I’ve written much about the subject of dreams and the spirit. In fact, I once made a point in a post that these visits from the spirt world would sometimes wake me up in the middle of the night almost demanding to be written. I found I was unable to get back to sleep until I recorded the dreams in my journal and asked the Lord if that was sufficient.
Because I once started a post with, “The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night, …” I was mocked by another LDS blogger. I suppose I deserved it. His point was, we ought not claim inspiration or direction from the Lord in our dreams if all we’re experiencing is the natural order of things, that mortals have dreams that can seem very real.
Family History Research Brought on the Dream
Well, I suppose I’m much older and hopefully wiser now. I haven’t read much from this UVU anthropologist lately. Somebody woke me up this morning about 4am. The dream was vivid, real, and to me warranted recording, which I usually do privately in my journal. Only rarely do I feel my dreams lead me to share something publicly.
I’m thinking this dream was brought on by an unexpected discovery I made on Ancestry.com yesterday while Carol and I were doing family history research. I discovered a girlfriend I had dated in college had recently died after a long illness. I had no idea because I hadn’t kept in touch. She married and divorced during the two years I was on my mission.
A Beautiful Sabbath Day in California
Although I had told Carol about this girlfriend previously, I shared yesterday some additional memories of Tracy’s influence upon me and why I was crying when I made the discovery (we usually do family history work side-by-side each Sunday afternoon). Carol was not too intrigued or desirous to hear more about her.
After all, why would Carol want to hear more about a past girlfriend, and why I was crying when I learned of her death? I feel the need to share a bit of the dream here as she came to me with a message that I felt was in answer to my own personal prayer last night. Remember, this is not a relative, but she was a very close friend.
Church is Almost Back to Normal
So I did not share too much with Carol, but found myself pondering that influence in my heart as we retired for the evening after our family prayer thanking God for another day of life, and a damned good one in which we attended church together, watched 1776 and the community fireworks celebrating our nation’s independence.
It was a wonderful Sabbath day of rest. We are now allowed to sing again in church in California. That always brightens our day. Singing side by side is wonderful. Our ward is also back to a more normal sacrament schedule. We no longer wait until the meeting is over to have the Sacrament, although they still put bread in individual cups.
My Blog is Still Relevant to me
I once read someone’s opinion of what he called “vanity LDS blogs,” and have since tried to stay away from sharing too many personal experiences on my site. He may or may not have been referring to my site. It doesn’t matter. The message was clear: Don’t be too self-absorbed. Only use stories with you in them to teach principles.
When we go out of our way to publicly share what should probably remain in our personal journals, we run the risk of alienating our readers. Nevertheless, I will charge right ahead, ignoring the risk of another mocking from anyone who cares to take the time or trouble to refute my claim. After all, this a just a dream – purely subjective.
Motivation to Study the Gospel
And, as I have mentioned many times, my blog serves as a catalyst for me in my gospel study and my pondering of the things I read in the scriptures. I’m certain I have mentioned my father was prone to visits from the spirit world in his dreams and sometimes shared them with me.
I seem to have inherited that tendency but have clearly and sadly learned, unless I ask the Lord for an interpretation, the symbolism can be easily interpreted as gobbledygook, or in the words of Charles Dickens through Scrooge, the result of a bit of undigested bit of beef or cheese.
In Which I go Back to Ricks College
In my case, I’m going to share that this former girlfriend visited me in my dream. She was not the first girl I had kissed, but she was the one with whom I practiced the most. You may know I went to BYU Idaho back when it was Ricks College. We young single folk were placed in Family Home Evening Groups to get to know each other better.
It was considered bad form to date the sisters in your Family Home Evening Group. I did it anyway, In fact, I dated three of the four girls in this particular group, all living in the same dorm room. Clearly, it was not a good idea. I can tell you because I heard from each of the girls separately that they did not like the idea.
Fondly Saying Good Night
Well, in the evenings after a date, especially after a Sunday evening fireside, we engaged in a common practice of sitting or standing just outside the girl’s dorm room main entrance, because the warm couches inside were already occupied, and there were no chaperones just beyond the light of the common area.
It was cold, being Rexburg at the end of the fall semester. On this particular occasion, Tracy and I had been to a fall formal dance, had a wonderful time and were simply chatting about the evening’s activities, but mostly practicing the fine art of kissing that teen-agers who think they are in love engage in regularly.
I Believe Dreams are From God
Now remember, this is a dream. I’ve been married to Carol for almost 39 years. This girl Tracy has been out of my life for almost 47 years. I last saw her when I was seventeen when we said goodbye as I went home for the Christmas break and she went on to another school back in her home state.
It was a bitter-sweet night, one in which we pledged to keep in touch and expressed our appreciation to each other for being companions, boyfriend and girlfriend really, at a time when everyone just HAD to have someone they were dating or waiting for. I suspect Tracy had stronger feelings for me than I for her, but that’s probably because I still needed to grow up a bit.
