I’m guessing’ you are looking for a printable for your lesson or some inspiration?? Great news, All faith building content has moved to SeekingEternalTruth.com!!
A site created by yours truly (Sariah Tate) jam packed with all the feel good, inspiring, faith building content, printables you are looking for! Yay. Click here for this specific printable on Christlike love.
Hey hey. I know it’s a bit criminal to be talking about next year when this year is still too young (for me at least) to even mention its farewell but…I was asked by sugardoodle.net whip up a 2015 set of calendars to be feature as one of their guest bloggers as part of the launch of the new site (woot woot!!)…so here ya go!!! Brace yourself for a year full of good times…cause at least you’ll have some rockin calendars to plan for it! Ha. Enjoy.
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**UPDATE***OCT 5th 2014*** In my groggy postpartum state I made a few errors on the calendars, my apologies!!! The download above should have my edits.
**UPDATE***OCT 30th 2014*** Alright, alright, this is getting really silly but apparently there were a few MORE bloopers on the calendar. I know. Don’t EVER trust a sleep deprived mother of three crazies to make calendars again!!! I’m seriously just out to mess everyone’s year up by sending out hundreds of miss printed calendars to create chaos and confusion everywhere, muwhahahahahahaha…ok. I’ll stop now. Hey, at least by the time the new year rolls around, they might actually be correct. The updated version is now available. Let me know if anyone else catches more mess ups. Sorry bouts that.
I’ve been studying the young women lesson, “Why do we fast?” and it reminded me of a journal entry I wrote last year after I had completed a fast (in our church we voluntarily go without food and drink at least once a month). This was a time when I felt like I came to a better understanding of why we fast. Hope it helps!
“Today I decided to fast longer than the usual short and pretty insignificant fast of skipping breakfast and stuffing my face as soon as I get home from church. I decided to really complete the two meals of fasting.
Part of me resisted it because I have a very hard time functioning without food. I get grumpy and when I am grumpy I’m short, reactive, impatient, and mean. And I end up thinking to myself, how is fasting a spiritual experience if I don’t have the spirit at all?? Why are we asked to fast if it ends up being a negative thing for me?
Well you know that scripture that says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matt 7:7)” It’s true. (See receiving personal revelation post)
After thinking about it, I figured one of the reasons we are asked to fast is because we are giving up our natural desires and letting our spirit conquer and be in charge. I learned that my experience with fasting was basically never getting to the ‘let the spirit be in charge’ part because my body was just too consumed with the fact that it was hungry and grumpy. I was letting my body take the reins because it does by default when I am hungry; and it becomes exceedingly difficult to take over again until I get fed! But I needed to win this time. Once I realized the real war that was raging: body vs. spirit, I knew I could win.
After I realized this dilemma in my fast, I knew how to better approach it. Today I decided that I would succumb to having the spirit instead of giving into my natural human urges. It didn’t start off well. It was end of daylight saving time, which sounds like it was a good thing because of the extra hour. But that knowledge of extra hour made us sleep in and take our sweet time while getting ready to go to church.
We were late. I was hungry and irritable and snarky at my husband and impatient with my kids. I felt myself getting worked up. But I caught it before it got crazy. I reminded myself of my goal. Even though almost every part of me had no desire and it seemed impossible that I could actually get over the starving/grumpy aspect of fasting, I chose to do what I could to stay calm and choose the spirit. And I kid you not, magical things happened that day. Magic that may have not been realized by anyone else but me, but magic nonetheless. I was awakened to things I would not have realized had I not been fasting.
I was very prompted to bear my testimony. Even though I’m happy to bear my testimony, it can be an intense experience, and many times it is just more comfortable NOT bearing it. But when you know, you know, and so I did it. I did it because I knew that the Heavens and my spirit really wanted me to express those those things lying deep within my heart. I talked about the war in heaven and how it hasn’t ended. Each day we choose whom we will serve.
Each moment of every day we decide if we choose the spirit or not. If we succumb to anger or love. Self pity or self respect. It is about overcoming our human nature and embracing our very real and true divine nature. I know when I choose the spirit, my spirit enlarges and my capacity to keep making those good spiritual choices is strengthened. If we don’t choose God we are choosing to give captivity to the devil. If we aren’t aware of it, we will just choose the default, our human nature, which is actually to serve our natural carnal desires. The war is still RAGING!
Anyway, I felt so much better after that. It was a spiritual release! People thanked me for my testimony (which is actually a really awkward experience for me) but I’m grateful that what I was able to say through the spirit was able to touch them.
