Several weeks ago I was thinking about my life, and how long I might live, and what I would want to do before I die. One of the most important things I thought I want to do is to make sure my children and grandchildren know what I believe, and that they know the wonderful things the Lord has done for me.
As I think of the circumstances I have been through in my life, I see that my whole life has been for my learning and experience, and also for the learning and experience of those close to me. I can clearly see that the Lord has been helping me my whole life. I am sure it has looked like an ordinary life when looked at from the outside, but to me it has been extraordinary! I am such a blessed woman!
A few weeks ago a friend of mine was talking about how he wanted his blog to now be mainly for his children. This was the same kind of thing I had been thinking about. I think maybe only a few people have ever actually read this blog, and likely that will continue to be the case. So, I feel that I am supposed to use this blog now to write things the Lord has taught me, and many of my experiences. And that it is now for my children, grandchildren, and perhaps a few other people I love very much who might feel inclined to read this blog. And if others happen onto it, and feel to read anything here, that’s great.
As I have mentioned before, those of you who know me know I am just a very fallible ordinary person, although I am important to my family and dear friends, just like most everyone is. I also know I am important to the Lord, just like everyone is. And He has taught me many things. And He has told me to share what I believe.
But one thing I have learned through my life is my understanding of things continues to evolve through the Lord teaching me. Some things I have understood to be true earlier in my life have now been shown to me to be either a misunderstanding of the truth, or such a small part of the whole of the truth as to have given me a totally wrong comprehension of how things really are. And I am still learning and gaining more understanding, and getting rid of unbelief, so whatever I say now is what I know and understand now, but I know through experience that the Lord will continue to refine my understanding and broaden my knowledge, as long as I keep asking and seeking. And I claim absolutely no authority over anyone, and have learned that anyone claiming authority over anyone must be very suspect.
D&C 121:39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
I have seen so much “supposed” authority exercised in my life, and it is very dismaying. I have no authority. I only believe that the Lord wants me to share some things on this blog. And I would ask that each person who reads what I believe go to the Lord themselves to discern the truth. I also ask that each person who reads this let the Lord wake you up, and let the Lord shake you if need be, out of any preconceived notions you might have. I think Hugh Nibley once said something like, “No one likes to be awakened out of a deep sleep.” I was awakened. It was rough in many ways, but SO VERY MUCH WORTH IT! Do not let fear keep you locked in false beliefs or unbelief.
I have been awakened, but that is not nearly enough. Now I must arise. Awake and arise! That is what I am trying to do. And I am trying to let the Lord help me shed all my false beliefs and unbelief. We must act on new knowledge and understanding we are given, even when acting is hard and causes trials for us. If we harden our hearts and do not ask and do not listen, we will lose even that understanding which we have been given.
Alma 12:10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.
So, where do I start? I have felt to start by relating a Baptism of Fire experience I had sometime in 2011. I only wrote about it in my journal and to others after the fact, so I am not sure of the exact date.
This happened during a time when I was fervently pondering and praying about how I wanted to only do the Lord’s will. My whole desire with every fiber of my being was to do His will and to help others. I was profoundly sorry for anything I had ever done wrong, anything that separated me from the Lord. I prayed for forgiveness for everything, to be totally clean before the Lord. I wanted to be filled with the pure love of Christ and to serve His children. This has pretty much been my desire always, but I think I was much more focused on it during this time, and I was also willing to do what He asked, even if it meant sacrifices I would not have considered before. I have memories of lying in bed around this time in mighty prayer for hours about these things.
I will share here something I wrote a while ago about this Baptism of Fire experience. I did not call it that at the time. I just knew it was an amazing experience, but did not know what to call it. I did not know what to call it because the Church (when I say the Church in this blog, I am usually meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) generally talks about the Baptism of Fire in a very different, and much more vague way, than the scriptures do. I had the idea that the term Baptism of Fire usually meant the general good feeling that you would be entitled to from the Holy Ghost after baptism. That it was kind of, sort of, the same thing as the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but maybe kind of, sort of meant the good feelings you could have as a result of that. Anyway, clearly the concept of what the Baptism of Fire was was a hazy concept in my mind, even though in scripture it is pretty clear. But I think in the Church we have watered it down because we don’t generally understand it. We have made it into a gradual good feeling and understanding that usually gradually comes upon you over the years as you are good. I believe most have not experienced it, even though they think they have, and so never seek for something they think they already have. I think this is a terrible stumbling block.
