Monday, May 26, 2014


So, guess what yesterday was?
Honestly, I don't actually do much to celebrate my birthday.  It's more of an excuse to do whatever I want.  Which I tend to do anyway. ;)  Still, I had a good time.  It's not every day my amazing sister Mia bakes me chocolate cake. :D
Highlight of my day, though?
When my niece Ann brought in a gift bag and couldn't wait for me to open it.  And what was inside?

Kar and Ann made it for me!  Isn't he adorable?!
Yep.  It was a good birthday. :)

Fare thee well, friend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lamanite Women Are Amazing

After Lamoni fell into what looked like death, he laid still for three days.  Some people wanted to bury him, but his wife came to Ammon privately and confided that she believed Lamoni was still alive.  She begged Ammon to tell her if her husband was ever going to wake up (btw, can I just insert that I absolutely adore Lamoni's wife?  She has such a tender love for her husband, which is something you just don't see often in royal couples.  I think their relationship is just beautiful!).  Ammon, astonished at the amount of faith she put in him, told her Lamoni would wake the very next day, and so she continued to wait for him.
True to Ammon's word, Lamoni woke and started exclaiming about the mercy and love and glory of Christ, and immediately began to preach to the inhabitants of the room, including his wife, their servants, and Ammon.  Eventually, everyone, including Ammon and Lamoni themselves, were so overcome by the Spirit that they fell into a coma.  Again.
Except for one of the queen's handmaids, a girl named Abish.  Abish had actually been a believer thanks to a vision her father had, but because the Lamanites hated the Nephites she'd had to keep her religion secret.  Now she finally saw a golden opportunity to share her beliefs, and she grabbed it with both hands.  She ran from house to house telling people to go and see what had happened to the king and his household.  Unfortunately, the effects were... less than she had expected.  People certainly went to see, but when they got there, they couldn't agree on what had happened.  Some said the king was cursed because he'd let a Nephite into his household, some said that he was being punished for killing the servants who'd had their flocks scattered, and some (ie, the robbers who'd survived Ammon's defense), claimed Ammon was a monster.  One of them was angry enough with Ammon (who'd killed his brother, who I think was the leader of the robbers) that he actually tried to kill Ammon.
Except, you know, Mosiah, Ammon's father, had obtained a promise from God that his sons would be protected while they were in the wilderness.  When the robber lifted his sword to kill Ammon, lying helpless on the ground, he was struck dead.  Instantly.
This of course sent the rest of the people into an uproar, and no one would touch anyone who had fallen until Abish came back.  She, heartbroken at what she had hoped was the perfect missionary opportunity, took the queen's hand, hoping to do something.  And actually, it worked.  The queen woke up, praising God.  She took Lamoni's hand and he woke up, praising God, and he turned to start teaching those who had gathered.

Fare thee well, friend!

Snow White Conspiracy

So, when I watched Snow White as a child, there was something that always bothered me: the Prince's castle was in the freakin' clouds.  Don't believe me?

That is in the clouds.  I never quite understood what that was supposed to be, but then I was thinking tonight, and I think I figured it out:  Snow White never came back to life.  When the Prince found her, he was dead.
So, yeah, I get that the dwarfs saw him and everything, but how do we know they weren't a) dead themselves, either killed in the storm or from old age, or b) seeing a ghost?
Thing is, I actually didn't watch Snow White for the entirety of my teenage years because when I was a kid I saw a bonus on the DVD.  I may not be remembering it right, but I remember something about the skeleton in the Queen's dungeon being the Prince himself (if I'm wrong correct me).  And I mean, it makes sense if the Queen wanted to make sure Snow White couldn't be woken, that she kill the man she saw falling in love with her in the castle courtyard.  Which means that the Prince taking Snow White to his castle actually means they were finally reunited in death?  And he was taking her to a place where they could be together forever, because they would never have to be parted again?
My my, I feel morbid tonight. ;)

Fare thee well, friend!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Preaching to Lamoni

After Lamoni heard his servants' story about Ammon he was terrified.  He was convinced Ammon was the Great Spirit, come to punish him for killing his servants when they failed to defend the flocks before.  He asked where Ammon was, presumably to figure out just how much time he had.  Can anyone guess where Ammon went after defying a ruthless band of robbers?
He was getting Lamoni's chariots ready for his trip to his father's feast (he was a minor king under a major king, who in this case was his father). 
When he finally came in, everyone just stared at him.  He tried to back out, but one of the servants said Lamoni wanted him to stay, so he waited for Lamoni to explain what he wanted.  For an hour.  Lamoni couldn't figure out what to say to this man he thought was a god.  Finally Ammon, though the Spirit, realized what Lamoni was wondering and started to explain things.  No, he was not a god, but he had been given some of God's power in order to defeat the robbers.  He explained that he'd come to the Lamanites to share God's message, and Lamoni asked to hear it.  After Ammon explained about the creation and the plan of salvation, Lamoni was so overcome by the Spirit, he fell to the earth, and most people assumed he was dead.

By the way, if there are ever concepts discussed here you would like explained, just leave me a comment and I'll try to do a post about it.  Thanks muchly!

