Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Apocrypha - A Link to the Wisemen's Gifts?

Christmas has come and gone but while the decorations and spirit are still in my home, I'd like to share something I discovered a few years ago that will shed some new light for many on the significance of the three gifts the wisemen brought the Christ child.

So, have you ever wondered why the wisemen of the east brought the young Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh? Was it just a kind thought or something valuable to show honor and respect? Or, could there have been great symbolism and ancient scripture supporting these gifts of choice?

New Testament scripture doesn't say much about these wise men or their gifts:

Matthew 2:1,10-11

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

The Bible Dictionary tells us this about the Magi:

It seems likely that they were representatives of a branch of the Lord’s people from somewhere east of Palestine, who had come, led by the Spirit, to behold the Son of God and who returned to their people to bear witness that the king Immanuel had indeed been born in the flesh. We are not told how many wise men there were, but tradition usually speaks of three, because of the three gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense. If they were serving in the capacity of witnesses, there would of necessity have been two or three. 

A few years ago, I received a prompting to read and study the Apocrypha. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Apocrypha, they are a set of ancient texts with unknown authors, that were not selected to be included the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and are generally considered unworthy to be properly called scripture by most Christian denominations. Reformist Martin Luther termed them "Apocrypha, meaning books which are not considered equal to the Holy Scriptures, but are useful and good to read."

The word "apocryphal" (ἀπόκρυφος) was first applied to writings which were kept secret because they were the vehicles of esoteric knowledge considered too profound or too sacred to be disclosed to anyone other than the initiated. "Apocrypha" was also applied to writings that were hidden not because of their divinity but because of their questionable value to the church.

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes the Apocrypha as scripture and their Old Testament Cannon contains several books from the Apocrypha. At "the Council of Hippo" in 393, and the third Council of Carthage in 397, under the influence of Augustine, who attended both, fixed the catholic canon of the Holy Scriptures, including the Apocrypha of the Old Testament.

So, what are members of the LDS church counseled in regards to the Apocrypha? The Lord gives us this counsel in Doctrine and Covenants 91;

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;

2 There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men.

3 Verily, I say unto you, that it is not needful that the Apocrypha should be translated.

4 Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;

5 And whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;

6 And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited. Therefore it is not needful that it should be translated. Amen.

It's a "read at your own risk" approach. Those who have the gift of discernment are told by the Lord they will benefit from it's teachings. There is no need for translation because it's teachings are simply not for everyone.

In fact, the LDS Bible Dictionary provides a list of Apocrypha books that "are of special value" (see link here) Among these recommended books are the books of the First and Second Maccabees, which reveal the preserved story of Hanukkah which describes in detail the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the menorah.

As I eagerly followed my prompting to read the Apocrypha, I was very pleased with what I discovered. When I came to the Forgotten Books of Eden something caught my eye. The Forgotten Books of Eden is a collection of 17th-century and 18th-century English translations some of which were assembled in the 1820s, and then republished with the current title in 1926. Many scholars argue that these books are none other than fiction giving them a negative stigma, while other scholars believe these works to be truthful and of great insight and value to the history and period of that time. They are described as "simply a version of an account handed down by word of mouth, from generation to generation, linking the time that the first human life was created to the time when somebody finally decided to write it down. This particular version is the work of unknown Egyptians." accounts of it can be found in the Talmud and the Koran.

In the First Book of Adam and Eve (also known as "Conflict of Adam and Eve" from the earliest translation of an Arabic original) Chapters 29-31 speak of a token given of the Lord in similitude of the gifts that the Lord will receive as a mortal child, and also as a consolation and comfort to Adam and Eve for trusting in the Lord and the covenant they made with Him. Prior to this token offering, Satan attempts to deceive Adam and Eve and take their lives, by appearing with his hots as angels of Heaven with a promise to return them to the Garden of Eden. He leads them up a steep mountain with the intention to push them off to their deaths. God intervenes and Adam and Eve beg for forgiveness. Adam weeps and begs for something from the Garden that might offer him comfort. The Lord sends His angels to bring tokens of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. He tells Adam that the gold symbolizes His kingdom; the incense symbolizes His divinity; and the myrrh symbolizes His suffering an death.

Chapter 29

5 And Adam wept before the Lord God, and begged and entreated Him to give him something from the garden, as a token to him, wherein to be comforted.

6 And God looked upon Adam's thought, and sent the angel Michael as far as the sea that reaches unto India, to take from thence golden rods and bring them to Adam.

7 This did God in His wisdom, in order that these golden rods, being with Adam in the cave, should shine forth with light in the night around him, and put an end to his fear of the darkness.

8 Then the angel Michael went down by God's order, took golden rods, as God had commanded him, and brought them to God.

Chapter 30

AFTER these things, God commanded the angel Gabriel to go down to the garden, and say to the cherub who kept it, "Behold, God has commanded me to come into the garden, and to take thence sweet smelling incense, and give it to Adam."

2 Then the angel Gabriel went down by God's order to the garden, and told the cherub as God had commanded him.

3 The cherub then said, "Well." And Gabriel went in and took the incense.

4 Then God commanded His angel Raphael to go down to the garden, and speak to the cherub about some myrrh, to give to Adam.

5 And the angel Raphael went down and told the cherub as God had commanded him, and the cherub said, "Well." Then Raphael went in and took the myrrh.

6 The golden rods were from the Indian sea, where there are precious stones. The incense was from the eastern border of the garden; and the myrrh from the western border, whence bitterness came upon Adam.

7 And the angels brought these three things to God, by the Tree of Life, in the garden.

8 Then God said to the angels, "Dip them in the spring of water; then take them and sprinkle their water over Adam and Eve, that they be a little comforted in their sorrow, and give them to Adam and Eve.

9 And the angels did as God had commanded them, and they gave all those things to Adam and Eve on the top of the mountain upon which Satan had placed them, when he sought to make an end of them.

10 And when Adam saw the golden rods, the incense and the myrrh, he was rejoiced and wept because he thought that the gold was a token of the kingdom whence he had come, that the incense was a token of the bright light which had been taken from him, and that the myrrh was a token of the sorrow in which he was.

Chapter 31

AFTER these things God said unto Adam, "Thou didst ask of Me something from the garden, to be comforted therewith, and I have given thee these three tokens as a consolation to thee; that thou trust in Me and in My covenant with thee.

2 "For I will come and save thee; and kings shall bring me when in the flesh, gold, incense and myrrh; gold as a token of My kingdom; incense as a token of My divinity; and myrrh as a token of My suffering and of My death.

