About: "The Tentacles of Divine Providence"

1929 General Conference by Elder Orson F. Whitney said:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return...”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Children vs Grandchildren

I often hear my friends who are crossing the threshold from being parents to being grandparents talk about their experience of enjoying their grandchildren and therefore feeling as though it is "way better than having children." It is often interesting to look at the faces of the children who are the parents of those grandchildren, often standing nearby or within internet reading distance and wonder what must be going through their minds? Sometimes, it may be easy for that child in those moments to mentally return to an appreciation for the patience and service of their parents, or it might be easy to hear messages that are painful from feeling unloved or guilt for not being better. Of course no parent would want their child to feel that way, nor are they saying anything besides "kids at home are a lot of work and we are done with that stage and it feels good. Now aren't these little ones great."

I can see the attractive benefits of grand-parenthood and I certainly look forward to it. However, being a parent that is in that challenging stage of life (soon to be six 10 and under) with a lack of sleep, messes everywhere, discipline and teaching all the time, and very little time for my wife and I together, I wonder if I appreciate the journey? This morning I realized that many of the most valuable times and experiences of life are not those when the times are easiest but when I am sacrificing, working, and putting forth my all in the service of someone else. I guess I am saying that ease is not what it is all about. Joy is part of pain. Relief is part of suffering. Sacrifice is part of reward. Toil is part of rest. So, I am not anxious to get to the days when they have their own, it will come soon enough. I am anxious to love them now. I am also anxious to help them know how truly special and important being a parent can be by letting them know that they are really no sacrifice at all. I also truly want to appreciate how difficult it is now, and what it means to learn from that. And I can honestly say that I will miss them at home, when the day comes that they will have their own little ones.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"The Peacegiver" by James L. Ferrell

From my favorite book "The Peacegiver" by James L. Ferrell comes the following story that teaches us how to practically access the power of the Atonement. In "The Tentacles of Divine Providence" I quote brother Ferrell's definition of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

I hope you enjoy the following clip:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

God Loves Broken Things

In the book I shared the story of Jack Christianson who owned a dog named "Cassie." The story speaks of his love for this short haired pointer and her prowess as a hunting "brag dog." Once when she is supposed to show off her skill to family and friends she turns in an embarrassing performance. Much to Brother Christianson's dismay and frustration she will not obey his commands. After scolding her harshly, he roughly tosses her in the back of his truck and takes her home. When it came time to clean her he gently covers her body with his hands looking for burrs from the weeds. He discovers a deep bleeding wound and suddenly realizes why she was not willing to perform. She was in pain, wounded, and hurting.

I love the story. At one time or another aren't we all hurting? At one time or another are we not all in pain? Yet there is One who knows, who has been there, who is watching. He can heal all wounds.

I love the following video. God truly does love broken things.

Easter: A time of Consecration

In the book "The Tentacles of Divine Providence," I shared my favorite quote from Elder Maxwell which reads:

"...the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory!"

Consecration, complete and total in all perfection has only been known once. In all our striving and all our sacrifice, we will never reach that perfection of will that only the Son of God has reached. However, through Him and of Him we all can reach further than we ever could on our own. This easter season I personally will pay close attention to how my life mirrors, or fails to mirror that of the Savior of all mankind. The One who did the will if His Father in all things.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 2011 Conference References: President Boyd K. Packer: "Let it Go..."

I was especially pleased to hear President Packer repeat a priceless story that was told in conference in 1987 and is included in "The Tentacles of Divine Providence." It is the story of a young man who lost his wife in childbirth. (see min: 9:49 in the talk below) He used it this time to encourage all who are having difficulty seeing past the faults of men in the past to "let it go."

April 2011 Conference References: Ministering of Angels, prayers recorded in heaven, & the promises made to faithful parents and grandparents.

Elder Nelson spoke to the those who are approaching their later years and are concerned about their children and grandchildren. There were 3 places in his talk that he referenced doctrines discussed in "The Tentacles of Divine Providence." He referenced the power that angels have to protect and watch over those we love (see min. 6:55-7:27 in the video below). He also continued speaking about the power of prayer in regard to our loved ones (see 7:28-9:15). He then referenced the promises given to those that are righteous through the ordinances of the Melkizedek priesthood (see: 11:25-13:55) and quoted Isaiah and 1 Ne 21:25 in saying that God will save our children (see 12:45). In the context of the plan of salvation, we can know that there are means to do just that.

Just as an observation it seems that we have seen an increase of apostles, elders and sisters speaking in conference and referencing angels in their talks.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 2011 Conference references: Angels are our family

There were a number of talks that spoke of the attendant blessings of angels in this April conference. There was a particular story that came from this talk by Elder Kent F. Richards. At 8:08 he tells the touching story of angels attending to the needs of a 13 yr old girl as she was in intensive care in the hospital. Her comment to her father later was: "Daddy, all the children here in the intensive care unit have angels helping them."