The Measuring Stick

"For after [you] hath filled the measure of [your] creation, [you] shall be crowned with glory, even with the presence of God the Father;" ~ D&C 88:19

30 Years Later

Yesterday, mid the misty rain of the American Fork Canyon in Utah, I was baptized in living water flowing from a source high in the mountains tumbling above me. The water was cold, refreshingly cold. It caused me to gasp for breath as the water rushed over me as I rose from my immersion. In my mind, a thought passed. A breath of rebirth as a baby from the womb. I was also aware that at that moment the sun had appeared from behind the clouds. It warmed the air around me and stopped the rain for a time. In my ear, my husband whispered, ” I asked for this as a sign of God’s approval. He has done it.” I looked at him, then to the sun hanging in its celestial space. A smile crossed my lips because I knew He would. He has done that before for me. We embraced.

30 years ago today, I stepped into the waters of baptism with my father. He baptized me in a font in a building. I remember little about that day. I have photographs to remind me. I can remember family, presents, a new dress, smiles, hugs, and congratulations. Yesterday, I stepped into the waters of baptism with my husband. He baptized me in living waters free flowing and there was only family, friends and mountains.

There is much I have learned since that first baptism. I have learned that a person can convert to the Lord many, many times. Each time He offers baptism as a way to recommit yourself to walk the path back to God. Alma, in the Book of Mormon, re-baptized himself along with Helam. (Mosiah 18) All the prophets in the Book of Mormon who teach of Christ to a group of people who have moved in a direction away from God are offered baptism as a way to show their re-commitment to following Him, to honoring Him, and to keeping His commandments whatever they may be. They are baptized into a body of believers Christ calls His church. This church is informal, uncorrelated, and fluid. This church relies on community, oneness, relief of the poor, and love. It is not corporate, nor business-like. It moves with the Spirit of God. Burning hearts with His Love. Converting with freedom of thought, freedom of worship, and freedom from man. He is the Leader of all, He is whom they love and honor, He is whom they seek. Love flows freely, all are lower than their neighbor. All seek to lift another higher than themselves. That is the church I have been baptized into. The church defined by Christ as His. A body of believers, no more, no less.

On September 21, 2012 I wrote this:  https://themeasuringstick.wordpress.com/2012/09/

It has taken 2 years to the day for this to be accomplished. Why so long?

There was so much more I needed to learn, to hear, and to understand. The Lord in his way has provided me with all I needed to be ready for what I did yesterday. Again, it had to fall on the Autumnal Equinox, an auspicious time of year. A time of remembering. It was also on a Sunday in the Rocky Mountains. I could not have planned it better because I didn’t. But, as I think about all of the significant events that have led to this moment in my life, I see nothing but the hand of God. He is mindful of me, of us, as women. He has sent a teacher, a servant who is reminding us of the fragility of God’s work here. We must remember and recommit to live God’s law. With exactness. With courage. With willing hearts, broken and contrite. The Lord is moving in the lives of men and women again. He is asking for our listening ears. Be deaf, dumb, and blind to the words of men. Hear your Lord, speak His words of Truth, and see Him for who He truly is.

Your Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, whose meekness and love knows no end.

Amen.

An Intermediary Prayer

Oh Lord, my God:

My head hangs in shame for the state of all things. For this generation. For our forgetfulness. Must we stay in darkness? Can the light of truth not burst upon us? Can we be that stubborn, that unwilling, that distracted? Are there no valiant ones left?

I know I have heard you. It is faint, but I have heard you. I am trying. We are trying. When your servant feels hopeless for our generation, that we will not see Zion, I cannot bear it. There are those who desire to reason with you, to speak with you, to know you. We are here. We are waiting. Do not pass us by because of this generation and its blindness to you. We want the truth. We seek it and ask for it as you command. I have heard it spoken in the Rockies and in the desert. I believe your Word. I believe your Prophet sent as Elias to remind us of what we have lost. And I believe we have lost greatly.

I do not trust this world’s men. They twist like snakes. They formulate their words like lawyers and thieves. Two faces looking at and two tongues lapping up the sick sweetness of this world. I do not understand fully what I desire, but I know it is not that.

What I do know is what I feel. I feel confident when I read your Word. I feel knowledge filling me in spaces long empty. I feel stronger in my resolve to receive more because it is so delightful to be connected to the Holy Spirit, your Mind and the Father’s. I feel empathy for others. I feel great desires to serve them even though I am at a loss as to how. I feel a smile cross my lips when I think of those sweet movements within that whisper of your guidance and your awareness of me. All of these things and more tell me what I desire. A relationship with you. A knowledge of you. There are many who feel the same. You cannot ignore them. All we need is correctness in thought and idea to change our faith and our hearts. I believe it is being given oh so slowly and carefully. A baby’s portion. Are we that young in our understanding? I thought I could stand meat, but I choke on the milk, don’t I?

Lord, long ago I thought I had found everything there was to find about you. I was wrong to think that. How do you measure the immeasurable? How can you bottle the greatness of God? Forgive me. But, now I am without any form of thought about you. Has this been the reason all along? To strip those long implanted thoughts from me and start again? It would makes sense to do that. Is this what needs to be done for this generation as well? Oh, what a work. How will it be done?

