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Winter STEM / STEAM Activities Using Snow

It’s February…. Typically, in Utah, that means 50 degrees. This year missed the memo. I know we aren’t the only ones with a surplus of snow. I figured instead of wishing away the day, pining for warmer weather… We may as well put the snow to work. This post is a compilation of fun S.T.E.M. (or) S.T.E.A.M.  activities you can try with your class. I’ll give you a brief rundown, but if you are looking for more information or directions make sure to click on the link for the original author! Hopefully, these activities will help to chase away the winter-blues or winter-crazies. Literally, I’m going crazy. #cabinfever.

Stem and Steam graphic organizers that work with any challenge or experiment. Great for scaffolding students and setting them up for success.

Also you might be interested in my STEM / STEAM Graphic Organizers. These were created to be your one-stop-print-shop and go pages for ANY STEM or STEAM experiment or challenge. My issue with anything Stem in my classroom was the chaos and the disappointment at the end when I felt there was literally no educational takeaway. These graphic organizers are really great because they make the student, stop, think, plan, and relate. There is absolutely value in free play, but there is also value in scaffolding. The reflection page is my FAVORITE. If you want to see a full preview, or would like to purchase, click here. 

If you would like to read more about them, check out this blog post!

     

1. Make a Snow Volcano:

 

Now Before you roll your eyes at the suggestion of a #classic volcano…. I think there are some real learning opportunities here. First of all, if you teach states of matter or physical/chemical changes… there is a lesson, a GREAT discussion here.  Second, this is one of those find the ingredients in your kitchen the day of type of activity. Last of all, I feel like you can take this a step further! Challenge your students to create or design a mechanism that will add the vinegar to the mixture instead of just dumping the vinegar into the cup by hand and watching the chemical reaction.

The design process can all be thought out and tested inside with water or something else, then actually put to the test outside in the snow. Another thought would be to have the students design a way to get one substance into the other substance without holding the up in their hands.  *****I can’t think of a simpler, less messy, less clean-up type of environment to do the #classic Volcano experiment, than in the snow.

2. Snowball Launcher

Love this simple and cute idea for a snowball launcher. Students would have a blast designing and making adaptions to their launcher. I would then go outside and put them to the test with the simple challenge of creating something that will launch a snowball. If you want to take it a step further, I would do a follow-up activity where students have free reign on designing a snowball launcher. I’m thinking catapult/slingshots/rockets… 😀 A couple of things to keep in mind with this assignment. Try and keep the size of the snowball students are asked to launch consistent throughout. You could use a cookie scoop to help measure and ping pong balls for practice…. There are even actual snowball molds that would work! For those of you not living in the arctic Tundra, these pretend Snowballs could be a fun replacement or the simple Styrofoam balls you can find at any craft store.  Give students the simple challenge of creating a launcher that can throw a snowball the furthest, or take it another step and add a target for accuracy!

The following videos are to spur inspiration for distance/accuracy launchers

  • Pole Launcher
  • Catapult
  • Snowball Slingshot with Benedict Cumberbatch and Ellen… You’re welcome.
  • Snowball Launcher

Preserve snowflakes using inexpensive glass slides, and hairspray!

3. Observing Snowflakes on Construction Paper

I remember doing this for the first time in Middle School. I understand why you would think this is an activity meant for younger grades, but I REMEMBER doing this. There are few things in life that really cause you to stop and ponder like observing individual snowflakes. This activity is filled with beauty and is awe-inspiring. When adding a stem spin to the activity, I think it could be fun to challenge students with prepping for the process. What do they need, what should the do, to be the most successful in this activity. For instance, can they come to the same conclusion that black paper or a dark paper with the most contrast in color will allow them to see the flakes the best? Will any of them think to freeze the paper, or keep the paper outside until it is cold to prevent the flakes from melting before you can observe them. Is there a design that will allow a higher quantity of flakes?…etc.

