Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This coming Sunday, the first in November, our Presidency message will focus on gratitude and thanksgiving, especially to our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ.

"And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is His wrath kindled, save those who confess not His hand in all things, and obey not His commandments. ( Doctrine and Covenants 59:21)

Please read part of King Benjamin's address at Mosiah 2:19-21, and then read of the magnificence of God that Isaiah describes in Isaiah, chapter 40. 

Shakespeare's  King Lear said  "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is, to have a thankless child."  Have you ever experienced an ungrateful child or a thankless friend?  - or been an ungrateful child/adult?  Does God want our gratitude because He needs it?  Or do we need it?  Come Sunday, and let's discuss.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but a parent to all other.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Enduring to the End

"Life is a mountain, not a beach" read my prophetic fortune cookie from last night's tasty Chinese food dinner. Upon arrival to Lake Mead for my first Olympic distance triathlon, the sun peeped over the mountains making them appear more drastic in contrast to the stillness of the lake. Open water swimming for 1500 meters is not that much of a mental game. You basically have two options: swim or drown. Quitting is never an option for an open water swim. Biking 24.8 miles up the side of a mountain IS a mental game because there are many other options. The option to turn around and speed quickly down the mountain seems grander every time you are forced to switch into a lower gear. But why go backwards when you worked so hard to get to this point? The option to just stop and rest for a little bit and avoid forward progression is equally enticing. However, if you stop your bike while going up the side of a mountain, you lose momentum. Stopping isn't a good idea because you'll just have to start back up again. Enduring to the end is like biking straight up the side of a mountain. Eventually, if we realize that our goal is to get to the top of the mountain then we cannot allow ourselves to halt forward progression. And we certainly can't let ourselves take the easy path back down the mountain. For the record, I don't put much stock into fortune cookie messages. This one just struck me as very profound because right now at this point my life is a mountain and not a beach.

Rachel Roark

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Constitution...A Heavenly Banner

With an election upon us and all the many details that swirl around us, the Bishop felt it was time to remember the great legacy of being part of the United States of America. President Ezra Taft Benson has stated that understanding and reading the Constitution should be part of our scripture study!
Sunday, October 28th, 7-8PM, Meandering Way Chapel, we will have a WARD FAMILY FIRESIDE about the blessings and responsibilities of being a citizen of this Republic.
Hilary Grant Weber, an attorney and an instructor for BYU/Idaho, will be our guest speaker (and she has made a solemn promise not to be boring!!). She has given this fireside in several other Stakes around this area.
We will have a nursery provided by our Single Adult Ward and also refreshments.
We hope this starts a tradition again of learning on a Sunday night through ward firesides. What better subject to begin with than remembering the privileges involved in being part of this GREAT country and better understanding the Constitution.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

General Conference Highlights

I found this video of a few highlights from our fabulous General Conference Sessions. What great reminders and direction we received this month from our Prophet and Apostles of the Lord. One topic that resonated with me during Conference was the notion to stay the course and constantly improve. Have I returned to any bad (or lazy) habits? Am I trying to be better today than I was yesterday? How well am I following through with resolutions I've made in my life?

Watch this video for an uplifting 23 minutes. Pay attention to the Spirit that comes into your heart as you recall the personal revelation you received during General Conference a couple weeks ago. Did anything stand out to you?

One of the speakers talked about how loyalty is the crowning expression of love. Do you remember who said it? One of the blessings of serving in the Relief Society presidency has been the opportunity to see each of you demonstrate loyalty to the Lord through your service, testimony, and character. Thank you for being an example to me on how to show more love towards the Savior.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mountains to Climb

Dear Sisters,

As I have been studying this talk by President Eyring I keep hearing that childhood song in my head, "The Bear Went Over The Mountain"! We always sang "The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see", followed by " He saw another mountain..."

Sometimes life can seem like a series of mountains, with very little valley in between. President Eyring relates that: "Trouble itself can be our way to strengthen and finally gain unshakable faith," and that "It is never too late to strengthen our foundation of faith." This Sunday we will discuss some ways we can build and strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ so that "the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing."

