Welcome, to the Understanding and Application of Plain Precious Truths

The Glory of God

I glory in plainness, in the glory of the Lord, and keeping his commandments and my commitment covenants. It is He who has set upon me the love of knowledge, wisdom and favor.

May we all find the Lord in His true church upon the earth, and enter in through faith, repentance, baptism by immersion by one holding the proper priesthood authority, and then being confirmed a member of His church upon the receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

I love being a son of God with full access to the atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. I love the church and kingdom of God here on the earth. It is burning with the glory of the redeemer of the world in darkest night.

We can all be a light to the world around us. May these insights help you find your way, and better your walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Featured post

Conversion in Christ

Let Us Follow the Carpenter’s Son

This post is about conversion in Jesus Christ. Not just about believing in, or even believing Him, but actually being one in Him, as the scriptures state. It’s about being like Him, doing as He does, thinking and feeling as He does. Being truly converted into his likeness and image / countenance. For to be like Him, we must take on our true selves, and become the best version of who we are, reflecting even Him and His goodness in and on each one of us. For we truly come unto Him, to be who we really are. Let’s be in Him, and bear his name, being called His children.

We are not yet perfect, but can truly be perfect in Christ now, wherein we take upon us his yoke, and move forward side by side with Him, having Him pull our load with us. Through this we have the perfect opposition made possible, through His perfect balance, omniscience and grace.

As we do our best to do our part, He bears and affects His enabling strength into us, which pulls us forward, and the rest of the needed effort is given by Him. This is what it means to be perfect in Christ now, to have His yoke and bear His cross. It is by His grace that we can do anything good in the first place, and by Him we move forward.

Because of this partnership, we are never given more than we can handle, and we can always receive optimal growth, through struggling with the challenges He gives us. As we do so together with Christ, we can truly learn to be Closer in Him. For He is our example and life source.

Yes, we indeed need our Jesus! He is OUR Savior. Not some other God’s Son and people’s Savior, but our own! We NEED to trust in our brother Jesus Christ, the Holy Anointed one, for our survival, perpetuation, joy, happiness and peace. We must follow the lead and directions of the Carpenter’s Son. He is ours. Let’s be His!

In Him our lives are played out, for He took our lives into His body during the atonement, wherein we can deny ourselves, take up His (our) cross, and follow Him down our true road, to eventually become as He is. This path is where we must all go. Like the Father, like the Son, like unto us.

Closer In Thee

Even as the Son is in Thee,
I want to be, growing from seed,
Giving glory in holy sanctity,
Closer in Thee.

As the earth is to tree,
I want to be rooted in peace,
Founded in holy increase,
Bound up, never to leave.

My soul’s richness,
Deepens in living waters,
Ever flowing pure and evenly,
In the time we spend in beauty.

My life enlivens with childlike excitement,
Jubilant in divine, holy love,
In unity and celestial thrill,
As we approach time on our sacred hill.

Our love is one of truth,
A tender bond of loyalty.
Giving our whole souls as proof,
Sealed in the bosom of eternity.

I cry out to all the families,
Throughout all unending space,
Time and all the eternities,
Remember your Godly place!

Secure your family line and home on high,
With relationships divine, husbands and wives,
Children, Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters,
All entwined throughout eternal lives.


My Recovery Timeline

My peace I give unto you

In 1990 at age 14 I started exhibiting mental illness symptoms.

Although without reliable medication until age 21, I was able to graduate High School through some home school the last semester of my senior year, and through a week of school in an adolescent psychiatric hospital in Southern California called Mesa Vista.

I was hospitalized two times there within a one-year period in their locked adolescent unit, both in 1994 and 1995 at age 17. This was through Kaiser Permanente Health Care, which my Dad utilized through his work insurance.

During my second concurrent stay in this adolescent hospital, which was only several months after the first, near the end of my stay, one of the counselors finally made the statement that he thought I might have schizophrenia. When I got home and told my Dad, he was upset and overwhelmed, but as time went on, it was a relief to him to understand more of what I was facing.

Almost two years later as an adult, I was hospitalized two more times. The first in 1996 at age 20 in the Mesa Vista Adult Hospital Facility, another locked Unit, even though I had still not been diagnosed. While there, they started testing me for mental illnesses and tried different medications, none of which worked.

The second locked adult unit hospital stay came in January of 1997, when my Dad again used his work benefits, but this time I stayed at the Grossmont Psychiatric Hospital, also in Southern California. While there, I was finally put on Risperdal, a three-week brand-new medication which helped a lot.

Once back home, my Mom and Dad seemed to see that I was a completely different person, all in about 5 weeks.

After 3 months I became medication incompliant, because the emotional turmoil inside me which I began to feel more readily because my brain’s chemistry was more balanced, was too much for me to handle at that time, so I stopped taking the medications.
It was at this time that my Father arranged for me to live in a Board and Care facility, where they provided room, food and medication assistance. I was there for 8 months, until the end of July of 1997.

