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Monday, July 3, 2017

Petra, Jordan

Currently in Petra! It is so freaking hot! Yesterday I thought I was in a swimming pool all day haha. But so so blessed that I can't complain. Last night we went to Petra by Night which is this really cool light show that they do each night. They light paper bags with candles and mark the mile and a half hike in and then they have hundreds of lantern bags in front of the famous treasury where they then play traditional Jordanian music. At the end they have you close your eyes, make a wish, and then you open them and they have this amazing array of bright colorful lights shining on the monument. It was beautiful. I took a few pictures but as I sat and just observed the site and those there I realized that sometimes we are so busy trying to capture the moment that we forget to live the moment. A picture isn't worth anything if there isn't any emotion or memory that it helps evoke upon reflection. My goal is to just take meaningful photos and spend the majority of my time just soaking in this amazing experience.
Additionally it's the FOURTH OF JULY!!!! My favorite holiday!!! All I can say is I'm extremely proud to be an American!! There is nowhere else that I'd rather call home. As I drive through these countries it just makes me realized how extremely blessed and grateful I am to live in the USA and to the family that I do. We have a lot of advantages and blessings in our country.
I hope that you all take time to appreciate our wonderful country on this day of Independence and reflect on the men and women who have died to give these rights to us!
Well I hope you all have a splendid holiday and have a great week!!

Love,
Ash

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Hello!

I know, I know. Long time no talk.   Life in the Holy Land has been a bit cray cray! First of all this past week was finals soooooo that should pretty much sum up everything. One word to describe this past week.... exhausting! Pretty much bombed my finals but hey I'm done. We've gone on cool field trips, had amazing food, and overall just amazing experiences (minus finals).  Some high lights of the past few weeks:
- Neot Kaudim (Biblical Gardens).  It felt like a camp out trip which I loved! We learned a lot about how the geography would have looked during biblical times, did some team building exercises, and made our own pita and lentil soup lunch over a camp fire.  Then a Torah scribe came and we learned about how they write their Torahs.  It was a great field trip!
- Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and it was AHHHMAZING!!! Loved it!
- Hezekiah's Tunnel and the brief rain that surprised us in the morning.
- Basketball Tournament!!! Juddhites 4 life! Never thought I'd see the day where I loved playing basketball but it was SO MUCH FUN! I didn't do completely terrible which was good. Also my friend Sydney and I made trophies for the winning women's and men's team.  Literally I was giddy when it came to crafting. I forgot how much I love crafting.  I couldn't stop beaming... and now my create bug just can't be treated.
- Guest lecture from 99 year old Elias Fenzielburg.  He is a Halocaust Survivor who survived 9 concentration/extermination camps.  His story is unbieleveable (as most of them are).  I was just so impressed with his pleasant and positive personality and outlook on life.  Obviously he went through terrible things but he was able to tell his story to us (with the help of translators) in a way that showed that he has grown from his past and hasn't allowed it to make him bitter. One thing that I love that he said is "I'm tired, but I'm not tired about talking about the Holocaust... this is my story."  Sometimes it is hard to talk about our experiences, especially the hard ones, but it is our trials and our stories that make us who we are.  And oftentimes we can use our stories to help others in their struggles.  How we choose to react to our trials and situations can make a great difference in our lives and the lives of those who come to know us.  We each can learn to better embrace the stories of our lives.
- The Festival of Lights.  The old city was putting on this cool light show which we got permission to go to. It was so fun!! Minus the crowds.  My friends Amanda and Nathan from my Hebrew classes back at BYU Provo are here (they and some others are staying for a week at the center because they just finished at a dig site up north).  It has been way cool to see them!!

Overall everything has been great.  Today was so busy.  Had church and then did some more crafting and then went with a group to the Garden of Gesthemane.  It was really beautiful and peaceful there.  Then I had to rush back to the center by 7 for my Family History/ Genealogy lesson.  I am the FH/Genealogy committee chair person and it has been such a blessing but so scary too.  It is hard being in charge of a committee where most people aren't super familiar with the subject.  And I am trying to make it as enjoyable and easy to understand as possible for those who come.  I am so so so thankful for those who come because I know that it isn't something that most people my age are interested in, but they should be.  I know that the Lord blessed me with this calling for a reason and I need to more fully embrace it.  I am really trying to magnify my call as best I can.

