Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I went to the Bowerbird Bazaar.

This is where I went last weekend.
To the Adelaide show grounds on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The Bowerbird Bazaar is a wonder market for up-and-coming designers, artists, and craftspeople.  Those clever crafty people.
Here are some examples:


UDDER is a wicked collection of handmade soft toys, complete with bandit outfits, and children's clothing.  The woman behind Udder - Fliss Dodd - was lovely to indulge a fan.  We chatted a little about a common acquaintance and his photography workshops, and about her products.

One hectare has a great range of greeting cards and prints.  Seriously, these babies looked great presented in wide white frames.  Mmm, I like frames.

This store made me actually LOL.  You know, laugh out loud.

This painter clearly had a healthy obsession with rabbits.

The highlight for me was picking up some goodies for the bare walls at home.  I can finally use some of the frames I have been storing (hoarding?) for months and months.
From Printspace.  

We have such great artists and designers here in Australia.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Study aids for Book of Mormon records and authors.

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.
That is the subtitle to this book of scripture, as discussed here.  Another witness of Jesus Christ is valuable.  See Doctrine and Covenants 6:28 and Matthew 18:16 as to why.

Consider the meaning of the word testament.
"In the Bible we have the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The word testament is the English rendering of a Greek word that can also be translated as covenant.  Is this what the Lord meant when He called the Book of Mormon the 'new covenant'?  It is indeed another testament or witness of Jesus.  This is one of the reasons why we have recently [in 1982] added the words 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ' to the title of the Book of Mormon."  [1]

It was in 1982 when the leaders of the Church decided on this subtitle.  Suddenly, the stick (or record) of Judah - the Old Testament and the New Testament - and the stick (or record) of Ephraim - the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ - were "woven together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other.  They are indeed one in our hands.  Ezekiel's prophecy now stands fulfilled."  [2]

This is an overview of the ancient records within the Book of Mormon:


In the second paragraph of the Book of Mormon's title page, we read what the Book of Mormon writers wanted to convince the world ... the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring Jew and Gentile to the conviction that "Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

(By the way, the word Christ means "anointed one" in Greek.  In Hebrew, Messiah means "anointed one".  In 1 Nephi 10:4, the prophet Lehi referred to Jesus Christ as "a Messiah, or in other words, a Savior of the world".  Therefore, when we say that Jesus is the Christ, we are testifying that He was the One who was anointed to save us.)

How has the Book of Mormon convinced you that Jesus is the Christ?
Can you think of specific passages from the Book of Mormon that have strengthened your testimony of the Saviour?

I think of the powerful conversion story of King Lamoni, in the book of Alma.  Once he was taught about God and Jesus Christ, his Saviour, Lamoni felt so moved to give up all his sins and way of life to know the truth.  Read the account here.

[1] Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 4; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 4
[2] Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53
[3] History of the Church, 1:71

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Book of Mormon is the keystone of my religion.

This is what an arch looks like.

See the shaded stone?  That's the keystone of the arch - the bit holding it all together.
If an archway was built without a keystone ... bam.  Goodbye arch.

The reason we Mormons call the Book of Mormon the keystone of our religion, is because without it, our religion crumbles.  It is the most important part, holding up the remainder of our beliefs.

(Incidentally, that is the ideal way to know if what we belief is true or not.  Read the Book of Mormon, and make your own mind up.)

Toward the end of the introduction to the Book of Mormon, it says:
"Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” "

The prophet at the time, Joseph Smith, compared the Book of Mormon to a keystone because this book is crucial to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and it influences our testimony (our belief) of other aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The introduction continues: 
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true.  Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah."

Some may gain a testimony or firm belief in another stone first - that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very real, or that God calls prophets today just as He did in the day of Moses or Noah.  It all adds up.  Gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon will help people know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.

And that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What is truth?

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, He said:  For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Pilate then asked the big question:  What is truth?  [1]

What is truth?

Really, the question should be "from where or whom does truth emanate?"

