Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Can we talk?"

Last night, after an evening of being totally irritated with my oldest son, something happened that changed my heart. When I went to make sure that he was asleep, he asked, “Mom, can we talk?”

I sat on his bed as he opened up to me, and shared his very tender feelings. His day hadn’t gone well, and finally, after 10:00 at night, he was ready to talk. It nearly broke my heart to hear him say, “I just don’t feel smart. I don’t feel like I am worth anything. I wonder, ‘Why me?’, and what I am on the earth for.”

We spoke heart-to-heart for quite a while, and worked through his feelings. Of course, I knew much of how he felt, but hearing this little boy –almost eleven-years-old- say them so sadly, reminded me of how fragile this tough guy is. He needed love and reassurance, and my irritation was replaced with love.

When I was young, I too seemed to want to talk to my mother late at night, when all she probably wanted to do was to sleep. However, my mom always listened when I was ready to open up.

Similarly, I know that Father in Heaven is always there to hear my cries and concerns. He never has something that is more important or urgent than you and me. When we are ready to talk, he is near-eager to encircle us with the love and reassurance we so desperately need.

I am grateful for the opportunity I had last night to really listen to the feelings of my son’s heart, and to promise him that his life was incredibly important. . I told him that Father in Heaven loves him so much, and he would send the Spirit to teach him of his worth.
Before we said good night, he plastered me with a bear hug and just held onto me. The love I have for him filled my heart, and I knew all the struggles I encounter because of him, were worth it.

Likewise, our Father loves us, even more than we can comprehend. We need not fear him, or worry that he will not accept us. He loves you and me perfectly and is ready to hear the tender feelings of our hearts.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Counsel from an appostle

“Fourteen years ago the Lord took my wife beyond the veil. I love her with all my heart, but I have never complained because I know it was His will. I have never asked why but rather what is it that He wants me to learn from this experience. I believe that is a good way to face the unpleasant things in our lives, not complaining but thanking the Lord for the trust He places in us when He gives us the opportunity to overcome difficulties.”
Richard G. Scott, “Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need,” Ensign, May 2009, 45

I love this counsel and encouragement.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trusting in the Lord....still

This faith filled story comes from a sweet woman who has sought holy places through her hard times. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.


“One of our trials came through our second son, Daniel. He was born in 1975. At the age of 3 ½ after a couple months of severe illness, he was diagnosed with stage 4 non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He spent 6 weeks in the hospital the first go round, 3 of them in intensive care where he endured a cardiac arrest and a respiratory arrest before he came home. We went to the clinic about 5 days a week for several months for treatments, etc. Then, his lungs became very sick again and he spent another 6 weeks in the hospital enduring all kinds of tests, and another lung biopsy. After this hospitalization he withdrew inside himself and became as a baby, which was pretty scary. I had to force feed him and change diapers again! But, he emerged from that like a flower after several weeks.

Some time during all of that I thought it was unfair that he have to endure all of this… Again and I cried mightily unto the Lord….in the middle of a bathroom in the hospital. It was that place that became a Holy Place to me and my soul was comforted and I knew things would be alright—whether he lived or died. That was our first year.

Fast forward through other things, (like a 107 degree fever for a week), where he had a major seizure, due to the intrathecal chemotherapy they administered (into the spinal canal) which was an overload on his system. They couldn’t get the seizure stopped for hours and he was once again admitted to the hospital for a little bit after a crazy ride in an ambulance. He was a real fighter.

When he was 5 he had a relapse in his brain and had radiation for a month. He endured many biopsies and sickness (due to the chemotherapy) for 6 years! Then, when he was 9 he had a bone marrow transplant which was a real trial for the whole family where he sustained not only the lethal doses of chemotherapy and radiation but many other trials, not to mention he and I had to live in Seattle for 5 months. Our family was 3 hours away and they came up on weekends. The year after the transplant he started having little seizures, which to this day he still has occasionally. He also had to have growth hormone shots for 2 years as his bone plates were closing too fast due to the radiation. He is now 34. It’s been 25 years since his transplant! He has very little short term memory due to the effects of everything on his little developing mind during those early years. He has some long term memory and also has a few other little disabilities. But, he is able to work at a grocery store and for the most part can take care of himself with a little help. He still lives with us, but at times it is difficult. He can not drive. But, we are so blessed. I learned during all those long years more about Heavenly Father and his sacrifice of His son for us. It became a Holy Place.”

