Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Importance of Reading Your Scriptures

I was asked to speak at Young Women's Camp that was held for our stake a few weeks ago on the topic of the importance of reading your scriptures.  As a seminary teacher, I was thrilled to be given a topic that I know a lot about.  While pondering about what I might say, I remembered being a young woman their age.  Do you remember being that age?  I recall having lots of questions that always came to my mind.  The who, what, where, when, and why type of questions.  I thought, hum, that might make for a fun lesson and it clicked!  Make a board to help answer their questions about the importance of scripture study. 

While researching, I found many wonderful articles on that cover this topic.  I fell in love with a talk given by Sister Tanner at a BYU Devotional about the importance of scripture study.  Some of the thoughts on the board I created came from her talk.  I also pulled from other General Authorities which you will see below with the quotes that I have taken from their talks.

Let's walk through the different questions and how I shared this with the YW.  First, we were outside so the board came in handy to help keep all of my thoughts in one place.  I enlarged the clip art below by using a projector and added a few embellishments to make it look cute.  I started by sharing my scriptures that were given to me by my parents when I was old enough to begin seminary.  They are used and have a few markings inside.  Then, I compared them to the scriptures I use today which are more like a seminary teacher workbook.  Completely read from cover to cover with lots and lots of notes and highlights.  I pointed out to them that I had to make the personal decision as to how important my scriptures were going to be to me personally.  No one else could make the decision for me and no one can make that decision from them.  They would have to do that.  I shared the scripture from Psalm 19:10 which talks about scriptures being more desired than gold and honey.  The scripture is below and goes on the board above the YW.  This lead into me offering the YW a Teddy Gram for a snack.  I asked them to place a little bit of honey on it and to eat it while I played the song "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.  This is a song that Sister Tanner mentions in her talk.  I love musicals too so this was a perfect fit.  As it played the girls ate their bears and I asked them to listen carefully to the lyrics of the song.  I never realized that the song mentioned learning from Holy Books and studying for hours upon hours a day. To study Holy Books is regarded by Orthodox Jews as a sweet blessing and a great privilege.  In fact, in some Jewish traditions, when child was to start his/her education in the Torah, a taste of honey was given to the student so that he/she would associate the study of the holy book with sweetness.  This was intended to reinforce what it says in Psalms:  "How sweet are the words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalms 119:103).  I asked the YW are the scriptures delicious to you?  Do you want to feast upon them?  This lead into sharing the WHO - Who should read their scriptures?  Well, that's easy -   All of us!  I didn't want this to be a Primary answer so I went searching and found in the handbook of instructions for the Church that it talks about the WHO under the section based on Education.  We should be reading our scriptures to gain knowledge just as we read from books we learn from at school.  Then, came the question WHAT - What do we get from reading our scriptures?  You can see the list that was shared below.  Next, I asked them WHERE can you read your scriptures.  I used this section to have them interact with one another.  Each young lady was asked to write down one or two places that they enjoy reading their scriptures personally.  When they were finished, they were to share their answers with the young woman sitting next to them.  Together, they were to share with the rest of the group their favorite answer.  We went around to each group and wrote their answers with Dry Erase Marker on a blank laminated card up on the board.  There were some fantastic answers given.  Everything from their bedroom to school to at the park to in the car.  Moving on, we went to the next question WHEN.  When you read your scriptures, what happens?  I found a really cute poem from the Friend magazine that was shared with the group.  I love it!  Hope you will too!  WHY - Why is it important to read your scriptures?  As we discussed the WHY we placed each of the cards on the board.  I left a few blank cards too so that others could share their thoughts about this question.  I love the next and final question HOW - How do should you read your scriptures?  I think they know the answer to HOW, but it was a great reminder to remember to ponder, pray, search, read and apply.  At the end of sharing this lesson, I hope that all of you would remember to share your personal testimony of the importance of reading your scriptures with the group you share this message with.  I know personally the love I have for my Savior and the blessing that the scriptures have been to me.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Take Action Cards

I love sharing challenges with the youth that allow them to TAKE ACTION.  A while back, I asked the youth to take these simple TAKE ACTION CARDS with them to school.  The challenge was for them to TAKE ACTION doing each of the suggestions on the card then pass the card forward to a friend or teacher at school inviting them to do the same.  I loved the stories that came back the next day.  They had so many miracles take place by simply taking action and making a difference in the life of another person.  Try it and see if it works!  Feel free to create your own TAKE ACTION CARDS!  Great activity for all ages.

Knock, Knock, Who's There?

In March of 2015, I was asked to put together a game for a Seminary Super Saturday.  The game needed to be based off of seminary related topics and missionary work.  I thought about how much fun it must be to be a missionary going door to door preaching the gospel.  Thus, the name of this game quickly became Knock, Knock, Who's There?

We set up the primary room with the game cards on the floor - see attached!  The youth started at the card that read Knock, Knock, Who's There.  With each roll of the dice, the youth paired up two by two would move from one end of the game board to the other depending on the number they rolled.  The goal was to see how many people they could convert to the Gospel and baptize.  At the end of the game, points were tallied and a winner was chosen.  Points were generated based off the number converted per game card.  The game cards were divided into the following categories:  scripture mastery worth 4 points/4 new investigators, basic doctrine worth 3 points/3 new investigators, mission prep worth 2 points/2 new investigators and generic church questions worth 1 point or 1 new investigator.

