Call the Doctor!

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If I reached out with my hand, I could have nearly touched the finish line.  Although I was only thirty seconds away, try as I might, there was no stopping the nausea that instantly came over me, and my body couldn’t keep “Chuck” down!  Up until this point of the marathon, everything else seemed to be going super great, no aches, no pains, just truly enjoying every minute (easy to say after the fact).  Sadly, the cheering became muted as I felt all eyes on that poor soul who was heaving….me!  Then about the time my body ridded itself from all impurities, I heard a lady scream out from the crowd, “Call the Doctor”!

This was a new experience for me.  “Chuck” and I had never been running partners before now.  I wasn’t sure where he came from either, but what I did know was, it wasn’t because of overexertion as I was trying to take it a bit easier this year.  What I did attribute it to was a diet coke some sweet people handed out along the route.  I never drink diet anything, and I rarely drink soda, but I remember one running mentor tell me to drink coke if it is offered to you.  My body couldn’t handle the caffeine overload from all the energy gel GU’s along with the diet soda.

It warmed my heart when a random stranger saw my suffering and acted in charity, calling out for help.  When we see suffering, grievousness, pain and sorrow among our fellow brothers and sisters, is our natural instincts to feel sorrow and a desire to help them? Do we act in their behalf?  There are many people who are sick because of the vices they are putting into their bodies.  It’s dulling our senses and making us incapable of feeling and of reaching the finish line called life.  Whether it be drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, gambling, filthy movies and music, and anything that promotes hatred toward our fellowmen.

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Every day we learn of more violence and bloodshed.  People seem to have lost their love of mankind.  Can an M.D. help our sick nation and world?  If so, we need to call the doctor for immediate help!  Most of us can tell when we are getting sick and take the necessary precautions to avoid getting sicker, such as, amping up our vitamins or getting more rest, etc, but how can the world get help?

Prophets are like M.D.’s because they know the symptoms and how to treat them.  In Doctrine and Covenants 45:26 & 27 we read: 26 And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.  27 And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.  

Great and inspired people can help like, Valerie M. Hudson, an American professor of political science at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University who said this about the sicknesses of our world, “World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war.”
Years before all the confusion on the traditional family our prophets were inspired to pen The Family Proclamation to the World.   Recently, we were taught in the world wide general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the following pertinent prescription for our time:“Often, people may condemn bullying in others, yet they cannot see it in themselves. They demand compliance with their own arbitrary rules, but when others don’t follow these random rules, they chasten them verbally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically.

The Lord has said that “when we … exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, … the heavens withdraw themselves [and] the Spirit of the Lord is grieved….Let us set aside our fears and live instead with joy, humility, hope, and a bold confidence that the Lord is with us. Love Casteth Out Fear   President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

We are literally seeing a large scale of “Chuck” coming from poisoned people all around the globe.  The unfavorable and oppressive treatment of women and children in many cultures and the disruption of the traditional family is causing the hearts of men (and women) to wax cold.  These illnesses are bringing plagues and destruction to our people.  However, the remedy and good news is calling out from the spectator’s stand, “call the doctor” and get help for these poor sick souls, each one of us!  God is calling, His son, Jesus Christ is our healer.

Though my sickness did not warrant an M.D., I did learn a great lesson about keeping to my regular routine and avoiding excessiveness when running (oxymoron?).  I also learned there are natural occurring consequences when I don’t keep myself inline with God’s boundary for which he created me.   “The more I come to know my Heavenly Father, the more I see how He inspires and leads His children. He is not angry, vengeful, or retaliatory.4 His very purpose—His work and His glory—is to mentor us, exalt us, and lead us to His fulness.5  God described Himself to Moses as “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”6  Our Father in Heaven’s love for us, His children, surpasses by far our ability to comprehend.7  Does this mean that God condones or overlooks behaviors that run contrary to His commands? No, definitely not!  But He wants to change more than just our behaviors. He wants to change our very natures. He wants to change our hearts.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

Come unto Him and we can be healed!

