Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Look at your work as something you "get to" do rather than something you "gotta" do.
There are three kinds of people: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, "What happened?"
The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.
It is never too soon to be kind, for we never know how soon it will be too late.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
"Systems governed by only one set of rules are more vulnerable than those with variety."
"Planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure."
"Innovation, everyday entrepreneurship, and creativity are the aims of collaboration."
"Will and wisdom are both mighty leaders. Our times worship will."
Clarence Shepard Day
"I have a feeling I'm falling on rare occasions but most of the time I have my feet on the ground I can't help it if the ground itself is falling."
Lawrence Ferlinghetti "The gospel is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
"The chain of memory is resurrection."
"A poem is energy transferred from where the poet got it...by way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the reader."
"In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better."
"In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better."
"Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain there would be no life."
"Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth's many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more."
"Reason must sit at the knee of instinct and learn reverence for the miraculous instinctual capacity for creation."
"Imagination...is the irrepressible revolutionist."
"We are compelled to drive toward total knowledge, right down to the levels of the neuron and the gene. When we have progressed enough to explain ourselves in these mechanistic terms...the result might be hard to accept."
Edward O. Wilson
"Man is not merely the sum of his masks. Behind the shifting face of personality is a hard nugget of self, a genetic gift."
"When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all."
Edward O. Wilson
"A zebra is a light-colored animal with dark stripes, not a dark one with light stripes."
American Museum of Natural History
"Einstein said that if quantum mechanics is right, then the world is crazy. Well, Einstein was right. The world is crazy."
"The world of poetry, mythology, and religion represents the world as a man would like to have it, while science represents the world as he gradually comes to discover it."
Joseph Wood Krutch
"Even heavy automobile traffic out of New York City on a summer weekend minutely unbalances the earth as it rotates."
Paul Allman Siple
"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
"The fate of a nation has often depended upon the good or bad digestion of a prime minister."
"The best of healers is good cheer."
"Beginning reform is beginning revolution."
Duke of Wellington
"Remembrance is the secret of reconciliation."
"It is never any good dwelling on goodbyes. It is not the being together that it prolongs, it is the parting."
Elizabeth Charlotte Lucy Bibescu
"Don't get mad. Get smart."
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Recently, I was diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D.
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder
This is how it manifests:
I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.
As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.
I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.
I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor
So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed,
the bills aren't paid,
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only one check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.
I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.
Do me a favor, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Diversity raises the intelligence of groups."
"Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost."
"The only true performance is the one which attains madness."
"The quality of your attention determines the quality of other people's thinking."
"One cannot really enjoy speed to the absolute limit if there's a destination involved."
"It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."
"Woe to him who doesn't know how to wear his mask, be he king or pope!"
"Hope and imagination are the only consolations for the disappointments and sorrows of experience."
"Success is always something that you have to recover from."
"There are things that music can do that language could never do, that painting can never do, or sculpture. Music is capable of going directly to the source of the mystery. It doesn't have to explain it. It can simply celebrate it."
"Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism."
"Equal wealth and opportunities of culture...have simply made us all members of one class."
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice."
H. L. Mencken
"Those who are going to be in business tomorrow are those who understand that the future, as always, belongs to the brave."
"It is an indication of truth's jealousy that it has not made for anyone a path to it."
"The breeze of love blows for an hour and makes amends for the ill winds of the whole of a lifetime."
"How beautiful it would be to see man wrestle with his illusions and vanquish them."
"Knowledge of peace passes from country to country, like children's games, which are so much alike, everywhere."
"I have no respect for reality as soon as it is acknowledged as such. I am interested in what I can do with unacknowledged reality."
"All literature wavers between nature and paradise and loves to mistake one for the other."
"The apprehension that one is someone else is all that one needs to believe that the world has changed from top to bottom."
"If a society consisting of men and women is content to apply progress and education to one half of itself, such a society is weakened by half."
"Power is not merely shouting aloud. Power is to act positively with all the components of power."
Gamal Abdel Nasser
"If time imposes on us its evolution, place also imposes upon us its reality."
Gamal Abdel Nasser
"Peace is much more precious than a piece of land."
Anwar al- Sadat
"Only when he has ceased to need things can a man truly be his own master and so really exist."
Anwar al- Sadat
"The end is the beginning of all things, Suppressed and hidden, Awaiting to be released through the rhythm Of pain and pleasure."
"You cannot be fuelled by bitterness. It can eat you up but it cannot drive you."
"Adults are obsolete children."
"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today."
"Dreams are the most powerful motivators of all."
"Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon."
"Don't study the idea to death with experts and committees. Get on with it and see if it works."
"A common core of personal and social abilities has proven to be the key ingredient in people's success: emotional intelligence."
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
Philip K. Dick
"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are."
"There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice."
"Thinking is the desire to gain reality by means of ideas."
José Ortega y Gasset
"It would be very interesting to preserve photographically not the stages, but the metamorphoses of a picture. Possibly one might then discover the path followed by the brain in materializing a dream."
"Live on the abnormal and unheard of...sing the anguish of ultimate grief and discover the calvaries of the earth, arrive at the tragic by way of what is mysterious."
"To be a catalyst is the ambition most appropriate for those who see the world as being in constant change, and who, without thinking that they can control it, wish to influence its direction."
"Really, there is no beautiful style, no beautiful design, and no beautiful color: there is just one beauty, that of the truth that is revealed."
"The birth of a new idea comes best when everything is going well and will be painful. Don't attempt to tamper with the process and don't deny the pain."
"The art of leadership is to work with the natural grain of the particular wood of humanity which comes to hand."
