Be Loyal To The Royal Within You-A night for princesses

My oldest daughter and a couple of cousins were turning 12 in just a few months.  I struggled to come up with a unique way of celebrating this wonderful milestone.  While going to the temple for the first time was undoubtably the most important thing about this birthday, I still wanted to do something to let her and her cousins know that they were special.  Not only special, amazing, incredible and every good word I could think of.  So, with the support of my sisters and the help of a few uncles (we come from a HUGE family of 11 kids-8 natural sibling and 3 adopted) This is what I came up with.  I only put it together in a few days and was so pleased that so many of their other cousins (and a few friends) were willing to participate.  A few weeks later we did something special for the boys too.

Under the celestial lights that twinkled in the crisp winter air, ten beautiful young royal princesses made their way to my home.

10 princess's prepare to enter the 'House of the Lord'

10 princess’s prepare to enter the ‘House of the Lord’

Their soft giggles and voices floated up to me as I lit the last candle in my library and my sister poured the last foot spa full of steaming water.  Upon our cue, another mother made her way down to the waiting girls and handed them each their own sparkly invitation with their initials upon it.  At the top of the steps, the curious princesses (for they had been told nothing except to dress in white and to meet in the basement of my home) each showed the guards their invitations, and then were escorted to the candle-lit library on the arm of a waiting father.  Once all the girls were seated and their feet comfortably soaking in the waiting scented water (not as good as bringing them to a spa-but it was what I had), Uncle Erik spoke to these Daughter of God about what a privilege it was to be allowed to go to the temple.  He told them that as Daughters of God, they were truly born of royal birth and needed to be “Loyal To The Royal” within them.  Sometimes the world deals us a hard card, and gets really messy.  It is especially important to know that even during those times, that they are special. This is a message I wish everyone, including me really believed.

Their pretty invitation represented the precious temple recommend each of them had or would shortly get.  Uncle Erik lovingly spoke about the importance of being respectful and reverent when attending the temple, preparing themselves both spiritually and physically each time they go.  After his talk, the girls were invited to dry their feet and put on a pair of warm fuzzy socks (I was going to get them big slippers but selfishly didn’t want to add slippers to the already too much stuff my family has.  I find, with 7 kids, it is important to simplify things.  I know my daughter would LOVE slippers, but I just couldn’t do it).  They were then escorted to the Living Room.

A Magical Evening For Beautiful Princess's

A Magical Evening For Beautiful Princess’s

The Living Room had been decorated with a canopy of sheer fabric and glittery white lights.  Each took a seat and there their Aunty read a poem about their pre-existence that Grandma wrote for them.  The poem talked about them being a princess from on high.  The princesses were each given a key with the copy of the poem.  The key to exaltation is “doing your duty“.  So often, we think it is okay to not do our duty.  We talked about what our world would be like if the bus drivers decided to ‘not do their duty’ and show up for work.  Or the doctors decided to not ‘do their duty’ and make sure their diagnosis was correct.  Or what if their parents decided one day that they were just ‘too tired’ to go to work?  It is the fact that so many do their duty that our country runs as smoothly as it does.  The girls were so respectful and delighted with their ornate keys.

After the keys were handed out, one of the mothers slipped a beautiful crystal bracelet on their daughters wrists, and I spoke to them about the importance of adorning themselves in beautiful and modest clothing and thoughts.  I spoke honestly about my love for them and the virtue that shines from each of their faces.  I expressed my desire that each of the girls would commit to being a ‘safe place’ for others to be around, a place that inspires virtue, specifically for boys.  In this world full of immorality and immodesty, I know that the temptation to degrade one’s self is sometimes hard for everyone to resist, especially if the people around them are wearing things that distract one from godly thoughts and intents.  As a mother of sons, I plead with them to help inspire all who they interact with, to keep true to the “royal inside of them”.  It was clearly stated that just as we are each responsible for our own thoughts and actions, that it is naive of us to think that what we do has no effect on those around us.  Just as it is up to me to be kind to those around me, it sure makes it alot easier to be christlike and kind when those around us are kind as well.  Some people would like to think that their actions do not effect others.  This is a fallacy.  I showed them a movie I made for them celebrating their royalness.  There were giggles as their faces appeared on screens, hopefully they felt the spirit of the movie as well 🙂 The movie ended with a reminder that their Once Upon A Time is Now. (Such a great talk)

