Super Simple Tip: Emergency Backpacks

Emergency BackpacksThis month’s First Presidency message is on preparedness. I also know some families update and augment their disaster preparedness supplies around conference in the fall and spring. And, this is the time of year when backpacks are on sale! Perfect storm for a quick post on Emergency Backpacks.

My disaster readiness goal is to keep 6 backpacks full of emergency supplies, some clothing, snacks, and comfort items ready to go in our garage. I never really got on board with emergency wheat, but emergency backpacks just make sense. We’re in an earthquake zone, but it sure seems like every part of the world is prone to some kind of natural disaster. I started filling our backpacks with items found on the government list, found here. This month I added two more backpacks (seen above, 50% off!) and my goal is to gather a few local maps for our new area. We’re getting pretty close to having all 6 backpacks ready.

Another super simple tip for disaster readiness is to make a plan together as a family for how and where you might meet up in various circumstances. We just had this conversation a few weeks ago and I was surprised that my kids all thought they would be able to text me after a disaster! We explained that sometimes cell phones let you down, the circuits are busy, or electricity might not be available. Since we just moved, we made a new, super simple plan about where we would meet. We decided to meet at our neighbor’s house unless the destruction is too great, in which case we’ll all make our way to our nearby elementary school. Simple as that.

My childhood family also had a secret password (it was “pickles). In case my Mom needed to send someone to pick me up and wanted me to trust them, she could tell them the password and then I would know that the stranger was trustworthy! We never used it, except to tease my Mom when we were teenagers, but it’s one of those things that’s incredibly easy to establish under normal circumstances and impossible to fake under stress. So we’ll be choosing a password together too. So dorky, I know.

I have a great friend who lives on an acre with chickens, gardens, dogs, and canning! There’s no doubt she’s much better prepared for a real emergency than I will ever be. But my emergency backpacks give me a little peace of mind.

How do you handle the counsel to be prepared?

TBT: The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

This lovely 10 Commandments insert was included in copies of The Instructor. Dated 1958 with a copyright by the Messenger Corporation of Auburn, Indiana, “This beautiful religious supplement has been designed especially for framing.” It’s hard to read on the scanned copy, but it looks like Curt A. Mundstock was the original artist.

10 TemplesThe back has a list of LATTER-DAY SAINT TEMPLES, including Kirtland, Nauvoo, St. George, Logan, Manti, Salt Lake, Hawaii, Alberta, Arizona, Idaho Falls, Swiss, Los Angeles, New Zealand, and London. The most surprising part is that many of the temples list the cost of the land and temple! So gauche.

You’ll be able to see it close up if you click on the graphic above.


The Ten Commandments

Another big lesson for the missionaries is the 10 Commandments.There are lots of cool versions online: this one is simple and easy to photocopy in black and white. I took spelling and punctuation cues from Exodus, so if there is no period closing the commandment it’s because there’s no period closing it in Exodus (there might be more text following). It was on purpose.

The missionaries also cover an additional handful of commandments during this lesson or shortly thereafter: the law of chastity, the law of the fast, tithing, honor the law of the land, and the word of wisdom. I have essentially combined these into a set of 15 to correlate with Preach My Gospel. So instead of just 10, there are 15. If you’re only interested in covering the 10, just leave out the others, obviously.

Ten 4

Please forgive me: I’ve made them square. I just needed a new shape! This means you’ll have to trim them. So for the full page mode, they are 8 1/2 inches square. You’ll have to trim off the bottom 2 1/2 inches.

Here’s a screen shot so you can imagine how to trim them. Just cut them at the 8 1/2 inch mark on a full sheet of paper and you’ll have a nice square. Use a paper cutter if possible!

Trim the full page printableAnd then there’s a set that are 2-per-page. They are 5 1/2 inches square.

Ten commandments 2 per page

Again, you’ll need to trim these. Here’s a screen shot to help you envision your cuts:

10 Commandments, 2 per pageYou’ll trim the paper horizontally at 5 1/2 inches, then cut them in half at the 5 1/2 inch mark.

Finally, I’ve got a set at 4 per page. They’ll be 4 1/4 inches square when they are trimmed.

10 Commandments 4 per page

Here’s a screen shot so you can imagine this better.

10 Commandments 4 per pageTrim your paper at the 8 1/2 inch mark, vertically, then trim your pages in half twice. 4 1/4 inches square. These would be great to hang in the mirror or car or to turn into a matching game.



Plan de Salvación and Plan de Salvacao

I don’t really have big plans for The Mormon Home to become multi-lingual, but living abroad as a child did make me a firm believer in Mormonism as a global church. I can’t do everything in this regard, but I can do something, and translating the Plan of Salvation graphic into a couple of languages is one simple way I can contribute. I originally designed these with missionaries in mind (so if you have a child or friend who is heading off on a Spanish or Portuguese speaking mission, these might be a nice extra) but they could be useful for lessons and FHE, too.

Again, I sourced Preach My Gospel in appropriate languages, but please let me know if I’ve missed an accent or misspelled something. Also. There is no Outer Darkness in Preach My Gospel. So I’ve left if off these graphics as well. (Partly because I don’t know how to translate “outer darkness.” Partly because–what do they know that I don’t?).

Plan de Salvacion Espanol

Two per page (Randy thinks this might fit a flip chart if those are still used?)

Plan de Salvaction 2 per

And a four-per page.

