Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Love The Lord With All Your Heart, Soul, and Mind

On Sunday we had a lesson about the name, "Lamb of God" and we talked about Jesus being the Lamb without blemish who was sacrificed for the world. I asked my kids what they thought of their Heavenly Father...what kind of a being would ask His Son to suffer and die? Their answers surprised me. Two of them mentioned the Old Testament and how God swallowed up people in the earth that were disobedient and other times He caused plagues and famines. They said it seemed like Heavenly Father was hard to please and that, after reading the Old Testament, they worried to make a mistake.

How had I missed this perception of the Father? I was glad I asked them to share. I told them that of all the things I could share, the first would be to pray today and ask the Father to reveal Himself to them. I gave them that advice because that was the very question I asked the Father two years ago, and the answer He gave me caused me to marvel greatly. I saw someone I didn't expect: A King and a Warrior who had sacrificed His life for His children and who would do so again...and again. 

In Matthew 22 the Pharisees and Sadducees tempted Jesus by asking Him which commandment is the greatest in the law. Jesus told them, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."

This is the first commandment of the Kingdom. It is the greatest commandment. It will always be the greatest commandment, even in the resurrection. Perhaps we are so familiar with it - we overlook it. There is nothing more significant in the Bible than this and it tells us what God feels about us

He can ask us to Love Him because....He already loves us with all His Heart, with all His Soul, and with all His Mind (John 4:19). I learned this from the preacher, Mike Bickle.

To love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and mind in this way means that you will be filled with Charity. Having Charity means you will seek and do His will, always. This is what it means to be filled with Charity. This is what it means to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

The second commandment, "to love your neighbor as yourself," sometimes becomes the first commandment for those of us who are intent on service without having asked the Lord if this is what He wants us to be doing. You can't do that. Your connection to God is the only way to do the second commandment perfectly. If you love the Lord with all your heart - it will always overflow to loving people. If you seek and do His will you will always forgive and set things right and serve.

Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. 

Make this the mission statement of your life. 

Who can serve a God they do not know? No one can serve two masters, or they will love the one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24).

Whom do you serve? 

What occupies your thoughts?

Where do you spend your money?

How do you spend your free time?

When we truly consider the answer to those questions, it isn't hard to see why the first commandment is so challenging to us. And He is worthy of our love. So WORTHY.

Consider that Jesus said, "the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5:19). 

Jesus can not lie. 

He is telling us that He didn't come to earth and do something new - He came and did what He saw His Father do. This is your Father. He is beyond comprehension. And His Son is just like Him.

Consider the words of this song and think of the Son and the Father, " many kings step down from their thrones? How many lords have abandoned their homes? How many greats have become the least for me? And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart? How many fathers gave up their sons for me? Only One did that for me...All for me, all for you.

And another song to think of with the Father and the Son:

I've read the words in red
How You leave the 99
To find the one missing
Feels like that was written
With me on Your mind

And the prodigal son who ran, 
leaving his home behind
The part where the father 
came running to meet him
Did You say that with me on Your mind

Just knowing You're mindful of me
Just knowing You call me Your child
It's flooding my soul with unspeakable hope
Thank You, Lord, that it's me on Your mind 

I've read the words in red of a heavenly home on high
You're preparing a place where the sorrow's erased
And when I stand before You, I'll find
All along, it was me on Your mind

Who am I that the King of the world
Would give one single thought about my broken heart?
And who am I that the God of all grace
Wipes the tears from my face and says, "Come as you are"?

You paid the price, You took the cross
You gave Your life and You did it all with me on Your mind
It was me on Your mind

A few days ago I received a message inviting me (and countless others) to repent and return to the Lord and to come and hear and accept the Lord's true servant. Having received a similar message from an entirely different group not too many years ago I marveled that people were again receiving such an invitation, if one could call it that, to "avoid the destruction that is coming" (this same message was given to groups years earlier). Not much changes with those who rise up and speak about the special end time servant who is to come. 

These groups that I have seen rise and fall or those that rise ....and stagnate remind me of one of the best movies of all time, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." Mercy, if you haven't seen this movie, please do yourself a favor and just buy it. It is a CLASSIC. 

In this movie a few people traveling in cars on the road happen upon a car accident. Rushing to help the ejected man, this broken fellow tells them of money....LOTS of money that can be all theirs if they go to, "The Big W" and dig it up. The rest of the movie is the insanity that transpires to get to "the Big W" first!

I admit, I was caught up in the hysteria of "waking up" and being first. It's hard not to become consumed with the thought of being chosen, of being "the elect," of being one who knows more than the rest of the world and who will be saved from the destruction (never mind that I knew other, truly holy people, who were 'asleep' but 'absolutely misguided').

