Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ward Conference 2/28/10

We had a wonderful Ward Conference today. I learned so much that I don't think I can quite remember it all to post it here. But I will try to write some of the things that stood out to me.

Our theme for our Ward Conference was "Search, Ponder, and Pray".

In Relief Society, the Stake Relief Society Presidency spoke to us and reminded us of the importance to come unto Christ and to search, ponder, and pray. For more on these lessons, see 'Relief Society Lesson 2/28/10'. (You can find this by clicking on 'Relief Society Lessons' under 'Labels' found on the right hand side of this blog).

In Sunday School, President Johnson gave the lesson. We talked about different action verbs in the scriptures (forgive, remember, hearken, etc). It's not just enough to have faith; we need to DO something with that faith. That's the same with "Search, Ponder, and Pray". These are all action words and require something to be done on our part. We can do something and not have the right attitude and benefit minimally from the task. If we have the right attitude and work at searching, pondering, and praying, we will be blessed immeasurably.

In Sacrament Meeting, Bishop Hawkes and President Johnson addressed us. They both gave beautiful and powerful talks, urging us to do better and to be better people. Bishop Hawkes talked about becoming more spiritual. We do this through self-mastery. We constantly are having a battle between our bodies and our spirits. For example, our bodies (or the natural man) may have difficulty going to bed and waking up at a decent time, even though our spirits are wanting that. The same goes for exercise and other tasks that are good that require self-discipline. As we learn to master our bodies, we naturally become more spiritual. Every temporal commandment we are given also is a spiritual commandment. I can't remember everything that was said, but I know that I felt the Spirit. And now I feel even stronger the need to become more self-disciplined so that I could become more spiritual and come unto Christ more.

President Johnson spoke about the Areas of Focus that our stake is going to work on for this 2010 year. In Sunday School a copy of these areas and objectives were handed out, so make sure you get a copy of these to have in your home. #4 is our Stake's yearly challenge like we've had in the past (e.g. take a name to the temple, memorize the 'Living Christ' document, etc). President Johnson said he saw that this was important for our stake as he watched us at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication. He noticed that during the 30 minutes before the dedication started, where we had to be in our seats to wait for the dedication to start, that he saw how difficult it was for us to just sit there and ponder. There is a great need for us as individuals to take time in our lives to 'search, ponder, and pray' in those quiet moments.

Below are the the Areas of Focus for 2010, as layed out in the handout given out in Sunday School:

1. As Stake members, we will focus on the preeminence of the home and family as the basic organizational unit of the Church by:

a. Improving the quality and frequency of our Family Home Evenings; and
b. Improving the quality of family scripture study and family prayer.

2. As a Stake, we will be a temple loving people.

a. Each member will be worthy to participate in the ordinances of the temple.
b. Each adult temple recommend holder will broaden their temple experiences by participating in each of the ordinances available at the temple.
c. Each individual/family will become a registered user of the new FamilySearch.

3. As Stake members, we will participate in gathering Israel through conversion, retention and activation.

a. Individuals and families will pray consistently to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about His work in the lives of others (Alma 26:3).
b. Individuals and families will pray to be better finders and for the missionaries to be better teachers.

4. Each capable individual will build their faith in Jesus Christ by committing to seek their own "sacred grove" experience.

a. Spend 1 full hour in a secluded, private setting studying, praying and pondering over elements of faith and truth.
b. Write a personal journal entry regarding the feelings, thoughts, inspiration and testimony received through this experience.

*I know that our Stake Presidency is inspired of God and as we focus on these areas we will be blessed as individuals and in our families.

Relief Society Lesson 2/28/10

Search, Ponder, & Pray

Today was our Ward Conference and we had the priviledge of hearing our sweet Stake Relief Society Presidency talk to us in Relief Society. The Spirit was very strong as they spoke to us and counseled us. They each talked about the importance of searching, pondering, and praying, which was the theme of our Ward Conference. We all need to take the time in our lives to come unto Christ. We do this as we search, ponder, and pray. We can find answers to our problems and comfort in times of need as we read the scriptures, which are the words of Christ. The scriptures are written for us to help us in our daily lives. As we build a foundation on Christ, we will be able to better face the demands and trials in our lives. How grateful I am for the scriptures where I can learn more about Christ and find the strength and answers I need to meet the challenges of my life.

