Author: Stance Studies on the Family

Marital Sex Communicator

Marital Sex Communicator

When did you finally learn that a “pee-pee” was actually a penis? Or, when did you learn that women have a clitoris and what its true purpose is? Understanding sexuality is extremely important to having healthy sexuality and effective sexual communication throughout life, and especially […]

DIY Frames and Watercolors

DIY Frames and Watercolors

“These walls are just so bare.”  Have those words ever crossed your lips?  It’s happened to all of us at least once.  So, now what?  Maybe you’re broke; maybe you’re on a budget.  Either way, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on […]

Comfy Seats and Love-Filled Treats

Comfy Seats and Love-Filled Treats

All over the world, people spent this last weekend in comfy seats eating yummy treats while they listened to the voices of modern prophets, apostles, and auxiliary leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during General Conference. There were monumental announcements and powerful messages; one of my favorites was Sister Cristina B. Franco’s address entitled, “The Joy of Unselfish Service.” Sister Franco focused on the opportunities we are given and the positions we are placed in that allow us to reach out to our fellow men. She spoke of the seats she has been asked to sit in, ranging from primary folding chairs to velvet General Conference armchairs (which she mentions are not as comfy as you might think). I especially appreciated her sharing an experience she had with Sister Victoria Antonietti, a primary teacher in her branch in Argentina. She shared,

“Each Tuesday afternoon, when we gathered for Primary, she brought us a chocolate cake. Everyone loved the cake—well, everyone except me…One day after she had shared the chocolate cake with the rest of the children, I asked her, ‘Why don’t you bring a different flavor—like orange or vanilla?’ After laughing a little, she asked me, ‘Why don’t you try a little piece? This cake is made with a special ingredient, and I promise that if you try it, you will like it!’…I agreed to give it a try. Can you guess what happened? I liked it! That was the very first time I had enjoyed a chocolate cake.

It wasn’t until many years later that I found out what the secret ingredient was in Sister Antonietti’s chocolate cake. My children and I visited my mother each week. On one of these visits, Mom and I were enjoying a slice of chocolate cake, and I related to her how I came to like the cake for the very first time. Then she enlightened me with the rest of the story. ‘You see, Cris,’ my mom said, ‘Victoria and her family didn’t have a lot of resources, and each week she had to choose between paying for the bus to take her and her four children to Primary or buying the ingredients to make the chocolate cake for her Primary class. She always chose the chocolate cake over the bus, and she and her children walked more than two miles [3 km], each way, regardless of the weather.’ That day I had a better appreciation for her chocolate cake. More important, I learned that the secret ingredient in Victoria’s cake was the love she had for those she served and her unselfish sacrifice in our behalf.”

This made me reflect on the ways we can serve people around us. We have each been given so many skills that allow us to serve each other and our Heavenly Father in unique ways! For Victoria it was chocolate cake, for Sister Franco it was this lovely message, and for you it may be your killer ability to find perfect GIFs to make your friends laugh. Whatever your abilities are, use them! Heavenly Father will occasionally ask you to sit in seats you find uncomfortable, and He will stretch your ability to serve in new ways, but for now, focus on what you can do. Smile at that kid! Invite your friends over for dinner when you make too much food! Don’t ignore that feeling that you should call your friend! Big or small, we can all contribute. Sister Franco speaks of the day we will meet our Savior again and says, “It will not matter if we sat in the comfy seats or if we struggled to get through the meeting on a rusty folding chair in the back row. It won’t even matter if we, of necessity, stepped into a foyer to comfort a crying baby. What will matter is that we came with a desire to serve. . . And it will certainly matter that we do all that we do with the special ingredient of service coupled with love and sacrifice.” Give what you have to give! And give it with love! What can you do today?

Read the rest of Sister Franco’s talk here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/10/the-joy-of-unselfish-service?lang=eng

Check out some awesome new service opportunities near you at https://www.justserve.org/projects

Two Hour Church?

Two Hour Church?

During General Conference there were a few astounding announcements, one regarding the length and structure of Sunday church meetings. It was announced that church meetings would be shortened to two hours and an emphasis would be placed on home-centered study. God has heard the prayers […]

Killer Recipes: Cake Mix Cookies

Killer Recipes: Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients:  One package plain Devil’s Food cake mix*  1/3 cup water  4 tablespoons melted butter  1 large egg  1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips  1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F 1. Lightly grease 2 […]

Killer Recipes: Homemade Pizza Crust

Killer Recipes: Homemade Pizza Crust

You know that feeling on a lazy Friday night, when you don’t feel like doing anything but watching TV and eating some of your favorite comfort food? I know I do, and while I have many comfort foods I love, pizza has always been a favorite! Ordering a pizza always seems to be the go-to pizza option, but sometimes it’s hard to decide on a certain type of pizza, or adding more pizza toppings makes the pizza more expensive. So, why don’t you just make your own pizza!? You can just buy your favorite toppings from the store, and odds are you will have enough toppings leftover to make at least one or two more pizzas. My husband and I love doing this. It’s quick, easy, and so much fun! I have had a hard time finding a really good pizza crust recipe that gives me the thick crust and crunchy outside crust with the soft inside that I love—until I found this recipe. It’s my favorite pizza crust recipe, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Ingredients:
½ tablespoon of active dry yeast

