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* All About Mormons Newsletter *

September 1997

Welcome to the All About Mormons Newsletter!

*In this newsletter:

*Scripture Topic of the Month: Charity

1 Corinthians 13:3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Moroni 7:45-48
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

*Focus This Month: Using Hymns at Home

The First Presidency has said in the preface to the newest hymnbooks (c. 1985):

Music has boundless powers for moving families toward greater spirituality and devotion to the gospel. Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the sound of worthy music.

Ours is a hymnbook for the home as well as for the meetinghouse. We hope the hymnbook will take a prominent place among the scriptures and other religious books in our homes. The hymns can bring families a spirit of beauty and peace and can inspire love and unity among family members.

Teach your children to love the hymns. Sing them on the Sabbath, in home evening, during scripture study, at prayer time. Sing as you work, as you play, and as you travel together. Sing hymns as lullabies to build faith and testimony in your young ones.

These are marvelous blessings promised to those who use hymns in their home. Let me add my testimony that hymns in the home will truly strengthen and bless every family member’s life. When we got married, John and I were given a hymn book with the advice that we should sing these beautiful hymns often in our home to help make it "’a little bit of heaven’ right here on earth." When we have done so, our home is more peaceful and we are more unified as a family. Hymnbooks are not expensive and are available through the distribution center, and at the BYU Bookstore, and other places where LDS books are sold. They are wonderful gifts for family members and can have names engraved on the front. Let’s all make hymns a bigger part of our life.

*What’s New on All About Mormons?

We are gathering people’s testimonies to put in our testimony section.

Our Family Home Evening Section is looking for your FHE ideas. What do you do to make FHE successful?

Relief Society Rest Stop has expanded to include many more recipes (with a new Dessert page), Homemaking Themes, Uplifting Scriptures, and more Uplifting Poems. The Recipes page also links to recipe sites on the web. Coming soon—Seasons and Holidays—craft, food, decorating, and other ideas to make these days special. Contributions for this page are especially welcome!

The Young Women’s Corner now has more object lessons, and practical ideas for leaders. Coming soon—Evening in Excellence ideas!

LDS Humor is continually expanding. Thanks to all those who have contributed so far! Keep on sending us your funny stories, jokes, etc. We want our humor to be enjoyable to all of our visitors, members and non-members alike, so please use discretion when choosing which ones to send. Our Other Good Stuff section is especially for non-religious humor. Laugh With Us!

All About Mormons now has even more information to keep you in touch with the Church, including Church related web sites and internet services, Church phone numbers, and magazine information. Check it out on our Welcome page!

*Announcements from the LDS Community

BYU recently held its 75th annual Education week. To read about it on the web, visit http://www.sltrib.com/97/aug/082497/utah/497.htm (in the Salt Lake Tribune)

The Vernal, Utah Temple will be open for public tours Oct. 11-25, prior to its dedication. Tours are free, but tickets are required. To order tickets, call 1-888-216-5844 or (801) 781-1611. (The area code will soon be changing to 435, but this will not affect ticket orders.) Phone orders will be taken Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be dedicated Nov. 2 with 10 dedicatory services continuing through Nov. 4. The Vernal Temple is the church's first from the remodeling of an existing structure, the old Uintah Stake Tabernacle.

The Church Museum of Church History and Art has issued a call for entries to its 'Fifth International Art Competition and Exhibit.’ The competition is open to members 18 and over in almost any media. See the following URL for details: http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_reg?dn97&9708140107

In the September 1997 Ensign, members of the Church were invited to submit original children's songs, hymns, anthems, hymn arrangements, and instrumentals. Submissions are reviewed for artistic merit, usefulness for home or church, general appeal, ease of performance, originality, quality of text, and compatibility of music to text. Awards in various dollar amounts are given. Entries for the next submission must be postmarked by 31 March, 1998. For more information about rules and categories, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Church Music Submission, 20th Floor, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5460, U.S.A.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir plans European tour in 1998. For an article which includes dates and destinations, see http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/libstory_reg?dn97&9708100085

Archaeologist Paul DeBarthe and students from Shawnee Mission East High School are studying a log house from the Missouri period of church history in Caldwell county, and are inviting the public to assist, both with digs and with financial support. See the complete article at http://examiner.net/stories/082597/mormon.html

We are having a Mormon Polemics conference in Salt Lake City on Oct.16 thru 18th. This is the third Conference, the last two were in Nauvoo. We have great speakers and do have a few openings for papers to be given. Contact Mike Trapp at nauvooman@mailexcite.com or call 217 453 6724

The Washington Temple Visitors Center has a new exhibit: "Joseph Smith: Impressions of a Prophet," by artist Liz Lemon Swindle. It is on display NOW through MONDAY, OCT. 13. The exhibition features more than 25 paintings depicting the human side of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The visitors center is located at 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, in Kensington, Md., adjacent to the Washington Temple and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The public is welcome at any time at no charge. For further information on this and other public events, call the Visitors Center at (301) 587-0144.

