Devils are real. They lurk in our lives constantly. “Error” is a form of demonic doing, according to our Bible dictionary. But trials are real too. Those are set up by God. God knows all of our weaknesses. He’s trying to carve us like michaelanglo if you will. Each chunk is another weakness of the sculpture. Each trail pinpoints a weakness in YOU. it’s not the devil he only helps/ makes it harder. But overall God is HELPING us for our “Greater work.” I bear testimony that each of us has a place in the eternal kingdom. A special place for our unique talents. I bear witness that devils are real. I bear witness that faith and the commandments are our armor when push comes to shove. Of these things i say in the name of Jesus christ my shepard and protector, my buddy of paradise, amen.
I was gonna save this for a low traffic day but okay.
Ask for the long version.
Wow! My oh my. should I feel bad? NO it’s not a bad feeling. It’s just that the short version may make me sound crazy. Picked up a bum and gave him a 20. I know i did the right thing. Only time and the Father will tell what lies ahead. But you’re all welcome to read the long version.
So this fine day, the one and only thing I had to get done was to get x-rays. Got me a visit from a great friend, got a whole new collection of spiritual music, talked to some very old friends, promised to read the Bible, promised to spend time studying the Bible of said friends. All the while making calls and txts to find one who could get me a ride for the x- rays.
Come 3:00. No worries, I have time. I have faith in the Lord. I have patience in the Lord. My backup has run out of time and can no longer be of service. Mom calls and says she has to stay late for work. Um. patience, faith. FAITH.
With the right kind of faith you can move mountains right? Well faith I go. I drove some 20 miles to get to hospital.
along the way i was angry. angry that it had to come to this. especially angry at the hospital for not having a way to get it to my physician. Well push comes to shove, I drove bitter.
I was about a mile away, on the off ramp of the highway. A beggar/ homeless man paced the side. It’s a red light. He’s walking my way. I have a pass along BofM in my side door. He’s right next to me. My window is open. I’m blasting MoTab. I don’t even bat an eye. He makes his way past me. I sit and say I’ll give it to him on the way back. Green light. Perhaps I’ll toss it out the window.
I will go back after the hospital.
St Matthew 25:37-40
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when we saw thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink?
When we saw a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Tears. Sob Sob. Uncontrollable tears. I must turn back.
So there I am hazard lights on pulling up to this exit, middle of the intersection mind you. Only the beggar I saw wasn’t there.
Another man was there, humble, beat, down in the dumps, he plops down.
HONK, HONK. Get in.
St Matthew 17:7
“And Jesus came and touched them and said, Arise and be not afraid.”
The man looks up. “Come in.” And in he came.
Immediately he saw my crutches and was curious to know of my injury. But halt. I had to introduce myself “I am John,” and learned of his name Jeremy. His fraternal twin brother’s name is John. I needed to explain to him the reason why I turned around. So I did, and we got onto the story of my ankle. That aside we grew engrossed in conversation.
I learned Jeremy got divorced and that’s when his life went downhill. Jeremy recently came from out of town a week ago. His home roots are California, but he had a life in the Lou as well. His father died on a road we passed through. He only had crackers to eat this morning.
Jeremy lives with a couple guys and is struggling to pay this month’s rent. He doesn’t have a razor.
By that time Jeremy learned of my mission. Eager to help we agreed that if he helped me I would help him. I offered him my phone number, but not gave.
I told him about the Church how we have one very close to where we were. I really wanted to take him after our trip for x rays. So that was the plan.
As we lost track of time and direction. I had to rely on Onstar to point me to Urgent Care. We still got turned around from the deep conversation.
Alas, we get to Urgent Care. He asks to take a used water bottle. It’s all his. I give him a box of old mints. We enter the facilities and I point him a water fountain to fill up our water bottles. I am at reception.
Reception took a while but Jeremy took longer. He was in the bathroom. I heard washing but, I dare not enter. Shortly, he came out with the water bottles informing me his hands are clean.
