Tuesday, December 31, 2013

King Zeniff's Reign

As Limhi explained to Ammon, when Zeniff brought his band of Nephites to repossess their ancient homeland, he wanted to come up with a treaty between them and the Lamanites.  The Lamanite king was more than willing, but that was because he was crafty.  He knew Nephites had a tendency to be really hard workers, and if he played his cards right, he could get a lot of benefit from letting them stay.  He told them they could have the land of Lehi-Nephi, and the land of Shilom.  They lived there in peace for many years, until King Laman began to worry about just how strong the people were becoming.  He sent his armies to attack them while they were working, and they slaughtered the Nephites who were in the fields.  With the help of God Zeniff was able to protect his people, but at a great cost.  From then on Zeniff told his people to be ready for war.  They fought at least once more with the Lamanites before Zeniff died, but because he was a righteous king, his people were blessed with victory.
Unfortunately, the son who would succeed him had a very different way of ruling.

Happy New Year, everybody!  May 2014 be filled with joy!

Fare thee well, friend!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Lost in the Lights

So, the local zoo here has a tradition around Christmastime where they put up lights all over the zoo and leave it open at night (usually they close around five or six).  They call it "Zoolights".
Well, I have never been to Zoolights.  Why?  Because a) it's a fairly new tradition, they just started a few years ago, and b) when I say "local", I mean an hour-long drive away.  However, my parents bought zoo memberships this year, and it included a free trip to Zoolights, which they invited me to!
It was pretty neat, but mostly I just enjoyed seeing the animals that aren't usually awake during the day.  Sad confession time, our zoo has these cute little wild cats (they're called sand cats and black-footed cats), and they are sooooo adorable... and since I discovered them at the age of 8, I have waited more than TEN FREAKING YEARS to see them awake!
So worth it.  They are adoooooorable!
Most exciting part of the night, however?  Eh heh heh... Well, it was really cold, and I hadn't had time to grab my hat between leaving work and leaving for the zoo, so I just put my hood up over my head.  Now, there are two facts about me you should know: I hate wearing hoods, because peripheral vision is reduced to zip, and I hate walking in front of people because I tend to lose them.  I suppose you can guess what happened?
We were walking along the path, and somehow I ended up walking in front of everyone.  Again, I couldn't see much with that hood on, and I wasn't sure if they were behind me, so when we came to the elephant enclosure, I found a nice little nook to pop into and turn around to see if anyone was following me.
Nope.  No one.  At first I thought I'd gone ahead of them too far, or they'd stopped to admire something without telling me, so I waited a little longer.  Still nothing.  Finally, I pulled out my cell phone and tried to call Mia to see if they had gone on without me.  Guess what?  Phones wouldn't connect.  Apparently, there is really awful reception around elephants. ;)  After wandering around a little and getting fed up and calling lots of people, I was able to get ahold of my Dad.  We reunited, and they were waiting for me with hot chocolate! 

Fare thee well, friend!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Journey Back

King Benjamin's son, King Mosiah II, eventually grew curious about the people of Zeniff, who had gone back to possess the Land of Nephi (which the Lamanites were occupying).  He chose a group of men led by a man named Ammon to see just what had happened to the Zeniff's people.  When they finally made it, they met the current king outside the walls.
He had them thrown in jail.
Finally he had them brought to him so he could pass judgement, and when Ammon explained who they were, Limhi rejoiced.  Apparently their imprisonment had to do with a case of mistaken identity.  He explained that they were being held as slaves by the Lamanites, and he begged them to save his people.  He explained to them what had happened when Zeniff arrived...
But that will have to wait for next week.  Sorry, all, but being Christmas Eve, I have some family stuff I need to dash off for.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Fare thee well, friend!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Musings on Psychology

One of my favorite things to do when I'm bored at work is to get onto Grooveshark, come up with a list of what music I wanted to listen to that day, then rearrange my favorites and come up with a character based on the music.  However, as I was listening today I was thinking about what other people would come up with if handed the same playlist I was using.  And so, out of curiosity, I thought I would post a list of the songs I was using today and see what you all came up with!  Leave your response in the comments!
1) Skid Row (Little Shop of Horrors)
2) When Somebody Loved Me (Toy Story 2)
3) Shadowland (the Broadway version of The Lion King)
4) Come Little Children (Hocus Pocus)
5) Transformation (Brother Bear)
6) Tarnished Silver (by Heather Dale)
7) Let It Go (Frozen)
8) Brimstone and Treacle Part I (Broadway version of Mary Poppins)
9) Temper Temper (Broadway version of Mary Poppins)
10) Brimstone and Treacle Part II (Broadway version of Mary Poppins)

