#LIGHTtheWORLD

It’s time to turn our focus to Christmas.

In honor of Jesus Christ, the LDS Church has prepared a 2016 Christmas initiative, entitled #LIGHTtheWORLD, to celebrate His birth and light. The initiative begins November 25th and ends Christmas day. Local church leaders received information about the initiative that can be used for Christmas activity planning. This information can also be useful for families.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

Clashing Traditions – Where to go for the Holidays?

Making decisions as a newly married couple is a learning curve. There will be times where couples will disagree with each other.

My husband and I are still learning how to agree with each other, especially when it comes to making decisions around the holidays. Although we feel like we’ve established a plan, we continue to talk over alternate possibilities over and over. If it’s that difficult for us to make holiday decisions, I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for those who recently got married.

Every couple wishes they could somehow divide their time evenly between both sides of the family, but that’s rarely possible — even if both families live in the same town. Newlyweds are often sad about missing their family traditions. They’ve always dreamed about sharing their family festivities with each other. With Thanksgiving this month, it’s time to decide where to go for the holidays. Here are some tips to help you and your spouse finally reach a consensus.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

How to Wrap and Send LDS Missionary Gifts Overseas

Check out the article I wrote with Gabriella for tips on how to send and wrap gifts to missionaries overseas:

With Christmas getting close, families are wondering what gifts their missionaries may want or need in the mission field. Once those decisions are made, however, do we think about how we’re going to send the packages to them if they are serving overseas?

If your missionary is serving outside the United States, and you are inside the U.S., here are some tips on how to wrap packages and gifts for shipment to certain countries.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

Four LDS Examples of Unconventional Families

Here’s another article that I wrote for my internship.

A “Conventional Family” in the LDS church is one with stay-at-home mother and working father. As stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.”

My husband and I talked about what we planned to do when we decide to start a family. Growing up, he expected to have his future wife stay home with the kids. So when we got married, he shared that once he establishes a job and we start a family, I will be staying home. However, I want to be able to work. I know I probably won’t work when we start having kids. But I hope to work while my children are in school.

Although this lifestyle is by far the most “normal” for LDS families, not all Latter-day Saint households are so conventional. There are families who compete in sports on Sundays, families that travel around the world, and mothers who choose to work. But this doesn’t make them any less approved than your standard Mormon family. The Family: A Proclamation to the World says so itself:

“…Other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.”

Each of these unconventional LDS families consulted Heavenly Father as they made their decisions on how to structure their families and family time. The courses of action they choose were approved by the Spirit.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

Becoming a Mormon: How God Guided Me to Conversion

I wrote my conversion story for my internship! Check it out!

Truthfully, my story began before I was even born.

My parents, both born during the Vietnam war, immigrated to the United States from Vietnam between the ages of 8 and 10. Both of my parents had to escape when it became possible and leave everything behind. My father and his sister were caught by the communists while trying to escape, however, they were able to find their way onto another boat later that carried them to the United States.

My mom traveled to the United States with her entire immediate family, while my dad only traveled with a few of his siblings. Unlike my mother, he wasn’t able to see the rest of his family until they all gradually arrived in the United States.

Years down the road, my parents met at pharmacy school at the University of Pacific in Stockton, California. After graduation and establishing their careers, my parents decided to get married and have kids.

My sister and I grew up in Southern California. We were both baptized into the Catholic faith when we were babies, but my family and I didn’t attend church normally. We were often so invested in our sport that we were too busy to attend church on Sundays.

I started playing tennis when I was seven and began homeschooling when I was in fourth grade. My sister and I practiced many hours with Kendl Hansen, a current BYU student, and member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

 

More Good Foundation Internship Articles

I am currently interning with More Good Foundation. I am writing articles for LDS.net, which is now called Mormonhub.com. I will be listing the articles I have written. Hope you guys enjoy!

Mormons Revolt Against Trump; BYU Mascot Goes Viral; and More!

Read at Mormon Hub.

Stay at Home Mothers: Earn Money From Blogging

To work or not to work if you’re a mother. The LDS Church encourages women to stay at home and raise their children. Some moms are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, and a few have found success as bloggers. Here are LDS mothers blogging about their passions, interests, or talents.

“I think a lot of (Mormon) women seek out blogging because we have talents and passions of our own and it’s a way to express those, but still be able to stay true to those core values and stay home with our kids” Meredith Ethington said, creator of Perfection Pending.

