Tag Archives: Teenagers

Never Been Easier To Share Your Life With Others

When I started writing my personal history, I was 18 years old, just out of high school, and I found it difficult simply to get started. I bought a nicely bound journal, but I wanted to start on scrap paper so that it would look good for my kids and grandkids when I wrote my thoughts in the journal. I had untold false starts and threw away tons of scrap paper with scratched out paragraphs. I was young, but I still wanted to include some challenges that I had experienced, some times when I succeeded, as well as times when I felt things down deep. I wrote about people who were important to me. After several months, I had about thirty pages of my life to date, and I was pleased with it.

I wish I had had this list of starter questions. It would have made it tons easier, possibly with fewer false starts. I happen to be a person who loves to ask questions. Maybe there are some questions on this list that makes family history easier for you?

Dave As A Baby

Dave As A Baby

Once you get a good start on what you want to leave behind about yourself, if you wish to consider doing something similar for your parents, grandparents, or other ancestors, a 30-page booklet called My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together is an easy way to get you kickstarted. You can print the PDF file or fill it out online for free.

Hope this helps you to get started on your family history. I’ve had a lot of fun gathering info over the years, and I hope you find it fun, too.

Dave with his barbershop quartet from high school, at the state fair

Dave with his barbershop quartet from high school, at the state fair

Heroes, Superpowers, and Kindness

When I think of superheroes, I think of Maren Halversen.

We don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one anotherI am lucky to have learned from a leader in kindness. Maren was a friend in high school. Down Syndrome never kept her from trying anything. She was the first student with Down Syndrome in the state to have been integrated into the regular school system. When I moved to her school in 8th Grade, I was young and awkward. I remember that she always said hi to me. Maren always gave me good reasons to be kind.

At our 10-year high school reunion, Maren saw me from a distance and came running up and threw her arms around me. It was fun to introduce her to my wife. But it wasn’t until later as I reflected on the reunion moment that I recognized the real lesson at work here—that all along, Maren had been the leader. She had taught me to be kind. She had taught all of us well, and we had been following her lead. Why did I think that it might be the other way around? I was glad that I finally learned to see with better eyes than that. And, again, as I reflect now on that reunion moment and the strength behind her hug, I hope that—maybe, possibly—that I saw with better eyes than that even back in high school. After the reunion moment, I think that I simply had finally learned to recognize it. Again, Maren had lead me to that point.

As we all celebrate other reunions, I hope we take time to see and to recognize the real leaders in our lives. So often, they are not the ones clamoring for attention. So often, true leaders simply lead quietly, maybe even without realizing it. As Maren did. I think that was her superpower.

We can all be superheroes. What is your superpower?

The Superpower Of Listening Closely

The Superpower Of Listening Closely

——– End of Post ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Header photo, “Children Playing Around The World: In Vietnam, a small girl helps another to ride a bike by leading from behind”—expofotomiami.org/30-magicas-fotografias-de-ninos-jugando-alrededor-del-mundo/
  • Photo, “We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another”—Image with quote, from Twitter quote of Yahya Adel Ibrahim of Pemberton, Western Australia—twitter. com/yahya_ibrahim/status/587185223076487168
  • Photo, “The Superpower Of Listening Closely”—ldsmissionaries.com/tag/lds/page/13/
  • Photo, “Who Knew Reading Could Be A Superpower That Might Change Lives?”—ldsmissionaries.com/tag/lds/page/13/
  • Photo, “Young Man With Superpowers”—ldsmissionaries.com/tag/lds/page/13/

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Who Knew Reading Could Be A Superpower That Might Change Lives?

Who Knew Reading Could Be A Superpower That Might Change Lives?

Young Man With Superpowers

Young Man With Superpowers

Burning Lessons In The Brain: A Child’s Formative Years

The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.

Kid On TractorI grew up on a farm in Missouri, and many of my early lessons were about work. Mowing the fields by tractor took half a day, but it reduced the chiggers when we ran to the pond to swim each afternoon. We spent three hours each morning weeding the gardens; somehow, despite hating it, we learned that the painstaking care itself seemed to make the vegetables taste better. We’d sit in the yard for hours to shell peas, snap beans, or strip corn of the cob, and Mom would have us singing the whole time to pass the time faster. It was in the home that I learned the sweet rewards of self-imposed hard labor.

Dr. Glenn J. Doman wrote on the importance of creativity and breadth in early childhood experiences:

“The newborn child is almost an exact duplicate of an empty … computer, although superior to such a computer in almost every way. … What is placed in the child’s [mind] during the first eight years of life is probably there to stay. … If you put misinformation into his [mind] during [this period], it is extremely difficult to erase it.” Dr. Doman added that the most receptive age in human life is that of two or three years. [How to Teach Your Baby to Read, Dr. Glenn J. Doman, (1963), Pages 43-45.]

In an article entitled “A Day at the Beach”, Arthur Gordon tells how one of his early lessons was the importance of family time:

Swimming After The Work Is DoneWhen I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say, “No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.”

When he came back to the table, Mother smiled [and said,] “The circus keeps coming back, you know.”

“I know,” said Father. “But childhood doesn’t.” [A Touch of Wonder (1974), Pages 77-78.]

The blessings of starting early at home are real. Close families don’t emerge overnight. It takes work, and it’s all worth it—They grow up, take responsibility, and start families of their own. And by so doing, they learn some of the sweetest lessons life has to offer, such as, a child’s future is worth every sacrifice:

The hearth at home is the heart of learning. I’ve learned for myself that lasting lessons are learned at home.

——– End of Post ——–

Life in the Woods at Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond

Life In The Woods At Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond

Bonus Materials:

1. Gordon B. Hinckley stated

The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place nor fulfill its essential functions.

2. Read, watch or listen to Thomas S. Monson, “Constant Truths for Changing Times”, Apr 2005 LDS General Conference.

3. Read, watch or listen to Robert D. Hales, “Strengthening Families: Our Sacred Duty”, Apr 1999 LDS General Conference.

——– End of Bonus Materials ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, kid on tractor—www. expeditionoklahoma.com/2011/04/
  • Photo, swimming after the work is done—www. expeditionoklahoma.com/2011/04/
  • Photo, “Life In The Woods At Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond”—From personal collection
  • Photo, “Make Way For Ducklings! And Kids!”—From personal collection

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Make Way for Ducklings! & kids!

Make Way For Ducklings! And Kids!

 

How Do I Teach A Teen To Step Out In Faith? Our Family’s Answer.

Reader Question:
How do I teach a teenager around fifteen years old to step out in faith?

Family Answer:
This truly is a good question. In our family, and as Mormons, we believe strongly that sincere, honest questions are always a good thing. To gather answers to this question, we talked to our adult kids and their spouses, and here are the answers we gathered:

When Jesus walked on water and invited Peter to come join him, Peter’s faith waxed, and Peter walked on water for a three or six feet. When Peter’s faith waned, Christ said to him:

O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Watch, and focus on how amazing it would be to walk that three feet. With His question, was Christ scolding Peter, beckoning Peter to think how he might walk further next time, maybe a bit of both?

