Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Kindness Matters- Eliminating Contention

Heceta Lighthouse Head, Oregon Coast

There is nothing I dislike more than contention and anger. It hurts, it cuts, and it destroys peace, love and the spirit. 

Most of the suffering I have gone through in my life can be traced back to contention, anger, and of coarse pride .  I was blessed to grow up in very peaceful home with  laughter rather than contention. My mother didn't put up with much contention, and I try not to either.  In my home I have strived relentlessly to teach my children to get along, love each other, and speak kindly to one another.

I have a sign that sits on my entry room table that reads "Kindness Matters".   I couldn't agree more. Kindness is the one thing that always matters.

Contention is wrong and is of the devil (see source)

Strife, arguing, and disputations. Contention, especially ...between family members, is not pleasing to the Lord.
  • Let there be no strife between me and thee:Gen. 13:8;
  • Pride causes contention:Prov. 13:10;
  • If any man have a quarrel against any, forgive as Christ forgave:Col. 3:13;
  • Avoid foolish questions and contention:Titus 3:9;
  • The Lord commands men not to contend with one another:2 Ne. 26:32;
  • Ye will not suffer your children to fight and quarrel with one another:Mosiah 4:14;
  • Alma commanded that there be no contention among Church members:Mosiah 18:21;
  • Satan spreads rumors and contention:Hel. 16:22;
  • The devil is the father of contention and stirs up men to contend with one another:3 Ne. 11:29; ( Mosiah 23:15; )
  • Establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention:D&C 10:62–64;
  • Cease to contend with one another:Doctrine and Covenants136:23;
Elder Robert B. Hales said in his conference address on Sunday how parents are to be loving teachers in our homes.  
"The most important work we do in our homes is through the power of the Holy Ghost. Whenever we raise our voices in anger, the spirit leaves our companionships, and our families."
Teaching moments to teach gospel truth and morals to our children- arise and we should take advantage of those moments.  I have had many such moments with my family, and they are the richest most joyful times of parenthood.

There are teaching moments however that should never happen. Moments when the parent figure loses their temper, and instead of teaching in love, they use guilt trips, needless scolding, putting someone in their place, belittling, and hateful comments said only to cut and hurt, and control. These, my friends, are not teaching moments. They are contentious and not of the holy spirit, and do not build a family. They tear a family and build wedges in relationships.

In strengthening us in our most  important role as parents and helping us overcome the contention that can arise in any family or relationship, several conference talks come to my mind:
The Merciful Obtain Mercy ( President Uchtodorf's famous "Stop It" talk)
What Lack I Yet? (Elder Larry R. Lawrence)
Beware of Pride (President Ezra Taft Benson)

To name a few.


In 2009 President Thomas S. Monson gave a great talk titled
"If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry."
“Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.”
"We’ve all felt anger * It can come when things don’t turn out the way we want *It might be a reaction to something which is said of us or to us * We may experience it when people don’t behave the way we want them to behave * Perhaps it comes when we have to wait for something longer than we expected * We might feel angry when others can’t see things from our perspective "

"The Apostle Paul asks in Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 26 of the Joseph Smith Translation: “Can ye be angry, and not sin? let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” I ask, is it possible to feel the Spirit of our Heavenly Father when we are angry? I know of no instance where such would be the case."

School thy feelings, O my brother;
Train thy warm, impulsive soul.
Do not its emotions smother,
But let wisdom’s voice control.
School thy feelings; there is power
In the cool, collected mind.
Passion shatters reason’s tower,
Makes the clearest vision blind "
                                                                                        -Charles Penrose 


From 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, we read:
“There shall be no disputations among you. …

“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
“Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”
To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible.
Anger, Satan’s tool, is destructive in so many ways.
Contention hurts.  I hope none of us are people who stir up contention, hold grudges, or choose to be offended easily. Life is hard.   We may not get our way. We may have to roll with a new plan, we may have to bite our tongue and choose peace when we want to yell. However, we must be kind and we  must choose the Savior's way of peace and wisdom.
Regrets are hard to retrieve, and even harder to erase.  Let's be loving, forgiving, and kind.
In the words of Elder Hales from his latest talk at General Conference:

"You lift me and I'll lift you and we'll ascend together"


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Checking in Again with Hope


Checking in again...  it's been a while.



What busy blessings we have been busy with!!  Missions, Marriages, and Babies.

