Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Savior

I can't imagine what it must have felt like for Mary to hold, nurture and raise the Savior of the world. I can imagine Him being the most perfect baby - so gentle and mild.

I love the Savior and all He has done for me. I feel Him around me every day. I see Him in the kind man who opens the door for me at the post office. I see Him in in the patient woman who lets me in front of her in the grocery store line. I feel Him when I reach out to others in love and kindness. I feel His perfect love when I look at others as He would. When I overlook their flaws and weaknesses and notice the wonderful things about them. When I appreciate their beauty and differences. I want to do all I can to help others feel His love for them. After all He did for me, it's the least I can do each and every day for Him. Really, when we are doing something kind for others we are doing them for the Savior.

Matthew 25: 35-36

35For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

I testify this in His holy name - Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Freedom and Protection

I have written about this subject before, and since it is always on my mind I'd like to touch on it again. This time I'd like to talk about agency and how it relates to protection.

I have heard many times from others, "I don't believe in organized religion because it's not right to have so many rules. There is no freedom in that, and we are here to experience freedom. If I am following someone else's rules then I am not free." Eventually I observe many of these people are not "free". Bound by sin, chained to addiction (pornography, drugs, alcohol) caught in the grip of lies and deceit and a prisoner of their own choices. I have found that when people shun from the commandments of God because they want to "feel free" they end up losing their precious freedoms and are far from happy.

In His great wisdom God set up a clear path for us to follow trusting that we would use our free agency to choose His path where we can find safety, happiness, peace and freedom. At the same time Satan has set up a path of destruction, that if we follow, leads to misery, pain, suffering, and imprisonment. We are no longer free.

I have seen several people in my life make poor choices that change the entire course of their life. We are always exercising our agency and that is why we are here. This test that we endure is truly a test of not only our faith and works but also our choices. In this past General Conference Elder Mervyn Arnold said it best when he said, "We are free to choose, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions."

When we choose to not follow the commandments of God or the words of the prophets we lose vital protection. Without spiritual protection we are left vulnerable to the enticements and influence of the adversary. Again, that is a consequence of our choices and actions. When we invite Satan into our lives, our bodies and our homes we are giving him permission to have power over us. We are giving up our freedom. That great deceiver will have us believe that this is not true. We are in denial that we are following Satan. That is how he works.

Remember - the smallest, quickest choices and actions can invite him in and change our lives forever. A sip of alcohol invites him in, a pornographic image invites him in, a vulgar and offensive movie invites him in, vulgar and offensive music invites him in, distancing yourself from the Lord invites him in. Once he is "in" he makes himself at home. It is subtle at first and you may not even notice for quite a while. Eventually you'll feel something lacking, you will feel depression or sadness or even anger. The only way he can be cast out is by the power of the Lord. Exercising your agency to call on the Lord and committing to follow him again is the only way. As this happens Satan will fight hard to keep his place in your body, mind and home. How hard you are willing to fight will determine the outcome.

How we exercise our free agency grants us certain rights, freedoms and privileges. When we choose the right we are blessed, protected, happy and free. Angels have dominion over us and keep us safe from Satan and his grip. If we have never followed commandments or the words of the prophets or we have abandoned the Lord on His holy day we may not even know how much we are lacking. We may feel that things are just fine and we are happy. Trust me - if you follow the straight and narrow path and commit to following all the commandments you will feel what true freedom is. You be blessed far beyond what you can imagine. This I know to be true - and I say in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who's Side are You on?

The feeling has come over me lately to talk about the importance of defending "all" of the words of the prophet, his counselors, our leaders and the Lord. We can't just pick and choose what we want to agree with - we either follow all the words or we are not on the Lord's side. We need to make a decision who’s side we are on so when the time comes that we are put on the spot or have to make a decision it has already been made.

The right decision isn’t always the popular one. We have to remember do we fear God more than man? Then it doesn’t matter if we are looked down on or less liked by others because we have chosen to defend God. What God thinks is most important not man.

The Lord speaks to His prophets and apostles and the words they speak over the pulpit are His words and what he wants us to hear at this time. When we sustain the prophet and his apostles then we sustain their words as well. If we disagree with the prophet and his apostles then we disagree with the Lord and we are not sustaining His prophet and apostles.