Want to take it a step further….. with a few inexpensive glass microscope slides and some cold hairspray, you can actually “preserve” the snowflake, and save its imprint! Click here for more on this activity. 

Also if you teach symmetry, this is a great lesson to integrate it into!

5. Design a Cooler

Super excited about this idea! Came to me this morning while I was trying to think of some fun ways to utilize all.this.snow. in the classroom! Give your students the challenge of creating a cooler that can keep snow from melting the longest. IF  you teach conductors or insulators this is an AWESOME activity to demonstrate insulators… Which if you’re like me, I did a great job demonstrating and explaining conductors, but I wish I would have thought of this sooner to explain insulators. 

I would do this by giving each student the same box or type of box. Shoe boxes are a great option, gift wrapping boxes, cheap Tupperware from the dollar store, or even cardboard shipping boxes that were mailed to the school. Check with your school’s secretary! Do your best to ensure each group or student has a box of similar material and makeup.

Again this is one of these activities that really lends itself to these STEM Graphic organizers I created. They are meant to be a guide that helps prompt the students to think deeply about the challenge at hand.

Students explore which materials are good conductors and which objects are not.

Next allow them to go wild with newspaper, magazines, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, masking tape, styrofoam, tinfoil, cotton balls, plastic wrap, balloons..etc! You could even use my static electricity activity and have students narrow down which materials would work best in their design!

You can give students free rein, limit their choices or use of materials to only 3 selections, limit the amount of each material, or even limit the weight or size of the end design.

When it comes to measuring and collecting data, make sure you take precautions about getting the same amount of snow in each cooler to start. Have the students decide what this will look like. Guide them to weigh the snow in the same container, even record starting temperature, start outside with snow placement then move inside..etc. Again if you don’t live in the never-ending winter zone, you could always freeze ice cubes of the same weight/ amount of liquid and test those in the coolers. Make sure to discuss with the class how, when, where, what time you will add the snow to the cooler. How often will you collect data? How will you know if a cooler is working or not? Is it possible to assign a numerical value to a successful cooler. **You could weigh the remaining amount of frozen snow after a certain amount of time, the “heaviest” could be concluded as the most successful….

**I would start this experiment in the morning, that way you have adequate time to collect data and record findings throughout the day. You could put a student in charge to record data every 10 minutes for an hour and then switch. By an hour you should have a good idea of what’s working and what’s not.

If you try this one out… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tag me and let me know how it went! 

6. Snow Density 

I love the idea from Lemon Lime adventures of creating a winter-themed density jar. I’m wondering if you could take it a step further and have students experiment with the density of snow, water, and solid ice! Check out this article from Science Friday discussing the density of snow. I also loved this process from Little Bins for Little Hands used for adding each liquid.

7. Tissue Paper and Snow Art Project

I LOVE this art project by Fireflies and Mudpies! Click on the link for directions and more information! This project is perfect for S.T.E.A.M. in the classroom. This project serves well for a discussion on states of matter. This is another project that costs nearly nothing in materials, however, the end result is beautiful and fun.

I would love to experiment with these. Adding fun zentangle designs using a bold black marker before or after the snow would be fun. I would also love to know what would happen if you used a crayon on the page before adding the tissue paper or snow. Would it react similar to an easter egg, or would the color soak through? Either way, your students are left with a beautiful and fun piece that utilizes the snow!

8. Frozen Bubbles

How amazing is this? To my understanding in order to have success with this activity the colder the better outside. Also, you will be better off taking a DIY approach to the bubble solution than sticking with store-bought. A great recipe and explanation of what is happening as well as ideas to create your own bubble wands using pipe cleaners can be found here!

               

 

9. Snow Ice Cream

I feel like because it’s snow, and it’s ice cream, and technically you are doing some measuring… It totally counts as STEM. You could add another layer by having them create a container to mix the substance in, or add salt and discuss how salt actually drops the freezing level… Still a concept/ chemical change that completely blows my mind. Also if you haven’t made this…. Do IT. This is #childhood, and it’s also surprisingly delicious! Click on the title link for a step by step of this SIMPLE recipe. Literally, we’re talking 4 ingredients you can find in your kitchen at ANY time.

