Friday, April 30, 2010

Needful things...

Prioritizing in our planning is important.  Remember...

The ability to simplify means 

to eliminate the unnecessary 

so that the necessary may speak.  

Hans Hoffman

D&C 88:119: The Lord gave counsel to the Saints building the Kirtland Temple that also applies to building righteous lives and righteous families today: “Prepare every needful thing."
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Some places are sacred and holy where it seems easier to discern the direction of the Holy Spirit. The temple is such a place. Find a retreat of peace and quiet where periodically you can ponder and let the Lord establish the direction of your life. Each of us needs to periodically check our bearings and confirm that we are on course. Sometime soon you may benefit from taking this personal inventory:
“What are my highest priorities to be accomplished while on earth?
“How do I use my discretionary time? Is some of it consistently applied to my highest priorities?
“Is there anything I know I should not be doing? If so, I will repent and stop it now.
“In a quiet moment write down your responses. Analyze them. Make any necessary adjustments.
Patricia T. Holland, former first counselor in the Young Women general presidency: “I opened my Bible and turned to the account in Luke of Martha, a woman like me ‘troubled about many things.’ But instead of the words printed on the page before me, I thought I saw with my mind and heard with my heart these words: ‘Pat, Pat, thou [art] careful and troubled about many things.’ Then the power of pure and personal revelation took hold of me as I read, ‘But one thing, [only one thing] is truly needful.’ (See Luke 10:38–42.) …
“Spirit to spirit, our loving Father in heaven seemed to be whispering to me, ‘You don’t have to worry over so many things. The one thing that is needful—the only thing that is truly needful—is to keep your eyes toward my Son.’
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Jesus taught about priorities when He said, ‘Seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’ (JST, Matt. 6:38, in Matt. 6:33, footnote a). ‘Seek … first to build up the kingdom of God’ means to assign first priority to God and to His work. The work of God is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39), and all that this entails in the birth, nurturing, teaching, and sealing of our Heavenly Father’s children. Everything else is lower in priority” (“Focus and Priorities,” Liahona, July 2001, 100–101).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

File this one away for next March...

Your Relief Society Birthday Celebrations have come and gone, but I thought this may be something you would like to file away for next March.  It would also be a great opening activity at a RS Meeting.  

RS Jeopardy

               Scriptures Pertaining to Relief Society
               Hymns Significant to Relief Society
               General Relief Society Trivia
               Name That Smith
A.  Scriptures Pertaining to Relief Society
1.  Sister Parkin said that sisters do visiting teaching for this reason:  "To bear one another's burdens,…To mourn with those that mourn,…comfort those that stand in need of comfort."
2.  At the 2005 General Relief Society Conference, a short film called, "Instruments in the Hands of God" was shown.  Find that scriptural reference of that title.
3.  The Relief Society theme is "Charity Never Faileth."  What is that scriptural reference?  There are two.  One in the B of M and one in the New Testament.
4.  Sister Cannon, the Education Counselor in the General RS said, "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.  But sisters, we can not seek after all of them at the same time.  To everything there is a season."  What scripture was she quoting?
B.  Hymns Significant to Relief Society
1.  As members of the RS, "we'll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak."  
What hymn does this line come from?
2.  This was the opening song at the 1st RS meeting in 1842.  It says that "through we our faith may begin to inherit the visions and blessings and glories of God."  What is the title of this hymn?
3.  This was the closing song at the 1st RS meeting, held in 1842.  It says, "No longer as strangers on Earth need we roam….we'll love  one another and never dissemble."  
What is the title of this hymn?
4.  Finish this line from the hymn, "We Meet Again As Sisters":
"We meet to plan our service to neighbors now in need.  May charity and kindness inspire ____ ____ ____."
C.  General Relief Society Trivia
1.  What is the symbol of Relief Society?
2.  What is the name of the magazine sent to LDS women who paid their dues and joined the Relief Society Organization?
3.  What is the name of the president of the General Relief Society Board who was featured in the March 2006 edition of the Ensign?
4.  What was the original purpose of visiting teaching before it changed to its current goal of bringing the spirit into homes through friendly visits?
Quotes by Smiths about Relief Society
1.   Name the Smith who said,
"We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together."
2.  Name the Smith who said,
"And now I turn the key to you in the name of God and this Society shall rejoice and knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time.  This is the beginning of this Society."
3.  Name the Smith who said,
"This organization is divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted, divinely ordained of God to minister for the salvation of the souls of women and of men."
4.  Name the Smith who said,
"We are going to do something extraordinary.  We expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls."
1.  Mosiah 18:8-9
2. Alma 26:3
3. Moroni 7:46 or 1 Corinithians 13:4-8
4. 13th Article of Faith
1.  As Sisters in Zion
2.  Spirit of God
3.  Now Let Us Rejoice
4.  "inspire our every deed"
1.    The Sego Lily/ Wheat Sheaf (The sego lily was selected because of it's usefulness in sustaining life along pioneer settlements.  It is an appropriate symbol of purity, beauty, patience through winter and darkness, and storing of strength for the time of blossoming.  The wheat sheaf has been used as an emblem also.
2.   The Relief Society Magazine
3.   Belle S. Spafford
4.   Goal of gathering money for charity
1. Lucy Mack SmithA
2. President Joseph Smith
3. President Joseph F. Smith
4. Emma Smith