Uncle Sim followed up the message with helping them realize that their bodies are truly a temple and they needed to treat it with respect, and consideration and to expect others to do the same.  He hand them each a heart case filled with sweets and said to each one individually “Modesty is a matter of the heart.”

Being Crowned

Uncle trying to crown his niece without poking her 🙂 Check out my girls smile

The climax of the evening was when each girl individually were escorted by their willing dads to the ‘throne’ and crowned a princess.  Even the older girls seemed to enjoy this extra attention.  What a sweet moment that was to look around the room and see such radiant virtuous faces staring back at me.  What peace and awe filled my heart as I saw these royal, beautiful daughters of God being so open to hearing the words of counsel and love from their parents.  It was a precious memory.

Father Daughter

Father Daughter

Heather talked to the girls about keeping their mind full of learning. She encouraged them to reach their dreams and never be afraid of the obstacles ahead of them, reminding them that learning and education should be a life long pursuit.  She reminded them that they were born to succeed.

Since most of these girls have other girl cousins who have already accomplished much in their young life (traveled the world, delivered babies at 14, started university at 17, started a non-profit at 18 ect. . .) this message was well received. I am afraid that their willingness to listen to counsel encouraged too many parents to share their own final ‘advice’.  The evening went a little too long, but they girls did not fidget nor did they complain.  They just sat and soaked it all up.  As we closed with prayer, and the princess’s mingled with one another over food, my heart was full.

Truly I was in the presence of pure beauty and goodness.  There was no doubt in my mind that these girls were being “Loyal To The Royal” within them.

****If you think my life is a bit different (how many people get to be surrounded daily by such beautiful, strong-willed vibrant young ladies and men every day?) you should check out my SISTERS BLOG.  Her family of 8 KIDS is SAILING AROUND THE WORLD IN A BOAT (bet you are glad I clarified that it was in a boat aren’t you 🙂

Crazy Sister-Why didn’t she take me?? Sailing around the south pacific with their 8 kids.

Here is one of my nieces blogs about helping kids out of poverty.

Painting Out Poverty

Here are some hand outs my sister made that would have gone great with this evening.

Uncle Erik fight human trafficking

Every person is valuable

For more Great Christian Family Devotional ideas go here

Look at all those happy princesses!!

Be part of the change: Helping others become self-sufficient

Organization that my husband helped organize 🙂 I love that guy 🙂

happily ever after

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

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30 thoughts on “Be Loyal To The Royal Within You-A night for princesses

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  2. This bothers me. I went through this same program in the 80’s. Did you also tell the “royal hinesses” about the educational and financial poverty they would most likely go through when they married young to please you? Did you tell them about what happens at about age 23 when they wake up and grow up and realize they are stuck in a less than stellar marriage with 2 to 3 kids and absolutely dependent and miserable? Did you offer the option of being a regular young woman in the world who didn’t have to feel the need to do anyone’s “duty” but that of herself. Did you let them know it was ok and even good to be alone, independent, a world traveller, join the military, go to school, study something that interests them, and if the church does not interest them then it was fine to leave it and you’d support them? Hmmmm, probably not. Now they know if they don’t please you and let you groom them for temple marriage which you will not prepare them for and be honest about before they go…they’ll break your heart. That is manipulation. Why not have a lesson about the “Law of Sacrifice” they will have to promise to in the temple. Tell them they will have to promise every worldly thing they have to the church, even their own lives if necessary. Tell them they have to submit to their husbands and never know that they are worthy and have the right to an equal partnership, not subserviance to a man, authority or a church. Tell them what they are really promising on their wedding day….eternal polygamy. Let them read stories about that killed themselves over it in the 19th century. Have the guts to tell them truth and stop this charade. Because in 10 years when they have figured all of this out…they will hate you.

