Sunday, January 29, 2012

God Had Mercy on My Pitty Party

About mid last week I was having trouble ridding a small storm cloud that seemed to be following me around. I have had some things I have been praying about for the past couple of years and little by little, here and there the Lord blesses me with a small stepping stone that helps me get a bit closer to my goals. However I had reached a point where I felt I had been so patient for so long and I finally needed to reach a deadline I had set for myself regarding a huge goal.

I had done all that I could do on my own. In fact, I had spent hours working towards my goal because I wanted the Lord to see that I really had given it my all. Finally. I had reached a point where I was feeling defeated and that I had wasted countless hours of my time. I was worried that what I had been praying for was never going to happen. If that was going to be the case I would let a handful of people down that were counting on me. I would then have to problem solve a whole other set of issues that would stem from my prayer not being answered (the way I wanted it to be). I dreaded having to face these issues and was running out of hope.

After a few days of dragging around this ball and chain of despair, I realized that if I continued on this "poor me" attitude it would take me on a downward spiral which would greatly affect my family and my well being. I wanted to be happy again, but I just couldn't find anything to be happy about. I was fatigued from the burden of doubt and hopelessness and began to lose my desire to be positively productive. I'd rather take a nap and sleep my unhappiness away. I knew I needed to do something more.

About mid morning, I knelt down in humble prayer and told the Lord how I felt. I let Him know that I needed His help. I told Him that I wanted to feel the Spirit and I wanted to be guided back to that place where I could feel strength and happiness. After that I went about the rest of my morning doing my daily tasks not feeling too much better but hanging on to my hope that the Lord had heard my prayer and would help me.

After the kids went down for a nap I felt strongly that I needed to read the January Ensign. Realizing that if I didn't read the Ensign I would probably opt to take a wasteful nap. I knew that at least by reading the Ensign I would open up a channel for the Spirit to speak to me. I had been praying for help hadn't I? I needed to then put myself in a position where I could feel the Spirit.

I opened it up to the very first page titled, Living the Abundant Life by President Thomas S. Monson. Intrigued by the title I began to read. Just a few sentences into the message I knew that this message was meant for me. The Spirit had guided me to it. President Monson gave counsel about how to reach your goals and find success. He spoke about having a positive attitude and believing in yourself. He said,

"So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment."

Though I have told myself similar words of comfort before and probably had given similar advice to family member and friends in the past who came to me needing a boost, it was the mere fact that I had been guided to these words and they were from a prophet, that I felt the Lord was speaking directly to me. Immediately I felt the warm wave of love and peace come over me.

President Monson concludes his message by saying,

"There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!"

I was already feeling that burden of despair leave my body. I put the Ensign down and thought I would rest for a minute and ponder on what had just happened. It was then I felt a sudden push or urge to pick the Ensign back up and that there was more. I flipped it open to Recognizing God's Hand in Our Daily Blessings by Elder D. Todd Christofferson. The subtitle read, Asking for and receiving daily bread at God's hand plays a vital part in learning to trust Him and in enduring life's challenges. Again that warm wave of love came over me.

These three paragraphs spoke right to me,

"Some time before I was called as a General Authority, I faced a personal economic challenge that persisted for several years. It ebbed and flowed in seriousness and urgency, but it never went away. At times this challenge threatened the welfare of my family, and I thought we might be facing financial ruin. I prayed for some miraculous intervention to deliver us. Although I offered that prayer many times with great sincerity and earnest desire, the answer in the end was no. Finally, I learned to pray as the Savior did: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). I sought the Lord’s help with each tiny step along the way to a final resolution.

There were times when I had exhausted all my resources, when I had nowhere and no one to turn to for help to meet the exigency before me. With no other recourse, more than once I fell down before my Heavenly Father, begging in tears for His help. And He did help. Sometimes it was nothing more than a sense of peace, a feeling of assurance that things would work out. I might not see how or what the path would be, but He gave me to know that, directly or indirectly, He would open a way. Circumstances might change, a new and helpful idea might come to mind, some unanticipated income or other resource might appear at just the right time. Somehow there was a resolution.

Though I suffered then, I am grateful now that there was not a quick solution to my problem. The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years taught me how to truly pray and get answers to prayer and taught me in a practical way to have faith in God. I came to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way and to a degree that might not have happened otherwise or that might have taken me much longer. I learned that daily bread is a precious commodity. I learned that manna today could be as real as the physical manna of biblical history. I learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart. I learned to walk with Him day by day."

