And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17


If you are looking for messages about the Europe Area Humanitarian Mission, go to http://stayinginfrankfurt.blogspot.de/

If you are looking for Old Testament Videos, go to
http://salemzion.org/new/index.php/resources/adult-institute-old-testament/



Saturday, April 9, 2022

Easter All Week

It's that time of year!  Palm Sunday is tomorrow, so today is the perfect time to download and print out the booklet I made years ago with scripture readings for each day of the Passion Week.  

It's a simple, three-page document.  Print it out, cut the scripture references on the bottom and glue those to the back of the day referenced.

Tape the three pages edge to edge and fold where indicated to make an accordian-pleated booklet.

If you have leftover pass-along cards (remember those?), they are the perfect size to glue on the front.

Click this link to download the printable file.      Easter All Week PDF 

Friday, March 25, 2022

More Classes Available Online

Rebecca waters the Camels : Carlo Maratta
 

Week 8: 10 Trials of Abraham

Week 9: Abram/Hagar/Ishmael and Abraham/Sarah/Isaac.

Week 10: The Akedah: Abraham, Isaac and Sarah

Week 11: Isaac and Rebecca : Esau and Jacob

All are available at https://salemzion.org/index.php/resources/adult-institute-old-testament-2022/



Sunday, February 27, 2022

Talk on Sacrament : 25 February 2022

 

Last Supper : DaVinci 
[This is amazing to see in person : thank you, Raimondo Castellani!]

I gave this talk today.

Remember

I felt I should talk about the reason we are here today : to partake – literally – of the ordinance of the sacrament. 

I began by remembering some memorable times I have received the sacrament.

When I was 16, I participated in a huge girls conference at BYU called “LaurelLife.” Hundreds of girls from all over the US and Canada were there to learn how to be leaders in the church.  The final day of the conference was – unusually – on Sunday.  We held a sacrament meeting in the Wilkinson Center ballroom. The speaker that day was President Harold B Lee, who taught us that in order to light the fire of the gospel in others, a testimony needed to be burning in our own souls. Aaronic priesthood holders from many Provo and Orem wards were there to pass the trays.  Members of he Presiding Bishopric of the Church said the sacrament prayers. I could tell that Bishop Simpson was directly speaking with someone he knew in that prayer.  I knew from the burning within me that day that HE knew God lives. 

I asked friends and family to send me emails telling me about their memories of the sacrament:

For Randy :  the most moving sacrament prayer was in Tiberias branch in Israel overlooking the Sea of Galilee when [he] gave it in Spanish.


Last Supper : Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret

 David remembers the very first time he blessed the sacrament He and his sister Karen were going with the HS marching band to Disney World.  David asked permission from the bishop to bless the sacrament. So on Sunday morning they found a quiet corner of the dining room and David broke and blessed a piece of French toast – the only bread he could find he could find – and a cup of water for the two of them, praying the sacrament prayers for the first time.

 In those prayers we ask God, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify  - or make holy - the bread and water to the souls of all those who partake of it; that we may eat and drink  in remembrance of the body and blood of His Son, and witness that we are willing to take upon ourselves the name of the Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given us, that we may always have his Spirit to be with us.

For Us : Walter Rane

 Reading that I am always reminded that the sacrament is NOT about US.  This prayer does not ask God to forgive our sins : it asks us to REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST and what HE DID and take HIS NAME upon us.

I believe that when we immerse ourselves in holy actions by keeping the commandments – in listening to the Holy Spirit as it reminds us of what Jesus would do  - that helps us remember  and copy what He has done,

That is how we take His name upon us, this is how we become Holy and Sanctified


Rise and Walk : Richard Lance Russell

My favorite verse from scripture revealing the name of the LORD is Exodus 34: 5-7

5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with [Moses] there [on Mt Sinai], and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

6 . . .  The LORD, [Jehovah Elohim], merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

7 [Offering] mercy to thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,

 

When we remember and immerse ourselves in THAT Name, we begin to act like Jesus.  And, in the process, we are changed.