During the rest of my fast I was happy and full of the spirit. I didn’t feel grumpy or weighed down. Even though I could feel the physical weakness of not eating, my thoughts were not focused on eating or my discomfort. I engaged in activities that could enlarge and feed my soul. I felt ideas and inspiration for my church calling and for life flow freely. I felt more connected to my true self and to my God.”
If you are doing a lesson, here is a handout you could use. Invite them to write answers they find regarding fasting in Isaiah 58:3–12.
I’m preparing a YW lesson for this month’s theme of Priesthood and priesthood keys. So I’ve been mulling over in my brain and heart how I feel about the priesthood (the power of God given to man on earth, read more about it here.). I’ve also been thinking about the great blessing it is in my life and for everyone that participates in the ordinances involved.
I know it can become a sensitive subject to some since there are those that feel like they never had the priesthood in their homes. There are others that feel it an injustice since “women don’t hold the priesthood.” The reality, however, is that ALL MEMBERS of THE CHURCH– guys, girls, kids, old and young– get to receive and participate in priesthood blessings (Read this ).
As Elder Oaks said, “While we sometimes refer to priesthood holders as ‘the priesthood,’ we must never forget that the priesthood is not owned by or embodied in those who hold it. It is held in a sacred trust to be used for the benefit of men, women, and children alike.”
Here is an analogy depicting our individual role, responsibility and blessings within the priesthood.
What is more important in helping a car run and move forward? The steering wheel or the wheels?
I like to think of the priesthood (the power of God given to man on earth) as a complete car and the members as different vital components that help the whole car function. All members can ride, benefit, receive and contribute to the priesthood, but each person has different responsibilities to build and operate it smoothly. We all are vital components needed to make it run; the whole couldn’t operate without the individual parts.
Just because one person is called to be the ‘steering wheel’ doesn’t make him better or worse or more important than those who serve as the ‘wheels’. A steering wheel is useless to the whole function of the car without the rest of the parts. Comparing and arguing who has what part or what responsibility and feeling resentful of the difference instead of focusing on the performance of the whole results in an unsatisfying, dysfunctional and divided effort. Focusing on doing our part, keeping our end of the covenant, trusting and allowing the car and work of the Lord to move forward brings satisfaction, blessings and progress to the whole and individuals involved.
That is what helps brings the power of God (or priesthood) into our personal lives. Sister Sherry Dew said, “The power of the priesthood heals, protects, and inoculates all of the righteous against the powers of darkness.” Think of the ‘priesthood car’ as a vehicle on the way to eternal life protected against the thick and luring powers of Satan all around.
That is awesome power to have, if you ask me. AND we can ALL have that personal power of the priesthood in our lives as we make and stay true to our sacred covenants! Yay!
Sister Dew continues, “Most significantly, the fullness of the priesthood contained in the highest ordinances of the house of the Lord can be received only by a man and woman together.” It is a power that is then increased as men and women come together and complete each other in the priesthood. One part cannot fully function without the other. There is humility required in understanding that we depend on one another and to achieve unity.
This analogy can be perpetuated to a large scale to encompass the entire ‘vehicle’ of The Church of Jesus Christ as we trust the ordained leaders in our church. This includes callings in our local wards and family units. We must trust that our part is moving the Lord’s work forward, whatever that may be. We are all full partakers of the blessings of the priesthood as we make promises with God and receive awesome blessings and power like the Holy Ghost to lead us. It opens up our eyes to how precious we are in producing a lot of good in this church, in our own personal lives, and in this world to glorify God.
I trust that Heavenly Father is the master ‘car engineer.’ He is not only the engineer but the DRIVER Himself. Man is not the one ‘driving the priesthood,’ He is only operating through God.
Heavenly Father knows our divine capacities and where we will serve best. He also understands we need to learn to rely on each other and Him. I’m so happy He lends to all His children His power of the priesthood to direct and protect us in this life so we can return back to Him. Its a beautiful thing.
Scripture to tie into car analogy: D&C: 84:109-110
109 Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?
110 Also the body hath need of every member, that all may beedified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
Love this quote because we are really all in this together:
Here is the file to download to use as a handout (4 on a pg) [Download not found]
I love parties. My husband loves the Lord of the Rings. How did I decide on a Hobbit party when I can’t even stay awake an hour into the movies? WELL, my favorite part of those movies has always been the SHIRE. Could it be because it is in the first 20 minutes of the film? Possibly. My simple brain can’t handle complicated plot lines, blue filtered battling/action sequences or keep track of too many characters with unusual names, but it has always appreciated the tranquility and simplicity of the green pastured Hobbiton.
That and those Hobbits know how to party!