Sadly, I Broke my Promise
After all, I was a year ahead in school. Well, we didn’t keep in touch, and I soon forgot all about Tracy as I got on with my life, went on a mission, found and married Carol, started a family and a career, then did all in my power to be a good orthodox Mormon boy, which I struggled with but made work until 2014.
That’s when I had the last of my questions answered about what really happened in Nauvoo at the time of the death of Joseph Smith and decided to resign my membership in the LDS Church. To her credit, Carol has remained with me, although we both still live with that elephant in the room.
Dreams can be Answers to Prayer
Sorry, back to the dream. This is important. I’ll share just enough that hopefully will justify why I would make this public instead of keeping it in my journal, and then wrap up this short story. The Spirit world is real. I have had many visits from family members there, as well as a few former associates in life after they passed on.
They usually visit just once, and there is almost always something symbolic in the visit that is both memorable and significant as I wake up and feel to ask the Lord for an interpretation or record it in my journal. I have almost never had a second visit but have had recurring themes (such as flying) in my dreams.
A Message was Delivered
In this case, Tracy came to me, greeted me with happiness and thanked me for remembering her and especially for shedding a tear for finally remembering that we had agreed to keep in touch, which promise I broke. She said she forgave me and harbored no ill feelings for me, that she was happy, but that she was concerned for me.
I asked her about her life, said I was sorry to learn of her death, and asked why she was concerned for me. Her answer both surprised and shocked me, so much so that I immediately awoke and began to think about what she had said. I wondered why she would say it, and in fact, why she even knew to share it in such a manner.
The Telling of the Dream
“You have too much fear in you,” she said.
“What?” I said. I don’t fear anyone. If they don’t like me, they can go …”
She didn’t let me finish, put a hand over my mouth and looked at me earnestly.
“Do you remember our long talks after the devotionals and the dances?”
Instruction was Given
I smiled. As in these kinds of dreams, all the powerful feelings came flooding back. I was experiencing the emotions again of being counseled by someone who I knew liked me, but also was concerned for me at the time we were together. Since I was younger than most Freshman, and Tracy was the last of the three roommates I dated, she was really very kind to me.
Tracy was always warning me that I didn’t take certain things seriously enough, that I needed to try harder, be more diligent and especially, “to do the work.” In fact, somehow she knew when I had skipped a class, although I don’t remember telling her. A large part of success is just showing up. For some reason, I had not yet learned this simple lesson in life.
To the Subconscious, the Dream is Real
I’ll parenthetically add, that I failed miserably at Ricks College and did not become a good student until after I returned from my mission, mainly because I knew I was smart and could easily figure things out, but did not “do the work,” (homework assignments) and turn them in on time. Tracy, on the other hand, was an excellent student who went on to get her Juris Doctorate from OU, but I knew none of this until I read her obituary yesterday.
All of the memories of those many nights after the Sunday evening firesides outside the girl’s dormitory came flooding back. All the feelings associated with simply being with someone who was blessed with the gift of empathy and compassion made me cry. My own immaturity from that time was clearly revealed to me in my dream and, I believe, is the symbolism I was intended to experience in this dream: that I still needed to grow up.
I awoke with a start, clearly hearing her voice in my heart, “You can’t finish your life with this fear still in you.”
My Initial Thoughts on the Dream
“What in the hell?” I said to myself as I woke with a start. At first, I was ready to dismiss this as gobbledygook, the kind of dream where the mind rids itself of accumulated junk as we sleep so we can start a new day fresh and able to focus on our daily tasks at hand.
Only this week I have no tasks at hand. I accepted a new position last week with a defense contractor and start my new job next Monday. It was an unexpected change in my life, one I had not anticipated, but one in which I know the Lord was involved.
Feeling Relaxed and Worry Free
This week I am free from work, so I am feeling very relaxed. I have no work duties to worry me and besides, today we are celebrating Independence Day by doing nothing in our home but reading and writing. My only goal is to study for my security exam and to build up my mountain bike stamina.
A few weeks ago, just to test the market, I sent out five resumes with individual cover letters and received two interviews and two offers within a week. This is not normal and, in my opinion, only happens when the Lord wants me to move on to a different experience, a different place, and either learn something new or be in a position to influence someone He wants me to meet. In this case, I think it’s a combination of both.
My Relaxing Week Ahead
Since this is a position with a company that does DoD contracts, I intend to take this week to study for and pass the most recent Security+ exam so I can feel confident with all the Defense Department terms I will be encountering and how they implement network security. I also bought a new mountain bike and plan to take it out every day, working on my stamina until I can ride for several hours at a time.
I pondered Tracy’s statement. I’m still pondering it. To what fear could she have been referring? And of all the things she could have said, of all the memories she could have brought to my mind, why this one, where she lovingly chastised me for not taking things seriously enough and for “not doing the work?” I knew I wasn’t working hard enough then. I was having too much fun. And she was a big part of that.
