And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Telestial Kingdom: The World Which You Now Reside

In multiple places we're reminded, including the lds endowment, or teachings of Joseph Smith that the world we now reside is the telestial kingdom. Book of Abraham tells us that there are different groups down here. Those being proved and those doing the proving. Because as LE Alma 13 states about the Holy Order on the account of their faith having CHOSEN good before the foundation of the world they showed good works thereby ordained to this higher order. These (or some of them) are they who codesendend or sacrifice to be here to elevate others. Some of these people are the "El". 

The Prophet Joseph Smith described the true nature of hell : “A man is his own [tormentor] and his own [condemnor]. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.” We torment ourselves with our own failures or unworthiness or being good enough or not being able to find comfort in God's word to you. 

Those who come here are subject to Satan's buffeting and his will. They are tormented, tempted, troubled, and then they die. While captive here, they endure the insults of the flesh and the difficulties of trying to find their way back to God. The references to the “hell that hath no end” is that same play on words that is defined in T&C 4:1–4. It is a place of torment, where people suffer as in the telestial kingdom (or the world in which you presently reside, to paraphrase the LDS Endowment). How long will people endure such an experience? Until they repent (see T&C 69:26). What if they do not repent? They will suffer, worlds without end (see T&C 69:28).

Even As The Days of Noah:
Our day will be even as the days of Noah. Wickedness will abound. Included in the “wicked” are those who are telestial and, therefore, cannot endure His presence. As the world transitions into a terrestrial (Millenium) the wicked will remain in the grave until that period is over and ressurection for telestial bodies occurs over a course of time. The war in heaven before we came here is similar to the war at the end of the Millennium when Satan is let loose for a short time. 

In 2017 God offered a covenant and in their concluding remarks some inspiring advice was given that shows how the end of the wicked progresses. 

"Those who have entered faithfully into the covenant this day are going to notice some things. The spirit of God is withdrawing from the world. Men are increasingly more angry without good cause. The hearts of men are waxing cold. There is increasing anger and resentment of gentiles. In political terms,it’s rejection of white privilege."

As God Spirit withdrawals the wicked will destroy the wicked. 

Love Casteth Off All Fear:
1 John 4:16-18

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Redemption: (See Glossary term):
The God of the Telestial Kingdom (in which man is presently situated) is the holy ghost. The God of the Terrestrial Kingdom (which the Millennium will reflect) is Jesus Christ. The God of the Celestial Kingdom is God the Father (see T&C 69). The holy ghost brings man to Christ; Christ brings man to the Father, and the Father extends the promise of exaltation by making one a son or daughter of God. The plan of redemption brings men and women from their current, fallen state back to a state of awareness of their condition, and then by cleansing them, elevates them in light and truth. The primary God with whom men and women interact here in this world is the holy ghost.

Redemption causes the redeemed to work for the salvation of others. The reason some obtain the kind of redemption Nephi obtained (see 2 Nephi 15:2) is because they are of a character to work for the redemption of others. There is no reason to withhold the promise of eternal life from them, because others will be redeemed as a result of their redemption. They will labor, preach, teach, intercede, seek, pray, and work tirelessly to bring others to the tree of life. They become fellow-servants with Christ and labor alongside Him in the work of redeeming others

Sunday, December 15, 2019

God is Good: Life is a Training Ground

I'd say since being sick I've had a lot of compassion for others even before I was diagnosed I was having lots of sympathy for others trying to find God. Just overwhelming love for others and knowing all people, like myself, were Just trying to find God and please him. I think suffering had given me compassion for others not wanting them to suffer in any shape or form. Wanted to relieve their burdens. Were all in the same test of life and just because a man appears evil does not make them who they may appear when compared to our perceived understanding of God’s standards.

Nobody is going to get it perfectly and we shouldn't judge people even if their not where we think they should be. Because none of us are there yet. And if you have the truth than you should take that more seriously because you still fall short. It may not mean all men will be saved at this time but they will be added upon thus receiving what they came to receive and become more like God. We should show what the higher path looks like and that is charity for all men. Willing to sacrifice your own life for others. Charity and mortal love is not the same. We just don't know why others are in the position they are in. Be friends and love them.

Looking at my life nobody would of imagined me getting a terminal illness at age 31. It really shows me we should not procrastinate the day of our repentance or the time with our families. We're here to learn good from evil. I did have a lot of extra time with family due to new job, paternity leave for 3 months, and stay at home job which i'm forever grateful for.

It breaks my heart to hear my 5 year old making comments like. 'I don't want daddy to die", or ask if momma is going to have more kids than be like when she says no. It's because "daddy is going to die soon". 

So sad. So cute of the kids. I know the promises God has made regarding my children and it gives me hope that no matter what happens to me, my kids will gain from it and learn from it helping them come unto God. 

I think we were all a lot more eager and determined to do mortality right before we actually came into this world. I think mortality has far more actual and practical challenges than any of the theoretical beliefs we entertained about ourselves before we were clothed in flesh. We are our own judges, or our own tormentors. Now we find that we have to deal with all kinds of pains, insecurities, fatigue, appetites, desires, ambitions, pride and vanities that were easily dismissed as mere foolishness in our prior estate.
Whatever we do here, however, is going to “add upon” us--even if only in hindsight and by reflection after we have passed on. This experience is total immersion in a learning environment like nothing that can be experienced in a spirit world. 
Our worst failures improve us far more than our greatest successes. If we do not return bearing scars and injuries from living here then we have avoided much of what we were sent here to experience.

The allegory of Adam and Eve applies to us all. We all fall. We could have gained the experience of mortality without the fall and it wouldn't It have been so bad. But we can gain more in 5 minutes here (i believe joseph said something like this) than an entire lifetime in another world. In all the uncountable world’s by God none are as wicked as this world. It is the worst. We all choose to be here. In some sense everybody here are “heroes” in relation to choosing to come here and experience this. The thing to think about is that this world is the worst because of what the people here choose to do. It is not that God creates this world to be the worst. It's the only world where Satan is cast to. Where we fall under his temptations. The telestial world is given the attribute in D&c 76 “torment”. Inotherwards, suffering. It's what we do here. It's meant to help us grow and learn. Or others learn through us. It's absent from the terrestrial world description. Every human on this earth came by choice, not as a form of "punishment". That for whatever purposes of our own, we desired to come. Although some people are only quickened by a telestial glory and thus, this is all they could come to. I tend to believe that "hell" is more of a mental suffering than physical.

Monday, December 9, 2019

My ALS Journey: Life is not fair

I came across this from another ALS patient and felt it was good enough to adapt it into my own post. I haven't gotten to the point where I have lost all these functions yet but it's fast approaching. 

I certainly don't currently have this attitude most of the time but feel it's a good reminder. But my overall outlook is positive. Higher purpose is in all things we experience down in this world. 

Arms. Legs. Speech. 

You loose all of these to ALS. 
If only you could keep just ONE of these things. 

If I still had use of the arms and hands there is so much that I could do! I could brush my teeth, feed myself, and scratch the itch on the top of my head. I could type without having to use my eyes, take pictures with my camera, and use my cell phone. Maybe I could even help to fold laundry. I could hug my family and friends. I could lift up my hands in worship.  

If I still had use of my legs there is so much that I could do! I wouldn't need a power wheelchair. I could stand up, and get around the house with ease. I could get in and out of a car. I could go for a walk around the block. I could stroll along a beautiful, peaceful hiking trail. I could kneel down in prayer. 

If I still had use of my speech there is so much that I could do! Actually, I think that this will be the hardest for me to lose. It will take so much effort to say each word as it progresses. Most people cannot understand you most of the time. If I could still speak, then I could converse with friends. I could speak on the phone. I could talk and pray with my wife. I could teach and tell jokes to my kids. 

It would be so amazing just to have ONE of the things mentioned above. Why do I have to lose ALL of them? How do I deal with all of this? 
It isn't fair. 
It isn't fair! 
It isn't fair that... 
   -I have an amazing wife and children, but others live in families that are dysfunctional and abusive. 
   -I live in a safe place, but others live in war-torn countries surrounded by danger, violence, and death. 
   -To help me deal with ALS, I have or will eventually need a nice power wheelchair, an eye-gaze computer, a Trilogy breathing machine, a cough assist machine, PEG feeding tube when I'm unable to swallow, access to medications, and an amazing group of knowledgeable doctors, nurses and therapists, but others live with ALS in parts of the world where they have to suffer without any of these things. 

