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Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 8: Eliminate False Traditions to Move Forward in Healing


In my previous post, I summarized three pre-requisites to the Gift of Healing: Your ability to hearken to God, stepping out of the box and having a proper motive. All of this presupposes your having faith in God.

Say goodbye to false traditions


Today, the Spirit of God is bypassing many because they're too full of self to be filled with anything else -- pride and selfishness. It blinds and it binds the Saints from experiencing the outpouring that only comes upon the humble. 

Jesus Himself told us there would be those who do miracles in His name and He will declare that they do not know Him.

In Matthew 7:15, He warns us there will be wolves who pose as sheep. Please understand, it is not ‘speculation’ to believe that these things will be so.

In other words, over the decades, we church members have, by and large, picked up some awfully nasty habits which can erode, and even inhibit, our ability to perform miracles. Before we are able to perform these miracles, we must do more than think we can hearken to God, step out of the box and have pure motives. We need to make dang sure we are not perpetuating the foolish traditions of our fathers or the teachings of men mingled with scripture.

When we embrace traditions which deviate from the doctrines and teachings found in the Standard Works, we make ourselves vulnerable to Satan stealing away our light:
"And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers" (D&C 93:39)
Conversely, 
"As we lay off our false traditions and foolish notions, we receive more and more light, and thus we grow in grace; and if we continue so to grow we shall be prepared eventually to receive the Son of Man, and that is what we are after.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:309-318).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated,
"when men believe the true word of the gospel, then God begins to manifest his power in their lives. They begin to enjoy the gifts of the Spirit, to work miracles, and to have those spiritual experiences which always and everlastingly attend true believers." ("Our Gospel Came Not Unto You in Word Only...", October 1968 General Conference).

False Tradition #1: There are no more miracles.


A subscriber to this blog's Facebook group stated, “I have a friend that is no longer allowed to hold any teaching callings and is not asked to speak in church because she openly talks about seeking gifts, miracles that are happening, etc.”

I've heard such talk come from church leaders first-hand, who said we should not be testifying of angels or spiritual gifts.

Such uninspired beliefs, talk and even authoritative instruction can and often do lead to self-fulfilling prophecies, where spiritual gifts no longer exist. For example, Christ himself could not do miracles in his own hometown because nobody believed Him. Nobody had faith. 

Today, we are in sad, sorry shape. How often do we hear of miracles or healings which rival those of the Savior and His ancient apostles? How often do you see signs following believers?

In referencing Mark 16:17, Pres. John Taylor asked,
"What signs? Why, the sick were to be healed, the lame were to be made to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear, and the poor were to have the Gospel preached to them (Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22)" ("Pretensions of the Saints, JD 23:368).
Note that the Lord did not say these signs would precede, be a guide or testimony to us to prove in advance that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said that they "follow" those that believe.
"But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe" (D&C 63:9)
“Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!” (3 Nephi 29:6) 
“And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one.” (Moroni 10:24-25)
"And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust" (Mormon 9:20)
"...for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain" (Moroni 7:37)
"And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them." (Mormon 9:7-8)

False Tradition #2: If you're broken, you need to be healed.


There are many instances where it's just not God's plan for a person to be healed. Yet because He has infinite compassion, He will heal us in other ways. Sometimes God calms the storm, and other times, He lets the storm rage, and calms His child.

A subscriber to this blog's Facebook group said,
"I think of people who are paraplegics or quadriplegics. It's kind of apparent (to me at least) that they're not growing back functional limbs anytime soon. But maybe God heals them in other ways.

14 years ago, I realized one day that I had a ringing in my ears that just wouldn't go away. I've had tinnitus ever since. Sometimes it's almost intolerable, sometimes it's barely noticeable. God hasn't taken away my tinnitus, but He has enhanced my ability to cope with it."
Please click here to read the story of Jordan Walker Ross, a series regular on the historical drama The Chosen (he plays Little James, one of the 12 Apostles in the New Testament). It's a terrific story of why "not everyone needs to be healed.”

False Tradition #3: You need to rely on another to be healed.


My friend Vaughn told me about a time when he had three bad teeth. He cast out evil from one and sent healing to the other two teeth. He was feeling better the next day. A woman I know healed herself by exercising the Gift of Healing, and commanded a 5-day migraine to go away. It did in a few minutes. 

Such instances may sound incredible, and I suppose that with men, yes, they're impossible. "But with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26).
“And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed. He who hath faith to see shall see. He who hath faith to hear shall hear. The lame who hath faith to leap shall leap.” (D&C 42:48-51)

False Tradition #4: The higher the church calling, the greater the gifts.

"It is not position in the Church that confers spiritual gifts. . . . Rather it is personal righteousness; it is keeping the commandments; it is seeking the Lord while he may be found. God is no respecter of persons." (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, "The Rock of Salvation", Improvement Era, December 1969, p. 85; Acts 10:34).
I invite you to read the story of Cheryl, who repeatedly asked her ward and stake leaders to bless her with healing. Not only did they not do so, but they even doubted it could be done. Later, Cheryl's son -- who had just been set apart as an elder prior to a mission -- gave her the blessing she was seeking. It was the youngest, most inexperienced elder in her area who succeeded where other ward and stake leaders miserably failed.

False Tradition #5: Healing is strictly a man's job.


I could devote 3+ blog posts to this false tradition. But suffice it to say that spiritual gifts know no gender:

"The Lord offers to his daughters every spiritual gift and blessing that can be obtained by his sons." (President Joseph Fielding Smith, "Magnifying Our Callings in the Priesthood," Improvement Era, June 1970, p. 66). 
"Where spiritual things are concerned, as pertaining to all of the gifts of the Spirit, with reference to the receipt of revelation, the gaining of testimonies, and the seeing of visions, in all matters that pertain to godliness and holiness and which are brought to pass as a result of personal righteousness in all these things, men and women stand in a position of absolute equality before the Lord. He is no respecter of persons nor of sexes, and he blesses those men and those women who seek him and serve him and keep his commandments." (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Jan. 1979, p. 61; emphasis mine)
"Many of us already have spiritual gifts, but we sometimes fail to recognize them. We may think they are reserved for people with special needs or callings. For the same reason, we may neglect to earnestly seek spiritual gifts, even though they have been promised to us." (Relief Society General Presidency, "Seeking the Best Gifts," Ensign, Jan. 1997, p. 55)
In 2018, Pres. Nelson encouraged the women of the Church to understand our “spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than [we] ever have.” 

Regarding women healing the sick, Brother Joseph said, "Go ye into all the world” &c.— no matter who believeth; these signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils &c. should follow all that believe whether male or female.”
“Respecting the female laying on hands, he further remark’d, there could be no devil in it if God gave his sanction by healing— that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on the sick than in wetting the face with water— that it is no sin for any body to do it that has faith, or if the sick has faith to be heal’d by the administration.” (Joseph Smith, "Discourse, 28 April 1842, as Reported by Eliza R. Snow," p. [36], The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed February 21, 2021, https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-28-april-1842-as-reported-by-eliza-r-snow/2

False Tradition #6: Healing is strictly an adult's job.

"Levi Hancock's children heard the devil telling their mother that she would be healed from her six-year convalescence if she would but deny the work of God. The mother resisted, and in the interim "the children heard the Conversation reached upon the bed and laid hands on their mother & the Devill departed at an instant"; (Utah Stake General Minutes, v. 10 [1855-], LDS archives)

False Tradition #7: Healing is strictly a Latter-day Saint gift.


