Sunday, 3 October 2010
Marie's Sunday Six
Welcome to my Sunday Six Smile Maker's post. I do so love this day when I get to dwell on all that is good and sweet in my life. This is General Conference weekend and I love, LOVE General Conference. To those of you who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Conference weekend is a very special weekend for those of us who are. It happens twice a year, in the spring time and in the autumn and it is when we all gather together and our leaders speak to us . . . letting us know the things that they have pondered and prayed about . . . the things that the Lord would have us know. It is a very inspiring and spiritual time for us. I am always uplifted by what they have to say and their talks always leave me wanting to "Stand a little taller" on my walk through life.
So far this time has been no different and we have only been able to watch the first session. There are 4 two-hour sessions, given over the span of two days. Because of time differences between here and Utah some of them are very late at night for us, well for those of us who retire early at any rate! We have to play catch up the next day!
I tried to take notes as we were watching this first session, writing down in my notebook all the things that were said that touched my heart and uplifted me. There was a problem with the sound at the very beginning so that I did not get to hear President Monson's opening words, but by the time the first speaker spoke they had it all sorted out.
Here are a few things that truly touched my heart.
Jeffrey R Holland has to be one of my favourite speakers in the church. He always touches my heart. He doesn't even have to open his mouth. He has such a kind and loving countenance that I am uplifted just by the sight of him, and whenever he opens his mouth to speak . . . his words blow me away. He spoke of his love and prayers for us, the members of the church, indeed for the love and prayers that all the leaders have for us. He spoke very lovingly of the women of our church who are "always there when arms hang down and knees are feeble." He gave thanks for us and all that we do . . . for the quilts, the green jello, and the funeral potatoes . . . for the many sacrifices that are made by moms and dads, teachers, helpers, etc. so that the church can go on, proving to all that the love of Christ never faileth. He said so much more but I couldn't get the words down fast enough and I was afraid I would lose the essence of his message if I tried. He, as ever, touched my heart and made it smile . . .
We got to hear Rosemary M Wixon speak. She is the President of the Primary General Presidency. (Primary is our children's Sunday School organization) I had never heard her speak before and because I am now a leader in the Primary Organization her words had particular meaning for me . . . she challenged us as parents and as teachers and leaders of our beloved children that we must hold tight to the rod ourselves, set good examples for the children, be honest and sincer . . . love them. She warned us that the World would teach our children if we did not. Oh what a serious responsability this is for those of us in charge of these young and tender souls. It is our duty and our loving priveledge to show these wee ones that the Saviour has marked the path back to our Heavenly Father and shown us the way to go. When our intent is to hold tight to the word of God, then we can do it! This coming year in Primary we will be teaching the children to develop a love for the Scriptures. I am very excited about this charge because I do love the Scriptures so very much . . . they are an integral part of my life.
Another speaker who touched my heart was Claudio RM Costa, who spoke simply and with great sincerity about our prophets. We are so blessed to have a Living Prophet on the earth today . . . who communes with Christ and our Heavenly Father daily, who brings to us the words and the advice that They would have us know and follow. The Prophet is God's voice in the world today. I am so grateful for living Prophets who show us the way and point us in the right direction. I suppose our prophet would be similar to what the Pope is for Catholics. Our Prophet tells us what we need to know for today and these perilous times we are living in. I am very grateful for Brother Costa's words.
David M McConkie spoke to us about our charge as teachers of the Gospel . . . and we are each of us teachers of the Gospel, whether we have been formally called to be so or not. Someone is always watching us and learning from us in all that we do. He challenged us to know God's work, not just to declare God's work . . . and to apply all that we learn and teach to our own lives. Most importantly he charged us to act on the promptings of the Spirit without delay. How many times has that still small voice whispered to me, and have I ignored it . . . I need to do better with that.
D Todd Christopherson spoke to us about the importance and value of our lives. Our lives here on earth are a special stewardship of our time and the choices we make. Every minute we have been given here on earth will one day have to be accounted for. He taught us that true success in life comes from consecrating our lives to God's purposes, and that a consecrated life is one of integrity. His words rang with truth in my ears and in my heart.
Finally President Dieter F Uchtdorf spoke to us. Oh how I love President Uchtdorf. He is a very caring and spiritual man whose whole countenance radiates with love, compassion and understanding. Last night he urged us to slow down in the face of any turbulence we may be facing in our lives. His words rang true to my heart, especially in the light of all that Todd and I have been going through over these past six months or so . . . He urged each of us to not run faster than our individual strength would allow us to run . . . to hold close to the simplicity and clairity of Gospel truths. It is not complicated. It does not require more from us than we are willing or able to give. It will not lead us astray or distract us from all that is good in this lifetime and in the lifetime to come. It is easy to be busy . . . that any virtue when taken to the extreme can become a vice . . . that milestones can become millstones . . . that there is more to life than success in the way that the world would have us believe . . . that we need to focus on the things that matter most . . . that in turning our ways to"His" ways would be the beginning of our wisdom and our success. The message of Christ is a simple one . . . "Come Follow Me," and His voice a still and small voice. A fundamental principle that is not only the gateway to truth, but the key to living in harmony with God and man.
Oh how wise and uplifting the counsel was from these intelligent and wonderful spirits . . . spiritual giants indeed. No different than you or I, but called by God to a special purpose here on earth. Todd and I spend a very uplifting and beautiful two hours last evening in their company. If you would like to do the same I would urge you to go over HERE where you can hear them for yourselves. I guarantee you will feel uplifted and spiritually fed!
Oh what an uplifting and beautiful two hours was spent last evening in the company of these great people. I can't wait to see what else will be said in the next three sessions!
I am not the greatest bread baker in the world. My bread more usually than not ends up like doorstops. What I can make though are great pizza crusts and a fab Foccacia bread!
*Herby Foccacia Bread*
Makes 1 loaf
This is so easy to make and tastes so wonderful when done. It’s full of lots of delicious flavours and is really great to make toasted sandwiches with. You can vary the herbs as you wish and even add other toppings. Sun dried tomatoes and black olives come immediately to mind. On this day I sprinkled mine with some toasted pine nuts for a little crunch.
2 ¾ cup strong flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 packet of instant active dry yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 TBS olive oil
1 cup warm water
2 additional TBS of olive oil
2 TBS grated Parmesan Cheese
Additional toppings as desired
(mozzarella cheese, caramelized onion, pine nuts,
sun dried tomatoes, black olives etc.)
Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix in the 1 TBS of olive oil and the warm water. Stir well to pull the dough together. Once you have a manageable dough, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the ball of dough into it, turning it to coat it with the oil. Cover with a warm damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 25 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 205*C/425*F. Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down. Place it onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat it out to a ½ inch thick rectangle. It doesn’t matter if it is a bit wonkily shaped, as this only adds to the charm.
Using one of your knuckles place indentations into the top of the dough, spacing them about an inch apart and prick the top all over with a fork. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and any additional toppings you wish to use.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
In The English Kitchen today, a delicious Melt in Your Mouth Blueberry Cake with a Lemon Cream.