A Collection of Bright Ideas, games, and lessons learned

I am a collector. Through the years I have created and sent little news letters and Ideas, and illustrations to teach all kinds of things. I called them "Samplers." I wrote Old Testament Samplers, New Testament Samplers, Book of Mormon Samplers, and Church History Samplers.

August 2010 to June 2011: Lessons Learning in Adult Seminary in Sacramento, California.

We have been teaching the Adult Seminary class in our stake since we returned from our mission. It has been about a year- a very fine experience.

When we were traveling home from Denmark, we stopped to visit the homes of some of our ancestors in Moss, Norway and Preston, England. One of my great grandmothers met the missionaries over 100 years ago in the town square of Preston, England. When she heard their inspired message, she went home to tell her sons and ask them to see if they would check to see if they thought the missionaries were telling the truth.

They all joined the church, but their father- was was a caretaker and grave digger for the local church, was fired because he had become a "Crazy Mormon."

Every weekday morning we gather with between 20-30 "crazy Mormons" at 6:30 in the morning to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been studying the Doctrine and Covenants- a collection of revelations given mostly to Joseph Smith and other prophets during the past 100 years.

What a fun pursuit this is. We are driven. We love to learn, and teach each other. It is a great way to begin the day..with a bunch of "crazy Mormons" who love to learn and study as much as I do.

I have promised to put some of our little thoughts online to remember the lessons we are learning. Here are a few of our own Wilberg "Mormon Ads." (To make 8 by 10 copies of these pictures- click to enlarge and then copy and paste into word or adobe photo shop or other photo file).

I will continue to add some stories and ideas as we teach these fine lessons learned from the D&C and about the Prophets of the Church.

It has been such a privilege to teach all of you who fill our classroom every day with such enthusiasm for learning. Love your strong spirit. It is my favorite part of the day.

final note: We began this blog when we were serving in Odense, Denmark- in the Outreach Center for Young Single Adults- from January 2009 to July 2010. The early posts were written during the summer as we taught a summer Institute class and wanted to reach our kids who were traveling during the summer months.-
Summer has arrived here and many of our students are vacationing, and some have moved to the States. We have been asked to teach a Summer Institute Class- The Presidents of the Church. For those of you, like JJ from Greenland, and Guang from Northern China, these lessons, events and activities are for you. We miss you all and hope to see you again very soon. Keep in touch. Sister Wilberg

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"How to survive a crisis" Night--Ask Lorenzo Snow

It is Tuesday again at the Odense Young Adult Center and we are taking a chance on food that you might eat during a financial crisis. Have you ever had spaghetti soup or zuchinni squash casserole? Have you ended your meal with "Peanut Butter Balls dipped in chocolate?" This is what Rene, Laura, Daniel (Mark's brother) and Mark are eating. They lived to tell about it..true survivors. It is Lorenzo Snow "How to survive a crisis" Night at the center.

Lorenzo Snow became the fifth President of the Church in the middle of a serious financial crisis for the Church. It was the turn of the century, our first prophet had been martyred, our second prophet courageously led thousands of people across the plains, the next prophets helped settle and build a new zion in the middle of the desert. Temples dotted the land, but all was not well in Zion. By the time Lorenzo Snow became our prophet, the Church was indebt in the amount of $2.3 million..The U.S. Government had seized most of the Church's assets, including the tithing funds. The members of the Church reacted by holding back their tithing donations.

What would you do if you were a prophet during this dark time in the history of the church?

We are pretty comfortable here in Odense. We often hear about the "crisis" that has turned our world upside down and left many without jobs-

unprepared for financial emergencies. Through the years we have been warned and forewarned to "Prepare ye, Prepare ye for that which is to come." (D&C 1: 12). We have been reminded "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (D&C 38: 30) .
These are some of the great men who prepare themselves everyday to serve the Lord in our mission. Because the members are so generous with their time, and good food, Elder Barnard and Elder Smedley are able to spend their time bringing a sense of hope, instead of fear to the people in Odense. What a group !
Even in the midst of a crisis, of calamities, of chaos all over the world--the Lord has blessed us. Our Elders and Sisters in Odense are cheerful, optimistic, hard workers. They begin the day in search of miracles (and they find them). Life is good here in Denmark.

But what would Lorenzo Snow say about these last days, or Ezra Taft Benson, President Kimball, or President Hinkley ? Are we prepared for "that which is to come?" What are we really doing to be ready for a down turn in the economy, a lost job, crop failures, or lack of rain?

So this week we remembered, with Lorenzo Snow, that we don't always know how long we will be comfortable, well fed, and prosperous. We have been warned "In the day of plenty, prepare for the day of scarcity."

Here are some of the frugal recipes that we served this week at the center.

There is always room for peanut butter balls during a crisis. We had no left overs.

