Sunday, July 23, 2017

the power of the book of mormon

i love it when i get to teach relief society... and this time was definitely no exception. this weeks topic was the power of the book of mormon, a talk given at general conference in april of this year, by president thomas s monson. it's only a three minute talk, so obviously i had to do something to make up the rest of the time... and i ended up with more than enough! so here it is!


My lesson today is based on the April 2017 Sunday morning session conference talk by President Monson, entitled the Power of the Book of Mormon. During the last conference, he spoke just twice, with both talks being less than 3 minutes each. All that did for me was to emphasise that he obviously had something very important to say, which he did! He dedicated his entire Sunday morning talk to the importance of reading and gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon! We could easily read it, but I love to listen to our prophet speak, so we’ll watch it now. You can do so here!

I love President Monson’s simple invitation. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, PLEASE DO SO.

The word Mormon means “more good” and that’s what the Book of Mormon will bring to our lives.

The Book of Mormon was first published 187 years ago in March 1830 and the first edition of the Book of Mormon was made by hand. Please allow me to tell you over the next few minutes how this was done.

The Prophet Joseph Smith had made several visits to newspaper editors and publishers prior to the printing of the book. Letters indicate that his appearance was engaging, but his business proposition was unusual and refused. His request for 5,000 copies of a book from newspaper publishers was a far cry from a request to produce 5,000 newspapers. He was twenty years beyond the scope of his generation. The large quantity would have been more readily feasible to publishers after 1847, when the rotary press was introduced. In 1830 book publishers in the United States were not producing books in large editions, either. In fact, until 1820 seventy percent of the books circulating in America had been printed in Great Britain. The size of first editions of books in America varied. While religious and staple books led with large editions, usual editions ran from 500 or 600 to 2,000 copies. The Bible, the most salable book, was on occasion printed in a 10,000-copy edition. But most printers felt that it was better business “to be forced to reprint a successful book than to carry on … their shelves a large remainder of a volume that had failed to make its way.”

“The most tedious and difficult task that confronted a colonial printer,” writes Wendell J. Ashton, “was the production of a book of a considerable number of pages.”  The huge amount of work involved in production was due to the state of the materials and presses, which at the time caused the publishers to keep edition sizes small. When they did produce a large edition, selling it out often became a problem. To illustrate what was considered a “large quantity,” John Wilson, the son of a famous Cambridge printer, had apprenticed on an iron press in 1843. One extremely large order of his involved the production of a sixteen-page octavo (eight pages cut from one sheet of paper) tract of 100,000 copies. He considered 2,000 copies of the tract as being a good day’s work. It took fifty days to print this edition. In his words, “this was a formidable number to print on a hand press.” Since the Book of Mormon involved 185,000 copies of octavo layout printed on both sides, it represented a doubly formidable quantity of printed material.

When we understand the circumstances surrounding mass publication in that era, the somewhat overwhelming nature of Joseph Smith’s request for 5,000 copies becomes more apparent. A newspaper in Rochester NY, the Gem, published information about the visit of Joseph and Martin in an article dated September 5, 1829: “A man by the name of Martin Harris was in this village a few days since endeavouring to make contract for printing a large quantity of a work called the Golden Bible … now in press in Palmyra, Wayne County.”

Finally, in August 1829, in a building housing the printing equipment of the Wayne Sentinel, the Book of Mormon went to press. Mr. Grandin and his associates had taken on the unpopular task of printing this book when other nearby newspaper editors refused. Grandin (whose name you will notice showing on the copy I’ll pass around shortly) consented to produce the book only as a “business matter,” with the understanding among his friends and associates that he was in no way related to the religion that the book represented. 

Outwardly, the building of the Wayne Sentinel reflected the image of any small, country printing establishment of that period in the United States. But the spirit of a few excited men gathered within this particular building at this time reflected something very different. To them, the dawning of a new dispensation seemed imminent. When John H. Gilbert, main compositor for the Book of Mormon, showed those present the galley sheet of the first few pages of the book, including the title page, three onlookers—Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and Joseph Smith—were delighted with this first impression of the book in print. Two others, however—Pomeroy Tucker and Stephen S. Harding—did not share the feeling of anticipation and joy that filled the hearts of the others.