10. Sugar on Snow: Snow Candy

Watch out Laura Ingalls Wilder fans! Last, but not least…. SNOW CANDY. This one takes me straight back to childhood. I should have known I’d always be a foodie, my most memorable parts of childhood literature tend to be associated with food. Mostly sweets. Turkish Delight = Lion Witch Wardrobe, Chocolate Frogs, Butter Beer…etc = Harry Potter, Snow Candy = Home on the Prairie. Literally, I can remember reading this in 4th grade:

“Laura and Mary each had a pan, and Pa and Ma showed them how to pour the dark syrup in little streams onto the snow.”
– Little House in the Big Woods

***Couple notes: Make sure you use REAL Maple Syrup, not the Maple Flavored corn syrup in disguise. If not you will end up with a gooey mess that won’t take its shape. Real Maple syrup can be expensive…. look into the process of getting one container and you’ll understand why! The most affordable real Maple Syrup I’ve come across is the Kirkland brand found at Costco! This is also a great option. 

Get the actual recipe used in the book by clicking here!

If you’re looking for a more detailed tutorial, click here!

 

 

Can’t wait to see what you do! If your looking for more ideas or would like to share your own ideas please join our member-only  Teaching on Lemon Lane Facebook Group!

I hope you enjoy the activities listed, I would LOVE to hear from you and how they go. Nothing brightens my day like being tagged in your classroom work on Instagram! Happy Teaching!

To stay up-to-date on new blog posts, freebies, exclusive promo codes, and sales… Join the Teaching on Lemon Lane Community! Pick any or all of the following to stay in the loop of all things Teaching on Lemon Lane. 

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“I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. “As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists” (Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. [1938], 37). ...

On Easter Sunday we celebrate the most long-awaited and glorious event in the history of the world.

It is the day that changed everything.

On that day, my life changed.

Your life changed.

The destiny of all God’s children changed.

On that blessed day, the Savior of mankind, who had taken upon Himself the chains of sin and death that held us captive, burst those chains and set us free.

Because of the sacrifice of our beloved Redeemer, death has no sting, the grave has no victory,1 Satan has no lasting power, and we are “begotten … again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
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LOVED the @followhimpodcast this week with guest @brotheranthonysweat their discussion on spiritual and temporal matters was something everyone should listen to! @johngbytheway also recited this quote, and I knew I wanted to share it with all of you....💛
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“Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ.

No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon.”

Ezra Taft Benson
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Looking to make Easter a little more meaningful? This is one of my favorite FREE Downloads for members 💛Celebrate the WHY of Easter with this FREE Paper Chain countdown. Use the strips to create a paper chain, or roll them up and hide them in plastic Easter Eggs. This countdown comes in 3 different and editable versions and follows the Holy Week’s events. Use the QR code’s to watch inspirational videos about Jesus Christ, His atonement, and His resurrection. Read the scriptures that correlate with Holy Week. There’s a differentiated countdown for everyone including toddlers, young children, youth and families. #hearhim #easteractivities #easteractivitiesforkids ...

Keep reading to see how our little family is doing “Scripture Study” and for more information on this FREE DOWNLOAD!
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This idea came after watching this week’s Drawn In episode by @davidbowmanart💛 See two posts back for more info!
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If you are like me and ready to “repent” or my favorite repentance synonym... to “turn around” and become more commited to scripture study and family prayer each morning, I’ve created the following printable to help stay on track. This printable works as a visual reminder as well a place to keep track of your progress. Color in a letter each day and see if you can keep up the habit for 34days!