3 "But, O Adam, put these by thee in the cave; the gold that it may shed light over thee by night; the incense, that thou smell its sweet savour; and the myrrh, to comfort thee in thy sorrow."

4 When Adam heard these words from God, he worshipped before Him. He and Eve worshipped Him and gave Him thanks, because He had dealt mercifully with them.

5 Then God commanded the three angels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, each to bring what he had brought, and give it to Adam. And they did so, one by one.

6 And God commanded Suriyel and Salathiel to bear up Adam and Eve, and bring them down from the top of the high mountain, and to take them to the Cave of Treasures.

7 There they laid the gold on the south side of the cave, the incense on the eastern side, and the myrrh on the western side. For the mouth of the cave was on the north side.

8 The angels then comforted Adam and Eve, and departed.

9 The gold was seventy rods; the incense, twelve pounds; and the myrrh, three pounds.

10 These remained by Adam in the House of Treasures; therefore was it called "of concealment." But other interpreters say it was called the "Cave of Treasures," by reason of the bodies of righteous men that were in it.

11 These three things did God give to Adam, on the third day after he had come out of the garden, in token of the three days the Lord should remain in the heart of the earth.

12 And these three things, as they continued with Adam in the cave, gave him light by night; and by day they gave him a little relief from his sorrow.

In Chapter 75 the Lord tells Adam;

"Take the gold and give it to Eve as a wedding gift, and promise to marry her; then give her some incense and myrrh as a present; and be you, you and she, one flesh." Adam obeyed the angels, and took the gold and put it into Eve's bosom in her garment; and promised to marry her with his hand.

If true, this could be the very first recorded account in history of the gold wedding band being given as a token of marriage.

In a 2011 article written in the New Era Magazine titled, "Thoughtful Gifts", by Rebekah Atkin we read about the meaning of the wisemen's gifts;

Gold - Practical use: For a young couple who would soon have the expense of traveling to Egypt to avoid the wrath of Herod, the gold would be an invaluable gift.

Symbolic meaning: Gold is the typical gift for kings (see 1 Kings 9:14, 28) because it symbolizes kingship and royalty—a fitting gift for the “King of kings” (1 Timothy 6:15).

Frankincense - Practical use: Aside from its considerable monetary value, frankincense was used as a sweet-smelling incense and perfume.

Symbolic meaning: Frankincense comes from a sweet tree resin and was used in priesthood ordinances, in burnt offerings (see Leviticus 2:1), and in oil for anointing priests. Thus, it can represent the Lord’s priesthood and His role as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed on our behalf (see John 1:29).

Myrrh - Practical use: Myrrh, a bitter oil from a tree resin, was also economically valuable but probably more beneficial to Mary and Joseph for its medicinal uses.

Symbolic meaning: In the New Testament, myrrh is usually associated with embalming and burial because of its preservative qualities (see John 19:39–40). Myrrh’s medicinal uses can symbolize Christ’s role as the Master Healer, and its use in burials can symbolize “the bitter cup” He would drink when He suffered for our sins (see D&C 19:18–19).

I have heard some Christian ministers say that the wisemen would have traveled in large caravans with many servants accompanying them. They would have been very wealthy to afford this for their two-year journey (possibly a four-year journey if you take into account the travel back home). Their purpose was to most likely provide enough gold, frankincense and myrrh to sustain Jesus and his family over the course of his life. And that a master carpenter occupation (as they believe Joseph to have been) was a very well-paid occupation in it's day. They believe that Jesus and his family may not have been wealthy but were most likely well-to-do.

Whether fact, fiction, or pure speculation - one thing is for certain and that is the Divine symbolism in the three gifts that were brought by the wise men. Whether their inspiration came from ancient scripture, or was simply a Divine prompting from God, I believe they knew and understood the meanings of their gifts. Gifts that were fit for a king and not just any king but the King of Kings! Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was born among men and died among men to save us all. Because He lives we can have eternal life too.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Three Podcasts You'll Be Glad You Listened To!

Several months ago, I wrote this blog post  in which I shared a link to a free PDF of a book about Jewish feasts written by Mormon Jew Gayle Boyd. After reading it, I promised myself I would celebrate Hanukkah this year with my kids especially because in the book the author lays out the blueprint for fun ideas on how to celebrate these feasts with your family and keep it simple.Unfortunately for me, Hanukkah passed me right up before I had the chance to celebrate it.

Did you know that Jesus celebrated Hanukkah? It's recorded in the book of John that Jesus observed the celebration of dedication in the temple during the winter of AD 29.

John 10:22 

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

The name of the holiday, Hanukkah, comes from the Hebrew word for “dedication,” “consecration” or “inauguration.” Jesus was celebrating the feast of the dedication AKA Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that commemorates the purification and re-dedication of the Temple by Judas Maccabeus.

In the spirit of Hanukkah (now that it's ended), I have three MUST WATCH videos! The bottom video is a segment taken from a video of Sundar Selvaraj Sadhu from January 2017. I remember watching that video back in January. He shared some interesting insight on the coming year. One specific highlight that he shared was that on 11/29/1947 Israel entered a 70-year covenant with God when it became recognized as an official state - a fulfillment of prophecy. That 70-year covenant ended on 11/29/2017. Sundar Selvaraj Sadhu prophesied that 2017 would be a major turning point for Israel and this would happen around 11/29/2017. On December 6th 2017 President Trump announced that the United States now recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - indeed a major turning point. To hear more about what's in store for Israel - you will want to watch the video.

The first video will blow you mind (in a good way). For those of you who have never heard of Johnathan Cahn before, he's a NYT bestselling author and a Messianic Jewish Rabbi - meaning he is a Jew Rabbi who converted to Christianity. I have shared messages from him before on my blog.

Sometimes I like to imagine what it would be like if Rabbi Cahn was a Mormon. I mean just imagine the awesome parallels and paradigms he could unfold from the Book of Mormon - especially since it was scripture written for our day. I don't know how he does it but he sure has a way of detecting the neatest mysteries and connections from ancient scripture.

In this recent interview below, Johnathan shares details about December 2017 and world events in connection with Hanukkah foreshadowing prophecy about the anti-Christ. He shares a parallel of a tolerance only for evil in our day. It's a parallel of what's bad is called good and what was once good is now called bad. There will be those who shout "tolerance" but they only want tolerance for things that are evil. They want their wickedness tolerated but they do want to tolerate righteousness. It's a parallel with a message of not looking at the present-day circumstances but instead looking to God. Hanukkah is a warning of the anti-Christ spirit in our day.

The second video goes perfectly with my last two blog posts. I had mentioned previously that I stumbled across a video that was a strong witness to what I shared in my December 18th  blog post. This is that video. It talks about parallels in the Old Testament in connection to our day. If we understand how the parallel played out back then, we can understand how it will play out in our day.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What's Around the Corner for America?

I have shared messages before from Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj (a Christian minister from India) on this blog. It is so amazing how the Lord works. The other day I was wondering if  brother Sadhu had been to the United States to speak recently. This morning as I went to find something to listen to while cleaning my kitchen today, a couple videos popped up back to back from a best selling author that had to do with exactly what I shared in my post yesterday about President Trump. I will put together my thoughts about those two videos and share in a post in the next couple days.Then this new video popped up of brother Sadhu on the Jim Baker Show and when he mentioned some revelation he received about L.A. and the United States I felt the Spirit confirm the truthfulness of what I shared in yesterday's post from my own revelation.

These videos were an additional witness to what the Spirit has been speaking to me. This week will be filled with more posts than I usually write in a week - but there is so much flowing into my mind and heart lately that I can't help but piece it together on my blog.

These videos seem long, but when you fast forward through the commercials and advertisements, they aren't so long. They are listed on order of day one to day four. The last video appears to be a clip from a sermon he gave on the Jim Baker Show around the same time, I can't find it in it's entirety and it's not on the Jim Baker Channel. If anyone happens to find it, please share. Hope you enjoy, and I'd love to hear your thoughts!

UPDATE - I happened to stumble across the video in it's entirety (on the last day of the year) and added it at the bottom.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hope on the Horizon?

This morning I received some revelation about an issue our nation is facing. Before I share what I received, I'll ease you into that message.

As 2017 nears the end,  I have been quietly reflecting on the blessings and progress our country has made this year. I usually remain silent about my political views but something happened today and I have felt this strong need to express my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. So here we go.

You see, I feel that the current administration has done a wonderful job and deserves far more credit than has been given. The president and his office have been working so hard to build up and strengthen our nation - and I feel that there is not enough credit offered or appreciation extended for their efforts.

I quietly watch as many Americans reap the blessings and benefits of a stronger and stable economy while spewing hatred, anger, accusations, and false information about the very leadership that is working so hard to improve their standard of living and increase their freedoms. It's had quite the effect on me as it's like nothing I have ever seen in all my 36 years of life.

The majority of us exercised our voice on November 8th 2016 and our voice was heard loud and clear. Yet, every TV channel and every social media site I visit will have me believe that I am the minority, and I better keep my voice silent if I want to be liked. The host of every late night show, talks to me through the TV screen as if I share his same political views. As if he doesn't realize his constant bagging on the president isn't considered funny to everyone. The vocal ones in Hollywood and music are those who oppose the President, and they are
applauded, praised, and promoted for doing so. It makes you wonder about the silent portion of celebs. The one's who don't say anything at all. Could it be that they are silent supporters? Feeling like a prisoner - unable to express their feelings and views. Too much to risk, too much at stake. Can't be at odds with the hand that feeds you.

Growing up, I was never one to go with the status-quo. I have always been one to root for the underdog, and always known to support the opposite of whatever is popular and promoted among celebrities and the media. In High School and Jr. High I chose not be a follower but a leader - often times, it was a lonely path. Still to this day, I speak what feels right and true - even if it ruffles some feathers.

Most of you have heard me tell my bullying stories before. I experienced bullying in elementary school, junior high school, high school, and even a few years ago. In junior high I was confronted daily in the locker room and hallway by the same female bully. In high school it went from one bully to an entire group of boys and girls. It got to the point where I needed to shield my face with books, and call on security at work before I finally went to the school administration and a female vice principal who had a bone to pick with bullying became my ally and put a stop to it all in one day. And a few years ago it took a near trip to the ER (from anxiety and exhaustion) before I took a stand and said "no more."

Always being the underdog pulled me in to always rooting for the underdog. Being in that minority section has always made me strive harder, and aim higher which again has made me a target for bullies. With a past that's all too raw, I don't take bullying lightly. As I see it happening all over America - those who are permitted to talk down to supporters of the president and even encouraged to discriminate against them, I watch as they are given a free pass and even heralded as heroes. Whatever people decide to call it, "defending", "demonstrating", "freedom of speech", "humor", it's nothing other than bullying.

It wasn't that long ago when another president who was leading this country was very disliked. President Obama's approval rating was at 57% when he left office. Despite what many viewed as failed promises, failed policies, and turning a blind eye on Israel and Christian conservatives, his biggest sore spot among Americans was his lack of effort to repair the nation's racial and ethnic divides.

Though I wasn't a fan of President Obama, I have always respected the office of President of the United States, enough to write this blog post in 2010 about the importance of being respectful to our current president and government leaders as per Article of Faith #12, and to sustain the law and honor it always. This is something I haven't seen reciprocated from the other side of the aisle.

No certain party is innocent, I have seen the ugliness of hatred spilled out from all sides over the years - something I choose not to participate in. It is my goal to focus on hope. Hope that we can put the "United" back in "United States". Hope that before we are party members - we can remember that we are Americans first. And to take it a step further - before we are Americans, we are children of God. Spiritual brothers and sisters.

This post isn't to persuade political views, or convince anyone that they have been in error. It's simply to focus on the good, pull from the truth, and together, search for that ray of hope.

This morning I woke up early and felt the need to write in my journal about the Lord's hand on our nation right now. I felt I was to list all the blessings and benefits we are receiving as a people and then verbalize that gratitude in prayer. Here is a summary of my list:

  • The economy has come back to life and the stock market continues to hit record highs, helping more Americans build and secure their futures.
  • Manufacturing unemployment is at the lowest it has been in 17 years.The manufacturing industry has added 171,000 jobs in 2017. Hispanic unemployment is the lowest it has been in all history (see here).
  • Large corporations are coming back to the U.S. because of the efforts of our current administration. This will increase our job growth and economy which almost always results in a lower crime rate. 
  • Our president is working hard to give power back to the states where it rightfully should be. Recently he gave us Utahans our land back to allow our people to decide what is best for our own land. Many rights, powers, and freedoms that have been taken from the people and from the states, are being restored. 
  • Over the years our nation has become a nation of regulations which has tightened the grip on our freedoms and made it difficult to do business here. In 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. Today there are over 185,000 pages. These increased regulations have cost the country trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, countless American factories, & devastated entire industries.As those regulations are being loosened and lifted we will reap the benefits of that freedom. 
  • President Trump made it his focus to cut taxes and this he has accomplished. By lowering tax rates, simplifying the tax code, and repealing the tax on lower- and middle-income households, this legislation will grow our economy, raise wages, and promote economic competitiveness. The typical family earning $73,000 a year will see a tax cut of $2,059.
  • My husband is a green-card holder, so we understand the sensitivity to this area, however we also understand the ramifications that current policy has had on this country. He went through all the proper hoops and channels to enter this country legally with the intent to contribute, and has done a wonderful job in doing so. The president is currently working to put an end to Chain Migration – whereby one immigrant can bring in their entire extended families, who can also bring in their families and so on. Over the years this system has de-skilled the labor force, put downward pressure on wages, and increased the deficit. It has also undermined national security, by failing to evaluate entrants into the United States.
  • Our president is the first since John F. Kennedy, to donate his entire salary to charity. Trump donated his first quarter salary of about $78,000 to the National Park Service. Funds went toward restoring two projects at a national battlefield. He then donated his second quarter salary toward hosting a camp for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students at the Department of Education. The president then donated his third quarter salary to the Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Unfortunately, this is something that the media hasn't felt the need to share.

That's only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more good that this president has accomplished that the media isn't interested in sharing. For example, his demonstrated love, respect, and support for our veterans. The devotion he has to personally travel from state to state, and connect with the people and hear their voice. The genuine friendship he has extended to Israel (something that scripture and prophecy tells us regarding Israel, in Genesis 12:3 "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."), and his decision to emphasize we are nation under God, while bringing prayer back into the oval office.

In Ether 2:10, 12 we are told,

For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written

Never have I seen a president work so hard to prove all of his critics wrong. Considering all those who have been against him, it's next to near short of a miracle that President Trump has accomplished all that he has, and continues to stay determined. The criticism appears to work in his favor. I would consider this Divine intervention which has been attached to our president and his administration since the day he was elected (a miracle in itself). His many fulfilled campaign promises and good works get ignored by the media on a daily basis.

More than 90% of media coverage on our president is negative opinion mixed with false information. Those who support the president experience discrimination on college campuses, from businesses, and in the workplace. They have learned to keep quiet about their support for the president. Wearing a "Make America Great Again" sticker can cost you a grade, your business, and even your job. The people's hearts are hardened against our president, and hardened against the truth.

We finally have a president who says what he means and means what he says. He is brutally honest which is a quality we need in the oval office. He is not intimidated, fearful or cowardly.  He can't be bribed or blackmailed. He calls out injustice when he sees it. He is financially independent and therefore isn't manipulated by "the powers that be". He isn't a puppet or a bait and switch. What you see is what you get. There are no smoke and mirrors as we have seen with leaders in the past. He has an incredible track record of keeping and carrying out his campaign promises which is very rare indeed for a president to do. Despite all of this, he has come under attack like no other president we have seen before.

I have shared before in past posts and videos that whenever the enemy attacks, you know there is something good on the horizon. The level of intensity of attacks will tell you how important this is to the adversary. If it's important enough for the adversary to give it his all,  it's because he knows the Lord is about to do something powerful!

We know that we are living in the day of "the restoration of all things". I truly believe that God is using President Trump as a tool to restore our nation back to what it once was - a nation under God. He doesn't always choose the qualified, but over time, He qualifies the chosen. God is preparing this nation to be a place where He can prepare a people for the Savior's return. This land plays a significant role in those prophesied last day and Millennial events. Are we using our efforts and gifts to build up the nation, or tear it down? Are we spreading good words or slander? Are we resisting or allowing? Are we serving the Lord's purposes or Satan's?

While reflecting upon all of this in my journal this morning, I was reminded of the continual fires burning in California. I was saddened for my friends who live near the fires, and saddened for all of those who have already lost all they have including their lives. The local news station made mention of the many celebrities and wealthy citizens of California who if have not already lost their homes and business, are at high risk of losing them. I asked the Lord why all of this was happening and I heard in my mind "turn to Jarom 1:3".

As I read the words of this scripture, I felt goosebumps on my arms:

Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land.

When God needs to reach us, but our hearts are hardened, our ears refuse to hear, and our eyes refuse to see; in His mercy He will allow the powers of the Adversary to "shake us" so that we will be humbled enough to hear Him. He gives us chance after chance but if we continue to ignore Him and ignore His commandments, we learn in Jacob 5:

46 And now, behold, notwithstanding all the care which we have taken of my vineyard, the trees thereof have become corrupted, that they bring forth no good fruit; and these I had hoped to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof against the season, unto mine own self. But, behold, they have become like unto the wild olive tree, and they are of no worth but to be hewn down and cast into the fire; and it grieveth me that I should lose them.

47 But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned. Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard?

77 And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end; and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.

In this allegory, the vineyard represents the world, the branches represent different groups of people, and the fire represents the judgment of God. It was impressed upon my mind to notice the symbolism of the many California vineyards that burned in the October fires. I heard in my mind, "and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire." Even a few months later, California continues to burn.

The headlines over the past couple months have greatly emphasized California Governor Jerry Brown's disdain for President Trump. A timeline over the past several years shows how quickly California has turned it's back on the word of God through the several laws it has mandated. When you turn your back on God, you pull away from His hand of protection and favor. During this time California has experienced severe droughts. In fact, weather radar shows moisture hitting an "invisible wall" around the L.A. region and being dispersed in other directions. The moisture is there but something is diverting it away from where it is needed. California is not getting the rainfall it needs to heal the land. Could this be symbolic of a spiritual drought?

If the people of this nation continue to ignore the commandments of God, I truly feel that more humbling experiences will be in store for us in 2018. The Book of Mormon shows us a pattern that when the people became prosperous they quickly forgot the Lord. As a nation we are headed on a road to great prosperity and wealth. Our nation has a great destiny and we need not be fearful. Those who know God now will thrive, and those who have turned their back will have opportunities to be humbled. Let us be grateful for God's mercy and realize that none of us are immune to pride. We must call upon the Lord for daily humility so we can flourish in Spirit, in the prophesied days to

Separation from God leads to separation of all,
United we stand and divided we fall.

Let us remember this always.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

From Burdens to Blessings – Accessing the Power of Faith, Hope, and Charity

What does a throw pillow, Mylar balloon, and ham sandwich have to do with turning burdens into blessings? Well, you'll just have to watch to find out!  :)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Last of the Last Days - What Does that Look Like?

Did we enter the 120th Hebrew jubilee cycle on September 23rd 2017? And if so, what does that mean?

Genesis 6:3 

And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

A Little Preface

A month ago, I watched a video by Dr. Bruce Allen, called "Message of the Third Day" (scroll down to see the video) It stirred my soul and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Today I was reminded of that video and felt inspired to share it here on my blog.

Dr. Allen and his wife are traveling ministers of Still Waters International Ministries. I love how the Lord uses the mouths of 2-3 witnesses to confirm certain truths. I love when the Lord sends witnesses from other faiths to confirm a truth in your own faith. These additional witnesses always add to my testimony,  as I am not one to discount someone's experiences and testimony just because they belong to another faith. I'd like to touch on that a little more before I share the message.

Some often ask, "Doesn't God only use members of the Church to do His work on the earth? If God uses other men to help do His work how come He doesn't lead them to join the Church?"

In response to this question, Elder Orson F. Whitney once said,

"Perhaps the Lord needs such men on the outside of his Church, to help it along. They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else. And the same is true of the priesthood and its auxiliaries inside the Church. Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the Truth; while others remain unconverted—for the present;...

...God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people...

...Again I say, the Lord's Work has need of auxiliaries outside as well as inside, to help it along. Because of their worldly influence—which would depart if they connected themselves with the Church—many are kept where they are, where the Lord has placed them, and can best use them for the good of all. (Conference Report, April 1928, p.59-60)"

Ezra Taft Benson said,

"God, the Father of us all, uses the men of the earth, especially good men, to accomplish his purposes. It has been true in the past, it is true today, it will be true in the future." (Conference Report, April 1928, p.59). (Civic Standards For the Faithful Saints," Ensign, July 1972, p.59)

We are not doing God's work for Him, rather God is doing His own work through us! His children are His instruments. God is not limited in choice of instruments. He uses all for His purposes and we are all assisting in His work , whether knowingly or unknowingly. Eventually all that belongs to Christ will be gathered in together in Christ.

When something comes across my path and it feels good, right, and of the Lord - but my logical mind steps in to create doubt, I am always reminded of what happened to the children of Israel as well as the words of Alma 12 that echo loud in my mind and heart.

Alma 12:10

10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

You know me, I always give the benefit of the doubt - unless the Spirit gives me a red light. I got the green light on this video, and I think it's because there were many confirmations of things I had recently heard spoken of in stake conference and general conference. Those were the gems that I gravitated to in Dr. Allen's message.

The Day We Live In

If I had time to transcribe this video, I certainly would - there is so much value in this message! Here's a sum of the gems I took away from this video:

  • Do you love the promise of the Lord more than the Lord of the promise?
  • The era we entered on 9/23/17 is a period of testing and cleansing
  • The Lord will do a mighty work that confounds the learned (what does that look like?)
  • Are we prepared for what the Lord is about to do throughout the earth as prophesied in the scriptures?
  • Are we moved to action?
  • "I'd rather error on the side of faith, than succeed on the side of doubt"
  • Develop a personal relationship with the Savior right now so you will know Him when He comes. so you will not be deceived.

We learn in Doctrine and Covenants 84:23 about the frustration Moses experienced as he sought to sanctify his people so that they could see the face of the Lord. Moses didn't teach in parables, he taught things plain and simple. The children of Israel did not want to receive these plain and precious teachings, and therefore hardened their hearts against the truth. The Lord was unable to show them His glory as long as they were in the wilderness. Because of their unbelief and closing off their hearts to truth, the Lord took away the greater knowledge and gave them the basics.

Likewise in our day, many will harden their hearts against truth and light. Modern-day revelation and scripture teaches us that the Lord keeps His promise to manifest Himself to all who will sanctify themselves and be humble.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:1

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;

Doctrine and Covenants 35:21

For they will hear my voice, and shall see me, and shall not be asleep, and shall abide the day of my coming; for they shall be purified, even as I am pure.

Doctrine and Covenants 61:38

Gird up your loins and be watchful and be sober, looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for he cometh in an hour you think not.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:68

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

Doctrine and Covenants 76:117-118

To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;

That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory.

2 Nephi 27:22-23

Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.

In Summary

The day that we are living in can best be summed up by John 14:12-13,

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

There are so many wonderful things we get to look forward to as the Lord carries out His marvelous work upon the Earth. I don't think our mind can begin to comprehend what that entails to the fullest. I am excited to be a member of the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in what many are calling, "The Last of the Last Days".

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Job 41 and the Leviathan Spirit: Exposing the Enemy's #1 Tactic!

God's plans for each of us individually are too amazing to comprehend. Satan knows this and is doing all he can to thwart those plans. There is one tactic that the enemy has in full force right now, because it is the most successful tactic at deceiving us. Learn what it is, and how to recognize it, so you can be powerful in stopping it's effect over your life!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Righteously Seeking God's Mysteries

A recent question was emailed to me this week, and I thought I would share my answer here on my blog, as it might be helpful to anyone else encoutnering the same question.

The question was in regards to my last video message, "When the Lord Knocks." The person expressed her concerns about seeking "outside the box" for spiritual growth.  She added, "I do not have the gift of discernment, and I have learned  that I am often wrong in what I feel are answers and promptings."

My Thoughts

One thing that is difficult for me, is being put in a position to where I am being asked to persuade someone. Unless it is to convince them to buy my children cookies for their school fundraiser, I generally avoid persuasion. I believe that the Spirit should do the convincing. If a person comes to me with doubts or confusion, I tell them to go to the Lord. Pray, ask for the Holy Ghost to be their guide, repent of anything that might be preventing them from feeling the Holy Ghost in their life, ask for wisdom, examine their faith - is it possible their faith is lacking and therefore the Lord is not answering them in the manner that they would like? 

From past experience, I have had friends ask me for what I believe to be true about a certain matter, and then go to another person and ask the same, and then pit our answers against each other. That is not how the Spirit works. When I receive a certain truth from the Spirit, it burns so warm inside of me that I know it is true. When something does not feel right for me, I feel "troubled in the spirit" which is a sensation I feel in the pit of my stomach. I never feel torn, confused, unsure...etc. I just know.  

Because the question that came to me was very sincere and came from a place of desiring to do the right thing, I decided to do my best to share the thoughts and feelings of my heart. 

In my video "When the Lord Knocks" I talk about the importance of having an open mind and an open heart while on the journey of spiritual progression. I also stress that it is vital to have the gift of discernment while on this journey. You would never go on a lengthy hiking adventure into the deep mountains without a compass and a map (GPS). The Holy Ghost is our compass. If we struggle to feel the Holy Ghost in our daily lives,  or we struggle to trust those promptings, as I mentioned in my video - it is much safer to walk the valley trails

Many times, I have used the Apostle Paul's analogy of milk and meat. In Paul's visit to Corinth, he addressed several church-related problems to the people in his first letter to the Corinthians. The main problem was a carnal one, and was evidence of the church members' spiritual immaturity. Some in Corinth had not only aligned themselves to certain teachers (Paul, Apollos, Peter), they were also causing contentions and divisions in the church by arguing which of these preachers was the most spiritual and best to follow (verses 3 - 23).

The heading to 1 Corinthians 3 reads: Milk comes before meat in the Church

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

The word "milk" in the above scripture (Greek gala, (Strong's Concordance #G1051) means the basic, elemental teachings of true Christianity first learned by new converts. The word "meat" comes from the Greek word Broma (Strong's #G1033) and means "the more solid, complete and deeper spiritual doctrines of the Gospel".

The apostle Paul felt that trying to teach the church the deeper truths of God would be a waste of time so long as they continued to indulge in petty debates over which teacher was the greater teacher.

I see this happening quite often lately on social media. Members of the Church squabbling over which blogs, podcasts, authors, and even church leaders are "on" or "off track". Through their differing of feelings and opinions they become exhausted and overwhelmed as divisions are created. People become consumed in "being right" or by their fears of "being wrong". The fear of being wrong is so powerful that many find it easier to avoid anything all together that is not from a conference talk or the Ensign. 

In my video message and quite often here on this blog, I share a video from called "We Are Not Gods Only People" by Samuel Hislop. His message promotes having an open heart and open mind and being willing to learn from those who are not of our same faith. That they too, have experiences and words that can offer great value to our lives. But again, if you don't have the gift of discernment, how will you know which words, experiences, and teachers are going to enhance your journey? You need that gift to discern what is truth and what is error. What's important that the Spirit needs you to know pertaining to your individual mission and life experience, and what is going to be a waste of your time. Only you can know what the Spirit is telling you in regards to a green light or a red light. It might be the right timing in your life to learn some beautiful truths or mysteries, or you might not be ready and you are feeling something steer you away. 

The awesome truth is, everything we need to know for our salvation can be found in the scriptures - there is great peace and comfort in knowing and believing that.The basics of the gospel that we get on Sunday, in church magazines, and from conference talks are powerful. The basics can even be life changing! The gospel is pure & simple and should never be complicated.The basics are essentially the milk. They are all that the Lord has allowed to reveal as a whole to His church at this time. We know that there is much more truth that can be and will be revealed ( ex. the sealed portion).

Elder Richard G. Scott said in October 2007 conference,

"The best way of finding truth is simply to go to the origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration. For success, two ingredients are essential: first, unwavering faith in the source of all truth; second, a willingness to keep God’s commandments to keep open spiritual communication with Him. 

Try as I might, I am not able, even in the smallest degree, to comprehend the extent, depth, and stunning grandeur of what our holy Heavenly Father, Elohim, has permitted to be revealed by the scientific method...

... Were we to penetrate further into the mysteries of the most fundamental makeup of creation, we would come to the limit of our current understanding..there are yet more of Father in Heaven’s creations to be understood by the scientific method.

...The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, … and … gave I unto man his agency;

“… There are many worlds …, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”

A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions. Consider for a moment a man, heavily overweight, approaching a bakery display. In his mind are these thoughts: The doctor told you not to eat any more of that. It’s not good for you. It just gives you momentary gratification of appetite. You’ll feel uncomfortable the rest of the day after it. You’ve decided not to have any more. But then he hears himself say, “I’ll have two of those almond twists and a couple of those chocolate doughnuts. One more time won’t hurt. I’ll do it just once more, and this will be the last time.”

The Lord knows if we are in a place to correctly and righteously apply the knowledge He gives us. This is known as wisdom. If we are not prepared to receive new knowledge and truth, and we lack wisdom, then it's for our own protection that we refrain. Instead, we should pray that the Lord grant us wisdom and help us prepare for further light. 

John H. Vandenberg said in his April 1978 conference What is Truth,  

"Jesus said, 'Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.' Those who are “of the truth” are those who sincerely seek after it. All of mankind should be seekers after truth for it is the supreme essence of their lives.

...“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."

This reminds me of so many I know who want to seek but are afraid to find. They just don't feel confident in their discernment. Sometimes they catch wind of an interesting truth, but then go shopping for opinions about it. It feels good and right, but they are afraid to trust what they feel. They toss it around on social media or among family and friends to get their take and opinions.They become persuaded by whomever is the most convincing or credible.These members of the church seem to blow with the wind. They aren't tuning in to what the Spirit is trying to teach them. They prefer to be taught by the opinions of man.   

In reference to righteous desires of God's children to seek the mysteries, Elder W. Mark Bassett said in October 2016 conference in his talk For Our Spiritual Development and Learning,

"Jacob’s words teach us that we cannot successfully “pry at the plates” or force the mysteries of God to be revealed unto us. Instead, the mysteries of God are unfolded unto us only according to His will and by the power of the Holy Ghost.

...In order to understand the mysteries of God, or those things that can be understood only through revelation, we must follow the example of Nephi, who said, “Being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father.”6 The Lord Himself further explained that Nephi had exercised faith, sought diligently with lowliness of heart, and kept His commandments.7

Nephi’s example of seeking knowledge included (1) a sincere desire, (2) humility, (3) prayer, (4) trust in the prophet, and an exercise of (5) faith, (6) diligence, and (7) obedience. This method of seeking is in great contrast to my “prying at the plates,” or trying to force an understanding of things meant to be revealed according to the Lord’s timetable and through the power of the Holy Ghost.

In this modern age, we have come to expect that knowledge can and should be obtained immediately; when information is not easily known or accessible, it is often dismissed or mistrusted. Because of the abundance of information, some unwittingly give more credibility to available sources with an unknown origin rather than relying on the Lord’s established pattern for receiving personal revelation." 

If seeking the meat results in evaporating the milk, then we should not be seeking the meat. The milk goes with the meat. When this happens, we have lost balance in our lives. And when we lose balance we let go of what we feel threw us off. I have seen many people who are on this path right now. They sought the meat, while forgetting about the milk. They got carried away in the excitement of learning the mysteries and made that priority in their lives. Instead of asking the Lord what His will was concerning their journey of seeking, they bypassed Him altogether and sought anyways. When they realized their life was out of balance, they felt lost and became afraid and translated that fear into the need to avoid the meat all together. They used their personal experience and fears to translate a general message that all people should avoid seeking the meat for their own protection and safety.

I have not been a fan of this message. I believe with all my heart that what the Spirit teaches one, may not be counsel for another. We are all at different spiritual levels. This was even spoken about by Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard at the recent YSA Face to Face. They said that because all church members are at “different levels of spiritual intellect” they would try to find a middle ground with their answers as to not offend or confuse those who are at a lower level. They asked that the higher spiritual intellect members not be offended by their basic (milk) answers. I found that very interesting as I have not heard general authorities talk that way before.

I could attest to this. From my experience I have come across some mystery seekers who were easily offended by those who opposed their messages. That offense came from a place of fear and turned into a greater fear. Fear that they had made a mistake, or done something wrong…etc. The Lord doesn’t use fear. Fear is a tactic of the Adversary. The Lord gently guides us. The Spirit is a still small voice that beckons us. We feel compelled to learn something, share something, repent, or change, but not from a spirit of fear. We feel compelled out of love and humility. We keep our counsel from the Spirit personal – unless prompted to share with others. Our personal counsel is not meant to be counsel for all the members of the church. It is unique to our own weaknesses and shortcomings.

In my upcoming weekly video message I talk about a sister who contacted me and shared her notes from Elder Bednar who had recently spoken at her stake conference. She quoted Elder Bednar and wrote,

“New things will be revealed that have never been revealed in our time.” Twice during his talk he said,  “For those that have eyes to see let them see, for those who have ears to hear let them hear.” Almost like he was commanding it while he was giving his talk. 

Elder Bednar didn't appear to expand on how these new truths would be revealed but my spirit felt that we can always receive truth individually from the Lord if we ask and if it's His will to reveal it to us. Scripture teaches us that the greater truths have been kept hidden as the Lord's people are not ready for it (as a whole). 

We know from scripture that anytime someone has prayed to know truth with righteous desires, God has always answered. Joseph Smith, The Brother of Jared, Nephi, Enoch, and many others have gone directly to the Lord and asked for more than just the milk. They desired the meat. The meat are the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. The gospel is the good news, the message that teaches us and prepares us to enter into and live in the Kingdom of God. The mysteries are the ways of the Lord and how His Kingdom operates. A wonderful knowledge to behold, but not essential for salvation.

Whether we learn them here in our life (through an NDE, a vision, or dream), or we learn them after we cross through the veil - eventually we are given that opportunity to receive the fullness of that knowledge. Not everyone desires that knowledge in this lifetime, and not everyone is prepared to receive it, and that is okay. If you are continually striving to learn from the milk - it will fill you with life. It is fear that causes digression and spiritual death. Fear of seeking, and learning. It's fear that overrides trust in the Holy Spirit. If we feel prompted to learn something, or seek something, but fear stops us - we are stunting our own growth, and for our own protection will no longer received those promptings if we are not being obedient to them. 

That was the premise of my video message.Through the gift of discernment we can override fear and exercise trust. My blessing tells me I have been given the gift of discernment and that I will be in a position to bring many souls to my Savior. Through my videos and blog posts, the Spirit has been my teacher and shown me what to learn and what to share and what to avoid or not share. It has been a great blessing in my life. I've had the privilege of experiencing many souls come unto their Savior through what the Spirit has led me to learn and share.

My blessing also talks about the importance of moderation in all things. I believe that many fall short in this area. Many become obsessed with a certain truth or principal they have learned until it consumes them. They eat, sleep, and breath the mysteries and forget about the basics – the milk. They forget to serve, to love, be parents, and to magnify their church callings.

For the most part, people only know me through what they see in my videos or blog. But it's important for you to know that I don’t spend the majority of my day seeking the meat. I spend it playing with my kids, cooking, cleaning, working on fun projects, shopping, and living a normal life. That’s why I also have the family vlog videos, to show people who I am the majority of the time. I record a positive message for my Happy Lady vlog once a week, and its whatever I’m prompted to share. I type up my notes right before I make the video – but that is all the time I put into it. Just once a week. Because of this I find balance in my life and I feel joy and peace.

I feel I am on the right track as I feel so blessed and because what I have been guided to learn has only strengthened my testimony of what I already know to be true. It doesn’t take away from it, change it, or consume me. Many people fear expanding outside of the box because they fear their own weaknesses. They fear they will be led astray, or they will lose their testimony or they will become obsessed. Again those are fears, and fear will never accompany promptings. The Holy Ghost does not operate from fear. Fears and doubts may come later, and I have learned that is a common tactic of Satan. He watches as we receive promptings and new knowledge (line upon line) that will allow us to learn and grow. He always swoops in to put a stop to it by using fear and doubt. This leads to confusion. Confusion is a tool of the enemy. I talk about this is my new video this week.

God brings clarity. When something feels clear, it is of the Lord. When we hear truth, followed by loud doubts and fears entering our mind, we need to ask where that confusion, fear, and doubt is coming from. The Lord gives us clear answers. Yes and no. Move ahead, or stop. He never says “Wait. I’m not sure. Hold on. I’m confused.” He doesn’t change. He is firm. He is absolute. He is the same tomorrow, today, and yesterday.

In the YSA Face to Face, Elder Oaks talks about this. He addresses a question about how can we tell if something is our own thoughts or coming from the Holy Ghost. I highly recommend you listen. 

It’s pretty easy to keep  my messages positive. I try to bring peace, clarity and happiness into all my videos and posts. I don’t speak to a general audience because I feel that the Lord leads those who need to hear my messages to them. I cannot speak for others however, and something interesting I have noticed is that there has been a common occurrence happening among some recent vloggers and  podcasters that has caused many of their listeners to say, "Wait...I am now confused." 

These teachers/mentors are generally very emotional and passionate people by nature. One day they are passionate, emotional and in tears about something they believe to be a new amazing truth that has changed their life and then the next day, they are equally passionate, emotional and in tears about how that same truth was actually deception. It can seem very confusing. Strong emotions can easily be mistaken as the Spirit and therefore truth. This is addressed in the recent YSA Face to Face. When I feel the spirit teaching me truth, I feel peace and calmness and I really hope that translates into my videos.

In the October 2017 conference, Elder Bednar said in his talk Exceeding Great and Precious Promises,

"We easily can be overcome by the routine and mundane matters of mortality. Sleeping, eating, dressing, working, playing, exercising, and many other customary activities are necessary and important. But ultimately, what we become is the result of our knowledge of and willingness to learn from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; it is not merely the sum total of our daily pursuits over the course of a lifetime.