    • Dear Concerned,

      I am sorry you had a problem with my post and activity that I did with my daughter and nieces. I am sorry your reality of a temple marriage was painful, degrading and far from the ideal. I can tell by your comment that you truly are still hurting over the past and I wish I could make you believe that I care, and that I hurt for you. I have lived way too long, been part of way too much pain and bad things in this world to know that the scenario you painted has happened over and over.

      Your experience however is not everyone’s experience. In fact, from the thousands of friends and acquaintances I have within the church, your experience has only been played out a dozen of times within my circle of friends. Any time is too many.

      I am happily married. I am dizzingly in-love my husband, I am exhausted most days from tending my 7 children-but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love my life. I stop constantly throughout the day marvelling that somehow I was blessed to be able to be living my dream in every way (well actually I wouldn’t mind a bit more money to spend :). I am surrounded by equally happy, fulfilled and hardworking brilliant women (and men). This happiness came in part because my parents raised me to know that me and my 5 sisters (there were 5 boys) were AMAZING and could do ANYTHING we wanted in life. They filled my love tank so full to overflowing that I could not doubt my self-worth. When I heard the phrase “Daughter Of God”, I believed it and I still do. They let me know, in thousands and billions of ways, each day that I was valuable. I knew that no matter what I did or didn’t do in life in that they would love me, that my Heavenly Father would love me and that the Savior would love me. My husband was raised in a similar home (please don’t mistake this to mean that there wasn’t mess, conflict, arguments, chaos and real life living-with 11 kids in the family we were very REAL)

      My happiness also comes from the choice I made at a young age to pray about whether the Book Of Mormon was true. I got an answer it was. I got an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that we have living prophets today. That answer has changed my life. It has not taken away questions and doubts, it has just given faith to press forward and ‘do my duty’ when those questions arise. This has been such a blessing to me. I have felt such love, peace and joy in my life that I would not change it for the world. I know this church is true. My kids know that if they choose not to get married I would still love them. My love is not attached to actions. If my children are happy, I am happy for them (as much as my life revolves around my kids, my happiness is however dependent from theirs or my husbands happiness-it could from within).

      Sincerely,
      Naomi

      PS most of my nieces have travelled the world extensively, started business’s and graduated before or shortly after getting married at the young age of 19-20. Even one of my nephews have had the awesome experience of delivering babies at the tender age of 14!!! My kids haven’t been so blessed but hopefully that will change and they can become ‘world travellers’. Much can be said about my family and extended family, but no body has ever called the women in our family ‘weak, repressed, dull or compliant 🙂 

    • How sad that you chose to degrade this wonderful woman by leaving such a poor comment. Just because you didn’t like the choices you made in life does not mean you should push them on others. Obviously this woman cares about the girls that attended this activity and because she cares she tried to do something that would help them gain greater self esteem. It sounds like you could have used an activity like this to help you become more aware of who you are so that you would have made better decisions or maybe you made the right decisions at the time and then either you or your spouse made choices that ruined your decisions. I have had the misfortune of being connected to someone who decided to go against what we agreed on. In the end after many painful nights I chose to end the relationship so that I didn’t get destroyed as well.

      • Cole, thank you for your comment. I am glad you were able to end that unhappy relationship even though it was painful. I hope my girls have courage to do the same if they are in a similar situation, even if their heart is breaking.