Still, the business transaction had been made, although it was unusual from its inception. The usual procedure was for the printer to completely examine the manuscript and make plans for the form of the book. But Mr. Grandin and his associates had to make their decisions from a few pages of manuscript, taking Joseph Smith’s word on the number of “folios” that the manuscript would make. From these few specimen pages, Grandin had to decide the cost of composing and setting the type, the choice of the proper type size, the book size, the amount of ink, paper, leather, and binding materials needed, and the time and cost of printing and bookbinding. These were all figured out with hardly any knowledge of the manuscript that he proposed to set into book form. The chief compositor, Gilbert, also began his job under unusual circumstances. The manuscript was only given to him by a guard; because some of the translated material had been lost, Joseph Smith was constrained to have a guard accompany the small batches of copy to be set each day. It was then composed, set in galley and page forms, checked out, and proofread. The manuscript was always withdrawn each evening by Oliver Cowdery and a guard, who was sometimes the Prophet’s own brother, Hyrum Smith. Aside from this slightly disquieting procedure, the printing office soon hummed with normal activity. Once the first proof sheets had been readied, printing on the press could proceed simultaneously with the typesetting, galleying, paging, and proofreading. Gilbert wasted no time, after he received Joseph Smith’s approval on the first proof sheets, in finishing the first signature (large sheet of printed pages) of the Book of Mormon.

Image result for book of mormon print "signature"

This is a copy of the first “signature” that appeared in the original printing of the Book of Mormon. You can see when it’s opened up that it’s printed in an order that works when it is folded, then cut to size, to make the first 16 pages of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon consisted of all of these signatures printed and joined together over and over until it was complete. Once each side was dry, the second side would be printed.

As Mr Gilbert composed the type for the Book of Mormon, he would read the manuscript sentence by sentence, memorizing the wording, spelling, and punctuating exactly as he proceeded. At the end of each word, he would add a small space, with the thumb of his left hand holding each new letter in position at the end of the growing line of letters. When he finished a line, he would either hyphenate the word, fit one more small word in, or end the line and respace the words. In any case, the line was justified by spacing it until it had a firm fit. Sometimes this involved removing all the spaces between the words and inserting wider or smaller ones. When the measure of his composing stick was finally full, Major Gilbert would pause to read the lines that he had just set. To a layman the face of the type would be upside down and reversed, but to a man skilled in this profession, this reading was done as easily as is normal reading. The whole Book of Mormon was given its first proofreading this way.

Image result for grandin printing press

We cannot be sure how fast Gilbert set the type for the book, but words cannot be composed as quickly as they can be written. For four centuries composing a book meant picking up each letter singly and assembling it with other letters in a composing stick. Compositors achieved great dexterity in this work, but there is a limit to the speed of the fingers. As the typesetting progressed, Gilbert’s nimble fingers kept up a regular pace while his eyes scanned the manuscript copy. This was the typical typesetting scene that Oliver Cowdery and his companions watched as they guarded the manuscript during the months of printing. The printing also progressed rapidly during this time. The busy office never knew a moment’s silence for eleven hours a day, six days a week, after work on the Book of Mormon commenced. As good pressmen were known for their regular rhythm and consistent production, Mr. Grandin and his associates at the Wayne Sentinel were no doubt proud to print with very little time lost or wasted, printing slightly over four sheets a minute. By their printing standards, they produced the Book of Mormon in good time on that Washington press—especially considering the fact that the print shop continued to publish the Wayne Sentinel each week.

