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Enduring

Enduring is not easy. Oh no! Yet, when I think about my Lord, and all He went through, I know that what I go through is minor. Did you ever notice how when we hear other people’s problems our own are not as bad?

Many of my friends also suffer in various ways. I pray for them, and I know they pray for me, that our pain may be lessened. Some of the people I admire most have been those who suffered much more than I ever will. Just to name two: Spencer W. Kimball and Neal A. Maxwell. Yet they endured well. I pray I may be as valiant as they.

We all suffer in one form or another. The thing that keeps me going is my faith in Jesus Christ. When I am in great pain, I do what my doctor(s) tell me to do, yet I also take it to the Lord. I am a firm believer that  Jesus Christ has restored the Priesthood back to the Earth to bless men and women, and so I ask for blessings at the hands of those who not only hold, but “honor” that Priesthood. Just because someone says they are a priest does not make then one. Only those who “Honor Their Covenants” and “Keep the Commandments or strive so to do” are worthy to hold the “Power” that comes with that calling. (Just my humble opinion.)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wisely cautioned:

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable” (quoted in “Lindbergh Nightmare,” Time, 5 February 1973, 35).

Certain forms of suffering, endured well, can actually be ennobling.

Annie Swetchine said,

“Those who have suffered much are like those who know many languages; they have learned to understand and be understood by all” (quoted in Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith [1982], 123).

When I reflect upon my Saviour and think upon all he endured at the hands of others, I cringe. I tend to whine from time to time over my struggles, yet He never did. They spit upon him. They beat him. They scourged him with whips. They cast him in prison. They dragged him through the town naked and placed a crown of thorns upon his head, before they nailed him to that cross. And to make it even worse, they did that “after” he had bled at every pore because of the pains, mourning, depression, injustice and sins of everyone who ever has been born, who was then alive, and all who would yet be born. Yet, he still had compassion.

Jesus Christ rose victorious over death and He did that for you and me. Our pains only last a short time compared to the pains of those who reject him or refuse to repent of their own sins.

Another wise man, who was also a prophet of God, Gordon B. Hinckley once said,

“Don’t get discouraged, things will work out!”

I hung that quote with his photograph on the wall in my bedroom. When I am feeling sorry for myself, and start to get discouraged, I look up and see it, and know things will work out. I turn my head and look upon my other wall and see the picture of the current Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and think about him telling me to:

“Be more positive…”

When President Ezra Taft Benson called me to Salt Lake City, Utah, he said (among other things):

“Hang the words of the prophets on your walls, and then go out and do good.”

I am a firm believer in following the prophets and have always been blessed because I do that. It is not that I do not experience problems, for I surely do. It is that after – I experience greater blessings and that makes it worth whatever I have gone through.

In the Holy Bible we read:

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29)

God does not lie.

Gentle hugs from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Mercy from God

I love what Elder Oaks once said in regard to us who have suffered at the poor choices others made:

“While God will not prevent those choices, He will bless us to endure the consequences of other’s choices. And those whose mortal opportunities are cut short or reduced by the choices of others eventually have every blessing and opportunity offered through the Mercy and Atonement of Jesus Christ.”  Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apostle of Jesus Christ. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints. He is also a well known speaker and an attorney.

I personally know that the gift of Agency was not free. We all pay a price and Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High God paid the highest price. He took upon himself our pain. Not just the sins of the world, but our pain. Yes, He knows about pain, suffering at the hands of others. He knows how we felt when beaten, starved, abused in horrendous ways, that we feel no one else understands. Yet He understands.

Many times, I have felt his tender mercy as I have felt His loving influence sweep over me. Many times I have felt lifted from off this horrible planet where others only saw beauty. Many times I have wanted to die rather than suffer more torture at the hands of evil men and women. Yet, through it all, Father was watching and weeping. The Lord paid a very high price for us, all because He loves us. I had never felt that dept of love that He has shown me.

