So cute I’d carry it!

School is in full swing and I miss the days I could craft from dawn till dusk day in and day out.  One of the things I created over my most recent break were cards cards and more cards.  The one I’m featuring in this post came from yet another Splitcoast Stampers tutorial.  Man I love that place.  Anyway, I created this card for my Visiting Teaching Companion to thank her for being awesome.  The tutorial for it can be found here, my version is below.

Gotta love UTEE!

I used Core’dinations paper.  The Gemstones line in black for the wallet itself.  Chipboard, ribbon, and prima flower accents.  I lined the inside but forgot to take a picture of it.  The paper must have been pink and blue because that’s what color the embellishments are on the front.  Then I paper pierced and hand-sewed the edges to give it added dimension.  I used UTEE for the embossing powder and it gave my wallet a look of patent leather.  Until I gave my Visiting Teaching Companion the card, she thought it was my wallet :D!!! Oh yeah I almost forgot…I also cut a layered card (pink blue and white) to fit inside and wrote a little thank you note to my Companion.  The wallet is closed with industrial Velcro because I couldn’t find the cute little magnets shown in the tutorial and video.

What’s wrong is well…WRONG

In response to The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay civil rights organization, collecting  signatures in an e-mail campaign, the Church issued the following statement through a spokesperson:

My name is Michael Otterson. I am here representing the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to address the matter of the petition presented today by the Human Rights Campaign.

While we disagree with the Human Rights Campaign on many fundamentals, we also share some common ground. This past week we have all witnessed tragic deaths across the country as a result of bullying or intimidation of gay young men. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different – whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions simply have no place in our society.

This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history, when we were too few in numbers to adequately protect ourselves and when society’s leaders often seemed disinclined to help. Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex. This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations. Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ’s second great commandment – to love one another.

As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down.

Further, while the Church is strongly on the record as opposing same-sex marriage, it has openly supported other rights for gays and lesbians such as protections in housing or employment.

The Church’s doctrine is based on love. We believe that our purpose in life is to learn, grow and develop, and that God’s unreserved love enables each of us to reach our potential. None of us is limited by our feelings or inclinations. Ultimately, we are free to act for ourselves.

The Church recognizes that those of its members who are attracted to others of the same sex experience deep emotional, social and physical feelings. The Church distinguishes between feelings or inclinations on the one hand and behavior on the other. It’s not a sin to have feelings, only in yielding to temptation.

There is no question that this is difficult, but Church leaders and members are available to help lift, support and encourage fellow members who wish to follow Church doctrine. Their struggle is our struggle. Those in the Church who are attracted to someone of the same sex but stay faithful to the Church’s teachings can be happy during this life and perform meaningful service in the Church. They can enjoy full fellowship with other Church members, including attending and serving in temples, and ultimately receive all the blessings afforded to those who live the commandments of God.

Obviously, some will disagree with us. We hope that any disagreement will be based on a full understanding of our position and not on distortion or selective interpretation. The Church will continue to speak out to ensure its position is accurately understood.

God’s universal fatherhood and love charges each of us with an innate and reverent acknowledgment of our shared human dignity. We are to love one another. We are to treat each other with respect as brothers and sisters and fellow children of God, no matter how much we may differ from one another.

We hope and firmly believe that within this community, and in others, kindness, persuasion and goodwill can prevail.

Cleansing the inner vessel

An address by President Boyd K. PackerPresident of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
 

Nowhere are the generosity and the kindness and mercy of God more manifest than in repentance.

President Boyd K. PackerThis general conference was convened at a time when there is such confusion and such danger that our young people hardly know which way they can walk. Having been warned through the revelations that it would be this way, the prophets and apostles have always been shown what to do.

The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith “that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world.”1When the keys were restored, they provided priesthood authority to be present in every home through the grandfathers, the fathers, and the sons.

Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow.

It states in part: “We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”2

“The Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.

“And the Gods said: We will bless them. And . . . we will cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.”3

This commandment has never been rescinded.

