Womens Conference and Togetherness

Here is a last minute printable for the General Women’s Meeting. I’ve printed them up and will be putting them on the table settings at our pre-broadcast social. The quotes come from this page at lds.org where general women auxiliary leaders commented on the reasoning behind combining the Young Women, Relief Society and 8 & up Primary girls for the latest broadcast. I found it really interesting, and helped me to appreciate the rationale behind the combined meeting. You can download my printable here.

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Jesus Christ – Light of the World – lightcatcher

The March 2014 Visiting Teaching Message is about Jesus Christ being the Light of the World, how we can gain a testimony of that, and how that testimony helps us and those around us.

The visiting teaching aid I’ve made to go with this message is a light catcher. This sun is symbolic of the Light of Christ. The tissue paper represents your choices to live more like the Savior. Each choice strengthens your testimony, and helps you to know that Christ is the Light of the World. The completed light catcher represents you as you reflect to others the Light of Christ in your life.

To make the light catcher, cut out the center of the sun and place clear contact paper behind the opening. Cut or tear pieces of colored tissue paper, then press onto contact paper. Hang in window.

You can download this free printable here.

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Blueberry Lime Coconut Pie

This has a been a long, cold winter in Michigan. We’ve been dreaming of green grass, warm breezes and anything that is not covered in snow! This pie reminds me of Michigan summers and the blueberries we pick every year. I unearthed some frozen berries and made this yesterday, and wanted to save the recipe for the next time we need some blueberry lovin’ from the oven.

Blueberry Lime Coconut Pie

9″ Pie crust
1/3 cup plus 1 TBSP shortening
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 to 3 TBSP cold water
Cut shortening into flour. Mix in salt. Stir in water with fork just until mixture forms a round ball. Chill dough in fridge while mixing rest of pie.

Coconut topping
2 TBSP melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Melt butter and cool slightly. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla to melted butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and coconut. Add the melted butter mixture and combine well. Transfer mixture to the refrigerator for half an hour to set.

4 TBSP butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 c coconut
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch

Preheat oven to 350F.

Soften butter, and mix with the confectioner’s sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, until incorporated, and then add the lime zest and coconut. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss blueberries, lime juice, sugar, and cornstarch, and let sit 5 minutes.

While berries are macerating, roll out chilled dough on a floured counter or wax paper. Transfer to your pie plate. Press the crust into the bottom and edges of the pan.

Spread the coconut filling evenly across the bottom of the pie. Top with the blueberries and their juices. Remove the topping from the fridge and use a fork to break it into small pieces. Scatter these pieces over the top of the pie. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes, until crust and topping is golden brown and berries are bubbling.


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General Women’s Meeting Invitation

The general women’s meeting of the Church is to be broadcast Saturday, March 29, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time. We have been working to coordinate this event in our ward, to make it a special occasion for the girls, young women and Relief Society sisters ages 8 & up. We will have a potluck dinner just before the broadcast and some traditional crafts to enjoy while chatting before the broadcast begins.

Our theme for the evening is “traditions”, since this broadcast could be the beginning of a wonderful family, ward and (even) worldwide tradition.

Our invite opens to reveal pockets that include a recipe card with instructions to bring a favorite family dish, its recipe and a tradition or memory the dish represents. There is also a tag reminder of the date, time and significance of the broadcast.

The recipe card is printed on paper folded in half to make a tent which can be placed next to the dish at the potluck. On the back side is a place to jot down why the recipe is special.

Other ideas for the evening were to decorate tables with old family pictures, and vintage globes or maps. We will have copies of paper dolls on the tables along with crayons and scissors for the young and young at heart. We may have a rock-painting station in the room where sisters can paint rocks with hearts to take home with them and then place outside in random places as surprises for others to come across. There will also be a quilt set up to tie.

You can download the invitation, recipe card, tag and potluck signup sheet here. You will need to open them in a graphics program to enter your own time and place information.

