Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tender Mercies From The Lord -

I often ponder on the term tender mercies of the Lord. My interest in this came about in a conference address entitled The Tender Mercies of the Lord by Elder David A. Bednar  He quoted from the Book of Mormon; 1 Nephi 1:20; "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance". I ponder on this message and even memorize the scripture.
Elder David Bednar stated the following: "Since last October I have reflected repeatedly upon the phrase “the tender mercies of the Lord.” Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15).
Because of this message I recognize more quickly the tender mercies that I have received from the Lord. Some of these moments have been small; but very significant to me. Others such experiences have been profound leaving me with a testimony that God has answered a prayer".
 I had an experience come on a day when I was scheduled to work a shift at the temple. I had that morning received some information about a family member that caused me great concern and heartache. I had been crying all morning and was concerned that I would not be able to make it through the day without breaking down in tears. As I was driving to the temple I offered a soul wrenching cry that the Lord send me a tender mercy in the temple.  I had two moments in the temple when I knew I had received an answer to my prayer. These were sacred events in my life.
Another experience was in 2008. I had a very sweet little Maltese dog that we named Dollie. she was a joy in my life and I grieved over her for a long time.If you have a second to read this post entitled here; The Miracle Of The Lilac Bush . Enjoy!!

I had another experience in 2006 when I knew beyond doubt that I had been given a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father and Savior. My dear father passed away in October of 2001. He was 86 years old at the time. To me my Dad was one of a kind. He was such a sweet, gentle and good man. He was always so kind with my mother and loved her so much. I was his only daughter and I knew how he treasured me and I treasured him. He liked to sing songs to my mother when they were traveling. He didn't have a particularly good voice; but he loved to sing. One of the songs that he loved most was entitled: "Always".
When we as a family were putting together his funeral program; my sweet mother said: "You need to have your girls sing the song, "Always". We had a difficult time finding the music but in the end my sweet daughters sang that beautiful song. It was a comfort to my mom.
My dearest mother passed away in our home in August of 2006 at the age of 90. I had been taking care of her off and on through the years; sharing the time with my older brother. She had requested to come and live with me for the last few months of her life. At first I couldn't get her to talk about plans for her funeral; but finally she did. She again requested the song "Always " to be sung at her funeral by my daughters; Christina, Jenni-Marie and Tiffani. All six of my children loved both of my parents so much that it was difficult for them to be part of the program. They too were emotional over their beloved grandparents deaths.
I was to give a talk about my Mother at the funeral. I was a basket case for sure and had little control over my emotions. I had been praying for the ability to give my thoughts on my mother without falling apart. I went into the Ladies restroom and stood at the sink wondering how was I going to do this.
I prayed for a moment and pleaded with my Heavenly Father to help me with this. I then said: " Mother and Dad; if you are here today, please stand by my side and hold me up". At that very moment the song of "Always" came over the funeral homes loud speakers. My prayer was heard, my parents were near and I was able to express all the feelings of my heart about my mother and my father.

My Precious Parents

How I thank the Lord for all of his tender mercies; they have been countless. I recognize them more quickly now. I know that all of you have these moments in your lives. Look for those sweet minutes and know that our Heavenly Father and our ever aware Savior love you and desire to bless your lives with these tender mercies of the Lord. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Savior Jesus Christ's Visit To The Americas As Found In the Book of Mormon

Easter week was a spiritual feast for me as I attempted to post messages about our Savior Jesus Christ. This past week would not be complete until I posted today on the Jesus Christ's visit to the people who lived on this American continent as recorded in The Book Of Mormon Another Testament of Christ

In August of 2008 Roger and I were asked to be part of a Stake Youth Conference. The theme was Book of Mormon Live. We were assigned to teach to the youth in our group the Scriptures of Christ's visit to American in the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 8 - 23. The youth were divided into groups and assigned to tents. As instructors we would teach sections of the these scriptures throughout the day. In our tent we had 7 youth from the ages of 12-17. This was one of the sweetest assignments my husband and I have shared together. As we worked on a script for this day we shed many tears in the preparation process. To bring it to fulfillment that day was a very spiritual moment in our lives.
We taught this portion of the scriptures through reading the scriptures, using quotes, movie clips, and music. We dressed in costumes representing Book of Mormon times. During the day we allowed time for the youth to write their feelings in a journal. We felt very blessed to have been assigned the scriptures that taught of our Savior's visit to the Americas.
I will share only a portion of this visit. The visit in it's fullness can be found here: 3 Nephi 8 through 23 -
After the Savior Appeared to the Americas; He spent time teaching them of his gospel.


 1. Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.

