Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Personal Revelation

Brooke and Will, 

I think that one of the most important and most beautiful message of the Restored Gospel is the principle of continuing personal revelation from our Heavenly Father. 

The restoration of Christ's church on the earth began with Joseph Smith being prompted by your favorite scripture ever Brooke : " If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God.." ( James 1:2 ).

From this we learn that we can ask God anything, and not only can we ask God anything, we should ask Him many things, for the scriptures say, " Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good..." ( Alma 37:37 ).

As I continued to read in Genesis, I read about Abraham's son Isaac not being about to have children through his wife Rebekah. Isaac prayed for her and she was able to conceive (vs.21).

 Rebekah thought the children were struggling within her. We learn a great deal in this scripture account. We see that we can ask the Lord ANYTHING, as Rebekah did go to the Lord in prayer about this concern. The scripture says, " She went to inquire of the Lord." (vs.22).

The Lord answered her as He said, " Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people should be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." ( vs.23 ).

In your own life you will have many questions. I can promise you that I know without doubt that our Father in Heaven would rather you go to Him about any question that you have, than anyone else on the earth. I have had great and miraculous instructions and answers given to me by Our Father in Heaven as I have gone to Him seeking for counsel, and answers in prayer.

It is also important to remember that although we are taught to counsel with the Lord in all of our doings, that does not mean that each and every time that we go to the Lord in prayer about something, that He will automatically tell us what we should do. 

Sometimes answers are unfolded line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little( 2 Nephi 28:1 ), and we begin to see a portion of His answer to our questions, until we are prepared to receive a fullness.

Sometimes we are given the opportunity to show more faith, for believing that we will receive guidance and answers is a test of our faith that must be shown to receive miracles. ( Jarom 1:3-4 )

 Sometimes we are told that it is our choice ( D&C 99: 7-8 ), or that it mattereth not, as He does want us to learn to choose for ourselves. He has said, 
" It is not meet that I should command in all things." ( D&C 58:26 ).

It is an important reminder that even though the Brother of Jared was chastised for THREE HOURS by the Lord, for not coming to Him in prayer; when The Brother of Jared did go to Him and asked Him for instructions, The Lord did give him some instructions,

 but, ended with the answer, " What will ye that I should prepare for you?...." ( Ether 2:25 ) 

and we see that ultimately the Lord wants us to individually choose things for ourselves after we are prepared to make good choices; He will give us what we may, because if we ask, " We shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you. " ( D&C 4:1 )

" Many men seem to have no ear for spiritual messages nor comprehension of them when they come in common dress....Expecting the spectacular, one may not be fully alerted to the constant flow of revealed communication." - Spencer W. Kimball 

" There are spiritual influences that are just as deep and meaningful as anything that is tangible to the natural senses; yet they cannot be described or explained. They come through the still small voice of the spirit. They are penetrating but cannot be described any more than the feelings of love, sympathy, friendship, can be defined and fathomed." - Joseph Fielding Smith ( Man, His Origin and Destiny ) 

" A sudden stroke of ideas which come into our mind as pure intelligence, this is revelation " - Joseph Smith 

" I will tell you....in your heart." ( D&C 8:2 ) 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jehovah-Jireh : GOD WILL PROVIDE

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


It is astounding to me everyday that my Home Health patient Jeffrey is still alive. I began caring for him last November and he was not even supposed to make it past Christmas. 

Each day for me caring for him was like a gift to me. I felt the sacredness of the call to care for one so closely approaching the otherside of the Veil. 

Jeffrey could not talk even from the moment that I met him. Regardless of no words, I quickly learned what his face expressions meant and the nods to yes and no questions allowed me to get to know Jeffrey. 

Each day I wanted to learn something new about him as I knew it could be the last time he would ever even have a speechless, yet still a conversation with anyone before he would go. 

I learned a lot about Jeffrey. He loves football, surfing, mountains, having his own saltwater fish in a tank, Bluegrass Country Music, gospel quartets, and the list goes on, but....he hardly loves anything more than math and Jesus. Those are his two favorite things and the last thing that I ever saw Jeffrey hold in his hand before they have both become paralyzed now was a math book and a small Bible. 

Jeffrey is completely paralyzed now and he can't nod his head yes or no because the tumor in his brain has caused him to lose control over his entire body. 

As I have been witnessing this I have realized how important communication between two people, but most importantly with our God. 

