Tag Archives: Mormon

#LoveBlog 2017 Day 9 | A Servant’s Heart

Christians are to be Christ-like. One of the best way to do so is by performing service. During His earthly ministry, not only did Christ teach and preach, but He served others: He healed the sick, ate with the poor and sinners, and forgave. He is our King, Lord, and Savior. But, He acted as a servant during His life: during the Last Supper, He washed the feet of His disciples! We should follow His example of having a servant’s heart. Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Reading Roundup | Jan 2017

Book reviews for Saints at Devil's Gate and Love Me True.

It’s a new year. I know a lot of bloggers have a list of books they want to read, already. I do too. It’s called, “all the books on my bookshelf that I own and have never read yet.” That was basically the same plan for last year, too. But, I love to include a library book now and then, or a book from Blogging for Books. I’ve even done some book reviews for Cedar Forts Publishing, which is a Mormon-owned (not Church-owned) publishing company. This month, I was actually contacted by the author or publisher of both books I read for Reading Roundup.

Book reviews for Saints at Devil's Gate and Love Me True.

Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Reading Roundup | October 2016

Book review on Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman, Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White, and Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary

Another month gone, holy cow! They are going so fast, I can’t believe it! I read a total of 3 books this month’s reading roundup and I’m so happy I’m done with Rough Stone Rolling because I can finally move on to the rest of my bookshelves!

Book review on Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman, Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White, and Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary

Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman

Book review on Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman

It has actually taken me little more than a year to read this book. Last year when I had my faith crisis, my Bishop mentioned reading this book. He knew that I was historically minded and that a lot of my questions and doubts had to do with the limited primary sources and actual facts of the early LDS Church and some decisions and preachings by early presidents of the church and other prolific members. Now, I have no doubt that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that he saw our Savior and translated the Book of Mormon. But, it does seem in our church that we revere him. We don’t revere any of the biblical or Book of Mormon prophets, or even any of the other Latter-Day prophets like we do him. And, there is so much antagonism against him. Also, there just isn’t a lot of facts that we are absolutely 100% sure of. So, my thoughts and feelings of him as a person, his decisions, and the early church as a whole was a little ambiguous.

The book, from a historical point of view, was very enlightening. It is a “cultural biography”, which means that the author tries to show how the culture of Joseph Smith’s day influenced and affected him. I definitely learned a lot I didn’t know about the culture of New England and the mid-west in the 1830-40s, as well as many facts about Joseph Smith and his family. A lot of times in this book, I found myself saying, “ok, that explains it,” or “that wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be.” A lot of times, direct quotes from Joseph Smith about doctrine or Gospel principles or attitudes and philosophies that Mormons should have made me want to shout out, “Thank you! If only modern-day Mormons realized this!!!” But, there were still some parts that made me cringe a bit about his decisions or double think his character or motivation. Really, it made me feel extremely bad for Emma as his wife. It also made me just sad for Joseph–he may have helped to restore Christ’s church and priesthood on the Earth, but he was definitely not as infallible or pure as many in the Church want to believe.

I realize that the LDS Church’s history is grimy and iffy, and that’s something I’m going to have to live with my entire life. But, I do know that the basic Gospel truth taught by this church is true. And, regardless of how I may feel about Joseph Smith, I am glad I got to know him better than I previously did.

Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary

Book review on Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary

We actually bought this book years ago when Matt Smith became the 11th doctor. We’ve both flipped through it a few times, but I have never actually sat down and read it cover to cover. I decided to put it in the bathroom to read while Rhys was taking a bath or trying to go on his training potty, or for my own entertainment. It was fun to relive the 9th, 10th, and 11th Doctors and looking back at the different episodes and characters.

This book is set up like a children’s Discovery World books I used to check out from the library as a kid. It’s mostly pictures with captions. Rhys has also gotten in the habit of flipping through it. I’ve started teaching him the different characters in Doctor Who. He knows Daleks are robots, and that the Weeping Angels either look like they are crying or going “boo”. He also knows who Davros, creator of the Daleks, is and can say his name. It’s so cute!

Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White

Book review on Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White

** I received a copy of this book from Cedar Forts Publishing in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints feels very strongly about gender identity and the importance of family. In 1994, the First Presidency of the church created a document called Family: A Proclamation to the World to explain our beliefs. Almost every Mormon family has it hanging somewhere in their house.

This books is a children’s book, in the form of a comic book, and teaches the principles of the Family Proclamation.

Book review of Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White

I loved the illustrations and how White made it simple for little kids to understand. When I received my copy in the mail, Rhys helped me open it and was excited to see that it was a book. He sat by me and let me read the entire thing to him. I am so glad that I have this book on my shelves now for my children as they grow up. It’s also a perfect book to take to Sacrament Meeting for your kids!

Find out more about Benjamin Hyrum White here.

Buy the book here:
Amazon // Barnes & Noble //booksandthings.com

Benjamin-Hyrum-White-Defenders-of-the-Family-blog-tour-banner

What books did you read this month?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Reading Roundup | July 2016

Book reviews on: The Devil in Vienna, Why Not Me, Miriam, and Understanding Your Endowment. Join the Reading Roundup linkup, a monthly linkup of book reviews for all the books read that month!