See you Sunday,

Sister Stoddard

To read the talk, click HERE.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Lord's Side

My dear sisters,
Sunday we will be talking about "Staying on the Lord's Side of the Line." Please read lesson 18 from the manual if you can. It is packed full of great insights and council to keep us strong and safe in these last days. We will be talking about what is required of us, even as society is continually trying to blur the lines. I look forward to seeing you all again as we meet in Relief Society!

Click here to read the lesson.

Angie Alford

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"PRETEND" to engage

I listened/watched this 2012 October Conference and now I am reading it. I am at the end of the Saturday morning session - President Uchtdorf's talk "Of Regrets and Resolutions". Reading these sermons often gives me greater insights into what the Lord would like to see me do differently and I try to really pay attention to those things. BUT...I also love to read truths I all ready fervently believe and try to implement in my life right now.
One of the ideas he presents is the way social media mimics real relationships. He speaks of "pretending to spend time with others by the click of a mouse". I am such a big believer in one on one, eyeball to eyeball communication. I need to see your face when I speak with you so I can tell how my words are being received. I do not know how to "read" those expressions in emails or Facebook posts. (Actually, that is kind of an exaggeration as I am not on Facebook but you get what I mean.)
Most who know me know I do not have a cellphone so I do not get text messages or pictures over the phone. You have to leave a message for me on my home (land line) phone and wait for me to get it. But when I return the call, I do it when I can talk and so conversations can be expansive and we can both feel heard and understood.
I love people. I love the people in my life. I never find it satisfying to have a one word conversation with anyone! And I definitely do not like to have a conversation where the spelling is done in a phonetic shorthand.
In this area of my life, "pretending to spend time with others", I have no regrets. If you know me well at all, I do not PRETEND anything!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


How many craft project have you started and  never finished?   Tonight we gathered at  the home of Debra Newcum, and everyone went home with a finished project!  We made the delightful Origami Picture Books for Christmas gifts or just for our own delight.

With Debra's  great directions, we folded and glued, and  folded and glued until we created the most amazing fold-out album to paste in our memory filled photographs.

With fall in the air, Debra served us a wonderful fruit and nut bread, some warm apple cider, and we just enjoyed our sisterhood.

We are planning some fun projects going forward in our "Hands On"  Craft Class, so look for our next project in the New Year.  Anything you would like to learn how to do ?  Let Debra know, and we will see if there is enough interest.

Below are the instructions for the Origami Books. Click to zoom in. They can also be emailed to you if needed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Relief Society Sister Spotlights

So every month we will have a Spotlight for two sisters in the ward, here are October sisters!:

Stephanie Manwaring
What color do you like: Blue!
Favorite food: Crispy Coconut Chicken Salad (from Champps specifically)
Favorite scripture and why: Matthew 5:30 Because it helps me not sin.
 "And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
Favorite hymn: Jesus the very thought of thee
Favorite place to visit: Utah (because my family is there)
Favorite thing about living in Dallas: My Job! I love it! And the Dallas 4th ward of course.
Favorite Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Favorite time of the year: Fall
Something interesting about yourself: I pass out when I see needles or if I give blood!
 Melanie Jarnagin
What color do you like:
Favorite food: pasta
Favorite scripture and why:
Matthew 11:28-30. I love the reassurance of this scripture that we don't have to experience anything in this life alone. Christ wants us to come to him with our burdens, we just need to be willing.
Favorite hymn: I believe in Christ
Favorite place to visit:
San Antonio
Favorite thing about living in Dallas: Living close enough to see our families often
Favorite Ice cream flavor: mint chocolate chip
Favorite time of the year: Spring
Something interesting about yourself:
I've made a few wedding cakes.


