Thursday, December 8, 2016

Living a Life Outside of the Box

Sometimes we are afraid to find inspiration in places outside of our comfort zone. I received an invitation from a friend this holiday season to attend a play she was performing in at her church. Right away I marked it on my calendar and was excited to go see her perform and feel of the Spirit. A couple days later I learned of others in our circle who had also been invited but were hesitant to attend because they weren't comfortable being in a church that was of another religion. They felt some anxiety about it and worried that the members might put them on the spot about their beliefs and put them in an awkward position.

The friend who was performing in the play had attended my daughter's baptism earlier this year and she was also a bit uncomfortable being in our church and feeling some anxiety. Instead of sitting with our family she sat in the back. When it came time for pictures she exited the building and hid in the parking lot until it was time to go. She felt great anxiety - the same fears our circle of friends were feeling about going to her church.

I found it interesting that most people don't have a problem inviting others to events at their church, but when the coin is flipped - they aren't as comfortable or thrilled being the one invited. This, along with some other recent events inspired me to make this video. Because I am a person who lives outside of the box, I am excited to gain from others who are not of my same faith. I think most people that know me would be surprised to see the list of books I read, the mentors I follow, and the videos I watch, because they are from a variety of sources that have religious differences. I enjoy hearing how others of different faiths deal with issues that I can relate with - parenting, marriage, standing up for what you believe in, increasing faith and hope, etc. I love hearing different perspectives and often receive helpful insight that I had never thought of before. I have come to learn that we have more in common than we do differences. Our values, our goals, our dreams, our hopes, our love for God, are the bridge that can bring us together.

We don't have to agree on doctrinal issues or feel that our faith may be in jeopardy if we open ourselves to understand another's perspective. It's that fear that keeps us held back in our lives. It's that fear that influences our level of happiness. I have witnessed those within my own church allowing fear or lack of understanding to keep them from experiencing some beautiful opportunities and even friendships. Also, I have witnessed others from outside of my church, doing the same.

There was a time in my life when I was afraid to live outside of my box. Then I learned that when you put limits on the Spirit, you put limits on your own spiritual growth. When we step outside of what we are comfortable and familiar with, we can experience soaring to greater heights of happiness!



Here is the video that I spoke of in my video above.

https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/hope-works/we-arent-gods-only-people-samuel-hislop-hope-works

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The R's of the Sacrament

Last Sunday it was our ward conference. During Sunday school, a councilman from the stake was teaching a lesson on the Sacrament and what it means to us. When he asked, "What does the sacrament mean to you?" a bunch of 'R' words came into my mind which led to a very deep thought that I couldn't help but share on this blog. Hope you enjoy!

To me, the holy ordinance of the Sacrament means:


Reflect - We reflect back on the week and talk to the Lord about our choices and actions.
Repent - We repent of any transgressions or sins that we committed.
Remission - The Savior puts them into remission, so they no longer can harm us.
Recommit - We commit again to the will of the Lord and keeping His commandments.
Renew - We renew our baptismal covenant with the Lord and again receive His spirit to be with us.
Redeemed - By doing this we are redeemed from the fall by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He saves us!

All of these 'R' words in action equal LIFE! Yes, to partake of the sacrament and to renew our covenants with the Lord, means choosing to live!

There are many ways you can look at this. Life for all of our bodies - our physical body, spiritual body, emotional body, mental body etc. When these bodies are living we are truly alive. When we are promoting life with our spirit, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, our behaviors and choices, then we are choosing life for our soul. The soul is the union of the body and spirit.

With every thought, feeling, emotion, choice, action, or behavior we are either regressing or progressing - going backward or forward. When we regress, we move closer to death. When we progress we grow and move forward towards life. This can be with our spirit or physical body. What we put in our body, the way we treat our body, the way we talk to ourselves, what we fill our mind with (images, music, and words) - all of these promote/invite life or death.

In the Bible Dictionary under "death" it reads: But death is also the consequence of our own sins. The symptoms of sin can many times be physical. The stress, anxiety, doubt, worry and fear that we carry as a result of our sins (small or big) can physically weigh upon us. Those effects often manifest into physical pain or illness. Anything that tears your body or spirit down, is regression. Regression of the body and spirit leads to death.

I can testify that when we use the atonement we pull ourselves away from death and closer to eternal life! We give that pain and discomfort to the Savior, and in doing so we choose life! The atonement is something we can use every day. By doing so, we can experience better health, peace of mind, and blessings from the Lord. When Sunday rolls around - we can focus better on renewing our covenants  and recommitting. By using the atonement each day of the week, we can be better prepared to take the sacrament. We can have better clarity and be more open to what the Spirit needs to teach us.

Every morning I ask the Lord to forgive me of anything I have done the day before, that was out of alignment with His will for me. Any transgression or sin that I committed (all negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are not serving me), I give them to the Savior and ask Him to take them from me. Many times, I physically feel lighter after I do this. Then I tell the Lord that I open my heart to Him, and I ask Him to fill my heart with His light and love, and to change me from the inside out. I As I do this daily, I find myself looking forward to Sunday. I'm happy to be at church and I look forward to the sacrament and feeling the Lord's spirit there.

The atonement and the sacrament go hand in hand. Remember these 6 R's I mentioned above, the next time you prepare to take the sacrament. And let me add a 7th - you will feel Reverence as you do this. :)

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Testimony of the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon from an Unlikely Witness

I am reading the late John Pontius' book, Journey to the Veil, and very much enjoying it. I was a fan of his blog before he passed away in 2012. I was reminded of this blog post that he shared about an experience he had while on his mission in South Africa. I LOVE this experience and wanted to share!

