Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Overcoming Satan...

                                                        


2 Nephi 1:13

O that ye would awake, awake from a deep sleep, yeah even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.


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"I think we will witness increasing evidence of Satan's power as the kingdom of God grows stronger. I believe Satan's ever-expanding efforts are some proof of the truthfulness of this work. In the future opposition will be both more subtle and more open. It will be masked in greater sophistication and cunning, but it will also be more blatant. We will need greater spirituality to perceive all the forms of evil and greater strength to resist it. But the disappointments and setbacks to the work of God will be temporary, for the work will go forward." (D&C 65:2) 




"Who has not heard and felt the enticings of the devil? His voice often sounds so reasonable and his message so easy to justify. It is an enticing, intriguing voice with dulcet tones. It is neither hard nor discordant. No one would listen to Satan's voice if it sounded harsh or mean. If the devil's voice were unpleasant, it would not entice people to listen to it." James E Faust. "The Great Imitator"

He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, do debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep's clothing" Messages of the First Presidency 1965-75

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I was born into a good home with good parents who I love very much. They loved me, cared for me, and taught me so many good things. Both of my parents worked hard to provide a good life for us and In our home we were taught to work hard too and to give everything we did 100% of our time and attention and I mean everything, which also included our favorite family past time of watching movies. 



My favorite childhood memories consist mostly of life during the 80's. We had one televison with an antenna that frequently needed to be adjusted in order to get a clear picture.  There were no remote controls, so we actually had to stand up and turn the knob if we wanted to change the channel which consisted of the numbers 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11.  At least those were all the channels we got. 



When television got boring in the summer and it was all about reruns, most of our viewing pleasures came from a couple of boxes next to the tv that my parents had filled with VHS's.  We had some rules about what we could and couldn't watch, which mostly meant that we just had to ask if we wanted to put a movie on from the "adult" video box. Sometimes I asked, sometimes I didn't.  It all depended on whether or not my parents were home. Star Wars, ET, Goonies, Willow, Back to the Future, anything with Kurt Russel and Goldie Hawn or Arnold Swartzeneger was in there, with a few extra's...



My personal favorite to watch was ALIENS. Yes, the rated R version. I loved it! To me there was nothing better on this planet than watching a woman kick some booootey. Especially alien bootey. I had that movie memorized from beginning to end and wouldn't you know, sometimes my favorite lines still slip out. Some things just stick!

When I graduated from high school and went to college my love of movies didn't stop. My favorite thing in the world to unwind from a stressful day at school was to hit the dollar theater and just chill! When I got married my mom gave me a box full of my favorite videos and much to my super pure RM husbands dismay, I watched them all. It was just about that time that I walked into the local Hollywood video and got myself a membership.  I watched pretty much anything you could watch that wasn't R rated (unless my husband was out of town) and eagerly waited any new release. Let's just say that movies were my thing!  I loved television series too, but could hardly stand having to wait a whole week to find out what was going to happen in the next episode.

So you can only imagine how awesome I thought Netflix was! Maybe not in it's beginnings because you had to wait so freaking long to get your movie in the mail, but when they started streaming in 2011, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

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C.S. Lewis gave us keen insight into the devilish tactics, in a fictional letter, the master devil, Screwtape, instructs the apprentice devil Wormwood, who is in training to become a more experiences devil: 

"You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to report spectacular wickedness...It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge man away from the Light and out into the Nothing...indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one--the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without sign posts."  


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 Once I had discovered Netlfix, I had also discovered that many of my previous years spent mothering my 4 darling children had caused me to miss a lot of new shows that had come out!  My old favorites "Saved by the Bell" and "Beverly Hills 90210" had been replaced by new shows filled with the best thing ever! Girl power. Girls that knew stealthy Ninja moves and that were hired right out of college by the government to assassinate mostly bad, but sometimes good guys were what I looked forward to from the second I woke up each day. I couldn't wait to be motivated by them. Aside from pumping adrenaline, I used these shows as a means to escape my daily mothering duties for a few hours and become a part of someone else's completely made up life.

 ALIAS with Jennifer Garner was my first ever non stop, action packed, back to back, television streaming experience and it was so awesome that I almost didn't know what to do with myself when I was done. No...I take that back, I absolutely did NOT know what to do with myself when I finished, so what else could I do but watch it again? Which I did! Then after that, I really did feel lost, but of course Netflix knew that was going to happen and they had a whole list of new shows to watch that could replace it for weeks on end. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Prison Break, 24, Nikita, Dawsons Creek, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Lost and the list goes on. We are literally talking about THOUSANDS of hours here. Hours of my life and the lives of my family wasted on completely useless television shows filled with all forms of evil including immorality, vulgarity, violence, and even witchcraft and sorcery! What in the world was I thinking? Seriously... 

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"The magnetism of TV and radio is in the accessibility of their mediocrity. Lovely is not an adjective to describe most of their products. The inventors of these wonders were inspired by the Lord. But once their good works were introduced to the world, the powers of darkness began to employ them for our destruction. In each medium - the phonograph, motion pictures, radio, and television - the evolution of decline from the inventors can easily be traced.

May I quote from a musician who for many years has observed the influence of music on behavior:

"Satan knows that music has charms to soothe or stir the savage beast. That music has power to create atmosphere has been known before the beginning of Hollywood. Atmosphere creates environment, and environment influences behavior--the behavior of Babylon or Enoch.