Fare thee well, friend!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Frozen: What it Did Right

It is no surprise to anyone who knows me that I love Frozen.  In fact, my coworkers all wanted to know exactly when I'd seen it because they all guessed that it was something I'd be excited (and hence, amusing) about.  On the other hand, I've heard a good deal of people talking about how disappointed they were in the film.  I can see where they're coming from, but the fact remains that it's probably the most popular Disney movie since The Lion King.  Why, you may ask, is it so popular if so many people thought it wasn't really as good as it could have been?
My explanation is this: The creators of Frozen gave every audience member someone they could relate to.
Think about it: the characters are presented with a problem, namely that Elsa has locked herself away (later it evolves to the kingdom being frozen, but for now let's focus on Elsa's introvertive behavior).  We are then presented with several reactions to her solitude:
We have Anna, who doesn't have a complete understanding of why her sister refuses to see her and thus assumes it is her fault.

Anna's is the reaction of a friend or close sibling who watches a friend struggle, say with depression, and just can't understand what exactly is going on.  And because pushing and prodding often leads to someone lashing out, or a lack of trust, these people can often be left not knowing just what it is they've done wrong, when in fact, none of it is actually their fault.

We have Elsa herself, who believes she is a danger to everyone around her and therefore locks herself away in order to protect people from herself.

Elsa has been told she needs to keep her powers - which are tellingly influenced by her emotions - hidden, because if she doesn't, everyone will hate her.  She believes if she can just learn to bury her fears and her passions behind an (ironically) icy exterior, she will finally be worthy of love and safe to be around.  Part of her is hiding from Anna to protect her, but another part of her honestly believes she's not good enough for Anna, and that the kingdom would be better off if she weren't part of the plan.

Then of course we have the irritating, want-to-punch off-a-boat people who manipulate other peoples' emotions for their own benefit. 

Let's admit it, we can all relate to Hans in some way sometimes (btw, isn't this picture great?!).

We are then introduced to calm, collected Kristoff, who is able to see past the conflicting emotions and look at the problems logically.

Kristoff is the one who can see the entire problem: yes, Anna was in the wrong to accept Hans so quickly, but Elsa was also in the wrong.  He doesn't quite understand why these two are fighting, but he can understand that this needs to be fixed, and he's willing to help.

And last, but not least, we have the slightly clueless but endlessly wise Olaf.

Olaf is the one who may not understand the complexities of human pain, but often surprises us by understanding on a profound level the beauty of human love.  He looks as if he's naive on the outside, but underneath the bright smile, he really does understand the seriousness of the situation.  The thing that sets him apart is the hope and optimism he brings to the table, the unshaken faith that things are going to turn out right in the end.  He's the shoulder you want to lean on, because he's the one who is never going to give up on you.

One problem: five different perspectives.  Five different people that everyone in the audience would be able to relate to in some way.  I think this is what makes Frozen so popular.  It's not a story about two sisters and their problems.  It's a story about you.

Fare thee well, friend!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shatter Me

So, I'm a huge Lindsey Stirling fan.  Love her music, love her videos, everything.  So you can imagine my excitement when her latest album came out!  This is the titular piece, Shatter Me:

I love this piece, so much!  The power behind it, the intensity, even the steampunk feel!  And I saw an interview where she said the song was meant to convey the emotions of trying to be perfect and flawless.  I just think it's beautiful!
The rest of the album is pretty awesome too, just fyi.  I think my favorite is Sun Skip. ;)

Fare thee well, friend!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Defending the Flock

Aaahh!  Soooo many apologies, it's been a crazy two weeks.  I've hardly had time to think!  Ugh.  Anyway, thanks for your patience, time to (finally) explain what happened with Ammon and Lamoni's flock.

Ammon and the other servants were taking King Lamoni's sheep to the water when they were... well, interrupted.  A common form of plunder among the Lamanites was to scatter someone else's sheep and then hide them in your own flock.  Hard to prove, and highly effective.  And sadly, this wasn't the first time robbers had actually stolen from their king, because once the other servants saw that the sheep were scattered, they panicked.  They explained to Ammon that the last time this had happened, Lamoni had the servants in charge killed. 
Ammon, being a) a priesthood leader and b) a former prince and therefore all-around general leader, was able to rally his fellow-servants and find all the missing sheep.  The servants were overjoyed, of course, but the robbers were... less so.  They came to scatter the sheep again, but this time Ammon was ready for them. He grabbed his sling and managed to kill six of them before they quite knew what was happening.
Seriously.  He killed six before they could even manage to figure out he was shooting at them!
Well, now they were seriously ticked off - understandably - so they went after him with clubs.  Which I think is safe to say was a mistake, because he had a sword.  Every time a robber tried to club Ammon, he cut off their arm (I get the feeling this lot wasn't too bright).  He only killed one of them with his sword, however: their leader (which comes into play a little later on in the story).
When he had driven the robbers off, he calmly finished watering the sheep and went back to Lamoni's palace.  The other servants were a little less inclined to nonchalance.  They were a little bit freaked out by everything they'd just seen, and they knew they had to tell the king.  As proof of what had happened, they gathered up all the arms Ammon had cut off and took them to Lamoni to strengthen their story.
The king was terrified.

Fare thee well, friend!