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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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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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Stepping Stones

The drawing is one I did while I was being treated for major depression. In this article, I am sharing how I was helped, and pray you will understand how my experiences can help others.

When I was 3 years old my mother died. Doctors had told my mother she would die if she gave me life, yet she chose to allow me to live. Thus, my father believed I had murdered my mother, so I was treated poorly. He brought a woman home who ended up dying in prison for all she did to my sister and me. Over the years I have been in regular hospitals; mental hospitals; been drugged; lied to; tortured; and tied down. Before I was even 5 years old, I had been beaten to the point there was blood coming out of my ears. I had electro-shock-therapy treatments in the days before they had enough compassion to at least sedate you first. Back in the days of my youth they did not know how to treat a feral child who was born in America. They experimented on me and those who were like me. I know what life can be for many who are misunderstood.

I must share, for many years, not just in my youth, but also as an adult, I did not want to live. However, God did not want me to go home before I was able to find happiness, so He refused to allow me to die. Now, I can honestly say, I am grateful for my life. I have learned many things that work and many things that do not work. It is my wish to share some of the good things with you that have helped me when I get depressed.

First off, I want you to know that you need to talk about how you are feeling. If you are being abused by someone (and that includes yourself) you need to share why you have those black and blue marks or cuts. When someone hurts you in any way, you need to share that with someone you trust.

In my very early years, I spend a number of months living outside in my father’s back yard. Most people did not even know I was there. If my sister had not been clubbed in our front yard, and a neighbor saw it happen, I would have died in that backyard. The doctors said I had “protein malnutrition” and one judge called me a “feral child.” A rare condition for anyone in the United States at that time. Now, it is very common in most of our cities. There are many children without homes or who have been abandoned by parents. I know of children eating out of trash bins or digging through others leftovers. Many times, over the years, I have received telephone calls during the night to alert me that certain children were sleeping in Goodwill bins. I would go pick them up, bring them to my home; feed and nurture them, only to have to return them to those who did that to them in the first place. It breaks my heart to know that the courts place children back into such situations after the parent takes a few weeks of classes. When I was young, after I had been rescued that first time, I kept running away from those who abused me, only to be returned to abusive care. I did not then, nor now, ever want a child to be forced to return to that type of life. Yes, I know what mental illness looks like, both as one who has suffered and as a person who helps others heal from that type of suffering, no matter what age they might be.

I am here to tell you, there is hope. You can heal. You can move forward, but you have to put forth effort to do this. You can’t wait for others to heal you. No matter what drugs they give you, that will not heal you. Most drugs have side effects that are much worse than the illness. Drugs only block “feelings”, they never help you to “overcome” what you went through to make you feel this way in the first place.

In my humble opinion, when you are able to find truth, then you can really begin to heal. Truth can set you free from your past. Truth can assist you in living toward whom you really want to be. Who God meant you to be. And yes, I did say the “G” word. I believe in God. I mean, Look all around you. Do you see that Sun up in the sky? How do you think it got there? Why do you think it comes up each and every morning? Do you see that Moon at night? How do you think it got there? Can you find a flower (one that has not been sprayed with some kind of chemical) and really see it? Can you smell it? If you are blind, can you not feel that flower? Who do you think created that flower in the first place? Who do you think really created you? Sure, your mother may have given you the body, and your father may have created that body, but who do you think gives you breath each and everyday? End of lecture 1. Now back to what I started to share with you.

While I was living in our backyard, I learned a few things. A person can survive in nature even better than in society. Fresh air is good for a human, and since you are human, I suggest you get outside and breath every single day. Even when you don’t feel like going outside, at least open a window, if you are able to do that.

I also learned that food is very important. Back, when I was young, I only had the fruit that fell from the trees, or the wild things that the animals gave me. But you have other types of food. And I am not speaking of potato chips, hamburgers and french fries. I am speaking of fruits and vegetables. Clean water, when you can get it. Not anything with “additives”. God gave us food enough to last us a lifetime that is clean and pure and healthy for us. We need to be careful what we put into our bodies. When we put garbage in, we get garbage out. That is a fact.

Since I was 5 years old, I have been seen by “professional” people who tried to help. Some where able to put the body back together. Some gave me good advice. The others, I won’t discuss. One of the good ones told me to write things down, some said to use art and music to speak. I recommend those things to you.

