Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Tag: family (page 3 of 5)

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.

Moroccan, Islamic Woman (image from here)

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.

Wedding Wednesday: Meet Bryn

My name is Bryn Adams. I am currently a junior at BYU, and…I just got ENGAGED!

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While being engaged has probably been one of the most exciting times in my life, it has also been the most stressful. Being a full-time student and planning a wedding is no easy task; it’s hard to find a balance between the two. While I wouldn’t say I’m an expert by any means, I have learned a few things in the past couple of weeks that I would like to share with any of you who are engaged at this moment or who hope to be in the near or distant future.

 

Tip #1: Start planning as soon as possible

Being engaged is an exciting, blissful moment and you should definitely revel in it. However, it’s important to start getting serious about planning the wedding as soon as possible. My fiancé and I immediately started calling businesses for consultations the day after he popped the question. It has only been two weeks and we already have the temple date set, the reception venue, the cake and food at the reception, decorations, and the honeymoon planned. Just this past week we took some engagement photos, and I’ve already gone dress shopping (with no luck yet). Thankfully, school has been put on the back burner only slightly. Planning a wedding isn’t something you want to procrastinate because it is stressful. The more you have out of the way beforehand, the less stressed you’ll be.

 

Tip #2: Use your family and friends’ talents

Everyone has that really artsy person or crazy micromanager in their family or circle of friends. I’m telling you that you will be grateful for your family and friends’ talents when it’s time to plan a wedding. They will be your lifesavers, stress savers, and money savers. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family to help you, in fact, many of them may even offer their talents to you. My cousin has always had a knack for art and wants to go into photography. She’s a pretty good photographer already and has an awesome camera to boot. I asked her if she would be willing to take my engagement and bridal photos, she was happy to help. Instead of paying a professional hundreds—maybe even thousands—of dollars to take our photos, we’re having my cousin do it for cheaper. When planning a wedding, your family and friends become your greatest assets. Oftentimes they’ll be more than happy to help.

 

Tip #3: Talk to your fiancé:

When it comes to weddings, it is usually the bride who has been dreaming and planning this day in her head since she was young. While planning your wedding, don’t leave your fiancé out of it, assuming that because he’s a guy, he wouldn’t be interested. Your soon-to-be-husband may have some good ideas that you never even thought of. Although he may not want to be involved with the whole thing, don’t leave him out. Ask him how involved he wants to be with the planning. Not only can your fiancé give ideas and advice, he can also be the one that keeps you sane. Tell him what your ideas are, what you’re stressed about, and what you want help with. Who knows, may he’ll surprise you with an awesome idea or give you comfort when you need it.

 

Though I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done in two weeks, there is still so much to do. I’m learning as I go, and I’m  grateful for all the help that I’ve been given by my friends and family, which I‘m sure I’ll need even more as the date draws closer. These tips have already helped me and I hope they’ll be helpful to others as well.

How to Have Peace

Finding Peace?

In the constant, daily struggles of everyday life, it can be difficult to feel peace. Whether it’s an upcoming exam or worries about the future (family, career, etc.), feeling peace can seem impossible.

In Doctrine and Covenants 19:23, it tells us how we can individually have peace:

Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.

So how can we have peace?

  1. A person must learn of Christ.
  2. A person must listen to the words of Christ.
  3. A person must be meek.

This world is full of confusion and turmoil. There are wars; there are rumors of wars. There are murders and fighting, divorce and hatred, unkindness and theft. But the Gospel truly does offer peace to those willing to accept its teachings.

1. A person must learn of Christ.

Learning of Christ seems pretty straightforward. Sometimes actually learning of Christ is hard when we get busy with life. Studying the scriptures, the Word of God, will help all of us learn of Christ. Going to the temple brings us closer to him.

2. A person must listen to the words of Christ.

In Doctrine and Covenants 1:38, the Lord declares the following:

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

This scripture seems to prove that General Conference is extremely important. When apostles and prophets speak, it is what the Lord would have declared because they are his servants.

Last Sunday in sacrament meeting, my bishop talked about General Conference, which will be happening this weekend. He said that across the church, it is the least attended meeting by the members. I was shocked! General Conference is probably my favorite spiritual weekend every April and October.

Bishop Jackson told the members of my ward eight concepts that we would learn if we would listen to General Conference.

8 Concepts We Can Learn if We Listen to to General Conference

  1. The importance of remembering our covenants
  2. Our need to seek for eternal truth
  3. How we can avoid confusion/being misled
  4. Why we should resist evil
  5. The need to sustain one another
  6. The importance of attending church meetings
  7. The importance of guarding our virtue
  8. Why we should develop good qualities

President Monson

3. A person must be meek.

I know that as we listen to the words of the prophets, we must be meek. If we are meek, we will be more likely to accept what they have to say as truth. And if we accept the words of the prophets and apostles, then we will be more likely to implement their teachings into our lives. Being meek is not being weak—being meek will make us humble and stronger.

Post written by: Katie, Editor-in-Chief

“Let No Man Put Asunder”: A Marriage Promise

By Jerrick Robbins

My sister recently bought a new cell phone. It has all the speed, all the data, and all the memory a person could want. Her brand-new technology puts my one-year-old technology to shame. In fact, it might as well own my phone. Her phone’s screen has better resolution, its width is thinner, and its camera can even take a video in slow motion. As much as I love my phone, I plan on getting the newest model as soon as I can update next year.

It seems like our culture is going toward a “newest and best model” theology. People need the newest technology, the best car, the best job, and the newest trends. I have to admit, I want it—all of it. All the new and best things. Yes, that thought might be a little materialistic and unobtainable, but a guy can dream, right? Yes, guys can dream, so can gals. People can dream, and people can have hope that they will obtain their dreams. But there’s one dream no one should entertain.

As I write this blog post, my fiancée is sitting next to me writing “thank you” cards. Earlier today, I massaged her feet as she relaxed from a hard day’s work. I love her, I love serving her, and at this moment, I could never see me leaving her. Sadly, that’s what many couples say at the beginning of their relationship, but they end up doing what they never thought possible.

image from flickr user urbiefoto

image from flickr user urbiefoto

Too many people fall into the “newest and best model” theology when it comes to a spouse. In effect, they think that if their marriage isn’t working, if they run into technical difficulties or glitches in marriage, it’s time to trade in for a new one. Our culture’s “newest and best model” theology has been taken too far. That thinking has removed commitment from a relationship and inserted change instead. It has removed responsibility and inserted replace.

Marriage is not meant to be easy, and it’s not meant to be perfect. Even though there may be difficulties or glitches, we shouldn’t replace it; instead, we should restore it. Rather than the “newest and best model” theology, let’s go back to “let no man put asunder.” A marriage promise should be a lifetime warranty, not a money back guarantee.

Love at Home: A New Perspective on Valentine’s Day

by Caroline Bliss Larsen

Valentine’s Day is a great time to teach your children that real, healthy relationships don’t require a box of chocolates. Grocery stores and shopping malls alike are great at enticing people to load up on chocolate, candy, and gifts for that special someone (or yourself) on Valentine’s Day—as a chocoholic, I should know. But what’s better than taping chocolates to paper hearts is teaching your kids what real love looks like—starting in the family. And real love is a lot healthier than all that candy.

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