Thursday, October 23, 2014

Self- Reliance Tip of the Week - All I Have to Do Is Dream...

I might be the only one...ok yeah probably...the ONLY one, that has those crazy, quirky dreams. Maybe you know the ones I'm talking about. You are up in front of your sophomore speech class, and everyone has a bowl of jello on their heads, and they all start singing "Yankee Doodle"! You feel awkward because you realize you're wearing your mom's apron that says, "I Rule the Rooster" while a puppy licks the wooden spoon in your hand. Go ahead, interpret that one! Nebuchadnezzar had NOTHIN' on funky dreams like this!

Sometimes, dreams can actually warn us of something. They CAN make sense, and leave us with an impression so strong we are willing to move Heaven and Earth to make something happen or avoid something by redirecting our path.

This last General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said talking about Heavenly Father: " He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts and feelings. He will speak it in a way that is unmistakable and transcends human experience. He will give them divine direction and answers for their personal lives." (October 2014 Saturday morning session)

In October 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley said, " This vision of Joel has been fulfilled, wherein he declared: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." "

Let me take a quick count of many "famous" dreamers who have been warned, given instruction, or comforted in dreams or visions (this is by no means a complete list :) ): 

  • Joseph (Mary's hubby - Jesus' mother)
  • Joseph of Egypt
  • Lehi (who also had a Joseph :) )
  • Nephi
  • Daniel (you know, the lion tamer )
  • Amos
  • Zechariah
  • Ezekiel 
  • Peter (he dreamed about all the "unclean" animals that represented people who were now to be taught the gospel)
  • Joseph Smith
So, I will tell you of a dream I had about 5 years ago. No worries, this one has nothing to do with jello or yankee doodle. It was very short, but left me with a sense of urgency. I dreamed that Mt. Graham erupted. We packed as much as we could in our van and went to pick up Don Kirk and his wife (an older couple in my ward ) and we left. I remember boulders falling by us and we had to try to avoid them. I woke up with the impression that I need to be ready at any moment to pack it up.

My point in saying this is not to scare you. Will Mt. Graham erupt? Maybe, maybe not. Artesian hot springs at the base of the mountain make me go, "Hmmm..." While recently talking with a friend, I discovered she had also had a similar dream. What is even funnier? She is the 4th person I know of (besides myself) to have had a similar dream. Because I had this dream, does it mean it is revelation for everyone? What can we do with this information? 
  • We can ignore it
  • We can glean something from it
  • We can run around like chicken little and hope a smouldering boulder doesn't land on us... :)
My point is, to listen to what warnings you receive in daily thought, in dream, or impressions during General Conference, etc. I have since asked for more dreams, but I haven't had any others. He knows that I know what I need to do because of the other premonitions He has given me. I still get the nagging sense that I need to revamp my food storage menu. Is that different than a dream? Not really. We must obey our own promptings from the Holy Ghost. Does that mean we cannot learn from revelation given to someone else? Absolutely not. 

If the only dream you ever read is "John Taylor's Vision" - you might think, "What is the point? With the sickness and desolation, who is to survive?" That is NOT Heavenly Father's plan! He will not leave us empty handed - if we do our part. But we need to understand how serious the Lord is when He warns us through prophets to get out of debt, have a storage of necessities, and take very seriously our spiritual preparations. 

Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie (at an LDS Business College Devotional February 2005) had this to say: 

" We must both learn what these signs [of the last days] are and then identify them correctly when they occur. They can and will strengthen our faith in Christ and His prophets, if we know the scriptures. Just as in the days of Noah, a way is already prepared for the escape of the Lord's elect Latter-day Saints, if they are in tune with His prophets."

What an amazing promise! 

For further study, here is a link John Taylor's vision - ( please read with an understanding that this is only a SMALL part of the plan for the latter-days - if you read any, read to the end, that is the REALLY good part!)

Did you know that George Washington had a vision also? This one is AMAZING and leaves me with happy goosebumps!

If for any reason you feel overwhelmed, grab your nearest Melchizedek priesthood holder and ask for a blessing. Then, take baby steps to reach the small goals first, like: 

  • Make a one month menu of things you normally eat and drink (I actually do a 2 week menu and then copy the same thing for the next two weeks - yeah - I'm lazy like that)
  • Multiply that times 3 for a 90 day supply
  • Have a Family Home Evening about where you would go if there was an emergency (make a Plan In Place)

One of my FAVORITE books of all time is, "On the Wings of Faith" by Frederick W. Babble. He went with (then) Elder Ezra Taft Benson to war torn Europe directly after WWII ended. They went to help the suffering saints there. Their journey is filled with miracle after miracle. Tender mercies of the Lord were realized over and over again. That is Heavenly Father's plan.

In a book I read about many different people having various dreams, one of the ones that impressed me the most goes like this:

"I was facing a group of Russian prisoners-of-war who had been taken captive as their invading army was being pushed back, relinquishing American territory that they had occupied. I was to address this group of combat veterans, and I was doubtful of how my message would be received. Through an interpreter, a man who had served an LDS mission to Russia, I said to them:

"This terrible war is coming to an end. The tyrant whom you have served is no more. The tyrant who ruled our land and oppressed us is no longer in command of our armed forces. We have all been victims.

Some of you already realize that the things your political commissars told you were lies. We now offer you a choice: be returned to the remnants of your armed forces in a prisoner exchange, or enlist in the cause of freedom and become our brethren, fighting alongside us for our freedom and yours.

When the war is over, you who choose to be our comrades in arms may return to your homeland or stay here with us, for there are many farms and homes left vacant by this terrible conflict. You may work the land and the fruits of your labor will be yours, and not the property of the State or the Party.

We will teach you the gospel of Jesus Christ and you can become members of his church and kingdom...The Spirit of the Living God sees what is in your hearts, and He cannot be deceived....

I was stunned to see tears rolling down the soot-stained cheeks of many of these battle-hardened soldiers. Many immediately stepped forward and tore the rank and unit insignia from their tunics as they did so, signifying their decision....Not a few asked in wonderment "Can I really get a little farm of my own?"

Am I the only one who got goosebumps? 

Even though this isn't MY dream, I can still gain some valuable information from it. I have always thought dreams were intriguing (jiggly hats = definitely intriguing). I have also read several books that speak of near death experiences and the visions they receive and are instructed to share when they return. It humbles me how Heavenly Father speaks and directs individuals with such broad backgrounds and teaches them in a unique way so it is something they can relate to on an individual basis. He's awesome! I am so thankful for this tool that we have (along with all the other ones He gives us) so that we might be able to accomplish His commands and bless His children.

If you would like more information on books I have read, let me know. I'd be glad to give you a list. 


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