Monday, August 31, 2009

My heart is a holy place.

I hope that by posting these wonderful and faith filled stories, you are gaining hope in the Savior. It’s true, some of the things shared are heart- wrenching, but it teaches me that Father is continually there to help and love us through the difficulties.

Here is a message from my new friend Laura. Thanks Laura for sharing your struggles and faith.

“ My first holy place I can remember was when I was a toddler looking up at the window of our trailer door. It was dark out side and as I gazed up at the stars in that window I had an impression come to me that Heavenly father was there and that this was his creation. wow! I think he gave me that because I was going to have a childhood that had some trauma in it and this was to help me through it. At about 5 a big thunder storm came through hurricane ,where I lived, I was afraid ,very much so, I didn't feel as if I had any one to console me so I prayed and as I looked out at the storm in the window above my bed God told me that He was in control of that storm and that I was going to be o.k. I have looked back on that experience and holy place in my life often. and I am grateful to my heavenly father for loving me and teaching me so young that he knew me and was in control of my life if I’d let him be.
I grew up in a home where my mother had left my father shortly after I was born. She remarried to a man that was an alcoholic. He was very abusive to my mother when he was drunk. many times I felt I had to be in charge and watch over my smaller two sisters and brother. We were put out side many times left to ourselves. We lived on a 14 acre place and played about it and did have many fun hours together, despite the reasons we were left there alone. I even felt I had to watch over my mother. I would run up the street to get the sheriff at times to protect my mom.
My little sister Janice was hit by a car one day while riding her tricycle. she was taken to salt lake and her leg was removed just below the knee. She then had to learn how to use crutches and later a wooden leg. This was very painful for her. She became so frustrated with that leg at times she just would go with out it and hop every where! She learned to ride a two wheeler with that one leg. She later had to wear a body cast, I think she had fallen and broke something, I don't remember what. Mom had to carry that heavy little thing around .I learned that my mom was strong at a very young age in more ways then one . As I watched my sister go through her trials of suffering and her resilient spirit and ability to smile and laugh and my moms ability to persevere I had a holy place begin to grow in my heart.
My other sister, Karen was burned 75 percent of her body at age 3. She was life flighted to California’s burn center. many operations and much suffering beyond any thing I can comprehend came . I was devastated. I was about 7 then. When that little girl came home I became her help every minute of the day and night. I probably drove my mom crazy with it. I watched as my mom would un bandage her and clean her wounds and put salve on them and bandage her back up. my mom became an angel to me as I watched her care for my sister. her strength would later be something I would look back on many times. I watched as the therapist came to our house and gave her therapy for the arm that was burned and bent up into its self to release it so she would have better use of it as she grew. that was so painful for her. I watched as she cried and listened as she moaned because of the pain. I felt helpless and I felt I wanted to help but knew I couldn't this was her trial. I could comfort her and I could be there for her. God was teaching me to serve. Those days and years became a holy place.
When I was 10 my mother divorced and remarried.
Our cellar flooded and wheat and mud filled it about 2 feet deep. we would carry buckets down ,fill them up then return up to dump them. My brother and I got into an argument and I slammed the shovel into the floor and yelled at him to get my point across and as I did I fell to the floor and cut my left hand on a broken glass jar. I wasn't aware I had hurt my self so my brother told me I was bleeding and as I looked I realized my whole hand had nearly been cut off ,it was just hanging there. I went through surgeries to recover the use of my hand. I had cut all my nerves and tendons ,barely missed the main tendon and muscle to my thumb. I had to learn to use the hand all over again. I remember going into the 1st surgery to have my nerves put together. I woke up thinking I’d be able to feel again. I believed I would ,I had been given a blessing and I really believed I would. It didn't happen the way I wanted it to. The dr. found an infection and cleaned it and just closed it up. I had to wait for another time to get it fixed. I was hurt. I eventually regained about 95 percent of the use in my hand.
I thought life was going to be great now that my mom had remarried and I was going to have a real dad. and, for a while I was in heaven. we took missionary lessons, we kids had been going to church and I had been baptized, but my mom and new dad had not been active. she had been baptized as a child and so had her husband. We where able to be sealed in the St. George temple and I had a very special experience then. As we were at the alter and our hands were placed on each other, I placed mine over my brothers and I had a feeling of almost electric like go from my hand into my body. I knew that the sealing power was real and I would never doubt it. That was a holy place. I knew then that I was going to go to the temple when I grew up.
When I was 12 my brother was hit by a truck on the high way just out side cedar city as he and our new dad were changing a tire. My dad was flipped up and rolled down the road, receiving internal bruising and road burns up his back and side. my brother had been taking a rest in the spare tire as it lay on the side while our dad was getting the flat one off. when the truck hit my dads truck it knocked the tire and my brother down the road. he received head injuries, in fact the whole top of his head came off. my dads mom was there and just helped my brother and held his head together until the ambulance got there. I think about her and her strength and what she did for my brother and I find that an example in my life, a holy place of service and compassion.
As I grew up my dad did some things that caused me to loose trust in him and He had hurt my sister and brother and was verbally abusive to our family. I’m not sure what began to happen inside of him. we were not allowed to spend time with my moms family any more and I missed the close relationship I had had with my cousins and aunts and uncles and grand parents. We were not allowed to do allot of things and I began to resent him . He became very forceful and it seemed to me, mean.