Can one have faith in Jesus Christ and not be LDS?

Of course! Gifts of the Spirit are based on faith, not gender or authority. So it is with the Gift of Healing; One who has strong enough faith in Jesus Christ should be able to perform, or be the recipient of, profound faith-based miracles.

So it was with a friend of a friend, who shared the following (true) story with me:
"Miracles do exist! I was on the phone today with a friend talking about miracles. She told me how her friend Carol's 5 year old daughter was healed of blindness. She had gone up on stage and the (non-denominational) congregation was praying for her to be healed. As this happened, she said, "Mommy, Mommy I see Jesus!” 

“Do you see him?” said the mother.

“He touched my eyes and now I can see!" the daughter said.

The mom thought she was caught up in the moment of everything and got her home and did some tests with her to make sure she could see, like covering one eye, etc. She was healed of her blindness by the grace of God!" 
Then there's the story of Delia Knox:


You can also read more about Delia here, here, here and here.

False Tradition #8: Healing happens in set, predictable ways.


A friend on this blog's Facebook group said:
“I think if we allow God, He will ALWAYS heal us. Always. But not necessarily in the way WE think we should be healed. 

I'm sure all of us have stumbled with an issue for years, and we pray for healing, and have faith in Jesus that He will heal us. Then we don't see that miracle and think His timing is not now. 

But in reality, He is healing us in ways we haven't noticed. Maybe we have become a little more patient. Maybe we have trials placed in our path as gifts to greater growth. Maybe we have felt extra compassion for others. And maybe we have become more patient with HIM as He performs great miracles in our lives. 

I know for me, and it may be true for you, I need eyes to see the miracles that He is blessing with me with and not hold too tightly to my definition of what that miracle should look like.”
Excellent analysis!

Because God's ways are higher than man's ways, the method and timing of His healing is very likely bound to be different than what you'd suppose. 


It's my testimony that as we quit clinging to our false traditions and instead cling to the words of God, we'll be blessed and consequently have greater ability to bless others -- a true, Zionlike condition! I'm also sure there are other false traditions regarding the Gift of Healing that I haven't summarized here. If you know of one, I'd really like to read your comment (even anonymous one) below. 



Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 7: Gift of Healing Pre-Requisites


In my last post, we examined to methods of healing officially endorsed by the church: medical intervention by a licensed practitioner and priesthood blessings. 

While both are commonly known and relied upon by members, both have significant shortcomings. Even President Nelson blasted priesthood holders for their lack of priesthood power. It was enough for him to express profound disappointment, as well as an admonition to stake presidents and bishops to train priesthood holders on how to give blessings. Yet the problem persists, and entrenches itself further into latter-day saint culture.

There remains one last, officially-recommended option for medical and health care: "exercising faith."

"OK, great! How do we do that," you ask?

Hearken to God


We latter-day saints are used to numbered to-do lists, bullet points, checklists and other formulaic methods to accomplish a goal. For example, we pay our tithing, don't drink tea, faithfully go to church, work on genealogy, and check off all the boxes we can so we can be perceived as being perfectly obedient. Here's what my friend John Pontius said about this:
"It is not uncommon for someone to make a list of everything they feel they should be doing in their lives, then select a few to begin working on. As wholesome as this sounds, it will only create feelings of impotence and frustration. Read all the scriptures, and nowhere is there an account of someone achieving spiritual power by making lists of needed improvements, and then working the list! They all did it by obedience to the voice of the Lord. You must also, there is no other way. Why is it more desirable to be obedient to a list than to the voice of God? Why would we try to accomplish a divine task without divine assistance? 

The Lord knows the exact course our lives should take, which sin should be eliminated first, which weakness should be addressed first, and which blessings, we will need to accomplish these things. There is no need for us to create a list He already possesses. Ours could never be as complete as His, or as gentle and caring. If we yield ourselves to His direction He will show us what to do first, and give us the power to do it. He will direct us, step by step, all along the way home. 

What is it you must obey? It is every word which proceeds forth from the mouth of God. It is the voice of the Spirit, which constitutes the words which are proceeding forth from the mouth of God unto you. Notice that I didn't say the commandments? This is not because the commandments are to be ignored. Obedience to the commandments by sheer determination and willpower has its reward, but it can be overwhelming. When you set your life in obedience to the voice of God, you will naturally, joyfully, almost without notice, be obeying all the commandments-every single one of them. 

How many commandments are there? If you include instructions to grow a garden, repair your fences, and paint your barn, then add all the written commandments-there are thousands. You won't live long enough to obey them all. There are just too many barns that need painting in your life. So how do you ever become totally obedient when you can't possibly get to every barn? It is simple, really. Listen to the voice of the Lord, and He will direct you. When you are totally obedient to the will of God, you are totally obedient-even if a barn or two remains unpainted. The reason you are totally obedient, even when a few things remain undone, is because you have an obedient spirit. If, and when, He sends you out to paint the barn you will obey. If He never sends you to paint the barn, you will also obey. You simply are obedient. In the end, the Lord will not judge us according to our barns, He will judge us according to our heart. When our heart is flawlessly obedient, we are judged as being flawlessly obedient, even if some obvious things never get done." (John Pontius, "Following the Light of Christ")
Thus, being obedient and faithful (and especially "exercising faith") isn't necessarily a matter of checking off boxes. Instead, it involves being obedient to what the Lord is telling you in our mind and heart:
"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation;" (D&C 8:2-3)
This is where many get tripped up. Many are so single-mindedly focused on their checkboxes that they don't hear the voice of the Lord. Not only do they not hear His voice, but they don't even have a relationship with Him. Ask them when the last time was when the Savior made them laugh, or moved them to say an encouraging word to a stranger, or inspired them to say a prayer for someone suffering right there on the spot (as opposed to just saying you'll do so later on), and they get quiet pretty darn fast.
"It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible." (Joseph Smith, Nauvoo, IL Conference, April 7, 1844)
“Verily, I say unto you, It is not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, that shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.
For the day soon cometh that men shall come before me to judgment, to be judged according to their works.
And many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name; and in thy name cast out devils; and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I say, Ye never knew me; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:30-33 JST; emphasis mine)
In my opinion, 99.9% of "exercising faith" involves hearkening to God -- in other words, hearing God and immediately acting on what you're told.

"OK, great! What boxes do I check off to do that," you ask?

Arrrrrggghhhh!  😅

To see God in action, you gotta step out of the box


A friend recently messaged me about how they corresponded with another well-known blogger about a spiritual experience. The blogger discounted the validity of my friend's experience, saying they didn’t believe that kind of thing happened anymore. 

And yet my friend's experience was real. 

Quite a few people (even accomplished bloggers / authors) often get this notion in their heads that something can only happen one way, or the way they've read in the scriptures, or the way that they themselves experienced. 
"Receiving personal revelation can only happen a certain way, and if it didn't, it's invalid."

"Baptism of Fire can only happen a certain way, and if it didn't, it's invalid."

"The Second Comforter can only happen a certain way, and if it didn't, it's invalid."

"The Gift of Healing can only happen a certain way, and if it didn't, it's invalid."
What a bunch of horse manure! Who are we to determine the validity of others' experiences, or that God does things ONLY in a certain way?

The fact is, God can do whatever He wants however He wants whenever He wants. 