"The mind thinks, not with data, but with ideas whose creation and elaboration cannot be reduced to a set of predictable values."
"Dialogue is the oxygen of change."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Once upon a time there was a girl who had four boyfriends. She loved the fourth boyfriend the most and adorned him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the best.
She also loved the third boyfriend very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another.
She also loved her second boyfriend. He was her confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with her. Whenever this girl faced a problem, she could confide in him, and he would help her get through the difficult times.
The girl's first boyfriend was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth and kingdom. However, she did not love the first boyfriend. Although he loved her deeply she hardly took notice of him!
One day, the girl fell ill and she knew her time was short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered, 'I now have four boyfriends with me, but when I die, will I be a alone.'?
Thus, she asked the fourth boyfriend, 'I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company? 'No way!', replied the fourth boyfriend, and he walked away without another word. His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her heart.
The sad girl then asked the third boyfriend, 'I loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'No!', replied the third boyfriend. 'Life is too good! When you die, I'm going to marry someone else!' Her heart sank and turned cold.
She then asked the second boyfriend, 'I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?' 'I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!', replied the second boyfriend. 'At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.' His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and the girl was devastated.
Then a voice called out: 'I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go.' The girl looked up, and there was her first boyfriend. He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the girl said, 'I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!'
In truth, you have four boyfriends in your lives: Your fourth boyfriend is your body. No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it will leave you when you die. Your third boyfriend is your possessions, status and wealth. When you die, it will all go to others.
Your second boyfriend is your family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.
And your first boyfriend is your spirit. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world.
However, your spirit is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity.
Thought for the day: Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray.
Pass this on to someone you care about - I just did. Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and totaled her car. A resident of Kilgore , Texas she was traveling between Gladewater & Kilgore. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!
When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know - NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON . She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain. But the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane.&nbs p; She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.
The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver's seat sun-visor - NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed - but we don't tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry. The only person the accident victim found, who knew this (besides the patrolman), was a man who had had a similar accident, totaled his car and sustained severe injuries. NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limite d XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.
This defect has been termed ('Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality') or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.
Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.
The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.
The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.
Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component..
No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
9. Self control
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Don’t you wonder what would happen if we treated our Book of Mormon like we treat our Cell Phones?
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we spent an hour or more using it every day?
What if we used it to receive messages from the “text”?
What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it as we traveled?
What if we used it in case of an emergency?
Oh, and a few more things….
Unlike our cell phones, one-plan-fits-all.
No roaming charges.
You always have reception.
No weak signals AND we don’t ever have to worry about our Book of Mormon being disconnected, because our Savior already paid the bill!
Only great minds can read this This is weird, but interesting!
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs COPY AND PASTE AND FORWARD ONLY IF YOU CAN READ IT
I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not makingmy bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio.
I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.
I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).
MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!
MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE A RAINBOW OF SMILES ON YOUR FACE AND IN YOUR HEART FOREVER AND EVER! FRIENDS FOREVER!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.
Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
Pay off your credit cards every month!
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
It's OK to let your children see you cry.
Don't compare your life to others.
You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
But don't worry; God never blinks.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
But the second one is up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.
Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now.
Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important sex organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
Always choose life!
Forgive everyone everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything.
Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Believe in miracles.
God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
Your children get only one childhood.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
Envy is a waste of time.
You already have all you need.
The best is yet to come.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."
Monday, April 13, 2009
George Osmond was born in London, England, on May 23, 1836. He was the son of George and NancyAnn (Canham) Osmond.
When he was 14 years of age, he was apprenticed to learn the ship-building trade at the government dockyard in Woolwich, near London. It was while he was there that he was invited by a friend to attend an LDS meeting. He heard the gospel message, believed, and was baptized on November 27, 1850, six months before his 15th birthday.
When he was 18 years of age he emigrated to America with the object of joining the Saints in Utah. He sailed to New Orleans and then traveled by steamboat to St. Louis. At St. Louis, in June 1855, he married Mary Georgina Huckvale (b. 1835), a convert to the LDS Church whom he had known in England. Together they crossed the plains and arrived in Salt lake City in September of 1855.
The first home of George Osmond was in Bountiful, where he operated a small farm and was employed as a school teacher. He then moved to Willard and obtained a homestead. In 1865, he movedto Bear Lake Valley and settled at Bloomington, Idaho. He became presiding elder of the Bloomington Branch in 1871 and in 1875 Bishop of the ward. When Bear Lake Stake was organized in 1877, George Osmond was chosen as second counselor to President William Budge. He served with diligence in this capacity and assisted in building up the settlements in Bear lake Valley.
On September 8, 1881, George Osmond married his second wife, Christena Serina Amelia Jacobsen (b. 1862).
In 1884, George Osmond was called on a two-year LDS mission to England, where he served as assistant editor of the millennial Star. In 1890, he was again called on a two-year LDS mission to the British isles, where he served as president of the Scottish and London Districts.
When the Star Valley Stake was organized in August 1892, George Osmond was chosen as the first president. He moved to Afton the same year and there established a permanent home with his second wife, Amelia. He met all the problems incident to the establishment of L.D.S. communities in the fertile valley. He also took part in civic life and served as Justice of the Peace, Probate Judge, and as State Senator in the Wyoming Legislature for two terms. he died in Afton, Wyoming, on March 25, 1913
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I've learned.... That just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.
I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I've learned.... That being kind is more important than being right.
I've learned.... That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.
I've learned.... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I've learned... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I've learned.... That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I've learned... . That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.
I've learned.... That money doesn't buy class.
I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I've learned.... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.
