Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mummies, Ancient Papyrus and a Mysterious Record

I think this is an amazing story! God works in mysterious ways - in that these ancient records buried in Egypt made their way to Ohio into the hands of the prophet Joseph Smith who knew nothing about them until he received them - and discovered they were the writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus. It's a record of the life of the patriarch Abraham and a description of the creation of the world similar to that in Genesis and the Book of Moses.This book is a part of the Pearl of Great Price.

So here's the story behind this amazing discovery:

File:Vignette1.jpg
In the late 1820s an Italian explorer named Antonio Lebolo obtained eleven mummies from an ancient tomb in Egypt. When Lebolo died the mummies were shipped to the United States. A man named Michael Chandler came into possession of the mummies (through inheritance) in 1833. He opened the coffins and was disappointed not to find jewels or valuable treasures. Instead he found attached to some of the bodies of the mummies, linen cloths containing rolls of papyrus. These papyrus rolls had Egyptian writing on them. Mr. Chandler took the rolls to Pennsylvania, in search of someone who could translate the writings, but even the most educated of these men were only able to understand a little of the writings.

File:Joseph Smith Papyrus IV.jpgMr. Chandler decided to travel around the country showing people the mummies, and in the summer of 1835 he came to Kirtland, Ohio. He was told that Joseph Smith, had the ability to interpret the writings. Joseph Smith had already translated the Egyptian writings of the Book of Mormon. Later some friends of the Prophet bought four mummies and the rolls of papyrus from Mr. Chandler. Joseph Smith studied the letters and grammar of the Egyptian language, and then, with the help of the Holy Ghost, he translated the writings on the papyrus rolls. The writings Joseph Smith translated tell about the ancient prophet Abraham and are now published as the book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. This was quite exciting!

Michael Chandler sold the mummies, until four remained and he sold them to the Church in Kirtland.
Two of the four mummies and some papyri were later sold to the St. Louis museum in 1856. In 1863 these two mummies and some records were sold to the Wood's Museum in Chicago. The most common version of the story is that the two mummies and the records were burned in the Chicago fire in 1871. The other two mummies that Combs purchased, and possibly some records, haven't been located yet.

I know that Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price are all works of God brought fourth in our modern day to help us learn the fullness of the gospel so that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven and his son. They are powerful books that have changed and blessed many lives. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen. 
















http://emp.byui.edu/openshawr/Class%20Articles/The%20Mormon%20Mummies%20and%20Papyri%20in%20OhioH.htm

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&sourceId=d20ba41f6cc20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=198bf4b13819d110VgnVCM1000003a94610aRCRD

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=105&chapid=1173

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith_Papyri

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When You See That Cloud of Gloom.....

Yesterday was a very rough day for me. It seemed like everyone in the universe was letting me down. I don't know if it was the way the stars were aligned or what, but I've never had a day where I received so much bad news.

Phone call after phone call including emails and texts; I seemed to get a message every hour from someone (all in relation to completely different subjects) about something that they had dropped the ball on big time.

By 6:00 pm I felt an anxiety attack coming on and I couldn't take it anymore. My whole world seemed to be caving in, out of whack, in complete chaos - I had no control. Finally, my husband suggested I call a certain person to address some of these issues with. I didn't want to burden that person plus it was dinner time. But then I felt a loud voice in my head urging me to call this person now. It needed to be loud to compete with all the negative thoughts that were pulsating through my mind.

It turned out that this person had been receiving promptings from the spirit to talk to me about these very issues and she was so glad that I called her. She said if I'd have waited to call her it may have been too late for some things, so she was glad I called her when I did.

It was such a weight off my shoulder to release some of these issues and hand them over to her. But then...there were still all the other unrelated items of the day that I was struggling with. Suddenly, something unexpected happened. I began to get calls, emails and texts (all unrelated) from other people telling me WONDERFUL news - all the way until 10:00 pm. I went from hopelssness to euphoria in just one hour. Talk about exhausting!