Well, it typically seems like when my interests online wane, my interest in reading waxes. This month for the Reading Roundup, I actually read and completed four books! I’m so proud of myself! However, one isn’t pictured below because it was an e-book.

Book reviews on: The Devil in Vienna, Why Not Me, Miriam, and Understanding Your Endowment. Join the Reading Roundup linkup, a monthly linkup of book reviews for all the books read that month!

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

Book review on Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me.
Via theconcernsofmindykaling.com

I had loved reading Mindy’s first book, so I was excited to read this book, especially since I had watched all of the Mindy Project. This one was a bit more thematic, especially when it came to the empowerment of women and working hard to follow after your dreams. Mindy talked a lot about how she still is an ordinary person, and to be honest, I believe it. She was very clear on her sometimes disdain for her body, looks, and eating habits. I liked this book a whole lot more than her first. I feel like I really caught a glimpse of her in real life and separated that from her Mindy character–and that was a big point of hers. She hated being seen as Mindy Lahiri in real life.

Miriam: Book 2 of Treasures of the Nile by Mesu Andrews

Book Review on Miriam by Mesu Andrews

* I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

This is the second in Andrews’s Treasures of the Nile series. I read and reviewed her first book, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, and when I found out that she was writing a second, but it wouldn’t be published until 2016, I couldn’t wait. So, I was very excited to read this one!

Miriam takes place a long time after the first book. Miriam is now 80 rather than the young woman helping to raise her brother Moses and keeping his birth a secret. Moses has already run away to Midian for 40 years. Miriam is known as a seeress, a prophetess, able to communicate with El Shaddai–an ancient name for the Hebrew God. But, He has recently been quiet towards her…and then Moses returns with the news that Yahweh, El Shaddai’s true name, has communicated with him and told him to free the Hebrew slaves. The book follows Miriam as she struggles with her new relationship with a suddenly unknown God and her nephew (Aaron’s son), Eleazar, a slave-warrior who is the body guard to Pharaoh’s first born son and how he grapples with loyalty and protection and believing in his Hebrew heritage’s religion.

Again, Andrews did a great job developing her characters. I loved seeing Miriam struggle with her personal relationship with God. It was so poignant. He never changed, but her understanding of Him did and that was hard for her to grasp. It really spoke to me because of my trial of faith last year. However, I did feel that the book followed Eleazar more than Miriam. And, as the 10 plagues of Egypt continued, Andrews seemed to speed up the pacing, which was a bit sad. However, I do really hope that she writes a third about the 40 year journey in the wilderness!

The Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel

Book Review for The Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel

This is a WWII book, as is obvious by the front cover. Inge, a Austrian Jew, has to say good-bye to her best friend, Leisolette, as she moves to Germany to go to a Hitler Youth program against her will. Inge receives a journal from her grandpa and writes her feelings about the fast changes of Austrian nationalism to complete acceptance of Hitler’s idealism.

I did feel like the author tried to make it Anne Frank-ish, but with a hint more sarcasm as Inge makes fun of the idea of naming a journal, etc. Also, the back cover leads the reader to think that Inge and Leisolette’s “forbidden” friendship is the main plot of the story, but it really is only mention in the very beginning of the book, then the last 1/3 of the book. However, it was a quick read and I didn’t like putting it down. A lot of it was open and honest, like Anne Frank’s journal because Orgel said that this book was based off many experiences she had herself as a young Jew in Austria during Hitler’s raise to power.

Understanding Your Endowment by Cory B. Jensen

Book review of Understanding Your Endowment by Cory Jensen.

This is a Mormon book, with Mormon theology in it, so I’m sorry if it isn’t of interest to my other readers. But, it was definitely of interest to me.

For those who don’t understand, the endowment is the “ritual” of ordinances and covenants we make the first time we go through an LDS temple. A lot of it is very confusing to those who go through for the first time. Mainly, because we aren’t really sure what to expect. What happens in an LDS temple is personal and sacred dealing with our personal relationship with Christ and understanding His saving Grace and His plan for us on a deeper, more intimate level. Because of this sacredness, we don’t really discuss much about it outside of the temple–it’s sacred, not secret.

I, personally, received my endowment four years ago, a week before I got married. I have been through the temple numerous times since then, repeating these ordinances and watching a sister-in-law, a brother, and a sister go through their own endowments. Every single time I go, I experience and learn something new–that is the point of the endowment. However, it also happens to be a point of questioning for many. Many think it is too Mason-based, some think it is ridiculous, some don’t understand the deeper levels, etc. That is why I was really interested in reading this book. Although I will be the first to admit that I don’t understand everything about the endowment or the reasons behind it, I do feel pretty comfortable with it. I wasn’t necessarily confused the first time I went through. But, that is because I am very good with symbolism and its intertwining with history. It’s always been an interest of mine. Yet, this past year, I’ve been trying to understand my faith and beliefs on a deeper level. And that’s what I liked about this book. Jensen tries to peel back layer after layer and made you realize that each part of the endowment meant, symbolized, promised, and required numerous different things. It was real interesting to think of the endowment in some different ways I never had before. I suggest all Mormons read this book! Honestly, it should be part of Temple Prep curriculum!