While we offhandedly state that the Book of Mormon came to press during the last part of August 1829 and the printing ended in March 1830, we often forget the bookbinding part of the work. Yet this ancient process was an important one in making the Book of Mormon. After the printed signatures (folded into bundles of eight leaves) were placed in order according to their numbers, they were placed on a sewing frame and cords were sewn through the spinal fold with a special stitch called the kettle stitch. Then they were hammered down the spine to tighten the folds, screwed into a standing press, and glued along the spine to hold them together permanently. When this glue reached the right elasticity, the spine was tapped to give each book the necessary rounded shape at the back for the addition of the cover. The covers were cut from cardboard and a thin white sheet of paper was pasted onto one side. This caused the board to draw slightly in and curve into the proper shape for a book cover as the paste dried. The ends of the cords previously sewed through the spinal fold of the book were glued into these covers. To give the covers their final dress, dampened leather was carefully drawn over the cardboard, smoothed over the spine, pared down at the corners, and glued to the cardboard frames. When all the edges were tightly glued down and the corners squared, the books were left to dry.

In this busy atmosphere during the binding of the Book of Mormon, none of these craftsmen could know that they were making history. When Grandin and his small crew had finished the first few copies of the Book of Mormon and set them up for sale in the small bookstore in Palmyra, they had little realization of the consequences and far-reaching effects to come because of this handcrafted product they had made. As they tooled and lettered the name of the book on the leather cover with gold that would not tarnish, they little knew that it would be untarnished over a hundred years later and that the book itself contained a message far more untarnishable than the letters on its cover—a message of truth for all the world.

Thankfully the printing process is nowhere near as difficult in our day and in 2011 the church reported that more than 150 million copies had been printed since 1830.

Isn’t that amazing! To hear how the pages of the Book of Mormon came to be! We know the Book of Mormon was specifically written for OUR DAY. Mormon Chapter 8 speaks of the prophesied coming forth of the Book of Mormon and there are a few verses that I’d specifically like to cover:

Mormon: 8:14-15

14 And I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord; the plates thereof are of no worth, because of the commandment of the Lord. For he truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain; but the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless.
15 For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

 (this scripture mentions that the plates would be of no worth to anyone other than those who would “bring it to light” and the only way they could come forward would be through the power of God)

Mormon 8:25

25 And behold, their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth.

This verse says that ancient prophets knew and prayed for the prophet Joseph Smith, knowing he would one day bring this record forward to the world. This is such a great chapter of the Book of Mormon, seriously read it when you get home! There are many detailed prophecies made by Moroni that stand as a witness to prove the truth of the book.

Moroni then tells us that he has seen our day in Mormon 8:35.

35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

 The Book of Mormon was truly brought forth from the earth “for our day” in this final dispensation. I like to imagine the joy Moroni felt as he personally passed his writings to Joseph Smith to be brought forward.

I have said multiple times in lessons, if you are too busy to pray and ready your scriptures, you are busier than the Lord ever intended you to be. Please take the time to read from the Book of Mormon each day as our dear prophet has asked us to. You will find strength and safety in the words of the ancient prophets who were inspired to know what we needed to hear. 

I know there are plenty of meme lovers in our RS here, so here’s one for you. We know from the verses of the Book of Mormon that often there was war raging as someone had to take the time to gather and prepare the ore required for the pages, then engrave their writings because the Lord had commanded them to write and they were obedient and did so. We need to MAKE the time to read it.

I remember one of the greatest pieces of advice I received was to put myself in the story, much as Nephi said in 1 Nephi 19:23

23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.

I received a copy of a “Book of Mormon challenge” many years ago (you can find something similar here - basically explaining what would be required to write your own – and believe me it’s a lot!) that I would love to share a few points of with you:

§  Joseph Smith was just 23 years old had no more than 3 years of formal education
§  At no stage was the translation of the Book of Mormon ever read back. Other than grammatical and punctuation changes, the first copy has stood forever as first released.
§  Many styles of writing were included in the Book, relating to each individual author.
§  All mentions of Christ and his ministry agree perfectly with the Bible, without exception.
§  The Book of Mormon was published at the expense of Joseph Smith, who along with others gave his own money/ mortgaged his own land to see it published. He never received any monetary gain, in fact he lost all that he had, submitting himself to the most vile persecution, imprisonment and finally giving his life to seal his testimony of the truthfulness of the Book.

