Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 5 - Thursday

According to Daniel H. Ludlow, “The scriptures give very few details of the events during the early part of Thursday, the fifth day. The indications are that sometime during the day Judas Iscariot had plotted with the “chief priests and the Pharisees” to betray the Christ and deliver him into their hands. (Daniel H. Ludlow, "The Greatest Week in History," Ensign, Apr 1972, 34)

How heartbreaking Judas’ betrayal must have been for the Savior! Here was one of his closest friends knowingly and willingly betraying him! I can’t even imagine what was going through Judas’ mind. Or the pain that that act alone must have caused the Savior.

The Lord also gave instructions to his disciples of where they would be having the feast.

As I read through each of the gospels about what happened at the last supper, I was a little surprised at how simple, and little information the first three gospels provided.

All talk of The Lord announcing that one eating with them would betray him. (Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18, and Luke 22:21). I was impressed with the apostle’s response to this announcement. I think many would be inclined to start pointing fingers or conjecturing who it could be, but in both Matthew and Mark, we learn that the apostles’ horrified response was, “Lord, Is it I?” (Matthew 26:22, Mark 14:19). In the words of James E. Talmage, “Each of those who so inquired was more concerned with the dread thought that possibly he was an offender, however inadvertently so, than as to whether his brother was about to prove himself a traitor.” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pg. 594.) The only one not sincere in his inquiry was Judas, the true betrayer.

Each gospel also speaks of the Lord instituting the sacrament in remembrance of his sacrifice. What a great blessing this is. Each Sunday, we can partake of the sacrament and have our baptismal covenants renewed, washing away our sins once again, and renewing our commitment to uphold that covenant with the Lord.

Each gospel speaks of Christ announcing that all of them will be “offended because of [Christ].” Dear Peter exclaims that “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” (Matthew 26:33). Christ tells him that before the cock crows that he would deny him three times (Matthew 26:34). A prophecy that would be fulfilled in a matter of hours.

There are several other things mentioned in the first three gospels, but when I got to the Gospel of John I really felt like I was getting the “meaty” doctrine.

It is in John that we learn of the Savior washing the feet of the apostles, (John 13:4-5) and sweet Peter, not understanding the Savior’s actions, exclaiming that he wouldn’t have Christ wash his feet. When Christ responds that if he doesn’t, “thou hast no part with me.” (John 13:8), Peter goes to the other extreme and demands that not only his feet, but his hands and head be washed as well. The Lord explains to Peter that this is unnecessary and that with the washing of the feet, each is “clean every whit.”(John 13:10).

It is also in John that The Lord gives the New Commandment, “as I have loved you,…love one to another.” (John 13:34).

Christ speaks of many mansions and how he goes to “prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

He explains that he is, “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by [him]” (John 14:6).

He also exclaims that “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

John 14 is a special chapter to me. It speaks of the comforter. Christ promises that he will send the comforter to his disciples. I have felt this comforter in my life so strongly that nobody can convince me that the Lord doesn’t love his children. If he sees fit to give someone as regular and unimportant as me such comfort when I needed it, I know that he would send the same help to any of his children that would turn to him for support.

In John 15 Christ gives the allegory of the vine and the branches. In John 16, he discourses on the mission of the Holy Ghost, tells of his death and resurrection, announces his own divine sonship, and says that he has overcome the world.

There really is more in the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of John that I can adequately cover and I strongly encourage you to read those chapters and glean the doctrine for yourself.

In John 17 we learn that, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”

In the same chapter, Christ offers the great intercessory prayer. James E Talmage describes the scene as follows: “with unfathomable love, the Lord pleaded for those whom the Father had given him, the apostles then present, who had been called out from the world, and who had been true to their testimony of Himself as the Son of God.” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pg. 610.)

Christ and his apostles went from the upper room to an olive orchard called Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. It was there that he took Peter James and John a little further with him and asked them to “Pray that [they] enter not into temptation,” (Luke 22:40) but still returned to find them sleeping over and over. He asked the father, “if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39) As we all know, that cup did not pass from him, and “with his stripes, we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).

In the Doctrine and Covenants, Christ describes his own suffering:

“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit – and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink –

“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” (D&C 19:18)

Of the atonement, Bruce R. McConkie says:

“We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive, the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.

