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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hurrah for the rising generation..

Every month when missionaries gather throughout the world for Zone Conference they stand and with great enthusiasm repeat this section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

" Now Behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

And faith hope, charity, and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen --D&C 4

Are we prepared to bring this "Marvelous Work" forth?

Gerald Lund gave a talk about the profound opportunity we have to live in these latter days.

He said: "I do not know specifically what the next thirty years are going to bring, but we know in broad terms what the future holds. From the scriptures I can tell you some of the things the students you teach this coming fall can look for in the future. They can look for ADam-ondi-Ahman and Armageddon (Daniel 7:9-10, 21-22, D&C 116; Revelation 16:16) They can look for the time when the Dead Sea becomes a living sea (Ezekiel 47: 1-12). They will see worldwide war and, sometime in the future, millennial peace (D&C 87: 1-2; 101:26) The scriptures promise that our children will see Babylon seeming to reign supreme, and someday they will also see Babylon supplanted (D&C 1:35, Revelation 18)

The world has seen and will see the Ten Commandment's abandoned, and it will see the ten tribes return (See D&C 133: 26-32) We shall someday see the Zion of Enoch come down from heaven and fall upon the necks of the Zion of Joseph and Brigham and Spencer and Ezra (see D&C 84:100). We will see a temple in Jerusalem and a temple in Jackson (D&C 124:36, 84: 3-4) I am not saying these things will happen in the next thirty years, but we know that they are things that are coming, things that we are to prepare for, things we are to prepare our students for.

One of the things your students have to look forward to was described by Lorenzo Snow. Every time I read this, I long to live to see those times. Speaking to a group of temple workers, President Lorenzo Snow said, "Many of you will be living in Jackson County and there you we assisting in building the Temple; and if you will not have seen the Lord Jesus at that time you may expect Him very soon, to see Him, to eat and drink with Him, to shake hands with Him and to invite Him to your houses as He was invited when He was here before (Deseret Evening News, June 15, 1901)" -- "A Stone Cut Out" by Gerald N. Lund 1989 Doctrine and Covenants Symposium.

This year these two young men will begin their two year missions- Aske this week will give his farewell in Odense, Denmark.. and then go to the MTC in Provo, Utah and on to the Austrian German Speaking Mission. Emil arrived in Greece just a few weeks ago and has already born his testimony on Mars Hill in Athens.
There is a promise to them in the D&C 5: 10-14.

"But this generation shall have my word through you. And in addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my servants, whom I shall call and ordain,..they shall go forth with my words that are given through you.
Yea, they shall know of a surety that these things are true, for from heaven will I declare it unto them. I will give them power that they may behold and view these things as they are:

And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness-- clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as any army with banners."

In October 1997 Neal A. Maxwell visited campus BYU-Idaho Devotional. He spoke about the
Rising Generation. He said:

"The youth of this generation have a greater capacity for OBEDIENCE than any previous generation." He indicates that his statement was based on a truth taught by President George Q. Cannon. who said: "God has reserved spirits for this dispensation who have the courage and determination to face the world- and all the powers of the evil one, visible and invisible-
--to proclaim the Gospel,

--and maintain the truth-

--and establish and buildup the Zion of our God,

fearless of all consequences.

He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion, never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, that will honor God, and honor Him supremely-and BE OBEDIENT to him under all circumstances."

The Lord is counting on us to be his most obedient generation. We are to be valiant, obedient to him under all circumstances. He didn't save his royal generation for these last days because they were more intelligent, better speakers, even talented leaders.. His royal generation were saved to come at this time because they were more Obedient. Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Preach My Gospel defines the attribute of humility -

"The willingness to submit to the will of the Lord (to obey the will of the Lord) and the willingness to give the Lord the Honor." This describes the royal army that has be reserved for these last days.

There is a wonderful story that I have used through the years to remind me of how important I am to the Savior. As one of his sheep, I realized his great love for me. Having just left good friends on the other side of the ocean, I know how much he wants us to remember his sheep. This message is very real to me as I teach every morning at 6:30 almost before the sun comes up. Each day there are about 30 people who are gathered ready to enjoy these sacred scriptures designed to guide us through the day. It is quite a thing- to be a part of this little flock. Here is the story.

The Summer of the Lambs
by Jayne B. Malan --Ensign, Nov. 1989, page 78
The day school was out at the beginning of each summer, our family went to our ranch in Wyoming. It was there with my parents, and brothers and sisters, and a few cousins mixed in, that I learned about family loyalty; love and concern; birth and death; that one must finish a job once it is started; and to quote my father, "There are only two things important--the family and the Church."