For example: One time, they had me in a straightjacket in a padded cell. I had tried to kill myself when my children were kidnapped and that was the only way they could keep me alive. While I was in there, I began to remember what helped me growing up. The birds, from when I was little, used to come sit by me, and make music, and I learned that I could talk to them by making music. Mentally, while in that padded cell, I went back to that time out-of-doors and began to make music to calm myself. I closed my eyes and saw sunshine and flowers that God had given me when I was locked in a cold, dark closet when I was about 3 years old. I remembered my animal friends who have fed and nurtured me. I felt comforted, and once I was calm, they let me out of that room. But, I could never tell any of them what had calmed me down.

Over the years, I spent a lot of time locked up, until I finally learned how to talk to others. It had taken me until I was about 12 years old to learn how to speak words. Up until I left there, then, I went back to being afraid. I do hope and pray you were not treated as I was when I was young. But for those of us who were not allowed to speak, as adults we still struggle, when under a lot of stress, to find words that were not there growing up.

Thanks to good people, I have used Music and Art to help me talk many times. I drew pictures of many things. I drew that picture of my sister, whom I thought was dead. In that picture, you will see a tree, which represented my family, that egg, as she had been born early, the teddy bear, since it was the only toy she had from my mother. I drew it in black and white with only my hand in color, as I thought everything I loved was dead. I was told that it helped me to heal during a very rough time. I drew rain and animals. While in HollyGrove Home for Children, I used music to create rain and gave all my feelings in the music. One of my therapists spoke to me about my art, and he told me that it helped him to understand who I am. I liked and trusted him. He never tried to drug me, nor force me to do anything against my will. Now to my thinking, that is a good therapist. I am sorry to say, most places now treat mental illness with drugs only. I am grateful to find there are still places where a person can talk and be helped gently without drugs.

As I grew older, I began to keep what I call: my “positivity journal”. I recommend it highly and know it has helped many people. Each day, you open it and write down at least 3 things you are grateful for.

When I first started mine, the only thing I could think of was toilet paper. Now you may laugh, however, when I was young, I did not even know what that was. I know I was over 5 but under ten years old when I got to see and learn what toilet paper was for. A nurse showed me, and she even taught me how to use a toilet. Prior to that time, the only time I had used a toilet was when my head was being held into it by my step-mother.  There, at the hospital, when the nurse flushed that toilet, and I saw the water went down and took all my “stuff” with it, I smiled. She smiled too and I knew it was okay. I’m sure you can think of something in your life that you are grateful for, even if you might think it is silly, right?

A few times in my life, I have been blind. When I saw my sister laying in that pool of blood and my step-mother beating her, I lost my sight, and that was just temporary. As an adult, I had a hole in my right eye, and all the fluid drained out. Then I got a very bad infection and lost sight in both eyes. One of my grateful things now, is that I can see. I’m sure you will think of many things you are grateful for every day.

May I share a game with you that I learned from one of my therapists? I call it the 5-4-3-2-1 game.

When you are anxious, stressed or feeling out of it: Look around you and find 5 colors. Name them. Next, reach out and touch 4 things. Name them as you touch them. Was it cold, warm, rough, smooth? Next, open your ears and listen for 3 sounds. It might be a fan, or a bird, or music, whatever it is, try to find at least 3 sounds. Next, think of 2 things that you enjoy eating or drinking. Think about what they taste like. Next, I want you to smell something. Then name that smell.

What I did, was make a little box and put things in it that I like. For example: 5 pieces of cloth which were different colors and textures. 4 little things; a smooth stone, a paper clip, an eraser, and a small marble. I also included a small bag of cinnamon, and hand lotion (I like wild cherry). I also put pictures of the mountains and the ocean and flowers. I called that my “E-box” and kept it close bye for those times when I was stressed out.

I suffer from what is now called “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD). I lived in a “war zone” in my own family. Due to sexual trauma at a very early age, and having to live in so many different homes over my growing up years, I learned how to survive in many ways. Thus, I had what some Doctors called “Multiple Personality Disorder” (MPD), which they now label as “Dissociative Identity Disorder” (DID). A small child must develop different facets of their personality to “survive” when living in so many different homes. Doctors have no clue how those types of labels stigmatize children. We should never put labels on our children. Never! That does not cure them. That does not help them to heal. One doctor thinks one thing, another thinks another and thus the child is tossed back and forth and that only makes the original trauma worse.

