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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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You don’t believe in God?

Earlier this week, I read a post by a lady that broke my heart. I share my answer here for all who do not believe that God exists since He allows bad things to happen.

My dear Sister, it sounds as though you have been abused in horrible ways, and my heart goes out to you. I wish I could comfort you by putting my arms around you and taking you away from those who harmed you. But, I am not there in person. I can only share with you what I have learned in my 70 years of life.

Right now, you do not believe that God exists, however, that is only because you don’t know Him. Bless your heart. That is not your fault. All you have experienced is the pain of life, not the joy of knowing Him.

God will not stop anyone from using their own agency. At times, we must step back mentally and allow others to do what they do. We can warn and caution, but then we must let them make their own choices. God will make them pay for what they have done to you. Those who are kind to you, will be blessed for that kindness. If you make bad choices, He will not stop you, for the same reason.

At one time there was a major war regarding two options: our having the right to choose for ourselves or being compelled to do everything. Jesus Christ came to Earth in a body just like ours so that He could learn how we feel and why we do the things we do. He came to help us be able to get back home – where we are loved and cared for. He also had to suffer at the hands of evil people, just as we do. The only difference between Jesus Christ and us is that He was half God and half Mortal. The mortal part meant He could die a physical death. The God part meant he had the power within himself to overcome death and finish the plan God wanted for us who chose agency.

The fact that you have a body of flesh and bone with blood means that you chose agency. Which meant you would have to suffer, just as Jesus Christ suffered. Which also meant you would have to allow others their agency as well.

God is anxious to bless you, but you must trust Him. Do you know how tiny a mustard seed is? Go to a garden shop and ask to see one. A mustard seed amount of faith is all you need to ask for God’s help to understand. He will help you to find Him. He will do that for you, I promise. I was an abused as a baby, child and youth. When I was a young adult I was also abused in ways that would make your skin crawl. Yet, I came to know that God cares. He really does and He will show you if you will allow Him to.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I could not sleep until I bore my testimony to you. Gentle hugs from a sister who has been there, and come to really know God personally. You are one of His daughters, and He wants you to know that. Look at the sky in the morning and think about what there is to bless you. The very air you breathe, trees and flowers, animals, planets and stars, and YOU!

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What can Jesus Christ do for me?

Question: What can Jesus Christ do for me?

Ancient prophet’s answer from before He was born:

“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12).

Modern day answer on what He has already done:

“Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us.

“There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” (David A Bednar, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ – April 2014)

This woman’s answer:

If you really want to know, go to your private place and ask God if Jesus Christ really did this for you. What do you stand in need of? Comfort, forgiveness, healing, or the ability to forgive?  Your freedom to choose was not free. He is the only one who paid the price so you can really be free.  Now the choice is yours, will you allow Him to help you?

He has helped me and I know He can help you, and I share these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 

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Don’t Give Up

I do not know if you are religious or not, but I wish to share something with you that has helped me.

“When we allow God to come into our lives (or we are wise enough to come into His) He “enlarges our steps” for the path we must walk – or, in more modern language, He gives us bigger feet that do not slip.”

“But other elements of God’s miraculous help consists of things He does to, in effect, let us help ourselves. Some paths we feel we just can’t walk. Some mountains seem just too high to climb. Some steps are just too difficult to take. When that is so, heaven does intervene, but often it is not to smooth out the path or remove the mountain or shorten the steps. More often than not, God sends help in a different way. He makes us stronger and more sure-footed. In effect, He gives us bigger feet, stronger legs, a firmer back, more stiffened shoulders. He deals with us rather than with the problem we face. We then proceed with new strength, less slipping, and are all the stronger for it.”                                                 Jeffery R Holland, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just as you have illnesses that frustrate you, I too have many disabling illnesses. Arthritis, at times so bad, that my neck; shoulders; back; arms; knees; even my fingers and toes tend to hurt even just to move them. I also have stomach issues: GERD and Barrett’s Disease, thus, at times, I vomit a lot. I had a hole in my right eye and lost all the fluid. I was horribly abused as a small child and in my growing up years. I had more blows to my head than a boxer receives over many years in the ring. I had been in a car accident that almost cost me my life. My children had been kidnapped when they were mere babies. I have had recurring bouts with cancer. As a child, I had protein malnutrition.

It came to pass in my life, there was a period of time (four years in fact) that I had to stay mostly in bed or at a hospital. During that time, I contracted e-coli; double pneumonia; blood clots; and Cellulitis on my legs so bad that I almost died from each as well as could have lost both my legs. I have been in and out of various types of hospitals since I was about 6 years old. The majority of the time I have had zero help from others. When I developed cancer as a young woman, my husband walked out on me and my new baby to fend for ourselves.