(Or watch/download same video at lds.org link.)

For many of us, if not all of us, from time to time, faith may either wax or wane. What are some ways that we may teach our kids or grandkids not only to walk by faith but to step out in faith? Not just to mosey along the strait and narrow but rather to hasten down the path. Not just to act in faith but to act in faith with a bit of spunk!

Here are some ways that worked that we have found to teach 15-yr-old-ish teenagers to step out in faith:

  • Set an example; model the behavior.
  • Teenagers need to be taught, “Stick to your guns!” I hated it when my mom told me that, but now that I’m older, I now know that it was exactly what I needed to hear.
  • Teach the Why. Help teenagers understand the Why of things, both in and out of a religious realm. Beginning at 13 or 14 years old, you need to feed those cognitive processes.
  • Help teens see the need to be anxiously engaged in the gospel.
  • Encourage teenagers to bear testimony, to attend testimony meetings or other group opportunities to share what they know, to share that they know. Even if they’re silent the whole time, they get to be thinking about their own testimony for 45 minute or whatever. You think, “I don’t have anything to say, and maybe I should.” I definitely learned things from standing and sharing with friends my feelings about spiritual things.
  • One of the best things you did, Dad, when I pushed back and challenged you on stuff, was to say, “Because I’m your father.” I had to suck it in and do it anyway, only because you asked me. Heavenly Father does the same thing to all of us, over and over, and He expects me to do it even if I don’t understand, even if I don’t agree that it’s right.
  • My parents were so Mormon all the time. I kept thinking, “Do we have to be so Mormon all the time?” It took me a while to finally get that, Yes, we do! We do this to be the same inside and outside the home, just like Atticus Finch (of To Kill a Mockingbird fame).
  • After a lesson for family home evening, I love that we always posted the lesson visuals on the walls around the house. Same with pictures of the temple, of Christ, of the Family Proclamation. It helped remind me, but it also gave me missionary opportunities. It taught me not to be embarrassed by friends’ questions, no matter what they were.
  • In our home, we had a picture of Christ in our front room. All my friends, as they left, they’d always say, “ ‘Bye, Jesus!” It was a bit flippant, but it was never snide, and it helped my friends in and out of the Church to maintain a proper standard of behavior, no matter where we were.
  • All the things that we’ve listed apply not only to teenagers but also to people of any age, even to adults.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Materials:

1. Read, watch or listen: Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s entire address, delivered as he was called to be one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.

2. Watch or listen: Videos on Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

——– End of Bonus Materials ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, Waves-in-Hawaii—www. org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
  • Photo, Community-on-the-ocean—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng

——– End of WebCredits ——–

 

Storm Clouds Clearing…

Whatever clouds you encounter, God will part them for your good.

Storm Clouds Clearing...

Storm Clouds Clearing…

In high school, I had a religious instruction class in the early morning at 7:30AM before general school classes started at 8:30AM. We also organized testimony meetings from 6:00-7:30AM on the first Thursday of each month, where anyone with interest might discuss with the group things he or she felt down deep about their own faith and beliefs. A small group of us decided we wanted a further opportunity to share among close friends, and we would sometimes go up on a nearby mountain to hold our own extra testimony meetings. This circle of kindred spirits was fundamental to my adult faith. One time, on our designated mountain testimony day, it had rained all morning, and we met at lunch in private in an empty classroom to pray for clear weather. The rain continued all afternoon, but we started walking up anyway. The clouds parted, the sun shone, we shared our precious testimonies, and then, as soon as we said the closing prayer, the clouds re-gathered and the rain started up again as we walked down the mountain. I don’t think that it was that important that I heard our testimonies that day, but I’m convinced that someone in our group had a need and that God knew it and provided a way. In addition, maybe He wanted someone in our little group to know without a doubt that He hears and answers our prayers. The town was a wonderful place to grow up and to grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If we were to expect everything to be delivered on our time schedule, would we learn patience? Spiritual clouds always depart—in time. If we were consistently to get what we want when we want it, would we learn to be selfless? In my own experience, it is more likely that we recognize the need to stand strong, if clouds and whirlwinds come our way and allow us a chance to learn to survive storms that come into our life. God will help. And He’ll do it His way, not our way. He tells us, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Whatever clouds you encounter, I know that God will part them for your good…

Clouds Clearing From Yoadcomb Scar, Wild Boar Fell, Three Kilometers From Low Dovengill, Cumbria, Great Britain, UK

Clouds Clearing From Yoadcomb Scar, Wild Boar Fell, Three Kilometers From Low Dovengill, Cumbria, Great Britain, UK

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Materials:

1. Concept of “in time…”: Read, watch or listen to Henry B. Eyring, “A Priceless Heritage of Hope”, Apr 2014 LDS General Conference.

2. Read, watch or listen to Neil L. Andersen, “Spiritual Whirlwinds”, Apr 2014 LDS General Conference.

——– End of Bonus Materials ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, “Storm Clouds Clearing…”—the-big-fat-lie.blogspot.com/2009/09/storm-clouds-clearing.html
  • Photo, “Clouds Clearing From Yoadcomb Scar, Wild Boar Fell, Three Kilometers From Low Dovengill, Cumbria, Great Britain, UK”— geograph.org.uk/photo/1630424

——– End of WebCredits ——–

 

In What Ways Do Mormons Serve Others In The Community? Our Family’s Answer.

What Can You Do For Your Community?

What Can You Do For Your Community?

Reader Question:
Last weekend, a friend asked, “In what ways do Mormons serve others in our community?”  

Family Answer:
Good question. In our family, and as Mormons, we believe strongly that sincere, honest questions are always a good thing. To gather other answers to this question, we talked to our adult kids, and here are the answers we gathered:

1. Joseph Smith taught us that we are “to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all.” (Times and Seasons, 15 Mar 1842, Page 732.)

2. Here’s an example of how we strive to help others In the Church of Jesus Christ. A handful of women touched the life of a youth named Lynne when her stepfather died. Because she saw these sisters help at a critical time when she was a teenager, Lynne was determined to take her turn to serve when she grew older. As an adult, she shared this story.

“A young mother in my congregation, one of my friends, suddenly lost her only child, a beautiful three-year-old daughter, to an infection that took her life before the doctors were even aware of how serious her illness was. The other counselor and I went to the house as soon as we heard of little Robin’s death. As we approached the screened patio door, we heard the father (who was not a member of our Church) sobbing as he talked long distance to his mother. Looking up, he saw us and, still sobbing, spoke into the phone: ‘It will be all right, Mother. The Mormon women are here.’ My turn once more.” (Daughters in My Kingdom, Chapter 10, “Live Up to Your Privilege”, Page 178.)