For those of who missed the PBS special, "Trail of Hope," PBS has posted a webpage giving a summary of the program "Trail of Hope" about the Mormon Pioneers. If anyone is interested in the address, it is found at: http://www.pbs.org/trailofhope

Noted Author to Highlight Arizona Night Writers' Fifth Annual Writers Workshop October 25, 1997 - Arizona Night Writers Association will sponsor its Fifth Annual Writers Workshop, "Write the Things of Your Soul," from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 25 at the Mesa East Stake building of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2228 E. Brown Rd., Mesa, Arizona. Sarah Hinze, acclaimed author of the pre-birth studies classic _Coming From the Light_, will be the keynote speaker at the workshop, which this year features eight class sessions. Faculty members and their topics include Mark Bowers, screenwriting; Charles Davis, short stories; Kathy Fowkes, writers and the Internet; Lynn Gardner, romantic suspense; Emmett R. Smith, personal experience writing; Joan Sowards, songwriting; Helen Hughes Vick, novel writing; and Gayla Wise, marketing. Cost is $25 if registered by Oct. 11, $30 after Oct 12 and at the door. Lunch is included. For more information call Marsha Ward, (602) 830-8363; write to ANWA, P.O. Box 8518, Mesa AZ 85214-8518, or query at mwward@primenet.com with WORKSHOP in subject line. For more information about Arizona Night Writers Association, a network for LDS women writers, visit our web page: www.netzone.com/~pegshumw Arizona Night Writers Association is a network for LDS women writers. We sponsor this workshop for LDS writers and also for non-LDS writers who are interested in our topics.

To get similar LDS announcements, send an email message to majordomo@lists.panix.com , with "subscribe mormon-index" or "subscribe mormon-index-digest" (for the weekly digest) in the body of the message. A message may be sent to the same address, but with "subscribe mormon-news" for another list. Also, visit Other LDS Sites which has other LDS-related e-mail lists which you may find interesting.

*Object lesson—One Blade of Grass (contributed by Roger)

We live in a new subdivision and our house is on a short street. We have one neighbor across the street and another neighbor who lives kiddie-corner on the adjacent street. The rest of the lots are still vacant. About 100 yards north is a large ranch pasture.

Now that you have that picture, my 6-year-old son was out flying his kite yesterday. It was a warm, breezy day and the kite was flying great. My son decided to sit down in the street and hold the kite handle between his legs. I was standing along side holding my 3-month-old boy (3 months to the day, as a matter of fact :). A gust came along and blew the kite, handle and all, out from my son's legs and off it went. I couldn't run fast since I was holding the baby.

I watched the kite drift over our house and thought, "Surely, that string and handle will get snagged on the roof and then I can climb up later and get it." But no, the handle went straight up the wall and over the roof. As the kite continued its great escape, the handle danced across the front yard (we have a big front yard). "Surely, that handle will get stuck in the crepe myrtle bush," I thought, "then I can catch up to it." But no, it kept right on going. The kite was home free, over across the vacant lots, over across the adjacent street, on its way to greener pastures :). I would have continued but none of us had shoes

on. I took the baby inside, grabbed my rugged sandals and dashed out the door and up the street. By this time the neighbors were out watching the chase. The little girl next door helped me chase the handle before it drifted into the pasture. There was a big tree and some telephone lines that ran along the pasture fence. Finally, finally, the handle got stuck. But it was stuck waaaayy up in the tree and there was no way to get it down, especially with the wires running through the tree. We all watched the kite fly happily over the pasture, being guided by the big tree.

My son was heartbroken. His mom and I consoled him. My 3-year-old daughter said that the kite was going to see Jesus.

Everyone went inside and I stayed out to set up sprinklers. Every once in awhile I would see how the kite was doing. I finished setting up the sprinklers and looked again. The kite seemed farther away now. I walked back up the street and sure enough, the tree had lost its grip, too, and the kite had continued its northward trek to Jesus.

Since I still had my sandals and didn't have the baby, I hopped the fence and sprinted across the field. The grass was tall so I had to dodge 12 ft rattlesnakes, 20 ft crocodiles, hordes of piranha, swarms of killer bees . . . Hey I live in Texas! It's possible. Anyway, I ran across the field, hoping to catch up to the kite handle. Do you know what grabbed it? A blade of grass.

