Our Need for a Savior

As Easter once again approaches, I’d like to share a few thoughts about our need for a Savior.

We have been taught by ancient and modern prophets about our purpose on earth, we are here to prepare to meet God and with Him enjoy eternal life. Do we always get everything right? Never make a mistake? Not me, I’ve made my share and then some but in the Doctrine and Covenants section 64, starting in verse 2, the Lord tells us,” For verily I say unto you, I will that ye should overcome the world; wherefore I will have compassion on you.”

In verse 7, “…I say unto you, I the Lord forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.”

Verse 13, And this ye shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver.

Verse 23: “Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

At Easter, we think about the perfect example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want to be pure before Him and as the time of His prophesied Second Coming draws closer, it is wise for us to prepare by forgiving and working a little harder to be good Christians.

Christ, who had the power to overcome death and the grave, promises to be with us and help us through these difficult times. He is always true to His word, whether He offers a blessing or pronounces a curse because of our actions. This Easter, let us think about ways to become more Christlike and forgiving, even as He forgives us.

It’s interesting to think that for almost 2,000 years our ancestors looked to the Savior for comfort and protection. But when the priesthood was taken from the Earth, probably around the 4th Century A.D., men turned to superstition and other devices hoping for help. But shortly after America was founded and the Constitution guaranteeing and protecting freedom of religion ratified, the heavens once again opened.

John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood through the young prophet Joseph Smith on May 15, 1829. Later Peter, James and John transferred the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood and Elijah gave the Sealing Power in the first temple of this dispensation on April 3, 1836 after the dedication. Once again, man on earth had access to the help and powers of heaven; to heal, to baptize, to remit sin, to gather Israel, seal families together for eternity and confer the guidance and companionship of the Holy Ghost.

It is my privilege and responsibility to share these critical pedagogies at this time.

My family loves Easter and its attendant traditions; but the true power and majesty comes from the knowledge that Jesus Christ through His Divine power and Sonship overcame death and was resurrected, and we can have the same experience through Him. I’m grateful to be part of a forever family, to have a continued relationship beyond the grave with the people who mean the most to me. I love my Savior and encourage you to come unto Him and help others to also.

Happy Easter.

Here are a few of our favorite traditions, I’ve posted them before but its fun to revisit these especially if you have children.

Easter and Passover

Please take a few minutes to watch this inspirational video about Jesus Christ and see how He can change your life: 


This sweet little activity teaches small children about the miracle of Easter. A basket is filled with colored plastic Easter eggs containing scripture verses and objects that represent Christ’s experience.

You will need

12 medium to large plastic Easter eggs that open and the objects below.

With a fine point permanent marker write the numbers 1 – 12 on the ends of the plastic eggs. Copy and cut apart the scriptures of the Easter story and place in the numbered eggs with the following:

1. A small cup or wooden thimble (from craft store)

2. Three dimes

3. A 4″ piece of twine

4. A small piece of soap

5. A small robe cut from red felt

6. A small wooden cross or brown card stock cross

7. Two dice

8. A small square of white fabric torn almost in half

9. A square of white fabric

10. A small stone

11. A few cloves, a piece of cinnamon stick, bay leaf

12. Nothing – this represents the empty tomb

Have the children open the eggs in order to read the Easter story above. Print it and cut it into strips to add to the eggs.


Melt in a large saucepan

12 oz butterscotch chips

Add and stir until blended

1 C peanut butter

Fold in

10 – 12 oz. chow mein noodles

Drop by large spoonfuls onto wax paper, shape into nests. Using a food marker pen, write names on

large candy-coated malted eggs

Place in nest with a few jellybeans.  Yields 15 small nests.


I love this book!

The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward

A sweet mother rabbit wants to be an Easter Bunny. She can do it with her family’s cooperation, but needs a little more help to take a special treat to a  child in need.

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Max’s Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells

Ruby teaches Max the intricate finesse of Easter egg hunting.

Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells

Ruby and Max shop for a present for Grandma.

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The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The classic adventure of a mischievous Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s garden.

Your local book store and online book sellers have lots of beautifully illustrated sacred and secular Easter books.

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Easy-to-make Easter Gift

Is the Easter Bunny at your house looking for easy inexpensive gifts to fill the baskets? Here’s a cute and easy project:

You will need:
2 twelve inch scrapbook papers
2 plain white 8.5″ x 11″ papers for each booklet
miniature colored pencils (shown from Michael’s Crafts)
gluestick or glue
grommets, punch and setter or sewing machine
twine or ribbon

Attach the scrapbook papers together with right sides out using the adhesive.

Cut into 4″ x 12″ strips. Decide which will be the outside, lay the paper with the outside down. Fold 2” of the bottom edge up toward the center and crease. Punch holes and use grommets in the corners or stitch to make a pocket.

Bring the top edge down to the bottom fold and crease the center, it should be 5″‘ x 4″ . Set aside the cover.

Fold the white paper lengthwise into 4.25″ x 11″. Cut into three strips 4.25″ x 3.66″ Stack the six sheets and punch holes on the crease, about an inch in from each edge.

Lay the white papers on the cover, center them and punch matching holes in the cover. Tie together with twine or ribbon.

Tuck pencils into pocket and give to darling little people.



One of the highlights of spring for children! They enjoy decorating eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide. At some houses the bunny hides the basket too. We have our hunt on Saturday to focus on the Savior on the Sabbath. There are all sorts of yummy candies on the market for Easter. If you want to cut the sugar; dried fruit, nuts, small crackers and natural treats are a good alternative. And money – kids like money.

Indigo Crossing


For perfect hard-boiled eggs:

Allow the eggs to come to room temperature

Place eggs in a single layer in a pot

Add cold water to two inches above eggs

Set stove on high heat, boil one minute, cover, turn off heat and let sit for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove one egg, run it under cool water and peel to test for doneness.

Pour off cooking water; cover eggs with cool water.

Drain and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.


An easy, inexpensive dye can be made from food coloring, water and white vinegar.

For each pot of dye place in a container (the taller and narrower the better)

            1 C warm water

            1 TBSP white vinegar

            a few drops of food coloring

Place colored eggs in cardboard egg cartons to dry. For variations: draw on dry eggs with markers, add stickers and stars.


Dye eggs using the above method.

Place 1/2″ to 3/4″ of a dye mixture in the bottom of a shallow bowl.
 Start with 1 teaspoon, and add 1 to 3 teaspoons of canola, olive or vegetable oil to the dye. The base color will show through more with a larger amount of oil
Gently place an egg in the bowl. Use a fork or spoon to drizzle a few drops of dye over the egg to make a marbleized effect. Food coloring dyes the egg quickly. Using more oil in the dye bath will keep it from seeping into the egg too fast. Remove egg, place on a paper towel to dry. Wipe egg carefully. Avoid contact with furniture or other fabric.

Easter Bunny Lures
Bunny bait – entice the Easter bunny with cookies!

Sugar Cookies


1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
1 egg
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring

Set aside. In another bowl sift together

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until a smooth dough is formed.
Add 1 – 2 tsp water if necessary. Wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Roll
out fough on floured surface to 1/2 ” thick. Cut with cookie cutters, place on
lightly-greased cookie sheets. bake at 400 6- 8 minutes, until golden around
the edges. Cool on pan 5 minutes, then remove to a cookie rack. Frost with
Lemon Buttercream Frosting.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Cream together

1 C butter, softened
1 tsp lemon flavoring

Mix in

1 lb. powdered sugar
2 – 3 tBSP milk

Divide and add food coloring as desired (we used neon for the cookies in the photo). These are so delicious and can be baked ahead and frozen.



