By Sherilyn Sunderland
Fellow scrapbookers unite! Ladies, this column is just for you! So put down that dishrag (we all know you were just pretending to wash dishes anyway!) and get out that boxful of precious photos. Let’s talk about scrapbooks. They’re way more fun than driving kids to soccer practice, and when Hubby gets grumpy because dinner’s not on the table, you can say, “Honey, I’m working on our family history!” What a perfect excuse for indulging in a super-fun hobby!
We’ve all seen tons of cute baptism scrapbook pages, cute baby blessing pages, and cute temple wedding pages. And I’ve seen so many darling missionary scrapbooks lately that it makes me almost want to go on a mission just for the scrapbook possibilities (or the “scrap-abilities!”). But I digress. I want to talk to you about how to scrapbook one of those little oopsies that life hands out from time to time—excommunication!
Now, before you say, “That Sherilyn sure is up in the night,” let me remind you that we Mormons have been commanded to preserve all our memories for our progeny, not just the happy ones. Excommunication can be a great learning experience for all people involved, and preserving it in a scrapbook gives us a chance to “accentuate the positive” (don’t you just love The Jungle Book?).
Here are a few tips to help make your excommunication page the envy of the neighborhood:
1. Capture the event. Try to be present at the disciplinary council when the verdict is announced. If you can slip into the room unnoticed, so much the better! Use a camera with a good zoom lens on it so you can get a close up of the newly exed person’s face when the verdict is read. Get a picture of the stake president as he reads the verdict. If possible, get individual pictures of everyone involved in the disciplinary council. If you know you won’t be able to sneak in for a picture or two, give your camera to a council member ahead of time (make him some cookies as a thank you afterwards!). Remember: photos that capture the emotion of the moment will make for a more memorable page.
2. Use a catchy title. Now’s a great time to be creative! Examples of good titles for your excommunication page are “Look Who’s Been Outed!” “Porn Doesn’t Pay!” “Troop Leader No Longer!” and “If Only My Zipper Had Gotten Stuck.” Look through your scriptures or use your Topical Guide to find commandments that relate to the excommunication and handwrite or print them out in a cute font to enhance the page.
3. Embellish with funky accents. While you can usually find a wide range of stickers, die cuts, or paper for just about any theme you can imagine, it’s really hard to find excommunication-related page embellishments. The “Damn, I’m Bad” line is coming out with a cute “The Seven Cardinal Sins” group of stickers later this fall (look for them at Scrap ’N Grin). But in the meantime, go through your own supplies and see what you have. For instance, you can cut out some cute horns and put them on top of a Paperkins doll to make a devil. Or you can make flaming words: use deckle-edged scissors and red-and-black paper for piecing together your page’s title. You can also download flaming fonts for free—try myevilfonts.com.
4. Get other points of view. Because an excommunication is such an emotional time, everyone involved is sure to have a strong opinion on the subject. Be sure to have everyone on the disciplinary council write a message to the newly exed person. I saw a cute page last week that everyone on the council had signed. It was full of messages like “Hearing what you did made me physically ill,” “I never believed Satan truly walked among us until tonight,” and “I used to think it was impossible to do something so bad that God would stop loving you.” Memorable for sure!
An excommunication page can really add that special something to your LDS scrapbook. Just imagine how proud your exed spouse, child, or parent will be to see his or her accomplishments immortalized in your scrapbook for all to see! What a great (and fun!) way to preserve those unforgettable memories for generations to come. Until next time, happy scrappin’!
Sherilyn is a long-time scrapbooking instructor at her Orem, Utah, store Scrap ’N Grin. She has authored an LDS-themed scrapbooking idea book called Oh, Heavens! How Scrapbooking Can Get You Closer to God. Her syndicated column, Kraft Korner, runs in four different newspapers along Utah’s Wasatch Front.