“We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him.

“We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death.

“We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,” Ensign, May 1985,9)

Although I hate the thought of causing anyone to suffer as Christ did, I am SO grateful for his actions. It is only through His atonement that we, imperfect as we are, can repent and return to him.

When his suffering in the garden was done, he returned to his sleeping apostles and said, “Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” (Matthew 26:46) And sure enough, with a last act of horrific betrayal, Judas turned his Master over to his enemies with a kiss.

Day 4 - Wednesday

JaNae has the post for today:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 3 - Tuesday

So It's not really clear what happened on Tuesday. There are several events that may have happened on either either Tuesday or Wednesday, but I have decided to leave those to Wednesday and insert a "day of pause" for Tuesday.

Although we don't have any record of this from the Bible, I like to think that, at some point during his last week, the Savior took some time away from the public light to be with his closest friends and family. He knew that he would be leaving them soon, and I'm sure that he wanted to savor those last few moments he would have with them. In addition, I'm sure he took time for himself to ponder, and spend time in prayer with his Father, about what would happen over the next few days.

Perhaps part of the reason I like to think this is because pondering seems to be a lost art these days. In a world where pretty much any information you could ever ask for is merely a mouse click away, at times it may appear that there isn't much reason (let alone patience) to sit around and think about any one topic for an extended period of time. Yet it is through the process of prayer, scripture study, and pondering that the Lord often speaks to us, and gives us revelation very specific to us. In Last October's General Conference, Elder Richard G. Scott gave an incredible talk about receiving personal revelation titled, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance." Elder Packer and Elder Nelson also gave wonderful talks on the subject as well.

In honor of this "day of pause" I want to challenge each of you who read this to take a moment from your busy lives and really ponder what Christ and His Atonement mean to you. Maybe evaluate your lives, think about what you're doing well, and perhaps ask Heavenly Father what areas you might be able to improve upon. One of my friends once told me that if, at the end of the day, he got down on his knees and asked Heavenly Father with sincerity what he could have done better that day and what he needed to improve upon, he ALWAYS got an answer. I've noticed this in my life as well.

Possibly the most wonderful thing about the atonement is it's healing power. No matter how far off the beaten path we find ourselves, Christ wants us to return to him. No matter how bruised we feel our souls have become, He is there to heal us. He waits for us with open arms. That path home may not be easy, but he will comfort, guide and uplift us along the way. I know I am not perfect and regularly have to take stock of my life and get back on the path to Him, but I take great comfort in knowing that this is the reason he came to the Earth, not to "condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 2 - Monday

The following account about what happened on Day 2 was compiled by my friend Janae:

Four important events happened the Monday before the Savior was crucified. First, he cursed the fig tree. Second, he cleansed the temple. Third, he healed at the temple. Last, children gathered crying "Hosanna." The following explains each of these in more detail.

After spending the night in Bethany, Jesus and his apostles walked to Jerusalem on Monday morning. As they were walking they were hungry (Matt. 21:18), and Jesus promptly found a blossoming fig tree. When he looked closer, however, he found that the tree had no fruit, only leaves. Jesus cursed the tree and it immediately withered away (Matt. 21:19). Apparently, this type of fig tree produces small fruits even before it gets leaves, so finding a tree full of leaves but no fruit meant that the tree was barren. It gave the appearance of having fruit, when in reality it would never have any (New Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, 48). The fig tree is a symbol of hypocrisy, particularly of the Jewish leaders in Jesus' day. They gave the appearance of being righteous when inwardly they were ravening wolves.

Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus and the apostles when straight to the temple. In that time period it was common for people to travel a long distance to the temple, and they were therefore unable to bring the necessary animals for their sacrifices. Shops set up outside the temple to provide currency exchange and sacrificial animals were both acceptable and necessary. Unfortunately, when Jesus arrived he found that the sellers and traders were priests who worked in the temple, and that they were lying and cheating the people to fill their own pockets (Eric D. Huntsman, “Reflections on the Savior’s Last Week,” Ensign, Apr 2009, 56). It had been three years to the week that Jesus had first cleansed the temple, and here they were again, doing the same thing (Daniel H. Ludlow, “The Greatest Week in History,” Ensign, Apr 1972, 34). He pushed over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of the dove sellers, and cast out the men involved (Mark 11:15).