While there I returned to medication, after having a spiritual experience which I’ll describe here: I was visiting a friend, at which point in the visit I was alone in his room listening to his Latter-Day Saint church music. I was there contemplating taking the medication again. It was then that I had the Holy Spirit say to me in a still small audible whisper, “Shane, you need to take the medication. It will slow you down, but in the long run, it’s what you need.” And so recognizing this for what it was, I did. After stabilizing back on my medication, and after 8 months’ time, I was able to return to my family’s home to live.

In 1998, when I turned 22, my Kaiser Permanente Psychiatrist asked me how I was doing. I told him that I felt the medicine Risperdal was starting to fail and stop working. He said he had heard cases of where this had happened. My belief and understanding is that the body sees the medication as a foreign substance, and begins to build up a resistance to it. I told my Dad about this and he was concerned.

A week later my Dad had me meet with a Doctor who worked directly with his work agency, as my Dad was a Therapist. This Doctor, Doctor Diachic, re-diagnosed me with Schizoaffective and Bipolar Disorders, and knew what medications and doses to put me on.

She had me on Zyprexa and Depakote, and extremely high doses of both, even more than is recommended. I progressed well with these.

Two years later at the age of 24, I had improved enough to be called to serve a Temple Service Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, at the San Diego Temple in La Jolla, California.

My Dad had counseled with many young missionaries through his work as a therapist for the church, who had tried staying in the mission field, most of whom could not for various mental and emotional reasons, so he was excited about this latest development in the church, which had been piloting a program to make church service missions available for young adults, as an alternative to traditional proselytizing missions. I strongly believe that this was in part to the three letters my Dad had personally written to the First Presidency of the church over the years concerning this specific need and matter.

It was finally on the 24th of October 2000 when my mission began. I had gone with my Dad to the Temple three days prior on the 21st to receive my own Temple Covenants, so I could be fully qualified to serve.

After I had served for one year, my family wanted to test my ability to venture out on my own. They helped me move out at age 25, with the help of the Social Security Income I was receiving as a disabled person. I moved into a Senior Living Unit, which I could live at because of my disability. While there, I finished my mission, and continued to be active in church, with friends and activities with other young adults my age.

After my mission, about 1 year later, my family felt they needed a change of scenery, so they moved to Utah. Three months before they moved however, I again met with Doctor Diachic, because my medications were again losing their ability to help. She put me on Abilify, which began to work great.

With this, my family all moved, except for one sister who had just married and was living in the newly remodeled old family home.

After successfully living on my own for 4 and a half years with no roommates at all, two of which I only had this sister living nearby, and having acquired a job in 2005 in a sheltered work environment through my church, at a Deseret Industries in Chulu Vista California, I received a call from my Mom. She said that they decided to buy a house in Utah, and that they would let me come live in the condo they had originally purchased when they moved there.

They moved out December 31, 2005, and I moved in January 1, 2006, after the biggest young single adult Church New Year’s Southern California Bash in history. I loved it!

Once in Utah, I immediately got a job with the help of my Dad, through this same Deseret Industries, a thrift store outreach program to help people get back on their feet through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Other jobs soon followed, each one an improvement from the last.

While living in Orem, Utah and working at this Deseret Industries in Provo, and 2 months after moving to Utah, I met my future wife Katherine, while performing my Church calling of Young Single Adult Ward Representative for the Stake Institute (Ward meaning congregation and Institute meaning religious instruction Institution). We dated for five months, were engaged for five months, and married by the end of the year in the Saint George House of the Lord Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was 8 days before the 2007 New Year, and I was 30 years old.

Three months later, I received a letter that my medical and financial benefits had been stopped, because I had married someone who is not disabled. This made it impossible for me to purchase medication at this time. This lasted for three months.

At this time of trial and alarm, I received a priesthood blessing from a friend visiting from California, which made it so I would not completely crash and lose all my progress, but rather that the digression would be slowed, and I would be able to get back up on my feet, once medication was restored to my mental health maintenance.

After three months’ time of no medication, I slowly regressed, yet still fought to maintain my mental health. I then finally received my Medicaid (medical) Health Benefits back, and received a Medicaid Card in the mail, which allowed me to once again receive medication. My SSI income was still denied, of which I’m glad, because I don’t want to live that way.

From there I again fought my way forward, even becoming healthier than I had ever been, and on less medication than before. This is so because as I had previously been on medication, which dulled my emotional response, making it impossible for me to deal with the deeper inner emotional baggage and turmoil I had, I was suddenly without the medication.

With the priesthood blessing I was given and having the Holy Spirit with me, I was held up enough to be able to deal with these emotional problems as I slowly digressed. When I again got back on medication, and no longer had that deeper layer of inner emotional turmoil, I not only improved again, but was also able to function even higher and better, and continue in my progress. This was something that had stopped for me previous to this experience, for I had plateaued in my progress. I had been fighting and fighting through the pain but only getting worse, as it had begun to drag me down.

