Archive for the ‘Mormon Culture Translated’ Category

Church Chat: Grace Defined

November 14, 2009

Fill in the Blank:

_____________ is a Virtue.
Here’s how my list sorted out.

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Charity
  • Humor
  • Trustworthyness
  • Forgiveness
  • Loyalty
  • Candor
  • Balance
  • Self-Respect

But recently I read an article about Grace, by Clyde Williams. Grace as a virtue. Hunhh? I hadn’t really thought about that. I’ve often thought about the word grace.

In the LDS religion we definitely believe in the version of Grace that generally means Christ’s loving sacrifice and Atonement, or Saving Grace. But we also believe that ‘Grace’ alone is not enough. We tend to emphasize the DOING part.

A scripture from the Book of Mormon (a book of scripture we believe to be another testament of Christ) says: “It is by Grace we are saved, AFTER all we can do.” Service, charity, our own humility…

Another definition of Grace is like the beautiful graceful dancer. Or one with proper etiquette. We joke when someone trips: ‘Way to go Grace!’

But Grace as a virtue kind of has me intrigued and confused.
This definition goes something like:

PhotobucketGrace is a sense of what is right and proper. It is a disposition to act with kindness, courtesy or clemency. —Webster online dictionary

So here’s my question:

Do you know someone like this? Someone who employs this kind of Grace? A person who Fills in the blank of their life with Virtues?

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Deep Thought Time.
I kind of think it’s a bit like comparing the word Smart vs Wisdom.
Is a smart person necessarily one of wisdom?

How about:
(Insert virtue here) vs Grace.

Is a kind person gracious? A courageous person, or patient, or honest….
Talk amongst yourselves.

I Can Pears… Can You?

October 6, 2009

Learn how to bottle pears!
Canning is easy.

Pretty huh?
Tasty too, and come January and February…the perfect lunch treat!
I love pears with cottage cheese!

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Sanitize your bottles. I run the extra sanitize on my dishwasher but really hot soapy water works too. But new lids, but the old rings on your jars are fine. I prefer wide mouth jars.

canning pears tutorial
Prepare your pears. You really can’t get around peeling them by hand.. so wash ’em up, dig in and peel away! I like using a medium sized melon-baller to carve out the core after slicing in half.

Helpers are good!

Add 1 cup hot water (tap is fine) and 1/4 cup sugar per jar. This year I tried using 1 teaspoon of a fruit preserver as well. (Contains acid and helps keep the pears from turning brown.)

Pack your pears in as tight as you can get them, leaving a half inch or so below the neck of the jar, then fill with additional water to the neck of the jar. After 7 of your jars are filled wipe the openings well with a wet washcloth. Boil your lids for 1 minute and carefully place on the jars with the rings and hand tightening.

canning pears tutorial

Place the jars in your water bath. Fill the bath with warm water til about 1 inch over the jar lids. Bring to a low boil and time for 20-25 minutes.

canning pears tutorial

Remove the jars and let cool slowly on your countertop. You’ll hear the lids seal and pop the rest of the afternoon. And if any don’t seal (you can press down on the lid to test if it moves) no worries, refridgerate and eat those in the next few days!
I picked these pears myself in a U-pick orchard in a neighboring town.
Look around and see if there are any U-pick apple orchards in your area? They should be ‘on’ right now all over the country! At least go buy some fresh apple cider!

Supplies Needed:
Water Bath Canner
Canning Tools
Jars, Lids and Rings

I call my mom when I need help…
Here are a couple canning websites:
CanningPantry
FreshPreserving


And in case anyone is listening??
I really want a pressure cooker maybe for next mother’s day?
The best way to bottle tomatoes and other great recipes like chili, soups or salsa!

Church Chat: A Definition

May 24, 2009

Mormon Culture Translated
VISITING TEACHING: {VT for short}
It’s simple and it’s elegant.
(I mentioned VT in a past church chat.)

Here’s how it works: 2 women are assigned as a team to visit another woman within the congregation, meeting with her once a month preferably IN her home. But a phone call works in a pinch (for those months where it cycles thru faster than you can say *’oh my heck‘ -as is often the case for me!)Yes, there’s a spiritual side; a worldwide monthly message is provided for a discussion starter. But equally important is the social side of these visits and the welfare of that ‘sister’. Is she well? Does she seem to need any help? Is there something the visiting teachers can do for this woman? -Help out with childcare, -notice that she’s in the middle of repainting her living room and offer to come over for a painting night, -find out that a grandparent is ill and they may need some help in the near future should they have to leave for a funeral…

An example:

*I got special permission to use this image from the comedic geniuses over at 9th Ward Cartoons.com, wow THANKS so much!

~My VT sisters came to my house last week. They mainly just chatted and our kids played together for half an hour. Looks like playgroup? Maybe. But at the end they asked if I needed anything, and of course I answered that I didn’t. But they also knew my husband was going to be out of town all the next week. (From that earlier chatting part.) And one asked if she could help out while he was away?

Which reminded me -oh yeah– the next Tuesday night, I was going to need some help with my little boy, while I attended the oldest’s band concert. He’d be no fun to take along with out the hubby to help? “Sure!” She said, bring him over.

Simple, huh?

Even better. When we get to KNOW each other more than scheduling playdates, we know when things are coming up in each other’s lives. Through Relief Society and the VT program – if you are having a baby? We KNOW how to mobilize! Expect anywhere from 3-8 meals delivered to your family, after the stork delivers your baby.

Same goes for sickness and even tragedy.

First Wave—your two VT sisters likely will show up or call. “What can we do?”

Second Wave—They’ll report back to the Relief Society Presidency—”Carissa is sick and on bedrest for the next two weeks.” She’s going to need help getting her kids home from school. Who lives nearby and can help with that? Oh and since we’re good at it, let’s start taking meals over a couple times a week—we’ll start by taking the first week, help line up the second week?”

Third Wave—From there the network is managed from the leadership end.

The beauty here {and if you’ve ever had the chance to serve then you already understand} is that YOU are the one who feels served, blessed even.

A friend in New Jersey was surprised once at my willingness to help when her kids were sick. She wanted to know how to pay me back? I smiled and said, simply help out your neighbor the next time you see a need, don’t wait to be asked. Oh? She wondered—’Like, pay it forward?’

YUP. Exactly. Except lately I think we’ve been calling it Mom it Forward!


*{NOTE: I was outed as a Mormon the other day on Twitter when I used the phrase: ‘oh my heck’.. who knew that was such a clear calling card?}


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