"...Most of the heroes that are being glamorized today are no longer noble, accomplished, humble, or righteous. From reports in books, magazines, newspapers (add in movies and television shows) especially the youth sections-we learn that they are lewd, obscene, immoral, avaricious, and in some cases even cruel. It is the very lifestyle we are here to avoid that is paraded before our young people by their celebrated peers. To deflect the admiration of youth from these examples of the ugly life, we must start young. The care and feeding of children must include equal concern for their emotional lives as well as their physical, spiritual, and intellectual lives." 

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By 2011 I was an expert on all things Hollywood and often times found myself obsessing over certain celebrity romances, breakups, and behaviors. I don't even know, but I had spent the last three years of my life living in Northern California, cooped up in a little room watching them all very closely as I  designed sewing patterns and fabric to help support my husband and family while he finished up graduate school to become a Chiropractor.   It was a wonderfully fun time, but also very trying.  I worked around the clock averaging 4 to 5 hours a sleep, living off of Trader Joe's snacks, diet coke, and Netflix binge fests.

By July we had moved to St. George Utah to join a practice and start our new lives.  I was wasted from the whole experience, heartbroken to have left my friends and the place I had hoped to call home in California, and feeling completely unmotivated to keep working, but there was nothing to be done about it. I just had to move forward and keep going. Thanks to my virtual friendships I had made on Netflix, I could do just that.  

Once we got settled and got the kids back in school, I was free to start working and watching shows again.  I don't remember the exact time I started my next show, but I do remember searching for some time to find something different than my norm. I'm not a huge fan of anything supernatural, but this one show caught my eye because of the leading actress.  I loved her, not for any particular reason other than someone once told me that I looked like her. I didn't see it, but I loved the compliment and wanted to see more of me in her.  I can handle aliens and cereal killers, but not ghosts. Anything but ghosts, still something pushed me and I gave in and turned on my soon to be new favorite series...The Ghost Whisperer. 

The first episode completely freaked me out, but by the end Jennifer Love Hewitt, who could see dead people in the form that they died in, was able to help them solve their unsolved problems, restore them to their beautiful selves and guide them toward the Heavenly Light as they journeyed to the spirit world. 

I LOVED IT!  It scared me but also made me just feel good all over. I was hooked and for the first few seasons nothing seemed to be wrong with show at all. But you know how it goes, after awhile they run out of good material and so they have to try something else, something darker and in this good show, people started getting possessed by evil spirits. Why do they always go from light to dark? From a little swearing to a lot. From a first kiss to full blown sex scenes? Hmmm, I wonder why??? Just kidding, I don't wonder. I totally know why...


Moses 7:26

And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.


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One night as I sat in my office sewing and was totally engrossed in my show, my sweet little 5 year old daughter who was sleeping with her sister in the room next door, pushed open my door.  She looked a little off right out of the gate. She was clinging to her favorite blanket and was wide eyed, straight out of a dead sleep.

I asked her what was wrong and if she had a bad dream. She nodded and then proceeded to tell me what she had just seen. A little girl had been standing in her doorway staring at her.  She stared back for a time and then smiled at the girl.  Suddenly black "water" as she called it, came pouring from her eyes, nose, and mouth and then she disappeared. 

I sat frozen as I listened to her explain this event. I could not wrap my brain around how my child who only watched the Backyardigans, Disney, and Barbie Princess movies could have conjured up such a thing with her pure and innocent mind.  I had never once let her watch one of my shows and so I had no idea where this could be coming from.  I quickly picked her up and kissed her tears as I reassured her it wasn't real and tucked her back into bed. 

As I shared the story with my husband, he stopped me dead in my tracks and proclaimed...
"It's those crappy television shows you watch! You invite the evil spirits into our home with them and they are pestering our children!"

This is not the response I was expecting and though I knew without a doubt that he was right, I disregarded his warning and continued in my habits for many more months. 


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Some time after that event, the affects of years and years of filling my mind with utter filth began to take a darker hold on me. You may be asking yourself why they hadn't already done so. I'm not sure, but I am more aware now than ever that a desensitization process had occurred prior to what was about to take place.  If there is one thing I do know for sure, it's that the devil is patient.  He is careful to study us from the day we enter mortality. He watches how we are raised, what examples are set by those who are raising us and what habits we might pick up from them. He studies their weaknesses and looks for chinks in their armor. He takes careful notes of all that they and all that we say and do, hoping to expose our weaknesses. Then he patiently waits until we are vulnerable, unaware, and unprotected by the Holy Ghost by our own doings, before he strikes. And when he strikes, it's to create a blow. This is something he has done from the very beginning of time. From generation to generation and he is a literal master at it. 

It's important to understand here that Satan doesn't MAKE us do anything. He can't.  With our own God given agency we choose what we want to do, what we want to listen to, what we watch, what we say. We choose how we will treat others, how want to spend our days, and whether or not we want to spend them glorifying our creator, our God or not. All Satan does is makes suggestions to our hearts minds that are meant to cause us to act and to detour us from the path that leads back home. 

Joseph Smith

 "All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power."


This is a lesson I was about to be taught by the devil himself.


