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LDS Temples Bucket List – Temples I’d Love To See

LDS Temples Bucket List – Temples I’d Love To See

You know what’s one of the best things about being Mormon?

The LDS Temples!

Yes.. That glorious place of unwavering peaceful and loving feelings. The place where families go to be together forever.

Temple Bucket List - LDS Salt Lake City Temple by Heather Thomas

I was beyond excited when I got to go to the Memphis Temple and receive my own endowments earlier this year. Since then, I’ve been thinking about other temples I’d love to visit. Here are a few that have made my LDS Temples Bucket List

Kirtland

Kirtland was the first temple built in this dispensation and visited by God and his angels. Can you imagine being in a place where the rushing sound of angels was so intense it felt like a mighty wind?

LDS Kirtland Temple by Alecia Frank

LDS Kirtland Temple by Alecia Frank

Being in a place with such a powerful history would be incredible

Nauvoo

Burned to the ground within 4 years of it’s dedication and then ravished by a tornado, the Nauvoo temple is the next one on my LDS Temples Bucket List. The Nauvoo temple seems to have a history opposite of the Kirtland temple. Whereas everything good visited the Kirtland temple, it seems that much bad came to the Nauvoo temple. Fire, sacrifice, and the loss of Joseph Smith all happened during a short time surrounding the history of this temple.

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Grace Wilson Powell

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Grace Wilson Powell

But, despite that, the Nauvoo temple has since been rebuilt and thousands of people have been blessed because of the ordinances completed inside this beautiful place.

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

LDS Nauvoo Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

Salt Lake

The biggest temple in the world is the Salt Lake Temple. It took 40 years to build. That is dedication. Besides that, isn’t it just gorgeous?

LDS Salt Lake Temple by Angela Wright-Stevens

LDS Salt Lake Temple by Angela Wright-Stevens

If there was one time of the year I’d want to go here it would be every time. I’ve heard wonderful stories about the Temple Square, of which the Salt Lake Temple is the centerpiece.

LDS Salt Lake City Temple by Heather Thomas

LDS Salt Lake City Temple by Heather Thomas

Simply beautiful, right?

Memphis

I know, I know… I’ve already been there.. But you guys, I have to get back again.

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Did I mention that I literally passed out during my own endowment session inside the temple? I have a slight history of fainting, but did not expect it to happen in the temple of all places.

LDS Memphis Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

LDS Memphis Temple by Brittany Morgan Adams

I cried after it happened. For one, I was embarrassed, and for two, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish my session. Thankfully, I was able to, and that bad moment is just a memory.

Unfortunately the Memphis Temple is closed for renovations and won’t be open until around 2019. In the meantime, I am focusing on keeping myself temple worthy and doing what I can to help others be able to get to this same place.

Have you visited any of these temples?
Which one of these temples would you like to visit? 

In case you missed my other recent Temple Posts:

Tithing My Way To The Temple
I Love To See The Memphis Temple

(I’m so grateful to all of the ladies who offered up their pictures of the temples you see here. All photos in this post have been used with permission.)

I Love To See The Memphis Temple

I Love To See The Memphis Temple

Going to the temple is a big deal for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the culmination of years spent hearing about the temple, studying it, and preparing ourselves to enter it.

Having been a member since 2008, my only experience in the Memphis Temple was to perform baptisms.

Life as a Convert and son in front of Memphis Temple sign

Life as a Convert and son, Losh, in front of Memphis Temple sign on a recent trip to do baptisms.

While the experience was good, it left me wanting more, not to mention I felt out of place being one of the only un-endowed adults present (endowed members are those who have previously been through the temple).

The particular temple assigned to our church is the Memphis Temple, located in Memphis, Tennessee, about 2.5 hours away. The Memphis Temple just so happens to be closing for remodeling at the end of the month. With that in mind, I have felt an increasing desire to get there before it closed.

There wasn’t one specific reason I wanted to go, but a few stuck out in my mind more than others. Since I joined the church, I have wanted to go. To me, it felt like I wasn’t a complete member until I went through the temple. So here are a few reasons why I made going to the temple a priority.

Curiosity

Having been in the church for many years, and being taught so many things about what goes on in the temple, but not having experienced it for myself left me curious. I wanted to be in the know. I wanted to experience the temple for myself. And I wanted to know just what happened in that Holy place anyway?

