Addiction Recovery: Mormon Channel "12 Steps to Change" New Video Series

The path of addiction is predicated upon the excessive and abusive participation in such activities as pornography, sex, alcohol, gambling, drug use, etc. Serious addiction is on the rise due to, among other things, the Internet making access readily available to things that in the past required more effort to experience or acquire. Living a double life is as easy as creating a virtual persona and/or engaging in addictive behavior when alone.  
One of the most devastating aspects of addiction is that those affected are led to believe that there is no hope to course correct their lives and find favor with God and loved ones once again. But that assumption could not be further from the truth. The truth is, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the answer – not the thing to run and hide from in shame.

A Mother's Inspired Plea Outside Abortion Clinic: Let US Adopt Your Baby!

Allison MacKay Abortion Adoption
We've all been either observing or engaging in a conversation recently about abortion. Planned Parenthood is on the hot seat because of horrific videos being released that for me are too difficult to watch let alone discuss (and rightfully so). The reality of abortion and the heinous acts by those involved is something akin to murder right before our eyes -- a reality most find hard to believe and so we don't. Not only hard to believe, but because of the global norm of it all, utterly helpless to make it stop! But not today, not this woman...

Allison Hansen Mackay posted these powerful photos (publicly) on her Facebook wall with this message and a call to stand with her:



I have been pondering and praying about this for a long time. Today, with love and tears, I taught my children about abortion. And then we went and did something about it!


Will you stand with me?

LDS Church to Hang in With Scouting Program for Now

In an unexpected turn of events, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) announced that they will continue (for now) their ongoing relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The Mormon Newsroom released the following statement on behalf of the Council of the First Presidency and The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appreciates the positive contributions Scouting has made over the years to thousands of its young men and boys and to thousands of other youth. As leaders of the Church, we want the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to succeed in its historic mission to instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances, thereby equipping them for greater success in life and valuable service to their country. 

LDS Female Leaders Invited to Serve on Key Priesthood Councils at Highest Level of Church

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, who currently serves as the general Young Women's president made this stunning announcement this evening via a Facebook page status update. This historic news will affect the women of the Church's visibility, value and voice within the highest councils of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormon)

I still vividly remember President Thomas S. Monson announcing the lowered missionary age for young women. Today I witnessed another significant moment – I received an invitation to participate as a member of the Missionary Executive Council. I am honored. This is one of three key councils of the Church, each led by members of the Twelve. Sister Linda Burton will now serve on the Priesthood and Family Executive Council and Sister Rosemary Wixom will be on the Temple and Family History Executive Council.
What a great time to be a woman in the Church where our voices are needed and valued more than ever. I am grateful for the opportunity to add my perspective and experience to this council as we work together to spread the message of the restored Gospel.

Tad Welch from the Deseret News reports:
The LDS Church has added women to three important committees, a historic development that gives women significant, permanent, official voice in church leadership. 
Church leaders changed the name of the faith's Priesthood Executive Council to the Priesthood and Family Executive Council and invited the church's Relief Society General President, Sister Linda K. Burton, to sit on the council. 
The General Young Women President, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, will join the Missionary Executive Council. 
The General Primary President, Sister Rosemary Wixom, will be on the Temple and Family History Executive Council.
I will update post, as more information from the Church is provided.

Here is what Linda K. Burton, who serves as the general Relief Society president, has to say about this historic event in Church history -- on her Facebook page, too! These ladies really know how to use social media to spread the good news!

It is with a thankful heart that I have been appointed to serve on the Priesthood and Family Executive Council. Good men and women of the Church throughout history have worked together to build a strong foundation for Christ’s restored Gospel to flourish and give hope to a world that is so often without light. It is now more important than ever that we stand together and follow Heavenly Father’s plan to bring his children home.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks shared Sister Oscarson's Facebook status update on his Facebook page and included these supportive comments:

I was very pleased to read Sister Bonnie Oscarson’s Facebook post about the new assignments of our women officers to the three general priesthood councils. We need their wisdom and participation! It is sensible that their assignments line up with their current responsibilities. 
Sister Oscarson will serve on the Missionary Executive Council at a time when the Church has an unprecedented number of missionaries, a great number of whom are young women. Sister Wixom’s appointment to the Temple and Family History Executive Council will help us teach our young people to learn about their ancestors. 
I was also very pleased to learn that the First Presidency has approved renaming the Priesthood Executive Council to the “Priesthood and Family Executive Council.” We know Sister Burton will give valuable insight in this new position as she represents women of the Church around the world.


The Mormon Newsroom blog posted this report Women Church Leaders Appointed to Leadership Councils, which includes the above information along with Sister Rosemary M. Wixom's Facebook page status update:

Primary children sing “I Love To See The Temple.” Some children even research family names and index. They love to listen to stories about the temple and their own ancestors. It gives them a sense of belonging and reinforces in their hearts the goal to remain steadfast in the gospel and attend the temple one day. I know that the truths we teach our children are those that remain in their hearts as adults, which is why I consider it a special privilege to now serve on the Temple and Family History Executive Council.

