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Learning the Thirteen Articles of Faith

Trying to help the kids learn their Articles of Faith? The following links takes you to the LDS.org music pages for each Article of Faith. To hear the music press the little “play” arrow icon in the top left column. If you want to hear the words sung too, click the little round space (radio button) next to “Words and Music.”

The First Article of Faith
We believe in God, the Eternal Father – #122a

The Second Article of Faith
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins – #122b

The Third Article of Faith
We believe that through the Atonement of Christ – #123

The Fourth Article of Faith
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: – #124

The Fifth Article of Faith
We believe that a man must be called of God – #125

The Sixth Article of Faith
We believe in the same organization – #126a

The Seventh Article of Faith
We believe in the gift of tongues – #126b

The Eighth Article of Faith
We believe the Bible to be the word of God – #127

The Ninth Article of Faith
We believe all that God has revealed – #128a

The Tenth Article of Faith
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel – #128b

The Eleventh Article of Faith
We claim the priv’lege of worshiping Almighty God – #130

The Twelfth Article of Faith
We believe in being subject to kings – #131

The Thirteenth Article of Faith
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent – #132

Of course, if you just want to see the text for all the articles in one place you can find The Thirteen Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here.

One of my daughters is eager to learn her Articles of Faith since she learned in Primary today that there will be an ice cream party reward for the children who have learned their Articles. The party will be an activity day in August and for each Article of Faith each child learns they will be rewarded with one ice cream topping of their choice. The teachers are keeping track of each child’s progress in class.

My first thought was “I can’t think of thirteen different ice cream toppings I would want all on one sundae. All I need to be in sundae heaven is hot fudge, whipped cream, a few cherries and salty peanuts. Lots of salty peanuts and lots of hot fudge. In that case I need about five articles worth of peanuts and five articles worth of hot fudge. The whipped cream and the cherries each count for an article. Ok, the thirteen article of faith could be represented by chocolate chips.” So what do you want on your Articles of Faith ice cream sundae?

As always, your comments are welcome below. Click on “Comments” to enter a comment.

~~Matia Bryson

Praise to the Man

On June 27th, it will be the 165th anniversary of the martyrdom of the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. I hope my readers will enjoy this inspirational video. Praise to the Man.

Your comments are welcome below. Click on “Comments” to enter a comment.

~~Matia Bryson

Liahona Magazine Artwork

I received the following emails from a helpful reader, about Liahona resources:

Did you know that some of the artwork in the English Liahona is different than the artwork in the Friend? Even though many of the items are the same, the Liahona contains things that are not available in the Friend. The original name was Tambuli but lds.org has listed the old magazine under the Liahona Index.

The first one I found was a Missionary board game “I Want to be a Missionary Now” in Nov 1977.
Also, a group of very nice Easter Figures entitled “He is Risen” Liahona, April 1978. And Christmas figures: Liahona, December 1986. The woman scripture figure has more exotic eyes that the Friend original: Liahona, April 1987.

Anyway, I just thought I would let you know as some of these things are nice. It is, however, a bit time consuming to go through each issue to see what is available. Thanks, Cecelia

============================

Hello Cecelia,

I never realized that the artwork in the English Liahona was different. It makes me wonder if some of the artwork for other languages could be different, also. Thanks for the heads up.

~~Matia

==============================

Hi Matia,

My daughter was a foreign exchange student in Germany twice in the 1990s. She brought home several issues of the Church magazine in German. Most of the pictures seemed to be the same ones that were in some of the English magazines but I did notice a couple of activities for kids in one or two of the magazines. They had the German words imbedded instead of the English. As I could not read German, I did not continue to look.

Several years ago, I got a copy of the English Liahona from Church Distribution by mistake. When I looked at it, I was impressed (a bit of each magazine is included (Ensign, New Era, and Friend). So one time when I was searching for a subject at lds.org under magazines, a hit came up with only the Liahona and no Friend link. I clicked on that link and realized I had not seen that artwork or lesson before even though I was in Primary for 20 years. So one day, I searched on flannel board and got a hit on the “He is Risen” set that is only in the Liahona. I went directly to the Liahona and went through one of the years in the 1980s and saw that these magazines had additional artwork for my lessons if I needed them.

