by Robyn

What Lack I Yet? New Years Resolutions

December 28, 2015 in Education, Forgiveness, Free Agency, Holy Ghost, Robyn, Uncategorized by Robyn

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It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today.

–Spencer W. Kimball

It’s that time of year . . . you know, the one you try to avoid?  Ok, maybe it’s just me who tries to avoid setting goals because I know I won’t complete them!  For me, the Eternal Warriors program is what I needed to make me accountable to setting goals and reaching them.  It is an excellent way to overcome weaknesses and tackle behaviors you want to change.

 

 “Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better.”

–David A. Bednar

As a part of the class you identify 3 target behaviors that you want to improve at. Such as:

  • Controlled use of video games
  • Controlled use of social media
  • Waking up at a certain time each day.
  • Eating limited sweets.
  • Daily family prayer.
  • Daily meditation practice
  • Exercise
  • More patience

Along with the target behaviors you are required to do the following daily actions:

  • 5 min prayer 2x daily.
  • letter to God or future spouse.
  • 5 min reading scripture or recommended literature.

I am so glad that Sheridan invited me to take her class.  I really wanted bedtime to be a smoother more peaceful process.  Sadly, it was not uncommon for me to lose my cool.  Yelling was a normal part of the bedtime routine that I wanted to change.  It was not an overnight change for me.  I needed to be accountable everyday with my journaling and being aware of what was triggering me and how to stop the cycle.  And eventually, I got there.  Bedtime may be chaotic but I am not. Yelling is no longer a part of the process.  Can I get round of applause?!  Seriously, it wasn’t happening with just writing the goal down in my journal.  I needed the knowledge and drills that are a part of Eternal Warriors.

 

What have you been waiting to change about yourself? 

Stop wishing and get started!

This class is great for adults and youth.

A new series of classes begins January 7th.  Sign up here!

“If we are humble and teachable, the Holy Ghost will prompt us to improve and lead us home, but we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way.”  Larry R. Lawrence (source)

by Lani

Disarmament

February 8, 2014 in Adversity, Book, Forgiveness, Lani, Marriage, Parenting, Personal Revelation, Zion by Lani

For [Satan] hath no power over the hearts of the people,
for they dwell in righteousness.
 -1 Nephi 22:26

I originally wrote this on my private family blog. It was August 28, 2011. Felice, Sheridan, Heather, Robyn and I were in the process of selecting the final cover for our book in addition to revising, editing, and polishing the essays and stories we were eager to share with all of you. But Satan was hard at work on us. He did not want The Gift of Giving Life in the hands of the women of the world. He did not want my friendships with my TGOGL sisters to crystalize into the forever kind. But he failed. The book is out there. Little by little, it is touching hearts and changing lives. And the love I have for my TGOGL sisters has deepened with a fierceness that takes my breath away.

We are all together!

This morning I felt impressed that I should share this post, revised today with added insight. God wants you to take the bricks Satan throws at you and build a magnificent house with them. Four ways you can do that…

1) Protect the Achilles’ heels.

Satan has been perfecting his skills for thousands and thousands of years.  He knows where you are weakest. He knows where your loved ones are weakest. An article by Elder Hales, “A Little Heaven on Earth,” in September’s Ensign really struck me.  He says:

achilles-heel2Everyone has weaknesses.  The adversary knows the Achilles’ heel of your loved ones, your friends, your roommates, your brothers and sisters, and your parents.  Do you understand your Achilles’ heel? The secret to a happy marriage [or any relationship] is to protect the Achilles’ heel and not take advantage of the weaknesses of those you know best, love the most, and ultimately can hurt the most.

I know that’s the truth.  I love the image of protecting our loved ones’ Achilles’ heels and our own. If there’s one place we have to reinforce our armor, that’s the place!  I’ve resolved to do better at protecting my loved ones and myself from those awful exploitations.

2) Disarm with love.

Those negative thoughts that sneak into your head–those assumptions, suspicions, and suggestions about a person’s ill intentions–you can pretty much rest assured that those come from the master of all lies.  He wants you to feel hurt and angry and upset.  So, really, when you feel hurt by someone, the counter-intuitive thing is actually the best thing you could do. Put a stopper in your emotional gut reaction, bridle yourself, step back and recognize what’s happening (i.e. Satan is trying to hurt both of you), smile because you’ve beat him in his game, and do the one thing Satan doesn’t want you to do… send love to that person. The people in your life are squeezing you in just the right ways to show you what’s inside of you, teaching you. Some of these people will be crucial in your life’s most important missions. Disarm him (and them) with love.

3) Take courage if you encounter interference.

