Mark Fincher

The Fincher’s Homeschool Story

Nicholeen Peck

Mark Fincher

Mark is a seasoned homeschool father of five and supportive husband living in Orem, UT. As the Chief Mentor at Living Tree Connections, he helps people to move their lives forward by working toward results they want.
His passion for family history and learning to become more connected to individuals he meets and to his ancestors drives him to help people understand who they are and why they are eternally important.

Finding the Joy of History Through Family History

I love history! Wouldn’t you like to hear that come from your own mouth on a regular basis, let alone your kids? History doesn’t have to be about dates and events in far off places. It can be an engaging subject by recognizing the individuals that made it.
How many of your ancestors were part of it? Come learn how you can find your ancestors’ impact on history, and history’s impact on them that makes it personal to you. It will also help make your ancestors dear friends as you seek them out of the pages of history.

Happy Falliday!

What do you do to celebrate Fall, the change of seasons?

My family and I celebrated by filling small vials with water and sitting around the table with different colors of food coloring. We talked about change and our what changes we wanted to make in ourselves this next year. We also talked about our weaknesses and which ones we wanted Christ to change for us. Then we put in one drop of coloring (no more than 3) for every weakness we were giving him to change.

We traveled up the canyon to the river and dumped out our water and watched it disappear symbolic of Christ taking our weaknesses and changing them to strengths. We then filled our vials with the pure, clear water and brought it home. Each of my kids put their on their dresser to view each day as a reminder that Christ can change us into something better, clearer just as he cleared the water.

You are a creator of change with every breath you take. You breath in cool air and warm it and blow it back out. You do that. You make that change with every breath. God created the world and you to be in a constant cycle of change, why not celebrate it?

Which corner is the Chief Cornerstone?

I recently wrote an article for the Millennial Instructor about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. While doing research for the article I learned a lot about the cornerstones and their placements.

At the cornerstone celebration, on April 6th, 1853, the 23rd anniversary of the Church’s organization. The First Presidency and the Patriarch to the Church laid the southeast cornerstone of the temple’s foundation, which he proclaimed the proper corner for “the chief cornerstone.” Why was this the correct corner? Brigham Young thought the congregation and especially the leaders of the church had the same question. So, at that ceremony he explained why. 

Since the temple was facing the cardinal directions (N, S, E, W) the cornerstones would be on the SE, SW, NE and NW corners. Brigham Young said the ‘chief cornerstone’ would be placed at the south-east. South because on this side of the equator the south is closer to the equator and east because the sun comes up in the east. At night we walk to the east to find the light of morning. He concluded, “So we commence by laying the stone on the south-east corner, because there is the most light.”

The First Presidency or chief apostles and the Patriarch laid the chief cornerstone at the south-east corner. The second is placed on the south-west corner by the Presiding Bishopric (Aaronic Priesthood). The third on the north-west by the presidency of the High Priests quorum, the presidency of the Salt Lake Stake and the high council. And the fourth block on the north-east corner by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the presidencies of the First Quorum of the Seventy and elders quorums. The Melchizedek Priesthood being on the east and the Aaronic on the west, just like the towers on the temple. The three taller towers representing the Melchizedek and the shorter ones on the west side representing the Aaronic Priesthood. This pattern begins and ends with the Apostleship that encompasses the growth of the church.

It took exactly 40 years to the date for the temple to be completed. The chief Cornerstone was laid on April 6, 1853, the capstone was placed on April 6, 1892 and the dedication of the temple was on April 6, 1893. 

How in your life have you turned to the light? Is your chief cornerstone for your life laid where there is the most light or are you hiding it? How do you allow Christ, our chief cornerstone, to give you more llight each day? What did you learn from this article?

Dianne McLean

Dianne’s Homeschool Story

Nicholeen Peck

Dianne McLean

Dianne has been homeschooling since 2003, has worked with thousands of homeschoolers and hundreds of homeschool group leaders, and participated in issues which affect the homeschool community as a whole. She specializes in working with middle to high school level groups to help prepare for college entry and is familiar with the latest developments affecting future college students. She directs a national support organization, Home Education Council of America (, where she leads online seminars and webinars in an innovative online setting to offer live conferences no matter where you are in the world.

Making History Relative

(spiritual version)

How do you make history more exciting and real for your children? Talk about people who they can connect to! Most history curricula follows the empirical, traditional method of short-listing dates, places, and names of prominent dead people who aren’t very interesting to kids. Neil L. Anderson put forth a challenge for youth to “prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple, and help someone else to do the same.” (#templechallenge) He was speaking of doing your own ancestral and temple work, and with this comes an amazing opportunity for homeschoolers to incorporate stories ​ and timelines from your own family genealogy to change your child’s entire perception of history. I will show you how to actually homeschool using genealogy as your history curriculum – even into all the disciplines of math, language arts, science, social studies, and more.

Teaching Spanish using the Book of Mormon

Learn Spanish with the Book of Mormon and other simple tools.

Unexpected Learning with Numbers

God uses the sequence of numbers in all of his creations. He did not create the numbering system we currently use, he allowed us to come up with our own systems.

Here are six points you never would expect numbers to teach you:

  • Numbers (and math) teaches us the characteristics of God (order, consistent, dependable, etc).
  • Math is a tool used to record and understand God’s orderly world.
  • Math encourages us to depend on God, it urges us to trust him (how difficult or impossible math would be if 1+1 was not consistently 2)
  • Math makes the complex designs God placed around us visible.
  • Math points us to God’s wisdom and care. If he cares about his creations (clothes the fields) he cares about us.
  • Math points out individuality, God created and blesses us one by one (each number is unique).

There are patterns and lessons in numbers that when discovered are just like hearing a story or watching the unfolding of the Plan of Salvation drawn out for the first time.

I will be teaching a class on numbers for the HECOA, Not Back to School Summit this Friday at 12:30 MST. I will talking about numbers in general and focusing on the number eight. Join me live or watch the 24 hour replay at

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