Friday, December 30, 2011

Help Me Launch My New Book!

It's finally time! I told you a while ago that I was working on a new book. Well, I wrote it a few months ago and for some reason felt that I needed to wait on the last chapter for something that hadn't happened yet. I wasn't sure where I would come up with the money to publish it but I felt that it would all work out and come together by spring. I realized that if God was working through me to share this important message with even just one or two people, He would help find a way to make it possible. Well, the last chapter has finally come together and I can see God's hand in guiding this book to be published by spring.

To give a recap of the story, I received divine inspiration one day last summer about a message that I felt I was to share publicly. I was to write a book about my experiences with some very important successes and failures that have happened in the last few years in my life. I was to write about recognizing God's hand in all things and finding the successes in our failures. You see, God has taught me a lot about this in the past few years and there is a very important message relating to all of this that I have felt prompted to share. Even if this message only reaches a few people or changes the life of one, it will be worth the effort.

Click on this link to learn more about the book and how you can pre-order your copy and spread the word to help launch this Divine message! Thanks!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meeting the Savior - Part 2

I told you that I would share with you what I am giving Christ this holiday season.

In my last post I shared with you some personal experiences and accounts from a few people who had died and met the Savior before being brought back to life in the hospital. Their experiences were miraculous and glorious! Something I have found to be quite common in just about every NDE when someone meets the Savior, He asks them "What have you done for your fellow man?" They are then shown a review of their life.

Almost every time, the person feels like they could have done more to help others during their life. They then learn on the other side how important service is and that it's really what we should be occupying ourselves with daily. The natural man is quick to build up his empire on Earth with riches, fame and worldly status. However, on the other side, none of that matters. Your mansion in heaven is built for you based on your good deeds, service and love you rendered to others.

Ether 12:34
And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.

Christ is the very best example of service. He healed the sick, the blind and afflicted, raised the dead and was a friend to all. He expected nothing in return but asked that man might follow Him.

We can follow Him by trying to be like Him. If everyone tried to be like the Savior this world would transform itself into heaven on Earth. What a beautiful thought!

I know that if the Savior knocked on my door, I would jump for joy in humble reverence at the opportunity to welcome Him into my home and make Him feel comfortable. I would meet any request asked of me and it would be a blessing. The Savior probably will never show up at my doorstep however that doesn't mean that I will not have the opportunity to serve Him personally. After all, we know that when we are serving others, we are serving the Lord.

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Every time I hear someone testify that Jesus Christ is the Lord, whether it be a prophet, an account of a near death experience, a child, or just a neighbor down the street, I always feel the Spirit confirm that truth upon me.

In the Song "Oh Holy Night" (especially the Celine Dion and Josh Groban versions) there is a strong witness of our Savior. I am always filled with the Holy Spirit like massive waves of warm water rolling down from my head to my toes. I can't get enough of this song and it is my favorite Christmas song by all means.

Even without the music, the lyrics alone are very powerful.

Oh Holy Night

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt it's worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees
O hear the angel voices
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born
O night divine!
O night, O night divine!

And in His Name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise his holy name
Christ is the Lord!
Their name forever praise we

Noel, Noel
O night, O night Divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O night Divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O holy Divine

If you know Jesus is the Christ, the Lord, the Savior of the Earth, then share that with the world. I challenge you to look for opportunities each day where you can lift someone's burden and help them feel Christ's love for them. Whether it be a smile, a helping hand, a kind word, a kind gesture, or giving someone your time. Before your head hits the pillow each night, ask yourself, "What have I done to help my fellow man today?"

The gift I am giving my Savior this year and every year is charity through service and love. I know that is how we can best serve our Lord and Savior. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Here is a link to some short videos that best represent that sacred and special night when Christ was born. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meeting the Savior

It's nearing Christmas. Each day as we get a little closer to this special and sacred holiday, I can't help but think about Christ. What He did for us, his purpose in our lives and the Plan of Salvation. The more I ponder about Him, the more I want to be like Him and the closer I feel to Him.

As you know, I love to read books about Near Death Experiences. I own so many and refer to them a lot. What I love about these experiences is that they confirm eternal truths that I have always known to be true (three degrees of glory, a Heavenly Mother, children who pass away before the age of accountability etc.). Often times what people experience as "a new truth" that they had not known on the earth, I have known based on the doctrine and gospel principals taught in my LDS faith. It's exciting to see what I already know to be true confirmed through the testimony of someone learning it for the first time while briefly passing through the veil into the spirit world.

I love the messages that are always shared as loved ones from the other side and many times the Savior Himself, deliver special messages to the individual who has passed through the veil for a brief time. I believe each person who remembers their NDE is allowed to so that they may share what they learned with others. The spirit that I feel each time I read these messages and experiences is overwhelming. I tear up, get goose bumps, and I feel a warm rush from head to toe. I enjoy the confirmations of the Spirit and feeling the love of Christ especially during this time of year.