In the past four years, we have had three daughters serve missions.




It was so incredible to watch each of them grow, stretch, and become while on their missions. Missions are great, but they aren't easy. Each of our daughters had moments when they theoretically walked through their own Gethsemane. What awesome growth came through their experiences! It was also the greatest mother moment ever, when they each returned  home! 

 We also in the past year and a half , had 3 daughters get married.



 The weddings were beautiful!! Each one I learned a little bit more about  weddings and how to plan them! More importantly though, it was special to prepare my daughters for marriage and marriage covenants.

The Young Woman Theme is actually reciting in my head...
"...we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."

                                           There is a collective "YES"  enthusiastically spoken by all mothers who have nurtured their children toward these gospel milestones. The real cheering happens when those children in turn, choose the path that leads to the temple and to covenants on their own, and have chosen the person most likely to help them achieve it all.



And in the past year, we have had our first 2 grand babies born. 


I have come to know that  THIS is what life is all about, THIS is what matters, and THIS is my joy! That joy which gives me so much hope!

I have been pondering the Christ-like attribute of HOPE lately and what it is exactly and how to live with hope.

As I sat down to write this long over-due post, I kept having analogies of a rusty old bike and how it relates to hope. (RUST is good by the way...it's our last name)

I feel like that rusty old bike sometimes. I've been through some trials, I'm a  little out of shape spiritually some days, a little broken and in need of the Savior, and a little worn out. I wonder if I can keep up with what is expected of me, and in some cases, still do what I once did before? 

Through the Savior and His Atonement He can take the rusty old bike side of me, and make me radiant and new again.

 "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement. The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that you will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom.
There is a wonderful talk by Neil A. Maxwell , Plow in Hope, Ensign May 2001

  This talk is full of incredible quotes that could make a great quote book. Each quote paints an interesting and faithful picture in our mind.  The title of Plow in Hope is interesting enough and intriguing to our senses. Here's a few quotes that touched me:
"...the world is “in commotion,” but the kingdom is in forward motion as never before! (see D&C 88:91; D&C 45:26). Its distinctiveness is being more sharply defined by adverse trends in the world, where traditional values are not fastened down by the rivets of the Restoration. They are sliding swiftly" 
"Yes, we have unprecedented mass entertainment and mass communications, but so many lonely crowds. The togetherness of technology is no substitute for the family. "
  "The Lord is always quietly refining His faithful people "
"Since faith in the timing of the Lord may be tried, let us learn to say not only, “Thy will be done,” but patiently also, “Thy timing be done.” 
"Failure to serve the Master in small ways estranges us from Him" 
"Given the “fierceness” Christ endured for us, we cannot expect a discipleship of unruffled easiness. " 
"...let us not, as some do, mistake the chips we have placed on our own shoulders for crosses" 
"If, like the Savior, we do not “shrink,” then we must go with the demanding flow of discipleship, including where the tutoring doctrines of the Master take us. Otherwise, we may walk with Jesus up to a point, but then walk no more with Him " 
Thus within the discipleship allotted to us, we are to overcome the world, to finish the work we personally have been given to do; to be able to partake of a bitter cup without becoming bitter; to experience pouring out our souls; to let our wills increasingly be swallowed up in the will of the Father; to acknowledge—tough though the tutoring trials—that, indeed, “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” 

I don't know all the ways that this talk may touch you, I just know it will. So I hope you decide to experiment upon the word today and read it. It's a great one.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mothering Teenage Daughters

One of my favorite mother quotes is the one pictured to the left "Life doesn't come with  manual, it comes with a Mother".

Isn't that true?! I know I have had a few mothering moments, that I wish I had a manual for.

The best things I had going for me when I became a mother, was that I had a great mother myself.

When we mother, we are mothering generations.


When I started having all girls,( we have 8)  I received a lot of comments about how terrible the teenage years were going to be for me. Our first four daughters are 3 years apart due to having our first two  15 months apart, and then twins. I  had so many sympathy blessings given to me in dread of what was to be the worst and most painful part of my whole mothering career: the teenage years.

I am embarrassed to admit, when my children were little, I lived in fear of those years.  How was I going to safely navigate that time safely with my sanity it tact??

