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March 14, 2016

Faith and Courage One Must Create

There are times in our lives where the refiner’s fire purifies us to the point that we go beyond ourselves and think and write things that seem above us.  Maybe our true divine nature comes out and the spirit flows through us like running water.

I have had this experience happen to me a few times, where there seems for a time that the veil is lifted a little and where God’s Holy Spirit personally teaches a truth.  I would like to share one experience in particular that happened to me.

I want to tell you about my Mother, Mabel Austin Crandall.  At age 18 she was a convert to the LDS church and loved the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all her heart.   Even though her family could not understand why she left the Methodist religion that they had raised her in, she and my father were married in the Methodist church to make them happy and 1 year later were sealed in the Mesa, Arizona LDS temple for not only time but for all eternity. At that time, she gained a strong testimony of eternal families and of temple work.

She was the type of person that ate very healthy, exercised, worked hard, and was on every committee in the community you could think of.  I think she single-handedly made sure 25 scouts in her ward received their Eagle Scout awards. She worked in the scouting program, PTA, and Boys and Girls Club helping young kids succeed in life.  She was my best friend and great example of everything good. Her grandchildren were her life and she made each one feel so special. She taught me so many important life skills that I use daily!

In 1995 my very healthy mother of age 63 was diagnosed with cancer.  Sometimes Heavenly Father throws us a curve that we are not sure we can handle.  This was one of those challenges for sure!  I watched my beautiful mother gracefully have chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumors.   She would dress up and go to her chemo appointments like she wasn’t even sick and I watched while she was getting her chemo treatment.  However, she acted different than all the other patients sitting in their chairs.  She got up from her chair, while the medicine was dripping into her, and knelt down by each sick patient and took their hands in hers and said…”You are going to beat this.”  She was so brave and wanted everyone to have hope and faith that they were going to get better.
She fought a hard fight pretending like nothing was wrong.  But I could tell that she was getting worn down and very tired.  She still kept going so that we wouldn’t worry about her.  She would say “I’m going to beat this”.   As time went on, the Lord had other plans for her.  As I started dealing with the fact that I was going to lose my Mother and best friend here on earth, my heart fully turned to my Father in Heaven and I found myself writing a poem for my Father and one of my daughters who I could see were sinking into grief and despair.  The words just flowed like water and in a poet’s world, it’s probably not great…but for me, I was just writing what was in my heart that the spirit dictated to me.
Faith and Courage One Must Create
by Annette 1998
Let down thy shoulders, and calm thy troubled heart
The Lord is with thee from the very start
Tho earth’s tribulation, none shall escape;
Faith and courage, one must create.
Born with affirmatives, weakness and wo
Learning to deal with daily, as we go.
And as if sometime, somewhere along the way,
We stumble and fall, bearing a heavy load on our tray;
The strength is within us to carry on and be,
The strong, servant in heaven, who pleaded, PICK ME!!!
I will go down and serve those below,
Whose burden is heavy and hope is no more.
But how can I serve when I myself suffer;
When doubt and despair creep in at my door.
Surely life’s curves have been thrown my way;
I thank thee dear Lord for helping me through this day.
I will fight the thoughts of discouragement and fear
Because I know surely that my Savior is near.
He’s been through this too; all of my feelings of not
And I thank him for these experiences that I have not sought.
Remember, he suffered and died that we may ever be,
pure and clean, with him throughout eternity.
Perfecting my spirit is not too late.
Faith and Courage one must create!
In June 1998 as she was fighting for her life, Provo City Mayor showed up and presented her with “Citizen of the Year” for Provo City Chamber of Commerce.  Everyone loved and appreciated Mom in the community for all her hard work.
She put up a good fight and as the family gathered around her in her final moments, She managed to say with much deliberation…”I cannot face my Mother on the other side not having her temple work done.”  She would not let her spirit go until my girls got in the car and went to the temple to do the baptism.  We were all around her bed when the girls left to go to the temple.  That satisfied her to go ahead and walk through the veil.  I went to the temple that very evening to finish up her mother’s work.  In fact, my whole family found ourselves in the temple that night thanking Father in Heaven for her life and just wanting to carry on her legacy by serving others.
I know my Father in Heaven knows me and helped me through this difficult time.  I also have had a very strong impression that my mother was taken early to help convert her sweet Christian family who have all passed away now.  Yes, we are doing their temple work and Mom is bearing her strong testimony to them that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and I know they are accepting the work because of my dear Mother!!!
If you want to know how you can be linked with your loved ones throughout all eternity, please visit or and the missionaries will teach you about our sacred temples and the work for the dead we do there.
Like my mother, I am so grateful for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I’m a Mormon and love my life!!!

October 9, 2014

What Is Truth?

Filed under: knowledge,stars,truth — Ryan Best @ 10:46 pm

The Sombrero Galaxy Led to Some Sober Thoughts

I saw the above picture of the Sombrero Galaxy from Ryan Best’s post on Facebook and it brought back memories.

When I was in the Navy, stationed in Guam, I used to spend endless hours gazing into the night sky, devoid of any light pollution, to see the countless stars there were to see. It was awe inspiring and led me, for the first time in my life, to begin to ponder the really big questions of life, such as “Who am I?” and “What is all of this about?” Fortunately for me, after many months of posing these and other such questions, sending them out into the void, I received some answers. I now know who I am and what all of this is about, which are some of the most important things to know in life because it gives my life direction and purpose.

It is so comforting to know where I came from, why I am here on earth in mortality, what the purpose of life is, and what happens after this life. By no means is this knowledge complete, because I wouldn’t even understand the vocabulary, much like me trying to explain quantum mechanics or astro-physics to a toddler, the toddler would not even understand the vocabulary, let alone have the capacity to comprehend what there is to know.

Yet, it is enough to know that which can be known and comprehended, little by little, line upon line, as I grow and learn. I am a literal spirit child of a Heavenly Father and like any good parent, our Heavenly Father along with His Son, Jesus Christ, do all that they can do to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children.

We are eternal beings having a mortal experience. Much like going away to boarding school, we were sent here to learn and to grow and to know by our own experience to discern between right and wrong, good and bad, health and sickness, light and darkness, etc. There is opposition in all things that we may exercise our agency to choose. It is a gift of God. By so doing, we demonstrate the content of our character and what kind of beings we are becoming, hence, this mortal life is a test of sorts, to see what we are made of.

Heavenly Father already knows what we are made of, so this test is to demonstrate to ourselves what we are becoming and what level of law we are willing to abide. Anyone willing to ask such questions honestly and with real intent, meaning that once enlightened, they are willing to act on the knowledge, rather than to only ask out of curiosity, will receive the answers to that which they seek.

If we are not willing to do something with the knowledge received, God will not give it to us, because we would then be accountable for it and He is too merciful to lay such a burden on us. To ask only out of curiosity with no intent to do anything with the knowledge would be fruitless, so our Heavenly Father only reveals truth to those who honestly seek it, with the intent to apply that truth, as it should be. This is accountability.

We are accountable according the truth we understand in regards to the way we live our lives. It is my personal belief that in the eternal scheme of things, we are still in the toddler stage of our eternal existence. Like children in a sandbox, we have the opportunity here on earth to learn to share, play nicely together, learn to help one another, and to develop good characteristics. In a nutshell, we have the opportunity and capacity to become more like our Heavenly Father and the Savior or we can choose to become something else, it is all up to us.

Fortunately, our Heavenly Father does not leave us without assistance. He and the Savior have given us a roadmap through the written word, the Holy Ghost, inspired prophets, and the example of the Savior to guide and direct us for good. Like everyone else in mortality, I am flawed and weak in many ways, and yet I have hope because of that which I know to be true.

The Savior has completed the atonement, which makes it possible for me to continue to grow and improve after this mortal life, as a resurrected being. I have a great deal of gratitude for my Heavenly Father and His Son, for making all of this possible and for the knowledge I have been given, as it has made all the difference in my life.

I have often contemplated where I would be and what my life would have looked like without this knowledge and it pales in comparison to that which I have been blessed with throughout my life. I have been able to see the hand of God in my life and His tender mercies toward me.

As I stated above, when I saw the picture taken by the Hubbell telescope of the Sombrero Galaxy, it brought all of this back to my mind. The universe is so vast and awe inspiring and beyond words to describe, but it was the catalyst which led me to a new and improved life.

By: Ronald Forstner 

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