Dancing, music, food, fun, speeches, paper lantern decorations, Squeeeeee!!! That totally caught my attention and excitement watching the film with the hubs this time around (or my attempt to watch it). And in that moment was born the idea that it was absolutely NECESSARY to celebrate our birthdays in Hobbit style (our birthdays are one day apart, or I guess technically he’s exactly a day short of a year older than me. We have had joint birthday parties every year since we started dating. This is our 6th year. I know. Sappy cuteness.)
The best and most surprising part about putting this party together was the keen interest and involvement the Mr. suddenly seemed to have about the party. I’m the party girl, he usually (typically reluctantly) just goes with it. But not this time around. This was a LOTR party. You should have seen him the night before the party whipping up Lembas Bread and seed cakes as if he were trying to save middle earth from starvation.
This was fun. We thought it proper that we use mugs for the drinks but we didn’t have enough in our stash to serve the masses, so we headed to Deseret Industries (thrift store) and bought LOTRish looking mugs. Thrice washed and rinsed, it became the drink holder for our guests and the party favor. Here are the tags I designed for the mugs. It also serves as a way to label them with names during the party. Here is the download
The Lembas Bread has a hit! It was cute to even hear our little ‘hobbit’ two year old request, “Mo Lembas peeze” after he gobbled piece after piece. It was quite the delight of my LOTR loving hubs. Here is the lembas bread recipe used.
Food, food and even more food! Ahh, everything was so so delicious. Did I mention the husband went crazy with the food?? He did amazing, if I say so myself. The Hobbit’s delight (top right corner of picture series above) was my favorite…Bacon and mushrooms, how could you go wrong?? Here is the recipe used.
I There was a little little corner set up to let the Hobbit ladies make some sassy hair garlands. I hung up some instructions that explained how to make a tissue paper flower, here is the link.
I was more than excited to see our good friends go all out with their costumes!! They looked specular don’t you think?!?!
Not only that but they even surprised us with our very own Lembas Bread pouches to take on our adventures!!! Can you believe my friend MADE these??? HOLY AMAZING. She’s so creative. Here is a tut.
Here is the download for the ‘Happy Birthday’ Signage (without our names of course)
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Here is the cake. Nothing special, just used a cake mix and this frosting. I decided this is my new favorite frosting recipe!
Happy Birthday to us! YAY!!!!
Little hobbit man helping blow out candles.
Can’t have a hobbit party without fireworks! Good thing I had some sparklers stashed around…
Paper lanterns at night.
And we even had (borrowed) a fire pit to cozy up and sing us some LOTR songs. Ooooh, it was so fun!
I’m happy with the way everything turned out, for a hubby that helped make it happen and friends that made it simply AWESOME. Thanks!!!
I believe our souls are inherently seeking divine guidance that will lead us personally to true and lasting peace, happiness and success in all areas of our lives.
The great news is that we are not alone in this earthly journey! We are children of a God that is happy and eager to impart His wisdom, light and guidance that will lead us along our way to become beings greater than we could have even imagined ourselves!! He wants to lead us to success–most likely not in the way our puny human minds imagine it, but only as a deeply loving, all-knowing, all-powerful Father understands it. Success in a far greater and deeper way than we even thought possible!!
How is this done? How in the world do we tap into that Heavenly knowledge that can direct us back to spiritual success? How do we train our mind, body and soul to seek out the living water of truth available to us instead of accepting and following every other voice, impulse and direction that is fighting for our attention? How do learn to LISTEN? To that sweet, gentle, still small voice of the Spirit that will guide us to truth and righteous? ” And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your atrust in that bSpirit which leadeth to do dgood—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to gjudge righteously; and this is my Spirit. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall aenlighten your bmind, which shall fill your soul with cjoy; And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.” D&C 11:12-14
I’m teaching the YW lesson “How Do I Receive Personal Revelation?” and I’m excited to share insight I have learned through studying the lesson and the wise words of apostles and prophets on this topic!! I created this worksheet for personal or classroom use as a guide to finding answers in our lives. Below is a worksheet of my personal elaboration on each section of the worksheet.
[Download not found] First, We Gotta Ask QUESTIONS!! You know that scripture that says, “Ask, and it shall be bgiven you; cseek, and ye shall find;dknock, and it shall be opened unto you:” It is FOR REAL. It is real because Heavenly Father seriously desires to and does reveal and open the gates of Heaven for us. But it is contingent upon our efforts to seek those answers! Posing big or small questions engages our mind and spirit to receive answers! When we sincerely and continually ponder and seek divine direction in our lives, we become OPEN. Our eyes see what we otherwise would not have seen, our ears hear what we otherwise would not have heard and our hearts take in what would have otherwise passed by us. It is a conscious effort on our part, but receiving nuggets of wisdom and understanding from our Father in Heaven can be a constant and infinitely rewarding prize.
