Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Other Churches Teaching that Native Americans Originated from Israel!

This video popped up in my feed yesterday and I was delighted to see that leaders of other Christian faiths are teaching that Native Americans originated from Israel! For me, it’s another witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I was so happy, I left this as my comment below the video.

I love this! Amen :) It supports what I already believe as a fan of the Book of Mormon. A great history of the ancient tribes in America and their record of coming here from Jerusalem, as well as their incredible prophecies about America.

One of their ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon prophesied of the destruction and demise of their future generations in America because in his day they killed off the prophets on the land and turned from the word of God. He said that they would be scattered and smitten by the white Gentiles who would arrive on this land to colonize it. 

1 Nephi 13:12-15 

12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. 

13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. 

14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten. 

15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. 

But there was a prophecy given for their hope and salvation in our day. I love these verses:
 "And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews." 

“And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.” (2 Ne. 30:4–5.) 

"And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.” (1 Ne. 14:1–2.)  

Beautiful scripture ❤️

After posting, I received some unkind comments towards my comment, even though it was from my heart. I did not respond, and I don't wish to expand on what was said.

I follow many different Christian leaders on social media because I am inspired by so many. Their testimonies are additional witnesses to what I already believe and I have even learned some things that were very helpful. I am so grateful for the diversity we have not only within the church but outside of it. 

It brings me so much joy to find common ground and share little bits and pieces of truths with each other that build us up rather than tear us down. Sometimes I find that many in the Christian community are not so kind or accepting towards my own beliefs when they find out I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I am always doing my best to love them anyways and respect their opinions about me. I am hopeful that one day they will see the good fruits of our members and notice the light and the service we freely offer – and give us a chance. A chance at just being friends without judgment or criticism. We can chat about our love for the Savior, our love for His gospel, miracles we have experienced…but as soon as they find out I am Mormon a wall goes up. We shouldn’t see labels on those around us, we should see everyone as a child of God. We are all equally loved by Him, therefore we should love each other just as much as we love Him. 

I am hopeful that one day others who are not favorable of Mormons will understand that our testimonies about what we believe are very real, personal, and sacred to us. If the Spirit had not born witness to our hearts, we would not have a testimony. This applies to members of all faiths. A testimony is a very personal thing. If the Spirit did not bear any witness to you of light and truth about your faith, you would not believe it. We all belong to the churches that we do, because the Spirit guided us to them. They are right for us because we have been guided to them. I cannot tell another person what is “right” for them just as another person cannot tell me what is “right” or “wrong” for me. The Lord knows us and knows our individual needs. He guides us to where we need to be. It is important to respect that. Our paths are all different, we are all at different places in our lives, different levels of light and knowledge, and we are all doing the best we can with what we know. All who follow the Savior Jesus Christ belong to the Church of the Lamb. Our doctrines may differ but our principals are still the same. We can surely unite on that.

Religion is good because it gives us standards to live by. It helps us rise to a higher potential. No matter what church we belong to, if our religion teaches peace and love – then we are in a good church! We all want to share what we believe because it has made us so happy! We want to share that happiness. When guided by the Spirit, I often share my beliefs with others if they seem interested or they ask, however I never force my opinions or beliefs on anyone. Even missionaries are taught to always serve and love all people first. If you have truth you want to share, others will not want to hear it if you are telling them their beliefs are wrong or evil or they have been deceived. Criticizing others for what brings them joy, is a sure sign of personal unhappiness. When someone is truly happy and truly has the Spirit with them, they are at peace and don’t feel the need to criticize others for their differences. The core of the gospel is treating others how you would want to be treated and loving everyone without conditions attached. I am hopeful that someday we’ll get there, or at least close to it!

Not all people in the Christian Community are critical towards Mormons, and yes, there are even some Mormon’s who don’t practice the Golden Rule themselves. Regardless of our experiences with people outside of our faiths, we should seek to give everyone we meet the benefit of the doubt. We should express gratitude that our Father in Heaven has given us free agency so that we can believe what feels right to us. We are all so blessed! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Claim Your Blessings Today!

Several years ago I wanted to run a promotion for my skin care product that I had newly re-branded. I met with the owner of a popular coupon magazine that circulates monthly here in Utah. After receiving advice from a successful local business owner, I decided it would be a fantastic idea to offer my product for free in this magazine! A shipping fee of $9 would cover the cost of the manufacturing on each product as well as packaging, the cost to mail it, and hopefully the cost to place the ad. This same idea with this same shipping amount, offered in this same magazine, is what launched this certain business owner's success. I was so excited to follow suit!

Because my product had been an As Seen on TV product, I had that advantage over the other business owner. I was sure that I would have just as much, if not more success with this offer. I paid the large amount of money for my ad to be featured with fingers crossed that enough people would claim the free product to cover that cost. The ad was big, beautiful, had striking colors and font and my very best before and after pictures. The title of the ad was FREE!! The details explained the coupon was good for one free product (excluding shipping) and explained the benefits of the product with bullet points. I was very excited for it to run.

Without any doubt, I was certain that several hundred people or more would claim this free offer. It was an incredible deal because the product truly was free. The product sold for retail at $20 a jar. In fact, in order to be eligible to place the ad, I had to have 2,000 products made as the magazine owner told me I could expect to surely get half of that as a minimum claimed on my offer.

The day the magazine came in the mail, I opened it up to find my ad. I was so excited! I checked my online store several times a day to see the status. the hours, days, and weeks passed by...nothing. No one claimed my offer. I could not believe it! Towards the end of the month I was amazed to see that one person had claimed my offer. A couple years later when we moved, I became her neighbor and when she learned I was the owner of this product, she told me she had a jar that she had claimed on the free offer. She told me how much she loved it. She had no idea that she was the only one who had claimed the free offer.

For several months I could not wrap my mind around this. I could not believe that only one person saw the value of this offer and claimed it. There were so many people who saw the ad, saw what it could do for their feet, saw that it was free, and all they had to do was go to the link and enter the code. It was so simple! There would never be such a good deal offered again.

Years later, I ran a similar promotion on social media and again, this time, no one claimed the offer. Months passed and I ran another free promotion in which I went to the fan page of my product. I notified everyone on social media that all they had to do was like, share, or comment on the post, and they would be entered in a drawing in which I would pick several winners  to win free product with free shipping! They could enter as many times as they liked and the contest was only 24 hours.

