Jun 30, 2014

Roswell Stake Girls Camp 2014

Lincoln National Forest in the Sacramento Mountains
I spent the better part of last week in the beautiful Sacramento Mountains volunteering as a Camp Director for the Church's girls camp.  Camp is a time for the young women (youth ages 12-18) to spend time in nature learning and growing spiritually and physically.  There they have the opportunity to forge new friendships and unite as sisters in righteousness.  Also, they get to participate in all sorts of camping fun:  hikes, camp site preparation, crafts, cooking over a fire, etc.  The Roswell Stake Girls Camp this year was an incredible experience!

My wonderful assistants and the talented young women president were invaluable to helping me make this year's camp so successful.  They volunteered on hikes, as transportation, in the kitchen, as certification leaders, and created many cute treats for the girls.
The girls got "pillow treats" like this each day with a gift and a message.

Camp passed quickly, almost as a blur, with how busy we all were.  It was a good kind of busy, thankfully, but busy nonetheless.  We hiked up to the picturesque Bridal Veil Falls in the heat of the day to enjoy a nice picnic lunch with the calming sound of moving water as our symphony. 

The girls challenged themselves with rock climbing as myself and my fellow "Rock Maiden" belayed at least two tons of girls and leaders up the wall. 

I had the opportunity to teach them how to properly low-crawl as I managed the challenging obstacle course.  It was in this endeavor that these delightful young ladies awarded me the "Extra Yard" award as I think I dived through the course and low-crawled at least 10 times in an attempt to demonstrate this "combat" skill properly.  I still may have bruises from that. 

The young women had the opportunity to show off their acting skills with improv skits where they were assigned a theme and a prop-bag to help them.  Ah, how I wish I was able to record all of those skits as they were truly entertaining (keep on trotting!). 

Seriously, who knew?!
 We roasted marshmallows for s'mores and starbursts for fun. We cooked tinfoil dinners straight in the flames of our camp fire.  The girls learned self-defense, how to build and put out fires, plant and animal identification, astronomy, and all sorts of fun outdoor skills. 

All of these activities were fun, but my favorite part of camp is and always has been the devotionals, firesides, and testimony meetings.  Aside from the temple, I have never felt the spirit stronger.  Those who planned and presented each devotional was truly inspired by the Holy Ghost as these were strong assurances of God's love for each one of us.  Valuable lessons were thoughtfully prepared and creatively given each night.  The topics were prayerfully chosen as each of them were exactly what all of us--not just the youth--needed to hear.  Some of these were: self-worth, obedience, how to gain spiritual strength, how to overcome temptations.  Each topic fell under the overarching camp theme:  Build Our Own Testimony (BOOT Camp).  And with the theme, I even got to sport my old military uniforms...and some "non-issue" uniforms as well.

My many outfits of girls camp.

The last night, our wonderful Clovis Ward Bishop came to our camp and cooked us a most delicious dinner of tri-tip steak, baked potatoes with all the fixin's, tossed salad, fresh watermelon, and homemade brownies.  He then presented his own devotional on the first principles and ordinaces of the gospel.  With the spirit already strong around our campfire, we started our own ward testimony meeting.  There was hardly a dry eye around the fire as the fire of the Holy Ghost burned within our hearts.  Each of us felt the desire to bear our own testimony about our special experiences at camp, our love for each other and the Lord, and our faith in His Church and His gospel.  I cannot put into words how amazing this moment was for me.

Afterwards, Bishop asked if I would speak in Church on the following Sunday.  Although I have quite a solid fear of public speaking, I consented.  I always do much better when I prepare out my talk beforehand, so I did exactly that.  Here is my talk from this last Sunday's church meeting:

"When I was called as Ward Camp Director, I felt like I had just won the lottery of callings.  If there were callings “dream sheet”, this one would be number one on my list. Even after I discovered the sheer amount of work, time, effort, and dedication it required.  I love camping, I love the young women, and I could even pull out my old military uniforms and sport them again!  There were times when certain things got tough—like the heat on the hikes, climbing the ‘not-so-easy’ side of the rock wall (or belaying a couple tons of girls if your were a leader), or hauling a picnic table at least a solid mile to and from the campsite—but we all just “kept on trotting”.  And we found these tough moments to be among some of our favorite camp experiences.
The themes for Girls Camp this year, Build Our Own Testimony—or BOOT camp— and “we can do hard things” were completely accurate representations of the experiences that were shared by all who attended.  For many of us, the “hard things” we faced started before we even left the town.  The adversary seemed to be working extra hard on each one of us, throwing many testing trials and temptations toward us at the absolute worst times.  The reason for these tribulations became apparent throughout the camp as we each found our testimonies strengthened by experiences unique to our needs.  Some felt this growth right away, while others looked inside themselves on the last night to find a stronger spirit than before.  But all of us walked away with added confirmation of the truth of this gospel, the Church, the love of our Savior, and the importance of this sisterhood.
As we prepared for camp and as we spent time together in the gorgeous Sacramento Mountains, doing hard things, my love for each of these girls has blossomed.  These girls give me faith in the future, for their strong spirits, testimonies, and inner light are the hope their generation will need to succeed and prepare for the coming of our Savior.  These girls are different.  It shows in their countenance, it shows in their attitudes, it shows in their eyes and in their smiles.  They have an eagerness to serve others--more than once I saw one of our young women walk up to someone who was on their own to offer the hand of friendship and help them to feel included--to bear one another’s burdens, to stay true to their covenants, to do all the hard things the Lord requires of them because they know what is truly important.  I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be their camp director and to serve these incredible ladies in this manner."

Clovis Ward, aka Teancum's Special Forces

The friendships forged and the testimonies strengthened at this particular camp will benefit both the girls and the leaders for the rest of our lives.  I'm so thankful I was chosen to be the camp director for these incredible young women.  I know the Lord loves each of them and each of us more than we could ever comprehend.  His hand was clearly felt at this girls camp.

Jun 23, 2014

Final Camp Director Tasks

This last week has been crazy busy with all of us leaders scrambling about trying to complete last-minute tasks.  The big ones have been accumulating all camping materials, collecting permission slips and parent notes, making sure the girls have everything with a bag drag, and assembling awards and treats.

A bag drag is where everyone brings in their packs a day or two before departure, then empties them entirely.  Leaders go around and check to make sure each person has all required items for the trip/mission. We also used this bag drag to check for secret sister gifts/ideas and to pack the larger items like sleeping bags and mats.  After about an hour, my car is packed to the ceiling with just enough room to carry three people.

This is just my stuff and some of the leader gear

I found these cute certificates off  Sugar Fresh Designs.  All of them are so cute, with the additional bonus of having a candy treat attached to it.  I picked six of them to pass out to each of our girls the last night of camp.  I figured candy is always a good 'award' and young women seem to enjoy the little handouts, so these awards should go over well with our girls.  These are the ones I chose:


This past Sunday, I wrote this jodie.  It was an easy write and came to me quite fluidly; I think I may have been a bit inspired with this one.  I felt like we needed a jodie to go along with our theme:  Build Our Own Testimony--and that is just what the title of this jodie is.  For those of you who are familiar with military chants, this one goes along to the tune of the Air Force jodie Combat Controller (which I'm sure is a take on an old army jodie).

My First Gold Medal!

I love it when I find a local race.  This area isn't particularly known for its running, so anytime a local race pops up, I have to register because I want to support the small-but-growing running community of Eastern New Mexico.  So, when I found a 10K in the adjacent town, I immediately signed-up.  Another plus:  this took care of my medium-length training run for the week (I'm week 9 into my half marathon training plan).  I love doing races for training runs as they cause me to push harder and faster than I normally would, as was proven during this race.

Though a small race, the Portales Main Street Heritage Fun Run 5K/10K was well organized with a wonderful group of volunteers!  Aid stations were set up in prime locations, the course was easy to navigate, and the cheering section at the finish line was loud and supportive.  The course was fast and flat, which is my favorite kind of course.  The only thing I would change about this race was the 10K course as it was two loops of the 5K one.  I'm not a fan of having to run the same route multiple times; it usually psyches me out.  Other than that, everything was great.  I even made a couple new friends along the run.  A few people even recognized me from the Clovis News Journal article about my entry in the Women's Running Cover Model Contest.

