having hope – it will be alright

Nothing really to do with post, but I was on a train while finishing this post so thought you might like a view!

Dear friends

It’s a month to go until the general election. 

It’s a couple days after the local elections – not in our area.

It’s great results for the government.

It’s dismal results for the opposition.

It’s concerning to me how the media can villify and how the public accept it – as if everything in the media is true! 
I work in local government and I live in an area with an opposition member of parliament and an area with majority vote remain rather than Brexit.

In this unfair society in which we live I’d be quite happy for high earners and high profit businesses to pay higher taxes to support publicly accessible and high standard education, health and social care services.  Hey, I’d pay more taxes if that were the guaranteed outcome!! 

But, in this unfair society, there are those who exploit, those who cheat, those who take advantage of others, and those who suffer.

I sat in a meeting this week to hear a headteacher say the school would have an £80k deficit within the next year, and there are others.

I sat in a meeting this week to hear a residential care home manager say they need more nursing care beds, needs of the elderly are increasing.

I sat in a meeting this week to hear my manager say that we may all be asked to do our jobs on less salary; we may have to apply for our jobs in the imminent restructure; he may be served a redundancy notice.

So much uncertainty. So many troubling issues.  

**(5 days pass…)**

But, I don’t feel hopeless.  I will keep hoping for a better world, because I know there is one.  

I read this verse in the scriptures (Moroni 9 verse 24) this morning: 

but I trust that I may see thee soon; for I have sacred records that I would deliver up unto thee.

This is a prophet writing to his son as they are separated and being hunted down by their enemies.  He did see his son and it occurred to me that his hope, his trust, was led by his understanding of a greater purpose, the bigger picture – which was the need for the sacred records to be safe.  

So even though I don’t know what to title this post which stayed as a draft, to a certain point, for nearly a week, I want it to be more hopeful than the way it starts​.

I know that we can have hope, when we know and understand the bigger picture.  We do not need to feel helpless nor hopeless.  There’s​ always someone who needs you and who only you can be  🙂  Take care! 

Why it will all work out!

thoughts on these times – September 11

Dear friends

It’s been a while but trust me, I’ve been particularly good with daily personal journal writing this last month or so.  It’s been busy with the end of summer, results days, back to school and college for the children and new year out assistants at work.

Today is September 11th. The day when 15 years ago, for many of us, life changed as we knew it.  I’ve seen a few things on Facebook – it’s probably a date that, so far, has defined 21st century government responses to war, conflict and terrorism.

When I moved to London, five years before those aeroplane attacks, I was aware of bins and post boxes being sealed, I’d experienced bomb scares in the underground; the IRA was the primary organisation identified but then I recall other attacks that began in Brixton, London with a nail bomb outside Iceland supermarket one morning.  Brixton is one of the black areas of London with high proportion of Caribbean and African descent residents.  It was truly awful.  Then, a week or so later, another similar bombing on Brick Lane, heart of one of the Asian London communities.  And then, Soho, Central London was targeted, a bar and 3 people died.  The attacker was arrested not long after.  A lone attacker, apparently a Neo Nazi. Having just checked BBC news, his attacks all took place within 13 days.  Living in London at the time, it was terrifying, not knowing if your community would be next and trying to maintain your regular life.  

I’m recalling this and thinking that 15 years ago was truly awful – the scale of impact I’d not experienced before.  I was at work, lunchtime, and a colleague was on the phone to her daughter who worked for an investment bank in the City (of London). My colleague began telling us what her daughter was relaying that the New York office said a plane had gone into a tower, and there was another.  We began logging into the internet and soon after my dear husband phoned, he was home with our two children, asking if I knew what was happening, that he was watching the news.  We know the rest. 

Things were awful then. And before that event.  And since that event.  Since then we’ve had the 7 July 2005 bomb attacks on the London Underground, the Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall, the school girls in Nigeria, Charlie Hebdo office, Norway youth attacks, Paris and Nice, France, not to mention numerous individuals who have lost their lives in tragic and seemingly avoidable or random circumstances.

But despite all this, I don’t despair.  I do have a hope and I do believe that life can be great and wonderful and happy 🙂  We are not alone.  We never have been and the God of the universe knows us and stands ready and able to comfort and strengthen us through the craziest times and emotions that we may have to face.  

The Lord loves us.  Keep going! Strive!

This is a bit longer than I thought to write but hopefully this will be of help to you in some way and that you enjoy the video and the rest of your Sabbath day. 

who we are…

Dear friends

I promised this post a couple of months ago.  Back in April, I was asked to give a talk with 6 days notice and no topic at the Saturday evening session of stake conference.  For those of you not familiar with latter day saints, a stake consists of several units of the church in a geographical area.  It was a sublime experience to be led by the Holy Spirit as to what to prepare to speak on and on the evening, being the penultimate speaker, it was humbling to note that my words summarised all those who had spoken before.  So, here’s the talk.

 

Good evening, Brothers and Sisters.  As I pondered this assignment, I felt impressed to speak on who we are and our relationship with God.

Some years ago, when I was a young girl, I looked in a mirror while getting ready for school, and into my eyes.  I didn’t see a gawky, shy but slightly mischievous 11 year old girl.  As I looked in my eyes, I saw something else, something far deeper, beyond my physical appearance, and I recognised that this part of me would still be alive after my physical body passed away.  I didn’t understand what this overwhelming feeling was; I burst into tears, was inconsolable for some time, and missed school!  Unable to really explain what I had felt, it was years later before I came to understand who I really am.

The knowledge that we are spirit children of God has been with humans since our first parents, Adam and Eve, walked the Earth, and permeates humanity.  That we are literally all spirit sisters and brothers within the human race follows, since we have the same heavenly parentage.  Some time ago, before the earth was formed, though it probably would not seem long ago if we could remember, as the children’s primary song (#4) states: we lived in Heaven:

Lived there and loved there with people I know. So did you.

Then Heav’nly Father presented a beautiful plan,

All about earth and eternal salvation for man.

 

We knew who we were then; we knew our identity and our relationship to God was clear – we knew that we are His children and we chose to follow, and defend, Father’s plan for us to become like Him.  We chose to honour our relationship with God.  And now we are here, on earth.

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom at April 2016 General Conference explained:

“Here on earth, we identify ourselves in many different ways, including our place of birth, our nationality, and our language.  Some even identify themselves by their occupation or their hobby.  These earthly identities are not wrong unless they supersede or interfere with our eternal identity —that of being a son or a daughter of God.”

From the scriptures, two individuals who, I feel, did not let their earthly identity supersede their eternal identity, despite the difficult times they lived in, are Mormon and Abraham.

First, the mighty prophet historian and leader commander, Mormon.  He lived at one of the most trying times in history, one which would see the annihilation of his nation (the Nephites) and leave his surviving brethren nation (the Lamanites) in a depraved and lost state.  He knew it, he could clearly see the state of his nation people, that “they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits” (Mormon 2v14) and that they “did struggle for their lives without calling upon that Being who created them” (Mormon 5:2).  Mormon leads the Nephite armies from the age of 15 years and he is about 50 years old, when he ‘utterly’ refuses to be a commander and leader “because of their wickedness and abomination” (Mormon 3 v11).  Mormon states “I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard… Therefore I write…” (Mormon 3v16-17) and certainly Mormon wrote – we know that!  It appears to be more than 10 years later when he decides to lead the Nephites again, though it is “without hope,” for he knew “the judgements of the Lord which should come upon them” (Mormon 5 v2).  Mormon’s final words, before Moroni records his father’s death, reach out to all, inviting to believe in Christ and be baptized, with water and with fire, with the Holy Ghost (Mormon 7).  Throughout his life, Mormon did not lose sight of his eternal identity, nor that of his brothers and sisters, including us, for whom he wrote.  He did not forget his relationship with God.  Can you imagine if Mormon only identified himself as a Nephite commander or leader, totally fixed on destroying all Lamanites, rather than as a child of God with a unique task to fulfil?

Then Abraham and the particular choice he made early in his life, to not identify with his fathers and the people around him – “In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of [his] fathers, [he], Abraham saw that it was needful for [him] to obtain another place of residence… [His] fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshipping of the gods of the heathen” (Abraham 1 v1-5).  They utterly refused to hearken to Abraham, who identifies himself as “a follower of righteousness” (v2) with desires to “receive instructions and to keep the commandments of God” but instead they tried to offer him up, as an offering to strange gods, idols, as they had done with men, women and children before him.  Abraham was saved by an angel, leaves the Chaldees and goes to the land of Canaan.  As we know, in that land, the Lord makes a covenant with Abraham, which Abraham keeps, and through Abraham’s seed “shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessing of salvation, even of life eternal” (Abr 2 v11).  Today, we take part in that Abrahamic covenant, become Israel – the covenant people, as we are baptised and receive all the blessings of Heavenly Father through temple covenants.  Can you imagine if Abraham only identified himself as a Chaldean, willing to be sacrificed to the heathen Gods, rather than as a child of God with a unique task to fulfil?

