30 January 2009

I'm getting an Education - and Loving IT!

I discovered this great group of women from around the world that have organized a course of study, titled, "A Mother's Education Course for Latter-Day Saints." I've only been participating since January, but it has made a huge difference in my life this month. My thirst for knowledge, especially gospel knowledge has increased, the feeling accomplishment is wonderful as complete something that, unlike dishes and laundry, won't have to be repeated again tomorrow. The feeling that I have friends that are striving, like me, to become better mother's, better wives, and better daughters, to understand more about the gospel, despite our busy schedules, and precious responsibilities.

A month ago I thought, how am I going to find the 15 minutes a day to read the scriptures, but now 30 minutes a day doesn't seem like enough time. I want to keep reading and studying.

I posted that thought on the LDSMOMED yahoo group and was asked how I got to that point. Although we've been taught for years that we need to read, and study, and pray every day it isn't just something you can decided to do, will-power doesn't seem to be enough. As I've thought about that I had to go back in time a few years. Life runs in cycles, sometimes I've been doing great spiritually, and then sometimes I'm down. I can see the cycles in my life now if I look back, but I can also see that it's not just a circle, it's more like an upward spiral. Each time I am up, I reach higher and deeper, and learn more, but then the fall comes, but I don't fall as far down as I was before, because I'm a different person than I was before. It is still difficult to climb off that plateau and get moving upward again, but once I've taken the first step, the 2nd and 3rd is much easier.

In 2006 I joined a yahoogroup called GCFHS were we began a serious study of the General Conference Issue of the Ensign and then discussed the insights that we gained. Although I haven't been real active in the discussion I have come to love General Conference and can't wait to get my Ensign to begin to study the words of the prophets. Even through my last downward spiral I kept up my reading of the Conference issue, even though scripture reading was quite lacking.

However, as I discovered this new group, and moved into a new year, it was exciting to once again begin the upward climb, and I can feel myself learning, and my testimony growing. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. I feel just like my Grandma when she said this week, "I've decided that what I want to do for eternity is read, and study, and learn."

I have no doubts that there won't be tough times ahead, and my studies will suffer, but I also know that I will be able to climb higher, and move closer to the Lord again as he teaches me the things that I need to know to return to live with him.

29 January 2009

Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni

I am teaching the 11/12 Valiant Girls class in Primary again this year. This has been such a great class to teach. The girls are still young and innocent, yet eager to learn and understand the doctrines of the gospel. They often as questions that make me pause and think, I don't remember asking such questions at their age. This year we are studying Doctrine and Covenants and Church History in Primary, and also in Gospel Doctrine.

During Family Home Evening this week Emily was giving a lesson about how Joseph Smith prepared to receive the gold plates. We have been using the primary manual at home for devotionals and family home evening as well, there is so much information in there that I get through so little of it during my class. We were amazed to learn that Joseph Smith had received visits from other Book of Mormon prophets such as Nephi and Alma as he was being spiritually prepared to receive and translate the gold plates.

Joseph Smith’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, wrote that after the first visits of Moroni, “Joseph continued to receive instructions from the Lord, and we continued to get the children together every evening for the purpose of listening while he gave us a relation of the same. … During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode [method] of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them” (Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, pp. 82–83). Because he had always been honest, Joseph Smith’s parents and brothers and sisters believed all Joseph told them. “Lesson 4: Joseph Smith Prepares to Receive the Gold Plates,” Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants: Church History, (1997),16
I realized that Joseph went through a scholar phase at this time and was being taught be great mentors from history to prepare him for his mission in life. He had many trials, and had to be tested and to learn the things that he needed to know to perform his great work.

This led to a discussion of Angel Moroni, and how many times he visited Joseph Smith. I had previously read these next two quotes and was able to share what I remembered with my family.

David Whitmer Comes to Help Joseph Smith

By May 1829 the work of translating the Book of Mormon was almost complete. Although Joseph Smith had possessed the gold plates for about two years, he had only worked on the translation a total of about three months. Joseph had been careful to protect the plates and had not shown them to anyone, but he became concerned about their safety in Harmony. Oliver Cowdery, who was acting as Joseph’s scribe, wrote to his friend David Whitmer, who did not know Joseph Smith, and asked David to bring him and the Prophet to Fayette, New York, where they would be safe and could finish the translation.

