LDS

Laurel Expedition 2017

These adventurous Laurels spent the weekend rappelling through Secret
Canyon, floating the Colorado in the dark, night hiking to the hot spring,
camping, and surviving the long march out! They carried their own gear,
boats, oars, life jackets, and rappelling harnesses in packs weighing more
than 30 pounds. They pitched their own tents, ate dehydrated meals, pondered
the beauty of the Earth, felt the spirit, and proved they can do really hard
things!  Laurel Expedition 2017 was a great success thanks to President and
Sister Hess, some willing leaders, and a whole bunch of adventurous girls!

We were featured on LDS.org!

->CLICK HERE!<-

LDS General Conference Traditions

According to Angel Lefler, a mom of 4, this is how they try to bring the spirit from General Conference into their home.  

"With having kids that are so little and not able to understand all the benefits of conference I had to decide what my goals for conference weekend were. I decided I wanted my children to be excited for conference and to want to be apart of it. I wanted them to see that mom and dad wanted to participate I conference and that it brought us peace and strength. I wanted traditions of conference weekend to be familiar, fun, and something that brings the family together and not just the parents saying "shhh" every 3 minutes. 

Sooo, with that in mind. Saturday and Sunday morning we have big breakfasts. We eat them while listening to the first part of the the first sessions. The kids love it and full mouths are quiet mouths.  When breakfast is over we come to the couch and start the activity sticks. The activity sticks have written on them quiet activities the kids can do while listening to conference. Busy hands are happy hands.  They are things like painting nails, draw a picture of the speakers tie, conference bingo, lacing cards, tracing pictures, drawing pictures of/for family, making bead necklaces, etc. I also print activities from lds.org. The kids get to take turns picking the sticks out of a can at random and the activity is done when they are finished. We don't wait till the next talk happens or anything. 

As the kids grow older and more mature we have them sit with us while the prophet speaks, and start taking notes while certain speakers speak. 

Saturday between sessions we eat lunch  and usually go for a bike ride or walk and Sunday between sessions we usually eat lunch and play board games."

How awesome are her ideas and thoughts on how to entertain little children during General Conference?!

Here is the April 2017 LDS General Conference Schedule

Saturday, April 1, 2016
Saturday Morning Session (9:00 a.m.) for everyone
Saturday Afternoon Session (1:00 p.m.) for everyone
General Priesthood Session (5:00 p.m.) for men and young men 12 years of age and older

Sunday, April 2, 2016
Sunday Morning Session (9:00 a.m.) for everyone
Sunday Afternoon Session (1:00 p.m.) for everyone

What is LDS General Conference?

Meet your Presidency! Introducing Brad Cooper

This is part of a three part series introducing our stake to the new stake presidency. We contine with our new first counselor. 

What is your favorite thing about living in this stake?

The people! The Santa Margarita Stake is amazing in so many ways because of the individuals! Elder Kim B. Clark at stake conference captured our stake wonderfully when he said we are "this close to Zion as a a people.” I am so blessed and grateful to raise my children in this stake of Zion. 

 

How did you feel when you were called into the presidency?

Shocked, humbled and completely surprised!


What are you most looking forward to in this new calling?

Getting to know more members of the stake. I am also so excited to learn form President Hess and President Warnick. They are men whom I love and deeply admire and I know the Lord has called them to lead our stake at this time. I sustain them fully.  


What is your favorite scripture?

D&C 84:88. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I know that when I am on the Lord's errand, I am never alone.

 

What do you like to do for fun?

Skiing - water and snow.  I love to ski with my kids!


Did you serve a mission? Where?

I served in the Italy Milan mission - a long time ago! The first stake in Italy was organized about a year after I returned from the mission field, to give you an idea of just how long ago. I loved my mission. It was a defining period in my life that taught and shaped me significantly.   


What is the one thing you'd like the members of this stake to know about you?

I love the Lord and my greatest desire is to serve Him by serving the members of this stake for whom I have great love, admiration and respect.

 

What is your favorite food?

UH - ITALIAN - could there be any other answer from someone who lived in Italy?  

 

Meet your new Stake Presidency! Introducing Bob Warnick

This is part of a three part series introducing our stake to the new stake presidency. We contine with our new first counselor. 

What is your favorite thing about living in this stake? 

The most faithful, valiant people I’ve ever been associated with.  We have raised our children here and can’t think of anyplace we would rather be.

How did you feel when you were called into the presidency? 

Humbled, and very surprised.  I certainly never expected to have this opportunity again.  However, I am excited to serve in any way that I can.

What are you most looking forward to in this new calling? 

Getting to know all of the members that I don’t already know.  Serving with President Hess and President Cooper and the rest of the stake leadership; they are fantastic.

What is your favorite scripture? 

I have many favorites, but one of the best is 2 Nephi 31:20. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

What do you like to do for fun? 

Be with my family; travel with my sweetheart; spend time at our cabin near Yellowstone; golf.

Did you serve a mission? Where? 

I served in the New Zealand North Mission, the best mission in the church!



What is the one thing you'd like the members of this stake to know about you? 

Besides the fact that I know that the church is true, I have way too much fun in my callings!

What is your favorite food? 

Never met a meal I didn’t like!  But it’s hard to beat slightly overdone Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies.

Meet Your Presidency! Introducing President Kirk D. Hess

This is part of a three part series introducing our stake to the new stake presidency. We begin with our new stake president. 