I've learned.... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I've learned.... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I've learned.. That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I've learned... That life is tough, but I'm tougher.
I've learned.... That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I've learned.... That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I've learned.... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I've learned.... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.
I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
I've learned .... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn't move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands.
When I sat down beside him he didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if he was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK.
He raised his head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," he said in a clear strong voice." I didn't mean to disturb you, Grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to him."
Have you ever looked at your hands," he asked. "
I mean really looked at your hands?" I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making. Grandpa smiled and related this story:
"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child my Mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my rifle and wiped my tears when I went off to war. They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.
Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They wrote the letters home and trembled and shook when I buried my Parents and Spouse and walked my Daughter down the aisle.
Yet, they were strong and sure when I dug my buddy out of a foxhole and lifted a plow off of my best friend's foot. They have held children, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.
And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of my life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home.
And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ ." I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my Grandpa's hands and led him home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and wife I think of Grandpa.
I know he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face. When you receive this, say a prayer for the person who sent it to you and watch God's answer to prayer work in your life. Let's continue praying for one another.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room ..
Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.
When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."
The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.
When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused.
The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die. "Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.
"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."
"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem." Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage.
You just might not know it until some time later.. Oooo Some people come into our lives and quickly go.. oooO Some people ( become friends) and stay awhile... leaving beautiful Oooo footprints on our hearts... oooO and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present!
I think this is special...live and savor every moment... This is not a dress rehearsal!
TAKE THIS LITTLE ANGEL ( / \ ) AND KEEP HER CLOSE TO YOU / \ SHE IS YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL SENT TO WATCH OVER YOU ____ough simple means the Lord confounds the wise and brings to pass great things.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
He walked up to a policeman and said, "Mister, you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you?
You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there anddown the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, "You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16, and they will let you in."
So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up and said,"John 3:16.." The lady said, "Come on in, Son." She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace, and she went off.
The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: "John 3:16"
I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm. Later she came back and asked him "Are you hungry?" He said, "Well, just a little... I haven't eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food"
The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a tablefull of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more...
Then he thought to himself: "John 3:16"
Boy, I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a hungry boy full.
She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bath tub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for awhile. As he soaked, he thought to himself: "John 3:16"
I sure don't understand it but it sure makes a dirty boy clean. You know, "I've not had a bath, a real bath, in mywhole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
The lady came in and got him. She took him to a room, tucked him into a big old feather bed, pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him good night and turned out the lights.
As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself: "John 3:16...?" I don't understand it but it sure makes a tired boy rested.
The next morning the lady came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate, she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and picked up a big old Bible. She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face.
"Do you understand John 3:16?" she asked gently. He replied, "No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it"
She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought: John 3:16 -- don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe. You know I have to confess I don't understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the cross till the end. I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the directions. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamedof you before my Father."
Pass this on only if you mean it.
I do Love God . . . He is my source of existence . . . He keeps me functioning each and every day.
Phil 4:13: "If you love God and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done for you, send this on."
Take 60 seconds & give this a shot!
Let's just see if Satan stops this one. . . All you do is:
1) Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you this,"Father, God bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she may be needing this day!"
2) Then send it on to ten other people. Within hours ten people have prayed for you, and you caused a multitude of people to pray to God.
I think can partially be answered in the scripture itself. Where it says, "...that Christ, the lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life..." Christ wants us to be his. He wants to bring us to heaven so we can have everlasting salvation and eternal life. he even said that it is his "work and his glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Another scripture also answers this question very well. See Helaman 5:12 of the Book of Mormon.
Scripture: "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of god, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
If we are steadfast and immovable with Christ as our foundation, we will be able to withstand anything the devil throws at us and we will be happy because he will have no power over us for he "seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself" So, i think that the answer to the first question is simply that God wants us to be happy and that by staying steadfast in Him we will have everything we need to be truly happy.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
If you need a laugh today, then this should do it!
A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible.
This is amazing and brought tears of laughter to my eyes.
I wonder how often we take for granted that children understand what we are teaching???
Through the eyes of a child:
The Children's Bible in a Nutshell
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, 'The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that.
Anyway, God said, 'Give me a light!' and someone did.
Then God made the world.
He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.
God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff.
Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.
After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.
After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.
There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had beenborn in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, 'Close the door! Were you born in a barn?' It would be nice to say, 'As a matter of fact, I was.')
During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats.
Jesus also had twelve opossums.
The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.
But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.
-------You must share this delightful story! --------
She was busy quilting the blanket and she began to understand fully and was impressed!
It was about the importance of communicating between husband and wife as in ONE!
I am not better than her nor she better than me. We are 'equalized' couple to make the marriage happily and successfully.
Well, to tell you the fact that after I performed doing the 50th anniversary with the Osmonds in Las Vegas in August 2008, the white robe with its 'The Osmonds' and 'Tom'.
So months later due yesterday as I told you briefly.
Are you ready for this?
I showed the demonstration that I have to have the balanced 50/50 rope to set my body balancely.
Not part 30% with 70% robe belt nor 10% and 90% nor 20% and 80% but 50% and 50% INDEED!
As you know I am a mailman that I work daily physically and thanks goodness today my day off! Any, I work and my wife feeds me some good dinner.
We respect and help each other! And it makes my kids comfortable and happy in a happy home.
I'd like to share again about my wife. She's wonderful in every way. She's wise loving person. Also a good cook and a good money manager for her family.
