Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Thoughts

So it's been awhile since I posted last - I have been dealing with some significant health issues, but am feeling better now! I just couldn't pass up the chance to celebrate mothering!!!

Mother's Day is tomorrow and what a great opportunity for us to celebrate the mother in our life! 

Check out these posts from year's past:

Happy Mothering to each of you,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Week - Day Eight (Easter Sunday)

Day 8 – Easter Sunday (Jesus’ Resurrection & Appearances)

“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 25:8).
Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-12; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-23
Family Discussion: Discuss how the apostles reacted to Mary Magdalene’s report that Christ had risen (Mark 16:10-11) and the report of the two men on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:13). Discuss the Lord’s response to this (Mark 16:14).

I also highly recommend viewing the new Bible Videos located here: 

Suggested Activities:
  • Play the game “Why do we celebrate Easter?” (listed below)
  • Sing the Resurrection Hymn (“I Know That My Redeemer Lives”)
  • If you made a “LOA” table earlier in the week, read all of the comments aloud.
  • If you chose to participate in a service activity on Day 2, report on the service given.
"Why do we celebrate Easter?"
For a unique presentation of the often heard Easter story, copy and paste the following scriptures into a word document. Then cut them apart and put them in correspondingly numbered platic eggs. Add the appropriate item (in parentheses) except for the 12th egg, which should remain empty.

Serve the eggs in a decorated basket, from an egg carton, or at each place setting at the dinner table. This adds a nice touch to a church lesson, family home evening, or as a gift. Or play a game of “scrambled eggs” by having players match the scriptures to the items, or putting the story in sequence.

1. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39; (Sacrament Cup)

2. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,, And said unto them, what will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:14-15 This fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 11: 12-14 that Jesus would be sold for 30 pieces of silver. (3 dimes)

3. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Matthew 27: 1-2; (knotted twine)

4. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Matthew 27: 24-26; Do we also wash our hands? (chunk of hand soap)

5. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews and they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. Matthew 27: 28-30 (square of red velvet)

6. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. Matthew 27: 31-32 And He was crucified… nailed to the cross. (Press this nail into your hand … feel how it must have hurt.) (toothpick cross, tiny nail)

7. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet… And sitting down they watch him there: Matthew 27: 35-36 (small pair of dice)

8. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent:. . . Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27: 50-51 & 54 (tiny bag of crushed rock or potting soil)

9. Then Joseph, a rich man) went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, the wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock. Matthew 27: 57-60; (strip of white cloth)

10. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed. Pilate said unto them (the chief priests and Pharisees), Ye have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. Matthew 27: 60, 65-66; (a stone)

11. And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. / And, behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. And the angel . . . said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. Mark 16:1, Matthew 28: 2 and 5; (bay leaf, cloves or other herb)

12. Then the angels said unto the women, “Fear no ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen.” Matthew 28:6; (empty)

Holy Week - Day Seven (Saturday)

Day 7 – Saturday (The Jewish Sabbath)

Prophecy: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16:20).
Scripture ReadingMatthew 27:62-66; Luke 23:56
Family Discussion: Discuss Jewish Sabbath (shabbat) observance compared to our own. (Here is a link to the wikipedia entry for shabbat).
Suggested Activity:
  • Prepare the dough for Easter Breakfast Rolls to serve Easter morning.
Easter Breakfast Rolls
*Prepare these rolls the night before Easter for part of a delicious Easter-morning breakfast.

1 package frozen bread or roll dough, thawed 1 tsp cinnamon
(or use dough from fav. homemade rolls) 1 bag lrg. Marshmallows
6 tbls sugar ¼ cup butter, melted

- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Divide the dough into individual roll-sized portions. Press each portion into a flat circle. Place 1 large marshmallow in the center of each roll. Pinch roll dough very firmly around the marshmallow. Roll each into a seamless, or nearly seamless, ball with your hands. Brush rolls with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture over rolls.

- Cover rolls with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.

- On Sunday morning, preheat oven to 350°F.