It's challenging not to let it go to your head that you are "special-er". I ran around, like the people in the movie, grasping my shovel, ready to unearth the riches...looking to understand which group was right or which person had connections to the end time servant ("the big W!!!"). "What did he say? Who are they?"

I was always rushing around trying to get somewhere and ending up back where I started. Once I let go of that...once I stopped rushing and once I stopped and drank directly from The Well my eyes saw for the first time. I knew Him and I knew what I was looking for. 

Watch this clip and ask yourself if you are in this rat race...who are the other people in your life or group or circle or fellowship....and are they be represented in this clip? 

The quiet man who is dressed in a suit and fedora hat (Capt. Culpepper) represents the church. Sylvester's Mom represents the various group leaders who pop up. Sylvester represents the lackey or '1st counselor' that invariably arises to back up the group leader. And Emmaline represents those that stop running around or participating in the madness and instead, seeks refreshment. And maybe you can see more parallels. 

If you are caught up in a frenzy of trying to be connected, in some way, to some special group that will avoid destruction or to be connected to the Davidic servant - know that it will always evade you. Love God with ALL your heart, soul, and mind and it will be added to you

Have the courage to walk away from things that are toxic (things that don't leave you feeling uplifted and refreshed...things that are the equivalent of slogging through mud). Unless the group you gather with has an eye single to His Glory, it will feel like you've gone an exhausting distance and moved nowhere and sacrificed a great deal of much needed family time in the process. I have gathered many times with various people or groups assuming we all had an eye single to His Glory. I learned that was a poor assumption which proved to wreak havoc in my heart time and again. 

Said by Father Zossima in the book, The Brothers Karmazov, "For men are made for happiness, and any one who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, 'I am doing God's will on earth.' All the righteous, all the saints, all the holy martyrs were happy." Look for that uplift...look for that refreshment. If there is agitation, uneasiness, or confusion - God is calling you to ask Him questions about it all. 

(I know that many of you may not be able relate if you don't live in Utah where a lot of things are going on. But it's still good to be aware.)

One last movie clip that accurately depicts what it will feel like to let go of these unnecessary groups or individuals or even a ward, if that is what the Lord asks you to do. It is from the sci-fi movie, "Contact". The clip shows a machine that scientists built to help them make contact with aliens (I haven't seen it in decades but that's what I remember). They built it exactly as the aliens had left instructions to do with one exception - they built in a chair for safety. They couldn't imagine how this machine could free-fall hundreds of feet and not kill the person inside. So they added their understanding to it...(fast forward to the 2:45 mark)

I love that what 'woke her up' was a floating compass that she had brought with her. That compass inspired her to let go of the chair. God has given you coordinates to make contact with Him. It's not's the first great commandment. You don't need a "chair," i.e. a person, a fellowship, a group, a ward or even to know or be able to recognize who the Davidic Servant is so you can align yourself with him. 

While fellowship in the Kingdom is essential, if those you gather with do not continually have an eye single to His Glory, it is just putting the second commandment first all over again. These gatherings or wards or fellowships or groups without an eye single to His Glory leaves you seeking for other people to help you connect more with God instead of personally connecting with God yourself (1st commandment) and having those other things added to you

Love The LORD with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. Have an eye single to His Glory. Seek His will, and then Do His will and you will find Him

Me On Your Mind
Matthew West

How Many Kings

Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Jesus Tree

Notice: Blogger no longer notifies any subscribers of new blog posts so I'm sorry if you've subscribed and no longer get notified. Computers are a challenge for me. I don't even have Facebook or Insta or anything social beyond this the thought of figuring this all out is beyond my capabilities!

Onward to the blog post:

More of my journey to Jesus. We started this journey about 13 years ago, as I mentioned in my last post. As my husband and I progressed in going deeper and deeper into the things of the Lord we decided to offer a prayer that the Lord could have anything He wanted from us. He didn't need to take it, because we already give it all. And I can say, He challenged that offering from every angle.

In my last post I told you how I would get up in the middle of the night to seek the face of the Lord and the Lord told me, in a dream, I was too much in the world to approach Him at that time. When I asked Him to tell me when I would be ready - the scriptures floated in front of me and out came the words, "Line upon line. Precept upon precept." The last 13 years has been a journey of line upon line. Precept upon precept.

Not knowing how to navigate this journey, I began by reading John Pontius' book, "Following the Light of Christ into His Presence." In that book he teaches the importance of seeking the Lord's will and challenges you to write down all your promptings. By writing down the promptings you bring your thoughts into reality and you can see if your promptings were from the Lord or from the adversary. Once you determine the prompting was from the Lord, then you follow it. Literally you "follow the light of Christ" until it brings you into His presence.

