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For the new year, a new easy-to-print Get to Know You page. I imagine this would work best for youth ages 11-18, but wouldn’t it be a blast to do something like this with an adult Sunday School class? There are a lot of things we don’t know about each other. 

Click here to download.

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THE MORMON HOME by Rachel Davis - 7M ago

I’ve been charged with running the youth Instagram account for our stake! It’s in great shape already: lots of youth and parents follow along. I think one of the key things that helped build this online community is the “Senior Spotlight” feature, an idea I did not start but that I’m helping continue. The idea is that most Mondays we post a photo and some general bio info about the Seniors in our stake. It makes all the difference in making our Instagram feed more personal and not just a place for stake youth announcements. Friends and family look out for the senior spotlight and leave comments and support: it is easily our most popular feature.

A couple of notes. I try hard to spread the love all around the stake: I switch between boys and girls and between the various wards (and high schools) as much as possible. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s important to rotate the spotlight.

Most of this takes place through texting. Sometimes I have to contact parents to get the youth cell number, but I have found that moms are thrilled to help me get their child’s senior spotlight going. The questions I ask are:

Please share a short bio of yourself (i.e. what ward you are in, your calling, what school you attend, activities, extra curriculars, hobbies, goals, plans for next year, etc.)…

1: Favorite Food

2. Top of My Bucket List

3. “One thing I love about my church is…….”

I post a photo that they send me, either their senior photo or just one that they like.

The rest of the time I am posting announcements for dances, firesides, and activities. On Sunday mornings I often post a #sundaythought, with a scripture or quote from church leaders. I pull a lot of images from the media library at lds.org (Link Here) and sometimes I make my own.

That’s it! Super simple.

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THE MORMON HOME by Rachel Davis - 7M ago

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We’ve been living in Los Angeles for several years now. I love it: the photo above is at the LACMA at the Hockney exhibit. LA is a magical place.

But, most of the time, no one talks about religion at all. It’s simply not polite. Religion is seen as highly personal, off limits in most social situations. It’s rare that it comes up, but I am thrilled to see a light of recognition when I tell someone, “I’m Mormon.” Most people have never heard of Mormons at all. It sometimes helps to tell them that I go to the church on McBean Parkway (it’s an easy-to-spot landmark in town). But truthfully, more often than not, whether I tell people “I’m Mormon” or “I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” both are met with a blank stare.

So when I read the announcement about the name of my church several months ago, my casual concern was SEO on The Mormon Home. Back in August, I bought a couple of web addresses (TheLatterDaySaintHome.com, for one) with obedience in mind. Most of the traffic on this site is organic, meaning it comes from search engines like Google or Bing. It’s not driven by social media or Pinterest links. Most importantly, I don’t monetize. So honestly my traffic numbers just don’t affect anything. Truly, this website is a means for me to contribute to my community of saints. I just want to help if I can.

This morning, I felt moved to follow the prophet and leave The Mormon Home behind. I felt a confirmation that President Nelson is following Jesus Christ’s direction in clarifying the name of His church on earth as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Believe me, I played around with several different variations for this site. (The Faithful Home? Taken. The Covenant Path? Being used here.) Rather than overthinking this whole project, I’m just using my own name. No big ulterior motive. No change in content. No refocus. Just an effort to keep it simple and clear.

I’m working on the technical details. For now The Mormon Home will continue to run invisibly behind RachelEvansDavis.com as I transition to the new address. You can start using RachelEvansDavis.com right away. I’m looking at how to responsibly shift old posts, reviewing what content I’ll want to edit (Cub Scouts, anyone?), deciding between starting over from scratch and updating what I’ve already got. It’s kind of a big project: I’d appreciate your patience as I sort this out.

I hope you enjoyed General Conference as much as I did. Have a wonderful week!

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Yesterday I taught a 5-minute Leadership Devotional to our stake youth committee. I believe that the single most important leadership practice is the ability to hear and implement personal revelation. I have found that Heavenly Father is happy to bless me with inspiration especially as it pertains to two areas of my life 1) my children and 2) my calling. Other areas of revelation come with more work!

In encouraging the youth committee to seek for inspiration for their calling, I suggested a few tools. It’s important to record moments of revelation so we can act on it, so find something that works well for you personally. I like to send myself emails of things I need to do, people I need to talk to, or things I need to take care of. My husband keeps a running “Notes” page on his phone. Others I know keep a running journal of thoughts and inspiration. The second step is to show that the Lord can trust you with revelation: to DO something with the impressions you are given. The more we act on His guidance, the more likely He is to trust us with more.

I recommended General Conference as a prime spiritual weekend where the windows of heaven are open and you can be more spiritually in tune with Heavenly Father’s messages of revelation, both for your calling and for your life. I have often had moments of revelation during this weekend, both related and completely unrelated to the talks at hand. As an easy help and reminder, I passed out a simple “Notes” sheet that the kids can use and copy for their own notes and inspiration.

Of course, I thought I’d share it here. Print a full page below, easy to photocopy for use during any or all sessions of conference.

Stay tuned: I’ll do a quick update of those fun labels for conference this week, to include the new apostles and leaders.

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THE MORMON HOME by Rachel Davis - 11M ago

New calling! I’m serving in the Stake YW as first counselor. To be honest, I’d be a lot more comfortable in the Stake YM (because of my four sons), but I’ll do my best to get used to it.

I anticipate lots of upcoming projects relating to Girl’s Camp and youth dances… For now, I got thrown in to a Back to School Dance (Hawaiian shirts and beach balls, yo) followed quickly by a Just Serve fireside.

We had members of our community share ways youth could help in our valley and then made “blessing bags:” water bottles, socks, a granola bar and a hygiene item or two. We’re hoping each youth will take the opportunity to share with someone who needs it.

As I’ve always promised, The Mormon Home is where I share what I’m up to at church. So I thought I’d share the posters I made for the fireside: six 24×36 engineering prints that we hung in cultural hall while the kids assembled their blessing bags and had refreshments. I spent $20 total on all six and had them printed at my local Staples.

They are pretty simple but added a nice finish.

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