Glow-in-the-dark Silly Putty Eggs or scented putty in tins

Handmade bunnies, pompom chicks and ducks

German paper mache eggs containing small cars, dolls, and animals

Money egg:  fold up a $5 or larger bill, put it in a special egg


Bird whistles

Tickets to a movie, concert or play


Fruit Snacks, Goldfish crackers

Jars of jam

Nuts, Jordan almonds

Ribbon, Cute shoelaces

Meet the McMurtrys!

Hi, thank you for stopping by – we’re your neighbors Newell and Pam McMurtry . We are excited to get to know you; here’s our contact information.

Newell and Pam McMurtry

813 Cherry Lane

Smithville, MO, 64089

Our website for McMurtry Creative Media is is www.mcreativem.com

This is our backstory:

Gene Newell McMurtry

Newell was born in the early 1950s to Gene and Joyce Newell McMurtry in Holly Colorado, a tiny town on the border of Kansas where his family had a cattle ranch. To support his growing family, Gene returned to college (Purdue) and became a professor of agriculture. His first job was at Virginia Tech, and they settled in Blacksburg, VA. Newell grew up with his 4 younger brothers and sisters there, explored caves, and enjoyed the beautiful Appalachian area. He attended VT where he earned a B.S. degree in Biology. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission in Munich Germany in the early 1970s. While he was in Germany, his Dad took a job at UMass Amherst and the family moved to Massachusetts. Newell met and married Dana at BYU in Utah and because of his Dad’s fight with cancer, they moved back to Massachusetts to help his family. His first son Karl was born in Massachusetts. He joined the Army Reserves and earned a M.S. in Human Nutrition. His son Dylan was born years later in Bakersfield, CA where he had taken a job. He recently retired after a successful career as a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetic Educator and a nutrition teacher at Taft College.

Newell writes science fiction, has had a book published, Commodore Farmer .

Also a self-published anthology called Night Clinic.

Pamela Layton McMurtry

Pam was born to Larry and Nixon Roberts Layton in Los Angeles, CA where Larry was studying at USC on the G.I. Bill in the late 1950’s. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and took a job in Oceanside, CA as a teacher, then principal. Pam grew up on the beach in Carlsbad, CA with her younger sister and brother. After she graduated from high school , she married Bill and they became the parents of William, Laurel, Heather and Andrew, all born in Oceanside, CA. Pam attended school, worked in gourmet catering and wedding design and earned a B.F.A. with emphasis in art teaching from the University of Utah.

Pam writes nonfiction and children’s literature and self-published A Harvest and Halloween Handbook on Amazon and BN.com.

Also A Mermade’s Tale for children. She has also published 60 articles in print and online media and has been featured as the “Holiday Diva” on 16 BYU Sirius XM Radio 143 broadcasts. She has also made public art and taught art classes from grades K- college.

When Pam and Newell were single parents living in Bakersfield, CA, they met at a church dance and after dating for a while, decided to blend their families. They had one more son named Tim and had seven children altogether.

This is an old photo; now they are grandparents of 15!

Our Ties to Missouri

Pam’s great…great grandparents Elizabeth Duncan and her husband Samuel Porter were American Revolutionary War heroes in Virginia/Kentucky. They eventually moved with their children to Independence, MO where she died and was buried in 1845. Pam’s great great grandmother, Sarah Jane Porter was born in Lee’s Summit in 1844. Pam’s granddaddy George William Roberts was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1914.

We are excited to be here in the Heartland and look forward to living near and serving you our new neighbors. We have started a writer’s group that meets in our home the first Friday of the month. If you are published, experienced or are new in the journey and would like tips and advice, join us! Text Pam and she will add you to our text chain. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Newell is an experienced genealogist; if you would like to search your family roots he can help you. We have discovered many exciting people and relationships in our family history and even went to Europe to see some of the places our ancestors built, their communities and traditions.

If we’re not here we’re probably with our grandchildren or at the lake or the beach (or wishing we were ;)) Call or text if you need anything.