I am happy to report that after successfully navigating the waters of 6 teenage daughters so far, that it has been a pretty good experience. I have been pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed my teenage daughters, and their friends. In fact, I can honestly say, I feel it is one of my favorite stages of motherhood, instead of my worst, which I feared it would be. 

The teenage daughter years can be great!! Here are some ways we found to navigate the waters successfully.

1.   Begin early to have a positive open relationship with your daughters: 

A primary goal we should have as parents, is to have the kind of relationship with our children, so that they want to be with us, and want to talk to us, sharing many feelings, thoughts, and experiences.
That creates a rich, close family bond.  It is really the ideal family experience that will only grow with time.

Don't you want your children to talk to you?  Don't you want to have a relationship with them, where they will come to you for needed advice, counsel, or the best- maybe just to talk  for fun? 

You shouldn't wait until your children are teenagers for that kind of relationship.  If they talk to you, it is because that is a relationship skill you have developed long before the teenage years.  It starts early, so that the flow into the teenage era goes naturally with out a hitch. 

Keep in mind that, girls like to talk. Make time for it. It is usually after school, when you are busy doing something, bedtime, and anytime! That is one way they deal with their day to day experiences.  They are complex, and sometimes they are seeking for answers, but mostly they just want to be understood.  It has taken my poor husband 25 years to understand this, and sometimes he still forgets. 

My daughters all want to talk  and discuss with me (and their dad) their problems.  We know a lot when it comes to their personal lives, because they tell us almost everything. They want to talk to us! Now, I am not naive enough to think they tell us EVERY-THING. I know they don't. I do know, however, that they feel we are a safe zone if they need to talk.

What does a safe zone look like? 

A safe zone is a place where your children can come and talk and you : 1)listen more than you speak. This creates a feeling of safety that they are not going to be attacked with words or punishment before they get their story out  2) you won't rush to judge or condemn unnecessarily  3) love them through the conversation with body language, facial expression, and an attitude they will feel that they are loved no matter what, and 4) when the conversation ends, they somehow feel in charge, and ready to handle their own problems with tools and advice you have given. Sometimes just listening, helps them discover this on their own. 

2: How to keep your children from NOT talking to you:


Before writing this post, I asked my adult daughters, what keeps kids from wanting to talk to their parents about things? Their answer surprised me a little, but then it made total and complete sense. Keep in mind this is geared to the teenager-adult children spectrum, but it's good advice for anyone.    When parents start controlling their children's decisions, kids withdraw, emotionally and physically. It could be a self-conscious instinct.  

We all seek to be able to exercise our own free will to choose. It's a super tricky parenting skill, and relationship skill in general. Tell your children what to think, control what they do, cut them off as they are talking to tell them what you are thinking instead,rush to judgement on their ideas, or make them feel stupid for an idea they have. They will make a note to themselves: "Don't tell mom or dad.... (fill in the blank) " and they will start keeping information from you.  These are  tricky waters to navigate, and it is our human nature to want to control (help) our children. 

When they are young, we do need to govern their lives,  but this needs to change when they get older. When our children  marry our role changes up a bit again. We sit back more, letting them figure things out with their spouse, but being ready for advice when they come asking for it.  Invite but don't control.  Definitely don't control, scold, or put them in their place. At  this point, you are building on the friendship side of your relationship you built and invested in earlier in life.

 It is a hard part of good parenting.  There are of coarse, tough parenting situations, which I don't feel qualified  to speak about. We have been blessed more or less, with not too hard of kids.

3. Have fun and lighten up  a bit


Don't forget to enjoy the ride of parenting.  If you are too overloaded with too many activities....no one is having any fun! Believe me!  Focus on the most important things and enjoy the journey a bit.

4.  Have expectations & Have your own family rules: :


It is a proven fact, that a person will rise as far as he is expected to rise. We have always had high expectations for our children, and boundaries they needed to stay within. There is safety in that concept.  Don't worry about what all they other neighbors and parents are doing or not doing. Do what is right for your family. 

Have chores, cooking, and family responsibilities for your family.

But remember: your children are always watching to see if you are practicing what you preach! Live the rules you are asking them to live.  

Come up with rules of living,  to be a strong happy family. Don't give in to the pressure to follow society or neighborhood trends. Good parenting comes in having good relationships.