I’m sorry if many of you do not know Him. I am sorry if this bothers you, but I just want you to know that I know God lives. I do pray this will not be deleted, but if it is, I have said my piece. Thank you for caring about me. It means a lot to me, as a feral child, to have others hear me.

I love this song. It speak volumes of love. When I hear the sweet voices of children in song it send chills down my spine. I hope you all have a great day. Hugs from a distance.

Photograph by Steve Gills.

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Choose Ye This Day

“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” Mosiah 4:27

Marjorie Pay Hinckley added this:

“Choose carefully each day that which you will do and that which you will not do, and the Lord will bless you to accomplish the important things that have eternal consequences. At my age, I’ve edited the scripture just a little. “For is is not requisite that a woman should hobble faster than she has strength!”

I do so love that woman. I adored her husband. He was a prophet of God who blessed me in more ways than one.

From here down, please be advised I share things from my past, which might upset you. So be forewarned I don’t want to trigger anyone.

I can’t remember how old I was, all I know is, I was not yet a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, but this scripture from the King James version of the Holy Bible really struck me as truth:

Joshua 24:15

15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Where I came from, family chose false gods. They chose Satan, sex, drugs, and violence, pornography, bondage and worse. In the past, others wanted details, but I will not share details. These are things that should never be spoken of, let alone lived. Many children struggle with these types of backgrounds which creates shame that is almost too much to bear.

I remember in one town I lived in, I was out walking the neighborhood and saw the Calling Cards of Pedophiles and Rapists. They were all over the walls to show where certain houses were that contained single women with children, and those where men worked nights. In the windows next to the spot where the train pulled into town were explicit Pedophile calling cards. I went up to the door of the establishment and told them I knew what those were and to please, take them down. They just laughed at me. I asked to speak to the owner of the building and was told I was speaking to him. I again repeated my request. He continued to laugh, so I left.

I prayed all the way to the City/County building and ask to see who owned that building. After I gathered the information, I went to speak to the Mayor. He assured me that he was there to protect the women and children in that city. I filed a permit to picket, then went back home and prayed. I began a fast, and the next day I went to where the women I knew were working on a project and informed them of what was coming. They just kept their heads down, and told me not worry about it. They were protected. I was furious. Just because they were married was not an excuse to place others in harms way. I left and went home to prepare to do what I knew I needed to do.

One woman found out and drove by where I was walking. She brought me water and dry socks. One man came and walked as long as he could, however he was also disabled, so could not stay long. Many people drive by who honked and gave me a thumbs up, yet I walked alone. I walked each day until dark, then came back the next morning. I walked for three days praying and walking back and forth in front of the establishment with a sign on my chest and back. When I went home, I wrote note from the children of the City and asked him again to not bring those types of people into their neighborhood. I mailed it.

After the third day I went for a walk around the small area I lived. One of the earlier prophets told us that now was the time to go into the cracks and crevices to find God’s children. I follow the prophets, living and dead  I went back to the Government building to learn who were the owners of certain places. I then, went to the door of a whore house and knocked. I could see the eye behind the peek hole, and spoke very loudly, “I know who you are and what you are doing. WE don’t want you here.” I then went to the neighbors and let them know I was going to be picketing and why. I went home to prepare, and then picketed in front of the building for three days, as I had the other place. Again, I got honks, and thumbs up, but walked alone. After, I went into each alley during the dawn hours and knocked on car windows where there were people engaged in sexual activities. I shamed them, and let them know others were watching. I asked people leave their outside lights on at night. I took gloves and pick up tools to gather the condoms and empty needles before the children got up for school.

Then, I went downtown, and noticed some things that were already in town. I again went back and found out who the owners where. I was more than livid. I marched into the City/County Building during a meeting open to the public. I signed up to ask a question, then waiting my turn. While I waited I prayed and asked to be calm so I could say what needed to be said.