Case in point: The New Testament is filled with stories of how Yeshua did the unorthodox, the unanticipated, and was even considered not only a maverick, but also a rebel. When you read the archeological accounts of Yeshua, you'll see that behavior exhibited in even more ways. I mean c'mon, seriously? A Jewish rabbi? Speaking with a Samaritan woman? ALONE? And she's had five husbands? You wanna talk about doing something off the beaten path! How about a Jewish rabbi forgiving a woman caught in adultery? Changing water into wine? Feeding 5,000+ with a few loaves and fishes? Telling church authorities that they're vipers? Healing a Centurion's child from long distance? Raising the dead???!!!

Do you see my point? 

Yeshua is THE Beautiful Outlaw! And if you're intending to be His disciple, then should you be any different? No.

If you want to be in sync with Yeshua, then you better get used to different. The unorthodox. Even the rebellious. If you let Him, He WILL challenge many things you've long considered fact. 

And to many people, those facts, those truths, can be considered unfamiliar, weird, unorthodox and yes, even dangerous.

Let me make myself crystal clear: God lives out of the box. So should you. Wanna find God? Wanna see God in action? Then identify the traditions of men, then say bye-bye to them

Many avenues to healing which the Lord will introduce to you can and will be considered unorthodox. Keep yourself in a box, and you may not be healing very much at all.

When you start putting God in a box, the only person you're really boxing up is yourself.

Motive

"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will." (D&C 88:67-68)

In my post, “The Best Friend You Never Knew Part 1: Introducing...the Church of the Latter-day Saints,” we explored the very real phenomenon that’s taken hold of many members: a preference to focus on OUR accomplishments, OUR successes, OUR possessions, OUR titles, OUR callings, OUR stories…(and oh, yes that’s right! Jesus helped too).

This is a very real habit / tradition / mindset in our church which is amplified and reinforced year after year. For example, every holiday season, I see hundreds of Facebook posts of people virtue signaling ("the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue") and humble bragging ("making an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement with the actual intention of drawing attention to something of which one is proud"). 

"I'm sorry, I can't hear you over
the sound of how awesome I am."
In the holiday season of 2019, I told the story of a man who posted on Facebook how he used a “Giving Machine” to buy three chickens for those in need. To make matters worse, quite a few members gave him accolades for his efforts. And so, the man’s orientation towards or at himself was validated and perpetuated. Another person also posted, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has made the challenge to kick off the Christmas season with a world-wide day of service. Our family and some AWESOME friends collected kitchen kits and other kits for refugees in Bangladesh." (source)

How can you be filled with true spiritual light when your inner (and therefore public) spotlight is so firmly focused on yourself?

Mark this as fact: You'll never be able to hear nor hearken to the voice of God -- and therefore, never be able to exercise the Gift of Healing -- over the sound of how awesome you are.

A Universe of Possibilities


Once you've demonstrated to God that you're spiritually living "outside the box" by having successfully identified and thrown away the traditions of men (which are often mingled with scripture)...

Once you've acknowledged your nothingness before God...

Once you've checked your motives and have essentially "lost yourself" with an eye single to the glory of God, and

Once you're hearing His voice and relying on Him instead of a mortal-made checklist...

then a universe of possibilities open up to you via the Gift of Healing.

We'll discuss those in my next post in this series.




Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 6: The Limitations of Medical Science and Priesthood Blessings


As I mentioned in a previous post (here), and per the church's General Handbook of Instructions, we members have three official options for healing: (1) competent medical help, (2) exercising faith and (3) priesthood blessings.


The handbook defines what church leaders believe are unacceptable avenues for healing: those which are ethically, spiritually or legally questionable. I agree; you can't bring about righteous ends using unrighteous means. 


The Shortcomings of "Medical Help"


The Handbook then gives us a little more detail in the three options. The first, concerning "medical help," provides some common-sense advice: Consult a medical professional who's competent in their area of specialization.


I agree. If you have a broken leg, earache, heart palpitations, kidney stones, or one of a bajillion medical conditions, then go to the doctor! Some may believe that doing so is somehow spiritually reprehensible. I disagree, because sometimes, God provides His healing through those He has gifted with remarkable abilities. While you may have some gripes with doctors, it's foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

However, you and I both know that in many cases, the medical profession has failed us. The barren are still barren, the deaf are still deaf and the blind are still blind. Yet we know that in the Bible, such conditions can be easily reversed by God.

We still lack "standard of care" cures for cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, schizophrenia, manic depression, Alzheimer's, autism, Crohn's disease, tinnitus and chronic insomnia. Where can those with these conditions turn? See what I mean?

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church"


The Handbook gives us a second avenue for healing: priesthood blessings.


When it comes to administering to the sick and healing them, President Brigham Young was specific in what kind of expectations he had regarding results:

"When I lay hands on the sick, I expect the healing power and influence of God to pass through me to the patient, and the disease to give way. … When we are prepared, when we are holy vessels before the Lord, a stream of power from the Almighty can pass through the tabernacle of the administrator to the system of the patient, and the sick are made whole." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 251)

Imagine the reputation the church would have if all its priesthood holders were able to give miraculous blessings of healing! People with faith by the droves would flock to priesthood holders. It would be a regular occurrence to read or hear in the news about people cured of Covid, cancer, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer's disease and infertility by men through whom the power of God flowed.

Unfortunately, that's not reality. 

Why?

I think there are many reasons. 

One of them: Many members believe that the higher the priesthood office, the greater the efficacy of the blessing. Nothing could be further from the truth. In July 2018, I posted Cheryl's story (here). In it, she told how she received many priesthood blessings for two serious chronic medical conditions she had experienced for many years. Blessings from Stake Presidency members and bishops were ineffectual. But finally, she was prompted to ask for a blessing from her 19-year-old son who had just been ordained an elder. It worked. He was the youngest, the "least" of the priesthood holders in Cheryl's area. And it was he who got his mother the temporary respite from pain and insomnia she so desperately sought.  

Secondly, it's apparent that many priesthood holders don't know how to give a proper priesthood blessing. For example, I am nauseated - nauseated! - by three modern-day priesthood blessing dynamics:

  1. Blessings in which God refers to Himself in the third person. Priesthood blessings are supposed to be the relaying of God's own words through a mortal agent who is attuned to God and His words. The instant, the very moment, God is referred to in the third person, it ceases to be a personal message to you from God. Somebody else has stepped in between you and God.
I can't think of a single instance where a member of deity referred to themself in the third person. Can you? If you're receiving a blessing where God is being referred to in the third person, then from whom is that blessing really from? 

  1. All the priesthood blessings which sound more like CTR-A primary lessons. "God loves you," "God is aware of you," "God knows your name," "God knows your circumstances." 
No duh! Are we not told that "the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:30)? Are we not told time and again that God knows ALL things past, present and future? With these facts (all of which you've known since childhood), why are we expected to be amazed and astounded when we are told that God is aware of you?
  1. The fruits just aren't there. I know hundreds who are literally sick and tired of priesthood blessings which are helpless, hopeless, impersonal, dispassionate, unfulfilling, impotent, barren, fruitless, infertile, sterile, unfruitful, depressing and even distressing.
That's not to say all priesthood blessings are utter failures. Some have worked, and were even powerful. Unfortunately, I know more than my fair share of members who've had so many dismal experiences with priesthood blessings, they've given up on them. 

And when said blessings are given in the name of God, then tell me how this ISN'T a case of using the Lord's name in vain?

