False Gospel Doctrine

So in the LDS church you submit yourself to 3 hours of church/Sunday. Recently I have only been able to get through the first hour, due to lots and lots of nausea. Today I managed to stay during the first AND second hour, which is Sunday school. You can choose which class you go to (Gospel Essentials is for new converts or investigators, sometimes they have a class on Marriage, or Familiy History...), and I usually go to Gospel Doctrine with Danny because it's where most everybody goes. Today we were with his family at their home ward in Colorado, and the teacher said something that was utterly false doctrine.

If you aren't LDS then you won't know the buzz word "secret combination". Basically, several civilizations in the Book of Mormon perished because people were wicked and turned to Satan for power. They use "secret combinations" - but that's about the length of description the Book of Mormon gives to describe exactly what they do to get their evil power. I think any sane person could understand why a holy book wouldn't include details of sadistic rituals, rites, and secrets.

Anyway, the teacer said that the definition of a "secret combination" is any kind of deal done in secret. To his credit, everyone in the room knew what he MEANT, but what he actually said was that any deal done in secret to the benefit of those making it was a secret combination.

I spent a good portion of the clas shooting holes through his definition in whispers to Danny at the back of the classroom.

"Secrets gleaned by spies during WWII?"
"ANY kind of foreign intelligence? Like in Iraq?"
"What about businessmen? So their company secrets count as 'secret combinations'?"

I ended up raising my hand and saying, "Well, I think you need to say that the definition of a 'secret combination' is any deal done in secret FOR EVIL...what about Mary? If she had told everyone she was pregnant..."

And he interrupted me to say, "That's not what we're talking about, obviously!"

("Well, it's what you SAID we were talking about! If you look at it one way, what Mary and Gabriel did was a sort of 'deal' in secrecy! I'm sure that if Mary could have refused, even though obviously she wouldn't have...")

It bugs me when GD teachers assume that everyone's on the same page, and when they try to make super oversimplified generalizations that just don't work.

I couldn't stay after the GD class because I was super hungry and exhausted, so Danny and I went out to the car, still discussing this issue. Me: "I mean, what's the point in defining a 'secret combination' anyway? The Book of Mormon doesn't! There doesn't seem to be any real value in doing that!"

Sigh. He was probably trying his best, and I'm sure his heart was in the right place. Yet words are extremely important, especially when you are supposed to be the keeper of knowledge.


...and PS I was wrong about the Nausea

...it's back in full swing and sucks because it's hard to find something appetizing, that I would actually enjoy eating.

I hope this goes away soon.

My belly is poufing out! Pictures soon.

sic transit gloria mundi

...if I were a Latin teacher I would die laughing telling this to my class.

So Bernard Madoff is this guy who was a giant on Wall Street. I had never heard of him, but then again I have only been to Wall Street once as a tourist. Anyway, apparently he was the second person to successfully manage a Ponzi scheme since the 1920's. Well, at least that's what they're calling it. So far they haven't really been able to determine exactly how he got away with swindling investors out of 50 BILLION DOLLARS.

My friend Kelly had to comment and correct me. I assumed that he couldn't have possibly swindled 50 BILLION...that I had heard wrong...but no, it's actually 50 BILLION DOLLARS.

At his press release, he's reported to have said nothing but just given a little sticky note to the reporters with these words: "Sic transit gloria mundi."

"Thus Passeth Worldly Glory."

This phrase is used in the papal coronation ceremony.

What an arrogant thing for such a man to say! I told this to my French professor, and it really cracked him up. At the beginning of the semester we had a unit on Latin (the class was History of the French Language), and he happens to be a genius when it comes to English, French, Finnish, Dutch, Hebrew, and of course, Latin.

If only I were a High School Latin teacher. Man, that would be a great story to tell them!


POOF no more Nausea!

I stopped taking my prenatal vitamins and I don't feel queasy anymore.

This is wonderful. And horrible. My first appointment is this Monday, so I'll ask then about what can/can't be done.

Greg and Esther got married today! I'm so happy for them!

I decided to permanently boycott Radio West. More on that later.



I have never been able to spell "nausia" - "nauesia" - "nuasiea" - "nausea" FINALLY!

My tummy is tough, so I haven't actually vomited yet, but every once in a while I get this sudden lurch of "ewwwwww I feel disgusting! I feel nasty! I'm going to die!" and then it goes away.

This is not reserved for the mornings. In fact, it happens more often when I'm driving or when I'm trying to fall asleep. Nasty. Really, really nasty.

