Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August Presidency Message

When my now husband, Mike, proposed to me, he did so with a CTR ring.  He knew that I was particular with my jewelry and so he thought it best to go ring shopping with me after we were officially engaged.  Smart man.  As we began searching for the perfect ring, Mike's mother offered me a diamond from Mike's grandmother, who had passed away.  Mike's mother was incredibly surprised when I turned down the diamond, but I explained that I wanted a ruby for my center stone.  Some of my friends were surprised that I turned down a diamond so I could have a ruby in my engagement ring.  "Why are you so set on having a ruby in your ring?" my friends would ask. 
My wedding ring (photograph by Marissa Odell)

Most of us are familiar of the scripture found in Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."  I wanted a ruby in my ring as a reminder of how valuable women are to the Lord.  The value and worth of women is being bombarded on every side.  Images of how women are supposed to look and act are constantly before our eyes.  Often we are told that if we do not match these images, then we are of little worth.  This is a complete lie, but it is unfortunately a lie that we can easily fall into if we are not careful.  
It is not a coincidence that the scriptures compare the value of a virtuous woman to a ruby.  Did you know that rubies are quite valuable and even comparable to diamonds in some cases?  Both the diamond and the ruby are considered precious gemstones (with only sapphires and emeralds joining them in that category).  A diamond measures a 10 on a hardness scale with 10 being the upper limit.  A ruby measures a 9 on that same scale.  The "four Cs" (color, cut, clarity and carats) that are used to value a diamonds are also used to value rubies.  Both diamonds and rubies go through a treatment process that prepares them for their purpose, which is usually jewelry.  Part of the process a ruby goes through includes being heated to extremely high temperatures.  This helps remove imperfections and bring out and intensify the true color of the stone.  
Just as rubies go through a preparation process, we as women are experiencing a preparation process. Alma 34:32 reads: "For behold this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."  This life can often be difficult with all that we are asked to do and the challenges we experience.  But we can remember that we are going through a preparation process that will help us become more pure and will increase our value.  Although this preparation process is difficult, it helps us rise to the potential that the Lord can see within us.  Just as a ruby’s true color is brought out during the preparation process, our true colors can shine through as we prepare in this life.  Remember that our value as women is far above rubies.  You are of infinite worth to the Lord.  You are loved by so many.  May God bless you to always remember that and to rise to the potential that is within you!
All our love,
Robyn Larson and the Relief Society Presidency

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ideas for a great summer in Wisconsin!

We would love to start some activities to better get to know Milwaukee and the surrounding area. There are wonderful museums; conservatories & more: (email us if you have any places you'd like to add to the list)

Milwaukee Public Museum (free Mondays for Milwaukee residents; has a great butterfly room!): http://www.mpm.edu/

Milwaukee Art Museum (cheap student membership/free to everyone on the first Thursday of month): http://www.mam.org/

The Harley-Davidson Museum (worth every penny): http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/HD_Museum/Museum.jsp?locale=en_US

Discovery World (student/family memberships): http://www.discoveryworld.org/

Betty Brinn Children's Museum (discounted/free for low income): http://www.bbcmkids.org/

The Domes (free Monday mornings for Milwaukee residents): http://www.county.milwaukee.gov/MitchellParkConserva10116.htm

Piano Teacher

The following is from Teresa Gessel:

For any of you with children or who know of children interested in taking piano lessons, I am taking new
students (ages 4+) starting this October. I love music and the piano and enjoy teaching.

My focus as a teacher is:

1. To help the student gain a love for music and confidence in their musical abilities, along with the self-
esteem that comes from hard work and effort.

2. To develop a strong, well-rounded foundation that includes correct technique, practice skills, theory,
musical ear and creativity, rhythm, and dynamics.

The cost is $10 per 1/2 hours lesson with the understanding that I will typically have my own 2 children
present but any interruptions will be compensated for in time.

Teresa Gessel, tgessel2@gmail.com or (801) 368-6326