later in life as I was driving I was talking to god about my resentment toward my dad. he told me that some day, when my dad had gone through a repentance and paid for what he had done I would see that I loved him and that he was the dad I needed. That was a holy place.

My brother got involved in drugs at about age 12 and began to run away from home , away from my dad. He was placed in a foster home. then returned back home later only to be physically and mentally abused by our dad. this was a hard time for me and I often wondered where my heavenly father was at that time. I kept active in church because that was where I felt love and needed. Church became my holy place along with the times I got to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. I starved for the spirit in my life. I took every opportunity to be where it was.

When I was 17 a young man moved up the street and around the corner from me. I was giving a talk in sacrament mtg. he walked in late and sat down. I knew right there that he was who I was going to marry. In the following months we got to know each other and dated and we were married in June after I had graduated from high school. Later my husband told me that on our first date as we walked around the temple and got to the side near the baptismal area doors he had an impression that he should ask me to marry him. We were married in the St. George temple. My dream was coming true and it sort of felt like a Cinderella story. I felt I would be a happily ever after person . I came to realize that happily ever after isn't always what you think it is nor does it always come the way you think it should come. But, that happily ever after really does happen, its just that sometimes it comes in ways we don't expect.
My husband and I would soon find out why God had put us together. after we had had 5 of our own children we were faced with taking on one of my husbands sisters kids. She was a drug addict. this little boy needed to be with us and so we went through the foster care training and court to fight for him. years later we would loose him to the foster care system again because of his problems that came because of the trauma and abuse he received as a little boy in his mothers care. He had done things to our children that made it not safe to keep him in our home. so, we were then his parents long distance. that was hard and as I sat in the temple one day after going to court and going through the testing for him I went into a sealing room and cried , I felt I had let god down, but I found that I hadn’t, that this little boy needed what we had given him and god was ok with it. That was a holy place.
Later we would again be inspired to take two more of his sisters kids-a girl and a boy. we had to fight very hard in court for them and it took allot of faith on our part . it took months and the whole time I was so worried for them . during this time we were allowed to have them in our home as foster kids. The girls father was not fighting for her so we relaxed a bit on her part and focused on the little boy. every night I would sing I am a child of god to him and away in a manger. I wanted him to know who he was just incase we couldn't keep him. I was so afraid for losing him. I had great love for him and his sister.
these hours were my holy place as we continued to pray and fast and hope. Finally in court the little boy was given to us . The little girl was made ours as well, but it was a scary thing. We went to court thinking everything was going well and her father would release his rights because he had not done any thing up to that point. He now had decided to fight. Our attorney spoke with the judge and we were allowed to keep the little girl, but during that moment when her father said he wanted her my heart sank. thoughts went through my head like, I had not tried hard enough , I had relaxed and not worried about it enough.
I had my tubes tied. I went into a deep depression. I think all the stuff I had experienced was now catching up to me I felt so worthless. perhaps the abuse itself was a lot of it. I was able to over come it and go on. I had a feeling we had another baby that needed to come into our home. I had my tubes untied. about 6 years later we had a baby girl. during those 6 years I grew in ways I needed to. This time also became a holy place.
in the mean time we were called upon to take another little boy. when we went to cedar to pick him up he went to my husband like he had been waiting for him. he cuddled up around his neck ( he was 10 months old) . we feel god had prepared that little boy for us.