Fare thee well, friend!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shocking Prices

And I mean that in a good way. Seriously, this is the lowest I have seen gas since I was in elementary school.  And it's WINTER!!!  Gas is never this cheap in winter!  In fact, gas is never this cheap period.  I was able to fill my car up for less than thirty dollars today!  Nine gallons for less than thirty dollars!!!  It's a miracle!  But of course, it's Christmas, so I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise. ;)  Nevertheless, I am still pleasantly shocked.  Very pleasantly shocked. 
Sorry, random post, but I'm feeling a little random today anyway.  And since I can say it now, Merry Christmas everyone!

Fare thee well, friend!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Brief Run of History

The next few books - Enos, Jarom, Omni, and Words of Mormon- are each only a chapter long, and most of them are only a brief explanation of the history of the Nephites, as told by whatever record-keeper had the plates at the time.  Through the books it is explained that at some point in their history, the Nephites actually became more wicked than the Lamanites.  There was a small group of righteous Nephites who were warned to flee, led by a man named Mosiah.  The rest were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their lands were occupied.
Mosiah's people, in fleeing the Lamanites, came across a group of people led by a man named Zarahemla.  Their language was completely different, but eventually Mosiah was able to teach them the Nephite language, and he discovered they were descended from King Zedekiah, whose son Mulek had been smuggled out of Israel before he could be killed by the Babylonians.  He and his followers had crossed the sea as well, but without scriptures, so they had forgotten God.  Mosiah's people were able to teach them, and Mosiah was elected the king of the two people.  Zarahemla also mentioned that when Mulek's people had arrived, they had discovered a man named Coriantumr, who claimed to be the last surviving member of a powerful nation called the Jaredites (that'll be important later).  He lived with them nine months and then died.
By the reign of Mosiah's son, King Benjamin, there was a group of Nephites who wanted to go back and repossess the land of Nephi (the land the Lamanites were currently occupying).  A first group started out, but ended up destroying each other, thanks to the fact that half of them wanted to destroy the Lamanites and half of them wanted to negotiate.  Those who survived came back in defeat, but eventually a second group, led by a man named Zerrif, set out.  They were not heard from again in the lifetimes of their loved ones.
The man who was keeping the record by the end of Omni, named Amaleki, had no family left to leave the records with (his brother had left with Zerrif), and his record ends when he decides to give the records to King Benjamin to care for.

Wow, that was a lot of history in not a lot of time.  Huh.

Fare thee well, friend!

P.S. Finals are over!  I can start breathing again!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Frozen: The Epicness of Elsa

So, I saw Frozen.  And I love it so. so. soooo much!  In fact, I ended up loving it even more than Tangled, which is saying a lot considering Rapunzel has been my favorite Disney princess thus far.  Sadly for her, I've had a new princess step up to take that position (though I guess technically she's a queen, but who's counting?).
I.  Love.  Elsa.
Why do I love Elsa?  Well, if you don't mind spoilers or you've already seen the movie, read on!
Elsa has to be the most relatable Disney princess I've seen thus far, at least for me.  Personally, and for a lot of girls out there, it is really hard to fit in.  I've always been the geeky know-it-all that was terrified nobody liked her, the one that liked who I was and was hurt when nobody else did.  Elsa is the epitome of wanting to fit in while being terrified of rejection.  All her life she's loved a part of herself that no one else could possibly understand.  She loved her powers, but she had to hide them because she was afraid of hurting people.  She ends up cutting herself off from everyone else because she couldn't believe she was worth their friendship.  Not to mention that, as the heir to the throne and the older sister, she has that much more responsibility to add to her fear of failure.  Finally, when she couldn't handle that fear anymore, she left.  She decided to be herself, to heck with whatever anyone may think of her!  And then this happened:
I love everything about this!  The animation is absolute eye-candy, the music is loud and free, and the message is something I think everyone needs to hear: I don't care what anyone else thinks of me, because I love myself the way I am (FYI, this is also the reason I love the film Penelope)!  And that last act of defiance, taking out that bun and letting her hair down!  Finally throwing off the expectations everyone else had for her and deciding she was just fine the way she wanted to be!
And of course, by the end of the film she realizes there are people that love all of her, and are willing to sacrifice themselves for her, and she understands she doesn't have to be on her own to be herself.  Which is awesome.
Therefore, Elsa is amazing.
So, your thoughts?  Do you prefer Elsa or Anna?