2. I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
3. Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
4. But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.
5. And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6. And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
7.Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
8. For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.
9. And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
10. And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
11. And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.
12. So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.
13. And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.
14. And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.
15. And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.
16. And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;
17. And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.
18. And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
19. And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
20. And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And anow behold, my joy is full.
21. And when he had said these words, he awept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and bblessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22. And when he had done this he wept again;
23. And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

24. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
25. And the multitude did see and ahear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith restored the gospel and translated the Book of Mormon. I love reading the Book of Mormon and know that it is true.
I know that we have a living Prophet today; President Thomas S. Monson.
I know that the Savior loves all of us. He is the Savior of the World. He will return again.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"He Is Not Here - He Is Risen!!

"God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son"







Click on replay if there are multiple options on the videos -
I have had a great journey this week writing the posts on our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my Lord and Savior with all my heart and soul. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can be forgiven of my sins and that He Will Walk beside me during my sojourn on earth. I know that He is the only begotten Son of Our Heavenly Father and that He came to earth to teach us through example how to live. I know that through Atonement of Jesus Christ we are saved after all we can do. I know that  Our family motto is “No Empty Chairs”. I know that I have an Eternal Family.  Our hope is that none of our family will be lost to the world and they we can all be together for Eternity.
I have appreciated greatly the many comments that have been made on these posts. I love all of my blogging friends and pray that all of you will desire with all your hearts to follow Jesus Christ.

He Has Risen - Let The Whole wide World Rejoice!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Did The Savior Do Between His Death and Resurrection?

What Did the Savior Do Between His Death and Resurrection?
     A vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 3 October 1918. In his opening address at the 89th Semiannual General Conference of the Church, on 4 October 1918, President Smith declared that he had received several divine communications during the previous months. One of these, concerning the Savior’s visit to the spirits of the dead while his body was in the tomb, President Smith had received the previous day. It was written immediately following the close of the conference. On 31 October 1918, it was submitted to the counselors in the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch, and it was unanimously accepted by them.
Here is the link to the section - Doctrine and Covenants 138
For the purposes of this post I will only share vs. 25-60

25.I marveled, for I understood that the Savior spent about three years in his ministry among the Jews and those of the house of Israel, endeavoring to teach them the everlasting gospel and call them unto repentance;

26. And yet, notwithstanding his mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great power and authority, there were but few who hearkened to his voice, and rejoiced in his presence, and received salvation at his hands.
27. But his ministry among those who were dead was limited to the brief time intervening between the crucifixion and his resurrection;
28. And I wondered at the words of Peter—wherein he said that the Son of God preached unto the spirits in prison, who sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah—and how it was possible for him to preach to those spirits and perform the necessary labor among them in so short a time.
29. And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding quickened, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;
30. But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to fall the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
31. And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.
32. Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.
33. These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
34. And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
35. And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.
36. Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of aspirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;
37. That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.
38. Among the great and mighty ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father Adam, the Ancient of Days and father of all,
39. And our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God.
40. Abel, the first martyr, was there, and his brother Seth, one of the mighty ones, who was in the express image of his father, Adam.
41. Noah, who gave warning of the flood; Shem, the great high priest; Abraham, the father of the faithful; Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, the great law-giver of Israel;
42. And Isaiah, who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound, were also there.
43. Moreover, Ezekiel, who was shown in vision the great valley of dry bones, which were to be clothes upon with flesh, to come forth again in the resurrection of the dead, living souls;
44. Daniel, who foresaw and foretold the establishment of the kingdom of God in the latter days, never again to be destroyed nor given to other people;
45. Elias, who was with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration;
46. And Malachi, the prophet who testified of the coming of bElijah—of whom also Moroni spake to the Prophet Joseph Smith, declaring that he should come before the ushering in of the great and dreadful day of the Lord—were also there.
47. The Prophet Elijah was to plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to their fathers,
48. Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the temples of the Lord in the dispensation of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.
49. All these and many more, even the prophets who dwelt among the Nephites and testified of the coming of the Son of God, mingled in the vast assembly and waited for their deliverance,
50. For the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage.
51. These the Lord taught, and gave them apower to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with immortality and eternal life,
52. And continue thenceforth their labor as had been promised by the Lord, and be partakers of all blessings which were held in reserve for them that love him.
53. The Prophet Joseph Smith, and my father, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice aspirits who were reserved to come forth in the fulness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work,
54. Including the building of the atemples and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the dead, were also in the spirit world.
55. I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.
56. Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.
57. I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
58. The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
59. And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.
60. Thus was the vision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this record is true, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.
     I will share a couple of experiences that I have had while caring for  dying patients. I was taking care of a woman who had cancer and was in her final days. I spent a night in the hospital in her room. During the night I heard her talking with someone; but could not see them at all. She appeared to be having a discussion over dying and her desire to live. She was only 46 years old and had 6 children and a devoted husband. I heard her say the following:  "I am not ready to go yet. I need to have more time with my children."
     Another experience occurred when I was visiting a dear friend who was caring for her husband. He was terminally ill with cancer. I went into his room to see him; he was sitting on the edge of his bed talking to unseen individuals. He identified them as his parents. Later that evening he passed away. I felt such a sweet and calm feeling at that moment. I knew that he had loved ones that were surrounding him. I believe that we do have family from the other side of the veil that will be with us  when crossing over into the Spirit World.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Cross to Golgotha - Curcifixtion - The Garden Tomb