After we had our little girl we were called upon again to take a little boy when our little girl was just 6 months old. the little boy was 2 months old. This was challenging and as I talked to the d c f s person I told them I’d have to think about it. I hung up the phone and called my husband. he told me to do what ever I felt and I told him I didn’t know. I hung up the phone and prayed and the spirit told me that Heavenly Father wanted me to do this. It would be hard ,but it would be worth it. We decided yes we would take him. It has been hard! he has oppositional defiant disorder and is very trying at times . I become very tired and upset and useless many times. I get wore out trying to do things right and still get him to obey. I try to keep peace in our home and he tries to upset it all. I try to keep things nice and he tries to destroy it. I know God loves this little boy and we try hard to love him and understand his feelings. Things are hard! they are also worth it! He says the cutest things and sings the cutest songs. he has an imagination that blows you away he is smart and can memorize so well. and he can love you like no one else on certain days. On the days he shows his love those are my holy places because it is as if he is saying thank you for taking me and loving me, my sprit is grateful.
All of these kids that we have adopted have been sealed to us. Each time we went to the temple to have this done my heart has been touched in special ways those are my holy places.
You would think this would be enough. the Lord would say ok your done. No, he gave me a son who suffers from diabetes and a son who suffers from drug abuse and has had a car accident that took his life , he was brought back to us. we were so blessed! We go through life every day praying for him and fasting often and hoping he will stay clean and accomplish wonderful things .We also have a daughter who has bi -polar and has been in a car accident( different one from her brother) she had nothing happen to her as that car rolled but she did come out having had a traumatic experience that caused her a lot of hard days. She also has drowned and died and was brought back at age 22 . She has a hard time making good choices and lives a life style not concurrent to the way she has been raised. We love her and are learning to love her in spite of her choices. In the hours and days I suffer in my heart for her I have found holy places.

My husband was diagnosed with chromes disease about 4 years ago and nearly died after a surgery that did nothing for him. His pain was so great he just had decided he was going to give up. I had never prayed so hard, but I prayed for him to live. He re- thought and decided to try harder to get through it. This year he went through another surgery to remove parts of his intestine and colon. It has been a month now and he is still not feeling too great. However he is healing slowly and a lot of blessings have come our way .In his arms I have felt so loved and cannot explain how grateful I am to have him still here. In his arms I have found another holy place as he has, over the years , held me as my heart broke and as I have suffered because of the things I have experienced. My heart is a holy place where Heavenly Father has taught me and loved me and led me . Truly I have many holy places in my life and I am grateful for them.

sincerely, laura

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Christ is the sure foundation

Thank you, Gerilyn, for your honesty and faith. I know Christ will continue to help you as you turn to him.



Throughout this book you told of little insights that you had and how you had to rely on the Savior to help you get back up. You hit on the reality and expectations and what if they don’t match. Well….gee…that is happening to me on a regular basis. But there was one thing that really stuck out because I talked about this with my friend just this morning, but didn’t read this part until this afternoon. You wrote, “Many times, when I have endured something difficult, I worry about what might be coming next, or what I am going to be asked to suffer through tomorrow. It can be so natural to fear the future and the “What-ifs.” But we don’t have to live in fear or dread; there is a better way. That better way is to live in hope—hope in Jesus Christ. I cling to the promise found in Ether 12:4” “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being let to glorify God.”

Kris, I have a special relationship with that scripture already and about faith being a literal anchor to my Savior. Sometimes I feel that literal anchor…sometimes I don’t and I blow about with every wind that comes. And on the times when I don’t it’s my own fault. I have felt myself blowing about with every wind that comes. Then other times I do ok. But this last year, I have really felt like that smiling clown that you talked about that just keeps getting punched over and over. And I try to get up, but sometimes it’s just been really hard. However, your book gave me the renewed hope and desire to continue to try and to succeed. Thank you so much!