I also want to note that our “scipture study” may not look like your traditional scripture study… and that’s ok! The Lord LOVES effort. So no… At the moment we are not sitting down and opening our scriptures for a formal study, we aren’t even reading a children’s version of the scriptures. Instead, thanks to my husband, we are simply working on memorizing a SINGLE VERSE of scripture each morning. We will use that same verse of scripture until my kiddos have it mastered. This feels doable. This feels obtainable. This is currently working for us. I’m hoping we can do a single verse each week, a verse that can be found in the assigned Come Follow Me reading!
What are you doing in your family that is working? Please share below! To track your progress, Head to the website to download this FREEBIE!
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“I like to think of this spiritual armor not as a solid piece of metal molded to fit the body, but more like chain mail. Chain mail consists of dozens of tiny pieces of steel fastened together to allow the user greater flexibility without losing protection. I say that because it has been my experience, covering many more years than you have yet been privileged to live, that there is not one great and grand thing we can do to arm ourselves spiritually. True spiritual power lies in numerous smaller acts woven together in a fabric of spiritual fortification that protects and shields from all evil.”
-Elder M. Russel Ballard
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We LOVED following along and learning to draw the Armor of God for this week’s #comefollowme @davidbowmanart Drawn In Subscription is the only paid resource I use for Come Follow Me at this time💛 my kids love the videos and each week I’m blown away by David’s creativity and focus on the principles of the scriptures and how they apply instead of just the story. (Plus it doesn’t get much easier than pushing play on a Sunday) 🙈😬🥴
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My kiddos and I especially loved the insight about putting on the armor of God in the morning... I’m paraphrasing:
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“Does a warrior put on his armor before he goes to bed? No it’s the first thing he does before going to battle.”
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Like a warrior we need our spiritual armor at the start of the day!
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“Scripture Study and Pray to start the day!”
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So here’s to tomorrow and creating the habit of starting the day off clothed in spiritual armor... wish us luck!
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If you’re interested in trying the Drawn In subscription, make sure to use the promo code: LEMONLANE10 for 10% off your yearly subscription!
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Need #bulletinboardideas for March.... I’ve got you👊 like almost all of my Bulletin Board Kits, they center around student work and are made up of EASY TO CUT, Editable 🙊, ready to print and assemble slides!
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Make sure to check out the Lucky Because Bulletin Board BUNDLE get ALL this for only $3.99☘️☘️☘️☘️ The Clover craft is the PERFECT craft for tomorrow!
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If you’ve followed me for long you know I love all things March and Irish ☘️ it’s in my blood 🙃
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My love of March shows in my resources, of all the months to have the most projects... March (of all the months???) is at the top of the list!
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I just added this CELTIC KNOT inspired Lucky Clover Craft and it turned out so fun! Use either the DIGITAL version and insert pictures into the leaves that represent why you’re lucky, or pick from one of the 18 different top layer options to create a beautiful clover like the one shown above! If you do go this route make sure to check out the EDITABLE bulletin board kit to really put these beauties on display!
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Do you love March? Why or why not? Drop a comment below 💛💛
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Emma Smith. Call me a cynic, but if you put value on the fact that none of the witnesses ever recounted their testimony of the Book of Mormon, I put 10 fold that value on Emma.
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My heart swells and breaks a little when I think of dear Emma. She is someone that I can not wait to meet, to hug, and to cry with. She endured SO much, and loved Joseph with a depth that seems unobtainable.
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I know we need to be careful putting early Saints on a pedestal, but that’s just it, much of the pedestal I place her on is grounded in how “human” she is to me.
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Emma often doesn’t get the credit she is due based on other’s quick assumptions. I used to be one of them.... What I do know is that the more I learn about Emma, the more I love and look up to her. If ever there was a model of strength, courage and endurance, it would be her.
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What do you think? Comment below 💛
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This beautiful depiction of Emma and Joseph is by the incredibly talented @rosedatocdall I dare say it’s my favorite to date. 💛💛💛
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“I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal and patience, which she has always done; for I know that which she has had to endure; that she has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty; that she has breasted the storm of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, until she has been swallowed up in a sea of trouble which [would] have borne down almost any other woman.”3

