God is Sometimes a Fourth-Watch God

Christ walking on the sea, by Amédée Varin
Someone approached me one day while I was going through my heaviest trial, and said, "God is sometimes a 4th watch God". 

It made me deeply ponder and wonder and then research what she meant that.  

In the New Testament there is that beautiful story of the Savior appearing in the night, walking on water, after his disciples "toiled in rowing" for most of the night. We can all relate to that exhausting symbolism of moments and times in our own lives of toiling in rowing. Here are some insights I 've  learned from this story. 

The Hebrew nights were roughly divided into 4 watches:
  • 6:00 PM-9:00PM = 1st watch
  • 9:00 PM- Midnight= 2nd watch
  •  Midnight-3:00 AM= 3rd watch
  • 3:00 AM-Sunrise= 4th watch
The idea of God sometimes being a 4th watch God comes from the concept that God does deliver His people. It is in our times of trial,  toiling, exhausting every idea, and turning over every rock  that He comes to deliver us. It's the 4th watch when we think the time is past, and delivery is a vanished, that He comes.

  1.  In the days of Abraham and Sarah of the Old Testament, God watched Abraham and Sarah very carefully thru their faith-filled lives.  Abraham was 99 years old, and Sarah 89 years old, when God made the Abrahamic Covenant with them that they would have an increase of seed without end.  Sarah was 90 when she gave birth to Isaac, a time in a woman's life when it is way past the child bearing years. Sarah delivered her first-born child and became a mother. Isaac was later also saved from death when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac in what would appear to us to be the last minute, and the fourth watch.  (Genesis 21)
 2. In another time on the Sea of Galilee we see the disciples on the water.
The term "fourth watch" comes from an account in Mark in the New Testament when the Savior came to them in what was the literal "fourth watch" of the night. After the Savior fed the 5,000 he sent His Apostles away down to the Sea of Galilee. During the night,  a storm comes up. It was a vicious storm in John's account  and the Apostles row for the equivalent of approximately 75 football fields against the wind. They are exhausted, weary, broken down and their hope is starting to grow thin. Sound familiar?

Mark 6:48

And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 
This is such a perfect phrase, the wind was contrary to them, and that they toiled in rowing. There they were over-fatigued, fighting and pushing against the demanding waves and storm. We've all been there.  We want it to be over, but it's not yet, so we have to keep enduring until relief comes.
John 6:19
  So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus  walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 
Thirty furlongs is the equivalent of 75 football field in length against the wind. That literally exhausts me thinking of that, but we've all been there before in that type of struggle through a trial or hardship.
The Savior saw them in their struggle on the sea and He sees us.  He's watching us toil in our rowing in contrary winds, and He's waiting only for the time to come for His delivery.

3. Then in the 4th watch of the night, He came unto them walking on the water. 

Oh I How I wish God was a first watch God. Sometimes He is! I have countless experiences, as I'm sure you all do, of  God hearing and answering a prayer or a pleading immediately. He is there constant and straight-way.  But sometimes, that is not His will. Sometimes the Lord's will is for us to experience some struggle and for things NOT to go the way we expect. If the Lord was there to answer  our prayer RIGHT when we wanted, and exactly how we wanted,  there would be no growth.  Our roots would not dig down deep, and when storms came, we would not have the faith to with stand the winds. I know it is in the 2nd and 3rd watch that I am really tested and really grow to become who God needs me to be. He comes in the 4th watch when it really matters, and He. does. come. 


Understanding Christ's "Unconditional Love" For Us

lds.org media images
Interesting fact:  the term "unconditional love" appears no where in scripture. Did you know that?  It's not even an actual scriptural term.

 Instead, you will find words like great, wonderful, perfect, redeeming, and everlasting to describe the kind of love that Christ has for us.

The word unconditional is an adjective meaning; not subject to any conditions.    That does not coincide with what I understand about God, His laws, principles.  His love is everlasting and great, and He will always love us, but God does not tolerate any and all behavior. No good parent does.

There is a mistaken impression in the world today that God tolerates and excuses anything we do because His love is "unconditional" or that God makes no demands upon us because His love is "unconditional" or we are ALL saved because His love is "unconditional".

Loving Christ, coming unto Him, and letting our will be swallowed up in His enables us to reach our full potential as children of God, to eventually, become as He is.

