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...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Scripture Squiggle: Doctrine & Covenants 18:23-24

"Behold, Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved;

Wherefore, all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day"

When I discovered that some unknown someone was using my name and social security number, I felt like screaming and crying. My entire body trembled, my stomach cramped and I thought I would be sick. I felt a total lack of control. What could I do? I didn't know who was using my information; I didn't know when it had started or where they had gotten it. I just knew that someone had my name, and I wasn't sure I liked how they were using it.

In many ways, the Savior is a victim of identity theft. He warned us of Antichrists and false prophets. We've read about Sherem and Korihor in the Book of Mormon. More recently we've heard claims of imminent judgement and the end of the world, despite the declaration in the scriptures that only Heavenly Father knows when the Second Coming will occur.

What about those of us who have chosen, not to denounce the Savior or deceive those who would follow him, but to take upon us his name? Are we living in a way that is consistent with his life? Or do our actions cause him anguish. Are we damaging our Savior's love and trust in us with how we are using the name that he has given us just as the person who has stolen my name is hurting my credibility?

In an article in the April 1982 New Era entitled, "Taking Upon Us His Name", Ardeth Kapp relates, "It is in reaching out to others that we qualify ourselves and become more worthy of his name. It is our ordinary work, our seemingly routine duties, and
our familiar relationships that can become sacramental in nature."

We should consider our actions daily to be sure we are not falsely using Jesus' name. Then we can partake of the promise given in Mosiah 5:9

"And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scripture Squiggle: 3 Nephi 12:6

"And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost."

Until last night, I didn't give these words much thought. To me, this verse meant to seek after righteousness, and if we do so, we are worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. But to hunger and thirst after something means that we really want, need, that thing, and when we attain that which we seek, we are satisfied.

I'm no stranger to feeling physically full--especially on pizza night. However, I never really considered what it meant to feel spiritually full.

Last night, at a relief society activity, I learned what that feeling is. It's knowing that I helped turn a stranger's anger into a smile by sending my daughter over to move the shopping cart out of the parking space. It's the warmth of fellowship that comes from attending Sunday meetings and chatting in the hall. It's the peace that settles my mind when I read a verse of scripture that must have been written for me, for just that moment in my life. It's a tear cried for someone else, a tear wiped away. It's a hug or a smile, or countless things, little and big, that I can do each day--for my stubborn little boys or someone I've never met.

It's a feeling I need to know so well, that I crave it as much as I crave a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a frigid day.

Am I spiritually fed each day or am I unknowingly starving, when nourishment is within my grasp? Am I teaching my children to recognize their own hunger for spiritual things? I think I'll look a little closer at my family's spiritual diet. It's never to late to start being healthy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Scripture Squiggle: Helaman 12:2

"Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One--yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity."

The phrase was becoming one of my most frequently asked questions. As my husband and I toiled to convince the water pump to actually pump the water the grass so desperately needed. Why can't it ever be easy for us?

Again, when we tried to build a shelter for the tomato plants, wilting and baking in the sun. Why can't it be easy?

I asked the question every time a task turned out to be more difficult than I felt it should have--which was quite often. My husband's standard reply was, "Because we're Anderson's." To which I would grumble something about only being an Anderson by marriage and therefore should be immune to any curse.

But even the simple job of replacing windshield wipers became a frustrating, lengthy chore that left us both cross.

I was beginning to believe my husband's joking reply one night as we struggled to install a simple three-piece mount for our flat screen TV. Surely it should not take an hour to determine where to place the screws, drill the pilot holes and tighten everything into place. Alas, more than an hour had passed as we searched for the stud locator, searched for the drill bits, broke one of the thick screws, and misplaced the ratcheting screwdriver.

In the midst of the angering chaos, while trying to coax the last two screws into the back of the television I wondered aloud yet again why things couldn't go smoothly for us. From behind me, my husband gave me a soft chuckle.

"Hold on," he said and than he began to read Helaman 12:2. When he finished he set his scriptures aside. "That's why it isn't easy for us."

I tightened the last screw into place. "Things have to be difficult to remind us that we need the Lord?"

"Pretty much. I'd rather have things hard and remember that I rely on the Lord to accomplish things, even the little things instead of relying on my own strength out of pride and finding myself on the wrong side of things when Savior returns."

He moved over beside me and we lifted the TV together, attaching it to the mount on the wall. It was a little off balance, and we grinned at each other. "It can't be easy can it?" I laughed.