Then, once back on medication, and the baggage gone, I continued to move up and forward, which I understand from others is very difficult to do after not taking medications for an extended period of time. I was able to do so because of the truths and atonement of Jesus Christ living in me, making this possible through Him. Building on the foundation of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel is a defense against relapse. It works!

I continued on Abilify and Depakote from July of 2007 to July 2011, when I then felt I needed something extra to help me with anxiety. I found a Psychiatrist who recommended a drug called Cilexa, which is commonly used for anxiety. This gradually began to help, until I felt my symptoms were manageable, but not perfect.

In 2009, I started a one-year Technical school course in Medical Office Administration at M-Tech College. I graduated in 2010, also fulfilling a successful externship provided by the school at the Utah State Mental Hospital in Provo, Utah, which place I chose to gain office experience, but I did not then get a job in the office administration field.

In November of 2014, I again felt the main psychiatric medicine stop working. First it was Risperdal, then Zyprexa, and now Abilify!

I tried to find the same Doctor I had previously used who had prescribed the Celixa, but he had retired a year before. There was another psychiatrist I went to, who asked me about Zyprexa. I told him I had been on it once before, but it had not lasted. He asked if I would be willing to consider trying it again. I asked him if I could pray about it there in his office. He said yes, so I took one minute. 30 seconds to pray, and 30 to listen. I then told the Doctor, “Yes, let’s do it!” I was then on Zyprexa, Depakote and Cilexa. They worked very effectively for me.

In November 2012, I started working for a company called Chrysalis, which is a company that provides group home assisted living for mentally, developmentally, emotionally and or physically challenged individuals. I was a Direct Support Professional (DSP) and enjoyed it very much. While employed there, I cared directly for the individual’s needs, providing outings, talk time, daily care and giving them medications.

Then in November of 2015, another miracle happened. I had never asked my Dad for a priesthood blessing of healing, because I felt it was not God’s will for me, believing that there was an inspired purpose for my struggle. However, during a visit with him, I felt inspired and constrained by the Holy Spirit to ask him for one. We set up a time, and my family gathered for the occasion. Although this blessing did not heal the mental illnesses as I had originally thought it would, it did heal the brain damage I had received, when I had originally been given the illnesses.

Suffice it to say, my mental and emotional challenges never came from my family per se. I was not born with these mental illnesses, nor did I get them from overwhelmed stress, although there was plenty of that my entire life. I also never messed around with drugs, alcohol, sex outside of marriage or anything else unhealthy. Howbeit I was too unpopular in high school for anyone to even approach me on these topics, so I was protected in that regard.

My abuse came from a Satanic cultist “family,” who had kids my age and lived around the corner on a cross street. They tied me in emotionally to them, in a way in which I will explain.

I could not remember the satanic ritualistic abuse I had suffered at their hands, after which they had given me the earliest and only anti-psychotic medicine at the time, Haldol, which helped cause me to forget the event.

These memories were also blocked out as a means of survival, a coping mechanism, yet I was still able to feel somehow that something was wrong. As a child, I believed that if I could fix them, I could also somehow fix myself. This is one of the reasons these cults do ritualistic abuse in the first place. They know that children will attempt to resolve any lost part of themselves by making “friends” with the enemy, and always return to them to try to do so. I would always find ways to “hang out” with them rather than my own family if I could. It wasn’t until years later, when I was stabilized on medication, that I even had these Satanic ritualistic abuses come to my remembrance, and in great detail.

After the blessing my Dad gave me, I did something very dangerous. I went off all my medications cold turkey, thinking that this was what I needed to do, without even consulting my wife or parents. This is dangerous because of the heavy withdrawals one goes through immediately after cutting out these controlled substance medications. Because of this, and after struggling at work, they found an indiscreet way to fire me.

This time off my medications was once again a  3 month period. I again spiritually realized through God in great conviction, that this was not to be, and I got back on all my Medicines.

During this time however, the same type of emotional transformation which took place the first time I went off my medicines, happened again, only this time on a different level, and in a different way.

It was because of this second emotionally healing experience, that I was able to have a greater capacity to grasp and understand concepts in life, which put me in a better position to succeed, which beforehand I was unaware of.

I thank my God for providing these miracles and insights, for because of a His every day miracles my whole life through, it has made my life so much better suited for growth, in a manner in which I can be more successful, and maintain better employment, school, church and all other endeavors in my life.

This second miracle of my emotional healing from my time off medications is indeed in need of explanation. Because a person needs to be clear headed enough to talk through their problems to heal emotionally, a person needing medication to be clear headed doesn’t have the option to do so, because the same medicine making them clear headed, also blocks their emotions. My miracle came as I was off medicines.