We live in equally troubling and difficult times – the winding up scenes of history – but also the best of times since we have been given the opportunity to be baptised, by water and by fire, with the Holy Ghost.  We individually have the opportunity to make covenants with God, possibly as no other people in the history of the world, with the building of temples across the world.  Truly, we are ‘a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.’ (1 Peter 2 v9).

But do we identify with this, first and foremost, or do we put our relationship with God second, preferring to be identified by our profession, by money or where we live, our nationality, or our race?  And do we identify others by their profession, nationality or race rather than seeing them as a child of God, as we all are?  What would be the difference in our lives if we identify ourselves as daughters and sons of God with his unique work to fulfil?  Remember:  “These earthly identities are not wrong unless they supersede or interfere with our eternal identity —that of being a son or a daughter of God.”  Elder Hallstrom

As I thought on this, I realised that God has told us, throughout scripture, what we can do to maintain and improve our relationship with him:

“Turn ye unto me,… and I will turn unto you.” Zechariah 1 v3

“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.”  D&C 88 v 63

“Return unto me, and I will return unto you,” Malachi 3 v7

“Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you,” James 4 v8

How do we draw near, turn to Him, return to Him?  It is simple, we repent.  Through Zechariah, the Lord told Israel to “Turn you now from your evil ways,” and through Malachi, Israel was told to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse.” James wrote “cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded;” and early in this dispensation, through Joseph Smith Jnr “sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him.”  And to us now, a couple weeks ago in General Conference, our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, told us:

“When we left our premortal existence and entered mortality, we brought with us the gift of agency…  Although it is imperative that we choose wisely, there are times when we will make foolish choices. The gift of repentance, provided by our Savior, enables us to correct our course settings, that we might return to the path which will lead us to that celestial glory we seek.” 

I have made mistakes and I have felt the Lord’s forgiveness as I have needed to use the gift of repentance to turn back to him.  I am very grateful for our Saviour, our eldest brother, and that because of Him, when I make a mistake or neglect to do something, I can change.  Because of Him, I can improve each day and I have pondered on where I need to improve and I hope I can remain true and faithful to my Father, and choose my relationship with Him.  I know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, available only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true.  I know for myself that it provides all necessary covenants and knowledge of salvation, so we can honour our relationship with Father, while on earth and return safely to Him.  I know Joseph Smith Jr is a Prophet, that the priesthood of God was restored to earth through His angels – John the Baptist, Peter, James and John.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Thomas S Monson is a true prophet of God.  I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

My brothers and sisters, for that is what you truly are, we all have a special relationship with God; He is our Father and He loves us, you, very much.  We need to draw near to Him, keep our covenants, use repentance, feel the blessing of forgiveness, and honour that relationship with Him while here on earth. Then when we pass on, we will see Him clearly again, “face to face: now, we know in part, but then shall we know even as also we are known” (from 1 Corinthians 13 v12).

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Tender mercies

Dear friends
This past weekend has seen some miracles in my life, not large scale like parting the Red Sea but equally meaningful to me and I know the hand of the Lord was involved.  A prophet (Thomas S. Monson) has said:

The Lord is in the detail of our lives

I truly believe that and these are the details where I saw Him in my life the past few days.  I encourage you to look out for the Lord and the Holy Ghost at work in your life – Father is always there.

1. Finding matches: Some weeks ago we noticed the match box (we use them for lighting the gas cooker) was low. They were on the shopping list but last week when we went shopping we couldn’t find them in the household goods section. None. This wasn’t critical until this weekend but my dear husband still didn’t buy them.  Yesterday, Sunday we used the last few and I checked with dear husband that he still had a lighter (he’d bought them to light to cooker but I find them difficult to use without lighting my thumb!) So early this morning, resigned to using a lighter, I went to my husband’s desk to find one. As I dug around the top drawer, lo and behold!, I find a small box of safety matches!! 🙂

