GCBC Week 3: “Personal Revelation and Testimony” by Sister Barbara Thompson

In April 2011, Sister Julie Beck said, “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”  This is a theme that Sister Barbara Thompson builds upon in her talk.

Personal Revelation and Testimony by Sister Barbara Thompson

I really enjoyed going back and reading her talk; I found it deeper than I had remembered it.  I liked her emphasis that revelation can come in many different ways and really depends upon our willingness to recieve it and live worthy of it.  I also loved this important reminder after the story about the WWII sister whose “testimony kept [her]”:

“Because we have a strong testimony doesn’t mean it will always remain that way. We must nourish and strengthen it in order that it will have sufficient power to sustain us.”

What are your thoughts after studying this talk?  Please share your insights in the comments.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want more information about how it works, go here.  And then join us.

[image credit]

Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Becca

I love this girl.  I’m so excited for you to meet her.  I met Becca several years ago when she moved to North Carolina, where Matt and I were living at the time.  She spoke in Stake Conference and I just knew I liked her.  We got to know each other, and I was right.  She’s awesome.  Blog friends, meet Becca (I stole this picture from Facebook):

Hey there. This would be Becca, and we’re here to talk about Stephanie. Oh wait. Shoot. No. I’m supposed to… say something… about myself. Let’s see. Well, I’m 31 years old. I grew up in Salem, Utah, famous for the freakish carp in it’s pond and not much else.  I spent most of my growing up years gazing over distant horizons and dreaming of being somewhere, anywhere far away. As soon as humanly possible.

Fast forward 14 years, an associates degree and bachelor’s degree later, and you can now find me living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Very glad to be a returned missionary (Zurich, Switzerland mission). Married to the man I adore more than anything (3,049 days into our ever after). We have 3 Kids. I love planning trips, taking trips, taking naps, dabbling in graphic design, planning weddings, homeschooling, reading multiple books at a time, and trying to keep up with Steph’s Conference Book Club. Oh. And I teach 14 ten year olds in primary. So, factor that in.

What’s your favorite part of motherhood?
Um, my kids are? I mean, really. Subtract the messes and the whining and you have these people who are just the most amazing people in the world. If I sit back and watch them, I can’t believe that I get to live with these children. And I see their weaknesses and their flaws (which makes me realize that they certainly see mine), but it’s also such a party to watch them come into their own. We laugh a lot. Plus, we have dance parties with our kids all the time and they are our favorite thing ever. You haven’t lived until you’ve danced to Shakira on New Year’s Eve with your 6 year old.

My favorite completed goals…
I. Drinking hot chocolate in the Alps, in January.
II. Seeing the sun rise over the Atlantic and set over the Pacific on the same day.
III. Getting married in the temple.
The thing I regret not doing the most? Going to BYU Jerusalem. (It was cancelled the semester I was supposed to go, but just the same.)
The goal that I’m currently working on: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (tentative 2013 climb)

Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?
Dreaming. I am a dreamer. And a planner, when it comes to events, holidays, birthdays, etc. I’m not particularly “crafty”, but I love anything that’s beautiful, and I find that the beauty of any special day is in the loving details. I love teaching Relief Society, and public speaking is fun. I can be pretty laid back which, with homeschooling, is a really good thing. I really try not to take life too seriously. And I’m finally good at making my own bed, so that’s a big accomplishment.

What are you loving lately?
Cinderella pumpkins. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Mosiah. Milk chocolate chips (normally, I like dark chocolate.) Cinnamon Chex. Birthdays. The book Johnstown Flood by David McCullough. NPR. My youngest when she says “UGH” to herself. Pinterest. Lists, apparently.

What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time?
Oh lawsie—SLEEP. I wonder if there will EVER BE A TIME when I’m not exhausted. I tell my spouse, on a fairly regular basis, that when I die he is not to disturb me for 1,000 years. My idea of heaven is a big huge bed with a down comforter, fluffy pillows, and a cool breeze.