I finally realized the Lord in his goodness was sending me tender mercies to help me avoid my breaking point. I have never seen anything like it.

The thought that came to mind was sometimes the Lord just needs us to endure as long as we can and if we endure as best we can, he will rescue us and reward us.

I felt bad for allowing the cloud of doom to follow me around yesterday - if I'd have known how the day was going to end, I would have dismissed it all. But that's the beauty of it! Not knowing what's around the corner and just trusting that the Lord is aware of us and what we are going through - when the timing is right he will rescue us.

Whatever struggles you are going through right now- hang in there! Trust me, you'll see :)

The Lord loves you and he needs you to exercise trust and faith in him before he can show you the awesome part! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Connections of Mormon/LDS Church to Christ's Original Church

Last week in Sunday school, our instructor shared bits and pieces from this article in this month's issue of the Ensign. It is phenomenal! It explains how many of the teachings, practices and doctrines on our (LDS/Mormon) church were also practiced and taught by early Christian churches as well as Christ's original church which we believe to have been restored in our time. It's a great article. Here's the link, where you can see more and read in other languages. http://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/04/the-restoration-and-early-christian-teachings?lang=eng



The Restoration and Early Christian Teachings


Historical research shows that truths revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith were taught by early Christians.
From the day the Prophet Joseph Smith received the gold plates in 1827 until his martyrdom in 1844, the floodgates of revelation were opened as he restored scripture, doctrines, and priesthood authority. The Restoration not only reestablished the original Church of Jesus Christ but also reestablished teachings that had been lost.

Many teachings and practices that distinguish Latter-day Saints from other modern Christians are now known to have been believed and practiced by the early Christians as well. Here are a few of them.

 

Our Premortal Life

Though the doctrine of premortal life is hinted at in the Bible (see Jeremiah 1:5), many Christian theologians before Joseph Smith had taught that humans and their spirits are created from nothing. The book of Abraham reveals that we had a premortal life with our heavenly family and that we chose the plan of salvation presented by our Heavenly Father (see Abraham 3:22–23).

We now know that this doctrine of premortal life was also accepted by many Jews and Christians around the time of Christ. According to one Jewish scholar, Jews in the first few centuries after Christ believed that the soul existed in a heavenly “spiritual reservoir”1 before being placed into a body, as evidenced by the Apocrypha’s reference to spirits waiting in “chambers of souls”2 before birth. The pseudepigraphical book of Enoch, which some Jews and early Christians considered scripture, taught that “all the souls of the children of man have been before they came down to the world.”3

 

Salvation for the Dead


Though some Christian denominations disagree with each other regarding the necessity of ordinances and works, they all agree that in order to be saved, we must accept Christ and make His sacrifice fully effective in our lives, acknowledging His divinity and the wonderful gift He gave us. However, since the days of Adam, only a small fraction of God’s children have ever had the opportunity to hear the gospel, much less accept it.

Thanks to modern revelation, we know that ordinances necessary for individual salvation can be performed by proxy for those who didn’t have the chance to receive them while in mortality. A loving and just God allows all His children the opportunity to accept or reject the gospel and its necessary ordinances.

Baptism for the dead is mentioned in the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 15:29), as is the fact that the Savior delivered the gospel to those in spirit prison (see 1 Peter 3:18–19; 4:6), but before Joseph Smith’s day most Christian theologians taught that these passages were simply anomalies or ambiguities that didn’t really describe early Christian practices and beliefs. More recently, however, non-LDS scholars have written about ancient Christian traditions describing Christ’s preaching to the dead in the spirit world and having taught that baptism was the key to their release.