When you’re feeling especially hard-hit by the adversary, take note.  He will try to tear apart the projects and relationships that have the potential to be the most positive things in your life and the lives of those around you. My sister shared a really wonderful story with me years ago.  I’ll cut and paste it from her email here:

A couple of years ago we had a Stake RS Enrichment meeting where a woman spoke who was from Africa. Her unique circumstances growing up made her ideally suited to translate the Book of Mormon into an obscure native language. She accepted the assignment and then Satan set to work trying to stop her. She experienced extreme trials with her family, and in other relationships, as well as financially, among other things. Listening to those experiences made me wonder if I could/would have given up in her situation. She persevered, however, and was able to finish the task she’d started. She spoke of how glad she was that she didn’t let Satan stop her, and how it was so worth all of the trials she faced, knowing that the people who spoke this language would now have the Book of Mormon. In fact, I remember her saying that the severity of the trials she experienced showed her just how important her assignment was, that Satan would work that hard to stop her. It was a very inspiring story!

There are people Satan is desperate to tear away from you. There are things Satan is desperate to keep you from doing. These are the areas where you must accelerate your efforts. When Satan hits you hard, don’t give up. Arm yourself, fill yourself with love, and work even harder ’cause whatever you’re doing is probably going to be magnificently wonderful… which is why he can’t stand it!

4) Shield yourself, and establish clear boundaries.

nephi-subdues-rebellious-brothers-39641-galleryYes, we are instructed to love our enemies. Yes, sometimes strained relationships are those we should cling to with even more fierceness. BUT… boundaries are important. Shield yourself. Every day. Multiple times a day. Ask God to place a shield of light and love around you. Loving a person despite their weaknesses is good. But allowing someone’s toxic behavior to weaken you is not. If you find there is someone in your life whose behavior is damaging to your soul, establish clear boundaries. Protect yourself and your family in whatever ways God directs you, always sending love to that person. Sometimes strained relationships can blossom into something beautiful. But toxic relationships can also be very harmful. Satan will try to confuse you. But God will guide you to know exactly how to respond to a toxic situation.

*****

When I was in my freshman year of college, a dear friend and I used to repeat a favorite statement to encourage each other: “Bind Satan now.” We know there will come a time when Satan will be literally bound and unable to influence us, but my friend and I often talked about our deep desires to “bind Satan now” within our own hearts and lives, to strive in every way we could to put ourselves beyond his reach.

I often think of the scene in one of the Harry Potter movies where Voldemort gets inside of Harry, torturing him with horrible thoughts and images.  Harry writhes on the floor, in agony.  And then he starts to fight back, filling his mind with happy memories and people who love him.  And love wins.  Voldemort can’t withstand the power of love and flees Harry.  It is one of my all-time favorite movie scenes.

I have felt that struggle between evil/darkness/hate and good/light/love within my own self.  When we feed the love, the light within us burns brighter and brighter until the powers of evil cannot tolerate our presence. As the scriptures teach, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you” (D&C 50:24-25).

That kind of brightness is within our reach. Keep reaching. Keep on pushing back the dark.

by Lani

The Stories I Want My Children to Know

November 8, 2013 in Adversity, Conversion, Death, Faith, Family History, Forgiveness, Lani, Loss, miscarriage, Traditions by Lani

Trigger warning: this post contains loss

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Auguste and Wilhelm 1927

A few days ago I was reading my husband’s Aunt Kathryn’s journal entries from World War II. My father-in-law was born in Bielefeld, Germany. His oldest sister Kathryn was a teenager during the war. She spent years writing of air raids, alarm sirens, homes turned to rubble, hiding in the basement. Heart-wrenching stories, like this one:

10/6/44: Last Saturday, a major terror raid stormed across our Bielefeld. The destruction to the city is horrendous. I have to cry every time I walk through the devastated streets. Many have lost part or all they owned. Our Edith, our star is gone. . . . Her mother is dead as well. Nothing was found of her. Now Edith’s poor father has lost all–wife, daughter, and home. He volunteered for the front lines. I don’t think he will come back.

Kathryn’s mother, Auguste, became pregnant during the war. I ached for her when I encountered Kathryn’s words of what happened in the middle of eating dinner one evening:

1/18/44: Suddenly Mother became quite ill. She left the room and Dad followed. When I followed them, Mother was sitting in the kitchen and cried. She was in a lot of pain. Dad rode his bicycle to get Dr. Hartog. To make a long story short, Mother had to get to the clinic right away, and lost the baby.

We’ve been talking a lot about our ancestors lately in our home. For the past few Family Home Evenings we have shared stories of brave women from our family lines. I told my kids about my great-grandma Cassie losing her husband when she was eight months pregnant with my grandfather. My husband shared his British grandmother’s conversion to the Church. Sometime we will also tell our kids about Kathryn’s war experiences and their great-grandmother Auguste’s miscarriage.

This recent focus on family history stemmed partially from a discussion at church a few weeks ago introducing the new “Family Tree” story-focused portion of the Family Search website. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported some interesting research: “The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.” How much your children know about their family’s story and roots turned out to be “the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.” Those children who know the most about their families tend to be more resilient and better able to cope during stressful situations (See “The Stories That Bind Us,” by Bruce Feiler).

One of the things that struck me most from our discussion at church on this subject was the importance of “telling it like it is.” The most helpful family narratives are those which give the full spectrum of experiences, the ups and downs, the struggles and the triumphs. Telling only rose-colored versions of the past doesn’t provide our children with as effective a narrative from which to build their own lives. Knowing that their parents and ancestors overcame difficulties and heartache gives our children not just people they can relate to on a real, personal level but also encouragement to overcome their own challenges.

