Farnsworth Sisters


Bedrock – Doctrine of Christ

1. Geology. unbroken solid rock
2. bottom layer; lowest stratum.
3. any firm foundation or basis:
4.the fundamental principles, as of a teaching, belief, or science
5.basic; fundamental.
In Women’s Conference this year there was one message that stood out to me – get a bedrock understanding of the Doctrine of Christ.  I thought I would share some thoughts, they are kind of in note form, so that you might share your findings and thoughts with me another time.  My fledgling efforts have been small but sincere – scriptures, notes, and pondering. But even with the small efforts I feel I’ve had a lot open to my view.
The Doctrine of Christ is simple and powerful.  All doctrines lead to this –

Faith in Jesus Christ
Repentance unto Baptism
Baptism by water
Holy Ghost
Endure to the end

After Christ appeared to the Nephites in 3 Ne. 11 he first taught them the Doctrine of Christ – of course – His doctrine. He had just paid the price, just performed the atonement, to make the doctrine possible, and knew this would make all the difference in their lives.
One word that is repeated at least 4 times in that chapter is “repent.”
Next chapter comes (but same setting) and he starts teaching the Sermon on the Mount. New topic? Nope, I think it is the same topic. My interpretation of these verses are the steps of repentance.
3 Ne 3: 3-7
Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me – when I sin I humble myself and come to Heavenly Father
Blessed are all they that mourn – when I sin I “mourn” for what I have done wrong (it does hurt)
Blessed are the meek – I now submit my will to God’s will, changes begin to occur
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness – now all motives are changed to finding, becoming and doing good, building the kingdom.

Jesus says that “ye must repent . . . or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.” That means I must be well acquainted with this process. After studying, I feel sure that we each, like the analogy says, are on a life raft in the middlelife-raft
of the ocean. We each have holes in the raft and are sure to go down to ruin. Our sins are the holes – some have more or less, bigger or smaller – but all of us are going down without a Rescue.

Some things I know:
Christ died for my sins. He is the Rescuer, Savior.
The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book, and all prophets, including the Savior himself, said that we can and must repent to be forgiven and return to him.
I have been guilty of believing this . . . for other people – “in the Ensign” so to speak. But as I study and apply I know better.
Increasing my faith in Christ also increases my ability and desire to repent.
Change is possible for every person. No one is without a need or ability to receive forgiveness no matter the sin.
Joy is the outcome of repentance and repentance is the source of mercy, purity, and peace.
I still have so much to learn.

Christ says if we build on his doctrine we are building on his rock.  Seeking a bedrock understanding of this, by definition there will be nothing deeper, more profound, more important, or more necessary in my life.  I believe it solves more problems and heals more hearts than I can even realize.  I am thankful for inspired leaders to remind me to study up on the most important things, to teach them to my family, and most importantly to apply them.

Dressing for the New School Year — Placing MY Feet

I have seen a lot of posts of kids going back to school in their new “duds,” as mom called them, looking all clean and happy — and I took one of each of my children as well.  It has made me think of an experience that I had while I was school-clothes shopping with Spencer recently.

I overheard a lady telling the sales clerk that her daughter was in “major depression” because her boyfriend had broken up with her.  The mom didn’t know how her daughter would make it to school when it started and was there to pick out clothes for her to help her get out of bed.   She asked the clerk if a certain halter-top would be good for school, and they laughed thinking of the daughter being sent home on her first day of school for dress code violation.

My first thought was, “Do I try and make my kids happy by buying them clothes?  Even if the clothes are modest, do I try and get certain brands or styles to give them confidence or friends? Or do I try and get them out of ruts and troubles of their making—by what I buy them?”   I was there shopping, too, after all.   “What messages have I sent to my kids about where confidence, friends, and even clothing come from?’  I prayed quickly that I would be a good steward of our resources, but more earnestly that I would know what message to send my kids on this topic.  And then I didn’t think of it again.

The next time I read my scriptures I recognized Heavenly Father directly answering that prayer through his Word.  Certain phrases stood out.  “Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness. Blessed are those that are persecuted for my name’s sake.  Ye are the salt of the earth.   Ye are the light of the world.”

Within a day or two, I was able to tell my children with conviction that  I care very little what they wear to schoolthis year.  But I do pray that they will clothe themselves with the Lord’s truths — meekness, the Holy Ghost, forgiveness, charity, turning the other cheek– so that they can be the salt that hasn’t lost its savor, and so that they can hold up the light, which is Jesus Christ.  Fashions will come and go, but the Lord’s truths will always be the right clothing.