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Power of Words

Words and wind can surely blow away the people and objects within their path.  Their power to do good is incalculable.  Both provide nourishment and breath to our world, providing electricity, life and transportation both physically and metaphorically. Without them, we would be literally at a stand still.  Why is it they inflict such harm?

Utah wind bursts (tornados) are rare, but happen from time to time.  The last and great tornado of 1999 hit Salt Lake City and did extensive damage to the state capitol building.  Then, last Thursday a wild and crazy tornado hit Lake Powell, causing some serious and tragic events near a place we had been vacationing the week prior.

Wind gusts of more than 55 mph caused some houseboats to break away from their anchoring system and become loose in the storm.  One brand new 88’x24′ houseboat’s metal anchoring cables snapped, leaving it to drift uncontrollably and ramming it onto rocks which then caused a sudden whipping action where all of the occupants where thrown to the side of the boat.  One woman’s arm got caught between the boat and the rock, instantly amputating her arm.   Several other people suffered serious injuries as well.  An entirely different houseboat was tipped onto it’s side as well and as this picture shows, its anchor cords are still intact.

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Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why are people suffering everywhere around the world?  Why would God allow natural disasters like this one to occur?   I’ve watched in my lifetime how powerful the force of mother nature has become and it’s destructive nature seems to be getting worse.  Words are like powerful storms for good and for evil.  It feels like the use of information and technology have been miraculously good in nature,  but it is beginning to feel like a tornado is sweeping away everyone and everything in it’s path with a lethal force that is meant to destroy those who are drifting away from their foundation and anchor system!   Proverbs 15:1-4

I’m writing these words because I am learning their power for both good and evil.  How important it is to be grounded upon the rock of my foundation which is Jesus Christ, for without him, I am nothing.  I can easily become offended by the words of others if I do not have charity.  If others misinterpret what is said, and become offended, often it can lead to lethal and even serious spiritual damage causing hate and mean spiritedness to arise. “Words have surprising power, both to build up and to tear down.  We can all probably remember negative words that brought us low and other words spoken with love that made our spirits soar.  Choosing to say only that which is positive about-and to-others lifts and strengthens those around us and helps others follow in the Savior’s way”. Jean B. Bingham, “I Will Bring the Light of the Gospel into My Home,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 6–9

People are like houseboats, most of us are anchored with the proper foundation to get along in the world no matter what storms may arise or words are spoken.  However, if we don’t have true charity toward our fellow men, the winds and words that befall us can cause us to snap in the winds and storms of life, which then can have a serious and even fatal affect to us and to those around us.  God allows us our free agency to choose how we will take care of our boats both great and small, rich or poor.  He allows natural occurances to tempt us and to try us and most importantly, to help us learn to love one another through service, compassion, comfort, uplifting and inspired means of communication to see if we are anchored in charity one to another.

“The Prophet Joseph Smith deepened our understanding of the power of speech when he taught, “It is by words … [that] every being works when he works by faith. God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’ Joshua spake, and the great lights which God had created stood still. Elijah commanded, and the heavens were stayed for the space of three years and six months, so that it did not rain. … All this was done by faith. … Faith, then, works by words; and with [words] its mightiest works have been, and will be, performed.1 Like all gifts “which cometh from above,” words are “sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit.”2

It is with this realization of the power and sanctity of words that I wish to caution us, if caution is needed, regarding how we speak to each other and how we speak of ourselves”. The Tongue of Angels-Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Roles

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We woke up at four in the morning because we had been warned about the “manifestaciones” or protests.  On a regular highway in the USA, our drive from Guatemala City to Panajachel would take us up to two hours and pico, but this was Central America where people protest in the streets for all sorts of politically charged issues, or just when their electricity bill is raised.  Thanks to the main artery traffic hold-up for over four hours, we gleaned an appreciation for our freedoms in the USA.  Funny, we thought we were out of harm’s way when we left the outskirts of Guatemala, but surprise, our first lesson in third world civ 101 was staring at us in our faces and our bowels: “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”….corn field squat.

