Tuesday, May 31, 2011



“Do you have talents in taking photographs, making videos, or creating other types of media? This site will help you share your media with the Church and other members… The Church needs your help to meet its worldwide media needs. Create.lds.org is where you can learn how to share your media talents with the Church and other members.” (Image is the current Photo of the Week)

Personally, I am very excited about this new branch of the Church website! I am going through the photos on my external hard-drive to see what I can find, and see who I can get to sign a simple model release. =) I feel good about helping out in this capacity, and think the whole thing is just brilliant! And I’m not gonna lie, it’s fun to see the faces of friends and family in a church magazine or website (speaking of, you can find my sweet grandparents on page 92 of the May Ensign… top left-hand corner – yep, that’s them!).

I know at least a handful of you are incredible photographers, and I think this is a great way to share your talents to “help build the kingdom”! This will also be a great tool for Family Home Evenings, Sunday School Lessons, Blogs *ahem* and other such things… so if you feel so inclined to participate – just do it! (Insert Nike Check Here…)


Monday, May 30, 2011

Safety and Peace

When I found out my husband would be deploying for a third time, I was devastated.

We had only been married 8 months. He had just gotten back from a deployment to Iraq 9 months earlier. It didn’t help that we just found out I was pregnant. I felt angry. How could Heavenly Father do this to us? I know it is my husband’s job to deploy, but I just wasn’t ready for it so soon. I felt fearful for my husband’s safety. All I could think about was what if he gets hurt? What if he gets killed? It was all I could think about 6 months before he deployed. I remember many sleepless nights trying to get horrible images of him dying out of my head.

Two weeks before he deployed we went to his parents’ house. His father asked if he wanted a blessing. The blessing specifically told my husband that if he lived the gospel, he would be able to preserve his life and the life of his men. This was an answer to my prayers.

After the blessing I was able to relax. I knew that everything was going to be ok. My husband would come home safe. My mother in law recorded the blessing and printed out copies for me and my husband. I look at the blessing at least once a month.

I have the wonderful gift of feeling at peace when my husband is in a war zone. I remember one time when my husband’s unit was on a blackout (A blackout is when someone gets wounded or killed and the army shuts down all forms of communication). I hadn’t talked to my husband in over a week. This was very abnormal. Even though I felt sad that I wasn’t able to talk to him, I felt comfort in knowing he was safe.

I feel very blessed that Heavenly Father gave my husband such an amazing promise. I know that my husband will be safe until he comes home. I feel so blessed to have the priesthood in my life. I am so grateful for fathers blessing. I know they come from Heavenly Father. He loves each and every one of us.


Katherine is a stay at home mom to an adorable 6 month old. She loves being a mom. She is currently going back to school to become a radiology technician. She has been married to her husband for two years. Her husband gets home from his third deployment in less then a month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Talk to me Tuesday with Christy Tilton... a Miltary Wife

Let's learn a little bit of what it's like to devote your life to our Country...

Nathan and Christy are living in the panhandle of Florida now. We have been stationed here more than 2 years, in the United States Air Force. Nathan is from Pennsylvania and southern Arizona. Christy is from Arizona and New Mexico. Nathan works in Logistics on base, and is currently serving over seas. Christy, is an elementary music teacher and middle school band director at a local charter school.

Pearls: Can you tell us a little about your spouse who serves in the military?

Nathan is a man of high integrity and is a great leader. He grew up wanting to be a pilot, yet was unable to fly due to a medical issue. He still wanted to serve in the Air Force, and chose to go ahead with his plans. His honor and duty to his God and his country, his family, and his friends are foremost in priority.

Pearls: What is it like being a spouse to a soldier?

We had been married for about 2 1/2 years when we made the decision together for Nathan to pursue his dream of the Air Force. Because we made this choice together, I was able to join forums, attend his ROTC classes, and had time to ask any and all questions prior to even entering the Air Force. This has made being a military spouse easier than I would think most spouses have it. I didn't marry into it and know nothing prior. Another thing, there is a lot expected of those in the military, and as a spouse, I have to be willing to let him go and do whatever and whenever. Sometimes, being a military spouse is just being the "arm candy" for your spouse, making sure to look great, act appropriately, and know who all the bosses are. It can be fun, yet when the others get rowdy, it can be uncomfortable.

