Original entry 24 January, 2021
One challenge we face today is finding unity amongst diversity of our beliefs, backgrounds, cultures, goals, and desires. How can we seek for unifying ideas in such a time as this? The answer may lie within past experiences and words spoken by historical figures, lyricists, and everyday people.
What will happen if individuals continue to interact with hostility towards others? Martin Luther King Jr. described the end result of our interactions if we approach one another with hatred and anger when he stated,
Rather than focusing time and energy on hating others because of different beliefs and values, we can root out the hatred and anger by choosing instead to love others. Jesus Christ exemplified perfect love for all races, kindreds, tongues, and people. Why not choose to do love others as He did?
It’s hard to love someone who may declare your views as wrong, senseless, ancient, sinful, or godless, but it’s even harder to love someone when you’re choosing to be intolerant of them as a human being. When faced with differing opinions or views, why not give a listening ear without choosing to criticize, hate, or retaliate? In an article published online in The Liahona, Lori Fuller Sosa brings awareness to the following idea:
“If we could just listen without trying to change someone’s mind, I think we’d be surprised what we might learn” (2019).
Imagine if we all followed this line of thinking. Would it bring more unity?
Nearly 50 years ago, John Lennon once speculated the outcome of our world if we put our differences behind us and sought to live on earth, harmoniously.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be live as one.
Original Lyrics by John Lennon taken from Pass It On
Notice how Lennon erases the concept of greed and hunger. Is this what divides the nations? Money and power?
In 1976, Howard W. Hunter stated,
“It is the proposition that everyone has a price, that material things finally matter most, that ultimately you can buy anything in this world for money.”
It’s true, you can have anything in this world for money, but at what cost? Is a life not worth so a great a value? In Lennon’s lyrics, he shifted the focus from earthly possessions to a “brotherhood of man.” Placing pleasures and monetary value above human life will not unify us. It will divide us. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? …[W]hat shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36–37.)
Many powerful leaders have sought to eradicate the existence of the poor, the mentally ill, and the races that were not considered elite in their eyes. In God’s eyes, we are all His children. He created us equally. It is not Christ’s doctrine to divide us or to bring contention. This is not from Christ. Christ’s teachings seek to uplift, unify, edify, and inspire all to love.
As The Savior taught,
I know for myself the impact pure Christlike love can have on an individual. I hated religion and any person who preached their beliefs. I discovered that I believed, these religious people thought they were so much better than me. I was judging. The same thing I didn’t like about religion, I was still practicing.
I came to see that I was not loving. I was a very judgmental person. I carried so much hatred, yet it was a religious person who showed me pure Christlike love and did not judge me for my choices, my mistakes, or my beliefs. Charity, the pure love of Christ has the power to change hearts. This love has changed life.
In moving forward to seek unity in diversity, the following question posed nearly 200 years ago, may be relatable to today:
We all share differing perspectives, opinions, and beliefs but ultimately, the way we can seek unity in diversity is to love one another as Christ has loved us. This is my prayer for each of us in the world today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
4th June 2022 10am
Do you think you’re crazy? I’m here to tell you, you are not alone. But I’m also here to tell you, you are not crazy.
You know that feeling inside the pit of your stomach? Where something feels…cringy…? Many may refer to it as your gut feeling or gut instinct.
Well, I ignored this feeling and eventually I was deceived because of my choice to forego any cringy or “something doesnt feel right” feeling.
Let me explain. Hi, if this is your first read of my journal entries, welcome. I’ve struggled with an onslaught of addiction and behaviors that really don’t show my appreciation and gratitude for what I have been given in life. My choices have lead me down some dark paths. I believed I had finally found the way out, and I did! But just as I thought I was at my strongest point in life, through a spiritual, temporal, and emotional lens, I was hard-core blindsided because I didnt listen to the “cringy-something-doesnt-feel-right” feeling.