The year that we had the Primary theme “I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints”, I was the Primary Choister and needed some visuals to teach that song. (This was before the January issue came out that contained the visuals I needed.) I searched and found that the Friend had a puzzle that turns into a very simple church with each part representing a different aspect. It has simple shapes and you can just make it yourself on colored paper with a word processor. Recently while looking through one of the Liahona links, I found that the Liahona – several months later – had a shaded, detailed Church that would make great flannel board pieces ( I am going to print them out with lighter shading and then use colored pencil to color them). (I make some for my daughter to use with my grand-daughter).

Also, if you look at the Liahona under

“The Savior’s Love,” Jul 1983, C-5
It contains most of the artwork that is in the Friend article “Continue in My Love” but it is a much better resolution. It is missing one of the “scenes” though. So it seems some of the art was “improved scans” from the Friend in the later issue of the Liahona.
Anyway, if someone can only afford one magazine for their home, the English Liahona would be great.

Best regards, Cecelia

Creativity

President Uchtdorf reminds us of the creative yearnings we have all had born within us.

It reminded me of how even little children will try to create: building with blocks, playing in sand, or coloring, painting, cutting and pasting with paper.

“Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you.” I was visiting in Primary and I heard a child say about her paper she was coloring, “it’s ruined.” I looked at it, and I could not guess what she thought was wrong with it. I said to her, “it is fine; do the best you can with it.” I think we all need a little more encouragement and a little less negativity about our efforts. We are, each of us, our own harshest critics.

I close with this quote from President Uchtdorf: “The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create.”

Your comments are welcome below. Click on “Comments” to enter a comment.

~~Matia Bryson

LDS.org Online Coloring Activity

For your information, there is now an online coloring activity available on LDS.org.

The choices of coloring pages for this activity are now “Missionaries,” “Temple,” “Jesus Christ,” “Prophet” (President Thomas S. Monson) and “Family.”

You can see a gallery of the LDS Online Coloring Pictures here. Click on the pictures to go into the activity.

An online coloring activity is webpage where you have a choice of colors in a palette and an uncolored illustration. You (or your child) clicks on a color then points to an area in the picture and clicks on it. The area fills with the color you selected. If you have never done one of these before, try it. It’s fun!

By the way, I am also working to update my Primary manual coloring pages index with the new coloring pages in the new Nursery manual “Behold Your Little Ones.” I think it should be finished in a couple weeks.

Your comments are welcome below.

~~Matia Bryson

Find Friend Coloring Pages by Topic in an Image Gallery

Newly appearing on the LDS.org website is a gallery of coloring pages sorted by topic. The number of pages right now is rather small, but hopefully the staff will be adding to the collection over time.
The number in parentheses indicates the number of coloring pages shown for that topic at the present time.

“Apostles-Family” has the topics:
Apostles (1 coloring page)
Baptism (2)
Christmas (3)
Faith (1)
Family (5)

“Gratitude-Jesus Christ” has the topics:
Gratitude (1)
Heavenly Father (1)
Holy Ghost (2)
Jesus Christ (14)

“Prophets-Restoration” has the topics:
Prophets (6)
Repentance (1)
Restoration (2)

“Sacrament-Word of Wisdom” has the topics:
Sacrament (3)
Scriptures (3)
Service (1)
Spring (1)
Temples (2)
Testimony (1)
Word of Wisdom (1)

Enjoy, and as always, your comments are welcome.

~~Matia Bryson

The LDS Coloring Pages Index is Complete!

… well, or almost complete. I suppose it will never be done because new issues of the Friend magazine will have coloring pages. Then someday the Primary manuals will be re-written… horrors… more work to do!

For now I have finished the indexing of coloring pages in the Friend back to 1971 and the current Primary manuals. I am looking forward next Sunday to beginning my new Sabbath hobby: FamilySearch Indexing.

Also, I will try to occasionally post here items of LDS interest.

If I become forgetful and get behind on the newest issues of the Friend, please let me know.

As always, your comments are welcome below.

~~Matia Bryson

General Conference Activities for Children

Coloring pages from the Friend magazine make great activities for Latter-day Saint children to bide their time in General Conference. Better than patiently waiting for conference to end, children involved in listening to conference will have so much greater a blessing in their lives.