Our lives are defined by the roles we play.  Each person acts accordingly within that role and fulfills a certain duty in order to produce a desired outcome.  Some of us are capable of acting within many casts and capacities that call for differing characters such as executive, charter president, church worker, volunteer, wife/husband, caregiver, parent, child, etc.  Though a paradox exists because our lives are not linear and we are never capable of living in one exact role, we do, however, live linearly in that we do progress from one stage of life to another, or from one role to the next; It’s called organized chaos.  Thank goodness for our adaption within these many roles, we are capable to act within our bounds, but our quest is to know how to define that role and our purpose therein.

What is the US government’s role? If we take the time to study the constitution, it’s beginnings 378 years ago were penned as the Mayflower Compact. This first written charter started by the Reverend Thomas Hooker and associates was later named the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.  That little charter gave preeminence to the establishment of a democratic republic that has set the stage for the role of millions to exist in peace and harmony; therefore, Thomas Hooker is worthy of being called the father of our nation.

That’s cool and all, but many people think the constitution is out-dated and should be modified so that it fits “our needs” of today.  I have one answer to that: TRY LIVING IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! People who talk like this clearly have never read the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, John Locke’s, Essays concerning Civil Government, Adam Smith, John Calhoun’s, Disquisition on Government, Herbert Spencer, or The Wealth of Nations,  George Soule, Stuart Chase, The Works of John Adams, Elliot’s, Debates in the State Conventions, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, (Socialism [New Haven, Conn.:  Yale University Press, 1951], p. 583.), The Socialist Tragedy (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1951), Max Eastman’s, Reflections on the Failure of Socialism, William Ebenstein, Great Political Thinkers and Baron Charles de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws.

There’s a saying that goes like this, “I never appreciated what I had until I lost it”.  I hope we can become learned about the role of our government and how out-stretched their reach has become which is unlawful and out of control.  Knowledge is power my friends.  Let’s not let our ignorance buy into the trendy mindset of “popular” beliefs today that our Constitution is out-dated.  If anything, the lawmakers have out-dated it by changing and continually making change to our freedoms, property rights, and well being through legalizations to the point of negating all of the above formers great ideology of a free republic.

“The role of the government should prevent:

  1. ILLEGAL FORCE in the market place to compel purchase or sale of products.
  2. FRAUD in misrepresenting the quality, location, or ownership of the item being sold or bought.
  3. MONOPOLY which eliminates competition and results in restraint of trade.
  4. DEBAUCHERY of the cultural standards and moral fiber of society by commercial exploitation of vice-pornography, obscenity, drugs, liquor, prostitution, or commercial gambling.”  The 5000 Year Leap, W. Cleon Skousen

In the Book of Mormon there’s a chief judge by the name of Pahoran who knew his role and purpose in position.  He did not seek for power, save only to retain his judgment-seat that he could preserve the rights and the liberty of his people.  Alma 61:9 reads, “My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free”.     Galatians 5:1 teaches us to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangles again with the yoke of bondage”.   Perhaps we all have a different ideology of what liberty means, but for me, I think of personal agency, physical and spiritual freedom, freedom from tyranny and oppressive governments.  Alma 58:40 teaches us that, although many have received many wounds, “nevertheless they stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free, and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong in the prophecies concerning that which is to come.”

By the way, did I mention the distrust all the Guatemala’s have for one another?  Yup, just leave your car parked in front of your house, inside your locked community, and come out in the morning to find it stripped down to a shell.  Could I go running in the morning?  Heaven’s no, I was locked inside the compound.  I asked one of our host’s why there seems to be such distrust among the people.  She told me is’t because of a corrupt government. I say what comes first, the chicken or the egg? We need to define our roles and live accordingly as a morally strong people.  We need to understand and have knowledge of what our governmental roles are and realize their purpose is to uphold we the people.  We the people need to be strong in our faith and stand fast in our liberty wherewith God has made us free.  The only way is through a strong moral fiber and since there are so many good people left on this continent, WE WILL PREVAIL!!! LET US STAND UP IN DEFENSE OF OUR GOD, OUR PROPERTY AND OUR FAMILIES!