 

Julie Beck taught in 2007 that "We partake of the sacrament week after week to show our faith in His power to change us." (Ensign May 2007 “Remembering, Repenting and Changing”)

My son Mike recalled the words of King Benjamin and Jesus’s brother James who wrote, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and [thus] keep [oneself] unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27) 

 King Benjamin taught that we receive the covenant blessing of baptism in the same way: “For the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every[one] according to that which [they have], such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.” (Mosiah 4:26) 

The world offers us daily opportunities to be Christ like.  Many times, the most important poor people to feed and clothe and care for are the ones we help every day : our own children, parents, and neighbors.

The Visit : Chu Chu

One thought [my son Doug] had about the sacrament is that it makes the very experience of eating into something holy. … eating is something everyone does every day and we don't think about it, but something that is not you can become a part of you when you eat. [We can change.]

Each meal we prepare and bless can be a holy time, a time to rejoice in our salvation.

I recall a women’s conference I attended near Kirtland OH 30 years ago.  On Friday and Saturday, three husbands of women attending the conference prepared and served the meals to us, and then, on Sunday morning, they blessed and passed the sacrament, using the same dinner plates and cups.  It was a holy meal. I realized how unusual it was in our culture at that time to have men prepare and serve a meal to women, with the men eating last. It reminded me of Jesus sending out the 12 to feed the 5000, the apostles serving food to women and children, to the poor, rather than sitting waiting to be served.


Lord's Supper : Hi Fai Wong

Each of my sons has good memories of unusual Sacrament meetings at Scout camp, testimony meetings around fires. The entire purpose of the Scouting program was to teach skills so that scouts would BE PREPARED and able to do a good turn daily. Steve especially liked one metaphor from the scriptures: speaking of his second coming, Jesus said that “Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered." (Luke 17:37)  Each Sunday, gathered around Christ’s body and blood on the Sacrament table, should be Eagle Scouts.  This is especially cool if you know that one of the Hebrew words for eagle is rachemah, which means those who show mercy. Each of my kids are 'eagles.'


In Remembrance of His Blood : Trent Gudmunsen

 My daughter, Karen wrote :  I  think of the two . . .sacrament [prayers] as representing two different things.

The bread, representing His body, shows His victory over death and reminds us that we will be resurrected.

The water, representing His blood, shows His victory over sin, and reminds us that we will be [forgiven and] saved from the second death and be able to enter God’s presence again 

 We can actively make the weekly sacrament memorable:

In Remembrance of Me : Brooke Malia Mann

 My daughter Heather wrote:  A few years ago, I was praying about how to help my children feel more connected to Christ as they took the sacrament each week.

The answer I received was to make bread together and then take it to church to be used in the sacrament that week.

 As we made the bread, I was able to talk about each ingredient and how it relates to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We talked about how just a tiny bit of yeast can make miracles happen and make the dough grow big and soft.

We talked about how a little bit of sweetness feeds the yeast and goes a long way.

We talked about being wheat instead of tares.

Small and Simple Things : David Stay
We talked about being the salt of the earth—and laughed about the time I forgot to put salt in the pizza dough and how horrible it tasted!

As the dough came together, we talked about how Jesus calls himself the Bread of Life. As we kneaded and stretched the dough, we remembered how His body was smitten, bruised, and torn for us.

Then we put it in the oven to rise and when we took it out we remembered how He left the tomb and rose again for us, so that we too can be resurrected and live together forever.

When we put it in the hot oven to bake, we talked about how going through trials can form us into something new and better and different.

And as we tasted the sweet finished bread, we talked about how sweet it is to have Christ in our life and feast on His word every day.

It was such an unexpectedly powerful experience to have with my children and more and more thoughts and comparisons kept coming to my mind as I talked and worked with the kids.

As we shared our offering with our congregation the next day, we were happy to be able to be a small part of such a sacred moment as we each in turn partook of the bread and remembered our Savior’s love and sacrifice for each of us.