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I don't know exactly when the thoughts started to creep in, but I believe it was some time prior to watching the Ghost Whisperer. They were subtle at first, as if they were merely passing through and I could easily brush them off and change my focus when I wanted to.  But over time they began to be more frequent.  I have decided not to give details on what the thoughts were, but I will tell you that they were 100% against everything I believed.  They were dark, twisted, and relentless.  They happened whenever I encountered another person. They happened at stoplights, at the grocery store, and at church. They became so frequent that I began to withdraw and hide from all other humans as much as I possibly could so as not to have those thoughts about them! I made excuses to others that inquired about how I was liking living in St. George that I hated it and that I didn't have any friends and didn't really want any either. Though I did manage to make a few at the time and hide my secret, it was still very difficult for me to want to spend time with anyone at all.

I made excuses to not go to church and avoided the temple at all costs for fear that the thoughts would follow me there.  I prayed and prayed to Heavenly Father for relief, but none came. In fact the more I prayed, the more intense the thoughts became.  They were in my dreams and in every waking moment.  The only time I could find a little relief was when I was watching a television show.  It seemed the darker the show the less I would have the thoughts, at least while I was watching.  I began to grow weary of praying for help that seemed as if it was never going to come and decided I would rather die than tell anyone what I was experiencing.  It was too dark and so not me.

I was embarrassed and ashamed of my thoughts and of myself. As the months drug on, my personality began to change and I fell into a deep depression.  My relationship with my husband and children suffered. I would fly off the handle over the stupidest things with my kids. They called it "the mom rage."  We laugh now, but it was ugly and sometimes a little scary, especially for me because I didn't know where it was coming from or how to control it.  I remember once I started yelling, I couldn't stop.  Swear words would fly out of my mouth and then tears out of my eyes. I would run into my bedroom and slam the door and yell profanities into my pillow until I was horse and the anger and rage left me in a state of exhaustion. Then I would sleep.  There was no dinner. No hugs or kisses goodnight. No prayers or scriptures study. Just a totally psycho mom. 

There were points where I sunk so low, that I contemplated and even longed for death over the hell I was living in.  The heavens were shut and I began to wonder if there was really a God at all.  If there was, he didn't seem to care about me and so my heart grew cold towards Him, my family, and life itself.


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"The heart is a tender place. It is sensitive to many influences, both positive and negative. It can be hurt by others. It can be deadened by sin. It can be softened by love. Early in our lives, we learn to guard our hearts. It is like we erect a fence around our hearts with a gate in it. No one can enter that gate unless we allow him or her to. 

...In some cases the fence we erect around our hearts could be likened to a small picket fence with a Welcome sign on the gate. Other hearts have been so hurt or so deadened by sin that they have an eight foot (2.5m) chain link fence topped razor wire around them. The gate is padlocked and has a large No Trespassing sign on it....

...The condition of our hearts directly affects our sensitivity to spiritual things. Let us make it a part of our everyday striving to open our hearts to the Spirit. Since we are the guardians of our hearts, we can choose to do so." 


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Matthew 10:1

And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 

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After almost 7 months of battling  real live invisible demons, I was broken and my husband knew it. I knew he knew it, but I didn't know how to tell him why and I don't think he dared ask.  We had traveled North to visit my brother and his family in Ogden and were staying at their home. I remember sitting in their front room on the couch, curled up and staring off into the distance. My husband was near. My brother and his wife entered the room and without hesitation he asked me what was wrong.  I was a bit taken off guard by this and then lied and said "Nothing. Why?"  He told me that I just seemed off, like I was really distant and depressed, and that he had been worried about me for sometime. My sister in law and husband both agreed.  As I looked at them all looking at me, I felt some kind of a force and then a release... I began to spill the beans and to my surprise began sharing what I had been experiencing.  I cried.  They cried. 

I could barely look at my husband, but when I finally did, he had managed to hide the shock that had been written all over his face just moments before. He gave me a sympathetic look and suggested to me yet again, that he thought this was all originating from the crappy TV14 television shows I was watching. 

I agreed. 

Then something wonderful happened. My lifelong overprotective older brother shared with me a personal experience that was similar in nature. At the time of his experience he just so happened to have a General Authority friend who he counseled with about the matter. The GA suggested to my brother that a Priesthood blessing was immediately needed and told him the exact words to say to rebuke the evil spirits and cast them out. (These exact words can be found in the temple endowment movie.)  

The blessing was given and the evil spirits were cast out. After relaying the  story, my brother then suggested that he and my husband immediately do the same for me.  I did not decline. 

And in an instant the thoughts were gone. A weight of a million pounds was lifted, they heavy ickiness I felt about life seemed to simply disappear, and light began to fill the dark abyss I had been held prisoner in for so long.  It was glorious and it was from God.

Though the spirits that had so securely attached themselves to me were cast out (to who knows where) and I felt as if my soul was mending. It still took extra time to heal.  The thoughts had left and any attempt that was made to reinsert them into my brain was halted by a more powerful unseen force and still to this day is being kept at bay as long as I do my part. 

I could finally breathe again and feel the warmth of the sun and my husband embrace. The rage I felt inside every time something or someone got on my nerves had vanished. I stopped crying all the time and felt a desire to go to church and even do some temple work!  I stopped watching television shows with ghosts in them, but didn't drop them all together (yet).  