The gospel is so much more than a routine checklist of discrete tasks to be performed; rather, it is a magnificent tapestry of truth “fitly framed”26 and woven together, designed to help us become like our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, even partakers of the divine nature. Truly, we are blinded “by looking beyond the mark”27 when this overarching spiritual reality is overshadowed by the cares, concerns, and casualness of the world.

As we are wise and invite the Holy Spirit to be our guide, I promise He will teach us what is true. “He will testify of Christ, [and] light our minds with heaven’s view” as we strive to fulfill our eternal destiny and become partakers of the divine nature."

The Lord gives us the basics but it's up to us to "knock and have it opened unto us". The Lord will not force knowledge upon us. The Spirit guides as to what to seek for and where to find it. Elder Bednar said, "But ultimately, what we become is the result of our knowledge of and willingness to learn from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;...we are wise and invite the Holy Spirit to be our guide," What we become is our exaltation. What we are exalted to after making covenants with the Lord, is a glory based on the amount of  Light we were willing to receive due to our obedience to the Holy Ghost.

Staying on the gospel path should always be our priority and focus. Just like I mentioned, you can't seek the meat when straying from the milk. You need both. The iron rod is the personal revelation in our life. It's the word of God for us individually. We have to be obedient to it. With our gift of discernment we can trust where the Spirit leads us. If there is something we are to learn that will really benefit us on our journey or confirm a truth, we must trust the Spirit. 

The Spirit will not prompt us to learn the mysteries if we have strayed from the gospel path. We must hold tight to the iron rod, in order to receive those promptings. "Outside the Box" doesn't have to mean "outside the church" or "outside the gospel" or "outside the doctrine" - it simply means seeking and knocking with an open mind and open heart and moving higher and brighter line upon line. Trusting where the Spirit might lead you, wherever it may be. We can still move forward on the gospel path but do so from a higher perspective. Our comfort bubble keeps us lower to the ground, it puts limits on us and minimizes our perspective and view. Going outside the box is like putting on stilts and seeing further down the path from a higher perspective. We are still on the gospel path, but that greater knowledge has lifted us to a new perspective that enhances our view and and our experience while on the path. 

An example of this in my own life, are the times I have purchased books from Deseret Book in which I learned mysteries not detailed in the scriptures or doctrine. However, they did not take away from the gospel or doctrine, nor teach anything contrary to it. They added to it. They confirmed what I already knew to be true. 

A specific example of this that comes to mind was a collection of Near Death Experiences I bought in the early 2000's from Deseret Book. The NDE's were collected from people all over the world and from different religions and time periods. They spoke of beautiful things and beings that people saw in the spirit world. They spoke of how things operated in the Spirit wold. Things that would not be spoken of in a conference talk, over the pulpit, nor in a Sunday school or Relief Society lesson. However they did not discount the gospel or knowledge we have from the doctrine. They supported it. That was the premise of the book. How God can uses people's experiences outside of the Church to be an additional witness to the revealed truth we already have. One account from the 1800's spoke of three kingdoms of glory in the brightness of a star, moon, and sun. The man was not a Mormon and this was prior to the Church being restored. It was a beautiful witness. I was left feeling edified and peaceful from my reading.

God's mysteries are available to all who ask and are on the gospel path. He works in mysterious ways and a lot of time exceeds my own expectations. I've learned not to put limits on Him. If he sends me to a book, a YouTube video, a podcast, or a person - I've learned there is usually something in that He wants me to learn. Whether it's one sentence in a book, one experience shared in a video, etc. I feel the Spirit confirm to me what it is each time. We learn many beautiful things in the temple about truth being spread throughout the Earth and one day it being circumscribed into one great whole. The Holy Ghost (our compass) guides us to those truths that a spread abroad through our gift of discernment. 

Lastly, concerning seeking the mysteries, I had been fasting for and pondering a couple days ago about many of the gifts I have been given and some of which have to do with my hands such as my gift of writing which involves typing, and other gifts etc. I was pondering on how I have relied on my gift of discernment to learn more about these gifts and how to righteously use them. I was also pondering on how to best share this message of it being okay to seek mysteries that are aligned with God's will for us. 

While pondering and praying, I began to feel this powerful energy hit my hands and pulsate down through my elbows and back out through my hands. It pulsated back and forth and everything in my hands and arms tingled with warmth. This is the 5th time this has happened to me in the last couple years while pondering on this mystery. 

I asked the Lord, what did this mean? How come every time I pondered on this topic, I feel this energy come into my hands and arms? Insomuch that my thumbs would lock to my fingers like magnets and I cannot pull them apart until the vibrating stops. Have I done something wrong, is there something wrong with me physically such as a mineral deficiency?  Or, is this from the Lord. Is it something good? While asking, I felt peaceful about it and felt the Spirit tell me, "Have patience, and more will be revealed to you soon."

This morning I was awakened at 3:30 am. There was a bright light pulsating in my room. It lit up the entire room. I had this feeling that I needed to go into my prayer closet. So I did. Once there, I felt prompted to pick up where I had left off in my scripture reading. So I did. And as I began to read in Doctrine and Covenants Section 8, I received the answer to my inquiry from the Lord and the final and powerful summary for this blog post message.

The heading reads;

Revelation comes by the power of the Holy Ghost; Knowledge of the mysteries of God... come by faith.

I inserted my name into the scripture and read, 

Lindsey  you [shall] receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive...

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.

7 Behold, there is no other power, save the power of God, that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you.

8 Therefore, doubt not, for it is the gift of God; and you shall hold it in your hands, and do marvelous works; and no power shall be able to take it away out of your hands, for it is the work of God.

9 And, therefore, whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you, and you shall have knowledge concerning it.

10 Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not.

11 Ask that you may know the mysteries of God... and according to your faith shall it be done unto you.

12 Behold, it is I that have spoken it; and I am the same that spake unto you from the beginning. Amen.

I felt warmth cover me from head to toe as I read this. I felt the Lord say, "Have no fear my daughter. You are on the right track. Because of your faith and obedience, you will be given wisdom to prepare you for what I have planned for you. There is so much to learn and so much more good for you to do, but do not be in a hurry. In my own due time I will reveal to you according to your needs and desires, the things that pertain to the plans I have for you. It will continue to come line upon line and the Holy Ghost will  continue to be your compass."

I believe that these words can apply to all of God's children. With righteous desires to seek, God will reveal to us according to His will. I believe it pleases Him when we desire the meat. It pleases Him when we ask. He has so much He wants to share. 

I testify of this in Jesus' name amen.