Divine truth is absolute reality.  Everything in this world that is true has a divine source.  That source is Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me". [2]
Jesus Christ represents truth and is the embodiment of all truth. [3]

How do the scriptures define truth?  I've been cross referencing Doctrine and Covenants 93:24 with Jacob 4:13 (in the Book of Mormon).  Truth is the knowledge of things past, present, and future.  Truth is that which endures.

Did you see the word really in Jacob 4:13?
"It is vital to know that there really is a God, that there really is a Savior, Jesus Christ, that there really is impending immortality for all men, that there really will be a judgment with genuine personal accountability, and that there really is purpose in life and a divine plan of happiness for man.
"When we know such basic truths as these, then we know what really matters, how to approach life and how to view man in the universe.  There is great power in perspective.  Therefore, the adverb 'really', as used by Jacob, is deeply significant."  [4]

Do you know what the difference between absolute truth and relative truth is?
I found this profoundly interesting ...
"This true way of life [the gospel] is not a matter of opinion.  There are absolute truths and relative truths.  ... There are many ideas advanced to the world that have been changed to meet the needs of the truth as it has been discovered.  There are relative truths, and there are also absolute truths which are the same yesterday, today, and forever - never changing.  These absolute truths are not altered by the opinions of men.  As science has expanded our understanding of the physical world, certain accepted ideas of science have had to be abandoned in the interest of truth.  Some of these seeming truths were stoutly maintained for centuries.  The sincere searching of science often rests only on the threshold of truth, whereas revealed facts give us certain absolute truths as a beginning point so we may come to understand the nature of man and the purpose of his life.  ...
"We learn about these absolute truths be being taught by the Spirit.  These truths are 'independent' in their spiritual sphere and are to be discovered spiritually, though they may be confirmed by experience and intellect.  ...
"God, our Heavenly Father - Elohim - lives.  That is an absolute truth.  ... All the people on the earth might deny him and disbelieve, but he lives in spite of them.  ... In short, opinion alone has no power in the matter of an absolute truth.  He still lives.  And Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Master of the only true way of life - the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The intellectual may rationalise him out of existence and the unbeliever may scoff, but Christ still lives and guides the destinies of his people.  That is an absolute truth; there is no gainsaying.  ...
"The Gods organised and gave life to man and placed him on the earth.  This is absolute.  It cannot be disproved.  A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true.[5]

Absolute truths are those eternal and immovable truths that have been revealed by God.
Adherence to revealed truth brings great blessings and, ultimately, salvation.

My personal challenge is to make a quest for truth and knowledge a daily, lifelong activity.
Too many Latter-day Saints are satisfied with what they already know and fail to continue in their quest for life-giving truth and light.  That is forfeiting a chance for eternal life.  [6]

With all this in mind ... I'm going to start blogging my lessons from my Book of Mormon Institute class.

And yes, I'm aware I've been terribly slow on sharing my Old Testament lessons. 
But hey, I can't overload everyone with religion at once!

[1] John 18:37-38
[2] John 14:6
[3] see 3 Nephi 15:9
[4] Neal A. Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 4, bold added
[5] Spencer W. Kimball, "Absolute Truth", Ensign, Sept. 1978, 3-4, bold added
[6] see Spencer W. Kimball, "Seek Learning, Even by Study and Also by Faith", Ensign, Sept. 1983, 5-6

Monday, November 5, 2012

Need some Monday inspiration?

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Don't you get bogged down with all your commitments.  Chill out now and then. 
Take some time to smile.  Note random acts of kindness you see.
It's only Monday, after all ...

Here is some inspiration for your week.
pin it )

source )

pin it )

pin it )

Friday, October 5, 2012

Is it possible that God speaks to us today?

General Conference is almost here!!  This is the time of the year when we Mormons gather around and listen to the words of the prophet.  It's a brillant opportunity to receive motivation, inspiration, and instruction from Church leaders.

A prophet, as a righteous and inspired leader, is the mouthpiece of the Lord; a representative of God.  They will always be a special witness of Jesus Christ.  They literally pass on God's words to us, His people, to teach, inspire, refine, and warn us.
So their words will help us come closer to Christ and know God's will.

