Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It will stand.... encompassed by the light

“My little seven-year-old niece was showing her younger brother, age four, a picture of Mary and the Baby Jesus. The little boy looked and looked at the picture, then asked, “Where is Joseph?” His sister pondered for a few minutes and then said, “Oh, he’s taking the picture!”
Andrew Burstein
“Recently a father and his small daughter got on a plane and couldn’t sit together. The little girl sat on the aisle, and a big heavy man sat by the window next to her. She asked him, “What do you know about the Mormons?” He didn’t think much harm could come from talking to a little girl, so he said, “Not very much. Why?” She asked, “Would you like to know more?” In the interest of pursuing a conversation with this little girl, he said, “Yes.” She said, “Wait a minute, and I will get my dad.”
Elder S. Dilworth Young
“Where doubt is, there faith has no power” Joseph Smith
“…I turn to the first verse of the first chapter of the book of Job, [Job 1:1] which reads: ‘There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.’  Job’s life was not serene. Beset by problems, bereft of his possessions, grief-filled by the loss of his family, and tortured with pain, he rejected the invitation to ‘curse God.’ Rather, from the depths of his noble soul came the magnificent declaration of testimony: ‘I know that my redeemer liveth.’”
Thomas S. Monson
“Having noticed the great blessings, privileges, powers and exaltations that are placed within the reach of man, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, it next becomes our duty to enquire what is required of man to place him in possession of them.”

  John Taylor

“Almost a century ago President George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency taught the Saints: ‘If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. … No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them.’
(Millennial Star, Apr. 1894)  Dallin H. Oaks


“The Savior’s atonement reminds us that real freedom is freedom of attitude. One may be bound in chains, whipped, enslaved, or mocked. He may lose freedom of movement, expression, and religion. But there is one freedom that no man on earth has power to control or to confiscate each person’s freedom to determine his reaction or response to a given circumstance.”
Carolyn G. Depp
“Spiritual maturity is understanding that we cannot blame anybody else for our actions. Some factors may make it harder for us to perform according to God’s plan for us, but being accountable for how we use our agency means being answerable for our own behavior.”
Elaine Cannon


“Power is most safe with those who are not in love with it!”
Neal A. Maxwell
“By our very endowment as children of an Eternal Father, we have had implanted within our souls the urgency to be free. It is natural for us to want to be accountable for our own fates, because there is a whispering within us confirming that this accountability is absolutely essential to the attainment of our eternal destiny.”
Dean L. Larsen
“God the Father is merciful and has infinite love for you despite your faults.
Only the voice of Satan will cause you to feel of no value.”
Anthony D. Perkins
“Every person born into the world comes from the presence of God. We all saw him in that eternal world. We heard his voice. He taught us his laws. We learned about Christ and chose to follow him when he was chosen to be our Savior and Redeemer. We understood and knew the gospel plan and shouted for joy at the privilege of getting our mortal bodies as part of that great plan of salvation.”
Bruce R. McConkie
“Wait until you have searched and researched and have obtained wisdom to understand what we preach. …
If it is the work of God, it will stand
Brigham Young


05.21.14 - Crazy
- Emily Freeman 
Yep, it’s crazy over here.  Last week of school for Grace… and trying to make Ian and Megan (Seniors) still go to school every day because they don’t finish until next week. You know how it is. And mixed in with all of the craziness I am working on a huge project that you are going to be so excited about.  It’s so big I almost can’t wrap my brain around it. But it’s good. Really good. Sometime this month I am going to tell you all about it…every last detail. But for now can you be really patient with us?  We are burning the candle at both ends, and the beauty of that is that we are surrounded by light.  I feel that light encompassing everything. And I am so immensely grateful.
“Those who walk in faith will feel their lives encompassed with the light and blessings of heaven. They will understand and know things that others cannot.”Joseph B. Wirthlin

Chocolate Zucchini Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1/2 cup oil ( i used coconut)
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup plain yogurt ( or sour cream)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups zucchini, shredded ( generous cups!)
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, soft
    • 2 tablespoons butter, soft
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
1.  cream sugar, oil and butter.
2.   add eggs, yogurt and vanilla.
3.   sift dry ingredients and add to wet- batter will be really thick, moisture from the zucchini will come out while cooking.
4.  fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.
5.   spread in greased 13x9 in pan and bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes.
6.   cool completely and frost
7.   beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy, beat in vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth- i start adding it by 1/2 cup increments and taste along the way.
8.   refrigerate until serving.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