Pearls: What was the 3 most surprising (can be either good or bad or both!) things about being a military wife?

1-there is a Relief Society type organization for military spouses in the Air Force to aid in looking out for each other, especially in deployment circumstances! 2-though the medical care is free, it's horrible most times. I've been dealing with a bum knee for over a year and the doctors are taking their time in figuring out what is wrong. There is so much red tape they have to go through with insurance. 3-there are many forms of support and help for military families: forums, organizations, support groups, and clubs. It doesn't matter what you are dealing with, there is always a place to find help.

Pearls: How do you and your soldier keep your marriage strong with such distance between the both of you?

We have had half the world between us many times in our nine years of marriage. The earliest times apart, were the hardest and when we made the most mistakes. Now, we make sure to have a set schedule of scripture reading and prayer. We make sure to pray each time we get to talk, we started the time apart with prayer, and we read the same scriptures on the same day. We are completing the Book of Mormon in 1 month! Our goal is to complete the standard works while he is gone. We also do our best to ensure our conversations are always positive. Whining about the awful side of being apart just makes us both feel bad.

Pearls: What is it like being an military family as members of the church?

Living in an area that does not have a high LDS population, is always hard, especially after being raised in the west. At church, a lot of the member population is military, especially this close to 2 bases. It's nice having that kind of support and understanding from other going through the same things. At work on base, the other military member don't understand or have as much of a tolerance of the differences in those that are LDS. When the squadron goes out, they have a hard time understanding why we don't drink, or other things. Yet, they try to take advantage of our "soberness" by expecting us to be the designated drivers. Serving in callings is hard because you are not in one place for very long, so as soon as you get settled into the calling, things change, either with you or someone else that's military.

Pearls: How do you feel that the church is supporting you and your husband in your service to our country?

A lot of my answer for #5 can be used here. Being so nears base helps because most of the ward is military families. They have experience and are willing to help. Also, having the gospel in our lives, gives us strength to push past the hardships of being military. Overall, I am extremely proud to be married to the man I am, and for his desire to serve his country the way he does. I am also proud to be his wife, a lot of people in town thank the active duty members, but there are also quite a few who know of the sacrifice that spouses make as well and express their gratitude to us spouses as well.

As part of this interview, we contacted Christy's husband, Nate, (without Christy knowing!!) and asked him if he'd like to add anything to this interview.

This is what he wanted to say:
"Every morning when I head back to my tiny little piece of home here in the sandbox, I rest easy because of my wife. I do not have to worry like many other men do. My wife supports me being deployed. This is not to say she likes it. But, She always is quick to give support via phone or email. She takes care of the bills, the house, the yard, routine vehicle maintenance, and any other thing that could go wrong. "

"She has had to let go of so much of what she wants so I can be out here. It takes a strong woman to be able to do it. Many of my fellow service members deploy with bad marriages and go home to no marriage. But because of my wife's faith and supportiveness, I feel our relationship growing emotionally and spiritually. Even thought we are on opposite sides of the world, I still feel the spirit and the connection that we share as an eternal couple even thought we can't go to church, attend the temple, or spend a lazy sunday reading together."

"The bottom line is that I would not be able to serve like I am, without having the wife that I have. I love her with all my heart."

** Christy & Nate, thank you for helping us understand a fraction of what you both go through as you make big sacrifices for our freedom! **

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beginning Memorial Week: A tribute to soldiers & their families

This week, LDS Pearls is honoring an elite group of people that pay a huge sacrifice for our Country each day.  There are not enough Thank You's out there that can be said for what they give up for our freedom.  Despite the political conflict happening all over the world, these soldiers & their families are out there serving us.  We want to honor them for the next week and prepare for the coming Memorial Day!


We'd like to include you in on this special week long tribute!! 