I. Am. Blessed.  

"For I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11-13)

Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Message to All: Part 9: My Living Will (Public)

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro. The conclusion to this series may or may not get posted. I'm leaving it open incase something comes to mind at a latter date if I'm still able. 

This will is an unofficial will because I know my wife will do what's best. It's meant to be more of a humorous post. And anything official should probably be private. Here are some things I would prefer but again my first priority is my wife and family and what would make their lives easier.

This may be a live document as I think of more things or add to it by editing it.

1) No crying at funeral allowed! (Joking 😁) 
2) Have a cheap funeral. Can bury me in a plywood box. Of course follow your heart too. That's always more important. Since I'm certain that won't happen. And beauty isn't a bad thing. Probably a better thing would be to have a real casket. I'm mostly joking about plywood and feel a proper burial is a better route. 
3) Have at least one member from my fellowship speak at my funeral. 
4) Be creative doesn't need to be all boring 😎😅 But also a time to grieve is good. 
5) Sing the song "a poor wayfaring man of grief" as it's one of my favorite about Christ. Verses 4-7 I've always liked too
6) Tell my kids I love them and my wife and they will conquer the world with or without me. #proud 
7) I prefer not to suffer needlessly. It's one of the curses of modern medicine. Especially if the only relief is constant 24/7 pain meds (like opiods or Morphine). 
8) Cocos movie should be the new slogan after a drive with my wife when first learning of diagnosis we heard it on pandora. "remember me though I have to say goodbye".
9) Part of creativity don't be quiet. Make it exciting like play some electronica music with Marshmellow lol. That's true reverence for me right there. Maybe for the viewing and or service. Shouting amen or other laughter energetic actions. 
10) I guess with our dogs old age we get to have a race to who dies sooner. 🐕🏃😎😁 A family joke of ours. Maybe it's time for me to finally loose, out living the dog. I told my wife it's time for me to be a looser. Now wife reminds me to 'Be a Looser'! Or better I'll be a winner and outlive them and hopefully the baby can walk before I loose my walking abilities. Another race worth winning! 
11) Must wear a t shirt and jeans to my funeral else kicked out 🤠🤠🤠 unless your a cowboy. In seriousness I want people to show up being themselves. Not dressing up due to cultural traditions or perceived standards. I want each person to be themselves, raw and unfiltered. What are you comfortable in? What do you wear on your days off? Just be you. God accepts us for who we are. 
12) I'd prefer that the Last speaker should be my wife. No concluding or residing remarks by others including one who is conducting or residing. Though I prefer a family member (including friends, siblings, parents, or wife) to reside or conduct it. Family is the only ones with authority in the home. 
13) Make an atmosphere that makes it so you never have to tell a child to be quiet, sit still, or stop being their true self. We're supposed to be as little children. Not making children be adults. Even if the speaker is harder to hear. Children is what brings us true joy in this life. They are the "joy in our works'. Its always been a desire for me for worshiping God but know it's hard to pay attention to speakers and want people to be able to as well. Something I've thought a lot about but don't really have answers either.
14) Tell alot of jokes 🐷🐿️
15) The graveyard down in Tucson looks overcrowded. People must be dying to get in there!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Message to All: Part 8: A Sorrowful Heart: Grief & Hope

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro.

This post is mostly about the mercy of God in speaking with me and sending signs or witnesseses the past few months. Both struggles of my heart and how the Lord continues to comfort me. I have felt to record these worries, doubts, and struggles at least partially.

When the lord speaks I have often found he will always send two or three witnesses. He will "speak in our hearts and minds". The second witness is also often the Holy Ghost speaking by the spirit, or rather confirming something spoken to you as well. These past few months I have received prayers, impressions, blessings, or ideas that come to mind. Each time something was said, God would impress someone, unrelated to the first, to say the same idea.

The lord tells us to never act in haste. Those with flowery imaginations (quoting Joseph) will never find out the ways of God. We need to take time to ponder and measure those impressions against the scriptures and character of God. Sometimes the lord will let you decide, staying silent, than only after the fact correct you if it's wrong. All these ways are to teach us, from good and evil.

The other day I was pondering some questions regarding my dreaded future and was thinking of discussing them. I didn't feel ready to discuss this yet. Than a few days later similar ideas in my mind were mentioned by a friend. Or when I was pondering my standing with God and was worried about the salvation of my soul as I had not been like Enos having his sins washed away and declared clean. Or declared as His Son. It's a wrestle with God I have had for many years now. Two separate people a day a part said they felt God say I should not be worried about my standing with God. 

Many people are only visited (ie second comforter) at the last days. I also had two people reminding me that and mentioned the example of Stephen being stoned to death or another experience showing the same idea. Also two others mentioned that they felt we or I should call upon God to minister to me. That in time, or the due time of the Lord, it would happen. Maybe that will be the day I die I do not know for many are ministered to at that time.

When first hearing of my diagnosis I often pondered the questions many ask. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What sins did I refuse to forsake to bring it on? Did I fail to live up to the covenants I have received, just a year prior? Why is God torturing me? I had two people tell me unknown to each other an answer, without me asking for any advice. A sibling stated that this isn't a punishment to anyone. It's like the blind man when the Savior was asked whose fault it was he was born that way: the blind man or his parents. He responded neither. But that the powers of God could be manifest. And a friend added, ”the works of God being manifest through you.” Not exactly sure what that means but that through this trial, the works of God will be manifest. It felt to them that others will come to see and know the works of God through this.

Still to show the true weaknesses of my flesh I still doubt. I still wonder if some things that have been said to me were desires of their hearts, wishful thinking, or if it was Gods true will and desire. I told someone death is scary, but Christ is not. Christ gives hope, but the knowledge I have further gained of the afterlife, of His Resurrection, and how only those who have been sealed to the family of Abraham were resurrected from the spirit world has really morphed by views of the afterlife. The "righteous dead" were left to preach to those who refused to receive Christ until a later time when the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children and the children to those fathers in eternal glory. Its after all a desire of my heart for many years, desiring to be a greater follower of righteous and seeking the knowledge (or sealing) of the fathers as my blog slogan.

I told someone I should be satisfied with any progress made during this lifetime, even though I'm often an overachiever and want to "get it done" now, the Gospel plan does not work that way. Because what God offers affects the souls of all men.

When it has come to my spiritual journey I would not doubt many things when multiple witnesses were given, instead I would plant them and let the seed grow to determine if it was good or cast it out if it turned out it didn't. Though I did take time to ponder it out and make sure it was a proper source. When it comes to death and facing it head on I never imagined the struggles I would have. Nevertheless God and His Gospel offer's great hope. If it wasn't for a great family and children, I don't think it would be as hard as it has been. The thought of leaving them, this early in life's journey, is terrifying and saddening. I've shed many tears over the ordeal. 

I share this all to record my struggles and the hand of God in even this journey. Sometimes when we only post the positive it can put a false impression on someone. I do not know if healing is in the future. Sometimes I worry its not. If it is, I kind of feel it'll be like the blind man who did not know till he was healed. Christ came and at that time he was healed unforeseen. At least that's my impression of the story. It's hard to have that type of hope when in just 3 months I went from walking to limited hand use, thumbs can't open bottles or button most pants, and walking up and down stairs is now difficult. Barely hold my phone, lift hands above my head, or walking to bathroom is a longer distance for me now. It's one of the worst diseases man can have but at least I keep my mind. I am already miserable in some ways. Physically atleast. I prefer healing. I want it. But such a thing feels hopeless when answers keep allowing for the possibility of not being healed and as I'm often told plan for the worst hope for the best. 