Tell us some of your best mom-tricks  (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).
*A  package of new bandaids will keep a toddler really busy on long car trips.
*Celebrate Thanksgiving. Really. Make it a whole month of real, honest service and gratitude. Your Christmas will be a million times better.
*Use the phrase “In our family…” I find that it works better than just “Don’t hit!” If I say “In our family, we are kind to each other. That means we don’t hit” it seems to work better. (I can’t remember where I read that. Somewhere.)
*Get out, alone, one night a week, for at least two hours. Recommended by my ob/gyn for postpartum depression and I swear by it.

If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?
Now, I’m an event planner, so this is going to sound odd, but really? Some of my most meaningful “night out” moments have happened just chatting in a car as I’m being dropped off. Those really incredible, heart-connecting talks where both people feel really understood and loved. In an Ensign article in 2001, Elder Maxwell said “How wonderful it is (and we’ve all had these experiences) when we can gather in circles of friendship large or small with shared gospel values. Sharing is like gathering around conversational bonfires that grow warm and bright against the horizon. You will find the memories of those bonfires achieve a lastingness—not because of what you wore or what the menu was, but rather because of the shared expression of love and testimony.” I have found that I crave that. So, as impossible as it would be, if I could plan a night out, it would be filled with *real* conversation.

What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?
This year, after some real soul searching, I have gained an incredible testimony of the sacrament. I never realized before how INCREDIBLE it was, or what power it could have in my life if I’d let it. So that’s been a big, defining thing that’s pretty recent.  I have a testimony of Heavenly Father, and that He has a plan for my life. Interestingly, some of my greatest gospel struggles have to do with being a woman and a mother, but it is my past experiences with Him that help me to have faith through those struggles. I love the Book of Mormon, and find great motivation in it to do better and be better. I’m currently working to deepen my understanding and build a better testimony about charity.

Let’s say you’re dying in your sleep tonight.  What would you eat for your last meal?
I would have real Swiss food. Zopf (braided bread) with some of their hard cheese from the Alps. A real salad made by a Swiss mom—it knows no comparison. And Lindt’s Christmas chocolate: cinnamon coriander. You can’t buy it here.

What homemaking job/task gives you the most satisfaction?
Creating traditions and holidays, which includes how I decorate my house. The chance to make things magical for my kids brings me a lot of joy. Along with that, I love creating a Sabbath atmosphere in my home on Sundays. My Mom always put a nice tablecloth on the table with a picture of the Savior, then turned on soft music. That was what I remember waking up to, every Sunday of my life. I’m working to find my own way to provide that experience in my home, and feel really happy when I’m able to have a good Sabbath with my kids.

What’s something unexpected in your life, and how have you dealt with it?
So many parts of motherhood have been unexpected for me, but my biggest trials have all had to do with pregnancy. To date, I have had one text-book pregnancy, one very complicated bed-rest pregnancy, one second trimester miscarriage, and a baby who came so fast she was born on the couch and then spent 2 weeks in the NICU, all of them followed 6 months later by post-partum depression. Awesome. As I’ve tried to make some sense of the “WHY” to all of that, and dig deep for the faith to have the two more kids we feel we’re supposed to have, the temple has been absolutely crucial for me in holding on to a bigger picture perspective. I know Heavenly Father loves me, but He is also asking me to make some real sacrifices. I will admit that there have been moments and even months when I have had to struggle and wrestle with that. Times of anger and sorrow—even times when I just plain told heaven that I didn’t want to hear it, thankyouverymuch. But there have also been great blessings. I’m not through this yet. It is definitely a work in progress. But, yes. The temple is what has helped me to make the most sense of it.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Would it be really bad to admit that I think the song “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled is every stay-at-home mom’s theme song??? For real. Go listen to it and tell me I’m wrong.

Tell us about your blog.

Oh man. Well, my blog is a real work in progress, but I try to keep it real. www.fairanddelightsome.blogspot.com. I named it “Come What May and Love It” before Elder Wirthlin’s talk ever became a vinyl saying to stick on your wall. *grin* I just try to share the funny little things that happen that no mom dares admit. I feel like, if nothing else, my purpose in life can be to show other people that at least their life isn’t as redneck as mine.

I told you she was cool. Thank you, Becca.  Please say hi to her here either here or on her blog.

Are Mormons Christians?