I have realized the way that God is our ultimate caretaker. 

I see the way that we are all like Jeffrey sickly in the bed and we can be so uncomfortable. 

I can see the way that I try to imagine what position that Jeffrey would be most comfortable in? I see the way that I move things around to see if I can get any reaction from him? I see the way that I desperately want to help him be in the best condition that I can with medication, positioning and the people around him...

But, I can also see how difficult it is to really do much without him telling me how he is or how he needs help. 

I can see more clearly how much our Father in Heaven must want us to ask for His help and seek for His care.

I can see the way that we express our desire for help and the way that we respond to the changes He is trying to help us with as vital to the amount of care that He can give us. 

We aren't paralyzed. We can ask our Father in Heaven for the medicine of His Son and the Atonement that we need. We can tell Him that we are thankful for His care and we can even ask to learn from Him. 

Loss of complete communication with Jeffrey has allowed me to see how one whom does not pray must make our Father in Heaven sad. The way that it makes me feel sad and at a loss on my ability to give Jeffrey more help. 

Through this experience I hope that I can learn to take my prayer with my Father in Heaven more deeply and with more gratitude for the ability that I have to ask for help and express gratitude for the way that He is changing my divine positioning around without me even asking for help, but because He loves me. 

I know that He loves us all because of the way that I have been given the ability to love complete strangers and I am not God, and I am very very far from being perfect. 

63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

I am thankful that I can pray. I am thankful for all the things that Jeffrey teaches me, and I hope that I can allow them to change me for good. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Covenant Making in the Old Testament

Genesis 17

It is more than interesting, but a solid witness that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church as we read in this chapter about the Lord asking Abraham to make a covenant with Him. 

Today, we have the same pattern before us in temples. 

I find it unusual that some may believe that a covenant between God and man could be remembered in clothing, as this covenants token or reminder that Abraham was given was actually more extreme than wearing clothing as a reminder. 

4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations

10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

God gives us tokens in covenant making as reminders to the blessings that we will receive if we can keep our covenants. 

In a way our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ are merciful as they know we need constant reminders. 

I feel thankful that today I am also given reminders to my covenants , which also serves as a protection. 

I see the fulness of the gospel in every page of each cannon of scripture that I read. 

I hope that I can live up to the privlidge that I have been given to be a member of His restored church. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Grace, Works & The Apostle Paul

 Good Afternoon, I am so thankful for the chance to speak with you. You all likely know me as Sister Emily Turano. You also probably know my incredible daughter Brooke, whom is ten-years old, and my very funny, and active son Will, whom is six-years old.

 Some of you know my husband Kevin, and I will tell you that if you don’t think that you know him, you actually do, as you have seen some of his great efforts as a parent come to life through our children, and myself, as he kindly supports us in our faith.

So, as I was asked to speak on grace this week, I have to tell you that I think Brother Hilstrom was absolutely shocked at how fast I responded to his text message; as he asked if I would speak on “ grace “, only seconds after the text came in, I responded with a yes and exclamation point!

I will begin my talk by explaining to you why I so quickly answered that way with excitement. 

Immediately upon receiving that text message, with the subject of the talk on “grace “ a scripture came into my mind from D&C88:78. The scriptures says, “Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you….”

 The scripture goes on to explain ways that one whom teaches diligently will receive grace. I thought to myself, “Wow! The Lord is merciful to me because I need all the grace that I can receive, and He is giving me the chance to teach, and perhaps receive it!?”

So, It is my prayer that I can teach you diligently, and not just because I need grace, but because I truly desire to be able to share the things that I have learned this week reading about grace. It has been a great blessing for me, and of all of the things that I learned about grace, the strongest message that I received was the way that our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ love all of us and are trying and desiring to help each of us come back to live with Them.

First, the definition of grace in the dictionary is – the favor of God manifested in the salvation of sinners and bestowal of blessings.”

This definition comes from a dictionary, but I can assure you that the amount of debate, and discussion that has gone on in regards to the doctrine of grace, and the way that  it is to be defined and interpreted, does not come so easily as to open a dictionary and know it’s true meaning, and there are many differing opinions on what grace is. 

In fact, scholars have determined that in the 1400’s doctrines such as grace, set the stage for reformation controversies.

