Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Arrival

Guess what? My new cookie book arrived in the mail. It's called "The All-American Cookie Book" by Nanci Baggett. It has been on my Amazon Wish List for a few months but I keep telling myself that "I don't really need it." But after I finished my R.I.P. (Research In Progress) presentation last week I decided I deserved a treat...so I ordered it. Only $10 on Amazon. Yea!!!

I checked this book out of the library a few months ago and I fell in love with it. It is filled with recipes that originated in the early colonial period but have been modernized for current ingredients, ovens, etc. I am so excited to try the recipes!!! I'm sure I'll be taking lots of pictures to post on my new blog.

(The picture is of Dad's Cocodrillo bread that he made this weekend. I decided to post it to encourage him to start his own blog!!! I have not yet embarked into the world of bread making (I don't have the patience to wait for it to rise!) but yours looks fabulous Dad!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My First Blog

Well, it's official! I have my own blog. I know it won't be as funny/creative as Bret's Blurps or as cute as The Clarks but I think it will be fun to be able to keep up with each other. I'm trying to get Dad to start his own blog. Do it Dad!

Thanks so much for all the phone calls of support for my talk yesterday. It was terrifying to speak in front of 6000 people with Elder Holland, Elaine S. Dalton (General YW Presidency), four Stake President's, two Mission President's and their wives but what a phenomenal opportunity.

If you want to read the talk, check it out below (But remember...DON'T GO OVER 4 MINUTES!!!):

In his final testimony, Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated, “I feel and the Spirit seems to accord that the most important doctrine I can declare and the most powerful testimony I can bear is of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord, Jesus Christ.”

It is on this same topic, the atonement of Jesus Christ, that I wish to briefly speak today. In doing so, I wish to use the example of Peter from the New Testament.

Peter was one of the first to whom the Lord issued the call “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). And Peter straightway forsook his net (or the cares of the world), and followed him who is the creator of worlds without end. (Mark 1:18). Although the Lord knew that Peter was not perfect, He also knew what Peter had the potential to become and thus he was “called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (John 1:43).

It is Peter who shows his courage and faith as he steps out of the boat carrying his fellow apostles and walks on the sea of Galilee towards the Savior. And although his faith wavered at the onslaught of wind and waves, Peter knew to whom he should cry for help. “Lord, save me,” Peter cried. And immediately Jesus reached out and caught him by the hand.

Near the end of the Saviors life, during that final sacred supper, we find Peter promising is complete devotion to the Lord as he declares, “I will lay down my life for thy sake.” It must have been with great sorrow and perhaps confusion that Peter heard the gentle rebuke of the Savior, “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” And we know that this prophecy was fulfilled. For shortly thereafter, even while Christ was in the midst of his sufferings and that illegal trial in the palace of the high priest, that thrice Peter denied even knowing His master. And when the cock crew for the second time, as Luke records, “…the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.”

I can scarcely imagine what that moment must have been like as Peter’s eyes met the piercing gaze of the Savior. For without a word, the Master teacher, gave a rebuke so powerful that “Peter went out and wept bitterly.” But, I also think that is was in this moment that the power of the atonement became real for Peter. For it was the atonement of Christ the gave Peter the power to repent, the power to change, and the power to eventually became that stone that would fearlessly defend the Savior even to his own death.

I think that many of us and I know that I myself am much like Peter. We have such good desires and intentions to follow and serve the Lord. We leave the behind the cares and influences of the world to answer the call of the Master.
But despite our best intentions sometimes the winds and waves of the world seem overwhelming. Or perhaps because of our carelessness or disobedience we do that which is not right in the sight of God and feel the disapproving gaze of the almighty penetrating our soul.

It is during these times that I hope that we will look to the example of Peter and use the power of the atonement in our own lives. For it is in the midst of the storms of life that we can cry out to him who has suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind to find understanding, peace, and a helping hand. And when, despite our best intentions, we falter in our discipleships it is back to the stretched our arms of our Savior that we should run just as Peter ran to witness the miracle of the empty tomb.
Although we must always remember that the pathway to perfection requires patience. Let us never lose hope. For it is in the sacred sufferings of the atonement that we find the power to repent, the power to change, the power to find peace, and the power to eventually become what our Savior knows that each of us can individually become.