To God, Equality is A Little Different


To define equal in our modern society, one would say equal means –

Being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.

A person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality.

Be the same as in number or amount.

same, uniform, equivalent

But, it seems that to the Lord, equal means something different, and thankfully

pexels-photo-132774.jpegso. For example, If I were to give everyone “equal” or “same” in terms of a car, we would all get a sports car, but that would be problematic for some, especially those with a large family.

In Church History when the Lord’s people, were introduced to living the law of consecration, the Lord assigned the first Bishop of the Church to give properties and goods to the people, this is what He said –

“Wherefore, let my servant Edward Partridge, and those whom he has chosen, in whom I am well pleased, appoint unto this people their portions, every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.”

Doctrine and Covenants 51:3

Isn’t that interesting?

♦ every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs

God’s measuring of equal sometimes is a little different than ours.  Ours is exact sameness. His is equal in terms of opportunities, needs, wants, circumstances, etc. Even in terms of trails, spiritual gifts, blessings, assignments, etc.

Some thoughts to ponder –

  • How have you seen evidence of this in the gospel?
  • As a parent, how is this definition of equal more fair and beneficial for my children?
  • How does knowing this, help you to understand His ways (see Isaiah 55: 8-9) a little bit more?

Further study –

See Equal in the Topical Guide

All Things Are the Lord’s”: The Law of Consecration in the Doctrine and Covenants, by Steven Harper


The Old Fashioned Date – an opportunity for practice and for service


This post is to my dear young friends that I  have been so privileged to teach. And though my primary audience is my students at BYU-Idaho, I hope some of these thoughts might be helpful to others. For those who do not share my faith, some background on why families are important, guidelines for dating, and commitments to the laws of chastity and fidelity will help you understand this piece.

Because our world has become so sexually charged, and because personal devices have made social situations awkward, and because getting married is so important in our culture (that it causes extreme anxiety in some of my students), I want to speak in favor of the old-fashioned date.

By this, I mean an inexpensive social outing in which you get to know a member of the opposite sex for a period of a few hours and one in which there is no expectation of physical intimacy nor is there expectation of life-long commitment. The point of the old-fashioned date is to get acquainted with others so that you can know for certain which personality traits work with yours and which don’t.

Another part of the date is the expectation that it is paired off (see note # 1). It should be just your date and you. Don’t invite a bunch of your closest friends along while you text them a play-by-play, or update all of your social media sites. There will be plenty of time for updates afterwards. Be present. Enjoy the moment. Give your date the gift of your company for a few hours. Practicing this rule will bless  your life for years to come!

If you date a variety of individuals (without the expectation of physical intimacy) you will be able to see the characters of the people you date. You will see which personalities you get along with and the attributes that you don’t care for. If you only date people that you are physically attracted to, and push physical intimacy too quickly, that dependence on physical gratification might mask some character flaws that would not work well with your personality. And as wonderful as sexual intimacy is in marriage, it is only a small part of marriage, and life (contrary to what the world’s fascination with sexuality teaches). It is important that the foundation of friendship, spirituality, humor, service,  hard work, etc, etc. is a major part of your choice to ultimately marry.

To my dear young brothers, yes, the expectation of dating is on your shoulders, by culture and by revelation. I once had a young seminary student who said, “Why would I want to waste money on someone elses’ wife?” My answer to him, and to you is that you may not get a wife unless you have practiced the simple social skill of dating!

Please understand, young men, that by dating, you are practicing caring for a woman. You are showing that you are able to provide and protect her for the time that you are in her company. You are responsible for her safety and well-being: spiritually, mentally, socially and emotionally. The more you practice, the more you will be able to care for your future wife and children.

I also encourage you to look at dating as a service that you are performing for these young women. You’re giving them the chance to practice their social skills and responsibilities in turn. You are allowing these young women to feel that they are acceptable enough for someone to want to be with them (please see # 2) and, by practicing, you are also serving your future wives and daughters. Not all dating will lead to marriage. But healthy and wholesome dating will lead to treasured memories and friendships and the ability to have normal and natural platonic (A word which here means  – “love or friendship that is intimate and affectionate but not sexual”) social connections that will serve you well into the future. You must learn to have these platonic relationships so that you can work with, and live in communities with, and serve in wards with members of the opposite sex now and in the future.

