Monday, November 24, 2014

The Last Days: By President Benson

This is better news and info on the last days and what is really happening and going to happen than you'll find anywhere else unless it is another apostle speaking.  I love listening to the prophet's speak.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Preparing the Priesthood - Musings

Life's hard.

Statistically, people carrying the weight I carry in my personal and family life...don't make it.

Actually the statistics are against me nearly 10 to 1 that I don't make it.

I suppose that's what is so remarkable on the hardest of days is that I have made it.

This far.

So far.

I feel overwhelmed most days, and so very alone.  While my wife is in a wheelchair which gives her her own struggles, in many ways, despite the ignorance of how to help, people do see her and are more than willing to help, meanwhile...I feel quite invisible in this world.

It is because I can walk.

That means I don't have any problems or any needs.

Family gatherings become another test or trial of my character it seems - I don't ask for help very well and the family is quite attentive to take care of needs if I am not there - but my wife doesn't ask for help very well either and doesn't wish to burden those around us either, so a family gathering instead becomes a gopher-fest where I go-fer-this and go-fer-that.  Oh, she's quite kind, it is just a commentary on a dynamic that I've noticed and she doesn't wish her presence to be unpleasant to those she doesn't get to see very often.  But, I feel like I am under a microscope and feel assessed for how well I take care of the family's sister/aunt/niece/granddaughter when we are together, and instead of a gathering, family time becomes its own silent ordeal it seems and feels to me so very often - meanwhile I am constantly at my limit emotionally, mentally and physically.  I don't say no very well, and don't ask for help very well, I often go out to "hide" somewhere and whittle a piece of wood or go for a walk just to escape duties and breathe for a bit - but any breath comes with the realization that it is only temporary, and every day it grows worse.  So instead I feel like the lousiest relative ever and would rather crawl in a hole and hide than be around anyone else as a family.

Other marriages all have needs when both spouses are healthy, both have supports and needs.  But when one of you is healthy and the other is unhealthy, suddenly the person who is healthy has no needs and must needs be more grateful than everyone else because they are healthy.

It is a hard way to live and feel invisible.  Complaining about it is an affront to the unhealthy spouse because it means you aren't acknowledging the unhealthy spouse's struggles and are burdening them extra.  If you are both healthy, you can complain and may be seen as just needing to change your  perspective and the world gives you the benefit of the doubt and time.  But if you're healthy and they are not, you aren't allowed to complain - it means you aren't grateful enough - and your complaints are the epitome of selfishness and uncaring.'re invisible and don't matter.

Oh, people will tell you that you matter, and they like to tell you it isn't true, but I've been doing this long enough to know how it is and devoted a large part of my grad school studies to this aspect of social psych - it is a real healthcare problem.  I am very aware of the caveats and do-you-mind-if-I-don'ts.  The reality is....I'm burned out and giving when there's nothing left to give.

At any rate, this and a bunch of other reasons statistically are why people who are healthy spouses and caretakers of unhealthy spouses.....+90% of the time fail and go under and succumb to suicide, divorce, substance use or infidelity.

As I've struggled with my own worthiness before the Lord I have felt very unequal to the tasks and requirements before me.  I have also been given plenty of time to see what a blessing - if it were practiced - plural marriage would be in cases like this.  But those times are not now, and we live in a world that isn't presided over by the Lord's servants but is still directed by Babylon in so many ways and we've been told to be subject to those powers for now.  Ironically, if I weren't a priesthood holder and a member of the church I might not be frowned on for many means to cope with such a trying situation. Gospel knowledge being what it is and my personal constitution as well, I don't think I would ever be happy any other way other than doing my best to endure this well.

But as I've prayed and pondered about this and many other things, I've been counseled by the Lord that he is preparing his priesthood leaders and refining them - us - through our trials and afflictions because our time is coming soon to stand in the places we are appointed by the Lord.

As I labored under some severe stress, I stepped outside to pray during a walk and was told that these trials are a chance for us priesthood holders to turn to the Lord and learn to rely on his counsel and spirit to learn to be led by him. 

I realize that as much as I wish for these trials to end, as has been said elsewhere, these trials are a blessing, though I wish blessings might come in more favorable and pleasant disguises than the ones they seem to usually come in.

I do grow tired - so so so very tired - of when I am tired from my trials - that I seem to be told I have to look at things differently.  I grow so tired of having to look at things differently and be reminded of things I've forgotten.  I would much rather have an easier time and a seemingly more productive progress than to have to look at a life that seems like a nightmare while I struggle to remember, or I wonder "Heavenly Father, are you really there?"

At any rate, all of this being said or written, I will say this next: when I pray, and the Lord tells me he is preparing his priesthood and this is a time for me to learn to lean on him, and I feel his spirit....for a moment, I am comforted.  I know there is a plan and a purpose to all things.  To feel invisible and as though any of my needs aren't important with not much to lean on but God?  Perhaps that's the way the savior felt in his life.

As much as I don't like it and wish it was over, I can't but feel that some marvelous work is being wrought within my spirit - and how cheated I would feel if I left it undone - but how much I won't complain if I knew that I was finished and it was over and done properly.