What books did you read this month?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

6 Things I’ll Miss About Utah

Six things to miss about Utah: mountains, temple square, family, provo/BYU, mormon culture, and

Today, Rhys and I are flying from Utah to our new home in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Justin has already made the trip there, driving our moving truck this weekend. We are super excited for this new adventure; however, Justin and I are also sad. We’ve lived in Utah since 2008. We’ve grown up in Utah–college, marriage, full-time jobs, house-hunting, parenthood, lay-offs…

It’s no wonder this move will be hard for us, even if it is a step in the right direction and allowing us to move onto bigger and better things.

However, there are six things I will definitely be missing about Utah while I’m in Texas.

[ctt title=”6 Things You\’ll fall in love with Utah! #beUTAHful @themorrelltale” tweet=”6 Things You’ll fall in love with Utah! #beUTAHful @themorrelltale” coverup=”d7qE2″]

Six things to miss about Utah: mountains, temple square, family, provo/BYU, mormon culture, and food trucks/start up culture

Mountains and Trails

The beautiful Wasatch Front mountains to the East, dominating the landscape have definitely made an impression on me. Watching the sun rise over them, and fall past the Oquirrh Mountains, is one of the most gorgeous views ever. And, along with the mountains comes plenty of hiking trails, encompassed by trees, with little streams running through them. They were my own personal little havens.

Via https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjmsKam9vvNAhXF6CYKHT3SCwUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wanderlustimages.com%2Fgallery%2FStock%2Fecosystemlandscape%2FRMY-SugarhousePano%2BHiRes.JPG.php&bvm=bv.127178174,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNGs8xbbVgB2_OOPZaf65gUMxxW5mg&ust=1468893789508682
Via www.wanderlustimages.com

Temple Square

Mormon or not, Temple Square in Salt Lake City is a must-see. It is one of Utah’s biggest tourist attractions. Besides the Salt Lake Temple, there is so much Mormon and Utah history and historical buildings in Temple Square. And, there are two malls nearby: Gateway and City Creek Center. During Christmas is the best time (and the busiest, by far) to visit Temple Square–the snow, the lights, the music, concerts, nativities, and just the overall atmosphere of the Christmas season. I will definitely miss going to Temple Square.

Via https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwicg8Ob-PvNAhXEOiYKHdqjCyQQjB0IBg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mygrandcanyonpark.com%2Ftemple-square%2F&bvm=bv.127178174,d.eWE&psig=AFQjCNEZJjQ_tcopR8DAgiy9FUvVQ6CWbw&ust=1468894361486896
Via www.mygrandcanyonpark.com

Family and Friends

My extended family all lives in Utah and Idaho. Justin’s brother lives in mid-Utah, and his sister lives in mid-Idaho. We have been living with my parents for the past six months. We have so many close friends from college. Justin’s college roommate and his wife were our next door neighbors right before we moved into my family’s basement. We will definitely miss the proximity to so many loved ones. We will miss being able to visit them over weekends and have the local support from them.

Tayler_Justin_Wed-53

Food Truck and Startup Culture

Utah is known for its startup culture. We have some very good business schools in Utah, so there are many young entrepreneurs trying to start businesses. Food trucks, pop-up shops, eclectic restaurants and boutiques, etsy shops, graphic designers, bloggers, bands and artists, the list could go on and on. Justin and I loved supporting these new businesses and going to their events. I am desperately hoping there are some pretty good food trucks in the DFW area!

Via provomayor.com
Via provomayor.com

Mormon Culture

I am Mormon. Utah is known to be Mormon-filled. It was settled by Mormons! Only about 50% of Utah’s population today is Mormon, but that is still a lot of Mormons. I loved having so many neighbors who had the same beliefs as me and lived the same way I did. It was such a great support system. There were so many holistic shows, stores, companies, all with Mormon standards. It definitely was a “bubble.” I’ll definitely be glad to raise my children outside of Utah, as Justin and I were, so that they can become strong in our religion and have many different experiences, but it still would be nice to have such a big support system as Utah was.

Tayler_Justin_Wed-144

Provo and BYU

Brigham Young University in Provo is where Justin and I went to school, met, and got married. We lived in Provo for about 6 years! I loved running around the town, always taking a new route. Y Mountain was fun to hike with friends. Going to BYU’s sporting events was the highlight of Justin’s years there. BYU was the center of Provo–school, activities, sports, events, festivals…everything happened on campus. When we moved north of Provo, we always made a point to go back and visit. We’d eat at our favorite restaurants on Center Street, walk around campus and reminisce, and have some BYU Creamery ice cream before we left.

Via www.stateuniversity.com

They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. I definitely hope that’s true, because I already want to return to Utah to visit!

Tayler signature

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.