God has always spoken to prophets.  Always.  And today is no different.
Ever since Adam was roaming around here and here.  Think about it.  Heavenly Father loves us; He's not going to leave us to wander through this mortal life without direction and guidance.  That defeats the purpose of being alive.
It truly is such a simple and wonderful concept - we are God's children, we are in constant need of direction and advice, and so regardless of the era we live in, God will always speak to us via prophets (see Amos 3:7 in the Old Testament).
(this is, of course, in addition to personal answers to prayers and personal inspiration)
The teachings of our Heavenly Father are not the ordinary, predictable, run-of-the-mill kind you can pick up in paperback at the local bookstore.  They are the wisdom of an all-powerful, all-knowing celestial Being who loves His children.  Encompassed in His words is the secret of the ages—the key to happiness in this life and in the world to come.  [1]

To anyone who may wonder if this is possible ... I invite you to come and see.
Read the word of God as found in the scriptures.  Listen to general conference with an ear willing to hear the voice of God given through His latter-day prophets.  ...  For if you seek “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [God] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4).  [2]

Remember .. we believe he is God's spokesperson for everyone, not just Mormons.
Which means you can all tune in to listen or read copies of the address.  Perhaps the answers to your questions will be found somewhere over this weekend.

Visit to learn more about prophets and apostles speaking today.

"General conference is intended to be a revelatory experience as participants learn from living prophets and apostles through the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.  Proper preparation will help ensure that you get the most out of your conference experience." [3]

How can I possibly prepare for this event?
Here are three basic concepts to help us to better receive, remember, and apply the words spoken by the Lord’s servants: [4]
1. Members of the Church are entitled to personal revelation as they listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference.
So think of questions you need to have answered. Weall have some challenges to face, and we all need direction and guidance to face them.

2. Don’t discount a message merely because it sounds familiar.
God isn't going to introduce a new commandmentor teaching now.  His laws are eternal, and have always been around.  Which means His prophets have always taught by repetition.  It's how we learn.

So you and I will probably continue to hear messages on similar issues from time to time ... because the Lord is teaching and impressing upon minds and hearts certain foundational principles of great eternal importance that must be understood and acted upon before we can move on to other things.

Sometimes we just ain't listening, so He'll try again ...

3. The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months.Ever heard of a Liahona?  How about a compass?
The Holy Ghost, like a compass, will guide us ... but we need to listen and then apply the messages the Lord provides for us.

For this is no ordinary blessing.

In preparation for General Conference this October, Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity is doing a little series about the 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet.

If you need an alternative, or are on the road, you can download this app here and watch conference live.

[2] ibid
[3] source

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies.

My appearance and my weight.  They have both been on my mind for most of my adult life.  Hey, I'm only human, and I'm a woman too.  Most women, even if it doesn't seem like it, are most likely judging themselves or thinking critical and negative comments about their physical appearance.

I've personally battled this, and I know most of you do too.  It may not be the weight you see on the dreaded scales, but perhaps the shape of your nose, or the annoying flicks in your hair that can never be controlled, or the blotches on your skin.  We all have insecurities.

Well, to you (and myself) I say ... you are beautiful.
You are a son or daughter of God.  Literally.  You are a precious spirit child of our Heavenly Father, and as such, you are valued, respected, and you have much potential.
You are also somebody's friend.  In fact, you are a friend to a lot of people, an example to even more people, and you are valued in your community, your family, and probably your workplace or school.  You just don't know it.
Some days it feels like that ain't so.  But it has to be ... we are each born with a unique mixture of talents and abilities that no one has.  There is a great need for you and me.  Yes, my friend, we have a purpose.

In fact, you should watch this short film right now.  You deserve to be validated!

The reason I share these thoughts with you today, is because of the media.  A great tool, as we all know, but also a terrible avenue for wrong and hurtful activity.

A few weeks back, when our brilliant and hard working Olympians were finishing their training and embarking on that great event that is the Olympic Games, someone said our very own swimming champion looked fat.  They saw a picture of her in her swimmers, leaning over the pool, and they said she looked fat.  It's pretty sad that when I type in her name in a Google search, the word fat automatically comes up.