In response to the recent media attention, I just wanted to share a glimpse into the basic beliefs of a Mormon family regarding Jesus Christ.  I wrote down a few questions, called Grant into the office, and gave him a quick interview.  Grant is 8 years old and was recently baptized as a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He shared his own views about Jesus Christ and what Christianity means to him.  His answers are sincere and spontaneous, and I hope they can share some insight into what a Mormon family teaches, believes, and strives to live.

(if video is not working on this site, you can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEcq3sx5MaM)

Glossary of terms:

Mormon:  a nickname often used to refer to a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friend magazine:  a monthly publication by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that is for children. It shares teachings from the Bible and Book of Mormon, tells stories of children trying to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and communicates lessons recently taught by living prophets and apostles.  You can see current and past editions  here.

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I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He is my Savior and He is my friend.  He alone has made it possible for me to overcome sin and death and gain eternal life.  I know that He lives, and I know that He loves me. I believe that the surest path to joy, both in this life and after death, comes from following His example, keeping His commandments, and repenting of my sins.  Jesus Christ is Lord and King.  I believe in Him.  I am a Christian.

Please visit mormon.org if you have any other questions about the doctrines, practices or members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[image credit: Jesus the Christ, painting by Heinrich Hofmann (1824-1911)]

GCBC Week 2: “The Power of Scripture” by Elder Richard G. Scott

First, a small item of business:  The General Conference photo contest actually ended in a tie.  Diane and Amanda both got exactly 35% of the vote.  I hadn’t anticipated a tie, so I had to resort to a highly-scientific method to determine the winner:  a coin toss.  So, congratulations to both of you, but the coin determined that Amanda was the winner.  Please send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll drop your prize in the mail.

“My daughter spent an entire session making this.”

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The general conference talks are all posted online now, so let the studying begin.  I decided that we’ll just go through them one-by-one in the same order they were given.  That means this week, we’ll tackle Elder Scott’s excellent talk about scripture study:

The Power of Scripture by Richard G. Scott

What stood out to you as you studied this talk?  His counsel seemed heavy with action items; what kind of goals did you walk away with?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

And are you up to a little GCBC challenge this week?  Pick a scripture to memorize and come back here to report when you’ve done it.  Then we’ll have a “new friend” that will act like a “packet of light” in our lives.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want more information about how it works, go here.  And then join us.

Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Rachel

Thanks to all of you who have patiently survived the wave of General Conference posts. I promise we’re heading back into more calm (a.k.a. boring) waters.  By the way, all the talks are now online to read.  Yay.

This whole meeting new people is just as fun for me as it is for you.  Some of them, like Rachel, are names I’ve seen pop up in comments threads, and it is so fun to meet the real people behind those hyperlinked personas.  And now that I’ve had the chance to learn more about her, just like I have with so many of you, I’m so glad that I get the chance to cross paths– even Internet paths–  with such cool people.  Meet Rachel:

Hey everyone!  I’m excited to tell you a little about myself and my family.

So here’s my life story in a nutshell:  My name is Rachel.  I’m 33 years old.  Often people will ask me where I’m from.  I usually respond everywhere and nowhere.  My Mom is Canadian (she lived all over Canada) and my Dad grew up in Idaho.  They met at BYU.  After they married they moved to Delaware where I was born.  My Dad was working for a company that transferred us often.  Our first transfer moved us to Texas.  After that we moved to the mountains of North Carolina.  (Honestly if I could move back there I would.)  Then we moved back to Delaware.  Next was upstate New York (20 minutes from Palmyra!) and finally we settled near Nashville, Tennessee.  After 4 different high schools in 3 different states I graduated and headed off to BYU.  Four years later I graduated there and moved back home.  I had plans to continue school and get a teaching certificate.  Thankfully the Holy Ghost convinced me to scrap my plans.  Shortly thereafter I met my fantastic husband, John, at an institute Halloween party held in the basement of my parent’s home.  We were married one year and 2 days after the day we met in the Nashville Temple.  This November we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary!  Since that day we have had 3 children – Karena and Hannah (7), identical twin girls and Tyler (6), our extremely energetic boy.  When Tyler was almost one my husband’s father (now 84 years old) moved in with us.