Die Boek van Mormon

I was searching through my books in storage a few days ago and came across a first edition of the Book of Mormon in Afrikaans. I served a mission in South African from 1971 to 1973. I had interesting and challenging experiences. But this was one of the most riveting.

I attended the special conference in Johannesburg on May 14, 1972, when the new translation of the Book of Mormon into Afrikaans (Die Boek van Mormon) was presented. It was an electric moment. People wept. Some had waited all of their lifetimes to read the Book of Mormon in Afrikaans. Many people had learned English for the sole purpose of reading this scripture. The Spirit was strong among us as we rejoiced.

Remembering back more than forty years, I can still remember Professor Felix Mijnhardt as he spoke of his experience in translating that sacred book. We also had a special zone conference a few days prior where our mission president, Harlan Clark, recounted his involvement with and experience of the translation of the Book of Mormon. I had a good friend who was an assistant to President Clark, who later shared with me his experiences of being in meetings with Professor Mijnhardt and Elder Clark several times. I can no longer remember who said what exactly, but I remember what I felt, and how it affected my newly-minted testimony as a young missionary. I will retell it as best as I can recall.

Professor Mijnhardt was invited to come to the stand and speak about his experience in translating the Book of Mormon. He recounted how he had been given a gift of languages from God from his youth. He said that he was fluent in over sixty languages. He was presently employed at Pretoria University as a language professor. He said he had been praying that the Lord would give him some task, some divinely important task, that would justify his having this gift of language from God.

He said that in about 1970 he had visited a group of Mormon leaders, including a Bishop Brummer, Mission President Harlan Clark, and others, who sought to commission him to translate the Book of Mormon from English into Afrikaans. He said that he knew of the Book of Mormon from his religions studies, and his initial reaction was that he did not want to be involved in translating it.

However, that evening as he prayed upon his knees, as was his habit, the Spirit of the Lord convicted him. The message was something on the order of, “You asked me for a great, divinely inspired task of translation, I sent it to you in the form of translating the Book of Mormon, and you declined.” Professor Mijnhardt said he could not sleep through the night because he knew that translating the Book of Mormon would get him into trouble with his university, which was owned and operated by the Dutch Reformed Church. When morning came he agreed to begin the translation immediately.

Standing at the pulpit, he described the experience. He said something like, “I never begin translating a book at the beginning. Writing style usually changes throughout a book and becomes more consistent toward the middle. Accordingly, I opened to a random place in the middle of the Book of Mormon, and began translating.”

He said, “I was startled by the obvious fact that the Book of Mormon was not authored in English. It became immediately apparent that what I was reading was a translation into English from some other language. The sentence structure was wrong for native English. The word choices were wrong, as were many phrases.”

He asked, “How many times has an Englishman said or written, ‘And it came to pass’?” We all laughed, and knew he was right, of course.

He explained that when he realized this, he knew that he had to find either the original language or a median language, and then proceed to translate it into Afrikaans. He listed a half-dozen languages he tried, all of which did not accommodate the strange sentence structure found in the Book of Mormon. He said he finally tried Egyptian, and to his complete surprise, he found that the Book of Mormon translated flawlessly into Egyptian—not modern, but ancient Egyptian. He found that some nouns were missing from Egyptian, so he used Hebrew nouns where Egyptian did not provide the word or phrase. He chose Hebrew because both languages existed in the same place anciently.

He said he had no idea at that time why the Book of Mormon was once written in Egyptian, but he said that without any doubt, the Book of Mormon had been authored in Egyptian or a language with very similar syntax. I heard him say this over and over. Then, he said, “Imagine my utter astonishment when I turned to chapter one, verse one, and began my actual translation, and came to verse two, where Nephi explains that he was writing in the language of the Egyptians, with the learning of the Jews!”

He said, “I knew by the second verse that this was no ordinary book, that it was not the writings of Joseph Smith, but that it was of ancient origin. I could have saved myself months of work if I had just begun at the beginning. Nobody but God—working through a prophet of God, in this case Nephi—would have included a statement of the language he was writing in. Consider how many documents written in English include the phrase, ‘I am writing in English’! It is unthinkable and absolute proof of the inspired origins of this book.”

He noted that he was one of the few people in the world with any knowledge of old Egyptian writing. He was certainly the only person who was also fluent in Afrikaans and English. He indicated that when a verse would not translate directly into English, he used Egyptian as a tool to arrive at a correct translation into Afrikaans.

Professor Mijnhardt spoke of many other things regarding the translation of this book and then said, “I do not know what Joseph Smith was before he translated this book, and I do not know what he was afterward, but while he translated this book, he was a prophet of God! I know he was a prophet! I testify to you that he was a prophet while he brought forth this book! He could have been nothing else! No person in 1827 could have done what he did. The science did not exist. The knowledge of ancient Egyptian did not exist. The knowledge of these ancient times and ancient peoples did not exist. The Book of Mormon is scripture. I hope you realize this.”

“I have since been asked to translate the book you call the Doctrine and Covenants. I got part way through and set it down. It is not like the Book of Mormon. Anyone could translate it into Afrikaans. It is not scripture in the same sense that the Book of Mormon is scripture. I declare that the Book of Mormon is of ancient origin, and is scripture of the same caliber as the Old Testament, or for that matter, the New Testament.”