I got a small notebook and began that challenge. I had lot's of small kids and so my promptings tended to be small. Learning to hear the voice of the Lord was foreign to me and took a lot of trial and error. I was deceived many, many times, but the Lord was merciful to me as I was learning to have, "an eye single to His Glory". It has taken me over a decade to trust what I'm hearing and to make sure my motivations are purely to do His will and not self serving in some hidden recess of my heart. I don't think I have "arrived," but I'm more at peace. It is challenging to overcome the many false beliefs about what the Lord would and would not prompt me to do.

Since it's Christmas I will tell you of the five years we had no Christmas! After we had our first child we tried to do "Santa" and found it felt very awkward to repeatedly lie and build up a fantasy that would have to be destroyed later when they grew up and we had to say, "just kidding" and give them the talk about Santa not being real. I had a friend who, when their oldest child turned 8 and was preparing for baptism, that child began to show great hesitation in moving forward with being baptized. When my friend pressed the child as to why they were so hesitant the child said, "Well, you lied about Santa - how do I know you're not lying about Jesus too?" After that we chose to end that fantasy and went for reality and it felt very freeing.

In 2015 my husband and I both felt a prompting to pull away from the world to a greater degree. One area we pulled back was to offer up our Christmas to the Lord. We talked to our kids about this feeling and asked if they felt they could give up their Christmas to bless other people. We felt to donate everything we would have spent on Christmas, vacations, and more - to a charity that helps children. We stopped having a tree. No decorations. No....presents. Nothing but a nice meal and Jesus.

Am I telling you that you must do this too? Zero percent. Each journey is unique so separate yourself from what we felt to do as you read this. Each family has different struggles and trials and maybe you will be asked to give up anger, or food, or family, or who knows what. All I know is that Christmas, at that time, was what we felt we needed to give up to get closer to Him. During those years of not having a Christmas we learned the value of sacrifice. We learned to put others needs before our own, and we learned to worship the Lord. When you don't wake up to presents, you wake up to Him and He is Glorious!

We learned to do Hanukah and to spend each evening singing praises in the dark, with nothing but the menorah lights illuminating our little home. We even learned to dance to the Lord. I look back at those times with great awe that we were able to let go of all our pride, all our stiff and proper ways and! Those years and times were filled with visions and dreams for our children.

Two years ago my husband and I got a prompting at the exact same time that our offering had been accepted and our entire family received a beautiful Christmas gift from the Lord. I know Christmas has pagan roots, so we don't celebrate it in the way that most people do, but we bring the focus of Christ in our home to a greater degree. Even still, we got online and bought a used tree someone didn't want anymore and I spray painted the decorations they gave with it and made...a Jesus tree. I wish the idea was original but I copied my Jesus-loving best friend's tree. I'm showing it to give you some ideas for making Christ your center in the home at this time of year. I was beholden to what photos I could garner from a stack of old Liahona magazines my neighbor gave me. The photos of Jesus were slim...very slim. But I digress...

The Jesus Tree!

Now I feel to share excerpts from my journal during this time (2017). They are totally unrelated to Christmas and just a couple entries that I found interesting today:

(One of my children) then said that they had a dream the night before and saw in the dream that (someone was assassinated) and then the world got really bad and in their dream they wished they could “just skip that part in time”. I asked (my child) this morning if they could remember more about the dream. They said that (edit)...And that the world was worried and thought war was going to break out. And then they said there was ‘darkness’. And I said, “What does that mean?” They said, “It was without God.” And they said they wanted to just skip that part it was so dark. They are 9 years old and we don’t talk about things like that to our children. Talking with (this child) while I was making dinner I asked if they remembered in their dream when they saw the world was without God. They said they did and then they described to me this, “You know when you drink milk all gone and then you look at the cup and there is just a small part left on the cup on the sides? That’s all believers on earth that will be left when everything goes dark. You know how when the world began there was all good on the earth and nothing bad had happened yet...or very little bad had happened yet? It was the exact opposite. There was barely any good left. And there will be dark all over the world and the good people will try to gather together to Zion.”

Another journal entry:


Yesterday (my husband) fasted so he could approach the Lord this morning. When we went to bed I battled the adversary ALL night long. Twice I awoke in anger getting very upset with Ryan for things both of us have no idea about what I was saying. I felt so terrible when I woke this morning and remembered how rude I was to him and I apologized as soon as he woke up. But it was the strangest thing to awaken twice in anger/rage towards Ryan.

Then I woke up at 2:30am to a terrible dream. I saw (my son) (he is almost 5 years old). He was just sitting in front of me in a white room. I looked right at him and his whole body seized and his eyes went black - even the white parts were black. I watched him shake as the adversary possessed his body. I awoke in great fear. I began praying and casting out. Recalling my anger with Ryan and recognizing that the adversary was attempting to thwart us getting up to spend time with the Lord at 3:30am. I went in my closet praying mightily and cleansing (my son), then all of the kids. I felt the evil spirit that was tormenting our home. I said to the dark spirit, “I love you. I forgive you. What happened in your life that you have such anger to see our happy home?” I sensed this was the wrong thing to say because I felt the darkness increase in a rage. I called out to Father for His help and after much cleansing, I felt peace was restored to our home.