To my dear young sisters, please allow these young men to serve you. Saying yes to a date or to a dance that lasts for three or four minutes doesn’t mean an eternal commitment! I just talked to a young man the other day (an amazing, brilliant, spiritual brother) who confided in me that the last three or four times he has asked a woman out, she has said “no”. I was totally flabbergasted, completely gobsmaked!!!! (British words which here mean – “surprised and utterly astonished”.)

Yes, sisters, we live in a bright age in which we are able to do many wonderful and amazing things for which I am truly thankful. However, just because we can open a door for ourselves doesn’t mean that we should. If you are training men not to serve you, then in the future, you will do everything yourself (which, though you have the ability, can be quite difficult when you juggle in babies, work, school and all the other wonderful demands that the world tells you that you can do perfectly.  Just a note. As amazing and brilliant as women are, the reality is that it is quite impossible to do it all perfectly! )

When you allow others to serve you, you are also serving them. Remember that the Savior, the greatest of all, served others, and it was for those others to allow Him serve them (see John 13). So, serve the future girls they date and their future wives by allowing them to practice social skills on you. And serve your future husbands by learning how to communicate, serve, and socialize with men. Of course, follow promptings if your gut tells you that something is wrong! However, if you must say no, please make it the exception rather than the rule. As I stated before, one or two dates doesn’t mean an intense or eternal commitment.

For those sisters who are not being dated. You are wonderful and brilliant! Please continue to make time in your schedule for social activities to continue to practice making and developing friendships. Also, if the men aren’t asking you out, it’s okay to  take the initiative and invite them to be with you on occasion. Here’s an idea, something that my friends and I did in our ward at BYU to invite the men out and to encourage reciprocal (a word which here means – “done in return”) dates, we created, “The Date of The Month”. Each month we would plan out a fun group dating activity, for example, in December, we went to the Christmas Choir Concert on campus and then we went back to our apartment and had a gingerbread house making contest in which each couple would work together to decorate a pre-made graham cracker house.  Monthly, we would create a series of activities that would allow us to work with and talk with the person that we invited, but the dates were also simple, and comfortable because they included other couples.

To both my dear sisters and brothers who are so focused on your studies or your career that you don’t make time to practice these important skills (dating, socializing, serving, and caring for others) then you may not have the skills necessary to be able to have the blessing of family. Please consecrate (a word which here means “to set something aside for a sacred purpose”) time in your busy schedules to date and socialize. Serve your future families now by making the effort to practice. Please learn the skill of making time for your family right now.

I know that it can be scary to put yourselves out there. But remember that creating families is a faith-based work! Ask the Lord to help you in your dating. If you sacrifice time and means for this important work, He can help and bless you. Ask the Lord to inspire you with ideas about whom to ask and what to do. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be part of your dates. Be brave like a student of mine who just asked a girl on a casual date. I loved that he invited her out and communicated that phrase (a casual date) to help take the pressure off. I know you can do this! Father in Heaven didn’t send you down on earth at this important time to fail in the sacred work of building families. Start today. Ask someone that you feel comfortable with on an old-fashioned date and begin now to practice and to serve!



  1. About being paired off – remember that I am talking to single adults, not teenagers. Teenagers, please see the guidelines in For the Strength of Youth on Dating.
  2. In this statement, I mean this – women are very hard on themselves and a date goes a long way to help with that! Often, when I was single, I would pray in loneliness and Father would raise up a kind young man who (I believe) would feel prompted to take me out. I have such genuine gratitude for the men that dated me, and for such happy memories of our times together on dates (fun and spiritual conversations, laughter, and good activities) before I met and married my husband.

The Blessing of an Illness


I know. It’s Pollyanna of me to look for the rainbow while I’m in the storm. It’s my nature. I’ve been down with an ear infection (or worse) for a week now. I gave my body permission to be sick over the long weekend (President’s Day) but I was planning on being well again by Tuesday. However, my body disobeyed me! ARRGH!! 😉

The musing that I have been thinking about during my down time is this –

illness rips the trivial out and leaves in its wake only energy for the most important.

I’ve been able to cuddle my daughters more this weekend, which is truly needed as we spend too much time going, and going. I relaxed with my hubby as we did some activities that he wanted to do (instead of the endless list of things I needed to accomplish for the family, or for work). I received Priesthood Blessings and listened to a CD *that my dear friend sent me –  activities which edified my soul and reminded me of my purposes here on earth, and I watched some documentaries for work* – which got me excited to teach classes and is a reservoir of knowledge for future teaching.

As I’m still feeling dizzy and have a clogged, ringing ear (I’m now thinking that it’s an inner ear thing, antibiotics this week have not cleared it up and I have an appointment with an ENT Specialist on Monday). The whole process has slowed me down.  But it has also made me trust the Spirit and my students (who are absolutely amazing and wonderful!) I’ve had to trust my family to step-it-up (chores, be more independent, etc.). I’ve had to trust my body that it will heal and my Father in Heaven that I am still called to the work despite my faults and flaws.

So I leave you with this – if you are one that is going 100 miles an hour – it’s okay to slow down. So when those moments come, be it through a pregnancy, or an illness, or circumstances changing – enjoy and find the blessings of the pockets and slow wisps of time for you. Turn off the “rat race” and drink in the beauties and the moments of the wonderful people around you. This stage of life in a temporal sphere will not be forever. You will be more, so much more than you can possibly imagine – so enjoy the now!

Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if some un-friend or un-follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, your dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference in your worth to the One who created the universe?

He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become.

More than you could ever imagine, He wants you to achieve your destiny—to return to your heavenly home in honor.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Living the Gospel Joyful, October 2014

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

* If you are interested in the media that I had the privilege of enjoying this week, I can’t recommend them more!

Ganel-Lyn Condie’s CD, You are Already Walking on Water   – This is a recording from a talk that she gave at the end of the year (December 2017). Her personality is so warm and welcoming, and as she speaks, she allows herself and all of us to be there in our broken states, and yet still helps the listener to see our tragically flawed human lives that are still full of purpose and value!  It is relatable and endearing. She beautifully uses the scriptures and ties in life stories and then challenges the listener to look at everything in our life’s work as sacred (especially simple things [so often treated by the world as mundane] such as the sacred service of changing diapers or making dinner). Such a needed reminder!

BYUTV 2017 Documentary, America’s Sacred Ground: Kirtland –  Such a wonderful documentary about the Church in Kirtland, the building of the temple, the glories and trials. It also has a section on some more modern day moments in Kirtland’s history. I am teaching the first half of the Doctrine and Covenants this semester and this Documentary makes me so excited for the Kirkland revelations!

A Prophet’s Call and Apostles’ Answer

Hello dear friends!

It’s lovely to write again. I miss it. My life has taken some amazing new turns over the past few months. I still have some videos that I created in the Isaiah in the Book of Mormon Series that I haven’t posted and more planned that I haven’t filmed. I know excuses are weak, but here it is – I shifted from part-time work, to full-time work. We also moved and my husband had knee surgery. It just seems that when it rains it pours! And yet, I keep feeling a desire, yearning, and yes, prompting to continue writing. So I’ve stolen a moment to catch up.

Now I teach religion at BYU-Idaho (as a three-year visiting professor). It is heavenly! I love the strength and faith of the students and the support of the college. And, as I prepared for one of my classes tomorrow, I put together a video, which got me thinking of this blog and finding a way to steal a precious moment.

Tomorrow we are discussing the Power of the Book of Mormon in the conversion process for my Mission Prep (REL 130) class. I was profoundly touched and humbled this conference with the example of two apostles to head the Prophet’s call, and this video and lesson stem from that. I admit to not studying the Book of Mormon as I should at times. Though, in the last few months of teaching I have been struck by the clarity of the gospel message as taught through that Book. I am going to make a more serious study of it and request to teach it in the coming years. Funnily enough, it is the only book of scripture that I have only taught once. Twice the New Testament and Doctrine & Covenants, and three times the Old Testament.

Anyway, I invite you to share your thoughts (either publicly, or in your own personal journals) on different ways that you have studied the Book of Mormon (President Nelson gave some wonderful ideas) and goals for studying it in the future. Remember that the Lord will consecrate our efforts to study, even when we can only give “stolen moments”. For example, I laugh with other women as we talk about reading or praying on the toilet because when your house and life are packed, that’s about all you can give! I know that the Lord appreciates any gifts of righteousness, and there are seasons – the ability to study more (because of time) will come, and when it does, if you are already in the habit, it will be even better!


Why was Israel Scattered? 1 Nephi 21:1 (Part 6, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon series)

Hello and welcome to part 6! I took a much-needed vacation with my family, and it turned out to be a much longer one from this creative project than I had anticipated. Apologies! Potty-training a very independent [read most adorable but quite challenging] three-year-old, final semester work and grading for my profession, older children’s final school projects and activities, job changing and moving (more on that later), and helping some dear family and friends with life’s amazing roller-coaster ride of tears and triumphs. You know, life!

How I wish I could be the kind of person that disciplined myself better and could crank out work like a machine! But then, I suppose I would miss out on the joys and experiences that are mine to have. It’s kind of an Alma “O that I were an Angel” moment (see Alma 29). And yet, at the end of the day, he did get his wish, as his words repentance and his great story of repentance still triumphantly go forward to the ends of the earth. It just didn’t happen in the way that he envisioned, but it did happen. Anyway, I digress!

To begin with today, if you haven’t seen Part 5 Symbols of the House of Israel, I invite you to go back and do that right now. An understanding of these symbols in scripture will really help as we move forward. The other little note that I have for you is that I have a little emotional moment in the video. My children are always shushing me when I cry. I know, it can be strange, but when I was a little girl, I learned not to hold back that lump in my throat when I tried to stop from crying – now that is REAL pain! So, please understand it for what it is, I feel extreme emotion. That is especially true when talking about the Savior and His great sacrifice. I try to hold back as much as I can, but take it or leave it, it’s part of my make-up.

Truly though, I’d rather laugh than cry. As Sister Hinckley once said,

“The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Okay, without any further delays, please grab your journals, scriptures and marking pens/pencils and enjoy!



Topics that are found in this video:

  •  House of Israel splits into 2 tribes – Israel [10 tribes] and Judah [2 tribes]
  • Wicked King Jeroboam (Kingdom of Israel) tries to gain loyalty by creating his own religious culture – but in the process demolishes true worship
  • Wicked pastors, leaders, and preachers (and what makes them wicked)
  • How the Lord might feel about wicked leaders who lead others away with false teachings
  • Making sure to keep Sacred things (rites, rituals, ordinances, etc.) sacred because of Who they represent
  • Assyrians take Israel captive
  • Isaiah warns remaining Kingdom (Judah) to return to God and repent or suffer the same fate as the Kingdom of Israel
  • Judah is taken captive by the Babylonians

Scripture verses that we use in the video:

Media References (special thanks to):

Wikimedia Commons

  • Assyrian War Chariot, Illustrated Universal History by Clare, Israel Smith, Published 1878 (Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
  • An den Wassern Babylons, by Gebhard Fugel, circa 1920 (Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me, either in the comments here or on YouTube. Thanks for your support!


Symbols of the House of Israel in Scripture

Hi everyone! In order to prepare us for studying our next chapter (1 Nephi 21) in the Isaiah in the Book of Mormon series, we need to understand some symbols. This is a quick little video to help introduce those.



Oh, and I hope that you are looking forward to General Conference April 2017 this weekend as much as I am. Click on the link above to find out how to watch it. 🙂 So exciting!!!

Thank you so much for watching and sharing!

Pictures used in this video: 



Family Scripture Study Idea: Seminary Reading

It’s that time of year again, we’re getting close to the end of third term and the end of the school year is in sight. About now, there are several students that are finding out that they can’t pass seminary without reading the book of scripture that they have been studying, and they are running out of time! Of course, there are those kids who do the reading on their own (which is phenomenal and should be encouraged!) however, there are some that may need a little help. For those in that position (or for anyone who could use it) this idea is for you – to add that encouragement and help, while still doing your family Book of Mormon reading.

Topics that are found in this video:

Scripture verses that we use in the video:

Ezekiel 37:15-17

Talks for further study:

The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion, President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1986

Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon, President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1988

A Reservoir of Living Water  Elder David A. Bednar, BYU Speeches, February 2007

The Blessing of Scripture, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, April 2010