Heavenly Mother’s Day: Vision of Her Love

galen-dara-heavenly-mother

Like our poet-prophetess of old, I too seek the “mutual approbation” that comes from our Heavenly Parents to let me know that I’m not alone or without their guiding influence, love, and care.

I have felt the love of God in very strong ways throughout my life, but not always on a regular basis.  I look and pray for the chance to feel God’s love every day by trying to put myself in situations where I believe they can reach me. There are many instances of their mercy and kindness scattered throughout every day life which I do not always recognize, but I wish the moments of witness came with more power and more often.

 

The desire to feel a more fervent love from God occupied my mind one evening on the way to weekly yoga practice.  The instructor focused the class on setting an intention and  visualizing that intention coming to fruition. Throughout the class, her narrative included letting worrisome thoughts leave, focusing inward, and imagining our blessings flowing unrestrained into our lives.

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Introducing our Heavenly Mother’s Day Series

CW: Suicidal thoughts

I moved to Oakland five years ago. One of my first outings in the Bay Area was a gathering at Carol Lynn Pearson’s house where she gave each of us copies of her play, Mother Wove the Morning. It sat on my shelf for months because I didn’t want to open up Heavenly Mother-less wound I had.

When I finally read it, half a year later, I discovered that I was right in that it was an intense experience. I loved reading it and yet I ached. I wanted a relationship with Heavenly Mother, but I didn’t know how. Unfortunately the bigger question for me was “why.” Why should I have a relationship with Her?

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The Consumption of Corruptible Things

By Chrissie

By Chrissie

By Jenny

I’ve always been fascinated with the apocalyptic side of the Mormon Church.  When I was younger I studied the book of Revelations intensely trying to make sense of it.  I had such faith and hope in the time when the world would experience perfect peace.  But I wallowed in fear over the destruction of the world that had to come first.  Even at the age of fourteen, I would have dreams about the end of the world.  Growing up in Utah, I had one non-Mormon friend for whose soul I feared greatly.  In my dreams she was always consumed by the great fire that was coming to the earth.  The collective consciousness in which I was immersed told me that if I was righteous I wouldn’t need to fear the fires myself because I was born into the right church.  But that only made me feel guilty for my birthright.  The great destruction of the world is an overwhelming concept for a young girl to have to contemplate.

The scriptures, Old Testament, New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants, are full of allusions to this great burning.  The fierce God of the Old Testament permeates the images of an entire world being consumed by fire and everything being destroyed.  Our sacred words create a fearful image of a God who will destroy the humans who have made Him so angry with their unrighteousness.  It’s no wonder we deal with that fear by making an exception for those who are living righteously.  I think it is human nature, when contemplating something so fearful, to make an exception, and then to count yourself among the righteous select.

A little while ago I was reading in D&C 101:24: “And every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of the heavens, or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed.”  Two key words caught my attention in this passage: “corruptible” and “consumed.”

This sounds very much like the wicked will be burned, but as I have thought more about the phrase “corruptible things,”  I realized that corruptible is not synonymous with wicked.  Everything on this earth is corruptible.  Our bodies, our social structures, our homes, our families, even our religions.  Corruption is the process in which something whole, healthy, and alive breaks down and degrades, sometimes to the point of death.  Anything that is susceptible to death is corruptible.

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For the Beauty of the Earth

Spring has sprung in my corner of the world!

We’ve had a brutal winter and so seeing 60ºF (and up!) in the forecast makes me incredibly happy. I love seeing all the flowers. I love seeing happy faces out on the street, smiling for no other reason than warm weather has finally arrived. I find myself joyful, even more so when I’m with friends. Spring is just a happy and optimistic time of the year.

SPRING

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On Being Happy: Reflections On The 40th Anniversary Exponent II Issue

A few months ago when the young, male missionaries were over for dinner, we discussed the upcoming general conference. The boys had just attended a mission conference where the mission president asked them who their favourite general authority was. The boys reflected that each missionary there had a favourite speaker, and they laughed and felt closer to each other when they learned that others shared the same favourite. At this dinner, we all agreed that each general conference speaker was worthy, and would bring spiritual insights to the table. But we also agreed that there were one or more “favourites” who we were looking forward to learning from.

Every issue of the Exponent magazine is like this for me. I look forward to each worthy contribution of art, word, poem and song, and feel uplifted as so many of the contributions stay with me, bringing me peace, making me feel un-alone, and loved. Often the contributors who are previously unknown to me bring me the biggest enlightenment and delights, and I feel like I am making new friends of them as I read their words. But then there are my favourites. A handful of women whose words I save, I save them to read when the children and husband are away, for a time when I can invite them, and they spirit they bring to me. They know me, even if I have never met them. They teach me things that I often didn’t know I needed to learn. They heal me with prophetic wisdom that can only be administered by the spirit. They are my sisters, and I love them.

Lavina Fielding Anderson is one of these women. And this essay is one of those essays.

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A Tale of Two Churches

st. johns bellefonte  A few weeks ago, on Easter, I attended an Episcopalian church service with my boyfriend and his family. It was a very High service with lots of reciting, standing, kneeling, standing, and sitting. The priest sang almost all the prayers. The chapel was very ornate with high, decorative ceilings and stained glass windows. The altar at the front of the church was beautifully decorated with lilies and daffodils. The priest and deacons wore white and gold robes. There was a (I’m pretty sure) professional organist who played beautifully; the organ itself was set in one corner of the church. The building was probably 200 years old so it was a pipe organ, beautifully carved. When it was played you could feel the air vibrate. There was incense and candles.

It was basically the opposite of what Sunday services are like in my small YSA branch. We meet in a renovated post office on folding chairs. The only prayer that is the same every week is the blessing on the sacrament. Services are much more relaxed and much less liturgical. My branch president generally wears dark suits; they are nice suits, don’t get me wrong, but they are not embroidered with gold thread. I am the pianist (we don’t have an organ), and between you and me, I fake my way through most of the songs. We don’t even have a real piano; it is an electric keyboard.

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