Fare thee well, friend!

Friday, December 13, 2013


What.  A.  Week.
Last week of school, and I am exhausted.  I dunno what it was about this semester, but it really threw me for a loop (though it might have something to do with that dance class).  All I know now is that I want to get finals over and done with as soon as I can, and then sit down and write as much as I possibly can. :)

Speaking of writing, I did get One More Day!  Kay got an unexpected order in (they were supposed to go to her parents, but ended up here), and I was able to just buy one from her.  I was very happy. :)  I think my favorites were "Sleepless Beauty" and "A Morrow More", but I also really enjoyed "Dark Rose" and "Stage Fright".  You can get it at Amazon here!  Check it out, and enjoy!  Might help you students out there get through finals week. ;)

Fare thee well, friend!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jacob and Sherem

At this point, Nephi's younger brother Jacob has started keeping the record.  At some point before his book starts, Nephi has died and left Jacob in charge of the ministry.  And he does a brilliant job of it, I may add.  Some of the most beautiful sermons in the Book of Mormon are taught by Jacob.  However, I would never be able to do them justice, so I'll just stick to the stories (if you do want to read them, however, the Book of Mormon is available to download for free on the app store.  Or, if you see any of those young men walking around in suits and ties with nametags that say "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and really want to make their day, you could ask them for a copy ;)). 
Most of the Book of Jacob contains his sermons, but one story stands out.  Near the end of Jacob's life, there came an Anti-Christ named Sherem, who taught there was no such thing as Christ.  He was known as a well-learned man, and also as a bit of a flatterer.  What he really wanted was to convince Jacob that Christ would never come, so one day he came to Jacob and started the equivalent of a Book of Mormon Bible Bash.  During this, Sherem did the one of the worst things you can when you're fighting God: he asked for a sign.
You'll see later that Anti-Christs (people preaching against the idea of Christ) asking for a sign always leads to trouble for them.  The purpose of a miracle is to strengthen a testimony already established, and to help others.  Miracles were never meant to be the reason someone believed.  In the case of Anti-Christs, they want a miracle as proof that what they are saying is wrong, but at that point, they are denying every other piece of evidence they have.  God will give them a sign, but it won't be something they like.
Jacob tried to warn Sherem, but Sherem insisted, so God gave him a sign.  Sherem was struck by God.  He fell to the ground and had to be helped to get basic nourishment for several days, before he finally told the people in general that he knew he was going to die, and he had something he wanted to say.  When they were all gathered, he told them that what he had been preaching was wrong, and that he had been deceived.  When he couldn't speak anymore, he died.
I've always wondered about this story, because on his deathbed, Sherem did repent.  I've always wondered what happened to him afterward.  Mostly I just feel sorry for him.  I can't imagine the guilt and the heartache he went through in those last days of his life, the horror he would have felt when he received God's sign.  I also kind of admire what he did at his death, admitting he was wrong.  It takes a lot of courage to admit to anyone when you've been wrong, even when you know it's true.

Oh, and for everyone who has only just started reading these Book of Mormon stories, the link to the beginning is here.  I post them every Tuesday. :)

Fare thee well, friend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Recently watching Beauty and the Beast, I discovered something I had never thought of before: Lumiere is awesome.
Now, obviously all Disney sidekicks are pretty awesome, but a lot of them tend to be a little flat, particularly in Beauty and the Beast.  There are just too many walking, talking everyday items to make them each a very deep character, and I get that.  However, I did notice a few very deep points about Lumiere:
1) No matter what Beast did, Lumiere was still himself.  Beast had been snarling about unexpected guests all day, and Lumiere still had the confidence to put on a dinner show, against Beast's strict orders.
2) Even when he was terrified of the repercussions that might have come with sticking up for Maurice, Lumiere tried to explain why he'd let him in.  That takes serious guts.  When Belle traded her life for her father's, Lumiere was the one to remind Beast that, when trying to woo a woman, gentleness was the best policy.  He was constantly sticking his metaphorical neck out for other people.
3) The more I watch the movie, the more I am convinced Lumiere was the closest thing Beast had to a friend.  I mean, Mrs. Potts was great, but she was more of a motherly figure for everyone in the film.  Cogsworth was always worrying about himself, and Chip, while adorable, was a little kid.  Lumiere was probably the closest to Beast's age, and he was the most encouraging when it came to Beast breaking the spell.  He was the one offering the most suggestions on how to win Belle's affections.  When Beast had a question, it was always presented with Lumiere in the room, and Lumiere was usually the one answering.  He had Beast's trust in a way none of the other servants did.
Lumiere is amazing.  If more proof is needed, look no further:
Oh, and he gets a bonus point because he actually slapped Cogsworth in the face with a glove when they fought at the end.  Fencing reference!