Without going into too much depth about the comparison of scriptures that are many alike to Ephesians 2:8-9 which says, “For by grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

In comparison to the seemingly many contrary verses such as James 1:23 which states, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”

It is necessary to consider the context of the scriptures, rather than compare and become frustrated with the conflicting messages of the words even in the wonderful New Testament.

Before explaining the context of most of the scriptures which state that one will be saved only through faith on Christ, as stated multiple times in the scriptures by the Apostle Paul; I would like you to imagine that you have a friend that you are responsible for- your friend is sick.  You will be held responsible for ensuring this friend's return to health after attending only one of their many doctor appointments with them. 

 Imagine that you were very late to the appointment that you attended, and you did catch enough of what the doctor was saying to write some of it down, but not the entirety of the instructions.  

Now remember you were not present for previous visits, and you have no knowledge of pre-existing conditions, current medications, allergies, and so forth. Would you feel comfortable enough to leave that appointment with confidence that you had received all of the correct instructions and treatments intended by the doctor? I certainly would not want to rely on such lacking information to help ensure my friends health or even perhaps to save their life?

We certainly should not look at the letters from Paul,that so many times can be perceived that we are saved by faith alone, and written to those in Rome; without looking at the whole picture either, and even doing the best that we can with recorded historical, cultural, and locations of the instruction given, we likely will still be lacking the entirety of the events, and divine purposes ? 

This can also allow us to be thankful for modern day revelation given by apostles and prophets just as the pattern has been set forth from the beginning of time, as the way that our Father in Heaven teaches and works with His children from the beginning of time. I am very thankful to know that the Lord has not left us with documentation that was given without prior history or knowledge to whom it was given to, and I know that modern day revelation is real and absolutely necessary as those in Rome were taught by Apostles about exactly what they need, so too are we taught by prophets and apostles about what we need in our time and day; and that pattern has been shown forth across the history of time.

Let me share with you some of the context of the letters written to Rome by that Apostle Paul:

From “The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles”, we read:

During the months that Paul had been trying to reach Rome, yet waiting for safe weather to travel there, Galatia was being ravaged by onslaughts of the Judaizers.

 They were teaching members of the church in the area that “True righteousness is based in the law of Moses.”

They were teaching that “Believing in Christ is all well and good but you must not leave the foundation principles of circumcision, dietary law, and Levitical rule.”

How ironic is it that the letters to Rome and Galatia should be used in later centuries as the basis for the doctrine that works are unessential for salvation?

 Can you imagine the retort of the Apostle Paul who had been beaten, stoned, scourged, jailed, endured hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue, rejection, insults, scorn and desertion for those who would say that all you must do to be saved is confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Christ? But, on the other hand you must also recognize that Paul rejected the idea which was being taught that man can achieve righteousness by his own efforts.

Bruce R. McConkie states about this:

“The epistle was written to the saints, to the members of the church, those whom already had the proper ordinances, the gift of the Holy Ghost, to those who held the Priesthood, and enjoyed the gifts of the spirit. He was writing to the people who already knew the doctrines of salvation, the ordinances and were on the path. These teachings can be understood by people who have the same background, the same knowledge, and the same experience as the original recipients of the message. Romans is a sealed book to the sectarian world; it is an open volume of inspiring gospel truth to the saints of God. “ ( DNTC, 2:216 )

So, then how can we know what the relationship between grace and works is to us whom have the proper ordinances, the Holy Ghost, and understand the principles of the gospel?

How can we appropriately learn from these scriptures that explain that we are saved by faith on Jesus Christ?

So many times it has been mistaken that we as members of His church believe that we are trying to work our own way into Heaven, or in other words that we do not believe that it is solely on the good grace of God, that we are able to make it back into His presence and live with Him for eternity.

This is not the case.

A helpful quote which explains the process that we believe in comes from a talk written by Gerald Lund as he says:

We are like a powerhouse on a mighty river. The powerhouse has no power residing in itself; the potential power rests in the energy of the river. When that source of power flows through the generators of the power plant, power is transferred from the river to the power plant and sent out into the homes (lives) of others. So it is with faith. The power to achieve justification does not reside in man. Man requires the power of the atonement of Christ flowing into him. If no power is being generated, one does not—indeed, cannot—turn the generators by hand (justification by works); but rather, an effort is made to remove those things which have blocked the power from flowing into the generators (working righteousness as a result of faith).

