Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting Better Everyday

This week in institute we received the an assignment for our final exam on the teachings of Brigham Young. In it we were encouraged to find eight quotes from our readings of his teaching that have inspired us and helped us to want to become better. As I took the time to think and reflect on that prompt I really was impressed by the principle of eternal progression illustrated in this quote
 " If you say that you want mysteries, commandments, and revelations, I reply that scarcely a Sabbath passes over your head, those of you who come here, without your having the revelations of Jesus Christ poured upon you like water on the ground."
As I thought about that I remembered many of the things that I have been taught while listening in church, or in institute, and how it was something that I had never even thought about previously. But the best part is that the same thing can happen every single day if I keep applying the things that I learn and becoming better every day. I know that through the power of Jesus Christ that is possible and that thanks to him one day I can be my very best self.

-Ryan Larsen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More new faces!

Meet the other half of our wonderful CES missionaries--Sister Cooper! Thank you to the star interviewer Katie Dempsey. Without further ado...


          Sister Janet Cooper, born in California on July 1st, 1938, grew up with her brother and three sisters. She was baptized at eight years old in Santa Clara before moving to Utah. She went to college at Sequoias in California, received her BA from San Jose State, and then moved on to complete grad work in botany at BYU and in Arizona State. The thing she misses most about home is the people, but she loves Seattle for its environment: it is very green, and is full of beautiful scenery. She and her family love to gather and sing together whenever she is home, and when she is away she loves to listen to the words of the apostles. She cannot choose a favorite, because they are all her favorites Out of the entire year, her favorite day is the longest day, right at the beginning of summer. Still, she loves Thanksgiving in the Fall, and the vanilla ice cream that comes with it.

**Sister Cooper is like the grandmother we all wish we could have. She has a very kind and gentle demeanor and when she talks you feel like she has the most wisdom a human could possibly have. We are so blessed to have her at the institute! If you have not met Sister Cooper, you need to re-evaluate this coming weeks schedule to do that!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Hot chocolate. Toasted marshmallows. And of course, savory chicken soup. In this transitional phase from autumn to winter, it is undoubtedly getting colder and colder, but I am glad that I can go home in the evening to one of these small mood-boosting delights of life. Likewise, I see institute as one big bowl of chicken soup or one huge toasted marshmallow, a place where I can warm my soul from the stress of school, and maybe even the greater stress that comes from other aspects of life. I am grateful for  institute and the people there- they constantly remind me of the gratitude I have for our Heavenly Father's love and his creations, including something as simple as hot chocolate.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New faces!

This year, the Seattle Institute was blessed to receive two new CES sister missionaries and a new instructor! They are incredible and have already contributed so much to the institute. Come by the institute, and take one of their classes to get to them better. In the meantime, members of the leadership committee put their interviewing skills on the table for all of us to get to know them better!  Thank you to Alex, Katie, and Kendhall for their creative interviewing approaches!! 

Sister Iskenderian the Fantastic
October 2011
In the words of Alex

If I could change my name to anything that I wanted I would be named Sierra.
I was born on 18 June 1942 and baptized in 1950. But I know I don’t look that old.
Of course my favorite day of the year is today, and especially if today is Thanksgiving.
If I could be anyone from the Book of Mormon then I would be Jacob. Why you may ask, because he was a young and handsome young man steadfast in the gospel. He was a quiet man, not always in the limelight but steadfast nevertheless.
I love Earth, it is my favorite Planet.
What do I love about Seattle? The waterways… water is cool! And also, of course, the young adults of the institute. However, I do miss my grandchildren.
Speaking of my grandkids, if I were to describe my family I would say that we love to have fun and laugh, but we also have our share of drama.
I went to college at the College of the Sequoias in California.
My favorite family tradition is the fact that we celebrate everything. Whether it’s Christmas or Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we will celebrate.
In my future novel my main character will be a Captain Kid (probably not a pirate) and his quest would be to travel the world rescuing children from ail and every injustice, joining his motley crew of justice fighters. (Captain Kid and the Lockness Monster coming in 2012)
My favorite apostle is President Eyering because he is so tender and soft spoken, but very serious about the gospel and his love for it. He’s in the forefront of the church but was not self-appointed but simply accepting his call from God.

