A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Friday, April 2, 2021

The Beauty of Mirror Lake

This original fable is found at Picture Books for Children

Redaela is not happy. She thinks her misery is the result of living among so many, ugly, warty frogs. The more she tries to change her fellow frogs, the bigger her problem becomes. One day she decides to visit a beautiful lake at the top of a mountain. As she looks into the lake, she can see herself clearly for the first time in her life. She learns a precious truth that changes her life and everyone else around her. 

Oftentimes we think that we need to change the people around us in order to be happy. People have bad habits and make unwise decisions, and sometimes we think it's up to us to save them or get them to stop for us to have peace. However, what we see around us is really a reflection of what is inside ourselves. Once we change and improve ourselves on the inside, our perspective of the world will change. Then we will be at peace and will better understand how to help those around us.

This is one of many fable books. The lessons we learn from fables can change our lives if we let them. Children enjoy reading stories over and over again, and these fables are sure to give them guidance throughout their lives. These fable books are not just for kids. Parents will see solutions to big problems revealed in simple fables.  

The Beauty of Mirror Lake can be ordered on Amazon.

Monday, February 22, 2021

May the Gates of Hell be Shut Continually

 What is hell?

The Prophet Joseph Smith described the true nature of hell: “A man is his own [tormentor] and his own [condemner]. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.” TPJS, 357; WJS, 353.

What can I do to shut the gates of hell? 

Nephi says, “. . . May the gates of hell be shut continually before me because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite . . .” 2 Nephi 3:8

So what does that mean? 

When I read the beginning of verse eight, I see there are things Nephi needs to repent of, so the gates of hell are CONTINUALLY shut before him. 

#1 Why should my heart weep? 

#2 Why should my soul linger in the valley of sorrow? 

#3 Why should my flesh waste away 

#4 Why should my strength slacken 

In other words, why am I having a pity party? Why am I discouraged? Why am I feeling sorry for myself? Because of mine afflictions? Is that a good reason to open the gates of hell? 

And why should I yield to sin because of my flesh? Why should I give way to temptations? What am I tempted to do when life gets hard? 

What exactly is the evil one doing in my heart? Who opened the gate? How is my peace being destroyed?  Why do I want to invite the evil one to afflict my soul? 

Why am I angry because of my enemy? Well Nephi might say, my brothers hate me and are trying to kill me. Is that a good enough reason for Nephi to open the gates of hell?

Why do I even want to even open the gates of hell in the first place? Because it feels so good? I love being depressed? I enjoy feeling sorry for myself? What’s the pay off? Am I justified in getting angry? 

So what’s the alternative to hell? What is the key to shutting the gates of hell? Nephi says . . . a broken heart and contrite spirit. What does it look like to have a broken heart and contrite spirit? Nephi is clear that it is not being depressed, discouraged, and sorrowful.

Why do I need a broken heart and contrite spirit? So I can learn. I am here to learn my lessons and learn them well. I am in school. Nothing happens except it is designed to teach me important and essential lessons that I need to experience peace and joy. It does not matter that most of my teachers are ugly and cruel. Most of the time I will want to fire my teachers because my lessons are painful. 

So What! I can learn with joy or learn with sorrow. I choose joy when I recognize I am blessed everyday with an opportunity to learn. 

I learn through suffering. Why would I want to stop the learning process? Because it hurts?  “. . . though he was a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him . . .” Heb. 1:12-13

The Lord has given His word with an immutable  [unchanging over time or unable to be changed] covenant that all things work together for my good. Do I believe Him?

  • Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted, yea, rejoice evermore and in everything give thanks, waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth and are recorded with this seal and testament: The Lord has sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. Therefore, he gives this promise unto you with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled, and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, says the Lord God. T&C 98:1

What is my part? Do I give thanks in all things not just the pleasant things? Do I wait patiently? 

My prayers have become more effective since I stopped asking for this cup to be removed and instead ask, “What can I learn from this experience? Help me learn my lessons well. Show me my error, so I can repent.” School became a little easier when I realized I am here to learn. I am not on a vacation. 

