Sunday, May 31, 2015

An Honorable life

"A good character is something you must make for yourself. It cannot be inherited from parents. It cannot be created by having extraordinary advantages. It isn't a gift of birth, wealth, talent or station. It is the result of your own endeavor. It is the reward that comes from living good principles and manifesting a virtuous and honorable life."  
 L. Tom Perry

"One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth." 
L. Tom Perry

"Anyone who has spent much time with Elder L. Tom Perry has likely heard him say that he is 'as common as dirt.'" says Sheri Dew in the forward of Elder Perry's new biography, L. Tom Perry, An Uncommon Life. She continues, "But truth be told, there is nothing common or ordinary about this distinctive and distinguished man who has now served for forty years in the presiding councils of the Church. Elder Perry is, in a phrase, larger than life."

"In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. May we comply with the inspired counsel and direction the Lord has given us in the great plan of happiness. May we be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and follow the guidance of the Spirit as we navigate this mortal journey. May we prepare ourselves to accomplish the ultimate purpose of this mortal test to return and live with our Heavenly Father." 
L. Tom Perry

Have more confidence in yourself 
than allowing your decisions to happen just by chance.
L. Tom Perry

. . . my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this that the 
older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life 
and is the key to eternal happiness.
 L. Tom Perry

It is not enough to behave reverently; we must feel in our hearts reverence for our Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Reverence flows from our admiration and respect for Deity. It is something we feel inside our hearts no matter what is going on around us. It is also a personal responsibility. We cannot blame others for disturbing our reverent attitudes.
L. Tom Perry

Our value system must conform to His. 
Our actions must conform to our values.
L. Tom Perry

God bless you wonderful mothers and fathers in Zion. He has entrusted to your care His eternal children. As parents we partner, even join, with God in bringing to pass His work and glory among His children. It is our sacred duty to do our very best. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
 L. Tom Perry

"Let us each day search from the scriptures…. The scriptures that are never read will never help us. If read, the words of God will nourish our souls and carry us to great heights in our endeavors." 
L. Tom Perry

An Honorable Life

The gift of eternal life

"There can and will be plenty of difficulties in life. Nevertheless, the soul that comes unto Christ, who knows His voice and strives to do as He did, finds a strength, as the hymn says, 'beyond his own.' The Savior reminds us that He has 'graven us upon the palms of His hands.' Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, 'Come unto me,' He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. 
He knows the way because He is the way." 
Jeffrey R. Holland

"The Savior's suffering in Gethsemane and His agony on the cross redeem us from sin by satisfying the demands that justice has upon us. He extends mercy and pardons those who repent. The Atonement also satisfies the debt justice owes to us by healing and compensating us for any suffering we innocently endure." 
D. Todd Christofferson

"The Savior's Atonement will overcome and compensate for all of the unfairness of mortal life." 
 Quentin L. Cook

"The Atonement provides the power to wash away sins, to heal, and to grant eternal life . . .  His redeeming act blesses all mankind with the gift of immortality and the potential of enjoying God's greatest gift to man, the gift of eternal life."  
L. Tom Perry

"The Atonement is like an eraser. It can wipe away guilt and the effect of whatever it is that is causing you to feel guilty. Guilt is spiritual pain. Do not suffer from chronic pain. Get rid of it. 
Be done with it. Repent and, if necessary, repent again and again and again and again until you not the enemy are in charge of you." 
Boyd K. Packer

"Peace is the precious fruit of a righteous life. It is possible because of the Atonement of the Savior." 
Richard G. Scott

"We may feel we are at the beginning or end of our lives, but when we look at where we are against the backdrop of eternity—when we realize that our spirit has existed for time beyond our capacity to measure and, because of the perfect sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ, that our soul will exist for an eternity to come—we can recognize that we are truly in the middle… Yes, there will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for His purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"The enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity." 
David A. Bednar

"'Behold, we count them happy which endure'. Examples of faithfully enduring to the end are taught by prophets of all ages as they demonstrate courage while enduring trials and tribulations to carry forth the will of God. Our greatest example comes from the life of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. When suffering upon the cross at Calvary, Jesus felt the loneliness of agency when He pled to His Father in Heaven, 'Why hast thou forsaken me?'. The Savior of the world was left alone by His Father to experience, of His own free will and choice, an act of agency which allowed Him to complete His mission of the Atonement. Jesus knew who He was—the Son of God. He knew His purpose—to carry out the will of the Father through the Atonement. His vision was eternal—'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man'." 
Robert D. Hales

"God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but we are not. Each day, ours is the challenge to access the power of the Atonement so that we can truly change, become more Christlike, and qualify for the gift of exaltation and live eternally with God, Jesus Christ, and our families. For these powers, privileges, and gospel gifts, thanks be to God!"   
Russell M. Nelson

