1.23.2014

Dragons!

image from amazon.com

I had NO CLUE there were so many types of dragons...Red Dragons, Blue Dragons, White Dragons, Silver Dragons.  They've all got their own habitats and their favorite foods.  And we learned that all dragons don't blow fire! Some blow lightening, or ice, or vapor.  This book is one of the coolest little boy books I have read in a long time!  So, if you've got a little boy lurking in your home, this one's a keeper!  

1.20.2014

Light in the Wilderness Ch. 3



I'm back!  After the holidays and getting back into normal life after the holidays (it seemed to take longer than usual for me), I'm finally ready to get writing again.  We'll see how much I actually do, but the intentions are there at least.

So, first off, before I do anything else, I have to report on our last Light in the Wilderness discussion.  It was a full month and a half ago, but still pertinent.  :-)

The question of the day: 
ARE YOU SPIRITUALLY BIPOLAR?

We know how things are:  one moment we're on a "spiritual high" and the next minute we're feeling low.  On one given day a child's behavior may cause us to react with love and kindness, while on another day the same behavior could make us fly off the handle.  It's our responsibility to create an environment within our hearts where the gaps are not quite so drastic.

The first key to developing such an environment is to discover the true nature of God and our standing as His offering.  Moses learned this with His interactions with God and then with Satan.  He knew the difference and was able to courageously act accordingly.

M. Catherine Thomas distinguishes for us the difference between the "real you" and the "flesh you."  The "real you" does not have ailments, our reactions to the ailments reveal our spiritual weaknesses.  The REAL YOU is the one that God sees, the one that God intends us to be, our true potential, our divinity.

We must also recognize the purposes for a mortal body.  Elder Bednar in his talk on chastity states, "Our physical bodies make possible a breadth, a depth, and an intensity of experience that simply could not be obtained in our premortal existence."

Likewise, one member of our group put it this way, "Struggling with the physical while seeking the spiritual strengthens our spiritual more than just being spiritual could."

Happiness comes as we align the mortal with the spiritual.  We can't fight or "kick against the pricks" while struggling with physical or temporal situations.  We must take those experiences to learn from them, to become more like our Savior.

We can also create an environment of peace within as we realize that the thickness of the veil may very well be within our control.  The Lord could not refrain from revealing Himself to the brother of Jared because the brother of Jared exerted that much faith.  Likewise in our lives, the more we turn to God and put our trust and faith in Him, the more we'll see with spiritual eyes the things around us.

 - - -

Next Discussion:
Monday, January 27th
Chapter 4: The Wilderness Mind

1.07.2014

How do I Study?


Since being released as gospel doctrine teacher I have struggled a little with what to study each morning.  I'm like a squirrel-chasing dog, flitting from one topic to another. I also wonder what to do with the information I find.  With no deadline (i.e. gotta be ready to teach that lesson on Sunday) I haven't really figured out what to do with all this information, how to cement it in one concise form.

Anyway, all of these rambling thoughts (and the New Year) have caused me to think about how I study.  Here are some thoughts I've had in how I want to make my scripture study more meaningful this year:

I like to start with my calling.  Lately, I have studied quite a bit about Primary and the purpose of this blessed organization.  I also have read some talks on teacher improvement as that is one of our primary focal points as a presidency.  And with this calling comes special attention to the children talked about in the scriptures, what they were taught and how the Lord, Jesus Christ, felt about these precious little ones.

At the beginning of my scripture study I've started by asking, "What is my question?"   But, how do we know what questions to ask.  Life situations will help. For example, a current experience in our family has led me to study the topic of patience...what it is and how to obtain it.   Another thing we can do is simply start reading.  One verse read intently can lead to a plethora of questions!

I also honed in on what Elder Robert D. Hales said from the most recent general conference and want to incorporate more of this into my study:

The messages of this conference will also be woven into the online youth curriculum. Parents, you may access youth lessons for yourself on LDS.org. Find out what your children are learning, and make it the subject of your own study, family discussions, family home evenings, family councils, and personal interviews with each of your children concerning what they need to be taught individually.

Another thing that has fallen into my lap is having study buddies.  I have a couple of friends with whom I meet to discuss the scriptures. There's no formal agenda, no set day and time, no expectations.  We just sit and talk about whatever one of us has been studying, ask questions, make connections and enjoy our friendship. This has been a real blessing in my life.

And now the part I'm working on improving:  Giving Myself a Deadline.  It's just like when I was homeschooling, we had to create our own deadlines, right?  My goal is to study a topic for a week or two and then write about it.  I'd like to post here or write mini-talks on each topic I study.  I don't really know, yet, but I'm going to do something.  :-)

*********************

"When we feast upon the word of God, we open our minds to eternal truths and our hearts to the gentle whisperings of the Holy Ghost."   
- - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, CR April 2001 - - 

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