Anyway, as to my kids about their mother, "The most important thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother"
Thanks brothers and sister for their thoughtfulness of giving me a good fitted white robe to wear. It has two golden signs, my name on it and the remembrance of the Osmonds' performances FOR YEARS!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
From: Tom Osmond
Date: 1/18/2009 6:20:42 PM
Subject: Healthier Living Restored Jesus Gospel #1
Dear Gentle Reader,
This picture is our Prophet Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I have been attending the Gospel principle class at the Mormon church. It is a nickname in behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We got from the Book of Mormon the last old prophet who had abridged the old records of the inhabitants in United States years years ago!
Anyway, we will go slowly as I carefully introduce you about the Restored gospel that restored in this dispensation of time.
It was that time that the Mormon church had erected or started in 1830.
We have both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that testify the testaments of our Lord Jesus.
But to prevent confusion, let's start the class I am attending. It is the Doctrine and Covenants. It is "One of the volumes of scripture included in the standard works of the Church. The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern-day revelations and inspired declarations given by God to the Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith and other latter-day Presidents of the Church. The Doctrine and Covenants is divided into sections, and into verses within those sections. A reference in the Doctrine and Covenants may look like this: Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-9, or D&C 9:7-9."
To me it is 'appropriate' to discuss this from time to time then you will know what to react in this troubled world. Then we can talk about the Restoration of Christ' true church. (His timed ministry as He set up His church introduction as The Church of Jesus Christ before His death on earth)
It is time to Look Up or Heed to prophet Joseph Smith's words through our Christ. See the attachment during the visitation of God the Father and His son.
That animated picture created by the painter was age 14 when he sincerely asked for help to answer his prayer in the grove of trees not far from Joseph's farm. It was located in New York.
Answering his solution that he should join none of the churches.
He was born in 1805.
Church was organized in 1830 of April 6th. He was martyred by the mobs in 1844. (True Story!) - Note: Will send 'what Joseph wrote' which I am the process of typing from to be sent in two weeks as its attachment.
Anyway, I have taken the course in my Sunday School class to study Joseph's updated inspirations given by our Lord Jesus Christ.
We ourselves including me the Lord said: "Precept Upon Precept" "Line Upon Line" It means to study 'one at a time' and you will be totally amazed to Christ's teachings, "His Words" to Joseph Smith our old prophet!
Thank you for your time to read what I have written!
Tom Osmond, member of the Osmond family
P.S. As for issue #2 I will send you the Doctrine and Covenants' introduction before we go deep to portion 1. Then later to portion 2 and so forth. If we do so, I promise you that you will have Peace and Comfort with warm feelings!
My advice: Say prayer in your heart before you study. Tell me your spiritual experience. You will have Joy and Peace to get ready before the Saviour comes during His dreadful days! (Trouble World which this earth has never experience before!)
So, follow my footstep and You will have Joy what I already bear!!
As soon as the portions are being completed I will send you the Chronology as Church history as well as its maps.
Have patience. Be sure to read them (the portions) and you will HAVE KNOWLEDGE TO UNDERSTAND! (just what I had previously had written above, "Warmth Feeling!"
Books known as STANDARD WORKS OF THE CHURCH as follows:
Bible - One of the volumes of scripture included in the standard works of the Church. The Holy Bible is divided into two main books: the Old Testament, which contains a history of God’s people before the birth of Jesus Christ, and the New Testament, which is a record of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and His disciples. Each of these books is broken up into smaller books, which are divided into chapters and verses. A reference from the Bible may look like this: Matthew 7:21.
Book of Mormon - A volume of scripture included in the standard works of the Church. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is a collection of writings and teachings of the ancient prophets and followers of Jesus Christ who lived in the Americas from approximately 590 B.C. To 421 A.D. The Prophet Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by divine inspiration from gold plates that he received from the angel Moroni. Books in the Book of Mormon are named after the prophets who kept the records, such as Nephi, Mosiah, Alma, and Mormon. A reference from the Book of Mormon may look like this: Alma 37:35-37.
Doctrine and Covenants - One of the volumes of scripture included in the standard works of the Church. The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern-day revelations and inspired declarations given by God to the Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith and other latter-day Presidents of the Church. The Doctrine and Covenants is divided into sections, and into verses within those sections. A reference in the Doctrine and Covenants may look like this: Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-9, or D&C 9:7-9.
Pearl of Great Price - One of the volumes of scripture included in the standard works of the Church. The Pearl of Great Price includes extracts from Joseph Smith’s Translation (inspired version) of the Bible as well as a translation of some Egyptian papyri containing the writings of the prophet Abraham, excerpts from Joseph Smith’s testimony and history, and the Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A reference from the Pearl of Great Price may look like this: Moses 5:19.
God is your Father in Heaven. He knows you personally. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Savior. His life and teachings are the way to peace and happiness.
By the Way! Please check-in: www.tomosmond.blogspot.com - Look for True story or Experience of Prophet Joseph Smith's.
Also my understanding from the Lord's fulfillment to him about our Last Days as protection before He comes before us!
"And I have sent forth the fullness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph" See in Doctrine and Covenants 35:17
As you embrace the gospel that Joseph Smith restored to this earth over a century ago, your home will be blessed. It is my sincerest hope that peace and happiness be with you and your family throughout our life.
This is truly worth watching!
An incredible guy and not a bad golf player. Click HERE. (Make sure your speakers are turned on)
Don't pass on seeing this. If above link does not work use this...