So here is what I wrote a few years ago about this experience of mine:
“. . . I had an extremely profound experience. I was thinking about going to the temple the next day (almost a 5 hour drive) but would have to go alone, and I was afraid I felt too ill, and I was in the shower thinking about it and the Lord said in my mind ‘Come and see me in the temple.’ The whole drive to the temple I was so filled with love and joy! I even thought maybe I was going to die and go be with Him, because I felt so close to something profound (and I was OK with that, if that was what it was). I felt the same during the temple session, and I expected to see Him, probably in the Celestial room. I didn’t see Him, but I felt He was there, and the extreme love and joy continued with me all through the temple, the drive home, and for I think a couple days after. I had never had such a long intense experience like that.”
The words in that short account are feeble in describing what I experienced. I might have even used those same kinds of words to explain other, earlier spiritual experiences I have had, but it was not the same. IT WAS NOT THE SAME! I use capitals to try to get the idea across. This experience was EXTREMELY PROFOUND for me. I can remember it very well now. I marveled at it the whole time it was happening. And I feel frustrated that our language is so limiting that I cannot possibly get the truth of the experience across to anyone who has not experienced it.
After I woke up some more (I already was waking up to greater truth and our awful situation when that happened, but I woke up more and learned much more after it), I realized that this was a Baptism of Fire. I have heard other people describe theirs, and their experiences resonate with me and what I experienced, even though their words are also inadequate.
During it, I think literally anything could have happened, and it would have been OK. I was at such a high vibration, and felt the Lord so close, that I think any experience, no matter how bad, could have happened, and I would likely have been able to bear it. The love from the Lord was so strong. The clarity and perspective with which I viewed my life and the whole purpose of life and experience, etc. during it was so different than how it usually is. I remember thinking at the time that Abinadi must have been in the same sort of state when they were burning him alive, and that others who experienced such horrific things in order to do the Lord’s will must have been in that kind of state. It was amazingly comforting to me to realize that.
So, of course, now I have a great desire to somehow get to the level where I am always in that state of being. I do not know if it is possible in this Telestial world to remain that way constantly. Nephi lamented being able to be dragged down, even after all his experiences. But I am sure it is possible to be that way, or closer to that way, much more than I currently am able. That is what I pray for. And I pray for the Second Comforter experience, so I can stand face to face and talk with the Lord that way. I know that is possible because others have testified of it. Someone I know personally has testified of it to me. When you have seen the Lord, testifying to others that you have seen Him and that He lives is an important part of it. But that is another blog post :).
What is different for me now: I notice I have no desire to sin. I didn’t have much before, because I always wanted to be a good girl (and have always fallen way short). But there is a level of no desire to sin that is much more profound and deep in me now. Also, I feel the Savior with me really all the time now. This is also in a different way than I felt that before. As long as I can remember, I have been aware that the Lord is aware of my thoughts, and in that sense I have always felt Him with me, and been happy to have Him involved with what I am thinking about. But this is different. This is now me being able to sense the Savior standing beside me any time I think of it. I don’t know how else to describe it. He is there. I can feel Him there. I often sense where He is standing, or if He is standing or sitting, and at least once I knew He was kneeling in front of me to talk to me at my level as I was sitting. I can often feel how He is feeling. Sometimes I can hear His words clearly in my mind as He stands there and talks to me.
Life is different since this particular experience. I have had many amazing and wonderful spiritual experiences in my life, but they were mostly not like this one. They pale in comparison, although at the time I had them, I thought they were a pinnacle. I have had at least one other extreme one like this one I have related since then. And one early in my life that was also similar, which I will probably relate in another blog post sometime. But this particular one was unique in my life in the major change it made in me.
3 Nephi 9:20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.
Mosiah 5:2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
Alma 19:33 And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.
I will say more about all this later, but I want to get this post on the blog today.
To my children, grandchildren, and friends: I love you! I am writing this because I love you, and I believe the Lord wants me to be writing this stuff for you here on this blog.