#Chronic Illness, #FamilyOfGod, #Gratitude, #JesusChrist, #Pain, Uncategorized

Gratitude

Gratitude is such an easy thing for many. Perhaps it is because I have been alive so long and seen evil as well as goodness. When I first began keeping a gratitude journal the only thing I could think of was toilet paper.

Many people tell me I need to write a book about my life, only because they do not understand my reasoning behind not trying to do that again. I would rather share only the good, but for others to understand why I enjoy such ‘simple’ things, they would have to understand the evil that took place first. In my humble opinion, until you do without, you don’t realize what you really have. Plus, in writing a book about my life, in the past, the editors wanted me to expound on the bad and cut down on the good.

For people with chronic pain, just getting out of bed to go to the bathroom can cause a major issue. When the phone rings while I am not near it, by the time I can get to it, they have hung up and since I don’t know how to reset the phone so the machine can pick up messages, well… I think you understand.

I have a note on my front door that basically says “Please, ring the bell. I may not get here as quick as you want me to be, but I will get here as soon as I am able to.” This afternoon, I hear this feeble tapping on the door and a man’s voice saying “Hello? Hello?”

I yelled to him to please hang on so I can get to the door. As I struggled to get to the side of the bed so I could transfer to my wheelchair, I heard him tapping again. It took a lot just to reach the door, and as I did, I heard the lock box open. Two men I had been expecting – standing there, one very embarrassed said, “I got here first.” I was not all that polite when I asked “Did you bother to read the sign?”

Even my closest friends hate to watch me try to get into bed and then struggle to just sit up or move. But at least they know once it’s over, I am fine and able to laugh or talk again.

Frankly, I wish the Parkinson’s was my only problem. The only reason I have started shaking again is: I can’t take the meds, they make me vomit blood. I can’t take any medication orally, as it too causes me to vomit. While I do have pain patches, my doctor will not make them strong enough to work any longer, because my lungs are bad from too many bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis over the years, and narcotics slow my breathing even more. He doesn’t want to be blamed for my death. Bless his heart. Frankly, I think he is afraid I would put them all on at once. He knows I am not suicidal, so what is the big deal? He could lose his license when I die if they see strong narcotics on me. I don’t want him to go through that.

When my doctor first put on these pain patches that work 24 hours, he told me “I don’t want you to wake up dead, so don’t ask for anything stronger until your pain gets even worse.” They call what I go through: “Chronic Pain”, but unless you have it, you really don’t ‘get it’.

This last week my doctor spoke to me about morphine shots, but I turned him down. I really don’t want to become addicted, and I also do not want to be in a stupor; locked up in a home; strapped to a chair in front of a television set for the rest of my life. I would rather be in pain and think clearly (for the most part) so I can read, draw, paint, watch good movies and listen to good music of my own choice and be in my own little apartment so I can cry in private. Okay. Now I am going to blow my nose, and get on with my blog post.

My heart goes out to those who are alone and have small children as well as chronic pain. Back in the 1970’s, my youngest daughter was with me while I had to get treatments for my cancer. That was horrific for both of us. My heart goes out to young people with chronic pain. But there is a light in that memory: One time, she put a washcloth in the toilet to get it wet, then placed it gently on my forehead and said, “you all better now mama?” (she was too little to reach the sink; thus, the toilet was the only thing she could reach. Good thing I keep a clean bathroom, eh?)

Anyway, back to what I am gratitude for:

I am grateful for friends who come regardless of my sounds. I am grateful that there are those who respect my wish of staying in my own home and are doing all they can to ensure I can stay put. I am grateful for those who come while I sleep and see when I can’t do my dishes, then wash them and put them away. I am grateful for those who come and change my sheets each week so I don’t have to expend what little energy I do have on those particular daily or weekly issues. I am grateful for those who bring me treats occasionally. I am grateful for the Holy Scriptures and all the prophets, living and dead. I am grateful for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and all those who play instruments and write beautiful, clean music. I am grateful that I have a savior so I don’t have to suffer for those sins and mistakes I repented of. I am grateful I am only held accountable for the sins I committed and not for those of my husband or parents. I am grateful for our Heavenly Father who sent His son, Jesus Christ to be that Savior for me. I am grateful for Their patience with me and all of mankind. I am grateful for a Heavenly Mother who is anxious for me to get home. I am grateful for those of my birth family who accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and to those who did work on their behalf. I am grateful to all those who created the FamilySearch program and maintain it. I am grateful for all those who have done and are now doing research and sharing what they have found. I am grateful for photographs of my babies as they grew up. I am grateful that the airways over America are not filled with bombs and missiles yet. I am grateful for pain patches and grateful I don’t have to clean up blood any more. I am grateful for friends I can call and just whine to and that they bring me cheese when I do whine, so we can all laugh together.