I walked up to where the Mayor was sitting and stared at him, until he looked up. I got as close to him as I could, and put my finger in front of his nose. “Shame on you!” I said. “You told me you were here to protect the women and children in this city and yet you are part owner in whore houses, abortion clinics, leather shops, paraphernalia shops. Shame on you!” The other members of the council lowered their eyes and heads, but he just sat there smiling.  I let him know that I had told Heavenly Father on him, then turned and went home.

In the past I have paid a high price for speaking truth. I have been tortured, drugged, locked up, laughed at, spit upon, and worse. But I share this with you. When people do not listen to the prophets, they reap the whirlwinds of God. Since when is murder of innocents an option? I’m sorry, but this sin is most grievous. When I first came here, I saw abortion clinics being advertised in public. I wrote to every religious person in town. I got only two letters back. One from an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and the other from the President of the Church of Latter-day-saints.

I thank God for His righteous sons and their wives. They know whom they stand for. I know whom I stand for. Whom do you choose?

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Sad memories

I can remember when I began to bleed and was rushed to the hospital. My husband came and sat beside me, holding my hand. I had just given birth to a little a few months previously, and did not really know what was going on.

Then, the doctor came in and said, “It’s cancer. We need to get you upstairs right away. You will have no more children.” He then looked at my husband as the nurse gave me a shot. My husband went with him and I went to sleep.

When I was able to go home, my husband paced behind the couch. I asked him to come hold me. He back up. Then, he said, ‘I can’t take this. A baby is one thing, cancer is something else. I need to leave, now.” He walked out the door and drove off.

I was so alone, so scared, and had no one to call or any way to find comfort. I put a blanket around my baby and get into my car and just drove.

Tears fell down my face and I don’t remember what my thoughts were. I just know I drove until I saw the red lights flashing in my rear view mirror. I pulled the car over to the side of the road, and the officer motioned me to roll down my window.

“Did you know you were going over 100 miles an hour?” he asked. I continued to cry and then he leaned over and looked at my little girl on the front seat. He asked me to step out of the car, which I did, and then he talked to me. I spoke of what had happened, and he took us to a coffee shop and we talked. He made a phone call, then told me to follow him. He took me home to be with his wife, who held me and comforted me until I could stop crying.

I was there for 3 days and nights, while she cared for me and my child. Then, I went home, and began to think of how I was going to care for a child and still have my treatments. How was I going to work… Life was never easy, but I did what I had to do. I survived, until the next bout of cancer stuck it’s ugly head up.

Sorry to be so down tonight. I should have been in bed almost an hour ago. I shall return and then begin again. Good night.

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Faith to be healed

A few months ago, my doctor told me that a spot on my lungs needs to be checked out. He felt it might be growing again. At that time I told him I don’t want to know if it is. I already have enough problems. Yet, in my heart and mind I was concerned. Over the years cancer has plagued me from to time.

In the past I have been told many things. For example: I was told by four or five doctors I have MS and also told by three that no, I do not have it. Which is rather funny since those other MRI’s revealed so many lesions and I continue to have all the symptoms, even though at first I did not know that is what they were. I have been told I have a degenerative bone disease and also been told that can’t be possible since it can only be arthritis and bursitis, as if that doesn’t hurt.  I have been told my pain comes from fibromyalgia and also been told, since I don’t hurt all the time, I must not have it. I have had tumorous growths on my kidney, my spleen was swollen, my liver was almost dead and then told: that diagnoses must have been wrong, after all, even though your kidney is shaped funny, it is clear and working. From time to time I have had tumors and almost lost my leg because of them. As well as diabetes when in the past I had the opposite, low blood sugar where I had to be hospitalized to bring me back up. I have had numerous concussions, bruises, abrasions, been locked up and tied up and restrained rather than treated with kindness, been told I have emphysema, when it was double pneumonia, mistreated by those whom should have known better, and in general just had a lousy time being alive.