 ~ ~ ~

“One person at a time.” …is the answer that comes.  “I am mindful of you. Do not lose faith. I am the Lord Jesus Christ. Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. Those sheep that will hear my voice will hear and come. I will find them. Be of good cheer, you are among them. Your life is in accordance with my will.”

He is gone again. For a time. He leaves me with peace in my mind and heart. A deep breath and a still confidence surrounds me. He’s given me strength to move forward again. Even though my questions linger, they are small again. He will answer more of them in time.

He will show His wonders. To me or to all. It is my choice.

It is your choice and it is our choice.

An After Easter Hymn

I have slowly watched the Vernal Spring roll into our little town.

I have relished the Blood Moon and the disturbance its presence has stirred within me. I pondered why the Jewish collective here did not invite the public to their Seder this year. I missed it. I expressed gratitude to those who held their own Seder and shared their worship with the world through their blogs. I noticed that I wanted to worship during Holy Week with deep symbolism and introspection. I wanted to feel the reasons why things happened the way they did some two thousand years ago.

I have noticed the smallest of paper-white flowers emerging. The viney green-ness of the Clematis outside my door. Daffodils bloom in yellow silliness, tipping their tea and saucers to the ground. How careless! I’ve smiled at the riot of color given everyday in ecstatic joy of the season breaking upon us. Such obedience, such worship, such love.

My heart breaks with the suffering of others. Those that do not always see the brilliance of God around them. Those that see the ground more than the sky. Their burdens heavy, breaking their backs, and weighing their hearts with one-thousand cares and worries. I wonder why they must drag when others fly. My heart desires their equality with others. A balancing of weights. A one-ness I cannot ever hasten.

Easter is an interesting time, like Christmas. A time when many different symbols mean many different things to many different people. I strive to find value in all those different symbols because they mean a special something to someone out there. The value I hold to my symbols may not be as intense to another. Their perspective through years of trial or learning will be greater than mine or vice versa. Their earned perspective may just enhance my symbols. They may teach me something. They may enliven an old symbol gone dead. We must all learn from each other and be willing to show that our perspective may have been incorrect. Maybe God has planned for you a re-awakening and that symbol must die along with your supposed knowledge of it? Maybe that other person is the answer to that question? Maybe the years of pondering, seeking, and asking has enlightened them and they are meant to share their experience with you? Can you say that you would pass that by just to be right? To be the stubborn, prideful one? The one who says, “How can this type of person, with this type of belief ever be correct or offer me anything in the way of understanding God and this world?”

I have experienced this. I have been that person and I have been the other person. I have had conversations turn to stubborn digging in of heels. I have done it myself. I have resisted the pull of God too long. I do not want that within me any longer. I want the Vernal Spring within my heart. Springing anew every time I encounter another wayfaring soul, whether they see the world like I do or not. They are all valuable to God, thus they must be valuable to me. They offer time, talent, experience, trial, faith, zen, peace, heartache, pain, suffering, new eyes, new ears, and with that new visions; new understanding. We must pull all the precious fruit we can from the trees placed before us. There is so much to learn. How can we say we have all there is and need no more?

It is frightening to face a new idea. With all its fuzzy edges, undefined. It seems to have no end. No definite borders or boundaries. No safe place. I believe God is very much like this. When you find Him somewhere He is incomprehensible for a time. He seems to be questionable, unsure, unsafe. A step out into the darkness. He has no borders, He is everlasting. He has no boundaries, He is eternal. Our ideas should never be confined or end. We should be ever expanding, pushing our boundaries and expectations.  Always increasing in light and truth. Pulling like a black hole upon a helpless galaxy. Hungry for more and more starlight, sunlight, Godlight. We are rusty at this. Man has squelched the desire with his iron yoke of a “complete understanding”.

Through the experience of stepping out into the darkness and insecurity you feel at that moment God approaches you, you deepen your faith that He will be there the next time you feel that feeling. You will grow to understand His peculiar ways. His soft voice, meek and mild. The curious nature of God. It becomes delightful to feel the surprise of unknowing something. It no longer seems like darkness or insecurity, it becomes a journey through a cave of wonders lit by the smallest candle. He then illuminates the way and shows you His wonders. Crystal pure and jaw-dropping. Things revealed that raise the eyebrows and shake the head. Eventually you approach each new idea with curiosity. You seek to examine minutely like some scientist out of his league.

“It is unfathomable! It is impossible?,” you exclaim.

“No,” He says, “with Me all things are possible. Look, see. I have more to share with you if you are willing.”

You are child-like in seeking this God you know nothing about and you admit it. Finally. You allow Him to speak His own language to you. You no longer cover Him with the words of man. He is freely able to speak and you freely listen. With open heart and mind, He pours Himself into you and overflowing, you cannot contain. Almost drowning, you ask Him to hold back for a time, that you may think upon these things. Your mind is still grey matter and unable to keep up. He will wait patiently for you to prepare for your next installment. But, you mustn’t forget to return and receive. He is still waiting for some of us.

It is time to go back for more.

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