Strengthening and Preserving the Family

Our husbands could probably learn a few things from President Joseph Fielding Smith, who seems to have been a wonderfully perfect husband and father. You could hear this from the words of his wife and children in this months Relief Society lesson:

“The man I know is unselfish, uncomplaining, considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic, doing everything within his power to make life a supreme joy for his loved ones…. a kind, loving husband and father whose greatest ambition in life is to make his family happy, entirely forgetful of self in his efforts to do this.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith Chapter 4: Strengthening and Preserving the Family, pp 73-74)

Reading how much President Smith loved his family made it hard to read the lesson. I find it heartrending that he didn’t teach his loved ones the truth about gaining eternal life. There is and always will be, only one eternal Family and that’s God’s. The very moment the Holy Ghost brings someone to faith in Christ, that person becomes a child of God and a member of Heavenly Father’s forever family.

Regarding eternal marriage, Christ testifies that this LDS belief is false. He reveals that marriage isn’t required to gain eternal life: “And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. (Mark 12:23-25)

But President Smith refuses to believe Christ’s words. He makes the same mistake that I see other LDS leaders do, over and over again. They bear testimony to a belief in Jesus Christ, and yet they don’t believe or teach what Jesus taught. Rejecting Christ’s teaching, Smith uses his own imagination to describe how horrible he thinks this kind of life would be, living in the kingdom of God according to Christ’s teaching:

“Is it possible to imagine a greater source of sorrow than to be left in the eternal world without claim on father or mother or children? The thought of a nation without the family unit as its fundamental foundation, where all the citizens are comparatively strangers to each other and where natural affection is not found; where no family ties bind the groups together, is one of horror. Such a condition could lead to but one end—anarchy and dissolution. Is it not reasonable to believe the same thing true in relation to the kingdom of God? If in that kingdom, there were no family ties and all men and women were “angels” without the natural kinships, as many people believe, could it be a place of happiness—a heaven?” (p.78)

“Is it possible to imagine” living with Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost “where natural affection is not found”? God is Love! Just because marriages don’t last beyond this earth doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. Not only does Christ reject the false LDS belief, He even speaks highly of those who stay single—for the kingdom of heavens sake:

“His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:10-12)

Just think of some of these men Jesus was talking about who never married; like the prophets Daniel, Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist. These men of God “made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” The Apostle Paul also never married, as he revealed through the Holy Spirit:

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

“He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”

“So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-35, 38)

Reading the purpose for families given in the Relief Society Lesson shows that LDS leaders also don’t know the true Christ. They reject the truth that Christ has already done this for us. Instead, they expect the family to do what God has already sent Christ to do, His mission on earth was to be our righteousness:

“The primary function of a Latter-day Saint home is to insure that every member of the family works to create the climate and conditions in which all can grow toward perfection.”

The most important truth that LDS leaders have kept from you is that your Savior Jesus is your Substitute for righteousness. The Prophet Jeremiah testified of this fact through these words: “The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16). The writer of Hebrews tells us that Christ offered His body as a perfect sacrifice and in exchange, we have been perfected forever: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (10:10-14)

We who were sinful and imperfect, are found perfect in God’s sight. This is through faith in Christ as our Substitute. He was punished for our sins, and in exchange covered us with His righteousness, just as the Isaiah prophesied: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

Heavenly Father loves you so much He sent His Son on a Mission to be your Substitute Savior! Believe it and receive it. Now, spend the rest of your life in joy and thanksgiving as I do; giving my life to Him as my gift of love.

You can know these truths for yourself, by doing as the Apostle John revealed:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6)

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Temple Blessings for Ourselves and Our Ancestors: Can Eternal Marriage Be Perfect?

When I was a young girl I dreamt of having an eternal marriage. One day I would be in the celestial room kneeling across the altar, looking at the love of my life. We would see each other in the reflection of the mirrors as we were sealed to each other for time and all eternity. This man would cherish me and love me unconditionally, as I would him. He would be my best friend—someone I could trust. We would share all our joys, our hurts and pains, and the desires of our hearts. Most importantly, he would be faithful and true to me forever.