I prayed for help with my temper and attitude with my children. I asked Jesus when I would be given the gift to be at peace all the time with my kids. He said, “Look to me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not. Be believing.” I told him I thought I was trying to look to Him in all my thoughts. I think about Him fairly constantly. I asked Him if this was not doing what He asked. He said I wasn’t looking to Him in every thought. That it is different to "think" of someone and what He was asking me to do was to seek His will in every thought.

I cried out to the Lord for about an hour. I would be overcome with tiredness and pray with my head to the floor. I would get tired and the Spirit would tell me to sit up and keep trying. I pushed and pushed for an hour and a half and then grew very weary. I could see nothing though I felt the spirit strongly. Eventually I apologized to the Lord and went and laid in my bed. I had the thought, “What would you do if you couldn’t breathe in your sleep?” I said that I would call out to Father for help. Then I slept and within an hour I was overcome and I could not breathe. I was paralyzed and could not move nor draw air to call for help. I was struggling desperately to move and then I called out to Father for help. I calmed myself and waited, struggling for air. Within a few more seconds I was released and could draw breath. My heart was pounding hard as I laid in bed trying to regain breath. With my eyes closed in the dark I saw small circular shapes moving in circles and then shift to moving in squares. That happened for about a minute. I had never seen those shapes in my closed eyes before.

Ryan too had been up since 3:30am fasting and praying. By this point it was about 6:30am and I got up and came out to the living room and the kids had been in an argument with each other over something BEYOND small and insignificant. But it had taken up about 30 minutes of their morning as they battled out their frustration. Ryan was working with them to calmly solve it. I came out and said that it was a dark spirit and we needed to pray. As I knelt and talked to the kids (my almost 5 year old son) said, “I had a dream last night. Heavenly Father came to me with animals (he is OBSESSED with animals). Heavenly Father was petting rhino’s and bison and buffalo and cats and dogs. He even let me ride them. Then He told me that He wanted me to meet His Son and He said, “This is my Son - hear Him”. Then Jesus came and said, “No darkness or evil will be able to get in your mind or your heart or with you. It will be cast out of all parts of your body.” And He touched me on my shoulders. I asked (my son) what he thought when he woke up and he said, “I thought...That was an AWESOME dream!”

I was so astounded. Then (my 8 year old child) said, “I had a dream last night too. I dreamed satan came into my room and he had lots of little squiggly things that were black and trying to get me. He chased me and got me and threw me in a dark pit. When I fell into the pit he said to me, “It has no end.” And I fell until I finally woke up.

(My 9 year old son) said that two nights ago he was sleeping and in his dream a dark figure came into his room and turned off his white noise, which woke him up. He said he could see the man standing in his room. The man laughed and pounced onto his chest.

If the adversary is working us like this, I feel that the Lord is near. I know we are to build an altar as I saw in my vision. The Lord told me a few weeks ago it was to be on the Fall Equinox. I feel this is something the adversary will try to stop at all costs. 

Reading my journal today I had forgotten about that time in our lives. Can you believe that all happened in one night? We actually did a 40 day fast from all TV and electronics to prepare for that altar experience. It was brutal! And we don't even have anything other than YouTube and Amazon Prime. But it was worth it. Ah, it's always worth it when it's for the Lord. 

Well, there's some sharing for today. I have felt that I need to share from my journal more and share how my journey has gone (thus far). I hope it's helpful. Or gives food for thought.
3....Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ (personal revelation...seeking to know His will); for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. 
4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. 
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32)

If you are wondering what to do...ask the Lord and find out - "What is the next thing I can do to get closer to you? What is the next thing I need to give up? What is the next thing I need to learn? What next?" 

It will be different for everyone. 



Micah Tyler


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Oh say, what is Truth?

How did I get to this point in my journey to Jesus? What is, "this point," anyways? Was I always frustrated with the church?  Did I always have so many thoughts about so many things? I think it's time I posted some more about my journey.

I have always loved the church. I displayed the prophet and apostles photos in my home. I imagined how amazing it would be if my husband "worked his way up" the ranks in the church..."then we would really be close to God". When one of my Grandparents died we were allowed to choose some books from their collection. I went straight for the history of the church volumes. SCORE! Growing up we had the complete Journal of Discourses in our home and I would sit and, mustering all my brain power, try to understand what they were talking about. I knew I would go on a mission from as young as five years old. I loved seminary. I loved going to church. I was ALL in.

About 13 years ago I began to pray the same prayer every night. Nightly, after I'd prayed and offered my usual petitions, I'd unconsciously pray over and over, "Oh say, what is truth? Oh SAY, what is Truth? Oh SAY, what IS TRUTH?!!!". I would pray those words as though I had a rosary and each bead was the same prayer. It was an odd prayer for me because I wasn't even remotely searching for truth. I HAD the "truest truth" in the world - the church!  