Again, I was amazed. Only a handful of people responded and so every person who entered won. I could not believe how many loyal customers and fans did not make the easy effort to get the product they always purchase for free. I wondered if they doubted they would win, or doubted it was actually free, or just too busy to take the step.

Lastly, I recently held a promotion where I drew several winners who each won $50 of free product plus free shipping. The winners were very excited to have won, however to this day not one of them have claimed their prize. On the contrary, for the past several years, whenever I offer a discount such as buy 5 get 5 free or 50% off, my orders explode. I have learned that when something is free, people do not associate value with it. However, when something  is slightly discounted and the customer must also pay for shipping, they attach a value to that and jump on the opportunity.

As I have pondered this, I made a connection to the Plan of Salvation and our blessings that the Father has in store for us. Salvation is for everyone, you don't have to earn it or pay for it. Jesus already paid the price and His gift is free to all who will just accept it. As simple and incredible as it seems, many do not jump at the opportunity.

Spiritual gifts are also free, they are a gift to us. However, many of us do not claim them.

There are mountains of blessings being stored for each of us, all we have to do is claim them. However, many of us never make the simple effort to claim them. I imagine giant warehouses all over Heaven full of blessings, just sitting on the shelves, waiting to be claimed.

Maybe we are deceived to think that there is catch, nothing can really be free can it? Or, do we think if something is free, it must not be very valuable, so what's the point of checking it out? Or are we simply lazy, thinking it seems like work to have to claim an offer. You have go to the link, click on it, enter your information. Maybe we'll just wait until we have some free time or wait until the next offer comes around.

Living the gospel can seem like work at times. Going to church every Sunday, giving service, paying tithing, studying scriptures, praying, and the list goes on. Sure what's being offered sounds wonderful, but we'll get around to it when we have more time.

Are you claiming your gifts, your blessings, and your place in God's Kingdom? It's there for the taking, and you don't even have to pay for shipping. What are you waiting for? I know that when you claim all the Father has to give you, it is then you find your greatest peace and happiness! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

My New Favorite Gospel Message Video!

Oh, how I absolutely love this video! Last night I was teaching my children how to dance to Conga music. I told them that their feet were going to be drums and to move their feet to each drum beat they heard in the music. We began dancing very fast and it was fun and brought us all together.The Spirit told me as we were dancing that dance is a Heavenly Language and certain movements have meaning and convey Heavenly power. That thought made me very happy.

This last week, my son just started taking drum lessons after begging me for several weeks to buy him drums. I felt a theme coming on, and then today I discovered this new video and watched it with my son. There is definitely something very healing about vibration, frequencies, beats, music, and the heart. It reminds me of my recent posts about music and healing.

Also, I was reminded of 2 Nephi 30 and the prophecies of the gathering of Israel, Laminates and Jews joining Gentiles and all being converted to the Lord and the restoration of Israel. Absolutely beautiful!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Resurrection Morning - The Part Less Talked About


Ever since Easter I have been wanting to write this post. As busy as life has been I knew if I didn't finally sit down and write it, it might escape my mind. So here we go :)

The Resurrection is a topic most celebrated around Easter, and maybe that's why I waited until May to write about it. It's a topic I seem to ponder quite often lately and some wonderful things have happened because of it.

When Easter rolls around each year, we can find plentiful movies available about Passover and the life of Christ. My favorites, are the films that depict the Resurrection. However, I have not been able to find a film that portrays what I would like to talk about today - and that is the Resurrection of all those who were resurrected along with Jesus on that beautiful Resurrection morning.

Can you imagine what that must have been like? The face expressions of all of those who did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, only to discover their deceased loved ones suddenly walking through town and greeting them on their doorstep? Their deceased loved ones, surely must have testified that Jesus was the Christ and because of Him they have Eternal Life. Think of all those who must have been converted to the Lord to have witnessed such an encounter!

This is the part of Resurrection morning that is less talked about. Wouldn't it be incredible to find the journals of those who experienced this? To read their words describing how it must have been to see graves open up, and the dead literally walking through town - no longer dead, but very much alive and well. Some probably unrecognizable being in a body that was now youthful and perfect.  Oh, how I would love for someone to make a movie about this, focusing on the personal lives and stories of regular people, believer and non-believer. Showing their lives during His ministry. Maybe families who had never met Him, and families in other parts of the world who had never heard of Him. Maybe those who had heard of Him, but did not believe or were unsure. And maybe those who met Him and were followers, but lost faith when He was crucified. To see how that first Resurrection would have changed everything would be priceless.

In Matthew 27:52 we read,

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

This is the only account in the New Testament that speaks of the dead who were resurrected. It is very short with little detail. We learn that the centurion believed when he became afraid after witnessing these things.

I can't help but wonder, how could anyone NOT believe after witnessing the dead being resurrected? How could they not believe the testimonies of the disciples that Jesus had truly risen? After seeing so many others being resurrected and walking through town, testifying of Him, and ministering unto many, how could anyone NOT believe?

What did that look like? Did these resurrected sons and daughters perform miracles? How long did they stay? Where are these details? Were they recorded and lost? Were they destroyed? We can only wonder.

In the popular films that depict the Resurrection, we see the outrage of Caiaphas who learns that Jesus is no longer in the tomb, and anger towards the guards who believe He was resurrected. How could Caiaphas not believe? Didn't he too witness the graves opening and the resurrected dead ministering? How could any of this been kept under wraps? This detail is always left out of the movies. I can only imagine what it would have been like, had they had the internet during this time. Can you imagine people filming all of this with their phones and posting it to social media? The entire world would have been in awe.

So, the other day I was wondering to myself what it was like for the Nephites here in America during the Resurrection. Did they too, experience graves opening? I remembered all the other events and commotions happening but wondered about the graves. No sooner than I had that thought, it was as though the Spirit heard me. I happened to be reading in Heleman chapter 14 because that is where I last left off in my reading, when I came across verse 25;

25 And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.

Samuel the Lamanite is prophesying unto the Nephites about Christ's birth, death, and Resurrection. He tells them that in five years Jesus will be born and then gives them the signs to look for. A day and a night and a day with no darkness and a new star in the sky. He then gives signs of His death - three days of darkness along with the following;

21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.