If you'd like to honor someone or a family please send an email to: ldspearls@gmail.com & we'll post these tributes on Monday, May 30th, 2011. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Addition!

Hey Everyone! The reason that the post is so late today is that the amazing creator of this site delivered a beautiful baby boy this weekend! What a wonderful Mother's day gift she received! Congratulations Alicia!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tribute to My Mother

My beautiful mother with  her three girls (she is the  mother of  6, the other 3 are boys)

Thank you for not giving in when you knew what was best, even when I threw a royal fit about my curfew; I understand now that you were protecting me.

Thank you for “making” me doing hard things even when I really really didn’t want to; I know now that you were preparing me to succeed in life.

Thank you for being consistent in living the gospel, even though waking me up at 6am for family scripture study was probably the worst part of both of our days; I know now you were helping me develop righteous habits.

Mom with 2 of her grandsons
I hope to be half the mother that you are to me. You are a source of strength and stability. You are an example of faithfulness and obedience. You may not be perfect (yet!), but you are the perfect mother for me.

All of my love and thanks,
Your oldest child,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Small and Simple Things Thursday - Link Up!

Take a moment to find and capture a little something that made your heart smile! We all need to be reminded that life is good, and I'm sure we can all do a little better to find the positive in our lives. Were you able to find a moment of gratitude during a crazy day? Share a thought you had this week, or a visual moment you were able to capture in a photo!
Create a Small and Simple Things post on your own blog, and share it via the Linky Tool or share your thoughts in the comments! We may feature your photo or thought here on Pearls!

Sometimes it's in those moments of doing small and simply things that you realize they are the big things....
Its mornings like this one, of simply playing cars with my son.
I'm grateful to be a mother.

There's something about driving around town with your windows rolled down! It may be silly, but that truly brings me JOY! It signals the start of SPRING! -Brittani

I am so excited and grateful that it is finally warm enough to do this! -Alicia

PEARLS for Latter-day Saint Women

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Running On Empty

When I was in college, me and a coupe of friends decided to drive from our home in California out to Utah for general conference.

The drive was going perfectly for a while. We were dancing to N'Sync, singing and talking all about how great it would be to attend conference in person. When we reached Vegas, we still had plenty of gas and decided to try and reach St. George, UT before refilling our tank. Let's just say that we severely underestimated how far it was to get from point A to point B. In the middle of the desert, we passed a gas station, but the gas was so expensive and we still thought that we could make it to the next big town.

As we got closer to St. George, the car started protesting as it was in desperate need for fuel. My friend suggested that we say a prayer to make it safely to the next town for gas. The car was starting to putter to a stop when we spotted a gas station in the distance. We ended up coasting into the station as the tank was absolutely empty. As we pulled into the station, scared and grateful at the same time, my friend noticed that the gas at this station was about a dollar cheaper than the gas out in the desert. Having a great sense of humor, my friend stated "I think that Heavenly Father just wanted us to save on gas money, so he got us here!"

I was so grateful that we were able to fill our tank and make it to conference in time. I also learned not to procrastinate the next time we needed fuel. I know that this is such a small experience, but it really helped to build my faith in Heavenly Father and to know that he was mindful of me.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday, Marie Ricks

mcr bio photo
Meet Marie Ricks, founder of House of Order. She’s an author and professional organizer. Marie is all sorts of amazing, and a fountain of knowledge. If you have a goal to simplify – she’s your lady! If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak – take it! We are honored that she was willing to share some of her thoughts and advice with our readers! Talk about “Pearls”… this woman’s got ‘em!  Enjoy!

Pearls: What does it mean to be a “Professional Organizer”?

Marie: A professional organizer helps people find order in their homes and their workplaces. Often, it is a simple change in routine. Other times it is reordering their work spaces to accommodate their personal style. Lastly, it usually means a change in their routines.
It is an occupation that I love and that is stimulating because everyone’s needs, styles, and challenges are so different.

Pearls: You obviously enjoy it and are amazing at it, but what got you into it?