-Lucy Mack Smith
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Art that stops you in your tracks... If ever there was a picture that perfectly illustrated the scripture, D&C 25:12, “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart...” I think it would be this one?
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What’s your favorite hymn? Drop it in the comments below!
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I loved reading @comefollowmemusic thoughts on this and had to share! Do you follow @comefollowmemusic ? Each week they share a FREE schedule based on music that correlates with what we are learning in #comefollowme
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What’s a song that you feel in your soul? Tell me in the comments💛
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🎨 @pattic.art (one of my absolute FAVORITES)
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Had to share this caption from one of my new FAVORITE accounts to follow while studying Doctrine and Covenants for #comefollowme @saintsofhistory takes an early saint and posts a brief but extremely entertaining biography about each individual. I’ve been waiting not so patiently for the post dedicated to Emma! Read an excerpt of @saintsofhistory post below. Also check out this early artwork by @emilyshayart another one of my favorite artists/ illustrators 😭😍
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In 1825, 21-year-old Emma met 19-year-old Joseph Smith when a guy named Josiah Stowell hired Joseph to help him dig for purported lost silver near Harmony, PA. The Smiths often took random jobs like this to help provide for the family, but Joseph’s current living + all the rumors about him still didn’t impress Emma’s dad. But she was done being with all the single ladies, so she put her hand up and Joseph liked it so he put a ring on it—they eloped and were married on Jan. 18, 1827 in South Bainbridge, NY.
Fast forward to June 15, 1828: At the same time Martin Harris was losing 116 pages of The Book of Mormon, Emma nearly died. After an agonizing labor, she gave birth to her first child, but the baby was very frail and died soon afterward. Little did she know that her first three children would not live beyond a day, and of the nine children she bore, only four would grow to adulthood. Emma and Joseph named this first baby Alvin.
Now let’s jump to July 1830: Soon after Emma’s “memorable” baptism day (see Joseph Knight Sr. post), the Lord sent a revelation just for her, now known as Doctrine & Covenants 25. (Go read p.36-38 in “Revelations in Context”—good stuff.) Among other things, Emma is assigned to “make a selection of sacred hymns.” Today, 26 of Emma’s original selections are still in our hymn book. Zero came from Beyonce.
Of course, Emma later became the first president of the Relief Society, fulfilling, at least in part, her designation by the Lord as an “elect lady” according to Joseph in 1842.
Emma was a leader in public and in private—often left to face life’s challenges alone when her husband was falsely accused and imprisoned.
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Selection Sunday and PI Day falling on the same day... Somebody pinch me. Two of my very favorites because of the projects you can start in your classroom 😍 Take for instance my March Math Madness PBL
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Think March Madness + Fantasy Basketball + Lots of Math + A sprinkle of ELA = Engagement & Excitement & Learning 💛🏀💛
Students are separated into the 4 divisions then work together to put together a new starting 5 from players in their division. #dreamteam Each round their individual players are awards point values for how they played. At the end of each round students will calculate their team’s total points and decide which dream team comes out victorious! There are some really great opportunities to see Math in action. There’s opportunity for measurement conversion, converting fractions to decimals, ordering decimals, ratios, mean-median-mode, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying decimals...etc. This is quickly becoming another tried and true favorite in the classroom!
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Also if you think your too late to the table, the only thing you are late for is brackets! The dream team activity can be started before any round! Second round would actually be ideal 👊🏻👊🏻 LOTS of FREEBIE extensions for this product that can stand on their own! Head to the website for more details!
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“In the twentieth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord devotes several verses to summarizing the vital truths which the Book of Mormon teaches. (See vs. 17–36.) It speaks of God, the creation of man, the Fall, the Atonement, the ascension of Christ into heaven, prophets, faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, endurance, prayer, justification and sanctification through grace, and loving and serving God”