What is your favorite thing about living in this stake?

This area is beautiful, but what got us here was the idea that we could raise our kids alongside some of the most amazing youth I have met. As the saying goes, “The apple does not fall far from the tree,” and we have some really amazing parents here also. There is a wonderful culture of inclusion here in this stake.

 

How did you feel when you were called as the stake president?

Presidents Daly, Whitesides, Woffinden . . . these were my heroes while growing up here and to ever think I would occupy a seat where they once sat is profoundly humbling!


What are you most looking forward to in this new calling?

Certainly getting to know our stake family better. Being able to see the hand of the Lord work in people’s lives is so enriching. This is what makes a serving a mission so rich. Seeing people come closer to Christ through consecrated service be it our missionaries or in callings to serve, that selfless service in the kingdom is inspiring.


Favorite scripture:
Right now with this call in mind, I love 2 Timothy 1:7-9:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."


What do you like to do for fun? 

Anything with my wife and kids. We are an outdoors family so you will often find us rock climbing, rappelling down canyons in Utah, trail running, kayaking, mountain biking.

What is your favorite food?

I love lasagna.


Where did you serve your mission?

Auckland, New Zealand


President Hess would like you to know:

I have a testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. I love the scriptures. They are the words of eternal life! 

In scouting Silver Foxes abound but Silver Beavers are a rare breed. Silver Beaver recipients like Clea Lee are downright unheard of.

The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1931 and is a council‐level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. &nbsp;Recipients of this award are registered Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council.

The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1931 and is a council‐level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America.  Recipients of this award are registered Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council.

It is quite an honor for a man to receive the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor a Boy Scout Council can bestow.  When a woman is given the award, it is truly noteworthy.  At the recent Orange County Council Annual Recognition Dinner, Clea Lee, of the Santa Margarita Ward, got a well-deserved Silver Beaver.

Clea's involvement in Scouting began when she was called as the den leader for her son Jake, then 9.  Since then, she has given untold hours  as a volunteer to Scouting in many capacities, from Cubmaster, Roundtable Staff, to the Saddleback District Committee, where she is the immediate past District Commissioner. 

Clea completed the challenging Wood Badge Training in 2007, her first camping experience.  Clea’s tiny two person tent barely allowed a place to sleep, let alone change her clothes.  Her colleagues christened it the “Barbie Dream Tent” and presented her with a homemade “first time camping” patch, her favorite award. She says the Wood Badge experience was her most rewarding in Scouting, as she "learned how to problem-solve, communicate better, how to handle change, and to set goals and achieve them step-by-step." Subsequently she was on staff for three courses, including being Senior Patrol Leader.  

Clea served as the Stake Cub Scout Specialist for six years.  She has been a Nursery Leader, Primary Leader, and currently serves as the Ward Young Women's Secretary. Her volunteerism has also taken her into the community, where she has volunteered at St. Vincent's Hospital, Laura's House, Melinda Heights Elementary School, Trabuco Hills High School, and Little Dresses for Africa.

Clea presently serves as Assistant District Commissioner in Saddleback District and Committee Member of Troop 736.  Previously she served as Bear Den Leader and Cubmaster of Pack 736.  

When asked what she would like to tell people about the Boy Scouting program, Clea said,

"The values are the same as the ones we promote in the church, and the young men are given the chance to do a lot of fun things that they might not ordinarily have the chance to do."

Clea lives in Rancho Santa Margarita with her husband, Marc, and children Jake (18) and Zoe (15).  The Lee family likes to take trips together, and have visited Costa Rica, and Paris.  They enjoy watching old "Twilight Zone" movies, going on trail hikes with their dog, Winger, and trying really "adventurous" food.

Congratulations, Clea Lee, on your Silver Beaver Award!

Written by Jean Simpson

How Can You Change the World in 2015?

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The Young Women from the Santa Margarita Ward celebrated their ability to change their world. In activities leading up to their New Beginnings they each painted globes and wrote inspirational quote to inspire them. April McCuscker, the Young Women President, challenged the teenage girls and women to open the Personal Progress book. Every goal or value they work on helps them change their world now and forever. She emphasized the fact that this isnt just personal progress, it's Eternal Progress.   

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According to April McCuscker,

"This year for New Beginnings, I wanted to really focus on how the girls could change their life through focusing more on the values presented in Personal Progress.  I decided to do a video with the girls answering the question, "How will you change your world in 2015"  During the middle of filming, by our very own laurel Jessica Coleman, I realized that one of the girls wasn't even a member of our ward, let alone a member of the church!  She happened to be a friend of Taryn Dunkley and she loved every minute of it.  I didn't allow anyone to see the video until the evening of New Beginnings, so Taryn invited her friend to come that evening.  After enjoying the video and all that that evening entails, Taryn's dad approached me later and let me know that she loved it so much she wants to come to church.  I would say that these girls are already changing their world...and others."

No one thought 24 little children would have enough power ... ...but then it was their turn to sing

The Santa Margarita Stake ( A Christian Church with chapels in Santa Margarita, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo. ) treated a packed audience in it's annual Christmas concert "Sing Noel" on Saturday and Sunday nights l\this past weekend. Please enjoy this stirring rendition of O Holy Night sung by an emsemble choir of over 200 children, teens and adults. Forgive the quality - it's was shot on an iPhone :)