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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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Tribute to Police

I want you to know that I honor and respect those who risk their lives to defend and protect the innocent. Those who go beyond the call of duty as they offer a kind word or a smile when they see someone who needs it.

My first encounter of kindness was because of a police officer who lifted me out of a tub of water where I was being drowned. I shall always hold a special place in my heart for him, and in memory of him, have forgiven the officers who have treated me unkindly because they did not know who I am.

In today’s world of strife and turmolt we hear more about the evil being done by people than the good being done by many. I would like to share my experiences with those who were kind in my life during times of trial.

Many times growing up I slept in trees rather than be sold to those who abused me in ways I will not talk about. I slept in a turkey ranch bathroom one time, and found that hiding place better than in the home of evil. Many times in my youth, when the police found me, they did lock me up because I refused to go home. Behind bars I was safe, and am grateful for that safety. I’m sure others find that strange, but for many children, it is the only form of safety they have. Thank you for all those you saved from things worse than most “normal” people understand.

As an adult, I worked at a Juvenile Hall and was able to help a few girls who were there for reasons I understood. I found I could not do it very long, because I wanted to take them home with me, but since I had no husband, I could not do that for them. I thank all those who take in older children and tolerate their deeds while they learn that there really are good people in the world.

After a burglary, when I was in my 20’s, police rescued me once again. At the police department, while I did not like the questions they ask and the photographs they took, I did understand why they had to do those things. Years after that, I became an advocate for those girls and women who had to suffer what needed to be done. I kept the officers from putting the blame on the wrong person. Know that even a hooker should not be raped or tortured. No female or male should be raped or tortured.

My second husband left me right after that rape baby was born. Back then, it was felt by some that cancer was contagious and he learned I had it and didn’t want to catch it. The night he left, I took the baby, got into my car and began to drive. I saw the lights in my rearview mirror. The officer came up to the window and saw that I had been crying. His partner saw the baby on the seat, opened the door and began to lecture me about the danger I put my child in. The first officer hushed his partner and drove me, the baby and my car to a donut shop. We sat and talked for a very long time. By the time I had calmed down, he called his wife and she and I stayed together for several days, until I was able to pack my things and find another place to live. We stayed friends for many years. I know that was above and beyond what most would have done. Thank you.

Many times I have had interaction with the police, some experiences were not good, when there was misunderstanding on how to treat a woman like me. I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which began in my early youth and continued until old age.

I have known the fear of standing in front of loaded weapons to defend and protect the innocent. I have known the pain in trying to stop a person on drugs from doing harm to themselves or others. I know the frustration of having to not say or do anything when I see things I can not change. I know the nightmares of injuries inflicted by those who only wanted me dead. I also know the joy of helping someone and seeing them after the drama is over and they are doing well. I also know the peace that comes from knowing that even though sometimes we fail, we are not failures. The peace that comes when we do what is right even when all around us there is no peace. I know that we can stand when the earth shakes to help those who can not stand.

When you have been where the Police have been, then you can know most of them are doing the best they can with what they have to deal with. I salute the police. I honor you. I pray for God to bless and protect you. I know that angels are around you and recording all that happens to you.

Those who abuse anyone will have to answer for what they do, just as what we all do is put on the books in heaven and we will all be accountable for what we do. I know when we do good, in spite of what is going on around us, that God smiles and someday we shall receive our reward.

Thank you with all my heart for the kindnesses you have shown me and others.  

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My Tribute to Russell M Nelson

“Men can do very little of themselves to heal sick or broken bodies. With an education they can do a little more; with advanced medical degrees and training, a little more yet can be done. The real power to heal, however, is a gift from God. He has deigned that some of that power may be harnessed via the authority of His priesthood to benefit and bless mankind when all man can do for himself may not be sufficient.” (Russell M Nelson)

God honor’s Russell M Nelson, I know this because God said He would honor those who serve Him in Righteousness and in truth unto the end and I happen to know that God never lies.

“Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye inhabitants thereof, for the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior.”

“Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.”

“His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.”

“From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.”

“For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.” (D&C 76:1-5)

I admire and shall continue to sustain Russell M Nelson in his new calling as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In the years since joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, I have never heard or seen him do or say anything that might be displeasing to our Father in Heaven. I have watched as he reaches out across the world to bless the lives of our Heavenly Father’s children. His actions speak even louder than his words and his words are powerful.

When I first came to Salt Lake City, Utah, I was crossing the street one day while downtown. We passed each other in the crosswalk. I said a casual “Hello, Elder” and kept walking as did he. It was obvious he was deep in thought. Then, as I reached my sidewalk and turned, so did he from his side of the street; he smiled at me before he finished walking into the building. I could feel his kindness all the way across the street.