I feel very blessed and honored to be here with this group of people. I have learned a lot from them.  I hope to be more like many of them.  Overall I am just grateful for the experience of becoming. Becoming more like the Savior, and becoming more like who I am destined to be.  I also am wanting to focus on knowing. Knowing who I am.  Specifically who I am spiritual.  What was I like in the pre-mortal existence? Who is my spirit really?  And how can I get my body and my spirit to align more perfectly so that I can better learn to align my will with His?

There are so many things I want to do and learn that it can be overwhelming at times, but this week I have been reminded of the importance of staying organized, and making to-do lists.  Everything will work out.  I just need to not overthink it.

So yeah those are my thoughts!

Love,
Ash

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Kalime'ra!

I have been totally MIA.. sorry about that! First off... shout out to Carly HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY!!! I hope she has a fantastic day!!
As a recap of the past few weeks... I was in Greece for two weeks and then the past two weeks have been SUPER busy with midterms!  Greece was AMAZING!! The food, the culture, the sights... everything was amazing. We had this cute little tour guide with crazy floppy hair named Lena who came with us everywhere. She was like a Greek history book, she knew details and facts about everything we saw (which was a lot!). And then our bus driver was named Achilles and had Fabio style hair haha. My respect for bus drivers has grown exponentially since being in Israel and Greece. It would be terrifying! My favorite places were Meterorea and Nafplio.  Meterorea had this amazing rock cliff formation that monks had built these incredible monasteries on top of. Then Nafplio was this adorable coastal town with eclectic shops and classic European looking architecture.  I had heart eyes for dayssss. And ohhhh the food! The food was superb.  I remember we went to one restarting after leaving Meterorea that was in the mountains.  It was this cute little cottage looking place that was a family owned restaurant. The view was incrediable and it was fun to eat while looking at the mountain goats climbing up the slopes. We had the typical meal course of Greek salad, bread with tzatziki, then some sort of cheese dish, then the main meal of some sort of meat with either rice or potatoes or chips, and then a desert.  The best meal was at this place and the little old lady who owned it came out to say hello.  We all cheered for her and she started crying, it was the sweetest!
I realized I'm not really one for endless hours of sights and museums.  I love learning the history and seeing the sights but I just got tired very quickly.  It is fascinating but I'd rather spend time getting to know the living culture rather than the dead. The coolest sight was for sure the Acropolis in Athens with the Parthenon and other major sites located there. Greece is for sure on the list of places to visit again!
Getting back to Israel has been crazy what with midterms.  Long nights with lots of studying! However on last Sunday we had the opportunity to go to Eilat and swim in the Red Sea. It was such a fun experience.  We had a four hour bus ride each way... luckily everyone was either too tired and slept or we entertained each other.  I was reading a very inspiring book called "Unbroken" that I was completely absorbed in so I could have kept driving for hours (well until I finished the book anyways ha). Everyone who can stomach war novels should read that book, it literally changed my perspective on some aspects of life.
For field trips we have also been to Jericho and to the Shephelah.  Jericho is the famous site for Joshua and the battle of Jericho. And the Shephelah is the general area of where the battle between the Israelites and Philistines took place. This is the battle where David slew Goliath.  It was cool to visit such famous biblical sites. Visiting Jericho was a really powerful experience for me. Not the ruins of Jericho itself but we went to an overlook that overlooked the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. This is the site were the parable of the Good Samaritan took place. I felt the spirit so strongly as we discussed that story and how we can and need to apply it in our lives.  I realized that Jesus Christ is my Good Samaritan.  He stops and helps me, even when He probably has far greater things to do.  Just as the hurt Israelite was probably unconscious and had no idea he was being helped, likewise sometimes I am so blinded that I may not recognize my Good Samaritan picking me up and placing me on his donkey to take me to the inn.  The Lord has paid my debts to be healed.  He provides me with wise and loving inn keepers who watch over my recovery.  He asks for nothing in return.  He is. I can't even finish what He is because He is all. I feel so blessed to have Him in my life and to be able to pay the price to become better acquainted with Him.
On a different note.. last night I went with a group of us to go see Wonder Woman. WOW was it Wonderful! I want to be her! She is my new woman crush, and of course it was even better that my man crush, Chris Pine, was also in the film.  Everything about that film was perfection in my mind! It was nice to be at a movie theater haha. If anyone knows my family they know we are all big movie-goers.  Afterwards we just ate at McDonalds which was at the theater... my favorite (not). Ha. Anyways I met this really nice Israeli woman name Siggy and her daughter Kim. I sat with them and talked with them for a good 30-45 minutes.  It was so fun to talk to some local people.  Siggy use to work here at the "Mormon University" years ago and she said she just loves the center and our church.  It was cool to talk to someone who knows a bit about our beliefs, especially since we aren't allowed to discuss them here. It was such a fun night!
Lastly, I had to laugh today because I just got called as the Family History Committee Chair.  I laugh because I worked for Karen Clifford, the Genealogy Queen. She is amazing! I learned so much working for her, and now Heavenly Father is telling me to actually utilize some of those skills haha. I feel very blessed and hope that I will learn a lot from the experience.