What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

Teaching my children.  We made the decision to homeschool about a year and a half ago.  We began as the girls were starting first grade and my son was entering kindergarten.  It was scary and overwhelming but we jumped right in.  It’s difficult at times but I wouldn’t pass this job off to anyone.  I love sharing what I love with them and encouraging them to try new and hard things.  Seeing those light bulb moments, especially as we teach the gospel, are times that I cherish.

What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?

Dealing with the fighting and the whining.  There is nothing that makes me more crazy than whining.  They even whine when there’s nothing to whine about. Anyone have any tips for getting rid of the whining?

Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?

  • Cooking.
  • Reading really fast.  I can read a long book (300-400 pages) that I like in a day to a day and a half.
  • Making digital art.  The rest of my family seemed to get all the regular art skills (drawing, painting, etc.).  I did not.  I do well to color in a coloring book.  I love to use my computer to create art.
  • Using Microsoft Word and Excel to make charts, schedules, list, etc.  This may not be something to brag about but it’s something I’ve been doing a lot of lately trying to plan our school year.  Plus I kind of enjoy doing it.

What homemaking job/task gives you the most satisfaction?

Cooking or creating something for my family.  To me those two things are similar.  Whether it is a meal or a piece of clothing I sewed I love seeing the joy that comes to my family from something I made.

What are you loving lately?

Pinterest – Unfortunately its addicting but I love, love, love it.  I’ve really found some amazing things through that website and connected with a lot of new people.  Plus there’s no drama like other social sites!

Crocheting – I’m slowly working with a lady from church and trying to teach myself.  I like it but I keep trying to tackle projects I’m just not ready for.  Patience is not one of my strengths.

Do you have a favorite scripture or quote?  Why?

1 Nephi 21: 14-16 – There is also a similar scripture in Isaiah 49.

“But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me – but he will show that he hath not.

For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

When times get difficult I know on many occasions I have been as faithless as Zion and asked the Savior if He had forgotten me. I have been assured each time that he cannot and will not forget me. He has “graven [me] upon the palms of [His] hands.” His atonement, death and resurrection weren’t done for all of us as a collective whole. They were done just for me. Not only did he do those amazing, miraculous works just for us he is continually helping each of us.

And my new favorite quote is from Pres. Uchtdorf: “I do know now I was never forgotten. And I know something else and as an apostle of our master Jesus Christ, I proclaim with all the certainty and conviction of my heart and soul, neither are you. You are not forgotten! Sisters, wherever you are, whatever the circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love. Just think of it! You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful and glorious Being in the universe. You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time. He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name. You are the daughters of His kingdom!”

What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?

I know Joseph Smith saw our Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know the scriptures are true.  Reading them daily brings a peace to my life that I can’t find anywhere else.  I know our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, know us as individuals and that there is a plan for us.

Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.”  (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)

1.  Travel more, especially with my family.

2. Attend a cooking school.  I LOVE to cook.  I can follow most any recipe but I have a desire to understand the principles behind cooking.  I’ve attended a few classes and have come away with so much knowledge.

3.  Live on a farm.  I used to be a self-proclaimed city girl.  I needed stuff to do, people to see and places to go.  I even contemplated applying for some NYC universities.  Since then I’ve married a man born and raised on a farm.  We were so different, it was funny.  We settled into the suburbs together, but I could always tell it made him a little claustrophobic.  Over the past few years I have moved closer and closer to his way of thinking.  I want my kids to learn how to work.  I want fresh milk and eggs every day.  I want to know where my food is coming from.

Deserted Island Question.  If you were stranded on a deserted island (most moms would actually crave this) and could only take 3 items with you, what would they be?

  • Plenty of turtle related desserts.
  • An iPad with internet access – I’d have access to almost any book that way plus I’d have my scriptures available still.
  • My great-uncle’s cabin he built in Island Park, Idaho with an added indoor toilet.  Actually I could just skip the deserted island and go there by myself.

Give your best advice to a newlywed or expectant mom.

Newlywed – Say “I love you” a lot.  Do go to bed angry.  That’s not a typo.  The morning will often bring a fresh perspective than the night before when you were tired and not thinking straight.  Forgive and then forget.