Lorenzo Snow was a prophet for only three years, but he served as an apostle for almost fifty years.
He had known and been taught by every latter-day prophet up to that time.
He often dined with the Prophet Joseph and had private interviews with him.
At the end of his life, President Snow, with some of the twelve, traveled from Salt Lake to St. George to a conference. It was a long, hot journey in the middle of a deadly drought. President Snow did not know why he was to attend this meeting, but while he was speaking, he recalled the verses at the end of the Old Testament in Malachi 3: 8-10.
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Where in have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith ,...if I will not open you the Windows Of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Lorenzo Snow then promised the people of St George that if they would begin to pay their tithing, the windows of heaven would literally rain down blessings that would cause their land to produce crops before the end of the year.
President Snow traveled all over Utah with the same message...within days the people began to pay an honest tithe. Soon the windows of heaven did open, clouds gathered and watered their parched land. There was a harvest that very season.

From 1898 to 1951, four prophets presided over an expanding Church--
Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, and George Albert Smith.
"These Presidents witnessed the transition from horse and buggy to travel by air. Two world wars and global depression challenged the Saints, During this time, nine temples were built. In 1901, there were aproximately 300,ooo members in 50 stakes." (Our Heritage, pg 105) By 1951 the Church had over 1, 111,000 members gathered in 180 stakes throughout the world.
These charts will let you compare the lives of all four of these great men. (for a better view of each chart, click on each chart).

Where were they born? What did they do for a living?
How tall were they? Some say that Lorenzo Snow weighed only 140 pounds, others say he weighed more? I guess it depends on his age.
What did they love to eat? Fix a favorite Presidents dessert for family night.

What did they like to do for fun? What were their favorite hymns?
When were they ordained apostles?

How old were they when they died? Where were they buried?

What are some unusual facts about these men? What memorable things did they accomplish? I hope that you will get better acquainted with these good men during the summer. We have enjoyed learning about the lives of these men.
President Snow look forward to the future, even in times of crisis. He said: "It is well for us, once in a while to look away ahead and see what will be the result of all the sacrifices and labors that we endure and perform in this life... The time has come for every Latter-Day Saint, who calculates to be prepared for the future and to hold his feet upon a proper foundation---
To Do The Will of the Lord ..!
Our Prophet, President Monson, is still reminding us today to be
prepared for that which is to come. The church leaders have tried to simplify their admonition to begin a food storage, preparedness program in our homes.
There are new guidelines to help us be successful in these efforts-- no matter how small our homes are. There is a new pamphlet that has been prepared called "All Is Safely Gathered In." It breaks down the "Be Prepared" tasks into small tasks. Let's get started.
When Lorenzo Snow was asked to establish a city in northern Utah-- (later named Brigham City), he asked the people to plant peach and apple trees and grape vines. Some of the people asked why that was necessary-- they thought that they would be traveling back to Jackson County soon. Elder Snow's response then was: "We are not going tomorow, nor the next day, this week or next week." They began to follow their leaders. They built a mill, a wool industry, a boot and shoe shop, a harness shop, a butcher shop, a sawmill and a carpentry shop. They had hat shops, a brush factory, a pottery store, a tailor and clothing shop, and a brick and adobe yard.
They had many problems- grasshoppers, drought, a mill burned down. They followed the warnings of the prophets.."If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."
Now is the time to get busy. Let's start with a few more peanut butter balls.
See you next time with a message or two from the prophet who was the son of Hyrum Smith and the nephew of Joseph--Joseph F. Smith. What an amazing man. Try fixing the zuchinni squash casserole, it is delicious.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This Week at the Odense Center

This week there will be two major events at the center. All of you are welcome to come..and invite your friends. This will be our first International Night.. A Filipino Fiesta. On Friday night the lights are on and the music and food will be great. We may have some of the events outside and in. Welcome to anyone from all over the world..who happen to be in Odense on July 17, 2009. We will be waiting for you.
This Tuesday night at 6:00 we have food eaten by Lorenzo Snow, our fifth president of the Church. He was a prophet during a big economic crisis in the church. Do you think he might have any advice for us today? We miss all of you who are having your vacations this month.. hope you are having a great time. Our family night starts with our Lorenzo Snow meal at 6 and then continues with our message at 7. See you there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Survivor- Wilford Woodruff

The Many Mishaps in Wilford Woodruff’s Young Life

Compiled by Truman Madsen in “The Presidents of the Church- Wilford Woodruff”

