I LOVE to see the Temple.
The Twin Falls Temple in Idaho was the site of my “wrong turn” at the very start of the softening of my heart. Where I stopped and “felt” the building radiate out into the street.
April 20, 2013: I went on my first proxy Baptism trip to the Seattle Temple just shy of a month after my own baptism. It was that day when I started my father’s work and my forgiveness of him.
October 19, 2013: I spent my first birthday after my baptism, performing proxy baptisms for my family in the Salt Lake City Temple. Afterwards, I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with the first and only Priesthood Holder who ever asked me out on a date. They served spaghetti at the Salt Lake Temple cafeteria. That’s something you don’t forget. Fortunately, since I was not yet endowed I was in my street clothes, not a white Temple dress. That was the last date Hyrum and I had, but we remain friends and he has since developed a friendship with my husband.
May 13, 2014: I received my Endowments at the Seattle Temple, with 3 friends from 2 different Wards. Later that year, I went through Mt. Timpanogos Temple with one of my Sister Missionaries for the proxy Endowments of both my grandmothers.
Since May of 2014, I have befriended many Temple workers in many Wards and Branches. I have even roomed with one while I was needing a place to stay in close proximity to my grandchildren for a holiday season. She helped bolster my Testimony on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Marian helped me understand Personal Revelation. A Returned Missionary, she helped me trust God. That is a gift I don’t know how to ever repay.
When I visit a Ward, I find myself looking around. The Temple Workers seem to “glow” with light. I went up to an older, beautiful lady one day in the Lacey, Washington Stake Center that I was visiting. I felt I HAD to know; “Did she work at the Temple?” Yes, in fact, she confirmed that she did. The “Glow” had been apparent across the room.
My Patriarchal Blessing explicitly states that I will bless my family on both sides of the veil with the work I perform in the Temple. In the past two years, I have been blessed to catch rides with Temple Workers on many occasions, giving me the opportunity to perform an entire shift’s worth of Proxy Ordinances while I was there.
I look at the Temple Ordinance workers with gratitude and amazement. Even though sometimes rather elderly, they seem almost spry. Their minds are clear and their memories amazingly retentive.
This spring, just short of my Temple Recommend needing renewed; I felt an overwhelming compulsion. My best friend (and Visiting Teacher), Anne, had been urging me to not only go to the Temple to perform Proxy Ordinances while she and my other friends worked; she wanted me to volunteer to work there too!
Anne works in the Laundry of the Snowflake Temple, she suggested that I volunteer to work there also. I hesitated, because doing my own laundry is difficult enough for me with a broken back and other chronic pain. But that didn’t deter her. She was convinced I should be working in the Temple with her and several of our friends in our Branch.
In early March, as I was speaking to our Branch President about another matter, the compulsion felt overwhelming. I was attempting to open his office door to leave. The Holy Spirit whispered, “Turn around and ask him…” I knew what the Spirit was speaking to me about. The compulsion was incredibly strong; it was if I could not turn the doorknob I was attempting to reach. “Turn around and ask him,” the Spirit continued to whisper, but I hesitated. I didn’t want to appear too eager, feeling there must be some requirement I didn’t meet. There is no way I felt qualified to work at the Temple. But the Spirit would not cease, so I turned around.
After asking my Branch President if there was some way I could help in the Temple, some place I could volunteer, and if my services would be adequate, I felt relieved of the compulsion for a few days. That Friday when I visited the Snowflake Temple during Anne’s shift, it returned in the Celestial Room.
“Go talk to the Matron,” the whispering Holy Spirit urged. “Why would I want to do that?!” In shock I answered in my thoughts.
“Tell her you want to work here, tell her your experience.” The Spirit would not let up.
I entered the dressing room to ready (and steady) myself. It was crowded, more crowded than I had ever seen. I sought refuge in the lavatory, but even that room seemed overwhelmingly crowded. I prayed for courage in the stall.