I had an influence in my life who quoted scripture, prophets, and claimed to be receiving revelation and promptings from the spirit, and this was someone I considered to be a close friend. Someone I’ve known over the last 5+ years. We went to church together, we worshiped together, we cried and laughed together. This was someone I trusted.
This experience taught me a potential pattern of philosophies of men mingled with scripture. This could also be repharased as philosphies of friends mingled with scripture. Especially if used to persuade, manipulate or brag about ones spirituality and ability to receive constant revelation, as if they have am open conduit from heaven and God is speaking to them 24/7.
I thought I was a bad person because I wasn’t receiving constant revelation like this person. On may 17th she called and claimed she felt prompted to call me. I was in the middle of listening to a podcast from a locap therapist. I thought he had some good tools he was teaching the listener, so I wondered if I was being led astray and my friend was here to teach me truth.
I told her I only had 5 minutes to talk. I had left her a voicemail to apologize about something I had done, and she said Heavenly Father wanted her to tell me that His spirit had withdrawn from me, and that I didn’t owe her an apology, I owed Him and apology. This didn’t make sense because I had already asked for forgiveness. So I wondered if maybe I wasnt sincere, so then I believed what she said because I have an addiction and struggle daily! I truly thought she was talking with God and He was telling her these things, even though I reasoned against it several times.
So she portrayed God as continously talking to her. She spoke as if Heavenly Father were really talking to her, and even thought “something didn’t feel right” I thought it was because I was, for lack of a better word, not worthy and not able to have the God’s Power in my life.
BEWARE THE PHILOSOPHIES OF MEN MINGLED WITH SCRIPTURE
I’d like to say I have the truth, but really truly the only way to truth is through the Savior. I am just a person, and I can’t lead you. Only through Christ, the Lord omnipotent can truth be received.
I thought I was being lead to truth through another person, and thus experience REALLY hurt.
In 2016, I decided to leave Amy habits and behaviors behind. This was hard! I had to move and get rid of things that tied my mind back to people and situations that caused triggers and flashbacks to painful memories.
During this process I had to leave friends behind, but I also prayed for a new friend. A true friend. And along came, *Diana. We weren’t bosom buddies at first, but over time we shared a lot of spiritual knowledge and quests together. Our lives seemed to parallel one anithers in regard to trial hardship and other spiritual pursuits.
We’ve been in each other’s lives for the last 6 years. I definitely felt connected to her, perhaps more so than to my husband. THIS WAS NOT OKAY. And I wondered about thus off and on again. I just felt more spiritually connected to Diana. She often shared “revelations” and “promptings” she was receiving. It seemed she had a continual conduit of knowledge from the heavens.
I felt inspired by her, but at times… something didn’t feel right in the pit of My stomach. That gut instinct seemed to signal something was off, especially since this past March of 2022.
She bore her testimony about the Savior, and I just remember feeling…uncomfortable. I thought this meant there was something wrong with me! I remember being taught that spirit recognizes spirit, and “bad” is uncomfortable around “good.”
Well, I still have many habits that take me away from Christ, so I thought, there was something wrong with me because of my addictions. So I began to mistake the cringey feeling for this idea that Diana’s better than me and I’m worse than her. I felt shame, guilt, all manner or yucky feelings!
She repeatedly discussed revelation and promptings she received from Heavenly Father. She often asked if we could pray together. Can you see how I placed too much trust in someone based on what I was seeing over what I was feeling?
“Something doesn’t feel right” is an indicator that SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. So. Trust that feeling. Eventually I allowed myself to be deceived. This was a hard lesson to learn. Are you ready for the story?
I WAS DECEIVED. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!
I had felt for several years I needed to see a therapist, but then I would reason against this thought. It wasn’t until I was camping and had a dream that is too personal to share where essentially I came to understand I needed therapy.