Ponder for a moment and remember that our beloved Savior had to carry his own cross to Golgotha. He was weak, in excruciating pain and bleeding, He carried this cross for us. Those He loved, his mother, his family, the apostles and many beloved followers watch this dreadful scene. I feel His disciples  didn't understand  at the time how much this act of love really meant. Weakened to the point he could not carry this cross alone; He was given help. Meanwhile, there were those who hated, yelled, spit and whipped him as He carried the cross. Can any of us ever fully understand the Lord's divine love for all; even those who persecuted and crucified him. "Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
The crucifixion was one of the most vicious ways to end a life. 
The Thrives on both sides of the Savior only had ropes to hold them up. The Savior had nails in place in palms, wrist and feet to hold him up.
Throughout all of the many horrendous moments that the Savior suffered the barbarous method is beyond comprehension. 
How the Savior loved us and truly gave the gift. 

The Gift

The gasp from the crowd was audible
And a few smiles even vanished
As the mallet drove the first spike
Through the torn and bleeding hand.

With haste and little care the other
monstrous nails were blasted through
His flesh And he was lifted, silent, naked
blood-covered and agonizing
Amid the jeers, the applause, the lust of
the ones He loved so dearly.

Dark clouds boiled, winds, tore at the rocky summit
As the people slapped and mocked and spit
And taught their children -
Yet in silence He endured,
Weeping not in pain but pity For these
 He loved had still so awfully far to go.

Eyes closed, He spoke often with His Father, who stood
Very near, of Gethsemane and the torment which left
His blood to stain the ground Atoning for this so great a sin
and all others, past and yet to come.

Anguish-filled hours dragged slowly by as He hung
trembling because of pain and suffering both body
and spirit Till the Father in perfect love and
understanding withdrew.

Now alone and totally so The Son cried out in agony
 of spirit, shrinking My God My God
Why hast thou forsaken me?

And then a time only moments perhaps but longer
than all Eternity when the Son, lonely still and in
silence Partook of the bitter cup and finished His
sacrifice for the children of men.

Father, the glory be Thine I have given the gift
Thou sent me forth to give -
My love for them is now perfect That theirs may
one day be. It is finished: Into Thy hands, as
always I commend my spirit.

- by Blaine M. Yorgason

The Garden Tomb

    A very courageous Joseph Arimathaea whom some gospel writers say he was Jesus' great-uncle, that is, uncle to Jesus' mother went to Pilate to procure the Savior's body at great risk of his own safety. Joseph offered a rock-cut tomb that had not been used and was located in a garden. Nicodemus purchased myrrh and aloes to prepare Jesus' body for burial.
     Andrew C. Skinner in his Book entitled Golgotha stated the following:
"Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were righteous leaders of the Jews who recognized the special nature of the Savior's life and teachings. They remained loyal to him and performed a special act of love and respect....this final act in the drama of Golgotha culminated in the placement of guards at the Garden Tomb.
All of this was pure, unadulterated, selfless service. Preparing another person's lifeless body for burial is a true act of kindness and charity, because it is one thing that can never be repaid by the individual being served. It can be done without expectation of recompense. Such was the largeness of soul possessed by Joseph or Arimathaea."
    My dear daughters, niece and I were privileged to dress my Mother for her burial. We dressed her in her beautiful Temple clothes, styled her hair, applied her make-up and painted her nails. It was a sacred holy experience for us all. There was a sweet spirit in the room and I know my mother was present and enjoying watching us give her body loving care. We reminisced, laughed and cried over our memories of her.  it was a very spiritual and tender moment.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Betrayal - Arrest - Trial

