Something Super Exciting I Found in the Scriptures this Past Week

Here’s something I discovered this past week that I am so excited to share with you all. It’s from Alma 26. (Last week’s reading for Come, Follow Me was Alma 23-29). Even though I’ve read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover at least two dozen times I am still discovering new truths and gems of wisdom. So here we go…

This is from Alma 26:22:

“Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.”

This is a tremendous promise! Anyone who follows this procedure of the following outlined in the above verse:

  1. Repent
  2. Exercise faith
  3. Bring forth good works
  4. Pray continually without ceasing

Will have 1) things revealed to that person that “have never been revealed” before, thus 2) bringing “thousands of souls to repentance.”

Wow….could it be that maybe many of the inventions and truths discovered so far in the history of the earth have been from people who have followed this formula?

I think so. Numberless people have come to know Christ throughout our world’s history. Many people have been called by God so to speak, not to reveal gospel truths or act in God’s name, but to solve mysteries and reveal truths in their area of study that were never before revealed. People like Isaac Newton and Columbus. These men didn’t live when the priesthood power was on the earth, allowing them to get baptized. Could it be, however, that they did these things in the list above, and that’s why they were blessed with the knowledge they received? Most of us who went to public school don’t realize that these men were deeply religious, even devout Christians.

Newton said the following (see https://www.icr.org/article/newton/):

“No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible.”

He also said, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being….This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God ‘pantokrator,’ or Universal Ruler…” (see Newton, I. General Scholium. Translated by Motte, A. 1825. Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. New York: Daniel Adee, 501. The Greek word pantokrator is most often translated as “Almighty” in the King James Version.)

Columbus said the following (see https://duoparadigms.com/2013/10/14/rare-collection-quotes-christopher-columbus-christian-statesman/):

“It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the 44 books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the 23 Epistles of the blessed Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward, and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste.”

“No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.”

“I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.”

This gives me so much hope! We have so many good people on the earth today who are doing this formula. They are bringing forth answers to the mysteries of today! On top of this, we will continue to see more answers to mysteries that we don’t even know are mysteries yet. Yes, as rich as this life is, more exciting times are to come! Keep reading the Book of Mormon and don’t give up hope for these hard times.

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Gospel Restoration Timeline Cards Game

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I’ve been on a Timeline Card Game kick since discovering the game by Asmodee and getting it for Christmas. Santa stuffed some stockings with the classic and the inventions sets. The others are on my wish list. What a simple idea yet so adaptable to any subject. Every subject has a history right? So you could make this game to study the history of anything. My mind is reeling with the possibilities! (I wish I had learned history like this when I was a kid, along with storytelling and other history-based games. My children don’t know how good they have it!)

So when my Hero class read and discussed this book

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

about a theologian who turned into a spy to help plot the assassination of Hitler, I thought it would be super fun to turn the historical facts we read in the book into a timeline card game. (I taught a Hero class six years ago, so you can read about the Hero class project here where I describe the class. It’s basically a class for homeschooled youth about heroes of WW2. I like to add WW1 to the study as well.)

 

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You can read the directions for my DIY Timeline Card game here. The game involving the cards above and below is based on The Faithful Spy, about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Notice how the cards above are missing dates and the ones below have them.

 

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So we’ve been playing the original, commercial game for our gameschooling and then playing my homemade game involving Bonhoeffer’s life and pre-and post- WW1 events in my Hero class. In the Hero class, every month we are reading a different book relating to the world wars so we are adding 10 new cards each month based on the new history facts we learn from each book.

So far, from playing the commercial games, I’ve learned the following:

  • the cell phone was first invented in 1973
  • the NBA got started in 1946
  • the first encyclopedia was published in 1751
  • the first hourglass was invented in 900 AD

Not earth shattering facts, but fun to know, right? It’s fun to know history, enlightening, and important too. Not just the political events, but the times of inventions and non-political people’s lives. So imagine my delight and surprise when I found a timeline of the Restoration of Christ’s Gospel in the January 2020 Ensign, called “Seeing the Lord’s Hand”!

