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April 28, 2011


With the Easter holiday, Scott and I were asked to speak in church. I spoke the week before Easter, and Scott spoke on Easter Sunday. Although I get nervous speaking in church (as many people do) I am thankful for the opportunity because I learn so much when I am preparing to speak and teach others. Below is an outline of my talk, for those who are interested. Since I touch on each reference briefly, I encourage you to read the actual stories and do a little research through the scriptures and I was surprised at how much I learned while preparing my talk! Aside from speaking in church, we had a nice Easter Sunday having dinner with the Scott family and spending some time together.

After being cast out of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were instructed about proper worship and the offering of the firstlings of their flocks. Their obedience to these commands brought additional instruction and enlightenment into their lives as told in Moses 5:6-8: “And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. And the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth. Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore”. The angel taught Adam that his animal sacrifice would serve as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us and therefore it should be done in the name of Christ.

            In Abraham chapter one, Abraham is bound and prepared to be sacrificed by the false priests of Pharaoh. As they were about to take away Abraham’s life, he is saved by the Lord. Many years later, Abraham is commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac, however just as he is about to take his son’s life God provides a ram to be sacrificed instead. We can see that Abraham has now been subject to human sacrifice in position as a father and as a son. Few others, if any, would be able to comprehend Christ’s sacrifice perspectives of both the Father and the Son. In reference to the story of Abraham and Isaac, Elder Dallin H Oaks said: “This story…shows the goodness of God in protecting Isaac and in providing a substitute so he would not have to die. Because of our sins and our mortality, we, like Isaac, are condemned to death. When all other hope is gone, our Father in Heaven provides the Lamb of God, and we are saved by his sacrifice”.

            After leaving Egypt, the Israelites were given the Law of Moses: a collection of written laws given by the Lord through Moses as a preparatory gospel to bring the people to Christ. The law was fulfilled at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Christ gave the law in the first place, it was He who had the authority to fulfill it. In John chapter 19 we can read an account of Christ’s crucifixion and his last words: “It is finished” indicating that the law was fulfilled with his death. There is also indication in Alma 34 that Christ’s sacrifice would fulfill the law. Verses 13-14 read: “Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be…a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled…And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea infinite and eternal.”

            Section 135 of the Doctrine and Covenants is an account of the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Verse three brings to attention the great sacrifice of the Prophet: “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fullness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gather many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!”

            In a talk entitled “The Law of Sacrifice” Elder M Russell Ballard further teaches us about sacrifice, and what Christ wants us to do today. “After his mortal ministry, Christ elevated the law of sacrifice to a new level. In describing how the law would continue, Jesus told His Nephite Apostles that He would no longer accept burnt offerings but that His disciples should offer ”a broken heart and a contrite spirit”. Instead of the Lord requiring our animals or grain, now He wants us to give up all that is ungodly. This higher practice of the law of sacrifice reaches into the inner soul of a person.

“We should understand that the law of Moses is not the same thing as the law of sacrifice. While the law of Moses was fulfilled, the principles of the law of sacrifice continue to be part of the doctrine of the Church. The primary purpose of the law of sacrifice still is to test us and assist us in coming unto Christ. After the Savior’s ultimate sacrifice, two adjustments were made in the practice of this law. First, the ordinance of the sacrament replaced the ordinance of sacrifice; and second, this change moved the focus of the sacrifice from a person’s animal to the person himself.”

            I am grateful for the teachings of our prophets and the sacrifice given by Christ. He is our Savior and will lead the way for us to follow. What are you most thankful for?

Gluten-Free. The End of a Vegetarian Era.

That's right, our stint of vegetarianism is over. I'll admit it was difficult to handle, but that's not the reason why we started eating meat again. Scott officially has celiac, so we decided rather than starve while trying to avoid gluten and meat, we would just choose one to avoid. He has been feeling terrible for quite some time (even more so since the start of our vegetarianism) so we're glad to have a way to get a handle on things.

After months of eating pasta every night, I am making some rather tasty gluten-free dishes, with a big thank to you to my sister-in-law Julie who has pioneered the endeavor and blogged about it (honestly, she's inspiring). The biggest hit has been chicken cordon bleu. So delicious!

We also had some good tips from our good friends Brad and Erika on where to shop and what brands to buy when going gluten free. So far, we are fan's of Udi products, namely their pizza crust. Mmm. We have taken to creating our own pizzas at home rather than ordering a large to share and having Scott feel terrible for hours/days after.

Soooo if you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them. My step-mom has celiac and has always been gluten free herself, although I admit I didn't pay a whole lot of attention since I didn't think I'd ever be doing it. For the most part I know what to steer clear of, but I am constantly happy to find recipes that are fairly quick and simple.

Week Six

This post has been a long time coming. I am a little behind on my blogging so this weekend I'm planning to play catch up. Finishing up my Six Weeks of Greatness was a visit from the Millers! I definitely skipped Weeks three and four as both were fairly uneventful.

Dave, Lisa and Melanie arrived in Des Moines on Thursday night and stayed through the weekend until Monday. Aside from diving into our lives and showing our apartment, Scott's campus, and my work place we spent time relaxing and took a day trip to Nauvoo, Illinois to do baptisms in the temple and have dinner at the all-too-famous buffet at The Hotel Nauvoo. So many unhealthy dishes that were too delicious to pass up.

At the Nauvoo Temple
Doctor Scottie (soon-to-be)
Me and Mel in the car.
Lisa and Mel
Remember our Christmas card photo? This is where we took it. :)
The DMU sign. Classic.
The parentals. Love them.
Our backyard.
Our backyard, complete with the Des Moines River.
Thank you to our family for taking the time to come and visit. We love you!

April 15, 2011

Week Three

Continuing as planned, my "Six Weeks of Greatness" continues with Cherish and Joey's wedding! For me, the weekend was better than planned. I loved every minute of it, with the exception of the fact that Scott was still in Des Moines. Below is the weekend in pictures. For a full play-by-play, visit our private blog here. If you're not invited to the private blog and would like to be, let me know!

Swimming with Aeris and Oliver
Aeris giving me directions. :)
Ollie all bundled up
Post swimming photo
Out to lunch!
Little Samwise. So adorable!
Out for breakfast. Check out Ollie's cheeks! He is a little chipmunk...
My new hat!
We had matching shoes. :)
Ollie's turn.
Ollie helping me bowl.
Wedding time! Don't worry folks, it's just sparkling cider.
I LOVE these kids!
The bride!
Sean and I waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Ollie waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom
Sean and Cherish
The wedding couple's table and cake.
One of the guest tables.
Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom
Bride and Groom
First dance
First dance. LOVE this picture.
Having dinner - it was DELISH
Daddy daughter dance
Mother and son dance
Cutting the cake
Love it!
LOVE this one! Don't they look great?

So sweet. :)
I also really like this one.
Cherish and Sean dancing
Cherish and Alan dancing.
Bride, groom, and kiddos.
Bride, groom, and kiddos.
Sean and I dancing. What a stud!
Steve and Leslie dancing. :)
Teaching my brothers the macarena. That's right. We're cool.
Sean and I all dressed up. Love this kid!
Father and bride
Big brother and the bride.
Cherish and I. Yeah, She's tan (comes with owning a tanning salon) and I'm not (comes with a winter in Iowa).
Cherish and Sam.
Cherish and Ollie.
Me and the boys. LOVE these kids.
The view of Lake Tahoe while boarding at Heavenly.
Last photo. If you read my post about becoming vegetarian you'll know why I took a photo.