Well I hope you all have a great Shabbat on Sunday.  I love Sabbath days!!
Love,
Ashley

Saturday, May 20, 2017

We're All In This Together!

Hello friends and family!
This week was a pretty good week. I'm trying to remember everything we've done, there's been so much! For our field trip on Monday we went to the Negev.  We visited the Wilderness of Zin where the children of Israel wandered for 40 years.  We also visited Arat, Arad, and Beersheba.  It was really cool to be at these places after having read about the events that transpired there. Seriously it has been such a privilege to be here! My favorite part of the field trip was a hike we did through a small portion of the Wilderness of Zin.  Although it was so hot (we were hiking in like 90 degree weather..yikes) I absolutely loved it! I love just being in nature and getting some exercise.  It was very beautiful.
Classes are going okay. I feel like I do a ton of studying but I can for sure learn how to improve on that.  I feel like I do a lot of reading but I don't really retain the information.  After classes on Tuesday I went into the Old City a bought a beautiful scarf that is Bedouin made, and some camel sandals, and some treats for our flight to Greece tonight.  I'm really excited! I needed to get a scarf because on Thursday we had "Arab Night" we dressed up in "traditional" wear and had multiple events. We had two sheiks come and read part of the Qu'uran to us, and also prayed in front of us.  The reading of the Qu'uran and the Call to Pray made me tear up. It was so beautiful.  As I was listening to these two devout Mulsims share with us their sacred scripture I just felt the love that Heavenly Father has for them, for ALL his children.  I have really come to respect and love the Islamic culture and religion.  It really is very beautiful, and very similar to our LDS beliefs.  I also have really come to love the Hebrew culture more than I already do.  Although the Lord has designated only one way to return to Him, which everyone needs to hear, He loves ALL of us regardless of race, nationality, or religion.  I know He loves those children who have not yet heard the Word but still worship Him to the best of their abilities. How blessed we are to have to gospel of Jesus Christ.  I really feel that I need to be more devout in my own faith, just as my Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters are in theirs.
After listening to the sheiks we had a traditional meal that our kitchen staff spent literally all day preparing! IT WAS SO GOOD! I love Middle Eastern food.  They went all out, we literally had like 8 courses and they decorated the tables and everything. It was so fun to see everyone dressed up (including the faculty and staff) and we were all just laughing and enjoying each other's company.  Then there were some girls that came and taught us some traditional Palestinian dance steps.  It was really fun to dance with everyone.
The highlight of my week was being able to watch my little brother open up his mission call. Even though I had to wake up 1:45 am to video chat it was worth it ha! Though I can't say where yet because he is waiting to reveal it later (my mom told me like 30 times to not say anything about where he was going haha). Needless to say I am SOOOO proud of my baby brother, and really look up to him a lot. He has such a strong testimony, and such a sensitive soul.  He is going to be a great missionary. Love you Bubba!
Well tonight we leave for Greece.  We are leaving here at 2 am.  Two early mornings in a row ahhh. I am so excited to go to Greece but it is going to be NUTS we are doing a lot each day.  Last night we watched Hercules for our movie night and it was so funny. Literally everyone's inner child came out.  People were singing at the top of their lungs, and swaying back and forth it was hilarious!! Disney, Disney, Disney.  Well I think that is all I really have to say.  I hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Ash

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Marhabaa!