We may be placed in awkward situations where we are confronted by others about our beliefs or values. It is important that we defend what is right and stay true to the gospel. If we are looked down upon for doing so then those relationships with the individuals who mock are not worth maintaining. If we support and sustain the prophet and the Lord, then we must support and sustain their words as well.

Anytime we disagree with the prophet, his counselors and called leaders, then we place ourselves in a dangerous and vulnerable circumstance to be easily influenced by the adversary and swept away in his deceit. If we pray to have an understanding of the words of the prophet, his counselors and our leaders then the Holy Ghost will provide that understanding to us.

In these last days we need to be prepared to stand strong and firm in defending what we believe. It will not be easy and we will not always be popular but we will be held accountable for our actions and how we have influenced others.

The lyrics to the hymn "Who's on the Lord's side?" have been strong on my mind. I think they sum this message up best.

Who's on the Lord's Side?

(1st vs)

Who's on the Lord's side, who?

Now is the time to show

We ask it fearlessly

Who's on the Lord's side, who?

We wage no common war

Cope with no common foe

The enemy's awake

Who's on the Lord's side, who?

(4th vs)

The powers of earth and hell

In rage direct the blow

That's aimed to crush the work

Who's on the Lord's side, who?

Truth, life and liberty

Freedom from death and woe

Are stakes we're fighting for

Who's on the Lord's side, who?

In these last days as they get worse, people will either be on the Lord's side or the adversary's side (even if they don't realize it). There will be no middle. Ask yourself now, "Who's side am I on?" "Do my actions represent the side I want to be on?" Make that choice today so you don't find yourself in a place you don't want to be. I know that by doing so you will be greatly blessed. Remember, there is safety, protection and peace on the Lord's side, something you won't find on the adversary's side. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Two Small Miracles

I have had a couple of small miracles happen this last week. Sometimes when miracles are small, we don't see them as miracles or blessings at all. I'm here to tell you that when you ask the Lord no matter how great or small, He answers.

Miracle # 1 - I went on vacation over the weekend down to Kanab and Bryce Canyon. Friday morning as I was packing the car and getting the kids ready I turned on my flat iron in hopes to do something with my hair. Well, one thing led to another in the stress and chaos of packing for a trip and I no sooner realized that it was time to go pick up my husband from work and get on the road. I would not have time to do my hair let alone put make up on. So I threw my hair back in a ponytail and put on some sunglasses to help with my appearance.

When I got on the I-15 and was about 25 minutes away from home it was then I realized I never went back into the bathroom to turn off my flat iron. This thing gets pretty hot and my concern was if something from above it were to fall and land on it such as a decoration or hand towel there would surely be a fire. Either that or it would start a fire because it is old and after being on for 3 days I think it would do some damage. I could have been completely wrong but still the fact that I had left it on and it was very hot did not ease my mind any. I had left it on before for about 2 days at a time, however while I was home. This was enough to remind me that the flat iron does not turn off by itself - it never has before.

I knew I couldn't turn back, so it was then I said a prayer in my heart while I was driving. I asked the Lord to turn it off for me and protect my house while we were gone. Again that night at the hotel I said the same prayer before I went to bed. Saturday and Sunday I had forgotten all about it. When we pulled up the house Sunday night I remembered. I went up to the bathroom and discovered that someone had turned my flat iron off. I smiled and thanked my Heavenly Father for answering my prayer.

Miracle # 2 - Last night I had taken on the daring feat of making peach butter for the first time. I got started pretty late but worked quickly to get it finished. While I was dumping some ground cloves into the boiling peach mixture on the stove, I was distracted and turned my head. During this quick second of looking away, I accidentally dipped two of my fingers completely into the pot. I quickly pulled them out and ran to the sink to run them under cool water. That split second when running from the stove to the sink seemed like an eternity and the pain seemed to worsen as I ran. I could not believe how careless I had been and how much pain I was in. As I went to put burn ointments on it, it only worsened the pain. It was then I realized an ice pack was the only relief. I wrapped the ice pack around my fingers as I stayed up for another 2 hours completing my canning project.