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Entertainment - vs - Salvation

“It is time to get out of the entertainment business
 and into the business of salvation.”—Julie B. Beck

"Entertainment in our meetings encourages us to be religious consumers rather than participants. It doesn’t ask anything of me, it doesn’t strengthen me. I don’t go home better equipped to manage the barrage from Satan that my family is having to fend off.
If we’re going to ask our sisters to come to a mid-week church meeting, we need to offer sisters a chance to grow, to stretch, to serve, to gain skills pertinent to her salvation. We need to find ways to bring sisters closer to their testimonies, closer to the blessings of the Lord, closer to their covenants. And we need to do it every chance we get".
This is one sister's thoughts on focusing on entertainment instead of salvation.   What are your thoughts?  How are you working on accomplishing this in your ward RS meetings?

Planning Idea Sheets - PDF form from

To the Counselors over RS Meetings:
Here are just a few things I recently found on that may be of help as you plan your RS meetings...

* Design meetings that will strengthen your sisters in the most important ways.
* As the best source of ideas, trust that the Creator of the universe will help you create purposeful meetings.

The Relief Society President counsels regularly with the Bishop.
She helps meet the needs of the sisters.
Relief Society Leaders prayerfully counsel together about topics to be taught and how to teach them.

First ask, “What do the sisters need to help them increase in faith and personal righteousness, strengthen family and home, and provide relief to others?” Then ask, “What can we do to meet these needs?”

I found this PDF file on, and thought it might be of help in your planning meetings.  It can be easily copied from your computer.

You can find it HERE...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Women's Conference 2010 Recipes...

We've had many requests for recipes for the meal served at this year's Women's Conference. Thanks to Diane Kenison (our Food Chair) for sharing these with us...


Brown & Wild Rice

1 pkg Brown & Wild Rice  
2 medium onions, diced
1 cup Minute Rice  
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup butter, melted  
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 cups celery, finely diced

In separate pans, prepare both kinds of rice according to their package directions. Set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter and add all the prepared vegetables. Saute' until tender. Combine all ingredients and put in a baking dish. Cover and place in 350 degree oven to heat through, if necessary.

Salad with Fruit

2 10-oz bags romaine lettuce
1 15-oz can mandarin oranges, well drained
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced and quartered
1 cup red or green grapes, cut in half if large
2 cups berries (i.e. - raspberries, sliced strawberries, blackberries)

Separate onion layers.  Gently toss all ingredients.  Refrigerate.

Additional ingredient ideas:  sliced avocado, chopped nuts, cheese.  
* Optional - fresh oranges peeled, sliced, and sectioned.

(The yummy chicken was catered commercially, so we do not have that recipe...)

Hello Dolly Squares

3/4 cup butter, melted  
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
2-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs  
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 12-oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips  
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Lightly spray 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine butter and graham cracker crumbs. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts evenly over crumbs. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 25 minutes, then cut into squares. Cool completely and serve.

Women of Faith - getting to know our Stake Presidency's Wives...

The entire stake knew about our Women's Conference on April 8th because of these beautiful posters and flyers. With a representative from each ward - everyone was well informed of this special Relief Society Meeting.

Kim Reynolds (of the River Park Ward) created and designed the posters and fliers, and Brother Keith Ward handled the printing of the posters (thank you Keith!). Each member of the advertising committee made sure an invitation was hand-delivered...