KNOW YOUR ROLE.  LIVE FOR IT.  FIGHT FOR IT.  DIE FOR IT!

FREEDOM RULES FOREVER!!!images

Pious Reflection

 

Notes on a triangle is an amazing choreography that will dazzle the eye and inspire the imagination.  It also offers insight into the potential we all are created to become.  When looking creatively at a single triangle, a good challenge would be to see how many other shapes can be made.  At the on sight, because we only see a triangle, it’s difficult to imagine how much possibility there is to do more with one shape.

This video completely mesmerized me and got me thinking how inconceivable are the possibilities of just three lines.  Even more unfathomable is how just three men, Alexander HamiltonJames Madison, and John Jay wrote a series of 85 essays in support of the United States Constitution known as the Federalist Papers. Then, within ten short months, the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by nine states and was therefore in force for them.

Have we read The Federalist papers? Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its principles? Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? Do we know what the prophets have said about the Constitution and the threats to it?

The years immediately preceding the Constitutional Convention were filled with disappointments and threats to the newly won peace. Washington was offered a kingship, which he adamantly refused. Nephi had prophesied hundreds of years before that “this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land” (2 Ne. 10:11; italics added)

The Doctrine and Covenants states, “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life” (D&C 134:2). Life, liberty, property—mankind’s three great rights

The delegates were the recipients of heavenly inspiration. James Madison, often referred to as the father of the Constitution, wrote: “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution” (The Federalist, no. 37, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1983, p. 222

Alexander Hamilton, famous as the originator of The Federalist papers and author of fifty-one of the essays, said: “For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system, which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interest” (Essays on the Constitution of the United States, ed. Paul L. Ford, 1892, pp. 251–5

As Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be” (Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816).

 “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City) John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31).”  Our Divine Constitution Ezra Taft Benson

Prophecy has been and continues to be fulfilled.

(2 Ne. 1:7).(Ether 2:9)(Ether 2:12) 

“Warning about the importance of preserving the U.S. Constitution. To this end, he claimed that “all citizens—whatever their religious or philosophical persuasion” should maintain several responsibilities regarding the Constitution: understand it, support the law, practice civic virtue, maintain civility in political discourse, and promote patriotism  Constitution Day Celebration 2010, Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“The day would come when there would be so much of disorder, of secret combinations taking the law into their own hands, tramping upon Constitutional rights and the liberties of the people, that the Constitution would hang as by a thread. Yes, but it will still hang, and there will be enough of good people, many who may not belong to our Church at all, people who have respect for law and for order, and for Constitutional rights, who will rally around with us and save the Constitution.” Charles W. Nibley, 1922

“The prophet Joseph Smith said the time will come when, through secret organizations taking the law into their own hands … the Constitution of the United States would be so torn and rent asunder, and life and property and peace and security would be held of so little value, that the Constitution would, as it were, hang by a thread. This Constitution will be preserved, but it will be preserved very largely in consequence of what the Lord has revealed and what, through listening to the Lord and being obedient, will help to bring about, to stabilize and give permanency and effect to the Constitution itself. That also is our mission.”  Melvin J. Ballard, 1928

God is the head of our Triangle and it’s only through him that mesmerizing and marvelous works and diverse shapes are made through we the people.  It’s time we get back to one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL! This country was established for God’s stone to roll forth out of her and fill the earth.  In God we Trust.  Let’s do all we can to remember that piece of the puzzle as we stand up in defense of our Life, Liberty and our Property.

May we always remain independent.

Happy Independence Day!

Sacred Work of the Soul

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“Looking into the heart releases the good and the bad into the light where awareness, acceptance and attention can be given.  This is sacred work of the soul.” And they Were Not Ashamed, Laura M. Brotherson, CFLE

Are we not all on a quest seeking after wholeness.  Are we not intimate beings hungering after emotional, physical and spiritual fulfillment: “mind, body and spirit” Alma 17:5? “Complete intimacy is sharing thoughts, feelings, and energies-both positive and negative-creating an emotional, spiritual, and physical connection.  If we look closely at the word intimacy we can almost see the phrase, “in-to-me-see” suggesting that couples allow each other to see into their inner selves.  Intimacy is the key.  We seek it from the moment we are conscious that we are alive and continue until the moment we have our last conscious thought on this planet. Only when we live in an intimate relationship with another person and an intimate relationship with God, do we have the very treasure we live our lives to find.  God made us that way.” (Laura M. Brotherson) 

If we measured our level of wholeness with a bucket, how many of us can say theirs is full?  If our marital bucket is lacking or springs a leak, do we have the right tools to fix it? How can we keep them from becoming empty or from springing leaks and if they are filled with holes, can they become whole?

I just spent a wonderful week at Lake Powell sharing precious time with my family.  I especially enjoyed reading the above mentioned book because it is, in my opinion, a manual for a successful marriage and a fulfilling and happy life.  I was able to look deep inside my soul to see truth about myself like I’ve never seen before.  I found answers to many of my soul’s greatest questions and struggles and realized my bucket has the need for repair.  Life throws at us many perplexities about ourselves that give us cause for running away from experiencing a whole bucket.  After reading this book, I can now address these issues with confidence by working out solutions called “homework” at the end of each chapter.  All of the topics in this book clarifies the confusion that seems to incircle me.

The world is filled with solutions that confuse our true purpose on earth. God created us in his image, male and female to become one with him. Moses said, “Let us make man (not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife) in our image, after our likeness; and it was so (Moses 2:26).”  Marriage is the bond that was instituted from the beginning of time to accomplish these divine purposes on earth of procreation and a continuation of life. President Joseph Smith said, “Unity is power”.  Unity in marriage is not optional.  Elder Spencer J. Condie shared his conviction, “Unity-emotional and spiritual, as well as physical-is absolutely essential to a happy marriage, one in which the partners symbolically become one in all things.”  Elder Condie also identifies becoming one as a three-dimensional endeavor: physical. emotional, and spiritual.”(Laura M. Brotherson)

Satan is distorting our identities so that God’s goals cannot be reached and couples loose their power.  “Being emotionally disconnected causes feeling of emptiness.  Filling that void is necessary to avoid living disconnected, parallel lives as husband and wives.” (Laura M. Brotherson)  Many hearts are broken each day as we look to the world to find answers for our loneliness, sorrows and longing for intimacy.  If we understand our divine inheritance, we can look into our hearts, accepting in each other, both the good and bad, while knowing the potential God sees within us in accomplishing his mission for us on earth. Within the actual marital bond is the solution for all of man’s problems so long as God is a part of that union. Healing can and will happen through each person’s love for spouse, self and God.   Helaman 15: 7-8

There are four steps to help us:  1.  Reprioritize and remove and heal intimacy barriers.  2.  Develop a testimony that marriage is of God so our faith in His commandment for husband and wife to “be one”-then we can exert the necessary effort and make the crucial changes in our lives to experience God’s divine design of marriage. 3. Believe “Intimacy is one of the highest ideals of the human heart and, as such, deserves the most exceptional efforts.” 4.  With a stewardship for each other, couples can follow the Savior’s example to be each other’s keeper, to “learn the healer’s art” and to “show a gentle heart” to one another who are wounded and weary.  In Marriage, husbands and wives can begin the cycle of loving and healing each other into wholeness.  It is our search for intimacy and oneness in marriage that we become whole and become one-fulfilling all the longings of the heart and soul.” (Laura M. Brotherson)