- Take rolls out of the refrigerator and bake for 15 minutes until rolls are golden brown.

Just like Christ’s tomb on Easter Sunday, these rolls will be empty!

* Serving size depends on amount of dough used.

Holy Week - Day Six (Friday)

Day 6 – Friday (Jesus’ Trial and Crucifixion)
GAK #230 "The Crucifixion"
  • “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
  • “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off my hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).
  • “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psalm 22:16).
  • “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why are thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalm 22:1)
  • “He Keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken” (Psalm 34:20).
Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:1-61; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 22:66-23:56; John 18:28-19:42
Family Discussion: Compare and contrast events after the Crucifixion as experienced in the Old World verses the New World (see Luke 23:44-47; 3 Nephi 8:5-23).
Suggested Activities:
  • Taste the difference between water and vinegar.
  • Turn out all the lights for the evening to signify the three hours of darkness in the Old World and the three days in the New World (see Matthew 27:45; 3 Nephi 8:20-23).
  • Sing the Crucifixion hymn (“Behold the Great Redeemer Die”)

Holy Week - Day Five (Thursday)

Day 5 – Thursday (The Last Supper, Jesus’ Prayer, and Agony in Gethsemane)

“Yea, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9).
“Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none” (Psalm 69:20).
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).

Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:17-75; Mark 14:12-72; Luke 22:7-65; John 13:1-18:27
Family Discussion:
1) Read John 14:4-15 and discuss why it was important that Jesus wash the apostles’ feet (see “Jesus the Christ {JTC},” Chp 33, “The Ordinance of the Washing of Feet”; Note 3). You may also want to mention that they wore sandals so their feet would have been caked in dirt.

JTC – “The Ordinance of the Washing of Feet”, Note 3: “The ordinance of the washing of feet was reestablished through revelation on December 27, 1832. It was made a feature of admission to the school of prophets, and detailed instructions relating to its administration were given (see D&C 88:140-141). Further direction as to the ordinances involving washing were revealed January 19, 1841” (see D&C 124:37-39). * I would recommend reading the entire section in “Jesus the Christ” to help you explain the ordinance of washing the feet.

 From the back of Gospel Art Kit picture #226 "Jesus Washing the Apostle's Feet":
"John 13:415; Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:8
He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. John 13:5

After Jesus had eaten the Last Supper with His Apostles, He removed His outer robe and put a towel around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and, one by one, began to wash and dry the Apostles' feet. (See John 13:45.)

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter asked the Lord why He was washing his feet. Jesus told Peter that he would not understand then but that he would know later. Peter said, "Thou needest not to wash my feet" (Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:8).

"Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me" (John 13:8).

Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head" (John 13:9).

Jesus told him that He needed only to wash his feet (seeJohn 13:10; Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:10).

Jesus told His Apostles that they were not all clean because He knew one would betray Him (seeJohn 13:1011).

When Jesus finished washing the Apostles' feet, He said, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (John 13:1415).

Summary of the Picture

After eating the Last Supper, Jesus poured water into a basin. He then washed the Apostles' feet and dried them with a towel. Jesus explained that He had done this to teach them that they were to serve others.

2) Discuss the significance of the administration of the sacrament and having the authority of the Melchezedek Priesthood on the earth today.
3) Share with your family your feelings regarding Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane. Read and discuss Christ's description of his own suffering in Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19.

Gospel Art Kit # 227
Following the Last Supper, Jesus and His Apostles went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus went off by Himself to pray. He knew that the time had come for Him to suffer for the sins of the world. He prayed that He might not have to experience such suffering but told Heavenly Father that He would do the Father's will. Jesus prayed more earnestly, and He sweat great drops of blood as He atoned for our sins. Jesus had asked Peter, James, and John to wait nearby and watch while He prayed, but they were unable to stay awake. When Jesus finished praying, He came to them and told them that He was about to be taken away by wicked men.
3) Discuss how it would feel to be part of the mob arresting Jesus and then have him heal you (see Luke 22:50-51).

