During these past months of social distancing, I’m loving to bake, and nothing beats fresh buns with dinner. Here is my recipe:
Ingredients: 1 ½ Tablespoons yeast; ¾ cup water; 1 Tablespoon salt;
3 Tablespoons butter; ¼ cup sugar; 2 ⅔ cup water; 5 cups flour; 2-3 cups flour.
Combine yeast and ¾ cup water in a mixing bowl. Let sit until yeast is activated (bubbly), about 10 minutes. Add salt, butter, sugar, 2 ⅔ cup water and 5 cups flour. Mix until combined. Then while still mixing, add remaining flour ½ cup at a time until desired consistency is acquired (amount may change from day to day). Dough should be pliable, not sticky. Continue mixing for 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large bowl (prepared with oil to prevent sticking). Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Punch down dough and form into bread or buns and place in pans or on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise another 30-45 minutes. (This recipe is also great for cinnamon buns or pizza buns.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while dough is rising for the second time.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy.
Outcomes of Missing Key Ingredients
Have you ever missed an ingredient in a recipe? Sometimes, it doesn’t make a big difference, but it can be catastrophic. If you forget the salt in a bread recipe, it can cause the dough to rise too quickly and then collapse during baking. Salt slows down the fermentation process by dehydrating the yeast. Missing the cheese in lasagna can make a huge difference in the resulting dinner. Forgetting the chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie recipe will still result in a delicious cookie, but something is missing that could make it better. If I try a new recipe, I often read the recipe ahead of time to make sure that I have the needed ingredients on hand, and then I have the recipe close at hand as I begin preparing so that I don’t miss a step or an ingredient.
This same principle applies to living the gospel. Moroni warned that the world tells us that “there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues” (Mormon 9:7). How often do we believe such lies? Maybe we see miracles in the lives of those around us and wonder why God has forsaken us. Moroni goes on to explain that the reason God ceases “to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust” (Mormon 9:20).
Having trust that God will continue to reveal His words to us and then living according to God’s commandments and promptings are two key ingredients for opening the windows of heaven’s blessings and miracles. Whether baking bread or praying for miracles, we need to follow the recipes that will guide us to good results.
Tasting and Experiencing Miracles
This year has been filled with trials and tribulations that we never imagined could happen at the beginning of 2020. My arm is covered in minor burn scars obtained in the past eight months that are the result from baking during our isolation at home.
Others may have scars deep inside from the pains and grief they have felt over the last eight months because of this pandemic.
When school was cancelled, our family’s biggest concern was how our children would be able to finish the school year from home. Both my husband and I were still able to work throughout the shutdown—a huge blessing for us. This meant, however, that during the day our three teen/preteen children would be left on their own to keep up with their schoolwork. As the days went on, we had our struggles, but my husband soon started working from home, enabling him to give them the small reminders throughout the day to keep up with their home and school assignments.
While there were many changes to our lives during the pandemic shutdown, many things did not change. We continued our Come, Follow Me studies and daily scripture study and family prayer. These are the things that helped us continue to feel “normal” in our home. All of our children did amazingly well with their schoolwork. It wasn’t easy, but they worked hard and never gave up. These were additional miracles for our family.
Cultivating Unshakable Faith in Christ
In the November 2-8, 2020 Come, Follow Me lesson, Moroni gives us the “recipe” for miracles, “Behold, I say unto you, that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9:21).
In the September 28-Oct 11, 2020 Come, Follow Me lesson, the Saviour also tells us that “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you”. (3 Nephi 18:20) It is hard to know what the Lord believes is “right” and will bring us the greatest blessings, but we can be assured that His plan is great. We still should ask in faith for things that we desire.
Sister Sydney S. Reynolds, first counselor in the Primary general presidency, explained how she has witnessed modern-day miracles: “I believe that all of us can bear witness to these small miracles. We know children who pray for help to find a lost item and find it. We know of young people who gather the courage to stand as a witness of God and feel His sustaining hand. We know friends who pay their tithing with the last of their money and then, through a miracle, find themselves able to pay their tuition or their rent or somehow obtain food for their family. We can share experiences of prayers answered and priesthood blessings that gave courage, brought comfort, or restored health. These daily miracles acquaint us with the hand of the Lord in our lives” (“A God of Miracles,” Ensign, May 2001). Such miracles bring us closer to our Savior.
Blessed by Reading the Book of Mormon Daily
As our middle child was learning how to talk, she struggled to be understood. We took her to doctors and specialists to make sure there weren’t underlying problems. We also prayed and counseled with family on what we could do. My mom asked, “Are you reading the Book of Mormon every day?”
While we had tried to develop the habit of daily family scripture study, we were not consistent with this practice. With three small children, we determined to exercise faith in studying the scriptures. Our oldest was just starting to read, so he would read the words he could, and my husband and I would help him with the harder words. For the younger girls, we would read a few words, and they would repeat them. We only read five verses each night, but we were consistent. It wasn’t until months later when we realized how much our daughter’s speech was improving: other people were now able to understand what she was saying. It still took time and work, but I know that this was a miracle for our family.
I am grateful for the miracles big and small that have come to our family by following the guidance given to us by Moroni. His recipe for miracles has helped us to have and know how to develop greater faith in Jesus Christ.