Why is this so? President Nelson said in his April 2019 General conference talk, "We Can Do Better and Be Better":

"Brethren, we all need to repent. We need to get up off the couch, put down the remote, and wake up from our spiritual slumber. It is time to put on the full armor of God so we can engage in the most important work on earth. It is time to "thrust in [our] sickles, and reap with all [our] might, mind, and strength." (D&C 33:7) The forces of evil have never raged more forcefully than they do today. As servants of the Lord, we cannot be asleep while this battle rages."

Now, don't think that this is some kind of new dynamic in the church. It isn't. It's been a problem for at least 30 years:

"In recent years I have felt, and I think I am not alone, that we were losing the ability to correct the course of the Church. You cannot appreciate how deeply I feel about the importance of this present opportunity unless you know the regard, the reverence, I have for the Book of Mormon and how seriously I have taken the warnings of the prophets, particularly Alma and Helaman. Both Alma and Helaman told of the church in their day. They warned about fast growth, the desire to be accepted by the world, to be popular, and particularly they warned about prosperity. Each time those conditions existed in combination, the Church drifted off course. All of those conditions are present in the Church today. Helaman repeatedly warned, I think four times he used these words, that the fatal drift of the church could occur 'in the space of not many years.' In one instance it took only six years." (See Helaman 6:32, 7:6, 11:26.)" (Elder Boyd K Packer, address given at a Regional Representatives Seminar, March 30 1990)

Twenty years later, In the April 2010 General Conference, he also said,

"We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be." (Pres. Boyd K Packer, "The Power of the Priesthood", April 2010 General Conference)

Eight years later, the situation hadn't changed at all. In his April 2018 General Conference address, Pres. Nelson gave a terrific example of this lack of priesthood power:

"Now, may I voice a concern? It is this: Too many of our brothers and sisters do not fully understand the concept of priesthood power and authority. They act as though they would rather satisfy their own selfish desires and appetites than use the power of God to bless His children.

I fear that too many of our brothers and sisters do not grasp the privileges that could be theirs. Some of our brethren, for example, act like they do not understand what the priesthood is and what it enables them to do. Let me give you some specific examples.

Not long ago, I attended a sacrament meeting in which a new baby was to be given a name and a father's blessing. The young father held his precious infant in his arms, gave her a name, and then offered a beautiful prayer. But he did not give that child a blessing. That sweet baby girl got a name but no blessing! That dear elder did not know the difference between a prayer and a priesthood blessing. With his priesthood authority and power, he could have blessed his infant, but he did not. I thought, 'What a missed opportunity!'

Let me cite some other examples. 

We know of brethren who set sisters apart as Primary, Young Women, or Relief Society leaders and teachers but fail to bless them-to bless them with the power to fulfill their callings. They give only admonitions and instructions. We see a worthy father who fails to give his wife and his children priesthood blessings when that is exactly what they need. Priesthood power has been restored to this earth, and yet far too many brothers and sisters go through terrible trials in life without ever receiving a true priesthood blessing. What a tragedy! That's a tragedy that we can eliminate." ("Ministering with the Power and Authority of God"; also see D&C 84:19-22; 107:18-19; Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:30-31)

Pres. Nelson continued:

"Recently, Wendy and I were in a meeting where the organist was poised and ready to play the opening hymn. His eyes were on the music, and his fingers were on the keys. He began pressing the keys, but there was no sound. I whispered to Wendy, "He has no power." I reasoned that something had stopped the flow of electrical power to that organ.

Well, brethren, in like manner, I fear that there are too many men who have been given the authority of the priesthood but who lack priesthood power because the flow of power has been blocked by sins such as laziness, dishonesty, pride, immorality, or preoccupation with things of the world.

I fear that there are too many priesthood bearers who have done little or nothing to develop their ability to access the powers of heaven. I worry about all who are impure in their thoughts, feelings, or actions or who demean their wives or children, thereby cutting off priesthood power.

I fear that too many have sadly surrendered their agency to the adversary and are saying by their conduct, "I care more about satisfying my own desires than I do about bearing the Savior's power to bless others."

I fear, brethren, that some among us may one day wake up and realize what power in the priesthood really is and face the deep regret that they spent far more time seeking power over others or power at work than learning to exercise fully the power of God." (Pres. Russell M Nelson, "The Price of Priesthood Power," April 2016 General Conference)

Finally, Pres. Nelson said: 

"Stake presidents and bishops, please ensure that every member of the quorums within your stewardship understands how to give a priesthood blessing-including the personal worthiness and spiritual preparation required to call fully upon the power of God."
 ("Ministering with the Power and Authority of God")

It's no wonder that we read,

"They draw near to me with their lips . . . having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." (Joseph Smith 2:19; 2 Timothy 3:5)

So here you have the current church president and the immediate past Q12 President both saying the same thing. And those are relatively recent quotes.

It's time for us to not stick our heads in the sand and assume that all is well in Zion. It isn't. Did you see how Pres. Nelson used the word "fear" in conjunction with this condition? OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Pres. Nelson doesn't take this situation casually, and neither do I. We have many members seeking healing, which should be rightfully theirs, and not finding it. That should concern all of us.

I began this post discussing the things "that work together for healing, according to the will of the Lord." (source

While there is a place for diagnosis and treatment by competent, licensed medical practitioners, we both know modern medicine has its fair share of shortcomings which, as the scriptures demonstrate, are nothing in the face of true healing by God. 

While we are encouraged to "call for the elders of the church," it's distressing how passionately and frequently worldwide church leaders have publicly pronounced their votes of non-confidence in  priesthood holders. And because I, and many others, continue to see a lack of priesthood power in blessings given since Pres. Nelson requested local leaders to intervene in this issue, it's reasonable to conclude that the situation isn't improving.

Then there's that third recommendation given in the Handbook: "exercising faith."


The Gift of Healing is a merciful solution to the inadequacies exhibited by modern medical science and the lack of priesthood power. It works, too. We have oodles of scriptural accounts testifying of it.

By the looks of it, we have very few Gift of Healing experts in the church - enough to cause the current church president to consistently use the word "fear." Show me another General Conference talk with those dynamics.

You may think this is another person's problem. It isn't. You may think you can hurry and become an expert when world conditions warrant it. That's called "procrastination." Just read this previous post to see how urgently you -- we -- need the Gift of Healing. 

I praise God for the experiences He's given me regarding the Gift of Healing. I've seen results which far exceeded my wildest expectations. And I have no notable church calling.

How do you get on this course? You begin with prayer. You pour your heart and soul into it, begging God to immerse your mind and heart with ways you can gift Him back by serving your brothers and sisters with the Gift of Healing -- a gift which the Savior so freely offers us, male and female, young and old, to exercise.

Then start learning the basics. Grasp onto the iron rod. Turn to what God has already revealed in the scriptures. Here's a link to the Topical Guide entry for "Healing." 

As you read this and other topics associated with healing, ask God to illuminate your heart and mind with further insights and even experiences about this gift. You'll be tested and tried to demonstrate your dedication. Ace those tests. Keep turning to God directly - His written word and spoken word - and grasping the iron rod that leads to the Tree of Life.

You and I both know that as you head down this path, Satan's going to try to trip you up, divert and discourage you. In my next post, we'll start confronting those obstacles to your fully understanding and exercising the Gift of Healing, where YOU are truly "exercising faith".




Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 5: The Obscure Yiddish Word I Got in a Dream Which Opens Up A New Dimension of the Gift of Healing



On Friday April 9 2021, I awoke in the morning from a sound night's sleep with a strange word in my head:

"Pushke"

It took me a few minutes to Google this word and find out what it meant, but when I did, a whole new dimension of the Gift of Healing opened up to me:

A pushke (pronounced PUSH-kuh) is a little can or
container kept in the home. It's used for collecting money 
that the family will use to donate to charity or the poor. 

Historic Roots


In our church tradition, giving to the poor is considered an obligation, something we do every month. We fill out a form detailing how much of our donation is going to tithing and how much is going to fast offering, we write out a check, stuff  both in an envelope and hand it to a bishopric member. Not much behavior required; just tithing slip, pen, checkbook and envelope. Badda big, badda boom, obligation met.

Interestingly, simply paying one's fast offering is not necessarily a sign of charitable behavior. I've known plenty of people in my life who consistently paid their fast offerings, yet were well-known for not being very Christlike in their families nor professions. Their countenances usually were bereft of joy, happiness and love. 

In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous obligation; it's simply an act of justice and righteousness. This custom originates with the Hebrew Bible, the Torah. In a number of passages in the Torah, God commands the Jewish people to perform acts of tzedakah (pronounced tseh-DUH-kuh), the Hebrew word for "justice" or "righteous behavior." Below are two passages which outline ways in which one can fulfill this commandment:

"And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 19:9-10)

"If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth." (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

I'm convinced that both these passages served as inspirations for the great King Benjamin, who said,

"And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 4:16-18)

When you read these scriptures, can't you see that the Old Testament authors as well as King Benjamin were thinking a little deeper than our filling out a little slip of paper and handing it and the check to a church leader? They were after transformation! They were after righteousness! Neither of those two ends are accomplished by the stroke of a pen, but the stirrings of the heart.

(Interestingly enough, even modern-day Jews lament the demise of the pushke. As one rabbi stated, "To my enormous regret, the "pushke" has become somewhat obsolete. Not that Jewish people are not as generous as they once were. Philanthropy remains a hallmark of our community even where piety and traditional learning have waned. But the "pushke"? It is a relic, threatened not by frugality, but by inflation and technology. Alas, coins are not worth what they once were. "Pushkas," which must be distributed and collected, are not cost effective. It is more economical to give charity with a check, which, in turn, can be used for tax credits. The modern philanthropist is likely to charge his or her contribution to a credit card." (Rabbi Kenneth L. Cohen, "Tzedakah: The Demise Of The Pushka", http://www.rabbicohen.com/tzedakah-the-demise-of-the-pushke.html))

Whipping out the 'ol checkbook and paying fast offerings is great. But it requires no behavior, no Christian mindset whatsoever. That's why performing acts of tzedakah via a pushke, in addition to fast offerings, is much better.

The above passages guided the Jews and Nephites to treat those who were poor and/or without food with dignity and to ensure that their basic needs were met. In fact, I'd say these commandments directed these cultures to create a social welfare system based on individual and communal responsibility to care for those who cannot care for themselves. 

Implementing modern-day acts of tzedakah with a pushke


The pushke is important to the commandment of giving tzedakah because it allows Jews to give anonymously. 

The medieval Jewish scholar, Rambam, organized the acts of tzedakah by merit, considering anonymous giving more credible than acknowledged giving. Anonymous donation maintains a dignified relationship between those who are giving and those who are receiving aid. It is also important because it signifies a community effort to aid people who need it and may not be able to ask for it directly. The pushke serves as a means for each member of a household to contribute, both children and adults alike, fostering the importance of giving among all age groups.

One of the most convenient ways in which to give money to people in need is to keep a pushke in one's household. The small box or container can be for one specific charitable cause or can be for general collection." (Jennifer Noparstak, "Pushke," https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/pushke)

In some circles in Judaism, an organizational representative regularly comes to collect the contents of the pushke. That's not really the case with we LDS, because we're not in a habit of keeping a pushke in which we place our tzedakah.

So I invite you to implement something which King Benjamin and even our Lord were aware of, and likely encouraged, in their lifetimes: Start today to keep a pushke into which you will place your tzedakah.

Check out this picture. My friend, Jon, keeps this small plastic box in his car. Every time he gets change (in the store or under his couches), he puts it in this box. Every time he goes to the store, he gets and extra $5 in cash and puts it in the box. 

"I don't run into beggars at my home, so I keep it in my car with me. The Lord is always generous in giving me an opportunity to share what I've collected in my box," Jon said.

I asked Jon, "How do you know how much to give the beggar?"

"There's two things the Lord loves to communicate to us: What we need to do to be closer to Him and our Heavenly Parents, and how to serve others. In the latter case, as I'm approaching the beggar, He'll give me a number. That's how many dollars I'll give the beggar," Jon said.

Multi-generationally Transformed Together


Rabbi Cohen continues:

"The demise of the "pushke" is not a tragedy for philanthropy. But it is a tragedy for Jewish education. A child cannot help write a check. A three year old does not know what to do with a credit card. But a little fellow or a little lass can put coins in a box. In this way a child can be initiated into this great mitzvah (good deed). In this manner each boy and girl can learn, in a very real sense that charity begins at home."

Rabbi Yisrael Salanter was once asked: How do you take care of your spiritual needs? He responded, “By taking care of somebody else’s physical needs.”

And therein is healing...in a whole new, marvelous way.

Sometimes a person needs healing not by the touch of a hand or finger, but in other ways. Sometimes the beggar can be physically intact, but needs a meal. Sometimes a family isn't ailing, but is wondering how they'll pay for that month's power or water. When examined in a larger context, by distributing what you've gathered in your pushke, you can help alleviate suffering. You help to heal the world with acts of loving-kindness, benefiting both the giver and recipient.

As Rambam said, "We do perform an act of Tzedakah when we fulfill our duties towards our fellow men; these duties develop within us a virtuous character: e.g., when we heal the wound of the sufferer." (http://nleresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Power-of-Tzedakah.pdf)

Imagine...all of that above...from one simple word as I awoke one morning.

Praise Yeshua for the truths He generously reveals to us, the benefits of which have no end.




Sunday, April 4, 2021

The LDS Perfect Day BookS are now ready for purchase!


The LDS Perfect Day BookS are now ready for purchase!



A little over nine years since its first article "Symphonies," LDS Perfect Day's 240+ blog posts have helped tens of thousands worldwide to elevate their relationship with the Savior of the world. As a result, they have cast aside the traditions of men, enabling them to better hear His voice, hearken to His words and enjoy a life far more transcendent than they ever imagined.

The new LDS Perfect Day Volumes 1 and 2 (found here) are compilations of these posts through the year 2020. They are intended to safeguard the blog's insights against a coming day when there will be no power and no internet. 

Each book is over 500 pages long and 8.5" x 11" in size, making them real bargains for the $20 price. Both books are exclusively sold on Amazon.

Additionally, you can now print all the posts not included in the book – that is, all the posts since January 1, 2021. Each of those blog posts now have a button at the top of the page which allows you to view and print a PDF of that post. All posts prior to 2021 are included in the books and will not be converted to PDF.

There are no plans to convert the books to other readable formats or into an audio book (many posts can be downloaded as MP4s via the podcasts link on the blog). The priority has only been to convert posts into a printed format impervious to disruptions in power grids.