As I said, this was my dream. But I really never thought it would come true. Before I was even old enough to know what it was, I had lost my most important possession—my virginity. For most of my childhood I had been sexually abused and I felt so much shame. I knew how unclean I was, how inadequate to be a man’s wife. Who could ever love me if they knew? I was a broken and unhealthy young woman.

I dated quite a bit. One young man was very special to me, but I never felt worthy enough for him. How could I ever tell him the truth? While he was on his mission, I made horrible choices that confirmed I was not worthy. Getting drunk one night led to getting pregnant by a man who was not LDS. My dream of an eternal marriage was shattered by my sin.

We married and my husband was baptized our first year of marriage. We both desired to be married in the Temple and worked to become worthy. Our second daughter died of SIDS and we desperately wanted to be sealed together as a family. After we obtained our much sought after Temple recommend we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. As the years passed, my husband started questioning his faith in Mormonism. Much to my dismay, he left the Church. Then I found out he had been unfaithful to me. We separated and my girls and I moved to a new State and a new Ward. The desire of my heart was to be forgiven and cleansed of my sins. I clung to the words of my prophet Spencer Kimball about how to gain this forgiveness. (If you would like to read about this, read my post titled “God Doesn’t Lie—You Have Been Forgiven”)

After I left the Church, my husband and I reconciled. He promised he would be faithful and true to me and I trusted him. Over the next several years, he often broke this promise. My heart ached every time he cheated on me, but I always took him back. Deep inside I felt that the reason he was intimate with other women was because there was something wrong with me–because I had been sexually abused. Finally, after a rocky 14 years together, he left me for good. I vowed never to trust another man. I turned to other things I loved—my daughters, my artwork, college classes and gardening. But no matter what I did, I was still alone with the guilt and shame of my sins. I knew I was unworthy, unlovable and unfit.

Amazingly when I was 36, I met the man of my dreams! He knew everything about me—all my life of shame and sinfulness. Despite how unworthy I was, He still loved and cherished me! Nothing I had ever done mattered to Him. His love was unconditional. Even though I had vowed never to marry again, I was so in love with Him that I couldn’t help myself! His name was Jesus and in 1994 I was sealed to Him for time and all eternity by Heavenly Father Himself (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). He had already proved His love for me by giving His life for me—washing me of my sin and guilt and making me the virgin I never really had the chance to be! Because of this, I knew I could trust Him and that He would be faithful to me forever.

When He chose me as His bride, He showered me with so many undeserved gifts. But the gift I have treasured most is the forgiveness won for me by His shed blood. His blood has made me clean! My life of shame was taken away the moment He chose me to be His bride. He even gave me my wedding garments! I sing with joy the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10) This gift of His robe of righteousness cleansed me of all sin, so I can dwell in the very presence of God!!

Having been given this amazing gift has changed my life drastically. One of those changes has been my desire to study God’s Word. I pour over the pages of the Bible, discovering the things that God wants to teach me. LDS Prophets claim that marriages performed in LDS Temples will last into eternity: “Grateful should we be for a knowledge of the eternity of the marriage covenant.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Chapter 8: Temple Blessings for Ourselves and Our Ancestors)

But when I did a study on whether a marriage between a man and a woman will last into eternity, I found God’s truth. The only marriage relationship that will last beyond the grave is one with Jesus. Jesus Himself testified of this truth:

“For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (Mark 12:25).

This doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Another gift God gave me was the courage to marry again. Four years after I met Jesus, God brought into my life a wonderful Christian man of God who, amazingly, is also Christ’s bride. The Apostle John taught us in the book of Revelation that anyone who has been made righteous through Christ is His bride. And my husband and I will be together for eternity because we both have faith in Jesus.

There is no earthly relationship that surpasses the love that Jesus has for you. He died for you and wants to shower you with His gift of righteousness. Please, join with the Apostle John as we shout: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:7-9).

Polygamy: Will You Have to Share Your Husband With Other Women?

A few years ago I watched a you-tube video called “Emma Smith — Never Had an Ordinary Day ”. It emphasized several traumatic events from Emma’s life, with background music repeating the words “How much can one heart take?” This video didn’t mention what I believe was the most difficult thing Emma’s heart endured—the unfaithfulness of her husband!