"It is through making right decisions and relying on the Atonement for course corrections when needed that people are able to stay close to Heavenly Father and help others to do the same."
Neil L. Andersen

"There is no greater expression of love than the heroic Atonement performed by the Son of God."
M. Russell Ballard

"He allowed his son to provide, by his atoning sacrifice, the hope that comforts us no matter how hard the way home to him may be." 
Henry B. Eyring

"Because He died, all shall live again." 
Thomas S. Monson
Thomas S. Monson as a child - photo from Notes from a Novice Primary Music Leader;  Pat Graham wrote a verse for "Follow the Prophet" about Pres. Monson.  > "Thomas Spencer Monson / Gave his Christmas toy / To a poor and lonely / Little neighbor boy. / Now he is our prophet, / loyal, kind, and true. / If we serve as he does / We'll be happy, too."

"Some miracles affect many people. The ultimate such miracle is the Atonement of Jesus Christ-His triumph over physical and spiritual death for all mankind. No miracle is more far-reaching or more magnificent. Other far-reaching miracles-impossible to explain by rational means-occur as a result of obedience to the commandments of God."
Dallin H. Oaks
Dallin H. Oaks as a football player for Brigham Young High School circa 1946-50. Courtesy of BYU

Beloved Apostle - Elder L. Tom Perry 1922 - 2015

Mormon Newsroom

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Saturday May 30, 2015 at about 3:00 p.m. at his home. He was 92 years old.
Elder Perry was ordained an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 1974, after serving as an assistant to the Twelve since 1972. Elder Perry’s commanding physical presence combined with his enthusiasm and optimistic style made him a forceful as well as a popular figure among Church members across the world.
Read the Article

Saturday, May 30, 2015

You gotta


“run with patience the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1

"Patience is learning to hide your impatience." 
Jacob de Jager

"run with patience the race that is set before us"

Patience is not indifference. Actually, it means caring very much but being willing, nevertheless, to submit to the Lord and to what the scriptures call the "process of time."

Patience is not only a companion of faith but is also a friend to free agency. Inside our impatience there is sometimes an ugly reality: We are plainly irritated and inconvenienced by the need to make allowance for the free agency of others. In our impatience—which is not the same thing as divine discontent—we would override others, even though it is obvious that our individual differences and preferences are so irretrievably enmeshed with each other that the only resolution which preserves free agency is our patience and longsuffering with each other.

Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be.
When we are impatient, we are neither reverential nor reflective because we are too self-centered. Whereas faith and patience are companions, so are selfishness and impatience. It is so easy to be confrontive without being informative; so easy to be indignant without being intelligent; so easy to be impulsive without being insightful. It is so easy to command others when we are not in control of ourselves.
Clearly, without patience we will learn less in life. We will see less; we will feel less; we will hear less. Ironically, "rush" and "more" usually mean "less." The pressure of "now," time and time again, go against the grain of the gospel with its eternalism.
Patience permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord when we are tossed about by suffering as if by surf. When the undertow grasps us, we will realize that even as we tumble we are somehow being carried forward; we are actually being helped even as we cry for help.
Neal A. Maxwell

Luke 12:13–34, Listeners sit around Jesus on a hill

Hope and let it happen

Chocolate chip amaretto cake

·      7 oz almond paste (not marzipan)
·      1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
·      3/4 cup butter, room temperature
·      5 eggs
·      1/4 cup International Delight Amaretto Coffee Creamer
·      2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·      1 teaspoon baking powder
·      1/4 teaspoon baking soda
·      1/2 teaspoon salt
·      1 cup Greek Yogurt
·      3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
·      1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
·      1/4 teaspoon almond extract
·      few drops of water
·      chocolate flakes
1.    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray. Set aside.
2.    In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse almond paste and sugar until finely ground. Transfer the almond sugar to mixing bowl. Add the butter.
3.    With the paddle attachment on, turn the mixer on to medium-high speed and beat for 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy.
4.    Lower the mixer's speed and one by one, beat in the eggs and gradually pour in the amaretto creamer until incorporated.
5.    With a spatula, scrape the sides on the bowl.
6.    With the mixer of its lowest speed, gently fold in the baking powder, baking soda, salt followed by the flour alternately with the Greek yogurt and beat until batter is smooth.
7.    With a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips
8.    Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
9.    Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
10. Once the cake is completely cooled, make the icing.

11. Mix the powdered sugar with the almond extract and a few drops of water until it makes a pourable icing. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle with chocolate flakes.

Chocolate chip amaretto cake recipe (I would use real amaretto)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Becoming his Mom

by Emily Freeman

I don't remember when he started calling me mom.