By now the family was all long gone to bed and fast asleep. I had to keep my pain to myself and suck it up. It was not easy canning with an out of service hand and I was worried I might make the same mistake since there were two boiling pots on the stove. It was a little scary. Needless to say for the next 2 hours I went through 4 ice packs and had melted them all. I took off the 4th ice pack hoping the pain would be minimal and I could get to bed. To my surprise the pain worsened and felt like my hand was on fire. Imagine the worst sunburn you have ever had magnified by three. I had boiled my fingers and it was painful. I knew I would not be able sleep with this pain.

I went back to the freezer and the first ice pack I had used was finally frozen again so I decided I would take it to bed with me. As long as my fingers were wrapped in an ice pack everything was fine, but I knew that sooner or later that pack would melt and I would be awakened to that miserable pain. I expected that I would just have to wake up every hour and grab a new pack. What a night this would be - or would it?

I knew that my husband could give me a priesthood blessing and this whole problem could go away. However he was fast asleep and had to wake up early for work so I didn't want to disturb him. I thought to myself what do people do who don't have access to the priesthood and need the Lord's help- and of course the answer came as a clear thought "Just pray Lindsey". Several scriptures began to flood my mind.

D&C 14:5 - Therefore if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.

Matthew 21:22 - And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

3 Nephi 18:20 - And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing ye shall receive, behold it shall be given to you.

Moroni 7:26 - ....And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.

There are 20+ or more scriptures that mention these same words. I knew that God was Almighty and there is nothing that he can't do. As long as I believed this He would answer my prayer. I said a prayer - thanking Him for all my blessings and asking him to literally heal my finger and take away the pain so I could sleep. As soon as I turned out the light and hit the pillow I was fast asleep. At 6:00 am when my husband's alarm went off, I woke up to find a warm ice pack lying underneath my pillow and two fingers completely free of pain with no visible damage. I thanked the Lord in my heart and quickly woke up to tell my husband what had happened.

Yes, these two miracles or "blessings" is what I like to call them, may seem so small to some, but to me they greatly increased my testimony of prayer. This morning the thought clearly and strongly came to me that I needed to update my blog and share my experience.

If we ask, the powers of heaven will come down and aid us in our time of need. When we fail to ask or we lack the faith needed, we keep the doors to heaven closed. No matter how great or small our trials we need to be on our knees asking for help. We need to be clear in what we ask for and have the faith. We need to do this often in order to build our faith. Our Heavenly Father waits to help us 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It brings Him joy to hear our prayers and to help us. With two small prayers being answered within a week of each other, my faith is ready for the larger trials that may come. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ - Amen.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

When a Loved One Passes

My cousin whom I haven't seen in 15 years and is 12 years older than me passed away this week. He had a sad, hard life. He battled with drug addictions, was in and out of prison, homeless, and the father of 4 children that he never saw. In the end he was clean off of drugs, suffering from bone cancer and died from falling on his way to the bathroom. Though he had his trials, he was very kind and very talented.

I was asked to speak at his funeral service this week. Not knowing what to say about someone I barely knew seemed difficult. Especially under the circumstances - many people attending were living on the streets, and on drugs. I didn't want to say the wrong thing. I was asked to read a collection of memories from family members and speak for 10 minutes. The memories were simple and I could read through them in 3 minutes. I had a lot of time to spare - so I decided to go the the Lord and ask him what I should say. After a sincere prayer the spirit touched me and I knew what to say.

I thought I would share the comforting words that I spoke that day.

A final and special memory that Candice has shared of her brother Lance was the time they spent together this last 24th of July. That day was special as they enjoyed fireworks together and Lance got to spend precious time bonding with his daughter Sarah. Candice recalls that she was not having the best day and her brother sensed this. He came over to her and gave her a kiss on the forehead and told her not to worry and that everything would be better. He also gave her a pair of earrings that I’m sure she will always treasure.

Lance will be greatly missed by all who knew him as he joins his mother, Minnie on the other side. What a joyous reunion that must be for a sweet mother and her loving son. It’s often said that just like we rejoice when a new baby is born here on Earth, the same happens on the other side when someone passes through the veil from mortality to immortality. Just like a new baby they are taught new things and brought to remembrance things they once knew. I know that there are many rejoicing while welcoming Lance to the other side.

I know that Lance is here with us today, right now, smiling on us all and desiring to send us peace and comfort.

