Nephi’s Challenge helps me in my Challenges

I love so many phrases in The Book of Mormon 1 Nephi Chapter 4

Nephi has a huge task: to retrieve the precious plates of brass from the wicked Laban, who probably wants them more for the precious metal than the sacred words that are engraved:

“Let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord (verse 1).”

Verse 2 “Let us be strong like unto Moses.”

Verse 3, “Wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us…”

One of my favorite in verse 6: “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.”

Verse 14: “I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness (I have been in a lot of wildernesses figuratively speaking, and I have been so grateful when I have remembered the scriptures to guide me).

Verse 18: “Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit.”

Another Round of Reading

This past Sunday, I finished reading the Book of Mormon once again. I am not in a contest to see how many times I can read these treasured words, but a few years back after reading the new set of scriptures my hubby had given me, I made a note on the last page that I read the whole book. When I finished the next time, I once again recorded that date and where I was living. Now it’s a tradition to do so. More importantly, I look at my life and examine to see if my life is happier, if I am more peaceful after each journey through the book, and if I am a more dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ.


The bottom footer filled up, so I used the right margins:


Last year I found an empty page right after the pronunciation guide. This past Sunday, November 13, 2016, I noticed it had been EXACTLY one year since I had finished a “round of reading.” Now I have plenty of space to write down the dates as I read through this marvelous book again:


Every time I read these inspired words of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost confirms to me that these words are true. They were revealed, written, and translated by prophets and are so applicable to our society today.


Scriptures are the best Valentine!

“Sister Northrup, when are you going to bring us treats?” was a plea my early morning Seminary students in the past often asked. I really disliked the attitude that I needed to bribe and entertain students with food at 6:00 a.m. At the beginning of this school year, I explained to the students that I will feed them spiritually every morning, so we don’t need to focus on physical treats.

Yet, once in a while, usually a holiday, I will bring something that has relevance to a lesson. For Valentines this week I decided to bake my fabulous Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies as a reward for a review of Scripture Mastery.  Only problem was I didn’t have time to bake cookies and create questions for a review. Then inspiration struck (don’t you LOVE that?)! Instead of my creating the questions that we’d use for a team competition, I’d have the students come up with the questions (more about that in another post).

As I added the last cup of flour to the cookie batter, I had another flash of inspiration…color the dough with red food coloring! This was going to save me time decorating! After they were cut into heart shapes, baked, and cooled, I whipped up a quick pure white frosting and quickly spread it around. No other decorating necessary.


The best part of the cookies was during our review when one of my very diligent students quoted perfectly the scripture mastery passage in Isaiah 1:18:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

As Isaiah reminded us of the sweet promise the Savior has given us…that we can repent and return…I thought about the Red Velvet Sugar Cookies I had waiting for my class at the end of the Scripture Mastery Review. The contrast of the simple red dough and pure white frosting reminded me of the crimson and scarlet of our sins and Christ’s blood which was shed for us to make it possible for our sins to be erased and melted like the white snow in the sun (son) shine.

What a sweet, eternal treat the Lord has waiting for us when we will turn our hearts to Him!

Share a scripture with your Valentine! It’s the best way to share the love of Christ.

You can also share the link to this post and download the recipe for Scarlet Sugar Cookies White Snow Icing



REV up every day

As a Seminary teacher, I am constantly reminding my students and myself of the importance of reading scriptures and praying daily–at least morning and night. I suppose one could go through these motions as a “check list” to say “done. did it.” And when this is my attitude, I wonder, “What difference did that make?” It’s like giving grudgingly.

My entire outlook on this changed when Julie B Beck, former Relief Society General President, gave a talk at the BYU Women’s Conference.

Daily Manna

As I study the way the Lord physically fed the Children of Israel, I found this incredible video about how we can and why it is necessary for us to be spiritually nourished daily: Watch and share

Are you HUNGRY to HEAR?

The first session of General Conference begins in 30 minutes. This morning I read about others who were HUNGRY to hear the word of the Lord: “…all the night it was noised abroad concerning exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude.” 3 Nephi 19:3. I am grateful I did not have to labor all night. All I have to do is click to listen to the words of prophets and apostles from the comfort of my home. Then again, perhaps comfort creates complacency. I hope not. I am HUNGRY to HEAR, what about you?

