“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

ye shall all be amazed and wonder (Helaman 14: 1-10)

The small room sat in the back west corner of our ranch house. We hadn't lived there very long. My Dad lived in a nearby apartment that we visited on weekends. My brothers (13, 11) and I loved the large hill that sloped down through the back yard. We had spent many hours blowing up ant hills, sinking model ships, and playing in the creek that ran through the meadow at the bottom of the hill. Because they had to "watch over" me, I was always the little sister tag-along. This room, that we were gathered now in, was the boys' room.

I stood with my back against the wall. My bandaged right arm leaned on the foot of my brother's electric hospital bed. The threshold to the door lay only a few inches to the left of my feet. As I leaned backward I could feel the light switch push in between my shoulder blades. I felt small. The room seemed to loom around me and the air swam thickly against my skin. I could see the hairs on my arm stand up.

My mother sat in a chair in the middle of the room. I remember how the ceiling light showered down upon her frail frame. I remember that her spirit exuded an understanding that I yearned to know. My two brothers were in the room, but I could only see my oldest brother. With the aid of his bed he sat as upright as his fractured vertebrae would allow. For him the doctor had prescribed "flat bed rest." Trying to find respite for our pain, he laughed. His jet black hair swung down across his pale face and he said something that calmed me. Then my mother began to speak with a quiet but pointed faith.

"He's here. Can you feel him?" She spoke with a sure tone. I looked at by oldest brother. His eyes grew large and rounded. He returned my gaze before we both turned to face my mother's question.

I had felt him from the moment I had gathered with them. I had known much of what my mother was to vocalize. She began, and I listened with an intent to know.

"Son, we know you are here. Have you come to say goodbye." An electricity shot through me and I stepped forward away from the wall. The stitches in my right knee smarted as I shifted my weight.

"Donnie, can you let us know you are here? Can you give us a sign that you are here?" My mother's whispered words fluttered across the room. My heart raced. I nor my oldest brother said a word.

That's when the light's went out. Once. Twice. Three times. I remember stepping clear from the wall in wonder. I remember reaching out to my mother but never touching her. The emotion of Don's presence engulfed me. I felt him around me. I felt him above me. I felt him near me. It was undeniable that his spirit was with us, comforting, teaching, but mostly just saying "Good bye, I won't be too far," or "Don't forget me," but mostly, "I love you."

Now we all cried. So powerful was the testimony, the sign, his spirit, that our spirits were overcome. Mother said a prayer and my oldest brother and I joined in. We felt a total and complete love. I know that my spirit was touched that day with a truth that comes from the spiritual realms of heaven. A truth that was meant to guide me home.

Don had passed away a few weeks earlier. We had all suffered from injuries from the car accident that had taken his life. My mother had spent several hard days in the hospital healing from injuries that had almost taken her as well. Forty-two years have passed and I will never forget those powerful moments reserved for me. From that day forward I have let the "amazement" of that experience carry me. I have searched to understand and have sought to "believe in his name, the Son of God" that I might have opportunity to meet my brother again.

Jesus Christ promised us that he will "redeem all those who shall believe on his name." This means that Jesus Christ will make restitution for my mistakes. I made many.

For years I did not understand that my brother's death was not my fault. I carried a heavy burden. He had sat in the front seat. I sat there before mother had made me move.
It was from the front seat that he had been thrown from the car. In my young mind I rationalized that it was me who was supposed to go back to heaven. But then I didn't get to go. Why? I was told by well meaning adults that Don got to go because he was "ready", he was "perfect" and thereby God wanted him. So what did that leave me? Imperfect? I began anew knowing I had some work to do?

Jesus Christ, I found would help me. And he started helping me that one afternoon in my brother's bedroom. There I felt the presence of my brother's spirit. I knew where it was. I saw that he was able to turn the lights on and off as I stood not one foot from the unturned light switch. And as surely as I felt his presence, I knew when he had gone. Gone where?
Back to be with our Savior Jesus Christ whose name is so powerful that the heavens and the earth respect it.

I had so many questions. That is the day that my real journey began.
So when Dad wanted me to listen to "his" faith, I looked for answers.
I found them. I found answers to why Don was able to come back, and why he had to leave, and why many years later he could not come and "watch over" me as I struggled with life.
I was eight when he passed. He was eleven. My oldest brother was thirteen. It was a hard time, but because I have believed on his name, I have seen many signs and wonders. I have known the love of my Savior around me. This has been a great joy to me. But not the greatest joy. The greatest joy has come to me as I have been able to share the love of the Savior with others. Through service, testimony, friendship, and study.

