Testimonies

Do you KNOW God is working in your life? Well, He is, and He's working in ours, too. He works in everybody's, but many just don't know it yet.  They will eventually.

Is your heart burning with gratitude for what God's done for you?  Do you ever want to shout about it? Then this is the place to share it.  E-mail it to Grandma Jan at jandh@emfi.org and I'll put it on the board to encourage others.

Read also about the well found in the desert to "water" our troops in Desert Storm, and the dry well in Missouri that produced water from limestone and shale.  And the story of the lightning knocking pictures off the wall to teach humility.

 

 

Contents

There Really Is Life After Death
I Sat at Jesus' Feet
Erica's Healing
Written in Red
A Principle With A Promise
All Things Good
"Birdies"
Except You Become As A Little Child
I Know the Lord Is Aware I'm Here
Lightning Taught Him a Lesson
Needing Candles
Painting of the Last Supper
S.H.M.I.L.Y.
Blessings: Stroke? Walk away from a 3-car accident--
Neighbors pitch in to find lost boy
Three-year-old Sees Jesus at Dinner Table
Unconditional Love
The Miracle Well and Update
 
When Heaven Invades Earth Review (Booklet)
Pt. 1 Contents
Pt. 2 pgs. 1-126
Pt. 3 pgs. 127-168
Pt. 4 pgs. 169-218
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THERE REALLY IS LIFE AFTER DEATH

by Grandma Jan

Do you believe in Life After Death?  If you don't, you will when you cross over the shores from death into real life.  For those who believe in Jesus Christ it will be joy; for those who deny and defy Him, there will be sorrow.  Many have seen the other side.  I have been to that door of immortality,  and the Father sent me back.  I died at home one afternoon from cancer. Frail, sick unto death, 85 pounds in a 30-year-old exhausted body of clay, I fell asleep and instead of just going to sleep normally, I felt myself sinking, going deeper and deeper until my spirit left my body.  A most exquisite sweet feeling came over my being and I found myself standing in front of the entrance door to eternity.  I wanted to walk through that door, but I heard the voice of my Heavenly Father saying I couldn't come through it yet, that I had to go back.  I stood at the door not wanting to return for it felt so wonderful there; but he repeated it, and shut the door.  I had no choice but to return.  My spirit re-entered my body, and I became totally conscious of my heavy mud body of clay.  The weight returned and the beautiful sweet rest of my spirit fled.  I was back on earth with total disappointment.  After this experience I gave birth to two daughters, Judy and Debbie, without whom, ECHO and their music ministry with their brother, Tim (who was about two or three at this time), could never have been.

I learned several things from that experience.  First, when the Father shut that door, there was no question that what He did was  FINAL.  That door closed with such power that NOTHING could have opened it.  Mankind needs to learn that what God, the Father, does and says, IS final.  To defy Him is utter stupidity.   To love and obey Him is complete wisdom and joy.

There IS life after death, to our joy or sorrow depending on how we have lived.  I choose to live my life in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and have tasted the joy of His promise that He truly did die to save my soul.   Yes, I have seen Him literally, face to face, and talked with Him.  I saw His hands with the nail prints in the palms, not on the wrists.  I have also seen my adversary, the enemy of my soul, Satan, too, and I can only wonder how Satan, Lucifer, could have been so stupid as to defy this wonderful, loving Son of God.  My human mind can't comprehend such a conflict, yet I know it happened before we humans came on this earth in a war in heaven which we all had to have witnessed (Rev. 12).  On this website is what I understand my religious affiliation teaches about Life After Death.  I do not speak for the leaders of my church, but of what I have learned through 55 years of studying our sacred scriptures. 

I have learned that mankind has a wonderful promise, that our Creator, Jesus Christ, is merciful, loving, and FAIR.  I have learned that every human being on earth has been promised salvation who will accept the atonement of God's Son, Jesus Christ.  All will have a chance to hear about Him and His gospel, and choose for themselves to believe or not.  Every human being who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior through that atonement on the cross will be saved.  And every person will bow on their knees and acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Son of God when the trumpet sounds for our judgment. D.C. 85:31.  Isaiah was also told this.

"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.  I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely shall one say, 'In the Lord have I righteousness and strength; even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed.'"  Isaiah 45:22-24

Only those who deny and defy Jesus Christ after the Father has revealed the truth to them by the power of the Holy Ghost will be cast off.  All others will be saved.  The following link is a chart explaining what I believe is the plan of salvation for all men.     The Life After Death Chart


 

Erica's Healing

The following happened to Erica Scott, our 12-year-old granddaughter in 2003.  Itís quite a marvelous blessing. PTL

About last October, a taste bud on her tongue began swelling.  She showed it to me and I thought it was just irritated and would go away.  Then three months later she showed it to me again and I was shocked.  She told me it had gone away and then suddenly it came back rapidly swelling to the size in the photo.  My first thoughts were of my aunt who had died from cancer of the mouth.  She was not a smoker.  It started from a canker sore on her gums, which wouldnít heal.  The doctors operated on her and took off half of her jaw and tongue trying to cut it out.  She suffered greatly before she died.  I had battled cancer since I was 18, and through administration and herbs, been healed several times over a 50 year period.  That gave me hope for Erica.

After she left my room, immediately I knelt in prayer and asked God for help.  A distinct impression came into my mind that because we obey the Word of Wisdom, the destroying angel would pass us byóthe promise in D.C. 86.  Ericaís mother and I gave her some herbs to take that had helped me.  The following Sunday three elders laid their hands on her head and administered to her.  Several days later, Erica had a dream that it was gone.  From the time of the administration it withdrew steadily and in a month it was gone.  We donít know that it was cancer, and will never know. And it doesnít matter.  It was a destroyer, and God rebuked it.  Isnít that a wonderful testimony for Erica?