It was impossible that the book has been “made up”. It simply could not have been done. I am would have been so easy to give up and walk away time and time again, rather than watching his family and friends and his people suffering for the truth, but Joseph knew of the truth of the book, as do we and to this day, thousands of missionaries leave their families each year at their own expense, to share the book of Mormon with the world. Why would we bother if it wasn’t true.

Over time many theories and ideas have arisen as to the origin of the Book of Mormon, but all have been proven wrong when tested. Joseph’s Smith claim that the Book came from a divine origin has stood strong as the only possible explanation despite efforts by many to show otherwise. Its strength has increased to the point where is has become the only logical explanation. Scholars and professors have testified to its divinity, because there is NO other explanation, it MUST BE REAL, meaning it MUST BE TRUE.

Bruce R. McConkie said, “There are … millions of sincere and devout persons who disbelieve, oppose, and openly fight the Book of Mormon. … What is it about some words on a printed page—all of which are clean and uplifting and pertain to historical and doctrinal matters—that arouses such violent antagonism?
“Men ordinarily do not rise up to fight the Bible; they do not organize mobs and incite them to shed the blood of others because such persons believe in the scripture of the Old World. … The violent opposition to the Book of Mormon is one of the great evidences of its divinity. If it were not of God, Lucifer would not overly concern himself with it.”

I love to hear Elder Holland bear testimony of the Book of Mormon, so let's do that too! (you can find that here)

As you can see from these pictures, (on the board, showing the three witnesses and the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon) many people saw and held the plates and witnessed of their existence. These people never changed their witness. Never retracted it, never denied what they had seen. Joseph Smith didn't just "make it all up." He simply couldn't have.

It doesn't matter which cover, it doesn't matter what language. (See display above!) It is the Book of Mormon and it is true!

"The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on this Earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. - Joseph Smith Jnr.

I KNOW of the truth of the Book of Mormon. I KNOW Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know these words were written for US. PLEASE make time to read the Book of Mormon daily. It will change your life.

information regarding printing etc sourced here

Thursday, July 20, 2017

one of those days

"if you are on the right path - it will always be uphill"

today was one of those days... this morning i spilled a cup of water on the kitchen table... right next to my laptop, it went under and somewhat in it, but didn't automatically short out (that's a miracle in itself!)... so i grabbed my external hard drive that's plugged into the tv for the kids to watch movies on and quickly copied everything off the computer onto it. phew. i dried it again, the best i could and then restarted, only to have the mouse go funny and skip large amounts of the screen, which resized itself a few times... gahhhhhhhh. anyway long story short, i turned the heating on and put it upside down in a closed room and when i switched it back on late this evening, it seems to be okay... fingers crossed! my laptop is olllllld and dying but let's be honest here, who ever wants to fork out for a new one?!

so there was that... thennnn when i was about 50m from home from picking madeline up from school, i ran over something (turns out it was a sharp as piece of bone. what the actual heck!) that dug into my tyre and flattened it. flat. about 30 secs after i pulled into the garage, it was fully deflated.

but. i got to put my skills to use. dad insisted i learn how to change a tyre when i was a teenager - and change a tyre i did. jacked up the car, got it off, got the new one on, drove to the tyre place and got a new tyre. wow. what a day. the kids thought it was great. i wasn't as impressed...

here's hoping tomorrow is better.

but. i can offically say that i can change a tyre! thank you dad! ♥

Monday, July 17, 2017

moanaline is six!

on saturday we celebrated madeline's sixth birthday in island style... with a moana birthday party!

for those of you who don't already know, my husband is actually samoan (yes i know, he has red hair! i can see that, thank you for pointing it out though lol. his father's grandmother was maori and his mother samoan, so people mostly assume the red hair came through the maori side. not so. his cousin who is darker skinned with dark hair and eyes, has had two children that are like little dougs! so, we can confirm, it's definitely the samoan line that's passed on the red gene)

anyway, back to the party. when madeline loved moana, we certainly didn't discourage it in any way, as really, it's written as a story of the polynesians, especially those of the samoan islands (fun fact: the rock who voiced maui, is samoan!) and when she decided she wanted a moana party, i was thrilled!

