Monthly Archives: May 2016

Time is a Gift: Five Timely Thoughts

alarm clock 4Let’s begin with a riddle:

 “This thing all things devours:

birds, beasts, trees, flowers:

Gnaws iron, bites steel;

grinds hard stones to meal;

Slays kings, ruins towns,

and beats high mountains down.”

Do you recognize this? It was posed by Bilbo Baggins to Gollum during their famous riddle battle in J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’. The answer:  Time.

It’s about time…

We have too much of it, then quickly too little. It speeds by and then at other times drags on, and on, and on. We often misjudge the amount of it we have, waste it, or lament we don’t have enough. A few things though are certain concerning time –

  • We can’t stop it.

and

  • We don’t know how much of it we have.

Continue reading

What is Your Defining Moment?

bonnie-oscarson-1190455-galleryIn the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference (April 2016), Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson shared the story of a young mother who, while her son was being sent via Life Flight to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, she could see the Draper, Jordan River, Oquirrh Mountain, and Salt Lake City Temples all at once. As she was looking at those four Houses of the Lord the thought came to her, “Do you believe it or not?” This woman thought about all she had learned about temples, and knew that yes, she did believe it. At the end of the story, Sister Oscarson said, “This defining moment for Michele confirmed to her that what she had been taught all of her life was more than just words; it is true.”

That sentence caused me to ask myself, “What is your defining moment?” I immediately thought of a youth conference I attended when I was 16 years old. I got sick during the conference and missed almost an entire day of activities. We were camping, and the only access to medical help was a simple first-aid trailer. After taking care of everything physically, I was offered a priesthood blessing, which I accepted. That blessing went beyond a healing blessing and I heard some very special things. Continue reading

Finding the Best Fit: Four Marriage Paradoxes

To Try On or Not to Try On? That is the Question.

store windowsI don’t like to buy clothes online. I have, but it always seems to be a 50/50 proposition. I’m a tall, Scandinavian gal and concerned that things won’t fit right, and I’m correct at least half the time. For me, heading to the store where I can try them on works best. I want to make sure it’s long enough.  I don’t want it to pull and tug and bunch up. I want to twist and turn in the clothes, in front of that three-way mirror to be sure nothing that shouldn’t show doesn’t. Many of my friends enjoy shopping for the season’s latest styles online in their sweats with a cup of hot cocoa. Whatever they order comes right to their door and fits great for them. I wish things were different for me that way. But then again, if they were, maybe I’d miss out on that big chunky necklace hanging by the check-out counter that looks perfect with my new blouse.

How about shopping for a spouse? Do you think someone might have better success, find a ‘better fit,’ by trying a person on first? Can people find a great fit or a good match, by not engaging in ‘up close and personal’ behaviors before the wedding? What do you think the prevailing thoughts in society are on this? Continue reading

Mothers in the Scriptures

Motherhood isalt-lake-temple-pioneer-family-lds-770842-gallerys one of the most important aspects of the Plan of Salvation. Without it, none of us would be here in our mortal bodies. When discussing mothers and motherhood, I find it fitting to think about and study ancient women who serve as wonderful examples of what kind of mothers and women we should be. Although there are many wonderful women in the scriptures, I have chosen to highlight five: Eve, the Mother of Moses, Namoi, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Sariah from the Book of Mormon.

Eve

Eve was the very first mortal mother on this earth. She was given the ability to bear children when she partook of the forbidden fruit and was cast out of the Garden of Eden with Adam. She was given the name Eve “because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20) In fact, Eve means “life” in Hebrew.

We know from the book of Moses that Adam and Eve had many more children than Cain, Abel and Seth. “And Adam knew his wife and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.” (Moses 5:2) The Book of Moses also goes into a deeper description of the type of woman Eve was. Moses 5:1 says that Eve labored with Adam. In verse 11 Eve says, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” Then in verse 12 Eve taught her children. Continue reading

Perchance to Fall, Never to Fall Off

Christus copMy desire to live the gospel of Jesus Christ fluctuates drastically from overzealous, to moderately passive, to shutting down to nurture a bruised ego. How do I expect to live up to promises made, capture my divine nature, or simply comment in a class setting when often I find myself barely holding it together? The ultimate answer of truth is that Jesus Christ never leaves us alone to wallow for long. He knows. He understands. He has felt as we do. And He has promised to heal us completely. We can accept or reject this truth, but by the multiple testimonies I have heard, and the experiences I have had, I can share with you my testimony that I know we can continually walk down the path, perchance to fall, never to fall off, ultimately reaching the arms of our beloved Savior.

I’ve been taking college courses for eight years, trying to get my Bachelor of Arts degree. Because I didn’t take school seriously, back in my college-age days, I had to take some pretty tough courses. And because I’m just this side of old and feeble-minded, I take all my classes online, because I don’t feel comfortable sitting in a class full of young, bright students. And never being an A student, all I’ve been focusing on is passing my classes, check-marking them off my list, and getting through one class at a time, day-in-day-out, trudging along toward my goal of graduation. Continue reading

Bubbles, Priesthood, & Keys: You Have to Have Power

sudsIt’s dark at 5:45 in the morning, and teenagers were still sleepy. Very sleepy. Object lessons were one of my favorite attention getters to begin my Seminary lessons with. I knew this one would grab them and lead us into a lively discussion.

I selected a sweet young woman and one of the biggest athletes from our high school to join me behind a long table in front of the class, where  I uncovered two large mixing bowls filled halfway with water, two aprons, two electric hand mixers, and one bottle of liquid dish soap. (Everyone was sitting up now.) I explained that we were going to have a race to see who could produce the most suds in 90 seconds. (Now they were all wide-eyed and giggling).

Both tied on their aprons. With much drama I squeezed dish soap into their bowls, handed each a mixer, and stepped safely out of the ‘wet zone.’ With, “on your marks…..get set…….go!”, I clicked the stopwatch. Each pushed their hand mixer to its top speed. “Help, Sister Packard! Mine isn’t working!” the young man yelled. “What’s the matter,” I asked. “I don’t know,” he yelled again, this time kind of jumping up and down. Meanwhile, right next to him the dainty little lady’s beaters whirred away and her bowl began to fill with white. In his jumping he  noticed the cord of his mixer flinging around. “Sister Packard, it’s not plugged in!” “Well fix it, buddy,” I yelled back. (I had to yell because the class was laughing hysterically at this point).  When he bent down to plug his cord into the electric socket he yelled again, “THERE’S NO PLUG ON THE CORD!”  “What?  You have no way to get power?:” I asked innocently. “What am I going to do?” he exclaimed. “I don’t know; figure something out,” I replied. So he pushed his beaters back into his bowl and began stirring them around as fast as his big football-strengthened arms could go, all the while glancing over at the waves of bubbles pouring over his challenger’s bowl out onto the table and over the table onto the floor. He managed some suds by the time I called, “Time!”  (The class simply couldn’t have laughed any harder.)

(*No Church floors were damaged during this object lesson as I taught Seminary in my home). Continue reading