  •  This means we have to accept needed correction at times, 
  • Submit to His will
  • Love and serve others
  • Ask "What Lack I Yet?" 
  • Know that just being a good person, isn't enough. We have to be willing to make needed changes in ourselves. 
  • Faith plus action is key

Christ's love for us is such a redeeming love, meaning He wants to make us BETTER, higher, stronger, and greater than even we see ourselves as being.  

See Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk Abide in My Love


Mothering Teenage Daughters

One of my favorite motherhood quotes is :

"Life doesn't come with  manual, it comes with a Mother".

Another one is, "When we mother, we are mothering generations."

When I started having all girls,  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 steer that time with my sanity in tact??

I am happy to report that after successfully navigating the waters of 8 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.

The teenage daughter years can be great!! Here are some ways we found to make it successful:

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

A primary goal we should have as parents, is to have the type of relationship with our children,  that they want to be with us, talk to us, and share their  many feelings, thoughts, and experiences. This 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 can'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. 

My daughters all want to talk  and discuss with me (and their dad) their problems.  We know a lot about them 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 us.

  • 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? 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 sub-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 withholding  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.

 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 and 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 the other parents are doing or not doing. Do what is right for you, your child, and your family.

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

  • 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 friend, weekend, sleep overs. This is our personal choice. 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.  I found sleep-overs stressful for me on both ends.
  • 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) Rice hot packs also work great.  We have had cysts, and surgeries for cysts, etc. It's a real thing! Watch over your daughter's 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. Not every part of the journey is fun, but they are memorable. When they leave the house, it doesn't stop!  Family is a wonderful investment!  It is what we are here for. 


The Miracle of Birth

Birth is truly such an amazing experience!! I participated in it 7 times bringing our 8 children into this world! However, it was a totally different experience when our daughter gave birth, than when I did.  Not participating in the pain and  laboring through child-birth gave me a whole new perspective. 

Our 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 and feeling  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.

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 with a job  to do, 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 the delivery of a baby.
With him, came a spirit that he must feel at each birth. 

If I could describe it? It almost feels like you are hovering in between two realms. Let's  call it the birth realm.  It seems to be a realm that hovers somewhere between heaven or our pre-earth life, 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 beings  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  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.


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


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 who they are there and why they are on this planet. 

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 still waters, or through turbulent storms.  

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 and windows.

  • 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 have 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.
  • 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 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.   

Are YOU like a lighthouse?


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.  We 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, 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, in the ocean and lighthouses.

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

Heceta Head Lighthouse in all her beauty! 


My Stroke Story

On Thanksgiving Night (2014) about 8:00 p.m. Completely unexpected, and definitely unplanned, I had a dense and rather severe Ishemic Stroke.
 I am here to tell you of the power of prayer.  We believe it was the faithful and heartfelt prayers of MANY that helped me to survive this stroke.  Miracles do exist.
I was 47 years old and in my opinion...way too young to be having a stroke!  Many  people agree with me.  I am way way too young.  How did it happen? 

The doctors are still trying to figure that out. They told me I was a complex, complicated patient in that my symptoms did not match what they usually see. Because my recovery was so quick, they originally believed it was a migraine cluster headache, that can mimic a stroke many times. They no longer believe that was the case.  I have never had a migraine head-ache in my life and don't suffer from a lot of bad headaches.  My original stroke symptoms were very severe but it wasn't until the first MRI came back that they saw that I did indeed have a dense severe Ishemic stroke. 

The confusion for the doctors and for us is that  I have zero risk factors that we know of yet.  I have very low blood pressure, low cholesterol, I am not diabetic, do not smoke, and exercise fairly regularly.

 Not quite a full week later, I am doing good for the most part. I can tell my brain is still healing and not 100% back to normal, but hoping I will make a full recovery.

 It is very therapeutic for me to write what happened to me, and many people including family members are still asking questions of what my stroke was like.  Since Thanksgiving, I have been reading other stroke stories, and I haven't found any stroke stories that were just like mine.

 My Story

 It still seems very surreal to me, as if I am writing this about someone else.  Since having the stroke, I am just now beginning  to realize it actually happened to me. Yet, I am still not in full acceptance.  It still feels like a weird dream I had.

