Amicus brief in same-sex marriage cases in Oklahoma and Utah. Provides a foundation for the support of traditional family marriage, not as an opposition or animus to homosexuals, but as a vital institution that maintains the importance of child rearing and having both a mother and a father to raise children. This topic inflames passions on both sides, as each hold very strong opinions on what should happen. So often I have grappled with this myself, trying to formulate the reasoning behind our opposition to altering the definition of traditional marriage. I like this brief because it is focused on just that: Maintaining the definition of traditional marriage. It doesn't say at all that homosexuals would be bad parents or that children of homosexuals would turn out to be bad eggs. Instead, it focuses on how important the different roles of fathers and mothers are to children. Its argument is that changing the definition of marriage will fundamentally change how society views marriages and discourage traditional marriage between men and women, thus effecting children in that there will be less and less households with both a father and a mother.
Okay, here's the ziti. I am setting the family reunion for the 25th and 26th of July. HOWEVER ... there are other options, so if you know you can't come on that date, PLEASE LET ME KNOW immediately. People are taking work off for this, and they might not be able to change it once it is set. Thanks!
I wanted to post a quick note about something that I've been thinking a lot about lately and that I've come to feel very strongly about. I've only worked at my current job for a little over two months, and I've already seen, in my school and others, what kind of unthinkable situations can arise in a school environment.
Yesterday at my high school we had a lockdown drill. Even though I knew the drill was coming, it was a little scary to think about and carry out, but I'm SO GLAD we did it. Throughout the rest of the day, teachers, staff, and students all had important, meaningful, mature conversations about the topic of safety at school, and we learned a lot about how to improve.
I was saddened, however, by a mother who was at my desk just before we started the drill. She found out we were about to go on lockdown (which would have necessitated her staying in the school until the drill was over), and acted as if it were a huge inconvenience. I understood that something like this could throw off her plans for the day, but I wished that she (and some others I have talked to) could understand the importance of preparing and empowering the school's staff and students in case of a tragedy.
I bring this up because during the lockdown, the discussions we had throughout the day, and our staff debriefing, I was struck with the thought that I hope everyone I know who is involved with a school (teachers, parents, students, etc.) was getting as much preparation as I was.
So this post is to encourage you to please be involved with this issue. Find out what your children's districts are doing to prepare for violent situations that, unfortunately, are more and more common in public places. It's easy to say that these things have never happened in our area, in our district, in our school; they're just things that happen in other places. Unfortunately, living in America these days means living with the possibility of violence, no matter where we are. School districts that have never had a fire still require schools to do fire drills. We should be preparing teachers, staff, and kids for other potential emergencies as well. No one ever expects anything like so many of the recent tragedies to happen to them. But the reality is that they do happen, and it's better to prepare for them, rather than wait for them to compel you to be prepared. The main reason that there weren't more victims of the recent Arapahoe shooting is that the kids at that school had been doing lockdown drills from the time they were in elementary or middle school. They, and the teachers and staff, knew how to react to keep themselves and each other safe.
This is a difficult issue. No one likes to think about extreme violence happening in a school. But again, I encourage you to find out what your kids' schools are doing to prepare them and ask how you can help prepare your kids as well. Or advocate for improvement if necessary.
I apologize if this post sounds preachy or paranoid. In today's world, I feel so burdened by so many of the goings-on, and I generally try to maintain a positive, hopeful attitude. But I believe that the society we live in is only going to get scarier and more dangerous, and I want the people I care about to be safe.
I was reading in 2 Nephi 31 and Nephi talks about how Christ speaks to him and expounds the doctrine of baptism. Then, in verse 15, he says that he hears the voice of the Father, testifying that what Christ says is true.
So it got me thinking about God the Father and his appearances in scripture. From what I could find, he mostly appears to testify of Christ and the truthfulness of Christ's teaching (Matt 17:15; John 1:29-34; JSH 1; 3 Ne. 11:7). The only real time that I could find when the Father is said to expound doctrine is when Christ speaks of the Father's teachings (of course Genesis/Moses are filled with God the Father doing things and teaching and whatnot).
I understand that Christ and God the Father are so inextricably linked that to worship one is to worship the other and to know one is to know the other, but why is it that God doesn't speak more about his doctrines in the scriptures, instead deferring to Christ? If God is to be that one Eternal Being that we ultimately worship, why did he set up a plan where we worship him through another person? (Is it like the Aaron-Moses spokesperson deal? Maybe because of the Fall God works more through Christ?) I have always found this interesting and would love to hear any thoughts/scriptures/teachings you have developed or found on the subject.