Sitting in the Matron’s office, I felt silly to have been so nervous. The Assistant Matron was on duty that night and was a genteel lady with a radiant countenance. She glowed. As I explained the Spirit’s (and Anne’s) urgings, and my experience as a retired computer programmer; she shared with me that there was a spot opening up in the Temple Office. A elderly couple that had been with the office since the opening of the Snowflake Temple in 2002 was retiring. Their shifts would not be easy to fill and they would be missed.
I felt a reassurance from my Heavenly Father. There was a service I felt confident I could perform. To be able to share my skills on computers and office work with the Snowflake Temple and help perform the work that needs to be done, felt like an incredible blessing. The Matron seemed happy to be placing my name on the lists to be approved by my Branch and Stake Presidents.
Over the next couple of weeks, during my Fridays at the Temple, I got to know the Temple Presidency through a couple of very informal interviews. By the time my volunteering in the office was approved by the Stake President, my Temple Recommend was up for renewal for the first time. I had to go in for my interviews again
Then it happened, I received a call asking me to come in for an interview at the beginning of my regular Friday visit. That is a day I will NEVER forget. As my friend Anne escorted me into the Temple President’s office, Elder Bradley Foster of the Seventy appeared to be looking for something on the President’s desk. He engaged me in a brief conversation before the Temple President entered. I wish I remembered that he was the one who gave the talk, “It’s Never Too Early and It’s Never Too Late,” in the October 2015 General Conference that spoke to my heart, but I was too overwhelmed by the situation. When the Temple President entered, I was surprised when I wasn’t to be interviewed, but quickly set apart as an Office Worker, and sent off to meet the rest of the office staff, Recorder and the Assistant Recorder.
I made quick friends with the other new worker and briefly met the retiring couple. My life in the weeks since has been blessed as, among other things, I’ve been able to learn my tasks at the Temple Office very quickly and life at home seems easier too. I look forward to my Friday Evenings in the Temple every week.
I leave this Testimony with you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Below is my submission to Middle-Aged Mormon Man’s International Hug-A-Convert Day Essay Contest. After I submitted this essay, I fell 10 feet backwards down an attic ladder, breaking my back.
I am healing rapidly and will be back to blogging very soon!
Last year when I commented on a post of Middle-Aged Mormon Man, he mentioned I should write out my story for his “International Hug-A-Convert Day,” I told him I wasn’t quite ready. This year has been crazy and amazing and I am late in submitting this; but here it goes.
The first time I remember knowing that there was a God, and Jesus Christ and a part I felt inside of me (only lately did I begin to understand the Holy Spirit); was when my divorced mother allowed me to attend a local Sunday school. We were singing “This Little Light of Mine.” I was about 5. I felt the Lighte of His Love. But my childhood remained full of darkness.
My parents divorced when I was four, my father was a loud atheist, my mom considered herself Christian, and wanted us to decide about religion for ourselves. To help facilitate that; she took us to several different churches. My younger brother and I learned not to share our church experiences with our dad during his weekend visitations.
When I was about 7, a friend of my mom’s was babysitting my brother and I and asked my mom if she could take us to church with
her. She attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The memories that I have of that day were that I had to wear my Easter dress because it was the only dress I had that was long enough, and I got a spanking for saying a bad word on the way home from the service.
That was my last experience with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until my marriage of 22 years ended. During my marriage, while raising our 3 children, we attended a Nazarene church, then I began to explore Wicca & Paganism, then Buddhism and Gnostic Christianity; I was searching for answers. No matter where I looked, I didn’t find them.
While I was in the middle of my divorce, I met an unlikely missionary. After being introduced by several friends several different times, we attempted to date. True to my past, I attempted to seduce him. He attempted to teach me about chastity. Both of us failed in our attempts.
Rick was the man I dated, and fell in love with his stories of a God I never had imagined. Something called “Priesthood,” and he referred to Jesus Christ as a Brother and a Friend.
His pain had removed him from activity in the Church of the Lord that he loved. His own marriage, sealed in the temple 29 years previous, had ended in divorce. It was hard for me to understand his faith or associate it with a church he never attended. But he was quick to point out he considered himself a Latter-Day Saint.