Every woman should put themselves in Emma’s place. How would you feel if your husband told you he had received a revelation from God commanding plural marriage? He then “obeys” God by “marrying” several women and consummates those marriages. Imagine, lying alone at night knowing that the man you love is in another room, being sexually involved with a woman whom he claims was given to him by God. Would you believe him and submit to his priesthood authority? It appears Emma tried to object, but Joseph claimed God told her to “receive all those that have been given unto” him or she would be “destroyed” (D&C 132:52, 64).

The same year I watched the you-tube video I also followed along with the Relief Society Lessons as they studied the “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith”. It was not easy for me to read Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family”. It made me sick to my stomach to read Joseph’s love letters to Emma; knowing that at the same time, he was being sexually intimate with other women. It’s hard to understand how any man could declare his loyalty and love to his wife; while at the same time destroying that intimacy by giving it to other women. However, I know it happens because the man I married in the temple did this to me.

Since Emma believed her husband was a Prophet she must have been conflicted about what was truly right. If she would have just turned to scripture; she would have learned that Joseph was wrong, he was committing adultery! Nowhere does Heavenly Father command plural marriage. When we read Bible passages about men with multiple wives these are verses which merely describe what’s happening. They are called “descriptive” because they are merely describing an event. For example, God did not command men to have sex with harlots, even though scripture describes that Judah committed this sin, Genesis 38:15.)

What is God’s truth about plural marriage? The Apostle Paul instructed Bishops to be husbands of but one wife:

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” (1 Timothy 3:1-2) “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God” (Titus 1:6-7) Also Deacons: “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (1 Timothy 3:12)

The Bible clearly shows the painful and natural consequences of the unnatural union of polygamy. Whenever women shared a husband we read of favoritism, rivalry and bitter jealousy. The sins of the father were “visited” upon his children and grandchildren through horrendous consequences including banishment, slavery, rape, betrayal, murder and rebellion. This was true for Abraham, Jacob, Hannah, David and Solomon’s families (Isaac and Moses did not have multiple wives).

Jesus testified that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman, who become one flesh. They are no longer two, but one! (Matt 19:4-5- Mark 10:2-8) In addition, a marriage founded on God’s love is even more rewarding and awesome! It’s a lovingly intimate relationship where two people forgive each others faults because they have received this forgiveness from Jesus! When Christ is at the center of a marriage, that marriage flourishes!

As painful as Joseph’s revelation concerning plural marriage was to Emma, it is not his most damaging revelation about marriage. He revealed that to gain the highest kingdom of heaven one must be married and both the husband and wife must be worthy to enter. A single person or a person whose marriage partner falls short will spend eternity as a “ministering servant for those who are worthy of a far more” exceeding eternal glory.

God’s truth, is that all who have faith in Christ will dwell in the highest degree of heaven with Heavenly Father—no matter whether they were married or single. Don’t place your faith in LDS prophets who claim you must have a marriage relationship to dwell with God the Father. The only relationship that matters is your relationship with Jesus! Is He your Savior from the sins that entangle you — even the ones you can’t seem to forsake? Do you trust completely that His blood covers all your sins and leaves you spotless? Are you so grateful for everything Christ did for you, that everything you do is for Him?

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Biblical Truth:

Polygamy forbidden: Deut 17:17; Lev 18:18; Mal 2:14-15

Evil Effects of plural marriages:
Deut 21:15-17; Gen 16; Gen 21:9-16; Gen 29:30-34; Gen 30:1-23; 1 Samuel 1:4-7; 2 Chr 11:21; 1 Kings 11:4-8

Marriage is for earthly life, not eternity:
Matt 22:29, 30; Mark 12:24, 25

LDS Teachings regarding polygamy:

(Until the laws of the U.S. change and polygamy can be re-instated, LDS women today are protected from sharing their husbands with “sister wives”. Polygamy was abolished in 1890 when the US Government forced the LDS Church to end polygamy and abide by the laws of the land that it had been violating for many years. But in one way, polygamy is still practiced. Men can be married in the Temple to as many women as they choose. Women can be married in the Temple to only one husband, even if that husband dies within days of their marriage.)

D&C 132: (Heading) “Revelation given through Joseph Smith… relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives… Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.”