    • So sorry for the sad individual whos life doesn’t even remotely describe my experience marrying at 19 in the LDS temple, having six of our own babies and then being blessed with two extra unexpected blessings. I do not know what hard sad things this person has gone through but they definatly do not even remotely resemble my incredible abundant life. I am not trying to down play their obvious misfortune and sadness but they on the other hand can not assume to speak for me or the millions of other active LDS women who do not share their perspective. I am surrounded in beauty, my home is filled with laughter and my heart feels sometimes like it will burst with joy as I have watched my own children choose amazing spouses to marry and enter the temple with. I think that all ten of these lucky girls would not have parents supporting them and encouraging them in this direction if they didn’t feel fullfilment and peace. What parent would want for there child to suffer if they were suffering? Not a very loving one. On the other hand what parent wants to share their treasures and abundance with their children? I for one would give up everything I have for my children and pray for their greatest success. Do I think these parents are setting their girls up for heart break? Do I think they will hate their parents? I have to draw on my experience as a child with incredible parents who were such great example to me. I have to look around me at all my siblings and hundreds of happy successful friends. Then I do not have to look very far or read very much to see that I think this is the absolute best recipe for success!

      • I totally agree Sheira. I have seen so many peoples lives transformed by accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. My life has been transformed. When I think about all my parents did to raise me within the gospel influence, all I can feel is an incredible love for who they are, and gratitude for all they have done. Only now that I am a mother do I realize how exhausting and hard it can be sometimes, but also, how wonderfully fulfilling.

    • that was so awesome what you did with your girls! I wish all girls Christian or not knew how special they are and that purity and modesty are real and that God does have a plan for each of them…thx for this blog!

    • I am sorry Chelsea that you found this evening disgusting. If you were referring to the foot baths, I assure you that they each got their own container to soak their feet in 🙂 I am happy my daughter loved it which was the main object of the evening. If you had a daughter turning 12 what would you do to make her feel special (my daughter did not want to get her ears pierced)? I am sincerely interested in what you consider a proper ‘un-disgusting’ activity to do with a pre-teen.

  3. Very creepy. (Oh, I know you won’t post this comment but I had to give my response….wow, one star reviews….I’m not the only one who found this to be weird and disturbing I guess!)

    • I do appreciate you comment. It amazes me that anyone would read such an obscure little post in an jungle of blogs, and to top it off you actually responded. My sole purpose in doing my blog is to celebrate the good and great in the world, because there is so much good out there. Not only am I trying to write about the good I see, which mostly revolve around my kids, I am also trying to do good-especially to my kids-I am sorry that that creeps you out.

      I am not offended by your remark. I know that different people do different things for find meaning and lasting fulfillment. I think the whole point is not to argue or offend, but to be a bit more broad minded realizing that though different than ours, other peoples opinions can be just as valid as our own.

      I do wonder at the idea that a dad taking time to help their daughters realize how incredible they are just because they are themselves is creepy. I would think that not enough dad’s are giving that message to their kids. Our jails are full of fatherless children. While you obviously would not like to be treated like royalty, I am surprised that you couldn’t imagine that for some people, especially young girls, that experience would be wonderful. Indeed, if you saw the way those girls sparkled, and still do when talking about the evening, you may have even been tempted to view the evening as ‘sweet’ instead of creepy. Judging by how popular ‘princess academy’, ‘princess diaries’ and every other ‘princess’ movie is to young girls at large, you might find that more girls then you currently think might not object to having an evening when they got to soak their feet, get beautiful jewelry and eat yummy food. I would wager that few would find the experience ‘creepy’. Just to clarify, this activity was one that I as a mother, not a young women leader, put on. I did it out of a desire to remind my daughter and her cousins that they are enough-just being themselves.

    • What is weird or creepy about showing love and caring for young women. I am surprised that anyone would say anything negative about a mother loving her children and those around her. Maybe if we had more women in the world who did this type of creepy and disturbing thing we would have more mothers who care about being a mother!

      • Thanks Dell,
        I really was trying to do something memorable for these girls. I think too often the messages around us tell us we ‘aren’t skinny enough, too skinny, not rich enough, not pretty enough and just not enough’. This is so false. We all are ‘enough’ just how we are. This was the main message of the evening.