As we agreed that we would loose our friendship if we attempted to continue to date, he promised to me that he would be my friend forever. I had no idea, then, what forever meant.
During the summer of 2010, I received a message on a social network that lead to me meeting the woman my oldest son had married and abandoned 3 years previous. I was also privileged to meet her mother, a Latter-Day Saint and our identical twin granddaughters, shortly before their second birthday.
Without me or my family knowing; my oldest son had married, impregnated & abandoned this young woman. Her mother was helping her raise the children my son had never met. The stories of my son and her daughter pulled Mary and I together. To me, this woman was indeed a Saint in so many ways and she welcomed me with love into her family.
I was disabled, on a meager income, divorced and with no place to call home. Friends across the country began to invite me to stay a week or a day, so I left everything and everyone I knew behind and began to travel.
It was a year and a half full of traveling the country running from a life that I no longer had, and searching for eternal answers. During my first trip across the country, I took a wrong turn and ended up in front of the Twin Falls, Idaho Temple. I parked my car and took photos. It was the most beautiful building I had ever felt.
Felt. I felt this building. It felt light. Brighter than any light I have ever felt. I felt close to God and Christ. I felt the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know much about Temples at the time, but I did remember Rick saying that they weren’t open to the public. I didn’t even try to go in, but said a quick prayer, took some photos, and went along my way thanking God for checking in on me.
These types of incidents happened so much in my travels, I began to feel like either The Church or Christ, was following me.
On March 6, 2013, I was at my bottom: homelessness, depression and bad relationship choices got the end of me. I got on my knees on the cold wooden floor of an abandoned attic and asked my Heavenly Father how I could become closer to Christ.
I was answered with the immediate impression that I was being commanded to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I called Mary, “How do I get Missionaries to come to where I am?”
During the chaotic time of my repentance, I realized just how many people on social networks followed my activities. I prayed to know if I should close my accounts and look for different writing venues.
The Holy Spirit witnessed to me that I needed to be even louder about my conversion and about my faith in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ than I had been in my sin. That would be a challenge.
The first few posts I wrote in my new blog about my testimony went over well. Those who ventured a cursory gander were even more than polite in their comments to me.
I was still concerned, and prayed to know if blogging or other social networks were the proper use of my testimony. I heard my answers loudly when I attended the “Hastening the Work” broadcast at my local Ward Meetinghouse in June 2013.
Over the past year I have learned some hard lessons about leaning not unto mine own understanding. I have also learned a lot about patience.
In my first 14 months as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have had the opportunity to attend services in 11 Wards and 2 Branches in 7 Stakes. I am a woman of many Wards.
I was baptized as a divorced grandma on her own, the first church member of my family.
I was humbled to have received my own Endowments in May 2014 at the Seattle, Washington Temple. I currently blog at http://SlightelyMormon.org. I am working on a book of poetry and prose from the first year of my conversion. My life is more blessed than I could ever imagine.
This last month has been very eventful.
Four days after submitting my testimony to MiddleAged Mormon Man’s International Hug A Convert Day, and exactly two weeks after I had been to the Seattle Temple to receive my Endowment; I fell 10 feet onto my back off of an attic ladder.
I broke my back. I received a Priesthood Blessing while the medics were putting me in the ambulance. Then I was hospitalized for 4 days.
I currently am home & recovering. I have a compression fracture of T-11, but I will recover completely.
I am aware that I have a new group of readers from MiddleAged Mormon Man, and I welcome any comments.
The site is undergoing some changes as soon as I have internet access & the ability to sit at a computer (laying & standing are my only comfortable positions currently). For now, the essays are intermingled with scripture memes.
I pray that everyone invites the love & Lighte of Jesus Christ into their lives today!
I was born into a family that appreciated music. Everyone played something or sang, or both. On family trips, no matter who we were travelling with; the music was always cranked loud and everybody sang.
As a small child, I loved singing with both my mother and father. My little brother grew into a fabulous bass voice when he matured. Together we enjoyed playing with harmonies.
Although my parents divorced when I was very small, music was a constant in both of their households. I remember watching the Osmond Show as a little girl and thinking Marie was country like my mom, and Donny was rock and roll, like my dad.