I found some General Conference themed activities in the Friend magazine that I hope will be helpful. Of course, some activities will seem to be a little out-of-date because some of our leaders have passed away, but I think this fact can be utilized as a teaching moment, too.

{UPDATE March 2010: General Conference Activities for Children on LDS.org}

Conference ABCs from the October 2005 Friend
“Play this alphabet game during conference. Next to each word, make a mark for every speaker who talks about the topic during each session. Write a short definition or draw a picture of what the word means. For any words you don’t know, ask a family member to help you. At the end of general conference, look at your list and tell your family what you have learned about each word.”

Listening to General Conference from April 2005 Friend
Writing activity for older children and adults. Update the names of the First Presidency.

Look and Listen from April 2007 Friend
General Authority pictures on a wheel.

Conference Matching Game from the April 2006 Friend
“As you listen to each speaker, decide what topic he is speaking about. Write the topic on the card with his picture. Also, on the blank card with the speaker’s name on it, draw a picture of the topic.” Later, make a matching game with the cards.

Conference Squares from the April 2004 Friend
Follow the instructions or play like a bingo game. Substitute a picture of President Monson or leave President Hinckley’s picture there. (Speakers will mention President Hinckley). A good picture of President Monson is here. (Right-click on the image and save to your computer.)

Conference Coloring Activity from the April 2005 Friend
“Before listening to general conference, look at the topics written next to the colored boxes. When a speaker talks about one of those topics, use that color of crayon to color parts of the picture.”

General Conference Activity from October 2007 Friend
A fun snacking activity… “You will need some type of small snack in different colors or shapes, like candy-coated chocolate pieces, different cereals, or jelly beans. Assign each color or shape a topic before the meeting starts. Then you can eat the snack each time that topic is mentioned by a speaker.”

For those of you short on time for some children’s conference activities, Tasha Reeve of SugarDoodle.net has made up some 2008 General Conference packets… one for older children and one for younger.

Have I left out any great General Conference activities for children? Your comments are welcome below.

~~Matia Bryson

Remembering the Frontiers — Not a Pioneer Story!

Do NOT file this one under July 24th celebrations. I could not resist posting this quote from the June 1982 Friend magazine. It is a description of how “you may soon be able to send instantaneous messages to anyone else in the world who has a computer like yours.”

Yes, the possibilities are almost unlimited—and growing bigger minute by minute. For example, with the proper “connections,” you may soon be able to send instantaneous messages to anyone else in the world who has a computer like yours. Your first step would be to type in some key word, such as SPECIAL DELIVERY, after which the computer would ask you for the person’s “address,” probably some code number. Then, after typing out your message, you would instruct the computer to send it on its way with another key word such as RUSH. Before you could blink, the message would be at its destination. But what if the person you were writing to weren’t home? Just like a letter, your message would be stored in an electric “mailbox” in a large central computer somewhere, awaiting your friend’s return so he could instruct his computer to OPEN MAIL.

The article is Frontiers of Science: The Computers Are Coming! The Computers Are Coming! written by Dr. Sherwood B. Idso. It really makes me feel old that I can remember life without email.

~~Matia Bryson

Obedience & Freedom… Quotes from Church Leaders

I have been pondering about freedom and obedience for a long time, so I welcomed the opportunity to do some research and learn some more about it for a sacrament meeting talk in my home ward, the Hickory Flat Ward of the Marietta Georgia East Stake. Here are some quotations from LDS Church leaders on the subject.

F. Enzio Busche, “Freedom ‘from’ or Freedom ‘to’,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 83–84

My dear brothers and sisters, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many new members, specifically when they come from countries other than the United States, learn for the first time the true dimension of the word freedom. Freedom for most people of the world means “freedom from” the absence of malice or pain or suppression. But the freedom that God means when He deals with us goes one step further. He means “freedom to”—the freedom to act in the dignity of our own choice.

What then does it mean to be free? Freedom means to have matured to the full knowledge of our dangerously many responsibilities as a human being. We have learned that everything we do, and even say or think, has consequences. We realize that too long we have believed that we were victims of circumstances. In the Gospel of John, 8:32, we read the following: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

F. Enzio Busche, “Freedom ‘from’ or Freedom ‘to’,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 83–84

… I want to tell you of a faithful brother who was a member of the same branch in my home country of Germany in the early years of my membership.

He was living in humble circumstances and felt very blessed to have recently begun a job in a small, privately owned company. He told me about an upcoming event where all of the employed people were invited to participate in a traditional company dinner party. He was concerned because he knew that there would be a big beer party at the end of this meeting, with the boss being probably the heaviest beer drinker of them all. But he also knew that it would be considered very impolite if he did not attend the dinner at all.

When I saw him again, after that dinner event occurred, I saw him with a most happy, deep inner glow, and he could not wait to tell me what had happened. Because he was new in the company, the boss had sat right next to him, wanting to get to know him better. As the evening progressed, the brother saw his wildest fears confirmed because the boss would not tolerate that he would not drink beer with him, and he said, “What kind of church is that that would not permit you to drink even a glass of beer with me?”

The fear of my friend did not grow into panic as he was able to calmly answer his boss that the reason he was not drinking had nothing to do with the church that he belonged to, but that he himself had made a sacred covenant with God that he would not drink. If he would ever break this covenant, how could he continue to stay true to that which he would ever promise, and how could he be trusted, even by his employer, that he would not lie or steal or cheat.

According to my friend, the owner was deeply touched by this statement, and he hugged him, speaking words of profound admiration and confidence.

Robert M. Wilkes, “Some Thoughts about Personal Freedom,” Ensign, Jul 1985, 12

On my street lives a little boy known as the Sidewalk King. This little boy cruises the neighborhood on his black and gold plastic racing trike, living in his own world of make-believe and heroic deeds. One of his favorite things to do is to back that little vehicle up against his father’s garage door and then—revving up all the power and energy at his command—shoot down the driveway, through the gutter, and out onto the street. Then, cranking the front end around, he pedals up the driveway again. If you are within a house or two, you can practically hear the engine throb.

His parents, understanding more than he does about the perils involved, have warned him and pleaded with him. Not long ago, his father found it necessary to give his young son a little spanking to help him understand how dangerous it is to ride out in the street. As he ran into the house he sobbed to his parents, “You just want to ruin all my fun.”

To the mind of a four-year-old, that is exactly what it appeared. But, oh, how wrong he was. His parents weren’t trying to ruin his fun; they were trying to keep him from harm, perhaps even death. Freedom to him was largely doing what he wanted without restraint and interference.

2 Nephi 2:25-27

 25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
 26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
 27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

F. Enzio Busche, “Freedom ‘from’ or Freedom ‘to’,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 83–84

One thing, of course, we know: having “freedom to” means that we have the potential of making wrong choices. Wrong choices have their merciless consequences, and when they are not stopped and corrected they lead us into misery and pain. Wrong choices, if not corrected, will lead us to the ultimate possible disaster in each person’s life: to become separated from our Heavenly Father in the world to come.

When we have received this life-enabling message, we begin to understand that in our earlier life we were like a football player standing in the middle of the field, totally depressed because we did not know the purpose and the rules of the game. We did not know which team we belonged to, and we didn’t even know who was our coach. Only in the awareness of the restored gospel, our game plan becomes clear, and we comprehend that Jesus Christ and His restored Church and priesthood are the only way for us to succeed in our earthly experience.

Robert M. Wilkes, “Some Thoughts about Personal Freedom,” Ensign, Jul 1985, 12

I know of another little boy who came home from school one day long ago to find a new rented piano in the living room. “What’s this piano here for?” he asked his mother.

“It’s for you,” she replied.

“For me?” he asked. “Why for me?”

“Because,” she said, “you are going to take piano lessons.”

He said he didn’t want to take piano lessons. But she had already vetoed that decision. In fact, she had already arranged for a teacher.

Well, this little boy began to miss a few lessons. One day his mother asked, “How was your piano lesson?”

He said, “Fine. I’m doing pretty well.”

“That’s interesting,” she said. “I just talked to your teacher, and she hasn’t seen you for a while.” He had been caught. He didn’t know what the punishment would be, but he knew it would be bad. Then his mother said, “Just for that, you may not take piano lessons.”