Does having a broken heart and a contrite spirit mean I “become as a child: submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [me], even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 1:16

It doesn’t matter what pains I bear, what troubles I experience, what challenges I face. I have complete confidence it is good for me, and I trust Father 100% a hundred percent of the time. Everything that happens in life works together for my good and God’s glory. After all, I am God’s work, “For behold, this is My work and My glory: to bring to pass the immortality and the eternal life of man.” Genesis 1:7

Nephi gives us the key to shutting up the gates of hell.Awake my soul! . .  . Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul . . .  Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord and say, O Lord, I will praise thee for ever . . . O Lord, I have trusted in thee and I will trust in thee for ever . . . 

I pray to learn my lessons and learn them well. I pray to be a good student and rejoice in the opportunity I have to learn and grow. I pray to be strict in the plain road. I pray to walk in the path of the low valley and love every minute of it!!!

  • . . . You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm, in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves. Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. T&C 139:16

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Obey the Law of the Land

What does it mean to obey the law of the land? Let's look at the words of the Lord to get our directions and set our compass straight.

    And now verily I [the Lord] say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatever I [the Lord] command them, and that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting the principles of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges belonging to all mankind, is justifiable before me; therefore, I, the Lord, justify you and your brethren of my church in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land. And as pertaining to law of man, whatever is more or less than this comes of evil. I, the Lord your God, make you free; therefore, you are free indeed, and the law also makes you free. . . And I give unto you a commandment that you shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that you shall live by every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of God. - D&C 98

    1. Do all things the Lord commands

    2. Befriend the law which is constitutional and supports freedom

    3. Laws of man that do not support principles of freedom are evil

    4. The Lord commands us to forsake evil laws

Did you get that? The Lord commands us to forsake evil laws that do not support the principles of freedom. God has made us free and the law that governs the universe makes us free.

What are the rights and privilege belong to all mankind?

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life – physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production – in other words, individuality, liberty, property – this is man. And in spite of cunning and artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. [The Law by Fredric Bastiat (1801-1850), pages 1-2]

Do we trust God or man?

Do we trust a benevolent, loving, all-powerful God or do we trust corrupt, perverse, political leaders?

Do we obey God; or do we obey arbitrary, harmful mandates and laws?

Do we conform to the image of God, or do we conform to social pressure?

There is no need to fear, for the Lord has given a promise with an immutable covenant.

Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted, yea, rejoice evermore and in everything give thanks, waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth and are recorded with this seal and testament: The Lord has sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. Therefore, he gives this promise unto you with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled, and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, says the Lord God.  

- D&C 98

. . . To be continued . . . What does the Lord command? What are the Lord's expectations? What does it mean to proclaim peace?

Friday, April 10, 2020

An Amalickiah Virus

As I’ve watched what’s been happening in our country during this last month, I see an Amalickiah at work. His plan was subtle, and he started a war that lasted for years. Many people died including Amalickiah and his brother. We can expect similar results if we refuse to see what is happening today.

The story of Amalickiah can be found in Alma 21. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, I’ve included a brief synopsis at the end of this post. 

What are some of the lessons that we can learn from this story?

#1 POWER Amalickiah wanted power over all of the people and was willing deceive and murder to obtain that power. He flattered the lower judges and said they could also have power if they would help him.

Is there a world organization that is currently seeking to control the world? What is their agenda? What means will be employed to obtain their goal? Is the World Health Organization controlled by those who seek a one world government? Are they using the corona-virus to promote their agenda?  If they accomplish their goal, will it destroy the freedom of all nations?

#2 ALLIANCE  To accomplish his design, Amalickiah needed to unite the Lamanite army. He needed their cooperation and unification. He couldn’t accomplish his plan with his own strength. He hoodwinked the Lamanite king, Lehonti, and the Lamanite army. Many lost their lives because of their misplaced trust. 

Has this corona-virus united the liberals and conservatives? People who used to say “Over my dead body!” are now willingly and obediently submitting to martial law. 

#3 BAND WAGON The Lamanites’ love and affection for their king was used against them. Amalickiah blinded them when he rallied them together to chase after the king’s guards who had witnessed the murder. The gullible Lamanites were willing to chase after the king’s guards just because they were told that those guards were the murderers. Everyone else was doing it, so they followed the crowd without thinking.

Are we following the crowd? Are we looking at the evidence? Are we thinking for ourselves?

#4 IGNORING COMMON SENSE If the king’s guards wanted to kill the king, do you think they would do it right in front of the commander of the Lamanite army? If any one of the Lamanites would have looked at the situation with common sense, they could have easily guessed that the king’s guards did not kill the king. Also, did they think it was a little strange that Lehonti died shortly after becoming commander over the whole army? Did it raise suspicion when Amalickiah just happened to be second in command? 