It is at this time that I’d like to express love and comfort to those of you who today who are deeply mourning the loss of our dear loved one and friend, Lance. Those who pass on from this life receive the joyful experience of reuniting with loved ones and being freed from the chains of physical pain and suffering from mortality. It’s those they leave behind that often can’t shake away the chains of emotional pain, suffering and grief.

To have faith – that all will be well in the end, that there is a greater power in all things, that all we experience in this life whether good, bad, happy or sad is for a greater purpose, that we will be taken care of and are loved by a Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ who knows what we are going through. They feel our pain, they mourn with us, and they are there to lift us up and help carry our burdens. Though we may not understand trials and tribulations that we experience in this life– we are not asked or required to understand – only to trust in the Lord and exercise faith that all will be well through him. It is through our faith that we will feel peace and can be healed from all pain and suffering.

Elder Robert D. Hales has said on this subject:

“I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. To receive the Lord’s comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions Why me? Why our family? Why now? are usually unanswerable questions. These questions can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding.

My dear brothers and sisters, when pain, tests, and trials come in life, draw near to the Savior. “Wait upon the Lord, … look for him” “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Healing comes in the Lord’s time and the Lord’s way; be patient.” – Close Quote

Trials and tribulations can bless us with humility and turn us towards our Savior and Lord to strengthen that relationship. Humility and love for the Savior builds that desire inside of us to forget ourselves and our pain and to reach out and help others in time of need. To love God’s children is to love God. When we love God and his children we learn to love ourselves.

I think the best way we can honor our loved ones who have passed on and cherish their memories is to reach out to those around us (friends and family members) and let them know how much we love them. Life is too short to take the living for granted. By reaching out to and loving the living we can heal our pain and suffering from those we have lost.

President Thomas S. Monson recently said:

“Throughout our lives, we must deal with change. Some changes are welcome; some are not. There are changes in our lives which are sudden, such as the unexpected passing of a loved one, an unforeseen illness, the loss of a possession we treasure. But most of the changes take place subtly and slowly.

This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.”

The Savior has felt our pain and suffering – he understands what we are going through and knows how to help. He lovingly died for us and through his atonement we are made whole. This is where we can find our hope ….through him we can find our peace.

I know that Lance will find peace and comfort , knowing that we have faith that we will see him again. He would want us to be happy, to celebrate his life by finding joy in our own. I believe that when our loved ones pass on they are given a special stuardship over us. They are there to aid in times of distress, attend important and happy events, and extend their love. I promise that if you hold onto the happy memories and focus on finding joy in your life – any regrets and sadness in your heart will be forgotten and you will anticipate the day that you will see Lance again and reunite with a host of friends and family.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ - amen.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ancient Prophecy Fullfilled in Our Time

In the last year I can't help but notice so much scripture prophecy coming to pass right before my eyes. Though many of these events may not be the actual events described in the scriptures they are enough to remind me to be prepared.To me this is a very exciting time to live because of all that is being done to prepare for the Savior's return. We know this will be a glorious event. To others, seeing possible signs come to pass may be frightening or uneasy because they are not ready. We have been told by the Savior himself if we are prepared we shall not fear.

Let me tell you, I have been preparing like crazy and my close friends and family can testify to this. Having a food storage and other survival supplies is important but we also need to be prepared spiritually. If we are going to live with Savior we need to be like him as much as we can. Now is the time to prepare.

Now, we don't have people standing on the sidelines validating signs as they each come to pass. It is up to us to be spiritually in tune so we can recognize them when they happen, so that we can do what's best for our families. We have been warned by prophets of past what is to come in our day and what we can do to be ready. We must be in tune to the spirit and pay attention to what is happening around us in the world and in our communities. I believe these sign aren't just meant to be wake up calls for some of us but another means to give us hope and build our faith that revelation is the scriptures is real and the Savior will return soon like he said.

Here are some examples of some of the possible "signs of the times" being fulfilled in our day in addition to earthquakes and rumors of war.

The Gulf Oil Spill

Revelation Chapter 8

8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood. 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

The oil rig that exploded very much had the appearance of a mountain on the sea burning. That's how John may have described it as he wouldn't have know what an oil rig was.

The media hasn't been able to verify an accurate estimation of sea life that has died due to BP and government "hush" on the issue. If this revelation is referring to the Gulf Oil Spill we can expect that it will effect 1/3 of the sea life along the gulf. The satellite pictures do reflect the appearance of a sea turned to blood.