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60th Wedding Anniversary (1987)

So I will tell my children that their great-grandmother Auguste had a painful miscarriage during World War II. I will tell them that she endured that loss along with many other losses (of friends and neighbors) and with her hometown being turned to rubble around her. I will tell them that she survived all of that loss and heartache, saw the end of the war, and soon found the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I will tell them that their great-grandparents left their homeland and came to America (to live among the very people who had turned their hometown to rubble) because of their faith. That is strength. That is forgiveness. That is inspiring.

These are the stories I want my children to know.

What stories do you want your children to know?

by Lani

Wounded Warriors

October 4, 2013 in Abortion, Atonement, Depression, Dreams, Energy Healing, Forgiveness, Grief, Intuition, Lani, meditation, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Personal Revelation, Prayer, Pregnancy, Prenatal influences, Priesthood, Priesthood blessings by Lani

A reminder of our official disclaimer:

Though we have made every attempt to be consistent with the correct doctrine and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Gift of Giving Life and all related media are an expression of many of our own thoughts and reflections upon pondering the truths of the gospel that we treasure. Our book, website, and facebook page are not official declarations of doctrine in regards to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to which we belong and cherish our membership. Please make sure to pray and ponder about everything you read.

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to quote a scripture:

“The whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin” (Moroni 8:8).

I absolutely believe those words to be true. In the context of Moroni’s words, I interpret the word “whole” to mean “without sin.” Little children are 100% whole in that sense. However, I have come to understand that while all children are whole, in the sense of being “without sin” themselves, some babies come to this earth already spiritually wounded. I have learned this truth first-hand.

In 2010, when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter (fourth child), something led me to the website of Sarah Hinze. At the time I felt very drawn to Sarah. Sarah has done extensive research into pre-birth experiences, and I found her research fascinating. I felt like God wanted me to connect with her, but I didn’t know why. Simultaneously, I was experiencing (for the first time) antepartum depression. I had never been depressed during a pregnancy before. I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much darkness and misery. It seemed so strange after three previous happy pregnancies.

After the birth, when my baby was eleven months old, I had a striking and memorable dream. Occasionally God speaks to me in dreams. I feel that this was one of those divine messages. Here’s what I saw…

I was walking with someone. I don’t know who it was. The road we were walking down looked like a ghost town. Dark, abandoned buildings. Dirty. Trash everywhere. But we were the only people walking down a deserted road. Eventually, we went over to the gutter on the side of the road, and I picked something up. At first I thought it was just a piece of garbage. But then, as I looked closer, it seemed to transform in my hand. It was a baby!  A tiny baby… only an inch or two or three. It fit in the palm of my hand, and it was alive.

My immediate thought was, “We have to find her parents!” I held her and began searching. As I searched, she grew miraculously (in the space of a few hours) to be five or six years old. A sweet little blonde girl. I took care of her while looking and looking for her parents or at least a suitable home for her. As I cared for her, I felt my heart ache and fill with love for her. Part of me really wanted to keep her, but another part of me thought, “I can’t take care of another kid right now!”

Eventually, after realizing that our search was futile, we brought her to a non-descript building. There was a massive line of children coming from the door. I got the impression that all those children were like her. They were waiting in line because they had nowhere to go. We headed to the back of the line to leave her there, but my heart was torn and breaking. I wanted to keep her, but I also didn’t feel like I could. Then the dream ended.

My interpretation of the dream was that the little girl from my dream was a special spirit who had been rejected and cast aside repeatedly, perhaps through abortions. She was hurting, and she desperately wanted to come to Earth, to be wanted and loved. I felt that I had been chosen to “rescue” her because I have the compassion and experience to know how to nurture a soul acquainted with abandonment. I felt that she would be bringing some of that heartache with her to Earth and that I had the means within me to help her heal. I thought this spirit sister was still waiting to come to my family, that she was a child I had not yet brought to Earth. I also felt that God was calling me to help rescue all the other children like her, castaways waiting for their turn on earth.

IMG_6650When I told my husband about the dream and my interpretation, his response was, “Maybe it’s just telling us where [our youngest daughter] came from?” I assumed he was just speaking from his own lack-of-desire to have any additional children. I wasn’t ready to open my mind to that possibility. No, it couldn’t be her, I thought.

A little over a year later, through a series of divinely-orchestrated events, I finally met and became dear friends with Sarah Hinze—the woman I had admired from afar on the internet since my pregnancy. I devoured several of Sarah’s books and developed a special connection with her. Over the past several decades, Sarah has gathered many stories about the spirits of aborted babies returning to earth. So we started working on some projects together, with a mutual desire to raise awareness about the “castaways” (like the little girl in my dream and countless others like her).

