There's a whole Life of Christ series available, as well.
May you feel His love for you as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
Click on the photo to watch the 'He Is Risen' Bible video.
There's a whole Life of Christ series available, as well.
I know that Jesus Christ lived, that he atoned for our sins, that he voluntarily gave up his own life for us, and that he was resurrected and lives today. I'm grateful for this. I know he will return at his Second Coming, and I try to live by his example of love for God and all others. I know this brings happiness; the better I am at following Him, the happier and more fulfilling my life is.
May you feel His love for you as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
It's easy to go along with the commercial aspects of Easter-
But what can I do with my family to focus on its real meaning?
Yes, those Easter eggs have symbolism, but I want to go beyond that. Usually we have a Family Home Evening the Monday before Easter, where we read the Easter story in the New Testament, and talk about the symbols we see this time of year- eggs for the seemingly lifeless tomb, chicks for new life, lambs for The Lamb of God who was their Passover. But this year I wanted something each day for a week, something to learn and remember what our Savior did during his final week in mortality. Something to help pull us into his life.
The April 2011 Friend magazine had something I'll use this year. If you follow their suggested timeline, that begins today, two Saturdays before Easter itself. Here's a quick day-by-day summary of it and some ideas of what to do each day; see the original article for more details.
Our standard day starts with a song and family prayer (playing the 'hymn of the week' is the call to be awake and in the living room- it sure beats hollering down the stairs every day!)- we can have a new song each day this Easter week, to fit with the timeline below. We sing the same song in the evening right before that family prayer, as well. (If -WHEN!- someone is still talking or not kneeling, we sing the last phrase over again. This is repeated until they're ready. Usually it takes only once. Except for some nights. Again, it sure beats telling them to be quiet and get ready!)
Saturday, 8 days before Easter: Jesus walked to Bethany for a place to stay during Passover. See John 12:1–3.
Song: Come, Follow Me
To do: Point out that many people have traveled to Temple Square for the LDS General Conference (and we'll be watching or listening). There is a great article on the symbolism of the Passover itself, by John Pratt; during our family scripture study we can talk about the symbolism. There's a shorter summary in the LDS Bible Dictionary.
Sunday, one week before Easter: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey; the people greeted Him as their king, shouting Hosanna (Save Us Now) and paving his pathway with palm leaves. Also known as Palm Sunday, for this reason. See Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11.
Song: Joy to the World (really! look at those lyrics!) or Easter Hosanna
To do: Watch a Bible Video: The Lord's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Monday: Cleansing the temple, to make it more holy. See Matthew 21:12–17; Mark 11:15–19.
Song: I Love to See the Temple, or The Lord Gave Me a Temple (or if you want to learn a less-familiar one, try God is In His Holy Temple)
To do: Each person find some place in their room that needs cleaned and organized- and take care of it! Also, have a Family Home Evening & lesson. :-)
Tuesday: He taught in the temple and on the Mount of Olives. He healed the blind and lame. Judas agreed with the priests to betray Him. SeeMatthew 25:31–46; 26:14–16.
Song: Jesus Said Love Everyone
To Do: Pick some spring flowers and take them to someone sick, lonely, or bedridden.
Wednesday: We don't know what he did this day. See Matthew 25:1–13.
Song: I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, or Build An Ark
To Do: Reading the Parable of the Ten Virgins is one idea (illustrated version here), print this activity; or learn more about the Passover that Christ was there to offer.
Thursday: His disciples got ready for and ate the Passover meal. This became what we call The Last Supper, he also gave them the sacrament for the first time. After singing a hymn, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane. After his Atonement there, the priests found and arrested him. See Matthew 26:17–29, 36–56.
Song: I Stand All Amazed
To Do: At dinner, serve one or more of the traditional Passover foods. You might even manage having a Seder plate and ask The Four Questions; that would require some advance studying! Chabad.org is a great site for this.
Friday: He was questioned by Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod, and condemned to die. He was crucified, died, and hurriedly laid in a borrowed tomb. In Jerusalem, the veil of the temple tore and there was darkness for three hours. In the Americas, there was a terrible storm for three hours, followed by complete dark until the third day. See Matthew 26:57–72; 27:1–2, 27–37; Luke 23:44–46, 50–56, 3 Nephi 8:5-23.
Song: O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown, or There Is a Green Hill Far Away
To Do: Have dinner by candlelight (yes, we'll have to shut the drapes because it's too light outside!) to remember the dark these people experienced. Watch The Last Supper.
Older children could watch Jesus Is Scourged and Crucified, but my littlest ones would be very disturbed by it.
Saturday: Jesus' body lay in the tomb, the door covered with a large stone, guarded by order of the wicked priests. In the Americas, it was still dark. See Matthew 27:57–66 and 3 Nephi 9:12-22.
Song: To Think About Jesus
To Do: We have our Easter Egg hunt on Saturday- to keep the "fluff stuff" away from the real holiday/holy-day.
Easter Sunday: Jesus was resurrected! An angel rolled the stone away, Mary Magdalene and others saw him. He told them to teach and baptize others. See Matthew 28 Some time after His resurrection, he also visited the people in the Americas, see 3 Nephi 11:1-17.
