Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 14)

5 Ways to Study The Family: A Proclamation to the World

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a document titled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” that discusses the role and importance of the family. This beautiful document intends for the whole world to benefit from it, not just those of the LDS faith. We invite all to read and study this inspired document regularly.

Reading a religious article is easy, but studying a religious article can be difficult to do. We often find ourselves reading the scriptures or religious articles on a “repeat” motion as we might feel with waking up, showering, and eating every morning. Daily routines are good for us, but what can we do to make them better? We could exercise after we wake up, listen to some pumped-up music while in the shower, and start reading that new book we just bought while eating breakfast.

We can also enhance our personal religious readings by finding new ways to study the words of God. Here are five fun and different ways to study “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” to enhance our routine studying of this precious document.

  1. Make it Personal – While reading the Proclamation, insert your name into every place appropriate, along with the name of your spouse if you are married. For example, I would read the opening sentence as, “We, The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between Joshua and Elizabeth is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of Elizabeth and Joshua’s family.”
  2. Highlight Your Part – Highlight every section that applies to you. If you are a woman, highlight all the parts pertaining to a woman’s role and a mother’s role, even if you do not have children. The same goes for men. Knowing what the Lord desires for each of us specifically, will help us improve in these roles or prepare for them.
  3. Discuss the Worldly Differences – It is no secret that the statements made in this Proclamation are very different from the world’s opinions of what gender can be and how romantic relationships can look. Don’t shy away from these topics. Mark the differences between the Lord’s words and the world’s words and discuss them with yourself and your family. Be prepared to know and stand up for what you believe in.
  4. Live what you Read – When we practice what we learn, it truly becomes a part of us. The Proclamation contains nine paragraphs. Starting from the beginning, read one paragraph from the Proclamation each week for nine weeks. Each week, pray for and look for experiences in which you can practice what the specific paragraph you read teaches. Even if the paragraph talks about the roles of the opposite gender, look for ways to sustain and respect the roles of that gender.
  5. Make a Plan – We are more likely to fulfill our goals in life once we have written them down. Write down a plan of how you intend to incorporate and continuously live the principles taught in the Proclamation. Revise this plan as necessary and return to study it often. Nobody and no family are perfect, but this Proclamation gives us the guidance and tools to strive for perfection.


Make Decluttering a Joy

I was going to write about new and creative ways to organize, but while I was looking for inspiration, I saw this phrase: “Why organize when you can declutter?”

When I was a senior in high school, my mom read a book about decluttering. The following Family Home Evening on decluttering was traumatic for all of us, a family of pack rats, but it was especially traumatic for me, as I knew that going off to college soon meant I would have to do some serious decluttering.

I remember cradling each of my books (more than 120 in total) in my hands, bawling, and asking myself, “Does this spark joy in me?” and if it didn’t, I hesitantly placed it in a pile destined to end up at the local thrift store.

Now, I’m terrible at decluttering (I only threw about 6 books out), but I can see how necessary it is when space is limited, and things are just getting too hard to organize.

I think that one of the problems I encountered when attempting to declutter so long ago, was that I only had the one question to base my decluttering on, “Does this spark joy in me?”. Joy is defined as a feeling, source, or cause of great happiness, not just something that you’re used to having. This makes things hard, because some things you just have to keep, even if they don’t bring you joy. Conversely, some things that you may think bring you joy just have to go.

William Morris said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” So how can you decide what is clutter and what is not, with so many vague parameters? I have compiled a list of questions you can use to evaluate.

  1. Do you know what it is? (I’ll give you a hint on this one: if the answer is no, just toss it.)
  2. Does it have sentimental value?
  3. Does it work?
  4. If not, can you fix or repurpose it?
  5. If you can, do you have a realistic plan to do so?
  6. Does it take up a lot of space?
  7. Have you used it in the last year?
  8. If you were shopping right now, would you buy this?
  9. Do you have a similar item that serves the same purpose?
  10. Does it spark joy in you? (If your item answered yes for 6 and 9 and no for all the others, be very strict about the definition of joy in this question.)

I encourage you to use these questions to aid you in your decluttering. And maybe if you do, decluttering won’t be as much a traumatic experience (like it was for me), and more of a joyful experience.


Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

The Best General Conference Memes and Tweets

We all love General Conference. We love the spirituality, the stories, the songs. But we also love a little good clean humor. Here are a few of the funniest memes and tweets that came out of the April 2017 General Conference.

For more Conference memes and tweets, check out this page.



















R: Living your Religion in Marriage

Photo by Sarah Wells



Getting married is hopefully the best decision you’ve ever made, but like any major life change, it comes with a lot of transitions. Even if you come from the same religious background, it is likely that you and your spouse will have some differing views and traditions when it comes to religion. (Read more on merging traditions in the first installment of this series.)

My husband and I were both raised in a similar way, with religion being a top priority in our families’ lives. Despite that, we have had to learn how to make our religious practices work in our marriage.

Here are a few things we’ve learned

  • Talk about it. We had to sit down and discuss what religious practices we wanted to carry into our relationship. We decided which things were a priority to us, and what we would start doing now so that we could have well-established traditions for when our children are born.
  • Set a time to be spiritual. This could be every day, every week, or whenever you decide is best for you. We have loved setting aside time every day to study and pray together. It’s a quiet time when we can reflect on what is most sacred and important to us, and in which we can remember what is truly important. No matter what you and your spouse do during your spiritual time, setting aside time for it will ensure that you can have time amidst a busy schedule.
  • Involve friends and family. Just because you are married now doesn’t mean you have to exclude friends and family. My husband and I have loved having a weekly religious discussion group every other Monday night with four other couples in our apartment complex. We keep it fun and always have a treat and game to go along with it.
  • Lift each other. One of the best things about being married is that you have another person to encourage you. Never nag or criticize your spouse when it comes to religious habits. If you know he or she can be better, show your spouse! Treat them how you want them to be and that’s how they will act.

As my husband and I live our religion together, we feel closer together and find meaning in our marriage. As you find what works best for your new marriage, you will find that having religious traditions you can do together will increase the spirituality of your relationship and help you to be closer.

By Mckenna Clarke
This is the third post in a series about making the transition from single life to marriage. Each post will highlight a topic about marriage that begins with a letter in the word. As we work our way through M.A.R.R.I.A.G.E, whether you have been married for a while, are a newlywed, or are preparing to get married, we hope that these posts will help you to make a smooth transition

Harold B. Lee Library

The Harold B. Lee Library has been a part of Brigham Young University’s campus for decades. On top of providing a gateway to knowledge through its book collections, the library also has some fantastic exhibits. These exhibits change every few months, but they never fail to put some pennies in your knowledge bank.

One exhibit the library has going on right now is their Life in Happy Valley exhibit. It’s an insightful exhibit about the history of Utah County. It’s a great exhibit for a study break for students or a fun field trip for any little ones who want to know more about where they live. This particular exhibit ends this month, so make sure to check it out before they shut down.

If you don’t make it in time for this one, there are several others to check out now. You can see a list of the current exhibits here, and you can learn more about the Happy Valley exhibit here.

Happy exhibiting!

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

Bowls for Humanity

I know we often think about Christmas as the season of giving, but as Easter approaches, I’ve been feeling a greater need to follow the example of the One who gave His life for our happiness and well-being by giving back in whatever ways I can in this Easter season and forever after.

Friday, March 25, 2016, Utah County’s Food and Care Coalition is putting on their tenth annual Bowls for Humanity event.

Bowls for Humanity offers locally made pottery from students and professionals and invites the community to support programs offered for the homeless and low-income of Utah County.

It’s free admission, so the only thing you are paying for is the bowl and the soup and roll that come with it ($5 and up). It’s a great opportunity to give to those who are struggling, just as our Savior did and continues to do.

All the information for this event can be found here.

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

Women’s Day in Provo

International Women’s Day has been around since the early 1900’s, but it’s only been called to my attention in the past few weeks. Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock, or maybe the feminist outcry has been taken a little more seriously this year. I’m all for celebrating women, and Provo is too.

Courtesy of

Today, March 8, Provo is having a day-long celebration of women. There will be a bike ride, an art discussion, and a show at Velour this evening.

