President Gordon B. Hinckley's Challenge and Promise

President Gordon B. Hinckley said in a

worldwide leadership training meeting:

“I am convinced there is no other organization anywhere to match the Relief Society of this Church.

If they will be UNITED and speak with ONE VOICE,


10 January 2004, 20

Relief Society - A Restoration of an Ancient Form


“A Restoration of an Ancient Pattern”

Although the name may be modern date,

the institution is of ANCIENT ORIGIN.

We were told by our martyred prophet

that the same organization EXISTED

in the church ANCIENTLY.”

Eliza R. Snow

(Published in: “Daughters in My Kingdom”)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Family Planning: It's None of Their Business

My daughter, Sarah "Serene", wrote this article for the
"Mormon Mommy Blog"
For the young mothers in our Ward, I thought
many of you could relate to this article:

True Stories

At the time, I had two small children ages 2 and not quite 1, and I was several months pregnant with our surprise baby number three.

I was loading the two kids into the car when the mail lady, whom I have NEVER spoken to before, stops me and asks, “Are these two kids yours?”

“Yes.” I replied smiling.

“And you’re pregnant again?”

I really wanted to say, well obviously but instead I came back with a rather profound “Yup.”

She stared at me for a minute, as if evaluating my very intelligence.

Finally, she responded. “Ummm, I have some uh, reading material on how all this happens if you would like it.”

Needless to say, I was rendered speechless.

I flew by myself from Utah to Florida with my three children ages 3, 2, and 8 months. (that was a whole experience in and of itself)

As I was walking out of the terminal, looking for my family, a lady approached me.

“Oh, what adorable children! Are you the nanny?”

“Nope,” I replied with my best smile on, “I’m the mommy.”

She stared for a moment, then spun on her heel and walked away without another word.


We had moved into a new ward and didn’t know very many people yet.

I was conversing with a few other adults when the man in the group turned to me and asked my due date.

I told him and in turn, asked about his wife’s due date.

After telling me, he asked, “Now this is your second one too, right?”

I laughed a bit, braced myself and replied, “No, no. This is my fourth.”

And I kid you not. His eyes about doubled in size as he pointed his finger at me and firmly declared, “You’re crazy! You. Are. Crazy!”


My name is Serene and I have five children ages six years old and under. And before you ask, no we aren't done.

Now, I am in no way unique. There are oodles of women out there that had all sorts of large numbers of children under all sorts of wildly young ages. My own mother had her first seven children in only eight years.

On the flip side, there are oodles of women out there who would love to be in my shoes, but struggle to conceive or carry children. I personally know many, and they are amazing women. Truly amazing.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t exactly plan it this way. I’ll also be the first to admit that I really don’t enjoy being pregnant, at all.

I voted for the stork in the pre-existence.

Just sayin’.

But our little situation it is what it is, and I love it... eh, most of the time. The thing I don’t love? People who feel like they have a say in our “family planning”.

The family proclamation states, “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”

No, we are not trying to do that single-handedly for pete’s sake. But whether I want one kid, three kids, eight, or heaven help my poor, screaming uterus, a double digit number of kids, than fine! It’s none of their business!

In turn, people who have no kids, only one, or have them spaced years and years apart, it’s none of our business! And while sometimes these situations are by choice, which is fine, you’ll find that often it isn’t.

People are different. People’s situations are different. It’s a wonder that that is so hard for us to remember as we jump to conclusions about someone.

I so wish people would stop judging, snickering, guessing, gossiping, and butting in. The decisions people make about their family are between them and the Lord.

So while I may not particularly enjoy having all my curling irons plunged into the toilet by my children, I no longer feel embarrassed when I get snide comments or remarks from other people.

Because it’s none of their business.

And because I thoroughly plan on doing my very best as a mother. After all, the proclamation does state that, “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness....”

I am hardly perfect and there are days I have to lock myself in my room with some chocolate to keep from loosing it... again.

But with the Lord’s help, I’m doing my best.

And that’s all that matters.

Serene is a mom of five crazy monkeys who is not ashamed to admit her addiction to chocolate. She blogs about all her parenting misadventures at Serene is my name, not my life! She is also a freelance artist so be sure to view her portfolio page! 

"Under the Shadow of Thy Wings..."

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me
under the shadow of thy wings,

(Psalms 17:8)

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!  therefore
the children of men put their trust
under the shadow of thy wings.

(Psalms 36:7)

BE merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings
will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

(Psalms 57:1)

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust
in the covert of thy wings. 

(Psalms 61:4)

Because thou hast been my help, therefore
in the shadow of thy wings
will I rejoice.