3. In our family, we like to serve at the local community kitchen, at an interfaith shelter during the winter, at a senior center, or at a local food warehouse. We want to get out of our comfort zone to rub shoulders with people in our community in a number of ways. I think it’s particularly important to do this with people who aren’t like me. It’s important to us not only to write a check but also to donate our labor free of charge and to make new friends by sharing our time and our conversations.

We hope this answers your question and helps you to understand us better, to understand better how your Mormon neighbors serve in your community, and how you may help them out by serving together.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

How Can You Have Fun Doing It?

How Can You Have Fun Doing It?

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Materials:

1. Get Involved In Your Community Service
http://www.mormon.org/values/community-service

2. What Can We All Do?
https://www.lds.org/topics/humanitarian-service/help?lang=eng

3. Mormon in America: A guided tour of an LDS Bishop’s storehouse
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/rock-center/48745343#48745343

There are bishop’s storehouses in many locations around the world.

——– End of Bonus Materials ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, “What Can You Do For Your Community?”, from “Helping Hands Day Is A Community To Community”, The Davis Enterprise (Davis, California), dated 21 Sep 2014—www. davisenterprise.com/local-news/helping-hands-day-is-a-commitment-to-community/
  • Photo, “How Can You Have Fun Doing It?”, from “Helping Hands Day Is A Community To Community”, The Davis Enterprise (Davis, California), dated 21 Sep 2014—www. davisenterprise.com/local-news/helping-hands-day-is-a-commitment-to-community/

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Modern 20-somethings: Explorers Or Procrastinators?

Over the years, our societal culture has embraced delayed adult development. To me, it indicates a certain lack of faith. Could it be that many parents fail to teach their kids to step out in faith?

Debating

Debating

Our daughter Whitney has always been wiser than her years and taught us repeatedly about stepping out in faith. She excelled at debate and won many awards in high school. She was going to be a senator, and she would have excelled at that, too. Then suddenly, she stopped. I was stunned. She explained, “Dad, it makes me hard.” Seeing that that was an unwise development, she no longer felt good about it, and she decided to employ her time elsewhere. She had talked with her Maker about it and chose to step out in faith in a new direction.

Leonard Bernstein said that to achieve great things, you need a plan and not quite enough time. Clinical psychologist Meg Jay teaches us about what she calls the benign neglect of adult development: “So what do you think happens when you pat a twenty-something on the head and you say, ‘You have ten extra years to start your life’? Nothing happens. You have robbed that person of his urgency and ambition, and absolutely nothing happens.” She continues:

So when we think about child development, we all know that the first five years are a critical period for language and attachment in the brain. It’s a time when your ordinary, day-to-day life has an inordinate impact on who you will become. But what we hear less about is that there’s such a thing as adult development, and our 20s are that critical period of adult development. But this isn’t what twenty-somethings are hearing. Newspapers talk about the changing timetable of adulthood. Researchers call the 20s an extended adolescence. Journalists coin silly nicknames for twenty-somethings like “twixters” and “kidults.” It’s true. As a culture, we have trivialized what is actually the defining decade of adulthood.

It’s a bold message. Here’s why she’s bold:

And then every day, smart, interesting twenty-somethings like you or like your sons and daughters come into my office and say things like this: “I know my boyfriend’s no good for me, but this relationship doesn’t count. I’m just killing time.” Or they say, “Everybody says as long as I get started on a career by the time I’m 30, I’ll be fine.”

But then it starts to sound like this: “My 20s are almost over, and I have nothing to show for myself. I had a better résumé the day after I graduated from college.”

And then it starts to sound like this: “Dating in my 20s was like musical chairs. Everybody was running around and having fun, but then sometime around 30, it was like the music turned off and everybody started sitting down. I didn’t want to be the only one left standing up, so sometimes I think I married my husband because he was the closest chair to me at 30.”

Where are the twenty-somethings here? Do not do that.

I’m glad our kids decided to skip the kidult decade. Instead, they decided to pass GO, collect $200, and become adults. They stepped out in faith in choosing a career. In choosing to date as well as to hang out. In choosing a spouse. In choosing to start having kids. In choosing to stop having kids. In choosing to stay married even when times get tough. Our kids are ready for all of these decisions. They were ready for these decisions before they turned 20.

Familia en la Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal, los Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Family in Mexico City (México, D.F. or Federal District), Mexico

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Material:

1. See Meg Jay’s presentation here on video, or interactive transcript in a variety of languages. In it, she states revealingly:

Too many thirty-somethings and forty-somethings look at themselves, and at me, sitting across the room, and say about their 20s, “What was I doing? What was I thinking?”

2. A recent line of ads is from AT&T, “Embrace Your Fear Of Commitment”. Note that AT&T ironically labeled the video: “I Heart Freedom”. This is not freedom; this is selfishness. This is choosing to share your life in a friendly adolescent way and adamantly refusing to share your life in a family adult way. Delayed adult development oozes from the text of the ad:

“Marriage is a No-go,” states Joshua in the 30-second version of the ad, which is no longer available, since AT&T decided that they no longer wanted to be married to the shorter version of the ad.

The Woodstock woman says, “It’s not that I have a fear of commitment. It’s more like, uh, interest in exploring all of my options. I have a commitment to that. I have a commitment to exploration.”

Sounds good, but here is Meg Jay on the above ideas: “I’m not discounting twenty-something exploration here, but I am discounting exploration that’s not supposed to count, which, by the way, is not exploration. That’s procrastination.”

3. A related video, at least in my mind, is from Sir Ken Robinson in his presentation, “How Schools Kill Creativity“, or see interactive transcript. It reminds me of a saying in our family that you can’t let schooling get in the way of your education. Some of the most important things we must learn in life we will learn outside of formal education.

——– End of Bonus Material ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, “Debating”—digitaldebating.idebate.org
  • Photo, “Family in Mexico City (México, D.F. or Federal District), Mexico”—Ensign Magazine, May 2014, Page 96
  • Photo, “Couple in Love”—Personal collection

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Couple in Love

Couple in Love

How Taking Out The Trash Made Me A Better Man

I remember when I was in Ninth Grade and on a campout with friends, we went on a five-mile hike with all our equipment. We were on a dusty country road, and one kid got off the beaten path and was walking through the brush at the side. He stumbled upon a pile of magazines, which he quickly discovered were discarded pornographic magazines. As one of the wilder ones among us, he immediately let out a whoop and called everyone over to him to share in the pleasure of his treasure. While most of my friends stayed on the road, a few joined him in looking through the pictures. I remember distinctly having to make a decision. Did I feel this was right, or did I feel this was wrong? I quickly decided that this was not just wrong but very wrong, and I chose not to join the boys combing through the trash pile. When our adult leaders learned of the experience, they suggested that we go back and load the pile of trash into the back of a station wagon, which we did, and most of us were glad to discard it more appropriately. We felt that removing the pile was the right decision.

ctr-ring-with-bibleIs the concept of right and wrong something you support, something you couldn’t care less about, or something you simply find confusing? Is it possible for any of us to find an answer? In my faith tradition, we have a concept of “Choose The Right”. As kids in Primary, our children’s organization, we receive small rings – CTR rings for Choose The Right. The overall principle of right and wrong is that God is the author of right things, that decisions abound, that each of us may receive guidance from God, and that He will help us to choose the right path. I think that, while at times God may not feel strongly which decision I make, at the times when He does, as a loving Father in Heaven, He tries hard to let me know. If I listen, I can choose the right.

