Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: family (page 2 of 5)

Sabbath Message: Whom Will Ye Serve?

“[C]hoose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).family-walking-along-beach-1117003-print

I’m not sharing this scripture because it is my favorite, or because it changed my life when I memorized it in Seminary. I think this is one of my dad’s favorite scriptures, and I remember enjoying it when I read it for the first time in Seminary. But it’s never been one of those scriptures that stuck with me. It’s never been my go-to scripture.family-prayer

Although it has never been that scripture for me, someday I want it to be one of the most applicable and meaningful scriptures in my repertoire. Someday, when I have a family with little children who depend on me for so much—I will want this scripture to have meaning. When I have a family I will teach my children the gospel of Christ. I will teach them right from wrong. I will train and guide them in all that they need to know. I will teach them who to serve. When I have a family, we will serve the Lord.

—Shelby Olsen, Stance

5 Ideas to Make Learning Fun for the Family

President’s Day has come and gone. Maybe you roasted hot dogs on the grill with your family? Maybe you lit a few sparklers? You probably didn’t sit in the library for hours researching why you were celebrating. But learning can actually be fun and can bring your family together. Some of my favorite memories with my family involve us learning together. Whether we were looking at museums in D.C. or reading our favorite stories out loud to each other, learning was always a big part of family time.

Here are a few fun ways you can learn with your family:

  1. Have one person look up interesting holiday facts and while everyone else guesses which facts are true.
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    Do a scavenger hunt in a museum.

  3. Go to a library and have everyone find the biggest (or longest, smallest, most colorful, best titled) book.
  4. Play learning/mind games like Scrabble or crossword puzzles.
  5. Read up on your favorite painting and try to recreate it using watercolors or finger paints. Then put all your paintings on the fridge for everyone to see.

—Ashley Smith, Stance

Why Traditions Are Important

There are many types of family traditions. There are religious traditions, seasonal traditions, celebratory traditions or just plain fun traditions. Whatever kind they are, all family traditions have one thing in common—they unite us. The best way to strengthen family relationships is by spending time together, and traditions can play an important role by helping families remember to take time to appreciate one another.

Most of my family’s traditions revolve around two things: outdoor activities and food. In the part of Oregon where we live we have the sweetest berries. Every summer we make a point of going berry picking, taking advantage of a beautiful day, and then going home and enjoying the deliciousness together. Another annual tradition we have is on the day after Thanksgiving we go to the Christmas tree farm to chop down our tree. No matter what the weather is like, we go traipsing all over the farm looking for that perfect tree. It’s always a fun and sometimes muddy outing that ends with stuffing a giant tree through the front door and warming up with steaming cups of hot chocolate.

Creating memories together.

Creating memories together.

Taking the time to do these things together has strengthened our family relationships. We laugh and joke together and cherish these fun moments. Families can also develop weekly and daily traditions. Whether it’s family prayer or game night, children remember and are shaped by these wholesome activities.

Elder L. Tom Perry said, “If we will build righteous traditions in our families, the light of the gospel can grow ever brighter in the lives of our children from generation to generation.”

When we prioritize family traditions, we are prioritizing each other and the treasured relationships we have. It’s never too late to start a new family tradition or rekindle old ones. Take some time today for family and traditions.

—Allie Hamilton, Stance

10 Ways to Decorate for Valentine’s Day

In a little more than a week, it’s St. Valentine’s Day.  ;-)

Okay, so I’m sorry for the reminder. I think this holiday is a little overrated. But here are some not terrible ideas to celebrate this holiday with a little more style

  1. Coffee Filters. So you don’t drink coffee? You don’t have to in order to make this decor. This wreath is so pretty and simple to make.
  2. Burlap Banner. Burlap. String. Hearts. Banner—ready to hang.
  3. Hearts-on-a-Stick. So the look is much prettier than the sound of it. But add some nature to your sweet space! Hot glue some sparkly (or non-sparkly, whatever you prefer) hearts onto the twigs.
  4. Umbrella Love. Tired of the cliché wreath hanging outside your door? Take some ol’ umbrella. Add a bow. Add some fake flowers. You’re ready to go!
  5. Mason Jars. This craft is hipster-approved. Place a heart on a doily, and then tie it around a jar with some string or ribbon.
  6. String Heart. Probably a little more time intensive. But the result is darling.
  7. Free Printables. Feeling lazy? Just print out some printables. Free ones, of course!
  8. Wall of Hearts. Forget about Jar of Hearts! Try some easy 3D hearts on your walls.
  9. Chain of Hearts. Making chains is no longer reserved only for Christmas. Get out your construction paper, and cut them into stripes. Then fold and staple. Done deal.
  10. Eraser Art. Although the picture below shows this project on a canvas bag, it would be easy to make this decor for a picture or something else cute! :) Grab an old No. 2 pencil, and start stamping.