The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation.” LDS.org

Memphis Temple

Memphis Temple

Garments

Garments are to Mormons what the Hijab is to a Muslim. It is an outer expression of an inner commitment. At one time, I showed my commitment with head covering. Then I became somewhat of the world and wanted to express myself with my hair styles. I quit covering (for that and many other reasons) and though I occasionally wore covers, the experience just wasn’t the same. There is something magical about putting on a piece of fabric every single day knowing that it symbolizes your commitment to your Heavenly Father and I wanted to experience that with the garments.

Wearing the temple garment has deep symbolic significance. It represents a continuing commitment. Just as the Savior exemplified the need to endure to the end, we wear the garment faithfully as part of the enduring armor of God. Thus we demonstrate our faith in Him and in His eternal covenants with us.” – LDS.org

Blessings

We are promised blessings when we follow Heavenly Father’s commandments. Some of these blessings are contingent upon covenants we make and our obedience to those covenants. A few blessings that come to mind are those from tithing, church attendance, serving others, and fulfilling our callings. When we do each of these things, we are blessed.  Going through the temple awards us extra blessings. Who am I to say no to extra blessings?!

Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings.” – President Thomas S. Monson

To Feel The Spirit

I’ve always had a unique relationship with and a strong testimony of the Holy Spirit. I’ve felt it strongly, and often and never questioned if it existed or where it came from. To know that I could feel that, but much stronger at the temple was very appealing to me… so I did it.. I became worthy and got my temple recommend which was my ticket into the Memphis Temple.

My First Impressions

I recently fulfilled my desire to participate in the sacred ordinances within the Memphis Temple. To say it was an experience I will never forget is an understatement. It was wonderful. I am so grateful that I was able to get over myself and a few of my selfish habits in order to enter the temple as a worthy member and receive my endowments.

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

Life as a Convert at the Memphis Temple

If you are preparing to enter the temple for the first time I encourage you to participate in the Temple Prep class provided by the church as well as read the following articles:

Temples Reflect the Savior’s Love for Us
Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings
Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple
Turn toward the Temple

May God bless you as you progress in your journey to the temple and all that it has to offer.

4-H Poultry Chain – First Time Chicken Owners

4-H Poultry Chain – First Time Chicken Owners 

For the longest time I have wanted chickens for eggs. In my mind I thought they were super hard to prepare for, so I never took any steps to actually getting some. This year when 4-H Poultry Chain came about, I forced myself to sign up. There is no greater motivation to prepare/finish something than a looming deadline and chickens were expect the end of Spring!

What is 4-H Poultry Chain?

The 4-H Poultry Chain is a great way to teach children responsibility and how to care for a family flock. Basically, 4-H gives each participant a certain number of day old chicks that members must raise and take care of. When the county fair rolls around, members must take their 3 best chicks for a Show and Sell where they are judged and then auctioned off. The winner gets prize money, but ribbons are awarded as well. The money earned from the auctions is divided amongst the 4-H program and I think the participating members if their chicks sell, though I could be wrong on that last part. I do know that part of the money is used to buy the chicks for the next year.

We were told to expect anywhere from 15-30 chicks for each child signed up. There was no way I wanted more than that, so I only signed up Kaia. This year, 4-H gave everybody 18 baby chicks.  We had the option to purchase roosters, so I purchased 3. Silly me thought that in order for the chickens to lay eggs that a rooster must be present. Boy, do I have a lot to learn! We ended up with a total of 23 baby chicks (somebody miscounted ours along the way and we got 2 extra).

We picked them up on the 11th of May.

4-H Poultry Chain Chicks 2016 Arkansas - Amberlink

Brooding Day Old Chicks

The kids fell in the love with them. Every chance they got, they were watching, holding, and carrying them around with them. I had seen brooders set up many different ways, but chose to use an old watering trough for mine with sand as the bedding. The thought process behind choosing this was that it was wide enough to give them plenty of space, and tall enough where they couldn’t hop out of it as easily as a swimming pool. I seriously overestimated how big of a space 23 baby chicks needed. There was plenty of room in the brooder, but the chicks mostly stayed together. I chose the sand after a lot of research because it was supposed to be the least smelly, easiest to keep clean and also the least expensive in the long run.

