The older I get, the more my body wants to stay in bed and not get up early in the morning to go hiking. Despite wanting to just sleep in, I try to still get up really early on important dates and head up into the mountains. Here are a few photo I took last week on Easter morning. It snowed alot up the mountains the night before so the fresh powder made the hike slower than I had planned. It is quite an experience to be the only blazing a trail without any tracks in the snow.
Here are a few paraphrased thoughts that I have heard recently:
Instead of demanding for more,
simply become content
and grateful for what you have.
The more gratitude we show to God and the more grateful we become, the more aware we will be of all the extraordinary great blessings we have received from God.
When we become content, when we become grateful, when we begin to acknowledge the goodness of God to us in our state, in our standing, in our station...when we are content with that and grateful. Then the Lord will bless us and change things completely.
Set aside all of your desires to control Heaven. Set aside all your ambition and to get God to surrender to your will. Willingly accept God's will for you and be grateful for it because we have more to rejoice and be grateful for than most people who have ever lived on this planet. We don't always need to be seeking for more. Instead, rejoice in what upi have.
Last Sunday, on the live broadcast of Music and Spoken Word, one of the worlds most talented singers performed live at the Tabernacle. Her name is Sissel Kyrkjebø and she is from Norway. Here was an excerpt of the spoken word that was given before she performed.
In our Chaotic world, what we need most from God is peace. But he doesn't want to force it upon us. He speaks to those who sincerely want to hear, who make the effort to hear. And it does take effort to hear. It means striving to mute the noise in our lives, to clear the clutter from our minds and the pride from our hearts. It means seeking sacred moments alone with the Lord. Simply stated, if we slow down and be still, we will know that He is God.
Below is a heavenly song based on these words from the 46th Psalm; Be Still and Know that I am God. It is an invitation to peace and reassurance that resonates through the ages.
LYRICS to SLOW DOWN sung by Sissel
In the midst of my confusion In the time of desperate need When I am thinking not too clearly A gentle voice does intercede
Slow down, slow down, be still Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord Slow down and hear His voice And know that He is God
In the time of tribulation When I'm feeling so unsure When things are pressing in about me Comes a gentle voice so still, so pure
Slow down, slow down, be still, my child Be still and wait, on the Spirit of the Lord Slow down and hear His voice And know that He is God And know that He is God
A rare conjunction of three major holidays of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam occurs today on April 15, 2022. The Top Three religions of the world are all observing a Holy Day on the same day: Islam is observing Ramadan, The Christians are observing Good Friday and the Jews will be begin their Passover at sundown.
A photo that I took near our home.
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household...Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight."
The Symbolism of the Paschal Lamb:
On the 10th day of Nisan (The first month of the year in the Jewish calendar) each family was to select a lamb. (symbolic of the same day of Christ Triumphant Entry)
The lamb was to be male, at least one year old, and perfect without spot or blemish
The lamb was brought into the family home for 4 days. This gave time for the family to bond and have attachment with the lamb, making the sacrifice more poignant.
The lamb was killed on the 14th day of Nissan. (which corresponded to the exact time and day of Christ’s death.
Lamb was roasted on an upright pomegranate stick. Another stick inside it’s chest cavity. (symbolic of the cross) It was to be done by sundown and no bones broken. (just as Christ was)
They were to take the blood and “strike” it on 2 side posts and upper post, go inside, shut their doors and not come out until morning. This was done by using a Hyssop branch which is a healing herb that treats leprosy (a death and decaying disease). Symbolic of the Israelites when they were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord protected them from the destroying angels.
Just as a sidenote that I learned from a friend:
A lamb is very easy to kill. One account I read concerned a butcher who had been asked to slaughter a family’s Passover lamb. The butcher anticipated a routine experience, as he had slaughtered many animals. He related how after slitting the small creature’s throat, the little lamb turned and licked the blood off of the butcher’s hands. This hardened butcher deeply moved and forever changed. The tender licking of the blood from the man’s hand was a sign of unconditional love and forgiveness.
One week from today marks the 2 year count down until the second Total Solar Eclipse that crosses over America. I am trying to understand the significance of this cosmic event. It is interesting to look at the cities that fall within the narrow width of the Path of Totality. One of the cities that is almost dead center of the 2024 Solar Eclipse is Kirtland, Ohio. I just got back from visiting Kirtland this week. So many significant events happened in that small little city. If you didn't get to see the 2017 solar eclipse, it might be an interesting place to be at on April 8, 2024 to witness the next solar eclipse.
Where the two path meet is considered part of the "Heartland of America".
Here are a few photos of the Kirtland Temple. On Sunday, March 27 was the anniversary of the Temple Dedication and this upcoming Sunday on April 3 marks the anniversary of the Lord appearing to Joseph Smith and Oliver to accept His Temple. Building the Kirtland Temple required the sacrifice of virtually everything of value the Saints had at the time. It is a Holy Place.
While the Temple has been closed for over two years, the Community of Christ Church plans to reopen the Temple in a few month in May.
Here is the account of April 3, 1836.
On the third day of April 1836, Joseph and Oliver were in
the temple in Kirtland, Ohio. The veil was taken from their minds and the eyes
of their understanding were opened. They saw the Lord in his glory standing
above them and the breastwork of the pulpit; and under his feet appeared as it
were a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame
of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance
shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the
rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
I am the Alpha and the Omega; I am he who was slain, I am he
who lives; I am your advocate with the Father.
Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me,
therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice. Let the hearts of your brethren also
rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their
might, built this house to my name. For behold, I have accepted this house and
my name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this
house. Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own
voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy
Behold and see: The hearts of thousands and tens of thousands
shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings that shall be poured out
and the endowment with which my servants will be endowed in this house. Behold,
the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning
of the blessings I shall pour out upon my people. Even so. Amen.
As this vision closed, the Heavens were again opened to
their view, and they saw and beheld, and were endowed with knowledge from the
beginning of this creation to the ends thereof. And they were shown unspeakable
things from the sealed record of Heaven, which man is not capable of making
known, but must be revealed by the Powers of Heaven.
They beheld Michael, the archangel, Gabriel, and Raphael,
and divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the end of time, showing in
turns their dispensations, their rights, their keys, their honors, their
majesty and glory, and the Powers of their Priesthood; giving line upon line,
precept upon precept; endowing them with knowledge, even here a little and
there a little; holding forth hope for the work God was yet to perform, even
the revelation of all things which are to come upon the earth until the return
of the Lord in glory with His holy angels — to pour out judgment upon the
world, and to reward the righteous.
And they were unable to take it in; therefore, they were
commanded to pray and ask to comprehend by the power of the spirit, to bring
all things to their remembrance, even the Record of Heaven which would abide in
them. Amen and Amen.