Thursday, July 30, 2009

Answers in Pieces

Last night I was reading 'Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer' by Elder Richard G. Scott given at the April 2007 General Conference. I would like to share part of his talk and then expound on what he said and how it is true in my life.
He said in response to how prayers are answered, "I have discovered that what sometimes seems an impenetrable barrier to communication is a giant step to be taken in trust. Seldom will you receive a complete response all at once. It will come a piece at a time, in packets, so that you will grow in capacity. As each piece is followed in faith, you will be led to other portions until you have the whole answer. That pattern requires you to exercise faith in our Father's capacity to respond. While sometimes it's very hard, it results in significant personal growth."
Over the last 20 months I have had much experience with this concept. While reading this last night I had a specific instance come to my mind. In February of 2008, just a couple of months after my health problems started and I was still trying to figure out what the Lord wanted me to learn, I read two passages from 'Come unto me' by Ed J. Pinegar and Richard J. Allen.
The first was referencing a scripture, 1 Cor. 3:16-17 which reads, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are". Then it went on to quote Heber J. Grant from Gospel Standards, "Health is one of the most precious gifts of God to man. All the wealth in the world cannot produce health. Sick people, of course, are sometimes benefited by medicine. But sickness and disease for the most part come upon us by our disregard for the commandments of God." This really made me reflect on my life and how I was living. When I was young I was very active playing several sports and even sports in Collage. Working out, eating healthy, staying active were a part of my life. Then after having my second child I didn't work out like I had. My eating habits were not the best. I wasn't keeping my body, my personal temple for my spirit healthy. I now knew very personally how important Health was and is.
Then of course I started to get really harsh on myself, beating myself up. Then I read the next page in the book. He quotes Richard G. Scott, 'Finding Joy in Life' stating, "Sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are. They can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do. The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, "Men are that they might have joy."
I now had part of an answer to my prayer. The Lord wanted me to learn that keeping my body healthy was extremely important. How could I stand before God at the day of judgment knowing I had made bad decisions with my health that caused me to die before my mission was completed? Now this is a personal feeling/thought that I had. This doesn't mean that I was close to my death bed. But I knew if I didn't work hard on my health it would and could cause more problems. Also if I wasn't healthy I couldn't be the mom I needed to be to my children. I also learned that this was going to be a long trial. My health wasn't going to get better over night. It was something I was to endure and I needed to have joy in this 'event' in my life. These two pages from Bro. Pinegar's book brought me the comfort I needed. The next three months were the hardest for me to endure. But I made it through them and I am still striving every day, wither it's a hard day or not, to find joy in the 'events' in my life and keep working on my health.
This last Sunday another part of my prayer was answered (17 months later). During Sunday school we were reading in Doctrine and Covenants section 101. I read verse 37 it reads, "Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul." This is an interesting verse of scripture. It can mean different things to different people. For me it helped me to remember about a book series I've been reading called 'The Great and Terrible' by Chris Stewart. In it Elizabeth says while she is in the pre mortal life that the only thing she is afraid of about being born and going to earth is forgetting how wonderful heaven is and wanting to stay on earth and not return. This helped me to ponder a little more about this life and what we do down here on earth and how it affects our souls in the eternities. So with that and this scripture it helped me to see that as important as it is to be healthy and keep our "temples" clean we need to work on building up our spirits as well as our muscles. Our bodies are the homes/temples for our spirits. If the outside looks good but the inside is all messy then the home is not complete. The inside and the outside need to match. When it's our time to go, it's our time. If we have not worked on our souls/our spirits, to do the things that our Heavenly Father wants us to do, and grown as He wants us to grow, then all of the exercising in the world will not make up for what we have lost. We, I, must follow the Word of Wisdom, moderation in all things. If we are only working on our health and not our souls then we are out of balance, and we are not doing what the Lord would want us to do.
There are other things I have learned from this long trial and I don't think I am finished learning. I don't think I have the complete answer to my prayer yet. I do know that after the first part of this answer it gave me more faith and I was able to endure a little longer. I was able to do what Heavenly Father wanted me to do, focus on my heath and get a little better. Now I have received a little more to that answer and now I can also work on gaining a better balance in my life, focus a little more on my soul. This has been a long road but like Elder Scott said I have had more 'significant personal growth', my faith has increased all because my prayer has been answered in pieces and that is how Heavenly Father knew I would learn the most.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Over the 24th of July weekend we were at my parents for their annual breakfast they put on for their neighbors and friends. We also have a lot of family come. One of my oldest cousins on my dads side was there. It was unusual for him to come to such a family thing. He also isn't an emotional person. When he was leaving he pulled my dad aside, got a little teary eyed, and proceeded to tell him this...'
There is something about this house (my parents house). The feeling that you get when you walk in the door. It reminds me of the old green house (the house that my dad grew up in).' He talked with my dad a little more. This also made my dad tear up.
My dad had really special parents, my grandparents. I didn't get to know my Grandpa. He passed away just before my oldest brother was born. When I was younger I felt very strongly that I knew my grandpa. The veil is so thin when you are little. Of course now I sometimes doubt that feeling. I love to hear stories from my aunts, uncles, and older cousins about my grandpa and what an amazing man he was. He had a very strong testimony of the gospel. His house was also open to those who needed it. He was very generous, kind, and loving. Even now talking about him, I have a special love for this grandfather that I never knew here on this earth.
I did get the change to know my grandma. She was also truly amazing! The last two years of her life I was honored to serve her. I was going to collage not to far away from her home. So every week I would pick up her new medications and her favorite chocolate nut treat on my way to see her. Sometimes she would need help with a bath. Mostly I filled her medications for the next week and got to talk to her. It was a time I cherished with her. I got to know her so well. I loved her sense of humor. She had many callings in the church, but her favorite was when she was in the primary. She loved the little children. And they loved her. They still talk about the activities they would have when she was in the primary. She, like my grandpa, was very loving, giving, kind, and you could always fill the spirit in their home. I miss her very much. I am so grateful once again to know that I'll see both of them again.
After my cousin left my dad told us who where there that that was the best complement he has ever received. To have someone say they felt the same at his home as they did in the home he grew up in was amazing. I would hope that someday someone could say the same about my home. That it felt the same as the home I grew up in. That you could fill the spirit, feel welcome, and feel love when you come to my home. That is how my parents home was growing up and still is today. I knew that no matter what I could go home and feel like I belonged, loved, and it was a sanctuary. We are counseled in our church that our homes should be a place of peace, love, and safety from the world. What a blessing that I had that growing up. Now it is something I strive for for my own children and those who come into my home.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Answers in the Temple