23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

24 And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate.

25 And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.

Samuel explains in verse 17;

17 But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.

We know this happened across the entire earth. How could anyone not believe? Those who didn't understand, didn't believe, or had not heard of Jesus must have been afraid and confused. We know that Jesus visited His disciples and ministered unto them for 40 days. He then came to America and visited the Nephites and ministered unto them. He explained to them that they were who He was referring to when He told His disciples in John 10:16;

That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (3 Nephi 15:17)

I wanted to learn more about the detail of the Resurrection here in America. As I searched I could not find anything. I saw that Samuel had prophesied of it, but where were the details? While writing this blog post the Spirit led me to this passage that sent the goosebumps all over my body :)

3 Nephi 23:9-13

9 Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?

10 And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.

11 And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them?

12 And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.

13 And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.

Wow! All I can say is "wow". It's as though Jesus knew my thoughts in 2017. He knew the importance of this, He knew the powerful impact it would have on future testimonies. He wanted this recorded. He wanted future generations to know about it.

I can't help but wonder how many other tribes and nations the Savior may have visited and shared with them the good news! How exciting it will be to one day have these records, when all the tribes have been gathered in. To read these other accounts.

I just love pondering about this, and can't wait for the day when He returns again to the Earth and we witness the graves of our loved ones opening up. We too see that incredible Resurrection power in action!

Alma Chapter 40 goes into great detail about the process of the resurrection. It is very much worth the read.

I know that Jesus is Lord and Messiah over the entire Earth, and Universe. Because of Him, by Him and through Him, we are saved and can have everlasting life. I love what He has done for me and you, and will eternally be grateful. Death has no power over us. I say this in His holy name amen.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Gift of Healing and Miracles

On Sunday, our Sunday school lesson was about spiritual gifts. We didn't spend much time talking about the gift of healing so I thought I would save it as a topic to share on my blog.

There is so much I love about the gift of healing, and I think it's one of those gifts that often gets misunderstood and swept under the rug. In every lesson on spiritual gifts that I have sat in during my life, the mentioning of the gift of healing has always been a quick reference to priesthood blessings.

Priesthood blessings are a great way to facilitate healing and miracles because they operate through the power of God by our faith. However, if we don't have the faith to be healed, we might not receive the miracle we were hoping for. If the person extending the blessing does not have faith, then again we might not receive the healing we were hoping for - if we are relying on their faith alone. Faith to heal and faith to be healed are two separate sides of the coin. And not every priesthood holder has the gift of healing. President Spencer W. Kimball said: “The need of faith is often underestimated. The ill one and the family often seem to depend wholly on the power of the priesthood and the gift of healing that they hope the administering brethren may have, whereas the greater responsibility is with him who is blessed. … The major element is the faith of the individual when that person is conscious and accountable. ‘Thy faith hath made thee whole’ [Matthew 9:22] was repeated so often by the Master that it almost became a chorus.”

Before we go further, I'd like to add that the gifts of the Spirit are not reserved for a certain class of people, certain denominations, or even specific genders. God is no respecter of persons and He works through all of us for the edifying and uplifting of mankind. Sometimes we get it set in our mind that if we see others who are not of our religion or culture, exercising spiritual gifts - then they must be counterfeit gifts. Let me emphasize how important the gift of discernment is in these encounters. Through the Spirit, we can discern all things. With that in mind, I must say that it is incredibly powerful to witness a healing between a healer who has the faith to heal, and the recipient who has the faith to be healed. Both powers of faith working together create profound miracles!

What is the Gift of Healing?

 In many church lesson manuals we read,

"Many who hold the priesthood have the gift of healing the sick. Others may be given a knowledge of how to cure illness."

These are two great examples of how the gift healing may operate in some individuals. To add to that, I believe the gift of healing is more than receiving knowledge - it's accessing the Holy Spirit through our faith, to know what to say, what to do, and in what manner and by what means to do it. Because it's a gift of the Spirit - it comes natural. As it is not the healer doing the healing (it is of Divine origin), it should never feel forced, strenuous, nor exert all of your energy.

Surprisingly, I have heard many members of the Church say that miracles are rare today, and something of the past. I have even heard this taught in lessons. That has not been the case in my own personal life and I am sure there are many others who would love to shout from the roof tops the incredible miracles they participate in or have personally witnessed - yet they understand the wisdom in not casting peals.

Should We Share Our Healing Experiences?

When moved upon by the Spirit, there are times when it is good for us to share our testimonies of these experiences with those who may be benefited by us doing so. We must be careful to never boast about them (D&C 84:73). I know that when others have felt prompted to share with me, it has only increased my faith and strengthened my own testimony. Were it not for these testimonies, I would not have recognized and been prepared for future opportunities.

Without offering great detail, I would like to share an experience I had a few years ago that helped me embrace the gift of healing. I have never shared this experience before as it has never felt right until now. I trust that the Lord will use it to reach those who will be edified from it. 

Over the past several years I have been told many times by friends and family that my prayers "work". I always thought this funny because I believe that all prayers "work". After being asked often to pray for others, I realized it was my faith they were actually referring to. Because of my faith, miracles were happening!

One particular day I was unexpectedly asked by some friends to go to the home of an acquaintance and help heal her. She had been suffering from severe arthritis that had crippled her feet to the point that she could barely walk, Her toes were twisted and wrapped around each other, and her legs suffered much pain. Guided by the Spirit I knew just what to say, and what to do, and I believed that she would be healed. This beautiful sister also had great faith that she would be healed.

While praying for her, and speaking to her legs and feet to be healed, something amazing began to happen. I will never forget the sound we heard as her bones began to pop. Her legs began to vibrate and became very hot. One by one, her toes unraveled, popped, and moved back into their proper place completely straightened out. Her leg bones shifted while making popping and cracking sounds and they straightened out as well. Before we knew it, our friend appeared to have a brand new set of legs and feet! Three days later she came to my home, and for the first time ever was able to briskly walk up the long flight of stairs to my door without any assistance. The joy we all felt is indescribable!