There is a promise in the Doctrine and Covenants that when we do what God says, then He is bound, but when we donít, we have no promise.  Itís a great comfort in a time of trouble knowing one has obeyed His counsel, and great peace in knowing His love and wisdom is always exercised in our behalf,

P.S.  We should all remember to smile knowing God loves us, and if you see Erica, ask her to stick out her tongue for you.  You will get a shy smile, and a wonderful boost to your faith.
Grandma Jan Harrington


 

Written in Red

Testimony of Debbie Harrington Mallory who sings tenor in ECHO--the Grand Prize Award-winning Gospel Group from BGMA Gospel Showdown 2001 Branson, MO and National Quartet Convention in the Louisville, KY 2001 (3rd place winners out of 67 groups)  The photo was taken by Deb's sister, Judy Scott.

 

I Saw Jesus Christ and
His Nail Prints

Testimonies of Debbie and Jan Harrington

There was a question on my mind—something I had wondered about for years. So had millions of other people. This time when the subject came up again I decided to seriously pray for an answer. The question? Is the Shroud of Turin real or a fake? My prayer was silent. Only my Heavenly Father could hear that prayer and He answered me through a dream He gave to my teenage daughter, Debbie. I would have been happy with a simple yes or no, but the way in which He answered gave us great joy. God is like that. He delights in giving joy to His children.

The Bible tells us that to some is given the testimony to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. It seems our family is blessed with the testimony to see Him and know for ourselves. My husband, all of our children (3 daughters and a son) and now two of our three grandchildren have seen Him. About 1959 I had a vision in which I was sitting at His feet. He showed me His hands and told me that with those hands I would be healed. I’ve had several serious ailments during my 60 plus years and He truly has healed me many times, but in the vision when I looked at those hands I didn’t see any nail prints. I learned in that vision that He, Jesus Christ, is my Creator (something I hadn’t read yet in the Bible) as well as my Savior. So when people spoke of the Shroud with the nail prints in the wrists I couldn’t know for sure. However, I never believed the Shroud was genuine because of the testimony in the Book of Mormon. It states that the people touched the nail prints in the hands of Jesus. And then God answered my prayer.

Our daughter’s words are typed in blue italics to offset it from my explanations. Her testimony is taken from the book of our family’s testimony, Not One Sparrow, written in 1982.

On the morning of April 30, I walked into the kitchen and noticed how quiet Debbie was. I asked what was bothering her and she answered, ‘Mom, can a person see two Jesuses at the same time?’ I reminded her of the testimony of a minister who had seen both the Father and the Son. He said they looked so much alike, almost as if they were twins. She then asked, Well, how would a person know the difference?’ I quickly replied, ‘By the nail prints.To this she excitedly squealed, ‘That’s what I was supposed to remember!’ Then all of the experience came flooding back. She had a dream the night before and began to relate it. When I realized the importance of it I encouraged her to go write it down before she forgot any of it.  She wrote:

‘My family and I were gathered in our family room,’ she wrote, ‘for we were expecting something very powerful. As we were sitting down, a person wanted in at the patio door. I was nervous because I didn’t know who it was. I opened the door to a white man with a white robe draped over His body—the kind we see in the pictures of Jesus, but I didn’t think this man was Jesus. He looked very pleasant—like He was meeting with friends whom He cared about very much. It was then I realized this was God, the Father!

I stepped over to Him and couldn’t wait to hug Him. I stood there a long time just hugging Him. Finally, He very gently let go of me and put His hands on my shoulders, encouraging me to sit down and listen to what He had to say.  I couldn’t wait for my deaf sister, Melissa Gayle, to be healed, but I didn’t say a word, because I knew God knew what I was thinking. He slowly walked over to Melissa, smiling at her very tenderly. I don’t remember what happened—if her hearing was restored or not, but I knew she could understand Him, even though He didn’t sign to her. She was smiling through her tears, and listening very intently to Him. He then walked back over to the seat by the patio door.’

Debbie said this visit from God, the Father, was a very casual one. He seemed very much at home with us. Sitting sideways with one leg under Him, He leaned His head on His hand while resting His elbow on the back of the chair, much as one does when planning to sit and visit a while. She said: ‘He gave us instructions about what to do when the future had come.’

The instructions were not allowed to remain in her memory. Many years ago, her father and I were told that Jesus was going to come visit with us, face to face, and tell us what He wants us to do pertaining to the building of His kingdom. Debbie didn’t know this. She continued:

‘All I can remember is smiling with tears in my eyes. We were overjoyed with His visit. God told us about our church here. He said that the problems were going to be straightened out very soon, and He emphasized the word “soon.” He told us about the future, and as He did, Mom was nodding and smiling as if she knew what was going to happen. He looked at Mother and indicated He was pleased with what she taught—that it was correct. He then looked over at my father and again, gave a pleasing smile.  Believe it or not, God cracked a joke (told a funny story), but it wasn’t like one of ours that makes fun of mankind or something. His was not an insulting kind, but was really funny. It was as if He wanted us to know He loved us very much. He then said, “You’ll be expecting someone else, and I must leave,” meaning we were going to receive a visit from another being. I jumped up to let Him out, but He turned around, smiled, then vanished through the door. I was very surprised, and looked at my family.  They smiled at me. I was walking back toward them when a voice told me to return to the door. (My family was busy talking about what God had said.) As I approached the door, I saw a face and was frightened. Then I became ashamed at being afraid, for there stood Jesus Christ. I opened the door and stepped back to let Him in. Jesus slowly stepped in, and a great power entered the room. I felt as if I should bow.’

I noticed that Debbie didn’t seem aware of this power when God, the Father, entered. This caused me to reflect on the scripture that all power had been put into the hands of Christ to accomplish this work among men on earth.  The Father was respecting the work put in His Son’s hands. How kind of Him! It did not mean that the Father didn’t have the power, for Christ was to return all things to the Father, spotless. God appeared in the Father image, gentle, loving, and kind. Christ appeared as the power of the Atonement. I also thought it was interesting that both of them waited at the door to be welcomed in. Jesus stands, waiting at the door, came to my mind. We have the option of whether or not to open it. How wonderful this is—our agency functioning all the time! Who wouldn’t want to serve a God like this?