What are you grateful for?

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Tolerance and Love

Our Father in Heaven loves all of His children . . . .In fact: God is Love.

Peter taught that “God is no respecter of persons: “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

In his conference talk on tolerance and love, Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that “real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Teach Us Tolerance and Love,” Ensign, May 1994, 71)

Below are the words of Russell M Nelson, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have taken the liberty of using part of his talk as I feel they are most applicable today. He too used that quote from Acts 10:34-35, then said:

“Yet His children can be so intolerant with one another. Neighboring factions, whether they be identified as groups or gangs, schools or states, counties or countries, often develop animosity. Such tendencies make me wonder: Cannot boundary lines exist without becoming battle lines? Could not people unite in waging war against the evils that beset mankind instead of waging war on each other? Sadly, answers to these questions are often no. Through the years, discrimination based on ethnic or religious identity has led to senseless slaughter, vicious pogroms, and countless acts of cruelty. The face of history is pocked by the ugly scars of intolerance.

“While we strive for the virtue of tolerance, other commendable qualities need not be lost. Tolerance does not require the surrender of noble purpose or of individual identity.

“We are grateful for the many examples of heroic service rendered in times of earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, or other disasters. Such cooperative efforts to help neighbors in distress transcend any barriers posed by religion, race, or culture. Those good deeds are latter-day love in action!

“Of course we are concerned with the need for ambulances in the valley below. But at the same time, we cannot ignore the greater need for protective guardrails on the cliffs above. Limited resources needed for the accomplishment of the higher work cannot be depleted in rescue efforts that provide only temporary relief.

“The biblical prophet Nehemiah must have felt that same commitment to his important calling. When he was asked to divert attention away from his primary purpose, he replied: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? (Nehemiah 6:3)

“Now may I offer an important note of caution. An erroneous assumption could be made that if a little of something is good, a lot must be better. Not so! Overdoses of needed medication can be toxic. Boundless mercy could oppose justice. So tolerance, without limit, could lead to spineless permissiveness.”

“The Lord drew boundary lines to define acceptable limits of tolerance. Danger rises when those divine limits are disobeyed. Just as parents teach little children not to run and play in the street, the Savior taught us that we need not tolerate evil. “Jesus went into the temple of God, and … and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.” (Matthew 21:12) Though He loved the sinner, the Lord said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” (D&C 1:31) His Apostle Paul specified some of those sins in a letter to the Galatians. The list included “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, … wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.” (Galatians 5: 19-21)

“To Paul’s list I might add the regrettable attitudes of bigotry, hypocrisy, and prejudice. These were also decried in 1834 by early Church leaders who foresaw the eventual rise of this church “amid the frowns of bigots and the calumny of hypocrites.” The Prophet Joseph Smith prayed that “prejudices may give way before the truth.” (D&C 109:56,70) Hatred stirs up strife ( Proverbs 10:12) and digs beneath the dignity of mature men and women in our enlightened era.”

My beloved brothers and sisters, at this time in America many are trying to distract us from what is so important. Jesus Christ taught us to love others as we love ourselves. Remember, those who practice an “eye for an eye” only leave an entire nation of blind people.

Another of my favorite teachers was Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She once said,

“If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.” (Mother Teresa)

It is my prayer that we will follow the Saviour and stop feeding into the world’s hatred. Rather, let us love and do good wherever we may be.

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Hope vs Despair

My beloved sisters, I wish to speak of hope today. I can think of many instances in my life where I learned firsthand the power of hope. I know that many of you have lost hope because of what has been done to you since you were little and for many of us, abuse continued into the later years of our lives. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to include brothers here as well, for there are many who have suffered as we did.

I remember the days in my youth and early childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a family where I was not wanted and treated poorly. The lack of educational opportunities because I was a female child and had to work so I would not be sold to those whom I had been trained to please. Life-threatening health issues during my early youth because of those who did not want me to survive. As I grew older, each time I tried to get an education, my way was blocked by evil. It seemed each time I found happiness, there was evil to twist and turn my life into a nightmare. I was filled with despair.

After joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, I learned that it is knowledge of who I really am, and that Jesus Christ died for me personally, that I began to have hope for something better. Until I learned who God really is, I had no hope.  Lucifer used the tools of “Despair” to discourage me. I know that many of you face this same type of despair.

As I read or listen to the prophets of God speak to us about truth, I have found hope. They say these truths much better than I do, so I share with you what prophets have said:

“Blessed is the man (or woman) that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” (Joel 3:16)

“Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men (and women). Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (and daughters) of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

“Beloved, now are we the sons (and daughters) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

“And every man (and woman) that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself (or herself), even as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

In more recent times (2008), we have these words, spoken by our dear living Apostle of Jesus Christ and Second Counselor of the First Presidency in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, even Dieter F Uchtdorf:

“Hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us.”

“The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock.” (D&C 6:34) God will wait with “open arms to receive” (See Mormon 6:17) those who give away their sins and continue in faith, hope, and charity.”

““And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.”

“Never surrender.”

“Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.”

“Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.”

We are all brothers and sister in the family of God. Yes, even those who abused you. God loves each and every one of us. Jesus Christ died for each of us individually. They want us to be happy. They want us to have all they have, and that is a truth that Lucifer does not want you to know. Satan wants you to believe that he is more powerful than he really is. He may win a few battles, but he is going to lose the war. In fact, he has already lost, and that is why he is running amuck in the world right now. He is a child having a temper tantrum. I wish a squirt of cold water could end his tantrum, don’t you? And yes, we all make mistakes.

When we listen to the words of those who came before us, and see how others pulled through and repented, and then look up towards God, we can know for ourselves that this life is only a short time (no matter how many years you live) and that eternity is much longer. This time of testing we are going through is not going to last forever. But eternity does last forever.

Hugs from a distance. Your sister with Jesus Christ.

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On Prayer

Many people have heard the Lord’s prayer so often, they tend to ignore it. They know words, but not really understand what the words really mean. From the Holy Bible, in the Book of Luke in the New Testament (King James Version), we read:

“ And it came to pass, that, as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
“Give us day by day our daily bread.
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
“For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
“And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
“I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 11:1-10)

It is by the much begging that caused that good man to get up and open the door and give the bread unto his friend. He knew that if he did not get up, his friend would nag him so much he would get no sleep.

Does God know that you will continue to plead with Him over your struggles? Do you tell Him that you need Him? Do you go to him over all your days? Do you share your joys and your sorrows with Him each and every day? How do you expect His help when He never hears from you?

One of the things God has asked of us, is to come to Him. He asked us to pray over everything: our fields, our flocks, our herds, our food, our drink, our children, our parents, over everything and that even includes our enemies.  From the Book of Mormon we read:

“Therefore may God grant unto you, my (sisters and) brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;

“Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.

“Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.

“Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

“Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

“Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

“Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

“Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

“Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

“But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

“Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.” (Alma 34:17-27)

In my lifetime I have received more blessings than I can ever adequately give thanks for. The Lord has been so good to me. I have had so many experiences in sickness and in health that leave me with no shadow of a doubt in my heart and mind that there is a God in heaven, that He is our Father, and that He hears and answers our prayers.

As I look to, listen, and read what the prophets of God say, I treasure their words. My very first living prophet was Spencer W. Kimball, who said:

“We must remember that reverence is not a somber, temporary behavior that we adopt on Sunday. True reverence involves happiness, as well as love, respect, gratitude, and godly fear. It is a virtue that should be part of our way of life.” (Spencer W. Kimball)

It is my prayer that we may all remember to pray and bring God back into our lives on a daily basis. He needs to hear from us. I pray you will join your faith with mine in asking for His help in our lives and in our Country, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen

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My Respects to Boyd K Packer

One of the first things I learned from this great man was that in spite of having a disability, it does not mean we are handicapped. We can always do good, even when our bodies are not strong.

Second only to Spencer W. Kimball, Boyd K. Packer showed me that forgiveness is a powerful spiritual medicine. It is the “Balm of Gilead”. Better than any medicine in the world. Some of His exact words were:

“Forgiveness is powerful spiritual medicine. To extend forgiveness, that soothing balm, to those who have offended you is to heal. And, more difficult yet, when the need is there, forgive yourself!”