Some of these early traditions suggest that just as John the Baptist’s birth preceded the birth of the Savior so that he could herald Jesus’s ministry, so likewise John was killed before the Crucifixion to herald Jesus’s coming in the spirit world.4

Clement of Alexandria, an early Christian writer of the late second to early third century, said that “Christ went down to Hades [the spirit world] for no other purpose than to preach the gospel.”5 Clement claimed that Christ not only “visited” and “preached” to the dead but “baptized the just men of old, both gentiles and Jews, not only those who lived before the coming of the Lord, but also those who were before the coming of the Law.”6

Some non-LDS scholars now recognize that baptism for the dead was an authentic ancient Christian practice. One historian reports that in the early Christian Church “the necessity of Baptism is such that the Apostles and teachers … who preached the Gospel had to go down to limbo, there to teach and baptize the just already dead.”7

 

Degrees of Glory

While Christian teaching had traditionally maintained that the dead go either to heaven or hell, Joseph Smith learned that there are many degrees of glory in the hereafter. Jesus once taught in a parable that we will reap what we sow and that some will bring forth fruit “an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold” (Matthew 13:8). Irenaeus, an early Christian writer of the late second century, explained this passage to mean that there will be varying degrees of reward in the hereafter:

“Then those who are deemed worthy of abode in heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of paradise, and others shall possess the splendour of the city. … There is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: … it was on this account the Lord declared, ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions’ [John 14:2; see also D&C 98:18]. For all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling-place.”8

 

Heirs to the Father

Latter-day Saints believe that our Heavenly Father wants us to inherit all that He has so that we can become like Him and His Son. The Epistle to the Hebrews taught that Jesus is “appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2). Paul taught that the righteous will become “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), and Peter taught that they would be “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
Many early Christians believed that the righteous could become like the Father. Irenaeus wrote that Jesus Christ became “what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.”9

Clement of Alexandria wrote that Jesus became man so that we may “learn from man how man may become God” and explained that because the righteous will become so “near to the Lord, there awaits them restoration to everlasting contemplation; and they are called by the appellation of gods, being destined to sit on thrones with the other gods that have been first put in their places by the Saviour.”10
Even as late as the third century, Hippolytus, bishop of Portus, explained that the righteous will become “a companion of the Deity, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved with lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. For thou hast become God.”11

The early Christian writings on deification are so extensive that non-LDS scholar G. L. Prestige stated that the early Christian Church “taught that the destiny of man was to become like God, and even to become deified.”12

 

Conclusion

These and other authentic ancient Christian teachings were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith because he sought the Lord in study and prayer. From Joseph Smith’s First Vision—which came after he read James 1:5—we find that many of the Prophet’s revelations were precipitated by his hunger for scripture study and asking Heavenly Father for divine insight. Teachings which had been lost after the demise of the early Apostles were once again given to the Saints of Christ’s restored Church.

Thanks to the restoration of these lost teachings, we rejoice with the early Christian Saints in the knowledge that we once lived a premortal life with our Heavenly Father. We know that God is merciful and loves all humankind and has established a plan so that every one of His children will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and receive the ordinances of salvation—even if they never had the chance while in mortality. We also learn that Heavenly Father expects us to participate in the work of bringing salvation to those who died without hearing the good news.

With our early Christian brothers and sisters, we can rejoice in the knowledge that Heavenly Father is just as well as merciful and offers different degrees of glory according to our faithfulness and willingness to follow His Son. Lastly, and most importantly, we learn that we really are God’s sons and daughters and that He wants us not only to become like Him but also to share in his glory and become partakers of His divine nature.

In the more than a century and a half since the days of Joseph Smith, scholarly studies have buttressed the claim that the Prophet restored doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the meridian of time. The eternal truth of these teachings, however, can be confirmed only by the Spirit. Only by aligning ourselves with God can these teachings bless our lives, help draw us closer to the Father, and eventually lead us back to our heavenly home.
Michael R. Ash lives in Utah, USA.

