Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blended Families

I was taught in class really how difficult it is to start a blended family and how little discussion we have about it in our society. The factors, the people, the discipline, and the marriage itself are all things that need greater attention. I was grateful for the advice that Sister Williams gave us today on what things we should know concerning single women who are trying to date with children: put your children first. I think that is profound. If our children and the gospel came first in every single adult life that had been widowed, divorced or faced another challenge all things would work out and be put in their proper perspective.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Active Parenting

I recognized how important and crucial it is to be an ACTIVE parent!!! A lot of this I could tell was based on simple principles such as listening, empathizing, helping the child feel understood, and not only being part of creating a solution but more importantly helping your child come to their own effective solution!!! This is the same way that our Heavenly Father works with us. He is the best listener, the perfect empathizer, the one that truely can help you feel perfectly understood and creates solutions for us but most often does it through the spirit and helps us create our own solutions to problems in our own lives. It was so interesting to hear that a childs view of God is greatly effected by the way parents treat and parent their kids. Parenting is a heavenly responsibility we have.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I loved that we were able to talk today in class about the effects of finances on marriages. I think the most important thing was helping us recognize that Jesus Christ is our ultimate creditor. I think that once individuals and couples understand that, money for tithing, missions and other things that can help build up the Lords kingdom can be recognized as blessings rather than burdens.  Concerning tithing Elder Hales said that by paying tithing “It is one of the simple ways we show our obedience and faith to him.” Tithing also teaches us to control our desires. Elder Holland made the statement  that we should  “pay your tithing as a declaration that possession of material goods and the accumulation of worldly wealth are not the uppermost goals of your existence… we are God’s peculiar people. In a society that tells us money is our most important asset, we declare emphatically it is not.”  We value most the family unit and the time we spend with them. When things like money and worldly pursuits get in the way of that, Elder Holland might be suggesting that Satan is winning because we know that money is not our most important assets, family is.  I loved the advice given on budgeting and reserving a fund too. Elder Worthlin described, “All too often a family’s spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning.” We should yearn to please our family and God. Once we do that, all other pursuits and desires can be aligned in their proper perspective.  Someone once said  “Overindulgence and poor money management place a heavy strain on marriage relationships. Most marital problems, it seems, originate from economic roots- either insufficient income to sustain the family or mismanagement of the income that is earned.” We need to learn to not let money be the source of our happiness within our relationships. One of the most important relationships being with God. Brigham Young stated, “The worst fear I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution, and be true. But my greater fear… is that they cannot stand wealth.” Whether it be we become entirely poor to afford anything or we become too rich to enjoy the simple things, we cannot let the relationship between man and women, and us and God ever be affected by it in a negative way. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The importance of WOMANHOOD

We just read an article in defense of womanhood and the role of the woman in the home for class and it astounded me the position that the world takes on stay at home moms. They suggested that the mother's intellect is more than susceptible to go in downward spiral by staying home than it is to be out in the workforce. Prager, the author of this article defended it by saying "So it is not only nonsense that full-time homemaking means swapping the mind for a mop. It is also nonsense that the vast majority of paid work outside the home develops the mind. One may prefer to work outside the home for many reasons: a need or desire for extra income; a need to get out of the house; a need to be admired for work beyond making a home; a need for regular interaction with other adults. But the development of the intellect is not necessarily among them." To me, there is nothing that stretches nor builds on the intellect of the mind then being home with children, whom we can learn from and become more like our Heavenly Father through. No work outside the home can ever compensate for the knowledge and experience gained inside the home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Matters Most

This week in our discussion we have been talking about and reflecting on personal family crisis' that we have faced. As I have done this and talked about each event with my Mom it has truely reminded both of us about the importance of preparation regarding faith and preparation in understanding "what matters most." I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained through various family crisis' and the refinining process it has become for both me and all members of my family to give us the opportunity to be better people. WE NEED TO STOP AND REMEMBER  THOSE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fidelity in Marriage

Our readings for class this week were about fidelity in marriage. I was so impressed with the thought that came from Gardner's talk and insight when he quoted President Kimball. "thought is the father of an act. No 
man ever committed murder who did not first become angry. No one ever committed 
adultery without a preceding immoral thought. The thief did not steal except he first 
coveted that which was his neighbor's.” It is important to remember "For as [a man] 
thinketh in his heart, so is he . . . (Proverbs 23:7).”  That is why we are told to be of one HEART and one MIND.To be faithfully emotional to one's spouse requires that your mind is only focused on them and pleasing and serving them first. Positive thought and active results in faithful and understood boundaries in a marriage. I am so grateful to know that it is through fidelity to our spouse that greater things can be accomplished and deeper love can be expressed. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The importance of Marriage!