I’m not the only one who thinks there are unequivocal rights and wrongs. St. Augustine of Hippo taught us, “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” And I love this gem of hope from Henry Eyring.

I have learned for myself that right and wrong actually exist and that God blesses us liberally when we choose the right.

Just As This Man Points The Way, So Does Our Heavenly Father...

Just As This Man Points The Way, So Does Our Heavenly Father…

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Material:

1. “We all tend to approach decisions about right and wrong in one of three ways.”
—Margaret R. McLean, Director of The Applied Ethics Center at O’Conner Hospital and Director of Health Care Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. Read more of her three ways.

2. Read, watch or listen to President Henry B. Eyring, “A Priceless Heritage of Hope”, Apr 2014 LDS General Conference.

Education And Family Scripture Study Help Us Learn Right And Wrong

Education And Family Scripture Study Help Us Learn Right And Wrong

——– End of Bonus Material ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, CTR ring with scriptures—www. lds.org/search?query=ctr+ring&x=0&y=0&lang=eng&collection=media
  • Quote: “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”―St. Augustine of Hippo, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo, as quoted in www. goodreads.com/quotes/tag/right-and-wrong
  • Photo, “Just As This Man Points The Way, So Does Our Heavenly Father…”—Ensign, May 2014, Page 25
  • Photo, “Education And Family Scripture Study Help Us Learn Right And Wrong”—www. lds.org/topics/family-history?lang=eng
  • Photo, “A Loving Family Helps Us To Choose The Right”—kaileyraephoto.blogspot.com/

——– End of WebCredits ——–

A Loving Family Helps Us To Choose The Right

A Loving Family Helps Us To Choose The Right

 

Recipe List For Fun And Greasing Great Conversations? Our Family’s Answer.

oceans-shell-on-beachReader Question: Dave, can you please provide a list of recipes that your family has enjoyed over the years? Food is really important to our family since we all love to eat, and it’s a wonderful part of our family get-togethers. What dishes would you suggest? Family Answer: Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing. To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other recipes or find new ones that we wish to include. For us, food is a delivery system for scintillating conversation. It helps us all to see through to the hearts of people. Here’s the MormonPanorama Recipe List of dishes our family have enjoyed for years. You are welcome to try them out beforehand and judge for yourselves (great excuse!).

DRINKS

  • Dogh: Yummy national drink of Afghanistan—One of my favorites

SALADS/SOUPS

SIDE DISHES

MAIN DISHES

DESSERTS/SNACKS

Extended recipe list from MormonPanorama — A post with additional space in order to include recipes that don’t have their own webpage. What we were looking for in recipes for our family as they grew up:

  • Dishes that were delicious and fun.
  • Foods that are healthy, that build up and uplift. None of our recipes include coffee, tea or alcohol.

We hope this answers your question, greases many a great conversation, and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family. And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

ocean-slanted-trees

——– End of Post ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, ocean-shell-on-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
  • Photo, ocean-slanted trees—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Nutella's Secret Unveiled

Nutella’s Secret Unveiled

MormonPanorama Recipe List (Extended Post Including Recipes Not Found Elsewhere)

This post is an extension of a post from MormonPanorama that lists recipes that our family has learned to love over the years.

Recipes appear below for which we wanted to highlight a selected recipe on a webpage, or for which we happened to find no convenient website for a particular recipe. Enjoy!

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

DRINKS

·————————————————————————————-·
More later
·————————————————————————————-·

SALADS/SOUPS

·————————————————————————————-·
More later
·————————————————————————————-·

SIDE DISHES

·————————————————————————————-·
Sautéed green beans
·————————————————————————————-·
In a wok, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss in a pound of fresh or frozen green beans (yes, toss them in frozenbut they will pop a bit). Sprinkle with seasoned salt and powdered garlic. Stir, keep ’em moving, and cook at high heat until slightly charred. Do it quick so that they’re still a bit crispy and not overcooked. Wonderful!

MAIN DISHES

·———————————–·
Chocolate pancakes
·———————————–·
Basic recipe: Chocolate pancakes.
Or do what we did: Simply use a pancake mix and stir in chocolate syrup.

Usually, we also added chocolate chips. And drizzled with more chocolate syrup (instead of maple syrup). On really decadent days (and when Mom was out of town), we’d stir lots of chocolate syrup into our milk. No salad, no nothing but chocolate pancakes with chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, and chocolate milk. The kids thought they’d died and gone to heaven. And then, when I worked for American Airlines, sometimes they would beg Mom to go visit someone in another state (so that we could have chocolate pancakes again)!

·———————————–·
Creamy apple curry chicken
·———————————–·
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size cubes
3 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons curry powder (hot or mild, to taste; we add a bit more)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup dried cranberries (we double the cranberries)
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds (we also add shredded coconut)

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about six to seven minutes. Add both kinds of bell peppers, the cauliflower and chicken. Cook until the vegetables are just tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the apples, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cook until the apples are just tender, about three to five minutes. Sprinkle the flour over everything, stirring to coat. Add the milk and cranberries, stirring and cooking until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens. Serve sprinkled with toasted almonds.

Start to finish: 40 minutes.
Servings: four.
Nutrition information per serving: 520 calories; 200 calories from fat (38 percent of total calories); 23 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 32 g sugar; 32 g protein; 650 mg sodium.

·———————————————————————·
Macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and green beans
·———————————————————————·
Mac & Cheese (from a box), hot dogs, and green beans. Another staple dinner from Dad. When Mom was out of town for several days and our kids were young, the kids loved it when I’d buy mac & cheese in various shapes. Mom would never buy them because they were more expensive. One time, we ate mac & cheese five nights in a row—Kids’ choice—One night with wagon wheel mac & cheese, another night with dinosaur shaped mac & cheese, some other shape on a third night, etc. Did it really matter what the shape was? Not to me. It was easy to fix and fun for the kids. Amazingly, they also learned that their real favorite was good, ol’ fashioned, simple and straight mac & cheese, and they stopped bugging Mom to buy other expensive shapes…

·——————————–·
Pasta primavera
·——————————–·
Cook 1 lb. of any kind of pasta al dente. Meanwhile, in a second pan, combine a can Cream of Mushroom soup (undiluted), a jar of alfredo sauce, and a can of evaporated milk. Heat until warm; do not allow to scorch. Throw in a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. In a third pan, steam or boil or sauté any vegetable combination—doesn’t really matter. To serve, make a nest of pasta, cover it with veggies, pour sauce on top, sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese.