Jesus Christ Enters The Room

The following experience Debbie received is rarely heard. She said:
    ‘Jesus walked two steps forward and turned His hands upward. There were the nail prints—right through the palms of His hands! It was so real that it was as if the nail prints had just been made. His skin was torn about an inch or so from the hole. The wounds were so fresh, I expected to see blood, but I didn’t. Only the ends of the wounds looked as if they were starting to heal a little. I thought of the Cross and what I’d been taught, and turned away because of the sight of the holes. I knew I had caused Him to go through that.’

Debbie gave a detailed description of Christ. She said He looked the same as the man she had seen in another experience. He looked about 30 years old or so, no wrinkles, very clear tanned skin. We know that Jesus was out in the open a great deal of the time, having no home of His own. People of today would probably label Him a bum and homeless. His eyes were so pure they intrigued Debbie, but she said she didn’t remember the color. His mustache and beard were neatly combed; His hair didn’t touch His shoulders, and was slightly wavy. The beard, also, was short. She said:

‘When He came in, the power was so strong that He seemed like a giant to me. He had on a robe that looked as if He had worn it on earth, because it was not white—it was a little tan-colored. He was barefoot, and I could see the nail prints in His feet. They were just below the bone on the top of His feet. I put my arms around Him, and with my right hand, felt the spear wound in His side. Pain went through my heart. I stood there hugging Him and feeling sorrowful. I forced myself to keep my hand there on the spear wound a little while, so I could understand what He had done for me. He gently put His arms around me and gave me His love. It was the greatest thing anybody could ask for. When He opened His arms to release me, I stepped back, and He again held up His hands to show me the nail prints. It was as if to say “Debbie, remember!” Then everything vanished and I awoke.’

One last thought about Debbie’s experience—the freshness of the wounds. She didn’t see scars at all. Jesus showed her a resounding truth—we crucify Him again every time we sin.

The Shroud of Turin
Six years after Debbie’s vision of God, the Father, and Christ, the Son, the evidence of the Shroud deception was printed in a French newspaper. From the article we understand that the creator of the Shroud had a vision of a personage whom he believed to be God (Satan appears like an angel of light), and he obeyed the instructions to make it. The article reports:

“The Shroud is the creation of a 14th century herbalist who wanted to glorify God! That’s the mind-blowing claim of French historian Paul Cabart, who says a recently discovered book tells exactly how Raymond Vidal made the Shroud—and why. ‘I wish I could tell you that the Shroud is Christ’s burial cloth but I can’t because it is not,’ said Dr. Cabart.... Dr. Cabart delivered his report to a news conference in Grenoble, France. He supported his claim with a 600-year-old book written by Vidal himself. The text lists the ingredients and techniques used to make the Shroud after God appeared to him in a vision in 1345.

‘Vidal felt strongly that God wanted him to create a powerful religious symbol,” said Dr. Cabart. ‘In a burst of inspiration, he smeared a quantity of blood over a bearded model He then draped a linen over the model and fused cloth and blood by scorching them with a torch. Once the image appeared he soaked the linen in an herbal extract to preserve it for all time. Vidal makes it clear that he didn’t set out to perpetrate a mean or evil hoax. But he didn’t argue when people judged the linen to bear the image of Jesus Christ. And he hid the book, which we just found in Paris, so that nobody could copy his technique.’

The expert’s address sent shock waves throughout Europe as laymen and the clergy debated the pros and cons of his report. The Vatican itself was strangely silent, with spokesmen denying all interview requests...” (Weekly World News, June 21, 1988)

Science Dates The Icon
In Feb. of 1989, National Geographic printed the same information, stating that their new method of radiocarbon dating had proven the Shroud was woven from flax harvested in the late 13th or 14th century. The controversy goes on, but I had my answer.

The truth shall set you free! Top


Lightning Taught Him A Lesson in Humility

Posted by Randy Volskay on Thursday, 15 April 1999

Brothers and Sisters,

I believe the Lord has a sense of humor as well. Just watch the smug weatherman predicting the weather with his computers and his slide rules. Just about the time he sticks his neck out, everything changes. I wonder sometimes if the Lord isn't laughing at them.

I had some of the same treatment myself. My oldest son was about 4 or 5 years old at the time. There was a strong storm in progress with lots of close lightning. He was scared to death. I told him " Son, there's absolutely nothing to be afraid of."  I barely got the last word out when lightning struck the TV antenna. The room lit up as bright as midday with a blue light and it sounded like a shotgun blast. It knocked pictures off the walls and startled everyone, including me ! I sometimes wonder if I wasn't being told to leave the boy alone !! I've never said another word about their fears of the weather! 

Your Brother in Christ, Randy Volskay   Top


Blessings
Posted by
Shannon M. on Thursday, 15 April 1999, at 11:32 p.m.

Oftentimes, it is not until we are faced with a catastrophe that we learn about the love and goodness in the hearts of the people around us. My family has been given a taste of this love and goodness in hearts of people on more than one occasion in the past year.

Stroke, or no stroke?

Last summer, my older brother Shawn was taken to the hospital in the middle of the night. The doctors thought he suffered a stroke. While he was still in the emergency room, our family gathered around his bedside. We all held hands and my dad offered up a prayer in his behalf. Shawn was in the hospital for about 2 weeks. After test after test, he was finally sent home for good. A definite diagnosis was never made and he has had no reoccurrence since then.

Three car accident--one bruised kidney

At this same time Shawn was in the hospital, my little sister DJ was in a 3 car accident. She pulled out in front of 2 cars on 50 hwy in Lone Jack, MO. Her car was demolished. She came out of the accident with 1 bruised kidney. She was taken to the same hospital my brother was in.

I'm so thankful for God blessing both of them. In both instances, the outcome could have been so different and our lives would have been changed forever.

Little boy lost--and found

Last Friday night my little brother David became a "lost child case" After 10 hours or so he was finally found. During this time that he was missing, people came from everywhere to help find him. I realize that some of these people were only doing their jobs. There were some who came to help though who could have been doing other things yet they sacrificed their time with their families to help our family. Most of these people didn't even know us. I don't know if anyone who was there helping to find David will ever know how they touched our lives. I believe this is how Zion will be. We will put our brother's needs before our own. People saw our need for help and they put aside their plans to come and help. Finally he was found at approximately 2:00am safe and sound.