It was not only a time of renewal from the spiritual sickness I had been experiencing, but also a time of physical, emotional, and spiritual strengthening before the next big blow, which I have already shared HERE.   

Looking back now I can see EVERYTHING so clearly.  At the time these two trials seemed as though they were meant to destroy me and my family, but actually they were only allowed to happen to help prepare my heart and mind for what was coming next.


It's almost as if Satan knew. I won't be surprised one bit to find out someday that he did. 



Joseph Smith



"The nearer a person approaches the Lord, a greater power will be manifested by the adversary to prevent the accomplishments of His purposes." 






"I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so I could not speak, my mind filled with doubts and all manor of inappropriate images. It seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction, but exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver, my mouth was opened and my tongue liberated..."


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Alma 5:7
Behold, he changed their hearts; yea he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. 

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...Here's another cool story...

The First Miracle in the Church 

Only a few weeks after the organization of the church in 1830, the Prophet Joseph Smith went on a visit to see the Joseph Knight family in Colesville, NY. There he had many serious discussions on religion with Newel Knight who he urged to pray vocally at their meetings, but he declined. Later Newell felt so badly about refusing to pray he went into the woods to pray in private, but found it impossible to do so. When he returned to his own house his appearance was so alarming that his wife was frightened and sent for Joseph to come to their aid. 

Joseph writes of this incident in his "History of the Church" ... 

"I went and found him suffering very much in his mind, and his body acted in a very strange manner; his visage and limbs distorted and twisted in every shape and appearance possible to imagine; and finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment, and tossed about most fearfully. His situation was soon made known to his neighbors and relatives, and in a short time as many as 8 or 9 grown persons had gathered to witness the scene. After he had suffered for a time, I succeeded in getting a hold of him by the hand, when almost immediately he spoke to me, and with great earnestness requested me to cast the devil out of him, saying he knew it was in him and that he also knew that I could cast him out. I replied "If you know that I can, it shall be done;" and then almost unconsciously I rebuked the devil, and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to depart from him; when immediately Newel spoke out and said he saw the devil leave him and vanish from his sight. This was the first miracle which was done in the church or by any member of it; and it was done not by man, nor the power of man, but it was done by God by the power of godliness; therefore, let the honour and the praise, the dominion and the glory, be ascribed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen."

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My point in sharing this story and my own story with you is... I don't really know to be honest. And if you've come here from my instagram account, you know that I have struggled to share it. It took weeks from initial prompting to gather up the nerves because honestly, it's weird. 

Weird as it may be, I personally learned so much from the experience about myself, about Satan, about the power of God, about the Priesthood, and about just how fragile our hearts and minds really are.

We truly are their guardians and protectors and it's important that we take extra care to guard them because it is through them that God most often speaks to us!
2 Nephi 33:1 

And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men."

...So in order for the Holy Ghost to do His job, we must keep our hearts soft and open. We must choose to let Him in and allow Him to do His is very important job.

Something else that I have gained from this experiences that hasn't left me yet is a really cool spiritual gift. 

 D&C 46: 7-10

But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me,considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils.
Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;
For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.
And again, verily I say unto you, I would that ye should always remember, and always retain in your minds what those gifts are, that are given unto the church...
It didn't immediately happen, but after overcoming these trials I feel like the spiritual gift of discernment (which we all have) has been somewhat increased in me. It's like the veil has been thinned a little and I can more easily separate the darkness from the light. At least in my own life and the lives of those I love. Elder Faust said it best...

"I personally claim no special insight into Satan’s methods, but I have at times been able to identify his influence and his actions in my life and in the lives of others."

 I'll tell you where I can see it best is when someone is struggling with Pornography and the reason for that is because that's exactly what I was participating in and struggling with myself. Maybe not in the same extreme as others, but it all comes from the same source of darkness and has the same affect and purpose, which is deaden our hearts and fill our minds with doubts and fears so Satan can more easily lure us away from influences of God. 

It's pretty simple really:

"For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil." (Alma 5:40)

I testify to you that the things I have shared here are true.  I referred to scriptures, conference talks, and stories that were relateable to help validate my experience to you.  Satan is as real as God is. One of his many evil tactics is to convince us that he's not real. If he fails there, he disguises himself and hides behind us. He uses us against each other to tell his lies and spread his deceit. He uses us to trap and trick each other, preferably without us even knowing. He is evil.  He has done it to me and all that I love and he continues to do so.  

The only way to see through his veil of darkness and to protect ourselves and each other from his attacks is with LIGHT.
The more light we gain the better we can SEE.

This is done through constant prayer and study and by applying the things we learn in our lives. This is done by following the Prophet and Apostles. This is done by keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, by doing our family history, attending the temple on a regular basis, and by teaching our families in our own homes what is true and what is false.  This is done by keeping our hearts and minds pure and clean from the filth of the world so that the Holy Ghost can constantly speak truth to us and help us discern between what his good and what is evil. This is done by repenting of our sins and forsaking them every single day.  This is done with faith in Jesus Christ and in His priesthood that is fully functioning on the earth today.  This is done by developing a personal relationship with the Savior and by learning to access the power of His Atonement.

This is done one day at a time, line upon line and precept upon precept.

