We held a family fast this last Sunday for my son. He has finally shown the first signs of being ready to make some long overdue changes. The morning after we had fasted for him he shows up bright and early at our home to help his dad with something. That in and of itself could have been its own miracle as his sleep habits are wildly out of control and he has not felt a desire to help anyone with anything for at least a year. Miracle number two, he was smiling from ear to ear. Smiles are good. Again, he went at least a year, probably more without ever smiling. When I commented on the smile and downright cheerful attitude he just smiled back and told me he was having a great day. At 8 am he was having a great day? Unless I had seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed that one. I asked him if there was any particular reason he was happy, he told me he wasn’t quite ready to share or talk about it yet. (Now that was simply reassurance I really was talking to the same kid) He did tell me that he had spent a lot of contemplative thinking time the day before, and is simply very happy about some of the things he was thinking about.
We never told him he was in many, many people’s prayers and fasts that day. It seems to be working, however.
My husband had an employment “issue” and after tons of praying we felt to keep scrambling to keep the job he had. Finally it ended, after all that work and all that prayer. After about a week of feeling sorry for ourselves my husband started looking for something completely different than we had considered before. I guess it was just a drastic way to get us to change directions because he got hired off the very first interview he got the very first week of applying.
English: Statue representing Peter, James, and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Before Christmas my elementary age kids had a short bout with whatever cold thing they picked up at school. Not a big deal and they missed very little school. As soon as school got out Kimber got it again. This time she was a little sicker and we were worried she would miss Christmas due to being so sick so we called and got her a blessing. The next day instead of being better her brother was also sick. By the end of the day it was obvious that it was spreading and we called for more blessings all around. It ended up being a good thing because a few children were showing signs of coming down with the cold, and two more actually needed blessings for other issues, so we did a round for everyone’s “maintenance and prevention.” The next morning everyone felt great and no one was sick at all for Christmas. 🙂 I was so glad we received those prevention blessings.
Last week I was helping out with a volunteer group. I was in charge of a large activity. I felt to take some time that morning that I could know how to focus my time and efforts to make the most of my work there. I didn’t even really know what I was praying for specifically, so my prayer sort of rambled and sounded like, “whatever it is I am supposed to be praying for help with I hope you know already better than I do cuz I have no idea what I’m praying for.” A few hours later I was delivering permission slips to the parents and felt to step in and visit with one of the families I had not talked to for a while. The conversation was kind of skirting around some potentially stressful family situations, but I felt directly impressed to share a personal struggle that our family had gone through a few years earlier. It turns out that was the exact thing that they were dealing with, and by sharing my story I was able to offer some hope and insight about how to deal with everything. It had nothing to do with the activity, except that was where the contact came in. I’m glad that Heavenly Father knew what I was praying for help for even if I didn’t.
A few months ago I had an interesting experience. We were right in the middle of dealing with a serious mental health crisis with my son. As we were dealing with this particular issue, we found out that Pres. Jeffry R. Holland was coming to visit our ward. It would be a short visit and he would be very busy, but I wondered about the timing. If I really believed that he was an apostle of God, as were the apostles at the time of Christ, could he help our family? Throughout the scriptures are stories of children and families being healed by Christ and the apostles. I knew that I love my child every bit as much as the parents in ancient times, and I knew that I needed help. Was help being sent? Did I have enough faith to receive help? I had many questions about how to help my son that needed answering, that my local leaders were unable to address sufficiently.
I did a lot of praying and a lot of fasting. I didn’t know exactly what type of help I needed. I was not sure exactly what to pray for. I prayed that if there was any way that this apostle could help our family that we would have enough faith to receive that help. I was told that my prayers had been heard, and that it was taken care of. The visit came and went. I had no direct interaction with President Holland. We attended a dinner with him, my son declined to attend, but we brought others to join us. As far as I knew, my son avoided any potential contact the same way he has continued to avoid all potential help. Still, I was at peace that my prayers had been heard and accepted.
This last weekend was LDS General Conference weekend. The incident over the summer was pretty much out of my mind. Then Elder Holland stepped up to speak. He opened his talk by stating that he was going to address those dealing with serious mental health problems. He then proceeded to answer all of my questions that truly needed answering. It was a direct answer to my personal prayers and I can not question that the Lord heard and answered my prayers this summer.
View of Conference Center spire taken from south of the Center on North Temple St., Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Gustav Bauernfeind: The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We went down to the St. George temple for a Young Womens activity. During the fireside I kept getting the impression that my son was also at the temple. I knew that was not the case, and the impression got to be rather distracting since I was there for my daughter, not my son. I kept having that feeling over and over until finally I realized what it meant. Earlier in the week I had done a session at the temple and had put his name on the prayer roll.
I think I had previously put names on the prayer roll at the temple thinking that if nothing else a few more people would be praying for them, and that it wouldn’t hurt to try. I had not realized the amount of protection and power that came with that simple act. I realized that he was literally being protected because of those prayers, protected from harm as if he were also attending the temple. No, he was not at the temple, but it was as if a portion of the temple was watching over him.
Yesterday I was privileged to attend a sacred experience for one of my daughters. In our religion we have what is called a patriarchal blessing. It is an opportunity to receive blessings, guidance and comfort designed specifically for you. It is basically a special prayer that is recorded and preserved, designed to be used your entire life.
As expected, we had a wonderful experience. Our daughter was very comforted by how well her Father in Heaven knew her.
I was thinking how sacred some of our experiences are, and how they are not always meant to be shared. Because of the nature of sacred things, I think sometimes the world in general will too easily dismiss them as not of value, but in reality, it is the thing that is most sacred, and most personal, and most private that is often of most worth.
Found myself praying for some much needed wisdom today. Felt blessed that my prayer was answered so quickly, so I thought I’d share the answer I needed to hear.
Use LOVE. LOVE is not a default position. LOVE is not simply something we do because we don’t know what else we can do. LOVE is our Father in Heaven’s greatest tool in dealing with us. Christ made no bones that LOVE is the substance of both the greatest and second greatest commandments. The word LOVE has multiple definitions and connotations, but the most powerful type of LOVE is not simply a feeling, it is an action verb that describes an intangible power. LOVE literally creates entire civilizations, and the absence of it destroys them. LOVE speaks to hearts, not to minds. No teaching, lecturing, or information has any value if there is not LOVE attached to it. Yet, even the smallest piece of knowledge, shared with LOVE, can change the future.
I was also reminded of a quote I heard somewhere that it is not so much that love is blind, but that love has the ability to see something in another person that others have missed.
I am ready to start posting new miracles every day again, rather than just every week. I’m so grateful for this particular one, but a year ago I probably would have dismissed it and not even given it a second thought.
Yesterday I woke up rather cold. I knew it was forecasted to be a colder day, but that shouldn’t have effected the internal temperature. When I checked the thermostat, it was registering well below where it was programmed to be. The heater wasn’t running either. I watched for a while as the system would start to come on, flash an error code, then turn off. I hurried in to the computer to look up what that particular error code meant. It was a vague, non-helpful, could be pretty much anything code.
My mind filled with questions, how much would it cost us, should we call someone out on a Sunday, how cold would we really get, should we cancel the dinner party at our house that afternoon? We decided just to use the space heaters for a while and get to church on time. That needed to be the priority. My husband unplugged the furnace and made breakfast. I turned off the system, put a space heater by the shower, and got everyone ready.
When we came home the space heaters had done a decent job and it wasn’t too cold. We restarted the system and — everything is working fine again. Woke up this morning nice and toasty too.