FHE: Week 2

You’d be proud of us.  Right after dinner we went to the living room and had another real FHE.

This week we sang “I am a Child of God.”  It turned into a singing competition, clearly.  T.J. sang (pretended to sing) bass.  I just sang really loud.  And at the end of the hymn, T.J. said, “Wow, I’m a really good singer.”

Then we opened up the newlywed FHE book again.  We found one called “Show, not Tell.”  That sounded intriguing.  It said the following:

When you let the love you have for your spouse wither and die, you are apostatizing from your marriage covenant.  You have as much responsibility to keep your love alive as you do to keep your testimony of the gospel alive.  How do you keep this love alive?  One way is to show it!  Create a list of the different ways you can show love to each other.  Discuss what you have written, then identify the top ten ways to show love. Now cut the list in half, and each of you take half.  Commit to use those five ways to show love during the coming week.

Here’s T.J.’s list, the ones that are circled are what we chose for him to focus on this week:

To clarify a few things, we didn’t circle the temple, praying, or studying the scriptures because those are obvious ones that we always work on.  And also, an inverted kiss is where you put in your lips like a person without teeth and kiss.  It’s very bizarre/awful/hilarious.

Anyway, it was actually a cute activity and was nice to talk about what we think we needed to work on.  And to finish, we studied our scriptures and went for a Snowie with spare change!

A Savior on Mount Zion…

… is what T.J. and I are assigned to talk on this Sunday at church.

That’s right, we got called to speak.  I guess it’ll be a good experience for me.  Although I am dreading having to write (and give) the talk, I know I’ll learn a lot from it.

Well, what do you think I should talk specifically about?  The first thing that I thought of when I heard the topic was going to the temple and doing saving ordinances for others. But in advertising we are taught to not go with the first thing that comes to our heads. That is usually the easy way out and the most common thing about what you were thinking about.

So, I kind of want to do something else.  I think I want to talk about being an example to others and the difference it will make.

I was reading in 2 Nephi 1 last night where Lehi is pleading with his children to keep the commandments and follow the Lord.

“Awake,” he says, “Awake.”

Through Lehi’s powerful testimony, dedication, and most importantly perseverance, he was an example to his children and was a Savior on Mount Zion for his posterity.

What do you think?  Should I go with this?  Do you have any other examples or scriptural references?

Oh by the way, you should read the rest of this chapter and imagine your father or Bishop saying the words to you.  It really is a powerful chapter and helps you realize what you need to be doing in your life.


Similes, Smiles, and Harry Potter

So, T.J. and I haven’t been the greatest at doing a “scheduled Family Home Evening” each week. Since we pray and read the scriptures together, and hang out together everyday, all day, we kind of forget that we should do it. Well, one of my goals for the week was to have FHE.

Monday came along, but we kind of brushed it off until T.J.’s brother Dustin and his wife Lindsay stopped by. We all decided to do FHE together using an activity in our “FHE for Newlyweds” book. Here’s how the rest of the night went.

  • Arguing whether or not we should sing, I said we should because our Stake President told us to always sing a hymn before FHE.
  • Opening Song: I’m trying to be like Jesus to the tune of Harry Potter Theme
  • Opening Prayer (we actually didn’t have to do “not it” or “nose goes”, we are mature and righteous)
  • Randomly opening the book to find an activity
  • Activity: “Similes and Smiles”
    • The point of the activity is to compare your spouse to each of the things listed.  Some of the items were shoes, cars, places, celebrities, and animals.
  • Cars Simile
    • Katie: T.J. you are like a lamborghini.  You’re reallllly cool, slick, and stylish!
    • T.J.: You are like a beetle bug.
    • Katie: Really? Cause I hate that car more than anything…
  • Shoes Simile
    • K: You are like a pair of oxfords because they are my favorite and what I really want right now.
    • T: You are like oxfords too!
    • K: Did you just say that because I said that?
    • T: Well, I couldn’t think of any other shoe.
  • Animal
    • I compared him to a panther and T.J. compared me to a mini giraffe. Not much dialogue to this one.
  • Celebrity

Dustin and Lindsay didn’t participate too much, they mostly just laughed.  Although Lindsay compared Dustin to a moose, but I’m pretty sure that’s just because her favorite animal is a moose.

The point of the story here is that, although we need to be doing FHE, I’m not really sure if this one needed to be had.  But I must say, it was memorable, if nothing else.

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Homemade Enchiladas and Catch Phrase

When you aren’t dating, going to a new ward at church is great. I would try to meet people and get to know everyone’s names. I’d scope out the boys and try to get asked out on dates.

When you are dating/engaged, it’s a little less enthralling.  Last year I only got to know a few girls in my ward, and only knew the names of my home teachers.

When you’re a newlywed, going to a new ward is a new experience.  Suddenly, the social scene doesn’t play a big part anymore, because you have your best friend and husband right next to you.  Trying to get to know a whole ward seems tiring and useless… at first.

But I’m sick of not knowing anyone!  I hate not having people sit by in Relief Society.  I mean I introduce myself to people and everyone is friendly, but as soon as the meeting is over, we go our separate ways.

My favorite thing in college used to be going to a new ward and meeting everyone, attending activities, and having parties.  Why does all of that fun have to end when you get married??

Answer: It doesn’t have to and I won’t let it!