The Lord then took the portions of me which were ailing and hurting, and through molecular means, applied the atonement to each one. For example, for the emotional pain of a certain kind stored in the cells in my belly, the Lord applied His atonement specifically to these cells in my belly, according to the certain needs required to heal them.

After getting back on my medications, I met with my doctor and we did a medication adjustment. I then needed more of the dosage of Zyprexa, because my brain had healed from the brain damage by means of the blessing I received, thus having more room in my brain for the medications to perform their proper functions. I needed less Cilexa however, because I was more whole, and with this new state to my brain map and chemistry, my anxiety was less. With this miracle I continued to progress.

In 2016, I met with my Doctor about a medication change, because I was having too many stressor symptoms. He recommended adding Abilify to the already prescribed doses of my other medications, saying that Zyprexa and Abilify are for the same ailment, but work very differently in the brain. He said that it would be good to try and see if they could help “cover all the bases.” It has been a great help, and the difference has been miraculous. I also found that I could do even better a month later when I increased the Abilify.

I then found work a third time at Deseret Industries, in which I worked with some of the many programs and services offered. They paid for technical schooling, where I again attended M-Tech in April of 2017, to become certified in the pursuit of becoming an IT Technical Support Specialist. I did not finish this but learned all that I desired to in that field at that time, which has helped me with some of my many other pursuits.

Every turn I take, I have found a new treasure of pain and sorrow in me, which I uncover and need to face in my pathway of growth and journey home. I use the word treasure, because I find that all pain, suffering and sorrow, ministers to who we are as a person, and helps us become greater than we could ever be without it. I use the word home, because the way I handle these trials determines how I bless and secure my heavenly home.

As I have duly progressed, I have found more and more success, and I see and acknowledge the hand of the Lord in my life more and more.

As my early life had been one big ball of pain, misery and destruction over and over, year after year, with no real respite; a desperate, angry and indolent fight, with persecution, agony, abuse and turmoil throughout all of it, I had a lot of work to do and go through.

I am still working through my recovery today, and although my childhood was horrendous, I have found my emotional and mental healing, as well as brain damage healing. God has given me a new soul, and I am cleansed. He has said that as I give service to others, He will take from me, any remaining emotional, mental and even social challenges and burdens I may face.

In the beginning of 2019, I met with my doctor again, and after dialogue and discussion, he recommended that I switch out the medication of Cilexa for Prozac, noting that I could switch them without having to taper the medicines off or on. Since this has taken place, I don’t struggle as much with my anxiety, and I am less depressed. I am even able to have more, better and higher thoughts, which help me act in a way which greatly improves my life.

All these miracles, with my whole life growing with God, He reaching out to me, helping and bringing me in, allowing me to taste of home, giving me peace and joy throughout all the turmoil, although hell to experience, Heavenly Father has indeed brought me little by little, piece by piece, into the sun. I have been so blessed and rewarded, as I now have a beautiful family, and infinite blessings to come.

My wife and I have been happily married for over 12 years, and we have two sons and a baby daughter, who are the joy of our lives. My pathway to recovery is very well on its way, and I see myself as having no limitations for the future. At this point, as I put my trust in God, and have Him as my guiding light, each day I strive to do something more, even difficult things I didn’t know I could do. It is in the use of Christ’s atonement, that we can stretch ourselves, grow, and even accomplish higher things. I now have a wonderful job, again working in a group home, caring for and serving individuals with emotional, mental, developmental and physical challenges, yet with a different company.

I just recently met with my doctor again about my sleeping 10 hours a night, and being tired throughout the day. We adjusted my morning “activating” medicine up to 20 mg, and lowered my evening “sedating” meds down to 10 mg. Since these two medicines work in the same part of the brain, with my Schizoaffective disorder, yet work differently in this area to help with this condition, I know I will see some good outcomes.

My belief is that any time a person experiences side effects to medicines, it’s because it’s either the wrong dose, or the wrong medicine. So far this change is proving to be very good. I have indeed been blessed to wake up earlier, no longer needing 10 hrs of sleep each night, and am no longer tired during the day. Because of this, I am again venturing out with school, through a program called BYU Pathway Worldwide Connect. This is a college preparatory course, through my church, which helps people get back into higher education, and then transition into a college degree program of their choice.

To succeed at staying in my recovery, I am seeing my doctor at Wasatch Mental Health, taking all my medications, working at Danville Services in Provo, again as a direct support professional, spending quality time with my family, nurturing them as husband and father, and feeding myself spiritually with the words of God, attending the Temple and educating myself through academic and spiritual means.

I am active in my church and faith, love to read, write, play drums and piano, sing and dance. I love my children, wife and life, and feel like it’s a whole new beginning! Thank you.

To see the full story and more details, look for my forthcoming book coming out entitled, The Price Of Life: Fighting Mental Illness Stigma and Winning! A True Journey Via Poetry and Life Events + Other Significant Recovery Truths.