Yes, I do tend to speak with a different voice when I am under a lot of stress. The reason being, it is hard for me to find voice, even though I am trying with all my might to speak. That “child” within me was never allowed to use a voice, thus I never learned how to communicate properly. That does not mean I must be “weird”. Due to the abuse of my early youth, at times I have pain in places that have no current injury. That does not mean I am crazy. That means there is a problem that has not been resolved, yet. It does not mean I am faking. It is very real.

For many years, they took people who were “mentally ill” and chained them to floors and tossed food at them to keep them alive. They felt that was humane. Things did get better in some ways, but even in the 1960’s we were not treated much better.

During the 1980’s many of us fought to help change the rules for the mentally ill, so we could have the right to refuse drugs and abuse. We helped those who suffer to not be raped by those who should have been protecting us. To not be drugged into compliance. But rather to obtain real help to heal, and many are still in that same fight. I’m sorry to say that some abuse the system, and thus make things worse. Those who are not really what they claim to be just so they can get away with crimes. I believe that we all need to held accountable for what we do. They allow prisoners to have food and shelter and clothing, but what are they doing for the mentally ill? Many live on the streets, having to do things that would turn your stomach if you knew.

Some learned that beating a child never helped that child to learn anything but hatred. Yelling at a child does not help them learn love. But allowing them to get away with doing wrong things never helped them to learn either. Lifting a child helps them feel loved. Teaching them right from wrong by example is the way they learn best. But many never got an opportunity to see that in action. All we saw was the wrong type of “love” .

I learned about real love at HollyGrove Home for Children in Los Angeles California back in 1957. I was the first child to be placed there from the court system. I only got to stay for one year, but in that year I saw for the first time what real love felt like. I got my first clean hug from the headmistress, Miss Margaret Ingram. I learned how to laugh right out loud. I learned how play. I learned about music from an old upright piano. I learned I could talk to someone and that person believed me, even though others called me a liar. I learned that when I did something naughty, I was held accountable for what I had done. Yet, I was loved in spite of my mistake. I was not a bad person, I had done a naughty thing, and I learned how to correct that mistake. All humans do naughty things from time to time, but that does not make us bad. Those who deliberately harm others are doing something bad. But since we don’t know why they do what they do, we need to stay away from them, or let others know who can and will stop them. I learned we can do things we might not want to do, and when we are asked by those who really love us (in the correct way), we can learn and grow by doing those things. For example: I learned how to clean the pots and pans in the kitchen and how to keep a place clean enough to be healthy and allow it to be dirty enough to be lived in. I love what “clean love” taught me. That year has stayed with me over 69 years. I still draw on what I learned from those wonderful people.

Anyway, I just want you to know, there is hope. There is a life after abuse. There is a life after depression. There is a way to overcome all things. And that is because there is a God who loves you. There is a God who sent His Son, Jesus Christ to show you that God loves you. Jesus Christ who is a God, suffered so He could know how You feel, and thus He can and will comfort You when you turn to Him. He not only came for those who do bad things, He came for you and me. For those of us who have been damaged and abused and neglected and misunderstood. He came for those of us who make mistakes and then repent and strive not to hurt others. He came before and is coming again to bring us all back to His presence. When we cry, He and all the angels in heaven cry. When we mourn, He mourns. When we suffer, He understands, because He also suffered.

Please, do not give up. There are ways out of what you are feeling. There are ways to find peace and happiness. There are those who really do care and want to help. There really are those who can help, but you have to do your part. You can’t just sit by and feel sorry for yourself, because that never did help you nor anyone else. I know, because I have been where you are. I know you can be as happy as you allow yourself to be.

You want to know how I know that? I lived it. I am still living it. And I shall continue to live it, even though I can not always walk; even though I can not always use my eyes; even though I can not always leave my home; even when I am locked up or tied down; I know that I have a form of peace, because: I know that God is watching. He sees everything and His angels keep records over everything that happens to His children, of which you and I are one. I know that when this life is over (and everyone dies sooner or later) He will make things right. I know that with all my heart and mind and will continue to live, looking forward to that day.

Hugs, from an woman who was once a child. A woman who was once a mother. A woman who was once a wife. A woman who was once abused, neglected, tortured, abandoned, sick and felt lost. A woman to whom the good Lord sent help to teach me who I really am. You may ask, “Who do you think you are?” I am a daughter of God, who is telling you that you too are a child of God, and there is hope.