DESSERTS/SNACKS

·————————————————————————————-·
More later
·————————————————————————————-·

——– End of Post ——–

 

Poetry List For Imagination And Mind-stretching? Our Family’s Answer.

oceans-oregon-coastReader Question:
Dave, can you please provide a list of poems that your family has enjoyed over the years? Our family really likes poetry, and it may be useful to have a handy list around. We would truly appreciate whatever guidance you choose to give or poetry you might suggest.

Family Answer:
Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing.

To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other poems or experience new ones that we wish to include.

For us, poetry is an ancient, vital language. It limbers up our imagination. Here’s the MormonPanorama Poetry List for helping to stretch the minds of your family. These are for a general audience unless otherwise marked, and parents are encouraged to read beforehand and judge for themselves.

What we were looking for in poetry for kids as they grew up:

  • Poetry that gave us material to discuss – especially about what is right and what is wrong and how to resist wrongs that are embraced by so many others around you.
  • Poems that build up rather than drag down, that uplift and inspire.
  • We avoided literature which stated that our moral standards are silly or which encouraged us to become less than we should be.

We hope this answers your question and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family, create strong citizens, and have fun with our youth and young adults.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

 

oceans-pacific-grove

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Material:

1. 90% of People can’t pronounce this whole poem. Feel free to try it!

2. Monty Python on poetry—Kind of…

——– End of Bonus Material ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, ocean-oregon-coast—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
  • Photo, ocean-pacific-grove—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Not Poetry, But Still Fun

Not Poetry, But Still Fun

MormonPanorama Poetry List (Extended Post Including Excerpts Of Poems)

This post is an extension of a post from MormonPanorama that lists poetry that our family has learned to love over the years.

Poems appear below for which we wanted to highlight selected lines on a webpage, or for which we happened to find no convenient website for an individual work of poetry. Enjoy!

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

·———————————————————————————————-·
Martín Fierro
, epic gaucho poem from Argentina (1872) — José Hernández
·———————————————————————————————-·
I sit me here to sing my song
To the beat of my old guitar;
For the man whose life is a bitter cup,
With a song may yet his heart lift up,
As the lonely bird on the leafless tree
That sings ‘neath the gloaming star.

May the shining Saints of the heavenly band,
That sing in the heavenly choir,
Come down and help me now to tell
The good and ill that me befell,
And to sing it true to the thrumming strings;
For such is my desire.

Come down, ye Saints, that have helped me
In many a perilous pass;
For my tongue is tied and my eyes grow dim,
And the man that calls, God answers him,
And brings him home to his own roof-tree,
Out of many a deep morass.

O many singers have I seen,
That have won a singer’s wreath,
That have talked a lot as they passed the pot,
Of the songs they sang and the songs they wrought,
Till their voices rusted in their throats,
As a knife rusts in its sheath.

Now all that a son of the plains may do,
To none shall I give best;
And none may daunt with a windy vaunt,
Or bristle my scalp with a phantom gaunt,
And as song is free to all that will,—
I will sing among the rest.

I will sing my song till my breath gives out,
I will sing when they bury me;
And singing I’ll come where the angels roam
The rolling plains of their starry home,—
Into this world I came to sing,
As I sang on my mother’s knee.

And let my tongue be glib and sweet,
My words be not halt nor few,
And the men to come that I shall not see,
In days to be will remember me,
By the song I sang in the days gone by,
That now I sing to you.

[The first seven stanzas of Martín Fierro, epic gaucho poem from Argentina (1872) — José Hernández. It was very common for people to have quotes from the work hanging on the walls of their homes, with their favorite thoughts of gaucho-esque philosophy. The entire work is 2,316 lines long, 386 stanzas of payadas or rural ballads, each with a strict six-line rhyming scheme (like the six strings of a guitar) invented by Hernández specifically for this work of poetry, as well as an 8-syllable rhythmic pattern. The first line is kept “free” and unrhymed, allowing Hernández to present a “thesis” to the stanza without having to worry about the last word being part of the rhyme scheme. Lines two, three and six rhyme together while lines four and five constitute an independent rhyming group. The English translation (traditionally, the truest English translation, using an altered but similarly strict scheme) is by Scottish translator Walter Owen, who wonderfully called his work not translation but “transvernacularisation”.]

·————————————·
The Works of Ogden Nash
·————————————·
Ogden Nash was best known for surprising, pun-like rhymes, sometimes with words deliberately misspelled for comic effect. Among his most popular writings were a series of animal verses, many of which featured his off-kilter rhyming devices:

The Jellyfish
You can have my jellyfish
I’m not sellyfish

The Fly
The Lord in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why

The Panther
The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn’t been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don’t anther.

The Eel
I don’t mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.

The most frequently quoted of these poems is his ode to the llama:
The Lama
The one-L lama, he’s a priest
The two-L llama, he’s a beast
And I would bet a silk pyjama
There isn’t any three-L lllama.

(Nash appended a footnote to this poem: “The author’s attention has been called to a type of conflagration known as a three-alarmer. Pooh.”)

Nash’s poetry was often a playful twist of an old saying or poem. He expressed this playfulness in what is perhaps his most famous rhyme. Nash observed the following in a turn of Joyce Kilmer’s words, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”
Song of the Open Road
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.

A Word to Husbands
To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

Reflections on Babies
A bit of talcum
Is always walcum.

Reflections on Ice-Breaking
Candy
Is dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.

In 1968 he added:
Pot is not.

He also commented:
I often wonder which is mine:
Tolerance, or a rubber spine?

His one-line observations are often quoted:
People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.
Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.

Webcredits:
http://www.ogdennash.org/ogden_nash_biography.htm
and
http://poetrysplash.tripod.com/ogdennash2.htm

——– End of Post ——–

 

Movie List For Fun And To Build Up And Inspire? Our Family’s Answer.

ocean-big splash at Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area in OregonReader Question:
Dave, can you please provide a list of movies that your family has enjoyed over the years and used as you raised your kids? Our family would truly appreciate whatever guidance you choose to give or films you might suggest.

Family Answer:
Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing.

To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other films or learn of new ones that we wish to include.

MormonPanorama Movie List for Encouraging Strong Families (for a general audience unless otherwise marked – parents are encouraged to view beforehand and judge for themselves):

12 Angry Men (1957) — being brave; best for older youth or adults
13 Going on 30 (2004) — being good beats being mean any day
A Cry in the Wild (1990) — breaking barriers
After Earth (2013) — learning to trust yourself
Akeelah and the Bee (2006) — learning to trust yourself
Aladdin (1992) — learning to trust
An Affair to Remember (1957) — discarding doubt
Anna and the King (1999) — breaking barriers
Anne of Avonlea (1987) — learning to trust
Anne of Green Gables (1985) — learning to trust
Avatar (2009) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Babe (1995) — out-of-the-box thinking
Bambi (1942) — being brave
Beauty and the Beast (1991) — progression
Ben-Hur (1959) — progression
Brigadoon (1954) — breaking barriers
Casablanca (1942) — discarding doubt
Charade (1963) — being brave; best for adults
Chicken Run (2000) — being brave
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) — fun
Deja Vu (2006) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Dumbo (1941) — learning to trust
Elf (2003) — learning to trust
Enchanted (2007) — learning to trust
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) — breaking barriers
Fantasia (1940) — culture and fun
Fantasia/2000 (1999) — culture and fun
Father Goose (1964) — breaking barriers
Fiddler on the Roof (1971) — learning to trust
Field of Dreams (1989) — learning to trust; best for adults
Finding Neverland (2004) — breaking barriers
Fireproof (2008) — forgiveness; best for older youth or adults
Frequency (2000) — repentance; best for older youth or adults
Gettysburg (1993) — being brave; best for adults
Gigi (1958) — fun
Gods and Generals (2003) — being brave; best for adults
Gone with the Wind (1939) — Americana
Groundhog Day (1993) — progression; best for older youth or adults
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) — breaking barriers
Henry V (1989) — learning to trust
Hereafter (2010) — learning to trust
Hitch (2005) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Holes (2003) — keeping promises
Hook (1991) — progression
Hoosiers (1986) — breaking barriers
How the West Was Won (1962) — breaking barriers
How to Train Your Dragon (2010) — out-of-the-box thinking
Ice Age (2002) — breaking barriers
In the Heat of the Night (1967) — breaking barriers
Inception (2010) — out-of-the-box thinking; best for adults
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) — breaking barriers
Invictus (2009) — breaking barriers
Invincible (2006) — breaking barriers
Iron Man (2008) — breaking barriers
Iron Will (1994) — breaking barriers
It Happened One Night (1934) — breaking barriers
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) — progression
John Carter (2012) — breaking barriers
Kate & Leopold (2001) — breaking barriers
K-PAX (2001) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Lady and the Tramp (1955) — learning to trust
Lady in the Water (2006) — finding your role in life; best for adults
Ladyhawke (1985) — learning to trust
Les Miserables (1978 with Richard Jordan) — progression
Man of Steel (2013) — learning to trust
Mary Poppins (1964) — progression
McLintock! (1963) — breaking barriers
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) — Americana
Men in Black (1997) — progression
Men in Black 3 (2012) — progression
Miracle (2004) — breaking barriers
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) — learning to trust
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) — breaking barriers; best for adults
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) — fun
Nanny McPhee (2005) — progression
Newsies (1992) — breaking barriers
North & South (2004) — breaking barriers
Ocean’s Eleven (2001) — breaking barriers; best for adults
October Sky (1999) — breaking barriers
Oklahoma! (1955) — Americana
Old Yeller (1957) — being brave
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) — seeing people deeper
On the Town (1949) — fun and romance
Operation Petticoat (1959) — breaking barriers
Patton (1970) — breaking barriers
Pay It Forward (2000) — breaking barriers; best for adults
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) — fun
Pride and Prejudice (1995) — breaking barriers
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) — learning to trust
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) — breaking barriers
Ratatouille (2007) — progression
Rear Window (1954) — learning to trust; best for adults
Ring of Bright Water (1969) — breaking barriers
Rudy (1993) — breaking barriers
Sabrina (1995) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Saints and Soldiers (2003) — breaking barriers
Scrooge (1970 with Albert Finney) — learning to trust
Secondhand Lions (2003) — breaking barriers
Sense and Sensibility (1995 with Emma Thompson) — breaking barriers
Sense and Sensibility (2008 with Dan Stevens) — breaking barriers
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) — breaking barriers
Seven Samarai (1954) — breaking barriers
Shadowlands (1993) — learning through practice what you preach
Sherlock Holmes (2009) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Shrek (2001) — importance of layers in parfaits
Signs (2002) — breaking barriers
Silverado (1985) — breaking barriers
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) — progression
Star Trek (2009) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
Star Wars (1977) — progression
Stargate (1994) — breaking barriers
Starman (1984) — breaking barriers
Stranger Than Fiction (2006) — breaking barriers
Surf’s Up (2007) — breaking barriers
Swiss Family Robinson (1960) — being brave
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) — being brave
The African Queen (1951) — being brave
The Avengers (2012) — learning to trust
The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) — learning to trust
The Black Stallion (1979) — being brave
The Blind Side (2009) — treating people as they may become
The Bourne Identity (2002) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bourne Legacy (2012) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bourne Supremacy (2004) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) — breaking barriers; for older youth/adults
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) — learning to trust
The Dirty Dozen (1967) — learning to trust
The Fugitive (1993) — being brave; best for adults
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) — being brave
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) — being brave
The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989) — being brave
The Great Escape (1963) — breaking barriers
The Great Race (1965) — breaking barriers
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) — learning to trust
The Incredibles (2004) — discarding doubt
The Iron Giant (1999) — learning to trust
The Jungle Book (1967) — learning to trust
The Lake House (2006) — breaking barriers
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) — learning to trust
The Lion King (1994) — learning to trust
The Little Mermaid (1989) — learning to trust
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) — being brave
The Magnificent Seven (1960) — breaking barriers
The Maltese Falcon (1941) — being brave
The Mark of Zorro (1940) — being brave
The Mask of Zorro (1998) — learning to trust
The Miracle Worker (1962) — breaking barriers
The Mission (1986) — forgiveness
The Muppet Movie (1979) — fun
The Music Man (1962) — learning to trust
The Other Side of Heaven (2001) — breaking barriers
The Parent Trap (1961) — learning to trust
The Princess Bride (1987) — being brave
The Rescuers Down Under (1990) — out-of-the-box thinking
The Robe (1953) — breaking barriers
The Secret Garden (1993) — learning to trust
The Sixth Sense (1999) — believing in others; best for adults
The Sound of Music (1965) — progression
The Sting (1973) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
The Sword in the Stone (1963) — out-of-the-box thinking
The Taming of the Shrew (1967) — learning to trust
The Village (2004) — breaking barriers; best for older youth or adults
The Vow (2012) — steadfastness; best for adults
The Water Horse (2007) — being brave
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) — seeing people deeper
Timeline (2003) — breaking barriers
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) — being brave
To Sir, With Love (1967) — learning to trust
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) — breaking barriers
Toy Story (1995) — progression
Toy Story 2 (1999) — progression
Toy Story 3 (2010) — progression
Treasure Island (1950) — progression
True Grit (1969) — breaking barriers
Tuck Everlasting (2002) — breaking barriers
Up (2009) — progression against odds
Vertigo (1958) — learning to trust; best for adults
Wait Until Dark (1967) — being brave; best for adults
West Side Story (1961) — breaking barriers
What’s Up Doc? (1972) — seeing people deeper
While You Were Sleeping (1995) — learning to trust
White Christmas (1954) — fun and romance
White Fang (1991) — breaking barriers
Wizard of Oz (1939) — progression
You’ve Got Mail (1998) — progression

What we were looking for in movies for kids as they grew up:

  • Films that have tons of material to discuss – especially about what is right and what is wrong and how to resist wrongs that are embraced by so many others around you.
  • Movies and videos (YouTube, etc.) that build up rather than drag down, that uplift and inspire.
  • We avoided films which stated that our moral standards are silly or which encouraged us to become less than we should be.