Fare thee well, friend!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Schism

Well, Lehi's family has finally made it to the Promised Land, and you would think the happily ever after would kick in here.  Except that this is real life, and there's always another story to be told.
As long as Lehi lived, Laman and Lemuel showed some restraint.  Eventually, however, Lehi did die, and after a few days, they began to complain again.  You see, as the older brothers it should have been their birthright, Laman's specifically, to be the religious heads of the family.  Unfortunately, due to their constant rebellions and attempts at murder in their travels, they had lost that right, and it passed to Nephi (I actually think it should have been passed to Sam, but he was always a humble man, and I think he understood that Nephi was a natural-born leader.  It never actually mentions what happens there).  Laman and Lemuel couldn't get over the fact that their younger brother was considered their rightful leader by most of the family, and eventually, their murderous habits popped up again.  They decided they were going to kill Nephi. 
As evidenced through most of the Books of Nephi (the first two sections of the Book of Mormon), they could have been stopped easily, but... come on, they had been threatening to kill him since day one, and their hatred for him was only growing.  Before they could bring their plots to fruition, God warned Nephi in a dream to take everyone who would go with him and flee.  Nephi and his followers escaped, and the only revenge left to Laman and Lemuel was to teach their children that Nephi was a liar and a thief (he'd taken with him the brass plates, the Liahona, and the sword of Laban).  Eventually, two great nations grew up from these two groups.  Nephi's descendants, as well as those of the people who left with him, were known as Nephites, and Laman and Lemuel's descendants were known as Lamanites.
One thing I find interesting about this story is that it specifically says "take all who will go with you".  It's not mentioned, but I've always wondered if maybe some of Laman and Lemuel's children decided to go with them as well.

So, writing this post, I realized I haven't really explained the structure of The Book of Mormon.  It's divided into 15 different sections, known as "books".  The first two are the 1st and 2nd books of Nephi, and are written by Nephi.  The next book, the book of Jacob, was written by his younger brother.  The next three books, Enos, Jarom, and Omni, are written by the descendants of Jacob, and mostly they're a lot of "I'm the son of him, quick overview of history, pass to the next caretaker."  Words of Mormon, the next book, is a brief insert by Mormon, one of the last Nephite prophets, who explains that for the rest of the book he will be abridging the history and teaching of his people (apparently the original record would be even bigger than the Bible).  The books of Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, 3rd and 4th Nephi, and Mormon, all record the long history of the Nephites, as well as the teachings of their prophets.  Ether is a record translated by King Mosiah of the people living in the Promised Land before Lehi's family, and the last book, Moroni, is written by Mormon's son, the very last, very lonely Nephite prophet.  He survived the destruction of his people long enough to finish and hide the record so it wouldn't be destroyed by the Lamanites.

Fare thee well, friend!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Happiest Time of the Year!

Well, I'm back from Colorado, where I spent Thanksgiving, and ready to start celebrating my absolute favorite time of the year!  CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!
Yep, I love Christmas.  I love it so much!  I would have started decorating before Thanksgiving if not for my roommates trying to keep me in check (yes, I am one of those people).  Ash made my day when she brought in a Christmas tree after she got back from Thanksgiving.  The thing that I love about these last few months of the year is that you can just move from one celebration to another.
And speaking of things to celebrate, NEW BOOK OUT! 
One More Day, published by J. Taylor Publishing, is a collection of short stories by various authors, including Kimberly Kay and Danielle E. Shipley.  If you had one day before the world froze, how would you fix it?
For a more official look at the story, take a look here, at Kay's blog, or here, on Danielle's blog.  Personally, I've been waiting for this release for months, so I'm really excited! 

Fare thee well, friend!