I've also been craving the weirdest things. I'm going to blame this on the pregnancy, even if it turns out it's totally unrelated. For example, the other night I honestly felt like the only thing in the whole world that I could stomach was Lamb Saag. What!??!?! Danny thought it was funny - he would have gotten it for me, too, but that would have been a bit ridiculous. Lamb Saag? We don't have a budget that can afford me getting Lamb Saag tonight and Prime Rib tomorrow.

Other things I've craved:
mashed potatoes
Cafe Rio
Basically any fast food restaurant...

Things that make my stomach lurch at the thought of them:
::::ewww:::::: shepherd's pie
chicken with pasta


Next year and teaching?

I wonder what next year will be like.

This year I am taking classes at BYU. This semester is my last "official" semester with classes on campus. Next semester I will be doing my student teaching at Lehi High School. Officially I am a French Teaching major.

I was hired to teach Arabic to middle schoolers at Renaissance Academy August 2007. I taught 2 classes of Arabic. It was great. Hard, but awesome. I taught a 6th grade class and a combined 7th-8th grade class.

My supervisor and I were talking today about the future of Arabic at Renaissance. This year they had Chinese in Kindergarten, and next year they will add Chinese to all grade levels. So Chinese will be K-8. Awesome! My supervisor also wants to open a beginning Arabic class for all the students in 7th and 8th grade who are new. So I would teach a beginning 6th grade Arabic class, a second year 7th/8th grade class, and a first year 7th/8th grade class. I am so excited. I hope this works.

"You know...so you'll keep us posted if there's a move or a job change or a baby..."

So I finally told my supervisor that I'm pregnant. She asked if I will want to keep working or if I will want to be a stay at home mom. Most women in Utah choose the latter.

We just can't do that financially right now. Danny will still be a full time student.

His schedule will be flexible, which is good because that will allow me to work and him watch the baby during those hours. Will I really be able to teach another beginning level Arabic class?

I really hope so. I love beginning level Arabic. It's fun to teach. Especially middle schoolers! Who knew I would grow up to teach the same grades that I used to despise?

Who knows what next year will be like.


I hate being sick. Don't you?

Danny is reading this over my shoulder. He says, "Yes."

It's hard to teach middle school when you are sick and out of energy. But because my students are wonderful, and we have built up a strong relationship of trust this year and last, they were able to be quieter than usual and pay attention. I was amazed. Establishing a routine really, really helps.

We made our Arabic Class Family Tree. I had a drawing of a tree on butcher paper, hung from tacks on the tack strip. My aide made us pink and blue (girl and boy) colored cut-out leaves. They were really easy to make, from a mold.

The kids decided who they were. They got to do themselves and at least 2 celebrities. It was hilarious. Ameera was married to Will Smith, whose father was Hussein and Angelina Jolie. It worked very well, I think.

I feel disgusting. Not like vomiting, not like headachey - just overall blagh. Very sore throat. I can't talk very loud.

Danny felt my belly tonight. I told him that I can totally tell. I asked if he could, and he said, "sort of." I guess it's a lot easier to tell if you know what it's normally supposed to feel like.



Okay so I realize that my parents are probably both dying to look at my belly, but honestly, to outsiders you probably would just think I'm a little bloated.

To put it in Danny's oh so elegant words, "It looks like you just ate a big dinner."

So...I'm not showing. I am ALMOST 8 weeks, this is totally normal, though I don't understand how a baby so tiny could force me to pee so frequently.

This is a fairly recent photo of me. I think it was taken late October. I was probably pregnant. I didn't know I was. My aide at school took it on his cell phone and then sent it to me. I needed an "artifact" that proved I taught my middle schoolers a lesson on French Culture.

It was, of course, about cheese. Mostly I had them taste-test cheese that they had never tried before. And $28.60...they still mostly liked cheddar.


I think that High School will be a lot more difficult to motivate and excite. You should have seen these little 7th and 8th graders. They were ecstatic.

I have to Pee X A BILLION

Seriously. Once my mom gave me a compliment, "You have a very good bladder! You'll appreciate that someday!"

Well, it's "someday", and my bladder is no longer any size bigger than a pea, apparently, because I have to get up about (okay it only FEELS this way, but) every 20 minutes to pea about 1/4 cup of water. This is ridiculous.

Danny's said his mom said that it gets better sometime during the middle. I don't really see how, since the baby is only about 1/4 inch long or less now, and is going to be a HECKUVA lot bigger later. Hmmm....