Though I love to read these experiences to feel the Spirit and strengthen my testimony , my favorite part without question is reading the description of being in the Savior's presence. I'd like to share a couple of excerpts from a couple of my favorite books, about what it's like to meet the Savior.

"As I got closer to the light I heard a voice - but again as in the beautiful meadow, not with my ears alone. It was as if every thing that I was, every particle of my being, was absorbing what I heard. I not only heard the voice, but I felt it as He spoke to me, saying, 'Through me you have Eternal Life.' .... Suddenly I knew these things! I mean I really knew them! Through Christ I would have eternal life, and only through Him would I have it. Jesus Christ was my Savior, my Lord, my Redeemer! He was the Way of my Salvation, the Perfector of my soul. He was the very eternal Son of the Most High God. He had shed His sinless blood in the Garden and again on the cross for me. And because of that He had power to say to me, emphatically and with divine confidence, "Through me you have eternal life.".... In awe I drew nearer, almost riding upon the rays that spread out from the halos that surrounded this light, until I saw in the light's core the outline of a man - a glorious being apparently made of light that seemed more golden than in color than the radiance that shown all about him. And though I thought of Him as light, He certainly had all the physical aspects and substance of a man. I saw His hands, His arms, His body, His neck, His head - I even noted His facial characteristics though I am at a loss to describe them now. Yet withall He was a being of power and glorious light so incredible that I could not really comprehend Him. But I do remember His eyes! They were so clear and bright - yet there was color to them - a beautiful blue color outlined in deeper blue that made me think of the color of the distant ocean on a clear day. But it wasn't so much the color of His eyes as it was the power in them, that awed me. Those fathomless eyes penetrated my very soul. They knew me beyond anything I was capable of knowing about myself - and to my absolute and dumbfounded amazement, still He loved me. In fact, the love I had felt from the moment of seeing the light had grown steadily stronger, and now it somehow reached out and literally began to encircle me and draw me closer. I knew that I had been with Him before, for I absolutely recognized Him. I knew that I had dwelt, with my same exact identity in an eternal life or existence prior to my mortal life, and in that existence I had come to know this glorious being thoroughly and even intimately. That is both why and how I knew that the voice I heard and felt, as well as the being I was now gazing upon, was my eternal Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ." - Elane Durham: I Stand All Amazed

"Being so concerned with what I had left behind, I hadn't even thought to glance upward. My single goal was my body lying beneath me, but before I could reach it, I was stopped by a hand encircling my arm.

Startled, I looked down at the hand. It was a man's hand, large and strong, but the most striking thing about it was the puncture wound centered in the back. Before I even raised my eyes to look at the person it belonged to, I knew that I was staring at the hand of Jesus Christ.

Filled with a sudden sense of awe, I looked up to see His blue eyes fixed on me, an expression of delight mixed with intense love emanating from their depths....

Although my heart quickened in the presence of my Savior, I tore my gaze away from Him, an unreasoning sense of panic seizing my heart. If Christ had come to get me personally, then my number must surely be up. I still didn't want to go. I couldn't. My children needed me.

I tried to pull away, struggling to break Christ's hold on my arm. anxious to get back to my body before the love and peace I felt from Him overwhelmed me and changed my mind. Because I had not been nurtured as a child, I couldn't bear to leave my children motherless.

Christ put His other hand around my waist to restrain me. With all the love in the world poured into a few simple words, He said, 'There are people who want to see you.'

'Then you'll have to bring them here, because I'm not going," I said.

I didn't dare glance up at His face again for fear I wouldn't be able to stick to my resolve.

After a moment of silence, a hearty laugh rang out, startling me from my single-minded purpose. Christ was laughing! His laughter was like blending light with love, creating a sound of musical delight. His laughter was also filled with a sense of infinite reassurance that instantly calmed my fears and stopped me from trying to reach my wounded mortal shell.

'I promise I'll bring you back,' Christ said, with remnants of His wonderful laughter threaded through His words.

I believed Him.

When I looked up at Him again, I was surrounded by love so complete that it was like nothing I'd ever felt anywhere on earth. Of course I would go with Him. I would follow Him anywhere." Suzanne Freeman - Through the Window of Life

"Upon completing my life's review, which took only seconds, I felt sickened and was left extremely shaken. It was then that I noticed something going on in the distant city that caught my attention. An extremely bright light had entered the city and was gradually moving down one of the streets. This moving light was so brilliant that it outshone the light of the city and was blinding beyond our sun or any other light source that I am familiar with. It was so much brighter than anything or anyone else around it. It was then that I realized the source of this moving light was a man in it's center. He was walking with a crowd of people all around Him. The light came from Him, from His body and His clothing. It was like He and His clothing were made of brilliant light. Immediately around His person there was a golden glow with beams of sparkling light pouring from His body and reaching considerable distance. As I looked closer at this sparkling golden light, it appeared like fragmented gold dust was actually a part of the beams.