 
After the Savior had awaken his sleeping Apostles for the last time; they went forth and were met by a group of Chief Priests, the Captains of the Temple and the Elders along with Judas who betrayed our Savior with a kiss. There was a scuffle where Apostle Peter drew his short sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest. Jesus immediately healed his ear. 
Even this miraculous act did not cause these men to question what they were doing and to whom they were doing it too. Peter exemplified courage and bravery in this moment. Jesus at this time was protective of his Apostles because he knew they had a great mission to perform. 
     I myself have wondered why Peter would later deny the Christ. Peter was not one to shrink from danger. I do believe that Peter would have given his life for the Lord. President Spencer W. Kimball stated the following thought on Peter's denial; "Does this portray cowardice? Quite a bold assertion for a timid one. Remember that Peter never denied the divinity of Christ. He only denied his association or acquaintance with the Christ, which is quite a different matter...Is it possible that there might have been some other reason for Peter's triple denial?"( Peter, My Brother- BYU speeches of the Year, 13 July 1971) 
     Andrew C. Skinner in his book entitled Golgotha stated: "To what, then might we attribute Peter's denial? Perhaps it could be attributed to Jesus himself--to a request or command he made that Peter should deny knowing him, not to deny his divinity but to deny knowing him as the religious rebel the Jewish leaders saw him to be. Why? To ensure Peter's safety as chief apostle and to ensure the continuity and safety of the Quorum of the Twelve."
I feel that this may indeed be true. 
     I have pondered much on the significance of Gethsemane. As the Savior left  the garden keep in mind that he had suffered physical, emotional, spiritual agony. Bleeding from every pore would have left him weak; and now He was going to be further abused. 
Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? Have you ever been accused of a lie? Have you ever been emotionally or physically abused? Have you ever been ridiculed in front of others? Have you ever been made fun of? Have you ever been angry? Have you ever hated someone enough that you feel you can not forgive them. The list of these negative human experiences could be endless. I myself have felt the sting of these kinds of experiences. The Savior suffered more abuse verbally and physically than we can ever comprehend and He suffered in silence.
Another thought from Andrew C. Skinner: "The image here is stark and heart-wrenching: Jesus suffering in silence, alone, without defenders, without help. Even Pilate was "surprised at the submissive yet majestic demeanor of Jesus .....He took what was dished out. He exercised poise in the face of provocation. He suffered silently, knowing, as many in our day know, that sometimes silence can be the only response to trials, tribulations and hardships....But there is one whom we have fellowship, One who knows silent suffering, One who hurts when we hurt, because he experienced the hurt before we did. Perhaps, it is these moments of silent suffering and submissive meekness that we come to know God best, the time when He tutors us the most."
     Our beloved Savior was turned over to the torture of scourging, followed by mocking and more abuse afflicted. Scourging alone could have killed any man. This instrument was a whip with strands of leather thongs and had a lead ball attached to each end. Further described by Andrew C. Skinner; "The victim was stripped of all clothing and tied by his wrists to an upright post or pillar. ...The back, buttocks, and back of the legs were flogged with extreme force either by two soldiers taking turns or by one scourger who alternated positions to get at both halves of the victim's back." Blow by Blow this scourging would produce deep bruises and then open wounds. Many of the victims died while receiving these vicious blows.
    Next our beloved Savior was Mocked, spit on, and hit by those around him. The Savior was further humiliated by the Soldiers putting upon him a "Scarlet Robe" and then joking that He was now the King of the Jews. There was more yet to come; as they placed  upon his head a crown of thorns and pressed it into his head causing even more bleeding.
There are lessons to learn from all of the abuse that the Savior endured at this time. Our Savior, Jesus Christ asks us to be patient in our own tribulations, to forgive one another, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile; love one another. We are to live the higher law that He taught.  
    John the  Revelator wrote about those who are exalted in God's Kingdom:
"And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
     Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
     They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, not any heat.
    For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Revelation 7: 14-17)
  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In The Garden of Gethsemane - He Fulfilled All This for Me - And For You!

