H is for Healing

The gift of healing is a blessing of the power of the Priesthood, which Priesthood is the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family.  We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. [Article of Faith #5).

Our family has been blessed by this Priesthood power of healing many times over the years. Here are a few examples.

It was the first day on the beach and our daughter got a bad sunburn. It blistered immediately and she was in great pain. She couldn’t sleep at all that night so the next day her Dad gave her a priesthood blessing. After that, she was able to sleep at night and healed quite rapidly.

And this from our family history:

On the evening of July 9, 1895, Elizabeth was very despondent. Weeping bitterly, she expressed a wish that she might die, rather than continue to be such a burden to her dear ones. She had been suffering all her life from a debilitating illness. Her brother, Arthur, then fourteen years of age, felt strongly impressed that Elizabeth should never again have occasion to shed tears because of poor health. The words of the Saviour, “In my name shall they cast out devils and nothing shall be impossible unto them,” were in his mind all day. Young Arthur held the Aaronic Priesthood, which contains the keys of ministering angels…In the evening, obeying the prompting of the Spirit of God, he told Elizabeth that God would heal her the following day. Surprised yet impressed by the strong faith of this fourteen year old boy, she sought assurance for herself by earnest petition to her Father in Heaven. The following morning, July 10, 1895, her prayers were rewarded by the assurance that she would be healed that day, if she and other members of the family would be united in fasting and prayer.

After the family fasted and prayed together, Arthur said a prayer alone and received confirmation to proceed. He went in to the bedside of Elizabeth, and taking her by the hand he commanded her in the name of Jesus Christ to arise and be made whole. She rose up immediately and began to do some light housework, which she had not been able to do before. Lizzie went on to live a full life, marrying and bearing four children. Her descendants to this day hold July 10th as a day of fasting and prayer in gratitude for that healing.

I know the power of the Priesthood has been restored to the earth and that through that power, worthy Priesthood holders can and do bless the lives of those with faith to be healed. In all things though, we say, “Thy will, O God, be done…” The Doctrine and Covenants tells us:

  And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.–D&C 42:44

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has taught: “Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a ‘healing’ cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are ‘healed’ by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us.”9 [Dallin H. Oaks, “He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 7–8.]

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Jesus Blessing Jairus’s Daughter (Christ Raising the Daughter of Jairus), by Greg K. Olsen
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G is for Gorelston

We were witness to a tender mercy to our friends the White family, (names changed to protect privacy) who were in one of the wards [congregations] we attended in England. Brother White was deployed at the time and Sister White had taken her four kids to Gorleston beach with some other ward members. As they were about to head home after a fun day in the sun, she realized that her car keys (along with her house and church keys…) were missing. Everyone searched but to no avail–no keys. With so many ward members there, the family was able to get rides home but the van remained stranded at the coast until she could have her husband mail her his set of keys to the car. Then on Saturday, three days later, one of those ward members, Brother E., happened to be back in that same coastal town and checked in at the local police station. The keys had been found and turned in! He was able to drive the van to church the next day to return it to Sister White. My husband drove Sister White’s second vehicle home for her and I drove our car. It certainly was a miracle that the keys were found, that they were turned it to the police, and that Brother E. was there to claim them and drive the vehicle back to her.

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[photo of Gorleston-on-Sea]

Psalms 145:9

The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. 

 

 

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F is for Flapjacks and Fortitude

[The following post is taken from my mission journal, while my husband and I were serving our couples mission in the UK from 2015-2016]

I’ve been trying to be disciplined in my diet, eating healthy and losing the “mission-20” that I gained soon after arrival. I am fine when there is nothing tempting in the house, but last night someone brought flapjacks to FHE [Family Home Evening–a program we put on in our home each Monday evening for the single servicemen and women in the UK, comprised of food, an inspirational thought and fellowship]…I must confess that I overindulged, and then felt the immediate consequences of that decision. That night I prayed for help in sticking to my resolve to limit sweets from my diet. Then I picked up the book Teachings of Thomas S. Monson [President of the LDS Church at the time] that a friend loaned us. I’m reading sequentially and was up to the letter C. The section next was Choice and Accountability! I read:

“No decision you make is minor or unimportant, for every decision has bearing upon our eternal welfare. I would urge you to stay close to the Lord. Call upon him for guidance and help in the choices that are placed before you.”