Jesus spent the entire day at the temple. He healed the blind and lame who gathered there after the money changers and animal sellers were kicked out (Matt 21:14). Children also gathered at the temple, crying "Hosanna to the Son of David," a title used only to reference the Savior. This upset the chief priests and scribes, but Jesus turned to them and said, "Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" (Matt 21:15-16). After teaching all day in the temple, Jesus returned to Bethany for the night.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palm Sunday

Sunday, Rachel will be blogging about Palm Sunday on her blog at:
I hope you all enjoy!
Happy Easter!

The Last Week of Christ's Earthly Ministry

I absolutely love Easter, and this year I'm especially excited because a few of my friends and I are going to blog about last week of Christ's earthly ministry. So starting tomorrow (Palm Sunday) each day I'll have either a post on this blog or a link to another blog talking about what happened in the corresponding day of Christ's final week here on earth. Happy Easter!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dying Easter Eggs

Next week we are heading off to my parent's house, so this week I decided to die Easter eggs with the kids...well, really with Addison. Hannah sat in her high chair playing with toys and watching. But she was there despite the lack fo pictures of her.
I actually chose to practice ahead of time with a technique new to me...blowing the eggs instead of boiling them. It worked fairly well, and I like that you can keep the eggs since there's no egg inside the shell any more. But since they aren't filled, the eggs float and you either have to stand there holding them under the water or let them fill with water...which takes a long time.
In the end, I decided to just boil the eggs I'd do with Addison. I had a lot of fun with my eggs though. I got some cool ideas here and kind of ran with them. (I have a picture of them at the end).I was thinking about showing Addison some of the techniques I learned, but it really was quite the ordeal just to get her to leave the eggs in the die long enough to color them, so I abandoned the idea. I did show her what a white crayon could do on eggs, but the results weren't very impressive. Maybe when she's four...Here are the finished eggs:And in case anyone was wondering.

Monday, March 22, 2010

As Promised

The newest member of the Francis clan. Look at how tiny he is. He's only 5 lbs 9 oz. Probably less now, but that's what he was when he was born. He's so tiny and adorable. Okay, I want another baby now. Te he he.
Addison meeting her new cousin.And the proud daddy holding my baby who is only a tiny bit bigger than his baby. Just a tiny almost 5 times as big.

Congratulations Sam & Holly! Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Canyonlands Five Mile Run

So this weekend I packed up the girls and headed down to Moab for the Canyonlands 5 mile run. All of my sisters-in-law who weren't pregnant, my brother-in-law, and I ran in the 5 mile race. And one of my brothers-in-law ran in the half marathon. Bart was originally running the 5 mile race with me, but then he realized that he had class that day...bummer.

Bart's other brother, Sam, was also going to run the half marathon. But his wife was due on April 4th and her doctor said no traveling. It's a good thing he decided not to because we got a call this morning informing us that they had their baby! YAY! Hopefully I'll have some pictures of the little bundle of joy up soon.

But, back to the race. I decided I wanted to complete the race in at least 55 min. I realize that to most 11 min miles may not be that fast, but for 5 miles, and for me I thought that'd be good...especially since I'm still carrying a lot of baby weight (this run was supposed to help me get rid of it, but apparently I'm going to have to sign up for another race if I want to get rid of the rest of it...maybe five more races.) ;o) Well, my chip time ended up being 51:55! YAY! I was pretty stoked.

You can see the results here.

And here was my little fan who cheered me on.
Bart's mom always helps out with the race, so Bart's grandma, cousin, and brother watched all the kids of the race participants at grandma's house. The last leg of the race runs right in front of their back yard. It was a cold day so I wasn't sure that they would be outside.

I was dieing at the end and as I turned the last corner, and I kept thinking to myself, "Oh please let Addison be outside, please let Addison be outside." Sure enough, I saw her little pink coat standing by the fence of Grandma's yard. As I got close she yelled, "Go mom!!!" TOTALLY boosted my spirits. It was awesome.