The Highest Law – The Celestial Law

Glory to God in the Highest!

There is a law higher than The Law of Consecration. The Law of Consecration is to fill up its measure in the fullness of times, or while there is still time on the earth. After such a time, when entropy and decay are no more, and eternal life begins, then, on the glorified, celestialized earth we now call home, we will live The Celestial Law. This is the highest law, and it is such that when we interact one with another, we will treat each other as the glorified Gods we are and have become.


Missionary Work: Part Two

The Good News of the Gospel

One day we were solicited by a salesman. We liked the product and let him in to share more. During the presentation we also discussed the Latter-Day Saints, and how we are members of this church. He asked some questions, and with the short time we had I bore my testimony of the first vision and The Book of Mormon. He felt the Holy Spirit.

Because he was a supervising salesman, he was able to lower the price for us without getting special permission. He asked us to make a reasonable offer of what we could afford for a down payment and a monthly payment, which would have been on a three year payment plan, unless we were to pay more into the monthly payments.

He accepted our offer, and then gave us another option which would have been better for him. It was for one-third more a month, and a higher down payment. At that time I had offered him a Book of Mormon, and told him that to me this was worth more than any money could be, and that if he would read from it, I would accept his second offer. He honestly gave his reluctance to do so, and I reassured him that it was up to him, and that to help him we would take the higher price.

He had been impressed with us, and we with him. What he didn’t know, was that this higher price would make it more difficult for us financially, especially it being an obligation for the next 3 years, unless we used our next season’s tax refund to finish paying it off, which would be a while away.

It’s in my prayers, that because we were sacrificing at such a price financially to help him, that he take the opportunity to read The Book of Mormon, and learn the truth for himself.

In my mind came the urgency from Christ and His ministry, “If I have paid such a high price for you to save your soul, ought not ye with the same such urgency, share the gospel with all these My brethren, of whom I have paid so high a price for?”

Please, please, I urge you – share the gospel! Live it, love it, and rejoice in it with all your heart, mind and fellow Saints! Be open minded for the Lord’s desperate pleadings for you to follow His holy will, and share his loving, saving gospel, atoning sacrifice and care for all! Desperate is the need, urgent is the call!


The Brimstone and Burning Defined: Part Two

Our God is a Perfect, Loving and Fair Father

The atonement and its coverage is infinite and eternal, and covers everyone with certainty through spiritual underpinnings. Yet for one to take the highest kingdom and glory, namely the Celestial Kingdom, or highest Heaven, the gospel must be learned, accepted and lived, including faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism and becoming a member of Christ’s covenants and Church upon receiving the confirmation of The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and then truly living thereby. In this there is true joy and peace.

There is forgiveness in the life hereafter, for those who have as yet not been taught by the servants of the Lord about their Redeemer, and His gospel plan of happiness. For there is much preaching and teaching taking place in the spirit world, where those who have passed, are awaiting their resurrection. But for those who have had ample understanding and have been pricked in their hearts to know the truth, but have not lived it, and have knowingly rebelled, these are they whom are sent to outer darkness, where there shall be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

All of these, who have not partaken of repentance, will spend some time in this place of cleansing, known in The Book of Mormon as, Outer Darkness. This is where one will truly be purified, although not in an easy way. It will be through the fire and brimstone burning process, wherein their Spirits will be cleansed. Then they will be sent to the kingdom of glory most suited for them. This is according to how they lived their life, with what they had, understood and felt. They will also be judged according to the desires of their hearts, so Jesus’ atonement will always have good effect.

Once those who have suffered in Outer Darkness have been fully cleansed, they are free to leave and receive either the second or third resurrection, according to which ever Kingdom of Glory they will be restored unto. Either the second resurrection unto the Terrestrial Kingdom or the third resurrection unto the Telestial Kingdom.

All who enter into this place of Outer Darkness shall leave, except for the sons of Perdition, and Lucifer and his devils, or fallen angels. The sons of Perdition are those who knew the Lord in this life, and His love and grace completely, and then knowingly and purposely chose Lucifer over Jesus Christ (this will be very few in number), of which it is said, it were better for them to have not been born. They will remain until we are all called up unto the next eternal life of again, a first, second and third estate. Or, pre-earth, earth and post earth life.


The Atonement and Fall: Part Two

Providing Agency For Man

For a message about the atonement and the fall, the atonement is the rectification of the breaking of a universal law, in which the outcome is known in general terms as, “the fall.” This atonement is also the blessing of the entire human family throughout all the eternities. So much of how we allow the atonement’s reach to be for us in the eternities, depends on our faithfulness according to the light and knowledge we have and receive here. In other words, we are to do the very best we can, with what we have and are given.

