Saturday, December 28, 2013

How To Study The Scriptures With 7 Questions to Ponder

I've been pondering how I want to study my scriptures in 2014 to be more effective. Typically after a long day, I open my scriptures and read right where I left off from the previous night. But I was looking for a new method that is spiritually deeper, yet simple. First, I glanced at Pinterest and found some cute journals and ideas on how to mark your scriptures, but that was only scratching the surface. The thought came to me to look at what Julie B. Beck, former General Relief Society President, has done with her scripture study. I've always admired her as someone who stands for the truth.

I found a talk she gave in 2004 entitled "My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures" and began reading. She said, "One good way to start studying the scriptures is to 'liken' them to ourselves." She shared how she wrote notes in her scriptures and in a separate notebook. She also shared various ways others have studied the scriptures. My mind began spinning and formulating an idea for me. Something realistic and within my grasp.

Julie B. Beck
She said, "Every woman can be a gospel doctrine instructor in her home, and every sister in the Church needs gospel knowledge as a leader and teacher. If you have not already developed the habit of daily scripture study, start now and keep studying in order to be prepared for your responsibilities in this life and in the eternities."

If the scriptures can prepare me for my responsibilities in this life and the eternities, then I should be looking for answers to a few key questions throughout this coming year. So I considered my roles as a daughter of God, a wife, a mother, an emergency preparedness teacher, a preschool teacher, and a missionary. I came up with 7 questions for my roles to focus on each day of the week.

Sunday: How can I strengthen my children spiritually and emotionally?
Monday: How can I be a more loving wife to my husband?
Tuesday: How can I teach my preschool class who they really are?
Wednesday: How can I fulfill my calling effectively as an Emergency Resource Coordinator?
Thursday: What do others teach me about personal revelation?
Friday: How can I become a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Saturday: How can I be physically and mentally stronger?
    It looks like a bunch of how to's, but one of the best training manuals is the scriptures. Sister Beck keeps a list of questions in the back of her scriptures. Since I use my online scriptures, I typed my 7 questions on a sticky note and placed them on the front my laptop and iPhone. I use the app and highlight notes in the Notes and Journal tool.

    Every day I want to read a little bit from the Book of Mormon following the schedule my youngest daughter uses in her Discover the Scriptures workbook. Since each family member in our home does their own personal scripture study, we are not on the same schedule. But I thought being on hers might help me teach her as she is learning. During family prayer we share something we have learned in our personal scripture study. She has an amazing memory and shares the most.

    I also want to study other resources as well. So here is that plan:

    Sunday: The current chapter we are learning in Sunday School from the "Old Testament Class Member Study Guide."
    Monday: One article from the monthly Ensign magazine.
    Tuesday: A motivational book.
    Wednesday: One talk from the most recent General Conference.
    Thursday: One talk from the most recent General Conference.
    Friday: The current chapter we are learning in Relief Society "Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith."
    Saturday: One article from the monthly Ensign magazine.
      It's so easy to access these resources on the LDS Gospel Library app or at DeseretBookshelf. Wow! We have so many great things at our fingertips. We just need to push the time-wasters off the table.
      Update 12/31/13 On my Gmail calendar, I created repeating calendar items for each resource to remind me what to study. For instance, on Sunday and Monday I have "Ensign" as an all day calendar item that repeats each week. Tuesday I have "Mot Book", Wednesday I have "Gen. Conf.," Thursday I have Joseph Fielding Smith, Saturday I have Old Testament. We are so blessed to have wonderful technology!

      I'm excited to find answers to my questions this year! I'm sure I will be tweaking my scripture study as I go. Hope you each find answers to your 7 questions and grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ the New Year.

      Friday, December 27, 2013

      Most Popular Posts at Prepared LDS Family in 2013

      It's always interesting to look back at the posts I've written at Prepared LDS Family and see what others have read. I thought I would share some of your favorites and my thoughts about them.

      Most Popular Posts in 2013
      Make a 72-Hour Kit in 12 Steps: Step 6 - Food
      This post was part of a 12-part series I wrote about items to put in your 72-hour kit. It took longer than I wished to finish the steps, but I finally completed all 12 of them.