As we understand our roles as fathers and mothers, our families will be blessed as our buckets are made whole through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Remember, we’re both on the same team.  “With God’s help, couples can find solutions that both feel good about. Emotional intimacy is a feeling of understanding and acceptance, To be known intimately and be accepted by another is a vulnerable, yet freeing, state of being.  To share your innermost worries and weaknesses, and still be accepted by your spouse, can contribute enormously to emotional fulfillment and oneness.” (Laura M. Brotherson)

The most sacred duty we can perform for ourselves is to examine our souls, to be made aware of  where we are emotionally, spiritually and physically and to improve. Marriage provides us with the tools to repair and fill our buckets.    “A mother’s purpose is to care, prepare, to nurture and to strengthen all her children.  She teaches children to obey, to pray, to love and serve in the family.  A father’s place is to preside, provide, to love and teach the gospel to his children.  A father leads in family prayer to share their love for Father in Heaven.  God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—This is how He shares His love, for the family is of God.” The Family is of God, Matthew Neeley

Online Marriage Resource

Strengthening Marriage.com

http:..www.strengtheningmarriage.com

Laura M. Brotherson

Email:  Laura@StrengtheningMarriage.com

Bibliography

And they Were Not Ashamed, Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment

*Laura M. Brotherson, CFLE

 

An Eternal “La La Land”

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A watch representing man’s time is used as a profound metaphor in the latest Marvel movie, “Wonder Woman”.   We never know when the people or things we love most will expire, but what we do know is this: We have the present time to make a difference for each other that can last eternally.  I have a story of a friend who is an exceptionally gifted artist who didn’t miss a beat in responding with her gift of love at a very sad time for someone else.  It is with permission from both artist and the recipient of this drawing I will tell you the following story about an experience that happened while creating this portrait.

Upon hearing the sad and tragic news of our mutual friend’s husband passing, I phoned my artist friend to tell her the grave news.  Her immediate reply was, “I am going to draw a picture of him to give to her.”  She felt it pertinent to give her gift as soon as possible, but when she was nearly finished with her drawing, she became stuck on his left eye.  After pleading with the Lord by telling Him that she was nearly out of time and that she needed His guidance to finish it, she felt inspired to audibly address the young deceased man and plead for him to help her here because, after all, it was him she needed to portray.

Immediately after her plea, she was prompted to begin again from scratch, only this time, “It went super fast and I was surprised that I was already done. Of course, I don’t know if it was him who helped me or Heavenly Father, or if He sent a heavenly being.  I just know without a doubt that I received heavenly help because I know what I am physically capable of doing by myself”, said my artist friend.   She finished her drawing in just over 10+ hours, (usually would have taken 40+), a remarkable speed.  She told me how fast her hands were guided as if they were laser beams of light.  Her sense of time had been altered from man’s time, to God’s time because the accuracy in her gifting the portrait was nothing short of a miracle.   After our friend had spent a very difficult but sacred time at the funeral home (due to the nature of his accident), our friend was greeted at her doorstep with this portrait, offering her much needed comfort and solace.  In what other way would the timing of this occurrence been possible had it not been for divine intervention.

Have you ever had a time in your life when it seemed as if time stood still? I think we can all agree that the best description of this place is like “la la land”- “a euphoric dreamlike mental state detached from the harsher realities of life” Webster Dictionary.   Perhaps you felt it on your wedding day, the birth of a child or when you reached a milestone in your life.  These are moments in our lives when time stands still, and yet, logically we know it hasn’t because time is the same. What is it that makes time seem different to us during certain moments in our lives?   The exploration of this phenomenon can be seen through two mediums of thought:  Man’s time and God’s time or perhaps when we are doing “the right thing at the right time, at the right place”.

