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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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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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Steps On The Ladder

Faith and hope. I know this might sound like old hat to some, but when someone has never seen any in their own lives, how can they have hope that things will get better for them? How can they have faith in someone whom they do not really know?

Thus, for my ladder, the first step is Prayer. We all need to learn how to communicate with God. Even with just a tiny, itsy bitsy drop of trust that God is listening can open up an entire world. For me, this is “faith” and “hope”.

The second step is to read the scriptures. I know that most of those who have been abused have heard the words all mixed up. Unworthy men and women have pounded them with “parts” of the gospel, yet never really showed them the “real” gospel of Jesus Christ.

The third step is obedience. Let me give a couple of examples.
Honor thy Father and they Mother and Obey your husband.

Scriptures used by abusers include “spare the rod and spoil the child” or “Women need to be in subjection to their husbands.”  Many hear put downs and other things much worse. Who wants to be with an unworthy parent or spouse?

That type of teaching is totally out of context. Lies can take something sacred and twist it into something that causes pain and suffering.

1st) God is our Father. We need to honor God, because He loves us 100 percent. “Solomon’s saying, “spare the rod and spoil the child,” ought to be altered to “spare the rod” and “give good counsel to children and thus draw them to you.” Brigham Young once said that and I agree with him.

“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him (or her) whom thou hast reproved, lest he (or she) esteem thee to be his (or her) enemy;

“That he (or she) may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.” (D&C 121:43-44)

Given to Joseph Smith Jr from God to share with others. I added the female gender because what God says to His sons He also says to His daughters.

Thus, it is much easier to be obedient to God than it is to any who begat children and had no clue what to do with us. As for mortal fathers, they tend to make mistakes just as children do, and we need to exercise patience and forgiveness with all.

2nd) I agree with the statement that when a man is our father or our husband, we need to follow his counsel. However, there is a qualifier: only as long as he is obedient to God’s laws. When he stops doing that, then he should not be followed. Any man or woman who abuses another is going to have to explain why to God, so I suggest you pray for them to repent before that day comes. The main thing is, you keep being obedient to God first, and all else will fall into place.

3rd) Women were not created to serve men. She was created for the express purpose to be a “helpmate” for him. Not to be beneath him in any way, nor was she his slave. Let us examine for a moment what a “helpmate” really is. A helpmate:

1) Walks beside her husband and lifts him when he tends to droop down.
2) Walks beside her husband and sustains him in his righteous desires.
3) Blesses him with offspring, and helps him to learn how to be a good father just like God is a good father.
4) Watches over and cares for him in sickness and in health.

Some feel a wife is someone:
1) To cook and clean the house
2) To have sex with
3) To raise children
4) To take frustrations out on.

I have news, ladies and gentlemen:

A. You are not a servant to each other, yet you do want to keep a clean home so the Holy Spirit can be there. Your spouse should desire this same thing. This is not just a “female” job. You do want to nourish and care for the bodies of those to whom God has allowed you to be with. And that includes yourself. This is not just a “female” job.

B. You do want intimacy with someone who will treasure and respect you for the precious daughter or son of God you are, and you do want to show your companion that you respect them as a precious child of God as well. This is not just a “female” job. This is a “male and female” job. This is a gift, if you will, from a loving Father and Mother who created you to be just like Them. (I am not speaking of your mortal parents)

C. You do desire to love and help your offspring to find truth and light and love. You do desire to want the best for them, and that is not just a “female” job, that is a “male and female” job.

D. Frustrations are felt by both male and female. Neither of us, male or female, need to be browbeaten by those whom we are joined with. That includes father, mother, spouse, and yes, that also includes children.

Okay, now some are in total disgust, because you know for you that has not been a reality. I hear you loud and clear. But before you knock it, try it. How kind are you to the person whom you thought was to be your eternal companion? Be truthful here. I’m not meaning to cause shame, I just want you to really look at yourself first, before you nag them or complain to others about them. Take those three steps up and breath some fresh air. You might like it.

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Small and Simple Things

A very small thing to most is the reading of the Holy Scriptures. Yet, this is what they did for me before I was even 5 years old: The story of Daniel, when he was in Nebuchadnezzar’s court gave me faith and hope for things to improve. They showed me that others, who were obedient to God were saved and over the years, I have proven that He does this same thing for me. I know He can do it for you as well.
My older sister read to me in private, so no one would know she was speaking. We had been forbidden to speak, so she was risking great punishment by doing so. This was not an easy thing for her, yet she shared this story from the Holy Scriptures with me. It has stayed with me all these years, and that is a very long time. I see a parallel in today’s society. I invite you to read this story and see if you feel the same way. (The Book of Daniel found in the King James Version of the Holy Bible – Old Testament)

This particular story from the Book of Daniel told me that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were children of the most-high God. They did what the laws of Moses had instructed them to do. They lived the commandments and kept the Word of Wisdom regarding diet. They were obedient, even though they lived in a society that went against all those things. They were doing what they knew to be the right thing, while others laughed or mocked or tried to stop them. The laws allowed evil to run rampant in the city and country back then.

These three young men, because they would not worship the idols of the king, were to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

We know that the King really liked these three young men. He had placed them in his own palace because they were such wise young men. It hurt him that he might have to punish them, so he warned them what would happen if they did not at least “make the appearance” of worshiping, as all the other people did. He flat out ask them who this god was that they worshiped, and how he could deliver them out of his hands.

Here is the answer they gave:

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
“But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)

Are we that brave? Are we that knowledgeable to trust God that much? Do our young people today know that God is real because we have read the Holy Scriptures to them, so they can learn how others lived and suffered and were saved by being obedient? Have we seen for ourselves that He is not only able, but that He desires to bless us and help us during our struggles of living in the world? Are we able to live ‘in’ the world, while not being a part of the world?

I invite you to read to children, no matter how old they are. As I said, I was not even 5 years old, yet these words and feelings have blessed me all my life. I ask you, how can the Holy Spirit bring to our minds that which we do not know nor have ever heard before? Once the words of truth are in our minds, they can be that second witness to what the Holy Spirit is sharing is truth. When He speaks to us in that quiet whisper, if we have no other witness of the truth He shares, others in the world might be able to convince us otherwise. I never wanted my children to suffer as I did, yet, I was only able to read to them when they were babies. I do pray over the years you have not only read privately, but also read to others, no matter their ages.

Please, brothers and sisters, read to your children. Read words of truth so they can withstand the temptations of this day just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did.

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God Is:

“For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
“Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:23-29)

In the very first book written in Holy rite we find this truth:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

Many people do not understand this one basic fact: We are not just “form” or “essence” but rather we are specific beings (both form and essence), male and female. Together, we are “man”. Which is actually short for mankind.

God has an “image” just like our “image”. He has a head with hair and body parts, with passions, emotions, and feelings.

God is an “Eternal” Father and “Mother”. Not that his body contains both sexes, oh no. But rather there are “two” who became as one.

Just as a person marries a person of the opposite gender to become “one”. Father and Mother come together to create another person. Just as you created your children, so our Heavenly Father and Mother created Jesus Christ. First a child is created spiritually (without a body) and then they are created mortally (with a body).

For me, this is “love”. Real love. I am like my Heavenly Mother. I have a Heavenly Father and they love me.

I also had a mortal mother. I had a mortal father. Together, they created my body and my Heavenly Parents placed my Spirit into that body. I shall be eternally grateful to them all for that gift.

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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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