True confidence, God’s blessings, and His happiness come as I learn the Lord’s words and squarely place my feet on Christ’s teachings.  And then I will not flounder to know what to teach my children.  I can be a parent to actually lead my children to the happiness and peace of the Savior,  and not simply follow the world.

May Birthday Girls

I have thought all month about the May Girls. I don’t know what mom was thinking to have so many birthdays in May.  Didn’t she know May is too busy?   So, because we can’t quite get together, I thought I would post a “few of my favorite things.”

May 6 — Bon Bon — Bonnie always has been a good friend to me, even when I was young.  She was always kind, and always very approachable.  I still see that in her today — everyone feels comfortable around the ShillBills.  When we got older Bonnie took me on a cruise with her and some friends.  Wow, I could laugh for a long time about those memories.  Bonnie, say nothing about those days, please.  And, I swear those were not my legs hanging out of the dressing room.  🙂  She also has an artistic flair that I lack.  I recently asked her for ideas for decorating a table for a stake function.  By the time we were finished talking she said, “K, Come over.”  I left immediately, and she had assembled a bunch of cute stuff that was perfect for the purpose.  Of course, she said, “No, this is no big deal.”  But it releived pressure on me and really met a need.  Bonnie, this is a small sampling of the good that you do and the good that you are.  I will always love you!  (And I think this is the last picture I have with you in it.  Ruth, on your b-day I will come up with a more flattering picture.)

back to school with the girls


May 9 — Carol — AKA Sheryl or Carrie — Carol and I grew up at the end of a string of girls and both had blond hair, though dad announces that Amy is the only true blond.  (Please see above picture and below picture for proof.)  Anyway, because we were close in age, and both blond, we were always mixed up and so we call eachother Carrie and Sheryl.   As I look back on my life, one of the reasons that I know that God loves me is that he placed me right under her.  Carol was always busy, but also always supportive and kind.  She taught me how to make cookies, do waist exercies, and played Chinese jump rope with me.  We actually skated together, made movies, played kick the can and follow the judge to court, and so much more.  In fact, it was Carol that saved me from the bad guy at the Riggs’ house, I think.  Either her or Renay.  One of my favorite memories is going to Carol’s house for FHE when she had little kids and I was still single.   She is a very effective teacher, and the spirit was always there.  Recently we went again for a FHE and the same good feelings were there.   Carol loves easily and includes readily.  She and Mike are natural missionaries.  CareBear, I will always love you.

Carrie and Sheryl in some lovely get-up


May 27 – J-Bird, JB, Gidget — Jill and I sometimes shared a room for some reason growing up.  We would listen to Don Black, There are no Nobodies and other talk tapes we both could and can still quote perfectly.  I also remember  she memorized My Turn on Earth really well when she was tiny.  She was the “siblings” I would come home to from college and mission.  She was always a good listener as I thought of what I was learning while I was away– she would listen to me as I processed it.  She has plenty of blackmail on me for some dumb things that I said.  Today she is still a very good listener.  She is nonjudgental, and she does her best at whatever she sets out to do.  Because we live near eachother and the kids are the same age, we end up carpooling a lot.  I have never felt from her that she was keeping track of who was doing what.  She gives readily and lovingly, and I love discussing ideas with her.   J, I will always love you!

Jill Bird



More Pictures

While baby Bo was trying to grow and Brit was trying to sleep, Amy would bring her grandkids to dance.  Look at Cams form!  I also loved these pics of egg toss finalists.  Way to go Drew and Spencer, and Daniel and Grant!

Some Recent Memories with Farnsworth Cousins

Christmas this year was Laser Tag.  The cousins made it a blast.  Oddly enough, I think I beat all of them at laser tag.  Because Annie was in Peru, we finished our Christmas gift by going canoing.  I love canoing in this weather.  I am glad I’m not a scout, though, because I did fall in the water while laughing.  Cousins Rock! 

Our Laser Tag Christmas 2011

Thanks for making this fun -- cool cousins.

Engaging and Informing

This is great — I like the approach, no guilt, just good information and done in a cool way.  It is worth watching.

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2011/12/the-single-best-thing-yo=u- can-do-for-your-health/249913/#.Tu3c31x1bQs.facebook


If you can’t click on the link, copy and paste it.

Can’t Get a Man With a Gun

You may think this video is featuring Annie and Joanna, but really it was Julie and me that choreographed the dance.  (Veva helped a little.)  It turned out great, in my humble opinion.  They were picked (about 20 out of 90) to be in the final performance.  I hope this works.  It will probably take you to the YASE site, and then you have to select “Can’t Get a Man With a Gun.”


