Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

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Gilmore Girls Family Lessons

Do you perk up when you hear the words, Gilmore Girls? Are you still hoping that Netflix will put out a season two of A Year in the Life to answer all those loose ends we were left with? I know that I am.

Gilmore Girls is loved by so many people. It has its hilarious, as well as touching, moments that so many people can relate to in their own lives with their own families. The Gilmore Girls may not live within a traditional home of a married father and mother, yet they are still as much a family as any other family. Rory and Lorelai are truly the ultimate dynamic duo between mother and daughter. They have their rough moments, but they always come back together in love and unity, while making countless, unforgettable friends along the way.

Since we could truly write a book about the different family dynamics in the Gilmore Girls series, the following are just three of the amazing family lessons we can learn from the Gilmore Girls:

  1. Eat Together: One might wonder how the Gilmore Girls can consume so much sugar and take-out while remaining in great health and how they can afford the take-out in the first place, but they can! So many wonderful memories are made for Rory and Lorelai over take-out from Luke’s Diner, Pete’s, and more. It gives them time to bond and have meaningful conversations with each other. Take time to have a special meal or take-out with your family to just enjoy some good junk food and conversation.
  2. Always Apologize: Let’s admit, Rory and Lorelai, especially, do not have the best communication skills. Lorelai and Luke should have been truthful all the time and spoken their true feelings to each other! Lorelai and Emily should have taken the time to communicate their feelings in a civil manner when Lorelai was a teenager. Rory and Lorelai could have even used better communication in their many disagreements over boys, college, and more. No family is free of arguments or explosive communication, however, the Gilmore Girls always make up in the end. We can take this lesson and apply it in our lives—the importance of saying sorry, asking for forgiveness, and never loosing the close bond between family members over a dumb argument or harsh words said in a moment of frustration.
  3. Home is Home: One final lesson to learn from the Gilmore Girls, is that you can always come home. Despite all the craziness that happened in the family dynamic of the Gilmore’s, there was always a home to go to. Despite Lorelai’s struggles through her teenage years, she and her family are always welcome to Emily and Richard’s house. The love was always there; it never left. When Rory struggles through her issues in high school, college, and even post-college life, Lorelai is always there to welcome her home. Sometimes discipline is necessary or advice must be given on a questionable decision, but this does not mean the love is gone, but rather that the love is strong. Let’s remember the family we love in our lives and always have a home for them to come home to in hard times.

BY ELIZABETH HANSEN

Get Pumped (and Prepped) for General Conference

It’s that time of year again, folks! Six months of sunshine and warm days are nearing an end as we say hello to changing leaves, all things pumpkin spice, and the excitement of a new school year and new possibilities. With fall on the horizon, General Conference is on its way! This year’s October session schedule* is: 

September 30 at 6:00 pm: The general priesthood session for priesthood holders

September 30 and October 1 at 10:00 am. and 2:00 pm: The general sessions for individuals and families

*This schedule is set according to MST time*

With conference just a few days away, we thought we’d give you a few helpful suggestions to prepare for it. Being prepared and willing to feel and hear what the Spirit is saying to you is key to having an amazing experience!

1. Pray for questions and answers to those questions

Now I know this might sound silly, but if God knows everything, then He knows what we are struggling with now and what we will need help and guidance with in the future.  He will help if we’re willing to listen! Praying to know what kind of topics to seek out for General Conference or what questions to ask Him (during any time of our lives) is a great way to practice listening to the still small voice as we search for answers.

Already feel like you have some questions that you would like some answers to? Take those to the Lord and ask for help in listening and understanding what each speaker is saying and how it relates to you and your questions personally.

2. Invite a friend

Do you home or visit teach anyone that is less active or a recent convert? Have you gone on a team-up with the missionaries lately? Do you have a friend that you think would really appreciate and benefit from the messages being taught? Do you have that one friend that is always down for a GNO or a bro’s night? Feel free to invite someone to be uplifted and help them understand that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them. If you’re inviting out of love, they will be honored that you asked them. (Plus, some ice-cream afterwards never hurt anyone.)

3. Bring a notebook and (your favorite) pen

Long ago, my EFY counselor told our group, “An open pen is a satellite to the Holy Ghost.” I have carried those words of wisdom with me ever since. As you listen to these inspired talks, take notes on how you feel and the thoughts that come to your mind. You don’t need to bother taking notes on what the speakers are actually saying because you can have your own copy of the talk in a few weeks. Just focus on the thoughts, feelings, and impressions that you receive.

4. Get a good night’s sleep before conference so you can be awake and alert!

5. Study and ponder the scriptures, attend the temple, fast, and serve

These suggestions are all things we can do throughout the year so we can always have the Holy Ghost with us and be constantly prepared for General Conference. Study scriptures that relate to the questions that you are thinking about. If you can’t attend the temple, walk around the temple grounds or go on a nice walk to admire all of God’s creations and silently say a prayer of gratitude. Fast and ask for guidance on the questions you are pondering. Service is a great way to show our Heavenly Father how much we love and appreciate Him and all of our brothers and sisters.

If you would like, here are all of the talks given in last April’s session of General Conference. Staying up to date on the words of the Lord’s anointed servants is always a good way to prepare for conference (and life!).

For many of us here at Stance, General Conference is one of the most wonderful times of the year. We hope you prepare to receive and enjoy all that our Prophet and Apostles have to say to us. Feel free to share your experiences on how prepping for General Conference helped you this year!

