Random Sampler

Scripture Study on the Road

My scriptures go where I go, and I travel a lot in my work. On the road, however, my scripture study is a little bit different than it is at home. I carry a compact scripture set that I have prepared for studying on the road by premarking verses that inspire me to do what is right. All I have to do is turn to one of these scriptures, and my focus becomes clearer as I feel the Spirit. I find that if I continue my scripture study during my travels, I can more easily resist temptations for inappropriate thoughts, behaviors, or activities. And my travel time often provides me with a chance to feast on the scriptures, focusing on certain topics or memorizing meaningful passages.

Roger Crist, North Field Ninth Ward, Pleasant Grove Utah North Field Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Joe Flores

Families Are Forever

Years ago when my aunt died unexpectedly, I embroidered a wall hanging for my grieving uncle that said, “Families Are Forever.” This gospel truth comforted him then, and he still treasures it, proudly displaying my gift on his wall. Though he doesn’t share my religious beliefs, we still discuss and agree on this beautiful truth. Since none of my extended family are members of the Church, I am grateful for all opportunities to share common beliefs.

Alison Affeltranger, Sego Lily Ward, Sandy Utah Granite South Stake

Acid Free, Worry Free

Permanently preserving records was of utmost concern even anciently, when words were engraved. Jacob recorded, “But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away” (Jacob 4:2). Though we don’t engrave our records today, we can still take some precautions to preserve our documents. As an archive preservation specialist for the Church, I recommend the following preservation tips for journals and other important paper documents.

Pens. Use waterproof, fade-proof pens when handwriting any information.

Paper. Use acid-free, lignin-free paper. Most modern papers are expected to last quite a while, but bond paper is still considered to be the best.

Digital. Don’t expect digital documents (computer generated) to last. Currently, it is safe to assume that “modern” storage methods—hard drives, floppy disks, compact discs, and other digital media—will be outdated after 10 years. Even with saved backups, the best option is to print your word documents onto acid-free paper with an ink-jet printer using pigmented inks (nonpigmented inks are not permanent) or with a laser printer.

Storage. Since direct contact with nonarchival items can harm your documents, protect them in containers made from archival materials. Boxes, folders, and other paper containers should be acid and lignin free. Polyethylene plastic containers are also good, especially if you are preserving photos. Plastic sleeves should also be polyethylene, polyester, or polypropylene—never acetate or vinyl. Also, when possible, avoid using vinyl three-ring binders. Store items in dark, cool, dry areas. Avoid contact with sunlight and fluorescent lighting and areas where water may be a concern. Storage conditions are especially important when you consider today’s current household printing methods. Ink-jet-printed documents will smear when wet, and laser-printed pages will stick together under hot conditions.

Though paper isn’t as permanent as the ancient plates, we can still prepare lasting records in the hope that “our children will receive them with thankful hearts” (Jacob 4:3).

Chris McAfee, Spring Creek Second Ward, Springville Utah Spring Creek South Stake

Family Home Evening Helps: Caring for Converts

Soon after joining the Church as a college student, I found many joys—and trials. Though initially I had no support group, loving Church members soon helped me to more deeply understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of my experience, my husband and I try to reach out to others who are new to the Church. We encourage you and your family to do likewise, perhaps beginning with the following ideas.

  1. 1.

    Invite new converts to your home. An invitation to dinner or family home evening can help new members see how your family has implemented gospel teachings. For instance, blessing the food or teaching basic family home evening lessons can help reinforce or introduce gospel concepts. As you live and share the gospel, others will feel the warm influence of the Spirit.

  2. 2.

    Invite new members to share their conversion experiences. New converts are often excited about their newly formed testimony. As they share their testimony with others, it will grow and will strengthen others as well.

  3. 3.

    Study the scriptures together. When a new convert in our ward was struggling to understand the scriptures, we invited her to study with us. Using an institute course manual to supplement our reading, we all gained a deeper understanding of the scriptures.

  4. 4.

    Find a common interest. Take an institute class or attend a sporting event together. Make a sincere effort to become a true friend.

  5. 5.

    Be supportive. If your new-member friends struggle to adjust during this transitional time, listen to their concerns. Help them find answers in Church resources. Pray and fast for and with them when appropriate, sharing your testimony when you feel prompted.

  6. 6.

    Let them help you. It is vital for converts to feel needed at church. Help them to become involved by inviting them to assist you with your Church responsibilities when appropriate.

  7. 7.

    Help them prepare to attend the temple. Love and support them as they practice good lifestyle habits. Encourage them when needed. Show by example the blessings we receive from obeying the Lord’s commandments.

Kersten Campbell, Terre View Ward, Moscow Idaho Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth Whittaker