“When faced with…choices, how do we decide? Do we succumb to the promise of momentary pleasure? To our urges and passions? Our Heavenly Father has given us each the power to think and reason and decide. With such power, self-discipline becomes a necessity. You may ask, Are decisions really that important? I say to you, decisions determine destiny.”

I know that my Heavenly Father is aware of me and what I need. He hears and answers prayers.

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These may appear to be innocuous, and in fact are actually quite a healthy snack….when taken in moderation! You can find an easy recipe here.

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E is for Eagles

I was a president of the women’s organization at church, and needed to replace one of my counselors, who had recently been assigned to another calling. I had two women in mind, but couldn’t decide which one was right. I needed to feel guidance from my Heavenly Father to be sure I made the right choice. These calls affect not only the women whom they serve, but the person IN the calling as well.

I took some time out of my day to ponder and pray; while doing so, I took a walk down a wooded trail near my home where I could count on being alone. I talked to Heavenly Father about my need for direct inspiration so I said I would wait for His confirmation. At this point I was praying/leaning towards one woman in particular. I told God how I felt she was compassionate and definitely an educator. I told Him I would read my scriptures when I got home, a usual method of inspiration for me, or as I was here in nature, He could reach me here…after all, the woman’s last name was “Eagles”…if I were to see an eagle…

Now we had lived here 2 years and I have taken this walk often in that time and I have never seen an eagle here before. But today I was looking up. I had started back when I saw, high in the sky, an eagle! He was pretty high up, but I could see him well enough to identify him as such. I thanked Heavenly Father, and then thought a moment and said, “You know, her name is a plural…Eagles…I know you can do all things…” If He could send one eagle, He could easily send another…

I had just come off the trail and was starting on the road to my house when up from behind the houses soared a second eagle. This time, he came low, within a few yards of me, and circled over my head, swooping so I could see his white tail feathers and lovely white head. Then he glided off into the trees. It was then that the tears came and I thanked Heavenly Father for giving me what I needed, and caring about this sister enough to allow me to be able to tell her that I knew that her call to serve was from God.

eagle

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D is for Direction

I have two stories to recount today, both are not first hand, from my own experiences, but are from people I know and trust. The first is an experience I heard in a church meeting while we were serving our mission in the UK a couple years ago. The second was told to me by my cousin, to whom the experience occurred.

Both are examples of how we can receive direction from the Spirit of the Lord, or of his messengers, to aid us in our lives.

  1. “Go in there!”Br. Webster, the visiting High Counselor, gave a talk about how he joined the church. He was 12 years old and his sister was 14. They were looking for a church and had attended several. They passed by an LDS church, on their way to the Baptist church. The church wasn’t a typical LDS chapel,  it looked creepy and dark…but they heard the Spirit say, “Go in there.”  They did and met missionaries. This was back in 1959. They both soon joined the church.Years later he was a policeman on a beat. He had been doing his family history but had not had much progress. He felt like the way was blocked. As he was walking his beat, he passed a Methodist Church that was being demolished. He heard the Spirit whisper again, “Go in there.” All that was left of the building was steps leading to the basement. He went down them and found in a corner of the basement several volumes of records. He took them home (or they would have soon been destroyed) and found in them the records of the ancestors he had been seeking. Later that day the whole building was gone.
  2. “Wake up!”  Background on my cousin’s, Debbie’s story: all 4 of her siblings were killed when she was 16 years old and away from home working one summer. She had been especially close to her younger-by-one-year sister, Brenda. At the point in her life when this experience took place, it was about six years since her sister had died, and Debbie was in a rocky marriage and very distraught. She drove off late one night in tears and got on the highway. The more she drove, the more exhausted she became and fell asleep at the wheel. She awoke to a loud voice, the voice of her sister, Brenda, saying, “Debbie! Wake up and steer right!! You’re about to go off the road!!” She immediately was alert and able to steer clear of the danger. She knows beyond any doubt that her sister saved her life that night.

I know that angels exist, and that they frequently are the spirits of our departed loved ones, assigned to watch over and protect us. I know that there is a life after this one, where we will be reunited with our loved ones, family and friends. As it states in the Doctrine & Covenants section 130:2 “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.”