This fall, which started in the garden of Eden, made possible the birth of sin into this world through disobedience, and introducing an unhealthy substance to the bodies of Adam and Eve, namely, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This poisoned fruit, coupled with their disobedience of the given commandment, introduced sin, and made their future sins to stick to and apply itself to their bodies, because in this state, they now understood the difference between good and evil, and could be fully accountable. Christ’s atonement would no longer be automatically applied to them because they ‘knew’ no sin in their previous innocent state. They would now have to actively supplicate and seek out the Lord and His forgiveness. 

Having deliberately disobeyed the Father, and partaking of this unhealthy food, their bodies were then subject to death, and because they were fallen, they became able to have seed, or children. For even as every seed must die before it can bring forth life, so too their bodies needed to die to produce seed. It is because of the atonement that their lives were prolonged, in the which space they were granted a time to repent and learn from their mistakes. This change allowed them to fully and actively exercise the gift of agency, which is the ability to do good in this fallen world, choosing the right.

Before the fall, Jesus’ forthcoming atonement covered them in any wrong choices they may have made unknowingly, because they were innocent, not comprehending the difference between right and wrong. Their choice to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a transgression, because they had been specifically told by God not to do it, even though they didn’t fully understand why. Therefore, partaking is called a transgression, rather than a sin, because they didn’t understand the difference between good and evil.

Such was their predicament in being innocent, without wisdom or knowledge. Therefore, Eve needed to partake of the fruit, and Adam also, to learn for themselves, and progress from grace to grace, through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It was once they understood the opposites of right and wrong, that they could then learn from their mistakes, and repent of them.

As is stated in LDS doctrine, partaking of the fruit gave their bodies the ability to have children, through the effect the fall had on them. God, who is without sin, and who cannot create anything in sin, had to create them in this state of innocence, to then try them with the commandments to not partake of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, which would bring about sin, and a knowledge of sin for Adam and Eve, but also the ability to multiply and replenish the earth.

Even as the atonement was already part of God’s plan before sending us to this earth, so too was the fall. God knew they had to have children, and so He commanded them to do so, but He could not create Adam and Eve into a fallen state, with the opportunity to have children, so it was up to their choice to transgress, to be able to have children, and to then carry out His purposes for His children, which purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Truly this fall, which not only changed Adam and Eve by introducing death to their bodies, and the ability to have seed, or children, it also changed the earth into a corruptible state, bringing about entropy and decay.

Christ is the rectification of this fall, using it to further the growth and potential of mankind, through turning something hard and sorrowful, into something good and meaningful, even glorious, by learning from our mistakes and repenting. So is this life.

Indeed, the Tree of Life planted in the garden of Eden was God’s pinnacle creation in the garden, in terms of plant life, and man, the pinnacle of his creation, even after the image and likeness of Himself and His Son Jesus Christ. The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was originally planted there by God as a fig tree, but through the evil influence of Satan and his devils, who were purposely cast down to earth, they wrought upon it, and it became unclean, thus unfit for Adam and Eve’s bodies to partake of.

There is always a little bit of bad to everything good, and a little bit of good to everything bad, so we know in the Garden of Eden, this had to be, for there is always opposition in all things. With a bit of bad to a greatness of good, or a lot of bad to a little of good, we know that all things must be a compound in one, for if not, it must needs be as dead or as naught. Our task is to choose the better part, or good.

Satan and his followers were cast down to earth by God, with the tree there, and helped start the process of earth life for God’s children, that they could suffer, have joy, learn, grow, have children, progress and die, all toward the purpose of becoming more like Him.

The Atonement takes something which would by itself be the destruction of mankind (the fall), and raises mankind’s course upward into the celestial realms, where attainment to godhood is made possible. For as a child can become like their parents, so too can we, as literal children of our Father in Heaven, become like Him.

As was God’s plan in the beginning, He wanted us to be like Him, and to do this, we had to pass through mortality as He once had, walk in the path wrought out by our Savior through His holy atonement, and come unto Him, repent and keep His commandments.

With such a glorious gift as this, is it any wonder that those who understand this atonement and live by it, truly rejoice in their love and relationship with our Savior? Our Savior lives! He is the course of true joy and happiness! He understands all of us and our needs and concerns, and cares perfectly. How? Through the atonement. Because He experienced it. He also carries us, and lessens the burdens we carry, only to the degree we can bear, that we too can experience growth from trial. This is essential. We need to go to Him, and not try doing things by ourselves, for this truly is, the great plan of happiness!


What is Poetry?

My Interpretation of True Poetry

Originally written on PoetrySoup.com
Suplimented by Shane Brown
See end of post for reference

Poetry can be said to be a careful, inventive and creative consideration of words, written in order to convey some thoughts and meaning as a literary arrangement, but it is so much more. Usually, but not always, poems are written and designed to evoke powerful emotion, or spiritual upliftment. In essence, poetry can manifest itself as a two-word phrase, in the spoken word, or a one-thousand-page book, like the scriptures, poetry can be inspired and relevant wisdom for our day and journey home.