-Ezra Taft Benson
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Do you teach Young Women, in the Relief Society, Primary or even Activity Days?? If so check out this brilliant idea for teaching Priesthood responsibilities outlined in Doctrine and Covenants 20 by @comefollowmeathome
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“I have served in the Young Women organization more any other in the church. It is my *favorite* place to be. And the most memorable lessons I taught were about D&C 20.
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There is a lot of information in this section about the duties of priesthood holders. When I taught this I would have the girls read through the verses starting at verse 38 and we would list all of the duties of Elders down to Deacons up on the board. I would then ask them to look at the board and tell me which of the things *they* could do and I would put a star by it. Nearly every single duty ended up with a star next to it (except things like baptism, confirmation, blessing the sacrament, etc).
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By the end of the lesson you could see a light come on in them—they could participate in the duties of the priesthood without having to be assigned to do it! It was an empowering lesson! There is SO much that could be written on this topic—and there has been by people much more knowledgeable than me—but this is one way you can help the women and girls in your life know that they are part of this great work.”
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Art: @caitlin_connolly_
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Some of my favorite resources are: Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew, The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood (April 2014 Conference) by Dallin H. Oaks, womeninthescriptures.com @womeninthescriptures
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#comefollowme #comefollowmeathome #comefollowme2021 #comefollowmestudy #comefollowmeforfamilies #comefollowmeforkids #comefollowmeforteens #comefollowmefhe #comefollowmedoctrineandcovenants #comefollowmedandc #dandc #doctrineandcovenants #doctrineandcovenants2021 #doctrineandcovenantsstudy #churchhistory #churchhistorystudy #sharegoodness #churchofjesuschristoflatterdaysaints #lighttheworld #priesthood #priesthoodpower #womenandthepriesthood #priesthoodpowerofwomen #sheridew #dallinhoaks
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A post about flowers by @comefollowmedaily and artwork by @thecoloramber ... How could I not repost?! ⬇️READ THIS ⬇️
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Posted by @comefollowmedaily
“When I was young, we lived next to a very nice old lady who would occasionally let us come to her house.

One day, she allowed us to visit her garden in her backyard. It was absolutely beautiful, with brightly colored flowers everywhere. As soon as we entered the yard, the woman asked us kindly but firmly to NOT pick any of the flowers.

But as I passed the multi-colored flowers, I had what I thought was an absolutely wonderful idea.

I could pick some of these flowers and make them into a bouquet for my neighbor! Surely she would love having these beautiful flowers in her house, where she’d be able to see them more often.

I found the most beautiful flowers in the garden, and a few minutes later, in front of my horrified mother, I presented the woman with the colorful bouquet: “They’re for you!” I said, beaming. “To put in your house.”

The old woman took the flowers with a sigh. “Thank you, but I don’t want them in my house,” she said. “These are my flowers, and I wanted them to stay in my garden.”
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I learned an important lesson that day: obedience is most important.

In D&C 22, I am sure the people who didn’t want to be rebaptized had good rationalizations.

When they had been baptized before into other churches, it was probably a wonderful, spiritual experience for them,
One that brought them close to Christ,
And they felt like getting rebaptized was unnecessary.

But they ended up getting a strong rebuke from the Lord:
“Enter thee in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God.”
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When I picked the flowers in that garden, I thought I knew better than the woman who had planted those flowers in the first place.

I should have trusted the gardener,

Just like the early saints needed to trust God and His prophet.

As Proverbs 3:5 puts it: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Be humble.
Trust in Him,
And the Great Gardener will direct your path.

Art by @thecoloramber
Written by Sarah Keenan
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The patterns of humility and repentance in the life of Martin Harris powerfully illustrate that humility allows the Spirit to be with us. Such an attitude fosters a desire to follow the Savior, do His work, and serve others. As Martin’s remarkable experience shows, repentance is the key to remaining humble. The Savior’s Atonement in our behalf makes this possible. Larry E. Morris ...

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