(Psalms 63:7)

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and
under his wings
shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

(Psalms 91:4)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mary Holt was Sealed to Delbert Goodrich

On July 16, 2011
Mary Holt was sealed to Delbert Goodrich
in the Spokane Washington Temple

 This was my favorite picture
of Delbert and Mary
Spokane Washington Temple
 Delbert and Mary on Temple grounds
Spokane Washington Temple
Beginning their "Happily Ever After" Story

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grain Class

Last night, Tanya Etchison, taught a "Grain" class...It was VERY GOOD... She talked about all the different grains that are available for our use...their nutritional value...and had us taste some of the recipes she has experimented with...since she started getting into the use of grains...

She, also, took classes from "Chef Brad" at Education Week in Provo, Utah. It was a class on the "Word of Wisdom"... She learned so much.  

"Chef Brad" is on KBYU, Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. He teaches how to use grains and evidently is teaching a class on BEANS...right now.

She showed a new FOOD PYRAMID that Chef Brad came up with:
 Eat the following:

Sweets and Lean red meat - 1 time per week

Free range poultry/deep sea fish or cold fish - 2 times per week

Olive oil or fats from fish poultry, organic eggs, GRAINS, nuts
supplements, WATER - DAILY

Body should have 50 grams of fiber a day for great health.  Fiber is like a broom, sweeping the system.  GRAINS CLEAN OUT and lowers cholesterol!

SUPER GRAINS - High in Protein:

Buckwheat - Whole, Roasted Kasha, and Hulled
Chia Seed
Flax and Hemp nut
Quinoa - Red, Black and White

We got to sample all these different foods...
made from grains
Rice Crispy Treats
Soup that Tanya made up

We were given some great information on each grain and its
value.../plus recipes...
If you are interested, let me know...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Daughters in My Kingdom" - NEW Relief Society Book

Diversity and Strength of Mormon Women Highlighted in New Relief Society Book

AnnMaris Osime was raised in Nigeria. Nicole Erickson is a single graphic designer in Utah. Barbara Rockwood is busy raising five young children in Washington. At first glance, these women may not have much in common. But as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they are connected to each other and to millions of other women through the Relief Society organization.
All Mormon women over the age of 18 belong to Relief Society, which helps women in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ, increase their personal faith, strengthen families and serve others. This work and Relief Society women both past and present are the focus of a new book soon to be released by the Church, Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society.

As the Church’s general Relief Society president, Julie B. Beck has met women from all over the world and says the new book will provide perspective and strength for the 21st-century woman.
“This story that the Church is releasing now is very important, I think, for our time now and I can’t think of a time when it’s been needed more than it’s needed today,” President Beck said.
Copies of Daughters in My Kingdom will be distributed to women around the world to be used as a resource for personal study and for teaching in the Church and in the home. The book will be mailed next week to all English-speaking Church congregations and will be printed in 25 other languages in the next few months. With this diversity of cultures among the 14 million Church members, President Beck said the book needed to have broad appeal.
 “We needed something that would have global application and be applicable into the future, something that would appeal across cultures and languages, so it needed to be more message based rather than a typical chronological historian’s history,” President Beck said.
AnnMaris Osime thinks the book will have great meaning for the women in her native Nigeria.
“I think of thousands of women back home in Africa, this book is really going to inspire them,” she said. “It’s really going to inspire a lot of women. It will help give them a sense of belonging.”
The 208-page book is organized by themes such as family, sisterhood and charity. Each chapter includes stories of Latter-day Saint women throughout history and around the world today. President Beck said the book is designed to be user-friendly for an audience that may not read much. It is also visually inviting, with every page featuring colorful photographs and beautiful artwork.
That accessible approach is appreciated by Barbara Rockwood of Kirkland, Washington. As a busy mother with five young children, Rockwood does not have a lot of time to read. But flipping through Daughters in My Kingdom for the first time, she said it is the kind of book she could pick up even if she only had a few minutes.
“I love the feel of the book,” Rockwood said. “The photographs are beautiful, and I like the fact that you don’t necessarily have to pick it up and read it cover to cover. It seems like I could just turn to any page and find something that would strengthen and inspire me.”