“I have taken this book of scripture, this Book of Mormon, and presented it to my Board of Regents, and urged them to embrace it as scripture. They declined, of course. I took it to the head of our Dutch Reformed Church and demonstrated why the Book of Mormon is scripture, and urged them to at least study it, even if they did not canonize it or even share it with the people of the church. I urged them to just think what having a new and profound book of scripture could mean to the church–to my church, the Dutch Reformed Church. I pointed out that they need not become Mormons, in the same way that they did not need to become Jews to embrace the Old Testament. They considered my presentation for a very few seconds and then rejected it. They next threatened me regarding my belief in the Book of Mormon, threatened my employment, and ejected me from their presence. I am deeply disappointed, but I am not deterred. I will keep promoting this book as scripture for the remainder of my life–simply because it is scripture, and I know it.”

He paused, then added, “I am not a member of your church, and do not expect to become one. I have been asked many times why I have not joined your church, and my answer is because God has not directed me to join you. If He had, I would be standing here as a fellow Mormon. Perhaps my mission in life is better served outside of your church. I haven’t studied your doctrine or your history since Joseph Smith. The only thing I know about you is that you have authentic, ancient scripture in the Book of Mormon, and that all of the world should embrace the Book of Mormon as scripture. It simply can’t be denied. I believe every religion could embrace the Book of Mormon without becoming a Mormon. You probably disagree with that, but it is my present belief, and my message to anyone who will listen.”

I have pondered that experience for half of a century now. I do not know whether Professor Mijnhardt ever joined the Church. I know my memory of his exact words is wanting, but my memory of what I felt and what I knew and how potent it was to hear his testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is one of those things that I will never forget.

–Brother John


For more accounts from John Pontius’ life, please read “Journey to the Veil”, located here.

* Terri’s note: For anyone interested, the current location of the transcript for the May 14, 1972 Transvaal Stake meeting in Johannesburg is in the Church History Library, call number LR 9256 24, Folder 1.

https://unblogmysoul.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/die-boek-van-mormon/

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Interesting Discovery that Resemble Moroni's People

I have been prompted to ponder and learn about blood types. I am Rh Negative and there is so much mystery behind it. I know there is something I am to learn about it that will be very important to me, however most information that exists is plagued with conspiracy theories and ideas that just feel a bit off the beaten path. I truly feel that what I am to learn about it, cannot be found online and will be provided through personal revelation, and that most information currently given is inaccurate.

While sorting through information online, I found a blog that contained this article below. I was able to verify this information and found it very interesting. After reading it, I couldn't help but think about Moroni 9. If you have read the Book of Moroni then you are familiar Moroni's account of the demise of his people. the Nephites (on the American continent). As described earlier by the prophet Nephi, the Nephites were a "fair and delightsome people". 4 Nephi 1:10

Moroni describes their destruction as his people choose wickedness and are no longer protected by the hand of the Lord. Moroni (a righteous prophet) becomes the last surviving Nephite on the run, and dies alone. His people are killed off by the Lamanites.

Here are Moroni's words:

7 And now I write somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children.

 8 And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them.

 9 And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—

 10 And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.

 11 O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization—

 12 (And only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people)

 13 But O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in so much abomination—

 14 How can we expect that God will stay his hand in judgment against us?

A discovery made in 1911 in Nevada is interestingly similar in description to the description of Moroni's people. Red-headed, fair skinned people who were killed off by Native American coalitions. According to Paiute oral history, the Si-Te-Cah or Sai'i are a legendary tribe of red-haired cannibalistic giants (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovelock_Cave)

Here is the article I pasted:

A cave near Lovelock, Nevada, (about 80 miles north east of the city of Reno in that state) has produced several sets of mummies, bones, and artifacts buried under several layers of bat excrement - the desiccated bodies belonged to a very tall people - with red hair. Once again, only White Nordics fit the bill with regard to stature and hair color.

In fact, red-haired enemies feature in local Indian legends - or what were thought legends until the discovery of the Lovelock mummies. (The locals Indians are the Paiutes, the same ones who object to the scientific investigation of the Spirit Cave Mummy). According to these legends, the red haired enemies centered on these tall troublemakers whom they called the "Si-Te-Cah."

Significantly, the name Si-Te-Cah means "tule eaters" - tule being the fibrous reed which is the base material of the mats in which the Spirit Cave Mummy was buried. Tule is no longer found in the region and was likely imported along with the people who used it.

According to the Paiute, the red-haired peoples were warlike, and a number of the Indian tribes joined together in a long war against them. According to the Indian legend, after a long struggle, a coalition of Indian tribes trapped the remaining Si-Te-Cah in what is now called Lovelock Cave. When they refused to come out, the Indians piled brush before the cave mouth and set it aflame. The Si-Te-Cah were incinerated.

Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, daughter of Paiute Chief Winnemucca, related many stories about the Si-Te-Cah in her book "Life Among the Paiutes."

On page 75, she relates: "My people say that the tribe we exterminated had reddish hair. I have some of their hair, which has been handed down from father to son. I have a dress which has been in our family a great many years, trimmed with the reddish hair. I am going to wear it some time when I lecture. It is called a mourning dress, and no one has such a dress but my family."

In 1931, further skeletons were discovered in the Humboldt Lake bed. Eight years later, a mystery skeleton was unearthed on a ranch in the region. In each case, the skeletons were exceptionally tall - much taller than the surrounding Amerinds.

There is a small display on the Si-Te-Cah in the Lovelock museum today, but it ignores the evidence which indicates that the Si-Te-Cah were not Amerinds. The Nevada State Historical Society also displays some artifacts from the cave.