I truly believe there is an offer for Zion, and many of the prophecies have already been fulfilled but there are many more yet to come which I would love to be a witness to. I would love to hold my children's hands through it as it'll be both terrible and great things alike. After someone told me they felt I didn't need to worry about my soul, I responded "I still doubt :), I doubt I'll connect to the family of Abraham, the father's as a living link, I know God doesn't views things that way but it's a desire of mine and want that I worry about. It's like having the opportunity to be in Zion while getting burned up. You might be OK but missed out on an opportunity". All the prophets in scriptures looked for the day Zion would be here. I desire to see the unfolding's. After having the desire I learned through one of my blessings it is one of my callings in life to reconnect to the father's even those in glory. That's the main ways God speaks to me is through planting righteous desires in my heart. 

At times my heart tells me there is still some things left for me to do here. Its not yet my time. But I don't know if its thoughts everyone faces or just personal wishes or an inkling of an impression as this is one I have not yet received witnesses of. In a blessing given to me I was told I was to record, or preserve like those did in the Book of Mormon, a record of some events. Maybe I have already done that, with this blog, or its things yet to remain, or sometimes the future can change. Nothing is static. 

Still all things are given for our good. There is a purpose behind all things we suffer in this world and it passes as if it were a dream. I am reminded of the saying below.

"The greatest among us cannot be trusted with the power of God, not yet anyway. The greatest among us is still in need of repentance. Every one of us should walk fearfully before God, not because God is not generous, but because what He offers can turn you into a devil. The only way to be prepared and not fall, is to realize the enormous peril you potentially present to the universe. Before you get in a position to enjoy the status God offers to us all, you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, exactly like Paul said. You need to purge, remove, and reprove"

Despite my doubts and wonderings, I don't doubt in the Gospel nor that Christ exists and has overcome it all. We are here to be added upon and to learn good from evil so that we may become like Christ.

Frozen 2: The Next Right Thing
Right after finishing this post I heard this song while watching the movie which mirrors my heart pretty closely. Even my wife turned to me and said this is for you. 



I've seen dark before, but not like this
This is cold, this is empty, this is numb
The life I knew is over; the lights are out
Hello darkness: I'm ready to succumb

I follow you around (I always have)
But you've gone to a place I cannot find
This grief has a gravity, it pulls me down
But a tiny voice whispers in my mind

You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on
And do the next right thing

Can there be a day beyond this night
I don't know anymore what is true
I can't find my direction; I'm all alone
The only star that guided me was you

How to rise from the floor
When it's not you I'm rising for

Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing

I won't look too far ahead
It's too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make

So I'll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And with the dawn what comes then?
When it's clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I'll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Message to All: Part 7: My ALS Journey: Instagram

I have friends and family that like to get updates on my life. My wife and I created an instragram account to share that journey.

Follow me on Instagram! Username: thehunt_family

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Message to All: Part 6: After Life: Progression

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro. 

In part 1 I mention progression between kingdoms and how that applies to the purpose of life along with Christ. Here is some more ramblings that I've come across as well or thought of. It's been on my mind so felt to put some incomplete thoughts on it here. It illustrates the importance of this life and using that time to come unto Christ. 

Time: Three Kingdoms
The Telestial World or the world which You now reside is here. Right Here. Also the Spirit world is here, right here. 

What separates us from God is Time.
Time does not exist with God.
Therefore ask yourself this.

This Telestial world when it becomes Zion becomes Terrestial.

When the Terrestrial World meets its measure of creation it will receive its Paradisaical glory (AOF 10) and become a "sea of glass" or a great Urim a Thummin (Celestial World).

If those places are here right now but only separated by Time and Time does not exist how are they all here? How is it that the Telestial world, the Terrestrial world, and the Celestial world are all here but separated by Time?

We distinguish between them by time frames. Telestial being now, Terrestrial being Millennial and then the Celestial being post-Millennial. Yet probably never stop to ponder how they are all here. And our parsing of it by reference to time seems oddly ill-fitted to the timelessness of the afterlife. (See e.g., Rev. 10: 6.) This is suggesting a much more complex afterlife, in which, literally the ascent is by degrees as you move upward

Joseph said it would be a great while beyond the grave to learn our salvation and exaltation. We will literally move up by degrees in our perfection. This goes along with Josephs teachings on Jacob's ladder and the 7 rungs to perfection.

Jacob's Ladder:
Joseph said that you had to start at the bottom of the ladder. There are 7 rungs that correspond to the 7 degrees of angels called out in D&C. (TC)  We need to focus on this life. Moving forward. In any event, whether we ascend to the next level or not, this earth life is extremely important for everyone who comes here.  These experiences on earth are important for everyone to progress, even if only a few get to a point to move up the ladder in this life.  The Lord has worlds without ends to accomplish it all. 

A Helix: DNA
For me there has been repeated reminders that the Lord's path is straight, and does not vary from side to side, nor is there any degree of changeablness for Him. BUT His "course" (that is the pathway we find ourselves on) is "one eternal round." Meaning we are in orbit, so to speak, around Him and His pathway. For us we move in an upward spiral sometimes facing in one direction and sometimes turned around in the opposite direction as we move upward along His path. We are here to be "added upon" and sometimes that process is so incremental, so slight, and so apparently limited that we can live a lifetime and only move a single step forward toward God. But for God, who is infinite and eternal, that fulfills His promise and even His expectations for most of mankind. 

We are here to experience the difference between light and dark, good and bad, and gain knowledge of good and evil. If a man lives without God in the world and his days are few and mean, he may nevertheless rejoice in eternity for what he gained by experience here. Even the abuse inflicted upon us can turn to God's glory if we return to Him better able to know the difference between good and evil.

The Gospel plan is infinite and holds out promise for every man and woman who ever lived and died. How great a step we gain in the few years of mortality allotted to us is not as important as the experience from which we are better able to discern between good and evil.

I have little hope for Zion, because that will require pure hearts, penitent and submissive men and women, and faith in Christ as a principal of action. But I have great hope for mankind. If all men's deeds were illuminated by the light of Christ we could all tell what errors we are making and return to the truth. That day will come. But here, in this darkened world, we are gaining experience.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Message to All: Part 5: Christ's Atonement

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro. 

Christ or the Messiah came among the Jews in the meridian of time that all might he drawn unto Him. Christ descended below all things that he may rise above it all so that we may also rise up if we will repent and show forth good fruits.

His life lived was the means to persuade others to believe unto him. He never controlled or coerced others to believe on Him yet those in authority felt threatened by Him. He awaits each of us only ever persuading and inviting us with gentleness and love unfeigned.

He led by example showing who, what, and how we are to worship. In His mortal ministry by healing the sick, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, restoring hearing to the deaf, curing the leper, and ministering relief to others as he taught was but a prelude to what the Lord was now to do on the dark, oppressive night in Gethsemane. (See TC 161) By what he went through in Gethsemane by taking upon Himself the sins of the world he in return became the pro-type of the Saved man. For anything unlike Him cannot be saved (Lectures on Faith 3). The coming days of dying on the cross, burial, and resurrected 3 days later he was finally able to "finish his preparations" among the children of men. Where he can do a greater work which is the redemption of mankind.

the Lord reminds us. "Therefore I command you to repent — repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore — how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit — and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink — Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men". (TC 4:5)

"As a result of what the Lord suffered, there is no condition — physical, spiritual, or mental — that he does not fully understand. He knows how to teach, comfort, succor, and direct any who come to Him seeking forgiveness and peace. This is why the prophet wrote: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. [Isa. 19:2] And again: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. [Isa. 19:2] He obtained this knowledge by the things he suffered. He suffered that we might avoid sin by being obedient to His commandments. None of us need harm another, if we will follow Him. He knows fully the consequences of sin. He teaches His followers how to avoid sin." (TC 161:24)

He has gained the knowledge to succor all. He knows each of us and what we all need. He loves us so He gave His life. He is the savior of the world.

Believe His promise to come to you and comfort you, and take up His abode with you (John 9:8). Believe Him, because everybody is equally dependent upon Him for their hope of salvation. Never put your eternal salvation in the hands of anyone other than Jesus Christ, who paid to ransom you. Belief based upon the testimony or witness of another should never satisfy you. You should press forward and obtain your own witness of your Risen Lord. Move into action, grow beyond belief, act in conformity to the things He has asked you, and develop faith. Use that faith to develop knowledge of Him, then you will not be dependent upon anyone else for knowledge which will both save you and assure you eternal life.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A Message to All: Part 4: To My Fellowship Family

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro. 