This case could have ended tragically also. I believe God heard our prayers in David's behalf and he protected him. I praise God for the family he has blessed me with and the many friends. Each person in your life is a gift from God. Each day is a gift to be lived to the fullest. I hope you will all remember to let your family and friends know how much they mean to you and don't ever forget to thank the Lord everyday for all the irreplaceable gifts and blessings in your lives. 

Shannon  Top


Three-year-old Sees Jesus

Submitted by Ron Griner, April 26, 1999
Hi Jan,
Last night we had a chili dinner at church as a fund raising for the youth.  As I was talking with someone, his wife told us about their granddaughter.   Her family was going to eat dinner and when her mother started to ask
the blessing on the food, as they held hands the daughter ask her mom, "How come your not holding Jesus' hand?"

"Jesus is here?" [she asked]

"Yes, he was sitting next to you, but He got up and walked out."

The next day the daughter asked her mom to help her get dressed . Her mother said, "I’ll be there in a minute."  When she got there she was dressed. She asked, "How did you get dressed?"   Her daughter answered, "Oh some angles helped me."

WOW!!! I think she is about three.   Top


The Miracle Well

Posted by Jan Harrington on Friday, 5 March 1999, at 7:52 a.m.

During the month of Feb. '99 (because of the Y2K concern) our family prayed about drilling a well on our 3.7 acres. The answer seemed to come back positive so our son phoned the Missouri State geology department inquiring of the possibility of water in the area. The reply was fairly negative. He suggested that we do as others in this area--get a reservoir. He said that if we did drill, not to go deeper than 100 feet for it would be foul water unfit for human consumption.

We opted to put up an above ground swimming pool and get a water filter. Shortly thereafter as plans proceeded with the pool the story came to our attention of God's well in the Desert Storm War. The story is documented and thousands witnessed it.

The story is that when our troops were crossing the desert coming in the back way to surprise attack the Elite Guard (a desert where no man traveled according to the Arabs), a water well rig was discovered sitting in the middle of that desert ready to provide water for the troops whose need was 100,000 gallons per day.

As the Arabs gazed on that rig in total disbelief, they had to acknowledge that it was an impossibility for it to be there. One man asked about the key to start it up. Another commented that he suspected they wouldn't need a key. He walked over to it and pushed the button. It roared up and the output was ---you guessed it---100,000 gallons per day.

Now when we heard that, our family determined that as our preparations for the Y2K were not just for ourselves, but for any God sent on our property, if God wanted a well here for His saints He could supply it in Missouri too.

So we told the drillers to not test for anything, just drill straight down 100 feet and put the pump on. If it came up dry, well we didn't need it right now anyway. And when the time came the water would be there.

The morning before they came I walked out into the general area where I would like to have it placed and seemed to sense that was in the right place. So I put a stake there and when the drillers came they asked if it had been "witched." No, it hadn't unless the Holy Spirit had impressed the exact location. (My guess is that it wouldn't have mattered. God can either guide to the right place or zap it.) No one would know.

We watched them drill for three hours down through solid limestone and shale. Dry as a bone. We continued to agree that it was God's and our faith would not be daunted. When the drillers stopped it was still bringing up dust that blew across the land and into the neighbors yards. Dry -- dry!

Well the drillers pulled up the drill, sunk the PVC pipe and capped it, waiting for the finishing touches of a concrete pad and the pump to be added later. Just before the drillers left they dropped a line into our dry well and came back with the news that there was already a foot of water in it in 40 minutes. Needless to say there were shouts of joy in the house. Three days later there was 82 feet of water in our 100-feet-deep well, and it seems to still be rising. We're wondering if it's going to overflow--but then, that's what God is like--sending blessings to overflowing when we think of the other fellow first.

Y2K could be very serious. A wise and prudent saint will be ready for any emergency.

Update May 8, 1999: When the same two men who had drilled the well came back to put the pump on about two months later I asked them if they had expected to find water.  They both looked at me, grinned and both answered emphatically, "No!--said it was a dry hole.  One of them added that when he came to work the next day his boss told him about the water coming  up, and his reply was, "You're kidding!"  I told them about the Desert Storm well too.  They were scratching their heads with a big smile--they couldn't deny what they were seeing, just the same as the Arabs were in awe about that impossible well rig in the middle of their dessert.   

As they left, they called to us from across the yard, "Have fun with your new well!" And it was one of appreciation and sheer joy for us to have been so blessed. They tested how deep it is and said there is a static level of over 80 feet of water in the well.  The boss said that means the water will stay at that level, and he doubted that we probably would never pump it dry.  That's God for you! 

Update Oct. 2003: We haven't had to use the well water yet...Praise the Lord! Top


I Know The Lord Is Aware I'm Here
Sent by Carol Allen from Grain Valley, April 29, 1999

I have a couple experiences that you may like to hear, nothing really big, but I know the Lord is aware that I'm here. 

Just last Sunday I had a little thing happen that thrilled me.  Our youngest great-grandson (this makes me sound old but I'm ONLY 65) had a first birthday party.  I didn't want to get him toys, but I had neglected to get a savings bond or something similar that I had intended to get.  I realized Saturday night that I hadn't gotten a present so I decided to give him a roll of Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, but I also wanted to give him something that would interest a one year old. 

I remembered that right after our youngest grandchild was born (6 months ago), I had bought a small Bible Story book for her but wanted to keep it until she was old enough to read to, and had not given it to her as yet.  I looked the house over, every room, every drawer, every shelf, and some places I looked 2 or 3 times, but I couldn't find the book. 

Finally I said, "OK Lord, you know I don't believe in shopping on Sunday but if you don't help me find that book I'm going to have to stop at Wal-Mart after church and buy him something".  I went back to a cupboard that I had looked in at least three times and there the book lay on the shelf directly in front of my eyes.  I said "Thank you, Lord" and wrapped the book for our great-grandchild.  I know this could be "coincidence" but I don't think so.  I believe the Lord is aware of our every need. Top


The Painting Of the Last Supper
sent by Kendy on Wednesday, 05 May 1999

Jan,
I just got this on my email and thought you could use it for your family's web site. It is a marvelous story and brings to our minds what can happen to us in such a short time if we don't focus on God. Kendy

The story behind the painting of the Last Supper is extremely interesting and instructive. Two incidents connected with this painting afford a most convincing lesson on the effects of thought in the life of a boy or girl, or of a man or woman. The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, a noted Italian artist.

