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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Atonement

Lesson taught by Leila J.

What is the Atonement?  True to the Faith says that the Atonement is the supreme expression of our Heavenly Father's love for us.  It is also the greatest expression of the Savior's love for the Father  and for us.

President Hinkley and other General authorities have told us that the Atonement is the greatest event in all history and the greatest gift to all who would ever live upon the earth.

In the March 2013 Ensign, the article The Enabling Power of the Atonementteaches us that there is more than just the redeeming power of the Atonement.  There is also the enabling power of the Atonement.

Elder David A bednar suggests that most of us understand that Christ came to earth to die for us, to pay the price for our sins, to make us clean, to redeem us from our fallen state, and to enable every person to be resurrected from the dead.

"But," elder Bednar said, "I frankly do not think many of us 'get it' concerning the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement."  Christ stands ready with outstretched arms as He waits for us to come unto Him and be encircled in the arms of His love.

All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have the power and the desire to help us overcome our feelings of grief, despair, inadequacy, discouragement, pain, and temptation.  They constantly offer us comfort, peace, hope, love, and strength.  They can heal our feelings of fear, distrust, anger, self-doubt, sorrow, discouragement, and inadequacy.  They can be the best resource we have to help us get through difficult days and trying times.

Because of the Atonement, our Savior knows our every feeling, whether it be grief, pain, or discouragement. 

He loves us and gave us the greatest gift of all. 

May we all turn to him in our 
times of need.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mitten Strings to God ~ Meaningful Easter Ideas

With Easter approaching it is time to think once 
again more deeply about the wonderful 
is to our lives.

This incredible gift is sometimes so overshadowed by the 
Easter Bunny and Baskets and Hunts etc....

Here are a couple of ideas to help teach your young children about the atonement and the resurrection.

Easter Breakfast – Resurrection Rolls

You need just 5 ingredients:
crescent rolls, marshmallows, sugar,
cinnamon and butter

Give each child one triangle shaped section of crescent roll.
(you can make your own roll dough if you prefer)
This represents the tomb.

Each child takes one marshmallow.

This represents the body of Christ.

Dip the marshmallow in the butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

This represents the oils and spices the body was anointed with upon burial.

Lay the marshmallow on the dough and 
carefully wrap it around the marshmallow.

Make sure all seams are pinched together well. 
(This is a REALLY important step! Otherwise the marshmallow will “ooze” out of the seams)

Bake according to package directions
or 20 minutes @350 degrees 
if you made your own dough.

Break open the tomb and the 
Body of Christ
is no longer there!!


Talk about where he is now that he has been resurrected and what the
Atonement means to us.

Another idea:

Easter Story Cookies

This is a great way to share the the story of the atonement in an interesting and meaningful way with your children and grandchildren!
Ingredients:1 cup whole pecans1 tsp. vinegar3 egg whitespinch of salt1 cup sugarzipper baggiewooden spoontape
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important to do before you start the mixing)
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. 
Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Romans soldiers.Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. 
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers. 
Read Luke 23:27.
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. 
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. 
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.  
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. 
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose use the atonement to repent. 
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. 
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid
Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. 
Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed
Read Matt. 27:65-66.
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the Oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealedRead John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! 
On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. 
Read Matt. 28:1-9.

*Ideas taken from

Happy Easter Everyone

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book of Mormon Class / Alma 52

Taught by Sue G.

Teancum and his armies continue to prepare for war, taking all necessary steps to defend themselves against the Lamanites Ammoron.  The brother of Amalickiah is appointed King over the Lamanites and orders his armies to maintain the cities they had taken by the shedding of blood.  Moroni, Teancum and Lehi lead the Nephite armies in a victorious war against the Lamanites; they recapture the city of Mulek.  Jacob the lamanite is slain. Alma 52:18

Perhaps the message of Alma 52 is... 

"When the children of Lehi are successful, do what they did. When they're not successful, don't do what they did".  Maybe the battle for Mulek is intended to help us learn from the mistakes of others in this case we learn from the mistakes of the ancient Lamanites.

Satan will try to flatter us out of our strongholds.  Satan uses all kinds of tricks to entice us to leave our spiritualality behind and follow him into a trap.  Satan is often called the master deciever.  He knows the tricks of the trade.  The scriptures describe Satan's tactics as traps, snares, lies and stratogems.  

Sometimes he flatteres us into thinking we can handle anything and we get caught in our own snare.

  • War is always the result of sin and disobedience on someones part.
  • Our wrestle may not be in a war of nations but in an individual wrestle against spiritual wickedness.
  • We should use wise strategies in defending ourselves against evil.
  • We should do whatever we can to strengthen ourselves.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Taught by Terry S.

 Elder James E. Faust said that one of the less obvious reasons for divorce is;

"The lack of a constant enrichment in marriage, absence of that something extra which makes it precious, special, and wonderful, when it is also drudgery, difficult, and dull." 

He counseled: 
"In the enriching of marriage the big things are the little things.  It is a constant appreciation for each other and a thoughtful demonstration of gratitude.  It is encouraging and the helping of each other to grow.  Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful and the divine."

In the story Alice in Wonderland, Alice approaches the Cheshire Cat and asks,  "Would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?" The Cheshire Cat replies, "That depends on where you want to go."  Alice says, "I admit, I don't care much where."  The Cheshire Cat then says, "That it doesn't really matter much which way you go, does it?"  "Just so I get somewhere," responds Alice.  Then the Cheshire Cat reveals an interesting truth, "Oh you're sure to get there if you keep walking long enough."  What is the message?  "Somewhere" is not good enough.  We must know where we want to go and be firmly committed to getting there.

