Saturday, November 30, 2013

Music for teaching

I think that songs from the Primary Children's Songbook are some of the best ways to teach children. You can teach a child almost anything about their world or the gospel with a primary song. When I tell people that, sometimes I get a look like, "Yeah, yeah. That's nice."

Well, I'm going to prove it here by sharing a few really fun primary songs. I'll bet you hadn't thought much about the lessons in these songs since you were a kid if you even remember them at all!

I will follow God's plan (about the plan of salvation and our purpose on earth)
My hands (parts of the body)
Every star is different (how differences are good and help us serve our purpose on earth)
Healthy, wealthy and wise (healthy sleep habits)
We are different (how to embrace differences)
Hum your favorite hymn (self-discipline)
Friends are fun (how to be a good friend)
Because God loves me (ways to see that God loves us)

You can learn any important life's lesson from the Primary Children's Songbook. I dare you to try and see if you can't. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Something everyone seems to forget ...

I read this article in the Ensign a while ago, and was struck by the truth of the message. I've seen it in my own life and in the lives of others. I just had to share it for others to read.

One Key to a Happy Family

Friday, November 15, 2013

Article published Feedlot Magazine

Here is a link to the e-magazine that published another of my articles:

If you click on the link and go to page 16, you will find my article.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is marriage a contract or a relationship?

Find the answer by watching this video.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our wonderful bodies!

This little video touched my heart. I hope you enjoy it too!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why liberty?

These are some thoughts that I've been mulling over recently because of recent events and our country's continual progress towards socialism. Some of this is "doctrine according to Alisa," but I firmly believe everything I write here.

Sometimes I feel that "liberty" and "freedom" are misunderstood or only vaguely understood concepts. Common understanding usually seems to boil down to "doing what I feel like" or "pursuing happiness as I see best." Liberty is hailed all over the world as important to human dignity, and it seems to inspire a lot of passionate actions and wars.

But why do we need liberty? Why is it an innate human need? What does it really mean to us?

With only a shallow understanding of liberty, it is easy to lose sight of its importance to us as human beings. We watch employers abuse liberty and oppress employees. We watch people perform foolish or even evil acts in the name of religion. People withhold from helping those in need physically and emotionally. Children are neglected and abused. And madmen get a hold of guns to take revenge on innocent victims.

The simple solution seems to be to have an overarching authority control people and circumstances so we can be safe and prosper equally. What's the use of liberty if we have an authority that can make our lives peaceful and perfect and safe? We could live in a social and political infrastructure built for us and it would make everything easy.

I think the answer lies in how our Father in Heaven governs us.

God created us in His image and gave us the ability to choose. Then He put us on earth and asked us to walk by faith. Through this, many of His sons and daughters have strayed or suffered greatly. This must be difficult for Him, seeing that He is a god of love. Have you ever wondered why He doesn't come down to earth to govern us more directly and to prevent so many tragedies by His All-Powerful Presence?

I believe that the answer is found in the why of liberty.

Without making important, unsupervised choices, we can't develop into the people we ought to be. Making good choices of our own will without any other influential presence or coercive action develops a power and character in us for good. It is the only way to truly develop a character. Without that development, we aren't any better than puppets or animals.

Heavenly Father understands this perfectly. He knows that if He came to earth and governed us directly in all his might, power and glory, we'd never become like Him. We'd never learn to make those choices of our own will because we'd be overawed by His majesty.

So He asks us to live and work by faith, and to make choices, one at a time, until we develop to our full potential.

Liberty is all about your inner growth.

As parents we take care of helpless infants and make all decisions for them. As they grow, we teach them to think and make their own decisions. We give them tools, gradually as they are ready, to make the best choices possible. According to The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education in the Home, children start to develop logical thinking at about eight or nine years of age. Prior to that, they are in a parrot stage, where they imitate everything, from learning to walk to habits in reading.

This makes sense to me. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I know that children reach the age of accountability at eight years of age, which is when the Lord commands that they should be baptized. Before this, all of the children's mistakes (that come because of mortality and their parents' follies) are covered by the Atonement.

But after that, children are required to repent and do better to be cleansed by the Atonement. According to their understanding, their sins are their own.

Meanwhile, we continue to teach these children to make choices that enhance their growth. Soon, in the teenage years, part of that teaching process is to gradually let go and give them more liberty.

Once the children are adults, they should be in charge of their own lives. And these children, we hope, will continue to make choices that will draw them closer to their Father in Heaven. But we can't restrict their liberty to insure they do. Unless they make those choices of their own will, without supervision or coercion, they can't draw close to God. Their character can't become their own.

If we continue to manage and control the lives of our children after they are capable of making their own decisions, they become dependent on us. They become less capable, less motivated, less responsible and less moral. They lose their innate connection with God because they aren't making the choice to come closer to Him.

When they lose that connection with God, they lose love for their fellowmen, for noble and great things and for anything that might make them stretch out of their comfort zone.

These same parenting concepts apply in our society at large. If we have some "great parent" that makes sure we all share nicely, complete our schooling and that all temporal needs are met, we fall into the same trap. Our inner growth is stunted, and our character is not our own.

But what about some of the horrible things that people have done in a free, capitalistic society? While a free government has laws that protect its citizens from great injustices, it can't prevent all tragedy. It can't prevent all self-destructive behavior. What good does liberty do us then?

A free government isn't all about freedom of choice. And it definitely isn't about the economic advantage it has over an alternative system. It's about honesty, a desire for the welfare of the whole, education, and a belief in God. This is a whole topic in and of itself, and it's not the purpose of my post. But it is necessary to say that the purpose of liberty is supported by these four elements. Without them, liberty can seem a negative thing, more like anarchy.

