Sunday, July 17, 2016


The spiritual side of my mortal life has been described by some as narrow with a sprinkling of outside sources.

I have a very dear friend, who in my later years has become not only a mentor, but also a very important barometer for me concerning the thoughts I write about my beliefs. He has often provided me with a much needed wider lens when I seem to be examining life from my inherited myopic point of view.

I was recently reviewing a few of the broadening correspondences he has sent over the years and was surprised by what started happening in my mind as I was reading. Although it was a helpful review and reminded me of the important expanded growth which had taken place. As I was reading I found myself taking an inventory of some of the life changing enlightenments which I had been blessed with, which rather than shaking me from the foundation which was so fitly formed in the home of my parents, instead has caused that foundation to become more firm and now easily supports the testimony which has been built upon it.

I will now randomly share some of those life changing enlightenments:

When I was young I considered it a nuisance, but as I aged it became one of the passages of my life which I have come to count among my greatest blessings. Time has clouded the beginning of my awareness to its existence, but I know I can remember it being a part of my life even before we moved to Long Beach, California, just before I entered the 4th grade. It sometimes happened during the day, but most often I would be awakened some hours before the appointed time with an idea running through my mind. It could be an aid in helping me be more efficient in tasks I had to do or just a random thought about life or even later in life thoughts about how to manage stewardships which I had or over which I had been given jurisdiction. I have a firm testimony of the existence of whisperings beyond our physical senses. I know the reality of the promptings and comfortings of the Holy Spirit.

During my high school years I had enrolled in a strong math/science path. Therefore, when I went to receive my Patriarchal Blessing, in response to the Patriarch’s query about what interests I had in life, I told him about my interest in science. During the blessing he assured me I would find success in the field of science if I choose to pursue that field. However, he quickly added the reminder that Theology was the science that included all sciences and that if there were ever a conflict I should seek resolution through prayer. He then spent the majority of the blessing telling me about the ability I had been blessed with to explain the principles of the gospel. It became evident while I was on my mission in Mexico that my life was going to be spent explaining the principles of the gospel. I have a strong testimony of the reality of the communication channels which are opened when one is engaged in sincere prayer. I know that our troubled hearts can be calmed and doubt can be erased when the limited learning of men is measured against the infinite knowledge of our loving Heavenly Father.

I don't remember the first time I wondered why all of Heavenly Father’s children don't have visitations like the ones with which Moses, Abraham and Joseph Smith were blessed. There was even a short period when I felt that my contribution to His work would be much more effective if such a visitation would be part of my own personal experience. I have a personal testimony of the existence of Heavenly Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit. I have a testimony that our Heavenly Father knows the amount of absolute truth each of us can sustain without additional truth becoming a hazard to our eternal growth. I have a testimony that Moses, Abraham and Joseph Smith did commune with God and I have found it to be sufficient for my personal growth.

My older siblings used to express their feelings about my life by saying that familiar phrase, ‘we never got anything like that.’ There is no doubt that when they told me I was so spoiled I had a stench, there was a ring of truth to their words. Even today when people greet me with the usual ‘how are you,’ ’I often reply ‘spoiled’. There were too many years when what I received was accompanied with a heavy dose of privilege and license. However, as the years have accumulated I have increasingly become aware that gratitude for blessings is more important than the blessing itself. I have a testimony that nothing in life is earned nor deserved. I know that all we have been given becomes a stewardship which must be nurtured and shared. I know that an ungrateful servant will never gain full appreciation of the Master’s gifts.

My maturation as a servant in the Kingdom had a very slow start, but at times I felt I was going at such dangerous speeds that derailment was surely about to happen. However, underlying all the stumbling amid growth spurts was an increasing desire to dedicate myself to the building and strengthening of others. A desire which became stronger as my desire increased to know how to do things in His way and in His name. A desire that filled me with the understanding that what was most important in all my doing was to invite all to come unto Christ. I have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that through his Atoning Sacrifice eternal life and salvation has been made available to all. I know that in all the busy-ness in which we involve ourselves during mortality, none will be of more importance than inviting and helping another come unto Christ.

During my life, there have been moments when I worried about the quickness and the broadness with which I was able to fall in love with others. I have often been bothered when distance and time separated me from those for whom I have felt love and dimmed the feelings I had. I have been grateful for the marvels of communication which have come into existence, which allow me to revive and renew those feelings for thousands, which time and distance had dimmed. There are moments when I briefly am able to comprehend the beloved apostle John’s words that God is love. I sometimes have the veil parted sufficiently to briefly understand how God’s love supersedes our shortsightedness and errors. I have a love for my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ that at times seems to overwhelm my littleness. I know I have overwhelmingly felt the love Heavenly Father and His son Jesus the Christ have for me.

I have come to the end of my allotted words for this Thought, but I can't end without wishing that my meager words might be a bit of a stimulus to some to do some random thinking about their own spiritual awakenings.

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