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It was just begging me to turn it into a “Gospel Restoration Timeline Cards Game.” This is so exciting! What a great way to follow Pres. Russell M. Nelson’s invitation in last General Conference to prepare for the 200th birthday of the Restoration by studying it in a timeline game format! He also issued a similar invitation on New Year’s Day 2020, here.

 

 

You can use these directions for making your own Restoration Timeline Cards Game:

  1. Get the PDF of the article here.
  2. Print out the 6 page document, making two copies. I prefer doing mine in full color. I used my library’s laser printer because my printer at home was low on color ink. It cost me $3 to make 12 pages, 25 cents each. Totally worth it!
  3. Get a pack of blank index cards.
  4. Gather up scissors, glue stick, and clear your work space.
  5. Find something yummy to watch/and or listen to. In my case, I did this while the Face to Face Devotional with President and Sister Oaks was livestreamed yesterday. You can watch it here.
  6. Spread out your pages and stack duplicate pages together.
  7. Start cutting! For every card, you just want to mention one event. So cut out the mention of each event (including the date) twice, once from each of your duplicate pages. Include the image if you can. About half of the events mentioned on this timeline have an associated image. When the image is too big I cut it to fit. So far only one has been too big.
  8. For one of the “mentions” cut the date out and discard that itty bit of paper.
  9. Line up the event and the duplicate event with the date missing over each blank card, just so you make sure you have all your little papers in the right order, matched up correctly. I like to cut out four events at a time, and then glue them, four at a time.

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10. Glue the mention of the event, with the date on one side of the card. Like in the card above. Then glue the duplicate mention of the event, with the date missing, on the back side, like the card below. See how I cut out the missing date? If the mention has an associated image, glue that too, one on each side. I just love this image of John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson working on the Declaration of Independence! Isn’t it beautiful?

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Keep gluing and gluing and then play the game!

Here are instructions on how to play the game:

Shuffle your deck of cards to get them out of order. Deal out four cards to each player with the side that shows the date facing down. Emphatically instruct them NOT to turn the cards over. They are not supposed to see the date side. Just have them spread the cards with the date side down, in front of them, so they can see them all at once.

Place the rest of the cards in the draw pile, with the face of the card that has all three things face down. Turn the top card over and place in the center.

Person whose next birthday is closest goes first. He/she looks at the playing card and picks a card from his/her hand. Have the person read out loud the event. Then that person decides if it goes before or after the playing card, placing it to the left if “before” and to the right if “after.” Then he/she turns over the card from his/her hand, after making the decision. If the person is right, the person doesn’t have to draw another card from the draw pile. If the person is incorrect, the person places the card in the right spot, then draws another card. Play goes clockwise, with play getting increasingly harder as more cards are played and you have to place cards in between other cards. First person to run out of cards wins!

I hope this game increases your knowledge and delight of the wondrous age we live in! It truly is an amazing, miraculous time! Christ our Savior is at the head of history, which is really “His Story.” He is the head of the events going on today as well. He is our Creator and Redeemer, Judge, and Messiah. He is preparing to come to earth again to rule and reign for the Millennium.

Up until 1830, when the Church of Jesus Christ was restored by Joseph Smith, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  inventions didn’t happen as fast. But since 1830, they have increased exponentially because of the outpouring of God’s light. This light has made people smarter, all with the purpose of gathering Israel to prepare the earth for Christ’s Second Coming. This article here by Mark Skousen, economic historian, explains this phenomenon in detail. Here is an excerpt from that article by Mark:

As an economic historian, I too have noticed the dramatic rise in sustained economic growth and standard of living starting in the early 1800s. In the area of science and technology, the vast majority of advances have occurred since 1830. The World Book Encyclopedia, for example, chronicles the major inventions throughout history. Over 70% occurred since the LDS Church [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] was organized. Progress prior to 1830 was slow and plodding. Afterwards, it was dramatic. Material life prior to 1830 was about the same as it was a thousand years earlier. But the standard of living after 1830 has increased incredibly for the better.

Before 1830, inventions included paper and moveable type, the microscope and the telescope, the steam engine and the locomotive, cannon and firearms, and the spinning wheel.

Here’s a partial list of major inventions after 1830: photography, reaper and cotton gin, telegraph, gas refrigeration, rubber tire, sewing machine, elevator, hypodermic needle, internal-combustion engine, dynamite, typewriter, automobile, phonograph, light bulb, airplane, radio and television, anesthesia and Novocain, air conditioning, nuclear reactor, xerox machine, fax machine, computers, and the Internet.

Was this all co-incidence? Or was it related to what the Mormons call the restitution and the fullness of times? According to the Mormons, the Lord spoke through the Prophet Joseph Smith and ushered in the final dispensation, the fullness of times, also known as the last days. It is the final dispensation in mortality, before the great millennial day when Christ reigns on the earth for a thousand years.

 

 

I echo what Elder M. Russell Ballard said in this January 2020 Ensign article that  accompanied the timeline. Here is a quote from that:

 

I testify that in the very beginning, the Lord’s hand prepared the world for the Restoration of the “true, pure, and simple gospel” of Jesus Christ, the “saving doctrines of Christ” that are available to all God’s children.18 I also testify that the Lord’s hand is in our individual lives inviting us to follow Him, serve others, and love Him as He prepares the world for His glorious Second Coming.

Elder Ballard gives basically the same content in speech format over here.

 

 

 

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Did You All See This? More Patriotic Encouragement Our American Nation Needs Right Now!

My friend Rebecca told me about this video. Some of her kiddos are in it. It’s by Glenn Beck. Here’s a message from him. I love that he works so hard to help us remember our nation’s Christian heritage.

Here’s a special message from Glenn:

“It’s been a tough year, America. Our news media is inundating us with images of destruction, violence, and division in attempts not only to desecrate our nation, but to make us turn our backs on it. That’s why now, more than ever, we need to take an up-close look at America’s history to remember what it is we’re fighting for and how to fight for it with practical action. Join Glenn Beck, broadcasting from Standing Rock Ranch, as he takes us to Plymouth, Gettysburg, and Federal Hall on an important journey through America’s remarkable history to inspire a brighter future. Glenn asks the hard questions of every American. Is this system worth saving? Is there a better way? Where do we go from here, and how do we answer those questions? Featuring performances from the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, David Osmond, a very special children’s choir, and guests Bob Woodson, Tim Ballard, David Barton, Burgess Owens, Kathy Barnette, Anna Paulina Luna, and Tim Barton.”

Thanks to another Rebecca friend who created some timestamps for this video:

Starts after 5:50min.;

could skip to start @20min.;

Tim Ballard/David Osmond @ 31min.;

Tim Barton (Founding fathers turn to God) @46min.;

David Barton (George Washington/St.Paul’s Chapel-NY) @ 56min.;

Amazing Grace/slave trade @1:09min;

Burgess Owens (former NFL player & just elected to Utah Congress! -@ Gettysburg re: his slave ancestors) @1:23min.;

Kathy Barnett from Alabama (Love her!) @ 1:28min.;

Anna Luna (Fight human trafficking) @1:35min);

Bob Woodson (1776unites.com) @ 1:40min.;

David Osmond & kiddos (We Are One) 1:52min.;

then just hear it out to the end -last song was How great Though art – (in minor til the last verse)

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How Social Distancing Rules Are Created

This wouldn’t be so funny if it weren’t partly true.

My sister-in-law sent me this video. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.

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More Patriotic Videos to Watch for Independence Day Plus a Founding Fathers Quiz

I started hosting a Constitution Alive class with content from patriotacademy.com through zoom. Now more than ever we need to know what our God-given rights are that are protected by the Constitution. The video above and below are the first two videos from the 6-week class.