Through my work with Sarah Hinze, I became familiar with two stories that were influential in helping me open my mind and heart to the truth about my dream, my pregnancy depression, and my daughter:

We found that these were the feelings of the little girl in my womb. I was feeling all her feelings with her. . . . we learned that this little soul had been in another body that had been aborted. She was experiencing again the fears, rejection, sadness, and feelings of being not loved or wanted. She was feeling that she was nothing; and that she might possibly be destroyed again (“Learning to Trust“).

 The day I found out I was pregnant I literally danced for joy!  I had known he was coming for a number of years and was so anxious to have him.  I could feel he was pleased I wanted him so much.  Yet, in the ensuing weeks, I could feel a sadness about him.  I did not understand why. . . . In the beginning of February, I finally received the answer I had been looking for.  I was told by a friend who could see and talk to spirits, that Michael was . . . sad because he had been aborted a few years prior by another woman (“Receiving Michael“).

As I pondered these stories, my mind began to open to the possibility that my husband had been right with his interpretation of my dream.

Indeed, our youngest daughter had, over time, grown into a very clingy toddler who cried excessively. Though I had always gone out of my way to help her feel safe and loved and secure, she still seemed to have a constant mistrust of my permanence in her life. Always afraid to let me out of her sight. She was restless, doubtful, anxious, and seemed so often unhappy. And I was exhausted and at my wit’s end wondering what I had done wrong with her. All she had known all her life was love, safety, and compassion. So why was she so miserable?

Then just a few months ago in June, I finally asked God. After feeling little whispers here and there, urging me to open my mind and heart, I got on my knees, and I asked if my youngest daughter was the little girl from my dream. Almost immediately, it was like hundreds of little puzzle pieces clicked into place in my head, and a tidal wave of intense anguish swept over me. I gasped and started sobbing. I felt impressed that the vast portion of the pain I was feeling belonged to my daughter. I believe I was given a small taste of the agony of her festering pre-mortal wounds. And I sobbed and sobbed, bathed in her agony and my own guilt for having been so blind to her wounds (and so resentful of her neediness), for nearly an hour.

Once I had calmed down enough to explain to my husband why I was sobbing, I asked for a priesthood blessing. Within that blessing, I was given divine confirmation of the impressions and revelation I had received. She was the little girl from my dream. She had been cast away multiple times in the past. My heart was broken for her.

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A few weeks later, I had a conversation that served as another witness to my daughter’s pain-filled past. She is now two-and-a-half years old. On that particular morning I had been praying and meditating with the intent to help her heal. So it seemed fitting that she, somehow sensing my focus on her pre-earth self, started a conversation with me about it:

“I was in your belly,” she said.

“Yes, you were!” I said with a smile. “Did you like it in my belly?”

“No,” she answered. And then the moment passed.

Maybe ten minutes later, we were in her bedroom changing her clothes or doing some other morning task, and she said, “I was sad.”

“When were you sad?” I asked.

“In your belly,” she said.

Though I was not excited to learn that my daughter’s womb experiences had been, in fact, painful for her, it was also a relief to hear her little voice speaking the words. I felt that it was both a confirmation that I wasn’t crazy and a confirmation that my efforts were doing something and stirring up something inside of her, which is often one of the first steps to healing. I was happy that something had given her the voice to speak her pain out loud.

I will have to save the rest of our healing journey for another blogpost, but I wanted to at least share this much today. I want to bear my firm testimony that there are many spirits being sent to earth in these days who have “baggage.” They are, of course, whole and pure, in the sense Moroni spoke of. But some of them are also carrying painful wounds that they received before they ever took their first breaths. I believe that many of these children are being compensated for their previous trials and pain through being sent to loving homes where they can be nurtured in peace and heal. Perhaps one of your children (or a future child) is among those wounded souls. These special spirits need special mothering, tenderness, empathy, compassion. You can read more of their stories HERE.

I have written about the Spirit of Elijah in our book. I believe these special wounded spirits are among those Malachi was making reference to when he said:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children” (Malachi 4:5-6).

I invite you to turn your heart to these children. I invite you to gain your own testimony of their existence. I invite you to resolve to do whatever you can to help them heal. It is my belief that some of the most valiant and gifted of heavenly fathers children are among them, and it is for this very reason that Satan has (often repeatedly) thwarted their entrance into mortality. They are the armies that will eventually destroy him. Let’s help empower them to do so.

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by Lani

Receiving Michael

May 27, 2013 in Abortion, Adversity, Atonement, Birth Stories, Cesarean, Energy Healing, Forgiveness, hospital birth, Lani, Loss, Personal Revelation, Prayer, Pregnancy, Prenatal influences by Lani

The following story was originally published on my new website theyremember.org. “they remember” is a project I created in partnership with Sarah Hinze, author, pre-birth experience expert, spiritual giant, and my mentor. We are sharing stories of unborn spirits, particularly those who were previously aborted. Sarah has written extensively about these “castaways” and what happens to them. I, too, have had spiritual experiences centered around these special souls in need of rescue. Shari graciously gave permission for me to share her story here. I love the beautiful healing journey Shari and her son participated in as he made his way to Earth. -Lani

Receiving Michael

By Shari

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In the summer of 2003, I was sitting with a couple of women friends and we were discussing various things of a spiritual nature.  One of the women who was particularly in tune, said she perceived a man and a boy’s spirit present in the room. I felt that it was my grandfather, and the next child I was to have.  I felt him say that this was Michael, and he was very special.  He also let me know that he was with the family and was within their care.