Potential Tsunami Disaster

I have never been through a potential disaster (man-made or natural) until today. At 6:30 Hawaii time, Matt and I received a phone call from a co-worker of Matt's here in Hawaii. He said the emergency sirens were going off and they have ordered everyone to evacuate to higher ground. I have never been so shaky and scared. We were so unprepared. We had our clothes, but what about water and food? We were two tourists in middle of a real crisis. So after Matt calmed me down, we packed, and went through the whole condo and gathered all the supplies we had or thought we needed and packed the car. With the worse case scenario running through my head, and a prayer to Heavenly Father for protection, we left the condo, and joined the millions of others fleeing to higher ground. Gas stations were 10-20 cars deep waiting to fill up with gas and food and water disappeared from grocery store shelves in a matter of minutes as panicked people rushed to get the necessities for life. For the next six hours we waited in a Lutheran Church parking lot. At one point, while the emergency sirens were going off, I looked at the church and noticed three crosses on the lawn. Those crosses reminded me that The Savior was with us and not to panic or be scared. Finally a 2 P.M the "all clear" signal went out over the radio and we were all allowed to go back home.
What did I learn through all this? I was not as prepared as I wanted to be or am in my everyday life. This experience has reminded me to get my life in order. I need to have my year supply of food and other necessities. I also realized I need to have an emergency kit in all of my vehicles. You can never be too prepared.

This is my testimony, As long as you follow the warning voice of God's servants we will be prepared for life's unexpected trails.

Jessica Pope

Monday, February 22, 2010

March & April 2010 Relief Society Meetings

Every Monday @ 10 am
Meet in the Relief Society Room
Specialist: Sara Jo Moss 801-444-0933
Stake Relief Society Meeting
March 11th @ 7 pm
Meet at the Stake Center.
Come celebrate the birthday of the Relief Society and listen to Heart Bound perform.
Recipe Swaps
March 16th @ 6:30 pm
Katie Poland's home (448 S Christine Way)
Breakfast Foods
April 27th @ 6:30 pm
Katie Poland's home (448 S Christine Way)
For all recipe swaps, please bring your dish to share and ONE COPY OF YOUR RECIPE.
*If you cannot make it one or both of these nights, you may email your recipe to by the Saturday following the recipe swap (March 20th & May 1st, respectively)
Specialist: Katie Poland 801-558-0591
April Provident Living Meeting & Dinner
April 13th @ 6:30 pm
Come enjoy a wonderful presentation and dinner.
Meet at the church.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Relief Society Lesson 2/21/10

Freedom to Choose
(Excerpts from Chapter 4 of Gospel Principles)

Agency is an eternal principle....In our premortal life we had moral agency. One purpose of earth life is to show what choices we will make. If we were forced to choose the right, we would not be able to show what we would choose for ourselves. Also, we are happier doing things when we have made our own choices.

Agency was one of the principal issues to arise in the premortal Council in Heaven. It was one of the main causes of the conflict between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan.

When we choose to live according to God's plan for us, our agency is strengthened. Right choices increase our power to make more right choices.

As we obey each of our Father's commandments, we grow in wisdom and strength of character. Our faith increases. We find it easier to make right choices.

Satan does all he can to destroy God's work. He does not love us (emphasis added). He does not want any good thing for us.

Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.

Heavenly Father has told us how to escape the captivity of Satan. We must watch and pray always, asking God to hep us withstand the temptations of Satan. Our Heavenly Father will not allow us to be tempted beyond our power to resist (see 1 Corinthians 10:13; Alma 13:28).