According to their website:

This event started as a city initiative to enhance the visibility of the women of Provo, promote leadership opportunities for women in our community, and provide opportunities for women to help one another. Our hope is that it will grow into a Provo tradition and become a part of our culture for years to come. ​

If you can’t make it to the earlier events, I would definitely try to make it to the later ones. I’m so proud of Provo and its decision to make this holiday such a part of their community.

#ProvoWomensDay all the way.

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

Museum of Art

I think as we get older a lot of us lose the intense sense of curiosity we had as children. (It really was a sort of sense with how natural it was.) That deep fascination with the world around us just kind of gets put on the back burner as we get older.

One of the ways I try to reignite this flame is by taking on an activity or a task that I don’t naturally think about doing. One such activity is going to an art museum whenever I get the chance.

I’m not an art enthusiast by any means, but once I get in the zone and flow of a museum, I could take in the pieces on display for hours. Sometimes it’s because I’m just taking the art in for myself, or it’s because I’m reading every single plaque to try and figure out what it is I’m supposed to be looking for in the piece in front of me.

If you’re looking to reignite that sixth sense within you, I would suggest taking a trip to the Museum of Art here at Brigham Young University. They have such an incredible array of exhibits and activities going on constantly that I’m sure you’ll end up finding some of that childhood fascination bringing itself back to life.

One event in particular that I always love going to is their Art After Dark night. Typically the first Friday of every month, Art After Dark is a free event in which you get to see a new exhibit at the museum, consume some good food, and even get some free entertainment (typically a live band). It’s a really great way to spend date night, family night, roommate night, or I-want-some-alone-time-but-I-don’t-want-to-seem-anti-social night.

Plus, their famously delicious Cafe is now open later on Fridays if you want to indulge your taste sense as well as that curiosity one I mentioned before.

Make sure to check out the MoA’s events page here.

Provo Library


One gem that seems to often be looked over in our community is the Provo City Library. It’s an incredible sight because of its beautiful architecture and rich history, but there is more to this historical site than just looks.

unnamedThe library holds awesome functions and events for anyone and everyone. They have monthly events for kids and teens and also have authors come and give lectures for the adults who want a little more literature-speak in their lives. They also have an exercise class at least once a month.


unnamed1This month their playing on the Valentine’s Day theme with a Valentine’s Ball on February 13 amongst their other fun activities. Make sure to check out their calendar here. There’s sure to be something for everyone in your family (I’m looking at that Tai Chi for Beginners class). I guarantee it.

—Jazmin Cybulski, Stance

More information for Provo Library events can be found here.

Empowered By His Love

family with Christ

“How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved.” —Sigmund Freud

Think about a time when you knew that you were loved. When someone makes the effort to put you first, you can be sure you are loved. You feel more courage and confident. Maybe someone went to great lengths to let you know that he or she loved you or maybe it was a simple. A touch, a word, a note, a gift, or an act of service. Remember how you felt? Loved!


Did you know there is someone that is ALWAYS willing to go to great lengths to show His love for you?

“Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny,” (“The Family: A Proclamation to The World”).

284339_10150253946073877_7247146_nWe are children of God. “The most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love” (“You Matter to Him,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf). He is willing to put us first EVERY time because He loves us.

Because He loves us He has given us an opportunity to have an earthly experience during which we can learn to be more like Him. Including learning to love through serving and sacrificing.

Here are a few simple ideas to get started:

  • Make someone’s bed
  • Prepare a hot breakfast for someone
  • Write a note of appreciation
  • Hold a door open for someone
  • Offer to share your umbrella
  • Bake your favorite kind of cookies and give them away
  • Sincerely ask how someone is doing, then listen
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter, or community center
  • Pray for someone by name
  • Share an inspiring quote
  • Smile



“The Family: A Proclamation to The World” teaches that we are children of Heavenly Parents and that we have the potential to become like Them. Start today. Start small. Empower someone with confidence by showing them how much you love them.

—Karee Brown, Stance

For more ideas of showing others your love for them check out this 14-day challenge.

Take the time to reflect on how you can further show your love and listen a few suggestions by Elder Holland in “How Do I Love Thee?”

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