One year my father was waiting for us as we arrived. He said he had a big job for my brother Clay and me to do that summer. I was about twelve at the time, and my brother was two years older. Pointing to the field by the side of the house, my father said, "do you see all of these lambs in that field? I'll share the money we get for the ones you raise when we sell them in the fall." Well, we were excited. Not only did we have a significant job to do, but we were going to be rich ! There were a lot of lambs in that field--about 350 of them. And all we had to do was feed them.

However, there was one thing that my father hadn't mentioned. None of the lambs had mothers. Just after shearing, there was a violent storm that chilled the newly shorn sheep. Dad lost a thousand ewes that year. The mothers of our lambs were among them.

To feed one or two baby animals is one thing, but to feed 350 is something else ! It was hard. There was plenty of grass, but the lambs couldn't eat the grass. they didn't have teeth. they needed milk. So we made some long V-shaped feeding troughs out of some boards. Then we got a great big tin washtub, ground up some grain, and added milk to make a thin mash. While my brother poured the mash into the troughs, I rounded up the lambs, herded them to the troughs, and said, "Eat!" Well, they just stood there looking at me. Although they were hungry and there was food in front of them, they still wouldn't eat. No one had taught them to drink milk out of a trough. So I tried pushing them toward the troughs. Do you know what happens when you try to push sheep? They run the other way. And when you lose one, you could lose them all because others will follow. That's the way with sheep.

We tried lining up the lambs along the troughs and pushing their noses down in the milk hoping they'd get a taste and want some more. We tried wiggling our fingers in the milk to get them to suck on our fingers. Some of them would drink, but most of them ran away.

Many of the lambs were slowly starving to death. The only way we could be sure they were being fed was to pick them up in our arms, two at a time, and feed them like babies.

And then there were the coyotes. At night the coyotes would sit up on the hill and they'd howl. The next morning we would see the results of their night's work, and we would have two or three more lambs to bury. The coyotes would sneak upon the lambs , scatter the herd, and then pick out the ones they wanted and go after them. The first were those that were weak or separated from the flock. Often in the night when the coyotes came and the lambs were restless, my dad would take out his rifle and shoot in the air to scare them away. We felt secure when my dad was home because we knew our lambs were safe when he was there to watch over them.

Clay and I soon forgot about being rich. All we wanted to do was save our lambs. The hardest part was seeing them die. Every morning we would find five, seven, ten lambs that had died during the night. Some the coyotes got, and others starved to death surrounded by food they couldn't or wouldn't eat.

Part of our job was to gather up the dead lambs and help dispose of them. I got used to that, and it really wasn't so bad until I named one of the lambs. It was an awkward little thing with a black spot on its nose. It was always under my feet, and it knew my voice. I loved my lamb. It was one I held in my arms and fed with a bottle like a baby.

One morning my lamb didn't come when I called. I found it later that day under the willows by the creek. It was dead. With tears streaming down my face, I picked up my lamb and went to find my father. Looking up at him, I said, "Dad, isn't there someone who can help us feed our lambs?"

After a long moment he said, "Jayne, once a long,long time ago, someone else said almost those same words. He said, "Feed my lambs..feed my sheep..Feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17) Dad put his arms around me and let me cry for a time, then went with me to bury my lamb.

It wasn't until many years later that I fully realized the meaning of my father's words. I was pondering the scripture in Moses that says, "For behold, this is my work and my glory-- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of (all mankind.)" (Moses 1: 39) As I thought about the mission of the Savior, I remembered the summer of the lambs, and for a few brief moments, I thought I could sense how the Savior must feel with so many lambs to feed, so many souls to save. And I knew in my heart that he needed my help.

Our Heavenly Father has not sent us out in the field alone. He has given us a Prophet, goodly parents, strong leaders, his written word, the Holy Ghost, his son Jesus Christ, our education, and sacred covenants ... we have the tools to keep us safe in his sacred fold.

Some lambs may refuse the tender care of their shepherd. You can refuse to eat, put yourself where wolves can find you, starve yourself from the spiritual food that is all around you.. You may be a fragile new lamb with out a pattern of living that will keep you safe.. That is what missionaries do, that is what Bishops do, that is what loved ones do..they continue to offer a taste of the spiritual food that will nourish the soul and bring each lost lamb back to their shepherd. The apostle Paul warned the followers of Jesus to stay close to their shepherd.

He said when men forsake their shepherd-"grievous wolves shall enter among you- not sparing the flock." This is a warning for these last days. Keep your eye on the shepherd.. and be willing to feed his sheep.