We felt blessed to hear from the wives of our Stake Presidency.

Sisters Becky Sohm, Stella Wahlquist, and Shelly Swenson were introduced by their husbands - and we had a sweet glimpse into their lives to know what makes each of them a shining example of Women of Faith.

Their personality, spirituality, and dedication is delightful to see. Each gave us insight and personal experiences from their life that illustrated the steps taken to be able to describe "Why I Believe." Laughter and tears, with their stories that inspired us - made this a wonderful ending to the Women's Conference. We love these sweet sisters!

Our dear President Sohm closed the meeting with a message of love for the sisters of the River Stake. His concern for us is evident at every occasion he speaks. President Sohm, President Wahlquist, and President Swenson were bustling around helping the entire evening. We hope they know how much we love them and appreciate their loyalty to the Relief Society. The support of the Priesthood makes serving in the Relief Society a blessing.

Enjoy the slideshow presented at the chapel meeting... Women of Faith (and friends)

What every woman loves... beautiful food and happy conversation

As it approached 6:00 - the cultural hall was filled with beautiful women, laughter, and joyful camaraderie.

Our dedicated ward Relief Society Presidents were our greeters - making sure everyone felt welcome.

A time to strengthen friendship among sisters - both familiar and new.

Many sat together as ward sisters, and others found friends to sit with whose ward boundaries had changed.

Many mothers & daughters, friends & family, and even a few husbands joined us.

Diane Kenison was our Food Chair - and with her hard-working committee - the serving was flawless. (Diane & her committee were moving so fast, we couldn't get them on film... This is the only photo where we caught Diane in mid-planning the night before!)

The buffet tables were a feast for the eyes, and the food was delicious.  Thanks to so many of you who took the time to lovingly prepare the dinner that night.

(Even) Women of Faith... need restrooms!

We aren't sure who designed our Stake Center - but bless (them?) - they only put in ONE set of restrooms! That was probably before they even imagined our stake being as large in number as it is presently.

Shari Gibbons (our Decorating chairperson) made sure the men's restroom had a little touch of femininity the night of the conference.

Women just have to leave their (beauty)mark on everything they touch - even if it's a restroom.

Complete with scented handsoap - all the sisters should have felt right at home in this transformed facility.  We learned from the best (those stalwart pioneer sisters that made their beautiful homes in a desert)

Barbara announced that (due to the large number in attendance) the sisters should take the time to "tour" the new Women of Faith Restroom.  If you didn't take that opportunity - here it is...

Many hands make light work...

From first concept, to the final result - Women's Conference was a joy!

Without the many willing hands & hearts, it just wouldn't have been the same.

Shari Gibbons & her sister Kitty Naccarato transformed the entire Stake Center into breath of fresh air.

Weeks and weeks of their hard work came together with the help of each committee.

From the foyers...

To the hallways...

Beautiful paintings (this one by Barbara Sweat's son)

Table displays...

And finally the beautiful buffets.

Leslie Heiden (7th Ward) created the vases of wispy white flowers.

Kathie Warner (10th Ward) located mirrors & other display items.

Megan Peterson (River Park Ward) created the blocks with the theme for the tables.

Tonya Steele (6th Ward) spent hours wrapping the silverware in blue, brown, and beige.

Shelly Boyce (1st Ward) and Allison Thomas (8th Ward) were our magnet gals - making sure all the photos adhered to the table decor.

So many Priesthood brethren were there, anxious to help and assist in any way.

Glen Breinholt - the High Councilman over the Relief Society - was our right hand man for weeks prior to the conference.  He rallied the help of the High Council to help with set-up, take-down, pouring RESERVOIRS of ice and water into glasses, sweeping & straightening, and the list goes ON and ON...  Glen facilitated a solution for the unique parking challenge by building a ramp at the last minute to access additional parking on the grass at the back of the Stake Center.  (The construction on 11400 South narrowed the entrances to the Stake Center, and eliminated all the parking on the road to the south of the building) Brother Sweat directed traffic and was very impressed with the ingenuity of the sisters in creating previously unchartered parking places, and the expert way we maneuvered large vehicles onto the grass at the back of the Stake Center!

David & Nicole Bennett (Jennie's family) offered to be extra kitchen help, and Tom Seal (Bev's husband) made sure we had everything else we needed to cover the tables with clean linens.