Though the oil has been capped it is not the end of the catastrophe. Experts warn that a giant, 1,000 year old methane bubble could soon explode, taking out miles and miles of the ocean floor and causing a violent oil spill tsunami that would threaten the entire gulf coastline. This would cause the sinking of many ships.

The Mark of the Beast

Revelation Chapter 13

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

I had just read a news article this morning that really disturbed me. As I was reading in Revelation afterward I found this scripture about the mark of the beast. The correlation is astonishing.

The Joke's On Us: The $600 IRS Filing Provision in the Healthcare Bill Is the "Mark of the Beast"

The Joke's On Us: The $600 IRS Filing Provision in the Healthcare Bill Is the "Mark of the Beast"

by John Adams

This isn't a religious post by any means, but in order to buy or sell anything, as of 2012, everyone will have to have a number -- their SSN or other identifier in order to buy or sell anything.

Why? Well in order to track a cumulative purchase amount of $600 by an individual from any one vendor, whether it's a grocery store or the street vendor selling hotdogs outside of your office, you will have to provide a number in order for them to track and identify your purchases. Otherwise, there is no way to tell who or what is buying or selling under anything under $600 in cash.
It will literally be a situation where no one can buy or sell without his or her number, because if you do, you will be out of compliance with the IRS and they will kill or jail you. A little kid won't even be able to so much as run a lemonade stand without collecting this information. Every farmer's market and flea market will have to collect this info too, or be raided by the Feds for non-compliance.
The eeriness of this provision is obviously a cause for laughter in the eyes of the so-called "elite" as they will usher this nightmare in as of 2012.

This provision has to be spread far and wide and used as one of the prime examples for total repeal of the HealthCare bill.


Elder Dallin H Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has stated:

"While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us."

There are so many more signs that I have been aware of in the past year that it is startling. I have been sharing them with my family in effort to help us all be prepared for what lies ahead. My intention is not to frighten anyone, and yes, there is always the possibility that these events are not in correlation with what we read in Revelation. All I wish to say is that it never hurts to be prepared. The prophets have warned us and our modern day prophet has counseled us. If these signs are the real deal, we have nothing to fear if we are prepared.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How Strong is Your Faith?

My younger sister called me yesterday with some happy news. She works for Discover Card, on inbound phone calls. The last call she received of the day really surprised her and made her day. An older woman called in with some questions and explained to my sister that in her old age she had never had a credit card until now. She didn't know much about them or how they work. She then proceeded to share a very amazing experience.

She said that she had always been able to take care of herself just fine until recently. She no longer could pay her bills and had been struggling yet hanging on to hope in an answer to her prayers. One day in desperation she was on her knees about to say her last prayer in regards to the subject. She was ready to give up. She had exhausted all her resources and tried all she could think of. At the end of her prayer the phone rang. She answered it. It was Discover Card. She knew this was an answer to her prayers especially when she qualified for zero percent interest for an entire year. When my sister learned this she herself was amazed. During her entire career at Discover Card she has never seen anyone qualify for zero percent interest for an entire year. The woman told my sister that she was now able to pay her bills and pay the card off before the year was over. A miracle, some might say - but to God - well, he is just doing his job. "I, the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. (D&C 82:10).

So what is faith - really? Faith is a "hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21) We also know that "faith without works is dead". We have to act on what we hope for and what we believe to be true. We can't just think about it and hope for it. This is exactly where God tries our faith to see how strong it is. Are we praying for things such as, "Lord please help me receive a better job opportunity or some extra income" without actively searching the job adds and applying? That opportunity cannot fall into our laps unless we actively seek it. The Lord wants us to do all we can and then he will take lovingly it from there.

So why does the Lord require this of us? How much more grateful are we in appreciating and recognizing a miracle or answer to a prayer when it comes after we have exhausted all our resources and actions. I believe that humility is a God like attribute. When we are tired and worn thin and hanging on a thread of hope and the Lord picks us up and carries us the rest of the way, what do we learn? We learn that the Lord knows what we can and can't handle. We need these faith trying experiences so that we can become more like our Heavenly Father. They strengthen us, humble us and teach us who we really are. They show the Lord that we recognize his power in all things and he wants to bless us.