2. The conference talk: last Sunday, after sacrament meetwith as I was getting the classroom ready, for the youth Sunday School class that I teach, I was asked to give a 10-15 minute talk on the Saturday evening session of stake conference, in 6 days.  (For those of you who are not LDS, this is a large local area meeting for the church, the Saturday evening for all adults, so typically around 200 people in attendance).  The presiding area seventy had made some changes to the proposed programme and asked me to speak.  No topic – I was to be inspired, like general conference (from Salt Lake City, for everyone #LDSconf).  I looked at him and said “Me?” I was a little incredulous but was assured that this is what the Lord wants.  So last week I prepared a talk, completing it in the early hours of Saturday morning, the theme being who are we and what is our relationship with God and each other.  I timed it, 11m 30s, and practised reading it a few times.  When I was asked to sit on the stand, beside another speaker (who said she’d received her assignment some weeks ago, with a verse of scripture to base it on), I still has no idea when I was speaking or the other topics.  As the meeting began, I peered forward to check the programme held by the stake president.  I saw my name, after the intermediate hymn and right before the visiting seventy.  I was the penultimate speaker, eeekk!!  I did, however, feel a great calm as each speaker spoke. And by the time the stake president had finished, I knew that the talk I had prepared was in fact the perfect summary of the previous three – right down to the stake president using a phrase which I had written.  It was one of the most sublime experiences that I’ve had and I am humbled to know that the Lord knew that I had the personal views and experience that would meet the stake’s needs for that meeting. (I’ll post my talk separately).

3. My tablet – I have a Samsung 10.1inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablet and since a little after Easter it has not charged, at all.  I had bought some new cables, left it charging, returned from work, and nothing.  The children were interrogated. I’ve never understood the full story – “Son1 killed it” “Daur2 switched it off!” “I didn’t touch it!” You know how it goes!  I took the back off, back on, left it to rest, tried again but nothing. So, I reluctantly decided to take it to a fixer shop at the end of this month (payday!), dreading how much I’d be charged.  This morning, as I was about to go to work, I thought, let me try again, and I set it to charge.  I’ve already learnt to be patient with devices… seconds later, the screen lit up with the battery symbol, charging!!  Yeah!!! 🙂

PS – when I told our daughters about the tablet charging again, they gave each other a knowing glance and Daur2, we thought it might – maybe Heavenly Father took it away so it wasn’t a distraction while you were writing your talk!!

Sabbath delight

Dear friends

Mini holiday was fun! Unfortunately I missed the ‘chilly night’ in the weather forecast which had day temperatures of +20c.  And even though I was sandwiched between my daughters, they’d already chosen the superior sleeping bags, and I kept waking up.  Kayaking was great and relaxing – it’s a sheltered spot on the river – neither of the girls capsized this time.

The rest of the weekend has been uplifting.  There was a special Europe (northern) wide broadcast of a live conference from Edinburgh (my second home!) with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle of the Lord.  What would an Apostle say specifically to the Latter Day Saints in this part of the world?  Well, it was a warning message – this is a time of sifting – wheat & tares, goats & sheep, wise &foolish – but also one of hope – cling to the iron rod, cling to the word of God, cling to the scriptures.  And the following description from Paul of this time was used a couple of times 2 Timothy 3 vv1-5:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

But we do not need to fear – we need to have faith in Jesus Christ and know that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion – if it stands, everything does; and if it falls everything falls; after 185 years of the book, no one has claimed to be it’s author, despite the impact it has on lives and the claim that it’s one of the most important US books.

I have read the Book of Mormon many times – I know it is the word of God. It stands with the Bible as another testament of Jesus Christ. If you’ve not read it, you need to – get a copy and get to know some wonderful prophets of old.

outnumbered: days 6 to 7

Dear friends

Day 6 – Much to say about everything today. A refreshing start with a solo run – our eldest daughter has caught a cold from her sister who caught it from their dear father who began suffering days before travelling. Solo was fine – it was a beautiful, sunny morning – a time for thought and prayer.

Back home, after my shower, the children began to wake. Our eldest son has maths revision class in school today, leaving our eldest daughter to baby sit.  I could foresee the day – much Dragons (Cressida Cowell), DC comics films, some homework and cheesy tuna pasta for lunch.  But the younger two will be happy!!  I came back yesterday to find our youngest daughter with partially straightened hair – our eldest daughter having used my old tongs we found in the garage – and a burnt ear! That’s when they stopped 😉

A completely hectic day at work… 2 meetings plus site visit which came to 4 hours on site; engineers not attending when they’re meant to; explaining why lime (not cement) render was specified; an architect off sick with feasibility study due; work placement student in on Monday (fortunately I don’t have to look after them this time); and no proper lunch = I grabbed a cookie and a cereal bar – no bread to pack a sandwich = expecting to buy something more substantial but no time for that.