“And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.”4

It is intended that we be happy, for “men are, that they might have joy.”5

Lehi taught that men are free and must be “free . . . to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day.”6

The old saying “The Lord is voting for me, and Lucifer is voting against me, but it is my vote that counts” describes a doctrinal certainty that our agency is more powerful than the adversary’s will. Agency is precious. We can foolishly, blindly give it away, but it cannot be forcibly taken from us.

There is also an age-old excuse: “The devil made me do it.” Not so! He can deceive you and mislead you, but he does not have the power to force you or anyone else to transgress or to keep you in transgression.

To be entrusted with the power to create life carries with it the greatest of joys and dangerous temptations. The gift of mortal life and the capacity to kindle other lives is a supernal blessing. Through the righteous exercise of this power, as in nothing else, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fullness of joy. This power is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness. It is the key—the very key.

Whether we use this power as the eternal laws require or reject its divine purpose will forever determine what we will become. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”7

There is something very liberating when an individual determines of his or her own free will to be obedient to our Father and our God and expresses that willingness to Him in prayer.

When we obey, we can enjoy these powers in the covenant of marriage. From our fountains of life will spring our children, our family. Love between husband and wife can be constant and bring fulfillment and contentment all the days of our lives.

If one is denied these blessings in mortality, the promise is that they will be provided for in the world to come.

Pure love presupposes that only after a pledge of eternal fidelity, a legal and a lawful ceremony, and ideally after the sealing ordinance in the temple, are those life-giving powers released for the full expression of love. It is to be shared only and solely between man and woman, husband and wife, with that one who is our companion forever. On this the gospel is very plain.

We are free to ignore the commandments, but when the revelations speak in such blunt terms, such as “thou shalt not,” we had better pay attention.

The adversary is jealous toward all who have power to beget life. Satan cannot beget life; he is impotent. “He seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”8 He seeks to degrade the righteous use of the life-giving powers by tempting you into immoral relationships.

The Lord used the expression “is like unto” to create an image His followers could understand, such as:

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man.”9

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field.”10

In our day the dreadful influence of pornography is like unto a plague sweeping across the world, infecting one here and one there, relentlessly trying to invade every home, most frequently through the husband and father. The effect of this plague can be, unfortunately often is, spiritually fatal. Lucifer seeks to disrupt “the great plan of redemption,”11 “the great plan of happiness.”12

Pornography will always repel the Spirit of Christ and will interrupt the communications between our Heavenly Father and His children and disrupt the tender relationship between husband and wife.

The priesthood holds consummate power. It can protect you from the plague of pornography—and it is a plague—if you are succumbing to its influence. If one is obedient, the priesthood can show how to break a habit and even erase an addiction. Holders of the priesthood have that authority and should employ it to combat evil influences.

We raise an alarm and warn members of the Church to wake up and understand what is going on. Parents, be alert, ever watchful that this wickedness might threaten your family circle.

We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.”13

Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.

Paul promised that “God . . . will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”14 You can, if you will, break the habits and conquer an addiction and come away from that which is not worthy of any member of the Church. As Alma cautioned, we must “watch and pray continually.”15

Isaiah warned, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”16

Years ago I visited a school in Albuquerque. The teacher told me about a youngster who brought a kitten to class. As you can imagine, that disrupted everything. She had him hold the kitten up in front of the children.

It went well until one of the children asked, “Is it a boy kitty or a girl kitty?”

Not wanting to get into that lesson, the teacher said, “It doesn’t matter. It’s just a kitty.”

But they persisted. Finally, one boy raised his hand and said, “I know how you can tell.”

Resigned to face it, the teacher said, “How can you tell?”

And the student answered, “You can vote on it!”

You may laugh at this story, but if we are not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature. A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would a vote against the law of gravity do?

There are both moral and physical laws “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world” that cannot be changed.17 History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God. If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish.

“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”18

Every soul confined in a prison of sin, guilt, or perversion has a key to the gate. The key is labeled “repentance.” If you know how to use this key, the adversary cannot hold you. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the tempter. If you are bound by a habit or an addiction that is unworthy, you must stop conduct that is harmful. Angels will coach you,19 and priesthood leaders will guide you through those difficult times.