We hope this answers your question and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family, create strong citizens, and have fun with our young adults.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

ocean-Hawaiian beach

——– End of Post ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

——– End of WebCredits ——–

The Power Of Great Art!

The Power Of Great Art!

Crocodiles And A Questioning Mind

To me, questions are truly important. So is a having a questioning mind.

I find that I form my best opinions from talking to people who aren’t like me. Even in (especially in) everyday conversations. Recently, a Muslim friend shared some of his frustrations at his job, and he helped me see some ways I can improve my own work. A friend who happens to be Ecumenical Christian discussed with me some community efforts. The views of a Jewish friend and her thoughts about ancestors in the Holocaust have helped me to have a new appreciation for finding more of my own family history. My Bahá’í neighbor and I continue to work closely together on an interfaith project; as we ask questions of each other, my faith is always growing. In all these discussions, I learned yet again that my way of thinking is not necessarily the only valid way to think. In all of them, I have felt the spirit of God. I peppered them with questions, as they did me. I look forward to exploring further views with friends in the future.

Whirlwinds of Life

Whirlwinds of Life

Through this process, I have learned that not all questions have equal weight. There are bad and good questions. It depends on the results, on where our questions lead us. Some lead us to be fully exposed to the whirlwinds of life, while other questions lead us to a place of safety and peace. Many are a matter of good, better, best. While some questions lead us to stand in holy places full of light, others lead us only to darkness. Some questions are spiritual crocodiles.

(Or same video at lds.org link. Also, original talk.)

In our family, we prefer to avoid crocodiles and whirlwinds and to choose good questions that lead to places of safety and peace. As Mormons, it’s important that spiritually we stand in holy places and not allow ourselves to be moved from there.

Stand Ye In Holy Places And Be Not MovedSometimes that’s a tough thing to do. At times, a whirlwind of answers can make us doubt our resolve, but I’ve learned that those answers always fail to satisfy in the long term. But as tough as it is to fight such winds, as tough as it is to wrestle a crocodile, I find that it’s even tougher to stand in a holy place when the sun is shining, when I think all is going well, when I let down my guard, and I’m no longer fighting an external wind but rather only fighting myself. That’s often when I notice that I’ve been asking the wrong questions again.

 

Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Buddhists

Temples in Bagan, Myanmar—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Buddhists

In addition, here are some of the holy places that are important to people whom I know and love.

 

 

 

 

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Muslims

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Muslims

If you were to stand in a holy place, where would you stand?

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Hindus

On the Ganges River at Varanasi, India—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Hindus

Where do your questions lead you?

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Sikhs

The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Sikhs

Do they help you stand in holy places?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know the safety and peace that comes with standing in holy places. Honest questions, good questions, and answers from God help me to stand against the whirlwinds of life. Questions and open hearts help protect me and my family. Everyone is free to ask crocodile questions that drag people down or to ask discussion questions that build people up.

Crocodile Hiding, Lying In Wait

Crocodile Hiding, Lying In Wait

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Material:

1. Watch, listen, or read Elder Neil L. Andersen as he talks to us about not letting whirlwinds drag us down but instead recognizing the need to stand strong, in his address, entitled “Spiritual Whirlwinds” (Length: 15:55.) See how the winds of trials may help us develop more solid roots at Time 3:08 through 3:45.

2. Additional holy places that are important to friends among us:

Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Jews

The Western Wall In Jerusalem By Night—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Jews

···oO0···

Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Bahá’ís

The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh near Acre, Israel—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Bahá’ís

···oO0···

Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Christians

The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Christians

3. Holy places to Mormons
(to those of us who happen to be both Christians and Mormons):
https://www.lds.org/youth/video/standing-in-holy-places?lang=eng

——– End of Bonus Material ——–
WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, “Whirlwinds of Life”—www.keyway.ca/htm2013/20130522.htm
  • Photo, Stand Ye In Holy Places And Be Not Moved—www. lds.org/new-era/2013/03/whats-up?lang=eng
  • Photo, “Temples in Bagan, Myanmar—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Buddhists”—topyaps.com/top-10-buddhist-holy-places
  • Photo, “Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Muslims”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Masjid_al-Nabawi
  • Photo, “On the Ganges River at Varanasi, India—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Hindus”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_places
  • Photo, “The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Sikhs”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_places
  • Photo, “Crocodile Hiding, Lying In Wait”—www. mrwallpaper.com/crocodile-eye-wallpaper/
  • Photo, “The Western Wall In Jerusalem By Night—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Jews”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_places
  • Photo, “The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh near Acre, Israel—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Bahá’ís”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_Bah%C3%A1%27u%27ll%C3%A1h
  • Photo, “The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Christians”—classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/biblephotos/14
  • Photo, Stand In Holy Places (Mormonad)—www. lds.org/media-library/images/mormonad-stand-in-holy-places-1118464?lang=eng&category

——– End of WebCredits ——–

 

Reading List To Encourage Intellectual Exploring? Our Family’s Answer.

oceans-rialto-beachReader Question:
Dave, can you please provide a list of books that your family enjoyed and used as you “encouraged lots of intellectual exploring by reading widely”? Our family would truly appreciate whatever guidance you choose to give or titles you might suggest.

Family Answer:
Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing.

To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other titles or learn of new ones that we wish to include.

MormonPanorama Reading List for Creating Strong Families (for children, youth, and young adults). These are for a general audience unless otherwise marked, and parents are encouraged to read beforehand and judge for themselves.

What we were looking for in books for kids as they grew up:

  • Books that have tons of material to discuss – especially about what is right and what is wrong and how to resist wrongs that are embraced by so many others around you.
  • Literature that builds up rather than drags down, that uplifts and inspires.
  • We avoided literature which stated that our moral standards are silly or which encouraged us to become less than we should be.

We hope this answers your question and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family, create strong citizens, and develop better young adults.

And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.

-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family

oceans-emerald-island-beach

——– End of Post ——–
WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Photo, ocean-rialto-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
  • Photo, ocean-emerald-island-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng

——– End of WebCredits ——–

They're Fermenting Rebellion...

They’re Fermenting Rebellion…

Safe And Secure Walls Around Us

What do you do in your family to develop strong young adults? Here’s what works for us…

"Great Wave Off Kanagawa", Hokusai (1829-32)

“Great Wave Off Kanagawa”, Hokusai (1829-32)

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
William Shakespeare
(Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 3, lines 217-223.)

One of the first things a little child learns in swimming lessons is the importance of the wall on the side. When kids swim out into the pool, whenever they flounder, they can always come back to the safety and security of the wall.