Aybra’s favorite chicks were the roosters. She named one Duck and even had a photo shoot with it. I’m not sure that she could actually tell them apart, but she insisted that she could and always chose “Duck” when holding a chick.

4-H Poultry Chain - Baby Rooster Amberlink

The Setup

In the brooder, I used a 60-100 watt bulb in a clip on fixture for heat. The temperate in my house was set around 73-78* varying on the day’s weather. The chicks seemed to stay plenty warm, but would also huddle together in a cute little cuddle puddle under the lamp as they slept. Another thing I learned was that heating lamps have a lot more watts (250!) than regular bulbs and give off a lot more heat. I think I chose the best option for me since my container was more enclosed than some other options (like a kiddie swimming pool).

4-H Poultry Chain Amberlink Chicks Brooding

The chicks had 1 long red feeder as seen in the above picture, and 2 quart size waterers. I had to change the water multiple times a day because the chicks got it dirty, and also drank it! I underestimated how much they would eat and drink. I probably should have had two of the feeders and a larger watering system. In the future, I will try to find a way to slightly elevate the water in order to avoid them getting it dirty so fast. I’m not sure how shavings differ in terms of water cleanliness, but I imagine shavings would be a slightly cleaner option.

As far as keeping them alive, that was the easy part. I was under the impression that a few of our chicks would die from various reasons and that it was hard to keep 4-H poultry chain chicks alive. That was not my experience. We didn’t experience any loss inside.

Growing Up

I planned on keeping the 4-H poultry chain chicks inside for 3-4 weeks depending on when they started hopping out of their enclosure. I knew that once they were big enough to get out of their enclosure that I wanted them outside. I did NOT want chickens wandering around my house. Another factor was the smell. At first, the chickens didn’t smell. In fact, people were surprised when they came to visit and I would tell them we had chickens inside. They were in my living room, so they weren’t hidden away, but they were very quiet. They only started smelling the last week they were inside. 23 chicks make a whole lot of chicken poop!

4-H Poultry Chain - Amberlink Chicks

As they got older, I found some limbs to put inside their enclosure. We called it the Chicken Playground. They enjoyed playing on them, and it wasn’t uncommon to see 6-7 chicks lined up on a log sleeping. It was so much fun watching them growing every day. I’m not even kidding, they grow up so fast! Once they started getting their feathers they looked a little awkward, but still cute.

4-H Poultry Chain Amberlink Chicks Feathering

 

Moving Around

We got them on the 11th of May. I was banking on having a couple weeks to prepare their outside coop while they were busy growing inside. During the last few days inside I moved them from the trough into some rubbermaid totes. The trough was getting harder to clean and I was having to clean it much more often. The only problem with that was the chicks could get out of the totes. I thought about putting a wire over the top to keep them inside, but feared one may get stuck and hang itself. The chicks liked to get on top and hop back and forth between the two totes. I didn’t have one large enough for them all, so I split them up into two.

4-H Poultry Chain Chicks - Tote Brooder

On the 29th of May, we had our first chicken escape. It was cute and comical, but also made me realize that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. Long story short, I was hoping to build or buy a coop, but the funds I was going to use, ended up falling through. I made do with what I had which happened to be a dog house that came with the house when I moved in.

The Coop

4-H Poultry Chain - Chicken Coop Dog House

The dog house has a concrete foundation, two rooms, and multiple windows/entrances. I kept one entrance open (pictured) and wired the others closed. The open entrance leads to the porch/run. I wrapped rectangular wire around the porch/run and realized the wire I used wasn’t small enough, so I went back and added poultry wire around it. I used zip ties to attach the two wires together and I used some cup hooks attached to the side of the house to close and secure the wire against the house. This is how I enter the run. I simply unhook it. There are multiple hooks for extra protection. The downside to this is that the entrance is very tiny and I have to work really hard to squeeze my butt in there. It’s very doable though.

Moving Out

On the 30th of May, they moved outside. Despite the double wire, chickens could escape! One even got stuck in between the wires, and had to be rescued. Unfortunately another got stuck overnight and died. It was our first loss and quite upsetting since I feel it could have been avoided had I known better.

4-H Poultry Chain Amberlink Chicks Awkward Teenage Stage

I ended up adding another layer of wire just along the bottom and then stacking bricks two high inside and outside the run. Looking back, I should have just used the tiny wire in the first place. Chickens cannot escape the tiny hardware cloth wire and cannot get stuck in it.