Then a few weeks later, with no baby stories or nude photos to show, tabloid magazines decided to attack Kate Middleton by calling her skinny.  TOO skinny.  Photos taken are sharp angles, piztelated close up shots of her body printed up in bright colours to accentuate their point.

Was Liesel Jones too fat?  Is Princess Kate too skinny?
Well why is it any of our business?!  Why is this deemed great entertainment to sell?

And why on earth are we focusing our attention and extra energy on negativity?  I am continually reminding myself of the power of positive thinking.  We really do underestimate this power.  Even now I am learning to re-tap this valuable source of happiness and health, with a few issues of my own that I may blog about in the future.

Both here, here and here are great suggestions for us all.

Today, an American local news anchor had something of a personal nature to share with her viewers.
I think she says it best.  To her, I say well done.

Ms Livingston turned what could have been a hurtful loads of comments into a powerful opportunity against bullying.

I'm really glad that when Ms Livingston’s husband posted the emailed letter on his Facebook Page, that they received an outpouring of support.  Kindess and empathy gave Ms Livingston a way out off possible-negativity.
And Ms Livingston was clearly empowered in this moment.  She decided to single the writer out as a bully.

“The truth is I am overweight,” Livingston said.
“You can call me fat and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart.  To the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that?  Your cruel words are pointing out something I don’t see?  You don’t know me.  You are not a friend of mine.  You are not a part of my family, and you admitted that you don’t watch this show so you know nothing about me besides what you see on the outside - and I am much more than a number on a scale.”

“We are better than that bully.  We are better than this email.  We are better than the bullies that would try to take us down.”

"Do not let your self worth be defined by bullies."

Monday, October 1, 2012

What does a Mormon temple look like?

The Mormon temple is different to a regular meeting house.  And you're welcome to have a look:

How wonderful these holy houses are.
As a Mormon, I can go to the Adelaide Australia temple from time to time.  I went recently to witness the sealing of our good friends.  That family is going to be together forever.
Most of the times I attend the temple, I go to commune with God personally, to bring some particular questions and seek personal revelation and inspiration.

Sometimes we just need to set aside the things of the world, put our day-to-day havoc on hold, and seek silent solace.

So there is a different between our church building and our temple building.
And neither of them are a secret.  We desire all to come unto Christ.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The birthright for Esau and Jacob.

Esau and Jacob were the twin boys struggling together in Rebekah's womb back here.
Were these brothers already at odds with each other?  Or were they just practicing womb soccer?
These are the questions we must answer.

Not really.

The boys were born a short time after their grandfather, Abraham, died.

Esau was described as a cunning hunter, and Jacob a plain man.  This is not an insult - in fact the text is complimenting Jacob here.  The Hebrew word used for plain meant whole, complete, or perfect.
That imagery probably falls in line with what you already know about Jacob, as the favoured son of Rebekah.  It pretty much says so in verse 28.  Isaac favoured Esau, the first born, and Rebekah preferred her youngest, Jacob.

One day, Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
(Genesis 25:30–34)

What's this about giving up and despising birthrights?
The primary point of this account is to show how little value Esau placed on the birthright.  Perhaps he didn't understand its significance, although I am sure his parents weren't negligent in their teachings.  Clearly his immediate physical needs were more important to him than the rights of the covenant.

And we see it all unfold in Genesis 27:1-33.

Esau asking Jacob for pottage - video still(source)

What I want you to understand is this:  Even though Isaac originally thought he was blessing Esau, he did not change the blessing when he realized he had blessed Jacob.  He didn't change the blessing one bit.  He didn't even tack on a curse at the end for Jacob.  Isaac, as a patriarch, recognised that the Lord inspired him to bless the right person.
This story helps us realize that the Lord inspires His servants to accomplish His will in spite of their weaknesses or incomplete knowledge of a situation.