For more tips on prepping for this weekend, check these out:

- A Family Home Evening lesson all about general conference

-General Conference activities for children

-Ideas to Prepare

 BY CARLY CALLISTER

Home Sweet Home: More Than a Location

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Why did I take this class?
It was a question I hadn’t stopped asking myself for the previous 48 hours. I asked it when I lay shivering in my soaked sleeping bag, when I stood in dripping wet clothes as snow came down in large flurries, when they separated me from class and left me to survive on my own in the wild. Why did I take this class?
 
The survival class sounded like a good idea two months ago when I signed up for it. They told us the final would be four days long, that they would separate all of us and survive based off the skills we had learned. I could be home! I thought.
Home.
At the time I was sitting by my homemade shelter made from branches and bark. Home. I stood up and searched and found a large piece of bark and then started carving that very word: Home.
 
Later, in charcoal I would add below the poorly carved “home” the words “sweet home” to read “Home sweet home.” This little signed changed everything. I began to “tidy up” camp, brushing away the dead leaves and twigs, dragging a large fallen branch over to sit on, creating little tables for my tools and food.
 
Suddenly, I wasn’t just surviving: I was thriving, and it was all because I had created a “home sweet home.” So many times even in my own, snug, cozy life I had been living moment to moment, simply trying to  get by to the next day. In the back of my mind, I knew that I would be leaving that makeshift shelter in just a day or so, but that didn’t matter. This home had become a place that I thrived in, and I knew coming back from the final I would do everything in my power to make my little apartment a place where I could continue to thrive.
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They say home is where the heart is. I used to see that as a passive phrase, that home would just happen to be wherever my heart was and that where my heart would be was completely out of my control. I know now that you can make a home by working to put your heart and love into wherever you are.
By Jessica Olsen

10 DIY Nightstands

Good morning, Stance readers!

Looking for ways to update your bedroom. Why not try making your own nightstand? Keep reading below for 10 ideas about DIY nightstands.

1. Square Table

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2. Crate

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3. Stacked Luggage

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4. Hanging Nightstand

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5. Restoration Hardware Look

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6. Cinderblock

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7. Paint-Dipped Stepstool

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8. Upside-down, wire wastebasket

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9. Jenga Stacking Game Inspiration

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10. Recycled Wood Stump

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Thank you for reading! Please comment below.

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

10 Ways to Decorate with Frames

Dear Stance: Studies on the Family readers,

Good morning! Making your own frames can add spunk and color to your space—whether you live in a home, a rental, an apartment, wherever! You can even alter frames to make them unique. Check out 10 ideas below . . .

1. Flower-Power Frame. Feminine and simple, this DIY project feels like spring!

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2. Gallery Art Wall. This project is perfect if you have a child who is artsy. You can paint the frames bright colors and use them in your child’s bedroom.

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3. Old Window. Have an old window that isn’t in use? Or have you found a window from a thrift shop that you’d like to use? Add some pictures!

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4. Clipboards. Clipboards, in and of themselves, aren’t frames. But you can use them as frames to hang photos or quotes!

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5. Hanging Frames with Chains. Add multiple chains hanging from a peg for a nautical feel.

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6. Transfer Photo, Wood Frames. Use actual pieces of wood to bring a natural feel to your room.

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7. Burned Wooden Frames. Minimalist and simplistic, this project is just beautiful.

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8. Hanging Mats. This project ends up looking like an art gallery!

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9. Multiple frames, various sizes. This look is extra fun when the colors are all the same. In the picture below, the colors used are black and white.

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10. DIY Frame Shelf. Create a fun 3D effect! You could even paint different colors, for contrast.

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

10 Ways to Decorate with Plants

Spring is just around the corner. Bring new life—specifically plants—into your home or apartment or any room.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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

  1. Unique Shelving Shapes

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2. Terrarium

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3. Bottles on the Wall

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4. Bunch Together in One Corner

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5. Copper Hanging Planter

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6. Geometric Sculptures

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7. Stool(s)

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8. Quirky Vases + Bottles

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9. Teacups

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10. Multiple Wooden Hanging Planters

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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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What Bees Buzz about Relationships

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By Jerrick Robbins

When I lived at home, my dad often enlisted my help on certain household projects. My mom called it his “Honey do“ list, although it wasn’t really a list. She would simply call out, “Honey, do this” or “Honey, do that.” My dad would echo Wesley from The Princess Bride and say, “As you wish” to his Princess Buttercup. He was her farm boy and her worker bee.

I’m slightly terrified of bees, but I’ve also come to respect those little black and yellow creatures. I learned that bees converse through a sort of dance. They zig and zag communicating to the other hive members the location of a particular flower-filled meadow. On average, a hive of bees will fly over 48,000 miles to accumulate enough pollen for just one quart of honey. That’s a lot of work!

Looking back at those Saturdays spent working on the list with my dad, I remember the feeling of accomplishment I had when we would finish a project. I imagine that honeybees don’t have that same feeling at the end but during the journey. For them, collecting honey is a continuous process. Collecting honey never stops.

Those days of helping my dad on his “Honey do” list are past, but I’m getting closer to having my own Princess give me “Honey do” lists someday.  I’ve decided there’s a reason why so many couples call each other “honey.” Now maybe it’s because many people think it’s cute, but I believe there’s a deeper reason. Think of all the time and hard work a hive of bees accomplishes just for one quart of honey. Now think of all the time and hard work required to nurture a relationship. There’s a correlation there, and it’s not coincidental.