Marhabaa!
This week has gone by so fast! My days were all thrown off since we have church on Saturday here and then a free day on Sunday.  All week I thought we were a day ahead ha. Other than being sick this week was great! We went to multiple sights that overlook Jerusalem which was really cool. We went to Nani Samuel which has this old mosque and synagogue on top of a hill. The Crusaders called this place Mount Joy because it was the first place that they could see Jerusalem.  It also overlooks a field where the Israelites fought with the Gibeonites against the non-Israelite Kings.  Another of my favorite overlooks was from the south of Jerusalem called the Haas Promenade (Tayelet).  It was on this hill that Abraham would have left his servants when he and Isaac went up to Mt. Moriah to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.  We read the story of Abraham's trial and the lessons he learned and that Isaac probably learned.  One thing I love is that God knew what Abraham would do but He wanted Abraham to know how faithful Abraham was. The last stop was at the Garden Tomb. That has so far been my favorite part.  We went at a really good time and there was hardly anyone there. It is right by the Old City in a pretty busy and loud area however the grounds at the Garden Tomb are really quiet and peaceful.  The peace there was similar to the peace I feel at church sights.  It was just very reverent.  After the tour all 83 of us gathered together and sang a few hymns.  It really invited the spirit.
Let's see... what else? Um... I got scolded by my father to leave the center and not just do homework all day and to go out to the city.  That was solid advice. Thanks Dad! The amount of homework we have on a daily basis is unreal! I mean I'm pretty used to reading a lot for my major but... I feel like we have 30+ pages of reading each class each day. Good thing I love to read, and thank goodness for study groups!!
I'm still struggling to figure out how to upload pics.  I have to download some app and the wifi here isn't good enough for it to download. I will probably just make a Facebook album.  Overall everything is great!
Much love!

Ash :)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom from the Holy Land! Wow I've only been here for like 3 days and it's incredible! I wish I was absorbing everything faster than I am, but there is so much to learn and so much to do! The center has really been beating into our heads the rules to follow to keep us safe and how to best be respectful to the various cultures here. I can't tell you how many times we've been lectured on groom and dressing standards haha.  It's probably for the best though, seeing how we want to be respectful and good representatives of not only BYU but also the LDS church.  In Israel the center is known as the "Mormon University," which I think is hilarious.
The first full day here we were able to walk through the old city.  I loved all the sights, sounds, and most of the smells ha.  I loved seeing all the cool shops and all the different foods and spices.  It is like nothing I've ever experienced before.  I wasn't able to take any pictures that day but next time I go to the old city I will. And I for sure have some good shopping to do there in the future.
Yesterday was one of my favorite days so far. Mostly because we started our classes! My professors are amazing. I think my favorite class is going to be my Old Testament class. I got teary eyed at some of the things we learned about. One thing that really resonated with me is that the Lord will ALWAYS keep His covenants to us so long as we do our part. Then in the evening we went to the Western Wall to welcome in the Shabbat with all the Jews.  It was so inspiring and awesome to see the devotion of these brothers and sisters of ours. I loved seeing the people go to the wall and place their hands upon it and give it kisses as they rocked back in forth in prayer.  The wall is covered with hundreds of papers of individual prayers of people from all over the world, and of various beliefs.  Then in the back a couple yards from the wall there were young Jewish girls singing and dancing together in celebration of the Lord's Day. It really struck me how joyful and sacred their sabbath day is to them. It put me to shame knowing that I have a lot to work on in my own sabbath day observance.  Today is Saturday but it is the day that we celebrate the Sabbath here in the Holy Land.  For Sacrament Meeting we sat in the auditorium room that has these huge windows that overlook the JC gardens and the city.  The spirit was so strong as we listened to the testimony of the saints who are here visiting from all over the world, with the city in the background.  One cool thing is that I was able to see one of my dearest friends dad and brother who are here on a tour group trip, Perry and Gannon Montoya. It was so cool to see such familiar faces in a foreign land. After church I took time to be by myself and to write in my journal.  I also took a cat nap in the gardens which was so nice.  There is just so much peace to be found here at the center.  The city of Jerusalem itself is crazy! The cultures here are so fun but it is busy like any other major city. There are cars with their horns blaring (people here are horn crazy!), tons of shops, vast amounts of people, and lots and lots of tourists. I loved going to the Church of the Holy Seplechre and seeing all the different Christian faiths gather.  It touched my heart to see these christians kneel and kiss this stone slab that some believe Christ's body was laid upon and prepared for burial after being taken from the cross.
There is still so much to see, experience, and learn and I am so grateful that I am able to take part in it.
Also the food is amazing here, and the people I am with are great.  I'm still trying to find my way here and find where I fit in but overall it has been a great adventure! I love you all and hope you are well!

