Atonement

April turned out to be a month of several firsts as I glance back on the past few weeks.

Main Street San Pedro

Main Street San Pedro

It was my first time ever to vacation on a tropical island with my adult siblings. I’m the oldest of ten and they are from the younger half of the family. The youngest, my brother was about 6-7 years old when I left home.

Travelling with others, one really finds out how much they know each other- or not. Even with siblings. Half of the group from Alberta and the other half from Ontario met in southern Ontario and flew to San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Visiting beautiful Belize and her friendly people was a first for all of us and one of the most amazing experiences ever. A favorite for sure! A dream destination for scuba diving and snorkelers, Belize’s barrier reef is the longest and largest mass of continuous living coral in that hemisphere, second in the world.

“Look deep into nature, and then…you will

understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

nurse sharkCoached by my experienced sisters, we set out to snorkel. Another first. A shark nonchalantly swam right up to me within my reach. It was longer than I am wide; I admit I felt a bit afraid. My heart nearly stopped. This on our first excursion! A bit later, I learned it’s known as a nurse shark. They are safe. Yay. Think I should have researched those a bit more beforehand!

Snorkelling. My new love. I am so hooked! I can hardly believe I had not discovered this fun activity before! Vibrant colored sea plants and exotic marine life…maybe scuba diving will be my next adventure. 🙂

For the first time ever in my 7 ½ years as a Latter Day Saint, the ward boundaries have been changed and I along with 3 other families have been entrusted to another ward. I know this is a common occurrence for many of you, but in this area it had not happened for 20 years.

I am now a member at the Stoney Creek ward about the same distance away (20 minutes) in the opposite direction. I’ve always known I live on the boundary line. I just never knew when I would be leaving my dear St. Catharine brethren and move on to love and appreciate others. While temporarily out of my comfort zone I have no doubt that Heavenly Father has a purpose in offering this opportunity for growth.

Now this next item is not truly a 100% complete ‘first’ although I would say it is the most important first I could add to any list. From the beginning of my commitment as a Latter Day Saint I have been aware of the enabling power of the Atonement in small increments as I’ve often thought of it.

Deep comfort and peace when troubled. A flood of divine love washing through me when sad, lonely, misunderstood or grieving. Feeling God’s extra strength when I needed more patience or courage. Inspiration in time of need.

“I frankly do not think many of us ‘get it’ concerning the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement, and I wonder if we mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves through sheer grit, will power, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities.” Elder David A. Bednar

Seemingly suddenly I’ve become aware of the magnitude of what we have been given in the complete package of the gift of the Atonement. It is not just a bit of strength and comfort doled out here and there in whimsical fashion, as by an inconsistent, cranky parent.

"Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.", www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”,
www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

“Surrounded by His enduring love, we are warm, safe and secure. That reassuring calm…  comes from the embrace which our heart feels and through the tender senses of our spirit. All around us we have the physical wonders and beauties of nature that bear the signature of their Creator and remind us of His enduring love. Although His presence is unseen by our eyes, His unending love is felt in our hearts.” Greg Olsen – 1997

 

My ‘first’ is realizing that my situations may not have changed or gone away, but how I respond has changed with His divine help. Not overnight. But my awareness of this having been the case seems to have come overnight.

I have complete confidence in the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help me through any and every situation and in His desire and willingness to enrich my life with joy and happiness.

That is if I humble myself and depend on Heavenly Father and our Savior for help. I’ve learned Whom to turn to 100% of the time and Whom I can trust 100%. This has been true from the beginning. And it’s all been available all this time. Oh, how indescribably blessed we are!

“Christ is ready with outstretched arms as He waits for us to come unto Him and be encircled in the arms of His love. It is here that we can be healed, nourished, loved, enabled, strengthened, and made whole.” Carolyn J. Rasmus

May 1st marked this blog’s first birthday. I’ve been posting for a year already!! Can you believe!! Happy Birthday “Entitled To Revelation”!! WhooHoo!

Christ -I am come

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”, www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

When I was a kid, one of the most abhorrent methods of punishment was to be sent to our knees. Not allowed to speak, facing a wall or a corner, kneeling, back straight with hands clasped behind us we would remain ‘forgotten’ at times for hours. I don’t recall for how long, or even that sometimes we missed meal times. When I am reminded by certain dear siblings, those memories vaguely return.

I do remember well the agony, feeling very faint and lightheaded. One of my sisters with a phenomenal memory recalls passing the time by imagining clouds, animals and such in the patterns on the wall. She remembers times feeling like she almost passed out, even hallucinating. I mention this to give you an idea, that while I cannot quote how many hours at a time…it truly was a long time for children to remain rooted and unmoving.

