Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Is Easter About, Anyway?


A friend once told me that she thought Easter as a morbid holiday.  "Why would anyone want to commemorate someones death?"  she wondered aloud.  A fair question.

While Christ's suffering and death on the cross is a monumental component of the Atonement, His mission was not complete until He was Resurrected

Because He died for us, we can overcome spiritual death caused by our own wrong choices and sin.  Because He lives, we too will overcome physical death that comes to us by nature of our mortal existence.  Our celebration of Easter is not complete unless we acknowledge that while He did suffer and die for us, He also lives for us.

Tomorrow starts my 12 Days of Easter Countdown.  Please check back here each day through Easter to participate in a virtual countdown to Easter with daily scriptures from both the New Testament and The Book of Mormon to help us contemplate the Savior during this most holy season of the year!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Family + Togetherness = Happiness

We have had a GREAT time with my sister and her family this week during their Spring Break.  Being with family...In my book there's nothing better.  Here is a little vid we put together today with the kids.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Our Relief Society Enrichment Meeting was so much fun last week!  Our outgoing RS President talked to us about the purpose of Relief Society as outlined in Sister Beck's talk from the last conference and also talked about making R.S. "purse-onal" a la a purse-themed evening.  Some of the sisters put together wonderful table displays illustrating these points.  Others sang and bore testimony.  We played games (including a purse scavenger hunt) and just had a wonderful time together as sisters.  I am feeling warm-fuzzy feelings for my fellow Seeeesters in the Relief Society after this fun gathering!  Here are some pictures...and a link to the website where we found the idea for our purse-themed Enrichment, which we updated and adapted for our ward.  The Relief Society is a blessing in my life, and I am so thankful for this special sisterhood of which I am a part.

Scavenger Hunting...

Friday, March 20, 2009

License and Registration, Please...


I am not clairvoyant--not even close.  But from time to time, the Spirit can give us little flashes of light to help make decisions that will make our future brighter.  Sometimes, these brilliant bursts make absolutely no sense when they occur, but we would each be wise to follow them when they do.

Last night, as I was rushing out the door to attend a Relief Society meeting at church, I grabbed my keys and thought, "I'd better pick up that wad of cash on the counter, just in case I get pulled over."  It was a completely illogical thought.  It also seemed silly to think that $20 in small bills would somehow spare me from getting a ticket in the event that I did get pulled over.  But, as I mentioned, I was running out the door, so I didn't question the validity of this random thought.  I simply shoved the extra cash into my coat pocket and hit the road.

Not far into my trip, I passed a police cruiser with lights flashing.  "Oh, bummer,"  I thought, "Someone got pulled over."  A minute or so later, a friend called my cell phone telling me that the unfortunate soul who got pulled over was our friend who had been rushing to deliver some special items for our Relief Society meeting!  She wanted me to drive back to retrieve the cake, ice cream, and balloons that were being detained by the Law back along the side of the road.

So, I returned to the scene of the crime, and needless to say, our dear friend "Speedy-Gonzalez" was more than distraught over the $200 ticket she had just received.  Suddenly, my strangely illogical thought made perfect sense.  It wasn't Me who was going to be pulled over, it was my friend.  

I pulled the cash from my pocket and handed it to my friend.  It wasn't enough to really make much of a dent in the bill she will have to pay, but sometimes this sort of experience is not about covering our financial hardships.  The real comfort is in knowing that God knows the end from the beginning, that He cares about the details of our lives, that He will reach out to us, even when we make silly human errors, and sometimes He will reach us through a friend.  

Most importantly, an experience like this assures me that the Holy Ghost, who acts in total harmony with God the Father and Jesus Christ, is a powerful, compassionate Being who can help us walk in wisdom and truth as we seek to follow His promptings--even the ones that don't seem to make very much sense to our limited human minds.  

As we increase our sensitivity to these promptings, we will be better prepared to love and serve those around us.  And doesn't that just feel good?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Book List

Books I recommend that make my life easier, happier, more sweet:




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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Philadelphia Temple

Am I excited about the announcement of the first ever temple to be built in Pennsylvania??? You betcha! This temple, which is to be built in Philadelphia, PA will also be a high-rise temple, one of only three that the church has built. The high-rise temples are reserved for urban surroundings, so that the design fits in with other building around it and allows it to fit into the small lots available in city spaces. The other high-rise temples are in Hong Kong (beautiful) and Manhattan, New York. Here is a view of the area where our new temple will be built. I think it's interesting that it is in such an urban setting and that it is located across the street from the Philadelphia Inquirer as well as the Philadelphia School District HQ.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Temple: A Golden Experience



In between chasing Leprechauns and cleaning up their little green footprints today I found this picture on the website for the Washington, DC Temple. Here's a peek inside the Washington, DC Temple...through these beautiful temple doors. The temple is truly a "golden" experience and its doors are open to every person who diligently seeks the blessings of the temple.
Happy St. Pattie's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Off to Primary, I Go...


One unique thing about the LDS church is that we have a lay ministry.  Every member of the church is given an assignment (also known as a "calling") to serve in various organizations in the church.  These assignments, which come from the Lord, are extended to us by our church leaders.  They can be quite time intensive at times, and we do this work for FREE.  Through the work we do in our callings we serve each other and we serve the Lord.  

I have accepted a new calling at church.  I will serve as the first counselor in the Primary organization.  As the first counselor, I support our Primary President in whatever she needs to make the childrens' program successful.  She leads our presidency as we seek inspiration to know how best to teach and love the children who are part of our Primary program.  Teaching His little ones is a huge responsibility.  It will require me to become a better person and to more diligently seek His spirit every day.  