It was not until the fall of 2005 that I actually became pregnant with Michael.  The day I found out I was pregnant I literally danced for joy!  I had known he was coming for a number of years and was so anxious to have him.  I could feel he was pleased I wanted him so much.  Yet, in the ensuing weeks, I could feel a sadness about him.  I did not understand why.  I tried to focus on him and figure out why he was not happy, but it was difficult getting in tune while dealing with morning sickness.

In the beginning of February,  I was feeling much better.   At that time, I finally received the answer I had been looking for.  I was told by a friend who could see and talk to spirits, that Michael was grateful I was going to be his mother and that he was sad because he had been aborted a few years prior by another woman.  Now he had been reassigned to me.  I was informed that he would probably be a difficult child with emotional issues, and that I would need to raise him knowing the Lord.  I was not terribly shocked, actually I was more relieved to understand why had felt the way I did, but I was concerned about having an emotionally difficult child.  I had one already that was difficult, and this being my fifth child,  I was not sure I could handle another one.  Yet with information comes understanding and possible solutions to problems.

About a month later I was pondering the situation right before going to bed.  I felt impressed to pray for Michael. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I was given the words to pray for him so that, through Christ, he could release his feelings of abandonment, rejection, trauma and fear.  I prayed that he would see his previous mother through the eyes of the Savior and feel his love for her so he could forgive her.  I felt him let go of the negative emotions and forgive.   As he did so, I could feel his spirit getting lighter as a sweet sense of relief came over him.  I also prayed he would forgive his previous father and the doctor who performed the abortion.  This was not as intense as the forgiveness of his mother, but I felt it was important.  I believe it is important to come to earth as unencumbered by grief and trauma as possible and I wanted Michael to have the healthiest and happiest start to his life with us as he could.  As the prayer continued,  I could feel the Savior’s love for Michael.  I felt him bless him with specific spiritual gifts to help him with his mission in this life.

Finally, the time came to give birth.  Michael showed signs of distress, and consequently was born by C-section. Within the weeks following I prayed to understand why he was born this way.  I was given the impression that he had experienced enough trauma and was being spared a difficult birth.  I believe this healing process has altered what could have been a difficult and frustrating childhood. At the time of this writing Michael is almost 4 months old and he couldn’t be a sweeter, happier baby.  I am grateful beyond words for the Savior’s intervention and healing of my sweet son.

Update 2011: Michael has been a wonderful, sweet and easy going child.  The only effects I can see from the trauma he experienced is that he is a bit more fearful and cautious than my other children.  He is almost five.

Chain Breaking

April 29, 2013 in Angels, Energy Healing, fasting, Felice, Forgiveness, Intuition, Missions, Personal Revelation by Progressive Prophetess

chain through heart hole in post

On December 21, 2012, (the day we transitioned fully into the Aquarian age,) I was weighed down with the heaviest energy of my entire life. A few days before, I started doing some energy work that I didn’t realize would have such a huge effect on me. I blogged about this on Dec 20th,here. If you read the blog post, you can feel the intensity—but the following day, the 21st, was even more intense. I felt like I was feeling all the hopelessness and despair of all of my ancestors and all of my husband’s ancestors too. It was so heavy I almost couldn’t bear it. I understood why people commit suicide (and several of my ancestors did). By evening when it hadn’t cleared up, I asked for help. A friend guided me through an imagery journey where I asked to connect with an angel of Joy. The following vision occurred, (I quote this is from my journal):

The angel of joy appeared, who was actually Heavenly Mother. She filled me with light and she told me that I was strong. She said she knew that I didn’t want to be strong but that it was my spiritual gift, so stop wishing it wasn’t. That was eye opening. She filled with me light and also helped me break the chains holding my body down. [They were very very heavy. I had a physical feeling of not being able to move on my bed.] Others came to help (ancestors?) but they couldn’t do it without my help. So I took the light within me and blasted the chains and freed them too.

The angel said that I’d feel joy when I woke up. I thought she meant in the morning, but I realize she could mean “wake up” as in become conscious and awake to the things of God.

 It was a strange imagery journey for me. It took a very long time to break the chains and when it was all over, I was still left with a feeling of not totally understanding or being free of them.

 Last week after talking to the amazing Sarah Hinze (premier researcher on Pre-Birth Experiences – which are similar and sometimes cross over with Near Death Experiences) about one of her books in progress tentatively called Chain Breakers, I remembered this vision. I now realize what it was about.

 As Sarah told me about her forthcoming book, she said that some of us have a mission in this life as chain breakers. As soon as she said it, I knew I am one, and so is my husband.