UPDATE: Here is another printable with quotes from General Women Auxiliary leaders about why RS, YW and 8 & up Primary girls are meeting together.

(I originally found the free recipe card download here.)

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observing the night sky – 4th year girls campers

One of the certification requirements for young women attending Girls Camp as 4th years is to observe the night sky, identify 2 or more constellations, and read scriptures, then reflect. Now is a great time to get this done, while it gets dark earlier and you can try and catch a nice, clear night sky. I just put together this printable to help our 4th years get this done. I’m also going to print this out, which shows some constellations from the winter/early spring sky, along with some facts about each one. A great app to help locate the constellations in the sky is this one.

You can download my observation/scripture worksheet here.

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The Good Shepherd VT Message

The February 2014 visiting teaching message is about Jesus Christ being the Good Shepherd. I came across these cute pom pom sheep here, and thought they would be fun to give along with a quote from this month’s message.

I put the sheep in a lunch sack and clipped on a bookmark with a quote from the message printed on it. I also really love the scriptures included in this message: Psalm 23Isaiah 40:11Mosiah 26:21, and might read from one, then talk a little about what it means for us to know that Christ is the Good Shepherd.

You can download the bookmark here.

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New Beginnings and New Beehives

We try and do something special during New Beginnings for the girls coming into the Young Women program. We give them boxes like these at the beginning of the evening, and explain that they are empty but they will be given things throughout the evening to place inside.

As the girls explain their class statements and symbols during the program, they present the new Beehives with a card and a goody to place inside their boxes. You can see more about that and download the tags here.

Then when it is time to introduce the new Beehives, the older girls will share some things they have learned about them. You can download this get-to-know-you sheet here.

They will then give them their torch pendant to place inside their boxes.

Finally, at the end of the evening we have a gift for all the young women to take home. This year we have small planners that have this “Come Unto Christ card” card tucked into the inside of the cover.

We will be encouraging the girls to make goals to come unto Christ, and to use their planners to keep track of their progress. You can download the card insert here.

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Come Unto Christ Birthday Gift

We are giving “cupcake socks” to our young women this year for birthdays. I saw this idea first at Courtney’s All Things Bright and Beautiful, who first saw it on Sugardoodle, and I just modified it to go with the theme this year. Go on over to Courtney’s blog to see how to assemble the socks – she explains it perfectly.

This is how they look all packaged up in a cellophane bag.

And this is the card that goes with it. You can download it here.

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Come Unto Christ Mutual Activity

Here is another activity inspired from a 2014 New Era magazine article. This time we are focusing on coming unto Christ through principles found in the Duty to God program.

We began our evening all together, introduced the 2014 mutual theme, and gave everyone the card shown above. (I had meant to bring large envelopes or clear page protectors for they youth to collect all their handouts – but I forgot – and regretted not having something to keep all their printouts in!) We explained that they would be going through a series of workshops that night that would help them better understand these principles and how they help us come unto Christ.

Our young men president began the evening with a short video and discussion on how scripture study affects our lives. We had the following scripture study chart printed on cardstock for them to take home:

We then split the youth into 4 groups, and had them rotate through 4 different 8-minute long workshops. For “Live Worthily”, we had new For the Strength of Youth books for everyone and a checklist, so they could quickly see and assess how they are living Church standards.

The Understand Doctrine class was led by our full time missionaries. They had the following handout and talked about studying and applying gospel knowledge.

Another of our young men leaders talked about how priesthood ordinances bring us unto Christ – no handout for this one.

I led the workshop on service, and had several laptops set up to learn about indexing. We first watched this video, then did the FamilySearch test drive to give them a taste of what indexing is like. One of the computers had an active batch downloaded that the youth could help decipher once they had done the test drive.

We all met up again in one big group for the last workshop on inviting all to come unto Christ. We had a discussion after presenting this idea found on Sugardoodle:

Object lesson: Set up a row of dominoes. Place them on end just far enough apart so that if one is knocked down, it will knock down the next one. As you knock the first domino down, ask them to observe the chain reaction. Call attention to the effect of one domino upon all the others. Explain that we too may affect the lives of others (family and friends) in a chain reaction. By sharing the gospel with even one person, we sometimes touch the lives of many others.