See pictures of these ideas below. <3

—Katie, Editor-in-Chief Stance: Studies on the Family

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10 Ways to Decorate with DIY Pillows

Pillow fight!

Just kidding . . . But what is more fun that a bunch of big, fluffy pillows?

If you’ve just moved into a new apartment or home, a quick way to make your new space feel “homey” is to make some spunky pillows for any room. Currently, it is really popular to make your own pillows! Keep some of these ideas in mind:

  • Texture. Don’t shy away from texture! Flowers or frills can be sewn onto pillows to create a different effect.
  • Color. Embrace color. A bright yellow or red or pink may just be the perfect finishing touch to brighten up your room. Even think about using pastel colors.
  • Tassels. Add tassels for the sake of spunkiness.
  • Words. Add some text—a favorite quote or expression—to a pillow.
  • Round v. Square. Try your hand at making some round and square pillows! They don’t have to all be the same shape!
  • Reused Materials. Take an old sweater, and repurpose it as a brand new pillow! Not only will you be resourceful, but you will also stay warm and cozy with a snug pillow.
  • Glitter. Who doesn’t love a touch of sparkle? Glam up your room with some sparkling sequins or glitter.

Check out some fun pillow ideas below to help you spruce up your space!

—Katie, Stance: Studies on the Family

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10 Ideas for Decorating with Mirrors

Decorating with mirrors can add elegance or edgy-ness to any home, apartment, or rental. Mirrors create the illusion of space, airiness, openness—making this decor choice perfect for small spaces, like hallways or tinier bedrooms.

A current trend is decorating with multiple mirrors on the same wall. The mirrors can be the same size or various sizes. Use frames of the same color or design, or try very different patterns and textures for contrast. Another fun decor idea to try is to create patterns with the mirrors on the wall.

The more different the style of the mirrors, the more eclectic the feel of the space in which you are decorating will be.

In contrast, the more uniform the style of the mirrors, the more refined and elegant the feel of the space in which you are decorating will be.

—Katie, Stance: Studies on the Family

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Moroccan, Islamic Women and Latter-day Saints

When I first read the title “Moroccan Women’s Integration of Family and Religion,” I was at once piqued. I am always eager to learn new insights into other cultures and religions, and Donna Lee Bowen gives an insightful account of her findings from the women’s lives she submerged herself in.

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Islam is the dominant religion in Morocco, making the majority of its population Muslim. As I continued to read the article, I was presented with facts about Islam, and the people who follow it, that I had never heard before in a history class.

A controversial topic in Western Society is the inequality of Muslim women. But as Bowen points out, when laws and customs are taken out of their social context of course they seem unequal. One law gives twice the amount of a wife’s inheritance to her husband than vice versa. To members of Western society this screams of gender inequality, but the purpose of this law is to give male family members more of the inheritance so that they can take care of the women. Not unequal, but a check to make sure everyone in the family can support each other. Pondering over this example, and other examples that Bowen gives, I began to see parallels between Islam and Mormonism.

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How much anti-Mormon literature takes quotes and statements out of context, using them to slander our religion? How many people have been turned away from the Gospel of Christ because of a misconstrued myth about Mormon culture? It happens all the time to Latter-day Saints, and reviewing what I hear on the news and other media sources it happens to Muslims, as well.

Now I am not saying that every Muslim custom is misunderstood, but I believe that a religion that champions family and equal family roles deserves understanding. Ignorance is the main cause of misunderstanding, but knowledge can bring enlightenment. After reading this article, I believe that as a Latter-day Saint who seeks to enlighten those who misunderstand my beliefs and culture, I must first enlighten myself to my misunderstandings of others.

—BrookeAnn Henriksen, Stance: Studies on the Family

Grande Mosque Hassan II, a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco (image from here)

10 Children’s Room Ideas

It’s true—decorating or even updating decor can be stressful. But when you decorate this special space, the process does not need to be complicated! What you need is specific idea in mind. For example, try picking a theme or a color. Consider questions, such as the following:

  • Does your child love to explore or to travel? Add a map or prints of different countries or cities.
  • Does your child have a bright personality? When painting, pick one pop of color—for personality’s sake.
  • Does your child love camping? Add a touch of the outdoors, by using live plants or prints of trees or flowers.
  • Is your child eclectic in his or her tastes? Add rainbow-colored polka-dots, flags, banners, or pom-poms throughout the room for an inclusive, warm feel.
  • Is your flower child a free spirit? Add multi-colored, multi-textured pillows and drapes for that bohemian, hippie feel.