If you or someone you know and love is suffering from the attacks of Satan, seek a blessing from a worthy Priesthood holder and ask to have the evil spirits that are tormenting you rebuked! Even if you are the one who invited them in the first place, it doesn't matter. They need to be removed through the power of God, so that you can once again be open to feel His Holy Spirit.

Jesus did it all the time and he also commanded his Apostles to do it when He was gone. It's talked about in the Book of Mormon and throughout church history. It's not weird to ask for a blessing of this nature. It's a faithful and righteous request.

If you want more scriptures on the matter click below:

Topical Guide: Spirits, Evil or Unclean 


Whatever you do, don't give up!  Keep going! Press forward! Keep fighting! I mess up every single day, but I just keep trying. I don't remember who said it, but I love it...

God is looking for progression, not perfection.

Just keep progressing!

I love you guys! 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

One Heart and One Mind...





"Each one of us can build up Zion in our own lives by being pure in heart. And the promise is, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8.) Each one of us can extend the borders of Zion by gathering our friends and neighbors into the fold of Israel.

These things of which we speak are part of a great plan and program of the Lord. He has known the end from the beginning. He has ordained and established the system which is now in operation. He has scattered his chosen people in all the nations of the earth. And now through his goodness and grace in this, our day, by the opening of the heavens, by the ministry of holy angels sent from his presence, by his own voice speaking from heaven, by the pouring out of the Holy Ghost—by all these means—he has once again restored the fullness of his everlasting gospel. He has called us out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ. He has commanded us to build up Zion anew. He has commanded us to overcome the world. He has commanded us to forsake every evil thing. He has made us his agents and representatives. He has commissioned us to go out and find the lost sheep of Israel. He wants us to invite them to gather with the true Church and with the Saints of God.

This is a work of great magnitude and importance. There is no work like it in all the world. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest thing in heaven or on earth. We rejoice in the glorious truths of heaven we have received. We praise the Lord for his goodness and grace. And we know within ourselves of the truth and divinity of these things." Bruce R. McConkie "Let Israel Build Zion"

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If you haven't clued in yet, I've got Zion on the brain.  Now don't roll your eyes or start backing away from me...this is what we are suppose to have on our minds! It should consume our every thoughts!  Creating a place where the Savior can come a dwell, a place that is worthy of His presence, should be of the utmost importance in our lives.   

D. Todd Christofferson said:

"Zion is both a place and a people. Zion was the name given to the ancient city of Enoch in the days before the Flood. “And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion” (Moses 7:19). This Zion endured for some 365 years (see Moses 7:68). The scriptural record states, “And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled” (Moses 7:69). Later, Jerusalem and its temple were called Mount Zion, and the scriptures prophesy of a future New Jerusalem where Christ shall reign as “King of Zion,” when “for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest” (Moses 7:53, 64).

The Lord called Enoch’s people Zion “because they were of ONE HEART and ONE MIND, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18). Elsewhere He said, “For this is Zion—the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21).

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I was talking to some friends the other day about the shift in my thoughts and how suddenly I can't stop thinking of Zion and they totally did not think I was weird, which was so awesome!  It's not that I haven't had thoughts about it in the past or studied it or had conversations about it. All of those things have occurred at one time or another, but this is something different. There is a new desire to UNDERSTAND the meaning and purpose of Zion and I feel so excited, but a little overwhelmed and like I'm maybe getting in over my head (but what's new, right?)

So I was talking to some friends and telling them all my thoughts and feelings and the advice was given to me to first build Zion in my heart, THEN in my home, THEN in my ward, and so on.   I LOVED this advice, but still felt unsure where to start.  How do you even do that? How can I start to build Zion in my own heart? I just didn't even know where to begin, so I took my question to the Lord in the temple and I got my answer....

The ANSWER is what I will be sharing with you on my blog as the Spirit instructs. This is the new direction I will be taking, but really it's not new at all. It's where I've been heading all along, I just didn't totally know it.  But now that I do and a change in me has occurred, the same desire that inspired me to start bearing my testimony on instagram 2 years ago and sharing my very personal Mormon Stories, has overwhelmed me again.  I feel this is something the Lord want's me to do, BUT I realize Zion can be an intense and even scary topic for some.  It use to be for me!  But now it excites me and gives me a renewed purpose for me and my family.   

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you go get some guns and ammo and buy out all the tomato soup and Oreo's at the grocery store (though I do support getting a good food storage and don't forget the tp!)  Rather I'm going to share with you my personal experiences of how I became better friends with the Holy Ghost and how He has been helping me on my journey to be one with Christ.  

I'll be sharing some of the more deeper trials of my faith which, by the way will include some of my Mormon Stories! These are the trials that have brought me to this point and I'll also share with you things I am doing and experiencing now - all with one purpose in mind - to encourage anyone who is reading to do the same thing! To come to know and understand the Holy Ghost so He can help you build a personal relationship with the Savior because only then can we truly become unified in heart and mind!  

He is the LIGHT and the WAY! 

D. Todd Christofferson: 

"Much of the work to be done in establishing Zion consists in our individual efforts to become “the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21). “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,” said the Lord; “otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself” (D&C 105:5). The law of the celestial kingdom is, of course, the gospel law and covenants, which include our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity.