Before he could take his wagon to pick up Joseph and Oliver, however, David had to prepare his fields for the spring planting. When he went out to start plowing the soil in the morning, David discovered that someone had plowed part of the fields already. This person had done a very good job and left the plow in a furrow, ready for the work to continue. At the end of a day of plowing, David found he had accomplished in one day what normally would have taken two days to do. David’s father, Peter Whitmer Sr., was impressed with this miracle and said, “There must be an overruling hand in this, and I think you would better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is sown” (quoted in Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p. 148). Farmers in that area added plaster of paris to the soil to make it less acidic. The next day David went to the place he had left the plaster, near his sister’s house, but the plaster was gone. His sister told him that the day before, she and her children had seen three strangers spreading the plaster with great speed and skill. She had assumed they were men David had hired, but David knew they were helpers provided by the Lord.

David was grateful for this divine help, and he hurried off to Harmony. Joseph and Oliver came out to meet him as he neared the town, which surprised David because he had not told them when he was coming. Oliver told David that Joseph had seen David’s trip in a vision and thus knew when he would arrive. David had never met Joseph Smith before, but he soon became sure that Joseph was a true prophet, and they became good friends.

Lesson 9: Witnesses See the Gold Plates,” Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants: Church History, (1997),42


David Whitmer, in 1878, told Joseph F. Smith and Orson Pratt a story that includes three more visits, the fifteenth through seventeenth. He was traveling with Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith to Fayette, to finish the translation when “a very pleasant, nice-looking old man suddenly appeared by the side of our wagon and saluted us with, ‘good morning, it is very warm,’ at the same time wiping his face or forehead with his hand. We returned the salutation, and, by a sign from Joseph, I invited him to ride if he was going our way. But he said very pleasantly, ‘No, I am going to Cumorah.’ This name was something new to me, I did not know what Cumorah meant. We all gazed at him and at each other, and as I looked around enquiringly of Joseph, the old man instantly disappeared, so that I did not see him again.

“Joseph F. Smith: Did you notice his appearance?

“D. Whitmer: I should think I did. He was, I should think, about five feet eight or nine inches tall and heavy set, about such a man as James Vancleave there, but heavier; his face was as large; he was dressed in a suit of brown woolen clothes, his hair and beard were white, like Brother Pratt’s, but his beard was not so heavy. I also remember that he had on his back a sort of knapsack with something in, shaped like a book. It was the messenger who had the plates, who had taken them from Joseph just prior to our starting from Harmony. Soon after our arrival home, I saw something which led me to the belief that the plates were placed or concealed in my father’s barn. I frankly asked Joseph if my supposition was right, and he told me it was.”Robert J. Woodford, “Book of Mormon Personalities Known by Joseph Smith,” Ensign, Aug 1978, 12


My curiousity was now piqued and I did some more research on Joseph Smith and Angel Moroni and found this great article "Moroni - Joseph Smith's Tutor" that talks about many of the known visits of Moroni to Joseph Smith. I am just thrilled that the more that I learn about early church history, and Joseph Smith the more that my curiosity and testimony grows.

H. Donl Peterson, “Moroni—Joseph Smith’s Tutor,” Ensign, Jan 1992, 22

23 January 2009

The Invisible Woman

What a touching tribute to women and a motivation to continue to serve, even when we fill invisible.

22 January 2009

She's Growing UP

When MaryAnn is the age Rebecca is now Rebecca could be married or serving a mission, but I will still have a little girl who is growing up. Rebecca is looking forward to being in Young Women's before the end of the year, and likes to remind us the she won't be able to come to Webelos anymore, because she will be at "HER" activity.

Meridian Magazine showcased MormonAD video's today, and it reminded me how much I enjoyed reading the New Era when I was a young women, and Rebecca has already been asking me to get the New Era for her to read. WOW, my little girl really is growing up! This was one of my favorite MormonAd's - I have always been my own person, my own kind of beautiful, and what a wonderful gift of identity I have been given to love myself for who I am. I hope that I am able to instill that gift in my children.

21 January 2009

Another Question

It appears that others are asking questions, like Eamonn McCann when he asks, "What if Mormons are right and Catholics and Protestants wrong?"

