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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Coming to Know God

This young man had an experience with The Lord helping him deal with the death of his friend.

I wrote this in 2008

I have been writing up stories of my life; things I’d like my children and grandchildren to know about. Today I asked myself what is the most important thing I would like them to know about me– that I know we have a Heavenly Father and Savior who loves us. People may ask how can you possibly “know” there is a God. The answer is simple– the same way you know anything else; through your experiences. It is my hope that in sharing the experiences that have built my testimony, those in our family who do not know yet may lean on my knowledge until they develop their own relationship with their Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I have felt the presence of the Holy Ghost in my life. I remember a couple of days after I was baptized when I first felt the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was nighttime and I looked up into the sky. The moon had never seemed so beautiful! I had never felt such joy in being alive. I felt more love for my family and those around me and began reaching out to others.
I have also experienced the Holy Ghost's leaving. It is like enjoying the warmth of the sun on a summer morning, then suddenly a dark cloud comes between you and the sun. The light, warmth, and energy are gone. There is a an emptiness and a longing for their return, then the cloud departs, the sun returns and all is well again.
Over and over again I have received ideas and guidance from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. Sometimes the answer to a problem just suddenly pops into my mind. This often happens in the morning. Sometimes I’ve been allowed to have an experience such as eating green peppers and becoming extremely ill, so that I will finally understand. There have been times when a person says something to me and that is my answer. Not long ago in a Relief Society (women's organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ) meeting, the teacher said, “This is not on our lesson, but I feel I should show this video.” It was what I had been praying for help about.
Many times I’ve gone to a library and there has been the book I needed just lying on a shelf, not where it should be, but where I would find it. I’ve come to realize that the Lords knows me well and knows how best to teach me, a little studious soul.  I’ve also been grateful that He has helped me to grow in confidence and strength as He allowed me to work out problems with his help.
I’ve seen the Lord’s assistance in our lives in many ways. I have had many Priesthood blessings and I have seen them all come true. I have seen my talents of teaching and writing developed as I have studied, prayed, and practiced. I have seen things we needed, but couldn’t afford, just appear at yard sales such as a window for the attic or a light for a desk. My husband was able to buy a large truck for just $3,000 in the town were his parents lived so he and his brother got to visit them before they died. We couldn’t afford a fence, but the developers of the field behind us gave us a small mountain of dirt to make a berm (hill fence). We were able to buy a condo where our daughters could live together during college which had the location they needed. We were also able to sell it when they no longer wanted it for almost the exact amount of money we had put into it.
We have been protected many times from harm. Once my husband was warned to be careful about a stretch of icy highway which saved his life. Another time a blizzard forced us to return to our home in time to find, and stop, an arching broken electrical wire in the attic from burning down our home. This was when we had a family of seven Cambodian Refugees staying with us.
Over and over our children have been protected. Our daughter was fine after being found at the bottom of a swimming pool. As a baby, our son was caught before he plummeted over the Provo Tabernacle balcony. Another daughter only had minor injuries after propelling down a steep hill on her bike without brakes. Another son moved a moment before he would have had glass from our large plate glass window explode in his face (Christmas BB gun ricochet) .
Now that I know I have Addison’s disease, I realize that it was a miracle that I was able to have children at all, and an ever greater miracle that I was able to survive a caesarean operation.  Not only did I survive, but I was able to raise four children.
Discovering my many health problems has shown me the Lord’s love for me. People tell me how smart I was to figure out my problems, that isn’t true. For fifty-five years I tried to know what was the matter with me and many doctors tried too, but we never knew what was the matter. It wasn’t until the Lord interceded that we learned what was wrong with me. He allowed me to have experiences, and sent books, and sudden thoughts which have helped me to know what to do to understand my condition and feel better. One example is when I felt I should check my blood sugar just a half hour, then also at an hour after eating. This led us to discover that my blood sugar will drop quickly after eating unless I eat a limited amount of complex carbohydrates along with a balanced amount of protein and fat.
The Lord has also helped us learn to work out our relationship. My husband and I had little idea how to work together in a marriage. We also had little idea how to be parents. Slowly over the years, we were given help far beyond our own abilities, which help us develop a close relationship with each other and our children. My husband was blessed with a more loving heart when on son served  a mission. I was helped to be more forgiving and assertive.
Besides helping us solve problems, deepening our relationship, and learning how to be better parents, our Heavenly Father has led our life in many ways.  For instance, when we had only been married three years and were so anxious to have a home of our own, we felt impressed to take a drive south. We found ourselves in the small bedroom community about fifteen minutes south of us. It felt like home and we knew this is where we wanted to live. A year later, on our daughter's third birthday, we drove out to this community to look at an older home that was for sale. It felt like home. When my husband announced to the owner that we’d take it, I felt at peace. Six weeks later, we had risen from being sixth on the list of potential buyers to the owner of the house.
My husband has been guided in his career. He had the opportunity to work for the United States Postal Service giving us a stable income and secure retirement. My husband felt he should apply for a training positing in Salt Lake, but did not get the job. Later, one of the people that interviewed him helped him to get a job here in Provo. When my husband wanted to become a building maintenance worker, he did not get the job then, but the next year when our son was gone. We hadn’t realized that my husband would have to be gone for weeks at a time to receive training for this job.  Our son needed his father to be there his last year in high school and the next year I was able to go with my husband for his training.
We have seen our prayers answered with our parents. My father had an extremely painful type of cancer. I prayed that he wouldn’t have to suffer much pain, and he didn’t! He was able to be pretty active right to the end and go quickly after only a couple of weeks in bed. I was given a gift of peace when my father died. Yes, I would miss him, but I knew it was the right time for him to go; that he had done all he needed to do on this earth, and that I would see him again someday.
My husband's step-mother died just a few months before when his dad needed to stay in a care facility. This enabled the financing of his care since all assets must be turned over to the facility including their home.

(This is all I wrote at that time. I know the Lord has helped and blessed me in my life. It is a good feeling to know that I am loved by God.  Seeing His care all these years has helped to come to know Him. I know He is wise and loving. I know He has helped me to become a better person; to learn and grow. I know He will help me make it through any experience that happens to me in life. I know He loves me. )

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