What does your common sense tell you about the common flu and the coronavirus?

34,157 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2018-2019
61,099 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2017-2018
38,230 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2016-2017
22,705 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2015-2016
51,376 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2014-2015
37,930 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2013-2014
42,570 deaths in the United States due to Influenza 2012-2013

17,995 deaths in the United States due to Corona Virus 2020 (worldometers as of April10, 2020)

Most of the people dying from influenza every year are old. Coronavirus is following the same pattern.

#5 FEAR and FORCE Amalickiah put the obedient part of the Lamanite army in a situation where they feared for their lives. He counted on the fact that they would be willing to surrender to Lehonti because of their fear. 

Many people are motivated by fear. This corona-virus pandemic is propagated by people’s fears. People are willing to trade away their freedom because they are afraid. 

Here are the facts. . .

We’ve had over 16,205,600 deaths this year (as of April 10, 2020 worldometers). Only 100,450 of them are the result of corona-virus. For every 160 deaths in the world, one death is the result of the coronavirus. People die every day. There is no reason to be alarmed. Yet, people are paranoid and afraid. In their fear, they have easily submitted to martial law. 

#6 MEDIA and PROPAGANDA Forcing the Lamanites to go to war didn’t work, so Amalickiah built towers where he had men speak to them until they wanted to go to war. If you lie to someone long enough, they will start believe it.

Do you believe what you are hearing from the media? Are you allowing yourself to be sucked in by the propaganda? Why? Where is your evidence?

#7 FALSE COVER STORIES The Lamanite king trusted Amalickiah with the army and ended up dead. Lehonti trusted Amalickiah to be second in command and ended up dead. The queen believed the witness of those who had murdered the king and ended up marrying the murderer. The Lamanites believed Amalickiah’s words and many lives were lost in the war. 

What are the stories being told? Are they true? What’s really going on?

#8 DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE In his quest for power, Amalickiah did not care how many died. He was a murderer, but he pretended to care about the life of the one he had murdered.

Is this lockdown really about saving lives? Or is it about promoting an agenda? 

As of today there have been over 11,714,000 abortions in 2020. It doesn’t look like our world values human life.

Over 3,579,144 people have died of communicable diseases this year in the world. There have only been 100,450 coronavirus deaths. I don’t think this coronavirus  “pandemic” warrants the attention it is receiving.

Synopsis of the Story of Amalickiah:

Amalickiah wanted to be king, so he told the lower judges he would make them rulers over the people if they would help him be king.

When Captain Moroni heard what Amalickiah was doing, he tore off a piece of his coat and wrote on it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” He prayed to God for help. Then he carried this title of liberty throughout the land calling for the people to come and help protect their liberty.

The people came together and promised to obey God or be destroyed by their enemies. When Amalickiah saw Moroni's large army, he snuck away with those who would go with him. Moroni did not want them to go because they might convince the Lamanites to fight against the Nephites. Moroni’s armies were able to stop most of them, but Amalickiah escaped with a few of his men.

Amalickiah stirred the Lamanites up to anger until their king wanted to go to war with the Nephites. Most of the Lamanites refused to go to war and fled to the hill Onidah. They chose a man named Lehonti to be their leader. The Lamanite king told Amalickiah to lead the obedient part of his army and force Lehonti and his men to go to war.

Instead of obeying the king, Amalickiah made a deal with Lehonti. He said Lehonti's men could surround the king's army during the night. The king’s army would surrender, if afterward Lehonti would make Amalickiah second in command. Lehonti became commander over the whole army. Then Amalickiah had his servant slowly poison Lehonti. When Lehonti died, Amalickiah became commander of the entire army.

Amalickiah returned with the army. The king thought Amalickiah had done what he had asked him to do, so the king and his servants went out to meet them. Amalickiah's servants went and bowed before the king. When the king put out his hand to raise them, one of Amalickiah's servants stabbed the king to the heart, and he died. The king’s servants who saw the murder were frightened and ran away.

Amalickiah pretended to be angry. He lied to the army and said the king had been killed by his own servants. He encouraged those who loved the king to chase and kill the king’s servants. Amalickiah then went with those who had killed the king to speak with the queen. They lied to her about her husband's death, and Amalickiah married the queen. 
After Amalickiah became king of the Lamanites, he had men speak from their towers against the Nephites. He did this until he had hardened the Lamanites’ hearts and blinded their minds. This continued until they were angry and wanted to go to war. Amalickiah’s desire was to be king over all the land.

