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A Heart Was Turned

“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

“And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:2-6)

God said, “If ye love Me, keep my commandments.”

In many places now, it is illegal to even show the ten commandments, but when you have them in your heart, you know they are not hard to keep. And if you break them, God sent His son, Jesus Christ to show us how to repent and turn back towards God.

In the beginning, family was meant to be together forever. And a family was a man and a woman and children.

I am so grateful to the Lord for coming to earth in a mortal body and showing us how to be the best we can be. True, it is not easy to live this way in the world today, until you actually do it, and then you learn that it gives you real joy.

Not the “hot tub” and “Football games” type of joy, but rather a sense of peace and healing that is better than any hot tub or football game. The kind of joy that makes you all bubbly inside. The kind of joy that makes you want to just sing, right out loud.

In society today, we see people running around in circles trying to find happiness. If they don’t want to do something, they don’t do it. If they want to do something, they just do it.  Little do they know, it is just like a chicken, when it’s head has been chopped off. They are dead and just don’t know it, yet.

When Malachi said that the hearts of the children would turn to the fathers and the fathers to the children, he was serious. And I, for one, am most grateful for it.

Back in the early 1950’s I watched my sister get hit over the head with a 2×4 type of board until she lay in a puddle of her own blood in the driveway. That was the last time I saw her until 30 years had gone by.

In growing up, I had gone one way, she another. Oh, she did not die, but rather was in a hospital for a while and then placed with a family who raised her with love. I was tossed here and there until I finally ran away to the desert. While I was in the desert, God sent two missionaries to tell me who I really am and who He is in relation to me.

Years later, a prophet of God by the name of Spencer W. Kimball asked members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints to send their pedigree charts to Salt Lake City so the Church could try out a new program. Since that time in the desert, I am a member of that Church and since I did not know who should be on my pedigree chart, I went to a room in the Stake Center (not a dinner house) and asked if someone could show me how to fill mine in.

The first thing I did was send for my birth certificate. Once I learned who I was, and how to correctly spell my birth name, I wanted to find my mother’s family. I was going through a film called a “microfiche” and low and behold, I saw my sister’s name. My heart skipped a beat, then I re-read it to be sure I actually saw it. Yup, it was a match. I wrote down all the information and went home, where I promptly wrote a letter (they did not have emails back then) to the woman who had submitted the information.

I also enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope that just said something about if she was my sister, and she did not want to remember her past, she could send that and I would not bother her again.  Also giving her my telephone number in case she did want to talk to me. Then, I waited.

I don’t remember how much time passed, but one day I got a phone call. It was the woman, who told me that she was not my sister, but she felt impressed to tell me to call my father.

After explaining to her that my father did not raise me, she again said, “I feel impressed. . . ” I then had to admit, I had not spoken to my father in many years.  She told me once again about being “impressed”. She wished me luck, then hung up.  To me, that word “impressed” means it was from God through her to me.

After looking in the telephone book for my father’s phone number, I learned that he was still living in the old house where we lived when I was a child. I said another prayer and then dialed the number. After a few rings, his current wife picked it up. We spoke greeting, then she said, “It’s strange that you called. Just the other day we got a call from a woman saying she wanted to talk to her father. I let her know that he only had one child, and that was you.”

I gulped, then asked if she had left a telephone number. I was told she had, but it had been thrown in the trash. I wanted to cry, until she said, “But your dad hasn’t taken the trash out yet, let me go see if it’s still there.” It was, and after I wrote it down, I thanked her and hung up.

After drying my tears and saying a prayer, I dialed the number. A young girl answered the phone and I asked if her mother was home. She asked who was calling, and I told her to just say, “Midge”. She did, and in the background I heard “Oh my God!” and then for the next hour or so my sister and I laughed, cried and spoke for the first time in 30 years.

She invited me to come visit her, and I explained as soon as I could make the arrangements I would be there.

To make a long story short, I did and we had a marvelous two weeks visit. The first of many.