Love,
Ashley

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Walk With Me

In preparation for this trip I often thought about what the Lord wants me to learn, and give, personally on this trip to the Holy Land.  This past week I was working on a little calligraphy project for one of my friends as a good bye gift.  I used her favorite scripture which is Moses 6:34 where the Lord says to Enoch "walk with me".  In his October 2014 General Conference "Ponder the Path of Thy Feet" President Monson said
"...physically walking where Jesus walked is less important than walking as He walked. Emulating His actions and following His example are far more important than trying to retrace the remnants of the trails He traversed in mortality." (For the full address click here)
I love that! So my theme for this trip is to walk with Christ, not just where He walked but AS He walked. He is the perfect exemplar. I am so so so grateful and blessed with this opportunity to visit the Holy Land.  I hope that I will learn the lessons the Lord would have me learn, and do what He would have me do.
Currently I am at the Paris airport waiting to get on my connecting flight to Tel Aviv.  I haven't been feeling too well today so it's a miracle that I am staying as positive as I am haha. All I can say is that I am so ready to get to the Center and to shower and go to bed... then tomorrow hit the ground running!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Warning Cry

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had pretty vivid dreams.  I’ve often thought to myself that I really need to start writing them, but usually I just don’t really see the point.  However, the other night I had a dream that I knew I needed to write down and share. 

So here it goes….

It was a typical winter day.  The mountainside was covered in glistening white snow that sparkled with the sunlight.  As I sat observing the view I noticed a popular hot spring full of swimmers down the slope from me, and across the way from the spring was a very affluent mountain neighborhood.  As I looked upon the hot spring I noticed people of all shapes, sizes, and age enjoying the warm water in the chill of winter. There were fathers and mothers with their children; friends; and young lovers.  It all seemed like a normal happy day.

Then, quietly, something spoke inside of me strongly urging me to get back to my important work.  I turned around to see a fellow employee with me.  We were volcanologists studying the activity of the dormant volcano upon which we stood.  My nameless partner had me look at some readings on one of our machines.  I felt my heart begin to race.  We realized that this volcano was going to erupt, soon.  I told her to report back to our chain of command, and the authorities, and to finish the research while I would go warn those in the area.  I walked back to the slope that stood over the hot spring and pulled out a whistle.  The shrill noise of the whistle echoed throughout the mountain side.  All the people in the hot spring looked at me as I began to motion for them to get out.  Everyone quickly scrambled to obey.  As new comers came to swim in the spring they listened to the voices of everyone else and avoided getting in. I noted how nobody wanted to go against the crowd and that they all recognized and adhered to the shrill of my whistle. 

When the hot spring had been emptied and a sign posted I went to the neighborhood to begin knocking on doors.  I wanted to get everyone to evacuate to safer grounds as quickly as possible.  They would not have time for other authorities to warn them of the danger ahead, it was just me.  I knocked on the first door and a boy of about 14 or 15 answered the door. 