WITH MY FATHER'S FAMILY (near the grave)

These verses talk about the years that preceded our Savior's life here on earth. Samuel was but one of many prophets who have testified to the signs that will witness to his birth, his death, and his purpose. It is a gift that God has given us to help us return to him. It is a gift that must not only be opened but also be used in order for it to give us any hope of His promise.

But I promise you this. I promise that for those who "shall believe on his name" shall have many signs and wonders of his love. We pass through so much of our life with blinders on. We are so very unaware of all the work that God's angels do in our behalf. Every now and again when we have insight into his mighty miracles that help us to understand the pureness of his love, I hope that we might "fall to the earth" and give thanks for all he does for us "that believe on his name."

Words and Phrases

vs 1 which cannot be written- some prophesies are not to be written. Some cannot be for they are too sacred. They must remain between a loving father who gives them and those that believe. For those who do not believe another sign of something they do not understand will not make a difference. We must first believe.
vs2 all those who shall believe on his name - these shall be redeemed.(put back on the right path) (cleansed of sin) ..Samuel told them that a sign he would give to help them understand, to direct their path, to give them hope... and strengthen their faith. 5 years Son of man will come.
vs 3 the sign is .. that 1. there will be lights in heaven 2. no darkness

vs 4 a day and a night and a day... what was supposed to happen happened but without darkness. We saw the lights go out, but no one turned the switch. The people of Samuel's day saw the sun go down and the sun rise but no darkness came.
vs 5 a new star - astronomers have astronomical proof as to the existence of the birth of a new star at the time of Christ's birth. If it were to be infatically proven with scientific data, like in the time of Samuel, it would only be a sign to those who believe. Other's usually do not have time to think or understand because their treasures are not found in the nature that respects God, it is not found in the laws that govern the universe.

vs 6 many signs and wonders - When we believe, God sends us our own signs and wonders that He lives. We are not left alone. We are not left to our own faith. God sends us signs to direct our path and guide our choices. But we will miss them if we don't believe.
vs 7 amazed and wonder - When ye shall receive your own personal signs, ye will have amazement and wonder. Record them. Ponder them, study them, consider them, and then ask God.

vs 8 believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life- Why? Because in believing we unwrap His gift to us. In believing we find hope. IN believing we are cleansed and redeemed from our sins. In believing we find strength and knowledge, but mostly we find forgiveness.

vs 9 Cry unto this people- When you believe and you have signs and wonders that direct you and give you guidance that keeps you from harm and helps you gain greater understanding, be sure to speak your part and tell others. The power of the word will change universes.

vs 10 it was hard against you - the truth is not an easy pill to swallow. Few people can naturally do so. To hear the word of God ye must be humble, teachable, and willing to change what needs to be changed within you: attitude, service, virtue, love, and hope.
Do not cast out those that speak truth. The sad thing here is that most of those that are bold enough to speak truth to us are within our own family. The demise of the family in these last days is due mostly to the pride of men's hearts. Do not be so proud as to not hear the pain and frustration of those that love you the most.


  1. It is so hard to understand sometimes why some are taken and some are left behind. The guilt of those that remain is well chronicled and even has a psycological diagnostic name. The subject has been well studied by both christian scholars and medical doctors. The truth, however, can be distilled to the frustrating conclusion that we simply do not know. We don't know what our mission on this earth is, and what's more significant, we don't know when it's over. All we can do is trust in a loving God who has our best interests at heart. I've discovered that life is a roller coaster, and sometimes the best we can do is to hold on and keep our hands and feet inside the vehicle until the ride comes to a complete stop.

    Ann Y.

  2. I love your analogy of the roller coaster. Sometimes I like coaster rides. other times I don't. I guess it depends on my frame of mind. I like how you put it so straight forward. We don't know our mission.. except to serve and help one another along. Thanks. for your comments you have such good insight.

  3. I don't know why, but I was led to read this again. I have to think about what it means to me now, over a year later. It has even more meaning to me now, I think. You're right. Our mission here in general is to love and serve. How we do that is our specific mission, which we sometimes don't know until the end. I think your mission is to remind us we're loved and nudge us to think.


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