It's so important that we choose the path we take.
Liberty means growth. It means doing difficult things; being creative; facing the natural world; and having faith in God, man and yourself. It means your character and your choices are your own, as well as any consequences that come with them, good or bad.

Please feel free to comment ... any critiques, differing opinions, additional thoughts. Have you ever thought about why we need liberty?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Sunday citation

Here is another great quote that I found in the Old Testament Institute manual:

"The story of Joseph, the son of Jacob who was called Israel, is a vivid representation of the great truth that "all things work together for good to [those] who love God. (Rom. 8:28) Joseph always seemed to do the right thing; but still, more importantly, he did it for the right reason. And how very, very significant that is! Joseph was sold by his own brothers as a slave and was purchased by Potiphar, a captain of the guard of Pharaoh. But even as an indentured servant, Joseph turned every experience and all circumstances, no matter how trying, into something good.

"This ability to turn everything into something good appears to be a godly characteristic. Our Heavenly Father always seems able to do this. Everything, no matter how dire, becomes a victory for the Lord. Joseph, although a slave and wholly undeserving of this fate, nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the commandments and made something very good of his degrading circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated, because they will not give up. They have the correct, positive attitude, and Dale Carnegie's expression seems to apply: If you feel you have a lemon, you can either complain about how sour it is, or you can make a lemonade. It is all up to you." (Hartman Rector, Jr., "Live Above the Law to Be Free," Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 130.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Recent article published in Progressive Forage Grower

Progressive Forage Grower just published one of my most recent articles online, with the hard copy coming out soon. Click on the link below to read it:

Good business skills critical in custom bale-wrapping

I have to say, I struggled more writing this article than I have struggled with an article in a long, long time. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to pull it off! Sometimes I have a hard time getting people to respond, or when they do, we can't always make an appointment to talk before my deadline. But that wasn't the case this time! For some reason, I had a very difficult time just pulling the material together into a coherent form. I had to change my angle three or four times before I got it right. And although my husband was home to take care of our little girl so I could write, I just couldn't seem to write it!

But it worked out and I even got it turned in on time (although I sure was wondering if I would!). I have to say, I definitely had Heaven's help with this one!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Awesome blog post: Marriage isn't for you

If I could give an award, I would give it to Seth Adam Smith for his awesome post. To read it, click the link below:

Marriage isn't for you

Have you wondered if marriage is too hard, scary or just not what you want? You should definitely read this! It's something that I'm gradually learning ... and mostly learning from my husband, Brian.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 day song challenge: Day 30 ... I did it!

Well, this is fall, and Thanksgiving is coming up. I really love grateful songs and harvest songs this time of year. Last year I think I was singing the hymn "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" a lot last year. Although I think I sing it a lot every year. :)

This arrangement that I'm sharing was done by Mack Wilberg, and it is performed by the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and Congregation. (Today is Guy Fawkes day ... so I suppose I had to pick a protestant performance!:))

I've heard it sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the BYU-Idaho choir, and I think I liked what they did better. But this version is a pretty close second.

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Thanks for bearing with me as I went through with this challenge! I hope you enjoyed the music as much as I did.

Monday, November 4, 2013

30 day song challenge: Day 29 ... almost there!!

This is the very first (or one of the very first) songs my mom taught me to sing when I was tiny. I have started singing it to Little Pink Girl in the mornings. It is such a fun song!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Sunday citation

This long quote (sorry it's so long, but it's so good I didn't want to cut it down!) is from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow:

"It is the business of those who profess to be engages in His work to move on, to go forward, ... without murmuring or having to be urged; so long as there remains a step forward to be taken, that step should be taken. ...

"This is the work of God, and He is directing its course and progress in the earth, and this work should ever be uppermost in our mind; and so long as we are found in the path of duty we can surely remain fixed and unmoved and determined in our purpose, and thus exhibit to the world our faith and devotion to the principles of truth which God has revealed. ...

"The Lord very possible may cause a heavy pressure to bear upon us, such as will require great sacrifice at the hands of his people. The question with us is, will we make the sacrifice? This work is the work of the Almighty and the blessings we look for which have been promised, will come after we have proven ourselves and passed through the ordeal. I have no special word to this people that there is, or that there is not, before them a fiery ordeal through which they will be called to pass; the question with me is, am I prepared to receive and put to a right and proper use any blessing the Lord had in store for me in common with His people; or, on the other hand, am I prepared to make any sacrifice that He may require at my hands? I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for any religion that was not worth living for and that was not worth dying for; and I would not give much for the man that was not willing to sacrifice his all for the sake of his religion."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Music and fun for toddlers

With all the music I've been sharing, I thought that I'd share some more! Little Pink Girl and I love to sing and listen to music. I can turn some music on and it will generally keep her occupied (which is really nice!).

Here are a few songs that we like to sing and do the actions to:


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

30 day song challenge: Day 28

Some of these writing prompts are a little weird. I don't think that I've ever heard a song that made me feel guilty. Sigh. What should I substitute this time?

Since I've shared classical music the last couple of days, I think that I'll share another classical favorite today. Bach, along with Vivaldi, Handel and Pachelbell, is my favorite classical composer. Here is a piece that makes the cello my favorite instrument for a few minutes:

Friday, November 1, 2013

30 day song challenge: Day 27

Besides the violin, I also play the piano. I think I like listening to the violin better, but I'm better at playing the piano. I also get a lot more opportunities to perform or accompany on the piano that I do on the violin.

But I'm still not very good at the piano. I think I would be considered an intermediate. Someday, I hope to play Mozart's Turkish March on the piano! I tried to learn once, but it was too far above my skill level.

So here it is for you to enjoy! (Happy All Saints Day!)