 The Savior was critical of some of the early Saints for their “lustful … desires” (D&C 101:6; see also D&C 88:121). These were people who lived in a non-television, non-film, non-Internet, non-iPod world. In a world now awash in sexualized images and music, are we free from lustful desires and their attendant evils? Far from pushing the limits of modest dress or indulging in the vicarious immorality of pornography, we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women. Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon (see Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], 47).

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I know this might feel a little overwhelming at first and there will be some crazy personal trials ahead I'm sure because SATAN does NOT want us to do this.  

If you decide to take this ZION challenge with me I have a few bits of advice from my own past experiences to get you started...

1. Read the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY

2. Listen to one General Conference talk EVERY DAY

2. Don't forget to PRAY

3. Keep your covenants... 

For example: 


-KEEP the Sabbath Day Holy and prepare to take the Sacrament.  S. Michael Wilcox said something along the lines of this:  You can't watch a Rated R movie on Friday night and then go to the temple on Saturday and then wonder why you didn't get anything out of it or gain any new understanding.  Well the same goes for the Sabbath.  If you feel like you aren't getting anything out of church, maybe it's because you filled yourself with mucky muck all week long.  Be mindful of what you watch on TV, of what you listen to on the Radio or Spotify or Apple Music or whatever, and of what you look at on your phone and computer.  Fill your mind and body and soul with GOOD THINGS.


-Don't look at porn. Soft Porn, Hard Porn, or anything in between.  That's means pretty much about 90% of what's available to us today.  Porn in any form makes you stupid! Seriously it makes you stupid and makes your brain not work properly and satan totally loves that because he can take advantage of you in all kinds of ways and you will NEVER get to Zion if you look at porn.

-If you are temple endowed WEAR your garments ALL the time and go the the temple and do Initiatories so you UNDERSTAND why you need to wear your garments and just how incredibly awesome they are.  They are a GIFT from GOD.

 4. DO your family history work and GO to the Temple! I recommend once a week, but at least once a month for sure. Don't forget...12 and up can do Baptisms for the Dead!

I will have more specifics on all that and experiments and challenges we can do together LIKE the one's I have already given like the POWER of 3 and ETHER 12 challenges.
I'm SUPER EXCITED about those and I'm SUPER EXCITED about this!  

I hope and pray you will join me. 

ONE HEART...ONE MIND

LOVE, Chelsea





Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Awakening...


"We need to overcome fatalism. We know the prophecies of the future. We know the final outcome. We know the world collectively will not repent and consequently the last days will be filled with much pain and suffering. Therefore, we could throw up our hands and do nothing but pray for the end to come so the millennial reign could begin. To do so would forfeit our right to participate in the grand event we are all awaiting. We must all become players in the winding-up scene, not spectators. We must do all we can to prevent calamities, and then do everything possible to assist and comfort the victims in tragedies that do occur." 
- Glenn L. Pace, Ensign, November 1990 Page 8

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"Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, He awakened them 
out of a deep sleep and they awoke unto God." 

Alma 5:7 

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I've joked with my family for the last few years that when old friends come to town and don't tell me,  it's because they just don't want to catch what I've got. Like it's a highly contagious disease that kills all fun. I laugh at my own joke and know that I've done it to myself with all the "realness" I've been putting on my instagram, but deep down I can't help but miss the old me. The me that made them think of me or want to spend time with me.  I see other old friends hanging out and eating out and having all kinds of fun together and it pricks at my heart. Not necessarily because I wasn't there, but because I've changed and I know it. I've changed a lot.  It doesn't go deep and make it bleed like it use to, but it does make me wonder what other things will have to change about me before I achieve my end goal. And will those kinds of changes require more sacrifices that are as painful as they have been in the past? I hope not, but I think so.

Hey, it's not that I couldn't go out and have a great time and just forget everything for an hour or two. I could and sometimes I do, but something that I've learned is there's always a consequence when I trade in the new me for just a taste of the old me and those consequences are ones that I'm becoming less and less willing to accept. It's no longer worth the risk of loosing what I have found! What I have been given, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and

FAITH in JESUS CHRIST

Now I"m not talking about the kind of faith I use to have that fueled an occasional bearing of my testimony,  sporadic family scripture study, quarterly visits to the temple, text messaging visiting teaching, and hit and miss personal prayers.  No, not that kind of faith. This is a new kind of faith that only came after SEVERAL trials of my faith. This is the kind of faith that we read about in the scriptures. The kind of faith that those who walked and talked with God had.  Well...I don't have that kind of faith yet, but I do have the beginnings of it, and I know this because it's inspiring me to SAY and DO things I have never done before.  Oh there's a lot more fire to walk through before I even come close to obtaining my goal and the REAL test is going to be what else I'm willing to give up to reach that goal. The real test now is how I choose to spend my time.

The thought that most often enters my mind throughout the day is "Is this what the Lord wants me to do right now?" I could and should literally ask myself that question a THOUSAND times a day especially since I have made promises to God that I would use all of my time and talents to do His will & build His kingdom on the Earth to establish Zion.

Whooooooa! This just got heavy didn't it? 

So wait, when I made that promise was it literal? Was He serious?  Oh dear. YES He was and IS quite serious about that promise and all the others I have made.

Story...