“I speak today to those who may be lost and are searching for that lower light to help guide them back.

“It was understood from the beginning that in mortality we would fall short of being perfect. It was not expected that we would live without transgressing one law or another. . .

“If you have made no mistakes, then you do not need the Atonement. If you have made mistakes, and all of us have, whether minor or serious, then you have an enormous need to find out how they can be erased so that you are no longer in darkness.

“Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world.” As we fix our gaze on His teachings, we will be guided to the harbor of spiritual safety.

“Throughout your life there may be times when you have gone places you never should have gone and done things you never should have done. If you will turn away from sin, you will be able one day to know the peace that comes from following the pathway of complete repentance.

“No matter what our transgressions have been, no matter how much our actions may have hurt others – that guilt can all be wiped out. To me, perhaps the most beautiful phrase in all scripture is when the Lord said, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42)

“That is the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement: to take anyone who comes, anyone who will join, and put them through an experience so that at the end of their life, they can go through the veil having repented of their sins and having been washed clean through the blood of Christ. (Revelation 1:5.)

“Keep the fire of your testimony of the restored gospel and your witness of our Redeemer burning so brightly that our children can warm their hands by the fire of your faith.”

“We must choose whom to follow. Our protection is as simple as deciding individually to follow the Savior, making certain that we faithfully will remain on his side.”

“There is something very liberating when an individual determines of his or her own free will to be obedient to our Father and our God and expresses that willingness to Him in prayer.”

“Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right—getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren.

“If you will follow these principles, you will be watched over and protected and you yourself will know by the promptings of the Holy Ghost which way to go, for “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”(Moroni 10:5.)

“In Paul’s revelation, in addition to the list of challenges and problems, he also tells us what we can do to protect ourselves:

“Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14–15)

“The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer.

“Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”(2 Timothy 3:16) You can test this promise for yourself.

“Make scripture reading a part of your regular routine, and the blessings will follow. There is in the scriptures a voice of warning, but there is also great nourishment.”

“Obedient to revelation, we call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than the Mormon Church. It is one thing for others to refer to the Church as the Mormon Church or to us as Mormons; it is quite another for us to do so.

The First Presidency stated:

“The use of the revealed name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 115:4), is increasingly important in our responsibility to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world. Accordingly, we ask that when we refer to the Church we use its full name wherever possible. …

“When referring to Church members, we suggest ‘members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ As a shortened reference, ‘Latter-day Saints’ is preferred.” (First Presidency letter, Feb. 23, 2001.)

I loved this great man, and shall miss his courage and forthrightness. Until we meet again, I pray his sweet wife will keep the faith by knowing she is sealed to this great man for all eternity. Oh, if all we women could be sealed to a man such as this, there would be rejoicing on earth as there is in heaven.

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One of the reasons I know we are to follow the living prophets is that all through the Holy Bible we can see how God blesses people when they turn to Him. Each time people, both men and women have gone to God in prayer, with a sincere heart, He lets them know how much He loves them. The world is kept because of those who are obedient to God.

When God spoke to Moses, and gave him laws, God spoke of how generations would suffer at the hands of those who did not worship the True God.

“I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:1-6)

Then, we move forward in time to another prophet. Dear Ezekiel. Bless his heart. He inquired of the Lord as to what the scripture meant that said:

“What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?”

“As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:2-4)

When we go to the Lord for answers of our questions, we do receive answers. Even as the prophets do.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve had two sons. One by the name of Abel and one named Cain. Cain did that which Satan told him. Satan knew what the law was. The sacrifice was to be of the first born. He knew that God would not accept any other type of sacrifice. Cain worshiped Satan more than God, and when he learned his offering to God it was not accepted, he murdered his brother in his anger and frustration.

” And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

“And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

“And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

“And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; (Genesis 4:6-11)

Just as Ezekiel had done, in a more recent time, Spencer W Kimball was concerned regarding the curse of Cain. He asked God regarding those who were descendants of Cain. He asked of God and once again, God responded, and great gifts became available to all worthy men and women who are descendants of Cain.

On September 30, 1978, at the 148th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following was presented by President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church:

“In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously.”