Verse 1: “…Joseph, that inasmuch as “you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, “as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines
[I’ve always wondered how poor Emma felt about these words. Here we see that God didn’t call Joseph to give him this command. Instead, it was Joseph who initiated the idea. In prayer he went to God, and asked why men of the Old Testament times were “justified” to have multiple wives.]

Verse 52: “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph… and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.”

Verse 64: “…if any man have a wife…and he teaches unto her…as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, “or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her…”
Link to this LDS Scripture:

D&C Declaration 1, Manifesto: “The question is this: Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue—to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the Temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people (all of which of themselves would stop the practice); or, after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice and submit to the law, and through doing so leave the Prophets, Apostles and fathers at home, so that they can instruct the people and attend to the duties of the Church…”
Link to this LDS Scripture:

Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 176:
“At various times throughout biblical history, the Lord commanded people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (D&C 132:1)… In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood.”
Link to Lesson: https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-gospel-doctrine-teachers-manual/lesson-31-sealed—for-time-and-for-all-eternity

LDS Scripture regarding those who do not marry in the Temple:

D&C 131:1-3: “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

D&C 132:16
“Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; “but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, “without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.”

Link to: “Emma Smith, A Woman of Faith: Never Had an Ordinary Day

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith Lesson 20 “A Heart Full of Love and Faith: The Prophet’s Letters to His Family
Link: https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-20?lang=eng

Did God Allow “Same-Sex” Marriages in the Temple?

I grew up dreaming about the day I would be married in the Temple. I think that dream is something instilled in the heart of every LDS girl. From a very young age we were taught that the only place to be married was in the Temple—for time and all eternity.

The Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Manual explains:

Why is it important that we marry in the covenant? (If necessary, explain that in our day, the phrases marriage in the covenant, eternal marriage, and temple marriage are often used interchangeably. How long has marriage in the covenant been a commandment of God? (It is an eternal ordinance that has been the Lord’s order in all ages when the fulness of the gospel has been on the earth. Adam and Eve were the first on this earth to enter into this ordinance.)” (page 41)

But if the eternal covenant of marriage were truly the Lord’s order in all ages since Adam and Eve, then wouldn’t Temple marriages have been practiced in Jewish Temples? Was the “fulness of the gospel” on the earth when Jesus and His Apostles lived? Were Temple marriages performed during Christ’s time?

The truth is, the only people allowed inside God’s Temples were men! Women were not even allowed inside! The Temple consisted of an outer Court for Gentiles, one for women, and one for men. Only the Priests were allowed to enter the Temple. The Holy of Holies, which is where God’s presence dwelt, could only be entered by the High Priest one day each year. He did this on the Day of Atonement, only after he purified himself with the shed blood of a perfect sacrifice.

If there were marriages taking place in God’s Holy Temple, then every single one would have been a “same-sex” marriage—men marrying men!! Since this is forbidden by God, we can be certain that there were no marriages taking place in God’s Temples!

When Jesus shed His blood on the Cross, His body was the ultimate sacrifice–paying the entire debt for the sins of the world! The very moment Jesus died, the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom. God does not dwell in Temples built by men anymore. Literally, He dwells inside of the hearts of men and women themselves. Every person with faith in Jesus is a Temple of God. This can only happen because believers have been “perfected forever” and are as pure as Jesus Himself!

My dream of a Temple marriage has been replaced with joy from the most intimate relationship I have ever known—one with my Lord and Savior Jesus!! He actually lives inside of me, and the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

I so want to share with you this amazing love. Even though I don’t know you, I pray for you as the Apostle Paul prayed:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:17-21)

Till We Meet Again… At Jesus’ Feet!

I met Linda at church about thirteen years ago. Her deep love for God showed in both her words and her actions. The Holy Spirit gave Linda some amazing spiritual gifts and through these gifts she glorified her Lord with many works of love. I was drawn to Linda not only as my mentor, but also as my dear sister in Christ. Over the years she was there for me during times of trial as well as times of joy. Last May when she called to tell me she had terminal cancer, I knew I was going to miss her terribly. But both of us knew our parting would only be for a short time.