On DAY 12 of the ETHER 12 thirty DAY challenge  my youngest woke up from a pretty scary "end of the world" dream and after a few hours of squirming next to me in my bed, I headed a prompting from the Spirit to take her to the temple to watch the sun rise. I set her up on 3 Nephi to calm her troubled soul and I dove right into Ether 12.  As we quietly read and began to feel the warmth of the sun peek out over the mountain tops and reach towards us, the thought came to me, "If I stay true, like I am right now, I will one day have what I desire." and once again I experienced 


"The Awakening"

  I say again because I've been awakened before and more than a few times and as long as I stay on this path, I kind of expect them to keep happening, but this one was slightly more intense than the last.  It came with a jolt of pure excitement and new thoughts and feelings that won't go away. I'm thinking about it every morning when my head pops off the pillow, until I fall unconscious again at night, and sometimes the thoughts even sneak into my dreams!   

I want to run up and down the streets and tell everybody, "Hey! Did you know..........."

But they'll think I've lost my marbles like you probably would too if I told you right now. I probably will someday, BUT for now let's just go with this to get things started:

George Albert Smith:

-The Prophet Nephi, hundreds of years ago, saw what would occur, that the people were to contend with one another and deny the power of the Holy Ghost and the Holy One of Israel, and were to teach for doctrine the commandments of men. An influence is in the world today trying to make people believe that by their own intelligence and by their own power they can gain eternal life. 

Let me read from Nephi:

“And there shall also be many which shall say, Eat, drink and be merry, nevertheless fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin.”

I want you to note that: “He will justify in committing a little sin.” That cunning adversary knowing that if he could only get a man or woman to do a little wrong, that far they had gone into his territory, that far they were in his power.

“Nevertheless, fear God, he will justify in committing a little sin, yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this. And do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the Kingdom of God.” [2 Nephi 28:8.]

Isn’t that just exactly what the devil says to the children of men today as plainly as it is written here? Oh, commit a little sin, that won’t do any harm, lie a little, that won’t do any particular damage, the Lord will forgive that and you will only be beaten with a few stripes and at last you shall be saved in the kingdom of God. That is what he says to the man or the woman who has been taught the Word of Wisdom when he says, oh, drink a little tea, that won’t hurt you; use a little tobacco, that won’t make any difference; a little liquor won’t do any harm. These are little things; he always does it a little at a time, not all at once. That is what I would like us to remember. … It is these insignificant insidious whisperings that betray mankind and that place us in the power of the devil. …

And Nephi says further:
“And others will he pacify and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say, All is well in Zion; yea Zion prospereth, all is well; and thus the devil cheateth their souls.”

Now, I want you to note that: “And thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” [2 Nephi 28:21.] And that is the way he does it, that’s exactly the way he does it. He does not come and grab you bodily and take you into his territory, but he whispers, “Do this little evil,” and when he succeeds in that, another little evil and another, and, to use the expression quoted, “He cheateth their souls.” That’s what he does. He makes you believe that you are gaining something when you are losing. So it is every time we fail to observe a law of God or keep a commandment, we are being cheated, because there is no gain in this world or in the world to come but by obedience to the law of our Heavenly Father.

… That peculiar suggestion, “And he leadeth them carefully away down to hell” is significant, that is his method. Men and women in the world today are subject to that influence, and they are being drawn here and there, and that whispering is going on and they do not understand what the Lord desires them to do, but they continue in the territory of the evil one, subject to his power where the Spirit of the Lord will not go.

He says further: …
“And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them, I am no devil, for there is none; and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.” [2 Nephi 28:22.]

Now, my brethren and sisters, that is the condition of the world today. Nephi could not have stated it plainer if he had been right here in the world now. And the adversary is at work, and because our Heavenly Father desired to preserve his children from the evil of that teaching and of that belief he sent the boy prophet, Joseph Smith, into the world, commissioned him with divine authority, organized His Church, and began again to teach the truth to the children of men, that they might be led from the error of their ways.

We must learn to overcome our passions, our evil tendencies. We must learn to resist temptations. That is why we are here, and in order that we may more perfectly do that, the gospel has been restored to the earth, and we have been made partakers of it, and we have the strength that comes to us as a result of the power of the Holy Ghost. We not only have the resistance of an ordinary individual, with the limitations that such an individual has who has not the knowledge of the truth—we have equal resistance with him, and in addition the resistance which comes from knowing the truth and knowing the purpose of our being."

THAT right there is where it all started for me just a little over 2 years ago.  It was a gift that I asked for and then was given, but only after a HUGE trial of my faith.  The gift of discernment. The ability to discern to truth from error and see the light through the darkness. Not all the time, but a lot of the time AND let me just tell you something about that gift...

It ROCKS 

Because all of sudden what you once saw as good and right and perfectly fine becomes NONE of those things.  And then... you might freak out a little and get all intense and stop doing the things you did before and you start doing things you've never even thought of! You might stop listening to crappy music and watching crappy shows and you might even stop going to girls nights out! Instead you start listening to Christian music or even music with no words!  Then you start reading good books and going to the temple on the weekends and sometimes even during the week...in the middle of the day!

You crazy.

You feel so strange and good and happy inside like you've never felt before so you start telling people about it and pretty soon the word gets out.  Some people stop talking to you all together and others just a little less.  New people come into your life that are different than you thought they were.  Because before you thought they were a little strange, but really they were just like you are NOW and then you freak out some more because you realize they weren't strange at all, they were just living the Gospel as it should be lived!  They were just following Christ like you're suppose to be doing, then it happens...


