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We live in a city in China where there are very few foreigners. With our four blondie children, we get a lot of attention, which some of us appreciate more than others. Yesterday we went to play as a family at a nearby plaza in the warm November sunshine. Our kids suggested a game of “sharks & minnows,” a version of tag in a confined space. I knew our wild shrieks and running would attract attention, but we also needed to play! And sure enough, no sooner had the chase begun then a small crowd ebbed and flowed around us (and...read more
Hello! I’m Mama Emily Perkes and my posts are going to revolve around the theme of “Becoming as a Little Child” and the spiritual lessons I learn from my children. On several occasions in the scriptures are we given the commandment to become like children. In 3 Nephi 11:37-38, it repeats almost the exact same command one verse right after the other: 37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. 38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be...read more
Bear with me as I share three seemingly unrelated stories and then tie them together with my big “ah-ha!” moment at the end. 😉 Story 1: I grew up on the East Coast in a large city with a small LDS population where I was easily known as “The Mormon” to friends, acquaintances and strangers throughout my high school. Looking back I think I held my head high with the name labeling me almost like a missionary tag defining me and influencing every interaction and relationship. However, it was also that invisible name tag that heightened my...read more
Nephi was a real guy. He was a prophet, yes, but he was also a mortal, with weaknesses, strengths, challenges, the ups and downs of life, and purpose. Just like us. Remember this situation? Nephi and his family have been through a lot already in the wilderness, having left their home, friends, and belongings. But Nephi has been faithful and has received the glorious vision of the Tree of Life, just like his father Lehi. Not only that, but since he asked, the Lord has shown him innumerable other things, including a vision of...read more
My husband and I have started waking up together at 6am so that we could get a good 30-45 minutes of study in before our kids wake up. This specific Sunday morning we were both feeling excited but stressed as we were in the middle of trying to decide where to move and had found what looked to be a perfect house. That morning in our study and prayer we knelt and asked the Lord if there was anything else we should know or do before moving forward with this house. After praying for a few more things we ended the prayer, sat on the couch and...read more
It wasn’t so much a lot of tears and sobbing. It was more a general sense of dread, like nothing could ever be good or worthwhile. Maybe it was a little like how Ron Weasley describes the all-encompassing chill of dementors in the Harry Potter series: like he’ll never feel cheerful again. And despite the fact that my brain knew I was depressed, I still couldn’t shake it. We’d arrived back at our city apartment after over six weeks of intense, joyful visiting with family and friends for the summer. Parties, walks, a wedding, beach time, dates,...read more
Our family recently moved into a new home and due to various complications, I couldn’t unpack my kitchen. This being the main hub of the home, it was stressful, so I put my energy into the yard and soil–gardens are such a happy place for me. In attempt to beautify our space, I planted a veggie garden and many flowers around the yard. I had a joyful vision of blooms, produce and a harvest of veggies for later in the summer, so I worked for 12 hours weeding, then many more hours of planting, hours of caring and repeat weeding the same...read more
“…With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) His hands trembled and his shoulders hunched as he stepped forward to take the tray of bread. As he walked up to the stand at the front of the chapel, he glanced from side to side, making sure he was in the right place. Crossing in front of the pews, he licked his dry lips and took a deep breath. Carefully, he offered the tray to the bishop and his counselors. A gradual grin of relief spread across his face as he moved around to serve others on the stand. His first day of...read more
Nature has such powerful life lessons. I adore flowers, blooms and metaphors with these amazing creations. I recently took a few trips to the garden shops with my kids; yes, crazy, but I tried to share one of my happy places with my little ones. Both a sweet and sour experience to be honest, but I love the results nonetheless. The garden shop has lovely growing seeds, the smell of lush dirt and happy buds and blooms! The children hopefully soaked in the beautiful bits of nature and learned something. A few days later my pretween nine-year old...read more
“Do you recall the slow and almost imperceptible increase in light on the horizon… gradually and steadily the intensity of the light increased, and the darkness of night was replaced by the radiance of morning. Eventually, the sun did dawn over the skyline. But the visual evidence of the sun’s impending arrival was apparent hours before the sun actually appeared over the horizon.” –Elder David A. Bednar, “Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign, May 2011 My second companion on my mission taught me a valuable lesson that was the beginning...read more