“Hello are your parents home?”

“No they’re not I’m watching my sister” I noticed a small pink wheelchair in the corner and realized his sister had some handicap.

 “You need to call them and tell them you need to leave. The volcano is going to erupt and we all need to get off the mountain.”

The boy tried to call his parents. No answer.  I told him to start packing and I would come back and get them so we could leave and that we would leave a note for his parents in case they happened to come back. 

I then went to the next house.  A plump woman in her mid thirties answered the door.  I also informed her of the urgent need to leave.  She invited me into her Pinterest perfect house. She had been baking brownies with her young daughter who was sitting on the counter licking a chocolaty spatula.  I asked this woman if she knew her neighbors next door and if she had room to drive them somewhere safe.

 “Let’s see I think I have the mothers number.  I’ve only talked to them once or twice.” She tried calling but again no answer.

“I can take the kids let me just gather some things and we can go.”  I implored her to hurry as I quickly left to go warn more families.

I was swiftly walking from house to house when I noticed a young boy around 6 running down the road being pulled by his rather large dog.  I assumed the dog sensed that danger was coming because he appeared to be trying to run down the mountain. As I watched, the boy tripped on a rock and fell over as the dog ran away.  I quickly went to the boy and kneeled down beside him 

“What’s your name?” I asked

“Julio” he quietly moaned.

“Julio, where are your parents?” I brushed the dirt off him as I further explained, “We need to find them and tell them that we need to get off this mountain because the volcano is going to erupt.”

He told me that he was trying to find help because his parents were in the hot spring and weren’t moving. Fear gripped me as I picked him up and quickly ran to the hot spring.  So much for the sign warning people away. I assumed that with the approaching time of eruption the young boy’s parents were dead. However, the water in the spring had not yet started to boil. When I found them they weren’t dead but merely intoxicated or high on some drug which was causing them to act lethargically.   I told them they needed to get out. It wasn’t safe to be in the spring and it wasn’t safe to be on the mountain. They needed to take care of their son and take him to safety. Because of their condition they were not able to listen to me.  They told me to take the boy but they weren’t leaving.  Their deplorable state was going to kill them.  I had no choice but to move on.  Julio gave his parents one last look and followed me back to the street.

Time was running out.  I needed to leave too. I went back to the house with the teenage boy who was watching his sister.  I walked into his house and cried out to see if he was ready to go and that his neighbor would drive them.  As I turned the corner I saw the father standing at the kitchen island laughing on his cell phone and making business calls.  The boy explained to his father who I was and that they needed to leave.  The father scoffed at me and was very condescending. He was a lawyer and assumed he knew all there was to know in the world.  Although I was a volcanologist, and he was not, he still assumed he knew more than me.  I quickly rebuked him and told him his pride was going to kill them.  He would not allow me to take the kids.  The boy looked at me with despair in his eyes as he recognized his fate.  The mother finally arrived home and I exhorted her to reason with her husband, but this was not the type of woman to stand up to such a demeaning and domineering man.  I sadly had to leave them behind. 

As I walked into the Pinterest perfect woman’s house to make sure she was ready to leave and to inform her that she no longer had to take the neighbor kids I heard the vacuum cleaner going.  One of her kids was vacuuming as the mother was quickly packing anything and everything. She had showered, put on makeup, and was wearing a blue and white stripped dress with high heels, and her hair was perfectly curled.  She had wasted time!

“Oh you’re here! Does my house look okay? I can’t leave these couches; do you think we could somehow bring them? Oh! And this” she declared pointing to some object, “this is a family heirloom, I can’t leave it behind.” 

I stood shocked as I watched her try to take all her worldly goods with her in her mini van. 

“What are you doing? You need to leave! Forget this stuff, get your kids and go!”  Unbelievable.

“Oh alright but first I just need to get one more thing.” As she hurried back off into another room of her house.

I looked around at her perfect house, where everything had its prime and proper place.  She was more consumed with appearances than the life and safety of her family, though she said she wanted to save them I knew that her materialism was going to kill them.  I sadly shook my head as I grabbed Julio’s hand and left their house. 