"The Awakening"

Then the Spirit says "Oh hey! So glad you're finally awake. I've got a job for you to do."  And you're like "Whaaaaat? Nooooo. I can't do that!" But then you decide to do it anyways, just to see what happens if you obey, and the result is not what you thought it was going to be.  The result was good! Fulfilling and even a little Fun! 

Then the Spirit says "Hey! Thanks for listening and for helping me out with that. I've got another job for you to do."  And you say "Sweeeet! Yeeeeeesss! I'll do whatever you ask because the last time was so awesome!"  And you do it over and over and over again.   Then it happens...


"The Awakening"

And the Spirit wakes you from a the best and most deep sleep you've had in years and says "Good morning sunshine! I'm so glad you're awake. I have another job for you to do."  And with you're eyes only half open, you think to yourself "Oh NO. No, no, no, no, no. I can't do that.  I just can't."  And then imagine the Spirit standing next to your bed with His head tilted to the side saying "Seriously? You know from past experiences that we've shared, that you can do this." And you say to yourself "Nope. I can't. I just can't do that." He's offended and He leaves and you sigh a sigh a of relief because you hope He probably just realized that you weren't ready for that yet.

A few days or maybe a few weeks go by and you start to feel sad, confused, and kind of lost.  You're not sure what you're suppose to be doing. You wander around in a daze and might even admit you're bored. Even with a husband, 4 kids, and 2 bunny's to take care you just feel useless. You have a few good ideas come to you, but you push them aside because they seem dumb and weird. Then suddenly you come across an old friend and he knows just what you should do.

He whispers "You're not happy right now are you?" And you say back to him "No, I am not happy at all. I don't even know what I'm doing with my life." And he's such a good listener and then he says "Heeeey, remember that time when you.......and how much fun you had? Remember how easy it was to just not care about all this spiritual stuff?  Remember when your focus was......and how much you accomplished by yourself. You didn't need any help then and you don't need any now.  You're awesome just as you are.  Remember how everybody that you knew back then liked you so much and it made you feel so good to be so liked?   You should totally go get that back because nobody really likes the new you.  You freak them out!"  And then you struggle and struggle with the memories and the temptation of that old, good, easy life you had and you almost give in when SUDDENLY, the Spirit returns and REMINDS you of what you know to be true.

He brings to the front of your mind the things that have REALLY brought you happiness and joy and fulfillment and it all comes rushing back like a river and then you hear that still small voice say "Hello beautiful being of LIGHT. I'm back. Would you like to try again and do what I asked before?"  The thought returns of what it was and this time you feel stronger than you did before and you feel like you can do what He has asked you to do because you REMEMBER the promises that have been kept and the blessings that have been given to you when you obeyed the Spirit.  And it happens again...

"The Awakening"

And it happens again and again and again!  EVERY TIME you listen to the Spirit you get closer to ANOTHER awakening until one day THIS happens...


"Behold, He changed their hearts; yea, He awakened them 
out of a deep sleep and they awoke unto God." 

Alma 5:7

THAT is what I want to share with you. THAT is what I desire. THAT is what I have been promised and YOU have been promised too.  To be awakened unto God.  Not after we're dead, but NOW, in THIS life.   It's going to take obedience. Strict obedience and FAITH and learning to live the laws of sacrifice and consecration.  Those are hard laws to keep. It's going to take our whole heart and soul.   We'll take a good beating for sure and our faith will be tried to the fullest extent that is allowed by GOD. Everything single thing we experience will be allowed to happen because THAT is how we are woken up.

That is the journey that I have been on and that I want to keep going on!  Something that I have been wanting to tell you for soooooo long is that I want to see the Savior as others have AND have testified of it it too.   Is that weird to say out loud?  I feel like it is and like people might think that isn't a good thing to desire. Or it's presumptuous or self righteous or something.   I don't know why I feel that way, I guess because I've never even thought it possible until a few days ago. But the thought won't leave and the right scriptures and books and songs and people are popping into my life and are all telling me the same thing. It's possible.  It's real and It's all laid out in Ether 12 just how it can be achieved. Don't believe me? Try studying it every day for 30 days, I mean really studying it and see what you conclude.

One thing that's for sure is it isn't easy, but I know it will be worth it. 

In the 2016 World Wide Devotional Wendy Watson Nelson posed this very stirring question and it's this question that has had my wheels turning ever since. It's this question that has made me really start to consider and even experiment with just exactly what I would be willing to do to see my Savior.

Wendy Watson Nelson
My dear brothers and sisters, whom I love, the reality is that someday you and I will each have an individual, face-to-face interview with the Savior Himself. When this eventuality becomes real to us, we will be willing to do whatever it takes to be prepared!

So, now a question as I conclude: What if you learned that the Savior had already returned to this earth—that He, as part of His Second Coming, had already met with some of His true followers in several marvelous, large gatherings—gatherings about which the world, including CNN and the blogosphere, knew nothing. If you found out that the Savior was already on the earth, what would you desperately want to do today, and what would you be willing and ready to do tomorrow?

I pray that this year you will have some moments of anguishing desperation that will propel you further along the path to becoming the man or woman you were born to be. Your true self is spectacular! Never settle for less. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.