Friday, August 14, 2009

Faith in Christ

Our blog post today comes from a sweet faithful sister in Nevada. Thanks for sharing your faith with us, Gloria.

“I am a convert to the Church. The Church means everything to me.
Before I married, the doctore told me I could never have children. I was devastated. The only thing I ever wanted to be was a mom. After going through all kinds of tests and torture, we finally had four children. When I was pregnant, I was allergic to the baby. The doctor told me I would have a 1% chance of having a normal child. Day in and day out I would plead with the Lord to give me normal children. Then reason would take over and I would only ask that I would be able to accept whatever He sent. Luckily I had four physically normal children.
I've had about 19 surgeries which I won't go into.
Three years ago, in 2006, I had a massive stroke.
It has changed my life completely.
Besides the stroke, I've had 3 mini strokes and over a dozen eye hemorrhages.
So besides being half crippled, I am half blind.
Most of the time I try to look at things on an eternal perspective rather than on an earthly one.
I've had blessings that are awesome and the scriptures have become my friends.
I know Heavenly Father and the Savior love me no matter what physical shape I am in.


Each of us can only live a day at a time--sometimes only a minute at a time.

A Sister in Christ,

Two of my favorite scriptures are:
Philippians 4:13
Isaiah 41:10”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

He will console you

“BUT behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever“(Jacob 3:1).

What a beautiful and comforting promise. If you and I are hurting, Christ is the one to hold onto. When we need comfort, consolation, and some one on our side, again, it is Jesus Christ we can turn to. The deep wounds that many feel, and wonder if they’ll ever heal, can be soothed and sometimes removed through the atonement. I’m so grateful for the love of the Savior and for the scriptures which point me continually towards him.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hold On

Recently, I have spoken with so many people struggling through major health problems- some even life threatening. Their feelings include: frustration, panic, helplessness, hopelessness fear, faith, hope, trust, and the list goes on. It wrenches my heart to hear the pain in their voices and my prayers are real and sincere for their physical emotional and spiritual strength to be bolstered.

It is so difficult, when our prayers for healing seem unanswered. But, I know those prayers are heard and Father will provide what is best according to his perspective. I wish I could help in some way; however, the best help I can give is to say, “Hold on thy way” (D&C 122:9). When you feel like giving up, turn again to Christ. When you wish some one understood the severity of your pain and suffering, turn again to Christ. He is the only one who knows exactly what you feel. In fact, not only does he know it, he feels it. He is the only way through the fire of affliction. So, hold on my friend. “Hold on thy way”!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fred's Story

Thank you to Fred for sharing his testimony of how the Savior helped and healed him through many difficult times. Although not all of us receive the kind of healing which Fred did, we can take courage in his great example of faith as he turned to heaven and his hard times became holy.

“In May 1991 I traveled to Palm Springs, California with a group from work for a national training conference. On the flight from Palm Springs to Las Vegas on the way home, our small plane encountered severe turbulence, making the flight very bumpy and uncomfortable. I started to become dizzy, and my condition worsened to the point that by the time I got home that evening I could hardly stand up. The condition persisted for several days, and I finally went to see my family doctor to see if anything could be done to help me. He sent me to a specialist, who did some testing and then sent me back to my family doctor, who then ordered further testing. After several weeks of continual dizziness I was sent to a neurologist, who gave me the results of the tests and the diagnosis reached from them. He told me I had multiple sclerosis. I was shocked and scared to death. I was 38 years old and had been generally healthy all my life. I went home and cried for a long time, and pled with the Lord not to let this happen to me. I kept asking, “Why me?” I prayed like I had never prayed before, and begged the Lord to let me be healthy again. After some time I felt the peaceful, comforting presence of the Spirit, and my question changed to, “Why not me? Why should I not have to go through any serious trials?” The Spirit whispered to me that everything would be all right, and I knew that somehow it would be.”

