A World Of Worry And Distractions… And Hope, If We Look For It

This is what we do with stale homemade bread at our house. We turn it into bread pudding! So delicious! Just generously cover the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan (grease it first) with cubed bread, sprinkle it generously with raisins, if you like, dust the bread with cinnamon and a little nutmeg and then pour this custard recipe over it.

Mix together in a large mixing bowl:

6 eggs, 3 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Pour it over all the bread and make sure the bread is smooshed down so it can soak up the custard mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in it comes out wet, but clean. ENJOY!

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I’ve been watching the development of the spreading disease that plagues the world since January. It’s sad that from the very start, most leaders, in most every country were more worried about how they would appear to the rest of the world than they were about speaking up about something that was terrible. I’m not exempt from this guilt. Sure, I told my children. I advised them weeks ago to make sure they had what they would need if they had to go a month without leaving their homes. Some of them were more able to do this than others, but they each prepared the best they could. Beyond that though, I was a coward. I didn’t want to be called a prepper nut-case. I didn’t want people to say I was overreacting to something that hadn’t even killed as many people as the flu. So I kept quiet and only repeated my warnings to my family. Some of them warned others who were close to them, only to be laughed to scorn.

I don’t know if I’d spoken up more publicly, if anyone would have listened. Given the way some people are complaining about staying home, or looking for reasons to go about their normal ways, I have my doubts, who am I to be listened to? I’m just a grandma sitting at a computer, but part of me wishes I’d spoken up more.

So much in the world seems to be formed especially for our distraction, to keep us from seeing and focusing on what matters most. I think this COVID-19 disease could work either way. We can focus on the trouble, or we can focus on the opportunity to foster peace and love in our homes. We can use the opportunity to strengthen our family relationships in safe ways as our civic leaders are asking. Or we can swirl down the drain of denial and despair. It’s possible that we’ll all do a little of both.

I don’t know what the way out of this looks like. Like everyone else, I find myself asking how long? And like every time a government official gets asked that question, the answer remains, no one knows right now.

One thing I do know, I’ve learned it my whole life at church, and it’s taken up deep residence in me as I’ve been working with a 12-step program and as I’ve deepened my study of scripture. It’s this: There is a God we can trust, who knows our trials, and will help us work all things for the good of those who trust him.

I don’t know what what the end of this looks like, but I see neighborhoods and communities in the beginning and middle of this working to help each other find solutions to the challenges that individuals face right now. I see people stepping up to learn new skills like baking bread, or parents teaching their kids math. I see homeschoolers trying to be a support to other parents who feel in over their heads. I see people offering to run errands for seniors or other people who have health conditions that put them at risk. I see companies reaching out to communities through technology, trying to help life go as right as it can for as many people as they can.

I don’t know how this will end for all of us. I’m sure there will be loss and sorrow. But I believe we will be better humans as we do the things that Jesus taught and serve those who need help, mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. If we do these things in the middle of uncertainty, we will be better and stronger people whenever we do get to the place we call the end.

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him

Moroni 7:45–47

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/moro/7?id=p45-p47&lang=eng#p45

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Here are my Book of Mormon study pages for this week’s Come Follow Me. Jacob 5-7. Jacob was a prophet in the ancient Americas who knew what trials felt like. He understood the pain and suffering that humans could inflict on one another, and he taught his people how to overcome it by turning to the teachings of God.

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