So what does it mean to be a chain breaker? In my experience, chain breaking is no small thing. Those of us who volunteered in the pre-existence to be chain breakers for our family lines have a heavy burden to bear. We come into this world with the energetic weight of generations of sins and sorrows and behavior patterns from our ancestors. Many people think because they have had certain traits/tendencies since they were born, that it is part of their personality. However, anger, defensiveness, harshness, addiction, fear, chronic depression, anxiety, guilt, grudges, etc, are not personality traits—they are energy distortions. And if you look through your family line and see them there too, they are most likely chains that need to be broken. (Please note: negative emotions aren’t necessarily a bad thing—and we shouldn’t try to do away with them, but sometimes emotions can become programs that take a life of their own.)

  Carlfred Broderick, a noted family therapist and author, wrote about this principle of chain breakers.

“. . . My profession as a family therapist has convinced me that God actively intervenes in some destructive lineages, assigning a valiant spirit to break the chain of destructiveness in such families.  Although these children may suffer innocently as victims of violence, neglect, and exploitation, through the grace of God some find the strength to “metabolize” the poison within them, refusing to pass it on to future generations. Before them were generations of destructive pain; after them the lines flow clear and pure. Their children and children’s children will call them blessed.”

 

These chains CAN be broken! Many such things that were once thought genetic are actually epigenetic (which means “on top of the genes”), and they can be cleared or pulled, like threads, from the family tapestry. One day in the spirit world, all of your ancestors and posterity will thank you!

 There are people close to me in my life that I can see quite clearly are chain breakers, like for example, my husband, but they themselves have no idea this is what they are carrying.

 Chain breaking is not just a selfish quest for self improvement—all of your ancestors and posterity are counting on you to do it. The weight of chain breaking can be lightened immensely just by understanding what it is you are doing. But if a person doesn’t understand it, the sheer heaviness of the burden can shut them down, as it almost did me on December 21, 2012. What a day to reach impact with your mission. Wow. I didn’t realize then what was happening, but I am awake to it now and what a joy! I also realize that it is my mission to help others who are chain breakers.

 So how does one break chains?

 Because they are not physical chains, but energetic/metaphysical, they have to be addressed on the same level. So what is energy healing? It is all kind of things. For example, saying kind words to someone or giving them a hug is energy healing. So is hypnotherapy. So is guided imagery. So is anointing someone’s head with oil and pronouncing a blessing. Basically we all energy and any techniques that are based on this life-giving, universal energy (which we know is the light of Christ) are called energy healing. As far as professionals, there are so many different modalities of energy healing out there (I have studied many of them and every time I turn around there is a new one—that’s not a bad thing. It shows God has many channels.) Many of these techniques are fabulous. Some are great but I find rather slow. Some are amazingly super fast. Sometimes it takes a whole combination of different tools to break your combination of chains.

 FYI, not all “energy healing” or “energy healers” are a good fit for Christ-centered people because they require you to give away your agency, which will only wrap you up in more chains. (The main things to avoid are anything that requires you to let an outside spirit use your body or anything that requires recreational drugs or psychedelic drugs even if they occur in nature. Other than that, just follow inspiration and trust your intuition. All healing comes from Christ, but the facilitator’s beliefs and energy will effect the healing.)

 Each person’s chain breaking path will be unique. However, there are several energy healing tools that I recommend everyone include in their recipe.

 Pray: Prayer is energy, and the spoken word is the most powerful form of energy because it is how worlds were created: “All things are done by his word….” If you are thinking Yeah yeah, prayer. I always pray,then maybe you should pray to know what to pray for. Pray for the Spirit to make intercession. Pray to see things as they really are. We each have our own reality, but God’s reality is the one that counts and is the one that will change you. Chain breaking is an important mission and you will not be without legions of angels and ministering spirits to help you once you take this action. Unified prayer is powerful. So pray for others and ask them to join you in prayer for a specific intent.

paryer partners

 The Temple: Pray in the temple and put names in the temple.  Prayer in the temple is very powerful. There are angels there in the circle who will take your prayers directly up to God. I have never seen these angels, but I have a testimony of them.

Find and take your own family names to the temple. This is not doctrine, but I have this belief that energy healing, while it will heal our living ancestors through our genetic line, will only heal our dead ancestors if they have been sealed to us. Why do I think this? Just a hunch, and lots of hints from the scriptures. Like these:

 And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect. (D&C 128: 15)

And Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Joseph Smith says this about the above scripture: I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. (D&C 128:18)

I’m sure people disagree with me about energy healing and sealing, and I’d love to hear thoughts in the comments. My rationale is that on earth we are bound by genetic links, but in the afterlife, if not sealed, we are kind of free floating –all sons and daughters of God, but in that world a son might be older than a mother and the family linkage is just not the same. I admit I have no concrete evidence on this, but let’s assume for a moment it is true. And that the only action you were to take was go seal some people together—suddenly any and all “energy healing” that was waiting to be applied to that person, is applied, and then travels all the way forward and back through all the linked generations. It goes far and wide. Not just to you but everyone in the shade of the tree will benefit.

Also, you will benefit in other ways too. Spencer W. Kimball said, “When we do our family names in the temple, we are building our own sanctified army that we can call on when we need them.”  That is a paraphrase of his quote.