What are Fellowships:
First since this is public let me explain what a Fellowship is. 

Fellowships were inspired for a way to mirror something in the heavens and structured in a way to allow the people who worship God to become as a family, to become as one, to take care of those who stand in need and to mourn with those that mourn. It's essentially home church. 

It is not a church but just a group of believers that wish to worship God in their own homes as the people did in New testament times. Loosely structured and free to do what each is felt led to do. No man above another. 

I've met many people on my spiritual path that I have bonded with and created intimate relationships with but there are only a few  that I have consistently fellowshipped with that I regard as my family. They don't replace my family for my immediate family is always my focus and love but they are those who seek to become as part of the family of God. They don't replace my blood family, brothers and sisters. 

I've known many of these people for 7 years. Zion can only be created by those who become the family of God. This is because unless you have that intimate relationship as "brothers and sisters and indeed" (TC 157) you can never arrive at where God is now. A hierarchical structure is Aaronic in nature. That's given to pour out destruction's and judgments upon the inhabitants of the Earth (Paraphrasing Joseph) and Melchizedek is given to extend blessings to the children of men however you have to follow the laws associated with a higher order in order to obtain those blessings. Even though Aaronic priesthood is a lesser priesthood, it is still given to offer repentance, baptism and the ministry of angels. Angels responsibilities are to declare repentance unto the children of men else there is no faith (LE Moroni 7) therefore if people follow this lower-order they can rise up to obtain the high order.

Aaronic is an association with men and an association with angels. Melchizedek is an association with God or Christ and God the Father. And by that association you are ministered with is the association you have (per the hyrum quote in Part1). Keep in mind some are not ministered to till their dying days like Stephen being stoned to death or Josephs brother who died early. 

Anytime something is based off an hierarchical structure you can know by that sign it is something of a lower order because the people couldn't come together in a way to become one. 

Enoch, who brought Zion, only calling we're told of was a teacher. That is because all people are to become equal therefore they must all take equal responsibility according to their strengths. But this has been explained elsewhere so I'll leave it at that.

To My Fellowship Family:
We have mourned together, we have cried together we have poured burdens upon each other because your burdens are my burdens and my burdens are your burdens. We seek to become one. 

You have brought me much comfort in these hard times. You've been there many times when I needed you. I have seen what tithing money that is used as originally intended for the poor can do to make all those "among us" as equals in both spiritual and temporal means so that the manifestations of the spirit may be given unrestrained.

Hundreds of thousands have been donated to take care of each other. You have shown me what the fruits of the gospel was meant to bring. Blessing single mothers to be able to take care of their families. 

I pray and hope that this people can bring again Zion and New Jerusalem temple which could occur in this generation. So few have succeeded that it may not for us as well. However I know we will gain experience through it all even if God decides to find another people.

If we do fail let it be not as those who went before but learn from their experiences paving the way for others to learn from and take a step further than towards God path. I love each and every one of you. I know each of you want to be there for me and have offered and devastated for the sad news. 

We know not what the future holds but I know the Lord will continue to guide us. And this generation will see some marvelous things along with great wickedness as the spirit of God continues to withdrawal from the wickedness of the world.

I know things can be hopeless at times seeing the imperfections of men but with God all things are possible. We can take the weak things of the world and make them strong. Don't ever loose that sense of humor. And the chillant personalities which each has in their own way. The path to God can be lonely at times but that humor really can bring great relief in times of distress. Its been a great relief to me.

Maybe I can visit with you from the other side assuming I'm allowed to 🤣. Of course my family and kids takes priority.

June 3, 2017: Provo Canyon Meetup:
I felt to post my journal entry from this day. Many of us, being in different states, met up in Provo Canyon. It was a great experience. I loved how we decided to draw sticks, like old testament times, to decide who was to bless the sacrament to help promote equality. The paragraphs below are from my journal. 

"My fellowship met up Provo canyon for a bon fire and to talk and to just meet up. We talked, had dinner, discussed signs and how nothing is random and how we should pay attention to them. Chatted about mundane things. It was a great time.

As we were preparing to leave the moon had a large halo around it. Pondering it while I drove home I asked two questions.

What does it represent? The halo represents God's work or ordinances among man and how the moon radiates a greater light and all those within the halo have accepted or heard gods words and are benefeiting from the light that imnates from the moon and outward (insde the halo). Only those within the halo receive benefit, those all could receive it if they wished, those who see it but not within it. 

The second question I don't remember word for word but it was something like, Why was it given? It was given as a sign to us of God's work with us or groups of people. It was a sign to our fellowship. I also noticed as I drove home, it could not be seen in SLC nor tooele county areas so the sign rested above provo canyon where we were staying."

Monday, November 4, 2019

A Message to All: Part 3: My Upbringing: My Parents, Siblings, School, Marriage

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro. 

While this post is only a glimpse about my life growing up with my brothers, sisters, schooling, and marriage its also written with the intent for my children to know a bit about myself and my love for my siblings and parents in my life. Its just a few things that have come to mind but I know I may record more elsewhere. It's a condensed version of my upbringing. 

I grew up in Holladay Utah since I was 1 year old overlooking the gorgeous SLC Valley. I lived there till I was married.

My Family:
I could not have asked for a better family to be a part of. My parents are very loving people and always respected the kids and allowed them to do many creative activities. My mother has one of the kindest souls I know. She is very accepting of everyone. My father is very intelligent (as well as mother) and passed down some of those traits to us kids. Our whole family is very analytical. My father is also calm and content in his personality as I don't remember him ever yelling at us as kids or putting us in timeout. I am such a fortunate person to be raised in such a great household. They did everything they could to help us become the best people we could be and raise us up in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters (Sister->Sister->Brother->Me->Brother). I am the younger middle child. Some of them married before I was too old. I remember with my younger older sister that while she was in high school she had many jars of change. I really wanted to go to the Tilt and play arcade games. I got into her room and took half her quarters so I could go there. Or taking all the perfumes out of her drawer because I wanted to smell them. If I recall correctly I think I remember her complaining about them always disappearing. Now she knows why. 

Our oldest sister always made sure the family got things done. She has been the one also that makes sures the family has updated pictures and got everyone together to have the pictures and printed off for our parents. That way we did not have 10 year old pictures hanging up. As well does a good helping the family plan activities so we all can stay connected. 

The 3 brothers played a lot together growing up but I also remember bothering my older brother when he was with some of his friends so they had to lock me out of the room as I would not leave them alone like brothers do. Or making giant forts especially with the twin bunk beds. We had sheets covering the entire room and would sleep in the forts overnight.  It was one of the most common activities I remember growing up. Other times we did it with couch cushions. 

I remember with some siblings grabbing twin beds and laying them on the stairs so that we could slide down and have a cool slide. Or building a tree-house in the backyard. I don't remember who was involved in that but also built a kitchen and loved playing pretend in it. Probably one of my favorite activities was building things or taking them apart so I never could get them together again. 

We got along well. Rarely fought or at least from what I remember. The older three got married and went on with their lives. My younger brother and I probably got more spoiled because they were more financially well off by this point and with the older kids gone my mother liked to splurge a bit more on us. Where for the older two sisters, I've heard them say they didn't get a whole lot like we had.

I might of been pretty quiet growing up, and still am, but I still enjoyed the great family I had. I have always been the person to just enjoy others company by my presence not always by being a chatter box which I've never been except with my wife. I probably open up with her more than anyone. Its what makes our marriage so great. I can tell her anything. 

Looking back at my life I am not sure if I was always the easiest child to raise. I was very quiet and stubborn as it could take an entire day for me to do one thing asked of me just out of spite. Because no-one can tell me what to do :D. As soon as I was told, even if i wanted to do it, I could no longer do it. Luckily after my teenage years I was able to overcome this for the most part. I remember one night in high school that my mother worried about me and some of my friends I was hanging out with so she knelt down next to my bed and prayed for me. I think she thought I was asleep.