This experience changed my life and the lives of my friends. We witnessed the miraculous healing power of God that can only be accessed by the Spirit through faith and prayer in Jesus' name. We witnessed what I later learned that some refer to as a "creative miracle", and we learned just how fast God can work when you believe with nothing wavering. Most importantly we learned that God is the same God today as He was 2,000 years ago, and because of that, New Testament kind of miracles are not only possible but happening all around the world today. On that day, my faith was magnified and I was able to assist in many more miracles of a similar nature, when prompted.

To those who have not experienced miracles of this magnitude and believe that they are a thing of the past, the prophet Moroni says to you (Mormon 9:7,8,20,21),

7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healings, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;

8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them

20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

He tells us that it is our own unbelief that causes miracles to cease in our lives. We must have faith, and faith is a gift that all can pray for. He also reminds us that if we truly read and understand the scriptures, then we will know the Gospel of Christ and the fruits of it.

 Our loving Savior Jesus Christ has said (John 14:12-14);

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 

The Savior knew that we could not receive the Holy Ghost until He parted through the veil. He knew that the gift of the Holy Ghost, could work in us and through us to perform these greater works.  He tells us that anyone who believes in Him and on the power of His name, shall do greater works than He. Can you imagine? The One who brought Lazarus back to life, the One who turned water into wine, the One who walked on water...He's telling us that WE will do greater works (when prompted by the Spirit).

Who Can Heal?

It's important to remember that we do not heal, it is God who does the healing through us.

When I am not busy being a full-time mom, I am an author and motivational speaker known as "The Happy Lady". Through books, blogs, music and videos, I share the message of finding hope and happiness.

A couple of months ago I came in contact with a recent mission president who took note of my work and said, "Thank you for your ministry." That comment took me by surprise. I had never thought of what I do as a ministry. I always thought ministries were churches. Then I realized a ministry is simply a message, and my message is hope and happiness.Through my gift of writing and speaking, along with sharing that message, it's always been my mission to help others find healing and peace.

In the early history of our church, faithful men and women facilitated in great miracles and healing. Some through their talents and gifts, and others through prayer and priesthood power. I have read many wonderful testimonies of my own pioneer ancestors that have strengthened my faith a great deal.

Because spiritual gifts and healing were openly discussed in Relief Society meetings and recorded in the minutes, we are able to learn a great deal about the early women of the church and their spiritual gifts. Surprisingly, it was common for women to lay hands on the sick and to bless them.With the prophet's approval, Emma Smith and her counselors (as did other faithful women) laid hands on the sick and blessed them that they might be healed. Many saints were healed during these times, and their faith was strengthened.

 The prophet Joseph Smith had said regarding this, "If the sisters should have faith to heal, let all hold their tongues."

Though the practice of laying on of hands is no longer permitted for women in the Church, the gift of healing in general, is extended to all. The Lord is no respecter of persons, if He can use us He will choose us. Alma 32:22-23 says;

22 And now, behold, I say unto you, and I would that ye should remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.

23 And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned.

Across the globe and in other cultures, I have heard many beautiful testimonies and accounts of miracles occurring through faith in Jesus Christ. People of both genders, of all ages (children included) from all walks of life, who have received or facilitated in healing miracles through faith in their Lord Jesus Christ. Though we may not see our Savior with our physical eyes standing before us ready to help, I testify that He does stand by our side ready to heal us when we call upon His name. He already suffered our pains so that we don't have to, we just need to utilize that great blessing and have faith that His atonement makes us whole.

Why Does the Lord Offer this Gift?

The gift of healing is a marvelous gift, and the Lord often uses us as instruments in His hands to work miracles in the lives others. There are many different ways that our Father in Heaven uses this gift within us to bless His children. This is where I'd like to turn the rest of our focus.

I believe that healing can come in many different forms such as through a smile, a compliment, a song, a letter, or a kind act of service. Sometimes, by just being ourselves and allowing our natural gifts to flow, we heal others without even knowing it.

Have you ever been in the presence of someone who made your problems and worries fade away? Have you ever been carried off into a piece of music that soothed your soul and brought you peace? Have you ever received a kind act of service that tore down the walls around your heart and allowed you to feel love? These types of healing happen every day, all around us. Through promptings of the Spirit we can use our gifts to uplift, relieve suffering, and restore wholeness.

The perfect example of this happened to me a few days ago, when I received this anonymous email.

Hello Lindsey 

I was on a journey of awakening consciousness in cyberspace when i discovered your positive  expression of love and light. You are having an impact on people that opens hearts and inspires

souls. By giving to others in such a profound way you facilitate personal healing. Your life and work
set an example that enriches and empowers. I honor and respect what you are sharing with the
world. You should be very proud. Thank you for allowing people to experience your greatness. I 
wish you a life filled with joy.

This email came at a time when I was experiencing strong head winds from the adversary. While following promptings of the Spirit and sharing my testimony through music and writing, I received an unpleasant encounter with a local, prominent business man (being a member of my church) who accused me of a copyright violation. After showing him the proper verification he needed to cease the accusation, he still was very unkind towards me on the phone. And even though I had done nothing wrong and was very kind and respectful towards him, I felt very defeated in all my endeavors.

That night I prayed for things to turn around. First thing the following morning an old friend called me up just to tell me that a skin care product I created and sell, happened to change her friend's life. She had purchased some last year and had given it to her children's teachers as a gift. One of the teachers shared with my friend, how the product had healed her feet! She was so excited she called to share.

Now, she didn't have to take the time out of her busy morning to hunt down my phone number and call me. She could have just kept it to herself. But she heeded the prompting of the Spirit and called to make my day. It was just what I needed to hear to remind myself that my gifts, talents, and creations do help make this world a better place. When I use my gifts, people are healed!

I don't share this to boast or elevate my own ego, I share it to help others realize that sometimes we underestimate our role in the gift of healing. My friend who gifted the product, said that she thought it was just a nice skin cream and fun gift idea, she never realized that this particular item was an answer to someone's prayer. She also didn't know that her phone call was an answer to my prayer. That wasn't the first time I had learned of healing resulting from the skin care product that the Spirit prompted me to create several years ago. This phone call reminded me of those previous testimonials and my faith was strengthened.

Later that day, I received the above email. I felt as though it was the Lord speaking to me through one of His children, letting me know that all the blood, sweat, and tears I have devoted to carrying out promptings of the Spirit over the years has all been for a purpose. He is aware and He is appreciative. He is using my work and my gifts to heal others. In that moment of realization I felt healed of my worry and doubt.

In summary, the gift of healing is much more than a prayer or even laying hands on someone. It's a gift that we often overlook and underestimate. It's a vital gift in this world that we live in. As we prepare this Earth to meet the Savior when He returns, part of that preparation is healing. To become like Zion we must heal our hearts and minds. Miracles are the fruits that will draw those in our families and communities to Christ. Miracles, signs, and wonders follow those that believe (Mormon 9:24). As we come to know our Savior through miracles and healing, we can share that light with others and help lift the world to a higher place, and by doing so prepare the Earth to meet Him when He comes.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Real Power of Music - Things You Didn't Know

A few weeks ago, I taught my son's primary class at church. I was so excited that the lesson was all about the hymn book. Whenever I teach a lesson, I always go the extra mile and put forth all my passion into the lesson. When I substitute primary, the kids feed off of my passion and the Spirit is always so strong.

Truly, I believe that children today hunger for truth. When lessons are watered down, generic, or void of the Spirit, the kids lose interest. There were kids in my son's class who (according to my son) normally disrupt and struggle to focus or participate - who happened to be the most participating kids in the class that day. They were eager to learn and feel the Spirit. They smiled, shared thoughts, asked questions and didn't want the lesson to come to an end. When I realized time had run out, they begged me to go five minutes over so they could hear the rest of the lesson. There was a wonderful Spirit in the class that day and we had an incredible discussion about the power of music!

The lesson had such an impact on the children, that one of the boys volunteered to sing a solo during music time in front of the entire primary. His father was quite surprised, as I guess he normally doesn't do that sort of thing. He sang with the sweetest voice, the most beautiful song, and he tried his best. I really felt that the lesson made an impact in his life.

The lesson was about the Hymn Book and how Emma Smith was commissioned to create a book of hymns for the early saints. I felt impressed to take it a step further, and talk with the kids about why music is so important. They told me they had no idea! So, I thought I would share the material we talked about here on my blog.

Why do we sing at church?

We sing at the opening of the sacrament meeting, then we sing again prior to blessing the sacrament, then we sing an intermission hymn, then we sing another hymn to close the meeting. So, why is music such a big part of our church meetings? Music is a language. It’s the language of the Spirit. Your Spirit speaks that language and that’s why you feel really good when you hear certain songs. The adversary also uses music as a language. Some songs make us feel down, anxious, negative, or depressed. Brigham Young once said: “There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven".

What difference do you think it would make if we didn't sing church meetings?

I once had a young bishop (who was the same age as me) in an old ward, who took music very seriously. On more than one occasion he would interrupt the hymns in sacrament meeting (mid singing) and ask the congregation to start over. He would give a quick sermon about the importance of "everyone" singing, and remind us that hymns are prayers. If he saw people not singing, or the congregation was singing too quietly he would do this every time. Eventually the ward got better at taking the hymns more seriously. They would sing with boldness, with passion, and with the Spirit. It truly improved our meetings and invited the Spirit in, and very much improved fast and testimony meetings.

 Boyd K. Packer once said, “Music is of enormous importance in our worship services. I believe that those who choose, conduct, present, and accompany the music may influence the spirit of reverence in our meetings more than a speaker does”

I remember once while serving as first counselor in the primary presidency, being told to always let music time go longer if needed. Never cut it short to make time for the sharing time lesson, because the music was more important. At the time I didn't understand and I always felt sad when music time cut so much into my lesson that I was only left with 6 minutes to teach. Of course, I don't feel that way anymore.

The First Presidency of the Church has said, “Brothers and sisters, let us use the hymns to invite the spirit of the Lord into our congregations, our homes, and our personal lives. Let us memorize and ponder them, recite and sing them, and partake of their spiritual nourishment. Know that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto our Father in Heaven, ‘and it shall be answered with a blessing upon [your] heads’”

I have found that there are three ways that music works as a power in our lives.

1) Power of Worship

David was a son of Jesse of the tribe of Judah. He was a courageous youth who slew a lion, a bear, and the Philistine giant Goliath (1 Sam. 17). David was chosen and anointed to be king of Israel. David was also a skilled musician and while king, he created a vast musical program in which four thousand Levites were selected as musicians and trained for the elaborate choral and instrumental music that was introduced by David into the religious services of Israel. The entire book of Psalms which translates in Hebrew as "praises", is in essence a book of songs and David is accredited as it's author. The Psalms were written not merely as poems, but as worship songs for singing.

More than a third of the psalms are addressed to the Director of Music. Some psalms exhort the worshiper to sing (e.g. Pss. 33:1-3; 92:1-3; 96:1-3; 98:1; 101:1; 150). Some Psalms were to be accompanied by stringed instruments (Neginah, Neginoth Ps. 4; 54–55; 61; 67; 76; and Hab. 3:19), others by wind instruments (Nehiloth Ps. 5); while such titles as “Set to Alamoth” (“maidens,” Ps. 46), or “Set to the Sheminith” (“the octave,” Ps. 6; 12), seem to imply that there was singing in parts. Some of the titles appear to be intended to indicate the character of the Psalm, as Maschil (“giving instruction,” Ps. 32; 42; 44–45; 52–55; 74; 78; and 88–89), Michtam, rendered by some Golden Psalm (Ps. 16; 56–60); while Shiggaion (Ps. 7) with Shigionoth (Hab. 3:1) may refer to the irregular erratic style of the compositions, and Gittith (“belonging to Gath,” Ps. 8; 81; 84) may relate either to the melody or to the instrument used in the performance. The other titles are all probably names of tunes, well known at the time, to which the Psalms were appointed to be sung.

Masoretic cantillation, is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services. The chants are written and notated in accordance with the special signs or marks printed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh) to complement the letters and vowel points. David. C. Mitchell discovered that when applying Psalm 114 to the  Masoretic cantillation, a melody can be found that is recognizable as the tonus peregrinus of church and synagogue.

New Testament references show that the earliest Christians used the Psalms in worship, and the Psalms have remained an important part of worship in most Christian Churches. In fact, some Christian denominations only sing Psalms in their services, and no other non-Biblical hymns.

Many Near Death Experience encounters, testify of hearing music of praise and worship when they cross through the veil. In fact, many witnesses speak of angels, plants, flowers and even animals singing praises about them as they pass through the veil. Music appears to be a language that is widely used in the Heavenly spirit realm.

In a recent post, I shared a discovery of the sounds of crickets being slowed down to reveal a Heavenly chorus of worship and praise music. It is no wonder in the hymn, Sing Praise to Him we hear the words, "All creatures of our God and King,. Lift up your voice and with us sing" I believe the Lord created all creatures to sing praises unto Him. I can't help but notice that the word "create" is found in the word "creature". All of the Lord's creations were made with purpose, and made for praise, and to testify of the goodness of the Lord.

In Pslams 148, David exhorts all creatures, animals and people to:

7 Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

2) Power of Healing

Music used for healing can be traced back to the creation of the Chinese characters because the word for medicine (yao) comes from the word for music (yue). Music purifies and uplifts the soul.

In some of the books I have written, and in my workshops and presentations, I teach about the healing power of music. One research study that I often speak about is that of John Hutchinson, an electro-magnetic energy expert from Vancouver, B.C. Canada, who has verified that a certain selection of “music” has helped purify poisoned water. Using the 528Hz frequency, known as the love/DNA repair frequency, he and his partner  Nancy Lazaryan were able to heal water from the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010. The frequencies they selected have been shown scientifically to reduce the oil and grease in polluted waters in the Gulf of Mexico from 7 ppm to less than 1 ppm, restoring the water's vitality as manifest by the return of fish, dolphins and even barnacles to a region of Perdido Bay in Lillian, Alabama, USA, where they conducted their first test. The area was treated with the frequencies for four hours the first day, and by the next morning, the waters were cleared.

Dr. Masaru Emoto is world renowned for his research with water. You may have heard of the rice jar experiments that children often do in science class. The student takes two jars filled with rice and water. For 30 days they speak kinds words and play beautiful music to one jar, and unkind words and unpleasant music to the other jar. After the 30 days the rice in "unkind" jar turns putrid and black. The rice in the "kind" jar stays white and clean.

Dr. Emoto can be credited for these experiments stemming from his research. Emoto's water crystal experiments consisted of exposing water in glasses to different words, pictures or music, and then freezing and examining the aesthetic properties of the resulting crystals with microscopic photography. Emoto made the claim that water exposed to positive speech and thoughts would result in visually "pleasing" crystals being formed when that water was frozen, and that negative intention would yield "ugly" frozen crystal formations.

I too, can vouch for music working as a tool for healing. There have been countless times I have played music with a 528 Hz frequency around my children when they have been injured or sick and we have experienced miracles. I believe that because God is love, when we are in tune with Him, we are aligned with His will and therefore sync ourselves to the 528 Hz frequency. Unconditional love heals and unconditional love is who God is.

Ancient civilizations understood the powerful benefit of sound and vibration. They composed music based on the perfect mathematical proportions that can be found in the construction of many sacred temples, space, and time. These tones are used in the Gregorian chants of the western Roman Catholic Church.

The original Solfeggio scale was developed by a Benedictine monk, Guido d’Arezzo (c. 991 AD – c. 1050 AD). It was used by singers to learn chants and songs more easily. Today we know the Solfeggio scale as seven ascending notes assigned to the syllables Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti. The original scale was six ascending notes assigned to Ut-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La. The syllables for the scale were taken from a hymn to St. John the Baptist, Ut Queant Laxis, written by Paulus Diaconus.
Guido d’Arezzo. In the mid-1970’s Dr. Joseph Puleo, a physician and America’s leading herbalist, found six electro-magnetic sound frequencies that corresponded to the syllables from the hymn to St. John the Baptist.

In many cultures today, notes on the scale and music written in certain keys, are used as medicine to heal specific areas of the body. Best Selling Deseret Book authors Karol Truman and Carol Tuttle both have written about this topic. I've had the privilege to meet with Karol Truman and interview her about music and healing. She shared with me that her husband Delmont, has the gift of healing through his singing voice. His voice is perfectly pitched in such a way that when he sings, he heals people. Karol herself has also written music that she feels was Divinely inspired, that heals the mind, body, and soul.

Karol says, "Each of us has every note of the musical scale in our body and speaking voice. Every note corresponds to an energy center in our body.  Many of us however, are lacking the note of B,Sadly, this is our Spiritual energy center. By listening to music in the Key of B, you can help restore the B note in your body/voice."

She shared with me a special story about a friend of hers who had the gift of recognizing notes that were missing in a person's voice. If someone was sick, she could detect the missing note/frequency and be able to sing that frequency/note back into their being. Her friend's son was one day very ill in the hospital. She called him on the phone and detected the missing note in his voice. When she got to the hospital she was able to sing him back to wellness!

I believe that our sacred hymns not only heal because of their words (there is power in the Word) but because of the music itself. There is Divine power in the notes themselves. It is the language of the Spirit the language of Heaven. We can cast out darkness through prayer and we can cast out darkness when we sing or play a hymn. When we cast out darkness, powerful healing can take place.

3) Power of Warfare

Music has been used in warfare all throughout the ages of man. Chapter 6 of the Old Testament’s book of Joshua, contains an exceptionally detailed description of the deployment of ram’s horns used in warfare against Jericho, the oldest fortified human settlement known to archaeology. Although ram’s horns do indeed make a powerful blast of sound. Priests blowing their horns in unison, fired up his warriors and weakened the Canaanites’ will to resist, and the entire city wall came crumbling to the ground.

Bagpipes, drums, horns, and flutes, have all been used on the battlefield. Music is a language and code in battle. I believe the same to be true with spiritual warfare. We can fight off the powers of darkness with praise and worship music - especially hymns.