My dad was stuck mainly in the 50s and 60s with his rock and roll. Elvis was a favorite with both of my parents. A fact I found curiously entertaining as a young girl witnessing their differences. I couldn’t imagine them listening to music together, but I listened to the same songs in each of their homes.
My mom loved country music. Tammy Wynette taught me how to spell the troubles that my family was experiencing with so many others in the early 1970s.
My own musical tastes followed both of my parents as a child. I was often seen and heard dancing and singing around my parents’ homes to whatever they had on.
My first personal music collection began on 8-track tapes. I received a player and a gift certificate for 4 tapes at a local music store on my 10th Christmas. I picked out ABBA, Steve Miller Band, Jim Croce & The Carpenters.
As I grew into a teen, I soon left my school choir performances behind and began performing guest vocals with bands who were made up of friends, and a ID that said I was 20 years older than I was. I loved music. I loved to dance and sing.
My personal music collection expanded to include every type of rock, hard rock and heavy metal. I also enjoyed any and every alternative or female artist. A few country songs drifted into my collection, but the majority was on the very hard side.
When my children were young, I tried to encourage their musical interests. My oldest son took up a genre of music that I had actually attempted to keep out of our home when he was a child. He is currently pursuing a career in the Southern California Rap/Hip Hop music scene.
My second son took up the guitar, bass guitar and vocals. As an adult he has experimented with other instruments as well.
My youngest child, my daughter, took up the violin at age 8 and fell in love. A child born with perfect pitch; she has a beautiful voice that only falters as much as her confidence.
With all the music in my life, I was looking forward to dancing when I was invited to my first Mid-Singles LDS dance. It was even a theme: 50s.
It was late spring, I had recently been baptized. When I went through my music collection during my repentance and baptismal times; I was unforgiving. Any lyrics that encouraged feelings in me that were not Gospel-centered were deleted off of my hard drive.
I had replaced much of my music with young adult LDS downloads from LDS.org. A Sister teaching the Young Women gave me a CD. I also listened to Gospel country music. Even though many of the Gospel ideas within them were erroneous to my beliefs; praising God was much better than traveling down an audio Highway to Hell.
When I entered the dance at the Stake Center building, I was surprised at both the music playing and the atmosphere. It was completely contradictory to the Standards of Youth card I had come to carry in my wallet. The lights were all darkened to the point I couldn’t see people’s faces well and the music was more than a little on the “racy” side, and only a few 50s songs. The DJ was a young person who was not a member of the church.
As the lyrics of the music began to disturb me more and more; I escaped into the foyer to read The Book of Mormon that was placed there. Having come with a group, I couldn’t leave. But I wanted to.
When I inquired about the music, I was told that no dances have LDS music. No one dances to any type of Gospel music. All dances have popular music. I couldn’t have been more disappointed.
I FEEL the lyrics in music. I am a writer. I HEAR the words. I FEEL the emotion in the strains of the music. When a song speaks of sinful actions or emotions that are not in line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; I have the privilege of feeling them.
That does not mean that I do not enjoy dancing with my husband. Dancing is still one of my favorite activities. It is the music choice to dance to that is my issue.
For now… we will dance to the Gospel music from my stereo at home.
What is the right way to write one’s life?
What is the proper way to remember another person’s life?
With what filters do we present our lives and those of whom we’ve shared; to our descendants?
Is it proper to filter out the times when children of God entertained demons of pride, vanity, ambition, depression, doubt & fear; resulting in addictions and abuse?
Is it proper to “white wash” a personal history?
Does it negate or minimize the triumphs of the abused and oppressed??
How do we maintain an Eternal Perspective when writing our personal and family histories?
I began pondering these questions and more in regards to writing family histories a while ago. When Family Search implemented their “stories & Life Sketch” portion of Family Tree; it was a topic that rarely left my conscious thinking.
As I have alluded to in previous blog posts, I am a survivor of early childhood abuse. I contemplate if there is a purpose, now that I am working on forgiving my abusers, to remember the abuse I sustained at their hands.