2 ½ cups of flour

1 teaspoon of sugar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon of salt

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Set it aside, and let it rise for aboutten minutes at room temperature. Also, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a big bowl, mix the flour, salt, and olive oil together. Sometimes the olive oil will create little clumps in the flour. If this happens, you can try to press them out with your fingers, but it will not affect the bake or the taste either way in my experience. After the yeast has risen for about ten minutes, combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture. Mix either with a bread mixer or with your hands until smooth and the dough stops sticking to your hands. You can add a little bit of flour if the mixture is still too sticky. Then, roll the pizza dough into a circle and transfer it to a buttered or oiled pizza pan. Add your favorite toppings! I personally love doing tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes. This is your time to create exactly the pizza you want. Then back the pizza at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15–20 minutes. The more toppings you put on, the closer to 20 minutes it will need to bake. When the crust has a light brown color to it, it should be just about perfect.

BY: ELIZABETH HANSEN

Provo Gem: The Soap Factory

Provo Gem: The Soap Factory

Provo. This place has a ton of character to it. Although I complain about the construction and zero parking and bipolar weather most of the time, it really is a great place to live and explore. There are so many startup companies around here that […]

Killer Recipes: Amy’s Famous Cheesecake

Killer Recipes: Amy’s Famous Cheesecake

Ingredients Graham cracker crust: 1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs 1/2 C sugar 6 T melted butter 1 tsp cinnamon Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon together. Add in melted butter and mix until mixture is sticky enough to put into a pie plate. […]

Limiting Social Media: Dropping the Phone Addiction

Limiting Social Media: Dropping the Phone Addiction

A child tugs on her mom’s pant leg.

“MomomomMOMOM!” she yells, begging for attention.

“Just hang on, I’m on the phone!” the mother pleads, attempting to finish her conversation.

How often have we seen this scene play out in various ways? I remember being that child, desperate for attention. I can sympathize a lot more with my mom now, knowing how needy kids can be; sometimes you need a minute on the phone just to get something done. But now it’s far easier and more common for technology to distract us from the needs of others around us, especially in our families. Today that phone scene might look like a family member only half-listening to a conversation, too involved in a text or a new Facebook status to give their full attention, or a child too glued to their screen to participate in family activities.

I personally have noticed a difference in my life the last few years as I’ve become more and more dependent on technology. I have a shorter attention span; I’m not as good of a listener as I used to be; I’m more easily distracted.

I am definitely addicted to my phone.

I’ve decided on several occasions that enough is enough; I need to stop using social media, go on a “phone fast,” and quit cold turkey. However, that rarely works out as well as I want it to. If technology is an addiction, it’s going to take more than one all-or-nothing attempt to really change my habits. These are a few struggles I’ve noticed as I try to limit my use of technology, and some tips that help me be more aware of the time I spend on my phone:

  1. Everyone has their own personal weaknesses in terms of time-wasters. For me, it’s Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  2. It’s hard for me to cut them out all at once because they aren’t all bad—I use Facebook to stay connected to my family, and I use Pinterest for recipes. I’ve found it’s easier for me to set specific, limited times each day that I can use them. For example, I can get on Instagram for ten minutes (and only ten!) to take a break from homework, or I can only look at Facebook while I’m donating plasma, etc.
  3. I’m much more likely to stay off of Facebook and Instagram if I’m logged off them. Some people like to delete the app, but I find that even if I’m just logged off, the extra effort of logging in often deters me from doing so because it reminds me that I’m trying to stay away.
  4. Fixing social media settings so notifications don’t pop up on my desktop/phone screen is a BIG help! I could be working diligently on homework, but as soon as that Facebook notification popped up I’d go to check it just real quick and WHAM! I’d be down the rabbit hole. No notifications means no distractions jutting into my other activities.
  5. Tell someone your goals; they’ll keep you accountable. I know it’s kind of cheesy when someone makes that status saying, “Well I’m taking a break from Facebook for [x amount of time], see ya,” but if you at least tell a roommate or family member, they’ll be able to give you a hard time if they see you breaking your commitment, and maybe just make you feel guilty enough to keep it!
  6. Apparently when my brain wants its addiction it gets super resourceful. Even if I stop using my main time-wasters, I go to secondary ones like playing Candy Crush and online window-shopping with Wish. When that happens, I have to limit those ones too!
  7. Finally, perhaps one of the most important tips I have is to find other positive things to fill your time with. When I stopped using social media, I realized just how accustomed I was to filling every moment of boredom with it. I used it to numb myself when I was stressed or needing a break. Finding other things that act as stress relievers has been a huge help in slowing my automatic impulse to reach to my phone whenever I’m looking for a distraction because I have other things to turn to instead. I’ll pick up a book or spend a few minutes talking with a friend or a family member instead of scrolling aimlessly.

Technology can be a great source of connection, but only when we control it instead of letting it control us. How each person uses technology will be different, but I believe that if we set personal boundaries for ourselves and for our use of technology and social media, we will be able to more fully connect with those around us and be more present in our own lives.

BY NATASHA ANDERSEN

Vintage Ice Cream vs. Modern Ice Cream

Vintage Ice Cream vs. Modern Ice Cream

Ice cream is a beloved treat all across the world. Nowadays, it seems that most ice cream shops are in a buffet set up, either where you make it yourself or the store puts it together for you. I absolutely love these places because I […]