Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Miracle of Birth




Birth is truly such an amazing experience!! I participated in it 7 times bringing our 8 children into this world! But it was a totally different experience not participating in the pain and  laboring through child-birth, and instead being a coach and observer to my daughter.  

Aubrey had a pretty healthy pregnancy, but then developed pre-clampsia during her 37th week.  Her blood pressure, as well as protein in the urine was so high, they induced her at 37 weeks and 5 days.  (to be exact) 

We knew from ultra-sounds that they baby was fully developed and already weighing 7.5 lbs.

After 25 hours of labor, I watched our first grand-daughter come into this world.  It was so beautiful and so special!! 

Have you ever been apart of a birth?  (besides your own)

Do you remember the very special spirit you felt in the birthing room?

I remember feeling this with all my children, but noticed it especially when my daughter was giving birth and I wasn't wrapped up in the drama of pain and pressure.

Moments before the baby was born, the doctor walked in the room like a steam roller. I don't mean that in a negative way, but he came in and the business of child-birth went to a serious level that wasn't there before he came.  He put on plastic type shoe coverings, his hospital covering, layed plastic down, put drapes around my daughters legs, had nurses handing him tools, goop, all within a matter of 60 seconds. It was amazing how fast they prepped themselves, my daughter, and the room for child birth.
 
With him, came a spirit that he must feel at each birth.  (What a job he has!!)

If I could describe it? It almost feels like you are going to another realm. Let's call it the birth realm.  It seems to be a realm that hovers somewhere between heaven or our pre-existence, and earth.

 The mood in the room was serious, mixed with high-emotion, and  a spirit you could reach out and touch. I don't know if I have ever felt that kind of spirit in a room except for the time when my husband's grandma passed away. It is a tangible spirit as you approach the veil that separates this life and the next.

If we had spiritual eyes to see, we would see heavenly spirits there assisting and watching,  very interested in the moment.

I was amazed at the doctors tactics to get our daughter to focus and bring forth her first child. It was only a few pushes and our little grand-daughter was born. The doctor said,  "welcome to planet earth!"   Tears immediately started flowing from everyone in the room! The emotion and spirit was hard to contain!!  It was just amazing and priceless!

The family is ordained of God and birth is ordained of  God!  It truly is!!There is no other explanation!!  How we are each conceived is miraculous. Our prenatal development is the most beautiful miracle imaginable.

We are all children of God.  He created us in the womb, and brings us forth into this earth life through the miracle of child-birth. He is our Father in heaven.

 Birth, family and life is no accident.  Instead, it has a high, beautiful, powerful purpose!!  We are each a part of an earthly family, but also a heavenly family.

Having children is such a heavenly gift.

 I am forever changed by this experience.











Friday, September 18, 2015

The Proclamation: A Clarion Call




What is a clarion? ?

Definition: The clarion was an instrument, the predecessor to the trumpet, used between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. It was quite typically used during wars to signal. As a result, a clarion call refers to a summons of sorts: one that should not/cannot be ignored, as it would have been during a medieval war
A clarion call is a powerful request for action or an irresistible mandate. It derives from the cloud of a clarion, a medieval trumpet.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World remains a clarion call to protect and strengthen families.
What a great time we live in! There is so much excitement in the air! We have The Family: A Proclamation to the World to guide us and keep us focused and grounded on what is most important: our families and our marriages.

On September 21, 1823 another clarion call was made to the world.  Moroni, the last prophet of the Book of Mormon, came to Joseph Smith, as if with a trumpet in his hand with a message for the world.  What was Moroni's message?

Among many things, he quoted Doctrine and Covenants 2:1–3:

“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.