Today, I am wondering where to start. Thinking about Gethsemane at least today feels very sad. The weather has been so deary; that I can't seem to find the usual sunshine in my soul; but I do want to bare testimony of my Savior.
It just grieves me to think about the Lord hurting for me and for all of us.  I love the Savior with all of my heart and soul. I love Him for all of his divine qualities; that I would love to have. I love Him for his teachings and example. I love Him for his deep love and ever awareness of each of us. I love Him for his gentle, kind and loving spirit. I love Him for being there so many times for me. I know He walks with me and sometimes carries me through my life experiences; when it is too hard for me. Perhaps, in the pre-existence, He walked and talked with us all and He knew us as he knows us now. I like to think that is true. I want to be a follower of Him. I want to repent of my sins and have the Saviors atonement effective in my life. I want to feel his arms embrace me. I want to look into his face and feel his love for me. I love him for doing for me what I can not do for myself. I have deep gratitude for our Heavenly Fathers plan. I know it to be true with all my heart. I can never fathom what happened in the the Garden of Gethsemane; but I love the Savior for not dropping the bitter cup. I love Him, I love Him, I love my Redeemer; and I know that he lives!
     Here is a remarkable vision that Elder Orson F. Whitney had:
"I seemed to in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior's agony. I saw Him as plainly as ever I have seen anyone. Standing behind a tree in the fore-ground, I beheld Jesus, with Peter, James and John, as they came through a little...gate at my right. Leaving the three apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, the Son of God passed over to the other, side where He also knelt and prayed. It was the same prayer with which all Bible readers are familiar: :Oh my Father, if it be possible ,let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
`As he prayed the tears steamed down his face, which was toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I also wept out of pure sympathy. My whole heart went out to him: I loved him with all my soul, and longed to be with him as I longed for nothing else.
Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling --fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach untincitured by the least show of anger or impatience asked them plaintively if they could not watch with him one hour. There He was, with the awful weight of the world's sin upon his shoulders, with the pangs of every man, woman and child shooting through his sensitive soul--and they could not watch with Him one poor hour!
       Returning to his place, He offered up the same prayer as before; then went back and again found them sleeping. Again he awoke them, re admonished them, and once more returned and prayed. Three times this occurred."
     Just think Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did this for all for us! Knowing the love that our Heavenly Father had for this son how hard it was for even He to not take away this bitter cup. I feel within my heart that even Our Father must have wept too. Satan was there with all of his hosts trying to stop this part of the plan. An angel was sent to bare the Savior up; to complete these agonizing moments. How grateful I am that he did not relinquish for even a second of time.

    Just think of this thought by Elder Niel A. Maxwell: "Having bled at every pore, how red His raiment must have been in Gethsemane, how crimson that cloak! No wonder, when Christ comes in power and glory,that He will come in a reminding red attire, not only signifying the wine press of wrath but also to bring to our remembrance how he suffered for each of us in Gethsemane and on Calvary! (Ensign, May 1987.p. 72.)
"Can we,even in the depths of disease, tell Him anything at all about suffering?"
     "In ways we cannot comprehend, our sicknesses and infirmities were borne by Him even before they were borne by us. The very weight of our combined sins caused Him to descend below all. We have never been, nor will we be, in depths such as He has known. Thus His atonement made perfect. His empathy and Mercy and His capacity to succor us, for which we can be everlasting grateful as He tutors us in our trials. There was no ram in the thicket at Calvary to spare Him, this Friend of Abraham and Isaac. (As I Am, pp. 116-17)

Oh, how true it is Our Redeemer Lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives. He Lives!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Washing Of The Feet - A Personal Experience -

      There is much to learn from the events that took place in the Savior's final moments. I shared some thoughts about the Savior in a February post entitled; Experience the Joy of The Sacrament - I will share briefly
 some additional thoughts that I have had about the Sacrament. I  read a book called: "Of These Emblems - Coming Closer to Christ through the Sacrament" by various authors. Since reading this book, I have tried to make the Sacrament more meaningful  in my life. I have spent more time thinking about my Savior and all He has done for me. I focus in on His final hours. Since doing this, the Sacrament has taken on a greater significance in my life. The Sacrament is a time for repenting, thus soul searching, and then the healing power of the atonement can take place. As we partake of these emblems and renew our covenants each week we are to remember Him always and then the promised blessing; we will have the spirit to be with us. I want that blessing of the spirit to be with me. I know that only by living worthy of the spirit of the Holy Ghost can we safely maneuver through our lives.
      I am going to share with you my feelings on the final act in the upper room just before our Lord continued on to Gethsemane to fulfill his promises to His Father and all of us.
     In the New Testament John Chapter 13
Jesus washes the feet of the Twelve  and He commands them to love one another.
1. Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
3. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7. Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
12. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13. Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to Wash one another’s feet.
15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
In thinking about the Savior at this time. He loved these 12 men who he had chosen as Apostles. He knew that Judas would betray him. After he had initiated the first Sacrament; his time had come.
The Lord completed one more loving, charitable act by washing the feet of His beloved Apostles; thus teaching them to Love One Another. This was another powerful ordinance that was instituted by the Savior.
     I have wondered about how the Apostles felt. I have just a tinge of an idea through my own experience with the washing of the feet.
I had been a Hospice Home Health Nurse for a couple of years when I was told I had to take the Volunteer class. I wasn't very humble. I thought I knew all I needed to know to care for my patients. On this memorable day those in the class were asked to bring a basin and wash cloth to class. There were probably around 14 volunteers present. The class instructor divided us up and then told us that we were to wash each other's feet. I was given a gentleman as my partner in this experience. I volunteered to wash his feet first. He was a complete stranger and needless to say I felt very uncomfortable.
We were instructed not to talk with one another while doing this assignment. As I began to wash his feet; I could tell that he was uncomfortable with me doing this. I didn't know what to think. I thought that perhaps he had ticklish feet. I looked deep into to his eyes and sensed he was in pain. As I recognized this fact I gently washed his feet trying hard not to cause the pain I had seen. I took each of his feet one at a time and placed them on the towel to wipe them. I placed the towel over his feet and again gently dried his feet. After we were allowed to speak he told me that the bottoms of his feet and been severely burned and that not only the water but any contact was painful. He thanked me for my gentleness. I also at this time found out he was a member of my faith. This was a profound moment for me in which I was deeply humbled and the washing of the Apostles feet took on a greater significance to me.


Monday, April 18, 2011

The Gift of Grace Through Christ, Our Lord!

I have a deep and abiding love for my Savior, Jesus Christ and a thirst for more knowledge of His life and teachings.  During this Easter season my thoughts are turned to the Savior and his final hours. While partaking of the Sacrament on the Sabbath day; I pondered on the Lord's final week. I  desire to understand more fully His ultimate sacrifice for us all. 
I have often heard discussions on the word "grace". The bible dictionary defines grace as; "A word that occurs frequently in the New Testament, especially in the writings of Paul. The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold of eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts."


One of my favorite hymns is:
 " I Stand All Amazed." 

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me a sinner he suffered he bled and died.
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine, That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me Enough to
 die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

Each day this week, I will share my thoughts and feelings about my Savior, Jesus Christ.
He is our Redeemer and through his Atonement we receive His ultimate gift of charity.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Charity, The Pure Love Of Christ -


 The Good Samaritan

There is a wonderful blog site that I am currently enjoying many of the posts - "My Hearts Desire"  - For the month of April there is a challenge to write thoughts that can help us become Woman of Noble Character. I  have been pondering on that title for a few days.
I have a desire within my soul to pray for and become a woman of noble character. I know that I have a long way to go in developing the qualities to become such a woman.  These characteristics lead us to the ultimate goal of all and that is to have Charity, The Pure Love of Christ.
The apostle Paul wrote the following thoughts on Charity in;
 1 Corinthians 13:
1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
4. Charity sufferth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil:
6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7. Bearth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8. Charity never faileth....
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
I hope many of you will take a moment and read 1 Corinthians 13.
In Luke 10:27-28 the Lord said; "Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." This the great commandment.
Of course there is the great parable of the Good Samaritan found in (Luke 10:30-37) and perhaps we should all read that occasionally to keep us on the path towards that goal of "Charity, Never Faileth."
I had the privilege of working as a Hospice Home Health Nurse. During those few years I learned so much about love, compassion, and the greatest of all Charity. I observed families who loved their terminally ill; parent, husband, wife, daughter, son, friend, neighbor and tenderly cared for them. For a few months I  myself suffered with some stressful symptoms. There were days when I would drag myself to work feeling like I couldn't make it through the day. Once I visited the very first patient I would feel enlivened and able to continue on with my work due to the example of those families. I knew that a kind wise Heavenly Father was watching over His precious sons and daughters that were struggling with the burden of a terminally ill loved one. I saw true compassion in action. It wasn't all perfect of course, there were those patients who had no one or a family that really didn't care about them; so I became the one to help provide care for them.
Before and since those experiences, I have had many moments of learning and growing in my love for others. There are so many different ways to develop the gift of Charity. I will always be grateful for the lessons learned. Many of those  kind and loving moments were found in the examples set by my parents, grandparents, extended family, church sisters and other friends and especially my dear husband. I have witnessed compassion in their actions.
I know that this has helped me to be a better daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, sister and friend.
Our prophet President Thomas S. Monson gave a Relief Society conference message entitled "Charity Never Faileth"; here are a few of his thoughts:
"...Charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others. 
There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted, True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere. 
Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others. 
Charity is the pure love of Christ. 
In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. 
Charity has been defined as: the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love..the pure love of Christ....; and whoso found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with her; (Moroni 7:47).
"Charity never faileth. " May it permeate your soul and find expression in all of your thoughts and actions."
I know that this is what I would like to become; a Woman of Noble Character with the pure of love of Christ, that Charity that never faileth.
Perhaps take a moment and read out of the Book of Mormon the following:
Moroni 7: 40-46
It is a commandment to love one another and have a charitable heart for all.