Nowhere are the generosity and the kindness and mercy of God more manifest than in repentance. Do you understand the consummate cleansing power of the Atonement made by the Son of God, our Savior, our Redeemer? He said, “I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.”20 In that supernal act of love, the Savior paid the penalties for our sins so that we might not have to pay.

For those who truly desire it, there is a way back. Repentance is like unto a detergent. Even ground-in stains of sin will come out.

Priesthood holders carry with them the antidote to remove the terrible images of pornography and to wash away guilt. The priesthood has the power to unlock the influence of our habits, even to unchain from addiction, however tight the grip. It can heal over the scars of past mistakes.

I know of no more beautiful and consoling words in all of revelation than these: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.”21

Sometimes, even after confession and paying penalties, the most difficult part of repentance is to forgive one’s self. You must come to know that forgiveness means forgiveness.

“As often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.”22

President Joseph Fielding Smith told me of a repentant woman struggling to find her way out of a very immoral life. She asked him what she should do now.

In turn, he asked her to read to him from the Old Testament the account of Lot’s wife, who was turned to a pillar of salt.23 Then he asked her, “What lesson do you gain from those verses?”

She answered, “The Lord will destroy the wicked.”

“Not so!” President Smith said that the lesson for this repentant woman and for you is “Don’t look back!”24

Strangely enough, it may be that the simplest and most powerful prevention and cure for pornography, or any unclean act, is to ignore and avoid it. Delete from the mind any unworthy thought that tries to take root. Once you have decided to remain clean, you are asserting your God-given agency. And then, as President Smith counseled, “Don’t look back.”

I promise that ahead of you is peace and happiness for you and your family. The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home. And I invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you who are struggling against this terrible plague, to find the healing that is available to us in the priesthood of the Lord. I bear witness of that power in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I would also like to share a dear friend’s comments on her Facebook page regarding this:  She says, “Elder Packer told this story and then taught us all about the laws of God….. Great Talk!  Years ago I visited a school in Albuquerque. The teacher told me about a youngster who brought a kitten to class. As you can imagine, that disrupted everything. She had him hold the kitten up in front of the children.  It went well until one of the children asked, “Is it a boy kitty or a girl kitty?”

Not wanting to get into that lesson, the teacher said, “It doesn’t matter. It’s just a kitty.”  But they persisted. Finally, one boy raised his hand and said, “I know how you can tell.”  Resigned to face it, the teacher said, “How can you tell?”  And the student answered, “You can vote on it!”You may laugh at this story, but if we are not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature. A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would a vote against the law of gravity do?

There are both moral and physical laws “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world” that cannot be changed. History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot.  To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard.  We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God.  If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish.  “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”

My favorite way to re-sticky my Cricut mats.

I recently commented on one of my Facebook Friends’ photographs about using a Zig pen to re-stick her Cricut Mat.  While this method works well, it can be expensive for avid crafters like me and I have found a method I like better.  Please enjoy this video from Laurie at Hiding In My Craft Room.

I prefer this method because it’s cost effective, I can control the sticky (by the glue to water mixture), it’s super fast to re-stick/cover my mat, it dries fast too, the glue doesn’t require being cleaned off before you re-stick it again, the mat glue doesn’t transfer to the paper sometimes (like my Zig can do on occasion), oh yeah and I did say it’s CHEAP right?!?!  I have only found  the glue at Michael’s and it’s about $5 of $6 dollars a bottle.  I always use a 40% off coupon to save money though.  With one bottle of Tack-It Over & Over, you can literally refurbish your mats hundreds and hundreds of time.  Plus, if you want to be even thriftier, you can use it to make your own glue dots also.  Check out Pink Cricut or YouTube for some great videos on how to do that.  This is what it looks like:

Make sure you get this EXACT stuff.  Regular tacky glue won’t work.  It only takes a couple of tablespoons to make a substantial amount of glue too.  The image below is of the last glue batch I made.  When I originally watched the video, I was distracted and skipped right over the part about keeping the glue for other uses.  I poured just enough glue into the jar to cover the bottom and added an approximate equal amount of water.  I have used my glue on 6 different mats a couple of times and it’s still sitting pretty much where it was when I made it.