1. When he was only three years of age he fell into a cauldron of boiling water. Though he was pulled out immediately, he wasn’t out of danger for about nine months.
2. When he was five years old he fell on his face from a great beam in a barn.
3. Three months later he fell down the stairs and broke his arm.
4. Shortly after that he broke his other arm.
5. At six years of age he was chased by a mad bull but fell into a posthole, and the animal leapt over him.
6. The same year he broke two major bones of one of his legs while working in his father’s sawmill.
7. When he was eight a wagon of hay on which he was riding tipped over on him and he nearly suffocated.
8. When he was nine he fell from an elm tree after standing on a dry limb fifteen feet above the ground and was, for a time, thought to be dead.
9. When he was twelve he was nearly drowned in the Farmington River, in thirty feet of water, and finally was rescued by another young man.
10. When he was thirteen he almost froze to death, having actually fallen asleep in a cutout part of a tree trunk. Somebody shook him and finally brought him back to consciousness.
11. At the age of fourteen he split his instep open with an ax. It took nine months to heal.
12. At fifteen he was bitten on his left hand by a mad dog.
13. At seventeen he was thrown from an ill-tempered horse amid the rocks on a steep hill. The accident broke his left leg in two places and dislocated both his ankles. He spent eight weeks on crutches.
14. When he was twenty, trying to clear the ice out of a waterwheel, he slipped, fell in, and plunged headfirst into three feet of water, barely escaping death.
15. When he was twenty-four he was caught in a waterwheel again, that was twenty feet in diameter, but escaped with a few bruises.
16. Also at twenty-four he had lung fever.
17. At twenty-six only a few minutes after his baptism, a horse kicked the hat off his head, and if the blow had been two inches lower, he would not have survived.
18. Ten minutes later he was thrown from a sleigh without a box and, landing between the horses, was dragged about a half a mile.
19. Even as a young apostle, about the age of thirty, he was poisoned while skinning an animal that had been killed by poison. His system was almost overcome and it was feared he would die. President Brigham Young gave him the following blessing:

“Brother Woodruff, I say to you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that you shall not die, but you shall live to finish your work which was appointed you to do upon the earth. The adversary has sought many times to destroy your life but the Lord has preserved you, and will preserve you until your work is done.”
-- Cowley, “Wilford Woodruff, page 368

Wilford Woodruff died at the age of 91 of old age on a trip to San Francisco, California.

Thank you Wilford Woodruff, the first fly fisherman in Utah, a prize winning gardener, a lover of the out of doors...a daily record keeper. Thank you for living such a full and sometimes dangerous life... and remembering to tell us about it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meet our fourth President and Prophet- Wilford Woodruff

By the way, sweet milk is an old fashioned term used during pioneer days referring to whole milk (straight out of the cow). Since you probably don't have a cow, go for whole milk right out of the carton !

Wilford Woodruff was one of the Church's most successful missionaries. He kept meticulous journals, for his own personal observations and for historical events, and talks given by the early leaders of the church. During
his presidency he was inspired to write The Manefesto- a document that ended plural marriage for members of the Church. You can read this document in your scriptures- D&C-Official Declaration 1.
(Click on the document below to enlarge)
During General Conference in April 1894, President Woodruff announced that he had received a revelation about genealogical work. He declared that God wanted the Latter-day Saints "To trace their genealogies as far as you can get it...This is the will of the Lord to his people." Wilford Woodruff was the first President of the St. George Temple and dedicated the Manti Temple, and the Salt Lake Temple. Dedicatory services for the Salt Lake Temple lasted over a month.. from April 6 to May 18, 1893. Over 75,000 people attended. (See also the President Fact sheets comparing the first four presidents at the beginning of the blog).
Memorable Quotes from President Wilford Woodruff:

1. “It is comforting to think that in the morning of the resurrection, my spirit will have the privilege of dwelling in the very same body that it occupied here. I would be very glad to have the same body in the resurrection with which I waded swamps, swam rivers and labored to build up the kingdom of God here on the earth.”
( Deseret News : Semi-Weekly December 28, 1875.)

2. "No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey."

3. "Upon the shoulders of you mothers rests; in a great measure, the responsibility of correctly developing the mental and moral powers of the rising generation...I have often said it is the mother who forms the mind of the child. Take men anywhere, at sea, sinking with their ship, dying in battle, lying down in death almost under any circumstances, and the last thing they think if, the last word they say is "mother." Such is the influence of woman."

4. "Those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men who labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord."

5. “As the taste for what may be called book-learning increases, manual labor should not be neglected. The education of the mind and the education of the body should go hand in hand. A skillful brain should be joined with a skillful hand. Manual labor should be dignified among us and always be made honorable. The tendency, which is too common in these days, for young men to get a smattering of education and then think themselves unsuited for mechanical or other laborious pursuits is one that should not be allowed to grow among us....Everyone should make it a matter of pride to be a producer, and not a consumer alone. “

Summer vacation with the Prophets

During the last Family Home Evening we focused on the third Prophet and President of the Church, John Taylor.

Mattias was kind enough to help us give the lesson. He did a wonderful job introducing us to this courageous man. John Taylor was shot five times in Carthage Jail and lived to record the night that Joseph and Hyrum Smith were shot and killed in cold blood. Later he wrote the powerful, tragic story of that day. This document can be found in D&C 135 and the trials that Joseph Smith suffered prior to his death- can be found in D&C 127.

After the lesson, we played a traditional, crazy game of CRUD. Kathy, our daughter, and Scott, our son-in-law were visiting here from Washington,DC, USA. I have been wanting them to learn this game since we moved here. Thank you for taking the time to teach them how to run around a pool table trying to hit a little ball. I know that there will be many new CRUD players popping up all over Washington, DC when they return with their new skill.

Thank you, also for being such a friendly group. I loved having them meet you all. Now they know some of the things that we share with you in this little basement in Odense. It was an experience they won't forget. It was great to be with you. For those of you who are traveling, and recovering from a month of studying, we miss you all and are looking forward to your return.