The Mormon Newsroom stated that these assignments are effective immediately.

“We are confident that the wisdom and judgment of these general auxiliary presidents will provide a valuable dimension to the important work accomplished by these councils,” said a letter to general authorities and general auxiliary presidencies from Church President Thomas S. Monson; President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency; and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency. 

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

The Seer Stone: Faithful Membership NOT for Faint of Heart

“The” Seer Stone, seriously? What are they thinking? "They," meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormon) When I first saw that headline come through my newsfeed on Facebook, I thought surely this is a prank. But no, it's full on real and posted about on the Mormon Newsroom in conjunction with the release of the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon -- leaving one to ponder why, seemingly, so many faith hurdles are being cast before the membership of the Church these days?

"An accompanying article on the history of the Book of Mormon translation will appear in the October 2015 issue of the Church’s Ensign magazine, and is now available online. Both the introduction to the new volume and the magazine article discuss the instruments Joseph Smith used to translate, and both include never-before-seen photographs of a seer stone Joseph Smith likely used in the translation of the Book of Mormon.
The stone he used in the translation was often referred to as a chocolate-colored stone with an oval shape. The stone was passed from Joseph Smith to scribe Oliver Cowdery and then from Cowdery’s widow, Elizabeth Whitmer Cowdery, to Phineas Young. Young then passed it on to his brother, Brigham Young, the second president of the Church. After President Young died, one of his wives, Zina D. H. Young, donated it to the Church. In addition to this seer stone, historical records indicate that Joseph Smith owned other seer stones during his lifetime." (MNR)

It appears that faithful membership in the Lord’s Church, going forward, is not to be for the faint of heart. (Not that it ever was, really.) Faith, being the key element and the necessary principle of the gospel to be applied when we are faced with anything that at first glance challenges our faith or seems odd. This type of test is reminiscent of the early days of the Church and what members were called to endure and act upon.

Today, what we are invited to act upon is not necessarily the giving up of previous beliefs, material possessions or heading west, etc. Rather, we are asked to stand for what we believe regardless of the onslaught of challenges to our testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed true – Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon and all! And we are to do this in the face of much ridicule both from within and outside of the Church.

Contained in scripture, there are numerous references to the eventual Restoration of the Church being "a marvelous work and a wonder." Through the words of Isaiah, the prophet Nephi reiterates this prophecy (note the conditions of the day that would prevail):

25 Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men— 
26 Therefore, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise and learned shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid.

The Doctrine and Covenants section 1 contains the preface to the work and proclaims in verses 12-17 virtually the same:

12 Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; 
13 And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. 
14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; 
15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; 
16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall. 
17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

I would say that the Seer Stone falls into both categories. God's ways are not man's ways and certainly, it is a thing to "wonder" that He would possibly use a rock to assist in the translation of the Book of Mormon, in the face of knowing ridicule. Clearly the Lord knew that some would stumble on such small a matter (pun intended). With this in mind, we need to consider that whatever the Lord allows is intended to make "weak things" strong. In Ether 12, the Lord teaches us:

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Not only that the Restoration of the Church came about under such circumstances but also, how it came about are deeply significant. And I would venture to say that this state of “a marvelous work and a wonder” is ongoing.

Perhaps we need to ponder deeply then, what "weakness" in the above context could actually mean. What if we replaced the word "weakness" with "faith"? Meaning, it could be in our recognition that faith is a principle of action in our lives we must also learn that faith is an ability (or power) to be increased and ultimately perfected.

Which leads me to the next question: Is my faith weak? Or rather, from a recent General Conference address by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf who begs the question: “Lord, Is It I?”

“In these simple words, “Lord, is it I?” lies the beginning of wisdom and the pathway to personal conversion and lasting change.”
Faithful Membership in the Church NOT for the Faint of Heart


Meaning, how strong is my faith and does it need shoring up? Apparently it does. Not one of us is exempt from the fiery darts of the adversary to undermine our faith in Jesus Christ and that this is His work. Oh, how Satan would love to cause us to stumble over things like seer stones, marriage, gender identity, polygamy, etc. And sadly, he’s having encouraging success with some closest to us.

Another question things of late cause me to ask: Is faith an endurance exercise? After all, we are encouraged to “endure to the end.” What does that mean? I think it means that under all circumstances we keep our covenants. I think it means that the Lord expects us to remain faithful even when we have doubts and questions. But faithful to what? Surely not faithful to our doubts and questions, but rather faithful to what we do know, and have developed our testimony upon, in the face of some doubts and questions. And, I think it means that perhaps the Lord greatly desires our loyalty so that He might show Himself unto to us by faith.