 Meditate: Prayer is when we talk to God. Meditation is when God talks to us. Meditation is an energetic technology that opens the combination lock to God’s door so He can pour out his Spirit upon us. In Isaiah 55 God says “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways.” But we learn in Lectures on Faith, The Spirit is the Mind of God, therefore, if we have His spirit, our thoughts and ways can be His ways. Certain forms of Meditation like Kundalini Yoga also can clear the generations as well as help us to change the patterns in our lives so that we don’t re-create the same problems. If you want to know more about Kundalini Yoga Meditation you can take my next webinar or sign up for my newsletter so that you can download me free e-book when it is ready in about a week!

baby's hand in giyan mudra

 

 Fast

Fasting (going without food and drink or some other thing for 24 hours while praying for a specific intent) is an amazing kind of energy healing. In Isaiah 58, God lays out the blessings of the fast. They are enormous and they specifically mention chainbreaking. Here they are:

“And they that shall be of they [your posterity] shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to well in.” –Isaiah 58:12

My personal experience is that whenever I fast, God guides me to a new energy healing technique or he increases my spiritual gifts and intuition.

 Oh and one more thing: this is actually the first thing one should do before doing any healing, because that is the pattern that Christ set, is to cast out any darkness, such as devils, demons, or unclean spirits. Always do this in the name of Jesus Christ as this is the fastest and best way. And these are the signs of his followers: that “they cast out devils in my name.” Then ask Christ to shield you in His love and power. Contrary to popular belief, devils are pretty common and like to hide out in us and act like they aren’t there. I have had them, and I frequently cast them out of my clients. They feed on our natural negative tendencies/weaknesses and exaggerate them. I’ll write a post on this soon. But for now, even if you don’t think you could have this problem, just humor me and cast them out anyway. It only takes a few seconds to say the words and command them to go. I recommend doing it every day during your prayers.

 I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this soon since I feel like I am just learning in many ways. I welcome thoughts and comments.Also, if you have a story about chain breaking that you would like to submit to Sarah, she is still looking for stories for her book. You can find her at www.sarahhinze.com

 

by Robyn

“Repairs” A Positive Parenting Principle

February 20, 2013 in Atonement, Forgiveness, Guest Post, Parenting, Robyn, Uncategorized by Robyn

I asked my brother-in-law, a Marriage & Family Therapist, to write on the subject of strengthening family relationships. More specifically I wanted him to share a little about making “repairs” and their significance to the gospel and family. – Robyn

 

“Repairs” A Positive Parenting Principle

By John D. Ellis, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapist

Ellis Family

picture taken by Adrienne Lauaki

 

As parents we mirror relationship dynamics.  It is important that we model to our children healthy relationship behaviors that promote love, trust, fairness and healing.  Interpersonal relationships can be hurtful at times—leaving us emotionally damaged—distrusting the world around us. “Repairs” are not just a principle to offset the harsh nature of people and relationships, but a way to experience greater relationship satisfaction.

What does it mean to “repair?”

“Repairs” are an interactional process. In a gospel sense repairs involve accessing the Atonement through repentance and forgiveness or for just general healing.  “Relationship Repairs” are most commonly executed with the stem phrases “I am sorry…I apologize…I regret…Can you forgive me…”  The most important thing to do when apologizing is to follow through with behaviors that reinforce the apology.  Next, find a way to reconnect and foster the closeness in the relationship. We want to show that we our trustworthy, fair and genuinely loving to each other.

Spend a moment pondering how you initiate a relationship repair.  Maybe you speak the language of gifts.  Maybe you speak the language of service, positive words of affirmation, or even touch. With children the best language is that of time and attention.  Expressing love is a form of repair. The only caution I would give is to not buy repairs. Be careful to speak the language of your child (See Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages of Children for more information on love languages.)

An example

The parent yells, “Stop that!” (Heavy steps…Spank…Crying)  “We don’t pull your sisters hair.”  (Child is being dragged by the arm to their room.)  “You stay in here until I come get you (harsh tone).”  “I hate you,” declares the child.  Parent screams, “I don’t want to hear it!”  Corporal punishment and disciplining in anger necessitates a “repair.”

A “repair” in this case would result in the parent first reflecting on their own behavior and how they could have responded differently.  After both parent and child have regained composure, the parent then approaches the child embracing them, and expressing regret for having acted in anger and using violence to solve the problem.  A “repair” would be the parent then addressing the child’s feelings and assisting them in resolving the emotional distress of that interaction and that of struggling to play nice with his little sister.

The apology is not enough.  Throughout the day the parent should then strive to find ways to assist the child to feel support, love and trustworthiness again by speaking their love language.  So while continually disciplining, guiding, and teaching, the parent is consciously taking time to play and care for the child in the language that deposits love into their emotional bank account.