Because the family is pretty laid back we often just enjoyed being around each other. My father traveled a lot for work and would take each kid to a place with him or a few of the siblings. We went to Hawaii where I got to see many of the sites and travel around the island including pearl harbor. I also went there later with my wife when married which was very enjoyable. We had taken a boat into the water to go whale watching. Went snorkeling in the water but being afraid of deeper water and sharks I ended early. 

I also went to Washington DC and saw a lot of the sites there including the war memorial wall and the big tower. And another time went to Italy and Sardinia. In Italy I got to see the cool Roman Colosseum. It was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. The fighting arena was kind of bizarre too think about and having people duel in the area. 

We took a boat ride, don't remember exactly where through Venice as well. Its a pretty gorgeous area and I remember wondering how that town can be in such deep water. I have a horse and carriage statue at home that I got from this area. Probably one of the best areas I have seen. I also remember driving to some "red rock" that was supposed to be really cool. And we saw it and either my father or brother was like that which we have in Utah is a lot more red. 

During my high school years around age 16 I remember turning a bit more rebellious. I had a group of friends that were not religious and while my best friend, which I will always consider a deep and deer friend but lost contact with due to dating life and college after my mission, we hanged out with some people that enjoyed doing some rebellious (from cultural standards) activities. I still consider myself a good kid but I did take part occasionally in some of these activities though I often liked to avoid them. Smashing mail boxes was not my thing so I stayed home. But other times a large group of friends (like 10 people) got together and knocked out some stranger on the street that confronted them and ran away before cops found us or stealing a wake board from a boat on a random street. This was the same kid that went into Dan's and blew an air horn till the manager had to kick him out. We thought it was hilarious and stupid at the same time. Fortunately we avoided these things for the most part compared to other friends I knew which kept us out of getting in trouble. Teenagers don't always do the smartest things. 

I also remember before I could drive going into a car on our slanted, downhill, driveway. I didn't know what I was doing but I took the car out of park and it went down the hill and hit the garage breaking it. I know this happened 2-3 times growing up and another sibling did it too after there was alot of snow. 

There are two events that affected my spiritual path which I forgot to post in my journey so I will add here. One I had a dream about Christ's second coming. Saw the sun descending knowing it was Christ I woke up in a sweat knowing I was not ready. 

Second, one night a few friends went out to go 80's dancing. The place ended up being closed. They decided to go somewhere else I didn't want to go to. I tried to talk them out of it but went anyways. Well I didn't care for it but went home that night I felt the spirit of God withdrawal from me. I never realized how strong the spirit was with me till its literally gone. Guilt or torment overtook me as the book of Mormon states (NC Alma 17:4). I felt something say you have to choose what you want to do between the path you are on if you continue down this road and the one that lead me on my spiritual journey and it was these two experiences  that set a desire to consider a mission though I hadn't read the book of Mormon yet which my spiritual journey post mentions. 

My favorite things growing up was skateboarding at the skate park and snowboarding in the winter. It was my place to escape from the world and just enjoy something I loved. I wasn't amazing at them but I was able to do some simple fun moves as well. I remember having a few falls. I did stop almost entirely after my LDS mission. Like trying to front board snowboarding down a rail and falling forward on my face knocking me out. Or going off a jump catching an edge and falling backwards landing on my back and barely being able to walk from it for days afterwards. Or Skateboarding and often falling flat on my face from not landing the move correctly. I am fortunate that the worst thing I had experience besides two bad falls snowboarding was only sprains no broken bones. Though when I was younger I did ride a bike with no shoes and caught my foot on the tire cutting the entire big toes portion on the foot off (the round part where your foot sets on the ground). Or having front wheel fall off and landing on my face with a bloody face.

My Schooling:
I went to kindergarten for part of the year. I remember not caring for it much but my mother decided to home school me. I don't remember exactly why. So that is when I learned from home, went to a few home school activities and built some things with people there. I spent a lot of time in the backyard just playing in the mud and creating water villages out of it. I often would dig giant holes in the yard looking for Gold or treasures. I remember calling my dad at work and asking him if there was gold outside.

During 6th grade I went to a private school. Mount Vernon Academy. I really liked this school a lot though sometimes for the first year I was the kid that people picked on or made fun of. I was the odd home school kid that didn't have very good social skills. By the end of the year I remember another kid coming that had some struggles, like wetting his pants at school. The teacher told us to be nice to him as not everyone was like me that could push himself into the group and get to know people. Because I was the new kid and people didn't know me. By this time I had started to make friends with some of the people which is why the teacher said that. Sometimes people will just withdrawl when not accepted immediately. I even had a funky hair cut if you look back at some of my images. Which I thought I liked at the time :D. Still my best friend growing up was someone that lived down the street from me. He was the one person that was always there for me when I didn't have a lot of friends. I was also the personality that preferred a few close friends than many that I didn't connect with well.

After 6th and 7th grade I went back to public school for 8th and 9th at Churchill Jr high. This is where my close friend went so I got to spend a lot more time with him. I didn't care for public school much but did want to keep going. But my mother decided to put me in a charter school for 10th-12th grade. It was the Academy for Math Engineering and Science (AMES) inside of cottonwood high school. They provided college classes to students so you got college credit while also getting high school credit. This helped me get a head start in my college career which I was grateful for. I made some great friends here as well. I know it's hard to see them after we have kids and a busy life. 

After high school I went to the University of Utah and got my bachelors degree in Computer Science. I had always planned to be a developer but my job opportunities kept sending me into Quality Assurance which I ended up loving. So kept doing it. I always thought I may do some development at some point but things keep shifting in ways that the opportunity wasn't the right time and felt we were definitely led in a direction to bring us where we are today.

My Marriage:
While at the University of Utah I attended LDS institute. I loved going to the classes that taught about the Gospel. Sometimes I felt like maybe going to two classes so I could learn more about things. While there they also had a sorority and fraternity program in the institute so it was based in some form of spirituality.

My fraternity was called Pi (like 3.14...). I really enjoyed going there and all the activities they did were a lot of fun. One of the activities was with a sorority where we played capture the flag. It was during this one where I first met my wife. She got put in jail after I also got caught and put in jail. I remember liking her and wanting to talk to her but was a little shy. We chatted for a little while while swinging. 

My fraternity friend contacted them and we setup a get together to go bowling. She tried to talk to me there, she said she thought she told me she had liked me but I don't recall it. After we went hiking up to the Big U on the mountain behind the U of U. Her friend did come up to me this time and asked me if I liked her. And told me she had been divorced but that she liked me. I wasn't sure how serious they were at this time. She pried into me to see my interest level as well. So after seeing Amanda go to the U on the hill I decided to follow her up there with her and we chatted a little bit.

We went on one more event to a haunted mansion. I do remember after this event having my frat brother telling me she really did like me. And that is when we started texting as he just gave me her info. Than during finals week, on my birthday she said we needed to go on a date. I didn't want to, due to stress of finals and engineering is not an easy time for finals. Asked to do a different day but she pushed me to go which I'm glad. She drove from west valley, 30 mins, to the institute building where she met me. I had fallen asleep in a chair in the building. Luckily she must of liked me enough to try to find me when I didn't pick up the phone and she woke me up :).

From than on out we dated or hanged out for a few months than started dating. Finally I proposed after 2 years and we got married and had 3 beautiful boys. One time I was at a friends house and I was talking with him. He asked me if I liked her. I said I like hanging out with her. I don't like to commit to things till I'm 100% sure it can and will happen. That's also why I usually don't decide on doing anything till a day or two before. Never know what could come up. Than he instantly said, uh oh your going to get married as you usually don't care for any girl that you actually like hanging out with in a relationship type of way (not friendship). I felt he might be right but didn't know what the future held at that time.

Marriage Life:
We got married and moved into student housing at the University of Utah while I finished school. While there we, with no kids, we were in bed getting ready for bed. We both were sleeping and then I heard something that woke me up. I heard the door open and I wasn't sure if someone just came into the house and was trying to steal something. I woke my wife up and said hey I think someone's in our house as I kept hearing sounds. We waited a little longer and then I decided I had to get up. I grabbed something to defend myself and slowly walked out of our bedroom into the main room. I saw someone sleeping on the couch. I started saying something like hey what are you doing. I didn't hear a response then I realized they were sleeping at that point. 