-----

Very interesting indeed! Would love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Dream I Just Had

I've made an effort over the last couple of weeks to try to remember my dreams right when I wake up. I then write them down in my phone and search the meanings. I've been finding that the more I do this, the more I am starting to remember, and the more I am noticing answers in my dreams to waking questions.

I've also been experiencing people playing key roles in my dreams whom I believe are my ancestors and angels. They have been teaching me so much and guiding me in clear directions.

The other night I had a dream that really cleared up a situation going on in my present life. I was so grateful for it. The night before I had "gone with my gut" on something that my head told me to leave alone. I wondered later if that was the right choice even though it felt right and I know that going with your feelings always trumps your logic (that's what I teach). Well, my dream confirmed that to me. In fact what was so interesting is that I typed in the word "flower" into the dream dictionary and instead of "flower" coming up, a very specific species of flower came up that I had only heard of a few times in my life. I googled the flower and looked at the image and it was the exact flower in my dream! Someone sure wanted me to find that. As I read the meaning of that flower in the dream dictionary it was spot on to what had just happened the night before.

At the end of the dream, something very interesting happened. I was shown a necklace with something on it that looked like a compass or meter of some sort. I was told that it was a spiritual tool I had been given in Heaven but for some reason, mine hadn't been activated for use on Earth. I was told I needed to activate it.

When I woke up I began to google different kinds of meters and when the image of a barometer came up - that was the one! I had never seen one before until now. It was amazing because a week prior I had been feeling as though there was a storm cloud looming over me for a short while. I couldn't figure out why. I then had a dream that told me exactly why. It was some negative feelings I was harboring about someone in my life that I thought I had let go, but I hadn't. I was able to use the atonement and give those feelings to the Savior. I even made a video about it because it was so profound.


So, the barometer measures pressure. It can show us when storm clouds are moving in or when sunshine is on the way. Mine hadn't been working and I wasn't able to detect the change in pressure (spiritually speaking). I was taken by complete surprise. It got me thinking that we all have a spiritual barometer that tells us when we are in God's presence and when we have left it. Is there someone or something in your life that you are not at peace with? Your indication will be the peace that you do or do not feel in ALL areas of your life.

The barometer is only a tool for measuring, it's up to you to make the changes in your spiritual weather system by going to the Lord and asking for His help. Only He can remove the clouds and shine His light upon you. Only He can save you from your own spiritual turbulents.

I googled "spiritual barometer" and found many blogs where people have made the same analogy and connection. I am amazed! So, today I prayed to the Lord asking Him to activate my spiritual barometer and you know what? I think He did. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This is How You Enjoy the Journey!

Here's the debut of my newest video for "Another Door Opens". Poking fun at what we call "failure" and reminding everyone that a closed door always leads to a better door - so just enjoy the journey! When you have faith in the Lord that all will be well and that He's always in control, life becomes fun!



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Singing My Testimony!

Bethany has such a beautiful voice and I knew that she could convey the message of this song in such a powerful way. I love songwriting and it's my hope that this song & video GIVES hope!

This song solidifies my testimony that our Father in Heaven listens to our prayers and our Savior walks along side us to take us through our own dark nights. It's a reminder that sun always comes up and the Son is always there to give us that perfect brightness of hope!

I say this in His name, Jesus Christ amen.

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Stand up Tall

This should be the theme song for this blog! I wrote this song for today's youth and just debuted the video today! Please feel free to share it. Standing for truth and what is right is never a bad thing! :)


Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Special Surprise!

My new album "Outside the Box"  is finally here! It's been such a special project and I'm glad it's finally come to fruition. It's uplifting, Christ-centered music that I was inspired to write. The entire album has a message and a theme that's near and dear to my heart. You can read all about it, stream the entire album for free, and watch videos at the this link to my music page. I hope you enjoy!

http://lindseyrietzsch.blogspot.com/p/singer-songwriter.html


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Prayers and Dreams

My sweet five-year-old, Cambrey had a dream last week that she was so eager to share with me. She said that we were camping in a tent with our family. We prayed and then went outside of our tent. Suddenly an angel appeared in the sky and said, "Jesus will visit you soon" After that Jesus came down on a cloud and began to tell us many important things. She couldn't remember what he said, but remembered it being very special and important. After that, Jesus joined us in the car on the drive back home. He sat in the backseat and told us lots of great things. Then He went back up to Heaven on the cloud. She was beaming as she shared this with me,

A week prior, she had found some pretty pink crystals in the basement. They were scattered about on the floor in a way meant just for her. Almost like a trail someone had made. No one in the family had ever seen them before. When I asked her whose they were, she said they were a gift to her from Jesus. She said, "Mom, Jesus knows that I love crystals and that pink is my favorite color. He did this just for me!" She was so happy, she took them to show-and-tell at preschool and told everyone what had happened.

I have been fasting and praying over the past few months to have a personal witness of my Savior and to see Him face to face and talk with Him. I know it sounds like a big request, but I also know that He tells us to ask and we shall receive. No request is too big for the Lord. When I heard my daughter say, "Jesus will visit you soon", I couldn't help but feel that message was just for me. It was a beautiful and tender mercy.

I know that the Lord hears our prayers and they are important to Him. He knows the desires of our hearts and it pleases Him when we ask for them in faith. He wants to bless us with what we ask for. Never give up on your prayers and never give up on the Lord.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Surprise!

Well, this is as Indie as it gets!  I've been working on a Christ-Centered album over the past few months. It's been so rewarding and fun to make. I tapped into my singer/songwriter gifts and here is the result!

This is the first track release from my new album, "Outside the Box". The track is called, "Through the Night". The album is set to be released next month and features a lot of local talent. I'm so excited!

