Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trusting Jesus

This morning, during the sacrament of the Lord's supper, a memory came back to me, as well as insights about it, and I'd like to share it.

I used to be very afraid of heights. When I was a teenager, I was at Lagoon (an amusement park north of Salt Lake City, Utah) with my sister, her husband, and their two children. We were near the ferris wheel and wanted to go to the other side of the park. Above our heads was a ride. It went from one side of the park to the other, and all you did on the ride was travel from one side to the other, high above the park. My brother-in-law and my 2 or 3-year-old niece were going to ride and my sister was going to walk. My brother-in-law was a big, solid guy.

I was torn. I really wanted to ride so I could see the view, but was terribly afraid to do so. I finally decided to follow my brother-in-law. They put the three of us in one of the seats which, to my horror, had no place to put our feet (I'm sure it was to make it easier to get on and off the ride, as it was constantly moving). I really wanted to jump out and say, "No way, I'm not doing that!" But I kept quiet, and it was soon too late to do anything to escape except jump out, which would have hurt a lot.

I put my arms around my brother-in-law's neck and hid my face in his shoulder. Gradually, after I saw that having no footrest didn't make me fall out, I got brave enough to peek out. That led to slowly looking at the scenery until, about halfway through the ride, I was looking at everything. We saw my sister with the baby in the baby-backpack, the other rides, the concession stands, the parking lot.

The ride became enjoyable. I may have still held on to my brother-in-law's arm, but I was no longer terrified. I wasn't even fearful. (That didn't remove my fear of heights, by the way.)

As that experience was brought to my mind today, this thought accompanied it: Christ is my rock. Jesus is my solid foundation. As my brother-in-law was my rock that helped me overcome my fear during that ride, so Jesus is there to help me overcome all fear. Also, the feeling of safety and security that my brother-in-law filled me with returned with the memory of the incident, and I was shown that I can have that same feeling with the Lord. In everything.

My brother-in-law seemed safe and solid and, in that thing he was totally safe. But he is a man. Mortal. Human. He cannot be my salvation, nor my safety in all things. Jesus is safe. Immortal. Divine. And can be my salvation, as well as my safety, in all things.

I think this was a first real step in trusting the Lord, and I praise him for it. He is ever kind, ever beckoning, ever doing all he can to persuade us to trust him, to persuade us that he is the only place of complete safety. No matter what it is we fear, no matter what it is that has hurt us in the past or that threatens us now, he is the only safe place we can be.

I am sure there are other lessons to be learned from that experience, lessons that would bring me closer to Jesus Christ, my Lord.

In any case, I hope this recollection helps someone who reads this. I hope it helps you draw closer to the Lord, who loves you.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

KM Letter

Okay, this is a lighthearted post, but I don't think the author of the piece would mind at all if any of you decided to actually use it.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Kirton-McConkie letter forbidding people from stepping on church property (Will Carter has a copy of one on his blog). It's a form letter. Well, a friend made one, following their pattern, that really blasts open the ludicrousness of it.

So, any of you who have gotten such a letter, if you would like to reciprocate, here is a copy of the letter:

Dear Mr. [insert bishop or stake pres. name],

We are writing to inform you of restrictions placed upon you because of your recent actions.  You have harmed our family, violated your own policies, and caused members of our family to fear for our safety and well-being.  As a result you are no longer welcome to come onto any property owned by [insert name(s)], wherever located.  Your children are welcome to visit our property for personal, confidential interviews provided they remain respectful and obedient to our instructions, provided that you do not accompany them.

We regret the necessity for this action and urge your immediate compliance.  If you or anyone representing you or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes onto any of the aforementioned property in violation of these restrictions, you will be treated as a trespasser and will be subject to arrest and prosecution. 

This restriction may be lifted if you can demonstrate to [insert name(s)] that you no longer pose a threat to others.  You must comply with these restrictions for a sufficient time, demonstrate a sufficient degree of humility, and consistently take any medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.  If a change in these restrictions is approved, you will receive a letter from an attorney’s office informing you of any changes.

[insert name(s)]

Sunday, February 12, 2017

More thoughts on John and the new revelation

I have read and am rereading the revelation of John recently shared, and, though I do not know if it is in fulfillment of this scripture:
6  And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John's record is hereafter to be revealed.
7  And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;
8  Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—
9  The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
10  The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.
11  And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
12  And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13  And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
14  And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
15  And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son.
16  And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;
17  And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.
18  And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.
(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:6 - 18)
I am convinced that it (the new revelation) is an expansion, and that the John in the scripture above is John the beloved, not John the baptist.