Though music is used in battle, it has often been used on the battlefield to establish peace. Here are four examples:

1) During the American Civil War, musical duels between the two sides were common, as they heard each other as the music traveled across the countryside. The night before the Battle of Stones River, bands from both sides dueled with separate songs, until both sides started playing Home! Sweet Home!, at which time soldiers on both sides started singing together as one. A similar situation occurred in Fredericksburg,Virginia in the winter of 1862–3. On a cold afternoon a Union band started playing Northern patriotic tunes; a Southern band responded by playing Southern patriotic tunes. This back and forth continued into the night, until at the end both sides played Home! Sweet Home! simultaneously, to the cheers of both sides' forces. In a third instance, in the spring of 1863, the opposing armies were on the opposite sides of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, when the different sides played their patriotic tunes, and at taps one side played Home! Sweet Home!, and the other joined in, creating "cheers" from both sides that echoed throughout the hilly countryside.

2) During World War I, one morning 100 years ago, thousands of British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, "a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere", as Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled.

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading "You no shoot, we no shoot." Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks on "no man's land," the ground between opposing trenches.

3) Years ago, two Church members in Salt Lake City were having a serious argument about some business matters. They came to President Taylor and asked him if he would listen to their story and make a decision for them. President Taylor agreed to listen. But he said, “Brethren, before I hear your case, I would like very much to sing one of the songs of Zion for you.”

President Taylor was a good singer. He enthusiastically sang a hymn to the two men. Then he sang a second and then a third hymn. Then he said, “Now, brethren, I do not want to wear you out, but if you will forgive me, and listen to one more hymn, I promise to stop singing, and will hear your case.” When President Taylor had finished the fourth song, the brethren were so touched by the hymns that they had tears in their eyes. They shook hands, apologized to President Taylor for taking up his time, and left without telling President Taylor what their problem was.

4) A group of Latter-day Saint pioneers, led by Brigham Young, were near the Rocky Mountains. One night they camped in a small valley. After supper they built a big bonfire. They sang and danced around the bonfire to help them forget their fears and worries.Before they went to bed in their wagons, leaving a single guard on duty, they sang “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” a song they used to encourage each other and show their dedication to the Lord.

That night there were a thousand unfriendly Indians hiding around the camp, ready to attack the pioneers. But after the Indians heard the pioneers sing “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” they were unable to attack. They knew the Great Spirit (their name for Heavenly Father) was watching over the pioneers, so they got on their horses and rode away, leaving the pioneers alone.

Some time later, the man who had been chief over the group of Indians told this story to some Latter-day Saint missionaries. When he finished the story, he took out a violin and began to play “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” He explained to the missionaries, “This is your song, but it is my song, too. I play it every night before I go to bed. It brings the Great Spirit here to me and makes me and my people calm and happy.” (See Lucile C. Reading, “Song of the Pioneers,")

Scientists have measured the frequencies of words and music. They have proven that words and music with certain frequencies attract like frequencies. We can attract darkness or light into our lives from the music that we listen to!

Whenever I experience contention in my home, I turn on hymns or worship music in a back bedroom or sometimes full volume throughout the house, and the contention dissipates every time. Music is powerful against the enemy!

Our Hymns 

In the most recent General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson said, "When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you. And then you will understand the deep meaning of words we sing in the hymn “The Spirit of God”

The Spirit of God is one of my most favorite hymns. When I hear it and sing it, I feel a Divine power surge through me every time. It evokes the Spirit in a very powerful way. When I heard President Nelson say that, I felt prompted to begin to study the hymns. It was then that I realized many deep mysteries and sacred doctrines are only taught in the hymns. A perfect example of this is in the hymn Oh My Father, we sing,

"In the heav'ns are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!
 Truth is reason; truth eternal, Tells me I've a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by,
 Father, Mother, may I meet you, In your royal courts on high?"

From this hymn, we learn that we have a Heavenly Mother.

In the hymn, If You Could High to Kolob we learn about a place called "Kolob" that is the nearest star to our Heavenly Father's throne. A hymn written by William W. Phelps about the doctrine received in the Book of Abraham. We sing,

"If you could hie to Kolob
In the twinkling of an eye,
And then continue onward
With that same speed to fly,"

"Do you think that you could ever,
Through all eternity,
Find out the generation
Where Gods began to be?"

I encourage you to study the hymns in the hymn book. Some of the writers of the earliest hymns were close to the prophet Joseph Smith. I can only imagine some of the glorious and wonderful things they learned that were too sacred to share in public. And I can't help but wonder if they subtly wrote about them in the hymns. I myself have been taught beautiful things by the Spirit through the hymns. I testify that if you study the hymns and learn about the writers of the hymns, you too will be taught beautiful truths through the Spirit.

What are your favorite hymns and why? I'd love for you to share below.

Lastly, I just want to share a brief history of the timeline of the LDS hymn book. Did you know each collection had a special theme? In fact, the 1908 collection is what inspired President Taylor in the story above, to sing to the two business men. They were new songs themed on Zion, and he was very much a fan. I also want to include a link to the very first hymn book. Many of these hymns are not in our current hymn book. I encourage you to study them as well, and you will love what the Spirit shares with you!

Emma Smith’s Hymn Collection, 1835

Israel,” “How Firm a Foundation,” and “The Spirit of God,” are found in the 1985 edition of the hymnbook Emma’s hymnbook, entitled A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of the Latter Day Saints, appeared in print in August 1835. The vest-pocket edition. 26 of the original ninety texts, including “Redeemer of .) 90 hymns

The Manchester Hymnal, 1840

One of the most important hymnals of the Church was first published in Manchester, England, in March of 1840 by Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, and John Taylor. Entitled A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, it contained 271 hymn texts.

The Psalmody, 1889

The new Latter-day Saints’ Psalmody, published in Salt Lake City, was the first large collection of hymns to include musical settings with the texts. According to the preface, dated 27 May 1889, this hymnal was designed “to present a suitable and acceptable tune to every hymn in the Latter-day Saints’ Hymn Book.” It included many “choir hymns”—such as “Behold the Great Redeemer Die” and “As the Dew from Heaven Distilling”—created by Latter-day Saint composers for the Tabernacle Choir’s weekly performances.

Songs of Zion, 1908

Songs of Zion was compiled by nine mission presidents in the United States and was published in 1908 by the Northern States Mission in Chicago. Included about one hundred gospel hymns, among them “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel,” “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd,” and “Do What Is Right.”