An example of having your own family rules for us would be sleep overs. We used to be a huge sleepover family when our four oldest were younger. I never really loved them to be honest. I liked knowing  my children were safe in their beds at night, and I wasn't a big fan of sleepovers at my house. Many times, the kids coming over were hoping for a rule-less night of fun, and that always clashed with our family dynamic. We don't have a lot of harsh rules, but we have a sense of order we like to function by.  I found sleep-overs stressful for me on both ends.

Everyone is doing it. But we decided to not to.  We still have family sleepovers with cousins, and we have sleepovers occasionally if a friend needs a place to stay, or their parents are out of town, etc. It's not a never, but we generally don't do them.

This is just an example. Look at your family and make sure you know why you are doing what you are doing, and you aren't just following a trend.

5) Be Prepared for the Hormones


All jokes aside, its a real part of life with teenage daughters.  Once a month the hormones will hit. Usually it is not the emotional aches, but the body aches.  Be prepared with the obvious supplies, plus medication if needed. We always have a quart jar for really severe tummy aches.  The weight and heat of the jar-  together -soothe when nothing else will.  (fill a quart jar with water, microwave for 3 minutes, add lid and ring and put on lower tummy area)  We have had cysts, and surgeries for cysts, etc. It's a real thing! Watch over your daughters health in this regard.

6) Love your girls!!


We love our girls more than words can say!!  We have built our lives and house around raising them. Every part of the journey is fun and memorable. When they leave the house, it doesn't stop! Then you have son-in-laws and grand-babies. Family is a wonderful investment!  It is what we are here for. Be grateful for who the Lord gave you to raise and love! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

12 Things for Newlyweds/Newly Parents



Hi, my name is Aubrey. I'm the 3rd oldest of  eight daughters.  I'm a twin, and yes, I was born first. By two minutes! I don't know what it's like to not be a twin, but I love being  a twin in case you wondered! We have been inseparable since birth, best friends in every way possible. We are now beginning the journey of living separate lives.... not always getting the same presents, having all the same friends, doing the same activities, or working the same jobs.  She went on a mission, and I got married.

 Kyle and I met while I was preparing to go on my mission. We have been married a little over one year. You can read about the whole experience here-The Marriage Decision Over the Mission Decision.

Besides being a new wife, I am a new mother!  We have a 4 month old baby girl. who we are obsessed with. We are currently living in Idaho where we are attending  BYU-Idaho.
This past week at BYU-I, Elder and Sister Bednar held a "Date-Night" fireside for the married students.  I felt very privileged to be there, as it wasn't broadcast, but just a very needed night of advice from Elder and Sister Bednar!!   President and Sister Gilbert, the BYU-I President and his wife asked them a number of questions about their marriage, and family life from the early years to now. It was an amazing fireside!! I took a lot of notes and kind of summarized my notes into:
12 things for  newlyweds/newly parents

1.     "Marriage can be happy and sad. It can be relentless, it's not always about cupid and arrows."- Elder Bednar

There are times in marriage where we are happy, and things are going our way. I feel like especially being newly married, we are in love, we don't think anything will go wrong. But then it does, and we then don't quite know what to do. We quickly think... Wait. We just got married. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. Then we start comparing ourselves to other “perfect” couples. That cute couple in my ward, they are so cute together, they never fight. Something must be wrong with us. Or I must have married the wrong person.  Marriage is not always
"about cupid and arrows.” It's a good reality reminder!

2.  "You have to learn to work through all opposite things"

-Elder Bednar "Sister Bednar and I couldn't be more different! I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area in the late 60's where everyone was doing sexual things, drugs, and alcohol.  Sister Bednar grew up in Wyoming, in a really small town. The whole town including the cattle was as much as my whole graduating class! I am left handed, she is right handed. Things couldn't be more opposite! You have to learn to work through all the opposite things between you!"

Kyle and I couldn't come from more opposite backgrounds. I was born in a warm nurturing family where the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught in our home. My parents both served  missions and were married in the Salt Lake LDS temple almost 4 years to the day from when they met and fell in love at Ricks College. I grew up going to Primary, Young Womens, with all my sisters, received the  Young Women Recognitions Award, and prepared to go on a mission! Kyle on the other hand, was born  to his 16 year old mother who tried her best, but struggled to provide a stable home environment. There were many ups and downs. Kyle was not acquainted well with his birth father, and grew up with 3 different stepdads, never knowing where he came from, who he was, or what his purpose might be in his life. He was very blessed to find the gospel when he was 17. His family did not agree with it, and he was kicked out of his home when he decided to join the church and be baptized. He served a mission, and the greatest day of his life was when we were married in the temple and he became part of an eternal family unit.  Something he yearned for, but never had. 