Then I saw uncle Leonard leaned over and whisper something in her ear. She turned and yelled, "Run faster!" Uncle Leonard, you're a dead man. Te he he. It didn't surprise me though. Last time we were in Moab at Jacob's soccer game Addison yelled, "Come on guys, give Uncle Jacob a turn." Then Uncle Leonard whispered in her ear and then she yelled, "Uncle Jacob, stop being a sissy!"

Speaking of Jacob. If you do a search in those results for Francis and notice that Jacob Francis won 2nd place in the ENTIRE 5 mile run. Yep, that's "sissy" Jacob. Although this comment won't help with his ego, (you know I love you Jacob) the kids' AMAZING. He didn't train AT ALL, and he made 2nd place! Not just in his age group (he made first place in that), but for the ENTIRE 5 mile race! Incredible.

Running scouts if you'd like his contact information, just let me know. I can't even imagine what he could do if he'd actually train!

It was an awesome weekend. I like this family tradition.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


There was nice weather the last few days so we did some yard work. Addison was excited to help. :o)

This is embarrassing, but this is our yard before we started....
Actually, that's not even true. I've weeded the little bed on the right of that picture. With procrastination complicated by the swine flu just before the first big snow, and then more procrastination these leaves just never got raked and the dead flowers never got pulled.

But now my shady flower bed looks like this:Can you believe there were plants under all that dead foliage!!! We're not done, obviously. Our slowly decaying brick path that you can barely even see needs to be replaced. AND there is TONS of grass mixed in with my bulbs! See! Please, tell me, what do I do to get rid of grass in my flowerbeds? Sigh.

On a happier note look at this awesome picture of water in my tulip leaves. I've seen this type of thing in magazines, and fancy pictures online, but I've never seen it in real life. I was pretty excited.
That is all.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Art Show

So we went to the BYU Art Education show opening yesterday. It was a really cool show. I HIGHLY recommend anyone who is in the area go to it. It's on the 5th floor of the HFAC.

I took a lot of pictures, but wasn't quite sure if it would be appropriate for me to post them...especially since I didn't get the artist info for a lot of the pieces.

I will, however, post a picture of the piece that won first place:
And here's a picture with the artist:
Te he he, he was sooo surprised! I don't think he was even expecting to get a prize, let alone first place. Way to go babe!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My sister and Bart's sister have become friends, so my sister came to Utah this weekend and we headed down to Moab for a visit.

While we were there we went to Jacob's soccer game. Addison really enjoyed playing soccer on the sidelines. And there's that little tongue againYou know, I swear, all this running with her tongue out reminds me of something...I just can't quite remember what....
Oh, yep, that's it.Seriously, it's gotta be something in the genes.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Nine Months

Three quarters down, and only one quarter to go to Hannah's first year (I'm sorry, I'm an accountant, quarters are a big deal). My baby is now nine months old!There weren't a ton of milestones this month. Just a lot of figuring out how to get from one place to another. Although she still can't crawl or scoot forward, she has mastered getting to where she wants to be. She'll see something in front of her, and turn, then scoot backwards, then turn again and be at the desired place.

As I mentioned last month, technically it was in this month that she finally said Mama.

She also learned how to clap this month. It's so cute! She's so proud of her self/amazed at her hands when she claps. It's adorable. Here are some of the other pictures I took for her 9 month photos:
I swear in this picture I just hear her saying, "Did I do that?"She completed a clap in this picture and is mighty happy with herself.Uh oh, she's starting to get a little antsy."Mom! Are we done taking pictures yet?!?!"Here, have a Minnie.
"Thanks, although, I don't know why you insist on taking pictures of me with this thing. It's not like you can tell how big I am next to it because I am always grabbing her and folding her in awkward positions."
Sigh, I know. But I made a goal to take a picture of you with that stuffed animal every month for the first year of your life so by golly I'm gonna do it! Even if you do always mess up the picture!
"Wow mom, this clapping thing is AWESOME! Look at how my hands can make noise!"
I like to have imaginary conversations with my children before they can talk.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Just Like Daddy

I went out to take some pictures of Addison drawing with sidewalk chalk the other day. After coloring in one of her pictures she looked at it thoughtfully and said, "I think I'm an artist mom." I said, "I think so too." She said, "Yeah, just like daddy." Yes she is. So cute.
In fact, that little tongue sticking out as she concentrates is even more like daddy than she knows.