Tag: spiritual

The Spirited Side of President David O. McKay

One of my earliest memories of being a Mormon is President David O. McKay. He became the prophet, in April 1951, and served until his death in 1970, at the age of 96. He had been an apostle, at age 32, since 1906. Three years after he was sustained as President of the Church, I was born, in 1954. He was the prophet during all my childhood and teenaged years. I was in 10th grade, a sophomore, in high school when he died. I didn’t know much about him until I started reading a book. But I appreciate his look...

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Yom Kippur for a Mormon

I love the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, and I’m a Mormon. I want to join in — even when it involves fasting, repenting and not bathing. But I like the symbolism and ritual that reinforces my beliefs. I want to be reminded to repent and forgive. I want to set aside a specific time each year to remember my covenants with God. I want my name recorded in the Book of Life. Yom Kippur begins at sundown, this year, 2015 on September 22. If you are Mormon that should ring a bell (or sound a trumpet.)   Yom Kippur, the Day...

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Assume God is in the details of your life

April 2011   This was one of the points that Boyd Petersen shared about Hugh Nibley, in his article, What I Learned about Life, the Church and the Cosmos from Hugh Nibley: As Hugh advised one person, Ask for the direction of the Holy Spirit every day and learn to recognize its whisperings. Then you will know exactly what steps to take and all the rest. … The Lord will guide you and in time you will find that our present-day Babylon will be but a distant memory. He took his own advice. In a letter to his son he...

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Message in a Dream

Dreams are one way we sort through the mischief of the day. Other times, our dreams connect us to the spirit world. Some dreams can be pleasant, some not so pleasant, and some revelatory. Yes, much like Father Lehi —  “I dreamed a dream…” I often look for the message in a dream. But not all dreams. It’s often difficult to know which is which. Sometimes you know that a dream is just your way of working out the stresses of the day. One night I dreamed that I was working with numbers all night — but that’s what...

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My father dwelt in a tent and was thankful

This was my son’s favorite scripture when he was about 5 years old —  “And my father dwelt in a tent.” He gave quite a talk about that verse in Primary. People came up to me afterwards, amazed by his little discourse. In The Book of Mormon, as Nephi starts to recount his life he shares the stories of his family’s move from their “gorgeous” home in Jerusalem to their nomadic lifestyle in a tent. He talks about it often.   I counted 22 times in that first book of Nephi. Lehi left his property, his inheritance, his gold...

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Where Did Christ Go After He Died?

Right after Jesus gave up the ghost, after He willingly laid down his physical body and mortal life, where did He go?  What did Christ do between the death of His body and resurrection? It was approximately the hours between His death on Friday to His resurrection on Sunday morning. There is always some confusion about whether Jesus went to hell to preach or proclaim the Gospel. This is based on verses in 1 Peter, which say, “He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” (1 Peter 3: 18-20) Who are the spirits in prison? Is that hell?...

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It’s Good and Godly To Have Humor

  I need humor. It happens to be a Godly quality. Consider these Mormon leaders with the Godly Gift of Humor: President Faust used to bless his children and grandchildren with a sense of humor — “I do this,” President Faust said, “with the hope that it will help guard them against being too rigid, that they will have balance in their lives, and that situations and problems and difficulties will not be overdrawn.” In 1996, at the funeral of Rex E. Lee, the 10th President of BYU, James E. Faust shared a short humorous story to break the...

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Joseph Smith did not want a Mormon creed

Joseph Smith was very much against forming a Mormon Creed. He remarked, that Methodists “have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty to believe as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.”  (Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman) (History of the Church, vol 5, pg 340) Joseph felt that creeds set limits, “and say ‘hitherto shalt thou come & no further’ — which I cannot subscribe to.” He explained that the difference between the Christian...

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God is for me

Life isn’t always easy and I’m thankful I know this first-hand. But knowing doesn’t make it easier, it just makes it easier to accept. We all have times of trouble. Everyone gets a ride. That’s what makes it hard — knowing that even when things are good for you, someone else is suffering. I was sorting through my memorabilia, reading a list of “what I am thankful for,” written by my children 12 years ago. One of them wrote, “I’m thankful for a broken collar bone (to be understood when I’m older) and a good friend like Rick and dry beds and...

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The Two Awakenings of Adam

I am very curious about the two awakenings of Adam. It’s almost like two births. What was Adam doing before he went down for the rib surgery? Adam is formed, God “breaths into his nostrils the breath of life” and Adam awakens the first time — he becomes a living soul. God goes about planting and watering the garden which is eastward in Eden and then He puts Adam in the garden and tells him to “dress and keep the garden”, and informs him of which trees he can eat; God tells him “don’t eat of the tree of...

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Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow.