Feasting Upon Faith

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet, Alma, teaches the BEST sermon on faith. Each time I read it in Alma 32, my faith increases. This time as I’m reading it, I’m looking at the words with more discernment. In fact, one of the words Alma uses is a derivative of discernment: discernible:

…whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible…

What does he mean by this?

I looked up the definition of “discern: at

Both definitions could apply to Alma’s directive:
1. “Light is perceived by sight or some other sense or by the intellect. See, recognize, apprehend.” It can also be felt by other senses. For example, light gives heat, so it can be felt.

Marriage Covenant

The first time I remembering reading Alma’s experience with soon-to-be converts at the Waters of Mormon (which is what every baptismal font could be called) was when I spoke at my nephew’s baptism:

Mosiah 18:8-10
…Behold, here are the waters of Mormon…and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

Obviously this is a sermon and suggestion–even a charge–for those who are ready to be baptized.

However, this morning I looked at these verses from a marital perspective.

My wonderful hubby is beginning a new career selling insurance. It’s been a difficult journey, due in part to the learning curve. I have a lifetime of experience in selling; I love it! So I often give him bits of advice for his career. I’m learning that’s not such a great idea. He’s my spouse, not my student.

As I read these words this morning after Bob left for work, I saw how this can also be part of our marriage commitment and covenants with each other.

Marriage is a lot of fun when we’re having fun. When most people begin to question their marriage decision it’s when challenges arise. This is when spouses really need to bear one another’s burdens that they may be light and to be willing to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort–not to be critical or contentious.

Multiple Recipe Books

This past week has been a rugged, mountain climbing experience. My fasting intent for last week’s fasting was to have more love and empathy toward my eternal best friend/hubby. Boy did the challenge kick in the next day! I felt Satan’s influence and temptation first thing Monday morning. I was tempted to say and do things that were not conducive to my goal. I couldn’t sleep that night, so I spent time praying and reading the scriptures and thinking of what I should do. Some of my thoughts were not in tune with the spirit; good thing I did not take action.

The next morning I read Luke 14:28:
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, siteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”

My thoughts from the night before were not pure, and I didn’t calculate the consequences. During that time, I didn’t feel filled with the spirit, but I know I was being guided because I didn’t take any of the actions I thought about. After I read this verse, I know I was being protected because I had not thought of the cost or consequences of my mental plans.

I noticed one of the cross references to this scripture was to loo up Problem-Solving in the Topical Guide. My fingers were resting directly on that page. As I looked at all the subjects listed, I am in awe of the scriptures that relate to problem solving! A book could be written. Well…it has been!

Then I looked at all of the other topics and realized the scriptures have hundreds of “recipe” books to guide our lives.

Sunday Dinners

What did you have for Sunday dinner yesterday? As a kid, mom usually made a roast with potatoes and gravy. I haven’t followed in her footsteps. I don’t have a “traditional” Sunday meal.

Yesterday we had wild-caught salmon (great buy for only $3.99 a pound!), fresh corn on the cob, and salad. Oh…in the summer months, I always have a watermelon cut up into bite-size chunks, so I put that bowl on the table for added color and the refreshing taste.

I’m trying to think what I had for Sunday dinner the week before??? What did you have??

Let’s see…that was the Sunday I took dinner to my son’s house. Oh yeah….I made a great homemade pasta sauce; it was delicious! I even had some leftovers to enjoy for the week.

What about the weekly spiritual feast of the sacrament? Do you remember that experience?

In an attempt to make the sacrament more meaningful and personal to me, I am not only working to remember my Savior and His gifts throughout the week, but to remember the experience and my feeling during the sacrament.

What did I ponder on while the emblems were being passed? Did I look at the deacon’s blue striped tie, or did I remember that Christ’s stripes will heal me as I seek forgiveness?

One Sunday I imagined what it would be like if the Savior himself carried the trays of bread and water. Would I be more in tune to the spirit? Would the sacrament be more meaningful to me?

Yesterday, I thought of how many drops of Christ’s blood would it take to fill the less-than-one-ounce cup of water. It really doesn’t matter how many drops. What matters is that He did shed his blood in Gethsemane and on Calvary for me. And you. And all of us.

Had I been in either of those places and witnessed Christ’s love for me, I would always remember those experiences. I can do the same thing every week.

When I remember the experience, I can remember my Savior. I can feel His love and desire for me to take full advantage of His atonement. It starts by remembering Him.

Do you remember your sacramental experience this week? If so, don’t share it here. Write it in your journal.