The man was incredibly beautiful, and then in an instant I knew this was Jesus Christ making a visit to the city....His eyes were a piercing blue. But, like most things in the spirit world, it wasn't His appearance that was so overpowering ; it was the feelings of love and complete acceptance transmitted to me as I gazed upon Him. The feelings were glorious beyond description and filled my whole being so that it felt as if it would burst.

As Jesus walked down the streets, people gathered around Him in a huge crowd of hundreds and yet there was no pushing as they reverently and courteously came as close to the savior as they could. Those in positions closest to Him touched His clothes or His person and some embraced Him.

While observing the people, I knew that they were feeling His great love for them as I was feeling it. Those who could not get close enough to touch Jesus could feel His love through the golden beams of light emanating from Him. I thought to myself that these beams of light must spread throughout the universe and to us on earth as well, so that all people everywhere could feel this tremendous love if they wanted to. It was as if love was emanating from Him, permeating time and space, even in His physical absence." Sarah Menet - There is No Death

These descriptions are so vivid that I can feel the Lord's warmth, light and love when I read them. We have lived with Christ before. I believe that when reading these accounts it's as if our Spirits are familiar with these descriptions. They burn true and feel so familiar. The Holy Ghost then burns from within confirming that the Savior is real and He does love us endlessly.

I love my Savior Jesus Christ and while pondering on what I can give Him this Christmas season some humbling thoughts cam to mind. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post when I'll share what I am giving Christ this season and share some very spiritually uplifting thoughts about our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I know He lives and loves as all more than we can imagine. I know that we can live with Him again if we choose to. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Zion on Earth

This week I had the exciting opportunity to take a road trip with my husband and kids to Disney Land. I’ve been trying to plan this for the last three years and it finally happened. For the most part the kids were pretty good and the drive was very enjoyable. What I love most about road trips is all the time I have in the car to talk with my husband. The kids watch movies and fall asleep and we get to have some really good conversations.

I brought along three new books that I bought (all about near death experiences) and was able to read two of them in the car to my husband. The first being The Message by Lance Richardson, which a couple posts ago I had mentioned kept coming into my life and I felt I was supposed to read it. The other, I Saw Heaven by Larry Tooley which I liked even more than The Message.

Wow! I love books that talk about life in the Spirit World. I have so many and they are all very similar in their description. I Saw Heaven was very enlightening on the topics of our Heavenly Mother, premortal life and the three degrees of glory.The events were very detailed and the descriptions very vivid. It was so uplifting and it made me love and appreciate my family even more.

The Message, was all about service and how that is what is most important in this earthly life – serving others. These books inspired me to look for the good in all people all around me. It wasn’t hard at Disney Land. Everyone there was so happy and nice. In fact, even in Las Vegas (where we started)regular tourists smiled, waved hello, opened doors for us and offered to take pictures for us with our camera. As I began to notice and appreciate the good in all the world around me, I saw that is was everywhere. It was contagious. I passed the kindness right along everywhere I went. I thought about each and every person that came my way and saw them as a child of God. I felt equal to everyone and truly felt a small glimpse of a Zion society all around me.

At Newport beach, we stopped in at Subway for lunch. The man making our sandwiches looked about 50 years old with bleached blond surfer hair and tattoos all over. He was the friendliest man ever and was passionate about making our sandwiches delicious for us. He loved his job, he loved his life, he was so happy and kind. I thought to myself, “If everyone were as friendly as him, this would be heaven on earth”.

Another thought that came to my mind this week was about angels. The books I have read talk about our close friends, family members and ancestors who are usually our protective angels on the other side. I began to think that I might have been someone’s angel in the premortal life. As I thought about this, I also realized that everyone around me also had that opportunity in the premortal life and that again in the next life, they may again assist in helping others on Earth. Wow, I was truly walking amongst angels, children of God. And how many times does the Lord use people in our everyday lives to help answer our prayers and bless us. I didn’t need to anticipate what heaven will be like but rather bask in the beauty and joy of life on this earth. I had waited so many years in the preexistence to come here, receive a body and have an earthly experience. I was now having this experience.

I realized that I could no longer take this earthly opportunity for granted and that I needed to really enjoy it and make the best of it. As we continued on our vacation, I took every moment with my family and soaked it in. It was the happiest week of my life and I plan to continue making my days and weeks happy ones!