Having just returned from”La La Land”, ahem, the Griffith observatory, I learned that man’s time is debatable, but “la la land” time isn’t and neither is God’s time.  Man’s time is defined as a fundamental structure of the Universe, independent of events where things happen in sequence-a realists view.  It’s opposing view is that time cannot be contained-it is an intellectual structure together with space and number where humans compare events.  Then there is the idea that time is neither an event nor thing and cannot be measured or travelled.  I believe in a universal truth that time equals mortality and therefore, like the watch metaphor in “Wonder Woman”, man is given this life as a probationary time to be tested whether he will follow the forces of evil, or the forces of love and good; living under God’s time and framework which is obedience to His laws and commandments.

 What is God’s time? Elder Neal A. Maxwell observed, “Time is clearly not our natural dimension. Thus it is that we are never really at home in time. Alternately, we find ourselves impatiently wishing to hasten the passage of time or to hold back the dawn. We can do neither, of course. Whereas the bird is at home in the air, we are clearly not at home in time—because we belong to eternity.”

Maybe the following statement combines the two types of time when John Anson Ford said the following about Griffith J. Griffith’s vision of the creation of his observatory: “The experience moved him profoundly – a distant, heavenly body suddenly being brought so close and made so real!” Ford quotes Griffith as saying “Man’s sense of values ought to be revised. If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world!”.   Like in the movie “Wonder Woman”, we must see time and why we are on this earth like a God sees it; with an all-seeing eternal eye.  This means we have a specific purpose in this life, but how can we find it with all the confusion “Aries” or Satan puts in our way and into our hearts? What must we have to see like a God? Perhaps Griffith’s entire purpose in creating his observatory was to help man gain a sense of God’s vision that would invoke a sense of values within mankind?

Man’s sense of values!!!  This is a key component in understanding God’s time which is structured not through man’s time but rather through obedience to His laws and commandments.  Think of eternity as a series of acts in obedience/disobedience and the consequences that follow based upon the first and great commandment to love thy God and the second is likened unto it to love our neighbor.  Once we get a handle on this concept, we are able to see through the powerful telescope of God’s eye which is charity and the pure love of Christ, or, an eternal “la la land”. “Hopefully we will know more one day about how scientific theories fit together with God’s eternal laws. But though there are still many things we don’t know, what we can say for sure is that time is relative—both from a scientific perspective and a scriptural perspective. In the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith addresses this concept: “In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside? I answer, Yes.” (D&C130:4–5). C. Robert Line, How Does God’s Time Really Work? 

After much prayer and fasting, God said the following through the prophet Alma about man’s time:  Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.”Alma 40:8  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; … “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;“… A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …“… A time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:1–2, 4–5, 7).  “The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.  Doctrine and Covenants 88:13   Time is the sun or the Son.

Man’s clock began as soon as death was introduced into the equation.   This concept is beautifully illustrated in Genisus “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2: 15-17   As soon as Adam and Eve partook of the fruit in the garden of Eden, they fell from God’s presence and His time.  Soon thereafter, Adam and Eve covenanted with God to obey His laws and keep His commandments and He promised to send them a Savior to redeem them from the fall. 

 C. S. Lewis observed: “God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world.”   The fall was not only spiritual, it was literal and that is when “man’s time” began.  God placed Cherubim and a flaming sword to protect the tree of life so that Adam and Eve could not partake of the fruit of the tree of life and live forever in their sins.   “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.   So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. Genesis 3: 22-24  

God’s clock isn’t relative to us and the closest thing to it is the Law of God.   This refers to self governance and management.  Man’s ability to overcome his natural man’s tendencies in this life is essential in his eternal “la la land”.  “And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God.”  Alma 42:4  We are here on earth for a “time” to learn how to master our appetites, passions and desires, thus evolving from our beastly nature to a form of Godliness. However, because there is no beginning nor end for God, he patiently awaits for us to learn and develop our relationship with Him through our agency, and when we figure this out by seeing with His eyes, our relationship with Him takes care of all other things we naturally struggle with because of Christ’s atonement (who is like our Marvel hero, “Wonder Woman”).  Things begin to fall into place, or at least become easier and time will stand still as we live in harmony with His laws.  Sweet becomes sweeter, speed and efficacy to do hard things in the face of adversity are less complicated and time will seem like an illusion, just as it was for my artist friend.