Many years ago my dear husband wrote two additional verses to the hymn; "Love one Another" by Luacine Clark Fox that I would like to share.

Love One Another
As I have loved you, love one another.
This new commandment love one another.
By this shall men know ye are my disciples,
If ye have love one to another.

Ye have my gospel, share with another.
Ye are my shepherds feed then a brother.
Care for the stranger love as the Messiah;
Then ye shall know joy of the Father.

Someday you'll see me if you endeavor
Then you will know me we'll walk together.
If you obey me here then is my promise,
I'll come to you you're mine forever.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - April 2011


FOR TODAY April 9th 2011

Take a moment and drop by and enjoy other Simple woman Daybook entries here: http://thesimplewoman'sdaybook.blogspot.com/

Outside my window...there is a heavy rain storm. It has been cold and deary most of the week. The weather is alternating between periods of snow and rain. The snow isn't sticking so that is good. I am just so tired of gray days. I need sunshine. I guess I will just have to take more Vitamin D!
I am thinking...how sad I am that my children and grandchildren left today for home. I had two families here briefly for a visit. Back to the silence of the house. Our dog Sammy always goes into depression after the children leave. He loves to play and has such a good time with them. Neither family was here for long so he didn't get as attached as he sometimes does. There is always one of the grandchildren that he will follow around and want their attention. I remember one time being told that your pets actually think they are one of your children; I believe that now.
I am thankful for...for having a wonderful day in the temple this morning. I enjoyed my shift. My dear husband wasn't able to go to the temple today due to work assignments he had to complete. He was able to spend a few moments with the children which was nice. 
From the learning rooms...I am learning to be quiet during a discussion when I would like to give an opinion. Sometimes, it is better to be silent on a subject. This requires self discipline; especially of the tongue.
From the kitchen...there was pizza for all those who were coming and going today.
I am wearing...a black sweater, black pants, black socks and a black and white sweater. Just listing this made me think; am I depressed or what?
I am creating...a plan to organize my week and days better. I still don't have control over my day. I have decided that I do better if I follow an actualized written plan. I will report on my progress next time.
I am going...downstairs to the family room and watch a movie with my husband if he ever gets his work completed. We both need to go to bed early since we haven't had good sleep for most of the week.
I am reading..."Snow Rising", I don't know when I will ever get this book finished; but I have been trying to read at least a chapter a day. It is a good book on relationships, finding yourself and accountability for your choices. I am learning a great deal. I am also reading a book entitled; "Talking With God - Divine Conversations That Transform Daily Life," by Robert L. Millet. I am loving this book and learning more about prayer. I am having more daily conversations with my Heavenly Father with more thought to what I am saying. I still have trouble taking the time to listen. I do feel it is a two way conversation. I feel like I need to stay on my knees and be quiet long enough to hear answers to my more pondered questions or be more aware of answers that come in other ways.
I am hoping... to have a good nights sleep and be able to have an enjoyable Sabbath Day. I am looking forwars to a wonderful sweet Sabbath Day; a spiritual renewal. 
I am hearing...the sports news and cars driving through the rain soaked streets. As I was coming home from the temple I was listening to the sports news. BYU was scheduled to have a Spring football game today. The weather is cruddy; I don't know how that will be. Apparently, they have hopes for a good football team this year. There are some good recruits and  missionaries returning home in time to play. I hope their season is good because I really like to watch BYU games. I am very excited that Jimmer Fredette from BYU's basketball team won all of the best player awards for basketball. That's a good reason to celebrate.
Around the house...I am hoping that the toys downstairs have been put away by my grandchildren. I really needed to dust this week; so next week I will have some major house work to do. I hope the sun will be out; because I accomplish more when there is sun shine.
One of my favorite things...is to cuddle up with my husband and watch a good movie. I need some popcorn to make it perfect.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Watch a good movie tonight - Enjoy the Sabbath tomorrow - Organize and plan my week for Monday.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
This is a sweet video of my Averi. She is my very dear 8 year old grandchild that is blind. I posted a blog about her some time ago. She plays the piano by ear and adds her own interpretation to the music.

PAUSE  MUSIC BEFORE LISTENING TO THIS VIDEO

video

I recently submitted an article on Genealogy and Family History Work to the following link:
http://mormonwoman.org/2011/04/08/the-joys-of-family-history-and-genealogy-work/
Mormon Woman is a great site to read articles on various subjects; perhaps contribute one of your own.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Temple - Heavenly Father's Love For Us - Pain and Healing -

My husband and I traveled to Idaho Falls, Idaho this past weekend. We were fortunate to be able to hear the Saturday Conference messages while driving. It would be difficult to say what messages I loved the most. I generally just like to bask in the love that I feel from those who speak.