I've never kept such a fast pace in a 10K before!  My former 10K personal record (PR) was 1:05:58, and that was pushing it hard for me.  This race, I ran with a woman named Cassandra the first loop as she was doing the 5K.  At the turn around for loop #2, I saw I was only following one other female runner and she was about 150 yards ahead of me.  As we neared the next mile marker, a couple male runners heading the opposite direction shouted at me, "Go on and catch her!"  I retorted, "Sure, I'm going to speed up the last mile."  They just nodded their heads and laughed, "Sure."  But, sure enough, I steadily gained ground on her until I passed her at mile 5.  I knew I had to keep my momentum up, so even though I was already dying, I pushed my pace a little harder.  As I rounded the last bend, I saw Cassandra waiting to finish the race with me!  That was a great surprise and a wonderful motivator to keep me running. 

With the orange cones marking the finish in my sights, I was able to gather up enough energy to hold a sprint-kick the last quarter mile and victoriously cross the finish line.  Then I promptly stopped, bent over, and tried to catch my breath.  After about 10 minutes of walking around with my hands at my waist breathing heavily, I could finally speak again.  They posted the age-group winners and their times on some poster board.  I found my name at the top with the finish time of 1:01:10!  Not only did I beat my last PR, but I killed it by 4 whole minutes (a lot in running-time)!  And, I had come in first of all the female 10K runners!  I was elated!  I have never placed in a race before, let alone won a race!

I sported my gold medal the rest of the day.  My usual post-race ritual is to shower, wear the race shirt, wear the race medal, and eat a hearty Mexican food meal.  I accomplished each of those and added "eat a large serving of fro-yo."  I felt like celebrating the whole day!

Post-Race Rituals: wear race shirt and medal, eat Mexican food.

I'm hoping that this win is a sign of a future big win...winning the Cover Model Contest for Women's Running Magazine.  Please continue to vote for me, Rachel B.!  Just go to www.womensrunning.competitor.com/cover-model-contest and vote for me daily on every device until 12pm PST on July 2nd.  Share and spread the word to have all your friends help me win this contest!  I appreciate all the support I've received thus far, and your continued support in this.

Jun 19, 2014

The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times (FHE)

This week's lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual chapter 16, the Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times.  This was a harder lesson to try and teach to a toddler, but I think it went over fairly well.  Organization isn't the most exciting topic for young kids, so I tried to make it fun.

Song: We sang the two songs on page 126 from the Primary Children's Songbook, the Sixth and Seventh Articles of Faith.  They both seemed to cover some of the material from the lesson.  They go as follows:

Sixth Article of Faith:
We believe in the same organization 
that existed in the Primitive Church,
namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, 
teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Seventh Article of Faith:
We believe in the gift of tongues,
prophecy, revelation,
visions, healing, interpretation of tongues,
and so forth.

Lesson: Jesus established His church while He was on the earth and it was called the Church of Christ (3 Nephi 27:8) with the members being called Saints (Ephesians 2:19-20).  Jesus taught His followers that revelation was the rock upon which He would build His Church (Matthew 16:16-18).  Even after His ascent into heaven after the Resurrection, Christ was with His people (Matthew 28:20).  He sent the Holy Ghost (John 14:26), He spoke in visions (Acts 9:3-6), and revealed many things to His apostles (Acts 10).

The Father gave Jesus Christ the priesthood authority (Hebrews 5:4-6), who in turn ordained His Apostles and gave them priesthood power and authority (Luke 9:1-2).  The ordinances and principles of the gospel cannot be administered and taught without the priesthood.  The Church of Christ was a carefully organized unit with Christ as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).  Jesus appointed priesthood leaders as Apostles and Seventies along with many other officers in the Church.

The Apostles taught two basic principles:  faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and repentance.  After new converts had faith in Christ as the Son of God and had repented of their sins, they received two ordinances:  baptism by immersion and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:1-6).  Jesus provided for everyone to hear the gospel, whether here on earth or after death.  After His death He organized missionary work among those who were dead to give them an opportunity to accept His gospel (1 Peter 3:18-20; D&C 138).  Living members of His Church then performed ordinances in behalf of the death as baptism and confirmation must be done on earth (1 Corinthians 15:29).  All faithful members of the Church were entitled to receive gifts of the Spirit according to their individual needs, capacities, and assignments.  Some of these were faith, power to heal, power to be healed, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, and visions.