 

Answering Questions

Why was a restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ needed?
A general falling away from the truth occurred after the death of Christ’s Apostles. This is called the Apostasy (see Amos 8:11–12; Acts 20:29–30; 2 Timothy 4:3).
After the Apostles and many righteous Church members were killed and other members departed from the truth, the Lord took the priesthood authority and His Church from the earth. Without God’s priesthood authority, the Church no longer functioned as Christ had established it. The ordinances were changed, and many plain and simple truths were lost. While many good people and some truth remained, the original Church was lost.

The Apostle Peter prophesied of the “restitution of all things” before Christ’s Second Coming (see Acts 3:19–21). Having been lost because of the Apostasy, Christ’s Church and His authority were to be restored to the earth.

Joseph Smith’s First Vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. In subsequent years, Christ restored His priesthood and reorganized His Church. He has continued to reveal truths to His prophets and to restore the blessings that were taken from the earth for a time. (See Restoration in FAQ on Mormon.org.)

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Video

I recorded this song about seven months ago and all this time I have been wanting to make a video to portray the images in my mind that I saw when I wrote this song.

I'm no film maker but I did my best with directing and editing it. There were some little flaws like the video playing at perfect speed and in sync with the music on my computer but then when I published it as a final movie, it's off in certain spots. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so it bothers me, but after hours of trying to work out the kinks I have finally decided it's good enough. I've felt all week that I'm supposed to have it completed by today - so I'm finally at peace with it :)

It's a message about our testimonies of faith and how what we know to be true is beautifully passed on down to our children and their children and so on through life's experiences. I wrote it as a tribute to my own personal story in my book , Successful Failures

I hope you enjoy!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Encounter with One of the Three Nephites?

Tuesday, something very interesting happened. My daughter was at clogging practice and so I took the other two kids over to a burger place to get some ice cream. This burger place looks like an old fashioned 50's diner inside.

The workers were so nice to us and were just calmly standing there waitng for us to order. There were just a couple of people there eating - it was pretty empty. We ordered our ice cream, sat down and the kids began to eat away!

Just then a man came through the door, he appeared to be alone. I looked up and saw him just standing there,smiling at me. He never looked away. I couldn't help but notice how there was something about him that made it difficult for me to look away or brush him off as just a customer. The first thing that came to my mind was that he might be one of the Three Nephites or John the Revelator. Then of course I laughed inside of my head and thought, "where did that come from?"

He seemed to laugh as well as though he knew my thoughts. So, I hurried and looked back at my kids. As I looked at them and watched them eat their ice cream, I couldn't help but notice out of the corner of my eye that he was still standing in the doorway. Was he going to sit down? Was he going to order? How strange it was. Then the thought came that he was here on business and would only be here for a short moment, so I should get a better look at him before he disappears.

I looked over at him again, there he was standing there and smiling at me. He looked so happy. I felt like if I starred at him back, he might communicate some message to me telepathically. I noticed his brown eyes and how old his face appeared. He seemed very ancient like a prophet from centuries ago. I've never seen anything like it. He had a grayish white beard, was of average size and was wearing grayish/blue coveralls and had a cane. I thought to myself, "he looks like a happy version of the white wizard on Lord of the Rings" when I thought that he seemed to laugh at me, and again I couldn't help but wonder if he knew my thoughts - so I looked away.

These images below look almost exactly like what I saw. He had the same face, eyes and beard of Saruman the White.



As I looked back at my kids I began to wonder if he was going to sit down. I also couldn't help but wonder if he was trying to talk to me, so I should quit looking away. At that moment I saw him sit down. He rested his cane on his lap and continued starring at me and smiling in such a happy and loving manner.

Then I looked up at the counter and an Asian woman who was with a blind and disabled woman with long dark hair sat down a couple tables over from us. The Asian woman began to do the same thing but with my kids! She starred at them and smiled as though she loved them like her own grand children. In fact, she completely forgot about her food and just starred and smiled at them until we left. It was so weird!! But in a good way.

