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Showing posts from September, 2015

Preach by the Spirit

I'm a writer, editor, and linguist. The words I choose and how I organize them are very important to me. That is why I prefer expressing myself through writing over any other method.

I also enjoy public speaking because sharing my insights is exciting. I prepare my speeches, talks, and lessons in advance so I know exactly what I'm going to say. Church talks I always write out word for word to ensure I don't forget anything and so it's coherent and cohesive. As a teen, I would practice my talks until I practically had them memorized.

Due to the increased focus on making the Sabbath a delight and sacrament meeting more spiritually fulfilling, our branch president told us he wanted us to have only an outline for our talks and to lean on the Spirit for guidance. Only once have I ever used just an outline. It was September 2006 in my college ward for a talk about how to prepare for general conference, a topic easy to expound with just notes.

Two weeks ago I was asked to sp…

"Understanding Your Endowment" Book Review

As the time approached for me to enter the temple before I got married, I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect and I don't like feeling clueless. I had read The Holy Temple by President Boyd K. Packer the year before, but didn't find it particularly helpful.
I took a temple prep class while engaged and learned some of the covenants I would make. I knew some other things from what people had said here and there under various circumstances. The night before my endowment, my mom showed me her ceremonial clothing so I would know what each piece was. I didn't even know they existed. (The Church has since made the clothing public, as shown in this official video.)
Despite all this and being raised in an active, gospel-study-focused family, my first time going through the temple was somewhat strange. It did not feel wrong, but it did feel unusual at times. Besides baptisms, the activities in the temple are only done there, so there is no way to prepare for them in advanc…

"The Family Is of God"

For this talk, I did not have everything written out beforehand and just used short notes, so this is not everything I shared nor exactly what I said.

Sister Carol M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, spoke at the General Women's Broadcast in March about the Primary song "The Family Is of God." She began, "Is anything more beautiful and profound than the simple and pure truths of the gospel taught in a Primary song?" I have a strong testimony of the Primary songs and the pure and plain gospel truths they teach.

"In the words of “The Family Is of God” . . . [w]e learn not only that the family is of God but also that we are each part of God’s family." Although Sister Stephens addresses the importance of our individual families in her talk, I found that the focus was more on how we all are a part of God's family.

"The first line of the song teaches: “Our Father has a family. It’s me! It’s you, all others too: we …