The time engaged for its completion was seven years. The figures representing  the twelve apostles and Christ himself were painted from living persons. The live model for the painting of the figure of Jesus was chosen first.  When it  was decided that Da Vinci would paint this great picture, hundreds and hundreds of young men were carefully viewed in an endeavor to find a face and personality completely devoid of dissipation caused by sin.

Finally, after weeks of laborious searching a young man, nineteen years of age, was selected as the model for the portrayal of Christ. For six months Da Vinci worked on the production of this leading character of the famous painting.

During the next six years Da Vinci continued his labors on his sublime work of art. One by one, fitting persons were chosen to represent each of the eleven apostles, space being left for the painting of the figure representing Judas Iscariot as the final task of this masterpiece. This was the apostle,
you remember, who betrayed his Lord for thirty pieces of silver.

For weeks Da Vinci searched for a man with a hard callous face, with a countenance marked by scars of avarice, deceit, who would betray his best friend. After many discouraging experiences in searching for the type of person required to represent Judas, word came to Da Vinci that a man
whose appearance fully met the requirements had been found. He was in a dungeon in Rome, sentenced to die for a life of crime and murder.

Da Vinci made the trip to Rome at once, and this man was brought out from his imprisonment in the dungeon and led out into the light of the sun.   There Da Vinci saw before him a dark, swarthy man, his long shaggy and unkempt hair sprawled over his face. A face which portrayed a character of   viciousness and complete ruin. At last the painter had found the person he   wanted to represent the character of Judas in his painting.

By special permission from the king, this prisoner was carried to Milan where the fresco was being painted. For six months the prisoner sat before  Da Vinci, at appointed hours each day, as the gifted artist diligently continued his task of transmitting to his painting this base character in the picture representing the traitor and betrayer of the Savior.

As he finished his last stroke, he turned to the guards and said, "I have finished, you may take the prisoner away."  He suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da Vinci, crying as he did so; "Oh, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?"   Da Vinci, with the trained eyes of a great character student, carefully scrutinized the man upon whose face he had constantly gazed for six months and replied; "No, I have never seen you in my life until you were brought before me out of the dungeon in Rome."

Then lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said, "O God, have I fallen so low?" Then turning his face to the painter he cried, "Leonardo Da Vinci, look at me again, for I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ!"

This is the true story of the painting of the Last Supper that teaches so strongly the lesson of the effects of right and wrong thinking of an individual. He was a young man whose character was so pure and unspoiled by the sins of the world, that he represented a countenance and innocence and beauty fit to be used for the painting of a representation of Christ.

But during the seven years, following a life of sin and crime, he was changed into a perfect picture of the most notorious character ever known in the history of the world.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:19-20

(Thanks to Jim D. Krohn )
Top


Re: The Painting...
"Oh, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?"

Dear Kendy and Readers:

The following may be hard for some to understand, and some may totally reject it.  However, it is my testimony as I lived it.  There is so much we Christians do not know about God and His judgments on the other side.  We'll really only know when we get there, and then it's too late to tell anyone else down here.  So we simply need to listen with an open heart to the testimonies of others, and let God's Spirit of truth verify it for us or not.  Here is my story:

Concerning the story of the Last Supper:

I can easily believe that a person can change that much either way (from good to bad, and bad to good) because of the testimony I received concerning my deceased father.  My dad was sent into hell when he died, and there he changed to become what he could be.  How do I know?  Because the Lord told me fifteen years before Dad was killed in an on-the-job accident that the death angels were coming to take him to hell.  I had rebelled in that dream, telling them they couldn't take him there.  Several other things were also revealed to me in later dreams--that Dad would accept Jesus Christ, and that gave me hope.

After the dream I was apprehensive for several years about Dad's coming event.  When it didn't happen for so long, I forgot about it.  Then the accident, my shock and rebellion--just as I'd seen.  I knew in my heart that because of the way my father had spent his life, there was no other way for him.  Yet I defended him even to rebellion against his Maker and mine.  I told God, "You just can't do that to him," and made all manner of excuses for my father's life.  I was in such shock that I had to seek administration before the funeral.  The elder knew my father had been killed, but nothing about the turmoil I was experiencing in my soul.  God alone knew.  The power of God came down on the elder and the first words out of his mouth were, "Janice, all who die must face the bar."  I knew instantly that "bar" meant "Bar of Judgment," and I knew well, that my father was sitting in hell at that very moment.  My heart sank in acceptance, and then the Spirit added, "But remember, all who accept the Christ will be brought into the kingdom."  Yes, I remembered--my dream--God had already told me--He was going to save my father through belief in Jesus Christ's atonement! 

Fifteen years before Dad was killed I had dreamed a terrible storm was coming and I was pleading with my father to come in away from the door to safety, but he wouldn't come.  (Dad used to laugh at me about my "religion", and although he had been baptized into the same church I was, yet he never went because of the "hypocrites" there--as he used to comment.)  So he stood in the open doorway saying he had to go to work to support the family, and the tornado funnel reached in the doorway, wrapped itself around his waist and pulled him up into the clouds.  I ran to the door and saw him suspended in air, quiet and peaceful.   His last words to me (in the dream) were, "I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God."  Then he was gone. 

I left the elder's home with uplifted heart.   Sometime, some place my father would find hope and be brought into the kingdom.   And I had peace.  But God didn't leave it at that.  He had more to tell me during the next few years--things which gave me knowledge of the other side, and of God's mercy and love for mankind.

God Takes A Life, and Molds It Toward Beauty
That's what God's all about. 

My father was brilliant--could do anything he set his mind to do.  He built musical instruments, an airplane, was mechanically gifted, and had all manner of skills.  Whatever he did, it was to perfection.    But along with that talent came a fiery temper that he hadn't learned how to control when he was young.  Dad's life path had been trudged through the jungle of the depression, and left him with many scars.  After he fathered two daughters, the rest of his young adult years were spent in prison (and there's many reasons one can find himself shackled--inside bars and outside them). When he was released, the trauma he had lived under only heightened and thickened the wall around his other side, the intelligent, loving soul underneath which God desired to bring to the surface. 