Here's the article

What if Mormons are Right and Catholics and Protestants wrong?
Thursday, 28 August 2008

Why are the Catholic bishops so concerned about Mormons baptising dead parishioners? The Mormons didn’t invent baptism of the dead. The practice has a significant history within mainstream Christianity. The decision to order its abandonment was taken only after heated debate, and was a close-run thing.

What’s the difference, anyway, between baptising the dead and baptising babies? A tiny infant will have as much understanding as a dead person — none at all — of the complex philosophical belief-system it’s being inducted into when baptised, say, a Catholic. Transubstantiation? There’s daily communicants go to their deaths without any clear understanding of the concept. So what chance the mewling tot?

Indeed, given that all Christian Churches believe that the soul lives on after death and retains understanding and consciousness of self, doesn’t it make more sense to baptise dead adults than live babies?

Apart from which, if the Catholic bishops hold that the beliefs of the Mormons are pure baloney (as they must), and their rituals therefore perfectly meaningless, how can it matter to them what mumbo-jumbo Mormons might mutter over Catholic cadavers?

The current controversy has been prompted by Archbishop Dermot Clifford and Bishop Bill Murphy complaining to the National Library in Dublin about records handed over by the Church being made available to all and sundry. The Mormons are believed to have taken advantage of this facility to comb through parish records and baptise the souls enumerated therein, a batch at a time.

The bishops stepped in after the Vatican warned all national churches earlier this year about Mormons misusing diocesan records. I have heard it suggested that the alarm of the Holy See had escalated after reports that Mormon multiple baptisms were regularly breaking the official record set by General Liu Kung Lee who, in one afternoon, baptised seven regiments of Chinese soldiers into Christianity with a fire-hose.

Let’s look at the facts as understood by the early followers of Christ. For more than 300 years after the Crucifixion, baptism of the dead was widely accepted, its biblical basis located in 1 Corinthians 15, 29: “Otherwise, what shall they do who are baptised for the dead if the dead rise not again at all? Why are they then baptised for them.” In other words, a deceased person could be baptised by proxy: otherwise, how could such a person be included in the Resurrection? A good question.

The radical Cerinthians and the Marcionites were especially energetic baptisers of the dead. It was to wrong-foot these sects, seen as competitors with the official Church at a time when it was consolidating its position as the State religion of the Roman Empire, that the Synods of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) voted, after bitter debate, to condemn the practice.

Interestingly, a clear trace of baptism of the dead has lingered in official practice to the present day, in the form of prayers for divine intercession on behalf of the unbaptised souls. Prayers for intervention were encouraged in Catholic schools in the 1950s. For all I know, this remains the case.

Baptising the dead might be seen as analogous, too, to the Jewish prayer of intercession. Which serves as a reminder that US Jews put a halt to galloping post-mortem Mormonism a couple of years ago by arguing that deJudaising those who’d perished in the concentration camps constituted a profound insult to Holocaust victims. Following talks in New York between leaders of the two religions, the Mormons backed off.

The key point is, surely, that all religions believe that the soul, after death, at last knows what’s what — whether Hinduism, Free Presbyterianism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, Catholicism or whatever is the true religion. What if it’s Mormonism? What if it’s an everyday occurrence on the other side that Catholics and Protestants are left standing dumbstruck at the Gates, gasping: “Mormons! Who’d have believed it?” And maybe a wife berating her husband: “There! I told you it would be the Mormons! But would you listen?! Now it’s eternal hellfire for the two of us, I hope you’re satisfied.”

In that scenario, shouldn’t all members of all other religions be literally eternally grateful to the Mormons for sharing their saving grace even unto and after death?

If, on the other hand, it isn’t the Mormons at all, those who turn out to have been right can wave a merry farewell to the crestfallen followers of Brigham Young as they trundle downwards to their eternal comeuppance.

What’s the problem?

Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon

I've always believed the Book of Mormon to be true, to have been translated from Gold Plates by Joseph Smith, and the more that I learn about Joseph Smith, and the standard works of the LDS Church, the more that I believe. How Can you not belief, that is a question I often ask myself when I come across something new - like this video.