Gospel Art Kit #228 - The Betrayl of Jesus
Judas, one of the Apostles, went to the Jewish leaders and plotted to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. He led a group of men armed with swords and clubs to Jesus and the other Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas greeted Jesus and kissed Him, which was the signal for the men to know which person was Jesus. Jesus allowed the men to arrest Him but asked that His followers be permitted to go unharmed. 

Suggested Activities:
  • Sing the Atonement hymn (“I Stand All Amazed”)
  • Eat a special dinner prepared with foods common in Jesus’ day. Most things that grow in Israel grow in California just as well, you can look at the Medeteranian fruit and see what he was more than likely to eat. (You may want to check out what a Sedar or Passover meal is like for those who are Jewish). Read Matthew 26:17-19 and discuss what you might do to prepare for Passover.
- broiled fish & honeycomb Luke 24:42
- barley bread, John 6:9 or a form of sourdough
- pomegranites
- figs
- wine (grapes)
- olives
- saffron (rose of Sharon)
- celery
- mint
- lamb

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Holy Week - Day Four (Wednesday)

Wednesday - Rest in Bethany

Note: No events are specifically recorded for this day. It is assumed that Jesus spent the day inBethany. You may continue to use parables on Day 3 or discuss later verses, such as Mary anointing the Savior and Judas bargaining for the betrayal of Christ (both are scriptural accounts found at the end of the reading text for Day 3).

Prophecy: “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver” (Zechariah 11:12).
Family Discussion: Show them the thirty pieces of silver. Explain that thirty pieces of silver was the price commonly paid for the life of a male slave. Use the following questions to discuss Judas’ betrayal: Why did the Pharisees set this price? Would it have mattered to Judas how much money had been offered? Has Jesus ever been betrayed since then (by Peter denying him 3 times)? What has been the price?
Suggested Activity:
  • While reading and discussing the Parable of the Ten Virgins, burn two lamps: one filled with oil and another containing only a very little oil. Turn off all other lights and burn both lamps until the foolish virgin's lamp burns out.
  • Act out the play "The Parable of the Ten Virgins" listed below:
The Parable of the Ten Virgins Play
Cast: Narrator; Wise Virgins (up to five); Foolish virgins (up to five); Bridegroom; Members of the wedding party with the Bridegroom; Midnight crier; Oil Merchant(s)

Props: Lamps (homemade lamps, fancy jars, or paper cut-outs); Extra oil containers (cruets, bottles, jugs); Scarves, jewelry, etc. to be worn by the virgins; Robe andhat to be worn by the bridegroom; A "turban" and robe for the oil merchants; A door to be closed upon the foolish virgins

Narrative of Events:

The ten virgins wait with lighted lamps outside the bridegroom's house for his arrival. Of the virgins, half are designated "wise" and carry an extra supply of oil with them. Half are "foolish" and have chosen to bring only their lamps (see Matthew 25:1-4)

2. The bridegroom is later than expected and the virgins fall asleep while waiting for him (see Matthew 25:5).

3. At midnight, a cry is heard, announcing the bridegroom's arrival (see Matthew 25:6).

4. Each virgin awakens and trims her lamp (adjusts the wick and oil level to maximize the lamplight) (see Matthew 25:7).

5. The foolish virgins vainly attempt to borrow extra oil from the wise virgins because their lamps have run out of oil (see Matthew 25:8).

6. The wise virgins direct the foolish virgins to run and buy more oil from the oil merchants (see Matthew 25:9).

7. While the foolish virgins are gone buying more oil, the bridegroom comes with the rest of the wedding party. He opens the door of his house, and the wise virgins enter his house with him. The bridgegroom closes the door after them (see Matthew 25:10).

8. The foolish virgins come back and ask to be let into the house. The bridegroom denies them admittance (see Matthew 25:11-12).

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Holy Week - Day Three (Tuesday)

Tuesday (Parables and Teaching)
Prophecy: “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old” (Psalm 78:2).