After Christ was resurrected, He visited the people in the Americas and organized His Church among them (3 Nephi 11-28).  Throughout history, evil people have tried to destroy the work of the Lord.  They openly rebelled against the Church, persecuted the believers, and killed the Apostles.  After the Apostles were killed, the line of authority was taken from the earth.  With the true Church no longer on the earth, we entered the period of the Great Apostasy.  God had foreseen the Apostasy and prepared for the gospel to be restored (Acts 3:20-21).

Activity: I saw the missionaries teach a similar lesson to this one using Jenga blocks labeled with the different aspects of Christ's church.  Unfortunately, the entire city seemed to be completely sold out of Jenga blocks, and of just blocks in general.  Instead, I just printed out colored rectangles with the same labels and had June build a 2D church using each of the "blocks" as we learned about them.  When we discussed the Apostasy, I took some of the blocks away (temple ordinances, ordinances for the dead, prophet, apostles, priesthood) and I gave June three separate stacks of  the "blocks".  She then built three churches using the pieces given.  I explained how after Christ's Church was taken from the earth, other churches were build.  They each had some truth, but they didn't have the complete truth, which is why so many churches teach so many different things.

She liked building the Church from the paper strips, but I think she would've enjoyed building with the blocks instead.  Still, the activity went over pretty well.

Jun 18, 2014

Help me become a Cover Model for Women's Running Magazine!

I'm still in shock!  I was chosen out of 1,800 applicants to be one of nine finalists in the Women's Running Cover Model Contest!  Help me win this contest by going to http://womensrunning.competitor.com/cover-model-contest and voting for me, Rachel B!  You can vote daily until July 2nd.  Share with everyone and spread the word to help me become the September 2014 Women's Running Cover Model!  I appreciate all the support I've already received and will receive in this.  This contest entailed writing about the time I found my strong.  That moment for me was my first race ever, and here is my write-up:

"I didn't think the word "strong" applied to me until I participated in the military heavy division of the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon. The race covered 26.2 miles in full military battle dress uniform while carrying a rucksack with about 40 pounds of weight.

I wasn't nearly prepared enough, but I was determined to see the marathon through, especially after I had the opportunity to shake hands with actual Bataan Death March survivors. Their courageous story put my discomfort in proper perspective and sustained me during my own physical challenge in honor of their sacrifice.

Toward the end of the race, my feet were covered in blisters, my hips ached from the weight of my ruck, and my endurance was waning from the previous miles uphill in sand, but with the help of my teammates I pushed through the pain and the fatigue to victoriously cross the finish line. I was utterly spent and just about cried from relief as I peeled off my rucksack and received my finisher medal. Nonetheless, I’ve never felt more elated! That day, I found my strong and discovered I can indeed achieve great things."

I'm so thankful to have this opportunity.  Women's Running is my favorite magazine and to be on the cover would be a dream come true.  I hope that I could be an inspiration to others; to maybe inspire someone to lead a healthier life, get into running, start Family Home Evenings with their children, and especially to develop their testimony of our Savior.  What a wonderful way to be a representative of this wonderful sport, of my community, of the military, and most of all, of my family and the gospel.  So, please vote for Rachel B.

Jun 13, 2014

Camp Director Task #5: Mailbox and Flag

Wednesday was our last camp preparation activity with the young women, and it was incredibly successful.  Our last big task was to make our ward's "mailbox" which will be used to pass tasks, goodies, and notes.  We wanted our mailbox to resemble our flag somewhat, so I went easy and bought a black plastic file box that fit our required dimensions.  The girls lightly roughed the exterior with sandpaper so the paint would stick.  Then, using stencils they painted "Clovis Ward" on one side in white paint.  On the opposite side they stenciled "Teancum's" then with bright, colorful paint pens they added "Special Forces" underneath.  They didn't want to leave the final two sides empty, so we all signed our names to add more personalization.  On the remaining side, a couple of the girls painted flowers, a boot (for Boot Camp), and covered the empty space with polka-dots.  The mailbox looks fabulous!  I took it home and mod-podged it to seal the paint, then I added our amazing ward design on the lid.  Mailbox completed!
Amy, our Young Women President, brought in the finished flag.  We started working on it last month and she took it home to add the finishing touches.  After we finished the mailbox, everyone signed their names on the back of the flag.  I'm so impressed with how it turned out!  It's militaristic with plenty of femininity.
I love the enthusiasm and creativity the young women and their leaders have brought to every camp preparation task we've been assigned.  They are really going to make this year's girls camp a success.