By the dawn's early light

“When we ponder that vast throng who have died honorably defending home and hearth, we contemplate those immortal words, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’.
The feelings of heartfelt gratitude for the supreme sacrifice made by so many
cannot be confined to a Memorial Day, a military parade, or a decorated grave.”
Thomas S. Monson
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
“We need not fear the future, nor falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us. Trials may come, and we may not understand everything that happens to us or around us. But if we humbly, quietly trust in the Lord, He will give us strength and guidance in every challenge we face.”
Elder Porter’s
His mother caught him spending time with his daddy.
He lost daddy SFC Benjamin Wise in Afghanistan on Jan 15th
“Heavenly Father’s top priority is His children. If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him. Whatever concern you have is His concern. Whatever you have a question about, the Lord knows the answer. Whatever sadness you are feeling, He knows how you feel and will ease the pain. He knows what it’s like to feel all alone. He will comfort you.”
Sharon G. Larsen
“While perhaps it is seldom, if ever, contended that either political independence or economic freedom alone brings perfect liberty, it is not, however, uncommon for free agency to be considered as synonymous with freedom of the soul. And it is true that the God-given right to choose one’s course of action is an indispensable prerequisite to such freedom. Without it we can scarcely enjoy any type of liberty-political, economic, or personal. It is one of our greatest heritages. For it we are deeply indebted to our Father in Heaven, to the Founding Fathers, and to the pioneers. God gave it to man in the Garden of Eden.  The Founding Fathers, under the Lord’s inspiration, wrote a guarantee of it into the fundamental law of the land. And the pioneers, led by the inspiration of heaven, gave their all to perpetuate it. Surely we ought always to be alert in its defense and willing, if necessary, to give our lives for its preservation.”
Marion G. Romney
“Freedom thus obtained-that is, by obedience to the law of Christ-is freedom of the soul, the highest form of liberty. And the most glorious thing about it is that it is within the reach of every one of us, regardless of what people about us, or even nations, do. All we have to do is learn the law of Christ and obey it.
To learn it and obey it is the primary purpose of every soul’s mortal life.”
Marion G. Romney
“Freedom for most people of the world means “freedom from” the absence of malice or pain or suppression. But the freedom that God means when He deals with us goes one step further.
He means “freedom to” the freedom to act in the dignity of our own choice.”
F. Enzio Busche
God Bless America
“It is important that we offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving in our families.
President N. Eldon Tanner was reminded of this principle by his daughter: ‘I was
deeply touched one day following our family prayer when one of our little daughters
said, “Daddy, I don’t think we ought to ask for more blessings.
The Lord has been very good to us, but I do think we should ask him to help us to be worthy of the
blessings we receive.” Since then we have tried more diligently to express our
gratitude to our Father in heaven’
“……. in this marvelous dispensation of the fulness of times, as we journey through mortality and face the trials and challenges of the future, may we remember the examples of these models to follow. May we have the unfeigned humility of John the Baptist, the unquestioning obedience of Abraham, the unlimited patience of Job, the unwavering faith of Noah, the undeviating loyalty of Ruth, the unflagging determination of Nephi, the undaunted courage of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the unfailing optimism of President Hinckley.
Such will be as a fortress of strength to us throughout our lives.”
Thomas S. Monson
“The feeling of longing for home is born into us. That wonderful dream cannot become real without great faith enough for the Holy Ghost to lead us to repentance, baptism, and the making and keeping of sacred covenants with God. This faith requires enduring bravely the trials of mortal life. Then, in the next life, we can be welcomed by our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son to that home of our dreams.”
Henry B. Eyring
“Let us remember that through any difficult challenge, there is still much in life to be hopeful about and grateful for. We are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions! Trust in God. Hold on in His love.
Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows will flee.”
Jeffrey R.  Holland
You will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times,
and you will realize that He was always there beside you.
Thomas S. Monson

Elegant Almond Bars

Elegant Almond Bars
Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
1 can (8 oz) or 1 package (7 oz) almond paste, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 oz white chocolate baking bar, coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms. Spread in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat almond paste, sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add 2 eggs; beat until well blended (mixture may be slightly lumpy).
  • 3 Spread almond paste mixture over partially baked base. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup almonds. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until filling is set (filling will puff up during baking). Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 4 In 1-quart heavy saucepan, melt white chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Pour and spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup almonds. Let stand about 30 minutes or until topping is set. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. Store covered at room temperature.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Protect and defend our faith