When started the process of forgiveness, I began remembering the happy times. Christ says that when He forgives us, He will not remember our sins. Then He states that we are commanded to forgive our brother.
Is continuing the legacy of abuse, through documentation and stories, true forgiveness?
Then there are those stories that made it into documentation anyway. The newspaper articles that pieced the horrors of PTSD together after my hero-grandfather’s WWII service brought up painful emotional scars for my aunt, but yet helped me to understand the method and timing of his death.
Either way, I don’t believe you can write a history about someone without trying to emulate the forgiveness of Christ. To attempt to understand that your ancestor or whomever you are writing about, is a Child of God, first and foremost, with challenges like all of us.
I was reading a blog yesterday, and I remembered my own fairly recent decisions to document my own happier times through journaling. The failed attempts at journaling from my youth and young adulthood had been filled with lamenting and usually anger at my now ex-husband. All that they seem to hold were negative entries. Including times when I struggled with the deepest of depressions.
That was something I realized I did not want to leave to my descendants. I tried to begin looking at my life from the perspective of my grandchildren. I used this when I needed to find the grace to handle ex-drama right before my Baptism.
This change in perspective came with a change in habits as well. Over the past few years I began taking paper (usually a composition book) and a pen with me wherever I go.
During the first years of my conversion, in these past few years before I came to The Church, there was God. My Savior, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost whom I called upon in my prayers frequently. Through my journaling, I learned to talk to Him, through Them.
I learned to become quiet. I learned to listen and ponder. Then, I would write my observations.
When I found the Gospel and began taking lessons from the
Missionaries; I reveled in my alone time. Time to ponder, study The Scriptures, pray and write.
I continued to write. I wrote during Sacrament Meeting and in Relief Society. I wrote at the dog park and at stop lights. More than once, I pulled over the car to write down something that caused a smile to cross my face.
I often look back at those journals. Journals I keep, finding it necessary to eventually label and organize them. Easily referred back to by date and circumstance (pre-baptism/post).
Many of them have post-it flags still denoting poetry and prose yet to transcribe, expound upon and share.
Heavenly Father, through the The Holy Ghost, has a way of guiding me to revisit my own journal entries at times. More often than not, it is to remind me of a scripture verse or General Conference talk that impressed something upon me and it has come time for me to read that advice.
As I look towards the task of writing life sketches for those of my ancestors, I also acknowledge the challenge of writing my own. To condense many lives into a quick and appropriate “Life Sketch.” What do I want my grandchildren’s grandchildren to know about me?
This is the question I ask myself constantly.
I know the obstacles I have overcome, I know the lessons I’ve learned; I seek my Lord’s guidance in filtering what generations to come do not need to know, or repeat.
Apparently last week was “International Siblings Day” Facebook. After looking it up on Wikipedia, I discovered that it wasn’t invented by Facebook, and I felt bad that I had missed the opportunity to tell the world about my amazing relationship with my brother. My one and only sibling.
The Book of Mormon works in mysterious ways. So does our Heavenly Father. When I was learning the lessons getting ready to be baptized, my brother was also undergoing an immense amount of repentance and pain. Heavenly Father began to soften my heart towards my family again. In particular, towards my brother who I had shut out of my life during his involvement in drugs and then prison.
When I was repenting and contrite upon my knees asking my Heavenly Father for forgiveness, I was also asking Him to bless my family, especially my little brother who was suffering the worse loss a person could imagine. Not only the loss of his child; but the loss of a child, barely an adult, for whom he already felt guilt in regards to his absence while that child was younger. I could not imagine his pain.
I was impressed, since it had been many years since we had even spoken, to write a letter to him. Since I was aware that he had previously investigated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was also impressed to include a Book of Mormon.
The letter with the Book of Mormon reached his residence at an inpatient facility that was mandated by his probation. His return letter indicated that he was also on the path to a baptism. His, by a church near his treatment home.