There are many people in the world who say or think in regards to faith in God, Jesus Christ or the gospel, " If I am shown a sign, then I will believe". Signs are not given to produce faith but to confirm faith and to bless the faithful. I think about the second coming and all the amazing signs we are seeing recently in the world. To those of us who have had faith that these signs will come - this is an exciting confirmation of our faith. To the rest of the world - well, sometimes seeing still isn't believing. I like to compare this to John chapter 20 when the Savior visits his disciples after he has risen. Thomas was not there to witness it. When he returned the disciples told him they had just seen the Lord, he was just there. Thomas responds, " Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe". Eight days later the Savior returned and beckons Thomas to feel his prints and side. Then Thomas announces he believes. The Savior responds, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed."

I don't know about you, but I don't ever want to be a Thomas. I think how amazing it is that so many of us have faith in Jesus Christ though we have never seen him. We pray to a God that we have also not seen with our human eyes. Why do we do this? Because we know and because we know and believe we are blessed. It is much more difficult to believe in something that you cannot see, so be proud of yourself for having a testimony of things you have not seen. You will be blessed far greater than those who did not believe until they saw.

Lastly, why should we strive to increase our faith? Just how exactly are we blessed? The answer lies in Moroni 7:25-26, 36-37 when we learn that through the gift of faith, miracles are wrought, angels appear, other gifts of the spirit are given, prayers are answered, and men become the sons of God. Never lose your faith, it's just not worth it. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Honoring the Constitution

Ever since I was a little girl in grade school I remember having such respect and admiration for the flag, the constitution and the freedoms we have in the United States of America. I would get goosebumps every time I recited the pledge of allegiance. The patriotic songs and programs we put on four our parents was such an honor to participate in and I loved the learning about the early founding fathers.

As a mom when I look at what is going on in the world and in our own country I am saddened. Seeing the constitution under attack and devalued worries me that my children will not experience the same "American Pride" I had always felt growing up. As parents, adults, leaders etc. it is our duty to teach our children about the foundations of this country and how it was established. It was established by the hand of God through valiant and wise men. As long as we reverence God in our country and look to him for guidance we will continue to be led by him and experience safety, peace and freedom. Let's never forget that.

In honor of this marvelous day I'd like to share the words of Ezra Taft Benson about the divine power in bringing fourth the constitution in his reverencing talk "The Miraculous Constitution" from the 1987 Friend.

"George Washington referred to the Constitution of the United States as a miracle. In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Savior declared, “I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80) These were not ordinary men, but men chosen and held in reserve by the Lord for this very purpose.
Shortly after President Spencer W. Kimball became President of the Church, we met together in one of our weekly meetings. We spoke of the sacred records that are in the vaults of the various temples in the Church. As I was to fill a conference assignment in St. George, Utah, President Kimball asked me to go into the vault and check the early records. As I did so, I realized the fulfillment of a dream that I had had ever since learning of the visit of the Founding Fathers to the St. George Temple. I saw with my own eyes the records of the work that was done for the Founding Fathers of this great nation, beginning with George Washington. Think of it—the Founding Fathers of this nation, those great men, appeared within those sacred walls and had their vicarious work done for them!

But we honor more than those who brought forth the Constitution. We honor the Lord who revealed it. God Himself has borne witness to the fact that He is pleased with the final product of the work of these great patriots.

In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith on August 6, 1833, the Savior admonished: “I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land” (D&C 96:8)

I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval on the Constitution of this land. I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has sent other choice spirits—even you who read my words—to preserve it."


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Egytpian Translates the Book of Mormon into Arabic

This amazing story testifies of an Egyptian scholar's experience when reading/translating the Book of Mormon back into it's ancient language. I love this story! Though I have always had a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and it's words were inspired by God through ancient prophets for our time, it is always refreshing to learn of others' experiences coming to this same knowledge. Enjoy!

Reflections of Sami Hanna as recorded by Elder Russell M. Nelson, apostle for the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My neighbor, Sami Hanna, is a native Egyptian. He is an academic scholar who moved into our neighborhood to accept an assignment with the university as a specialist in Middle Eastern Studies and the Semitic group of languages such as Arabic, Abyssinian, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Assyrian.