Plan de Salvacion 4 per


I had a request for a Portuguese version! Can do. The various sizes are below.

Plan de Salvacion Portugues

Plan of Salvation Portuguese 2 per

Plan of Salvation Portuguese 4 per

TBT: Vintage Plan of Salvation Graphics

After yesterday’s post I thought it would be appropriate to share a couple vintage Plan of Salvation graphics. It becomes obvious very quickly how inadvertently instructive images can be.

Plan of Salvation typewriterThis one from the early 60’s makes it clear that those in the Pre-Existence and Celestial Kingdom somehow associate with others in the Realms of Deity. Which is news to me. (Anyone have a reference for that?)

Plan of Salvation vintageThis is the best one ever, saved by Seattle Jon’s Mom, originally posted here. What we’re learning from this charming graphic is that there’s a Low Way, a Broadway, and the Freeway. Alcohol sends you to the Telestial Kingdom, but cigarettes and tea are cool for the Terrestrial Kingdom. We see the phrase “Realms of Deity” again, so it must’ve been trendy in the late 50’s, early 60’s.

Circle Plan of SalvationThis one is a from a 1966 book from Bookcraft, reviewed here. It’s the trippiest one I’ve seen so far because it seems to be endorsing some variation on reincarnation? Karma is real, baby.

Who knows what doctrine the simple graphic I made below is unexpectedly teaching. Let’s hope my mistakes are forgiveable.

The Plan of Salvation Printable

Last year the missionaries were teaching a friend in our home. When we came to the Plan of Salvation, they started looking around for paper and a pencil to draw a sketch of the pre-earth life and the kingdoms of heaven. And a little piece of me died. Just kidding. But I was floored that all missionaries everywhere don’t have an easy Plan of Salvation graphic to photocopy or a card-sized graphic to give away. Wha?

I checked in Preach My Gospel for a graphic: page 54 is the closest they come, but for a visual learner like me it’s pretty weak sauce. So I made one.

It’s super simple and it’s in black and white so it’s easy to photocopy. It’s also true to the language and imagery used in Preach my Gospel. I resized it for every possibility: full page, half page (for flip chart lessons?), and quarter page. There is ALSO a copy that is a JPEG. You could send this to a photo store to print as a 4×6 and slip it into a brag book (those cheap photo albums that are like $1-$2 at the drugstore) that a missionary might carry around to help with teaching. I think I’ll try to put this together in Spanish too. Give me a week or so. Obviously, also helpful if you’re teaching the Plan of Salvation in Primary or FHE. Plan of Salvation full page

Plan of Salvation 2 per page

Plan of Salvation 4 per page

Becoming a Missionary Mom

Preparing Your Missionary

My good friend Julie spent her summer preparing her oldest son, Josh, for a mission. Really, she’s spent the bulk of the last 17 1/2 years preparing her oldest son for a mission. She’s a great mother, dedicated and thoughtful. From my vantage point, these last few months have been especially inspiring and nerve-wracking! I am watching closely, because my oldest son is just two years away from being eligible to serve.

There is already so much written about preparing for missionary work (the best place to start as a parent is the official LDS Church FAQ’s for prospective missionaries and their parents), but I thought I’d collect some of Julie’s hard-won wisdom to share with you. These two blog posts, one from Ann Cannon about welcoming her last missionary home and one from Kellie with the provocative title I Hope They Don’t Call Him on a Mission, also gave me perspective that I hadn’t considered.

The most comforting piece of advice Julie gave me is that there is no one “right” way to launch a missionary. This rings true to me and it was great to hear her affirm this. Every mission, every missionary, and every family is a little bit different. It only makes sense that the process would be a little different for everyone. She wrote:

With so many new MTC’s and missions, regulations vary from country to country. It can be easy to feel slighted when you hear a certain mission allows some perks but your child’s mission has certain restrictions. For instance, I know the Mexico MTC does not allow packages. But we can all celebrate what you can do and what they can enjoy. For example, Josh’s friend is going to a beautiful place… Josh, not so scenic. On the flip side, I’ve been able to take advantage of Dear Elder and same day MTC delivery. As a mother, don’t get caught up in the comparison trap….our missionaries are all going to have an experience uniquely their own. Search for ways to maximize their experience…. Also, find online groups that connect you with other moms from the mission or general area…that has been a great resource when asking questions specific to that region.

Still, over the last several conversations we’ve shared together over the summer, there were a few practical tips that I wanted to remember! Ideas that I think most missionary mothers would find useful. I seriously took notes while we were talking because I’m a total nerd. I’ve also started a Pinterest board with the best missionary advice I could find; Julie’s a big Pinterest user and her Called to Serve board is great, too. But please, as with every Pinterest board, use with care! Julie wrote this:

Don’t fall into the “Pinterest Trap.” There are soooo many wonderful ideas for packages, scrapbooks, packing, blogging etc and you do not have to do it all! Thank heavens!! 

Click below for the rest of Julie’s practical advice on sending off a missionary.

Continue reading…

Super Simple Tip: Mission Prep

The Single Most Important Life Skill to Teach Your Missionary Child

Parents and youth leaders and stake mission prep class teachers everywhere, I have a super simple tip for you.

It is the single most important housekeeping skill needed for every missionary, male and female, foreign or domestic.

Teach them how to USE A PLUNGER.

That’s it. Go forth to serve.