 

4-H Poultry Chain Amberlink Chicks Coop

Cooped Up

The first couple weeks they were outside I kept them inside their coop full time. There were a few reasons for this, but mostly for their safety. 23 chickens is a lot to keep up with! At the end of June I gave 9 away. I never intended on keeping all of them in the first place. While I couldn’t find any laws specific to my town, laws around my area state that you can have 6 hens but no rooster in city limits. I live in the middle of the city!

After giving away the 9, I had 13 left. 10 hens and 3 roosters. We plan on eventually eating the roosters, taking 3 to the fair, and then having the others for eggs. If all goes as planned this will leave me with 7 egg layers. It’s slightly over the assumed limit, but gives me a little room in case we lose another one. I think we have been very lucky in that department. Some people started out with double what we had and now have less than what we do.

Free Ranging

The beginning of July I was finally able to let our 4-H poultry chain chicks out of their coop. The first few days they stayed right around their coop and along the fence line near their coop, but have now progressed to roaming the entire backyard.

4-H Poultry Chain Amberlink Chick Pullet Free Range

Our 4-H Poultry Chain chicks are doing really well and will hopefully eat all the yucky fleas and ticks in my yard (another reason for wanting chickens). I let them roam the yard during the day and lock them up at night. Our main threats are opossums and raccoons. We have snakes, but nothing too big that come into our yard. I’m crossing my fingers that their coop is secure enough to protect from predators.

I worried about the chickens hopping the fence and either getting run over by a train or killed by my neighbors dog, but so far they have not gotten on the fence and the neighbor’s dog hasn’t jumped the fence either. As the chickens learn to fly/jump higher we will clip their wings to discourage them hopping the fence.

It will be a few more months before they begin laying eggs which gives me plenty of time to prepare a coop that allows easier access to collecting eggs. I am looking into a portable coop so the chickens can stay secure while still “roaming” the yard.

Overall this has been a great experience thus far for me and the kids. We are all learning how to take care of them and already know some things we will do differently next time. If you are thinking about getting some chickens for a backyard flock I definitely recommend it!

Easiest Hummus Recipe Ever! – Bush’s #HummusMadeEasy #ad

This post has been sponsored by Kendal King Group as part of a Soap Box Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Bush’s Hummus Made Easy

A few weeks ago our church hosted a Ward Social with plenty of friends, fun games, and food to go around! The night before I forgot all about it, and my mom (who went with me) ended up waking me an hour before time to be there. She was ready. Me? Not so much! I had to get myself and two children ready, not to mention find something to take to the potluck.

Lucky for me, I remembered I had a can of Bush’s Garbanzo beans and a package of Bush’s Hummus Made Easy.

Within an hour I had all of us and the hummus ready to go. (We obviously aren’t high maintenance).

Bush's Hummus Made Easy - LDS Ward Social Potluck Snack by Life as a Convert

The Food:

All you need for the Hummus is a can of Bush’s Garbanzo beans and a package of Hummus Made Easy, both found in the canned bean aisle at Wal-Mart.

Mix them together in a blender or food processor and you are ready to go! The flavor is right in the package and there is no need to add anything else. You can if you want to, but it is delicious just as it is.

Bush's Hummus Made Easy - Available at Wal-Mart by Life as a Convert

I chose the Classic flavor for the potluck and received rave reviews and a few people asking for the recipe.

If you aren’t a “Classic” kind of person, they have two other options to choose from “Southwest Black Bean” and “Roasted Red Pepper”. I have tried all three and like all of them. The Southwest Black Bean version is a great substitute for refried beans. See what I made with mine by clicking here.

Bush's Hummus Made Easy - Easiest Potluc Snack Ever - Classic Hummus Recipe by Life as a Convert

The Fun:

After all the food, the kids played with bubbles and I played with my camera some more. I am really getting the hang of manual mode. I don’t always get it right, but I am definitely getting it better! Losh enjoyed vlogging and taking pictures of me.

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Aybra spent her time blowing bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles. I kid you not, I have about 200 pictures of her blowing bubbles (must go through them and pair them down!).

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Do you like hummus? 

What is your favorite way to enjoy it?Bush's Hummus Made Easy - Easiest Potluc Snack Ever by Life as a Convert

Don’t forget to share and pin for later!