Song: Christ the Lord is Risen Today
To Do: Watch the sunrise and think about the beauty of the earth and the sacrifices its Creator made for us. Have each child and parent write a favorite scripture on the back of a small picture of Jesus. Each person gives theirs to another family member. (Hopefully this encourages them to really think about which scripture to write!) Watch all the Bible videos about the Savior's ministry.
Some other meaningful Easter ideas can be found in the New Era magazine and The Ensign
May we all have an Easter that helps connect us with family and our Savior!
Here is a great idea I heard this week: go through all your extra stuff (house, garage, back of the cupboards, storage unit if you have it, basement) and tag everything you don't really need. Even if you like it, if you don't need it, let it go. Sell it on Craigslist or ksl, or we could have a giant yard sale... Then use the money to pay off debt. Or get food storage. Or to help someone else.
Remember the church's website, http://www.providentliving.org? Being provident means making the most of what you have. What you have isn't useful if it's sitting. Have fun! You’ll be amazed at how thankful you feel for what you could clean out. It’ll even help you spend less on Christmas!
“‘Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.’ Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur. …
“How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”- Sister Julie Beck
One 10-12 oz. bag chocolate chips
8-9 quarts popped corn
Melt chips, pour over popcorn and mix. Put in a 225 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes. Cool and store.
You can also skip the baking step, but baking makes it a little less messy to eat; less melting on your fingers. That might not be important to you, though…
Use any kind of chips: dark, milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch, mint, or a combination. Try chocolate drizzled with a little bit of melted peanut butter chips. Or use different colors for a baby shower. Or stir in some toasted chopped nuts (butter toffee peanuts, anyone?) Reese's Pieces, cut-up pieces of caramels or candy bars, or anything else that sounds good.
I love this time of year! The temperatures have dropped enough that the roses are reblooming, the grass is having an easier time, and the mornings and late evenings have the smell of earth and coolness. The garden is in full swing, tomatoes are fragrant and sweet, most of the lumps that come out of my garden are potatoes instead of rocks, and I get to be creative using squash again. What a fulfilling time, enjoying the fruits of our labors (or others’ labors, if you prefer the farmers’ market or grocery store). It brings to mind D&C 59:18-19 “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.”
I’m grateful for the beauties of the earth that the Lord has given us, for the wonderful things he’s put here for us to wisely enjoy. The recipe at the end of the email uses nothing but some of these things that grow for us. Enjoy!
Here is a bit from Elder Maxwell, from a talk he called “Be Of Good Cheer”- both sobering and encouraging.
“We are living in a time in which we shall see things both wonderful and awful. There is no way that we can be a part of the last days and have it otherwise. Even so, we are instructed by our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, to “be of good cheer.” (D&C 61:36; D&C 78:18.)
Jesus has given that same instruction to others before, when the stressful circumstances in which they found themselves were anything but cheerful.
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33; italics added.)
What precious perspective we obtain from the gospel of Jesus Christ concerning things that really matter—against which we measure the disappointments of the day!
Jesus calls upon us to have a deliberate trust in God’s unfolding purposes, not only for all humankind but for us individually. And we are to be of good cheer in the unfolding process. The Lord has made no secret of the fact that He intends to try the faith and the patience of His Saints. (See Mosiah 23:21.) We mortals are so quick to forget the Lord: “And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions … they will not remember him.” (Hel. 12:3.)
Given the aforementioned grand and overarching reasons to rejoice, can we not “be of good cheer” in spite of stress and circumstance?
President Brigham Young said of a geographical destination, “This is the place.” Of God’s plan of salvation, with its developmental destination, it can be said, “This is the process”!
(from “Be of Good Cheer” by Neal A. Maxwell, Oct. 1982 Conference) http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=1ca9c5e8b4b6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
If you can make the time, please read the whole thing, it’s wonderful!
Now for the recipe: these fruit/nut bars are basically the same as the old-old recipe for ‘fruit balls’ or ‘dried fruit candy’, if you’ve run across those before. The dates are there both for sweetness and stickiness to hold the whole thing together.
Just-Fruit-and-Nut Bars (the original 'energy bar') and naturally gluten-free!
1/3 cup chopped pecans - toasting the nuts will increase the flavor
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup chopped dried apples
Put the pecans in a food processor (or blender?) and chop until finely ground. Remove and do the same with dates and apples. Add the nuts back in, add a pinch of cinnamon, and process until it holds together. Divide into 6 pieces, mold each one into a bar, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, waxed paper, or parchment. 81 calories each, if you care. (I’m thinking these things ought to be double-sized- plus I’ll make my batch with 1 cup of each ingredient.)
If you can’t have nuts: the nuts are there to give body and fat for shaping, digestibility and energy, so try a combination of chopped-up rolled oats and coconut oil (or butter)
Apricot-Almond: use equal amounts dried apricots, dates, and almonds
Cherry Tart: equal parts dried cherries, dates, and walnuts or almonds
Peanut Cookie: use peanuts and only dates (2/3 cup). Add a pinch of salt and a bit of vanilla.
Cashew Cookie: same as Peanut Cookie, except use cashews.
How about using dates, dried pineapple, macadamias, then rolling in coconut?
Or use any nut and dried fruit you have, or whatever else sounds good…..