 I am going into full detail as I tell this as you will see all the moments that my stroke could have hit, but didn't.  Skim past the details if it is too long for you. 
Thanksgiving Day (2014)  was as normal as Thanksgiving Days can be.  I started the morning running a 5K with my daughter Aubrey and sister-in-law Amber for a dear friend who was recovering from breast cancer.  I am definitely not an avid runner, but I do run once or twice a week on the treadmill, and run about 2 5Ks a year. I probably exerted myself a little more than I should have, but after the race was over, I felt great and my recovery was really easy. What I am trying to say is, I have had harder 5Ks.  We all kind of want to attribute the stroke to the 5K, but at this point that is not a cause for my stroke. The doctors said,  I would have had my stroke during the race, during the exertion period if that was the cause, not later that night. 
After the race we went home and prepared our portion of the Thanksgiving Dinner. About 1:00 pm, we went down to my in-laws house for the big feast.  I remember eating normal serving sizes and not over-eating like I can do at Thanksgiving.    After that we hung out, played games, and I was feeling a little weird from the run, just kind of exhausted. My lungs felt kind of stripped from the cold air we ran in and  I had this deep urge, to just go to sleep. I tried sleeping sitting up on the couch, but I was super uncomfortable, and in pain. My whole body just felt uncomfortable. I kind of withdrew from the family activities, as I felt so worn out and so exhausted. I couldn't seem to recover from it.  I remember telling my husband, I just need to sleep.  Which I did. I went and found a quiet room in  the house and layed on the floor and had a great cat-nap.

About 4:00pm, I had this weird desire to just go back home and take out my contacts and put my glasses on.   I look at this as a little prep that was going on for what was about to happen later. 

About 6:00 pm that night we went Black Friday shopping with some family members.  I have been Black Friday shopping many times, and this was the one year I absolutely did not want to go. I just didn't care !   Out of tradition, kinda, we went.  This is one of those annoying sales when one sale starts at 6:00pm , and the other at 8:00pm.  At one point we were planning on staying for the 8:00pm sale, but the things we wanted were already taken by having to have a  special ticket which we didn't have. Like I said earlier, we just weren't into it, and decided to just go home. (blessings and miracles!!)

We got home about 7:45 pm. As soon as I walk in the door at my in-laws house, my two youngest girls 9 and 11 years old wanted me to drive them home to get their pajamas so they could sleep over at Grandmas.  Normally I would procrastinate since I just got home....but I thought...let's go now!  So I drove 3 little girls to our house and was back home at the in-laws in 10 minutes.

As soon as I walked in the door this time, Amber, my oldest daughter started telling me the shirts she just barely bought at a Black Friday sale did not fit good and she wanted to return them.  She planned on just going the next day, but I told her, no...go now! (I have no idea why I said that, in reality the next day would have been a much better idea to avoid the crowds. It turned out that her going shopping and returning at a crucial moment, was a part of my story)  So she took her sister Rebekah  to the store to return her shirts.

Everyone started eating left-overs and pie and we were getting ready for a improve skit game downstairs.  I ate a little bit, then decided I would go to the bathroom.  I took my tablet in there so I could read my emails. (TMI?)

The Stroke Hits
 The entire family went downstairs to do skits, while I was upstairs  in the bathroom.  My stroke hit while I was in the bathroom.  I remember standing up to button my pants, and then the next thing I remember is being in a different far away place mentally, and not remembering HOW to zip up my pants.  I stood there, frozen physically, and mentally.... in a DAZE. I could not remember how to zip, and I was going in and out of sub-consciousness. 

While I was going in and out of consciousness, I remember I had a goofy grin on my face. Now I know, that goofy grin was in reality my paralyzed right side of my face.  I also could not get my ride side of my body to do anything it was supposed to do. Anything that it does automatically (zip...) no   longer was responding.  I think I eventually zipped my pants with my left hand, after a very long time of standing there zoning out.

I did not have any pain, I didnt' fall over and collapse, nor was I was  aware I was  having a stroke. I remember feeling dizzy, confused, some double-vision, couldn't talk, and my face drooping.
My stroke hit the left side of my brain, and so my whole right side was effected. I think my brain was trying to send messages for my right side, but it couldn't  respond. .
After the momentous task of zipping my pants was over, I made my way to the bathroom door, (which is about 2 steps away)  and once again was completely stuck in my subconscious state. I was far, far, far, away, and getting father every second.  Everything was very foggy and not really there.   It was like being in a deep deep sleep and someone is trying to wake you, and you just can't wake up, although your eyes are still open.  I stood there trying to figure out how to open the bathroom door.  I kept bumping the door knob but didn't' know how to turn the knob.  I was in this place for a while, going in and out of awareness and kept coming back to the door knob.  My left side of my brain was saying open the door, and my right side was completely not there.

