explain or discuss:self-evident
-they prove themselves trueunalienable
-cannot be given up or takenpursuit of happiness
- living to your full potential, bettering yourself and your situationevinces
-shows or provesDespotism
-(1828 Webster’s: ‘Absolute power; authority unlimited and uncontrolled by men, constitution or laws, and depending alone on the will of the prince)____________
:Read or relate
the following: John Adams
wrote in a letter to his wife Abigail
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
(Note: A rough draft of the Declaration of Independence was written in June 1776; July 2nd
is the date the Continental Congress unanimously voted for separation from Great Britain. The Declaration was modified a little, then read and approved on July 4, 1776, though it may not have been signed until August.)Have someone read 1Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Ask:
How can you show that you remember and are grateful for our nation and freedoms?
Bear your testimony of the great blessings God has given us.Closing song
: America the Beautiful
-----------------Choose one or more activities (or do one of these each day for a week)
:-Make paper pinwheels
-Watch a Mormon Messages video
: What Freedoms Are you Grateful For?
-Ring a “Liberty bell”
- Hang a bell from a rope. Take turns telling each other some blessing that you’re grateful for; each person gets to toss a beanbag or ball at the bell for every blessing mentioned.
If you don’t have a bell, you can make one out of cardboard or cardstock, or punch two holes in the bottom of an empty soup can (run a piece of yarn, string, or a twist tie through the two holes; you can hook onto something for a clapper at the same time), or make a bell from a porcelain or glass cup.
One of my children drew a large bell, taped it to a thread, which was tied onto the ceiling fan pull (I asked him to draw a bell and find some way to hang it someplace) ... the game was a big
hit with them! (I did have to remind them the goal was to RING the bell, not DESTROY it.)-Write a Family Creed-Make and hang a sign saying "Remember" over the inside of your front door.-Decorate your table, living room, or porch with flags and red, white, and blue.-Eat red, white, and blue foods
Blue and white tortilla chips with salsa (red!)
It's easy to go along with the commercial aspects of Easter-
But what can I do with my family to focus on its real meaning?
Yes, those Easter eggs have symbolism, but I want to go beyond that. Usually we have a Family Home Evening the Monday before Easter, where we read the Easter story in the New Testament, and talk about the symbols we see this time of year- eggs for the seemingly lifeless tomb, chicks for new life, lambs for The Lamb of God who was their Passover. But this year I wanted something each day for a week, something to learn and remember what our Savior did during his final week in mortality. Something to help pull us into his life.
The April 2011 Friend magazine
had something I'll use this year. If you follow their suggested timeline, that begins today, two Saturdays before Easter itself. Here's a quick day-by-day summary
of it and some ideas
of what to do each day; see the original article
for more details.
Our standard day starts with a song and family prayer (playing the 'hymn of the week' is the call to be awake and in the living room- it sure beats hollering down the stairs every day!)- we can have a new song each day this Easter week, to fit with the timeline below. We sing the same song in the evening right before that family prayer, as well. (If -WHEN!- someone is still talking or not kneeling, we sing the last phrase over again. This is repeated until they're ready. Usually it takes only once. Except for some nights. Again, it sure beats telling them to be quiet and get ready!)Saturday, 8 days before Easter
: Jesus walked to Bethany for a place to stay during Passover. See John 12:1–3
: Come, Follow Me
: Point out that many people have traveled to Temple Square for the LDS General Conference (and we'll be watching or listening). There is a great article on the symbolism of the Passover
itself, by John Pratt; during our family scripture study we can talk about the symbolism. There's a shorter summary in the LDS Bible Dictionary
.Sunday, one week before Easter: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey; the people greeted Him as their king, shouting Hosanna (Save Us Now) and paving his pathway with palm leaves. Also known as Palm Sunday, for this reason. See Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11.
Song: Joy to the World (really! look at those lyrics!) or Easter Hosanna
To do: Watch a Bible Video: The Lord's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Monday: Cleansing the temple, to make it more holy. See Matthew 21:12–17; Mark 11:15–19.
Song: I Love to See the Temple, or The Lord Gave Me a Temple (or if you want to learn a less-familiar one, try God is In His Holy Temple)
To do: Each person find some place in their room that needs cleaned and organized- and take care of it! Also, have a Family Home Evening & lesson. :-)
Tuesday: He taught in the temple and on the Mount of Olives. He healed the blind and lame. Judas agreed with the priests to betray Him. SeeMatthew 25:31–46; 26:14–16.
Song: Jesus Said Love Everyone
To Do: Pick some spring flowers and take them to someone sick, lonely, or bedridden.
Wednesday: We don't know what he did this day. See Matthew 25:1–13.
Song: I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, or Build An Ark
To Do: Reading the Parable of the Ten Virgins is one idea (illustrated version here), print this activity; or learn more about the Passover that Christ was there to offer.