Through all this, the Lord has never left me alone. Yes, you heard me right. He has been with me through it all. Even before I knew that I was a child of God, He was there for me. I have been locked up, had my memories erased, been drugged, and called a liar because I spoke truth. I have been called crazy since a young girl because I would not willingly do those things others thought was right, yet I knew were wrong.

Since joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, those whom honor the priesthood have blessed me and God has healed me time and time again, which seems to disturb medical doctors. It also disturbs others in that they complain that God has not healed them nor their loved ones, and they want to know why He does this for me. I try to help them understand that it has nothing to do with me. It is all from God’s will. He knows I have no loved ones to take care of me. He knows I have wanted to be His since I was just a wee child, even though I had no humans to care about me. I believe with all my heart that God only allows us to go through what we need to go through in order to be closer to the Lord and be prepared to dwell with those who suffered so much in the name of the Lord.

Brigham Young once said: “Trials Are Necessary—We are now in a day of trial to prove ourselves worthy or unworthy of the life which is to come.” (Journal of Discourses, volume 12:167)

Since joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, and receiving my own endowments, I wanted to retire at the Los Angeles Temple, so I could just stay on hallowed ground full time where I knew I would be safe and serve in the Holy Temple of our Lord until Father brings me home. But that is not to be.

We all can find comfort in the scriptures and when we do not have access to them, we still have them in our hearts and minds. Recently, I was in the ER at the University of Utah Medical Center awaiting the results of yet another MRI. Due to a lot of blood and other issues, I feared I might have had a blood clot. On the monitor beside my bed was a screen saver of stars rushing towards me. It made me smile. I had been thinking of the hymns to keep calm while in pain and this made me think of the Hymn “If You could Hie to Kolob” (Hymn 284 in the Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, 1985 edition) This gave me peace. Especially verse 5) “There is no end to glory; there is no end to love; there is no end to being; there is no death above.” words written by William Cowper (1731-1800)  See also Psalms 107: 23-31 or Romans 8-24-28

Being alone in life is not easy, but when you have the Lord on your side, you can have peace no matter where you are. I am most grateful for my Branch President who always gives me good counsel. In this particular situation, he told me to be obedient to my doctors. Thus, after I prayed and asked Father to help me be calm in explaining why I felt I needed to go home rather than another institution, He gave it to me and I was able to return to my own little apartment.

Obedience is the first rule of heaven.

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Learning Truth

One of the things I love about the Lord is that He quoted from the Old Testament. His mother taught Him well.

He came from the Heavens above. He was the only begotten Son of the Most High God, yet He was willing to come to this earth, just as we do. As a tiny baby. He had to learn how to crawl, then stand, then walk, and then learn, just as we do. He laughed, he cried, he studied, he prayed, just as we do.

One of my favorite prophets in the Old Testament is Isaiah. I adore this man. Bless his heart. Now, I’m sure at this point you are saying, “She must be nuts! That is the hardest book in the entire Bible to read.” Which makes me chuckle, since I have heard that from so many people in my life. I believe the problem could be that Isaiah does not pull any punches. He says it like it is. Which is why I like him.

Did you see the picture I put with this post? It is an interpretation of the vision that the prophet Lehi saw in a dream. That bright shining tree is the Love of God. Many people are coming towards the Love of God right now, just as they did back in that time. Isn’t that wonderful? I think it is.

See that building on the right? He called it, “The great and spacious building”, where people were mocking and making fun of those who were trying to get to God.” That is pretty much what is happening in the world today, isn’t it?

The good news is, Jesus Christ is real. He is alive. He is wanting to help us, so we can get to that Love of God. In the scriptures it says, “His hand is stretched out still.” But in order to know this for yourself, you must do some things.