My nephew (10 years old) came upstairs and was on the other side of the door as I was messing with the lock and the door knob. I don't know still, if I got myself out, or if I just loosened the lock enough and he was on the other side and pushed the door open.   Somehow he was in the right place at the right time and helped me get out.
I miraculously made it out of the bathroom with a locked door.  I was now sinking deeper and deeper into a place where I couldn't communicate with the outside world.  I made my way to the front room couch. That was the last place I could go on my own during my stroke.  I remember walking lopsided and loopy. I slumped down on a cushion, and I was completely unaware of really anything at all.  No one knew I was there, and I just sat there, slumped over, going farther and farther into my stroke.

 My new problem was that my tablet was on my lap I was trying to figure out how to get it off my lap and into my bag. This took an enormous amount of time and effort as I tried to lift it a few times, but my brain couldn't figure out how to get it off my lap.  I tried lifting one corner-end of my tablet, and I just couldn't do it. I would look at the bag where I wanted it to go, look at my tablet, try to lift it, but couldn't get it off my lap.  I then,  officially,  went into a far away foggy place where I could no longer connect with the outside world. I could sometimes hear, and see in a loopy foggy way, but I couldn't speak or move my body. All sounds and visuals were coming from the end of a tunnel, that came in and out of reality.
Sometime later....( maybe 5 minutes?)  my daughters Amber  and Rebekah  came home from shopping.  Amber saw me on the couch and in her bubbly personality says excitedly, "Hi MOM!!"  She wanted to show me what she just bought at the store. I was vaguely aware of her sitting next to me. I felt like I should acknowledge her and respond, but I couldn't connect at all.  I heard her say my name, and knew she was next to me, but I couldn't speak, move, or connect to her.   She told me later how she could tell I was trying to tell her something, and a few times I tried to stand up, but couldn't. She also told me how I kept  showing her my tablet, but she didn't know what I was trying to do. I don't remember any of this. 
She tried a few times to talk to me, and when she figured out something was wrong with me, she told Rebekah to go get Dad and tell him that Mom is not responding.  Beckah went downstairs,  and in that time Amber noticed my face was  drooping, and she knew I was not alright.
She then ran downstairs and said, " Dad! Mom is not OK!  Her face is drooping and we keep trying to talk to her and she is not responding." This was a private conversation that no one else heard in the room.  Than my husband, Richard, ran up the stairs and as soon as he saw me, he  knew I was having a stroke. I vaguely remember him kneeling down in front of me.  Pleading with me, he said, "Susan, Susan!" "You are having a stroke!"  "I am going to take care of you!!"  "We are taking you to the hospital!"  Then he instructed  Amber to go and get Kyle (future son-in-law).  So Amber ran back to the stairs and yelled for Kyle and no one listened. They responded with, why are you yelling?   Then Amber said, "My mom is not OK. I think she is having a stroke! "  Then Kyle first, then all the uncles sprint up the stairs to get me into the car. 

Richard  and Kyle carried me out to the car. I have a very vague recollection of this.  I was thinking how silly it was that they were fussing over me, I could vaguely sense the sheer panic and heavy seriousness of the moment. I was like a baby, not understanding  why they were so concerned.   I thought if I just stopped acting like this, they would know I was OK.  I felt no pain whatsoever, and was not afraid of anything.  The place of my sub-conscious I was in, was a peaceful, place of no worries.  Kyle sat behind my seat in our suburban, holding on to my shoulders as I could not hold myself up, and my husband whipped around corners and down the 3 streets to the hospital.  My sweet future son-in-law, told me during this, "Mom it is going to be OK. God knows that we still need you"

We get inside the hospital and they literally get me into a wheel chair and zoom me back into the ER room. I barely   remember any of this. I was going in and out of consciousness. I have bits and pieces of seeing events, people, etc. I could sense the panic in everyone: my husband, son-in-law, mother-in-law, and all the doctors.  I was literally just losing it....peacefully, but very fast. 

 I layed on the ER table, the doctors and nurses began ripping my shirt off as fast as they could and connecting things to my chest.  They threw a hospital gown on me. Still had my pants on the whole time. After doing a few tests like, "grip my fingers,  Susan!Susan!.. talk to me!!... they got me on a table and ran me down to get a CT scan." My daughter Aubrey said they went right past her, and I stared straight through her, not seeing her.  She said I had a glazed look and just kept staring straight through everyone. I wasn't there even though my eyes were open, I wasn't really seeing anything.

Prayers going UP

While all of this was happening, my family began calling and texting everyone they thought should know. Social media was alive and well. Prayers began going up to heaven really fast.  At home, at my in-laws house, they all knelt down and had a family prayers when they whisked me off the to ER.  Richard called my parents, who in turn called my 6 brothers, who in turn called all of their children. Everyone stopped what they were doing and had a family prayers. Some of them who are in a different time zone had already gone to bed, woke up and joined the family prayers. One of my brothers was skyping with children, and they stopped the skpe and prayed. Amber texted her best friends at college and they stopped what they were doing and knelt and had prayer, and we are still hearing experiences like this of prayer from family, friends, acquaintances, and people who don't know me at all, but know members of my family.  Thank-you to ALL of you.  I believe it was the sincere heartfelt prayers that helped me to recover in a miraculous way.

Prayer is real!! God is real! He hears and answers our prayers!!!!

 A lot of things happened in the ER that I am totally unaware of.  For an hour and a half I was in this peaceful place in my subconscious where every once in a while I would get a glimpse of what was happening around me, but I had no power whatsoever to connect or speak. And, everything was in a far far away foggy place and not real.  I think I moved my eyes from side to side, and maybe my head.


While I was unconscious or where ever I was, I had glimpses of my surroundings, but then would go quickly back to be unconscious state. 

 I remember once, coming to, and seeing my husband kneeling down next to my hospital bed stroking my hand and telling me I had the most beautiful hands he had ever seen. He turned to his mom who was standing in the corner of the room, and said, "Mom, don't you think she has the most beautiful hands you have ever seen!!

 Another time I remember seeing him gripping his head in a desperate way, pacing the room,  and crying into his hands. He was imagining the worst possible moment of his life come to fruition, and he was beside himself with desperate feelings he couldn't control.

Another time, I remember seeing my beautiful caring sister-in-law Amber sitting in the corner of my room in a chair. I saw her sitting there, then I was gone again.

These are glimpses I will never forget. 

The place of my brain I was in as so peaceful, so free of worries, or cares, a part of me was completely fine staying there. I didn't know if I wanted to leave that state of mind. 

I was somewhat aware that there was panic and worry in the room, but I had no connection to it whatsoever. It was like "oh that's too bad" in a really non-chalant, unfeeling way. It was not an out of body experience, but it was in a way too. I felt bad that they were suffering, but didn't feel I had anything to do with controlling it, nor did I feel responsible for it. This is NOT my personality at all. I am a people -pleaser to a fault, and don't like to see others hurt, embarrassed, or suffering and not try to help. It was kind of a nice vacation from that part of my life.

The Miracle happened at precisely the right moment

I was in this condition for an hour and a half.  At this point, the doctors were ready to take it to the next level. They had medicine they were ready to inject into me,  Salt Lake was ready to receive me, and the life-flight helicopter was ready to go. The doctors had the paperwork drawn up for it, and were ready to send me to Salt Lake.

Then I turned to my husband and wanted to talk, and then I was able to speak and ask him what was happening. 

Richard shouted...."she talked!  she talked!!"  Then everyone rushed to my side of the bed. Although everything was very sluggish, I was talking and that made everyone extremely happy.  The first thing I noticed was an IV in my right arm. I have zero memory of that being inserted. I talked to the doctor, my husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, Amber, Aubrey, and Kyle. All one at a time as only two people could be in the room.   I called my mom, called my daughters who were at home, and had this miraculous amazing turn around recovery.  Everyone was thrilled to hear my voice. 
I then was talking via satellite to a University of Utah Stroke specialist, or neurologist. She was asking me questions about what I had experienced and how I was feeling.  Twice they had me read first grade words on a paper, and identify simple pictures, and tell them what was happening in each picture.

Our neurologist came next and began talking with me as he was trying to understand how I had a stroke and what might have caused it.  During this conversation, I felt my right side of my face, mainly my mouth droop and I could not control it or stop it. This concerned everyone all over again, and I had another CT scan injecting different fluids in me to see other things.
I spent the rest of the night in the hospital in ICU and had an MRI scheduled the next morning.  Richard slept by me on a fold-down chair, holding my hand all night. Sleeping in the ICU is an experience that neither me or my husband have ever experienced. (not a lot of quality sleep) They have an important job to do there, and I am grateful for all the care I received.
The MRI test results came back and confirmed I did have a dense Ischemic stroke. I have learned that WHERE a stroke hits determines the damage and  disability.  If our brain and all the veins were like a tree with all of its branches, my stroke hit in the tips of the branches. That made my recovery so much better than most. If it hits in the trunk or father down the tree, than the results are not as kind. 

Thank-you all for your prayers and thoughts and concerns.  I just pray that the doctors will find out what caused it. I have wonderful doctors who are trying to figure out why a person with no stroke risk factors, no family history of it, still had a stroke.  I am recovering really well, and my only symptoms now that I am aware of, are dizziness and some memory lapses.  I am positive I will have a complete recovery as my brain heals.

THANK-YOU ALL for your prayers!!!  Even if they were just silent prayers of worry or concern from your heart. They were heard and I have been blessed because of it!!!

 (9 months later)
I would say, at this  point, I am 80-90% fully recovered, although the past 9 months have been a roller-coaster ride of healing and health issues. Why I had the stroke remains a mystery, as all my tests come back perfect. At this point the theory is possibly a blood clot that got loose during my run and traveled through my heart and up to my brain.
The hardest time came of my stroke recovery came  6 weeks later. I had acute exhaustion, developed shingles, and have had cognitive issues.  But I am alive!! I survived !! I have recovered in a miraculous way from something that takes lives or leaves its victims unable to function normally. For the most part, life has gone on the same!
Acute exhaustion has been my biggest enemy! Most stroke survivors can relate to this one!! There is no medicine for it, no help for it, but time and rest.  This type of exhaustion is nothing like being sleepy, tired, or had-a-hard day. You can't sleep it off. This is acute fatigue!! If I get stressed or over-do it, I am in bed for 3 days recovering.  From January-May I worked in the 4th grade all day as a teachers instructional aide. It was a 30 hour a week job, that I loved, but about killed me having to go everyday. I do not know how I got through it all except I loved being there! 
 My short term memory became very unreliable! Every short term memory problem I already had from being myself, was now acute!!  I would lose something, and there was no recalling or retracing my memories to find it again. That information was gone, and not coming back! I would leave the store, and have NO memory of where I parked, and no way of pulling up the memory of parking.  I had to always rely on my kids to know where we parked.  This aspect has greatly improved, but I have my moments still!
I have had cognitive issues with math.   When going to the store (I always use cash) I could not count money. It completely overwhelmed my brain to count money. I would look in my wallet, and didn't know how  to add the money up on the spot for the cashier.  It overwhelmed me cognitively.  I would just hand the cashier some money and she would always  hand me back what I didnt' need. I was like a baby and small child in many ways cognitively!!  In school where I worked with the 4th graders in a math group, I would always do the problems wrong.  I would flip numbers. If we were multiplying 9 X 9, I would write down 18, instead of 81. And the kids would let me know I got it wrong!! The math part of my brain has healed and I am able to count money now and feel back to normal again.
I have been an automatic speller my whole life! I don't have to even think of how to spell things, my brain just does it!!  Because of that I trust my spelling instincts, and if something is spelled wrong, I know it.  One day while correcting spelling tests in the 4th grade, all the words were spelled wrong and funny to me.  They were all words that ended in "le" like bottle, able, buckle, candle...In my brain these were all spelled wrong and pronounced " bottlee, ablee, bucklee, candlee...and the le should be switched. In fact I looked at those words, and it was as if someone had scrambled all the letters up. It didn't make sense at all. I went up to the teacher and told her the answer key was not right. She was pretty sure they were right and even looked it up for me....It was my brain, flipping and switching things.  That has only happened one time with spelling, but as my brain has healed, I have had moments like this more times than I want to admit. That has almost one away completely since then.
I am so grateful to be alive and that this stroke did not take my life!! Every few weeks I hear stories of other stroke victims of my age,  who did not survive, or who did not fair as well as I have.  I am blessed and know that prayers were answered on my behalf!! 
We found a cause for my stroke!