Our class discussion today made me really think about how the world views marriage and its importance and how the gospel views marriage and its importance. The world see's it as an opportunity to come together. The gospel see's it as a way to come together with God.  It is so easy, even in a gospel environment to consider booking your reception area before booking your temple ceremony. If we truely understood the importance of those covenants, commitments, and promises we were making in the temple that would be where our focus was. It's not to say that we should not care about the reception, the wedding cake, the company. Those are important. However, maintaining an eternal perspective through it all and WHY you're getting married in the temple is the most important thing we need to remember. As we remember WHY we're getting married,How it is part of fulfilling the creator's plan, and What this life is all about!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is Love?

Today in class we learned about the different types of love that we can have. Its interesting to know that having a well balanced love for all of those who are within our social influence is so very important. It would be ideal to have all of the different loves in the same measure and amount for each person. After discussing this topic in class I reflected on the importance of the 1st great commandment God gave- it had to do with love. I found a talk given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf afterwards that inspired me to understand why it is so important to have love, express love, and show love. Especially in our families.

"Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf "The Love of God"

Monday, October 10, 2011

What influences you?

Today in the readings and discussion I was impressed to see that the three major sources of how we learn what it means to be masculine or feminine were through family, school, and mass media. It is true that mothers and fathers have a huge influence on what a typical girl is suppose to wear, how to act, and what to say and same for men. If a father is into body building and the looks of his image, you can assume that the son will follow in those same footsteps. If the mother is involved in plastic surgeries, weight loss, and looking glamorous, you can bet the girl will follow her mothers example in that area as well. This main source made me reflect on a past conference talk by jeffrey r holland when he stated this:

"In this same vein may I address an even more sensitive subject. I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or other wants to be something they are not! But as one adviser to teenage girls said: "You can't live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people's opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. . . . The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]"8 And in the kingdom of God, the real you is "more precious than rubies."9 Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good. I mention adult women because, sisters, you are our greatest examples and resource for these young women. And if you are obsessing over being a size 2, you won't be very surprised when your daughter or the Mia Maid in your class does the same and makes herself physically ill trying to accomplish it. We should all be as fit as we can be—that's good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size.

Frankly, the world has been brutal with you in this regard. You are bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the message that looks are everything! The pitch is, "If your looks are good enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular." That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later womanhood. In too many cases too much is being done to the human body to meet just such a fictional (to say nothing of superficial) standard. As one Hollywood actress is reported to have said recently: "We’ve become obsessed with beauty and the fountain of youth. . . . I’m really saddened by the way women mutilate [themselves] in search of that. I see women [including young women] . . . pulling this up and tucking that back. It’s like a slippery slope. [You can't get off of it.] . . . It’s really insane . . . what society is doing to women."10

In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called "vain imaginations."11 And in secular society both vanity and imagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those "in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers" as Lehi saw,12 because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough."

I know that just as women as we follow the example and counsel of our prophets it won't matter what the media, our friends, or the world says about our image, we know who we are and what we can become.

Family Culture

As I reflected on our discussion in class I thought it was so interesting how different my family culture is compared to the family culture that my parents were both raised. The differences in these two family cultures were in family education, religious activity, showing and expressing love, communication and the role of each gender. I feel like there is also some similarities but I would say our family differences in how my parents were raised far outweigh how my parents have raised us. I was also very impressed by the topic of how marriages work for the world and how marriages work under covenants. When the question was posed "who do you make covenants with across the altar?" You make them with God not only with your partner as you do in the world. I think that this is one of the major cultural differences that seperate my parents culture with how they were raised opposed to how they raised us and the expectations they have. The statement was made that if we make covenants with just our spouse when we get married (outside the temple) and that spouse fails in his or her commitment then the foundation of that marriage is just short of failure. Compare that to a marriage whose covenants are with God.. someone that is unchanging, constant, and always honest in his commitment to you... You can never fail!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I was very intrigued about what I learned about as far as  different cultures go and how they affect the family. What I really thought about was how does a couple effectively and agreeably compromise on what they want to be their own "Family culture"? You have two people coming from two seperate backgrounds, cultures, values, habits, and ideas and to make an effort to put those two together to mold it as one is quite the challenge. It made me reflect on how important it is to create not only the culture that you and your husband feel most comfortable with for your relationships and for your children, but also how important it is to create a culture that Heavenly Father himself creates for those he lives with. How do we do this? This is the question I think that I will find many answers to throughout the semester in order to better be prepared to compromise, consider, and compare the positive and negatives qualities that should be in a family culture centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Truth or Lies

We have been talking a lot about statistics and different research that has been done on the family. It is interesting to see what different results come from different sources. It is so important that the research you trust is valid and credible. One of the articles that we briefly discussed in our class was the affects family dinner time together has on teenagers and the use of drugs. It only makes sense to me that having that family time together would correlate with good moral values such as avoiding dangerous addictions and habits. It's funny that researchers are just making this correlation now because prophets from the late 1900's have been giving this same counsel over and over to help parents rear their children and spend time with them in a way that would help them avoid such dangers. I am so grateful for the knowledge we have and the guidance that we receive because of prophets and apostles that have been called of God.