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  1. The average age of exposure to pornography is about eleven-years-old. With the explosion of internet use, phone technology, and apps, people have access to pornographic material like never before. Some may even come across pornography accidentally by misspelling website names because some pornographic sites use common or generic website domains. Access to pornography is literally a click away. Needless to say, access to the internet in today's digital world can be a scary thing, especially for parents. While there should be no substitute for talking to your kids early and often about sex, pornography, and smart internet activity, there are many apps out there that can give you peace of mind. Whether you're trying to overcome a pornography addiction or a parent trying to protect your family from the degrading online material, here are seven apps that can help you safeguard your family from pornography and other harmful internet activity. Net Nanny Website: www.netnanny.com Pricing: $39.99 for one device; $59.99 for five devices; and $89.99 for ten devices. Net Nanny is considered by many to be... View the full article
  2. The story was not a new one. I happened upon a conversation about religion in a Facebook comments section. One user, who we'll call Tony, launched an attack on one of the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A Latter-day Saint woman, who we'll call Mary, raised her shield and responded to the accusations. But the conversation gave me pause because both the critic and the Latter-day Saint were missing the mark. Tony believed that because "Church leader" did "X," he must be a false prophet. Mary believed that "Church leader" would never do "X," because he was a prophet. The truth was that both parties failed to understand what "X" really was and what a prophet really is. So what is it that both the critic and the Latter-day Saint had in common? Because of their biases, they took things a little too far, and both had strayed from the actual truth. What does that mean? We believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's... View the full article
  3. You probably already celebrate Christmas with many of the typical traditions like baking sugar cookies, putting up a nativity, decorating a tree, and placing out stockings for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve. Have you ever thought about changing things up a little? Here are a few ideas to get you started if you are looking to add new Christmas traditions into your family's holiday routine: 1. Filling Shoes Instead of Stockings—from Germany via Pixabay In America, tradition has Santa filling stockings on Christmas Eve. However, in several European countries, including Germany, St. Nicholas Eve (Dec. 5) is when Santa comes to fill not stockings, but shoes, with candy and treats for the children. 2. Colonel Sanders(?!)—from Japan via flickr Too overwhelmed to think about preparing a Christmas dinner? Adopt this Japanese tradition—eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken! Due to a creative marketing campaign launched several years ago, people in Japan now flock to KFC during the holidays. 3. Letter Cakes—from Holland via www.blessedbeyondcrazy.com Dutch families celebrate St. Nicholas Eve like many of us celebrate the holidays, by... View the full article
  4. The constant social activities and dances. The awkwardness of people like Mr. Collins (you know at least one of them). The emphasis on dating and marriage. Sometimes life in a singles ward can feel like you're smack in the middle of a Jane Austen novel—for better or for worse. Here are 15 times Pride and Prejudice was just too spot on with what it's like being in a singles ward. 1. Attending sacrament meeting for the first time, feeling excited and nervous Wow, it's so quiet! Why is everyone scratching somebody else's back? 2. Trying to introduce yourself and make friends Same, Darcy. Same. 3. Being asked if you want to take home the leftover food from FHE Extra cookies and brownies for daysss! 4. When RMs bring up the good ol' mission "When I was an AP..." 5. Partying it up with your friends at an Institute dance Cha Cha Slide or Cupid Shuffle, anyone? 6. When that one dude mistakes your polite "no, thanks" for "try harder" Don't be a Mr. Collins... just don't. 7. When your friend finally gets their... View the full article
  5. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change to youth programs based on age-groups. Youth will now progress through Primary, Young Women, and Aaronic Priesthood Quorums in age-groups, instead of on their birthdays. Youth will progress through Primary, Young Women, and Aaronic Priesthood Quorums in age-groups, instead of on their birthdays. Young Women and ordained Young Men are also eligible for limited-use recommends in January of the year they turn 12. Young Men will be eligible for ordination to priesthood offices in January of the year they turn 12,14, and 16. A letter from the First Presidency is available to share in sacrament meetings, and an additional FAQs is also available. Concerning this change, President Russell M. Nelson tweets that this "will help our young people to continue to realize their potential as disciples of Christ." This change will take effect in January of 2019. A couple frequently asked questions are found below: Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is the schedule for age-group progression? Children will typically complete Primary and begin attending Sunday School and the Beehive class... View the full article
