Miracles Amongst Us – Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for the miracle of healing. We have a new kitten named Shadow in the family and almost a week after he joined us he darted under my sister’s youngest’s feet at the last, and worst, moment. Now it’s fairly normal for animals to get stepped on in one way or another and to recover just fine. There’s just one thing. Shadow’s head was stepped on while they were on tile. I won’t go into detail on how Shadow looked or what he sounded like. We asked our neighbor to come and give Shadow a priesthood blessing and fasted and prayed as well.

“Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks…But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.” (Alma 34: 18-20, 26-27)

Shadow is shortly recovering. The Lord was merciful to our little kitty and for that I am forever grateful, but I know that this is not all. The Lord has been very good to my family, has blessed us in many things, though Shadow’s life is one of the greatest to me right now.

“For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.” (D&C 82:3)

“And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and they naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.” (Alma 34:28)

We have been given much this past week and now it is our turn to give as well.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (Will update link when able.)

It’s the little reminders

Integrity is something that you have to decide to have for yourself. Others can force you to be honest with them by use of consequences, though it’s always been easier to do so without prompting in my experience. The choice to be honest with yourself is not something that you always need to be worrying about, though it is something that you should take the time to think about. Kind of like taking an inventory on yourself once a month just like you can take a moment each month to go over the house finances.

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 119)

I’m not perfect and I won’t claim to be. I screw up and I have lied and I have stolen and I have done things for which I am ashamed to think of. I have not always been honest with others mostly because I have not always been honest with myself. It’s harder to be honest with another, completely honest, when you don’t want to be honest with yourself, but it is easy to judge another because they aren’t being honest and throwing stones and blame at another can make you feel better about yourself. There’s just something about pushing someone down that seems to push you up at the same time. Probably because the actual act of pushing something down has a spring-like reaction in pushing whoever is doing it physically up. (I like to think of it as the Spring Board Effect.)

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8: 7)

I got a lesson yesterday in personal honesty and integrity from my niece. She was cleaning out the closet that she shares with her mom and happened to find $55 in cash. It had fallen out of her mother’s jeans pocket earlier in the week and hadn’t been missed just yet. Instead of keeping some or even all of the money, she returned it after admitting that she had thought about keeping it, but decided that returning it would be a better use of her time.

She’s not even a teenager yet (almost, less than a year) and sometimes her simple honesty with others as well as herself helps to inspire me to not only want to be a better person, but to actually act on it and be one.

Charity

I’ve seen a lot of things, or remembered, that I wanted to talk about today, but I didn’t want to do multiple posts. (Those multiple posts on Sept. 11th were kind of an accident.) Finally I had it! They all had a common theme running through them.

Dictionary.com defines charity as generous actions or donations to the poor, ill or helpless; something given to a person or persons in need; a charitable fund, foundation or institution; a benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor.

The Bible Dictionary defines it as the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ.

This last week, two storms hit Mexico and search and rescue teams were out Saturday to dig through the mudslides that had covered the village of La Pintada. They spent hours digging through the mud in the rain looking for any survivors, even when it became apparent that they weren’t going to find them. They were a 16-soldier team with five rescue dogs to aid them. Their commander, Lt. Carlos Alberto Mendoza told The Associated Press that “They are doing unbelievable work, hours and hours for just one body. No matter how hard the day is, they never get tired of working.”

They are digging and digging with little hope of finding survivors, but still taking the time even though it can take up to 14 hours just to uncover one body so that they may identify them and give them a proper burial and closure for their families.

“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (Moroni 7: 45)

In another case, closer to home for me, my Alma mater Riverton High School chose their new Homecoming King and Queen yesterday. The two who were chosen were special needs students who didn’t even know they were in the running. It was not a concerted effort at the school, it was something that just happened because Riverton High School is the kind of place that makes room for you and welcomes you with arms wide open.

Riverton High School also has what they call ‘Silver Rush’ where the student body officers spend weeks leading up to the school fundraiser or drive carefully choosing a charity in which the school will then spend all of December up until the last day before Christmas Vacation not only raising money to donate, but also educating the student populace on the charity and what it does. Each year they raise more money than the year before and the entire student body takes part in the fundraiser. I know this because the year after I graduated, they were outside of my grocery store caroling for donations. They also offer to clean houses and do yard work for people around all of Riverton and donate all of the earnings to the charity of that year.

“Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just– But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interst in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars: Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold and silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?…And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.” (Mosiah 4: 17-19, 21)

The last thing I wanted to talk about is a rather large family during Christmas a little under twenty years ago. this family had been hard up for anything during that winter and weren’t sure that they would be able to do much for Christmas. Starting exactly 1 2 days before Christmas they received a knock on their front door. There was a small stampede to open the door as a good half of the children were under the age of 11 and wanted to reach the door first just because. They were surprised to see a small box on their doorstep and no one in sight. It was dark out and being winter already snowing gently. Inside the box were enough Advent necklaces for everyone in the house to where with a piece of candy for everyday until Christmas Day.

The following night there was another knock on the door. Upon opening the door, they found another gift. I don’t recall what it was, but it mentioned that there were now only 11 days left until Christmas in  note with it. This followed for the rest of the time until Christmas Eve. Each night a knock was heard at the door and no matter how fast any of the children ran, no one was ever caught placing the gift of the day on the doorstep and no car was seen peeling down the street. The gifts were useful things as well as fun things such as the Advent candy necklaces; oranges and other food, toiletries that were getting scarce in the home, hats and scarves and mittens for hands that had been using mismatched socks instead. Smiles were brought to the family’s faces and they never knew who was to thank only that someone was thinking of them when it had looked like the world was turning against them.

“Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16: 14)

Whatever you may call charity, I know that it is a driving force in our world that exists no matter where you go and I am most grateful for that.

News article on storms in Mexico: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=235&sid=25186682&title=rescuers-dig-in-mud-rain-for-dead-in-mexico-slide

News article on RHS Homecoming Royalty: http://fox13now.com/2013/09/21/high-school-sets-popularity-aside-for-homecoming-royalty-picks/