Here is a link to more details about my music, and I pasted an interview I did about the song and album, below. It really was a special experience!


Tell Us About Your Album Title

"I love to think about how God cannot be kept in a box. Sometimes we put limits on Him, when in reality He is so much more than we realize. When we step outside the box, we begin to see the incredible hand of God in our lives in a way we never thought possible. Our faith is strengthened, our hope is lifted, and we step into a new light."


What is "Through the Night" About?

"This heart-felt song represents the desperate and weary plea of someone who has tried to overcome deep trials and challenges on their own. When the breaking point has been reached at the end of a long day, the only option is to turn to the Lord and ask for His love, grace and will to be done. When we ask, He sends us that peace and we realize we can make it through anything with His help.

It was actually written in a major key, but changed into a minor to reflect the mood of the lyrics. The song then lifts into a major key as the lyrics reflect faith and triumph."


What Can We Find on the Album?

"This album features first single release from 2012, "Faith is", as well as guitar performances by Michael Dowdle, vocal contributions by EFY artist Brinleigh Kinne, a bonus track cover of "Through the Night" featuring vocalist Bethany Gainer, a vocal appearance of local musician Troy Langston, and a beautiful new rendition of the hymn 'Lord I Would Follow Thee' - all produced by the very talented, award winning  Mark Stephenson (MAS Studios)".

What's the Inspiration Behind the Video?

"When we are at the end of our rope, and ready to plead our case to the Lord, it's usually at the end of the day, in our home, on our bed, the couch, the porch, or wherever we can find solace. When we talk to Him, we are alone. For this reason the video was filmed in my home. Different shots of places where I usually speak to Him. The sunset was key in the video. Not only representing the end of the day, it also represents "the Son". When we face the Son, we can give Him our pain, suffering and worries and He shines His Light on us. He points us in a better direction.

I always involve my family in my projects - especially my kids. They love to be a part of what I do. Their feedback is so important to me. Each of my kids took turns being the camera man, and when I needed at least a few still shots, my husband took over. They helped during the editing process as well. Their favorite part though, was coming into the studio and singing on the track, "Stand Up Tall".

What Was it Like, Making This Album?

"Writing these songs and being able to sing them, was an incredible experience I will always treasure. This album has a nice mixture of fun, upbeat Christian/folk, contemporary ballads, peaceful hymn elements, and raw, heartfelt energy. The songs have great hooks, are catchy but even more importantly, they have a deep message. This album is a gift for my family and a legacy of love for my posterity to cherish.

The music was Divinely inspired and helped me tap into a new area of musical gifts that has elevated my entire being. It was so much fun inviting others to be a part of this project. I'm honored to showcase local talent, and give a spotlight to all the amazing people in my community who contributed their gifts and time on this album. I'm so excited to be able to share it with the world, and hope that it finds it's way into the lives of all those will be touched by it's message."

What Inspired You to Get Involved with Music?


Music has a powerful influence over us - I have felt that many times. There's enough music in this world that sells us lies and changes our paradigms for the negative. I wanted to be a part of influencing the world for good.

The music I write doesn't come from me, it comes from Above. It's all about the Lord and the messages He shares with me. I want my kids to have music that helps remind them who they really are, where they come from, and what they are capable of. It's so rewarding when they get my songs stuck in their heads. It's so cute to hear their sweet voices singing the words that I wrote. They are my smallest, yet biggest fans, and it makes all of the hard work worth it.

What Advice Can You Give to Other Christ Centered Indie Songwriters, Authors, etc?

While working on the video, there were days when the adversary would cast doubts in my mind. The video wasn't "good enough", my voice wasn't "good enough", people were going to criticize my work, and it would distract from the message of my song, etc. But then one day I heard a voice say, "You will always be good enough for Me, and that's all that matters." Shortly afterward, I heard a song come on the radio that crushed all my doubts. I smiled because it's the same advice I always teach in my workshops and videos but I needed to hear it from someone else. The song is called, "It's Not About You" by Davis Handley.


There's a line in the chorus says, "It's not about you, it's for the people who are blessed by what you do." That's the truth. Whenever you are nervous or afraid to share your gifts or be in the spotlight remember who it's really about - and all your fear will go away.  When you are afraid, who are you listening to? The adversary puts the focus on us - fear comes from him - but the Lord helps us put our focus on other people, and we find peace. When I speak, write books, present, or sing, I'm speaking, writing, and singing to "the one". The one person who I know was the reason for why I was inspired to share my gifts. The one person I may never meet. God is using me as an instrument in His hands to bless the one."


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Surprise Text


**UPDATE** right after I published this post, Misty texted me! Talk about in tune with the Spirit. We chatted for a while and we are going to collaborate with each other, with our gifts. It's amazing how God gives us all different gifts, and when we come together and share them - we become a powerful force to be reckoned with. :)

***

A few weeks ago I received a text out of the blue from someone I met a year-and-a-half ago. Before you understand the power of that text, I have to fill you in on the story.

18 months ago, I was standing in a corner of a room chatting with some ladies I had met at a class. The class had ended and we were enjoying refreshments and making small talk. Now, I didn't need to attend this class, I had already attended it months prior, but for some reason I felt I was supposed to go. So I paid the $20 and drove to Farmington.

About this time, I was telling these ladies that I didn't learn anything new, but felt I was supposed to be there - not sure why.Right after mentioning that, a lady I had never met or spoken to before walked across the room, came up to me and said, "I have a message I'm supposed to share with you."