Thursday: His disciples got ready for and ate the Passover meal. This became what we call The Last Supper, he also gave them the sacrament for the first time. After singing a hymn, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane. After his Atonement there, the priests found and arrested him. See Matthew 26:17–29, 36–56.
Song: I Stand All Amazed
To Do: At dinner, serve one or more of the traditional Passover foods. You might even manage having a Seder plate and ask The Four Questions; that would require some advance studying! Chabad.org is a great site for this.
Friday: He was questioned by Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod, and condemned to die. He was crucified, died, and hurriedly laid in a borrowed tomb. In Jerusalem, the veil of the temple tore and there was darkness for three hours. In the Americas, there was a terrible storm for three hours, followed by complete dark until the third day. See Matthew 26:57–72; 27:1–2, 27–37; Luke 23:44–46, 50–56, 3 Nephi 8:5-23.
Song: O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown, or There Is a Green Hill Far Away
To Do: Have dinner by candlelight (yes, we'll have to shut the drapes because it's too light outside!) to remember the dark these people experienced. Watch The Last Supper.
Older children could watch Jesus Is Scourged and Crucified, but my littlest ones would be very disturbed by it.
Saturday: Jesus' body lay in the tomb, the door covered with a large stone, guarded by order of the wicked priests. In the Americas, it was still dark. See Matthew 27:57–66 and 3 Nephi 9:12-22.
Song: To Think About Jesus
To Do: We have our Easter Egg hunt on Saturday- to keep the "fluff stuff" away from the real holiday/holy-day.
Easter Sunday: Jesus was resurrected! An angel rolled the stone away, Mary Magdalene and others saw him. He told them to teach and baptize others. See Matthew 28 Some time after His resurrection, he also visited the people in the Americas, see 3 Nephi 11:1-17.
Song: Christ the Lord is Risen Today
To Do: Watch the sunrise and think about the beauty of the earth and the sacrifices its Creator made for us. Have each child and parent write a favorite scripture on the back of a small picture of Jesus. Each person gives theirs to another family member. (Hopefully this encourages them to really think about which scripture to write!) Watch all the Bible videos about the Savior's ministry.
Some other meaningful Easter ideas can be found in the New Era magazine and The Ensign
May we all have an Easter that helps connect us with family and our Savior!
Have you found good deals on strawberries? Or are your plants starting to produce them? We love to make and eat strawberry leather, though I often mix strawberry puree with applesauce or any other mashed fruit, to make the strawberries go farther. For a simple way to make fruit leather, see http://www.theprovidenthomemaker.com/1/post/2010/11/what-to-do-now-in-the-garden-fruit-leather.html___________________________ If you’re in the Salt Lake valley, I just learned about a lady who puts together group orders every month; she lives just a mile down the road from me. The prices are great, and the food is good quality. It comes from a Utah/Idaho farmers’ co-op; most of the items are even organic. Her website is http://www.organicemily.com ____________________________The following excerpts from an article are from Ezra Taft Benson, published in the Ensign magazine, January 1974, entitled “Prepare Ye”. He repeats D&C 38:30 three times in it (“if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”), and this talk has been extensively quoted. It contains at least 12 segments I’ve quoted or heard quoted. Read through the talk, and see how many pieces of it you’ve heard before.Here are some excerpts:“In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …” (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)…At the April 1937 general conference of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints], President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, asked: “What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. … Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)…There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.”… “Healthful foods, proper rest, adequate exercise, and a clean conscience can prepare us to tackle the trials that lie ahead.”
You, too, can be just two minutes away from a personal-sized warm cake. One minute to find a cake-mix box and mix 1/2 cup of it with 1/4 c. water, one minute to microwave. This one is yellow-cake 'warm delights' with chocolate frosting. My favorite is chocolate cake with a couple mini chocolate-almond bars broken into it.
Great for those smaller households or college students!
OK, I think this looks like a bowl of Cream of Wheat. It's really yellow cake with 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon sugar swirled on top before cooking. Yum.
I know the cake mix calls for eggs, but I made this mini version both without eggs and with the right (tiny) amount- they were nearly identical. The batch with egg in it rose a little bit higher, but that was about it. Not worth dividing an egg for.
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the complete recipe.
