Merrilee Boyack - October 25, 2012
It’s that time of year again! No, not the time when we grow weary of all the painful politics and would like to just detach from Facebook for a couple of weeks if we could. It’s the time to do good!
One of my favorite national holidays is coming up October 27—national Make a Difference Day. Never heard of it? Well, it’s time you did.
Started by USA Today, Make a Difference Day has been going on for 22 years. Its mission is to unite the country in doing good and to highlight good things to do. So this is the perfect year for you to participate!
In my new book, Standing Up in a Sit-Down World: Making a Difference Is Easier than You Think
, I talk about how each of us can do great good in the world: “So often we feel tired or discouraged and think that the country is sinking and there’s nothing we can do about it. Satan delights in this kind of thinking! He’s the one telling us to be discouraged and to sit down. But as our prophet has said, remarkable results come as we take small, collective steps for action.”
In fact, one of my favorite quotes is from President Hinckley where he calls us to action, “I think the Lord would say to us, 'Rise, and stand upon thy feet, and speak up for truth and goodness and decency and virtue.' ”
Kate Ensign-Lewis - October 18, 2012
You know the two people in your ward who play the organ? They could use some help. Put your piano skills to use and learn some quick tips for pinch-hitting as an organist.
If you're a pianist and a member of the LDS Church, chances are you (like me) have been asked to play the organ at some point. Most of you have probably pointed out that the instruments are different, said that you couldn't, and gone on your merry way.
One fact remains—while there are plenty pianists in the Church, we are in short supply of organists. Look at any ward: the position of organist usually rotates between three people, all of which usually have another calling, or who have been ward organist for the last 10 years. (This was the situation in my ward until six months ago when I and another pianist agreed to learn how to play.)
Alyson Von Feldt - October 11, 2012
A new leadership book about the coach of BYU’s football team has wider applications that just football—it can help you in parenting, too.
A few months after our son Jacob turned twelve, he began to resist participating in family work routines, such as setting the table at dinner or Saturday chores. He seemed angry more and more of the time. My husband and I responded in the best way we knew how—we held him accountable, and we tried to do so in a loving but consistent way.
Through prayer, fasting, and scripture study, we sought inspiration to know how we could improve our parenting and what we could to do help our son. Eventually, the situation became more serious, and we sought professional help. After more than a year, things were still getting worse, not better.
Before BYU, Coach Bronco Mendenhall worked with many street-smart young football players who came from difficult family circumstances. He studied some of the world’s most renowned warrior cultures and talked with his teams about the practices that made these warriors stand out. Young men in these cultures were often required to undergo grueling initiation rituals that helped them prove their worthiness and desire to join the ranks of the adult world. Likewise, Bronco requires his team members to exert maximum effort not just on the practice field, but also in annual traditions such as the “Run to the Y.” These are design choices intended to foster discipline and hard work.
Likewise, families can make design choices intended to foster in their children the characteristics that they value. As in any organization, the way parents design their family life and the choices they make can change the outcomes of the struggles that they face. We came to believe that what Jacob needed most was a stiff, healthy challenge, not just a doctor. There came a moment when, at wit’s end, we made the difficult decision to take a different path, and we helped Jacob choose a boarding school. We chose the firm structure and academic emphasis of a college prep boarding school as the right fit for Jacob’s intelligence and determination, though we considered many other options that would have presented our son with the adventure he seemed to require. He attended school away from home for a year and a half.