Removing Spiritual Blocks We need to remember that God’s plan is NOT to hold back guidance that will lead us to greater happiness. But He simply CANNOT communicate what is needed if we are unwilling to listen or not in a position to listen. Think ‘spiritual toddler.’ If we are having a ‘tantrum’ over a trial, we most likely won’t listen to a loving parent who genuinely wants to assist us. This happen much more than we are probably willing to admit. Just like it would be like in leading a small child we gotta be that calm child, who is finally eager to listen, who isn’t crying wildly in frantic panic, who isn’t just concerned about getting ‘her way’. Elder Henry B. Eyring said, “Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are, covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of “Thy will be done,”2 create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God.” Read his talk.
Living a life to have a connection with the Spirit. I cannot think of better way to receiving guidance from God than to revolve our daily efforts in striving to keep and listen to the Spirit. It means being humble enough to listen to that quiet voice that speaks right into our hearts to practice patience, to forgive oneself and others, that feeling that sweetly nudges us to listen closer and more empathically to our loved ones, that split second thought that says to know not indulge in gossip when the moment arises, that gentle feeling that encourages us to let go of our anger or frustration over someone or a situation. It tries to communicate with us ALL DAY LONG but if we are too distracted, too stressed, too busy, too tired, too consumed with worldly pursuits and entertainment it is SO easy to miss, so easy to be totally desensitized and disconnected from it. But if we but make small efforts day by day to invite the Spirit, to keep it in the forefront of our hearts and minds, to take care of our bodies, to read the truths found in scriptures, and talks and church magazines, to manage our emotions, to keep a clean mind and heart, then we will open communication from heaven to help us with our questions, concerns, decisions and it is AMAZING the feeling and life we can have for ourselves. “It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit.” -Richard G. Scott, read his talk about “Obtaining personal revelation and inspiration for your life”
Understanding what it feels like and what it means to receive revelation and divine guidance. I believe that when we speak of REVELATION, we can make it out to seem to so big and sometimes so sensationalized that we can miss that we have already received guidance or miss the answer that Heavenly Father is trying to communicate with us. Even though there are incredible stories of faith found in the scriptures and even in our church culture of receiving answers to prayers, most of the most miraculous experiences are quiet, personal, and seemingly undramatic. The truth is that our seemingly anticlimactic answer to our long time pleas and prayers, if we open our hearts of understanding, can hold even more deep and much more powerful influence in our personal lives and lives of others than the most sensationalized, awe inspiring, mouth dropping answers and miracles performed in history!!
“And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—” -Heleman 5:30
My personal experience with receiving inspiration and guidance I think and ponder about a subject and that I’m curious about/ have questions about or need direction with. When I am connected to the spirit, I feel like my thoughts are heighten, my mind is expanded to understand things in a broader eternal perspective. But it is not with my continual and conscience desire to know, ponder and understand truth.
Heavenly father rarely just dumps revelation out of nowhere (though at times it may seem sudden). He wants to direct us to the answer thought by thought, feeling by feeling, process by process, line upon line as it says. It is like a treasure hunt where we continually gather evidence, clues along the way as make decisions and press forward. We learn bit by bit as we are willing and ready to receive it. As we receive it we can feel the truthfulness of a principle.
God allows for this type of learning because when we come upon the answers through our own diligent seeking and willingness to receive, those answers become a PART of us. We have made an effort to be taught by the Holy Ghost. When it communicates with us it goes straight to the heart, not as an external passing thought but to the deep and spiritual part of our being that swallows and accepts truth for itself and becomes an integral part of our nature as we continue to apply the truth we have learned. It is receiving and experimenting by putting it to the test, trusting in God and in ourselves. It is a learning process, it is a journey.
I love Elder Bednar’s analogy (here is a great vid on it) on receiving light. I believe that revelation be sometimes received in all three ways that he explains (light switch, sunrise, and foggy day). We can have a light ‘switch moment’ or aha moment of what we should do. Then we have to move forward to make that decision in our lives step by step, noticing more and more guidance and understanding (like a sunrise). Yet we may be traveling as what may seem a fog day, not know everything ahead of us, trusting with each step with what we can see and having faith that are moving in the right direction.
I LOVE May. Beautiful weather, not scorching summer hot and easing off the temperamentalness of the up and downs of spring weather. Life is infused back into the world, sweet aroma of flowers blooming, birds a singin’, early mornin sunshine, smell of freshly cut lawns…oh, I just love it! Enjoy this month!