It always amazed me that my sisters remained kneeling in the correct posture for a very much longer period than I was able to do. I couldn’t understand how it was possible that they were able to endure so much longer than me. After only a few moments, I would begin to feel sharp pains shoot through my bones. Soon I’d lift each leg in turn to relieve the torment.

Eventually though, we all would succumb to sitting back on our legs for some relief hoping that we would not get caught. If we were found out, that would be for the worse. When we finally were liberated, it would take us some moments after we stood up to be able to walk, stiff legged and sore, with deep grooves in our reddened knees imprinted from the wooden floor patterns.

And we were good kids! I’ve no idea where this idea for discipline originated, but I am pretty sure ‘hours’ were not supposed to be included in this method for such tiny souls whose worse transgression was the mishap of quarreling and ‘not getting along’.

The same malady that had affected me as a child was a challenge whenever I knelt in prayer. Instead of speaking with my Heavenly Father, all I could focus on was the pain I was experiencing.

One of my most embarrassing moments was kneeling in my chiropractor’s office one day. Why would it be embarrassing to kneel in his office? I’m not sure, unless it brought back a measure of the feelings I’d experienced as a child cowering before a parent, mute, humiliated, hopelessly angry and feeling unloved.

Several months before, I had mentioned my challenge and asked for this good man’s help. He had attempted adjustments several times and I was beginning to wonder if there was ever going to be a change for the better. This time, he thought he had succeeded and so when he was done I promptly kneeled to test out my knees. No pain.

It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” Phillippians 2:13

Why would I persevere? I could have just accepted this limitation, couldn’t I? Praying in other positions is surely acceptable. The deep desire to address Heavenly Father on my knees began somewhere deep within my heart. I don’t fully know how or why.

I believe that He may well have given me that yearning so that I eventually could humbly bow before Him with confidence and pleasure-a very long way from my childhood experiences.

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Phillippians 2:10

I’ve never felt such deep love, approval, peace and joy in all my life. I’ve never cried so deeply as when I’m on my knees before the Almighty. Not in physical pain. But with cleansing of the heart and soul my wounded spirit was healed. For me, I do not know that I would have received the healing, love and peace that I needed in any other way.

“He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross”  Phillippians 2:8

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane
“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”, www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

There is a tremendous price for the blessings we receive. That’s the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Christ has paid for our abundance with His life.

We may choose to humbly bow with faith and gratitude today. Or we may procrastinate until we meet Him face to face, speechless, and with great remorse fall on our knees–at the Savior’s feet.

 

How important do you feel kneeling in prayer to be? Do you feel there is a difference? What has been your experience?

 

 

Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-Day_Saints

I am amazed each time someone tells me that they have heard that visitors are not allowed to attend our church services.

I suppose that the confusion happens when they learn that not just anyone may attend our holy and sacred temples. It is true that not just anyone may attend the Temple of the Lord. Even some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have not met the necessary requirements to attend the temple.

However – any one may walk into and enjoy the worship Services and/or Sunday school classes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We do not have paid preachers, ministers or pastors. In fact, all those in leadership positions are called to their positions by prayer and revelation. All members volunteer their time. The organization of the church is marvelous and once you understand how it is organized you know that it must be inspired by our Lord.

Would you like to visit sometime and experience an LDS worship service? I’m scheduled to give a talk on this coming Sunday, the 17th.  Surprise me! I’d love to meet you!

Worship Service is at 9:30 a.m. most Sundays of the year. (4 times a year, we enjoy conferences set at later times). My ward address is 351 Glenridge Avenue, ST CATHARINES, ONTARIO L2T 3K6

If you do not live near St. Catharines, simply visit http://www.maps.lds.org  and enter your own address! You will find the nearest LDS church and meeting time. I love to use this website service when I’m travelling! No matter where I am, it’s very easy to find the nearest meeting place.

During our service, you may hear 3 or 4 people (ages 12+) speak. Once a month, (usually the first Sunday of the month) no one is actually scheduled to speak. This is when those who are able, fast (no food or drink for 24 hours) and pray (with intent), and are given an opportunity to bear their testimony of the truth of the restored gospel during the service.

Usually the speakers are assigned a topic. Since there was a bit of a mix-up this time around, I was given 3 options to choose from, each based on the following messages, each excerpts of powerful conference talks. So for the past day I have been seeking inspiration from the Lord to choose that topic which will best serve Him this week.

Which topic would interest you the most?

Click on the link to view short messages (about 3:00 minutes each)

Your Potential, Your Privileges

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf shares a humorous parable of a man who realizes he has been living far beneath his privileges.

Reclaimed

Just as a garbage dump can be turned into a beautiful park, a life of sin can be cleansed and changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Choose This Day

Henry B. Eyring, a disciple of Jesus Christ, urges us to seek God’s help to overcome complacency and discouragement and find joy in serving Him today.