None of us is without sin.  Everyone of us makes mistakes.  We have all been wounded.  We have all wounded others. Happiness does not spring from perfection but from applying divine principles, even in small steps.  When we live the laws pertaining to celestial marriage, we are practicing the same laws that are practiced in heaven.  We are practicing how to live with God the Father and his Son and with our families in the eternities to come.  The time to practice is now.  That is what this life is for.


1.  Night and morning prayer.
2.  A weekly planning meeting.
3.  A daily phone call or personal conversation.
4.  a weekly date.
5.  Patience regardless- of missed meals, tardiness, forgotten favors, a thoughtless remark.
6.  Daily service.
7.  A budget.
8.  Listening- not only to what is said, but also what is meant.
9.  Regular attendance- at church and the temple.
10.  Daily scripture reading.
11.  Working together - caring for a garden, painting a bedroom, team teaching a class.
12.  Forgiving each other.
13.  Courtesies- like saying please and thank you, not interrupting or belittling, not doing all the talking.
14.  Soft and kind words.
15.  Learning together by-  reading to each other, discussing ideas.
16.  Respecting-  opinions, ideas, privacy.
17.  Supporting your spouse's-  church callings and righteous goals.
18.  Caring for your spouse's family.
19.  Occasional gifts-  such as a note, a needed item, but mostly gifts of time and self.
20.  Loving with all your heart- (D&C 42:22)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stake Women's Conference / Recipes

"Strength isn't just something you have--
it's something you find,  
and we can find strength in each other.."

We hope many of you were able to attend Women's conference
and not only were filled with good food,
but greatly filled in Spirit! 

Baked French Toast

1 loaf Crusty French Bread
8 Whole Eggs
2 C. Whole Milk
1/2 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract


1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Stick cold Butter, Cut into pieces

For the French Toast: 
Grease the baking pan with butter.  
Tear the bread into chunks, and evenly distribute in the pan.  
Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk together with the milk, cream, greanulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.  
Pour evenly over the bread.  
Cover the pan tightly and store in fridge overnight.

For the Topping:  
Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl using a fork.  
Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Remove the casserole from the fridge and spinkle the topping over the top.  
Bake for 45-50 minutes until set and browned on the top.
Serves 8


1 cup  Slivered Almonds, toasted
1 cup  Flaked Coconut
1/2 cups  Honey
2 1/2 cups  Rolled Oats
3/4 tsp  Cinnamon

Combine toasted almonds with oats, coconut and cinnamon.  Blend honey with oil and drizzle over almond`oat mixture, tossing to mix well.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven; loosen with spatula; cool.


6-8" wooden skewers
1 1/2 cups halved red grapes
1 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 links Tarantino breakfast sausage, cut into thirds
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp honey

Prepare a medium gas grill fire.  Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes

In a medium bowl, toss grapes with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thread the grapes and sausages alternately onto the skewers, stirring and ending with a grape half.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine vinegar, thyme and honey.  Bring to boil over medium high heat and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Grill the skewers, brushing all over with the balsamic glaze, until browned, about 4 minutes total.
Makes 6 skewers

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Know Your Neighbor / Madsen's

The Madsen Family

Jamie and Cameron Madsen recently moved into our ward.  They bought the Wilde’s house on Willow Valley Drive.  They moved to Centerville from Bountiful.

Jamie grew up in Orem, Utah as the fifth of six children.  Most of her family has since moved to Davis County and they all love it here.  Jamie graduated from Mountain View High School where she was a runner.  She earned a scholarship to Weber State University in running.  Running is still a passion for Jamie and she tries to do it every day.  Jamie is having lots of fun remodeling and decorating their new home.  Jamie especially enjoys being a stay-at-home mom and spending time with their daughters.

Cameron grew up in St. George, Utah as the oldest of four children.  He graduated from Pine View High School where he played on the football team.  He moved from St. George to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah.  After he graduated from the “U” he stayed in Salt Lake.  He now works for Harrison Imports in Bountiful as their Finance Manager.  Cameron is an avid hunter and enjoys hunting with several members of his extended family.  He also enjoys sports and is a big Utah Jazz fan.

Jamie and Cameron met on a blind date which was arranged by Cameron’s best friend.  They hit it off and, as the saying goes, “The Rest is History.”  They have two daughters, Gabriella and Amelia.

Gabriella, who goes by Gabby, is six years old and in the first grade at Stewart Elementary.  Gabby loves to sing, dance, and read.  She is excited to have her own yard and tree house to play in and a farm as a neighbor.  Gabby is proud to be the only person who can make her baby sister, Amelia, laugh on demand.

Amelia is seven months old and has recently learned how to chuckle.  She seems to enjoy watching the family make fools of themselves trying to get her to do it.

As a family they like going to the park, having picnics, hiking, fishing and just spending time together.

Welcome to the Willow Wood Ward Madsen family!  We are so happy to have you in the neighborhood!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book of Mormon Class

Taught by Sue G.

Alma 50:51
Moroni calls a council of war to plan a strategy to fortify the Nephite lands and build many new cities in preparation for war.  Internal wars and destruction afflict the Nephites, who have become wicked.  

Teancum defeats Morianton and his dissenters, Nephihah dies and his son Pahoran becomes the chief judge.

When the King-men try to legally overthrow Pahoran and establish a King, the people support Pahoran and Moroni requires the King men to defend the country or to be put to death.  Many of the fortified cities are captured by Amalickiah and his Lamanite armies until Teancum slays Amalickiah in his tent.
Alma 50:22

When we have our Family Home Evenings we are holding our own "council of war" against the wickedness of the world that we face today.  Each time we spend discussing and teaching the word of God and Gospel values we are putting on more armor.  We can tell our children that we are holding a council of war and we need to plan our strategy like Moroni did to win the battle against Satan.