Maybe it was after that night when we picked him up after he had been abandoned on the curb with all of his belongings.  He sat hunched over on the very top step of the stairs sobbing.  All 6'5 and 290 pounds of him, legs tucked to his chest, shoulders bearing the weight of 18 years of sorrow, giant alligator tears streaming down his face.

When I want to remember what lonely looks like, I remember that image…it's seared right into the deepest parts of me.

It was at that moment that I promised him that I would be there for him always.

…when he was sick with a high fever and chills, I would be there.

…when he exchanged vows with his wife, I would be there.

…when they were in the hospital delivering their first baby, I would be there.

…at Christmas, and on his birthday, and every day in between, I would be there.

I wasn't going anywhere.

I would always be right here, for whatever he needed, whenever he needed it.

"That's what moms do," I remember telling him.

And in that moment, I realized a very important truth ––God decides when, and where, and how you become a mother.  He is the great orchestrator.  He can enlarge the capacity of a heart.  He can forge the deepest bond.  I have delivered four children of my own, but this great big boy is just as much a part of me as they are. I have come to understand something remarkable ––some kids come to us by birth, but some kids come to us by love.

God's love.

There are moments when God reaches down and pricks a heart, He enlarges our capacities, He bestows the gift of His pure love upon us, allowing us to see others as He sees them.  In those moments it is His Grace that enables us to love.

I know, because I have experienced it.

There was a moment when God reached down and touched my heart, and in that sacred moment I became Garett's other mom.

A few nights ago KUTV aired a portion of Garett's story… you can watch it by clicking the link below.  You just can't help but love this kid…


Nobody seeks out suffering. And yet it is one of life's great ironies that the moments that make us feel weakest often reveal our hidden strengths. We don't really know what we can endure until we are forced to endure it. Yale University professor Steven Southwick believes that "most of us are a lot more resilient than we think." He compares us to a green tree branch—it may not seem as strong as a more mature, rigid limb. But in a strong wind it's the green branch that survives, bending but never breaking. 

That's easy to forget when the winds of life seem to be tossing us about. Resilient people know they can't stop the storm, but they can decide how they react to it. They can take charge of their present and therefore their future. Whatever the challenge may be—a financial crisis, poor health, a conflict in the family or other relationships—they do their best to continue. 

One middle-aged woman learned about her own resilience when her husband died, followed shortly thereafter by serious health problems of her own. The string of difficulties seemed unending, but she just carried on—one hour, one day, one week at a time. It wasn't easy, but it became easier with the passing of time.

And that's the other hidden blessing of suffering: those experiences that seem to be weakening us are actually, in many cases, not only revealing our strength but also increasing it. They require resilience, but at the same time they teach us resilience. They prompt us to develop a more optimistic view by cultivating friendships with positive people. They move us to challenge our negative thoughts and strive for a larger perspective. They can even inspire us to reach out to others in love and kindness, which always helps us feel better. Ultimately, our trials can lead us to trust that God is in His heaven and that He can help us get through the heartache—and come out of it stronger than we ever thought we could be. 
Lloyd Newell

"It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living. … Our lives are, in reality, the sum total of our seemingly unimportant decisions and of our capacity to live by those decisions"    Gordon B. Hinckley

Mercifully, our errors can soon be swallowed up by resilient repentance, showing the faith to try again—whether in a task or in a relationship. Such resilience is really an affirmation of our true identities! Spirit sons and daughters of God need not be permanently put down when lifted up by Jesus' Atonement. Christ's infinite Atonement thus applies to our finite failures! Hence, the pleading of that special hymn:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for thy courts above.
It also helps in resisting the tugs and pulls of the world if we, though imperfect, know that currently the course of our life is generally acceptable to the Lord. With sufficient dedication, those quiet assurances can come!
Neal A. Maxwell

"Our Heavenly Father did not put us on the earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously!" 
 Richard G. Scott

Matthrew 4:18–22, Simon Peter and Andrew are asked to follow the Savior

Be YOU tiful

Beautiful means

Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Apples

  • 6 apples 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • optional: graham cracker crumbs, caramel sauce, pecans

  1. Chop the tops of the apples off and scoop out the insides. Discard the core and seeds.
  2. In a medium bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in vanilla, egg, and cinnamon until smooth. Fill each of the apples ⅔ full with the cheesecake mixture.
  3. Place filled apples on a baking sheet (make sure they aren't touching) and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until cheesecake filling is set. Transfer to a plate and place in the fridge until completely cooled.
  4. Serve apples at room temperature or chilled. If desired, top with caramel sauce, graham cracker crumbs, and pecans.

Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Apples

Monday, May 25, 2015

The job of flowers

Word Photography with Flower Smile white daisy by FirstLightPhoto, $30.00

So can you

Thank you

Free Illustrated Quote Printable. Perfect for Mother's Day.

Stony path

"Many of us today have a tendency to seek instant strength, instant pleasure instant acceptance, instant relief, instant answers, instant change, instant success, instant knowledge, instant wealth, omitting day-by-day effort and work. We become discouraged and get more feeble kneed if goals
are not reached immediately. 

Work is a necessary pattern in the solid life."
Marvin J. Ashton

If God sends you down a stony path,

 may He give you strong shoes.

We will remember them

May we always cherish freedom and gratefully remember those who defend its cause especially those brave men and women who have given their lives while serving our country to uphold the principles of liberty. We look forward to the day when all wars shall cease and peace will reign on earth, but in the meantime, let us strive to be people of peace, ever honoring those who answer the call of duty to help preserve that peace.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old...
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


lemon meringue pie s'mores and other s'mores ideas

Roasted vanilla marshmallow & graham cracker with:
  • lemon curd
  • strawberries and sweetened cream cheese
  • fresh apple slices and cinnamon
  • Nutella and dulce de leche
  • Melted caramel (with a little cream), toasted coconut and chocolate 
  • Ghirardelli caramel or raspberry filled chocolate squares
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • chopped candy bars – especially Snickers or whole Reese's
  • triple berry – fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries plus chocolate or white chocolate
  • fresh mango slices
  • brownie pieces or cheesecake pieces
  • lime curd and shredded sweetened coconut
  • raspberry jam or raspberry curd and dark chocolate
  • strawberries, bananas, dark chocolate, caramel sauce, pecans/almonds 
  • toasted coconut with and macadamia nuts or pineapple
  • fresh strawberries, lemon curd and strawberry marshmallows
  • Andes Mints with chocolate graham crackers
  • chocolate orange pieces or a pinch of orange zest over chocolate, with chocolate grahams
  • sandwich roasted vanilla marshmallows between two peanut butter, chocolate chip or chocolate cookies
chocolate lovers s'mores - even non s'mores lovers will LOVE these! completely divine!

delicious s'mores ideas

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy is the man

Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

"Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way."  
Gordon B. Hinckley

"The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!"  
Joseph F. Smith

"Spiritual food is necessary for

 spiritual survival."
 Dallin H. Oaks

"When trials come we can get past them more quickly if we remember happiness in the past as readily as we count on the promise of happiness ahead." 
Jeffrey R. Holland 

a soft rain... Ireland

Stands ever ready

"Some of the most heart-wrenching, discouraging events in our lives from which we long to be set free are actually designed to prepare us with the very skills and understanding God needs us to have. As we draw closer to the Lord and put our total trust in Him, in His power, and in His timing, we can leave our fires of affliction more pure, more refined, and with more skills and understanding." 
 Wendy W. Nelson

"Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call 'the furnace of affliction'. Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven, the refinement and sanctification possible through such experiences can help us achieve what God desires us to become."
 Dallin H. Oaks

"At times some may think that no one cares-but someone always cares! Your Heavenly Father will not leave you to struggle alone but stands ever ready to help."
 Thomas S. Monson

Fruits of the spirit

the fruit of the spirit

A better place

If there is one common thread that runs through most of the world's problems, it's anger. Violence, abuse, and hatred all grow when fueled by anger's empty fumes. We've all seen how anger damages relationships and destroys love and trust. What's more, medical researchers have recently found that anger can lead to sleeping problems, excess eating, and long-term heart damage. 
 No, nothing good comes from anger.
But there is good news. With so much in life that seems beyond our control, our own anger does not have to be. We can do something about it! We can start by simply choosing to give others the benefit of the doubt. Instead of assuming they are purposefully attempting to harm us or offend us, we can choose to believe their motives are innocent. Truly, much of our anger is caused by unintentional offenses: the scowl, the thoughtless comment, even the seemingly deliberate snub may not have been intended. 
It's true that sometimes people do mean to offend or take advantage of us. But wise and contented people don't let such irritation boil over into their commute, their relationships, their plans and expectations. They understand that a certain amount of unfairness and unkindness are part of life. But they don't give inconsiderate people power over their happiness and contentment. 
Yes, life can be exasperating, but if we let anger get the best of us, then we really have lost what's best of us—our self-control and personal freedom. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely said, "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." So when anger mounts, instead of getting upset about things we can't control, we can pause, if only for a moment, breathe deeply, and count to 10—or 100 if necessary. As we replace anger with peace, hostility with understanding, and hatred with love and compassion, in a small but real way, we are making the world a better place. 

Lloyd D. Newell

nature England house field lavender sky clouds wallpaper background