So last night, in effort to make new friends and have fun as a married couple, we invited a girl in our ward over.  My darling friend’s husband is away for a year in the National Guard.  We pretty much became instant friends through Facebook and blogging and I’ve been dying to hang out with her.  Then, I asked her to bring any couple she knew from the ward over as well, so we could get to know a few other people.

I made homemade enchiladas (thank you, Betty Crocker), spanish rice, and a fruit salad.  I was so excited to finally use our Fiesta yellow plates and fruit dishes.  I just love being the host and throwing a dinner party.  When you have people to cook for, it is so much more fun!  But sometimes when I am cooking for two, I don’t have too much motivation. Anyway, dinner was great and it was fun to get to know our new friends.  It was nice to talk to people that were in the same situations as us, and to hear their stories and relate to them.

T.J. and I decided we want to do this at least once a month, so we get to know more people in the ward (and so I have someone to sit by in RS).  So, let me know if you want to come over and we’ll get the party started!

What It’s all About: Family

The family is central to everything.  That’s why we are here on earth and that’s why it is so important for us to go to the temple as much as possible.

Today I had the experience to witness T.J.’s cousin marry and be sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos temple.  In the sealing room, the two families sat across from each other, disconnected.  But once the couple entered the room and knelt across the alter from one another, not only did the couple unite, but also the two separate families became a link in an eternal chain.

What a great blessing it is to be a part of that.  As I grew up, I always envied the big families with lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It is what made me want to, one day, have a large family of my own so my kids can feel the love and happiness of a large family.

T.J. has a great-grandfather who is over 100 years old.

But now, my family and I have eternally been joined into another large family, one that keeps growing as others marry and have children.  T.J. has countless cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family.  It is truly amazing to me that I now have all of those cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family as well.

Before the sealer began, he asked if there were any grandparents witnessing the sealing. Both sets of the groom’s grandparents were in attendance.

Both sets.

This may not seem unusual for a lot of you.  But for me, just to have grandparents this late in life, is unbelievable, seeing that mine have all been gone for a while.  And then, to have them there with you for the most exquisite day of your life is also remarkable.  If they wouldn’t have been sealed years ago, none of this would have happened today.

To finish, I just want to communicate to you all the importance of family.  We need to make sure our family relationships are strong because those are the ones that mean the most.  It doesn’t matter who they are–parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws.  We need to continually build all of those relationships because we will have those for eternity.

Anyway, I know this post was pretty scattered, but I just had to share those thoughts.  Do all you can so you can always be worthy to enter the temple.  That’s where the family starts.

“Why did you get married now?”

At my reception, I had a lot of high school friends and other non-LDS friends/family attend.  Outside of BYU, clearly it is not normal to get married while you still are in school and are just 21 years old. So, I kept getting asked, “Why did you get married now?”

Other than the fact that I love my husband more than words can describe, there is a lot more that goes into it.  So from the perspective of a Mormon, here is my answer that I gave to a few people:

“It all can be wrapped up these few paragraphs in the Proclamation to the Family:


To me, my role in the family is the most important role I can have. Being a student is great so I can have a career, being a friend is important too so I can serve others, but what I really believe is my central role, is that role within the family.

So I found someone who believes that same thing, and we want to have our own family. (I’m not saying I want to have kids right now or even soon, our little family of two right now is good). But now we can fill these rolls in the family together as husband and wife, and later as a mother and father, more fully as we have been married for eternity in the temple.”

I have to admit, it took a lot of courage at first to send that as a message.  And after a few days I was nervous that I said too much and might have made some people feel uncomfortable.  But ultimately I realized, there is no reason to be ashamed to share the gospel, especially through a personal experience like this.

Going on a little bit of a tangent, both of my parents were converted to the gospel when they were in college.  I have realized that when kids move out of their homes and start a new life for themselves, they also try to find out who they are and some desperately seek for guidance but don’t know where to find it.  It is important to stand up for what we believe because, who knows, it might just be what the person needs to hear right then.  Just like my parents when they were in college, many young adults are trying to find a direction, a religion, or a hope in this world, so we need to stand as witnesses of this gospel.

I hope by sharing the Proclamation to the Family with others, I have helped someone understand what their purpose is and who they are in this world.  If you would like to learn more, write me an email or check out Mormon.org.

Searching for a new ward

Now that we are married, T.J. and I have been searching, or shopping, for our new ward.
Since we are students, we thought we should continue to take advantage of a student ward. This way we would make friends with other newlyweds and maybe find a group for FHE. So the first Sunday we were planning on going to our new ward, we were running late and I forgot the directions. We didn’t want to miss the Sacrament, so we ran to the nearest church building in hope they had a meeting at the same time.
We were in luck. We didn’t miss Sacrament and the ward looked normal.
As the meeting continued, the talks were given, and we checked out the different people in the ward, we noticed something was off.
It was quiet.
Slowly T.J. and I, barely married and PDA-ers, realized that we were in an adult singles ward. Needless to say, we hid our rings, stopped cuddling, and felt very uncomfortable.
So that was our first experience finding a new ward.
Next, still hoping to find a good student ward, both T.J. and I were guilt tripped into attending the family ward in our boundaries. From what we heard, it was simply the best ward around. A great variety of ages and families. “Lots of newlyweds,” said our new neighbor.
Afraid of offending our neighbors and the few others who recommended the ward, we decided to check out the ward.
Currently we are sitting in a Sunday school class and are the only ones under 75 years old.
So where are all those newlyweds and you families we heard about? Was it just a scheme to freshen up their ward?
Although everyone has been very cordial, I think we are going to continue searching for another ward.