Dad was sent into incarceration when I was two years old.  I hadn't known him.  I was 12 when Mom went to battle to get him released.  Dad had spent many days in solitary confinement (maybe even years, we didn't know because we weren't told about it until after his death).  He told my uncle that he kept being thrown in there because of fighting for his life--rejecting the homos who sought to overcome him.  So Dad just stayed in solitary studying the encyclopedias etc.,  When parole time came up, he was refused release several times by the Parole Board because of their not knowing why he was fighting all the time.   They said he wasn't "rehabilitated."  Finally Mom went to bat for him and got him released.  They believed that Mom's five children would keep Dad pretty busy, and out of trouble.

When my scarred father came home, we saw the turmoil in his soul as he threw violent fits of anger--against maybe life itself.   And we were terrified.    I remember a gun put to my sister's head, and threats (because my Dad was determined not to go back into that hell-hole of a prison), and the time I was being choaked, the contents of our referigerator being thown on the kitchen floor in a heap, a TV being thrown through the window.  The door was wide open for Satan to rip through our home leaving wounded souls in the wake.  We were hurting and so was God.

And then I married, had my family of four children, lived in another state, and got the word that Dad had been suffocated to death under 8,000 pounds of gravel in a job-related accident.  The shock of it all, my dreams, my reaction to that shock--brought the following testimony because God was there!

I saw Dad maybe two times after his death.   And as the story of Da Vinci's model above reveals--a person can change so much that one can't recognize them, so I didn't recognize my father either. 

It was several years, I believe, after Dad had been sent into hell.  I dreamed I was in a room caring for some children when a man came to the door.  I had the impression that he was a doctor of some kind.   I didn't recognize him so went on with what I was doing.  The man turned and walked away with is head down.  I sensed his sadness was because I hadn't recognized him.   Discerning it was Dad,  I ran to him and asked if he was my father, calling him by name.  He stopped and turning toward me again, acknowledged that he was.  

I awoke rejoicing, knowing that my father was in some kind of ministry to others, and that he was growing rapidly.  So much so that I didn't recognize him.

I can't remember how much longer it was until I saw him again.  This time I saw only his face in vision.  He was smiling, and by the radiance on his face, I knew he'd found  peace with God.  I also knew that I'd never see him again until the resurrection.  And I haven't.  That was about twenty years ago.

God's Working With My Brother, Too

When Dad came home from prison, Mom bore two more sons, so now there were seven of us--five boys.    Years after Dad died, Dad's firstborn son was having trials and phoned me.  Our lives had been distant, and he now had his family, and it was time to get reacquainted.  We talked about God and Dad, and I tried to encourage him.  His relationship with God had been distant also.   He said he'd had a dream shortly after Dad was killed.  He dreamed that Dad walked through the doorway in his electrician suit, his belt of tools hanging around his waist, and my brother commented to him, "Oh, I see you are in hell."  Dad's wit of common-sense humor replied, "Yes, but the pay's good." 

Now this would seem to be only a dream, except that when put with my experiences, it gave my brother hope and faith that God was indeed working in his life also, and was aware of my brother's needs.  It told us that our father was growing and being rewarded for his efforts.  The dream served to strengthen my brother and opened a door through which we could walk together--the weak taking the hand of the strong, and they both becoming stronger. 

My brother this day has indeed become much stronger, and God is right there revealing things that lift us all.  We will see Dad again in the kingdom together--my brother and I, and will rejoice as we share with Dad how God let us know of his welfare, even from the other side. 

Though there is a veil between us and our loved ones, if we have faith, God's love and grace is sufficient to overflowing to let us know what's going on--for God would not have His children to be uninformed, if we will believe and live for it.  The glory of God is intelligence, wisdom, and love, and above all, mercy with a just judgment.

In writing this testimony I was called away for a few moments for our family worship.  As I entered the room, a song was coming from the music system we have: "Thank God, I'm not the man I used to be."   And I thought of my dad truly thanking God.  And then on the video we watched the Gaithers singing in Kennedy Center: "It Is No Secret What God Can Do" with the words, "what He's done to others, He'll do for you.  With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.  It is no secret, what God can do."  And the Spirit touched me to tears, for during some of my most trying times, when I was struggling so hard, I remember playing that LP recording over and over, and each time I heard it--"what He's done for others, He'll do for you", I gained strength and hope.  I heard in that song that I was important to God, and that He's not partial to anyone regardless of their present state of affairs.  The humble beggar is just as welcome in God's home as the most intelligent, well-groomed saint. 

Today those heavy trials are lifted, and I no longer feel the weight that I carried during those days.  Neither does my father.   All is well in God's world, and it can be in ours' when we believe and just hang on, and I thank the Lord that I'm not the person I used to be.  

Jan  Top


Except You Become as a Little Child

The following true story was e-mailed to my address by "mistake."  I didn't know Brian, but I'm so glad it came.  Here is the story.  I mailed back asking him for permission to print it and in his gracious reply came also the story below about SHMILY.  This photo was found in a magazine (can't remember where) and it so vividly illustrates the following story.  Whoever snapped the photo no doubt felt as inspired with the scene as we did.

A Lesson In Love:

"It was simple, pure, true, everlasting, no questions asked, un-conditional LOVE! 

It was six a.m. on a bright Sunday morning in April. A solemn, blond six-year old boy was admitted to our small pediatric unit for a procedure not very common to young children: phlebotomy - that is, blood donation. Todd and his four-year old sister shared a rare, genetic blood condition and now Jenny was to undergo major cardiac surgery to save her life. The operating room crew was briefed on the procedure, a heart-lung machine was procured, in-service on every aspect of Jenny's nursing care was presented, and a week-long lecture series by the eminent physician and his assistants was offered to everyone connected in the pediatric unit.

One of the complications that the doctor was anticipating was hemorrhage, and since Jenny's blood was almost impossible to match from another donor, the parents were asked to bring Todd in for phlebotomy the day before the scheduled opera- tion. So it was that Todd, Jenny, and their parents were greeted by a hushed atmosphere of suppressed excitement.