The second video, below, is all about the Declaration of Independence and its connection to the Constitution. If you haven’t watched it already, I encourage you to watch it this weekend to help celebrate America’s Independence Day. Just for fun, I have a quiz to help you focus and feel rewarded by the knowledge you gain after watching the second video. Watch it as a family and give treats for correct answers.

Independence Day Quiz (answers are all in the video just above and spelled out at the bottom of this post)

Questions about our Seeds of Liberty

  1. Who was the first delegate at the Continental Congress to propose separation from Great Britain?
  2. Who were the 5 Founding Fathers on the committee assigned to write the Declaration of  Independence?
  3. Who said the people were “not only ripe but rotting for independence”?
  4. Which states initially voted no to the original vote for independence?
  5. Who spent all night riding on horseback to break a tie vote for one of the colony’s no votes for independence, and what colony was he from?
  6. Why did George Mason not sign the Constitution?
  7. What did George Washington say were the two indispensable supports for government to function effectively?
  8. What is the most important puzzle piece that Rick Green says in the video above that allow a person to understand rights?
  9. What does the 3/5 compromise in the Constitution really mean?
  10. Which Founding Father told the members of the Constitution Convention that they needed to pray as a group to ask for God’s help?
  11. What is the percentage that Dr. Donald Lutz gave for the Bible shaping the Founding Fathers’ ideas to write the Constitution? (for more info see https://wallbuilders.com/chw/lessons/lesson-4-american-founding-federal-era-original/)
  12. What are the six immutable principles that Rick Green and David Barton present at the end of the video above that the Declaration of Independence is based on?

Answers to the Questions Above

  1. Richard Henry Lee
  2. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston
  3. John Witherspoon
  4. South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania
  5. Cesar Rodney, Delaware
  6. No Bill of Rights
  7. Religion and morality
  8. That our rights don’t come from government, they come from God. “Liberty under God, not liberty without God.”
  9. The message to the southern states was “If you keep slavery, you actually only get 3/5 representation of your entire population.”
  10. Franklin
  11. 34%
  12. 1) There is a Creator 2) Inalienable rights come from God 3) Government exists to protect inalienable rights 4) There is a fixed moral law 5) Government functions at the consent of the government 6) The people have a right to change the gvt. if it becomes destructive of the ends of protecting life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness
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Two Independence Day Events in Utah this Saturday!

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Books to Teach Children About Real Independence on Sale for Independence Day!

Do you want to teach your children about what real independence is? Do you want them to value independence and liberty over peer pressure and government intervention? Do you want to help them to think critically for themselves? Then get them these books! You get all the Tuttle Twins books, with their companion audiobooks and PDF workbooks, plus a new ebook about 10 facts of the Declaration of Independence, all for only $58.88, 75% off! Go here to get the deal!

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Some Faith-based Patriotic Presentations to Celebrate Independence Day Week Plus Tuttle Twins books for Sale!

Happy upcoming Independence Day! This year the holiday is more important than ever, for us to think about how our independence is being threatened and what we can do about. Here are some great videos to help us do that.

I also encourage you to listen to this podcast by David Barton and Rick Green in the link below.

The Tuttle Twins books are on sale for Independence Day. You can get the whole set that has been available before during the Lockdown Sale, plus a new ebook written by Connor Boyack about 10 facts of the Declaration of Independence. Click here to get the sale.

Happy Independence Day everyone! Speak up and speak out for your liberty!

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The 10-80-10 Principle: Which Will You Be?

I love this talk published in the July 2020 Ensign about the pioneers, by Elder Lawrence Corbridge. He gave it pre-pandemic to celebrate Pioneer Day (July 24) last year in Utah. It is, however, very timely for us to read now. This is especially true in the wake of having our religious freedom of assembly curtailed in the name of safety. The video above shows a recent digital conference originating from the BYU Law School exploring the topic of religious freedom.

The pioneers got through a major crisis involving religious freedom, and we can too. In the article I just referenced, Elder Corbridge speaks about how in times of crisis, the 10-80-10 principle applies. This involves the following, to quote him (I added the bold emphases and separated the concepts for easier understanding):

10 percent of people will handle crisis and trauma with a relatively calm and rational state of mind. They pull themselves together quickly. They accept the situation, make decisions to improve it, and take action.