Learning The Importance Of The Wall On The Side

Learning The Importance Of The Wall On The Side

No matter where they go or how scary the open water gets, the wall never moves. The wall is always there. Gospel standards, the words of the prophets, the commandments of Christ: All provide my family with the safety and constancy of the wall in the water of the pool. These standards give us the confidence that we can manage things just fine, even when we get in over our heads and the water runs deep.

“…the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; … deep water is what I am wont to swim in.”
Joseph Smith

As my kids grew up, I knew that the unquestioning faith they had as children would be replaced by all the important questions of youth. As parents, Kim and I encouraged lots of intellectual exploring by reading widely, continually discussing and debating with our children. It helped that she and I are usually at opposite ends of any spectrum of opinion, so the kids grew up knowing the importance of disagreeing agreeably and of digging out answers that satisfied their individual concerns. But we united as parents as far as eternal truths are concerned, and it was important that our kids have confidence that they could get solid answers. They could get solid opinions from Mom and me, and they could get solid answers directly from God. It was especially important that they do so when it came to matters of faith, whether to live righteously, to keep commandments, to stay morally clean, or to follow the weightier matters of the law. When they were teenagers, we’d spend hours studying to master scriptures and to wrestle for gospel answers, making a game of it whenever possible. Bribing with Skittles candy made it fun — It was a game only when the kids felt it was fun. Tackle scripture chase, anyone?

In the process, our children learned not only to stand on their own but to fight for what they know is right. Generally speaking, they’ve made decisions worthy of any adult, even when they were teenagers. They continue to choose to keep their feet firmly planted on the strait and narrow path, teaching their families to do so as well.

What deep discussions have achieved really is pretty dang incredible – thoughtful gospel education has helped the young adults in our family to feel the right things. It allows them to take time out of their busy schedules, to rebuke the winds of change and to calm the sea of life. It gives them experience with spiritual feelings. It gives them experience with standing on their own.

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Family Garden

Family Garden

The opportunity to experience and experiment with spiritual feelings is essential to my kids, both as teenagers and now as adults with families of their own,  as they come to know Christ and to learn the variety of ways by which He interacts with each of us.  This training of their spirit with eternal communication processes is enhanced as they have consistent experience repeatedly hearing the words of the Prophets.

“But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life.”

I have learned for myself that these things not only bring me joy. They bring me safety and security.

Building Strong Young Adults

Building Strong Young Adults

“And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.”

.
.

Elder Bednar on answers to every question and challenge:
“Acting in accordance with the teachings of the Savior invites spiritual power into our lives—power to hear and heed, power to discern, and power to persevere. Devoted discipleship is the best and only answer to every question and challenge.”
-David A. Bednar, Ensign, March 2014

The secret of strong young adults for our family? Start ’em young. Keep sharing with them what’s really important to you when they’re old. Works for us…

Still Sharing And Finding Safety And Security In The Wall

Still Sharing And Finding Safety And Security In The Wall

——– End of Post ——–

Bonus Material:

1. A Change in Course: Watch the Hopf Family story. (Length: 4:06.)

2. An Incredible Meeting, an Answered Prayer: Watch François Verny’s Story. (Length: 4:03)

Raising Strong, Studly Adults Who Contribute To Society

Raising Strong, Studly Adults Who Contribute To Society

——– End of Bonus Material ——–

WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Ukiyo-e Woodblock Print, “Great Wave Off Kanagawa”, Hokusai (1829-32)—en.wikipedia. org/wiki/File:Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa2.jpg, with further info at en.wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa
  • Photo, “Learning The Importance Of The Wall On The Side”—www. eagerbeaverswimschool.com/
  • Photo, “Start ‘Em Young To Have Confidence In The Wall”—www. examiner.com/article/study-swimming-lessons-appear-to-have-a-protective-effect-against-drowning-for-tots

——– End of WebCredits ——–

Start 'Em Young To Have Confidence In The Wall

Start ‘Em Young To Have Confidence In The Wall

So Many Questions, So Little Time

Questions are important. Questions can be good. Questions, like anything else, come in various shapes and sizes, such as Good, Better, Best.

Thor Learning To Ask Better Questions

As do we mere mortals, Thor (God of Thunder) learned this the hard way. “My father was trying to teach me something, and I was too stupid to see it… I had it all backwards. I had it all wrong.” His friend, Erik, counseled him, “It’s not a bad thing finding out that you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.” Always tough, yet always rewarding.

Mike Nielson from Rogers, Arkansas, learned the importance of asking and discussing really good questions:

(Or same video at lds.org link.)

To Where May Questions Lead?
With his friend, Jeremy, Mike began to learn why dialogue is important. Bob Millet, former dean of Religious Education at BYU (Brigham Young University), learned this lesson as well with his friend, Pastor Greg Johnson. “I was surprised when [Greg] then said to the group: ‘Are you listening to Bob? Do you hear what he is saying? This is important! It’s time for us to stop criticizing Latter-day Saints on matters they don’t even teach today.’ …The last question asked was by a middle-aged man: ‘This thrills my soul. I think this is what Jesus would do. I have lived in Utah for many years, and I have many LDS friends. We get along okay; we don’t fight and quarrel over religious matters. But we really don’t talk with one another about the things that matter most to us–that is, our faith. I don’t plan to become a Latter-day Saint, and I’m certain my Mormon friends don’t plan to become Evangelical, but I would like to find more effective ways to talk heart to heart. Could you two make a few suggestions on how we can deepen and sweeten our relationships with our LDS neighbors?’ (Read on? Click here, Page 15.)

Questions May Lead To Certainty
My wife, Kim, and I usually see things from different points of view. Even though we know we are equally yoked in our responsibilities as spouses and as parents, each of us sees life through a different lens, and we focus on different things. We help each other to ask the best questions. I am the man who has the keys and she is the woman who has the influence (see Paragraph 8 in the section “Teaching the Rising Generation” in this address), and together we strive to bring about the work that God wants us to do in our family and in our community. By asking the right questions, I have learned for myself that working together with Heavenly Father allows any couple to raise children who find certainty in uncertain times.

Finding Certainty Together By Asking Great Questions

Finding Certainty Together By Asking Great Questions

——– End of Post ——–
WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:

  • Address, “Good, Better, Best”, Dallin H. Oaks, LDS General Conference, Oct 2007—www .lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/good-better-best?lang=eng
  • Photo, “Thor Learning To Ask Better Questions”—musingsfrommarsh.blogspot.com/2012/06/thor-co.html
  • Article, “What Is Our Doctrine?”, Robert L. Millet, The Religious Educator, 2003, p. 15—ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/RelEd/article/viewFile/1950/1911
  • Address, “Teaching the Doctrine of the Family”, Julie B. Beck, Ensign, Mar 2011—www .lds.org/ensign/2011/03/teaching-the-doctrine-of-the-family?lang=eng

——– End of WebCredits ——–