  6. Do you want a way to help your children understand what Christmas is truly about? These narratives teach important principles of love, sacrifice, service, and selflessness through easy-to-understand stories. Picture Books A Christmas Dress for Ellen by Thomas S. Monson, illustrated by Ben Sowards I may or may not cry every time I read the ending of this book...but I'm not admitting to anything. Based on a true story, this beautifully illustrated book tells of the struggles of Mary Jeppson, a mother who wants to provide Christmas for her children. Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers, illustrated by Ben Sowards Be sure to accompany the reading of this story with an orange for your kids! Rose has recently moved to a new orphanage run by a cruel headmaster. Yet the children don't let the headmaster's cruelty ruin their willingness to selflessly sacrifice for the happiness of others. The Little Match Girl retold by David Warner, illustrated by Greg Newbold A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale. This version not only includes beautiful illustrations, but also invites readers to take a... View the full article
  7. The science of opening Christmas presents probably isn't something you thought much about growing up, instead turning your thoughts to more "important" matters such as did you get that sweater you asked for? And what did that note that Billy passed to you in history class right before winter break mean, anyway? Could he like you?! And do you like him?? Okay, sorry, went a little too deep into that 10th-grade flashback, but the point is that as a parent, you're suddenly the official enactor of family traditions... And that means that you and your spouse suddenly have to decide how presents are opened on Christmas day: when, where, and how. Obviously there's no hard-and-fast rule about how your family should open Christmas presents, but if you're anything like me, you want to make the Christmas experience more about the Savior and His gift (and how we likewise give to others) than about finally getting that video game console you've been wanting. Luckily, these real-life examples of how families open... View the full article
  8. At the beginning of my mission, I think my least favorite part of missionary service was during the weekly planning session I would hold with my companion, specifically step number 13—companionship inventory. Preach My Gospel tells missionaries to "discuss any challenges that may be keeping your companionship from working in unity or from being obedient. Resolve conflicts." I struggled to communicate the things I wanted them to improve upon. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity for both of us to improve and become more unified, I would become incredibly guilty because I saw it as the time where I had to critique my companions. No matter how I worded it, I felt like I was telling them, "You know what, you stink at *this*, so could you please step it up and change yourself so I don't have to deal with this problem anymore?" So why do we need to learn to communicate? In a world where we become increasingly more attached to life in the digital realm, we may tend... View the full article
  9. As a mother of a large family, I know a thing or two about holiday burnout. Let's be honest, between the Christmas music recitals and cookie exchanges, the handmade gifts and ward Christmas activities, most moms feel the pressure of the upcoming holiday season on or about the day after Thanksgiving (if not sooner). Here are few tips to ward off the holiday stress and increase the Christmas joy: Less is More via Pixabay I always find that kids get overwhelmed with lots of gifts or lots of activities and the items or events lose their significance. In our family, things have always gone much more smoothly when we limit both the presents under the tree and the Christmas get-togethers we choose to attend during the holiday season. In fact, several years ago a friend shared with me the tradition of giving each person three gifts to represent the three gifts the Savior received. In our family, everyone receives "something they want," "something they need," and "something to read." While this... View the full article
  10. Our greatest blessing in this life is Jesus Christ, and we join Christian faiths all over the world to praise Him during the Christmas season. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we seek after anything "virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy." (Article of Faith 13) We've already shared with you a list of the Top 11 Christmas Songs by LDS Artists That You NEED to Hear!, but today I want to share some of my top favorite Christmas songs by Christian artists that help me remember Christ not only during Christmas, but all year 'round! 1. "Noel" by Chris Tomlin ft. Lauren Daigle Chris Tomlin and Lauren Daigle sit at the top of my favorite Christian artists and I HIGHLY recommend checking out each of them. You'll understand why this song is at the top once you hear it. It is a GREAT addition to any holiday playlist and will surely give you CHILLS. https://youtu.be/5Vwu-t7QRaE 2. "Here With us" by Joy Williams Another favorite is "Here With Us."... View the full article
