Today was, overall, a wonderful day. We went to the Temple in Dallas.
One strange thing to note is what seemed like hyperactivity of Police. We saw SO many on the interstate and in the city. WAY more than normal. Wonder if there is any connection to Jade Helm 15. We also saw what looked like a high-speed chase in progress... thankfully, it was going north when we were headed south. So strange. And since we don't tune into any local-ish news, we don't know if what we saw was publicized. ahwell
My experience in the Temple today is one I hope I will remember in the same way I remember the one in which I felt the presence of the woman whose work I did. THAT is an awesome treasure. I look forward to hugging her some day!
The Endowment presentation this time was the one that I have seen most frequently since coming to Texas. I like it a lot. I felt, for almost the entire viewing time, as though I were receiving a download of spiritual data... for lack of a better way to convey the feeling. I did experience at least one moment I can readily verbalize.
In my mind I saw a wave labeled... like I did when I was in grade school. Picture of wave. Line coming from top, box around the word "crest". Line from bottom, box around the word "trough". As a sort of narration, but not a part of the picture, per se, I felt "repetition". And so it is. Another experience with the "seasonality" of life. This one, in particular, referring to the highs and lows. And not all are the same at the same time. While one wave breaks, another rises... all over the place. Repeatedly. So too in the movement of humans in all the various ways we move... mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually....
Before I went into the Temple today, I'd read another message from a long-time friend. I'm pretty sure she's already made her decision. It seems that she is down the path as others I've tried to help in the past. And down so far she's not going to come back the way she left. It seems like she's sorta just looking for me to say, "Okay... yeah... I get it. Well, maybe that's right for you, then." But I cannot. Because that's not true.
However, I don't think there is any way she would hear any version of that from me as a positive thing or loving - even though that's what I would be trying to convey. Why? Because in at least the last two communications she has conveyed a feeling of offense regarding something I've said. And I'm tired of trying to explain myself to yet another person who is projecting their own insecurities onto my blunt/directness. Communicating with people is becoming so burdensome most of the time lately. I just feel exhausted at trying to figure out how to say something so someone will not be offended! I mean... heck, if these same folks actually KNEW me, they wouldn't take offense when I mean none and they'd KNOW when I did. I guess that's part of the problem... so few of us ACTUALLY know or truly attempt to get to know another being.
I digress. I wanted to share what I need to tell her so that I'll remember it for whenever I feel like Heavenly Father says it's the right time for me to tell her what I feel He wants me to tell her.
Basically, it is this:
You are hacking at your own foundation with your fears and questions. Perhaps you did not have a solid foundation into Christ (THE Rock)... I have no real way of knowing. I believe Heavenly Father has given us all a good guide for overcoming fear and confusion: go back to the basics. If we doubt basically everything, go back to whatever is most basic that we do, for sure, believe in, and build from there.
Perhaps that means we go back to knowing that God is our Father and we're not really sure about anything else.
The different Primary manuals are available online. If you have a smart phone, you can download LDS tools and get all of them in one place. Otherwise, you can surely download them via desktop or laptop, too. If I was feeling as confused as my friend, I'd go to the nursery manual and start with the very first lesson and read it and all scriptures, songs, and whatever mentioned in it. And not just read it, but read it prayerfully... with a desire to know the truth... and a complete willingness to do what the Lord would have me do. That last part is a pretty big key that lots of folks leave out when asking God questions.
For instance, Jessie (my husband) has asked God if the Book of Mormon is true. He hasn't read the whole thing, so that's part of the problem... but he's also not willing to make the necessary changes - the changes that would be absolutely necessary if he were to receive The answer. He's not willing to make those changes. He's NOT willing to give away all his sins to know the truth.
I'm not saying that I (or anyone else who has a solid testimony of the restored Gospel as it is in the LDS church) am free of sin and that's how I can have a testimony. Definitely not. I am saying that I'm *willing* to give away all my sins to know the truth. Line upon line, here a little, there a little... I have "favorite" sins I'm struggling to overcome just like anyone else. But I've overcome others that I didn't think I ever would! In and through Christ Jesus ANYTHING is possible! I know it, because I've lived it!!!
The other main thing I felt Father directed me to convey is this: I'm pretty sure my friend (and others including her son) have misunderstood the word perfect and perfection.
As a result of this communication with my friend, I spent some time looking stuff up in the Celestial Room (only paper scriptures there) and found myself understanding my friend's misunderstanding... feeling like I can see exactly how she has misunderstood and what the words she's misunderstood actually mean. However, I have also received direct and firm instruction that she needs to learn these things by her own effort. It is not mine to give. And, honestly, I think the same is true for anyone reading this and wanting to know what perfect and perfection really mean in the scriptures as God used them through humans.
I'm hoping that if you doubt, you'll go back to the basics AND look into what God means by perfect and perfection....
I just feel like I want to describe this "spiritual download" because it was so cool! I haven't experienced anything like it to this magnitude before. The only time I've experienced anything similar has been in relation to meditation and that has been wonderful... but this was... I don't even know how to describe it right now! I felt, in a way (and this is sorta silly, I think, but it's really true), like I was the genie, realizing my cosmic power! Like in Aladin! heeheehee I feel like I'm laughing inside right now because it just sorta sounds goofy. Anyway... it was wonderful!
Perhaps this wonderful experience is a sort of gift... I mean, I've been trying so hard to help my friend to see the truth. And nothing has helped. It definitely feels like another special Confirmation experience similar to the one I had so that I know that Joseph Smith really did what he professed and so that I would know this church is where I needed to raise my children. It's definitely of that caliber of an experience. And maybe Father has given me this additional Confirmation as a gift because of my efforts with my friend... because I have been attempting to convey to her that IS true - even though He knows she's taken some of it the wrong way.
Evelyn and Chris both said something very similar to me while they were here. I mention it because, although I disagree with it very much for various reasons, I feel like Heavenly Father had them both say this thing to me so that I would both understand and be able to obey His direction to me that I NOT share all that I learned today. They didn't say it at the same time... and different conversations sparked the statement... and they weren't necessarily together when they said it... and it was said in different ways by both of them. But they both told me, basically, that it is very dangerous to give people what they haven't had to work for spiritually. I believe this principle is often (though not always!) true for any type of giving... I mean, look at the welfare problems! Anyway... I disagree because there have been SO many times when the forward motion I was able to make came as a result of someone just TELLing me truth straight out. But, I guess, as in SO many ways, I am not the norm in this regard. Because I've definitely already had the experience with my friend that she needs to come to know certain things for herself and she has not valued the knowledge I have come by... not really. Not in a "yes, I understand" sort of way. Anyway... just another example of what Jessie has said frequently: "God is an AWESOME planner!" He surely is!