Ether 7-15

Quite a few people have asked me for the sources that I have used as the background to my Gospel Doctrine lessons.  I thought that I would list them on my blog as I read them.  So, check back periodically through the week leading up to my lesson as I will put up links to different articles and also the titles of the books that I am reading.  I will also post the outline that I use to teach the class.

For those of you who subscribe to my blog who are not Mormon, feel free to enjoy these articles as I post them, or to skip them, but please, no anti-Mormon bashing.


The Sin Of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our “Correct” Beliefs by Peter Enns

Nothing New Under the Sun: A Blunt Paraphrase of Ecclesiastes by Adam S. Miller

The Lectures On Faith by Joseph Smith

Miracles Of The Book Of Mormon:  A Guide To The Symbolic Messages  by Alonzo Gaskill

Podcasts & Speeches:

The Sin of Certainty, with Peter Enns

Audacious Faith-Brett G. Scharffs


Getting Cain and Gain

“To Stir Them Up in the Ways of Remembrance”: Lamanites and Memory in the Book of Mormon

Jaredite Zion Societies: Hope For A Better World

“Secret Combinations”: A Legal Analysis

Hiding The Plates

Weak Things Made Strong

A Very Big Mistake!

In an attempt, dear readers, to be very thrifty and clever, I have daftly deleted many of the pictures on this blog.  Needless to say, I am very peeved at myself for being such a techno-dummy, but (sigh) there you have it.  I will be working this next week to restore the pictures.  My one consolation is that my linen apron that I have been sewing is almost done.  It will be a most happy thing to wear and I will post pictures of it and work very hard not to delete them in another attempt at cleverness…


Here is my work-in-progress apron.  It is a Japanese-style linen apron.  I am trying to decide whether to make a linen lining or just make a seam binding for the edges.  You can see Maxie chasing his blue balloon, which is peeking out from under the right-hand side of my apron.  I will post pictures of the finished product.

B Is For Birds

His bill an auger is,
His head, a cap and frill,
He laboreth at every tree,–
A worm his utmost goal
~Emily Dickinson

Usually I have some sort of an “invitation to play or create” on the table in the preschool room.  The children are free to explore if they choose.  This week however, on Monday and Tuesday the littles, the littlest littles, and I made recycled bird feeders out of toilet paper tubes.  I placed bowls of peanut butter on the table and butter knives.  It was really good small motor practice for the littles to practice spreading the peanut butter onto the tubes.  (Quite a lot went into their mouths too!) Then, they rolled the tubes in birdseed.  I strung a loop of twine through the tube so that the children could hang them up for the birds when they got home.  I heard oodles of gleeful glad tidings of great joy over the course of the next few days about how the birds had indeed enjoyed their treats.

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High Altitude Sugar Cookies


Since I live at over 5600 feet above sea level, all baked goods need to be adjusted for the altitude.  If you don’t, then you will have cookies that spread out and are flat, and cakes that overflow their pan and then sink.  Counterintuitively, the trick is usually in adjusting the amount of leavening–to less than the recipe calls for!  I have a really good cookbook, that I have had for quite some time called Pie In The Sky by Susan Purdy.  This is the sugar cookie recipe that I always use and it is from that cookbook.

High Altitude Sugar Cookies

12 Tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened ( I hardly ever use unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (I almost always use almond)
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven to 350º.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the baking powder and salt.  Add the flour and mix until well incorporated.  Form into a ball.  (if too sticky ad 1-2 Tbsp. more of flour.)
Work with about one-third of the dough at a time and keep the rest refrigerated.  Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.  Roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes or until they are slightly golden around the edge.  Cool completely on wire racks and then decorate.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp. cream of evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla or flavoring of choice
1/4 tsp salt

With an electric mixer whip the butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in the sugar.  Add the cream or evaporated milk and mix until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and salt.

Halloween Fun


Invitation To Play

For our Tuesday and Wednesday invitations, I made Goblin Goo.  In a medium-sized bowl I mixed together 1 cup of cornstarch and about 1/2 cup of water. I added a few drops of green food coloring and then stirred the whole concoction scraping the cornstarch up from the bottom of the bowl.  It was a bit stiff and difficult to stir, so in the end I just dug in and mixed with my hands!  This will make what is known as a non-Newtonian fluid.  When you roll it into a ball, it acts like a solid.  When you let it drip through your fingers, it acts like a liquid.  I threw in a few black plastic spiders to complete the spooky effect!  The kids had a lot of fun exploring this, but be forewarned: it is a bit messy!

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