I decided I needed to wake them up to get them out of the house. First I tried to wake him up from across the room by throwing  items we had around the house at him. They were like extra Keychains from our fraternity and some of them hit him on the head but he still didn't wake up. I slowly said hey man you got to get up. He still wouldn't get up so we had to grab some water and pour it on his head to wake him up. As he woke up I realized he was also drunk. So I was no longer worried but then I told him man you got to get out of the house. You can't stay here and he was like please can I just stay here for the night. I was like no man you got to leave. So I helped him out of the door because he could barely walk and he still managed to get down the stairs as he walked away from the place. I think he thought it was in a friend's house. My wife laughs at how nice I was to the man who just broke into our home. 

Just around a year in Amanda had also finished and started to teach kids. We applied for a government program where they help teachers get a house at half cost. We got accepted and got a condo in South Salt Lake. This was a big help for us going forward. It really helped us have money for things, though it might have caused us not to be as frugal as we should of been. We lived at this condo for 3 years than moved to Stansbury Park for 3 years. We really enjoyed that area a lot except the mosquito's and biting gnats.

From there we moved to Tucson Arizona which is now where we reside now. We know not what the future holds at this point as we plan for a terrifying yet completely unknown future. My wife has loved being in Tucson and am grateful she convinced me to move down there. As its been a big blessing for both our lives and the kids absolutely love it. And we both have gotten to know some amazing people down here and families.

There have been a lot of ups and downs. For example, one thing on my spiritual journey I didn't mention, was that I got carried away by a "prepper spirit".  Getting food storage, money, house hold items, all in the name of "end times". I wanted to be ready because Christ is coming any day now! I bought tons of food, lots of it to give away to help others. Water barrel's as well. Looking back on my journey I have realized that the spirit that I was following was a spirit of "fear". Fear drove me to do those things not God. Its a spirit we should all cast off. Its not that having small items or planning for the future is bad but it can certainly go overboard. As God gave mana to Moses people from the heavens and told not to store extras. It's a sign of lack of faith. I put my wife through a lot yet she let me do it with a good attitude. She was really always there for me even when she thought I might of been a little crazy in my adventures.

As my wife says once I start a project I like to be head deep in it till its done. So anytime I set my mind to something I often went full on out and sometimes overboard in some areas. 

We also had a lot of good times. We often went to Disneyland and I got to know the ins and outs of how to never stand in line yet get on all the rides. A place that meant a lot to my wife as its been a place for her to get away from the trials of life and unwind during some of the hard times she went through before we met. Its now become a place for our family and three kids as well and good memories. Or going to the beach in California.

I was extremely happy throughout my entire marriage life. My wife will often say I'm an anchor to her. I help ground her and she does the same for me. We make each other better people. And our kids brings absolute joy into our lives. She sacrificed so much with cholestasis to bring these kids into our lives and the last one with a nickel Alergy. She went through a lot of health issues but those sacrifices gave us the greatest gift we can have in this life.

She loves to teach children. It's her gift and talent. She is really great at teaching kids and really cares for the kids. She wants to help them grow not out of obligation.

So now we face yet again another major life obstacle. There's been lots of crying. Lots of uncertainty about what we should do next and how to navigate it all from health issues, money going on disability, helping the kids, and keeping up with what life is going to throw at us. But it has put into focus the only things that matter to us. Our marriage, our family, our kids, our relationships.

It's funny I never thought I would be afraid of death especially with my faith but when it faces you head on things change. The unknown. Knowing the importance of this life as a time to grow and progress along the pathway of God. Its the the time given for men to repent and those who gain more light and knowledge by their heed and diligence has a greater advantage in the world to come. Nevertheless I'm confronted and forced to face these issues handing it all to God. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Message to All: Part 2: To My Family

Note: This series was inspired by my recent ALS diagnosis. See Part 1 intro. 

To My family:
I write this to my family and kids. Perhaps it'll be a benefit to others. 

To My Wife:
Since the first time I saw you I felt like you were the one for me. One of the first times we met we climbed to the big U on the mountain in Salt Lake City at night and overlooked the beautiful valley. All I wanted to do was get to know you. And the other time before our first date we went to a haunted house. I think you thought I was a bit more ambitious because I crawled through everyone's feet while in that enclosed tube of blow up "jumpy house" type of structure. Or on our first date where I drank out of your milk shake at Hires B H as we were being silly and you later told me who does that on a first date? Its what you liked about me. And me doing that I realized how much I really liked you because who would still want to date someone that did that? I am so grateful you were willing to get to know me despite my quietness and having to push a little harder to get me to talk to you.

When I proposed I tried to take you on things we had been to before. We begun at hires for shakes or food. I had setup a "fake" geocaching route that I knew where things were without you realizing it was spots I had setup previously. It was a bit cold and dark so you didnt want to get out of the car. I finally convinced you to find the last one and had put a pearl ring with some diamonds on the band. Knowing you liked pearls and wanted something unique. And of course you said yes 😊😘❤️ which from prior conversations I knew you would but still really nervous. I'm sure you remember the details better than I do. 

You made me laugh and allowed me to be myself unaltered. Loving me for who I was not what you wanted me to become. You were patient, loving, caring, and helped me want to become the best version of myself. For me and for you. 

You are the best thing that has happened to me next to my children. There is no one that has done more for our kids. You sacrifice so much in their behalf and one of the best teachers I know. You have always put them first over your own needs and are a great example to them of how to become like Christ. 

Our children are so fortunate to have a mother as yourself don't ever beat yourself up or doubt what you are and have done for them. As well continue to do so. 

As you have told me. You live your life according to your truths. You are perfect just the way you are now. There is nothing that needs to be changed. Or as mickey magical map says "you are a masterpiece just the way you are". And even better than the backside of water. 

I say this next part for our kids and whoever reads it benefit. While living my truths I was not always wise in the way I did things. I thought I gained some knowledge than used it without wisdom. God, the Father, bestows knowledge. Mother bestows Wisdom. Wisdom (always feminine), or heavenly mother, uses or applies that knowledge correctly in a way so its the correct application or best way to use that knowledge. On our own we can use knowledge in ungodly ways when we lack understanding. Even Satan uses knowledge (philosophies mingled with scriptures) to destroy the souls of men. Don't ever need to act in haste. Take time to ponder it out. 

So with that I'm sorry to my wife for any needless pain or suffering that I caused that could of been avoided if done in Wisdom. Even if what I felt was right does not make it the best outcome or scenario or scene of how it played out. For our ways are not God's ways. This is why Heavenly mothers influence to us is so important - Aligning our words with our hearts. 

My wife always knew what was best for our children and how to nurture and care for them. Even now she continues to nurture me having to take care of 4 children (because I'm officially one now - I guess the joke no longer works 😉) . 

Every day when I first wake up I just want you by my side. And throughout the day and when I go to bed. Just your presence makes my heart fill with gladness and joy. For as soon as you leave I miss you instantly. I'd rather spend my time with you than anyone else and I hope I have made you happy, and I do know it for I believe you as you have told me many times, and know truly of my love for you is real and authentic. There is no heaven without you. 

I don't ever regret my time with you or the kids. I am forever grateful that you married me. You have made me into a much better person than I was before I ever met you. You are the love of my life. And you're the most attractive woman i know. 😘

To My Children:
Each of you have brought joy to me in you're own way.

Emerson you are my first and you are very intelligent and inquisitive like myself. I see a lot of you in myself. You are a very kind soul and I know you will overcome the trials you will face in the coming days. You currently love to build things with Legos and currently wants to be a builder.  You like to make sure you can do something good before trying it out, the perfectionist side of things, which makes it hard to accept any failures. I was that way too as a kid until I grew partially out of it. You just want to be the best you can be so you think through everything before doing it. 

Daxton you are now 3 years old, you are most like your mother. You would rather go, go, go, being continually active in your every day activities. You do not have a soft voice and as soon as you are awake you are ready to go play yelling at the top of you're lungs. You think you are already BIG, which you are. You literally have no fear and do things without even a thought unlike Emerson who must think everything through before doing anything. Neither quality is bad, its just who you are. And I love each of you for who you are.