Scripture Reading:
 (Spread these readings over the next two days) Matthew 21:19 thru Matthew 26:16; Mark 11:20-14; Luke 20:1 thru Luke 22:6; John 12:37-50

The Prodigal Son

Specific Parables and Teachings:
  • Question of Authority: Matthew 21:23-27
  • Parable of the Two Sons: Matthew 21:28-32
  • Parable of the Wicked Husbandman: Matthew 21:33-46
  • Tribute to Caesar: Matthew 22:15-22
  • The Great Commandment: Matthew 22:34-46
  • Condemnation of Hypocrisy and Lament over Jerusalem: Matthew 23
  • The Widow’s Mite: Mark 12: 41-44
  • Parable of the Ten Virgins: Matthew 25:1-13
  • Parable of the Entrusted Talents: Matthew 25:14-30
  • Parable of the Final Judgment: Matthew 25:31-46
Family Discussion: Discuss the definition of the word “parable” and why Jesus used parables as a teaching method (See Bible Dictionary, “Parables,” 740-41; Jesus the Christ, Chp 19, “He Spake Many Things Unto Them In Parables”).
Suggested Activities:
  • Read “Sharing TimeTheAtonement,” Friend, Mar. 1989, 39. By Laurel Rohlfing. 
  • Read Stephen E. Robinson's "Parable of the Bicycle"Ensign, May 1992, 5-9.
  • Act out a parable. Wear costumes, use props, and record it so the children can view it later.
  • Make Oil Lamps to use when discussing the Parable of the Ten Virgins
Instructions: Clay Lamps
1. Mold pottery clay or Sculpy into a shallow, watertight bowl with a solid, flat bottom. You can coil a thin "snake" of clay around itself several times to form the bowl shape; or you can use your fingers to flatten and pinch a ball of clay into the bowl shape.

2. Pinch together a small section of the bowl's upper lip to form a small spout, like that on a teapot, just wider than the wick you plan to use. This the wick channel

3. Dry the bowl in the sun or according to the package instructions.

4. After the lamp has thoroughly dried, wedge a string of candlewick into the wick channel so that about one inch of the wick sticks out above the bowl and the rest of it is coiled in the bottom of the bowl. (If using Sculpy, line the spout opening with a generous amount of tin foil before wedging the wick in place. This will prevent the clay from melting).

5. Fill the bowl with oil and wait for the oil to soak up the length of the wick.

6. Light the wick.

Instructions: Lamp Wicking
* Wicks can be made in a variety of ways. Use a 1/4 - 1/2 inch strip of cotton (a cut up terrycloth rag would work) or woolen cloth as the wick. Twisted cotton, wool fibers, and lengths of 100% jute twine make fine wicks. You can even make an adequate wick out of a twisted napkin. Candle wicking can also be purchased from craft stores.

Other Scriptures you may want to use:

Matt 21:18-22 On His way back to Jerusalem Jesus cursed the barren fig tree (Bible Dictionary p. 674 Fig tree)Matt 21:23-46 Chief priests challenged Jesus’ authority. He rebuked them.
Mattt 21:28-22:14 Parable of the two sons, the wicked husbandman, and the marriage of the king’s son.
Matt 22:15-16 Enemies tried to trap Jesus in His words. He answered their questions about Roman taxes, marriage and the Resurrection, and the great commandment ( BD p.628 Caesar p.701-2 Herodias p.767 Sadducees)
Mark 12:41, 44 At the temple treasury Jesus notice a widow donating a mite (BD p. 733-34 Mite)Matt 23:1-36 Jesus warned the multitude about hypocrisy (BD p.770 Scribe)
Matt 23:37-39 Jesus lamented over Jerusalem
Matt 24-25 Joseph Smith Matt 1 At the Mount of Olives Jesus taught His disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of His Second Coming. (BD p.633 Christ p.648 Coming of Jesus Christ)
Matt 25 Parable of ten virgins, talents, and the sheep and the goats (BD p.788-89 Weights and Measures)

* Check out these links from for some different ideas for your Easter Week celebration (link onelink two, link three).