Fortunately, there was enough chicken sauce from last night for a second dinner of chicken and rice. I should have added vegetables to the rice as a variation!!  I must ensure we don’t appear malnourished when my dear husband arrives back home!

Day 7 – Dedicated but slack mum continues!  Brunch (cereal & toast), milkshakes while out, pizza and ice cream back home, hot chocolate and cheese on toast…; no need for me to wonder why there’s never any bread!  A few years back and I used to make our bread, rolls by hand, loaves in the breadmaker. But gradually I got out of the habit, the breadmaker broke, the children got older, we earned a little more so could afford to buy sliced bread. But I bought bread flour today so I might do some this weekend – it always tastes so good and we never ate so much – it must be healthier.

I dropped round some photocopying at my Dad’s this evening – he is well enough and appreciated me attending the funeral of our cousin last week. He had dropped by in the middle of the week when I was at work with some paperwork to copy and met the children home, alone, in the garden trampolining and inside (our eldest son is 16 so there’s no babysitting issue). Dad then asked me, with a pitying look, this evening,  how I was coping.  With what,  I thought, so I said, what do you mean?  “How do you cope with the children, I mean, the little ones don’t speak.”  I laughed, Oh, they do, just a bit shy around some people.  I know they shouldn’t be around family but they are and you can’t force anyone,  they’ve got to choose.  I didn’t say that last sentence but as I left, I thought on how ‘coping’ sounds like I’m dealing with something final or long lasting, not temporary.  I know our children and they know me and their father; we love and understand each other and that intimacy in our family is something that only we understand.  I think that’s the same in most families.  I’ve never lived with my father,  I grew up with my mother; nothing is going to change that now and however much I love and care for my father,  I feel we will never have that closeness that I enjoy with my mother, and in some way, which I never intended, that has affected the grandfather/ grandchild relationship.

We watched Epic this evening:

many leaves, one tree

I like that phrase.  Some of us are simply far apart on those branches but we’re still there for each other 🙂

a thought on ranting

Dear friends
A thought – when I was younger, my big sister used to tell me to stop moaning.  This probably happened frequently because I still remember it now. I always felt justified, of course, but I think my sister learned early on something that it has taken me considerably longer to learn.

Some things we may feel are worthy of a rant or moan…

Like the guy driving in front of you, in a huge range rover with smoked windows who doesn’t know how to use the indicators when turning and appears to be on a mobile phone.  Grrrr…

Like those people who feel it’s OK to squeeze toothpaste from the middle of the tube and leave it that way for the next person… 🙂

Like the wages of professional football (soccer) players, oh, and public servants expenses…

But after my rant, I rarely feel better – I mean feel (really stress that word feel) better. Do you?

So, now I try to not moan or rant about things that I can’t or am not prepared to change.  It doesn’t mean that I passively accept all things, but I try to be like Nephi after his brothers were tied him up to leave him to be eaten by wild beasts in the wilderness, 1 Nephi 7 verse 21 (a fairly just reason, I think, to moan…)

…I did frankly forgive them all that they had done,…

That’s how I deal with matters when other people are involved,  which is most of the time.  At the end of the day other people have a choice,  and although it’s hard when their choice directly impacts our lives – e.g foolish car drivers, I try to forgive them.  My personal measure of if I have forgiven, I try to imagine how I’d feel if I saw that person in real need, and no one else were around (a good Samaritan scenario – Luke 10 verses 30 to 37) would I help?

And when others aren’t involved, then I need to forgive myself, change if necessary, and move on.  Those words of Queen Elsa – I promise not to quote Frozen too often 🙂 – apply to ourselves:

Let it go! Let it go!!

Mary of Magdala remembers

Dear friends, today was an Easter presentation in sacrament meeting due to next week being fast and testimony meeting and Easter Sunday it’s General Conference (yeah!). I was given an assignment to speak on the resurrection of Jesus,  specifically when Mary Magdalene saw him and when He met Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.  I’ve decided to share my talk with you. I hope you enjoy and feel inspired. #BecauseHeLives and see Easter week inspiration at mormon.org/easter

The prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson stated:

The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number of people for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master.

I remember that day,  when the Master was resurrected, it made all the difference and we, His disciples, were glad.

I remember how the Sabbath after that Passover we were all so low in heart. We didn’t think it would end just like that – our Master, our Teacher, Jesus, betrayed by a friend, a so-called trial, whipped and then hung, nailed,on a cross, next to criminals. All He did was to love His people, love us,love our Father, His Father.