Emotional Bank Accounts

It is important to make repairs to keep our relationships balanced.  Therapists have what we call relationship ledgers or the emotional bank accounts.  Relationships need a healthy measure of reciprocity. In a given day we have many routine interactions along with the negative and positive deposits or withdrawals from the relationship.  Our relationships are a sacred resource to feel safe, and meet emotional needs; primarily, feeling accepted, understood and cared for.  Spend a moment and ponder that analogy.  Then ask yourself if you are making too many withdrawals versus deposits.   Repairs are a form of deposits.

Repairs are still needed even if the discipline process was handled well. This does not undermine a parents’ power or control.  It is always important to show an added measure of love and acceptance for a person after chastising them, disciplining them, or holding them accountable for socially inappropriate behaviors (D&C 121:43).

How do we know if we are successful with repairs?

How do you determine if a repair has been made? The emotional connection essentially will not be hampered by discipline. If you are feeling love for and from your child after negative interactions have occurred than repairs are more than likely present.  We all know what it feels like emotionally to be forgiven or to have forgiven another.  Our children will trust us and not fear us.  If your child is exhibiting fear in their interactions with you, repairs and turning towards are not occurring as they should in that relationship.

Why is this important?

In the end, “repairs” are a human relationship principle that needs to be exhibited for a relationship to be healthy and worth the effort to continue participation.  When the cost is too great we as individuals emotionally cut off our partners, children, relatives and friends.  Emotional cutoff is detrimental to all parties. The scriptures illustrate the consequences of emotional cutoff; as portrayed in the story of Lehi’s family.  Two civilizations arose and fell, suffering at the hands of each other for centuries on the account of Laman and Lemuel’s emotional cutoff.  I often wonder if Nephi’s lament (an eloquent depiction of inner turmoil) didn’t include feelings of loss and regret concerning his dealings with his brethren.  I imagine Lehi had his own lament as we see in his dream of his sons not partaking of the fruit. Similar things will occur in our families if we neglect to make repairs and turn towards one another.  Being prophets didn’t exempt Lehi and Nephi from experiencing the dramatic effects of emotional cutoff as a mortal family.   At times it may be necessary for our physical/emotional safety that we experience an emotional cutoff.

The Lord allows things to occur for his divine reasons.  He knew we would not function as perfect parents and He has left us with the Atonement that allows us to repair emotional damage. We have much to lose and gain in family relationships. In the end, all will be made well and we will be added unto if we have been faithful in our testimonies. The Lord has given us many promises so that we can proceed with faith and hope.

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Any further questions regarding parenting principles/strategies can be addressed by attending John’s Parenting Workshops. (Thursday, Feb 21, 7-9 pm $25 person $35 couple)  Private groups are given discounted rates, please register. Workshops can be held in-home or at other venues if desired. He is also available for remote therapy (skype). ($30-$50 for 30-50 min. sessions).

To find out more about Sequioa Family Therapy Services visit their website, http://sequoiafamilytherapyservices.vpweb.com/ or contact us via email, sequoiafamilytherapy@gmail.com or by phone, 801.874.5875

 

by Lani

Birth Story: The Miracle of Forgiveness

February 11, 2013 in Birth Stories, Book, Forgiveness, Lani, miscarriage, Personal Revelation, Priesthood blessings by Lani

The following is the birth story of one of our book’s contributors, Deanna. She received a beautiful Christmas gift this past year. I adore this story. It teaches so many important truths. I hope you love it too. (Please be aware that the first paragraph of this story contains a loss.) -Lani

 

The Miracle of Forgiveness

By Deanna

“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.” -1 Samuel 1:27

We had found out we were pregnant Christmas 2011. We were very excited because we had been trying for months even though we’d had no fertility problems conceiving our other two children. Then we miscarried. When I went to see my OB, the nurse asked when I had had a positive pregnancy test. I said, “Christmas morning.” She expressed sympathy and then the words, “You will have that same baby in your arms by the following Christmas,” came into my mind.

Later, I realized that the reason I had miscarried and also the reason I was having trouble getting pregnant was because I was holding a grudge against someone who had deeply offended me. I could not let it go and started to have anxiety attacks and depression. I prayed to be able to forgive her, but I couldn’t reconcile between forgiveness and being taken advantage of by her.

In order for the revelation to be fulfilled (me having that baby by Christmas) I had to conceive late March/early April. That just so happened to be General Conference weekend and “coincidentally” I was also ovulating. Most of the talks were about forgiveness. All along I knew I had to forgive her, but I didn’t know how to do that. During Conference and especially Pres. Monson’s closing remarks, I knew exactly what I had to do. I resolved to do it and sort of made a deal with the Lord that if I did it and forgave her that I would be able to conceive.

We did conceive, and my due date was Dec. 21. I had been late with my other two, so I wasn’t sure that I would even have the baby by Christmas. I started to wonder if the revelation was just “Christmas time.” On the night of Dec. 23 with no real contractions and me feeling very anxious, my husband gave me a blessing. In it he said, “The Lord will fulfill His promises to you.” I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I had faith that he would be born on the perfect day for him.

My contractions (that really let me know “this was it”) started at 1:00 a.m. on Christmas morning. Our son was born on Christmas day at 1:25 p.m. The Lord indeed fulfilled His promise to me.

santababy