“One Sunday shortly thereafter, I was sitting in our Sunday School class thinking about what the future might hold for me. I was sitting alone in the back of the room, not really paying attention to the lesson. Suddenly I felt the urge to read the scriptures. I did not have any idea what I was supposed to be looking for, nor did I know where to start. I just knew there was something I needed to find. I opened the Doctrine and Covenants, which is a book of modern revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and some of the other early leaders of the church. I read Section 122, which tells of the Lord speaking to Joseph while he was in jail. The Lord outlined several experiences which Joseph had had at the hands of his persecutors, and then He said that even if the very jaws of hell should gape open against him, that all of these things would give him experience and would be for his good. I pondered that briefly, but something told me to keep looking. I turned over to Section 121, which tells of Joseph crying out to the Lord from jail, wondering how long the Lord would let His people be persecuted for what they believed. As I turned the pages, verses 7 and 8 seemed to jump off the page at me. As I read those verses I began to cry, because that was the answer the Lord was giving me. He said, “My son, peace be unto thy soul. Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” A warm, comforting feeling came over me and I knew that somehow everything would be all right.”

“As time went on I kept having severe dizzy spells that would leave me unable to work for days at a time. The least little bump or shake would send me into a tailspin, and I had to be very careful about being around people, because friends often come up and pat people on the back or put a hand on their shoulder and gently shake them. People always did those things to me, and I would have to be down for a couple of days afterward. The doctors tried every medication on me that was used to treat dizziness, but nothing worked. A year after I had been given the diagnosis, I was put through the same testing to see what progress the disease was making. This time there was not as much evidence of MS, so the doctor told me I probably had Meniere’s Disease instead, which can have some of the same symptoms but does not degenerate the nervous system. I was somewhat relieved, but I still had the problem.”

“After the original diagnosis I really learned how to pray. I grew to appreciate little things that most people would not even recognize. I grew to know the Savior as I never had before, because I had to depend on Him for the strength to get through this trial. My health deteriorated to the point that I could not do much more than go to work and come home and collapse. I missed being able to do things I had done before, even things like loading the dishwasher and vacuuming the floor, because the motion made me dizzy. I felt that I became a burden on my family, because they had to pick up the slack. My sons learned how to change the oil in the cars and do some of the other chores around the house, and everyone seemed to realize ands accept the fact that I would not be able to do those little things anymore. At times I allowed myself to become discouraged and to feel that there was not going to be much excitement in my life anymore. But I printed up a poster of those verses from the Doctrine and Covenants and put it on the refrigerator where I could see it every day. Those few words gave my life purpose and hope.”

“In March 1996 a co-worker told me of a lady she knew who had Meniere’s Disease, and she had found a treatment that really worked and made it so she was not dizzy anymore. I went and met this lady and she told me of the remedy. It was ginger root, taken in capsule form with each meal. I bought some and started taking it, and within a couple of days I wasn’t dizzy anymore. I felt like a new man, and I was able to do things I had not done in years. My doctors could hardly believe the effect it had on me. Over the next 4½ months I lost 16 pounds, just because I was more active. I was so thankful to the Lord for allowing me to find this help in my life and letting me be well once again.”

“At the end of July 1996, however, I was again stricken with a severe dizzy spell. All of a sudden one day, the ginger root did not work anymore. I was very depressed, and I prayed fervently that I would be able to enjoy good health once again. After two weeks, as I was praying one evening, the Spirit spoke to me very plainly and said, “Just look at what you were able to do in those 4½ months.” The first thing I thought of was a tape I had made containing three talks about my testimony and the events I had experienced with my health up to that time. I had given out about 75 copies of that tape to friends and family members. The Spirit spoke once again, saying, “You will never know how many lives have been touched by the experiences you had.” I thought about that for a moment, and then I said, “Thy will be done, Father. Just give me the strength to get through it.”