Callahan's your name has a few meanings. Amanda and I struggled to come up with a boys name we hadn't already used and liked. We came across this name along with Liam. We decided on Callahan Liam Hunt. One of the meanings is "strife" and Liam is a warrior. Now with the trials beset us you will truly fulfill this role. A defeater of strife and tribulations which will bring a means to help others through those times. You will bring happiness and peace when life may not appear to corporate. You have one of the most cutest smiles being 7 months old and are an extremely happy baby. You're cute laugh, smile, and personality can bring joy even in some of the worst circumstances. I hope to see you grow longer yet. 

Each of my kids have a special place in my heart. I hope they treat their mother well and our family as they grow bigger. My one advice besides what I have already shared would be don't blame God for the trials you have been given and placed under. They are for a wise purpose and this world is a proving ground to see if we will do all things God asks of us. I know it's not easy for I truly don't enjoy what I've been going through yet it is required of me to press on as long as I am able. 

Search the scriptures diligently. Not merely reading them. Many read and know them superficially yet do not comprehend them thus their minds are darkened. 

Each of you have gifts and should magnify them in your own ways to benefit the lives of others including your mother. I will share one of those so that you may find benefit.

"I have been blessed with being unbiased. That can be magnified on another level as well. When people start to have dreams and visions or even have them their ego can distort those things. To be able to gain more power and become less and less and less unbiased would be a power to see things more clearly and record things more clearly and report on them more clearly." - Blessing Given by a Member of my Fellowship

You can search my private blog journal for more details there.

Be happy. Find joy. I love you all so much and will forever have a special place in my heart no matter what you decide or will decide to do with that, I would be proud of you and would support you.

A Simple Message: Summary
I'm an open book so some of these posts might be more personal. It's just more convenient sometimes to post things in one place for easier access.😄😋

I came across a cool item on Amazon below. It allows me to record an audio or video for the kids that they can listen to. In-case they loose access. The message I posted above is the recording below. Section under "To My Children." 

Hopefully I get it done.

This is to my lovely three children. Emerson Eli Hunt, Daxton Ole Hunt, and Callahan Liam Hunt. And my wife Amanda. I love you all so much. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Message to All: Part 1: My Spiritual Journey

On October 15th 2019 I was diagnosed with ALS. I don't know how much longer I have left in this life but it causes one to reflect on what matters and what you would want others like my children to know. I hope to be around for quite some time. I've relayed parts of this throughout my blog but felt to consolidate my thoughts in this series.

This series, since its my spiritual blog, is oriented to my faith and spiritual journey along with my love for my family. Part 1 is just my spiritual journey.

Despite what I now face I try to remind myself that Christ suffered in Gethsemane "not just the pains of sin, but also the illnesses men suffer as a result of the Fall" (TC 161). He's endured it all. 

My Spiritual Journey: Introduction
This is a walk through of my spiritual journey that the Lord has guided me through. I am currently 31 years old male and married with 3 children (7 months, 3, and 5)

One thing I learned I should never assume what I know is the complete picture or the way things are. I have grown so much over my spiritual journey that I always assume that what I know may still have many incorrect ideas so I try to always remain teachable. 

I have learned that while looking backwards I can now differentiate between clear inspired knowledge and excitement and sentimentality in my experiences. For instance, my sincere inquiry about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon resulted in revelation containing light and truth. My prayers about (fill in a random prayer about self serving desires) were based in sentimentality and feelings of exclusivity. 

It's possible I could learn many things that would again change the way I perceive things below. The truths don't change but viewing them with more correct lenses and understanding. 

My Spiritual Journey: Childhood
I grew up with good parents who laid a foundation of belief in God. Having grown up in the LDS faith allowed one to consider the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and whether it truly testified of God or not. Despite its flaws of making the culture as pseudo forms of righteousness God used it as a means to bring people to an understanding of what it was he desired to establish in Josephs day. The members for the past 3-4 generations had sacrificed a great deal to preserve the teachings given through Joseph Smith.

It's expected in the LDS faith to serve a 2 year mission. When I was 18 I remembered thinking that if I'm truly going to teach about something I ought to determine if I really believed it or not. I thought I ought to know what it was I was going to teach. I was uncertain how I felt and a side of me was pulling me to throw it all out and go live a life in the world.

I decided to read the Book of Mormon for the first time all the way through. While reading it I remembered a voice telling me. This is what it's all about - as things started to connect in my own head of what the gospel was really about. It finally clicked, I get why people believe in the Book and I than understood it was given to us by God. My understanding had been increased as I understood things I had never considered before. Reading it once I thought I understood what it was about. I get what the gospel was all about. There can't be much more to learn! 

My Spiritual Journey: Missionary
My Spiritual Journey amplified during this time. I grew to love the gospel. Not because what I was teaching others but because what I was learning. Currently missionaries are discouraged from reading anything including revelations given by Joseph unless in the "Canon" of scriptures. During my P-Days (days off) while many missionaries watched TV or other "apostate" things I was reading everything I could get my hands on by Joseph Smith. Like sitting at a buffet I could never get enough. 

I learned about ideas about going to "exaltation to exaltation" from King Follett Discourse. I learned about early leaders teaching about Multiple Mortal Probation's or progression between kingdsom (Telestial-Terrestial-Celestial). While half the earlier leaders accepted progression was possible and taught it another half rejected it. I learned about the Lecture at the Veil by Brigham which incorporated some Adam-God teachings in the temple endowment until early 1900s when it was finally fully removed. Which later leaders rejected as false. Still it had ideas that sparked my interest.

Its funny how things align perfectly. Right before the next major shift happened, showing the lord is truly guiding each of our lives, a missionary came over and we liked to talk scriptures. He said look at this verse in New Testament. Paraphrasing "I only do what I see the father do". I also than came across a quote by Joseph, perhaps I'm mistaken here though, and think he said it as well. He asked me, when did Christ see what the Father had done?

This led me to an area in Rochester where I met with a stake Patriarch. This conversation I thought was normal among the people. I thought his experiences were normal. He asked me if we are too be regarded as Adam and Eve in the temple and it represents us. Than ask yourself "When does Adam die in the temple?". I pondered that for years to come. He brought up that the people who visit with you, in the temple, are the angels in heaven. They will prove us. Mentioned how some things had changed overtime in endowment but the symbols were the same. And at that point I than realized that we were all meant to "converse with the lord through the veil" - here and now as Adam never dies. That the endowment was only "preparatory" and only if we were "true and faithful" would the blessings be given. It shows a path but does not walk it for you. I came to learn this is what Joseph taught which he called the doctrine of the Second Comforter. 

My Spiritual Journey: Fruits
During one district meeting, a place where all missionaries get together in an area and sync on whatever it is they feel they need too. I was teaching and I had created a lesson based on a chapter in the Book of Mormon. Typically missionaries are told to use Preach My gospel. I got up and showed a pattern I noticed in 1 Nephi 1. Afterwards two senior missionaries cried and said they started wondering if it was worth going to these meeting any longer because they felt there was little benefit from them and said what they learned made it worth driving an hour for. 

I was shocked to say the least but my love for the doctrine of the gospel I didn't realize how common these things were. People are starved for doctrine. 

One other comment sticks out to me while I was in Rochester NY. A member mentioned he wishes he could remember all the things he had learned on his mission because once life sets in you tend to forget the scriptures. I didn't want that for myself. 

Fast forward to being home. My love for the gospel grew. Like Nephi or Joseph I desired to see what it was those who came before had seen. My blog caption has the Abraham verse "finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same". It's been a lifelong desire. 

As an elders quorum teacher I would get up and use the scriptures to preach. I used manual only as much as to what scriptures to cover. I wanted to learn straight from the source. 

In one lesson I got up and quoted some quotes by Joseph Smith. I only recall it being about the ministry of angels. Or others times things from like king Follett to expand an idea in the lesson. The responses were always the same. "we don't need to worry about that", "the people are not ready for the what Joseph was trying to teach", or "a latter president said such and such so we can ignore what it was Joseph was teaching as it's no longer applicable to us". "The Prophet will bring it back when the members are ready". 