The LDS Church has a wonderful, helpful website, providentliving.org. The name got me thinking, what does ‘provident’ really mean? I know the general idea, but what are the details of it? So here’s what I found. Some synonyms for it are: careful, conserving, frugal, prepared, prudent, scrimping , thrifty, vigilant, wise.Antonyms include careless, extravagant, shortsighted, wasteful.So basically it means being wise with your resources and planning ahead. Right along with ‘self-reliance’, it means planning so that you “rely on yourself” in emergencies or difficulties, not on the city, or the government, or the church, or your neighbor’s food storage. We’ll share, and you know it, but if you’re prepared, then you have the blessing of helping others instead of using resources up faster. We have the safety nets of family, church, and community in place, and sometimes we have to use them, but we are to plan so we have to rely on those backups as little as possible. Don’t make your Plan A “have someone rescue me”. That’s Plan B or Plan C. Or D. The Visiting Teaching message from January 2010 included this from Sister Julie B. Beck: “‘Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.’ Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur. …“How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”1
So there’s a lot to it, but think about this one: are you preparing for emergencies and whatever else may/will eventually happen? Earthquakes, job loss, sickness, car repairs…prayerfully put plans in place to avoid and overcome these challenges. “Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing”- D&C 88:119. If you need any help on your journey to provident living, your visiting teachers will be glad to help; I will too. Pat yourself on the back for what you’ve already done, and figure out what’s next. I know that the Lord will bless you as your exercise faith in this principle.* * * * * * * “Warm Delights” copycat (10 cents per serving when cake mixes are on sale….)½ cup any flavor cake mix 1/4 cup waterMicrowave in a bowl for 1 minute, let stand a couple minutes to cool. If you like, add before cooking: 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips/chunks or a few Hershey’s kisses for Molten Chocolate, a few unwrapped, quartered caramels, or a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar lightly swirled in; use your imagination! After cooking, add a drizzle of caramel topping, lemon sauce, fudge sauce, whatever sounds good. For upside-down German Chocolate, mix together 1-2 Tbsp. cream cheese, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1-2 tsp. coconut. Dollop on top before cooking the cake. One cake mix will yield about 9 of these. Or use Bisquick: 1/3 c. mix, 1 ½ Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa with 1/4 cup water.
Hi everyone,Are you ready to vote? I felt I should share some statements our church leaders have made. Below, you will find some great web resources to help you be informed on the candidates, ballot items, and judges in our area. I’m sure there are more out there; these are the ones I’m aware of.Joseph Smith said: "Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction." In other places, Joseph referred to this time being when the Constitution would hang by a thread. What is this last thread that is holding up the Constitution? President Ezra Taft Benson told us that this “our franchise (a right granted) to vote." John Taylor said that the Elders of Israel (remember that women couldn’t vote, yet) should “understand that they have something to do with the world politically as well as religiously, that it is as much their duty to study correct political principles as well as religious” (Journal of Discourses, 9:340)“It is time, therefore, that every American, and especially every member of the priesthood, became informed about the aims, tactics, and schemes of socialistic-communism. This becomes particularly important when it is realized that communism is turning out to be the earthly image of the plan which Satan presented in the pre-existence. The whole program of socialistic- communism is essentially a war against God and the plan of salvation—the very plan which we fought to uphold during ‘the war in heaven.’” (Ezra Taft Benson, Secret Combinations, Conference Report, October 1961.)Also see Ezra Taft Benson, The Constitution- A Heavenly Banner, and D&C 98:6-10 This year there are four proposed amendments to the Utah Constitution, a number of races including the State Board of Education, a proposition for a bond, and 37 judges to vote on. If you go to https://vote.utah.gov/ you will find a box at the bottom of the page that says "What's On My Ballot?". Click on this and it will ask you some basic questions that verify if you are a registered voter. After this, it takes you to a screen that shows exactly what will be on your ballot when you go to vote. There are lots of links there to learn more about everything on your ballot.Vote.Utah.gov - you can click on race by judicial district. You can find your district at https://secure.slco.org/clerk/elections/index.cfm Full Listing of Utah Candidates Project Vote Smart 2010 Ballot Measures, or Constitutional Amendments 2010 Voter Information PamphletAs for voting on the judges, they each have a 'scorecard', found online on the Utah Voter Information Pamphlet, staring on page 37. The scores are determined by the Utah Judicial Council, see http://www.utcourts.gov/committees/members.cgi?comm=1 for who this includes. Please read what their definitions are, because that affects the judges' scores (for instance, their definition of 'integrity' doesn't completely match mine). Good luck, do your homework, and go vote! + + + + + + + + +
Here are some simple things to do with Halloween candy, from Living On A Dime.com:"After the kids are done Halloweening, I grab 24 candies for each child to save for a countdown to Christmas instead of buying the calendars in the stores. I usually keep them in a bag but you can get the kids to decorate shoe boxes or stick the candy to a calendar with tape." Candy Bar Milk Shakes
1 cup mini candy bars, chopped2 cups (1 pint) ice cream (chocolate or vanilla)1/2 cup chocolate syrup1 1/4 cups milkChop candies in a blender or food processor. This is easier if they are partially frozen. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until blended. This makes a thick shake. Add 1/4 cup milk for a thinner shake. Makes 2 milkshakes, about 16 oz. each, or 5 shakes if you make them 6 oz. each!