**We are so grateful to have Sister Iskendarian at our institute! One of her greatest gifts is her ability to reach out and personally connect to others. She is a living example of love and charity . 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Great interfaith experience!

This week I had the opportunity to go with a few other Institute students to the weekly meeting of the UW Interfaith group, Bridges.  The topic of the meeting was the relationship between religion and culture and we discussed things like "Can religion exist without culture?" with about five other people from various religious backgrounds.  I was really impressed by the amount of truth that was shared by the students from other faiths, especially the insights of one student on the purpose of religion and faith which he summarized as bringing about a change within ourselves for the better.  It was a humbling experience to remember that truth can come from anywhere, not just church-sponsored meetings and activities.   I would encourage any interested Institute students to come to the Bridges meetings! They are held on Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:20 in Savery 131.
-Maggie Brown

Friday, October 14, 2011


So, institute has been pretty fantastic thus far this school year. I have been fortunate enough in my schedule to take the class on Teachings of Brigham Young and also Pearl of Great Price. Both have been incredible experiences full of learning and inspiration. My favorite, though, has definitely been delving into the Pearl of Great Price, studying and learning more about the creation, where we come from, and the purpose of our own creation. I have loved being able to feel the spirit more in my life, which has in turn led to more success in the academic field.

Also, last week here at institute we had the TURKEY BOWL! Pretty much my favorite event of the year. Imagine, thirty two teams playing in a double elimination flag football tournament under the lights in Husky Stadium. Remember that scripture that says "stand ye in holy places"? Welll, I am pretty sure that this qualifies. Hats are off to the team from U3 otherwise known as "The Dawgfathers", as they won the tournament for the third straight year.

Long story short, this place ROCKS! Come join my institute class at 1:30, Monday and Wednesday, as we need more people.

Thanks for reading!

Bryan Briggs

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thoughts from Dane

by Dane Stevenson

Institute has provided me with the opportunity to understand the scriptures on a deeper level. With a busy school schedule I noticed that I don't take the time to dive into the scriptures like I had in the past. Sometimes I will read just a little to maintain the daily habit of reading, but this only does so much. Receiving instructions from teachers and other students has helped me to have a deeper incite on spiritual topics, allowing me to strengthen my testimony in the scriptures and the power they have to point us to Christ.

A good example of this comes from a class I took last quarter on the Book of John. It was amazing to learn and see how John builds upon his testimony to teach us about Christ, and to help us remember this; we were constantly referred to verses 30 - 31 of John chapter 20. In these verses John tells us the reasons why Christ performed the miracles he did and why John chose to write them down. Each of the 7 miracles that John testifies of teaches us about different ways we can apply Christ's atonement in our lives and he lays them out in order of importance. Of course, the last miracle that John teaches us about is the resurrection.

With out the class room setting I probably would have never taken the opportunity to dive that deep in to one book of scriptures.

*PS. He's graduating Institute along with many others on June 4th at 6 pm!
If you wish to attend please email us at, or call us 206-633-2955, because space is limited and we want to get the right amount of food for this nice dinner. If you have already reserved a seat but find that you are unable to attend after all please cancel your reservation so we can open your seat to someone else. We must have RSVPs by May 27th, 2011.

It's going to be fancy and great with Seattle Temple President being our feature guest speaker.