About a year later our close friend shared a story of someone - a non-church authority kind of person, who had seen the Lord and had spoken with Him face to face. My mind was consumed by this information. Could a regular person really see God? I thought only church leadership was allowed to see God. I couldn't stop thinking about the Lord ALL day and ALL night. I prayed earnestly now - He seemed no longer a distant Being, but someone who might be interested in a nobody, like me. I would get up in the middle of the night, go into my living room, kneel, pray, and wait...fully believing He would appear. 

One night during this time - I had a dream. In the dream I was standing in the dark and I knew the Lord could hear me. I said aloud, "I want to see You. I want to see Your face." I felt a presence near me - I turned around and it was a very worldly woman who was one of the most anotomically beautiful women I had ever seen, and she was also deeply selfish. I was annoyed so I left and found myself in another dark area, "I want to see You!" I shouted. I felt a presence enter - I turned and it was the same woman, looking right at me. I was super annoyed now. She was ruining MY moment. I left and, for the third time, cried out, "I want to see Your face! I want to KNOW You!!!" I felt a presence and I turned around. Her again

I felt defeated. "Why can't I see you?!!" I cried in desperation. The woman disappeared and I heard a voice say, "You are too much in the world to approach Me at this time." As I stood there stupefied I asked, "When will I be able to?!!" Suddenly an open set of scriptures floated up in front of me and as I looked at the page, out floated the words, "Line upon line, precept upon precept."

Then I awoke.
"Love not the world, neither things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth forever." (1 John 2: 15-17)
Getting to know the Lord, as little as I know of Him, has taken a lot of time and a commitment to do His will and His alone. A little here, a little there. A concept taught - a concept understood. An opportunity given, an opportunity scorned. An experience of learning offered, an experience of wisdom gained. A teaching presented, a teaching rejected. And so it has gone, for me.

A few years ago I had a vivid dream. In the dream I was traveling on bus. I found myself in the sky watching the bus wind up a beautiful tall mountain made of granite, going around it like a spiral. 

As I watched the bus get higher, my body moved close to the mountain and there were rainbows floating in the air all around it. The rainbows were three dimensional, about a foot high and and six inches wide and they were everywhere. The rainbows were otherworldly - very dense and unbelievably vibrant. It felt like they could have been picked up and held. 

As I observed these rainbows I found myself inside at the back of the bus which had a glass roof and glass sides for travelers inside to be able to view the mountain. My head was looking straight up and because I was so in awe, I remember my mouth was shamelessly hanging wide open as I said, "Wowwwww". A close friend came and, observing my gaping mouth, had a big smile and said, "I bet this is the first time Ruth has ever seen a rainbow like that." I said, "It is!"

As we continued up the mountain I began to look around the bus which seemed more like a train car in the outlay. It was filled with people but definitely not crowded. I saw my friend's wife speaking to others on the bus. There came a broad shouldered Asian man, about my husband's build and he sat down by our group. He said that he couldn't help overhear our conversation about Christ and asked if he could please join us. He was wearing a red T-shirt that said, "pray.". My husband gently put his hand on the man's shoulder and told him we would love to have him join us. Then I woke up.

I have reflected on that dream from time to time. It was so beautiful. I wished it was longer.

One thing I have noticed is that most of us often feel uncomfortable when we pray. Maybe you feel uncomfortable when you pray. My whole journey to get to this point started with that awkward prayer that I repeated for nearly a year, "Oh say, what is truth?"  That was all I could muster for so long. 

If you, like me, have struggled to know what to say or how to really talk to the Lord and to Jesus, then this post is for you. 

What I have come to understand about prayer is that - I haven't fully understood its power. I believe Satanists, devils, demons, and foul spirits fully understand the power of prayer. But we Christians, in general, do not know the power of prayer which is the foundation of a true relationship with the Divine.

I have always been someone who talked to God out-loud and in my heart. I was often a lonely person, maybe that's why. I had a mission companion stop me one day when we were out riding bikes in the heart of Tokyo and she said, "Who are you always talking to?!" I didn't know my conversations with the Lord were loud enough to be heard. I don't hide what I'm thinking from the Lord, I figure He knows already and I'm just speaking truth so I can see its oft ugly face so I know what I'm dealing with. 

