Carborendum

Nephi, Mahonri, and Cowdery

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I wanted to share an interesting exchange I had recently.

I was administering the Sacrament for a couple this week.  The husband is disabled.  The wife is unemployed, mostly because the husband needs 24 hr care.  He is mostly bed-ridden.  But he does try to come to church to take the Sacrament.  But beyond that, his condition is pretty debilitating.

I've been doing this a while, so I felt I could inquire further on his condition.  It was a sad state where doctors just plain messed him up badly.  She mentioned that he's gone through all the options of workman's comp and medicare, and so on.  And he's had several blessings.

Normally, I would just shrug that off and think "sometimes blessings don't take."  But I knew that they did.  I wasn't willing to just shrug it off -- not this time.  I wondered.  This woman certainly had a lot of faith.  And I know that the husband did at some point as well.  Why didn't it work?  He's just had a bad lot here.  What lesson was there to be learned?  What benefit is there?

It occurred to me that the husband had pretty much felt abandoned by the Lord.  But I refused to believe that -- specifically because of the life and faith that he wife showed.  In spite of all this, there was no doubt that she was filled with faith, charity, hope, and an eye single to the glory of God.

My thoughts went to the Lord and the following thoughts came to mind:  

Quote

Nephi, 16 stones, Noah, and Oliver Cowdery.

I can explain later why these are connected.  But I knew what that meant.

I asked,"What is a point of focus that we can specifically ask the Lord about?  What research can we do to determine a fix for this?"  She mentioned a particular therapy that had shown great benefits.  But that they ran out of money to continue.

I thought that this could work.  After a few more inquiries, I suggested a course of action that was within our power and means to do.  Now, the only hurdle, really, is that the husband seems to have lost faith.  I could almost feel his desire fading.  He tries to keep a positive outlook.  But he is very sad.  And without faith, it may be too late.

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@Carborendum  I am quite sure that I do not possess so many answers that I use to think I had.  Sometimes I wonder if answers are really answers.  I have come to the conclusion that if we look at important things through the lens of life - there are no reasonable answers.  We see very little between birth and death and tend to draw conclusions that are disconnected in time or in eternity.  I have wondered if when we leave mortality that there is a physical defeat and giving up in death.  Even in the death of Christ his last words seem to indicate an ending of his physical struggle.   Obviously, I cannot say with authority because I am still breathing.  But as I wonder on this subject - perhaps death is the final expression of faith for a righteous person and the struggle of freedom with the non repentant.  However, mine is a projection into the unknown of a theater I have not engaged.  

I have been present at a number of deaths.  If the issue is a cardio failure it appears to be a smooth transition.  If the ultimate issue is respiratory - there is an involuntary physical reaction that seems a frightening concluding struggle.  I have come to a spiritual understanding that these appearances of death are not complete nor do they in any way portray the righteousness of the dying person.  We see death only from our side of the veil.  Having experienced myself what is called near death experiences and been present at the death of others - I have concluded that there is a categorical difference and that a near death experience is not a death experience.

I cannot say much concerning the person you serve.  His acceptance of the sacrament says more to me of his faith than his debilitating physical struggles.  I do not know what will be his resolution but I sometimes wonder if a family bond and the faith of family members (or other close friends) can hold on to a person beyond their time.

 

The Traveler

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21 hours ago, Traveler said:

@Carborendum  I am quite sure that I do not possess so many answers that I use to think I had.  Sometimes I wonder if answers are really answers.  I have come to the conclusion that if we look at important things through the lens of life - there are no reasonable answers.  We see very little between birth and death and tend to draw conclusions that are disconnected in time or in eternity.  I have wondered if when we leave mortality that there is a physical defeat and giving up in death.  Even in the death of Christ his last words seem to indicate an ending of his physical struggle.   Obviously, I cannot say with authority because I am still breathing.  But as I wonder on this subject - perhaps death is the final expression of faith for a righteous person and the struggle of freedom with the non repentant.  However, mine is a projection into the unknown of a theater I have not engaged.  

I have been present at a number of deaths.  If the issue is a cardio failure it appears to be a smooth transition.  If the ultimate issue is respiratory - there is an involuntary physical reaction that seems a frightening concluding struggle.  I have come to a spiritual understanding that these appearances of death are not complete nor do they in any way portray the righteousness of the dying person.  We see death only from our side of the veil.  Having experienced myself what is called near death experiences and been present at the death of others - I have concluded that there is a categorical difference and that a near death experience is not a death experience.

I cannot say much concerning the person you serve.  His acceptance of the sacrament says more to me of his faith than his debilitating physical struggles.  I do not know what will be his resolution but I sometimes wonder if a family bond and the faith of family members (or other close friends) can hold on to a person beyond their time.

 

The Traveler

I am curious about what you see as the differences between valid (I think there are many who make up these experiences among the New Age groups out there, but I also think there are those that are absolutely valid in their accounts) near-death experiences and death experiences are.  The valid ones generally seem to indicate that their soul has left their body and that they are transferred to a higher level or sphere of spirit, in many cases meeting their savior and family members who have passed on.

Just curiosity on my part, but as you mention it, I am curious.

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1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

I am curious about what you see as the differences between valid (I think there are many who make up these experiences among the New Age groups out there, but I also think there are those that are absolutely valid in their accounts) near-death experiences and death experiences are.  The valid ones generally seem to indicate that their soul has left their body and that they are transferred to a higher level or sphere of spirit, in many cases meeting their savior and family members who have passed on.

Just curiosity on my part, but as you mention it, I am curious.

There are a number of things that I use when trying to follow or discover truths.  Again I am not an expert or have what I could say is a "physical death" experience.  Our simplistic doctrine is that physical death is the separating of our spirit from our physical body.  I think and mostly believe there is more to death and the only way death can be overcome is through the resurrection which is through the Atonement of Christ.   I am inclined to think that there can be circumstance where the physical body appears to be lifeless and the spirit is allowed to leave or seem to leave - but the body is maintained in a type of suspension such that death does not occur.  But I am conflicted with what are called "near death experiences" - including my own.  Though it seemed that I left my body - I am not sure that I did and for me there seemed to be a time dilation in that I thought I experienced more than a day but it was later obvious that all took place in no more than a few seconds.  I have wondered what was "symbolic" or perhaps a "spiritual manifestation" or if anything was empirically real.  In essence, I believe that such things, at least for me, will only be known and understood at another time.  I am also inclined to think that such experiences can be either influenced by divine or demonic influences.  For example, Alma the younger experienced both ruin and despair as well as deliverance during his experience.

 

The Traveler

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On 6/30/2020 at 8:06 AM, Carborendum said:

It occurred to me that the husband had pretty much felt abandoned by the Lord

Sometimes God answers prayers for healing with a 'no' or 'not yet'.   It might help if you remind that
person of the trials Job went through - Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him

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20 hours ago, Jonah said:

Sometimes God answers prayers for healing with a 'no' or 'not yet'.   It might help if you remind that
person of the trials Job went through - Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him

I have a personal belief that some find difficult - but I believe that in the pre-existence we exercised our agency and "chose" our trials, blessings and opportunities for this life.  I do not believe we are "confined" to things to which we never had any say.  In essence that we are executing a divine plan in which we played an active role in planning and thus we are fulfilling a destiny that is truly ours.   This often leaves we in aw of many that determined and aspired to experience in this life - great personal achievements.

 

The Traveler

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On 7/2/2020 at 10:27 AM, Traveler said:

I have a personal belief that some find difficult - but I believe that in the pre-existence we exercised our agency and "chose" our trials, blessings and opportunities for this life.

Do you mean you had agency (the ability to choose good or evil) in the pre-existence? If yes,
what evil existed there?

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5 hours ago, Jonah said:

Do you mean you had agency (the ability to choose good or evil) in the pre-existence? If yes,
what evil existed there?

Lucifer

 

The Traveler

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As important as that belief is that the Lord can do something, of equal importance is the willingness to be okay with the Lord not doing anything. In other words accepting the Lord's will in the matter is the only true exercise of faith. I think at this point the Lord is far more interested in the spiritual healing that needs to take place than the physical. This is definitely a trial of his faith but the faith must abide independent of the miracle. Otherwise his faith cannot lead into salvation.

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On 6/30/2020 at 10:06 PM, Carborendum said:

I wanted to share an interesting exchange I had recently.

I was administering the Sacrament for a couple this week.  The husband is disabled.  The wife is unemployed, mostly because the husband needs 24 hr care.  He is mostly bed-ridden.  But he does try to come to church to take the Sacrament.  But beyond that, his condition is pretty debilitating.

I've been doing this a while, so I felt I could inquire further on his condition.  It was a sad state where doctors just plain messed him up badly.  She mentioned that he's gone through all the options of workman's comp and medicare, and so on.  And he's had several blessings.

Normally, I would just shrug that off and think "sometimes blessings don't take."  But I knew that they did.  I wasn't willing to just shrug it off -- not this time.  I wondered.  This woman certainly had a lot of faith.  And I know that the husband did at some point as well.  Why didn't it work?  He's just had a bad lot here.  What lesson was there to be learned?  What benefit is there?

It occurred to me that the husband had pretty much felt abandoned by the Lord.  But I refused to believe that -- specifically because of the life and faith that he wife showed.  In spite of all this, there was no doubt that she was filled with faith, charity, hope, and an eye single to the glory of God.

My thoughts went to the Lord and the following thoughts came to mind:  

I can explain later why these are connected.  But I knew what that meant.

I asked,"What is a point of focus that we can specifically ask the Lord about?  What research can we do to determine a fix for this?"  She mentioned a particular therapy that had shown great benefits.  But that they ran out of money to continue.

I thought that this could work.  After a few more inquiries, I suggested a course of action that was within our power and means to do.  Now, the only hurdle, really, is that the husband seems to have lost faith.  I could almost feel his desire fading.  He tries to keep a positive outlook.  But he is very sad.  And without faith, it may be too late.

In my mind, this experience raises the question of whether or not there should be any connection at all between our faith and our circumstances in life, and if so, why. At the moment, I can't think of why there should be any such connections. I think that, at a minimum, our faith should remain constant, regardless of our circumstances, and at more than a minimum, it should continue to grow, regardless of our circumstances. 

Edited by askandanswer

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