We have many opposite things between us and we have to accept our spouses for who they are and work through it all. 
The Lord has a plan for each of our lives and there is a reason we are born into the circumstances we are. Marriage  is part of the Lord's plan and I am so grateful for this wonderful journey we are beginning together.

3. You CREATE  your marriage

-Elder Bednar   "We mustn’t let the little things affect us! Differences in marriage can be good things. Let those differences teach you something about you and your spouse. Let them shape you as a couple, and then learn from them.  
-"Work through differences, but let them work with you. You don't find the marriage you hope to have. You CREATE it."

4. You marry POTENTIAL not perfection

 -Elder Bednar "If you think you married the perfect person, then what makes you think that person would want to marry YOU??"
I don’t know how many girls did this growing up, but I know my sisters and I made “The Perfect Man” outline of everything our future husband had to have in order for us to marry him. We must have thought how lucky would he be to be with us? He sure as heck needed to have all those qualities in order to win us. At the time we were thinking it was a way of him earning us. How arrogant was our thinking!
- Elder Bednar“We often make a list of the perfect person, that someday you will only marry a person that has everything on that list, what makes you think you're so great? What makes you think that you are so perfect, and so wonderful that he/she has to fit your criteria? When you very well don't even fit your own?”

5. Did I marry the right person?

-Elder Bednar  "If you think that you didn't marry the right person. Well TOO BAD! The days of searching, and finding, and wondering are over! You made an oath, a covenant, a loyalty to be them for eternity.  We always want things that are polished and unbroken. Most often these thoughts and feelings come because of comparing yourself with another couple, who may seem to have it all together. But, the days of searching and finding are over! We need to love our spouse for who they are, and let the atonement strengthen our marriage.

6. Communication is key

-Elder Bednar "When Sister Bednar and I were first married. I was going to school to earn my Doctorate. There were so many days where I felt like giving up. There was no possible way that I could finish. I was talking with my Professor one day and he mentioned to me, ‘You won't be able to finish. You have 2 young kids at home, a wife, and on top of that your religion. It's just too much, the odds of you finished are slim to none.’ I went home that night, while lying in bed, I said, ‘Susan. I don't think I can do this anymore. I just want to give up.’ She of course was speechless. In the end there was only one in his whole class who graduated and finished, it was the religious guy with 2 kids a wife.”
Elder Bednar talked about how afraid he was to communicate with Susan his feelings of inadequacy. Especially as a young father and husband, he didn’t feel like it was likely for him to finish.  Because he communicated with his wife at such a vulnerable time for him, it strengthened him, and it strengthened their marriage.
 "The Atonement blesses us with the capacity to do things that we couldn't otherwise accomplish."- Elder Bednar

7. Ask your spouse, "How can I best support you?"

--Sister Bednar“Elder Bednar was called to the stake presidency when he was 30. Our son was just a baby. I was so afraid of his calling, because the stake center was 2-3 hours away. I didn’t think I could do it. I remember feeling so alone, getting on my knees and pleading with the Lord. ‘Father in Heaven, I simply can’t do this. I need my husband.’ I then realized how wrong I was. That this was in no way how to support my husband. I needed to support him, and be grateful that he was called from God to be in the Stake Presidency.”

8. Putting your spouse first

When we have young children, we are so consumed with giving all our time to them. Feeding them, changing their diaper, giving them the attention they need, and any other necessary things. That our spouse becomes second on the list. But plainly enough, our spouses need us. They need our love, they need our attention. Then need to know how much we love them, and how important they are to us.
“We won't be good fathers and mothers in the eternities if you aren't good husbands and wives first." –Elder Bednar
 "When you are empty nesters, and all you have in common are your children, that's when marriages fail.” –Elder Bednar
 “One night at the dinner table, Elder Bednar was the bishop, he was talking to me about going to the courthouse because he was going to be marrying a couple the next day. Our oldest son then said, ‘Wait daddy… then who is mommy going to marry?’ It's important that your children feel loved and secure with you as a couple. They need to know that their parents love each other.” –Sister Bednar
“Make the comfort and well-being of your spouse your highest priority.” –-Elder Bednar