At six years, Todd was already a veteran of multiple surgeries to correct his clubfeet. He had been a patient of ours many times, and his shy, serious face and gentle manner had won our hearts long ago. Jenny was a skinny out-going redhead. A tendency to tire easily was the only outward evidence of her life-threatening heart condition.

Once Todd had been admitted and his height, weight and vital signs taken, he took his sister by the hand and led her around the room, showing her the decals and pictures that had entranced him as a four-year old. The way he held her hand and looked at her revealed many unspoken things about the special relationship that existed between them.

Geri, the head of the pediatric department moved quickly about the room setting up the transfusion equipment, and Jenny's mother and father found a chair and sat down. Just then the doctor breezed in, briefly patted Todd and Jenny on the head, then turned his attention to the parents. With one hesitant question from Jenny's father he launched into a dissertation on certain technical aspects of his procedure. It was heavily laden with high-sounding medical terms, and Jenny's father took notes furiously. About this time I was called in to serve in the capacity of assistant, equipment holder and procurer of needed supplies.

I loved watching Geri's technique with children. Todd was now lying face up on the bed and Geri was talking quietly as she swabbed his arm prior to inserting the needle. Her voice was friendly and easygoing. ‘O.K. Todd, just a little stick and that's all you will feel.’ Todd's face was grim and pale. I remember thinking I'd never seen him endure a procedure in such stoic silence before, but I attributed this to the adoring presence of his little sister, who by this time had climbed up on the bed and settled in beside him, thumb in mouth, a doll clutched in her arm.

Half an hour went by. I had gone after a glass of orange juice and on returning I stopped in the doorway. From that vantagepoint the room resembled a three-ring circus; the parents still listening raptly to the doctor's monologue, Geri was fussing over the stubborn I.V. equipment. But in the core of this field of nervous energy Todd and Jenny seemed to form an island of stillness.

Todd lay stiffly on his back, his face impassive as he watched the dark, red blood travel slowly down the clear plastic tubing. Jenny sucked her thumb intently, her head on his shoulder. It seemed to me that Todd was trying to get Geri's attention. I was about to intervene when the speaker paused and Todd's quivery voice came through: ‘Geri excuse me, but how long will it be now?’ ‘Well, Todd, what do you mean exactly?’ All of Geri's attention was on him now. ‘I mean, how much time before I die, after all my blood is gone out of me?’

In the shocked silence that followed there was an exchange of looks between us. Nobody trusted his voice enough to speak. In a series of still-life pictures that remain forever etched in my mind, I saw Jenny's mother put her hand to her mouth and look away; I saw his father break a pencil and hurl it down; and Doctor Sutter mutely contemplated his shiny black shoes. I am ashamed to say that I could only stand frozen in the doorway. Only Geri, bless her--had the composure to speak. She crouched down until her eyes were level with his and said in a soft voice, ‘No sweetie, you aren't going to die. Your body is making more blood right now.’

With that, Todd's body crumpled. He turned away and buried his face in the pillow, shoulders shaking. Gone was every last shred of pretence.

As we came to our senses we became aware of the full magnitude of Todd's sacrifice for his sister. On that bright, clear morning we felt grateful to have witnessed an unparalleled gesture of love. As mother and father blindly groped to embrace their two children, the rest of us crowded around awkwardly.

The doctor made faltering attempts to express the emotion he was feeling. We had something intangible in that hospital room, the five of us. And though we may never attain his level of selflessness, we had learned the most valuable lesson in love from a little child." .

Told by Patricia Rosales, L.V.N. .Top


S.H.M.I.L.Y.

May 08, 1999: The following testimony was sent to me by a brother in Christ, Brian Pugh, whom I met over the internet by mistake (but then again, maybe it wasn't), one who shares our love for Jesus.   He communicates with missionaries all around the world and receives wonderful testimonies from them.  This contribution is a "thinker" for all of us.

A Shmily for You

"My grandparents were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other.   The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find.  They took turns leaving "shmily" around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more.

They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal.  They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.  "Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath
after bath.  At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet.

There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up.  Little notes with "shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels.  The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows.   "Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace.  This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture.

It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game.   Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring.   However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship.  They had love down pat.  It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life.   Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate
affection which not everyone is lucky experience.

Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could.  They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen.  They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be.  She claimed that she really knew "how to pick 'em."   Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at theirblessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.

But there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' life: my grandmother had breast cancer.   The disease had first appeared ten years earlier.  As Grandpa was with her every step of the way.  He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.

Now the cancer was again attacking her body.  With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every morning.  But my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore.  For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife.  Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened.  Grandma was gone.

"Shmily."  It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet.  As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.  Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her.  Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby.

Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment.  For I new that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.

S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me see." 
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Needing Candles
by Susan in Michigan March 16,1999

Dear Jan,  I have appreciated your testimonies on the message board.  God gave me a testimony about Him caring for the little things in our lives.  When I was in my early 20's, I was home alone in our apartment in the early evening when a thunderstorm hit.  Now, every time a storm hit the lights would go out.  I was worried and looking for the candles and couldn't find them anywhere.   Finally I stopped and said a short prayer and immediately walked over to the cupboard, reached behind something and my hand touched them.  It is wonderful that God cares about our little cares and concerns.  To top it all off, the lights never went out and I didn't need them.  Thanks for sharing your testimonies.      Susie Daggett


Birdies

from Dave Campbell in Independence, MO, July 7, 1999
This is a true story that occurred in 1994 and was told by Lloyd Glenn.

Throughout our lives we are blessed with spiritual experiences, some of which are very sacred and confidential, and others, although sacred, are meant to be shared.

Last summer my family had a spiritual experience that had a lasting and profound impact on us, one we feel must be shared.  It's a message of love.

It's a message of regaining perspective, and restoring proper balance and renewing priorities. In humility, I pray that I might, in relating this story, give you a gift my little son, Brian, gave our family one summer day last year.

On July 22nd I was enroute to Washington D.C. for a business trip.  It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change.  As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service representative immediately. I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if they were Mr.Glenn.