Reception told me to go to the Film Library. We entered the labyrinth of the facility. And after some unfortunate misleads we find the Film Library.
A woman passes by and informs us that she may be out.
We find the Film Library. Door closed. Light on. Knock knock. silence. “There’s no one there,” said Jeremy.
“Try again,” I urged and knocks Jeremy does. Nada. Nilch. Frustrated we went to the nearby vending machines. Offered him a snack. “I have a couple singles. Want a dollar? I’ll get you something.” He insisted I didn’t.
A woman passes by. “Do you have access to the FIlm Library?” said I.
“Try Medical Records. They are connected.” We go down the hall.
Yes! Some people. They did not have access to the Film Library.
I see another woman. “Can you page Film Library?”
“It’s 4:30, she went home,” she insisted. It was 4:23.
“She has kids to drive home, a house to feed, during the day she takes the regular breaks and eats the meals, a busy woman.” said this woman.
We retreat to the car.
At this point Jeremy wanted to go back to his highway exit and he needed a sign, for upon my arrival he totally forgot to bring it.
I seek supplies in my trunk. Very valuable things in there, Nothing of use.
“Before I go I will show you the Church and you can be on your way, Onstar? Proceed.” said I.
Onstar took forever. FOREVER.
I hang up. “ You know what I’ll take you to the Bridge. But here is a copy of my scriptures, Yeah I am Mormon. But you read this when you have time. You read this when you are bored. If you do remember me. If you happen to remember me. Remember me for this book.”
Onstar directs me to the bridge. We get turned around again. At this point, Jeremy was getting anxious. As we drive along, I offer a slue of ideas for cardboard, marker, and food. He insisted we go to the Bridge.
A block away my mind gets uneasy. This poor man has given such precious time with me, what can I do for him? I had 3 singles and 2 twenties. A choice between 3 dollars and a twenty.
My mother works hard for money. Yesterday she denied $5 to a gambling woman, who wanted money. “When she has much to give she blows it all away, why should I give her my money?”
I respect my mother’s words very dearly. It was a hard choice. Jeremy received $20.
ST. Matthew 25:45-46
“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: But the righteous into the eternal.”
It’s decision time.
“You are to use this for food and water. That is it and NOTHING else.” I spake.
Surprise. Unexplainable gratitude. We are less than a block away. I tell him it’s time to go.
“I never got your number,” Jeremy humbly asks.
I rustle up a scratch piece of paper. He offered to use the BofM to write on. I passed him the scratch piece of paper and pen.
I recite the number. And he jots it down.
We shake hands. “God bless” bids Jeremy.
I think of Jeremy now. I have prepared a list of goods for him to take in which he can use to prepare for a job. Razor, backpack, deodorant, Big art marker. Glasses. Money for Haircut.
And Now I wonder did Jeremy write the number on the scratch piece of paper or the Book of Mormon.
Where did his agency lie?
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for Jeremy. Thank ye for the moments we shared, the trek we partook. Bless Jeremy that he might have the kindling of faith, that he might humble himself to exercise faith, and experiment the Book of Mormon. I pray that he might think of me in times of need and that my number will be his answer to today’s misfortunes. I pray of these things in the name of my Master, Jesus the Christ, your only begotten, Amen.
“And behold all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made t bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.
Pearl of Great Price Moses 6:63
I have fallen in love with symbols and metaphors. I see something new each day. But the first few are my personal favs. Here are just the tip of the iceberg.
Symbolism of the Kingdoms of Glory.
Car off=Outer darkness
Car on= Celestial kingdom
Tere/ teles= Hazard / power
Symbolism of the Path
The path is basically strait and narrow. It doesn’t wind there’s not room for many, but all can be on the path. And the path leads to a gate and the Lord God is the Keeper. Jesus hangs out there and he’ll plead with God as a counselor to get you through those pearly white doors. Simple right.
It’s like a power cable that goes into a machine or appliance. So Think of the cord, and electricity, and where’s it goes and how it gets there. Cord- straight and narrow. Electricity the sheep of the lord. And the other end of the cord, is a little usb jack right before it goes in- thats jesus. He is the guide to the door. The pearly door is the female park to that usb jack.
Symbolism of Holy Ghost
So I was combing my hair and all the pomade from yesterday lost it’s form. (Thats right folks I didn’t bathe that day.) And so I had to reapply. Think of the pomade as the Holy Spirit. Now pomade is an oily substance yet it holds form. Ok. Now first I usually do my bangs. What I do is put the tips on first. I grab tuft of bangs and apply pomade only at the tip. Ok. The rest starts from my ‘Cow Lick’ and just spreads everywhere else. Cool no?
Check it. Replace POMADE with the HOLY GHOST in your mind. Pomade is applied to many hairs especially those strong and guiding the flow of my hair (‘Cow Lick’). Pomade makes my hair shiny, giving my head some light. Pomade on my bangs create sharp and fine tips. These tips are what is noticed first about my hair.
Symbolism of Sin
Pencil sharpener. Pencil is a man of faith and the point is how strong that faith is. The more sharp it is. The less likely it will go into the pencil sharpener. Now the more blunt it it is the more likely it will go into the sharpener. Now the sharpener appears to just be a hole in an appliance, but we are told not to put our fingers in it. We can decide to write with a blunt pencil. Your hand is agency. You can choose to write with a pencil blunt or sharp. Now it doesn’t get sharp til you sharpen it. So you have to push it in the sharpener and every once in a while pull it back out to check on it. The motion of pushing is falling into sin. The action to pulling out is repentance. The blunt pencil doesn’t get sharp until it is sharpened for a long time. Sin now is the blade that cuts the wood of the pencil. It will tear it up. gnarl it. The blades spiral around and around like tornado. And in that center is the sweet spot. The eye of the storm. The Iron rod. And the lead is our life. And no lead is infinite.
Lord there are gazillions of standard pencils out there. I pray that I might be the one in the city museum that is large beyond all reason, sharp enough to never have to be used. Help me become that heavy pencil and I say these things in the name of jesus christ amen.
Symbolism of Patience
A good piece of rope is just as good as strong patience. Like patience, rope can go from short to long. There’s all kinds of faith too, like there is rope. It can start with a regular rope for tying things, for shoe strings, to pull cars, to tug of war, to floss, to sew as with thread, even a strand of cotton. Well every good rope starts with a strand of something. But strands are so fragile and weak. How could rope be composed of strands? Well, you bundle a bunch together and you twist. They all have to be turned the opposite ways or else it wouldn’t work. The more evenly it’s twisted the better the rope.
car, earth, christmas tree, washing, more to come.
So, like many
I have trouble keeping the commandments. I sought blessings that I might be better, and firm.
I needed to read the Book of Mormon. A week ago I had next to no interest in reading the BofM, let alone learn from it. I sought blessings that I might not only have the desire to read the BofM but the awareness that I too can learn oodles.
I have concerns for a close friend. I sought blessings that he might walk the straight and narrow as he once did.
I had concerns for a family friend. I sought blessings that they might be a house of great cheer and laughter.
I was wanting to say bye to a missionary. I sought blessings that we might have memories that last.
I had concerns of where i was spiritually and I sought an answer.
Then I messed up my ankle in racquetball. Went hi speed for the ball, nearly crashing into the wall i did what asians do best instead of slamming into the wall, i leaped. performed a double jump, back somersault, triple sow cow, wall kick. But wo is me for i didn’t stick the landing.
Sharp pain. All’s well in zion i’ll walk it off….. Um wait, how about a water break everybody i think i’m gonna sit down. Maybe takeoff me shoe & sock. HMMM. that’s weird, my foot’s getting larger and larger at an incredible rate.
It’s happened before. Many times. Use the old medicine of the East. Marinade some rice in medicinal ointments. Quick massage and setting of the foot. Apply rice for a period of days. repeat and bam! no worries.
I cannot walk!
Bam! my old pal, he knows things. rescues me to the car. Made to the urgent care with help of ONSTAR. how fun. Wait forever to be seen. do some laps in the waiting room with my new wheels. chair style that is. All in excruciating pain mind you. Wait a minute. those partners we played double with in racquetball- they’re missionairies! Anointing! Hallelujah!
So i leave with an air cast. “you can walk on that” you’ve got a sprained ankle. HOLD UP. I walk with the swagger of a cripple. Thus issued the crutches. Double dipping on the hospital perks.
Xray says….. well nothing at the moment. NO SPECIALIST ON duty today…….
Hmm. let’ s go home.
Dad, poor dad. he bathed me. POOR ME. I had to rely on my dad to bathe me. the humility. what it takes to be humble!
Hmm. bored. let’s read the BofM. 2 Nephi 10-14.
mmk. mmk. uh huh. yea. ponder ponder ponder.
What a moment! What a bliss. I loved it! I was coloring my BofM, like a child on the wall! Never had I learned so much!
New favorite scripture. It reveals what kind of girls a guy should be looking for, how a girl should be….
2 Nephi 13:24
“And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty.”
Take it in.
Take it in.
Take it in.
Think opposition in all things.
the negatives are blatantly obvious: stink, a rent, baldness, girding of sackcloth, beauty.
SAY WHAT- beauty.
Yes, pay attention to the pattern.
Here’s the meat. The bliss of discovery.
The positives, hard to catch on the first read: sweet smell, a girdle, well set hair, stomacher, and burning- YES BURNING.
sweet smell- nice. girdle= nice figure, well set hair= a great set of hair.
Stomacher and burning?
burning- 2 Nephi 14:4 refers to the burning of the holy ghost like once upon confirmation.
stomacher? food? feast? feasting of the word of God.
BAMF! ( *Nightcrawler’s onomatopoeia for his teleportation)
rejoice! put the women to the test.
Does she have a nice scent?
Does she have a good figure?
Does she have a suave head of hair?
Does she feast upon the Word?
Does she burn with the flame of the Holy Ghost?
I am growing in testimony of the BofM. I know President Monson leads and guides the church as prophet, seer and revelator. Joseph Smith restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ upon the Earth. Jesus sacrificed for our sins in his Atoning sacrifice. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints is the true church. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Today I wasn’t going to go to church. It took me forever to get out of bed. I didn’t want to wake up. It’s cold-ish. It’s sunday.
People depend on me for the program though. Which got out of bed. I made the program. Emailed it to those who really count on it. And then I through some sunday cloths on. I had a plan.
I was to go to church two hours early. Print off the programs. Set them on the front table and go home. I wasn’t going to be that cheerful greeter today. I need a break today. I wanna call in sick. but lo it is church.
Things were going well. Got the programs printed. Plan is going well. I walk to the front table. I find myself peeking around doors hoping I would see someone I know. So far only one man, i met months ago. i remember his name tho. Moses. He visited our branch once. I wondered where he went. It appears he’s been going to the family wards the whole time. That’s good. But yea, no one i knew. Good. right.
So i make my way to the car. And proceeded to go home. I go and i go. hmm. it’s way early. I don’t want to be home so early. And i don’t want to break the Sabbath. So I got brainstorming- something I am very good at. “You need to make Sacrament.” And so I thought I don’t want to go back. And I’m not going to the other YSA. I’ll just go to the home ward. Just as I thought that I missed my exit to go home. So instead of following the plan to go home, i went to the home ward.
And so i go. This will work. I will get sacrament as always, and i won’t have to face all the pity from friends. But! i forgot. One of my best friends usually goes to her home ward before ours. Will i miss her. idk.
I make it to the home ward. I see a friend’s grandma. she invites me over for lunch. that’s nice. I enter the building. I could have gone straight into the chapel but i find my self exploring the building. Why am i increasing my chances to see her? I see her brother. It gets crowded. Families are getting out of church. I continue around the building. There she is. I hope she doesn’t see me. I bolt to the chapel. She catches me. I share my plan. Kinda stubborn she is. But so am i.
I enter the chapel. Shook her off. I get comfortable. I wait for those i know will come to this sacrament meeting. I wait. I wait. “Wait, did she really just go? Hey! stick to the plan.” I wait.
She’s back. We talk. I am so stubborn. I can tell she’s getting the hint. I felt it. A prompting. “Lets go!” i said surprisingly boldly. The spirit IS with me. She makes sure i am doing what i want. We go. It’s not what i want. it’s about what He wants. We go.
I make it to church and immediately there are those who were already wondering where i was. Hmm was I missed 20 mins before church? Idk. They want me to pass out their fliers. I decline. I go into the chapel. Found a cozy spot. Spotted a good friend. That was nice.
We shared experiences. She cared. She pried. That’s nice.
Took the sacrament. Listened to the amazing talks. Felt like they were speaking directly to me. But I waited. I waited for someone to ask “Why aren’t you passing the programs? Where’s my program? You are slacking. yada yada yada.” It’s visiting time. I wait.
The Counselor recognized I was down. We sit aside and talked it out, and this one he’s actually not much of a talker. To see him talk to me, to get the courage to address my feelings. I am to receive a blessing after church. That really means a lot. I enjoyed that. Good to know someone’s got my back.
Church continued on. I receive my blessing. We talked. Both Counselors and I. It was great. They gave me perspective. They gave me something to look forward to. They gave me love.
I go home. With a best friend. No one asked about my nonexistent greeting today. Many many asked how I was feeling.
I owe it to all. Everyone in my life. but i want to highlight the prompting. That was the turning point. Sure a best friend was there. Sure counselors talked to me. Sure many asked how i felt. But I am sure the Spirit aided many of them. The Spirit I am sure made this happen. I pray.- oh yes I pray.
So today I gave a talk at church. My first. I asked my family who are non-members to come. And they agreed to go. The talk was highly anticipated for great value. It went well……… in the end
The day started off good. Printed the talk out. Practiced twice. Got all fancy. Feeling good. Got to church early due to some miscommunication. It is good. Only the fam wasn’t there. Slight panic, mad checking of phone for txts, missed calls, etc. I was the first to talk.
And so I waited. Sang opening hymn. Opening Prayer. Branch Biz. Another Hymn……Where are they? Oh a txt. I leave the chapel to check. They were on the correct very long road. And so we made an exchange and directions given. Back to Branch Biz. Sustainings and the such.
Another Hynm goes by. Sacrement…… I get a txt. They’re lost. I was suppose to talk next. What to do?
I get on the phone. We hashed things out, trying to get them here. Lots of Miscommunication. Both Parties feeling: Frustration. Anger. Doubt. They were giving up. Wanting to go home…… I begged them to come. I waited out in the rain the whole time for them to see me. They never passed by. They phone dies. Will they come. Will they make it home? I pray.
The second talk was already in it’s final moments. i had to gather myself and the timing was perfect- in reflection. i heard a great story in these final moments of the talk. It gave me strength to gather myself. From all the frustration. worry. disappointment. It was time to Talk.
I excuse myself right away. Explained the situation in brief. And dove right into the talk. It went great. But where are they? I wasn’t happy. but a friend comes by. complements the talk. And well. They came. I was so happy.
Sure they didn’t hear the talk. But they were able to see the community of the church. They saw many of my friends. Haven’t seen my mother smile like that for a long time. It was great.
This was a trial. Even after a week of distress and moments of despair I was given a great trial. Having me relying on Him so greatly, caused me to bounce back into prayer. I prayed a lot today. compared to these last days. And that makes me feel good.