20 January 2009

Glasgows at Home

The Glasgows are a wild and fun loving bunch, who enjoy getting together, talking, laughing, joking, teasing, eating, talking, working, laughing, and eating, did I mention talking and laughing.
We had a great evening tonight at my Mom and Dad’s house. Bonnie, Tyler, and Ally decided to surprise everyone and move back from Florida. They discovered that it is really difficult to orchestrate a cross continent move without telling anyone, and without trapping someone in a sticky situation between a story, half truth and little white lie. You may think it deceitful, but to “a Glasgow” it is a lot of fun, and makes life much more interesting. All the hiding, truth evading, and stories came to an end tonight when the entire Gail Glasgow Clan descended upon Mom and Dad at “HOME”.

We had a wonderful evening full of love, laughter, food, talking, hugs, and joy. We worked together to put one of our favorite family meals on the table, Finger Food Delight, we lifted our voices up in song as we sang, The Primary Colors, we bowed our heads in prayer as we blessed the food, and began and ended our family home evening. We all listened and learned more about the Prophets of the 7 dispensations of the Gospel as we listened to Malinda teach us a lesson. We rejoiced in the fact that we were all together again, all 15 of us.

19 January 2009

A Second Fridge

When my Grandma moved in with us she had 2 fridges and an upright freezer. She hardly ever uses her extra fridge, so she said that I could use it. It has been so wonderful, and really saves me a lot of time and money. I am able to go shopping at Costco twice a month, get 8 gallons of milk and store it in the 2nd fridge until we need it. This saves me from having to "run to the store" late Saturday night so we have milk for Sunday. It also saves me money because I am in the store less, therefor less of a chance for items to jump into my cart that I don't really need.

We just recently discovered another item that stores well in Grandma's fridge, yogart. We love yogurt, and having a wide variety of flavor in little cartons takes up a lot of room, but now I can get our favorite Tillamook yogurt at Winco once a month (about 50 containers) can easily be stored in the extra fridge.

While MaryAnn and I were shopping this morning she made a new friend.

18 January 2009

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

Our Sunday evening traditions usually find us planning games as a family. I don't often get to play however, as I am the one tending to the little kids. However, this week we played Family Fun with my parents. I love this game because even it is an interactive game that doesn't require a lot of continual focus or card holding and I can play even if I am busy with the baby.

Tonight my parents were playing with us and we were first entertained as Rebecca and Emily had to sit down on the floor back to back and try to stand up without using their hands, and without their frogs falling off of their head. I wish that I had my video camera, it was so much fun to watch them struggle, and laugh, and except that they had tried, but failed.

Next we got to watch Isaac attempt what my Mom said was impossible, laying down on the floor, putting a cube on his forhead, and standing up without dropping the cube. It only took Isaac 2 tries and he succeeded! Woo Hoo, Way to Go Isaac. Again, I wish I had my camera.

However, the funniest part of the night was when Brad had to hum a tune and try to get his teammates to guess it. Both Rebecca and I had read the card, (I had to decide if Isaac would know the song to hum it, or if he should just try to guess.) As Brad opened his mouth (or closed it) to begin humming my Dad shouted out, "The Star Spangled Banner" Rebecca and I were both amazed, I started laughing, while Rebecca shouted "What?" Dad was right, and Brad hadn't even hummed a note. My Dad started laughing, and laughter is mighty contagious. It was so funny, I was crying. It was probably a good minute or so before we got ourselves under control and could go on with the game. I don't think we ever really even asked Dad how he came up with that answer, just a wild guess, I assume.

Brad and I were reviewing the events of the day and we had to laugh again at how much we had laughed before. I have now gotten at least 2 great workouts out of my Dad's confident (yet premature answer), "The Star Spangled Banner." Brad said he was worried that Dad was going to fall out of the chair, or "croak" right then and their. Blessedly, that is not the case, and as we continue to laugh as a family we will keep his heart in good shape. Laughter is one of the best Glasgow Family Traditions!

09 January 2009

No More Guilt

Mother's feel guilt, often, and lots of it. Homeschooling mothers have even more reasons to worry. This article by Kathryn Louis of Milestones Academy is appropriately titled, "Let Me Reassure You." This paragraph by Kathryn is very reassuring to me, because this is what our homeschool looks like most of the time.
One sweet mother asked what the bare minimum should be. In my opinion, devotional, the 3 Rs, and plenty of outdoor time are the most crucial school activities. If you then can add a little history and science, you are doing well. Handicrafts are almost too sad to miss but may be postponed.

Thanks you Kathryn for your sweet words and your dedication to share your wealth of wisdom and experience with homeschooling mothers everywhere.