A single blade of grass! Not a roof top. Not a crepe myrtle bush. Not an enormous tree or telephone wire, but a small blade of grass. Apparently the string and handle wound around the seedling stem and the blade on grass held on tight. I reeled the string back on to the handle and made my way home, again dodging the snakes, crocs, piranhas, and bees (okay, the only thing I had to dodge were the cow pies) and returned the kite to its exuberant young owner.

What's the lesson? People can have various events or people (even great people) have an effect on their lives and yet they drift on. What it takes to finally reach these people is to be in the right place at the right time. That blade of grass was in the right place at the right time. It could do what the rooftop, the bush, the fence, the tree, the wire failed to do. Potential missionaries (who, hopefully, are attending seminary classes now) need to realize that they will be called to touch the lives of investigators who may never be drawn to the Gospel in any other way. But simply, they (the missionaries) were in the right place at the right time. It happened to Ammon and King Lamoni. It happened to Phillip and the eunuch.

We may not be General Authorities or stake presidents or bishops but we can influence others in significant ways. Ask Heavenly Father for guidance to be in the right place at the right time. By small and simple means are great things brought to pass.

Thank you, Roger!

*Reader Response: How can I help my family study the scriptures better?

For the longest time I have been trying to encourage my family to read the scriptures. But even when I return to a certain scripture, a lot of the time they don't remember the scripture reference. Then when I ask them to tell me a story, they may know pieces of it but still not know all of what happens. For me it has been frustrating, but I endure and continue to try. I could use some pointers from others that might have ideas on how to encourage our families to read the scriptures.

I try to live up to : Matthew 5:16." Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

It looks like you’re started on the right track. Your children remember parts of the stories and the examples found in the stories are what we are told to apply to ourselves (1 Nephi 19:23.) You’re providing a good example and continuing to encourage scripture reading. These are excellent ways to help children value scripture study. Scripture stories are easier to remember the more you read over them. Perhaps the scriptural language is difficult to remember. Try to tell the stories in your own words after you read a story, or part of a story. They will remember much more if you do this. As for worrying about if children remember the scripture references to important scriptures, young ones probably won’t remember much and older ones won’t remember unless you focus on it with them. Seminary students are given 25 scriptures a year to memorize and family involvement really helps them memorize better. Use cute rhymes (for Genesis 39:9— "dirty mind full of slime," has always reminded me of Joseph’s response to Potiphar’s wife’s advances).

11 Ideas for encouraging your son or daughter to read their scriptures:

(from Sandee)

1. Decide that this is as important to you as their Math test, ball game or practice, teeth brushing and church attendance. Put that kind of effort into making sure scripture reading happens. Let them know it is very important to you. Help them to set a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon this school year (2 pages per day!)

2. Be creative. Try reminder notes on the mirror, car steering wheel, refrigerator or on a special treat left in their room. (these reminders must be changed often as they become invisible.)

3. Have them read their scriptures to you while you do the dishes or other chore on their turn.

4. Tie a special family privilege (use of the car, having a friend spend the night, video rentals, television or telephone time etc.) to being current in their reading.

5. Call them from work to remind them to read, or even read over the phone with them from your office.

6. Dessert after dinner is for everyone that is current.

7. Personal challenge (see which of you can go the longest without missing reading 2 pages a day. Loser cleans the garage or some other horrible task

8. Keep track with a home reading chart.

9. If your child's reading skills are poor, or if they are suffering serious attitude problems, read with them. Every night when you go in to tuck them in and have the good night chat, stay a few extra minutes and take turns reading from their two pages with them. (though personal reading brings personal revelation.) **Remember this is more important than brushing your teeth.

10. Use the Sabbath as a catch up day. Check each week if they are up to date and read enough pages with them to catch them back up if needed.

11. Any method you have used to successfully encourage other good behavior (getting dishes done, the lawn mowed, homework complete) can and should be used to encourage the most important behavior, as it concerns their eternal welfare- praying and reading from the scriptures daily

Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.62

If our children and grandchildren are taught and heed these same truths, will they fall away? We best instruct them in the Book of Mormon at our dinner table, by our firesides, at their bedsides, and in our letters and phone calls—in all of our goings and comings. Some spiritually alert parents hold early-morning devotionals with their families in their homes. They have a hymn, prayer, and then read and discuss the Book of Mormon. "The elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Book of Mormon," says the Lord (D&C 42:12). (CR October 1984, Ensign 14 [November 1984]: 7.)

*Question of the Month: How can I introduce the gospel to my friends and acquaintances?

We want to know what you do to introduce the gospel to friends and acquaintances. How do you develop a relationship that enables sharing the gospel? How do you get over feelings of shyness? How do friendship people as a family? Do you do anything to prepare you to share the gospel? How do you work with the missionaries in this effort?

Reader responses will appear in the next newsletter. E-mail responses to mormon@mormons.org

See you next month!

John and Jenny Walsh

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