As you can see, I understand just how hard some of you have it in life. Yet, I want you to know that the words of Jeffrey R Holland are true. I testify to you that I am able to walk now. I can see again with both eyes and there are no more lesions on my brain. The growths throughout my body are all gone. I still have both legs. I still have issues, yes, however, I can do more now and be happier than I have ever been in my entire life.

Psalms 18: 36 “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.”

Psalms 94:17-19  “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.”

Jesus is “The Christ” in Greek = Messiah in Hebrew. We know that Jehovah = God of the earth of the Old Testament. I learned that Jesus is the Christ, by what I experienced as a small child. He took me out of that closet. He was with me in that back yard. He was with me at my uncle’s home. He was with me in institutions. God sent missionaries to find me when I was out in the desert in Arizona and they taught me all I needed to know: so that I could recognize that it was He who had been with me as a child in California. There might be mistakes in the scriptures, yet they are men’s mistakes not God’s. God lives. Jesus is the Christ. The Atonement He made on our behalf is real, if we will seek it. The Holy Spirit is real. He teaches us truth and never lies.

I don’t mean to be preachy, but I felt you needed to hear these things this morning. Please, don’t give up. I know how badly you want all this crap to end, but don’t give up. I know there are times when it gets bad before it can get better. What you are going through will not last forever.

“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and He will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that He may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” Alma 37:37

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Children

“When you choose whether to make or keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example.” Henry B Eyring, Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The day my eldest child was born, I felt such deep joy. I felt she was the reason I had been born and allowed to live. This precious little gift straight from God to earth. And I had the honor to usher her into this life. I had prayed that I would be blessed with a family and now I was blessed to see the reality. I held her in my arms, and she just snuggled right in.

It was my joy to feed her and teach her to talk, allow her to walk, and play and enjoy the air and sunshine. Until November 1965, she was mine to love. She was born 23 August 1964 in Bellflower, Los Angeles, California.

When my son, Phillip LeRoy was born, my husband felt deep joy. It matched my own, as now I had two sweet little ones to love. He was born 3 November 1965 in Norwalk, Los Angeles, California. Until Thanksgiving night of 1965 they were both my angels to feed and love and hold.

In 1982 I received a telephone call from an attorney. He told me that my son was in a foster home, and they wanted to adopt him. They needed me to sign the papers to allow that to happen. I let him know that I wanted to at least see my son before I would sign anything. Up until that point, I did not even know if he was alive or dead. He said that was not allowed. I told him I would never sign anything until I had the opportunity to see my son. Then I hung up.

He called back at a later time and let me know the address of the foster home. I made the arrangements and went. As I saw this young man leaning against the door, I could see in him his father, thus I knew it was really my baby in a young man’s body. Slowly, I got out of the car and as I approached him, his foster mother came out the door. She invited us into the house, and I kept staring at Phillip.

Some time later the three of us went to a little coffee shop. I was sitting next to my son and she was telling me all they could give him. My heart was breaking. They could give him all those things I had wanted him to have. I had nothing to give him. Only my love, and he did not know how I felt. He had never really even met me before. After listening, I asked my son if that is what he wanted. He said, “yes”. I told her I needed a little bit of time, but I would sign.

I must admit, I never did sign that paper. As I was standing out back by the corral, crying on the neck of a horse, I heard my son say, “Lets run away together.”  I turned and said, “Let me go tell your foster parents you are coming with me.” He begged me to say nothing, just run. I told him that if I did that, I would go to prison and then we could never be together. He ran away and the foster parents let me know I needed to leave.

In 1986 I was blessed to go the House of the Lord, the Los Angeles Temple and learn who I really am, and that families were meant to be together for all eternity. I made certain covenants while there, and I treasure those promises made unto me.

The next time I saw my children was in Colorado. The year was 1989, and my babies were all grown up. I was only allowed to stay for very short visit, yet I saw what they looked like. No longer did I see my little girl as a wee one. No longer did I mourn over what might have been, but rather, I learned that when we are obedient to our covenants, Father does bless us with our hearts desires. I was reunited with my children and that means more to me than what happened.

I would like to share with you more words spoken by a man of God:

“After all we can do in faith, the Lord will justify our hopes for greater blessings for our families than we can imagine. He wants the best for them and for us, as His children.

“We are all children of a living God. Jesus of Nazareth is His Beloved Son and our resurrected Savior. This is His Church. In it are the keys of the priesthood, and so families can be forever. This is our priceless heritage of hope. I testify that it is true in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.” By President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints.”

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