A love of scripture, the Book of Mormon in my daily life

The past few days have been pretty quiet for me, well if you can call my random squeaking quiet.  The joy of the quiet has meant some time to just relax as best as I can, ponder some things that need pondering, curl up with the kittens and watch a bit of television.

I stumbled on a series of quotes from Downton Abbey on FaceBook so I started watching.  I love Dame Maggie Smith and seeing her in a more featured roll has been phenomenal.  I steamed through the first season and am on to the second and am looking forward to some more quotes from her character.  

In addition to four days of bed rest, the I told you so from the doctor, I was able to write a quick note for my mother and am putting a package together for her to welcome her to young women since she’s agreed to go through personal progress with me.

I have a few things left that I am waiting for and I’m definitely looking forward to sending everything off to her:

  • A triple combination (I realized a full brick could be a bit overwhelming)
  • A copy of the Personal Progress manual and journal
  • A copy of For the Strength of Youth
  • A copy of The Young Women’s Personal Progress Doodle Book (see below)
  • And what I’m waiting for, a young women’s torch pendant and chain

I don’t know if she’ll understand how important that this is to me quite yet.  I actually cried when I was given my pendant as a welcome to the Young Women.  There was this joy and this moment where more of me understood and felt the fit I have in his plan.

And part of this fitting in and being a part of that plan is doing my part of personal progress.  How silly am I?  I’m a goose really.  But of course, as part of being a goose, I’m digging deeper into Scripture.

The hard part about being a visual learner is that reading doesn’t always do it for  me and while I’ve listened through the Book of Mormon several times, and read it through nearly four times, but the hard part is that with the crazy damage to brain from a head injury quite some time ago, my ability to retain information has been difficult.

Luckily for me there is an amazing woman out there, Shannon Foster, who is also a blogger and a writer and has a brilliant creative mind.  She’s put together doodle books for Personal Progress, Sunday School, and studying the Doctrine and Covenants as well as the Book of Mormon.  

While the Book of Mormon guides currently only cover 1 Nephi through Mosiah, she indicated that there are additional guides coming through.  Her resources are bountiful and includes a great deal of Sunday School resources as well as ones for General Conference.

As a convert, I find them completely invaluable and they’ve been wonderful in drawing my mind into the best place to begin such a venture where I’m trying to retain more about what I am studying.  I am truly blessed to have found her site and encourage anyone out there who wants additional insight and help in studying the Book of Mormon, a work book for Sunday School or even Personal Progress to consider checking out her site at theredheadedhostess.com

You never know when something I found may also offer a blessing for someone else that’s out there.

With these thoughts in mind, I thought I’d share some quotes about the Book of Mormon that don’t just come from me,but also come from others and testify to the power of the Book of Mormon.  These quotes now occupy they first few pages of my Book of Mormon Doodle Book.

The best part is that they’re directly from my doodle book and written in my own hand:

And next time, my fascination with the Kirtland Temple Era and a love of one of my favorite radio series, Past Impressions which you can find out more about at MormonChannel.Org.

Have a great week! 


Grace again? It’ll pop up a few more times!

I know I’ve been talking about grace a lot, but it is my focus for another few days.  I think that by the time I’ve actually stood up before our young women that I’ll be able to teach the class cold without my notes and just go where the spirit leads.

Thats the way I like teaching and like to give talks.  I always have a plan and always want to be ready with handouts or teaching tools that I may be led to because sometimes the Spirit will hijack my lessons and lead me in a different direction that my class needs to go.

In the case of my class, I want these young women to know how important grace is.  I’m not considering grace as only a part of the atonement or a part of the plan of salvation, but also as a part of our ability to heal and our ability to not just live but thrive!

Wow!  Just wow. 

So getting ready for Sunday, which is only four more days away isn’t a scary thing, but I do have a little bit of a case of nerves.  While I’ve taught most of the girls in my class on a regular basis, there are a few that I haven’t met yet and it will be the first time presenting a lesson with our Young Women’s leadership team being present.  While I’ve given a talk in which all but two of our leadership were present, it’s definitely a huge change.

Here are the questions I answered yesterday:

  • What is grace?
  • What will we receive because of grace?
  • Why do we need grace?
  • How can we use grace in our every day lives?

I also took a look at a number of scriptures about grace including the five from the ‘What is grace?‘ lesson outline:

 For by grace are ye saved through faithand that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecyand having all these witnesses we obtain hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weaknessthat we may know that it is by his graceand his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sinsthat ye become holywithout spot.

What have I learned from delving into thses scriptures?  Well, I have a few points of interest:

  1. by grace we are saved through the power of faith
  2. after all that we can do, (good, bad, serving our fellow men and women), grace is able to save us
  3. through our identity in Christ our faith is strengthened adn we can accomplish anything
  4. grace can help us find our perfection through our identity in Christ

Not too bad of a start for this journey in grace.

The next step in getting ready for this lesson was to find a number of talks and resources that addressed the topic of grace and the ‘after all we can do’ prase found in 2 Nephi 25:23.

Yesterday, I posted about a few talks that I had found that include:

The lesson outlien itself also includes In the strength of the Lord which was given by Elder David A. Bednar in the October 2004 General Conference.

From this talk, we’re able to take away one of the most amazing bits of information about grace that I’ve ever heard or seen in print.  “Grace is strenth and an enabling power…”

I keep going back to that thought which is a theme which also occurred in the October 23, 2001 BYU Devotional which also answered an amazing question about the journey of life and what it is a amazing roll grace plays in it.

The framework for my message today is a statement by President David O. McKay. He summarized the overarching purpose of the gospel of the Savior in these terms: “The purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature” (from the film Every Member a Missionary, as acknowledged by Franklin D. Richards, CR, October 1965, 136–37; see also Brigham Young, JD 8:130 [22 July 1860]).

Thus the journey of a lifetime is to progress from bad to good to better and to experience the mighty change of heart–and to have our fallen natures changed.

Thats right, make bad men good and good men better through the power of the atonement with grace as it’s enabling power.

WOW!  I like wow moments and this one was very much a paradigm shift.  I don’t know about you, but with that right there, I get the chills.

Grace is the divine means to help and to strengthen and guide us through our darkest times.

For some of us, our darkest moments are ones where our lives are endangered, face a personal tragedy or struggling with the pain of depression which may come seasonally, as a result of imbalance in our brains or after facing our past.

I can’t even begin to tell you which of the circumstances are the worse, but when it comes down to it, it isn’t up to me to decide which is the worse.  In the end, it also isn’t up to us to decide if someone elses journey is harder than our own.

What is important is to know that no matter what our struggle is that we have grace to strengthen us.  Additionally, we can reach out to those around us that may be struggling to support and love on each other.

I know it isn’t always easy, but often we hear the promptings of spirit and feel that nudge to reach out to someone that may need us.