For now....the priesthood is being prepared and we are being tested and refined.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

John 18

As I continue my daily Scripture study, I've entered into John 18.

I didn't realize that John got Peter into the hall for Jesus' trial by telling the damsel at the door who they were in relation to Jesus.

And then Peter denied who he was, making John a liar.

Thanks a lot, Peter.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting Away With It

For a God who is omniscient and good, I sure have a hard time comprehending such peoples' existence such as Judas Iscariot, the Pharisees and even Lucifer whom God created originally.

I realized while reading my scriptures that it is quite simple really: God allows us free agency.  

The Pharisees?  They were said of Christ in their unrighteousness: They have their reward. 

Lucifer?  Certainly didn't "get away" with his rebellion.  Unless you count eternal damnation and unembodiment as "getting away with it."

Even political leaders of our faith who are not apparently publicly faithful and whose party politics are not in line with the gospel, who hold temple recommends, I struggle with. Of course, party politics differ greatly from individual responsibility and a person despite being a leader can disagree with their party - so I can see the wiggle room there.

But the simple point is - you can go into the temple unworthily if you wish!  You can be the young women's president and in the Relief Society Presidency and be a pornography addict.  We have that.  It happens. 

But regardless of what is seen on the outside, we are going to be held to account.

you got away with it....for now....
Christ came for judgement - not to judge - but for judgement.  But what does that mean?  It means he was righteous and many were not, and they are judged by how they respond and treat and react to The Son Of God Himself being among them.  So it is also with the church being on the earth in our lives - we are being judged and measured against it/within it.

In other words - you may get away with it in this life - but the parable of the ten virgins is true and it is speaking of our church.  You won't be able to enter into the wedding feast if you don't have the light of christ in you and that...can't be faked.  So if you've squandered your time in this life and entered the temple unworthily and passed yourself off as a worthy wife while undermining your husband and not being his helpmeet or are a pious husband who neglects his family behind the scenes to impress the neighbors - that's fine. 

You have your reward. 

We really aren't getting away with anything at all.

Angels are silent notes taking - far more than we can see and far more than we know, both good and bad, in every single life.  It is up to us to simply do our best, pray for our fellow man and serve him, and have faith in Christ that it will all be solved.  That's our choice.

This is our time to prove ourselves.  But we needn't think anything goes unseen by the Lord or that he will not repay.  We need to be aware of what is truly going on here.  And have faith it will work out.  And above all, keep the 2nd Great Commandment and remember to tend to the beams in our own eyes first.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nothing Higher

My religion has been a terrorist target here in the USA.  By supposedly pious Protestants as well as Satholics historically, and most recently by open-minded liberals while chanting that they want diversity of opinion.

Having sworn an oath to my country that involved the laying down of my life to protect others in the service of my country, and having experienced a bit of terrorism myself, I am very intolerant when it comes to the oppression of others.

You must always remember, whoever it is, they are a human being.  They have a mother, a grandmother,  a grandfather, a father, someone!  Somewhere who loves and loved them and had high hopes for them.  And even when that cannot be found in close proximity when you look at another human with some "messed up" ideology, an an abused and abandoned child, remember this: you are looking at someone so desperate for a chance to have a body with its experiences it afforded after winning the war in haven that they were willing to take upon them a distorted body, a malfunctioning brain, or whatever, and come into a family full of abuse and horrific circumstances as a helpless baby and to try and change the world from there.

Yesterday on facebook one of my fellow veterans cracked a joke about killing Muslims. 

I served in our Fine, Fine, United States Navy with a Muslim who covered me more than a few times in the line of duty. 

There is a Mosque next door to me literally across the street and I have worshipped with them and they welcomed me in to worship with them. 

Now I am not saying that "because I served with them and went to prayer with them that therefore things are okay."  No.  That's not it. 

I am saying, because they are a human being, they are entitled to - ENTITLED TO - that respect as a child of God.

As in: "Dad, one of God's children is at the door, he needs something."

"Treat him as a child of God and see what he needs."

I made the remark that not only has my religion experienced terrorism even with our chapel being burned down at one point in an act of arson, but that any Muslim can live with me if they respect my right to worship as I choose and they support liberty.

I also quoted Matthew and the Lord "With what judgement ye judge ye shall be judged."  

I don't know if I've been unfriended since then.

But if we are willing to kill people simply on the basis of religion and justify it....then that is exactly what the terrorists did to us on 9/11. 

And then we are no different.

And how can we expect God to bless us when that is our mentality - all while we wave the flag and sing "God Bless America"?

 On the issue of Muslims versus the west, the Muslims are the children of Esau.  That makes them our brethren. 

But God created the nations and separated them beginning at the scattering from the tower. To live with someone different than you in peace and harmony, complete with religious differences and even theologies diametrically opposed in some areas....there is nothing religiously higher we can do in this world.

That is the 2nd Great Commandment.

When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God.

As I have loved you, love one another.

There is no greater way to bring the blessings of heaven down upon our nation or society.  Forget doctrines and ideologies - the blessings of heaven will be most fully bestowed upon us as a people when we live this commandment *amidst* diversity and despite it. 