I have it covered with stick wrap stuff just to protect against spills...I have kids remember. It's like what about a quarter of the jar? Anyway...I give it a good shake before I open it up to re-stick my mats. I'm not sure this is necessary, but it's how I do it.

Captain Caaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyve Man

As a little girl one of my favorite cartoons was Captain Caveman.  I guess this makes me an expert on the “Early Man Village” because Sass Master just got an A on her project.  She had to take a 12 x 12 base (good thing Mom’s a crafter/album maker huh?) cover it in a natural product and build an early man dwelling.  She could only use natural materials (well except for the glue gun of course) and it had to have a visible door.  For added measure, she added a fire pit too.  What you can’t see very well in this image are the rock walls underneath the leaves.  The project was worth 25 points, she got all 25.  Never thought I would be as crafty with rocks, leaves, twigs and glue as I am with my Cricut Expression, paper, and adhesive but…well you judge for yourself.

I think I prefer my apartment thanks.

I may have created an addict

During my two-week break from school, I spent the majority of the time crafting my little heart out.  With the amount of classes I take, there isn’t much time for anything else when school is in session.  I got a text from Lil Bit asking me to help her make an album for her friend who’s recently gotten engaged.  I was all too happy to help.  This is what she came up with:

Queen B's Book

The dolls on the front were created using Paper Doll Dress Up.  On the beach page below we used Life’s A Beach of course!  Here are some of the inside pages:

First Page
Beach Babes

Lil Bit LOVES scrapbooking now.  So much so that she said she may have to bug me even when I’m in school (her and my machine might be the only bugging I like to happen to me) and said if I hold an “official” scrap event, she’d gladly come.  I’m very impressed; this was her first album and it was so cute when she finished.  Not only that, the recipient just LOVED it!

I ♥ Temples

The temple is a very special place to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints like myself.  It is especially significant to me for many reasons.  I have now been a member of the church for more than half my life and the temple is my favorite place on earth.  I have been privileged to see 10 up close and personal and take part in sacred ordinances in 4 of those 10.  The Minis have been to 7 different temples in their short lives.  It is a privilege and honor to be able to take them to the temple at such a young age.  I hope they have or will develop the same love for the temple that I have.  We decided to make mini temple books to remember the experiences.                   Here is mine:

I love to see the temple! It was really simple to create and I'm looking forward to filling the album with pictures of all the temples we've been too.

To make this book you’ll need the following:

Cartridges Used: George and Basic Shapes, Hannah Montana, and Storybook
Paper Used:  DCWV Rainbow Squares 12 x 12, Core’dinations Gemstones Moonstone, and Chipboard
Embellishments Used: Candy Cane, Star Dust and Yellow Stickles

 

Using George, I cut the rounded square pages at 4 inches.  I could get 4 of them per page when cutting with the machine, and 9 when using Design Studio; I opted for Design Studio to make my kids’ books.  I then covered both sides of the interior pages with the Moonstone paper and covered both sides of the covers with the Rainbow Squares paper.  I sanded the edges using a $15 Dremel I got at Wal-Mart.  Sorry, but I’m too lazy to spend the time filing it all by hand and the Dremel makes it SOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy.  After sanding the edges, I mod podge’d them to seal them (thanks Loves2Smock for telling me about this), and then mod podged both sides of the covers.  Once the glue dried, I bound the book using my Cinch (man I love that machine).  I then went into Design Studio and used Hannah Montana for the “I” and the “♥” and Storybook for the word “TEMPLES” and made sure they were all welded together.  I used  my Xyron for the “I ♥ TEMPLES” , adhered it to front cover and stickled using the colors stated.  I will likely add some ribbon to the binding coil as I don’t much care for it plain.