My husband and I have had a big decisions to make. We have fasted and prayed and gone to the Temple. I am so grateful for the Temple. The spirit is so strong there. I have had several personal prayers answered while in the Celestial room. This was the first time that both my husband and I were there at the same time to receive an answer to a prayer. What a special and wonderful thing it was. Something I will cherish always. I love that our Heavenly Father loves us so much he would let us enter 'The house of the Lord' to serve, feel his spirit, and learn.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday lesson

Our Relief Society lesson this week was on Temples. It was a great lesson. I wanted to share with you something that I learned, something that I've never thought about before. Something that helped me to understand more the sacrifices the saints made in the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
When the prophet Joseph Smith asked the saints to sacrifices their time, talents, and even fine china for the temple I never understood what an amazing sacrifice it was. Sure it must have been extremely hard to give up the one thing that has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Your one 'nice' thing, your china. But there is much more to it than that. The saints didn't understand the importance of temples back then. They just knew that when the Prophet Joseph Smith asked them to do something they did it.
We understand how important temples are today for a few reasons. For one, we have many copies of the Bible. We can read it in our homes. We know the stories of old. How Joseph and the people he lead out of Egypt carried a Temple with them for 40 years in the dessert. Setting it up and taking it down. It was that important to them and to the Lord. I could go on, there are many stories in the Bible about the temple and the importance of it. And now we have parents, friends, siblings, teachers that have been through the Temple. That have received their own endowment (gift from God) and they tell us how important Temples are.
Now take all of that knowledge away. You have no idea what a Temple is or what it is used for. The Prophet comes and asks you to sacrifice all that you have to build this building, this Temple. How would you respond? The saints were amazing! They gave so much for this wonderful Church. I have a greater appreciation for the Saints. How grateful I am for the Temples that are so close to us. Our Heavenly Father loves us deeply to give us such an amazing gift of the Temple.

Friday, July 10, 2009

new birth

My brother and his wife had their first baby. All of my children were healthy so we were able to go and see her in the hospital. There is something about seeing a baby who is only a few hours old,that is just fresh from Heaven. When you get to see their eyes open for the first time, I can't help but wonder what they're thinking. Are they missing Heaven already? Is earth everything they hoped it would be? And then there is their dreams. Babies sleep so much when they are born. I'm sure that they are very tired because I know how tired I was giving birth to my three littles. But haven't you ever wondered what their dreams are? If they could talk what would they tell us? The veil is still so thin, was it hard for them or us when the veil started to become more and more thick?
Oh I just love being around babies just after they are born! Giving birth can be a very spiritual experience. I hope you've had the opportunity to be around one so little and pure and fresh from Heaven.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Long week

This past week was a long week filled with so many tender mercies from the Lord. It was my extended family reunion with all of my 1st cousins and their children. I have 72 1st cousins. So it was a big family reunion, well just about 100 showed up so we were missing a bunch. It was my dad's turn to do the family reunion so he put me incharge of all of the activities. I also was scheduled to teach in Relief Society today during church.
So here is what happened in a nut shell...
At the last minute, well last Sunday, I felt I needed to change my lesson completely. So I started preparing for that. I also had to make last minute plans for the activities for the reunion and pack. Then I found out that my mom was sick so I needed to help her also. Then when we got home from the reunion I had an email telling me that I would be alone on Sunday. So I needed to conduct, teach, and do everything.
So here are all of the blessing and tender mercies...
I was able to find all of the things I needed to for my lesson. I was amazed at the things I found and I truly felt it was the Lord's lesson and not my own. At first I didn't understand why he wanted me to change and then today during sacrament I felt the whisperings of the spirit and I understood a little more. Now I don't know who needed to hear what was said or if the lesson really impacted anyone other than my self. And that is okay because I felt the spirit there and that is the most important thing. Also conducting went okay, I think, at least I didn't forget anything. :] During the reunion we didn't get much sleep the night before the big activities. I was very tired and really didn't think I could do it. But I did and it was amazing the strength I felt. I know it was from the Lord. It was supposed to rain on Friday and it didn't. We had lots of mosquitoes, which were very annoying and I'm still itching from all of the bites, but as my mother pointed out, what a blessing that we didn't have flys or bees. I learned more about my Grandmother and Grandfather. Things I will remember and Cherish the rest of my life. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation was strengthened. I know that I will see my Grandmother and Grandfather again some day. Also today I was prompted to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting. I haven't felt that prompting for a little while. I feel I bare my testimony here so much and teaching I get the opportunity often. But today I felt I needed to in my ward. It was a good experience and once again I felt the spirit. I just love this gospel and the truths I know because I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints.