Tag Archives: lds

The miracle-baby – Prepare for Christmas

I think it is interesting that St Luke starts his testimony of Jesus before His conception.  John, the Baptist, was also a miracle-baby although not in the way that Jesus was.  Luke wanted to start from the beginning and John was sent to prepare the way.  (note to self: preparation must be important)

Zacharias, Elisabeth’s husband, was a priest so we know they were righteous people.  He could not attend to his duties in the temple without her loving support. (Luke 1)  Zacharias received a revelation that his wife would bear him a son.  Actually, it was a pretty astounding revelation given by the personal appearance of the angel Gabriel.  Zacharias wondered about the mechanics of how that could happen because they were “well stricken in years”.  Younger people might wonder why Zacharias needed a heads-up about the pregnancy.  Older people might think that he needed encouragement or motivation to keep trying for a child.  🙂  Regardless, Zacharias was given sort of a time-out when he questioned how this could happen. (Luke 1:18-20)  An angel is standing in front of him telling him that it is going to happen and he questions “how?”  In Zacharias’ defense, Mary also questioned “how?”

Although I’ve never had an angel stand before me, I’ve had some pretty strong impressions that I should do something and I’ve questioned it.  So I can relate to poor Zacharias.  Even a priest with many years of experience isn’t perfect.  (there’s that lifelong learning thing again)  No doubt he had many experiences over the next 9 months that testified of the truth of the revelation he’d been given.  I would have loved to have heard (or seen) the conversation when Zacharias had to tell Elisabeth why he couldn’t speak.  I’m sure that not being able to speak gave him more time to think.  The only way he’d win an argument now would be by the silent treatment.  hahaha   It had to take at least a couple months for her to realize she was pregnant; maybe longer if she’d already gone through menopause.  They might have been ridiculed for having a baby so late in life.  We know she hid it at least until she was 6 months along.  When she was 6 months pregnant Mary came to visit.  Elisabeth’s baby “leaped in her womb” when she heard Mary’s voice. (Luke 1:39-41)  This was the first time that John, the Baptist, bore testimony of Jesus.

Zacharias remained speechless until 8 days after Elisabeth delivered the baby.  It is on the 8th day when they name a baby boy when he is circumcised.  They automatically thought he’d be named after his father but Elisabeth said his name is John.  That wasn’t a name in her family so they questioned the father.  Zacharias wrote on a tablet that “His name is John … and his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.” (Luke 1:63-64)  And he told them all that the angel Gabriel had told him about the child and about the Lord who would be born to Mary.

I have always identified with John’s mother, Elisabeth, because I am also barren.   I have always had enough faith to have a miracle-baby; up until the time I had a hysterectomy (which was welcomed because it relieved a lot of pain).  I am not being punished.  I have been blessed with a different understanding of what it means to be a mother.  Someone else bore my children for me.  They are, nevertheless, mine.  Sharing them doesn’t diminish my love for them.  Every experience we have can either tear us down or can prepare us for the Lord.  We have that choice.  Family relationships seem to prepare us the most.

Prepare your heart for Christmas.

Black Bear Family
Black Bear Family

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Reading the scriptures hasn’t always been a daily habit for me.  But I feel more peace in my life when I make it a habit.  And, I am happy to say that I have been pretty consistent for the last few years.

Scripture Reading Habit
Scripture Reading Habit

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers the following books as scripture:  Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price

We study one of those in its entirety each year.  This year we are on the Doctrine & Covenants.  I try to keep up with reading assignments using the study guide.  I’ve not quite developed that habit yet.  But even if we aren’t studying the Book of Mormon in Sunday School, I find that daily reading it keeps me grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every page gives light and knowledge about Him and starts me off with the Holy Spirit to set the tone for the day.

Regardless of what I may do during the day that I need to repent of, I get to start all over in the morning with a perfect lesson!

Leading up to Christmas – Day 4

<– Day 3                                                        Day 5 –>

Helaman 14:5

And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.

Doll Pin Nativity
Doll Pin Nativity

How many times, in the scriptures, have people seen angels or other great wonders and then immediately or later doubted what they saw?  It’s human nature to try to apply our own reasoning to explain what we’ve seen.  God gave us a brain for a reason.  We should use it!  But aren’t we always learning and gaining knowledge so we can increase our reasoning ability?  So how do we know the truth?  God and Jesus Christ are the source of all truth.  The Holy Spirit communicates truth to us.  So he is an important part of being prepared to see, hear or experience the signs around us.  If we have the Holy Spirit as our constant companion, the signs are another witness of Christ and they help build our faith in Him.  Part of our reasoning things out needs to be “what do I feel?”  It also needs to include prayer to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to know the truth.  Through the Holy Spirit, we will know their answer.

Brigham City Temple

We’ve had absolutely gorgeous weather while visiting our children and grandchildren in Utah this week.  We had a great lightning show last night when the storm rolled through.  I hear there is snow on the mountains this morning but I can’t see them for the fog or clouds or whatever is going on out there.

Temple-Brigham City
Brigham City Temple

We had to squeeze in a quick trip to see the Brigham City temple.  It looks like one of the smaller designs.  Too short of a trip to attend a session though; sadly.

Temple-Tabernacle-1
The old and new stand face to face

The temples are where families are sealed together for eternity.

Tabernacle-Temple-Fall
Brigham City Temple and Tabernacle in Autumn

It was 14 years ago that my sweetheart took me to the temple to be sealed to him.

Seeing the temple and tabernacle stand face-to-face chokes me up.  That stately building (tabernacle) was built in the late 1800’s.  It took 25 years to complete!  All that work is honored by great-grandchildren building a temple and sealing more of their families together forever.

He Will Heal Our Hearts

If you don’t believe in Jesus Christ and are not interested in a religious topic, skip this post.
As our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter grieve the loss of their stillborn son and brother and our sister-in-law grieves the loss of her brother, I wish I could take away their pain.  I can’t imagine the ache in their hearts as they miss their baby and brothers.

I know that Jesus Christ knows their pain and can lift the burden of grief as they (and we) pray to Him for comfort.

I used to wonder how Christ could relate to my pain.  He didn’t sin so how could He know of the pain and anguish I felt from making poor choices?  And how could He relate to pain from illness or grief when He had such a short life?

I’ve since come to understand the Atonement a little better.  Jesus Christ knew what His mission on earth was.  He knew He wouldn’t be here long.  Knowing His mission, and that He would pay the price for our sins, had to be an incredibly lonely feeling.  If anyone could honestly say “nobody understands me”, it would be Him.  He knew that God, the Eternal Father, knew Him and was there to strengthen Him.

We read, in the scriptures, that He did suffer grief and pain; more than I ever have.  But does He actually know what you or I are going through?  I mean, other than watching us go through it and feeling the heartache like a loving parent has for their suffering child?  I believe He has actually, physically, experienced everything that I have gone through.  He was able to do this through the miracle of the Atonement.  He asked the Eternal Father to bless Him to experience these things.

Alma, an ancient prophet, prophesied of Christ’s atonement: “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12; emphasis added).  Luke tells us that His pain was so extreme that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44, Doctrine & Covenants 19:18-19).  And He did it willingly; just so He could comfort us when we had to endure the pain.  I wonder if experiencing our infirmites made it easier for Him to endure paying for our sins?

Our pain doesn’t, usually, immediately go away when we pray that Jesus will heal us or lift our burden.  But, over time, as we trust Him and rely on Him and listen to Him, our pain gets lighter and we are able to bear it.

I remember a description of, or analogy about, how our trials strengthen us.  It describes how a wound in our flesh heals.  As it heals, it builds scar tissue.  The scar tissue is actually stronger than the original tissue.  It takes time, patience and endurance.  But, the wound DOES heal.  Maybe the love of family and friends is like the ointment used to comfort and protect the wound until it is scarred?

Our hearts go out to you.  We pray that your hearts will heal.  We love you dearly.

I looked and looked for the pastel drawing of Jesus and a todler looking into each other’s faces.  I couldn’t find it.  But this is about as close as it gets:

Out like a lamb on the Oregon Coast!

Wow!  March really WAS ‘in like a lion and out like a lamb’!

Blue Sky over Tillicum Beach and Campground
Blue Sky over Tillicum Beach and Campground

April Fools!

But…we COULD see the sun today.  It’s possible!   There’s only 80% chance of rain.

Oh well, it’s a good day to stay inside to watch the LDS General Conference. 🙂

Notes from my Workamping Journal:

All blinds open to let in what daylight there might be.  Can see all but one camper from 5th wheel.

Checked/cleaned both restrooms.  One camper is already gone; others are not yet visible.

Quick walk on the windy beach before it rains.

Thinking…..’boy am I gonna get wet when if I’m still out here when that rain cloud hits!  (looking down)  Oh, and it’s not even high tide yet – my feet could get wet any minute!’

The Oregon Coast Beach Cleanup was yesterday so I only found one thing to pick up today; a wine bottle (empty).

Scurry back to the 5th wheel to implement my April Fool’s “joke”.