I remember when we discussed this in class, I made the following example:  I had just moved into a new ward (congregation) in a new stake.  If I were to ask for my patriarchal blessing for the first time, I would naturally approach the patriarch in my new stake.  As a newbie, he wouldn't recognised me or know me at all.  But I would still received my blessing.  You could even go in and say you're me, but we would receive our personal blessings.
“In the culture of this time period, the firstborn son received a “birthright,” which included the right to preside in the family and a double portion of his father’s goods and land when his father died.  The birthright son then could take care of the rest of the family, including his father’s widow.  The revelation Rebekah received concerning her two sons probably prepared her to understand that this tradition would not necessarily apply in their family.  Receiving the birthright of the covenant did not come because of birth order but because of righteousness.”  [1]

As an interesting side note ...  throughout the Old Testament, Jehovah is repeatedly called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  It is significant that you understand not only who Abraham was, but also why the Lord chose Isaac and Jacob to be the first of the house of Israel.  They were all foreordained to their responsibilities, of course.  But through their personal worthiness, however, they justified their callings in the covenant line.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

“It appears that anciently under the Patriarchal Order certain special blessings, rights, powers, and privileges - collectively called the birthright - passed from the father to his firstborn son. (Gen. 43:33.) 
In later ages special blessings and prerogatives have been poured out upon all the worthy descendants of some who gained special blessings and birthrights anciently. (3 Ne. 20:25–27.) 
Justification for this system, in large part, lies in the pre-existent preparation and training of those born in the lines destined to inherit preferential endowments.”  [2]

In the patriarchal order this birthright was passed from father to son, who was often, but not always, the eldest son.  Righteousness was a more important factor than being the firstborn.
“Some people criticize Jacob for “taking advantage” of his brother; however, we do not know the whole story.  The story does show what little value Esau placed on the birthright and the blessings of being the firstborn son in the covenant line of Abraham and shows that Jacob desired those blessings.”  [3]
So ... just making sure we're all on the same page here ... Esau traded away something that would be of great value to him in the future (his birthright) for something of little value that could be obtained right away and satisfied an immediate appetite (hunger).
Do you think this happens today?  People trading eternal opportunities and blessings for something worldly or something that satisfies an appetite?

After all had taken place, Esau didn't take this very well.  He was a blessed man, never forgotten by the Lord, “... but like most of us he valued what he had lost after it was gone.  ... He bitterly resolved to get revenge by fratricide when he saw the blessing of transmittal of the birthright actually confirmed upon the head of him to whom he had bartered the right to it.” [4]

What did alert and resourceful Rebekah do?  She averted a double tragedy – if one murder the other, they would be executed by law.  She then proposed to Isaac that Jacob be sent away to find a proper wife in her home land.  Both she and Isaac understood that “their life’s mission would be frustrated if Jacob married as Esau had.” [5]

So Jacob went off to marry.  And we all know how important that is ...

[1] Old Testament Seminary Manual
[2] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 87
[3] Old Testament Seminary Manual
[4] Rasmussen, Introduction to the Old Testament, 1:47, bold added
[5] ibid

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thought for Friday: Validation.

This is a brilliant short film.  It definitely brightened my day when I watched it!

We all need to be validated.

Thanks to Mara over at A blog above Love.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What should I have for lunch?

A little mayo
A little more avocado
Some bacon and chicken
Lots of green leaves


Monday, September 17, 2012

A family is forever.

I have a family, here on earth.  They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.

Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
and the Lord has shown me how I can.

The Lord has shown us how we can.

While I am in my early years, I'll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God's temple for eternity.

Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
and the Lord has shown me how I can.

The Lord has shown us how we can.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Way back in June.

The sun was setting.  It was a windy day.  And our tummies were full of great tucker from a little town down the coast.

Can you believe I'm only just now getting around to uploading these photos?
Back in June, my parents flew down to Adelaide for the long weekend.  They say they were visiting me, but I know what they were really up to.  They were inspecting my living conditions.  Our newly bought house, the work we had done and planned to do, and how I was faring so far away without them.  And ensuring I was looking after Matthew.

Hopefully the weather has made up its mind where you are.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...