The softcover books can be purchased here:

LDS Perfect Day Volume 1 (Contents: All LDS Perfect Day posts from Feb 5, 2012 through May 14, 2016)

LDS Perfect Day Volume 2 (Contents: All LDS Perfect Day posts from May 15, 2016 through December 20, 2020)

Praise be to Yeshua HaMashiach, my best friend, who (to date) turned 1 post into 240, no podcasts into 73, and no interaction into a thriving, sharing, testifying, dynamic, technicolor Facebook group of over 800 dedicated followers of our Lord and Savior.





Saturday, March 27, 2021

He'll Always Catch You



One of my favorite songs is "Broken" by Lifehouse. Just by listening to the song, you can just feel lots of emotion. 

When I first heard it in 2007, I was hooked. I was convinced it was a Contemporary Christian song, written from the perspective of a dying Jesus on the cross.

But after researching and reading comments, I found out the story behind the song.

Jason Wade, Lifehouse's lead singer, had a friend who lived in Nashville. His friend needed a kidney transplant. Wade flew out to Nashville to see his friend while he was in the hospital. When Wade spoke to him, the chorus of this song is what his friend told him. It was basically his friend's words to God:

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning

So, here's someone who is at the end of their life, breathing their last breaths, and the only thing that they are holding on to, the only thing that is keeping them alive, is God. 

I love that so much, because it doesn't only have to apply to someone who is at the end of their life, but it can also apply to all of us. No matter what we are going through, it can be a reassurance for us to know that we can always hold on to Yeshua, we can always find meaning in His name. 

Another section in this song says:

I'm hanging on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I would, would be ok

More meaningful, powerful words. 

It is so amazing to know that through anything we go through, and through anything that happens, we can hold on to Yeshua. We can be assured by his words that say we'll be OK. 

There is nothing else in this whole world that has that reassurance. There is nothing else that we can hold onto with our lives besides Yeshua. His hand is holding all of ours.

If you wanted a mental picture, it's kind of like falling off the edge of a cliff (popular movie scene). When you look down, the fall is endless and you know you would die, but right when your last finger slips off the edge, a bigger, stronger hand catches you and keeps you from falling. You hold on to that hand with your whole life. 

It's that same way with Yeshua. No matter how hard our lives get, no matter how often we think we're going to fall off the cliff, Yeshua always catches us and we can always hold on to Him.





Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 4: The Oft-Neglected Link in Healing Yourself...and Others


Light as a Feather

Anyone who knows me knows that I love sports-related movies (ironic considering I don't watch sports at all; I have no idea who played in the SuperBowl, World Series, etc). 

In the movie Rocky III, Clubber Lang had just defeated Rocky Balboa. Soon thereafter, Rocky announced that he'd fight Clubber Lang again. His trainer, Apollo Creed, worked with Rocky to prepare him for what promised to be a brutal fight. 

It was soon apparent that Rocky's top nemesis wasn't Clubber Lang, but himself. He had so many doubts, so much self-negativity. He had literally lost the will to fight again, despite his being in probably the best shape of his life. He wanted to quit. "How did everything that was so good get so bad," he asked his wife, Adrian. "You wake up after a few years thinking you're a winner, but you're not. You're really a loser."

"Nothing is real if you don't believe in who you are!" Rocky yelled to Adrian. "Don't you understand?"

When you watch this scene, you can just feel all the emotional and psychological rocks Rocky was carrying. Maybe not rocks. Boulders.

"But none of it's true," Adrian said. "And you can't live like this. Look what it's doing to you now. Apollo thinks you can do it (take on Clubber Lang). So do I. But you gotta do it for the right reasons."

"And if I lose?" Rocky asked.

"Then you lose, but at least you lose with no excuses," Adrian replied.

In the next scene, we see Rocky and Apollo jogging on the beach. Rocky punching. Practicing, and as he does so, he is practically dancing on air. As he gets lighter, he also gets stronger, faster, more powerful...exceeding his own expectations.

Eventually, Rocky would knock out the man who decisively knocked him out months earlier.

The psychological, emotional and mental boulders Rocky had been carrying from his prior loss to Clubber Lang were formidable to Rocky. But the others in Rocky's life saw those boulders as lightweight, practically nothing, if Rocky chose to offload them. Once he did, he became light as a feather yet as quick and lethal as a cobra.

Give Him Your Rocks

You, too, likely carry a lot of rocks with you. 

We humans are so adept at burdeneing and weighting ourselves down. All our past screw ups, stupid tendencies, sins and more. 

Rocks, definitely. Boulders? Quite possibly.

Sometimes I think that one of the hardest things about the Gift of Healing is "Letting Go and Letting God." We don't give Yeshua near as much credit for his eagerness and enthusiasm in taking our burdens from us. So, we choose to carry our burdens rather than (supposedly) weight down He who loves us the most.

And when we knowingly, willingly choose to do this, we not only weight ourselves down, but we also reject the single-greatest gift God has even given mankind: His atonement. 

That's right: When you choose to carry your own burdens, you blatantly reject Yeshua, His atonement and His mission. You turn your back on God and the greatest manifestation of love in the history of history.

How can you possibly help another heal -- or maybe even expect yourself to heal -- via the Gift of Healing when you're rejecting the greatest gift ever?

A friend of mine had a dream two years ago about the rocks she was carrying:

"This was given at a time when I struggling to work through some really painful and hard things that had happened to me years before. These were things that had always brought me a lot of pain and suffering for a long time, and had also kept me feeling very alone and completely isolated wherever I went. 

In the dream, I was sitting on the ground, heavy and plagued by sorrows that draped my body. I thought the sorrow and sadness must be that I was very, very innately bad and irrevocably hurt. I felt like I did in life, that maybe that my whole eternal identity was forever hurt or altered.

Then, from my right, Christ came near me very softly. When I registered that it was him, his presence was just as natural and comfortable and calm as if he had been in the “room” of my life the whole time. He had a backpack that he gently showed to me, the top already unzipped, as he knelt down closer to my level.

He addressed me with the softest gentle dignity and said, so extremely kindly and tenderly “You carry so many heavy things. Why not put them in my backpack and let me carry them for you?”

I was so touched and surprised that he would not mind coming near me, and talking to me. I was also so amazed that ANYONE would spend time expressing a desire to help me.  

I was now surprised that I really *could* give him my heavy things, and I started to look for a way to do it. In the dream, I started handing him these rocks as big as softballs, that each represented different kinds of hurt, sadness or pain. I knew that I had SO many rocks like this, that all of them would never fit in a backpack. I also knew I could never remember all of my terrible traits, sorrows, and hurt to to hope to be able to remember them all. 

I felt shameful in my heavy perception that I had so many more terribly abundant rocks than all the other more “normal or special” people that I seem to know.  But I did give him as many as I felt able to give. After a little while of handing rocks over, I did NOT feel like I could ask for him to take any more, because I knew that I had too many and I did not want to ask too much, or be greedy to someone perfect and kind. 

I looked around and sadly saw that there were still rocks of my sadness and hurt everywhere on the ground for a many foot radius, but I was grateful that he would take the ones that I had been able to name and hand to him. So rather than ask for too much, I said thank you and signaled that this was as many as I felt able to ask for him to take.

I just really felt ashamed and hopeless that I still had so many more rocks, strewn about the ground all around me. But again, I didn't want to be greedy, or bad, and I pretended that partial relief was going to be enough, since I believed I SHOULD NOT ask for more (those “modest” expectations).

 (My self worth felt SO low! He has really helped me with this since then, in such loving and sustained ways).

Jesus was so kind, and treated me with so much respect. He did NOT look at all the other rocks that I felt so hopeless and ashamed about and embarrassed of. It was like he didn't even see them. (He wanted me to feel dignity). I knew he saw them, but was not looking at them. He did not want me not to feel unworthy or self conscious or bad. It was VERY noble and kind and gentlemanly.  

When he saw I was done giving rocks, he didn't comment on how many I had been able to give. He just quietly zipped the pack, stood up, and put it on his back. 

I looked at him in his white robe, with the backpack on his back and I thought. “Wow. he looks like a normal man, wearing a backpack filled with rocks.” I wonder what this meant to me, for my sadness and for all these rocks. I also noticed that so far, I felt the same way inside as before. With the difference of feeling so much kindness and dignity, interpersonally. 

As soon as I was done noting that thought, Jesus looked at me in the eyes, and while holding eye contact, He slowly raised both of his arms high into the air. As he did, every rock on the ground in every direction unanimously lifted off of the ground several feet, and floated, now weightless. Every single one just hung, completely still, and suspended. 

My jaw dropped, and even my mind gaped open in awe and amazement. It was so unexpected and so incredible. Everything held so still. 

To see the rocks so still, and so silent in the air, raised by him, I could feel his supreme and law-defying strength. By feeling it, I felt SO MUCH RELIEF. 

Every weight was now lifted by him, and all of them now irrelevant to me.

I remember that in the dream I was so shocked and amazed by the lifted rocks holding so still that I even looked at the backpack and it was also looking lifted and weightless. EVERY rock was lifted and suspended. All of the weight was made irrelevant to me, by Him!

The BEST part was that as Jesus watched my expressions and my experience of his lifting of all my sorrows and weights, every terrible sorrow and pain and hurt, he smiled the most joyful and radiantly pleasure filled smile that I had ever seen (up to that moment in time). He was so filled with joy and personally deep and gratified pleasure and happiness to see my relief. This was his greatest pleasure and happiness and delight. And it was plain to see that He LOVED his experience of watching my awe and relief. 

He was just so filled with life and happiness and joy to watch me “know” his miracle, and for me to experience His rest and relief. He was SO HAPPY to do what he was doing, with the ability that he has, and was *loving* to use to help me.  

His smile was so warm and so real. In it, I knew he wanted me to know and experience how joyful he was to preform it through the power of his strength. His joy was personal, REAL, radiant, joyful, bright, happy, expressive, and amazing. It was SO personal. He LOVED showing me the ease and joy with which he lifted every sorrow and pain for ME. 

It was emotionally incredible to experience this in contrast with the heavy and exhausting many previous years during which I had suffered in silence, very greatly."

Uncondemned

If you'll recall, Yeshua never condemned the woman at the well. He never condemned the woman caught in adultery. He never, ever said, "Well, read these scrolls and come see me weekly for six months, then we'll see if you're sufficiently repentant enough." No. Did you read what I just wrote? HE DIDN'T CONDEMN THEM!

Yet today, we allow ourselves to carry equal or even lesser burdens, and somehow justify it...all while demeaning and diluting the power of a non-delaying atonement.

All things are created first spiritually, then temporally (D&C 29:31-32). That includes healing. And that healing starts with you, for "God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also." (Alma 60:23).

If you want to ensure, with a 100% guarantee, that you have made Yeshua smile, then start by valuing His atonement. Give Him ALL your rocks. Every one of them.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:30)

And as you'll see in your mind's eye His joy, His indescribable pleasure, in YOUR giving true value to His atonement, you'll not only feel lighter...

...but also in your spiritual healing, you'll discover a newfound spiritual lightness about you, and an enhanced ability and enthusiasm to heal others, too.

Want to dive into the concept of "Dropping Your Rocks" in more depth? Click here to join our Facebook group!




Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Gift of Healing Part 3: The Urgent Need for the Gift of Healing


Yeah us!!!!

COVID-19 cases and deaths dropping! More and more people worldwide are returning to work and beginning to return to some semblance of normalcy! Entire states are contemplating lifting mask mandates! Businesses are reopening! People are getting out in the springtime weather and visiting cafes, movie theaters, sports events and more.

Because of these circumstances, I think it’s perfectly natural and expected that people are optimistic about the COVID-19 trendlines these days. 

Yet despite all the COVID-19 demise celebrations remains many alarming facts:

  • Leaders and judges pass and endorse laws allowing the murder of unborn children. 
  • They accommodate and fund countries who are violently opposed to God, Christians and freedom. 
  • They corrupt our laws, processes and procedures and eliminate divinely-inspired constitutional rights, provisions and principles, leaving a country founded upon principles which consider good/legal as evil, and evil/illegal as good.

Along with the mass media, these leaders and judges also:

  • Ignore and remain silent as anarchist groups foment riots and violence in our neighborhoods. 
  • Espouse sexual education and even genetic sexual manipulation of kindergarteners and encourage them to reconsider their God-given genders.
  • Give preferential treatment for individuals based on the color of their skin, not the content of their character. 
  • Embrace socialist and communist ideologies.
  • Mock, degrade and even inhibit the free exercise of religion, especially Christianity.

Within the church, 

Did you get that? Our nations are murdering babies, boldly challenging sexual and even gender-based norms, stamping out not only Christianity but also religion, morals and ethics. And the priesthood is increasingly powerless to stop it.

So, what has God done historically when mankind defiantly chooses evil over good?

He sends us warnings.

The First Wave

Typically, God has sent prophets to urge people to turn away from sin and cast themselves upon the mercy of God. He did this with Samuel (1 Samuel 7:3), Isaiah (Isaiah 1:24-27), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 4:1-4), Lehi (1 Nephi 1:18-20), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 33:11), Daniel (Daniel 2:18; 9:3, 9, 17-18, 23), Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:2), Joel (Joel 1:13-14; 2:12-17), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:5-12), James (James 5:1-6), John the Revelator (Revelation 2:5, 16, 21-22), Yeshua (Luke 13:1-5), Nephi (1 Nephi 7:13, 11:36), Jacob (Jacob 2:33, 3:1-3), Mosiah (Mosiah 7:31, 29:27), Alma (Alma 1:12, 4:11, 9:18, 10:18-27), Helaman (Helaman 8:5, 26), Samuel the Lamanite (Helaman 13:5-6), Mormon (Mormon 6:22), Ether (Ether 8:23-25) and Moroni (Moroni 8:27, 9:22).

About a year before COVID-19 hit, in his April 2019 General Conference address “We Can Do Better and Be Better,” President Nelson actually said “I plead with you to repent.” Yet I haven’t observed any major course corrections in humanity nor the church.

The Second Wave

Yet when prophets’ pleas have been ignored -- even after a short time -- God has sent a second wave of warnings. They may come in the form of plagues (Zechariah 14:12, 15, 18; 2 Chronicles 21:14; Exodus 9:14; Numbers 11:33; Revelation 16:9, 21) or pestilences (Exodus 9:14). 

The conditions for the alleviation of these divine calamities is three-fold: mankind must repent of:

  • Its sins (Mosiah 12:2-7; Helaman 11:15; D&C 97:26)
  • Its unbelief in God (2 Nephi 6:15) and 
  • Not remembering Him (Helaman 12:3). 