The word poetry comes from the ancient Greek, Poieo. Translated it means, “I create.” True poetry, when it is well written, goes much deeper than words on a page. Even God uses His words to create, as He did the earth and universe. Poetry then is the language of creation. It comes from the inspiration and gift of the Holy Spirit, through the use and experience of the artist’s life, and obedience to the truths they already know. The ability to use the written word to create, change and impress upon the heart and mind enlightenment, such is the powerful reach of words. Poetry’s use of language to open the righteous imaginations of one’s heart of hearts, and mind of minds is unique and unprecedented.

Much like sculptors who carve in stone, and painters who bring a canvas “to life,” a poet’s medium for expressive art form is unending through the written word. Poetry is an art of the heart, mind and Spirit, using both the purity of any given language to create, and bringing together light with power, truth and purity. Poetry is also a state of being, known as having and living with The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is a gift higher than just having the presence of the Holy Ghost. This gift is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in which people are given the opportunity to have this gift upon exercising faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by one holding the proper priesthood authority and keys, and being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, upon receiving The Gift of the Holy Ghost.

When people think of poetry, they think of rhythm and flow. While this is a widely known and accepted form, there are many types of poems that don’t rhyme or follow any direct rules. In fact, some of the greatest and well-loved poets in history pushed the limits and broke the mold of what was considered acceptable prose.

Something meaningful should not be restrained by trying to express it in a certain casted art form. Instead, think of it in this way, an apple is an apple, and a melon is a melon, and shouldn’t be attempted to be forced into a mold of any other fruit. In other words, one should not try to grow an apricot tree, by planting a peach seed, but recognize that true unity is found in uniqueness.

As a means of example, Think about doing this poetic metaphorical exercise as a test: What does it mean to try to fit a fragrant rose into a teardrop? Then try to limit this metaphor into a rigid grid, or oddly shaped box, which has no complimentary form other than conformity, to rules which don’t apply to the subject at hand. Such is the limiting methods of many formal structures. Art and creation is an individual and unique experience, and cannot be expected to fit into all the rigid rules of the early past, wherein prose were to be structured into very specific boundaries.

While there is great talent required to do so, and skilled craftsmen can do this, still, where then can be the discovery of new truths and ideas, wherein the ever changing and evolving world we live in can stretch and reach out for another era of growth and improvement.

Now consider the abilities of words to speak to us, make us feel good, hopeful, loving and faithful. Also, when something from any art medium stirs feelings and emotions, giving our imagination the freedom to roam and discover new possibilities, uplifting ideas and truths, it is considered poetic. For example, a wholesome dance performance can also be called poetical, for showing rhythm and good worthy movement, portraying a story and creating good feelings by using expressive dance, scenery, props and music. The artists, or dancers, can help positively influence other’s thoughts and emotions.

Poetry is a form of art which uses words to express, whose expression is used to reveal, interpret, and express things which would otherwise be difficult to express or understand. As an example, consider these inspired writings, all the holy scriptures were written under the inspiration of revelation, the spirit of prophecy and The Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is true poetry in the written Word.

Poetry moves, speaks and creates. The Word of God brings about change in the forming of something new and wondrous in every living soul, in every eternal moment. Whether it is in sustaining life, love, nature, humor or spirituality, poetry has been, and will continue to be used to interpret these blessings.

What life cannot easily express, poetry can. What love cannot articulate, poetry will. What nature cannot say, poetry does, in a way that does not duplicate, but compliments. Under the heavens, poetry is the great interpreter of life.

Misc. Poetry Pages


Original Source: Poetry Soup Article (What is Poetry)

Missionary Work, Service and Ministering

Being a Good Neighbor

A talk given by Shane R. Brown
During a Sacrament Meeting 6/09/2019

Let’s start off with the basics. I am a child of God. You are a child of God. We are all His beloved sons and daughters. God, our true and perfect Father, has sent us away, to school us on how to work, serve others, and be missionaries, bringing the gospel covenants and blessings to all His children. This is why we are here.

To love, serve, teach, associate and bless each other. To laugh and have joy and peace together. All through the righteous teachings of the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, through His gifts of the atonement, administered through the Holy Ghost, and further through the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Consider this quote from Elder Uchtdorf from his April 2019 talk, entitled, Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart. He says:

Laugh with them. Rejoice with them. Weep with them. Respect them. Heal, lift, and strengthen them.

What a great opportunity for all of God’s children, to reconnect on why we are here. To rekindle in our souls, the sacred work of lovingly gathering safe, all of God’s children into His fold and kingdom, that we also may return to His glory.

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

These are our true brothers and sisters, whom we already know, love, honor, and respect, and they need us more than anything, and we them! What we offer them in Christ, are the most important, significant and incomprehensible blessings they could ever possibly receive, and without it, the unthinkable.