I know that this life really is just a twinkling of a second in the span of an eternal perspective. It goes by so quickly. What matters here doesn’t matter at all in the next life. Families and relationships are what matter most. If we can master that here then our transition into the spirit world will be much easier. I know that families are key to the plan of salvation and happiness. Families are everything and they are eternal. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time for a Time Out

I'm happy to share that I have been invited to be a featured blogger on

Time Out For Women is a division of Deseret Book Company and is an event and website where amazing, every day women share their stories and blogs. It's very inspirational!

You can visit this link to see my post and visit the website! You'll find details there of when the 2012 tour will be in your area. Should be great!Link

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Don't Give Up - Give Thanks!

Do you ever feel like you are headed in a million directions and you wish you were super woman? Well, that’s been me this week. Ever since we moved, for some reason I can’t seem to manage my priorities very well – but I’m getting there.

My to-do list is getting so long and dusty that’s it’s starting to look like one of the Dead Sea scrolls. I don’t know where you keep yours, but mine hangs smack dead in the center of our fridge (next to the accumulating mass amount of Jesus and temple pocket sized pictures). Every time I look at it I think of something to add to it and so it grows.

This week, I finally decided to tackle it. I want to make a slide show DVD of my children through the years from birth until 2011 as a Christmas gift for the grandparents. My in-laws are German and live in Germany and so I felt they would really appreciate something like this. I started it a couple of days ago and then remembered why I have avoided scrap booking for the last several months (another item on my to do list). My pictures are very unorganized and hard to find. Since my 5 year old was born we have gone through 4 computers. I have pictures on old hard drives, back up hard drives, slide show websites that don’t exist anymore, old phones and in addition to floating out in cyber space, I wouldn’t be surprised if some were actually floating out in outer space.

It’s been quite the adventure trying to get this finished before our family trip this weekend along with so many other things that must be done this week. At times I feel like I’m chasing my life and I just can’t keep up. Sometimes all you can do is say a prayer and just keep going.

Before going to bed last night, I pondered on the many different ways I could get a good grip on the reigns again. The first thought that came to mind was to ask my husband for a blessing (which I plan to do this evening). Isn’t it funny how we often forget the amazing power of the priesthood especially when it is right at our fingertips? I’m glad that the Lord is patient with me and helps me find direction.

Next, I thought about my family. They need to feel that they are at the top of my list always. I realized that the moments when I felt stressed, overwhelmed or frustrated were only happening when I put my family aside to take care of something less important. That needed to change.

Then I realized “HELLO” Thanksgiving is a day away. I needed to really be thinking about all of the things that I am thankful for rather than all the things I feel frustrated about or need to check off my list. Changing my attitude and priorities was the best solution to help get a grip on my life and slow things down a bit.

That night, I had a dream about my crazy, busy life. It started out happy and pleasant. I was enjoying friendships and service. Then I was on an airplane with my family headed to Sweden (airplane symbolizing my life's journey). I remember marveling that we were headed to Sweden because I have Swedish heritage (symbolizing my genealogy that I've been wanting to do). When we got there, because of the stress and chaos, we lost the baby (my feeling that I was losing time with my kids because of my busyness). She had wandered off at the airport and had disappeared. I was so sad and sick about it. When I woke up I knew what I needed to do.

So, this morning after taking my daughter to preschool I came home and surprised my other two kids. Without taking the time to look cute, put makeup on or check my email – I decided to take them on a walk. I realized that the baby and I hadn’t enjoyed sunlight in quite a while. The kids were so excited. As we ventured along through a neighborhood we never visit it felt so good to be walking in the warmth of the sun. It reminded me of the Savior and his love and light. It’s always there for us - we just need to take the time to feel it.

After I had that thought, we stumbled across a cute little playground we had never been to before. My kids were so excited and we stayed there for a while to play. Yes, I needed to get back to ship something to UPS, pick up some much needed groceries, bake pies for Thanksgiving, clean the house and…..(the list goes on), but for that moment in time all I thought about was playing with my kids.

Taking a time out and reflecting on what I am most thankful for has helped me remember that there will always be a “to-do list” and life will always seem busy, so if we are always waiting to “catch up” before we take a break then we will never get that break and we’ll miss out on the things that matter most.

When I got back to the house there were so many things awaiting me but I had a rejuvenated spirit. I decided that “time outs” were now going to be a part of my daily to do list. Sometimes we need to just breathe and enjoy life. If we take the time to do this each day – we will get so much more out of our lives, our relationships and most importantly – be able to feel the Spirit.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope that you too will take the time to slow down and find the little joys. Reflect on what you are thankful for and what you have been blessed with. All the other less important stuff really doesn’t matter. By doing this you will feel the Lord’s love for you and everything will work out. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Beacon of Light (on an icy road)

I decided I was going to go the temple this weekend but couldn't decide if I should go Friday night or Saturday morning. The closer temple (the Odgen temple) is closed for renovation/construction for the next 2 years and so the Bountiful temple gets pretty busy. Last time my husband and I went to the Bountiful temple, we prepaid a babysitter for 4 hours - that was our date night. From the driving, and waiting an hour and 15 minutes for a session, that was all we were able to do. No dinner. We made it back just in time with empty stomachs. Remembering how packed the temple was that Friday night, really made Saturday morning seem more appealing.