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A Most Precious Book

Many years ago, two young men gave me a book. They told me that within it’s pages I would find truth. As I read from it’s pages, I saw what they told me earlier was truth.  I would like to share a few of the things I learned from this wonderful book that night.

This is part of the story of a man by the name of Lehi. He too was a visionary person, and one time he had a dream wherein he saw a tree. This is part of his dream:

“And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

“And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

“And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit. (1 Nephi 8: 11-13)

For me, the “fruit” that he spoke of, was the Holy Scriptures. In years past I had read from the Holy Bible, the words of Isaiah, other prophets and even Jesus Christ and his Apostles. I had read how wonderful it was for people who were treated poorly or shunned by others to follow those who could lead them to God. Growing up, I had wanted a Father as the father of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego who sent His Son to save them from wicked people who wanted to kill them. When those two young men left that blue book, I sat up all night reading, and towards the end of the night and early dawn, I read these words:

“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.”

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

“And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.”

“And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.” (Moroni 10:3-7)

I would like to invite you to get a copy of this book and read it for yourself. It is called, “The Book of Mormon.”

Mormon was a man who was very valient in preserving the records of the descendants of Lehi as well as others who lived on the American Continent prior to Columbus; prior to the Pilgrims; prior to most other nations. God had instructed him to hide them up so they would not be destroyed. God had made a promise to His people that in the last days those records would come forth to help teach those who really did not know Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. This is why the book is named after him.

Since God never lies, and Mormon knew that, he buried them up and many centuries later, another man, asked God which Church to join. Many churches use that same Holy Bible, only different versions of it, but they all teach different things. But that is for another day. Just now, I invite you to read and then pray and ask God yourself if this true or not.

You can obtain a free copy at: http://www.mormon.org/  If you have any question, there are people there 24/7 and someone will be more than happy to answer your questions. If you don’t want to talk, you may request a copy of the book and no one will bother you.

Always remember, and never forget: Jesus Christ died for you personally. God is your Heavenly Father and He loves you, personally. It is up to you, personally, to learn that for yourself, so you too may have a personal testimony of this truth.

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Questions?

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865630013/San-Francisco-archbishop-blasts-gender-transitions-as-threat-to-faith.html

You are welcome to comment or not. You all know where I stand. I’m on the Lord’s side, just as this Archbishop of the Catholic Church in San Francisco is.

I still say, “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”  When the Lord returns, will he recognize you?

And remember, you are not required to lower your standards in order to get a mate. Keep yourselves attractive, maintain high standards, maintain your self-respect. Do not engage in intimacies that bring heartache and sorrow. Place yourselves in a position to meet worthy men or woman and be engaged in constructive activities.

Never, ever, ever forget who you really are. A child of our Heavenly Father.

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What think ye of Christ?

In the Holy Scriptures we find these words:

“What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42)

Many of the prophets throughout the ages have taught truth and asked us this same question. In what I am sharing, where it says “men” I am including “women”. I know that the Lord loves us equally, and thus expects the same from us all.

Many who have read the Holy Scriptures, most especially the Book of Mormon, can be convinced that Jesus is the Christ. The interesting question comes next: “Will we choose to follow him?” The devils believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they choose to follow Satan. (James 2:19-20)

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
“This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38)

As you know, I listen to prophets both living and dead. Thus, I shall be quoting from both.

“When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed.” (President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1985)

I knew that prophet personally. He was a very wise man. He gave me good counsel when he called me to Utah to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints. My official mission for the Church ended in 1990. I received an honorable release.

“No man or woman can sincerely resolve to apply in his or her daily life the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth without sensing a change in his or her own nature. The phrase ‘born again’ has a deeper significance than many people attach to it. This changed feeling may be indescribable, but it is real.” (David O McKay, In Conference Report, Apr. 1962, p. 7.)

Here again, I shall quote from President Benson as well as from Peter and Paul and John from the New Testament:

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men and women by changing their environment. Christ changes men and women, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Men and women changed for Christ will be captained by Christ. Like Paul they will be asking, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6.)

Peter stated, they will “follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21.)

John said they will “walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:6.)

Our Lord told Nicodemus that “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3.)

“This is the simple total answer to the weightiest of all questions. … To gain eternal life there must be a rebirth, a transformation.” (Spencer W Kimball, In Conference Report, Apr. 1958, p. 14.)

Their will is swallowed up in His will. (See John 5:30.)