God's commandments direct us away from danger and toward eternal life. By choosing wisely, we will gain exaltation, progress eternally, and enjoy perfect happiness (see 2 Nephi 2:27-28).

*Sister Marsden gave a beautiful lesson and we had a wonderful discussion on moral agency. She said (from something she had heard from President Monson) that the things we learn in church should cause us to change and be better. We should "think about, feel about, do something about living gospel principles" not just learning the principles. We all have been given the Light of Christ, whether or not we are members of the Church. From this we all know what is inherently right and wrong. And we have been given the gift of moral agency to choose right or wrong. God allows there to be opposition. He allows Satan to tempt us because he would never take away Satan's agency or anyone elses. We are free to choose for ourselves. This is an eternal gift from God.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Living on Less and Recipes

Studio 5 (from KSL) posts meals, recipes, and ideas for living on less. Below are the websites. These links are also posted on the right hand side under 'My Blog List'.

(Living on Less)


Recipe Swap-Cookies! Cookies! Cookies!

We had a wonderful recipe swap on February 9th, 2010 after the Provident Living Classes! We got to try lots of yummy cookies! Thanks to everyone that brought them.

Also, Suzanne Page treated us with her homemade french bread! It was so yummy. French bread is a lot cheaper to make from scratch and a lot tastier. Suzanne's french bread recipe is below. Thanks Suzanne!

French Bread
In a large bowl put:
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tablespoons sugar

Stir to dissolve and let sit for a few minutes.

When yeast is bubbling, add:
1/3 to 1/2 cup oil (I use 1/3)
3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon salt

Mix together well. Add 3 more cups of flour, mixing well.
Cover with a cloth and let rise for one hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the dough down and divide into two portions. Roll each piece of dough out thin, then roll it up tightly as you would for cinnamon rolls, then tuck in the ends. Place on a greased sheet pan, repeat with remaining piece of dough.
Make 3 or 4 diagnol slashes with a serrated knife in the top of the dough.
Let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Relief Society Lesson 2/14/10

Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts
Bishop H. David Burton
(Excerpts from October 2009 General Conference Talk)

"Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (Doctrine & Covenants 121:45).

"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things" (13th Article of Faith).

Today I wish to speak about personal traits we call virtues....The spelling in English of many individual virtues concludes with the letters ity: integrity, humility, charity, spirituality, accountability, civility, fidelity, and the list goes on and on. Relying on literary license, I refer to the virtues ending in ity as the "ity" virtues. "Ity" is a suffix that means quality, state, or degree of being.

We need only look around us to see what is taking place in our communities to realize that personal traits of virtue are in a steep decline.

....We need not be a part of the virtue malaise that is penetrating and infecting society. If we follow the owrld in abandoning Christian-centered virtues, the consequences may be disastrous.

We need to stand tall and be firmly fixed in perpetuating Christlike virtues, even the "ity" virtues, in our everyday lives. Teaching virtuous traits begins in the home with parents who care and set the example. A good parental example encourages emulation; a poor example gives license to the children to disregard the parents' teachings and even expand the poor example. A hypocritical example destroys credibility.

President James E. Faust suggested that integrity is the mother of many virtues. He noted that integrity can be defined "as a firm adherence to a code of moral values." He also suggested that "integrity is the light that shines from a disciplined conscience. It is the strength of duty within us." It is difficult for a person to display virtuous traits if he or she lacks integrity. Without integrity, honesty is often forgotten. If integrity is absent, civility is impaired. If integrity is not important, spirituality is difficult to maintain.

President Thomas S. Monson reminded us a few years ago that "most people will not commit desperate acts if they have been taught that dignity, honesty and integrity are more important than revenge or rage; if they understand that respect and kindness ultimately give one a better chance at success."

Virtuous traits, especially the "ity" virtues, must never be forgotten or set aside. If forgotten or set aside, they will inevitably become the "lost virtues." If virtues are lost, families will be measurably weakened, individual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will soften, and importantn eteranal relationships may be jeopardized.