Yesterday afternoon, I just had the feeling I should go that night rather than in the morning. So I made the decision. A couple hours later I found a steal of a deal on a collection of Disney Princess dresses that my daughter really wants for Christmas. The whole set (accessories included) was just $7.00. I called the lady selling it, and she happened to live in Bountiful. An extra reason to go to Bountiful that night. I didn't want someone else to come along and buy the dresses.

After dinner, about 6:00 pm, I headed off to Bountiful. As I backed out of the garage, I noticed the wet, white flakes coming down in the darkness. It was snowing! Of course, I had heard on the radio that morning that a snow storm would roll in that night. Should I still go? Yes, I didn't want snow to stop me. It seemed like every time I planned to go to the temple, an obstacle always got in the way. Last time there was a misunderstanding with our babysitter, and though it would have been easier to stay home, I scrambled to find someone at the last minute.

I pressed forward in the snowfall. As I got on the freeway, the snowfall began to increase and I could not see the lines on the road. It was difficult to see what lane I was in as the water on the ground reflected the lights above. As large trucks flew passed me splashing slush across my window, I gripped the wheel tightly and pressed forward. There were blinding spots where I couldn't read the signs and relied on my GPS to lead me to my exit. Trying to focus on what lane to be in (especially when the freeway curved) meant my eyes needed to focus on the road only.

The voice from the GPS system was very comforting and gave me the assurance and direction I needed that night. As I exited off the freeway, the blinding snow made it difficult to see where to turn when the voice told me to turn. If I couldn't see the road to turn on, I didn't feel comfortable turning. So I would continue driving straight ahead. I ended up going 10 miles out of my way on a frightening adventure that led me on some back deserted roads and over two sets of train tracks. I had no idea where I was going - but the GPS did.

I continued to grip the wheel tight and prayed out loud over and over that God could keep me safe and get me to my destination. Finally I made it to the lady's house and bought the dresses from her. She was very kind and threw in some extra free things for my daughter. I thought that was very kind of her considering her financial circumstances. With the bag of princess clothing in hand my motivation was renewed and I was happy to now be on my way to the temple. I didn't need the GPS for the temple - I knew where it was.

As I ventured east up the road and then south towards the next main road that would lead me to the temple, I noticed the blinding snow once again trying to defeat me. As I made my way to where I thought I needed to be, I went on a long journey up the mountain and soon, nothing looked familiar. After 10 minutes of driving east, I thought for sure I should have arrived at the road that leads to the temple by now. What direction was I really going? Where was I?

I pulled over to call my husband and he did not answer. I waited a few minutes and called again. I tried to look up the temple on my GPS but every key word I tried, led to no results found. I called my husband again. It was then I noticed that my gas light was on. How long had it been on? I was so focused on the terrible roads, I had completely ignored the warnings in my car. If I continued to drive up the mountain I would run out of gas quick. I had not seen a gas station in quite a while, just homes. I looked at the clock - 20 minutes until the temple would close. Again I prayed out loud that all would be okay and I could make it to the temple before it closed.

I decided to call my sister. She answered! I explained to her my predicament and asked if should give me the address for the temple so I could put it into my GPS. After reprehending me for even being out at night, in a snow storm, by myself, she looked up the address for me. I told her I could get there now and I would call her if I got stranded.

With no time to go back down the mountain looking for a gas station I head upward. I was 2 and a half miles away from the temple and the GPS told me where to go. Watching the needle drop below the empty line was tense but I told God that I needed His help so I could make it to the temple and do His work. After all I had been through I needed the temple more than ever.

Then that comforting feeling came as I glanced through the snow, through the trees and above the homes at the piercing white light that shined through the bleak snowstorm. Amongst all that darkness and snow was the most beautiful white light I had ever seen. The temple was near, I could see it!

As that warm peaceful feeling came over me that all would be okay, several quotes and scriptures flooded into my mind.

In April 2011 General Conference, President Monson said;

"Today most of us do not have to suffer great hardships in order to attend the temple. Eighty-five percent of the membership of the Church now live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple, and for a great many of us, that distance is much shorter."

I laughed as I pondered this. Sure I lived fairly close, but I had experienced great hardships to get here. How could I feel so defeated when so many other saints live a day's travel or more away from a temple. I needed to feel blessed and grateful.

Nephi 12:2

And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.