“Wise are those who make this commitment: I will put the Lord first in my life, and I will keep His commandments. The performance of that commitment is within everyone’s control. We can fulfill that commitment without regard to what others decide to do, and that commitment will anchor us no matter what timing the Lord directs for the most important events in our lives.

The most important principle of timing is to take the long view. Mortality is just a small slice of eternity, but how we conduct ourselves here—what we become by our actions and desires, confirmed by our covenants and the ordinances administered to us by proper authority—will shape our destiny for all eternity. As the prophet Amulek taught, “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32). That reality should help us take the long view—the timing of eternity”.  Timing, Elder Dallin H. Oaks Ensign 2003 

How are we using this precious probationary time? Have we set our “watches” on eternal time while seeking for those “la la land” moments?  Is the world around us changing into a profound expansion of a heavenly and holier sphere?  What REALLY matters most in life? Why else are we here?  When our friend looks at this loving and beautiful portrait of her husband everyday, I feel she will be transported into another time and space as she looks into her husbands eyes and sees him looking indefinitely back into hers as if time stands still for them; an eternal “la la land”.

 

The Hourglass

As if we were in an hourglass, the swirling sands of time spin our head and mind upward to the beginning where blue meets coral.

What is it that caries us on a rapid and winding channel, sapping the life force from us and spits us out at the bottom? Don’t we all feel like this at times?  We get so caught up in the whirlwind of life, that we forget to pause,  look up, and think back to the beginning of how we got in this predicament in the first place.  Often times, it’s during these moments after we’ve beaten ourselves up that we stop, reflect and examine ourselves and ask, “what the heck is the meaning of life anyway and why do I waste so much of my precious time?”.    “If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.” Of Things That Matter Most” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This week I learned about time management and what matters most to me.  I was presented with that moment in time when time stood still as I paused, looked up and did a quick self inspection.  The result?  An experienced change of heart and of being (I actually have those moments often either after a good read, a great time in nature like these pictures depict from my rappel in a slot canyon near my home, or as I am being taught by God).  It is through his holy prophets who have left His words in written form known as the scriptures both ancient and modern such as scriptures like Luke 18: 22 and 2 Nephi 25:26. But this time, my moment came through the means of another individual during a conference I was attending in Provo, Utah.

“Increase your capacity for Action” was the title of the lecture.  The speaker, Jim Stephens, taught the need to identify the difference between the things I can’t control in my life vs. the things I can control.  The things I can’t control are: The weather, what other’s choices are or how they perceive me, my chemical personality like my DNA make-up or if others place their own selves or jobs before me.  What I can control is how I react to others through patience and love.  How I prioritize my time so I can make time for me, God, my family, my community and my friends.

Leonardo da Vinci says that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” The Book of Positive Quotations, by John Cook, 2nd ed. (1993), 262..  Wise men like our prophets, apostles and successful businessmen all understand the lessons of running faster than we have strength and the need for simplicity.  “They resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life.  They follow the advice of Gandhi, {“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”}  In short, they focus on the things that matter most.” Of Things That Matter Most” Dieter F. Uchtdorf  This is the time when “We have to forgo some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families”.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks “Good, Better, Best

Often when I find myself rappelling down through life’s paths, I know I need to harness up by eliminating so much slack in the rope at my command.  I know I need to simplify my life and make necessary changes so that I can refocus on what I can control.  The most important part of my life begins at the top with God before I begin my decent down my daily path through prayer, meditation and scriptures.  When I begin at the top, no matter what obstacles get in my way, I begin to recognize what my purpose in this life is: “the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship-the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.”  Of Things That Matter Most” Dieter F. Uchtdorf