Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nephite Woman

Dear Austin,

I had a really unique opportunity in Primary today.  One of the counselors teaching Sharing Time asked me to pretend I was a Nephite woman, present when the Saviour appeared after His resurrection.  All the parts were written out for me; I could read the card if I wanted, but it was requested that I pretend to be the woman.

As I read through the card I pondered what it might have been like for that woman.  Enduring three days of earthquakes, tempests, lightnings... I think of the scariest of storms we have experienced in our lives, and I imagine this was much, much worse.  Houses toppling, land shifting, rains, fires, and complete darkness for three days.  Can you imagine three days of cries, sobbings, fear and hunger?  We struggle to fast for 24 hours!  What did they do for those three days?

The card said that after three days, a light appeared in the heavens.  I've learned that it was probably many months after the darkness that the Saviour appeared.  Probably more like 10, and it was at the temple at Bountiful.  What was powerful to me is that last night I stumbled across this site, and the author shared his powerful experiences of touching the nail prints in Jesus's hands, feet, and side.  Reading it last night brought me to tears, and I found it a miracle that today, reading the card and what I was being asked to "pretend" was just too coincidental to not be a miracle.

So with some trepidation I stood up at my turn to "pretend" to be this Nephite woman.  Imagining losing children or spouse in this earthquake, or surviving such an ordeal.  Waiting 10 months to wonder what would happen next.  Traveling to the temple for worship, trusting that what I was doing was still correct, despite the wait, the death, the destruction apparent all around, and trying to reconstruct it all.  Showing up at the right time and there, as luck and privilege would have it, I get to be present for when my God appears.  Hearing the testimonies of leaders and prophets testify of this moment for years, and finally getting to see for my own eyes!  And then to be invited to touch those hands, those feet, and that side for myself.  Tears were the only thing that came today.  What a powerful privilege and blessing that must have been for that Nephite woman.  I hope someday that we too can experience that.  Strive for it.  Believe it can happen, and do everything you can to get there.

Love you baby!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Dear Magdalene,

There are some ugly people out there.  I'm not talking about the deformed or crippled.  I'm talking about those who are so internally pained and torn that they are ugly.  They let their biases, criticisms, and unkindness deform them, to where they are abrasive, rude, and mean, no matter what circumstances come their way.

One suggestion.  Cast out the devil in them, and leave.

I have learned that when you try to fight the devil, you typically lose.  But it takes two to fight, and asking your Savior to step in and do the battle is the only way to come out alive.  Don't even try it alone.  Let beauty overcome the ugly, and know that beauty comes from a connection to God.

When you feel like you can't do it alone, pray.  If you feel like you're not reaching heaven, pray harder.  Pray until you connect, and if you don't, keep praying.  Pray to come off conquerer, and pray to win the "battle".  It is a battle.  It is real, and if you wonder why sometimes working with some people leaves you shaking, realize that you have just met a devil, or a human possessed with one (or many).  Cast them out, leave them be, and then pray for protection.  They are real, and so is God.  He is more powerful than all of them, and refusing to be contentious is the first step in overcoming.

Love you baby,