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01 September 2015

Commonplace Sampler: August

Do not ask your children
To strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
But it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
And the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
Tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
When pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
In the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
-attributed to "That Parent's Tao Te Ching" by William Martin

When we gather to worship at local churches, behind all our prayers and all our songs, behind all our exhortations and all our encouragements, is this stunning truth: God hears.
-"The Most Important Ear in Worship", DesiringGod.org

If you want to find greatness, don't go to the throne, go to the  cradle. There is mighty power in a mother. She is the one who molds hearts, lives, and shapes character.
-Flora Benson,

The Church, in large part, exists for the salvation and exaltation of the family.
-Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion

President David O. McKay declared: "Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother's image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child's mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security, her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance of love in the world."

President McKay continues: "Motherhood consists of the three principle attributes or qualities: namely, (1) the power to bear, (2)the ability to rear, and (3) the gift to love... This ability and willingness to properly rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness, yes, longing to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves teh admiration and the plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters whose influence will be felt through generations to come... deserve the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God."

With all my heart, I endorse the words of President McKay."
-Ezra Taft Benson, "To the Mothers in Zion."

Marriage is the rock foundation, the cornerstone of civilization. No nation will ever rise above its homes.
-Ezra Taft Benson, October Conference, 1982

"I hate slavery, Jeth, but I hate another slavery of people workin' their lives away in dirty fact'ries fer a wage that kin scarce keep life in 'em; I hate secession, but at the same times I can't see how a whole region kin be able to live if their way of life is all of a sudden upset; I hate talk of nullification, but at the same time I hate laws passed by Congress that favors one part of a country and hurts the other."
-Bill Creighton in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, p40

"I don't want you to go, Bill. I don't think I kin stand it."
"Listen to me, Jeth; you're gittin to be a sizable boy. There's goin' to be a lot of things in the years ahead that you'll have to stand. There'll be things that tear you apart, but you'll have to stand 'em. You can't count on cryin' to make 'em right."
-Bill and Jethro Creighton in Across Five Aprils, p44

"We mustn't give trouble a shape before it throws its shadder."
-Ma Creighton in Across Five Aprils, p100

"They needed recreation and laughter as they needed food. In other years the little house had buzzed with the teasing and squabbling and hilarity of a crowd of young people. ... Now the cabin had the look of a lonely old man brooding in the summer sunlight."
-Across Five Aprils, p122-123

"Experience is an expensive school, but a fool will learn from no other."
-Japanese Proverb

"Yes, mothers, teach your children the gospel in your own home, at your own fireside. This is the most effective teaching you children will ever receive. This the the Lord's way of teaching. The Church cannot teach like you can. The school cannot. The day-care center cannot. But you can, and the Lord will sustain you. Your children will remember your teachings forever, and when they are old, they will not depart from them. They will call you blessed - truly their angel mother.

"Mothers, this kind of heavenly, motherly teaching takes times - lots of time. It cannot be done effectively part time. It must be done all the time in order to save and exalt your children. This is your divine calling."
-Ezra Taft Benson, "To the Mothers in Zion"

He is not here for He is Risen as He said. -Matt 28:6

Where the town and villages did not engross the shore, the rich orchards and vineyards extended down to the very edge of the water. The plain of Galilee was a veritable garden. Here flourished, in the greatest abundance, the vine and the fig; while low hills were covered with olive groves, and the corn waved thickly on the rich, fat land. No region on the earth's face possessed a fairer climate. The heat was never extreme; the winds blowing from the Great Sea brought the needed moisture for the vegetation; and so soft and equitable the air that for ten months in the year, grapes and figs could be gathered.
-For The Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem by G. A. Henty, p3

We have succeeded fairly well in establishing in the minds of Latter-day Saints that they should take care of their own material needs and then contribute to the welfare of those that cannot provide the necessities of life. If a member is unable to sustain himself, then he is to call upon his own family, and then upon the Church, in that order, and not upon the government at all.
-Boyd K. Packer, "Self Reliance", 2 March 1975

We recognize at once that it would be folly to develop welfare production projects to totally sustain all of the members of the Church in every material need. We ought likewise to be very thoughtful before we develop a vast network of counseling programs with all of the bishops and branch presidents and everyone else, doling out counsel in an effort to totally sustain our members in every emotional need. If we are not careful, we can lose power of individual revelation.
 -Boyd K. Packer, "Self Reliance", 2 March 1975, emphasis added

When you have a problem, work it out in your own mind first. Ponder on it and analyze it and meditate on it. Pray about it. I’ve come to learn that major decisions can’t be forced. You must look ahead and have vision. What was it the prophet said in the Old Testament? “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
Ponder on things a little each day, and don’t always be in the crisis of making major decisions on the spur of the moment. ... Once in a while a major decision will jump out at you from the side of the road and startle the wits out of you, but not very often. If you’ve already decided that you’re going to do what is right and let all of the consequences follow, even those encounters won’t hurt you.
-Boyd K. Packer, "Self Reliance", 2 March 1975

Now, about revelation. We have all been taught that revelation is available to each of us individually. The question I’m most often asked about revelation is “How do I know when I have received it? I’ve prayed about it and fasted over this problem and prayed about it and prayed about it, and I still don’t quite know what to do. How can I really tell whether I’m being inspired so I won’t make a mistake?
First, do you go to the Lord with a problem and ask Him to make your decision for you? Or do you work and meditate and pray and then make a decision yourself? Measure the problem against what you know to be right and wrong, and then make the decision. Then, ask Him if the decision is right or if it is wrong. Remember what He said to Oliver Cowdery about working it out in your mind.
 -Boyd K. Packer, "Self Reliance", 2 March 1975

The word GRACE, which, as applied to prayer over food, always in pre-Elizabethan English took the plural form GRACES, means nothing but thanksgiving (if. the Latin gratiarum actio and Italian grazie, "thanks").
-Catholic Encyclopedia: Thanksgiving Before and After Meals

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.
-Attributed to Abigail Van Buren on Facebook

Charlotte Mason says something similar about Darwin:
"We know how Darwin lost himself in science until he could not read poetry, find pleasure in pictures, think upon things Divine; he was unable to turn his mind out of the course in which it had run for most of his life."
It is not science that is the danger, I don't think, but the act of limiting the curriculum, of keeping our lines of thought so narrow that we become incapable of fully human thought.
-After Thoughts Blog: The Necessity of a Broad and Generous Curriculum, emphasis original.

Recovering education is a long-haul, generational process, not one we have to successfully check off by the end of our children's K-12 journey.

If we are planting Latin seeds that we hope will mature over the coming generations, then it is also true that the last 100 years of modernist education have not only mown down the crop grown in the soil of Latin, and liberal arts learning, they have done their best to sow the fields with salt as well.

As we recover, it is not simply a matter of planting a new crop and reaping a full harvest over one season, or even one lifetime. Our first plants will be spindly and pathetic. Plugging away, slowly but steadily is not only planting seeds we hope will grow, it is fertilizing the soil so that crops planted after us have a better chance of success. If our job is primarily soil recovery, our crops might not be impressive, but our work makes future crops possible.

-Simply Convivial Blog: What is the Point of Learning Latin, emphasis original.

Plant identification is all about patterns. Related plants usually have similar characteristics for identification, and often similar uses. Instead of being clueless when you encounter a new species, you may recognize its family pattern. You may not know its name, but recognizing the family pattern narrows down the range of possibilities when searching for an identity. Moreover, you may know something about the lant's edible or medical properties, just by recognizing which family it belongs to.
-Botany in a Day, p19

Security is not born of inexhaustible wealth but of unquenchable faith.
-Spencer W. Kimball

A lie has many variations; the truth none.
-African Proverb

...if education is about filling young minds full of facts, then a meltdown really is getting in the way. But if education is about formation–about becoming something other than we are–then meltdowns are an opportunity.
-Afterthoughts Blog: On Inconveniences in Homeschooling: Meltdowns and Other Messes

AN ART as used in the “liberal arts,” is a mode of producing something other than the art itself. The liberal arts are ordered to produce knowledge and therefore are the arts of thinking. In fact, the Latin word “artes”, from which we derive our word art, is their translation of the Greek word “techne,” from which we derive words like technique and technology. When a person learns an art, he directs his attention to learning a skill, not content or information about a subject (even if that subject is called “art”). The liberal arts are not, therefore, concerned with a general familiarity with a wide range of subjects. Instead, they are concerned with the foundational skills of thinking that are needed to learn any subject.
-CiRCE Institute, Definition of Terms

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