He promised in D&C 6: 34 - 37.."fear not, little flock do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. ...look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commanments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."


The Doctrine and Covenants was compiled to teach "All Mankind" what the Lord has in store for them in these last days. In a world full of opinions and choices, bright ideas, and sales pitches, we have to be careful who we decide to follow. Benjamin Franklin, in a collection of his thoughts records these thoughts..
"We stand at the crossroads,
each minute,
each hour,
each day,
making choices.

We choose
the thoughts
we allow ourselves to think,
the passions
we allow ourselves to feel,
and the actions
we allow ourselves to perform.

Each choice
is made in the context
of whatever value system
we've selected
to govern our lives.

In selecting that value system,
we are,
in a very real way,
making the most important choice
we will ever make.

Those who believe there is one God
who made all things
and who governs the world by his Providence
will make many choices different
from those who do not.

Those who hold in reverence
that being who gave them life
and worship Him through
and thanksgiving
will make choices different
from those who do not.

Those who believe
that mankind are all of a family
and that the most acceptable
service of God
is doing good to man
will make many choices different
from those who do not.

Those who believe
in a future state
in which
all that is wrong here
will be made right
will make many choices different
from those who do not.

Those who subscribe
to the morals of Jesus
will make many choices different
from those who do not.

Since the foundation of all happiness
is thinking rightly,
and since correct action
is dependent on correct opinion.
we cannot be too careful
in choosing the value system
we allow to govern
our thoughts and actions

And to know that God governs
in the affairs of men,
That he hears and answers prayers,
and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek Him,
is indeed,
a powerful regulator
of human conduct.

("Franklin's Formula for Successful Living, Number 3" Benjamin Franklin's the art of Virtue.)


With a sense of humor, Elder Neal A Maxwell spoke about our experiences in these last days. It will be an interesting year using the Doctrine and Covenants to guide us into these final years of "High Adventure."

You never know what is ahead for these valiant missionaries. I know they are prepared to share this "Marvelous Work."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome to the Doctrine and Covenants 2010

This is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. We just returned home from our mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was a wonderful 18 months in Denmark in a 1,000 year old town called Odense. We worked mostly with Young Single Adults from the ages of 18-30 in a Young Single Adult Outreach Center in the middle of town. We met and worked with some of the finest young people in the world. I cannot let them go. Thank Heavens, in this world of facebook and blogs.. our friendships continue.

We have been called to teach an unusual early "Seminary" class at 6:30 in the morning to a group of about 30 adults- a few young single adults, some who are preparing to go on their missions, and lots of curious retired and other enthusiastic adult students. We never have any discipline problems, no one breaks the dress code by wearing pajamas or short shorts to Seminary.. and we never send anyone to the office because they are late.

I think we are the only "Adult Seminary" class in the world. But we have been called to teach with our friend Don Howe... Now, for the first time in 18 months everyone understands my English. It is a fine world in which we live. Love teaching, love this new opportunity to teach. Last summer, while teaching a summer institute class in Odense, I tried to create a blog for those students who would not be in our class to hear about the Prophets of the Church. It is not quite complete. I will try to complete the information sometime this year.

But for now, we begin a new school year with Joseph Smith, the history of the Restored Church, and the Doctrine and Covenants... a sacred book of modern day revelations. The original "book of Commandments" was published in 1833 and then two years later (1835) the name was changed to the "Doctrine and Covenants."
In this blog I will try to include quotes, stories and other thoughts that have been discussed in class. To me, there are always themes and connections between each section or chapter in the standard works (Our Scriptures). These stories and ideas can be used in a short family home evening or to equip you with tools to teach from these remarkable modern day revelations. If the Lord says: "Hearken, O ye people ..from afar, and upon the islands of the sea, listen together...the voice of warning shall be unto ALL people." (D&C 1: 1, 4) If the Lord himself says this in the first section of this book.. It is about time that we "Hearken."
Come join us in this modern day adventure.
In this world of chaos, and confusion, I have told this story many times on my mission. Meet the Sirens of Greece... they are not your friends. It is important to know who your captain is before you sail too close to the rocky shores of the Sirens.
A tale is told of beautiful Sirens who lived on the rocky shores of an island piled high with human bones and broken ships. It was a sad, and dangerous tale. These sirens were talented muscians. They played the harp, and the flute and sang in lovely high pitched voices. They looked like angels by the sea. When they spoke, their words were more enticing than their song. Would you like to go visit their Island and hear them sing?