“I called my neurologist, who phoned in a prescription for me because there was not an opening for an appointment right away. The medication was one I had tried a few times before, and it still did not work for me. I went to see my family doctor, who gave me a prescription for a new medication I had not tried before. It did not work either. I tried a couple of times to go to work, but the motion of looking back and forth from the paperwork on my desk to the computer monitor made me very dizzy, and I was only able to work an hour or two at a time. I was then told that the first specialist I had gone to when I began having problems in 1991 specialized in Meniere’s Disease. I called and got an appointment with him, and as he looked over my chart and the results of the testing done in 1991, he said those tests indicated that I did not have Meniere’s Disease, but that it was multiple sclerosis. He sent me for further testing, and the results of those tests ruled out both illnesses. I underwent much more extensive testing to try to determine the nature of the problem, but those tests ruled out everything the doctors thought it might be. I lost my sense of equilibrium to the point that I was unable even just to stand upright without assistance, because I would fall over. I walked with a cane to help me keep my balance, and if I stood I had to lean or hold onto something to keep from falling. But the Spirit gave me the strength to deal with my situation with the knowledge that this life is very short, and I would be able to overcome this obstacle in the next life, if not sooner. I often thought of those verses in Section 121, and I reminded myself that not all foes are tangible, and that my eternal reward would be determined by the way I dealt with this situation.”

“One day, as I was on my way home from some testing, I stopped in to see my parents. As I was giving my mother a hug she became emotional, as any mother would who had a child in similar circumstances. I told her not to cry, that I was okay. I may not move very fast, but I am strong spiritually and I know I will be able to overcome this problem at some point in the future. Until that time I will do my best to do whatever I can, and I know the Lord will bless me for my efforts.”

“Early in the spring of 1997 it became necessary for me to apply for a disability retirement from my job. I had not been able to work since the previous July, but the doctors were not willing to approve my disability application until they had exhausted all possibilities of treatment. I was disappointed that I was not able to continue working, but I felt my Father’s loving arms around me many times, telling me that everything will be all right. My family was very supportive and tried to help me whenever they could. One day when I was feeling as if I were a burden on them, my son, Brian, who was 17 at the “time, said, “If it were someone else it might be a burden, but you are my dad, so it isn’t.”

Following many other personal and family trials, Fred continues:

“On September 21, 1999 I enjoyed one of the most wonderful, most meaningful experiences of my entire life. One of my dearest friends had been recommending for several years that I visit a man in St. George who had given him a lot of help with his health problems. I had not felt yet that that was what I wanted to do, but I told him that maybe I would be interested at some point in the future. One day my friend loaned me a copy of a booklet this wonderful man, Jan Graf, had written, and I told him I would read it. I brought it home, glanced briefly at the first page, and set it down, thinking I would read it another time. A week and a half later as I was cleaning off the table where I had set it, I came across it and thought I should hurry and read it and give it back to my friend. I opened it and began reading, and by the time I finished it I was sobbing in tears. I set the booklet down and called to make an appointment. During the appointment I became aware of a lot of things that had happened in the past, about which I had built up negative feelings. Many of the things I knew had caused me to have negative feelings, but many I did not. I was able to go through a very thorough forgiveness process, forgiving the other people involved in the experiences which had caused me to have the negative feelings, and forgiving myself for having had the feelings. After all the negative energy was released through the forgiveness I got up to leave the office. I had my cane because I had used it on the way in, but as I was standing at the receptionist’s desk I became aware that I was not wobbling. I was still a little bit unsteady on my feet without it, but I knew I didn’t need to use it. I had the cane in my hand but was just going through the motions of using it, mainly out of the habit acquired over the previous 8½ years. Within a few minutes I set it down and have not used it since. When I got home that night I took my things out of my van, set my cane on top of the pile, and walked into the house carrying all of it. My wife and daughter were sitting in the living room, and as I came bounding up the stairs with both hands full, carrying my cane, they were astonished. I danced around the room and turned circles for them, and none of us could believe it. I have spent a lot of time since then dancing, jumping, running, skipping, and thoroughly enjoying life. I literally danced in the streets for a long time. I have also spent a lot of time crying tears of joy and gratitude, and saying many prayers of thanks to the Lord. People who have seen me have not believed the difference in the way I get around, and I have been able to do things I had not done in years. I leaned my cane and my expired handicapped license plate against the fireplace screen in our living room as a constant reminder of the tremendous blessings that have come into my life. It makes me cry when I see them and think about the things that have happened, and I have to thank the Lord again for the many blessings He has given me. I want to keep the memories fresh in my mind so I won’t take anything for granted anymore. Forgiveness truly does work miracles.”