Monday, October 8, 2012


"God bless America, land that we love, stand beside her, and guide her through the night, with a light from Above."  We all love this great country, we know that she is the bastion of freedom to the world, and that it was here on this the American Continent, that the Lord found the religious freedom necessary to restore the ancient church which Christ had established when he lived upon the Earth, during the meridian of time.  We now declare to all people, that it has been restored to the Earth by a Prophet, Joseph Smith,with all the priesthood  power and keys necessary to function in His name -  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We soon get the privilege to vote in a national election on  Tuesday, November 6th.  To vote, you must be registered at the address where you are currently living. and  the deadline to register is this Tuesday, October 9th. 

For those who have just moved into the Ward, you may still vote but must do  it in the old precinct, where you last voted before you moved, unless you re-register your new address by Tuesday.

Early voting begins on October 22nd and runs through November 2nd.  Fretz Park  Rec. Center  is probably our closest early voting place.

Dallas County has a new websitee for voting information, and is easy  to use.  http://www.dallascountyvotes.org

Please exercise your right and privilege to register and vote.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Sisters - Christmas is coming, and we have planned a fun craft class at Debra Newcum's home, Tuesday, Oct. 9th at 7:00 p.m.  You can learn to make budget-friendly, picture books for your children, grandchildren or just friends.  They are clever origami designed  little books, and if you add pictures to them, what a priceless gift.  If you don't have pictures to add, they can add their own!

These are inexpensive to make, and after you take the class, you will know how to make more for everyone on your list.  Please bring the following with you:

2 matching sheets of scrapbook paper measuring 12x12
1 sheet of coordinating scrapbook paper measuring 12x12.
(heavy cardstock won't work for the above - but you need 3 below)
3 sheets of cardstock paper measuring 12x12
1 yard of  wireless ribbon
glue stick and scissors
See those who are "interested" Tuesday night.

A "VITAL" Religion

In talking to my son who lives in Atlanta and works for a large corporation and deals with ongoing technology changes and policy changes - his take on yesterday's conference sessions was - this is a VITAL religion because of its capacity to change - IMMEDIATELY.
If you listened to the press conference held after the first session of conference concerning the announcement of the changes in the ages of when young men and young women can go on missions (18 & 19 respectively), Elder Holland was asked when the age changes would take effect and he said "30 minutes ago".
I know that this church has Jesus Christ at its helm and that we are led by a Prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson, and by a vigorous Council of the Twelve. I feel momentum build as the Lord sees what we cannot see - the future. He is getting more done at a faster pace and He needs all hands on board.
Elder Glen Pace gave a talk once about the members of the church getting on and off the train at will (the metaphor being the train as the church/gospel) and how the time was coming that those who got off the train would not be able to get back on because of the pace at which the train was moving.
I feel that this weekend. Time is moving quickly and we must be active and vigorous in our testimonies and convictions.
We need to hold on as this TRAIN is  picking up speed - and I think I am feeling that I must do the same!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I'm looking forward to General Conference next week, to hear the Word of the Lord. I still miss one of the former apostles, Neal A. Maxwell. Elder Maxwell had a love for words, and crafted them so beautifully as he taught the Gospel.

In his memory, I would like you to enjoy several of his old quotes:
1. Only the Lord can compare crosses, for all crosses are easier to carry when we keep moving.
2.One's life....cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free.
3. Clearly the Church must neither allow its doctrines to be diluted nor its people to be diminished by compromising with the way of the world.
4. How can we expect to enjoy eternally, that which we neglect in mortality?
5. The only things we should really fear are those things which can keep us from going,where there is no fear.

Here are a few other quotes to contemplate:
1.Do not handicap your children, by making their life too easy.(Robert Heinlein)
2. Seeing a spider isn't a problem. It becomes one when it disappears! (Anon. but one of my favorites!)
3. No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping those who sit on the couch.
4. If you don't want anyone to find out about it, don't do it! (Chinese Proverb)
5. In the time it takes for a lie to travel around the world, the truth barely has time to get it's boots on.(Mark Twain)
6. The problem with man's unhappiness is sacrificing what he wants most, for what he wants now. (Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley).

Enjoy Conference Sisters, write the good quotes down, and e-mail them to me after- I have prizes for the first two who match any that I have written down. . . . . yes, it involves chocolate! Remember - that's how we got "Come What May and Love It.