Now, you may say, oh that is no big deal. But let me explain one thing here. If I had not done what the prophet asked me to do, I never would have had that reunion. I never would have met my niece and nephew. I never would have known that she was alive.

So many wonderful things happened for me, all because I did what I was asked to do, even though I did not want to. The reason I did not want to, was because there had been no love in my family since my mother had died, shortly after I was born. But, when a prophet speaks, it is just as if God Himself is talking to us. I love God, so wanted to be obedient to let God know that I do in fact love Him.

There are many today, who want nothing to do with family. But let me share with you, that when you begin to do what God asks you to do, you begin to receive blessings in your life. I had been willing to give up on ever having a family and was rewarded with more family than I even knew existed. And I am talking about “loving” family.

God is the Father of us all. He is love and family can be loving in spite of being human.

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What would happen?

 

What would happen if today you heard God asked, “Do you love me? Do you love my son, Jesus Christ?”

 

Would you look up and say yes? Would you wonder why He had to ask?

 

What would happen if you look at what you have hanging on your walls? Would you see pictures of what you believe Jesus looks like? Would you see pictures of your family? What do you see in your home; those things that money can buy or those things that help you be a good person and a family?

 

What would happen if you go from room to room in your home and see if there is anything there that might tell your children or friends that you love Jesus? Would you see anything to even show that you know of Him?

 

What would happen if you had the Ten Commandments hanging in your home rather than a poster of a sports figure or famous movie star or singer? If you can find a Holy Bible in your own home, what would happen if you dusted it off and read it?

 

What would happen if you looked closely in your life and see if you are kind to others? What would happen if you smile when you walk by the stranger? Do you ever talk to God so He knows your voice? Do you know what His voice sounds like?

 

What would happen if you were willing to “show” God that you love Him? What would happen if you showed Jesus Christ that you are grateful that He died for you?

 

God was willing to send His Beloved Son to Earth for you. What are you willing to do for Him?

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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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Blessed are the Merciful

As I was reading tonight, this came to me, I share with you:

“Be merciful and you shall obtain mercy” The word of the Lord unto His disciples in days of old (and I might add to us today).

The voice of universal charity, breathing forth the spirit of Christ upon a weak, sinful and a fallen world. None but the tempted know, what trials are; none but the fallen what the fallen suffer, or how they endured ere they fell. None but God can fully know the why and wherefore of their fall.” (Heber C. Kimball)

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”(Matthew 5:7 (Jesus Christ the Son of God)

Heber C Kimball continued:

“Why should we rail at the fallen? Why not rather weep, when a brother or sister sins? Why hate them for what is their misfortune? The heavens wept over fallen Lucifer. God weeps over the people of the earth”.

He was not the only one who shared this truth with us:

“And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?” (Moses 7:28)

He went on to share why God wept. We are His children. Have you who are parents or have loved ones not wept when you cannot help them, even though you tried?

“But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
“How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
“And of some have compassion, making a difference: (Jude 1:17-22)

Wanting to make a difference in the world, Mother Teresa founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. The mission of her small organization was to help “the poorest of the poor” in the slums of Calcutta, India, by educating and meeting the needs of the destitute and starving. She wanted to bring comfort to the sick and dying who often felt unloved, uncared for, and unwanted.” (Edward Le Joly, Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Biography (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983), 28–29.

Thousands were given comfort and love, shelter, food, and what they needed most was love and compassion. Today, the Sisters and many other Christians, Jewish and Muslim people are blessing the lives of those who are struggling. But, is it enough if all of us do not reach out in mercy?

Are we not chosen to make a difference? I beg of you all to get on your knees and ask God almighty, no matter what you call Him, to forgive you of your sins and bless those who must suffer unless they listen and turn from their sins. Then get up and show mercy to everyone and sin no more. God loves ALL His children, not just those who know Him. He sent Jesus Christ, His son who was perfect, to show us how to forgive. We can do this.

May we all endure well until He returns. God gave us the gift of our agency, whom do you follow?

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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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