Then, he read a letter they had written. If you would like to know more, go to the Doctrine and Covenants to the 2nd proclamation and read the entire message for yourself.  I was honored to know that God still speaks to humans even now. Just as with all announcements by the prophets of God, not everyone was happy. Nonetheless, many of us were.

Then, even more recently, the Lord again spoke and told the prophets to warn the world that many are not doing what we need to be doing and some are doing away with the great blessings He gave us. I suggest you go to this link, and see what this warning means to you and those whom you love.

https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&cid=PA0414-02

It is my prayer today, that all people will turn to Thomas S Monson and the other prophets to learn truth from them in this day and time. Yesterday, I celebrated my Father’s Day in the Holy Temple of God and had a glorious day. I pray you will all remember God, for He truly is your Eternal Father. As you celebrate Father’s Day this year, be sure to let Him know you love Him. As His daughter, I believe He would love to hear from you.

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I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to be with me, as I share with you truths which I have heard and know to be true.

“This is an age of digital information. Our computers have become windows through which we can gaze upon a world that is virtually without horizons or boundaries. Literally at the click of a button, we can browse through the digitized libraries of universities, museums, government agencies, and research institutions located throughout the world. A worldwide web of electronic connections now moves data at ever-increasing speed and volume along what we call the information superhighway. Through the windows of personal computer monitors in homes and offices, we can access this network of interconnected data banks to see texts, art, photos, maps, and charts and to hear music and speech that are stored in widely dispersed locations.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares boldly that through another type of window, the windows of heaven, we can access spiritual information from the Source of light and truth. “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (Articles of Faith: 1:9) In this dispensation of the fullness of times, the revelation superhighway has been carrying heavy traffic of eternal truth ever since that day in the spring of 1820 when the Lord answered a farm boy’s fervent prayer in the Sacred Grove and ushered in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Today, as in ancient times, God opens windows of gospel light and truth by revealing “his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear can learn eternal principles; view majestic vistas of knowledge, foresight, and wisdom; and receive direction on how to live their lives.

“The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. The unworthy cannot access fully the network of revealed truth. “The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.” (D&C 121:36) Obedience is the first law of heaven. That is why Alma exhorted us to “be humble, … submissive and … diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.” (Alma 7:23)

“To open the windows of heaven, we must conform our will to God’s will. Diligent, enduring obedience to God’s laws is the key that opens the windows of heaven. Obedience enables us to be receptive to the mind and will of the Lord. “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient” (D&C 64:34) are those who receive the blessings of revelation through the open windows of heaven.”

“Members of the Lord’s church can joyfully echo these words of the prophet Mormon: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.”

“We are the Savior’s disciples who “shall go forth.” All of us are called of him to be missionaries to declare his word among his people.

“We should follow the counsel of President Spencer W. Kimball (another prophet of God) and “do it,” and he added, “Do it right now.”

“If we are to fulfill the Lord’s command to open the windows of heaven to all of our brothers and sisters, we must prepare to teach the gospel. With study of the scriptures, fasting, and prayer, we fortify our testimonies. We cultivate Christlike attributes of “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, and diligence.” (D&C 4:6) Through exemplary obedience, we can let our light so shine before men (and women), that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) By keeping the commandments, we can light our gospel candle and put it “on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:15) (These were the words of Joseph B Wirthlin, another prophet of God in 1995. His talk was entitled: Windows of Light and Truth)

I am Maurica, being called after the name of my father, born in the land of America, which land God has set apart as a place where men and women can worship Him according to the dictates of their own hearts. My forefathers died that all of us might have this land of freedom. I live to help keep it free and introduce those who do not know God to Him and His beloved Son, even Jesus Christ.

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and while walking with Him and serving others, I have felt called to lift those who struggle as I did before I knew that He was my savior. I have been reaching out since long before I was blessed to hear the Good Word of God confirm to me that I am one of His. And since following the Lord’s will I have been blessed to be able to do even more than I had ever done before. I have felt more loved by being obedient to His commandments than I ever did by being obedient to others who claimed to love me.

As Moses said to the children of Israel as they went forth out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 29: 2-4) I say unto you who are living in Babylon; Nineveh; Sodom; Gomorrah or that which is just like they were:

“And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;
“The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:
“Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.”

I would that we all might listen to the prophets of God upon the earth in this day and age and follow the counsel of God’s chosen so we may return home to He who gave us life in the first place. And this is my prayer, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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