And Should We Die : Jen Tolman

 [Finally]  (a dear friend who is a widow) wrote: my most spiritual experiences with ‘the Sacrament‘ have been during COVID when I didn’t have access to the ordinance.  At the start of COVID when Sacrament meeting wasn’t held, I was able to go to [my daughter’s home nearby] and join them for family Sacrament meeting because priesthood holders were given permission to administer sacrament [in our homes].When regular meetings began again, [for health reasons] I chose to watch [my own ward's] Sacrament meeting [alone at home] via zoom where they turn off sound and picture during the ordinance. 

The first week [during that quiet time] I turned to [Moroni in] the Book of Mormon and read the sacrament prayers. The spirit was so strong it caught me by surprise. I had rarely experienced God’s love so powerfully - when I didn’t have access to the sacrament, I could still renew my resolve (rather [like] renewing my covenants) in a very personal way.

 It is my testimony that our lives can change and become holy  if we keep the promises we make in partaking of the sacrament, by taking His Name upon us and doing what Jesus would do.

 

The Last Supper : J Kirk Richards


Many of these paintings are from the Church's 2019 11th International Art Competition— Meditations on Belief

Laurelife. Laurel Leadership Conference, Brigham Young University, August 22-26, 1970.  Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association. Brigham Young University, 1970 - 20 pages

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

OT Weeks 5, 6, and 7 now available

 You can watch video of my institute classes on : http://salemzion.org/index.php/resources/adult-institute-old-testament-2022/

Week 5 : Genesis 4-5 : A Man had Two Sons : Two Ways : Two Cities




Week 6 : Genesis 6-10 : Noah : Sons of God vs. Sons of Man 





Week 7: Noah and Abram: Temple and Covenant Language


Finding good images of the city of Enoch, Noah or Abraham is harder than it should be!  Tissot is about my only reliable artist. 

The study of Abraham is by Morteza Katouzian, 1995, Iran



Saturday, February 5, 2022

OT Institute Class : Weeks 3 & 4 : Eastward from Eden : now on Salem Stake Website

Weeks 3 & 4 of the OT institute class that I teach in Salem are now on Salem Stake Website. Genesis 2-4 Eastward from Eden and Hebrew words.

http://salemzion.org/index.php/resources/adult-institute-old-testament-2022/

Note that it is the same link every week.  Classes are usually posted on Thursdays.


art: '3 degrees' by Anne Henrie Nader

Of Earth and Sky




Painting: 'Blue Ice' by Beecher


 Here is a lovely poem, by Drew Jackson, playing off the puns about 'adam' and 'adamah', humans and humus, enlivened with the breath of life.


Of Earth and Sky

Let me tell you about the ancestors,
she said to me as I sat and relaxed
myself into Grandma’s lap. She was
sharp, and even in her old age
her memory could search
into the far reaches of the past.
I can’t stay up too late, not like I used to.
And then she proceeded to tell me tales
of Greats and Great Greats who did some
great and not-so-great things. Our family
tree is filled with triumph and struggle.
The imperfections make it beautiful.

They’re all just human, you know, just like you.
She poked her frail finger into the flesh of my pectoral.
My kin, of the earth—the humus—yet filled with the breath
of God. Is this not what it means to be adam?

Never forget who you come from,
she said before calling it a night. Her words
implied that this sort of remembrance
would keep me grounded, but also keep me going.
Soaring high when they try to keep me down.
I won’t forget that I am of earth and sky.
Drew Jackson is a pastor and poet,

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Old Testament Timeline on Book of Mormon Central YouTube Page




My first video on the Book of Mormon Central YouTube page / Old Testament Come Follow Me / Bible Central was posted today.

You can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/c/Bookofmormoncentral/videos

There is a link in the description below the video to print out a PDF of the handout.  Be sure and print both pages.  Special thanks to my son, David Stay, who created this clean and clear vector graphics version of the 30-year old original. 

And a huge thanks to Margot Butler who created this timeline and has so generously shared her talents!