“If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”

Sister Julie B. Beck from Teaching the Doctrine of the Family said, This scripture is talking about temple blessings—ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”

  How important was this message?  
  1.   If someone had a message for you and repeated it four times word for word, would you feel it was an important ? Moroni came three times in the same night and once more the next morning with the exact same message. 
  2.  If the same scripture was found in all four standard works, would that tell of it's importance?  "Turning the hearts to the fathers"  is the only scripture quoted in all four standard works. (Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:17, Matthew 17:11,  3 Nephi 25:5-6, Joseph Smith-History 1:38-39 Doctrine and Covenants 2)
  3.   The doctrine and destiny of the family was of such importance, it was revealed to Joseph Smith before he received the plates, before he translated the Book of Mormon, before he received the priesthood, and before the Church was restored.
  4. The message was of such necessity it was repeated again 172 years later as The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
President Henry B. Eyring shares the significance of  the title of the Proclamation,
“Three things about the title are worth our careful reflection. First, the subject: the family. Second, the audience, which is the whole world. And third, those proclaiming it are those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators,” he says. “All this means that the family must be of tremendous importance to us, that whatever the proclamation says could help anyone in the world, and that the proclamation fits the Lord’s promise when he said, ‘Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same’ (D&C 1:38).”
I feel great strength from the power of The Family: A Proclamation to the World and Moroni's visit to Joseph.  For me, these two clarion messages fill me with urgency and purpose in my role as a daughter of God, a mother, and a wife.

Our prophets have encouraged us to have a copy of the family proclamation in our homes, and to read the clear, simple prophetic language and compare it to the messages and voices of today.

"... because parents will be held accountable for rearing their children in love and righteousness. Parents have the responsibility to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of their children while they teach them to love, serve, and obey the commandments and the laws of the land."
“Fulfilling these obligations is the key to protecting our families in these last days,”  Elder Robert D. Hales

About 5 years after the Proclamation was given, my parents called all of their adult children and challenged us to memorize the Proclamation. They had just finished memorizing it themselves after being challenged by their Stake President in Stake Conference. To the inspiration of hundreds, a thirteen-year old girl stood and quoted it in front of their whole stake.

 I accepted my parents challenge and set off to memorize this inspired scripture.  I already knew it was true and powerful, but I didn't know it, like I came to know it through this memorizing journey.

And it was a journey...of the Proclamation becoming apart of me...  one paragraph at a time....
 I carried a copy of the proclamation around with me while I took care of my home and family.
As I  washed breakfast dishes, the Proclamation sat in the window sill and I quoted,
"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."
"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. "
 While vacuuming, I  recited,
"In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."
 ...repeating the lines  out loud over and over again
trying to instill them into my brain.

While running errands around town, I went through the Proclamation...again and again and again.  Instilling the principles and phrases into my mind and heart.
"The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.





We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan."


While  rocking babies to sleep, I had the Proclamation in my hand reading and memorizing important phrases of family doctrine...making them apart of   me.
"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."
"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children..." 

Within a week or two, I had memorized  one of the most important scriptures of all time, the clarion call of our day



Monday, September 14, 2015

Keeping Our Living Water-Well Full




As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have felt alarmed and worried of many once strong faithful people dying spiritually.

The Lord is hastening His work and.... so is Satan

Now is not the time to give in to internet intellectualism on gospel doctrine .

It is the time for humble sincere faith, of knocking, seeking, and finding by going to the correct sources.
I loved a talk given by Elder Russell M. Ballard given at Utah South Regional Conference on September 13, 2015 in which he compared our testimonies to that of a Sequoia Tree. 
Sequoia Trees
photo source

Elder Ballard warned of practices and influences that could separate an individual from the Spirit. He shared a story about a grove of sequoia trees on the BYU campus. "Tall, resilient and able to resist damage from bugs, fungi and forest fires, it came as a surprise when one of the large sequoias on campus suddenly died last year. Surprisingly, an arborist found that the tree died from lack of water."

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He continued, “To me this is a perfect analogy of what happens when stalwart Church members, the 'very elect,' who for all appearances seem to stand tall and erect in faith, die spiritually.”