The marvelous thing about gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Church here upon the earth today is in how we obtain that testimony – it can be stellar because properly obtained it comes not of man but from God Himself. Gaining a testimony in the way God has provided is the key to not only gaining a personal testimony of Jesus Christ, but also that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion – whether it and/or we stand or fall it is the same. And it is only by the grace of God that we can stand if we will seek to keep sacred covenants with Him.

The point is, we know the Church will stand until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Will we?


Kathie Lee Gifford Bears Witness of Jesus Christ on Today Show

Katie Lee testifies of Jesus Christ on Today Show
Kathie Lee Gifford took a priceless opportunity to bear witness of Jesus Christ by way of a very touching tribute to her husband Frank, who recently passed away. I'm not one to say much publicly about TV personalities, but I've decided to make an exception in this case.


I don't watch the Today Show but as a young mother, I did watch her on the Regis and Kathie Lee Show and came to respect her for her openly religious faith as a Christian woman. Even then, it was a rarity to see such a display. This for me makes her very faith-based and heartfelt thoughts about her late husband today even more extraordinary and very appreciated. 

Included in her remarks, was an invitation to all to come unto Christ. How beautiful when someone of her public stature uses the media to stand for Jesus Christ and how living the gospel has blessed their lives.

I hope Kathie Lee's example and testimony is inspiring to many and my reason for sharing it with you. May the Lord bless her and her family at this difficult time.

Please scroll down to video below. (Note: there seems to be some problems viewing video. Perhaps it is because it is currently going viral. If so, please click on above link in her name.)

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

Once I Was A Beehive Movie: Go See It

I didn't expect to like the movie Once I Was A Beehive and likely would not have made an effort to see it. So, I am happy that someone in the know thought to send me a link so that I could prescreen the movie from the comfort of my own home (with hopes, of course, that I would tell you about it.)

That link sat in my message box for quite sometime, as I personally had little interest in seeing the movie even for free. I didn't have the time for such silliness I thought. Until one night a few weeks ago when I had three of my granddaughters over for a sleepover and needed to figure out ways to entertain them…

I announced that I had a secret link to a super cool Mormon movie that wasn't even in the theaters yet – for girls! That didn't impress them. I then insisted that they would like it and got things set up so that I could stream it on the “big screen” via Apple TV. I love torturing my grandkids!

It didn't take long before they were completely engaged in watching Once I Was A Beehive – me too! 

Yes, it was totally corny. Yes, it was major stereotyping of Mormons and what our girls camp are like (although pretty close). And yes, as a former, two-time Young Women’s President and mother of three daughters it totally hit home and brought tears to my eyes.

This past Sunday those same granddaughters came over for dinner. Guess what they begged me to watch? You guessed it, their now favorite movie!

Go see it! It opens in select theaters August 14th. I promise, this is one silly Mormon movie that will wiggle its way into your heart. We can’t wait until it comes out on DVD – it’s a winner!











Be sure and LIKE the Once I Was a Beehive Facebook page for updates.

Visit girlscamp.com to find a theater and if it's not playing near you, DEMAND IT!

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs

LDS Church Launches New Website About Mormon Temples

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has launched a new website to highlight Mormon temples throughout the world simply called mormontemples.org. The new website not only helps others better understand what are Mormon Temples but also highlights each of the LDS Temples now in operation with photos and a brief history. 


"Mormon temples are the holiest places of worship on earth for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Within these sacred walls, participants commit to live ethical and morally upright lives and to be faithful to their spouse and family.
Latter-day saints consider temples to be "The House of The Lord," and take great care in their construction and maintenance. They are designed to fit harmoniously into the communities they call home and include beautifully kept gardens and green spaces that are open to the public. 
Temples are distinct from Mormon chapels. Sunday worship services are held in community meetinghouses and are open to everyone. Temple services are attended Tuesday through Saturday at scheduled intervals by small groups of church members. 
Mormons believe that through the grace of Jesus Christ all humanity can return to live with God. Religious observances such as baptism are an important part of accepting the divine gift heavenly Father wants all of his children to receive."

The new website about LDS Temples also provides a special section to answer commonly asked questions that are a concern to some, such as...

How are temples used?

What is it like inside the temple?
Will the Church use temples as centers to proselytize local communities?
Will members of the public ever see inside of the temple?


One of the coolest features on the new website about Mormon temples is the interactive map that allow visitors to explore the various rooms inside our temples through brief explanations and beautiful videos.

I look forward to further exploring mormontemples.org and sharing it with family and friends. Certainly our temples are one of the more curious parts about Mormonism to those outside of our faith. I think this site will be a great resource for members and non-members alike. It appears that the site will be updated continually, making it a new LDS website that we will want to check frequently. 

tDMg

Kathryn Skaggs