Deseret Sunday School Songs, 1909

Published by the Deseret Sunday School Union in 1909, Deseret Sunday School Songs was patterned after Songs of Zion, which had been well received by the Church membership. It contained favorite songs of members and choristers throughout the Church, including “In Our Lovely Deseret,” “Who’s On the Lord’s Side?” and “Count Your Blessings.” Intended for use in “Sunday School, Primary, Religion Classes, and Home Socials,” this book quickly became the most popular hymnbook in the Church.

Hymns, 1927

The General Music Committee, organized in 1920, was assigned the task of compiling a new hymnal that would combine the best of the Manchester hymnal, the Psalmody of 1889, and Songs of Zion. Although new works were secured through a hymn contest, the works of Evan Stephens and others of the older generation were the bulk of the collection. The new hymnal was entitled Latter-day Saint Hymns but was commonly referred to as the “green hymnbook.” It was used along with Deseret Sunday School Songs until 1948, when Hymns merged the two.

Hymns, 1948

In October 1943, work began on a new hymnbook. Plans were also made for a recreational songbook for youth and for a children’s songbook.

When it was published in 1948, Hymns, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consisted of 387 hymns. The book had four general classifications: congregation, choir, men’s voices, and women’s voices. Nearly half of the tunes in the 1948 edition of Hymns were borrowed from non-LDS sources.
This hymnal was congregation-centered. But it also contained choir selections that were generally more elaborate than those intended for congregational use.

Hymns, 1950

Two years after the 1948 edition of Hymns was published, a revision was made. This edition replaced some of the hymns in the 1948 edition with hymns from earlier LDS hymnbooks.

Hymns, 1985

Through the decades, a diverse Latter-day Saint hymnody has developed. It includes simple American hymns, appealing gospel songs, noble hymns sung by the early English Saints, hymns borrowed from other religious traditions, unique LDS choir hymns of the late 1800s, and other hymns created by Latter-day Saints.

With the 1985 edition, new hymns from this generation have been added to a balanced selection of old and borrowed hymns. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jewish Feasts - How and Why We Should Celebrate Them (Happy Easter!)

I love Easter! I'm even more excited than usual to celebrate this year because the Spirit has been pressing many things upon my mind these last few weeks that all tie into Easter. The Lord really wants me to dig a little deeper and learn some precious gems that will bless my life, in ways I probably don't quite understand yet.

During the week of General Conference the Spirit placed in my mind on a few occasions "Resurrection power" and what that means in my life right now. I believe it was also mentioned in conference and I'm excited to go back and digest all the talks. So, Resurrection power is at the top of my list of topics to study and apply.

Next, a couple months ago, the Spirit told me to get a book that would teach me about the Jewish feasts and holy days because I needed to celebrate them. I found that odd that I would need to practice them but also intriguing. One day while on the treadmill, I saw an interview with Richard Booker who happened to be talking about this very topic. He happened to have written a book about it, Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts Expanded Edition: Discovering Their Significance to You as a Christian

For three weeks, the Spirit told me to get the book. Finally, one day I did. I was really hoping to have it read by the end of March but that has not happened. I have learned so much! I learned that the after Jesus was Resurrected, Christians continued to celebrate the Jewish holy days and feasts until around 300 A.D. Constantine did not like Jews and wanted to remove anything connected to them from Christianity. That apparently is why Christians stopped celebrating. In reality, the feasts and holy days, all teach us about the Messiah! And celebrating them can help us come to know and understand our Savior in a new way.

While reading this book, I began to wish that there was a similar book written for an LDS audience. I wanted to learn how to incorporate these celebrations into family home evenings, with children, with an added LDS perspective.

Then a couple weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer and a window opened up with a link to a podcast interview titled, "Finding Christ in Jewish Holy Days" from FairMormon of an LDS author Gale Boyd. I was so excited! I love how the Holy Ghost works. It turns out this interview was brand new (just a few days before I discovered it) - and her book covers exactly what I was hoping for, and she has a free PDF!

Richard Booker and Gale Boyd both theorize that Good Friday was actually on a Thursday. Anyways, I won't give everything away. Here are the links to the interview and free book. I also included Gale's bio below.

Gale Boyd is a convert to the LDS Church. In 1983, she and her husband decided to move their family to Israel to explore their Jewish heritage.
Gale Boyd

She was unprepared for the culture shock she experienced as an American Jewish Mormon living in Jewish Zion. Not only was there the language barrier but also the differences in money, weights and measures, Sabbath observance, and even the year was counted differently.

As she became immersed in Israeli culture, she learned about Jewish Holy Days and their symbolism.

Her experiences led her to write Days of Awe with the purpose of sharing with Latter-day Saints the Christian symbolism found in the celebration of Jewish Holy Days.

The book contains a history of Old Testament feasts, their ancient and current patterns of observance, their prophetic symbolism, and their relevance to each of us as Latter-day Saints today.

She also clears up some misconceptions about the Jewish people, their scripture, the complexity of their religion, and their history.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

General Conference April 2017

Last weekend was the semi-annual worldwide General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Conference has 6 sessions that are spread out over the course of a week and is broadcast via TV, satellite, and internet. Prophets, apostles and leaders speak about topics that the Holy Ghost inspires upon them and the church comes together from all over the world to listen.

I went into this conference with prayer and fasting hoping to receive inspiration and counsel from the Lord through the conference messages. I received so many answers! There were so many talks that stood out to me, I don't know where to even begin. So, I thought I would share the link and you can take a listen to the talks that stand out to you.

The themes I enjoyed were Jesus Christ and His power, the Holy Ghost, and the power of being YOU and not trying to be someone else. I was also surprised that a new General Relief Society presidency was called, however I was extremely thrilled with the sisters who were called. When I heard the name of the first counselor, Sharon Eubank I jumped for joy. I wrote a post about her just two posts ago. I had discovered her on YouTube a couple months ago and was inspired by her messages. I remember thinking that she would be a great fit for the General Relief Society presidency and then it happened! I don't believe that was a coincidence. I believe that awesome things are in store for the church and we are going to witness some big things happening! I am so happy :)

Sharon Eubank: the New First Counselor of the General Relief Society Presidency 

The First Presidency of the Church

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

All images from