I began to move forward by calling and leaving a voicemail on one therapists line, and a got on a waiting list for another therapist. In the meantime I began listening to a podcast from a local therapist. He gave some good tips. And then, my friend called. “I feel prompted to call you ” she said. “Oh. Okay?” I can’t even remember all that she said but at one point she instructed me on how to overcome anxiety which I will not repeat here for sever reasons.
I began doing everything she taught me. Even thought, something felt off. Fast forward to the next day, and I believed I was following a true and correct source of knowledge and instruction.
It wasn’t until my sister in law showed up and i shared with her my “revelations” and before leaving she shared with me what she knew to be true. I felt a burning I’m my bosom. A sure way of knowing what I was receiving was truth. I immediately questioned what I had received… and gasped…”I think I have been deceived….” my sister in law looked concerned. She eventually left.
Later that day I went to see a replica of the tabernacle described in the Bible. As I was there I kept questioning everything… had I been deceived? Somethings not right. But what? At the end of the tour, I entered a chapel building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and they had the most beautiful music and images of the Savior. Again I felt that same feeling in my chest. Only this time.. it was more of a peaceful feeling that filled my bosom, confirming that this was truth.
I had been deceived. I thought I was receiving light and truth from a correct source. I apologized to several I had potentially lead astray those few days, especially my husband. It was scary. It was truly a scary experience. One that I hope to prevent others from falling for.
I do not have the whole truth. I have bits and pieces. Light and truth can only come from one source. I can only bate witness of what I know and what I believe.
I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Chrsit. I believe that the Savior died for us, so I can live with God and my family again if I live righteously. I have a hope in Christ. I believe in the power of the Holy Ghost. I believe in revelation. I believe that we have living prophets and Apostles that walk the earth today to lead and guide God’s people. I believe Christ’s church has been restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I believe all people can come to a knowledge of this truth if they feast upon the words of Christ and experiment to know for themselves. I believe Christ will return to the earth and reign in His glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Biblical and modern prophecies give many signs of the Second Coming. These include:
The fulness of the gospel restored and preached in all the world for a witness to all nations.
False Christs and false prophets, deceiving many.
Wars and rumors of wars, with nation rising against nation.
Earthquakes in divers places.
Famine and pestilence.
An overflowing scourge, a desolating sickness covering the land.
The whole earth in commotion.
Men’s hearts failing them.
(See Matt. 24:5–15; JS—M 1:22, 28–32; D&C 45:26–33.)
In another revelation the Lord declares that some of these signs are His voice calling His people to repentance:
“Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you. …
“How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, … and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” (D&C 43:23, 25).
These signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. For example, the list of major earthquakes in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2004 shows twice as many earthquakes in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s as in the two preceding decades (pp. 189–90). It also shows further sharp increases in the first several years of this century. The list of notable floods and tidal waves and the list of hurricanes, typhoons, and blizzards worldwide show similar increases in recent years (pp. 188–89). Increases by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous…
“In modern revelation we have the promise that if we are prepared we need not fear (see D&C 38:30).”Preparation for the Second Coming
Dallin H. Oaks of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
26 May, 2022, 5:33am
We can know God if we will: Obey all His commandments as best we can (see John 14:21–23).
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.John 14:21–23
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him
Taken from the Gospel Principles manual by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
26 May, 2022, 5:12am
We can know God if we will: Study the scriptures (see 2 Timothy 3:14–17).
“14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;2 Timothy 3:14–17
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works
Taken from the Gospel Principles manual by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Given the tribulation that Paul faced in his ministry, it’s not surprising that he wrote a lot about the purposes and blessings of tribulation. Think about ways your trials can be a blessing as you read 2 Corinthians 1:3–7; 4:6–10, 17–18; and 7:4–7. For example, you might ponder how God “comforteth [you] in all [your] tribulation” and how you can, in turn, “comfort them which are in any trouble” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Or you might focus on the light of Jesus Christ that “hath shined in our hearts,” even when you are “troubled” and “perplexed” (2 Corinthians 4:6–10).