9. Being a young mother

-Sister  Bednar-"We had our first child when we had been married for 13 months. Being a young mother was SO difficult. I remember when my mom came after our son was born, she stayed with me for a few days. She went home a few days later. I called her and said, 'wait mom. Come back. I don't know how to bathe him right!'  I was so nervous to be a mom. It took a while for my mothering instincts to kick in!”
As Sister Bednar said all these things, I kept saying yes! That’s exactly what it feels like!  As I just had a baby 4 months ago. There are so many emotions that run through you as a young mother. You feel so alone, and so helpless. You have absolutely no idea what you are doing! I remember calling my mom and asking, “So when she has a diaper rash, do I use Desitin or baby powder?” But somehow, someway you make it through the first 3 months, and you start to feel somewhat normal again. Your motherly instincts do kick in. You feel like maybe this mother thing isn’t so bad. As Elder Bednar said, “The Atonement blesses us with the capacity to do things that we couldn't otherwise accomplish."

10. Being a young father

Don't divert all your attention to your children and not your wife. Make sure she knows you love her most. She can't do what she is spiritually prepared to do without that spiritual love for her.” –Elder Bednar
As a wife, when I know that my husband loves me. When he does the little things for me, that’s when I feel rejuvenated to be able to care for our daughter the way that I need to. It’s extra fuel in the tank.

11. As a new family, when do we start Family Home Evening?

“When the baby is in the womb. They will feel the familiar spirit, and it will bring the spirit into your marriage and family early on. Being consistent is key, it won't turn out if you aren't consistent. You can't expect the church to do what you neglect doing.” –Elder Bednar

12. Bring children into the world and rear your children in righteousness

 Last minute advice to newly married couples with or without children:
"Don't be too kind and conscientious that your contentious gets in the way."
“As bad as the world is, it's as good as it will ever be. Don't be afraid to bring children to the world, and to rear them in righteousness."
-" This is serious business. But don't let your seriousness get in the way. Pray for the assistance of the Holy Ghost, find it now. Don't spend your whole life searching for it." Elder Bednar
 * Elder Bednar gave a great devotional at BYUI the same day titled REPITITION, you can read that here:https://video.byui.edu/media/David+A.+and+Susan+Bednar+%22Repeat+Over+Again+.+.+.+the+Same+Things+as+Before%22/0_uwqz5m5c/11602882

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sometimes We Just Need God

When I was young, our family would take regular vacations, usually out west from our home in Northern Minnesota. Out west was where my older brothers lived. We loved visiting them in Provo, Utah where they were going to school at BYU.

It's a long drive from Minnesota to Utah. On that long drive we would listen to all the great LDS cassettes of the late 1970s- 1980s era.  My favorite was Saturdays Warriors. (We saw the original cast live in DC way back when), but my second favorite was My Turn on Earth. It has a lot of spunky songs that are fun to sing to, but one in particular is rather melancholy :  "Where on Earth Can I Find Heaven"  It's about the main character Barbara longing for her heavenly home.  The last line states..."where on earth can I find heaven? Find it and stay" 

It is kind of sad if you think about it! I remember closing my eyes and singing that song, and being filled with all kinds of melancholy feelings of my heavenly home and life. Not that I didn't have a wonderful family...I was raised with 6 brothers, so that might explain things.

But sometimes we just need God.  We just need Him. We wish He wasn't so far away, and so physically unreachable. We have prayer, and scriptures, and the Holy Ghost. Sometimes I just want to BE with God for a visit.

In Doctrine and Covenants in teaches us that we can all progress in righteousness to the point that we can be worthy enough to see the face of God.

President Spencer W. Kimball,  said: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.”

Do you really know that is true?

Are the heavens closed?

We know they are open. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. Many early prophets saw Jesus Christ, and had frequent angel visits. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
lds.org

Who else has seen God?

The Heavens are open! We have 15 men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators whose primary mission is to be living witnesses of Jesus Christ. T hey do not talk about visions they may or may not have had, but if you listen to their testimonies, you can know.

During the days of Kirtland, sometimes referred to as the Pentecostal Days of the Church, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to many.


I believe if they appeared in the early days of the  world, and the early days of the church, then they can and probably do appear now.



I want to progress in righteousness to the point that I can feel and see God.  It would be a great feeling to walk and talk with Him again.
lds.org