How to celebrate the Winter Solstice

I’ve always wanted to celebrate the winter solstice because of the religious symbolism. It’s the day of the year with the least amount of daylight, which usually falls on  Dec 21 —  for those of us that live in the northern Hemisphere. The earth’s axis is tilted the furthest away from the sun and hence we get the least amount of light. After the winter solstice, each day is a little brighter. If you live north of the arctic circle — towards the north pole, you won’t t have any daylight at all today — no sun. Poor Santa, he should...

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The day Christ was born — maybe not April 6

Growing up in the church, I always thought Jesus was born on April 6th. I thought it was Mormon doctrine. I heard it preached by general authorities. But as Elder Christofferson explained, “not every statement made by a church leader, past or present necessarily constitutes doctrine.” (April 2012 Conference) Although April is a significant month for Mormons — General Conference is the first weekend; Joseph Smith organized the LDS Church on April 6, 1830, and Easter usually falls in April (sometimes March) — the belief that Christ was born on April 6 is questionable. I know, I know, I have...

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The Thin Man on Christmas morning

Well, I don’t know what to say about this Christmas morning shot, but I love the Thin Man movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy and that dog, Asta. I love that Nora obviously bought her own Christmas gift. I have a friend that does that (you know who you are!) Nora is so calm. It’s a cute scene — I’m sure you want to know what kind of gun Nick Charles is using for target practice on the Christmas ornaments. 1870  Swiss Tell 1 Air Pistol:   “It’s not true, he doesn’t come anywhere near my tabloids…”    ...

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The Spirit and Power of Elijah

The Spirit and Power of Elijah is much more than temple work. The Lord explains that before He comes again, He will send Elijah the prophet to  “Turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:5-6) Otherwise, it will be total destruction. Did you notice that this version (Young’s Literal Translation and The Jubilee Bible) uses the word “sons” instead of “children” (King James Version)? I went to the online Bible Hub and did some study. Looking at the Hebrew word in this verse of Malachi, it is “banim”...

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What is this Baby Gift called Frankincense?

I’ve always liked to mix up potions and collect herbs. One year, I bought some frankincense for Christmas. I was teaching my kids about the three wise men and their gift of frankincense to Jesus. To kids, this seems like an odd baby gift in today’s world. I ordered some  from my favorite herb shop and it arrived in a small brown paper bag with the name stamped in red across it...Frankincense.  It looked like beads of dried sap. And that’s precisely what it is:  What is Frankincense? Frankincense is called olibanum or in Hebrew, levonah. It is a resin from...

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The Divine Feminine

Since I’ve had some requests for the presentation on “Creating Balance with the Divine Feminine” which I gave at the Zion Conference in May 2016. I have uploaded it here: Divine feminine from Deila Taylor References Barney, K. (2001). Do We Have a Mother in Heaven? Retreived from:          http://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Kevin-Barney-           MotherInHeaven.pdf Brown, B. (2012). Daring Greatly. Crawford, C. (2015). The Struggle for Female Authority in Biblical and Mormon Theology. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 48 (2). Retrieved from: https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp- content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V48N02_cc.pdf Gileadi, A. (2002). Isaiah Decoded.  Fisch, H. (1999). Presence.The Biblical Presence in Shakespeare, Milton,...

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Beeswax Beard Balm Bar

Beards seem to be quite the craze. And my husband is growing it out. But an untamed beard is not my favorite. That’s why I decided to mix up some beard balm and make it in a bar for easier application. Use it like you would a bar of soap — not with water, but after bathing, towel dry your beard, and then warm the beeswax beard balm bar in your hands and then smooth your hands over your beard. Or, my husband says he just smooths the bar over his beard. Keep those beard hairs in line. I...

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The sign of the dove

  I was pruning my bonsai Oak tree when I heard a fluttering. Turning around, I saw a white dove. It seemed so tame and fluttered from the grass up to a tree branch just above me. I was so surprised. Looking around for my German Shepherd, I gave her the command to “leave it.” I continued snipping the small branches of my Oak tree, my head down, when I felt something on my left shoulder. I was shocked. The white dove had landed right on me. What Joseph said about the sign of the dove: In 1841, while...

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The Doctrine of Christ Explained

This topic — The Doctrine of Christ — has become the focus of recent talks, both in the Women’s Conference and in General Conference. The Lord explains His doctrine (to his newly called apostles in 3 Nephi) as follows: I give you authority to baptize with water; that is, I give you authority to perform the ordinance as the symbol of a future spiritual immersion, a spiritual cleansing, the rebirth (to be born again.) On the other hand, I (and my Father) Baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost, which is the way you ultimately receive a remission...

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Taking things out of context

  Taking things out of context. We see this in the media. Words taken out of context — phrases taken from a talk, or from a book. We post quotes. We read snippets and headlines. Tweets and cute messages. But even though a quote conveys meaning, sometimes we use these words taken out of context to represent the whole story — which they are not. The political and news media use “soundbites” to promote a certain perspective. It is so engrained in our society that we accept it as truth. I recall the Mitt Romney soundbites that never included...

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Nature Book ideas for Homeschool

When it comes to homeschool, one of the more creative and interesting ways to learn about earth science and biology is by collecting specimens in nature and then drawing pictures of them in a journal. This way, you can identify them and eventually produce a book of nature finds by the end of the school year. I recommend that you (the mom/dad teacher) make one as well as your kids. Sometimes your kids may not be able to draw that well and they may be trying to compare their work to yours — that happened to my daughter and...

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The Wasatch Fault

Of course, I decided to locate the Wasatch fault because my son is now living in Salt Lake City. And I know that the University of Utah where he is going to school is right up there against the Wasatch Mountain Range. I used to never think of Utah as an earthquake state. But I do now. Usually earthquake faults run at the base of the mountain ranges, but sometimes they criss cross. Utah is long overdue for one of those ground moving events. So you can imagine my thoughts when I located several faults branching off from the...

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Jesus is asleep in the boat

Jesus is asleep in the boat.  The apostles are trying their best to keep the boat afloat and not perish, and all the while Jesus is asleep, on a cushion, in the stern of the boat. I never thought about that while reading the parable  — I had only focused on Jesus calming the sea. He had been teaching the people in parables — stories that often have hidden meaning to those who are attune to the spirit and ready for greater truth. After a long day, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other...

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Melting Beeswax

I love beeswax. I use it in my homemade creams and lotions. But I like to know that the beeswax is pure without any other wax. I began to question some of the sources on Amazon when some of the beeswax just didn’t smell right. Many times the product came from China. Who knows if it’s real beeswax. I started looking for a local beeswax source, preferably from a beekeeper. I actually bought a one pound bar from a beekeeper in Ohio — ebeehoney. The prices were reasonable, especially if you buy them in the larger, one pound bars. But if...

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The Great Separation in Taoism

I picked up a book at the dollar bookstore, and as I read it, the author, Benjamin Hoff explained that within Taoism there is a teaching of the Great Separation, you will recognize some obvious similarities to the plan of salvation: “Thousands of years ago, man lived in harmony with the rest of the natural world. Through what we would today call telepathy, he communicated the animals, plants, and other forms of life—none of which he considered “beneath” himself, only different, with different jobs to perform. He worked side by side with earth angels and nature spirits, with whom he...

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The Survival Belt from SlideBelts

I’m all about that word “survival” even though it brings to mind everything connected with “disaster” — yea, not something we really see in our current civilization in the U.S. But history is awash with it for sure. And it seems to be a popular topic for reality t.v. I guess I just don’t want to be caught trying to survive when a disaster happens — be that any kind of scenario, from a simple back-packing expedition to some crazy earthquake disaster. I’ve written about my son and daughter-in-law’s business — Slide Belts. They have just launched a new...

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The Book of Mormon a tragic book

Remember, the Book of Mormon is a tragic book; it is “a voice from the dust.” It’s very sad, as you know. It begins on a note of destruction and ends on a note of destruction. It begins with lone survivors in the wilderness and ends with a lone survivor. There’s nothing more sad than survival; it’s a dirty word. (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the book of Mormon) I guess I never thought of it like that. But if you take a look — you’ll see the destruction from beginning to end. The Book of Mormon is compiled by...

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A Manual for the After-Life

Here’s a pillow for your head, when you’re dead. If you were royalty in ancient Egypt, and newly dead, the “temple” workers would place this round pillow-papyrus thing under your head — after they removed your organs and wrapped you up mummy style. Meant to supply “life giving fire” to the head of the dead, it was a manual for the after-life. It was an instruction book, a manual of sorts, to guide you back into the presence of God. Kind of like the temple. It was all about resurrection and life after death. All things that I believe in — things that...

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The hidden divine feminine

The divine feminine has been hidden and removed from most of our ancient texts – we believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly – but today we have greater scholarship uncovering the texts that reveal the divine feminine – once you start looking for her, you shouldn’t be surprised to see that the man is not without the woman or the God is not without the Goddess. “So 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...

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Eve Daring Greatly

In life, we fall. I like what Brene Brown says about falling:  – She is a social worker researcher, and professor at Texas University. You may not have signed up for a hero’s journey, but the second you fell down, got your butt kicked, suffered a disappointment, screwed up, or felt your heart break, it started. It doesn’t matter whether we are ready for an emotional adventure— hurt happens. And it happens to every single one of us. Without exception. The only decision we get to make is what role we’ll play in our own lives: Do we want...

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“Though matter is replaced through an endless cycle of creations and dissolution, only spirit retains conscious identity, so that strictly speaking “only progeny is immortal,” each “mounting up from world to world” acquiring ever more “treasure” while “progressing towards His perfection which awaits them all.” (Nibley, Treasures in the Heavens)