Of course, I always enjoy President Monson's messages; he truly is the rescuer. I loved his closing message on the Temple. I enjoy working in the temple each week and I am saddened when some of the sessions are not well attended. If everyone who has a recommend would do one session per month that would make a big difference. We would be greatly blessed and the temples would be at their capacity more often. I can't think of a better date night with my husband. As temple workers we are challenged to attend the temple as often as possible.
The message by Elder Quentin L. Cook was timely.  His thoughts were on the women of the church. There is a blog site that I occasionally go in on. This site is made up of posts of women that are less active or have left the church, those that are struggling with fragile testimonies, sisters who are active but questioning some of their own beliefs and a few that are not members of the church. The first post was from a sister who is a member who gave her thoughts and opinion's about the Sunday sessions of conference. My heart was saddened because she wrote about the speakers and in doing so was very sarcastic and critical. She particularly talked about Elder Scott's very sweet message about his wife. She diffidently had a feminist point of view about how the church feels towards the women in the church. Her feelings were harsh and unkind. I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her how much Heavenly Father loves her and that the leaders of the church love her too. 
The following are thoughts from Elder Quentin L. Cook's message. He opened his remarks by telling about an historian who wrote about the men and women of the church in it's infancy. Some of his writings were not favorable but he was impressed with the devotion and heroism that the early pioneers displayed. He said: "Their Women were incredible". Elder Cook then said: "Our LDS women are incredible. Elder Cook continued with these thoughts; "God placed in women the divine qualities of strength, virtue, love and the willingness to sacrifice to raise future generations of our Heavenly Father's spirit children". He also stated; "Women are daughter's of our Heavenly Father, who loves them. Wives are equal to their husbands, and marriage requires a full partnership where husband and wife work side by side to raise their children." I hope with all my heart that this dear sister who holds such angry feelings will read this very beautiful message by Elder Quentin L. Cook.
At this time I have a daughter who will be having surgery on her esophagus in May. She is my youngest daughter and has been struggling for a long time with pain from reflux disease. She was recently diagnosed with Barrett's disease; which is a precursor to cancer. She is very young to be having these problem.  She has four precious children and desires to have another sweet spirit bless their home. At this point her health is an issue. She has great faith and we as a family have fasted and prayed for her on more than one occasion. She told me that she was praying that she would receive from conference comfort and answers to her prayers.
One beautiful message was by Elder Kent F. Richard, who discussed pain. I know that she heard that message and was strengthened by it. Here are a few thoughts from that talk. As physician he causes pain on a daily basis. He stated that he has had pain himself and that we all will and do. No one is immune from pain. He pondered about the purpose of pain. In these moments of pain in our lives; we often times learn patience. He thought perhaps that was why we are called patients when we are ill. Some people in pain turn away from God in anger. Others draw closer to God; their faith is fortified. Pain can bring humility as we reach towards our Heavenly Father for help.  God is there to heal the soul of those in physical pain but also in mental, and emotional pain.
I know that I have gained faith through my painful experiences not only physically but emotionally. We have had many experiences with health issues in our family. We have had many miracle from fasting, prayer and priesthood blessings. When something serious happens to one of us we include the whole family in fasting, praying and obtaining blessings.
 This weekend we also came to Idaho Falls to attend the funeral of our son-in-law's father who passed away from cancer. It was a moment to reflect on what pain he had suffered both physically and emotionally. The family had of course fasted and prayed that he would be cured of this affliction. He was our age and I consider that young. One of his daughters mentioned that she was too young to lose her father; and she is right. However, Heavenly Father has a different plan for him and I know she has great faith and knows that. I feel that he will be near his family and will not miss the important occasions in their lives. I know this is true. I had a spiritual experience when my mother passed away. I felt my parents presence at her funeral. The experience was such a blessing in my life. I then lost my brother in 2010 and knew he was near  by watching over his family during this difficult time.
All of these truth are part of the Plan of Salvation and many of the messages in conference give us courage to continue on and fulfill the measure of our creation. I am grateful for the testimony that I have which gives me strength to learn and grow from the struggles and tests of life. I hope this young woman who wrote her thoughts on conference will read and understand more fully how much Heavenly Father loves her and all of his children.
This month in which we celebrate Easter; we turn our thoughts to our Savior and his atonement. Christ knows our pains both physical and emotional. Christ who  atoned for our sins, said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11: 28-30).

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