Years ago I promised to seek and do God's will. One particular time I had felt that I was doing God's will - things backfired on me in a way that impacted two people deeply. I was bewildered. I was SO sure this is what God had asked me to do. As I lay in bed, seething anger and resentment came to the surface of my heart. In my mind I said to God with great animosity, "I'll never speak to you again!" My anger was raw and deep. I cried with quiet deep breaths so as to not awaken my husband. As I lay there in a puddle of angry tears which had filled my ears as they trickled from the corner of my eyes - I felt the Father by my bedside. I'd never felt a distinct Presence before - but it was unmistakable. I stopped breathing and moving, staying very still so that nothing about that moment would change or alter. Then, with remorse at my quick temper and thoughtless words - I said in my heart, "Will you hold me?" Suddenly my husband, in a dead sleep, rolled over and wrapped both his arms around me.
"Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles that He may comfort you; tell Him your longings that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes that He may help you conquer them; tell Him your temptations that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your soul that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved taste for evil, your instability. 

"Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride hides you from yourself and from others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, and troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject, for it is continually being renewed. 

"People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words for there is nothing to be held back. Neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of their heart. Without consideration, they simply say just what they think....Blessed are those who attain such familiar, unreserved communication with God."  -Francois Fenelon (1651-1715) 
We can experience the blessing of such communication with God if we strive to be honest in prayer. A.Z. Tozer said that, "...prayer will increase in power and reality as we repudiate all pretenses and learn to be utterly honest before God as well as before men."
"In our address to God, we like to speak of Him as we think we ought to speak, and there are times when our words far outrun our feelings. But it is best that we should be perfectly frank before Him. He will allow us to say anything we will, so long as it is to Himself. "I will say unto God my rock," exclaims the psalmist, "why hast thou forgotten me?" If he had said, "Lord, thou canst not forget. Thou has graven my name on the palms of thy hands," he would have spoken more worthily, but less truly.

"On one occasion Jeremiah failed to interpret God aright. He cried as if in anger, "O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived." These are terrible words to utter before Him who is changeless truth. But the prophet spoke as he felt, and the Lord not only pardoned him, but met him and blessed him there."
-David M'Intyre, The Hidden Life of Prayer
Tozer said, "If God and spiritual things bore you, admit it frankly. This advice will shock some squeamish saints, but it is altogether sound nevertheless. God loves the guileless soul even when in his ignorance he is actually guilty of rashness in prayer. The Lord can soon cure his ignorance, but for insincerity no cure is known." 

Well, that's all I have today. I am not perfect at prayer. But I try to speak the truth. Jordan Peterson said, "I'm going to pay attention to see what's going on here. And then I'm going to say what I think. And then I'm going to assume that whatever the outcome is - is the right outcome because it was based on something approximating the TRUTH."

Oh say, what is Truth? 

" shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)



Nichole Nordeman

If you like the bracelets me and my family are wearing in the first photo, you can find them here. You can customize them to look and say a word or a sentence. Mine says, "His Will". My children chose words for theirs. Some of our bracelets said: Defender, Servant, Warrior, Guardian, Be Strong, Hope, Save, Unwearying, Grace.

I asked the kids to pray to know the words the Lord wants them to focus on for this next phase so we ordered new ones for Christmas. You could always ask the Lord to give you a word for the upcoming year or time of life. Also, I don't make money off those bracelets - I just think they are super cool. 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Trick or Truth

Stay with me on this post. Don't get offended. Hear me out, please.

There are two things that I feel have a grip on the hearts and minds of people in a way that I've never understood. I'll only mention one today:


The one day a year where Christians, with reckless abandon celebrate a Satanic holiday. 

I know, I know - I've been the rounds with people on this one: "The origins are "the day of the dead" and it is actually a day to remember your dead ancestors!!! It's not bad, it's good!" Or, "We just do the fun side of Halloween. We don't have our kids wear scary stuff. It's just for fun."

Yet, that is not what is being done on Halloween, is it...

Here is a screenshot of an email I got for Relief Society to make fall table runners:

What happens on Halloween:

Christians decorate their homes with skulls, demons, cobwebs, ghosts, witches, tombstones, evil faces, and dress their children up and then they tell their kids to do what they have always told them not to do: run around in the dark of night and take candy from strangers. All in the name of, "fun!" and "it's for the kids!" and... "it's only one night a year".

John Ramirez, a former Satanist, said that you would never, ever see a Satanist say to their friend, "Hey, it's Good Friday, lets put up the cross and sing to and worship the Lord Jesus Christ."

And yet, we Christians have no problem crossing over to the dark side just one time a year. We have songs and clothes and decorations that rival even that of Christmas!

About 5 years ago, once my husband and I came to this realization - we sat our kids down and explained what Halloween was actually celebrating. We asked if they wanted to keep doing Halloween, and guess what - once they understood the truth of what was going on, not one of them ever looked back. They don't want to participate in it. Instead, we go out to eat (the restaurants are dang empty on Halloween)! Later we come back home and watch a family movie together with candy. End the evening with prayer and it makes for a great night.

This post is to ask you to consider what you are opening yourself up to when you put dark objects ("decorations"), even the goofy ones, in your home. What are you doing when you're participating in something that comes from a darker realm. 