Three-Day Split Strength Workout

First of all, this was another personal record-making week in running for me!  I ran my farthest distance straight ever, 10 miles!  These long runs are really building up my self confidence, even more so than my endurance.

I decided to change up my strength training this week by splitting up the muscle groups.  Day 1 is chest, back, shoulders, and abs.  Day 2 is legs.  Day 3 is biceps, triceps, and abs.  This routine really complimented my running this week, aside from having to take the entire day following the "Leg day" off due to soreness.  Here are the workouts:

Jun 9, 2014

The Lord's Covenant People (FHE)

Today's family home evening lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual, chapter 15: The Lord's Covenant People.  I already did a basic family home evening lesson over the Abrahamic Covenant during our Follow the Prophet FHE series, so I decided to take a different spin on this lesson by focusing more on how we become a covenant making people through out baptismal and temple covenants.

Song: We sang song #95 from the primary Children's Songbook, I Love to See the Temple.  This is June's favorite song!  She was so happy to be singing it.  It goes as follows:

I love to see the temple.
I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.
I love to see the temple.
I'll go inside someday.
I'll cov'nant with my Father;
I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I've learned this truth:
A fam'ly is forever.

Lesson: A covenant is a sacred agreement or mutual promise between God and a person.  In these covenants, we are promised special blessing through obedience to particular commandments.  From the very beginning, the Lord has made covenants with His children on earth.  When His people make these special promises with Him, they know exactly what He expects of them and what blessings they can expect from Him.  These covenants help us to better carryout out His work on the earth and give us strength, guidance, and peace.  Those whom the Lord makes covenants with are known as the Lord's covenant people.  We make covenants at baptism, in the temple, and we renew these covenants every time we take the sacrament.

God also makes covenants with particular persons or groups of people, like Adam, Enoch, Noah, the children of Israel, and Lehi (Moses 6:31-36, 52; Genesis 9:9-17; Exodus 19:5-6; 2 Nephi 1).  Concerning Abraham, the Lord promised him that he would have numberless decedents who would be entitled to receive the gospel, blessings of the priesthood, all the ordinances of exaltation, and would carry the gospel to all nations to bless all families on earth as long as they remained obedient to the commandments (Abraham 2:11; Genesis 17:4-8).  Actual descendants of Abraham are promised these blessings as well as adopted decedents through baptism (Abraham 2:10).

The fulness of the gospel is called the new and everlasting covenant which includes covenants made at baptism, during sacrament, in the temple, and at any other time.  When we accept the new and everlasting covenant, we agree to repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, receive our temple endowments, receive the covenant of eternal marriage in the temple, and follow and obey Christ to the end of our lives.  As we keep these covenants, Heavenly Father promises us that we will receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom (D&C 132:20-24).  The greatness of that promise is hard for mortals to understand.  All commandments the Lord gives us are for our benefit.

Activity: I set up 5 paper cups in a row.  I labeled them:  baptism, sacrament, temple endowment, temple marriage, and celestial kingdom.  That is the order I placed them as well, with baptism being first.  I then placed a piece of tape in front of the first cup and I dumped a bunch of coins by the tape. To top it off, I placed pictures of the temple and Christ at the end of the row.  With this set-up, we played Covenant Coin-Toss.  June had to toss a coin into each cup, but she had to do so in the order presented.  So, first she had to make a coin in the "baptism" cup before she could try for the "sacrament" cup, and so forth.  As she threw her coins, I told her that this is the order we receive our covenants.  She could continue making coins into the cups she already scored in because once we receive our own ordinances and covenants, we can go back and receive them vicariously for the dead.  As for sacrament, we take sacrament every Sunday, so she could score in the sacrament cup as much as she wanted.

June is pretty skilled at coin toss.
June loves games, so this one was a hit with her.  I do recommend playing on a hard surface as the cups kept falling over on the carpet.  Once each cup had a few coins, they stood better.

Jun 8, 2014

Camp Director Task #4: T-Shirts and Jodies

Camp is fast approaching and with the fundraiser successfully complete, all our young women camp activities from here on out are the more fun ones.  This last camp-preparation activity, we made our ward camp shirts and we wrote a pretty awesome jodie.  No kidding, the girls were fantastic with the jodie- writing.

My wonderful and talented cousin, Jessica Isaacs, designed our shirts.  She really captured exactly what the girls wanted, and we are all so grateful to her for sharing her skills with us.  I printed up the design and each of the girls' names with their camp level onto t-shirt transfer paper, so they were able to iron these onto their shirts however they wished.  The shirts look great, and they were super easy.  Now, I just need to assemble my shirt...
A Jules Isaacs Original Design
 The girls were a bit shy with jodie writing at first.  Lucky for them, I have no shame when it comes to singing in public.  I sang out some of my favorite jodies both from Air Force Field Training and from what I remember of my own girls camp.  I love the jodie "Glorious Victorious," which is a fairly popular military chant.  Granted, it's about killing and death drinking, so we just wrote our own lyrics.  I'd have to say, I think our version is more fun, but I'm biased.  Since we'll be camping in tents and provided with limited facilities, each girl will only get one short shower during the camp out.  Our girls are really great about this and haven't murmured one bit, but we thought this would be the perfect topic for a comical jodie.  Without further a due, here is our original Clovis Young Women jodie:

Jun 7, 2014

Strength Training Workout and Motivation

Part of my morning ritual when I'm trying to wake up is to check facebook on my phone.  This morning, the first thing I saw was this quote meme:

 I had been considering using the light 12mph winds as an excuse to skip my run, mostly because I just wanted to sleep in.  But when I saw that quote, I got my butt in gear and laced on my running shoes.  It was exactly what I needed to get me out the door; and I'm so thankful!  How true, if something is truly important to us, we will find a way to accomplish it.  It's applicable in every situation: fitness, religion, family, friends, activities, work, hobbies, etc.  I think I'm going to add this to my "words to live by" list.

It also is the kick in the pants I need to get on my Sunday School lesson planning and personal scripture study.  I skipped yesterday, and I definitely feel grumpier and less motivated because of it.  Just like my body needs consistent exercise to stay fit, my spirit needs consistent "exercise" to grow and develop.  So now, as I write this blog post, I'm multitasking and printing my lesson plan and reading material for tomorrow.  Hooray for productivity!

Last night's workout, since it was way too hot, was an hour-long endurance lifting session.  I used my lighter dumbbells for this one since the repetitions were so high.  Great weight workout, enough so that my calves were extremely tight and tired for the first two miles of my run this morning.  If you're a beginner and want to try this weight lifting routine, start with 1-2 sets and build from there.  And as always, if you try this workout, comment on this post and let me know how it went!

Jun 6, 2014

Priesthood Organization (FHE)

This week's family home evening lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual chapter 14:  Priesthood Organization.  I wish I had my brothers here to help me teach this lesson, as I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as they are about priesthood organization.  The priesthood has always been an area I hadn't studied, so this lesson gave me an opportunity to learn more.

Song: We sang song #89 from the primary Children's Songbook, The Priesthood is Restored.  It goes as follows:

The priesthood is restored,
The truth made known to man,
That God has spoken to the earth,
His pow'r is here again.

Lesson:  The Priesthood is on the earth today.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is governed by the priesthood.  There are two divisions of priesthood:  Melchizekek and Aaronic (D&C 107:1).  The Melchizedek priesthood is the higher priesthood, where those who hold it have the power and authority to lead the church, direct the preaching of the gospel, administer all spiritual work of the church, direct temple work, and preside over congregations (D&C 84:19-22; 107:8).  The Aaronic priesthood is an appendage to the Melchizedek priesthood.  Those who hold this priesthood have authority to administer the outward ordinances of sacrament and baptism (D&C 20:46; 107:13-14, 20).  This is the priesthood Aaron and his sons held during the time of Moses.  The Aaronic priesthood has three offices and each office has their own set of duties.  Every office in the priesthood is held by a male who has been baptized into the Church and found worthy to hold the priesthood.

Deacons are young men ages 12 and 13.  Their duties include passing the sacrament to members of the Church, keeping Church buildings and grounds in good order, acting as messengers for priesthood leaders, and fulfilling special assignments such as collecting fast offerings.  Teachers are young men age 14 and 15.  They have all the duties, rights, and powers of deacons.  Additionally, they are to help Church members live the commandments, serve as home teachers, and prepare the bread and water for sacrament (D&C 20: 53-59; D&C 42:12).  Priests are men ages 16 and older.  They have all the duties, rights, and powers of deacons and teachers. Additionally, they may baptize, administer the sacrament, ordain other Aaronic priesthood holders, take charge of meetings when there are no higher priesthood holders present, and preach the gospel.

The bishop is a High Priest and Melchizedek priesthood holder who presides over the Aaronic priesthood in a congregation (D&C 107:87-88).  He is also a judge in Israel and presides over members in a congregation (D&C 107:71-74; 68:15).

The Melchizedek priesthood has five offices. All Melchizedek priesthood holders have all the duties, rights and powers of the Aaronic priesthood with additional ones.  Elders are called to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church (D&C 20:42).  They have the authority to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost (D&C 20:43) and conduct meetings of the church, administer to the sick, and bless little children (D&C 20:43, 45, 70).  All Melchizedek priesthood holders are elders.  High priests are given the authority to officiate in the church and administer spiritual things (D&C 107:10, 12).  Patriarchs are authorized to give patriarchal blessings to members of the church, which give us some understanding of our callings on the earth and are  the word of the Lord personally to us (D&C 107: 39-56).  Seventies are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world and assist in building up and regulating the Church (D&C 107:25, 34, 38, 93-97).  An Apostle is a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all things and in all the world (D&C 107:23).  They administer the affairs of the Church throughout the world and act under direction of the President of the Church, who is the senior Apostle.

Priesthood holders are organized into quorums, a body of brethren holding the same priesthood office.  Quorums help to encourage, bless, fellowship, and teach the gospel to its members.  Membership in a quorum should be regarded as a sacred privilege.

All organizations in the Church work under direction of priesthood leaders and help them carry out the work of the Lord.  The auxiliaries of the Church include:  Relief Society (women's organization), Young Women, Young Men, Sunday School, and Primary.  The president of each auxiliary is blessed with priesthood power to perform their leadership duties, whether they be male or female.

Activity:  June and I made a cup tower.  I wrote the priesthood offices on the cups and we made a huge pyramid with it.  June really enjoyed making her tower.  As we placed each cup in its place, I would tell her what that Priesthood office was and who we know that holds that office.  Each [] is a cup.  Here is how the tower was organized:

[Apostles]     [Apostles]
[Seventies]     [Seventies]     [Other General Authorities]
[Stake President and Presidency]     [Patriarch]     [Stake Offices]     [Stake Offices]
[Bishop and Bishopric]      [Ward Offices]      [High Priests]       [Elders]       [Elders]
[Deacons]     [Deacons]     [Teachers]     [Teachers]     [Priests]     [Priests]

Jun 4, 2014

Strength Training Workouts

First of all, Happy National Running Day!  I started off my morning with a buddy run of 6-miles.  No better way to start the day and to celebrate a runner-friendly holiday.

As far as my strength training goes...so far so good.  I have to vary my routine just about every time so I stay excited about lifting and keep myself from getting bored.  For now at least, I'll be aiming for 2-3 strength training sessions per week with each workout lasting about 45-60 minutes long.  This is what I've done this week thus far:

Core Circuit
After my 9-miler Monday, I felt like doing a good core circuit, so I came up with this one.  Circuits are easy.  All you do is complete each exercise in the order listed with minimal to no rest in between.  Then, take a 1-2 minute rest before starting the circuit over again.  For this one, depending on your current fitness level, do 1-4 circuits.  This is a great way to sneak some cardio in with your lifting.

Supersets really help to shake up a workout routine.  They are like mini-circuits working opposing muscle groups.  To do supersets, perform each exercise listed in the "set" box back to back with minimal rest in between.  Then rest 1-2 minutes before starting the next set.  This workout has tri-sets which have 3 exercises per set, and bi-sets which have 2 exercise per set.  Depending on your fitness level, complete 1-3 sets of each superset.

If you try any of these workouts, let me know how they worked for you!  Comment on this blog post.  The goal is to end up with a nice-I-just-worked-out-hard soreness.