 Image Death comes unexpectedly for some. Expected for others. And for some — they get a peek before they go. Did Steve Jobs see through the veil when he uttered his last words — OH WOW, OH WOW, OH WOW? There are those who explain these phenomena — seeing your ancestors or your life in review — as a firing of neurons, the brain shutting down. My sister-in-law died unexpectedly. But many years before that day she had a near-death experience. While in childbirth, a c-section, she passed through the veil, across a river of water to meet family that had passed on. Later she discounted this event as something like carbon monoxide poisoning. She was firmly rooted in the here and now and very much agnostic or atheist. When she died for good, she slipped off a cliff on the coast of Maine into the icy Atlantic Ocean. It was a New Year’s Day, some years ago. She had been watching, with concern, her two teenagers surfing. At the funeral, one of her friends shared a dream she had that fateful night — in the dream, she received a phone call from my sister-in-law apologizing for staying in that next life, saying, “it was just so green, I had to stay.” Hugh Nibley shared a near-death experience that convinced him of the reality of life after death. He...

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Mormons and Jews — Shared Heritage

  Yearning for my own Day of Atonement celebration, I decided to go up to the temple and participate in an endowment session on Yom Kippur. As I sat there, I reflected on the ancient temple ceremonies in Jerusalem, with the High Priest. I thought about the similarities and the differences. Mormon temple ceremonies are based on the ancient ones, when Moses was commanded to build the tabernacle, a traveling temple of sorts. I have a good friend who is Jewish — we talk about these similarities. We share our faiths and find that we have much in common, it’s really kind of fun. We both pray to the same God, and he answers both our prayers. When she is melting down with childcare (she has 7 kids) and prays for help, God hears her pleas and answers.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (who became Israel) are our common heritage. She comes through Judah, I come through his brother, Joseph. I love to hear about her traditions and the Mormon missionaries know they will always get a meal at her home. Of course, neither of us sacrifice animals at the temple, as was required by the early Israelites, but we do offer to sacrifice our time and talents to do good and be charitable. Mormons focus on Jehovah, Jesus Christ, the lamb that replaced all those that were sacrificed in...

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God will order and provide

About two weeks ago I was so distressed over the disorder and chaos in my life. All week, as I walked the dogs I memorized a poem, actually a poem set to a hymn. It has become my mantra because it was one of the tender mercies of the Lord given to me one fretful Sunday morning. I worked on memorizing it all week — Be Still My Soul Be still my soul: the Lord is on they side.  With patience bear they cross of grief or pain.   Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change he faithful will remain. Be still my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend  Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Gene returned from another trip to Mexico, a 5-day trip where he drove our 10 year-old Yukon for 10 hours down to Alberto (for him to keep) and then he had to fly to Mexico City and spend precious money to visit a dirty filthy landfill. Then they flew to Hermosillo, Mexico for more business talk, and then home via Phoenix, Arizona, arriving at 7 p.m. All day, I went over our work on the taxes, after an audit of three years that resulted in the IRS saying we owe them what amounts to the price of a home. It was our 34th wedding anniversary. I went to bed early,...

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Never Dead and Gone

When you die, are you D&G? (Code word for Dead and Gone — my dad used to say that.) And what about before you were born, were you non-existent until the sperm forced it’s way through the tough membrane of the egg? I think a lot about intelligences.  I mean the you that is you — the inner thoughts, experiences, life — that makeup who you are. The you that has always existed and will always exist, not your spirit, but your intelligence — the part that existed before your spirit body and before your mortal body. I wonder what I was thinking and what I learned (and cannot remember because forgetting is a necessary element of this mortal life.) The following is a quote from what is called the King Follett Discourse — a funeral speech given by Joseph Smith when Brother King Follett (his first name is “King”) was accidentally killed by a falling bucket of rocks in a well. “The mind of man—the intelligent part—is as immortal as, and is coequal with, God himself. I know my testimony is true. . . . Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle . . . there is no creation about it.” The comfort of all this thought is that there never is/was a time of not existing. You and I have always existed. This life is...

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June 27, 1844, 5 PM — Carthage Jail, Illinois

It is June 27th.  In 1844, “Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob — painted black — of from 150 to 200 persons.Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly, exclaiming: I am a dead man! Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming: O Lord my God! They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and both received four balls.” (John Taylor) “John Taylor and Willard Richard, two of the Twelve, were the only persons in the room at the time; the former was wounded in a savage manner with four balls, but has since recovered; the latter, through the providence of God, escaped, without even a hole in his robe. Hyrum Smith was forty-four years old in February 1844 and Joseph Smith was thirty-eight in December, 1843.” (Doctrine & Covenants 135) John Taylor sang this song just before the mob/militia stormed the jail room:  “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” The Carthage Jail: Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith: Death masks of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith: More images of the Carthage Jail History of The Church, vol 6featured photo: Gary E. Smith Related articles Are Mormons Going to Hell? My Mormon...

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