My brother and I continued to correspond for his remaining time in treatment. When he returned to the area, against the advice of many who remembered the demonic influences in his life and how he embraced them, I decided to meet with him and get to know my little brother again. It had been decades since we had spent a good amount of time alone. The last time we spent time together at all was during a holiday and it ended in disaster and drama.
My little brother was born to our mother and father when we were living in Port Townsend. It was 1970, and I was almost 4 years old. When our parents divorced almost a year after his birth, we remained with mom. It was the two of us against the world. Usually also against our parents, using one against the other like typical children of divorced parents in the 1970s. Only I was allowed to beat up my brother, and I would beat up anyone else who tried. Yes, I was the type of big sister who volunteers in her baby brother’s kindergarten class. I loved that kid.
Life in our lives wasn’t easy. An angry, abusive step father as well as a biological father who vacillated between being absent and being the worse types of abusive were the father figures we had. Our mother loved us and loved God. She tried to expose us to many different churches so that we could choose for ourselves. This was quite a difficult task, when if we mentioned to dad that we had attended one, we could end up with not only a spanking, but a ring-side seat at a yelling match from hell between our parents. But we attended anyway. As many times as dad asked each of us to deny our God, it was only with a wink to each other and our fingers crossed. Me saying my prayers for forgiveness as well.
Through the typical drama of abusive homes of divorce in the 1970s and 1980s, my brother and I had each other. We could talk about anything. Satan had his way, in many ways in our homes. Finally, a fog of drugs and abuse took my brother from me.
As he furthered his way into the drug world, I separated my young family from his. As his family was being raised by other people, I kept him in my prayers. Then there would come short times when he would sober up, or attempt to hide the fact that he wasn’t; and seek to come around. It broke my heart every time I was forced to shut him out of our lives. For my children’s sake, it was all I knew how to do.
It was my little brother who called me on an August 2000 morning, to inform me of our father’s suicide. Neither one of us had been informed officially, our father’s only children, and we were not informed until 10 months after his death on the weekend of my birthday in 1999. After tearful hours on the phone with his widow, I learned that the timing was not coincidental. In the 15 years that I had not seen or spoken to our father, his abusive obsession with me had not wavered. Our father’s suicide was 50 years after his own father had taken his life when our father was 4.
Major Depressive Disorder, among other challenges, run in our family. Both my brother and I have dealt with this challenge ourselves. After our father’s death, my brother and I saw each other a few times. He was in and out of prison, and I was raising a family. Our mother kept on me to get in contact with him through the years, but it wasn’t until that Book of Mormon that I was impressed to do my best to fix what Satan and our temporal father had attempted through his abuse to tear apart.
Through the summer after I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, my brother and I began to spend a lot of time together. It was the first time since childhood that we had really had the opportunity to get to know one another. I, for one, found in my little brother a friend I never imagined. Someone who knew me, as I knew him. Someone I could give another chance to. Someone I wanted around me.
After a summer full of blessings of the new friendship of siblings, we were put to the test. In October I had been impressed that I had $300 put aside to spend on transportation and I had been frustrated at my lack of a car. I asked my brother to come with me to see if I could find a car to finance. I had the afternoon before an evening meeting at the Family History Center for my new calling.
As we walked, we crossed a double train track. There was clear visibility both directions for at least a quarter mile. We crossed without hesitation. The Holy Ghost was a wonderful companion while car shopping, and amazed my brother by witnessing to us certain flaws to watch out for in each car. I was happy I had prayed that morning. Everything was wonderfully clear.
On our return trip, after having no luck in the auto venture, we came back the same way. Only this time, there was a train stopped on the tracks closest to us. We looked down each way, the train was at least a quarter mile long in both directions; I thought to myself it was going to be a long walk.
While I was thinking this to myself, my little brother did what he had always done while I was in charge of watching him while we were kids: embraced his impulsivity. He said “let’s go” and proceeded to go under the train, stopping to get up between the train tracks before leaning under the train, to beckon me towards him.
I was in absolute shock. I don’t remember speaking at all. I do remember how wide my eyes got when I felt Satan attempt to take my brother. I heard a witness by the Holy Ghost: Come BACK NOW!!!! I frantically motioned for him to come back.