I look forward to the blessings that this process will bring to me personally and to my family.

(The picture above is of my youngest and my Mom taken this weekend...It was fun to have them pay us a visit!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why Mormons Build Temples

A Good Video For Friday

Here's a MormonAd to brighten your Friday...My son just stumbled on this video on Youtube while we were watching another video about Why Mormons Build Temples.

This is now my son's fave thing to watch!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happiness In Family Life

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. -The Family:  A Proclamation To the World

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Big Love...No Big Deal.

The following is a commentary posted on the LDS Church News website:

  Like other large faith groups, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes finds itself on the receiving end of attention from Hollywood or Broadway, television series or books, and the news media. Sometimes depictions of the Church and its people are quite accurate. Sometimes the images are false or play to stereotypes. Occasionally, they are in appallingly bad taste.

As Catholics, Jews and Muslims have known for centuries, such attention is inevitable once an institution or faith group reaches a size or prominence sufficient to attract notice. Yet Latter-day Saints – sometimes known as Mormons - still wonder whether and how they should respond when news or entertainment media insensitively trivialize or misrepresent sacred beliefs or practices.

Church members are about to face that question again. Before the first season of the HBO series Big Love aired more than two years ago, the show’s creators and HBO executives assured the Church that the series wouldn’t be about Mormons. However, Internet references to Big Love indicate that more and more Mormon themes are now being woven into the show and that the characters are often unsympathetic figures who come across as narrow and self-righteous. And according to TV Guide, it now seems the show’s writers are to depict what they understand to be sacred temple ceremonies.

Certainly Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding. Last week some Church members began e-mail chains calling for cancellations of subscriptions to AOL, which, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner. Certainly such a boycott by hundreds of thousands of computer-savvy Latter-day Saints could have an economic impact on the company. Individual Latter-day Saints have the right to take such actions if they choose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution does not call for boycotts. Such a step would simply generate the kind of controversy that the media loves and in the end would increase audiences for the series. As Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Robert D. Hales of the Council of the Twelve Apostles have both said recently, when expressing themselves in the public arena, Latter-day Saints should conduct themselves with dignity and thoughtfulness.

Not only is this the model that Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated in his own life, but it also reflects the reality of the strength and maturity of Church members today. As someone recently said, “This isn’t 1830, and there aren’t just six of us anymore.” In other words, with a global membership of thirteen and a half million there is no need to feel defensive when the Church is moving forward so rapidly. The Church’s strength is in its faithful members in 170-plus countries, and there is no evidence that extreme misrepresentations in the media that appeal only to a narrow audience have any long-term negative effect on the Church. 

Examples:

  • During the Mitt Romney election campaign for the presidency of the United States, commentator Lawrence O’Donnell hurled abuse at the Church in a television moment that became known among many Church members as “the O’Donnell rant.” Today, his statements are remembered only as a testament to intolerance and ignorance. They had no effect on the Church that can be measured.
  • When the comedy writers for South Park produced a gross portrayal of Church history, individual Church members no doubt felt uncomfortable. But once again it inflicted no perceptible or lasting damage to a church that is growing by at least a quarter of a million new members every year.
  • When an independent film company produced a grossly distorted version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre two years ago, the Church ignored it. Perhaps partly as a result of that refusal to engender the controversy that the producers hoped for, the movie flopped at the box office and lost millions.
  • In recent months, some gay activists have barraged the media with accusations about “hateful” attitudes of Latter-day Saints in supporting Proposition 8 in California, which maintained the traditional definition of marriage. They even organized a protest march around the Salt Lake Temple. Again, the Church has refused to be goaded into a Mormons versus gays battle and has simply stated its position in tones that are reasonable and respectful. Meanwhile, missionary work and Church members in California remain as robust and vibrant as ever, and support for the Church has come from many unexpected quarters — including some former critics and other churches.

Now comes another series of Big Love, and despite earlier assurances from HBO it once again blurs the distinctions between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the show’s fictional non-Mormon characters and their practices. Such things say much more about the insensitivities of writers, producers and TV executives than they say about Latter-day Saints.

If the Church allowed critics and opponents to choose the ground on which its battles are fought, it would risk being distracted from the focus and mission it has pursued successfully for nearly 180 years. Instead, the Church itself will determine its own course as it continues to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Validation: Just Makes Me Feel Good

I discovered this video posted on my mother's blog...and have watched it four times now.  The first five minutes are my favorite and just make me feel good.  If you need a smile on a Monday...take five and watch this fable about what can happen when we look for the good in others:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You Were Created By The Most Creative, Compassionate Being In The Universe.

You and I were created by the most creative and compassionate Being in the Universe.  That belief is humbling, yet inspiring.

Happiness attends us when we follow in Our Creator's footsteps by creating goodness and cultivating kindness.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said "Everyone can create.  You don't need money, position, or influence to create something of substance or beauty."  He continues, "The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you." 

Listen to more of his talk or read the rest of his words by following the links below.

Watch and listen to his talk here
Read his full remarks here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Doing A Little Family History...

This is an open invitation to all Hatch family, near and far, to share their family memories online. I have uploaded about 200 old family photos in the web album shown below. Please take a moment to add details and any memories you might have about these pictures to the comment section beneath each photo. I hope to add more family history photos in the future. Thanks in advance for participating in this! And please, feel free to share this link with all of the "cousins" you know!
Hatch Family Pictures - Mostly 1930-1950's and earlier