At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk. When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital."

My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped
underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.

By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart.  They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After
speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness. The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream.

I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.

Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.

Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms.  [TEAR BREAK...smile] 

By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physicaldeficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine our gratitude and joy. As we took Brian home we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father
that comes to those who brush death so closely.

In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more
focused, and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.

[The story is not over] (smile)

Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down mommy. I have something to tell you."

At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed and he began his sacred and remarkable story.

"Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you, but you couldn't hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came."

"The 'birdies?'" my wife asked puzzled.

"Yes," he replied.  "The 'birdies' made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage.  They took care of me."

"They did?"

"Yes" he said. "One of the 'birdies' came and got you. She came to tell you I got stuck under the door."

A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The Spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly.

"What did the 'birdies' look like?" she asked.

Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white.   Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white." 

"Did they say anything?"

"Yes" he answered.  "They told me the baby would be alright."  

"The baby?" my wife asked confused.

And Brian answered, "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave."

My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest and recognizable features, knowing he was already dead, she looked up around her and whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can."

As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form.  

"Then what happened?" she asked. 

"We went on a  trip." he said, "far, far away.."

He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.

"We flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty Mommy." he added. "And there is lots and lots of 'birdies.'"

My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting Spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known.

Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies" had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies."  He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck, and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay, but the man couldn't hear him. He said the "birdies" told him he had to go with the ambulance, but they would be near him. He said, they were so pretty and so peaceful, and he didn't want to come back. And then the bright light came. He said that the light was so bright and so warm, and he loved the bright light so much. 

Someone was in the bright light and put their arms around him, and told him, "I love you but you have to go back. You have to play baseball, and tell everyone about the 'birdies.'" Then the person in the bright light kissed him and waved bye-bye. Then woosh, the big sound came and they went
into the clouds.

The story went on for an hour. He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much.

Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy. You have a plan. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The 'birdies' help us to do that cause they love us so much."

In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he spoke of his "birdies." Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled.

Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be. 
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Unconditional Love

from Dave Campbell in Independence, MO, July 10, 1999
As contributed to "Angels and Miracles" newsletter by Brenda.

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called "Smile." The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reaction.

I am a friendly person and always smile at everyone and say, "Hello" anyway, so I thought, this would be a piece of cake.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son and I went to McDonalds one crisp morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch. An overwhelming feeling of panic
welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around, I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman close to me, he was smiling - his beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's light as he searched for acceptance. He said "good day" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled  with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue-eyed gentle man was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, "coffee is all, Miss," because that was all they could afford (to sit in the restaurant and warm up they had to buy something... they just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it. The compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast mealson a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen.

I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Thank you." I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, "I did not do this for you... God is here working through me to give you hope." I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, "That is why God gave you to me honey.... to give me hope." We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace were we able to give.

We are not churchgoers but we are believers. That day showed me the pure light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in "my project" and the instructor read it, then looked up at me and said, "Can I share this?" I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class. She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings (part of God) share this need to heal.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonalds, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student. I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn - unconditional acceptance - after all, we are here to learn! 
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A Principle With Promise

submitted by Dave Campbell in Independence, MO, July 10, 1999

A Principle with Promise by Pat Carrick

Our little Mark was so excited that he could hardly wait for Mama to wake up. She was so tired that the two-year-old boy was hesitant to disturb her. But when he found that Daddy was awake, Mark told him about the early morning visitors.

"Daddy, Daddy, some men came to see me!'

Dale asked, "Mark, did you dream about some men?"

"No, Daddy," his son replied. "Some men came right to my bed and talked with me.

"Well, Mark, what did they say?" Daddy asked.

Mark answered, "They told me that if Mama would stop drinking tea and coffee, that she would feel better and not be so tired."

"But, Mark, how did they come in? And where did they go? I didn't hear the door open--and besides, it's still locked," his dad said.

"They just came to my bed," Mark told him. "And after they talked with me, they Just went right through the door."

Mark stuck to his story. Neither Dale nor I was able to get our little son to change it. We had to accept that some men, perhaps the Three Nephites, had made a call on our concerned two-year-old to help his mother understand that she was ruining her body by trying to boost her energy with tea and coffee.

It has been some twenty-eight years since that experience. Eliminating tea and coffee, learning more about the Word of Wisdom guidelines, and trying to follow them have greatly improved my health.

I am healthier and tire less easily today than ever before in my life. Allergy problems, which had distressed my sinuses severely, have disappeared. Medical bills are almost non-existent for me.

God has truly worked a miracle in my body, which was plagued with anemia when I was young. The Word of Wisdom is indeed a principle with promise:

"And all Saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in
obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel, and
marrow to their bones, and shall find wisdom and great treasures of
knowledge, even hidden treasures; and shall run and not be weary, and shall
walk and not faint; and I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that the
destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not
slay them. Amen" (Doctrine and Covenants 86:3c-d).
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All Things Good

submitted by Dave Campbell in Independence, MO, July 10, 1999

All the Good Things written by: Sister Helen P. Mrosia

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving ≠ "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice-teacher's mistake. I looked at him and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"

It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.

I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape and shrugged my shoulders.

His first words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."

At the end of the year I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instructions in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in the third.

One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves ≠ and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled.  Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend."

That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me so much!"

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter.  The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip ≠ the weather, my experiences in general. There was a light lull in the conversation.
Mother gave Dad a side-ways glance and simply said, "Dad?"  My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important.

"The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is."

Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend."

To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.

The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral?   It was difficult enough at the grave side. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin.

I was the last one to pass the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin.

"Mark talked about you a lot," he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chucks farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

"Thank you so much for doing that" Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put this in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

THE END

Note: The purpose of this letter, is to encourage everyone to compliment the people you love and care about. We often tend to forget the importance of showing our affections and love. Sometimes the smallest of things, could mean the most to another. I am asking you, to please send this letter around and spread the message and encouragement, to express your love and caring by complimenting and being open with communication.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, I beg of you, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late. I leave these messages with you and ask you to continue to spread the message to everyone you know. 

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