Matthew 5:14

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

There was this beautiful temple prophesied in ancient scripture. A light unto the world, a house of God on the mountain top. No matter how dark or treacherous the storm, the light from the temple on the hill could not be hid. God's work was shining forth for all to see. I was touched at this thought.

Once I parked at the temple I carefully made my way in 5 inch heels across a blanket of ice and snow, as the snow fell fiercely onto my face. Once inside, safe and warm - it had all been worth it. I did the work I came to do and enjoyed every peaceful moment of it. When it was time to leave, I took a deep breath and walked towards what faced me ahead. There were now inches of snow on the ground and more falling. "Wow!" I said as I looked at a sweet older lady standing by the door. "I know." she said, "Isn't it beautiful!" Once again a profound learning moment (which is what I love about going to the temple). I was seeing the snowfall as frightening, terrible, dangerous annoyance and she was standing there peacefully smiling at what she viewed to be absolutely beautiful. That changed my perspective as I walked out into the pure white blanket that awaited me.

I pondered on what I had learned that night. Sometimes life gets dark and we are blinded by so many distractions and dangers. If we listen to the voice of the Holy Ghost (our spiritual GPS) He will guide us safely to our destination. Having faith that God hears our prayers and guides us, will bring that comfort that we need when standing in the face of fear. If we trust in Him, we will not be afraid. I couldn't help but wonder if angels were following me out to my car, as I didn't slip once on the icy ground. I was serving God and I felt that He would protect me on my journey home. Again I said a prayer that He would keep me safe.

On the way home, Christmas music was playing on the radio and it suddenly made the the snowfall seem so perfect. I began to think about the names of the people I had officiated in temple work for. They had been waiting hundreds of years to have these ordinances performed for them, and I felt that they appreciated the sacrifices I made that night and were a part of helping me get to the temple safely to do their work. All was well in the spirit world and here on Earth. I now trusted in the Lord to get me home safe ... and He did.

I know that when we are in the service of the Lord He watches over us. When we pray He hears us. Also, the temple truly is a house of God and I feel His spirit so strong there. I love this work and this gospel and am grateful as it continues to bless my life. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ - amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life After Life

My sister called me today and we began to talk about the mother and her two children that were killed over the weekend from crashing into a river. My sister knew the family and she shed some details about the story that made it even more heart breaking.

Here is a copy of the story from the Deseret News

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Thomas Powell wasn't sure how to break the news to his 7-year-old son that the boy's mother and two younger brothers won't be home when he's released from the hospital.

"I haven't told him," he said Sunday afternoon. "I don't know how to tell him."

Since Wednesday night, Anthony Powell has been at University Hospital's burn center, recovering from third-degree burns to his right foot. The boy had been playing with a lighter at the family's Eagle Mountain home, and his pant leg caught fire.

Thomas Powell was at the burn center with Anthony on Saturday afternoon when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper broke the news to him that his wife, Inndia, and their other two boys, 3-year-old Alexander and 1-year-old Ashton, were killed in an auto accident.

"She was a great mother, a hard worker and a good friend," Thomas Powell said from his home in Eagle Mountain. "She was my best friend. She was loved by everybody. Everybody who knew her loved her."

Inndia Cherie Powell, 26, was on her way to visit a friend in Evanston, Wyo., when the Dodge Caravan she was driving slid off a slick, snow-covered freeway and into a river. The woman was caught in a snowstorm, with limited visibility, police said.

Inndia Powell was traveling east on I-80 about 10 miles northeast of Coalville about 2:30 p.m. when she lost control of the minivan. The vehicle slid off the east side of the freeway, hit a fence, rolled down an embankment and ended up upside-down in the river.

Police said the tread on the minivan's rear tires was worn, and that contributed to the accident. Inndia Powell and the two boys all were wearing safety restraints.

Alexander and Ashton were flown to a Wyoming hospital but were not able to be resuscitated.

The boys, their father said, "liked to be rowdy and wrestle." Alexander was a fan of Star Wars and Transformers, and both he and Ashton loved trucks and airplanes.

Thomas and Inndia Powell would have been married eight years on New Year's Day. The couple hugged and kissed for the final time Saturday morning at the burn center. Inndia had planned to return to the hospital Saturday evening and spend the night with Anthony.

Thomas Powell said Anthony got out of bed late Wednesday night when he couldn't sleep and had gone downstairs to eat some of his Halloween candy. Alexander later joined his older brother, who had found a barbecue igniter and was burning candy wrappers.

At some point, Anthony's pants caught on fire, Thomas Powell said. The fire spread up the boy's right pant leg and to his shirt, though he was only injured on his right foot.

"Alex … ran upstairs and told Inndia, 'Anthony's on fire.' She sprang out of bed, came (downstairs) and found him just sitting here burning," he said.