The doctors were finally able to find a cause for my stroke almost a year later! I would encourage anyone who has had a stroke for no apparent reason, like I did, to look into getting this procedure!!  It is an echo-cardiogram with a bubble study test. I had two echo-cardiograms which only showed how strong my heart is with all four chambers functioning properly and with regular rhythmic beats. It is a pretty amazing organ...the heart!   When I had the bubble study test done with the echo-cardiogram,  it showed that I have a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO for short) or another term is Atrial Septum Defect. It is a hole in your heart that didn't close properly at birth.  In is fairly common (25% of all births). I am close to  50 years old and I never knew I had this septum defect. 

Closing the hole is fairly controversial. Does the procedure out weigh the risks involved?  Does keeping a patient on blood thinner do the trick the same as closing the hole with a device? Does the fact that a patient has had a stroke at a young age (under 50) for no apparent reason (remember I had *low blood pressure*low cholesterol*don't smoke*don't drink*and exercise regularly*no family history of stroke) give reason to close the septum? 

These are all questions the cardiologists and neurologists  were trying to determine.  They decided it wasn't worth the risk involved, and decided to keep me on blood thinners. 

I have to say, I am thrilled with that decision. I know it is routine, but it was a procedure that involved my heart, so that is high risk in my opinion. I am happy to be  done with this!!!!


Day of Grace

lds.org media library
Mormon was the great ancient American  military general, a Nephite prophet of his people, and record keeper of
their history (311-385 A.D.)

Mormon was  instructed to prepare himself to take charge of the records and record keeping.  At the time Mormon was 10 years old. Ammaron, the one who was keeping the records and preserving the records at that time, noticed that Mormon was" a sober, and quick to observe" child.  He told him that when he reached the age of 24, he was to go to the specific hill that he had hid all the records, and go there and engrave the things he observes with the people.  After recording the history of his own lifetime, Mormon abridged the large plates of Nephi on the plates of Mormon. He later turned this sacred record over to his son Moroni. These plates were part of the record from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (See also: Introduction to the Book of Mormon) )

Mormon lived during a very violent, corrupt, and evil stricken time of Book of Mormon history. Horrible scenes  were their everyday life, and can only be placed at the end of a civilization . (Mormon 1)
But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people. 
 And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief. 
 And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus. 
And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them;
 At what we would consider now a days, a very young age, Mormon was called to lead the Nephite army. He was 15.  The people looked to Mormon as a savior.  To save them.  They looked to him as if he were their last and only hope of survival. Yet, it was without  hope because they would not listen to Mormon, and would not repent of their sins and come unto Christ so that HE could save them. 

Mormon went to great lengths and personal sorrow, to teach them to repent and come unto Christ. At times, he was hopeful that their sorrows would turn them to Christ. But it was not to be.

 Their Day of Grace had passed.
"And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives" Mormon 2:14
"And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed away" Mormon 2:15 
Their day of grace had passed. Their day of grace had passed both temporally and spiritually.    I found that to be a powerful statement.

Did you know that there was a grace period with the Lord?

We have grace periods in our temporal everyday lives when it comes to the law. 

This definition of grace period can be thought of in a spiritual way with the Lord in mind.

Definition: A grace period is a time past the deadline for an obligation during which a late penalty that would have been imposed is waived. Grace periods, which can range from a number of minutes to a number of days or longer, depending on the context, can apply in various situations, including arrival at a job, paying a bill, for meeting a government or legal requirement, or in many other situations.

So with that definition, I learn that the Lord's Day of Grace is FILLED with mercy.  He has forgiven, He has given and shown mercy when mercy wasn't expected or deserved. He has gone on- and -on with waiting, showing mercy, forgiving, when the time was WAY past for change and repentance. Yet He still forgave and gave mercy.  It sounds to me as if HE the Lord, determines the time period of our day of grace and when it is passed.  Each specific and extremely personal to each one of His children.

The Bible Dictionary explanation of GRACE:
The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by His atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.
Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the Fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible.
The Day of Grace passed for the Nephite people because they did not put forth any works of righteousness. Grace applies AFTER we have "expended our own best efforts"  "total effort on the part of the recipient"  "after all we can do"

If we give up, don't care, quit trying, and live a life of wickedness-grace cannot be applied towards us. At least that is how I understand it.

It is a gift given to us as we do our part.

God is Sometimes a Fourth-Watch God

Christ walking on the sea , by Amédée Varin Someone approached me one day while I was going through my heaviest trial, and said, "...