  11. Several Latter-day Saint artists recently showcased art at the Inspirational Art Association's annual Christmas Season Art Showcase in Salt Lake City, UT. As stated on their website, the association's mission is to "foster the creation and promotion of inspirational art, to showcase wholesome content, and to extend its influence to individuals, homes and communities throughout the world. We seek to honor the Master Creator by setting a standard of excellence and by uplifting each other and those we serve through our art." We have highlighted a few of the artists whose work was showcased at the exhibition to find out how and why they create inspirational art. Tom Holdman Tom Holdman is the owner of Holdman Studios in Lehi, Utah. Through creating his own stained-glass windows as a young man, Holdman earned enough money to travel to Europe and study the art there. Holdman's work is featured in several temples around the world, and that list continues to grow longer each year. Tom Holdman displays a book featuring his artwork at the Christmas... View the full article
  12. If I'm being honest, I don't particularly enjoy passing the sacrament. Of course, it's a privilege to do it, but I like to spend that time sitting next to my wife. There's something powerful about taking the sacrament together every week. Nonetheless, my rebellious post-BYU facial hair doesn't always discourage a desperate deacon from asking for extra hands. I'm happy to help. And sometimes, passing the sacrament offers me a truly unique and humbling experience: It allows me to see when certain individuals don't take the sacrament. And frankly, I love it when that happens. Don't get me wrong Don't get me wrong, taking the sacrament every week is important. It's a commandment. It's an ordinance. It's a blessing. But when someone doesn't take it, I pause. You've probably experience this as well. You pass the tray of broken bread to someone, and they just keep on passing it down the row. The inevitable question pops into your head, "Yikes! What'd they do to not be worthy of the sacrament?!" That's really a... View the full article
  13. Christmas is a time to remember the birth of our Savior. Christmas is a time to serve others as Christ would have. Christmas is a time to enjoy gathering with family and friends and partaking lots of SUGARY TREATS! Okay, so none of the following recipes is low in the calorie department. But they are SO DELICIOUS! Give one a try and let us know how it wowed your crowd this season! Cranberry Crumble Bars from Mindee's Cooking Obsession Take a typical jam-filled bar cookie and convert it into a delicious holiday treat with the addition of...cranberries! This treat is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. via Mindee's Cooking Obsession Gingerbread Cookie Dip from Oh, Sweet Basil Okay, so the dip may not look as appetizing as a more festive red and green dish, but the taste is. to. die. for. All the pumpkin-spicy, creamy flavor you could ask for. This dip will be gobbled up long before the gingerbread man is! via Oh, Sweet Basil Maraschino Cherry Bars from Creations... View the full article
  14. Here's to all the amazing mothers out there—if you are having a day when one of these GIFs seems way too applicable, just remember that Russell M. Nelson stated, "the highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother." Enjoy! When your child starts screaming in sacrament meeting. Getting a call from one of your kids on date night when they just want to tattle on a sibling. And you know the other sibling is wrestling them to get the phone back. When you clean a room and walk away, but five minutes later you come back and it looks like a tornado has hit. When your child forgot to mention that they were giving a talk in Primary Sunday morning, and it's Saturday night. That moment when the timer on the oven didn't actually get started. When you don't drink alcohol, but you know a juice box isn't going to cut it. Speeding to the church so your kids make it to activity days/scouts/mutual on time. When you get your kid to actually eat... View the full article
  15. As you already know, former President George H. W. Bush passed away a few days ago. During his funeral service on Wednesday in the Washington National Cathedral, the congregation recited the Apostles' Creed. Some people call it a prayer. To others, it's simply a statement of belief. To Episcopalians and some others, it's as normal and common as reciting the pledge of allegiance was back in elementary school for most of us. Former presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama were present. They recited the prayer along with most everyone else. President Trump and his wife, Melania, were amongst the few who remained silent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GggdLB0pxw The silence caused quite a controversy within the Twittersphere. Some backed up the president and many criticized his behavior (as is apparent from the title of the video above). https://twitter.com/keithboykin/status/1070376816131694593 https://twitter.com/LPensley/status/1070926226947158017 https://twitter.com/ktlatx/status/1070792715359711232 https://twitter.com/ml42273/status/1070794760997298176 This article isn't about the rightness or wrongness of what President Trump did. In the arena of important world issues, this one is far down the list. However, the scenario does prompt an interesting hypothetical question. If you, as a member... View the full article