Friday, May 20, 2011

and the funnies continue

Understanding Mormonism

by Kendahl

This week I was asked to prepare some words on the Church's Humanitarian efforts for our Understanding Mormonism that was being held. In preparation for this I took some time to read my scriptures and search in order to understand what it was I was supposed to discuss. As the day approached the lesson on the Book of Mormon ended up taking longer than expected (which was totally fine for it was for a good reasoning-trying to help a nonmember understand its principles) But afterwards I walked out with a guy who was interested in discussing more on the principles of the church. I got to experience a missionary moment and help someone come to understand what we as Latter-Day Saints stand for. I know its because of the Lord's help that I was prepared to discuss this topic with him because of my efforts in preparing for my other lesson. I am very thankful for being able to talk to this young man about our church, it helped strengthen my testimony of the gospel and gave me a chance to share the gospel that I love!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

the marriage class

Amit & Marinda

Last quarter we had a chance to get personal marriage counseling at the institute. For some reason, 8:30 in the morning during the middle of winter is not a popular time for institute class, so when we took Book of Mormon 2 and Church History 3 with Brother White (at 8:30 Mon-Thurs) it turned into our own private marriage class! We can’t remember exactly what the lessons were supposed to be about, but ended up learning valuable life lessons from those classes. For example, we learned about not ‘keeping score’ in a relationship, where you do things not so you can say ‘you owe me because I did this’ but because you truly have become unified as one, and lifting your companion’s burden is equivalent to lifting your own.

A lot of people think that institute is for when you’re single. But we can tell you that taking institute classes together was one of the best things we did to get our marriage started off on the right foot. We feel closer as a couple from studying the scriptures and from standing in holy places together. We can also feel a positive spirit in our home as we’ve strived to center our lives around Christ and the scriptures. We love institute and we plan to keep coming until they kick us out!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Preparing for Easter

by Maggie Brown

This quarter I'm taking Book of Mormon: 1st Nephi-2nd Nephi with Sister Harwood and Sister Anderson. I love this class, usually there are only four of us- the two sisters, another student, and me- which allows for some really good conversations. This week we talked about the first few chapters of 2nd Nephi and the prophecies about Christ that are made there which was a great preparation for Easter. The best part of the whole class was hearing the testimonies of the sister missionaries about Christ. Sister Anderson shared the words to "I Stand All Amazed" and we sang "I Believe in Christ" and for the fifty minutes in class I felt this great spirit of unity between the four of us. Even though we are all in different stages of life, it was great to share testimonies together and be joined by that. It was definitely the highlight of my day, and one of the things that makes me look forward to this class. I'm grateful that Institute this week could help me get ready for Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Parables of Jesus Institute Class

by Carole Stoddard

On Wednesday, I was in the Parables of Jesus class and we discussed John 10:1-42. Something that I always think of when I am at the institute is the fact that I always feel the spirit. In this lesson, we went in depth with what we thought were the important items in the verses. These include the shepherd, the sheep, the thief/robber, strangers, pasture, sheepfold and the hireling. Brother Knowles talked about the sheepfold being the pre-mortal existence. From the chapter, I understood that it was about how Jesus would lead his sheep, and that he put down his life for us in the atonement, like the good shepherd. I had never thought of it as he literally led us out to pasture so that we could learn and grow. It was something that I knew, but hadn't thought about it. Going to classes isn't so much the learning about the scriptures, it's about the personal revelation that I receive in the class.

Brother Knowles had us sing Hymn 221 "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd." In verse 4 it says "Make us thy true under-shepherds; Give us a love that is deep. Send us out into the dessert, Seeking thy wandering sheep." In the allegory in John 10, the hireling is mentioned. The hireling cares not for the sheep, s/he is only in it for gain. We are supposed to be true under-shepherds, caring for the sheep and searching for them. We are all called to love our fellow brothers and sisters and that class reminded me of that. I'm going to try to be a better under-shepherd in my family, in my calling and in my life. I hope that those of you who read this will decide to do so with me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

by Mike R.

