what is a squiggle?

According to fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hill, a squiggle is a beginning point, a small, wiggly line on a page with the potential to become something more--a brilliantly drawn fifth-grade picture!

A beginning point. A silly phrase from my preschooler, my teenager rolling his eyes, or my kindergartner deleting my entire 3rd chapter...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scripture Squiggle: Ether 12:41

"And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen."

I love Ether 12 in its entirety. To me, it is the greatest discourse on faith that we have in the scriptures. But I love this final verse the most. It's almost as if Moroni is saying to us: Okay, I've shown you what faith can do, but until you know the Saviour as I do, it means nothing.

During this Christmas season, this scripture also reminds me of the phrase, "Wise men still seek him." President Monson offered inspired words on this subject in the December 1990 Ensign entitled, "The Search for Jesus."

Before the craziness of the holidays over take us, we should heed Moroni's plea and seek for the Saviour. As the primary song promises, "He will be found."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scripture Squiggle: Jacob 6:12

"O be wise; what can I say more?"

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines wise as: Having the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; sagacious.

In proverbs, wisdom is described as being "better than rubies." And the person who obtains wisdom "loveth his own soul." The Lord tells his modern-day people to "seek not for riches but for wisdom."

So, reasonably, if we have wisdom, we are wise, and if we are wise, we have the ability to recognize truth and right.

Notice that Jacob does not tell us to have wisdom; he tells us to be wise, implying an action on our part. Obtaining wisdom is important, but it does us no good unless we use the wisdom we have gained to make correct choices and draw closer to our Heavenly Father.

I love that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be so simple: get the ability to judge those things that are true and right, and then use it. Jacob is right; what can he say more?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scripture Sguiggle: 3 Nephi 14:7

"Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? All you have to do is ask, seek or knock and you get whatever it is that you need. All of the scriptures on prayer make it seem so easy. You have faith, you pray, you get an answer. Simple.

Not so simple. My husband and I have been praying for months for an answer to something we feel is very important, but an answer is not forthcoming. Sometimes we think we get an answer--then we start to question it. Is this coming from me because it's what I want? How do we know the answer comes from the Lord and not ourselves? How do we know Satan isn't planting ideas in our minds--he can be tricky like that?

I suppose that's why the Lord tells us that it is important to be like little children. Not like my toddler and preschooler who tear through the house like cyclones, but like my nine year old who was afraid she'd have to drop craft club because of her grades, so she fasted and prayed last fast Sunday that she could improve her grade. Guess what? She's still in the club.

As we get older, we learn a lot more about how the world works; we learn Santa doesn't really exist, magic is all about illusion, and unicorns are only a myth. These worldly truths make believing in the miracles of the Lord difficult sometimes. But the Lord has given us a more wondrous gift than we could ever have hoped to get from Santa Claus. The gift of his Son should mean far more to us than any earthly gift we've ever received. What could be more magical than the power of the priesthood in our lives? The priesthood can do so much more than pull a rabbit out of a hat--what about curing illnesses and healing hearts? And unicorns--maybe someday I'll be privileged to create a world where horned and winged horses play.

So, as my husband and I seek for an answer, maybe our solution is to become more childlike, and in doing so we will find the answer we need.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scripture Squiggle: Matthew 5:44

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

My son, TG, started high school last year. Being born into my family, the boy can hardly escape being a nerd. We're all nerds. We like geeky stuff like Star Trek, backwards stuff like classic country music, and many of us are avid readers. My son is one of the worst, having mastered the art of walking and reading at the same time--with minimal crashing.

Although he has plenty of friends, he shared very few classes with them; he quickly became the victim of bullying in several of his classes. But TG is the type to keep his feelings to himself and we did not learn of his torment until halfway through the semester. The kids in his PE class frequently broke into his locker and stole his belongings. Each time, the teacher issued TG a new lock, but never pursued the problem. The kids called TG names and laughed at him when he answered questions in class.

When TG finally broke down and told us what was going on, we encouraged him to speak with the students, then with the teachers, and if that didn't work, to go to his guidance counsellor. He talked to his fellow students, but of course this did nothing. His teachers insisted that they could do nothing about something that they did not witness. So TG visited with his guidance counsellor, who then spoke to his teachers. For a short time, things improved.

After Christmas, TG's classes changed. Many of the bullies still shared some classes with him. But now, he merely endured. And as he did so, the worst of the bullies were kicked out of school one by one. The other kids that had gone along with the tormenting began to leave TG alone, some even got to know him and became his friends.

I knew that TG had taken the Savior's counsel to heart when, as a sophomore, he began tutoring some of the kids that had made his freshman year miserable.

I wish I could be more like TG. Usually I find myself wishing unpleasant things upon the people that make my life difficult. Help them? Pray for them? I have a long way to go.