Visiting Teaching the Right Way

This week I got a reminder of what visiting teaching is really about. I’m sure that in your mind you’re thinking about the typical visit where you sit for a while, give a brief message, and then leave while issuing the standard “Let me know if you need anything.” While this phrase is often sincere and almost always well-intended, I know I’ve never called my visiting teachers when I had a need. Whether you’re being visited or are the visiting teacher, there are ways to make visiting teaching a better experience all the way around. My learning moments came about … Continue reading

Lessons from My Father

I’ve always been a bit of a daddy’s girl. As a little girl, I chose repeatedly to attend the “cow sales” (livestock auctions) with Dad over shopping with Mom. Maybe it was because I felt so special being the only little girl in the midst of all those men, but whatever the reason, I loved spending time with my dad. I loved the way he took care of me and, although my memory may be somewhat skewed by age and time, the way he seemed to take pride in my being there. I grew up wanting to be around Dad … Continue reading

The Importance of Fathers

My husband grew up in a home without a father. Like so many kids these days, he had one parent at home who had to work to make a living, so he was on his own quite a bit. But even though he didn’t have a father, he felt the need for a father figure. He adored his grandpa and tried to be like him, and he sought out other men to fill that void in his life. Fortunately, he lived in a good neighborhood and a good ward. As a teenager, a man down the street took him under … Continue reading

For the Strength of Youth Series: Dating

Remember all those years of dating? Aren’t you glad that they’re over for many of us? I know I am. My dating years were longer than I had hoped for, but in the end it turned out good for me. I found a fabulous man to marry, but only because I constantly kept my eye out for someone who had high standards and who fit me. But it was years of dating the right way that led me to that point. I didn’t go on a date until I was 16. I knew that that was the rule and that … Continue reading

For the Strength of Youth Series: Language

Have you ever noticed that you can tell a LOT about a person by how they speak and what they say? I’m an observer by nature, and I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people and I’ve noticed over and over again that language is a key indicator of the type of person I’m listening to. The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet points out several things about language that I personally appreciate including the statement that “how you speak says much about who you are.” The pamphlet gives some good direction on things you should do regarding language. … Continue reading

For the Strength of Youth Series: Music and Dancing

Ahh, the memories of stake youth dances and the Book of Mormon distance between partners. Most of the time I didn’t have a particular boy I liked, so these dances were most often a time to go with my group of friends and have fun being silly and wearing funny clothes just for kicks. A bit nerdy, perhaps, but good clean fun. The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet encourages youth (and adults alike) to choose good music and dancing for entertainment and to help you become closer to the Lord. Music is a fabulous way to share how you … Continue reading

For the Strength of Youth Series: Entertainment and the Media

The Thirteenth Article of Faith states that we seek after “anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy.” Basically, we want to be culturally aware and find good things to watch, listen to, and attend. As the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet states, Satan uses some entertainment to dull our spirits and make us think that “what is wrong and evil look[s] normal and exciting.” These days you have to wade through all the junk on TV and the contorted messages portrayed through the media to find uplifting entertainment. But knowing your own personal values and standards (like … Continue reading

For the Strength of Youth Series: Agency and Accountability

Understanding agency and accountability are fundamental in the LDS faith. Without agency, the whole Plan of Salvation doesn’t make much sense. If we didn’t come to Earth to make choices and choose through our actions to go back to our Heavenly Father, then why are we here? The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet does a great job of addressing this topic. It explains that “you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments.” I recently taught a lesson on this topic, and after reading 2 Nephi: … Continue reading

For the Strength of Youth Series

Have you read the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet lately? I hadn’t until I was called to a Young Women calling a while ago. All I remembered was that as a youth I used to think of the pamphlet as guidance for what I wasn’t supposed to do. As I looked at it again, I was amazed at the simple doctrines, the understanding, and the love that radiates from the pages of this pamphlet. Everything is so direct and simple. Everything is doctrinally sound. It’s fabulous. Whether you have a teenager around the house or not, this little book … Continue reading

Seeking Higher Ground

Have you seen the Mormon Messages that appear on the web site and on YouTube? I have recently become a fan of these short messages that are so uplifting, spiritually helpful, and well done. And they’re only a couple of minutes each, so it’s easy to fit one into your day. Don’t you love the Internet for the cool things it makes possible? Today I watched one entitled Seek the Higher Ground. In it, Elder Cook talks about how our lives can be enriched and we can do all the Lord needs us to do when we seek higher … Continue reading