Then I look back over at the man and he's sitting perfectly still, just starring and smiling at me, right into my eyes. I could feel his happy energy and it was contagious - I couldn't stop smiling. I wondered if he might have been there for me? Maybe observing so he could give a report? Or maybe he was trying to send me positive thoughts and make my day? Or was it that he was there on assignment for someone else but took a minute to observe me, learn my situation and see if I might need any help - like missionaries do - always looking for ways to serve through the Spirit.

For as old as he looked he seemed very "with it" and intelligent. I thought how interesting his clothing was and how he stood out so much. He reverenced the room as though he might have been Lehi or Noah or some great prophet from the past. His face was so aged yet he was so happy, energetic, and so full of love.  He appeared to be very clean for wearing coveralls - and where he had a cane, I wondered what type of work could a person do as old as he is and with a cane? He couldn't be a mechanic, electrician - there was no way! There he sat smiling and laughing as though he knew my thoughts - again I looked away.

If he knew that I knew who he might really be, it must have been very funny to him. Maybe at that point he realized he couldn't say anything to me because I knew his identity and I would ask. I wanted him to. I tried to think of something I could say, any kind of excuse to walk over and talk with him. He looked at me as though he knew I wanted to come over, and his eyes seemed to beckon me to do so.

Then a young Latino woman came through the door with a little toddler. She was beaming with joy and looked right at me with a big smile. I thought to myself, "does this burger place attract happy people or what?" She ordered her food sat down and waited for it while she smiled and starred at me. It began to feel like I was in the twilight zone, as if all of these people starring at me and smiling were somehow connected and they knew something that I didn't and they were so happy for me.

It had been about eight minutes and I began to feel like this man would leave soon and I better get another look. I looked over and he was still smiling and starring and I felt so happy I can't describe it. Then another man cam through the door just as happy and smiley, with brown pants and a long sleeved shirt. His clothes seemed old and he also had a grayish white beard and the exact same cane. 

At this point I swore they must know each other, and were here together...but then I realized they never even acknowledged each other. Nothing would break that man's stare and the other man was up at the counter ordering food. A few minutes later, the man starring at me got up and walked out the front door. I knew I had to keep my eyes on him to see where he would go. He walked behind an SUV parked in front of the door and from there I don't know. I noticed a truck parked behind the SUV and thought, maybe he's in the truck. Then the man at the counter grabbed his bag of food and went out the door and walked over to the truck and got in the driver's side. The truck pulled out and drove away and I didn't get to see if the other man was in it as well.

As we left, the Latino woman continued to stare and smile again as if she knew something wonderful about me and wanted to tell me. So I said, "Hi" and she said "Hi" back.

The rest of the day I wondered about it. I thought, "If it was who I think it could have been, are they allowed to drive trucks and order food at restaurants?" then I thought, "Why not?" Curious, I went online and began to search for other people who may have had similar experiences. I found this page that blew me away. http://www.ogdenkraut.com/The%20Three%20Nephites.htm  As I read these descriptions, I got chills up and down my arms. Especially this description:

The stranger was of medium size, dressed in a grayish blue suit, and wore a grayish beard, some three or four inches long. He looked very intelligent and clean cut. His voice was soft and mild and his eyes penetrating but beautiful to behold. There was something about his personality that caused us to look at him with intent and earnestness.

Then I found this experience in the comments section, where the person describes that man as dressed as an electrician driving a pick up truck. That made me laugh. 

http://bycommonconsent.com/2007/10/04/are-the-three-nephites-funny/

I guess I really will never know who this peculiar man was or why he was starring at me. All I know is that he made me happy and I wish I could go back to that moment.

The night before I had prayed about something very earnestly, and I even spent a half hour writing in my journal about it. I pleaded and pleaded for an answer or guidance of some sort, I wonder now if this man was there to encourage me some how - to let me know everything would be okay. Then last night some very strange things happened along with a very strange dream and I feel it might have to do with my prayer from the night before. If the time is ever right I will share.