For you, this might not mean anything. But if you knew how busy this man and all those whom the Lord has called to serve the children of man around the world are, then you would know that he is a fellow traveler on this journey we call life. He too takes the time to offer a smile or handshake, or even has done surgery on those who stood in need over the years. While he is a highly educated man, he is also a humble man. I admire him for that quality. He is a lot like our Savior was while He administered to God’s children.

We may at times be busy in our lives, just as he was and is, but may we all have time to at least smile to strangers, no matter how busy we think we might be.

I love this photograph of he and his family. This is what a good father is suppose to look like. A good man can become great when God is the head of his house and he has a good woman by his side. President Nelson is a great man, in my humble opinion.

His counsel in the 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints was for all of us to show our love to God by keeping the Sabbath day holy. This is a sign between us (men and women) and God that we do always remember Him and His Son, even Jesus Christ. God gave us that day so we could rest from our labors, not the other way around.

One of my favorite prophets of the Old Testament was Isaiah. He too spoke of the Sabbath just as Elder Nelson did:

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:12-14)

I pray we may do as God’s prophets counsel us and honor those whom He honors, in the sacred 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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Respect to an Unknown Woman

While I honor and respect good men, I also honor and respect good women. I know Jesus does as well.

I share with you the story that Jesus asked us to share about one particular woman:

“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he (Jesus Christ) sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

“And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

“For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

“And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

“For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

“She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” (Mark 14:3-9)

We never learn her name, yet we do know who she was by what she did. She was a faithful disciple of the Lord who knew and understood why He had come and what was about to happen to Him. She showed Him respect in spite of what others, even members of her own church, said about her. It is my prayer that we also may be showing respect to the Lord when He returns and that He will know us by our having faithfully followed Him while we wait for His return.

“For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” (Psalms 39:9)

I love that God sent His only begotten Son for me and you. I also know that:

“We are eternal beings. We have no way of comprehending how long we dwelt in the presence of God as his spirit children. We are here in mortality for a moment of testing and trial. Then we will come forth in the resurrection, receive an inheritance in whatever kingdom we deserve, and go on living the commandments to all eternity.

“This life consists of a brief yesterday, a few short hours of today, and a few moments tomorrow. The oldest men among us scarcely live longer than a hundred years. But the life that is to be is forever. It will have no end. Men (and women) will rise from the grave and not die after. Life is eternal, unending; never after the resurrection will the children of our Father taste death.”

“Then shall all men (and women) stand before the bar of the great Jehovah to be judged according to the deeds done in the flesh.”  Spencer W Kimball – (1895-1985)

I love that the Lord loves women as well as men. I love that Jesus Christ invites us all to follow Him and be like Him, so that His Father, the Most High God will see that We Love Them and are listening to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.

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My respects to L. Tom Perry

This was truly a man who loved God with all his heart, might, mind and strength. I am going to share with you some of his words. It is my prayer that you will read and understand his wisdom.

“In order to find answers, the Lord says, we not only have to search for them, but we have to search diligently. That means there is effort involved. We really have to work at it. One of the best places to search for answers is in the scriptures, and searching diligently means reading them again and again, prayerfully and with faith, until the answers become apparent.”

“Search after truth, and remember that word diligently. That doesn’t mean halfheartedly. That means with all your might. It is also important to keep the commandments so you can feel the promptings of the Spirit. Part of being diligent is being worthy.”

“Carry a prayer in your heart. You don’t have to express it out loud all the time, but there are very few hours in the day when you don’t need guidance and direction in the course that you would want to follow. It is a wonderful, satisfying thing to know that the Lord is there. And He is there “24/7,” as they say. He is always available to us.”

“All of us have to gain our own testimonies, and the example of others is a tremendous way to start. We can feel confident when we find someone we trust who can bear solemn witness. There is a natural affinity that draws us to that desire to “be believing.”

“It is also important to live the commandments. You have to know the law of the Lord and try living it in order to prove that it works and brings blessings. The Savior said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

“If you “search diligently, pray always, and be believing,” it is very difficult to get off course. The Lord has promised us that. When people turn away from the Lord, there’s an automatic deterioration of the ability to follow the Spirit and a loss of the opportunity to experience true joy in life. When people follow the Lord, they prosper, they grow, and even though there are difficulties, the good things of life come according to the plan of the Lord.

“There is great satisfaction in knowing who you are, what you are supposed to do here, and what eternal blessings our Father in Heaven has promised to the faithful in the eternities to come. What greater comfort could there be than that?” (Elder L Tom Perry, an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ in life as well as in death.)

Personally, I am still learning from this great man. He shall always hold a place in my heart, mind and life. His wisdom proved him to be a man of sound understanding, and it is my prayer that I may endure as well as he did all the way to my eternal home, in the Sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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