Whether your child love neons or neutrals, peonies or pom-poms, origami or stuffed animals, this room will be a place where your child will love to play, to learn, and to grow up in. Here are 10 beautiful children’s bedroom to provide ideas of how spark your creativity when decorating!

—Katie, Editor-in-Chief, Stance: Studies on the Family

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Wedding Wednesday: Kid Questions

The excitement is building; I am officially counting down the days now. In a little over two weeks my fiancée and I are getting married in the Salt Lake Temple! He feels like it’s not coming soon enough, I feel like the time is whizzing by.

Today, instead of talking about wedding planning, I’d like to talk about something that I will have to start thinking about in the near future; when to have kids. My fiancée and I have only talked about it occasionally, and it was only the basic questions like: “how many kids do you want?” or “what should we name our kids?” We haven’t really talked about it seriously yet, but I imagine that time will be coming soon. It’s a question that all married couples have to face and eventually decide on.

A couple weeks ago, my cousin told my fiancée and I not to have kids until he had a secure job. At the time we just smiled and didn’t say anything, but I was inwardly upset. Not only was it not her place to say, but also in the LDS faith we are taught that having children is part of God’s plan, and that families are essential to our salvation. I have often heard from Church leaders that couples should not necessarily wait until they are financially secure to have children. I knew that my cousin had heard the same testimonies on the subject so I was confused as to why she would say that to us.

I had to take a step back and think about where my cousin was coming from. My cousin grew up in a home where her father came from a well-to-do family and was already secure in his job when he married her mom. Taking this step back, I could see her perspective and knew that she sincerely had our best interests at heart.

While my cousin’s advice was logical, it is not up to her, the rest of my family, nor my friends, or really anyone, to decide when my fiancée and me have children. The decision when to have kids and how many should be between the spouses and the Lord. When making this decision, and really any important decision, it is necessary to consult with each other and pray to the Lord about the decision. By doing this we invite the Lord to be a part of the marriage and have a hand in it.422661_433475463356702_1883829178_n

Just as we wouldn’t want to be judged, it is important not to be judgmental of other couples based on how many or how few kids they have. No one really understands their specific situation, only the Lord does. The Lord is the judge of mankind, not us. Many times it may be difficult for a couple to bear children, and it would be unfair to judge them. Remember, it is not anyone else’s business; it is solely between husband, wife, and the Lord.

I personally cannot wait to start a family and I am so ecstatic to be a mother. Families are essential to society, and most notably to the children that are brought into it.

By Bryn Adams

4 Steps For Preserving Family History

chelsea1Every so often an event happens that puts everything into perspective. All those stressors—education, family, careers, and hundreds of other things—become hushed and fade into the background. Just a couple weeks ago, my family found out that my great aunt, who we love and adore, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given a couple of precious months to live. I spent the last week with very little sleep and no breaks editing my great-grandfather’s autobiography in-between classes and work, so that my Aunt Audrey could read her dad’s story before her sight is taken and eventually her life.  This experience taught me the joy and love we can feel as we learn about our families and preserve our history.

Here are four ways to preserve our family history:

1. Keep your own history

President Spencer W. Kimball, a man who had 33 black binders of journals when he was called to be President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, had an incredible testimony of writing a journal.  He said, “get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity.  Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, you impressions and your testimonies.  Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events.”*

Start today and write for one minute. Include as many events and feelings as you can. Do not try and play catch up with the last five years of your life. It will stress you out and you’ll quit. Make a goal to write once a week or however often you can that will stretch you but not set you up for failure.

2. Take pictures

There is nothing like looking at family photos and reliving memories. Most of us have phones with decent picture-taking abilities. Remember to use them and backup those pictures. It is also fun to make a photo album. There are lots of ways to create them online or slip photos into an already-prepared photo albuSummer 09 654m.

3. Visit with the sages

Take the time to talk to your grandparents and other aged people in your family (and the younger ones too). Record your conversations with them as they describe what life was like for them. This weekend I spent two days recording conversations between some of my aunt’s thirteen siblings. They were sharing stories, laughing, and singing together. The stories I captured on my phone (thanks to smart phones, we have no excuses!) are so special, and I hope to add them to my great-grandfather’s autobiography so other members of my family can read them and pass them on.

4. Share with others 

Thanks to technology, we have so many ways to share our family history. We can create a family website, blog our experiences, or email stories and pictures. Online sharing is also a wonderful way to share family recipes and keep up traditions. The Internet is an incredible blessing to photothose who fill it with good things and use it for good purposes.  

Now that you’ve taken the time to read this post, go take the time to do its tips. Happy doing!

 

By Chelsea Jamison

*See more of President Kimball’s words here and here.

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