For one of the first time in our lives, my baby brother actually listened to me. As he ducked and went back under the train, we felt the ground begin to rumble; before he was standing upright on my side of the tracks, a train was passing at an extremely rapid pace on the track that my brother was nearly standing upon seconds before.
If I had followed him, and not acknowledged and obeyed The Holy Spirit, neither my brother nor I would be alive today. We were so blessed to spend the holidays together for the first time in years as a family with our only living parent, one of my children, and two of my grandchildren. We are a family and we are blessed.
I did end up spending that $300 on transportation, but that’s another story on the pile for another time.
I have been working on editing the poetry from the first year of my conversion for a while now.
As I am finishing the editing of the poems, readying them for the book, I have created a space just for them.
The book will be called, “Converts are Like Butterflies: Poetry of Testimony”, and the blog is the same.
Converts Are Like Butterflies is the blog where you can watch as I prepare the poetry I have written in the past year for publication.
Please feel free to comment with input.
The dates of the posts will be the original dates that the poems were written, so make sure to check in the past, as I will be “back-filling” them as I get them edited.
Thank you for taking time to read this, may your day be blessed with the Love and Lighte of Christ!
My Spiritual journey part 2: My Faith
For those who have followed me for the past few years, the fact that I have faith isn’t a surprise. For the rest, a refresher course in my journey.
On 10-10-10 10:10 I put my life in the hands of God and left everything and everyone I knew, and set out on a journey across the country. God has lead me the entire way; gifting me with angels upon angels in my travels thus far.
From eight days in a rest area in Montana, to a “trespasser strike” on a train in Florida (wait, there were two of those, over a year apart!), to a birthday celebration in the Grand Canyon, and so many more adventures; it is only with hindsight that I am able to really marvel at the blessings I have received since I began to exercise my faith in God.
There have been times in the past few years when I have drifted far off of my path. The farther I became from God, the fewer my blessings, and the more illness and disability afflicted my body and my mind. When Jesus was absent from my prayers, my prayers simply were not heard. There doesn’t get a simpler testimony than that.
I have been guilty of many sins. I will no doubt sin again. It happens. Now that I have started to make them; I will do my best to keep each and every oath and covenant I make with my Heavenly Father. I will strive to do good for others each and every day of my life. That is why I am here. I know that now.
Words cannot describe the happiness that I have felt in these last few months. My life is on track, I may just finally be growing up…. and I am enjoying it. That must mean I am getting old or something. I don’t care. I like me.
I plan to live the rest of my life in service to God. Simple as that. I will do exactly what He leads me to. Sort of like when I left everything I knew, and put my faith in Him to lead me to who and what I needed to know.
He has been with me, in the form of the Holy Spirit; each and every time I specifically asked. As a confirmed member of The Church, I have the Gift of the Constant Companion in the Comforter or Holy Ghost. I have faith in Him to lead me to the Lighte that is Christ. I have FAITH that THEY will lead me HOME to the Love and the Lighte in the Heavenly Eternity.
From the first time we met —
Both on unfamiliar ground
I knew we’d be quite a pair —
A pair of sisters
Athena likes to be around.
A Relief Society Gathering
Salmon we ate and songs
we did sing.
Several weeks passed
to each of us
separate Blessings He did bring.
Then when a trailer
just wouldn’t suffice —
you offered a hand –
a room, warm and nice.
Looking back on
just a few
weeks together —
I can say
with all my heart
It’s been quite
As I now go
and you stay
in your zone —
I’ll pack up
but in the quilt
of my life
a square you have sewn.
in a kitchen full
of smiles and laughs.
To holiday parties
and making sure
Santa had enough gas.
of the park
and a beautiful
that never gets dark.
You opened your
of holiday cheer
and my family
far and near.
making a crowd
to my music
even when it
was a bit loud.
Thanks for letting
your kitchen a mess
when I just
needed to rest.