1) You need to have faith that Jesus Christ is real. That He is the son of the Most High God. You need to understand that God created the heavens and the earth. The ocean, the birds, bees, flowers, trees, plants, insects, my goodness, everything you see that can breathe or has movement on it’s own; everything is a gift to you from God. Man made objects can not do that. They can not breathe as a plant can. They can not give you flowers, no matter how hybrid they make things. Sure, batteries can make them move or whatever, but everything from God is alive. Just like you are alive.

2) You need to have hope that things can change. You need to know that when you make a mistake, you can be forgiven. God has given us His son to show us how to be forgiven. He loves you that much that He was willing to allow Jesus Christ to come to this earth; to be tortured, spit upon, mocked, ridiculed, and even to suffer and die for you and me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would want my son to be treated this way, would you? Yet, God did that for you and me. There is no sin, no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to you and me.

3) You need to learn what God’s laws are so you can be obedient and prove to Him that you want to accept His son’s great sacrifice for you and me. Obedience is really the first law of heaven. I am not asking you to follow blindly. Oh No! God gave us all this gift called “Agency” and it did not come free. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father paid a very high price so we could have this gift. Don’t let others convince you otherwise. We will all be held accountable for what we do while we are alive  upon this earth.

Now, you may be thinking: each church has different laws and stuff. They all say they are the only true church. Which one really teaches truth? My answer to you: Ask God and He can teach you truth. He will send you who really want to know, those who can teach you. If you own a Holy Bible, are you reading it? Dust it off and begin at the Beginning. OH my gosh, guess what? It says that God created the heavens and the earth. It was not some big bang thing. Nothing great was created suddenly. The big bang is like saying, “To create an dictionary you need to blow up the library”. Hello? What kind of nonsense is that?

I invite you to turn to the New Testament and read what Jesus Christ and the Apostles say about how you need to live, and then look at those in all the churches and see if they are living like Jesus Christ said a follower should live. Don’t forget to pray about everything. Your food, your water, your home, your families, your neighborhoods, and even those who you don’t know. Pray literally over everything. God will hear you. He loves hearing from you and me and all of us.

Don’t know how to pray? You might not believe this, but He really is your Heavenly Father. He loves you more than any human alive could ever love you. He really cares about each and every one of us. My goodness, He knows how many hairs are on your head. Isn’t that something? I mean, some men shave every day, and some women do as well. Yet, if you cut yourself, He knows it hurts and he cares. He designed our bodies to heal themselves. How often have you scrapped your knee or had black and blue marks. They go away, right? That’s because the human body is a gift from God. Think about it, and then do something.

Hugs from a distance.

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One Great Family

I know that we are all God’s family, and while I am not related to President Hinckley by blood, I would like to share some things about him with you.

One day, while in the chapel at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, I was sitting next to his wife. At that time, I did not know she was his wife. The building was newly renovated from the old Hotel Utah, and he was a guest speaker. While sitting there, I leaned in and whispered in her ear, “I just love that man.” She smiled and said, “I do too.” Then she squeezed my hand.

After the service ended, he came down to where we were sitting and extended his hand toward her. She stood and winked at me, then went around me to join him as they left.

One of the things he said was “We speak of the fellowship of the Saints. This is and must be a very real thing. We must never permit this spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood to weaken. We must constantly cultivate it. Simply put, we must be friends. We must love and honor and respect and assist one another.”  He did not just speak those words, he really meant it.

His sweet wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley once said, “Who knows but that something wonderful may happen today. Have faith that it will. After all, every morning is a chance at a new day!” She was such a kind person. I used to put her words on my wall so I could smile every morning.

The prophets of God live it. Many of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints live it. Many people of all faiths live it. I have brothers and sisters who are Jewish, Christian, Catholic, and from many other faiths who all call God by many names. My brothers and sisters live around the globe. I have loved ones who live in India where many people do not know God at all. I know those who do know Him, love Him. They don’t say it much, but they live it.

Those who know me, know I strive to live it. I pray you do too. I hope you have a loving family and good friends. I send you all hugs from a distance, my beloved brothers and sisters.

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