Yes, my spirit antennas went up. She continued, "I know this sounds strange and you don't know me, but I have a gift. I'm getting such a powerful message about you, and I feel prompted to share. I seldom do this, but when the Spirit prompts, I obey. Here's my card. Call me anytime, and I'd love to share with you."

The next day I called her and she was kind enough to talk to me for two hours on the phone. I had a pen and paper in hand as she shared with me everything she was feeling. She spoke of fears of mine (that no one would know), obstacles I'm facing, but most important she told me that I'm to be a teacher/leader - it was part of my mission and I wasn't doing it because I was afraid. She spoke in powerful parables and I'd ask her to explain. It was the language of the Spirit and it was beautiful. She encouraged me to lose my fear of man and trust the Lord. It was a phone call that changed my life.

The next day, after a second confirmation through a well known public speaker who said, "If you are in this room right now, you are supposed to be a teacher. You are here for a reason. You need to teach others how to be a bright light in this world." - again my spirit antennas went up. I knew that I was to teach the things that I knew, that had made my life better and brighter. That was the day I began teaching classes and shortly after being asked to speak at conferences.

Now several months later, a turn of unexpected events happened that caused me to worry about putting myself in the spotlight. These events caused me to be fearful of what others thought of me and the fear of being misunderstood. When the fear would subside and I'd get going again, another event would knock me to my feet. Yes, it was the adversary and I didn't want to let him win, but I decided to take a break from teaching/speaking so I could go back to a quieter life of normalcy.

This quiet period went on for several months. I was comfortable and just focused on me and my family. Then one day, I began to wonder about teaching again. It popped into my head several times on a certain day, but I would just push it away to the back of my mind. However that changed when later that evening at 11:00 pm, I got a text from this lady, "Misty" who had spoken with me on the phone 18 months prior. The text said that I was on her mind and she need to talk to me.

The next day she called me and we spoke as long as we could. Then, she'd call me again, and we'd text back and forth. This went on all day, and I was so grateful to her willingness to obey the Spirit and take the time to share her thoughts, feelings and wisdom with me.

She told me that she had stumbled across my business card while cleaning her office and had a strong feeling that something wasn't right with me - I had stopped teaching. Again, she encouraged me to share my knowledge and gifts and teach! It was the basis of my mission and when I wasn't doing it, my spirit was sad. She knew this and I knew it.

The spirit had been impressing these nudges upon my mind, but I wasn't listening. I needed a phone call - someone to tell me loud and clear what I had already been feeling. And so I listened. I've started teaching and speaking again - and it feels great!

When thoughts impress upon your heart and mind - realize they are from the Spirit. If they promote good, they are of the Lord. Don't push them aside - you could miss out on an opportunity that will change your life. Always listen the first time and act upon what you are prompted to do. As you do this, the Spirit will speak to you more often and you will begin to notice and hear. Life will fall into place.

This I testify in the name of Jesus Christ amen.




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beautiful Witness - Christ Heals


The other night as I was putting my girls to bed, I took the opportunity to to teach them about using the atonement to heal bad thoughts and images. I asked my girls if there was ever anything that they had seen or heard that they didn't like. They said, "yes". I then asked them if that image or thought ever replays in their mind. They said, "yes". 


I taught them that if they ask Jesus to take those images and thoughts from their mind, He will! I encouraged them to have a relationship with Heavenly Father and His Son, and promised them that life will get so much better by doing so.

The next morning, my older daughter Paisley, sat across from me at the breakfast table and said, "Mom, I had a special dream last night."

"Will you share?" I asked.

"Yes," she said, "I dreamed that Jesus was putting his hands on people's heads and blessing them. I was one of those people. He blessed me!"

"Really?" I asked with enthusiasm, "Did you see His face?"

"No," she said. "Our eyes were closed like we were praying or sleeping. We did not open our eyes but we could hear his voice and feel his hands."

"Did you ask Him last night to heal your mind of any thoughts?" I asked a little curious.

"Yes Mom," she beamed, "I did it twice!"

"Sweetheart," I said, "I believe you received a witness of what happens when you make that request. You got to see Jesus healing your mind. And those other people were probably people who prayed the same prayer last night."

What a beautiful tender mercy and testament that our minds can be cleansed of anything through the Savior. He heals us! He cares about the request of a seven-year-old girl enough to allow her to witness His love for her in a beautiful dream. I hope this experience inspires you to develop a closer relationship with your Father in Heaven and His Son. There isn't anything He cannot heal you from. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Peace, Prayer, and Power (a Recent Experience)

A little over a week ago I had some very exciting news happen, out of the blue. At the time I thought it was one of my biggest dreams coming true and a long-time prayer being answered. I was so excited that I beamed the entire day and nothing could have stopped me from being so happy that day....well, or so I thought.

Later that evening, as I investigated the good news I received, I saw that it wasn't at all what I had thought it to be. As I looked over the company's website again and again just to make sure that there wasn't a small ounce of hope I could hang on to, or something I had misunderstood, I quickly realized this was not an answer to my prayer. It was not at all what I had envisioned earlier that day.

Right away I felt a punch to the gut as reality sank in. All of that adrenaline and those endorphins, gone. What I thought was an opportunity that was going to take my dreams to the next level was nothing of the sort at all. Reminding myself that I need to always practice what I preach, I began to praise and thank the Lord for this experience. I praised Him for what I was to learn from it. I let Him know that I still had hope, but that I was also running low on motivation.

Over the next five days I felt zapped of positive energy. As I let each of my family members know (who had been there when I received the exciting surprise phone call) that I had turned down the "opportunity" as it was not what I thought it was, it felt as though someone was standing over me with a giant hammer and pounding my dreams and hopes to pieces. No matter what I did, this heaviness and devastation followed me around. I couldn't seem to shake it.

I thought about in that moment of excitement and shock, how I had put down the phone and prayed to my Heavenly Father and thanked Him for blessing me with this dream come true. Then I proceeded to tell my parents and siblings, and their families how you should never give up on your dreams and how Heavenly Father always has something amazing planned for us if we have hope, faith, and we ask. It was as though I gave the speech before accepting the Grammy - and the Grammy went to someone else. My family (who many had abandoned their dreams), must have been thinking, when is she going to finally stop dreaming?

One day, while praying and contemplating all of this, I told the Lord that I just wanted to get lost in service. In that moment, I felt that service was the only way out of this lingering disappointment. Just then I noticed an opportunity on a radio station website, to pray for people. It was a list of random people throughout the country who added themselves to a prayer list and specified what they were in need of. Some needed to feel love, others desired healing, and some just peace of mind or comfort. So, I clicked on the list.

 As random names and requests popped up, I began to pray for each person and their circumstance. As I said each name out loud, I could feel an overwhelming sense of love that our Father in Heaven has for each child. It was as though He was allowing me to feel that love, and as I pleaded on their behalf, I could feel a connection to each of these people and they were no longer just names on a computer screen.

I have always kept a prayer list in a binder for when I say my personal prayers. I add names to it often as I come across friends, neighbors and strangers that are in need - this way I don't forget anyone. There have even been times when people have called me and asked me to pray for them because they call me a "prayer warrior" - and I have added their names to my list. I have to say however, that praying for complete strangers, without understanding their full circumstances was a completely different experience. There was something very healing about it.

After an afternoon of praying, I felt an enormous sense of peace come over me, like I have never felt before. I can't explain it but I know it came from God. That heaviness and disappointment was gone! In fact, what's so strange about it is, I noticed that little things that used to bother me no longer bothered me at all. Past memories that were not so pleasant in my life suddenly had no unpleasant feelings attached to them. It was as though I had been cut free of all doubts, worries, fears, anxieties etc. I didn't have very many to begin with, but I had enough to realize there was such a big difference in my life now.

This amazing and incredible peace has stayed with me for over a week now. It's an enormous feeling of "all is well and all will stay well". Later that day, after praying for others, I received an email from a company in California letting me know they are interested in possibly extending the opportunity to me that I had been praying for. This time instead of great excitement or even doubts from the previous experience, I felt an amazing sense of peace with this email. I responded by thanking them and then putting it into the Lord's hands. I believe this was the motivation I had asked for. Later that evening, random readers, strangers and friends, connected with me through social media and each thanked me for something I had inspired them with. Again, the Lord was sending me motivation to keep on doing what I'm doing, and to keep on dreaming.

I know that as we forget about disappointments and worries in our own lives, and we hand everything over to the Lord while losing ourselves in service, He will bless us with His peace.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Here is a link to the prayer list - if you'd like to join!

http://www.klove.com/ministry/prayer/pray.aspx?cta=prayforsomeone

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Miracle Almost Unnoticed

Last Sunday, we were on our way to the Provo Temple dedication. It was me, my husband and our son Gabe. When we opened up the house door to the garage we realized that the garage door was wide open. We had checked the night before and made sure it was closed, so this was puzzling.

We checked through the garage to make sure nothing had been stolen and all seemed well. So, we hopped in the car and headed on over to the church. Just as we were turning left through the intersection, we heard a loud noise and the car jumped. Almost like we had driven over something and it popped the tire or broke the wheel. As we continued to drive, the car made a weird sound from the back and it seemed to wobble and shake as if we had a flat tire or something worse. As we looked out the back window and all around, there was nothing in the rode we could have driven over - not even a hole. It was a smooth, clean intersection.

Suddenly Gabe and I came to the same speculation. What if the adversary had opened our garage? What if he had tried to mess with our car so that we would miss the temple dedication? Gabe and I both realized that we had forgot to ask for protection in our prayers the night before - something we always asked for. In that moment I had a feeling of peace come over me. I could see in my mind angels coming to the rescue and repairing the problem while we were driving. I knew that by the time we stopped the car - we'd find nothing.

The car continued to wobble as we pulled into the church and parked. We all jumped out and checked the back tires. Nothing! They seemed just fine. We looked under the car and looked at the front tires. Everything was completely normal. So, we headed into the church and enjoyed a beautiful dedication. When we came out, I had the feeling that our car would not wobble anymore and that the angels had fixed it. Sure enough, as we started it and began to pull out, there was no wobble and no sign of anything out of the ordinary. It has now been three days, and the car has had no sign of any kind of trouble.

God is amazing and it's so humbling to think about the many times that He thwarts the enemy's plans - without us even realizing it. How many times have we been on the brink of danger or destruction, but the Lord intervened before we even knew what the enemy was up to? I felt as though in this situation, the enemy was allowed to go so far with his plans so that we would recognize the Lord's hand in our lives in that moment. We would be reminded that when things can't be explained - the Lord is behind it. It's a good thing!

I share my testimony that God is more powerful than the adversary. He is always in control and His will is always triumphant. With that knowledge we can have peace that we don't always have to understand or comprehend the "why" behind the circumstances in our lives. We can just trust that the Lord knows what He is doing, and everything works out for our good in His due time. We just need to trust Him, and then receive His peace. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

I found a similar story online and thought I would share:  http://www.markcole.ca/do-angels-fix-flat-tires/

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Husband's Dream

My husband had a dream two nights ago that there was a storm. All the trees in our yard bent over and broke. Then it moved onto the neighbors yard and their trees also bent over and snapped. He thought it a very strange dream. My husband seldom has dreams, and rarely remembers them or shares them with me. I knew this dream was of importance.