Expectant Mom – Have patience.  Say “I love you” a lot.  Give out compliments more often than criticism.  Apologize when you are wrong.

What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?

I am really good at bottling up my feelings.  I may complain about whiny kids or a messy home but I’m not going to tell you what is truly troubling my heart.  I have perfected the “Sunday face.”  You know the one we see on most people at church on Sunday that doesn’t show what is really going on in their lives.  I want to share what I’m feeling but I can’t seem to.  I am slowly working on getting better at this.  My poor husband gets to be my guinea pig.

What’s something unexpected in your life, and how have you dealt with it?

When my son was a year old and my daughters were two and a half my father-in-law came to live with us.  He was 79 and I was 27 years old.  When I was younger (like 25) I never once considered having to be a permanent caregiver.  So to say this was unexpected is an understatement.  In some ways it’s like being a mom to a teenager.  It has been an incredibly challenging few years.  It has been hard to help someone who in many ways does not want to be helped.  BUT, there have been blessings.  I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching to see what things I need to change.  That sounds like a weird blessing but it has been.  This has also brought my husband and me closer together.  We are continually having to readjust and daily deal with the situations that come.

Blog paragraph:  My blog is called “You Are My Sunshine.”  It’s really just a way for family and friends far away to see what we are doing.  I used to post very inconsistently but recently have made it a goal to give my blog some priority.  Also, in an effort to confront my fear I’ve started sharing my feelings on different topics.

Thank you, Rachel.  As always, it has been a pleasure.

Please visit Rachel’s blog or give her a quick hello in the comments here. Have a great weekend!

General Conference Trivia Answers and Winners!

Reminder:  If you haven’t added your voice to General Conference Book Club: Week 1 yet, you still can.  Don’t be shy.  🙂

Well, you people deserve little general conference trophies or something.  Man, you were good listeners!  There were 28 questions.  Everyone who answered at least 27 questions correctly was entered into the prize(s) drawing– also known as Random.org.  (There were 11 people in the high-scoring category!)  Rest assured that I was not a tyrant grader; there was plenty of wiggle room when someone obviously had the right idea about an answer.  All the talks are available online to watch and listen to, so if you have issues with any of my questions and answers, feel free to submit a complaint form through the mail.  (All complaint forms must be accompanied by a handling fee of one bag of peanut butter M&Ms.)  Anyway… the winners!

Congratulations to KIMBERLY T. who won the temple print and SIERRA A. who won the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD!  Send me an email with your mailing address by Sunday, and your prizes will be in the mail by … well, definitely by the next general conference.  I’ll do my best.  Thanks also to Lesa at Notes About Music who helped me host all this conference craziness and donated the CD for the trivia contest.  (If you don’t remember what these lovely prizes look like, go back here to peek.  I’m feeling a little too lazy to upload photos today. It’s been a busy week on the blog, people.)

Would you like to see the answers now?  Drumroll………..  Ta Dah!

GENERAL CONFERENCE TRIVIA CONTEST

 SPOKEN WORD

When President Monson addressed the congregation for the very first time in this conference, what was the first thing he said?            HELLO!

How many new temples were announced?  And which one does President Monson want to dedicate himself?      5-6: (PROVO TABERNACLE,COLOMBIA, SOUTH AFRICA, CONGO, WYOMING, +PARIS);  STAR VALLEY, WYOMING.

Finish this clever rhyme from President Uctdorf’s talk.  “The Lord doesn’t care if we work in marble halls or      (?)     .      STABLE STALLS

What kind of bird did President Packer refer to when teaching youth to learn from their elders?       CROW

Elder Perry spoke about the Church in the media.  He asked us to share the church and the gospel with the outside world the same way that volunteers do at what kind of event?      TEMPLE OPEN HOUSE

What did Elder Scott give his family as a Christmas gift in 1991?       AUDIO RECORDING OF HIMSELF READING THE BOOK OF MORMON

According to Elder Scott, what endeavor/achievement is “like forging a new friendship”?      MEMORIZING A SCRIPTURE

Elder Bednar suggested that young people are gifted in technology for a purpose.  What does he encourage them to do instead of video games, Facebook and surfing the Internet?            FAMILY HISTORY

Elder Christofferson said that we should smile when we speak about what principle?      REPENTANCE

Which apostle quoted a mommy blogger who said, “Motherhood is not a hobby; it is a calling.”?      ELDER ANDERSEN

 In Sister Thompson’s talk, she told the story of a woman during WWII who was asked how she kept a testimony through all her suffering.  Complete the woman’s response:  “I didn’t keep a testimony, …….”      A TESTIMONY KEPT ME.