The sirens had irresistable charm. They used their deceitful words- to persuade passing sailors to come too close to their rocky shores. They caused whirlwinds that pulled them into the rocks. Too many sailors crashed their ships trying to meet the sirens on the shore and lost their lives in a watery grave. The noise of the world of sirens tempted the sailors to their death.
One captain, named Ulysses, was warned about this danger. He had his sailors plug their ears with wax and tie him to the mast to avoid the Sirens by the shore. But the sailors could still see the beautiful maidens and watch their tempting words inviting them closer. They crashed against the rocks and were buried in the watery grave.
A wiser captain, Orpheus, had a better plan. He was an excellent musican. His music could change the feelings and attitudes of the tired and discouraged sailors. When they came near to the Siren's Island..He played a more beautiful melody and sang a more clear, and refined song. He drowned out the music of the world- the siren's world, and replaced it with a new song. Before the sailors knew it, their ship was back on course and out of danger.
Today, the high shrill song of the sirens is heard all over the world. The Lord, has given us the clear, pure voice of a captain with a better song...one who can guide us away from the rocky shores of the world and on to safety.
Here are some of our good friends from Denmark..Paul (from Fuzhau, China) in the middle, Elder Clayton (from Spanish Fork, Utah) on the left and JJ (from Qaqortoq, Greenland) on the right. Paul is showing us all how to make his mother's won-ton soup. While the world is out there calling us with a hundred siren songs, these boys (young men) are learning how to make won-ton soup... in the middle of Denmark.

Our Captain, the Savior, Jesus Christ begins the Doctrine and Covenants with these words:
"Hearken, O ye people.. from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together. For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men.. the voice of warning shall be unto All people.."
This is a picture of some of our favorite people in our center in Odense. Paul (Li-Cong) has just received the Priesthood surrounded by these great men from all over the world.
We begin the study of the Doctrine and Covenants with this clear song. In this book you will find the words that will lift you up and protect you as you sail through the rocky shores of the last days. Even if you wonder where your captain is, take a chance on these powerful words. With a soft heart, you may find yourself sailing past the chaotic world to a place that has fun making won-ton soup on a Friday night.
A few weeks ago, we went through the Copenhagen Temple with our dear friend JJ. He, himself, is studying to be a Sea Captain here in Denmark. Now he is preparing to go on a Spanish speaking mission to St George, Utah. In these last days, we need many sailors like JJ who are willing to go where our Savior would like them to go. Thank you, JJ, for ignoring the many shrill voices of a world to teach the people of St. George.
During this lesson on the Preface of the D&C..Section 1, we focused on the idea that this book was written as a voice of warning "to ALL people." Sheri Dew, former councilor in the General Relief Society Presidency, gives purpose to the importance of latter day leadership.
She wrote: "Our father has remarkable respect for us. He chose us for the last leg of the race..not Eve, not Moses, Not Noah..he recommended you and me.
God wants a powerful people. Do you think God would have left the last days to chance?
In the last leg of a relay race, the coach always positions the best for the last...
1. To face the world at its worst.
2. To combat Satan.
3. Born to lead, to stand as a witness at all times.
4. Isaiah said- we were born to Glory.
5. The days ahead will wrench our very heart strings.
President Kimball: "Our influence will be ten fold what it might have been in more tranquil times."
There are many scriptures that describe the power of Gods word.. In D&C 11: 2 the Lord reminds to "Give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my word."
In the beginning of the D&C the Savior promises to defend and strengthen the weak and humble. He offers them power to lay the foundation of the church.
"These commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. .. in as much as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high,...
To those to whom these commandments were given, (they) might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of the darkness the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.." D&C 1: 24, 28 30
To demonstrate where we get our power I asked the class to look at point number 1. Have them draw the same illustration on their paper putting a picture of them in the middle. Then circle the person they think is the most powerful in # 1. (God is the most powerful)

Point 2. Have the class draw another picture with Satan and you side by side. Who is the most powerful. (many will say man is the most powerful...but the fact is that Satan is probably the most powerful when man is not connected to any support)

Point three: Then have them draw God, themselves, and Satan again and ask the question how can you become more powerful. Draw a ring around the source that gives you power. When you are bound to God...you have more power than the devil himself.

The final question in this discussion has to do with "How can you bind yourself to God?" This little chart focuses on these simple principles. The Doctrine and Covenants is designed to help us connect to God in these last days...through the power of the word of God we discover his commandments, his doctrine, and the covenants that we can make to bind ourselves to the God who created us. He has given us these sacred tools so that we can find strength and joy in this life and in the life to come.
For this reason, we have spent 18 months of our lives with these fine people...sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people from all over the world. What a ride it continues to be. (click on the pictures for a bigger view).