Anthony is recovering from a skin-graft surgery and is expected to be released from the hospital this week, by Wednesday at the latest, Thomas Powell said. The boy will have to undergo physical therapy and relearn how to walk.

And together, father and son will have to learn to adjust to life without Inndia, Alexander and Ashton. But they won't have to do it alone.

"We have a lot of support in our family," Thomas Powell said. Friends and neighbors also have been very supportive, he said.

People can donate to the Inndia Powell Famly Memorial at any America First Credit Union.

When my sister talked about this story with me, she said, "Lindsey this is why I called you today. I felt that I really needed to tell you this." The hairs on my arm stood up. I also felt that what she was about to tell me , I needed to hear and that I needed to write about it on my blog.

My sister has been reading a book called The Message by Lance Richardson. We love books about Near Death Experiences and I own so many. Earlier this year a friend had messaged me on facebook and told me to read the book The Message by Lance Richardson. I was very excited to do so, and then from the busyness of life, put it out of mind. After talking with my sister today, I again feel the need to get that book and read it. I don't think anything is ever a coincidence in this life. Someone wants me to read this book.

My sister and I began to talk about families and the after life. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I know the importance of families and the role they play in the plan of salvation. I know why we are here at this time and what our purpose is. I know where we are going after we die and the plan laid out before us when that time comes. What I love about NDE books is that they confirm this knowledge that I already have. It's so divine to hear about real experiences from the other side that confirm what I already know to be true. In addition to that, they add a little extra food for thought. Pleasant and exciting aspects about the afterlife that we just can't comprehend with our mortal minds, yet they are so intriguing that they somehow make complete sense.

In the book The Message (I am going to read this book and share more later), Lance Richardson experiences several out of body experiences while in a medical induced coma for three weeks. During this time he learns many things about his mission on Earth and the greater picture in the grand scheme of things. One of the truths that he learns is that we agree and are apart of the decision making process of when our life will come to an end on this earth before we are ever born. We see the trails and challenges that wait for us in our earthly life before we even experience them. We plan with our families how we will help each other so that we can make it through those challenges and make it back to each other on the other side. Whether we help each other together here in mortality or we pass on and help from the other side, it is all a part of a great plan that we agreed to before we came here. We understood then what we can't understand now. It just doesn't make sense now to think that a mother would choose to leave her family here on Earth under such circumstances. However we just don't know what trials lie ahead for her husband and son. Maybe she and her other children are going to be a part of a great mission to help her family on Earth through what lies ahead. What love would fill my heart to know that my loved ones loved me enough to choose to leave this life before me so that they could better help me make it back to them. It's a selfless act and very Christlike indeed.

It is comforting for me to know that families are forever. It is not by chance that we end up as families on earth. Whether through adoption, or being married in, we were divinely selected and agreed to be family units here on this earth. Our ancestors whom we have never met, our best friends, neighbors, and distant cousins are all meant to be a part of our life in one way or another for special reasons. It is all a part of a greater design that we cannot fully comprehend. If we understood it all, we would not feel as much pain in this life because we would know the joy that awaits us.

Though we may not understand everything in this life we can continue to learn and grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Line upon line, precept upon precept. God is in control of all things. He knows when, where and how to help us we just have to ask. If there is something we desire to understand, God can shed some light on it for us when we ask. I am on a continuous journey of seeking personal revelation in my daily life. Because I know and understand the simple concepts of the gospel, it's easier for me to make sense of the more difficult aspects. I love learning and growing my testimony. No matter how tough this life gets, I am glad to have this experience and the opportunity to try to be more like my Savior amongst daily challenges and trials.

I pray for the family above and I know that it may not be easy but they will get through this. Their loved ones may have been taken from this earthly life but they live and are busy at work right now helping their family on earth and preparing for the Savior's return. What an amazing day that will be when we get to reunite with our loved ones. I know that families are a part of the plan of happiness that God has for us, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ - amen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

He Hears and Answers (Even in a Shoe Closet)

I've had a few people reach out to me recently through my blog and tell me how it has been inspiring to them. I've been told more than once that it's refreshing to hear about topics other than craft making, decorating, and all the usual. I have to admit I do have a food blog that I share my most favorite recipes on weekly, and I have a private blog where I share fun photos and family activities. I have always wanted to blog about all the creative crafts and projects I seldom have the time to do but nonetheless always have the itch to talk about. Though I love to write and I love to create, if I spent my time blogging about all of those fun yet less important things then I would never find the time to share what's most important to me. My testimony.

Every week my testimony is strengthened through small means but in leaps and bounds. By sharing with you, the things that Heavenly Father puts in my heart every day - my testimony is strengthened and I feel I am more productive with my time. I feel good about spending 30 minutes of my time each week to testify of the Lord and His hand in my life. This blog has been a great blessing for me and I hope for you as well.