I've had to ask myself why a lot of LDS people haven't recognized the evils in Halloween (myself included). I think its because we don't really talk about Satan and "the dark realm" in the church. Probably .01% was delved into in any General Conference in 40 years about Satan's tactics. Why? Well, we don't like talking about "dark" things: "Focus on the good! Don't look at the cross of Jesus, look at His life!! (link)" Another reason is because I think we don't really believe he (Satan) exists. Oh, we know he's "there," but we have near zero comprehension that he or his minions are actively working to bring us down every moment of every single day. 

2 Nephi 28 warns us strongly about Satan:

20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well (link)—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. (link)

22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. (link)

I highly value the ministry "Wild At Heart." They have taught me about the battle I have often been nearly decimated by but oblivious to. Here is an excerpt:


“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” 

You were born into a world at war.

There may not be a more clarifying truth for you to grasp in order to understand life in this world, at this moment. You were born into a world at war.

The Christmas story is told from heaven’s perspective in the book of Revelation. We sing “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night,” but look at what was actually taking place:

The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule the nations with an iron scepter...And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven...Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12:1-5, 7-8, 17)

In Mere Christianity, in the chapter he so rightly titled “The Invasion,” C.S. Lewis tried to clarify our situation: “One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe—a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death, disease, and sin. The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees...this universe is at war.”

You were born into a world at war.

How else do you explain terrorism? Young girls kidnapped and sold into the sex trade—by the millions? School shootings? The number of young people dying of drug abuse each year? Really now—what is your explanation for evil in the world?

Until we come to terms with war as the context of our days, we will not understand life. We will either blame ourselves or others or God for the terrible things happening to us. And we will not know how to overcome.

For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

The scriptures could not be more clear: we are at war. If you would overcome, you must learn how to fight as you have been commanded. You can overcome!

Here is former Satanist John Ramirez explaining, in his own words, a slice of what goes on during Halloween: (link)

I recommend looking into more videos, podcasts, and books from Wild At Heart (link). Also look for more videos of John Ramirez speaking about his conversion to Christianity. It will open your eyes to things you hadn't considered about the battle we are in.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

The LDS Trinity

Recently the missionaries stopped by our house to introduce themselves and say 'hi'. We love the missionaries. Their excitement, single focus, sincere desire to help and do what is right is a beautiful thing. They are wonderful in almost every way.

We invited them in and told them that we aren't the typical inactive member. We don't "go fishing on Sundays" or just feel "too lazy" to go to church. We love the church, we love the members, we love the Book of Mormon, we love serving and participating in activities and even encouraged our son to take seminary the last two years. We told them that we love Jesus above all and that we haven't found Him to be the focus in church and that He often takes a back seat to "follow the prophet" and temple work. We have felt that following the prophet and going to the temple have, over time, become conflated into worshipping Jesus.

As we talked about the Temple for a bit I said that I used to feel that the Temple was the only place I could really get answers from the Lord. I told them I used to tell my husband, "I need to get to the Temple, I have to ask the Lord something important!" When I said this, one of the Elders let out an uncontrolled, "HA!" We looked over at him as he had raised eyebrows and he said, "That happened to me just recently!" He went on to tell us how the mission was allowed to have a special temple day. It was two months away so he spent a great deal of time preparing for it with some big questions he needed answered. He said when the day came, he sat expectantly in the celestial room and asked the Lord his questions. He said nothing came. Not a word. The longer he sat there waiting, the more he began to feel very sad. He'd pondered and waited all this time for just this moment to speak to the Lord on such important topics. He said he prayed, "Why Lord? Why haven't you answered me?" He said that the Spirit told him, "You waited all this time to ask Me those questions and I'm not going to answer you right now because you need to know you could have brought them to Me at any time."

Mic drop. The Lord speaks us in JUST the right way. What a fantastic young man. I was so amazed by the pure and profound revelation he received. God is seeking after his heart. Just like He's seeking after yours and mine. 

I generally do a pre or post General Conference post. Maybe I do that because I wonder if you, like me, have felt that you, "couldn't wait" to finally hear from the Lord and get some answers for your life. 

(Update 9.29.22: This screenshot is from an email from the Church that came in my inbox today:)

General conference and the Temple, for me, was where I believed I could get big answers. Because of that belief - I didn't hear much from the Lord until those times because I believed that was the only place God would speak to me. In His mercy, He did sometimes meet me in those places because He worked with my understanding. It wasn't until a few years ago that I began to wonder if He could meet me anywhere. That wonder led to questions and those questions led to long prayers and those long prayers led to long hours in my closet in worship. I began to trust the scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:16 when it says, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" As I trusted in those words that we are the temple of God - the scripture in Malachi 3:1 took on a new meaning: "...the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

If you, as a church, have billions of dollars invested in Temples with more on the way, General Conference messages will need to press the importance of "the Holy Trinity" of Latter-day salvation: 

1. Pay your tithing.
2. Pledge allegiance to the church leaders who have never and can never lead you astray.
3. Stay on "the covenant path" (aka go to the Temple as much as possible).