[For more on how to recognize and act on spiritual promptings, you might like this talk by Jane H. Lassetter who was an assistant professor in the BYU College of Nursing when this talk was given.]

Debbie and her angel sister, Brenda

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C is for Christ

Many of these posts in my A-Z theme talk about “God,” “Heavenly Father,” and “the Spirit” as influences in “how I know,” but central to my faith is Jesus the Christ. I grew up a Catholic and had a completely different view and understanding of Jesus Christ than I do today as a Latter-day Saint. Sometimes these differences cause some to say that Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, are not truly Christians; that our “Christ” is a different Christ, and although I consider myself to be a Christian, I understand what they mean–the Christ I have come to know is different from that worshipped by mainstream Christianity.

Here is what I believe:

Jesus, who was born of Mary in the meridian of time, is the Son of God.

He walked among men to show them the Way to Eternal Life; to be the ultimate perfect example as He lived a sinless life.

During His ministry, He taught the gospel, served others, healed the sick and performed miracles, and organized His Church with apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and leaders.

He also came to perform the Atonement: to suffer and die for all mankind that we may return to the presence of the Father. Remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world. [Helaman 5:9]

Sound familiar? okay so far…here’s some other things I believe, as I’ve studied, learned and grown in my understanding of who Jesus was and is…

I believe Jesus is Jehovah, the Great I AM of the Old Testament. He led his people out of Egypt, fed them manna in the desert, called and spoke to prophets such as Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Elijah and Malachi. [see D&C 110:1-3]

Before coming to earth to perform the Atonement, Our Savior was chosen in the Pre-existence to be our Savior. He was even then, the Only Begotten of the Father. Under the direction of the Father, Jesus bore the responsibility of Creator. His title was the Word—spelled with a capital W. So Jesus was the “Word” or “Expression” of his Father to the world. [see Jesus the Christ–Our Master and More by Russell M. Nelson]

I believe that during the Millennium, Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. [see Articles of Faith]

I believe that as a Resurrected Being, Christ has today a physical, glorified body. That He is a member of the Godhead, comprised of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, three separate and distinct personages. [All three of them appeared together at Christ’s baptism, where the voice of the Father was heard validating His Son, and the Holy Ghost descended upon Him.]

As we are all children of God, I believe that Jesus is my Elder Brother; He is my Friend, Advisor, and Advocate with the Father.

As I come to greater understand and use the power of the Atonement in my life, to heal and lift and forgive and succor, I am filled with a greater love and appreciation for my Saviour and all that He has done for me.

[For a wonderful revelation and prophecy concerning the coming of Jesus Christ into the world and a summary of His mission, see King Benjamin’s speech in the Book of Mormon here.]

I know that my Redeemer lives!

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B is for Buttercups

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[The following post is taken from my mission journal, while my husband and I were serving our couples mission in the UK from 2015-2016]

We went to RAF Feltwell for a run. I only took my ID card and my phone and we had a great run through the field of buttercups. It was so beautiful I stopped and pulled out my phone to take a photo. When we got back to the car I realized that I didn’t have my ID card. It must have fallen out of my pocket when I pulled out the phone. Having that card was crucial to our mission, and being able to get on the airbases to meet with the servicemen. Trying to replace it would be a huge deal…I retraced my steps back to the field, with my companion walking in the opposite direction. To complicate the situation, there were large mowers working in the field, slowly moving in concentric circles towards the spot where I had taken the photo. Back and forth, back and forth we went, scanning the area; I turned to look at my husband, who was a ways off to tell him I hadn’t been that far over, when he whistled to me and pointed to the ground at his feet! In his words: “It was less than two minutes after I uttered a prayer, that I saw it. It was lying vertical, at an angle very difficult to see, but I went right to it.”

We then knelt together in the field of buttercups, and offered a prayer of thanks for starting our day off with this miracle.

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It may be a small thing, but if it is important to us, it is important to our Heavenly Father.

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A is for Astronomy 101

Astronomy 101

My daughter had been working on a science project for several weeks, looking through the telescope, making notes, studying the stars. It came time for her to write up her project for the final grade. We went to the Library (where I was director and had a set of keys…) after hours so she could use the computers and resources and I could assist. The more she worked on it, the more confused she became, until finally she turned to me and said, “I can’t even remember what my hypothesis is anymore!!”