      General Conference Activity Notebook for Primary Kids
      I've written several posts about activity notebooks for children to use as they watch the LDS General Conference. It's hard for them to sit still. I like to have something for my youngest to do to help her participate in the experience. She remembers the stories the speakers share almost better than her parents.

      Use a 52-Week Inventory Schedule to Count Food Storage Weekly
      This idea was meant to make counting my food storage easier. I categorize my food storage and only count a small portion of it weekly. Well, that was the plan. I do get behind. I never like to count ALL of our food storage because it takes hours, so counting a small portion is quicker and doable for me.

      February Food Storage Goals - Breakfast Foods
      Each month of this year I wrote a post about items to gather for my food storage. I can only guess this post was popular because my readers either like breakfast foods or were still motivated to gather their food storage at the beginning of the year. Let's hope that the new year will bring new resolutions to get things moving with emergency preparedness.

      Tuesday, December 24, 2013

      Helpful Food Storage Articles by Leslie Probert, Food Storage Essentials writer for the Deseret News

      Over the past several years, Leslie Probert, co-author of one of my favorite emergency preparedness and food storage books, "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell," has written some very useful articles for the Deseret News newspaper here in Utah. Since some of my readers don't get the Deseret News, my Christmas gift to you is a list I've gathered of the past 3 years of practical  food storage articles written by Leslie.

      When I heard Leslie speak at a BYU Campus Education Week, she changed my life. Well, actually she changed the approach I took to food storage. I don't think I would have moved forward with preparedness like I have, without the insight of Leslie Probert. Reading books by people who actually use the food they store is enlightening.

      Leslie is the mother of 3, and has a degree in Home Economics.

      Take some time over the Christmas break to read some of these great articles. Then set a New Year's resolution to get moving with food storage!

      Articles by Leslie Probert

      Food Storage Essentials: What about storing chocolate?
      December 6, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Why store wheat? What about a grain mill?
      November 1, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Storing grains: What about carbs and gluten intolerance?
      October 11, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Just how nutritious are sprouts?
      September 13, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: 3 planning tips to avoid surprises in an emergency
      August 2, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: How to choose from many dried food options
      July 12, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: What about storing sugars in long-term storage?
      June 6, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Tips for storing, conserving fuels for emergency cooking
      May 3, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Moving? What to do with food storage?
      April 5, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Tips for storing leavening and salt
      March 1, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: 6 reasons to eat the food you have stored
      February 1, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Store non-food items in winter months
      January 11, 2013

      Food Storage Essentials: Christmas gifts for peace of mind
      December 7, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Building a food storage: How much is peace of mind worth?
      November 2, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage for 1 or 2 people
      October 5, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: 3 steps on how to cook perfect long grain rice and store it, too
      September 7, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Safely store propane; haybox cooking saves fuel
      August 2, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Storing charcoal and baking in an apple box
      July 6, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: The food flavor and seeing the work of your own hands can make bottling very rewarding
      June 1, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: What about storing barley?
      May 4, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: 5 tips for buying food storage on a tight budget
      April 7, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage planning — what's for lunch?
      March 2,2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage can contribute to great-tasting, economical breakfasts
      February 3, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Got a little food storage? Don't stop now
      January 6, 2012

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage gifts that make a difference
      December 2, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Four ideas for getting children to eat food storage
      November 4, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: 5 surprising things about basic food storage recipes
      October 7, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Basic food storage vs. gourmet freeze-dried meals
      September 2, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Food storage ideas for those with allergies
      August 5, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Great salad ideas with basic food storage
      July 1, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Food Storage Essentials: Tips, guidelines for safely storing water
      June 3, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: 4 tips to make food storage inventory and rotation easy
      May 6, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Eating the food you store
      April 1, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: 4 reasons to have the basics in your food storage
      March 4, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Best food storage containers extend shelf life and eliminate bugs
      February 4, 2011

      Food Storage Essentials: Set up a calendar to simplify buying food storage
      January 7, 2011

      Saturday, December 21, 2013

      Christmas Video - O Come, Emmanuel

      At this special time of year, I want to share one of my favorite Christmas videos, "O Come, Emmanuel," a collaboration of The Mormon Channel and The Piano Guys about the birth and life of Jesus Christ. It is just beautiful.

      Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

      Sunday, December 15, 2013

      LDS Church Calling as an Emergency Response Coordinator

      After a hectic month, I wanted to write about my new church calling/civil assignment as an Emergency Response Coordinator here in Farmington. I was caught like a deer in headlights when I was asked to serve in this calling. No, really. It's not that I haven't felt like I could help with emergency preparedness in my ward, but helping a ward and my neighborhood in this manner is like asking me to manage a small community.

      I love my neighborhood and the people who live here, but I also know the types of disasters that could happen here. So, I hope I can do this assignment as effectively as I should.

      I thought I'd share some advice to anyone else who received a similar calling whether it be an Emergency Response Coordinator, a Food Storage Specialist, or an Emergency Preparedness Specialist.
      1. Remember who called you. Though the assignment was extended through a member of the bishopric, it is a calling from the Lord and He wants you to help his children now. He can inspire you to fulfill your assignment. So, get on your knees many times, and ask Him how you can help your ward.
      2. Remember what gifts you have. No one will do this assignment exactly the same way. Everyone has strengths that can help them with this calling. And yours, or mine, may be what is needed at this time in your community. When I first got this calling all I could focus on were my inadequacies. Yes, me. Don't do that. We each have strengths and gifts, so now is the time to use them.
      3. Get debriefed from the last person who had this calling. What has been done? What still needs to be done? What materials do they have? But remember, change is good. You may be inspired to do things differently from the last person. Ask your bishop what his vision is for the ward. Find out what the vision of the stake is as well. I am between the bishop and the city and my focus is emergency communications. But I will also be helping with emergency preparations.
      4. Do your homework. There isn't an official "handbook" for this calling, and that makes it hard because we want to know the 10 Commandments of this calling. Thankfully I was given a guidebook from my stake emergency leaders, so I have some direction. And they are constantly sending emails my way. We are moving in a big direction. If you don't have stake guidance, counsel with your bishop.
      5. Check the Church resources. There is a lot of "stuff" out there on the internet, so go to the website first for some emergency preparedness information. Create a favorite bookmark on your Google Chrome bar. I like the Emergency Preparedness and Response page, and the Food Storage page. There are other websites like the ones I listed below, but you can get overwhelmed looking at what others have done. So, work with what you have locally first, and then build on it. Remember: you are not building the ark for everyone in your ward. It is not your calling to buy 50 gallon water barrels for everyone. You are sharing a few blueprints and teaching them how to fish.
      6. Identify likely disasters in your area. Every city is different. Some people never think about what could happen close to them. I wrote down some things that could happen in our neck of the woods so I could understand what to prepare for. Disasters such as Earthquakes, Severe Wind Storms, Prolonged Power Outage, Floods, ICE/Snow Storm, Fires, Heat Waves, Hazardous Material Spill. We don't have hurricanes or tsunamis here.
      7. Ask for others to help you. You don't have to be-it-all or do-it-all. I function best when I can delegate or share the blessings. If you need an assistant, don't be afraid to ask the bishop for one. In addition to my calling, my stake asked the bishop to call a Ward Emergency Communications Coordinator and an Emergency Resource Coordinator. I am blessed. But, I also asked for an Emergency Preparedness Specialist to help teach a monthly preparedness classes. 
      8. Remember the organization of the LDS Church. Things are done with wisdom and order. I love that! No need to fear. We can get the job done and be there where we are needed. Examples from the past teach us this. All will be well.
      Lots to do, but I've begun. I hope some of this helps those of you with similar calling.

      Ward and Stake websites I like:
      Gig Harbor Stake Emergency Preparedness
      Highland 19 Ward Emergency & Preparedness
      Orange County Emergency Response
      Gilbert Higley Stake Arizona