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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Where there's a will there's a way

Sister Jones shared this story with me and I thought you might enjoy it too.

Orderville was a community in south-central Utah where the Saints attempted to live the "United Order," having all things in common. It was active from 1875 to 1885. These efforts sometimes caused some interesting conflicts, as in the case of these mothers determined to provide Christmas treats for their children.

Howard Orson Spencer was chosen to be bishop and leader in the little community of Orderville, in southern Utah. One December evening some of the sisters of Orderville met to plan a Christmas treat for the children. The order had no luxuries and the necessities were strictly rationed. About the only sweets the people had was molasses, so, the sisters decided to make molasses candy and cookies for the youngsters. But on Christmas Eve, they came to Grandmother Spencer with news that the brother in charge of the molasses "won't let us have any. He says our allowance for the month is already used." Grandmother's lips tightened. "The children are going to have something for Christmas. I'll speak to my husband after dinner -- he'll give us permission."

When grandfather came in tired and hungry, grandmother hovered over him and after dinner urged him to rest by the fire. As he sat looking drowsily into the flames, she said in a low voice, "You do think the children should have some candy and cookies for Christmas, don't you Howard?" "Umm-hmm," was the sleepy response and grandmother went away smiling. She reported to the ladies that everything was all right, "My husband has given us permission." "Did he say we could have the molasses?" asked one doubting Thomas. "He didn't say "No" replied grandmother truthfully. "Now we won't wake up the brother in charge of the molasses. We'll just slip out and take what we need."

The man in charge of the molasses barrel was very conscious of his responsibility. On the lid of the barrel he had placed a section of heavy logging chain and a large boulder. Only a thin wooden partition at the head of the bed separated him from the barrel outside, and he was a light sleeper. Shivering from the cold the women crunched through the snow toward the barrel. It was beginning to snow again and the night was very dark. With infinite caution they removed the heavy chain without so much as one betraying clank. It took the combined efforts of all the women to lower the boulder noiselessly to the ground. There was a breathless pause as grandmother raised the lid and dipped into the barrel with a saucepan. She emptied its contents into a bucket and dipped again and again. "We have enough now," whispered one of the women, the women filed back to the warm kitchen to make the Christmas goodies. But, there was a dismayed gasp when they looked into the pail, "Oh dear, we haven't enough molasses. We'll have to get some more." "Oh no, Sister Spencer. it's so cold and dark. It's too risky." "Well just the same, we must unless we want the children to be disappointed."

There could only be one answer to such a statement and the little band of mothers went again to the molasses barrel. They returned safely and set to work. When morning came, every child in Orderville had two molasses cookies and one big slightly sticky lump of candy in his stocking. Santa Claus had not forgotten them. Grandfather insisted all his life that he could not remember ever having given the women permission to get the molasses. (Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage, 18:160-161)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Anyone who has eaten President Griffiin's cooking knows that he has a way with beef! He recently shared his recipe for cooking a chuckroast with me and I thought I'd pass it along.
Start with a good chuckroast and season it well with salt and pepper. Place it in a roasting pan with a can of beef broth and place it in the oven at 275 degrees. For a large roast of about 8 lbs. put it in the oven about 7 am and cook till about 5 pm, or until it falls off the bone, and melts in your mouth! He says he prefers a roast cooked in the oven over cooking it in a crockpot. This sounds pretty easy. His secret must be the low temperature and long cooking time as well as a good cut of meat. It makes me hungry just thinking about it. GO MEAT!

General Relief Society Message

As many of you have noticed the website has gone through an updating and now has a new look to it. On the old site there is a post by the General Relief Society Presidency that I thought I'd pass it along. It may be on the updated site also but I haven't found it yet.

"As you reflect on the birth of our Savior this Christmas Season, join us in remembering him by serving someone on his behalf". Such a simple statement but as I read it I thought of it as a call to action. Just imagine the good that could be and will be done by Relief Society members throughout the world this Christmas Season. The Relief Society presidency lists four things we could do:
1. visit someone in need
2. act on your generous thoughts
3. do temple work
4. register and search for a family name in the New Family Search
These small acts of service given freely and out of love for our Savior join together to build faith in Jesus Christ, support families and provide relief, the values Relief Society are built upon.
What a blessing it is for all of us to belong to the Relief Society.


The Gift
Something for Everyone
Please join us for a memorable
Family Christmas Fireside
presented by
The Billings East Stake
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Refreshments - 5-5:45 pm
Fireside - 6 pm
Billings East Stake Center
Sunday dress

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snowman Soup

If you are looking for quick Christmas gifts, stories, games and more be sure to check out It is filled with wonderful ideas. One of my favorites is Snowman Soup.

1 package of hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey's kisses
15 or so mini marshmallows
1 candy cane
Place in a snack sized Ziploc bag or brand new mug and attach a poem
When the weather outside is frightful, snowman soup can be delightful.
May it warm your spirit and your soul. Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

Christmas Events

Only 23 days till Christmas and everyone's calendar is filling up with activities. Be sure to make time for the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional. It is this Sunday, December 5th at 6pm. It will be available at the Stake Center or go to to find out how to bring it into your home.

Sunday the 5th is also the Messiah Festival. It will be held at the Alberta Bair Theater at 3:30. Free tickets are available at the Alberta Bair Theater. It has been my experience that if you show up early the day of the performance there are still seats available. The December Ensign has an article by Elder Spencer J Condie entitled "Handel and the Gift of Messiah" that gives a little bit of background on this music.

Sunday, December 19th is the Stake Family Christmas Fireside "The Gift". We are promised more information but be sure to mark your calendar and plan to come.