I told him that trees represent the family so this dream would mean that a coming storm is going to try and "break" families. I have seen this already happening in my neighborhood.  

I saw this as reminder that we need to shield our home, property and family daily. A day that goes by without prayer or request of Divine protection, is a day that the adversary can infiltrate. The power of prayer is real. The power of the Hosts of Heaven is mighty.

I'm going to put my prayer emphasis on my neighborhood and all the sweet families in my ward and stake. Every morning and night. I think it's great that we pray for our neighborhoods and communities. We don't have to accept or tolerate darkness. We can call upon Heaven to attack it anytime. As we do this, and then ask for Divine protection to keep darkness from coming back in, we can be triumphant!


My marriage and relationship with my children is the best it has ever been right now. It's too important to leave vulnerable to the enemy. I know we have been blessed because of this daily Divine protection. It's my prayer that other families will not yield to the lies and traps of Satan and that they will have the strength to ask for help, and not try to fight the battle on their own. I know that angels are always standing by ready to come fight on our behalf. We just need to ask.


I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My New Book!

 

I'm so excited to announce this new book! This is why my posts have been scarce lately. I have been working around the clock to get this book written and published. It's very near and dear to my heart and the story behind it is amazing! I'm giving it away as a free gift between today and Saturday on Amazon. Hope it inspires!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Angels Among Us - Incredible Image Caught on Camera

A couple weeks ago, I was on facebook and saw this amazing post in a private group I am a part of. The woman who posted it was in an appointment with a client. She said that she noticed a reflection of a bright image on her screen that was mirroring something behind her. It was moving around very quickly and so she snapped a picture of her screen. Here is what she captured. She said that her client was about to make a very important breakthrough in her life and they both strongly felt that this was one of her angels there supporting her.

This is the best picture I have ever seen of an angel captured on camera. I blacked out the woman's name that was in the photo to protect her privacy. As you may have seen in previous posts, I have been capturing some amazing images of Heaven and have had some incredible experiences. I've told the Lord that I'm happy to be a witness and share of His incredible hand in our lives, and that if He is okay with me sharing, to keep sending these lovely manifestations into my life. And he continues to send them!

I have heard (from some people who have had beyond-the-veil experiences) that these witnesses of Heaven are going to increase on the earth. As the earth prepares for the Savior's return it will become more like Heaven. There will be many more angelic manifestations as Heavenly activity increases. This is why I believe that good things are in store. Miracles and incredible manifestations are going to be the norm in the next few generations!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Prospering in 2016

So much to share! It's a new year with a new perspective. Last week, the Lord put into my mind a new project He wants me to create. Later that night I had a dream that confirmed it and showed me the outcome. I am so happy to share a little bit about it with you.

It's so interesting because around the same time of year - last year, I had a dream from the Lord showing me a project He wanted me to create during 2015. It was the Happy Lady website and videos. This year He wants to continue using me as a mouthpiece of good news and inspiration especially on a more specific topic that's going to benefit and bless all who hear and receive it.

I started out this year telling the Lord that I want and receive His thoughts, His ways, His love, His joy and His will. I've been praying each day for inspiration, motivation, and ideas from above. As I've done this, He has been putting many ideas into my mind and a great deal of inspiration. I've been constantly putting voice notes into my phone because the ideas come when I'm driving, shopping, cleaning etc.

2016 is going to be a wonderful year, I can feel it! He has told me to continue counterbalancing the doom and gloom that's being spread by so many. There are good people who don't even realize that when they spread bad news and fear, they are advertising and marketing for the adversary. They are serving him. It's kind of like gossip - all it does is stir up hearts. It does not serve God in any way.

Satan is behind all the bad headlines and it thrills him when we copy and paste those headlines and send them to all our friends. It's the same concept as how the media no longer spills the full identity on mass killers. They no longer mention their names or identity because they feel it glorifies what they have done and triggers others to want that same glory. When we share all the negative, it gives glory to Satan and what he has done. He loves it and it gives him more power.

I'm going to use this website, all my other websites, social media, gifts and talents etc. to cultivate God's power. I'm going to expose all the good that's happening and how we are to be a part of it. God is behind all the good and I'm going to glorify Him. This is what the Lord has told me to do - very specifically.

When you step into the light and choose to speak life (meaning choosing to speak and share all words that promote life/living) you can be a force for Heaven. Words are powerful weapons - we have to be careful about what we are repeating and sharing. The more we read and speak about the darkness, the more darkness we are putting into our own souls and the souls of others. It works against us, not for us. Weapons of light destroy the enemy. I choose to speak life! I have promised the Lord that I have cleaned out my vocabulary and soul of all words, thoughts and images that are negative and promote death/destruction in any way. I will only speak, support and promote light and life. This is what He wants me to do.

As I become closer to the Lord by doing these things, He is transforming my life. He has asked me to write a book about the connection between prosperity and having a relationship with the Godhead. Not just about the connection but HOW TO connect those two areas in your life. He has shown me specifics! As He shows me, I apply it in my own life and I'm always amazed. He wants me to share those experiences in the book. He wants all who believe in Him and all who receive Him to prosper, because when we prosper, His kingdom grows.

I'm so happy to share all that I've been learning. There is so much!

Stay tuned....