“…as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”

Jesus taught us how to do those things that please our Heavenly Father by setting the example. As my Lord taught me, I strive to share these same things with you as well as live them myself. And He that gave me life is with me: yeah, the Father hath not left me alone, for I do those things that I know are pleasing to Him. When I mess up, I repent.

Lip service is worth nothing.  I would not only die for the Lord, but I will live for Him as well. What do you think of Christ?

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#AppearanceOfEvil, #Catholic, #Christians, #Faith, #HolyBible, #JesusChrist, #LDS, #Protestant

The Appearance of Evil

Most people have no clue what this even means any longer. Thus, I am going to spell it out in plain words, first by quoting from the Holy Bible.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

“Quench not the Spirit.

“Despise not prophesyings.

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

” And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18-24)

In 1973, when I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, I had no idea what that scripture in Thessalonians meant. When my bishop called me into his office to let me know he had to have those who had introduced me to the Lord transferred, because others had gossiped, I was livid. He said it was the “appearance of evil.” Those Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints could no longer teach others in that particular area due to the gossip.

That made no sense to me back then. God knew we had done nothing wrong. The missionaries knew we had done nothing wrong. I knew that we were only studying the Lord’s truths and having meals together. We never went into the back areas of my home. I mean, I had come from a world full of evil, so I knew what evil really looks like. It took me many years to discover what the “appearance of evil” really means.

Examples make a large difference in how the world behaves, and thus I share two with you.

Cherilyn Sarkisian born 20 May 1946 in El Centro, California is best known as: “Cher”, part of the Sonny and Cher who recorded “I Got You Babe” back in 1965. She was not then, nor is she now a religious person. I remember when she was about 14 or 15 years old, before she first got into show business. She always kept her body covered. She was very shy, in fact. Then, she met an older man and they got together. When she was first asked to wear revealing clothes for a publicity photo, she wore body tights underneath to cover her nakedness, even though she appeared almost naked. Young girls wanted to dress like her and act just like her.

However over the months that followed, her then boyfriend, Sonny Bono encouraged her to be more relaxed and just “go with the flow”. The money was incredible and that allowed her to accept what she previously had not felt comfortable doing. She and her husband (they married in 1969) became very famous, mostly because of those photographs as well as their music. During the 1960s, times were changing for those us in California.

The reason I share this with you, is so you can know how things started and how they ended up for someone who does not know God. When a person does not have knowledge of God in their life, they have no anchor to hold onto. In the world, then, as well as now, others take charge and try to determine what we wear and do. They assume you will do anything for money.

Now, allow me to give you another example.

Lindsey Stirling born September 21, 1986 in Santa Anna, California is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her YouTube channel. She is also a person of faith in Jesus Christ and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints.

When she was sixteen, she joined a rock band in Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Arizona, with four friends, called “Stomp on Melvin”. She was also a member of Charley Jenkins Band for about a year. Miss Stirling attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah to study film making. She went on to perform missionary work in New York City for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A story that she wrote about her mission was later published in the compilation “Do Not Attempt in Heels: Mission Stories and Advice from Sisters Who’ve Been There.”

Recently (2015) she made headlines for a piece of clothing she was wearing at one of her performances. Thus, I am using her as a modern example of why the “appearance of evil” is so important.

When those who wanted her to wear that dress were told she would not dress that revealing, I have been told she prayed about what to do. She covered her nakedness so she knew she was decent, thus she has no guilt and was able to do her job and earn a living.

The only problem being that those who saw her felt that she had given into the “modern” way of dressing. Because she is a good girl, she had no clue the “appearance” she gave was just like Cher did so many years ago. The good news is, she is still young, and loves the Lord. She has those who love her in a clean way, and will not strive to influence her the way Cher’s people did.

The bad news is, the designers of today do not make clothing that is modest and decent. They highlight parts of a woman’s body to make money. While those dresses might be “stylish”, the fact that they cause others to look at areas they have no business looking at is the “appearance” that lust likes. Most of those who might be willing to create modest clothing charge more than most people can afford. God has asked us to “abstain from the appearance of evil”.  So what does this mean to you?

Personally, I feel we need to go back to sewing our own clothing, or hiring a seamstress or tailor to make our clothing to meet our own standards, not the world’s standards. That way we can make a difference by abstaining from the “appearance of evil” rather than just covering up. We need to not only respect ourselves, but other people as well. What we wear and what we do sets the tone for those around us.

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