The sun was starting to go down and the sky was turning a reddish hue.  A forewarning.  Glancing down the street one last time I noticed that children were still playing in the street and everyone was still going about their business as if nothing would ever happen to them.  They had been warned.  The signs were there.  But they did not listen. 

Julio and I climbed into my car and drove far from the volcano. In the distance there was a loud grumble and the sky erupted in a molten explosion.  I parked and watched from my rearview window. Deep sadness filled my heart for those that had not listened to my warning call. 

Silently I wondered to myself if I had been in their place would I have listened to the warning call? I would like to think so.


This weekend we have the opportunity to listen to a Prophet of God, Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, and other called and ordained ministers of the Lord’s true gospel upon the Earth.  They have the ability to receive revelation for us and to provide us a warning call of dangers that lie ahead. 

The question is will we be obedient enough to IMMEDIATELY heed that warning call when it comes?

Sadly, some of us won’t. Why? Because we may be like those people in my dream.
There were three distinct types of people:

1.         The addicts. Like Julio’s parents, there are some of us that are unable to feel the spirit and the sense of urgency it brings because of addictions. These addictions come in all sorts of forms: drugs, alcohol, pornography, social media, etc. When an individual is addicted to something they put that substance above their own safety and the happiness and safety of their loved ones. 

2.         The prideful.  Like the lawyer father some individuals aren’t willing to listen to others.  They have no faith. They have to see evidence to believe it. But what if they wouldn’t even understand the evidence if it was given to them.  As a volcanologist maybe I could have shown him the readings or taking him to the slope and shown him what convinced my partner and I that an eruption would occur. But the chance is he wouldn’t understand the readings and still wouldn’t believe, similar to the story of Korihor in the Book of Mormon. Korihor would not believe in the Christ without a sign.  After asking Alma for a sign, and being struck dumb, Korihor said he believed and begged for the sign to be taken away.  However, Alma stated “If this curse should be taken from thee thou wouldst again lead away the hearts of this people; therefore, it shall be unto thee even as the Lord will.” (Alma 30).  Just as Korihor, and many others in the scriptures, did easily deny the many signs and miracles they saw, so too do the prideful of the world.  No amount of evidence will prove the existence of God, or of danger.  Only the spirit can do that and the spirit cannot touch a proud and hardened heart.

3.         The materialistic. The common scripture Matt 6:24 comes to my mind for this type of person, it reads, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” The Pinterest perfect woman was so worried about her worldly possessions and outward appearances than she was put them over the safety of her family. She was able to recognize the need to leave but she couldn’t bare the thought of leaving her things, or of not appearing perfect.  Clearly her mammon was her God. If she had left and her possessions were lost the likelihood would be that she would despise and curse God.  Why? Because she did not serve Him.  Her heart was set to much upon the cares of the world.  Doesn’t this sound similar to Lots wife?

I still don’t know why the people listened to the whistle shrill when I needed them to get out of the hot spring, and yet failed to acknowledge the warning when I personally came to them. Maybe it was different people. I don’t know.  Is there a difference in the way we perceive and present warnings?

Some other significant things I noticed include,
  1. How easy it is to listen to and follow the crowd (for good and for bad).
  2. How believing and trusting children are.
  3. The solemn responsibility we as adults have to protect children, and the sadness the Savior and His disciples feel when individuals fail to protect those children. 


In conclusion, it is my hope that with this weekends General Conference we will attend it in faith.  That we will have faith in the warning cry of our inspired leaders.  Sometimes we may not know know the “whys” but we need to have the faith that they know and that the Holy Ghost will testify of that truth unto and into our hearts.  We need to be willing to not only listen to conference but also go out and apply the principles we learn! Furthermore, it is not enough to simply listen and act in our own lives but we must also go and teach others.  For “it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” (DC 88: 81) “and let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness.” (DC 38:41)

Ponder this: will you be obedient enough to IMMEDIATELY heed the warning calls you will receive this weekend, and to also share those warning call with others? If so, how?