When I first started this blog a couple years ago, I wanted to remain as private as possible. Because of all things that I do on the side, I didn't want people to think that I had created another blog to spotlight those other areas in my life. My goal was just to be an anonymous woman sharing her testimony. However over the past few months I have had a strong impression that I need not be so private about my identity. As I struggled with this thought, more and more of you began reaching out to me and asking who I am, if I have a facebook page, an email address or a way that you can learn more about me and contact me. It's been very clear that the Lord is trying to tell me to not hide under a bushel any longer. I believe that the combination of what I do along with what I believe together can be a force for good. The Lord has made this very clear and I want everyone to know that any way that I can be an example and a voice for good I am willing to heed the call.

With that said, I'd like to share with you another way that the Lord has answered my prayers this week. I love that He works in mysterious ways because for me, it's the things that I least expect that have the biggest impact on my testimony. It's the unusual answers and impressions that are always the most profound and they help me recognize that God is always 100% involved.

Now, it's time to reveal something that I don't think my own husband even knows about me - that would be my "prayer closet". Do you have a place in your home where you feel the most in tune to the Spirit? For me that is the "prayer closet" (that's what I call it), or in other words my shoe closet. When I really need to plead with the Lord, receive revelation and feel His spirit I go to my prayer closet. Believe it or not but amongst those rows and rows of colorful shoes and the ever content sweaters hanging above, I feel the closest to the Lord in my home. Just between me and the shoes, I think the Lord would agree that He can communicate best with me when I am on my knees in the shoe closet.

Earlier this week I had a "prayer closet" type of plea that I needed answers to right away. I know that the Lord wants us to think for ourselves and exercise our accountability and agency in decision making. However when a big, risky decision is at hand I don't feel comfortable making it without direction from the Lord.

I have a product that I invented a couple years back and it has taken me on quite the adventure. So much to say, that I am writing a book about it and hope to release it in the spring. I will share more about that in the coming months. Anyway, I have come to a crossroads where I have to decide whether or not to take on a big financial risk/investment in order to take my business to the next level. Because I am a big advocate of zero debt it was tough for me to consider taking on debt as a means to support my current business growth. I knew that without this financial step my business would be on downward spiral as I could not continue keeping up with the demands on my own.

With that weighing heavy on my mind while trying to be a great mom and excellent wife, it was more than I could bear. I knew that there must be a way that I could achieve what I needed to without so much money involved. Every place that I contacted seemed to say otherwise, but I was determined. So, I went to the Lord and told him my dilemma. I told Him that I know that He knows all things and that He would know of a better direction for me to go with what I was trying to accomplish. A direction that I could feel good about that did not involve so much risk. I felt the Spirit confirm that God did know a way and that with my faith He would reveal it.

After I went to bed a thought came to my mind about a baby product I had ordered a year ago. The next thought that followed was that I needed to contact the owner of that business. Not sure how this would all unfold, I did know that the Lord was helping carry by burden and that He was watching out for me. That was all I needed to know to enjoy a good night sleep.

The next morning I remembered my thought. It was then I realized that I did not remember the name of the company I had ordered this product through. Not to mention that this baby product had nothing to do with my product. Still, I felt that by contacting this company I would get the answer I needed.

Rather than taking the time to track down this company,it seemed much easier just to contact similar companies. I quickly found this not to be effective and not what the Lord had prompted me to do. Finally, I sat down at my computer. The only thing I could think to do was to Google certain key words, "baby sling", "Utah company" etc. Maybe if I was lucky and after much time I would find it. To my surprise the very first link that came up in my search was the one! It was a mommy blog and the blogger had blogged about a baby sling she had bought from a Utah company and there was the link to their contact information. It was a picture of the same product I had purchased. I couldn't believe it! I then remembered that the Lord always provides the way, we just have to do what He asks and trust Him.

Just as we are told in 1 Nephi 3:7

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

It is no different with the promptings of the Spirit. When we are prompted to do something and it doesn't make any sense or even seem possible, we should remember that the Lord would never ask or prompt us to do something and then leave us completely on our own to do it. He will always provide a way.

I called the phone number and long story short, the owner of this company spoke to me for 45 minutes on the phone and gave me the solution I was looking for. I was so excited, it felt like Christmas morning! I called my husband and shared with him the great news. I now felt that I could continue to focus on being a great mom and excellent wife and the Lord would help me take care of my business. My priorities were in order and all would fall into place.

Yes, the Lord hears and answers our prayers - even in a shoe closet. It doesn't matter where we pray, the Lord will always hear us. What's important to us is important to Him and He knows the best solutions for all of our problems. I know that He heard my prayer this week and He answered it. I am always grateful for all the ways he blesses me and let's me know that He is there watching over me.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.