However, the vast majority of us, 80 percent, are immobilized, stunned, and bewildered and wait for help to come or someone to tell us what to do.

The group we try not to be in, however, is the last 10 percent. They freak out and make the situation worse.”

Wow! This is so interesting!

So which group do you want to be a part of as we handle this pandemic crisis?

I invite you to be part of the first 10 percent, the leaders.

How do we do that? As the scripture says, “If you are prepared you shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30) This pandemic has been a great practice drill wake-up call to help us see where our preparation gaps are. Now we can better prepare with vision, knowledge, and skills for future crises. We must take action! That involves knowledge.

It’s so important to have a knowledge of history and civics so we can know how people before us dealt with crises. Like what happened in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Watch the video below to learn.

I’m hosting a Constitution Alive Class over Zoom Starting Thursday June 25, 6 to 8 PM MDT. It will go for 6 weeks. This class features prerecorded videos by Rick Green (the guy in the video above) and David Barton of the Wallbuilders podcast. Only if we know our rights protected by the Constitution, can we stand up for and defend them. If you want to take part, please send an email to info (at) treeoflifemothering (dot) com so I can sign you up.

Elder David A. Bednar, apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently spoke about the importance of religious rights as part of the video conference I posted at the top of this post. His remarks start at the 32:25 minute mark.

I’m pleased to see him take this stance. Does this mean that in the future, Church leaders will fight back government orders to stop assembling for Church meetings by proposing to comply with some kind of compromise so that we can meet and slow the spread of germs if there’s a pandemic ? I hope so. I suppose that is already happening right now as some congregations are starting to meet, with social distancing guidelines in place. I also hope that some non-compliance will happen, a little Church-led civil disobedience. Is this too much to hope for?

We do believe in “obeying and sustaining the law” (Article of Faith 8) but sometimes the law is not right.

Right? Examples of bad laws: laws that allow slavery, the Fugitive Slave Act, the Supreme Court decisions of Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Roe v. Wade, among numerous others. These laws are not based on natural law. Such laws are examples of ones that needed or need to be change. So let’s learn our Constitution, hold our leaders accountable and ask for change when they aren’t following laws or the law isn’t right. Also let’s show outrage and some civil disobedience, like good old Gandhi did.

This video below shows an Illinois state legislator, Darren Bailey, who took the time to look up the Illinois law to see how it jived with the Illinois state governor giving an executive emergency proclamation. Watch below to see what he did.

Further reading on the role that Latter-day Saints can and must play in fighting for liberty and its twin, responsibility, can be found in these books: Latter-day Liberty and Latter-day Responsibility, both by Connor Boyack. The first is also in Audible format, and both have Kindle formats.

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What Do You Do When You Live By a Racist?

Wow, this is an amazing fireside. It’s a timely message for what’s going on now as we all find sense and healing in the midst of tragedy. Alex Boye shares a personal story of racial prejudice that is so powerful! This is not to be missed! He shows that the God he worships is a God of love who gives us all the grace we need to heal from hurt. I admires him so much. I love that he talks about having a “Jesus playlist” for these troubled times. I will do it Alex!

For our pure enjoyment I’ve posted a favorite Alex video of mine. As he sings, “You can be bitter, or you can be better!”

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Everyone Can Be God’s Favorite

I absolutely loved, loved, loved this week’s Don’t Miss This video for Alma 8-12 of the Book of Mormon. Trust me, you’ve got to watch this! I love the story David tells of a friend who had a rough life. She left the covenant path as a youth and then came back as an adult. When David told the story of what happened when the woman had her patriarchal blessing after coming back to the path, I teared up a bit. It was so sweet!

Then Emily talked about how we can all be God’s favorite. Each one of us can be “highly favored of the Lord.” God’s love is that big, she says. I love it!

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