Being a newcomer into our community, he felt the Mormons were a bit of a curiosity. Upon learning
the name Mormon came from our belief that the Book of Mormon is divine scripture, he was intrigued by the existence of the Book of Mormon. He had erroneously thought this was American literature. When he was told that the Book of Mormon was translated from the ancient Egyptian or modified Hebrew type of hieroglyphic into the English language by the prophet Joseph Smith, he became even more engrossed, for this was his native language and he knows much about the other Semitic languages as well as the modern languages.

So challenged was he by this book that he embarked on the project of translating the Book of Mormon from English to Arabic. This translation was different from other translators, for this was to be a translation back to the original language of the book. To make a long story short, the process of this translation became the process of his conversion; for he soon knew the Book of Mormon to be a divine document even though he knew virtually nothing of the organization of the Church or of its programs. His conversion came purely from the linguistics of the book which he found could not have been composed by an American, no matter how gifted.

Some of these observations I think will be of interest to you, as they were to me, for they clarify some of the unique aspects of the book.

1. Jarom 2: "It musts needs be..." This expression, odd and awkward in English, is excellent Arabic grammar. Elsewhere in the book the use of the compound verbs "did eat", "did go", "did smile" again awkward and rarely used in English, are classical and correct grammar in the Semitic languages.

2. Omni 18: "Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according
to his memory. Brother Hanna indicates that this is a typical custom of his Semitic forebearers to recite their genealogy from memory.

3. Words of Mormon 17: Reference is made here as in other parts of the Book of Mormon, to
the "stiffneckedness" of his people. Brother Hanna perceives that this word would be a very unusual word for an American youth, Joseph Smith, to use. An American would likely prefer an adjective such as stubborn or inflexible. But the custom in the Arabic language is to use just such a descriptive adjective. Stiffnecked is an adjective they use in describing an obstinate person.

4. Mosiah 11:8 "King Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings and ornamented them with fine work and precious things, including ziff." Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the word "ziff" referred to in this scripture? This word, although in the Book of Mormon, is not contained in dictionaries of the English language. Yet it translates freely back into the Arabic language, for ziff is a special kind of curved sword somewhat like a scimitar which is carried in a sheath and often used for ornamentation as well as for more practical purposes. The discovery of the word "ziff" in the Book of Mormon really excited my neighbor, Brother Hanna.

5. Alma 63:11 Reference is made to Helaman, son of Helaman. Why did not Joseph Smith interpret this as Helaman, Jr., which would have been more logical for him, bearing the same name as his father, Joseph, and being named Joseph Smith, Jr. In Arabic , Brother Hanna explains, there is no word junior" to cover this circumstance. Their custom is to use the terminology Joseph, son of Joseph; Helaman, son of Helaman, etc.

6. Helaman 1:3 Here reference is made to the contending for the judgment seat.
Brother Hanna observes that the use of the term "judgment seat" would be quite strange to an American who might have used a more familiar noun such as governor, president, or ruler. Yet, in Arabic custom, the place of power rests in the judgment seat and whoever occupies that seat, is the authority and power. The authority goes with the seat and not with the office or the person. So, this, in the Semitic languages, connotes the meaning exactly.

7 Helaman 3:14 In this verse, there are a total of eighteen "ands." Reviewers of the Book of
Mormon have, on occasion, been critical of the grammar in such a passage where the use of the word "and" seems so repetitious. Yet Brother Hanna explains that each of the "ands" in this verse is absolutely essential to the meaning, when this verse is expressed in Arabic, for the omission of any " and" would nullify the meaning words.

8. Helaman 3:18-19 Have you wondered why the Book of Mormon cites a numbering
system such as this? Do we say "forty and six, forty and seven, forty and eight?" No! Joseph Smith's natural interpretation would; more appropriately have been forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight without the ands". Brother Hanna excitedly observes that the use of "and" in forty and six" is precisely correct Arabic. Remember they number, as well as read, from right to left and recite their numbers with the "and" to separate the columns.

Well, I have just cited a few of these examples. There are many more! As
Latter-day Saint leaders, we are aware of the Semitic origin of the Book of Mormon. The fact that an Arabic scholar such as this sees a beautiful internal consistency in the Prophet Joseph Smith's translation of the book, is of great interest. The Prophet Joseph did not merely render an interpretation, but a word for word translation from the Egyptian type of hieroglyphic into the English language. Brother Hanna said the Book of Mormon simply flowed back into the Arabic language.