The Lord’s Grace — Watch this Video

Recently the topic of God’s grace has turned up everywhere for me.  I have seen it in my scripture reading, in songs, conference talks, and in this talk I am sharing with you. In the New Testament, Paul called God’s throne the “throne of grace.”   In the Old Testament, the Lord calls the place where he guides his people the “Mercy Seat.”  I believe the Lord is trying to convey as clearly as he can that as I take my troubles to Him, His position will be one of mercy and grace.

The knowledge that the Lord’s grace is sufficient to cover us, empower us, and save us,  is the heart of the gospel.   This is why the gospel is good news and what we seek in our own lives, share with converts, and discuss with our  family.

I have loved this talk by Brad Wilcox in explaining why we don’t give up, and why God’s grace is enough for us.   http://byutv.org/watch/49475abb-10d4-4f45-a757-7000b9945468

I have listened to it about 10 times as I do laundry and other duties because I want my life to take in God’s grace.  I also want my first and true response to others to be the same as the Lord’s response —  that of gentleness, mercy and grace, rather than judgment, criticism and blame.  I have found that as my faith in Christ has grown, so has my hope in His redemptive power.   I hope you like it as much as I do.


Last year if any child wanted to take a lunch he made his own — when the menu at school was bad.  This year, all want to take their lunch, including Kevan, so I decided I would make them. Less mess, or more efficient, or at least I will know what I need to buy at the store.  So, 5:45 scripture,  at 6:00am I am in a mad dash to have Jo and Kevan’s lunch before they leave at 6:15.  Of course, since all the stuff is out I just make them all at once.  Seven sandwiches doesn’t sound too daunting until you get the specifics involved, and remember the hour of day:

One with mayo, one no cheese, two with lettuce, cucumbers, any veggies you got, three with cucumbers on the side “cuz the sandwich gets mushy,” ham vs. turkey, etc.   This doesn’t count for the type of chips, fruit/veggie choice, (apple slices with lemon or no lemon on, whole apple, don’t even think of giving me carrots), etc.  All want cookies, I thought, until Nate came home and said two cookies is not necessary.  (Weird). Add in three snacks for school snack times. Names on bags, not Jo’s — not needed for high school,  Kevan has his own bag, Grace has a pink lunch box, names on Grant and Nate’s, and initials on Spencer’s for my sake.  Wow.  Spencer came home laughing the  other day at what did and didn’t get into his lunch.  (And I have only done this 5 days).

So I was chuckling to myself  this morning because it has turned into such a mental gymnastics,  and I was mulling over, in a foggy way, why I was doing this.   I realized I like thinking of each of the kids’ day and knowing they each have a good lunch.   (Besides, it is a short-lived brain strain.)  Anyway, I had a real clear scripture come to my mind, “What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

This flash of revelation was perfectly timed as I worked in my parental role.  I felt the Lord was telling me of how much He loves me, wants to have my needs met, and see me truly happy, just as I was trying for my kids.   I do know He communicates often with me and loves when I include Him all areas of my life, just like I do with my own kids.  I am thankful for a perfect Father in Heaven who knows and loves me.




I Nate the Great am a Detective

I was folding laundry this morning and asking Grant what he thinks he needs for this coming school year.  (Bummer I have to start thinking of this.)  He said he is out of underwear.  Great, easily remedied, but weird as I buy them for everyone the same time usually and noone else is out of underwear.  An hour later, Spencer is having a stomach ache.  “Go to the bathroom and go lay on your bed for a little while.” I soon followed to check on him.  Spencer said, “I think I figured out the stomach ache, my underwear are way too tight.”  :-0

From the ridiculous to the sublime, I want to comment on Jill’s Beach Analogy.  My first thoughts of “crossing the rocks”  was something I read by CS Lewis.    He said that at the end of the day when he looks to repent of wrongdoings, 9 out of 10 times it is a sin against Charity.  I have thought about that for years.  If the first and second great commandments are to Love, and all other laws hang on these, it must be that my greatest number of sins are against those commandments.  My point of this with relation to the Beach Analogy goes along with “Love your enemies, pray for them that despitefully use you, etc.”  Those are not easy things.  Crossing the rocks is hard, but that is where the treasures, or God’s miracles and God’s forgiveness are, actually, where God will fill us with His love.  Same with all the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.

I get tons of good ideas and have had a great FHE from “The Beach Analogy.”  Thanks, Jill.

By way of trivia, did you know that I was the only child in town over the weekend, and I am guessing that hasn’t happened in 50 years.  Correct me if I am wrong.