There is nothing higher.

And when we do this, then we will have become one.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ripple we see.....
Everyone's life is important.


Every.   One.

Think about it.

I know many of us may not outwardly seem to  know our life's purpose and certainly very few of us end up in the history books on the side of good.

But we weren't sent here to be famous.  Every.  Single. Life.  Touches others who touch others, both forward and backward.  Much like the ripple of a pond.  Not all of us make a "big splash" in the pond of history or of life, but all of us make ripples, some larger, some smaller, that are felt by all.

While Joseph Smith was certainly one of the largest stones dropped in the pond of life in these last days (or perhaps his work rather than being ripples was as the tiny stone cut out of the mountain) there are those around us who may never know Joseph Smith, who may not need Joseph much as they need you.

That kind word and gesture can and has kept people from ending their lives.   Has helped hold families together when others decided to quit leaving a legacy of divorce and other tragedies that span generations from such a juncture in life.   I cannot....describe how important you are.  It cannot be written in words here.  You've impacted people for good in ways you will never know and which are known most only to those you have done them to.

Most of your worth and goodly influence and value will never even be seen or understood in this life.  Least of all by you.

That doesn't come until after this life.

But just as surely as the Lord has created Joseph Smith and set him at the head, and created The Son and set him at the corner...just as has he created you and set you where you are.

For a purpose.

You may not end up in the history books, but again, you don't need to.  That isn't what we came for.  Even history books are forgotten.

But you will be hailed eternally by those around you who remember you, and your faith - and in many cases, the millions and often billions of lives you affected by your ripples for good that you never knew or never were able to see from where you were in this life.

But we don't do what we do for fame, fortune or renown.  If you simply do what you can where you are to the best of your ability, then truly you will accomplish more than you ever imagined was possible in this life.  Simply being a good mother, father, husband, wife, daughter, son, cousin, friend...choose one.  They are all important.  Vital! 

If you haven't seen it, this is a movie about a simple man.  Turned from a wayward teen into a man who honored his priesthood and by simple faith had an impact that lasted generations and has touched millions down the line after him. 

I do not think we ever know when we are in history until well after the fact - at least not what most would consider historic - but I do know each day is what precedes the one that comes after it and each is important.  Just as our lives and missions are.

You matter. You are a necessary part of this plan that is far bigger than you or I or even Joseph Smith.  And your heavenly father wants  you to succeed and find joy in your worth and purpose - which purpose is to become like him and enjoy all that he has beginning right here right now where you are.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Spies and False Prophets

ME!  Or....wanted-to-be-me
(From my journal this evening)

My dream job at one time was to be a spy for the CIA.

I didn't realize at the time that being a spy meant getting people to give you things they aren't supposed to, and getting people to do things they aren't supposed to, and at any cost - spiritually it would be pretty hazardous work.

But I wanted to be a spy.  By the time I felt like I was in a position to do it, my birthday for the closing application deadline was approaching annnnnnd.....I was too old.

I have ADHD, I wouldn't have passed the tests to be accepted anyways.  Once again, the Lord was looking out for me and blessed me with ADHD - something I absolutely hate - yet it plays such a role in shaping my life.

Not only that, I want to be able to tell my kids what I do for a living, tell them where I'm going - not live a life where my children could be the enemy and my wife as well.   No, that's no life to live - I am sure there is a Latter Day Saint somewhere who does do that but I do not believe that you can and be completing your spiritual mission in this life at no cost.

That being said, I would love to see what is at Area 51 and China Lake and all those other places.  I would love to see what we know we are really capable of.  I know from military experience that coverups are a part of military life - it is alllllll about control.  It is all about fear.  Money.  Politics.  Power. 

You know....those things Satan promises us.

But as I thought about it, there are things I know and have learned from the Lord, which as Paul says in Corinthians are "unspeakable" and "Not lawful for man to utter."  I have seen, experienced and been revealed things that no spy can tell me about the world to come.

And....that's the thing.  We live in an age of conspiracies.   When the media's as dishonest as ours is, of course you're going to get theories and conspiracies - they are as common as air it seems nowadays.  But...that's the problem, isn't it? 

These conspiracies masquerade as truth and enlightenment and....they aren't.

Secrets are not truth.  Man's works and secret works of darkness are not enlightenment.  To know the secret passcodes of the Gadianton Robbers does not get you closer to God nor make you more like him. 

Don't chase after them.
I'm here to tell you what REALLY happened...cuz I care...
 This is why I am wary of all the "truths" that are being sold and told on...well...pick a side, it doesn't matter.

They are all counterfeits.  They and their purveyors are false prophets who set themselves up as a light - having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. Alllll intended to convince you that their side is right, and that if you listen to them, you'll FINALLY get the GOOD things, be doing good and right, fighting the evil-galactic-whatever.

 But....Wanna know the real truth?  Follow President Monson.  Read your scriptures.  Attend the temple.  PRAY. 

There's only a few things we can take with us after this life anyways, and the secrets of our day are going to be made known anyways, but the things of God will only be known by those who obtain and seek them.

Do what you will, but that's....just me.