Our refreshments were these cane cookies, resembling shepherd’s crooks, and meant to be a reminder that  Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and calls to us, his beloved sheep to come unto Him. These cookies are delicious, and the recipe found at swankyrecipes.com is below:


  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown food coloring


  1. In a medium bowl fitted with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar just until creamy. Separate eggs and add the egg yolks. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined. Sift flour mixture then add the flour mixture, in three additions, and beat until you have a smooth dough.
  2. Remove half of the dough from the mixing bowl. To the remaining half add the brown food coloring and beat on low speed until well blended. If you find the dough too soft, cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Take a walnut sized piece of red dough and a walnut sized piece of white dough. Separately, roll each color on a lightly floured surface, into a 4-5 inch (10-12.5 cm) long rope. Place the two ropes side by side, gently press together, and twist the two ropes to form a spiral. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Shape each cookie into a cane shape by bending one end into a hook shape. (If you find the cookies a little soft, place the baking sheet (with the unbaked cookies) in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking.)
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.
  5. Bake cookies for about 8 -10 minutes or until set and the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cookies cool completely on baking sheet.
  6. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. May be kept in an airtight container in freezer for up to a month.

You can download all my handouts for this activity here, and following is our schedule for the evening:

7 p.m. Welcome and opening exercises
7:10 – 7:20 Introduction to evening and topic #1 -youth all together,
then split youth into 4 groups and rotate through workshops
7:25 – 7:33 Rotate through workshops 2 – 5
7:35 – 7:43 Rotate through workshops 2 – 5
7:45 – 7:53 Rotate through workshops 2 – 5
7:55 – 8:03 Rotate through workshops 2 – 5
(8 minutes each with 2 minutes in between to change rooms/tables)
8:05 – 8:15 Topic #6 all together, Conclusion and refreshments

 Workshops – 8 minutes each:
1. Pray and Study the Scriptures 
(How to pray often and meaningfully, scripture reading charts, ideas for marking, memorizing, applying) 
 2. Live Worthily (Live standards in FTSOY – compare your life today to them, and adjust accordingly)
 3. Understand Doctrine (how to do a scripture study outline)
 4. Administer / Accept Priesthood Ordinances (sacrament, patriarchal blessings, prepare for temple)
 5. Serve Others (indexing – set up laptops)
 6. Invite All to Come unto Christ (Invite all to come unto Christ—beginning with your own family.)


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Come Unto Christ New Beginnings

Our New Beginnings theme this year is, “Come Unto Christ: A Walk with the Savior through Personal Progress”. The evening’s inspiration comes from the article found in the January 2014 issue of the New Era. We’ve invited the Young Women and their families to attend, dressed in biblical attire, and to bring blankets to sit on. Our invitations have footprints crossing from the cover to the inside, marking a path through the New Era article’s photos of Christ relating to the YW values.  You can download a version of it here, that you can add your own time and date information to.

I’ve revamped my Personal Progress slideshow, adding the same photos as mentioned above. The art for the title slide was found on The Art of Choosing Joy. You can download the slide show here. It is an Adobe Acrobat file which you play in full screen mode, and just hit the up and down keys to play as a slide show.

As the slide show plays, we will have one or more young women come to the front wearing scarves that coordinate with each value, and share their thoughts about how we come unto Christ through the values of Personal Progress. We may also play this video of the 2014 theme song.

One other fun idea we had was to play song #90 in the Children’s Songbook, “Truth from Elijah”, which has a traditional Hebrew musicality to it, and to have the girls stand in a circle and perform some very simple Israeli folk dancing.

Our refreshments will include hummus and vegetables, pita chips, fruit and figs, and date cake with whipped cream.

You can also see the take-away gifts we are giving to the new Beehives and other young women here.

This sheet may be useful in planning your New Beginnnings:


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