decorations were easy, lots of blue, watery looking goodness: 
blue confetti balloons (big w party store) - $3 for a pack of 3
moana napkins (big w party store) - $5 for a pack of 16
moana bunting, 10 cups and 10 plates (aliexpress) $9.85

maddie was thrilled to get this pineapple lamp in the mail from a family friend the day before the party which was perfect as a decoration (available here from kmart online)

tablecloth is also from kmart (actually a doona cover! haha)

when we went to samoa as a family in 2014, doug desperately wanted to get himself a carved drum, but was concerned about getting it home... flash forward a few months when my parents finished their voluntary mission (working at church college) we made it happen! mum and dad had it shipped with their other items and it's taken pride of place in our house. it was a perfect decoration for the party!

the cake was incredible, made as always by my best friend jennifer, it was a masterpiece! 3 layers of coconut/vanilla cake with ombre wave icing and biscuit crumb "sand." we bought the moana figures at the disney store in the usa when we were over in february, but similar can be found on aliexpress also.

drinks were fresh water and ocean water (lemonade with blue food colouring... noted for next time is that i used wayyyyy too much colouring, there were blue mouths right left and centre on the kids)

and my lovely husband spent hours making this gorgeous "secret underwater cave" in our theatre room with green streamers ($1 for a pack of six from our local red dot (cheap store)) the girls loved it and squealed with excitement when they got to go and and play pass the parcel and have some pics at the end of the party

pin the nose on pua brought much excitement... i had googled some games knowing that it was going to be raining (worst news ever when you have a party!) and couldn't find a free one, so i made my own! please feel free to leave a comment if you want me to email it to you, it's not super fancy, but it's free! the girls loved it! there was a lot of laughter ♥

the aftermath!

leftover noses! i love pua! i was so sad he wasn't in the movie more! :(
prize was a moana colouring book ($2 from big w)

as usual i spent the day before baking, to make sure everything was perfect, yes i am a complete control freak! i made heart of te fiti cookies...

hei hei's chicken feed (corn fritters)

ocean jelly slice (blue jelly slice)

beach sand slice (lemon pie bars)

island coconuts (meatballs made by nanna babs)

pigs in a blanket (mini sausage rolls)

te ka's ash cake (brownies)

sailboat swirls (mini quiches also from the kitchen of nanna babs)

under the sea crackers (limited edition arnotts shapes available at woolworths!)

kakamora (chocolate truffles)

tamatoa's treasure (caramel popcorn with added jewels to make them shiiiiiiiny)

hei hei's egg sandwiches 

to make the food labels, i found all these pictures on google and then added the type, again, not fancy... but free! leave me a comment and i can email them out.

joseph was pretty shy at the party and stayed behind nanna in the background (and flat our refused to wear the adorable maui shirt we had bought him! :( i was so sad!) but i managed to get this cute snap of him enjoying one of the te fiti cookies, to be honest i am sure he ate about 8 of them... eep. 

food was a hit and demolished... made it all worth it!

we played pass the parcel (of course... what is a kids party without a game of pass the parcel! layers contained lollies and sheets of under the sea stickers ($2 for a book from the local cheap shop) and the middle had a moana necklace (i'm wearing one in the 2nd picture - $2.59 from ebay, came super quick and looks great!) and another ocean themed sticker book

maddie was so pleased with her party and just looked thrilled and important the whole day to be having her first one with school friends. our girl is growing up so fast!

finally it was cake time... and this cake did not disappoint! aunty jenny had even managed to find some blue "ocean" flamed candles and they were the talk of the party. so so cool!

last but not least, the girlies took home a coconut with some treats inside.

i love planning parties, once it all comes together and works out, all the effort doesn't matter... just how happy your kid is! 

we love you moana-line! hope you loved your island party! ♥

(more photos on instagram - #moanalineissix)

Friday, July 14, 2017

moana party prep

sometimes i think i enjoy the party prep more than the party! i have so much thinking of ideas and seeing them come to life. madeline decided that this year she'd like a moana party for her birthday, so my mind went into overload thinking what i could do to make the party that little bit cooler.

my very awesome best friend jen got to work making chocolate wraps that i could print to cover the aldi 40g chocolates ($2.99 for 5), you simply remove their paper (very carefully) and then add your own print (a standard size 4x6 photo wrapped fits perfectly) and hold in place with a small piece of tape.

these were to go inside these awesome coconut cups i ordered from ebay here ($2.95 each with flat rate postage for $7.95 no matter how many you order) along with some allens pineapples and a white lollipop (which totally looks like a coconut on a stick)

i decided to make jelly slice (because it's a crowd pleaser and would totally look like ocean slice with the blue white and sandy colour... only this was a huge fail. i am reporting back so no one else has to go through this... i bought the awesome looking new aeroplane glitter jelly (because who doesn't like glitter) but after being in the fridge on top of the slice all day long it still wasn't set!!!! it seems as though the glitter jelly uses a different setting agent than the regular gelatine in most jellies and adding the additional gelatine required to get it solid enough to hold on the slice had caused it to react and not set. long story short, i'll be heading off to coles in the morning on an emergency non-glitter jelly run after i tip this lot off.

i desperately wanted to make heart of te fiti cookies. for those of you that have seen moana, the movie centres on a small green stone called the heart of te fiti and i wanted to give it a go! i used the recipe i used last year to make the pineapple cookies last year and got to work. i was in the middle of rolling out the dough when madeline came into the kitchen and said, "mum, what are you doing?" i replied, "i'm making heart of te fiti cookies" "oh. why aren't they green?" oh my gosh. why weren't they green?! my darling girl with all the innocence of a child had saved me hours of icing the cookies with common sense. back in the mixer with some green food colouring, then back onto the bench to roll again.

i used a pumpkin cookie cutter that i picked up at coles in a 4 pack for a few dollars after halloween last year then used the knife i was lifting the cookies with to cut off the stem. easy!

into the oven they went... then once they were cool i iced them (same icing recipe from the pineapple cookie post mentioned above) with a simple swirl. they aren't perfect, that's for sure, but i love them!

i also made some "tamatoa's shiny treasure" by using caramel popcorn with some cute shiny gold stars and pearls to make it extra shiiiiiiiny!!

and some "beach sand slice" aka lemon pie bars, which my friend lisa used to make allll the time when she lived in australia. they are excellent and i strongly suggest you give them a try while lemons are in season. 

stay tuned... party is tomorrow and we are super excited at makeshift motonui. i can't wait to show off pictures!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

madeline is six!

this morning i woke up and just like that madeline was six! i swear it was just yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital - and now she is a little lady, wants to pick her own clothes, have an opinion and worst of all, talk back! (oh my goodness, i wonder where she learned that from?) i am so proud to be her mum and love that she will not have decisions made for her. i hope she grows up to be independent and continues to show the strong will she has, not allowing the opinions of others to sway her.

we have received excellent feedback from madeline's school teacher. she reads extremely well for her age and isn't afraid to read around words and use other ones to work out the story. she is writing all by herself and sounds out words she doesn't know (even if they aren't correct) so that she can "do it by myself!" her maths skills are great too and we spend our time in the car doing simple sums and spelling every word she can think of. watch out world. madeline is coming for you!

maddie and joseph got to spend the afternoon with my mum as i had to attend a funeral nearby, and she was thrilled to see a beautifully set table when we arrived, with her a gorgeous decorated cake for her to enjoy. she was one happy little girl!

nanna even let her cut the cake herself, something mummy would never allow (i'm far too ocd) and serve the pieces. 

after a long drive home, she was thrilled to see more gifts and a huge balloon from mummy and daddy. i was way more excited than her about the big one, a framed map of all the old landmarks in paris. i am obsessed with it and can't wait to see it hanging in her room.

more cake after dinner (this girl is going to be caked out) and then finally off to bed, so that mum can continue preparations for her birthday party this weekend. she may kill me some times, but i am so lucky she is mine ♥

happy birthday maddie!