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  5. I don’t like my daughters to watch princess movies either. And thank you for clarifying that you did this in your own home, and not as a YW leader. Unfortunately, I did have activities like this as a youth, at church sponsored activities. Google Temple Time Capsule. When I was 12. Wedding planning for 12 year olds?

    • Yes this was solely the brain child of me and my sister. I am afraid that I never grew out of the dress up stage. My friends always laugh at me that I come dressed up to so many events. I know I look ‘less than royal’ in my costumes but the kids love it and so do their friends 🙂 I figure I am willing to look a little silly if it means that I am involved in my kids life. I laugh to think of all the poor boys as a teen-ager that I dated and made dress up as well. . .sometimes I wonder why they kept coming over!! I didn’t really talk about getting married at this evening, unless it was in passing, the evening was just really all about how loved, special and incredible they were.

  6. This looked like a wonderful evening. What a blessing that there are still moms and dads out there in the world that are teaching their daughters that they are princesses. Good job, great ideas!

    • Thank-you, it was so fun. The boys are eagerly waiting for what is coming their way. I just handed on boy a ‘scroll’ tonight and the look of trepidation and interest was so fun to see-they never know what adventure I have up my sleeves for them. I think it good to keep them on their toes! I will update my blog on whether their ‘quest’ helps them be ‘loyal to the royal’ inside them. I find my boys way harder to inspire than my girls (I don’t think soaking their feet and giving them a pretty crown will do it. A sword maybe. . .:) )

  7. An aquaintance of a friend of my family linked this post to a blog and I was bored so I read it. What a wonderful event. I cannot say that I have ever experienced this type of thing myself but after reading what you are doing for your children I am inspired to do something similar. It is obvious to me that you are a christian family that is interested in instilling values in your children so they grow up to be contributing members of society. Your girls (are they all yours) look radiant and I hope that this event is something that stays with them for a long time.

    I hope that the negative remarks from others does not disuade you from your task of raising great leaders. Often times others don’t understand why a parent chooses a method of instiling values or they are jealous that they either did not do what you have done or someone did not do it for them. I enjoy reading about strong, moral based families and what they are doing. I am not as concerned about which church they attend but rather more interested that they are working hard to bring light to this world.

    I hope that your boys get something special as well and that they all find success as they live and learn in a faith based home. I have forwarded your blog to my minister because I would like to see these activities in my church as well.
    May God bless you with energy, hope, knowledge and the patience to see past the doubting Thomas’s of the world.

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  9. We wish we were closer to you guys so our children would be positively influenced by these activities. Hopefully this summer we will be able to stay up there for a long time. My feeling is that even if the memory of the event fades that at least you worked hard to make a good life for your kids

  10. It sounds like you created an amazing evening that these young ladies will cherish and remember for the rest of their lives. If more parents spent as much time with their children and were as in-tune with them as you are, the world would be a much better place. You’re an amazing mother/aunty! The exposure to the church I received from you and the morals it teaches is the whole reason I am ok with my boys deciding they’d like to be baptised even though I’m not a member.

    • I am glad I did some good in this world Tabby!!! I am happy for your boys. I think you are such a wonderful person and I know you are an amazing mother. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  11. Wow, honestly…this much time and preparation for celebrating your daughter…amazing and from what I can tell it wasn’t a birthday party? The evidence of your success is that the girls felt special, they didn’t even seem to mind when the evening went long. My kids would never go for this kind of thing, I literally have to take them on cruises to be able to get them away from their busy life to spend time with them. Some people would call that creepy but it is what works for us. I really wish I had someone in my children’s life that would show enough caring and interest in them to be included in such an event (probably not a princess temple night as that is not our thing, but just anything) I can’t believe the dads were also so involved. What other ideas do you have for celebrating our kids lives?

    • I have a feeling that my daughter would rather go on a cruise 🙂 Unfortunately that isn’t in our budget. It was great the Dads were involved too. My idea jar is a little empty right now-too busy rocking my teething toddler:)

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