Category Archives: Spirituality

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

(This article was originally posted in December, 2014)

I love Christmas in the Primary Nursery! Every Sunday in December we would teach the story of Christmas by dressing up the children as characters of the Nativity. We taped yellow paper stars along the walls of the church and one very large yellow star over the place where the baby Jesus (a doll) slept in a manger (a shoebox lined with straw). Mary and Joseph led the procession, the Shepherds carried stuffed lambs, the Wise Men carried small shiny gifts, and the Angels twirled their pretty white dresses as we all followed the stars to find the Baby Jesus.

One December in particular will forever stand out to me. As our adorable class of 2 and 3-year- olds excitedly discovered the stars and almost raced down the halls to find the Baby Jesus, a number of curious adults joined the joyful throng. When the children located the large star, they gathered around the small box with the baby inside, and instinctively knelt down beside it. Without a word from any of the Nursery leaders or bystanders, the Wise Men gently placed their little gifts beside the baby inside the shoebox bed. The spontaneous reverence from these tiny children was awe-inspiring.

After a moment of gathering my emotions so that I could speak, I quietly suggested to the children that we sing a song to the Baby Jesus. I asked what they would like to sing to him, fully expecting that they would choose “Away in a Manger” or “Silent Night”, as we had practiced those songs in class. My 3-year-old grandson jumped up and excitedly said, “I know!” A pause while he thought about it. Then again, in that breathy excited voice, “I know!” Another pause. His little body was vibrating – something uncontrollable that happened when he was excited! We all waited in anxious anticipation. Finally, almost bursting with excitement, he exclaimed: “I know! How about? (a pause). How about? (another pause). How about Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah?!” He was so proud that he had come up with the perfect song! There was a long moment of silence, and a few giggles, then one of the bystanders said, “I think that would make Jesus very happy.”

So we sang Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah to Baby Jesus right there in the hallway of the church. And all the bystanders sang along. And more gathered around. And surprisingly, most everyone knew the words. And even more surprising, the words were perfect for the occasion of the birth of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace.

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A
My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A

Mister bluebird on my shoulder
It’s the truth
It’s actual
Everything is satisfactual

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A
Wonderful feeling !
Wonderful day !

Music by Allie Wrubel and Lyrics by Ray Gilbert

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Copyright © 2014 by Energy Media Works LLC

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The Sound of Silence

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL

In February 1968, the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This much-publicized event was instrumental in introducing meditation to the western world.  The approximately 7 weeks spent in India was the most productive in the Beatles’ tenure.  John Lennon said,  “We wrote about thirty new songs between us. Paul must have done about a dozen. George says he’s got six, and I wrote fifteen”.

It would be hard to argue that the environment had little to do with the Beatles’ productivity. Getting away from the clamor of normal life can open avenues of creativity and productivity in each of us.

A QUIET PLACE

Gordon Hempton is an acoustic ecologist. He records the sounds of nature all over the world. In a recent interview with Krista Tippett on her radio program, “On Being”, he warns that silence is becoming a rare commodity. It wasn’t long ago that keeping earth’s waters clean was not all that important, and being able to see the stars was not something that should concern us. Today, when those things are nearly gone, we see the importance of them. Now we are in danger of losing silence.

Silence is not the absence of sound, but rather the absence of noise. A forest can be silent even with the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves, but noise is something different. We are awash in noise everyday. From cars on the highway, to the beeping of a smart phone, noise is a part of our lives. When we are surrounded by noise our minds are being pulled in many directions. Noise makes it difficult to concentrate, to control our thoughts, or to simply rest our minds in meditation.

Meditation is an important part of our physical, emotional and spiritual health.  The Lord has counseled us to not run faster than we have strength. When we are bombarded by noise, our minds are running faster than they have strength. When we turn off the noise and rest our minds in meditation, we are able to “let the solemnities of eternity rest upon [our] minds.” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:34) Meditation clears our minds and welcomes insight and inspiration.

President David O. McKay said, “We don’t take sufficient time to meditate. It’s a great thing to be responsive to the whisperings of the Spirit and we know that when these whisperings come it is a gift and our privilege to have them. They come when we are relaxed and not under pressure of appointments.”

Take 60 seconds right now and listen to the birds in the Sacred Grove as you watch this video of sunrise on the Joseph Smith farm.

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Copyright © 2015 by Energy Media Works LLC

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Image Credits: Woman meditation by: Wikimedia commons, Dedda71

Fill My Cup with Conscious Living – Segment 4 of 4

In this final segment of “Fill My Cup with Conscious Living”, Vicki Talmage tells her personal story of overcoming tragedy and devastating loss that “Surpasses Understanding.” (Audio 25:14)

If you missed the first three segments of this discussion, you can find them here.

  • Find this episode’s Raw Food Menu and Vicki’s recipes here, along with additional information about how you can reclaim health, love and joy!

Copyright © 2015 by Energy Media Works LLC

If you have comments or questions, we would like to hear them. Just click on leave a comment below.

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Mormon Tea and Mormon Hippie are part of the Mormon Media Network.