Elder Whitney L. Clayton was able to go into the presidential palace that he had once taught in front of on his mission.  In what country?      PERU

Elder Ian Ardern gave a great talk about managing our time.  Finish this wise piece of counsel:  “Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to _______.”      TEXT

Elder Carl B. Cook found himself riding in an elevator with President Monson when he was feeling very discouraged.  What was the prophet’s advice?  IT’S BETTER TO LOOK UP.

What did President Monson lose as a child that helped him gain his testimony of prayer?      $5 BILL

What are the three points that President Eyring reminded us are part of our baptism covenant?      1. BE CHARITABLE   2. BE A WITNESS  3. ENDURE TO THE END

According to Elder Ballard, what 9 words explain exactly who we are and what we believe? THE CHURCH  OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS

According to Elder Tad Callister, why are there so many Christian churches?  THEY INTERPRET THE BIBLE DIFFERENTLY

On Sunday morning, we were taught about fatherhood in one of the best talks on the matter I’ve ever heard.  Who was the speaker?      SISTER DALTON

Elder Russell M. Nelson said that the greatest compliment that can be given in this life is to be known as a    (what?)   ?      COVENANT KEEPER

 Brother Richardson told a story about mountain hiking with his children.  What did he do when they wanted to know how much further they had to go?      THEY TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED HOW FAR THEY CAME

  What happened to Elder Randall K. Bennet when he ignored a warning sign?      HE ALMOST DROWNED

When Elder Cornish wanted to eat a piece of chicken, how was his prayer answered?      HE FOUND A QUARTER ON THE GROUND

 MUSIC

Where was the children’s choir from?      PleasantView and North Ogden, Utah

What primary song did the Tabernacle choir sing during the Saturday morning session?      I am a child of God

During the Saturday morning session we were asked to sing the congregational song with full hearts. What was the name of the hymn? Redeemer of Israel

The women in the tabernacle choir wore two dresses during conference.  What colors were they?      BLUE AND PINK

What Hymn did Sister Dalton refer to in her talk?            RISE UP, O MEN OF GOD

Thanks for participating.  It was fun!

In case you missed it, the general conference photo contest winners are up now, too.  Go here to vote for your favorite.

General Conference Photo Contest– Vote for Your Favorite

One of the (many, many) cool things about General Conference is how it gathers a family all together for something that really matters.  And any kind of successful family gathering requires one really important ingredient– an intentional mother.

I love these photos because they witness that there are mothers who have prepared the way for their children to hear and experience the word of God from living prophets.  And they’ve done it in way that build lasting memories.  This is the kind of influence that Sister Julie Beck is always talking about:  mothers who know, lionesses at the gate, disciples of watchcare and ministering– it’s all there in the small efforts we make to bring our families to Christ.

So, the contest.  Here are the Honorable Mentions.  Thank you so much to everyone who sent me photos.  I loved looking at all of them. Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

Carrie.  Watching from his tent with a Lego temple.

Amy. Reaching for treats when they hear the keywords.

Cheryl.  All prepared and ready to roll.

Crystal M.  Basking in the words of the prophet.

Brooke.  Her children painted on canvas during one session.  So cool.

Kimberly.  Baby loves the prophet.

The FINALISTS.

Please vote for your favorite.  You’re welcome to write in another if your favorites were different from mine.  The winner will receive Hilary Weeks’ book, Believe in What You’re Doing.

Lara.  Concentrating on the task at hand.  A beautiful image.

Diane. Sustaining the Lord’s Annointed.  Over donuts.  I love it.Amanda. A session-long’s effort to create a prophetic masterpiece.  Isn’t that a great First Presidency?Vote here:

Poll will close at midnight on Friday night.  The winner will be featured on Sunday’s GCBC post.  🙂