I know that when you knock the Lord answers and when you ask, you receive. I've really been asking, and some very interesting things have been happening, it feels like they are of a divine nature. It makes me so happy to know the Lord is aware of our needs and hears us. He is so willing to send help and answers as soon as we ask. This I testify in the name of Jesus Christ amen. 




Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting the Most From Your Patriarchal Blessing

I found this great article from 2001 about how to get the most out of your patriarchal blessing. I read mine all the time and so I loved this! I'd love to hear different ways that you get the most out of yours - please share!

Setting Goals from Your Patriarchal Blessing

A patriarchal blessing is "an inspired and prophetic statement of your life's mission.together with such blessings, cautions, and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give." (James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Obtaining patriarchal blessing may provide us with some glimpses into the book of our life possibilities and give us some general direction. Wisely, perhaps, such a blessing is rarely specific enough to guide us in day-to-day decisions. Instead, it paints with broad brushstrokes. (R. Britsc and T. Olson, Counseling: A Guide to Helping Others.)

Using four different colored markers, you will highlight the statements in your patriarchal blessing into four categories: Blessings, Counsels,Warnings, and Covenants.
When you have highlighted your blessing with each of the four colors, you can make a list of the things that are in your blessing in each category. You will then have a list of all the blessings that are promised to you. This can make wonderful reading when you are feeling low. The other lists can be used to help you set goals to be able to accomplish your special mission in this life.

You will have a page with counsel, a page with covenant blessings, and a page with any warnings that are in your blessing.

President Kimball has given this advice: "It is true of all of us that as we progress spiritually, our sense of belonging, identity, and self-worth increases. Let us create a climate in which we encourage sisters of the Church to have a program of self- improvement. It ought to be a practical and realistic program, one that is determined personally and not imposed upon them.

Yet it ought to cause them to reach for new levels of achievement. We are not asking for something spectacular, but rather for our sisters to find real self-fulfillment through wise self-development in the pursuit of righteous worthy endeavors."

SETTING GOALS

After praying for guidance, read and ponder the page that contains counsel and warnings. Then read the page of covenants/promises. Determine which areas you feel you can work on at this time in your life. Prayerfully select a few, and then follow the procedure for setting goals by writing down what you want to accomplish and then your plan for doing so.

BLESSINGS

These are identified as gifts from Heavenly Father. They are not subject to any future performance in that they are given to you as a child of God. As long as your life is in harmony with the principles of the gospel, these blessings will be given to you at the time the Lord dictates. They will read similar to:

Friends and associates will be raised up unto thee in times of need.
You'll be privileged to experience and to enjoy the blessings of ________.
You are to be blessed with the gift of discernment...

COUNSEL

Instances where counsel is being given will read:

Be faithful.. Continue.. Be diligent..
Endeavor to...
Seek.. Prove yourself... Thou shalt... Use this ability to...

WARNINGS

There will generally be only a few or none in this category. The wording of these lines should make them clear. The important thing is that when warnings are given, they must be carefully noted. Highlight any of these in a

third color, and impress them upon your own mind.

Sister, never..
Do not..

COVENANTS/PROMISES

These statements can be identified as statements where a blessing is mentioned which is connected with certain things you must do to receive the blessing; some examples:

Thy friends shall be a special blessing unto thee..inasmuch as thou shalt select for thine close associates those who are righteous.

If thou wilt give of thy time and talents in building up the Kingdom of God...thou shalt gain a certain testimony that Jesus is the Christ.

http://www.theideadoorfiles.com/index.php/relief-society/95-relief-society/additional-rs-meetings/891-patriarchal-blessing

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Update

I started a fourth blog!  Lindsey Unedited I know I must be absolutely insane. I felt like I needed a place where I could write about the everyday things in life. I always have so much I want to say and write about but my other blogs as well as Facebook just weren't the right places to do it. I hope you check it and I hope to hear from you. Also, I'll sill be posting here as well so don't be a stranger!

Lindsey