I enjoyed when
our Home Teacher
taught with his son —
and joining along
when Visiting Teaching
You’ve shared with
we’ve cried & we’ve hugged
We’ve done the dishes
and cleaned the floor
of the mud.
in the third row
for six weeks or seven
preparing to be
in His Holy presence
Getting closer to Heaven.
I will always
adore the moments
And the times you
listened with care
not knowing what to say.
I can’t say
thank you enough
for being there for me
when it could have
been very rough.
I thank our Heavenly Father
with all that I am
For giving me a
friend like you —
a sister since we began.
Athena and I
bid you a
Not for long,
in my heart,
always you will dwell.
I will travel
Until we see
I know we’ll
be just fine.
or a Scripture I should
my sweet dear
But I ‘know I’ll
be in your prayers,
and I’ll be praying
for you through the end.
M ission-minded member
A Sister to all of God’s children
Refuge offered to many needy souls
In His tender care
About Her Heavenly Father’s business
Needed by her sisters full of love for her.
Happy New Year 2014
In the past few months, from June to December 2013, I visited countless meetinghouses, three Stake Centers, and two Temples in two states. During that time, I was a member of no less than four different wards in two different Stakes.
I attended church every single Sunday from the time I experienced my personal revelation and prayed to know how to come closer to God in the year of 2013. I will do my best each and every Sunday in 2014 to do the same.
Many people may have assumed that I have missed here or there because they didn’t see me in Sacrament or Relief Society. Over the past several months I have had many unofficial callings. The kind where a best friend needs a friend who can take care of a dog & is knowledgeable of medical care while they recover from life-threatening illness. Or a dear family member was recently widowed and I was impressed that I could help by being closer to her and her children during the holidays.
Another adventure that I followed God’s prompting about recently was an October trip to the LDS Tech Conference in Salt Lake City. The events that both led to that trip as well as all of the blessings of the trip itself are so incredible I have been working on an extended piece on that experience. For now I will say that if my testimony hadn’t already been enormous, I could have been converted again just by October’s experiences!
These are the “callings” I have been listening to since I was baptized in March 2013. Since July or so, I have attended what ever Ward or Stake building that I have felt impressed to as my domicile has changed. I have been richly rewarded with new friendships and blessings too numerous to count. I do thank my Heavenly Father for all of them at least nightly, though!
I have been intensely blessed with the ability to walk into a strange place and start up a conversation with pretty near anyone. My testimony seems to flow forth like a waterfall at times…. other times more like projectile vomit.
It always seems that I strike up a conversation with or offer to assist a Relief Society President or Stake President’s wife… or… just my luck, they are sitting together as I vomit forth such testimony to them both.
I love my life. It is blessed by my Heavenly Father moment by moment. He has brought so many people into my life who have helped me or allowed me to help them with just the right thing at just the right time.
Three years ago, on October 10, 2010, I began a journey across the states to visit friends who had invited me to their homes after meeting me through social media. I put my life in God’s hands at that time. He has shown me glorious blessings. I have finally made the choice to magnify my calling as a daughter of my Heavenly Father when I came to the church.
Now, after taking what a dear friend has dubbed “a religious sabbatical” for the past nine and a half months; I am planning to do what I enjoy the most (besides play with grankids) — travel and write.
I will be revisiting much of the route and many of the friends and family I first began meeting in 2010. I will also be meeting & visiting many more friends and a few newly discovered family members as well as dear family who I haven’t had the opportunity to visit in far too long.
This is also the beginning to the end: I will be finally finishing a book I started during the same period of time.
The other items that I have added to my itinerary this time are Temples and some Family History Centers in areas where my family have resided. These are the sites and events I will be sharing here during my trip.
I plan to attend the Gilbert Arizona Temple during it’s open house… a month or so before I can finally obtain my recommend. To say I am excited is quite an understatement!
I will also be attempting to make it to the Roots Tech Conference in February, but coming through the Rockies in February could be tricky, so I will continue to pray and seek His heavenly direction concerning that particular part of the trip.
The road trip is scheduled to last from early January through early March 2014; but I will continue to pray and ask for direction from my Eternal Heavenly Father and adjust my route and timeline according to His will. I will go where He wants me to go.