Thursday, October 23, 2014

Temple Garments

It is common for people to think we members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons) are different. One things that many people find odd, or curious is the fact that we wear temple garments. The fact that members don't talk about their garments, or what goes on in the temple likely increases curiosity. For me personally, it's always been symbolic of commitments, promises, and beliefs I have which can be compared to why some wear a cross. I remember when I was in high school, my boyfriend (who wasn't Mormon) wasn't allowed to attend a wedding reception with me because his parents had "heard all about Mormons running around in our underwear at weddings." I had to laugh when I heard their response. I couldn't believe that intelligent people would really think that's what happens in the temple, let alone at a reception center!

I can assure you that you won't see people running around in their underwear at Mormon wedding receptions, or in the temple. Honestly, most of the temple ceremony can be read straight out of the Bible. I have to admit that the temple clothing does look different, but has a lot of symbolism behind it--just as the Jew's prayer shawl, head tefillin, or other religious clothing does. I'm excited that the church has come out with a video that shows you temple clothing and the garments we wear. Hopefully, it will help dissolve any misconceptions people have about the temple garments and clothing.

I've always found it beautiful to learn the symbolism behind different religions religious rituals and clothing. While some of the ways they worship definitely seem foreign to me, I can appreciate their rites as a way they show respect and love for God.

Here's the video Sacred Temple Clothing:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

All Things Fall

I love Fall! The colors of the leaves, apples, pumpkins, and so much more. This will most likely be the last Fall for us in the DC area. There is a chance we'll come back, but just in case we don't, the kids and I made a bucket list of all the things we wanted to do during this lovely season.

I was surprised and really happy that our oldest suggested we take family pictures. What kid tells their parent that, "We should take family pictures?" Apparently ours do. All the other kids enthusiastically agreed. Hopefully, they keep that attitude when we check it off our list. I just realized that taking pictures during the Fall season has turned into a tradition. We always take a shot near a gorgeous huge tree in our backyard with the woods as our background. We're going to miss the view of this backyard.

I'm definitely feeling nostalgic and excited about all the upcoming changes. While we haven't had our family pictures taken yet, we've had a lot of energy and have already crossed off a lot of items on our bucket list. One of them was to create a painting of a tree with the help of many hands (I guess I should say fingers):

I apologize in advance about the quality of pictures. My camera's battery was dead and we couldn't find the charger. Anyhow, I love how our craft turned out and so do the kids. I think it will help us remember of the times we spent here for the past two years. It will remind me of our beautiful tree. Here's how we made our fun painting:

First we painted the limbs and the details. I got the idea to do this project from pinterest (I'd have linked you straight to the source, but it's spam). You can see they didn't do any details on the trunk or limbs. I like both versions with and without the additional gray. Either way cover your trunk and limbs with tape. We left some parts (as seen below) uncovered so the leaves could cover parts of it. We ended up covering anything that wasn't covered with tape.

Then the kids and I rolled up our sleeves and we started getting red leaves on our canvas...

Then we added yellow, orange, green, and a little brown and tried to let it dry a bit.

Then we started to pull up our tape. By the way, we used both painters tape and duct tape and both worked just fine.

Almost done pulling off all the tape...

After we finished pulling off tape, we added leaves to the top where the one trunk was completely uncovered. We also added leaves to the sides of the canvas. After it was all dry, we hung it up. The kids were super proud and happy with their art work. If you have kids (or not) and are looking for a fun and easy craft to do this Fall, I'd definitely recommend trying this out. It's easy, fast, and a whole lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why are Mormons Always Inviting Me?

We'll get to that question in a moment, but first let me say, it's good to be back. Now that we're home I can connect to the internet and post on my blog again. We have been living in a cabin for the past three months. While we had the internet, the laptop we brought with us is very old making it extremely difficult to do anything on-line. Sorry if you missed me.

We got back this week. Right in time to get ready for General Conference. Twice a year our family enjoys some fun traditions to celebrate this time. First, we mimic the example of King Benjamin's people and will set up a tent and face it towards our "tower" (our computer) where the prophet and other leaders will speak during the weekend. It's also a time when we remember to restock our 72 hour kits with new food before the old stuff goes bad. We enjoy snacking and eating from our old kits as we listen to our prophets and leaders speak. It's also a time where we remember to take a personal inventory of our own lives. As we listen, we are always inspired with what we need to change, or how we can be a little better. We also leave feeling our Savior Jesus Christ's love. This is why I often invite others (including nonmembers) to join us, or to listen via the internet. It's my way of trying to share the amazing experience with others. 

I often will post an invitation to friends so they can watch if they are interested. I have to admit I am always nervous when posting anything religious. I worry that I might offend or annoy friends and family. I know during the political season there are times when I get tired of heated political posts. I wouldn't be surprised if some good friends and loved ones feel the same when I post something relating to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If you're one of those people who gets tired of all of us Mormons inviting you to listen to Conference, or to read the Book of Mormon, to meet with the missionaries, to go to church activities, or whatever else please don't be so annoyed you'll cut ties with us. We're sharing and inviting, not because we get "brownie points or bonuses," but because we care about you just as Elder Bednar describes in this talk with an entertaining personal story. I hope you'll take the time to watch or listen to his talk so that the next time you see another religious post from me or some other Mormon, you can smile to yourself even if it's while saying, "There they go again."

If you aren't put off by our invitations and are even a little curious or interested in learning more about Mormons you can do just that all in the name of charity. On October 10th (this Friday) you can go to a theater (hopefully) near you and watch Meet the Mormons. The best part is all the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross! Click here to find the closest theater near you.