My Spiritual Journey: A Pattern: Minds are Darkened
I only share that as the pattern I had noticed but shrugged off. God will fix all things when it's time. For things are true and it's God's work. It was there in my mind but I ignored it knowing God will set all things in Order. This is a common belief among some LDS scholars as well in their books if you read some of them.

When I got off my mission I thought everyone knew this stuff and was excited about it. I talked to more people. Quickly I realized people were just not interested. They were happy with attending church and serving in their callings. Which is great as well. Service to our fellowmen is always the most important thing we can do even above learning since learning comes by heeding the commandments. So its finely intertwined.

Joseph had taught the saints were "darkened in their minds" because they were unable to accept what he was teaching. That "their dependence upon the Prophet" made it so they were unwilling to turn to God and speak with God face to face. The entire church in 1832 was put under condemnation for treating lightly the revelations. (LE D&C 84) condemnation is the absence of light and truth. It means one who will not recognize or receive that which God offers. It can also mean to fail to comprehend or simply to forget. As that "wicked one comes and takes away light and truth" (TC 93:11). All Satan is required to do is cause a people to forget. 

I learned that God sent Prophets for one purpose. As Joseph said to teach the people to, like Moses, to go into the mountain and speak with God face to face. I think a better definition for prophet is a messenger. A teacher. One who teaches about God so we can lay hold upon the sane blessings. 

Every person in the BOM did likewise. Like Nephi they desired to see also what his father had seen. Rose up and conversed with God face to face. Every person connected with God and it was written for us. Yet I realized, like the people in Moses day, they would rather have Moses go up on the mount and speak to God for them. Or rather no man can speak to God except the "current prophet".

And I have found that is really where the journey begins. Because those who do so. Who have struggled to obtain that faith and hope, giving them the knowledge the course they are pursuing is pleasing to God. Is just the beginning. They will in return offer "Charity" and do a "greater work". Having received both "great knowledge" and "greater knowledge" as scriptures distinguish. 

My Spiritual Journey: A Growing Desire
So while there was truth to the idea of Multiple Mortal Probation's there is also a lot of falsehoods. Nevertheless that idea set me on a course. 

Joseph taught “All the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement. . . . God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge.” (King Follet)

I've quoted this on my blog but as Hyrum stated, "Hiram [Smith] said Aug 1st [18]43 Those of the Terrestrial Glory either advance to the Celestial or recede to the Telestial [or] else the moon could not be a type [viz. a symbol of that kingdom]. [for] it [the moon] "waxes & wanes". Also that br George will be quickened by celestial glory having been ministered to by one of that Kingdom." 

So as we see progression between kingdoms is possible and that the glory we are ministered to is the glory we will obtain. Or in otherwards the relationship we have obtained to in heaven, or also called priesthood. 

My Spiritual Journey: My Awakening: The Gentiles
I tell these things to show my love and passion of the Gospel. It means more to me than everything. 

I've met countless people who testify of seeing Christ than claim God told them Book of Mormon and Joseph are false. Or others who claim its no longer required to seek after God's presence. It's enough to just depend upon those who have.

The test is always the same. God's preaches "in the wilderness" in a sea of error and lies to see if we can recognize the truth. 

Eventually I learned about the Gentiles. Many compare them to what's happening with the government. It's true. I also learned it should be applied to me being a Gentile. The biggest benefit from scriptures is reading it in this light. As if it's speaking to me. 

Later I also learned a 3rd symbol. In the Kirkland dedication prayer Joseph stated the Gentiles were "identified with the latter-day saints". It's something I had never considered before. 

I ran into a book by Bruce R McConkie called the Millilenial Messiah. Here he also taught the Gentiles were the members as he analyzed 2 Nephi 28 (LE) but did not apply to the leaders. Goes back to the idea God will fix anything if it's broken. But as I studied and prayed I came to the conclusion that BOM was correct. Per verse 14, 28. "they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men...others will he[the devil] pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell".

Isaiah states similar ideas in Chapter 28 and 56 (LE).

In LE 3 Nephi 16 it states "when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel,". Not if but when the Gentiles reject the fulness. It's up to us to determine what that means and how as it also states that God will offer his hand a "second time" unto them. 

My Spiritual Journey: My Awakening: A New Hope
Eventually I came to the writings of Denver Snuffer. As I read his blog he taught things that I had never seen anyone before teach. Things God had shown to me but than also expanded upon them further expanding my mind and enlarging my soul. 

I was persuaded after many months that what he taught was from God. Nevertheless the man was unimportant only the message. His 40 years in Mormonism lectures was given to us by God like he claims. The only way to know if something is true is to measure the message or the content. Which we can study and measure against the Book of Mormon. Also there was a book titled Come Let Us Adore Him that had a big impact as he recites his vision of Christ in Gethsemane and what that entailed. (TC 161)

Other revelations were given including the most profound one in my journey. The Testimony of St John (TC Testimony of St. John) telling the life of Christ. It speaks in plain words and includes things that have not been openly revealed. 

And finally a talk on Heavenly Mother. Things that have been hidden away for dispensations God saw fit to restore in preparation for the coming days. As God works backwards, back to the beginning, even as the days of Adam shall be had again in the End, that includes restoring the knowledge that the Father's had at the beginning so that our hearts can be turned to them. 

My Spiritual Journey: My Awakening: A New Dispensation
There is enough written here on other blogs or my own so not getting into further details so I'll just summarize the coming events as things as I consider them to not distract further on my spiritual journey. 

The first sign, to me at least, of apostasy is organized religion. When God speaks collectively to a people He wishes them to become as part of His family. He always speaks individually and individual redemption is always available just not Zion, the family of God.

God has given many signs that the dispensation through Joseph was abandoned. He also gave others showing a new dispensation is being offered right here and now. 

Anytime a new dispensation is offered rebaptism is required to accept it as a witness before God. I resigned from LDS church around March 2014 (Letter of Beliefs - Brief Answer to Why) . On December 24, 2014 I was re-baptized by one having authority "in living water" (like a stream, river, or lake) . Not into any church. For if you see one you'll know the people failed. In September 2017 God offered his hand a "second time" and renewed, first with the Gentiles, a covenant to make them His people. (See prayer and answer TC 156,157, 158). I felt led to receive it a year later, due to being invited to wait to focus on family. Now today offer is going to the "house of Israel". 

My Spiritual Journey: Conclusion
My Journey has been amazing. I have by my experience, tasted of the fruits of this journey. I know them to be good. That is not to say there have been many growing pains as the lord gives people opportunities to progress and become like Him. Or that this people will rise up nevertheless the fruits by God are there. Or that I'm still perfectly on the path but I'm trying to face Him. 

I want to add. My biggest realization about the gospel is that everything is based on the Family. Many will forgo the family in response to other activities called upon them by their churches but I found that everything Christ did was for his Family. Yes all that are saved become his sons and daughters. But one of the revelations revealed in our day clarifies it this way using my own words. No male person can exercise priesthood outside their homes unless the wife sustains him. This places the man to set his own house in order before ever working to labor while neglecting his duties. Still all are still called upon to labor in the vineyard. 

The newly published scriptures done by a group led to do so ( are one of the signs, which I have posted about elsewhere on blog, and witness to me what God is offering and that a people are willing to repent and remember the revelations given to us through Joseph Smith that have been long abandoned by all offshoots. Like the Book of Mormon, we can read and study the revelations and measure it for ourselves.

I'm just so grateful for what I have learned on this journey and hope it will be used to make me "added upon". I only seek to serve God. Though often I feel like an idled servant. 

My Spiritual Journey: The End
The Lord is preparing to return in Glory. As the New Covenants (new testament) Foreward states "These scriptures are a sign foretold by Christ to stand as a witness of His gospel to all the world and that the moment has arrived when the things that have been prophesied of in scripture will now occur within a single generation." 

I hope I live long enough to be able to see some of these prophecies fulfilled. I know not what the Lord has in store for me. In some ways I'm terrified in others there is hope.