The remedy for these plagues and pestilences: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

It’s interesting to note that in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, it’s “my people” who are “called by my name” who are the fulcrum in healing lands.

Let’s assume for a minute that we can and should take God literally, and that we, His people, can help turn this thing around.

Are we, as a church membership, humbling ourselves?

Are we praying more than ever?

Are we seeking -- and encouraging others to seek -- the face of the Lord?

Are we turning from our wicked ways?

If we are not, if things seem to be drifting more in the direction of evil than good, darkness than light, faith in the arm of flesh over faith in God, then how can we possibly expect the Lord to heal our land?

The Third Wave

"And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land." (Mosiah 29:27)

  • I see no evidence that we, collectively, as church members, are humbling ourselves. 
  • Seeking the face of the Lord is considered “a familiar tactic of the adversary.”. Many who do so are considered zealots, troublemakers and even apostates.
  • If we had turned from our wicked ways, then we would be seeing greater manifestations of priesthood power, which we are not (see Pres. Boyd K Packer, “The Power of the Priesthood,” April 2010 General Conference; and Pres. Russell M Nelson, “Ministering with the Power and Authority of God,” April 2018 General Conference)
  • I am also convinced that the voice of the people (elected officials?), in many countries, now chooses iniquity over righteousness, and many laws which have and are being passed are corrupted.

"For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted." (Helaman 5:2)

If these points are accurate, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon us. Then is the time God will visit us with more great destructions.

What should we be looking for in these judgments?

"For I, the Almighty, have laid my hands upon the nations, to scourge them for their wickedness.

And plagues shall go forth, and they shall not be taken from the earth until I have completed my work, which shall be cut short in righteousness" (D&C 84:96-97; emphasis mine)

When will they hit?

"For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming." (D&C 5:19; emphasis mine)

Where will it hit?

"for a desolating sickness shall cover the land" (D&C 45:31; emphasis mine) (Note: COVID-19 was bad, but it wasn’t “desolating,” which is defined as “to bring to a complete end the physical soundness, existence, or usefulness of”

How bad will it be?

"The Lord’s scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come; For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works." (D&C 97:23-24; emphasis mine) (Note: “vex” means “to disturb the peace of mind of (someone) especially by repeated disagreeable acts”)

What is the nature of this plague / desolating scourge / desolating sickness?

“So the first went and poured out his vial upon the earth, and a foul, loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.” (Revelation 16:2) (Note: The word 'sore' in the Greek is helkose, which means 'ulcer'. It may be very foul-smelling, painful ulcers that are malignant)

"Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet." (Habakkuk 3:5)

What should we do during these plagues / pestilences / scourges?

"Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." (Isaiah 26:20-21)

How long will we need to stay in our “chambers”?

"And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man." (Revelation 7:5)

Interestingly, a friend of mine who is very close to the Lord had the following dream last year:

“Last night, I had a very vivid dream about the next pandemic.

In it, I was attacked by about 10,000 demons. When they first appeared, I was able to fight them off. But soon thereafter, all the demons -- one sector at a time -- got a unique and customized upload of information (almost like a wifi signal). I actually watched them get the upload, and I knew what it was. As it was ending, I thought "Oh crap!" And sure enough, they were far tougher and smarter.

I knew during the dream that each demon represented not COVID-19, but the NEXT virus. Each demon had barbs or hooks on them which released poison when touching someone. When they touched me, the poison was released and immediately started negatively influencing each cell in my body. (I could see what was happening inside my body as well as the sensations; it was excruciatingly painful). As I fought them, each sector of demons would get a new information upload and adapt to my counterattacks. The poison changed my blood cells so they would look like the current COVID-19, only instead of viruses with spikes with suction-looking ends, there were barbs, like a scorpion or a wasp. It seemed during the dream that this battle lasted for about a day and a half. I was able to wake up during one of their upload times. After waking up, I was severely traumatized and it took a while to begin shaking it off.

How do you fight a virus that mutates and adapts to any counterattack? You don't. Mankind doesn't. Only God can. And the #1 thing God says to do, throughout all the scriptures, is to humble yourself, turn your heart to God and repent. 

You know how when you look at a tree, you know it's a tree? Or you look at a mountain, and you know it's a mountain? When I saw this virus, I knew what it was. The next one.”

“the torment of a scorpion”...”there were barbs, like a scorpion or a wasp”...Interesting!

“Exercising Faith” -- The Best (and Perhaps Only) Viable Option

According to the General Handbook of Instructions, members should be “Seeking competent medical help, exercising faith, and receiving priesthood blessings” which “work together for healing, according to the will of the Lord.” (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook/38-church-policies-and-guidelines?lang=eng#title_number126)

Via the scriptures, we know that COVID-19 isn’t the last pandemic we’ll have to survive. Regarding the next pandemic, 

  • Do you want to “roll the dice'' that the “wisdom” of man -- modern medical science -- will know what to do about it (the preceding scriptures imply medical science will be powerless against these “desolating scourges”)? Or that you’ll even have access to doctors even if they did know? Or that there will be enough doctors even alive to treat the living?
  • Do you want to “roll the dice” that a fellow ward member will have the requisite power in the priesthood, faith in God and (most crucially) a tight enough relationship with Him to clearly hear, understand and articulate His will, while using first-person pronouns, to bless you?  Or that you’ll even be able to access another priesthood holder in the event of another lockdown (which the scriptures clearly state will happen again)?

Yes, “seeking competent medical help” and “receiving priesthood blessings” are important considerations. But in the path of an incurable curse upon mankind, can you guarantee they will be enough?

The only thing that’s left is “exercising faith” -- specifically, the Gift of Healing...

...a gift that, as you may be sensing by now, you urgently need.

Neither you nor I know when the next pandemic is going to hit. But we do know that (1) it will, (2) because mankind generally remained spiritually deaf to God’s warning this time around, it’ll likely be worse than COVID-19, and (3) 

“if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30)

Prepare Yourself for THE Wedding

“Every bride seeks to appear beautiful in the eyes of her groom. But it's often an involved process, an expensive and a long process. 

In the ancient Hebrew marriage, the bride and groom would stay separated for a year. The groom would prepare a place for the bride. And the bride would prepare herself for the groom. Her mission was to get ready and make herself beautiful. 

That's why you and Messiah are separated, because this is the time given you to prepare for marriage, to become beautiful in His eyes. 

If you're looking at yourself, your heart, your attitude, your spirituality... it can be pretty ugly... but don't be discouraged. For it's in seeing her lack of beauty that the bride becomes beautiful in the Lord. 

This is the time of your preparation. You have to become beautiful.” (Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Message #405 “The Sound of The Bridegroom,” March 8, 2021)

The Lord has been crystal clear not only about how to survive these future waves of plagues / pestilences / scourges, but also how to spiritually beautify yourself prior to the wedding of the Groom and His bride:

  • Pray
  • Call upon God’s name
  • Humble yourself
  • Repent of your sins
  • Repent of your unbelief in God
  • Repent of your not remembering God
  • Seek His face

Here’s another scripture which I believe meets this criteria:

“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;” (D&C 93:1)

Want to dive into D&C 93:1 in more depth? Click here and scroll down to the sections which begin with “D&C 93:1.” There, you’ll see dozens of posts to help you start beautifying.


This post is just the "tip of the iceberg" in our discussion of "The Gift of Healing Part 3." Want more in-depth insights? Click here to start the process of joining our Facebook group today! (Be sure to follow the instructions to a tee).