“I would never have asked for this trial, but I would never give it away.”
Jean Stevens
“Surely the angels of Heaven wept as they recorded the cost of discipleship.”
Jeffrey R. Holland
“Every person eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there … must make his stand.”
Ezra Taft Benson
Don’t be surprised when it happens to you!
By definition, trials will be trying. There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights, and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not be spiritually fatal. They need not take us from our covenants or from the household of God.
The gift of faith is a priceless spiritual endowment. “This is life eternal,” Jesus prayed, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Our faith is centered in God, our Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. It is bolstered by our knowledge that the fulness of the gospel has been restored to the earth, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that prophets and apostles today hold the keys of the priesthood. We treasure our faith, work to strengthen our faith, pray for increased faith, and do all within our power to protect and defend our faith.
The Apostle Peter identified something he called a “trial of your faith.” He had experienced it. Remember Jesus’s words:
“Simon, … Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”
Peter later encouraged others: “Think it not strange,” he said, “concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”
These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish or even destroy your trust in the Son of God and to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. These trials are often camouflaged, making them difficult to identify. They take root in our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our sensitivities, or in those things that matter most to us. A real but manageable test for one can be a fiery trial for another.
How do you remain “steadfast and immovable” during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others. With faith come trials of faith, bringing increased faith. The Lord’s comforting assurance to the Prophet Joseph Smith is the very same promise He makes to you in your trial of faith: “Hold on … , fear not … , for God shall be with you forever and ever.” Of this I bear my sacred witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Neil L. Andersen
The covenant of consecration encompasses sacrifice; circumscribes love, work, and self-reliance; and is fundamental to the establishment of God’s kingdom. “Zion cannot be built up,” the Lord said, “unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom.”  The covenant of consecration is central to this law. We shall one day apply it in its fulness. This covenant embraces the “giving of one’s time, talents, and means to care for those in need whether spiritually or temporally and in building the Lord’s kingdom.”
Keith B. McMullin
Christ's requirements are not so that we can make the best of the Atonement, But so that on His generous terms the Atonement can make the best of Us.
Brad Wilcox
God wants our obedience and sacrifice, But only as a means to an end. He wants us to live the gospel, But even this is still a means to an end. What He ultimately wants from all of us is exactly that All of Us
He wants our consecration.
Brad Wilcox
"True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives that is, our time and choices to God’s purposes.
In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny."
D. Todd Christofferson


Iced Italian Cream Cake

Iced Italian Cream Cake
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.
Sift the flour and baking soda together and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening with the sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition. With the mixer on medium speed, add the flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with buttermilk. Add the vanilla, coconut and nuts, and stir well to incorporate.
In a separate bowl with clean beaters, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes. Test for doneness by touching the top of the cake with your finger. The cake is done if it bounces back up. Cool the layers on wire racks sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
For the frosting: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the butter on high speed until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and blend in the sugar and vanilla. Beat well until the frosting is smooth.
When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting between the layers and on the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle on the nuts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It is not very far

“Obedience is a powerful spiritual medicine. It comes close to being a cure-all.”
Boyd K. Packer
“It is a good thing to be at peace with God”
Joseph F. Smith
“God will judge you by the way you make use of all your possibilities.”
Marvin J. Ashton
Criticism is a destroyer of self-worth and esteem.”
H. Burke Peterson
“Death is a graduation day – and a time of assessment to see what we have become.”
Sterling W. Sill
“Experience is the best teacher of discernment.”
Robert D. Hales
“While mortals morn “a man is dead,” angels proclaim “a child is born.”
Heber C. Kimball
“If the desire is strong enough, performance is assured.”
Hartman Rector, Jr.
“Discipline makes the disciple, not knowledge.”
R. Quinn Gardner
“All our losses and sufferings will be made up to us in the resurrection.”
Bruce R. McConkie
“In a profound sense, a family is not alone. When it is consecrated to the Lord’s work, His Spirit will always be with them.”
Barbara B. Smith
“Fear is the devil’s first and chief tool.”
John A. Widtsoe
“It is better to trust and sometimes be disappointed than to be forever mistrusting and be right occasionally.”
Neal A. Maxwell
“To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you never before done.” Richard G. Scott
“Human development… consists of both refusing to do evil and choosing to do good.”
Neal A. Maxwell
The Redeemer chose Imperfect men to teach the way to perfection. He did so then. He does so now. Thomas S Monson
“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”
Delbert L. Stapley
“The person who has earned love the least needs it the most.”
F. Enzio Busche
“If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!”
Neal A. Maxwell
“With celestial sight, trials impossible to change become possible to endure.”
Russell M. Nelson
“If you pray for an angel to visit you, you know what he’ll do if he comes. He’ll just quote the scriptures to you – so you know you’re wasting your time waiting for what we already have. I’m quite serious about that.”
Hugh Nibley
“How far is Heaven? It is not very far; In the temples of God, it is right where you are.”
Thomas S. Monson