Monday, April 2, 2012

I wasn't ready for Sister Beck to go!

I'm obviously a big fan of Julie Beck, the just released General Relief Society President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  So, when they announced her release at General Conference the other day, I felt a little cut short.  Has that much time really gone by?  I just wasn't ready.  My favorite thing about her is how upfront she is. She says it like it is, but I know she puts a lot of thought into it before she says it.

So, should I change the name of my blog?  No way.  We didn't give it this name to be trendy because Sister Beck said it.  Here's a little reiteration of how it came to be (as I quote myself, ha):
While up with her children one night, my friend Bridget came up with some suggestions.  One included Julie Beck's idea of a lioness at the gate guarding her family.  I loved it!  It's catchy, it's powerful, it's feminine.

The intent of the title is not to conjure up thoughts of "I am woman, hear me roar," but to remind us all that ". . .women are like lionesses at the gate of the home. Whatever happens in that home and family happens because she cares about it and it matters to her. She guards that gate. . . ."  If there are influences coming into our homes, though, that threaten us and our families, I certainly hope we'll roar back and do our best to get them out.
Sister Beck wasn't actually the first one to use the term "lioness."  I found that Margaret Nadauld had used it back in November, 2002:  "[A woman of faith] stays away from the evil influence and the unclean thing, and if it encroaches on her territory, she is as a lioness protecting her cubs. . . . "

I wish I'd been able to study all of Sister Beck's talks and articles, but I haven't; however, I here's a summary of what I have studied and what I have thought:

Julie Beck's May 2011 Women's Conference Address, posted May 2011

Julie Beck's Address from BYU Women's Conference, posted Nov. 2010

Teaching the Doctrine of the Family, posted Nov. 2010

Spiritual Education and Knowledge, posted Feb. 2011

Daughters in My Kingdom, Jan. 2011

A "Conversation" with Julie Beck on the Mormon Channel, posted Dec. 2010

A Tribute to the Titus 2 Ladies, posted Feb. 2011

Biblical Womanhood and the LDS Church, Part 2, posted April 2011

Mothers Who Know, posted March 2011

I am truly grateful for Sister Beck's boldness and bravery in doing what she was called to do.  Thank you, Sister Beck.  You truly had an impact on my life.

To read more about what people thought about the release of the General RS Presidency, see the post at Mormon Woman.

Easter Activity

I don't think I've ever posted a family activity on this blog -- more my contemplations (obviously), but my husband did something that the kids adored for family night tonight that some of you may like to try with your kids. 

Our lesson was, of course, on Easter.  My husband began by talking about Easter and the resurrection, where Christ was crucified, where His body was put when He died, etc.  Then my husband asked the kids about who came to the tomb and what happened -- Jesus wasn't there.

To demonstrate, after we reviewed the story, my husband pulled out a paper sack to represent the tomb and asked one of our daughters to put a Lego guy in it to represent Jesus (I hope that's not sacrilegious) and roll up the bag.


When it came time to open the bag (when Mary came), Jesus was not there!
You should have seen the look on the kids' faces!  Where did the Lego guy go?  They were pretty amazed. 

Well, it's pretty obvious to us, I'm sure, but just in case to make it clear, he previously cut a hole in the bottom of the bag and grabbed the Lego guy out as our daughter rolled up the bag.  He hid the Lego guy in his hand until it was time to be "resurrected."

You'd think someone would have taught this part of the Easter story like this, so maybe you've never thought of it either.

After this activity, we needed to fill some Easter eggs for an activity on Friday.  We asked the kids what Easter eggs have to do with the resurrection of Christ.  Our 8 year old son was quick to share an answer.  He said that the Easter egg is like the tomb, and when you open it up, the candy inside is like Jesus coming out of the tomb.  That's good, I'm glad he can put pagan with Christian.  We may as well think of it like that these days.

Then we asked, so what do Easter bunnies have to do with Easter?  Our 8 year old summarized a story he'd heard at the school library about some witch and some birds and the witch turned the birds into bunnies and that's why Easter bunnies lay eggs.  It was pretty funny.  He knew it wasn't real, but it was the best explanation as to why in the world Easter bunnies lay eggs.  I'll take the Cadbury type any day.

Then we had fun telling the kids that, really, the bunnies and eggs have more to do with Spring, which can very well remind us of Easter, but rather than focusing on them, we try and remember the resurrection of our Savior.