His Story as follows: "A Giant of a Man - Meet Nick Vujicic"
His name is Nick Vujicic and he's 25 years old. He was born without arms or legs and given no medical reason for this condition. Faced with countless challenges and obstacles, God has given him the strength to surmount what others might call impossible. Along with that, the Lord has placed within him an unquenchable passion to share this same hope and genuine love that he's personally experienced with more than two million people all over the globe. Traveling extensively to over 19 nations, he's been extremely humbled by the continuous opportunities that the Lord has given him to share his testimony along with the hope that he has in Jesus with people in so many nations and situations. His greatest joy in this life is to introduce Jesus to those he meets and tell them of His great desire to get to know them personally by allowing Him to become their Lord and Savior. http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org
I love him and he's my brother whom God loves him. He's 'miracle'!
Compiled by (Me) as Tom Osmond
Then I realized the awful truth of it.
Be sure to read all the way to the end!
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
To my doom...'
When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Airline Fuel Tax
Airport Maintenance Tax
Building Permit Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Driving Permit Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment (UI)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Gasoline Tax ( too much per liter)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Hydro Tax Inheritance Tax
Marriage License Tax
Personal Income Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Provincial Income Tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Retail Sales Tax
Service Charge Tax
Telephone Federal Tax
Telephone Federal, Provincial and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middle-class, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
So what happened?
Can you spell 'politicians?'
And I still have to 'press 1' for English!?!?!?!?
I hope this goes around America at least 100 times!!!
YOU can help it get there!!
GO AHEAD - be an American!!
SEND IT AROUND EVERYWHERE for a change
Note: I got from someone. I think it is inappropriate to send this. What's your recommendation?
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
12. DO YOU GO TO CHURCH ON SUNDAYS?
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
15. RED OR PINK?
16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST?
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
27. HAIR COLOR?
28. EYE COLOR?
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
35. HUGS OR KISSES OR BOTH?
36. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT?
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
42. FAVORITE SOUND(S).
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?
48. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER?
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat there, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man.
Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night,
protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us.
When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. If you liked this story, pass it on. If not, you took off your blindfold before dawn.
Moral of the story? Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there. 'For we walk by faith, not by sight.' (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Sunday, February 1, 2009
And my friend wrote:
I am happy to give this to you. I know you will appreciate it as the poem speaks so much of what your life is all about.
Wouldn't this old world be beter
If folks we meet would say --
"I know something good about you!"
And treat us just that way?
Wouldn't it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp, fond and true,
Carried with it this assurance --?
"I know something good about you!"
Wouldn't life be lots more happy
If the good that's in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn't life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there's such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me!
Wouldn't it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking too?
You know something good about me,
I know something good about you.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Jesus established his church when he was on the earth. It was called the Church of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 27:8), and the members were called Saints. Through the persecution and death of Church leaders and the general wickedness of the people, the Church of Jesus Christ was taken from the earth.
Today, the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored, and the Church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All of the offices and functions of the Church in the days of Jesus are present in the Church today.
SOME FEATURES THAT IDENTIFY THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
When Jesus established his church, he personally instructed and directed its leaders. He, in turn, received his instructions from his Father in Heaven. Thus the Church of Jesus Christ was directed by God and not by men (see Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus Christ taught his followers that revelation was the "rock" upon which he would build his Church (see Matthew 16:16-18).
Before Jesus went into heaven after his resurrection, he told his apostles: "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). True to his word, he continued to guide them from heaven. He sent the Holy Ghost to be a comforter and a revelator to them (see Luke 12:12; John 14.26). He spoke to Saul in a vision (see Acts 9:3-6). He revealed to Peter that the gospel should be taught, not only to many glorious truths to John. These are written in the Book of Revelation. The New Testament records many other ways in which Jesus revealed his will to guide his church and enlighten his disciples.
AUTHORITY FROM GOD
The ordinances and principles of the gospel cannot be administered and taught without the priesthood. The Father gave this authority to Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 5:4-6) and Jesus Christ, in turn ordained his apostles and gave them the power and authority of the priesthood (see Luke 9:1-2; Mark 3:14). He reminded them: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you" (John 15:16).
That there might b e order in his church, Jesus gave the greatest responsibility to the twelve apostles. Peter was appointed chief apostle, and Jesus gave to him the keys to seal blessings both on earth and in heaven (Matthew 16:19). Jesus ordained other officers also with specific duties to perform. After he ascended to heaven, the pattern of appointment and ordination was continued. Others were ordained to the priesthood, but only by those who had already received that authority. Jesus made it known through the Holy Ghost that he approved of those ordinations (Acts 1:24).
THE CHURCH ORGANIZATION
The Church of Jesus Christ was a carefully organized unit. It was compared to a perfectly formed building which was "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20).
Jesus appointed other priesthood leaders to assist the apostles in the work of the ministry. He sent officers called seventies in pairs to preach the gospel (see Luke 10:1). Other officers in the Church were evangelists (patriarchs), pastors (presiding leaders), high priests, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons (see chapter 14, "Priesthood Organization"). These officers were all necessary in order to do missionary work, to perform the ordinances, and to instruct and inspire Church members. They helped the members to "a unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God" (Ephesians 4:11-13).
The Bible does not tell us everything concerning the priesthood or the organization and government of the Church. However, enough of the Bible has been preserved to show the beauty and perfection of the Church organization. The apostles were commanded to go into all the world and preach. They could not stay in any one city to supervise new converts. Therefore, local priesthood leaders were called and ordained, and the Apostles presided over them. The apostles visited and wrote letters to the leaders in the various branches. Thus, our New Testament contains letters written by the apostles Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude giving counsel and instruction to the local priesthood leaders.
The New Testament shows that this Church organization was intended to continue. For example, the death of Judas left only eleven apostles. Soon after Jesus had ascended to heaven, the eleventh apostles met together. They wanted to choose someone to take the place of Judas. Through revelation from the Holy Ghost they chose Matthias (see Acts 1:23-26). Later, other apostles died or were killed. Paul, Barnabas, and James, the brother of the Lord, were all ordained in their places. Jesus had set a pattern for twelve apostles to govern the Church. It seemed clear that the organization was to continue as he had established it.