He tried to look punished, but inside he was an inferno of joy. Mother, he thought, you have hit on the perfect punishment. I hope you use it often. Within his heart he felt that he had just been liberated. He was free from practice, free from lessons, free from discipline, routine, and regimentation—free from all that seemed to limit his freedom.

When he grew to be a man, he was sitting one day in a church meeting during which a woman was to sing a solo. When her time to perform came, she walked up to the podium and announced, “My accompanist could not come today. I need someone to accompany me.” Looking over the congregation, she saw a man who used to teach piano. “Will you accompany me?” she asked him. The man came forward, and she handed him the music.

As he watched this transpire, my friend who had avoided music lessons thought, What would I havedone if she had asked me? If she had asked me, I would have been free to do only one thing: to say no. Suddenly, he realized that what he had assumed to be one of the great liberating moments of his life—when his mother said, “You may not take lessons any more”—was in fact a moment of bondage, not freedom. As he sat in that church meeting, he might as well have been handcuffed, for he could not have played the piano if he had wanted to. The other man was free; he could choose to play or not to play. Ultimately, then, freedom is more a matter of capacity and ability than of permission.

Robert M. Wilkes, “Some Thoughts about Personal Freedom,” Ensign, Jul 1985, 12

Very often, too, freedom means packing a burden. Sometimes we want to escape the burden, thinking that freedom would lie in that. A few years ago, I took my four-wheel-drive pickup into the mountains to get some firewood one late fall afternoon. The road up the canyon was covered with snow, and the higher I went, the deeper the snow. Soon I was far up, and the snow was deep. I pulled off the road into the brush and promptly got stuck. I moved several logs that were in front of the wheels, but I still couldn’t go. By this time it was getting dark. “Maybe someone will come along,” I thought. “While I’m waiting, I might as well cut up a little wood.” Soon I had a whole load of firewood, but still no one had come. “Well,” I thought, “I’d better start walking.”

Before I did, I decided to try just one more time. I put my truck in gear, and it just crawled out of that thick brush back onto the road. The load of wood had given the truck traction. What it could not do empty, it could do full.

We must not run around empty. Often we spend too much energy trying to escape our burdens. You can be married and be the elders quorum president and work—and change diapers. It is a misconception that too much work always destroys our freedom. Sometimes it’s not that we have too much to do, but that we don’t have enough and therefore are barely in gear and have no traction at all. Actually, freedom comes with the load.

 Boyd K. Packer, “Agency and Control,” Ensign, May 1983, 66

Several weeks ago I had in my office a four-star general and his wife; they were very impressive people. They admire the Church because of the conduct of our youth. The general’s wife mentioned her children, of whom she is justly proud. But she expressed a deep concern. “Tell me,” she said, “how you are able to control your youth and build such character as we have seen in your young men?”

I was interested in her use of the word ‘control’. The answer, I told them, centered in the doctrines of the gospel. They were interested; so I spoke briefly of the doctrine of agency. I said we develop control by teaching freedom. Perhaps at first they thought we start at the wrong end of the subject. A four-star general is nothing if not a disciplinarian. But when one understands the gospel, it becomes very clear that the best control is self-control.

It may seem unusual at first to foster self-control by centering on freedom of choice, but it is a very sound doctrinal approach.

While either subject may be taught separately, and though they may appear at first to be opposites, they are in fact parts of the same subject.

Some who do not understand the doctrinal part do not readily see the relationship between obedience and agency. And they miss one vital connection and see obedience only as restraint. They then resist the very thing that will give them true freedom. There is no true freedom without responsibility, and there is no enduring freedom without a knowledge of the truth. The Lord said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31–32.)

The general quickly understood a truth that is missed even by some in the Church. Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God.

We are the sons and daughters of God, willing followers, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and “under this head are [we] made free.” (Mosiah 5:8.)

Those who talk of blind obedience may appear to know many things, but they do not understand the doctrines of the gospel. There is an obedience that comes from a knowledge of the truth that transcends any external form of control. We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see. The best control, I repeat, is self-control.

D&C 58:26-28

  26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
  27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
  28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

As always, your comments are welcome.

~~Matia Bryson