Throughout Linda’s illness her husband Rennie took wonderful care of her, showing his great faith and courage. Linda found out she had cancer the first week in May. From that time until she died, Rennie sent a weekly email giving a daily synopsis of Linda’s week. I’m so thankful that he kept all of us who loved her up to date with what she was going through.

Linda left this earth to be with the Lord on August 19th. As much as I miss her already, I can’t even begin to fathom how Rennie feels. Rennie and Linda were not only husband and wife, they were also best friends. They were married “till death do us part” (Matthew 22:27-30) but through faith in Christ, they will be together for eternity. I remember how surprised I was to discover that Christians believe they will spend eternity with loved ones who also have faith in Christ.

Three days before Linda died Rennie knew his time with her on this earth was coming to an end. In his weekly email update he included this little poem he had written, describing the emotions he was going through:

At times it is as if a heavy stone were sitting upon my chest.
At times I am as liberated as an eagle in flight.
I move from the darkest depths of an abyss to standing on a mountain top in the span of a heartbeat.
I am at once surrounded with warmth and love and alone in the universe.
We stand together at the threshold of forever knowing only one may cross it, for now.
For one, time will stop and it will be as an instant when the other joins.
There is only time, and there is time only for us.
Only the Lord knows when, and it will be the time that is best.

I could barely read his words to my husband Keith because I was crying so hard. Both of us were teary-eyed for quite a while, knowing how hard life would be for Rennie without Linda at his side. But we are also thankful that he has placed his trust in God’s will. We pray that he will find comfort in God’s amazing love and promises.

At church a few Sundays ago, we sang “God Be With You Till We Meet Again”. I had always thought this was a Mormon hymn, but years ago when we first sang it at my church, I did some research on it. I learned that it was written as a Christian good-bye in the 1880’s and was first sung in a First Congregational Church in Washington.

I love these words from the song, because I can’t wait:

Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet.

It’s the Father’s Will to Save Believers!

Yesterday I received this Family Gem from lds.org:

“Family Prayer Should Be Practiced with Faith and Trust: The practice of Church members is to kneel in family prayer each morning and evening, plus having daily personal prayers and blessings on our food. President Monson said, ‘As we offer unto the Lord our family and our personal prayers, let us do so with faith and trust in Him.’ And so, in praying for temporal and spiritual blessings, we should all plead, as did Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Thy will be done.’ ” Russell M. Nelson, “Lessons from the Lord’s Prayers,” Ensign, May 2009, 48

While family prayer was the intended focus of this Gem, my interest turned to the words of Christ’s prayer “Thy will be done.” Elder Nelson tells us that when we ask Heavenly Father for spiritual blessings, we should plead that HIS will be done. I pray this prayer for you every day! That you will place your trust in God’s will. There are so many things that He desires for you, but the most important is His will to give you everlasting life. It is the Father’s will to give everlasting life to those who believe in Jesus:

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

That is the Father’s will!! God chose to save mankind through belief—not works; and not even by adding works to your faith. Scripture testifies that it is “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) But this message is foolishness to the world. All one has to do is look at all man-made religions. They claim that something must be done by you before you can go to heaven or live on in some kind of heaven-like afterlife. Only Christianity declares that God has done everything necessary for you to live eternally with Him. These words are foolishness to the wisdom of man:

“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

To the world it is foolishness to “save them that believe”! But God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. He did so on a Cross over 2000 years ago. On the night Jesus died He “fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, it if be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as though wilt.” Despising the shame that the Cross would bring Him, Jesus chose to do the Father’s will. As much as the Father loved His Son, He knew it was not possible for man to be forgiven any other way. Because of His great love for us, the Father’s will was to punish His Son in our place!

I used to think it was foolishness to “save them that believe”. Whenever someone told me they didn’t have to do any works to be saved, I thought that meant they didn’t want to do any works for God. What I didn’t understand until I experienced it; was the depth of love and gratitude I would feel towards my Savior when I believed in Him. It was HIS blood that bought the forgiveness of my sins. The very moment I believed I gave my life and my love to Jesus! Every breath I take is for Him!