FIRST PRINCIPLES AND ORDINANCES
The apostles preached the gospel wherever they went. They taught the people two basic principles: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance. After new converts had faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their Redeemer and had repented of their sins, they received two basic ordinances: baptism by immersion and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. These were the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. They applied to every person who desired to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus had taught them: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). Everyone needed these saving ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
ORDINANCES PERFORMED FOR THE DEAD
The Church of Jesus Christ provided for everyone to accept the gospel, whether it was preached to them on earth or after the gospel, whether it was preached to them on earth or after death. Between the time of his death and his resurrection, Jesus went among the spirits of those who had died. He organized missionary work among those who were dead. He appointed righteous messengers and gave them power to teach the gospel to all the spirits of men. This gave them an opportunity to accept the gospel (see 1 Peter 3:18-20; 4:6; see also Joseph F. Smith—Vision of the Redemption of the Dead (Pearl of Great Price). Living members of his church then performed ordinances in behalf of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29). Such ordinances as baptism and ordinations must be done on the earth.
All faithful members of the Church were entitled to receive gifts of the Spirit. These were given to them according to their individual needs, capacities, and assignments. Some of these gifts were faith, including both the power to heal and to be healed; prophecy; and visions. The gifts of the Spirit are discussed in more detail in chapter 22. Spiritual gifts always exist in the true church of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Jesus told his disciples that these signs or spiritual gifts always follow them that believe (Mark 16:17-18). In his name, many of his disciples did perform miracles, prophesied, or beheld visions through the power of the Holy Ghost.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE AMERICAS
After Jesus was resurrected, he visited the people in America and organized his church among them (see 3 Nephi 11-28). Then he left them and ascended into heaven. For over 200 years, they lived righteously and were among the happiest people who had been created by the hand of god (see 4 Nephi 16).
APOSTASY FROM THE TRUE CHURCH
Throughout history, evil men have tried to destroy the work of God. This happened while the apostles were still alive and supervising the young growing Church. Some of the members taught ideas from their old pagan or Jewish beliefs instead of the simple truths taught by Jesus. In addition to this, there was persecution from outside the Church. Church members were tortured and killed for their beliefs. One by one, the apostles were killed. Because of the persecution, surviving apostles could not meet to choose and ordain men to replace those who were dead. Eventually, local priesthood leaders were the only ones who had authority to direct the various, scattered branches of the Church. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine, and soon the destruction of the Church was complete. The period of time when the true church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy.
Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking of those called ‘Christians." The Roman emperor adopted this false "Christianity" as the state religion. This church was very different from the church Jesus organized. Members of this church believed that God was a being without form or substance.
These people lost the understanding of his love for us. They did not know that we are his children. They did not understand the purpose of life. Many of the ordinances were changed, because the priesthood and revelation were no longer on the earth.
The emperor chose his own leaders and called them by the same titles used by priesthood leaders in the true Church of Christ. Church officers were given honor and wealth. Bishops and archbishops fought among themselves to gain more power. There were no apostles or other priesthood leaders with power from God and no spiritual gifts. The prophet Isaiah had foreseen that this condition would come about. He had prophesied: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they had transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant" (Isaiah 24:5). It was the Church of Jesus Christ no longer; it was a church of men. Even the name had been changed. In the Americas, apostasy also occurred (see 4 Nephi).
A RESTORATION FORETOLD
God had foreseen what would happen, and he had prepared for the gospel to be restored. The apostle Peter spoke of this to the Jews: "He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:20-21)
John the Revelator had also foreseen the time when the gospel would be restored. He said: "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Revelation 14:6).
Read Daniel 2:44-45. What did Daniel see? Explain that the Church is the "stone" mentioned in this scripture.
Sing "High on a Mountain Top."
Ephesians 12:19-31 (Church likened to a perfect body)
Hebrews 11:6 (faith necessary)
Luke 10:1 Acts 14:23. Titus 1:7. 1 Timothy 2:7 (officers of Church identitied)
John 8:26—29 (the Father directs Jesus)
Luke 9:1 James 1:17; 5:14-15 (spiritual gifts)
2 Peter 2:1; Matthew 24: 9-12; John 16:1-3; Amos 8:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (apostasy predicted)
Daniel 2:44-45; Matthew 24:14; Micah 4:1; Isaiah 2:2-4 (restoration predicted)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Two of my favorite verses of scripture are found in the Doctrine & Covenants. The Lord gives us fundamental counsel and the promise of personal peace when He said , “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear ” [D&C 38:30] and “… prepare every needful thing.” [D&C 88:199]
Today is a time to prepare.
As 2008 draws to a close, for each of us this should be a time of cheerful season festivities and spirited anticipation for a bright new year. Regrettably, I am having a hard time with either – as I watch our great nation slowly commit economic and moral suicide. An associate recently remarked to me that he couldn't wait for 2008 to end so we could begin 2009 and “a better year.” For a host of reasons, my view of 2009 is just the opposite.
Succinctly put, things are bad – yet for many we are being “lulled away into carnal security”, saying “ All is well in Zion ; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well —and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” [2 Ne. 28:21] For those who will not heed the words of prophets past and present, this hell may at a minimum become a crushing financial hell.
The worst financial crisis in two generations has erased $23 trillion, or 38 percent, of the market's value. As a band aid solution, your money that's been pledged by Congress is already equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It's nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country's mortgages.
