A few weeks ago, I and many hundreds of like-minded individuals made a somewhat treacherous journey over a mostly dirt road, rutted in places and truly leading through a wilderness in Southeastern Nevada until we arrived at a remote location where we could be unmolested and somewhat unrestricted by the prying eyes of government or others unwilling to make such an arduous journey, just to freeze our butts off in a cold and dreary wasteland.
Okay, I’m a little overdramatic in my description of both the journey and the location, but not by much. I kept wondering how much further I would need to go on this desolate road before I reached the intended destination. Luckily, I happened to caravan with three or four others who were making the same trip, and our very presence encouraged each other onward in our journey. With great rejoicing we arrived and were very warmly greeted.
Why did I / we drive for so long and so far to such a remote destination? I went at the invitation of a long-time friend who encouraged me over and over for months that I “needed” to be there, that it would make a difference in my life to be among friends and that I needed to be there as a witness of what was to take place. He was right. I needed to be there and am glad I went, even though I barely participated in any of the carefully planned events.
Due to previous family commitments, I arrived late and left early. I did not stay even one full day. I arrived in time to hear a presentation by one of my favorite fellow bloggers on one of my favorite topics, had my faith restored that there are yet some good people out there who believe in, read about, understand and like to discuss the theories of the Electric Universe, especially as an explanation for celestial events in America at the time of the Savior’s death.
I said hello to another long-time friend who asked me about my previous blog post and asked if I had received an answer to my prayer. I have and I did. I will will share that in just a moment. I was also a first-hand witness from almost a front-row seat to one of the best presentations on the Religion of the Fathers that I have yet heard. I am still studying and digesting what was prepared and presented and which is available today in many formats.
I knew the talk was going to be made available online. I knew it was going to be recorded, both audio and video. I knew I didn’t really need to be there to receive what was prepared. After all, the presentation wasn’t made to entertain. It was to inform and to teach. I knew that before I went. So why did I go? I did not even get a chance to say hello to my friend who organized the event because he had so many things to take care while we were there.
I went as an act of faith. I went to show, if only to myself, that I still believed in this movement and wanted to be a part of it, even though it seems to this California boy that it is mostly a Utah or Idaho thing (not true). I discovered when I arrived that I had been asked to speak on the next day but flaked out and went back to my wife who was waiting in our warm hotel room. For that I apologize to Brian and to those who had hoped to hear my testimony.
I’m sorry I missed a presentation made by my friend Bret. He has published another book, “New Eyes, Seeing the Restoration Scriptures With the Eyes of a Child.” I’m also sorry I missed Adrian’s talk the next day on the Passover. I know I missed much by not staying the night and participating in the Sacrament and the additional presentations the next day. I believe Brian and Jenifer also spoke. There were many people I should have visited with that day.
The Real Reason I Went Out to the Desert
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you know I am most concerned about my inability to share parts of my faith with my wife. Even though we already have so much in common, it has pained me that I haven’t been able to share so many of the things I have gleaned from the many papers (some now canonized) and talks from Denver, whom I still firmly believe is doing just what the Lord asked Him to do in preparing a people for Zion.
You may recognize the above Petroglyph as being the primary exhibit at Little Black Mountain Petroglyph site just over the border in Arizona as you drive from St George to the new airport on Southern Parkway (Highway 7). Take River Road or Warner Road (I took River Road) and be prepared for a very rough drive to get to the site. I wanted to see the etchings myself because I believe they contain evidence of things seen in the sky at the death of Christ.
Here’s where the story get’s interesting (at least for me). Because I went on a day that was cold and blustery, I decided to pull off about halfway to the site and simply go walking in the desert. I’ve been hiking Southern Utah trails for years but have never gone to this particular site. I went there to be alone. I went there to talk to the Lord. I have often found the Lord in the desert, especially on previous hikes up near Hurricane where Carol’s family lives.
On this day, I never made it to the Petroglyphs. I went back another day to see them, but on this particular day, I had one of the most wonderful and personally revelatory experiences of my life. I’m sure you know the scripture in Matthew 24 in which the Lord describes the events of the last days. He is making the point that when he comes, ALL the world shall see him. There shall be great signs preceding his coming. Carol loves to quote these verses to me:
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” She asks, “Are you going to see a prophet in the desert?”
Frankly, attending the conference was, for me, a secondary objective. My primary reason for going into the desert was to be in a remote place where I could be alone, raise my voice aloud and cry unto the Lord. There is something about raising the voice aloud that brings the spirit in great abundance, at least to me. It’s times like these that I feel the Lord almost dictating my thoughts, giving me the words I should share, that come in ideas and impressions.
It is my personal belief that the ancient inhabitants of the Americas recorded on these Petroglyphs what they saw in the sky at the time of the Savior’s death. My main reason for going out into the desert that day was not to hear Denver speak, but to talk with the Lord. I had prepared my petition and I presented it to him. No I didn’t read it aloud. In essence, I said, “Oh Lord, thou knowest what I have written. Thou knowest my love for Carol and my concern.”
I don’t know why, but when I prepare myself in this manner, with a thoughtful, written petition, weeks of waiting for just the right moment, and then present myself to the Lord, He is is always quick to answer. We talked about what I had written. We talked about the eternities. We talked about relationships, about goodness, about kindness, about long-suffering, patience, love and especially service. I can’t tell you how much He emphasized unselfish service.
The Answer to My Petition
If you read the last few paragraphs of my petition (the actual prayer), you’ll note that I asked about being united in the eternities when we are not completely united in this life. I said, “What is required for us to have a promise of eternal life together as husband and wife? Will one of us be required to change our beliefs? Will such changes become obvious with the passage of time? In other words, will one of us be proven right and the other wrong, or does that even matter? What are thy requirements to bind a man and woman together through the eternities?”
If there is any part of what I received from the Lord that I am allowed or rather encouraged to share, it is these words, “The concept of one of you being proven right or wrong is so foreign to the way of heaven that you must get that out of your head right now and never consider it again. It just doesn’t work that way. If you harbor any desire to prove Carol wrong, or that she has been misled, or that she is deceived, you will never reach your destination.”
“I know what you want. Your desire is righteous. I gave it it to you. You are blessed for having chosen to accept it and to act upon it. I have seen your struggles and your trials, your frustrations and your feelings of discouragement. Now you know somewhat of how I felt when I wanted to share, to teach and to become one with my disciples who simply were not ready. Look to the experiences when I prayed for the people in the events recorded in Third Nephi.”
“You are in an area where the people recorded the heavenly events they saw on the night of my death. So many of them desired to see the destruction for themselves. They wanted to understand. They wanted to be taught. You would have come with Carol that day had you been alive at the time. She has a believing heart. The day will come when the two of you will be in my presence together, but you have a long way to go before you are ready for that.”
And that’s about the extent of what the Lord authorized me to share. I use that word because it is the closest to what the feeling is when we talked about what I would post here. He said my desire is righteous and since I have desires to encourage, to strengthen and uplift, he will bless my work. This blog is part of my work. My study of what Denver has shared is another large part. Someday I hope to have more time to write in a more fulsome manner.
Thank you to Those Who Organized the Conference
But for the next few years, I am yet a captive of Babylon. So much of my time and energy is given in serving others each day. Sometimes, it is a challenge to not resent it, especially when I must deal with those who are accusatory or abusive. But it never fails, when I pause and say, “Why, Lord?” He responds, “so you will understand what it is like to be falsely accused and abused.” Translation: some folks resent IT people for not preventing their IT problems.
When a friend wrote and expressed he was sorry he missed me at the conference, I shared with him my feelings of contentment from having communed with the Lord in the desert about my marriage. He responded, “As a rule, the Lord does not waste anything good and worthy of preserving. Death and separation is intended to put away all the evil, unworthy and detestable things of this world, but does not have any effect on the good done here.”