There were additional small game cards, which you can create on your own based off of your personal needs for your group.  This was tons of fun - sorry the pictures of this activity and the cards are not great!

Random Act of Kindness

Every morning, before I take off for seminary, I watch the local news broadcast mainly to see what the weather forecast is for the day.  This past week, the following story was one that was highlighted in the news broadcast.  I was blown away by this man's random act of kindness.  I have been so disappointed lately that there just doesn't seem to be anything good happening in the world.  After seeing this story, I quickly realized that there are still really good people out there doing really good things.  This man's example is one that we can all learn from.  May we strive every day this upcoming week to walk in the footsteps of our Savior as this man did.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Seminary Preparations 2015

I can't believe summer is going by so quickly.  In just a few weeks school will begin and seminary will be back in full swing.  I decided to take a few minutes today to start making some of the worksheets and handouts I plan to share with my seminary students this year.  I have outlined a few weeks of lessons, but feel no where near ready.  With that said, I have decided I would go ahead and share a few of these ideas with all of you. 

This first handout is a reminder of the importance of personal scripture study.  I loved the quote by President Benson.

This second handout/glue in is a reminder to our students to look for the message of Christ, his coming and his atonement.  Students will have an opportunity to answer the question-Do you think it might be helpful to know that this book of scripture testifies of Jesus Christ? (pulled from this year's seminary manual)

The third handout is one that I put together after finding an old seminary teacher manual.  In this manual on pages 46-47 I discovered a section entitled Scriptural Evidence that Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament.  I loved it so much because it shared scripture references from the Old and New Testament.  I have recreated this section into a worksheet so that our youth can take some time to discover for themselves the similarities found in both. 

The name Jehovah

The name Jehovah is “the covenant or proper name of the God of Israel. It denotes ‘the eternal I AM’ (Ex. 3:14; John 8:58). Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth as a son of Mary (Mosiah 3:8; 15:1; 3 Ne. 15:1–5). Usually, when the word Lord appears in the Old Testament, it means ‘Jehovah.’ Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained, “In general, in the King James version of the Bible, the name Jehovah has been translated Lord” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 392).
Jehovah is Christ: Jehovah was known to the ancient prophets (Ex. 6:3; Abr. 1:16). The Apostle Paul taught that Christ was the Jehovah of the Old Testament (Ex. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:1–4). The brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon saw the premortal Christ and worshiped Him (Ether 3:13–15). Moroni also called Christ ‘Jehovah’ (Moro. 10:34). At the Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery saw the resurrected Jehovah (D&C 110:3–4)” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Jehovah”).
In the King James Version of the Bible, the word LORD in small capital letters was used in place of the Hebrew letters that represented the name of Jehovah in the Hebrew Bible. Those letters are called the tetragrammaton and are represented in English by the letters YHWH, pronounced “Yahweh” by some and “Jehovah” by most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Preparing for Baptism

Do you have a child that is approaching the age of Baptism?  Our little Braden will be turning 8 years old this upcoming July.  As we prepare for this special day in his life we are doing everything that we can to hold special Family Home Evenings in his honor.  Honoring the special covenants that he will be making with our Heavenly Father this summer.  Each week we are focusing our FHE on lessons that will help to guide him to the waters of baptism.  This week we are going to have a lesson on what he can do to prepare.  This is a little check-off sheet that we'll be using as part of this lesson.  The ideas for this check-off sheet came from two wonderful LDS resources.

LDS Resources
Lesson Twenty-nine:  Preparing for Baptism from the Family Home Evening Resource Book, 1997, page 120.

Resources Help Parents Prepare Children for Baptism by Rosemary M. Wixom and the Primary General Presidency.

I hope that we can do whatever it takes to prepare as many as possible to walk into the waters of baptism and enjoy the blessings that come from following in the footsteps of our Savior.

If you would like a copy...please email me at or visit

Friday, April 4, 2014

Countdown to Conference - Day 1

Uplifted By Conference
by:   Michael Young, Tenor
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
General conference always makes me feel especially grateful, particularly when I see the Lord’s tender mercies throughout the weekend. Right before we started the first session, one of the brethren sitting nearby said words I needed to hear about a problem I was facing and bore his testimony to me in very simple yet profound words. It set the tone for the rest of the conference.
In this opening session, the way the music and talks worked together to strengthen each other struck me. Elder David A. Bednar talked about blessings we sometimes overlook that come from the law of tithing, which worked hand in hand with the words of our song “Keep the Commandments.”  In this arrangement, we used the traditional first verse found in the hymnbook and then a second verse, which is not. It was written by the original author at a time in which she was experiencing a great trial in her life.
Afterward, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about the faithful and those who have left the Church, pleading for them to find their faith again. The words to our song “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” could not have been more appropriate.
I left the session feeling spiritually renewed and more hopeful than I have been in a long time. I needed the reminder that the trials of life are a test to see if I will be true to the precious things I know. I needed a reminder that though the wheat and tares grow together for a while, God will soon come and take the righteous home to live with Him. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to be included when that day comes.
Click on the link below or if you have trouble opening it, copy and paste it into your browser. Enjoy listening to the beautiful music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Countdown to Conference - Day 2

Click on the link below or if you have trouble opening it, copy and paste it into your browser.  Listen to President Hinckley tell the story of how his walnut tree became the pulpit at the Conference Center.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Countdown to Conference - Day 3

Click on the link below or if you have trouble opening it, copy and paste it into your browser.  Check out how the Conference Center gets prepared for General Conference.