I reminded her of our seminary lesson from that morning. She had a right to blessings through her obedience. She had the Gift of the Holy Ghost to bring all things to her remembrance.

I suggested that she pray about it, so she went off into the stacks and knelt down, while at the same time, I sent up a fervent prayer that she would get an answer–enlightenment and understanding to be able to proceed.

She came back a few minutes later and we sat and looked at each other.

“Now what?” she asked.

“Now we wait,” I said.

A moment later her eyes got wide and she said, “I get it!” and she proceeded in a few minutes to write up her report.

Two prayers answered.

Magical and Miraculous repost from Care2.com

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Theme Reveal: How I know

I recently read Dan Brown’s latest book, Origin, which discusses the two Big Questions, Where did we come from? and, Where are we going? It pits Creationism against Science, giving voice to much of the atheistic viewpoint that our existence is here without the requirement of a Divine Power. Although positing convincing evidence for the scientific viewpoint,  yet Robert Langdon asks, “Who created the laws of physics?” And in an eloquent manner explains the difference between “patterns” and “codes.”

“Patterns occur everywhere in nature–the spiraling seeds of a sunflower, the hexagonal cells of a honeycomb, the circular ripples on a pond when a fish jumps, etc…Codes are special. Codes by definition must carry information. They must do more than simply form a pattern–codes must transmit data and convey meaning. Examples of codes include written language, musical notation, mathematical equations, computer language…

“The other difference between codes and patterns, ” Langdon continued, “is that codes do not occur naturally in the world. Musical notation does not sprout from trees, and symbols do not draw themselves in the sand. Codes are the deliberate inventions of intelligent consciousnesses. Codes don’t appear organically; they must be created.”

Ambra studied him a long moment. “What about DNA?”

A professorial smile appeared on Langdon’s lips. “Bingo! The genetic code. That is the paradox.” (Origin, pp. 435-6)

I don’t pretend to have all the answers; I DO know that there is a God, who created man. HOW he went about doing that is not revealed to us at this point, but I have faith that we WILL know all things in their right time, maybe not in this life, but as a corollary to where we came from, I also know that there is a life after this one where we continue to exist as individual entities that know and have relationships not only with our loved ones but with our Heavenly Father, who created and loves us.

As Elder O. Theodore Tuttle said in a General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saint in October 1986:

[After recounting Nephi’s recollections to his brothers of the many miracles God had performed for their family and ancestors, ie., leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, see The Book of Mormon pp. 36-37] “He was trying to do what you and I as parents need to do with our families today–to develop faith in the Lord. And the way to do it is to recount the examples of faith that have happened in our own history and in our heritage and with our people. ” (” Ensign Magazine, October 1986, “Developing Faith,” p. 73)

My A-Z theme will recount the experiences I have had that testify to me that God lives, that we are His spiritual offspring, that He loves us, and wants us to return to Him. My beliefs are based on faith, which comes of experiences with the Spirit, but I believe this faith can also be transmitted to others as we recount our experiences and allow the Spirit to testify to the truthfulness of our words.

This exercise is a labor of love for my family, but if anyone else finds inspiration from my efforts, so much the better!

Hope to see you back here on April First!

DNA

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Z is for Zafu

As far as I can tell from my Journals, I started meditation back in early 2011. I was intrigued with all the benefits that could be derived from regular practice, not the least of which at the time was staving off alzheimer’s disease.

I read several books on meditation but more helpful than the ones on “how to” (Mindfulness in Plain English, by Henepola Gunaratana; Books by Deepak Chopka) were the ones by ordinary people who went into it as skeptics and came out believers. I especially liked 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. 

So I began meditating. I wanted to do it “right” of course, with the right mantra, breathing technique, body position, etc., and slowly worked up to 30-minute meditation sessions. The major problem I found was my very inflexible legs and the stiffness-to-the-point-of-pain trying to get out of position when I was done!

Then I discovered the Zafu! This wonderful, sturdy little pillow in just the right contour, size and firmness allowed me to meditate in the “right” position without agony. Now I can focus on my breathing, let my thoughts float away like little puffy clouds in the sky and come away refreshed and peaceful instead of in pain.

Total investment: $30.00

Totally worth it!

 

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