 With this background then, one can understand why the scriptures clearly stress that faith includes works (see James 2:17–26); that is, obedience, commitment, and repentance—these are the works of faith that open up the channels so that the power of the atoning sacrifice of Christ can flow into us, redeem us from sin, and bring us back into the presence of God.

 Disobedience and wickedness dam those channels. (How literal is the word damnation!) The righteous works in themselves do not save us. The atoning power of God saves us. But our righteous works, activated by our faith in the Savior, are the condition for the operation of that power. Thus, each of us has something to say about whether he will be able to seek the gift and power of the Atonement in his behalf.

When we recognize this process we can see that one must have all elements in place to have a working system of grace and works. As we become baptized into the true church we receive those necessary ordinances that those Paul was speaking to in Rome already had. As we are members of His church we have also been given the Holy Ghost. With those ordinances we become the powerhouse, or the light on a hill, or worthy Priesthood holder, and our divine potential is activated by this process; grace begins to work in our lives by way of His Atonement and the cleansing agent that the Holy Ghost is for us each and everyday as we repent.

Because those in Rome were begining to rely on the Law of Moses, it was essential for them to be reminded that it was Jesus Christ only who would be able to save them through faith. 

This is the case because as one has faith in Jesus Christ, they naturally want to DO THE WORKS to SHOW their belief, not because they believe they are saved by their works, but because they love HIM.

As with faith in Jesus Christ working in your life then translates into works like scripture study, Sabbath Day Observance, attending the temple and keeping temple covenants; and as you repent daily for the errors you will make - 

The flow of the water rushes into  your powerhouse . The water is the grace, or the atonement working within your life.

 It will either  flow stronger, or not as strong, all depending on how much of Christ’s grace or atonement that you desire to bring you power, spiritual gifts and blessings, or not?

There will be weaknesses, and sins to overcome, but I can promise you that there is no blockade, sin, or even weakness that cannot or will not eventually be removed if one desires for it to be removed, and by asking for help in prayer and sometimes even seeking for help from other’s such as Bishops or friends to help remove those things that stop the atonement from working in our lives.

I know with all my heart that our Savior is working for us and with us, to help each of us obtain the highest degree of glory that we would like.

I love the scripture in Jacob 3 that is a great reminder of how much we are loved by our Savior.

In Jacob 3:1 it states, “Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause…”

How beautiful is that, a perfect, holy and divine,Jesus Christ is pleading for us to the Father.

How merciful is it that in D&C46, verse 7-9 it says, “Ask of God who giveth liberally,” and that the spiritual gifts that we will need to obtain power “are given for the benefit of those who love me and keepeth all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do.”  As Elder Holland has graciously reminded us that the “seeketh so to do” makes us eligible!

It is those spiritual gifts that we are given that will help us continue to grow in His grace and be more and more like Him.

Lastly, I am called to Brad Wilcox’s unforgettable talk titled “His Grace is Sufficient “, as he states,

“We will all be resurrected. We will all go back to God’s presence. What is left to be determined by our obedience is what kind of body that we plan to be in God’s presence, and how long we plan to stay there.

Because Jesus took our punishment, He can offer us the chance for ultimate perfection, and help us reach that goal. He can forgive what justice never could.

In the past I had a picture in my mind of what the final judgment would be like, and it went something like this: Jesus standing there with a clipboard and Brad standing on the other side of the room nervously looking at Jesus.

Jesus checks His clipboard and says, “Oh shoot, Brad. You missed it by two points.”

Brad begs, Jesus, “Please check the essay question one more time! There have to be two points you can squeeze out of that essay.”

The older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will not be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, “Let me stay.”

 No, he will probably be saying, “Get me out of here!” Knowing Christ’s character, I believe that if anyone is going to be begging on that occasion, it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, “Please, choose to stay. 

Please, use my Atonement- not just to be cleansed, to be changed so that YOU WANT TO STAY.

The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that- miraculously- we can feel at home there. “

Conclusion –
The grace of Christ is sufficient – sufficient to cover our debt, sufficient to transform us, and sufficient to help us as long as that transformation process takes. The Book of Mormon teaches us to rely solely on “the merits and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.” (2 Nephi 2:8) As we do, we do not discover- as some Christians believe- that Christ requires nothing of us. Rather we discover the reason he requires so much and the strength to do all He asks (Philippians 4:13). Grace is not the absence of God’s high expectations. Grace is the presence of God’s power (Luke 1:37).
Give Testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Degrees of Glory

This week as studying the Doctrine and Covenants Section 76, I realized just how blessed that I have been to be able to know and understand that there are degrees of glory, rather than just a Heaven and Hell which will be assigned to each person at the final judgement. 