While this was happening among the Lamanites, Captain Moroni was preparing the minds of the Nephites to be faithful to God. The Nephite army built forts to protect themselves. They did not want to fight the Lamanites. But when the Lamanites would come to destroy their families, they would be prepared to defend themselves.

This time the Lamanites wore thick clothing and armor. They thought their large army could easily beat the Nephites. But they were afraid to fight the Nephites when they saw a high ridge of dirt around their city. The leaders of the Lamanites swore with an oath they would destroy the next Nephite city they came to.

The Lamanites were disappointed to find the next city was even stronger. Because of their oath, they had to attack. When they tried to go through the entrance or dig away the dirt, they were slain. After all their chief captains were dead, they went home. Amalickiah was angry with his people because he had not gotten what he wanted.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Isaiah's Message of Peace in Troubling Times

For the first fifteen years of our marriage, we were concerned about food storage and physical preparation. We could see what was coming down the pipeline and wanted to be able take care of our family when the economy collapsed.

In 2007, we became very interested in the words of Isaiah. Avraham Gileadi's work really helped us understand what Isaiah was saying. Isaiah was my favorite choice of scriptures in those days. I read the words of Isaiah over and over. 

My heart was comforted, and I was at peace. Isaiah speaks of the sickness, famine, wars, natural disasters, and the tyrant that are headed our way. But amid all this, there is a message of hope. There is a group of people who will be gathered, and they will be protected by God.

When I saw this, I was motivated. I had a choice. I could experience total devastation, or I could come to the Lord for protection and peace. It was then that I told the Lord that I would do anything to be part of that group of people.

Isaiah's message is important. When Jesus comes to the Nephites, he talks about the words of Isaiah three separate times. Jesus tells us to search the words of Isaiah. He wants us to understand what is happening today. Jesus does not want us to be afraid. His arms are open, and we can come to Him and experience peace and joy in these troubling times. (see scripture references below)

It takes great effort and much prayer to understand what Isaiah is saying. But once Isaiah's message becomes clear to you, it could change your life. Nephi shared the words of Isaiah, so people would want believe in the Lord their Redeemer.

But that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer, I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.   1 Nephi 6:1 

We have just completed Book of MormonStories. It is a simplified, illustrated version of The Book of Mormon. If you find the words of Isaiah confusing, this simplified version of The Book of Mormon can help you understand Isaiah's message.

We are uploading one video chapter of Bookof Mormon Stories each day. There are 90 chapters in all. We just posted the first Isaiah chapter today. These Isaiah chapters are at the end of First Nephi. If we post one video each day, we will start posting the Second Nephi Isaiah chapters on Friday.

A Covenant of Peace - First Nephi 6 (1840 edition) - Isaiah 48-49

Scripture References noted above of Jesus talking to the Nephites about Isaiah:

Verily, verily I say unto you, thus has the Father commanded me, that I should give unto this people this land for their inheritance, and when the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled, which say: Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice, with the voice together shall they sing, for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God. 3 Nephi 7:7

And it came to pass that when they had all given glory unto Jesus, he said unto them, Behold, now I finish the commandment which the Father hath commanded me concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Israel. Ye remember that I spake unto you and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled — behold, they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them — and verily, verily I say unto you that when they shall be fulfilled, then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. Then shall the remnants which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth be gathered in from the east, and from the west, and from the south, and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God who hath redeemed them. And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land for your inheritance. And I say unto you that if the gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive after they have scattered my people, then shall ye who are a remnant of the house of Jacob go forth among them. And ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many, and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor, for I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron and I will make thy hoofs brass, and thou shalt beat in pieces many people. And I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I am he who doeth it. And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent, it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the gentiles. 3 Nephi 9:7

 . . . For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together against thee, not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work, and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

And now behold, I say unto you that ye had ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently, for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel. Therefore, it must needs be that he must speak also to the gentiles. And all things that he spake hath been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. Therefore, give heed to my words. Write the things which I have told you, and, according to the time and the will of the Father, they shall go forth unto the gentiles. And whosoever will hearken unto my words, and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things. 3 Nephi 10:2-4