Additional Resources

The inspiring stories in the book are beneficial to the modern reader, said Nicole Erickson of Salt Lake City.
“Although our circumstances today might be different from 170 years ago, the principles used in those circumstances are the same,” Erickson said. “Reading the historical accounts and seeing what women in the past did helps me know how I might handle situations in my own life.”
This historical understanding will be a useful tool in a Church where the majority of members are converts, President Beck said.
“As the Church itself grows exponentially over the years, I think there will be great value in this book for the women who join the Church to say, here’s who I am, this is what I’ve become part of, this is my specific identity in this Church, that I am not homogenized but I am a living, breathing, contributing individual and I’m needed,” she said.
Erickson said the book helps explain the important role women have always played in the Church of Jesus Christ.
“This book makes it clear that an organization of women existed in ancient times, which I had never really thought about before,” she said. “It talks about how the Savior treated women when He was on the earth, how He taught, celebrated, and traveled with women and how He reveres women.”
AnnMaris Osime said the book reinforces the important lessons she has learned from participating in Relief Society.
“In my part of the world, Relief Society helps people to understand what it really means to have the pure love of Christ, because it has taught me that,” she said. “Even though I have always enjoyed being in the service of others all my life, it [Relief Society] has taught me more to make myself available to be able to find time for the things of God.”
Daughters in My Kingdom is unique within the Church because it was written by an individual woman rather than a committee. The writer is former general Young Women president Susan W. Tanner, who is now serving a mission in Brazil with her husband.
“This assignment came as a surprise to me because I don’t think of myself as either a writer or a historian, but I do have a strong testimony of the role of women in our Father’s plan. At the beginning that was my only qualification,” Tanner said.
Tanner drew heavily on previous historical research and original documents for the book.
“This book is not necessarily meant to be a conclusive history; there are already historians who are doing that,” Tanner said. “The Relief Society presidency wanted a volume that would be accessible to the whole world, to sisters everywhere. I did have perspective on that, having seen sisters in so many circumstances and situations. The book needed to be something that every woman could read and understand and be invited into this work no matter where they are coming from.”
President Beck worked closely with Tanner on the book and said the approach of a single author resulted in a book that is different from previously created materials.
“We’ve had stories written for the historians. We’ve had stories written for the scholars. We’ve had stories written for the press. But we’ve never had the story written for the women themselves,” Beck said.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Release from this life...

This quote was posted on a dear family's blog...whose mother is preparing to leave this earth life...

This is a quote stated by Elder Neal A. Maxwell...
Absolutely loved it...
"On the other side of the veil, there are perhaps seventy billion people.  They need the same gospel, and releases occur here to aid the Lord’s work there.  Each release of a righteous individual from this life is also a call to new labors.  A mortal life may need to be “shortened” by twenty years as we might view—but, if so, it may be done in order for special services to be rendered by that individual in the spirit world, services that will benefit thousands of “new neighbors.”  Those who have true hope understand this.  Therefore, though we miss the departed righteous so much here, hundreds may feel their touch there.  One day, those hundreds will thank the bereaved for gracefully forgoing the extended association with choice individuals here, in order that they could help hundreds there.  In God’s ecology, talent and love are never wasted."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Montana Gardening - Potential

I wanted to show the potential of what can be gardened
here in Montana...
Norm and Jill Normandeau with the help of their son, Blaine
do an incredible job in taking advantage of the grounds
they are stewards over.

Here is the results of their efforts.
Though, these pictures were taken earlier in the season,
I can only imagine the HARVEST will be AWESOME!


Jill's first attempt at growing cooking HERBS
Lettuce and Beans
More herbs
 First handful of raspberries

Gardens - Containers and Boxes - Part 3

Where there is a will - there is a way...
The use of boxes and containers in gardening
is, also, productive...

Here is my attempt in growing food 
in containers and boxes:

 I had Garvin and Hyrum tear out the plants that were
growing on the "morning" side of the house...
It gets lots of sun and I noticed that
it was the first area to thraw out in the winter...
I wanted to take advantage of it...
so, I had Garvin build me all these mini boxes...
NEXT SPRING, I will plant tomatoes, peppers, herbs,
and other plants that are more "warm-hearted"...
I transplanted some herbs into some of the boxes
that I know will survive the WINTERS here.
I was able to plant in this ONE box:
Tomatoes, asparagus (I let them go to seed this first year),
onions, garlic, and peppers 

Peppers planted among the tomatoes

The HAIL STORM cut the tops off my
onions...The onions seem to be fine...
but, I was SHOCKED at the damage the hail did...
Planted many of my herbs in containers, also
Peppers in containers

More herbs
There are all types of containers
Some of mine...I can store water in the bottom
of the container...if I have to leave for a few days...

Gardens - Part 2 - Smaller backyard

I posted what Jill Normandeau's family have done in a larger field...
I wanted to show what you can do and the potential in a smaller backyard...
Grace Guest and her family have accomplished MUCH, also.

Here is an overview of their garden
Corn and lettuce
More vegetables
Wasn't certain - but sure looks great!
 Garlic or onions (or both?)
Sugar Snap peas

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Freak Hail Storm...Last Night

Most of you...experienced the freak hail storm last night...
Chad and Amy Hardman were able to capture the event ...
Hail coming down and blue skies...
Children taking advantage of the moment...

Instead of "singing in the rain..."

Wonder how many neighborhoods looked like this?

Brigham Hardman - fascinated by it all...

Chad and Leah Hardman enjoying walking through the water

Drain Hole