Monday, April 30, 2012

Dinner, Themes, and Traditions

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

May Themes: Building on the Rock

Dinner Talk—The Universal Parable

"All happenings great and small are parables whereby God speaks. The art of life is to get the message. ~Malcolm Muggeridge~

Conversation as a teaching modality in families has presided at mealtime for generations. Until now. In today’s stressful society, everyone is seeking comfort. Here we are, surrounded by plush furnishings, super-abundance of delicious food, the latest electronic marvels, fancy cars, costly apparel, and every need met at the touch of a button. Still, something is missing.

What lack we yet? I draw comfort from our family dinner talks decades ago. And from reading out of the best books— classics, and scriptures. We talked about politics, history, religion, science, literature, the arts. Perhaps there would be a Beethoven sonata playing on the phonograph. It was the most well-rounded education a person could receive.  

But the most precious part of those teaching moments is not expressed in words. There was never any question whether we would show up for dinner. Presence at the family dinner hour was a given— something almost sacred. I never had to worry if Mom and Dad would be there. And when it came to right and wrong, I always knew where they stood.  That foundation gave me something solid to hang onto as I struggled through the years to maturity.  It gave me a legacy to pass on to my children. But is it enough?  For many, deep down, an unnamed hunger remains.

At the Meridian of time, people followed Jesus everywhere, irresistibly drawn to His message. Whether they were few or many, each walked away with that portion of the bread of life that fed his own soul, having connected at last with his divine heritage.

How did the Savior do it? With Parables. He broke bread with His friends. He fed them, taught them parables, and changed their lives. We call this “Dinner Talk.”

Dinner Talk is the archetype parable of the Savior’s ministry. It is the most natural, irresistible form of fellowship—and it builds lasting bonds. It is open to all, whether your table is set with tea and scones, pan y maté, or cookies and milk.

In homes where the Dinner Talk parable is a way of life, family and friends find refuge from society’s cold indifference, or even from hot hostility. All find safety in the fellowship of the King.
Dinner Talk is the universal parable, a metaphor of enduring family unity that can comfort generations, long after we are gone.

Dinner Talk Topic:
Dinner Talk, the archetype parable of the Savior’s ministry, is the universal tradition that unites families and provides a stable foundation for future generations.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Titanic Movie and History of Titanic

Dinner Topics for Friday
Titanic Movie and History of Titanic

Last week, which marked the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, a lot of young people tweeted that they were shocked … with the 100th anniversary.  They said, "Hundredth anniversary? That movie was only out ten years ago." 

They didn't even know the Titanic tragedy actually happened. What are they being taught in schools or at home, if they don't know that the Titanic actually happened?  All they know is the Titanic movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

In 1912, the Titanic was one of the largest, most luxurious steamships ever built. Follow its incredible story, from a shipyard in Ireland to the icy Atlantic Ocean, and discover how this ‘unsinkable’ ship met with such a tragic end. 


Help your children learn more about history of the Titanic. Go to and type Titanic in the search bar.

Life Lessons from History of Titanic

by Quentin L. Cook

[It has been] 100 years since the tragic sinking of the Titanic ocean liner. The calamitous circumstances surrounding this horrendous event have resonated across the entire century since it occurred. The promoters of the new luxury liner, which was 11 stories high and almost 3 football fields long,5 made excessive and unjustified claims as to the lack of vulnerability of the Titanic to winter waters full of icebergs. This ship was supposedly unsinkable; yet when it slipped beneath the surface of the icy Atlantic Ocean, over 1,500 souls lost their mortal lives.6
In many ways the sinking of the Titanic is a metaphor for life and many gospel principles. It is a perfect example of the difficulty of looking only through the lens of this mortal life. 

The loss of life was catastrophic in its consequences but was of an accidental nature. With the carnage of two world wars and having just passed the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, we have seen in our own time a window into the shock, agony, and moral issues surrounding events resulting from the evil exercise of agency. There are terrible repercussions to family, friends, and nations as a result of these tragedies, regardless of the cause.

With respect to the Titanic, lessons were learned about the dangers of pride and traveling in troubled waters and “that God is no respecter of persons.”7 Those involved were from all walks of life. Some were rich and famous, such as John Jacob Astor; but there were also laborers, immigrants, women, children, and crew members.8

There were at least two Latter-day Saint connections to the Titanic. Both illustrate our challenge in understanding trials, tribulations, and tragedies and provide insight as to how we might deal with them. The first is an example of being appreciative for the blessings we receive and the challenges we avoid. It involves Alma Sonne, who later served as a General Authority.9 He was my stake president when I was born in Logan, Utah. I had my mission interview with Elder Sonne. In those days all prospective missionaries were interviewed by a General Authority. He was a great influence in my life.

When Alma was a young man, he had a friend named Fred who was less active in the Church. They had numerous discussions about serving a mission, and eventually Alma Sonne convinced Fred to prepare and serve. They were both called to the British Mission. At the conclusion of their missions, Elder Sonne, the mission secretary, made the travel arrangements for their return to the United States. He booked passage on the Titanic for himself, Fred, and four other missionaries who had also completed their missions.10

When it came time to travel, for some reason Fred was delayed. Elder Sonne canceled all six bookings to sail on the new luxury liner on its maiden voyage and booked passage on a ship that sailed the next day.11 The four missionaries, who were excited about traveling on the Titanic, expressed their disappointment. Elder Sonne’s answer paraphrased the account of Joseph and his brothers in Egypt recorded in Genesis: “How can we return to our families and the lad be not with us?”12 He explained to his companions that they all came to England together and they all should return home together. Elder Sonne subsequently learned of the Titanic’s sinking and gratefully said to his friend Fred, “You saved my life.” Fred replied, “No, by getting me on this mission, you saved my life.”13 All of the missionaries thanked the Lord for preserving them.14

Sometimes, as was the case with Elder Sonne and his missionary associates, great blessings come to those who are faithful. We should be grateful for all the tender mercies that come into our lives.15 We are unaware of hosts of blessings that we receive from day to day. It is extremely important that we have a spirit of gratitude in our hearts.16