As I consider the messages that would be most vital to my children whom someday will read my thoughts written here; I desire to share a beautiful experience that I was given in the Celestial Room of the Dallas, TX temple. 

I often go to the temple to receive comfort, guidance and instruction in my life. However, on this day I had stopped at my Father and Mother's home and asked if my Father would give me a Priesthood Blessing which I believe allowed for a more power in my experiences that day. In the blessing that my Father gave me, he blessed that I would receive direction in my life, and the strength that I needed. I left on the road to the temple that Sat. morning with unwavering faith, knowing that I was going to have blessings given to me as promised through a faithful servant, my Father.

Among very special messages that I was given as I was seeking to receive answers and comfort in regards to my husband not being a member of God's Kingdom upon the earth, I was suddenly drawn to the Chandelier in the temple. 

It was just as Joseph Smith had described the way that the spirit speaks to him, as he said, 

" Revelation is pure intelligence, which may give sudden strokes of ideas." ( Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith )  

I knew with assurance at that moment that My Heavenly Father wanted me to know that the Celestial Kingdom was likened unto the Chandelier that I was looking at, and each and every part of it is very beautiful, just as each person in His kingdom has great worth. I knew that each part of it was necessary to hold it up, and make it as it was purposed to be, and shine together perfectly, and I knew that no matter what would happen, He has a plan for all of us in His kingdom, and that His plans are perfect and marvelous to both see and be a part of, no matter what the outcome.

1 Corinthians 12:

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him?

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary..

Following tender messages that I do not write, my eyes were then drawn to each light in each the room, and I felt and knew clearly of the beauty and blessing in not just the Celestial Kingdom, but also in each of His degrees of glory that He has prepared for His children to eventually obtain. I felt great peace to know that each and every part of My Heavenly Father's work has glory and beauty of it's own. I knew and felt that in which ever kingdom that one obtains in the next life, it would be the place of best experience, and measure of joy that they would enjoy obtaining. 

 "The doctrinal teachings concerning desire, relates directly to our moral agency and our individuality. Whether in their conception or expression, our desires profoundly affect the use of our moral agency. Desires thus become real determinants, even when, with pitiful naivete, we do not really want the consequences of our desires.
Desire denotes a real longing or craving. Hence righteous desires are much more than passive preferences or fleeting feelings. Of course our genes, circumstances, and environments matter very much, and they shape us significantly. Yet there remains an inner zone in which we are sovereign, unless we abdicate. In this zone lies the essence of our individuality and our personal accountability.
Therefore, what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity. “For I [said the Lord] will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:9; see also Jer. 17:10). Alma said, “I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire, … I know that he allotteth unto men … according to their wills” (Alma 29:4). To reach this equitable end, God’s canopy of mercy is stretched out, including “all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of [the gospel], who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
“For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts” (D&C 137:8–9).
God thus takes into merciful account not only our desires and our performance, but also the degrees of difficulty which our varied circumstances impose upon us. No wonder we will not complain at the final judgment, especially since even the telestial kingdom’s glory “surpasses all understanding” (D&C 76:89). God delights in blessing us, especially when we realize “joy in that which [we] have desired” (D&C 7:8).
However, in contrast to God’s merciful plan for our joy and glory, Satan “[desires] that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Ne. 2:27)."
( According to the Desire of Our Hearts - Elder Neal A. Maxwell ) 

I truly feel the great mercy and love that our Father in Heaven has for each of us His children as He has provided this perfect plan and earthly state where we can each choose exactly what we want and that because of our agency and the chance that we had to choose for ourselves, we are much more happy in our choice, than had the adversary chosen or made us to choose to live after a manner that we did not desire. 

The depth of love that I felt that our Father had for each of His children was incredibly sweet to feel. It felt such joy and peace to know that truly all things are going to work together for the good, for those whom love God. ( Romans 8:28 ) 

I think of Him, I want to please Him and I desire to live with Him. I hope that what I insistently desire over time, will be what I receive, as  Elder Maxwell explained. 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


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