Hot laptops on my pregnant belly increase the need to pee, I've decided.

Revamping th'ole Blog

Yeah...I like to blog. Or at least, I used to. Then things happened like...school, and getting married, and...soon I realized that I missed my old friend, katesamericanlife. So here I am, back at it again.

When I realized I was pregnant, I thought, "Oh! I could totally blog about this!" Now, you should realize that I DO sometimes, if infrequently, update our family blog, which is challisadventures.blogspot.com - but the thought of taking over that blog as my pregnancy venting blog was not appealing. What if someday our kids want to use it for...something? You know?

So then I decided to make a new blog. But thinking about all of the blogs that are started and never finished, or never written on started to make me shudder. Seriously, there are so many wastes of excuses for blogs out there! Cyber junk. Someone should put them in an insinerator.

So FINALLY I decided to revamp my old blog. The title is catchy, if you ever listen to NPR, that is. Which I do. Every day. For almost the hour that it takes to get to and from work.

Et voila! This is her! Beautious, lovelious...I hope you enjoy it. Sometimes I write my blog goals - and so here they are for 2009, albeit a month early:

1. Write on my blog often
2. Put photos on my blog often
3. Get people to read and check my blog often.



I like Mormon Blogs.

I really like Mormon Blogs. I recently found a whole bunch with interesting discussions. This is a long comment I wrote on one of them, because I thought it was interesting. This one asked the question:

Where do we draw the line, or define when counsel from the brethren applies to us and or when counsel does not? Maybe some would have to define “brethren” first. What about the Bishop? or the Stake President? What if they counsel us (either in a general meeting or privately) or extend a calling to us? Do we accept, no questions asked? If we like it then do we accept, if we don’t then do we have to “pray about it”?

Here is what I wrote:

This discussion reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother about polygamy. Being from New England, I grew up as the only latter-day saint in my high school (not counting my brother and sisters), and I was frequently asked questions about it. Being so outnumbered, I found myself using defensive tactics to respond to their, “How many moms do you have?” types of comments. I would argue that some marriages were custodial, that there was a severe depletion of men in that area, that polygamy has been renounced as a practice since 1890…but it never sat very well with my insides.

It wasn’t until talking about it with my brother that I realized I had been wrong in my approach towards this subject. I had always tried to rationalize the doctrine on my own, however my brother described his experience (just for context, realize that I had never previously described my frustration about understanding this doctrine. Polygamy happened to come up, and he volunteered his testimony without knowing my feelings about it) - of praying for a testimony of the doctrine of polygamy. He described receiving a strong testimony that it is a true principle, and of God when practiced correctly.

I agree with lots of people who have posted comments, so I’m afraid I’m not offering much “new” here, but I want to restate the idea in my own words: I believe that when we receive counsel from leaders (anywhere - seminary, General Conference, the temple endowment, sacrament meeting, personal interviews, etc.) we should not try to rationalize the counsel, but rather humble ourselves and pray with faith to know if the counsel is true.

Yes, we should ask questions - but to whom? Certainly not another mortal. We should ask our Heavenly Father; he knows us and our needs.

I am convinced that oftentimes we can receive revelation that includes a rational explanation for doing something. A personal example: dressing modestly. I’ve always felt like it was a good idea, because I feel more comfortable with the way men look at me, because of the way I act differently, etc. however, more important than searching for a rational reason for following counsel from prophets and leaders is gaining a personal testimony of the truth of their counsel. I think this means that there WON’T always be a rational explanation behind every principle. This is the time for using faith; not faith in our prophets, but faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father’s perfect understanding and love for us. This makes sense to me; I don’t go to the GA’s when I have issues with the lace on my G’s or sustaining Priesthood in Priesthood meetings only. I go to Heavenly Father, and he answers my prayers with feelings of comfort and assurance that what I am doing is right, even though I don’t understand why.

It should be noted that Heavenly Father answers prayers in his own way, in his own time, and that he does this out of the deepest, most perfect love for us, his children. So the answer doesn’t come right away; that means I need to continue praying, and obeying.

I think there will be times that we must seek for personal revelation about a specific matter, like spending time with your non-member mother on mother’s day, or whether or not it actually is right for you to take the calling that has been extended to you. Or what about the decision of who to marry? I certainly would have to get on my knees and ask Heavenly Father if it’s right if a Prophet told me who I am supposed to marry!