Here are the five ways to earn money from blogging:

1. Create an Unique Voice

It’s never too late to start a blog now. If someone plans to create a blog, they should write about their passions and interests and create an unique voice. It is important for bloggers to have an authentic voice to distinguish their blog from the competition.

In 2011, Jill Nystul created One Good Thing By Jillee to help people through the clutter of life. She shares one good thing every day with her readers. Jill has a unique voice because she applies the different types of leads she learned in her Journalism 101 class at BYU.

Lara created Overstuffed because she loves to write. She consistently wrote in her journal until one day realized that blogging would be easier. Now, she shares parenting and homemaking tips on her blog.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

The Power of Example

We often convey our religious belief through spoken words and sharing our teachings. We suggest that friends attend church, read scriptures, or visit with the missionaries. Sometimes we bear our testimony to people, even strangers.

However, we forget that being a positive example can be a stronger influence. People are always watching and will notice our Christlike living.

Actions speak louder than words.

My teammate was a positive influence in my life while I was attending BYU, where I started as a non-member. She never once shared the gospel with me. Instead, she set an example through her Christlike lifestyle.

To this day, my husband, friends, and ward members set a positive example in my life. We should always set a positive example to people of different faiths and to people in our own church.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

The Best FHE Halloween Treats

Besides being with family during the holidays, the other thing I love the most is making holiday treats. I always loved baking growing up, to the point that my mom would always ask me to bake treats for her work.

Since I’ve been at college, I stopped baking for awhile. It wasn’t until last year’s Halloween season that I started baking again. It was a few days before Halloween, and I thought to myself, “I want to make treats for our friends, my husband, and me.”

My husband and I decided to stay in this Halloween. We both aren’t huge fans of going to the college Halloween parties, and I am terrified of haunted houses. We decided that we were going to stay in to watch movies and make treats. This gave me the perfect reason to bake again!

Making treats is a great Family Home Evening activity. Your children can be involved by helping you make all of these delicious treats. Many you can bake ahead and freeze, so you can start now.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

Confessions of a Mormon General Conference Beginner

The first time I watched Mormon General Conference was in October 2014. I was still a nonmember at the time and was curious about conference. I wanted to know what it would be like to watch General Conference. The only talk I watched was when Elder Bednar spoke to individuals of different faiths.

I was intrigued by Elder Bednar’s talk, Come and See. I never thought that apostles spoke directly to others of different faiths at conference. I assumed their messages were always directed to members of the LDS Church.

Since I became a member in January 2015, I have only watched conference twice, April 2016 and October 2016. I missed the other two General Conferences due to other commitments. I had the opportunity to attend General Conference session for the first time in April 2016. 

Read more at Mormon Hub.

6 Places to Find Affordable Modest Clothing

Growing up as a Catholic, I never worried about wearing clothing that covered my shoulders or that were knee-length. But when I became a member of the LDS Church, I found it difficult to find stores offering cute and affordable modest clothing.

I didn’t quite understand why we are asked to dress modestly until I came across the article Modesty: Reverence for the Lord by Elder Robert D. Hales, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Hales said, “Modesty is at the center of being pure and chaste, both in thought and deed. Thus, because it guides and influences our thoughts, behavior, and decisions, modesty is at the core of our character.”

I was finally able to find stores online and near me that offered a variety of modest clothing that were inexpensive. If you are looking to purchase clothing on a budget, here’s a list of five modest affordable clothing stores.

Read more at Mormon Hub.

Serving Others: Help with Suicidal Thoughts

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Over 800,000 peopledie due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. For every suicide, there are 25 attempts.

The most common situation that leads to suicide is depression. Depression can result from various causes, such as hormonal imbalance, chemical imbalances, drug or alcohol abuse, bullying, damaged self-esteem, and many more. Be aware that taking certain prescription pills can lead to depression. Although anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can help with depression, they can also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts.

You may offer to help someone with suicidal thoughts who is your close friend or family member and is truly struggling. People contemplating suicide may not recognize the signs and struggles that can be helped. We encourage you to recognize those symptoms in your loved ones. Be aware of what warning signs may come from their behavior. The risk of suicide can be “reduced when family, friends, ward members, and mental health professionals come together to help those who are struggling.”

The LDS Church published a Preventing Suicide website on September 10, 2016. The website gives information and tips to help people deal and cope with suicidal thoughts.

Read more at Mormon Hub.