So how do we love and give this gift to others? Through missionary work, teaching and service. It is also in this service that our spirits grow and mature. Jesus Christ spoke very emphatically about loving service when He talked about true religion, as is found in Matthew 25:37-40, that we obtain charity, the highest saving virtue, and grace, to obtain the Kingdom of God.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In pure missionary work is service. As missionaries, young men and women receive a letter of calling, in which they are called to serve in such and such a mission.

I believe that as members of our Savior’s church, the word for service and missionary work combined, is ministering. These two things together really are our call from the Lord as our stewardship, for our ministering efforts needed in the field of service, are not limited by anything earthly, nor by any geographical location. I am a missionary. You are a missionary. We are all called to serve.

I’m going to read Doctrine and Covenants 4, in the which I will add commentary for applicable context.

Now behold (or, at this very time, look into a vision of what I’m saying, and remember, Jesus Christ is speaking to and calling us), a marvelous work (or a work the whole world will greatly marvel at and be aware of), is about to come forth among the children of men (or among us, with the children of men, through God’s help).

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God (or you, as you set a course of service for our fellow beings), see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day (this means that we must serve with all our capacities combined, to be readily equipped for the salvation of souls, for we cannot be saved without being member ministers. We must also remember, that as children of the covenant of Abraham, we already have the blood stewardship of everyone upon us so as to answer the call, we must. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; (There it is, your official letter of calling from the Lord).

For behold (or look upon your life openly, and see the lambs in your life, which you can minister to, feed and love), the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; (we cannot be saved unless we share, prepare and help others accept and live the gospel. Then we must continually feed His sheep once they have entered His fold. This works best when all of us feed one another through ministering and gathering together to partake of the sacrament).

And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God (or in other words, in every endeavor, our eyes being fixed upon the Lord, in that we do things for Him, and with Him), qualify him (or her) for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence (and I would add, obtaining these things through feasting upon the words of Christ, for this shall help us develop these virtues).

Ask, and ye shall receive; (asking the Father to help us have these ministering experiences, and help us magnify them), knock, and it shall be opened unto you (this is the success factor! It doesn’t mean they will join the church right away or in this life, but you have successfully helped plant a seed, or a desire to do so, as in Alma 32). Amen.

We hear this theme of ministering repeated in the mission statement of the church, in the perfecting of the saints through serving and living the gospel. Redeeming the dead, and ourselves through family history and temple work, which when aided through missionary work on the other side of the veil, makes this efficacious. Proclaiming the gospel throughout all the earth, sounding the gospel in every ear, helping people know of the love and goodness of Christ through our efforts, and taking care of the sick and needy through service and ministering.

This brings to light again, this very important truth. Missionary work and service together, truly are the embodiment of, and true form of ministering. We are bringing together everything the Lord has blessed us with to give, and ministering in the Lord’s way.

For example, if we bring a need to the attention of the Bishop, Elder’s Quorum President or Relief Society President, then administering and ministering can take place. In such a circumstance, a quorum or relief society can engage in bringing assistance to these needs, and filling them will be a manifestation to others of the Lord’s true church, functioning after the order of the Son of God. To truly be His disciples.

We are not to bury our talents, but to bring them forth, opening the door of opportunity and salvation to the rest of the world. Why else are we here!? Doing these things will in turn open the door of our salvation. For in no other way can we be saved, but by bringing others with us, through doing as Jesus would do. Our mandate will not be complete, unless we are true member ministers, through being active missionaries, loving and serving, and standing in for the Lord. In essence, becoming other’s true friends, and developing meaningful, lasting relationships with them.

When I look at the world around me, and all the people I meet and observe, one thing always comes to mind. None of us really have it all together in and of ourselves. No one is a professional at anything. We take ourselves way to seriously. We are all fallen, and a far cry from who we need to be. But, as we lay down our pride, put aside our self inflicted agenda, and forget ourselves, mercifully following the will and Spirit of the Lord, by steadfastly living the gospel with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we will grow in the purposes of the Lord, and His use and care, and His privileges and blessings will sanctify and purify us, making us justified and confident in the presence of God our loving Father. He will, as in the parable of the talents, use us to do great things. Together we can do more.

Let me emphasize that we really do need each other. I believe that we shouldn’t wait to participate in redemptive acts of service and ministering, until we are of a certain personal stature. Greatness comes not from individual effort alone, but because we are willing to expose our weaknesses, and allow our burdens to be borne. This goes for everyone.

None of us are complete without each other. We need one another! My plea, is that we acknowledge our imperfections, and begin to fill in the gaps we all have, by standing in them for each other. What do we have to lose? Not a thing. What do we have to gain? Everything. In this there is true greatness, happiness, peace and reward. Let us be one, serve the Lord, learn to see the world as a world of opportunities, and, as it states in the Old Testament, esteem others as greater than ourselves, that we may do as He did, and live as He lived. I know we can bring about this change, and prepare the world for our Lord’s triumphant return. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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