Without a miracle – which I do not yet see anywhere on the horizon – 2009 is going to be a financially disastrous year for America and for Americans. To protect ourselves and our families, to know the real facts has now become urgent and imperative. As Marq de Villiers said, “Good information is the best antidote.”
Talking heads on cable television tell us the worst is over, things are looking up, and 2009 will be rosy. Nonsense! A recent banner headline in the San Francisco Chronicle screams “Financial Armageddon” – yet it referred only to the state of California 's state government. It could just as well describe our entire national economy.
Financial Experts See Trouble
The list of respected financial experts who now foresee formidable challenges and a crumbling of our historic economic model is numerous and growing.
John Whitehead, former Goldman Sachs chairman and former Under Secretary of State bluntly says:
* “I think it would be worse than the depression.”
* “I see nothing but large increases in the deficit, all of which are serving to decrease the credit standing of America .”
* “I just want to get people thinking about this, and to realize this is a road to disaster.”
* “I've always been a positive person and optimistic, but I don't see a solution here.”
Whitehead predicted it could take "several years" for the current mess to be resolved. “Before I go to sleep at night, I wonder if tomorrow is the day Moody's and S&P will announce a downgrade of U.S. government bonds," he said. "Eventually U.S. government bonds would no longer be the triple-A credit that they've always been."
Eugene Ludwig, former Comptroller of the Currency, concurs:
* “We're dealing with a crisis that makes the S&L crisis look like a peanut.”
* “The financial system rescue will ultimately cost trillions of dollars, certainly if you count the federal economic stimulus.”
According to Olivier Blanchard, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, who told the Swiss business newspaper Finanz and Wirtschaft:
* “The worst is yet to come.”
* “A lot of time is needed before the situation becomes normal.”
And he predicts economic growth will not begin to recover until 2010 and the global financial situation won't return to normal until 2011.
Another warning voice is multi-billionaire George Soros. In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Soros gave an ominous prediction: "A deep recession is now inevitable and the possibility of a depression cannot be ruled out."
If they weren't enough, our nation's Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has broken historic tactfulness and customary discretion in saying “This is a humbling, humbling time for the United States of America,” calling this ” our worse financial disaster ever.”
The respected German magazine Spiegel wrote that “it really does look as if the foundations of U.S. capitalism have shattered.”
Ethan Harris, co-head of U.S. economic research at Barclays Capital Inc. and a former economist at the New York Federal Reserve, says “This is the worst capital markets crisis in modern history.”
Even President George W. Bush, speaking at the G-20 economic crisis meeting, raised the possibility of a depression that could exceed the Great Depression. “We are faced with the prospect of a global meltdown.”
If those voices aren't enough to convince us that we are in a financial pickle of extraordinary danger, nothing will. There are so many colliding forces it's hard to know where to start, so I'll just start with facts. Our nation's second president, John Adams, said it well: "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." How loud do the facts need to shout before we wake up and realize just how gargantuan this economic train wreck is?
Household indebtedness has ballooned from $680 billion in 1974 to over $14 trillion today. Consumer debt alone is over $2.5 trillion, with the average household possessing 13 credit cards.
Across the nation, at every level of state and county and city government the budget woes are running wild. California 's budget deficit this year has ballooned to nearly $15 billion, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger warns that without action this year, the state could be staring at a deficit as great as $40 billion by June 2010. The State of New York faces a projected record $13.7 billion deficit in the state's 2009-2010 budget. Other states and municipalities are not far behind.
Remember when President Bush talked of returning the federal budget to surpluses by 2012? It won't happen now, and maybe never, as the thought of a balanced federal budget is nothing more than wishful thinking. No one with whom I've spoken in Washington really knows the real deficit amount anymore, though all agree the government's annual deficit will top a mind-boggling $1 trillion this fiscal year.
On top of all our recklessly ineffectual Congress has spent this year, it's expected when President-elect Barrack Obama assumes command in January that Congress will have yet another economic stimulus package ready to go – costing you, the taxpayer, another $500 billion or more. That's in addition to the hundreds of billions Congress and the Treasury have already spent.
The Congressional Budget Office put the deficit in October, the first month of fiscal 2009, at a staggering $232 billion. Its figure included $115 billion in bank stock purchases the Treasury Department made as part of the financial bailout. In just the first two months of the current fiscal year, the federal deficit totaled an astounding $401 billion. In November, the federal government ran a record budget deficit, on track to post an all-time high annual deficit of $1 trillion or more. Borrowing by the Treasury could top $2 trillion this year.
The national debt, which stood at about $5.7 trillion in 2007, topped the $10 trillion mark in October and now stands at about $10.6 trillion. All this when manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are now at the lowest level since 1942.
For the United States to run up even more debt – even as much as $7.76 trillion more – someone has to buy that debt. And there is only one country left on earth with that kind of cash, and that's China . Three months ago, China became our nation's largest creditor when Japan quit buying our Treasury junk notes.
China now holds about 10 percent of all U.S. public debt, and has, for all practical purposes, become America 's banker. That thought should scare us to death!
China 's foreign exchange reserves are calculated to be $2 trillion – this while the United States foreign exchange reserves are down to below $75 billion.
The only way all this government debt works is if China keeps buying Treasury bonds. But China is now embarking on its own internal financial stimulus package. Do we really think they can (or will) keep buying our debt at the same time? If China ceases to buy our debt, our political leaders have no backup plan. There is no other nation on the earth we can turn to. We all best keep our eye on China .