I try not to do posts that just brag up my kids- because that's what we have our family blogs for, but this is going to be a little bit of that. But even more so- it's going to be a warning to all you mom's out there. When your boys get close to turning 12 you realize that your time with them is all of a sudden very limited. Last week I subbed in primary, and Brant asked if I could come in again this week. WHAT? Well, he explained, I think I am probably more reverent if you're in there.. and today is my last day in primary and I would just like you to be there. Of course I came. What neither of us knew, the YM were coming in during sharing time to get him. As these much older boys (the next youngest to Brant is 18 months) came in and sat on the itty bitty chairs I realized that he was no longer a boy, but truly a Young Man. They invited him to the front, he ceremonial broke is primary name stick, and then was asked to choose his favorite primary song to sing as a farewell. His choice was "I hope they call me on a Mission". As he stood up and sang with all of his heart, I realized that in a few short years he would be leaving on a mission. I can't hardly stand to have my kids gone to sleep overs with out missing them so much, so the thought of 2 years will reduce me to tears in an instant.
Moral of the story- hold on to your little ones. It's crazy and hard and you're running non stop from sun up to sundown (and all through the night if you're at my house) but I am telling you, it doesn't feel like that long ago that he was my cute little toddler.
All right people, it's time to find which weekend in August is the least busy for the family reunion. Please respond to this post (or whatever form of communication in which you get this message) to let me know. I will be picking by the end of the week as there are people that need to start taking work off. E-mail me privately if you wish!
I was reading in 2 Nephi 31:12, where Nephi is prophesying about Christ's baptism. He goes on to explain how he heard the voice of Christ tell him, "He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me." (Emphasis added). I was interested in studying why Christ would need the Gift of the Holy Ghost during his ministry, but as I searched, I found more questions than answers.
I tried to find any account of Christ actually receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by traditional means (i.e. the laying on of hands), but could find no such reference. I remembered learning on my mission that the Gift of the Holy Ghost was not bestowed until Christ was resurrected, and this is explained in the New Testament and the bible dictionary (John 7:39 - ... for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified). I also looked up in Jesus the Christ, but found no reference (although it does talk about the Gift of the Holy Ghost being bestowed upon the Apostles after Christ had ascended).
So here's the question. I understand that the Gift of the Holy Ghost was not given to others during Christ's mortal ministry, but are we to take the language of 2 Nephi 31:12 to mean that Christ had received the Gift of the Holy Ghost? If so, did he receive it during his lifetime and why, if he was God, would he need the Gift of the Holy Ghost? If not, why did Nephi use this language?
We had some training this morning from Elder Gibson in the General Young Men's Presidency, and he said some interesting thing, so I thought I would share:
- The decision to lower the missionary age stemmed from a desire to curtail the loss of youth after high school. President Monson told Elder Nelson, "We are having a hemorrhage in our youth. You are a doctor and I need you to fix it." When Elder Nelson and the General Young Men's Presidency pitched the idea of lowering the age for Elders to 18 to President Monson, the first thing he said was, "What about the women? They ought to go at 19." His next question was, "Do you think this will result in more temple marriages?"
- When the member of the Presiding Bishopric are set apart, they are given keys similar to those of other bishops, but they are instructed that their keys are "dormant," meaning they take direction from the President of the Church. The Presiding Bishopric has essentially no authority and can't even preside at almost any meeting.
- The Church expects us to have 100,000+ missionaries after the first quarter of next year; however, they recognize that the numbers will drop in coming years and stabilize; one of the concerns they had was not pressuring women in to going on missions. The Church estimates that 25-30% of women will go on missions.
- The Church changed the Strength for the Youth pamphlet to emphasize group dating not as a group of boys and girls in any number of combinations, but instead a group of couples, each boy having one girl he is on a date with
- The Church stripped the activity portions of the Duty to God program because it felt that Scouting covered that need
I know that we're in a little different state of life then everyone else, but let me tell you- trying to live the gospel standards with teen's is challenging. And bless their hearts, they're doing an amazing job.
Brant's BIG football playoffs were supposed to be on Saturday- and it was HUGE because they were having them in the big college football stadium. Tonight we got word that they moved the games to Sunday. Nothing is worse then seeing your son cry, because he knows that Sunday's are special. There weren't any arguments or complaining, just a few tears and lots of Hugs.
If any of you have stories of how living the gospel has blessed your life, we'd love to feature them during our next FHE. Their is strength to be gained from hearing about other people that you know and how they've chosen the right...
And maybe if you happen to be talking to Brooke or Brant or Alex, would you let them know that they are doing a good job?
Per Mike's request, I compiled the family reunion photos into a video. Mike and I didn't plan ahead enough to get enough footage for another injuries/fights/insanity video like we did last year, but hopefully you'll enjoy this one. Thanks to all who took/contributed photos!