It is the Father’s will to spend eternity with those who simply place their “faith and trust in Him”. It takes faith to trust that what Jesus did for you was sufficient. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God? It was He who revealed these words, just a few passages after He proclaimed to us what the will of the Father is:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)

Can Eternal Marriage Be Perfect?

When I was a young girl I dreamt of having an eternal marriage. One day I would be in the celestial room kneeling across the altar, looking at the love of my life. We would see each other in the reflection of the mirrors as we were sealed to each other for time and all eternity. This man would cherish me and love me unconditionally, as I would him. He would be my best friend—someone I could trust. We would share all our joys, our hurts and pains, and the desires of our hearts. Most importantly, he would be faithful and true to me forever.

As I said, this was my dream. But I really never thought it would come true. Before I was even old enough to know what it was, I had lost my most important possession—my virginity. For most of my childhood I had been sexually abused and I felt so much shame. I knew how unclean I was, how inadequate to be a man’s wife. Who could ever love me if they knew? I was a broken and unhealthy young woman.

I dated quite a bit. One young man was very special to me, but I never felt worthy enough for him. How could I ever tell him the truth? While he was on his mission, I made bad choices that confirmed I was not worthy. Getting drunk one night led to getting pregnant by a man who was not LDS. My dream of an eternal marriage was shattered by my sin.

We married and my husband was baptized our first year of marriage. We both desired to be married in the Temple and worked to become worthy. Our second daughter died of SIDS and we desperately wanted to be sealed together as a family. After we obtained our much sought after Temple recommend we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. As the years passed, my husband started questioning his faith in Mormonism. Much to my dismay, he left the Church. Then I found out he had been unfaithful to me. We separated and my girls and I moved to a new State and a new Ward. The desire of my heart was to be forgiven and cleansed of my sins. I clung to the words of my prophet Spencer Kimball about how to gain this forgiveness. (If you would like to read about this, read my post titled “God Doesn’t Lie—You Have Been Forgiven”)

After I left the Church, my husband and I reconciled. He promised he would be faithful and true to me and I trusted him. Over the next several years, he often broke this promise. My heart ached every time he cheated on me, but I always took him back. Deep inside I felt that the reason he was intimate with other women was because there was something wrong with me–because I had been sexually abused. Finally, after a rocky 14 years together, he left me for good. I vowed never to trust another man. I turned to other things I loved—my daughters, my artwork, college classes and gardening. But no matter what I did, I was still alone with the guilt and shame of my sins. I knew I was unworthy, unlovable and unfit.

Amazingly when I was 36, I met the man of my dreams! He knew everything about me—all my life of shame and sinfulness. Despite how unworthy I was, He still loved and cherished me! Nothing I had ever done mattered to Him. His love was unconditional. Even though I had vowed never to marry again, I was so in love with Him that I couldn’t help myself! His name was Jesus and in 1994 I was sealed to Him for time and all eternity by Heavenly Father Himself (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). He had already proved His love for me by giving His life for me—washing me of my sin and guilt and making me the virgin I never really had the chance to be! Because of this, I knew I could trust Him and that He would be faithful to me forever.

When He chose me as His bride, He showered me with so many undeserved gifts. But the gift I have treasured most is the forgiveness won for me by His shed blood. His blood has made me clean! My life of shame was taken away the moment He chose me to be His bride. He even gave me my wedding garments! I sing with joy the words of the Prophet Isaiah “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10) The gift of His robe of righteousness cleansed me of all sin so I can dwell in the very presence of God!!

Having been given this amazing gift has changed my life drastically. One of those changes has been my desire to study God’s Word. I pour over the pages of the Bible, discovering the things that God wants to teach me. When I did a study on whether a marriage between a man and a woman will last into eternity, I found God’s truth. The only marriage relationship that will last beyond the grave is one with Jesus. Jesus Himself testified of this truth “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (Mark 12:25). This doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Another gift God gave me was the courage to marry again. Four years after I met Jesus, God brought into my life a wonderful Christian man of God who, amazingly, is also Christ’s bride. The Apostle John taught us in the book of Revelation that anyone who has been made righteous through Christ is His bride.

There is no earthly relationship that surpasses the love that Jesus has for you. He died for you and wants to shower you with His gift of righteousness. Please, join with the Apostle John as we shout “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:7-9).