“Keep going to the Temple...keep thinking about the covenants. Keep thinking about the promises you made in the Temple.”

The irony is that the Book of Mormon doesn’t mention building a temple and making temple covenants and doing work for the dead. Doctrine and Covenants doesn't mention building and attending a temple (it does say to build a "house") with the exception of D&C 124, 127 & 128 which gives brief mentions of baptisms for the dead. D&C 132 has a vague mention of sealings (Joseph Smith never published D&C 132 nor did he approve of it and wasn't included in the Doctrine and Covenants until many years after Joseph's death and only after it was "revised." See photo of the Joseph Smith papers below).

When the Doctrine and Covenants does mention temples it commonly does so with symbolism showing the human body as the Temple of God

Some examples are:

 D&C 93:

35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple. 
D&C 101:

22 Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places;

23 And prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together.
D&C 36: 8 I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen.
D&C 133
Most members believe "stand ye in holy places" means that if times get tough, we will be hightailing it to the nearest temple for cover. 

That just isn't so. 

D&C 87:8 says, "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen."

Because our LDS culture is so heavily focused on the outward ordinances, it's no surprise that we assume, "standing in holy places" means some place physical. Symbolism is often lost on us and nowhere is that more evident than in the temple endowment where patrons know little to nothing of the gestures, words, and clothing they wear.

Standing in Holy Places means YOU are Holy and wherever you stand is a Holy Place!! You are the temple of God when you seek and do His will!

D&C 27:5 tells us that the Book of Mormon is the book that contains the fullness of the gospel. That means, it contains all the information you need to be saved and exalted. And in that book which contains the fullness of the gospel, you will not find mention that the Temple and its ordinances are the pinnacle of your spiritual journey in this life. You will, however, find that what the Book of Mormon is pointing you towards is demonstrated in the Temple. But since most members do not know what they are saying, doing, and wearing in the temple - they miss the presentation of the fullness of the gospel. The journey back to God becomes morphed into work for dead ancestors rather than being raised from the dead personally (as all who go through the temple are spiritually dead and not yet alive in Christ).

If the Church desires for members to really understand their covenants, they would need to squash the belief that we can not talk about the temple outside of the temple. The majority of members do not know what the clothing they wear represents, what the gestures they make mean, or what the words they say are pertaining to. New initiates are ill informed before they go to the temple pertaining to what they are about to experience. They aren’t prepared to make covenants because we have believed we can not speak about most everything that happens in the Temple.

So then, you take your son or daughter and as they stand in the temple and are asked to make and keep sacred covenants they have about three seconds to decide whether to commit to them or not (add on top of that a situation of extreme social pressure). 

This is troublesome because the promise you made before God, angels and witnesses are now tied to your eternal salvation and you barely had two seconds to understand what in the world they meant or what you were promising. Then the church, from that point forward, lets you know that you must make any sacrifice thereafter because you promised to be faithful to these covenants. And it was something that happened in a blink of an eye without much prior thought. This, to deep thinking members, presents holes that can cause things to fall apart. 

There is nothing in the Temple Endowment that uses the priesthood (the officiator never specifies by what authority he or she acts, merely that they have 'authority'). What is presented to you in the Temple isn't something that only the church can offer. 

If you have read the book Pilgrims Progress, it demonstrates a beautiful example of the Endowment. An animated version of Pilgrims Progress was made and you can watch it for free on Amazon (link). Even though it is animated, I highly recommend it even for adults). 

Those covenants that are made in the Temple aren't given to you by any priesthood holder because someone with the priesthood couldn't bestow them on you anyway, it is for God to bestow upon you Himself. The endowment is an invitation to learn how to pass the angels who stand as sentinels so that you can be redeemed from the fall and journey back to into the presence of the Lord. 

Another example of someone who has received their endowment from the Lord is Charles Mully. If you haven't watched this documentary on Amazon, please do. It is the best movie I have ever seen (link). You will watch a man, abandoned in childhood, walk the path of the endowment until he is so connected with God - he is allowed to reclaim a lost people. Watch this movie and try to convince yourself he hasn't obtained his endowment. Are we so prideful to believe that the LDS church is the only one with access to the endowment from He who offers Salvation? We place our value in dead works, never realizing we are the spiritually dead doing work for the physically dead. Until we are alive in Christ, our dead works will remain dead. 

To better help you or a loved one understand the Temple endowment, please see this website: 

LDS Endowment (link)

The blog offers a book format found on Amazon (link)

Passing the Angels Who Stand As Sentinels