Monday, April 26, 2010

Easter 2010 and General Conference

I am soooo late for an Easter post, but we had a really good Easter! I was waiting to get some pictures back from my sister-in-law, but oh well. She and I attempted making an Easter Bunny Cake that Saturday. We made two different ones using different pan sizes/shapes and different types of cake. They were so cute! As much as I love to take pictures, I still forget sometimes. This is how they were supposed to turn out:

Photo: www.bettycrocker.com

She loves to bake, so I thought she'd like that project. She did! And it was fun to do it with her. I'm glad she inspires me to be creative like that. It's something I want to be good at, but am terrible at, so I'm gonna keep working on it. I'll have to keep up that tradition on holidays. I wanted to make these Easter Chick Cupcakes too, but I didn't get around to those until yesterday. I made them for the girls in our Primary class. They loved them!

How they're supposed to look:

Photo: www.bettycrocker.com

Mine (HA HA - I tried!):


The rest of Saturday night I spent with my brother, watching boxing. As always! It was the Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Bernard Hopkins rematch that was about 15 years in the making. Good stuff.

That Sunday was Easter. I took notes watching the General Conference for the LDS Church and was so happy that Easter and General Conference landed on the same weekend this year. It makes it much easier to dedicate the day to God and spend time thinking about what Easter means. I took notes on most of the talks:

Uchtdorf:
We can't measure the worthiness of other people's souls. We shouldn't judge others. We should love and support everyone around us and nurture budding testimonies.

He told a story about some members of the Church who started attending because the Church was meeting their temporal needs. Other, "more righteous" members looked down on these new members and called them "tin can Mormons." We have to remember that we're all alike unto God and He wants us all to return to Him. People's paths to God are all different and we should encourage others rather than judge them. Only He can judge.

Scott:
The Atonement and the Resurrection - the events that we celebrate this Easter morning - were done to give us every opportunity to stay on the right path, even when we slip up and make mistakes. It's a way to satisfy the demands of Justice while showing Mercy to mankind in our weakness (and stupidity!).

Make your homes a spiritual place - make Jesus the center of your home. It should be a safe haven for your children. Remember that being parents is one of the greatest callings, and it's a calling that you will never be released from.

Hallstrom:
If we let our spiritual lives be affected by the trials and tribulations that we face - if we fall away from the Church because of trials - we won't just affect ourselves now, but our decisions now will affect generations after us. Our response to trials now can greatly impact where we will be, spiritually, years later. Hold tight to the Word of God, turn to God during trials rather than away from Him. He is the only one who can deliver you, give you peace, show you the way through it all. Turn to Him and let Him know your struggles - let Him share your burden. Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually.

Cook:
Jesus was well aware of the trials He was about to face during His final days, but He did not spend His time building up a defense or trying to find an escape. Instead, He could be found with His Apostles, teaching them to take the Sacrament in remembrance of Him. Jesus charged them to love one another. We are to follow Jesus' example and teachings - love one another, be kind, be forgiving... even when dark trials are ahead. Show love and respect even in adverse circumstances. That is how we can become like Christ. Heed His warnings. No one is exempt from the storms of this life - we will all drink from a bitter cup. Follow Jesus' example and merge your will with the Father's. Seek the protection of the temple. Adhere to the teachings of our living Prophet.

Monson:
Of the realities of life, none is so certain than its end. Death comes in many different ways, but come it must. We will all wonder at some point if death is really the end. We will all face it eventually. It doesn't make sense for the intelligence and spirit of a man to disappear and cease to exist once the body dies. The Resurrection is the victory over death. If a man dies, he shall live again.

Nelson:
Family History work is equally blessing to the living as it is to the dead. It is our individual and collective duty to create the Family Tree of all Humankind.

Hales:
Dinnertime with family nourishes the soul - not the food. Use that time as a missionary tool. The greatest missionary work can be done in our homes. Teach your children to grow their own testimony and to know the truth in their own deeply personal way. Listen to them. Really listen. Not only teach them to know, but teach them to do.

Foster:
As a mother, I will need to learn to be nurturing - because when my kids are in trouble, they will turn to me for guidance. Even when they're older and out on their own, they will turn back towards their mother in hard times. I should be there to nurture, guide, and remind them of principles that I taught them in their youth.

This made me think about the difference between virtues you learn by being a mother vs. virtues that can be learned from infertility. There's a lot of similarities - love, patience, selflessness, following God's will, etc.

Martino:
The question is not if we will face trials, or when we will face trials, but how we will face trials. When we are faced with hardships, we should learn to not complain but to overcome it. Instead of asking "Why me?" ask instead "What am I to do? What can I learn from this?" Change your attitude and develop a determination to succeed.

Schwitzer:
He told the story of Mary and Martha - Martha was busy running around in the kitchen and serving the guests and Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus' teachings. People misjudge Martha from this story - that she was less righteous and had a weaker testimony than Mary. People forget that Jesus shared with Martha the doctrine of resurrection during the trial of her brother's death (Lazereth). Martha had a strong testimony.

People misjudge people all the time and that's why we should leave the judging up to God. God's judgment and His will and the way He would have us live our lives is different than the natural man's judgment. The standards of morality are eternal and unchanged, while the natural man is wavering, jealous, stubborn, lazy, etc.

Apply the principles taught by the prophets, and it will lead us to better judgment. Listen to the Holy Ghost - this is vital in good judgement and can bring peace.

Vinas:
Nurture and teach your children about things pertaining to righteousness. Study the scriptures, pray regularly, and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Andersen:
The divine harmony of Conference talks is amazing (I thought so too - there were a lot of talks about strengthening the family and facing trials!).

Pray for miracles, have faith in miracles. Be not afraid. Speak more frequently in your homes about Jesus Christ, so that your family/children will know who He is. Tell them their favorite Jesus stories.

Monson:
Study the messages in the Ensign, ponder them, and then apply them to your lives. As we look at the world around us, we know we are faced with horrible problems. Dishonesty, pornography, etc. - things that shatter dreams and forfeit blessings. Look to the lighthouse of the Lord to guide yourself through these murky waters. He lives and guides His Church on the earth.

If I don't take notes, it's hard for me to pay attention. Taking notes allows me to catch awesome quotes as well as rewrite things in my own words so that I can relate them to myself better. Here's a nice Easter video by the Church:



In between sessions, we watched The Passion of the Christ. It's like it's almost mandatory that we watch it on Easter. It's really the only day of the year we can bring ourselves to do it because it's so intense and so heart-wrenching. So, every Easter since it came out we've watched it. Here's a video with clips from the movie to the song "Lead Me to the Cross." Don't watch it if you're sensitive to this kinda thing!



After Conference, we went to a friend's family's Easter dinner. I brought one of the Easter Bunny Cakes I had made. I ATE SO MUCH. I tell ya, I love food too much. As soon as I was done eating, I found a random couch upstairs to crash on and promptly passed out. I always sleep after I eat a good meal. People were like, "Where's Alice?" Ha ha.

It was a great Easter. Lots of food, time spent with family and friends, and spiritual uplifting. I wish every day was a holiday. :)





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