Lans Drake is awesome! After his mission prep class he made some cinnamon rolls for all of those who were in the library diligently studying (Russell, Colin and I). We had fun chatting and eating rolls. It was a good break from studying. Things like this happen all of the time at the institute. Small get-togethers happen spontaneously. There will be more to come!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mission Prep

 by Lans Drake

Yesterday I had a good experience in my Mission Prep class. I learned that I need to work on establishing common ground before explaining new ideas and understanding with people I share the gospel with. I know applying this is going to help me become a greater missionary.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Institute: Party Woo


Bryan here, wearing my UW purple and proud of it. Colors of Royalty...
Enough of that, on to more spiritual matters. Institute has been pretty awesome recently, we are just in the first week of the quarter and things are already going very well. I am taking a class called Book of Mormon 3, which covers the books of Alma and Helamen in the Book of Mormon, and is taught by Brother White. Whoever is reading this should join that class now. Brother White is the boss, his teaching is incredible, and we have some good laughs as well. The class is from 10:30 to 11:20 AM Mondays and Wednesdays, and it is something that has really impacted me in a positive way. Not only does it keep me in the habit of good scripture study, but I also learn new things for my future, and the extra dose of the Holy Ghost in my week helps me out in my academic life too.

Institute, that is where it's at.
Party woo.


Monday, March 28, 2011

six months and still strong...kinda

Contributor: Angela

It's been a little over six months since I moved here to Seattle. I'm a transplant from Happy Valley, Utah (ie Provo). Like many graduate students, I had shining hopes of finding my dreams in the Emerald City. I can only speak for myself, but it's been less than dreamy.
Who knew how hard it would be to move to a new place? No wait. Who knew how hard graduate school would really be? I feel like it's a mission. You know it's gonna be hard, but you don't know how hard until you're on one.

Even though I'm in my mid-twenties, I still have this yearning to belong somewhere and to be a part of something. It's been half a year, and I find myself still searching. Sometimes I want to give up, and just isolate myself. It's easy to do that here in Seattle. I find people are independent in this unique "Seattle-ite" way. You know what I mean by that? Anyways, though it seems simple to mainstream myself to soloing it out here, shying from conjugal laughter and merriment, something won't let me completely hide myself.

I need people in my life. People who encourage me, who ask me how I am (and actually are waiting for an answer). I need that hug and definitely that smile. I need someone to make me laugh and remind me that I'm helpful.

I don't think I'm alone in this feeling. I decided that I needed to stop waiting for people to reach out to me. Surprisingly, when I reached out, I found that many have echoed a similar sentiment of loneliness. Especially for so many who are trying to find their niche out here. It surprises me as I discover how many incredible people there are out here. Why are we hiding from each other? So let's make one together. Let's be there for each other.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Making Changes

by Katie and Cassie

As Institute wrapped up its Winter quarter this week, it was time to get down to what our classes here are really all about: progress.

In Book of Mormon this week, we learned about the experiences of Alma the younger, and of the process of repentance. With a visit from an angel, he was finally brought to realize the wrongs of his actions, and to truly convert to the ways of the Lord. For him, repentance was prompted by a single event-- however, experiences like Alma's are not the norm. Repentance is usually a result of progress; of self-evaluation and resolution. Only after making changes to their own lives could he and the sons of Mosiah spread the gospel to the Lamanites.

Only through faith in God and the righteousness of his commandments may we come to know our duty here on Earth. The Lord's gospel is one of progress and charity: it is our responsibility to assess our own lives and see the changes that we must make. Then, we can help others.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So Precious!

Yesterday while I was getting my lunch ready at the institute before my o-chem lab, from the kitchen I heard shuffling around the foyer and a voice ask Sister Anderson and Sister Harwood if they needed help. As I went out to the car to help unload, I couldn't help but be grateful for all the people who immediately stood up to help these wonderful Sisters. It literally only took one trip out to the car to gather everything because so many people gave of their time. I'm so grateful to be associated with so many wonderful people who reach out to others no matter the circumstances.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Growing Is Forever

Growing is Forever from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

This video was shared not too long ago at the Leadership Committee Meetings on Fridays that the Institute has every week. It is a beautiful video that is analogous to our own lives and how we continually grow and it is an eternal concept. It's beautifully edited and created. Let us know what you think and some of the insights you had watching it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Welcome to the blog

We are excited to start a Seattle LDS Institute blog. It will be a resource for people to hear about what's going on in the classes and how the activities turned out. We also hope it will become an interactive site where we can become more united as a body and another resource for inspiration for you.
Feel free to follow us and e-mail us if you'd like to contribute something.