The Danger of Terrorist Attacks
If things aren't bad enough with the economy, the United States remains in constant danger from further and more devastating terrorist attacks. According to a bipartisan commission briefing to Vice President-elect Joe Biden, the United States can expect a terrorist attack using nuclear or, more likely, biological weapons before 2013.
The Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism warns that pathogens and nuclear bombs can be obtained if terrorists find scientists willing to share or sell their know-how. The report states:
"The biological threat is greater than the nuclear; the acquisition of deadly pathogens, and their weaponization and dissemination in aerosol form, would entail fewer technical hurdles than the theft or production of weapons-grade uranium or plutonium and its assembly into an improvised nuclear device"
While anthrax remains the most likely biological weapon, contagious diseases — like the flu strain that killed 40 million at the beginning of the 20th century — are looming threats. That virus has been recreated in scientific labs, and no vaccination exists to protect against it.
"We think time is not our ally. The ( United States ) needs to move with a sense of urgency."
The sovereign nation of Iceland has already become the first nation to fall victim to the global financial crisis. Its three main banks are in receivership, yet in mid August the government declared all three “solid”. Iceland 's stock market has lost 90% of its value and the central bank is technically insolvent, its modest pile of assets dwarfed by a mountain of liabilities.
Icelandic households amassed debts exceeding 220% of disposable income – almost twice the proportion of American consumers. Net foreign debt as a percentage of Iceland 's GDP is 246%. Household debt as a percentage of annual income is an astounding 227%.
You may say, “We're not Iceland .” It would be better to ask yourself, “Can it happen here?”
Yes, it can. Will it? No one knows, but with each passing day the global economic catastrophe worsens and serious solutions remain evasive. It is not my desire to be an alarmist, but the indicators cannot be ignored.
Remain Faithful and True
In the recent October General Conference, President Boyd K. Packer counseled that “ Whatever tests lie ahead, and they will be many, we must remain faithful and true.”
Now, possibly more than ever before in our lifetime, each of us will do well to “remain faithful and true” and carefully heed the warning counsel of the Lord and His prophets. For “if [we] are prepared [we] shall not fear.”
Stephen M. Studdert has served as a White House advisor to three U.S. Presidents. In the Church he has served twice as a stake president and as a mission president. He is the author of America in Danger.
Monday, January 19, 2009
He was born January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. Following his father's footsteps he was ordained a minister in 1947, but soon became the most prominent figure of the civil rights movement. He organized and lead many activities throughout the country and was known for his philosophy of nonviolent resistance.
During 1950's and 1960's he was imprisoned several times. In 1963 he headed a march in Washington bringing together 200 000 people and a year later received a Nobel Prize for Peace. He was killed on April 4, 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel which became Civil Rights Museum in 1991.
Long before a day was officially designated for honoring life and work of Martin Luther King African Americans celebrated his birthday as a holiday.
After a lengthy dispute over the proposal for a holiday in his honor, President Reagan passed the bill in 1983. The idea was opposed on the grounds that only two individuals in American history were honored by a holiday in their name (George Washington and Christopher Columbus), and many thought that there were other people more deserving to be celebrated in this way. Finally, on January 20, 1986 the first national celebration of Martin Luther King took place and has become a yearly event since.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Joseph Smith tells of his ancestry, family members, and their early abodes -- An unusual excitement about religion prevails in western New York -- He determines to seek wisdom as directed by James -- The Father and the Son appear and Joseph is called to his prophetic ministry (Verses 1-20)
Verse 1: OWING to the many reports which have been put in circulation by evil-disposed and designing persons, in relation to the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of "Latter-day Saints, all of which have been designed by the authors thereof to militate against its character as a Church and its progress in the world-- I have been induced to write this history, to disabuse the public mind, and put all inquirers after truth in possession of the facts, as they have transpired, in relation both to myself and the Church, so far as I have such facts in my possession.
Verse 2: In this history I shall present the various events in relation to this Church, in truth and righteousness, as they have transpired, or as they at present exist, being now (1838) the eighth year since the organizaation of the said Church.
Verse 3: I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, and the twenty-third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, State of Vermont. . .My father, Joseph Smith, Sen., left the State of Vermont, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the State of New York, when I was in my tenth year, or thereabouts. In about four years after my father's arrival in Palmyra, he moved with his family into Manchester in the same county of Ontario.
Verse 4: His family consisting of eleven souls, namely, my father, Joseph Smith; my mother, Lucy Smith (whose name, previous to her marriage, was Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack); my brothers, Alvin (who died November 19th, 1923, in the 26th year of his age), Hyrum, myself, Samuel Harrison, William, Don Carlos; and my sisters, Sophronia, Catherine, and Lucy.
Verse 5: Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country. Indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, "Lo, here!" and others, "Lo, there!" Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist.
Verse 6: For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet when the converts began to file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued--priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.
Verse 7: I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father's family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother, Lucy; my brothers Hyrum and Samuel Harrison; and my sister Sophronia.
Verse 8: During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.
Verse 9: My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The Presbyterians were most decided against the Baptists and Methodists, and used all the powers of both reason and sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, the Baptists and Methodists in their turn were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others.
Verse 10: In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?
Verse 11: While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."Verse 12: Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart, I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scriptures so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.
Verse 13: At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to "ask of God," concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.
Verse 14: So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
Verse 15: After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongues so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
Verse 16: But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction--not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being--just at this momen of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually unti it fell upon me.
Verse 17: It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other--This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!Verse 18: My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered in to my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join.
Verse 19: I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godlines, but they deny the poer thereof."
Verse 20: He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. i replied, "Never mind, all is well--I am well enough off." I then said to my mother, "I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true." It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?