I know this is a long comment, so I hope you’ll read. I just want to say that although I don’t understand everything about the temple, I do understand the feelings I have inside the temple, and I know it’s very good. If you get on your knees and sincerely, humbly ask Heavenly Father to help you gain faith that it is good, He will answer your prayers, and you will know that it’s good, too. I specifically worded this as an if-then statement, and not a for-all-of-you-who-struggle statement, because it’s something that EVERYONE should do. Continually, faithfully, fervently. Isn’t that the definition of religion?

That's the end of the comment. For the record, it's not me who has the issue with lace on garments, but a close friend. Also, there were several commenters on the post who said they just don't understand the temple and the only way they can stay active is to not go, but do all the other things. I wrote that last comment to address that issue.

And then, I felt compelled to directly answer the questions:

So, Don, a direct answer to your questions:
When people who have stewardship over us give us counsel, direction, advice, extending of callings, revelation, prophecy, new programs/doctrine/scripture, commandments, etc. we must always ask Heavenly Father to help us know that it is true.

However, the principle of D&C 58:26 also suggests we must also sustain our leaders through our ACTIONS.

This is how I feel comfortable going about the process: first, praying to Heavenly Father to help me know that what I am about to do is true, good, of God, etc.
second, do what I am counseled to do.

Note that I never included where I need the answer to my prayer to be. It could be before, it could be while I’m praying, maybe right after, maybe weeks later. But actively sustaining my priesthood holders DOES mean actively following their counsel, WHILE ALSO actively asking my Heavenly Father to help me know it’s right.

Note also that I specifically did not say to ask Heavenly Father why in the heck I’m doing something that I don’t understand, but instead to gain faith of it’s truthfulness. He will answer in his way.

Sometimes, though, I am not “a wise servant”, and my mortality requires LOTS AND LOTS of prayer before doing whatever it is. These are times when I will pray more fervently, and trust more closely in my feelings, praying not just for faith in the principle, but faith in my faith.

I think that often you do not gain a testimony of a principle until you actually DO it. So, instead of being unwise, I think we should try our hardest to continually ask Heavenly Father for help while actively doing our best to sustain counsel from His prophets on earth by obeying their counsel.


This year's Blog Goals and financial musings

So, now that I have a little bit of time, I am thinking about what it would be nice to do with this blog. I first thought it would be a good idea to just send it off into oblivion, because now I have a beautiful blog with my wonderful loving husband. However, I'm thinking that I might want to have just my own blog. Here are my goals for it:
Write on it at least once/week
Add lots of photos

And here are my goals for the rest of the summer:
Have my whole curriculum planned and outlined for the rest of the year
Finish at least three online courses

And here are my financial musings:
I need to keep better track of how much we're spending for what kinds of groceries. I bet I could save more on groceries, and that would save more in general.


How to be Rich without trying.

So I had to read some Marx for one of my French classes. Something he says is that objects don't have value on their own, they only get value during the act of exchanging them. Something may be useful, or have utilitarian value, and that is the thing that motivates you to exchange them, but the usefulness of the object has nothing to do with the value that humans assign to the object.

He also says that people can't have value, only objects can. People can have objects that have value, and that makes them rich.

So what if I ascribe a ton of value to my messy room, my unpaid bills, and my dirty laundry? I have a ton of those things. Then I would own tons of objects of value.

Then I'll be rich.


to do list 2/25

Pick up the car from safelite auto-glass
clean room
move stuff to the storage unit
vaccuum my room
Take a nap
cook dinner for Danny and me
Go to the library and study
Finish French paper
Arabic homework for today
3 toolboxes for Film class
Beede Homework



I'm Engaged!

I could not possibly be happier than I am tonight! My true love, Danny Challis, proposed! It was a fantastic night, too. Candlelight dinner, reading letters we wrote together, dancing in a field full of snow - to the greatest mix CD ever "I Miss Danny 2005 Vol: 1" hehe.

"Kate, I want to be with you forever! Will you marry me?"


Wonderful days!

I've been having the most wonderful weekend of my life. Just being with Danny...I don't know how I deserved such happiness. It's incredible. I love Danny with all my heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We saw a movie last night based on a true story called The Illusionist. Danny's mom recommended this movie! Cool! It was a double date with Brandon and his date. We had s'mores by roasting marshmallows over tea candles floating in a bowl of water. It was fun! I would recommend the movie, too. It was very different from The Prestige, which I liked too.