Could I be grateful for slow solutions to achieving my goal? Yes, I could! God was aware of my situation and he would not let me fall into a circumstance that I couldn't handle. I needed to trust that He had an answer and that it had been slow in coming for a good reason. He wanted me to know that He hears me and wants to bless me. With His tender mercy he extended two magnificent blessings right away just to let me know He is there and to build up my faith.

My phone received a text. I looked down and read the glorious message. A new neighbor that I had been trying to befriend over the last couple of months had finally said, "Yes" to an invite I had extended to her. Not only had she said she wanted to attend a church activity with me, she let me know how much she was looking forward to it! This was the boost I needed to lift me up off the couch and get me back to my old self. I turned on the music and began to clean the house and cook a delicious dinner. I was so happy!!

I went down to the basement to gather some things and something told me, "Take your phone with you". I thought to myself, "Why?" I'll only be gone a few minutes. Then the voice said, "You are going to get an important phone call while you are in the basement, take the phone with you or you will miss this opportunity." So, I headed back up the stairs and grabbed my phone.

I was looking for 6 specific items in a pile of packed up boxes. To my surprise I found them much quicker than expected and right as I picked up the last item, I thought "This would be perfect timing if that call came now." And of course - my phone rang. I answered the call and yes, it was an opportunity of a life time. A lady in a position of great influence had came across one of my blogs and had tracked me down to propose an opportunity of a life time. We talked for a little while and she said she would get back to me if it her proposal was going to be possible. I was so happy! Realizing that yes, this opportunity might lead to nothing at all, I recognized that it was Heavenly Father's way of showing me that he cares about me and the things that I work hard on are making a difference. He knew this would make my day!

I ended up having a wonderful night and a wonderful weekend. Changing my attitude made all the difference. If I hadn't decided to reach out to the Lord, listen for the Spirit's guidance and then act, I wouldn't have had such an amazing experience. My testimony grew in leaps and bounds that day and I felt so much closer to the Lord. I still didn't have an answer to my 2 year long prayer however I could see that God was blessing me in so many other ways and that he had a plan, I just needed to trust Him.

I love that God is so forgiving and loving. I can tell you from my own experiences that I know if you let Him, He will show you How much He loves you. You just have to ask for it and then look for it. We may be waiting for an answer to a prayer that we are losing patience on. As soon as we lose our patience, we lose our trust. We then lose out on daily blessings He freely extends to us, because we choose not to see them.

Next time you are in a moment of despair, ask to feel the Lord's hand and ask for the Spirit to guide you. Then put yourself in a position to feel the Spirit. Read your scriptures, your Ensign, listen to hymns whatever it takes for you to be able to hear or read the words that God has sent for you. Be in tune and you will receive the daily blessings He knows you need to help you out of your despair. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Waiting Upon the Lord

I spoke today at church in Relief Society and was asked to cover Robert D. Hales' talk Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done from October 2011 conference. It is such a great talk that I recommend you read.

I have reflected on this topic over the last 6 months as it's the basis of my new book. There is so much to consider when thinking about patience and faith in the Lord. It's astounding. There's just not enough time to cover it all in a Sunday lesson, so I was excited to come home and write about it here.

Elder Hales says, "I have often pondered, Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will? Why is it so hard, especially for them? ....I think of our pioneer forebears, driven from Nauvoo and crossing the plains, exercising their agency to follow a prophet even as they suffered sickness, privation, and some even death. Why such terrible tribulation? To what end? For what purpose?"

I searched for thoughts on this from my Great, Great, Great, Grandmother Elizabeth Oakden Whitaker who was a pioneer and crossed the plains. In her biography (speaking about the prophet Brigham Young during the winter of 1854 in Utah) she said, "There was much sickness among the people that winter, including Brigham and his family. Some thought this strange, that he should be ill, being their leader and appointed by God as it were. But he responded: 'All our sufferings in this life are for our good, that we may learn the contrast between good and evil. Jesus descended below all things that He might rise above all things. All men who receive the same glory must abide the same law. Some are alarmed because so many of my family are sick. I have as good a right to be sick as anybody. I do not wish to escape affliction, sickness, pain or sorrow, any more than others wish to escape them; for if we make a right use of them, they will return to us in blessings.'"

How true is that? Great men of God, prophets and leaders from history and the scriptures all suffered pains and afflictions. Moses, Job, Abinadi, Joseph Smith, (to name a few) and the Savior Jesus Christ Himself. In fact, Christ suffered all the sins of the world. So much was His pain and suffering that God sent an angel to help strengthen Him (Luke 22:43). We are told to try our best to be like the Savior from modern day prophets and from the Savior (3 Nephi 27:27). If we want to be like Him then we must experience trials and tribulations, pain and suffering.

So, why do bad things happen to good people? Elder Hales states, "These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son."

I often think back to a time I don't remember yet the Spirit confirms to me. A time before I came to this earth. I know that we were shown many of the trials and challenges we would have when we came to this world
. How could we use our agency to accept this earthly experience if we did understand what it would entail for us? We knew it would not be easy but we understood that it was necessary in order to return to live with our Father and Heaven and to become like Him. In fact, we agreed to many of the trials we would have because we understood how those specific trials would strengthen us in ways that we needed. We did not know how it would feel to experience our challenges with the veil covering our spiritual memory while in mortal bodies but we were anxious to come here nonetheless.

Now that we are here experiencing life's challenges, we have forgotten what we once knew before we came here. It becomes much easier to slip away into despair and hopelessness. Much easier to think, "Why has God abandoned me?" "Why doesn't He answer my prayers?" "Why does He allow me to suffer such pains?" When we search out and ponder through scripture and prayer the eternal perspective of all things, then and only then, it becomes much easier to think, "God has helped me endure this trial - He loves me." "Yes, this is hard, but I feel God's love for me." "These trials are only temporary, as this life is temporary - I will endure."

When I leave this life and am greeted by loved ones on the other side, and the veil is lifted..I know my memory will come back and I will remember accepting those trials and challenges before I came to Earth. I will then understand much better how those trials were supposed to benefit me. I will be sad if there were trials that caused me to give up or lose hope. I will rejoice if I endured them and held onto my faith. I will see and learn how my trials helped others around me that I may not have realized at the time (it gave others opportunities to serve me) and understand how great God truly is. I will also see how angels from Heaven came and helped me in hours when I may have felt alone or overwhelmed. I will see how my prayers were answered - each and every one, even if in this life I may have felt that some were not. My eyes will be opened and I will understand. Because I experienced those challenges in the spirit and the flesh, my understanding will be perfected and my knowledge increased. Thus, becoming more like my Father.

As a parent, I allow my children to experience certain trials and challenges for their good. Though I feel sorrow for them when they suffer, I rejoice when they endure and are strengthened. My children want to be like me and I want them to experience the joys and challenges of parenthood someday. I know in order for them to be great parents and great leaders they must experience trials and challenges to prepare them and strengthen them. As it is with out Father in Heaven. He has been there and he understands. He allows us to experience adversity so that we might understand and appreciate joy. That we may really understand the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. That we are given opportunities to exercise our agency to follow the Savior or Satan. He must stand back and allow us to utilize our free agency even when it pains Him at the choices we make. He loves us enough to let us choose for ourselves. Do we choose to hold onto faith and endure or to give up? No matter what we choose He will always love us - that's how great He is.

That is what gives me hope and helps me through difficult times in my life. Remembering this eternal perspective. Not only do our trials and sufferings benefit us in the end, they also benefit many around us. How could we be a shoulder to lean on for others if we have not been in their shoes at times and understand what they are going through? Trails help us to reach out to others who are experiencing similar trials and love them and lift them up.

I have to say I must be grateful for adversity in my life because I wouldn't be who I am today without it. If life was free of challenges or trials we would not learn and grow. Heaven will be free of pain and suffering and life will be eternal. When we return to our real home, our Heavenly home, this life will have seemed just like a day at school. We will return home from school greeted by those we love.

Now we must remember that God does not require us to understand the purpose of our trials or His will. This makes sense for greater trials such as the death and suffering of a loved one or the abuse of an innocent child. We might think, "Why did God allow this to happen?" Remember that God would cease to be God if he did not allow all men free agency. Thus, if a man chooses evil, often God will allow those actions to take place so that this man might be held accountable for his actions and evil desires of his heart. He will be judged accordingly by God and all things will be made fair. God's justice is true justice. Sometimes God intervenes and spares a life or a terribly incident from happening. Again, we are not required to understand God's will just to trust it. In the end all things will be made fair and we will understand. If we were abused, our pain will be taken away and we will be perfected in the Savior. Remember, Jesus Christ experienced all of our pain. We can find peace and healing in Him.

I truly believe that when we pass away we are given the opportunity to accept dying. If we truly feel we are not ready to die I don't believe God would force that upon us. However, if it is God's will and once on the other side we have that spiritual ability to understand God's will and how we might be needed by Him on the other side we might choose to accept our passing. It might be that we are able to help our loved ones on Earth better from the other side as we have a better understanding and ability to help them. It also might be that we agreed to a certain task or mission before we came to earth that needed to be fulfilled at that time on the other side.

I also believe that those who do not survive horrific tragedies, are relieved from having to experience the pains of death. I believe that the spirit leaves the body before the pain is felt. Thus, that spirit is greeted by loved ones and feels the warmth of the Savior's love. Their understanding is increased and they are happy where they are. They are home and wait to greet us when it's our turn.

As we go through this life and encounter struggles (as we all will) remember that we are not humans having a spiritual experience we are spirits having a human experience. We must learn patience, humility, love and charity. That is why we are here. We must learn to be like our Savior. It will not be easy but it will be worth it. Again, it may not make sense to us now and sometimes that lack of understanding creates anger and resentment. Don't allow yourself to be angry at God. Trust Him, pray to Him and never cease. He will send angels to help you whether they be earthly angels or from Heaven. If we go to Him, talk to Him, plead unto Him and wait upon Him - we will find peace. We may not get the answer we want or when we want them, but we will find peace.

In the meantime remember that trials bring us to our knees which means they help us become closer to our Father in Heaven.

In regards to things that we have been praying for, for quite some time Elder Hales says, "In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready. When He does answer, it is often “here a little and there a little" because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do...Too often we pray to have patience, but we want it right now!

Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us."

I'd like to add that even our Father in Heaven waits upon us. When we become distant from Him or we fall of the straight and narrow path, He still loves us and He patiently waits. We may not always choose things that are pleasing to Him but He never gives up on us. Let's not give up on Him.

To help us be patient, it's always good to take our minds off our own problems and focus on others. By serving others our burdens can be lightened. In addition to that, good music, uplifting books, and positive activities can help us find the strength to keep going and allow opportunities for the Spirit to speak to us and give us answers that we need. Sometimes we pray for answers and then forget to listen for them.

It is my prayer that we will all strive to wait upon the Lord as best we can. That we may never lose hope or faith. I know that by doing so, we will be blessed! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shielded from Danger- (An Experience I Won't Forget)

It had been a long hard week for my sister. After facing some difficult decisions about her marriage right before her birthday, I decided to take her out. She hadn't been to the temple in a long time and asked if we could do that. So, dinner and the temple it was. She was really looking forward to it as was I.

My Mom had called me that morning and said, "Why are you taking your sister to downtown Salt Lake at night? There are crazy people out at night and it's not safe. Take her to a different temple."

I laughed it off and said, "Mom, we'll be fine. We are going to the temple."She repeated herself a few more times.

After a delicious dinner with my sister we went on our way to go find parking for the temple. My sister was following me in her car. I noticed the underground parking West of the Conference Center. I also noticed next to that was a spacious and empty public parking lot. So that was my destination. We pulled in and parked. On our way out of the parking lot we noticed some new pay machines with blue tape on them that said "Coming Soon". We weren't sure if we were supposed to pay or not? After analyzing it with some other confused people we all concluded that they were not yet functioning properly so parking was free.On our way we went.

As we approached the temple my sister looked up at the full moon and said, "Do you think it's true that more people are killed during full moons than any other time of month?" I said, "Yeah, I've heard that crime is always at an all time high whenever there is a full moon." she replied, "That's true at my job. On days when the moon is full all the crazy people call in". We laughed.

Having a wonderful experience in the temple, my sister and I had some great conversations about the gospel, the work we were performing, and life in the spirit world. We noticed that everyone we encountered that night was very friendly. On the way out to the car my sister pointed out how tonight had been unusual for her. She wasn't used to random people walking up to her and striking up a conversation. When we reached the parking lot, a confused woman began to ask us about how to use the paying machines. We then told her they didn't work and she was relieved.

We made our way to the car and started talking about my sister's marital situation. She said that she had gone to the temple for an answer but felt that the answer would not come quickly. I told her that sometimes the Holy Ghost can speak to us in our dreams. It was then I was reminded of the terrible dream I had the night before. I began to tell her about it.

I was with all of my family including her and her husband. We had just checked into a large hotel. The room had several hallways and rooms inside of it. As we all checked into our large room, I noticed that the room was dirty. It hadn't been cleaned. So my sister and I made our way to the lobby to go speak with management. The ladies working at the desk said they couldn't help. So, we asked for the manager. Their looks changed and they told us that the manager does not like unhappy customers. He REALLY didn't like them. Right then, a tall white man (the manager) came charging out of the office and began to chase us towards our room. We knew that we were in danger and that he was going to hurt us and possibly kill us. Once inside our room, we warned everyone to run to the window. We opened the window (2 stories up) and realized we were going to have to jump. One by one each of us jumped.

As each person fell, their fall was softened almost cushioned as they bounced off of ledges and landed in the bush below. We all knew that angels were their helping us and softening our fall but we couldn't see them. It was then we knew we would be safe. My baby girl had been forgotten and she was the last at the window. I was frightened. She knew what to do and she threw herself forward and the angels caught her. As we all began to run away I woke up.

I asked my sister what that dream could mean. She laughed and said, "I have no idea." Right then I told her I had some things to give her and I opened up the back of my car and we put them in the car. My sister then said, "What are your honest thoughts _______." Then suddenly I said, "There is something I need to tell you." I had a personal experience that had to do with exactly what she was asking about. I thought to myself, "Why am I sharing this story with her? It's very personal." I paused for a moment and said, "Would you like to come sit in my car?" she replied "Yeah. Okay."

We got inside the car and I began to tell her my personal story. Very quickly I came to the part in the story where the Holy Ghost had loudly whispered something to me in my dream. He whispered it 3 times. It was a very specific question I was supposed to ask someone that would give me the answer I needed to solve my problem. At this point in the story my sister caught me off guard and said, "Lindsey duck!" So I did. She ducked as well and said "There is a man walking towards your window!" I thought to myself that it was probably just another confused person not sure how to use the pay machine. I wondered why we were ducking.

I looked over to see who was coming. It was then I saw him. A young, thin, white man about 6 feet tall with a large black hoodie on and white sweat pants. The hood was pulled tight around his face and he had black gloves on his hands. I looked closer at his face and noticed acne scars and sores all over his cheeks. He had a blank stare on his face. As he came right up near my side mirror on my door, my sister shouted, "Oh my gosh, he's holding a gun!" I looked, and there it was. A gun! We were shocked. "Look!" she shouted. "He's got a gun in the other hand too!" I looked at the other black glove which certainly was holding another black hand gun. I had never been in this situation before and could not believe what I was seeing.

The parking lot was well lit and we were very visible inside the car. The parking lot was quite empty and we were the only people there at that time. I quickly realized the doors were unlocked and the car was turned off. "My door is unlocked!" I shouted. "Should I lock it?" I then received a strong feeling that locking it and turning the car on would draw attention to us. We were to sit still and he would not notice us. As he slowly made his way across the front of my car to other headlight my sister said, "What should we do?" I said "We call 911!"

I pulled out my phone and realized it was turned off because we had been in the temple. It would take forever to turn back on. To my surprise, I turned it on and instantly it was on. I dialed 911 and had the dispatcher on the phone by the time he had just walked past the second headlight and was just a couple of feet away. As quick as I could I began to spit out all the facts. "Hello! I am located in the parking lot just west of the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City. There is a man walking away from my car with a gun in each hand. He's thin, tall, white, has acne scars, and a black hoddie on with white pants!"

"Okay." said the young, male dispatcher, "I am sending officers there right away." He continued to ask me questions about where the man was headed. I began to pull my car out so we could see where he was going. He turned North up the sidewalk. Right then I noticed a groud of young couples walking right behind him. "Hurry!" I yelled to my sister. "Go warn them! Tell them to turn around or they'll be in danger!" She jumped out of the car at lightening speed and ran over to warn the couples. As the look of fright grew on their faces, they thanked her and quickly turned around.

"Let's follow him!" my sister said. "He's getting away".

"No!" said the dispatcher, as he could hear her. "Do not EVER follow someone who is armed with a weapon. Besides, you need to stay put so the officers can find you."

Three minutes later, the officers arrived. One car, two cars, three cars...They all came filing in and surrounded our car. It was just a few days ago that an Ogden, UT police offer was shot and killed by a crazy man with a machine gun. Several police officers were in the hospital from their injuries. Law enforcement was mourning and they were not going to take this situation lightly.

They all began questioning us and asked for our ID. A K9 unit arrived and was on the pursuit. I got out of the car and mimicked exactly what the suspect had done. "Did he point the guns at you?" one officer asked. "No." I replied. "He held them out to the side but wanted the world to see that he had them."

I decided to call my husband and tell him why I was running late. It was almost 10:30 pm. While on the phone, I broke down in tears as I realized what had just happened. The Holy Ghost had told us what to do and the Lord had shielded us from this dangerous man. The Spirit had prompted me to ask my sister if she wanted to get in my car. Strangely, I did not turn my car on for heat and it's winter. My sister had felt prompted to tell us to duck before she saw the guns or realized we were in danger. We were just talking about the Holy Ghost and His promptings when that happened. I was prompted to not lock my door or turn on the car but to wait for him to walk away and call 911. My sister had observed that he had looked at her and began to walk towards my window. When he came up to the car it must have looked empty to him. He could not see us. Were we shielded so that he could not see us? Just moments before we were outside next to the car. What if I hadn't suggested getting in the car? He would have walked right up to us. We could have been in real danger. I felt the Lord with us. We had surely been protected.

As I told my husband this in tears, one of the officers was listening. I told him the rest of the details and then suddenly noticed that all of the police officers were gone. We were again alone in the parking lot. I said to my husband. "Where did they go? They left us alone."

"They said to wait here and they'll be back." my sister said. I wasn't worried, the Lord was protecting us.

Soon, they all came back and I let my husband go. "Well, we circled the block 4-5 times and there is no sign of him. We talked to people who are out and no one reported seeing anything. You are free to go, we'll let you know if we find him."

Did they not believe us? What if he was only visible to us? Why didn't anyone else see him? Oh wait! The group of couples had seen him.

"Officer, there was a group of couples that saw him and they turned the other way." I said.

"In these situations most people are afraid to do anything or report what they see. It's too crazy to seem real to them. You guys did the right thing by reporting it and steering others away." the officer said.

A taller officer stepped forward and said, "I'm not going to ask what religion you are but this could have been a really bad thing. This is the heart of Salt Lake City and Utah, right here. This is where the predominant religion congregates often. A possible target for an angry, armed, unstable person. If a gunman were to go on shooting spree in this area, that would not be okay with us."

"My sister and I just came from the temple." I said, letting him know I was a member of the predominant religion. "We weren't expecting this."

"Where are you headed home?" he asked me. "North." I replied.

"Well, if I could make a suggestion - do not go North. Not only is it not safe, there is big car accident that just happened and traffic is blocked. That's why we were all in the area already. You should go South until you get to 4th south and then get on the freeway to go North." The other officer nodded his head in agreement.

I said goodbye and they walked my sister to her car. As I headed south the next 4 blocks I noticed police cars everywhere. Lined up and down the streets on every corner. They had taken this seriously.

I called the rest of family to tell them what had happened. My mom chastised me for not heeding her warning. I began to wonder if this experience had been good for my sister spiritually. She had realized how fragile life is. We can be gone in the blink of an eye at the mercy of another. The Lord really watches over us. She had just received a personal witness of the power of the Holy Ghost. God wanted her to know that He is there and His power is real. She will get the answers she needs.

I called my sister to see if she was okay and we talked about our experience. The dream I had the night before about being in danger and angels protecting us. The quick promptings we received and heeded. I then finished my story about the Holy Ghost helping me in a time of need. There was doubting that the Holy Ghost is real and had shielded us from danger that night.

Simple thoughts to do what may seem like menial things may actually indeed be promptings of the Spirit and if we heed them it may be a matter of saving our lives. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.