"To keep members from spiritually dying from a lack of living water, we need to maintain essential, daily habits that “keep us rooted, grounded, and connected to Christ. These habits include daily prayer, fasting, studying the scriptures and the words of the living prophets, keeping the Sabbath day holy, partaking of the sacrament, worshiping in the temple often and reaching out to the needy, poor and lonely"

“When someone stops doing these simple but essential things,” Elder Ballard said, “they cut themselves from the 'well of living water' and allow Satan to muddle their thinking.”

 “Individuals who don't stay focused on the simple doctrine and gospel of Christ will eventually listen to false teachers and self-declared prophets and adopt worldly philosophies.”
Something to think about!!  Let's keep our living water well full!
                                                                             

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Are You Like a Lighthouse?



Heceta Head lighthouse before sunset in all her beauty!!
My husband and I went on an anniversary trip to the Oregon Coast. See my previous post   My Heceta Vacation

I was mesmerized by the deep symbolism and parallel that lighthouses have to motherhood. So much, that I couldn't stop thinking about it!   Here are a few thoughts from inside my head....

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Lighthouses stand on the shores and coasts of our world, and their purpose is timeless and constant.  They know why they are there on this planet and who they are.

They are on the shores as leaders, who lead with strength, not uncertainty, and they are a guide to ships out at sea, trying to get to shore safely.



Their light shines 24/7  consistently through calm weather, or stormy, through bright sunny skies, and in the  darkness. 



Heceta Head Lighthouse
See the symbolism?!


In my lighthouse touring...(if you want to call it that)...I learned a lot! I was like a sponge soaking up all the history, work, and duties of the lighthouses and the light house keepers. and busy applying it to my role as mother. 


  • The ocean is so powerful in itself. I compare that to the world around us.  The lighthouse keepers have no control over what the sea does.  We have no control over what the world does. or other people do for that matter.  We have to stand strong in who we are and what our purpose is. We just have to be ready to weather the storms that come. We can never leave our post as mother.
  • Every lighthouse emits light from  lamps and lenses that are prism like, and used as an  aid for navigation.  Do you see the symbolism to motherhood? The lighthouse keepers main job is to make sure that lighthouse light NEVER goes out.  In the early 1900s and before, that meant carrying a container of oil (usually whale oil) up the spiral staircase to the very top. 
    
    During a storm, the wind can blow as high as 100 mph and rocks sometimes fly up and break the glass of the lighthouse light.Do you see the symbolism?

      What are we doing to keep our light shining 24/7?  Are we willing to sacrifice in order to keep in shining?
  • It was the job of the lighthouse worker to climb up, during the storm and repair the glass immediately.  The lighthouse light had to be working at all times so as to be a navigational aid, especially during storms.  The lighthouse keepers sacrificed a lot to keep the light going 24/7. 

  • Lighthouses come in all heights.  The reason that some are tall and some are shorter has everything to do with their purpose and nothing to do with the designer.  Every lighthouse light must be at the height of the horizon as each one spans the distance of 21 miles (at least where we were in Oregon).  The 21 miles in the distance where the earth bends and that is as far as each lighthouse light will shine.  Interesting information.   A lot of technology and math equations of gone into making each lighthouse an effective guide and light to those trying to navigate the ocean. Sometimes a lot of thinking and prayer need to go into making sure our efforts as mothers has the farthest reaching effects upon our children.
     
  • Last one, along the coasts of the world, there is a network of lighthouses that work together. Each lighthouse has its own Morris code of blinking lights that is specific to that lighthouse. The ships can know where they are, when they see the different patterns of light.  I really loved this information and once again made me think of a network of mothers we all have in our lives from our own mothers, to mother-in-laws, to even strong wise women who in our network of friends in our lives. All these women make a strong united front in strengthening those around us.   Love the symbolism!
 

Are YOU like a lighthouse?



Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Heceta Vacation



taken near the Heceta Head Lighthouse,  Newport, Oregon



taken near the Heceta Head Lighthouse
Sometime in early April, my husband and I took a trip up to the Oregon Coast. It was an early 25th Anniversary trip.  e had been there once before and completely fell in love with the Heceta Head Lighthouse and coast.  When we arrived there, we had this great reassuring sense of relief that our dream location was indeed still as beautiful and dreamy as it was last time we came. 






taken near the Heceta Head Lighthouse



taken near the Heceta Head Lighthouse





We had these  moments of.....complete bliss,    joy, and laughter as we walked along the rocky shore, listened to the waves crashing and splashing and spurting against all the rocks as well as watched each wave come cascading onto the shore.  It was mesmerizing to say the least!
















taken near the Heceta Head Lighthouse
I stood there for a while just watching it all happen. .  It was a nice get-away from my normal life, and to just get lost in this part of the earth that I never get to seThe beauty of it all overwhelmed me and I felt so close to God and could feel His presence and power in the whole scenee.







The even better news?  We got to spend the night there!!  Not on the beach, but in the cute little bed and breakfast perched on an elevated hill just above the crashing ocean and cascading waves.  The mere SOUND of the ocean in action is enough to completely hypnotize me.

 We sat on the wrap-around porches, wrapped up in blankets until way past our bedtime, just listening and watching the ocean.




The Bed and Breakfast was the old assistant lighthouse keeper's home. The light keeper's home which used to sit to the side of this one, has been destroyed. The houses looked almost identical. 

So this home has 6 bedrooms I think, and you feel you are back in time when you stay here.  It was a Wednesday night in April, and it was completely booked.  We shared it with 5 other couples from all parts of the country and all different professions and walks of life.

In the morning at 8:30 am sharp we gathered in the dining room for a very elegant and formal 7 coarse breakfast.  We sat around the dining room table as the server would bring out one coarse at a time and describe to us what we were eating.  Each coarse was rather small, so although it was a 7 coarse meal, we were not stuffed, but were comfortable. 

The fun part was getting to know all the other guests.  It was very interesting as all the couples came from stalwart marriages of many years. Our 25 years of marriage was nothing on some of them.  It was great to be around other great people and stalwart strong marriages from all other religions. 

As we sat ,the conversation eventually turned to important principles for strong families.  Another couple began talking about how important it is as families to gather around each day and eat family dinner together.   We talked about how this is a tradition that is going away because families are so busy now, and how simply eating meals together, at a table does so much for the unity and strength of a family. I loved this in so many ways!

My husband and I joined in the conversation of coarse, and left this experience feeling so much hope that there are so many strong marriages and strong families across this country who believe in the same things we believe in to preserve and keep our families strong.

There are so many symbols of God and motherhood, my most important role, in the ocean and lighthouses.  Another post is coming soon.


If you have never taken a vacation to the Oregon Coast...it is worth the trip!!

Heceta Head Lighthouse in all her beauty! 


W

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Sustain Our Prophet



We have just listened to our semi-annual General Conference!  The talks seemed to have a theme of strengthening marriages and families and remembering our covenants! 

I sustain all of our leaders as prophets, seers, and revelators that have only one agenda ever....to represent  and speak for Jesus Christ in all they do.
 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

What I Have Learned About Death...



Almost 4 months ago, on Thanksgiving Night, I had a full-fledged stroke., which you may have read about in a previous post.  Since then, I have been on the hardest journey I have ever been on, to fully recover and feel like my old self again.  I am realizing, that becoming my old self again is still far away, although I am feeling good.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Embarking

I am going to give a good positive word for our extremely awesome mutual theme this year.  It is so great!  I am sure you are already all over it, and are aware of how inspired it is.  (as always) I am  inspired by it already!


The visual is a ship, which I feel is so applicable and has many themes that you could pull from.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Not Shrinking



I love this scripture of the Savior's Atonement:

 " For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink-