Repentance can be a very difficult subject. You want to help the girls learn how to recognize when they’ve done something wrong and to improve upon that, but you don’t want to instill shame. I think as an opening activity, I would ask one of the girls to tell the story of the Council in Heaven. In the story, Satan wants to make every one do the “right” thing, but Christ advocates for agency. This story tells us that making mistakes is something that we know will happen and it’s part of the Plan to make mistakes. Doing the wrong thing means simply that we did something wrong; it does not mean that we are therefore “bad” people. In the class, I might emphasize that again: doing something wrong does not mean we, ourselves, are bad and undeserving of love, mercy, and forgiveness.Read More
Three Sundays ago in Relief Society we had lesson 1 in the Joseph Fielding Smith manual. It was the lesson on Heavenly Father. I had ended up on the front row with my knitting and my baby. The first discussion in the class included listing the traits of God on the board. I sat there wondering if I had something to add while everyone else put up all the phrases I was already thinking about: all the omni-stuff, loving, merciful, etc. And then,
Guest Post by Susan
My oldest daughter asked me to tell about the adoption of her sister. The names in the story have been changed to protect my adopted daughter’s privacy.
A little background of the family dynamics before I get started: my husband has one brother and one sister. His brother (John) is married to (Mary) with no children and his sister (Lucy) is not married and she had at this time 4 children living a son, and three daughters. Her youngest daughter (Anne) is whom this story is about.
I already had two children, a daughter and a son. I found out through the family that my nephew and two nieces were visiting John and Mary after Anne’s birth. It soon became known to John and Mary that the children had been abused. They contacted social services about the abuse. We all knew that Anne was living in this situation.
One night in September I had a dream that it was Christmas time. All I remember about the dream is a Christmas tree, me and a little baby girl. After waking up from this dream I had a distinct feeling, this baby girl was Anne and she was to be my daughter. We did not live close to the family, they lived on the east coast and we lived in the central part of the states. I was perplexed by how we would become her parents, but I knew it was to be. At that time all I could do was to pray for her safety and that there would be a way provided that we would have her at Christmas time. I prayed daily for her.Read More
I opened the comment box and sat with my fingers poised on the keyboard. I didn’t know what to type.
I started scrolling through other people’s comments, hoping for clues about the right response.
“Congratulations,” her other friends had said.
Oh. That made sense. My friend had given birth! To a child she would love dearly! I should say, “Congratulations.”
My finger hovered over the letter C but didn’t type. My friend was probably experiencing one of the greatest disappointments of her life and she had so many more challenges ahead. Challenges that she would handle beautifully—I knew that. And yet…Read More
Guest Post By Erin
From what I remember, (it has been almost 8 years since I pushed another life out of my body) birth is painful, messy, exhausting, and frightening. I can understand why Nicodemus might have been a little incredulous when he was questioning the need to be reborn, i.e. “You want me to do what???” However, there are times in life when a rebirth is absolutely necessary. Not because we weren’t right when we started, but because we have strayed from the person we were meant to be when we began.
Over the course of our marriage, my husband had taught me that I wasn’t enough. I couldn’t do much to please him, no matter how I tried. I logically knew that all the things wrong with our relationship weren’t my fault in total, but in order to maintain peace, I did the apologizing, I accommodated to his needs and wants, I did my best to change my very essence in order to please him through fourteen years of marriage. I was committed to my covenants and would have given up more if I could to protect my children from the spectre of divorce.
In September of 2012, my husband told me he couldn’t “do this” anymore and walked out the door leaving behind a well prepared letter of how visitation and child support and division of property and debts would proceed. I was dumbfounded, to say the least. A week before we had been making detailed lists of all the things we should plan to buy for birthdays and Christmases to prepare for a family goal of section hiking the Appalachian Trail over the next 7 years. His leaving came out of nowhere. Thankfully, the Spirit whispered, “Let him go, he knows what he is leaving and he is still making this choice. You will be okay.”
This wasn’t the rebirth, this was the conception what would be the birth of my new life.Read More
Mary Danzig is a fiddler/violinist and mom. She performs with her husband Peter in the folk/newgrass duo Otter Creek.
Photo: Tom Smart, AP
My first memory of a wedding ceremony is sitting spellbound in front of a TV while Princess Diana walked down the aisle in her glorious dress with the mile long train. In contrast, my three daughters’ first memory will include a young woman in her Chuck-a-Rama work shirt waiting in a long line with her newborn baby and partner to obtain a marriage license.
On Friday afternoon hundreds of people dropped what they were doing and rushed to the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office when they learned that Amendment Three (which prohibits same sex marriage) had been overturned. They wanted to get married. They didn’t know how long the window of opportunity would be open. Many had waited years, even decades, to marry. They weren’t going to waste another moment.Read More