Marie: I began organizing in 1986 when I began teaching organization classes at mcr02local community center. Since then I teach, write, and do personal organization coaching. I’ve seen a lot of rubble, trash, and treasures. I’ve helped people decide what can go, what must go, and what can and should be saved.

Pearls: Of all the areas to be organized… self, family, home… which do you think it most important, and why?

Marie: Organizing yourself is always the first step, whether or not it is most important. Unless you conquered your personal organization, you can’t get the cooperation of anyone else.
The first place to start is making your bed every morning. Not because making a bed, in and of itself, is important, but all change requires a shift in habit.
I start with my clients with bed making and then we work outward from the master bedroom to the home office and then the kitchen and then to the public areas of the house and then to the hidden corners.

Pearls: Will you give us a couple of tips on cleaning our kitchens?

hofoMarie: Yes: finish. And finish fixing the meal before you begin serving it. This means getting the cabinets cleared and wiped down, the preparation dishes in the  sink soaking or in the dishwasher. It means finishing enough that you eat with your family, not begin your meal when they are eating dessert. Remember, you are not the maid.
Then, after the meal, don’t leave the kitchen until you have finished cleaning up from the current meal (hopefully with the help of one other person). There is no worse work than work done alone.

 Pearls: How can being organized increase our spirituality?

Marie: Because being organized makes you nice to be around.

Pearls: Besides organizing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Marie: I like to tackle hard things. I just finished learning about psychology statistics and found that doing so has increased my world into new dimensions I didn’t know existed.

Pearls: How do you maintain your relationship with Heavenly Father?

Marie: I have a daily morning routine of prayer, scripture study, journaling and exercising (without headphones so I can listen for answers). It has been the mainstay of my life to do what He needs first and do what else needs doing next.

Pearls: What do you think is most important to teach our children so that they can be spiritually strong in this chaotic world?

Marie: The routines of personal prayer, personal scripture study, personal cyw journaling (all of these with a lot of support and supervision when they are young). Then lay the foundation with family prayer and family home evening. Finally, set the example with temple attendance. What you do and what you are is what they will do and what they will become.
With these routines, they will be safe and strong.

Pearls: Do you currently have a ward calling? What is it? What is one suggestion you have for anyone who may ever receive that calling?

Marie: I am a visiting teaching supervisor in my ward and a visiting teacher. I currently serve with my husband at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah where he serves as a branch presidency member in a Thai/English branch, which means we don’t attend our home ward but are at the MTC on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
If at all possible, accept each and every calling you receive. They are from God and will help you grow up and out in ways you could never dream.

Pearls: What’s your favorite scripture, and why?

Marie: “Oh, be wise. What can I say more?” Jacob 6:12 This scripture says all I want to be and still am not. It is encouraging and yet direct. It gives me hope!

For more tips, and information on organizing your life, follow Marie on Facebook and visit the House of Order website!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Feel Like I’ve Stumbled Upon Buried Treasure!

General Conference Have you been reading/rereading/listening to the General Conference talks? I have listened to a few and am impressed that I can keep getting something new out of a talk I’ve already heard!

While they were all inspiring, here are my personal favorites from April 2011 (and the link to listen/read them):

The Atonement Covers All Pain – Kent F. Richards

LDS Women are Incredible – Quentin L. Cook

Establishing a Christ-Centered Home – Richard J. Maynes

Desire – Dallin H. Oaks

The Spirit of Revelation – David A. Bednar

The Eternal Blessings of Marriage – Richard G. Scott

“As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten” – D. Todd Christofferson

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be? – Lynn G. Robbins

Okay, so there were a few more than I thought there would be! But really, there is so much truth and guidance in all of the talks that I start to feel like I can actually do this! We have been given the counsel and tools to succeed in this life! And these are just from April 2011 General Conference! When I search through the archives of past General Conferences I find PEARLS! =)

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like they’ve stumbled upon buried treasure when they learn something new and inspiring, especially when it will make life more simple or answers a question they’ve been wondering about…?!

What are some of your favorite General Conference talks, recent or past?


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