Maybe that’s why the Lord allowed her to come to me. Who really understands dreams anyway? If you don’t believe dreams can be a gift from the Lord, you probably would have stopped reading this a long time ago. But I’ve prayed about this and will offer a few thoughts. They have to do with work and obviously fears, as Tracy mentioned, but more specifically about our life’s work and why we don’t do it.
Fears Keep Us Apart From Heaven
The answer came to me in the form of a question: “What do you fear the most?” The answer came at the same moment. I sat up in bed and hung my head in sorrow as I heard my own voice in my mind, “I fear coming into the presence of the Lord.” I then thought more about it. Is this interpretation really from the Lord? “How could this be something I fear, when it is the greatest desire of my heart? Haven’t I studied and prayed about this for years?”
I thought of all the good feelings I have experienced in prayer, gospel study, temple attendance, singing in the ward or stake choir, and a myriad of other occasions such as teaching a Sunday School class, a Priesthood lesson or speaking as a High Counselor. I thought of all the Bishopric meetings and all the High Council meetings I had attended, and all the sessions of General Conference I had watched.
None of those thoughts brought me comfort as I pondered Tracy’s statement. I thought of the times I had shared the gospel as a missionary, felt the warm comfort or “burning of the bosom” that President Oaks claims he has never felt. I thought of the many, many witnesses in prayer when I knew I had heard the voice of the Lord in my mind. In addition, I thought of the inspiration that always came as I prepared lessons and talks.
Coming Into the Presence of the Lord
In my mind’s eye, I have envisioned coming into the presence of the Lord many times. I almost always engage in this visionary activity during or just after prayer. Invariably, after the loving embrace and the shedding of tears of gratitude, I imagine the conversation goes something like this: I’m usually the one who initiates the interview:
“Well, how did I do?”
“How do you think you did?” The Lord responds.
“I think I failed miserably,” I reply.
A feel a deep sense of love and concern from my Savior. I seem to see a look of hurt on his face.
“Why do you say that, Tim?”
“Because I didn’t come into your presence while in mortality.”
“But you did. Many times,” he reassures me.
I think back of all the numerous times I have felt His presence and remember the sacred feelings of those moments. There are moments when I felt “in tune” with the mind and will of the Lord. At times, I have felt the peace and comfort of knowing, I mean really knowing that I am living my life in accordance with what I believe to be His will. And then I think of some of the things I have studied.
“No, I mean, like the one Denver described in his book.”
“Ah, but here you are now, and we have embraced. You feel my love.”
“I do, and we have. But why did this not happen while I was yet mortal?”
“You know the answer. You have read it many times. I know You can even quote it to me.”
Reciting Scripture to the Lord
And I do, “And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto the ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for you are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I Am, not with the carnal, neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.”
“And then there’s this one,” I say. “It shall come to pass that every soul who forsakes his sins and comes unto me, and calls on my name, and obeys my voice, and keeps my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.”
And from the Lectures on Faith, “… where doubt and uncertainty are there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time …”
And from Denver’s lectures: “There are only two great emotions: fear and love. Despite what He was put through, He overcame through love. Mankind allows their fears to control them.”
Energy Work to Identify Fears
Over the years, I have been blessed with hundreds of opportunities to learn about energy work in dozens of manifestations or modalities. It is a gift and in some ways a curse because a skilled practitioner and find out what’s bothering you in a matter of moments. I am firmly convinced it is one of the gifts of the spirit. Motivated to study this gift, I have asked for it, practiced it and used it for over twenty-five years. In can be a curse because if you don’t follow through on the healing process, it can come back to bite you again and again.
I have recommended several sources on my other blog, Holistic Research, but mostly I just use the chart on page 279 of my copy (First Edition, June 2007) of Dr. Nelson’s The Emotion Code. It’s a great way to quickly identify what’s bugging you, in my case, what fear I need to clear. I quickly identified it as worry. And of course, seasoned practitioners know it’s easy to identify the timeframe with a few additional questions. I highly recommend you become familiar with the practice if you are not already. It is extremely effective.
Cast Off Your Fears
Somehow, for some reason, I started worrying at age 15, and no, I didn’t need to discover anything other than that. My spirit or intelligence knows. It also knows that worry is fear and this is the fear which Tracy saw in me when she visited me last night. With a few words of a script I have memorized (from the book, Feelings, Buried Alive, Never Die), I released the negative energy associated with this fear or worry and asked the Lord to bless me as I move forward in faith in my life, free from the debilitating effect of this fear.
Is it really that simple? It can be. It has been for me. For someone who does not believe in energy work, there’s not much you can do to help them other than love them. In my mind, this has been the perfect answer to dealing with the falsehoods that have come into my life. Practicing forgiveness is the best (and the only) way to truly come unto Christ. “I, the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”
Find an Energy Practitioner
Hopefully you found something helpful in this post. As always, I am happy to respond to public or private questions. And yes, energy work can be done over the phone. Mel Fish used to do it all the time. I miss that man and his influence on the world. Isn’t it a shame that those who have these gifts are persecuted by the world? There are so few left who know and practice this skill.