I remember how we knew He was the Anointed One, the Messiah, sent to redeem Israel,  sent to save us. He had in many ways already redeemed us – He had forgiven us, healed us, loved us, shown us the way to live and to love. Maybe some of us were expecting more – redemption from the Romans. So, for it all to end with His death,  just a few days after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem,  well, it was a shock.  A great shock!  So that Sabbath we were all very low.

I remember how a few of us women decided to go to the tomb and dress His body – it was all such a rush after the crucifixion. We planned to go early in the morning ‘when it was yet dark’ (John 20 v 1) – we thought the Roman soldiers, who were placed as guards, would be more likely to unseal the tomb for a small group of women.

I remember how as we approached, mournfully with the spices prepared, we saw no soldiers, no guards, and the tomb was no longer sealed – the large stone lay discarded to one side of the tomb opening.

I remember that two men were there; where we expected to find Jesus’ body, nothing, Jesus was not there, only neatly folded linen clothes. The men asked us, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24 vv5-6). Our hearts were touched – I can’t explain how; I was sad, confused, angry but felt something exciting too. We were told to not fear but to “go quickly” and tell his disciples (Matthew 28 v 7). Mary, Jesus’ mother, seemed to sense that these were messengers from God so we did as they told us and went to tell His Apostles, returning with Peter and John. They also seemed to not fully understand and eventually I alone remained, outside the tomb, my confusion and tears my only comfort.

I remember someone asked me, “Why weepest thou?” Without really looking round, so I thought it was the gardener, and I asked, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” (John 20 v 15)

Then, I remember, He spoke my name, “Mary.”  And instantly I knew, Jesus, and I turned.

I remember how my heart, my whole body surged with joy, with burning. “Rabboni; which is to say ‘Master,'” (John 20 v 16) I cried and I went to embrace Him, for with my own eyes I could see He was not a spirit; No!, He was real, He was flesh and I could touch Him. But He stopped me saying, “I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren” (John 20 v 17).

I remember how I didn’t want to take my eyes off Him, but I had to – to be obedient – and as I quickly went I realised iit’s OK, He’s always going to be here, He was alive again, never to be killed again; truly He is the Son of God.

And I remember how I was filled with hope more than I could ever imagine; hope, that I could not only be a better person, I was filled with the hope that I, you, we would live again, that death is not the end of life; that truly we all can literally live with our Father in Heaven again.

I remember how later that day, we heard of how Jesus walked and talked with two of the brethren as they travelled to Emmaus – but they did not recognise Him at first. Their hearts burned as He discussed and explained scripture with them concerning our Lord, even right from Moses. It was only as they all sat to eat and He broke bread that they recognised Him as Jesus, and then He was gone.

I remember the love I have for Jesus and how, knowing what I know, I do not want to let Him down. I want to do my part by living and sharing Jesus’ great message.

I remember how I walked with Jesus when He was a man, how I shed tears of sorrow when He died, and how my heart almost burst when I beheld Him as my God, to never die again.

The prophet, President David O. McKay said, “I think that there are many in this congregation … who have had their hearts ‘burn within them’ and I hope as their hearts have burned within them, that they realised the message that went into their hearts.  I hope they have an inkling, at least, of the divine truth that they are sons [and daughters] of God, and that that burning within them was just a touch of harmony between them and the infinite, the Spirit of God which will enlighten our minds, quicken our understandings and bring all things to our remembrance.”

a quiet, comforting, moment

Dear friends, I sat at the dining table with my breakfast this morning – big children at seminary, husband in shower, small children not yet up (well, so I thought :)) – it was a quiet moment at the start of the day. Usually breakfast is eaten, standing up, in the kitchen, while I’m doing packed lunches.  But today I took the opportunity to read the message in the Ensign (the church magazine) and read these beautiful, comforting words from Dieter Uchtdorf, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ along with comments on this painting Frans Schwartz – Agony in the Garden:

“Though none of us will ever have to experience the depth of what our Lord suffered, we each will have our own dark and bitter hours — times when our sorrow and grief may appear to be greater than we can bear. There will be times when the weight and remorse of our sins will press mercilessly upon us.
Even so, if we will lift our hearts to the Lord during those times, surely He will know and understand. He who suffered so selflessly for us in the garden and on the cross will not leave us comfortless now. He will strengthen, encourage, and bless us. He will encircle us in His gentle arms.
He will be more than an angel to us.
He will bring us blessed comfort, healing, hope, and forgiveness.
For He is our Redeemer.
Our Deliverer.
Our merciful Saviour and our blessed God.”