May we have the humility to take the opportunity to act upon our responsibility to deomonstrate our ability to do so, I pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

*Sister Caprice Erickson gave a beautiful lesson on living a virtuous life and remembering the virtues that are so important. It was a good to remember the individual virtues that keep our lives and communities intact. If we live a virtuous life, we can better our own lives, our families, and our communities.

For the full talk, visit the following website: - Ensign Article - Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts

Relief Society Lesson 2/7/10

Follow the Prophet

Sister Ashby gave a wonderful lesson on following the prophet. When we do follow the prophet we are blessed. When we don't follow the prophet, we don't have that protection or promise. Our latter-day prophets have asked us to do things such as: have a food storage, pay our tithing, and keep the commandments. When we sustain them, we are promising to also heed their counsel. If we are not going to do what we are told, then it really is not needful to listen to what they are saying. Let us all try harder to not only listen to what our Prophet and Apostles are telling us, but to also DO what they are telling us. I know we will be greatly blessed.

Live Your Life for Half the Price

I've been reading a book called "Live Your Life for Half the Price" by Lyle and Tracy Shamo. It has some good tips in it about how to save money on everything. I particularly liked the section about saving money on groceries. Since we just had a provident living class on saving money when it comes to food, I thought I would share some of the websites that were mentioned in this book if you wanted to get some more ideas. The websites are:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Provident Living Night...Pictures!!!

Lorraine Evans and Shirley Bergstrom
Diane Ashby and Janet Steele
Karen Nichols and Staci Kranz
Jenny Decow and Nicole Willmore
Jessica Pope and Phyllis Allred
Yummy cookies!!! Thanks to all of those who brought these!
Sherri Jamieson and Katie Poland
Sharma Millward
Aubrey Shiner and Suzanne Page
Shirley Bergstrom
That's not a vac!
Now that's a vac!!! (get it? From Crocodile Dundee?) Thanks Laura and Karen for helping clean up!
It was a great evening and we look forward to more to come this year! A special thanks to Suzanne Page and Sherri Jamieson for your wonderful presentations!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Provident Living Night

What Is Self-Reliance?

"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."
-Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.

A Gospel Responsibility

"As we live providently and increase our gifts and talents, we become more self-reliant. Self-reliance is taking responsibility for our own spiritual and temporal welfare and for those whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care. Only when we are self-reliant can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others. It is important to understand that self-reliance is a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others. Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance."
-Elder Robert D. Hales

For our Relief Society activity for the month of February we had a night about Provident Living.

How do we plan for meals? Sister Page taught, one good way to start is to make a list of menu items that your family likes. Include main dishes, side dishes, breads, etc. After that you will have a place to start. Here are some good tips:

*Look in the fridge: what needs to be used?
*Look in the pantry: what do I have on hand?
*Look in the freezer: what needs to be used?
*Look in the grocery ads: what are the good deals?
*Look in cookbooks.
*If you have a meal calendar, see what is scheduled.

Sister Page has a system when she plans meals. She tries to rotate chicken, beef, pork, fish, and meatless dishes. She also rotates the staples that fill you, such as: pasta, rice, potatoes, beans, and breads.

Why do we want to cook from scratch? It's better, it costs less and is usually more healthy for you.

Sister Sheri Jamieson spoke to us on saving money by using coupons and pinching your pennies.

The purpose of coupons:
-save money
-build food storage
-stretch money
-get our of debt
-it's fun!

How to save money on your shopping:
-Accumulate Coupons
-Get organized
-Food Storage
-Use Coupons wisely
-Shop Online

Shopping tips:
-Don't shop hungry
-Use a list
-watch expiration dates
-check on discrepancies at check out
-check out clearance sections

Join Co-ops
Co-ops provide quality, healthy food at a substantial savings through cooperative purchasing; and build a sense of community by bringing people together and promoting volunteer service.

Co-ops websites:

Some other helpful or related websites: Utah passport is:g84rcm